14 August 2020

peachtree!

projects evolve along with one's research and what not, doncha know — and so my interest in "peachtree road," as in what is it? and where is it? the answers are not obvious, but i think i am now an authoritah on the subject — i am compiling a small booklet that is sure to be wildly popular and worth a great deal of money

the road was originally built in 1814 by the war department, and i found there is enough documentation to still trace its entire 40-mile route from hog mountain in northern gwinnett county to bolton in northwest atlanta — which is what kenny and i started doing today

i think we found the best preserved section today, running for about a mile southwest of duluth — the airline railroad was built a few yards away in 1870, but they were using the road and mostly worked around it --- the old road was bypassed by buford highway in the 1930s but later paved, badly, in the mid-twentieth century, before being entirely abandoned in the last quarter of the twentieth century.





18 July 2020

olden times

i found this today, something i wrote in february ---- i thought everything was a mess then, and didn't even get to BLM and the covids and what not --- i also left out what matters most: people i care about --- all of the quarantining, masks, and social distancing take their toll but also put things back in perspective
I finished my 2019 income tax return this morning—first year without any working income, i.e., nothing but social security, annuity, and investment income—but still a shitload more income than I ever thought I would have in my younger days—I owe a few thousand to the feds, which I can pay, but nothing to the state—
I spend a few thousand a year on health insurance premiums, but those are deducted so I never see the money anyway—and a couple of thousand in copays for the eight or so meds I take every day (!), but I also am the beneficiary for what amounts to free medical care whenever I have, for example, a heart attack, which is no small thing I guess—I know
I own my condo free and clear and totally appreciate the services provided by the monthly HOA fee—
i can buy purty much all the groceries and liquor and what not I want—blueberries, yogurt, and granola for breakfast, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch, and amy's chili rellenos for supper is just fine—for me, eating out on a regular basis would be a total chore, which is a big point of savings there—food is fuel and not much more for me
And I can buy all the books I want—I've got 1,482 on the premises at last count, and another on the way, a statistic I know since I just finished an inventory, during the course of which I discovered a number of books I had forgotten about and also too, discovered that I need to up my personal property coverage and get more bookshelves
I can get fancy seats at the benz for soccer and the stones, go to the symphony and the botanical garden and what not when I want to, and take almost daily walks around the park and the great neighborhoods around me here—I took Guinness out to the river a lot, but for whatever reason I've only taken the hound dog out there once and that was just for a short walk—the park and chicken-bone sidewalks are more his style—and so the fitbit routinely records in excess of 11 or 12,000 steps and five or six miles at least
The animals are always noodling around the house, taking up space, requiring attention, providing body heat—the unit itself is floor-to-ceiling glass looking out over midtown, with plants all over the place, even if the orchids aren't doing worth a shit right now—so I'm not sure what more I could expect for nirvana in living arrangements at this late date in my life
And yet there is trumpistan, casting its ugly shadow over everything—that so odious and immoral a person could be elected to lead what was once styled the "leader of the free world" will always be beyond my understanding—people saw him mocking a disabled reporter in front of thousands of people, they heard him brag about "grabbing by the pussy," they listened to a man that "tells it like it is" but was totally full of bullshit and lies in a way that was obvious to anyone that hadn't already been brainwashed by fox news—and jesus h christ all that and enough of them voted for him anyway—and then they've listened to him lie, virtually every time he opens his mouth,  thousands and thousands of lies that have degraded our political discourse beyond comprehension and brought nothing but confusion
"When a man unprincipled in private life desperate in his fortune, bold in his temper, possessed of considerable talents, having the advantage of military habits—despotic in his ordinary demeanour—known to have scoffed in private at the principles of liberty—when such a man is seen to mount the hobby horse of popularity—to join in the cry of danger to liberty—to take every opportunity of embarrassing the General Government & bringing it under suspicion—to flatter and fall in with all the nonsense of the zealots of the day—It may justly be suspected that his object is to throw things into confusion that he may ‘ride the storm and direct the whirlwind."
That was Hamilton in 1796 or so
And the Republican party, by failing to convict him of his impeachment, has confirmed his belief that he is above the law—they have been cowed into submission, so that now he feels free to use the justice department and every other arm of government to pursue his enemies, fill his coffers at public expense,  and, really, do whatever he wants to do—we've gone from children in cages to deporting military veterans and pardoning war criminals for chrissake?
He has empowered white nationalists and Nazis and evil people at home and around the globe, although I'll grant he didn't do all that all by himself—I worry about the queers and what not out in the country not to mention other minorities of all sorts, from Puerto Rico to Mexico to Africa to the Middle East
He and the republican party are in denial about climate change—he trashes environmental regulations, ranging from dumping coal ash into rivers and streams to reviving the asbestos industry to eliminating protection for wetlands and endangered species—and since he has appointed foxes over all the henhouses in government, he is quickly undoing, first and foremost, anything Obama touched, as well as the advances from the 1960s right back to the entire New Deal, not excluding voting rights and Social Security
He is trashing our old allies, abandoning the Kurds and Ukraine and everyone else that might benefit from our support—cozying up to despots in north korea, russia, and turkey
How does this affect me, a white anglo male, you might ask? Financially secure, as far as that can be and a great place to live and what not 
But being gay, I am affected by the fact that he has now appointed about a quarter of the federal judiciary, including two supremes, simply because the republicans hated Obama so much they would not even give his judicial appointments a hearing, much less a vote --- and most of them would roll back any civil rights, including marriage, that gay people have gained over the last two or three decades—
I know that somewhere in the middle of all of the above, you were starting to argue, but it all goes back to the man himself—a public man we've all seen and heard for decades—deeply ignorant, narcissistic, arrogant, egotistical, and immoral—we saw and heard him throughout 2016, and he [and russia?] still gamed the system and won
And so I "keep harping on trump"—and anybody that isn't on fire about what is going on is deeply ignorant, in denial, or a part of the problem—this is not about "political differences"; it's all about compassion and morality and justice

