A glorious Sunday morning!

Fantastic Key West weather. It has been like this since December. Lucky we are.

Yesterday I intended to walk Smathers Beach. I got there and parked the car. It was about 11 in the morning. Not many people around. As soon as I got out of the car, I understood why. HOT!

Too hot!

I got back into the car and drove over to Home Depot. In the past when it has been this hot, I walk inside Home Depot. It is air conditioned. Cool.

I walked twice around the store. Up and down each aisle. Usually I walk briskly. Yesterday I did not. My physical problems of the past week were still of concern to me. Just walked normally. Forty minutes.

Afterwards ran some errands and then home.

Lisa and the family showed up. They were returning from Miami. Robert’s week at the cancer survivors camp had concluded. They picked him up.

Robert was excited. He told me about everything. It just rolled out of him.

It seems the thing that thrilled him the most was Universal Studios. The rides. Apparently there is a roller coaster at Universal Studios. He rode it four times! You had to hear him describe how it went up slowly and then dropped down fast. There also was some ride that went so fast it pushed his lips back tight against his teeth and face.

The Harry Potter exhibit was next in order of importance.

Swimming with the dolphins was high on his list, also. They returned to the upper keys to do the dolphin thing. He described how he held onto the fins of two dolphins at one time and how swiftly they carried him over the water. He also kissed a dolphin.

I am looking forward to dinner tonight at Lisa’s. Cameron just returned from Mongolia. Robert from his trip. The dinner conversation will be interesting and illuminating.

My blood pressure yesterday was 121/71. Down from 156/117 seventy two hours earlier. Amazing!

I am a political junkie. What is going on in Washington is an eye opener. Are our elected representatives doing us any good? Government seems to be dysfunctional. Amounting almost to no governance.

It scares the hell out of me! And most of you also, I am sure!

My concerns are with our “leaders.” The term includes all of them. The President, Senators and House of Representative members.

The scenerio reminds me of Nero and Rome. You will recall that it is alleged Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Some historians believe that Nero started the fire for political reasons. He wanted to build a huge palatial complex in his honor. A significant number of senators were against it. So he burned Rome. Now there was no choice. Rome had to be rebuilt and Nero got his palatial complex.

Self interest. Just as in Washington today.

Nero considered himself to be smart. To be sure that he would not be blamed for the fire, Nero effectively threw blame on the Christians. He had them thrown to the dogs, crucified and burned. The burning was at night to illuminate Rome.

Our being fed to the dogs, crucifixions and burnings will be poverty. Pure and simple. Life as we knew it will gradually disappear till it is gone. There will be a small elite class of the rich and everyone else.

Concededly it will take time. But we are making progress. Sometimes I fear too swiftly.

Something must be done. Before it is too late. First and foremost, throw the bums out who presently claim to be serving our interests. Then term limits. And any other safeguards that can be arrived at.

My apologies for pontificating. However, this Washington situation is of increased concern to me.

Enjoy your Sunday!

This weather is fantastic! Another bright sunny day. A just right breeze coming in from the north.

Cameron returned from a one month stay in Mongolia. Lisa and the family met him at the airport yesterday. Lisa says he has become “worldly.” I can’t wait to talk with him. Probably tomorrow night.

Lisa, Corey and Ally are in Miami at the moment. Drove up yesterday after greeting Cameron. They are picking up Robert at 9 this morning. I am anxious to listen to his recitation of the past week.

I have much to look forward to this weekend.

Lisa telephoned me already this morning. Two times. Someone had sent her a pictuire of Robert swimming with a dolphin this week. She said they looked like they were kissing.

My yesterday started with lunch with the friday group. My new found friends. Though I knew some from before. Pleasant conversations. Nothing dramatic yesterday. It is a discussion group.

Cupboard bare again! Followed lunch with a trip to Publix. I spent just over $100! How do families do it? I am only feeding one. Myself.

Grocery bills are a perfect example of today’s economy. The producers can raise their prices to the supermarket. The supermarket raises its prices to the consumers. That’s us. Who do we raise prices to in order to compensate? No one. Are consumers receiving higher pay to help? No. Some do not even have jobs.

Not good. Families are having a bad time. Groceries plus $4 a gallon gas. Will it ever end? Will it ever return to more tolerable costs for consumable goods? Will the middle class ever return to being a middle class?

Later in the afternoon was the visit to my heart doctor.

I was supposed to do the stress test a couple of months ago. Kept rescheduling it because of my teeth. Finally got to it. And discovered my blood pressure was out of whack!

A little background is in order.

