GET YOUR FLU SHOT

Today’s blog will be short. I have early morning tests at the hospital.

Get your flu shot! Those who fail to do so are crazy. My history proves it.

I have been getting a flu shot for 16 years. No flu! Prior thereto, the flu hit me hard 2-3 times a year. Especially a couple of days after a flight to Key West or flight home. Plane air systems efficiently spread the bug.

The only strange thing about the flu shot occurred this year. For the firs time, I received the shot at a drug store. CVS. My doctor was not doing them anymore.

I felt sort of undressed as I got the shot. Sitting on a chair in the openness of the store itself. Everyone could see. Bothered me for some reason.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has a special section devoted to the Fantasy Fest Parade. Many pics. Excellent!

Mention is made below a photo on page 1 to the effect that “tens of thousands” viewed the parade. Still waiting for a number.

Some comments I picked up on. Parade better this year. Parade not as good as previous years. Fewer people. Streets not jammed tight. Walkable. Parade moved faster. Floats kept moving along. No big gaps between floats. Much less nudity than in previous years.

The Masquerade Parade was voted the Best Event of Fantasy Fest 2017. Deservedly so! I saw parts of it. Thousands of people. All costume attired.

Parrot Heads in town this week. Happy Jimmy Buffet followers.

Party time yesterday afternoon. At Kevin and Holly’s home on White Street. A good time! Sat around the pool and chatted. Food and drink excellent! Company the best!

Paul Manafort and one time partner Rick Gates first to be indicted by Special Counsel Mueller. Announced this morning. A 12 count indictment primarily concerning money laundering and income tax evasion.

I may be wrong. I am listening to the TV in another room as I write this morning. My sense is Manafort has agreed to plead guilty to certain charge(s). The guilty plea may be made today.

Enjoy your day!

FANTASY FEST PARADE A SUCCESS

I am assuming the Fantasy fest Parade last night was a success. Assume because I did not see it.

I stopped watching the parade ten years ago.

Parking always a problem. I got towed two successive years. Cost $250 each time to get my car back.

Parking always many blocks from Duval. A long walk to and back from the parade.

Too many people. The streets jammed with viewers.

Seen one, seen them all.

Normally, the Sunday edition of the Key West Citizen would run pictures of the parade and police estimates as to the size of the crowd. Unfortunately, we no longer have a Sunday edition of the Citizen.

I was able to find some news about the parade in a Miami paper on the internet. However, the news portion only ran up to the beginning of the parade. There were a few photos and a video of portions of the parade itself. Unfortunately, neither could provide a sense of the size of the crowd.

So definitive information not available to share till tomorrow morning.

Another reason for not attending last night was topical storm Phillipe. Phillipe is the 93L storm I mentioned yesterday. Got upgraded to a tropical storm. Pouring rain was expected.

From what I have been able to ascertain, Key West lucked out as it did with Irma. At the last minute, Phillipe shifted and the parade did not get poured on. Merely a few drops.

Some ask why the Parade so soon after Irma. Perhaps it would have been better to adjourn it a month to get Key West in better shape.

Simple, my friends. Money.

A proper reason this year at this time. Key West’s labor force primarily consists of waiters, waitresses, bartenders and kitchen help. They all took a beating because of Irma. Closed for the storm. Most did not reopen right away. Some still not open. Damage too extensive. The workers without income.

Rent became due. Most scraped to meet the rent. Very expensive to rent in Key West. Extremely. some landlords got piggish immediately. Rose their rents $300-700 a month. Levels many would not be able to meet. Many of the waiters, etc. have left Key West since Irma. They simply could no longer afford to live here.

Therein lies the reason Fantasy Fest was pushed. Workers for the hotels, restaurants, and bars were in need of the cash infusion.

Two things have been eating at me the past few days. I did a Facebook live video on one the other day.

The first is Trump and his opioid emergency announcement.  Means nothing unless it is funded. Congress has to authorize the money. Congress is not even talking about it.

A typical Trump move. Make a major announcement. Toss the responsibility/next step to Congress. If Congress fails, Trump cannot be blamed.

Keep in mind also we do not have a Secretary of Health, etc. nor a Drug Czar at the present time. Who is going to run the program?

The other involves Puerto Rico and its power grid. Seventy five percent of Puerto Rico is still without electric power. Some six weeks post Irma.

Three hundred million dollars has been appropriated to get work going to restore electricity.

The contract has been given to Whitefish Energy Holdings. The company two years old.  Two employees, the principals. Located in Whiteface, Montana.

