THINGS I DID NOT SHARE

Michael has dominated my blog the past few days. Other matters, I let slip to the wayside. Just went through my notes. I want to share some of the items with you. I am reporting them as they appear with no order or sequence.

I was watching MSNBC yesterday morning. A reporter at a California college campus. Talking with 40-50 students.

Millennials. The hope of the Democratic Party.

How many of you are going to vote? Only one hand raised. When others were questioned, they said their only concern was school. An attitude like don’t bother me.

Based on news reports, I thought this was the year the kids were going to vote. A rush to the polls. Not so. If the Democratic Party is depending on them, forget it!

Something wrong organization wise within the party. Democratic Party leaders constantly talk about the millennial vote. Have they got it wrong! The millennials will not be contributing this election to saving America.

I came across this quote in How To Win A fight With A Conservative: “We can’t be lulled into complacency. You have to remember that Adolph Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I’m not comparing him to Adolph Hitler. What I’m saying is there is the potential.”

Sounds like someone talking about Trump. Not so. Obama. Would you believe? Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga) expressing fears one week after Barack Obama was elected President in 2008. Broun believed Obama would create a security force akin to the Gestapo to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

The government screws up. Suddenly, the simple becomes a bureaucratic mess.

An Ohio woman got a ticket for failing to use her seat belt. When she went to pay, she was told her driver’s license had been suspended for 3 months for failure to pay child support. She told the Motor Vehicle person there had to be a mistake. She never had children. In fact, she had never been pregnant.

She has been busting her ass to get the problem resolved. A government goof has turned into a bureaucratic nightmare. No one can help her. Each agency blames the other or the computer. In the meantime, she is not driving.

Shakespeare wrote in the Merchant of Venice when he had Portia speaking to Shylock re mercy: “The quality of mercy is not strained.”

It was 2000. Two black brothers ages 21 and 20 were being sentenced for murder in New York City. They had murdered a gang member who had sexually assaulted one of their wives.

Justice Gustin Reichbach could have sentenced them to life. A maximum sentence. Never to be released.

The Judge felt a degree of sympathy for the brothers. Instead, he sentenced them to 17 1/2 years to life. Significant. It meant they would be able to seek parole after serving 17 1/2 years.

Both were paroled last year after 17 1/2 years.

Today, one attends Cornell and the other Columbia. All because one Judge saw something in the brothers that others might not have.

Senator David Perdue (R-Ga) is typical of a number of southern Republican politicians. Four examples why.

In the past few days, the Senator was being questioned by college students concerned that Georgia courts were preventing college students, primarily black, from voting based on a claim their registrations were improper. A total falsehood.

One of the students asked the question. He was holding his cell phone out to record the response.

The Senator “ripped” the phone out of the student’s hand.

The Senator’s office says it was an error in judgment on the part of the Senator.

The Senator in a recent speech compared Trump to Churchill. He said, Trump is “not a choir boy, but a man of history.”

Two weeks ago, he described Kavanaugh protesters as “Nazis.”

Can’t even leave Obama alone. At a recent Facts and Freedom Coalition in June, the Senator said let Obama’s days be few. He relied on Psalm 109:8: “Let his days be few.”

God loving men?

Now to yesterday news and happenings.

Stone crab season opens today! Hooray!

Stopped first at the Rum Barrel last night. Sunday night my Lauri fix. A wonderful lady.

Then to the Chart Room. Glad I stopped. Jean Thornton at the bar. She introduced me to Don Kincaid. They are old friends.

Don has been with Mel Fisher  in one capacity or another since the 1970’s. He is the man who found the first gold coin when the Atocha was discovered. He has written for National Geographic. Serves on the Mel Fisher Board. Today, a professional photographer.

Susan and Huggie came in. We had met before, though I did not recall them. They understood. Susan and Huggie are from Charleston, South Carolina and visit Key West twice a year.

Tonight, Dueling Bartenders at Aqua. Jean and I plan on meeting.

Enjoy your day!

TRUMP AND FEMA YET TO REPORT FOR DUTY

Michael made landfall wednesday. Trump has yet to visit. FEMA boots on the ground few, if any.

A devastated people need to see their leader face to face. A visit/his visit would provide encouragement. Uplifting. Those affected need to see him.

Where is Trump? In different States most evenings conducting rallies to Make America Great Again and in anticipation of the November 6 elections.

Take your time Mr. President. The people of northern Florida are not going anywhere. In and out of the Panhandle next to impossible. However, Mr. President you have a helicopter. You can go everywhere. You should have been in Mexico Beach instead of Lebanon, Ohio.

