Trail Building: My Forté

People don’t usually appreciate how hard it is to build a good trail. Often, the process begins by removing fallen trees. This is particularly taxing if they weigh over ten tons, which many of them do. I strained my knee on this one.PICT0007.JPG

But I was able to stand this one back up, luckily.holding up tree.jpeg

And I was able to push these apart so they wouldn’t fall. This is the best strategy, but you might have to hold them for a few years while they adjust.PICT0086.jpg

Sometimes you can just bend them down and out of the way.PICT0270.JPG

Some people cut them and push the halves to either side of the trail, like I’m doing here.PICT0016.JPG

Other times, a flying kick move is necessary to make the logs move.PICT0017.JPG

And this is to say nothing of the rocks. OMG, some of them require enormous strength to move off the trail. Luckily, I’m up to it, although I shook the ground with this one, which blurred the photograph slightly. Sorry.PICT0123.jpg

I had to pull and slide this one across another rock. Very hard. Tremendously hard.PICT0015.JPG

And on rare occasions, you have to use a karate chop. Can you see my black belt?DSC02194.jpg

I once gave this lecture at the high school where I taught for many years, during Morning Meeting on Monday. I ran the projector from the back of the auditorium, speaking into a mike, and I could hear the freshmen saying, “Oh, give me a break. Who is he kidding? He couldn’t move those things!” So I added to my monologue. “Some people doubt my ability to do these amazing things, but here it is, before your very eyes.” Thanks to Katie for taking these photos while offering encouragement while I worked.

 

TV Medicine

Many weeks ago, while watching TV at night with Mimi, my 92-year old mother-in-law, I noticed a shocking number of medications being advertised. Most of them were prescription, for which they’d say, “Ask you doctor if…” The sheer number of meds overwhelmed me. I started writing them down. Here is the list.

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So, whatever ailing you, there’s a cure here somewhere.

Disasterizing English

My father had a wonderful sense of humor, much of which involved language and word play. When we were little kids, he used to declare, “I have a falubus vocaluberry, made up of volunimus words.”

We’d say, “You mean fabulous.” And he’d say, “Exactly.” So language was up for grabs in our house.

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He also teased us with some of the irregular forms of words, especially when verbs become nouns. For example, he would say, “Look, if you deduce, you come up with a deduction. So if you elude, you come up with an eluction.”

At first, I corrected this. “Deduce and elude are not a parallel set. If you use deduce and produce, you get deduction and production.”

But he answered, “If you enlist, you have made an enlistment, so if you resist, haven’t you made a resistment? And if you desist—”

“Yeah, okay, desistment.”

“Don’t reducify my eluctment of terms. If you retire, you’ve entered retirement, so if you desire, you’ve entered desirement. If you write verse, you’re a versifier, so if you do worse, you’re a worsifier. And if you live in a house, you’re a housifier. Get it?”

We’d roll our eyes, but it loosened up the mood. “You’re a disasterifier of English,” I’d tell him.

“I’m just sophisticationalizing it.”

So I’m just saying that if I mess up in my writing, it’s not my fault.