Tag Archives: Asphalt

Rolled Flat

I am such a little kid.

Let me explain. For the past couple of weeks, Buzz, the garbage disposal who walks like a dog, and I have been semi-trapped in the spacious confines of Dude Manor by road construction that’s been happening on the road that runs past our cul de sac.

Well, not literally trapped, it’s just Buzz doesn’t like walking by all the loud construction equipment. Something to do with very loud noises and very sensitive ears. Either that or he’s a wimp. I haven’t really decided.

Anyway, the other day Buzz and I went out for his morning walk. This is one of those where it’s necessary he actually get out and walk because there’s several presents he needs to leave in his wake and lots of little liquid notes he needs to leave for the more sniff-improved in the neighborhood.

And by excrete I mean poop.
It takes piles of asphalt and excretes a road.

So we head out to the end of our street and there it was.

Moving very slowly and very loudly from left to right was the asphalt spreader. Led by a dump truck constantly dropping raw asphalt into the hopper at the front of the asphalt spreader, the machine slowly moves along the under-construction road laying down the smooth, black top to the road.

It’s really amazing. In front of the spreader, only packed gravel road. As it passes, it leaves behind a smooth road, ready for painters, lines and drivers. Steaming in the cool morning air, the asphalt is beautiful, black and unmarked.

It’s a wonderful sight.

But not nearly as wonderful as what came thundering along behind the asphalt spreader.

Buzz and I stood there, enraptured. Well, I was enraptured, feeling my (not so very buried) inner child jumping up and down with glee on the inside, as I watched this magnificent machine. Buzz, the garbage disposal who walks like a dog, sort of sat relatively

Lots of screaming, ending up popping like the top of a tube of toothpaste.
This is the view from which you never want to see this magnificent machine.

still, facing away from all the good stuff, trying to pretend it wasn’t happening.

That’s when I noticed the ground shaking, heard the rumbling and realized what was coming.

And it was.

Moving slowly up the hill from the left slowly came the greatest construction vehicle ever made: the steamroller.

The ground shook. My legs vibrated and my eyeballs shook behind their glasses. It was an awesome feeling, like I was standing next to something more real than anything I’d ever experienced. This was a machine designed to change the world, one lumpy bit at a time.

Okay, true. It’s designed to change the world from lumpy to smooth, so it’s not all that much, but it’s still a change that this machine is so very sweetly designed to make. It’s beautifully. Its form screams its function. And it performs its function so very, very well.

The asphalt spreader left behind an elevated section of smooth, black road. The steamroller came along and left after it a much compacted road, crushed down to almost the same height as the road that was there before.

I’d have stayed there, grinning like an idiot, for a lot longer had Buzz not pulled me out of my reverie and started demanding that I actually get a move on so he could make his visits.

I left, reluctantly, pushing down the little dude inside me to a more manageable depth.

He went. But he still hovered there, excited, throwing up memories of that amazing duo of machines moving past. And I loved it.

I am such a child sometimes.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Bring Out Your Dudes! Bring Out Your Dudes!

Barry and Richard are hitting the road yet again.

What that road ever did to the two of them, we may never know.

Anyway, we’re taking a break from asphalt assault to do a little more book signing. Yeah, you got that right, dudes.

We’re headed out into the public to deface more pristine copies of A Dude’s Guide to Babies with our sloppy, hand-signed names.

This time out, we’re being hosted by the lovely folks at Alphabet Soup Gifts & Monogramming. I know, it doesn’t sound like a place that would want to have us stop by there for several hours.

However, one of the things they specialize in doing is monogramming baby clothing and blankets and such like that. Ah, noooowww it begins to make sense, yeah?

So, we’ll be at Alphabet Soup, 3900 Colony Road, Charlotte, from 11 am until 2 pm today, Saturday, June 1. If you’re at all familiar with Charlotte, the store is in the same shopping center as the Taj Ma Teeter. By which I mean it’s across the street from the South Park Mall, between Colony Road and Morrison Road.

Alphabet soup is snug right up next to the intersection of Colony and Sharon roads.

So we’ll be there for a good bit of the late morning and early afternoon.

Why not stop by the store and say hello to the two of us? Or even throw peanuts at us? Your choice.

We hope to see some of you there.

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Taking A Break From The Sun

by Richard

There’s that old saying about something being as smooth as a baby’s bottom. That means something is very smooth and soft. Not because it is wet and sticky and smelly. They’re talking post change, not pre change.

Anyway, baby skin is so smooth and soft because the only thing it’s been exposed to was a nice nutrient-packed bath for nine months or so, followed by pampering and suchlike.

As opposed to, say, older dudes who have done things to their skin, horrible things. Who here hasn’t made a long, sliding dive into gravel? Or on the asphalt? Or worked with lawn tools or just plain tools long enough that you start developing blisters? Yeah, I didn’t think I’d see any hands up with those questions.

However, one thing babys definitely have over us in the race for soft skin, is that theirs hasn’t been damaged by the sun for almost every day of every week of every month of every day of their lives.

It’s only relatively recently that people have begun to recognize the importance of protecting our skin from the sun’s Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays. UVA and UVB are what cause sunburn and blisters.

Fortunately, there is a better protection for our skin than sweating it out in long sleeves and long pants, or staying indoors with the curtains drawn all day. It’s called sunscreen.

We’re supposed to be using it every day, according to dermatologists. I’d love to, but I have a constitutional aversion to walking around all day feeling greasy.

Little dudes, on the other hand, don’t get much say in the matter. In addition to having delicate skin that really needs to be protected as much as possible. That’s where we come in.

You need to make sure you’ve added some good sunscreen to the little dude’s diaper bag before you go out. There’s two types of sunscreen, ones that block the sun’s rays from being absorbed and ones that destroy the damaging rays after they’ve become absorbed. It’s those last kinds that are known to cause stinking. And, dude, believe me, you don’t want to be the one who puts the stinging kind of sunscreen onto a little dude’s face. That is not fun.

Try to find a sunscreen that is designed to physically block the sun’s damaging rays, one that will not sting and one that is intentionally formulated to be used on the face. It’s not that hard, but we’ll leave that as an exercise for the student to complete.

While you do need to make sure you cover your little dude’s face well with the sunscreen, you don’t have to trowel it on. Just get a good, even coat. Try to apply it every day, especially during the summer. Just as important, try and keep the little dudette out of the most powerful sun’s rays, between 10 am and 4 pm. That’s a bad time for soft, fragile skin to be out and about.

After all, we want that skin to stay smooth and soft for as long as possible.

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