FEMA. What is FEMA doing? What has it done so far? FEMA’s absence is obvious. FEMA’s boots on the ground are needed.

Instead, I see FEMA head Brock Long on national TV yesterday from Washington with a slew of other agency heads telling America what a good job they were doing. Shades of Bush 2, Brownie, and Katrina.

Talk is cheap at a time like this. Basics are needed. FEMA has to get them in. Water, food, ice, power, and shelter. Food and water immediately. Ice soon thereafter. To cool the body externally and internally. Power a given. No air conditioning, cooking, refrigerators operating, etc. without. Shelter. Something. Even a tent. It will be tent cities at first.

These people need help, not bullshit.

Irma hit the Keys last year. Heavy damage in some areas. Damage still exists in certain areas. As with many north Floridians, I evacuated. Eighty percent of Key West left. Irma was coming straight for us as a category 5. Fortunately, at the last minute it took a twist and went over Key West as a category 1. Sixteen miles up US 1 it became a 4. Destruction heavy from Cudjoe Key north to Marathon.

I wrote the only book re Irma. My personal feelings in getting out of its path, difficulty in avoiding Irma all the way up Florida, 12 days with friends in Birmingham, Alabama. The trip back. The destruction I saw coming down US 1. Key West’s desolation. Like the town had died. Difficulties the first few weeks. Difficulties yet to be resolved. Etc.

If you want to feel first hand what I did and what Michael’s ravishes have caused, read my book. Not technical. Personal. You will feel. It is available on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Dinner last night at Andrea and Joe’s. The lady is a cook! Baked breaded chicken, mashed potatoes heavy with butter and sour cream, her home made butter, warm bread, etc. Dessert, cheese cake likewise home made.

I made it a pina colada night. Joe’s pina coladas brought me back to Aruba’s beaches. He is the master pina colada maker.

It has been off season in Key West. All over come friday. Tourists will bury the town. As many as 60,000 the night of the parade. I don’t know where they sleep.

Goombay is friday and saturday. Then Fantasy Fest for a week. Goombay for the kids. Fantasy Fest for adults.

Wisteria Island back in the news. The Blue Paper yesterday, the Key West Citizen today. The government is suing present owner Roger Bernstein. To settle title. The federal government says it owns the island. Bernstein says he does and his family has for years. Been paying taxes on the island for 50 plus years.

My friend David Wolkowsky was involved at one point. David “owned” Wisteria Island. He was not sure, but had bought it at some point from a third party.

It was 1967. David was constructing the Pier House. Wolkowsky borrowed $20,000 from Bernstein to build the Pier House’s bathrooms. The note was secured by Wolkowsky with Wisteria Island.

Bernstein would not extend David’s time to pay. He took title to the island in satisfaction. David not being sure the title was good, gave a quit claim deed which Bernstein accepted. A quit claim deed says in effect I am not certain I own the property. If I do, you get good title. If not, you get nothing but a worthless piece of paper.

The federal government’s claim in the lawsuit is based on things that happened in the 1820’s and 1920’s.

David passed on a a few weeks ago. I am sure David is smiling in his grave. Smiling at Bernstein who refused to extend his time to pay, took his island, and now may end up with nothing.

Bernstein for years has wanted to develop a resort hotel on the island.

No Syracuse football today. A bye week.

I am into ghosts.

Last night when driving home from Andrea and Joe’s, I passed the Hemingway House. No traffic. I stopped in the middle of the street. A light in an upstairs window. Did not see Hemingway.

A weird ghost story follows.

Amethyst Realm is 28. She lives in Bristol, England. She is employed as a spiritual guidance counselor.

She claims she has had sex with ghosts. Somewhere in the area of 20. Prefers them to men.

The first time was 13 years ago. She and her husband had moved into a new home. New to them. The first time she felt an “energy.” It became physical. She felt pressure on her thighs and neck. A heavy presence on her body. She could feel someone breathing on her and stroking her.

She claims a 3 year affair with the first ghost. Till a night when her husband came home and saw a “shadowy shape” on top of her. The ghost swiftly departed, never to return.

Since then, she claims experiences with at least 20 different ghosts.

She wants to get pregnant by a ghost. She has researched “phantom pregnancies.” Claims a ghost can impregnate. The problem is carrying the fetus to term.

I came across several other similar stories. One by a man.

