|A fabulous pond created the backdrop for a fabulous time!|
Anyway after our rounds of fairground food carts, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, beer and also the delicious grub (thanks Becky (for the waffles) and Charlie (for the dinner))...the weekend was over. As Cherry and I waited for the bulk of the crowd to leave we pondered Mark's invite and it didn't take us long to say to hell with a state park campsite or any campsite for that matter and head up towards West Chesterfield, New Hampshire.
On arrival...my smile couldn't have been bigger! Here, at the top of a road, in the middle of somewhat nowhere that was close to everywhere you needed it to be...was Sugarbrook Farm. 60 acres of heaven that Mark has owned for a number of years.
|Old camper van conversion...just waiting for him to get motivated to put a motor back in it and get in back on the road!|
And so the hang out began! We dined, we laughed and we swapped stories of crazy old times. Mark has been a vanner for life and has quite an arsenal of stories from the hundreds of van shows he's been to. I saw the pictures...those aren't todays van shows! ;) Long live the 80's!
Monday night is game night and Mark has a regular crew that comes over (or he goes over to their place) and they play croquet! Yes Please! ;) Anyway we had a great time and his friend Bruce won the entire nights set of games, hence the nickname "The Game Master". (I'd mention the other two who were an awesome couple but their names just slipped my mind as soon as I started writing this....maybe they will come back to me). What a great regular thing to have. Most everyone has a regular social routine...but a regular croquet game is awesome! We also played domino's, a first for me which was great.
One day Cherry was craving pizza and I am always in for some za so Mark got on the horn for them to start a couple pies as we made our way to pick them up. Cherry thought that the order was a little small so she upped the pizza sizes to a large and when we got there we were met with a healthy bill and two very large (18") drool worthy pizzas. Battleboro Village Pizza...yum!! It fed Mark and I for two days after Cherry left lol
We had an early departure...Cherry was a girl on the road with a social life, unlike me, and she had places to go. It was going to be a whirlwind tour of 5 states in 10 days hooking up with friends and attending festivals. She's also a horror queen and has made attending conventions a regular thing and there was one..in New Jersey if my memory is correct. But first she was going to northern New Hampshire (central really) to meet up with members of the band The Rouges and it was sad to see her depart. She's very cool and not even all that crazy which goes against all rules of cats and crazy...but she must have a huge level of #ofcat=crazy resistance because after all she's been through she's pretty level and has her shit figured out in a way that suits her just fine...which is really what it's all about. This living to please others is just loonie...live it your way, play your game, be you.
|Some of the rocks by the pond...where does a blue rock come from?|
A declared hater of republican politics he calls himself a Progressive Democrat. That's all fine and it means something somewhere but what and where...well that wasn't with me! Not there at the table talking into the wee hours of the night as mosquitoe's steal our blood like his Federal Reserve is stealing his future. (Marks' in his early fifties)
If you know me, you know I love a good discussion on politics and for a number of years now I have been reading and listening to everything that has interested me about the US poltical scam. Not so much because I care about America...but being attached to it like a siamese twin or more like the tail of a comet...what befalls our next door neighbour will come haunt us more than anything happening within our own borders in my opinion. I'm talking big picture stuff, not local politics. I give no federal politicians credit...they are all self indulgent and corrupt in one way or another and I'd rather firebomb them than listen to their lies. But their decisions reach deep and affect us all.
So let me start out by just saying "Anyone that argues or buys into the argument of a two party electoral system is already lost in the propaganda of "freedom of choice", the monumental wool pulling of rich elitist selfishly indulgent politicians over a populous possibly sleeping, possibly blind to the reality, possibly buying into it through logic or possibly brainwashed over generations....is beyond comprehension. To argue between red and blue, elephant or donkey, dickhead or dickhead...and to allow such a close minded system to affect how you would treat a fellow american or even better, person. A person...that you place party doctrine over? The wedge they have driven through the common people, a purposeful wedge that allows them (yes the infamous "them") to manipulate and control the very lives "they" were not supposed to have control over in America, that wedge runs so deep. Hundreds of years deep. People don't even know what they are fighting about anymore, just that America fights period...and so do they. Perpetual warfare is going on in this country from morning to night, from TV, radio, newspapers, school houses, hospitals...it's a never ending war zone.
