Monday, November 11, 2013

A Word Of Thanks

Key West is the draw, hence the pictures, but one million is a far larger number than ever I would have expected to see drawn to this page. And yet by the end of the year if things continue as they are this blog will either be very close to, or will have surpassed one million page views. How is this possible?
I can say this, whatever it is that draws people to this site will continue as is, because I am loathe to change and I enjoy taking pictures and adding words. Some people pursue sporting efforts, some few people actually participate in them while others find other more esoteric ways to relax. Me? I found a quiet corner to call my own on the Internet. And share it with almost 40,000 page views a month, much to my astonishment.
I'm told blogs are yesterday's news and twittering and Facebook are the way of the future. Maybe. But I don't like limiting myself to just a few words or a single picture. Pictures tell me stories and I like to explore the pictures with words. So the blog format works well for me and my page won't change. I like the layout of red on yellow as it find it restful to my eyes and it is unique. I have never come across a page that uses the same colors. My banner picture isn't changing because I guess I grew up in a time when banner pictures were viewed as identifiers in print especially and weren't supposed to change. So the look will stay the same so when my page appears you will know where you are.
I tried using google Adsense and made ten bucks a month to prostitute my page. I make no money and that frees me to say what I want as I want and it gives you a single solitary space on the internet where no one, not even me, is trying to sell you something. You can give me your name address and phone number and no one will ever know. At work I have access to twenty million Floridians most private information and they have nothing to fear from me either. I am not trying to sell the Florida Keys even. This is a page that sees the world with a measure of either irritation or ironic detachment depending on my mood. I occasionally do over praise something but that is because I like it, not because I am paid. The Polish Market needs a visit and this picture is just a foretaste of my planned visit (when I remember!):
I get grief because I live on Ramrod Key not in Key West, but like my wife's cousin who lives in a suburb of Chicago, ask Lyn where she lives and the answer comes pat: "Chicago!" I get grief because I don't know the name of plants. Fair enough but like so much of modern life I know where to find the information and I have other uses for my brain storage capacity. I don't really care what plants are called frankly unless there is a story attached. I know my opinions and politics are rife on this page and if you are a Tea Partier who wants pictures of Key West I suggest either a) not visiting or b) just looking at the pictures. I am not interested in debating my beliefs. I am interested in venting from time to time because this blog helps me relax, it also gives me destinations to visit and as I get older my politics you may be surprised to learn are getting mellower. So I ride around, take pictures, look for the history, fulminate a little about the wealth disparity wrecking this country (Al Quaeda only wishes they could be as effective as the Koch brothers) and then I earn a living elsewhere.
And then there is Cheyenne. Oh my goodness I get grief for letting her hunt crap, letting her drink puddles, sit in puddles and be a dog. The vet says she is doing remarkably well for a Labrador of her advanced years and I attribute that to her own stress reduction. I figure when we are out walking it's her time. I take her someplace I think she'll like and I follow her once there. If she doesn't like it we return to the car and try someplace else until it's time to go home. If she wants to stop and sniff you will never see me tug her, because interrupting a good read is a crime against humanity, for dogs as much as humans. Where I can I let her roam off leash, where it can't I don't but she is a happy dog and she knows that makes me happy. See how much stress reduction I get out of this page? Who needs Ricks or the Red Garter?
Apparently my pictures cover a multitude of my own sins and omissions and I am not so stupid as to think that without photogenic, sun drenched Key West my blog would attract a tenth of the readers. I also know that there aren't too many (any?) bloggers that take the time to post pictures of their home towns elsewhere in the world. I've seen blogs come and go in Key West but apart from Key West Lou who seems to enjoy selling his radio show on his daily page more than selling Key West and Doug Bennett who attributes his weekly flood of pictures on This Week on the Island to my influence, sweet man, blogs don't seem to have legs around here. Or if they do they don't seem to tell a Keys story oddly enough. My persistence comes from within. I sometimes back up a week's worth of stories and I start to get antsy when I'm not taking pictures and tapping out words on my iPad. I have thought about quitting this from time to time but really I can't.
There are parts of Key West I don't much like. The need for all public events to be lubricated by alcohol tires me. I like to drink but getting falling down drunk in public embarrasses me. This town has a ton of winter cultural events to enjoy and the best water oriented outdoor activities in summer, so the need to drink to seek oblivion seems misplaced. But Key West prides itself on attracting misfits, though these days poor misfits are not entirely welcome. Better to be eccentric and rich than expecting to come here to be a Bohemian. That's the nature of change and the inevitable consequence of too many people on a small energy depleted planet. I get tired of people wanting to be eccentric so desperately, and are so anxious to radiate a bohemian vibe that they adopt a Key West pose. I particularly dislike part time residents and visitors who claim to live here but don't. (Not you George you are the most sensitive snowbird!). Key West is a lot more than Hemingway and sun drenched alcohol and pirates. It is actually a very pleasant place to live and work if you get it right. Even commuting isn't terrible here. And don't be fooled, this is not a laid back tropical island, unless you have enough money or can stand enough poverty not to need to work.