Psychotherapists claim such sex experiences are hallucinations. They occur as one is falling asleep. The time between awake and sleep.

Sex with a ghost a step too far for me. On the other hand should I ever actually meet a ghost, I might change my mind. If there are ghosts, it opens the door to the possibility.

Donna and Terri taking me to dinner tonight.

Enjoy your day!

 

MICHAEL’S CONTINUING SAGA

The old hymn…..Onward Christian soldiers. Michael appears to have moved to the tune. Though not with God on his side. In and out quickly. Did not hang around. In less than two days, did a number on northern Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia. Now over the Atlantic, 185 miles east-northeast of Norfolk.

The Panhandle pure devastation. Comments include unprecedented damage, a war zone, communities obliterated, an Air Force Base wiped out, catastrophic, looks like an atomic bomb dropped, cars and boats piled up like rubbish.

Keeps going. Entire blocks empty, houses on them smashed by storm surge and wind, washed out to sea.

First responders going in. Difficult work. The war zone description repeated frequently.

Michael maintained hurricane intensity 200 miles inland. Unusual.

Though Michael far out to sea, Virginia still experiencing dangerous wind gusts.

Michael gone. Recovery help required big time. I do not hear of FEMA’s involvement. Sure they must be there. Tell us. I am concerned Trump will fail the Panhandle as he did Puerto Rico. It all comes down to money. Soon I suspect we will hear there is not enough money. Then what?

Sad stories. Every one of them. One of the worst, 11 year old Sarah Radrey. Staying with her grandparents in Georgia. A car port crashed through the roof and killed her.

God help Sarah, her parents, and her grandparents. Tragedy of the worst kind!

Stopped into the Chart Room first last night. John working. Had not seen him in a week.

The room was packed! Tight standing room only. Forget getting a seat. Highly unusual this time of year. Off season.

Met two nice people. Lisa and Bob. Celebrating their 26th wedding anniversary.

Lisa and Bob from River Edge, New Jersey. Bob affiliated with the New York City Carpenters Union. Lisa works for a podiatrist.

Two grown sons. Twenty four and twenty two.

Their third visit to Key West. Second time at the Pier House. First time stayed at the Ocean Key across the street.

We talked of many things. A bit of politics. Lisa and I on opposite sides of the fence. She watches FOX News!

Liked them. Hope to see them again the next time they return.

David showed up somewhere along the evening. Always good to see David. I enjoy his company.

Then to the Blue Macaw. Enjoyed a drink, brie and good company. Andrea, Joe, John, Doug, Mary, Donna, and Terri.

I was anxious to talk with Doug. He is a tour guide at the Hemingway House.

I have been into ghosts the past few days. First, South Carolina’s Gray Man. Yesterday, Key West’s Angel of Mercy Maria Gutsens.                      .

Researching for more ghost tales yesterday, I came across an article claiming Ernest Hemingway and his second wife Pauline were making nocturnal visits to the Hemingway House.

Hard to believe! Doug would know.

Doug said no to Ernest, maybe to Pauline, but suggested Asa Tift as the real ghost. Asa was a wrecker/salvager in Key West’s early days. A self made tycoon. Built the Hemingway House for he and his family.

I could find nothing to substantiate the Asa story. Did come across more re the Hemingways.

Ghost appearances are technically referred to as manifestations. Many manifestations at the Hemingway House.

Hemingway writing in his loft work room, seen walking around the house, and standing on the veranda occasionally waving at passersby.

Pauline standing at the top of the central staircase looking to the loft watching her husband working and out the window her children playing outside. Occasionally standing at night by the gate smoking a cigarette.

One manifestation is hearing the typewriter clicking in the early morning. Supposedly, Hemingway writing. Could not be true. Hemingway did not type his works. He hand wrote them with a pencil. Then either Pauline or his sister would type them up.

My home bound trip from the Blue Macaw evenings takes me right by the Hemingway House. I shall be looking manifestations.

Key West’s humorous weather man at it again. He predicts this evening at 78 degrees and partly cloudy. Follows it up with…..Stars play peek-a-boo.

Traffic is reaching the breaking point on US 1. The only way in and out of Key West. The only highway through 140 miles of the Keys. Traffic especially heavy the past two years. A recent study attributes the increase to tourists. Claim tourists jam the highway.

Merely sharing. I have no comment.

Another study suggests two major medical problems. The first obviously the flu. The other too many C-sections. The number world wide has doubled from 2000 to 2015. The increase in the U.S. up as much as 30 percent in certain years. China up as much as 62 percent.

