100 YEARS LATER…..ANOTHER FLU EPIDEMIC

It was 1918. Millions died world wide. From the worst flu epidemic up to that time.

Now 100 years later. A flu epidemic of huge proportions gripping the United States. Not as devastating as the 1918 epidemic. Affecting more than normal, however.

The flu vaccine this year only 10-30 percent effective. A new flu bug. N3N2. The vaccine ineffective against it.

California hit bad. The hospitals full. Giant camp like tents being set up in parking lots to accomodate the sick. Nurses being brought in from out of state. Hospitals already full beyond capacity turning away ambulances.

Persons over and below 65 dying. The young normally can handle an attack and survive. Yet 40 under 65 have already died this year. The year is not yet a month old. Last year, 9.

The 1918 flu epidemic hit Utica. I was not born yet. The family has told me of relatives who died. There was a significant relative who did not die. My grandfather.

He was dying. My grandmother attempted the only recourse left her. She prayed. To Saints Cosmas and Damian. Saints revered by immigrant Italians.

The Saints were twins, physicians and martyrs.

Every year on the last weekend in September, a feast honoring Cosmas and Damian was held in Utica. Still is to this day. My grandmother told the Saints she would march in the procession on the Sunday morning of the feast barefoot the rest of her life if they saved my grandfather’s life.

She did.

My grandfather recovered. He lived to 94.

I have a specific recollection of the feast and Sunday morning procession. My grandmother permitted me to join her when I was small.

I wore shoes, however. She, barefoot as promised.

My grandmother carried a candle. A big one! Three feet high and 3 inches in diameter.

Some years, not easy.

I have my grandparents’ wedding picture hanging in my living room. My grandmother was a sleek beauty. Thin. By 1918, she had 7 children and the years showed bodywise. She was a typical Italian grandmother. Short and obese.

The walk and candle were hard for her. Some years, the sweat poured from her. She persevered. Never missed the feast till her late 60’s when she developed heart problems.

Tomorrow could be a significant day in American history. Budget or no budget. A confrontation. Who will blink? Will anyone blink?

Key West weather continues to be cold. The high today projected at 60 degrees. The low tonight 53.

An emotional story on page one of the Key West Citizen this morning. Photos, also.

Two Vietnam veterans meeting again after 53 year. Willie Powell, Houston, Texas and Ray Gutierrez, Key West. They had fought together shoulder to shoulder in the jungles of Vietnam.

They discovered each other last year on the internet.

Powell was in on a cruise ship with his daughter. The two men spent the day together.

I don’t know what it was. The way the story was written or the essence of the story itself. Whatever, the story brought tears to my eyes.

Last night, the Chart Room and Tavern ‘n Town.

The Chart Room great! Good crowd, interesting people.

Things a bit confusing at first. A very lovely young lady standing on one side of me and a couple seated on the other. Turned out all three had roots in Cape May, New Jersey. Their conversation was running through me and over me till the young lady moved to an empty seat next to the woman.

Eventually, I was allowed into the conversation.

The young lady is Morgan. Extremely beautiful. No exaggeration. Twenty six years old. Recently moved to Key West. Her mother already living here.

Morgan bubbly. Well educated. She has a Master’s Degree. Geography. Started working two days ago at the Naval Base at Boca Chica. She is employed by the federal government. Excellent starting salary and benefits.

Turned out Morgan knew me. She has been reading this blog quite a while.

The couple were Ed and Yvonne. Now residing in Charleston, South Carolina. Run a beach bar. For 30 years. Three grown children.

They have been visiting Key West twice a year for 15 years.

Now looking to buy. They started looking this trip. Ed and I spoke about Key West real estate, the value of living in Key West, etc.

It was time to eat. I headed out to Tavern ‘n Town. Lucky to get a seat at the bar. Enjoyed prime rib again. Getting to be my diet dinner. Only the meat and au jus sauce.

Guaranteed fun night this evening. Dinner party at Donna and Terri’s. Eight of us. Large stone crabs!

My book. Irma and Me. The hurricane and Louis. Forget me not. Available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and kobobooks.com.

Enjoy your day!

 

6′ 3″ 236 POUNDS…..NO WAY!!!!!

I have weight problems. Always have. Started my most recent diet at 240. I am 6’1″. Trump’s medical report was revealed yesterday. The report states Trump is 6’3″ and purportedly weighs 236 pounds.

No way!!!!!

