Posted by: David | April 30, 2008

Things ‘N Stuff

Moonbeam’s current post is a wonderful “stream of consciousness” charm bracelet of what she thinks about on her commute to work. “Commuterama” she’s titled it. It reminds me of two things. How much more time I wish I had to read my favorite blogs, how much more time I wish I had to ride my bike, and how much my mind wanders when I’m riding my bicycle solo. OK, so it reminds me of THREE things. And stuff. Hence the catchy title of this post.

I saw this on last Saturday’s ride up Route 103 to Sullivan County.

This spray painted yellow bicycle made me think of a recent discussion with cantueso on the validity or power of photography as a true art form. So here’s a tacky jpeg of some even tackier artifacts. Is it art? And further south on this same wonderful State Route 103, is this incredible house looking like it came from Disney World. My wife remembers passing this house when she was a child and her family regularly went to Vermont to visit the grandparents.

Wouldn’t you love an attached gazebo with stained glass at YOUR house?

This house is unoccupied I think, and has been so for a long time. The paint is peeling. As I rode along my mind continued to wander. In a recent comment cantueso mentioned how pretty the dungheaps where she lives are in the Spring, all sprouting with weeds. Her comment made me think of this amusing sentence:

“I wish I had a nicer dungheap!”

As I pedalled along, I chuckled at this contradiction, and tried to spin it further out into some sort of country tune. (To the tune of, well, pretty much any country tune …)

I wish I had a nicer dungheap
This pile a crap ain’t no dang good
An if I’d had that nicer dungheap
She’d not’ve left and never would …

I couldn’t really get much further with it. But by then I’d reached the famous Chicken Farmer Monument.

Of course cantueso wanted an explanation of this too.

Apparently some graffiti-editor has revised this message. The object of affection is now KEN FARMER, and no longer CHICKEN FARMER. Ken cuts quite a dashing figure on his web page. Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether this is THE Ken Farmer. The graffiti editor may actually be in love with the auctioneer Ken Farmer. Who knows?


  1. Pick-Up-Sticks looks like the most wonderful shop. I love the bicycle. I painted an entire bike with gold spray paint once (as a centerpiece for the buffet table at Buck’s birthday party) and it was a big hit.

    The Disney house is fabulous. I should live there.

    I still love the Chicken Farmer too! God, it’s a small world, isn’t it? Even if it does refer to Ken Farmer now, to me it will always be Chicken Farmer.

    Pick-Up-Sticks is a very tiny store, right next door to a real estate office and a stone’s throw from the Sunapee traffic circle where the entrance to the state park is. It’s so tiny that I wouldn’t even be able to fit in there with my ten foot pole. Hmmm. That’s not quite right-sounding is it?

    I expect that you have seen this landmark in your New England travels. It has a small cult following and turns up a few interesting hits when googled. I think Yankee Magazine did an article on it some years back. The town of Newbury, where Chicken Rock resides will restore it. It’s important. It’s mentioned in the bestseller “Chicken Soup for the Couple’s Soul“…

    When the hell will there be a “Chicken Soup for the Chicken’s Soul” I wonder!!

  2. I love these photos!!! The bike and the house are fantastic!

    Please go fix that rock, and return it to its original glory. “Ken Farmer” just doesn’t have the same impact.

    No worries moonie, as I was telling Wendy, the town actually acknowledged the presence and meaning of this monument, and they will restore it.

    As for the actor Ken Farmer, he was on “Walker, Texas Ranger” I hope you realize! Did you see his super dooper professionally designed web site? He’s done all kinds of MOVIES. Jeebus! Not “the same impact”?!?!? ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. YES! I would love a gazebo with stained glass windows!

    Your mannequin Wilhemina would just love it in the gazebo. You could sip mint juleps in the summertime and do some blunk drogging on your laptops. hee hee ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. And why does it have to be ART? Why? Why? Why?

    But I have just fought all the windmills, and vanquished every single one.

    My visual editor stopped working yesterday. I ran all over for “solutions” (as you yourself once called them), until someone at the WordPress forum recommended a desktop blog editor free at

    And it works! It works! I can do all the formating plus the pictures everything off line on any computer.