Like all war zones it has pockets of beauty and the beauty in this country runs so deep that it's impossible to miss it. The ingenuity, the ability, desire to be the best...it's everywhere...but it's built on shakey ground. It's built on indentured servants and slaves. It's built on the destruction of the red man under the false guides of christianity. It's built on blood, power and profit. It's best years came at the expense of others. Now that it has exhausted it's ability to control the populace it's best years are behind it.(not that they aren't trying desperately to get control again...but it's gone to apathy and they have lost the ability to strike a chord among the masses) Debt mountains loom in the distance with rain clouds over them so dark that no one wants to look at them. The bark is still scary and the bite is even worse...but their ability to deliver a killing blow is over. They have as all other empires have in the past come to the final plateau of power. There will be another burst forward. Perhaps another war is on the horizon (maybe even with someone who can fight back) in a gasping effort to maintain a strangle hold...but in the end...their people aren't buying it anymore, the bills need to be paid and the world is looking wondering...what next? who next?
Remember that they are only 400 yrs old and that they were not chosen by righteousness or god to destroy the natives, communism or anything else they have done. In this long history of mankind, longer than anyone really knows (really)...their time will pass as well. It's not a bad thing, it's a real thing. It would happen to all of us if we acted the way they do here. You can't have a dollar based on the word of a private institution whose job it is to print money from the "wealth" you gave it in the first place and then have it lent back to you with interest attached. Do you understand how ridiculous that is? (and yes we are ridiculous as well having the Bank of Canada) With no ability to audit the federal reserve (in effect since 1913) there is no way to get an idea of what sort of trouble they are in. So to argue red or blue politics is to create a continuum of the situation. Even the glorious Ron Paul (who if I had to choose I would like to see win) who is looking for an audit of the fed...is still a red or blue playing politician that does not have the peoples best interest at heart. He talks a good talk but Ron wants to actually open the fed up to competition...which would continue the corporate stranglehold that exists today. From an outsiders perspective...there are no good choices! (and I keep saying from an outsiders perspective...the interesting thing is that Mark was the only american I met and talked politics with that had any understanding of the Canadian political structure. It sure was nice to hear him bring up references to Canada instead of being clueless about the big old neighbour up north)
Anyway without rambling on too much there were some interesting moments. Like when I criticized Obummer and his prior idiot counterpart Bush for bailing out the automotive industry. When Mark said that America couldn't have a failure of the industry (looking at the greater impact on families, communities etc) I asked why not? In a country where more money resides than anywhere else on earth did he think that some millionaire like zuckerberg or who ever that owner of the basketball team is...wouldn't think very hard about buying a factory that is pretty much turn key and giving a go of producing a car? Wouldn't there be a new base level? Are there not many many people/players already existing who would not want an opportunity to compete in a market filled with generically, technologically hindered concepts? Or better yet...wouldn't someone new with a fresh perspective to all of it be a welcome change big, small? As his friend George said "From the ashes"...that says it all. To me it's a no brainer...the big three...the big three price fixers, progress controllers, dirty pool players and their unions...need to go. And yes I bring in the unions...I'm a fan of unions for many things and I'd never expect an industry built on profit margins to pay their staff anything more than the least amount they could get away with and treat them in the same manner if they could get away with it. Unions have their place....but in having their place they must remain for the greater good. These unions are complacent in the damage they have caused to their own workforce. Most unions now a days including AUPE the union I just finished paying dues into have become more of a bed fellow to industry rather than a protector of work rights. It's not always about the pay but if they get you another $.50 on the dollar you might just stop complaining about the work conditions, or the harassment grievance, or turn a blind eye or just gently fall asleep and stop worrying about all that other stuff. In turn they will happily fill their "war chests", spend big dollars on "advertising and public image campaigns". When an issue arises they will send in the local representative whose job for the most part is to diffuse the situation. In a high percentage of all union greivances or claims...this is where it starts and stops. Sometimes it goes higher, some unions are better at fighting for their membership than others, some constitutions are better than others...but for the most part today unions are interested in their presence of market share over actually providing protection for the membership. And why not...everyone is out to make money. It's the culture of the times that profit will be placed over everything else and an organization like a union is no different than a non-profit institute or an automotive plant.
