May 20th, 2005

Tom Lehrer is Smug

(no subject)

They painted the crosswalk lines tonight outside on Summer Street. I'm not sure if you've ever seen such a thing happen, but it's quite a sight to behold. Of course, owing to the roadhogging nature of the operation, it must be done under cover of darkness and light traffic so when I walked home from work around 11:30 this evening there they were, re-painting the lines on the crosswalks to keep them bright and shiny.

There's one truck and a crew of I think three. Maybe four. Not counting the police escort, working of course on duty pay. The truck was a jerry-rigged sawed-off flatbed with two gigantic Dickensian vats of bubbling, steaming hot white paint, which had coated the sides and dripped down a gleaming white sluice. The crew had thoughtfully placed a drop cloth on the road underneath the sluice itself so as to not bespeckle the fine roadway. It was from here that they periodically refilled their painting machine, which looked like a large pushcart with a paint reservoir on top. A little squeezy handle spread the paint across the pavement in a big bold swipe.

That's pretty neat, but here's the neatest part: As the crosswalk paint cools, it congeals as well, hardening into that rubbery enamel of sorts. To free up the hardening paint around the vat's paint tap, the crew used a wicked blowtorch with, I kid you not, at least a two-foot flame. They'd fire it up and stick it in the vat nozzle and that'd warm the paint back up so it'd flow freely for a little bit longer.

Nice work, if you can get it.

By the way: Walking home from the Sullivan Square T stop not only saves me $1.25 per trip, but also around 15 minutes. That's right, it takes 15 minutes longer to catch an Orange Line train into the city and take a Red Line train out to Porter than it does to walk at a reasonable yet steady pace the two and a quarter miles from Sullivan Square to my place via Union Square. I blame the crummy Orange Line construction that means only one train on the tracks between Sullivan and Haymarket, plus the godawful slow Red Line trains which apparently aren't supposed to really be going that slow. Go fig. Also I'm super proud of the fact that I'm in good enough shape that a two and a quarter mile walk, most of it uphill, is nothing to me. Must've been all those years of theme park pavement pounding.
Tom Lehrer is Smug

(no subject)

To Roger eBert and the people who help run his website:

Thank you so much for refusing to bow to trendy nomenclature as you continue to refer to eBert's dispatches from the Cannes Film Festival as "articles" as you have done in years past instead of, say, calling them "blogging from Cannes."

Thank you very very very much. My faith in humanity may yet continue, unabated.