About Town

Something about the weather today is making me very sluggish. It’s clear and very windy, which means that it’s actually rather cold, especially since my door badly needs weatherstripping, so the wind is whistling in through the cracks and gusting around the living room like an exuberant puppy. As a result, I am wrapped up in a quilt and I am having difficulties doing anything even vaguely productive. First I dithered around all morning with a secret project, and then I felt irritable so I decided to walk it off downtown, and that only made me more irritable because I had to stand in line at the post office behind a smelly person who kept making weird gulping noises, and then I went home and tried to work and fell asleep with the keyboard on my lap.

I woke up because Loki jumped on the keyboard, triggered about eight error messages, and then jumped off.

Given that my house feels ice cold, I guess it’s time to get some weatherstripping for the door. This is something that I’ve been planning on doing for several months, actually, I’m just incredibly lazy, which makes it very hard to get things done. This is despite the fact that the hardware store is a block away, and weatherstripping will reduce my energy bill dramatically, since I won’t be forcing heat out the door and into the wide world outside.

Walking downtown today, I noticed several things. The first was that construction crews appear to be finishing up the alley between Oak and Alder, so soon that’s going to be drivable again, for people who care about that sort of thing. The city clock’s southern face appears to be stuck again, this time on 12:36, while the north face is holding strong at 8:58. I hope no one’s actually trying to use that clock; I actually glanced at the south face and thought it was right until I got home and found out that it was 11:57.

I also note that the city has yet to replace the giant traffic cones in the tree planters with actual trees, although the trees at the corner of Laurel Street are still going strong. I hope they hold up; the last ones were vandalized by idiotic children, and it was quite annoying. While I hate the pastiche downtown and the pandering to tourists, I like trees, and I hate ugly rings in the sidewalk filled with cigarette butts and urine.

My daily circuit reveals all sorts of interesting things which I think people in cars miss. I keep an eye on gardens, for example, to see what’s being planted and how things are developing. I was disappointed to note that a nearby garden was treated with herbicides for weeds; it’s the same garden I’ve been longing to launch a guerrilla weeding attack on. Herbicides aren’t just gross and bad for the Earth, they’re also counterproductive; a couple of their desired plants were wilting, and some of the weeds were still going strong anyway, especially these obnoxious clover looking things which have also invaded my own garden, to my chagrin.

I think that the walkers of a town are its spirit, breathing life into their community and keeping an eye on the state of things. I’ve noticed that in towns with a small walking community, things tend to look shabby and sometimes dangerous, because no one is there to notice the slow decline. Too bad the downtown improvement is so walker unfriendly in some ways, with dangerous parking set-ups which seem to be inviting catastrophe, in my opinion.