Normally, there is a lull in January. Not many tourists visite Key West. Not so this year. The town is packed!

Everyone is happy! From the tourists to local business people.

In speaking with some of the merchants, they all said there is an increase in families. Key West had a reputation for not being the place for a families to visit. Not so in the past few years. Increasing numbers are visiting each year.

I hit the Chart Room at a quiet time last night. It was me and Emily. Did not make sense till I realized children are not permitted in the Chart Room. Alcohol and smoke being the order of the day.

Then to the Hot Tin Roof. Twice this week. Why? One because I like it. The other that I can order food consistent with my diet. The second being the more important reason at this time.

I mentioned back in July that Dorothy had been found floating on her back and unable to dive. Dorothy being a 110 pound loggerhead turtle. She was taken the Turtle Hospital in Marathon.

I am happy to report Dorothy has recovered. At 11 this morning, she will be released back into the sea. One hundred to 200 will probably be at the beach wishing Dorothy well and bon voyage.

Did some shopping for Louis in the afternoon. Finally found a table lamp I liked at Pier One. It is sitting on my desk. Beautiful! Part of my redecorated bedroom.

I needed a very small table to place between the recliner and wall. Had to be really tiny. Found it at Key west’s favorite locals’ shopping place. Ross. Cost me $14. You would never know!

Greece against the Eurounion and Germany. The new government wants to write off a large part of its debt. The Eurounion and Germany have said no. Lets see who blinks first. I put my money on the Eurouniuon and Germany to succumb to Greece’s demands.

Keep your eye on what is happening in Greece. History will be made this year.

Enjoy your day!


I mentioned yesterday that Raul Castro wants Guantanamo back. Otherwise, there cannot be successful reconciliation talks. Someone wrote me and commented that Cuba has not cashed U.S. rent checks for a log time. I did some checking.

The story.

A lease was entered into between the U.S. and Cuba in 1901.The U.S. leased a 45 square mile area on Guantanamo Bay. It was “to be used for a coaling station.”  A place to refuel Navy vessels. The U.S. was given complete jurisdiction and control over the area per the Cuban Constitution. The U.S. Senate tacked on the Platt amendment in approving the agreement. The Platt amendment gave the U.S. the right to maintain a military base on the island.

Fidel Castro came to power. He wanted Guantanamo back. For 55 years, the U.S.  government has sent a check each month for $4,085 to Cuba as the rental payment per the agreement. Castro has refused to cash the checks. Castro and Cuba refuses to recognize the legitimacy of the 1901 lease.

I have taken the time to set forth the background information I discovered because of Raul Castro’s position yesterday that Guantanamo was to be returned to Cuba as a condition of any reconciliation.

The Charles Eimer’s wrongful death case has been settled. For $900,000. A good result for both sides in view of the questions involved. Darren Horan did a top notch job as attorney for the Eimer’s family in obtaining the settlement. He never gave up.

I learned the City only carries $1 million in liability coverage. Stupid! How can a city such as Key West have so little? The City is pinching pennies where big dollars can be involved. Key West wastes money on over priced construction projects, because of poor judgment, etc. At the very least, the City should carry an excess policy for $5 million. Otherwise, taxpayers continue to be at risk. An excess policy is relatively cheap.

On my tuesday blog talk radio show, I mentioned rising sea levels and the danger to islands. Especially here in the Florida keys. It is anticipated islands will be encroached upon. Some may disappear. This morning’s Key West Citizen coincidently carried an article re the topic.

Key West is the third ranked city nationally with population vulnerability because of anticipated rises in sea level. The sea level has risen in the keys 9 inches in 100 years. The article mentioned that experts expect the level to rise 3-7 inches by 2030. Then, 9-24 inches by 2060.

Interesting. The problem is many do not believe such will occur.

Busy morning yesterday. A haircut with Lori. I was there 1/2 hour early for my appointment. The problem is parking under the new rules. I left early in case I had a long walk from the car to Lori’s. I lucked out and found a spot a half block away.

Then to Tammy’s for a manicure. Parking a problem again. The shopping mall’s lot full. I had to park on the street in front of Bank of America.

Key West has a distinct problem. Too many cars and too few parking places. Too many cars also for the number of streets in Key West. The problem easy to recognize. The solution not.

I end on a happy note. About a week ago, I advised I was stalemated on my diet. Had been stuck at 27 pounds for two weeks. The problem corrected itself. I lost 3 more pounds this week. The total, 30 pounds in 11 weeks. What a good boy am I!

