I missed doing the blog yesterday. Sorry. I slept 12 straight hours. Woke 11 yesterday morning. Still had next week’s KONK Life column to do. Two days late. Guy de Boer bugging me. Took 3.5 hours to do. It was late afternoon by the time I finished. I was finished. I wanted to enjoy Santorini a bit.

Today’s blog therefore is a doubleheader. Stay with me. Some exciting things have occurred, including my pants falling down in front of two women.

Flew Athens to Santorini on Olympic Airlines. As with Aegean Airlines, the stewardesses were young ladies. Mid 20s at best. All beautiful. The flight was only a half hour. The plane was full. A pleasant ride. Especially over some of the other Greek Islands. The same experience you get when flying into Key West.

Nikos and his wife Maria own the cave hotel I stayed at last year. Nikos a gentleman. He met me at the airport.

Our destination was Oia. The other side of the island. A harrowing drive. Heart in your throat type. Very narrow two lane roads. Curves you would not believe. Every 100 feet. Many the hairpin type. The road goes up and down in huge dips. Everyone speeds.

When I e mailed Nikos to make a reservation, he sadly told me there was no room at the inn. He was booked solid. He further advised every other cave hotel was the same. I was disappointed. Also needed a placed to stay.

Nikos owns a building on the other side of the road. Nothing fancy. Typical rural Greek. He and his wife have an apartment there. He generally rents to locals. He had one empty, if I was interested.

I took it.

Love it! I call it Back Street. I am on the back side of the building away from the main road. There is a small narrow road on my side for parking. Second floor. What a view!

Beat up old buildings. One with wash hanging from the second floor every day. The other hiding its age behind large shrubs of flowers. Another side, an inner court area.

The room is huge. Four times the size of a normal hotel room. Made for a family. Small kitchen area. Very small bathroom. Most Greek bathrooms are. Taking a shower is an experience. Forget taking a bath. And the balcony. So peaceful to sit and work on, to read, and to contemplate my navel. No air conditioning. Do not need it, except at mid afternoon. Wind blows through a huge window and two doors I leave open. Even when I am sleeping. Hope springs eternal that some female will visit me in the middle of the night.

My neighbors are true Greeks. From another century. Old and young. Pleasant. Cheerful. Always saying hello in Greek.

Maria greeted me when I arrived. A two cheek kiss and hug. Maria to me is Mama mia. Not from the movie. She reminds me of my mother and grandmother.

Maria immediately wanted my dirty clothes. I had not had anything cleaned in almost a week. I said no. She insisted. I gave in. She did my clothes last year. Washes and irons everything. Will accept no money for her assistance.

The little dining table in the room held a basket of fresh fruit and a bottle of wine. Nikos and Maria also own a winery. Soon there was a knock on the door. Maria. She had a large bowl of fresh small tomatoes and another of apricots. A short while later she showed up with a tray of Greek coffee and baked goods.

Good people! The best!

Let me interject at this point a bit about Santorini. I sometimes think the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The view of the bay is magnificent. Surrounded by high multi colored cliffs rising straight up thousands of feet.

Santorini’s history is interesting. It once was one big island. In 1500 BC, some 3,600 years ago, one of the world’s largest volcano eruptions occurred. A good part of the island broke away. Now there are several smaller islands and the smaller main one. One of the islands is the volcano. The volcanic eruption explains the huge cliffs. Where the island separated. The tops of the cliffs are rust in color. Then at mid point become black and appear like huge chucks of coal.

I took some of Maria’s goodies and sat on my small terrace eating them, admiring the limited view, and thinking how lucky I was. I read a bit. I am on my third book in a week. All on the tablet.

Suddenly I was exhausted. Could not keep my eyes open, my head up. Jet lag was still with me. I went to bed and slept a couple of hours.

Dinner time. Needed a drink first. Found a new cafe. Mezza. I like it! They have gin, chocolate milk shakes, and tomato and cheese toast. Enjoyed a couple of drinks while taking in the view of the bay.

Alcohol is an experience here. Most restaurants have gin. Few quality brands. Gordon’s seems to be the gin of choice. It is like water. Does not have the kick of a stronger gin. Three Gordon’s is equal to one Beefeaters. Ozou is the popular drink. An anisette. I had a glass somewhere and put it in my coffee. Everyone went crazy. That is not how ouzo is to be drunk. You drink in straight or mixed with water. Since it is anisette to me, I drink it in the Italian tradition. In my coffee.