I have never looked as fat as the President. Even in my 250 pound days.

The truth be known, he has to weigh at least 30 pounds more.

Why the lie? Why the misrepresentation? The White House doctor is Ronny L. Jackson. Also a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He did the examination and reported the results.

At 71, the way Trump eats, the tension he is under, his lifestyle…..he has to have more than a cholesterol problem. I read the other day  that his daily MacDonald’s lunch consists of 2 cheeseburgers, 2 chicken sandwiches and a chocolate milk shake. His veins and arteries have to be bursting with plaque pride!

The cognitive test. I take it every year as part of my physical. Not 30 steps, however. Only 10. Easy. What day is it? Who is President of the U.S.? What year is it? Spell a short word backwards. Draw a couple of boxes already printed on a form. Etc.

Child’s play!

Takes all of two minutes. The President’s, probably 5-10.

The results merely represent whether you are mentally ok to get along in society. Trump is more than merely in society. He is President of the U.S. Leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

I would rather he was examined by a psychiatrist rather than merely taking the cognitive test.

Admiral Jackson says Trump is in “excellent” physical health. True or false?

Others who appear to lie for the President include Senators Cotton and Perdue, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen.

Formerly respectable, responsible persons willingly walking the plank for the man. Why?

Staying with Homeland Secretary Nielsen a moment, she testified also before the Congressional Committee yesterday that her Department has asked federal prosecutors if the Department can lodge criminal charges against sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with federal deportation efforts.

Shades of a totalitarian state.

My podcast show last night.Went well. Enjoyed doing it. Opened with three medical issues. The rest of the show Trump. Cannot be helped. He is into everything nationally and world wide.

I was able to catch the second half of the Syracuse/Pittsburgh game following the show. Syracuse won decisively. Glad the team won again! They lost their previous four games.

Weather continues to be cold. Stepped on the porch in tee shirt and shorts this morning after reading today’s weather report in the Key West Citizen. Eighty six degrees today. Seventy seven tomorrow. The rest of the week in the mid 80’s. The cold spell was over!

It was cold on the porch.

Rechecked the Citizen report. I had read it correctly. Checked some of the weather stations. The Citizen had it wrong.

Maybe a joke.

Viagra has many uses. As I live and learn.

Robin Robinson writes a weekly column for the Citizen. Gardening. Her article this past weekend titled: How To Keep Your Fresh Flowers Erect.

Her article reported some put a penny in the water to keep the flowers fresh/erect. Others, an aspirin. Some, viagra. Erectability guaranteed.

The flu season is upon us big time. World wide.

The vaccination apparently not working this year. Experts claim only 10-30 percent effective.

Proof of the pudding Santa Barbara, California. Eight died in two weeks. Seven of them had received the flu shot. All 8, 65 or older.

In another U.S. area, a 40 year old mother who had received the vaccination died within 3 days of becoming sick.

A DACA update.

A California federal district court judge ordered the Trump administration last week to resume accepting renewal applications for DACA. Screws up Trump’s deportation process.

Attorney General Sessions says the ruling “defies both law and common sense.” He cannot understand how DACA can be “mandated” by a single federal judge sitting in San Francisco.

It’s the law, stupid. That’s how it works! Almost since the beginning of our country.

Sessions indicated he is going to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take a direct review of the judge’s ruling. Highly unusual!

The process involves as a first step an appeal to the Ninth Circuit. Assuming a continued adverse ruling by the Circuit Court, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is then proper. If the Supreme Court accepts the case. They accept few.

Time involved, 1-2 years.

Screws up Trump’s plan to deport 800,000 who should not be deported. Would irritate Trump no end. He probably would then tweet that the Supreme Court needs to be examined, outdated, have too much power, many of the justices too old, etc.

On this day in 1961, Eisenhower delivered his Farewell Address. He warned of the “military-industrial complex.” We did not listen.

Enjoy your day!

SLOPPY JOE’S 80th ANNIVERSARY THIS YEAR

Sloppy Joe’s.

Infamous. A Key West tradition. Hemingway hang out.

Proprietor Joe Russell began business at the Greene and Duval Street corner site 80 years ago on May 3, 1938. Russell a Key West icon in his own right. A bootlegger, fishing boat captain, speakeasy operator, etc. An original Key Wester.

Russell had previously operated where Captain Tony’s is located on Greene Street today. A speakeasy at first. When prohibition ended, as the Blind Pig. Put a dance floor in and renamed the place the Silver Slipper.

