While the meaning machine continues its interim rumbling, you will want to know that my alternate career as a piano technician is moving apace. The piano’s 88 hammers are made of felt layers wrapped around a wood core, and if you happen to own a spinet from the 1950s that has been serviced rarely if ever during the intervening decades, you will discover that the felt has become grooved and compacted from the pressure of the strings, and that striking certain keys now produces a sound like Beethoven dropping his beer stein. The solution, we learn from the internet, is to grip a needle right proper in a pair of pliers and poke some infinitesimal holes in the felt just above and below the striking surface. I am dumbfounded at the change produced by a mere four holes per hammerI have not turned the spinet into a baby grand, and it is still not the easiest instrument to play pianissimo, but the bass half of the scale is no longer attempting a hostile takeover of the treble. Anyway, once I get the vegetable garden back in action I will roll back the division of labor entirely and never need one of your damn jobs again.