Tuesday, November 13, 2007

quaint vignettes from my charming rural idyll

Y'all are outstanding. I've been to other places; I know you have too-where an issue like gun ownership would have had people raging and frothing... attacking one another in the comments lounge, knocking over the furniture, spilling the crab, setting the Egon Scheile collection on fire.

As it stands, we only had one glass broken and someone left the water running in the bar sink. There's a stain on the carpet over by the Mapplethorpe but that happens a lot in that corner for some reason.

In reading back I wish I hadn't used the comment equating a broad, broad term like pacifism with non-ownership of guns, because that leads to the opposite 'self-defense=ownership of guns', which is 1. spectacularly inaccurate and 2. shitty logic on my part. I'm supposed to know how to develop an argument better than that.

Here's what I got out of it.

I think there's something to be learned from the Brits. There's got to be something fundamentally different-and saner- about they way they approach living in a group. We don't feel safe. A significant percentage of the British population DO. I find that extremely interesting and you should too.

Any of y'all Brits who might want to do a post on this, let me know. I'll give you three days up on my blog, either your link or your actual post.


We had a windstorm yesterday that knocked out the power for at least 16 hours. This was as bad a go as I've ever seen here; tropical storm level winds, pieces of other peoples' barns cartwheeling past, small trees lying almost parallel to the ground and large trees broken off halfway. I sat in the front window and watched thousands of bright yellow alder leaves bounding and tumbling across the field across the street, rushing straight toward me. The grass lay flat and glittered. The only birds out were seagulls, who know how to enjoy a good storm, and small ducks, which do not.

At the best of times a small duck is not a real aerodynamic little guy, so why, in the middle of a near-hurricane force blow, they should suddenly decide to take to the air is beyond me. Still, there they were, flapping their little wings to beat sixty, all steadfastly aimed in the same direction and yet blowing sideways and and around in circles like chips in a current of water.

...of course, you eat a baby this size you won't be flying anywhere.

The gulls dipped and dove and tumbled and sailed all around them. Probably giving them a bad time. "OO hey, be careful, you guys! Hey! Where ya headed, guys? Hey! You guys need a map?" That sort of thing.

This morning the power is back on and the sun is out. Yesterday afternoon many of the main roads were blocked by fallen trees; today I'd be surprised if there were more than three that remained impassable. Most everyone who lives out here has learned to carry a chainsaw in the car all fall and winter. Practically as soon as a tree hits the pavement there's three guys stopped in the road, sawing it into chunks and winching them over to the side of the street.

Public works was on the ball. They don't get nearly the attention they deserve for what they do for us out here in the stickerbushes. They had crews out all day in the middle of the worst.

...we know how to roll up in the PNW.

Imagine being up in a boom truck, 25 feet over the pavement, during 60 mph winds in sideways rain, trying to dodge half of a Douglas fir swinging around, all tangled up in live power lines. That, my friends, would be fucked up.

Would I do it? I would not. Well I might, if they'd let me take the boom truck home at night.


  1. Glad to hear you weathered the storm (wtf does 'weathered the storm' mean anyway?).

    You're wonderfully weird and a living non-sequitur if I've ever known one.

    Still not dead,

  2. hendrix11:04 AM

    I probably broke the glass, I usually do, sorry.

    Your storm sounds like fun. Well fun to watch at least, not fun to be out in obviously. It's been ages since we had a good storm here.

  3. Despite the wind, the sun came out in the afternoon (what the fuck IS that ball of orange in the sky?) but the wind blew my sunglasses off.

    You know it's bad when they shut down the ferries.

  4. 'shot: 'weathered' means you look all wrinkly and old and shit but people tell you that you look 'dignified'. good on the not dead scenario. keep doing that. shit gets bad? you have my e-mail.

    hendrix: oh honey, that's fine. i get them at a discount at the restaurant supply.
    i love to wake up in the night now and hear a huge storm blowing past in the dark. not so much before, when the TREE OF DOOM was still standing and dropping giant sodden limbs at random;forget a windstorm.

