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Nashville J replied to yesterday’s today’s news from the westernmost tip end of the Asteroid Belt – Key West post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
Very happy to hear that all went well with the closing and you are now in your new room in KW – know you will like the bigger room becoming available Oct 1. A new BIKE – when was the last time you bought a new bike?
As to the Peary Court sale and the back taxes. Before running off to spend the 13.5 million, perhaps it ain’t gonna be that much or maybe I did not read it properly. However, it said they would pay all the back taxes on Peary Court – not on all the other properties. Maybe I am wrong – hope so for the community.
Last time I bought a new bike was 2006, and eventually it was stolen, like the new bike before that. Otherwise, I have only bought used bikes down here. Hopefully, this new bike will become a used bike, my used bike.
Who can possibly forecast taxes and other imponderables down here?
Good luck with keeping your new bike – did you get a NEW BIKE LOCK? I wish you many enjoyable trips and years with your new bike – did you get one of those fancy 10 gear bikes – or just a real old fashioned bike?
Oh, yes – a Kryptonite heavy duty lock and woven wire cord. It’s a one-speed Trek cruiser, down here called a conch cruiser. No hills down here to climb, only wind to grind into, so one speed all I need to get around this small island in the stream. Only once did I have a bike with a bunch of gears, a Trek, which I bought in 2006 and eventually it was stolen from outside Sippin’ Internet Cafe after I went in there for a few minutes to check emails. Only time I ever went into Sippin’ and didn’t at least chain the front wheel to the frame.
Made calls this morning, St. Peter’s Episcopal church, which I understand was built by Bahamians (African descent) maybe a century ago, the only church I ever went into in Key West where I felt mostly at ease. Off the beaten path, I doubt it gets many visits from tourists. I know it doesn’t get much action from locals, but it is my church in the built of masonry and timber sense. I dropped in today and said a prayer and mumbled my thoughts, before moving on. Didn’t lock the bike up that time.
From there, to Jack Flats sports bar on Duval Street, to make sure it’s about the same as when I lived here before – yep. I probably will go there to watch Alabama play Virginia Tech tonight.
Felt awful for Vanderbilt losing that squeaker to Old Miss Thursday night. I watched into the middle of the 3rd quarter, it looked like Vandy was getting the best of it, then I turned in due to big day following, closing sale on my place and moving to Key West. I missed the Old Miss rally and then its game-winning long TD run, or maybe it was a pass.
From Jack Flats, I pedaled down a couple of blocks, turned left at the big Episcopal church the tourist visit, but it doesn’t have a big local congregation, and jabbered a while with a local street vendor friend who always is a wealth of information and he caught me up on several local homeless dramas I never would have heard about anywhere else. Then, a few more feet to Sippin’, and lo and behold the new owner and the old owners were sitting out front and it was a nice homecoming.
From there, over to Harpoon Harry’s about half-mile north of Duval Street, to make sure my harem still intact. Most of them were there today, it was good catching up with them, had a bowl of yogurt and fresh fruit. That’s my favorite place in Key West right now; it was really busy right at noon, locals and tourists. I tell everyone from out of town to go there, if they want to get a real taste of Key West today.
Then, I pedaled home, checked my emails here in the living room under a whirling ceiling fan; the owner does not use central air, may not even have it anymore; Hurricane Wilma wiped out her entire kitchen, laundry, in fall 2005. I didn’t use AC last night, just had my floor fan and overhead fan blowing on me; it was okay, I haven’t used AC since 2011; in my perversion, I had to prove to some people that they would not die if they did not have AC down here.
The owner’s dog has remembered me from when I stayed here before. The two cats don’t give a hoot, but I remember them. The yard is beautiful and lush, a wall around the entire property. The owner is from Shrilanka, has been in the States for decades, has been in KW most of that time, I think. The the other renters are old white men, I easily the oldest, though.
Maybe riding the bicycle mostly to get around will help my low back and strengthen my legs and stomach and diminish the spare tire somewhat and turn me brownish, I tan okay after the first scalding, except my nose, which is prone to terminal burning and peeling, and my lips, which are prone to cracking and bleeding, which is why I wear a baseball cap with brim and don’t go out to beaches and spread a towel and lay down on my back, or on my stomach, and let the sun have at me. And, it would be embarrassing, if not for others, for me.
I’ve been reading recently about the beaches on the lower Florida Atlantic coast running out of sand, and I wonder if that will restrict KW’s ability to import sand to replenish its man-made beaches as they run out of sand, which they will do as time passes.
No place I looked in Key West was nearly as nice as where I’m now living again, and the rent here is really reasonable compared to the other places.
Now, if only I could start drinking beer again at the Green Parrot world famous bar on Whitehead Street at happy hour, I’d be in hog heaven, or maybe closer to it, but I don’t see that happening.
