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April 11, 2006
a-z tv sub i

After a restless night I woke up tired & achey with a stuffy
nose and pains in my upper back and left elbow, so I called
in sick and went back to bed. When I got up again at 10 am
Sarah said men were here to cut
down the tree out front. (On Thursday
I'd been sitting in the yard half-wishing
that what was left of the wind-damaged
would be gone because it was blocking
the sun, but now I regretted that--be careful
what you half-wish for.) They were quick and
efficient, the chainsaws and woodchipper roared,
   giving the kids in school across the street some-
   thing interesting to watch. (Sarah and I both found
it ironic that the big lead guy could climb very high
up the slender trunk--after all, the tree was being
removed because it could easily fall.)

When I lived in the Czech Republic
I learned one should treat as
guests people who come to work
on your home
, so I went down with
three big ripe organic bananas after they
were done and asked the Ballard Tree
trio now squeezed in the cab of their pickup truck
if they wanted some. The guy on the end said they never refuse
food. Would they like some espresso? Sure. I got it started then
Sarah brought it down to them--cups, saucers, and a carton of soy milk.
She said they said thanks again and again, surprised by the hospitality.

  When I moved here from New York City, my first impression of Seattle
was that it isn't very friendly. Since then I've found good friends and
certain social circles that are charming, but there is
a lack of common courtesy. As a worker, I visit
many homes and it's rare even
to be offered a glass of water. In
most cases, we're ignored. I think
this is a Seattle thing. One of three
tips received in a year came from a guy
who'd just moved here from LA. I hope he
doesn't assimilate too thoroughly....