Thursday, September 30, 2010


"Submit to me and make some babies!"

Monday, September 27, 2010

I left her there alone with him,
Surrendering the room,
And walked away through summer fields
Made purple by the moon.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I stumbled upon this article recently, which originally went to print last February in the New York Times. It features the distinctive hair styles of every first lady from Martha to Michelle. No bangs. Huh. I've never been fond of bangs either.
Hair-Portraits of First Ladies. From left to right: Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Martha Randolph, Dolley Madison, Elizabeth Monroe, Louisa Adams, Rachel Jackson, Hannah Van Buren, Anna Harrison, Letitia Tyler, Julia Tyler, Sarah Polk, Margaret Taylor, Abigail Fillmore, Jane Pierce, Harriet Lane, Mary Lincoln, Eliza Johnson, Julia Grant, Lucy Hayes, Lucretia Garfield, Ellen Arthur, Frances Cleveland, Caroline Harrison, Frances Cleveland, Ida McKinley, Edith Roosevelt, Helen Taft, Ellen Wilson, Edith Wilson, Florence Harding, Grace Coolidge, Lou Hoover, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Pat Nixon, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Michelle Obama.

The first thing that struck me was that even though I think of myself as someone who has an above average knowledge of our nation's history, many of these names were unknown to me. We had a first lady named Letitia?

I wish we could also see, by way of comparison, the hair styles of the presidents. Probably wouldn't be as interesting or as diverse, but it would be kind of neat to see that side by side with the ladies.

I wonder how Sarah would do her hair if she became first lady, or should I say... if she were elected President. I don't want to appear chauvinistic. (I know that 3/4 of BFZ readers are ladies, and I wouldn't want to piss you guys off...I mean gals...oh darn it!) If Sarah was President and I was her boy toy I don't think I would do much differently with my hair unless my handlers forced me to get my hair did, but this is my pledge to you, America, I will never put product in my hair, and nor will I dye it. If I start to go bald, so be it. Read my lips...

While we are on the topic of hairstyles of first ladies, check out the mighty mane belonging to the first lady of Cameroon. I found pictures of her alongside our own Michelle Obama during a visit to the Drudge Report this morning. Not since Rod Blagojevich have I found a hairstyle so arresting. Her hair is a force to be sure. It is rumored that her unnatural ginger tresses, which smell precisely like a Strawberry Shortcake doll, singlehandedly put down a coup earlier this year.

Seeing her garish style juxtaposed with our own first lady gave me an appreciation for Michelle Obama's personal style. As a fellow, I find it understated and classy. Way to represent, Michelle!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A sandwich on an open book
A trash bag pillow case
An orange hanging from a hook
And a mark upon your face

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Should we just accept "Agreeance" as a word. This past week I have heard two separate people use the word in conversation.

I'll give you an example- "We are in agreeance on the main idea, but we still need to iron out a few minor things."

Both times I felt myself start to correct them, but then checked myself. I know it's not a word, but why not? It seems to me that if enough people are saying it and its meaning is clearly understood by the listener, then perhaps it is a de facto word. Are we in agreeance on that point? Is it snobbery to deny agreeance a place within the lexicon of the English speaking world.

I am leaning toward accepting agreeance as a word. It is a word. It is in common use. Why fight it? Anybody wanna make an argument against agreeance?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

