Posted by: David | February 9, 2008

Dump Day Afternoon

Another 6-8 inches of snow is supposed to fall tonight through tomorrow, and it started this afternoon, sooner than they said it was going to. In anticipation of a snowy Sunday, the weekly trip to the town transfer station (i.e. dump) was advanced 24 hours.

Oliver loves going to the dump! Lookit the tail-blur.

It’s probably a little dangerous to take pictures of yourself driving. Isn’t it?

Will you please stop swerving! Who the hell are you talking to anyway?

I wasn’t really talking. Yeah, my mouth is open. Maybe I was just muttering OK OK while trying to safely get a picture for this post. Like I had it all planned out.

The dump was deserted and we didn’t produce much trash this week so it was a quick process. The dump is where we New Hampshire folks expect to have some conversation. Today I learned that our transfer station would soon start collecting plastic to recycle. That’s great! Oliver never got out of the car, but he was pretty active in there, looking out of each window in 15-30 second rotations. He doesn’t want to miss anything. Last week there was a little schnauser in a truck right in front of us. Oliver went pretty nuts. We humans can never know that intense canine sorrow of looking a fellow dog, mere yards away, in the eye and knowing we will never sniff butts!

Arriving home, the rest of the afternoon stretched before us. It started snowing harder. My wife and daughter spent hours web browsing wedding wear. I wandered about the web myself, dropping quality commentary around on my favorite blogs. Nice image. I also read Rolling Stone. Dammit I’m sad for Britney. Really. I also listened to a Mogwai disk just purchased from iTunes. Mr Beast — it’s starting to grow on me.

The coffee table. Britney’s somber stare.


  1. First of all, I can’t believe you’re taking pictures of yourself while driving in a snowstorm. This indicates major blog addiction.

    Second, you really need a little “Oliver is My Co-Pilot bumper sticker. I need a bunch of little Oliver stickers, just to scatter around and make me happy.

    Your daughter’s getting married?

    I feel very sorry for Britney too. It’s no longer a joke.

  2. Transfer station! Imagine coming up with a name like that for a dump.

    Here they still set things out in front of the house. In some places the bags can be thrown down a pipe into underground collectors.

    In Zurich, Switzerland, they have to buy special yellow bags that cost 6 dollars each to oblige people and manufacturers to cut back on the production of waste.

    The photos are very nice, but that is easy to do, unlike those that you took around the house and on the road.

  3. you’re looking a tad …abstracted… there, my friend. everything ok? or are you just keeping your eyes “on the road,” as it were? oliver is a *splendid*-looking co-pilot. he must look forward to dump-runs with dad from at least Thursdays onward.

  4. Thanks moonbeam, I thought it was a bit risky but I wasn’t sure. It wasn’t actually “storm” level snowfall at that point. Plus I’m starting to come down with a cold or some minor malady. Going through lots of tissues and mouth-breathing. Hence the “abstracted” look, although, yes vermonter I was definitely looking at the road.

    Yes, my daughter and her fiance are planning a wedding this summer. Joanharvest recently posted some of her daughter’s wedding pix which were very nice to see.

    Yes, the transfer station is fun for all and a hightlight of the week. I think that we should have to pay, like the Zurich folks, for each bag of trash we produce. We are so far out of touch with how much we waste.

    Most of the photos I take are easy, cantueso, since the camera is so smart and the software too. In the old days, when I did “real” black & white film photography, hours were required for each good print. I don’t miss that, but I still have all the darkroom equipment up in the attic.

  5. I keep getting into trouble for telling people if I see a language mistake in their posts, as I like to be told. — And so now I have decided to tell you that I am not sure you mean “fiancee”, but rather “fiancé”. I am telling you because you said you were monoglot and might not know that “fiancée” is a girl, especially since the defining accent is also missing. However, if that “ee” is intentional, this should not be taken as a hint of the ideological kind.

