The bottom right hand corner of the comics page of the Key West Citizen runs a daily history feature. A this day in history type thing. One mention this morning was that today is the anniversary of Napoleon having been defeated at the Battle of Waterloo.

The importance of the day was the event itself. Napoleon’s defeat. What is lacking and is lacking in most reports is what many historians consider an impairment which had a major impact on the out come of the battle.

Napoleon’s hemorrhoids.

Napoleon’s hemorrhoids were killing him the night before the battle. He also had a bladder infection. He took opium to relieve the pain. The opium caused Napoleon to sleep late the next morning. Crucial hours were lost.

He could barely get on his horse. The pain. He took more opium.

He tried to move around the battlefield on his horse. Pain still bad. He took more opium.

Some historians believe Napoleon’s physical condition and the opium effect on him physically and mentally contributed significantly to his defeat.

This morning’s Key West Citizen also ran an article where one of our local judges fell asleep on the bench while hearing a case. Judge Tegan Slaton. He had to be removed from the case. He said he had been taking ambien which must have caused the problem.

I never had a judge fall asleep on me. Though I thought sometimes they must have been asleep when I received their decision. I did have a juror sleep through most of one trial. It was obvious he was sleeping during the three days it took to complete the case. It was a 12 person jury and it took all 12 votes to decide the winner.

The jury came back 11 for my client and one I don’t know. The judge questioned the I don’t know juror. He said he could not decide since he slept through most of the trial.

We had to try the case over a month later. I still won.

Prior to my blog talk radio show tuesday evenings, I have dinner at Roostica’s. It is near my home and the Italian food is good.  While I was waiting for my meal to be served, I saw three young kids sitting at the bar in front of the pizza ovens. Each was making a pizza. Each was swirling the dough. The waitress told me children are permitted to do so. I cannot wait to take Robert and Ally.

Terrific show last night! I can feel when a show is going well. I had that feeling last night.

Post show comments indicate the ISIS situation in Iraq drew the most interest. Concern might be a better word.

Gym time later this morning. I aggravated my shoulder monday. Felt badly yesterday and throughout last night. I am nor concerned. I will tell Albert and he will have me do exercises that neither use nor affect my shoulder.

Enjoy your day!


Each day is an adventure.

Yesterday’s adventure was a trip to Lake Orta.

The lake lies a one hour drive north of Novara. Go a bit further and you end up in Switzerland. An hour and a half away is France.

The trip to Orta was uphill. It took me into the Little Alps. So called because the mountains are smaller than the Alps themselves. No snow capped peaks.

The mountains, roads, trees and views reminded me of upstate New York’s Adirondacks. The same. With one major difference. The buildings. All huge and made of stone and granite. None wood. No wooden camps. Medieval Italy again. The buildings were all constructed in the 1,000 AD to !,500 AD era.

I finally ran into the Italy I experienced last year. Everything that goes down has to come up. The Orta village sits on the water at the base of a hill. Parking is near the bottom, though not quite. The last 1,000 feet is up to you.

The down trip went well. It always does. Up was another story. Shades of last year. I had to stop and rest a few times. However, I must admit I seem in better physical shape. The steps were long and twisting. Elevating at a 45 degree angle. The whole walkway only four feet wide. The buildings hovered next to and on top of each other. Built at a time when there was no vehicular traffic. Also at a time when narrow passageways were a safety factor in case of attack. The enemy would have to come drown the narrow walkways while the residents were pouring boiling oil down on them from the windows above.

I sat a couple of hours in the square. Piazza, actually. In italian, piazzetta. I am learning.

There was a tiny island about 300 feet off shore in Lake Orta. St. Giulio Island. A beauty. Completely covered with granite/stone structures 1-5 stories high. A church steeple visible off to the side.

I sat in the piazza and mellowed out on the view and a couple of drinks. Peaceful, restful.

I had dinner in a little hole in the wall restaurant located off one of the walkways. An outstanding meal! Rigatonis cooked in a light oil and mixed with small finely chopped vegetables and goat cheese.

