The Committee had an early meeting today. That would be the Committee to Deprive Nance of Her Hard-Earned Rest. Over the years it’s had various subcommittees and chairs, but at the moment, the Worker Men are in their ascendancy, and have wrestled control away from the Blue Jays, the previous cadre at the top of the pyramid, squabbling REALLY LOUDLY for the chance to wake me up at an unreasonable hour.
The Worker Men are the guys in charge of tearing up our street, then leaving for a couple weeks, then coming back to push some stuff around, then leave for a couple more weeks, etc. Ostensibly they’re replacing a water main, but the new main has been buried for weeks now, and once again, work seems to have stalled. That doesn’t keep them from making an early appearance. For several days, someone was in charge of moving a backhoe from one end of the street to the other — CLANK CLANK CLANK CLANK — at 7:45 a.m., then leaving it there, unused, for the rest of the day. I go to bed somewhere around 1 a.m.; all I want to do is sleep until 8; IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? Apparently so.
This morning they put in a stronger, and louder, show of force, pushing several pieces of heavy equipment around, complete with those horrible beep-beep-beep backup noises. I look outside, and for the life of me I can’t figure out what they’re doing, other than making noise. I suspect the whole crew is comprised of toddler boys, who have discovered this cache of really big Tonka trucks, and are just having fun driving them around.
OK, rant over. Second cup of coffee in progress. I guess if I wanted I could close the windows and turn on the A/C, but it’s a cool, pleasant morning and I want to feel the breeze on my face as I sit next to the window. IS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK? Never mind. Counting blessings now.
Actually, if it were permitted, I’d love to hang out with these guys for a day or two, just to watch them work. No one really knows how things are done anymore, do they? What’s involved in building a bridge, replacing a water main, raising a skyscraper? I’m 95 percent clueless. That’s where I envy Alan his time spent working in factories while he decided whether to finish college; he understands the grit-and-grime part of the world far better than I do. (Too well, actually; having worked in a canned-soup factory, he won’t eat canned soup. His stories about moving dough around in the frozen-pizza plant will put you off frozen pizza forever. The less said about Etch-a-Sketch production, the better, and if I can leave you with one lesson, it’s this: Don’t ever buy manufactured housing, unless you want to learn how “DAP it” became a catch phrase in our household.)
Well, obviously I got nuttin to say. Do I have bloggage? Not much of that, either. (The world is on vacation.) But a little:
Why charity is complicated these days: CARE turns down 45 million American dollars, because a needlessly complex system of shipping subsidized American crops overseas to sell in the Third World wastes money and undermines local farmers. Color me shocked.
Hacking Starbucks, testimony that nonfat journalism doesn’t have to be boring.
In my perambulations around Flickr the other day, I found this gem, shot by Bobby Alcott, a local Detroit pro. It reminded me of my ex-neighbor Dennis in Indiana, who left our little street in the city to move to the country and breed championship Angus cattle. He mostly dealt in embryos and frozen semen but kept a few head around the place, and I loved to scratch their sweet-smelling foreheads. “You really like livestock, don’t you?” he asked once, amazed. Well, how can you not? They’re irresistible.
This story has so many coulds, mights and isn’t-even-on-the-drawing-board-yets you wonder why it even exists, but the idea is intriguing: a muscle-car hybrid. A Camaro hybrid. I’d buy that just to piss people off, even though I know it’ll fall apart in six months and cost me thousands of dollars and thousands of tears. It’s just funny.
What’s that I hear outside? It’s the beepbeepbeeping of a backhoe! Time to get to work.