Enjoy your day!




Raul Castro announced yesterday that a new relationship with the United States was conditioned on the U.S. giving back Guantanamo and paying reparations for 50 years of separation from the U.S. I think we should throw in the Empire State Building, also.

It appears Cuba may not want to dance.

Guantanamo actually belongs to Cuba. We were only leasing it. When trouble started, we kept it. A legal argument may exist. Reparations, forget.

Castro Cuba was and still is friends with Russia. The U.S. and Russia keep making moves against each other. Especially, economically. It could be Castro doing his friend Putin a favor.

A great evening last night! I was out with the Reardons. Dan and Lisa. They own a restaurant in Skaneateles, NY and are snowboards. They spend two months a year in Key West.

We started at the Chart Room with a drink. Then across the street to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner.

The Hot Tin Roof was packed. The streets loaded with tourists. Both signs the season has definitely arrived.

The elected officials who run Key West have a propensity to do stupid things. The season is upon us and two main blocks in downtown Key West are under repair. One on Duval, the other on Simonton. Both blocked off 24 hours a day. I had to make two different detours within four blocks of the Pier House. So did everyone else. Which added to the traffic and aggravation situation.

Termites have always been a problem in Key West. Homes are tented and bombed to do away with the little devils. They are called drywood termites.

This morning’s Key West Citizen reported another type termite in Key West and the lower keys. The Asian subterranean termite.

This termite does not get its beginnings in the wood of a building. It generally starts under the ground. It needs dirt. Then it moves up into a building. Tents are of no assistance. Pesticides must be injected into the dirt. The termite is reported to be more dangerous and damage causing than the dogwood.

The Asian subterranean termite arrived on Stock Island sometime in the 1990s via a boat. It has since traveled to New Town and up the keys as far as Big Coppitt.

One thing about living on a sub-tropical island is that we have a lot of bugs. All kinds. However and to the credit of those who deal with them, a good job is done keeping the bad guys under control.

Enjoy your day!




A walk back in history…..


Theodore Roosevelt. Unquestionably a great President! He also had a way with words. Gems. Some that he uttered have stayed with us over the years. A phrase maker he was!


Roosevelt was the first to call the White House a “bully pulpit.” Roosevelt recognized the great stage that was the White House. How it could be used to make a President’s views known worldwide.


Roosevelt was confronted with an uncontrolled corporate America. Perhaps as we face today. He went after corporate America and forced it to get in line. He referred to his way of going after the corporations as “…speak softly and carry a big stick.” He did!


Political lunacy existed in Roosevelt’s day, also. The extremists in each political party. He referred to them as the “…lunatic fringe.”


Roosevelt was asked in 1912 if he was going to run for the Presidency again. He said, “My hat is in the ring.”


The phrase actually originated in the Old West. Roosevelt was familiar with it and made it popular. In the West of old if a boxer was ready to take on all challengers, he would toss his hat into the boxing ring.


Last but not least is a Roosevelt gem that was born in 1907. Roosevelt was at the Hermitage visiting the Tennessee home of Andrew Johnson. He was served coffee.  He drank it down and exclaimed, “Good to the last drop!” The coffee was a local brew. It came from one of Nashville, Tennessee’s leading hotels. The Maxwell House. Within a decade of Roosevelt’s exclamation, the Maxwell House used his words to turn its coffee into a national brand. To this day. “Good to the last drop!”


I hope you have enjoyed this walk down history lane.



Yesterday was a day I never left the house. I wrote all day. It was not my intention. However, the mood fell upon me and I went with it.

The decision has been made as to which of the three books I have been working on will publish next. It will be a collection of essays. In effect, The World Upside Down #2. My day was spent working on the book.

The book is not ready for the publisher. There is much yet to be done.

I particularly enjoyed doing my blog talk radio show last night. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Why, I am not sure. The topics were interesting. I sat back and chatted thoughts and opinions for a half hour.

Post show comments clearly indicate the global warming/climate change segment the most interesting. I merely suggested with all the strange and biggest ever storms experienced in recent years, the cause had to be global warming.

Most comments agreed with me. There were a few who took the position I was wrong on the issue. There is no global warming as far as they were concerned. My reaction, the blind cannot see.

The segment I enjoyed most was the one involving snowmen in Saudi Arabia.

I never knew there was snow in Saudi Arabia. I thought it was all sand. I was wrong. An area called Tabuk province near the Jordanian border is cold, gets strong winter winds and snow.