My day started badly. Verizon sucks!

I spent hours and money getting set up for this trip. I cannot use my computer, tablet or data port. The problem is the data port. I cannot even put someone else’s wi-fi into my computer. It will not take. Verizon supposedly had everything worked out. They obviously do not know what they are doing, their store people do not know, the people they put me in touch with did not know. I am screwed. I wanted to do a number of things from Europe. Including my blog talk radio show.

I went to a computer store yesterday. Big! Like a huge super market. It was for communication items. The store made available computer geeks to help. Free of charge. Three spent over an hour with me. They finally concluded that Verizon did not know what they were doing. But they did not know, either. I had to go we elsewhere.

I did not come to Europe to get frustrated and run around trying to get my equipment to work. I am using a friend’s computer that accommodates my needs, except for tablet internet reception and being able to do my blog talk radio show.

I have not given up yet on the blog radio show. It is scheduled as usual for 9 tonight. That will be 4 am Novara time. I have a geek friend of a friend coming over later in the day to see if he can help. If so, the show will go on. If nothing, I failed in getting the problem corrected. Sorry.

Some observations.

The Italian people are very nice. Quiet. Congenial. Not boisterous. Do not raise their voices. Passive is the best term to describe them. Contrasted with Italo-Americans. Of which, I am one. We are boisterous, aggressive, know it all and in your face. I have concluded that those Italians who immigrated to the United States a hundred years ago were similarly passive, etc. as the ones today. However, being strangers in a new country they developed aggressive and loud qualities in order to survive and succeed. The new nature never left us.

Proving the point that Italians are passive, they have to be the most conquered and occupied country in the history of man. Italy’s history is replete with successful invaders. Starting with the Romans of antiquity to Attila the Hun to the World War II Germans.

The passivity was perhaps ingrained before the Roman invasion or has developed over the centuries from being an occupied country so many times.

I have not seen one beard in the three days I have been in Italy. Beard’s apparently are a local thing. Key West has them. Novara does not. I must look luck a nut when I am out walking wearing a baseball cap and exhibiting my beard. As stated yesterday, I have not seen one baseball cap either

My friend Silvio Berlusconi is in trouble again. Yesterday he was sentenced to seven years in jail for having sex with a 17 year old girl and abusing his power in trying to help her in a separate matter. He was sentenced two years ago to four years in jail for tax evasion. He is not considered convicted under Italian law until his appeals are exhausted. The process takes several years. His popularity continues. He is considered to have an excellent chance to be elected Prime Minister again.

I have a habit of saying…..Only in America! Sometimes…..Only in Key West! Now…..Only in Italy!

I discussed Napoleon yesterday and his impact on this area of Italy. Since then I have discovered that Napoleon was not French. He was born Italian. Born in Corsica of a noble family. The story is he ended up in France because he believed in freedom and equality and wanted to help the French fight for those things.

Immigration is a major issue in Italy as in the United States. In England, also. I had the good fortune to talk with a Brit last night.

The story is the same. The immigrants arrive, stay illegally and become social welfare burdens. The Italians and English have forms of socialized medicine. Because so many immigrants are eligible, care for all is delayed. Between three weeks and three months. Then there is the increased taxation to take care of the immigrant population.

A world problem.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Will I be there? The question of the moment. Tune in and see. That is the best I can do. If I am on, it should be a terrific show based on my travels and what is happening world wide.

Enjoy your day!


I finally slept. Last night Italian time. Nine to nine. Twelve straight hours. The sleep of the dead. I needed it!

I did an easy Sunday yesterday in Novara. That was all my body could handle.

I walked in the morning. For an hour. I am staying in an apartment in the old part of Novara. It is referred to as its downtown, also. The buildings are all medieval. Built between 1,000 AD and 1,500 AD. The fronts have been redone. Probably in the last 50 years. The interiors remain the same.

