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Saturday, October 16, 2021
Linda Gurney and the golden era of motown
Listening to:Blood and Roses, Smithereens
Reading:Tall Tales & Short Stories from a Singer’s Life & Imagination by Janis-Rozena Peri
Weather:53, first day under 80 in a month
Again a death inspires me to dust off the old blog. Tonight it's Linda Gurney.

I met Linda when I came to WVU for undergrad. I don't remember exactly when, but I'm guessing I was a freshman or sophomore. I found my way downtown, found Maxwell's, both the lesbian lunchery and the weekly nighttime open mic of my dreams, found my people, and found what I'd been hoping college would be like.

I was pretty dang stoked to be away at college. It's the life: liberty and independence but no big responsibilities of adulting yet. Lots of drinking. Boys. Oh yeah, and learning stuff. I had honestly dreamed of nights hanging out with a small group of intellectuals and a professor, drinking wine (I don't even like wine, never did), smoking weed (or cloves!) exuberantly and passionately arguing about heady philosophical and topical shit into the wee hours, Coltrane on the record player. Well, there was a whole bunch of none of that. It was the 80's. Disco was dead, but the coke was still blowing around. That shit is a real mind-closing drug. And a favorite of the little fucks who were at WVU in the 80's to get degrees in whatever would make them fat paychecks and expensive cars.

Though my music theory and other music classes were mostly pretty fun and my crew (the CAC Pigs) was fucking great, nobody was very interested in that deep intellectual exploration that I had been anticipating.

Lucky for me there was the Underground Railroad, a bar that deserves not just it's own blogpost, but it's own frickin docuseries for real. Suffice it to say for my purposes here that it was that place where those intellects gathered. And mingled. And played backgammon. And listened to punk, reggae, blues, acoustic, ska, jazz, pop, thrash, and a bunch of other stuff.

I'm getting to Linda. I don't remember precisely when I met her, but I remember that at open mic at Maxwell's I met Carla Daruda, boogie woogie piano player extraordinaire and lesbian feminist. She was very welcoming and encouraging, and invited me to play bass for her in an all woman band for an upcoming Artemis Sisters coffeehouse event at the Underground Railroad.

I believe it may have been through Carla that I got to be friends with all the cool townie musicians who also blew my mind with their explorations of political theory, philosophy, justice movements, economics, and community. Linda was in this club.

Ya didn't know what to make of her at first. Really thick coke bottle glasses, blond dreads, adorned in beautiful colors, moving a little slowly and with great effort. But it took no time at all to recognize her genuine kindness and care for pretty much all life on this planet. She made you feel like she really appreciated you and was happy to see you. She was a world thinker but a one-one-one actor.

And that voice. That luscious, rich, round, deep, sonorous singing voice of hers. I enjoyed it thoroughly evertime I heard it. But I have very specific memories of two particular times. One, I was walking up Pleasant St heading home to South Park and as I passed the Underground Railroad I heard Linda onstage playing keyboards with a band, I don't know who else was playing with her, but she was belting out After Midnight, the JJ Cale song covered excellently by Eric Clapton. I couldn't keep walking, I had to go in there and listen. She drew me in from the street, I was under her spell. Then another time (before or after, I don't know) she was singing a duo with Debbie the bartender at the Underground on acoustic guitar, and it was Paradise by John Prine. Debbie was on melody and Linda laid down this meandering beautiful harmony counterpoint. Not just the usual parallel thirds most harmony singers thrown in. It was so beautiful. I stole it and have sung it myself at many campfires and living rooms over the years since.

Linda died yesterday. She'd been living on Maryland street for a few years, after coming back from out west somewhere for many of the intervening years since those Maxwell's and Underground Railroad days. She was moving pretty slow but still moving that last several times I saw her either on her porch or sitting having coffee with Ricky at a table on the sidewalk in front of the Blue Moose. She's been playing in a band, she'd tell me about upcoming gigs and shit when we'd have a brief chat on my way to work. I learned about her death on Facebook, where I tend to get my local news, esp during this shitty pandemic.

I have a feeling there are a lot of people who will be learning this sad news over the next hours and days, and who will have wonderful memories of Linda and good times with Linda back in the day and up to now. Wish we could all get together and have a good old fashioned wake and share our grief and good times.


