Yesterday, the bocce playoffs! The games started at noon.

We were eliminated in the first round. I doubt any of us felt bad. We got killed in the first game. Came back to kill the other team in the second. Got killed again in the third game.

We played well in one of the three games. Sufficiently so that we were able to walk off the court with our heads high.

I thought we were equal to the opposing team. Most of my team mates thougt not. They were of the opinion the opposition was better.

We were missing three players. Not offered as an excuse. Merely for information purposes. Don was at his brother in law’s funeral in California, Clare and Keith working.

There is an excitement that goes along with making the playoffs. For us Key Westers, the day of the playoffs is like the World Series, Super Bowl and Final Four rolled into one. Thrilling is the only way to describe it.

Syracuse lost again yesterday. Lost a football game to Pitt 30-7. We have only won two games this season. There is one game left to play.

I have a feeling the basketball team may not be as good as in recent years. Then there is the investigation. Could be a bad time for Syracuse sports.

Things have to improve. Dramatically.

One reason is that a lot of money is involved. Millions of dollars from TV alone. The universities have come to rely on that money. However if a team is not up to snuff, there is less prime time TV involved and the dollars diminish.

2015 is going to be an interesting year for the Syracuse University sports program.

Enjoy your Sunday!


It could not have been a better evening! Cole Porter tunes sung by the best of Key West. To mention one or two would be remiss. There were twenty performers in all.

Cole Porter created his music back in the 1920s, 1930s and into the early 1940s. Tunes like Begin the Beguine, Night and Day, and From This Moment On.

The evening thrilled me. Everyone in attendance, also. It was obvious by the reactions to the performances. The Waterfront Playhouse is to be commended.

My seat was perfect. Third row. Jenna to my right and friend Susie to my left. The lovely Jean Carper in front. Old friend Skip behind me.

Dinner with Jenna beforehand at the Hot Tin Roof.

We made the bocce playoffs! Won 2 out of 3 games thursday night. At noon today, I will be throwing the pollina.

The playoffs are a big deal. Tents over the benches for the players. Food and drink. All for the players and free. A huge crowd watching.

I hope we win the first match. The playoffs are tough. You play the best of the best.

The Chalk Festival got rained out for today. The concrete must still be wet. I hope the bocce playoffs do not get canceled. The clay should absorb last night’s rain. The courts will be a bit slower, however.

Back to the Chalk Festival. It will be tomorrow on the promenade next to the USCG Ingham on the Truman Waterfront.

Enjoy your day!


This morning’s Key West Citizen announced that the anchor store for the proposed shopping center at MM 9 might be a Wal-Mart. The site is the location of the former adult book store.

Wal-Mart may be at the bottom of the list of desired department stores. However, it is better than nothing. I do not see any other chains clamoring to come to Key West. The reason is simple. The volume of business is not here.

Presently, we shop at Ross which is a cheapie selling primarily clothes that are overruns and seconds. Then there is K-Mart. Can you imagine shopping for clothes at a K-Mart? We do. Finally, we have Sears. Nothing to excite.

Already, a local politician, who seems to have his head screwed on wrong, has spoken up against Wal-Mart. The newspaper quotes him as  saying he visited a Wal-Mart once and had to leave. Could not stand it. He was also disappointed because he thought Target was in the running for the site.

The lower keys are desperate for a store such as a Wal-Mart. Yes, I would prefer something better. Perhaps a Macy’s. But you take what you can get. And if it is Wal-Mart, so be it.

I spent yesterday afternoon writing next week’s KONK Life column. Growing Dope Makes Sense. An intriguing title. It raises the question why the opium fields in Afghanistan and the marijuana fields in Syria had banner years in the drug trade. At a time when both nations were being devastated by wars.

Bocce last night. We won 2 out of 3. No Don. He is in California visiting family. The weather was perfect. With the clock change, we play after dark. Lights, of course. The cold front  is a bit cooler in the evening. Playing in the boiling sun can be onerous.

No power boat races yesterday. A day off. They race every other day for three days. Wednesday, friday, and sunday.

On this day in 1918, the Bolshevik Revolution experienced a major change. The Red Russians overthrew the White Russians. Lenin was leader of the Reds. The Leader of the White Russians was Alexander Kerensky. He was the first President Russia after the fall of the Czar. Kerensky had to flee Russia at the time since Lenin’s people were out to kill him.