About 2.5 years ago, I was brutally tired all the time. I was shipped up to Miami for a heart catherization. I had an enlarged heart. They told me why. I did what I was instructed to do for 15 months to hopefully correct the situation. No drinking and no smoking.

Last September, I had a stress test to see what, if anything, had occurred with my enlarged heart. It was gone! Had shrunk back, though not to its original shape.

The enlarged heart problem was resolved. I was proud of myself.

The doctor said…..wait…..don’t get so excited…..you have a new problem. Terrific!

The bottom of my heart was not getting any blood. Note the word “any.” The artery feeding blood to the heart had crinkled and twisted. It had also shrunk. Terrific, again!

I was advised it would be diffocult to stent. Surgery difficult, also.


My doctor thought he had a solution. There was a relatively new procedure. It involved this monstrous machine that I would have to lie on one hour a day for 35 consecutive days, excluding weekends. The bottom half of my body was encased in two inch wide air hoses. Tight. Every second or two, air would be forcefully shot into the hoses. My body would literally jump off the table a bit with each shot.

The purpose was to force blood into my heart. Hopefully collateral blood sources would develop and/or the screwed up twisted artery would straighten out.

I had to wait several months after the conclusion of the 35 days before taking a stress test and the pictures that go with it to see if success had been achieved. That was the purpose of the stress test thursday.

I am pleased to advise it worked! The twisted and shrunk artery had straightened out and blood was flowing properly into my heart. No longer was the bottom of my heart not receiving blood.

The wonders of modern science!

However, my blood pressure was up. Dramatically!

I am happy to report that in a mere two days, it is back to normal. The doctor merely doubled my blood pressure medication.

You do not have to tell me. I know. My renewed bad habits led to the hike in blood pressure. I am once again a good boy and resolve to stay that way. Hopefully. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Again, I never shared with you the 35 day machine exercise to open blood vessels carrying blood to my heart. This problem was discovered at the same time I was into the teeth thing. The doctor and dentist consulted. Decided one would not hurt the other. Or me. So I was undergoing terrible pain with my jaw and daily tiredness from the heart machine at one and the same time. I figured no one really wants to hear that much about someone’s medical problems. Additionally, it would be difficult to convey what I was experiencing each day. Pain from the jaw and getting beat up from the machine.

So where are we?

My heart is good. Good!

My dental procedures are within two months of ending. Good!

My self inflicted blood pressure problem is being dealt with. Good!

So I am going to go out tonight and tie a good one on, overeat and only bad foods, and smoke my brains out! No, only joking.

I do feel good. Pleased with myself. Want to remain that way. So it will be none of the above.

I am leaving you and heading for Smathers Beach. To take a walk!

Enjoy your day!

Another lovely Key West morning!

I am surprised. Last night the wind from the north was coming in at a swift pace. There was more wave size than normal. The MTV house across the way has a boat tied to the dock. It was moving up and down and rolling back and forth.

The wind has abated. Everything is calm outside.

After my stress test activity yesterday, I did nothing. Upon returning home, I immediately went to bed. My only activity was watching TV. I see the doctor this afternoon to review the pictures and receive instructions as to what to do.

This problem is of my own making. I fell again. Actually, I did not fall. I slipped into it over time. I take responsibility. I was not influenced by others. I am my own person.

I am lunching at noon with the same group I had lunch with last friday. About ten local business and public figures that get together weekly to discuss current events both nationally and locally. I enjoyed my first time last week and am sure this week will be equally enjoyabe.

Speaking of current events, we have become a dysfunctional society. Washington is an absolute disgrace. Something I need not tell you. The nuts are trying to take over.

Strikes a bit of fear into me.

I see the heart doctor at 3:30. I hope the problem is only blood pressure.

Cameron returns from Mongolia this morning. Robert from his week long trip tomorrow. It will be nice to have everyone back. I look forward to the stories to be told.

Enjoy your day!

Good morning! No, good afternoon! It is almost one o’clock in the afternoon.

I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 this morning for my stress test. It did not work out well. My blood pressure was 156/117. No stress test on the tread mill. Instead they lay me down and shot some nuclear stuff into me. The test was over in 30 seconds.

I was also given a super dooper pill to bring my blood pressure down.

I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon to see the doctor.

Drinking and smoking are gone again. More exercise needed. Probably walking. New prescriptions.

Such is life.

There is some humor in all this. I told the docrtor I had not been exercising, joined a gym to box and do the tread mill, and only made it to the gym one time. That was good, he said. Had I been on the tread mill, I could have had problems because of the blood pressure. Maybe a stroke.

Ergo, my laziness regarding the gym was a blessing in disguise.

