We Are Having A Heavenly Time: Columbia Bicycles of Westfield
Here are two vintage Columbia bikes parked in front of The Antique Center of Northampton. Did you know that Columbia Bicycles has local roots In Westfield? Colonel Albert Pope, a captain in the Civil War, founded Pope Manufacturing in Boston in 1877 and sold bicycles imported from England. In 1878 he joined forces with the Weed
Sewing Machine Co. and started manufacturing bicycles in Hartford. Pope died in 1909 at the age of 66 and in 1914 the main offices were moved to Westfield as ThePope Manufacturing Company.In 1916 the company reorganized and renamed The Westfield Manufacturing Company. The catalogs stated that
they were “successors to The Pope Manufacturing Company”.In 1961 the company was renamed Columbia Manufacturing Company. It remains to this day making the tubular school furniture that they began making in 1953. Since 1988 bicycle
production in Westfield has been limited. The reproduction
1941 and the blue 125th Anniversary bike were made in the
Westfield plant. They continue to sell a Columbia line of imported
bicycles. In 2008 several of the original factory buildings in Westfield were torn down including the main building on Cycle St. and
the building that housed the museum.
Salesmen in front of the Hartford offices with Chainless bikes.
The Westfield factory in 1948, above
The Famous Westfield Pope Smokestack
In 2008 several of the original factory buildings were torn down including the main building on Cycle St. and
the building that housed the museum.
Judging by his resemblance to my friend Mike Huntoon, I'm guessing Richard B. Huntoon, Comptroller, pictured above, is Mike's dad! Mike was in early '80s W. Mass punk band The Vandalz among other assorted combos.
From 1876 to 1906 American engraver Frank Leslie published “Popular Monthly” magazine. In the
November 1881 issue he ran an article titled “Bicycle-Making Where and how bicycles are made.”This involved an extensive
tour of the Hartford Connecticut factories of The Pope Mfg Co. and their offices in Boston Massachusetts. Presented
here(click the Popular Monthly mast-head.) is that article including the illustrations.
A whimsical ad for Columbia, above. Caption reads: "WE ARE HAVING A HEAVENLY TIME !" Note the Pope Manufacturing name on the
sign. This image was used for an R.E.M T-shirt in
the 80s, below.
I'm just a man with a camera and a monkey mind living in Northampton, a unique habitat in Western Massachusetts. I realize that you do have a choice when selecting a blog and I do appreciate you flying with the Nohodome. Enjoy your stay in the Northampton area or wherever your final destination may be.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette spotlights Life in the Nohodome
These people make life inside and outside the dome a little more enchanting
* 9:03 a.m. - A teenage girl missing from her home was located at the high school. Police said the girl may have stayed in the area of the pond at Oak Knoll overnight. (She had a copy of Walden with her.)
* 2:15 p.m. - A Clark House woman reported a man wearing tight shorts while outside her home later pulled down the shorts and exposed his buttocks to her. Police said they will speak to the man about his choice of clothing and his actions. ("Speak to the man"? Is this Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood?)
TRAFFIC* 2:43 p.m. - A man spraying passers-by on East Pleasant Street with water from his garden hose was warned to stop the activity. (Mom, dad's drinking and watering again!)
THURSDAY, SEPT. 3
* 1:18 p.m. - A woman was referred to court to seek a complaint against relatives living in Amherst who charged $24,000 to her account at Home Depot without her permission. (Those cashiers at Home Depot never ask for ID.)
* 9:23 p.m. - Management at a downtown bar reported receiving phone calls from a man asking bartenders to fight with him when he got there. Police spoke to the man, who told police he was upset at the way he and his wife had been treated by employees during a visit to the bar a few weeks earlier. (Who married this man?)
* 1:32 a.m. - Police responded to Hallock Street for a report of an argument involving 15 people. Police determined that all the people were friends and were just excited to see each other after being away for the summer. (They were also very drunk and high.)
* 11:46 a.m. - The animal welfare officer is investigating how a cat living at a Northampton Road home suffered three puncture wounds. The cat's owner is alleging a neighbor may have attacked the cat with a pitchfork. A local veterinarian treated the cat. (Well, that's the right number of holes. Time for some garden tool forensics.)
FRIDAY, SEPT. 4
* 5:20 a.m. - Montague Road residents calls police after seeing a suspicious man walking along the edge of the road. Police located the man, who told police he lived in Leverett and was just out for a walk. (Modern paranoia is endangering simple strolls. People need to turn off the news and have an oatmeal cookie or two.)
* 7:01 a.m. - Police removed a homeless man sleeping in the back yard of a Kendrick Place home. Another homeless man sleeping in front of a South Prospect Street home was already picking up his sleeping bag when police got there at 8:41 a.m. (Shift change.)
* 5:40 p.m. - A homeless man using chalk to write on the brick walls near Papa Gino's Pronto on North Pleasant Street was advised to stop the activity. (He said he would take it under advisement. Ever get the feeling that the police log is softening the language that was actually used at the scene?)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 5
* 9:23 p.m. - A North Pleasant Street woman said a man in a pickup truck outside her home might be taking pictures of her after she repeatedly saw a flashing light in the vehicle. Police determined the flashing was coming from the truck's alarm system. (...and the man was allowed to remain mysteriously parked in front of the residence.)
* 1:57 p.m. - A Bay Road resident told police $800 worth of trout were stolen from his pond, possibly by someone who was fishing the pond while he was away. (Or perhaps larcenous herons.)
* 12:59 p.m. - Police are investigating ongoing damage caused to the siding of a Poets Corner home after neighbors repeatedly drove golf balls into it. (They demand poetic justice!)
* 3:13 p.m. - A work ladder valued at $500 was found damaged at a Bay Road home. (The police said, "You rung?")
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
* 9:57 a.m. - A vehicle took out a "keep right" sign at the corner of Gatehouse and Belchertown roads before fleeing the area, police said. (They fled to the left.)
* 2:21 p.m. - Stephanie Thompson, 19, of Christiansted, Virgin Islands, was issued a citation for failure to stay within marked lanes after the vehicle she was driving at the intersection of South Pleasant Street and Northampton Road collided with a vehicle driven by Brian Fairhurst, 54, of Tallahassee, Fla., police said. Thompson told police she was confused about which side of the street she was supposed to be driving on, police said. ("Ohhh!!! I wondered why everyone was in the other lane. You mean.....?")
SUNDAY, SEPT. 6
* 12:57 a.m. - Police kept the peace between neighbors on Sunrise Avenue after residents at one home got on the porch of another and stole a flag. (You can't just commence a game of "capture the flag" without enlisting the other team.)
* 7:43 p.m. - Sunset Avenue residents were allegedly providing free alcohol to college students passing by their home. Police spoke to the residents and warned them that it is illegal to furnish alcohol to minors. At 8:25 p.m., police returned to the home, where the men were now making rude comments to women. (Okay guys, the women would prefer the free booze actually.)
* 8:42 p.m. - Police assisted firefighters with a cooking fire at The Boulders in which a tenant suffered minor burns to her mouth and nose. People visiting neighbors also assisted in getting the woman out from her home. (Damn you George Forman!)
* 12:37 a.m. - Police calmed down people on North Pleasant Street near the downtown bars after several water balloons were thrown at them and in retaliation they threw several slices of pizza at the other people. (Police shut down the feud just as the rear flank was coming up with meatball subs.)
MONDAY, SEPT. 7
* 2:48 p.m. - A pair of men's underwear were found hanging from a tree on property on Farmington Road. (The epitome of a small town police call.)
* 9:26 a.m. - A homeless man holding a cup of coffee and yelling at people in front of St. Brigid's Church was sent on his way. At 6:18 p.m., the man, now carrying a purse and wearing his hair in pigtails and adorned with flowers, was seen yelling at people on Belchertown Road. He was again told to leave the area. Finally, at 7:11 p.m., the man made his way to a downtown restaurant, where he began bothering customers. (He needs to be sent someplace a little more specific than "on his way.")
A Great Music Blog for Psych/Rock/Folk Fans
30 Dumb Inventions
40 years ago....
Click for full size.
Northampton High School Poetry Club
I was in Broadside Books today and overheard new staffer Emma DeLisle showing a co-worker a chapbook she had put together with classmates Miriam Kudler-Flam, and Hannah and Samantha Zimmerman. It's called "302" and is named for the room # where the Poetry Club meets every Wednesday at 2:10 to "read, write, share, and discuss poetry in a supportive and encouraging environment. Writers of all styles and levels are welcome," as the notice reads on the school's webiste. I beleive they will be for sale at Broadside soon. I asked her to sell me one based solely on my eavesdropping.
uncharted waters by Emma DeLisle
This is the first poem in the 302 chapbook, discussed above. CLICK to read the poem.
