Wednesday, November 9, 2011


One must be encouraged to see new construction in these difficult times. There is more than one optimist expecting the future to resemble the past, and this is just the newest among new homes being built.

Around here new homes start with stilts. It's all that flood plain stuff that requires homes to be built in the air against future floods. I used not to like the idea of living on stilts, but the longer I live in the air the more I like my tree house. Raising homes if not raising property values.

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Cheyenne Immortalized

My wife had a particularly talented student of hers create a composite birthday present for me. My dog and my wife's favorite flowers perfectly rendered.

There is so much talent among the young that I am ashamed of their elders and betters when they sneer at efforts like those of my wife whose life work has devolved into giving youngsters who otherwise wouldn't have a chance a shot at learning. Just like Cheyenne herself who was sidelined to the SPCA for the crime of being "too old" so many young people get sidelined for being too poor. What a wonderful bloody world.

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Bad News, Good News

My unfortunate encounter with a couple of boring screws yielded a final bill of $134, balanced and installed. Much better than the temporary doughnut which returned to the darkness of the cellar in the trunk

My good fortune came in the form of a sudden offer of overtime for a few hours Monday evening, sufficient to clear the unexpected bill. I couldn't help but wonder what kind of a crisis a wrecked nearly new tire could cause in the already precarious lives of the unemployed whose numbers keep increasing. Does anybody really think the stress of not being able to pay the daily bills is better than having a decent job, were one available?

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Take Off

At a time when not one but two private jets have crash landed at Key West soon-to-be International Airport, the fact that an ungainly bird like a pelican can take off without drama is to be celebrated.

I held an injured pelican once and for such a bulky creature it was surprisingly light, as though made of balsa wood and varnished canvas.

The pelicans are back in the Keys flapping around just at the time when more and more cars with front number plates are starting to show up too.

Taking off and landing is a piece of cake for these flyers.

One hopes the private planes that will be arriving in ever greater numbers soon follow their example.

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Cycling Bubbas

I was taken by surprise yesterday morning when I passed clumps of cyclists riding Highway One.

They took me by surprise because usually when there is a fund raiser to cure some incurable disease or other there is quite the fandango in the press. This lot were stealth cyclists apparently.

Stealth in a manner of speaking because tie dyed shirts were the uniform and they brought their own splash of color to an already colorful sunny morning.

It was a very unobtrusive ride though, with no hold ups for cars or clumps of cheering supporters. Just a bunch of people enjoying the view at twelve miles per hour.

Or less when they got a flat. These two strolled to the end of the bridge and upended the offending machine. It looked delightfully relaxed and civilized.

Not frenzied at all.

So of course I had to hunt down who these casual peddlers might be. It didn't take long as the Internet yields all.

Bubba's Pampered Pedalers, and if you check their website and can struggle past the endless rhetorical questions, you will find a ride dedicated to the casual cyclist who wants a good time. Eminently civilized and quite the exception around here where winter people come to show off muscled calves and colorful spandex in the pursuit of cycling glory.

This lot just ambled along at the side of the highway minding their own business and reminding us that it is a lovely place to live.

The organizers have a mechanic along to help out the machines and a masseuse (! I told you it was civilized) to help the riders. Some appeared to bring their own sag wagon.

I am one who finds riding a straight flat highway in the sun, even at a modest eighty degrees, to be rather tedious. I'd rather ride with a few horsepower for help.

But that also has it's drawbacks.

And there they go in one's and twos and groups,

...taking a particular view of the hundred mile long Overseas Highway. Not many manage to accomplish that.

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