Wednesday, August 20, 2008

You never appreciate...

I've lived in Quincy since 1996. The community is clean, friendly, contrary to popular opinion there IS quite a bit to do and get involved in, and for the most part while it has some problems, they are not insurmountable nor devastating nor indicative of a community heading out in the proverbial handbasket.

I like Quincy. I like the people. I don't like some of the political games and some things about local government, but those things--in the long term--tend to get corrected or at least modified for the better. And I keep my fingers crossed.

But all that's just to set up this:

Why am I then, just like the old cliche, so remiss when it comes to participating in activities in my own backyard?

To wit, for the first time in 12 years I went to the K of C barbeque. Doh! Where have I been? Don't ask me to figure out why I succumbed for so long to the notion that you don't visit the attractions at home. It's kind of dumb, to be honest, especially these days with gas prices what they are. Why drive to St. Louis or Chicago when we have great events and activities right here (or relatively close)?

Anyway the KofC was great, well-organized, clean, and just lots of fun. I didn't even go with a big bunch of friends. I let one person convince me to go with his family and I had a great time.

Another confession: last year was the first time I went to the Adams County Fair. I grant that I went primarily to sing the National Anthem before the big concert (Adkins? Was that the performer? I forget, except his band members paid me a great compliment saying "Wow man, you got a GREAT set of pipes!"). But I hung around a while and again, it was great fun.

The point is this: don't whine about "nothing to do". Even beyond special events there are activities, museums, concerts (of many stripes), and who knows what-all going on nearly all the time in Quincy and the surrounding area. So get out and enjoy!

A plug: LST-325, the last of the operating World War 2 era "Landing Ship, Tanks" is docked at the Hannibal waterfront through Monday. It was at Normandy, in Korea, in Vietnam, and even spent some years in Greece. It's been refurbished as a museum and a memorial. Go see it, if for nothing else than to see the "original manufacturer equipment" that is stamped "Quincy". Yes, made right here by the old Quincy Compressor.

I've rambled enough for this morning. Time to get some work done around the house.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

From Aleksandr Solzhenityn

A quote from Solzhenitsyn, may his memory be eternal!

This is apropos especially of my chosen profession, and is good for all of us to reflect upon and consider.

From the 1974 essay "Live Not by Lies", addressed to his Russian countrymen during communism's reign.

"So in our timidity, let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood–of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies–or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.

And from that day onward he:

- Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.

- Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.

- Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.

- Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.

- Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.

- Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.

- Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question. Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.

- Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed. Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice.

But there are no loopholes for anybody who wants to be honest. On any given day any one of us will be confronted with at least one of the above-mentioned choices even in the most secure of the technical sciences. Either truth or falsehood: Toward spiritual independence or toward spiritual servitude."

Friday, August 01, 2008

Ooooooh Kaaaaaaay

The Hannibal "Cavemen".


Maybe shoulda coulda thought of calling them the "Mark Twain" Cavemen? I mean if you're gonna go with "Cavemen", anyway.

Oh well, not my call.

(That would be "right down the middle...STEEEE-rike!")