Saturday, February 27, 2010

You're Sure to Fall In Love with Old Cape Cod

... at least that's what this lady sang, and they named a street after her...Clara Ann FowlerCENTERVILLE — Cape Codders were starstruck Friday afternoon when singer Patti Page visited Cape Cod for the dedication of Patti Page Way in Centerville. (said Jen Ouellette, of The Register)Patti Page

(This presentation features photographs of Patti Page.)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Johnny Cash, 78

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.
Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Til things are brighter,
I'm the Man In Black.


Johnny Cash 1932-2003

(image courtesy Lost Highway Records)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So far... so good

Still complying with Federal laws, even with a crazy new Senator.The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park has joined the 380 or so other National Parks who are obliged to allow loaded firearms to be carried on Park Premises EXCEPT FOR IN FEDERAL BUILDINGS OR IN FACILITIES LIKE VISITORS CENTERS. (Because that's illegal anyway, so stop frightening the docents.)
A brief National Park aside: One might think that "The New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park" is the park with the longest name, but the National Park Service has sponsored a rumpus each year since the Ford administration to determine the national monument, park, heritage site, or scenic landscape that can negotiate the highest word count and challenge the Federally-contracted signmakers. Rhode Island and Massachusetts share the same winning entry: The John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, which could have won two years in a row if they had only heeded my advice and added "Senator." (I blame Ken Burns.)
The current administration couldn't pull a little superfluous amendment out of the credit card reform bill, so now my gun-toting pal at The Garden can feel comfortable carrying as he ambles back to his Dodge Charger parked in the Custom House Parking Lot, safe in the knowledge that his rights as a licensed gun owner are safe in New Bedford.
Waitamminnit... His rights as a gun owner are already safe in New Bedford. And in all of Massachusetts, even with a new crazy Senator.
Y'see, the Commonwealth allows licensed carry. Which is the short "cool" way to say "carrying a weapon with a license." (Some folk have a to sound like characters on teevee cop shows; it's a self-esteem thing.) The writing on the back of the envelope for a Class A License to Carry goes something like this:

CLASS “A" LTC: Permits the purchase, possession and carrying of all ammunition, handguns, rifles, shotguns and feeding devices (both large and non-large capacity). This is the only license that allows the carrying of concealed handguns-either loaded or unloaded.
I had been under the impression that "feeding devices" refers to china sets and silverware, but the guy at the ammo shack looks askance when I note that.
The New Bedford Whaling National Park is a twelve-or-so-block section of New Bedford that includes some capital real estate in Downtown New Bedford and affords a fine view of Fish Island and the Acush (according to this map): ''And this is where Jonathan Bourne hides his stash.'' That never gets old.Downtown New Bedford is noteworthy to contemporary excursionists for playing host to AHA! every second Thursday and to SummerFest every Summer. (There's one Summerfest website that calls it a folk festival, and there's also another website that belongs to the defunct local newspaper, but I hear that you have to register in order to see it.) The National Historical Park is also a block from the "Star Store," the former department store and site of UMass-Dartmouth's College of Visual and Performing Arts. So, if there's a local chapter of Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, they can feel good about that.Actually, this is a pic of Ronny Cox at last year's event.
And I guess that Ted Nugent can finally play at SummerFest.

Monday, February 22, 2010

"All I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover..."

