Thursday, November 29, 2018


This week I had to go to Eastworks, the former mill in Easthampton which today is "a place that now houses artists, graphic designers, sculptors, writers and community-based nonprofits."

Like a great many people who go to Eastworks these days, I was there to visit the Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Aside from the Registry, the place is sorta sleepy.

However, with the Registry's reputation for waiting, a coffee shop located just across the hall does a steady business.

Personally, I had a pretty wait-free visit to the Registry, while Eastworks itself is a charming old place that could be better utilized.

Meanwhile, yesterday when walking downtown Taylor Knight asked me a question. I was asked about people smoking weed and driving. I started out by saying that people shouldn't smoke and drive, but then went on to say I thought there is an important difference in the way pot affects driving and alcohol, and that I didn't think pot driving was as dangerous as drunk driving because they are different kinds of highs. I then ended by repeating my admonishment not to smoke and drive.

When it appeared on the air, the middle part of my statement was cut out, leaving only my anti-stoned driving introduction and conclusion. It was as though they were determined to do a scare story about stoned driving and had no use for any subtleties. If you look at the clip closely, you can see the edit. A good example of editing the film to fit a pre-chosen narrative.

Winter Sun in Northampton by M. E. Carey.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018


After two years of maddening delays, the big day arrives at last.

Dawn upon the woodland way.

Surprisingly heavy downtown traffic for so early.

Finally I arrive at the cannabis oasis.

The line of people, some of whom have been there all night, is in the hundreds and stretches around the block.

It doesn't help that there was a wintry mix of snow and rain. Among those braving the elements was Attorney Dick Evans, a longtime crusader for legalization. It was indeed a big day for activists like Evans and Terry Franklin, who were fighting for legalization back in the days when it was difficult, and even dangerous, to do so.

The media had their own section set up.

The cops were there, but only to direct traffic. For the first time, stoners could buy marijuana without fear of law enforcement.

UMass journalism Professor Mary Carey took this picture of me. I'm shivering in the cold, but happy. I did not get in that long line to make any purchases, but you can be sure I will be checking the place out once all the hoopla dies down.

In the meantime, I hope everybody has a great Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 12, 2018


On Veterans Day (the true Veteran's Day on Novmeber 11th, not the Monday holiday on the twelfth) I admired the majestic skyscape over the lovely landscape at the War Memorial at Amherst College.

I also meandered down to ol'Pine Point in Springfield.

Had lunch at Tony's Pizza, where at 3pm I was the only customer.

Afterwards, I visited some dearly departed in St. Michael's cemetery, which is particularly beautiful this time of year.

I'm slightly amused by this monument to the unborn in St. Michael's. For such a big issue to the church, the monument seems comically small for the size and prominence of its location.

Meanwhile, back in Hamp, my neighbors the Pedal People now have a bike-drawn rickshaw.

This latest addition to their collection of vehicles designed to provide transportation without the internal combustion engine is quite roomy inside.

Up at UMass, there are angry, racist posters in the windows of the Student Union.

What does race have to do with anything? I imagine it requires a sense of humor to be a cop at UMass.

We need some soothing sounds out of Easthampton.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Visiting with my neighbor's huge pumpkin yesterday.

A carpet of leaves upon the woodland way into downtown Northampton.

Who made this and why? It reminds me of something from The Blair Witch Project. Is there a local coven performing late night rituals along the woodland way?

Soon I arrived downtown, where I found Sid the Shop Therapy mouse catcher posing by a Deadhead Cat Under Stars sticker.

Actually, the sticker by which Sid is posing is a recent variation called "Kitty Under the Stars" for mostly female Deadheads who like to keep it cute.

Then I headed over to City Hall.

Soon I had my sacred ballot and pen before me. Notice how absurdly long the explanation on the right is for Question No. 1. Just boil it down to a single phrase like, "Proposal to force hospitals to hire more nurses, whether they need them or not," or maybe, "Proposal to increase the cost of healthcare in order to pad the membership dues of the nurse's unions." Ya know, something simple and to the point.

As much as possible, I voted a straight Republican ticket, straying only once to vote for Libertarian Party candidate Dan Fishman for State Auditor. I voted NO on every one of the ballot questions. Alas, some crusading leftists had no opposition, so rather than vote for them I left the space blank, except for Lindsay Sabadosa, where I wrote in the name of the late John Andrulus. If you haven't voted yet, I urge you to do so and to do it the Springfield way - early and often.

Arriving at UMass, it was yet another wet dreary day on campus. I can't recall a Fall that's been more rainy.

Raining in the courtyard of the UMass Library.