|He just finished the rock work around the pond before his van gathering...it looks great and a solid 8ft slab of rock is always an eye catcher!|
But Mark outside of buying into the two party system is a hero. And he's an American hero for being optimistic that his choice of parties will save the day as well...but once we remove the two party stuff from the conversation he becomes an even bigger hero.
Mark it seems had a dream when he was younger. After a horrible accident that landed him in the hospital and re-learning how to walk...he took up the fight on the war on Hemp. not the war on drugs, people sometimes ignorantly equate one with the other but they are two very separate issues.
Mark decided to promote the use of hemp buy purchasing storefront in Keene's, Vermont (just a stones throw away) and for 13 yrs did his very best to promote, fight and stand up for a product that could very well, if ever allow back into major production, change our very lives. 13 yrs of all hemp sales...sadly most of his hemp goods came from Europe or China (thanks for the awesome sandals!!)where hemp isn't illegal and still sed as a viable product in manufacturing. That was about 13 years too early for todays public and their awareness but it planted seeds that continue to sprout today even after Mark's shop was closed up and shut down. It takes guts to run a shop that no matter how hard you try would always be associated with the illegal pot trade. To re-educate people is tough stuff and not all of us are cut out for the epic and monumental task of turning the tide of public perception.
As they continue to shout "change for the environments sake" yet continue business as usual out in the environment they tell you, YOU are supposed to save...one product could stop a lifetime of damage to the forests of North America. One product that for years was used in ever aspect of the lives of our forefathers but through a brilliant political move was silenced and removed from the scope of commercial use and industry for the last 70 years.
How many uses are there for hemp over trees? I could not even count them all...and if Mark used email I'd ask him to write up something in here...but let's just say from ropes to paper, shoes to frozen desserts, clothes to houses....it truly is a miracle product, not miraculous, it's not going to save the world...but it is a fantastically flexible and usable natural plant! The idea that in just a few short years of lobbying and vilifying people would rather have plastic money over hemp money, synthetic rope over natural rope (what do you think every old world ship ran with...and their sails?) and the list goes on. And the move was brilliant...vilify marijuana and hemp dies with it....and what took over instead? Logging!! With a little research you can look up Anslinger and his cronies (Dupont and some other guy) who together conspired to make hemp illegal using lies, racism and a lock of the media (the guy I can't remember was the owner of many newspapers)...and in the end they won. Not on scientific evidence but on pure propaganda...and it's so deeply routed that even today people think it was made illegal because it was bad for you. So now we have an industry that employs thousands in a desperate and precarious position to maintain it's stranglehold of control when in doing so it's destroying a resource that a. doesn't need to be destroyed (it takes 1 acre of hemp to equal 4+ acres of trees and the hemp can be grown every year year in and year out in the same field) b. is creating much of the worlds climate condition today (according to people concerned with global climate the reduction of the forest habitat is a key component in our not be able to keep up with the pollution we are creating). Sounds logical right? Like a recycling industry built to deal with our current consumption habits...but does that mean those habits won't be changing anytime soon due to the money being made from those habits? I don't see anyone bringing back glass bottles, or anyone selling pop in a tetra pack or anyone actually changing HOW they sell things...I just see a leech industry that has developed in a way to ensure that we won't be seeing those changes anytime soon. But I'm sure that people are sheeping better by knowing their Dasani bottle uses 33% less plastic than before "yeah for laughable progress". And from a sustainability perspective...how much material waste has been created from the north american "reusable" shopping back phenomenon? Those bags aren't cottom for the most part...they aren't raw material. They are a plastic using product that once made still get covered in ink (toxic for the most part), bundled onto trucks after being picked up on the dock after being shipped from china after being order by an executive who didn't say "we need a better product" he said..."people buy into this shit for up to $5 a bag and we're not missing that boat."Sorry...off the hemp track and onto something totally different...ah free ranting....
