Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Making the Rose City Blush

If the long-range weather forecast is close to accurate, those two new Welcome to Norwich signs, one where the exit from 395 North intersects with Route 82, and the other in front of the Backus Hospital near Washington and Lafayette Streets are going to get quite a workout this Friday evening and all day Saturday (and into the night).

Rose City Residents and friends from near and far we didn't know we had will be joining us for the return of Harbor Fireworks on Friday followed by the Rose Arts Festival at Chelsea Parade during the day on Saturday with the merry-making moving to the Harbor after six.

Both events and the Welcome signs for that matter are the latest indicators to me, often accused of being a Cheerleader for the City (which explains the saddle shoes and pom-poms in the hall closet), that the times they are a changing here in the Rose of New England, for the better and in a hurry. 

The expression goes "success has a thousand fathers while failure is an orphan," and in this case, it seems to me to be spot-on. It's not just one person or group responsible for adding pride in our stride as you walk around The Rose of New England but lots of different folks who stopped pointing fingers at why things don't get done and rolled up their sleeves to make their city better. 

Let's hear it for the efforts of "E Pluribus," on behalf of "unum," beginning with the City Council and Norwich Public Works who collaborated with Swaranjit Singh Khalsa on the Welcome signs, not forgetting the tireless fund-raising efforts of so many people in the same device who call themselves the Norwich Fireworks Committee, and Kelly August and a cast of what is becoming hundreds if not more for launching a comeback of the Rose Arts Festival.

Maybe it's the spring rains that are helping grow a greater sense of community here, though I will concede that many Norwich residents have been working quietly, perhaps a little too quietly at times, in recent months (and in some instances years) on projects ranging from neighborhood clean-ups, a Little Tardis Library (recommended by 4 out of 5 Doctors (Who)) through many community outreaches based in our houses of worship with many impacts and effects but, when viewed as a whole, are all saying "this is where I live and I want to make it better. Why not help?' 

That so many other of us have said 'yes,' through volunteering to be the difference, donating time, talent and treasure or just showing up at these events should tell those who are still wavering that now is the time to go all in.

Instead of waiting for someone to do something,' why not join with those who decided the best future for Norwich is the one we make for ourselves. Community is a contact sport and the more, the merrier. 

The fireworks start Friday night at nine and the Rose Arts Festival, complete with a 5 and 10 K road race, starts at Chelsea Parade Saturday morning at seven. We can sleep later in the summer. This weekend, we need to carpe the heck out of this diem. 
-bill kenny

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Channeling Pudd'nhead Wilson

Mark Twain, the literary father of Huck and Tom, is credited for observing, "A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." But that didn't actually originate with him. Go figure! 

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a celebrated 19th Century English fundamentalist Baptist preacher, attributed it to an old proverb when he delivered a sermon on Sunday morning, April 1, 1855, and thundered "A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on."

Pudd'nhead Wilson and his feelings about lies should be enough to make Tom, the other half of "The Extraordinary Twins" seem like the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Though, in this age of instantaneous worldwide connectivity, Perhaps the Reverend Spurgeon's stopwatch is in need of repair. I can think of someplace else in need of replacement. 

What do lies, Puddn'head, pulling on boots and Donald Trump all have in common? Glad you asked.

The Commander in Chief is not only an idiot and an incompetent, he is an artless and detestable liar.

Something Tiny Hans should really have on tape someplace.
Pinocchio uber alles.
-bill Kenny

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Originality Is in the Sin

I came across this yesterday on Tumblr. I visit there every day and more often than not have absolutely nothing to show for the moments I spend there (in much the same manner as you have for the time you spend here). 

Except sometimes there's something exactly like this:  

from themaninthegreenshirt

“There is no place like it, no place with an atom of its glory, pride, and exultancy. It lays its hand upon a man’s bowels; he grows drunk with ecstasy; he grows young and full of glory, he feels that he can never die.” Walt Whitman 

-bill kenny

Sunday, June 25, 2017

33.8121° N, 117.9190° W

I've heard the expression for my whole life and always figured its physical or metaphysical location varied from person to person. In moments of stress, anger or frustration we've all had someone who might encourage us to rise above by telling us to "go to your happy place."

Jeff Reitz has a particular destination in mind and has hit it every day for over five years. I am in awe of your single-mindedness of purpose, sir, and your unswerving dedication. 

