Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Flies are for Fools

I caught three trout in the sedimentation basin yesterday. I scooped them out with a 1,000 milliliter beaker strapped to a mop handle, which contraption we use to get grab samples when we do jar tests (a series of six rectangular Plexiglas jars on a platform with six little propellers, called a gang-stirrer, which is supposed to simulate the plant processes to test for ideal formulas, quantities and timing of chemicals). It’s not as easy as it sounds to just snag minnows with a glass jar at the end of a pole, and yet it isn’t nearly as complicated as fly-fishing for the larger variety. They’re each about ½ inch long, but in a year or two we might have some nice fillets, if you like trout. I don’t; too many bones. I call them Bob, Jack, and Hughie, after the brothers in a favorite book. I hope they like freeze-dried brine shrimp and beta food, which is all I have. I suppose it’s okay if I can’t keep them alive. They would have died when the coagulant in the clarifier clogged their gills anyway.

I go through more witch hazel than anyone might suspect.

My boss is one of the rare men who make being bald look cool, like Albert Finney’s Daddy Warbucks or my grandpa Farnsworth.

I complained all winter that I wanted summer. Now all I can think about is the glory of fall. I’ve hit upon a pocket of melancholy, a little mourning for past and future, and I’m inclined to indulge myself and wallow a little. I’ll cheer up momentarily; I always do. But I find I’m weary of being myself tonight. I’m not worried about my dysfunctional moral compass or how detrimental daydreams can be. I’m just exhausted by my own potential.

Jo has reserved me Thursday for a tour of the new fifth-wheel and because she’s making creamed pheasant before Don goes back to South Dakota to shoot more. I’ll put her new computer together while she’s busy in the kitchen. I can’t do that sort of thing with people watching. I love Jo’s house, from the HGTV-worthy back porch to the smiling mounted moose head, which she calls Bullwinkle, in the cozy basement. Between her taste and Don’s carpentry talent the place is as inviting as any mansion.

A power bump caused the plant to go haywire while I was there alone Monday and I’m thrilled to say that I managed to keep it afloat until help arrived. I put the water champ and the floc drives and all the pumps in manual, adjusted the hypochlorite and coagulant feeds, and waited for Gary the Prince of LadderLogic to drive up from Utah and save the day, which he promptly did by hooking his laptop into our diseased SCADA (System Control and Data Acquisition) and giving it a digital what-for. And that evening I went to my last summer violin lesson and Mr. Lundstrom shook my hand and told me I’m a natural. And I hardly even practice.

I’m tired of thunder with no rain.

3 Comments:

Blogger Shepcat said...

I just had a Blues Brothers flashback:

ELWOOD: "I bet these cops got SCMODS."
JAKE: "SCMODS?"
ELWOOD: "State County Municipal Offender Data System."

And just for the record, the converse is also true: Albert Finney is cool regardless of how much hair he happens to have at any given time.

August 10, 2005 at 4:01 AM  
Blogger A said...

You're right. Al's cool factor transcends hair.

I'll never see the SCADA without thinking "SCMODS" now. It's going to make it immeasurably more fun.

4:01 AM? Isn't that 3:01 AM where you live? That's too late to bed and WAY too early to rise. Is that really accurate?

August 10, 2005 at 11:04 PM  
Blogger Shepcat said...

In fact, yes. My average bedtime these days is around 3 a.m., give or take. After posting that comment, I actually stayed up until about 4:30 a.m. Pacific.

I figure I'll sleep when I'm dead, or when Italy stops roasting espresso beans. Whichever comes first.

August 11, 2005 at 2:51 AM  

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