Monday, December 29, 2008

21 Things for Life

I don't remember where I found these (possibly Lifehacker or 43 Folders blog), but I put them into my Treo using SplashNotes and rediscovered them this past weekend. Good words by which to live. How are YOU doing?
  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. 
  2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.
  3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.
  4. When you say, 'I love you,' mean it.
  5. When you say, 'I'm sorry,' look the person in the eye.
  6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.
  7. Believe in love at first sight.
  8. Never laugh at anyone's dreams. People who don't have dreams don't have much.
  9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life completely.
  10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.
  11. Don't judge people by their relatives.
  12. Talk slowly but think quickly.
  13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, 'Why do you want to know?'
  14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
  15. Say 'bless you' when you hear someone sneeze.
  16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
  17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.
  18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
  19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
  20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
  21. Spend some time alone. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I've been thinking introspectively lately, reflecting pensively on events in  my long past and how they shaped me and stilll echo through my life and my actions. Much of it is way too personal to post in a public forum, so I'll just share a reflection from last night that is not quite so soul deep. . . .
12/14/08 - A bit after midnight.
It is 16°F outside, but toasty warm in here. Poor old Brusier is acting more and more like a very old dog. It is sad to think of losing him. He has bee a constant companion for all. He watched the kids grow up. When they were little, he herded them up. One day, he grabbed Mathew by the hand or arm or mitten or coat sleeve - I think he was trying to get Mathew herded up with Emily as they both played in the snow.p
It was a pleasant enough day. I finished my Sunday program, tried  out a little electic guitar and wah wah pedal on some Christmas Tunes. I am not sure which guitar I will use for the Christmas Eve Service, the 1973 Martin D18 acoustic or the 1998 Les Paul Standard electric guitar. I experimented with settings on my Berringer modeling amp, trying to find just the right sound.
I hope my voice will be in good form for Christmas Eve, since I am opening the service with a solo "I'll Be Home For Christmas" to honor our men and woman in the military who are deployed far from home. It seems something always happens before that service - a cold or a sinus infection. One year I badly  cut the  tip of my index finger on a nail. It was a deep gash and I had to play guitar with a wound that bled through the gauze because the wound hadn't clotted and scabbed yet. It was on my left hand, the chord hand for a right-handed guitarist.
Well, it is off to bed, though I don't feel much like sleeping. My pain med winds me up and my neuralgia meds make me wobbly.

A Line for A Song

The lonesome, lonely artist draws conclusions on the wall.

This came to me watching an old film of Dylan touring. He said something similar and I built on that.

Learn by Doing, dummies

from my journal today:

We seem to have created a generation of people who can't do anything without being insstructed by an "expert," be it raising a baby or remodeling a house. Whatever happened to "laern by doing?"

I blame television, with its "how-tos" and "reality" shows. And am talking about the 20-somethings and 30-somethings. The need a course, a book, a magazine, or a television show to do anything constructive.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to make ice cream out of breast milk

PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to use Human Breast Milk to make their ice cream because:
"producing milk from cows for human consumption is hazardous to the animals and to the people who are drinking it."
MONTPELIER — The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream this week to consider using human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their products.

PETA, an animal rights and vegetarian organization known for outrageous stunts, sent a letter to company co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday saying consumers and cows would benefit from a switch to human breast milk.
"The breast is best!" wrote PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman in the letter to the company. "Won't you give cows and their babies a break and our health a boost by switching from cow's milk to breast milk in Ben & Jerry's ice cream?"
Rutland Herald

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Love, Punctuated.

Lying here,
Pondering . . .

Love interrupted,
Love punctuated.
Love combusted,
Love incinerated.

Loves lost,
Loves gained.
Loves measured,
Loves strained.

Lovers past,
Lovers present.
Lovers' pasts,
Lovers' presents.

Love borrowed,
Love broken.
Love stolen,
Love taken.

Loves lonely,
Loves apart.
Loves closely
Held to heart.

Lying here,
Pondering . . .
Love, punctuated.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Sister's Blog and Stuff

So, I am so proud of my big sister, who has launched her idea of More to Love into a fledgling empire. She's got a blog and two websites, a book deal, and many more wonderful prospects. Someday, maybe I can be her chauffeur!

See all the excitement at Elizabeth Patch's Sketchbook Blog, More to Love website, and Elizabeth Patch dot com.

Her Book, More to Love, will be available this December at

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Original Star Treks - Remastered in High Definition at CBS!

If you are into the old original Star Treks, CBS is offering them online for streaming in High Definition. The shows have been digitally remastered and you really get to see all the details. Those original Star Treks were like dramatic plays.

Check it out and Enjoy!

- Glitch -

Dirty Jobs | Meet Mike Sweeps

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Rant on On-Line Television Programs - MOVE MEDIA PLAYER Sucks

I have been trying to catch a few missed episodes of favorite shows by going to the networks' on-line program offerings. Most networks offer full versions of some or all of their episodes online. However, a FEW networks have switched to a NON-FLASH "New Full Episode" MOVE MEDIA PLAYER that has to be installed in order to play their shows. BUT no matter what I do I can't get the MOVE MEDIA PLAYER to work for Firefox OR MSIE. And the player doesn't even PRETEND to work with Google Chrome. And then they have the gall to SELL their shows on iTunes instead of just GIVING THEM AWAY. COME ON! It's as if you don't WANT to be popular!

