Tropical storm Sandy is having her way. Knocked the hell out of Jamaica. Did a number on Cuba.

Last night and today Key West has been feeling her effects. Forty mile per hour winds. Rain. Overcast sky. Palm trees bending in the wind.

Sandy is slated to be a #2 hurricane. Whether it has changed to that number yet, I do not know. It has the makings of a very bad storm.

Mark Wignall wrote yesterday in the Jamaica Observer, “Sandy is not a sweet girl.” Right he is. Yesterday, Jamaica suffered its worst storm damage since the 1980s.

No bocce last night. Obviously. Too wet. The courts were saturated. The wind was coming in off the Atlantic. Players could have been blown off the courts. Not really. A lot of body bending would have been involved, however.

Sandy screwed up my plans for last night. I was going to play the bocce make up game. No game. Freed me up to go downtown to Fantasy Fest. Two biggies scheduled. Pretenders and Toga Party. My problem was parking. I had not made arrangements. No way would I have been able to find a parking spot anywhere near downtown. So I stayed home.

No major disappointment. I have seen both events more than a dozen times over the years.

I spent a portion of yesterday fine tuning today’s internet show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour. Ten my time. World wide. Join me. An interesting show! All kind of crazy things happened this week world wide. I will be reporting on them.

Enjoy your day!



It has started. During the night. Issac’s precursor. Forty mile winds and rain.

Issac is not scheduled to hit till sometime tomorrow evening or early Monday morning. By that time it will be a 1. Possibly a 2. Winds around 75-85 miles per hour, if a 1. Around a 100,  if a 2.

A pain in the ass! A bit of fear and trepidation is starting to set in. It is the unknown.

Complacency is evident. Reflected by all of us who live in the lower keys. It has been six years since the last hurricane hit. There have been numerous since, but none that affected us. Most hurricanes start out heading directly for Key West. People are told to evacuate. Hotels and businesses close down. Then the path of the storm deviates and it does not hit.

We thought Issac was going to be another one of those misses. Does not look that way at this point. Headed directly for Key West! Passing right over us!

No problem if Issac is merely a tropical storm or 1. A bit of a problem if a 2. But we will survive. If a 3, we are in trouble. A 4 or 5 and we could be dead.

Issac is projected to become a 1 before it hits Key West. Hurricanes are fickle. They change swiftly. Direction and speed. Could be a 2.

I started preparing yesterday.

Water is important. The water system breaks down or gets contaminated. Publix had little water left. I should be ok. I have about 60 regular size bottles and 2 gallon jugs. I will fill the bathtub with water tomorrow morning. If the water system breaks down, the toilets do not flush. That is the reason for the bathtub water.

I bought all kinds of goodies to eat that do not need to be refrigerated. The electricity is sure to go. If down a substantial time, everything in refrigerators and freezers spoil. There are few stoves, etc. run by gas. Electric is generally used. Cannot cook.

So it is peanut butter, crackers, cookies, tinned fruits that need not be refrigerated, bananas, apples, cakes, canned sodas, etc. Neither a normal not healthy diet. But hurricane time is sort of party time, so what the hell!

Today the windows must be boarded. The wind at the moment will not make it easy. I never purchased hurricane shutters. I have sheets of plywood I have used for years. They are marked as to which window or door. Adam will screw them in. By some point this afternoon, every window and door in my home will be covered, except for a small door leading to the deck. There has to be  a way in and out. It will be dark dark inside.

I purchased two additional flashlights yesterday at Home Depot. I have a ton of candles. Again, the electricity will probably go. Which means no TV also.

All deck furniture will be thrown in the pool. That is how it is done. Garbage pails and other incidental items will be stacked in the garage.

Then I will be ready!

Oh, I forgot. No air conditioning if the electric power goes. Very uncomfortable!

I have a party tonight. Though the one I am attending was planned, there will be many pre hurricane parties. That is how locals react.

Tonight is Lobsterfest at the Yacht Club. I am throwing a small party. Ten guests. It was supposed to be outside. Has been moved inside. Should be fun. I will bitch big time as I drive in and from the Yacht Club. Because of the rain and wind. It will be…..Louis. you are stupid… should have stayed home!

One other comment of note. Yesterday’s show was terrific. People are very much into the Todd Akin rape controversy. I spent about 20 minutes on the issue. Revealed the “doctor” authority Akin was relying upon. There are two. One is a medical school professor who takes the position rape sperm and the woman’s egg do not unite. He says generally ovulation does not occur in a rape situation. His authority are Nazi studies done during World War II at extermination camps.

Women were grouped together who were due to ovulate. They were placed in gas chambers. Everything was as if they were to be executed. But they were not. They screamed and reacted as if it was the real thing. They did not know. They were then retested and most had not ovulated.


Ok…..this is it! Bring on your worst Issac. We are ready for you!

Enjoy your day!






Bocce is back!

Last night was the start of a new season.

We won 2 out of 3 games. Normally, we would be proud. We should have won all 3.

