Archive | local

waiting for sandy


i finally put away the boat and all the yard furniture, i even folded up all the recycling. Didn’t manage to get EVERYTHING off the porch that i usually do, some of it is stuff i am still sorting through like buckets of tools etc.

I just cant bring myself to put the bike in the barn. i haven’t ridden it in months, but i just can’t. i will bring it into the living room and give it a bath, etc.

State of Mass in a state of emergency so all the towns can get their shit together and i am still waiting for an email regarding CERT nothing has come yet. I have decided to fuck it. If it were a paying job i’d have quit by now. I don’t suffer fools well. There is no challenging the powers that be, because they are just too stupid for words.

New Years resolution…now that i have gotten rid of at least 35% of what i used to have….still chugging towards that 50% mark…i may actually make it. i have a couple of batch of stuff to cull to get there..but i think the New New years resolution is to start worrying about myself and not so much about other people. There just hasn’t been a lot of benefit from trying to take care of the world at large.

The rain is just spitting but the wind is starting to make itself known. If i get a call later to man a shelter, i am NOT going. I am packed in here like kippers in a can with all these damn animals.

I have no gas, no money and i figure i have enough food and water for a week. unfortunately i don’t have enough candles IF i lose power, but the last time i did lose power….lose power by accident, not shut off for non payment which actually could happen too, who knows…but it is really never more than a day. so, I will be fine reading books by flash light..it was good enough for me as a child. I will pull out some Lovecraft books…just the right reading material.

I will follow up with a post storm picture.

what gods hath wrought

A kid who makes such things put up a video tour of the rail trail…this is the thing i spent the last 4 years of my life building.  Doesn’t look like much, but what was there when i started was weeds and steel.   There are still weeds but they aren’t in the middle of the trail.   It’s hard for me to enjoy it..even the video..all i see are the weeds and the little bits of trash out there.  and somewhere in the middle of the video is my big fat ass giving some nursing students the nickle tour because they are scheduling a cardio walking event on my trail.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/KcTI7wWN_vk” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

paying paul

started writing this a few times…but i have been glued to this machine for a few days…and i mean glued..i found a shortcut for formatting books from OCR’d files…and i have pushed through a couple of books and started working on some others. no one’s buying them..but i have hope.

I ordered a whole bunch for this weekend’s civil war event in the park in Lawrence, whatever is leftover will go towards filling the order for the library which they have already paid for. i still have to order more books, but i need some money to do that ..so hope that these sales will earn enough to place that order. of course it would be easier if i had more outside income..but alas i don’t. i hadn’t realized that when my friend from andover stopped calling..i was no longer going to get her editing jobs. i have a couple of potential editing jobs but i suck at business..so there’s a good chance i will do them on the cheap. yes i know i’m stupid.

On the bright side ..i played hardball with a company that wants to carry one of my products and i think i will come out ahead for once. I did have to call an acquaintance to get advice, but i think i am happy with the deal..i will be happier once they start ordering again prepaid instead of waiting for 30+ days for the money. i know..it’s rude and unfair but HEY i have to prepay for my orders, so they can suck it up. they are a big corp, i’m a small fish. and i don’t need their business if it will loose me money..yeah i know 50 years in and i grow a pair.

i’ve got em and i use them quite a lot, just not in BUSINESS where it would do me some good.  I have been really pushing the city around…i have been begging for a crosswalk for 4 months now…a crosswalk…PAINT..PAINT ON THE GROUND..and i still have no crosswalk.  …i was asked a third time to run for city counsel… i would be the 1st city counselor with no utilities and living in a cardboard box.  but the conclusion that i came to, is that i’d rather move to a town that gave a shit..it would be cheaper and less stressful.

Tonight I am hitting the historical committee meeting…the mayor’s office won’t nominate me to the group because i have been naughty…well fuck em..i can still give them grief.

They still have’t done anything to save this bridge nor the porticoes for the railroad depot and i’d like to know why.

of course you realize that i realize that both will be lost…Methuen just doesn’t DO that sort of thing..they really prefer to whine and bitch and say ‘wurrah, wurrah’.   i think i was happier when i was trying to fix things.

river rant

This what the text from my address to the Methuen City Council last night, I sent it in as a letter to the editor…lets see what happens.

In 1835, Darwin was on the Beagle discovering evolution, Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States and what we now call the SANDS BRIDGE on Hampshire Rd was the major bridge across the Spicket River for the Londonderry turnpike. This little picturesque bridge, the subject of many postcards, was in continuous usage until 1963 when Rt 93 made it irrelevant. Since that time as a people we keep threatening to preserve it for posterity and make a park around its location.

It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Mass Cultural Inventory Database, the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places and so forth. This structure is older than everyone we know and every building we live in. Locals have painted portraits of it and donated to its repair. In 2009 a grant funded landscape designs, as there are many press releases to that effect.

