MICHAEL

Hurricane Michael. BADDDDDDD! One of the worst of the worst!

Florida’s Panhandle took the biggest hit. A Category 4. Winds 155 mph.

Michael has been described as the third most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. First is the Labor Day 1935 hurricane. Second, Camille in 1935.

Considering wind speed alone, Michael, the fourth worst. The Labor Day 135 one continues to lead the pack. Then, Camille. Followed by Andrew in 1992.

Fortunately, Michael was fast moving. Over and out rapidly. Had it stayed around a while as most hurricanes do, the already terrible devastation would have been worse.

The best way to describe Michael’s impact is to view comments from 3 communities hit hard. Mexico Beach, Panama City, and Port St. Joe.

Mexico City…..Homes reduced to kindling, roofs lying in the middle of US 98, a whole condo building gone, not there.

Panama City…..Storm trackers devastated at scale of destruction, roar of storm sounded like a jet engine as winds accelerated, chunks of US 98 washed away by the surge.

Port St. Joe…..Parts of buildings torn away, very very scary. One person reported: “Absolutely horrendous. Catastrophe…..There’s flooding. Boats on the high way. A house on the highway. Houses that have been there forever…..shattered.”

I thought Rick Scott was an inept Governor till Irma. His handling of Irma impressed me. He was on the problem a week or two before. Organized everything. Spoke to us daily on TV. Gave the populace confidence. Handled the storm and recovery well.

My impression of Scott completely turned as a result. Though I disagree with him philosophically re many issues, I respect him.

Scott is in the ball game again. He has been preparing north Florida for Michael.

The man is a leader. The people of north Florida were encouraged yesterday when he said, “Hurricane Michael will not break Florida.”

Charlotte Corriher. Lovely, charming. Lived in the lower Keys for several years. That is when I met her. At the Chart Room initially.

Charlotte a runner. Travels all over the U.S. running marathons.

Charlotte presently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

She wrote me re the Gray Man ghost today. I mentioned the Gray Man 2 days ago. Charlotte wrote, “I never heard of the Gray Man until this year when Florence was headed our way. Saw lots of posts and pictures where people claimed to see him.”

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Last night, the renewal of our monthly meetings.

Love the organization! The people are happy and easy going. Must be their Italian heritage.

New officers were elected last night at the official meeting following social hour where lasagna was enjoyed by all.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Terri was singing. An amazing lady! Worked at Blue Heaven the night before. Blind and still earning a living.

Chatted a while with Joe and John. Then spent some time with Donna. Not a happy camper. She had a colonoscopy earlier in the day and was still complaining about the prep.

We have all been through it.

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The women continue to be out there beating the drums advising women to have their mammograms, raising money, etc.

The movement is well organized nationally and locally. Participating in various events are the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Womankind, and Zonta.

My readings this morning re breast cancer brought to my attention something I did not know. A woman in the U.S. is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes.

Ladies, keep up the good work!

The Jamal Khashoggi matter has brought to the forefront again Saudi Arabia’s relatively new leader Mohammad Bin Salman. He wants to be a dictator. The center of power in his country. An authoritarian. Believes in one man rule.

Shades of Trump?

The DOW dropped over 800 points yesterday. Two reasons claimed. The tech sector is under performing and there is a concern that rates will rapidly rise.

To me, the drop will be temporary. However do not expect it to always be so.  I still believe a world wide recession will occur next year.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

STOCKING SHELVES IN SUPER MARKET

It was October 3, 1951. I was 16 years old, a junior in high school. My after school job was working in a super market. That day, stocking shelves.

Professional baseball was big back then. The fan base equivalent or better than pro football and basketball combined. Truly at that time, the All-American sport.

The National League had ended in a tie. The New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Both teams long gone from New York City today having moved west.

The supermarket owner permitted the game to be broadcast over the loudspeaker system.

The Dodgers were favored. They had led the League. New York was 13.5 games behind in August. Then won 16 straight.

The bottom of the 9th. Dodgers winning 4-2. One out. Giants batting. Bobby Thomson at the plate. A respected hitter. Ralph Branca had come in as relief pitcher for the Dodgers. A respected pitcher.

Willie Mays was in the batter’s circle. A rookie. It was thought Branca would walk Thomson to get at the still inexperienced Mays.