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Linda Gurney and the golden era of motown
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
No snow this March
Listening to:Take On Me, Aha, in my head
Reading:Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
Weather:rain, 54
Temps to drop tonight, maybe it'll snow before midnight. Expecting an inch tomorrow, the daffodil snow.

Got shot #1 pfizer, getting shot #2 next week, then in two weeks I should be at peak immmunity for covid which I shall call c19. But the variants are creeping in, and our numbers have been going back up for 2 or 3 weeks, and since we seem to follow Europe's lead on this shit looks like we're headed for another surge. The suck never ends.

As does the suck of our state legislature this session. They ubermajority of dickheads in both houses and the mansion and the greenbrier have figured out how to use the process and the rules and are steamrolling all the ALEC and anti-lgbtq, anti-woman, anti-labor, anti-worker, anti-poor law they can puke out in 2 short months. One of them finally got c19 and I was hoping it would have happened sooner and bigger so they'd have to shut the shitshow down. I don't see how we can ever recover. The trumpsters have taken over and are decimating any likelihood that the colony can be saved.

But we've had some lovely sunshine and warm temperatures this month after last month's cold and snow. It's been a nice spring so far. I've got onions volunteering, the garlic I planted in fall looks great, seeds starting in the house for peppers, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cabbage. Some herbs, the red and black raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries make it over winter and are all looking good. I fertilized and mulched a couple weeks ago, hoping to be diligent and get some harvest this year. I still need to design and implement protection from birds on the black raspberries.

Hard to stay focused on work, I have no energy.

I'm enjoying reading about the slightly prepper culture of crypto, silver stacking, and GME short squeeze against those bitchass hedgies. I'm a tiny part of that revolution.

Tally ho!


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No snow this March
Monday, June 29, 2020
covid2020

Listening to:gov jj's daily fireside covidchat turned campaign yammer
Reading:Confessions of an Economic Hitman
Weather:80, mostly sunny
I've been keeping a covid bujo since midMarch when wv got it's first case. Been working from home mostly since then. We're still in a steep upward curve of new cases and deaths in WV and in the nation. Wondering about the future, wondering if there will ever be a buffet or a movie theatre movie in my future.
Recognizing my huge privilege to have all I need and a pleasant place to live and garden and have my sweet wonderful child close by.
Future so uncertain.
Alan is visiting Pappy and he's 13 yo. First summer he's had a cellphone and he's buried in it most of the time, but seems a little sweeter in disposition this summer than last.
I dusted off the cello and have been practicing some stuff to jam with my pal brent on piano. Faure Pavane op 50, Bach Air on the G string, Jesu the perpetual motion, Chopin e minor prelude. Looking forward to a nice outdoor jam, maybe a pavilion with electricity for b's keys.
Haven't watched or listened to the news or public radio in months, had to give that shit up. Gotta focus in on the manageable and the opportunities for joyful participation.


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covid2020
Wednesday, January 08, 2020
not a single post in 2019
Listening to:Foreigner unplugged StarRider
Reading:Little Book of Restorative Justice
Weather:34, windy, clear

The hell. I slacked for an entire calendar year+. I blame it on social media wasting/taking up my typeytype time. Weak, I know.

It's 2020, time for some resolutions, I suppose. I saw an interesting one (on social media, for the record) that I have already been halfheartedly trying. Cook one classic dish per week. And maybe drink a nice classic cocktail while you do it. I started making a list aiming at 52 classic dishes to make in 2020. Not necessarily new to me, and not necessarily classic to my culture. I already cooked 3 of them: roast chicken, chicken pot pie (which I made from the breast meat from the roast chicken the day before), and pineapple halwa. All turned out really good! The pineapple halwa was a mishmash of recipes and made up, I used fine couscous, crushed canned pineapple, coconut milk, cardamom, and butter instead of ghee. Delicious.

Another cool idea I saw was to make lists of things you'd like to get done on your house, room by room. You can put the lists in a cute drawing of a floorplan of your house to be extra cute. Put it in your bujo, like you did the classic dishes checklist. Working on that, too.

I should have some kind of resolution related to better controlling how much news I consume. Not cool to just turn away from it in disgust like I would like to, but also not helpful to stare too long at whatever bullshit the sellers are trying to sell, either.

Livi is living in DC as of last month. It's a year gig, but it already seems like it's been so long! Winter days are long days, I look forward to the increasing daylight now that's we've gotten past both solstice and the latest sunrise. Maybe that will make for a lighter disposition, as well.


