Happy Saturday morning all:

First-annual 4th of July wisdom from deep in the north woods:

(paraphrased) “…the only way to solve the problems of the world is by exterminating Britain” (i.e. wipe the place off the map) ~ Thomas Paine

A quick bit of history as a pre-curser to Declaration of Independence Day, our 4th of July celebrations.

Thomas Paine came of age in Britain as an intellectual writing for the local newspapers and forging his early reputation through being a Customs and Excise officer. He led a raw life on the high seas, tackling smugglers, setting up a business, running a tobacconist’s (badly). Imprisoned for sedition in London he eventually moved to France where he was elected to the French Assembly in the French Revolution.

Tom Paine met Benjamin Franklin when he (Paine) was a tax collector and very part-time journalist in Lewes. Franklin took to this pugnacious young man and gave him an open letter of introduction to America¹ which Paine immediately used. In America Franklin took him up and at one stage called him “my adopted son”. Franklin was Paine’s great stroke of luck after an extraordinarily stormy domestic and a not untroubled working life. It was Thomas Paine who was integral and perhaps even essential to the making of the American Revolution (documentary for BBC Two on Thomas Paine w/ Melvyn Bragg)

Considering the current flood of behaviors detailed and exposed on an almost daily basis by various Federal Government departments, disclosures regarding; wholesale illegalities, self serving conduct on a grand scale, retaliatory actions, incompetence-ineptitude-uselessness-obfuscation, common thievery, and exorbitant waste come to mind [IRS, DOJ, Secret Service, NSA, Forest service, State Department, Border Service, EPA, DOL, HHS, and ATF to name some]. This 4th of July, considering the daily headlines, I cannot help but wonder just how Thomas Paine would respond to it all – 237 years later.

All the same, revenons à nos moutons²…now for my coffee. ¬

deck viewHelp – we’re being held captive – by both the weather and by mosquitoes. All week long! Every day! Each hour! Minute by minute!

The rains have come and then stayed on and on—till long after the hosts (us) turned off the lights and went to bed. Much to Marcia’s chagrin these ‘damps’ crimped on our ability to finish repainting the cabin. It also hampered big time my efforts to finish lag-bolting (securing) the deck to the cabin.

What it really meant was that the times when the weather was nice and sparkly we’d leap into some dirty work outfits and scurry onto the ladder carrying a paint bucket or under the deck carrying a tool bucket.

Since it had been wet and was now “nice and sparkly” it also meant that we were facing a fresh crop of super mosquitoes. They’d lay in wait till you were standing on the top rung of the ladder, full paint bucket in one hand, and wet paint brush in the other. “Attack,” and from every direction the dive attacks would commence.

On the other hand, crawling under the deck on the damp soil meant that you were entering some sacred mosquito breeding ground. Now, on your back, splayed out like some gladiator who’d lost the battle, and then they came. “Attack,” and from every direction the dive attacks would commence.

The good news about being under the deck was Marcia’s idea; the cyclone fan! Though “super,” no mosquito is a match to a 45mph wind. It also meant that all liquids were quickly sucked out of my body and this had to be managed by drinking numerous 500mL water bottles.

Even when trying to use this “sparkly” time to bail the Sea Nymph I heard the command; “attack,” and from every direction the dive attacks would commence – 4 bites worth.

But the rains were the worst. Once a discussion on how; “wonderful the rains are for the veggie garden” begins to wilt, rains can easily bring on some degree of boredom:

Marcia; no crafts, only knitting. She finished one complex piece and started another. In between she shelled several pounds of peanuts.

Dirk; plucked feathers off a dead Hummingbird (found) (necessary for a future Marcia craft project) and read one biography and one Stephen King horror/mystery novel (basically, the book itself was a horror).

Both: much ‘60s music (till hearing that umpteenth Bee Gee and Karen Carpenter piece nearly had me slink towards the knife drawer), great Jazz, and news on XM radio (I now know that someone named Zimmerman has been canned from the men’s clothing company he founded and been put on trial for murder), plus we watched an episode of Northern Exposure and Boston legal.

We survived!

IMG_2262 (1024x768)The Fish Fry – In fact we did one better then just survive. Monday evening we had a marvelous fish fry on the island with Elaine and Dennis and Donn and Marlene. Once again, thanks to the lake’s master fry-chef, Dennis, for plates full of fresh caught Pike, Bass, and his specialty, hand-cut fries.

Leaving, the the island there was a sunset that just had to be captured – that is when my camera said “no mas.” (thanks Marlene for supplying photos)

Animal planet – Just last evening a slow moving mosquito hovered over the laptop’s handrest. With one finger I squished it. Looking down I then watched it take a groggy step or two and fly off. Did I say SUPER M.?

Mid-week I came across a large (10+”) Snapping Turtle sunning itself right at the edge of the highway. I stopped and made the decision to push it well into the shrubbery. Believe it or not, that Snapper then had the audacity to hiss at me as I taught it how to “shoulder-surf.”

Fini –Make it a great week everyone. Happy Canada Day (the 1st) and a Happy 4th of July. Then this past week it was birthday wishes for Tevita and on the 1st it’s Happy Birthday to Kellen and next Saturday it’ll be Marin’s big day.
¹ Was this the first Green Card?
² “let’s come back to our sheep” (meaning: let’s get back to the subject at hand)

From the Archives
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Morning all:

Congratulations to Kirstin, Vince, and Derek with the total team effort they put forth bringing Kellen Vincent into the family–I know that mom and I are thrilled! I was going to say “little Kellen”, but coming in to the world at 9 pounds and 11 ounces he is about ready to step right alongside Derek for playtime.

At eight days overdue he made it amazingly clear that he was just ‘happy as a clam’ staying right where he was. This “leave me alone” stance became the first parent versus child battle of the wills which Kellen finally lost. Mom and baby are doing fine even though there are a couple of battle scars that will force Kirstin to stay in the hospital for a couple of days.

And then there is poor Vince who is expected to pay attention to Kirstin, parent, and entertain Derek, ooh and aah over Kellen, as well as man a phone bank informing all the family and friends with status reports. All of this is probably do-able was it not for the facts that at least some of the family is never near their phone. That last reference is to Marcia and I. Being on vacation we spent day one helping man Paul’s “Mild to Wild Car Show” event. About 200 vintage and modified cars were on display. My original plan was to drag our little Deux Chevaux to the show but the logistics became a bit much. Shortly we’ll be off for Canada.

Make it a great week everyone; especially to you Kellen and Kirstin


7/02/2006 07:36:00 AM

4 Responses to “A Happy 4th with T.P.”
  1. David Papoi Says:

    Re the name Zimmerman: not only was he fired from Mens’ Warehouse and on trial for murder, he also travels the country as a troubadour, under the alias Dylan. He will be at Riverbend July 6th.

    Your blog is, as always, interesting and literate. Thanks for your skilled efforts.

  2. Dirk Says:

    Much appreciated David. Explore more variations of the name “Zimmerman” and people will think the heat’s gotten to you. 🙂

  3. Pieter pastoor Says:

    If MR. Paine was in DC today he would be stunned how government has so much less corruption then in the 1800’s or earlier. Things are no different but we seem to put up with it.

  4. Pieter Says:

    We should remember, that behind this Fourth of July holiday are human beings, like Thomas Jefferson, who were as flawed and conflicted as they were inspired, who espoused great humanistic ideals while behaving with reprehensible racial discrimination. That conflict — between what we know and how we live — is still a struggle in contemporary politics and society.
    “Bill Moyers”

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