Sunday, June 15, 2008

A personalized motivational poster

Oh man, I looked rough in that photo. Taken on a whim with my cell phone last summer sometime, after finishing a particularly hard route. I think it was my regular "11," which starts on Cresham street in the area of Rittiman and Harry Wurzbach. "11" is part of our meter reader lingo. I'm always kind of fascinated by the lingo that various sub-cultures develop, and of course many occupations are sub-cultures of their own. By saying "my 11," I mean "the route that I usually get when we're doing Cycle 11." There are 20 cycles.

Some routes are so bad that they are given a proper name from some specific place or characteristic of the route, such as "The Pig Farm" (which I've never done), "The Barn Door" (which I've done part of), Crownridge (which is my regular 5), and The Dominion (another 5 which I've helped on many times--it's so big it takes at least three people two days to finish), and "Alamodome" (which is my semi-regular 15).

This summer heat gets me down. I had already decided not to do a volunteer Saturday this time so I could get some rest, but then they decided not to have one anyway. I must have really been worn out. I took two naps Saturday for a total of about 1 1/2 hours sleep, and then went to sleep at 8:00 PM Saturday night anyway. I didn't even have a pipe on Saturday!

Anyhow, I've been slacking off even more than usual on blogging lately to try and refocus myself. I've actually begin reading a lot more, that is, reading books. I've also been limiting the number of different blogs that I try to keep updated on. So if I haven't left a comment at your blog lately, it isn't anything personal. I've just been trying to do other things.

In spite of the excess of books around here, I discovered that there were some I really wanted to read but didn't have--two of them I did have before, but no longer. One was lost when it was loaned and never returned, the other I traded at a used book store and now have decided I should have kept it. Oh well. I made a good score on eBay for 5 books by this author that should hold me for a while. More on that later, maybe.

Three books are cracked right now. Here are the opening paragraphs in case anyone wants to guess.

1. Her name is Patricia Campbell Hearst and here she comes, light brown hair flying in the California wind, as she thunders down the bridle path at Pebble Beach, aboard the big bay gelding. She is galloping hard and waving at the solitary figure who sits atop the fence watching her, mooning over her, grateful for that one quick, flashing smile that makes his day more bearable.

2. If Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Marshall had never lived, the nation could not, of course, have benefited by their thoughts and actions; neither, for that matter, would it have received much profit from them, alive and in full possession of their powers, if they had been left in the obscurity of private life. Statesmen come to the helm of government only if society has ways of discovering men of extraordinary talent, character, and training and of elevating them, rather than their inferiors, to office. Democracy must do two things and do them well: it must develop men who are fit to govern, and it must select for office these men rather than their less worthy contemporaries.

3. Petrograd smelt of carbolic acid.

Oh yeah, I had so much fun writing that "tobacco review" that I'm planning on doing more like it. After all, I do this mostly for myself. Even if it makes people think I'm smoking something besides tobacco in that pipe.

Which I'm not.


  1. I'm stumped. I can't guess any of those books.

    And you're comment on the book loaned out and not returned sent my brain scrambling trying to think if it was anything I had borrowed.


  2. No, it wasn't you. It was some guy who worked at the pizza place in the late 80s. I don't even remember his name now.

  3. I'm guessing number one is a book about the kidnapping, etc of Patty Hearst, but I couldn't begin to guess a title.

    That motivational poster is amazing. I think you should print out a postcard sized copy and keep it in your car.

  4. Cool picture!

    Now you've got my mental wheels turning.

    There are some areas where I would not want to read meters.