Sunday, December 30, 2012

Evaluating a Quote Attributed to Me

It has come to my attention recently that someone still in college has credited me with a quote regarding William Shakespeare Burton’s The Wounded Cavalier. That post of mine from 2008 no longer exists. The quoted passage doesn’t sound like me or anything I once wrote about the painting. I suspect what has happened is that the student followed a link in my post to someone else and then attributed that quote to me.

My writing students come to learn that any quote used in an essay needs to be introduced with a tag so that it is made clear who is speaking and where the quote appears. More importantly, the students come to learn that every source needs to be evaluated so that the audience can recognize what authority any one source carries. Sometimes the authority is obvious when the article appeared in say, The New York Times. What someone named firstcitybook says about a Pre-Raphaelite painting doesn’t carry any authority because my familiarity with the work has not been verified.

Whenever possible, I check my students’ sources, particularly when I have concerns about plagiarism and when the authority of a particular source is in question. Using quotation marks is a common problem among the college students that I encounter in my classes. Some students believe that providing in-text documentation eliminates the need for quotation marks; other students believe that providing the author’s last name at the end of a paragraph is sufficient even when all of the words borrowed from that source have not been enclosed in quotation marks. It doesn’t take TurnItIn, a software program that detects plagiarism, to discover these problems. Those students who tell me how much they hate to read and how little they have read encounter the most problems with quoting, documentation, and plagiarism.

The Puritan in The Wounded Cavalier can be described as an aloof male who doesn’t express sympathy for someone else. It’s possible that his political views prevent him from lending aid despite his religious faith regarding the wounded, the sick, and the poor. The student who credits me recognizes these things about the Puritan.

Probably one of the hardest essays I had to write in college as an undergraduate was an analysis of Edouard Manet’s The Balcony for a five-hundred-level art history class in French Impressionism. If I had not been writing essays about literature for the classes in my major field of study, I would have been overwhelmed. As I recall, I studied a dictionary of art terms and read the preceding chapters in my art history text before I started writing. The assignment didn’t require outside sources. I certainly would not have considered using a blog post if the Internet had been available at that time. I would have recognized, I hope, that a quote taken from a link would not have been attributed to the author of the blog who provided the link.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Favorite Jazz Recordings for 2012



Before listing my favorite jazz albums for 2012, I have to make mention of two jazz albums that escaped my attention in 2011 and that would have made my list in 2011 if I had known about them.

I regret not having discovered Soren Dahl Jeppesen’s Red Sky until May, 2012 and not having learned about MBM Trio until October, 2012. Soren Dahl Jeppesen’s Red Sky can be found at Bandcamp. MBM Trio, featuring Lucia Martinez on drums, Antonio Bravo on guitar, and Baldo Martinez on bass, has a number of videos available at YouTube; their website can be accessed at this link.

My favorite jazz albums for 2012 appear below but in no particular order:

Yuri Honing’s Acoustic Quartet, True (Challenge Records)

Matthew Halsall, Fletcher Moss Park (Gondwana Records)

Scott McLemore, Remote Location (Sunny Sky Records)

Marc Johnson & Eliane Elias, Swept Away (ECM)

Espen Eriksen Trio, What Took You So Long (Rune Grammofon)

Bram Weijters-Chad McCullough Quartet, Urban Nightingale (Origin Records)

Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode (Nonesuch Records)

Martin Hoper, The Bride (Hoob Jazz)

Manu Katche, Manu Katche (ECM)

Partikel, Cohesion (Whirlwind Recordings)

Phronesis, Walking Dark (Edition Records)

Hans Glawischnig, Jahira (Sunnyside Records)

Links related to these recordings and musicians can be found to the right of this post in the What I'm Listening To gadget.

As the picture above reveals, I download the great majority of my music and burn it to CD so that I can hear this music in the car, on my alarm clock, in the kitchen on the portable stereo, and on the stereo I have set up in my home office. Once a year, for two years now, I have managed to win a free CD from All About Jazz. With my budget, I limit myself to one download per pay period and average two downloads a month from either Bandcamp or Amazon. Whatever I download is determined by what I have heard about the album from reading the online reviews, from following certain musicians on Twitter, from listening to videos on YouTube, and from hearing selected cuts on SoundCloud, where I follow certain musicians as well. Once in a great while, someone informs me of an album release through my e-mail.