I make mention of this historical event because Kerensky taught me Russian history in college. A wild course. Listening to a man who was there leading up to and the actual overthrow of the Czar. Followed by his battle as leader of the Whites against Lenin and the Reds. A battle he lost.

Syracuse football again tomorrow. I can’t wait for the season to be over. Syracuse is bleeding. Syracuse fans are bleeding.

Syracuse plays Duke. Duke is 7-1. Syracuse 3-6. Need I say more?

Enjoy your day!


John Keats was an Englishman who wrote romantic poetry. Today is his birthday. He did not have a long life. Born in 1795, he died in 1821 at the age of 26.

I was in Rome at the foot of the Spanish Steps. I was walking back and forth deciding what to do next. I passed a small building next to the Spanish Steps. There was a small plaque on the front reading John Keats.

The last time I had heard  of Keats was back in college in an English writing class.

The building was a small four story structure. A tiny villa. I entered.

Inside, I discovered that this had been Keats last resting place. He lived several months there before dying. He died in his bedroom on the fourth floor. I was able to view that room and all the other rooms he lived in.

Off Keats’ bedroom, there was a small library containing his works. One brought tears to my eyes. It was a line from one of Keats’ poems. It was one of the papers he composed the poem on. Scribbled in pencil was probably the most famous line written by him…..A thing of beauty is a joy forever.

My yesterday started with a haircut. Lori and I discussed Fantasy Fest and the group that wanted to calm it down. Lori told me that one of the problems might be that two national swinger clubs had participated in sponsoring Fantasy Fest this year. I had not known.

This morning’s Key West Citizen has another headline committed to the issue of Fantasy Fest nudity. My initial reaction before reading the article was that the Christian soldiers were on the march again. I was wrong.

There is now a second group dealing with the issue of nudity and vulgarity. A different composition from the previous one. A former King and Queen, several bartenders and waitresses, and some Key West Fantasy Fest sponsors, amongst others.

It appears the national porn industry has become interested in Fantasy Fest. It was claimed that the open sex shenanigans were arranged by these out of town porn people.

The new group’s suggestions included that the existing nudity laws be enforced and that sex on the street not be permitted. There is no law allowing for open sex.

This is a more sensical approach than the one presented by the fist group.

The article indicated New Orleans is suffering similar problems.

Bocce last night. We won all three games by default. The other team did not show up. We had a good time playing, however. We played each other.

Coco is a senior Asian woman. Lovely. Always sharply attired. She generally keeps score for us. I thought this was her way of keeping busy.

Last night Coco played with us. I did not know she could play. As soon as the first ball left her hand, I said wow! Turns out Coco is one of the best. She plays in the monday night league, the toughest of all bocce nights.

Enjoy your day!


Key West is located in Monroe County. Monroe County recently passed what I consider an asinine law. County employees may not smoke. For new hires, not at all. Even at home. Urine testing (pee in the cup) required to catch violators.

Insanity. Next government will tell us how many times and when and where a husband and wife can have sex. Don’t laugh. Overpopulation is a fast growing problem. Why do you think Monsanto has all these Congress passed laws giving them protection in the development of genetically modified organisms.

Key West is now considering expanding the insanity. It was suggested at last night’s Commission meeting that the City look into what the County has done. Five commissioners were favorable. Only a look, however. It is the beginning. I see Key West once again getting involved in what is none of its business.

Insanity prevails.

Speaking of insanity, John Brown comes to mind. John Brown was an abolitionist and anti-slavery advocate in the 1850’s prior to the Civil War. He took matters into his own hands. He was fed up with the federal government’s delay in resolving the slavery issue. Brown and a bunch of his followers attempted a raid October 16, 1859 on Harper’s Ferry in Virginia. The raid failed. Brown was captured two days later. He was tried, found guilty, and hung on December 2. No 20 year Supreme Court appellate process in those days.

John Brown’s home was in North Elba, New York. Brown is buried there. I visited Brown’s home and grave.

North Elba is near Lake Placid. I was visiting a friend who had a summer home in Lake Placid. There was a cloudy deary rainy day. He took us for a ride in lieu of sitting around and drinking all day. The ride took us up a tiny narrow road to the top of a small hill. An equally small house at the top. Brown’s home. It is now a part of the New York State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The house consisted of three rooms. Two down and one up. Appeared awkward to live in. Especially when I discovered Brown had fathered twenty children between two wives. Brown and Key West’s Captain Tony have something in common. Though I believe Captain Tony had more wives.