U.S. Prison Statistics
I was having a conversation about the U.S. prison business and guessing at some of the figures so I thought I'd look up the real ones. Click image for the Dept. of Justice's official figures. Here's one: there were an estimated 509 sentenced prisoners per 100,000 U.S. residents
Music from college radio and the clubs in the Valley circa 1985
A few playlists from back in the day before CDs, DVDs, the internet, and cell phones. Click for full size.
The Patriot Shop
Good clean humor right? No veiled message of support for the murder of non-"patriots"
Women Behind Bars - Female bartenders of Northampton from "Oh No Noho!:" circa 1985
Flashback to the '80s- Ads, articles, posters from the past. Click any for full size.
The All-Can Highway
Click for full size. The All-Can Highway runs 1520 miles from Dawson Creek, British Columbia to Fairbanks, Alaska, and is paved with over 17 million aluminum cans. Postcard courtesy Jeff Brown, KTOO-FM in Juneau, Alaska.
Raw Fish and Rump Shakin' at the North Star circa 1984.
The North Star Seafood Bar near Smith College at Green and West St. was THE place to dance in Northampton in the '80s. Sushi was being marketed to the U.S for the first time and the idea of eating raw fish was new and sounded risky but it caught on like wildfire, as did cocaine. The North Star transformed into a high energy dance scene on the weekend with DJ's like Evan Abramowitz, Scotty Dread, Tony Kord, and Jim McDee spinning soul, reggae, new wave, ska, and synth pop. Lots of Human League, Heaven 17, New Order, Specials, Wham, as well as a bunch of crossover rap and hip-hop like Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash.
So you've won a Pulitzer Prize
Well, maybe someday. But if you're like me, you've hear the phrase Pulitzer Prize winning poet, writer, photographer, etc. all the time and yet don't really know how much of a big deal it is or isn't. So here is a list of facts about the Pulitzer Prize so you'll be better prepared to understand what the deal is. It was on this day in 1917 that the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded. Here are some things you might not have known about Pulitzer Prizes: They're announced each year in April and then awarded at Columbia University in May, during a luncheon at the campus library. Each Pulitzer Prize winner receives a $10,000 award and a certificate, except in the Public Service category, where the winner is given a gold medal. Only a newspaper, not an individual, can receive the Public Service prize for journalism. There are 21 Pulitzer categories. Two-thirds of the prizes (14) revolve around journalism. There are six for letters and drama (fiction, drama, history, biography, poetry, and general nonfiction), and there is one prize given for music. The Pulitzer Prize for fiction used to be called the Pulitzer Prize for the novel. The name was changed in 1948. Poet Robert Frost won the Pulitzer Prize four times. Playwright Eugene O'Neill also won four Pulitzer Prizes. The Pulitzer Prize is a very American award. Only U.S. citizens are eligible for the non-journalism Prizes. The exception to this is in the history category: a non-American can win the Pulitzer Prize if he or she wrote a book about the history of the United States. Foreign journalists can win Pulitzers if they write for a newspaper published in the United States. The New York Times holds the all-time record for number of Pulitzer Prizes received. The paper has collectively won 101 Pulitzers. Newspapers generally nominate themselves for Pulitzer Prizes. The fee for each entry is $50, and the material that the newspaper wants the prize board to consider must be accompanied by an entry form. An entry has to fit into one of the 21 categories; it can't be submitted on the grounds that it is just generally good. To be eligible, a paper must be published in the U.S. at least weekly. In 2009, for the first time, online-only news organizations were eligible for the Pulitzer. Before, it was restricted to print publications. Decisions about prize winners are made by the Pulitzer board in secret. Afterward, the board does not publicly discuss or defend its decisions.
Pac Man Skeleton
This Pac-Man skeleton was put together by Le Gentil Garçon and paleontologist François Escuilié, and was modeled after the skeletal structure of predatory animals.
Northampton BID melodrama hits the big time
Courtesy of Daryl G. LaFleur's Northampton Redoubt blog. Click photo for MSNBC video.
Free Sampler of Bands Coming to Northampton
Click Track List above for Download which includes artwork and tracklist/gig-date files along with 12 songs
Northampton Fairgrounds Opens New Saturday Market
From the Gazette: The Three-County Fairgrounds today kicks off a new, weekly vendor fair that organizers hope will grow as the summer goes on. Envisioned as a combination farmers market, craft fair and flea market, it will be open from about 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 3, with a few exceptions. "What we're hoping to do is keep it reasonable," said fairgrounds general manager Bruce Shallcross, noting booth space at the "Saturday Markets" will be sold for $20. "It might be a good place (to go) instead of having a tag sale," he said. The fairgrounds isn't taking booth reservations - they're offered on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 7:30 a.m. in the field next to the fairgrounds office on Fair Street. Shallcross anticipates 10 or 15 vendors for today's market, and hopes more will be attracted over time. He also sees the market as a tool for getting more crafters involved with the fairgrounds' signature event, the Three-County Fair on Labor Day weekend. "It's going to take a couple of weeks to build up, but we'll get a pretty good following I think," he said. As the Saturday Markets gain a troop of regular vendors and customers, Shallcross envisions using proceeds to help promote area artists, crafters and growers with shopping guides and other materials. "It's just a good service we can provide to our constituents" in Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties, he said. Saturday Markets won't be held on weekends coinciding with other big events at the fairgrounds. The dates include May 23 for the Paradise City Arts Festival; June 20 for the Twisted Metal Weekend of Destruction demolition derby; July 18 and 25 for the New England Morgan Horse Show; and Sept. 5 for the Three-County Fair.
Color Photography by Robin Marlowe and David Maxwell
Hosmer Gallery at the Forbes Library. June 2-29, 2009 Reception: Wednesday, June 3, 6-8 PM - Click Photo for Details- Beach Road Gas, photo by David Maxwell
Texts From Last Night, a highly amusing new website that compiles memorable texts submitted by users.
Whistling Orangutan Brings out CD of Songs
Dave Sears of WRNX reported this story from his blog, which you can link to by clicking the orangutan. "I've been having major deja vu issues all week, so this story of a talented orangutan seems oddly familiar. Perhaps we've heard of him before. Perhaps not. But we will certainly hear of and from him very soon. There is a Tipping Point angle to the story, too, with the possibility that an orangutan karaoke product may be released."
Dave's take on swine flu
Reflections On Swine Flu Monday 04-27-2009 10:13am ET I don't mean to poke fun at anyone who's suffered from the ravages of swine flu, but the sudden hysteria on the subject is, to me, just another sign of accelerated cultural silliness. Swine flu isn't just being reported, it's being marketed. Like any other prominent topic it will be twisted into cheap banality. You'll be ostracized as uncool unless you have the latest swine flu accessories. It won't be long before there are swine flu reality shows, swine flu Twitter feeds, swine flu travel mugs, swine flu action figures, swine flu breakfast cereals. (Of course, if I come down with swine flu, I just hope I'll be able to yank this post before I look like a total fool...) (Click pic for link ro Dave's blog)
Overheard in New York
Six-year-old girl, with mace in hand: Look, mommy! A mace! Now I can hit unicorns and make them bleed. Death to unicorns! Mom: That's great, honey. --8th Ave & Carroll St
Overhead In New York City at CVS Pharmacy
Nigerian pharmacy assistant: Okay, is $50.00. Overweight middle aged man: For that?! That tiny cream!? Forget it. Nigerian pharmacy assistant: You don't want? Overweight middle aged man: Nah, no thanks. I'll go with the rash.
* 3:26 p.m. - A sick skunk on South Sunset Avenue was destroyed by police.
* 1:31 a.m. - A vehicle parked on the sidewalk on South Prospect Street was issued a ticket.
* 12:16 a.m. - Police checked the ID of a patron at a downtown bar after a bouncer refused to let the man in because the ID appeared to be fake. Police determined the ID was authentic.
The Gospel Four- I Won't Walk Without Jesus
Okay, I count five. Which one's Jesus?
THE NOTORIOUS B.I.D.S- 'DO-NOTHING' BIZ BOARDS UNDER FIRE
As Northampton wades into controversial civic waters, a recent article in the New York Post reports on the state of some BIDs in NYC. The comparison is not all apples and oranges.
God 'will not give happy ending'
When I lived in Los Angeles, there were several "health spas" in Hollywood that would likely render the Pioneer Valley's massage trade sputtering and shaken by comparison. The Archbishop of Canterbury's choice of words here gave me pause. The full story available by clicking the Archbishop.
Hey John Graham! Ninety years of birdwatchers' notes going online!
Click the broad-tailed hummingbird for the whole story.
