I recently read somewhere that for a blog to be successful ("success" being defined by the number of hits, not the quality of the posts), one should avoid talking about oneself and instead provide content that others could use. "Youformation" rather than "meformation," as I recall the author putting it. There's something vaguely Buddhist about that advice to avoid egocentricity, but since this blog is not-quite-officially but semi-dead - and since I haven't cared about the number of hits I get for years (at least since I disabled the hit counter) - here's a "day in the life" post anyway for all the seekers of youformation to ignore.
The picture above is of my dashboard yesterday as I was running some errands (including filling the gas tank - note the fuel gauge is on "F"). The mileage had rolled over to 56,000 miles, time for an oil change, and the Maintenance Light came on to remind me of just that (it's only a reminder, not a warning that the engine's about to seize, but it won't go off until I get the service done). Anyway, even though I was dashing along at 60+ miles per hour, I managed to snap a picture in recognition of that here-and-now instance in space and time (all my life had been leading up to that moment), but don't try this at home and don't text and drive, kids. Seriously.
So anyway, I took it as some kind of sign. Sure, a sign to get my oil changed, but maybe also as a sign that portended more was in store. Later that day, I was getting my exercise in by walking along the Beltline trail, and I noticed a couple of cardinals up ahead fussing over something on the ground. At first I thought it was a baby bird that had fallen out of the nest, a not-uncommon but still heart-breaking sight this time of year, but when I got closer I saw that it was in fact a bat.
The bat seemed distressed and I think a wing might have been broken - it sort of skittered and flopped around on the ground but couldn't fly away, and lacked the forelegs necessary for it to crawl to safety. I didn't know what to do for it and was concerned about the rabies potential if I had tried to help it, so I eventually just had to leave it there for nature to take its course.
I know that some superstitious people think that having a black cat cross your path is bad luck, but what is it when a brown bat crosses your path?
The cosmos answered my question later that afternoon when a thunderstorm came through Atlanta and I heard a loud crack of lightening, followed by the explosive boom of a transformer blowing, the crashing sound of a falling tree, and the sudden loss of electrical power in the house. Not quite "snap, crackle, pop" (boomers will get the reference) but more like "pop, crackle, snap." Yet still another tree had fallen in the neighborhood, once again taking down the power lines and leaving us in the dark.
This one didn't come down on my property (my scorecard is still unblemished vis a vis falling trees) but a few houses down, and fell at a funny angle that blocked not only the owner's driveway but also a small side street, too. Missed their mailbox, though, so that's lucky.
By an hour or so later, the temperature in my powerless house had already risen up into the uncomfortable part of the 80s, and Georgia Power repair crews were nowhere to be seen. I walked down to examine the fallen evidence, and some Comcast trucks were already there repairing their cable lines and helpfully turned their headlines onto the tree so that I could get a better picture (it was darker outside than these cell-phone pictures suggest).
The Comcast technician had no idea what time Georgia Power was going to be there or when the power would be restored. His advice to me: "It's time to head out for the night and go to a sports bar." I told him that pretty much was what I was intending to do, although I could go one better that a sports bar. "I hear you," he replied with a grin and it was only later that I realized that he thought that I was referring to a strip club. But what I meant and what I eventually did was head downtown to The Mammal Gallery for live music by three local bands, including the last-ever performance by Atlanta's Balkan-influenced folk-rock ensemble Christ, Lord, at which point this story gets continued over at the other blog, Music Dissolves Water.
A day in the life: here, now, the odometer rolls over to a milestone; here, now, an unexpected opportunity to examine a live bat; here, now, a tree falls in the neighborhood and does indeed make a sound; here, now, it's time to go out and listen to some bands
Here, now, it's time to post all this up on the web.