Tag Archives: kentucky

Henry Clay

After wasting an inordinate amount of time, I discovered that Henry Clay high school is not where I thought it was. So, in addition to having to pay to go to a concert I didn’t want to go to, I missed the part of it we were presumably going to see. And Sarah was asleep anyway.

In all, a thoroughly wasted evening.


Waiting for nothing

I think that what frustrates me the most about driving in Lexington is waiting for nothing. I spend an inordinate amount of time sitting at red lights while no traffic goes in the other direction. Invariably, about the time that my light turns green, cars start arriving at the perpendicular light, in order to wait while one or two cars go through the other way, and they they, too, wait for nothing, for another 2 or 3 minutes.

Surely *someone* has studied the mathematics of traffic lights and can make intelligent decisions about how lights should work so that this doesn’t happen. Indeed, in other cities, I don’t experience this sort of thing. It seems to happen only in Lexington.

What’s up with that?

Blazing saddles

On Thursday, driving along Richmond Road, around lunch time, I was stopped at a red light. As the light turned green and cars started to move, I noticed that the spot in the right lane, where a Chevy Cavalier had been sitting, which was blazing merrily. Then the Chevy itself burst into flames, with brilliant orange flames billowing out from under the vehicle as it drove off, oblivious. Various people beeped and waved, and the driver pulled to the side as black smoke started to billow voluminously from the engine, and from under the car. I held back just a bit, so that I’d be out of range when it exploded. The guy sat in the car for somwhat longer than I would have, and then slowly climbed out as his car turned into a cheery raging inferno.

A fire engine which just happened to be across the street pulled over as I was driving speedily away.

Note to self: Chevy Cavalier not a good choice for next car.

Harvest and Winery festival

Yesterday we went to the Chrisman Mill Harvest and Winery Festival, held at the beautiful Chrisman Mill Winery near Nicholasville. If you haven’t been out there, you really should go. It’s gorgeous this time of year.

The event was sponsored by Lexus of Lexington, 94.5, and a variety of other businesses. There were a dozen or so local artisans displaying their wares. And, since Chris and Denise have an adorable 4-year-old boy, there was also a lot of stuff for the kids.

We jumped in an inflatable castle, which was amazingly dangerous, and a ton of fun. And we painted a t-shirt with grape juice. There were also some of those fabric paints, and Sarah, somehow, managed to give it a good squeeze right when the wind gusted, and painted some shirts 2 tables away. The people wearing them were quite surprised. Sarah was certain that she had had no part in the event, so I took her side. 😉 I, for one, thought the purple looked quite attactive on their shirts. They seemed to think differently.

Oh, and the Chrisman Mill blackberry wine is out. I really should write about that over on my other journal, where I haven’t written anything for entirely too long.

Yeah. I’ll do that. A little later.

Strawberry fields

We went strawberry picking today. The farm is out on Handy’s Bend, but the signs for strawberry picking started over at Frankfort Road, over by R.J.Corman. From there, you go all the way to Figg’s Lane, and the whole length of Figg’s Lane, until you get to Handy’s Bend, and then another mile to the farm. If I had known to start with where the strawberry field was, I would have cut about 6 miles off of the trip, but then we would have missed a beautiful drive through the back roads of Jessamine County. This area that used to be all cow farms and tobacco now has some lovely new homes – not the ugly rows and rows of cracker boxes, but some gorgeous wood farm houses and log cabins.

We picked about 4 pounds of strawberries – me, and my mom, and Sarah – and paid just $4 for the lot. Actually, it was a lot closer to 5 pounds, but the farmer rounded down, as they have a tendency to do. He said that they lost a lot of the first crop in the hail and rain last week, but that the second crop was coming up nicely. Hopefully there will still be some left when Zanna gets here next week.

Hughes Auditorium steps

For reasons I was not quite able to understand, a recent graduating class of my alma mater gave new steps for Hughes Auditorium as their class gift. Yesterday, I was rather startled to observe that the steps were GONE. So, apparently, when they said new steps, they meant entirely new steps, not just a repair job.

I was also interested to note that there was a large amount of open space that has been hiding behind the steps for the last 100 years or so. I wonder what kind of delightful critters have been holed up in there.

Camp Nelson

I went out to visit Camp Nelson National Cemetery today. Most people that I have spoken to are vaguely aware that it is out there, but have never visited. I was completely unprepared for the impact that the experience would have on me.

There are thousands of men and women buried out there who died to procure and defend our freedom and our freedoms. And thousands of them died without anybody knowing their name. Men who died in the Spanish American war lie beside those that died in Korea, Vietnam, and World War II. Men that I don’t know, with names that clearly came from several continents, died so that I can enjoy my freedoms.

If you have not been out there, I encourage you to visit, and pay your respects to the men and women who sacrificed everything for you.

Growth is (good|bad)

Note: This will probably only be of interest to folks in the central KY area. I suppose I should create a “Kentucky” category for these sorts of things.

I saw some bumper stickers on the way to work today. Some said “Growth is Good”. Others said “Growth is Bad”. Or “Growth Destroys Bluegrass Forever” or “Growth Pays Your Bills” or “Jesus Loves You, Everyone Else Thinks You’re An Asshole”. Ok, so that last one is not related to my topic, but, there it was.

I’m continually amazed at how politicians take simple matters and make them complex (Do you like Estrada or not? Vote, and get on with the job we pay you for.) and take complex issues, like the issue of growth, sum it up in one word, and ask us to be for it or against it.

Is growth good or bad? Well, no, of course it’s not. Unchecked growth for the sake of growth is silly, but nobody is advocating that. Demonizing your opponent does nothing for understanding of an issue. Mischaracterizing your oponent’s position in order to make your own seem more attractive has always struck me as a tacit admission that your own point is rather weak.

So here are some rather more useful questions.

Do you want your kids to have good jobs? If so, do you want them to stay near home, or are you content for them to move to California in order to get a decent wage? Are you ok with the fact that beautiful horse farms are being converted to housing developments? Or, asked differently, do you think it is more important for a plot of land to support one multi-millionaire family and their dozen horses, or for it to support hundreds of families working to put money into our local economy? It’s really all about your perspective.

I have always been an advocate of supporting local businesses whenever possible. Given a choice, I would rather pay a few dollars more at a locally-owned bookstore, for example, than buying from a national chain. Why? Because it enriches my community, rather than someone else’s. And I try to do the same thing when I travel, going to restaurants that are clearly local, rather than the chains I could eat at at home.

How is this connected? Well, if local businesses are to prosper, this is going to cause a certain amount of growth. Not wild, untrammeled growth for the sake of growth (see the east end of Man-O-War for examples of this, I think) but purposeful growth, with an eye to improving the quality of life of the people that live here.

So, once again, I’m rambling. But take note, the next time you see these bumper-stickers, that the “growth is bad” people are driving expensive, new cars, which they would not have without said growth. And the “growth is good” ones tend to be on older cars, driven by people looking for a brighter future in which their kids won’t have to worry about their next paycheck. Perhaps this is an unfair generalization, but it seems accurate thus far.