Apr 30, 2016

The Ride to Peggy Gray's

I'm sure that I went for rides around my house after I'd learned to ride a bike.  But the first major ride I remember as a rite of passage was the ride from Camp Lambec to Peggy Gray's candy store, a few miles up the road.

Ours was the store on the bottom. The "home shop".

We weren't allowed to go completely without an adult until we were a little older, but what we WERE allowed to do was go with only one adult, and without our parents. And that adult was often Ranier DeVido.

Not only did we get candy, but Ranier would have us all put change on the railroad tracks and wait for a train.  It would of course smash the pennies flat, and then we'd search through the gravel around the tracks to find our treasured flat coins.  If you've never done it, it's hard to explain, but it's quite a thrill, in a relaxed, patient sort of way. 

Back to the candy store, though—I think of it as being a lot like Harry's trips to Hogsmeade in the Potter books (right, Dylan?  :) ) It was that kind of a store.  When we talk about R.E.I., or a bike shop, or whatever, as being a "candy store", we're thinking of this sort of place. It wasn't even in a small town, just at a crossroads. For all I know, the camp kept it in business. But it was small, and it was, in my memory at least, perfect. And we were there. Nearly alone. With money.

I wonder if this isn't what I'm searching for , deep inside, on every ride I go on. This first great adventure.  This most perfect of mid-ride "rest stops". And I'd venture a guess- though it would be only that- that for Dylan, and Mary Alice, and who knows how many of my other friends, this is true. And that shared experience probably added to the experience. It wasn't just an adventure, it was a shared adventure. Something we ALL looked forward to. The measure all the kids of Lambec (at least for our week) were up against, bike-wise.

A common unifier. Community.

Apr 25, 2016

Beauty in Boxford

Ride last evening at boxford state forest...
Crazy lumpy old tree
Like little pine trees.
Yow! Some overexposed wildflowers. See instagram for the original.
What happens when you try to take picture while moving, then unexpectedly go down a hill.
check out the giant rocks the roots took up with them when they fell over...
Saturday view through the sunroof.

Apr 24, 2016


Haven't been to this place since it moved, and it WAS a little overwhelming, but we went to Mystery Train Records in Gloucester yesterday, and it was awesome.

You may (or may not) know that one of the only artists I obsessively collect (the only?) is Bruce Cockburn. (If you'd like to contribute, I could get you a list of what I don't have....) I can't really explain why, exactly.  I suppose it's a combination of the volume of records he's produced, the rareness but reasonably possible availability, and the variety. (I love The Choir, but there's only so many records available...) Got 3 LPs by Bruce for $3.99 each! Trouble With Normal, World of Wonders, and most importantly, Dancing in the Dragon's Jaws. Especially the latter I'd have been happy to pay $10 for by itself.  I was happy just to find these, let alone get them for a good price!

Don't want to be too much of a pimp for this place, but if you've been itching to get into vinyl, they do sell turntables, too.  Don't see any pricing on the website, so you'd have to conctact them about a price range.

What's that? You'd like to see these fine records that I purchased? Don't mind if I do!

Yes, it's from True North Records, not Columbia.

Housekeeping Details

If you think about this blog at all, I know you're wondering why it's been seemingly forever since I posted much of any substance at all on it. 

And there's an easy answer---work. As of November of 2014, I work writing catalog copy for CBD. Christian Book Distributors. I read the info from publishers, and write "buy it now!" ads for each item.  Like this:

An action you must take to change your life! This product will make there's  change in your life you most want! Here are its special features: helpful things * spiritual things * Measures this much x this much x this much * ___ pages, from a publisher.

I love the work and working with an editor has undoubtedly improved my writing in a certain way. But I don't so much feel like writing blog posts as soon as I get home.

Incidentally, there're only 4 catalog writers, so if by some (strange) chance, you'd like to read this stuff, get any CBD catalog and there's a 1/4 chance any ad is mine. I'd say you're better off calling the people I used to work with in the call center, but you'd probably rather use the website an request one. It's just that those operators get so few normal, friendly calls (or at least it feels like it) that they sure would like to talk to you.

But just so you know, I do think of this blog relatively often.

There's also three of us in this family, and only one computer, so there's that, as well.

Sorry, I know that this is newsy and boring, but in an FYI way, it explains a lot.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled program...

Apr 22, 2016

Earth day

Took my daughter on a ride. This was the view of the sunset over the hills...
...And just a few minutes later, this was the moonrise over the trees.  Even more beautiful in person.

Apr 1, 2016

Hey, little sister---shotgun!

I went to the dentist on Monday and had to have fillings on both sides of my mouth.
The asymmetry really threw off my Billy idol face...

Mar 30, 2016

Moron my career

Some of my most compelling work...
At least I worked in the phrase "Cabin fever". It was certainly how I was feeling at the time.