My internet show will not be tommorow as scheduled. I still have about 2.5 hors work today to do alone and with Jenna in final preparation for the show. It is work under pressure. I am taking this week off. Last week’s show will be rerun. It was exceptionally good. If you wish to view it, the show will be available at 10 in the morning at http://www.konkbroadcasting.com/.

Enough for now. I am going to bed and put my head under the covers for the rest of the afternoon.

Enjoy your day!

Key West weather continues to be spectacular! The only negative is a little too much humidity by day.

The town is full of tourists. Amazing for this time of year. Hotels/motels full and restaurant/bar business booming.

I mentioned the Hemingway Look Alike contest the other day. I was in error regarding the number of Hemingway look a likes. I thought about 20. Actually there were 120.

My big excitement yesterday morning was a haircut with Lori. Always a pleasure.

My hair is different. It is now one step up from totally bald. It also is fifty percent cheaper to cut. Lori takes the clipper and goes zoom around my head and is done.

Last night was a pleasure. My friends Don and Chris are in for a week of rest and fun. From the Syracuse area, they visit several times a year. Key West is their favorite place. Obviously so. They are almost Chart Room regulars. They sit there for hours most evenings.

We met by prearrangement. Don was tired. He had just returned from China Friday or Saturday night. Flew to Key West Monday. He said the travel and time changes screw him up a bit. Chris was lovely. As always. She recently lost close to 20 pounds. It was obvious. I mentioned to her almost immediately she looked thinner. I don’t know why she dieted. She looked terrific with the 20 pounds on, also.

I know, thin is good!

They both work for the same company. In marketing and sales.

Don’s sales job is unique. He sells to the Chinese, rather than the Chinese selling to us. China has been his territory for long time. I enjoy listening to his background stories regarding China and its ways.

There should be more Dons. We need to sell to China more. Besides being our banker, the Chinese kill us with their cheaply manufactured goods with which they flood our American markets.

Chris is a world traveler for her company also. China on occasion. India more.

Today is golf day. No golf for me. I have a stress test scheduled for 7:30 tomorrow morning. Golf tires me out. I want to be totally rested for the test. At my age, I have a fear of failing when I take one.

Ally misses her brother Robert.

Enjoy your day!

My grandson Robert was born with cancer of the liver seven years ago.

A tragedy.

He had two major surgeries. One on the third day of his life and the other on the eighth. The cancerous tumor was larger than his liver itself.

He is well today and has been ever since the second surgery. He is a normal boy. Thank God.

The surgeries and recovery were at Miami Children’s Hospital. A fantastic place. He has had the same doctor attending him from day one. Dr. Athena Peskorou. Robert still sees her. His present schedule requires him to be examined by her two times a year till he is eighteen.

Six weeks ago, Dr. Peskorou telephoned Lisa. She and Miami Children’s Hospital wanted Robert to attend a one week camp for cancer surviors. There would be thirty four children. Ages 7 to 16. All saved by her and Miami Children’s Hospital. A sort of celebration of life. As Dr. Peskorou related to Lisa, we lose more than we save. We want to do some fun things with and for those who made it.

Robert is on this trip at this very moment. It is a saturday to saturday thing that started last saturday.

They will be moving around during the week. Some events scheduled for the thirty four include Cirque du Soleil, Orlando, the Blue Man Group, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, NBA City, a bayside cruise, an animal show, bowling, swimming with the dolphins and a campfire with singing and marshmellows.

Not bad! Though the ticket for admission initially included a deadly event.

I await Robert’s return. Besides missing him, I want to hear from his own lips what he experienced.

Lisa is a wreck. Robert has never been away from her.

Going to be a big week news wise. Cameron returns friday from his month long trip to Mongolia.

Enjoy your day!

Another beautiful Key West morning. The sun has awakened and everything is golden.

My Sunday was not as anticipated. I went no where. Stayed home all day.

I have a new table and umbrella right next to the pool. I sat there all day researching and writing. A dip in the pool every now and then to cool off. The only inconvenience was I had to change seats occasionally to avoid the direct impact of the sun.

Lisa, Corey and Ally came over for a while to swim. Robert was some where else. I continue to be impressed with Alley’s prowess in the water.

Recall Key West Lou tee shirts? I came in contact this past week with two people who purchased them. They had purchased the tee shirts more than a year ago.

One was Tom Dixon from Buffalo. He wears his to the pool at home and here in Key West. The other was from some woman in a small town in central New York who advised via email she bought a larger than needed one and wears it to bed.

Tee shirts are available on Lisa’s internet department store site. http://www.viakeywest.com/.

My home town of Utica, NY has a reputation for fine Italian food. A reputation well deserved! The Italian people came over in the early 1900s primarily. Their descendants grew. Italian restaurants were one of the results of the immigration and expanding families.

