Pride of the Sewer System


sewer lid bellinghamSilver?! I didn’t know they made these in silver. I took this picture 2 days ago, and it’s been bugging me ever since. Why have I never seen these? I have so far come up with 4 possibilities:

1. Maybe there are lots of silver sewer covers and I just never paid attention.

2. Maybe they all start silver, and I’ve just never seen a new one.

3. Maybe the sewer people were all “screw bronze! let’s go for silver!”

4. Hey! Magical sewer!

I sent an email to the public works department, and they’ll be getting me the details soon. But in the meantime, I went searching for images of sewer covers from around the world. Awesome stuff out there! For my town, I think it’s time for a manhole revolution! I’m doing my part. I’ve just sent my second email to the Public Works department, asking if, after I die, I can have a Harris Avenue sewer lid for a tombstone. Now that’s a legacy!

Anyway, here are my favorites-

http://derekmunson.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/57322-nichihara2.jpg?w=330&h=330

Saturn is on the outside. Uranus is on the inside

http://static.neatorama.com/images/2013-03/manhole-cover-nagoya.jpg

Jiminy Crapit!

http://derekmunson.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/f0d75-manholecover.jpg?w=305&h=303

Knock Knock. Who’s there? Birds on a sewer cover. Birds on a sever cover who? The only birds on a sewer cover in the history of sewer covers. That’s who.

http://images.travelpod.com/users/rbfromnj/1.1261269976.manhole-cover-hakata-fukuoka.jpg

don’t be fooled. it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

http://sidewalkcity.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/photo-new-mexico-manhole-cover.jpg?w=328&h=334

Is this a sewer lid, or did a giant drop a quarter?

Royal flush!

 

 

 

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I Couldn’t Pop This Tag


This is my car:

Image

If you squint really hard, it almost looks like a Land Rover

This 1995 Ford Explorer has been in the family for its whole life. 19 years old- is that vintage yet? Classic? I’m guessing no.

The Exploder is on its last wheels. Literally. It creaks through turns and over speed bumps, and sometimes it kalumps along like it’s driving on oval wheels. Oh- and only two of its doors are fully functional. My 11-year-old daughter will ride in Mom’s car any chance she can get. But she’s usually stuck with me. At least I’ve got tinted windows.

But a guy needs wheels, and the Exploder’s end is imminent. So I’ve decided to get a truck.  Abby and I went to the dealer the other day with the following wish list:

We need four doors (that you can open from the inside AND the outside)

The truck should look new-ish

It must not be red. (Blue, silver, or gray are ideal)

Big bonus points for MPG, a good stereo system, and a USB port

The car lot

Long story short, we found a great truck at the car dealer. And then we found the sticker price-  just under $37,000!

Ah the joys of sticker shock. Right up to that moment, there was hope. I had big dreams!  But now there was nothing but doubt and despair. This truck was just plain out of my league. My head slumped a little bit, Charlie Brown style, and I walked away feeling like a deadbeat.

But wait! What was this?? Why it was my valiant salesman, slashing away heroically at that MSRP. And oh! The joy I felt! Pure jubilant joy, as the price came plummeting down with incentive after incentive. Godspeed, dear salesman! Slay the dragon! Kill the beast! Make that price tag disappear completely! I threw in a $5000 down payment. And then my one last dagger. The trade-in value of my old car!

The test-driver guy took the Exploder out for a spin, and was back before we knew it. He huddled with the manager, and the sales guy came back with the offer.

I knew I had been hoping for a minor miracle. But still, I was bummed when it didn’t happen. I don’t remember any of the details, except for one glaring number: the number 100. One hundred dollars. That’s what they offered for the Exploder. No, they hadn’t forgotten a zero. The trade-in value of the Exploder was ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. $100! I was dumbstruck. What was I feeling here? Was it anti-sticker shock? A Scooby-Doo-stickers-on-the-back-window kind of sticker shock? A Stick-‘er-in-the-car-squisher-at-the-junkyard-and-sell-her-for-scrap-metal kind of sticker shock? It didn’t matter. I had more important things to think about. For God’s sake- I’d just been diagnosed with a $100 car.

And on top of that, that new truck would still end up costing over $30,000 (not even including taxes and licensing.) These prices were blowing my mind. The disparity was stunning.

According to this offer, that new truck is worth 300 times more than my old car.

Check this out:

 1 NEW TRUCK

new little truck avatar

 

EQUALS

 

300 EXPLODERS

little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder 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explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder 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exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 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explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995little exploder cutout explorer 1995

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Move over Dodge- there’s a new Caravan in town!

 

Or how about this:

1 Exploder

little exploder cutout explorer 1995

 

EQUALS

 

100 new Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars!

matchbox and hotwheels cars

(author’s note- these are used cars, because I couldn’t find a picture of 100 new ones)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anywho… Back to reality.