It might be possible to characterize 2012 as a year in which many of the elder jazz musicians released either new material or material that was recorded live decades ago and not released until now. I chose not to explore those possibilities, partly because of my limited budget. I chose instead to pursue albums released by those contemporary musicians I have discovered in the past few years and by those musicians who have been new discoveries for me and whose work proves intriguing. There are many other young musicians whose work was released this year and whose work certainly deserves praise but isn’t represented in the above list. I will be on the lookout for those upcoming recordings by musicians who have only started to make their names known, some of whom I follow at SoundCloud.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Yonni Hale and the South Wind on Kickstarter

My wife has recently launched a project on Kickstarter. She is trying to give herself the time to finish a novel, Yonni Hale and the South Wind, and to write a companion to the novel, The Magical History of Kansas. As an adjunct instructor, she is usually burdened by stacks of student essays, most of which she devotes too much of her time to grading.

A short review of her first book in this series appears below. Yonni Hale and the Cosmic Wind can be located on Smashwords.

Yonni Hale and the Cosmic Wind, written by Rajah Hill, focuses on the growth and perceptions of a young girl as she comes to learn of her personal power and her connectedness with women of all ages and with nature. One of a series of projected books containing the character Yonni Hale, and set in Kansas, this novel captures elements of small-town life, where the division between those with money and those without money is readily apparent. Those who run the town seek yet more influence and make an effort to destroy the lives of others. While her large family allows Yonni to grow up assured of love and support, she is not willing to let any of her friends suffer because of the influence exhibited by those businessmen with money. Yonni, as she gains strength and control over her personal power, harnesses nature to protect those she cares about. The novel develops Yonni’s transformation and her control over this power. At the same time, the novel lingers over such things as the strength of Yonni’s mother, her parents’ relationship, Yonni’s relationship with her sisters, and her introduction to the professors and the knowledge available at the local college. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable novel, and although there are things worth savoring, there is enough suspense to cause one to stay up reading into the night.

More information can be found at the following link: Yonni Hale and the South Wind

Autumn at Weston Bend State Park

Weston Bend State Park, a park in western Missouri, offers a chance to relax and to escape from the consumerism of our culture. It's a great place to take a walk on a Saturday afternoon. Frankly, I don't get there often enough.

One of these pictures offers the chance to see the Missouri River on the right. The park is located on the bluffs above the river. The United States Disciplinary Barracks, the only maximum prison for the military, is located to the northeast of the overlook. Fortunately, the afternoon sun on Saturday kept me from taking any pictures in that direction.

Autumn at Havens Park

Our trees here in northeastern Kansas had very little color until the start of October. The change was a gradual one at first, as the pictures below reveal. Once we had that first bit of color, a period of rain and high winds caused the trees to lose their leaves quickly. Some years are more colorful; this one has been less so because of the reduced amount of moisture that we have had since last winter.

When I was younger, I used to be relatively oblivious of the seasons. One sensory memory I have of autumn as an early teenager, however, is the smell of the fallen leaves in Maryland. My father was working at Fort Meade at the time, and we lived close to the fort in a community called Glen Burnie. The older part of the city had more trees than the new housing area where I was living. A friend and I used to walk to the theater in downtown Glen Burnie. Whereas the mall theater showed the current releases, including Zulu during the mall's opening weekend, the theater downtown showed art films like Ecco and previously released features like Lawrence of Arabia. A bit farther from the theater lived a girl that I had a crush on in seventh grade. I sometimes rode my bicycle through her neighborhood in the hope of getting a glance at her house and maybe of her. Her boyfriend at the time approached me in one of the hallways of our junior high one afternoon after school, and we pushed each other around, and maybe exchanged a couple of punches, before we were sent to the office of the vice-principal and paddled on the rear once he called our parents. The vice-principal's wooden paddle, like those seen in the movies, had holes cut into it so that it could travel through the air faster. In any case, I remember the smell of the fallen leaves as I rode my bicycle through the older parts of the city that autumn.

Now, I try to enjoy each season, regardless of how hot the summer may be or how cold the winter may be. As someone who regularly reads the obituaries and who has friends who were my age or younger when they died, I have come to realize that each day is precious. Millais was trying to express the transitory quality of life in his painting Autumn Leaves.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkins & Autumn

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban devotes a lot of attention to the images of pumpkins. About a dozen huge pumpkins are growing in Hagrid's garden at the end of the school year at Hogwarts during what is supposed to be late spring in Scotland. Pumpkins are actually part of the autumn harvest in North America. It is one of the vegetables that the indigenous people on this continent introduced to the Euro-American settlers.