The message most of the C-sections not required. Medical problems for mother and child increasing as a result.

DOW doing well. Two days ago, down more than 800 points. Yesterday, more than 500. Today?

Trump’s lack of character evident with the Jamal Khashoggi situation. Trump says U.S. economy more important. We have a $110 billion agreement with Saudi Arabia for planes, etc. Trump says Khashoggi not even a citizen. Correct. He is a legal U.S. resident however and writes for the Washington Post.

News this morning says the $110 billion agreement mostly a holdover from the Obama administration. Actually, letters of intent. Not binding. Saudi Arabia has never purchased anything pursuant to the agreement.

Tonight, I dine! Andrea cooking. Joe making pina coladas. Andrea’s food preparation dining without question. Joe’s pina coladas fun.

Enjoy your day!

 

MICHAEL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlotte presently lives in Charleston, South Carolina.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have all been through it.

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

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

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

Ladies, keep up the good work!

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

Shades of Trump?

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

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

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

A KEY WEST GHOST STORY…..MARIA VALDEZ DE GUTSENS

I mentioned the Gray Man ghost yesterday. The reaction amazing. People love ghost stories!

Ergo, I opted to begin today’s blog with a Key West ghost story. The ghost’s name…..Maria Valdez de Gutsens.

Maria was the administrator of the Mercedes Charity Hospital in Key West. Her title Matron. She ran the hospital for 23 years.

The hospital had previously been the Gato home. Gato the famous cigar producer. He built the home originally where Bayview Park stands today. Overlooking the water. The end of Key West. New Town not even a thought in anyone’s mind.

When his wife died, he sold the home. It was bought and moved to what is now 1209 Virginia Street. A couple of doors down from White Street.

The home became the hospital. The hospital closed in 1942.

Maria was loved by all. People referred to her as an Angel of Mercy.

The former hospital today is an apartment house. It is believed Maria still walks the halls, rooms and porches. There have been several reports of having seen her.

One report was by a man in bed sleeping. His wife next to him. He woke feeling someone holding his wrist. He swears it was Maria, with a man standing next to her. She was taking the pulse of the man in bed. He turned to wake his wife. Maria and her companion disappeared.

Last year when I was looking for an apartment to rent, the Gato House had one available. Checked it out. Looked ok. I recalled Maria’s story. Could not rent the apartment. If Maria and I met up, I would not have been able to handle it.

I am a sort of believer in ghosts.

Alley is on her school’s volleyball team. I went to watch her play at 5. I was impressed. By her and her team mates.

Ally was proud to be playing. You could see it in her face.

Her team won both games easily.

Poppa fell! I was seated in the middle half way up the bleachers. I went to leave after the game. Most were staying for a second game that had been scheduled. Maneuvering around those seated, I tripped/lost my balance and went down!

Times when one feels like an asshole.

I was concerned I had broken my left leg or hip. I was bleeding. No way I was going to stay there and get help. I got myself up, down the bleachers and out the building. My sore leg and hip last night are without pain today. The bleeding I took care of when I got home.

The next game, I will sit at the end of a row on an aisle.

Prior to Ally’s game, I spent the afternoon preparing for my podcast show in the evening. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. I spent half the show talking about Michael and how Irma had impacted my feelings for those who will go through hell in northern Florida tonight.

The Sons and Daughters of Italy do not meet over the summer. Monthly meeting begin anew this evening. I look forward to the meeting. The members are fun people. There is a social hour first. Food and drink. Then a business meeting.

So much happened news wise yesterday and in the past few days. All worthy of mention. I have decided to refer to the occurrences as Hot News.

Michael on the way. At the moment a category 4. Hits landfall around 6 this evening. God help those who opted to remain.

Trump’s friend Saudi Arabia misbehaving. Turkey in cahoots. Saudi journalist Jamal Kheshoggi is a U.S. resident and Washington Post contributor. He was a critic of current Saudi policies.

It is believed he was assassinated. His body then dismembered. Trump has yet to make mention of the incident.

Recently, there was a failed attempt to assassinate Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro. One of individuals thought to be involved was  political opponent Fernando Alban.

Alban was in custody. Being held on the 10th floor of the Bolivian Intelligence Service. He went out the 10th floor window. The claim, he was a suicide. His supporters say bullshit. He was thrown out!

Trump has yet to comment on this issue, also.

Trump at an Iowa rally last night. He mentioned Diane Feinstein. The crowd yelled…..Lock her up! Trump smiled. Never said no, not the American way.

