August 16th, 2007

krazy koati

Let me lubricate my mind

The place I most often get lunch midway through my day of extruded office product is a nice little grocery shop not quite a block to the west, which has a merry proprietor who makes sandwiches and keeps up a level of banter with all the customers -- learning their names, getting into running jokes with them, that sort of thing -- that would make my father delighted. Even I'm enchanted despite my perennial shyness. It's a convenient place to eat: it's nearer than anyplace else, it's right by the post office in case I have to post something (I haven't yet, but you never know), and he has the twenty-four-ounce bottles of soda (I've been slightly dehydrated since birth). The Chinese restaurant next door tops out at twelve-ounce cans.

He's also quite recently developed a leak in the ceiling. I wasn't put off by that to start with since the occasional leak is a common hazard to the modern fad of enclosing spaces against the elements. He had a couple of the acoustical tiles removed and the ceiling fan not spinning so that the fluid could drop more nearly straight into the cans and old newspapers he'd spread out. This also revealed that hidden by the acoustical tiles are some lovely ceiling mouldings, the kind they made up until acoustical tiles made it convenient to give rooms unattractive ceilings. He said he'd gone upstairs to try finding the source of the leak, but the guy who rents the apartment from him wasn't in, so his ability to do anything was limited.

The peculiar thing is that it wasn't a water leak. At least it didn't look like water; it looked like oil. There's not really many natural explanations for oil leaking through a ceiling, though, not for hours on end. I'm hoping there's an interesting explanation soon, or at least that he also springs a vinegar leak. Luckily I'd gotten there early enough he hadn't heard that joke to many times. Yet.

On an unrelated note there's a fair chance you saw that bit about a double-nosed dog. I'm just alarmed by the final paragraph of the BBC News report about it at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6940289.stm (I hate giving URLs I don't control out in my entries, but they seem to be reasonably stable at least), which I haven't seen anyone else particularly notice: The explorers also carried with them a church organ from Dorset as a gift to local Bolivians in order to secure their help with finding the meteorite. Even in context that's an unsettling combination of words to share a sentence.

Trivia: The BBC's first television broadcasts, in 1929 using John Logie Baird's mechanical television system featuring a 30-line screen and twelve and a half pictures per second, were without sound. Source: Please Stand By, Michael Ritchie.

Currently Reading: Rhode Island: A History, William G McLoughlin.