I leave for Boston soon. Return Sunday.

My grandaughter Samantha is to be confirmed tomorrow. A big deal for Catholics.

Samantha just turned 16. She is child no longer. A lovely woman!

Studies hard. Also plays hard. She skates. Ice skates. Has been doing so all her life. Does it extreemely well also. She competes. And has won her share of competitions!

Last night was fun!

Too many drinks and dinner at the bar at Latrattoria. Then to the Pier House to hear Larry Smith.

Tuesday is Ladies Night. Larry featured Christine Naughton. I enjoyed her singing.
Extra special however was Mary Deasey who sang a few songs. Especially good was her rendition of John Lennon’s Grow Old With Me. Mary is a first class show person!

And of course there was the lovely Donna the barmaid! Oops! Bartender. Sorry!

I also consumed 3 espresso martini’s. A bad night!

Time to run to the airport. I write from Boston tomorrow!

Beautiful morning!

Sun bright! No breeze! Water glass! And I can even taste the ocean this morning!

Yesterday was my annual physical. 1 1/2 hours. Everything good. First time in a long time all tests ok. Nothing in the middle column. Has me worried!

Last night had a couple of drinks at the outside bar at La Te Da. Bobby Nesbitt was singing inside. The french doors were open and I could clearly hear him. What a pleasure!

Dinner at the bar at Antonia’s. I was celebrating my good medical report. I intentionally opted to drink too much and eat too much. And did I! I still feel it this morning.

This Reverend Wright thing blows my mind! It has to have an impact on the race. How will Obama handle it? The next few days will be most interesting.

Enjoy the day!

Breakfast with the grandchildren yesterday morning.

Robert is just a couple of weeks short of 4. Batman is his hero! Spiderman a close second!

He has all kinds of toys and other Batman paraphanelia. Including Batman costumes and pajamas. Even Batman sheets!

Yesterday at breakfast he was talking about Ironman. Who is Ironman? I had never heard of him. Neither had my daughter Lisa. Apparently Robert had. He talked on and on about him. A new good guy/hero figure.

After breakfast I walked over to the coffee house to read the papers. One of them is the New York Times. While wandering throughthe entertainmment section, lo and behold, there was a page long advertisement for the new movie Ironman!

Where Robert picked up on Ironman I do not know. But he was into him and knew all about him. A wonder!

I am having the carpets in 2 of the bedrooms cleaned this week. The walk in closet in the master bedroom is carpeted. So it was time to clean out the closet. The first time in 12 years! What a mess! The things we accumulate! The things we save! Twelve huge black garbage bags were packed and left curbside last night for the garbage people to pick up.

Afterwards when I walked into the closet, it was like walking into a whole new room!

Last night was drinks first at Alice’s. And some interesting bar conversation with other customers. Politics of course! Everyone agrees this primary is no good for the Democratic Party, the country or Obama. Sad!

Dinner later at Martin’s. Good German food in a pleasant outdoor dining setting shadowed by flaming torches stuck in the ground. Cool!

This morning I see from the TV that the Reverend Wright saga is ongoing. Apparently Wright made a major speech somewhere last night and is doing a breakfast speech later this morning. The commentators are all suggesting last night’s speech was not helpful to Obama. Maybe someone should tell Wright he is not running for
President, but that Obama is. Some people just crave the spot light and don’t care who or what they hurt. Other people are just plain crazy. I do not know what Wright is or for how long he has been so. But whatever he may be, he is screwing up Obama’s candidacy.

My annual physical today. I have already taken all the preliminary tests. I always have a concern when I do one of these physicals. You never know…

Sunday! Sunday!

Black and overcast this morning. Looks like it will pass over however. The rainy season is not upon us yet.

Party time last night!

Linda and Bill Schrufer threw a pool party. The first one in a long time. A pool party in Key West means everyone goes in the pool. Except no one did! We all settled in comfortable chairs under the palm trees and started drinking and socializing. And there we stayed!

As usual, the company and food were good. Linda is a fantastic hostess! Party planning her forte! Always a successful event!

I heard from Chen Wei in China. She wants to know why I no longer write about rats.

This is the Year of the Rat in China.

The rat is a revered species there. It is both a household pet and a foodstuff. Amazing how different cultures view things!

Rats are extremely clean animals. Like cats, they clean themselves. They are easily trained and make great household pets.

In China, that is.

Also rats are part of the food chain. Actually foodwise, nothing is wasted in China. Rats, snakes, even cats, are dinner time chices.

Not for me! Probably not for my American readers. However as the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. So be it!

Thank you Chen Wei for writing.

Sunday means breakfast with the grandkids. I am off to Camille’s!

Lady in black!

