Thursday, October 6, 2011

All Hallows Eve

At the end of this month I turn 54 and when I say the end, I mean I was born on the 31st of October at ten minutes to midnight and as near as makes no difference on the Greenwich meridian. I know this because my mother was a superstitious woman who believed in horoscopes, not that they predicted her cancer or anything remotely useful like a winning lottery ticket.

I am not particularly interested in my birthday even though one is required by custom to pay attention to such things. That I was born on Hallowe'en is just a cruel joke of Fate and is almost enough to convince me God exists and has a bitter sense of humor. I am alone in wishing everyone would stop being childish and dressing up in absurd costumes to celebrate my birthday.

But as we can see they are starting already which seems a rather harsh way to rub in the fact my date of birth approacheth and rapidly. People born close to my birthdate mention wistfully that they were almostborn on Hallowe'en but as far as I am concerned any day would have done. I cannot blame my mother as she has been dead lo these four decades and I suppose I can only blame an uncaring Fate for my birth date and still no winning lottery ticket. Though perhaps its time I started buying them if I am to influence Fate on at least one blessed thing.

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Not My Bonneville

I pulled into the motorcycle parking at Half Shell Raw Bar and there was my formerly favorite Harley Davidson, the Road King, supplanted in my affections by the new $16,000 Switchback, a lighter more compact version of this 820 pound motorcycle. My "full dress" Bonneville looks like a moped next to it.

This 883 Sportster is more equivalent to the Bonneville and these are fine maintenance free motorbikes. I just can't get behind the styling.

I like the rounded look of the symmetrical Bonneville better. Even though it has chain drive and requires a valve check every 12,000 miles.

And then there are the so called metric cruisers, built in Japan to look like like Harleys. An odd idea but perhaps the sincerest form of flattery.

And in The Meadows I came across another Bonneville, the "blinged" T100 model, just like mine except for two color paint, a tachometer and more chrome. Mine cost $8,000 versus the T100's $10,000 which seemed too much to me for useless accessories. It sure is pretty.

At 54,000 miles my Plain Jane 2007 is doing quite well.

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The Octopus

This old tree stump, was I believe first painted by local artist about town Rick Worth.

I have photos of it in it's original form in this blog, painted a turquoise color, including here, from 2008:

Apparently it's had a make over, by whom I don't know but it is in the original style, to my untutored eye.

It's on Catherine Street and impossible to miss.

The detail is absolutely fantastic.

I nearly tripped over the tentacles as I circled the octopus,

And I was terrified of scratching it. I hope this version lasts an equally long time.

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Post Prandial Con Leché

To seek out an after lunch Cuban coffee in Key West is not the hardest thing in the world. Cuban cuisine rates as truly local and ethnic food in Key West and everybody is in on the con
bandwagon these days. You can't turn a corner without some store or hole-in-the-wall is offering the best Cuban coffee.

I was seeking a desirable location before I had to head back to my training class at work thus it was I chose the place close to the waterfront. I am shy about making myself forward and being all "Hail fellow well met" with the harried waitstaff in eateries. I tip generously and am polite but I feel certain they have better things to do than engage in pointless conversation with me.

I got my coffee alright, but boy she took the biscuit for brusqueness, did the big blond Brünhilde who snapped "$1.75!" at me twice while I, spaced out, stared aimlessly at the multiplicity of signs in the Cuban Coffee Queen's window. I half hoped my lack of response was going to force her out of the booth and stomp all over me in stilettos but I meekly handed over cash including tip and she unhappily limited herself to glaring at me. I hope her day got better for her.

Mine did. I wandered the waterfront for a bit and admired the man and the statue, you decide which is which.

And I enjoyed the boats, the overcast sky and the smell of salt water. I dare say I enjoyed my lunch break more than any of my colleagues, but I could be wrong.

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Lunch Break

"I'm jealous!" my wife whined down the phone when I called her during my break from training. I'm rewarding myself during this gruesome week of being at work during daylight by getting myself cheap lunches round town and enjoying a photo break away from the police station.

Yesterday it was the turn of my favorite ten buck break, Badboy Burrito on Simonton. I read the paper while they made my lunch to order.

Delivery is by Vespa with the food carefully tucked onto the heated pet carrier.

My own bag I stashed in my unheated saddlebag along with a bottle of eau français.

I had already planned where I wanted to eat, outdoors and perhaps in a position to take a few pictures. The weather was slightly threatening with black clouds and occasional rumbles of thunder so I figured if it let loose I could sit under cover at the old court house steps.

Things stayed dry and pleasantly cool, 85 low humidity degrees, and lunch of course was excellent. It always is especially as I had, rather boringly, ordered my usual preferred burrito the El Gaucho Ernesto, spicy meat, black beans and basmati rice.

The locals were restless, standing around and...

...making disparaging remarks at full volume which was annoying. I ignored their begging and ate every last bit of my lunch.

I was about to toss paper bag and plastic bottle into the nearby trash can when I noticed these two beauties under the courthouse portico. Check that out: actual recycling! Good for Monroe County!

Lunch was so good I got on the bike and went off to hunt for a post prandial coffee. But that is another story.

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