unorthodox plastic tray
Friday, May 11 2007
It was another beautiful sunny day, not too hot and not too cold. This afternoon I went to visit Darren (that carpenter recently returned from Florida) in the Rondout to help him with his computer, which had degraded to the inevitable funky end-state of a Windows machines used by kids. When I arrived, Darren was just wrapping up a session spent with a vintage 1950s-era dump truck he'd recently bought. It's in terrible shape, with a rotting cab and an as-yet non-functional engine, though the frame, being made of thick pieces of steel, is still solid. Darren has a seemingly-impractical dream of fixing the truck up to mint condition and showing it at vintage auto shows. For the time being, though, nothing happens when one turns the key. I suggested that perhaps there was a problem with the wire running from the key or the starter, and that he really ought to invest in a multimeter to help test these things.
While I was there, Darren's two kids came home from school. They looked to be in their early teens or late tweens. Both have wavy, African-accented hair and blue eyes, part of Kingston's large population of children born to mixed-raced families. When I went inside to work on the computer, Darren made his kids sit there and watch me so they "could learn something," and they were good kids and didn't complain, no matter how boring things were. I mostly showed them how to open up free space by throwing away MP3s, of which they had over nine gigabytes. During pauses in the action, when the computer was rebooting or whatever, Darren showed me photos from his trip to Jamaica. There were dozens of him and various other people posing next to a billy goat with long, curving horns.
On the drive home I went to Target intent on buying a plastic tray suitable for containing the potential leakage from five car batteries (which I am storing in the laboratory). The closest thing I could find to such a tray was the lid for a large Tupperware-style container. Not finding a price on it, I took it to the front in hopes of buying it. But that was when I learned that it was supposed to be bought with the matching container. I explained that I needed
to use it as a tray, and the checkout girl, whose mind seemed to be blown by my apparent eagerness to purchase an object to use for something other than its intended purpose, suggested I try buying a large tray at an auto parts place. She wasn't factoring into this suggestion the rarity of a person needing to store five car batteries.
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