This feels like the best summer in years, he said, tempting fate. The weather’s been spot-on perfect, the music’s been right, I have a new ride, and there’s the comforting sound of water in the backyard. Yes, the Water Feature actually adds to my life now. I’m still waiting for the second bill, so I can send it back, but for now it’s no longer a source of hideous strife. Life is good

Here’s my day: dropped off Gnat, went home, did work, picked up Gnat, made her lunch, did Marshmallow Math (I bought individual snack-size packs of marshmallows for lunch-bag snacks, and use them as teaching tools, just to keep her brain from turning into a total slurry over the summer) took her to her next activity, went home, finished the column, listened to the radio – the Flag burning amendment failed, and I can’t say I’m sad – not a problem that raises to the level of a Constitutional amendment in my book, and I say that as a guy who knows how to fold one, and does so on a ladder so it doesn’t touch the ground. Scanned the day’s work, napped, picked her up: Target!

For fireworks!

Of the lamest sort. Nothing as stout as a stevedore’s forearm that whooshes into the sky amidst the tracer fire of bottle rockets. Mostly tubes that vomit orange smoke. I’ll discuss this in Quirks next week (which are due tomorrow; deadlines are stacking up – three due tomorrow, which is why this must be brief.) The main purchase was a remote control for a power outlet, so I can just lean out the window in the morning and turn the Water Feature on without tromping all the way across the back yard.

Having a remote for a fireplace is one thing, but a remote for a waterfall: that’s living.

Worked on the bathing suit site tonight, the fruits of which are linked below. Since I’ve little else, let’s have some cell phone pictures:

I found this in the stairwell of a school where Gnat took some classes last week. I wonder how many students see this as an indictment of the Vietnamese war instead of a slam against North Vietnamese invasion that caused the boat people. I wonder how many teachers see it that way, for that matter.

On the other hand, some other students have a rather vigorous view of their cultural traditions:

If you ever have forearms like that, you really need to get the fluid drained. And what did go on atop that pyramid? Any nonconsensual cardiovascular surgery to salve the mood of a feathered god, perhaps?

Gnat sometimes asks “why do you take pictures of things that don’t mean anything?” Because, I explained, some day they’ll all be gone, and they'll mean a lot. Things like this:

A late 50s / early 60s high school water fountain. The entire building – now a community center – is being rehabbed one floor at a time, and the old classic details are being removed without ceremony. Doesn’t alter the fact that it’s not particularly attractive. Finally, a bumpersticker:

More clever than insightful, I think. My first reaction was “being pumped out with nationalized infrastructure,” but that’s not fair. Of course, neither is the bumpersticker. I don’t know anyone on the red side of the debate who thinks it’s “our” oil. Until we buy it, anyway. If anyone wondered why his oil was under their soil, it was Saddam, looking at Kuwait. (To forestall the inevitable email about slant drilling: I know, I know.) But arguing with bumperstickers is a tiresome task; I post this for one reason. If you had to deduce a stranger’s position on drilling in ANWAR and off the Florida coast (our soil, in other words) based solely on this bumpersticker, would she be for it or against it?

(I say “she” because the vehicle was parked outside a school at pick-up time. And it was pink.)


New Quirk, and of course the Bathing Suit addition. Enjoy, thanks for stopping by, download only “Minimal” from the new Pet Shop Boys because the rest of the album is weary sludge and “Minimal” has a classic New Order guitar riff, and we’ll see you tomorrow.