Some one commented recently that she was from my area originally also. She said she was half Italian and that the Italian food here left much to be desired.

Let me share Louis’ thoughts on the issue.

The woman is basically correct. The finest Italian restaurant in Key West is La Trattoria, which I frequnet often. There is another. Antonia’s, which I do not frequent at all for personal reasons. Occasionally, Harpoon Harrys will have a macaroni and meat ball item on its special menu. I will order it. Good!

That is it as to quality and semi-quality Italian food in Key West. Any other purported/claimed Italian restaurant is not worthy of mention.

The reason there is not better or more is simple. There is no demand for pasta dishes in Key West. The market for Italian food does not exist. The demand is for fish first and then steak. Vacationers apparently can get enough pasta back home.

I have an appointment this morning to visit my internest. The one that was all over me two weeks ago for doing all kinds of things inconsistent with a healthy life style.

I have been better. Hopefully, she will not berate me. I  am on a diet. Have lost five pounds. Have not had a drink. For diet purposes only. I intend to return after the diet is concluded. Have cut my smoking back considerably.

My two failures are the smoking and exercise. I rejoined the gym, but have only gone on one occasion.

Enjoy your day!

I did Hemingway Days yesterday.

Duval was lined with  white tents and booths. Food, jewelry, paintings, wood cuts and what have you. And water! The water tent had to be the biggest seller. It was hot. Ninety two degrees anywhere else in Key West. With the mass of humanity on Duval, the body heat increased the overall temperature to at least 120 degrees.

Not healthy for the lame of heart such as me.

I walked from the gulf to the La Concha Hotel. The length of the street festival. Ran into an old friend. Dottie. She and her husband Lou now live in Burcia, Mexico. They had returned to sell their wares. At a street stand. Offering Mexican silver jewelry. I did not recognize Dottie at first. Only because she is more attractive than last I saw her about three years ago. Short cropped hair and a deep tan. Very becoming.

I found the Hemingway look a likes on the side street next to Sloppy Joe’s. About twenty of them. Dressed in long sleeve white shirts and long pants. A red cap and a red clothe wrapped around their waists.

The bulls were there, also. Several of them. Ominous appearing. Large leather bulls. Horns and all. On wheels. Intimidating.

The bulls were in an enclosed/roped off area. Parents and children were all around the Hemingways and bulls. The little ones were permitted to sit on the bulls for picture taking. A beautiful sight! The colorful Hemingways, the little kids, and the bulls.

The heat was too much for me. I did not wait to see the parade. Looked for Sheila. No Sheila. She probably arrived later.

As I was walking to my car, I came upon Patti Cakes, aka Patrick Hayes, and his visiting sister, Helen. We chatted a bit. Patrick asked if I was returning for the second parade of the afternoon. It was scheduled for 3 PM. The bull dyke parade. He was going to be in it.

I screwed up regarding Donna and Terri in yesterday’s blog,

They are getting married tomorrow night. On the stage of the St. James Theatre in New York City.

First to answer the why since they already became legally married in Connecticut last year.

Same sex marriage is not legally recognized  in all fifty states. Only in six thus far. New York   being the most recent.

Until today, Donna and Terri were not recognized as married by New York State. As explained, recognition is a state by state thing. A Supreme Court decision is needed to make it nationally recognized. Or, the balance of the states must each pass laws recognizing the union.

So…..Donna and Terri were legally married in Connecticut. But not in New York! It made a big difference. One being health insurance. Terri receives excellent coverage through Actor’s Equity. Donna receives nothing. Because they legally reside in New York State and up till today, same sex marriage was not recognized in New York. No full faith and credit.

A revival of the musical Hair is playing on Broadway. Hair inviolves love. Everyone loving everyone. The hippie days. At the end of Hair, the orchestra plays Let the Sun Shine In. The audience is invited to join the cast on stage to participate in the dancing.

Prior to the dancing tomorrow night, three couples will be married on stage. Three same sex couples. One couple is Donna and Terri. A way of solving the insurance problem and several others.

I think they just like getting married!

I spoke to them both yesterday. They are over the hill excited!

Interestingly, the stage of the St. James Theatre is the same stage Terri starred on for Finian’s Rainbow. Her magnificent come back performance which returned her to stardom. And an income. Recall  that a year before Finian’s Rainbow, Terri was a homeless person sleeping on a park bench in New York City for three months.

It is Sunday! A favorite. Meet the Press shortly. Tonight the Gardens. And I don’t know what in between.

Enjoy your day!