A cleric in the province recently condemned snowmen as anti-Islamic. As I understand it, Islamic Law prohibits the creation of an image of a human being. To do so is sinful. Said another way, building a snowman is imitating the infidels and promotes lustiness and eroticism.

I was unaware I could be turned on by a snowman. If I ever return to snow country, I shall look closely at the first snowman I see. A new turn on, perhaps.

I am in a pensive mood this morning. I came across in my voluminous notes a comment worthy of sharing…..We celebrate the right to vote, yet politicians and courts work hard to disenfranchise the poor and non-white.

Enjoy your day!


Major storms may be predictable, but are not precise as to location. Storms are fickle. The big northeaster hit 50 miles east of where it was predicted. New York City escaped the major impact.

The snow storm not hitting where predicted is like a hurricane due to hit Key West and does not. After a while, the natives do not take serious hurricane warnings and remain. All exclaim they have heard it before and nothing happened.

The problem is that some day it will happen. Whether another Key West hurricane or major New york City snow storm. And some will not react to warnings because they have been there before and nothing happened.

The Florida keys have a GMO problem. Concerning mosquitoes. Something is done in a lab to the males. The female offspring die as a result. The Florida Keys Mosquito District is suggesting the program will help prevent dengue and is considerably cheaper than present methods used to keep the mosquito population down.

The plan has yet to receive the approval of the FDA. There will be no GM mosquitoes till so approved. Never the less, Oxitec, the British company wanting to do the modifying, has already constructed a breeding laboratory for the male mosquitoes in Marathon.

I hope the lab never becomes operable. The people of the keys are being used as guinea pigs. I am not alone in my thinking. Already 130,00 have signed a petition protesting the situation.

Tuesday comes fast every week. My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Join me. A fun half hour.

Topics include the Greek election, Koch brothers should be concerned re Greece’s election results, young people in Japan lacking in libido, the cost of fighting ISIS and the land retaken as a result, an example of Citicorp’s Washington influence, Georgia driver given a ticket for eating a cheeseburger while driving, the snow storm and global warming, and more.

Syracuse is killing me! Syracuse lost last night to North Carolina 93-83. Syracuse played well for 35 minutes. The game was lost in the last 5 minutes.

My time yesterday was spent getting ready for tonight’s blog talk radio show and watching the basketball game.

Friends in Greece and Italy have been e-mailing re the Greek election. The next three months in Europe will be interesting. A global recession could be in the making. Europe in economic turmoil definitely.

Enjoy your day!


A lot of truth in the title. I cannot take credit for having said it. The man, Thomas Jefferson. The full quote: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

Jefferson died broke. He was financially in trouble most of his life.

This morning’s Key West Citizen World Almanac mentions that after the British burned down what is now known as the Congressional Library, Congress voted to buy Jefferson’s personal 6,487 volume library to replenish the books lost in the fire.

The reason Congress bought Jefferson’s library was to give him financial assistance. They knew he was in dire economic straits. The banks were killing him.

The library sale was in 1815. Jefferson died in 1826. Debt ridden. His last years were spent worrying about his indebtedness and how pay it off. His estate was so bad off financially, that his family had to sell Jefferson’s beloved Monticello.

There cannot be any wonder why Jefferson disliked banks so much.

An unusual sunset last night. I watched it from my deck. There was a bank of white and grey clouds. Rippled. The setting sun came through in a pinkish-orange glow.

Keith and Jennifer were with me part of the afternoon doing some chores. Both hard workers.

Richard Crooks was a respected, liked and talented musician. Drums were his specialty. He recently died.

A Key West celebration was held yesterday. Crooks’ friends marched down Duval New Orleans style. About 200. His musician friends playing. The parade started at Hogs Breath. Literally went through Sloppy Joe’s. Ended at the Green Parrot where a jam session was held in his memory.

This morning’s KONK Life E-Blast had a comment by Donna Windle. Donna is anti GMOs. I recommend her comment. It is too lengthy to reprint here.

I ran into Helen Basinger saturday night at Tavern ‘n Town. She is relatively new to Key West. She wrote a book on how to stop smoking. Quit Smoking Now & Forever. I like Helen. A perky personality and intelligent mind.

Syracuse, my Syracuse! Not a good basketball season. I love the school regardless of the poor playing this season. I have given the issue much thought. The reason I and many others are disappointed, sad, etc. is because we have been spoiled. All these years a fantastic basketball team! It had to happen. Even the mighty fall!

