One thing about Mondays — I always sleep well on Monday night. Awake at 5 a.m., out the driveway at 6:30, in Lansing by 8-ish, work work work, home by 6-ish, an hour bike ride and then the sort of dinner Kate would reject with a sneer: Mujadara a la the New York Times, which I think I read about at 5 a.m. or so.
The chores concluded at 9 p.m. Time to blog! Zzzzzz.
Seriously, it’s always a comfort to be back in the saddle after some time away. Human beings need to find stuff to do. Our job is usually good enough.
So before I start drooling on the keyboard, some quick bloggage:
A really interesting story in the NYT today on water usage in the desert southwest, specifically Arizona. I know we have some Phoenix residents who read and comment here (hey, Scout). Having lived my whole life in a wet climate, it’s hard for me to imagine the sort of relations with water Arizonans must have. I’ve been hearing rumblings of a coming push for a transcontinental water pipeline to quench its drier regions for years, although I pay them little mind. Still, I read passages like this and my eyes bug out:
PHOENIX — The hiss of sprinklers serenades improbably green neighborhoods early in the morning and late at night, the moisture guarding against the oppressive heat. This is the time of year when temperatures soar, water consumption spikes and water bills skyrocket in this city, particularly for those whose idea of desert living includes cultivating a healthy expanse of grass.
Half of the water consumed in homes here is used to irrigate lawns, but there is a certain curiosity about the way water is used in Phoenix, which gets barely eight inches of rain a year but is not necessarily parched.
I’ve never been to Phoenix, but I have been to Tucson a time or two, and one of the things I liked about the place was the virtual absence of grass in most neighborhoods. Yards were xeriscapes, and even the golf courses used sod stingily. You live where you live and you make peace with what nature gives you. The idea of spending half of a dry city’s annual rainfall on something as stupid as a lawn just seems nuts to me, but I live a long way away from Arizona. Maybe a local can explain.
Remember “Sixteen Tons” — “I owe my soul to the company store,” etc.? Here’s the latest wrinkle: A minimum-wage worker at McDonald’s is paid in the form of a bank debit card, which she didn’t ask for, which she didn’t want. No, there’s no other option. And yes, there are fees:
According to the complaint filed, the JP Morgan Chase payroll card lists several fees, including a $1.50 charge for ATM withdrawals, $5 for over-the-counter cash withdrawals, $1 per balance inquiry, 75 cents per online bill payment and $15 for lost/stolen card.
The complaint was filed because this woman called a lawyer, and good for her. Who ARE the people who try to pull shit like this?
Finally, a story about a widely despised piece of public art, and the drunk driver who hit it. Take a look at the before-and-after pictures and tell me whether it makes a bit of difference in the piece. Seriously. They could remove the plastic fencing and I doubt anyone would feel cheated.
And so the week lurches to a start. Enjoy yours.