28 June 2020

the wind was in from africa . . . .

there's nothing unusual about this saharan dust plume, except for its massive size --- it looped up through the gulf and arrived here from the southwest --- a purty great bit of big weather, as it were --- the images here don't do it justice


18 June 2020

swamp beagle!

when i got him, they told me he was a beagle mix, but the dna test says he's 100% beagle --- every single thing about him is typical beagle, except for his size --- 13" and 15" high are AKC standard, and he is the latter, but he weighs over 40 lbs, and under 35 is standard ---

as it turns out, beagles were typically heavier in the nineteenth century, as this image from the wikipedia illustrates --- kenny is a kind of throwback, i think, in terms of size at least ---

from kuntry kenny to throwback kenny!

the beagles hunting swamp rabbits featured in field and stream a couple of years ago are surely his relatives

17 June 2020

tanyard creek

we walked the tanyard creek trail this afternoon, including part of the new portion opened north of peachtree creek --- a lot of wide-open spaces, even if it is bobby jones golf course
the state champion white ash is along tanyard creek

flowers!

an excellent evening at the garden yesterday --- unseasonably cool and slightly damp, it felt and looked like an english garden --- just delicious --- conservatory and orchid house were open, but not the desert and cool tropical houses --- 9 to 9 tues thru sun, the same on mondays for members --- timed reservations eliminate any crowding








16 June 2020

"southern justice"

this was norman rockwell's response to the murder of three civil-rights workers (schwerner, goodman, and cheney) in philadelphia, mississippi, in 1964! ronald reagan thought it a great idea to kick off his campaign there in 1980, by the way --- but then he was a giant p.o.s. ---

all of the photographs of schwerner are shitty, but here . . . . fearlessness in the face of evil

i want to see this turned into sculpture somewhere

09 June 2020

sad times

i despise confederate monuments, i have made love with black men, and have been a vocal supporter of black lives matter, but i also despise people that desecrate cemeteries (the images here are not mine) --- but that's the way it always happens --- the romans destroyed the sacred groves of the druids; sculpture from classical greece was melted down to give the venetian doge what he thought he was owed from the fourth crusade in the thirteenth century; relics of the saints plundered for precious metals and jewels and the monasteries demolished for their lead roofing and what not in the sixteenth, and let's go ahead and ruin all the stained glass and the rest of the relics while we're at it in the seventeenth (also too put cromwell's head on a pike on top of westminster for a hundred years) --- the bones of the french kings all wound up in the seine in the eighteenth century, and god knows what all got fukd up in the nineteenth and twentieth --- and that's just europe --- don't get me started about the taliban and the buddhas of bamyan and everything else which is a whole nother litany of atrocities

in atlanner, in the twenty-first century, we are desecrating cemeteries

this is the memorial to the unknown confederate dead at oakland cemetery after somebody smashed the face with a hammer and poured red paint all over it --- an excellent copy (1894) of the "lion of lucerne" that didn't deserve this fate

the original "lion of lucerne" (1824)



06 June 2020

fragrances and color

the maxillaria filled the air with the fragrance of coconut in april and may --- now it's the turn of the oncidium alliance to step in with aromas of chocolate and honeysuckle 


and last call for this unit, which started blooming last september! thanks, angela!

annus horribilis

i thought 1968 was purty intense as i lived through it, but, sweet baby jesus, 2020 is a mess — covid quarantine going on a century now, a totally crashed economy, and now massive public demonstrations against police brutality in hundreds of cities and towns in all 50 states  — the ugly response from the worst president and from too many police keep making it worse — 

27 May 2020

getting out of the house

we had an excellent morning visit to hyde farm in the wilds of east cobb, the furtherest i've been from peachtree street since early march --- the place looked really great, especially as the newness of the massive rehab in 2014 has worn off ---
also too kenny got to see how sidewalk chicken bones are grown and i got to visit with a dear friend as well





23 May 2020

the dog world

dog loves the afghan ma made me ca. 1980, and i think she would be proud



21 May 2020

garden is back!

the atl bot gdn has finally re-opened, except for the conservatory and orchid house! members only this week, but opening to the public on saturday --- timed reservations but open every evening until 9, which is wonderful ---overcast, upper 50s, virtually no one else there made for a delicious evening --- i've  missed that place this spring more than anything