God, the noise.

People always speak of the suburbs as being quiet. Ha ha ha ha ha. I bet if I walked around my neighborhood with a decibel meter, I’d easily come away with higher numbers than I would in downtown Detroit. There, you have traffic and occasional honking, but overall, it’s far less jarring than a typical day around here.

(You’ve heard these beefs before, yes. Feel free to check out if you like.)

After a week of the usual clamor — lawn services, some heavy equipment from a digging job in the next block — Saturday began with one of our adjacent neighbors turning on his gas blower at 7:50 a.m. He ran it for about five minutes, then shut it down before getting in his car and blasting out the driveway. I’d love to know what bugged him so much that he had to clean it up before leaving. But really, I don’t.

Those neighbors who don’t have lawn services handle their own yard work on the weekends (which includes us), so there were more mowers, more power edgers — which are almost put-a-pillow-over-your-head-and-scream, nails-on-a-blackboard irritating all weekend long. More gas blowers, too, as this is late spring and trees are shedding things like oak flowers and maple whirligigs and other seeds. All of this must be banished from walks and driveways, loudly.

The bluetooth speaker era is upon us, and we are treated, sometimes, to competing soundtracks. We have neighbors who are very nice, but the husband likes to sit in his driveway and play the same record over and over. They seem to change with the year; for a couple summers it was Mumford & Sons, then Dire Straits, and he’s been on a country kick this year. Short playlist, the same five songs or so over and over and over. And over. And over. He’s had it on for a half hour just now, and we’ve heard Aaron Lewis’ “Story of My Life” twice.

The gas blower guy behind us does the same thing, only with head banging stuff Kate refers to as “butt rock,” although he went on a summer-long Wu-Tang Clan kick. “Enter the Wu-Tang,” specifically, which is not an album I’d turn off if it came on the radio (I own it, in fact), but after a few weeks of hearing it at cocktail hour? Not so much.

In short, in the suburbs, every tool is loud, no one listens to jazz and honestly, just hearing some children play would be a treat. There’s a block nearby full of kids who all seem around the same age and play outdoors the way I remember playing with my friends as a child. The other day they’d duct-taped a lawn chair to two skateboard and were pushing one another up and down the sidewalk. It was great.

And that was the weekend, such as it was. Had an outdoor get-together with my colleagues Friday, did the usual stuff Saturday, and spent Sunday laying in groceries and reading a few more Hemingway short stories. Yes, yes, I picked the book off the basement shelf after the PBS thing, obviously. I’ve read a few, but not all. I don’t know how “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” evaded me until now, however. Short review: I’m enjoying them, although there is some very un-P.C. racial language in a few, and as always, his attitude toward many of his female characters is…not good.

And now, Monday is so, so close. I hope it’s quiet at midnight.

Posted at 8:44 pm in Same ol' same ol' |

49 responses to “God, the noise.”

  1. David C said on May 23, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Last week when I was visiting my parents, my brother was complaining that my dad doesn’t have a leaf blower. He edged their driveway for probably the first time since they moved in 25 years ago. My dad told my brother a broom works just fine and I damn near fell off my chair. I’m fairly proud that I haven’t picked up too many of dad’s traits yet. Using a broom to clean up after yard work is one I’m proud of mimic. We have so many around here with gasoline string trimmers. We have 1/5th acre lots. That’s the last thing you need. I have my battery string trimmer, a push-type reel mower, and a broom so nobody hears me neatening up the lawn.

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  2. Deborah said on May 23, 2021 at 9:26 pm

    We had quite a dramatic day and night yesterday. First we were invited to a late lunch early dinner at the home of Abiquiu friends who have experienced some sad health issues this past year, both Former NYC artist who moved out there 30 years ago, he was diagnosed with metasisized cancer that started as skin cancer and now is in his liver, she had a stroke about 6 or 8 months ago. They are about 10 years older than us, they’re better than they were but still not great. We bought the food and it was pleasant but was sad too. Then we went to the cabin where there was one thunderstorm after the other and at least five different hail storms during the night and early morning. Lots of rain and wind. The arroyo (usually dry creek) that we have to cross to get up to our land blew out about 3/4 the way across. It was a mess and all of the residents on our side of it were commiserating on the site about what to do about it. We put our jeep in 4 wheel drive and were able to cross but it was touch and go.

