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Blog fiction

if my brother

If my brother went insane, I’d take him to the finest mental institution the country has to offer.


It would be located on a sprawling country estate, possibly donated by a local wealthy benefactor. There would be large old trees and views all the way to the water. In the summer it would be warm, but not too hot. On some spring mornings, there would be a morning mist around the trees and between the hills that sit behind the building. Fall would be by far the prettiest season. A slight breeze would send changing leaves sailing across the spacious front lawn. If you got up early enough, you could see the deer grazing on the outskirts of the meadow.

I would come up often to visit my crazy brother. Even though he wouldn’t always know my name, or why he was there, we would have good talks together. We could go walking around the pond; we could even feed the ducks. My brother likes ducks. Some days we would just sit on one of the benches located to the south of the building. We would talk and watch the afternoon sun droop in the sky. Slowly, but not too slow. At night, I’d have to return to town and the B&B I’d stay in whenever I came to visit. My brother would have spaghetti, or lasagna, or burritos or fresh corn on the cob. They would take good care of him, even though he would be crazier than old Mrs. Havisham.

On certain days I could take him for a drive. We’d drive around the countryside. I would take him to the mall to stock up on clothes and maybe a new book. I wouldn’t be able to take him home with me, on account of his intense insanity, but I would want to.

There are many little things I could do for my brother if he were to go off-the-wall insane. I would think of myself as a caregiver. Not because I would give him care – the institution would provide food, lodging, and medicine – but because I would care about him. And that is almost as important.

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Blog friday robot

Friday Robots

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Blog fiction

could be worse

We have a lot to be thankful for, including not having to deal with any of these guys. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!yellow-submarine-blue-meanie space-creature simpsons+shining_13 shining_jack_stare seven-samurai predator jurassic-park-t-rex jason9

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Falling Rock

Welcome to Falling Rock National Park

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Blog reviews

the devil & daniel webster

There comes a time when a movie is so right that it transcends time and place to become a classic. A movie that is more than mere entertainment (although entertaining still). A movie that makes you aware of our shared history. Fortunately, dear readers, I have found just such a movie, and its name is The Devil & Daniel Webster.

The plot is simple enough: a farmer makes a deal with the devil to keep his land. The devil, as always, drives a hard bargain that looks easy on the surface. The farmer doesn’t stand a chance. Or does he?

Jabez Stone, New Hampshire farmer, works hard on his land day after day. He’s a good man. When we first meet Jabez and his young wife Mary (yeah, like that Mary), they’re on their way to church. A pig’s broken leg keeps them from going, but it doesn’t get their spirits down. No, the weight that is slowly crushing noble Jabez is something far more odious and far more common than a hurt pig. It is debt.

You see, Jabez, like many farmers, doesn’t have a lot of loose cash laying about. When times get hard, the money lenders still need their piece. Jabez must use some of his precious grain to pay off part of his debt.

That’s when Jabez meets an impish man with a little cap who goes by the name Mr. Scratch. devil+daniel+webster_04

Jabez, a good man, knows immediately who old Scratch really is. The devil comes bearing a gift, of sorts. Jabez gets seven years’ good luck, and after seven years the devil gets Jabez’s soul. “It isn’t something you can see or something you can touch,” coos Scratch. Not seeing much of a choice in the matter, Jabez happily signs over his soul.

In exchange for Jabez’s soul, that little trifle, Scratch pulls loose a floorboard in Jabez’s barn, revealing a pile of gold coins. “It just takes a little luck to find it,” says Scratch. From this point on, Jabez’s life veers sharply from what might have been.

We are introduced to Daniel Webster, a good politician. With the oratory skills of Obama, Webster stands up for the little guy, for the hard-working, God-fearing all-American.devil+daniel+webster_03Unlike Jabez and many, many politicians, Webster will not succumb to Scratch’s deal. Webster works for the people he represents, and in return the poor farmers of New Hampshire are grateful. There are even rumors Webster may one day be president.

Jabez and Webster meet in town, and they will have an occasion to meet again.

For, besides the good luck that Scratch has delivered, Jabez is given certain other temptations.devil+daniel+webster_01

Simone Simon plays Belle, a girl sent by old Mr. Scratch to keep an eye on Jabez. (Side note: Simone Simon was in the wonderful horror movie Cat People. She also starred in a movie I can’t believe I haven’t seen yet, called Girl’s Dormitory.)

After a meteoric rise in which Jabez builds a house, alienates all his friends, and all but kicks Mary to the ditch in favor of Belle, Scratch comes to collect what is his.

But it won’t be easy for Scratch to take Jabez’s soul. Daniel Webster is in town, and he proposes a trial for Jabez. Unfortunately, Scratch gets to pick the judge and jury. A jury of the damned! Things look bleak, and Webster’s oratory skills are put to the ultimate test. But like any good politician (no link found), Webster is unafraid to stand up for even the smallest of his constituents.

You’ll have to watch The Devil & Daniel Webster for the stirring conclusion.

Like all good art, this comes with a warning. devil+daniel+webster_05Mr. Scratch is always searching for a new souls to add to his collection. He may appear to you in the guise of a friendly passer-by, offering a deal so unbelievable you find yourself willing to give anything, even your soul. Be wary! Be on the lookout! And never, ever sign a contract with your own blood. It’s just bad business.devil+daniel+webster_06

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Falling Rock

Welcome to Falling Rock National Park

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Blog history

tie be gone

Look at this guy.APTOPIX Obama 2008
Ruggedly handsome? Check. Pulse on the nation? Check. Tie? Nope.

Barack Obama doesn’t like to wear ties. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone watching the election cycle over the last two years. Sure, he’ll put one on for a debate or for a Rolling Stone cover. He may wear one when his daughters eventually graduate. But I can tell you right now, he doesn’t like it. Not one bit.

Barack Obama is the leader of the Free World, and he doesn’t have to wear a tie if he doesn’t want to. I, for one, stand and applaud such a man. For it takes a man, a real man, to stand up to tradition, the status quo, and say, “Ties look stupid.” Because they do. They look real stupid.

Think about it this way: women will put on make-up, have hair removed with lasers, spend time having their hair cut, curled, straightened, colored, glossed, gussied up. These things take time and energy, but ultimately the woman does them with a goal in mind. She wants to achieve a certain look. Men generally don’t do these things, because we are naturally awesome and don’t need cosmetics for women to fall all over each other in pursuit of us.

No no no. Seriously, men don’t do as much, so what we do should be especially meaningful. Any accessory we deem to wear should make us look extraordinarily better. A tie doesn’t do this.

A woman on her wedding day looks beautiful. A man with a tie looks like a man with a dead fish hanging from his neck.

A woman who has matched her purse with her outfit is subtle. A man with a tie looks like there’s a big arrow pointing at his crotch.

I think you see my point. Barack Obama knows this, and my Hope is that he will do for the tie what John F. Kennedy did for the hat: make it go extinct. It is my great wish that future generations will look at pictures of men in ties and exclaim to their grandfathers, “They made you wear that?!” with glee. Please, Mr. President Elect, don’t make us suffer any longer. The noose hangs heavy on us all, and only you can call to commute the sentence.dinosaur_neck_tie

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Falling Rock

Welcome to Falling Rock National Park

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Blog friday robot

Friday Robots

This weeks robots were designed after old Blue Note jazz album covers. I don’t own the albums, sadly. Thanks, internet! O design resource for the next generation!friday-robots-11-21-8-2 friday-robots-11-21-8

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Falling Rock

Welcome to Falling Rock National Park