Friday, September 3, 2010

Dirty jobs

While I was confined to the couch last week, I watched more television in six days than I've watched over the course of the last six years. We don't have TV here at our house, though we do have a television set. We watch some Netflix, we play a few video games, and so for those we have an old hand-me-down television from my grandma. It doesn't have a remote. You actually have to get off your duff to adjust the volume or turn it off and on. Channel changing isn't a big deal, since it gets set to one channel for games, and the next channel for Netflix. It actually took me while to figure out which combination of buttons I had to push to get the Netflix movies to play--if it was any more complicated I'd be at a total loss!

Anyway, Netflix now has a bunch of television shows that you can watch instantly on your TV if you have a Wii and a special disk. This may be old news to a lot of you, but to me it's a new and wonderful thing. Since we don't have standard television, and I couldn't hold a book open for very long with my hand in it's state (and permanent position over my head), I might have gotten a bit bored--and I can't abide boredom. My sixth grade advanced math teacher stated that only boring people get bored, and it's one of the truisms that I like to repeat.

So, what did I watch? All five series of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe, Cake Boss series one, three seasons of The IT Crowd, some Red Dwarf, and then the night before last I finally saw the movie version of Phantom of the Opera. The Phantom of the Opera probably deserves its own post. I'd feel strange talking about my feelings for that movie in the same post where I rave about Dirty Jobs.

Dirty Jobs stole my heart. The premise of the show is to illustrate all the nasty, hard, and dangerous work that people have to do to keep America well-stocked with the level of goods and services we've all come to expect and feel we deserve. When you look at your bowl of Cheerios, do you see the locomotive engineers or the guy who has to clean the grease out of the clogs in the factory? Do you see the farmers working long hours to harvest the oats? What about the guys who battle the heat all day delivering the water to grow the oats? What about the people who work int eh ceramics factory to make your bowl? The inseminators who make the calves to keep the milk production steady?

Dirty Jobs shows the dirtiest and nastiest of these jobs, with the host, Mike Rowe, trying his hand at everything. At the steel mill, his face mask melted from the heat. Working with a biologist who monitors endangered animals on the Great Lakes he was bitten something like 27 times while helping her capture and monitor snakes. In another show he was assisting with wind turbine maintenance. Have you seen how high those are? Can you imagine standing on the top inspecting for damage, leaks, and loose bolts? Yikes?!

On our way home from the hills on Wednesday, we noticed some weird shapes attached to the high wires that run through our valley. At first I though it might be some trash, but as the road brought us nearer I could see that whatever it was, it was bigger than trash. Closer still, I could finally see what was happening. I made Mr. Boom stop the car so we could get some photos.

And here's our own Dirty Job to look forward to--turning this log into a tabletop for an outdoor seating area. This is the round I mentioned we had found alongside the road that we just had to bring back. Of course, it had to be sopping wet and covered with ants. What kind of forest log would it be if it weren't. But now we're bringing it into the town, so it must shed those aspects of its former life. This didn't qualify as heavy lifting, right? 'Cause I'm not supposed to be doing any of that...

Have I mentioned how much I love my new car? We could NOT have done this in our old car.

Oh, one more thing. This terrible shot shows the yellow helicopter that was flying around the area, lifting all the gear up the towers for the men and I think helping string the new power lines. You can see just how tall the towers are that the men are working on, as they completely dwarf the helicopter.

Anyway, this was published in the Local Police Blotter the next day: "A helicopter was reportedly seen in the area of R. C. Road." Love the small town news!!!

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