Sounds like a busy day for Sloan! Going around marking your spots – maybe the dog taught you that.
I meant to tell you, and spaced it out – I was going a round like a dog marking my spots, but I did tell the new owner of Sippin’ I was going inside his place and mark it like a dog would do.
this morning P.S.
After last writing to you, I took a nap, then I pedaled my new hopefully long-used by me bike out to Higgs Beach. Went out on White Street Pier,
in the middle of the far end of it, on the “sun dial”,
was a man playing a harp beautifully. I asked if he had a permit to play a harp beautifully out there? He laughed. No. I said the headlines will be great: “Harpists arrested and jailed for playing beautifully without a permit on White Street Pier.” We talked a while, he was waiting on a couple to arrive and confirm their wedding vows from the year before, he had played at their wedding. I said I had slept many nights on the pier, but now they close it after 11 p.m. I said I recently had read an article in which Key West professional street performers were called homeless people. He said, until street performers were required to have permits and insurance, all manner of homeless people showed up with guitars they didn’t know how to play well, or at all. He said he didn’t need the money, but he liked playing his harp, and he had another instrument, some kind of horn, which he said was the Irish version of the Scottish bagpipe, and he wanted to get a permit to play on Mallory Pier’s sunset celebration. I said his act might go down well on Duval Street, too. He gave me his business card, I said I would write about him today at goodmorningkeywest.com. He said he knew of me, would like to get to know me better, he liked authentic people. He sure seemed authentic to me. I told him my email address is at the bottom of all of my posts at the website, and gave him a “business card” for the website.
His name is Steve Allerton, his website: www.dolphinwhistle.com/harp
I pedaled off the pier, and just to the west side of the AIDS Memorial
I saw two black men playing dominoes at a park bench in the shade and I could not let that pass. I asked if they played chess, too? Yes, one said. I asked if I could being my chess mat and pieces, and we play chess? The same one said, when a man says he’s going to bring his chess mat and pieces … I said, well, I didn’t see they had a chess mat and pieces, so … the same one said, when a man assumes … I said, well, yeah …the same one said they didn’t have a mat and pieces and to come on by, he was okay at chess, the other fellow was a chess player. I said I know a chess player I might like to try to get to come along, I am only still a beginner. I said my name was Sloan. The one doing the talking said his name was Simba. I said, like lion. He said, yes.
The other fellow, the chess player, said his name was J.R. I asked if they were there daily? Yes, J.R. usually gets their earlier, Simba said. I said I would see them today. Simba said, remember lion. I said, Lion of Judah. Simba said, yes! He had dreadlocks. I had assumed he was Rastafarian. I said I understood that all along, and I pedaled away thinking of the black chess club I had found in Birmingham in the fall of 2005. They played touch rules. You touch a piece, you have to move it. They welcomed me to join them. I don’t think I ever won a game that year in that club, although later on I took won a few games. I was the only white man there.
Took me about ten minutes pedaling from Higgs Beach to reach Jack Flats sports bar on Duval Street,
where I ate dinner, a shrimp club sandwich with cole slaw, Bible-incorrect, shrimp, bacon, but it looked so decadent when it was served to someone near me, that I just had to try it. Turned out, I had plopped myself smack in between two Crimson Tide fanatics. Alabama showed very little offense, pretty good defense, and pretty in shape defense, because the defense spent a lot more time on the playing field than the offense and was still going strong at the end of the game and shut out Virginia Tech in the second half. 21 of Alabama’s 35 points were scored on a punt return, a kick-off return and a pass interception. The same player scored both kick-return TDs, and he caught a long pass for a TD. Maybe Nick Saban can perform miracles, or the Tide players can shape up; otherwise, they are not going to repeat as No. 1 in the land of America.
I headed home, went to bed, had another wild dream night. Not feeling well physically since yesterday morning. Carrying a heap of rough spirit crud in my body. Don’t look, so far, that being in Key West will be a vacation internally, but perhaps it will go easier externally. But then, it’s Labor Day. Maybe I’m having a baby, or something
Received something last night from Michael Shields of Key West.
It’s longish, and I leave for you to click on the link below and read it.
This has been forwarded to you by firstname.lastname@example.org
A good read….
Best of TomDispatch: Ernest Callenbach, Last Words to an America in Decline
As I survey my life, which is coming near its end, I want to set down a few thoughts that might be useful to those coming after. It will soon be time for me to give back to Gaia the nutrients that I have used during a long, busy, and happy life…
At one time, I, Sloan, was very into finding somewhere I could go that way, but today I’m corrupted to living in the America that did not go that way. And, I’m 71 next month, and my health and stamina are weak, and I don’t have the survival skills, other than I know how to grow food organically, and I’m ornery and right now I don’t see me being taken in that direction by the angels, who seemed determined to keep refining my soul and my ego, while keeping my body alive. Nor, sadly, am I hopeful that such an alternative human outcome now can happen in America, although I certainly would cheer it being attempted. It might have a better chance of happening in areas of the world which have not been totally modernized. But then, Northern California, Oregon and Washington might be able to pull if off, although I don’t see how Washington D.C. would let them secede from the Union. But then, perhaps something happens, like a second American civil war, and Washington D.C. is too otherwise preoccupied to bother with Northern California, Oregon and Washington seceding. Or, perhaps there is a big earthquake and Mother Nature secedes those areas from the North American mainland.
