Monday, August 26, 2013

How Long Will It Be When We Solve All of Life's Little Mysteries?

Ok, probably never. 


Gah! What IS this flag about??

But in August 2013, we are one step closer to enlightenment. Last month, I noticed a flag on our commute. It was a run-of-the-mill variety flag, proudly stuck at the end of a mailbox. What I noticed though, was that for a week or two, I couldn't discern what was on the flag. My picture taking skills are mediocre at best, mostly because I'm too impatient for the "right moment." Feeling a bit Nancy Drew, I had the dazzling idea of taking a picture of it every day until I could piece together the shape (my husband in the driver's seat course).

Day 1: I forget to take the picture. Doh!
Day 2: The wind assaulted the flag just at the moment I felt could only be the 'right' moment for the day. Shucks. 
Days 3-12: The flag was folded up on itself because the Forecast hovered somewhere between 'rainforest' and 'freak storm.' While technically on a pole, the flag looked like a sad pile of red laundry floating the usual 4 feet off the ground.
Day 13: Maybe it was the practice of taking a picture at 60 mph, but I managed to collect a really decent picture of the flag. The problem was that it was still too far away, and given that we're not in the magical future where one could blow up a myopic pixel to the screen of an iPad (with enhanced resolution), I could only guess at what this object on the flag was.  My guess was it was either a loaf of bread wearing a chef hat or a calculator with a steam cloud coming out of it. In an unofficial Facebook poll, I received a wild variety of answers, the most viable being an adding machine (which was verified by stopping his car and inspecting it one sunny afternoon).

I wasn't satisfied.

Day 14: I discovered the SnappyCam app via Lifehacker, which takes 20 pictures a second from your iPhone. This sounded like a game changer as far as my private investigation was going.

Day 15: The app was downloaded and loading. The slight whine to the start up alerted my husband that I was getting serious. What I didn't know (because I hate reading useful material after 6 pm), was that you didn't have to push the button 20 times per second to get the mindblowing experience that is SnappyCam. Without a fresh cup of coffee, I managed four pictures (much more than my usual one), and a few pictures of my knee. Like all good scientists, I was elated to have made progress. 

Later that evening, I was clued in that if you held down the button continuously, then the camera would take a stream of pictures at 20 per second. So close.

Day 16: I think I took 40 pictures pictures of that flag. But my husband decided to play a trick on me and turned on the windshield wipers at the "right" moment. Gah! I shot him a filthy as he wickedly laughed the whole way home (although I was laughing at how ridiculous this all was).

At this point, I was probably up to 50-60 shots of this flag on my phone. Deleting the 'bad ones' was getting to be a tad stressful, as they all looked like they could give me a smidge of info. 

"It's an adding machine," my husband said.
"How do you know?" I asked.
"I can see it when we pass by," was his response.

Given I was happy as a clam in my denial-fest, I wasn't about to solve this delicious mystery. My sense of wonder about the world and the je ne sais quoi of life stems from the very fact that I don't know stuff, (and my commute was on the cusp of less purposeful if I didn't take these pictures every day).

Day 17: I'm in the driver's seat and my husband promises to take a picture of the flag with my phone. "Weep!" was the familiar start up sound, followed by clicking that rivaled the sounds of a Geiger counter on radioactive spew.
"Let me see," I said. The moment of truth was about to be revealed...

He took a great picture of a flag with an adding machine on it. It is plainly attached to the mailbox with a sign touting in Sans Serif: Shaffer's Accounting. Time for a Scooby Snack.

Whaddya reckon? Would this make you stop to get your taxes done? Would you be relieved to pick out this driveway from the wasteland of other places to stop on the highway?