Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Urban Dog Walking

Cheyenne on the sidewalk looks like this, from my perspective.


She loves her street walks especially when it's hot. And a fur coat is an impediment and not a fashion accessory.


She sniffs here and there, stopping and starting, back tracking and darting forward while I struggle to balance the camera and leash. Nice motorbike? Here and gone... Window air conditioners seem inadequate in such a vast spacious building like this.


I am very fond of central air and we got ourselves a new installation a couple of years ago. I like Florida louvers but I am much more fond of chilled recirculated air.


I wonder how a drive apportions it's activity? Weights? Circuit training? The sign seems rather too austere to make fun of the sentiment.


But this sign was much more cheerful, puerile perhaps but because of that a request one could not ignore without a smile.


I am an avid reader of signs. Unlike my always busy dog.


I carry a plastic bag at all times in case you were wondering. Though before we arrive in Key West I stop for a nature walk in the wilderness alongside Highway One (much of which is well supplied with public trash cans as a bonus) to encourage her to save me the complexity of scraping a sidewalk, always an inadequate endeavor. I am not fond of dog walkers who leave home without plastic bags.


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Porch Living

It used to be that a book was what was needed to sit out on a rainy afternoon on the porch. That and a dog.


Nowadays one requires a portable computer, not necessarily in a pink carrying case, a wireless signal and a charged battery. And a sleeping dog.


A little rain makes the freshly carpeted porch snug, and reduces the heat enough to make sitting out comfortable. Or sleeping out for a dog.


My house is small enough that even on a regular sized 100-foot by 60-foot lot there is room enough around the edges for mature trees to wave their fronds around.


Against the day that the empty lots on either side fill in we are growing vines to increase the cover.


A rainy afternoon and a pot of tea made for a good afternoon off.


But there was promise at dusk of a sunny day to come. That will drive the dog to sleep in the shady cool of the unnatural dehumidified air indoors.

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Keys Boats

I heard the breathless weatherman on US 1 radio suggest a cold front may be around soon though 'cold' is relative. We might possibly see a reduction in humidity according to the recorded Mr Archer in distant Lutz.


I like the change of season for a while at least. When we get the first real cold front of winter the temperature drop will be welcome, and everyone loves throwing open their windows and doors to enjoy nature's air conditioning.


Swimming will cease for locals whose place will be taken by rugged visitors, fresh from the ice floes Up North and who find seventy degree water to be quite comfortable. Breaking down on the water is a pain, making a friend in need, especially with a tow rope, a friend indeed.


I generally pull my boat out around November, or when the water is too cold for swimming.


I don't fish because I am an idiot and I find pitting my wits against fish to be an embarrassing path to failure.


Sailing I like but it takes time and passion and I've burned that flame out for a while. I like the flat water sailing around here after years spent fighting huge Pacific waves and swells on Monterey Bay, and frigid fog and the currents of San Francisco Bay.


Driving a motorboat is not that interesting to me, it takes noise and bouncing to get the job done but it's a great way to get somewhere interesting.


This summer has been a dead loss for boating for me with my duff motor, the first season of failure since I bought the new Yamaha six years ago. I've coddled it and done all the maintenance but to no avail this year.


I've spent quite a few days and evenings lounging in a cockpit like this one. I remember them well and enjoyed myself.


I've changed chapters in my life. Boats are no longer a way of life, and as such, limiting. You don't get to see too much beyond e anchorage when your life is devoted to looking after a boat.


Boating now is for fun and I'm looking forward to more of the backwater explorations next year. My wife wants a kayak, and as the saying goes if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And a kayak to it's credit, has no motor.

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Higgs Lake

The Citizen newspaper had some spectacular pictures of Old Town flooding this morning. The city got five inches of rain yesterday, sufficient for some crazy youngsters to go swimming on Front Street in the same water that knocked over and covered a couple of motor scooters.


Higgs Beach this morning was underwater, a serene lake at dawn.


Cheyenne took one look and walked swiftly away until she met a youngster who took to then older bitch in a way that seemed to embarrass my dog.


Cheyenne's reproductive days are past her but I figured she knew how to cope so I used her momentary discomfort to play with my camera.


Higgs Park as bayou:


The locals were making a killing while they could.


But chickens stuck to the dry stretches.


Compared to flooding we have read about Up North, where we are told climate change is a fantasy, our regular rainy season isn't much to write home about, especially as the sun has reappeared today, regular as habit. But the heavy rain on a day off made for an interesting change.

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Key West At Rest

I liked the picture before I took it, hardly aware of what i was looking at, and blow me down if he wasn't riding to work on a Bonneville, a 2009 model to judge by the delicious plum color. Not as pretty as my 2007 Goodwood Green but his is unencumbered by luggage so the lines are pure. Enlarge the photo and drink in the scene. Key West on a Triumph.


The Southernmost Point of the Continental United States sits there quite ignored in September. Give it a few months and the lines will be endless for the photos that prove the presence of the vacationer at this hallowed spot. Right now one can get pictures totally alone right here. Cuba they keep repeating is 90 miles away, closer than the nearest Walmart. I listen to Cuba on my car radio, Radio Rebelde, La Voz de la Revolucion, at 620am. It's not the voice that was broadcast on the go from the Sierra Maestra 60 years ago when Castro was hopeful and Batista was corrupting everything. Bourgeois broadcasting is creeping into advertising-free Cuban airwaves. I wonder how long before Walmart buys time on the Voice of the Revolution.


The unfortunate side of visiting quiet and peaceful Key West right now is that quite a few places are closed for their annual vacations. Want a crêpe? You'll just have to wait a few weeks. I went past the place now calling itself a French Café and they were closed till mid October. Art galleries don't all close.


Many restaurants choose this time of year to close for a break, including Bobalu's on Big Coppitt, when the crowds are less and everyone can get their breath back before the next round of craziness. Besides, some years hurricane evacuations wreck September tourism.


Summer rain, clouds and a time to see a slightly different Key West. It's all good- don't you loathe that cliché?

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