The family slept closely. Very close. Made sense. Besides insufficient space, Lake Placid is brutally cold in the winter.

I found Brown’s grave off to the side. He lies beneath a monstrous tombstone. The words on the stone reflect what today is perceived as a heroic act by many on his part.

History tells us Brown was a nut. He was obsessed with slavery. He thought it was his God directed duty to rid the country of slavery.

It was reported in yesterday’s Key West Citizen that two Disney cruise ships will be docking in Key West for two days during Fantasy Fest. These are family type vacationers. Many children.

Some kind of screw up here. Disney was made aware of what appeared to be a booking mistake. Nevertheless, Disney is still bringing the ships into Key West.

Hurricane Gonzalo is hurtling down upon Bermuda. A 4, sometimes a 3. Bermuda getting hit bad. Sunday it was tropical storm Fay. One thousand homes still without electricity. Now a major hurricane.

Saw Dr. Mc Ivor yesterday. My heart doctor. Concerned about my swollen ankles. So am I. He has prescribed a super water pill to be taken with my normal water pill. What a way to lose weight! He has also ordered an ultra sound of both legs. One ankle is swollen more than the other. He wishes to eliminate a clot factor. I love getting old!

Bocce last night. We won only one game, the last. We killed the opposition. The two lost were close. The team we played we should have demolished. We did not. We seem to play to our opposition. When we play a good team, we are at the top of our game. A so so team, we play to their level.

My Italian friend Anna e mailed me yesterday. She was in Milan. There is an Asian-European Meeting going on. Many Middle East countries represented. Anna has spent time in the Middle East. She said the Arab women were in and out of all the best stores on Milan’s most fashionable street. They were dressed as everyone else. Not black robes and face covers for them. They were attired in the finest, happy and giddy. Buying today’s most fashionable clothes. She also mentioned their faces were perfectly made up.

Bet they cannot wear their new clothes at home.

I woke at 5 this morning. Could not get back to sleep. Decided to walk. Left the house at 6. Dark. Cool. Comfortable. A great time to walk. I need a flashlight, however. Not so I can see. So the cars can see me.

Enjoy your day!


I feel like Little Jack Horner. Remember, he sat in the corner eating his pumpkin pie, he put in his thumb and pulled out a plum,and said what a good boy am I!

I wrote again yesterday. Six hours. Drafting and redrafting six chapters for the next book in what my publisher calls The World Upside Down series. A lot of writing! I took three chapters from the unfinished rough draft of Growing Up Italian for the book. I wrote them a year ago. I am sure The Bakery one fits the Italian book. The other two I was not sure.

The Bakery is about little me and my grandmother going to the bakery a couple of blocks away twice weekly. One time for the empty flour bags. The next for the sliced bread ends. Each free.

A different chapter I call Grandpa Asserts Himself. About my grandfather in his 90’s saying in effect to the world…..Go screw yourselves! Wait till you read and how he did it.

The third is titled What Is That Noise. The story of a 40 year old man who heard the wind in the trees for the first time.

I also wrote three chapters concerning Greece. The substance of which you all may have read before. From a different slant, however. The topics include Santorini’s beauty, my inability to make it to the volcano, writing in Amorgos, and  my walk to Acropolis/Parthenon.

A good day! I deserve a medal!

The new water tank was installed. By my former bocce partner, Frankie the Plumber. I was able to shower at home before going out. You cannot appreciate what a luxury hot water is till you are without.

It was Hot Tin Roof for dinner last night. Nostalgia time again. My mother. I enjoyed mussels. A dish I rarely order. My mother loved mussels!

Fantasy Fest in a couple of days. You can feel it in the air. Taste it. The locals getting excited. Yes, locals participate. Many enjoy costuming. Some have a different costume for each day. A big time party!

The humidity is basically gone. Still warm, however. Moving towards a dry heat. Temperature still in the mid 80’s by day and mid 70’s by night.

The things I learn. Germany announced it no longer will charge tuition to attend any state run university. No tuition applies to foreign students as well. All an American would need is to know how to speak German and the price of a plane ticket to Munich.

To we in the United States, Germany’s free tuition sounds like a big deal. It is. However be aware, it was only $630 a semester before.