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke is from Whiteface, Montana.

Something smalls here. As it should. We have a President and his family who are engaged in business dealings world wide. Refusing transparency. Business as usual.

As the saying goes…..What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

I many times reference a happening as “only in Key West.” I have an only in Mississippi one to share.

A young African-American mother was a passenger in a vehicle stopped in Pearl, Mississippi. Her 4 month old baby was with her.

The police checked identities and found the driver and mother had unanswered misdemeanor warrants pending. They were taken into custody.

The baby’s grandmother arrived within minutes at the scene. The police would not turn the  baby over to her. They deemed the baby “abandoned” under the law. the baby became a public charge and was place in a public facility.

The misdemeanor charges were resolved. The mother asked for the return of her child. Judge John Shirley of the Pearl Youth Court said no.

There were pending court costs. Until the court costs were paid, the mother was prohibited any contact with the baby. The baby in the meantime was placed in the custody of the grandmother.

Note, no contact. Even visiting not permitted.

A not for profit got involved. The Solenge MacArthur Justice Center. Went to bat for the mother big time. Publicized what they viewed as a gross miscarriage of justice.

Took 14 months. Mother and child finally reunited. Judge Shirley was forced to resign and the Youth Court was disbanded.

I have a home party to attend at 4. Following which I hope to stop at Kate Miano’s Gardens.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Last night was as different as day and night from the previous evening. Whereas thursday evening there were significantly less party goers on the streets, last night was like Fantasy Fest of old. Traffic crazy, Duval and side streets packed with costumed people, a few nudes, etc.

Appears everyone decided to arrive in Key West on the weekend, rather the days leading up to it.

The Masquerade Parade which had started at the Cemetery was moving along Simonton when I arrived. I forgot it was taking place. I was in a traffic jam for a half hour 4-5 blocks back from Simonton.

Finally had to travel over Whitehead and down Front to get to the Pier House. All the time promising myself there was no way I was going to the Parade tonight. Traffic too crazy!

The Chart Room was packed. Stayed about three hours. I did not think the Room could hold that many people.

A mixed group of out of towners sprinkled with a handful of locals. Many out of towners costumed. Conservatively. Only one bare breasted woman and hers were spray painted with a big bird.

As I drove to the Pier House over the long distance last night, I saw little nudity. Again, more costumes.

The past 48 hours, I have discussed with many reasons for the changes. Everyone agrees there is an obvious change.

Definitely less nudity. Perhaps the new group running the event has succeeded in that regard. Whether good or bad, I cannot say at this point. Time will tell.

The other is the number of parties. It used to be some of the bars would have parties on different nights. Different flavored parties. Sort of different strokes for different folks. Perhaps 2-4 an evening.

In recent rears the parties have grown in number. Some evenings as many as 10. Many I spoke with thought the parties were dragging party goers off the streets. Could be.

I am not sure of anything, except things are different this year.

Tonight, the highlight of Fantasy Fest. The Parade! Floats galore! Could be a disaster. Heavy rains scheduled for today and this evening.

Heavy rains at the moment as I sit here writing.

There is something called 93L out there. A tropical storm or hurricane in the making perhaps. Heavy rains and winds. Reportedly will not turn into a tropical storm or hurricane as it passes over Key West.

Could be a very wet evening as the floats travel down Duval.

I doubt the rain will diminish the thrill and boisterousness of the crowd. They will remain in the rain shouting for beads which are thrown from the floats.

I had been drinking. Had not eaten. Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town on the way home for the late Happy Hour. Quiet. Three or four at the bar. Everyone downtown. I ate lightly and read the newspapers.

Key West has many tales of ghosts living on the island. One involves the ghost at the Key West Cemetery.

The Cemetery is not large. Only so much land available on an island as small as Key West for a burial ground. The cemetery 170 plus years old. Estimated 100,000 already buried there. We stack bodies.

Many claim they have seen a woman of Bahamian descent who they believe is a ghost. She appears both day and night.

She acts in a protective manner as regards the Cemetery. It is claimed she chastises those sitting on grave stones, walk across a grave, or in any way disrespect the dead.

She threatens  them, turns insolent, and then vanishes.

I have never met her. Hope I never do. I enjoy cemeteries so it could happen. I am a lover of history. Tombstone engravings tell the story of a community from way back when to present day.

Robots/artificial intelligence making great headway! Something new every day.

