Canada and Mexico aren't geographically swapped
Friday, June 18 2004
Gretchen came back from New York City today with Wendy, her friend and occasional client. They were carrying two hundred copies of Wendy's hardcover book they'd taken from storage in Connecticut so they could be stored in our garage instead. Mostly, though, it was a casual visit. Among other things, we'd be going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant and Wendy would be spending the night. First, though, we all went on a walk down the Stick Trail. Mr. Meat Locker came over and joined us.
Wendy couldn't say enough about how much she liked the Stick Trail. She kept comparing it to Andy Goldsworthy's stone sculptures that she'd seen at Storm King. She was also unusually excited about the baby Phoebes in a nest ontop of one of our outdoor lights (provided, that is, they weren't actually just a bunch of parasitic Cowbirds). When I brought up this possible Cowbird caveat, it suggested an above-average level of bird knowledge, so she asked if I too was a "birder." I said that no, I probably wasn't, since I don't own a pair of binoculars. However, I said that I am curious about nature and don't have the typical American attitude of, "Duh, it's just a bird, so what?"
Before we went out to the fancy restaurant, I rode my bicycle back with Mr. Meat Locker to his residence (an erstwhile meat locker) to help him get his brand new DSL subscription up and running. Ah, but as usual, there was a problem, and in his case it seemed to be in the line coming up Dug Hill Road. He's less than a quarter mile farther from the Hurley Point of Presence than we are, but maybe that's enough to ruin the signal.
For dinner, Wendy took Gretchen and me to the Bear Café in Bearsville. We sat outside on the back patio, directly above Sawkill Creek. The weather was perfect for outdoor dining, although I was bitten twice by insects smaller than the period on the end of this sentence. Conversation drifted inevitably to politics, with Wendy telling us how embarrassed she is by the fools running our government. The thing that she found most frustrating about the current situation is that America is a democracy (or something somewhat similar), yet Americans as a people somehow allowed these morons to take over. Fools exist in every country, but in ours we've put them in power. As members of a democracy, we have no one to blame but ourselves, or at least, the average among us. "It's an indictment of our educational system," I sighed.1 That said, we still have the luxury of being able to say that Al Gore won the last popular election by a half million votes. In November we'll see if our disgust with American voters should be qualified or amended. If this election should prove to be a mandate for our homegrown third-rate third-world junta, then all of us left wing bicoastal elitists will truly ponder the cruel circumstance wherein Canada and Mexico aren't geographically swapped. If only Canada were a pleasant place to live it wouldn't matter so much how banana republican American politics came to be. Then again, Gretchen and I have been studying Spanish.
1Hey, we're doing our part. We pay thousands of dollars each year in "school taxes" even though none of our children benefit. When it comes to our dogs and cats we're ardent homeschoolers, and we don't whine and complain about wanting vouchers or "tax relief." We understand that, at the very minimum, a good educational system for the children of other people helps keep teenagers from breaking into our house and stealing our stainless steel flatware. Hell, if we're lucky they'll also learn that drinking Pepsi doesn't automatically lead to clambering up on Britney Spears. (What a frightening thought! Just imagine looking at that wide swath of space between her eyes from a range too close for focus!) Once they digest that bit of wisdom they might one day graduate to a level where they can put political advetisements in perspective.
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