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not a single post in 2019
Monday, October 08, 2018
getting paid to not work on john lennon day
Listening to:zebra, tell me what you want
Reading:the shitty news
Weather:crazy hot and humid
One of the first executive directorish things I did when I became exec director back like 20 yrs ago where I work is propose to the board that we change our holiday policy to celebrate John Lennon day on the second monday in october instead of columbus day. It was liberal hip to hate christopher columbus at the time, still is only with less fervor. So today I am chillin like bob dylan here at home, on this sunny humid day about to get strangely hot (high 80's) fall day, getting paid to not work and not celebrating gentrification or exploitation of indigenous peoples or whatnot.

A friend (well, at least in the facebooky sense, though in the small town of motown we've been among the usual suspects in various ways for about 20 yrs) who is a blogger and professor and promoter of language and literature posted a short bittersweet lil piece about what middle age means to her right now. She's 49. I'm 52. Her kids are younger, her dad died much younger than mine, she's been married a long time, so we have substantial distinguishing experience, but this notion of having lived longer as an adult than as a child is a mutual thing. I was 51 when I my dad died, and if I live til Livi is 51 that'll make me 76 when I die. Larry is going to be 70 next year. He's got a grandchild old enough to legally drink liquor. Shit is hazily getting real.

One thing I'm noticing about my middle age is the creeping affluenza. When you spend more and more of your leisure time dealing with your stuff, cleaning it, moving it, culling it, maintaining it, replacing it, buy stuff for your stuff and to contain your stuff, etc. you realize the burden of your accumulations is a bunch of bullshit that you can choose to avoid entirely. But you don't. And by you I mean me, of course.

btw, I cannot recommend Ricki Lee Jones's first 3 albums enough, holy shit, she is amazing and these records totally still hold up. I've been listening to these records for more decades than I have left. Not so hazy there.

Plenty of hickory and chestnuts this year. Gonna be a wicked snowy winter, I'm thinking. We'll see.


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getting paid to not work on john lennon day
Saturday, September 08, 2018
2018 tech check
Listening to:rain and wind
Reading:How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
Weather:rain and wind

Still don't carry a cellphone. I am the last one on earth.

But I did get a battery-powered self-propelled electric lawnmower, a Honda Insight hybrid car, and a Sonos wifi speaker with Alexa this year.

The lawn mower: pretty sweet. Quiet. 1 hr battery life and 1 hr to charge, came with one battery and charger. It's an EGo brand. I heard a smart retired science dude at the Blue Moose talking about how after much research that's what he bought. So I questioned him about a few things, including where he bought it, and went down to fill-in-the-blank big store in Bridgeport and lucky me it was $50 off for end of season and they gave me another $25 off to open a credit account there and charge it. Larry had a mysterious illness for weeks this summer and it really knocked him out, so he has been not feeling up to his usual joy of lawn mowing. My shit is like 18 inches high and it hasn't stopped raining all summer, so it's lush. This mower is knocking it down pretty nicely, and the self-propelled function can even easily haul it up my hills. It has variable speed and if you put it on the fastest you'd be seriously jogging behind it. It folds up, too, so you can just fold, grab a nicely-placed handle, and haul it up the 3 steps onto my covered porch for storing. So far, so good.

The Honda Insight: It's way more tech and luxury than I'm used to, obv, since my previous wheels are a 15 yr old Civic with manual everything (transmission, windows, locks). This Insight is supposed to get 55 mpg. I am halfway through my first tank of gas, I don't see it getting that, but I figured it was not calibrated for these hills. Still, a very smooth ride with lots of screens and tech. Would be even more if I carried a cellphone. Remote start, auto all the everydangthing even the highbeams, no key, multiple cameras. Honda sent me an email with an account for my car and it includes some pretty sweet instructions and videos about how to use the cool new stuff. You can flip through about a dozen screens on the left half of the dash where the tach is on my old Civic, and of course there's a screen in the center of the dash showing the backup camera and all manner of other stuff. Stereo seems decent. I got the EX, the middle trim level (it's just 3 trim levels of choice, not an array of options like they used to do) so I could flip the back seat down 60/40 rather than just the whole thing which is all the cheapest trim level offered. It's white. Pearly. Of course I wanted silver, but I watched the inventory online at my dealer of choice and they just had blue, black, and white for a couple months, so finally I decided to just take the white one. The interior is mixed with light seats, so I ordered funky cool seat covers. So far, so good.

