Singing like a caged bird

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Please join a worldwide minute of silence at 12 p.m. local time in every country around the world on April 7 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide


On a Sunday of a perfectly clear, blue sky I packed up the digital camera and hopped on the bike for a four hour tour of the Sartoga Spa State Park. The woods and lawns and paths and roads were filled with people, families, roller bladers, walkers, joggers, moms pushing toddlers carriages, dogs, motorcyclists and bikers. Even saw a Donald Trump wannabe puffing on a big fat cubano stoogie and a bimbo on the arm. Others included strolling lovers, whining brats learning to ride bikes, skate boarders, picnicers, frisbee artists, sunbathers and oh yes...photographers. The weather was perfect, and the surroundings of Spa Park were exceptional. Took pics of snow, grass, trees, litter ,signs, earthmovers, tables, buoys, waves, geysers, brooks, swamps, baskets, spring fountains, arches and a memorial. I came across near the end of my journey a little deciduous tree, decorated somewhere between Christmas and Easter. All sorts of, bows, stars...and a card. The plasitc laminated card read:


Death is but one step

In a continuous journey.

Our last day does not bring an end,

Only a change.

His love connects us

His spirit Protects us

His memory inspires us

Always Remember……

Louis F. Aversano, Jr.

February 14, 1943-

September 11,2001



Well the meteorological folks didn' like my suggestion of Dubya for the first South Atlantic Hurricane. The Brazilians opted for Catarina. Dubya probably thinks it is a secret al queda weapon of mass destruction rather than the global warming that he does not believe in.


Letter Fromm America....Today Alistair Cooke passed away. For the last decade of my mom's life she was highly entertained by his hosting of "Masterpeice Theater". She especially enjoyed the series of "Upstairs, Downstairs". Perhaps because her grandmother was an Irish cutlery maid working for Boston bluebloods. Just hearing the theme of the series, "Rondeau from Symphonies & Fanfares For The King's Supper" by J. J. Mouret, brings warm memories flooding back.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Please join a worldwide minute of silence at 12 p.m. local time in every country around the world on April 7 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide


Hey yesterday it reached 72 degrees Fahrenheit...rain last night, fog this morning. Good morning for laundry and various manly chores. Hope the sun breaks out this afternoon. Need sun!!!!


A hurricane has formed in the South Atlantic. Perhaps the first ever. Is this another sign of global warming? The hurricane has not been named yet as there has been no need to create a list of names. I think maybe they should name it Kyoto for the treaty the USA and Bush refuses to sign. And he wonders why the rest of the world looks at us as arrogant!!!! But since this storm has a possibility of wrecking savage destruction on a third world nation...perhaps it should be named Dubya. What name would you suggest?


Jan Berry of Jan and Dean fame has passed to the big "Deadman's Curve".

Friday, March 26, 2004


The temperature today is expected/predicted to reach 68 degrees Fahrenheit. I will play hokey from the office this afternoon. In the backyard at home there is still a covering of snow but it is shrinking daily. In a few days it might be just a "patch" and now looks like a big white tarp covered with the grime that Robert Frost describes in one of my favorite mud season poems:

A Patch of Old Snow

"There's a patch of old snow in a corner
That I should have guessed
Was a blow-away paper the rain
Had brought to rest.

It is speckled with grime as if
Small print overspread it,
The news of a day I've forgotten--
If I ever read it."


Hey, it looks like when Captain Kirk commands, "Beam me up, Scotty", what he really means is "Let's Rock!!!!!!"


Speaking as chief spokesman for Nowhere men, these princely royalty got it pretty rough wouldn't you think...what a bunch of whining losers. Of course they have a line of Nowhere women waiting to attach themselves to them...even if for just a night!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Today the Congressional 9/11 Hearings began. It is also the 229th Anniversary of Patrick Henry's famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech given to the Virginia House of Delegates.

It really strikes me as some kind of cosmic connection that the opening of the 9/11 public hearings falls on that anniversary.

Henry's opening two paragraphs dealt with finding the truth, even if the truth is painful. Wouldn't the following be nice to have emanate from our fearless leader's mouth (and heart) at this time in our history:

"No man thinks more highly than I do of the patriotism, as well as abilities, of the very worthy gentlemen who have just addressed the house. But different men often see the same subject in different lights; and, therefore, I hope it will not be thought disrespectful to those gentlemen if, entertaining as I do opinions of a character very opposite to theirs, I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve. This is no time for ceremony. The question before the house is one of awful moment to this country. For my own part, I consider it as nothing less than a question of freedom or slavery; and in proportion to the magnitude of the subject ought to be the freedom of the debate. It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at the truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.
Mr. President, it is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth, and listen to the song of that siren till she transforms us into beasts. Is this the part of wise men, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty? Are we disposed to be of the numbers of those who, having eyes, see not, and, having ears, hear not, the things which so nearly concern their temporal salvation? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth, to know the worst, and to provide for it."

