Vive memor quam sis aevi brevis.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Hebron, IL

Monday's day-long ramble... about 190km.

Wound up in Hebron, just below the state line. Hebron is home of the 1952 Illinois State High School Basketball Champions, and they're justly proud of that fact.

Sorry i didn't get a better shot of their water tower tribute.

A longish way to go for a chocolate malt, but well worth the trip. Hope to do it again soon.

A going concern. Great Shakes and malts, and they even filled my water bottle with ice... i didn't even have to ask!
. Be sure to leave a tip!


On Queen Anne road, somewhere north of Woodstock, IL.

The one living turtle i encountered yesterday. A semi had just missed him and he'd just began poking his head back out. Carried him to the verge where there was a marshy area. He took off running as fast as his legs could carry him. Sorry that the other turtles i saw on the road weren't as fortunate.


The machine has got to be accepted, but it is probably better to accept it rather as one accepts a drug -- that is, grudgingly and suspiciously. Like a drug, the machine is useful, dangerous, and habit-forming. The oftener one surrenders to it the tighter its grip becomes.

 -George Orwell, novelist (1903-1950)

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Dulce et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, 
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, 
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, 
And towards our distant rest began to trudge. 
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, 
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; 
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots 
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. 

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling 
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, 
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling 
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 

In all my dreams before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. 

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, 
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

-Wilfred Owen,
1893- 1918.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Tuesday, 10AM

As i was setting out for a ride yesterday, the alert siren down the street kicked into its weekly test. i could also hear the sirens from the surrounding communities rising and falling away in the wind.

i thought about my dad. Dad was born in a small town in Scotland and was a young boy when the Great World War broke out. His eldest brother, too young to go to France, spent the war in the Home Guard. My Grandfather, a former coal miner, was a publican, and had a good trade serving the Tommies and Kilties who passed through town on their way to shipping out.

Dad would tell me stories about hearing the German zeppelins fly over on their way to night raids on Edinburgh and Stirling.

Every Tuesday at 10:00 when the sirens sounded, Dad would stop what he was doing, cross himself (he was a devout Catholic,) and say a prayer.

i never asked who or what he was praying for, but i think i could guess.

The Devil

Don't ask...