Over the last 18 months the city has stopped caring for it, and the weeds, vines and invasive species have attacked it with a vengeance. The bridge is nearly unrecognizable, and can barely be seen. The Sands Bridge is of a dry stone double arch construction…there is no mortar to protect it from weeds and vines that are invading its body and threatening its integrity. If left in this condition it will undoubtedly collapse.

Well over a month ago, I tried to sound the alarm, not many people understood the urgency of the problem. Giving people the benefit of the doubt, I can only chalk it up to a general ignorance about physics, time and gravity. After some nagging the DPW finally did show up but all the did was mow the shoulder of the road, they didn’t even pick up the surrounding trash nor did they clear any area leading up to or even clearing a view of the bridge.

If the city no longer wishes to maintain this piece of cultural heritage, I say we should collapse it ourselves. Break it apart and reuse the stones in another structure elsewhere, THAT was how it was originally constructed in the first place. An honorable and dignified death for this bridge is what it deserves, this destruction through neglect is a passive aggressive way to not deal with the issue and is beneath the dignity of the people who have gone before us.

If we truly do want to preserve it until such time that we can get funding for a park, at the bare minimum we need to keep the weeds and trees from invading and collapsing the bridge. The argument that we can’t afford it does not hold water. Structures like these can and should be maintained by the city, but cared for by citizens. There is no reason that our various historical organizations and committees can’t recruit passionate people. It is just a sign of laziness that we haven’t even bothered trying.

I have also heard the argument voiced AGAINST constructing any more parks and green spaces, and that idea can’t be shouted down hard enough. Public spaces like parks are an economic indicator of prosperity and to go out of your way to avoiding creating new the ones is cultural suicide.

While we are on the topic of The Spicket River… on Saturday September 21st, the Methuen Trails Committee will be joining Groundwork Lawrence for their Eleventh annual Spicket River Cleanup day. It is their eleventh but our Second, the members of the Methuen Trails Committee regularly clean the Spicket River from the Falls area to the NH Border. Two years ago using a canoe and a row boat we cleaned 900 lbs of debris from an encampment from one of the islands in Nevins Bird Sanctuary, at last years joint cleanup a crew of 10 people worked behind the Methuen Music Hall and removed 700 pounds including tires, barrels and one television set. This year we are hoping to have a larger turn out and work on other spots along the river in the downtown area.

I did not hear about about Ms. Nolan’s petition for a river clean up until recently, but i can assure you that everyone is welcome to join us on our annual river clean up day or any other day.

The Methuen Trails Committee has also removed as of today over 125 bandit signs as well are removed abandoned newsvending boxes, unslightly weeds on common lands as well as graffitti removal along the rail trail.

Which brings me to my next and last point:

I believe eliminating community cleanup in the city is not only penny wise and pound foolish but destructive and plain wrong headed. Insisting that the entire concept needs to be scrapped because a particular neighborhood abused the project defeats the entire concept of community participation. Last spring when the event was cancelled I was assure by more than one person it was only temporary and that the event would be back in the fall with better oversight. Now i am told that it isn’t going to happen.

As I have said on many occassion, we need citizens to be more responsible for where they live. We need to inspire and encourage participation in these events not discourage them. We need people to notice when a bridge is overgrown, to stop and pick up a piece of trash when they see it, they need to report or remove graffiti.

Methuen can’t have it both ways, saying we can’t afford to pay to have it done and then undermine occassions to have people do it for themselves. Residents need to learn to work together to improve their evironment and stop waiting for some magic grant money to fund the things we don’t have. We need to have more of these events not fewer. If you can’t figure out how to run them economically – there are groups out there like Groundwork that can show us exactly how it is done.

Joyce Godsey
Methuen Trails Committee

sign spam

i was feeling so smug after i pulled down 11 bandit signs last week…there was still a couple of a annoyances around but nothing substantial….and in the last 48 hours a crew spammed my city with those ‘single___.com’ signs. i was shocked at the number it took me about an hour to pull down 30 of them from one stretch around the mall, i am HOPING they just got off at one exit and got on the next exit, hence each intersection had about 6. this morning i will scope out the other highway off ramps around town…i suspect they made MORE than 30 of these personalized signs, made JUST for Methuen.

I had to stop at home depot and buy a new weapon, i had been thinking of wire cutters for quite some time, but i settled for these snips, which reputedly will cut 18gauge wire. These bandit signs were split, one third were stuck in the ground near phone poles and the other two thirds were tied to poles and signs with zipcord. I got some exercise circumnavigating these intersections…i’m at loss how at least two people flooded an area of town with 30 signs and NO ONE SAW THEM, what are they invisible? I really need to finish writing my book on this shit.

