A quick Russian item.

Putin invades Ukraine. Obama and the western powers try to get him to back off peacefully by the use of sanctions. The sanctions are severe. Russia is hurting. Especially when it comes to Russian gas sales which make up 75 percent of Russia’s revenues.

Putin six months ago said up yours, in effect. He announced a 30 year deal with China that involved the construction of a Russia to China gas line. China agreed to buy a certain amount of Russian gas.

This past week Putin announced another gas deal with China. A 30 year one, also. Another new gas line and delivery of more gas to China.

Putin is a tough guy. Perhaps a bully, also. He does not bend in the wind.

Russia is nowhere near the power it was as the Soviet Union. The break up of the Soviet Union in 1991 downgraded the new and smaller Russia. Russia was no longer the feared power it had been.

Putin is playing like Russia is the power of old. Russia still has a large number of nuclear weapons. Putin is also making friends big time with China.

Former Russian premier Gorbachev said yesterday that a new cold war could occur. It might already have started, he said.

I spent most of yesterday morning working on the second book in the series The World Upside Down. I have been lacking in diligence and have not been writing as much as I should. My publisher is unhappy. He had hoped to publish the book before Christmas. Looks like February now.

My afternoon was spent watching Syracuse and Duke play. I watched at home. The game was carried locally. The game went as anticipated. Syracuse got druubbed. Duke beat Syracuse 27-10. The Syracuse record now 3-7.

The Syracuse players have to feel lousy. I understand only too well. I captained my eighth grade grammar school team in basketball. An 18 game schedule. We lost all 18 games. Talk of despondency!

Dinner was at the other end of Duval. The new outside  bar at La Te Da. The bar top is new. Not sure whether it was marble or granite. Whatever, nice.

Power boat races end today. I hope to watch the races this afternoon.

Enjoy your Sunday!


Last night was a doubleheader of pleasure. Square One and La Te Da.

Before catching Larry Smith’s show at La Te Da, I stopped at Square One for a bite to eat. Square One has been a part of my Key West life for over 20 years. I became a customer when Michael Stewart first opened the restaurant.

Walking towards Square One, who should appear but Michael Stewart himself. I have not seen him in at least two years. He looked great, as usual. Thin! I hate him. He was with another old friend, John. We enjoyed a fun filled conversation.

As I was walking into Square One, I ran into Carmelo. Carmelo was the second owner of Square One. He bought from Michael Stewart. Operated the restaurant for two years and then sold. It was good to see Carmelo again, also.

Bartender Mandy remembered me. We met last week for the first time. Besides being exceptionally lovely, she is good company. Mandy worked at Sunset Key for five years before coming to Square One. She replaces Patrick behind the bar. She is as good as Patrick was. Patrick having been the bartender supreme!

Mandy is married. Her husband works at Blue Heaven. Mandy has a daughter. Rylee. Rylee opened the door to a long conversation regarding Montessori. Rylee attends Montessori, Robert and Ally’s school. She is one grade behind Ally and two behind Robert. They must know each other.

I am in effect testing the new Square One. Will I like the food? So far, good. A part of my meal last night was cream of tomato soup. Excellent! The best I have ever tasted!

Then it was La Te Da for Larry Smith’s show.

What was a construction site last week, was an open and booming bar/restaurant/hotel last night. The place is beautiful. A new top on the outside bar. Drapes in the inside bar that were absolutely lovely. La Te Da dressed up and stepping out.

Larry’s show once again the best. He is one of Key West’s premier musicians. Christine singing and Alex on the horn.

Christine amazes me. She has improved with age. Her singing spectacular! Her performance outstanding! She had it all.

Christine painted for fun for years. Watercolors. Several years ago, she started selling them. Her work took off! She is a recognized Key West artist today.

By day, Christine teaches school.

Christine has one more distinction. For those of you who may be unaware, she and Larry are husband and wife. I may have stated it incorrectly. Larry may be the one who has the distinction.

Go Christine! Love you!

La Te Da was packed for Larry. Like days of old. A comforting feeling. Many familiar faces. Aaron and Karen, Mary Deasy, Ray, Martha Robinson, Jane, ML, Robbie and Lois, and more.