Which brings me to Syracuse University. Re football, Not the expense of attending. Which exceeds $50,000 a year for room, board, and tuition. Syracuse plays Wake Forest saturday. Something must be wrong. Syracuse is favored. By 3-4 points.

I have a busy day today. Haircut at 9:45, A lengthy business meeting at 10:15, a visit to my heart doctor at 1:30, and bocce in the evening. Love it! All part of my life here in Key West.

Enjoy your day! Continue Reading


A typical Key West day should be one where you do nothing. Not the case. There is always something that happens, that you do.

Yesterday was one of limited activity. However, it consumed my whole day.

A doctor visit was first. I have said it before. You move on in years and it seems most of your time is spent in doctors’ offices. No big deal yesterday. A back check up and a flu shot. If you have  not had a flu shot, get it. Do not be foolish. I used to get the flu 2-3 times a year. Fifteen years ago, I started receiving an annual flu shot. I have not had the flu since. Amazing!

Lunch was at Salute’s with new found friends Karen and Dan from the Pittsburgh area. They visit Key West several months each year. Enjoyable people. It was a two hour lunch. We were having a good time.

Bocce last night. We won all three games. The first time this season we won all three. David was happy!

In between lunch and bocce, I wrote next week’s KONK Life column. Our Legal System Is Disintegrating. It took forever. Longer than usual to do. The reason was the length. It was three times the usual number of words. As a result, the column will be featured over two weeks. A Part I and a Part II.

Two happy events occurred yesterday.

It was announced Malala Yousafzai would be one of the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize. Malala is the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by a Taliban because she supported education for women. Vocally and in her blog. She survived and has been promoting the cause worldwide. She was 15 when shot. She is 17 today. An unusual young lady.

The other worthy event were the two court decisions handed down throwing out voter ID laws in Texas and Wisconsin. The Texas decision was by a Federal District Court Judge. She wrote a 150 page decision. She held that an ID request was comparable to a poll tax. She further stated that the purpose of the ID law was to suppress minority voter turn out.

The Wisconsin decision was by the Supreme Court. Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas dissented. No surprise. These three Justices have done much injury to the American way of life. It will take years to turn around most of their decisions.

I am on my soap box a bit this morning. I apologize.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyaku appeared on Face The Nation sunday. He was generally supportive and had kind comments regarding his recent meeting with Obama. He did have a negative, however. He was openly critical of Obama with regard to one matter.

The criticism is immaterial. What happened to it is.

CBS edited out the criticism. It bugs me! I have been complaining increasingly that the media is censoring the news. We are only provided with what they want us to know. Direction in this regard generally comes from the corporations that own TV and radio. Perhaps this time it was from the White House itself.

The people’s right to know is and has been under silent attack. Transparency is out the window.

Enjoy your day!


WE WON!!!!!

We met the enemy and they are ours.

Bocce last night. We played the #1 team. Hell’s Rangers. The name alone brings chills. It is mid season. Hell’s Rangers till last evening had lost only one game. We ranked in the middle of the standings. We beat ’em! Took 2 of 3 games.

Don’t screw with the Don’s Place team!

The first game was close. We won. They beat us decidedly in the second. We won the third by a respectable number.

Next week, we will play the last team in the standings and lose. We play to our competition.

Lunched yesterday at what I call the old Paradise Cafe. Now located on White, just off Eaton. I had a yearning for Cuban cheese toast with tomato. Topped off by a large cup of Cuban coffee.

I was tried. I don’t know why. All the caffeine in the Cuban coffee should have had me flying high. Spent the afternoon napping.

Syracuse football tonight. Louisville the opponent. At the Carrier Dome. Seven o’clock. Shown on ESPN.

I am not sure whether I will be watching the game from JDL’s or Don’s Place. Louisville a 4 point favorite. I believe Syracuse will lose.

Fantasy Fest is around the corner. Thirteen days to Goombay. You can sense it. It’s in the air. People getting ready, people talking.

As you are aware, I am an historical nut. John Guerra wrote an interesting article this morning in KONK’s E-Blast. It had to do with the assassination attempt on President Truman in 1950. I was in high school at the time and recall it vividly. The attempt played out much differently than the recent guy over the White House fence episode.

Today is a day of historical sport note. On this day in 1951, Bobby Thomson  hit the “…..shot heard round the world.” A three run homer in the ninth. Resulted in the New York Giants winning the National League penant over the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I was in high school at the time of this event, also. I was stacking groceries in a super market after school. The game was being broadcast on radio throughout the store. It was an exciting moment. Everyone went crazy! Customers and staff alike.