The NETWORKS THAT SUCK (because of  the MOVE MEDIA non-standard video player) are:

ABC Sucks - Life on Mars, Lost, Greys Anatomy
FOX Sucks - Bones, Prison Break, House, Family Guy, King of the Hill, Kitchen Nightmares

The NETWORKS THAT ARE COOL (because they offer full episodes that work with all browsers) are:

NBC is COOL- 30 Rock, Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, My Name is Earl, the Office
CBS is Cool - CSI Crime Scene Investigation, Two and a Half  Men, Original Star Trek remastered (nice resolution but missing many full episodes)
Showtime is COOL  - Dexter, Californication, Weeds (but they don't offer many episodes and the online versions of shows are heavily censored)
USA Network is COOL - Monk, House (but TURN OFF  that  annoying auto-play)

In Summary, the MOVE MEDIA PLAYER sucks and so, by association, do the networks that use this stupid program. So if a station asks you to "INSTALL OUR NEW PLAYER" because it does all these wonderful things, DON'T - and then email the network with a link to this posting.

Now, enjoy this from one of the good guys!!

DEXTER Show 301 (edited for content)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Describing a Rainy Fall Day in the Adirondacks

It's a cold and damp Autumn day in the Adirondack mountains, the sharp air smelling of snow. Dead leaves scurry across the pavement as if they were frantic mice seeking escape from the talons of a diving hawk. A gentle rain falls, a quiet pitter-patter against the wooden deck, creating a sound as soothing as a mother's embrace. Maple trees, covered in pale, milky-green lichen, glisten in shadowless tangles of bare branches. Evergreen boughs shine like morning dew on blades of grass. Fields, mowed and harvested, are like patchwork quilts in shades of green and brown.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

May Dawn Frost Your Birthday Cake

Dawn starts like a northern twilight, an extended period of deep blue around the horizon. At last, bands in shades of yellow-orange to the east announce the new day. Ground fog sorrounds the mountain peaks and shrouds the boggy valleys, hilltops like islands in a sea of whipped topping.
The colors of the dawning horizon are unmatched by all, crystal clear saturations that meld endlessly, clear shade to clear shade. Gel colors of infinite variation.
Such is how I would frost your birthday cake, if it were possible. . . an explosion of bright dawn hues to commemorate life and time and love.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thoughts on Legacy

Why couldn't my family legacy have been money instead of crazy?!

Life is not lived well without the freedom that comes with youth, or money.

Life, love, music. I am still me, just coated in a clay-like lining, the ashes of my life.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fall is Here in the Adirondacks

So, it may still be warm and sunny where you are, but fall has fallen here in the Adirondacks. The air is cool & moist. The vegetation of roadside ditches and fields are shades of amber and brown. The sky, when overcast, is a solid sheet of gray; when clear, it is all blue. The crickets have been singing madly the last few weeks, presumably in hopes of that last big splurge before it gets really cold.

The garden, such as it is, is starting to fade, the plants wilting in the frosty night air. Even with a nighttime covering of assorted blankets and sheets, things are starting to go soft. This is it - there will be no more ripened tomatoes and the cukes & zukes are struggling to fatten their last fruit of the vine.

I like fall, especially the sometimes long-lasting Adirondack fall. But the sound of crickets really depresses me, as it signals and end to the summer. Time to wrap up all those outdoor projects and prepare to snuggle down for eight months.

My Spore Creatures

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Whompers Fall Tour

The Whompers fall tour

Vicious Cluster Migraines

I've had vicious cluster migraines since Saturday, August 30. This morning, I was REALLY floating on the cocktail of medication taken for my migraine: codeine (90), phenergan (75), lyrica (150), indomethacin (50) & pepsid (20). The grand result was a minor relief from the pain, a bit wobbly at times, and now wide awake at 2AM and unable to sleep (I have a paradoxical reaction to narcotics so that what should knock me out winds me up like it is speed).

Spore is Coming!

The long-awaited release of Spore, a Sims-like game where you evolve creatures in a virtual world, is coming September 7. Meanwhile, you can get Spore Creature Creator (trial or full version) now. I used the trial version to create this creature that I call a Pernicious Glitch.

The following video shows a family of Pernicious Glitches dancing and cavorting about. Enjoy!

A family of Pernicious Glitches dancing (created with Spore Creature Creator)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Blogging Away

I have been spending a lot of time logging the midnight hour lately updating my various blogs and websites. I have been posting daily to my redesigned Lake Stewardship Blog. I have also added an Amazon Affiliate Lake Stewardship store to my redesigned Lake Stewardship Website, my Lake Stewardship Blog and my Algae Blog. I have also added a few new environmental widgets to my Wandering Limnologist website.

I would sure appreciate some traffic being driven to these sites, so please link to them if you find any of them useful to you. These websites would be of special interest to environmentalists, outdoor persons, lake residents, water sports enthusiasts, Adirondackers, as well as the environmental scientists, limnologists, etc.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Nice Summer Day

Today, I sampled MAPA lakes, processed the samples, then drove to town with my laptop. I did a little war-driving on the way in, snagged an open wifi in the riverside parking lot behind Main Street, and wrote a detailed draft review of the BeachBouy waterproof gadget case for the PalmAddict blog.

This morning (past midnight), I got my Lake Stewardship blog caught up, with automatic postings for the next six to seven days. Then, I finally hacked the gameroom PC so I can access it across my network (never was able to, been years but not a priority). I also updated some of the gameroom security software, cleared out some disk space, attached a MadDog external drive, and did a security scan.