Short and Sweet. One Minute Songs + Lyrics
Big Star "ST 100/6"
Love me again Be my friend I need you now I'll show you somehow
The Beatles "Her Majesty"
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she changes from day to day
I want to tell her that I love her a lot But I gotta get a bellyful of wine Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl Someday I'm going to make her mine, oh yeh, someday I'm going to make her mine.
Frank Zappa "Amnesia Vivace"
La-la-la-la Oooo...Ah-ah-ah My darling you mean so very much to me And I feel so deeply... Ah-ah-ah...
Duke, duke, duke, duke of prunes I'll never forget you darling I'll never forget your ballads I'll never forget your rat race. in fact I might... Oh, I suppose I'll forget you eventually What is your name? Nice to see you again.
Magnetic Fields "Punk Love"
Punk Love Punk Love Punk Rock Love
We're Paying For Wall Street's Gambling Debts
I hope people are clear on the fact that the new Geithner "plan" basically uses taxpayer money to guarantee profits for hedge funds & private equity firms, in return for their cooperation in taking the toxic securities off the banks' balance sheets. The only reason it isn't being done directly (ie. simply having the govt. buy the toxic assets) is because it would look bad & the public would boil over in fury. So the whole gambit is being hidden behind the facade of a fake "market-determined" process. So, isn't this just what we need, boys and girls? Our government taking another trillion bucks of our money, and using it to guarantee fat profits for hedge funds & private equity firms -- while making sure the banks themselves don't suffer a whit? In other words, the government is taking money from 99.9% of the population, in order to save or actually enrich the very community responsible for blowing up the global economy, through their racketeering & fraud.The stock market is booming today about this plan. And indeed, why wouldn't they celebrate? There's nothing that fattens the ol' bottom line quite so much as the government handing you a trillion bucks with no strings attached & basically sending the message that there's more where that came from, if it's needed. -Dave Bronstein (Click Pic)
Thomas Jefferson Says...
"That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."
The Rachel Maddow Show
Deregulation for Dummies (click Rachel). "Do you want an example of how this deregulation thing worked? You can totally use this at the high school dance or a bar or whatever to try to impress someone. Somebody starts complaining about the bailout. Complaining about AIG. You tell them actually the real villain here is Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Just say it with total confidence. Watch. You will get dates."
"Beleaguered U.S. taxpayers are bailing out wealthy U.S. tax dodgers." - Amy Goodman
Surplus Hippo Farasi Is Saved
Thanks to Dave for this one. This story is from Switzerland, and when I gave it a casual look I assumed that the key phrase "fed to tigers" was the translation of some Swiss idiom, maybe the equivalent of our overused "thrown under the bus." Upon further review, however, it turns out that the tiger-meal reference was quite literal: it was suggested in the case of a surplus hippopotamus at the Basel Zoo. Now, we all understand that hippos are large, high-maintenance animals, but still, there has to be a better way of addressing that issue than feeding 'em to the tigers. And fortunately for Baby Hippo Farasi, cooler heads prevailed.
AIGsus H. Christ!
When our very own Secretary of the Treasury cannot make stick his decision that AIG's bonuses should not be paid, only one conclusion can be drawn: AIG is accountable to no one. Our democracy is seriously broken. -Robert Reich
Crime Wave! Amherst Police Calls (with comment) February 2009
TUESDAY, FEB. 10
* 12:40 a.m. - A homeless man with with an open container of vodka on Kellogg Avenue was advised to dump out the beverage. "Can I dump it out down my throat?"
* 6:06 p.m. - Police provided advice to staff at a mental health home in Amherst where a client had thrown dishes around a room. "Wear hard hats."
* 10:40 p.m. - Three college-age men who yelled obscenities at police officers outside a Main Street restaurant were advised to calm down. "But not in those words."
* 1:12 a.m. - A vehicle backed into a second vehicle at the corner of East Pleasant and Triangle streets, causing minor damage and no personal injuries, police said. The driver told police the accident happened after he backed the vehicle up to avoid a pedestrian who had approached the vehicle with the intent to fight with the people inside. "Amherst pedestrians take their right of way quite seriously."
THURSDAY, FEB. 12
* 6:19 p.m. - People who threw bags of fast food from a vehicle near Hawkins Meadow and struck another vehicle were not located by police. "Grease bomb!"
10:47 p.m. - Police called for tows of three vehicles parked illegally on Hobart Lane. "It's an isolated incident. They won't tow us again."
* 11:56 p.m. - A woman was heard screaming in the area of Railroad Street. Police found party-goers loitering on the street, but all denied hearing any screaming. "They did eventually acknowledge some yelling."
* 12:24 p.m. - Police are investigating incidents in which an Amherst woman has repeatedly received calls from a man asking her to meet for breakfast or lunch, as well as answering machine messages in which the man has made derogatory comments about her . (G-Rated Obscene Phone Calls) "You want to go to breakfast? I know you do. You like breakfast don't you?"
* 7:19 p.m. - A decapitated rabbit was left on the front porch of a Winston Court home. Police said it was unclear if the rabbit had been left there by a person or a wild animal. "Or perhaps Glenn Close."
* 9:08 p.m. - Police spoke to a South East Street girl on behalf of her parents on the laws surrounding the use of pepper spray. "It's not for use on teachers, parents, or pasta."
* 12:36 a.m. - Police kept the peace between people arguing at North Village. "How about a nice game of chess?"
* 12:40 a.m. - A man called from his West Street home seeking assistance in dealing with two people who entered his home and began bothering him. Police determined there were no intruders in the home and that the people the man had seen were on his television screen. "Officers Reed and Malloy of the crime drama Adam-12 were on-screen when the police arrived. The man looked up at the Amherst officers when they arrived and said, NOW I'm REALLY getting annoyed."
* 1:56 a.m. - Police sent a man on his way who was banging on windows at Pi Kappa Alpha on North Pleasant Street. "No more Tappa Tappa Tappa, buddy."
* 1:43 p.m. - Three homeless men bothering passersby at a North Pleasant Street bus stop were monitored by police until the bus came to pick them up. "Monitored?"
* 2:08 p.m. and 2:12 p.m. - Two unlocked vehicles parked on Memorial Drive were reported entered. Sunglasses were stolen from one vehicle, while an iPod was missing from the other vehicle. "Officers noted a whistling man in shades and an iPod walking up Memorial Drive shortly thereafter but their shift was almost done and they said, "Did you see anything? Nope. Did you? I didn't see shit."
* 10:53 p.m. - A window on the front porch to a Fearing Street home was smashed out, but no entry appeared to have been gained to the residence. "Robbers remorse."
* 12:33 a.m. - Four vehicles parked illegally on Hobart Lane were towed. "God dammit! Well, they wouldn't dare tow us a third time."
* 7:41 p.m. - Police stopped a vehicle on Main Street in which debris was being thrown out the sunroof. A small amount of marijuana and an open bottle of gin were seized from the people inside the vehicle. "These were also thrown out of the sunroof but the car was no longer in motion so they were easily seized."
* 1:47 a.m. - Police took a report from a man who was walking on Main Street and overheard people making racially insensitive comments. Police determined the comments were not directed at anyone in particular. "I hate 'em all."
* 12:37 p.m. - A missing 14-year-old Amherst girl was located safely at The Boulders. The girl earlier in February had been missing and was found in Lowell. "Officers requested that the girl keep it somewhat local if she is to go missing again. "We aren't driving to Hingham to retrieve your ass."
* 1:42 a.m. and 7:21 p.m. - Police issued verbal warnings to Puffton Village and Brandywine Apartments residents playing loud music. "Less cowbell."
MONDAY, FEB. 16
* 1:02 a.m. - A man who urinated on the side of a downtown building was issued a warning and sent on his way. "Fuck the cops" cannot be written with one bladder load. "Cops Suck" is a more reasonable goal."
* 11:39 p.m. - Police took a report of a door slamming and a person screaming in the area of Main Street. "It was later determined to be an Edward Gorey cartoon."
* 1:10 a.m. - A woman reported that a bouncer at a downtown bar used racial epithets toward her. Police determined the woman was intoxicated and had been belligerent toward staff at the bar after being told she had to leave because it was closing time. "She failed a sobriety test, unable to pronounce "epithet."
* 2:10 a.m. - Police responded to the corner of North Pleasant Street and Massachusetts Avenue where a heavily intoxicated woman was on the ground. Her friends told police they would get her back to her dorm room. "...within a few days."
* 2:23 a.m. and 3:18 a.m. - Police called for the tows of vehicles parked on Hobart Lane. "Son of a BITCH!"
* 7:42 p.m. - Police were unable to locate a man crawling in the middle of Main Street. "They did however replace on open man-hole cover."
* 10:44 p.m. - A person who set off fireworks in a Sacco Drive driveway was not located by police. "But inexplicable bone fragments and tattered clothing were collected."
