Water, water everywhere

This hand pump supplied water for dinner and Saturday night baths..As I was reading some stuff about water one morning this week, I was reminded of the water source of my youth – a twenty-foot deep hand-dug well. It sometimes is difficult to believe that we in 2020 are not far separated, measured sometimes by the calendar and sometimes by miles, from having no imagining of conveniences such as computers or water that simply appears at the turn of a knob.

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A little good news

They have to be taught to hate.Readers of a certain age – which is to say, aging baby boomers – likely will remember a song by Anne Murray in which she pleaded to wake up one morning with “A Little Good News” in the headline news.

Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain.

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Squirrels ain’t stoopid

Breakfast Club at Chez Deb's.We have a dogwood tree in the corner garden, and one of its branches finally grew to within Gray Squirrel jumping range of the roof. That was fine for a fairly long time – until one particularly ambitious fellow decided to launch himself at the bird feeder suction cupped to my studio window.

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2 names and a logo

The ship named for the Civil War turning point would make a fine logo for the team.The Edmonton Eskimos is no more. It was a Canadian football team, until it announced last week it would drop the name it has used since 1949, responding to years of complaints from at least some people that the name was offensive to Inuits, who many of us erroneously refer to under the blanket name Eskimos.

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Lesson from a racetrack

Collaboration will be the ticket to survival.School districts often gather into purchasing consortia to obtain materials for their respective districts at lower cost than purchasing individually. Within our county, townships and boroughs have formed a Council of Governments to work together in pursuit of legislative goals. In smaller groups, the townships work together to share equipment and sometimes people power so that each municipality need not incur the expense of, say, a road grader.

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People (and comets) and street lights don’t mix

Comet NEOWISE is only 68 million miles away, outbound at 17,500 mph.My camera and I had an interesting experience together this week. We tried to get a decent picture of the comet NeoWISE. Three nights, three efforts, and I finally got one shot I’d not feel badly about showing people.

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We cannot afford it

A mountain of coal ash collapsed more than a million gallons of coal ash slurry into the Clinch and Emory rivers.About 1973, we were heavy into a fossil fuel shortage. Gas lines were nationwide. In some places, the day you could buy gasoline was decided by your license plate – odd numbers on odd days, etc. 

Some people said we were on the verge of running out of oil to make gasoline. Continue reading We cannot afford it

The cost and the promise

Monuments on the Gettysburg battlefield mark the positions of the various leaders and their forces.At the site of a battle that began the end of a war to decide whether any men should be allowed to own other men, we still concentrate on the battle rather than its meaning. The people over whom all that blood and treasure was shed remain largely ignored.

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Stuff happens

Plainly seeable even in shadow, if we look.Events of the past few months have been weighing heavily on many of us, I fear. The pandemic some of us knew was coming has kept us cooped up in our homes, if for no other reason than most places we would like to go – places we would meet for breakfast, parks where we would jog and picnic, or cubicles where we would work – have been closed.

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It’s not the haircut

Easy to get around, and nowhere to go.I’m lucky. Or old. Or both. I don’t need a haircut.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked how things were going at my house, what with the stay-at-home lockdown we had been enduring. At the time, we had not been in it very long and, as regular readers will recall, I was, and am, a believer in the mental medication of getting outdoors to commune with nature.

So I told him after nearly 50 years as a journalist, I was used to working alone. I love wandering along or in a forest or a stream and making friends with the critters who live there. It makes one feel pretty special when those critters start to trust you. Continue reading It’s not the haircut

Life on the third rock

A mother robin incubates her three-egg clutch.A friend recently related a conversation in which he mentioned to someone that a certain insecticide has been declared dangerous to humans when used as directed. Roundup has been in the news the past several months, the subject of some court cases involving the cancer- and sometimes death-causing nature of the compound. Continue reading Life on the third rock

Siegfried and Roy

Afternoon Pastoral.Several years ago I was lucky enough to be visiting Las Vegas with in-laws who were able to score tickets to the Siegfried and Roy magic show. As though that were not enough, we had seats right up against the stage, as in my left arm could rest upon the stage. The show was as good as its reputation. Maybe even better. Continue reading Siegfried and Roy