It is amazing what you can get done if you don't sleep!

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Party Before - Animation by Adam Rosette

Here is my talented nephew/animator Adam's film thesis from NYC School of Visual Arts. So far, he has worked on Assy McGee and now Nite Fite (from the folks who brought you Fairy Godparents, I believe).

the Party Before from FantasticAdam on Vimeo.

Visit Adam's Blog to see more of his creative works. See all his Vimeo Videos (animations).

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I Wish . . . from another lifetime ago

i wish
i could see you now
in person
across the room
within arms reach
in my arms

i wish
i could hold you now
forgetting all
the world and life
shrinking down to a moment
just you & i together

i wish
i could fall asleep
wrapped up with you
and wake
to find you still there
warm in my arms

i wish
that i could hold you so close
that you could see the world through my eyes

i wish
we were walking
hand in hand
sunrise at the ocean
cool afternoon in the woods
dark night under infinite stars

i wish
you were here now
and forever

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Life on the Bubble

We float on the skin of the bubble of life as it slowly revolves beneath us.
A moment of time, pleasure or strife, is quickly to past behind us.
Each fleeting moment we call the present, our path laid out before us;
We can turn, revolve, take any heading, except the past left forever behind us.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Adirondack Winters

Adirondack winters aren't so bad. Sebyan Russia, coldest inhabited place on earth, sees -96°F. We only get to -40°F or so.

(from "The Reindeer People" by Piers Vitebsky)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Excerpt: A Few Summer Days in the Adirondacks

Author's Note: The tone of the book vacillates between naturalist and philosopher, mostly leaning towards the naturalist. Here is a rough excerpt from the naturalist perspective.

JUNE 24, 2



The ice storm of 1998 that left large portions of the northeastern North American continent without power for weeks also left indelible marks on the forest here. Large gaps in the forest cover where individual trees and in some cases whole stands of trees were toppled. In the upland mixed woods, an explosion of saplings and ground vegetation fills the forest floor. Within the cedar swamp, what was once an unbroken bare floor is tangled with ferns and grasses and sedges and countless maple seedlings. Unlike other forest communities, the near monospecific cedar swamp takes decades to form and does not quickly recover from such perturbations, natural or otherwise. Cedar clearings do not quickly sprout new cedar forests, in part due to the slow growth of the tree and in part due to the incessant browsing of deer. In its interior, the undisturbed cedar forest is bare beneath its canopy and, except for the tangle of dead lower branches, walking through the cedar forest is like walking through a shaded stand of telephone poles, albeit crooked and bent poles. In the absence of undergrowth, one can see great distances, limited only by the cumulative effect of the standing trunks and uneven lay of the land. It is a magical forest, with its soft ground springy from underlying roots and the sometimes heard gurgle of subterranean streams. All that changed in the January 1998. The cedar swamp is now a tangle of toppled and leaning trees, its unbroken paths strewn with the tops of trees that came crashing down under the inexorable weight of ice. Slow to rot and slow to sprout anew, it may be a century before others might walk these woods as I did pre-ice storm, marveling at the unobstructed nature of acres of cedar forest.


Without anesthesia, I have too much energy to be contained within a 24 hour day and lay awake, brain crackling like a pine log on a campfire.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Excerpt: A Few Summer Days in the Adirondacks

Author's Note: The tone of the book vacillates between naturalist and philosopher, mostly leaning towards the naturalist. Here then is a rough excerpt from the philosophical perspective.

JULY 18, 2008

The air is heavy with moisture, the sky hangs low, an unbroken plain of phosphorescent grey clouds. Thunderstorms roared through at daybreak, continuing for several hours. Now, at 1:30 in the afternoon, after breezy quiet, thunderclouds pop up across the Adirondack plateau, their red-hot intensity magically appearing on time-lapse radar screens where moments before only clear terrain existed. Here in the corner where Franklin County meets Essex County, two angry storm systems have appeared, forming in place and announcing their presence with rumbling ferocity. The old dog, Bruiser, looks anxiously out the window, nervously licking his lips and preparing to pant & shiver, while the young pup, Sadie, sleeps soundly, splayed out on her side in the middle of the passageway between the living room and great room. Storms, to Sadie, are non-issues while old Bruiser frets each rumbling wave of sound.

The Adirondacks are home to quick, fierce storms of wind & rain in the summer, ice and snow in the winter. Between days of exquisite climate are days of ferocious weather. And the change from one to the other can come quickly, a fact sadly attested to by the number of drowned paddlers and frozen hikers we see each year. While the land appears tamed and differing only slightly in population density and lack of cluttering signage from the urban/suburban villages of the typical visitor, the Adirondacks are indeed still wild by nearly any definition of the word. Our homes and hamlets sit as frontier outposts in a land whose flora, fauna, and climate still carry the wilderness that generations of settlers have yet to tame.

Sadly, however, our presence is not without impact. Invasive species are threatening its waters. Pollution is detectable in the remotest of lakes and ponds. A century or more of fisheries manipulations has altered the population dynamics of nearly every waterway. Native strains of trout exist in but a handful of ponds, finally carefully managed and protected so they may continue to thrive.

