Ramble On

Monday, April 27, 2015

Saturday Work Day @HawksbillHops

On Saturday I had planned to get an early start and drive out to the hop yard to see where I could contribute something more than just talk.  I rolled in at a few minutes after 9am, just as things were getting started.  Logistics being what they were, I had asked a few questions on my way in, e.g., 

  • Should I bring my muck boots?
  • Would you like some donuts?
Apparently, when you are going to work on the farm in the morning, question one will get you a sideways look and subject you to constant scrutiny for the remainder of the day, despite the infallible logic of asking good questions in the first place.  In my case, with regard to the first question, this was completely unmerited since (1) I was wearing boots, (2) I was really asking about how much rain we'd had, as any farmer might, and (3) if it was too wet, I wanted to be in my muck boots because they are easier to clean.
Here's a pano of the hop yard condition on Saturday morning, after the donut run.
Now, as far as the second question goes, I asked it purely rhetorically, with every intention of picking up some donuts from Luray's famous Fairview Grocery, where they make them fresh every Saturday morning.  The real problem was, since I was running a few minutes late, rather than making the detour on the way and risk being even more tardy, I went straight to the farm to check in first.

It turns out I was in a no-win situation - I was in for ridicule for asking if they wanted donuts in the first place, which I could have made up for by bringing the donuts; or I could arrive late, which would only confirm the unfounded prejudice about city folks' punctuality, although the presence of donuts might have offset some of this ire.  Individualist that I am, I chose a third path, to both arrive late and without donuts - I figured that if you are in for abuse, it really doesn't matter how much of it there is.    

I quickly developed a mitigation plan, in any case.  As soon as I arrived, I checked in and then asked, "Well, what kind of donuts do you like?  I'll go get them now."  It was the perfect recovery, allowing my colleagues to quickly move on to other observations about my capabilities and performance.   
By the start of Saturday, all of the poles were guyed and the perimeter cables were strung - David and Eric were going to move on to the connector cables between the poles, and if time permitted, they were going to string some of the matrix cables, which run above the rows between the poles.

Meanwhile David had a few tasks lined up for me as well - I'll put them up in the next post from the hop yard.

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