Tuesday, February 22, 2011
It also struck me while tourist watching that, wow, we really are a Fat, Fat nation. I'm one of those people who tends to be a skeptic about the much hyped and dreaded Obesity Epidemic and what it's doing to us as a country, but, holy shit, there are a lot of unbelievably fat young people wandering around. It can't just be the fast food and ready availability of empty calories; there's got to be something environmental happening -- either that, or we're devolving into shmoos.
Other stuff I learned: Really tall lighthouses are hard to photograph. If you're close enough to see the stuff at the base, you're too close to get a non-distorted shot of the whole thing. The St. Augustine light has a focal plane of 161 feet so you spend a lot of time working on developing a nice crick in your neck while wandering around the grounds trying to figure out the best angles from which to mediate the experience through technology. The light does, however, have its original 1874 first order Fresnel still sitting in it, still lit every every night, and looking really nifty after sunset.
The least crowded space on a sunny February weekend in St. Augustine is the beach. All the tourists are back in town stocking up on overpriced chocolate and tacky, tacky souvenirs made in Spain and Mexico, as well as the inevitable dried alligator heads.
And, for what it's worth, seeing a whole lot of live alligators en masse is more than a bit creepy. Yeah, they're remarkably slow and awkward out of the water, so even I could probably outrun one, but I still don't ever want to come close enough to any in the wild to put it to the test.