And as I muse about this landscape, the sky continues to toss an errant rumble against the verdant, windswept landscape. Forests tremble beneath an incessant breeze. Old Bruiser pants, young Sadie climbs into her kennel, her womb of safety ingrained into her psyche since young puppyhood. But as I pass and catch her attention, she exits kennel and lays out on her side to sleep, uncaring of the jarring rumbles, at my feet. Bruiser coughs nervously, instilling some of his unease in Sadie so that she gets up and paces between living room and great room, pausing to lay her chin tail-wagging expectantly on my knee as she passes my chair.

Excerpt: A Few Summer Days in the Adirondacks

Author's Note: The tone of the book vacillates between naturalist and philosopher, mostly leaning towards the naturalist. Here is a rough excerpt from the naturalist perspective.

MAY 28, 2008 • EARLY JUNE

GPS: 44°13'12"N 73°47'10"W
Elevation: 989 feet

Along the slopes and ridges surrounding Keene Valley, fresh leaves on deciduous trees are bright light green set against the darker, almost black green of pines & spruce.


Stellate clusters of yellow-green flowers of Cypress Spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias) dot the fields and open lowland areas and sandy, well-drained roadsides. This introduced species (naturalized from Europe as a garden escape) blooms from May 29 to June 16, presenting its flowers in umbels, an umbrella-like flower cluster with all flower stalks radiating from a central point. Queen Anne's Lace is familiar example of an umbellate flowering plant. What at quick glance appear to be yellowish greenish flower petals are actually bracts, modified leaves associated with the flower. The actual flowers are small and inconspicuous, with three or more within each pair of bracts.


Grey foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and Red Foxes (Vulpes fulva), among the smaller members of the Canidae (dog, wolf, fox family) can be seen at night in the fields and forests, marking territory, seeking a meal of small mammals, perhaps collecting food for young born in April or May.


At night, the strident call of Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer), the ducklike clacking of Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica), and the short trill of Grey Tree Frogs (Hyla versicolor), fill the air around every bog and wet place. Later in the summer, these tiny amphibians are sometimes found while walking in the woods and fields, mistakenly called baby frogs by the young children who can’t resist picking them up to show to their parents. At maturity, the tiny, brown Spring Peeper is just 3/4 - 1 1/4 inches in size. The nocturnal Spring Peeper is found in wooded areas in or near permanent or temporarily flooded ponds and swamps and hibernates under logs and loose bark. The Grey Tree Frog is 1 1/4 - 2 inches. The nocturnal Grey Tree Frog lives high in trees and descend only at night, usually just to chorus and to breed. The Wood Frog, brown with a bandit's mask of black behind its eyes, is only slightly larger at 1 3/8 - 2 3/4 inches. In the colder parts of its range, the Wood Frog is an explosive breeder. Swarms of pairs lay fertilized eggs within 1 or 2 days, then disappear into the surrounding country. It may venture far from water during summer, and hibernates in forest debris during winter. The Spring Peeper, a Chorus Frog, and Grey Tree Frogs are members of the Tree Frog Family (Hylidae), while the Wood Frog is a member of the True Frog Family (Ranidae) and closely related to the familiar Leopard Frog.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008



By Michael R. Martin

I am making good progress on my book. Although I am not quite ready to release any excerpts, I hope to do so in the near future.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Putz Pomade

Putz Pomade, used by the subjects of Emporer Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodsman, in "The Marvelous Land of Oz' to polish his wonderful nickel-plated body.

Said the Scarecrow to his personage:
"Show us at once to your master, the Emperor."
The man looked from one to another of the party in an embarrassed way, and finally answered:
"I fear I musy ask you to wait
for a time. The Emperor is not receiving this morning."

"How is that?" inquired the Scarecrow, anxiously. "I hope nothing has happened to him."
"Oh, no; nothing serious," returned the man. "But this is his Majesty's day for being polished; and just no his august presence is thickly smeared with putz-pomade."

Still in use 100 years later by citizens of the real world to polish printing plates to remove small abrasions before printing. It is also used for cleaning other printmaking equipment and for deep cleansing before color changes on a printing press.

Commercial printers use Putz Pomade to maintain expensive printing equipment that uses etching processes similar to what fine artists use in etching and intaglio methods. Putz Pomade is available in past and liquid form. A 15 ounce tin costs between $12 and $25, depending on source. Valley Litho Supply seems to have the best price.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sold First Copy of my Kindle-formatted Wesley Sermons book

I sold the first copy of my Kindle-formatted book, "Sermons of John Wesley," the collected 141 sermons of John Wesley, father of the Methodist Church. Sermons are indexed by number, title, and scriptural reference. Over 1,000 pages long, this document is not available in print and is a valuable reference for anyone who preaches the Gospel, is a United Methodist, or is interested in furthering their Christian education.

Kindle: Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Door

The outside air is cool,
a gentle breeze from the north,
all the way from the arctic circle,
or so it seems.
Birds sing, everything is green, damp, cool.
Opening the door, I step into the house,
and my senses flood with the smells of cooking -
Simmering, garlic-laden sauces -
and I am hungry.
A house, when it smells good, is home.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fathers Day Gift Ideas

Fathers Day Gadgets

Something for Dad's Kindle

My Life Theme Songs, updated

Theme songs for my life, in approximate life order:

The Joker • Steve Miller
She Blinded me with Science • Thomas Dolby
The Boys of Summer • Don Henley
The Coldest Night of the Year • Bruce Cockburn
Lord of the Starfields • Bruce Cockburn
All the Ways I Want You • Bruce Cockburn
Someone I Used to Love • Bruce Cockburn
Deepest Part of Me • Dougie McLean

Dream Series: Dream 01 • Flying

Flying • Sacramento, circa 1970

Flying is a common dream among humans. More than a third of the dreaming population reports having had at least one flying dream. I recall reading this fact when I was around 10 and deciding to try to fly in a dream. After that, I had at least several flying dreams. In my dreams of flight, I would have to kick my feet like a swimmer and struggled to reach the height of telephone poles and power lines. I don't remember how many of these dreams I had, but I think I more or less intentionally gave them up since kicking my feet to fly was a lot of work and I was never able to freely soar at will.