    My face is looking pretty bad, forehead is the worst but upper lip is pretty ugly too. I bought a new big floppy hat today at REI, it’s white and cloth so doesn’t hurt when pulled down over my forehead like my straw ones do. It also has a pocket in the back that has a piece of cloth that covers the back of my neck when I’m working outside. I was horrified that it cost $45 but it ended up being only $26 when I got all my membership discounts. The worst part of this procedure still is the Vaseline type stuff that I have to smear on my face that gets all in my hair during the day. It gets all enmeshed in my hat brims, so it’s pretty gross. I swear I’m going to be so much better about using sunscreen and wearing hats in the future but most of the sun damage was done when I was a kid growing up in Miami, FL.

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  3. Colleen said on May 23, 2021 at 10:10 pm

    Our HOA fees pay for lawn care, so we are only subjected to lawn tool noise on Thursday, mowing day. But I totally get your frustration. It’s like people can’t stand quiet. My husband is one of those people. The TV is always going, and he’s usually watching something on his phone.

    I am not like that. When I get my break between jobs in the afternoon, I like to adjourn to the living room and enjoy quiet before starting Job 2.

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  4. Julie Robinson said on May 23, 2021 at 10:32 pm

    Deborah, I need to get a hat like that because the back of my neck burns first. I’ve stitched fabric onto a couple of hats, but the hats that work here are too hot for Florida.

    After having company this week and the party yesterday, we went to a concert today. It was outside under a pavilion, everyone spaced themselves out, and did I mention it was a brass band? I just love that type of music and have ever since little Julie first picked up the trumpet. We were a little hot when we got home so we had root beer floats. The whole thing was unsophisticated and straight out of my childhood and made me happy as a clam.

    I regret to say that even my mild mannered husband has a leaf blower, an edger, and a string trimmer and he looooves using them. Just batteries, no gas, but I kinda think they go against his stance as an environmentalist. When I mentioned it I was told not to emasculate him. Ha!

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  5. basset said on May 23, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Sold our leaf blower in a yard sale yesterday, among other possessions. It’s electric but runs on wall current, too much trouble dragging the cord around.
    My 1978 used once and never tried to skate again hockey skates drew no interest, though – guess they spent all those years in the shed only to end up at Goodwill.

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  6. Mark P said on May 23, 2021 at 11:31 pm

    I’ve been using a self-propelled mower in our yard, but with rotator cuff and quad tendon surgery a month ago, I’ll almost certainly end up with a riding mower. We have a large lot and a pretty good slope, so even the self-propelled mower was a good workout. My shoulder won’t be up to it this summer.

    I seeded zoyzia with the intention of not mowing, but for some reason weeds have absolutely taken over. The yard looks really bad. Fortunately no one can see it but us. But I’ll have to mow regularly to control the weeds.

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  7. Dexter Friend said on May 24, 2021 at 2:12 am

