Monday, February 29, 2016

911buddy

The question now is this: is this webpage worth five bucks to you? I have spent almost eight years posting here and have deliberately avoided asking for anything in part because this page is for me. However Google has started making noises about the value of its Picasa photo storage system which will be "unsupported" as of May 1st. This means I will have to change photo storage, uploading from my phone and downloading to a new webpage and so forth to retain my space on the web. And this is not all I have to do at the moment.

My night job schedule has been turned upside down by decisions made up the chain of command that have nothing to do with me but have wrecked my daily schedule for weeks ahead. Every day I thought I had off I don't; moving from one shift to the other means every off day is now on, and every work weekend is now off, for the rest of the summer and who knows after that.

My work with 911buddy has moved into the promotion and marketing arena which is utterly unfamiliar to me. Building the app was easy because I knew what I wanted, precisely. And when I say "easy" I mean I knew the path I wanted to follow and even though it was full of pitfalls and dead ends and empty promises I knew where I was going. Marketing the app is a whole other beast. And that is where you come in.

I have put 911buddy for sale in the App Store for $4.99 thanks to a new marketing path. If you live in the US, have an iPhone and want me to continue this blog you need to buy 911 buddy and post a five star review in the iTunes Store. I'm sorry to be blunt but that's the way it is. Before I start the process of building my own domain, or possibly going to Wordpress and transferring pictures and words while learning new photo storage and download techniques and all the rest, I need to know you have my back. I can no longer juggle the stress of training Rusty, writing this blog, writing the 911buddy blog, managing a whole new night shift at Key West PD and still stay friendly with my wife, unless enough of you affirm that this page is worth less than the price of one cup of hipster coffee for a year's worth of pictures.

Consider this: I'm not asking for a donation. 911buddy works, it will save lives, perhaps of someone you love. And it will improve the 911 calling experience for all. But you have to help me get the word out. Buy the app, rate it in the iTunes Store and tell your family and friends. I need you lot to give my app a kick start to get the app visibility in the wide world. If not, this page goes dark and I turn to more intrinsically rewarding activities.

Cheers

Michael

Hoping you don't let me and my partners down....

 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cheyenne And Her Puddles

From June 2013. I miss Cheyenne terribly. She was opinionated and knew what she wanted and she was part of my life every day:

Puddle Search Across Key West

It's called The Pines, a clump of Australian pines with picnic tables and usually a few aimless clods spending their entire winter day here next to the airport. I saw no "campers" so I stopped to start my cunning plan to wear Cheyenne out for the day. Chickens run wild and they showed no apprehension when I loosed my fearsome hound amongst them. She prefers her prey dead and smelly.
The plan was to spend a few hours in Key West exposing my eager dog to the smells and excitement of the big city. I enjoy watching her pass out at home worn out by the surfeit of activity and emotion. She tends to exhibit temporary heat exhaustion by plunking herself down wherever she can find refreshment.
This prime spot was at the north end of Duval exactly where one might prefer to drink one's bah water. Cheyenne is a martyr to summer's heat and humidity. In winter she'll stump along for three hours without pause but in June it's the start of her slow period. Which gives me a chance to stand around and admire the peculiarities of the latest in cycle fashions. Tires this big put one in mind of snowshoes. In Key West.
Tour buses have reserved parking at Clinton Square along Whitehead Street and it's here one can admire their sheer bulk towering alongside the little houses.
From my position they seemed to block the view worse than the cruise ship tied up at the Westin Pier. A person could get to feeling wedged in around here...
Passing the courthouse with my dog I saw an apparent Vespa theft in progress. I thought my P200 was supposed to be undergoing renovation in Allentown..? I got a message on Modern Vespa from some dude who apparently has a white P200 in town. Modern Vespa : Scooters Originali
The photo he posted didn't show a rack and top case like this one. Perhaps now here's a third vintage Vespa in town?
Cheyenne wanted to keep going South on Whitehead Street but I put a stop to that. I lime t give her her head when we're out walking but sometimes she likes to overdo it so we turned east on Fleming. I liked the new parking ticket metering in front of Fausto's Food Palace. Faustos Key West | Home. I've never really noticed the street sign explaining the lane separation so who needs it?
I dragged my hound due north on Simonton and she came willingly so I guess she was figuring it was time to cut the exploration short. The Methodist church does a nice job of providing shade for the living and the dead. Check out this blog for daily pictures around the Keys with my irritating commentary replaced by smiley faces, exclamation marks and endless effortless good cheer. Key West’s LONE Roadside Grave | Shoestring Weekends Blog.
Cheyenne couldn't find a puddle here in the shade so she took a dust bath instead. Clearly I was going to have to get the shampoo out once I got home.
I had called it right by heading back to the car before Cheyenne thought she was ready. Three blocks beyond the church the we were again, in pause mode.
Here I had the joy of reading this bit of arrant nonsense. What in the name of all that's holy is an "Impactful Presentation?" I might have a better sense of these "core values" posted for all to read if they made any mention of their workers ( 'team members' or 'associates' in the modern meaningless jargon of mindless middle management), those would be the poor sods actually entrusted with EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS... Barf.
Now this I liked: fiberglass resin holding a metal car fender in place. My wife and I after years spent traveling by sail boat discovered that when things get repaired, said repairs never tend to last. Everything is repaired "for now" against the day they will break again. We also have learned to enjoy cruising solutions to various breakages. Bailing wire duct tape and fiberglass resin make the best cruising solutions to repair stuff "for now." This repair is the perfect cruising bodge and I love it.
I've photographed this bodge previously. Why even the most drunk of visitors would imagine that a gas tank, even one likely no longer in use, is a garbage can. Oh but they do and the stuff crap into instead of walking a further fifty feet to a city garbage can on the street corner.
Oops! Heat stroke imminent...but by now the car was just a few steps away and Cheyenne was actually just trying to stretch out the walk for as long as she possibly could.
By the time we reached the end of the street Cheyenne realised there was the puddle to end all puddles and she lumbered in.
Standing there i noticed a small group of men looking serious and waving their arms around and pondering a future that looked like change might be in the air. That there was a passed out residentially challenged citizen right in front of them summed up the challenges facing tourist development in Key West.
The good bit about Key West was out there in the harbor steaming by. Tourists having another great day on the water in Key West.
An exhausted dog was just a bonus for the rest of the day at home.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Rusty In The Mangroves.

