Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Cactus War and Ambushing Cops - On Our Land Day 5

Although yesterday's brush with the cactus doesn't seem to have left Zen with any long term problems, I've decided to go to war. There's absolutely no reason for our puppy to be stepping on them, or us either. I spend the morning digging up the spiny little bastards and transplanting them to a nearby crevasse in the land. They're prickly pear, so as a potential food source, I don't want to kill them outright.

Prickly is the word, too. I'm wearing suede work gloves and that doesn't seem to do a thing to keep out the spines. In no time I've got four or twenty of them in my fingers.

I give CK a bunch of stakes and tell him to go mark cacti for me. As with pretty much any time I ask CK to do anything, this becomes fodder for an argument. He whines that didn't I ask him yesterday to take some photos of the land? (Obviously this is a much more important job to him, since it entails virtually zero effort.) I then tell him to focus first on the areas where we walk. No, he goes wandering off, marking cacti willy nilly and everywhere, but none in the area we're actually using. "Well, what did you want me to do? A military style search grid?" Yes, that was exactly what I wanted him to do.

Quantum needs to go to Trinidad tomorrow for lumber for the yak fence. For that he needs the pickup, which still has expired tags. I go with him to town, because I want some more library books - mostly plant identification ones - and to get a set of tweezers to pull the damn spines out of my fingers.

Quantum drops me off at the library and a dozen or so books bounce off the shelves into my pile. One of the librarians is especially friendly and tells me how to work the system. You can renew books for an extra three weeks. "And after that, you can give it to us and we'll check it in and you can take it out again." I think I'm in love!

An hour later Quantum picks me up, helps me lug my pile into the truck and reports that he still hasn't been able to find a cop to verify the vin number on the truck. There must be about six cops in our town, and I can't imagine what they have to do. It's not the sort of place where crime sprees happen.

We wait outside the police station and after another half hour or so we spy a cop coming out of the station. Attack! We chase  him down and get him to sign off on our paperwork. Quantum says the only way to get a cop in this town is to ambush them. After that getting the rest of the paperwork done is straightforward, and we're finally legal with plates. It's pretty near sunset when we get back home.  So far just going to town seems to be a most-of-the-day affair.

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