He did not. He pitched to Thomson. There were 2 men on base. Thomson hit a home run.

Everyone went crazy! All over the U.S. In the super market. I went crazy. The sports announcer went crazy.

Thomson’s home run is described as “the shot heard round the world.” The event one of the most memorable in sports history.

New York went on to be defeated by the New York Yankees in the World Series.

My podcast last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Love doing the show! Began with my concern for the U.S. I believe we are disintegrating as a nation.

Tonight, the Blue Macaw. Terri sings!

My girl! Love her! Admire her!

It dawned on me this morning that October means Goombay and Fantasy Fest. The end of the month. Something to look forward to. Both different flavors. Both enjoyable.

I wrote the other day about the mosquito danger in North Carolina. Too much water. Mosquitoes coming out big time. Could be illness causing. An epidemic possible.

Someone commented and asked what about Big Pine and surrounding areas following Irma last year. Good question! Never gave it a thought.

I tried to get a hold of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District for first hand information. They apparently operate like Comcast. I am still waiting for a response.

I am assuming both areas suffered a different impact.

Note that mosquitoes are a major south Florida concern. Especially in the Keys. We have a Florida Keys Mosquito Control District headed by an elected Board. Many employees. Planes to spray. Vehicles to spray.

Standing water for many days was not a major concern following Irma. Our flooding was different from North Carolina’s. The Keys’ concern was debris standing on the side of roads for miles and miles. The wet debris and humidity that followed made the debris a breeding place.

Mosquito District personnel were out immediately searching for new breeding pockets. They dealt with the problem immediately.

I am not aware of any significant mosquito problem as a result.

A job well done.

North Carolina on the other hand was hot with floods. Big time. Ten to 20 feet in height. Some lasting 10 days or more.

As the water receded, most of North Carolina became a major breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I assume the State is involved with the problem and dealing with it at this point.

Whether North Carolina was as prepared as the Keys is another story.

“If it don’t fit, you must acquit.” Famous words from the O. J. Simpson murder trial.

A glove was a key piece of evidence. The prosecution had Simpson try the glove on during the trial He could not get it on. Too small. Too tight.

What no one seem to have picked up on at the time was that the glove had become wet and shrunk. Whatever, it was one of Simpson’s passages to an acquittal. The jury acquitted him this day in 1995.

Saturday coming up. Syracuse/Pitt. Syracuse a 5 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

BATTLE OF THE COOKS

Donna and Andrea are excellent cooks. Preparation and service outstanding. Tonight, a cook off. At Andrea’s. The two working together to put out a small dinner party meal.

I can’t wait to sit down and enjoy.

Their culinary efforts impressive. I designated them the Julia Childs of Key West.

Yesterday, busy.

First, a haircut with Lori. A runner. She has decided to do the 26 mile marathon in December in Palm beach. Her second run that long.

Then lunch a few doors down at Sandy’s Cafe. I began experiencing pain each time I bit into my Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Hurt! Something wrong.

Left and hurried to my dentist Dr. George Lindner. Not there. He had taken the afternoon off. His associate and 2 dental hygienists began working on me.

I have implants. Supposedly never have pain again. Any problems, mechanical. This one not mechanical. I had thoughts of a tumor. At my age even a common cold concerns me. I keep thinking…..Finally the big one!

Turns out to be a bullshit problem. I hope! Will not bore you with the details. Will take a couple of weeks to clear up.

Last night began with the Chart Room. John in Jamaica. Mary who normally works the Beach Bar filling in.

The place quiet. Key West quiet. It is September.

One drink and some friendly chatter with Mary.

I was walking in the Pier House parking lot when I saw at the other end Mary. Another Mary. The one I normally run into at Blue Macaw, the one who works at The Little White House. Dressed magnificently. A bright white/reddish long dress.

And a man! Seemed like they were heading to A&B or the Boathouse for dinner.

Blue Macaw half filled. That September thing again.

Met Tom. Last night was the third evening in a row I ran into him at Blue Macaw. A good looking young guy. Just arrived in Key West. Originally from Philadelphia. Bartending at Hogsbreath and Conch Republic.

Looked down the bar and there was Terri. Brought her to my end of the bar to sit. Introduced her to Tom. She knew others sitting around. Terri was waiting for Donna who was at a business meeting.