    Oh Jesus! I bet nobody has noise like on my block, which is certainly the loudest in this small city. The parolee is on an ankle bracelet; he lives with his mother. He has been in and out of prisons forever, now he’s out. He bought a hoopdee truck, painted it with a dozen cans of black spray paint, the paint drifting onto my porch, gagging me. Then he took off the muffler because yeah, he likes it loud. Then he bought a smaller minibike, and took off the baffles, not loud enough, so he took off the entire exhaust system. Confined to his yard, he rides this fucking thing aroundand around the apartment house for hours at a time. Then he gets his radio car, like 10 year old boys like, and rams it up and down the sidewalk. Then he drags speakers out onto the porch and booms out hip-hop or whatever the woke term is until like 11:30 PM. Shit rattles my windows. Call cops? He knows where the cops are…he scrambles and hides the speakers, rolls the mini-motorcycle away, parks the truck way in the back…meekly tells cops I am just a trouble-making old man and well, he also told me a couple years ago he was about to “knock your goddam teeth down your fucking throat”…why? I yelled at him for flying a drone into my house. This ain’t no kid…the fucker is about 50 years old! Also, 4 houses away a man of maybe 28 has an old large truck with 4 flags, big flags, Trump as Rambo, Confederate flags fill the other stake holes in the truck bed. He and every other truck have deemed necessary to make their truck loud as fuck, it’s unnerving. Cops just will not do a thing. Lawn mowers and properly muffled Harley Davidsons are soothing by comparison, and I am not kidding. I don’t belong here anymore. My daughter Sandi in Port St. Lucie , Florida has invited me down, but just to visit. But after living there a couple years, up from Homestead, they now want to move to Vero Beach. You all know about the ease of house-selling and over-the-top offers…the Florida and Las Vegas daughters already have had whopping offers to sell their houses…without even listing them. Agents are making blind offers in these hotspot locations. Where I live, a different story. This old house in 101 years old and I believe when I leave here I’ll contract to have it bulldozed into dust.

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  8. Dorothy said on May 24, 2021 at 7:11 am

    Dexter that has to be unbearable. After reading all that, I feel guilty complaining about my next door neighbor who sometimes ties his dog up on a lead when he doesn’t feel like walking him, and the dog just bays and barks and it’s about to drive me out of my mind. Usually it’s the daytime but on Saturday night he put him out at 10:30 and I was sound asleep. Four or five eruptions of barking was just uncalled for.

    Also – we went to a double header baseball game on Friday night. Between innings when music was played on the loudspeakers, this guy sitting a few seats away in the row in front of us sang along in an extremely loud voice. He had an ok voice, but his glancing around to see if people were watching him seemed to indicate he was doing it for attention. This grim expression on his face made me think he was trying to make people mad. If he’d been smiling I might not have found his performance so intrusive. Twice an employee of the ballpark came down and sat with him. I thought maybe he was quietly asking him to tone it down. Nope. He sang like that each time between innings. After two innings we got up and sat elsewhere. It was a rather lax seating policy – it was the team from UD that was playing. (I have to add how great it was to be out on a Friday night enjoying the games! We won the first game 11-4.)

    My oldest sister lives in Athens, GA and she is known for posting regular bitch sessions about the noises on her street. Things like nail guns from roofers, lawn mowers, etc. I’m sorry, but those are things you really cannot avoid if you live in a neighborhood and work is getting done. It’s pointless to complain about – those are expected sounds when you live in a community. People need to cut their grass. Roofs need to be replaced sometimes! Now loud music, excessively loud car noises, barking dogs – those are controllable noises and complaints about them are not out of place.

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  9. alex said on May 24, 2021 at 7:40 am

    We have blowers and mowers and chainsaws and trimmers and a tiller, and ours is hardly the most meticulously kept property in the area. I’m not bothered by such noises. It simply comes with the turf, so to speak, when you live in the woods.

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  10. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2021 at 8:01 am

    I’ve made my peace, of a sort, with the tools at dawn chorus; what has my wife and me thinking about a post-retirement move, aside from downsizing (and we bought this because it was the smallest that would work for us in 2004, so that’s not pressing), is the light after dark. By which I mean the existing street lights, already rather numerous and illuminative, has been year after year augmented with brighter porch lights, halogen driveway spots, and additional security lighting to where all night, every night, you can read a newspaper at any point on my lot, all along the street, and in many rooms of my house. You could read the etymologies in a compact OED if you could manage to hold one up out under the oaks and maples and pears. I get the need for safety, and my gender and size mean I probably don’t value it enough, but even Joyce says it’s crazy how much night lighting we have around here. You can barely make out the Big Dipper, Polaris is nearly invisible, and when we moved here, I could still see in binoculars the galactic clusters rising as steam from Sagittarius’s tea kettle, but no more. They’re lost in the light pollution. We’d just like some stars back.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2021 at 8:17 am

    We’ve had many loud and obnoxious neighbors over the years and I am treasuring our current situation.

