September 21st, 2004

Fishy Circumstances

Carelessness and power tools

Usually when someone sends off an abstract for a general session for Kalamazoo, that person receives absolutely no feedback on whether or not the Medieval Institute even received the abstract until the program book is printed (or put online), at which point that person must check to see if they're on the program or not. Cunningly, and entirely by accident, I discovered how to find out if they've at least received the abstract: be absentmindedly inconsistant! I received an email telling me that I had both said I needed no AV equipment and checked the box for an overhead projector. It was safely received!

In other news, griffinick is coming to stay for a few nights, and arrives tonight, so of course I'm doing a great deal of unecessary last-minute cleaning. I swept the front porch. Our front yard isn't very big, but it does need tidying now and again, so this was a rare moment when I went out and did something about it.

I had just finished sweeping the leaves from the porch onto the short path leading from porch to sidewalk when the considerate woman who lives next door came out with a power tool: an enormous leaf blower, itself half the length of the path. She offered it to me, pointing out the only button it came with. I plugged it in, aimed carefully, and a whirlwind of leaves exploded around me. Leaves ran off all over the garden, back onto the porch, over the fence, out into the street. It was my first experience with a leaf blower and I was using it in a rather small space. I herded the leaves back off of the porch and the path, blowing away most of the plants in the front garden in the process, and eventually most of the leaves ended up in the middle of the street. As the roar of the leaf blower died out, the plants settled back down, not quite as obliterated as I initially thought. Some tools are overengineered for their current uses.