I have a related memory recall of dreaming of a western meadowlark sitting on a split rail fence in the midst of wide open green fields. I seem to recall that I was standing or walking along a dirt road, maybe a string of power lines running along the roadside, as well. I believe this dream is from the same time period, if not part of a flying dream. This may even be one place where I "flew," kicking my feet to reach the level of just above the power lines. In addition to flying in the vicinity of this rural pastoral scene, I flew around the Sacramento suburbia where I lived.

At the time, we lived near the edge of suburban development and my friend & I would often ride our banana bikes to undeveloped and developing areas nearby. We would explore the open framed, partially constructed homes, jump our bikes over ditches and dirt piles, and requisition wood scraps to build street racers. We'd borrow money to buy wheels and casters from the local hardware store, attaching them to cross-pieces of 2x6 planks at either end of a 2x12. The front plank was attached to the center frame with a bolt. We could steer the rig with a rope tied to eyebolts on each end of the front plank.

One interesting fact about flying dreams to which I relate is that creative people (poets, writers, musicians, painters, graphic designers, etc.) and people who do public speaking are more likely to have flying dreams than the average population..
Coming up next in the Dream Series: Dream 02: Pursuit and dim lights, Dream 03: Repeat Dreams - Exploring a large building, its attics, stairs, and basements

Flying Dream FAQ by Linda Lane Magallón
Image: "The Flying Dream" by Jarrod Russell, MorgueMart
Click on the bird picture to hear the song of the Western Meadowlark
Image: House under construction -
photo by Dean Terry (web site, flickr source), from the documentary film "Subdivided"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Tales from the Glens Falls Rest Area

I am reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan & The Jungle by Upton Sinclair on my Kindle, resting from the road, spitting sunflower seed shells out the window, watching the people go by.

Hippy girl, hair piled high, wonderful buns rock to & fro in light cargo pants as she walks down the sidewalk. (sigh)

Two old ladies with creamsicle hair & flowery hats rise from a picnic table and wobble back to
their car.

Man stands at my front bumper and stares for a long time - I watch him in my peripheral vision hoping he'll move on - until I finally have to look up from my reading as he walks nearly up to my open window just so he can strike up some banal conversation relating tangentially to the company lettering on my Pathfinder. "So, you work in Saranac? Going camping in July? How's the fishing?" etc. etc.

Aw, hippy girl is leaving, and looks healthy from the front as well. She climbs into a small blue car with pink stripes with her tall, bearded companion, who, by the way, has jammed an McDonald's bag into the refuse bin - not exactly the granola diet of my hippy chasing days.
OK, I never chased any hippies. In college - UNH Durham - we had granola girls, but I wasn't exactly in their circle. Rumor had it that nearby Newcastle NH was the granola girl haven. In typical oblivous fashion, the potential love of my life was very much in my cicrle of friends & I didn't even know it -- shades of high school band all over again (and THAT is story for another day!).

(this is an expansion of several twitter posts from this afternoon - follow me at

Working on a book

I started working on a book this week, with the working title "Some Summer Days in the Adirondacks: A Natural History in the Northern Adirondack Mountains." I got the idea after downloading several free public domain books to my Kindle by Frderick John Lazell with titles like Some Spring Days in Iowa written around 1908.
There is a pretty large selection of Adirondack books, but very few titles present an overview natural history book for the area and none approach the subject in this way. I will talk about what is happening in the woods and waters of the northern Adirondacks, including trees & flowers, animals and birds, over time as the summer progresses. It will be written in a conversational style akin to being on a series of nature walks taken throughout the area in the months of June, July, and August.
Look for postings of draft sections as the work progresses. Sure beats watching endless hours of TV, although I'll have to cut back on my voracious reading as well.


Thursday, May 15, 2008


Almost invariably, the person operating the equipment thinks he is smarter than the person who designed the project.

ps (I used "he" because I'd like to think the female operators are not as described in this, my observation - and I just haven't had the opportunity to observe any female heavy equipment operatos though I know they exist)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Rats roaming down here.
Water flowing like music from the oboe.
Dangerous gasses float in the air
Down here underground.

Poem by Jack Baker, age 7, from Denver, Colorado. Grand Prize for Category I, grades K-2, of the River of Words contest.

Visit to read other environmental poems written by today's youth and to view creative and inspiring environmental artwork as well.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Changing diapers

Bumper sticker I saw today:
Men who change diapers change the world

It should read:
Men who change diapers should wash their hands

I mean, come on, you want an award or something for doing what you should be doing anyway? Think that makes you somehow special? How about doing the laundry? The dishes?