Also yesterday, from a fellow who used to live in Key West and now resides in the Homestead, Florida area, as I recall:
Re: Your Channel Widening Articles from earlier this week.
About ten years ago, I had the pleasure of talking with the Captain of a Norwegian – American cruise ship here in KW. His ship was in Key West for 5 or 6 hours and, that afternoon he was just quietly bopping around KW with his wife. In those years questions about the impact of cruise ship passengers on the Island were just as prominent, then, as the related channel widening debate is today.
Looking back now, the progress of a succession of Mayors and Council Members on the Cruise Ship question has been, roughly, Zero. Individually, they may be inspiring, and sometimes eloquent people.
Together, they have accomplished virtually NOTHING as the elected heads of City government.
Commission members have been wonderful at ruling on Zoning Variances or doing photo ops for the High School, but on substantive issues, the performance of the City Commission has, for many years, left much to be desired.
Yet: It’s difficult to pin responsibility for that clear, chronic Key West civic underperformance on any particular individuals.
Maybe Key West’s municipal incompetence is the result of that grotesquely stupid Florida state malfeasance: The Sunshine Law.
It’s result? LOCAL LEGISLATORS CAN’T EVEN TALK TO EACH OTHER!!! In an alleged attempting to prevent Florida legislators from doing bad things behind closed doors, the state has materially impeded ALL locals from doing anything efficiently, together, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME.
Ahh! The infinite wisdom of higher authority!
Could the Florida Legislature, belatedly groveling ( Orval Faubus is long gone) to obtain approval on the editorial pages of the Times and the Post – could they have sacrificed town hall sovereignty in Florida upon the stench- laden alter of Neocon sleaze?
But I’m rambling. Sorry.
Years ago, this big (50’000 ton ) ship’s Captain, with grey hair, answered one question which may be of interest to your readers. So, Captain: “How much ‘separation’ do you think it would take between the props on your ship and the bottom dwelling sea creatures below for them (I.E. : ‘The Benthic Community’.) to be truly free from your environmental impact?
“A Hundred Feet.”
Remember – this is from a latter day, hi tech, Viking with grey hair: “A Hundred feet” should be ecologically OK.
“Q.: A hundred feet between the bottom of your props to the bottom of Key West harbor? Those creatures, naturally inhabiting the bay bottom, would not, then, be harmed by your ship’s operation?
“Right: They should suffer no material impact, then, when I fire up my engines to leave Key West”.
“And remember”, he said: “I have to crank the Southbound engines, full blast, immediately. We’re talking about an enormous amount of dead weight at the dock. I absolutely have to get a few knots of forward speed from the ship, right away, otherwise the rudder doesn’t work! Otherwise, I couldn’t reliably enter the Southbound channel.”"
To leave Key West harbor, going South, with a big ship, you have to hit a very narrow channel opening only a few hundred yards away, south, from the mole pier.
The opening is, roughly, off Fort Zach.
That doesn’t mean the KW channel, therefore, needs to be widened.
It also doesn’t mean that the harbor needs to be 130 feet deep.
One absolutely does, however need to have “headway”, that is, enough forward speed, immediately, to permit the ship’s rudder to work well. Right away.
Maybe a much smaller sized average ship might contribute to a sustainable solution???
OK, i’m outta here. Bye Sloan.
Well, Paul, three things pop into my twisted little mind.
One, but for the Sunshine law, I imagine the channel-widening study would have been approved years ago by the KW City Commission.
Two, the city commissioners and mayor have had ample opportunity to discuss widening the channel at public city commission meetings. Instead of doing what they were elected to do, make the tough calls, they pawned this one off on the voters.
Three, how come you waited until now to tell me about the Viking sailor’s view of how deep the channel needs to be for his ship not to disturb marine life?
The channel is only 35 feet deep, or was, after it was last dredged.
Four, I doubt the pro-channel-widening study lovers (aka cruise ship lovers) are going to send you hugs and kisses for this wonderful news after I publish it.
I dreamt of Sandy Downs last night. I need to call her today and see how it’s going for her family and Miss Kitty.
I feel strange over not thinking about Miss Kitty more often, after she was my constant companion the over three years I lived on Little Torch Key. I have stayed away from Sandy’s home, because I did not want to interrupt Miss Kitty bonding with Sandy’s family. Maybe it’s time for me to pay them a visit today.