Censorship

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America protects the freedom of expression. We can say what we want to say; and we can write what we want to write. Furthermore, we can share any of it with whomever we want to share it with. The First Amendment, however, does not guarantee means with which to do so. We are on our own for that.

This blog is one means by which I get to practice my freedom of expression. I get to write what I choose to write, and make it available to anyone who chooses to read it. I generally try limit topics by relevance. I always conform to my own discriminating standards. Those who dislike it need not read it.

Some who read what I write choose to comment on it, as a means to express their relevant concerns. Such comments are generally appreciated. However, a few have been too objectionable to remain associated with my blog, so were deleted without reply. Unfortunately, such censorship has become necessary to maintain the standard of civility.

This is not an open forum for anyone to write whatever they want to write. This is my blog; and I am not at all obligated to provide a venue for others practicing their freedom of expression. Threats, bullying, name calling and unfounded accusations will not be tolerated. Furthermore, comments that can be interpreted to be even slightly abusive are likely to be scrutinized.

‘Hater’, within the context of this blog, is a technical designation that describes those who engage in, among other things, the hateful tactics of threatening, bullying, unfounded accusing and name calling. Use of this technical designation is not name calling. Those who do not want to be designated as such should not behave as such.

Honk If You’re Hateful

This is not another of several updates to the original ‘Honk If You’re Hateful’. This is an explanation of why that series of posts was deleted. The title is the same merely to put it into context.

The original post was about someone who regularly honked the horn of a vehicle when driving over a local bridge, presumably to annoy the homeless who were believed to live underneath. The honking was executed on such a precise schedule that it was recorded on sequential videos, which were shared within the context of the original post, as well as the subsequent updates.

A previous request for deletion of these videos, by the person who had been honking, had been denied.

However, something happened this morning that compelled compliance to that earlier request. A big pile of bedding, canned food, ramen, hashbrowns, bottled water, a jacket, a water bottle, a tarp, a flashlight and perhaps a few other items, was left at a gate near the bridge where the honking had been occurring. This message was with the pile of goods:

Aug 12

This is a peace offering. Please give these items to anyone you think needs them. I am not hateful, just upset and frustrated about some things that relate directly to this bridge. I won’t explain further because I just want to resolve this in a peaceful manner. I saw that you took down that misc. info today so this is my peaceful reaction to that. I would like to say that I have been randomly helping people in Felton who needed it for years with sandwiches, coffee ect. My most recent act was Easter morning at 6:45 am to an older gentleman who had no jacket. I gave him the 120.oo jacket off my back (in front of the coffee shop). We may or may not agree about a lot of things but I gave it some thought. What you are doing is sticking up for the little guy and that is something that I admire actually. [peace sign]

We all know what it is like to be ‘upset and frustrated’. We also know that we all sometimes express such frustration inappropriately. I posted the videos and associated unpleasantries online because I was frustrated by what was happening, but lacked a means for constructive expression of that frustration. That is no excuse, but merely an explanation.

Although vague in this regard, the letter seems to indicate that there is a possibility that the honking was not necessarily intended to annoy any of us directly, but was merely an expression of frustration ‘about some things that relate directly to this bridge’. I believe that we all know how justifiable that is!

There is nothing vague about the jacket given to one of our veteran friends on Easter morning. If I remember correctly, it included coffee and doughnuts.

In the picture below, of the goods delivered this morning, there are four big cans of beef stew to the upper right. These cans may seem to be too big for those of us who lack refrigeration. However, with a bit more added, they will work nicely for luncheon at Felton Presbyterian Church at noon on Tuesdays. There is always plenty to go around, and everyone is welcome.

Memorial Tree Update

This is the best season so far! Because this is the first update on this blog, there is nothing here to compare the progress of this small Memorial Tree to; but links to older updates on another blog can be found at the older (reblogged) article, ‘May 2‘. Some of those updates link to even more updates. This little Memorial Tree has had quite a history in Felton Covered Bridge Park.

It is actually the fourth tree in this particular spot. The original black oak was run over by a car many years ago, leaving the site vacant for a long time. An Eastern red cedar was planted on New Year’s Day in 2013, but later the following summer, succumbed to what dogs do to small trees. A bigleaf maple was planted the following winter, but also succumbed in its second year.

In the last few years since then, this little valley oak has contended with major difficulties too. Until recently, it had been gouged regularly by weed eaters when the weeds around it were cut down, even though we regularly pull the weeds around it so that the weed eater does not need to get so close. Before it could recover from getting gouged, it got gouged again, several times!

This is why it is still so puny. Every year, it puts out only a few inches of new growth. In fact, that is how it started out this year, with only a few inches of new spring growth that blinded out too early in the season. Then, for no apparent reason, it put out a second phase of summer growth, with an abundance of vigorous shoots that are about a foot long! This is very encouraging.

Although still puny, the little Memorial Tree is exhibiting the sort of resilience and vigor that it needs to survive in this less than optimal situation. As the bark of the lower trunk matures, it will be less susceptible to damage caused by weed eaters. As the tree grows up and above pedestrian traffic, the limbs will be less susceptible to breakage. The next few years will be critical.

No more growth is expected this late in summer, although the small new leaves will likely continue to expand for a while. Terminal buds are likely in the process of blinding out for the year. When the tree is dormant and defoliated in autumn, lower limbs will get pruned away, and the main trunk will get bound and staked. There will be no rush, as long as it is done before spring.