One of my favorite pies, and the only one that I am adept at making, contains canned pumpkin. The recipe that I follow calls for a package of gelatin, along with cinnamon and nutmeg and canned milk, and the addition of gelatin makes it possible for the pie to set up in the refrigerator. Some cooks prefer the addition of pumpkin spice, which combines those spices used in a pumpkin pie, but I find that the addition of the spices individually enhances the taste of cinnamon with each biteful. That first bite of a freshly made pumpkin pie needs to be savored to fully appreciate the different flavors; a pumpkin pie is best when the cinnamon flavor is readily apparent. A recipe for this no-bake pumpkin pie can be found at this link.

Beginning in late September, I begin to have cravings for pumpkin pie. My wife believes that this pie, because of the absence of additional sugars, apart from the sugar in the graham cracker crust and the sweetened condensed milk, qualifies as a vegetable. It even works as a breakfast food, I've discovered. I should probably experiment with the recipe to make it even healthier. It may be possible to eliminate the graham cracker crust, for example. Maybe there is an alternative to sweetened condensed milk, that is, one with less sugar.

The pictures appearing below come from Red Barn Farm, a local farm outside of Weston, Missouri.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"What I'm Listening to" Gadget

The addition of the “What I’m Listening to” gadget on the right of this page has made it unnecessary to add posts about current jazz discoveries or acquisitions. Recently, for example, I have discovered Einar Scheving’s Cycles , a 2007 release in Iceland, thanks to a recent MP3 made available for free at AllAboutJazz . Having enjoyed that initial track so much, I decided to download the entire album from CD Baby and have been delighting in this music while driving and while grading my students’ essays. Einar Scheving’s Cycles is at the top of the list appearing to the right for that reason.

A veritable flood of CD releases in jazz will be made during the remaining months of 2012. It will be difficult keeping up with these new releases as I go about making my selections for the best of jazz in 2012. I have chosen about five or six releases so far as ones that I want to recommend as the best of the year; there are other recent ones that I have not yet made a decision about. Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Hay Bales Within a Drought

Pictured below are hay bales in one of my favorite fields. This part of the Kansas City metro area used to have more open fields and undeveloped areas. Since I moved here in 1998, I have seen fields sold to create the parking lot for a big box store and have seen houses going for $300,000 and more built to the south and the west. Fortunately, there are a few areas that have escaped development. Whenever I am running errands or commuting, I sometimes get the chance to drive past this particular field. Although there are usually two cuttings of hay in this area, the drought has reduced the amount of hay that can be cut this year. Three or four weeks have passed since this most recent cutting. Like the grass in my yard, this field hasn’t seen much growth. Our first substantial period of rain in about seventy days fell a couple of hours after I took these pictures. The anvil shape of a developing cumulonimbus cloud is visible in one of them.

If you should decide that you want to see these pictures blown up a little, click on one and then zoom in by clicking on 150% or 200%.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Purple Coneflowers & Drought

The purple coneflowers that my wife and I planted reappear, usually in greater abundance, each year; some years, however, their seeds end up in the grass instead in the flowerbed. We are believers in planting as many flowers native to our area as possible. The purple coneflower, we discovered, is ignored by the deer who don't find the flower as tasty as, say, lilies. Most years, these flowers, in their adaptability to our climate, can resist periods of little or no rain.

Our flowers were prettiest before the most recent spell of eleven one-hundred degree days in a row. Even our watering regularly didn't prevent them from drying out. They are closer in appearance now to how they normally look in late August.

The pictures below capture our purple coneflowers when they were at their prettiest. If you should decide that you want to see these pictures blown up a little, click on one and then zoom in by clicking on 150% or 200%.

.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Command and Control: A Publishing Mystery

A few years ago when I was reading Fast Food Nation, I used to share with my family during our meals what I had read the night before. That book provided a lot of information to talk about. It was Schlosser’s interview in the DVD version of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me that convinced me to read Fast Food Nation.

