Organic Roadkill

I intended this piece as a bold statement on the isolation and ultimate futility of our ostensibly rich and purposeful lives. I understand, it is powerful imagery, and can be disturbing to contemplate, but I must confess that in embracing the perspective–as a detached, virtually omnipotent observer–I find solace, even liberation, in examining the naked truth of my reality.

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The Six O’Clock Scrounger: Cheesy

When I’m wasting time, chewing on electronic distractions like a cow chews cud, I turn pack rat. Not that it is a drastically distant fall. The Force may run strong in some families–all I got was this encysted hoarder thing in my belly. Its not cancerous yet, but I need to keep an eye on it. With the interwebs, even my modicum of restraint is unnecessary. I have 2 terabytes of closet space for all the crap I scrounge. At one point, before some serious deleting, there were 25,000 bookmarks on one of my browsers. It is time to give some of this crap away. So here, take it–not all of these posts will be so cheesy, but it is a Junk give-away, so the bar is low.
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Can’t Think Of A Thursday Feature

I’m trying to come up with a feature for each day, to help me get back on track with daily posting, but I can’t come up with a damn thing to go with, say, Wednesday Words of Wisdom or Tunesday or Memeday. I keep getting stuck on the Norse thing…you know, Wednesday derived from Odin’s Day and so forth. Thursday reminds me it was originally Thor’s Day, and Thor gave me my favorite moment in the hundreds of Marvel films we’ve seen over the past few years:

He is in a hurry and runs into a pet store to demand a horse.  The clerk says something like, “We don’t have horses. We only sell dogs and cats and birds.”  To which the God of Thunder responds, “Then give me one of those big enough to ride.”  It’s even better than the Hulk’s “Puny God” crack at Loki.

So, let’s hear it for Thor. On his day.

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And that gives me another week to think of something for Thursdays….

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Not Flood Nor Fire, Just A Blog Unattended

Here we go, boys and girls. I miss you all when I’m away, and look forward to catching up and finding out what you’ve been up to while I’ve been “away” from the wonderful world of WordPress. At the same time, tons of detritus has built up behind the dam while I’ve been attending to other concerns. So, let the fires begin….

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Nothing like a marginally obscure, and somewhat tenuous, historical reference to jump back into the blog, but…

I live about 30 miles from Johnstown, PA, sometimes known as “Flood City, USA.” That’s gallows humor, northern Appalachian style. Johnstown was a major steel producing city built in the bottom of river valleys where the Stonycreek and Conemaugh come together, but it has become more famous for the series of catastrophic floods that have swept through the city, beginning with the greatest and worst in 1889. Upstream, a private dam at a summer retreat owned by a group of mostly Pittsburgh-based super-wealthy robber barons, held back a lake on the Conemaugh, surrounded by ornate vacation mansions on beautifully manicured grounds. The rich folks would come up during the hot and humid summer months to escape the pollution in the city. The earthen dam didn’t merit a lot of attention. It was a cobbled together, poorly engineered thing that had been repaired using highly technological means such as, ahem, shoving tree stumps into leaks. May of 1889 was a particularly damp month, and in the last days of the month the rains were incessant.

On May 31, the damn broke, releasing 20 million tons of water in the already engorged watershed. Johnstown, about a dozen miles downstream, never had a chance. Hundreds were killed as the initial wall of water scoured the valley floor, and many more died at the stone bridge in the city, where a magnificent buildup of debris piled up and, adding horror atop horrors, caught on fire. At the time, it was considered the greatest disaster in American history, and even now it the carnage has been eclipsed only by the 9/11 Attacks and the great Galveston flood. The city would suffer additional floods of lesser magnitude in 1936 and 1977.

Unlike at the South Fork Dam, no one will die from my poorly maintained blog, but the device for this post crept into my head and I decided to roll with it. Inattention, stuff building up at the dam–if nothing else, I found a way to throw a little history your way.

In the meantime, it is time to let the clean-up begin, and that starts with getting all the saved Junk sorted and passed along to you. We may even see days with multiple posts…

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Mission Accomplished!

Holly Shiite! 24 miles/day! What an accomplishment! Kudos to Strider and to Steve-O Myers, who is making this daydream come to life.

The Great Plains Trail

13096172_1623423264634979_4612243037057126708_nLuke Jordan, aka Strider, has completed the first ever thru hike of the Great Plains Trail!  He did it in impressive fashion, finishing the nearly 2100 miles in 85 days, an average of over 24 miles per day.  All throughout, he maintained a workman like attitude, rising early, and knocking out the miles, but more importantly, he did it with a friendly attitude and a grace that made him the perfect ambassador for this fledgling trail.  He was received along the route with a mixture of curiosity, encouragement, and hospitality that often went above and beyond what could be expected.

This trail began as an idea, and it slowly evolved into a working plan.  From there, it took the courage of Luke Jordan to put it into action, but along the way, we all discovered that the true Great Plains Trail lies in the people who live along its route…

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Grant legalizes civil disobedience

These are our neighbors up the road. Grant Township are fighting the big fight and taking no prisoners in their battle for Home Rule. It’s no coincidence that the family farm about which Edward Abbey so often rhapsodized is just down the road from here. He would be proud.

East Run Hellbenders Society

Last night [May 3], Grant Township in Indiana County, Pennsylvania made a bit of history. The municipality passed a local law legalizing civil disobedience. According to the new law, anyone who commits a nonviolent act of civil disobedience in order to protect the community’s rights under its Home Rule Charter has the legal right to do so – but not only that – the law also prohibits “any private or public actor from bringing criminal charges or filing any civil or other criminal action against those participating in nonviolent direct action.”

Read the complete article here …

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2016 Summer Wonders: Art By Elizabeth Lennie

I stumbled on these over the winter.  Aren’t they nice?

Faith Tethys

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http://elizabethlennie.com/

“For 25 years Elizabeth Lennie has worked as an actress in theatre, film and television while developing a painting practice and raising 3 daughters in mid-town Toronto with husband performer/writer/teacher Mike Kirby. Her liquid landscapes are both abstract and figurative and explore the memory myth of summer. The medium is oil paint on canvas or board, with layered washes, thicker impasto, and the occasional graphite text. The archetypes surrounded by water explore notions of self within the resonance of shared memory. E. Lennie’s paintings are featured regularly in the media and are collected in Canada, the US, the UK and Japan.”

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