The Sonos with Alexa: I had gotten some Sonos speakers with Alexa and tv sound bar for Miss Livi and found it pretty fun to interact with Alexa when visiting her house. I was particularly interested in having my audiobooks and podcasts voice activated and handy using Alexa, but also having the high sound quality for music that Sonos provides (unlike the Amazon branded Alexa thingies, which have rather lousy audio). It was a little frustrating to get started, though the actual setup was pretty easy and smooth. The skills aren't so easy to get into and don't work as easily as I hoped. Also Sonos environment doesn't function with all Alexa stuff the same as amazon branded stuff. So, for example, Alexa will not read me my Kindle books on Sonos, but she would on an amazon branded alexa device. Bitch. She will play my Audible books, though, and there is at least one podcast player (Anypod) that seems to be functioning reasonably, although it defaults to starting with the most recent episode of a podcast rather than the first one. Alexa will tell ya silly jokes and give you weather on demand and other cool stuff. So far, so good.

Still no cellphone. Maybe in 2019. Probably not.


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2018 tech check
Sunday, January 21, 2018
rainy day John Prine still kinda sucks
Listening to:Chris Thile's radio showwww.livefromhere.org
Reading:The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves
Weather:50,
rainy

It's a new year and I don't have a dad anymore. It happens to just about everybody, your dad dies. Mine died in September so I'm still in that year of firsts and still having those moments of "my dad might be interested in that, I'll call and tell him. . ." oh yeah, nope.

We're on probably on some spectrum, at least those of us with dads, of how much he drives you crazy and how much you like hanging out with him. Mostly my dad and I had opposing views on politics (I'm a socialist, he an oldschool conservative repub) and social stuff (I support potsmoking and free love, he supported scotch drinking and heterosexism), what we considered to be fun (I like my chickens he liked guns) and what was important (I want a good-running gas-efficient Japanese engine under the hood he wanted a shiny dashboard and no dents). So there was plenty of driving each other crazy there. I honestly didn't generally want so spend more than a day or two at his house, whether it was the big house at 510 Wolfe Street in Alexandria where I visited him one weekend a month as a kid, or his suburban colonial-style house in the cul-de-sac in Manassas where he lived that last 25 yrs of his life. My patience for the mansplaining and ordering everyone around was short.

But I recognize that much of the luxury I enjoy is because my dad either taught me (sometimes by negative example) or gave me the means to get it. I am content to not give a shit about money because I always had my dad the great safety net under me. With him around I would never be homeless or broke or in need of anything important. I never needed to access that safety net, but knowing it was there gave me the comfortable freedom to get and keep my own shit together. I am a saver, not a spender. Same as my dad.

It's a slightly rainy overcast Sunday, so I'm all stereotypically reflective and whatnot. Since Chris Thile took over for the now-scandalous Garrison Keillor I'm trepidatiously listening to the show formerly known as Prairie Home Companion on my local pubrad station. This week's live show is actually pretty much killing in many ways, but I must publicly now admit, I'd rather eat glass than listen to John Prine sing. I know, so uncool amongst all my musician friends, my hillbilly friends, my good liberal friends, to denigrate the great writer of Paradise and Angel From Montgomery. I'm not saying some of his songs aren't great, though some are as frickin monotonous and boring as hell to me, but there is not one single tune of his that isn't infinitely improved by a performance by just about anyone other than him.

When I lived in Bloomington IN in the late 80's John Prine came through on a tour. Several of my crew out there were all stoked, got tickets as soon as they came out. But that same night Jonathan Richman was also bringing his solo tour through town. NO FUCKIN DOUBT I grabbed my ticket to the Jonathan Richman show, which was at a very cool venue, an lovely old ballroom kinda bar called the Second Story up above the gay bar Bullwinkles. I went by myself and it turned out to be one of the most memorable club shows of my life, it did not disappoint in any way and I had high expectations having seen him several times before. All those Prince goers so missed out, imho. They don't even know. This show I'm listening to now is buttressing my argument bigtime. Thank goodness the Preservation Hall Jazz Band is killing after that insipid 3 chord country rap I just endured.

Robin spotted in Barbour County yesterday. After weeks of below 0 nights and below freezing days I am cautiously enjoying the hope of an early spring.