Got to admire Terri! Her apartment 500 feet away. A busy intersection to cross. She walked over alone.

Political writer Zach Taylor published an interesting Brett Kavanaugh piece 9/19. Titled: Brett Kavanaugh…..Poster Child For American Aristocracy.

He hits Kavanaugh’s special upbringing hard.

Georgetown Prep a high school for children of the elite. He references Kavanaugh as a test case for the bounds of elite domination. Going a step further, he describes conservatism as ” a system of elite domination, imposed at any cost.”

Kavanaugh’s nomination is described as “a referendum on elite aristocracy whose primary goal is the very existence and protection of conservative government.” He claims the group “live above democratic accountability, not constricted by words and deeds in the way mere citizens can be.”

As to Dr. Ford’s sexual assault allegation, if Kavanaugh were to survive and be sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice, it would “demonstrate one more dimension in which the American aristocracy is…..beyond the reach of the rabble.”

Other tidbits gleamed from the article included that Georgetown Prep and other nearby schools were part of an alcohol soaked party culture. Misogyny common place.

Trump’s previous appointment to the Supreme Court bench was Neil Gorsuch. Attended Georgetown Prep at the same time as Kavanaugh. Except Gorsuch was not the party boy Kavanaugh was.

So much happening in the world. Too much for the media. A story runs a very few days and then is gone for a while. Sometimes never to return.

I am zeroing in on Florence. Now gone. Damage done. Devastation exhibited. Little now reported re Florence.

Little reported at a time most important. How are Florence’s survivors/refugees being cared for. Shelter, food, water, power, ice, etc. Don’t tell me how many you have serviced. Tell me how many need to be serviced and what progress is being made.

I worry. Florence may be too big for the federal government to handle. Even Washington has limitations. Trump says don’t worry. You are going to be taken care of. We have the money.

I don’t buy it. The desire may exist. Capability another matter.

Time will tell.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

SLOWNESS OF SEPTEMBER

It is the same of every year. Key West dies for the month of September. Multi number of reasons. Excessive humidity/heat, people blew their vacation monies over the summer, parents tapped out buying clothes, etc. for children returning to school.

When I first began visiting Key West 30 years ago, it was said you could throw a bowling ball down Duval in September and hit no one. A bit better. Now, a few tourists. Not enough however to economically support local businesses.

It is the quiet time.

Actually, I enjoy it. Sidewalks empty to walk on. No bumping into people. Little traffic. Parking spots all over. No restaurant reservations required. Cheap prices. Just about everything half price.

Terri was singing last night. So I stopped into Blue Macaw. Bar and restaurant only half full. An example of this time of the year.

Earlier in the day, I enjoyed a manicure and pedicure with Tammy. Her place deserted. Only 3-4 customers while I was there.

Fortunately, Tammy and her husband Ricky have a booming business the other months of the year. I walked into their salon yesterday and was greeted with tons of new equipment. New pedicure set-ups, seats for workers, etc. Money spent. Place looked terrific.

I am regularly impressed with veteran recognition/appreciation in Key West. Tomorrow night an example. A POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremony scheduled for 6 at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Bayview Park.

Many vets and their families will be in attendance. Most of the vets wearing their veteran caps. All serious. Proud to be there.

The crowd will be huge.

Key West has some of the finest chicken anywhere. Dion’s. The best!

A new chicken operation is coming to town. Popeye’s. I enjoy Popeye’s whenever I can get it. Strange. In Key West, I get my chicken at Dion’s. Outside Key West, Popeye’s. Now both available at one time. Wow!

The new Popeye’s will replace the Burger King on the Boulevard that was beat up by Irma. Renovations underway. Expected to open in 6-12 months.

The price of everything astronomical today. I can recall gasoline $.16 a gallon. A loaf of bread $.05. A good sized ice cream cone $.05. Double dip $.10. On and on. Salaries the same size. I recall working in a supermarket in high school for $.16 1/2 an hour.

There was a motel war in Key West in September 1955. Motels near South Street. One motel charging $2 per room double occupancy.

One of the motel owners called a meeting of his fellow motel owners. Lets stop this before we are all out of business.

Today, you can’t even park your car in Key West for $2 an hour!