And I mean FEARFULLY! Now, I like bugs. I mean, really, that I find them interesting. Some people watch scary movies and enjoy the thrill they get from watching needless violence and disturbing scenes. I get that same thrill from certain creatures, made by a Creator with enough imagination to CREEP ME OUT with something the size of a silver dollar.
Araneus Trifolium is our newest neighbour. We have been benefiting from her proximity to our porch light- she has been catching flies, mosquitoes, and other unhappy insects for the past week and a half.
We were unable to get a good shot of the Shamrock Orb Weaver. I had a very hard time identifying this female orb weaver spider. I'm actually very disappointed that the vast expanse of the internet gives me so little information on this spider.
I was able to learn that most people notice these spiders in the fall, when the females are at their largest, and quite frankly, hard to miss. They are not poisonous to humans or mammals, which makes this girl a very safe thrill, indeed.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Nothing screams MENTAL PATIENT like a man shuffling around town in the middle of the night in a pair of house slippers, but I'm not the type of guy to worry too much about appearances. I like my slippers a lot, and if it were not socially unacceptable I would wear them all the time.
If you were with me on my last excursion into the night I brought attention to the trash can outside of Village Market which was overflowing with refuse at that time, and concluded that they did not run a tight ship over there. In the interests of fairmindedness, I just wanted you to know that this time everything looked ship shape outside of village market.
The town was quiet as the grave. Not a soul was out and about. Not even so much as a single pair of headlights illuminated my bearded visage as I trudged along Idyllwild's deserted streets.
I enjoyed sitting on the deck of the Higher Grounds Coffee shop for a while. It was a crisp night, probably in the low 40's, and that heady aroma of wood smoke was wafting across the deck from the chimneys over at the Idyllwild Inn. That's a smell that transports. The only thing that would have made the moment more enjoybale would have been the procurement of a steaming cup of joe from the coffee shop, and some company, but alas the shops proprietors had long since gone home, and, as I stated earlier, the center of town was a deserted no man's land.
I swung by the parking lot in the middle of town to see if there were any shopping carts to return to Fairway Market, but found none. I did stumble onto a mystery atop the pay phones by the Idyllwild Pizza Company- an abandoned carton of milk about 3/4 full. I sniffed the contents but didn't smell anything amiss. Hmmm...
Using my abilities as a super sleuth, finely tuned by the Vermont State Police Academy, I observed that the carton had expired the day prior, and concluded that my nose must not have have been a delicate enough instrument to detect the funk of slightly spoiled milk. Case closed.
I checked in on the BBVA Compass bank to make sure everything was okay. After all, my money is in there! I looked around for suspicious characters in ski masks, and looked in the windows for the movements of furtive flashlights, but finding none and feeling satisfied that all was well, I sat on the bench out front enjoying the surreal quiet of a deserted downtown.

Hungry for company after all of that lonely wandering I stopped by to see my old friend, Smokey, outside the ranger station.
The road home took me past a place that rents U-Haul. I always read the descriptions of faraway places featured on the sides of u-haul trucks, and ask myself, which would I be most interested to visit.
Did you know for over 4,000 years, stone structures known as Inuksuit have dotted the vast Canadian landscape? Who built them and what vital roles did they play in survival?
Did you know concealed beneath the last great ice sheets, Maine tells a unique story of a past world unknown? What evidence of ice age marine life did the retreating glaciers leave behind?
Did you know strange flora, previously unknown to science, were discovered in the hidden Ketona Dolomite glades, an area often referred to as a "botanical lost world?" Why do these mysterious rare plants grow only over this unique cambrian rock?
I have to say that I was ignorant of the fact that Akron is the bowling capital of the world, but it does fit with my understanding of the place (although I've never visited Akron personally).

Check out all of U-Haul's Supergraphics here.

Of those four locations, Nunavut, Maine, Alabama, and Akron, I would most like to visit Nunavut I think.

As I left the u-haul trucks behind and walked back home, with plans for a family vacation to Nunavut rolling around in my mind, I surprised a coyote on the drive leading into the camp. It loped off towards my house, and I caught one last fleeting glance of its shaggy form trotting along the road beneath the flood light in front of my house before it vanished altogether. As I neared the spot where the coyote had been, however, I detected a foul, acrid odor in the air, and realized with surprise that I was probably smelling a coyote fart. How many people can say they've smelled a coyote fart? I am a lucky man, you know? I guess I was just in the right place at the right time.

Recently Read by sarah

from Death In Holy Orders by P.D. James, page 164

Modern discipleship was not a matter of indulgence in archaic if beautiful language, in which words more often obscured than affirmed the reality of faith. There was a temptation to over-value intelligence and intellectual achievement so that theology became a philosophical exercise in justifying skepticism.

And you thought he'd jumped the shark before...

Perhaps it was unwise to invite me to contribute to the Bummer-Free Zone, but only time will tell.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Who will be next?


She was tough but not mean- that rare sort of human being who was capable of decisive violence, but who carried herself with the air of a reasonable, peaceable person- someone you could talk to. Under most circumstances violence is the heart’s dog, an egress of passion, a bursting dam, but when she bloodied someone it always struck me as controlled and correct. I never regretted being present during those moments when she acted as the awful arm of the state.

Some men are mean but not tough, they might harm a child or a woman, and they may find something that resembles courage in the midst of a pack of drunken friends, but she could be counted on to attempt what was necessary regardless of the stature of the offender, and that without hesitation or moral confusion.

George Orwell had her in mind when he wrote, "Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My brother, John, asked our good friend, Lisa Richard, to marry him today, and she said "yes!!!" Congratulations, guys, that's wonderful news!

I spoke with John and Lisa right afterward and promptly raced to a computer so that the Bummer-Free Zone could get credit for breaking the story first.

John proposed at St. Paul's Episcopal church in Augusta, GA, and yes, they sealed the deal with a kiss- their first.


