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As Luck Would Have It. January 30, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
7 comments

This morning, at work, I headed up to the top of the nearest hill to find cell phone service; there isn’t any in the valley below, and I needed to call my boss.

I wandered around a bit ’till I got three bars, then pulled over in front of a ramshackle farm just in time to see the eastern sky suddenly pierced by a column of fire as the rising sun rolled into view.

I threw Gizmo on the box, booted the ISO up to 500 for the hand-held capture, and got this:

fire in the sky

I hope my boss didn’t mind waiting.

Yeah, I know, I said I was outta here, but then I remembered this shot, and I’m pretty good with sharing.

Now I’m really gone.  😉

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From The WTF Files: January 30, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
6 comments

The elusive Berkshire Big Beaver:

berkshire big beaver

There are so many things wrong with this image, I just don’t know where to begin.

I’ll leave you to ponder the significance and ramifications of the BBB while I head out for an adventure of the heart.

Be back tomorrow.  Maybe.

Friday Kittehz Blogging. January 30, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Friday Kittehz Blogging.
6 comments

No matter how she tried to run with the pack, Dolly always seemed to stand out from her friends…

dolly

And starting now, Kittehz has their own category!  🙂

Dinner With TCR! January 29, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
9 comments

Tonight (well, actually, last night,) a curried chicken and cranberry salad on a bed of fresh tomatoes:

curried chicken salad

‘Twas guuud!

Ruby Tuesday! January 27, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Ruby Tuesday!.
Tags: , , ,
13 comments

Starting today, with its very own category, to make finding past iterations easier.

A bridge on one of my jobs:

bridge in huntington

A barn in Conway, still fancy from the season past:

barn wreath

The historic Odd Fellows Building in Buckland:

oddfellows building

OK, so that was just a teenie-weenie bit rubeenie…

…And me, caught in The Act by Frau Biergut, my climbing companion:

th doc on ice

Thanks to Mary at Work of the Poet for this recurring meme!

Stop Me If I Bore You. January 25, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature.
Tags: , , ,
15 comments

I know, there’s only so much snow you can look at before you yell, “Calgon, take me away!”

But it is what it is, and it’s everywhere.

Today was bright and crisp.  The ice was brittle from the night-time lows, and the sky was radiating a blueness

twin maple

…onto a stark, crisp landscape:

briers in snow

…softened by shaddows

field and shaddows

…and scrimshawed by zastrugi:

zastrugi

And that’s the news from the Department of Redundancy Department.

In Winter. January 23, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Art and Nature, Love and Death.
11 comments

A frozen river, a Bridge of Snow:

bridge of snow

Blueberry bushes and pasture hummocks:

blue hummocks

A snow-choked Clesson Brook:

clesson brook in winter

Now I’m off to dance, barefoot and wide-eyed, in Northampton.  🙂

Dinner With TCR! January 22, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
3 comments

Tonight, a stir-fry of chicken and shrimp with veggies (red peppers, onions, scallions, snow peas and enoki mushrooms) with mango and cashews, served on a bed of Basmati rice:

shrimp and chicken with cashews

‘Twas guuud!

Two Years Comin’ January 22, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
Tags: , , ,
10 comments

Last night was spent re-learning an old ritual:

Which tools work to disassemble these things?  Where are my allen wrenches?  Are these metric or English?

Rube Goldberg meets Frankenstein as the frames of Frau Biergut’s old crampons come apart, get drastically shortened.  Their front points come off, feel the persuasion of a file, the strokes long and slow, and get set aside as I struggle to cannibalize the spacers from my old beater pair.  My ancient bolts won’t budge, despite bending hand tools trying; a grinding wheel is impressed into service.  Off With Their Socket-Heads!

The monsters materialize, morphed into the mono-points I prefer, eccentrically positioned between my big and second toes by the judicious employment of carefully counted #6 washers.  It all gets fitted to my dusty boots, then tightened down as though my life depended on it.

The axes are another trial, their spent picks welded by time to their pitted heads.  Once they were cutting-edge, as futuristic as 1984.

Now, they’re just 1984.

But they’re what I have, and they’re comfortable in my hands, balanced to my swing, the leashes adjusted just right to accommodate my Cloudveil gloves.

The nested bolts are stubborn, but they’ve met their match, and yield with banshee shrieks.  New picks are unwrapped and seated, their wicked droops eliciting a wicked smile.  Trotsky never saw this coming.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Tonight, after work, it all takes a short ride with me, to a forty foot wall draped in fat, blue possibility.

Boot laces are tightened, cinched down with come-along conviction; it’s hard to over-do it, and nothing sucks quite like heel-lift on a vertical pillar.  Welts slip into bales, heel levers snap up with a satisfying click.  A “found” helmet assumes it’s rightful place.  Leashes are tightened on scrawny wrists, and suddenly the reality of the situation comes into sharp focus: it’s been two long, sedentary years.

I exhale slowly, inhale, exhale again, and step forward to caress the glistening surface.

It starts with the feet, a precise, crisp swing from the knee, a satisfying impact, and suddenly I’m flowing upward , scanning the surface for concavities, the smooth fossas where vertical drops down onto less than vertical, where the free water pools, where the brittle becomes plastic, where my pick finds paydirt.  Not with the lightness, the poetry of Frau B’s precise swing, but rather with the ferocity of a testosterone poisoned boy, gone all agro on a blameless, inanimate thing.  I’ve always had a tendency to over-drive, especially since I gave up on ropes.

The tool sticks, and I relax into the rhythm: three steps, center, level, stand, set the next tool.  Relax, knees straight, hands soft, forehead unfurrowed.  Breathe, slowly, deeply.  Do it again.

Two years.  Two years without this, the mind-over-matter game of stilling the heart, narrowing the focus, folding the fear into a glass-topped box, fragile, transparent, to be studied, appreciated, respected.  Dangerously close, comfortably controlled.

I used to live here; now I’m a visitor, an interloper, just passing through, testing my wings, soaring in slow motion.

And the wings, though tremblingly weak, feel guardedly good.  I see the necessary adjustments, to the equipment, to my technique, to my ambitions.  To the New Fear On The Block, that my shoulders won’t like it, won’t handle it.

And I’m ok with that, because tonight I’m flying.

And not everyone gets to fly.

Into The Light. January 20, 2009

Posted by littlebangtheory in Politics and Society.
19 comments

From the darkness, from the depths of despair, from a place of shame and dishonor, a nether world of evil clowns and idiot kings, a place of nightmares which only get worse when you wake; from an existence defined by illogic, irrationality, a total disregard for facts, a disinterested dismissal of the truth, a complete contempt for the rule of law, never mind for common decency, from a life of head-hiding embarrassment, of endless, insufficient apologies, of feeling deserving of the world’s disdain, of watching impotently as everything you value crumbles before your eyes, is shredded, turned under, pissed on; from a miasma of moral turpitude, of gut-churning wrongness, of sleepless nights and silent screams and cold sweats and a poisonous rage which comes ever closer to destroying your soul,

Into the light of reason, of rationality, of considered judgements, of intelligent discourse and decent diction, of noble ideas, of curiosity, of concern for others, of Hope.

Thank you, Mr. Obama, for knowing where the light is, for throwing the switch, for driving back the beasts of ignorance and arrogance and fear and greed, for having faith in us and in yourself, for taking the first steps in a new direction, toward the light, toward respect and responsibility, toward a future we can face with pride, with determination, with our sleeves rolled up, with each others’ best interests in our hearts and in our minds.

This journey will be long and difficult, with success not guaranteed, but if we all pull together, it just might be possible.

And I’m so damned glad to be beginning.