The Kavanaugh/Ford situation a mess. I think the Senators are acting like asses. Be that as it may, both will probably be listened to monday. Listened the operative word. Ford will not be heard. The outcome a fait accompli.

The only thing that could change the outcome were if 1 or 2 other women came forth claiming sexual abuse by Kavanaugh.

I have written and spoken re Syria the past week. Russia and the U.S. are brushing up against each other. The world is divided in Syria. Russia and Iran on Assad’s side. Saudi Arabia and Israel on the U.S.’s.

Forces on each side building up. The U.S. and the Syrian rebels (al-Qaeda) the U.S. supporting engaged last week in live fire and ground assault drills. The message to Syria, Russia and Iran…..Don’t screw with us!

Came across an interesting piece of American history. There have been 2 occasions where the U.S. had 3 different Presidents served in the same year. Completed terms, deaths, elections contributing.

In 1841, it was Martin Van Buren, William Henry Harrison, and John Tyler. In 1881, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, and Chester Arthur.

Syracuse/Connecticut saturday. Syracuse a 27 1/2 point favorite. Expected. Syracuse will be 4-0 following the victory.

It is the following week that is of concern. Syracuse plays mighty Clemson. Going to be interesting.

Have to hustle. A haircut with Lori later in the morning.

Enjoy your day!

COMCAST DOWN AGAIN

The bigger Comcast gets, the poorer its service. Service in the Keys. Failed again yesterday. Internet, e-mail and television. From 6:30 am to 3:00 pm.

Failure of service has become a consistent pattern.

Comcast has become too big for its britches. In recent years, it purchased NBC. The company probably spends more time and is more concerned about big time NBC rather than Comcast. The Comcast I assume helped finance NBC’s purchase.

As a result of the service failure, I was not able to get the blog out. My apologies, even though not my fault.

I learned a lesson yesterday. Louis cannot live without internet and TV. I read a bit. Never the less, it was a long boring day.

Last night however made up for the day’s earlier frustrations. Partied at Andrea and Joe’s.

Donna, Terri and I were to stop by for drinks and then out to dinner. Never left Donna and Joe’s. My second Key West Julia Child had laid out a table of pickies that the best restaurant could not have topped. Everything from small pieces of meat to shrimp to dips to breads.

At one point, Andrea, Joe and I stepped outside for a cigarette. I know. Bad. While we were standing there, a car drove up. The woman in the passenger seat leaned out and started talking. It was mayoral candidate Teri Johnston.

She was campaigning. Brilliant, I thought! Teri lost the primary by one point. She failed to reach the 50 percent required to avoid a run off. Her opponent received 24 percent of the vote.

Instead of resting home secure that she would probably win in November with these numbers, Teri was out campaigning.

Andrea mentioned that Donna and Terri were inside. Teri is good friends with them. She came in.

The girls hugged and kissed. A happy mood prevailed. One of Teri’s workers walked in with a video camera. Teri, Donna and Terri were videoed while Terri was belting out a song.

Teri then left for her next stop. Another person or persons standing outside their home. By car. Smart campaigning.

Wednesday night was the Blue Macaw. Terri singing with Larry Baeder. For the first time as a paid performer at Blue Macaw. She now has a regular wednesday night gig.

Place packed. Everyone there.

Ran into Stephanie and Angie who I had met the night before.

Stephanie a daytime bartender for 17 years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like hogs breath! Knows my friend George who also has bartended there for years.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts across the street. A smart shop. Exquisitely designed jewelry available.

Matthew McConaughey stopped into Crystals and Coconuts when he was filming in Key West a few months ago. A picture of the star and Angie appears on the internet of McConaughey purchasing a necklace for his daughter.

Irma had an impact on Key West in more than one way. I have lost my fourth couple friends because of Irma. Kentucky’s David and Marilyn. I received an e-mail from David advising they had sold their home around the corner from Santiago’s Bodega and returned to Kentucky.

I assume the fear of another impending storm. Scares the hell out of you. No question. I know.

David was a writer and basketball fan. I shall miss him.

Florence doing its thing. Rains and flooding big time. Two or three more days to go. Irma causes me to worry about these people.

Trump says he is ready for Florence. I hope so. I fear another Puerto Rico, however. Florence is big. The aftermath bigger. Excuses will not fly if there is failure. I expect there will be.