The expectant look of a dog wanting a treat...
 ...and getting a walk instead.
 Far from traffic with lots of mangroves.
 Fat Albert hovering overhead watching us:


 Nothing to bother this former street dog:

 Everything is of interest to Rusty:
 The subdivision on north Cudjoe Key has it's share of imposing homes. 
 It didn't take much to discourage him from showing interest in their yards.
 That night he slept well. 
As time goes by I am sure he will build up his stamina.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Farmer's Market Restaurant, Homestead

Krome Avenue, named for Henry Flagler's railroad engineer who died on the job laying track to Key West. It's not a pretty street at the south end of Homestead where the agricultural produce of the area is processed for shipping.
South Florida is almost always frost free and with a year round growing season produces tons of food for export across the country. 
It was a slightly odd weekend for us, picking up a dog by myself while my wife was at The Mouse in Orlando with family members. We met up Monday and on our way back home we stopped at this place, found by chance by herself, a convenient stop for future reference.
It reminded me of the Beach Street Cafe in Watsonville California where I used to eat breakfast when I drove a school bus in the Pajaro River Valley. Like Homestead, Watsonville is  a huge producer of fruits and vegetables with refrigerated plants to process the stuff for shipping. For it's all deja vu when I am in Homestead.
This place is cavernous and we were in after the breakfast crowd and well before lunch so we had it to ourselves.
My wife ordered biscuits and gravy and got a  giant plate of bacon and eggs thrown in, for nine bucks.
I ordered catfish and eggs though it was the mildest white-est catfish I ever ate. I thoroughly enjoyed it as I like fish and eggs for breakfast weirdly enough. 
John Deere was the predominant theme of the decor. Our waitress was really nice to us so we bumpkins were made quite welcome. I never had to admit that I plowed a few fields in my youth but gave up on farming as a bad job. 

Weren't we surprised to be greeted by a small brown dog who took it on himself to jump out of the car and greet us sheepishly as we approached. I have no idea how to end this bad habit but Rusty might limit his ability to hang out with me if I can't trust him to stay in the care. Hopefully time will cure him of this need to put himself at risk.
No pretensions here but we will be back. It's a good stopping off point coming or going from the Keys.
Homestead, Florida
Back home Rusty looked exactly like he knew what he wanted to enjoy.
Cudjoe Key
His own front yard. Not bad for a former stray.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Escape Artist

I decided to leave Rusty at home for a few hours and see what happens. Our neighbor was on dog watch to see if he barked, and I moved as many vulnerable things as I could to avoid getting them torn and off I went. First he tore out the dog door panel.
My wife got a text from Brian with a picture of Rusty sitting composed in the driveway, paws crossed watching the world go by- "Is this your dog?" I was stunned. How the hell did he get out?  The house was closed the gate was in place at the top of the stairs when I left and now he was outside. Brian apparently took him back in but that did no good at all. 
 When my wife rushed home the gate was up, the ladder was down and he slid through the bars onto the stairs apparently.
He was in his new favorite spot and came running out when my wife got home. So the moral of the story is trust the dog. I don't know what else to do. He didn't wreck the house or bark or shit in the neighbors' yard. He just sat outside glad to belong and have a home. Luckily I live on a quiet dead end  and apart from my asshole snowbird neighbors who bitch and moan and complain about everything and everyone it's a street without drama so Rusty will likely get to see little action. But if he's happy and relaxed I am too. 
 I have got myself a very interesting dog. I'm glad he likes being at home.