Sophia Robot was introduced recently at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Sophia is a female robot. Very attractive. Highly advanced. Well spoken. Responds to questions intelligently when interviewed.

The Saudis were impressed. At the Conference, Sophia was given full rights of citizenship. The first woman to be so honored.

The citizen thing strange. Sophia was born in effect in Hong Kong. Created there by Hanson Robotics. The first foreigner to be honored with Saudi citizenship. The first robot, also.

Sophia did not wear a burqa nor was she fully covered. She was dressed western style. A lovely hairdo.

Sophia can travel anywhere she wants in Saudi Arabia unaccompanied by a man.

Sort of hypocritical. A real Saudi female cannot do many things. A female robot can.

My publisher…..Where is my book? I keep waiting for its publication to be announced. Hurry!

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..WHAT TOGA PARTY?

I was sorely disappointed last night. Toga Party. What Toga Party? Hard to find.

I have been a fan of Toga Party since the mid 1980’s. Merely as a voyeur. For me, fun. Last night, there was little to be voyeured. Very little.

The reasons why two-fold from my perspective.

Irma obviously a contributing factor. Who would want to pay $700-$1,000 a night for a hotel room if Key West was still recovering from Irma?

The other is the leadership of the event. New leadership this year. The former head ran the show for many years. Complaints grew in recent years by certain locals that there was too much nudity, perversion, etc.

The squeaky wheel was heard by the new leadership. Advertising for this year’s event was not to the usual sources. Sexually inclined persons and groups.

Fantasy Fest an adult party. Always has been. People want to show off their bodies, play, etc. Hurts no one. The new leadership better study closely the reasons why this year’s event failed. And not be reluctant to accept responsibility where warranted.

I walked Duval in the usual Toga Party area last night. Sloppy Joe’s, inside and out. I would estimate the crowd no more than one-third of its usual number. Sloppy’s not crowded. Could walk the streets without problem. Duval not closed off. Cars driving through.

I saw no more than 10 persons in toga attire.

The failure of Toga Party probably a combination of Irma and the new leadership looking in the wrong places for attendees.

The Parade is saturday night. Normally 60,000 to 80,000 spectators. Terrific! Not this year. It will be significantly less.

Several years ago, there was another Irma/storm. Fantasy Fest was delayed into early December so Key West would be ready. This year greed dictated otherwise. There was a rush to get ready and hold the event timely. Hotels, bars, merchants, etc. needed the business.

The goose that lays the golden egg seriously hurt this year.Let’s hope it does not die not next.

I saw three sets of bare breasts last night. One at the Chart Room. Bugs Bunny. She and her husband from Kentucky. Breasts spray painted.

The other two on the street in front of Sloppy’s. One young, the other middle aged. Both spray painted.

In previous years, there would be hundreds in various degrees of undress. All having a good time. Even voyeurs like me. I sincerely hope the tradition does not end.

Enjoyed stone crabs again last night at Pier One. I was the only customer. Hovi the bartender. From Romania. Has been in Key West 5 years.

The Chart Room had about 15 minutes of activity. Otherwise, few customers.

Met Larry and Cindy. We are neighbors! They live on the golf course, also.

We chatted quite a while. Canadians. Sarnie, Ontario. Sounded like they have a family business. Mechanical contracting. Cindy serves as bookkeeper for the business.

Proud parents of two children and two grandchildren.

Liked them both. Hope to develop a relationship with them.

Problems developing post Irma. To be expected. Not everything works perfectly following a disaster like Irma.

The Monroe County School System announced that 320 students are homeless as a result of Irma. Many would not be had the City fathers and FEMA decided that the Irma homeless could no longer stay in local hotels paid by FEMA following last sunday. It was Fantasy Fest time. Time to make real money! Which I suspect will not be the case when the numbers are released.

If the kids are homeless, the parents also. Where are they living? In cars, trucks, mangroves and under the bridges.

Shame on us all!

Monroe County has requested 9,200 trailers. FEMA provides them. As of yesterday, 10 had arrived.

FEMA advises it only has 1,000 trailers allocated for the entire State of Florida.

How will the problem be solved? Will it be solved?

Enjoy your day!

TOGA PARTY…..TOGA, TOGA, TOGA

 

I have been recommending the best Fantasy Fest events to attend the past few evenings. Several each night.

Tonight, only one. Toga Party!

Forget everything else. The place to be is Sloppy Joe’s. Inside or on the street. Actually, the street more fun till about 3 in the morning. Then go inside for the action.

