I’ve had Modern Times as the car CD for the past week, and I’m very surprised. I’ve never been a big Bob Dylan fan, but this is really hitting the spot. In a way, it’s like listening to Ralph Stanley – the voice is wrecked, but a master knows how to use what he’s got and make you love it. This album is pure pleasure all the way through; all the bits just fit together pretty much seamlessly – the fellows playing with Dylan are right together and don’t put a foot out of place even when they’re playing around. It’s like listening to Little Feat when they’re completely synchronized. I could just pick out a particular song and set it on loop and it would take me to wherever I was driving and I probably wouldn’t remember too much about the trip.
Well, then. In other news, I finally got the weed-whacker back, serviced and ready to go. The grass in the right-of-way got to waist-high over the six weeks I was waiting. The first delay was my fault – somehow I left it there without putting down my deposit, but the second one was theirs – she wrote my telephone number down wrong, so kept calling a number one digit off to tell me it was ready. Oh, well. I’m not too pissed at Poulan; I’m sure other manufacturers ship products that don’t work properly out of the box, so the fact that I had to get the carbureter adjusted before it would finally run right is merely annoying. I am a bit aggravated about the design, though. Vines and even tough grass tend to wrap around the line spindle and lock the fishing line up so it can’t extend. At best, I have to stop every 5 minutes or so and cut away the tightly-wrapped spool of vegetation to allow the fishing line to unwrap. I suppose it’s not a bad idea to force me to take frequent breaks to ease the strain on my ears, but it’s a pain. I never had a problem with my Poulan chainsaws, but that was 25 years ago, and a completely different product altogether. Maybe it’s my poor technique, but I feel about this like I feel about lab equipment – if it can’t run properly when abused by numbnuts, it’s not good enough. I’m no longer a Poulan fan.