At 10:00 a.m. on June 15, at the entrance into Ocean Beach, a ten-man crew with a heavy-duty generator and a hovercraft-looking device began to cordon off a tall Mexican fan palm tree with yellow tape.
I asked one of the more corporate-looking gentlemen about the device and was told that it is less than five feet in diameter and has three high-speed cutting blades that self-adjust. After about 30 minutes, a handful of spectators and a camera crew had gathered around the device, which had been rigged around the tree. The motor was switched on and the show began.
The device buzzed up the palm tree under its own power, shaving off dry, aged palm-frond stubs. Pieces fell away, leaving behind the smoothed surface usually only achievable via manpower and some risk. I found myself scratching my head. Not because of confusion or amazement, but that maybe I could use a haircut myself.