People are idiots!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Spring - Columbia County

Whistle pigs pitching woo on a rough stone wall.
Red-winged blackbirds staking out their little wetland territories, staring each other down.
Apples in bloom,
poplar popple drifting on a light breeze.
Gnats flitting about, sunlit against a clear blue sky.
New leaves popping on countless stems, ochre & virulent green.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

The Road (chorus)

It's not the road ahead.
It's not the road behind.
It's not the good road.
It's not the bad.
It's not the road to take.
It's not the road to leave.
Sometimes the road
Is just the road.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The rose

The bloom is off the rose,
too late, too late.
Should have made hay with the sunshine,
now it's rotting in the field.

The bloom is off the rose,
too late, too late.
You've made your bed,
and if your bedfellows are strange,
you've got to lie in it now.

The bloom is off the rose,
too late, too late.
I remember when your passing sparked a reflexive surge of hormones, but
the bloom is off the rose.

Friday, April 18, 2008


Springtime in the Adirondacks,
when car roofs sprout kayaks & canoes.

Winter into Spring

Winters are the tears that make Spring days happy.
Elation is a loon cruising the open water near shore while ice remains, darkening as it melts, across a lake.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Alone with Nature

I used to commune with nature with careful observation,
feeling I could almost discerne life's hidden meaning.
I used to hear nature calling out to me.
I used to feel its vibrant beat.
I used to look through eyes with wonder at the relationships beyond my perception, barely beyond.
I used to . . .

But now, it is too rare that I see, I feel, I sense these things.
Nature's life force is still there
but I fear it is something to which I am becoming blind.

Perhaps, on an other day,
I shall see, feel, sense these things once more.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chicago, A Love Story

It was a cold & misty night,
not unlike tonight,
when my heart was ripped asunder,
painful as a first love's crush,
by the closeness of you.
We stood, orange light casting weird shadows, bare branches in the mist.
We stood, leaning against the harsh concrete of a footbridge,
struggling against the pain of untouchable love,
railing against the unfairness of the human condition and the vagaries of fate.
We stood.

Chicago. Early spring.
When I learned I could still care deeper for another more than life itself;
And the start of the best & worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life.
Portend of soaring heights I'd never known.
Portal to depths from which I've yet to fully escape.

Only love has that kind of power,
to make you eternally grateful for having experienced it,
even while you hold your heart in your hand after it was ripped, still beating, from your chest by that very same love.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Sensitive Men

Sensitive men,
painted by the broad brush of stereotype
by the women we'd hope to love.
Is that what keeps us up at night?
Searching? Seaking? Yearning?
KEEping you ON THE defensive, COUCHing everything you say in "safe" terms?

My Life Theme Songs

Theme songs for my life, in approximate life order::
The Joker • Steve Miller
She Blinded me with Science • Thomas Dolby
The Boys of Summer • Don Henley
Lord of the Starfields • Bruce Cockburn
Deepest Part of Me • Dougie McLean

Friends & Family

You find the true nature of your friends & family when you ask for a real favor.
What is that flavor?
A bitter taste in the heart,
stuck back at the start.

And you learn, in life,
that all the enjoyment comes from what you take out of each situation.
Friends, and family, they will let you down.
And that, I guess, is life.
Enjoy it when and while you can.

Take life at its surface, it doesn't always run any deeper.
Are you there because you are wanted or simply because "there" is where you want to be?
Try not to think about it. . .
it is a dark circle.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Melting Snow

A mourning dove softly calls,
over the quiet sound of melting snow.
A soft sound, gentle on the ears,
ringing like a memory,
wind chimes in a gentle breeze.

Friday, March 28, 2008

TSA Officials require woman to remove her nipple rings to clear security check

TSA LogoTSA officials in Lubock Texas forced a woman to remove her nipple rings in order to clear security. The woman's lawyer said "The conduct of TSA was cruel and unnecessary. The last time that I checked a nipple was not a dangerous weapon."

On its Web site, TSA does warn that passengers "may be additionally screened because of hidden items such as body piercings, which alarmed the metal detector" and "If you are selected for additional screening, you may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to a pat-down search." The woman offered to submit to a pat-down search, and even offered to show her piercings to a female TSA agent.

TSA's Blog, Evolution of Security, has the tagline: "Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part."

I feel more secure.

LinkedIn is like a Bridal Registry; you go there to see what the bride wants, but it doesn't get you invited to the Honeymoon.
• David J. Hinson •

Still Life with Goose Poop (aka Silicone)

Repairs to my washer's drain pump housing, epoxy & goose poop.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bananas for Twinkies

Back by popular demand, banana cream-filled Twinkies return to shelves. According to Wikipedia, the Twinkie was invented in 1930 and originally contained a banana cream filling that was replaced with a vanilla version during a banana shortage caused by World War II. Formerly only available for special promotions, the banana version is now here to stay.

More Twinkie fun facts:

  • About five hundred million Twinkies are produced each year
  • Twinkies don't last forever--the shelf life of a Twinkie is about 25 days
  • Bill Clinton chose a Twinkie as an "object of enduring American symbolism" for the National Millennium Time Capsule in 2000
  • In Latin America and Mexico, Twinkies are sold under the name "Submarinos" and come in regular or strawberry flavors

Want more mileage out of your Twinkies? offers tons of weird and wonderful Twinkie recipes including Twinkie smores, Twinkie tacos, Twinkie-misu, and Twinkie sushi.

by Amazon al Dente at 11:22 AM PDT, March 26, 2008

Sears Kenmore Appliances = Crapware!