    So, if you want a quiet place, move into senior apartments. Except for mowing day, the loudest noise is generally the birds singing outside. I’ve loved living here.

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  12. Suzanne said on May 24, 2021 at 9:06 am

    We live out in the middle of nowhere and it is quiet. I sat out on the front porch last evening, reading and listening to the birds singing and the wind chime dinging. It was lovely. However, in retirement, we plan to move closer to civilization. Out here in the quiet country in the winter can be brutal with raging winds leading to blowing and drifting snow. One year during a particularly bad snow storm when I could no longer see the road, it occurred to me that if one of us had a medical emergency, we were goners because there was no way an ambulance could possibly get to us.

    I have never read much Hemingway but after watching part of the PBS documentary, I do want to read more. I knew of the Snows of Kilimanjaro, but have never read it and didn’t know what it was about. An interesting man, Hemingway; talented but tragic life.

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  13. Peter said on May 24, 2021 at 9:28 am

    One of the joys of working at home is listening to the lawns being mowed all day. It’s the 2020 version of hearing the bells at different churches…

    Hearing about the kids who taped a lawn chair on top of two skateboards brought back great childhood memories. I’m so old that when I was a kid grocery stores would let customers use the shopping carts to bring their groceries home – neighborhood kids would bring the carts back and they might get a tip from the customer or the store.

    My friends and I would get the carts and race them in the alleys on the east side of Clark Street – one of the few places in Chicago where the ground slopes. You’d put one or two kids in a cart, have someone give a push, and gravity did the rest. There were tall tales of carts crossing Glenwood Avenue against the traffic, but the alleys with any decent slope would turn 90 degrees before they got to the street, so that wasn’t going to happen.

    When we saw pictures of the streets in San Francisco in school, we thought of the fun you could have with a shopping cart there.

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  14. LAMary said on May 24, 2021 at 10:09 am

    My neighborhood has no real lawns. It used to but people finally got the memo about the multi decade drought. Lots of succulents, native plants, ground cover plants that need little water. I’ve got some raised beds of herbs and vegetables and slopes covered with pollinator friendly flowers. I have two neighbors who regularly have jackhammer activity going on. The one next door has leafblowers going once a week. It drives one of my dogs crazy and she calls me to complain. She is a pain in the ass.

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  15. Icarus said on May 24, 2021 at 10:20 am

    one nice thing about living in the city is our postage stamp-sized lawns don’t take long to mow, edge and water. It does seem like no two neighbors work on their lawns at the same time.

    One summer it seemed like every other day was hot as hell; every other, other day was raining and you’d be lucky to get one good Be Outside Day. On one particular Be Outside Day my neighbor across the alley decided to powerwash their gator deck one evening. I’m sure when they scheduled the work they had no idea they would be creating noise pollution on one of the few good evenings to sit on a deck.

    Another summer a neighbor down the alley* decided to build a new garage. Of course, he was doing it in his spare time between paying gigs so instead of 2-3 days of hammering, we got a summer full.

    * it must be a requirement to be a jerk to live on that block; glad we passed on houses on that one.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2021 at 10:30 am

    Buyers of the massive new house next door to ours –six bedrooms, five full baths and two half baths– closed last Monday on a purchase price of $1,479,000. Our house, built in 1905 as a simple working man’s dwelling, looks like a canoe alongside the Queen Mary. Carpenters have been building a large chicken coop in the paving stone backyard. They’re even putting the same siding on the coop as on the huge house itself.

