Friday, January 29, 2010

Vignettes XXXI

When one mentions that the Florida Keys only recycle about seven percent of the waste stream, it's worth noting that it's not necessarily all the residents who are unable to tell the difference between trash and recyclables:There are of course the people who think recycling is a communist plot, there are plenty of people who don't know how to recycle and many businesses signally refuse to recycle, saying it's too expensive and too bothersome. No one is held to account and the trucks keep hauling the trash 200 miles up the highway to the Pompano landfill. We live close to Nature (in all it's fury) in these islands, but not near enough for people to get serious about recycling.
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I was looking at my Bonneville parked on Southard Street for a recent essay and just behind it I noticed one of the new Kawasaki Ninja 250 twins.
These are nice little motorcycles, well equipped, indestructible and even though they rev to 14,000, which is a little high for my taste the latest model is said to have a much wider power band than previously.Notice that they regularly get better than 70 miles per gallon and they cost only $3500 and you have a very interesting machine with a top speed of over 90 miles per hour (150 km/h). I spent twice that much to buy a Vespa 250. Nuff sed.
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I've seen a few cyclists around town lately and for some reason I was moved to take their picture. This one was riding the wrong way on a one way street. He get browned off if stopped and given a citation.Perhaps they just look like they should be part of the scenery in this bike friendly town.
I photographed this next guy on Summerland Key cycling along Highway One, and thereby hangs an (inconclusive) story.I have seen this man numerous times on the Highway, between Big Pine and Stock Island, though I have never noticed him in Key West. It seems to be some private form of recreation for him, always dressed as you see him, gray clothes and a black fanny pack with a pair of ski-type goggles on his eyes. He rides at a steady, unhurried pace. I have never found the nerve to stop him and interrupt his meditation, though I have considered pulling alongside on the Bonneville and tossing out a question. He is a hard core cyclist.
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This boat in the next picture wasn't on Highway One for very long, on at one intersection off at the next, but it sure looked odd while it was.Lopsided on Big Coppitt. I like having my little pocket camera, my only camera, always to hand.
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Not long ago Irondad said his wife's favorite store was someplace yellow and I had no idea of what he spoke. Then I was strolling Duval and saw it:
I think my wife likes shopping here but I had no idea yellow was their motif. And around here it isn't in a (non existent) maul, here it is a regular store front on Duval.

Speaking of stores on Duval there was another place offering this absurd piece of plastic garbage:One has to assume it was made in China. What they think of a culture that feels the need to sell battery operated figurines blowing bubbles from their ass, I cannot say. Nothing good probably.
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I noticed something else that struck me as useless when I was out walking on Cudjoe Key. This funny little "extra" roof on top of the main roof seems to be a design imitating a classic feature of Keys and I believe old Florida homes in general. Nowadays it serves no purpose.In the days before affordable air conditioning it was normal to build a house with a sort of four-way flue through the roof, protected from the elements but able to funnel the outside breeze down through the house. However to do that the sides had to be open to the air, which here, they are not. It looks like a hurricane catcher to me. And speaking of details i saw this chair on Southard Street. I liked the color of the cushions and the shape of the wicker. It looked comfortable.
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I mentioned recently my wife felt she knew of the best chocolate cake in Key West. It turns out it was this, the chocolate volcano, sold at Michael's a restaurant known for it's steaks and it's fondue and a rather romantic outdoor atmosphere.We got four of these splendid concoctions between five of us, with vanilla ice cream and it turns out that once again my wife was right. The volcano isn't overly sweet but it has a core of warm melted chocolate surrounded by a light moist sponge. It makes me hungry to think of it.When the staff discovered it was Robert's birthday they put a sparkler in his volcano and the photo I took looked so absurd I wanted to post it. I instruct my wife never to announce it is my birthday when we eat out on that occasion. Robert took it all in stride. especially as he wasn't really on fire; he just looked that way.