Voice for Reason


Rollin, Rollin
November 6, 2017, 8:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Have been reminded of the many intricacies of the life that surrounds us. About a million years ago, I looked at a blue crab in an aquarium. I looked at the eight legs; the carapace; the mouthparts. I was amazed at the area that seemed to correspond with our nose, as there were articulated arms flailing about, stuffing captured scent or food items into the general region of the mouthparts. Just had another chance to see a blue crab, flailing away at its aquarium water, and counted 16 articulated attachments in all. Yes, eight legs, but ten appurtenances to the mouthparts, and there are likely more behind the scenes. Life is grand. Let it live.

Also saw a nice exhibit of L. Frank Baum (Wizard of Oz) works at the Washington College library. Cool. Had a great conversation with a librarian who has given up on collecting any more Oz early editions because of pricing. The cutting edge of libraries and the necessary parsimony.

Have been much disturbed about the workplace harassment stuff that is airing now, and back in the 70s, when I was working 80 hours a week and was not taking the time to be civil, I crossed that line. Stacy, wherever you are, I apologize. The workplace these days is where one is not allowed to comment on anyone’s appearance, and yet the next to last place I worked, female comments about my appearance seemed to be aok. I kept my opinions of women who came to work dressed for a pool party to myself, and also refused to wear hard shoes, dress shirts, and ties in the face of the pool party fashions the “leaders” were modeling. Just sayin. Parity will likely never come, so just be careful about whose oxen you are trying to have gored, please.

Am wrapping up a roadtrip these days, and it has been wonderful to do some good work with some good folks. It has also been fun to slug around a few days, here and there. Letting the radio settle on its own choices has its rewards, too. Please see below.

Hope you are able to settle on your own choices, crusty.

Billy Currington Lyrics

“Pretty Good At Drinkin’ Beer”

I wasn’t born for diggin deep holes
I’m not made for pavin long roads
I aint cut out to climb high line poles
But I’m pretty good at drinkin beer

I’m not the type to work in a bank
I’m no good at slappin on paint
Don’t have a knack for makin motors crank, no
But I’m pretty good at drinkin beer

So hand me one more
That’s what I’m here for
I’m built for having a ball
I love the nightlife
I love my budlight
I like ’em cold and tall

I aint much for mowin thick grass
I’m too slow for workin’ too fast
I don’t do windows so honey don’t ask
But I’m pretty good at drinkin’ beer

A go getter maybe I’m not
I’m not known for doin’ a lot
But I do my best work when the weather’s hot
I’m pretty good at drinkin’ beer

So hand me one more
That’s what I’m here for
I’m built for having a ball
I love the nightlife
I love my budlight
I like ’em cold and tall

I wasn’t born for diggin deep holes
I’m not made for pavin long roads
I aint cut out to climb high line poles
But I’m pretty good at drinkin beer
I’m pretty good at drinkin beer

[Spoken] So hand me one more boys…
That’s what I’m here for

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Shovel Family Testimonial
October 24, 2017, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dearest Shovel Family,

There are no adequate words to express my high esteem and gratitude for the time we have spent together. To be associated with such stalwart and dependable workmates has truly been a wonderful reward and an unreserved pleasure. Never a cross word, never a refusal to cooperate, and my ideas have been met with your unbending support. Should you ever choose to graduate to the ranks of management, I can heartily recommend you as those who can lead by very good example, and, listen to your working companions. No one could ask more of a good manager, and I prefer a good shovel to a bad manager, any day.  You?

Sincerely, crusty.

Coming soon, a Lopper testimonial.

My friends, the whole Shovel Family, Skeeter, Blunt, and Point:



Two pitchees??
October 18, 2017, 3:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

These pictures did not come through on first attempt.

Relaxin is good for the soul:

Truth in advertising in Pennsylvania:



Ahhhhhhhh, on the road again.
October 16, 2017, 5:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Out and about is a great place to be in Autumn, just sayin.

Hope you are ignoring the morons successfully, crusty.

Relaxin is good for th soul:

Truth in advertising in Pennsylvania:

Sunset over the Catskills:

Panoramic sunset:



Autumn comes
September 17, 2017, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We have actually had a few breaths of cool lately. Some were a result of a 1000-megaton air conditioner called Harvey spinning south and west of here, and some were the result of actual “cold” fronts. We shall see. And following Harvey, Irma. Unscathed by both but the psychic load of seeing flooded streets, twisted buildings and displaced persons, again….the storms of Nature are to be borne. It’s when we do such disastrous things to ourselves that remains the vast mystery of life. Just sayin.

Am trying to plant enough cover for the turtles to overwinter with, and we shall see how that works out.

Travel well, where’r you may roam, crusty.

16Sep2017–First spider lilies (Lycoris).