Most of the players on the other team were young and had never played before. One was a 12 year old girl. We won big the first two games. By 10 points plus. The third game we lost. 16-14. Because of the 12 year old girl! She was deadly! Made four impossible shots. Brought us to our knees.

It was hard to believe. I kept thinking…..Here I am 77 years old and a 12 year old novice is taking me and my team to task!

Such is life.

My bocce team has a new name. Don’s Place. Previously, we had played as D & D. Larry Smith’s team was known as Don’s Place. We are having a minor internal bocce war. Don wanted his name back. Larry renamed his team Not Don’s Place.

An example of why Key West is such a fun place to live.

This morning is show time! The Key West Lou Legal Hour. Ten this morning my time. World wide.

It has been a wild week! Man’s foolishness evident all over the place. Such become today’s topics.

I will start with hurricanes and Issac. At this point, I doubt it will be bad. However, the winds are already blowing this morning. The palm trees are starting to bend. And Issac is not expected till Monday morning.

Other topics include types of rape, the basis of Todd Akin’s beliefs regarding rape, some Todd Akin background, Republican inconsistency, a Texas judge warning of a possible civil war if Obama wins, the word hell denying a high school senior her diploma, corporations not only not paying taxes but receiving significant refunds, and an example of why we sometimes live in a sick society. Plus more.

All topics timely and interesting. Certain challenging.

My day yesterday started with a morning haircut with Lori. She spent considerable time trimming my beard. It was getting out of control.

Then ran several quick errands.

The afternoon was spent fine tuning this morning’s show.

Last night was bocce which I have already reported.

A full day.

Enjoy your day!




Received a call from my bank yesterday. Did you make a credit card purchase last night in London? Such and such a place for x number of dollars?

Not me. I have not been to London in six years.

Someone uses my credit card and now I am inconvenienced. My card is cancelled. I have to wait seven days for a new card. The bank will permit me to withdraw cash. But cannot give me a new card with a new number for a week. Does not make sense to me. Lisa’s credit card number was hacked a month ago. Her bank gave her an immediate temporary card good till the new one came in. I must be doing business with the wrong bank.

Talk of hurricanes has begun.

There is a tropical storm out there. If it reaches hurricane speed as anticipated, it will be named Issac. TV started reporting yesterday that Issac could hit Tampa just before the Republican Convention next week.

I checked Issac out on the National Hurricane Center site. No one yet knows where the storm/ hurricane will hit land in florida, if at all. The present projected lines take it over the keys and south Florida. However, all projections mean little at this point. It will take five days more before somewhat valid projections can be made.

I suspect the news media embellishes a bit. Issac hitting Tampa and the Republican Convention is newsworthy. Reality is not.

Key West natives will start talking a bit. Will it hit? The same conversation for each hurricane. No one panics in spite of the projections. We are getting porky the last couple of years. No Key West hurricanes the past six years. Ergo, all foul weather news is received with a cavalier attitude.

I was involved with a fender bender last week. The construction on the Boulevard being the actual cause. Had to take my car to to a body shop. Every one told me to go to Cooper’s on Stock Island. I did yesterday morning. An impressive operation. Large and efficient. Staff whether office or garage smiling and gracious.

I have a rental. A Chrysler convertible. Nice!

The grandkids came over to swim after “school.” School was to have commenced yesterday . They attend Montessori. Two weeks ago it was discovered some walls and windows were defective and could fall. The building could no longer be used. A new facility was found directly across the street. It needed outfitting for class rooms. School has been delayed a week. Actual school. Instead, the kids are being taken to Botanical Gardens to spend their days. I asked Robert if he really went to school or played. He smiled…..played.

Went to the movies last night. Had a light dinner at home so I could enjoy a bag of popcorn.

The movie was Hope Springs with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. A must to be seen by all couples married more than 25 years. Tommy Lee Jones played a different part for him. An Academy Award nomination performance.

Phyllis Diller died yesterday. Ninety five. A comedian from the 1950s through 1970s. Eccentric hair and an unusual laugh. Referred to her make believe husband as Fang.

Diller became a hit while doing 23 shows with Bob Hope. Shows that were performed in war zones. This activity was followed with numerous appearances on The Jack Paar show. She became big time! Every one in America knew her.

May she rest in peace.

Missouri’s Todd Akin…..What can I say? What can any one say? What is important is that every one understand there are many people who believe as he does. The religious right has twisted and demonized some truths regarding abortion. The result is the lie becomes the fact. And a prominent citizen and Congressman  believes it and mouths it.

That’s it for today.

Have a good day!



I cannot believe I have been in Novara only three days. It seems like a lifetime. Especially in view of my experiences.

Earthquakes still in the news big time here. Much destruction to Northern Italy.

I reported being in two earthquakes yesterday. Turns out it was three. Maybe five. Three hours after publication, I felt another one. I was sitting at the computer at that time also. I did not consider it of any consequence. After all, I had been involved in two already that day. Last night while watching television, it was reported that Novara had suffered two more quakes around eight in the evening. I never felt them.