    Two doors up the street, a family has kept a couple of laying hens and we’ve always chuckled at the occasional sound of those birds in the middle of the city, but right next door? If the new guy has a rooster, we may have problems.

    Big, loud trucks and SUVs. Man, I hate those things, too, Dexter.

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  17. Heather said on May 24, 2021 at 12:54 pm

    I don’t know why so many people think that everyone else enjoys their taste in music. One of our neighbors runs a hardwood flooring business and the employees congregate after work almost every evening blasting Mexican polka from one of their cars. And don’t get me started about the beach–I will shoot you with death glares if you set up next to me and then bring out the mini Bluetooth speakers. What happened to just enjoying the ambient noise of the waves and the wind?

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  18. Dexter Friend said on May 24, 2021 at 1:44 pm

    Pogo the Labbie dog kept me up all night whining…my fault, I think, as I treated her to a marrow-filled chew toy which upset her. I managed to get her out to eliminate most of it. She’s nearly 12 now and had me worried. Since I was up , I drove to our world-class donut stand for a glazed knot and a carmel cinnamon. I am not used to that much sugar and now both Pogo and I are a tad queasy.
    JMMO: I always loved gazing at The Big Dipper. New street lights, and I have not seen it for years. But I don’t have to ever turn on my porch light at all.

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  19. ROGirl said on May 24, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Happy 80th, Bob. Dylan, that is.

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  20. Hank Stuever said on May 24, 2021 at 3:09 pm

    One aspect of the pandemic is that the red-brick alley behind our apartment became a late-afteroon play area for young kids and a kind of happy-hour gathering spot for their upwardly mobile young parents, who in recent years bought up and refurbished all the rowhouses on either side of the alley — something I never would have believed when we first moved to the neighborhood 16 years ago and you couldn’t have paid me to stroll around in our alley.

    But my God, the screaming. I forgot that certain little girls (and I guess little boys?) cannot play any game without high-pitched, full volume, sustained shrieking. It ranges (sometimes joy, sometimes rage, who can tell?), but it always sounds like one or more of them just fell onto a pile of glass shards. I learned to tune it out (like their parents have), but it takes some doing to not imagine a child is being murdered right outside my window. I would never complain — girls get far too much conditioning in our culture to quiet down, behave — but yeah, I might take a daily medley of butt rock instead, at least for a while. The leaf blowers we have, every Monday, out front.

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  21. nancy said on May 24, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Referring back to last week: When did “houseless” or “unhoused” become the new term for “homeless?” And is this the reasoning: That a person living in a tent encampment under a freeway overpass *has* a home, it’s there under the overpass, but it isn’t actually a house?

    God, I feel so old.

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  22. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 24, 2021 at 3:56 pm

    I get reminded to say “people who are homeless” regularly, but houseless or unhoused hasn’t been a thing in my neck of the woods. We’ve got a board meeting tomorrow and I will ask. Persons who are homeless often say to me “y’know I’m homeless, so . . .” and I don’t correct them. But the lingo around AOD, SUD, MAT, POs and SACWIS and AMAs is where I despair of ever really keeping up. Then the state ODADAS & ODMH melded into OhioMHAS, but no one says that or JFS unless they’re a director speaking in public with media present.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on May 24, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    The noisy lawn care always seems to arrive right under my window just as I’m trying to do a phone interview.

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  24. LAMary said on May 24, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    In my as of today former employer would say, PEH. People or Persons Experiencing Homelessness. Since all the contracts I worked on were with government agencies there were far more acronyms than I could keep track of.

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  25. Sherri said on May 24, 2021 at 5:21 pm

    A young family bought the house behind us several years ago, and when their second child reached toddler age, he was a shrieker. I kept reminding myself he would grow out of it, and he did, but my own child not having been a shrieker, it took some time to tune out.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    Not to be sexist, but based on our own kids and their friends, the girls were screamers and the boys were wrestlers, with injuries following. Either way was bad. I hated those parties, and yet, somehow, we threw them year after year.