"She was flying too much canvas. 'Nuff said."
The right of a certain neckbearded professional custom ship fiberglasser to habitually disparage TallShips™ is never in question. Typical TallShips™ are still fashioned of wooden parts which don't require his epoxy skill, and he's witnessed enough damage done to his own handiwork by imprudent yachtsmen that he is disdainful of all of his customers and generally only chooses to repair their dings, crushes, and rents in order to ensure that they will come back again, after having forgotten a forward fender or letting the kid drive into the breakwater.
At the moment, he's embarked on a polemic regarding -- of all things -- the unlucky vessels who number females on their watchlists. This was precipitated by the story of the ill-fated Concordia, recently a victim of a freak meteorological phenomenon ("downdraft" or "microburst") that occasioned the sinking of the metal-hulled ship. The yarn was consummated in the ordained affecting rescue of all hands, as covered by the press who insisted on exhibiting this picture: ''C'mon, gals! Try to look like you just lost $42,500!'' said the Globe and Mail photographer.
"He tends to 'blame the victim' in these incidents," I say in airquotes while Glasser questions the wisdom of brigantines at all. My effort to at least appear more inclusive than Glasser to our bartender went unnoticed, as I rooted my Swiss cheese brain for tales of Lunenburg Nova Scotia, the home of West Island College International Class Afloat. Unfortunately, the only anecdote that presented was of me flirting with a crewmate by wandering her through the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, making small talk about cod.
Or with cod. (As I mentioned: I can't remember.)
The excitement of the Winter Olympics on the teevee was far more enthralling and leaves me with only Glasser, who continues his fervid diatribe.
"You were on that boat."
"No, I was on the H.M.---"
"Yeah, that piece of shit. And I remember your story about that little brat that didn't like rain on her face or old boats or history. That's what that Concordia was -- bunch of rich kids sailing around on their parents' dime..."
"Nonsense. It was a pretty cool boat when I was on it in Ninety-Four. Or Five. Wait! I think I have a Canadian dime. It's got Bluenose on it. You like Bluenose," and I shuffle through my jacket pocket. "Oh, and if you follow the link above, you'll see that Class Afloat is an outstanding outfit."
"Huh? Well, I know one ship you worked on should've changed its name to NO Class Afloat."
"That wasn't set up as a school," I answer. "We were a ... floating circus."
"Didn't you have a girl skipper?"
"No. that was another one. One of the schooners."
"Geez, you can't even hold down one job on one boat."
Who would want to? Between the self-absorbed Trustafarians and the self-impressed ASTAholes and the self-administrating skippers and the self-medicating crew and the self esteem issues of them all. Every ship on which I found myself had another unfounded rumor about the last ship I'd sailed, and an equally implausible explanation for the one that I'd heard about them. Every ship was as different -- in culture, manner, and hygiene -- as its pinrail configuration was different from the last. But being able to suss out a line's purpose by recognizing angles of its ascent and which blocks it encounters -- secretly admired by mates who'd rather not explain anything to newbies -- is not easily pointed up on a landlocked résumé, and even less eagerly obliged during the interview. And unlike a résumé -- which can be altered to highlight or downplay or obscure experience -- a ship T-shirt or cap relates every tale. Often, the ones that you haven't heard yet.
Upon hearing which, you really want to lose your memory. And the key chain or hat or whatever premium gift they gave you for tossing or catching a heaving line or standing a watch or running up the ratlines to disinvolve a halyard.
But no, although I survived some rough seas and a few rough moments on a few rough ships, I never helped anyone into a survival suit, or lifted them onto a liferaft, or had to wait in cold dark wet for rescue. And I never had to replace or miss or eulogize "the hand less at the halyard or the brace" lost at sea.
"Hey, ThirdMate! Where'd you go? It's your round."
"Yeah, " I put another bill on the bar. "Here. This one's for absent mates."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island

"Education at Sea" appears to be going great guns in the Ocean State, recent damp educational events notwithstanding.
Although it hasn't actually been completely built yet, Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island Education at Sea has insinuated itself into the Rhode Island school curriculum. And good for them both. Perhaps in all the TallShip™ news that has been dominated by Olympics coverage, you missed this:

EDUCATIONAL SYMPOSIUM
OHPRI announces an Educational Symposium to be held on March 12, 2010 in partnership with the University of Rhode Island Foundation and the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. It will gather educators from secondary to college levels to discuss the seemingly endless possibilities for the Oliver Hazard Perry's integration into Rhode Island school curriculums.
Educators will learn more about the ship and what she can do for the education system in RI and we will hear from educators what needs they have and programs they want so that we can plan and design appropriately.
It is OHPRI's intention to be a partner with Rhode Island's educational systems as well as its marine trade industries, There is no doubt the Oliver Hazard Perry will make a very large impact on this very small state, creating jobs and inspiring young people with diverse educational possibilities, personal growth and memories to last a lifetime.
All Rhode Island educators and school leaders are invited to

INTRODUCING EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION.
Supported by the URI Foundation & the Newport Chamber of Commerce. Funded by the van Beuren Charitable Foundation.
Friday, March 12, 2010 1:00 - 4:00 pm followed by refreshmentsThe Rhode Island Room at the URI U Club95 Upper College Road, Kingston, Rhode Island
MODERATOR David V. V. Wood, former Captain of Eagle,
Capt. U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.) unlimited Master Mariner

More information can be found on their website, including nice nostalgic pictures of the former H.M.S. Rose.

