Friday, August 15, 2008

A Correction, plus Carpet Cleaner by Day, Jazz Drummer by Night.

Mea culpa, my bad, I stand corrected. Yesterday I commented that it was hot here. news junkie suggest that it was actually quite nice. nj was right: I had time today to wander about downtown and in Pageant Park, and once a fellow is out of this hot house (upper floor, stickbuilt, no curtains to block the sunlight = greenhouse effect esp. since opening the windows introduces majorly hot air baking off the cedar decks) ... once, as I say, a fellow gets out of this house then, by gosh and by golly, it is pleasant.

I strolled around downtown (on the shady side of the streets) and made a point to drop into Pegasus Books because I've enjoyed Duncan's blog, "Best minimum wage job a middle aged guy ever had," and I wanted to meet him. He seems to be a sensible fellow making a nice living from a nice little business, and doing so by not appealing to the bottom of the market. I like folk who can do that. Pegasus doesn't carry what I'm looking for in terms of new literary fiction and essays, but he suggested that his wife's shop might. Alas, it seems that I must go to Barnes & Noble for my magazines. Doubly alas, I cannot recall the name of his wife's book store -- corner of Greenwood and 97? I'm sure someone will provide the answer that is slipping my brain.

Anyhoo, it seems that he's read some of my posts on the Bend Economy Bulletin Board and was surprised that I had been mixing it up with the "local guys from long distance." I explained that I had no reputation here to protect so I wasn't too worried about causing a ruckus.

Bob of Brad's Carpets and his lovely wife came by today to extract the damned spots, years of dust and dander and pollen and mites and hair and general dog and cat funkiness--not to mention these stains of a certain shape, color, and general location that don't bear too much thinking about--from the plush carpet here. He quickly measured the dimensions of the room with his laser measuring thingy, calculated the cost and presented a quote which was a little higher than what the Other Guys asked for, but he assured me that he had the Most Powerful Carpet Cleaning Machine Ever Since The Beginning Not Only Of This Time But Of All Times (seems that a carpet cleaning machine even a few percent more powerful than this one will create a black hole which will quickly consume this Universe and all the time in it or something like that), so I told them to go ahead. Within moments he and his LW, both looking snazzy in dark blue jumpsuits, began laying down great snakelike hoses, firing up large noisy fans, and spraying spots and discolored areas with nozzles connected to large silver canisters which looked ominously like something from a 50's promotional film about how Swampland Reclaimation Marches On With DDT.

Then they fired up the MPCCMESTBNOOTTBOAT. "Other guys," he shouted over the general hubbub, "they run 180, 190 degrees at the most, that's all their machines can do. I clean at 230 degrees -- any hotter and the carpet would start to degrade." I believed him: the carpet immediately cried "Uncle," and began giving up prodigious amounts of dirt, funk, and Chemdry.

I beat a hasty retreat to someplace more restful: downtown, as mentioned in general, Pegasus Books as mentioned in passing, and the Deschutes Brewery pub in particular. Sampled some Mirror Pond cask conditioned ale (my first cask conditioned -- it has a very "light" taste, "light," that is, as in "not heavy," not as in "lite"-- it had plenty of flavor. Man doing the pouring said that this was typical for cask conditioned beers because they are not carbonated). Followed that with a taste of their stout (alcohol content a bit higher than I like; I am partial to dry stouts with lower ABV), then a pint of ... something else, I forget--whatever was on nitro. Bond St. Brown Ale, I think. Watched some kids compete in the Little League World Series in high-def on the pub's TV -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

When I got back, Bob and LW were wrapping up, coiling up the massive hose, packing the blowers, strapping the DDT-seeming containers securely to their cradles in the truck. Turns out that Bob plays jazz--he's a drummer, and his bio is here. Playing music is no easy way to make a living, and playing jazz is even harder, so having a well-recommended business like carpet cleaning and doing the job as professionally as they did is a darn good way to pay for life's little costs.

"Good carpet," said Bob. "Nylon. Not that polypropylene."

I gotta say -- the carpets are looking spectacular.


  1. The Bulletin recently did a real nice write-up about Dunc's wife and her bookstore, The Bookmark.

    "Then they fired up the MPCCMESTBNOOTTBOAT. I clean at 230 degrees -- any hotter and the carpet would..."

    Catch on fire! This one had me laughing pretty good!

    Funny...I've been in Bend for almost 2 decades, and I've never heard anyone call it Pageant Park. I had to look it up on the Parks & Rec map to see which one you were talking about.

  2. West end of the footbridge from Drake Park. My map o' Bend* and the plaque at the park (comes with bonus interpretative text) called it Pageant Park. Something to do with beauty pageants and stampedes, I think. Being naturally disinclined to read any darn interpretive text, I'm not sure how those two mix but maybe the contestants in the pageant frightened the horses.

    The Bookmark -- that's it. Apologies all around for having forgotten.

    * "City Map Of Bend, Oregon" 2007, Spring Hill Press, LLC., a division of Spring Hill Farm, "Since 1831",


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