For about six months now, I have been looking forward to reading Eric Schlosser’s investigative reporting in his Command and Control, a look at those accidents and near accidents in this country involving nuclear bombs. Some sources say that the book was released in 2009; other sources say that the book was published in February, 2012. Oddly, however, there are no copies available on the Internet. Even a search at Penguin USA, the publisher, produces no results. These details when added together cast doubt on the possibility of copies ever becoming available. Are these details representative of book publishing, when a company chooses not to publish one book in favor of another one with more earning potential, or should we suspect that something or someone is suppressing the book because of its subject matter?

Addendum: Contacting the author would be one way to solve the mystery. My searches on the Internet to find Schlosser's e-mail address or mailing address have not been successful. Any help would be appreciated.

Note (05/02/2013): I have recently learned that Eric Schlosser's Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety will be released on September 17, 2013. Some websites still insist that the book was originally published in 2009.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Two Memorable Record Buying Experiences

Dave Sumner at Bird Is the Worm recently described an occasion in which he frequented one of the independent record stores in Denver during the 1990’s.

One of my memorable record buying experience occurred in 1974, probably in May or June of that year, when I was living in Wichita. A few days earlier, I had purchased a rock record that I remembered having heard once somewhere else. Once I got that record home and put it on the stereo, I discovered how awful the music sounded. My introduction to jazz had started a couple of years earlier when a friend exposed me to Frank Zappa’s more recent music, first Waka/Jawaka and then The Grand Wazoo. I had heard We’re Only in It for the Money when I was in high school in the late 1960’s but had lost track of Zappa’s innovations. That music also led to my purchasing the Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Bird of Fire and Miles Davis’ Big Fun, the edition that didn’t include either “Recollections” or “The Little Blue Frog.”

Determined to commit myself totally to jazz, I selected, a few days later, some of the rock albums that I had gotten tired of, including the one I had only recently purchased, and lugged them to a pawn shop on Broadway, where the owner, while praising me for their condition, still only offered what I remember was a small amount for each album, possibly a dollar or more. I apparently got enough money from that sale because I went to my favorite record store on Harry Street afterwards. The name of this store escapes me. The staff was particularly helpful and shared my interest in jazz. Sometimes, during my visits, I hung around and chatted with the clerk behind the counter while observing what other people were buying.

It was still difficult finding much jazz. The selections in the three or four bins devoted to jazz were limited to what had been recently released, such as Hubert Laws’ Wild Flower and Gary Burton’s The New Quartet, both of which I eventually purchased once my taste in jazz expanded. If Zappa’s Hot Rats had been in stock, I might have chosen that album. I settled on King Kong, an album on which Jean Luc Ponty plays the music of Frank Zappa, and one that I had heard initially when visiting a friend in Salina. One side contains interpretations of Zappa songs--, e.g., “King Kong,” “Idiot Bastard Son,” “Twenty Small Cigars” and the Ponty written “How Would Like to Have A Head Like That,” while the other side contains the lengthy and complex “Music for Electric Violin and Low Budget Orchestra.”

I didn’t yet have a very good stereo. What I had at the time was a portable record player with detachable mid-range speakers, something I had gotten secondhand a couple of years earlier when I was living in Concordia and taking classes at the community college. My approach to life at that time was to avoid as many material possessions as possible. I eschewed material items in favor of a simple life, one not burdened with stuff that I had to lug around. That cheap little stereo provided hours of pleasure and assisted in my discovery of jazz. That stereo also drove away my neighbors when I was living in a one-bedroom house in Concordia. Only a few feet separated my house from theirs, and both houses lacked enough insulation to absorb sound. The family next door didn’t appreciate having their kids kept awake because of my stereo blasting Zappa’s Overnight Sensation, for example, at 10:00 p.m.

King Kong proved to be fascinating. I remember studying the liner notes written by Leonard Feather and paying close attention to the music. Side A proved to be immediately accessible while side B was difficult but rewarding as I responded to certain parts at first and gradually, over time, came to enjoy all of “Music for Electric Violin and Low Budget Orchestra.”

Another memorable record buying experience occurred when I was living in Connecticut in 1985. One Saturday, when I had a bit of spending money, I made my way outside of Hartford to Integrity ‘n Music, a store that specialized in jazz. It was my first visit to this store. Previously, since arriving in Connecticut in 1983, I had been ordering music through Daybreak Express Records.

The entire front of the store, as I remember, was devoted to jazz LPs. There might have been other formats available. My stereo at that time, a Sanyo stereo system containing a turntable, radio, and two cassette desks, wasn’t able to play CD’s. It took about seven more years before I made the complete switch to the CD format.