At multi billions a year in profits I'm pretty sure that if a company was serious about change they'd give the things away but no...they charge YOU to believe you are changing the way THEY do business. What if everyone had a bag...do you think the cost of your groceries would go down? Even if they bought all local groceries do you think the price go down? Would iceburg lettuce suddenly show up on the shelf with no wrapper and a big sign telling you that it's due to the public pressure applied to the plastics industry that Safeway will no longer be purchasing lettuce or any other product that uses plastic wrapping? Nada...Safeway or any other company won't make that move until their profits demand it...and they will be leading you all the way not the other way around.
|Not the best picture but this is Cherry and Mark. We are on our way for a boat ride with Bruce "The Game Master"|
|Bruce...I don't think a hammer would knock the smile off this guys face!! More of Bruce's perfect situation to come...|
|He took us for a lap around the lake...great lake, nice little resorty place. He knows everyone who has a house there (almost) and it's always cool to hear someone with born and raised knowledge tell tales of the area.|
Isolated or not you know that you are up against a corrupt system when your water catches on fire right from your running tap and you have trouble getting a politician to step up and stand behind you in order to get it figured out. Then when one does THEY realize how alone they are in the struggle to get the issue heard. The entire system is built to slow progress, not enhance it.
Also being Albertan and having the Oil Sands in my backyard, seeing the pressure big oil places on the media, the money it spends and the truths it twists in order to stay operational is nothing new but it's always amazing. For anyone to believe that any land reclamation they claim to make in the Sands could anyway repair the damage it's done to water sources and land...well it's just unbelievable that some people actually think like that. It helps in Canada that it affects northern natives most as we have a very successful history of f'ing them up and denying it every step up the way. Almost seems too easy these days with lookoverthereitsamuslim or the more popular lookittjessicaspearsminajandtheirnewvideowearesostupidandsoareyou...and the issue just goes away from popular media which is what 98% watch.
Anyway what a cool job! I don't think I'm radio material but I could certainly be a guest on his show anytime! Check them out when you get a chance Empire Watch presents Democracy Now Saturday @ 8:00 am followed by Empire Watch with George Corrette and Pat Riot on WKNH.org fm 91.3 local
|Nothing wrong with spending a summer here...|
|Mark's property - he's seen gold on his property in his stream....now that is exciting!!|
However on this trip this blog has been pretty straight forward. It was never my intention to write about the poltics of america as I travelled through it. I can tell you this, I have a lot more to say about everything, trust me! My views gathered prior to coming and spending 9 months travelling the blacktop, when focused on politics...haven't changed much at all. I'm an even bigger fan of violent action, gun ownership, ham radio operation, public and private vegetable and fruit gardens, seasonal delicacies, internet freedom, brave people, farmers and farmers markets, local craftsmen, learning a trade, owning land, small houses big spaces, nuclear power, clean free water, living off the "administrative" grid, being a protectionist over being a globalist, buying Canadian (or american, or chinese...where ever you are from is where your stuff should be made as much as possible), having cash and avoiding the banks as much as possible, the truth about the truth and questions...I am an even bigger fan of lots and lots of questions. I don't believe we can consider ourselves changed or evolved over previous generations that have failed in the past. The greeks, the romans, the egyptians, english or the french...they all thought themselves to be one thing or another before change over took them and before long they were history. I am thankful to be from a country that has a depiction of scientific achievement on its $100bill over an "in god we trust" slogan but both cannot survive in their current state. To believe the concept that Canada is sheltered in anyway from the financial ailing of it's southern brother...well it's just silly in my opinion. Our largest trading partner is broke and in order to maintain our position we are breaking ourselves in order to not rock the boat. We do have our own idiots up here though. Like any US dickwad that adopted the "freedom fries or freedom toast" position we also have Harper who upon hearing that Obummer was not going through with the "youcouldneverexplainitifyouwantedto" pipeline to Louisiana replied (not exact) "Well we'll build a pipeline to the west coast and ship our oil to china". What an asshole thing to say and to be so desperate for money (tax dollars) that you would do such a thing would show me that we are just as broke as the next country it will just take longer for the finger to point our way. Cheaper to build a pipeline to the west coast and sell discount oil to China or cheaper to build a refinery in Alberta (the most sensible thing to do) or cheaper to build a pipeline to NB and pump it into the worlds largest refinery? Protectionist over globalist any day.