OK, it is just MY opinion, but we've now had a top of the line Kenmore Elite microwave range hood crap out just after the warranty and a Kenmore Elite HE3t front-loading washer do the same. With the micro-hood, a circuit board went and the cost to repair with parts and labor was almost equal to a brand new micro-hood! With the washer, the door gasket ripped, allowing coins and bobby pins into the washer pump, cracking the housing. Parts and labor just for the gasket was about $250. The pump will be another hundred bucks for the part if I can't repair it with epoxy. At least I can do the labor myself.

Oh yeah, and the fancy matching dryer had a door switch go and I had to fix that.

Therefore, MY conclusion is Sears Kenmore = Crapware! Sure, they make some smart looking appliances, but Geez!

So I don't think we'll be buying from them again.
Elite my ass!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cali Lewis - Pajamas to Work

Here is another post about Cali Lewis, Host of GeekBrief TV, from Episode 316. It must be nice to wear your pajamas to work.
Oh, wait a minute. I can do that, too!
P.S. to the Geek Fan Boys
I have a gallery if pics online, makes great smartphone wallpaper. You will find them all here at my SmugMug Cali Lewis Gallery! (

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Who We Are

We are who we are because of who we are.
- Lesras Martin -
as told by James S. Hirsch, in "Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter"

Friday, March 14, 2008


There are 62 lego bricks for every person on earth, enough to build 10 towers to the moon. Two more bricks are manufactured each year for every person on earth.

Source: How Do They Do It, Science Channel

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Reflection while listening to Steve Martin's autobiography, "Born Standing Up"

What is it that makes someone strive on to success after meeting blunt, unequivical rejection while others fade on into the oblivion of everyday lives?

For some, "Don't give up your day job" is a validation of their heart's desire. For me, it is just a confirmation if my crippling self-deprecation & lack of self-confidence.

At the Laundromat

At the laundromat,
Saranac Lake, NY,
hermits and cabin-dwellers gather for their seasonal washings,
loaded down with blankets & woolen coats,
dressed in well-worn dungaries,
slipping outside to roll a smoke,
and catching up on winter's gossip.
It is the community hall for mountain men & woman,
folks that still exist in seeming contradiction to this being the year 2008 everywhere else.
I probably don't fit it,
my jeans not being worn thin enough,
listening to an audiobook on my ipod
and posting to my blog on my Treo smartphone,
yet they smile at me none-the-less,
a fleeting part of their community
on this day.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Picnic Tables at the Adirondack Rest Area

Those little sqaures are the tops of picnic tables at the Adirondack High Peaks Rest Area, Adironack Northway (I-87 Northbound)
44°00'50" N 73°42'17" W

West Taghkanic

Where they have grey squirrels the size of whistle pigs!



Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Caterpillar

The caterpiller does all the work,
but the butterfly gets all the publicity.
- George Carlin -

Free Music Downloads

I have posted my songs as free MP3 downloads and encourage your fair use & sharing. Go to & look for the iLike link button. If that doesn't work, head over to my MySpace or Facebook page and look for iLike button there. You should find those links there at (I am on the road and can't check what links are there right now).

I'd love to hear what you think. I hope to havemy new abum, Summer Fading, featuring several new songs written at Meadowlark, in early summer.


It's a drag realizing how superfluous we all are in the world around us:
superflous to family, to friends, to acquaintances . . .
It is only by doing that we become relevant,
and we are only as relevant as the last good thing we have done.

Spring • Schroon Lake Rest Area

The days are longer,
the sun is stronger.
The snow is heavy,
melting & sublimating
in the March sun.
Schroon Lake stretches off
into the Adirondack foothills,
a white plain of snow & ice.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Cali Lewis - Pretty in Pink

In Geek/Tech/VideoBlog News, Cali Lewis, the lovely, cute & perky host of GeekBrief TV was extra beautiful in her pink shirt on a recent episode.

P.S. to the Geek Fan Boys
I have a gallery if pics online, makes great smartphone wallpaper. You will find them all here at my SmugMug Cali Lewis Gallery! (

Friday, February 29, 2008

My New GPS

Traveling home on the Tacanic State Parkway w/my new nav system, the TomTom Go 720. Great if you know an address, not so good to locate POIs near you (no real option to just browse POIs in vicinity)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Barnes & Noble

The reason why B & N can afford to have people milling about in their store all afternoon with nary a sale is that they charge so frigging much for a book! MSRP. Retail. Full price.
But if you want a nice place to hang out, with a clean bathroom & good coffee, or maybe want a paperback right now . . .
I'm just saying: Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Barnes & Noble price $16.16 ($14.95 + tax), Amazon $10 & change, free 2 day shipping w/my Amazon Prime account.
And this is a cheaply made paperback, content not withstanding - that flimsy off-white paper & thin paper cover. Sniff the pages & it smells like grade school, that cheap brownish paper that made the best spitballs - more pulp than paper. I think it is the wood fibers you can smell. I remember the taste.
Rip. Chew. Spit. Thwack. Bulls eye!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mathew's broken wrist

Mathew's wrist looking like a snake after collided with the wall in a pickup basketball game.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Three plus A.M.

Laying awake,
light snow in moonlight falling,
a glowing fog outside the window.
Is it you I should be calling?
For whose sake?

I resist the tossing & turning,
at least on the outside,
yet my brain cells are burning,
decide and then undecide.
Spinning, whirling, straight, then curling,
only to return to square one and start the process over again,
and again, and then again.