    I was wrong as to the price of the Züri bags. I checked, and now they cost only 2 francs, that is about 3 dollars.

  6. Mighty big rope in the back seat there for a leash for little Oliver!! Is that really his leash? Well, down here in southern NH the dump is changing slowly, and us native New Hampshirites are sad to see it. The town has imposed a limit on how long you can stay at the dump and how many times you can go in a day. The new rule says maximum 1/2 hour visit, one time a day. I believe this was imposed by the town selectmen and selectwomen in order to stop the campaigning that takes place there. Yes, that is where the local campaigning takes place, as well as fund raising for groups like the boy scouts, or the girl scout troop selling cookies. It is, after all, the one meeting place in town where you can expect to see everybody sooner or later. Sad to see this changing.

    Did you actually get the amount of snow predicted? It seems like the weather reports have been consistently wrong.

    Congrats on the upcoming wedding. OH, and I love the flower pics, although there is a certain tone of desperation (can’t seem to find the exact adjective I am looking for) in the blog about the aloe vera flowering.

  7. Marcia, you should recognize that the dog leash is actually a horse lead. Oliver has tons of leashes, my fave being the retracting one. I wonder if other towns have enacted that dump regulation. I haven’t seen any of the usual malingerers campaigning prior to Town Meeting season at our transfer station. The aloe vera flowering really impressed me, I can’t remember whether I’ve ever seen one flower before. Maybe “perverted” was the adjective you wanted?

    Thanks cantueso, I do like to be corrected. I should have known that one too, since I did actually study a little French way back in my school days. I’m 100% certain that my daughter is marrying a man.

    $3 for a bag of trash is still a good idea. Our trash disposal is paid for with local property taxes which all homeowners pay annually.

  8. It is a good idea, but not 100% good. Zurich is a rich city, but many people preferred to put their waste in just any bag and dump it somewhere in the woods or set it down in front of some neighbour’s house.

    I have been told that the government had to employ spies to try and trace the origin of the illicit bags.

  9. @ canteuso: i wonder what sort of person takes that trash spy job and how they present it in their resumés after?

    @ marcia: I think dumps and town garages are to rural northern NE what the agora and the piazza were to ancient Greece & Rome. In my solitary venture into electoral politics I won a JP slot in my tiny town with exactly ONE campaign poster, which I asked my friend Paul to hang in his autoshop garage for 10 days before the election.

  10. Oliver is so funny! He really looks interested in where you’re going, how you’re driving, etc.

    I’m very sad for Britney, too. It’s become so disturbing. I keep wondering if history will look back on us and judge us for doing nothing but watch as our celebrities destroyed themselves. I was relieved when she was in the hospital, but she was released too soon. I wish someone could stop her.

  11. Ah, but Vermonter, whoever named the dump “town transit station” will think of a name for the spy, as, for instance transit control executive or, more exactly, transit circumvention manager. Of course.

  12. No, vermonter, the dog looks worried, and I would be worried, too, seeing what he takes to the dump and what, however, he leaves on the coffee table.

  13. David, why don’t you create “Flower Porn” first as a category and then as a business? Have you googled whether the very notion can or should be patented? I can just see the market for it, about twice the size of the other one, as it would include both those that go for the real thing and those that don’t.

  14. Just looking at your picture gave me a wicked head cold! Geesh! I hope you feel better, and I hope I feel better too. Love the trash-talking; I think you should do something lucrative with your flower pictures although I tend to agree that you are somewhere between desperate and perverted. And finally, Britney needs protection and I believe we WILL be judged for standing by while the world eats her alive. Where are her parents?

  15. Oliver is definitely an extremely visually attentive dog. If only he was less OCD! But he really seems to enjoy a short ride in the car. So much new stuff to see.

    The coffee table has a strong selection of reading material, well beyond what’s visible in the photo. I swear cantueso, underneath the Rolling Stone and GLAMOUR magazine is the current issue of The New York Review of Books, with a thoughtful article by Sarah Boxer on blogs. I’d challenge any medical/dental waiting room anywhere to have a better assortment. Including the only existing copy of US LUCKY PEOPLE OK!!!!! The beauty is that it ALL ends up at the transfer station eventually.