Men and women clad in white togas. Magnificent attire, especially for women. It will be show me your…..For how many beads? Constant negotiation. The lady always wins. The men happy to pay.

The event, a voyeur’s dream!

My first stop last night was the Chart Room. Sat at the end of the bar in the corner. A few minutes later, a lovely young lady asked if the empty seat next to me was taken. I looked over and said no. Thought I would die!

She was wearing next to nothing. A thong. Bare breasted. Absolutely magnificent breasts.

All I could think was…..Thank you God!

We chatted. She was up and around and then back to the seat again. Talking with everyone.

She was part of a pair. Al and Ann from somewhere outside Detroit. Al an orthopedist.

They have been doing Fantasy Fest for 10 years. Stay generally at the Pier House. The same accommodation each year. More pricey than a normal room.

Al an interesting guy. We chatted a bit. Clothed differently than Ann. Al was wearing a bathing suit and cowboy hat.

At some point, another Fantasy Fest woman arrived. Her breasts spray painted.

The bar was crowded. Most persons costumed up. At one point, I could hear a discussion about men’s nipples. Did not pay attention. The subject of no interest to me.

John bartending. Early 40’s. His second year in Key West. He is enjoying the week!

He went to Kelly’s Kinky Party monday night. The same one I mentioned that I did with my lesbian wives 15 years ago. The nipple twisting story.

John and his date properly attired. Attired perhaps not the correct word. The fewer clothes the better. A black strap here and there sufficient.

John said the event was everything he imagined it would be!

When I did the party 15 years ago, Kelly’s was the only BD/SM party in town. Today at least one an evening during Fantasy Fest.

Decided to invade the Pier House restaurant. Pier One. For stone crabs.

Magnificent! Without question! Go and enjoy. A mere $26 a pound. Sweet and succulent!

Met Livia. A lovely 26 year old bartender/waitress from Slovakia. She has a Masters from her home country. Useless she claims here. She is attending our local community college learning hospitality services.

I returned to the Chart Room. Kevin and Polly there. Kevin had arrived earlier in the day.

I chastised Polly re tattooed nipples on reconstructed breasts. I had told her and Ollie about a lady friend who was having it done. They thought I was crazy.

I researched Google later that night after arriving home. Nipples can be tattooed on. Three dimensional! Woman’s choice. Instead of a nipple, it can be a star, moon or sun. Whatever the woman wants.

Told Polly also my friend Cindy from Des Moines had written. She had a mastectomy. Opted for a nipple tattoo.

Nipples obviously were in vogue last night at the Chart Room. Female and male.

Saw my dermatologist Dr. Pruett in the afternoon. Cut a few things off. Froze others. A once a year visit as a person gets older.

Got my car back. Vinny the Ghost. Doors now open via the use of human hands. Most other things dependent on the electrical system still not working. Mechanic back ordered on the necessary part.

Shootout at OK Corral. The event occurred this day in 1881. Took all of 30 seconds. Estimated 30 shots fired during that time.

Wyatt Earp, his brothers and Doc Holliday.

A famous American happening. Many movies made based on it.

I have a sick and then sicker story to relate.

Recall the Dakota Access Pipeline last year. Sioux Indians protecting a burial ground. A standoff. Many non Indians standing with the Indians in opposition to the oil companies.

Several Congressmen have written to Attorney General Sessions recommending that he prosecute the Sioux and others as terrorists under the Patriot Act.

Understanding Sessions, he might very well go for it.

Trump wants to deport. He deports. Does not appear age nor circumstance matter.

Marie Rosa 10 years old. Here illegally. Her parents brought her across the border when she was three months old. Maria has cerebral palsy.

An ambulance in Texas was taking her from one hospital to another for surgery. Gall bladder. Stopped at a check point by ICE.

After some discussion, Maria was permitted to go forward and get the surgery. ICE followed and stayed with her.

Following the surgery, Maria was taken to a detention facility in San Antonio. Her parents are at home in Laredo, some 150 miles away. At some point over the years, the parents had become citizens. Not Maria, however.

ICE wants to deport Maria.

Where is the conscience of those involved? America not as unhappy with immigrants as the President thinks.

Media announced this morning the President will speak this afternoon. He will announce that opioids have become a national emergency and the government is going to deal with the problem.

Hero Trump!

Not really.

Opioids a national crisis. Sixty four thousand died last year. Averages 142 deaths a day. Normally such would be labeled a crisis. The crisis would be handled by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. That account has only $57,000 in it.