Yesterday morning I was at the coffee house on Duval reading the papers when I heard a sultry voice entone “…hello Louis!”

I knew immediately who it was. The lovely Jackie Grimm.

Jackie always dresses in black. A devistating woman! Tall. Actually stately is a better word to describe her. And that long platinum hair! And lest I forget, always a capturing smile!

Yes, I love Jackie Grimm!

We have not seen each other in many a month. So soon it will be dinner. Her good husband Roland will join us of course. My good friend also and my economic guru.

The day started with a long walk along the waterfront. Then lunch at Paradise Cafe. Can’t beat that toasted cuban bread!

Then a haircut.

My barber is Lauri. She is actually a beautician. I go to a woman’s salon to get my hair done.

Lauri is a real knockout! Short and thin. Long straight blond hair. She looks good! She smells good! Getting a haircut is a wonderful experience. One I look forward to. Not like going to the dentist.

My health kick continues. Though I am back to eating and drinking a bit, I am still working out more than normal. I swam laps in the pool in the afternoon for about an hour.

Last night was the reenactmanet of the Battle for the Conch Republic!

I went down to the docks to watch.

About 25 years ago in the late 1980s there was a drug problem in the keys. The U.S. government in an attempt to control the drug inflow blockaded the keys at their entrance around Florida City. A for real blockade was established at the entrance to U.S. 1. In order to enter the keys, identification had to be shown.

Key Westers are a proud tough group. They did not take to this barricading/ID thing.

So they formed the Conch Republic! Declared independence from the United States! And seceeded from the Union!

A water battle took place off Key West as the first act of rebellion.

Water hoses, cabbage, tomatoes and eggs were the weapons of choice.

Of course, the U.S. Coast Guard soon put the rebellion down.

The Conchs sued for peace. And demanded the barricade come down and $1 billion dollars in reparations.

The point had been made. The barricade came down. But the United States did not treat the rebellious citizens of Key West as it had the many nations world wide it had previously militarily defeated. No money changed hands!

Out of that brief moment some 25 years ago has grown an annual celebration. While the actual rebellion probably lasted all of 10 minutes, its present celebration is a week long affair! Parties, races and all sorts of special events.

Last night was the culmination of the week long celebration.

There was a sleek long Coast Guard cruiser and several smaller Coast Guard boats. The good guys (rebels) were out in all sort of water craft from large pirate frigates to small dinghys. And all proudly flying the blue Conch Republic flag!

The battle was momentous!

The vessels on both sides were filled, actually in some instances overloaded, with people. Boats attacked each other with large fire hoses emitting huge streams of drowning water. The rebels buried the U.S. vessels with cabbage, lettuce, fruit and eggs.

The Conch Air Force flew overhead. Helicopters, bi-planes and all sorts of private air craft. Bombs of toilet paper dropped on the Coast Guard vessels. The U.S. government retailiated with a squadron of aircraft from Bocca Chica naval base. Cannons were fired from the larger vessels.

In the end, it was the same. The United States won! To the thundrous approval of the crowd!

As it should be.

Too bad other wars cannot be so easily resloved.

Bocci last night!

We finally won again! One game! But a win is a win!

We were matched against the third place team. Made the win and our overall playing even sweeter!

The first game was relatively close, but we lost.

Then came the second game. We killed them! 16-5. It was like days of old. We could do no wrong! From our cheering and jumping at the end of the game, you would have thought we won the world series!

It was great to be back!

The third and last game was close, but not to be. We played very well again. However we lost 16-14.

My bocci career is over for awhile. Next week is the final week of the season. I shall be in Boston. It has been a fun season with obviously many highs and lows!

If you rise early enough, you can see dolphins in front of my home. About 6 am. Yesterday I was out on the dock reading the papers around noon when three dolphins swam by. So beautiful! So graceful! So close! Only 25 feet away!

I started yesterday with a bike ride. Something I have not done for quite awhile. The wind was strong so I should not have ridden. The resistance is fantastic when you are riding against the wind. A real workout!

Discovered a new lunch place! The Shrimp Shack on Stock Island!

It is on the same road as Hogfish. About 300 yrds beyond Hogfish. Another downtown Stock Island establishment.

It is in the back of a building that houses a fresh fish market. You eat on the dock. And right next to you 10 feet away are the shrimp boats. What a sight!

I had fish and chips. A big time WOW! Large chunks of fresh fish deep fried. Tender and juicy. And the fries! Large cuts from real potatoes! Lightly salted to perfection.

I highly recommend the Shrimp Shack!

The price of gasoline is holding steady here in Key West. Just $.15 under $4.00 a gallon. When will we reach the magic number? It is a certainty!

When Bush started his Presidency in 2000 oil was $10 a barrel. Today it is pushing $120. What can be done? How? When?