* 4:56 p.m. - A man came into the police station demanding that a boot be removed from his vehicle that had been placed on it for unpaid parking tickets. Police advised the man to settle his bill and the boot would be removed. Instead, the man said he wanted to file a vandalism complaint against parking enforcement officials. "There was a moment of silence and then rampant laughter. The scene froze and the credits rolled."
* 6:37 p.m. - Police spoke to a man at the police station who reported ongoing disputes with another man over a former girlfriend. "They advised him that "former" was the operative term, and to move along."
* 12:58 p.m. - A 13-year-old girl throwing a temper tantrum at an Amherst home had calmed down when police got there. "I want an Oompa Loompa NOWWWWWW!"
* 1:01 p.m. - Police located a homeless woman after she caused a disturbance at a downtown restaurant after purchasing hot chocolate that wasn't hot enough. The woman was advised not to return to the restaurant. Two days later, the same woman was in another downtown restaurant bothering customers. Staff was advised on the procedures to get a trespass notice. "But did they think to check the temperature of the hot chocolate? She may have had a valid gripe. You save up some coin and end up with a tepid chocolate. It's bullshit."
* 3:41 p.m. - A Mill Hollow Apartments resident told police his neighbor punched him a week earlier. Police are looking into the incident. "To do: Pay bills, dry cleaning, call police about punch."
* 6:38 p.m. - An intoxicated man was removed from a bathroom in a downtown restaurant and brought to his brother's South Amherst residence. Two days later at 9:35 p.m., the same man was found on the floor of another downtown restaurant and was sent on his way. "The mayor's vacation ends next week."
* 5:43 a.m. - A man screaming on Sunset Court was located with his hands duct-taped together and chocolate syrup poured over him. Police determined the man was a victim of a prank by his friends. "They put a cherry on his head, topped him with Cool Whip and left."
* 7:52 a.m. - An employee causing problems at the Center for Extended Care was removed before police got there. "Their care does not extend indefinitely."
* 9:33 a.m. - The rear door to an Allen Street home was forced open, but it was unclear if anything is missing since the homeowners are vacationing in Arizona. "Had they been in Delaware, more could have been determined."
* 12:55 p.m. - Police were unable to locate a possum running in circles on North Whitney Street. "There were however several running zig-zag patterns that were advised to move along."
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENTS
* 12:03 a.m. - A vehicle went off West Street over an embankment after the driver, who was talking on his cell phone, told police he thought he could navigate the vehicle through a snowbank, police said. The vehicle had to be towed after the driver and a passerby tried to pull the vehicle out using nylon straps, police said. "Now let me get this straight..."
* 6:54 p.m. - An Agawam woman told police that her former boyfriend, who lives in Amherst, had posted nude photos of her on his MySpace page. Police determined no crime had been committed because the woman had willingly given the pictures to the man."They requested the web address just to be sure." (Seriously though, is it really legal to post nude photos just because they were a gift?")
* 12:41 a.m. - People on Fearing Street arguing over a jacket were calmed down. "But then they got into it over the snow pants and police had to intervene."
* 1:31 a.m. - Sisters arguing over the care of a drunken roommate at The Griggs apartments on Amity Street were advised of their options. "A. Don't call us again. B. Don't call us again."
* 11:14 a.m. - Police took a call from an Amherst resident who said the new boyfriend of his former girlfriend threatened to kill him. "Police advised the new boyfriend that this was real life, not HBO."
"I just want to know what the limit is of the weakest link in the human body."
A Chinese man pulled a car by a rope attached only to his eyelids for more than five metres. Yang Guanghe, 35, of Guizhou was cheered and applauded at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Guangzhou as he towed the VW car. Yang, who weighs only seven stone, said he had been practicing the stunt for more than 10 years. "At the beginning it was a bit painful, but gradually I got used to it," he told the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.
The mayor of Los Alamitos is coming under fire for an e-mail he sent out that depicts the White House lawn planted with watermelons, under the title "No Easter egg hunt this year." Local businesswoman and city volunteer Keyanus Price, who is black, said Tuesday she received the e-mail from Mayor Dean Grose's personal account on Sunday and wants a public apology. "I have had plenty of my share of chicken and watermelon and all those kinds of jokes," Price told The Associated Press. "I honestly don't even understand where he was coming from, sending this to me. As a black person receiving something like this from the city-freakin'-mayor - come on." The Orange County Register first reported the e-mail on its Web site Tuesday night. Grose confirmed to the AP that he sent the e-mail to Price and said he didn't mean to offend her. He said he was unaware of the racial stereotype that black people like watermelons. He said he and Price are friends and serve together on a community youth board. "Bottom line is, we laugh at things and I didn't see this in the same light that she did," Grose told the AP. "I'm sorry. It wasn't sent to offend her personally - or anyone - from the standpoint of the African-American race." Grose, who became mayor in December, said he sent an apology e-mail to Price and her boss and also left her a voicemail apology. Regardless, Price said it will be difficult for the two to work together. "Now I am like - wow, is this really how he feels?" Price said. Los Alamitos is a 2¼-square-mile Orange County city of around 12,000 people. The mayor is elected by fellow members of the five-seat City Council.- Huffington Post
No Ifs, Ands, or Butts
The tenderness of the delicate American buttock is causing more environmental devastation than the country's love of gas-guzzling cars, fast food or McMansions. Click photo for full story.
Overheard in New York
Lanky white guy: Well, I'm still expecting my pony from Obama. Female friend: He cured your leprosy. Stop complaining. --187th & Broadway - Overheard by: Zev
I can't believe it.
I am baffled at the still-widely held belief of perhaps half ouf our nation that the bible is literal. The mystery of incarnation- God becoming human in the form of Christ- is no more than an allegorical fable which tells us that divine and human natures are not radically or intrinsically different. It's a myth, a fable, a story. Read Joseph Cambell for a rigorous and fascinating dicussion of the subject. He said. "Every religion is true one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck in its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble." He also said, " I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." Which is what Kierkegaard says to a large extent.
Chomsky: Obama OKed Israel's Gaza war
February 21, 2009 from "Press TV" via Info Clearing House-- Renowned US intellectual Noam Chomsky says Barack Obama did not comment on Israel's war on Gaza, as it was part of the "premeditated" plan. We have been informed by an Israeli source that the recent invasion of the Gaza Strip was completely premeditated, Chomsky said in an interview with the French Al-Ahram daily. The plan was to deliver the maximum blow to Gaza before the new US president took office, so that he could put these matters behind him added the famous intellectual, referring to Obama's pledge to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict. According to Chomsky, while Israel was pounding the Gaza Strip -- during which over 1300 Palestinians were killed --, Obama excused his silence by saying that "There's only one president at a time." This, however, did not prevent the then president-elect from commenting on other leading issues of US domestic and foreign policy, Chomsky argued. The recognized political analyst also criticized Obama for repeating the notion that defending Israel is a US priority. He predicted that during the Obama presidency US will hold the same policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Plough and Stars Pub, Cambridge
Plough and Stars #2
Charles Street T Stop- Boston
Leavitt & Pierce Tobacco and Sundries, Harvard Square
Click for full impact. This was an ad for the cellophane wrapper on the bread. "Let's you see exactly the loaf you want." I think Suzie's been doing bong hits out behind the carport with crazy uncle Gus.
4:52 p.m. - A man who tried to steal condoms and juice from Big Y Supermarket was identified and issued a trespass order. (A water-balloon attack thwarted!)
11:34 p.m. - A verbal warning was issued by police to North Pleasant Street residents playing loud music and running up stairs. Two hours later police returned to the same home to issue a second warning about stomping on the floor. (...and just to save us any more trips, this also means no hopping, pogo-sticking, dragging furniture around, bouncing balls, skateboarding, kick-boxing, ballet, bikram yoga...)
11:14 a.m. - A vehicle spun out on the Route 116 bypass, but police determined the accident had occurred in Hadley and referred the matter to their department. (Well, it started in Amherst and ended up in Hadley.)
7:34 p.m. - A Canterbury Lane resident told police someone shot six red paintballs at the home from a vehicle that just passed by. The incident may be part of an ongoing dispute between two people over a girl. Police are investigating. The following day at 11:04 a.m. and 11:43 a.m., Summerfield Road and White Pine Road residents reported their homes were also struck with paintballs. (Hmmm. This girl's busier than we thought.)
2:38 a.m. - Two men involved in an ongoing altercation were reported at the Hess gas station. One working there allegedly rang up the other man's order slowly and the customer, in retaliation, flicked a piece of paper at the other man. (When police arrived, they witnessed the customer blow a straw wrapper at the cashier who had given him his change in pennies and was slowly inserting items one by one into a bag and then rearranging them over and over again. The officers drew rubber bands and threatened to use them if the men continued their altercation.)
