Ramblings from the Warrior's Den
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
This will be part 2 of my ongoing series chronicling the many things in my life over which I have no control. Today's topic: The trees in the front yard.

In the front yard of my house, there are two large maple trees. These trees cover most of the driveway, and because of the number of vehicles we have (and partially because I'm the only one here who still drives a junk car)I have to park my car under these trees. This means that my car receives a significant amount of whatever happens to be falling from the tree at any given time. During the Spring, it's the blossoms. During the Summer, it's a combination of various bugs and bird droppings. In the late summer every other year, we get those really annoying helicopter seeds all over the place. During the Winter, the Avian Nonconformist Society (Non South-Flying Chapter) decides to use this tree as the venue for their Annual Winter Meeting. Given the fact that my car has not had working windshield washer fluid dispensers for well over a year, this tends to become a tad annoying after a while.

Then there's the fall, when the leaves start to fall off. As anyone with a large maple tree in their yard knows, the leaves off this tree are rather large. These are also the type of leaves that have an uncanny tendency to become semi-permanently lodged under your windshield wiper, smearing the heck out of the windshield until you finally get out and remove it by hand so you can actually see where you're going while you drive. Then there's the task of removing the leaves from the driveway when they fall. For several weeks during the fall, this job is the type of task that would frustrate Sisyphus. A couple of weeks ago, I was given this task, and dutifly cleared the driveway. When I woke up the next morning, there was literally six inches of newly fallen leaves. You couldn't even tell that there was a driveway under there, except for a couple of tire marks. Thus we see the utter futility of yardwork while there are still leaves on the trees. At least it ends eventually, just in time for the aforementioned nonconformist birds to arrive.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
While watching the news tonight, there was a story (complete with a live on-the-scene report) of the latest new Krispy Kreme donut shop to open in Burlington Washington, approximately fifty miles north of here. A raher sizeable crowd is already camping out in front op the shop, awaiting the chance to be among the first in line. This is the second Krispy Kreme to open in the Puget Sound Area, with the first having opened about a year ago in Issaquah. about ten miles down the road from here, and about two blocks from the Microsoft Samammish campus where I spent the summer testing software. This meant that Krispy Kremes ended up being breakfast about twice a week. This also means that after a while, I got really really sick of the things. I guess it's one of those things where you're supposed to just smile, nod, and go order a couple dozen more for no apparent reason.

When the Issaquah donut shop opened, there was plenty of fanfare to accompany it, almost none of which was generated by Krispy Kreme. Somehow, the opening became a major media event, and for lack of much else to talk about at the time, every major news outlet in town was there with the remote broadcast trucks. For weeks afterward, there were lines stretching all the way around the building. About two weeks after the grand opening, I was down in the area, and partially out of curiosity, and partially because I seem to have unintentionally made it a hobby to stand in long lines for no apparent reason, I decided to grab a dozen or two to find out what was so good about the things. I ended up standing in line for nearly an hour on a Saturday evening. At the end of the line, there was... Donuts. Well, they were slightly expensive donuts, and they probably contained enough sugary stuff to send a whole daycare flying up the walls, but they were still donuts. They don't seem like the kind of thing to be camping out overnight for.

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