Hemingway and Russell became best friends when Russell ran Greene Street as a speakeasy. They drank, fished, and gambled together.

The Silver Slipper sold whiskey for 15 cents and gin for ten. A far cry from today’s bar prices.

The move from Greene Street to the present location of Sloppy Joe’s took place at midnight. Russell lost not one penny. Customers, including Hemingway, helped carry the furniture and bottled booze to the new location where they continued drinking.

The old location had ceramic troughs where the men piddled. Russell had no need for them in the new place. Hemingway carried them home to his house on Whitehead. To this day, Hemingway’s six toed cats drink from the ceramic troughs which are fresh water pipe fed.

Syracuse lost in double over time to Florida State yesterday afternoon. An excellent game! Syracuse played well till the second overtime. The final score says it all. 101-90.

Telephoned Catherine while watching the game to invite her to the movies. I wanted to see the Post. She declined. Catherine is an active Rotarian. The Rotary sponsored a marathon over the weekend. Catherine has been working on the race since Thursday. Even in Friday’s pouring rain. Crazy!

She said she was tired. I understood.

I do not enjoy going to the movies alone. Ergo, my evening changed. Started at the Chart Room. Packed! The Eagles game.

Remained for one drink. Chatted with Shaun and a friend he introduced me too. Noel or Noelle. Not sure which. She has managed a couple of restaurants in Key West.

She and I bonded immediately. She is starting on a diet Monday. Keto. Sister to Atkins. However more fatty foods than protein. She told me to beware of dairy products on Atkins. Even though carb free, inhibit weight loss. Maybe that is why I hung in at only a 10 pound loss since 11/27 when I started the diet. I have been eating a ton of cheese.

Beginning today, I eliminate cheese from the diet.

I finally lost 2 pounds yesterday. One more today. After forever at 10. I do not understand why. Cheese part of my diet through yesterday.

Dinner last night at Tavern ‘n Town. I have not eaten there since I started the diet. I was welcome back like a war hero returned home. Enjoyed a prime rib. So delicious! Great on the Atkins diet.

Cold! Heat on. Fifty six degrees at the moment. High today 63. The cold front will be with us till Saturday.

Shaun’s mother is visiting from Minnesota. Exceptionally cold weather up there. She is freezing in Key West, however. Even though warmer. In Minnesota, she has heat. Shaun’s apartment does not have heat.

Stopped at Donna and Terri’s on the way home for a drink. I worry about Terri. She is doing well. Returning to Tampa in a week for a week of tests. My concern is the flu. Key West is rampant with the flu. Terri’s immune system might not be able to handle it should she get the bug.

In spite of the cold, hope to make Hot Dog Church and Gardens today.

La Te Da’s infamous Sunday afternoon Tea Dance has returned. From 4-7. Party time! Described by some as a little outdoor Studio 54. Men dance with men, women with women, men with women, young with old.

Christopher Rounds is to be complimented in making sure the Sunday afternoon Tea Dance lived on.

The last time I attended a Tea Dance was years ago. At the time, it was held at Atlantic Shores. A WOW place!

Last but not least, the false missile alarm yesterday in Hawaii: Ballistic Missile Threat Inbound. Seek Immediate Shelter. This Is Not A Drill.

The report caused by human error in Hawaii. Took 38 minutes for the populace to be advised the incoming missile not for real. In the meantime, panic. Understandably so.

This is a perfect example of what could happen with two nuts out there. Jung-U and Trump.

Trump was playing golf when he found out. We have not been advised yet whether it was before it was discovered the attack was not a real one.

Assume the report to Trump was incoming missile headed for Hawaii. Assume further Trump decided to retaliate immediately. Most likely with one or more nuclear missiles. A nuclear war. North Korea would then have retaliated immediately against the U.S.

The beginning of World War III. All because two nuts head the governments immediately involved.

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

CHRISTINA OXENBERG…..PAINTS WITH WORDS

I read Christina Oxenberg’s latest KONK column in E-Blast this morning. Her writing continues to amaze! Outstanding! She does with a keyboard what an artist does with a brush. The written words descriptive.

She wrote in today’s E-Blast about a recent visit to Big Pine. Irma struck in early September. Its mark on Big Pine still visible.

Christina’s description of the area speaks for itself. Support my position re her unique talent.

An “apocalyptic scene…..blocks with nothing but the innards of homes…..one house stands and his neighbor is obliterated…..twisters snapping tree trunks and hurling them like javelins.”

