Down with Leaf Blowers!

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Okay! It’s a beautiful, mild, sunny spring day. And that means it’s time for… LEAF BLOWERS!!!

Yes, shatter the peace of your neighborhood, drown out the bird song, blow rodent feces all over the place! Braaaaap! Whommmmp! What? There’s someone trying to think? Well, lemme at him! Braaaaap! Whommmmmp!

And we’ve also got fat guys on riding mowers “landscaping” yards the size of postage stamps, and guys with really noisy air compressors so they can power-wash their driveways.

Are we in Mordor?

There really must be something wrong with us.

Lack of Sleep is Killing Us, Scientist Says

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A whole cornucopia of big-time medical problems, from assorted cancers to galloping dementia, arise from a chronic shortage of sleep and could lead to “catastrophic” results for the whole human race, warns the director of the Center for Sleep Science (

Well, doc, I don’t think you’ll be surprised by anything you find in my neighborhood at night. Everybody’s got a floodlight aimed at everybody else. You could stand outside and read a newspaper at midnight on a moonless night. The people opposite my bedroom window have some kind of thousand-watt bulb burning all the time. I have to put cardboard over my windows to get my room reasonably dark.

We also have to run our bedroom air conditioner all night to mask the perpetual din of motorcycles roaring up and down the street–they only come out at night: apparently our local police are too bashful to give out tickets–people yelling at each other and playing really rotten music as loud as they can, and loud electronic beeps and whistles generated by I know not what.

Yes, a lot of gavones brag about getting by with just a few hours’ sleep a night. Never mind that sleep is a basic necessity of life, like food or water. They also seem inordinately eager to share their sleeplessness with others.

I don’t want to go to bed when the sun goes down and get up at daybreak. I like to relax by watching movies at night. But it would be mighty nice to get seven or eight hours of sleep regularly, and it’s too bad the culture that we live in seems determined not to allow it.