Spending The Night In 1845

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I left work on Friday at about noon, just as the snow was starting to fall pretty heavily. When I got home I parked the cars carefully, so I’d be able to broom all the snow off into the grass, instead of the driveway, where I’d have to shovel it.

I VPN’d into work the rest of the afternoon and at about six o’clock went out for the first round of shoveling. The snow at that point was wet and heavy. I started on the back deck, so that the dogs would have someplace to do what they needed to do. I then did the front patio, shoveled a path up our long driveway to where the cars are parked, dug them out and then did the sidewalk.
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Vote For Bob Hardy and The Mummification Of Bolivar

As my tens of millions of loyal readers know, June 2 is election day here in Bolivar, WV. In a recent blog, I lamented the fact that our town government resembled the Chinese Politburo in its youth and vigor. I happened upon this article in the Herald-Mail and it does indeed herald good news from Bolivar. It appears our ossified government is due for a makeover, with a turnover on the town council.
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Black Hole Sun

As I was getting dressed this morning, my attention was grabbed by the shadows of tree branches shimmying on the floor of my bedroom. Confused, I leapt to the window and caught a glimpse of a strange, very pale, yellow disc in the sky. Very quickly the clouds moved in to smother it and the shadows on the floor disappeared.
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Ron Moltere For Mayor

The town I live in is called Bolivar, West Virginia. When I tell people this, I get a blank look. So I tell them that I live in Harpers Ferry. They get that. Bolivar is literally joined at the hip with Harpers Ferry and we both share the same zip code.
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The Journeys of NostraSeamus – 3/21/2009

I’m late posting this week. Twas quite a busy weekend and I’ve got a lot going on at work. No matter…last week was a pretty good week.

Forty-one miles this week, 222 from Harpers Ferry and squarely in the middle of West Virginia coal country. You know you’re in coal country when you’re passing through towns with names like Aggregates.

My journey this weeks ends in the oddly named burg of Jr. That’s what it says on the map: Jr. Junior, West Virginia was originally named Row Town. United States Senator Henry G. Davis (who as a young man was in charge of the Baltimore and Ohio railroad terminal in the one of the aforementioned Tri-Towns: Piedmont), founded the Junior Coal Company in honor of his son. Henry G. Davis Jr. drowned off the coast of Africa in 1897 and the elder Davis requested that Row Town be renamed in his son’s honor.

The photo below of Jr looks old. I’d wager that it looks very much the same today as it does in the picture:
junior

I’m down to 229 pounds today. Most of the week’s walking was in very lousy weather. Today broke cold, in the twenties, but brilliant. I did eleven miles and enjoyed every minute of it. I was crossing the bridge over the Potomac River when the sun broke over the mountains. There was a light blanket of mist on the river, which moved along with the water. The effect was beautiful. I couple years back I lived in a sub-division. It was too small to get a good walk in, so I had to actually drive to another sub-division if I wanted to stretch my legs.

I am very lucky to live where I live. I’ve plodded over the same ground for a month and a half now and it never really gets tedious.

Idiot of the Week – Me

Terror came to Harpers Ferry today. I was out on my morning constitutional, walking down High Street in the dark and deep in thought when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I beheld the two ne’er-do-wells pictured above advancing swiftly at me, from somewhere on my left. They looked like something out of a cross between the movie “Gettysburg” and “Night Of The Living Dead”. I let out a sound that could only be described as a girly shriek, hopped the railing that runs along the sidewalk and landed ten feet away, on the other side of the street, in a what I took to be a menacing defensive stance that one part Kung Fu and one part Richard Simmons workout stretch.

Just in time to prevent me from wetting myself, I realized that the two figures were displays in the John Brown Wax Museum. I’ve known about the wax museum for over thirty years, when I first came to Harpers Ferry with the Boy Scouts. I’ve driven or walked past it hundreds of times. And yet, on occasion, when I’m not paying attention to my surroundings, John Brown and John Anthony Copeland seemingly lunge out at me from the grave, scaring me half to death.

For this, I am a doofus.

Winter Wonderland

There are definite disadvantages to daily walking as exercise in the middle of the winter. The cold, which freezes what little blood gets to body parts such as earlobes and toes comes readily to mind. The cold’s nipple-shredding partner in crime, the wind, makes walking in the early morning barely tolerable. No, I do not walk around Harpers Ferry bare-chested. The wind, however, always seems to find a way in.

 

            Today was one of those days when walking in the winter was a joy. Overnight a light snow fell, coating the ground and dusting the trees with about a half inch of the white stuff. I probably walked a little slower today to savor the experience.

 

            The iPod added to the mood by picking out a mostly very mellow selection of songs. I’ll call the play-list Tribute To Michael Phelps. A bong hit or two before the walk would’ve made this morning truly transcendent:

 

Name

Artist

Stutter

Elastica

Junior’s Farm

Paul McCartney & Wings

Rock ‘n Roll Woman

Buffalo Springfield

California Dreamin’

The Mamas & The Papas

Nookie

Limp Bizkit

Walk On the Ocean

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Can’t Find My Way Home

Blind Faith

Girl, You Have No Faith In Medicine

The White Stripes

Only a Broken Heart

Tom Petty

Enter Sandman

Metallica

Feeling That Way

Journey

The Air Near My Fingers

The White Stripes

I Want You to Want Me (Live)

Cheap Trick

There’s No Home For You Here

The White Stripes

Live Forever

Oasis

All the Young Dudes

Mott the Hoople

Jealous Guy (2000 Remaster)

John Lennon

Karma Police

Radiohead

Born to Run

Bruce Springsteen

Everything’s Ruined

Faith No More

More Human Than Human

White Zombie

Venus In Furs (Stereo Mix)

The Velvet Underground & Nico

Wah-Wah

George Harrison

A Quick One While He’s Away

The Who

Assassin

Muse

Do It Again

Steely Dan

And On The Fourth Day: Flatulence of the Gods


Today is my fourth day of walking. My morning ritual includes visit to NOAA’s weather website to check the conditions. I did not like what I saw today: winds 45 MPH, gusting to 66 MPH.

I hate wind. I hate being outside on a windy day. I’d much rather walk in 10 degree cold than even a light breeze. I’ll take almost any kind of weather over a windy day. I ran Spring track in high school and some of my worst memories from that time were the early practices in March. We’d be running down one straightaway, being pushed from behind, then round the turn and run into a headwind. It was like hitting a brick wall.

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Dances With Werewolves

This morning I took a walk in the full moon. As I passed the town graveyard, I whistled.

I won’t chronicle here my steady retreat during the Battle of My Bulge (bulging stomach, degenerates) that’s taken place over the past four months. That self-flagellation can wait for some other day. This day, I decided to go back on the offensive.

At 3:30 I woke from a dream in which, I think, Satan was talking to me. It was either Satan or a gravel-throated singer from one of those German death metal/white supremacy bands. Anyway, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I got out of bed, surfed the net for a bit, and then donned my sweats, gloves and iPod.
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