Instead of labeling it a crisis, Trump is calling it an emergency. This he believes permits him to use monies authorized for natural disasters. Such as hurricanes.

Hurricane monies drying up, however.

Monies for the opioid epidemic will have to be authorized by Congress. Another Trump slight of hand. He says I am going to do such and such and then tosses the ball to Congress to act. If Congress fails to authorize sufficient monies, he can always say I was for helping. It was Congress that failed.

The President never fails.

Some other interesting tidbits.

Melania is going to be involved in leading the fight somehow.

The problem primarily the responsibility of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. We do not have such a Secretary at the moment. Tom Price who was using private jets willy nilly resigned and has not been replaced.

We also require a Drug Czar. Trump nominated a Marino a couple of months ago. Marino had to withdraw when it was discovered he was close to the pharmaceutical houses. We still do not have a Drug Czar.

Typical Trump. Make a big deal out of something. Gets great media coverage. Then limbo for a plan.

The opioid problem is now. Requires now treatment, now attention. Actually, yesterday’s. What Trump will announce will take significantly more time to become operational because of funding, staffing and planning.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VINNY THE GHOST

I drive a 2010 Volkswagen Beatle convertible. Blue and white. Got it new. Seven years later, only 36,000 miles on it.

One of my lady friends refers to it as Vinny. Why I am not sure. Suspect it reminds her of Vinny from the Joe Pesci movie.

Vinny has been acting strange the past few days. I suspect a ghost has found a home in Vinny. Three of the windows suddenly go up and down as I am driving. One window never moves, even if I am trying to open it. The door lock on the passenger door sometimes does not work. Lock up noises for the car itself not always heard. Windshield wipers suddenly working. Etc.

The car is at a mechanics. Since yesterday. I was landlocked last night. Too far to get anywhere without a car. Ergo, remained home. Can do without the car today. It is tuesday. Generally remain in because of my podcast show tonight. Definitely need it tomorrow. An early afternoon doctor’s visit I want to keep.

If you see a blue and white Volkswagen Beatle convertible driving down the road with no driver behind the wheel, it’s mine. Vinny driving!

A big Fantasy Fest day today! Lots of fun events. The Southernmost Beach Blast from the Past. Twisting the feature of the afternoon. Rick’s has Cocktails for those wearing animal tails. A Tutu walk/crawl parade. In the evening, a Tutu Prom at Dante’s. Captain Tony’s Plaid Party. Hot! The Green Parrot Green Party.

Plus, more.

Have fun!

An Irma housing crisis remains. Compounded by Fantasy Fest. Up to yesterday, 482 households had found homes in Key West hotels and guest houses. Booted yesterday. Fantasy Fest open. Hotels/guest houses needed the rooms. Big money!

Which means, 482 households looking for lodging.

The situation sucks!

Sears is Key West’s premier department store. Key West’s only department store.

Things have been tough for years for Sears nationwide. There is a constant concern we will lose Sears. Not the greatest store. Better than nothing, however.

Sears announced yesterday that due to a pricing issue, it will no longer sell Whirlpool products. Includes Whirlpool, Maytag, Kitchen Aid, and Jenn-Air. Sears will continue to handle Kenmore and other brands.

I hope the Whirlpool issue does not indicate the beginning of the end for Sears.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time.

I have a slew of topics to discuss. Could be one of my better shows. Interesting and definitely eye opening.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include too many generals in the White House, Trump’s corruption of General Kelly, the Niger situation, armed mercenaries, armed masked mercenaries still in Puerto Rico, a crocodile swimming off the White Street Pier.

Also, mastectomy breasts can be tattooed with nipple or anything else rather than nipple and areola rebuilding, a Terri update, Dickinson, Texas and an Israel boycott, active duty enlistment bonuses, Cuban missile crisis, draft or compulsory military service, poorer quality inductees, expanding U.S. wars, tip toeing towards war, and more.

I agree. Too many topics. It was that kind of week. More reportable happenings than normal. I will go till the half hour is up. Guaranteed you will enjoy!

Irma has affected my happy home.

The area of the golf course where I live was shaded with tall full trees. Higher than my two story home. Half the trees blown over by Irma.

The house recently has been warmer. The air conditioning running longer than usual. Hit me yesterday. The trees! Nature’s shade gone!

Enjoy your day!

WUTHERING HEIGHTS

When I climbed out of bed yesterday morning, I knew my day ahead. Do the blog, a little TV, Kate Miano’s Gardens and then a stone crab dinner at the Pier House.