Celebrating Nina Simone

Check out the updated Nina Simone website.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

History repeats the old conceits: the glib replies, the same defeats.

I am a historian.
In the same way that a dedicated spectator of any professional sport might be considered a "sportsman."
Although I do not share the manic preoccupation that some scholars exhibit, I appreciate an exchange of inquiries, anecdotes, and germane particulars vis à vis the past. I enjoy studying history. I savor reading biographies and viewing documentary films. My high school had me read Tacitus in the original Latin, and Herodotus in the original Herodotus.
Unusually, I had little interest in the early The History Channel, mostly because I was at sea nowhere near a cable-ready television during the Nineties. When I was on land, I avoided the "Hitler Channel" because of its obsessive Second World War and infomercial emphasis.
I do appear in a number of glossy, fortuitously fast-paced entertainments about old boats that were financed by A&E, the parent company of History. Essentially whored out to film crews by incompetent boobs, the crew weren't compensated for their art, my mates were not credited for those appearances, and I didn't even know that my image appeared at the top of every hour on The History Channel until a friend took a picture of his teevee:Because history will show that those helmsmen were always so clean-shaven. I cannot blame the network for not offering me consideration (or at least an opportunity to pitch my own sexy TallShip™ show set on a barque stolen by diverse offbeat prisoners who venture through uncharted waters hunted by an obsessed half-breed commander... um, no, that's Farscape. Sorry, Rockne. I thought it was a great idea).
Of course, while no one is paying me for public appearances or contacting me for advice on matters Cliophilos, I get e-mails like this:

Dear PJ,
The right wing has set its sights on the reputation of one of our nation's greatest political families: The Kennedys. And The History Channel is providing them a soapbox from which to spew their bile. Joel Surnow, a hard-right activist and former Fox News producer who supported Rick Santorum and is close friends with Rush Limbaugh, is the executive producer of an upcoming mini-series on the Kennedys that is political character assassination of the most disgusting kind. I've read the script. It's ridiculous, sexually exploitative, revolting stuff - everything you'd expect from a conservative re-writing of history. In my previous life, I produced and directed over 55 movies, mini-series and feature films. I thought I had pretty much seen anything and everything. But this garbage, coming so soon after Senator Ted Kennedy's death, makes the worst commercial schlock look Oscar-worthy. Honor the legacy of the Kennedy family by
telling the History Channel that right-wing lies are not "history" and by refusing to watch their programming. Then send our petition on to your friends and family.
Yours,
Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Films team
That was a tad hysterical, but at least it was more direct than the accompanying video, which includes perplexed actors performing some of the spec script's awful dialogue.
I live in southeastern Massachusetts. Don't misunderstand: the stories of household domestic shrines featuring JFK and the Pope are not apocryphal. Yes, we've elected Kennedies for more than half a century, and grown complacent in the knowledge that Washington would always have a Democrat from Massachusetts, likely with a name that starts with a K.
I have friends who spent their youths within shouting distance of the Kennedy compound. But you would think that "shooting distance" would have been more appropriate. For a few hibernophobic swampers, the Kennedy Dynasty only provides justification for amending each "Help Wanted" sign with "No Irish Need Apply."
The rest of the world heard about "JFK the warhero who stood up to Kruschev and saved the world" but we got "philandering Jack with Marilyn"; when they were reading Robert Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, we were told about smartypants Bobby mouthing off at everybody; and, we all know that Teddy cannot be invoked without some wag chuckling about Chappaquiddick. It's only worse after deaths and around anniversaries, when there's more bellyaching about media coverage than actual observance.
So, a teevee show that exhibits an anti-Kennedy bias in fictionalized chunks of improbable scenarios doesn't disconcert me, even if it is from the same network that offers "Pawn Stars."
But remember that The History Channel broadcasts programs -- meticulously-researched documentaries about social issues -- produced and directed by Rory Kennedy, RFK's daughter. And if you're complaining that the home of "MonsterQuest" has a rabid right-wing demeanor, don't forget that they broadcast Howard Zinn's The People Speak, which is as "Left" as teevee gets without the usual self-parody.
Ironically, they have DVDs of same for sale on their website. Which should only remind you that -- objectionable product or not -- they're in a business. Show business. And in case you've forgotten what a "business" does, Bob: it makes money.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

...New Orleans... something about faith...

Oh, that's right. It's where Faith Domergue was born. Formal...... or casual.

(This presentation includes photographs of Faith Domergue.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Neither I nor Newport has had a 1983 in a while...

