BEWILDERED AND USING ONLY THREE LEGS

BEWILDERMENT OF DOG AND MANKIND


A couple of days ago, Duke decided he had to leap a badly broken fence. Why? So he could examine the oil input for the house? More likely because he is an incorrigible jumper and when he sees a fence he thinks he can leap, he just does it.

The top of this particular fence are jagged old wires and the whole piece needs replacement. If it ever stops snowing or raining or icing or whatever it’s doing at the moment, we will replace it. It’s a very short piece of fence and it isn’t even a matter of cost — just finding a day or two when some form of precipitation isn’t falling from the sky.

Duke came into the house limping and bleeding. Not bleeding buckets, mind you, but he had taken a piece out of his right rear foot. I cleaned it, slathered it with antibiotic ointment and finally, after a straight out wrestling match with Garry and I and bandages, managed to wrap it up.

We were exhausted. He was pissed off. He was staring at us, clearly of the opinion that if we wanted to make him feel better, all we had to do was … well … DO IT. And all the bandaging and cleansing? What was THAT all about?

He was seriously angry and hopped around the house periodically glowering at us. Unless we had a biscuit. He decided we were okay as long as we had something edible in our paws.

By yesterday, while his foot was swollen, it wasn’t warm and showed no signs of infection and by yesterday evening, he jumped up on the sofa and tossed us a ball. He wants us to throw his ball? That was also when he decided to try leaping another fence on three legs. Clearly a very bewildered dog.

We hid his balls — all we could find, anyway. We opened every gate it was safe to open so he wouldn’t keep trying to fly. We overfed him on treats because even though all this is his own doing, he clearly doesn’t see it that way. We are easy marks for guilt. By this morning, the swelling in the foot was gone and I’m pretty sure he could walk on it. He will let me hold the foot  too, so the pain must also be gone.  Why can’t I get rid of the feeling he only limps when he sees we are watching? That couldn’t be true … could it?

Maybe we are the bewildered ones? Tomorrow, if he is still looking pathetic, we will go and spend a lot of money at the vet to discover there’s nothing more to be done than we have already done. Guilt is a killer … and Duke won’t like the vet, either, but that’s what pathetic gets you.

TOWN AND COUNTRY – PHOTOS BY GARRY & MARILYN ARMSTRONG

A LOOK AT THE BLACKSTONE VALLEY


Photo: Garry Armstrong

We don’t get lots of visitors here, probably because we aren’t a major city and we aren’t — any longer — a place for tourists. But oddly enough, this was a tourist area not all that long ago. At some point, it was too close to Boston and became exurban rather than “tourist.” That being said, it’s a beautiful valley and for those who are interested in what country living is like — with access to major cities too — this is a pretty nice place to be.

Welcome to the Blackstone River Valley.

October on the Canal – Photo: Garry Armstrong

In one of the stranger coincidences of history, the Constitution went into effect on March 4, 1789 while simultaneously, the American Industrial Revolution took shape on the banks of the Blackstone River.

On the Blackstone – November

Moses Brown had been fighting his own war. He was battling the Blackstone. With a 450 foot drop over a 46-mile course — an average drop of about 10 feet per mile — the Blackstone River is a powerhouse. Not a wide river, its sharp drop combined with its narrowness and meandering path give it much more energy than a river of this size would normally generate.

It invited development. The question was how.

The Mumford River — full foliage 2017

Through 1789, as the Constitution was gaining approval throughout the former British colonies, Brown wrangled the river, trying to build a cotton thread factory in Pawtucket, RI at the falls on the Blackstone River. He was sure he could harness the river to power his mill, but as the end of the 1789 approached, the score stood at Blackstone River – 1, Moses Brown – 0.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

Roaring Dam Photo: Garry Armstrong

America had her welcome mat out in those days. We needed more people and especially people with industrial skills. We weren’t picky. All immigrants were welcomed. This turned out to be a stroke of luck for Moses Brown.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

In December 1789, Samuel Slater — a new immigrant from England — began working for Brown. Slater had spent years working at an English textile mill. He recognized that Brown’s machinery was never going to work. Slater had fine engineering skills. In under a year, he’d redesigned and built a working mill on the Blackstone River.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Manchaug Dam

By 1790, Slater’s Mill was up and running, the first successful water-powered cotton-spinning factory in the United States. Slater’s Mill proved you could make money in New England doing something other than whaling, fishing, or running rum and slaves. Entrepreneurs hopped on the idea like fleas on a dog. Mills were an immediate success. New England was inhospitable to agriculture, but fertile for factories.

Mills grew along the Blackstone from Worcester to Providence, then sprouted by the Merrimack in Lowell, and eventually, throughout New England. Wherever the rivers ran, mills and factories followed.

Meanwhile, mill owners on the Blackstone urgently sought a better way to move their goods.

The features that made the Blackstone a natural for generating power made it useless for shipping. The only other choice — horse-drawn wagons — was slow and expensive. The trip took 2 to 3 days over dirt roads from the northern part of the valley to Providence.