Over the course of about an hour, I made my way through the bins, studying the covers and reading the liner notes. After moving back and forth from one bin to another, I finally decided to purchase Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s Coltrane’s Sound. I hadn’t yet started studying jazz discographies, other than the Daybreak Express Records catalogue, so I wasn’t familiar with Miles Davis’ earlier work or any of John Coltrane’s oeuvre. My only previous exposure to John Coltrane, oddly, had been Hubert Laws’s cover of "Equinox" on his Wild Flower album and Tom Scott’s cover of "Dahomey Dance" on the debut album Tom Scott & the LA Express. By this time, I was familiar with many of the ECM artists, such as Gary Burton, Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Mike Nock, L. Shankar, John Surman, Ralph Towner, Miroslav Vitous, and Eberhard Weber. I was also familiar with some of the Polish artists, such as Urszula Dudziak, Zbigniew Namyslowski, and Michal Urbaniak. My education in jazz had not yet included the innovations of artists in the 1950’s and 1960’s. As an autodidact in jazz, I had noticeable holes in my education.

Once I arrived back at my apartment, I discovered how accessible these albums were. All of the music that I had been listening to had prepared me for Kind of Blue and Coltrane’s Sound. I was particularly pleased with my purchases and found much enjoyment in these two albums. These albums led to my discovery of other albums by these artists as I worked at gaining a broader grasp of jazz. Although Zappa provided a means of entering the world of jazz, that world didn’t fully open up for me until I discovered John Coltrane and the earlier work of Miles Davis, many years prior to Davis’ electric period. Many of my album purchases in the years that followed were limited to either music recorded between 1958 and 1965 or musicians who began to receive attention at that time—Joe Henderson, for example. My renewed interest in contemporary jazz didn’t begin until 2007 or so.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Militarism at High School Graduation

My son graduated from high school last weekend. The graduation ceremony, like many events at his high school, was marked by militarism, with the JROTC students standing at attention, with their swords drawn, at each of the two ramps leading to the platform where the graduates received their diplomas and shook hands with members of the Board of Education, who said at this momentous occasion, “Smile for the camera.” (The district provided photographers who will supply, for a small charge, of course, photos of the students shaking hands with a Board of Education member.)

At the close of the ceremony, the JROTC students manning the howitzer used to celebrate touchdowns during football games fired a single shot marking the end of the ceremony.

At one point during the ceremony, the principal asked the students who had enlisted in a branch of the military to stand up. Although he mentioned that some of the graduating seniors had already left for basic training, there were about a dozen students who stood up. These students were, of course, applauded by the audience.

That many students entering the service surprised me. I am aware how few job opportunities exist in this country for someone who will not be pursuing either technical training or a college education. I am also aware how both the high school and the administration have pushed military service ever since my son started his freshman year. When a visitor signed in during school hours, the lanyard displaying the pass to enter the high school read, “Go Army.” At a parents’ meeting during my son’s freshman year, the superintendent, when questioned about the school’s dress code, responded by saying that the high school was preparing students for the military. For some reason, the superintended assumed that that form of discipline was admirable and that the military was one of the few options open to students. She, in fact, married an Army officer in the past year or so and clearly exhibits a bias in favor of the military. The former principal was a member of the Army Reserve and was deployed to Bosnia two years earlier while on active duty. The high school in its main corridor displays the pictures of those graduates who became high-ranking officers in the Navy, Army, or Air Force. Each year the high school proudly publicizes the number of students entering one of the military academies. A record number of students was accepted this year because, so I have been told, it is now possible to be nominated by an officer in the Army.

Having been raised as military brat, I was exposed to the military throughout my childhood and teen years. During elementary school, I envisioned myself serving in the Navy and even believed, foolishly, that an education wasn’t necessary. “I’m going to join the Navy,” I said once to one of my teachers during a particularly difficult math lesson. Perhaps because my own father quit school in 8th grade and joined the Navy prior to the start of World War II, I thought I could simply take up a seat in the classroom and not actually apply myself. I apparently wasn’t aware that my father had finished his education in the Navy and had gained more education as he advanced through the ranks, eventually making warrant officer and then lieutenant and reaching the rank of commander before he retired.

