Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Pair Of Crocs, A Dog And A Day Off

These Crocs were made for walking.

I can't believe how warm it is, day after day, eighty degrees and muggy as though it were June. I am told climatologists are leaving coastal cities in droves and are buying retirement homes in the mountains for fear of rising sea levels. We hear permafrost is melting, putting more greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and vicious storms and droughts batter our farmland. Skeptics point to record snowfalls and, missing the point by a mile, happily play on in their sandboxes and tell us climate change is an anti-business hoax. Climate change promises sudden and harsh storms, extreme temperatures and rising seas. All of which is happening. Had I any offspring I'd be worrying, as it is I shall be dead without issue by the time the Keys sink. May we all live in interesting times!

Cheyenne finds the heat enervating and even though it's not actually June her stamina has taken a hit. Which is actually good for me...a two hour walk cut in half gives me more time to futz around at home and this endless drought does require tIme spent with a watering can. However it is starting to be Spring around here too which means green leaves are sprouting and fruit are starting to appear. Check out these papaya:

It's hard to imagine parts of the country are under snow and blizzards are closing roads everywhere.

Road closures under snow sound dramatic but the big news around here continues to be parking. There has been grumbling about people "saving" parking spaces in front of their homes by putting trash cans and garden furniture in the street. The fact is street spaces are available for anyone, with residential spots for Florida license plates labeled "Monroe" or anyone who buys a parking permit at city hall. Handicapped spots are for anyone with a placard whether or not the space is In front of someone's home. However all these rules don't cut much ice with homeowners in Old Town who get fed up with having to walk from more or less distant parking spots...

However private spaces in front of condos is another matter altogether. Park here and get towed. You have been warned. Stumbling past the Hemingway House on Olivia Street Cheyenne startled a street feline. The cat took up the usual fear-filled pose while my dog ignored it completely.

Plans are moving forward to transform this scrubby open space into parkland with winding paths, parking lots, games, an amphitheater and so forth. I shall miss this pointless scrubby space after it is paved over and made suburban. There is something magnificently wasteful about unused land on the waterfront in such a small crowded town.

Just because it's open space doesn't mean there aren't rules but our Canadian neighbors pretend they don't read English when it suits them.
From time to time they escape the police patrols at night here and you'll see Quebec tagged vehicles enjoying a winter sojourn in the Land of The Free. Odd isn't it how our socialist neighbors to the north get government health care which we eschew and yet they can still afford to spend months traveling, as well equipped as you like in this country, where we pride ourselves on wealthy inequality on a level at par with Rome in its most iniquitous period right before The Fall.

you'd think the Froggies would have the good manners to be up and gone before the sun came up. Not a bit of it.

Someone mistook a bicycle rack for a helmet rack; I wonder what the story was that landed this vital piece of snowbird cycling equipment here?

I got a comment from a snowbird the other day that had me pondering. They wanted Key West to produce a restaurant identical to that which they have "at home." Why then I ask myself do people come to Key West for a few weeks out of the year? It's nothing but the weather is it? Look at them...flocking like geese. Wild men, helmetless and hydration free.

I'm no good at that group bonhomie of riding around clustered to the exclusion of all around and talking loudly. Me and my dog went off to inspect a rare and unusual sighting in Key West: a public bench. Cheyenne was delighted by it with the discovery of delicious god knows what.

There are opportunities for self improvement too. Key West is hopeless in the recycling stakes and environmental stewardship. It's been an immense struggle to get started talking about installing sewers in the Keys. To its credit Key West did it a decade ago with a state of the art sewage treatment plant on Fleming Key, but recycling is a barely understood mystery in this town. Pass a recycling bin and see it filled with food and trash... The concept of setting aside fishing quotas to preserve fish stocks is akin to communism and unlike more enlightened communities in environmental critical zones the Keys remain a playground without consequences. Any idea of preserving now for future benefit is beyond the capacity of our short sighted little town sitting on top of a dying reef. We're all guilty.

The good news is chocolate is available and cheap.

It aggravates me half to death when the stores urge my neighbors to waste money before the holiday then mock them with seventy five percent sales after the holiday. Consumerism is mockery. Tell that to our endangered reef.

I need to walk more and think less on my days off.