Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rhode Island Coast RIde

Tandem ride on Saturday June 12 2010. The Rhode Island coast is a great place to bike: smooth roads, flat, relatively little traffic. Rural seacoast towns, the Westport city signs even saying "A Right to Farm Community". Starting at Westport Elementary School we went south to Gooseberry Neck (photo above), then north to Tiverton. South along a beautiful srip along the Sakonnet river, then on to Little Compton for lunch, including fantastic local strawberry shortcake. Route is shown below. Click on "Show Details" for more, and you can even vicariously share the ride by clicking on the "Player" link once you are at the Garmin Connect page.

Got lucky with the weather. Despite threats of thundershowers, we only had brief periods of real rain, and temps were warm enough to avoid a chill depite our blazing speed.

Photos show views of Sakonnet river and an example of the many types of beautiful stone walls seen along this route. Could do a full photo album just showing these walls, and surrounding plantings. Hydrangeas are abundant, at this time of year just beginning to show mature flower blooms (should have taken a photo!). Also saw lupines, and of course the ubiquitous invasives mutliflora rose and honeysuckle.
The dock at Westport Point combines commercial and pleasure uses. Saw a sign "Shellfish Hatchery" and these lobster cages.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Thomas Sims and Learning from Big Mistakes

Visited Charleston South Carolina, March 17-22, in search of sun and warm weather, bloom, inspiration and R&R. Always a welcome place, they have a Garden Festival in March-April.

It's hard to visit Charleston and not think about history. It's everywhere, well promoted and supported. It's also hard not to feel remorseful and more, reflecting on slavery in our country's history. I learned and relearned much from reading "A Short History of Charleston" by Robert Rosen. Also some great exhibits at The National Parks Service exhibit at the Fort Sumter Visitor Center. At the Visitor Center I read quotes from Abraham Lincoln, shocking, but exhibiting an acute pragmatism, along with a reminder of how we are shaped by our surroundings. Full text of the Visitor Center Exhibit is available online, another example of the treasure of our NPS. See pg 15 for the Lincoln quote that shocked me.

Today's Boston Globe ran a story on the Thomas Sims Fugitive Slave incident. Despite being a progressive town, in 1851 Boston city government complied with the new Fugitive Slave Law, and dramatically escorted Thomas Sims back to slavery in Georgia. An idealogical hotbed for abolitionism and human rights, Boston citizens did not find a way to stop this. The Caning of Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner in 1856 in the US Senate chamber is also mentioned. I had to look it up because I'd never heard of such an outrageous action, comparable in some ways to Joe Wilson's "You Lie" not a physical threat, but delivered publicly.

The very well-written article by Steve Puleo, also makes a "take home" point: great big mistakes can teach us the error in our ways, and then, foster actual ACTION. I would add, the power of pragmatism being stronger than we acknowledge, uncomfortable or inconvenient consequences are usually required. Sometimes however, just realizing the horror is enough. And it made me wonder, what are the mistakes we are making now, in our personal and collective (political) lives, that should be shocking and energizing????

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Short Love Story

Ok, what was the last really good love story movie or book you read? No, Casablanca doesn't count. Away from Her might. But if you have 16 minutes, you might like this. If you like it, you might consider leaving some comments at YouTube.

"Validation" is a fable about the magic of free parking. Starring TJ Thyne & Vicki Davis. Writer/Director/Composer - Kurt Kuenne. Winner - Best Narrative Short, Cleveland Int'l Film Festival, Winner - Jury Award, Gen Art Chicago Film Festival, Winner - Audience Award, Hawaii Int'l Film Festival, Winner - Best Short Comedy, Breckenridge Festival of Film, Winner - Crystal Heart Award, Best Short Film & Audience Award, Heartland Film Festival, Winner - Christopher & Dana Reeve Audience Award, Williamstown Film Festival, Winner - Best Comedy, Dam Short Film Festival, Winner - Best Short Film, Sedona Int'l Film Festival.