No one seems to be doing anything.

In the meantime we continue getting reamed at the pumps! No one seems to care. I take that back. Someone does care. The oil companies!

A nice day yesterday! Great weather! Good golf! Wonderful company!

Actually fantastic weather! Sunny. Warm. Only a slight breeze. No humidity. A bit chilly in the evening. Just right!

My golf game seems to be improving! A wonder in itself!

I attribute it to these new clubs. New to me. Old to most other players.

My golf clubs are old. About 10 years old. My friends have been telling me for a long time to buy new clubs. But sometimes I do not hear!

So a month ago I bought this new hybrid. Saw it advertised late at night on the golf channel. What a club! Has improved my fareway game immensely!

About a week ago I had difficulty sleeping again. So back to the golf channel. This time Mark O’Meara was talkimng about how to get off the tee long and straight. A significant problem for me has been just that. I cannot get off the tee straight and I cannot get distance off the tee!

Visual demonstrations are the best. He held 2 drivers in his hands at the same time. One was the old type with a smaller head. The other was one of the ones with the newer monstrous club head.

O’Meara claimed the difference in the player’s drive was in the head of the club. All based on technology. The big headed driver was simply more forgiving. A poor golfer like me needs all the forgiveness he can get!

So I tried it yesterday.

Yankee Jack let me use his driver most of the way. What a difference! I was playing with the big boys!

Then Aaron suggested I try his driver. Another WOW!

The decision has been made! I am going to buy a new driver!

Tiger Woods watch out!

Last night I stopped at Kwest to hear Bobby Nesbitt. Always good!

I ran into Donna and a friend of hers. The three of us ended up having dinner at Antonia’s. A fun time!

Yes, I am off the diet. Nine days and 7 pounds. Not quite what I wanted, but it will do.

I savoured 2 gins and a lovely piece of salmon last night. I did not go crazy.

Yesterday I reported on an e mail I received from a now mature Italian woman reminisicing with me her experiences as a 4 year old during World War II. Her story of receiving chocolate and tasting it for the first time from the hands of American soldiers on the streets of Venice was touching.

She wrote again after reading yesterday’s blog: “…thanks for remembering little Anna…a small story of Italian children during World War II.”

Thank you Anna for sharing with us!

Tonight bocci! Will we ever win again?

The weather has been outstanding!

Mid to low 80s by day. Only a touch of humidity. And cool by evening. The low 70s.

Sleeping has been a pleasure! No air conditioning required. The windows open. The sound of the ocean lulling me to sleep.

This Obama/Clinton race is becoming a pain! Will it ever end? It must!

Obama just can’t seem to win. Clinton just can’t seem to lose.

I watched the Pennsylvania returns sitting at the bar at Hogfish last night. Drinking diet coke, of course! Still dieting. 6 pounds in 8 days. 2 less than the goal I set. Do not know if I will continue. Very tiring and no fun!

There are several TV sets at Hogfish. All had on sports. Baseball, basketball and hockey. Shows the level of interest in one of the most important political races of our times! I requested one the sets be turned to the primary results and sat alone at a corner of the bar watching them.

It is amazing the number of people reading this blog. Even more interesting is that geographically they are from all over the world!

This morning I received an e mail from a Venice, Italy reader. She advised that today is Liberation Day in Italy. The Italian people are celebrating their freedom from Nazi occupation during World War II.

She was 4 years old at the time. She remembers American soldiers walking along the street giving the children chocolate. She was one of the children. It was the first time she had ever tasted chocolate. She even remebers the color of the paper.

We are a lucky people. May we never have soldiers walking down our streets giving chocolate to our 4 year olds!

Golf this morning! I need it!

Good morning!

Another great Key West day ahead!

Yesterday was Sunday. My Sundays are falling into a routine.

Breakfast at Camille’s with the grandkids.

I did not eat. Still dieting. Only had a cup of coffee.

It was Lisa, me and the kids! My son in law Corey was off in Louisville giving a lecture.

It was a very difficult time for me! All that food! So close! And the smells! So good! When dieting, one must avoid the near occasions of sin! Otherwise it is sooooo painful!

Then to the coffee house to sit on the front porch and read the Sunday New York Times. For free, of course!

Yesterday afternoon I did something different. Something I have not done for 20 years!

I went jet skiing!

Gregg showed up at my dock. He has a new masterful jet ski. He said hop on! So I did! And away we went!

Scarry at times! We got up to 60 miles an hour! The curves made me hold on for dear life!

Exhilerating! A real WOW!

The rest of the day was quiet. I hung out around the house doing nothing, watching television and sleeping off and on. This diet drains me of energy and desire. I am happy to be a couch potato!