If It’s In Your Heart, Say It! August 21, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
My friend Jim Salem is an extraordinary guy. At 63, he looks twenty years younger; totally buff from a lifetime of hardcore running, cycling, rock climbing and mountaineering, with the most infectious smile you never saw. He’s a gifted potter and ceramic artist, a loving husband and father and a hard working CPA.
Jim has been there to lend a hand when I needed help, and to listen with his whole heart when I needed a friend. He’s hugged me while I cried and shared some of my happiest moments with me.
Recently Jim told me of his plans to retire early and move to New Mexico to teach and do volunteer work on the Navajo and Warm Springs Indian Reservation.
I can honestly say I never met another human being so full of life and love and vitality. God, I love that man.
Today I learned that while out for a leisurely bike ride this weekend, Jim died of a massive heart attack.
Gone. Forever gone, just like that.
I don’t remember if I told him that I loved him.
So Jim, as you head off on this greatest adventure, on your journey of discovery, to learn The Truth, I’m hoping with all my heart that you can hear me when I say:
I love you, man. Go in peace.
Hope You’re Having A Succulent Day! August 18, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, macro photos.
Tags: flowers, succulents
Hens and Chicks:
I’m guessing this is a Hen.
As a “rooster,” I’m feeling quite discriminated against.
“Catamount” Redux August 16, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
Tags: catamount, flag, schoolhouse
As a loooooooooooong-delayed response to PhydeauxSpeaks‘ comment Back In The Day about my use of the word “catamount” in reference to Mountain Lions:
In the Town of Colrain, Massachusetts (the Commonwealth’s largest, f.y.i.) there used to be a community called “Catamount Hill.” It’s now deserted and largely razed, being part of the present day Catamount State Forest. But a few remnants of its past glory can still be found if one walks deep enough into the woods on a rainy day, including this:
The inscription on the stone reads, “The first U.S. flag raised over a public school was floated in May 1812 from a log school house which stood on this spot.
“It was made by Mrs. Rhoda Shippee, Mrs. Lois Shippee, Mrs. Sophia Willis and Mrs. Stephen Hall and was raised by Amasa Shippee, Paul Davenport and the Loyal Families of Catamount Hill.”
These are all still prominent names in the local community and are doubtless active members of the Colrain Historical Society!
And yes, there used to be beaucoups “catamount” up in them thar hills!
It Tastes Better When You Grow It Yourself :) August 16, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Just had the Best Damned Dinner, maybe 80% of it from my garden: A sauté of eggplant, summer squash, garlic, red onion (with the greens on,) garlic, rainbow chard, hot peppers and garlic, with a can of black beans (this is the first year I’ve grown canned black beans, actually) seasoned with a bit of tamari, grated cheese (from my own grated cow) and garlic.
All this with a side of fresh tomatoes, red onion, balsamic vinegar and fresh mozzarella, which I didn’t make, though I hear it’s a snap! (Comin’ atcha, Miz Lu! Maybe this Sat, I’ll bring the ‘maters, which are coming out my, um, ears!)
The average bite of that dinner traveled all of a hundred feet!
On another totally meaningless and irrelevant food note, I just bought some organic (and local!) Kim Chee so I can practice my Grilled Tofu Sandwhich à la The Lady Killegrew Café, a place you’re not likely ever to visit, but I’ll be back!
Another Pledge August 14, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: pledge of allegiance
My dear friend Frau Biergut sent me this a while back in response to A New Pledge of Allegiance, and since there’s no time like the present to ponder what’s important to you, what you believe, what you stand for, what you would give your life for, I offer you the Frau’s Pledge, with an attribution to Gary Snyder’s “For All:”
The Hilltown Pledge
I pledge allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the hilltowns of Western Franklin County
And to the beings who therein dwell.
Thanks, Sweetie, for taking the time to think about and share what’s important to you, and for giving me the opportunity to remember my own pledge. I’m really, really proud to call you “friend.”
Like Rats From a Sinking Ship August 14, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in poetry, Politics and Society.
Far out on the Sea of Discontent, the Great Ship lurches over the crest of a jagged wave of Indignation and plunges into the Depths of Despair. With no one aboard capable of manning the Helm, she spins aimlessly, the Winds of Change howling through her tattered sheets. The Crew is long since gone, Dan Bartlett thrown to the sharks, Karen Hughes made to walk the plank, Harriet Meyers keel-hauled. And today that bastard Turdblossom slipped over the starboard rail and made off in the last dinghy, muttering and sobbing and rowing for his life.
Now the Idiot King stands back to back with his First Mate Alberto, battered by the Tide of Inevitability, soaked and shivering in the Rains of Truth. The Mighty Ship of State flounders, lurches, takes on water and lists heavily to port.