    MJ: it was rocking and rolling here. the lummi island ferry stopped running around 7am from what i heard. the whole town was black up until 10 last night. the good news is, there is not leaf one left anywhere, tree or ground. THEY ALL BLEW INTO CANADA! ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!

  5. "Practically as soon as a tree hits the pavement there's three guys stopped in the road, sawing it into chunks and winching them over to the side of the street."

    and maybe get some free firewood out of the deal! mmm, crackling wood fires, roasting 'shmallows, hot cider... i'm getting homesick.

  6. So wait -- now I have the image of folks in your neck of the wind-swept woods carrying shotguns AND chainsaws in their trunks! fact or fiction? Glad all is calmer today and thanks for your summation above -- you rock.

  7. cb: yes indeedy do! and they're welcome to it as long as it's windfall. the county just chips it.

    mutha: that's right. now, not everyone all the time, but the further you go out of the city limits and up the mountain the higher the percentage climbs. no kidding. this be's the woods. nothing like half a bigleaf maple shattered across the only road off the mountain to ruin your whole afternoon. for that matter, nothing like a nice 6-point buck standing in your driveway and you without your rifle to ruin your whole day.

  8. Aren't Mapplethorpe's pictures amazing! those lovely flowers - don't know what the stains could be? pollen perhaps?

    btw I still want a gun, post me one.

  9. been there, done that, have the nightmares to prove it. we had something they so lovingly called straight-line winds come through several years ago. the end result being a new barn, a new cabin, and me stepping on a muddy rusted nail in a piece of the old barn.

    at least the electric companies up there know what to do. down here, they were all wondering what had happened to make all those trees from alabama end up in our front yard.

  10. Okay, I am a bit inebriated. I'll be back tomorrow to post a real comment.

    *takes a swig of Jim Beam*

  11. Anonymous10:34 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. you like to say 'fuck' alot.

  13. Glad you are OK Ms FN! I live on the seafront and in the spring we had in quick combination, 1. an Earthquake 2. torrential downpours of rain. At one stage water was flowing down the hill behind into the back of the building and across the road from the sea into the front!! Nice. As the building was earthquake damaged the water came in from the roof down the walls and at about midnight the electricity exploded and the lights went out as the water reached the mains sockets...

  14. frobi: pollen? i dunno...its always in front of the 'piss christ'. maybe it leaks. and if you want a gun, get ahold of hendrix; she knows all these bars up north where you can get one.

    pink: holy CRAP. you got hit. all i thought i was going to lose was my metal shed; i could see the walls and roof flexing like it was trying to inflate and take off on me.

    awa: well.....good! knock that Beam! avoid open flames, though.

    marky: you need to post more pictures of pirates with erections. Arrrrrr.


  15. Will the evil blogger let me comment now ??

  16. Hurrah......
    Glad to hear you survived the tempest it may take a while to pick all the bits of tree and the odd baby duck out of your hair . The Beast is no stranger to terrible wind (Frobishers cauliflower bake ??).

  17. we had some windstorms when i lived in arizona...you couldn't even think of going outside because of the blowing sand...here in illinois we have tornado seasons...a couple of years ago one came in front of the house and messed up my giant oak tree...it was a real shame as the tree has never been the same...i still remember when my son and foster son would climb as high as they could go...would scare me but i loved watching them "touch the sky" something every kid should do even if they hurt themselves...lessons learned...

  18. I like it where I live about 90% of the time - I can see the sea from bed - honestly you are welcome to join me and have a look yourself...

  19. I wouldn't have expected you to come in for much flak (sic), given that you argued your point well. Of course, when we start bringing statistics into it, it's much easier to distort the picture, as rimshot proved very clearly.

    I tend to assume that the problem with guns is that once you have them, and they have penetrated so deeply into the culture, you're pretty much stuck with them. And knowing that every stranger is potentially an armed felon is likely to make you more wary. It's a problem that feeds itself.

    That assumption would be proved incorrect, of course, if there were a country with a similar rate of gun ownership to the US, but without the kind of problems that you guys get.

    Does Canada satisfy those criteria? Or was that a Michael Moore fib? :)

    But then, even in this country, every stranger could be a potential felon armed with a big, sharp knife, yet I don't feel obliged to carry such a thing myself just in case. Hmm. I'll have to think some more.

