Some rather comical friends of mine have a regular blog column entitled "Asshole of the Day". I find it completely awesome, but maybe a little balance is in order. I'm cynical enough, or maybe I'm just sarcastic, but I'm also generally an optimist. Let's salute the absolute heroes in our daily lives.
I have three in the queue actually. Let's see them chronologically:
1) There is a construction site across the street from where I work. They are in fact building a new biotechnology building for our university, and seeing as that I am in the biotechnology department, this might have an effect on me. But, our first hero has nothing to do with my department. He operates a backhoe. And one day he wanted to descend into the hole that will become the basement of this five-story building. It's about three meters down with an approximately 75 degree decline, all dirt, and the truck ramp was on the opposite end. Seriously, who wants to drive a backhoe 150m around to the other side to use the ramp? Mr. Hero just put the business end of the backhoe arm on what will be the basement floor and drove off the three-meter drop, lowering himself into action. Way cool.
2) The Donauinselfest (Danube Island Fest) is an annual three-day weekend of free live entertainment on the largest park space within the city limits of Vienna. Bands play from about noon until 1 or 2 am on something like twenty different stages. There's something for everyone. On Friday I ran the second to last kilometer of my daily jog on the Insel to check out the scene. There are typically over a million visitors per day of the event, but Friday had some bad weather (rainy and as windy as it gets without a tornado) so the crowd at the north end was sparse. I ran past the hip-hop stage (weak) and continued along minding my own business when all of a sudden I heard a melody that had not beset my ears in quite a while. I am convinced that AC/DC couldn't significantly outshine this band in a Back in Black competition. Three songs later (Back in Black, Shoot to Thrill, and You Shook Me All Night Long) I left knowing that this Jailbreaker lead singer faltered only on high notes, the drummer might take the easy way out of drum solos, and that the guitarist must be a Young. And they're german.
3) Also at Donauinselfest, on Sunday: Silbermund. I wish I liked pop rock a little more; these guys are amazing. I have never heard such a good guitarist, drummer, and singer playing together. I'm still not sure I've heard them on the radio, but it's just because I wasn't paying attention. They're pretty big here. And they've got some serious f-ing talent.