The picture above shows how long the new growth is. The picture below shows how this new growth looks on the small tree. The picture at the bottom shows how much smaller the tree was not too long ago. It also shows that weeds are pulled around the tree.

Bad Picture Of Good Berries

All these good berries are ripening now, and there is no one here to collect them for me! In the past, harvesting these blackberries, as well as the elderberries, was something that those who were unemployed or under employed were pleased to do for much less than the cost of purchasing them in the supermarket. Now that so many who were able to collect berries as recently as last year are now employed, there is no one here to do it! I suppose I should get started.

Tony Tomeo

B90803KHimalayan blackberry is to cane berries what blue gum is to eucalypti. It is what gives all cane berries a bad reputation, and is why so few of us want to grow them. Himalayan blackberry grows as an extremely vigorous weeds, extending sharply thorny canes over anything within reach. When the canes are removed, the tough roots are extremely difficult to remove and kill.

If ignored, the canes ‘leap’, which means that they develop roots where they arch back downward to touch the ground. From there, they grow into new plants that extend new canes in all directions, to start the process all over again. (‘Leaping’ is like ‘layering’, which involves the development of roots where stems ‘lay’ on the ground.) Their seed gets where their canes do not.

The thorns are ‘prickles’, which really is a technical term for sharply pointed distensions of bark or epidermis. They are more…

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Sharing, caring — Sarasin’s thoughts…….

This article is shared from the blog ‘Sarasin’s Thoughts’, and describes something nice that another Community does for those who can appreciate it:

A wonderful thing has appeared in our little town. People caring about people. I was happy when we got a couple Little Free Libraries, but this is better yet, cos it’s about food. This Little Pantry is at the Lutheran church in town. People put food items in it, or hygiene items, and anybody […]

Sharing, caring — Sarasin’s thoughts…….

Happy Birthday!

Happy 54th! It was a great Sunday afternoon yesterday, for a birthday party in the shade of the big cottonwoods of Felton Covered Bridge Park. A 54th birthday may not seem like justification for a birthday party, but we so like to entertain. The birthday girl came from Quail Hollow. The hostess brought the cake and table full of sweets from Capitola. Other guests came from Boulder Creek. It was not a big crowd, but it was enough for us.

It is amazing how much of life happens outside. Even those of us who live in homes that could accommodate our small group would prefer to come here for such events as birthdays, and the occasional picnic luncheons and diners. It is where we celebrate the lives of those who are no longer with us, and those who have merely moved away but sometimes come to visit. It is where we meet new friends and catch up with those we met long ago.

Some of us still miss the vacant field with piles of road debris that was here before. We are too old to be hotdogging around on bicycles and motorbikes anyway. The grand sycamore is still here, for now, on the western edge of the parking lot. So is the other big sycamore closer to Felton Covered Bridge, as well as the big cottonwoods that shade so many of our celebrations. Memorial redwoods are newer, but will eventually be old too.

Yesterday afternoon was about neither the past nor the future. It was a brief celebration, just because that is what we sometimes do.

Peewee, who lives with the guest of honor, believed that she was the guest of honor. Of course, no one argued with that.

Buttercup, of Boulder Creek, was pleased with here beefy treats, and was not at all interested in cake.

Moose, who lives with Buttercup, does not seem to understand that he is not a chihuahua.

Workday

Workday at Felton Presbyterian Church, from eight to noon on Saturday, July 27.

Yes, that was yesterday. I would have written about it earlier, and in time to plan for it; but I was just informed about it less than a day earlier, on Friday morning. Fortunately, plenty of parishioners attended and got quite a bit done. In the future, we will need to be more diligent about announcing the workdays at lunch on Tuesdays. Even though some of us who attended more regularly in the past are no longer here, there are newcomers.

The biggest project was the removal of those rotting benches on the northern half of the patio out front. The sturdy posts that supported them for all these years were surprisingly sound, and the last few needed to be pulled out by a pickup with a tow chain. It was a mess, but worth the effort. The benches on the western half of the patio are still intact, so will remain for now.

The flowering crabapple tree did not get the major pruning that it so desperately needs, because it happens to be right over where the benches were being removed. That project might get done separately from a workday, just because it would be in the way of other projects. ‘Workday‘ explains why it is so important. The smaller flowering crabapple tree will get only minor pruning while dormant next winter.

Only two low and minor limbs needed to be pruned away from the big catalpa tree that was supposedly getting too low over the parking lot. That tree, in the picture above, has really grown up nicely. It seems like only a few years ago when we were still considering removing it before it got too big and cumbersome. Another unhealthy and disfigured catalpa tree, that grew up with it just about twenty feet away, was pulled out back then.

Some of the low limbs of the cypress between the parking lot and the A&W got pruned out or groomed. That area has always been a mess, and needs more attention. The ivy on the lanai of Taylor hall also needs more attention, particularly since it was shorn to expose more of the internal problems yesterday. The hedges at the south end of the patio were shorn quite proficiently, and need nothing more for now.

The lily-of-the-Nile between the patio and parking lot needed nothing yesterday. I just took the picture below because they were still blooming like the Fourth of July. They were one of the more significant projects many years ago. When they needed to be removed from a home in Aptos, we dug, split, groomed and plugged them here, where they happily bloom now.