Tonight my blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Nine o’clock my time. The tempo the same. A quick moving hard hitting half hour of political and social commentary. I call things as I see them. Join me. www.keywestlou.com/key-west-lou.

Topics include ebola, Italian medical marijuana, Jamie Dimon and shadow banking, women permitted to walk on only one side of the street in London, walruses and global warming, corporations benefiting from increased war activity, political bigotry, and more.

I have a problem. The hot water tank blew. I cannot take a shower. Which means I am confined to home till it is fixed. Waiting for Frankie the Plumber.

Enjoy your day!


Big night ahead! Larry Smith opens at La Te Da at 9. Everyone will be there. A new gig and a new opening for Larry.

See you there!

My day started yesterday at 5 am. As I explained in yesterday’s blog, I was like four days late in getting my KONK Life column to Guy. Rose early and got it done! A lesson learned. Get it out on time next time.

The column is interesting. It concerns banks and a new game they are playing…..de-risking. I describe it as whorish conduct.

I spent part of the afternoon at Don’s Place watching pro football. Larry was there. We chatted a bit. He asked why I was not at Unity Church in morning. He played. Next week perhaps, I told him.

Aaron stopped by. The Jewish holidays are over. For some reason I cannot fathom, Sy Turret has been on my mind this past week. Of the Jewish faith. He transplanted from New York City to Utica. Sy was a court stenographer. We were close friends for many years. A better person could not be found. Sy has been dead at least 10 years now.

Marty Leshaw is a transplanted New Yorker to South Florida. A court reporter, also. He and Sy were cut from the same bolt of cloth. Typical New Yorkers. Loud, boisterous and friendly. I believe Marty and I became good friends because he reminded me of Sy so much.

I become more impressed with Don as time goes on. He has become a Key West icon. The world can be found at Don’s Place. Many stop in to meet him. He has become Joe of Sloppy Joe’s and Captain Tony. It is his time.

The five days of steroids got rid of my back/leg pain. However, it created another problem.

I have heart problems. Occasionally my ankles swell. Not healthy. Five years ago, Dr. McIvor got the problem under control. I no longer needed water pills. I was proud of my thin ankles. The steroids accumulate sodium in the body. My ankles are big again! It has been a week since I stopped taking the steroids. I am back on water pills. The ankles have yet to budge. Could be a real problem. The last time I had swelling, it took a whole year to correct.

The water pill encourages bathroom activity. I woke in th middle of the night. My bladder needed emptying. I have lived in my Key West home for 16 years. I walk from my bed to the master bathroom at night in the dark. No problem. Till last night. I walked into the door jam instead. Head first!

The King and Queen race will soon come to an end. Please remember to do your thing for my friend ML.

Fantasy Fest itself is around the corner. Eleven days to Goombay.

Enjoy your day!


My yesterday was nothing. My back continued to control my life. I did get out briefly. One of my heart pill bottles was empty. Drove to Walgreen. Getting in and out of the car a very painful experience. Decided to have lunch in the area. A cheeseburger at 5 Guys.

The rest of the day was spent at home. Even skipped bocce. Later in the evening, my back seemed to be getting better. I think it is. Slept well. The pain now comes and goes. I have been up two hours this morning and no pain till ten minutes ago. Then it hit! I am breathless as I write.

Spoke with Keith this morning. We won the first game, lost the next two.

Joan Rivers is gone. Sad. I enjoyed her comedy. She and Don Rickles were and are two of my favorites. I never met Rivers. However as most people, I saw her live several times across the country.

One of those times was 20 years ago. I was spending a weekend at the Jersey shore home of my cousins John and Lois Ernst. Lois said Rivers was appearing at the New Jersey amphitheater on the Garden State Parkway. Lets go!

We had no tickets. It was 3 in the afternoon.

No problem.

Joan Rivers and my cousin Lois met in the mid 1950’s in New York City. When both were struggling kids just out of college. They were buddies with several other young ladies who were trying to make it also. They met daily at a place either in New York’s East Side or the Village.

Both made it. Cousin Lois became the biggest ad person in New York. For more than 30 years, her advertising agency was it.

Five hours later, I was sitting in the eighth row first seat on the middle aisle. I was impressed!

Rivers initially sought to become a serious actress. In the late 1950s, she appeared in a short run of the play Driftwood. Rivers played a lesbian who had a crush on another unknown. Barbara Streisand.