The same thing happened when Hillary was mentioned during the campaign.

Trump encourages violence with his silence.

Nikki Haley resigned yesterday as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She and Trump enjoyed a love relationship when her resignation was announced. Both said all kinds of nice things about each other.

The first Cabinet person to leave and not get condemned by Trump. Why did she get a free ride?

So much for Hot News.

I continue to live and learn.

We all buy ice cream in super markets. A favorite American dessert. Keep it in the freezer and pull it out when the desire hits. Which unfortunately is often.

Brands like Breyer’s, Ben and Jerry’s, Klondike, Good Humor and Popsicle.

Guess what? They are all owned by the same company. Unilever. A British-Dutch transnational consumer goods company.

America’s first robot farm has begun operation this week. The robots replace humans. The robots described as “incredibly intelligent machines.”

The company involved is Iron Ox. A hot entity. Las year, outside money people invested in excess of $10 billion.

It is claimed the robot farm can turn out 30 times more produce than a traditional farm.

The robot farm is a hot item because the farming industry is facing a serious labor shortage and there is a growing pressure to produce more crops.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

LAURIE THIBAUD…..CITIZEN OF THE DAY

The charming spirited Laurie Thibaud is Key West Citizen of the Day. Much deserved. The woman has a warm personality.

The best of the best as they say.

Laurie was born in France. Somehow found her way to Key West in the late 1990’s. Emcees at the Aqua Night Club and is affiliated with The Rum Bar.

Her comment printed beneath her picture: “I love Key West because the women are strong and the men are pretty.” Now I know why Laurie likes me. The only problem is Laurie is gay.

Terri White sings tonight at Blue Heaven.

Hurricane Michael is racing up the Florida west coast. Two hundred fifty miles off shore. Key West has been hit 2 days in a row with heavy winds and big time rain. Fortunately for us, that is all we will suffer.

Northern Florida is in trouble, however. Michael will hit the Panhandle and Big Bend wednesday evening. As a category 3. No fun!

I am heavy with concern for those in danger. Caused by my Irma experiences last year. The feeling of dread stays with you.

There was a picture on the internet of cars lined up at a gas station to fill up before evacuating. Just as I recall. Not a straight line to the pumps. Cars maneuvering from every angle. Sometimes voices elevated. People scared. Tensions high.

The preceding is when trying to fill up at a station in a town. There was an organized way. The stations on the Florida Turnpike. State Police directing traffic. Lines straight. No one excited.

The evacuation drive itself a wonder. Sometimes you covered all of one mile in an hour. Patience was a virtue.

I recall having to piss. I was in a rest area on the Florida Turnpike. Already spent 1 1/2 hours waiting in line to get gas. Went inside to the men’s room. Good luck! The line was out the door into the parking area about 100 feet. I felt like a woman. Having to wait in line to go.

I could not waste another hour. Also did not know if I could hold it another hour.

Did the practical thing. Walked outside and into the woods. Relieved myself. I was not the only one so doing.

And so it went. As it will for those in north Florida.

My large flat TV is broke. They’re cheap today. $150-175 will buy a new one from Amazon.

Anna was concerned for me. She had a friend who could repair today’s TV’s. Did it in Honduras before he came to the U.S. Works construction now in Key West.

I figured what the hell. Anna went to get him.

I was impressed! He had all the necessary tools. Knew exactly what he was doing. Basically, 2 small boards and some wires operate today’s TV’s. He tested everything. I watched and learned for 2 hours.

He has isolated the problem. A small piece. Less than a half inch in size. The problem now is if he can find one to buy.

A 5:30 appointment with Tammy for a manicure. Place empty when I arrived. By 6, the women were storming through the door. Tammy says it is that way every evening. The women come in after work.

Manicure done, hurried over to Aqua for Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Heather Mae performing. Rick Dery apparently away.

Lovely Liz at th bar with friends Josefina and Mary. Went over to kiss and chat with Liz.

Spent some time chatting also with Heather Mae between songs. I learn every day. She is a school teacher at Sigsbee School.

Jean Thornton had e-mailed earlier in the day she was returning. Hoped the storm would not prevent her from getting out of Atlanta. No problem. She was up and away on time.

The plane was 8 minutes from landing in Key West. The pilot announced the airport had just closed because winds were more than 50 miles an hour. He circled a half hour before the plane was able to land.

Dueling Bartenders was Jean’s first stop last night. She sat with me. After being hugged and kissed by everyone in the place. The woman is well loved!