1:13 a.m. - Police issued a verbal warning to Carriage Lane residents where a live band was playing. ("No more Styx or Journey!")
1:22 p.m. - The back door was found open at a Whippletree Lane home. The door appeared to have been blown open by wind, as all stereo and electronic equipment was still inside. (The wind did, however, make off with the silverware and some jewelry as well as some Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and Kansas CD's.)
11 a.m. - A vehicle went off Henry Street through several cement posts and down a 10-foot embankment, where it flipped over and ended up close to the railroad tracks, police said. The driver was not injured but the vehicle was towed. (In fact, many stuntmen call Western Massachusetts home.)
12:16 p.m. - A Wells, Maine resident told police he is concerned that his former wife, who has custody of their two children, plans to enroll the girls in Amherst schools. ("Over my dead body will my daughters be exposed to The Vagina Monologues or be called freshpersons!")
12:57 a.m. - Police stopped a vehicle with a license-plate light out on College Street and issued the driver a warning for the offense. The same vehicle was stopped again at 10:53 p.m. on South Pleasant Street, and another verbal warning was issued. (The police followed him and sure enough, he was still in violation a mile later and they pulled him over and issued him another warning.)
5:09 a.m. - An Aspen Chase Apartments woman reported three male intruders in her home. It was unclear if anyone had entered, as the apartment was empty when police got there. At 6:13 a.m., the woman called back to say people were banging on windows, but there no evidence of anyone in the area or footprints left in the snow. (Finally she admitted that she was lonely and asked the officers to join her for tea and crumpets, which they did.)
7:15 p.m. - A woman who locked herself inside a bathroom at a downtown restaurant was gone when police got there. (There were two tiny shoes floating in the still running toilet and a bottle with a DRINK ME label on it.)
10:20 p.m. - Police spoke to North Amherst parents of a teenage girl who refuses to come home and comply with the rules of the house. The mother told police she may file assault charges against her daughter to get her to follow the rules. (The police looked at each other and then at the woman. They stood quietly staring at her with their mouths slightly open for some time. They looked at each other again. Then back at her. They shook their heads and left without a word.)
11:08 a.m. - A Mill Hollow Apartments woman complained her neighbors were repeatedly opening and closing the closet doors and making excessive noise. Police said there was no evidence of any unusual activity. At 8:44 p.m., the woman called back asking police to check on her neighbors, but police advised her they wouldn't respond if there was no noise. Police did go back to the location again at 11:11 p.m. and found residents watching a television and making sandwiches. The noise was not considered excessive. (It's that chunky peanut butter. It makes so much more noise than the smooth stuff when you spread it.)
4:52 p.m. - Police were unable to locate a pickup truck operating at a slow rate of speed on West Street. (So they spun the arrow on the board and went off looking for a cowboy in drag on a moped operating at the speed limit.)
4:51 p.m. - A man running in the parking lot of the Center of Extended Care on University Drive who has an active trespass to stay off the property was not located. He had previously gone into the building without permission and began to shave himself. (From head to toe?)
10:42 p.m. - Seven people talking loudly, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol outside Southpoint Apartments were not located by police. (So they spun the arrow on the board and went off looking for three meter maids playing hackey-sack in a swimming pool at Rolling Green.)
11:51 a.m. - A minor two-car accident with no personal injuries occurred in the Survival Center parking lot, police said. (Thank goodness it wasn't at the Perish Center.)
4:35 p.m. - Police issued a verbal warning to the driver of a vehicle that failed to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk on Triangle Street near Kellogg Avenue. The pedestrian was also advised to use more common sense when crossing the street. (Both the pedestrian and driver were back on their cell-phones by this time and did not hear the police advice.)
4:39 p.m. - A driver placed an inspection sticker on a vehicle after it was stopped on Triangle Street for being operated with an expired inspection sticker. (He then told police it seemed someone had unscrewed and stolen his license plate light. )
12:52 a.m. - A suspicious light at the top of a utility pole on West Street was reported to police. (The light said that it was the man who made the call that was behaving suspiciously.)
2:10 p.m. - A North Amherst resident reported receiving an insulting phone call from someone related to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Gaza. (Police suggested the resident call the person back 100 times.)
I'm The One That I Want
I always thought Shel Silverstein's book The Missing Piece was bullshit. This site is refreshing for solo flyers. Click logo.
The End of the Financial World as We Know It - New York Times
"OUR financial catastrophe, like Bernard Madoff’s pyramid scheme, required all sorts of important, plugged-in people to sacrifice our collective long-term interests for short-term gain. The pressure to do this in today’s financial markets is immense. Obviously the greater the market pressure to excel in the short term, the greater the need for pressure from outside the market to consider the longer term. But that’s the problem: there is no longer any serious pressure from outside the market. The tyranny of the short term has extended itself with frightening ease into the entities that were meant to, one way or another, discipline Wall Street, and force it to consider its enlightened self-interest." Click pic for full article.
Failure to Grasp the Concept
A woman in Connecticut this week found that the lottery ticket her husband bought the same day that he died of a heart attack was a $10 million dollar winner. This is touching and a bit odd, really. But even so, this coincidence is not what stands out for me. It's what she said she was going to do with the money. "I might go to Mohegan Sun," she said. (Click image for the full story.)
May not be suitable for readers of a gentle disposition.
* 9:21 a.m. - A North Amherst woman reported getting a letter from a former tenant who wrote that karma would pay her back for what she had done to him. She refused to obtain a restraining order and told police she would be leaving the country for about two months.(Can you flee karma?)
* 10:49 p.m. - Police determined a woman screaming at Aspen Chase Apartments was just having difficulties with the holidays. (We all know the feeling.)
* 2:23 a.m. - A person who jiggled the knob to a Kellogg Avenue home but didn't gain entry was not located by police. (The dreaded Amherst Knob Jiggler strikes again!)
* 1 p.m. - More than $3,000 worth of lottery tickets were reported missing from a North Amherst convenience store. Police said there is no evidence the tickets were stolen. (Given that the floor was covered with a layer of ticket scratch dust.)
* 3:25 a.m. - A motion light came on at Cherry Hill Golf Course. Everything appeared to be secure at the location. (Gophers!)
* 12:26 a.m. - Police spoke to a North Amherst resident who was upset about noise her neighbors were making and told police she would take care of the problem in a violent way. The woman was calmed down and told police she was just joking. (She said she probably wouldn't know how to use a flame-thrower if she had one anyway.)
* 9:58 a.m. - A squirrel was removed from a South Pleasant Street building. (Led away in paw-cuffs?)
* 8:47 p.m. - A man hanging out outside the Cushman Market and Cafe was determined to be enjoying a walk and talking on his cell phone. (This sort of enjoyment of life always looks vaguely criminal.)
* 12:50 p.m. - A Cushman resident told police his son entered his car and stole $7 in change. The father said he would handle the matter on his own. (The kid was trying to get bus fare to escape his INSANE FATHER.)
* 8:05 p.m. - People playing loud music at a birthday party on Pomeroy Lane agreed to turn it down. At 9:43 p.m., police returned to the location after bongo drums were heard playing. Police determined the noise was not excessive. (The bongo-meter doesn't lie.)
* 8:08 a.m. - Police were unable to locate a man who yelled at employees at a downtown restaurant and then sat inside his truck and continued staring at the employees for several minutes. (Is that dude still out there? Should we call the cops or get the bat?)
* 10:54 p.m. - Three small bags of marijuana were confiscated from people inside a vehicle stopped on North Pleasant Street. (A peat moss sized bag in the trunk was fortunately not detected.)
More crime in 2009!
Me and Al Anderson of NRBQ...he did it.
Al and I went over to WRSI-93.9 The River this afternoon where Sean O'Mealey did an interview and Al played solo acoustic versions of "Ridin' In My Car" and "Pawn Shop Guitars." We were plugging his shows at the Iron Horse on New Year's Eve.
Selected Calls From The Amherst Police Department (with added commentary) for 12/15-12/22
Jim's photo barrage
* 11:25 p.m. - Police determined people throwing food on cars at a College Street parking lot were determined to be members of a college lacrosse team goofing off. (So that's an alibi?)
* 2:23 p.m. - A West Street woman told police a man entered her home, took her phone and then replaced it with another phone. Police said there is no evidence such an incident occurred. (But is there any evidence that it didn't occur?)
* 8:56 a.m. - A North East Street resident reported an opossum got inside the chicken coop. (What are the laws on the books for this sort of thing? Should there be WANTED posters for animals?)
* 12:56 a.m. - A man and woman arguing outside the downtown bars told police they were having relationship issues. They were advised of their rights to obtain restraining orders and sent on their way. (Hey who needs therapy with nuanced advice like this from cops?)