Many dead. Much damage. Sad. The people of Novara spoke of the earthquakes much yesterday. It was like being in Key West following a hurricane.

Speaking of hurricanes, I was thinking yesterday whether an earthquake or hurricane was worse. One is short and the other prolonged. Both cause significant loss of life and damage. They ended up equal in my mind. Better that both not occur, however.

Earthquakes are not common to this region. So I have been told. The word on the news is that whatever problem there is in the San Francisco area exists now in northern Italy. A shelf or whatever and it is moving. Italian news describes it as a mountain rising to the surface. The scientists have predicted at least 70 more earthquakes over time as a result. We shall see.

Lisa got Skype yesterday. We skyped for the first time in the morning Lisa time. The grandkids had already left for school. Corey joined in. It was exciting to see them both. I hope I get to speak with Robert and Ally soon on Skype.

Around 5, I decided to take a walk. I rambled up and down the streets of the historic centre of Novara. It was a high knowing that most buildings were a thousand years old. The first floor the best quality shops. Top floors great apartments. By the way, people live in apartments here. Homes are considered too expensive. I do not understand. Most of the apartments go for $1 million dollars plus.

My walk led me to discover the Piazzetta Delle Erbe. Piazzetta means little piazza. I am learning.

In English the Piazzetta is the Little Square of Herbs. Back when, probably a thousand years ago, growers and merchants came from all over Europe and Asia to buy and sell herbs at this market.

Close by, I made another discovery. The Broletto. I do not know what the term means. It was the place where the first market in all of Italy was established in medieval times. Everything and anything sold. It helped the Novara area at the time to gain financial independence

The best was yet to come. The Partigiani. It is at the Piazza Dei Martiri. Partigiani means partisans. The Piazza translates to the Plaza of Martyrs.

I learned the story of this special place while sitting at an outside cafe having a drink and watching the world go by. Two gentleman at the next table engaged me in conversation. They spoke English. Americans are revered here. I am being treated with kindness and respect because I am an American. It was not unusual for them to engage me in conversation. They started the conversation with…..American?

Novara was occupied by the Nazis during World War II. Some of the locals were not pleased.They became partisans. Guerrilla types working as the underground. Five were captured. They were placed against a brick wall and shot by the Nazis. In full view of the citizens of Novara.

After the war a small monument was placed near where they were killed. A tree was also planted. It still stands today. The tree. By itself against a large red brick wall.

It dawned on me that the medieval thousand year buildings I have been speaking about were in good shape. I asked were they not destroyed during World War II? Bombs, artillery and tank fire. No, I was told.There was never any fighting or bombing or what have you in and to Novara. The Nazis walked out and the Americans walked in. The people of Novara were very lucky. Other communities in the area, such as Milan, sustained significant damage.


My walk took me past many fine stores. I was particularly impressed with the shops featuring apparel for women. The most beautiful clothes I have ever seen! Absolutely magnificent! Bright, shiny and smart for summer wearing. The thought struck me it would have been nice to have a woman to take into the stores and buy a new wardrobe for.

Remember the 124 steps I spoke of yesterday. There are not 124. I counted them again yesterday. At a time when I was not suffering from jet lag and a bad stomach. There are 68. Still a lot of steps for this old man!

The fefects of jet lag are still with me. I went to bed at nine last night. Did not sleep one minute. Finally got up at 5:30 in the morning to start this blog. I will pay for the no sleep later in the day.

Never got to Milan yesterday to view the Last Supper. The trains were out of commission because of the earthquake.

I cannot let this experience pass. At the dinner party three nights ago, one of the meats was a dark one. Deep purple. Sliced thin. Everly one was going crazy over it. They loved it! A bit of lemon and they ate away!

I had a few pieces. Did not particularly like it. Other guests were surprised I did not.

Yesterday similar meat was served to me for lunch. I again was not crazy about it. I asked what is this? It was horse meat! Horse meat is legal in Italy. There are specialty butcher shops that sell horse meat. And lest I forget, donkey also. That was it. No more of for me! I explained that horse meat was not legal in the United States for human consumption. My fellow diners were shocked.

The big deal today is for me to go to the bank. I have no euros. Only American money. The exchange process should be interesting. Is cash or a credit card required? Can both be used?

Stephanie Kaple is one of the loves of my life. She lives in Key West. She is known as the Island Shoe Girl. She only wears expensive shoes with high high heels. Looks good in them!

Stephanie now plays bocce. She joined the same bocce league I play in. She wears heels while playing. Not wise from my perspective. But that is Stephanie!

She writes a blog as I do. A recent one was interesting and funny. Take a look at it if you have the time. A short read.

That is all for today folks! Sorry for the length but there is much to share regarding my trip. Tomorrow I leave for Athens to start the Greece phase of this trip. Athens, Santorini, Mykinos and some deserted island. Five weeks will be spent in Greece. Then back to Italy for a while. Portofino and Morocco under consideration for the scheduled end of my trip. If I return. I am enjoying everything so much I might stay.

Enjoy your day!