My first night’s dinner was not to my liking. My favorite off the beaten track restaurant was no longer there. Apparently out of business. I tried a new one on the main drag. The entre left much to be desired. The appetizer on the other hand was out of this world. Four large artichoke hearts covered with peas and potatoes, all prepared in olive oil. Delicious! Understand that everything in Greece is prepared with olive oil. There are olive trees everywhere.

I stopped at Mezza. There were what appeared to be three college age young ladies at the table next to me. Two men also. One a father to one of the girls. The conversation got a bit loud. All of a sudden I heard…..I’m gay!…..I’m gay!…..I’m gay! All three at one time. Whether they were for real or experimenting or trying to convince the men, I do not know. The whole thing reminded me of the Kevin Kline movie where Kline was a gay high school teacher. Someone outed him. The principal had a public meeting to dismiss Kline from the faculty. Town people as well as students attended. All of a sudden, the audience one at a time or in small groups stood up and said…..I’m gay.

The nights are cold. Both evenings, I needed to wear a sweatshirt. Warm by day. No humidity.

Nikos and I had a conversation on the way in from the airport. Business has picked up. Much better than last year. The influx consists of Americans, Indonesians, Australians, and Japanese. A ton of Australians. From what I could gather, Australia’s economy has been good the past three years.

I have spoken with several Greeks since I arrived in Greece itself. About the economy. In my two days in Athens, I was disappointed there was not a demonstration I could attend. There were two last year.

Things are no better. In fact worse. The attitude is…..What can we do? We are Greeks and have survived before. We will survive again. We must keep working at things.

The people hate politicians. All government people are crooks. They also hate Germans. No question. Very few Germans visiting this year. Probably because they anticipate a cool reception.

The euro/German thing brings out old memories. Of the German occupation in World WAr II. I heard it more often this year as opposed to last. I was told by all that the euro was a disaster and Greece should not have entered into it.

I hear war. It is not around the corner. However, I was talking to a people who think they are being put upon. Unemployment as a practical matter is over 50 per cent. College grads cannot get jobs. Fathers cannot feed their families. All real. The Greeks are being pushed. I assume Italy, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal are also. I said after last year’s visit that if another World War began, it would not be in the Middle East. It would be in Europe because of euro caused problems. I said it a year ago. Greeks are saying it today.

Santorini is much like Key West. A tourist town. They must make it in season. It gets cold here quickly. The season is 3-4 months.

Which brings me to yesterday, Sunday.

Slept well. As indicated before, did not wake till 11. Blog never got done. I spent quite a while on next week’s KONK Life column. The article deals with the makings of a radical. A Boston marathon bomber type. I tied it in with the story of a 14 year old boy who wore an NRA t-shirt to school, was told he could not wear it, and ended getting arrested. The case was resolved last week. The charges were dismissed. My concern is what the impact might be on this eighth grader in later years.

I made time for a manicure. My nails were starting to look like Fu Man Chu’s. Hair and Soul the place. Catherine the owner and manicurist. Originally from Australia, she married and has lived on Santorini for 10 years. She greeted me with a warm back again hello. We had a great conversation.

I then went down to the cave pool and spent a half hour looking out over the water under the shade of an umbrella. The volcano was directly in front of me. My nemis.

As I was sitting there a cruise ship came in. A big one. They stream across the bay to Fira which is another Santorini town. There is no dock or channel for the passengers. The cruise ships shuttle passengers to shore in small boats.

If Santorini can do it and get the big cruise ships to visit, why can’t Key West?

It could be the quality of the product Key West sells. There are no t-shirt shops on Santorini. No one hustles you to come into their store. The boat people are different from what Key West gets. They are a higher class economically. Key West gets a polyester crowd. Perhaps if Key West changed a bit what it has to offer, we could get these type passengers. The stipend per passenger paid to Key West would increase appropriately, also.

Last night was Taverna Katina! My favorite Santorini restaurant!

It sits at the bottom of one of the high cliffs. Immediately/directly on the water. The sun was setting as I arrived.

It always amazed me how a bartender remembers a customer who has not visited his bar in several years. He remembers the drink. I ate at Taverna Katina 3-4 times last year. The food that good! The waiter remembered me. You drink gin, he said. You can’t get enough, he added. The owner’s daughter even remembered me. Not by name, but knew I had been there before. Good for a hug and kiss welcome.

The sun on the cliffs is difficult to describe. The rust and black reflecting. Wow!

My reserved table was on the water on a concrete abutment. Another inch or two and me and the table would have been wet.