Between you and me, I'd have been interested in some interview quotes from either Tonya or Karen if, for nothing else the reason why you've saved all the parking tickets from Mickey & Friends. His current park pass doesn't expire until January 2018 and I, for one, hope it does long before him.
-bill kenny

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Tales from the Naked City

It takes a village to raise a child, but no matter how large or small that village is, it takes only one person to raise a lot of hell.

I have an item that can only be found in a "community paper." In this case, one of those micro-news sites that sprang up when conventional newspapers struggled with their on-line content issues and making money from it even as sales of actual newspapers plummeted.

The profit margins for the micro-sites are a lot finer than, say those for the NY Times (but their scale of operation is a lot less grand than that of The Gray Lady, but the NY Times wouldn't touch a story like this with a ten-foot barge pole. I hope.

Timing in this instance as in so much else in life is critically important, especially when it's absent  As this incident reportedly happened a week before Father's Day but only saw the light of day earlier this week, I can't help but think somewhere, perhaps in a Derby suburb, is a dark never-to-be-revealed story about a tag-team Mother's Day ruckus that, too, went off the rails.

So many tales to tell, and so few tongues wagging to tell them.
-bill kenny

Friday, June 23, 2017

Addressed to the United States Senate

Circumstances have conspired to create a frame of mind that regards the following more as a prayer than a song, though not even I am foolish enough to think it's a healthcare plan.

Et Tu, Mitch?

Supposedly this was their original drug benefit but guard rails cost too much money.

"Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

The sky was on fire
When I walked to the mill
To take up the slack in the line
I thought of my friends
And the troubles they've had
To keep me from thinking of mine

Na na na na

The moon has a face
And it smiles on the lake
And causes the ripples in time
And I'm lucky to be here
With someone I like
To maketh my spirit to shine

Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight

Don't let us get sick
Don't let us get old
Don't let us get stupid, all right?
Just make us be brave
And make us play nice
And let us be together tonight
- bill kenny

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Pleading the Fifth on the Georgia 6th

By now you've read/heard/sensed or smelled news reports on the outcome of the very publicized hotly-contested special election in Georgia's Sixth Congressional District that became the most expensive race in congressional election history. Here's some instant analysis of the aftermath that makes as much sense, or as little, as anything else either of us has found, and it still says nothing to me.

As a resident of southeastern Connecticut, it was pretty simple: I don't live in the Georgia 6th. As it just so happened neither did the Democrat seeking to represent the folks who do live there but I digress. Or do I? Come to think of it, maybe not such a coincidence?

You tell me. All I know is here it is the Thursday after the special election and neither I nor Jon without the h is going anywhere near Congress and, oh, by the way, neither of us live in the Georgia Sixth. Hmm, that could be compelling, were Breitbart or Alex Jones to make the argument.

I am not a fan of POTUS 45. If Donald Trump were on fire and I had a bucket of water, I would drink the water, and then later pee in the bucket rather than put out the flames. But while dislike (heck, out and out animus) may work at the personal relationship level, in terms of a political ideology, it's beyond stupid and that, as far as I'm concerned is what happened Tuesday in the Georgia 6th. But don't take my word for it.

The Democratic Party of which I am a nominal though more often notional member as a registered voter (only because Relentless Pragmatist is not yet a recognized party) needs to say a lot more than "Nope!" in the discussion at any level of government with the Republicans.

Stop running against Trump and instead run in support of someone. Stop telling voters you are a stick to whack Trump with; when the time comes, they will find one all by themselves. Give them a reason, an argument, a platform, hell a whole program of reasons, to support you rather than just oppose the other guy. And spare me the 'he sucks' campaign slogan and any and all variants.

Trump got elected by not being Hillary Clinton. By that same reasoning, I should be the President (see my argument in the second paragraph above on not being from the Georgia 6th). And yet here we are, me typing this stuff and you eating up with a spoon. At least my hands are big enough to reach the keys.

A reasoned political debate in this country used to be a lot more than an exchange of epithets and insults. What we do now is have arguments instead of discussions. Perhaps we could try civility in our civil discourse and see what could happen. We should know by now what does happen when all we do is yell until we're blue in the face. Or Orange, for the most part
-bill kenny