In the martial spirit of the holiday, I attacked my driveway with a flamethrower today. I had a low spot and I wanted to take out the old asphalt and replace it with new. When I essayed my first attempt yesterday in the hot sun, the asphalt came out depressingly easily, but today in the rain, it was as hard as rock, or at least as hard as rock mixed with tar.
My next door neighbor, a professional asphalt installer who's going to Guantanamo next week, came out and offered me advice and a flame thrower (or weed burner as he more prosaically insisted on calling it). It softened up the asphalt enough to allow me to tear it out and also to tamp it down.
I've always been very critical of poor asphalt patching jobs, and I've seen many over the years, walking up driveways for a living. Now I understand how people can stop when it looks so bad. It's really really hard. My neighbor came out to check on my "progress". Kind man that he is, he was able to say it looked pretty good, and keep a straight face. Actually, instead of a low spot, now my driveway appears to have cellulite. He said he would bring his mechanical tamping device from work tomorrow and maybe with that and a little flame throwing action, it could be beaten down like the British at Valley Forge. Okay, he didn't say exactly that.
Tomorrow, Ambre and I go to pick up our bibs for the Fireweed 50 on Saturday. With my new bike I'm beginning to think it's possible that I might finish. That's the kind of optimism that makes America the sea-washed mother of exiles, the golden lamp-lit door.
Ambre and I have a team name and a logo. We call ourselves the Red Lanterns. We're using Green Lantern's logo (without permission, so please don't tell DC's lawyers) only colored red. And, it's on yellow T-shirts because that's the one color that Green Lantern can't affect. A team with subtle nuances that only other geeks would recognize. Oh, and a motto, too, "Because Someone Has to be Last."