I am lucky that I got a good job, a supportive wife, a few strong friendships and my very own tiny corner of the web to live out my final years. To those I have pissed off here since 2007 my sincere apologies, including a few Moto bloggers who think (correctly) I am an opinionated asshole. I am opinionated about riding and I wish I could blame my Aspergers but it's just me... Key West Diary: My Life With Aspergers Syndrome. In summary I invite you to ask if you want pictures of something and if you want to buy me lunch when you are in Key West my number is 305 587 1904. And if you want to leave an anonymous comment telling me I will burn in hell or ought to burn in hell my comment box is free of word associations and number games and all those other weird tricks people play because they worry about spam. Another thing you didn't know about me is I love Spam, with fried eggs and ketchup especially. Keep on visiting you never know what you will see here.






Richard M said...

Key West isn't the draw, it's you expressed through your photos and prose. I've had never been to KW an it really isn't on my "list" of places to visit. Too much sun….

Conchscooter said...

You and your eight feet or was it inches of snow? Gold star for still riding.

DC said...

I enjoy visiting KW from Tampa a few times a year. Your pics and commentary are much appreciated. I don't always agree with your commentary but enjoy it still. As a day sleeper isn't giving out your # a bit risky ?

Conchscooter said...

I turn the volume off most of the time as the camera "shutter" clicks when the volume is up. My wife finds that habit crazy making. Anything to piss off the NSA snoops. Texting is better.

Anonymous said...

Keep on posting! This has been my favorite stop on the Web for the past few years!

Next time you get to the end of lower Simonton Street, could you please take a few pictures of the city owned beach. It is my understanding the new concession and boat rental is now open. I was in KW this past August and no new changes at the beach were evident then. I visit KW often and always like to stop at this beach. It is a great place to take pictures but we rarely stay long due to being harassed by the homeless folks. Thanks! And I will give you a call before our next visit to KW to buy you lunch at either B.O.'s, Sandy's or the Cuban Coffee Queen, your choice!!

salt life

DC said...

Based on your inspiration I have started a blog. I do not have your writing skill but I'll give it a go.Any input you have is appreciated...tampadlc.blogspot

Anonymous said...

Abaco said,

As I have mentioned in the past, besides a quick scan of the Buffalo News, Sports Center, this is my next favorite way to start my day or as you can tell by the time to end it!
I know that money isn't your motive and I have complete respect for that but on the other hand this would make for a great book, much like Mandy Bolen's "Tan Lines" or "Key West Graffiti". Side note but the last book was written by W.J. Tolien who ends up living half of the year in the same small town outside of Buffalo that I do. We met when I was out walking with my sadly now ex-wife while I was wearing one of my Green Parrot t-shirts.

Anyway sorry about the long post.

David Drouin said...

I visited Key West this past summer and I loved it. I was not prepared for how gorgeous the beaches and water was. I have lived and visited quite a few places in Central and South America and I think the Florida Keys has some of the nicest beach environment on offer in the Western Hemisphere.

Keep blogging!

- Dave at Motorcycle Addiction

Trish R said...

Fried spam!! Love it.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for the last couple of years.We visit KW a few times a year and it is like coming home for us. I really enjoy your pictures and your comments.Cheyenne is a very lucky dog to finally have you in his life.

Keith - Circle Blue said...

I don't post often but I'm here and love this place. A million. Cool.

Now back to the shadows where I'm most comfortable. I'll be lurking and reading and not complaining about any of the things you say you get grief over.

linda rogers said...

I think I've said it before....But I will say it again..."Love this blog"

Ginney Camden said...

I can definitely believe you are close to having a million visitors. Since I found this blog I look forward to it every morning. Your beautiful pictures tell stories and bring the Keys to life for me. And I love seeing what Cheyenne is up to each day.

Conchscooter said...

Thank you all. Full steam ahead.

Anonymous said...

Great blog - even though I spend about half of my time in KW and know it like the back of my hand I always enjoy seeing it through your eyes and lens.
Keep it up!

Danette Baltzer said...

It's a great combo. There are others who post on Key West but I have never found their blogs to be that interesting (what they write) and their pics are rather blahhh. You go around and see the real town which I love. Cheers Conch!!!

Conchscooter said...

Thank you.

William Lewis said...

I love this blog, you show the world the good and the ugly of Key West and bring forth a great perspective of that wonderful little city. The photos are fantastic. Plus I love the fact that Cheyenne is allowed to poke her nose around freely. Keep on blogging!

George Collins said...

Thank you for your kind words, and for your wonderful blog!



Anonymous said...

I love your blog, been reading for almost two years. I rarely comment, mostly lurk. I love all the pics and enjoy seeing what Cheyenne is up to. I'm so happy she found you to take care of her in her golden years. She is a lucky girl. I still hope to make it down there to visit someday, until then I will just continue to follow your blog.

Thanks for the great pics and your wonderful commentary.

**wannabe conch**