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rainy day John Prine still kinda sucks
Saturday, September 23, 2017
what I've learned about chestnuts
Listening to:public radio
Reading:Sapiens
Weather:85, breeze, sunny
The autumnal equinox was only 24 hrs ago and it's warmer than many days we had this summer. Hurricanes have been pounding the Atlantic islands and gulf states and we've been under a lovely dome of high pressure for weeks here. Lake McConnerd is fully dried up.

Good garden year, great one, really, Larry has been cranking out the tomatoes, corn, green beans, beets, potatoes, cabbage, onions, peppers, even celery and watermelon and pumpkin. I've got a volunteer acorn squash by the compost pile. The chickens have a lovely garden they planted right by their front door of corn and a cute lil sunflower that bloomed.

Larry's nuts. He's been collecting chestnuts every day for a week or so and has been collecting pocketfuls of various kinds of hickory nuts on his multiple daily walks up the hill. Many of the hickory nuts appear to be bitternuts or old shagbarks, but the fresh shagbarks have been delicious. I got a few shagbarks from another friend, too.

I've read and tried a lot with the chestnuts and I have come to some conclusions. FWIW: Before collecting totally sweep the area and throw out what's already on the ground. I swear the second they hit the earth a worm finds his way in. Clear then gather every day from yesterday's clearing. If you're going to use in a recipe, savory or sweet, you might as well boil rather than roast. They cook more evenly and get a more even and usable texture, and the inner skin sticks to the shell rather than the nut, making your life better when you peel. Roasting is a bit of a crapshoot, as overroasted they suck and underroasted they suck. Also no need to cure in the sun if you boil. If you cure just do it a couple or 3 days til they give just a little when you squeeze. The real aha moment for me was when I read about cutting a band across the belly of the nut before roasting or boiling rather than the well-accepted x cut. The band makes them open like a clamshell for ya when they are done. So much easier than trying to rip that shell open from the x, oy. The can opener blade of your swiss army knife makes a great chestnut knife. I freeze them in chinese food soup containers after boiling and if they got a little overboiled and mushy I go ahead and add vanilla and brown or white sugar before freezing. Apparently they freeze well raw and in the shell, too, though I haven't tried it so I can't verify just yet. Best to vacuum pack them that way for freshness. Gonna try that since I've already cooked and peeled many many pounds and ready to be done but the nuts are still coming.

Gonna make chestnut pumpkin bread again, that shit was delicious a couple yrs ago. And perhaps some chestnut stuffing for our Good W/o God Thanksgiving at the Chestnut Ridge this fall. How appropriate.


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what I've learned about chestnuts
Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Goodbye, Dad
Listening to:my rooster crow
Reading:Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Weather:66, partly cloudy, anticipating Hurricane Irma

Harrison Fargo McConnell died September 1, 2017 at age 82 after a brief hospital stay near his home in Manassas, Virginia.

He is survived by his daughter Catherine McConnell (Lawrence Boland), granddaughter Olivia McConnell, and ex-wife Susan Longstreet whose special care this year enabled him to live at home independently. He was predeceased by his beloved mother Zerelda Clark McConnell.

Harrison was active in local grassroots politics. He was a hook and bullet conservationist who hated wastefulness. He was a lifelong gun enthusiast, an American history buff, and enjoyed drinking good scotch until he gave that up a few years ago, much to everyone’s surprise. He was proud of the hard work he and his mother did maintaining her home at 510 Wolfe Street in Alexandria. He was a folk artist and created detailed works in wood and paint on themes of trains, boats, ocean fish, and quotes from his favorite historical figures.

He enjoyed life and had long friendships he valued with people of all ages. He was polite and respectful but could cuss like a trucker. He was no-nonsense about getting things done right, but he enjoyed telling stories about the antics, hijinks, and shenanigans he and his buddies got into back in the day. No fool, no fun, he liked to say.

Harrison’s remains have been cremated at his request, his ashes will be spread in private, and there will be no funeral. The family offers heartfelt thanks to the good friends who looked out for him.


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Goodbye, Dad
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Listening to:audio book
Reading:Hope's Boy by Andrew Bridge
Weather:57,
sunny
Hurricane Harvey is moving slowly over Corpus Christie dumping what might be 40 inches of rain over the next several days. It's sunny cool and gorgeous here, the middle of a sweet week of it. I've got cornbread in the oven in an old cast iron pan I restored, the batter has honey pickled cherry peppers and corn from the garden a couple years ago. My rooster and hen are strutting around the yard, ignoring the cats who are mostly ignoring them, too.