February heat wave Canal – Photo: Garry Armstrong

When the weather turned bad, the trip was impossible. All of which led to the building of the Blackstone Canal. Meant as a long-term solution, it actually turned out to be no more than a short-term temporary fix … but it was an impressive undertaking.

All those mills brought employment to the north. It created a real industrial base that would give the north the ability to fight the civil war … and win. It started with a river, continued with a canal, expanded with the railroads.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Which is why the Blackstone Valley is a National Historic Corridor and known as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution … a revolution that brought the U.S. into the modern world and positioned us to become a major player on the international scene.

Now, it’s a peaceful, quiet valley. The mills are gone, the river remains, rolling down from the hills in Worcester through Rhode Island to the sea. Come visit. We are still beautiful.

REVENGE OF THE SANE – BY TOM CURLEY

I’m writing this to try to find an answer to the mess we are in today. The fact is,  Russian bots, trolls and right-wing “twitter twits” are waging a giant war on the truth and sanity.

It’s Obama’s fault!

I’ve had many people ask me, “Why can’t we put out phony Facebook ads? Why can’t we send out fake tweets?” And it’s a good question. The answer is, of course, we can. But the real question is what kind of fake tweets or fake Facebook ads do we create?

It’s hard for most of us because we’re, well, sane. And we have this quaint notion that facts are facts and lying is bad. Most of our parents told us this when we were growing up.

Even so, I don’t think this is a bad idea. So, again, the question is, what kind of fake news do we make up? When I don’t have the answer to a question I like to ask “What would Captain Kirk do?”

But in this case, I got nothing. But then I realized I was looking to the wrong person. The real question is “What would Mr. Spock do?”

You see, in Star Trek all problems were fixed in four basic ways. If there was a disease, Dr. McCoy found a cure for it.

If a computer needed to be shut down, Spock would either pull the plug or get it to do something that would drive it crazy, like computing the value of PI. If the warp core was about to explode, Scotty would fix it. Even though he would complain that he needed more time and he needed more power.

For all other problems, Kirk would either kiss it

or punch it in the face.

I don’t think anybody wants to kiss Trump, even though I know a whole lot of folks would love to punch him in the face.

BAM! POW! ZAP!

But here, I realized we need the Spock approach. We need to craft a story that will create a self-destructing Trump feedback loop.

We have to come up with a story that Fox News, the Russian Trolls and all the other right-wing nut-balls will grab onto and re-post like crazy.

And I think I have it.

“A recent bombshell report has come to light revealing a secretly recorded conversation between Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama. In it, Obama reveals that he now totally agrees with everything that President Trump has done in the last year. He is reported to have said quote “I hate to admit it, but I was wrong. If I could do it all over again, I’d do everything that Trump did in 2017. Exactly the way he did it. Everything he did was genius. And very stable.” Hillary is reported to have replied “Yeah, I agree, and he’s like a really smart person too.”

Damn, he was right.
And very stable.

Now here’s what will happen. Fox News and all the other trolls will jump on this like a cat in a catnip factory. Sean Hannity will literally have an orgasm on live TV.

Eeeuuuu!

It will be everywhere. They were right! Trump is vindicated!!

But, how will SCROTUS react? Will he be pleased? Will he be happy? Hell no. His whole presidency, his whole mission in life has been about destroying Obama. It’s been about destroying everything he did. If Obama liked it, he hates it. If Obama did it, he undoes it. So how does he react? Just like this.

TRUMP: Obama would do everything I did.

TRUMP: But everything Obama did is wrong.

TRUMP: I must undo everything Obama does.

TRUMP: I must undo everything I’ve done. Everything I’ve done is wrong.

TRUMP: But everything I do is right.

TRUMP: But if Obama likes it, it must be wrong.

TRUMP: But that can’t be. Everything I do is great. Everything I do is the greatest.

TRUMP: But everything I’ve done must be wrong. But … I can’t be wrong.

This is about the time steam comes out of his ears and the dull light in his eyes blink out and he falls off his gold toilet in a catatonic state.

Does not compute!

So, there it is. Let’s get started. Post this on Facebook! Tweet it! Re-tweet!

As Spock would say. It’s highly illogical, but it could work.

I wasn’t sure about the title of this one. It could also be THE SANE STRIKE BACK, or A NEW HOPE FOR SANITY. All of them fit.

The truth is, in an insane world, the sane have to get a little crazy.

FIVE MINUTES AT TWILIGHT BY THE WOODS

Those golden moments at twilight are incredibly brief. The golden light hits … and less than 10 minutes later — usually more like five minutes — it’s dark. Maybe that’s just true at this latitude. I think sunset lasted longer in Arizona … and also in Israel. But I’m not sure.

Remembering light tends to be fleeting, both in photography and in memory.

For this challenge, Su Leslie suggests:

  • choose a subject or a scene
  • spend five minutes photographing it – no more!
  • try to see it from many angles, look through something at it, change the light that’s hitting it
  • tag your post #regularrandom and ping back to Desley’s post
  • have fun!

 

ODDBALL PHOTOGRAPHY – AND IT’S FEBRUARY!

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: February 4, 2018


Marilyn with Cows – Photo: Garry Armstrong 
Long path home – Photo: Garry Armstrong