Two turtles at the diner; the very tasteful and subtle neon does not come on until after dark:

Mother and baby socks in Pennsylvania:

Tomatoes in Denver:

Potholders defying gravity in Idaho:



Hummingbird luck
September 4, 2017, 1:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Two days in a row, blessed by hummers. 01Sep2017, refilled hummingbird feeder attached to window by suction cup, and as I was rehanging the feeder, a young hummer lit on it and took a drink. I, of course, froze with my hand still on the feeder. After a good drink, this little mite tried a taste of my finger, and then went back to the nectar, drinking its fill and buzzing off. Yay! 02Sep2017, refilling feeder again as it was sipped empty, and as I reached out to unhook it, a hovering hummer lit on it to probe for the last drops. I tilted the feeder toward it, the hummer got what it could, and then flew to the other side of the feeder. Again, I tilted toward it, and another little sip.

So, bartender to the hummers. Yay! By my clock, it takes about 20 seconds for the crowd to reassemble and begin the feeding and fighting shuttle among locals and migrants (or that is what I think). I hope they all travel well and live to return. If you have never held a hummer (I have been lucky in life), just want to let you know that there is no discernible weight to them (Ruby Throated, at least). I held a too-cold Ruby in my hand until it warmed up enough to fly off, and felt no mass, just a brief breeze as it took off. Big Sigh. They are going to South and Central America, and back, if we are lucky.

Red and gold glistens
As the head turns in the sun.
Long distance travel.

I hope you travel safely and return happily, wherever you may go, crusty.



Can’t make it here, anymore
August 29, 2017, 2:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Best image I have heard recently is “Total eclipse of the truth.” No need to guess to whom this refers. Sad.

More sad news re one box turtle nest—eggs all casualties of the environment (likely flooded out the first week it was laid, but I have waited this long to explore it). Dang. Life. Not easy. Nature not cruel, just implacable. Happy that some critters are making it, and comforted by all the box turtle nests that I was not lucky enough to observe being dug. Lots out there, I hope. Will be feeding them strawberries, if I am lucky.

Hope someone feeds you strawberries, crusty.

One of eight snapping turtles emerging from one nest in Maryland, and may live 150-200 years:

James McMurtry Lyrics

“We Can’t Make It Here”

Vietnam Vet with a cardboard sign
Sitting there by the left turn line
Flag on the wheelchair flapping in the breeze
One leg missing, both hands free
No one’s paying much mind to him
The V.A. budget’s stretched so thin
And there’s more comin’ home from the Mideast war
We can’t make it here anymore

That big ol’ building was the textile mill
It fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore

See all those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna set there till they rot
‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don’t come down here ‘less you’re looking to score
We can’t make it here anymore

The bar’s still open but man it’s slow
The tip jar’s light and the register’s low
The bartender don’t have much to say
The regular crowd gets thinner each day

Some have maxed out all their credit cards
Some are working two jobs and living in cars
Minimum wage won’t pay for a roof, won’t pay for a drink
If you gotta have proof just try it yourself Mr. CEO
See how far 5.15 an hour will go
Take a part time job at one of your stores
Bet you can’t make it here anymore

High school girl with a bourgeois dream
Just like the pictures in the magazine
She found on the floor of the laundromat
A woman with kids can forget all that
If she comes up pregnant what’ll she do
Forget the career, forget about school
Can she live on faith? live on hope?
High on Jesus or hooked on dope
When it’s way too late to just say no
You can’t make it here anymore

Now I’m stocking shirts in the Wal-Mart store
Just like the ones we made before
‘Cept this one came from Singapore
I guess we can’t make it here anymore

Should I hate a people for the shade of their skin
Or the shape of their eyes or the shape I’m in
Should I hate ’em for having our jobs today
No I hate the men sent the jobs away
I can see them all now, they haunt my dreams
All lily white and squeaky clean
They’ve never known want, they’ll never know need
Their shit don’t stink and their kids won’t bleed
Their kids won’t bleed in the damn little war
And we can’t make it here anymore

Will work for food
Will die for oil
Will kill for power and to us the spoils
The billionaires get to pay less tax
The working poor get to fall through the cracks
Let ’em eat jellybeans let ’em eat cake
Let ’em eat shit, whatever it takes
They can join the Air Force, or join the Corps
If they can’t make it here anymore

And that’s how it is
That’s what we got
If the president wants to admit it or not
You can read it in the paper
Read it on the wall
Hear it on the wind
If you’re listening at all
Get out of that limo
Look us in the eye
Call us on the cell phone
Tell us all why

In Dayton, Ohio
Or Portland, Maine
Or a cotton gin out on the great high plains
That’s done closed down along with the school
And the hospital and the swimming pool
Dust devils dance in the noonday heat
There’s rats in the alley
And trash in the street
Gang graffiti on a boxcar door
We can’t make it here anymore