Today and tomorrow good times to visit Bayview Park. The Annual Seafood Festival sponsored by the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association.

Great eating! Do not miss!

The State of Florida went with the Confederacy, except for one small part. Key West. Key West remained with the Union. Strategically important because of Fort Taylor’s location near Key West.

The Union retained Fort Taylor because of the prompt action by one man. Captain James M. Brannan, Commandant of the Army Barracks. He marched his men to Fort Taylor and took command of the Fort.

Fluctuating weather these days in Key West. The cold spell last week. The beginning of a new cold spell today. The high today will be 71, tonight 56 (cold!). Tomorrow, worse. Sixty five by day and 58 at night. It will remain cold for several days.

Whenever it is unusually cold up north, it is cold in Key West.

There was a time I enjoyed having a woman next to me in bed for sex. These days I would be happy to have one for body heat.

I continue to believe Trump poorly treated Puerto Rico because the people are of color. Puerto Rico still trying to get out from under. It will take years.

Trump never seems to be aware of incidental ramifications that could develop because of his failures.

U.S. hospitals have an insufficient supply of medically filled bags. Saline bags, nutrient solution bags and the like. Why? Because Puerto Rican plants produced the items. Irma and Maria put the bag plants almost totally out of business. The production situation remains fragile.

The end result is American hospitals and emergency rooms are suffering. Especially in the heavy flu season being experienced. A crisis situation. There are those that will die because of the lack of the bags.

I am a fallen away Catholic. Believe in an Almighty. Question and despair at actions of the Catholic Church.

Priests and pedophilia was earth shattering for this product of a Catholic grammar school, high school, and college.

I was taught in grammar and high schools by nuns. Brown Franciscans (robes brown) and Sisters of Charity. It never dawned on me that none were black.

There were no Whoopi Goldbergs. Recall Sister Act and Sister Act 2.

A recent study reflects of the intentional failure to admit those of color to the nunnery. The Catholic Church was discriminatory.

It’s amazing. The older I get, the more I live and learn. The Church discriminating against black women before and patient dumping which follows. Also known as hospital dumping. Patients are being thrown out of hospitals because they cannot pay. I am not referring to emergency room care.

The situation came to my attention because of a patient “dumped” at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The weather cold. Thirty degrees. A 22 year old black woman wheel chaired by four security personnel to a bus stop and left. Attired only in a flimsy hospital gown and socks.

Were it not for a psychotherapist leaving his office building across the street, this incident might never have come to light. He tried to help, get the hospital personnel to take her back inside. They refused. Smartly, he recorded everything on his cell phone and then went viral with it on Facebook.

The accidental guardian angel called 911. The police came. They got the hospital to take the woman back in.

The hospital administrator accepted responsibility for the hospital. Described the incident as a failure and isolated incident.

The story initiated a series of internet stories revealing patient dumping somewhat commonplace in the United States.

An in your face reason for the U.S. adopting universal health care. Medicare for all!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

CATHERINE, THE SAINT, AND TROPIC CINEMA

Another good night in Key West!

Remaining in and early to bed New Year’s Eve lost me nothing. As I reported New Years Day, every evening in Key West is New Year’s Eve.

Started early yesterday. Four thirty. My companion Catherine.

Falling is common with seniors. Especially me. At 82, I seem to have it under control. I watch every step I take. Pay attention to how I am moving. There will be times though when it will happen again.

Catherine is ten years younger than me. She uses a cane. Wobbly on her feet. Walks carefully. Hers not a balance problem. She had hip replacement surgery in October. Still recovering.

She toppled last week at Berlin’s. Not at all last night.

We have a problem when we are together should she fall. I cannot help her up. My heart. I lift nothing. Additionally, when I bend down, I get dizzy and go completely down.

Catherine tends to drop things. Retrieval her headache. She understands.

We are a dangerous couple together.

The game plan was Happy Hour at the Saint and then across the street to the Tropic Cinema to see the Churchill film Darkest Hour.

Food and atmosphere at the Saint excellent.

Then to the movies.

I was anxious to see the Darkest Hour. Love World War II stories. The film is good, not excellent. Worth seeing. Gary Oldman may win an Academy Award for his performance.

I was taken with the woman who played Churchill’s wife. A difficult role. Perhaps a Best Supporting Actress nomination.