Not easy to be poetical at three a.m. plus,
knowing I need to rise in a few short hours.
Short hours?
They are passing like slugs in sand,
slowly, painfully.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


The choice we make within the boundaries of the twists of fate determines who we are.
- John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hitman

Monday, February 04, 2008

Time Traveler

Do you ever wish you could close your eyes here and open them in your past? Perhaps not to change things, but just to see how events really unfolded. Naw, really, I am talking about a cosmic do-over.

If you could still be you now, but do some of it again, have another crack at it, would you?

If you had spent your life as clueless to the here & now as I did, there'd be no question. I lived a life without a present tense. Maybe it's like George Carlin says, there is no now. There is almost now and there is then. 'About to be' becomes 'was.' 'In a moment' becomes 'the past', and flies by so fast we never really experience now. It keep changes to then.

And, since the cosmic do-over is not an option, why let the here and now continue to chew you up & spit you out?

As the Facebook profiles say, "It's complicated." You know who you are.


Don't let the desire for a cosmic do-over spoil the memories you have.

Oh, let us all abandon the sappy crutch of "I wouldn't change a thing because then I wouldn't be me …"

Bull shit! You'd do it over, too, if you really thought about it.

And YOU would still be YOU.

[Damn, late night/early morning, strange bed, ever present headache, start of a new week - and this - - is what you get]

{Pssssst. Skip down to the previous post - maybe you'll find it more interesting, more content full}

(Damn you, email blog posting, and your lack of formatting capabilities!)

A Night at Suzette's

The smell of the sheets and the geranium on the nightstand sends me back to my youth, just 8 or 9 years old, and we were living at my Nana's house. Funny how the memories of nearly 40 years ago can swirl around so fresh and clear, like a slideshow of movie clips. We had just returned from Iran and were staying with my mother's mother while my father finished his tour. I slept in my grandmother's sewing room off the living room. I can remember sneaking out of the room to watch the news, army-crawling across the floor and ducking down behind a chair. I would hear the announcers say "and now you may want to have your children leave the room" or some such ans it would draw me out. And I would watch while the news showed the daily clips from Viet Nam. It was like watching a war movie, but more real in some way.

It wasn't like the Gulf War, where you could follow the war 24 hours a day. It wasn't like the Iraq War, with its embedded reporters chronicling every fire fight. In my Nana's house, it was a time of Lawrence Welk and Pro Bowling during the day, and body counts from Viet Nam each night. There was footage of men in trenches shooting over the edge, medics caring for wounded, reporters shoving their microphones out into it all. And then the news was over, and you'd watch Laugh-In or the Smothers Brothers, or Sony & Cher; whatever you could until some grownup caught you and sent you back to bed. Looking back, very bizarre.

Oh, there are lots of other tangents I could follow in the swirling mist of memories, but that is where I leave it tonight.

It is hard to believe I was, I am, that cute little boy. The connection escapes me.

I am,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Sunrise this morning

The sky lit up at sunrise this morning, like the painted rocks of the west.

Monday, January 28, 2008

OMG, ThinkGeek Really Rocks!

I've been a long-time fan and customer of . . .
They reward purchases with geek points.
I accumulated 2,725 points and was waiting for the right time to redeem my points.
Imagine my surprise when I logged in today (to buy a Valentine's Day gift, no less) and found that ALL my points expired on 12.28.07?!

Now I see the fine print, but who knew? And to not even send me an email reminder that my points were expiring?! Unconscionable.

BUT . . .
Thanks to the wonderful understanding staff at Think Geek, especially Rosslynn H and Rob P, my points have been reinstated. And Rob assured me they are working on an automated process to warn folks when their points are about to expire.

Hey, if it was just a few points, no big deal. But 2,750 can get you some good stuff. Time to do my Valentines Day shopping!

Check out Think Geek at

* Expiration date noted is 36 months from date Geek Points were accrued. Geek Points shall be subject to expiration after thirteen (13) consecutive months without purchases on your ThinkGeek account or at thirty-six (36) months after the date Geek Points were accrued, whichever comes first.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Wind

Some people have haunting eyes,
and like a fool,
it drives me to know of their lives.
It drives me like the wind.
Open the door, let me in.

Like the wind,
I touch without touching,
love without loving,
give without giving.

And then,
I am gone.

Cold Air, Warm Sun

The day dawns, cold, arctic.
The clouds break, the sun shines,
warming all it touches,
melting snow.

February in the Adirondacks . . .
cold air, warm sun.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Circle of Friends

One good reason for maintaining a small circle of friends is that 3 out of 4 murders are committed by people who knew the victim.
• George Carlin

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Shoot the Messenger

That is the one thing I really hate about being a consultant. People tend to shoot the messenger. Some guy is overweight and he goes to the doctor. The doctor says "You are fat. You need to diet and exercise." Most people just go on with life as usual, maybe muttering about their useless doctor.

Clients come to me and say "My lake is a cesspool. What's wrong? Fix it." So I tell them THEY are the problem, the 250 septic systems and acres of lawn fertilizers that run off into the lake. Well, that requires more than a lot of money - it requires a behavioral change, too.
Suddenly you are a pleb instead of an expert.
"Um, we need a second opinion." "YOU'RE FIRED!"

Being a Christian disciple is the only undertaking where persecution is considered a sign that you are doing your job right. It is right there in the job description!

Friday, January 11, 2008


Peace is a warm puppy asleep on your lap.


The difference between success & sloth is putting the idea into action.