01.04.12 Not in the Otis Sense





Ever since my daughter got an iPod Touch for Christmas, she’s been FaceTime calling me for important things, like “I’d like lunch.”

But you’re down the hall, I say. I can hear you.

“I know but it’s fun.” And it is. Today at work I called her on FaceTim, knowing she’d have wifi at her friend’s house - school’s still out, and they’re still on break and BORED OH LORD SO BORED - and it was one of those moments where you’re happy to be living in the future. Picturephones? Pshaw; leap-frogged that. Star Trek communicators? Had those in 2007. Like all cool technologies, you integrate it into your life right away and think nothing of it, after a while, except to be irritated when it doesn’t work.

It’s glorious! It’s so cool! It’s damned miraculous - and in the end it comes down to situations you would have never predicted: you’re in the men’s room, and the phone gives your kid’s custom ring, and you know it’s a FaceTime call.

WHY U NO ANSWER is the subsequent text.

I was in the bathroom.

O_0 ohhhhkay then thnx

It’s the first week of January, so that means taking leaves to the dump. The leaves were left by trees in October. The lawn service people who do a “fall cleanup” didn’t take them, because they arrived too early, and figured “well, snow will cover them soon enough.” So they stayed. In the warm weather of late November - yes, I still live in Minnesota - my wife raked them up and bagged them, because they bothered her.

“Why? The snow will cover them up,” I said, “and then the new lawn service people, who replaced the ones I fired because they won’t shovel our walk anymore because I didn’t get on the list soon enough and they decided to blow me off after ten years of business, referring me to a brand-new company that coincidentally is owned by the lawn service company’s brother, will pick them up.” Or a quote to that effect. I said this because I am lazy, and stupid - lazy for not doing it myself, stupid for not realizing how saying such a thing just made me look lazy. But she did it anyway, and put eight bags on the boulevard for the trashmen to take.

The trashmen looked at the bags and said “we’re sorry, but the time for picking up dead leaves has passed, and shall not come again for many a moon.” Or so I imagine they said. They just left the bags. The snow came; the snow covered the bags. So, mission accomplished? No: the bags had to go. I did some research and discovered that there’s one place that takes leaves. Today I put all the leaves in the Element and drove there.

It’s in an industrial area along the old train tracks that served the grain elevators. A rail line runs diagonally through Minneapolis, and elevators are spaced all along - although how many are used, I can’t say. They’re big.



They were the biggest things around when built. They still are.


I paid $15, dumped out my leaves while listening to a radio show about whether the universe’s exact precision for encouraging life (wrote about that here last month, how the gravity’s just right, the moon provides tidal action to churn nutrients into the water, and all that) is evidence for Intelligent Design. I’d say it could be, but isn’t necessarily so. It’s not the sort of thing you can prove, and it seems misguided to try. It’s all like trying to figure out where electricity comes from by sitting in a dark room handling a light bulb. (For the record, I believe in the multiverse model, with universes either arising from other universes or existing simultaneously and adjacently, the “soap bubbles” model. Either works. These things are not, as the host of the show suggested, inconsistent with Intelligent Design; if one believes in a Creator, then there’s no reason one can’t ascribe, well, creativity to Mr. Prime Mover, and imagine that each universe is a novel, a plot.) Anyway, I got the leaves out.

The leaf pile was next to a Christmas Tree pile. I just wish there was a cordwood pile, so people would struggle for a way to describe the way it was stacked. “The cordwood was stacked like - hey, wait a minute.”

Hey, don't think this is a short entry. Well, it is, but if I'd included the updates this thing would scroll down for another half-mile. We have Comic Sins, here, and there's a rather surprising Black & White World, which contains something of an actual surprise. Really. Okay, a small, insignificant surprise that you'll probably never use in any practical sense, but it's one of those things that adds a detail to something you know already. Context. Backstory. That sort of thing. It's here. Enjoy, and I'll see you around.

Oh, one more thing: in the old days of the elevator leviathans, there was one place you could look down on them: the Witch's Hat Tower.


Ah, summer:



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