Happy Bicycle Day everybody! This is the anniversary of the day Dr. Albert Hoffman became the first person to experience psychedelic awareness. It is also an official state holiday, although not for that reason. It is Patriots' Day, which for you out of state readers is defined as follows by the Wikipedia:
Patriots' Day (sometimes incorrectly punctuated Patriot's Day or Patriots Day) is a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. It is observed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state of Maine (once part of Massachusetts), and is a public school observance day in Wisconsin. Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts, (around 6am) and The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts (around 9am). In the morning, a mounted reenactor with State Police escort retraces Paul Revere's ride, calling out warnings the whole way.
I don't know about today, but in my time at the World Famous Thomas M. Balliet Elementary School we had to memorize the opening lines of this poem about Paul Revere by Massachusetts' poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."
Oh well, I hope you have a good Bicycle Day or Patriots' Day or whatever.
Returning to modern times there was a big political convention in Worcester this weekend where the Republicans nominated their candidate for Governor of Massachusetts. Here is the delegation representing Hampden County, as captured in this photo by Bill Dusty.
The winner was former Weld and Celluci Administration bureaucrat Charlie Baker, who whomped his opponent Christy Mihos so severely he was knocked right off the ballot. Personally I was partial to Mihos as being the more radical reformer, but I'm not surprised he got skunked. Mihos made bigtime enemies when he ran as a third party candidate in 2006 and his candidacy may have resulted in drawing enough votes away from the GOP nominee to elect Deval Patrick. Many were infuriated by this advertisement from 2006 in which a cartoon figure that resembles GOP nominee Kerry Healey shoves her head up her ass.
For Mihos to then seek the GOP nomination was just too much for some of the party faithful to endure. Plus the Republicans are very hungry for victory, and the Baker campaign with its moderate tone appears to be the surest ticket to victory. However Deval Patrick, until recently perceived as doomed, has gained a little traction with some aggressive personal campaigning. Third party candidate Tim Cahill has also reinvigorated his campaign, which was initially dismissed by many pundits as a self-serving ego trip, by making himself the primary critic of Massachusetts' failed universal healthcare law. Frankly, if the election were held today this race could go to any of the three leading candidates. A fourth contender, Jill Stein of the Green Party, has yet to register at even one percent in the polls, but if she ever does gain any traction it is likely to be at the expense of the only other liberal in the race, Governor Patrick.
This is the view out the window of my friend Zak's restaurant Eclipse in downtown Northampton.
Here's Zak tryin' to burn the joint down.
Objects in the Haymarket Cafe.
Tulips in Pulaski Park.
Wooden flower pot by a Hamp doorway.
A six minute video has surfaced of Saturday's Extravaganja in Amherst that consists of someone walking all around the perimenter of the town common. It was filmed at the same time I was there, in fact you can see me walk past at 5:23.
An interesting cover of a Pink Floyd song.