What do they say…..The best laid plans of mice and men, etc.

I did the blog, watched a lot of TV, worked on tuesday’s podcast, and grocery shopped at Publix.

One of the movies Wuthering Heights. I consider Wuthering Heights a great love story intertwined with an abnormal tragedy.

Written by Emily Bronte in the 1840’s. Brought to the screen in 1939. Starred Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon.

Heathcliff’s “Cathy, Cathy, Cathy” heart wrenching and diabolical at the same time.

Then to Publix. Nothing like shopping at Publix on a sunday. Everyone there!

Another Fantasy Fest day has arrived. An observation and my recommendations as to what to do.

Nudity is prohibited. Every year. Never the less, nudity persists. Significantly. There are exceptions. Too complicated to spell out.

My admonishment simple. Women keep your nipples covered. Women and men, no genital exhibiting. Must be covered also. I think an exception here if the female genital is spray painted and the woman remains in what is described as the Fantasy Fest zone.

A luau. At the Southernmost. A Key West style pig roast. 6:30.

The Green Parrot is featuring a Beatles tribute. All You Need Is Love.

A Kinky Carnival at Kelley’s. Used to be the only BD/SM party during Fantasy Fest. Now there are several.

I recall attending my one and only 10 years ago with Donna and Terri. An experience.

They would not let me in. I was not appropriately dressed. At least I was dressed. Shorts and a tee shirt.

My attire became an issue. I wanted admission. Had always wanted to see this type show.

We compromised. I took off my tee shirt and placed it around my belt. I was allowed entrance bare chested.

How stupid, I thought. Turned out the gate keepers knew better than I.

The place was packed. In excess of a thousand persons. Standing room only.

As soon as I was in, women started approaching me and grabbing my nipples. Hard! Twisted them!

Not my cup of tea.

After several twists, I decided I would grab and twist their nipples before they got to mine. Worked! After twisting a few, I was no loner bothered.

Much to see. My eyes enjoyed. Saw things I had only previously heard of or read about. Left after 1 1/2 hours. Enough time to complete my BD/SM education.

We seem to be tip toeing to war. During Cold War days, the U.S. had B-52’s constantly in flight. Always several in the air. No time without. Each carried nuclear bombs. If a problem occurred with Russia, the B-52’s were prepared to immediately attack.

With the demise of the Soviet Union, the U.S. in 1991 decided such preparedness no longer required.

It has been announced the Air Force is preparing B-52’s for  24 hour alert status as during the Cold War.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

ZOMBIE BIKE RIDE / CRZBS

Last night was the final evening of Gombay. I did not go out. It poured heavy several times during the evening. I hope it did not disrupt Goombay too much.

Today, the beginning of Fantasy Fest itself. Shed your clothes and join in!

Joking.

Tonight at 6, the Zombie Bike Ride. Thousands will participate. Riders costumed and made up. Some scary weird. Bikes decorated, also.

Bicycles big in Key West. Sole means of transportation for many.

Though not an official part of Fantasy Fest, Kate Miano’s Gardens from 5:30-8:00. Kate’s sunday evening event has become a Key West tradition.

Entertaining this evening are the CRZBs. Supposed to be  excellent. A jazz ensemble. The only player I know is Skipper Kripitz. An excellent drummer and an extremely fine person.

Sunday at the Gardens always a fun time.

My day yesterday was watching the Syracuse/Miami game. Syracuse lost 27-19. A different play result here or there, the score could have been reversed.

Syracuse played poorly in the first half. Dungey had nothing working for him. His second half a beauty, however!

Syracuse’s defense excellent.

If I had to pick one item that contributed big time to Miami’s victory, it was their speed. Fast off the line. It took almost all of the first half for Syracuse to accommodate.

Syracuse has gained momentum as the season has worn on. They will make a bowl this year. Next year, watch out! Dungey back!

King and Queen of Fantasy Fest have been identified. King is “Saint Paul” Murphy. Queen, Destiny Montgomery.

I know Destiny. Sings often with the Dueling Bartenders. A lovely young lady with a magnificent voice!

Several years ago, a local group worked hard to bring a film festival to Key West. They succeeded. This year’s Key West Film Festival is scheduled for November 15-18. Thirty films will be shown.

This day in 1962, President John Kennedy announced he had ordered a blockade of Cuba in response to Soviet missiles being installed in Cuba. Kennedy warned the U.S. was ready to retaliate if any missiles were launched.

