-16 DEGREES

Happy New Year!

To most of the country freezing their butts off, Happy New Year! Hang in there. Warm weather will return. It always does.

I received an early morning Happy New Year from a Utica friend. Minus sixteen degrees! I remember those days. Brutal!

Chilly in Key West last night. I am ashamed to say got down to 65 degrees. I turned the heat on. You would too if you lived here all year long. Your blood thins. You are more susceptible to cold.

Key West very cold around the corner. Temperatures in the 50’s. Tomorrow night, low 62. Then a few days with the high in the mid 60’s and night times in the mid 50’s.

Key West style cold!

I remained in last night. The highlight of my evening the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game. Syracuse won 68-56. Syracuse played terrific!

Virginia Tech came into the game with the top field goal percentage in the nation. 54.5 percent. Fourth re 3 shooting percentage. 43.7. Syracuse kept Virginia Tech well below those numbers.

Syracuse’s defense outstanding! Shooting  much better. The team was making shots. Still need improvement in the shooting area, however.

A tough ACC schedule ahead.

Go ‘Cuse!

I wanted to be awake at midnight to watch the ball fall. Missed it. Woke at 12:15. Watched some blabbing from New York. Found New Orleans at 1 my time for their Happy New Year. Provided me with the thrill of it all.

CNN ran Key West 15 minutes after Sushi came down in the shoe. She was walking around by the time they got to her. Never the less, still good. An attractive Sushi in a bright red dress. She makes all her clothes herself. The crowd huge and noisy.

Key West has more than one person descending something or other at midnight. The pirate wench at the Waterfront always a hit. She (a for real one) comes down from the top of a tall ship’s mast. Other descents include a conch shell, Keys lime wedge, unicorn and a tuna.

Something for everyone!

New Year’s Day was not always celebrated January 1. The early calendar was a mess. Unreliable. Followed the lunar cycle. Changed a bit every year. The bits turned into a large number at some point and adjustments had to be made.

Julius Caesar said enough! In 45 B.C., the Julian calendar took effect. Caesar took a little glory from the event. Quintilis was the original name of July. Caesar changed it to July, naming the month after himself.

In the 1570’s, the calendar was still screwed up. By the year 1,000, the calendar had added 7 days. By the mid 1500’s, 10 days.

Pope Gregory III solved the problem by adding 1 day to the calendar every 4 years. Leap year! Still works today.

The new calendar became known as the Gregorian calendar.

Key West’s Dachshund Walk yesterday a success. More than 200 dachshunds participated.

I receive my daily Key West Citizen via the internet. No January 1 edition this morning. Why? I hope it was not because the Citizen gave its workers a day off because of the holiday. A lot of Key Westers worked yesterday. The Citizen should have also, if such was the reason.

Enjoy your day!

CONCH REPUBLIC DAYS

It was April 1982. Drugs and illegal immigrants were coming in through Key West and the lower Keys. The U.S. Border Patrol set up a roadblock and checkpoint at the northern end of US 1.

Traffic backed up big time. Many locals and tourists were inconvenienced and angry.

A federal court action was brought to have the roadblock/checkpoint removed. It failed.

Key Westers were undaunted. Their mentality prevailed. A group of local citizens decided to protest. In humorous fashion, of course. They went to the roadblock/checkpoint and opened one on their own. Under the auspices of the newly formed Conch Republic. The day, April 23.

History was made!

The men assembled advised the U.S. Border Patrol that Key West had seceded and was an independent nation. They further advised that then and there they were declaring war on the United States.

The group waited one minute and then advised they were surrendering. In addition, they demanded $1 billion in foreign aid.

The aid never came. However much has developed since that 1982 day.

The Conch Republic has won a form of recognition from the U.S. It has a capital headquarters in a yellow conch house on Simonton Street. The Conch Republic flag flies in front.

The Conch Republic has an Army, Navy and Air Force. Officers uniformed. An ocean going fleet consisting of the Schooner Wolf and ten civilian boats. An Air Force consisting of several pre-World War II bi-planes.

A female contingent exists. Young lovely ladies. Their uniform, bikinis.

Even a national anthem. Working In The Conch Republic.

The 35th anniversary of the birth of the Conch Republic is being celebrated with a week long event. Begins tonight at the Schooner Wharf Bar at 7. The event is the Conch Shell Blowing Contest.

A major event is the Great Sea Battle which will take place in a few days. The Conch Republic and United States engage in war!

Off Schooner Wharf, the Conch Republic Navy consisting of the schooner Wolf (a pirate ship in reality) and several small motorized vehicles will engage the big ships of the U.S. Coast Guard. The Conch’s will fire sea water via large hoses at the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will retaliate with fire hoses.

The Conch’s will throw cabbages, eggs and tomatoes at the Coast Guard. The bikini clad ladies will be holding on from the yardarm doing most of the throwing. They will be attired as pirate ladies. The men as pirates, also.

The air battle is terrific. U.S. Navy jets from Boca Chica will engage Conch Republic bi-planes. The bi-planes will also bomb the Coast Guard cutters. With rolls of toilet paper which open up and flutter down on the Coast Guard vessels. Something to see.

Don’t miss the Great Sea Battle! It’s a winner!

Buffalo’s Tom and Fran Dixon are in town. I hope to go out to dinner with them tonight.

Enjoy your day!