Our evening was over at 8:30 when I returned Catherine home. Still early. Decided to stop at the Chart Room.

Ollie there. We have not seen each other in months. An environmental genius. Takes nature seriously.

Ollie just returned from a two week vacation. Drove Key West to Washington, DC and back. Except for Washington, stayed a day or two in small communities. Enjoyed the trip tremendously.

The Chart Room was quiet. Shaun bartending. All of a sudden, Jean Thornton showed up. She and Joe had dinner at Berlin’s. Joe was tired. Went home to sleep. The evening still early. Jean stopped in.

We had a very good time. Jean, Ollie, Shaun and Louis. Lots of laughs.

Wounded Warriors Day yesterday in Key West. The Wounded Warrior Project is nationwide. Veterans bike long distances for 3-4 days. Yesterday, they came down from Boca Chica to Key West.

Cheering groups along the way greeted the veterans.

A couple of hours before the bikers arrived was tie a yellow ribbon time. Recalls the popular song of the mid 1970’s.

Local veterans tied 180 yellow ribbons and small American flags on palm trees on North Roosevelt Boulevard and elsewhere. A proud time for watchers and the riders themselves.

The weather still cold. In the 50’s last night. Supposed to hit 70 during the day. Then down to 64 during the evening. Tomorrow or the next day, the daytime temperature will rise to 75-76 degrees. Not for long. Another cold front is coming in Saturday or Sunday and it will be Key West cold for a week.

Syracuse disaster yesterday! My team lost to Notre Dame 51-49. I missed the game. My concern growing.

Attorney General Sessions a man of the past. Nineteen fiftyish. He advised this week that his attorneys would be pursuing marijuana use where States had already made its recreational use legal. There is a Federal law in conflict with State law. The Federal law makes marijuana use illegal.

A waste of time and money. If Sessions wants to pursue drug suppliers and users, he should make war on the opioid epidemic engulfing the U.S. More than 100 persons a day dying from opioid use.

Gallup and Pew are respected pollsters. Each came out with a poll this week showing more than 60 percent of Americans favor the legalization of marijuana. Those not in favor primarily older citizens.

A subsequent article described those opposed as Neanderthals and self-righteous Evangelicals.

Trump made a big speech two months ago. Opioids an emergency situation. One problem, however. Trump did not put the money where his mouth was. He passed the buck to the States to make the war.

French President Macron accused the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia of desiring war with Iran. Claimed the three nations had a deliberate strategy to push war.

I agree. Look at who the U.S. has for partners. Israel and Saudi Arabia. Both great friends of Donald Trump. The old story that birds of a feather flock together.

I get the feeling Irma and Me is selling. People stop me to say they bought the book or ask me questions about it. People e-mail me to advise they ordered the book.

God bless!

Enjoy your Sunday!

 

 

 

VIRGINITY FOR SALE

My July 14, 2016 blog was limited to one subject. The New Prostitution. The story of college girls and young ladies selling their bodies for big dollars to wealthy men who were looking for smart educated women.

No pimp or escort service involved. The ladies independent contractors. Their fee generally $1,000 to $5,000 a night. Many had annual contracts with the men paying in the six figures.

The young women opted for the way of life for the money involved. Money required for tuition, college debt, clothes, and to replace wage stagnation. Very few in the life for the fun of it.

It is not uncommon for peripheral business to spin off successful ones. Millennial ladies selling their virginity. A one time big dollar maker. Attractive to a young lady whose virginity has been preserved.

A lottery generally involved. The men bid for the young lady’s virginal charms.

I find the sale of virginal vaginas difficult to believe. Not the money aspect. Some men have so much money, they can spend it foolishly. What I do wonder is how many women today have preserved their virginity into their late teens and early 20’s. It  does not fit into the promiscuous society we live in.

Bailey Gibson is 23. Still a virgin. She has decided to lose her virginity in the most profitable way. She had been saving it for marriage.

Her virginity is being auctioned off by the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nevada. She and Moonlite will share the proceeds equally.

Not the first time Moonlite has done such a thing. Last year, the virginity of a Katherine Stone was auctioned for $400,000.

There are other such reported cases world wide. An Abu Dhabi businessman paid $2.9 million for a virgin 19 year old model. A Hong Kong businessman $2.5 million for a virgin 18 year old Romanian model.

Why do the ladies do it? They are broke. They do it to service existing debt and/or setting themselves up for life financially.

Smart, dumb, non consequential? I don’t know.

