Wednesday, January 12, 2005

A Melange

This is going to be a quick melange of things that are on my mind and in my attention today. I have several things to do and time keeps on slipping into the future.

We went to the Turtle Races at Turtle Kraals on Monday evening. Janet (and Trevor) had tickets on the winning turtle, old #4, and thus were each given a key to the treasure chest in which there was $250. They had hooked up with a trio of young women from Phoenix who arrived too late to get tickets for the races, and who then decided to become cheerleaders for Janet & Trevor. Neither of them had the right key to open the chest, and both turned down an offer of Turtle Bucks before trying their keys -- and neither of them had the right key. I left as soon as the races ended, while Janet and Trevor stayed on to hoo-raw with the ladies for a while. They came in later and had some dinner while I processed the pictures I took at the Kraals. You can see them at my photo collection at Flickr.com.

Last night we rode on our cycles to a meeting of the Key West Neighborhood Association on Ashe St. The KWNA is a loose affiliation of current and former neighborhood groups. They've taken a strong role in examining, and supporting or opposing, several of the more controversial issues that are being advanced at present. Brief presentations from several citizens were made explaining issues like: expected changes to the Transient Rental Ordinance resulting from the Rollinson Decision on Truman Annex; and forthcoming Planning Board action on the Watermark Development.

I'd guess that there were 30-40 people present. Commissioner Tom Oosterhoudt was there, and perhaps other commissioners as well. I recognized a number of those present as activists of one stripe or another: Barbara Bowers, Shirley Freeman, Bill Estes, Bob Goldman, and others. The KWNA is encouraging a mass turnout of Watermark opponents at the Planning Board meeting on January 20th to let the Board know that there is great dissatisfaction with the scale of the project and the impact it will have on the surrounding areas, the Key West Bight and the Caroline St. corridor.

I wasted away most of the morning today watching the rest of Steve Job's keynote speech from MacWorld San Francisco (click on the bar just below Hot Headlines to launch a Quicktime stream. As always, the keynote was a tour de force from a master, creating the Jobs RDF (reality distortion field) and generating yet another round of hype for the Mac faithful as well as the public at large. I said something to Theo yesterday about the expected iPod flash player -- announced as iPod Shuffle -- and a woman standing at the counter told me of how her kids all wanted iPods for Christmas but she wasn't able to justify the $249 price of the iPod mini. At $99 and $149 for the iPod Shuffle, the kids might now expect a late Christmas present.

Apple is doing an absolutely brilliant job these days. In the last 12 months, Apple's stock has risen from $20 to $70, although it dropped back a bit yesterday and is now in the mid $60's. The keynote streaming video is two hours long, so you'd have to be a geek like me to watch the whole thing. Take a look, though, at the video at one hour and thirty-four minutes into the stream. Apple introduced the iMac Mini, a $499 (0r $599) Macintosh with 256 MB of RAM, a 40GB (or 80GB) hard drive, Mac OS X, iLife, all in a box that is 6" square and 2" tall. It will accept any USB keyboard and mouse, and connects to most displays that you might already have.

I have to go to Albertson's and Publix to pick up a few things before meeting up with LB Flowers at 3:30 for the first time in a couple of weeks. He's been focused on his music since then, practicing with Jersey Slim for some blues gigs they plan to do together, and practicing for lessons with his classical teacher, Yehuda, who has been pleased with LB of late. He hasn't given up on his GED studies with me, just shifted his focus for a little while.

I may be back later today -- or not.

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