The meal to die for. Let me bore you.

I started with three appetizers. All small. Greens and oil. Oh! Fish eggs and oil. Wow! Eggplant fried in oil. Oh and wow!

Fish is sold by the pound. Only fish is sold. The menu has the euro amount per kilo. You select from the menu the type. I wanted sea bass. I was then taken into the kitchen to select my fish. I picked one out. It was weighed. I was told its exact cost.

The sea bass was served flayed. It was grilled only to a point. Then somehow cooked in light oil. Oil again. Delicious! I have never eaten fish so good. Not even in Key West. Coffee and baklava completed the meal. The coffee and dessert on the house.

Nikos drove me to Taverna Katina and returned to pick me up. Ten miles each way. The man again a gentleman. He would not let me take a taxi. After dinner, I was waiting outside the restaurant in a corner for the car to come down. The cliff behind me, the water 30 feet away. Two women were waiting for a cab. One British, the other Indian. We were chatting. I was cold. I started to put my sweat shirt on. As I lifted my arms, my pants fell down. Just like they did in Mykonos last year. It must be a Greek thing.

The ladies did not know what to say or do. I tried to lighten the moment. It always happens, I said. I’m really an exhibitionist at heart, I added. As soon as I said it, I thought how stupid. Turned out it was not. They both laughed. One exclaimed disappointment in that she could not see anything. The other asked why I did not wear a belt. I do, I told her. My problem is I have no ass to hold them up. Fortunately, at that point Nikos showed up. I got into the car hearing laughter and keep your pants up!

I did not go to bed. I was awake. Returned to Mezza. Enjoyed a Grand Marnier while watching Santorini visitors saunter by.

I continue to have computer data port problems. Verizon sucks! Two years in a row and they still do not have it right. Anyhow, the problem makes it impossible for me to do my blog radio show from outside the United States. I am off the air till after August 10. My television/internet show is running recordings of former broadcasts. You may wish to tune in friday mornings at 10. The blog and KONK Life column continue.

This is the longest blog I have ever written. If you are still with me, I hope you have found it interesting. I enjoy sharing my experiences with you.

Enjoy your day!


I think I have the hang of getting the photos to publish. Three yesterday! When I complete the blog this morning, one more. The volcano photos!

This photo/pic thing is a constant education for me. I was unhappy that the pics were so small. Detail is important and did not show effectively. Yesterday, I clicked on a pic. Lo and bhold… enlarged! Clicked on it again. Got even bigger!

The message is that if you want a larger and clearer photo, merely click once for larger and twice for largest.

Today the volcano! It was hell for me that day. I realized my age. I also became aware that I was definitely out of shape. You will recall I could not complete the climb to the top of the volcano.

There are 10 volcano photos.

The volcano sits out in the bay off Santorini. The first photo is off the volcano. It was taken from the walkway on Santorini. The volcano is the black island in the distance.

The next pic is of me walking up the volcano. There were about sixty of us. Every one made it but me. I started at the head of the pack. Soon I was at the end. Then I was with the stragglers. Finally, I was the last straggler. This photo is of me at a time that I was third from the rear. Only two ladies behind me. The stress of the climb was upon me.

Fifteen minutes later, I was dead last! No one any where near me. All way ahead. Photo 3. I suggest you click once and then again a second time. I would like you to experience the line of people ahead of me and how far behind I was.

Photo 4 is where I said…..NO MORE! I could go no further. I gave up. Happily.

I stopped several times on the way up. To rest and drink some water. such is photo 5.

Photo 6 is of me walking down the volcano all alone. I was not ashamed!

A boat took me to the volcano and then took me away from it. Photo 7 is of me sitting on the boat as it left the volcano. I was dead! I did not care what happened to me! If I did die, dump me overboard was my thought.

On the return trip, the boat stopped at the island of Thirassis. A small nnothing. Two restaurants and a gift shop. The gift shop was operated by a tall bearded Greek dressed in monk’s robes and a hat. Photo 8 is me sitting alone enjoying lunch.

Photo 9 is one of the best. Double click this one. View it at its largest. It is a pic of the reataurant owner grilling lunch. Note the stove. Look especially at the octopus he was grilling. Octopus was a dish served at every restauant. A tentacle was chopped off. Generally, 10 inches. About 2 inches in diameter. Grilled before and after. Rubbed with oil occasionally. Served thusly done. Tender and delicious! Sweet. No sauce required. Fish suvlaki is the other item being grilled.

