Sunday, August 29

Terrorism at the Dump

I drive a '63 Chevy pickup that's showing its old age as
I cover up the rust with gray primer. The poor thing needs a major
operation to revitalize it inside and out, but the energy and funds
are redirected to higher priorities.

I loaded her up with old boards, trash and tree trimmings yesterday
and headed for the dump, a one or two time ritual each year. To make
things more interesting, I grabbed the video camera and tried an
enroute commentary as Ol' Blue (and Gray) rolled down the highway.
This was a precarious situation due to the fact that there are only two
ways to shoot video when you're driving by yourself. One: put the
camera on the dashboard pointed forward out the window. In this case,
there is about a 3" space between the windshield wipers, enough to film
through the scratched and blurring glass to get a decent, albeit shaky
picture. And two: handhold the camera while steering with your left hand.
This way you can spice up the view by panning left, right, up, down, etc.
Your commentary will be more easily understood, also.

Unfortunately, this is not the safest nor most legal way to preserve those
warm and fuzzy memories. And in my truck there is the other minor problem
of the highspeed (third) gears disengaging if you're not continually holding
the gearshift lever down (column shifter). I can get about 10 seconds of
hands-off time before the crunch time is announced with a loud, whining
grinding coming from the transmission.

So being part juggler, able to steer with your knees, and making sure there's
no one around you are all pluses if you want to get that National Geographic shot.

I thought there might be a bit of value in setting the camera on the cab, pointing it
back toward the action while dumping my load. Big mistake. After tossing everything
and cleaning up, one of the orange traffic 'guards' came up to me and told me it was illegal
to be filming inside the landfill station without permission. I explained my reasons
for doing it. He was patient and kind, a little bit nervous. I told him if it was a problem
to call me and gave him my Dave Skinner Photography card. I'm waiting for the police
to arrive at the door and confiscate my 8mm film cassette.

Next time I'll ask, but there won't be a next time.

Sunday, August 22

Rooster Booster

We've lived in the city for the past 30+ years, moving a few times,
but always to another civilized part of town.

Many moons ago, we could hear a rooster crowing a few blocks away.
This rather nostalgic addition to our SUV crazed neighborhood always
put a smile on my face and told me that some of the people moving in
probably enjoyed a non-American culture.

Then about a month ago, the people on our south side thought it would
be good to start raising hens and a rooster, little caring that some people
on this side of the fence were light sleepers and only getting about 5 hours
sleep due to this more than exhuberant yellow crowned cock crowing at

Our neighbor, Wendy, called Animal Control more than once. They visited
the owners, were given warnings, ultimatums, etc. Okay, they'd take care
of it. Right. "Do you have a rooster?" "No," they said. They had given him
to their neighbor next to them.

My daughter yells at Barb this morning, "There's a rooster in our yard!"
Police were dispatched, a big net drawn, and the chase began. The bird 
hid under the Red Flame grape vines, but was soon flushed across the lawn,
around the back of the house and cornered on the north side. Finally netted
and grabbed by his cute little feet, it was more than granddaughter, Angel,
could stand. She loved the whole affair and had to explain the whole event
to me when I got home from church.

Case closed. No more early morning crowing tomorrow. No more excitement.
Wendy is wonderfully happy that the old bird knew how to fly and decided
to make his escape. Funny how some problems kind of solve themselves.

Friday, August 20

Blurbing Along

To those bloggers whose daily blurbs define their depth,

1. Like the proverbial tree that falls in the forest while no
one is there, a blogger's words are most likely falling on deaf
ears as well.

2. Blogging seems more an exercise in excesses than real
nuts and bolts reality.

3. Blogging is usually about the blogger, someone that
99.9 % of the population cares nothing about.

4. Revealing a true level of intelligence is an unintended
consequence of most blogging.

5. There is a simple reason why most bloggers are female.
[If you have hard evidence this is false, let me know]

6. Blogging is a fad that will fade into the cosmic background
in a few years.

7. The best blog site is one that your pet writes.

8. A blogger's time would be better spent reading the Bible.

9. No one gets paid for maintaining a blubbering blog.

and lastly,

10. Bloggers could care less what people like myself say.