"You can't do that! There's no way to break through my fart shield, Jack."
Bowden Tate (7 years old)

"I built a disco nest!"
Lucy Tate (5 years old)

"Dat him pop tart. Dat not my pop tart. Dis my pop tart. It not him pop tart."
Jack (3 years old)


1. "Crotch Rot"

2. "Itchy Bottom Disease"

3. "Nipples"

That's right, you guessed it, all three have actually been uttered in sermons I have given at my church. Why do they keep letting me get up there?


Obama has solved the illegal immigration problem. That's right, Jan Brewer, he did it, so you can just shut your trap. According to a new study by the Pew Hispanic Center the number of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally has dropped from 850,000 a year to 300,000, and the number of individuals residing illegally in the U.S. has dropped from 12 to 11 million. Ever since taking office two years ago conservatives have painted Obama as being soft on the border and the enforcement of immigration laws, but Obama has seemingly done what miles of fences, an army of border agents, and racial profiling failed to do. How has he done it? By killing the host! Brilliant! The same study cites America's bleak job market as the most likely cause for the change in immigration numbers. Conservatives need to prove themselves fairminded and give credit where credit is due. Let me be the first- Congratulations President Obama! You and your fiscal policies have turned America into a barren, unproductive wasteland, and by sapping the nation's vigor you have ingeniously brought closure to the illegal immigration debate. I would never have thought of that. Kudos! My hat is off to you, sir.

Monday, September 6, 2010


"Julia Roberts had this big vein that kept popping out, and for some reason I was fixated on that."Middle aged woman in conversation with five other woman of like age who all work together at the local elementary school.

"...and she said 'What's that over by the easel?' and there was this huge puddle. She looked at me like I had put it there."
Same group of women.

"Okay, I'll order you a chicken tostado (sic) a la carte"
Same group of women one of whom was talking on her cell phone with another individual individual who was late arriving at the restaurant.

"...and a beer"
Added a second woman who was listening in on the above phone conversation.

"He looked kinda like Charlie Brown."
Same group of women, one of whom was speaking about the appearance of a baby she knew.

"Getting paid is good. I like that."
At another table a middle aged woman speaking sarcastically to a man of like age.

"She'll be pushing up daisies and I'll be spitting on her grave."
Elderly woman speaking to a group of friends (family?) who all nodded their heads in agreement.

"Men see in a beautiful woman what they want to see. It's always been that way and that's how it's always gonna be."
Unattractive middle aged woman to a slightly more attractive woman of like age who grunted in cryptic fashion and looked at the first woman in a sad, sympathetic way while nodding her head in agreement with the statement, but possibly not its application in that particular case (the grunt was meaningful but cryptic- hard to interpret the interpersonal nuances of this one). I was passing their table on my way back from the bathroom so I didn't have any context to help flesh out the quote.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


My sandals are no more. I was giving a tour to a prospective guest group last Saturday when they decided to give up the ghost. I know that is kind of unprofessional. I don't typically give tours in flip-flops, but my broken collar bone made the putting on and taking off of other footwear impractical. It was kind of embarassing. I'm afraid I must have cut kind of a pathetic figure hobbling around the camp with one sandal on, the other barefoot, and my arm in a sling, wincing at every odd step on account of my broken collar bone. Let the record show that I predicted this was how the sandals would meet their end. The strap, you know, the one that goes between your toes, it snapped. Most sandals fail in this way. There's good money to be made by some ambitious inventor if a cost-effective way can be found to rectify this basic design flaw which virtually all flip-flops share. I'm not exactly sad about it though. As far as sandals go they had a pretty good run- 425 days to be exact. I originally purchased this pair for thirteen yankee greenbacks so that works out to about three cents a day. I feel like I got my money's worth out of 'em.

Unfortunately, the Champlain Boat Shoes are also showing considerable wear. A hole has appeared on the side of my right instep through which pebbles and such work their way in. The Champs had the bad luck to enter my shoe line up at a time when my footwear consisted of my sandals and three pairs of clunky boots. That means they were instantly promoted to captain of the footwear and got the start under all circumstances- whether going to church or stepping put for a hike with the kids the Champs were my go to shoes, and all the work has finally started to catch up with them. This week I made the difficult decision to promote The Mallards to Captain of the footwear ahead of The Champs. They just weren't getting it done anymore. They'll continue to see limited action, but, sadly, they're no longer captain material.

One nice thing about being laid up with a broken collar bone is that I have been able to spend more time puttering around the house in my slippers, which I received as a birthday gift from Sarah last January. Slippers are wonderful in general, and these specific slippers are definitely top shelf.