We ended the evening with dinner a La Trattoria. Following which I went home and Jean headed over to Vino’s.

While at Aqua, I was viewing my e-mails. Came across a tiger laying under a tree. It was sent by Rick Dery. All he said was he saw a tiger sleeping under a tree.

I assumed he was in India or Africa. Asked those around the bar. Some thought so, also. Finally someone piped up Rick was in Miami and the picture was taken at a Miami zoo.

Key West property increases in value. Commercial and residential. Some hotels selling in excess of $100 million.

The newest properties to be sold in package form include the A&B Lobster House, Berlin’s, Alonzo’s, the White Tarpon Bar, a 45 slip marina, several retail spaces, a 70 space parking lot, and the building housing the Commodore and Boathouse.

Buyers include Attorney Barton Smith, Key West Utilities and the Key West Golf Club.

All comprising a good chunk of the Key West Historic Seaport.

Today is tuesday. Means my podcast show. Tonight at 9. Join me. Listen to me rant and rave about issues and happenings. A quick half hour. You will enjoy! www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

A GHOST STORY

Rain, rain, rain! Wow! Supposed to continue throughout the day. Key West is experiencing peripheral weather from Tropical Storm Michael. Soon to be Hurricane Michael.

Michael will not be a danger to the Keys. Will pass to the west and travel up the Gulf of Mexico. Northern Florida in danger, however. The Panhandle. Governor Scott has already declared a state of emergency for more than 20 counties.

Michael is presently somewhere south of Cuba and near the Yucatan Peninsula.

Michael must be Florence’s beau. The Carolina’s will bear the brunt of Michael. Expected to be a category 2 when it hits. Flooding  worse than the winds.

The Gray Man of Pawley Island, South Carolina is a ghost. Been one since 1822 when he died in quicksand during a storm while trying to reach his lady love. His betrothed went looking for him. Came upon his ghost clad in a gray suit.

He warned her to take her entire family and leave the island. A massive storm was coming. They left. When they returned, all homes had been destroyed except theirs.

Since that time, the Gray Man has appeared many times. In each instance, warning persons of a pending disastrous storm.

The Gray Man failed to warn re Florence’s coming. Thus far, no warning re Michael.

A full Sunday yesterday. Enjoyed brunch at Hard Rock Cafe. Terri performing with Larry Baeder. Sat with Donna and Joe.

Liz showed up. With Josefina and Mary. Liz attired in dark clothes. Jeans and a black jacket. She looks terrific in dark clothes. A sharp 85 year old woman!

Had a strange experience while walking to Hard Rock. I had to walk 4 blocks from where I parked my car. My legs were heavy. An effort to lift them. My ass dragging.

I could not understand. Maybe I needed to eat. I had skipped dinner the night before. I do it occasionally on my diet. Has never affected me in the past.

Ordered breakfast. An omelet and toast.

The trip back to the car no problem. Legs felt great. I had energy. It was the lack of food. No question food is fuel!

The Blue Macaw last night. Ate. Ribs. Chatted with Paul, Dan and Joseph.

Also with a young man from Biloxi, Mississippi. He, his Dad and a friend were in Key West for a few days. He is being married next July in Key West. I asked what beach. His response…..No beach. At the St. Mary of the Sea Grotto. We’re Catholics.

It was the we’re Catholics that got me. Few express religion these days and few seem to be religiously motivated.

I miss bocce. The comradeship especially. My old team Don’s Place is doing well this season. Tied for 3rd place, 1 1/2 games out of 1st.

Our Nation is sick and getting sicker by the day. Trump no help. He encourages all kinds of negative activity.

Trump was in Topeka Saturday night at a rally. A black protestor from Black Lives Matter interrupted the President. He was removed roughly by security guards. His removal proper, his handling not.

The crowd repeatedly yelled disparaging remarks at the protestor. Some of the audience White Nationals. Expressions like the Nazi salute “Seig Heil!” Others, “Light the motherfucker on fire.” Shades of the old South where blacks were tied to poles or hung from a tree and burned to death. A lot of “Kick his ass!”

Trump proudly stood by. These were his people.

Beware a woman scorned. Women do not forget. Republicans will pay for Kavanaugh’s ascendancy to the Supreme Court.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

ONE VOTE

Better late than never. Blog late. Sorry. Something arose that had to be dealt with. Pushing 2 in the afternoon as I begin.

Tomorrow will tell if Kavanaugh has made it to the Supreme  Court. The final vote.