Does Trump know what he is doing?

The number of detained immigrant children has skyrocketed. From 2,400 in May 2017 to 12,800 this month. Causes alleged involve a reduction in release time, the number straining the children and system, and the fact that most of the children crossed the border without parents.

The last item portraying how desperate parents are to be sure their children will be safe and find a better way of life.

In the meantime, it was announced this week that Trump wants to pay Mexico $20 million to assist in resolving U.S. border problems. The Trump administration sent a Notice to Congress that it requires the $20 million in order to pay Mexico the cost of plane and bus tickets to return unauthorized immigrants in Mexico who are on their way to the U.S. The tickets are to return them home, not to the U.S.

Seventeen thousand unauthorized immigrants involved.

I have to hand it to Trump. He knows how to piss money away. Twenty five million for the wall, $20 million for plane and bus tickets.

I will be surprised if Congress gives him the money.

Syracuse/Florida State tomorrow. A Syracuse win will indicate the direction the season is taking. Florida State a 3 point favorite.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

I FELL ASLEEP

Tuesday night at 9 is my podcast show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spend all day tuesday preparing for the show. Never leave the house.

Everything was ready to go at 8. Everything hooked up, notes on the desk, etc. Needed only 30 seconds to make everything operational.

I laid on my bed to watch TV till show time. Fell asleep!!! A no no!!!

Woke and Rachel Maddow was on. Her show starts at 9. It was 9:02. Rushed to my office, did the necessary, and was on the air 3 minutes late.

I was still half asleep. The first few minutes were a disaster. Even got a coughing jag.

I have not looked at the finished product. Some will write me today and tell me how it came out, ask what was wrong, etc.

Florence is bothering me mentally. I attribute the problem to Irma. Amazing!

Spent 60 percent of the show discussing hurricanes. Florence, Maria and the Labor Day 1935 Hurricane.

Trump had the audacity to speak of Puerto Rico yesterday. Trump said Puerto Rico was the “best” job the U.S. did. Described the help provided as fantastic. Closed with the assistance provided as “an incredible unsung success.”

What does he smoke?

Trump deludes himself. Puerto Rico a failure if there ever was one. Almost 3,000 dead as a result.

I buy the President is not mentally stable.

Re Florence, he says we’re ready. FEMA ready. A good job will be done. I hope so. However, I am willing to bet he will blow it here also. No one at Trump or FEMA’s level seems to understand what is coming. The devastation Florence will wrought.

Florence is a monster racing to the coast. The Carolinas in danger. Perhaps even Georgia. Hurricanes are fickle. All wind is fickle. Some experts believe Florence could turn left, move south, and not make landfall till it hits Georgia.

Whatever, rain will be torrential. Twenty inches or more. Surges 18-20 feet. Flood waters estimated at 4 feet.

The Carolinas have not been subjected to such a storm since some time in the 1950’s. I read somewhere that Eisenhower was President and Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe were newlyweds at the time.

My car is sick. Does not start immediately. At the garage. Not the battery or starter. Mechanic thinks it is the ignition.

The car a Volkswagen Beetle. Ten years old. Only 40,000 miles. Should be good for another 10. However, the past two years it has been costing me money. One thing after another.

Terri sings tonight at Blue Macaw. Larry and Terri. A big event. First time she will be paid by Blue Macaw. Beginning this evening, every wednesday a paid performance.

My working lady!

The Southwest Point. A very popular tourist stop. Purportedly the most southernmost point in the U.S. Not really, but accepted as such.

Tourists line up a hundred at a time by day to stand in front of the red, yellow and blue monument. They wait in line so their pictures can be taken standing in front of the monument.

When I finish my night at Blue Macaw, my way home takes me past the monument. Ten at night, there are still people waiting in line to take a picture. Not many. Ten to twenty. Interesting. Definitely a popular tourist attraction.

Pythons a non-resolvable problem for Florida. The State waited too long to deal with them. Now estimated to be more than 1 million. Present goal is to contain the pythons, not eradicate them.

The State periodically runs eradication programs. Hunt down pythons and kill them! Not very successful.

The Irula tribe are born and raised in India. Their specialty is killing poisonous snakes. Male children are taught how to do so beginning at age 3.

