Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Cost of Cleaning Up


When the dog and I go out in the morning we take two plastic bags. One for her chores and one to hold the plastics bottles, beverage cans and quart beer bottles that adorn the curb side. The plastic and aluminum collection was getting out of hand in the backyard and the bottles also needed to be recycled but the glass weighed more that I felt like moving and there was no room left in the van for them. So we got an early start to the recycling drop-off behind the Ralph's store. Too early was the first result as they don't open until 10:30 A.M. so when I returned at the correct time there was no where to park and there were several customers waiting with their plastic bags and cardboard boxes lined up waiting for the attendant to set up his scales and weighting cans. There were several that were not novices and the queue was organized with the exception that all the material being recycled was blocking traffic through the narrow street behind the stores. The sorting and payment is not a speedy process and the sun was out and getting hot in the shadeless alley. The scale, small ticket printer and register is powered by a 12 volt car battery that is charged by a solar panel on top of the storage container which service as both a office and a container. Three customer went through the steps of loading the weighing cans and the placing them on the scale and receiving a recording for each different type of material. Several folks drifted over to the shade provide by the store wall and conversed in English or Spanish. Since my Spanish is less than a few words I was unable to hear if they were grousing. The real complaining started when the battery ran low and the scale quit. This happened with me at the head of the line. I asked what the hold up was and I thought he said "he needed more pallets." (that is not what he said) and another lady asked later as the attendant offered no explanation for the hold-up and was told "he needed the battery to charge". Obviously I had lost something in the translation which is par. Then what order that existed turned to disorder as the UPS truck could not navigate through all the recycle material blocking the alley, then several Ralph's employees got off work and could not get out of their parking places. Then some regulars with small bundles wanted their cans "comped". Then several people started loading their goods back into their not so new F150 pickups. My wiliness to hold out for my remittance starts to fade as my cell phone quit working. I had brought a book along to read but somehow just couldn't get started on it as I melted in the sun. Finally after 1 hour and 45 minutes I decided that this could be one of the reason so few people recycle. I left with my treasure sitting there and maybe it still there, I don't know.
Previous Word of the Day
shoal

"large number" (especially of fish), 1579, apparently identical with O.E. scolu "band, troop, school of fish," but perhaps rather a 16c. adoption of cognate M.Du. schole, both from P.Gmc. *skulo- (cf. O.S. scola "multitude," W.Fris. skoal), perhaps with a lit. sense of "division," from PIE base *skel- "to divide." Related to school "a crowd of fish" (q.v.). For possible sense development, cf. section from L. secare "to cut."

On the 16th of November, in the afternoon, we lost a boat during our work in a shoal of whales. I was in the boat myself, with five others, and was standing in the fore part with the harpoon in my hand, well braced, expecting every instant to catch sight of one of the shoal which we were in so that I might strike.

(Page 6) The Wreck of the Whaleship ESSEX by Owen Chase

Post a Comment