Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seen At Ibis Bay

I have no idea what the story is, but a friend of mine did ask me if I was interested in pink sneakers. I stick to Crocs, I said. This message is apparently part of a campaign to remind absent minded men and women that they are liable to get breast cancer. According to the press release below that I discovered online.

Real men may still not eat quiche, but this holiday season, from December 26-31, 2011, Key West men—and women—will definitely be wearing plenty of pink sneakers as part of the "Real Men Wear Pink Sneakers Week" breast cancer fundraising and awareness initiative announced today by Key West Mayor Craig Cates and IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort Owner Chris Holland.

The city and resort have teamed up to create a week-long public awareness program for which Converse® has donated 500 pairs of pink Chuck Taylor® Hi-Top sneakers to the Florida Keys Unit of the American Cancer Society. The sneakers can be purchased by the public for $50 per pair either by contacting the IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort Fun Desk by phone (305.296.0616) or in person.

One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly to the Florida Keys Unit of the American Cancer Society to benefit several breast cancer patient support programs including:
Reach To Recovery, a one-on-one support program in which a breast cancer survivor counsels and provides emotional support for a newly diagnosed patient at their home, over the phone, or in the hospital.
Road To Recovery, a program that provides transport for patients to and from treatment appointments and doctor visits.
Triple Touch, an educational program that teaches women how to do self-examinations and encourages all women over 40 years to schedule a doctor’s examination every year.
Look Good, Feel Better, a program that provides makeovers and fine makeup for patients who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
According to Mayor Cates, he, along with Key West’s city managers and district commissioners, will wear the pink sneakers all week long.

According to Carrie Helliesen, Executive Director of the Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society, “The ‘Real Men Wear Pink Sneakers Week” is an amazing fundraising and awareness initiative for the Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society. The Mayor’s proclamation encouraging men to ensure the women in their lives receive annual mammograms exemplifies the truth that women don’t have to do it alone. Key West has a vast support community to help with everything from transportation to the doctor to educational programs for women young and old, and it means a lot that the city and Chris Holland have taken the lead in the fight against breast cancer.”

The weeklong fundraising program will culminate with a Pink Converse New Year’s Eve Party at IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort, Key West’s most original waterfront destination. All those who purchase a pair of the pink Converse sneakers are invited to wear them out and celebrate the New Year Key West style! The party will start at 8 p.m. on December 31 and will feature great live music performed by Key West’s own MuseGurus. There will be free Pink Key West shrimp, a cash bar, prizes for pink outfits and a special ‘pink’ movie that will be shown on the resort’s new 20-foot poolside movie screen.

“New Year’s Eve is a time for celebration, and this year we are using that joyful spirit for a good cause by raising money for the Florida Keys Unit of the American Cancer Society,” said Chris Holland, owner of IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort and one of the fundraiser’s main organizers. “As a cancer survivor myself and board member of the Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society, this cause is near and dear to my heart. Mayor Cates and the city of Key West, along with Converse and all those who purchase a pair of sneakers and participate are helping in the fight against breast cancer with their involvement in ‘Real Men Wear Pink Sneakers Week’.”

To order your pink sneakers and show your support for the Florida Keys Unit of The American Cancer Society, please call IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort at 305-296-0616, or stop by in person and visit the resort’s Fun Desk to purchase your sneakers. The resort is located at 3101 N. Roosevelt Blvd., Key West.

The IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort embodies the very best of Key West and offers guests a vacation experience like no other. With a full deck of options for active adventure-seekers, Hemingway buffs, or travelers who want to fit in with the locals, there is something special for every guest. Featuring classic Key West architecture and design, 600 feet of beautiful private beach, a 20-foot poolside movie screen for outdoor movie nights and the Lighthouse Restaurant, IBIS BAY Waterfront Resort is more than a resort—it’s a destination.

About the American Cancer Society:
Together with our millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the ACS has 12 chartered Divisions, more than 900 local offices nationwide, and a presence in more than 5,100 communities. To learn more, visit

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Seasonal Energy

Keen and enthusiastic cyclists caught in the act of launching themselves across the street.

No wonder they look so happy pushing pedals if they are all in the habit of fueling themselves with caffeine as they go.

The Pegasus Hotel has made a holiday mark with an inflated Santa. And fake icicles.

Who, I ask myself, needs to be reminded of the Nordic season of ice and Jack Frost? It's too bad Santa wasn't a tropical idea instead of a Nordic legend.

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School Bus

I watched a Monroe County School district bus pull alongside my car. These familiar yellow boxes are all over the county which is spread so long and so narrow that they have to be everywhere. As annoying as they can be spewing fumes and driving carefully with their important cargo one has to give them credit for being the tough machines that they are, seen all over the Americas when they are superannuated in their original use. Seen here, for instance in the back ground when I was in Belize in 2000.

I took a job years ago as a school bus driver and I have to confess I enjoyed the driving and the hours and the benefits rather more than I did the company of the passengers. Handling a 78 passenger bus was easy, it was the 78 passengers that I found hard to handle.

And there they go, those big yellow buses, back and forth across this Conch Republic, painted just the same shade of bilious yellow as school buses everywhere else in this massive country.

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Key West Library At Dusk

This is the oldest public library in Florida and despite or perhaps because of it's age it is extremely vibrant and active.

At their website you can see how many very modern services are offered by the low pink building on Fleming at Elizabeth Streets.

Monroe County Library has public computers available but it also broadcasts a county wi-fi signal which means you will frequently find people sitting on the steps at all hours busy getting on line.

It's a popular place and I find it a fine refuge when I am in town with time on my hands. This is also one of those places that offers a free public toilet...! Even if you are illiterate that is worth knowing in a tourist town that guards it's toilets jealously 'for customers only.'

As I am an old fashioned soul in many respects I do enjoy the books especially the Florida section and tomes on the history of this historic city. Of course this is a county wide facility so the are many other libraries scattered through the islands. The only other branches I have used are Big Pine and Marathon, but they extend all the way up the chain of course.

I guard my library card as carefully as any identification card in my wallet.

If you want to learn more about the trials and tribulations of a circulation clerk (not a librarian) in a public library, in this instance in Denver check out this very readable blog:
Danette In Denver

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Key Lime Harvest

My Key Lime bush is full of limes and there is only so much tonic one can flavor with the tart little fruit. My wife, a woman of many gifts is unhappily not a baker so Key Lime Pie is out of reach but she is an inventive cook so she figured on treating the limes another way.

Using her handy dandy Mexican citrus press, purchased years ago on a trip south of the Rio Bravo, she squeezed the juice into an ice tray. Now if we need to deploy key limes out of season all we have to do is fish around in the freezer.

It was, let's face it, a massacre of fruit.

But that was not torture enough for the native Keys' fruit. The skin is as intense as the rest of the fruit, peculiarly adapted to a region of poor soil and sporadic rain and lots of salt. Key Lime zest is equally well flavored.

Our little bush has been producing like crazy and the round yellow balls sit on the counter, as decorative as the Italian Deruta bowl in which they sit.

They grow like tiny acorns budding everywhere after the yellow and white flowers bloom and die.

By the time they are properly yellow they are ripe for picking. left unmolested they will simply fall to the ground where they remain fresh and usable until brown spots start to appear and indicate the fruit is now rotting from the inside out.

As you can judge by comparison with the tip of my index finger the fruit is as small as a quarter in diameter but it packs lots of citrus flavor.

And the modest prickly bush with a little fertilizer (I use Milorganite for simplicity) and a soaking watering every few days will churn out fruit with no apparent problem. Summer by contrast is the dormant period this far south.

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