The Cuban missile crisis was upon us. The crisis continued for six days. A nuclear war was imminent. no question about it. Either the Soviet Union backed off and removed them or a nuclear war would occur.

Naval war vessels from both sides were face to face in the waters between Key West and Cuba.

Both sides came to an agreement and war was avoided.

It was an emotional moment to watch on TV the Russian vessels turning around to return to Russia.

Feelings were high. The situation tense. What is happening presently with North Korea kid stuff in comparison. Though no less serious.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev a nut. Similar to Trump, far worse.

Key West was in the middle of the fracas. Artillery guns were erected on Smathers and other beaches pointing towards Cuba. Military personnel were transported quickly and in large numbers to Key West.

Khrushchev blinked. Fortunate for everyone. Kennedy had met the enemy and beat him.

Some things are nor readily revealed to us via the media. An example is the Executive Order Trump signed this past week recalling 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

We are fighting in so many places that we have an insufficient military personnel. Another example is that the military has lowered its standards for successful enlistment. The U.S. will now accept applicants who have a marijuana history.

For several years, I have suggested a return to the draft or mandatory military time following high school graduation.

I believe we would be in fewer wars if more families were directly involved. A President and Congress would be reluctant to engage in new wars if the people back home had a direct personal interest in those fighting.

Still waiting on Irma and Me. I had a desire for strawberry ice cream at 3 this morning!

Enjoy your Sunday!

GOOMBAY LAST NIGHT

The beginning of Fantasy Fest. Goombay, last night.

Been doing Goombay for at least 15 years. Never changes. Except it gets bigger. Longer, more stands, new restaurants. Band at end of Petronia more sophisticated. A Larry Smith presentation last night. Christine Cordone singing. Several accompanists.

Joni with me. An interesting woman. Former Sunoco executive. Sharp.

Met Joni for last night’s fun experience behind Bourbon Street. A drink. Listened to some music.

Prior to meeting Joni, stopped at 801. The customary Don’s Place crowd. A tradition has developed. A group goes together. Leaves by taxi from Don’s Place. Dropped off at 801. A couple of drinks.

I was early for my Joni meet. Stopped into 801 looking for my friends. As expected, they were there!

Joni and I walked Petronia to the big band stand at the end. I kept telling her to stop where ever and we would buy some stand food. She never took me up on the offer. I suspected she was not fond of the food either. Never has turned me on.

Therefore, we stopped into Blue Heaven. Sat in the restaurant part and enjoyed some food.

Joni lives on Petronia. Two hundred feet off Duval. Thought I was dropping her off. No, she was not ready yet. So it was off to Bourbon Street’s front bar.

I have never been to Bourbon Street late at night. A different experience.

The place was mad!

Lots of ladies. Dancing up a storm.

Employees walking around in black jock straps and black bow ties.

My back was to the bar. I turned around. One of the jock strap guys was dancing on the bar.

Strip joints have women dancing on the bar, stage, etc. wearing nothing. Mostly men in the audience, though a handful of women. Last night at Bourbon street similar, except lots of men and a handful of women.

Syracuse/Miami 3:30 this afternoon. ESPN. Syracuse 4-3, Miami 6-0. Miami a 17 point favorite.

Can Syracuse duplicate its victory over Clemson last week with a win over Miami this week?

The opioid crisis not being handled well. During the campaign, Trump labeled it a crisis. After the  election, no crisis but he would deal with it. This past week, Trump returned to describing it is a crisis.

While he vacillates, Rome is burning! 142 a day dying in the U.S. from opioid overdosing.

The Comments section to this blog is active. Some strong political differences.  I have mentioned armed masked mercenaries walking the streets of Puerto Rico two times this past week. No comment from anyone. Isn’t the issue worth discussing. I see it as San Juan today, New York, Los Angeles or Miami tomorrow.

Our country stranger by the day. What happened to the America of old? Dickinson, Texas an example.

Harvey did a number on Dickinson. Residents need money to rebuild and/or replace belongings. The application for funding is titled Harvey Repair Grant. Contains a strange clause. In order to qualify for the funds, one must sign a verification not to boycott Israel.

What the hell does Israel have to do with U.S. citizens obtaining money form its own government to get through the Harvey crisis?

The Verification reads as follows: VERIFICATION NOT TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL: By executing this agreement below, the applicant verifies that the applicant: (1) Does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.

The Verification is based on a recently passed Texas State law requiring contractors to so certify. Which by local hands has been extended to applicants themselves.