Key West has its own Joan Rivers. Randy Roberts! The best of the best! Drag Queen and impersonator. Randy has been doing Joan Rivers for more than 20 years. Tastefully. He is Joan! Randy continues to appear several nights a week upstairs at La Te Da. A show worth seeing.

As a final note, I want to talk about apples. The ones you buy in the supermarket. The big beautiful red ones.

A couple of months ago, I shared a little experiment I had performed. Six months earlier I purchased some apples at Publix. I took one and left it in the refrigerator fruit bin for six months. Then took it out, cut it up and ate it. It was as if the apple had been purchased that day. Firm. White inside. Tasty. Juicy. Still bright red. I said at the time it must be those super duper chemicals they shoot into the seeds. GMOs.

The apple struck a chord. Several people told me I was crazy. The apple would have grown soft and discolor, probably not be edible.

I read an article on the internet yesterday relative to apples. It said that in 50 supermarket chains in the U.S., the apples we buy are 14 months or older.

Enjoy your day!


Bocce and Social Security. The two are related. Sort of.

Tonight the new bocce season begins. August 14, 2014. Exciting!

On this same day August 14 in 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. Exciting, also! Without the law, there would be no Social Security and Medicare today.

A point of information. People are always saying Social Security is broke. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If the United States honored its obligations.

President Johnson needed money for the Vietnam War. He looked at all the money sitting idle in the Social Security Fund. He legally devised a method by which the government could take the unused funds for its own purposes. The government keeps taking and never pays back.

The United States owes the Social Security Fund $2.7 trillion. Social Security is the government’s biggest creditor. Number 2 China is owed less than $1 trillion.

When people yell Social Security is broke, they either intentionally forget or do not know what I have set forth. Even today the government continues to  borrow money from the Social Security Fund. Your money and mine.

My yesterday began with a manicure at Lee Nails. Love Tammy!

I spent the afternoon researching further next week’s KONK Life column. Glory and Disgrace. About Great Britain in the early days of World War II. I plan on writing the column this afternoon.

Don’s Place was my first stop last night. Don is back. I was glad to see him.

I chatted a while with Stan and Clare and Hershel and Erika. Bocce, of course. Said hello to Grant.

Then to the Chart Room. Buffalo’s Tom Dixon is back in town! A rabid Syracuse fan. A Buffalo Bills fan, also. I asked Tom how the football team was going to be this year. He said terrific. I could not understand. Syracuse football has not distinguished itself in years. Turned out he was talking about the Buffalo Bills.

Tom’s wife Fran joined us. A charming lady.

We were together quite a while. We agreed to dine monday night at the Hot Tin Roof.

I had dinner at the outside bar at La Te Da. Always an interesting venue.

The people of the Keys and the turtles who live in its waters are lucky to have the Marathon Turtle Hospital.

Pine Tyme is an 80 pound loggerhead. In June, some fisherman found him in the ocean off Big Pine unable to dive. They got him on their boat and brought the turtle to the Turtle Hospital. Where he was named Pine Tyme.

Pine Tyme’s problem was gas in his intestines. He was not expelling it. He was full of air. No wonder he could not dive.

Pine Tyme has been treated and cured with antibiotics. He will be returned to the ocean friday.

I have been discussing on my various shows and in writing the past two years what I describe as the militarization of our police. Police departments across the country are receiving left over war machinery from the government. Police have also become cocky since 9/11. An item I discussed on my blog talk radio show this past tuesday.

Validity for my remarks is what is happening in Ferguson, Missouri at the moment. People are demonstrating. Some looting. The police have prohibited protesting in groups. Last night, the police were out in military gear. Armored vehicles. Repeating guns on top of them. The police used smoke bombs and tear gas to stop the demonstrators. At this point the demonstrators were merely walking down the street in group fashion.

You cannot defecate on a people. The demonstrators retaliated with molotov cocktails.

See the pictures and videos on television and the internet. Decide for yourself whether the police went too far, whether the police incited the retaliatory violence by the crowd.

Enjoy your day!



A new off Broadway show opened recently. Drop Dead Perfect. Key West and a drag queen.

The show stars Everett Quinton. He plays an eccentric Key West matron.

