STONE CRAB SEASON A DISAPPOINMENT

Stone crabs!

My favorite food. The favorite of many.

Next to impossible to find. If available, expensive. Like $8 for a small one.

Why no stone crabs?

Two reasons.

The first Irma. Screwed up what is below the water as well as that above.

The other, cold fronts. Crabs are driven to the Keys by cold fronts. We have not had one yet this year. The cold this past week kid stuff compared to a real one.

Fortunately, the stone crab season lasts till May 15. We should have a cold front or two by then. Hopefully crabs galore. Unless Irma’s impact on them more significant than thought.

Yesterday’s blog lacked a most important saturday afternoon event. The Syracuse/Georgetown game. Syracuse won in overtime 86-79.

A typical hard fought game. As in the old days when the two teams met in Big East games.

Georgetown was up by 13 in the second half. Syracuse fought back and tied at the buzzer. Syracuse then out scored Georgetown by 7 points in overtime.

The best Syracuse game I have seen in a couple of years.

Go ‘Cuse!

I stayed in saturday night. The success Irma and me is having caused me to remain home working on my next book. Growing Up Italian. Irma has motivated me to do more.

I should have been out and about.

Doug Jones and Jimmy Buffett in town! Unannounced.

Jean Thornton has many friends. Someone called her and said be at Margaritaville at 8. Tell no one. Jean was not told why she should be there. She suspected maybe Buffett.

She was there. So too were Buffett and Doug Jones.

Jones and wife Louisa are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary at a friend’s home in Key West. Jean is from Alabama. A Republican, of course. She rushed up to Jones excitedly and told him it was the first time in 28 years she had voted Democratic.

Then Buffett appeared. He played his guitar and sang for one hour.

The place was packed! Jean not the only one who had a friend. People out on the sidewalk for a look see and to hear Buffett.

Buffet sang Stars Fell Over Alabama in honor of Jones’ victory.

Nice that Buffett decided to “…..headin’ back to Key West town.”

Today’s Key West Citizen had only a few photos of the Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good! Also, a few photos of the first I Love Stock Island Lighted Boat Parade. Looked good, also.

The first I Love Stock Island Boat Parade and other events appear to be the beginning of a tradition. Go Stock Island!

I was out and about last night. Began with Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Terri White performing. My love! For the first time since her cancer surgeries. She appears on the mend.

The crowd was large out of respect for Terri. She failed them not. Her singing, Terri! Nothing changed. Outstanding.

I chatted with Terri, Donna, Tash, Kate, Jean, and Libby York amongst others. Also, Jan Gebhart and Bob Pracher. Had not seen them in a while.

Last night was the first time I met Libby York. Her singing well known beyond Key West. Places like New York, Chicago, and Paris.

Libby will be performing at The Gardens in a couple of weeks. She also opens thursday and every thursday thereafter at the Little Jazz Room Club.

Libby not new to Key West. She has had a home here since 1980.

The New York Times described her as “a juicy singer of cool composure and artful subtlety.”

Jean and I had dinner later at Antonia’s. She is supposed to leave today for Birmingham on Delta. Not sure she will get out.

I am still on the diet. Seem to have plateaued. Lost only one pound this past week. I have not cheated once. Ergo, the only one pound loss bothers me. I need to see success on the scale!

Enjoy your day!

United States Being Destroyed By Its Own

Trump the Pied Piper again. Leading his followers in an attempt to demean and demolish Justice in the United States.

His attack directed at the Department of Justice, FBI, and the Judicial System. His wrongdoing monumental in comparison to Nixon’s wrongdoing.

This is the most dangerous time in the history of our country.

We are being destroyed by our own!

Yesterday, friday. It was different for me. Normally, I am out and about on a friday evening. Not last night.

I worked once again in the afternoon on my next novel. Growing Up Italian. The words were flowing well. I ended up working till 11 in the evening.

I have been at the Italian book four years. Irma’s acceptance has motivated me to get the book to the publisher’s desk.

Irma and Me continues to be available on the internet at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

The “bad guys” are back. Oxitec. The issue 2-3 years ago re testing a purported mosquito killer on Key Haven was killed by the people in a general election. At the time, the Florida was involved in oversight.

Oxitec has reapplied to test in the lower keys. The application this time to the EPA. Scares me. Trump’s EPA is not concerned about you and me. Only corporations.

Oxitec seeks permission to test without specifying where.

Ollie, get your team back together. The fight continues!

Syracuse/Georgetown today at 12:30. Georgetown a 5 point favorite.

Two foes of yesteryear. While both were members of the Big East. Every game to the death!

Coaches Jim Boeheim and John Thompson actually disliking each other. No friendship till a couple of years after Thompson retired. Boeheim and Thompson ran into each other. Thompson extended his hand. Saying something in effect to Boeheim that he really had not liked him.

