JRS VOLUME #9; ISSUE #30
Feel the pull? I do. Today is Saturday, August 6, 2005. I'm in Gerlach,
Nevada. This is the camera on top of the Burning Man office looking
down Main Street towards Bruno's.
If you happen to read this between the time I send it and 9 pm on Saturday you'll see the crew setting up and enjoying the 3rd Annual Gerlach Watertower BBQ where Burning Man throws a picnic for the town. We started it as a fundraiser, and at last year's picnic we agreed to do the work at "cost of materials" for the town via the funds raised. And, now it's done. The roof was finished yesterday.
Time lapse from the camera a few days ago:
I have a 12 hour version, but it'll really mess with our bandwidth here, so you'll have to wait on that one.
Today, at 2 pm it was 100 degrees in the trailer park. Typically that means it's hotter on the Black Rock Station work ranch. Which is nearly what the weather is on the playa. Keep an eye on the work ranch weather here. http://rawfire.torche.com/~bc/brs.html.
The Burning Man Department of Public Works is hard at work building Black Rock City. The first major set-up event happened on Wednesday, August 3, at 10 am, with the city survey start called the "Golden Spike". See some of the photos and watch the building of BRC on the blog: http://traces.burningman.com/bbrc/bbrc05/. The blogging team includes TheHun, The Jack Rabbit (aka: Bad Kitty) and Cameragirl. Keep an eye out for other guest bloggers.
Our next big set-up event is next weekend, Fri-Sun, August 12-14. We'll be building the 7-,mile orange trash/perimeter fence that surrounds the city. It's a "work weekend" experience, and we welcome those volunteers that can only help for a few days. The launch is Friday morning at around 8 am, and we expect to finish Saturday night or Sunday. Last year the fence was finished in record time, but we had overcast skies to aid in the rate of pounding in T-stakes. Even if you can't enjoy the event this year, come help set up the fence. It's an experience not to be missed.
Email: dpw-volunteers (at) burningman (dot) com (put Fence Crew in your subject header and they'll answer you even faster.)
Coyote, (aka: Tony Perez) is the City Superintendent who leads the playa set and up and take down operations. He's also known for his periodic missives known as The Coyote Nose. I can't tell you all what's going on here better than he can right now, so here is HIS latest:
A cocktail party question - What were you doing at age twenty?
I was driving grand dreams on the back of my motorcycle, traversing the country to Califor-ni-yae from frumpy ol' Michigan with the intent to be a flashy playboy bartender and playing sax in a jazz band. Sorta worked out that way if you can call a dumpy bar in the Tenderloin "flashy", and a road house blues band, "jazzy". Sure had a hill of fun though! Got knocked around a bit too. (But I found that chicks dig scars.)
Point is that I had finally come of age, and was desperate to prove it to the world.
Funny that, the Man turns twenty this year, and he also has big dreams that he is bent on spreading to the world. "Should I go to college or Copenhagen?"
I hear the Man has to shave regular now, and no longer cares to camp in the back yard with his best buddy. Camping in the Himalayas sounds way more exciting.
The Man too has been having a hill of fun while getting knocked around. He had to grow a protective scar-fence, and has had a few run-ins with the law. Had to pay some hefty fines and learn to survive - and learn how to still blaze through life anyways.
A quote from the Dali Lama -
"Learn the rules so you can break them properly."
It's enough of a mile stone for me to be in my tenth year with the Man that I had to get dished a nasty one this morning. Initial survey of Black Rock City '05 begins tomorrow, and I'll be at my usual post manning the Man site survey station. The primary tool for the measurement of the roads and intersections is a transit with very small measure markings on it. Well the uber-critical nature of getting the streets in the proper place has just sadly over come some serious denial. When a Reno runner asked me if I needed anything from Reno, I drooped my head while kicking at a stump and said,
"Yea, can you pick me up some god damn reading glasses.............!!!?"
We're setting the golden Man spike for BRC '05 tomorrow, and here comes another brazen city of brimstone. Though I have been surveying the city since '98, this will be the tenth gold spike - another mile stone. (Politics forced us to set the spike three times in '99.) As if the school room of the playa knew well of this, she has had the teacher sponge the chalk board instead of just erasing it. The winter mobil playa lake has wiped it clean, and the playa once again is like a fresh jar of peanut butter. (It always feels like carving ones name in wet cement.)
The playa is also acting as a large lens refracting clean slate attitudes throughout. DPW crew is arriving in full-on force and our challenge will be to keep this spirited horse team from chomping its bits off. It's a flood of diesel power that would compel anyone to stay out ahead and visit those reservoirs of energy that never dry. Hammers in the sun will keep you strong!
Our rock star ranch hand, Pappa Squat who during the winter remodeled - well - just about everything put some wonderful quotes up on the Black Rock Social Club walls. One of them reads,
"Eternal youth - look within."
I just keep coming out here.
Big bad DPW - notorious for working hard and playing hard. It has a steady tradition of having a reputation that has even more fun than it has. There are those who would believe that Pabst Blue Ribbon flows from our abrasions. You can imagine the pinch of another milestone when my mother drank me under the table last Christmas. At around four in the morning, Christmas night, my mom and sisters raged on with a bottle of "Hot Damn" cinnamon schnapps and a years worth of gossip. I saw the opportunity and escaped out the back to the loving arms of my guest bed. Not ten minuets later, there, in the doorway, stood the silhouette of the mother I grew up with complete with the blue smoke of a Benson and Hedges Menthol 100 wafting up. Then came the painful pierce of the over head light being flicked on, and some good old fashioned Irish bed kicking wile she was flatly stating, "Come on, big bad DPW guy! Get your butt out of bed and visit with your mother!"
Please don't let the guys know.
So what lies in the future for our healthy lad of twenty with a head full of dreams and an army of friends to help him get there? Well, what happens to any free spirit at that time in their life?
I can just see him staying in world wide regional youth hostels with his hiking boots and back pack - hitchhiking and living on local grains and favors. Riding on old belching rattle busses, and realizing that his destiny of fire is universal - planting his dream seed of inspiration everywhere.
34 days till clean up.
I have more to come. But, you need this JRS now. Here in Gerlach, we need you to know what we're doing NOW. By ALL accounts here: the energy is amazing, the excitement is certainly the best I've ever seen. I think this will be the best one yet.
Started today's JRS to the sounds of Da Roman and his Vacation Music. http://www.tharoman.com
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