I am up early. Black as coal outside. How many of you remember coal?

Probably will be another humid Key West day. Not bad, but enough to make you complain a bit. We need rain and a lot of it!

Yesterday’s internet show was fun for me. The topic that evoked the greatest response had to do with the Washingtom scene and the debt ceiling debacle. The most responses I have ever received. Interestingly, all but one were critical of the Republican position.

After the show, I hurried to Lisa’s. Had to use her computer. Mine on the blink again. To those of you who say get a new computer. I did. About a month ago.  When the computer is down, the screen says it is a connector problem. I stopped at Verizon and had it corrected again. Verizon does not know why this is happening. Frustrating.

Kankakee Cheryl wrote. She said she had the same problem with Verizon. So there! It is not me!

I had an interesting and stimulating lunch yesterday.

My MTV neighbor Andrew had invited me to join a group who meet every friday at Salute’s for lunch. It is basically a discussion group. Talk about international, national and local happenings. Plus the rules are that at least one topic must be a sports one.

A small group. Eight to ten. Includes a banker, a restaurant owner,  a retired professionsal gambler turned author,  a politician, and a software developer, amongst others.

We lunched one hour. The most stimulating hour I have spent in a long time.

These guys know how to live. After a great lunch of some fish or other, a large slice of key lime pie was ordered. Just one. With the appropriate number of forks. I passed. I did not cheat even one fork full.

Salute’s will be my new place for lunch on fridays.

Dinner last night was a treat. I was Jenna’s guest for dinner. For my birthday which was July 6. I was unable to chew at the time, so we held off till now.

We went to The Strip House at the Reach. Steak! Fantastic!

So was the bill! I felt sorry when it came time to pay. A 25 year old female buying dinner for a 76 year old gentleman. I did not fight for the bill. Jenna was excited to celebrate my birthday with me. This was her treat. Not for me to spoil.

Same sex marriage is legal in New York. First marriages under the new law will be performed tomorrow. Sunday. News reports indicate 823 couples are scheduled to be married.

Donna and Terri  emailed me yesterday. They are already legally married. Did the deed in Milford, Connecticut, a little more than a year ago. Just like in the old movies. They snuck off to Connecticut to tie the knot. I recall their telling me at the time that they just tsopped in front of a home with a Justice of the Peace-Marriage sign on the front lawn. Turned out the Justice was an 80 year old woman. Perfect for a same sex marriage joining two females.

Now Donna and Terri are renewing their vows. They enjoyed doing it the first time and wish to repeat the experience. I am not sure whether they are remarrying sunday or monday. I deleted their emails. I thought they said monday night.

Whatever. It is going to occur. Donna said they will be part of 200 couples marrying on the stage of the St. James Theatre following the performance of Hair.

Hair is back again? I remember seeing it on Broadway soon after it opened. A lot of years ago. My policeman friend Bob Mazza and I.

Big day today! One of the Hemingway Days. The Hemingway look alike contest is still ongoing. Today is the run with the bulls event. Except, Key West bulls chase no one. The Hemingway look alikes will parade down Duval with the make believe bulls on wheels.

A street festival is part of the day. Duval will be crowded. Every one having a good time.

These Hemingway look alike contestants all look like Hemingway. Each one. White beard and all.

I have been told no one wins on the first try. It takes several years of repeat visits/particpation to make it.

The look alikes in the parade will be dressed as Hemingway when he participated in the bull run in Spain. White shirt and trousers. A red cap. A red cloth wrap around at the waist.

I plan on attending the parade and walking Duval a bit.

Sun up. Gray outside. A scattering of black clouds. Will probably rain a bit this morning.

Enjoy your day!

My computer is down again. A connector problem. I will be visiting Verizon this afternoon.

I am at Lisa’s. Just finished my internet show.

The show went well. There is so much to talk about. That may be one of our problems. Peope in national and state governments talk too much! They should work more and talk less.

What issue, if any, was most enjoyed? Too early to tell. I will know by tomorrow .

Jenna came into the booth during one of the advertising breaks. She liked my glasses. I told her they were no different. They were. I had worn my sun glasses into the studio. Finished the show with them on. For those of you who watched, I did not wear them intentionally.

Dentist yesterday morning. About 2 hours. We are gettuing close to finishing. No more cutting or pain.

Dinner last night with Lisa and the family. Chinese take out. They left on a family trip this mornimg. Will return later in the weekend.

Robert and Ally were so excited they were going on a trip. Ally especially.

I have been dieting two days thus far. Good for three pounds. Seven to go.

The gym is there. I am still a member. However…..I have not returned since the first day. It is difficult to get back into the habit.

Enjoy youir day!