    And I was able to install that and get it to work in less than 10 minutes. And I have already uploaded another Oliver that way!

    And now I am also going to take that “I love you chicken farmer” for that trial blog, please.

    Postscript: I am sorry about that Oliver in my sidebar. It can’t be corrected now. There are too many complaints at the WordPress forum right now.

    Indeed that’s the question, it’s either ALL ART, or all just a DUNGHEAP!

    Good job on the windmills! And nice find in the BlogDesk. That is a “solution” all right!

    Please help yourself to all the images you like. Perhaps some of your fame and fortune will rub off onto my blog. Or something like that. ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. I love the house but if I could live in any type of house it would be a log cabin. or a Medieval castle. I can’t quite decide which. I like the photo of the yellow bike. It’s such a happy photo.

    I think that the log cabin would be the better choice. I’ve heard that castle living leads to rheumatism, asthma, and severe ennui. Funny thing huh, with all those rooms to choose from. But it gets old fast.

  6. No, it is not all art or all dungheap. Things are rarely either or, though language often makes it seem so.

    At any rate, that address above Oliver’s head in that sidebar of mine is very ugly. It looks as if the dog were being sold. But the text widget lost its “edit” button, and as long as everybody is panicky at the forum because of the new dashboard bugs, I can’t go there to complain about that widget.

    Oops, I knew I shouldn’t bring up that “meaning of art” crap again. Sorry. ๐Ÿ˜€ I TOTALLY agree that language messes things up. God would tell us this but he’s not a big talker. The “either or” stuff is for the mathematicians.

    Yes I noticed the address looked a little funny and wasn’t an active link. Those widgets can be fairly limited and buggy. Maybe the type of widget you used doesn’t allow hyperlinks? There are too many widgets anyhow. If the widget bothers you, just delete it and try to start over. Don’t worry about hurting Oliver’s feelings. I won’t tell him.

  7. And what is art?

    At present all terms are a free-for-all which makes all definitions useless. Very well.

    Now, what am I to make of this interest in getting things classified as art if everybody admits there is no basis for that classification?

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Art is more than merely a “classification”. Or less.

  8. And yes, I’ll gladly take a photo now and then. I think it takes a long time to see what something is.

    Do you know Toulouse Lautrec? He was a poster artist of maybe 100 years ago. And the Swiss Hans Erni? And even Picasso? or Liechtenstein!

    A difference should be made between art and things needed to decorate office walls.

    I liked your cartoon post cantueso. I’ve seen and loved work of all those artists named but Erni. But a quick google search reveals that I’d seen Erni’s work without knowing his name.

    At the risk of re-opening this interminable discussion on exactly what qualifies as art and what does not I propose that we adopt a continuum of artfulness. This continuum is clearly not linear, but many-dimensional. To the classically trained and scholarly eye and ear, much of what passes for art in the modern (and post-modern) world would cause great unease. Pollock comes to mind for some reason. Yes, he spent many drunken years pouring and throwing gallon after gallon of paint at the canvas. And he was rejected by a share of the critics. One called his work “wallpaper”. Yet it hangs in prestigious museums.

    We snobs who can “really” differentiate between office wall decor and “real” art are fortunate to have had the time to expose ourselves to enough material to learn that difference. And being a dual-minded sort of guy, I have two art compartments, one for the widely acclaimed classically accepted works, and one for the great stuff that ordinary people produce every day. OK?

  9. Re: chickenfarmer love story

    I received a photo of a four story building. It had a glass facade and across three of its stories in large letters it said:


    The building was on the central plaza of the fairly large town of Burgos here. I thought jeeeez that poor desperate thing and imagined many different tragedies.

    I went to a forum and asked only to find out that the writing was political and “Pepito” the mayor of the town.

    Interesting how our minds want to play the love song, huh? In the case of the chicken farmer graffito, there is a fair amount of anecdotal data supporting a real love story involving the house across the street from the painted rock.

  10. The widget CANNOT be destroyed. It lost its “edit” button. I can open and close and delete all other widgets, but not that one. And seeing the mess that the forums are in, it is useless to go there and complain about a widget.

    It is nice that you think you agree with me, and yet you may be wrong.

