Monday, November 30, 2020

Guilded Age Lennox

 Up the road from where we are is Lennox Massachusetts. It is a rich town from the Guilded Age (late 1800s). It was so rich that a special train ran from New York to Lennox, with just a First Class.

We went a visited an old home from the era being rebuilt. It was owned by one of the cousins of Morgan (J.P. Morgan’s relative), Sarah Morgan and her husband (and 7th cousin) George Morgan. 

Here is the front and the two level entry way (from the second floor)




Here is back of the house, from the back and then from the road.




This is the front drive. It is fairly accurate although I had to spice up the photo to see the details as it was all in the shade.


This is the dining room, rebuilt. Most of the place was in a terrible state. The house was in fair shape, but a developer bought it for the land and destroyed the roof. It was a historical site and the only way to move forward was to get it condemned, so he poked holes in the building an let it rot for a few years before a group was formed to raise money for it.



I Think I Was Happier Before I Knew All The News

 Just saying. For example, this is something I wish I didn’t know. I wish I didn’t know that this is a first in America’s history. I wish I didn’t know that this was just a way for Trump to take money away from cities and blue states (although it will also hit Texas and Florida hard). I wish I didn’t know that the Supreme Court has at least 4 judges that already  agree with this combined unconstitutional grab at money / “fuck you” to cities - otherwise it would have been thrown out and not taken up.

In short, I was happier at fat, dumb and happy than i am at fat, informed and annoyed.

The question for the next few years / decades is: Will I be happier ignoring this crap? Or Will I be happier moving and knowing this carp doesn’t affect me?

Short term, once Biden starts, I will ignore news for a while. (I know, ha ha - but I can pretend.)

Dam (Beaver Variety)

Where we are staying is in the hearty of Beaver Country - and not Oregon State Beavers. Real American, hunted by the French and English, buck tooth, beavers! And we have seen the actual work of beavers on the road over the past two weeks.

After a week (we didn’t take a before picture because we didn’t see it start).



After two weeks.

Here the beaver has bitten off a bit more than he can chew. We thought! But look how amazing this is. he’s rugged.





Thursday, November 26, 2020

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

How is Rusty Doing?

 Amazing, he loves it up here. Plenty of room for him to run and jump.  He came around the corner earlier this week and ran into a family of deer. We don’t know who was more frightened, Rusty or the deer, both ran in opposite directions.




Later, Indeed

 


Lynnie loved this picture and I totally get it. So here is the story. A Conductor was moving a commuting train in the Netherlands and hit back in stead of forward - a common mistake.

But it was at the end of the line, and back meant, derailment. Luckily, there was this public art installation of whale fins at the end of the track. And, low and behold, public art supported public transportation in two ways. Financially and, in the Netherlands, physically.

Something funny... later

 I’ll post something funny or cool later. A little venting for a moment.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Sustainable Engineering Award

 Good News!

James Dyson (of the vacuum and fan fame) has sponsored an award for sustainable engineering. The first one was won by a university student from Manila who is making energy and windows from rotting fruit and vegetables. Fascinating.

You can read how he does it in the image below. 

And the panes can they be applied to a building. It is solar power, but doesn’t need direct sunlight AND light can pass through it.  Very cool.



Saturday, November 21, 2020

I Think American Samoa is Screwing with us...

 American Samoa is supposed to be paradise. It has the most beautiful National Park south of the equator. Yet it’s quarter has bats on it.

It screams STAY AWAY!



Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Privilege of Ignoring Trump

 Our President DeElect, Donald Trump, is behaving like (at various times) a spoiled 3 year old insisting he’s not tired and doesn’t have to go to bed or a spoiled 3 year old breaking every toy before someone else gets to play with them.

In either case, like a toddler (which makes sense - as he sniffs Adderall like Trump Jr has a coke habit). He refuses to admit Joe Biden won the election, which is both pathetic and hurtful to the country. Hurtful because the United States has a long period from the election to the swearing in and Donald Trump is making as much trouble as he can.

Pathetic because everyone knows this. It is funny (funny sad, not funny Seinfeld) to watch an entire party lose it’s spine publicly. Privately they say “Donald needs time to accept this.” Like he he didn’t get a power ranger at Christmas, not like the leader of the United States. (We used to say the leader of the Free World, but that is now a HA!).

My lovely Eddie in the foliage in Virginia.

BUT, and this is a big but, I don’t give a fuck! He lost. If he stays and tries to create havoc until Jan 20, then we are right where we all expected to be. If he doesn’t leave, then I am pretty sure he will be forced out. And if he isn’t forced out, then I will leave.

It is all proceeding according to the best “chaos theory” outcome we could expect. 

Oh sure, there is some world where Donald Trump comes to his senses and bows out gracefully. And, in that world, unicorns fart rainbows, Lindsey Graham is married and penguins rule New York. It isn’t our world.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Monument to Enslaved People at UVA

There is a new monument to the enslaved people at the University of Virginia. They have a fascinating monument that describes how University of Virginia was complicit in buying, selling and exploiting people. It seems Virginia has settled on the term “Enslaved People” instead of slaves. I like it because the term “slave” makes it easier to think of them as different from us. Enslaved people is better, more accurate and more honest.

