Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday afternoon things

* The scarf is for me. Yes, I have a lot of scarves and I live in a climate where I can't wear them that much of the year. (Then again, there are some times in the early fall where it's cool enough that a scarf on top of a sweater is desirable when you're outside).

* I am still deciding on a name for the big cat stuffie. Am leaning toward some variant of "Giant Cat" - either Chat géant (French), Riesige Katze (German), or, the transliterated Japanese Kyodaina neko (Gotten off of Google Translate so not sure if it's 100% accurate).

Right now I am leaning towards Riesige Katze because then she can be Rie for short.

* It was really humid here this morning - we did the second half of the weeding at it was Not. Fun. But tomorrow, all I have to do is water, so that makes it easier.

I'm also plugging away on the RCRA/CERCLA materials for class:
- I amused myself far too much by finding an image of Oscar the Grouch holding up an "I Love Trash" sign and putting in the section on "nonhazardous solid waste"
- I am going to refer to the infamous Garbage Barge (Mobro 4000, but I don't think I ever knew the name before). It blows my mind that that was 30 years ago because I remember it pretty clearly.

And I feel old thinking of all the things that were reference points from the news in my youth that happened before my students were born:
- the oil embargo and gas lines
- the Bicentennial (this was a big big big deal, and I remember it as being a really hopeful and also fun thing. Then again, I was like, 7.)
- The Iran Hostage Crisis
- The Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption
- President Reagan being shot
- Chernobyl
- the Challenger explosion
- the garbage barge
- That Pan Am flight blowing up and killing all those people
- The Mount Pinatubo eruption (yes, I tend to remember volcanoes. My dad is a geologist)
- even all the OJ Simpson mess, they were making a big deal about the white Bronco low-speed chase this weekend when his parole was announced. I remember where I was then - my parents were out of town, I was staying at their house/watching their cats. I was actually working on a quilt top while the Bronco chase was on the TV, and I remember wondering whether it was going to end with Simpson killing himself.
- The bombing of the Murrah Federal Building - I know my students know about this but all but the non-trads are far too young to remember seeing it on the news

- Princess Diana's death, which I know will be a big deal again in another month because we love our disaster porn
- and the overshadowed death of Mother Teresa, who I guess now is St. Teresa of Calcutta?

I'm actually surprised there wasn't more made of the 30th anniversary of the garbage barge: then again, maybe we don't want to bring up things that are still problems that we haven't solved? It's easier to do stuff like mourn dead famous people where we don't really have to examine our own lives....

* It's kind of depressing to learn how many "Urban Dictionary" variant meanings there are to some of the acronyms that have real usage in the environmental-law field. I really hope I don't get a class full of people that snerk like that one soils class I had. (If I do.....well, maybe I just stop one day and go, "Okay. Get ALL your laughing out NOW." or something like that.)

*That said, I have to tell the Leaking Underground Storage Tanks story - there is part of the legislation that essentially says, unless the seller indemnifies the buyer, if a person buys a property that has an underground storage tank and it leaks, the buyer of the land has to pay for cleanup. One of the reason so many closed-down gas stations stay as empty properties for so long is that few people want to deal with the responsibility of removing/mitigating underground storage tanks (ESPECIALLY older gas stations, where there may be lead contamination).

Anyway. Years back, the church my parents belonged to had the option to buy some land near them....which had had an old gas station on it. The price was cheap and the minister's inclination was to buy the land and convert it to a playground. But he and the Board thought it wise to ask my dad, seeing as he taught classes on such things. And my dad told them, no, it was a bad deal, and not to buy it - because the seller wouldn't indemnify and they'd be on the hook for any remediation costs.

Anyway, the funny part of the story is my dad walked around for like a MONTH making jokes about how he advised a pastor on LUST.

(Yeah, dad, very funny. But maybe the students will remember the law, then)

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