The last photo is me dead on the bed when I returned. I had never been so tired!

Good night last night.

Started at Don’s Place. Chatted with Don, Herschel, and Frankie. All team mates. Discussed and analyzed our bocce team.

Then the Chart Room. A crowd. Emily bartending. Che and Captain Peter talking. Jean Thornton her usual lovely self. My Jasper friend Jack Kelly and his wife Sabina. Met a criminakl lawyer from long Island. Michael.

I chatted with Jack and Sabina a while. Then with Jean and Che. Che is a Congress of Vienna expert. Which means he is a Napoleon expert as well. We talked about Napoleon. I made mention of the bridges I observed in Northern Italy on my recent trip. Many were built by Napoleon. The northern Italians did not speak ill of Napoleon. They were proud of what he had done for them.

Decided I would walk Duval a while. A lot of people.

I stopped into Sloppy Joe’s. Planned on grabbing a sandwich. No room at the inn. Not a seat in the place.

Walked by Coyote Ugly. About 20 young guys at the bar. Two young ladies dancing and singing on the bar. The Bull was empty. I thought Yankee Jack might be playing. I ended up at Kelley’s. Enjoyed the wings!

Nothing was accomplished by the Merkel visit to Greece. Why then did Merkel even make the trip? The British press reports this morning that Merkel went to Greece to show the British she was not afraid to face the Greeks. It was show time. Her purpose was to insist face to face that Greece pay every penny owed. Plus interest and penalties.

Merkel has an election coming up. Her opponent has been attacking her regarding the Greece pay back problem. He claims Merkel has been too easy on Greece. Ergo, the trip. The Greeks still have to pay, suffer austerity. Merkel was in and out in six hours. Nothing accomplished to assist the Greeks.

No Internet show tomorrow. The Key West Lou Legal Hour will miss another weak. KONK Broadcasting owner Guy de Boer will be in Miami for heart surgery. Good luck, Guy!

Bocce tonight. Bocce tomorrow night. A make up game.

Enjoy your day!


Photo problem resolved. Lost Novara pics found. Thanks to Sloan. Today, Novara and Santorini.

The photos will appear following each day’s blog. Just scroll down and up will come Novara first and then Santorini.

Santorini was spectacular! No other way top describe it. God’s gift to man! I was taken with the beauty of the island.

Santorini is located in the southern Aegean sea. The remnant of a volvanic explosion.

Santorini was one island. 3,600 years ago a volcano on the island erupted. To better place the explosion in time, 1,500 years before the birth of Christ.

It was a volcanic explosion to beat all explosions. The eruption broke the island into several smaller islands.

The volcano still exists. I will be showing pics of it when the volcano photos are published. The volcano is still hot. A devastating explosion occurred as recently as 1956.

A recent scientific article suggested that another eruption is imminent. The chamber below the top is building up with lava. It is ready to go. When I visited the volcano, I could see steam coming up through the rocks. Sometimes as close as ten feet from the path I was walking. The article said that in addition to the steam, carbon dioxide was being emitted. Apparently an additional bad sign.

The split off island I stayed on is still referred to as Santorini. There are several towns located on the island. I stayed in Elia. The best place to stay. I traveled all over the island during the ten days I was there. The island towns were typical beach towns found anywhere. Except for Elia. Elia was old Greece in every way from the cave apartments to the buildings to the people.

I have posted nine photos of Santorini.

The first is me sitting in front of my cave apartment. A good shot of the view, also.

The next is me again sitting looking out over the ocean. A magnificent view! The volcano is the black island to the left.

The third photo is of me sitting on the same terrace with my back to the sea.

You will recall that steps were horrible from my perspective. Steps and hills everywhere. Killers. The next pic is of me climbing the stairs from my cave. Followed by another pic showing the end of the steps at the walkway.

Night times were cool. The next photo is of me at night on the walkway wearing a rain jacket. It never rained on the trip. The jacket was the only covering besides shirts and one sweat shirt I brought with me.

Donkeys all over the Greek islands. Not just Santorini. Some people either do not wish or cannot walk up and down the steps. Donkeys are provided to carry them. The next photo is of the donkey steps. The brown spots are donkey dung. Sorry. I failed to take any pics of the donkeys on Santorini.

My favorite restaurant. The Katina! Ate there four nights. The photo is of me and Igor. He waited on me every evening. Not Greek. A Russian. Igor and I became friends. The food absolutely outstanding!

The last photo is of Santorini at sunset. Whether Key West, Santorini or where ever, islands world wide have their special sunsets.

