Every night at work we change over the call out board which lists all the agency personnel that are on call for assorted potential emergencies. The list of detectives on call, Internet support staff and fire investigators and the like are posted on the wall so we know who to call out at a moment's notice. It's a comforting routine that marks the half way point of our twelve hour night shift and on Sunday nights all the shifts change so it takes a few extra minutes to sort out the letters and numbers of new names and new phones for the week ahead.
Last night Kristi announced in a world weary voice: "The year is going by so fast, we're almost through January already." Which I thought was anticipating a bit as January is hardly over but I did agree that New Year's felt like it was long since history, all the fuss and crowds forgotten, our eyes now on the rest of the month, three weeks of the dead of winter at 80 daily degrees. As Kristi is half my age I pointed out to her that the older you get the faster it goes which gave her pause. But she's right, before we know it April will be here, winter residents will be packing up, my wife will be anticipating the end of the school year and swimming season will be back.
I had Friday night off, one night away from the endless overtime so my wife and I abandoned Cheyenne at home (snoring heavily) as you do, and we went to the Waterfront Playhouse to see "Noises Off" a comedy that I had never got to see in all the years it has been around. For me it was two and a half hours of endless laughter; I was the guy you don't want to sit next to, wheezing and crying as the slapstick, jokes and absurd situations piled up on each other. The story is simple enough: a provincial English theater troupe is putting on a play and we the audience get to see a rehearsal and two performances, one from the back of the stage as the cast attack each other in between appearances on stage and the final act from the front as the performance falls totally apart in mid performance. I loved it, a perfect break from endless work. My wife is not a devotee of slapstick and farce so her enjoyment was rather more restrained but she put up with me collapsing with mirth for two hours so she gets the good sport award.
Yesterday morning Cheyenne treated me to some comedy when she went for a drink in the mangroves and got stuck. She has done this before so this time I took a moment to take her picture sticking out of a muddy Gambusia ditch pawing ineffectually and noisily while determined to not bark to alert me to her plight. The ditches were built as mosquito control devices as they were stocked with gambusia, little fish that eat mosquito larvae. Nowadays they are a nuisance if you are an elderly Labrador who prefers to drink muddy water as opposed to the fresh clean, filtered water at home. She got a thorough bath when she got home, too, and she knew she needed it.
Winter seems to have abandoned the Keys forever. We have had one brief spell of weather in the mid 50s and the forecast for the foreseeable future is 80 degrees by day and 70 by night, give or take. Perfect motorcycling weather and there are lots of SUV drivers riding bikes this winter. Like this charming person who used a perfectly good out-of-the-way free parking spot in Old Town to park his motorcycle which could have been parked at any number of official free motorcycle spots nearby. Why use a car spot? Because you are thinking like a car driver. Sigh. Plus he parked it all the way forward making it appear empty in a crowded lot so a distracted car driver might swing rapidly into the spot and tap your expensive toy. People who ride and are forced to use car spaces park their motorcycles at the entrance to the space to make sure passing cars know the space is occupied.
I parked my modern scooter in a car space momentarily. Playing scooter tag I needed to park next to an antique vehicle on my way to work. I knew I would find one in the Southard Street and Fleming Street corridor and here it was. Some elderly truck with an antique tag. Good enough.
Then I was left to puzzle what should I set as the next tag. I was recently stymied by a northern rider who wanted a scooter parked next to a frozen body of water and when I complained I couldn't get my Vespa next to the freezer I got no sympathy. Eventually someone broke the tag free of course but it was not me. So I decided to park next to a tree with greenery and this potted palm near Solares Hill did the trick. One northern rider promised to go out and look for a pine tree when conditions moderate but I'm hearing massive snow storms are on track to ravish the lovers of seasons Up North.