* 11:40 p.m. - Police kept the peace after a mother and daughter got into an argument over homework at Echo Village Apartments. (The police agreed to do the homework in exchange for coffee.)
* 1:27 a.m. - A woman seen streaking on Rolling Green Drive was not found by police. (Despite their arrival at the scene within two minutes of the call.)
* 2:48 a.m. - Two men running with ladders on North Pleasant Street near Phillips Street were gone when police got there.(An hour later two homes were robbed with the burglars inexplicably gaining access through second story windows.)
* 12:26 a.m. - A woman whose vehicle was having engine trouble on South Pleasant Street was determined to have a suspended license. She was advised to leave the vehicle parked or be subject to arrest. At 11:56 a.m., the vehicle was towed after the woman was unable to find anyone to move it. (It is permissable, in a situation like this, to kick a cop in the shins.)
* 9:05 p.m. - Police determined that a Taylor Street woman's complaints about neighbors snowblowing snow onto her house and windows were not legitimate. Strong gusts of wind were determined to be responsible for the snow hitting her house.(Allegations that neighbors were shining bright lights into her house were determined to be caused by the sun.)
* 10:28 a.m. - A Chinese throwing star was reported disposed in the middle of South East Street near Fort River School. Police determined the object was just a hubcap that fell from a vehicle. (Police, chuckling, asked the person who filed the complaint why he would think that a hubcap was a Chinese throwing star. A dead body with a facial laceration lying nearby puzzled the police.)
Cambridge, Mass. Bumper Sticker Onsluaght
(Click Pic) People in Cambridge have as much trouble fitting all of their philosophies on one thin bumper as Amherst and Northampton's "auto-didactics" do.
* 12:15 a.m. - A man who was seen bleeding profusely from his face while in the area of the Hess gas station was not located by police.
* 5:22 p.m. - Four college students on top of the oil tank off Dickinson Street near Classic Chevrolet were advised to get off of it. Police determined the students were filming a music video for an Amherst College project.
* 2:35 a.m. - Police were unable to locate people talking loudly at The Brook after a woman reported the noise. The woman filing the complaint was heard inside her apartment talking to herself, but refused to come to the door.
* 11:55 p.m. - A customer threw beer at employees at Rafter's Sports Bar & Restaurant after being confronted about refilling a beer on his own by going behind the bar. The customer calmed down and agreed to pay the bill.
Snowy Sunday Scenes
The final weekend before Xmas in Northampton was probably a bit of a bummer for local merchants because of the weather.
Surgeon Removes Tumor, Finds Foot In Baby's Brain
A pediatric neurosurgeon found a tiny foot when he removed the tumor from the brain of an infant. The doctor also said he discovered the formation of another foot, a hand and a thigh while removing the growth. The doctor isn't sure what caused it but says it may have been a type of congenital brain tumor. The 3-day-old newborn is otherwise healthy, but he'll have to undergo monthly blood tests to check for signs of cancer, along with physical therapy.
Stop The Pike Hike
Bob Neill's Favorite Classical Recordings for 2008
This is my father's Baker's Dozen of Favorite Classical Recordings for 2008, New Releases, January - November. If you're shopping for a classical music lover, impress them by getting them one of these. Click the dog.
The following hand selected reports were taken between 11/23 and 12/1 by the Amherst, UMass, or Hadley Police, published in the weekly Amherst Bulletin.
* 7:52 p.m. - A Chestnut Court Apartments woman told police her house was shaking. Police officers got there and determined there was no shaking, and that the woman was likely experiencing the effects of having been inside a car most of the day.
* 4:25 p.m. - A woman called police to report she would be making a film with college friends at Puftfon Village in which a toy gun would be used. Police advised them not to do.
* 12:35 a.m. - A teenage boy became out of control at a Southpoint Apartments home after watching a television program.
* 4:16 p.m. - Police were unable to locate a white goat wandering in the middle of South East Street near the South Amherst Town Common. Two days later at 9:47 a.m., the goat was reported wandering in the area of the South Amherst alternative high school.
* 1:02 a.m. - Police determined a man who alleged he was being assaulted at a North Pleasant Street location was actually refusing to take his prescribed medication.
* 10:51 p.m. - Police responded to a Main Street apartment for a report of non-stop laughing by the residents that was annoying neighbors. While the person reporting thought the neighbors might be using drugs, police determined that they just watching a marathon of Jim Carrey movies.
* 11:09 a.m. - A raccoon found beneath a tree on Farmington Road was not ill.
* 7:41 a.m. - Police were contacted after an intoxicated man entered an unlocked Echo Village Apartments home and passed out on the floor. Police determined the man had been a prior tenant and issued him a trespass notice after the residents asked that he not be arrested.
Obscurities of My Childhood Record Collection
Hoboken, New Jersey. After Sinatra but before Yo La Tengo there was The Insect Trust. Click the album for the story.
Portrait of the Blogger as a Middle Aged Man (the more I say it, the harder it gets.)
NO McMuffin for you!
Cynthia is so proud!
This is my friend Cynthia. We worked together once at La Cazuela. You may recognize her from Pizzeria Paradiso. I assure you she is a hand washer. She is house/dog sitting and soon departing for Puerto Rico. She is always shuttling off somewhere it seems. I admire her nomadic ways. She doesn't say I wish or I should or someday. She says, yes, one ticket outa here, aisle seat if possible, thanks. We don't know each other that well at all but we seem to have a connection and the inability to gross out the other, try as we might. So of course, this is the scene I came upon last Sunday. I promised her i would post the picture and I apologize to those who would prefer I kept it a little classier around the Nohodome blog. Note Cynthia's dexterity: One hand dealing with dog biz, the other holding not only her lit cigarette but also her NEXT cigarette. Click pic.
Great Song Covers Site!
Discovered this looking for Shawn Colvin's version of "Twilight" by the Band. Click the photo to link. Also, just noticing the young Robbie Robertson on the right. When I lived in Los Angeles I was good buds with his son Sebastian though he didn't talk about his dad much.
RIAA Bans Telling Friends About Songs
Courtesy of The Onion: LOS ANGELES—The Recording Industry Association of America announced Tuesday that it will be taking legal action against anyone discovered telling friends, acquaintances, or associates about new songs, artists, or albums. "We are merely exercising our right to defend our intellectual properties from unauthorized peer-to-peer notification of the existence of copyrighted material," a press release signed by RIAA anti-piracy director Brad Buckles read. "We will aggressively prosecute those individuals who attempt to pirate our property by generating 'buzz' about any proprietary music, movies, or software, or enjoy same in the company of anyone other than themselves." RIAA attorneys said they were also looking into the legality of word-of-mouth "favorites-sharing" sites, such as coffee shops, universities, and living rooms. (Cartoon courtesy Toothpaste For Dinner.)
Thanksgiving looms. Turkeydom doomed.
The annual turkey holocaust approaches. It always strikes me as vulgar that the President "pardons" one turkey every year. It equates capital pinishment with dinner, death row inmates with meat, and implies that all of Turkeydom has committed a crime worthy of mass poultricide from which one turkey will be spared. Was there last minute evidence rushed in to vindicate this one bird? Maybe he rolled over on his buddies. A stool turkey. The picture of the guy poised over the turkey is a little disturbing as well. At the dinner table, mom's thinking she hasn't seen that view in 20 years or so.
Dude, no, I'm not just a Subway employee. I am a sandwich artist. It's totally related to my major.
Um, why are you folding the turkey into a swan? Whoah whoah, I said extra mayo, not glitter. Um, is this bread encased in epoxy? Wait! The roast beef is red enough and you don't need to weave the onions into a chain. Okay, I'm going to the Black Sheep, the mustard squirted into likenesses of Jesus along the bun is too much.
It's a Dog's Life...
...and it's at stake. Dave Sears tipped me to this Craigslist plea, accusing me of ghost-writing it, but it's hilarious and tragic and worth a read. At least he's being honest and not trying to pawn her off to unsuspecting adopters. It's in Austin so you don't have to feel guilty. Click the Capitoline Wolf for the listing.
Local Celebrity Profile: LORD RUSS
Lord Russ is a performer of life, whether in his various bands or staging his one man show Queen Elvis, or anchoring any number of killer ensmbles at Transperformance over the years, or doing obscure beautiful Bowie ballads solo at the Obama benefit at Sierra Grille last weekend or doing a heart-wrenching "Without You" (Nillson) with Henning Ohlenbusch at the same show or playing Ed Sullivan at the annual Really Big Show, the man is marvel of nature, a self-made original beau brummell dandy deluxe. Thank goodness he's here to make the rest of us feel a little more comfortable when we dress a bit outside our fashion comfort zone. The boundaries he pushes become the new norms.
Pale in the nude.
Chicago painter Bruce Elliott has come up with a novel way to get customers into his Old Town Ale House. The model for the nude Sarah Palin painting was his daughter.
