Monday, July 27, 2015

CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH A YARD WASTE TRUCK

This morning as I waited for a 2 that was not moving on the map, a yard waste truck pulled up right in front of me and loaded some grass clippings up into itself with great fanfare, if by "fanfare" you mean "ruckus."

I was already annoyed because the yard waste bin was hanging out with some of its friends right in front of the bus stop and I was having to invest more effort than usual in remaining visible for a bus that was not moving on the map, and said fanfare didn't help. I didn't realize there was more to come.

As the truck gingerly set the bin back down and pulled away, my nostrils were accosted by a beguiling combination of clearly-several-weeks-old grass clippings and diesel exhaust. I've not been so intrigued and revolted at the same time in quite a while.

I didn't realize there was more to come. I checked my phone one last time, and still seeing the 2 at the same intersection where it had been for the last three minutes, I did the only thing I knew would get the bus to move: I walked a block and waited for the 220 instead.

When I got to the 220 stop I checked my phone. Judging by where the 2 was, it had started moving as soon as I had. Of course. Of course it got downtown before the 220 did.

I didn't realize there was more to come--when I did, eventually, get to work, I was momentarily panicked by the fact that it smelled like a small mammal had crawled up into the ceiling tiles and died. Anxious lest the smell of the yard waste truck had stuck to me permanently, I hid myself in my cubicle and devoted myself to my spreadsheets in silence.

But that was it--nobody was sure what the stench was, but it wasn't me. The rest of the day was actually pretty peaceful. Nothing wrong with a little spice to add to the beginning of your day.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday, July 6, 2015

ANOTHER JULY MEDITATION

Right now, some of you are happy with America and some of you are not. Those of you who are currently happy with America have probably been unhappy with it at some point in the past. And all of you will be unhappy with it at some point in the future. Don't take any of this personally; I'm including myself in this last category as well.

I just want to remind all my fellow Americans that last Saturday was the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In contrast, Hitler's "Thousand-Year Reich" only lasted 12, and the Soviet Union dissolved 74 years after the October Revolution. We're not perfect, but we've made it through a lot. And there's no reason we can't make it through a lot more.

If you're currently dissatisfied with America, you should get out and volunteer. Vote. Be a good neighbor. Take transit (it can't hurt, and might make you a better neighbor anyway). If you're currently satisfied with America, do those things also--it'll make it easier when you next become dissatisfied.

The answer to the original question, "Oh say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave?" is


YES, IT DOES