From high up in the Crow’s Nest, a hideous cackling sound fills the void between the crashing of the waves and the shrieking of the wind. A searing flash of lightning illuminates the Evil One, clinging to the tiny railing, his twisted sneer turned upward, the torrential rain all but drowning him as he dares his Dark Lord to Take Them, Take Them Now, Take Them Home, Take Them to Hell, AAAAAAHAHAHAHAAAA!
The Idiot King, clinging to the mast, turns aft in time to see the silhouette of History at the Helm, spinning the wheel with mighty arms, turning The Ship inexorably toward the Gaping Maw of The Maelstrom. One last Wave of Justice crashes over the steepening deck, scouring it clean of the Stench of Deceit, and The King and his Mate are gone.
The Garden of Eatin’ August 14, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Dinner with TCR.
Tags: garden, tomatoes
Braved the jungle/garden/back yard this evening and was graced with a bounty of basket-choking proportions:
Plants so heavy with Mother Earth’s gifts, they tore down their wire cages!
Rainbow Chard up the wazoo!
Skads of purple Bee-Balm with, well, bees!
…and big yardage of Lilies Gone Wild:
Came in with an armload of fresh organic food and chowed down a beautiful purplish heirloom “Brandywine” tomato.
Thank You, Mother Earth, Thank You, Father Sky, for turning my back yard dirt into delicious food. One day I’ll return the favor, and your plants will grow from my goodness.
Now that’s what I call “carbon sequestration!”
Welcome Jasper! August 12, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
Tags: dialog, jasper, othering, trolls
So who’da thunk that a conservative guy like Jasper would ever take the time to visit LittleBangTheory?
Or at least I hoped he would.
In the teeny-tiny community of on-line friends who come here to read my rants and watch me fumble with a camera, there probably isn’t anyone who doesn’t recognize Jasper as a “troll” from Shakesville. That’s kind of unfortunate in the sense that “troll” is a very “othering” categorization to apply to another human being who cares enough about the current state of our democracy and of our world to spend a significant amount of time arguing in support of his point of view, whether we agree with him or not.
And since you all know how I feel about dialog being a foundation block of democracy, I’m asking you to join me in offering Jasper a seat at our table.
Jasper, I hope you’ll take the time to scroll back through my archived pages to see where I’m coming from. You’ll have to skip over the goofy stuff, pictures of moss and bugs and so on, to find my socio-political rants. And “rants” they are; I usually can’t string two words together unless I’m worked up about something. You’ll surely see that I’m considerably “left” of most so-called “liberals,” but I hope you’ll also see that it’s because I love my country and fear for the futures of my daughters, and your children (if you have any) as well.
Please understand that while I refuse to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth, I’d willingly die to defend our constitution; that as a Citizen of the World, I feel a greater obligation to justice on a global scale than to assuring obscene profits for American corporations; and that I believe the actions and assertions of our Current Administration have done more to destroy our standing in the world than the actions of any terrorist group ever could.
I’m sure we’ll disagree on lots of the details, but I bet we can find some common ground on which to build our respective futures. And I believe we owe it to both the Framers and our children to try.
I’m asking all of you “regulars” to put down your swords and pick up your pens and prepare to defend yourselves in a civilized manner. And Jasper, I’m looking forward to thinking about things from your perspective. Come on back, man. Pull up a chair.
Sun, Wind and Water… August 11, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Politics and Society.
Tags: clean energy, wind power
A small wind farm above Harriman Reservoir:
Everything we need to be carbon-free stewards of our planet.
We have the technology, but we seem to lack the will.
So we continue to level mountains, destroy watersheds, poison aquifers and spew carbon dioxide into the air. The temperature is increasing, the ice is melting, the ocean is rising, and six more men are buried alive in Utah.
When we add these costs onto our electric bills or the price we pay at the pump, it starts to feel like maybe we’re being fleeced.
Meanwhile, people in many other countries are making great strides in developing new, clean-energy technologies. They’re creating good jobs manufacturing energy-efficient cars and appliances using existing technologies and implementing effective energy conservation programs.
But I guess we’d rather rip it out, burn it up and live (or die) with the consequences.
What will we tell our children?
The Venerable Sheila Jordan… August 11, 2007Posted by littlebangtheory in music.
Tags: jazz, sheila jordan
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…And the brilliant and emotive Jay Clayton swapping vocals at the Vermont Jazz Center workshop in Putney, Vermont.
The penultimate event of this week-long workshop was a faculty concert, wherein this fine group of musicians performed in a tiny, intimate hall. Excellent!
BTW, the woman on drums is Claire Aurenius, who could kill you with a paradiddle or thrill you with a brush. Harvey Diamond on piano, Jamie McDonald on upright bass, and a host of others coming and going for a fine night of jazz, from challenging horn compositions to straight-ahead swing.
I dug it.