I am staying a few days with friends in the same apartment I was in last year at this time. The third/top floor of a medieval building.

The interior stairway impresses me. Wide, huge and attractive in its simplicity.

The apartment is 7,000 to 8,000 square feet. Many rooms. Ceilings 20 feet high. Marble floors. Baroque ceilings. From my bed, I look up at deer/stags, dogs, and flowers. All ancient. Circa 1,500 AD.

Electricity continues to be a problem. Italy is being devastated because of the euro. Everything cut back. Including power. I walk in the dark. I am required to keep lights out, only power the room I am in. Tough finding the bathroom in the middle of the night under these conditions!

However, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

There is no vehicular traffic permitted on the roadways in this neighborhood. The wide streets appear ancient. Stones in concrete. Reminded me of the Appian Way. Old bricks in the middle.

The ground floor of all the buildings have high class stores. Even the one I am in. Top of the line. Women’s clothes especially Beautiful.

Day and night, the streets are full of people. Walking, talking, sitting at outdoor cafes, etc.

This year there is also entertainment.

Two nights ago when I came in, there was a crowd one block away. Noise and music could be heard. I investigated. A prize fight was going on. There sitting in the middle of the road was a ring set about four feet high. Two young fighters going at it. I enjoy boxing. Did a little in the past. I watched a while. I could not ascertain if the boxers were professional or amateur. My guess would be professional. They were too good to be otherwise.

Last night, I took a walk before bed time. On one street there was an area cordoned off. Inside, fencers. Young. Ten to thirteen I would estimate. Dressed all in white. The whole thing professional. The rapiers jabbing away, the feet equally fast.

I turned the corner and there was another ring type set up. Men and women dressed in dark blue from their necks to ankles to wrists. I suspect it was some sort of yoga demonstration. I never found out. It started pouring and I left.

My walk yesterday morning involved Church goers. There are three Catholic Churches in a three block radius. I visited all three while Mass was going on. I am Catholic and a former altar boy. The Latin Mass as I knew it is long gone. However, I have learned in my travels that an Italian Mass sounds just like a Latin one. So, I enjoy and was comforted.

I rested in the afternoon. The jet lag had the best of me.

Around 5, friends I met last year visited me. Antonio and his wife Miriam. Together with their children Sara and Elia. Antonio is a highway construction expert. Works for one of the major highway construction companies in Europe. Travels all over. Miriam is a chef. And a very good one! She cooked birthday dinner for me last year. A treat!

Sara is 13, Elia 8. Elia and I have bonded. We are buddies.

Antonia and Miriam are a modern world couple. He is Italian, she Moroccan.

Antonio had just returned from a one week vacation with the children in Elba. Miriam remained home. She had to work. Antonio had a lengthy video of the Elba trip. Fascinating!o

Elba is beautiful. The water clear. The greenery green. You will recall that Napoleon’s first exile was to Elba. I saw pictures of his home on the island, his bedroom, the household furnishings. Exile could not have been so bad!

I learned also that Elba is an hour boat ride from Tuscany.

Napoleon is a part of history and conversation in northern Italy. This year, last and apparently for all time. Some admire and respect Napoleon’s accomplishments. Others view him as a murderer, almost in the same vein as Hitler.

Napoleon conquered Italy and made himself King. Back in 1805. The Italy of 1805 was not the same as the Italy iof today. It was small and situated in the north central portion of present day Italy. It basically encompassed the regions surrounding Milan and Pavia.

Some speak of the good Napoleon did.

Everyone speaks of the bridges he built. They stand even today. There are many waterways in the area. He covered them all, thereby providing easy passage.

History tells us Italy was discombobulated as a nation till 1860 when Garibaldi united the provinces. Napoleon tried. He succeeded however only in the small area that was Italy during his time.

The area needed manufacturing. The French were famous for their cheeses. Napoleon arranged for factories to open to make cheeses. It was during this time and in one of these factories that the Italian famous gorgonzola cheese was invented/created.