Today, the Senate voted to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination Under Senate rules, the actual vote cannot take place for 30 hours.

It appears the matter will be settled by one vote. Two votes against required to defeat Kavanaugh’s nomination. Murkowski has advised she will be voting against. That leaves two additional no votes. Collins and Manchin.

Does either have the courage?

Chart Room last night. John, Steve and Cindy. Good conversation. Some dwelled on David Wolkowsky. Steve and Cindy lived in Key West in the 1970’s and observed Wolkowsky’s activities first hand. They also knew him. Cindy for many years was secretary to Jimmy Buffett. Wolkowsky and Buffet were partners in various business ventures.

My bedroom TV down again. This time for good. I cannot blame Comcast. The set is shot. Need to buy a new one.

The weather seems to be adjusting itself. Temperature down from 90 to 80. Last night cool. Weatherman predicts tonight will be clear and breezy. His heart tells us…..Stars on the water.

My dear friends Tom and Fran Dixon in Santorini. Envy them! One of the most beautiful places in the world. They sent me a photo of themselves. The look of happy honeymooners.

Tomorrow at 12:20 Syracuse/Pitt. Syracuse a 3 point favorite. I believe Syracuse will win by more than 20 points.

The International Monetary Fund is concerned the world economy might be at risk of another financial crisis. It reports debt is above the 2008 level. That and the fact that the banking system has failed to reform itself makes the Fund uncomfortable.

There are suspicions J. P. Morgan might be the Lehman Brothers of 2008. Several reasons. China’s debt is growing too rapidly. It is becoming volatile. Regulators are complacent. Finally, breaking of international agreements, especially by the Trump administration.

The talk is of a Great Depression.

Getting back to Kavanaugh and the Senate vote, it comes down to a battle between good and bad. From my perspective, Kavanaugh brings disrespect to the Court and could be the seed for a slow but deadly erosion beginning first with respect followed by decisions contrary to the public good.

The authoress Becca Fitzpatrick wrote: “Sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.”

I hope she is correct.

Authoress Mackenzie Herbert wrote: “Bad things happen to good people. Rain always falls on the people who deserve nothing less than the sun.”

Happening to the women of the U.S. at the moment.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

FLOODWATER MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes are a problem in the Keys. We protect against them. In certain areas, pay taxes for the purpose.

For us in Key West and nearby, there is a Mosquito Control District. Professionally run. Governed by officials elected directly to the Board.

The Mosquito Control District does a good job. It would be hell living here without the organization’s assistance.

It is constantly drummed into our heads that the smallest accumulation of water can be a breeding place for mosquitoes. Can you imagine if we experienced a flood?

North Carolina has because of Florence. Flood waters for about 10 days.

The mosquitoes have gone crazy!

They are reported to be 3 x’s the size of a normal mosquito. They have reached an epidemic level. Began flying around 3-4 days following initial flooding.

Experts tell us that the eggs being hatched now would normally not have been hatched for a year. Accelerated the process. Sending billions into the air.

Last night, Blue Macaw. Joined up with Andrea and Joe. Lovely Montana and Philadelphia Paul bartending. Doug, Angie, John Fiona, Mary, and Alicia drinking along in the back bar area.

I only had one drink. Still a bit run down from the cold. Left after about an hour.

The diet has shrunk my stomach. I stopped at Five Guys on the way home. One large cheeseburger. Did not eat the buns. Only the meat and cheese. Could not finish it.

Iguanas have been a pain for at least 10 years. Tourists say….Oh, they’re beautiful! I tell them, try living with them.

They eat your flowers and shrubbery. Defecate in the pool.

They should be shot!

Key West has finally formally recognized the problem. The iguana population grows daily. An invasive species. No natural predator. Roam freely as the chickens do. Except, more iguanas than chickens.

The City announced it will begin dealing with the iguanas October 1. One problem. They are not sure how.

Typical Key West.

Today’s weather forecast is for sun, showers or thunderstorms. It is only 10 in the morning and we already have had all three. The weatherman’s humorous byline following the forecast: Be ready for anything!

I look forward to the afternoon. Syracuse/Clemson football beginning at noon. Syracuse a 25.5 point underdog. Yesterday I reported the spread as 13.5 points. Read the wrong line in the newspaper.

This is the best team Syracuse has had in years. I am curious to see how the team fares against a mighty one such as Clemson.

Watched the Ryder Cup yesterday. Up at 3 this morning to watch the 2nd day. The U.S. sucks! Europe whipping our ass.

