Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fun in the Sun: Updates

With the idea that these pages serve in some way as a record or chronicle of my adjustments to life in the fun and sun of Florida, and the American way, every once in a while an update or rethinking is in order. I want to do that today with a few of the events and foibles of past days. At this stage of change in most, or many of life’s basics, I have begun to ferret out alternatives and methods of conciliation with some of the ragged edges of my new setting.

Some may remember the irritating and mostly useless windshield sunshade described here nine days ago, The unrelenting strong sunlight that pounds Florida’s landscape reaches about everything short of cabinet interiors and deep closets. Many car owners here struggle with the destructive force of the sun’s rays on paint and interior surfaces. Dashboard consoles crack and warp in cars left too long, too often in hot outdoor parking areas, and my current car care goal is to find some easy and effective way to prevent that. Only natural that the ubiquitous silver, foil-like sunshade for windshields would find its way to my car. Only thing is, it does the job about as effectively as does a drinking straw with a hole in it. The car interior still gets hot, while sunlight finds its way to all but the center of the dash console. Time for plan B. Someone sent me a car-store website to check for alternatives. The company is called JC Whitney, located in Illinois, I believe. I ordered from them a windshield shade cut to the exact measurements of my car’s windshield. It is a roll-up type, rather than the accordion style, which I have found cumbersome. The photograph on JC Whitney’s page shows a windshield perfectly covered from edge to edge, top to bottom. Can’t say the $45.00 price tag shocked or surprised me. It seems reasonable, and also includes a three month trial subscription to any of several car magazines. I look for it to arrive any day now.


A little over three weeks ago I had my hair cut by a woman in a barber shop on the main street of town. It was a shaky experience because of my lack of familiarity with American barbers, and I probably had a vice grip on the arms of the barber chair throughout. But I was satisfied when I left the shop. A longer and more careful appraisal at home convinced me the haircut was too little, too fast, and I well knew that I would need another haircut before long. I am accustomed to getting a haircut once every six weeks. Yesterday, five days shy of one month I felt the need of another haircut. This time I took the suggestion of a neighbor and went to a shop in beachtown. After a ten minute wait I had my haircut—scissors only—by a terrific stylist named Jody, who had me thinking afterward that she is equal to, or better than my longtime barber in Tokyo. Cost? At $15.00 it was one dollar more than the last haircut, and $25.00 cheaper than the Tokyo price. This one is a keeper, no doubt about it.


Post holiday grumbles around here have prompted the condo board and management to rethink some of the measures earlier thought solid enough to prevent certain problems with parking and with uninvited guests partying around the pool. The parking problems were nothing new to me, and no question, something more needs to be done to stop the frequent hijacking of parking spots by “guests” and greedy owners who want and expect multiple slots to accommodate visiting family and friends. To prevent strangers using the pool, the new idea is to issue tags for wrist or ankle that indicate an ‘invited’ status for visitors. The best solution to my mind would be a security guard for the summer months and major holidays. And maybe a manned tow truck idling in the parking lot with Bluto at the wheel.

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About Me

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Oak Hill, Florida, United States
A longtime expat relearning the footwork of life in America