Tag Archives: kentucky


I’m going to be in New Orleans on election day, at ApacheCon, so today I went down to the County Clerk office and cast my vote for the president of the United States, as well as a variety of local elections.

This year, I was (I think) rather well informed about our national races – the president, the senate, and the congress – but woefully ignorant about the local races. And, really, what difference does it actually make who the commissioner of soil and water is, and why is this an elected position?

It’s ironic that one of my biggest complaints about the national government is how much power is at the federal level, rather than at the state level, yet when I had a chance to affect the composition of the state supreme court, I was utterly uninformed. It’s so very hard to follow what’s going on in local politics when really the only local media outlet is the Herald Leader, which is so completely biased on every issue it’s almost impossible to get a balanced view of anything.

Perhaps I’ll do better next time.

Bourbon Festival

Today I attended the Kentucky Bourbon Festival with Greg Stein and Bruno Bowden. We attended the Barrel Rolling contest, which was amazing. Men and women who work in the distilleries compete to see how fast they can roll full Bourbon barrels around a track of wooden rails, and roll them into a chute such that they reach the end with the rubber bung pointing up – so they have to know which end up they need to be when they go into the chute.

It was just amazing how fast these folks were. I left to come home before it was all over, but stayed long enough to see the mens’ individual, women’s individual, and the womens’ team event.

The Song

The Song
Via Three Word Wednesday

The rumble of the generator,
unnoticed for its ubiquity,
suddenly ceased, leaving a palpable
silence, my ears full of cattails and kapok,
the pitch well of the night suddenly
towering above me, my hands invisible
before my face.

And as my stunned eyes, long dazzled
by the shriek of the city,
recovered, a miracle
burst forth overhead.
A million, trillion stars,
unnoticed in the fluorescent cacophony,
turned the sky into a spilled puddle of milk,
understanding for the first time
the Via Lactea – the Milky Way –
unseen by most of us in this over-enlightened age.

Down by the river
the bullfrog adjusts his harmony
to compensate for the missing generator,
and the song goes on.

Goodbye Blakeman’s Farm

For the last 15 years or so, I’ve been buying pumpkins at Blakeman’s Farm, on the right just after you pass 29 on the way north from Wilmore on 68. I’ve also bought vegetables and chrysanthemums from him on numerous occasions.

The last 3 or 4 years, he’s had wretched harvests, due to either too much rain, or not enough, and has planted less and less acreage each year. But although appearing more and more discouraged about the future of his farm, he was always cheerful, friendly, and remembered me from year to year, asking to see photos of the pumpkins that had been carved.

A couple weeks ago, apparently, he made the decision to call it quits. The last few weeks there have been bulldozers on the farm, destroying all the trees, which have been burnt in enormous bonfires. Now the entire farm is flat and unwooded from one end to the other, and there are signs up indicating what kind of housing development is going in there.

It all makes me sad for a number of reasons. I feel just awful for the local farmers who can’t make it from one year to another because the Walmarts are selling pumpkins – not bigger or better or even cheaper, but more convenient to the shoppers. It’s not convenient to drive out to Blakeman’s for vegetables any more, so you get them at Kroger, and the small-scale farmers across the country – heck, across the world – have to close down and do something else, after generations of having a farm there.

So it looks like next year there won’t be a Blakeman’s farm any more, and I’ll have to get my pumpkins somewhere else, paying more for them, and missing the delightful conversations with a kind friendly man who had put his own work into growing those pumpkins.

And I hate to see all those old trees pulled down and unceremoniously burned in huge ugly heaps, belching smoke into the air and not warming anybody’s hearth. It’s a tragedy, truly.

And, of course, one more housing development on my road to work, making traffic worse, the road more dangerous for cyclists, and yet another place for accidents as cars pull out into the narrow winding road.

Yes, progress, jobs, homes for folks, and all that. But it’s sad to watch an old way of life getting ploughed under.