Even with $5000 down, the payments were terrifying. With the same money I paid on a new car payment, I could buy a new Exploder every week for the next 5 years, and a tank of gas to go with it.

In the end, I decided to put off buying a new truck. Or any truck at all. My daughter won’t like this, but it turns out that for a couple thousand bucks, I can probably keep the ol’ Exploder running for at least another year. Still though, that’s spending $2000 for maintenance on a $100 car. Sheesh- if I’m going to spend $2000, maybe I should just get 20 more Exploders…

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April 17, 2014 · 4:35 pm

Oh!-ios


20140313-175439.jpg

I just ate a bowl of honey nut Cheerios. Ok- actually I ate 3 bowls. Something tasted a little weird and at first I wondered if there was something wrong. But then I focused my tasting powers and I realized what it was. Wait a tick- real honey? Could it be? I had to eat more just to make sure my senses weren’t deceiving me. But I’m sure of it- it was honey. Real freakin’ honey in honey nut Cheerios! Pkew! Mind blown. Whoaa. Trippy. Ponderous…
Anywho… Here’s my other Cheerio insight for the day:
Not only are Cheerios round, they are also made of oats. And oats starts with… Wait for it… Wait for it… O!
I know. Tough to digest, huh?

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Capturing Clouds


In the past 12 hours, I have had two experiences that border on the miraculous. One, I took a cough drop and it actually stopped my cough. And two, I had a delightful flight home.

Yeah that’s right. I said delightful. I don’t use that word often because it has to be followed up with a lengthy excuse for using it. But if i’m talking about a “delightful flight home”, there’s gonna need to be some ‘splainin’ anyway…

I’ll set the scene:

Me. Back row. The row where you can’t lean your seat into the lap of the person behind you. Didn’t matter though, because I had the row all to myself.

It was a night time flight, so the cabin was dark and mellow. I wrote a few pages in my journal. I ate honey mustard snack mix and drank 7 up. I slept.

For the last 30 minutes of the flight, I was awake and unexpectedly alert. Out the window, in between the clouds, there was a small town glowing in the middle of nowhere. We lumbered on past it, into the dark again, with the rhythm of the blinking light at the end of the wing.

It was hypnotic. Seriously like a dream, made more extraordinary when we started weaving into and out of the clouds. Inside the clouds, the blinking light lit up like a spark catching fire, its light bursting out like a firecracker’s flash. We passed through a rain cloud of illuminated raindrops. They flew past like bullets in the opposite direction.

We left the cloud, floating into the most amazing sky I have ever seen. It was the realm of Zeus, a place that could have spawned an Italian renaissance centuries before its time. It was simultaneously surreal and real, a fictional landscape that was unquestionably there.

We cruised past blossoming mountains, with size and depth that were easy to understand. Dark gray cliffs rose above soft lakes of white, draining into the darkness of the blank land below. On occasion, the city lights beneath the surface turned the lakes into seas of gold. Holes poked through the clouds. Like an inverted sky below,  the ground twinkled with its own stars amid clustered galaxies of light.

And then we descended into clouds of our own. Absorbed. Digested. I had the realization that I wasn’t just looking at a picture. I was in it. I was a part of the scene. What a magical paradox. What a profound experience. Delight! This place was a final destination all its own. How ironic that this world was unquestionably real and alive, and I was the ghost, just passing through.

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lego-beethoven smackdown


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2nb4gmlSXU

Zack made this stop motion lego video for a music appreciation contest. There is a lead singer, a bass player, a lead guitarist, a drummer, a keyboard player, and 4 dancers. As far as concerts go, this is the real deal. Relative to his other homework projects, Zack put massive amounts of time and effort into this thing.
There were 2 entries in the 3rd grade division. Zack’s video, and a nicely done classic tri-fold display about Beethoven, with a picture and a typed up history. Beethoven won. Zack got second, or as he calls it, “last place.”

Now I have no business judging a music appreciation contest, but if I did… (cue the dad bias disclaimer…)
With all due respect to the judges, I say a lego stop motion video wins every time against a tri-fold display. No contest! Music is supposed to be fun. Tri-folds are un-fun. On principle alone, I would vote for the lego video. Even if it completely sucked. Even if it wasn’t my kid. Why? Because the idea is bold, it’s imaginative, it’s made with joy and a playful heart. It wasn’t created for somebody else. It’s a pure expression of a 9 year old’s creativity.
This is the stuff of musical genius. Beethoven didn’t have legos, but he did know this: music shouldn’t be “worked.” It should be played.

Rock on Zacky!

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March 9, 2014 · 11:49 am

Be Here Now


Image

Be 8 years old again, just for a minute, and tell me this isn’t paradise.

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A Life Well Lived


johnny brenanTwo years ago today, my good friend Johnny Brenan was killed in an avalanche while doing what he did best: Living.

Thanks buddy, for the simple, joyful, and brilliant inspiration. Miss you!

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