The show itself has been described as a tropical hotbed of heathens.

All a perfect Key West fit!

Quinton plays Idris Seabright. Who is/was Idris Seabright? I do not know if there is a connection. However there was an authoress of some renown by that name. A bit eccentric in her day. She and her husband frequented nudist camps and were members of Wicca. Idris’ real name was Margaret St. Clair. Under the name Idris Seabright, she wrote science fiction..

Stopped at Joy Gallery again yesterday. Visited a bit. You should stop in. Jim is good company. Sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with him.

The Chart Room first last night. Emily bartending. Fred from Louisville there again. Fred is the gentleman I met last week. A nice guy. He owns a parking lot at Churchill Downs just a few yards from the main gate.

Jean Thornton stopped in. Looked fantastic in her new short hair style.

I only stayed for one drink. Decided to walk over to Kelley’s for wings. On the way, I realized it was not yet 7. Kelley’s happy hour lasts till 7. Happy hours are not my thing. I was on Duval at the moment. Burger Fi was just across the street. I crossed.

The very lovely Alex bartending. I had not been in burger Fi for a month. She remembered me and what I drank immediately. Alex has been a Burger Fi main stay for quite a while now. She is the single mother of six year old girl.

I like Alex.

While I was enjoying a double cheeseburger and onion rings (to die for), I was leafing through this week’s Conch Color. Christopher Rounds was featured.

Chris is one of the new owners of La Te Da. Previously, he owned Antonia’s. Chris is renovating La Te Da. Business is ongoing while the work is being done.

I have been a visitor and resident of Key West for 26 years. La Te Da has always been a part of my life during those years. It is that kind of place. It has gone through several owners and several renovations. I have a feeling Chris will make it the best ever.

Chris is originally from Boonville, New York. Fifteen miles from my hometown Utica. He comes from good stock!

Enjoy your day!



Several years ago in Griffith Park in Los Angeles, a memorial pine tree was planted. Dedicated to George Harrison of Beatles fame. The tree recently died. Killed ironically by beetles.

I have mentioned repeatedly on my radio show the drought problems world wide. A severe drought area is Southern California. The drought has weakened vegetation such as the pine trees. Thereby making pine trees such as the one dedicated to George Harrison susceptible to a beetle onslaught.

It was the gym first thing yesterday morning. Me and Albert. The exercise does not get easier.

Albert and I have some interesting conversations while he is brutalizing me. Yesterday it was the privatization of jails. Albert brought it up based in a television show he had watched the night before.

I have a bit knowledgeable concerning the situation. I did a television show on it two years ago. Jail privatization is not a solution. One reason is dishonesty. Man’s desire for easy gain reaches the highest levels.

A particular county in Pennsylvania had privatized its jails. Two Family Court Judges started sentencing high school kids to 4 to 14 days in jail. For minor stuff. Like talking back to a teacher. One was a girl student with straight A’s. Her four days in jail screwed her up mentally.

The increase in sentencing by the two Judges was noted. An investigation ensued.

Turned out the two Judges were on the take. The jail operators were paying them a stipend for each child sent by them to their jail. Both Judges are now doing long term sentences in jail themselves.

Just one reason I am opposed to privatization of jails.

Music again. Yesterday, it was Frank Sinatra at the gym. The whole hour. His singing made it easier for me to accept what was being done.

I took a late afternoon walk. In the heat and humidity. Parked the car at Square One and walked down Duval to the Southernmost Complex and the Reach. Two of the prettiest spots in Key West.

My return trip found me at the outside bar at La Te Da. I needed water. The water was followed by a drink. I was comfortable. The people at the bar interesting. I decided to have an early dinner.

Normally, I enjoy the lacquered duck. Outstanding! I did not want a full meal, however. I opted for a cheeseburger instead. Turned out to be just as heavy. Though good!

Heard from my friend Anna yesterday. She was in Kusadasi, Turkey. Apparently a short boat ride from where ever she was staying in Greece.

I must write my column for KONK Life today.

Enjoy your day!



The weather!

Worthy of being mentioned first. Continues to be outstanding. Everything still this morning. Nothing moving. The silence deafening. If there is a negative, it is the humidity. Heavy. Key West is experiencing August/September humidity late in June.