'BMW Oracle.' Because nothing says 'romance of the sea' like corporate sponsorship.Regular readers of this Journal know that your Third Mate'll pontificate and prognosticate about New Bedford freely and without reluctance, but I spent a great deal of my youth in Newport Rhode Island, even traipsing around in or with theatrical outfits. That's me in the fascist get-up. Acting!
But several of my most embarrassing moments in a costumed professional capacity were spent as a fill-in tour guide at The Astors' Beechwood.
If Facebook is any judge of true and lasting friendships, then I am still a friend of some of the more precious former residents of the Beechwood. (I am also, by that same reckoning, a great pal of John Lurie and several ex-girlfriends.)
Beechwood afforded me an introduction to the inappropriate management of interpretive historical house museums, and granted me the ability to recognize the warning signs common to such enterprises. This has saved my life and livelihood on some singular occasions.
The inadequate compensation conferred to me by the two concurrent radio gigs that bit into my merriment obliged me to seek further amends from my recreational activities. At one time, a gig as a club disc jockey or childrens' teevee host would have filled that nullity, but -- as if I were looking forward to a future career as a complete vagrant -- I chose to dress up like either a Nineteenth Century valet or wealthy houseguest at one of Newport's Summer cottages.
The best thing that I can say about that brief, part-time experience is that I avoided contracting scabies. If it can be said that failure is the best teacher, Beechwood is where I learned some of my most treasured lessons about historical interpretation and visitor management. I made something like seven dollars an hour, worked with some lovely and some loathely people, and got to forbear extraordinary tips from hirsute and bejewelled Lotharios (this was Rhode Island, after all) who assumed that they could impress their dates with a roll on a Victorian day bed.
In 1983, I had been a disc jockey at a club owned by "a British syndicate" involved in The America's Cup races. I was just an entertainer -- if Human League is your idea of entertainment -- in a town that was drunk on its own celebrity. The America's Cup was a source of pride, mostly because it said "America" on it, and the winged keel of the Boxing Kangaroo hadn't yet torn the fabric of reality and unboxed the anarchic mayhem that we enjoy today.
The America's Cup races (even the short series like this one) are -- everybody says so -- "about speed." Fastfastfast. Even Captain Nat Herreshoff, who invented the America's Cup and went on to keep it out of everyone else's hands by magic, said that speed was the only reason for all of the sails and stuff.''Ol' Frozen Snot'' himselfI don't much care for the mod species of fast boats. Oh, I enjoy getting there quickly while looking sexy, lounging in the stern sheets as the committee boat cheers your win, but those coffee grinders and two-meter helms remind me that excessive speed leads only to spilled beverages and very few opportunities for romance and poetic rhapsodizing, so what's the damned point? Except if the point is to get to the yacht club dock before the guy with the stupid captain's cap who drinks all the Zacapa Centenario.
Which is, of course, not the goal of "SERIOUS" sailors.
So that's why it seems like a fitting tribute to the last thirty years that Larry Ellison, the richest man in the world once (who once magnanimously offered to give everyone in America an ID card that would prove that they're American) has succeeded in a get of the America's Cup. He did it in a way that may have both puzzled and vindicated Captain Nat Herreshoff, but he won, dammit, and the Cup belongs to America once again. Whether it'll come back to the New York City Yacht Club in Newport, however, is still up in the air because Ellison apparently likes sailing in the Pacific -- closer to San Francisco, which he owns.
BMW Oracle is a magnificent bit of boating technology that real humans have no business being anywhere near. It's a spaceship, not a yacht, and I congratulate the crew of USA 17 for scanning out the alien tech and winning by going faster than the guys who are suing to be able to say that they, well, didn't actually win, but at least they built their sails in their own country, and, why why oh why can't they just STFU and sail ...
I suppose that it has to do with their prolonged courtroom drama that couldn't possibly be made interesting in any way by Shatner, Spader, and Boston Legal. Boston Legal perpetrated only hour-long episodes, and has been cancelled. And Spader is a real sailor. I can act. I have an Emmy.Now, remember that when I say "belongs" to "America," I mean that the America's Cup now is in the possession of a citizen of the United States, Larry Ellison, whose boat won the America's Cup (short series, with petition). I hope that I have that wording correct.
Because I would hate to be known as the guy with the inconsequential online journal who incorrectly referred to the new owner of The Astors' Beechwood.Seriously? $10.5million? THAT'S ALL??!! I gotta check listings more regularly.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This Romantic Weekend...

