Thursday, January 03, 2008


While riding the bus this morning I noticed three workers leaf-blowing a rather large pile of leaves down a sidewalk. The treed area was a stretch of sidewalk and grass populated with five or six mid-sized trees; not a ton of leaves but enough to build to a pile that was about three-feet high and ten-feet across. They were walking in a loose line abreast formation blowing the pile, top flying off and followed by the bottom, to a destination any number of feet down the sidewalk. I’ve never owned a leaf blower but there’s little chance that they are more efficient, over a fairly limited area, than a good rake. In fact, I suspect we’ve been hoodwinked into believing motorized operation is supreme to hand operation. What would a blower really be good for? Removing grass stray grass clippings from the driveway or sidewalk after manicuring the lawn seems like an idea; blowing a few leaves from the porch before crazy co-workers come over for the “big game” barbecue might make some sense – although I’d argue that a good broom might work. The more I think about it the more the blower seems completely counterproductive to what we’re actually trying to accomplish. Do we hope for wind while we are normally raking? Probably not. Shouldn’t the motorized thingymajig be a sucking and composting contraption that simply carries all those lightweight leaves in some bag on your back? Blowing leaves? Sometimes I wonder. (update: while looking for a graphic I found this.)

The Eleven swapped cell phone from Cingular to Credo (run by Working Assets subcontracted from Sprint lines.) No changes to phones numbers for either of us or Laurel but I have a much cooler looking phone. I bought a Bluetooth headset a few days ago (comments may remain rhetorical) but can’t manage to get it to link to my phone – maybe its fate…or reverse fate.

I’ve found (belatedly….amazing, really) that there’s an upcoming tour dubbed Three Girls and Their Buddy that’s hitting about a dozen cities. Thankfully, even if it sounds strange, they aren’t hitting the D.C. area but maybe they’ll add more dates later in the spring. The tour is Emmylou Harris, Patti Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller. For some reason these little get togethers have now caught me of guard twice. About three years ago Emmy, Patti, Buddy, and Gillian Welch did the same sort of show across the west and I was way late on that announcement. I’ll keep my ear to the rail and let those interested know if additional dates bubble up.

It’s caucus day in Iowa; and so we hear the bang from the starting line disappear into the wind and cold of middle America.


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