As Far As I Can Tell

Trash Trucks Explained

Parked all around my neighborhood and often slinking slowly though the alleys you can find beat up old pick-up trucks with built up sides stacked incredibly high with scrap and trash. Generally wood, metal, porcelain or furniture is piled impossibly high and clearly not just being moved Beverly Hillbilly style to another residence.

I might of finally found out what is going on. The city of Chicago has developed a report [pdf] on illegal dumping that has the following explanation:

Although it primarily occurs at night, illegal dumping occurs at all times of the day. Illegal dumpers often purchase rundown pickup trucks at a very low price, use them for illegal dumping activities until they are no longer operable, and then abandon them while they still contain waste.

So some the trucks I see parked are just abandoned until the city hauls them away. They make their money on illegal dumping and when the truck breaks they leave it for the city to take care of.

Illegal Dumping Truck

This weekend was great because Meredith was in town. It really helps make up for my weeks full of days sitting here in front of this screen staring at incredibly small type all day.

We saw a movie, went to dinner with friends for Matt’s birthday, hung out with Isaiah and Johanna, and tried very unsuccessfully to fly kites that we bought at the Paul Davis Pharmacy. Paul D. was even nice enough to give us extra kite string, but we didn’t make very good use of it.

Three times a group of young kids had to come over and explain what we were doing wrong. Eventually our mistakes ruined the kites before they ever got in the air. An entire family that the kids belonged to watched me running like an idiot all over the hill trying to get the kite to take off. I think I’m done with kites.

Kite Failure Meredith trying to float her broken kite.

Kite Failure If we couldn’t make it fly, at least it matched her dress.

Kite Failure Me being disappointed with my broken kite name “Art 2”.



In the second photo of me I think I look a little like a drunken Muppet…but at least there is some nice matching greens.

Posted by: meredith on April 29, 2003 12:23 AM

from looking at the pictures … my first reaction is … um, did you like at least put the sticks on them before you tried to fly them? maybe that would’ve helped. ;-)

Posted by: miguel on April 29, 2003 1:39 AM

Yeah, it totally looks like we just tossed the floppy plastic in the air and hoped for it to fly. What you’re seeing is after both of our sticks broke.

Posted by: simon on April 29, 2003 6:30 AM

you guys clearly should have gone for the plastic gayla brand kites. i can remember many days when i was a kid thinking that my “sky eye spy” kite was going to pull me off of the ground. are you going to the conference formerly known as upc? and i was wondering about that web hosting place you recommended to me…feel free to drop me a line….

Posted by: jim on April 29, 2003 11:10 AM

oh, i thought you might want to know that a friend of mine from the online journal community was very offended by your use of “might of” instead of “might have” a few entries ago. and then here it is again. yours truly, the grammar police

Posted by: jim on April 29, 2003 11:11 AM

oh no! the grammer police have inflitrated this site as well… shit. anyway, it’s nice to see you kids enjoying your time together. when i was living in chicago and allison here in kalamazoo, we didn’t have such lovely failed kite flying episodes. *sigh* …although i’m sure allison’s outfit matched with whatever lame activity we did happen upon. ugh. did i say “you kids.” forgive me, please.

Posted by: eric on April 29, 2003 6:36 PM

There’s a difference between grammar and style. I prefer to follow style over grammar (as per Strunk & White) in the quest to develop a “voice” that resonates w/ my readers. So. The use of “might of” is accetable in that context. (BTW, so is the use of a single word sentence “So.”). Grammar is important for large social conversations (i.e. between an entire language’s population). Grammar is nothing more than a series of agreed upon rules of syntax. There’s not necessary logic behind them (and often, very transparently, there’s none). That’s why adjectives go first (“red car”) in English but later (“auto rojo”) in Spanish. But when you write for yourself — even if you have an audience — developing a unique, personal STYLE is important. And. That style might include breaking rules of standard grammar for the sake of consistency. Hence. Developing an individual syntax and grammar all one’s own. See? Bottom line: Simon, feel free to use “would of” or “could of” or whatnot as you deem appropriate. Ignore the grammar police. Oh, and BTW, the use of “might have” is grammatically correct, but usually in poor style. One should avoid using passive verbs — “might have” is such a use. Although. It’s difficult to avoid using helping verbs in the English past pluperfect.

Posted by: miguel on April 29, 2003 8:15 PM

*guh!* did i say grammar police… or did i say anal grammar police… ‘cause i meant the latter. *smiles*

Posted by: eric on April 29, 2003 9:26 PM

The scrapper trucks that I’m familiar with (they used to slowly drive up and down our back alley on Argyle st.) are owned by mexicans- I always figured they picked up big trash that had some potential of being reused. I put a microwave and an air conditioner out in the alley becuase I knew they’d be picked up soon. Within 10 minutes, I heard the trolling engine and went out back to say ‘hola’ to some stout woman loading them onto the back of her truck. She had other electronics in there in various stages of decay- I figured that was her specialty. I had hoped that they were just part of the unspoken cycle of recycling in Chicago- obviously not involved with the city but for their own communities (fix it cheap and sell it cheap).

Posted by: vanessa on May 5, 2003 11:28 AM

As far as who can tell?

Chicago, IL

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