The coaching giants friends today!

Big day in American history. On this date in 1771, the Boston Tea Party. An act of rebellion if there ever was one. Great for the colonists’ cause.

Rebellion happens. A people who think they are getting screwed will react in such fashion. It could happen again.

It was bound to happen! Sexual harassment in reverse. A male reported having been harassed by a female several years ago. In the political arena, no less.

Andrea Ramsey had announced she was a Democratic candidate for Congress. The Congressional District in Kansas. She dropped out of the race this week.

A male subordinate claimed she sexually harassed him in 2005. He claimed she fired him for refusing her advances.

Works both ways. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander. What is good for the gander, is good for the goose.

A new word in the Oxford Dictionary. Youthquake. Defined as “a significant, cultural, political, or social change arising from the actions or influence of young people.”

The word the result of the wakening of millennials seeking change during the past 12 months.

Will the birth control issue ever leave us?

Trump issued a new rule re birth control. One which could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth control. He expanded religious exemptions to include non-religious entities.

In two instances. One to include publicly traded corporations. The other permitting denial on moral grounds (an extension of religious grounds).

A Federal District Court Judge temporarily blocked the new Trump rules.

Enjoy your day!

FRIDAY SATURDAY.

Yesterday was friday. For me, saturday.

From the time I rose, I thought it was saturday. While reading the Wall Street Journal, I noticed it had friday’s date. I could understand. The saturday edition is normally labeled Weekend Edition.

Later, while I was at Tammy’s for a manicure and pedicure, she told me she was working tomorrow. I could not understand. She never works on sunday.

Later in the afternoon, I telephoned Liz to finalize plans for sunday evening. We are attending St. Paul’s Christmas show together. I wanted her know what time I would be picking her up “tomorrow.” She said not tomorrow, sunday.

At that point it dawned on me! Today was friday, not saturday. Wow! What a screw up! Was I losing it?

To add more humor, I was planning on attending Larry’s Smith’s Christmas show saturday night at The Studios of Key West. That would have blown me out! I would have showed up friday night to be confronted by locked doors.

Do I add this to falling down all the time?

So…..Larry Smith tonight at The Studios for Christmas with Larry. 8 pm. I will be there. You should, also. Guaranteed top flight entertainment.

Getting back to Tammy, she told me she was returning to Vietnam in June for three weeks. She and her 6 and 8 year old children. Rick staying home to work the business.

A 32 hour trip.

She is going because she has not been to Vietnam in 12 years. Her children have never met their great grandparents on both sides. Her and Rick’s parents live in the U.S.

Then to the Cuban Coffee Queen for lunch. A couple of weeks since I had been there. No Ruby. Nor the last time. A big young Australian working her job.

I spent my “friday afternoon” reading a book about Cleopatra. What I learned!

Cleopatra was of Greek origin, not Egyptian. She was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great’s right hand man Ptolemy I. Ptolemy I became governor of Egypt.

At some point, Ptolemy I appointed himself Pharaoh. Everything continued Greek. The court spoke Greek.

Ptolemy I wanted to keep the ruling class in the family. Brothers and sisters married. Cousins, also. Had to be a lot of nuts eventually!

Cleopatra was married to her brother Ptolemy XIII before her Julius Caesar marriage.

Cleopatra was not Elizabeth Taylor. Not a beauty at all. Great at sex, however. A seductress. Note Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony.

Since I was not going to see Larry Smith, I took the night off. Stayed home and watched old movies on Turner Classics. It was Myrna Loy night. A 1930s and 1940s star. I did not realize her remarkable talent till I watched her play several different roles last night.

Some followers of this blog reside in Papua, New Guinea. Almost since day one. Like 10 years now.

Papua suffered an 8.0 earthqualke yesterday. A tsunami warning has been issued. I hope God holds Papua in his hands.

Scary.

China can’t wait till Trump takes office to test the U.S. Yesterday, the Chinese stole a U.S. Navy submarine drone from South Sea waters in full view of a U.S. Navy vessel. Election hacking with Russia on the front burner. No peace for Obama in his final days.

Big day travel wise for Key West yesterday. United’s first direct non-stop flight from Newark to Key West. In January, United is going to provide a similar flight from Chicago.

I have been flying to Key West 26 years. I can recall when it was a 3-4 plane trip from Syracuse. Twelve to 14 hours. Assuming no delays. Delays guaranteed during the winter.

On this day in 1903, Orville Wright flew a power driven plane for the first time. Two thousand three was the 100th anniversary of the flight. Wright’s plane was reconstructed. Planned to be flown where Wright had flown 100 years earlier.

The plane did not fly.

Syracuse/Georgetown today at noon. On ESPN. I will be able to watch. Syracuse an 8 point favorite.

Syracuse and Georgetown were bitter enemies starting when the Big East League was formed in 1979. Always great hard fought games!