This pledge conditions Harvey relief. Requires the signed pledge not to boycott in order to get funding to rebuild.

Clearly violates the First Amendment.

No question Texas is a conservative state. Occasionally, far to the right. The Verification an example.

A further example also of the crazy people running our government. From the White House down to the Texas State Legislature to the Texas Governor who signed it into law.

Another day, no Irma and Me. I hate the waiting!

Enjoy your day!

 

STONE CRABS

Last night, the meal of meals. Stone crabs!

The season opened sunday. It was my first stone crab meal of the season.

Enjoyed with another stone crab enthusiast, Jean Thornton. My great host from Birmingham who sheltered me and several others during Irma.

Jean crazy for stone crabs, also.

We dined at the Conch Republic. My idea. Stone crabs were great there last season.

The stone crabs tasty. Large.

Two complaints. The shells not broken enough and the mustard sauce a blob. We could not eat it. Stuck with melted butter.

Did not spoil the joy of the meal, however.

Priced $44 a pound. Cheap! I expected $60, perhaps even $70. Irma destroyed better than half the traps. I suspect the low price is because there still are not enough customers. Conch Republic half filled last night.

During dinner, Jean tells me she heard stone crabs were $26 a pound at the Pier House’s Pier One. No way! Never that cheap anywhere over the years!

I stopped at Pier One on my way to the Chart Room after dinner. A cute young Philippine hostess told me yes, $26 a pound. Six. Medium.

In the next couple of nights, I will be at Pier One enjoying.

The Chart Room was packed. Tourists galore. A good sign. I am concerned how successful Fantasy Fest will be. My thought is the powers to be should have adjourned it several weeks.

John bartending. Smiling big time. He was going to have a big night tip wise. It has been a long time.

David there. We chatted a while.

Jean, Molly, Ollie and I sat at the round table.

Molly is Kevin’s wife. Kevin on business in Boston till wednesday.

Ollie entertained us with his testicle burial story. A true one. The ladies thought it interesting. The first time they had heard it.

I told the group about Jenny who had a mastectomy and no nipple on the replacement. She intends to have the sunset of Key West tattooed where the nipple would have been.

No one believed me. I felt like an ass.

It was haircut time earlier in the day with Lori. Told her about the nipple/tattoo story. She was very familiar with it. Said many women have it done that way these days.

In a year if I run into Jenny again, I may have to ask her to show the unbelievers her Key West sunset.

After my haircut earlier in the day, shot over to Lee Nails. A manicure with Tammy. Told Tammy about Irma and Me. She was all excited.

We got into reading. Tammy is a successful business woman at 34. She and husband Rick have a booming nail business.

Tammy cannot read.

I was surprised. She was schooled in Vietnam. Not in English, however. Her 11 year old son reads to her if there is something at home she must read.

Terri’s first major milestone reached! God bless!

They have been shooting her big time every day with something to increase her stem cell supply. In order for the bone marrow transplant to begin, she had to have 4 million new stem cells. Tested yesterday. 4.5 million!

Tuesday, the transplant procedure begins. Monday going to be difficult. She will be given a massive dose of chemo. The most ever at one time. Terri has already been warned she will be sick sick! Vomiting, diarrhea, the works, big time.

She’s ready. Ready for everything.

A post Irma update.

The canals are filled with debris. Not just trees. Demolished houses and trailers. Broken boats.

The County passed the necessary legislation yesterday permitting FEMA and other agencies to begin a clean up of the canals.

William Hackley 1856 finds him up earlier every morning recently. Around 4. Out hunting. Appears that was how meat and fowl for the dinner table were obtained back then.

Syracuse enjoyed a major win last week. Beat #2 Clemson. Tomorrow, Syracuse plays Miami. Ranked #8 nationally. Can it happen again? I doubt it. But hope so!

Miami a 16 point favorite.

John Kelly’s press conference yesterday disappointed me. The man a distinguished former Marine general. Well respected. Now Trump’s Chief of Staff. His words re the telephone call and the behavior of the Florida Congresswoman did not ring true with me. Trump has a way of taking good people and somehow making them do what he wants. The good people eventually tarnished by Trump.

I think Kelly was used yesterday.

Let’s see what happens down the road.

Fantasy Fest begins today. Goombay!

Doing it with Joni who I met last week at Antonia’s.

I am beginning to feel like an overdue pregnant woman. Waiting for Irma and Me to be published. Any day now.

Enjoy your day!