Perfect life.

This memoire I'm listening to is reminding me to appreciate the easy privilege I have enjoyed for 51 years. Thanks to Tracey Whorton for recommending the book. It's a well-written compelling story of a loving mom with mental illness and her son battling a shitty foster care system. It's another in the million pieces of evidence that but for a cosmic dice roll any accomplished shiny person could have been an invisible loser in your eyes.



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Saturday, January 14, 2017
a celebrity in Arden dies
Listening to:fridge hum, rain fall
Reading:White Trash: 400 yr untold history of class in america
Weather:33, rainy

Zeb died last weekend. He lived with his mom Patsy along the grade in Arden, where a creek came down a steep hill into the Tygart. Til his mom died years ago, anyway. Then it was just him and his hetero lifemate Jimbob. Jimbob, guitar player and singer, jack of various supervisory trades, and the most educated man in Arden, lived on and off in a trailer at the edge of Patsy's property, and had been a kind of adopted adult son to Patsy and brother to Zeb.

I'm pretty sure I never saw Zeb without a can of cheap beer in his hand. Back in the day it was often Falls City. "It's a premium beer, says so right here on the label." I worried about his drunk ass losing a limb or a digit to the bandsaw in his woodshop, but as far as I know he still had all his extremities intact when he died. His woodworking skills were pretty kickass. I have a sweet little kitchen thing you can put stuff in and hang a roll of paper towels from that he made. I don't use paper towels cuz i'm a treehugger but I've kept that thing up in my kitchen for years, probably could use a thorough scrubbing by now.

Zeb would sing and whistle all the time. A down on the crickbank a-cookin sugarcane, takes 14 quarts o'molasses to sweeten ole Liza Jane. What crickbank could that song be about? Isn't sugarcane a tropical plant? Is it really about making moonshine or something?

2016 was the year of celebrity deaths: Bowie, Prince, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Keith Emerson, Paul Kantner, Maurice White, Antonin Scalia, Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, George Martin, Merle Haggard, Muhammed Ali, the list goes on and on. Zeb was a celebrity in Arden. Everybody knew him. His house was a landmark along the river, "go about a quarter-mile past Zeb and Patsy's. . ." He literally was friendly to every single person he would ever encounter, and would give you his last beer, which was an important goddam beer to him.

According to his obit he was in the army, but also according to his obit he served in the Korean Conflict. Maybe in his dad's nads because he was born in 1953. I never heard Zeb or Patsy say anything about his dad, don't know the story there.

It doesn't matter what kind of job Zeb had in his working life, it didn't define him at all. He was a true hillbilly, of the river variety, who sought little more than to have a few friends to hang around with and at least enough beer for the rest of the day, and a few pieces of nice wood to make into something cool in the shop. He played banjo. Everyone was welcome at Zeb's house anytime, and many would stop there on the way to or from a swim at the party rock, or on the way to Betty's bar.

One time on a very hot summer day I came by Zeb's house and he was cutting up some trees with the chainsaw. He stopped and wiped the sweat off his forehead with a cold can of beer. "Zeb, it's kinda hot for cutting firewood, isn't it?" "Summer's only 3 months long." There's that.

He and Brian and Larry slipped and slid in the mud chasing a pig he was raising to get her moved to another pen. I watched laughing my ass off, it was like a cartoon in real life.

He plowed our garden and about 8 other people's gardens one day. He road the tractor all around, cooler strapped in behind the seat, and got paid in beer and deer meat. It was hot and he was pretty shitfaced by about 6p. I tried to get him to climb in my van and come home with us for supper, we'll give you a ride home, Z. He insisted on riding his 4 wheeler over. You're too drunk buddy. No, it's all backroads between your house and mine, I'll be fine. We couldn't talk him out of it, so we followed him. Unfortunately so did a cop, who came outta frickin nowhere, seriously, when the hell has anyone ever seen a cop near Clemtown road? Zeb sees him, too, and quick takes a crazy path into the woods. That didn't work. They got him. They were kinda manhandling him, he wasn't trying to be uncooperative he was literally just too drunk to comply quickly enough while handcuffed, and they jammed him into the back of the copcar and damn near shut the door on his leg. Bastards. They told us we could go pick him up at station in about 45 minutes after booking. It was scary.

