Have I mentioned lately how much I hate lawn services? If not, let me say so now. Again. Both my adjoining neighbors employ them, both visit on Thursday mornings, and at the moment, it sounds like the neighborhood is under attack by a swarm of angry hornets. They are running, all at once, a stand-up mower, a gas-powered blower and a power edger.
The good news: It’s over quickly. And it makes for quieter weekends. Still.
The gas blowers are the devil’s device, and I say that as one who owns an electric one. The decibel level is approximately that of a 747 engine six inches above your head, and…
…silence. These guys get faster every week. Whew. On to torture someone else.
Here’s something else: Those stupid edgers make my mowing job easier. It’s easy to find the property line between the Derringers, who don’t give a shit if the sidewalk has a nice sharp delineation, and everyone else.
A friend of mine who used to live in Grosse Pointe Park planted his park strip — the grass strip between the sidewalk and street — in vegetables. I wonder what my neighbors would do if I tried that, although I’m sure there’s already an existing ordinance forbidding such frippery. There was a house in Fort Wayne I passed on my dog walks that had cleverly incorporated vegetables and other food crops in the regular flower beds, with the flowers. Very clever. You’d be looking at some zinnias and then note the climbing beans standing in the background. That’s the sort of gardener I’d like to be, if I were the sort to garden, period.
So, I see the feds finally brought Whitey Bulger to heel, the legendary Boston mobster who was the basis for the Jack Nicholson character in “The Departed.” He was living in Santa Monica, a big improvement in the weather department, I’d say, although it was also an apartment building, and we’ve discussed neighbor problems before. One said his longtime girlfriend was “sweet,” but that he was a jerk and had “rage issues.” It must be hard to be a baller and then, suddenly, not-a-baller. Henry Hill didn’t do so well in witness protection, and we all saw the last scene in “Goodfellas.” It’s just noodles and ketchup in Nowheresville, forever and ever.
Boy, today is not getting off to a good start, is it? Thursdays rarely do. So let’s get to the bloggage, and then say the hell with it:
A nice New York Times piece on the Indiana economy, which is not all it seems, or at least not all that’s touted by the guv and his supporters:
Workers here have done a backward slip-slide for more than a decade. Median income is falling — by 15 percent in the last decade. The so-called real unemployment rate, which includes those too discouraged to look for work, stood at 17.4 percent last year. And the percentage of Indianans who participate in the work force has dropped in the past two years, much faster than in Illinois and Ohio to the east.
“Indiana has touted jobs numbers, the governor has been happy to talk about it, but the reality is that they don’t pay nearly as much as the old union manufacturing jobs,” said John Ketzenberger, president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan group. “People in Indiana are working harder and longer for less.”
In other words, the same old story. Quel surprise.
And I have nothing more. I am calling in empty today. Got some tasty linkage? Leave it in comments.