Welcome to the Machine
My pal Paul linked me to a fascinating and ominous piece from the New York Times. Click the (unrelated...cough cough) image above to read. You may need to sign up but it's free.
My mom lent me a pretty good book yesterday and I already finished it.
I rarely read a book cover to cover. I usually read 10 books, 20 pages at a time, all at once, and rarely finish any. A surgeon at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Atul Gawande succeeds in putting a human face on controversial topics like malpractice and global disparities in medical care, while taking an unflinching look at his own failings as a doctor. Critics appreciated his candor, his sly sense of humor, and his skill in examining difficult issues from many perspectives. He conveys his message—that doctors are only human and therefore must always be diligent and resourceful in fulfilling their duties—in clear, confident prose. What I took away from the book that I think is most important to share with you is this. The definition of "diligence": Constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind. That's what we need to do every day, and we can sleep soundly. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Buy My Shitpile, Henry
Hey, Wall or Main, it's a two way street. Click the dog toaster.
The Good People of Northampton
I don't know what it is about autumn but I always seem to become more aware of my circle of friends. Who have I fallen out with? Who are the new stars? I don't think there's ever been as nice a batch of friends in my life since I moved back to town 5 years ago. Megan and Laura are two of my new friends this year and they are both extraordinary people. I met Megan at the Sierra Grille. She spotted me reading James Tate's new book of poems and when you see someone reading James Tate, you know it's destiny. Then I discovered that Megan was good buds with my downstairs neighbor Laura. Laura and I share internet now. EAT ME Comcast. She has a tool collection rugged enough to allow me to break into my own apartment and precise enough to aid in the creation of elaborate chapbooks . This is a Megan and Laura Appreciation Moment.
I Did Not Know That
The word is now commonly used as an incantation by stage magicians. In ancient times, however, it was taken much more seriously as an incantation to be used as a cure for fevers and inflammations. The first known mention was in the 2nd century AD in a poem called De Medicina Praecepta by Serenus Sammonicus, physician to the Roman emperor Caracalla, who prescribed that the sufferer from the disease wear an amulet containing the word written in the form of an inverted cone as it appears above.
The Hollow Earth Salad Bowl Society LIves!
Please click above photo before you read this spiel. Spencer Peterman makes these bowls from maple and the eclectic PINCH at 179 Main Street in Northampton sells them. They look to me like inside out globes with all the continents visible. In 1692 astronomer Edmund Halley (of Halley's comet fame) postulated that the earth we walk on is a hollow shell about 500 miles thick, with two inner concentric shells and an innermost core, about the diameters of the planets Venus, Mars, and Mercury. These shells are separated by atmospheres, and each has its own magnetic poles. The spheres rotate at different speeds, thus accounting for long-term magnetic field variations. Halley did wonder whether clay and chalk beds of the outer crust are sufficient to prevent the oceans from leaking inside, but he was sure that "the Wisdom of the Creator has provided" some way to prevent this. Click the bowl for a better view and click the image below for the whole wacky story.
Click below for the whole story on the notion that we're not just in a Nohodome, but a Globodome!
Spencer Peterman's other pieces on display at Pinch.
Click for full glory.
The Brass at The Basement
I finally got a chance to see The Brass, a local combo that have their own thing going on and seem to be playing out a lot more lately. Click photo to enlarge.
Your arts is shit, buddy.
Related Article: Planet Mercury Covered With Strange Blue Substance
Friday, October 31, 2008 WASHINGTON — Earth's first nearly full look at Mercury reveals that the tiny lifeless planet took a far greater role in shaping itself than was thought, with volcanoes spewing "mysterious dark blue material." Click Mercury image for full story.
Thorough hygiene for employees is encouraged at Hugo's Bar on Pleasant Street.
Cut that crime out!
No U Turn either, pal.
Northampton's music scene is filled with enthusiasm and support for fellow musicians.
Your fortune told on the dressing room door at Roz's Place
Patriots replace Tom Brady with Son Of God
He throws a mean Hail Mary pass.
Tom Brady relaxes at home, post injury, pondering his options.
Here's what I think.
What I think is often based on an incomplete grasp of all the facts, but whose facts? I could keep my yapper shut but I'd rather throw my thoughts out there while I wade through all the information in the hopes that it's actually a collective discussion and we can all fit our pieces together and come out better informed and prepared. Republican Capitalism: Drive it into the ground, then turn around and ask for a socialized bail out once the wealth has been shifted to the wealthiest. According to Ralph Nader, his father said to him when he was a boy, (paraphase): 'Capitalism will always survive because socialism will be used to save it.' The Wall street greed debacle is about to come to an end in the flames of the global economy. "Derivatives" is a euphemism used to obscure risk beyond reasonable concepts of lending, and legitimizing the drive for greater wealth for the few at the expense of the many. Global depression might have the unintended consequence of rebuilding the global economy around a conserver society. It may be the harbinger of human survival amid the economic crisis. A new look at the global economy is necessary with a view to smaller is better. The USA economic juggernaut which keeps the military ready to protect it, should give way to global economic cooperation. There can be no recovery, no self-righting of a false system. More industry will only hasten the demise.
Money for Northampton Artists!
Northampton, MA--Applications are now available from the Northampton Arts Council for grants. NAC will be distributing up to $13,400. Projects may start no earlier than January 1, 2009, and must be completed by December 30, 2009. Completed applications must be received no later than 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 15, 2008, at the Arts Council Office. Grant recipients are chosen on the basis of the quality of proposals and work presented; potential benefit to the community of funded work; and creative accomplishment and dedication. Funds are available on a reimbursement basis only. Click the logo above for application and full story.
Piano Busker in Downtown Northampton, Sunday 9/14
Click any photo for larger version.
The world's verdict will be harsh if the US rejects the man it yearns for
Jonathan Freedland of the UK Guardian: An America that disdains Obama for his global support risks turning current anti-Bush feeling into something far worse. Click photo for link.
The view from New Zealand...with new addendum
A New Zealand acquaintance of my father's responds to Freedland's article above: "Yeah, not at all surprising to me. Many here in N.Z. would echo these sentiments. I for one will no longer buy U.S. made goods, as it seems the only thing U.S. politicians and corporate respond to is economic pressure. I no longer see much difference between the White House, the Senate, The mainstream media, most corporations. It all looks totally dumb and self-interested – “to hell with what the rest of the world thinks – Democracy must be done OUR WAY” – and “We don’t have to deal with the consequences because it’s not at our back door”. Personally – having lived in Oregon for 2 years in the 90’s, at the time of the first Gulf War, and I was studying Global Conflict – I was not surprised at 9/11 – I thought you guys so set yourself up for a backlash. And you reactions since have only make it all much worse for the entire world. Frankly we don’t trust you, we are scared of your next steps. Many of us PRAY for Obama and the Democrats to bring some sense. If McCain/Pallin win – well many of us think it’s step 2 of 5 in the major demise of the U.S. Your Presidential system is dumb, your economic system is dumb, your government acts like bullies, you make lousy decisions and we all wear it Wake up America before it is all over." -Errol Hudspith --P.S. I do not intend just having a shot at the U.S. Sadly N.Z. is going in a similar direction - we have not learned from U.S. mistakes. Fortunately we are a puny nation and can only damage ourselves, not the rest of the world. We have an election here in November: There will be a change of Government, and the Leader who will become Prime Minister totally backs the U.S. on economics/politics, he said he "backed the invasion of Iraq", he will repeal the Emissions Trading Act, he will cut taxes and have to borrow overseas. He is cunning and a total slime-ball - I would not trust him with my bank account or my kids It's a sad world at this time. I fear what our kids are going to have to deal with. May some miracle occur to save us.
Here's what I think.
1. Everyone has decided who they're voting for already. The energy and money should go into assuring the votes are counted without any Diebold (now Premier Election Solutions) bullshit or vote suppression. 2. Any media attention paid to Sarah Palin takes the focus off of McCain who was running out of steam. This, I suspect, was Rove's actual strategy.
Inflation Buster Student Discounts at Guild Art Supply
Only 10% ?
I think this might be from Lord Russ's family photo album.
The Glorious and Ghastly '70s
Jesus... is that a flashlight? (click)
Checkmate! Ha! Oh fuck. Umm. Yeah! errr...damn!
I don't want no smarty pants people running my country!
