Poem: Crush 2014

We have traveled to the Napa valley of California for a wedding.  It happens to be harvest season here, which the locals (or maybe the tourist board) call “Crush”.  Such events are inspiration for poetry… Continue reading

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Theatre Review: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

I do not watch much television, preferring to read for information and leisure. This may seem contradictory for someone who has dyslexia. While never formally identified during my education days, given the era when I was in school before most learning disabilities had labels, I figured this out on my own. Also, through reading out-loud, I developed a degree of ability to recognize when words did not make sense and needed to be studied more carefully.

A few years ago, I attended a professional workshop in town. That evening at the Super 8 motel, I flipped through the cable TV stations as a novelty. None of the news, comedy, movie, or drama programs caught my attention. Maybe I could find a hockey game at least. The local team was not playing. And, ESPN was carrying… the National Spelling Bee. I decided to return to my book instead of being tortured with not being able to know whether young girls and boys could spell words that I could not even sound out.

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Then the McCoy Grand Theatre decided to produce the musical, The 25th Annual Putnum CountySpelling Bee. Should we attend or stay home? I am glad that we opted to attend the opening night performance. We were laughing from the initial reminiscence of the spelling bee’s host, Rosa Lisa Perretti (Kelly Crites) about her winning of a spelling bee, to the final contestant’s change in his weltanschauung. Continue reading

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LTTE: Technical Justice

The latest developments in our local politics regarding the rescue squad were the ethics and judicial hearings.  The ethics panel determined that the County Commissioners did not violate any laws when they purchased the foreclosed rescue squad building to house the Ambulance Authority, which they were establishing.  And, they did not violate any laws by establishing an annual fee ($120) for each household in the county.

However, the judge who reviewed the authority of the County Commission to purchase the building and establish the fee nullified both actions because they were done without consultation of the citizens.  This was based on the technical point that the County Commission did not have jurisdiction to make these decision because they did not have established meeting times (the accusation has been that after two meeting with public protest, they called a third meeting which was not announced and voted) nor posted agendas.  In fact the agenda for the day they voted on establishing the fee had only a pencilled in mention that the fee would be discussed… pencilled in the morning of a 9 a.m. meeting.

Then the County Commission basically said they would post their meeting schedule for the rest of the year, refund last years fees, and published in the agenda that they plan to vote to establish the same fee for next year.  Then their lawyer filed a suit stating that the judge did not have jurisdiction to rule because the petition was not filed within 120 days.. which of course depends on which date you wish to pick…

As you can imagine, I had a concept for a Letter to the Editor ready to send off once the news hit the local paper.   Continue reading

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Farm Life: Squah-Zilla

P1070734While we had a cool-foggy August, September, still foggy, has brought summer weather back.  80F-90F and humid.  Before frost hits, it is harvest time.  No matter how often we pick, certain plants take over, hiding monsters in the garden.  Summer quash, with creeping vines take over and proliferate like Communists in Senator Joe McCarthy world-view… except Squash-Zilla is real!  Take care though, you might be Squashed, and find a basket of these on your doorstep or passenger seat of your unlocked car!  If Squash-Zilla were not enough to frighten you, all the rain we had this summer has created Carrot-Toa, waiting to erupt in your soup pot! Continue reading

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Farm Life: Hard Winter Predicted

P1070757Our Fog in August tally is complete… I have just been too busy preparing for winter weather to write about it.  From our daily drive to work, or looking out over the valley from our deck on our days off, here is the report.  In August, we had 4 clear days, 1 rainy morning, 9 days with light fog (could see 1/2 mile across the valley, but hazy), 8 days of moderate fog (could see only the bottom or top of the mountains across the valley), and 9 days of dense fog (could not see across the valley).  If the old-timey tradition holds true, we should have at one storm for each day of fog in August.  If we take only the dense and moderate fog days, that gives us 9 to 17 storms.  From our records over 15 years, last year had the most storms, with 12.  Eleven storms in one winter was the most prior to that.  I’ll get back to you in April, with the winter’s storm tally.

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Farm Life: High in the Hive

P1070696We are half way through August.  I bet you are wondering about the Fog in August count.  So far, every day has brought fog, except the day that it was raining…  Winter is coming.  On top of that, at the time of year we should have hot-humid days, when you sweat while taking a shower, we are putting extra blankets on the bed, wearing sweaters, and coming in early from dinner on our deck because it is too cold to sit outside.  We are having days in the low 70F’s and mornings in the mid-40F’s.  Our neighbor mentioned seeing hundreds of geese migrating south already.  I noticed some of the deer are changing from their summer rust coats to their drab winter coats.  Speaking of turning colors, the dogwoods are turning red a month early.  Then, I noticed the yellow jacket nests… Continue reading

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Fossil in the Stream

P1070693Since childhood fossils have fascinated me. Maybe it was my grandparents’ travels to the Petrified Forest during their Southwest vacations. Maybe it was reading about archaeology and discoveries of dinosaurs. In any case, I had the impression that fossils were rare items found in some dig far away. Subsequently, I have had opportunities to see those petrified trees exposed in the desert and dinosaur skeletons displayed in museums. Finding a fossil still seems to be something a better trained eye would do. However, recently, while clearing rocks from a washed-out area, I came across a rock with a pattern. Continue reading

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