... remember to sing to someone...

... like, say, Ona Munson.She's swell.It can only help.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Public Service

This is spelled differently and was cancelled. Not the same thing AT ALL.New Bedfidgians will be happy to know that tonight's AHA! is still scheduled to kick off at 5 pm. The much-celebrated (and often poorly-imitated) monthly celebration of downtown businesses and lifestyle choices dodged the "Winter storm and parking ban" bullet once again, due to the fact that AHA! has special magical powers.
Tonight's theme (close as it is to the beginning of Lent without actually touching it) is CARNEVALE! (The exclamation point is mandatory and must be accompanied by an upthrust index finger in order to effectuate the enthusiastic intent.)
The spelling of CARNEVALE! you'll recognize as the Portuguese Brazilian one and includes the "carne" that means "meat," illustrating the last time before Easter that the faithful are allowed to eat or show their meat publicly in certain parts of the Roman Catholic Empire, which explains this: A little song, a little dance......a little George Clinton's shiny pants sort of thing.
Although tonight's AHA! festivities promise beads, do not expect anything comparable to New Orleans' raucous bead trade:

'I'd like pink ones. I already have blue ones!' I heard somebody shout.

In fact, it'll probably look a little more like this:Right here. Convent San Tanco. There, I could fly. In the interest of full disclosure, let me be clear about my relationship to AHA! and why I may, to casual observers, seem to mock the monthly second Thursday events. These events bring thousands of people to downtown New Bedford and put a real face on the area's Creative Economy. According to a 2007 UMass-Dartmouth Center for Policy Analysis ... er, analysis and program evaluation, every dollar that AHA! gets from grants generates nine dollars for the local economy and AHA! partners. I imagine that the most recent numbers are more impressive. For a community effort that isn't even supported by its City Council and rarely thanked for its organization of special occasions, AHA! does more continuing good for the city of New Bedford than Herman Melville.

We are related by marriage.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

More (not) from the Newsroom...

HA HA HA ... but we don't just give out that kind of information to anybody. Listen to the stupid radio station. Unless they're pumping some network crap and can't break in with information that they can't get from the local newspaper because they don't "subscribe" either.

When Irony Attacks

Iend all of the stories myself, without logging in. I have catastrophist tendencies too.Suggested continuance of story:
"... can't just hand out local news to interested readers for free. You know, like we used to. You think we're some kind of public relations arm of the city?"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here's to Volleyball!

In 1895, the amateur sporting world was beside itself (or at least on the other end of the court in order to avoid an offsides) over the new indoor running back-and-forth ball game of BASKETBALL, which had been invented at the Springfield Massachusetts YMCA.It's Tuesday for Tuesday!
MassMoments, a terrific outfit that assists your Third Mate in keeping up with friends' birthdays and local historical events, shares the story of William G. Morgan, YMCA operative and hero to all sporting types who like to stand in one spot for lengthy periods of time watching as teammates scurry to achieve brief contact with a ball that scores points only when it goes someplace that no one expects it to, rather than into a mesh receptacle or goal or net.
At least, that's how I remember it from grade school activity periods.This, I do not remember from Bishop Dustybore high school hoops.Apparently, volleyball was originally considered a hybrid of basketball, tennis, and handball. Which would make it more of an amalgam than a hybrid, but its very existence gives me an excuse to warm the Winter pages of this Journal with sporty pictures, including this example of Rita Hayworth demonstrating instruments operated in a Nineteenth Century game that volleyball closely resembles, "Poonai" or "battledore and shuttlecock." More commonly: badminton.Polka dots and herringbone. Rita can get away with anything. An interesting note: Morgan nearly called his entertainment "Mintonette."
Readers will note that I have avoided the temptation to provide those sordid "beach volleyball" photographs which are readily available everywhere on the Internet. But someone has to hold up the bar. It is the Commander-In-Chief's DUTY to meet our champions on the field.

(This presentation includes photographs of Tuesday Weld, Alyson Hannigan, Rita Hayworth, Misty May-Treanor, Kerri Walsh, and some retired fellow.)
- And a special tip of the tricorn to C. Parker at Starlet Showcase.

Monday, February 8, 2010

LOng RAnge Navigation. Over. 8 tonight.

