survival of the fittest bluestone
Monday, November 29 2004
I took Sally and Eleanor with me on a trip to the Hurley dump today (it happens to be four miles up the same road we live on). Afterwards we went to the adjacent West Hurley Park, a fairly ugly assemblage of drab open fields, picnicy outbuildings, and colorful plastic playground equipment for the propagation of E. coli. Aside from the ever-present need to walk the dogs, my main reason for going to the park was to search for a piece of bluestone suitable for the shelf atop my behind-the-woodstove heatshield. The West Hurley Park is particularly rich in outcrops of bluestone, and, even if it's illegal to take bluestone from this park, the place never seems to be under any sort of supervision. One of the park rules is that dogs must be on leash, but neither Gretchen nor I have ever observed it.
I found lots of nice sheets of rough bluestone, but nothing five feet long. In such situations I try to make the best of the trip and bring something home from it. As I was carrying a nice wide sheet of bluestone back to my truck, I suddenly spied a long narrow piece that had fallen out of a cliff face. It was the first circa-five-foot piece I'd found that was small enough in the other dimensions to be light enough for me to lift. I abandoned the sheet of bluestone I'd been carrying and carried this long narrow piece instead. Being flaky and irregular in shape, it wasn't an ideal piece for a shelf. But it was the only piece this long I'd ever found. Mind you, I've looked at thousands of loose rocks in search of one this shape and until today, I'd never found one. To me, this indicates something about the very nature of rocks. Those that break into long skinny pieces tend to be fragile and break in the middle, resulting in a rock that is less long and thus (proportionally) less skinny. Any long, narrow piece I'm likely to find is going to be from extremely hard rock that somehow was fractured anyway, probably by local fault lines. To generate the long, narrow pieces I sought, those fault lines would have to end up very close together. Such places tend to generate lots of of long, skinny rocks. In fact, there's a place just behind our house where the rock tends to be fractured into surprisingly long, narrow pieces, but none of these are longer than three feet in length. Evidently it takes very unusual circumstances to generate pieces five feet in length that are light enough for a human being to lift.
This evening Gretchen and I went to the Hurley Mountain Inn for the first time in many weeks. Owing to the conservative attitude of its management and clientele, we'd been avoiding the place up to and especially after the election. Tonight, though, we'd had plans of having a final meal with the Meatlocker People, who would be moving out of their meatlocker and into their new house in Tilson tomorrow. But those plans didn't work out and we ended up eating our meal of pizza and freedom fries all by ourselves.
Later we watched a movie on DVD called Saved, a locker-slamming high school type movie set amongst Christian fundamentalists at a Christian high school. The oppressive Chrisitianity of it all was unique for this sort of movie, and as it began I was eager for some exposure to this cloying world full of Christian rock, righteous virginity, and advanced placement Intelligent Design classes. Unfortunately, though, once the initial character development was finished, the cloying Christianity seemed to fall by the wayside and we were treated to your typical high school movie, complete with a conclusive showdown at the prom. Gretchen's biggest disappointment was that the movie never presented the message that abortion was an okay (or, in her opinion, the best) solution. But the movie was obviously targeting at a less inclusive audience than us, and its chief message to that audience was that being gay is, well, okay. I've heard that Saved was being targeted at genuine Christians, and if any of them watched it, perhaps it achieved its modest goal.
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