    Persons Experiencing Homelessness is a mouthful, but it’s what I was taught too.

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  27. Indiana Jack said on May 24, 2021 at 6:10 pm

    The best thing about our neighborhood, aside from the many trees, is the sound of kids playing outside. Even the shrieks bring a smile to my face. It’s a healthy sound and remarkably reassuring.
    Last year, I took the plunge and replaced an aging gasoline-powered walk-behind mower with an EGO-Plus (send payment for promotional plug). It’s battery-powered and has a self-propelled function.
    Trouble is, there’s a bunch of stuff to mow around, so the self-propelled aspect doesn’t get much use. And the battery is heavy, so the back and forth in tight areas is a workout.
    But starting is a breeze and it’s much quieter than the mower it replaced.

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  28. Julie Robinson said on May 24, 2021 at 6:30 pm

    We’ve got one of those in Orlando, IJ. Can’t tell you the brand, but it seems to be liked. The front yard is a vegetable garden, the back yard is a pool, and the other side is the addition, so there’s not much grass to get cut.

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  29. Cullen said on May 24, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Long time OL (Original Lurker), OT. A truly sublime listening experience for this time, just released: Lord Huron, Long Lost. You will not be disappointed. Love everyone here like family….

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  30. beb said on May 24, 2021 at 8:47 pm

    And here I thought I lived in a noisy neighborhood.

    There was an interesting story by Mike the Mad Biologist over gasolene leaf blowers in DC. People complained about them so much the the city council decided to ban them. Just the gas-powered ones. Electric blowers would still be allowed. We have an electric lawn mower (small yard) and while dragging the extension cord around is a bother, electric mowers ate a lot quieter. The way batteries are getting better it would be nice if gasolene mowers (at least in the city) were banned in favor of electric.

    I absolutely hate the loud boombox cars that rattle our windows as they pass by. Alas our neighbor also has one, or at least plays his car radio as loud as possible. He also has screaming kids. And loves to scream at his kids.

    Makes me wonder were one could go to find peace and quiet? Maybe in the center of an 80 acres farm.

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  31. Jeff Borden said on May 24, 2021 at 10:57 pm

    Has anyone here heard the Asian-Latinx band, The Linda Lindas, performing “Sexist, Racist Boy” at the L.A. Library? Reminiscent of the Deadly Vipers. Pissed off teen girl anger distilled.

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  32. Mark P said on May 24, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Some time way back in the ‘50’s, my father made an electric lawn mower from some old electric motor he had. I was too young to remember much about it. A neighbor borrowed it while we were on vacation and burned up the motor somehow. I have thought about an electric mower, but, as I said, I’ll almost certainly need a riding mower when I’m finally able to actually cut our grass.

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  33. Deborah said on May 24, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    I think it was Julie upthread who mentioned wanting to find a hat with a neck covering attached, the one I found at REI yesterday that I used today with great success is a Columbia brand, white cotton with a neck flap that fits up in a pocket inside if you don’t want to use it. I was outside hatcheting vines from chainlink in full sun for 4 hours and it worked like a charm. I wore a mask so my upper lip and chin would be covered too. I let my nose stick out for easy breathing. My forehead gets worse and worse, also upper lip. The good news is I can wear a hat that comes low on the forehead and a mask when I go out in public so as to not scare small children. I will be so glad when this procedure is over.

    I got a plug in leaf blower to use around the condo grounds. I really hate dealing with the cord, I’ve used it maybe 3 or 4 times.

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  34. Deborah said on May 24, 2021 at 11:50 pm

    It’s amazing what people can do when they do it for the common good https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santo-domingo-pueblo-powers-through-crisis-by-turning-to-its-people/article_b7dcd60e-b741-11eb-81b2-03c69624fcd0.html There’s a paywall but you get a few free reads each month.