They are in Florida now at the invitation of the State. To hunt and kill pythons. I am unaware as to what they are being paid.

The federal government was severely criticized in 1935 following the Labor Day hurricane in the mid Keys. A category 5. Close to 700 World War I veterans were sent to work on U.S. 1. Lived in tents, etc. The hurricane killed 485, most of whom were veteran workers.

The criticism levied against the government was for sending workers into the Keys during hurricane season. Turned out Washington was not cognizant of hurricanes or their season.

A somewhat similar situation occurred recently.

This is hurricane season. Florence on the way. Unquestionably a biggie! This summer Homeland Security took $10 million from its hurricane budget and transferred the money to ICE. ICE was in need of additional funding for immigrant detention and deportation.

Another Trump administration screw up! After Florence departs, Trump will be crying how much money the government needs to help Florence victims and how it does not have enough.

Washington values are misplaced.

Enjoy your day!

 

TUNA PARTY NEVER WAS

The big tuna party yesterday at Kevin and Holly’s never was. I rushed to get ready, pick up Terri and get to their home on time. Terri and I were the first ones there. No one else yet. Holly by the pool. Kevin sleeping.

Strange.

The party had been cancelled. The cancellation was texted and e-mailed to me. I had not look at my messages all afternoon.

Kevin got out of bed and entertained us. We stayed 15 minutes and left for Dueling Bartenders. No sense in wasting an evening.

Took a while to get to Aqua. My car would not start. It goes into the garage as soon as I finish this blog.

Before leaving to pick up Terri for the party that never was, I received a call from Jean Thornton in Birmingham. My savior! I had spent 12 days at her home in Birmingham during Irma last year.

Nostalgia had set in. Yesterday being the one year anniversary of Irma. We reminisced about the occasion. Memorable for those of us who had escaped Irma.

A good crowd at Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery their usual outstanding selves. Terri was sitting next to me. I had a great seat. Terri sang every song along with Tom and Rick.

Donna arrived from work. I stayed a bit longer and left. It was off to Blue Macaw for me. Joe and Andrea at the bar. Mary showed up.

I met two interesting ladies who were seated next to me. Stephanie and Angie. One lovelier than the other.

Stephanie has lived in Key West 20 years. She has worked 17 1/2 of those years at Hogsbreath…..Ain’t no breath like Hog’s breath!

We had never met.

She knows George. A fellow bartender. Lisa’s friend who became my friend.

Stephanie lives upstairs in the building backing Blue Macaw. On Whitehead. Convenient. Must be pleasurable, also. I often look up at the large porch surrounding the building and think how nice. I am a devoted porch sitter.

Angie owns Crystals and Coconuts. A store on Whitehead across the street from Blue Macaw. Her store specializes in primitive handmade gemstone and crystal jewelry, hand painted coconuts, and tropical treasures.

I must stop in.

Florence continues its march to land. The Carolinas and Virginia in danger. More than one million persons have been told to evacuate. Florence is expected to hit as a category 4. Maybe even a 5.

Dangerous!

Irma has made me and other Key Westers sensitive to and uncomfortable when it comes to hurricanes.

Today a significant one in American history. 9/11! The day planes took down the Twin Towers in New York City, hit the Pentagon, and crashed into a Pennsylvania field. Close to 3,000 killed. Many first responders suffering cancer and other related problems from working at the New York site.

Attacks on American soil have been few. The Revolution and War of 1812. 9/11. All by foreigners who came to the U.S. to perpetrate their evil.

The next attack will not be by foreigners coming upon American soil. Modern warfare makes it unnecessary. North Korea has missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching our shores. China can hit the U.S. from any of the islands recently constructed in Asian waters and from its newly constructed missile naval vessels. Even Russia has updated. Its new submarine fleet can hit anywhere in the U.S. with missiles fired from them.

There are two new type wars. Each making missiles, nuclear weapons, etc. unnecessary.

One is cyber war. Screw up our computer systems. The other economic warfare. Break the back of a nation’s economy.

A lot on the U.S.’s plate for our leaders to handle. Hope they are paying proper attention.

In the past few days, the Key West Citizen has either completely left out or shortened the Citizens’ Voice. Why? It is the most important part of Key West’s local newspaper. A place where people can vent. Many times corrections to problems have resulted because of a complaint read in the column.