My yesterday consisted of a walk. Then lunch at Blossoms. Cuban cheese toast with tomato, plus a large Cuban coffee. I stopped at Walgreens and the dentist. The dentist for a minor mechanical change to my implants. Visted Lisa.

Cooked a steak for myself in the evening. Then settled in bed to watch the Jets game. At least they scored a couple of touchdowns! The Jets should play Tebow more. They payed a hell of a lot of money to use him only minimally. Tebow is a winner!

The woes of each country are different. Each nation is suffering financial problems. The problems did not arise in similar ways. The road to almost bankruptcy has been different for each.

I am motivated to make the preceding observation because of Romney’s comments regarding Spain yesterday. Now Spain is pissed at him. As are the Brits. Fortunately for Romney, the people of Spain and Great Britan are not voters in the U.S. election.

My recent two month European trip has made me a half assed international expert of sorts. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Athens today. She is meeting with the Greek governement. Probably as I am writing this blog. The purpose of her trip is to show the Greek people that she and Germany are their friends, want to help the Geeks resolve their financial difficulties, etc.

A bad idea. A bad trip. You will recall as I wrote in my blogs when I was in Athens and attended two demonstations, the Greeks hate the Germans. The Greeks spit every time Merkel’s name was mentioned.

Merkel’s primary purpose is to show German support for the austerity efforts the Greek government is imposing on its citizens. So Greece can pay the money it owes to Germany. She is not going to be a popular lady!

Nor is she expected to be. Police have been brought to Athens from every where. Seven thousand will be in Athens during her visit. Some of the police include roof top snipers.

The demonstrations will probably start or take place in front of Parliament. Tomorrow I will be sharing with you my Athens photos. Included are a couple of shots of Parliament.

A reminder again of the address changes for KONK Broadcasting. To watch my friday Internet show: To read my weekly KONK Life column:

Remember to scroll down for the Novara and Santorini photos.

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!



We all know what today  is. The 11th anniversary of 9/11. The second day of infamy in our history.

Who would ever have expected such death and devastation from a bunch of long bearded fanatics living in a cave in Afghanistan?

Diligence renewed became the order of the day following 9/11. It continues to this day. Let us hope that a similar tragedy never occurs again. Especially on our shores.

The Chicago teachers’ strike! I question the mental acumen of the striking teachers. I laud Rahm Emanuel.

The Chicago teacher situation is unique. It differs from what has been occurring in other states where school teachers have come under attack. I support the teachers in those states. In Chicago, I cannot.

The Mayor has offered the teachers a 16 percent raise over 4 years. Big money in these days of economic crisis! The problem is not a money one.

The problem centers about two issues. One minor. The other significant.

The minor issue has to do with the length of the school day. Emanuel wants it increased some minutes just below one hour per day. Why not? Children seem to go to school fewer and fewer hours each day and number of days per year. A little extra time may contribute to a better education being received.

The major problem has to do with the method by which teachers are evaluated. The Mayor wants the results of standardized tests to be the measure. The teachers are opposed.

The teachers are opposed because the students do poorly on standardized tests. Which means…..they are not learning. Which means…..they are not being taught.

I believe Emanuel is on the correct side of the issue. The proof of the pudding is where students rank nationally. Chicago’s 8th graders are at the 79th percent grade level in reading and the 80th percent grade level in math. These numbers are near the bottom of the barrel.

Remember the Santorini volcano I could not climb to the top? It may be in trouble. It was in trouble when I tried to climb it. I and others climbing at the time did not know.

It may be getting ready to blow!

Oxford University did a recent study. Nature Geoscience Magazine reported the study yesterday.

There is something called magma which builds in a volcano. It is like a balloon. The magma chamber in the Santorini volcano is shallow. Near the top. The magma is continually charged by small batches of melted material from below. The magma chamber expands as a result.

Apparently the magma chamber has been increasing in size since January 2011. It is now estimated to be 15 times larger than the size of London’s recent Olympic Stadium.

Nothing may happen. Something may happen. The last eruption was 1955.

Did I have a yesterday? Yes.

I walked in the dark early morning. Swam in the pool later in the morning. Read and wrote all day. Stayed on my diet. Day 1. Did the Chart Room last night. No alcohol. Visited with Captain Peter and Mary. Then to Outback for a quiet dinner and read the newspapers. My final activity of the evening involved perusing Office Max. I need a couple of things for my prospective You Tube Show. Found nothing to satisfy the need.

Enjoy your day!