Big John Thompson Georgetown’s coach. Jim Boeheim Syracuse’s. They disliked each other from day one. Thompson especially hated Boeheim. Hated the correct word.

After Thompson retired and Boeheim was having league problems, the two made up. Actually initiated by Thompson. He came over at a game and hugged Boeheim. Just like that, the animosity of 30 plus years was gone.

Enjoy your day! Yes, I know it is saturday!

HANNUKKAH

The Jewish celebration Hanukkah begins at sunset today. It lasts till monday December 14. It is a Festival of Lights.

My blog today is not about Hanukkah. Though I wish all a Happy Hanukkah! Especially, my Jewish friends.

I spent many hours yesterday researching this week’s KONK Life column. It was about Teddy Roosevelt and an executive order of his that exasperated many world wide.

I woke this morning to learn that Helen Sperling had died. Unknown to most. A Buchenwald survivor. A woman who dedicated her adult life to telling her story and reminding us not to forget what happened.

Helen’s story is hard to hear. Dark. Overrides the Roosevelt story. I am shelving Roosevelt for another day. This week’s column will be Helen’s story. Titled Thou Shall Not Stand By.

Changing columns means a long day ahead for me. I am late with today’s blog because I have already spent four hours researching the new column. There are several more. Then the actual writing.

Helen’s story would be appropriate any time. However with the Jewish holidays upon us, it has a special meaning.

Georgetown beat Syracuse yesterday 79-72. The game was not as close as the score might indicate. At one point in the second half, Syracuse was behind 20 plus points.

Syracuse played lousy. Simply stated. Could not make threes nor control the boards. Georgetown pierced the zone defense at will. Their big man hurt us badly. I keep saying, we need a big man! Some one screwed up in the recruiting process.

The team was not with it. A major problem was hesitation. The team failed to take threes when they had the shot. The threes they took did not drop. They moved slowly around the court. Always seemed a step behind. There were moments when a Syracuse player would stand still holding the ball, not certain what to do with it.

The Syracuse team yesterday was not the same one I watched beat two ranked teams in the Bahamas two weeks ago.

Boeheim not being there not a factor.

I who love small town parades decided to skip Key West’s Christmas Parade last night. I was not in the mood. Instead, I had dinner at Tavern ‘n Town.

Met Larry and Linda. Enjoyed their company tremendously.

Most importantly, Larry and Linda were celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary. Congrats to them! They live in Fort Myers. Came to Key West for the weekend to celebrate their anniversary.

Linda is originally from the Buffalo area. She and I are New York neighbors of a sort. About 175 miles separating Buffalo and Utica. Larry is from Youngstown.

The two did cocktail hour at Alonzo’s before Tavern ‘n Town. They stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dessert. Key Lime pie. They were interested in experiencing every aspect of Key West.

The San Bernardino shootings have raised many thoughts, questions, solutions, etc. One is that people would be safer if permitted to carry concealed weapons. Such would discourage the bad guys.

Someone wrote a comment today. His thought was precisely what I have set forth. Carry concealed weapons.

Jerry Falwell’s son Jerry Falwell Jr. is now President of Liberty University. He claims carrying would prevent  San Bernardinos. His justification was not directly to save lives. It was that “…..we could end those Muslims.”

I do not agree with gun carrying, concealed or otherwise. Ultimately, society would be as in the Old West. The Muslim situation on the other hand I find troublesome. Islamic radicals are a danger to us, to our way of life.

President Obama is speaking tonight to the issue. I hope he hits a home run. People are discouraged about his handling of ISIS. Empty words will not help.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

NORML

Title spelled correctly. Did not intend to type Normal.

NORML is an organization whose mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana. Its further mission is to serve as a consumer advocate for access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.

The organization is not a Johnny come lately. It is 45 years old. Its membership consists primarily of marijuana defense lawyers.

NORMAL has a one week seminar each year. Attorneys attend from all over the U.S. It traditionally has been meeting in Key West for many years. Most often at the Pier House. The actual title of the meeting is the NORML Key West Legal Seminar.

This is their week. The Chart Room was packed last night with seminar attendees. Drinking, not smoking.

My yesterdays generally begin the same way. With the anti-gravity treadmill at Body Owners. Yesterday morning was quiet. Unusual. I went at it again with 30 seconds of high speed and two minutes slow. Supposed to strengthen my heart.

Had to rush home afterwards. Every friday at 12:30, I am interviewed on the KONK News Radio Show. The topic is the subject matter of that week’s KONK Life column. Yesterday, The Eiffel Tower.

The Chart Room first last night. Searching for Jean Thornton. She had telephoned earlier and we agreed to meet at the Chart Room for a drink. We ended up a foursome. Sheila and Stephanie were part of the group. Us in the middle of the pot lawyers.

