A Lack of Words

I’m up to my elbows in outdoor projects right now. Having a house requires seasons when all your spare moments are devoted to home improvement activities.

Apparently, America is under some siege from Creepy Clowns. That’s an apt descriptor of Maine’s gubernatorial situation, as we have a clown in the Blaine House, and when he’s bullying some group or person he disagrees with, he acts like a creep, so that would make him creepy.

Obviously, I have little to write of any substance today. Actually, it’s less a case of content and more a situation of time.

Because I’ve had little time and energy to devote to fitness endeavors, I’ve been trying to swim twice weekly and today was my swim morning.

I hope to deliver something next week about a wonderful book I’ve been reading about Jeff Buckley this week. “Grace” has been in heavy rotation, too.

Happy Friday! Watch out for clowns that appear creepy.

Maine's creepy governor.

Maine’s creepy governor.

A Flag is Just a Flag

Painted-on flag; Georgetown, Maine.

Painted-on flag; Georgetown, Maine.

Flags come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Flags are imbued with symbolism and meaning, too.

Some people fly their chosen flags. Flags can be objects of veneration, instilling in some nationalistic fervor.

I’m not really much for flags, although flags painted on rocks are kind of cool.

Happy July 4th!

Finding the Story

My regularly-scheduled Friday blog post got waylaid by snow, an early morning interview about lobsters (followed by another one a bit later in Portland), and a newspaper deadline.

Notepad and pen (and a thumb drive).

Notepad and pen (and a thumb drive).

I find my stories by putting boots on the ground. That takes time, some old-fashioned tools, and it sometimes supersedes blog posts. I also was forced to forgo my Friday morning pool time, also.

Add a laptop and a digital recorder.

Add a laptop and a digital recorder.

Holiday Break

Today is the day before Christmas. It’s also Wednesday, the day after my usual Tuesday posting day on the blog. If you noticed, I didn’t have anything new up by midnight.

I’m taking a short blogging holiday.

I won’t be back with anything fresh ‘til next Tuesday—that’s when I’ll be coming at you with my end-of-the-year reading wrap. There are a boatload of books to talk about. In fact, some of my time over the next few days of downtime will be spent reading, padding my book total.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my current read, which offers a look back at those crazy days back in 1972—more to come on that front.

To readers and those just stumbling upon my site, I wish you a Merry Christmas and the Happiest of Holidays.

Merry Christmas from the Nixons--1972

Merry Christmas from the Nixons–1972

So What?

I’ve been thinking about this phrase since yesterday when I heard news that affected me and some of the things that I hold dear. If I were to voice my thoughts this morning—when everything seems a jumble and so uncertain—most readers (mainly the drive-by types) would just utter, “so what?”.

Most of the time, the  things that matter to me don’t seem to affect others. It’s that “out of the mainstream” orientation that I’ve held for most of my life. I’m not a fan of the status quo because in most cases, it rarely gets to the core of the matter. Continue reading

Writing Assignments

Creating structure.

Creating structure.

My Tuesday/Friday self-imposed blogging deadlines have been helpful. They’ve developed the capacity to meet other deadlines as a writer—the kind that actually help in paying my bills. It’s one of the reasons I established them, back before I was getting paid to write regularly.

As a result, this morning’s post is a truncated one, as I’m on assignment, and on a tight deadline for today, with others looming ahead.

Have a comfortable place to work.

Have a comfortable place to work.

Continue reading

Perpective Requires Time and Distance

Fall Foliage-Rangeley Lake in October.

Fall Foliage-Rangeley Lake in October.

Seeing contrasts and picking out patterns often requires time and distance from the object. Perspective is often missing in the short-term. Comparisons and even side-by-sides appear strikingly different 10 months later, versus one day later.

Sometimes life presents vivid examples—we just require months (and even years) to recognize them.

Coming to the same place (Rangeley) every other week for 10 months has allowed me to observe this in snapshots of the natural world. Continue reading

We are all Detroit

Ruins at the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant are seen on September 4, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (courtesy of Chicago CBS-2 affiliate)

Ruins at the abandoned Packard Automotive Plant are seen on September 4, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (courtesy of Chicago CBS-2 affiliate)


“It regards itself as the temple of a new gospel of progress, to which I shall venture to give the name of ‘Detroitism’.”—British historian and MP Ramsay Muir in 1927

“Mayors come and go—it is the footmen that tie the knots and divide the bag—the longtime little men; bureaucrats, cockroaches.”—from Detroit: An American Autopsy, by Charlie LeDuff

Simmering in the Pot

I think I'll let the chili cook a little longer.

I think I’ll let the chili cook a little longer.

I like Seth Godin. If you know me, you know I read his stuff and I think he’s almost always worth considering. You could even call me “pathetic” and accuse me of being a fanboy. He’s been amazingly successful and he offers some great advice, especially if you want to break free of 20th century thinking about work and career. 

Having said that Seth’s stuff the past week or so has been causing some dissonance. Continue reading