I do not understand. The U.S. rarely does well in the Ryder Cup. Yet we have the same competent players as the Europeans do.

It has to be embarrassing for our players. Something is lacking.

Big day today. National Coffee Day. Many coffee providers are offering free coffee.

I wrote a major article for KONK Life several years ago re the issue of giving a police officer the finger. Not grounds for an arrest. Extending the middle finger, giving the finger, flipping the finger, is Constitutionally protected free speech.

The issue continues to come up every few years.

A police officer stopped a woman for speeding. Instead of a ticket, he gave her a warning. As she left, she gave the officer the finger. He stopped her again. Gave her the speeding ticket this time. For the same act of speeding for which he had given her a warning.

A federal court said no way. The woman merely expressing herself. Protected free speech. The judge threw the speeding ticket out.

Sheldon Adelson is a prominent American. Extremely wealthy. A casino billionaire. A Zionist and a conservative.

He is recognized as the largest donor in U.S. politics. He was the top donor to Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party in 2016. In recent months, he is reported to have donated $55 million to help keep Republicans in control of both houses of Congress.

Too much money power in the hands of one man!

I close with a few random thoughts re the Kavanaugh/Judiciary Committee hearing.

With the one week delay and FBI investigation, America will now learn the truth. Good, bad or indifferent for those involved. The chips will fall as they may.

If Kavanaugh guilty or misrepresented in any significant way, he could also lose his present Circuit Court judicial seat.

Senator Flake deserves a medal and our thanks. Merely for making the way for the FBI to get involved. It took courage for him to stand against Tump and his Republican colleagues. Don’t bother telling me he was not going to run and so courage does not come into play. There is always another day when he might have wanted to return to politics.

The Committee hearing was additional proof that the wheels of government are breaking down. Citizens should not have to go to Washington and fill the halls fronting on their representatives offices to be heard. To get right things done.

Go Orange!

Enjoy your day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

60 POUNDS

Important maters to discuss today. One stands out above all else. An item of personal achievement. I have lost 60 pounds!

Unbelievable! Took about a year. Now weigh 197. Still going. I am into the diet. Never would have believed I could do it.

I was constantly tired. Complaining it had to be my heart. I was in Fort Lauderdale for my 4th heart catheterization. The doctor found nothing different from my previous one. Looked me in the eye and said…..Lose 40-50 pounds.

He was the pro. I, not. I listened. Started dieting the next day. Stopped being tired after losing 20 pounds.

I need clothes. Everything way too big. Love it!

I am hurrying this morning. Do not want to miss a minute of the Judiciary Committee hearing beginning at 10. The political junkie in me compels it.

The Committee hearing(s) a mess. A disgrace. Proof our government at every level is failing. F–d up!

A thorough investigation is required. By the FBI. Not merely a vetting. I believe it is not being requested because of a simple point. It is against the law to lie to an FBI agent. I assume Kavanaugh when asked about his sexual escapades, would continue to deny them. So much for the Supreme Court seat, his present Judicial seat, his attorney’s license, his good name, etc.

The ladies are coming out of the woodwork. There will be more. Only because a person guilty of a particular addictive conduct will repeat it endlessly. Never fearing its harm to himself or others.

Last night the first in a week I was out. The Chart Room, of course. John’s first night back after 10 days in Jamaica. Kevin and I were together to hear John’s war stories.

The Jamaica I knew 20 years ago has not changed. I did not like Jamaica. I left the resort to visit the town. Scared the hell out of me! Returned to the resort and remained the whole trip. The armed guards walking the resort made me feel somewhat secure. However, I kept thinking what the hell even made me come to Jamaica.

Jamaica a third world country then, a third world country today.

One drink was enough. My first in a week. Left and stopped at Publix. Cupboard bare again.

My first evening out in a week. Exciting!

Tropical storm Kirk is out there in the Atlantic heading this way. Does not appear it will affect the U.S. Presently moving for the Barbados. Then south of Jamaica and Cuba.

I mention Kirk only because I have learned hurricanes are fickle. The mother could change course a bit and head north towards the Keys.

Key West motels in the 1950’s were at the Atlantic end of town. Many still standing. Others replaced by new beautiful hotels.

Competition keen back in those days. Not enough business. Motels cutting their prices. I recall mentioning a few days ago that one motel advertised rooms for $2.

Things got more competitive. On this day in 1955, 8 motels posted signs offering free rooms to tourists.

Enough. The Judiciary Committee hearing awaits.

Enjoy your day!