    But thank you for the stimulating read/discussion.

  20. Mr Mutley the earthquake and susequent tsunami in bridport was caused by Mr Frobisher dropping his latest disasterous attempt at a dorset apple cake.
    Bournemouth borough council have been petitioned by a weeping horde of french pastry chefs , Frobisher has now been served a patiserie 'Asbo' so the problem has been averted for another few years

  21. ASBO definition Anti Social Behaviour Order served by the british judiciary system to miscreants who refuse to act in the common good.
    Bring Back Public Boiling I say

  22. And to think we may need to go all through this again on Friday -yipee-

  23. I was surprised to hear that you stayed indoors to watch the storm. I would have expected yout to be out gallivanting around, yes I said gallivanting. And it is sad to say seagulls are naturally rude to ducks. Poor silly ducks.

  24. We Brits do like to shake our head and tut every time there's a mass shooting in the US, smugly patting ourselves on the back and telling ourselves "it could never happen here". It has, of course, at Dunblane and Hungerford. I suppose we do feel safe, in that most of us don't feel the need to go armed on our day-to-day business, but the increase in young people carrying blades and guns in inner-city areas and is alarming.

    Incidentally, I'm waiting for my rifle licence to be approved, but only the rabbits are in danger.

  25. In Canuckistan we cannot abide with homeowners packin' heat. Since we are a nation of seething passive aggressive human time-bombs, we have our own way of dealing with home invasions...
    we ignore them..
    if they persist in talking we turn on the TV and watch Hockey..
    if they steal the TV while we are watching the game we really get upset..
    we will say unpleasant things about them the very instant that they leave.

  26. Is that kid holding a hand grenade? I want a gun, but "they" won't let me have one. I don't understand it.

    Still loving and adoring your blog. Glad you didn't get blown away to Canada during the storm!

  27. beast: frobi is in a 'winter vegetable' mode lately. and you know what they say...if it's cruciferous, its odiferous!
    little cole joke.

    daisy: have you ever done a post about what it's like to live in tornado alley? you should. we had a tiny, tiny little one here a couple of years ago and that was quite enough!

    muttley: the only thing keeping me from rushing to your side are the death threats that Bonita keeps sending me. the last one included a mysterious white powder *scratches lesions* I bet i wasn't meant to snort that, huh.

    qenny: my darling, would YOU do the post? I mean it. would you like to guest? you put things so beautifully and you have such a humane way about you. i would love to host your writing.Michael Moore was not lying...but maybe Australia fits the bill a little better?

    beast: the culinary ASBO should be in worldwide effect. a standing army of touchy chefs would enforce it, ready to cudgel miscreants into submission with a baking pan full of my mothers bread dressing at a moments notice.

    calle: well hello, calle! if wind comes from the south there's nothing left to blow away. and if it comes from the north we'll get all our stuff back. it's a win-win sitchyation!

    gale: i did some limited gallivanting when the garbage can decided to gallivant across the driveway and i had to gallivant after all the bags and cans. otherwise the air pressure had the door sucked shut so hard i had to lean into it to get it open!

    malc: howdy! and sad to say thats true. theres a lot of different ways to end life and no one group of people have a lock on the willingness to do so. would you care to take me up on my offer of hosting an essay on same?

    homoE: you see, i'd believe that except I've experienced first hand the kind of homocidial insanity y'all are capable of once you get behind the wheel of a car. no 'passive' there, bucko! i'm suprised you don't all have those whirling death blades of deadliness and bleeding death tires standard on your cars, like the ones they had on the chariots in Ben Hur, man.

    joy: yes, that kid is holding a toy hand grenade. one of the amazing photos taken by the late Diane Arbus, one of my idols. (I'm already so close to canada I can smell the cheese so it's all a matter of time anyway.)

  28. Not sure about hosting an essay or posting on the subject on my blog as it's mainly about pig farming and living on a small island and is meant to be fairly light-hearted, but, as it's a subject many people in Britain are very worried about, would be happy to get involved in debate elsewhere.