As I got older, my father expressed his hope that I would continue the tradition of serving in the Navy and would earn a congressional appointment to enter the Naval Academy. Not passing algebra in ninth grade, both initially during the school year and when I retook it during the summer, ruined that prospect, however.

During my final two years of high school, I attended Lakenheath, an American high school located on an Air Force base in England. My father was stationed at Edzell, Scotland at that time. Like those other American kids whose fathers were stationed in places like Iceland, Ireland, and the submarine base at Holy Loch in Scotland, I only returned home three times a year--Christmas, Easter, and once the school year ended. Despite its location, my high school didn’t publicize the students who achieved success in the military. We were aware of the draft. Those students who achieved success academically were assured an exemption from the draft by attending college. That option didn’t exist for me because of my grades. I was going to enlist once I got back to the States as a way of avoiding either the Army or the Marines and as a way of not serving in Vietnam.

None of the seniors that I knew in high school enlisted before we graduated. No one mentioned getting a congressional appointment to one of the military academies, as I recall. Having been raised around the military, the majority of us were doing the upmost to avoid that kind of life.

The military might have been an honorable profession in my father’s day. For my father, it was a way to escape the mundane existence of small-town life in southwestern Virginia. It was also a way to achieve the economic success that would have been more difficult, if not impossible, to achieve if he had stayed in Virginia.

Anyone who thinks the military is an honorable profession now is mistaken. One of my students this past semester says that he wants to join the Army as an officer so that he can blow stuff up. He apparently isn’t aware of the presence of depleted uranium on the warheads of antitank shells and that he risks being exposed to and permanently affected by the dust that these shells create on impact. Villagers and their children continue to be affected by Agent Orange, the defoliate used in Vietnam. The lingering effects of depleted uranium in Iraq and Afghanistan will be far more damaging and long lasting than Agent Orange. Warfare now not only affects the civilian population but also the population of at least the next seventeen generations.

My son’s high school has a plaque at the football stadium honoring the alumni who have lost their lives while serving in the military. I wonder whether the superintendent will be pleased, and will continue to promote the military, when another name or two gets added to this plaque as the conflict in Afghanistan continues.

The local high school would have better prepared students for the future if it had not placed so much emphasis on the military. Students need to be made aware that college or the military are not the only options available after high school. The high school needs to promote more vocational training in fields like plumbing, carpentry, and electrical work for those students who want an alternative to college and the military. I would have loved to see honored at graduation those students who have chosen to enter vocational training after high school.

Uncertain of his own interests and abilities, my son will be exploring his options at a local college while he uses his skill at playing the saxophone as a way to finance a portion of his education.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lilacs

I have added pictures of the lilacs that were in bloom in my yard recently. I am only adding these pictures now because it took time to decide which pictures stand out. Lilacs, I discovered, are more difficult to capture than magnolia blossoms because of their smaller size. Typically, the lilacs where I live bloom later in the spring. This year is exceptional because of how much further ahead the plants and flowers are in their development compared to an average year. If you should decide that you want to see these pictures blown up a little, click on one and then zoom in by clicking on 150% or 200%.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Kind of Birthday Celebration

Here at the frontier, there are falling leaves.
Although my neighbors are all barbarians,
and you, you are a thousand miles away,
there are always two cups on my table.





My order from CafePress came today. I made these cups as a kind of celebration for this blog's six years of existence. They are available from CafePress if anyone else should decide to order one. They are not priced for me to make any money off of them in case you are wondering.

This poem placed above appears in John Fowles' The Magus. I don't think of my neighbors as barbarians, but you can find two cups of tea here awaiting your arrival. The door to this cafe is always open.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Another View of the Missouri River

These pictures appearing below present another view of the Missouri River in Parkville, Missouri. Notice that no fences disturb one's view of the river. Although there were temporary fences in place at English Landing Park when I was there a week ago, a couple of weeks before the official re-opening, no one was paying attention to these restrictions. The residents and visitors wanted to enjoy the park because of the spring weather, regardless of what the city desired.

Although I don't know how Parkville avoids legal responsibility when someone falls into the river and drowns, for example, because of the absence of fences along the river, I think that the visitors to both English Landing Park and Landing Park in Leavenworth need to be held responsible for their actions without the city imposing restrictions on how one enjoys the river. I am all for more personal responsibility in our lives.

These pictures can be best enjoyed if one zooms to, say, 150 or 200%, after clicking on any one picture.