My yesterday did not involve any ladies from the new prostitution or virgins for sale.

It started with a visit to Tammy for a pedicure and manicure. The salon was almost empty. Few customers. Friday generally busy.

I asked Tammy where the ladies were. She said most had called and cancelled saying they did not want to go out in the cold. Sixty degrees.

My first stop last night was the 7 Artists Gallery. Opening night of Andreas Franke’s exhibit. He paints humans in underwater scenarios.

Enjoyed the exhibit. Met the Gallery’s owner Jennifer Badry. Her business card amused me: Janitor, Jeweler, Proprietor.

Turned out we have a common friend. Jennifer brought June Hudson’s name into the conversation. I have not seen June in a couple of years.

I had an hour to kill before being due at Donna and Terri’s for dinner. Decided to stop in the Chart Room two blocks away.

John bartending. Sheila, Jean and Joe Thornton at the bar. The Thorntons having a drink before going over to the Red Barn for a show.

Sheila introduced me to Christina. A lovely person.

Christina works for KWAHS at the Custom House. The front desk person. Sheila, who once worked at the Custom House, said Christina was the go to person.

She bartended at one time in New Orleans. At a place called the Dungeon. John had been there. A bad place. In all my trips to New Orleans, never heard nor got to the Dungeon. A missed experience.

Christina has a Masters in Journalism. She claims her journalistic background makes it possible for her to enjoy her job and life. She views her existence as living history as it is occurring.

Always good company and good food at Donna and Terri’s. Love the ladies! The pot roast Donna prepared, also.

Another good day and night ahead for me. Syracuse/Notre Dame this afternoon. This evening, time with Catherine. Happy Hour at the Saint followed by the Churchill movie across the street at the Tropic Cinema.

I am a history freak. Especially two wars. The Civil and World War II. The Darkest Hour is going to be a real turn on.

Key West and other Keys communities are small town America. Medical specialties for serious illnesses unavailable. One has to get to a hospital in Miami or elsewhere on the mainland swiftly.

Monroe puts a portion of our tax dollars to good use. The County owns two helicopters. Medical personnel on board. The helicopters fly those needing critical care to Miami and elsewhere.

At no cost to Monroe County residents. One of the helicopters rests on the lawn of our local Key West hospital.

The numbers are out re flights for 2017. A record number. Nine hundred twenty three.

The weather. Still cold. Cold for Key West. I was out yesterday in long pants and a heavy winter jacket.

Last night, in the mid 50’s. Today, 69 and the evening 54.

One of the best people to have ever lived in Key West has returned for the season. Patrick “Paddy Cakes” Hayes. Loved by all. A good friend to all.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

WINTER STORM GRAYSON…..A BOMB CYCLONE

I sermonize to begin.

There is global warming. Those of you who do not believe look around. The past few years have been replete with huge inexplicable storms of all sorts.

An example is the winter storm upon us at the moment. Non-believers will say if there is global warming, why the snow and cold?

Educate yourselves, my non believing friends. Global warming has to do with climate and not a certain type storm at a particular time. If you wish to learn more, google global warming. Do not be a Trump. You can read. A little education never hurt.

Even winter storms now have names. The storm affecting the eastern United States has been labeled Winter Storm Grayson. Rather formal sounding.

Grayson is being described as a bomb cyclone. A phrase new to me and probably you. Ominous sounding.

Grayson an epic cold snap. Before done, a record setting deep freeze will have been recorded. The worst from North Carolina north along the eastern seaboard. Winds 80 miles per hour. Waves 26 feet. Temperatures below zero. Snow where snow has not fallen in 50 years.

The worst to begin late today. Grayson will be with the U.S. till late sunday.

I find the following dramatic: Temperatures below freezing in 92 percent of the U.S. yesterday.

Zooed penguins will not remain outdoors. They are going inside to avoid the cold. Sharks are washing up dead on the beaches of Cape Cod. Caused by unusually cold waters.

Mentioning Key West, it was cold last night. Fifty four degrees. Fifty six degrees as I write this morning. The high today 62. Same tonight and tomorrow. Long pants, sweaters and jackets the rest of the week. Heat, also.

I am becoming a recluse. Never left the house yesterday again. Worked with Sloan for several hours. Then Syracuse/Wake Forest at 7. Better watched from my bed.

