Tag Archives: Hamburger

Labor Day Salute

by Richard

Today is the day we set aside to celebrate workers, those dudes and dudettes who are out there working the hard hours at grinding jobs every single day. They’re not behind a computer or in a comfy office. They are laboring.

On this Labor Day, though, I think we should give a bit of extra thought to some of the toughest laborers around: miners. I’m talking specifically about 33 Chilean miners, trapped more than a half mile under the earth, in darkness, trying to hold it together as they wait for and work for rescue.

After the cave-in on Aug. 5, the 33 men were thought to be lost, until Chilean engineers found them 17 days later — all miraculously alive and unharmed.

As hope waned, a drill operator felt some vibrations. When a 150-pound drilling hammer was raised, it had red paint on it. Later, it came back with a bag tied to the drilling tube, said Laurence Golborne, the country’s mining minister. Inside were two letters: a three-page note from Mr. Gómez to his wife and a small note in red lettering.

“We are fine in the refuge, the 33,” it read.

Workers on the surface are working on a rescue plan and implementing it even as we speak. They’re drilling a rescue hold to get to the miners. It could take three to four months.

Think about that for a while. Those 33 miners could be stuck, trapped, down in the dark, with little contact with the outside world, for almost six months. Not just trapped, but living with the constant threat of immanent, horrible, crushing death, for half a year. Right now, all that’s connecting them to the greater world is a half-mile-long, four-inch-wide tunnel to the surface. But they’re not letting that stop them.

The miners will play a critical role in their own escape, making their organization and leadership essential, officials said. The men will need to clear 3,000 to 4,000 tons of rock that will fall as the rescue hole is cleared, officials said. The work will require the men to work in shifts 24 hours a day.

So, as you go about your Labor Day, eating hot dogs and hamburgers and going to parades, spare a little time for these Chilean laborers, these miners, these contenders for toughest dudes in the world. A little prayer wouldn’t hurt either.

Be strong, dude!s.

Share on Facebook

The Bane Of The 21st Century

by Richard

After about a decade of service, most of the lives of our little dudes, we decided to get a new car back in 2007. My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Out Of Her Mind, was insisting on an SUV.

Something about how, being a dude I’d be more comfortable driving one of those. However, being the person primarily responsible for driving our now-not-so-little dudes around, I knew a minivan would provide more room for them so stretch out and not be in each other’s face during long trips. I also had a lot invested in trying to live up to the minivans are cool philosophy I’d been trying to convince other people about.

It’s true. Minivans are cool. (Rinse. Repeat.)

Anyway, while I liked the idea of automatic sliding doors and better gas mileage, the little dudes were most excited about the idea that the new Jonesmobile would have a DVD player installed inside the car. They loved the thought that they could watch TV while riding in the car. For them, that was really the arrival of the future in their lives.

We all remember our own childhood car experiences. Long trips with the family. Sitting in the back seat, no seat belts of course, trying to keep down the greasy hamburger while jerking back and forth on the busted shocks and rusting springs. Trying to move your head in rhythm to the car while keeping track of the words dancing on the page in your lap. Playing car games, counting license plates from Arizona or somewhere else exotic. Good times. Good times.

I also remember getting yelled at a lot by my parents because my sister was such a jerk. What? Well, it’s the way I remember it.

Now, though, we can take long, long drives, trips to anywhere, and have almost absolute quiet as the little dudes sit, strapped into their seats, staring slack jawed at the DVD screen and listening to their headphones. An actual quiet vacation drive. It was kind of creepy for the first couple of times not to have to break up fights every seven minutes. Now we only had to worry every hour and a half or so when they had to decide on the next movie.

It’s all good, yeah? No. Not really.

Because now the little dudes expect to be watching something every time they get in the car. If I let them, they’ll have a movie or Mythbusters DVD running at all times. Take a five-minute trip to the grocery store? They’re watching a movie. Drive to the movie theater? They’re watching a DVD movie in the back seat on the way there.

This constant need to be entertained in the car is getting on my nerve a bit. I barely get to hear a word from them during any car ride. I never thought I’d start to miss the sound of them yelling during a car ride.

So, what about you? Is the advent of the in-car DVD a good thing for you?

Share on Facebook