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Articles in "Island Life "

Last night at the Vashon Park District (VPD) commissioners meeting I had a couple people come up to me and express interest in what I might be writing here for this round of interpretive lip reading regarding the Great VPD Field Debacle.

As I obviously have nothing better to do, I was just kind of wondering what a million dollars could get you in the way of grass.

Just for laughs, at the special Park District meeting this past Saturday, I asked what seemed to be a fairly obvious question, and that was: "Can you play on the fields as they are now?"

Most days I can navigate past the news automat that is the opening page of the Yahoo internet home site. In many ways it reminds of the Horn & Hardart shops in New York City of ancient times

I have been doing a fair amount of reading lately, but it hasn’t been stuff that I really wanted to be spending my time on. At the moment, I can look around my desk and see

I have started this column over a number of times and finally decided on the above quote, mostly because it is true, and partly because I don’t want Woody Allen or anyone else to drag the ghost of Marshall McLuhan out from behind

It seems that one is constantly being reminded of the life paradox that the more you know, the more you seemingly don’t know.

I am staring at a copy of the 2012 Operating Budget for the Vashon Parks District (VPD). Actually, that is not true. I am staring at my keyboard as I hunt and peck this onto the page.

It used to be they were just bathroom scales because you kept them in the bathroom- hopefully somewhere behind a stack of towels or in the cabinet under the sink and buried beneath the toilet bowl cleaner and half-used bottles of conditioner.

"…his hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice and freedom are more than just words- they are perspectives…" V, speaking of Guy Fawkes - from V for Vendetta

There is at least a portion of my life that is spent in contemplation as to how to begin something- anything.

Mornings are often a blur- some days more than others. At times, donning one’s reading glasses while going about the morning breakfast preparation routine can be of some assistance. Other times, however, nothing one does can help, or improve upon the ante meridian miasma. Lately I have been more likely to have my reading glasses available as I prepare the morning repast after the repeated round of mocking I received from my visiting sister and brother-in-law.

A few years back when some filmmakers were passing through with a screening and presentation in tow, they did something interesting for the discussion circle afterward.

Some people don’t like clowns- I have a hard time with greeters. In greeting terms, I am thinking of people who stand in your way and wish you well when all that you really wanted to do was get in, do whatever it was that you came for and then get out in a way and manner that is unpestered by smiling faces and stock voicings of good wishes and glad tidings. In the worst case, I am thinking of the large, lumbering dolt in Mike Judge’s film Idiocracy, who stands at the entrance to an interminably large and futuristic version of a certain discount box store and drones on in an expressionless monotone: "Welcome to Costco- I Love You."

"…While it was unclear whether it had come from within the confines of the tumbling vehicle, a red, white and blue malted beverage container of recent vintage was spotted amongst the debris. If it had indeed come from this car, I doubt that opting for Heineken would have led to a more favorable outcome to this situation…"

Of all the iconographic television facial expressions, it is the cocked eyebrow and slightly tilted head of Leonard Nimoy’s Mr. Spock from the original Star Trek series that continues to have strong and current relevance for me. How can it not, in these times? Without saying a word, Spock could wither any wayward thought or plan or logic defying situation that arose in his proximity by simply assuming that minor facial contortion.

We recently missed the opening ceremonies for this edition of the Summer Olympic Games™. In truth, even if we hadn’t been up in the Cascade Lakes area outside of Bend, Oregon, relatively far away from a television screen, I probably would have found some other reason to miss them as well.

In a part of my own set of loosely interpreted personal guidelines, one can find a provision that grants little or no time or reasonable recognition to musicals. As a middle school kid, I remember breaking into semi-uncontrolled laughter in our living room because of the sing song aspect of an Encyclopedia Britannica salesman’s pitch to me and my parents. When asked why I was laughing, I covered by saying I had just remembered a funny joke.

I have this thing that happens on a random and semi-regular basis. When it occurs it stimulates in my brain a pause and reflect moment, or series of moments, in my general flow of things. Unlike astrology or the Tarot, which at times speak directly and a bit eerily to my personal current event notables, my occasional recognition of the coincidence of words has yet to reveal anything of significance other than the basic fact that it has happened at all.

There. I said it. I’ve been sitting and staring at the screen- getting up and walking out into the garden- coming back in and sitting and staring at the screen. The only thing that keeps returning to the forefront of my attention is a geranium. It is a word that takes me two places at once. Primarily right here it references the seedling strain that is currently dotting my border with a range of foliage color in varying shades of all green, green infused with red or edged in an accent of burgundy.

It’s funny how things, and one’s perceptions of them, can change. As it is, one can cruise through the day without worrying, for the most part, about randomly flying off the planet and into space, imploding or exploding in a random or orderly fashion, or maybe even turning into an aquatic newt or a brightly colored bag filled with doorknobs.

It was kind of like a Norman Rockwell meets Roger Tory Peterson composition for ducks in Spring. I was drawn to it at first by a slight burbling sound coming from the pond in a place where burbles are not naturally occurring through any form of gravity driven water movement. We were sitting out in the backyard for a Mother’s Day event when I looked down to the water to see a female wild mallard floating just out of reach of a mass of yellow flag iris foliage, with its bulging minarets not quite ready yet to unfurl the golden banners bundled inside. And at varying intervals, three mid-sized ducklings were testing their diving prowess and popping up in random spots around mom duck to shake the water from their duckling down and still undersized wings. Watching this scene play itself out on a warm Sunday afternoon, one could almost forgive the oval-eyed anthropomorphisms wrought upon various members of the animal kingdom by the Disney imagineers. Almost.

I am not an ambulance chaser by any stretch of the imagination, so it was a bit odd and out of character when I found myself grabbing my camera and bike helmet to pedal up to the scene of a car crash on the main highway this past Saturday morning. In doing this, I was responding to a friend who had just called to say that there was a car in the ditch, and the running-off-the-road that had landed it there had happened within the hour.

"…The noise and vibration produced by rumble strips is intended to alert inattentive drivers that they have departed from their lane, or to give advance notice of a change in the roadway ahead…." from WSDOT Rumble Strip Design Policy Pages

Unlike in the above stated intent of adding etched grooves to the sides and centers of the state’s highways to protect drivers from themselves