Made a new friend yesterday. Tommy Clinton. His name sounds much like one half Thomas Jefferson and the other half Bill Clinton. A nice guy. A charming personality.

I was at the bar at Don’s Place when Tommy came in and sat next to me. He carried a large camera with him which he laid on the bar. Expensive, I asked. Not really, he said. And so started the conversation.

You can find Tommy on Facebook. He goes under two names. One is Tommy Clinton-Key West. The other was something like Tommy Nikon. Not correct, however.

Tommy is a retired government employee. Retired after 30 years. Now lives full time in Key West. Rides his bicycle around Key West everyday taking pictures. He claims he takes upwards of a half million a year. He even took one of me at the bar.

He has a track record. He has published five photo books.

I have a new friend.

Before Tommy came in, I was talking with Jimmy and John. Jimmy has recently returned to golf. He is in to it. He explained thumb position, wrist position, stand tall, bend over with your ass out, hit the ball this way, hit it that way, etc. Once again, no question. Golf is back in Jimmy’s life!

After Don’s Place, I headed over to La Te Da. Enjoyed dinner at the outside bar. I sat in the corner and listened to the back and forth talk between the locals and tourists.

Earlier in the day, I stopped to see Dr. Jackie Lefferts. My right shoulder continues to hurt. No change. It has been three weeks since I fell. She thought it might just be some sort of internal bruising. Sent me for an x-ray. I do not have the x-ray result yet. We talked of the possibility of a rotator cuff tear. We shall see.

Spent part of the day writing next week’s KONK Life column: EPA…..Government Shutdown?

I received a happy birthday e mail from June Hudson this morning. My birthday is next week. June was all excited. She leaves today for Italy with a granddaughter. I told her to keep an eye out for Larry, Christine and Journey.

My friend Anna reports that Athens is quiet. No where near the number of tourists that usually are there this time of year. Significantly more stores closed on Athen’s busiest commercial street. No beggars to be seen. No people, no money. The lack of beggars is a sure indication things are dramatically worse. There were beggars all over the street the times I visited Athens.

What am I going to do today? I don’t know. My day will develop as it goes. Whatever, Key West is always a pleasure.

Enjoy your day!


FRIDAY the 13th

Be careful! Today is Friday the 13th!

Many have a fear of Friday the 13th. The fear has a name. Friggatriskaidekaphobia. Frigga is the name of a Norse goddess for whom friday is named. Triskaidekaphobia means fear of Friday the 13th.

A mouthful!

Bush 1 only served one term. I believe however that he was one of our better Presidents. If he had not raised taxes after promising not to do so, he would have been reelected.

Yesterday was Bush 1’s birthday. Ninety years old! He has a physical incapacity. I was not aware till yesterday when I read about it. He has lost the use of his legs. Totally. He is either in a wheel chair or a motorized cart.

The President wanted to celebrate his birthday by parachuting out of an airplane. He has had previous experience. He was shot down twice over the Pacific during World War II and made 2-3 jumps in his later years. Barbara was opposed. Son Bush 2, also. Father won!

The President was harnessed to another and together they leaped from a plane. To a safe landing. Everyone was overjoyed. The President that he did it, the family that he survived without additional injury.

A rare man.

A belated happy birthday, Mr. President!

I love the Turner Classic Movie Channel. I woke this morning to Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms. Key West is Hemingway country. He lived here 10 years.

I have seen the movie many times. Read the book. Visited several times Lake Maggiore, the primary site of the story.

Lake Maggiore is beautiful. Sits at the northern tip of Italy between Italy and Switzerland. I have visited both ends of the lake and places that Hemingway frequented.

Let me share something I only recently learned. We know Hemingway wrote with a unique style. I describe it as abrupt. Short hard hitting sentences. The words pulled no punches. Things were described as they were.

Early editions of A Farewell to Arms were censored. Yes, censored. Shit, fuck and cocksucker removed. Replaced with dashes. Hemingway did not appreciate the situation. Apparently there was nothing he could do about it.

He took two copies of the book and wrote the words in over the dashes. One of those books he gave to another author of note, James Joyce.

The only other place where the book can be read/heard totally as written is on certain audiobooks that were prepared uncensored.

