The Ides Of March

 

Last Light Seaside Oregon

Last Light
Seaside Oregon

It is March 2nd already, almost a month since my last blog. The pinnacle of my winter is past now, I’ve just returned from my annual pilgrimage to the Fisher Poet’s Gathering in Astoria Oregon. As usual the event was wonderful, reading and listening to the work of over ninety of us, an affirmation of our blue collar love of the sea, the environmental and political issues and the simple raw passion of being on and near the water. The drive down this year seemed long and tedious, with several detours on the roads and an expired passport, but it is all over now with more fond memories filed away.

The most westerly bicycle rack in the USA

The most westerly bicycle rack in the USA

The disciples Longbeach Washington

The disciples
Longbeach Washington

The Baptist

The Baptist

I’ve managed to bring home some insidious virus and I’m not feeling particularly energetic. I’m sitting here in my bunny slippers with a schnozzy nose and bleary eyes so this blog will not hold any creative considerations or polemic perspectives.

In my last blog, ‘The Cowboy Jihad’ was written only with available information, which I confessed at the time. There has since been a lot more digging on the subject among myself and my peers. While in Astoria I managed to share brunch with a lady who has an intimate knowledge of the Burns and Malheur Lake areas in Oregon. There is a very different slant to the story when taken from a local perspective. It seems that the radical ranchers who came from various other states to establish the standoff with the feds were not much welcomed by local folks. The community was/is harshly divided, schools were closed as the event heated up, the National Guard was on standby. Apparently the general local consensus was that folks just wanted these outsiders to go back to their home ranches, pay up their overdue taxes and range lease fees (The arrears total many millions) and let the residents of the epicentre get on with their disrupted lives. Many of the facts we received through the media are grossly slanted or blatant lies.

Old Blue Lips Some Astoria flavour

Old Blue Lips
Some Astoria flavour

I am a Canadian and a US insurrection is none of my business so long as I can cross through my neighbouring country without being shot or imprisoned without just cause. There are plenty of issues here at home to poke my beak into. My resolve is to maintain and inspire the value of a questioning mind and to

Downtown Train Avery old wooden railway caboose on mains street in Astoria

Downtown Train
A very old wooden railway caboose on mains street in Astoria

A restored tram car in Astoria

A restored tram car in Astoria

Astoria Dawn A view from my motel room

Astoria Dawn Rainstorm
A view from my motel room

be aware. For example, two days ago when boarding the ferry M.V. Coho for the crossing to Victoria, I reviewed the Canada Customs form I was handed. I noted that items like switchblade knives and bear spray are “prohibited.” Hand guns are “restricted.” What the hell?

All I want to do is go sailing. The muddy waters of our own greed, apathy and resulting misgovernment are leading us into our own figurative Ides. For me, it’s all reason enough to move along and just be, instead trying to make sense of things. If I can’t be part of the solution then I am part of the problem.

Ready to go Prawn traps in a back alley of Astoria

Ready to go
Prawn traps in a back alley of Astoria

The Liberty Theatre a lovingly restored relic of the 20s and 30s It is gorgeous inside

The Liberty Theatre
a lovingly restored relic of the 20s and 30s It is gorgeous inside

Rooked An amazing chess set in an art gallery window. The board is about five feet square

Rooked
An amazing chess set in an art gallery window. The board is about five feet square.

Another art gallery window. This metal sculpture is about four feet long. The tail, the jaws, the fins and the eyes move. They're cleverly recycled motorcycle lights

Another art gallery window. This metal sculpture is about four feet long. The tail, the jaws, the fins and the eyes move. They’re cleverly recycled motorcycle lights.

Yes Really! A car lot in Port Townsend The cars are all 60s vintage Morris Minors

Yes Really!
A car lot in Port Townsend. The cars are all 60s vintage Morris Minors

Look ma! No airbags, no seatbelts, no radial tires, Wot? No GPS!

Look ma!
No airbags, no seatbelts, no radial tires, Wot? No
GPS!

Real wood! A little English Oak

Real wood! A little English Oak.

An Oscar Meyer Weiner, the dirty old weiner flasher. Even I find this slightly vulgar. "Mommy, what's he squirting on his head?

An Oscar Meyer Weiner, the old flasher. Even I find this image slightly vulgar. “Mommy, what’s he squirting on his head? For some reason he lurks on the edge of the Morris Minor car lot.

 

Well it's not exactly the cover of the Rolling Stone but that's me, the Fisher Poet's poster boy. Reproduced with permission of the "Coast Weekend'

Well it’s not exactly the cover of the Rolling Stone but that’s me, the Fisher Poet’s poster boy.
Reproduced with permission of the “Coast Weekend’

 

____________________________________________________

Political language… is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

George Orwell

7 responses to “The Ides Of March

  1. Congratulations on your newfound fame! The smile on your face says it all – looks like the trip was well worth it. Sorry about the resulting virus, hope it goes away soon.

    I LOVE that bicycle on the beach photo, it’s gorgeous and very effective.

  2. Laurie:

    Thank you. The virus is insidious and won’t go away but I’ll survive.
    Hopefully I’ll be up and bounding about soon. For the moment I’m too weak to leave the house. Snot funny!

    Fred

  3. Wot! And no surprise appearance at the poet’s gathering by Trump?

  4. I think the clown convention was in California.

  5. Funny…I found this blog when I typed “Ides of March” into a Google window.

    I love that photo of the bicycle on the beach. I’ve posted it on my blog: http://midlifecycling.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-journey-and-destination-of-my-rides.html

  6. I came across this blog when I typed “Ides of March” into a Google bar.

    That photo of the bike on the beach is gorgeous. I posted it on my blog: http://midlifecycling.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-journey-and-destination-of-my-rides.html

    • Justine:

      Well hello velo! So nice to meet you. Interestingly, in my blog I failed to mentioned the fat-tired bike I noticed in a shop in Astoria… perfectly suited to the design flaws of this Rubenesque old sea dog. The stunning thing was the price of $5500. US which translates to over $7500. CDN. Now that’s a lot of spokes to wobble off up the beach in quest of a beer! (Or is that a can of gluten?)
      I like your blog and will put up a link from mine.
      Happy pedalings

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