Tonight, tonight…..My podcast show! Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A fast moving interesting half hour. Tune in and listen to me rant and rave about the good and bad going on in our world. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

IRMA REVISITED

One year ago today, Irma hit the Florida Keys. Everyone is aware of the details. The damage wrought. I want to share feelings experienced. As I experienced them.

As Irma was traveling over the water, its pending arrival resulted in a knot in my chest. Irma was predicted as a category 5. It was heading straight for Key West.

My mind kept repeating…..Get out of Dodge!

Five days before Irma’s arrival, I did.

My escape to Birmingham took 4 days. Traffic unbelievable. Reminded me of newsreels taken at the beginning of World War II. Poland, Czechoslovakia and France. People in long lines walking away from danger. In Irma’s instance, driving.

The miles of slow moving cars added to the realization that we were all escaping a bad thing. Escape not easy. Mental uncertainty jumped in as to whether I would make it.

The gasoline problem added negative thoughts. Sometimes, no gas available. Other times, a 1 to 1 1/2 hour wait to get gas. What would happen if there were no gas and we all were left sitting in our cars on the road side?

People panic. I saw at a Pompano gas station, people on foot pushing and shoving to get at gas pumps with cans to fill. Their cars apparently already topped.

Food entered my mind. Suppose where ever I was or ended up, food ran out. How would people behave?

Whatever, I made it to the Thornton’s in Birmingham.

Now my concern and those of my other evacuees went to how Irma was affecting Key West and the lower Keys. Concern, big time. Glued to the TV screen. Anxious for every bit of news.

Irma came and went. Concern for friends who remained on going. Communication difficult. Cell phones non operable.

Thornton guests anxious to return home. Not only to look after their property, but also to help those who remained. The desire to be of assistance ran deep.

The trip home less crowded.  I waited a week after Irma before I left. No sense in returning without air conditioning, power, water, food, etc.

The view fine till I hit Marathon. Then the damage. Increasing the further south I drove. Depressing. Boats on the side of highways, cars in the water, homes flattened like pancakes, appliances all over, debris everywhere.

Islamorada, Big Pine and Cudjoe Key the worse. Unbelievable. Emotional. Tears running down my face.

Finally made it to Key West. Duval desolate. Dark. Power downtown a problem. People in the shadows. Everyone glad to see each other.

One year later, Irma’s foot print remains. Not everyone back in a home. Some still in tents. Food a problem. Jobs a big problem. The canals still plugged with sunken houses and boats. Canal cleanup only recently begun. U.S. 1 looks good. Go off the highway one block in many areas and it looks like Irma hit yesterday.

Recovery a big step. Even a year later, much to be done.

The thing that impacted me the most was the resiliency of the people. Irma gone. Damage left. Everyone pitching in to help. Neighbors and strangers shoulder to shoulder. Any mental depression long gone. Still a job to do and people getting at it.

Enjoy your day!

 

HERO HONORED

John McCain’s church service yesterday emotional and uplifting. Befitting an American hero.

His daughter Meghan’s eulogy heart wrenching. Everyone had to shed a tear. Actually, tears.

Meghan a tough woman. I have watched her on View a few times. She stands her ground. She rebuked Trump as only an angered daughter could: “The America of John McCain does not need to be made great again, because America was always great.”

Julia Child cooked last night! Actually, Donna. The Julia Child of Key West.

I enjoyed dinner at Donna and Terri’s. A small dinner party. Joe and Andrea partaking, also.

Good food, good people, good conversation.

Bear appears mended. He was his usual self.

Afterwards, we went across the street to Macaws. Terri was entertaining with Larry Baeder. Her singing magnificent. Blindness has not impaired her voice or delivery.

Terri sings this morning again. At Hard Rock Cafe’s brunch from 10-12.

Three significant historical events occurred this day, though in different years.

The one closest to Key West if Diana Nyad’s dangerous swim from Havana to Key West in 2013. In jellyfish and shark infested waters. Without a shark cage. Diane 64 years old at the time.

She landed on Smathers Beach. The trip took 53 hours. Record time.

On this day in 1969, the first ATM was made available in Rockville Center, New York. We have become accustomed to ATM machines. Quick cash.

