It's been much worse lately since they have been repairing the street that the city tore up last year to put in new sewer pipes. The street is cobblestone and the asphalt patches are finally being replaced with new cobblestones. This is nice, as the asphalt does not quite have the je ne sais quoi as cobblestone.
This re-cobblestoning process is apparently a lost art that the city workers are trying to figure out. First they put up "No Parking" signs on the street (a street that mind you already has limited parking), along with some red and white barrier things, steel plates and orange blinking lights to form an alter - so to speak - and then go away for a week or so.
After they come back, the offending asphalt is removed in a rather violent and noisy manner. They leave again - I presume to get further instructions from some very all knowing person.
After some effort that takes many, many days, the "alter" is prepared for the new cobblestones. This involves a lot more noise. A large truck brings the stones and dumps them into a big misshapen pile. Many layers of dirt are deposited on the alter and tamped down with gas engine powered tamper (I am sure this is not the correct name).
The next phase of the event involves the HMFDIC (you must know what this means, if not do not ask), who keeps picking up one cobblestone at a time and stares at it and turns it to inspect all sides and stares for awhile longer. Often he will toss the stone aside and then start the process all over.
Once he and a cobblestone have a melding of the mind (this takes place all the while on bended knees in a praying position) he places the stone just so in the alter and then gently taps on the stone with a ceremonial hammer like thing, using some secret rhythm. During this ritual another city worker is standing by admiring the Stone Whisperer's work. I guess he is an apprentice. Very often there will be two teams working side by side, engaged in some type of slow race.