July 2007


Honey bee

I was tying one of my dogs out the other day and I noticed a steady stream of bees coming and going from beneath my three season room. Now I’m not particularly brave when it comes to bees…in fact I’m a little allergic. I swell up like a balloon when stung! So, I only gave a cursory look to find out where the little buggers were nesting under there. I called the exterminator yesterday and he came today. Nine gallons of some agent of bee death later, I’m assured that “in a couple of days” all will return to normal. I felt kinda bad having to be the catalyst of the great honey bee extermination, but such is life I guess.

So, for the next couple of days I’m stuck walking five dogs, four times a day around the yard so they can do what’s natural (and what was done by them on their tie-outs in much too close proximity to the now very angry bees). I just hope that the chemical(s) that the exterminator used aren’t persistent in soil…my wife and I are kind of skittish about the health of the canines. Particularly when they could be rooting around in soil that was drenched in Bee-B-Gone, or whatever the stuff was!!!

[Update on August 8 -- Well, the first spraying didn't get rid of the bees! So, I waited a couple of days and called to reschedule a follow up visit. As a result, the exterminator came again on Monday and, clad in a "bee suit", pulled the impressively large nest from under the room. There must have been over 1000 unhatched pupae in the nest. But since it's removal, I haven't seen a bee since!!!]

sometimes you just have to take a:

Miss Daisy!

She also reminds you not to over-medicate yourself!

The Bernat Mill Complex in Uxbridge, MA was a going concern with numerous artisans, craftspeople, artists and small businesses under one roof in a converted mill building. Until this complex burned down on July 21st, 2007 in a tragic fire, it had been a model of successful brownstone mill complex conversion. I had never heard of this complex, but apparently many did and patronized the businesses to the point where they could successfully/profitably stay open with little turn over. After seeing the TV news stories of the fire, and reading further about these businesses in Uxbridge, it got me to ask the question “Why not Clinton??”

Clinton and Uxbridge are two fairly equivalent communities in Massachusetts: both have populations in the range of 12,000 to 15,000 people. Both are former mill towns whose industrial and commercial heydays are firmly in their pasts. Both are denied direct access to a major highway (although Uxbridge is fairly close to RT146). Both have older mill buildings (excluding the Bernat Mills) that are partially occupied or fully unoccupied. The only major difference in the two communities is that Uxbridge has a greater land area — 29.5 square miles versus 7.3 square miles.

The access to major cities doesn’t vary much from town-to-town. Using the mileage calculator from maps.google.com, the following table was created:

From City

Distance to Clinton (miles) Distance to Uxbridge (miles) Travel Time to Clinton (minutes) Travel Time to Uxbridge (minutes)
Boston 47.7 46.9 59 62
Worcester 16.7 18.8 29 33
Providence 61.8 23.6 69 32
Framingham 24.7 20.2 38 40

 

Except for Uxbridge’s proximity to Providence, the travel time to each town from the cities shown in the Table is roughly equivalent. So Uxbridge, as a destination, doesn’t enjoy any particular advantage over its smaller counterpart.

Having said all this, I ask again “Why Not Clinton?”. I think we need to approach the new owners of the Lancaster Mills Complex (the former Colonial press) as a Town and as a Chamber of Commerce and offer the Bernat Mills Complex as a template of what we aspire to be at this location. I’m fairly sure that there are similarly-talented folks in Clinton proper, and if they had a Bernat Mills-like location in town, they would open shops or studios. In fact, the “Artisans’ Days” at the Bigelow Library proves this fact, as there are numerous local artisans and craftspeople who display their wares at each of these semi-annual events (many of whom have home-based businesses). And the previous Table of distances/travel times shows that Clinton is “in the mix” as much as any other town with a successful mill complex (like Uxbridge).

The iron is hot…it’s time to strike…before we get stuck with high density housing in that mill location. We need to push for a Bernat Mills-like development here in Clinton. If Uxbridge did it, there is no good reason on Earth why Clinton can’t. We just need the will to do it!

What do you think??

I like hot food. In fact, bring on the heat baby. I like Vietnamese Pho soup that is so hot that I could experience spontaneous combustion after eating it. I also had one of the hottest food items that I’ve ever eaten at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge, MA. It is the Hellbone — a rib (smothered in Dave’s Insanity sauce!) that you buy one at a time. So, when I was in Kennebunkport, ME the other day and stopped into one of my favorite stores, the Flaming Gourmet, I just had to partake. They have one of, if not the largest, selections of hot sauces that I’ve ever seen. So, I bought four more specimens for my kitchen-of-horrors collection:

Ass Blaster Hot Sauce! Dave's Ultimate Insanity Dave's Insanity Colon Blow. A Red Habanero Enema!

For the time being they’re all waiting in the cabinet, unopened until I fire up the racks of baby back ribs that are sitting in my freezer. I’ll let you know how many alarms the conflagration becomes!!!

The look and feel will be changing a little with time as I get more acquainted with PHP and CSS code. Time to hit the books! But I have the format pretty much where I want it. As always, change is good!!!

By the way, I took the header photograph on July 16th in Boston. It is the sky overlooking Boston Harbor, just over Logan Airport (you’ll have to take my word for that!). The sky was absolutely beautiful that day! Also, I designed all the little visual graphics do-dads myself to customize the WordPress experience.

The brouhaha regarding the boat ramp at South Meadow Pond has now become Act V at the “Theater of the Absurd”.

The latest issue revolves around the proposed widening of the boat ramp access area for the trailering of larger water craft. But…the powers-that-be are concerned about WETLANDS abutting the boat ramp area. Apparently a pond isn’t really considered WETLANDS!! How much damage can you do to the pond putting in a new boat ramp?

Excuse me — isn’t a pond WETLANDS to begin with (it is after all composed entirely of water)????? Maybe the heat has gotten to me or something, but I think that a recalibration is in order regarding the boat ramp and pond access on track to satisfy the needs of the citizens of Clinton.

What do you think??