balloons in the forest
Monday, July 3 2006
Unlike more public nature trails, the Stick Trail is unusually free of non-natural litter. Indeed, if one were to eliminate all the hunter-produced trash (mostly beer containers and ammunition casings) and all the celebratory helium balloons that blow in, there would be essentially no trash in the forest at all. This morning I cleaned up two celebratory balloons visible from the Stick Trail, and other day I cleaned up another one. These are usually made of aluminized plastic and are easy to spot, though I'm sure there are many more throughout the woods, either unseen high in the canopy or far from the trail. The balloon I found the other day bore the message, "Way to Go Grad!" It had landed so recently that it still contained plenty of helium. I know this because I bit a hole in the side of it and, after inhaling a lung full of whatever it contained, began talking. For a good 20 seconds it was Disneyland in that part of the forest, chipmunks & presumably bambis included.
In the afternoon I visited Jon, our adventure/writer friend who is also an occasional client. My job today was to replace an old subterranean ethernet cable with a wireless link. Jon's house is prime habitat for three or four diverse members of the squirrel family, some of whom have an evident interest in chewing through copper wires. In the past I've fixed the cable when a rodent gnawed through it, but WiFi technology has advanced so much in the past two years that it no longer makes sense to maintain the cable. A stock Linksys 802.11b router can easily punch through all the walls that the CAT5 cable had been traversing. It took about ten minutes to get the new WiFi network up and running.
Jon has a new girlfriend who, Gretchen tells me, is in her 20s. Jon, on the other hand, is in his fifties. I met the new girlfriend and the three of us hung out in the kitchen drinking Heinekens (well, the girlfriend didn't, though I suspect she is old enough to drink in both New York and her native Tasmania). The conversation ranged wildly from the state of albatrosses in the South Pacific, how information may not want to be free but ends up that way anyway, and even why in the world someone would want to make his own flushless urinal.
I had the dogs with me at Jon's house, and what sucked was that I was going to be going to a barbecue at Penny and David's place (which is nearby) but they'd told me not to bring the dogs, saying doggy pandemonium was ongoing in their cube-shaped post-Mid-Century-modernist weekend house. So I had to drive all the way back home, drop the dogs off, and then turn around and head back the way I'd come for five miles.
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