The experience will end in the next few years. We are moving toward a cashless society. Everyone will have a card. Something like a credit card. The card will tie directly into a person’s bank account. All transactions will be per the card.

Of special historical significance is this day in 1945. Japan formally surrendered ending World War II. The surrender ceremony took place on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

This week is the heart of hurricane season. So far, so good. The weather is changing a bit. The temperature has dropped from 95 degrees to the high 80’s. Humidity less.

Not sure it will remain so. September is generally considered the hottest and most humid month.

I am disappointed. I receive my Key West Citizen via the internet. No Key West Citizen this morning. Wonder if it has anything to do with the reported sale of the Citizen to the Adams Publishing Group. The sale has not been formally reported yet.

Whatever, enjoy your Sunday!

 

INSULT…..TRUMP FAILS TO LOWER FLAG SECOND DAY

John McCain an American hero for the ages. His name will be long remembered. Similar to Senate greats of another day such as Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.

Another comparable figure in American history is Teddy Roosevelt. Both possessing that commanding go for it attitude. Both honest to the bone. Though McCain never became President, Roosevelt never was a Senator. The two can be equated, never the less.

Marc Anthony said following Julius Caesar’s death…..”The evil that men do lives after them; / The good is oft interred with their bones.”

Such will not be the case with McCain. He was too good. His shortcomings of no consequence. A man for the ages.

There is one however who apparently sees evil in McCain, has disdain for him. Donald Trump. Amusing on the one hand since Trump is no John McCain. Could never be. His evil diametrically opposite to McCain’s good.

In spite of personal feelings, people generally respect the dead. Not Trump in the case of John McCain. An outstanding example in the three days since McCain’s death is the President’s refusal to fly the American flag over the White House at half mast. Lowering of the flag a way of showing respect for a particular deceased.

There are rules/traditions governing flag lowering at such a time. Note again the lowering is a posthumous mark of respect.

Flags are normally lowered by Presidential Proclamation. With a noted exception. A Senator who dies in office. The flag lowering automatic at such time. The President’s approval not required. The flags are lowered from the Senator’s date of death till burial.

McCain will not be buried for several days.

The White House flag was lowered the day he died. It has not been lowered since. The pettiness of Trump. His disrespect obvious.

Sunday brunch yesterday at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri performing along with Larry Baeder. A smash! Hard Rock became packed as time progressed.

Blue Macaw with Mary last night. Paul and Ron back from Europe. Paul was My Man in Europe re the public urinals. Doug showed up. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House. Mary is similarly employed. She is a tour guide at the Little White House.

Tuesday is election day. I voted early. Vote if you have not already.

I want to express my personal support for Mary Lou Hoover. She is a candidate for District 5 Commissioner. A better person does not exist. She has been involved in community efforts her entire life. She will make good things happen if she is permitted to sit on the Key West Commission.

I did not vote for Mary Lou. Amusing. I could not. I do not live in her district. No problem. I can still unequivocally recommend her to you.

Another Trump observation. In addition to the one where he insults McCain’s memory. Trump has the usually strong American dollar on the path to devaluation. If such occurs, recession inevitable.

The American dollar is strong and used in most world transactions. Sixty percent of global reserves and 80 percent of global payments are in dollars. Such gives the U.S. control over imports and exports. It also makes it possible for the U.S. to force countries into submission by the use of sanctions.

Oil transactions utilize the dollar. Referred to as petro-dollars.

Trump initiated the tariff wars. More countries will suffer. Russia suffering from sanctions, although Trump and Putin are buddies.

China is the U.S.’s major competing opponent. China wants to be top dog economically.

The world is sick of Trump’s tariff wars and the nervousness it is causing to the world wide economy. Russia has been goosing the rest of the world to abandon the dollar. Russia announced yesterday it was the direction it will be following. China, Iran and Venezuela are in bed with Russia.

China wants the yuan to be number one re oil transactions. The petro-yuan. Russia, Iran and Venezuela support the move. Pakistan recently jumped on board after Trump did some nasty thing to Pakistan a month ago.

The bottom line is that Trump is destroying our economy. Wars can be fought without guns. Economically one way. Another we have learned only too well is cyber war.

The U.S. is losing in both. Will apples being sold on street corners return?

Wake up America! Trump is hurting, no, destroying us.

Enjoy your day!