Inflation carries with it a benefit to some.

Social Security will announce its annual cost of living increase (COLA) thursday. Based on inflation, it will be the highest in decades. Estimated at 8.5-9.0 percent. Technically referred to as a  Cost of Living increase for 2023, the increased payments will begin 12/30/22.

Much deserved by most. I paid in the full amount every year from 1961 when I began earning a pay check. I will never come close to getting my money back if I lived another 100 years. I am not complaining. I understand and have always accepted the concept behind Social Security.

Many Republicans will complain this week when the new payment is announced. They make it sound like free money. A gift. Recipients placing the program in bankruptcy. Nothing further from the truth.

More monies are paid into the Social Security Trust Fund daily than are paid out. Any possible indebtedness is the result of the government “borrowing” the excess monies from Social Security and never paying it back.

When Reagan was President, he needed money for something. Saw all the excess monies sitting in the Trust Fund. Said, “Let’s use it!” A program was adopted whereby the excess funds are transferred to another account for use other than to those eligible for payments. The government gives to the Trust Fund an “IOU.” A worthless piece of paper. No legal capacity to form the basis for a lawsuit for the Trust Fund to recover the monies.

If asked who the U.S.’ largest creditor is, most would respond China or Japan. Not true. The U.S.’ largest creditor is the Social Security Trust Fund that never will be able to recover one penny of the monies.

Maria Gutsens was matron of the Mercedes Hospital for 23 years. The hospital was last located on Virginia Street, just below White. Today an apartment house.

On this day in 1934, Maria was notified by the Secretary of State of Cuba that she had been awarded the Cross of the Order of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes. The highest honor given by the Cuban government.

Maria has long been dead. She is one of Key West’s most respected and believed ghosts.

Cathy Hoalka is my Cocktails at 7 friend. She lived in Key West in the 1980’s. Resided for a time at the apartment house. She claims she woke one night to a woman holding her wrist. A nurse. Then the woman disappeared.

Cathy believes it was Maria. I believe Cathy.

Steve Thompson qualifies as a Chart Room historian. His years as a customer began in the 1970’s and continue to today.

He wrote of “Whistle Pants.” The last sentence of the recollection says it all about Steve’s knowledge of the Chart Room and the friends he made there over the years.

Whistle Pants looked and sounded like Jonathan Winters I would say. And he was just as funny in every way. He invented the “I Dream of Jeannie” pants you see on TV. And he wore them to the Chart Room daily.

He started digging the first ash hole in the bar.

The Doc said stop the booze for six moths if that far. He said, now I have a reason to drink. And he lasted another two years I think.

Some holes were empty for a long time. I’m proud to say they were all friends of mine.

I’ve noticed this pass week advertisements on the internet for neck ties. Does not make sense. Are ties returning? Hard to believe.

One of Ernest Hemingway’s best remembered quotes is: “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”

I agree. I would further add: “Never go on a trip with someone that does not love you.”

A Ukrainian teenager invented a drone that can detect land mines. Igor Klymenko, age 17.

He worked on his invention while hiding in a basement from Russian shelling attacks.

Igor first became interested when he was 9. It was 2014 and Russia was invading Crimea. He worked on the drone and then stopped. He renewed his efforts with diligence in 2022 while living in the cellar.

His drone invention is referred to as a Quadcopter Mines Detector.

Two weeks ago, his work was recognized at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City. He was awarded the Global Student Prize: $100,000.

Igor will be responsible for saving many arms, legs, and lives. At only 17. “Edison” has a bright future ahead of him.

Enjoy your Sunday!



  1. Social Security increase?????

    That’s azzuming Republicans do not take over the government again. They have announced it as one of their MOST important elimination targets. Think they won’t do it – rembmember legal abortions?

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