My father sent an email to my sisters and I today: "What scares me most about Palin is what she represents: the belief that has taken over a lot of this country that nobody is wiser, more knowledgeable, or less selfish than "I" am. That's what "we're all equal" means. And if someone appears to be wiser, more thoughtful and better educated & more knowing, and more public spirited and civic minded than "me," s/he's just acting: s/he's an elitist phoney, not one of "us." Worse, s/he's un-"American." This includes mainly teachers and statesmen...err politicians. These citizens will vote only for someone who tells (and shows) them that they're as ignorant, short-sighted, and self-serving as they themselves are. "You go, Sarah. You're what we're all about." Running a little scared these days. Dad/Bob"
His Room As He Left It
My friend Ariel Kotker has been working on an epic art project and even received a grant from the state... so now she HAS to finish it. Click the photo for a glimpse into a bedroom, abandoned by a boy who disappeared with no trace but for the "evidence" in his room. Everything in the room is made by Ariel from the cigarettes to the pencils to the pants to the shelf to the...bread tie.
Rifles, scopes, ammo, wigs, fake I.D.s, bullet-proof vests, etc. = No Credible Threat
I'm sorry you have to look at these guys again but this story is still bugging me. This notion of "no credible threat" flies in the face of the facts and the evidence. Why did the media bury the story? Sure, you don't want to encourage copy-cats by blowing it up in the news, but factor the media out for a moment and just look at what is known. Click on the picture of the white supremacists for an analysis.
Your Housemate May Be a Terrorist!
Watch for these tell-tale signs. (Click photo)
A Flesh and Blood Robot With a Push-Button Brain
Taught hate by the flick of a switch. (click)
The Anti-Sex League is Watching You
Even in the privacy of your own home! (Click)
1984 vs. 2008
Click for analysis
Vaguely Unsettling Antique Store Finds # 1
FROGMAN at Antique Center of Northampton on Market St.
Osaka with Alyssa and an Idea Worth Spreading from a Brain Scientist
I'm posting this note not solely to demonstrate that I have sushi with hot women but also because of something we talked about at dinner. Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness –- shut down one by one. An astonishing story. Just click Alyssa's photo for the video.
Alyssa Dee Krauss- Jewelry Art + Design
In addition to keeping me philosopically stimulated and linking me to TED speeches, Alyssa is an amazing artist. Cick the "Bandage For The Heart" for the ADK experience.
Quotes of Note
"Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself. It invites anarchy." -Louis D. Brandeis
Gas Prices in Perspective
Speeding from the scene of the crime, a Chinese boy tows a floating plastic bag of stolen natural gas last week. Flouting a government ban, farmers around the central Chinese town of Pucheng frequently filch gas from the local oil field.
The only way to eat mussels at the Sierra Grille
One of the best deals on the menu at the Sierra Grille on Strong Ave. is the steamed mussels appetizer. It's less than 8 bucks and is big enough to be an entree. They ahve three different sauces, Mediterranean being my favorite. I was always annoyed that the emptied shells didn't all fit in the empty bowl provided. Tonight O'Brian showed me the way to solve this problem, and proceeded to insert each shell within the next. There's always an answer right in front of you if you really want one.
Here's a closer look at the technique.
I suggest a side of sourdough bread and a Radeberger Pilsner in its deep tall glass.
Lunch of the Lost! Tips for the downtown lunch bunch that have grown weary of the options.
Pinnochio's pizza is best about 5 minutes after it's come out of the oven. I usually spot the newest pie in the case and request a slice from it specifically, and the very nice people there have always obliged. If the selection looks a little tired and there's no evidence of anything happening in the ovens, the best bet for re-heating is the spinach and mushroom pie. I think feta or ricotta is in there too. It loses none of its spontaneity or freshness and is even better with a side of marinara. And of course a cherry coke.
The New York Junkies
My sister Sarah is a serious Sox fan and told me that Argentinians pronounce the Yankees as Junkies. Adds a whole new dimension to trying to score.
Local Typos of Note: L&M Furniture on Market St.
This one has always bugged me too no end. (Click)
This is an old one but it's still bizarre.
The twenty folded this way evokes the burning twin towers. Click for better view.
Vintage Daily Hampshire Gazette Photo
Well, what are ya gonna do?
Hannah watches the Red Sox
This was two seasons ago actually. She tired of them after Damon left.
Freaky Freecycle Find #2: Molly in Florence offers Cow Bones
"Any biologists or artists or interior decorators out there who would like some cow bones? I have the 2 mandibles (lower jawbones) with most teeth intact, the pelvis, and one of the vertebrae (axis or atlas, I can't remember which)." (Note: this picture is not of Molly's cow bones.)-Jim
The Future Was Wide Open
Ironically, while I was one of the four cover grads of the UMass Alumni magazine, it took me two more years to graduate
Freecycle Find # 1: Wanted: Motorcycle for Science Experiment
Freecycle Northampton is a marketplace to give away and ask for things for free. It's a great way to save money. Click the photo for more info about your local Freecycle. This listing was in today's digest: I know this is really out there, but my friend and I think that we may be able to get a motorcycle to run on water. The bike doesn't need to be anything specific, or running, or even have a title. We are not trying to be greedy, just hoping that someone has a junker that we could get out of their hair. Thank you! (posted by firstname.lastname@example.org if you have one.)
Strange Days in Los Angeles Still Haunt My Photo Albums
I lived in LA for 8 years (with mixed results) and one of the artifacts I still have is this bizarre Polaroid I took of Rebecca Gayheart on the railing of a house in the Hollywood Hills. We had a dinner party and hit the hot tub (I know I know) and the candlelight had this effect on the photo. It came out of the camera just like this.
A Pre-Dawn Northampton Vignette from Dave Sears on his way to do the morning show at WRNX
Several Drama Club types in the Dunkin' Donuts parking lot on King St. at 4:05 this morning, singing: "If we have a virgin, then we'll do it all by rote But if there are no virgins, we'll have to use the goat."
Has anyone else noticed that the "fork split" Thomas's English Muffins haven't been as accurately split of late? The last few six-packs have all suffered from off center splits or splits that don't go all the way through the muffin. Traditionally I've been able to pull the muffin apart with my bare hands without the help of any utensil but increasingly the results have been dissappointing. In some cases the muffins have been rendered untoastable and I've had to put them back in the package for disposition at a later date. Is this poor quality control or planned obselescence? Where's Frank Zappa and the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen when you need them? The muffin above was split well off center. The one below, well, I don't know what to say really.
Click either muffin for full horror.
The Only Sensible Choice
Brendan and I with Markita Irglova of the film "Once"
Markita and Glen Hansard played the Pines with Josh Ritter Sunday night and we geeked out and asked if we could take a picture. Well, I geeked out and Brendan was happy to join the shot.
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down live at the Iron Horse
Killer set from the Vietnamese frontwoman Thao Nguyen and her band. Last time through they opened for Rilo Kiley and they'll be back to Northampton for sure. (Click)
Jim Morrison's Boot
Turn It Up! is filled with musical artifacts like this piece of classic rock footware that once shod the left foot of Mr. Mojo Risin, the Lizard King himself. (Click)
NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino turned up at Turn It Up! in Northampton
His tie collection may rival his music collection. (Click)
Kevin Walsh of the Sierra Grille indicates that his outlook is positive for the most part.
The Den is opening soon for all your water piping needs
A hookah is painted outside The Den, due to open in the Fall. (Click)
Sometimes you feel like an APE.
Sometimes you don't.
Built Ford Tough
It's always a treat to run into Sierra Grille bartender extraordinaire Matt Ford when he is logging some rare daylight hours in public. Matt is well equipped for rain and rock, and his colors a vibrant addition to the town's rainy day pallet.
Eric Gaffney (Sebadoh, Fields of Gaffney, Streets of Nothampton.)
APE had an opening called Back To The Future Friday night as part of Arts Night Out and the wine and cheese fueled hobnobbing was in full effect. Click him for a burst of fruit flavor.
Family of three spotted on The Brewery deck
Rob Murphy of Disturbed Theatre, his wife Heather, and their li'l girl whatsername. (click)
WRSI alumni Jim Olsen & Johnny Memphis at the annual Memphis family BBQ.
"Perhaps I am a miscreation, No one knows the truth, there is no future here, And you're the DJ speaks to my insomnia, And laughs at all I have to fear, Laughs at all I have to fear, You always play the madmen poets, Vinyl vision grungy bands, You never know who's still awake, You never know who understands and, Are you out there, can you hear this? Jimmy Olsen, Johnny Memphis, I was out here listening all the time, And though the static walls surround me, You were out there and you found me, I was out here listening all the time. --Dar Williams
The Headless Man at the Farmer's Market
...or the man with the tiny gray head. (click)
Southern Culture on the Skids at the Horse
The madcap North Carolina band played the Iron Horse Saturday night and drew a colorful sold-out crowd with their irresistably raucous B-52's meets Hee-Haw set, complete with fried chicken tossed into the crowd. (Click photo for full glory.)
Pleasant Street Theatre Video
This guy stood at King and Main every Saturday this past Spring. His shirt says "Ted Kennedy's car killed more people than my gun!"