TOLSTOY’S WAR AND PEACE

A quiet soft-peddling day yesterday. Only time out of the house was for a walk in the morning.

Spent time working on tonight’s podcast. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Intended to go to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Changed my mind. Instead remained home and watched a movie I last saw 61 years ago in 1956.

The move to a new home brought with it new Comcast equipment. One item, the remote control. Appears to have access to everything.

One thing that excites me is I now speak to change channels. No clicking anything. Only problem is you have to know what you want to see. Either channel name or whatever name.

One of the whatevers is a movie selected by name.

I was playing around with the remote around 5. A learning process.

In 1956, I was a junior in college. I took several Russian history courses. One required a reading of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and thereafter a paper analyzing the novel. The paper 25 percent of the final grade.

War and Peace an opus. The paperback version 1,440 pages.

I was working two jobs at the time. Six to 10 hours a day, depending on the day. Taking 18 hours. Something had to give.

I cheated. Not the usual type cheating. Cheating never the less.

The War and Peace movie had just come out. About 3.5 hours. The movie long as was the book. I went to see the movie.

Then to the library. Read a very brief synopsis and several lengthy comments.

Made notes along the way.

The time finally arrived. The paper had to be written. Sat down at my portable Smith-Corona and went to work. My recollection is the paper was about 12 pages single spaced. Redid it twice to get everything right.

I received a B+ on the paper.

I was proud and did not feel guilty.

I enjoyed the movie War and Peace last night. I had only seen it that one time in 1956. The new remote and Comcast programming permitted it.

The reason I was never able to watch it on TV over the years was it never ran. Available today as a pay film. Only $3.99.

War and Peace involves a Russian family and Napoleon’s ill fated attack of Russia in 1812. The theme song especially enchanting.

I consider War and Peace the second best Russian film I have seen. The other, Dr. Zhivago. Never read Zhivago. However, it never required reading in any course I took.

Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. have a propensity to lie. Must be an asset in the construction business. Not otherwise in life.

Lying always leads to trouble. The lies have to be expanded. Each to explain the previous.

Re lying, Abraham Lincoln and Mark twain said it well.

Lincoln said, “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

Twain, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”

As I used to tell juries in summation in cases where I had caught a witness in a significant lie: Woe the web we weave when first we seek to deceive.

I am a bit of a hypocrite this morning. I criticize the Trumps for lying when I cheated on a paper. Not comparable. However, both immoral.

Podcast time tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Topics include the cost of housing and the dying middle class, Venezuela currency collapse, proposed U.S. Space Corps, Bernie Sanders’ wife getting unfairly beaten up.

Also, my thoughts re FBI nominee Christopher Wray, millions in the process of fleeing Somalia and Sudan for Europe, the capture of the golf course crocodile, and Hemingway Days.

Interesting material. A fast moving half hour. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

HERMINE FICKLE

I learned from sailing that wind is fickle. It blows every which way. Even at different levels at the same time.

Hermine is fickle. It has been blowing every which way for the past two weeks. Started out in the Atlantic as a 99L tropical wave. Then turned into a tropical storm. Followed by a class 1 hurricane. Back to a tropical storm. Today, perhaps back to a hurricane.

Initially, Hermine was to hit Key West as a tropical storm. Maybe even a hurricane. That was 9-10 days ago. I stocked up on hurricane food and water.

Missed Key West completely. Went out into the Gulf.

Turned around in the Gulf and headed back to Florida. Hit north Florida as a tropical storm. Did a number on the area. Turned into a hurricane as it moved up the Atlantic coast.

Veered out into the ocean around New Jersey. Supposedly to continue going east into the Atlantic. Diminishing in speed.

All of a sudden yesterday, it reversed course and headed back to shore. It is now a tropical storm. May become a hurricane again.

It is anticipated Hermine will sit in the Atlantic off the U.S. northeastern coast. New Jersey, New York and points north will suffer. Wind and rain. Rip tides. While Hermine rests for a few days.

If that ain’t fickle, I do not know what is!

Spent more time than I normally do yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. A lot of facts.