    I suspect that this will often be the case my friend (on the agreeing and being wrong).

    On the faulty widget … a quick forum search found this:

    enboard Member May 4th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    that’s that. i solved.

    i bet that the title of your text widget is big. mine was, the title stayed above the edit link and it disappeared. pass the mouse carefully in the text widget and when the ‘little hand’ appears click fast, and remove or edit you widget.

    it worked with me..

  11. Well first of all I would totally love a chicken farmer on any day of the week, and secondly that Ken Farmer you linked is actually not a bad piece of tail..hmm…maybe he’s divorced and feverishly searching for wife #2….

    Back away from that Ken Farmer Actor Dude. Romi, he is way too old for you. You need someone of your own generation.

  12. I am still aghast at your idea that “language messes things up”. Who made terms like “mind”, “graffito”, “serendipity”, “art”?

    And who uses them? I think that on my own initiative I have never used any of these in my life.

    Words of that kind are similar to price tags both in origin and function.

    OMG. YOU are aghast?! AGHAST?! (nice word!) I think the idea of language distorting thought was YOUR idea cantueso. Some of our discussions prove this nicely. I defer to you because you are so well read, while I just quote TV commercials.

    So don’t be getting all aghast on me now, OK? It’s all in fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. But to say that language creates a mess is similar to saying that the internet creates porno!

    A language is just an artifice. Once you have had some education, you start handling the language as an artifice, a tool, with hundreds of optional elements that represent your more or less considered choice.

    Now as to the formula that you gave to delete that widget: I am not sure I understood, but I’ll try. I also have another photo of Oliver, where he reminds us of Lady Di. Of course she did not have such nice little triangle ears hanging into her face, but almost as clear and intelligent a glance.

    I’m sorry. It seems every time I try to paraphrase one of your writings, I screw it up. I gotta stop doing that. The widget recommendation was from a WordPress Forum. I thought maybe the large lettering of my url above Oliver’s picture might be similar to what that forum poster was talking about.

    I don’t think Oliver will mind that you mistook him for a female. He would be so happy with your compliments about his face that he would hump your leg. But then he humps everybody’s leg. ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. I did not say language distorts reality. Language creates symmetries: good and bad, big and small, pretty. These symmetries are necessary, just like “North” and “South”; are they “heuristics”?

    OK. I think you said language distorts thought. But never mind that. On directions, North, South, etcetera, how many do you count?

  15. How many? The everyday language sets up four. With those four you can make many combinations, as many as might be necessary for any particular end. Who invented those four? Who the 360ยบ of the circle? Now they are part of language.

    However, a deep divide has to be made between terms that refer to matter and terms that refer to people. The terms that refer to matter are internationally standardized and mostly expressed in numbers. All terms that refer to humans are a free-for-all and definitions either subjective or traditional = authority-based. These terms cannot mean the same to any two people.

    Let’s say Descartes invented them. Outbound from a point: North, South, East, West, Up, Down makes six. Add one more for inward to that same point, and that makes seven directions. How do you like that?

  16. As to that widget I tried to do what you recommended. It did not work. Now I am in a hurry or rather very hungry and running out of time to go and eat something. I’ll try again tomorrow.

    I’m sorry that didn’t work. Another search of the forum using “widget missing edit button” found this from a blogger named mark:

    mark Key Master April 30th, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Have you checked both sidebars?
    Have you tried switching themes?
    Does removing other text widgets help?

    I think those sound like good things to try. You’ll fix it eventually.

  17. I quote myself: “No, it is not all art or all dungheap. Things are rarely either or, though language often makes it seem so.”

    Language gives you choices. You operate with those choices. Language does not affect reality, but your COMPREHENSION of it. There are no distortions, only differences.

    In other words, consider that there is no ultimate reality, only ways of imagining such a reality with the help of language.

    It’s my belief that there IS an ultimate reality, but we do not or cannot know it fully, much less describe it with language.

  18. Your 7 directions: instead of Descartes you might have considered Harry Potter. Instead of bringing in the third dimension, you might have brought in the fourth one….if this helps you to get a clearer picture.

