Sunday, November 30, 2008

A New Bridge to Sheepscot

Those who know me and Mike well at all might guess that we are a somewhat unlikely pair. He, a devoted believer; I, a truth seeker fully engaged in the journey. One of the many things that binds us tightly is the Sheepscott Community Church, a tiny two-church congregation headed by the Rev. Judith Robbins.

Every week, she speaks of the intellectual and the soulful, the mundane and the vaulted. Her rich education, writing skill and fervent speaking engage and feed us with stories of writers, poets, saints and sinners.

Eli loves the time in church devoted to children and Chrissy Wagers' Sunday School. Judith provides the children's lessons and they have ranged from a travelogue inspired by a Siberian Russian Orthodox Church to discussions of the connotations of the color purple. When I announced in church that Eli had won some ribbons at a dog trial early this fall, I thought he would burst with pride. He showed similar enthusiasm last Sunday. All the older children were absent and he got to be an acolyte, lighting the candles, including one in the Advent wreath, wielding the long brass lighter like a fishing gaff. He loves fire.

For reasons I don't entirely understand we meet in the "Valley" church near the Sheepscot River in Sheepscott (actually Newcastle) in the winter and the "Hill" church, in the summer. Well, actually I do understand. The Valley church has running water and a good heater and the Hill church is an old Congregational meeting house with plain glass--though I would hardly call the abstract patterns thrown by the sun through those ancient poured glass panes plain--windows or seriously minimalist decor reeking of old New England.

Today, with Judith's blessing, Mike and I started a new blog called Sheepscot Bridges as a place to put recordings of Judith's sermons online. We're using Gcast, a website designed for GarageBand users like us.

Sermons, even good ones like Judith's, aren't for everyone. Podcasts make them phenomenally convenient, though. And if you've been pining for some smart talk about things I make no claim to fully understand, have a listen.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How Can This Be True in Obamaland?

According to a poll by Zogby and IFC says Americans trust the New York Times, Fox News and Rush Limbaugh more than any other comparable news sources.

Anyone who's seen the film Outfoxed will be as stunned by this news as I am.

Signs of the Times

The deflation trend is being led by gasoline, at least in this part of the country. Gas! Get your gas! Regular gas is now $1.99 at Citgo and Shell in Warren Maine.
NYU economics guru Nouriel Roubini said in a recent e-newsletter that rallies in the stock market are sucker rallies.
According to Roubini in this Bloomberg News video, financial markets are like jungles. Prudent regulations could have kept the nation from having to wrestle with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Indicators show the market destined to drop at least another 15 percent as people stop buying and investors bail. Credit remains difficult to obtain. Banks and financial management houses have not yet owned up to all their losses, as might be surmised from the huge drop in Citibank stock yesterday.
The photo to the left was found on Flickr, part of a pool of photos taken by a group monitoring gas price signs.

Back Amongst the Living

For the first time in three weeks I can taste my tea. I slept through the night, except for the cat needing to be thrown out at 0200, for the first time in a month. Nothing hurts. And I've only coughed three times in the last hour. It feels like a November miracle.

Of course, I have a doctor's appointment this morning. Oy. I am wicked thankful I have a job with health insurance. Too bad I have to give it one second's thought.

Anyone else been dancing with death this fall? Honestly, if I lived in a fireplace heated, 18th century house in Maine undergoing this grippe, I don't know what wouldhave happened. How did our ancestors do it?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Constitutional Scholar in the White House. Just Think.

A quick look at the Obama transition website reveals a conservative truth about the president elect. He signals what would appear to be a dramatic reversal in the way we can expect government to function. Click on "Organizational Chart" on the left hand menu, then notice the place of the U.S. Constitution in the flow chart.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sheepscot Son Faces Double Murder Charge In Early December

The law is perhaps as much of a blunt instrument as any murder weapon.

According the the Waterville Morning Sentinel, Newcastle native John Okie, 21, goes to trial in Augusta Dec. 8 for the 2007 double murder of his father, John Okie, and a former Kents Hill classmate, Alexandra "Aleigh" Mills. The Kennebec County Superior Court jury is expected to hear defense arguments centered on Okie's long-documented mental health problems.

Re-dubbing, Scrubbing

Mike and I have been told that the name of this blog is, well, less than worthy. We take it as a compliment that our snarky little allusion to the ancient weekly newspaper we abandoned, The Lincoln County Snooze News is beneath the pieces we've been posting, and have been tossing around some ideas for another banner. This week even the allusion seems ridiculous when their biggest story--according to their online front page all weekend--the disappearance of a Wiscasset woman Thursday, Nov. 6, was solved on Saturday the 8th. She showed up unharmed at a relative's home early that morning. The LCN posted this "breaking" story two days later on the 10th.

The most misleading part is the LCN scrubbed their wrong-for-three-days story by editing it instead of adding the new news. This violates web protocol, long established by the universities who developed the Internet. Scrubbing the news is at worst Orwellian, at best unprofessional. It uses the web's power for damage control instead of for archiving and organizing.

As for archiving, the web geniuses at the LCN have evaporated nearly five years of reporters' work previously available on the old site's archive search, effectively flouting the opportunity for research and responsible citizenship. This confirms the paper's total misunderstanding of the web.

In an effort to dispense with this allusion to the local paper, which seemed a good joke at one time, we would like a new name. Some have said we could use our video production name, Lacunae. Mike and I like the idea of including an old fashioned newspaper moniker like the Citizen or Herald with an updated modifier.

We'll keep you posted on any keepers. Ideas? Click comments below.

[Updated to edit for snark control at 0925; and again for clarity at 1030.]

Monday, November 10, 2008

In Case Rahm Emanuel is New to You

Here's a taste of President-elect Obama's attitude toward his new chief of staff. Keep in mind this is a roast.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Local Woman Not Murdered by Boyfriend

A Wiscasset woman, Jessica Norris, 38, who had been missing since Thursday afternoon, showed up this morning. She told police she had left in the manner she did because she was trying to end her relationship with her fiance, Russell Anderson.

Initial reports, including a tale of her fiance driving to New Hampshire and returning to his West Alna Road home with a rented car, pointed in a much more sinister direction.

This shouldn't have to be the way news works. In Maine, however, when women disappear lately it's forever, and way, way too often the culprit is a lover.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Free At Last

Gail is a beautiful, smart, kind widow whose husband, a lovely, peaceful, generous Episcopal clergyman, died way too young. She runs a totally groovy kitchen equipment store on Route One between Nobleboro and Waldoboro, called the Well Tempered Kitchen. [n.b. if you're in the mood for shopping, either visit scenic Waldoboro or pray the online store reopens quickly.]

At the driveway entrance stands a sign usually reserved for sale info and cooking class times.

This morning, the day after we elected Barack Obama to the presidency, as I was driving to Thomaston and my first day of work as an Ed Tech--after six months of seeking a teaching job--I saw this sign and started to cry. I could hear MLK as if he were coming out of my car radio.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Globe Updates Boothbay Wave Story

Gee, it's great when media outlets call around, take pictures, talk to experts and interview witnesses. See for yourself.
My favorite quotations:
The cause of it is a mystery. But it's not mysterious that it happened.
National Weather Service meteorologist John Jensenius [charter member of the Master of the Bloody Obvious Club]

It felt like somebody took the plug out somewhere. It felt like there must have been water missing in the ocean someplace.
McSeagull's waitress Elena Smith