Myrna Loy demonstrates an early LORAN array.from the United States Coast Guard Navigation Center... LORAN-C has, as a result of technological advancements in the last 20 years, became an antiquated system no longer required by the armed forces, the transportation sector or the nation’s security interests and is used only by a small percentage of the population. If only Joan Blondell were in charge of Homeland Security...The Coast Guard understands that LORAN-C is still used by a small segment of the public and that those users will have to shift to GPS or other systems; however, continued use of limited resources to operate LORAN-C is no longer prudent use of taxpayer funds and is not allowed under the 2010 DHS Appropriation Act. The Coast Guard has enjoyed a long and close relationship with the many communities located near LORAN-C facilities and we value those relationships. The Coast Guard will continue to honor those relationships by working to minimize any adverse impacts to communities caused by site closures.The decision to cease transmission of the LORAN-C signal reflects the president’s pledge to eliminate unnecessary federal programs.
The U.S. Sitting on a Beach in a Giant Shell program is also being phased out in FY12.

(This presentation includes photographs of Myrna Loy, Joan Blondell, and Joan Collins.)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jack London: “Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.”

Immediately adjacent to the nearest neighbor of the large estate nearest to stately Goon Manor -- your Third Mate's current landlock -- is a tract of agriculturally-conserved land that is actually used for actual agriculture. Which is to say, "They do farm."
In the pages of this Journal, I often mock my worthy faux farmy neighbors whose hobby farms -- mostly consisting of children's playthings and inutile automobiles -- merely afford them an excuse to dress like slobs and emit barnyard odors on the weekends while meeting me at the local grocery as I purchase more limes for our wetbar's garnish well. But there are real farming going on in Dartmouth (arguably "South Dartmouth") MA...

The Sharing the Harvest YMCA Farm is an effort to alleviate hunger. The farm at the Dartmouth YMCA was created for the express purpose of producing fresh and nutritious fruits & vegetables for distribution to emergency food shelters along the Southcoast of MA. To date more then 45,000lbs.
As is often the case with those who do good works, niceties like grammar or spelling are not particularly consequential, but their hearts are in the right place and there are hungry people benefiting from their work!!1! (Of course, if the original plan for that land had gone through, a chic supermarket would be feeding apricot-cranberry chipotle Wensleydale and saffron risotto to iPad-toting Tea Partiers). Your Third Mate often thrills to the news from right around the corner and the impending success that is Sharing The Harvest.
Sharing the Harvest is a community farm collaboration between YMCA Southcoast, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and the Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts (a program of the United Way). We started with a one-acre parcel in 2006 that yielded nearly 6,000 lbs of produce. In 2008 we grew more than 15,000 lbs of produce on two acres of land. We look forward to another successful year in 2009. All of the fresh vegetables produced are distributed to area food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency feeding programs by the Hunger Commission. Thousands of children, families and individuals in need of food assistance from Fall River to Wareham received fresh vegetables thanks to the efforts of volunteers of all ages and abilities.
For those of us who are more charitable and humanitarian while demanding immediate and practical auspice, there's a more immediate and practical means of providing generous encouragement.
You can also help by Sponsoring a Crop ($1,000) or joining Friends of the Harvest ($100+ donation). Donate on-line or mail your gift to the Dartmouth YMCA, 276 Gulf Road, Dartmouth, MA 02748. For more information, email sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org, call the Dartmouth YMCA at 508.993.3361, or fill out the YMCA Volunteer Application on-line. Contact the YMCA Southcoast Development Office for further information on financial support or download the Get Involved Form.
After all, this is a local (for me, not for those of you from the Ukraine who found this Journal by Googling™ "inca mummy girl." Pryvit. Vśoho najkraščoho ! in any case) program that supplies actual locally-grown vegetables to local bellies. Bellies that may be full of monosodiumglutamate- and highfructose corn syrup-laden junk foods.
Or, nothing at all.
Arguably, one of the hugest pimps of high fructose corn syrup is offering them the opportunity to be granted $50,000, as long as they win a popularity contest on a Pepsi propaganda site, where they compete on what might be the most uneven field in the history of corporate giveaways. According to the Official application guidelines, my characterization of "popularity contest" is, of course, incorrect; the artificial sweetener and empty calorie monger's contest is something that they compare to a national election, as shown in this page torn from something:

Ask not what Pepsi can do to push more product... Yes, I can see that. I can also see the striking parallels to the American electoral process, with a conspicuous implication of "fairness." A corporation with an annual purse of $25 million, a Board of Directors and a $2 million advertising budget can compete for a $250,000 grant against any old non-profit with an underpaid and overworked Executive Director with a bunch of volunteers who have a Rolodex and an old office phone.
Nice.
On the other hand, Pepsi's CEO Indra Nooyi only draws a salary that's a dignified and modest $1.3 million -- not including bonuses and stock -- so maybe that $5000 grant might come out of her own pocket after a day's work. I hear that she rolls that way.
Oh, and don't forget to Facebook and Twitter it.