It is a ring of steel and con create. You can see it beyond Eddie and Rusty in the photo. It is beautiful done and a very moving, honest memorial.



The story of various enslaved people is told on the inside ring.






The various names are engraved on the outside wall / ring.



Monday, November 16, 2020

Let’s All Come Up To Speed

So, why no posts? Basically we are homeless, traveling around the east coast like nomads. Right now, Ed is in the Hudson Valley (New York) at a friend’s house and I am in Hartford (Connecticut) teaching. We are homeless because they are finally fixing our leak and it has completely screwed up our house. We can’t live there. As for how long.... They said 2 weeks, and we all knew it was 3. Then, there was a delay because they would not turn off the air-conditioning because it was hot, and that moved it back a week, which makes 4 weeks, but the 4th week is Thanksgiving, so probably 5 weeks. Yes - that is what we said too.  

Here are some ceiling pictures.


Since the crap has occurred, Ed and I have been on a tour. First we stayed in Port Jervis for a week. Then we drove to North Carolina to stay with Aldona and Joe, but we spend some time in Charlottesville first. I'll post some pics soon, but here is one from the University of Virginia, which Thomas Jefferson designed.


So, another second (or third) thing - the election. For me, it was great to vote Joe Biden as President. I will say it is weird to me that 73 Million people voted FOR Trump, but there is no reason to look a gift horse in the mouth. He’s not President after January. Our elections are really odd in that even after the voting is over, it is a couple of months before the new President takes office. But the Constitution was written when electors had to ride a horse to New York to vote, and then the President had to get to New York (or Philadelphia) to be sworn in.

In typical Trump fashion, he is still causing issues, changing the heads of the Pentagon, leasing more of our wildlife refuges, ignoring Covid. But, it will be done soon.

And posting may be more error prone than usual because I have to do this on my iPad.,

Thursday, November 12, 2020

I am quoting from Alexis Hall

 I do love this quote in “The Affair of the Mysterious Letter”. In this case, I identify with the Sorceress.

“You know, I really should have written down his address. Non-Euclidean street maps can be so difficult to navigate.”

 - “Forgive me for asking, but are we lost?”

“A Sorceress is never lost. However, on occasion, her path will show her vistas unfamiliar to her conscious mind.”

 - “How is that different?”

“I assure you, it’s much more fun.”



Saturday, November 7, 2020

Poetic

 We found out about Biden as we visited Thomas Jefferson's house (Monticello) and the University he built.




Friday, November 6, 2020

And so we leave Port Jervis

 Well, it is time to leave Port Jervis. Our demo is done in the condo. They have to fix it next week. So we are headed down to Joe and Aldona’s in North Carolina.

We stop tonight in Charlottesville Virginia, which is probably one of the most beautiful cities I have ever traveled to. I hope it lives up to my memories. 

I did want to share one other thing here from Port J. It is their Veteran’s Park. Here in this little square park is where Stephen Crane interviewed Revolutionary veterans and wrote the Red Badge of Courage.

It is a small little square park, but it is a tiny city. It was attacked during the civil war by a combination of British and Mohican Indians. A Mohican Native American lead the troops that took control of the city for a while.


The centerpiece is the monument to the Civil War Veterans. I included the detail below




The park has monuments to Veteran’s from nearly all the wars, including the war on terror. It lists the citizens who died fighting in those wars.





Thursday, November 5, 2020

An Interesting Drive

Yesterday, Eddie and I took a drive up  the Delaware River. The road is twisty and hugs the mountain. Oddly, you can see in the pictures that on the far side of the river is a flat area, perfect for a road. But it was owned by the Eire Railroad, and they refused to let a road be built there.

So the road was built on the other side with pull outs called “the Hawk’s Nest”. It was a fine little drive.





 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Writing is hard

Writing is hard. I just read The Starless Sea, by the author of The Night Circus.



The write Erin Morgenstern, writes poetically, lovely and wistfully. It is hard to describe. It soars and dips and very nearly sings. And The Starless Sea wound me into a love of prose. And then, not so much. 

Endings are not my strong point when I write and, unfortunately, I felt the same way about The Starless Sea. The author tried to wrap up all her loose ends, but loose ends aren’t easy to find. With so many stories, the book is  a story about stories, which is lovely mainly, but not fully - some fall by the wayside, unfulfilled.

She started beautiful stories, and helpfully labelled those which were metaphors, although some were both metaphor AND story. I loved the book. Up until the endings. I didn’t like the endings. I counted about 4 of them, some ended too quick and some too abrupt and most ended because the pages wound down.

Only the non-ending, the beginning to another story was as beautiful as book.Perhaps the ending to our election, coming at the same time as I read the end of this book  haunts me. The ending of the story, and the election, is unfulfilling. Or maybe I just disagree with how it ended. IN this case, you can ascribe “it” to either topic.


Waiting it out in Port Jervis


Well, we still don’t know the answer of who won the electoral college. We aren’t even sure who won the popular vote yet. Of course, Donald Trump has declared victory, early, but not necessarily incorrectly.

I can’t even tell you how gutted I am about the election. Mainly because it speaks volumes about how my co-citizens feel about honesty and hatred. I am not saying everyone, but a good half of the country doesn’t value honesty and truth in our leaders. I am not calling them evil or bigots or anything else. But it wrecks me.


About sums it up