Cheryl and Roger were at the Chart Room also. Sitting at the round table with some friends.

Decided to go straight home afterwards. About half way there, my stomach started to growl. I was hungry. Stopped at Outback for lamb chops. Outback a locals place. Good value for the money. Always packed.

We have had two consecutive days of heavy rain. More predicted for later this morning. Whoever is responsible for the rain apparently is not aware this is not Key West’s rainy season.

The Christmas Parade is tonight. Hope it is not rained out. A terrific event! Especially for kids.

I mentioned some strange nature happenings yesterday. Forgot one.

Each morning on rising, I look out my bedroom window. About a hundred yards distant at the entrance to Cypress Lake sits a buoy of sorts. A warning post. It marks low water. Boats are warned to avoid the area.

I have lived in my Key West home 16 years. Look out the window each morning when I rise. Always see the thing bouncing in the water. A couple of days ago, it was different. I could actually see the ground holding it. The tide must have been out. However, the water level lower than normal for low tide. There was a circle of land exposed around the warning buoy. Ten feet in diameter.

Which raises the question. Sea levels have been rising for years. Why was this the first time I saw land exposed?

I mentioned several weeks ago La Trattoria was closed and would be reopening after Fantasy Fest. It finally opened last night at 5. Remodeling the reason for the closing and delay. There was a sinking problem in part of the first floor not anticipated which required more time for the project to be completed.

Syracuse/Georgetown at 1. On FOX. Georgetown a 5 1/2 point favorite.

This will be the first of 9 games Boeheim will be sitting out. Hopkins will be coaching. Hopkins perfect to assume the responsibility. He has been waiting years. When the time comes that Boeheim retires, the head coaching job is his. It has already been agreed in writing that Hopkins will succeed Boeheim.

OPEC crying about oil prices being dramatically low. Too bad. Let them cry. They got fat off the rest of the world for decades. Never forget, they gave us $4 a gallon gasoline.

The couple who did the shooting in San Bernardino. Something I do not understand. Traditionally, children always come first. One’s own children especially. The couple had a six month daughter who they left with the grandmother when they went out to terrorize.

The couple had to know they would die. Or be jailed for years. Where was their concern for the child? How could their Islamic beliefs outweigh that responsibility?

Enjoy your day!

 

 

THE NATURE OF THINGS

When it wants, nature commands.

Very early yesterday morning, I stepped out onto my deck. I was amazed at the calm. There are many days when everything appears calm, but yet there is a slight movement in a palm leaf or something. Yesterday, no movement. Nothing at all.

Reminded me of Hurricane Georges. The night before was the same. Quiet. Peaceful. Absolutely nothing moving.

I learned back then the meaning of calm before the storm. Georges hit hard the next day. So too the storming yesterday afternoon and last night. Extremely heavy rain. Joined by thunder and lightning throughout the night.

Yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. Continued with the 30 second fast thing. Increased the speed more than previously.

Then to Lee Nails and Tammy for a manicure and pedicure. Lee Nails amazes me. Tammy and her husband have built a huge following.

There was a break in the rain at dinner time. I decided on Hogfish. Mentally it seemed like the place to be after the rain. I was right. You could taste and smell the rain. All pleasant. Enjoyed my time at the bar.

I screwed up. I mentioned the other day that the Boat Parade was this saturday. Fortunately, I received many e-mails correcting me. The Boat Parade is a week from saturday. This saturday is the Christmas Parade. An event! Enjoy it somewhere along Truman.

Boeheim’s NCAA appeal has been decided. The only change was that the 9 game penalty begins saturday with the Georgetown game. Instead of at the beginning of the ACC season. A better result than before. Still sucks.

A raw deal for Boeheim. He had no direct tie to the charges. Which in and of themselves did not warrant the overall harshness of the original decision.

Few know the composition of and how the NCAA works. Worthy of a column at some point.

I have not been a fan of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for some time. They are a traditional group to the far right. Similar to the Protestant religious far right. The Bishops are generally in opposition to the changes Pope Francis is working to bring about.

The bishops recently met in Baltimore. Note that many did not show up for the scheduled meeting. Those present prepared a political document to guide Catholic voters.

The nerve of them! Priests belong in church preaching God’s word from the pulpit. Not in the public market place telling me and other Catholics how we should vote.

The bishops are way out of line.

Trump is beginning to get under my skin again. When asked how things will get done, he says it’s all about management. Skillful management contributed to the death of six million Jews.

Trump is a loose cannon.

Syracuse plays Georgetown tomorrow. A battle between former Big East foes. Syracuse/Georgetown games were always exciting and hard fought. Tomorrow should be interesting. The game is at 1 on FOX.

My weekly interview on KONK News takes place on local radio 104.9 at 12:15 today. Fifteen minutes of me answering questions and discussing this week’s KONK Life column The Eiffel Tower.

Enjoy your day!