Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Man Purse

I have found that having a bag, known these days as a man purse is a useful thing in my life. Some men get by with a wallet in their pocket but I haul too much crap around for that.

I used to use a back pack but I found it was heavy even when empty and I mostly carried it on one shoulder strap and when riding it was hot on my back and difficult to access. So when we were planning our motorcycle trip in Italy I thought perhaps a bag that I could carry comfortably at my side while riding might work better.


I bought the $97 courier bag in the 18 inch model. The bag material is waterproof even though heavy rain they say will penetrate the ends so wrapping stuff in plastic is a good idea if wet weather riding is forecast.

The $27 organizer bag I find invaluable. At first I worried that the Velcro attachment might not work but as usual Aerostich meets and exceeds all expectations. They ride and they use the stuff they sell and it shows. The bag closes with Velcro and also comes with strs and clips if you need to make sure it will stay closed tight.

I carry everything I need in this bag, including my camera, iPad and a book and magazine or two. The organizer works perfectly, and between that and the built-in pocket I have everything where I need it.

Aerostich makes these bags in several sizes including a smaller version that actually resembles a man purse. I know that for many men a murse is an object t be feared and that's their loss. This bag folds and fits in my top case for commuting, or with an extra fold it will also fit in my Pelican case 1430 panniers so it is a rare time that I have to wear it on the open road. Around town it is far too convenient to be able to carry the bag over your shoulder and hop on and off the bike as you need to with everything to hand, wallet, checks, pens and notebook etc...

I like this bag a great deal and if you are afraid to be seen with a murse be advised these things are becoming fashionable. My pink iPad case may take longer to catch on.

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Signs With No Point

I disagree with this sign. The are no bad dogs, just bad owners. I dislike people who expect their dogs to be vicious. I also expect dogs to be obedient. People? Not so much.

And just to prove my point I saw this box on a Key West street. Anyone who needs written instructions and diagrams to explain how to pick up dog shit with a plastic bag probably has bigger, more inexplicable conundrums in their life.

I justify receiving a tree killing newspaper every day by reusing the plastic bag it comes in. More or less in the manner of the drawings above, and I figured it out all by myself.

At first sight this sign seems discriminatory, "No Motorcycles!"

Anyone who would pay $13 a day to park a motorcycle in the city garage on Grinnell is probably the kind of person who needs to carry instructions on how to pick up dog turds. Free street parking is everywhere and in Key West you may park a motorcycle in a car space if all else fails. And get a ticket for each machine in the space if the meter expires.

This last sign mentioned a woman by first and last name. Urban Dictionary to the rescue! To be long winded doesn't seem the kind of offense that merits it's own bumper sticker but I am going to guess the female pig mentioned declined to offer refreshment to assuage the hurt feelings of the author. I believe even bloviating sows have the right to refuse sex if they feel like it. So much drama from a small bumper sticker!

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Repairing Caroline

THe city of Key West is seeking public comment on proposals to revamp Caroline Street between Grinnell and Elizabeth Streets.

Caroline is the street that introduces arrivals on the Fort Myers ferry to downtown Key West and it is in a sorry state all things considered.

Naturally commuters want the Tax Increment Funds, a dedicated taxing mechanism, to be spent resurfacing the street and they have a point because it is in terrible shape but one would like to hope there might be more to be prettified than just asphalt.

When the city bored out the storm drains which used to flood regularly under a light misting of rain they also put nice cut outs at the corner of Caroline and William. I'd like to suppose maybe we could see native fruit trees and the like lining the street that runs alongside the waterfront.

One day Key West will put on it's big girl's blouse and wonder if perhaps one way streets and -gasp!- pedestrian malls might not make for a more shopper friendly downtown. Not in my lifetime, I know, so I avoid this area in winter when you can't move for people.

Solar power, pedestrian malls, public recycling, dedicated bike paths, all that can wait as long as the city remains in the black and the tourists keep coming anyway. How nice it is to have well funded public budgets. Pity the poor school district and the clowns that lead it.

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Margaret Street

I first noticed the big old van with the incongruous Harley logo on it then behind the van I finally noticed the lovely old house that I have ridden past hundreds of times.

Lovely it may be but it sits across the street from the landmark restaurant on Catherine Street at Margaret which draws the passersby-by attention. El Siboney has to be one of the best value restaurants in Key West, and as it happens I like their Cuban food.

For Cheyenne it's all about the discards in the bushes.

This single block of Margaret is quite wooded...

...and it takes maintenance.

Quite a few of these houses were for sale too.

I'm not sure where this hot dog stand operates but if it was the one at Caroline and Duval across from the Bull they make pretty decent sausages if you need a late night something to absorb the alcohol.

Chickens naturally are everywhere.

This house is for sale but I'm not sure if the fowl go with the structure.

The end of Margaret Street dead ends into United and is house closes off the street.

Classic Key West with palms, picket fence and intrusive wires.

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Thompson Street

Driving down Atlantic Boulevard one drifts sedately past the entrance to the nature preserve and sometimes one thinks: I wonder what Thompson Street looks like today?

So one stops and parks in one of the excellent new cut out parking spaces, left behind after the street was re-paved and then one let's loose the hound of hell. Hmm, the street looked pretty good to Cheyenne, right from the start.

Pretty attractive is for small yappy dogs too. This one wasn't yapping probably because it never got to see my big lumbering Labrador with her nose in the gutter.

Thompson Street has gifts for all, including parked cars, which in this case was a smattering of free petals.

And look at this, Thompson Street has stilt homes, proper Keys' homes have stilts in the suburbs and here they are in the Big City, flood proof and everything.

And this is a classic wall with the odd venting at the top:

I also like the elderly Florida homes set on the ground with classic shutters and a splendid car port to sit out under.

Or you can go for the greater privacy home covered in vegetation.

So many choices on one short city block in New Town.

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