There is no morality in nature
I am often asked how the weather is up here at the top of the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live. The answer is that I have pretty much the same weather as you have in your own backyard.
Which is to say that it is often a lot less worse than the weather inland. For mysterious reasons, I spent all day in Old Augusta, and up there they obviously had experienced quite a fall of snow when we had only rain. Lucky us, I say.
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Slightly less fortunate was an Angus cow in Windsor that I heard about last week from a chap in Rockport. The farmer heard a commotion in the night and went out to check the livestock, to find that the poor animal had been attacked and badly injured by some unknown force. The fellow from Rockport had been asked to go up and snoop around the farm to see if he might track down the guilty party.
In his opinion, the most likely culprit was a coyote, or possibly several of them working cooperatively, and he intended to take his shotgun up with him. I am sure the farmer had insurance on the loss, but I don’t suppose that made the cow feel any better.
I was reminded of the unfeeling rule of nature on Sunday, when I watched a show on my steam-powered hamster-wheel TV set, describing the relations between buffalo and wolves in northern Canadia. At one point, a mother wolf brought down a buffalo calf in order to feed her spring cubs, and the filmmaker admitted it was hard to know whether to root for the wolf or the calf.
It was the closest he came to admitting the bare truth: that there is no morality in nature. Only when humankind gets involved do we even attempt to assess morality of a sort, and in the case of the Windsor cow, it presents itself as a matter of losing valuable livestock. To the actual pain and suffering of the poor animal we simply have to stop our ears.
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New Year’s Eve seemed to go pleasantly enough. Around 6:30 p.m. I was at the plaza where the Chinese restaurant is, and saw fireworks bursting quite nearby, and at a guess I would say they were at the golf club on Old County Road. They probably shot them off so early in the evening because of the forecast for heavy rain.
It was a wise call.
I was also at the South End Market around that time and noticed that Dave, the guy who runs the ovens at the back of the store, was looking quite tired out. I inquired as to his situation, and he said they had cooked and sold 65 pizzas in the previous two and one-half hours.
See what work has to be done so that we happy few can get our takeout, even on such a big holiday night? I think likewise of the restaurant workers who keep the lights on too, not to forget the others who keep our hospitals and public safety departments working through every holiday.
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Isn’t it mildly amusing to know that we can use a golf club at a golf club? English is such a flexible language.
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New Year’s Day saw me wrapped up in the Sunday Times, a rare treat for dear little me. It usually takes me a month to read it all, which is probably why I stopped trying to read it all. At least the paper provides some insulation for my cardboard box in the north tower.
The book review section treated on the topic of books about dieting, which is such a common sales pitch after the holidays. One author was quoted as saying that drinking one can of Coke a day contributes 31 pounds of sugar to the human who drinks it.
This is the equivalent to sitting down with a spoon and carefully eating your way through slightly more than a dozen regular bags of sugar, which works out at about one bag a month.
Just thought I’d toss in some seasonal guilt this week, for those who feel they deserve it.
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New Year’s Day also brought me back to nature in the form of a couple of dozen geese who had finally decided to fly south, who were honking and flapping their way across the sky above South School in the direction of Waldoboro. I’d say they left it a bit late, but better late than never.
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I wonder what delights they have in store for us at City Hall, this year. Last year the big fuss was all about building a natural gas factory in Rockland, a figment of some fevered brain that disappeared like a puff of smoke once the fiction behind it was made plain.
One small thing the city seems to have done, probably hoping to make life marvelous for us, is to cover up the yellow stripes along the middle of the road at the foot of Pleasant Street, and paint new stripes about 2 feet to the west.
This has had the brilliant effect of making the lane nearest the new hotel wider, while making the other lane about as narrow as a goat path. I suppose the idea was to provide better parking for hotel guests, and somebody should at least be given marks for trying. The city did the same thing on Tillson Avenue about 20 years ago, and actually created some useful diagonal parking spots where there had been none before.
However, we all know how hard it is to conceal yellow road stripes, especially as they are designed to be visible. The result is that under certain lighting and atmospheric conditions, drivers turning up Pleasant past the side of the hotel are presented with a puzzling double vision of yellow stripes, as both sets – the new ones and the supposedly concealed ones – are highly visible.
It is now fully conceivable that a head-on collision could occur here, where both drivers are convinced they are in the correct lane. It would be interesting to see how a court or an insurance company might handle this oddball situation, don’t you think?
Happy New Year, Rockland!