Syracuse lost 73-67. The team was not at Wake Forest to play 40 minutes. They played only half the time. The last 10 minutes of the first half and the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Syracuse’s famed zone defense could not stop Wake Forest. They scored from the key and corners at will. Syracuse did not control the boards. Something I could not understand. We have one of the tallest teams in the country.

The game came down to who made the shots in the last few minutes. Wake Forest did, Syracuse did not.

As Winter Storm Grayson is arriving, Irma’s impacts still with us.

Debris removal.

Turns out the State hired contractor to handle the US 1 debris not experienced. Supposed to have the job finished by January 16. The contractor will not make it.

The side roads a problem,also. Worse. Monroe County’s contractor is working on the problem. Slowly, but deliberately. He has no time limit.

The reason for the difficulty in the clean up is that neither the State nor County were prepared for how bad Irma was. Its impact not expected. Experience a good teacher. Everyone will be ready the next time.

Two days ago, I wrote about the movie of George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra. My dear friend Diana Millikan wrote me yesterday. Another Cleopatra movie on its way.The screen writer David Scarpa, director Denis Villeneuve. SONY Studio backing the project.

The movie will be a different Cleopatra. Done from Cleopatra’s point of view. The female point of view.

Scarpa says the movie will be “dirty, bloody, lots of people swearing and having sex and all that other stuff…..a lean, mean political thriller, full of assassinations.”

Steve Bannon and Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury. Wow! If only 20 percent true, wow!

The U.S. is like a ship at sea in troubled waters. Trump the captain. Trump remains in his cabin while the ship is in danger of being swamped.

Trump makes Captain Queeg of Caine Mutiny fame look like a hero.

Recall the gang that could not shoot straight. There is a country that cannot shot straight. At least on one occasion.

North Korea.

April 17, 2017. North Korea was testing an intermediate range missile. It was supposed to land in the seas past Japan. Instead, it fell on the North Korea city of Tokchon. A few miles from Pyongyang.

Details of deaths and damage withheld by the North Korean government.

It is claimed various media outlets world wide carried the news of the accidental bombing. I do not recall hearing of it.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

PROHIBITION OVER

The band played, the drums roared…..Recreational marijuana became legal yesterday in California. Prohibition over.

Within five years, most States will permit the use of recreational pot. The reason simple. Tax dollars! Big ones expected.

A few States will resist. Evangelicals, the extreme right their moving force. Those who refuse to learn, to accept. They will view legalized marijuana as morality tossed out the window.

My only stop last night the Chart Room. Quiet at first. Chatted with Shaun. Watched the beginning of the Oklahoma/Georgia game. I left at half time. My recollection Oklahoma winning by 17 points at the time.

While at the Chart Room, met Barbara and Joe. From Westchester, Pennsylvania. Barbara still working. A nurse. Joe, retired. A retired attorney and college educator who taught law classes.

They visit Key West frequently. Their Keys home on Little Torch Key. A mobile home destroyed by Irma.

We talked about the tragedy wrought by Irma. Barbara and Joe’s Little Torch home right in the middle of Irma’s blast.

Got into a discussion re retirement. Two retired attorneys. I ventured I went crazy with nothing to do. My blog born of that boredom. My other writings, TV show, weekly newspaper column, and podcast followed.

Joe agreed re the boredom, the difficulty initially of handling doing nothing.

A voice joined us from the other end of the bar. Tomas Mazeika. An attorney, also! A partner in a major law firm in western United States with offices in most major west coast cities.

Tomas, Joe and I agreed on one thing. Practicing law was/is hard work! The issue arose when I mentioned how content I am writing. Told them I wished I had majored in English and became a writer rather than an attorney. I would not have made as much money, but life would have been a lot easier.

Headed home. I was interested in the Alabama/Clemson game.

Hopped in bed and turned on the game. No Alabama/Clemson. Oklahoma/Georgia still on. Georgia had come back. The game tied. Two overtimes. Georgia finally winning.

An exciting finish.

Began watching Alabama/Clemson. Fell asleep within minutes. Woke at 3:30. Curious as to who had won, I went to my office and turned on the computer. Alabama 24-6.

Georgia/Alabama has the makings of an exciting game!

The jet stream is out of its neighborhood. All the way down to southern U.S. states. Including Florida. The jet stream bringing Canadian cold to us.

Sixty one degrees in Key West at 8 this morning. High today 68. Cold tomorrow. Even colder beginning thursday. Evenings in the mid 50’s and days in the mid 60’s.

The heat on at on at the moment.