    Jeez People, they’re just flowers for godsakes! Get your minds out of the gutter!

    The Britney sympathy is warming. May she receive these positive vibes through the ether and gather her strength. The Fame&Fortunator devours many. Riches and glamour are powerful illusions that have undone people way more sophisticated than the Spears clan. Let’s keep it real people!

  16. Cool…your town has a dump where people meet to mix and mingle??? Ever witness two unsuspecting souls having a love connection there??? Maybe it’s worth the drive for a speed date 😉

    PS: Britney IS an American Tragedy eh? Remember all her pep in that music video “Hit Me Baby One More Time?”…wha happened??? And I mean really, it is unfortunate…I hope she has one of those life-altering-turn-around-thingys…

  17. Somebody once gave me a subscription to the New Yorker. Sigh. I do hope it is not the same as yours. Sigh. They launched what’s his name who wrote Rabbit Run. Sigh. I put it on my breakfast table to learn English, because I am underweight and absolutely may not get up until I have put in at least 400 kalories. Sigh. However, the jokes are the best there are in the whole wide world!! Also the editing! those wee little vignettes set in the text, but off topic!

    Now I no longer need the New Yorker. I discovered Polenta instead, for lunch or supper, and already gained 3 kilos.

    But you are right. All dentists, notaries, lawyers, and gynaecologists have it. It is written for waiting rooms, but I had never seen it at a private citizen’s home.

  18. It is “TRANSFER” station, not “transit”; why can’t I ever learn?

    Because at first I thought it was such a poetical name, sic TRANSIT gloria mundi for a dump.

  19. Romi, I hope Britney has one of those thingeys too. If only she was possessed of the same equanimity which you appear to have. That might help her. And no, though I am a keen observer of people, I have never seen any dump-affairs. Not a bad place for a speed date, except in summer, when it smells of garbage and there are many flies …

    sic TRANSIT gloria mundi 🙂 That is pretty nice cantueso, except our dumps seeks to be only a recycling point and not the end … And thanks for getting the magazine title (New York Review of Books was the title I mentioned before) wrong, as it gives me the chance to point out that other magazine titles buried on the coffee table does include New Yorker, as well as Science, Wired, OK, Vogue, In Style, The Week, Horticulture, etc. Polenta sounds good too! We should eat more of that considering how much we love corn. Not getting the 400 calorie/New Yorker connection but I’m glad to hear that you like the cartoons. Sometimes they’re all I get to.

  20. David:

    I think it is not the world, but its glory that ends up at the dump, but I have not googled it yet.

    400 calorie = long = drag
    to relieve drag = reading
    reading = back of cornflake box ???!
    reading = recherche du temps perdu + olive oil ?!

    Reading = new yorker + olive oil + strawberry jam + coffee spilled all over = just right

  21. Vermonter:

    I got it. It is not “transfer circumvention manager” but “our boys of the TCM” and that turns into “our TCMs”, so dimly familiar and friendly.

    Grrrrrr. Bark. I have seen it before.

  22. Cantueso- I really appreciate your commentary as well as your blog, but now I am confused by your equations. Especially:

    400 calorie = long = drag

    And your barking startled me. No need to explain it’s most likely just me. Dense I am.

    Vermonter- Thanks for that lovely gesture!

    [What lovely gesture?]

    Moonbeam! GUESS WHAT!?!? Vermonter has commissioned and sent me the bumper sticker out of your imagination! Isn’t that COOL?!?! It has a little picture of Oliver and says “Oliver Is My Co-Pilot”.

    I promise I will post a shot of it once it’s been decided whose bumper it will go on. See, I am not Oliver’s biological father.

    I’m pretty much just using his likeness as a chick-blogger-magnet! (Along with the flower porn- yes I am just another disgusting little man.) The truth comes out.