|With this being your backyard how could you not be happy!|
|I walked into this grocery store before heading to the Van Show and saw 10/10. I thought, 1 buck a pop is no big deal...no no...$1 for 6...now that is cheap pop. It's local and it needed to be tried...Vanilla Soda...damn fine!|
|Root Beer...not anything special but still better than commerical A&W or Barqs bullshit|
|This picture was taken from a local park...forget the name. The gorge though was fabulous|
|Awesome little Salamander!|
|A picture of a local scenic point...everywhere you turn out here is wilderness and Beauty. New Hampshire has a pretty small population and that leads to unbroken natural beauty!|
|Some of the intelligent local art ;)|
|This beast here..is a Mortar!!! It delivers a 150ft payload and trust me when I say....OH YEAH!!!!|
Mark and I got to talking about this when we were talking about the collapse of the auto industry. He was surprised that I had the same outlook at Romney who now tows the line that they should have been allowed to fail...but again I had the outlook that he's just saying anything that is the opposite right now. The battlefield between the two foes is simply a media game as it's been proven that to change something already in place is either difficult, impossible or not really part of the plan.
When it takes a billion dollars...wtf A BILLION DOLLARS...to run for president, he's not a man of the people. I declared at the time of his election that he was a social appeasement president. In being so he has brought even more right wing change onto the american people than anyone expected and he has shown his true agenda which was a continuation of the previous administrations war concepts and treatment of foreign nations. He has helped to create (or better yet exacerbate) a nation of dependency and in creating it he has created a massive voter base who refuses to give up their right to be on assistance. He has done some of the most UNamerican things ever by promoting social assistance to a point of dependency, millions of dollars of bailouts, quantitative easing.... draining the country of it's resources and turning it into a welfare state of long term disability patients and mental health disorders who would refuse to vote for anyone but him because they might lose their benefits of one type or another. Which isn't a good thing at all, going all right wingy and cutting off benefits isn't the way to do it either...but when you look around in other countries you don't see this type of thing...and they seem to be doing as fine as the US citizens...so why do americans (north americans really) consume so many drugs yet have so many problems? Why are there no work programs only financial aid? Why can't they seem to slow it down? It's perpetual at this point...and no matter who is elected it will remain perpetual...constant debt...constant downward spiral
|The aftermath. This one was really awesome...huge skyshots!! Yes we can make a big spectacle without actually making any meaningful positive change!! Yes We Can!(he has caused plenty of negative change already)|
|The trail was also impressive...just when you thought it was done it just kept shooting!! Much like when the Cherokee kept agreeing to whities demands one by one only to one day be removed altogether from their land by...a piece of paper.|
It was an epic week and it stirred my juices talking with someone who is as passionate of the future as I am. Not in knowing the answers but in not knowing and therefore questioning just what the hell we are doing today to get us into tomorrow.
Also...we went kayaing on the lake which was the first time Mark had ever dropped his boat into that lake...and what a glorious day it was! I'd like to think at the end of our hang out that I needed him to remember that it takes effort to make change ...and resolution and that even with both of those sometimes change is slow. As they say "Change happens slowly until it happens quickly"
|Rainy days were on us for a short time...really really rainy!|
|Old dodge class c in the background going to rot...field spider web in the morning dew = awesome|
|Mark and I saying our goodbyes. A serendipitous meeting or as Lester from Chattanooga said, propinquity at work. He needed a visit from a stranger with a different perspective and I needed to see a true hero. By hero I mean someone who has a cause deep in their heart and actually does something about it. The seeds Mark planted over the last 15 yrs by being a hemp activist are coming to fruition now...that to me is heroic.|
So hats off to the West Chesterfield crew!! You all rock!!