Trump acts without thinking. Shoots from the hip. Most times totally unaware of the consequences. Several months ago, Trump decided to get on Venezuela’s back. He heard the people were starving. They had been starving for four years.

He tweeted. Knocked Venezuela’s President Maduro. Threatened a U.S. invasion.

The U.S. invading Venezuela? Pure stupidity!

Maduro reacted. In effect said to Trump, up yours!

The story. The U.S. has been the beneficiary of a deal made many years ago involving oil. Basically means any crude oil transactions and those emanating therefrom, were to be in American dollars. Such kept the U.S. dollar stable.

China has been making noises in recent years that it would like to have countries use the Chinese yuan instead of the American dollar.

Maduro opened the door for China.

Venezuela has one of the largest oil reserves in the world. Venezuela went to the yuan. Russia and China announced they are going to the yuan. More countries will follow.

The U.S. at some point will experience an economic crisis. The stable American dollar will no longer be stable.

The beginning of the scenario occurring because Trump threatened to invade Venezuela.

My podcast tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine my time. A quick half hour of interesting discussion. Many items eye opening.

Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou. Guaranteed you will enjoy!

If you have not purchased my recent book Irma and Me, please do so. It is the only published work on the hurricane. Humor and tragedy mixed.

Irma and Me is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KoboBooks.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

-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!

TIMES SQUARE BALL 11,875 POUND WATERFORD CRYSTAL

 

 

Tonight at midnight, a new year. 2018. A long time since the birth of Christ.

Times Square this evening will be the center of the universe. Thousands standing in the freezing cold waiting for the ball to drop. The ball, the one we have been watching for years, is rather large. Weighs 11,875 pounds. Twelve feet in diameter.  A Waterford crystal.

Brave people observing the drop tonight in person. The temperature will be freezing. In the teens with a chill factor of -5.

Booze not recommended. It contributes to the dehydration of the body in extreme temperatures.

Key West has sort of dropping balls. Sushi in a shoe at Bourbon Street, a wench coming down the mast at Schooner Wharf, a ball at Sloppy Joe’s. There are more. Each year another establishment is dropping something at midnight.

The bars and streets will be packed. Duval closed off.

I have only done 2 New Year’s eves in Key West. Other times, private parties or at home alone. As I get older, the evening becomes too much work. The crowds rowdy tourists. Parking impossible.

I learned long ago in Utica that New Years eve is amateur night. Since every evening is New Years Eve in Key West, I can afford to miss one a year.

My lesbian wives planned to have me with them tonight. Dinner at Abandonzza, drag show at Aqua, and then Sushi from the street at midnight.

I opted out.

The game plan for me this evening is the Syracuse/Virginia Tech game at 6. Then a TV movie. Followed by an early night to bed.

Aging enters into it.

Syracuse favored by 3.5 points. Both teams part of the ACC. Tonight begins the ACC season. Virginia Tech is the leading 3 point shooting team in the country. Shooting average 45.3 percent.

Last night the Chart Room. Not that crowded. Shaun bartending.

Chatted with Shaun and a few of the tourists. Then home to an early bed.

A good thing Trump does not live in Egypt.

An Egyptian court yesterday sentenced former President Mohamed Morsi and 19 others to three years in jail. The crime: Insulting the Judiciary.

Greece. Oh, how I love Greece!

A Greek anarchist group Rubicon support Palestinians. They are upset with Trump’s soon to be move of the American embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

This past week they rode motorcycles up to the Israeli Embassy and threw bottles of paint against the Embassy building.

Rubicons are not part of the Golden Dawn Party. The Rubicons came into being because they thought the Golden Dawn Party was failing in its responsibilities.

I have written over the years often of the Golden Dawn Party. I once thought that one day they would take over the government via the ballot box. Now, I am not sure.

The Golden Dawn Party are neo-Nazis. Dress like Hitler’s storm troopers. Presently the third largest party in Parliament. Represent 10 percent of the popular vote.

It is thought Trump’s election has re-energized the Party. Golden Dawn leaders say, “Trump’s policies have given us a new wind of support…..We should follow Trump’s beat.”

Crazy people!

What is happening in Iran? Surprising! The demonstrations. Proof that even the mighty can fall.

Could happen, though I doubt it.

Don’t forget the Annual Dachshund Walk at noon beginning at the court house on Whitehead.

Stay sober and safe tonight. Enjoy the evening otherwise!

Happy New Year!