The title is Star Spangled Banner…..Birth To Today. I was motivated to write the article as a result of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s actions.

An interesting tale.

The column hits the stands wednesday.

I was tired afterwards. Unusual. Decided not to go out for a few drinks and dinner. However, I did have to leave the house for a short while. A prescription pickup at Walgreens and a few items of groceries at Publix.

The Key West City Commission continues to screw up. The group a disgrace.

The carport solar panels at the new City Hall. Bite the bullet and correct the situation. The City is in violation of its own carport law. If the City in this instance were a private property owner, the owner would be required to tear down and relocate the solar panels. Regardless of cost!

The sadness here will be the taxpayers dollars required to pay for the corrective work. Justice would be to have the Commissioners and City officials involved pay out of their own pockets.

Another City Commission screw up on the horizon. The GM mosquito problem. The Commission will discuss the issue at its wednesday meeting.

My suggestion is they keep their noses out or back the Key West residents who are opposed. Better, they stay out of it completely!

Citizens’ Voice in this morning’s Key West Citizen had an interesting comment/observation. The City had closed off a block of Duval for drinking and partying as part of Brewfest saturday night. At the same time, a drunk driving check point was located on Northern Boulevard at the intersection with Bertha and Palm.

Does not make sense to have had both events the same evening.

The great English actress and Academy award winner Helen Mirren will be in Key West, Big Pine and Marathon September 13-16. She is filming a new movie The Leisure Seeker. Production people are already in the area seeking locals to perform as extras.

Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago was published this date in 1958 in the United States. An immediate best seller. Soon made into a movie.

Pasternak was awarded that same year the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Soviet government would not permit him to leave Russia to accept.

The movie continues to be well received to this date. I cannot recall how many times I have watched the film. It is frequently shown on television.

Tolstoy’s War and Peace is another great historical Russian novel. Written in 1869. Movie starring Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer released in 1956. One of my all time favorite movies!

The problem is I have only seen the movie two times. When originally released in 1956 and several years ago on television. For some reason, War and Peace is not rerun as frequently as Dr. Zhivago. Why, I cannot understand. Both outstanding films based on outstanding novels by outstanding writers.

War and Peace, where are you?

Enjoy your Labor Day!

 

DR. ZHIVAGO

Sunday was a full day for me. A good one.

I got to watch Dr. Zhivago for the umpteenth time. Always exciting! Love Russian history! The film based on Boris Pasternak’s novel of the same name.

A Russian movie I enjoy even more is War and Peace. Based on Leo Tolstoy’s book.

I have only seen the movie two times. It does not get played on TV. I saw it in a movie theater when it first came out in 1956. A few years later on TV. Since, no more. I wish Turner or someone would start running it.

War and Peace’s music got to me. Even more than Dr. Zhivago’s. The theme song is a waltz. The mind dances through many of the scenes.

The book was torture to read. Eleven hundred plus pages. The last 25 percent more philosophy rather than historical novel.

I wrote this week’s KONK Life column. Political Sexcapades. An interesting title. An interesting story. Begins with the sexual lives of those who “persecuted” President Clinton re Monica Lewinsky. It ends with the admonition that most are sinners.

Trump has threatened Clinton to be careful if she is going to play the sexism card. I warn/predict a down and dirty campaign. Perhaps the dirtiest ever.

A scenario that should not be. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone type thing.

The column publishes wednesday.

Even got to watch the Syracuse/Texas Southern game. Syracuse won 80-67.

The honeymoon is over. Syracuse play will now be in the ACC. The ACC season starts wednesday night when Syracuse plays Pittsburgh.

A quick dinner at Roostica. Sunday night is spaghetti, meatballs and sausage as my grandmother and mother prepared.

Duval and its side streets are crowded. It is like high season. A big Key West New Year’s Eve ahead.

Key West Citizen’s Keys History notes that on this day during Eisenhower’s Presidency, Eisenhower arrived in Key West to recuperate from a heart problem.

Eisenhower was probably aware of how restful Truman found our island.

Enjoy your day!