Syracuse lost to Miami saturday night 66-62. The defeat perhaps enough to put a nail in the NCAA tournament. NIT here we come!

Syracuse plays North Carolina tonight at 7. Syracuse is an 11 1/2 point underdog.

We fans are all bleeding orange this season.

The Greek election was held yesterday. As I thought, the radical far left Syriza Party won. A blow out. They took 149 of 300 seats in their Parliament. Already the small Independent Greek Party has joined them to ensure an immediate coalition government.

I mention the victory because the media is basically not. It makes me wonder. I watched the first 1 1/2 hours of Morning Joe this morning. Not one word. Google News was very brief.

Today’s world is fighting battles economically. Greece is going to counter the Eurounion hard. There is talk the new government will agree to pay ony half of what is owed. And that half will be paid with better stretched out terms.

Germany of course is going crazy. A lot of German money was loaned to Greece. Without repayment, Germany could go into recession. Other countries are watching. If Greece can screw the Eurounion, so too can Italy and Spain.

What will be happening will affect banking, money, and relationships world wide.

All very interesting. Why not more in the media?

To my friends up north, stay warm. Besides a ton of snow, chill factors at minus or hovering around one degree. Cold!

Enjoy your day!





We are into the stone crab season. One of man’s finest foods. I have many times said that if I were to be executed, my last meal would be stone crabs.

I met Howard Livingston about 15 years ago. A different man at the time. Though possessed of the same basic charm as today. Howard was a Chicago executive. Wore three piece suits. Short cropped hair.

Howard had built a new home on the water on Summerland Key. We used to go out together frequently, visit each other’s homes. Howard gave a call one morning and said to come up. We were going out on his boat.

We enjoyed a delightful day on the water. If my memory proves correct, we went out to Marvin Key. We returned late afternoon. While the ladies were preparing dinner, Howard told me to join him.

We went out in a small flat boat. At a particular point, Howard stopped and threw the anchor in. Then he directed me to the front of the boat where he was standing. Howard had some stone crab traps sitting down under the water. Each had an attached buoy floating on top.

We were going to collect some stone crabs! A first time for me. Lest anyone think we were poaching, these were Howard’s traps.

We developed a system. I would lift the trap out of the water. The traps were wood strips attached in box form. Spaces in between the strips. Howard would take the stone crabs out. One at a time. Size was important. If too small, the stone crab was returned to the water.

I learned a lot that day. Only one claw can be removed. Then the crab is thrown back in the water. The claw regenerates. Amazing!

Howard did the claw removal. Ever so carefully. He held the stone crab in one hand and carefully snipped away where the claw attached to the body. He admonished me to be careful if I ever graduated to removing the claw. The claw where attached is close to the crab’s lungs. A miss cut and the crab would die.

The crab was returned to the ocean. The trap followed. However, Howard first put something in the trap. A large frozen pig’s foot. Apparently pigs feet are gourmet dining to stone crabs. The pig’s feet would attract the stone crabs and induce them to enter the trap from which there was no escape.

The day was not yet finished. We returned and had a healthy dinner. Stone crabs not included. They had to be boiled and then cooled. To be eaten another time.

It was midnight and I was still there. For what turned out to be the best part of the evening. Howard and I were seated out on the dock. My feet in the water. Howard sitting with his back to a post. Howard was playing his guitar and singing. Jimmy Buffett songs and songs he himself had written.

We were both smoking cigars. Howard had brought a bottle of Gran Marnier out on the dock. We each dipped our cigar in the Gran Marnier before smoking. We followed it with each of us periodically taking a swig out of the bottle.

A day in Key West time as Howard would later set to music.

Enjoy your Sunday!


A very pleasant evening with Jenna last night. Dinner and the movies.

Dinner at Outback. It was a stretch to stay on my diet. However, I made it.

The movie was American Sniper starring Bradley Cooper. Excellent! Received six Academy Award nominations. I can understand why.

The movie was first shown for a full weekend last week. Grossed over $100 million. This being the second week, I assumed the theater would not be crowded. I was wrong. Not a seat left in the house. Jenna and I had to sit in the fourth row. The spread of the screen was wider than my eyes could encompass.

Jenna has a new Audi. Big and sleek. Black. With Jenna behind the wheel, it looks like the car was made for her.