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  35. Dexter Friend said on May 25, 2021 at 1:30 am

    Americana: small town boys playing baseball in a vacant lot and getting screamed at by the old man school janitor when we hit it over his (swear this)picket fence, white fence of course. In the fall , more than once as we played hard-tackle football, we’d damage the fence. We were loud as hell, and the cussin’ was fierce and loud as well. And Hank, the screaming must be universal. Little girls scream so loudly it sets me on edge, but…grin and bear it is all I can do. But with other noises here, I can take the screaming.
    Regarding city hills …anyone here know St. Paul? At the 2000 AA International at the HumpDome in Minneapolis, my brother and I stayed with his wife’s relatives there. We biked through St. Paul , across the Mississippi to the Dome. Riding back at night, we went down the steepest fucking hill I had ever seen, and I had spent time in San Francisco. Davern Street. Brother was riding a high-quality Raleigh bicycle with great components. I was riding a bike with less effective brake pads. I started down this hill and had to weave to keep my speed as low as possible, but lost that ability shortly. I was going straight down the hill when my front brake pad flew off. A second later, I lost a rear brake pad and was freewheeling straight towards a busy, busy 4-lane roadway. I was going about 40 mph I guessed. I knew my only chance of survival was with Lady Luck. I entered the roadway during a break in traffic…3 seconds either way and I would have been roadkill. My brother thought it was funny as hell. I never forgot Davern Street.

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  36. Beobachter said on May 25, 2021 at 2:32 am

    Dexter, that was scary AF.

    I came across this last month:


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  37. Dorothy said on May 25, 2021 at 8:22 am

    Speaking of homeless, I thought this was very interesting:


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  38. JodiP said on May 25, 2021 at 10:29 am

    Dexter, that hill is crazy. that was an awful close call. I used to go UP it to train for long distance rides.

    I don’t think I’ve shared, but I have a horrible boss. Micromanaging, bullying, abvusive, the works. Just got out of a meeting in which she stated, “Yes, having Roy show us exactly what’s going on in this website is why I wanted us to meet.” I had asked for 2 months to hold this meeting and she wouldn’t let it happen. In a normal world, I could have just called this meeting 2 months ago without her. She didn’t need to be there; I could have given a verbal report out.

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  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 25, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Cullen, that was a revelation. Had never heard of them somehow, but I will surely be listening to more. A sample from Lord Huron: https://youtu.be/cuPhuGJToQE

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  40. Julie Robinson said on May 25, 2021 at 4:37 pm

    LAMary, I just noticed upthread that you wrote “my as of today former employer”. I think that’s called burying the lede, but I wanted to say I hope the next job is coming up soon.

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  41. Dexter Friend said on May 25, 2021 at 5:41 pm

    JodiP: My brother rode up Davern on the way over to Minnehaha Street, but I pushed my bike up. You must be in great shape. My brother was a total biking freak, having done Paris-Brest-Paris a few times as well as rides of hundreds of miles regularly. To him, a Century Ride was a stroll in the park. Once he rode from his South Chicago home to South Bend just to start a double-century ride.

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  42. LAMary said on May 25, 2021 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks, Julie. I think people must be tired of my employment dramas so I keep it low key. I’ve had two big deal video interviews, haven’t been given a NO by either yet and I’ve checked in to see if I’m still in consideration. I am. I have a good one coming up on Thursday. Contract again but pretty long term and good hourly rate. Good company. Fingers crossed for that one. There are far more jobs out there right now than there were a year ago. Food service recruiters are needed everywhere. I’m not one of those, but healthcare is strong too and I’ve probably applied to twenty jobs so far. All remote, lots of them recruiting in other parts of the country.