Because Pepsi just doesn't get enough visibility.

Oh, it's so true...

Like that ''million dollars'' I sent to Haiti, fr'instanceAnd have you seen the price of Wagyu beef?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Kate Beaton

For a year or so I have included, among the other clickable names down the port side under the heading "links," the name Kate Beaton.
Kate Beaton is the greatest living North American cartoonist who conducts regularly in sometimes-obscure Canadian historical figures, Maritimes angst, and fat ponies while consistently making me laugh. (And, yes, I do laugh.)
Of her online presences (best typified by Hark, A Vagrant), one site includes examples of her participation in a professional encouragement competition, something I assume is called "Hourlies."
Most readers of this Journal know that my capacity for cartooning has been limited to -- ensured by my brief career in print advertising -- stick figures with mean eyes saying through irregular word balloons, "Buy this crap now!" So I pretend no acquaintance with such intramural exercises as "Hourlies." By clicking on links within Ms. Beaton's conversational and affable prose -- and I did so not in an obsessive or stalkery way (evident crush notwithstanding) -- one can gain some familiarity with hurriedly dashed-off bits of visual cheer produced at fixed intervals. They're not studied or carefully crafted or polished, but absolutely every bit as entertaining as the "real thing." Or a Tweet or a Facebook status update. Often even moreso.
For instance, a recent collection included something like 16 of these little gems (as our friend Charles Henry Gifford called them. Well, when he made his.) and at 1:30 in the proceedings, this came about:

This cartoon is by Kate Beaton. I used it without permission (because I got crush-shy and didn't ask), but I DO NOT claim that I drew this. Now, no undignified tantrums. As longtime readers of this Journal know, Captain Bob bought the Effie M. Morrissey in 1926 and spent the next 19 years conducting expeditions of discovery to the Arctic. Last year, Canada issued a set of stamps commemorating his life and achievements. Fresh in from just outside of the hurricane gates.Effie M. Morrissey, now known as Ernestina, is sitting in Historic New Bedford Harbor, just a few miles from stately Goon Manor. Ernestina is safe, from Atlantic storms and from generous private donations, as is the case with all historic vessels on the SouthCoast.
Thank you, Kate Beaton, for dropping Captain Bartlett's name and giving me another reason to mention yours.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The February Watch...

In accordance with the DHS Appropriations Act, the U.S. Coast Guard will terminate the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals effective 2000Z 08 Feb 2010.If both Shelley and Barbara are 5'4, then Susan, the tallest, gets to play the Hawaiian in 'Ride The Wild Surf.'At that time, the U.S. LORAN-C signal will be unusable and permanently discontinued. This termination does not affect U.S. participation in the Russian American or Canadian LORAN-C chains.That's a bigwave board behind the commissioner's daughter.That's gotta be a Doc Ball surfrider.U.S. participation in these chains will continue in accordance with international agreements. The Coast Guard strongly urges mariners currently using LORAN-C for navigation to shift to a GPS navigation system and become familiar with its operation as soon as possible. Mariners will not be able to rely upon LORAN-C for navigation as of Feb. 8, 2010.

(This presentation includes pictures of Susan Hart, Shelley Fabares, Barbara Eden, Esther Williams, Yvonne Craig, and a sweet selection of old school longboards.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Apponogansett Tommy 2010

We're still not sure why he's outside Apponogansett Tommy reminds people that, no matter what semantics the others engage in -- damned Pennsylvanian rodents included -- there are forty-six days from today until the vernal equinox. Go ahead and count'em. (Roughly six and a half weeks left in the season of Winter.) Tommy's personal tender admits that the meterorologically-inclined mammal "doesn't hibernate so much as indulge in a felicitous lifestyle that involves lengthy napping periods. That lifestyle also includes eating, staring intently at absolutely nothing on that wall casing, and eating."

2010 APPONOGANSETT TOMMY FUNFACT™ !
Exactly.
Tommy is exactly the same cat, whether vertical or horizontal.