    But I like the bumper sticker a lot! He’s just not really my co-pilot. If he was, he’d tell me “DRIVE OVER THERE WHERE THAT GUY IS WALKING THAT DOG! DRIVE OVER THERE I SAW A SQUIRREL. AND STEP ON IT! STOP! LET ME OUT!”

    Anyway thanks again vermonter. That was awfully nice of you!

  23. Vermonter, how cool!!!!! I can’t wait to see the sticker! That’s just so great, and so thoughtful.

    David, somewhere I saw some show or cartoon, and someone’s dog miraculously starts speaking in English, but all the dog says is, “A STICK! A STICK!”
    It sort of reminds me of Oliver’s co-pilot speak.

    If Tom’s cat could speak, all it would say is “Love me,” and “I’m going to snot on you now, m’kay?”

  24. David:

    400 calories is about 4 big slices of bread, and I tell myself I have to eat those, but I’d rather do 10000 other things. So it is a real character test, and I fail it about 4 times/week, which, however, ceased to be critical when corn meal became available here due to Latin immigration.

    With polenta + derivatives I can do 600 calories or more in no time. My family background, from way back, is hotels and restaurants where the real professionals eat some sort of a sandwich while preparing les petits fours à l’anglaise enchantée.

  25. a friend of mine, observing a vigorous little terrier straining on the end of a leash as it walked its owner through Harvard Square, remarked: “Dogs must think in nouns.” (“Squirrel! Car! Treat?! Butthole!!”) Myself: I can’t help noticing that they proceed on a diagonal through the world. They seem always to lead with one or the other shoulder.

    Glad you liked the Bumper Sticker Dave although it was supposed to simply drop *anonymously* into your day like some sweet accretion of all the good will that is shed here. At least that’s what I intended when I put “GIFT: please leave bill out of packet” in the Special Instructions box; I guess my Engrish wasn’t clear. Also there are supposed to be TWO of them in the envelope so that Mrs 0-Dave can have one for her car if she would like one. Kindly re-check the packing materials.

  26. Vermonter, I agree with your friend about dog language. When I worked in special ed. that kind of speech was called “telegraphic”. I wanna call it doggerel but that’s awful really. Sorry. The important thing is that each noun is followed by an exclamation point! And a question mark every 3rd noun.

    YES, there are 2 stickers, they were sorta stuck together. That is the way of stickers. Thanks again and sorry about the anonymity loss. At least your secret is now safe on the INTERNET!

    Cantueso. I just cannot fathom finding eating tedious. It is beyond my ken. Inconceivable.

    And I meant no offense to headache sufferers either. Or TCMs.

    Invited this randomness didn’t I?

    [cat sneeze]

  27. randomness? *what* camel?

  28. I think that was a lemur.

  29. somebody somewhere did a study: if you ask people to name a random number, a statistically significant number of those people will say “17”. 17 is the nonrandom random number. As the camel is (in my northern new england mind) the nonrandom epitome of randomness. That lemur, though: that’s Something Else.

  30. Yea, verily, I have known this since I was 17. Soemthing Else indeed that lemur was!

  31. “Last week there was a little schnauser in a truck right in front of us. Oliver went pretty nuts.”

    It was a Schnauzer. It is a German word. “Schnauze” is a German vulgarism for “mouth”, and “Schnauz” is a dialect term for mustache.

    I wonder : are there lots of German terms in dog breeding?

    I wonder because you’d never believe how immensely many there are in theology and philosophy. And I don’t know why that is! Many people in that field are (Catholic) Jesuits and many are Jews, but even in Spanish and Latin American bibliographies. and in bibliographies on the Jewish Encyclopedia the names are German one after another, but not (as far as I can tell) German Jewish. Recently I had the impression (don’t remember context) that archeology was also full of German names.

    (Traditional bibliographies, not recent publications, where maybe English names predominate).

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