Karen and Dan, I would like to speak with you. Actually, Karen. Let’s make sure we meet at Don’s Place sometime this weekend.

Enjoy your day!



Derek Jeter. His name will forever be remembered in the annals of baseball. As former Yankees Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Lou Gehrig. Properly so.

Jeter is an unusual professional athlete in an era where many others have brought shame to themselves personally and professionally. We should all share in his pride.

Note that he did it his way last night in his last game at Yankee Stadium. A single in his last at bat to drive in the winning run. Typical of his 20 years of play.

Pool finally well. Took a second search. Leak finally discovered. Once the pea soup is shocked out, the grandkids will be back in.

I did it again yesterday. Lunched at Outback. I am turned on by their lunches. Potato soup, a hamburger, and diet Coke. Plus, the AARP discount. Total bill $9.85. And the food was good!

We did well last night at bocce. Won 2 out of 3 games. Should have won all three. That is the way it goes, however.

Norm is one of my team mates. He works at Home Depot. Has been there a number of years. Home Depot and every other retailer in town are selling Halloween items. Norm told me last night that K-Mart already has Christmas goods on the floor. Why not? Christmas is only 3 months away!

Stopped at Don’s Place after bocce. A festive mood prevailed. Spent some time chatting with Larry Smith about my blog talk radio show. I want to upgrade the show with a brief 5-6 second musical introduction.

Eric Holder is leaving. Good! I have been disappointed with him since day one. He never took on the banks. He went after them civilly. Settled for dollars instead of putting some in jail. I never bought his position that banks were “…..too big to fail” and “…..too big to prosecute.”

Giving the devil his due, he was an outstanding Attorney General in the area of civil rights.

I came across an interesting article on rape yesterday. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a new study. Men today are raped as often as women. I am still waiting!

Initially, insertion was required as an element to prove rape by a man of a woman. Feminism came into vogue. The definition of rape was expanded to include sexual coercion. The new laws applied to men as well as women. Sexual coercion balanced the playing field.

The article also commented on campus rape. It claimed campus rapes were falling sharply. Ergo, it was difficult to understand the current moral panic over campus rape. The article attributed the clamor to unwarranted political and mass hysteria.

I have to hustle. Trying to get my back x-rayed again this morning.

Enjoy your day!


Last night was a most pleasurable bocce evening. And I did not play! My back made me a spectator/coach.

We played Ball Buzters. The best! Always #1 or 2. These guys must have started playing together while they were in their mothers’ wombs. They play that well.

Our team Don’s Place played that well last night, also. We were competitive. All three games were decided by a point or two. We won the first and lost the next two. But happy we were. It was a fun evening. We played the best and were able to hang in  there with them.

My parking comments yesterday hit a sensitive chord. Many responses. Both sides of the issue venting. All arguments had merit. My sense is parking will still be a problem 10 years from now.

Started yesterday with a haircut. Always good to see Lori at Blown Away.

I spent the afternoon writing next week’s column for KONK Life. The Al Qaeda Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. There is a new al Qaeda group. They ventured out recently on their first escapade. They wanted to capture or damage the United States carrier the USS George Washington which was in Karachi harbor. Instead, they attacked a Pakistani frigate which they mistook for the carrier.

Poker Run begins today. An annual event in its 42nd year. A big deal.

Ten thousand bikes will roar into Key West today and tomorrow morning. They will leave Sunday late afternoon or monday early morning after a weekend of fun.

Many bikers bring their wives or girl friends. Generally perched sitting behind them.

The bikers are not the bad guys of Marlon Brando fame. They are doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs disguised to look bad having a weekend of fun.

The event is sponsored by the Key West Sunrise Rotary. It is a fundraiser. The charities benefiting are a national diabetes organization and certain local charities. The funds raised will be between $80,000 and $100,000.

I seriously question  who the Federal Reserve works for. The American people or the banks?

The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that household wealth had risen 1.7 percent in the 2nd quarter. The rise was attributed to stock and mutual fund increases and the rise in household values.

Did your stock portfolio go up? Do you have a stock portfolio? Do you own a home?

It is primarily the stock portfolios of the 1 percent that enjoyed the upward gain. Not the 99 percent.

Enjoy your day!