I enjoyed a quiet busy day yesterday.

Lunched at Geiger Key. It was a rainy drizzly day. Gray. Few customers. The setting pleasant, however. Peaceful. The staff became excited at one point. A number of lobsters were discovered beneath the dock. We all took a look. There they were!

Someone mentioned how large they were. I did not correct her. Everything looks big beneath the water. Not so when brought to the top. I recall the first time I went diving for lobsters. I saw huge tentacles beneath a rock. I rushed to the surface and yelled to my companions on the boat that I had discovered the largest lobster ever. They laughed. I went back down and got it. The body was five inches long and the tentacles not much longer.

Spent the afternoon preparing to write next week’s KONK Life column. I will write it this morning. About the close to 50,000 children that have crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into Texas. What a story! These kids made a Pied Piper trip without a Pied Piper.

Went to La Te Da for an early dinner at the outside bar with Tonto. Tonto was not working. I craved La Te Da’s lacquered duck. It was terrific when last I had it. It was not as good last night. I was disappointed.

I was early to home to watch the Heat/Spurs game. A disaster! I was pulling for the Heat. I have come to the conclusion that the Spurs are unquestionably the better team. Amazing! The Heat have so much top quality talent. Perhaps their time has passed. One or two key additions to the team for next season might be ripe for consideration.

Enjoy your day! Watch out for black cats and ladders!



I did a foolish thing yesterday afternoon. Took a walk. In the heat of the mid afternoon sun. It was oppressive!

The walk took me over Duval. I was thirsty. Dying for a drink of anything cold. I stopped at the outside bar at La Te Da. Only 3-4 people at the bar. I had a glass of water and diet Coke.

While sitting there, a familiar woman walked by and up into the restaurant portion. She looked familiar. It was Sissy Spacek!

She was looking for someone. Came back onto the bar area and chatted with a waiter. Then her lady friend showed up and they sat together in the outdoor dining section.

Spacek is in the Keys for a while. She is filming a new TV show. Its primary location is Islamorada. The show is yet unnamed. News reports suggest the show will cost $8 million a week to produce.

I loved spacek’s appearance! The woman is 65. No shame. She looks 65. No shame. We all get older each day. What impressed me was how comfortable she appeared with herself. Her walk, her appearance, her smile, her clothes. Especially her clothes. She was in a Key West frame of mind! I cannot accurately describe the outfit except to say some sort of baloony black shorts or skirt with a crazy deigned/colored blouse. Her sneaks and socks were the thing, however! Very Key West. Black, white and I don’t know what else. Sloppily worn. It was the sloppy that was the key.

Spacek has only been in the Keys a couple of months. She has made the transition. She looked terrific! Right at home!

I returned home to review my notes for last night’s blog talk radio show. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou.

Then an early light dinner at Roostica. Antipasto.

Patricia waits on me. Found out last night she is sister to Bobby’s wife. Met bobby’s wife and Patricia’s son who also works at Roostica. A nice family.

The blog talk radio show went well. I enjoyed the pace last night. I opened with a last minute thought. The 50,000 children that have crossed the border into Texas and some of whom are now in Arizona. More are expected. My thought was I hoped we would not drop the ball. Immigration is a many faceted issue. These are kids, however. Most 10-12. It is our responsibility now that they are here to take care of them. Very well! The world is watching. Let’s not drop the ball.

After the show, I ran to the TV set. The Heat/Spurs game. I could not believe the score. The Spurs had a bang up night. No team shots as well as they were. They made 19 of the first 21 shots they took. Miami has its work set out for themselves.

I woke to the news this morning that Eric Cantor was defeated by a Tea Party candidate in a primary. Good! I am not in tune with Tea Partyers. Nor have I been in tune with Cantor politics. He looks like a mean guy and generally acted like a mean guy. Not the type to be in a leadership position in Congress.

Key West’s chickens. The Key West Citizen reported this morning that many have chicken pox. Technically called avian pox. The pox is an annual event. Generally, during the rainy season. We are in the rainy season. It is initially caused by mosquito bites. The pox is dangerous to the chickens. Not all will survive. It is not contagious as regards humans.

My shoulder still hurts from my monday night fall. I sat up in an easy chair all night with my feet on an ottoman.

Enjoy your day!