Aug 9, 2005


One of the great joys of my new job is that I get to indulge in one of my favourite hobbies--camelspotting.

See, right across the interstate is a long stretch of camel tracks, running perfectly north-south. They parallel the four lanes of interstate and the two lanes of Hwy 1 that run in front of the office. I've had tremendous luck spotting camels out there, seeing at least two each day at different times.

I had to do some preliminary studying before I embarked on this hobby, particularly on the habits of camels and the best place to spot them, such as near shipyards, warehouses, and depots, where some are wont to take on passengers. Then came the arduous task of finding camel tracks, but that was handily taken care of for me quite by accident, seeing as I work right across the highway from a beautiful, somewhat overgrown, and very busy set of camel tracks.

At first I had a little trouble with telling camels from dromedaries, but then a fellow camelspotter told me the trick--dromedaries have two humps, and camels have at least one diesel engine and an engineer on board. Now that I can tell the difference I've had a grand time camelspotting. Each time I see a camel I jot down it's engine numbers in my camelspotting notebook, mark down the time and the direction it was traveling, and how many cars it had behind it, making hash marks for each type of car, whether it was a dining car, tanker, or caboose.

Okay, so I lie. I'm a terrible failure at camelspotting. I haven't seen a single camel yet. I haven't even seen one lousy stinking dromedary. I have, however, have seen a hell of a lot of trains.

And that's quite too much of that.

I have seen in my few short weeks at the new office a fair number of interesting things, however, camels notwithstanding. I have seen:

  • Twice now a hideous LSU-themed bass boat, replete in purple and gold
  • A state trooper take to the median in a very fast turnaround
  • Innumerable log trucks--Boise Cascade's plant is right down the highway
  • Hundreds of motorcycles, usually headed north toward Natchitoches
  • A trooper go ballistic on a driver who was ignoring his presence
  • Did I mention log trucks? Noisy ones?
  • Crickets, tho this doesn't really count, as I can't see them on the interstate
  • Rain come racing across the fields behind us in a solid grey-blue sheet
  • Hundreds of white egrets dotting the freshly-mown field beside us
  • Attack ship on fire off the shoulder of, that's "Blade Runner."
  • A surprising number of boats, usually wrapped up in white cling.
  • A lot of very dumb motorists who think reversing up an interstate back to their missed exit is safe

And a lot of other things that likely won't make it into this list, because they're even more boring that the above list. I know a lot of that stuff up there is of interest only to me, simply because I find joy in the silly things life sends my way. Seeing a diesel trailer blow a tire into a thousand pieces in front of me (WELL in front of me) is one of my motoring high points. Trying vainly to snap a picture of a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly with my camera phone in Vulgar Wizard's front yard is another.

And sitting here typing this blog for you while watching the heavy rain come down outside, making it's own special music is another, very special thing for me.


renegade said...

I like that boat! And you've gotten rain? You punk, we've just had threatening looking weather since Mom and Lex came home, I'm ready to don feathers and start dancing.

Irrelephant said...

You WOULD like that boat, syster mine. You forget how long I've known you for, and that I've seen your closet. Of course, this is coming from a guy who thinks that anyone who would buy a boat so covered in glitter and sparkles that it looks like a disco ball is nuts too, but that seems to be all you can buy these days once you get past aluminum.

And oh yes, we've gotten such glorious rain. We've gotten so much rain my roses are blooming again!