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  43. Deborah said on May 25, 2021 at 6:24 pm

    There are signs at restaurants all over Santa Fe advertising for jobs, some of them list what hourly rates they’re willing to pay, which are still pretty low, below $15 per hour. Some of these are fast food joints and some high end restaurants. So many of these places were closed during the pandemic and people had to find different jobs as essential workers etc, or they went on unemployment and now obviously they’re unwilling to go back to their low paying jobs. How disgusting that owners are unwilling to pay a living wage, and if they can’t, they shouldn’t be in business. Obviously, they can, they’d just rather pocket the profits.

    We walked way more today than we intended because Lyft had no drivers taking riders today, it was weird. My husband has the Jeep in Abiquiu today and LB and I had lots of errands to run. We thought we’d walk to the Plaza which is less than a mile away, and then walking here and there in the plaza maybe another 1/2 mile added to that, but we ended up walking more than 5 miles all told because after we got to our other destinations we couldn’t get a Lyft anywhere. Walking that much isn’t that much of a big deal for me but LB has a bum hip, she’ll be sore tomorrow. I don’t know if Lyft drivers are finding it’s not worth the hassle of making a pittance anymore.

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  44. Julie Robinson said on May 25, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    Best wishes on your prospects, Mary. It sounds promising.

    Our son’s job ended last week. He was working for attorneys who went out on their own, but their business hasn’t grown fast enough to justify his position. So he’s on the hunt too. Of course this triggers all my mom worries because I’m always afraid he’s going to slip into depression again. Hopefully the presence of his girlfriend will flood him with enough happiness that it won’t happen.

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  45. LAMary said on May 25, 2021 at 7:21 pm

    Losing a job definitely is depressing. Even if you’ve got some interviews going on it’s easy to go negative. I had to bring my laptop and monitor and assorted other stuff to my former employer’s office yesterday. I was met by no one. Couldn’t find anyone who knew who I was and what I needed to do. The two people I was told to ask for were not available. After seven phone calls I found someone in IT who signed in the equipment. I didn’t expect a party but it would have been nice if I didn’t have to hunt down someone. I got a call later when I got home and was told to put in for a full day’s work, so there’s that. The life of a temp is ok if you don’t mind being invisible.

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  46. Dexter Friend said on May 26, 2021 at 1:56 am

    LA Mary, I can’t imagine the stress of doing contract work but am glad you keep up a sense of humor and appreciation of art and nature. Daughter Lori took a nursing contract job in New Bern, NC, 18 years ago and it was interesting to stay down there for a few months , as Carla Lee helped with the grandkids while Lori worked. I explored the area, did a lot of bicycling, and found a great AA meeting right on the banks of the Neuse River.
    The Impala sedan may be sold very soon. The instrument panel lights are lighting up and I don’t want to deal with the cost of fixing whatever is wrong. I hope the local used car dealers are in a buying mode. This is a good car with low mileage, no rust; wish me luck. I am done with sticking a FOR SALE sign in the window and selling to strangers.

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  47. ROGirl said on May 26, 2021 at 5:03 am

    Sorry about your work situation, LA Mary. Temping sucks; I hope there’s the chance of a decent direct hire job.

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  48. Suzanne said on May 26, 2021 at 9:01 am

    I had to do a temp gig once. It was awful. The pay was lousy, benefits non-existent, and time off was limited to 7 unpaid days in a year, except it wasn’t really time off. Each miss was counted against you; after 4 misses, you were on probation, after 7, you were let go. One woman was put on probation after she missed her 4th day due to having a miscarriage; another who had missed a few days because of sick kids was put on probation when she missed her 4th day taking her husband to the hospital because he was having chest pains.

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  49. Heather said on May 26, 2021 at 9:14 am

    Another one for the language discussion: a therapist I follow on TikTok says the word “mantra” is a no-no. I can understand avoiding words that are problematic, but if English is going to delete every word we borrow from other cultures and languages, we’re not going to have much left to work with.

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