Illness was particularly rampant. Especially diseases accessible/acquired from dead bodies. Churches were in the center of towns. Cemeteries immediately surrounded the churches. Apparently, the bodies were not healthfully buried. Napoleon ordered all cemeteries henceforth to be outside the confines of towns.

As to those who refer to him as a murderer, it is not attributable to killings which might have taken place in northern Italy. They refer to Napoleon’s conquests throughout Europe.

I thought I had everything set up to do my blog talk radio show from Europe. We tested it from Washington. Everything worked smoothly. Spent several hours afterwards with Verizon to be sure we had it. Spent additional monies and made more changes. Verizon has failed me this year as it did last. I spent two hours this morning with three computer geeks at the largest communication store I have ever seen. It is all too much for me. Tomorrow night’s show is questionable. I will know better in the morning if it can go forward and advise.

That is the end of yesterday in Novara.

Enjoy your day!


Big news day yesterday!

Eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

Egyptian mob stormed United States Embassy in Cairo. Desecrated the American flag in the process.

A mob stormed the United States Embassy in Libya. Bengahzi to be specific. United States Ambassador Stevens and three staff members killed.

Chicago teacher strike ongoing.

Louis said back when the Egyptian revolt was taking place…..Never forget your friends. The United States did in Egypt. Murbarak had been our friend for forty years. He became a friend of Israel at our behest. Yet when the mob hit the street and shouted democracy, the United States failed Murbarak. They encouraged him to resign. Did not support his government. I recall Secretatry of State Clinton saying we had to stand with the protestors in the streets who sought democracy.

I said never abandon a friend. We knew what we had in Murbarak. We did not know what we would have with a new regime.

Today Egypt has a radical Islamic group ruling the country. The Cairo Embassy had blocked streets and Egyptian police and military protection under Murbarak. The new government removed the barriers and withdrew most of the police and military guards.

Within 24 hours of Cairo, the Libyans attack the United States Embassy in Benghazi. Here too there was no police or military protection. Libya is purportedly a democracy with the fall of Ghadafi.

Both the Egyptian and Libyan governments receive billions of dollars a year from the United States. Yet they bite the hand that feeds them.

It appears that democracy in Egypt and Libya means mob rule.

Israel wants to bomb Iran. Iran’s nuclear development is the issue. The United States wants Iran to stop its develoment of nuclear weapons peacefully. Israel and the United States cannot agree on a strategy for the near future. Things are touchy between Israel and the United States.

The Chicago teacher strike continues. Teacher demands are too many. The Mayor has offered a 16 percent raise over four years. Seems to me the teachers have an ax to grind.

What a 24 hours for President Obama! His already full plate is spilling over.

I walked once again yesterday morning. Good boy, Louis. Stayed on my diet, also.

Saw Tammy. Needed a manicure and pedicure. I was the only customer the whole time I was there. As I left, a lady walked in for a pedicure. September in Key West. Everything slows down.

I spent the afternoon working on Friday’s internet show. The Key West Lou Legal Hour.

Obviously, Egypt and Libya will be discussed. Other topics so far include, the Chicago teacher strike, the Santorini volcano which might erupt, Serbian War crimes which now include the sale of body organs, Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini’s in effect death bed interview claiming the Catholic Church is 200 years out of date, a woman arrested for warning other drivers of a speed trap, an 8 year old who took his mother’s car for a drive, Arizona Supreme Court holding that tattooing is Constitutionally protected free speech, Frances Scott Key, Moscow burned to thwart Napoleon, Chubby Checker and the Twist, and more.

My show script is close to full. Watch if you get a chance. Ten in the morning my time. World wide.

Last night, dinner at Hogfish. A seared piece of fresh tuna on a salad bed, topped with a touch of oil. Good for the diet!

I have not played golf for health reasons in over a year. I planned on returning today. However, I have much to do organizing the trip photos further before Sloan arrives this evening. Ergo, no golf this week.

Enjoy your day!