Sunday, August 18, 2013

Man On Fire

A slug makes its way across the road in Hubbard Park. He certainly wasn't on fire.

Man on Fire is a 2004 movie: "Hard-drinking, burnt-out ex-CIA operative John Creasy (Denzel Washington) has given up on life--until his friend Rayburn (Academy Award winner Christopher Walken) gets him a job as a bodyguard to nine-year-old Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning). Bit by bit, Creasy begins to reclaim his soul, but when Pita is kidnapped, Creasy unleashes a firestorm of apocalyptic vengeance against everyone responsible."

In the movie, Rayburn says of Creasy; "Creasy's art is death; he's about to paint his masterpiece."

You could say I was a Man on Fire, or maybe I painted a masterpiece this week in Hubbard Park.

Visit #813, Tuesday 13 August 13, 3:00-6:10PM, 6.1 miles.

Visit #814, Friday 16 August 13, 7:20-10:10AM, 5.6 miles.

Visit #815, Saturday 17 August 13, 8:30AM-2:00PM, 5.5 miles.

I was on fire because I made 3 trips into the park this last week. Tuesday and Friday saw me walk the road toward the north end of Merimere Reservoir to reach the Leiner and Anderson properties on the eastern boundary outside of Hubbard Park to clean up the trails there. Except for some chainsaw work on some large wood, the trails are clear. On both days I did my duty WITHIN Hubbard Park and picked up trash along the road as I went.



If you remember from my post, Doling Out The Thanks, I wrote of the giant marijuana leaf painted on the water tank and the quick response in covering it by the Meriden Parks (Water?) Department, and how I emulated their effort by covering over some other graffiti on the overpass support columns for I-691. That was only 2 weeks ago and I noticed while walking the road on Friday that someone had already defiled my work:

The English translation is, "I don't speak Gringles." I'm sure that doesn't help many of you (or me) because I don't know what "Gringles" means. Urban Dictionary to the rescue!

Now my weekly agenda in performing my duties would include covering over the "Gringles".
Not quite MY masterpiece but as you'll see, it was a warm-up.

On Saturday morning as I left my truck and walked toward the gate across the road, I was intercepted by a Hubbard Park "regular", Tom. Tom excitedly told me the marijuana leaf the city workers had so promptly eradicated from the water tank had been replaced by something on an even grander scale. Sounds to me like we've got a serial graffiti artist on our hands and they are persistent at trying to immortalize themselves.

I hadn't seen the work but if it impressed Tom, it likely was going to impress me. I told Tom I just happened to have a gallon of paint in my backpack this morning and if I think it's possible I might just undo the cretin's work.

First, I had to restore MY work on the bridge support:

Then it was up the road to the water tank where I had to say, WHOA-I'M IMPRESSED!

You can easily discern the fresh blue paint from the city's work just a couple weeks ago.

Since I was in the park Friday morning and didn't notice it, and Tom said he passed by the water tank Friday afternoon around 4:30PM and didn't notice it either, we can conclude the work was done later Friday afternoon-the paint was already dry when I reached it Saturday morning.

Well, I decided to make our serial artist's attempt at immortality quite temporary; less than 24 hours worth of immortality. I saved the city some labor; it took me about 45 minutes and a half gallon of paint with a 3" brush.

But I didn't finish the job because my stumpy 5'6" self couldn't reach the flying saucer at the top of the painting. That bugged me. A lot. Now, I REALLY was a man on fire. I wasn't going to stop until that job was finished...but how?

While I pondered my next move, I continued on, walking the trails and picking up trash. I arrived at the Halfway House and disovered the Halfway House Resident Snake had performed a strip-tease:

For some unknown reason, I poked my head over the wall to see if I'd spot the snake. Guess what; he was poking his head out looking for the morning paper-

What a coincidence!

By the time I finished a counterclockwise loop and wound up back at the park and my truck, I had a plan for the water tank. It involved a side trip to the big-box hardware store, and a stop at McDonalds for lunch.

Like John Creasy, I stocked up on the right tools for the job and finished my masterpiece.

No unsightly flying saucers; I hate when I have that problem!

Oh, and I made myself useful on my return trip to the park and picked up one last bag of trash for the week.

I do interior paint work, too...

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