When he came out of the door at the copshop he was whistling and singing, his usual self, had a styrofoam cup of coffee in his hand, and when he saw us he said "free at last, free at last, good gollies Miss Mollies, I's free at last! Got a beer?"








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a celebrity in Arden dies
Sunday, September 18, 2016
the snakes were getting thirsty
Listening to:Big Country
Reading:just finished Hillbilly Elegy
Weather:rainy front, 77
Good it finally rained some, it was getting pretty dry around here. Haven't seen any snakes but it was just a matter of time. Though perhaps the gazillion cats living in and around my porch kept them away.

I don't blog much anymore, I guess I get my expressive yaya's out by my near daily facebook rants/raves/mehs/memes/pix. But it's like fast food, satisfies the craving easily and cheaply but makes ya feel a little McRegret not long after and inspires a vow to do something realer and better and more deliberate and better for ya next time.

Speaking of cheap and easy, I'm fully addicted to La Croix flavored sparkling waters this hotass summer. Grapefruit, apricot, berry, lemon, what's not to love? Add a splash of juice, maybe a little vodka, slice of lime. Or just drink it straight from the pretty colorful can, which is what I do about 93% of the time. I should be a paid spokeswench for these people, it's ridiculous. I get a little nervous when I only have like 20 cans left on the shelf in the kitchen, or fewer than 3 different flavors. The hell.

I just finished up learning Waste by Smash Mouth. Nice acoustic guitar tune, nice and dark the way I like my, well, everything.


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the snakes were getting thirsty
Wednesday, September 07, 2016
things are black and white in the barnyard

Listening to:tv noise
Reading:Paw Paw, forgotten fruit
Weather:foggy, 62
This summer I've got 2 hens and a bunch of cats. My hens are a silver-laced Wyandotte and a light Brahma. The cats are all tuxedos except 2 all black and 2 all white. There is no red, orange, gray, or any other color out here amongst these animals but black and white.

None of this color scheme was planned, it just happened. Cats wonder in, get fed, hang around, make more cats. I've had longhaired tortoise shells and orange and white tomcats here in past years. Past chickens have included Rhode Island reds, Americaunas, barred rock.

It's random, but it's brought me to wonder about black and white and absence of gray as I sit on the porch with my morning coffee or stare at the campfire of brush and neverending black walnut that the squirrels keep planting all over my yard (why never in the pasture or back 40??). It's the Hillary/Trump year, too, also seemingly absent much nuance or gradation.

The transgender bathroom nonsense had me thinking about this barnyard thing, too. Maybe part of the reason country people might be slower to get that is that the non-human animal world, at least in agriculture, is pretty well binary on sex. Not a lot of intersex critters survive and there's virtually no transitioning from one sex to the other. Not only that but we even have different names for critters based on their sex, and you better be cognizant of what you're dealing with on that front. If that cow is actually a bull, watch out. Or that mare rather a stallion.

But humans are full of nuance and fluidity. Maybe the critter world has more of that than we know, but we just aren't capable of understanding it, the thoughts of nonhuman creatures, and how they perceive themselves and others.


















permalink posted by cat 8:10 AM

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things are black and white in the barnyard
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I'll just leave this here
Listening to:jingle bell rock
Reading:superbetter by jane mcgonigal
Weather:a crazy 60 and overcast


permalink posted by cat 7:59 AM

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I'll just leave this here
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
not on Rex Manning Day!!
Listening to:car wheels on wet road
Reading:The Moral Arc, Shermer
Weather:rainy, 53
No snow yet this year. But you know it's coming. Time to build a kitty shack on the porch for my too many cats. Mary and Kate, the white girls with a blue eye and a gold eye, keep tagging along with their mama black Peaches as if they aren't full grown and bigger than her. But Tupac, Biggie, Bootsy Collins, and Half 'Stache are independent enough to sometimes take a while to get to breakfast. The chocolate-eyed FlavorFLav seems to prefer life under the spruces than the porch, though he's usually paying attention to the status of the food dish.

Uncle Peaches comes around once a week or so, he's a big white boy, very snuggly. I think he's sleeping amongst the deer, he always comes home with multiple ticks great and small.

It's so dark, only a month and a half to solstice. Hunker down, kids, you know the drill.


permalink posted by cat 5:50 AM

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not on Rex Manning Day!!
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