I think perhaps Richard Clarke may have been adhering to these thoughts when he wrote his book "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror" . Then again maybe he just wants to sell his book? I think not and hope not!


Sheik Ahmed Yassin, a founder and spiritual leader of Hamas was killed in an Israeli air strike Monday. Hamas has threatened to retaliate against Israel and the United States. I think this bodes of a dark, evil cloud descending upon our nation. Is this the legacy that Bush will leave the American people? Have we lost our way by not following the rule of law and our policy against preemptive strikes and not condemning this act?


To continue the political slant in today's all politics blog....China is going Nowhere in its march to more democracy. And their treatment of Tibet is even worse!

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Last fall I consulted my very accurate meteorological consultants of the north woods....the woolly bear caterpillars. These creatures are legendary for their meteorological savant status. True to their purported knowledge the woolly bear caterpillars predicted a cold snowy winter lasting late...with little or no spring. Now do you believe the legend? No don't blame the messenger...rather kudos for being more accurate than the folks at The Weather Channel with all their computer models.


Today is Johann Sebastian Bach's birthday. I have been treated to a day long celebration of his music on my local NPR station. A particular treat was several pieces by the Swingle Singers. I particularly liked several of the fugues on their "Three Part Invention" cd. Also their version of Bach's Mass in B Minor. And if you are an affectionato of pipe organs, check out this site scroll to program 412 if you like trumpets with your pipes! Hey this site is supported by APOBA Would you ever have thought there was such an organ-ization? Can you just picture Dervala and her colleagues arranging a meet-up of these folks?


What is the best way to lose your way or to get to nowhere? Which is worse to not plan or to plan and then ignore your plans? For the answers which should make you weep, see James Fallows article in The Atlantic Online.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004


'Tis a snowy St. Patrick's Day in the northeast this year. Eight inchs of the fluffy white stuff mixing with all the green. And another "Alberta Clipper" predicted for tomorrow, hope to be able to get in a good backwoods ski and then I will be more than ready for the green of spring.


A sure sign of the nearness of spring is the clouds of steam billowing out of the sugar houses. It is sugaring time across upstate New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Quebec. Saturday will be a great time at the Merck Forest "Sugaring cakes, hot syrup and hot Celtic music. And some skiing or snowshoeing to work up the appetite.


Ever try to explain the present political situation and budget concerns to a non-political person? Heck it is complex enough for political science majors and political junkies. Check out this wonderful cartoon, complete with oreo cookies, to put the these issues in an understandable form!!!! Love Ben and Jerry's....favorite is still Cherry Garcia.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


Today was the first day of our annual spring Even Start family literacy conference. Our keynote speaker was Regi Carpenter, storyteller extrordinaire. You can listen to some of her wonderful stories. Her performance is better in person of course, with her theatrical presentation, but the stories are great just via the ear. Her adult stories, such as, "Hidden Treasures" are filled with meaning and a haunting voice. In the Hidden Treasures, the gold coin teaches us the fallacy of thinking if we do not see something, then we think we do not have something. And her kids stories are fun for kids of all ages, even us jaded big kids.

Besides her wonderful stories, Regi talked about how she became a storyteller. First she started telling stories to her kids in the bath. Then after seeing a professional storyteller, she delved into storytelling and failed miserably. Now this is where I saw the connection to blogs and how really blogs are the written version of the oral storyteller. Regi practiced and practiced words....and practiced and practiced sentences...and was fired. What she discovered missing in her stories was Heart. That stories are not about what we are, but rather who we are. And the aspect that has kicked me back into posting here....if you can listen, then you can tell stories.

Regi points out that the simplest activities of life can be a story in themselves. Think about and observe for example, how different people greet others and say hello. Now think about how animals greet and say hello...particularly dogs. She turned that into a story that would split your sides and had a George Carlinesque quality about it. Her first play, written at age nine, was about a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Storytelling is about listening. My favorite sandwich as a kid was peanut butter and banana oozing with honey. What was your favorite sandwich, I'd love to listen to that micro story!


Read about another example of the Bush administration's foreign policy. Or a little more graphic explanation. And what did Rumsfeld do and say? Well, the unvarnished _ _ _ _ _ you fill inthe blank.

Now for the Caged Bird pop quiz....the above example best illustrates which of the following concepts? Sing out if you got a clue!!!!!

A. Hypocrisy

B. Short sightedness

C. Inconsistency with regime changes in other countries like Haiti and Iraq

D. Secret Closed door backroom deals

E. All of the above


Hopefully, the diabolical Diebold fiends will be terminated.