 

vacancy


This is the vacant lot on the corner…which used to have an historical building on it, but as my town is known for its destruction through neglect, alas it is no longer there. The company who owns the property stopped mowing the lawn as soon as they knocked down the building. It’s been annoying the crap out of me..not the weeds so much as they are actually some attractive wildflowers in my opinion…its the Red Sumac weed trees that really send me into space. these grow 10+ feet a year..or faster in my opinion…those ugly trees are a sign of neglect and abandonment…they say ‘we gave up, we don’t care how the town looks’ Anyway, I snuck out the other night and lopped down everything that was over my head cept the evergreens, and every sumac i could see. there’s a LOT of streetlight cast off, you can practically read a book there.

Reportedly they have sold the land, who knows perhaps we’ll get another drive through sumthin of other we don’t need, but at least the weed trees are gone.

water sports


i spent too long on the water yesterday…i burned my shoulders…i did have sunblock in my ditty bag..but i didn’t think of it…i am usually only out about an hour or two and get back before the sun is high.. however after a little trail work i went out to pick trash ..and take photos…and the rowing was easy and next thing i know five hours passed by…i had brought the new battery and motor too..but i forgot that i needed to install the little brass terminal widgets… so it was rowing…i have still got new oars on my wish list at amazon….rowing backwards is a pain in the ass in the sanctuary as the river has really sharp curves…i look funny rowing forward in that section…kayak would be a better option.

anyway while i was out i grabbed some photos of people USING the trail and the river…this is the first time i have seen folks using the river for anything other than fishing. I wish the images of the kayakers were better but for some reason the telephone and macro come out well but the straight up shots look crappy…it really has never been the same since we both took that river spill. the camera didn’t go in but the bag got a little soggy bottom.

of course now i lost the well paying job, i need to have a camera serviced..actually now i will have two fuji’s that need servicing. the other one is still in the box that came back from the Fuji repair center..at the time i didn’t have the money..now i regret it because i could be using one and sending in the other. oh

i started a running list of things i will buy once i get money flowing again…cameras are always at the top of the list. I did make it a point of buying a new trolling motor and battery charger when i had extra money…i skipped the batter because i did figure it was something i would eventually find used or be given one..and i was. ..i regret not paying off more bills but having the boat and motor ready to go without borrowing something ahead of time – really helps me stay sane.

i’m going to try to go out and row more… another thing on my list is a kayak..once the water drops in the summer it will be harder for me to get the jon boat..the trash collecting vehicle …into the sanctuary…but alas that’s another thing for my list.

Sunday in the Sanctuary

my 15min Wildlife Podcast play: Nevins Bird Sanctuary 2012-04-08
Download: Nevins-Bird-Sanctuary-2012-04-08.mp3

what kind of season is this otto?


I spied this puddle/pond out on the Danvers rail trail today…and I was dumbfounded…apparently mother nature doesn’t know that this is supposed to be JANU-FUCKING-WARY.

Since we had that freak October snowstorm that kicked the crap out of New England we never did get a decent winter. Any snow fall hasn’t lasted more than a day or so. I’m not REALLY been complaining mind you because I’m saving a shitload of money on heating bills..thank you very much global warming. But people seem to forget that New Englanders NEED a good cheek freezing winter. It teaches us things…HUMILITY for one… I really don’t think folks who live in idyllic one weather fits all places like San Diego understand what it means that at any moment Old Man winter can take away your heat and power and plunge you into the dark ages. Rough winters teach us charity and generosity, when your neighbor looses heat and power and YOU don’t? you bring em on over to YOUR house…when the snow piles up and you finish shoveling your own walk you toddle on across the street and dig out the old lady BECAUSE it’s what your mother taught you to do. Winter’s potential to kick the crap out of us unexpectedly teaches us Self reliance and Frugality, any yankee worth their salt can eat out of their pantry for a month, and turn a galllon’s worth of powdered milk into ten. Winter fights sloth: instead of letting you hide in your house in your stocking feet it drives you out into the cold every time the city plows pass by; shoveling snow and spreading sand keeps you mobile and gets the heart pumping. Global warming is a fact and it looks like winter weather is going to be a crap shoot from now on. And I am wondering how the New Generation of Yankees will evolve without it to teach them.

pssst…it’s from Fish Called Wanda..”What kind of Buddhism is this otto?”

into the woods

Went for a morning hike along the rail trail this morning…warm and foggy morning…i was mildly perturbed…i had a small flask of butterscotch schnapps flopping pointlessly in my pocket…i was banking on a winter nip in the air. alas nothing doing…just fog and lichen.

The rail trail may get constructed this winter…apparently a frozen ground would actually work better for spike and rail removal than a wet and squishy one. who knew? I am working on a list of events for the trail for next year and this Thanksgiving walk seemed to go over well. I guess we need to learn the words to Over the River and through the Woods.

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