The history portion of the Key West Citizen mentions Sally Rand. A fan dancer in days of old. Made 26 movies from 1925-1938. Danced at the World’s Fair in 1933. Danced for the astronauts and their wives at a Right Stuff party in the late 1960s.

More importantly, she was a part time resident of Key West.

I met Sally Rand. Enjoyed 10 private minutes with her. It was 1964. I was at a Police Conference PBA convention at Grossinger’s in the Catskills. I was counsel to the organization at the time. Rand did her famous fan dance for the conventioneers.

Afterwards, there was a private cocktail party. I was there. She was there. I got roughly 10 minutes alone with her. Which meant we were so engrossed in whatever we were talking about that no one interrupted.

She was on in her years. Still the perfect body. The face showing a bit of aging. The aging was not apparent while she was performing. Whether the distance of the stage or make up, I do not know.

I was 29 years old at the time. I found her exciting. I wish I could remember what we talked about.

The Key West Craft Show this weekend. On Whitehead in the area of Caroline. One of Key West’s top events. About 150 white tents with various hand made items for sale. I bought my first Jack Baron years ago at the Show. A black Madonna and Child.

Syracuse/Miami at 4. Syracuse a 3 1/2 point favorite. I don’t know. I have no opinion. I will be watching the game. I am not sure from where.

About six weeks ago, I wrote a column for KONK Life concerning Theodore Roosevelt. Somehow, I lost it in the computer’s never never land. Somehow, it reappeared this week. The article is Theodore Roosevelt the Phrase Maker. It publishes next Wednesday in KONK Life. It has already been posted on Facebook.

I have concluded that the battle against GMOs has been lost. The only fight left is labeling. While the world slept, the international food corporations snuck genetically modified seed grown foods into our diets.

Seventy countries presently grow, import and/or use genetically modified foods. All of north and central America. Only two countries in south America forbid it. France, Germany, Russia, Hungary, Greece and Poland oppose. The tide is obvious however.

Certain central American and south American countries have fought and continue to fight the use of GMOs legislatively and in the courtrooms. With a degree of success. However, giants such as Monsanto fight back in appellate courts. In the meantime, GMOs move ahead in those countries.

We were not vigilant. Some may have been. Others did not pay attention.

My concern and opposition was based on the fact that no one knows the long term consequences of eating such foods. In the next 10-20 years, we will find out.

Enjoy your Sunday!



I watched sunrise this morning. A Key West sunrise. It was not planned. I was up. Looked out the window and there it was breaking clean over the horizon.

Interesting I should have caught it this morning. Last night, I enjoyed Fiddler on the Roof for the zenith time. Sunrise, sunset…..

Another beautiful Key West day. This past week has been unusually good for this time of  year. May it last and what ever winter we were to have let it be behind us.

Got a pedicure yesterday. From Tammy. Lee Nails was unusually busy. Every chair taken for whatever service, every staff person working. I told Tammy she was getting rich. As I often state, she and her husband personify the American dream.

All the years I have been in Key West, there should be little I do not know about the island. Something new popped up yesterday. The Quantum Boat Races.

I know the races are here every year. I go to the waterfront to see the sailboats tied up. I have never seen a race, however.

I went to Fort Zach. Figured I would stand at the point where the rocks and beach meet. A perfect spot for watching the races. So I thought.

No way! The boats do not race/sail near shore. They are way out. Mere specs on the horizon.

Strange and not so strange things happening internationally.

We are negotiating with Iran  re nuclear arms. A big time long time process. The whole world knows. Putin continues to be smart and Iran says we do what we want to do.

Tuesday an agreement was signed between Russia and Iran. A military cooperative deal. A joint response to U.S. interference. They pledged cooperation in the “struggle.” The struggle referring once again to the interference of foreign forces in  the region. Primarily, the United States.

Query: Is Iran  dealing in good faith with the U.S. in the nuclear talks? Many think not. I am one of them. They are buying time.

Then yesterday Speaker Boehner made a startling announcement. Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu will shortly speak before Congress.

Foreign affairs have generally been left to the President to take the lead. Not Congress. Boehner may think we are screwing up the Iran talks. Perhaps. He may want to make the President look bad. Perhaps. Boehner invited Israel’s Netanyahu to speak before Congress. Netanyahu constantly warns not to trust Iran re nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu may be correct. Whether correct is not the issue. Boehner in this instance went over the head of the President with regard to an international matter. A no no.

With those thoughts, I leave you.

Enjoy your day!