    However, it is my impression that you missed the point: the problem is exclusively with word-based theorems, NOT with the sciences or disciplines that are based on measurements such as the geometry or trigonometry you mentioned.

    The 7 directions concept is not mine, but rather a native American idea. We cannot conceive the 4th dimension without the 3 of classical Newtonian space. Please never mention Harry Potter again. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    And it’s my impression that I often miss your points. They are probably too subtle for my mono-lingual brain. But I think I do understand this one, though I won’t try to rephrase it again.

  19. I’ll have to leave that doggie as it is, until the forum is back to normal. I moved the cursor (curse her ?) but nothing happens. I looked at the source code and indeed that widget’s code is different and longish.

    So maybe it’s not a simple text widget? Do you remember which type of widget it started out as?

  20. I never mistook Oliver for a female. The sons of Lady D could also remind you of her. A little can of tuna fish reminds me of my uncle who used to have one for breakfast every day and open it most solemnly.

    I have not yet tried your other more risky suggestions, but maybe one of these days , if I will feel like playing Russian roulette….

    OK, as we say in the USA, “…my bad …” And to be fair, Oliver has no testes anymore, so he’s less male than he could be. And not so much better behaved for it either.

    Please don’t play Russian roulette. Your blog is wonderful as it is. I’m intrigued lately by your fascination with bridges.

  21. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ have you discovered my other blog?

    On the wordpress stats page there is a new link to show a post ranking according to the number of hits they got. I have 16000 hits total. 4000 of those are that one Obama joke!!!!!!! 35% of my hits are for 3 posts = Obama, Hillary and “The greatest buildings”. Every day of my life my blog opens up with the self-same top posts!

    So I had a temptation to start another blog and put in only things I really like. Besides poetry I like technology, but of all technological thingies only the bridges are photogenic. Airplanes and cars look much the same everywhere. Recently I looked up sun-dials, a beautiful idea, but no photos. Buildings depend too much on the photographer and don’t show their inners as bridges do.

    But probably I won’t continue on that other blog, because I find it boring.

    I have not discovered your other blog. I admire your industry! What is the URL? I barely have time to keep up one blog and read all the others that I have come to like.

    I’m about 4,000 views behind you in my stats. My top 5 list (with number of hits- shown below) is headed by a post about a colonoscopy that I had last year. What draws those viewers I have no idea. It was one of my earliest posts too, so maybe it’s age has something to do with it.

    Its title contains the word “sucks” which might draw porn searchers (along with the internal photography). But that theory weakens when I see that my all time lowest viewed post is entitled “Hole Filling”, a truly negligible post that deserves to be deleted. Go figure ๐Ÿ˜€

    Allright Already- Nobody Sucks!
    Happy Birthday to Me 239
    Don’t Trust Anyone, Not Even Yourself! 190
    Happy Birthday Thoughts-0-Dave! 184
    Royalty Free Wallpaper 123

  22. But every comment counts as at least 3 hits. You have lots of comments, I have only visitor hits.
    1) The success of a post depends partly on the title. I did not know that “suck” and “hole filling” would sound like porno. I do not believe that on WordPress porno is successful. The readers are all women and many are teachers. (I forgot that I was going to try that out by writing a neat little philosophy thing and then rating it as “mature”). But titles have to ring a bell, best by including some name. Is Paris Hilton beautiful? is an idea. (Let’s all try that one!)

    2) Largely however the success of a post depends on its position in Google, which in turn depends also on name content, because the spiders (I guess) can only collect names = nouns. For the post to move up in Google takes time.

    This is why my “longest bridges” or “most popular buildings” keeps coming up. I don’t yet understand why these should displace my Socrates posts, things I really know, and make “Napoleon” move up where I only know that he threatened my country.

    This is about the success of posts. The blog as such depends on other factors that I do not understand yet. The WordPress system favours posts rather than blogs.

    One comment = 3 hits? I didn’t know that. Interesting summation, cantueso, thanks for your considered thoughts. I think it’s a great idea to experiment with catchy titles, but …

    1) Dude, I am not a woman. ๐Ÿ˜€

    2) Guess you don’t know much about porn. That’s probably a good thing.

    3) I wrote a post with Britney Spears in the title, and only got 56 views.

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