The Baystate Objectivist

The Baystate Objectivist

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Norwottuck Ride

Lately I've been riding my bike on the Norwottuck trail every day, keeping fit and trying to remember all the rules. (click photo to enlarge)



It really is a beautiful ride through God's country, beginning with the old trestle over the mighty Connecticut.



And don't worry if your tires get soft or your throat gets parched, both air and water are provided by Country Nissan for the price of free.



Much of the trail is through the farm fields of Hadley, where the heavy snow this winter caused this old barn to completely collapse.



At one point I came across a couple of chickens that had escaped their coop and I got off my bike and chased them around a bit with my camera. Chickens have wings, so why does the chicken run instead of flying away?



Can chickens fly? Perhaps they can, but maybe they just don't want to.

Meanwhile, a tranquil serenity has settled over UMass now that the students are gone for the summer.



There was no such serenity earlier this month however, following the announcement of the assassination of Osama Bin Ladin. This video captures the moment when the UMass students came pouring out of the towers into the courtyard.



Although the title of the video refers to the event as a riot, it was really more of a celebration. Rioting at UMass is reserved for sporting events, not politics.

Speaking of politics, at Rao's in downtown Amherst you get your coffee served with a side of irony.



I see from the red X on the side of this old ruin that it is set to be torn down.



An old freak once told me that back in the 1960's that rambling old place was the wildest hippie house in Amherst. When the wrecking ball hits it, ghosts of the Summer of Love will fly away.

Oh well, this sticker on a neighbor's house has the right attitude.


Have a nice holiday weekend folks!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rainy Days

It's getting a little tiresome, all the rain we've had this week. But at least it hasn't been non-stop. Here's a video I made of downtown Northampton during a pause in the downpour, showing Main Street through the bus window.



It had actually dried up a bit when I took this picture from the porch of a friend who lives across the street from Westfield City Hall. However, notice the fresh storm clouds approaching.



At least all this rain is good for the plants. On the woodland way into downtown Northampton someone has taken it upon themselves to make little homemade signs pointing out the various plant life along the path, complete with latin names. Who is doing it or why I don't know, but it's pretty neat.



Not surprisingly, as far as activities go the focus has been on indoor stuff, like listening to bands. I'd long heard of the band Orange Crush, but never saw them until one day recently in Southwick. They're really good, and they like cake.



Coffee shops are good places to hang out on rainy days. Here's looking up through a rain drenched window at the fire escape outside the Haymarket Cafe.



Of course everyone is looking forward to summer, assuming it ever actually arrives. At UMass even Honest Abe is into the retro sunglasses craze.



Yet even in dreary weather, nothing can really dim the mindblowing beauty of our Valley.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inspirational Video

Caity lives in Connecticut. Her boyfriend dumped her and now she wants to die. I guess she also didn't like me posting her video about it, because she made it private. However, you can still see from the screen shot that she is quite unhappy.



However, someone came forward with some advice. This is well worth watching.



Want a career where you can help people? Visit psychology
classes online

.

Springfield mayoral candidate Antonette Pepe addressed the Springfield Republican City Committee the other night, as captured by Chris Marion. Beside Pepe is the legendary activist Karen Powell.



Seated in the audience was Pine Pointer and future State Senator Tom McCarthy and his son Justin.



In Northampton, Jaz Tupelo took to the streets to gather signatures for her sometimes radiomate Bill Dwight, who is running for City Council.



Of course Dwight still has a ways to go to match the career of Northampton's most renowned politician, Calvin Coolidge, the only resident of Western Mass to be elected to the presidency and whose words of wisdom can still be seen on the streets.



More words of wisdom on a bike outside the Haymarket Cafe.


Your Ignorance is their Power.

The beautiful weather lately has brought the streets of Hamp alive with the sound of music. Here my friend Zak Grey plays his banjo yesterday afternoon to a washtub accompaniment.



Also yesterday the students of Northampton High School had an art show at the Forbes Library.



This student had a clever idea, get a pose of his friends taking a photo of himself taking a photo of them!



On Mother's Day at UMass a student created a sentiment of motherly love with a spraycan on the wall of the Fine Arts building.



At the Amherst Survival Center a jazz band performed this week, featuring an antique horn from the 1930's.



How does a horn sound after 75 years of seasoning? Check it out.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Last Gasp

For those purist stoners who are unfamiliar with "beer" it is one of a number of drugs commonly used by "adults" which contain the narcotic alcohol. Alcohol (known in its various forms as "booze," suds," "juice" etc.) has been proven to cause liver and kidney damage and to result in serious character deterioration. Studies have shown that alcohol usage often leads to indulgence in other harmful drugs such as caffeine and tobacco.

I ran into Northampton blogger Jim Neill the other morning at the Haymarket. His blog has been sorta dead lately, but he promised to revive it.



A blogger who remains very active is Alex Ross, who I ran into hanging out on the street.



Hey, buy your doors from these dudes.



After a couple year hiatus they started putting temporary sculpture displays in Coolidge Park again. Making a return appearance is sculptor James Kitchen, whose earlier display did not impress me but whose new work is much more interesting. For example, check out this scrap metal Saturn.



Silent Cal contemplating his new neighbor, Rusty Fish.



Is it just a coincidence that this big gun is pointing right at the spot where the weekly anti-war protests take place?



Losing face on the street.



Storm clouds descending on Amherst.



Good advice for life's stormy weather.



The Demographic featuring Valley Advocate cartoonist Tom Pappalardo appeared on Greenfield TV recently.