Saturday, July 31, 2021


Blog Fodder is a blogging friend I have had for over a decade. We have never met face to face.  He is not a friend from my youth, my bike shop, or a neighbor in my hood.  He is a persona who claims to live in Ukraine and is from Canada originally.  He also claims to be an expert on all things bovine related.  He’s one of the guys who wrote the book so to speak.

Allen is his supposed real name. After a decade of swapping thoughts, ideas and laughs with him, I believe he is real.  But more than that, I do not care if he is or isn’t. He and I have formed a connection that transcends physical verification. We have become friends and from my point of view, the best of friends.

So Blog Fodder posted a piece on his blog about the notion of who is a friend and how do we categorize them. Good friends? Best friends? Fair weather friends? And where do we separate friends from the massive numbers of assholes we have dealt with over the years.

The notion of friendship can become an evil pit of never ending frustration as I try to find convenient cubby holes for the many friends I have had over the last 69 years.

There are my first friends. My playground best buds. My pinky swear allegiance friends for life.  My drug friends. My college friends. There have been so many friends float in and out of my life, I sit here in a daze trying to put the ones who manage to float to the top in perspective.

What about the friends I always got in trouble with? The friends who always helped me avoid trouble?  This whole notion of breaking down friends and friendships Is overwhelming……….. (Take a breath Mike……. Settle down asshole, and break it down so it makes sense in that void you charitably call your mind).

The first thing I guess I know about friendship is that it is a fluid thing. A good friendship has many challenges that stresses the commitment and still ends up a solid relationship.  The fluid part is the constant weeding process of friendships that do not stand up to those stresses. We have friends for life, but at the same time have many different “best friends” who share our trip from the cradle to the grave either briefly or are there for the duration.

I would call the friends who have hung in for life as my true best friends.  Of those, I have few left it seems.  Now as an old fart, many friends that I thought gone and forgotten have found me again and we picked up right where we left off.  So for me, at the top of the “Best Friend” list is one who can stand the test of time. The next friend in the “Best” category is one who had a major impact on my life at and during a certain period of my life.

But because I ultimately want to bake things down to simple notions my mind can actually comfortably handle;

A good friend is someone I think of and smile at the same time.

A bad friend does not exist.  Bad friends are just the assholes we have to sort out while we plod our way to the horizon.

Keep it ‘tween the ditches ……………………………………..


Image by "One Line"

Friday, July 30, 2021

The Newichawannock Canal

The Newichawannock Canal connects Great East Lake and Horn Pond. The canal defines the state border of New Hampshire and Maine hereabouts.

Its construction marked the beginning of a consistent water source meant for the mills downstream in Somersworth. More mills would pop up over the years in Rochester, Milton, Milton Mills and Acton. The first stones of this canal were laid without mortar in 1850.  Because of the Civil War, it was not finished until the mid to late 1860s. The canal and the bridge have existed mostly intact since.  And now finally, 170 or so years later, the bridge has been replaced.  Not bad for a stone bridge made by hand with no concrete except what was laid on top of it.

I first came to know this canal and bridge when I was a child visiting my Aunt Hellie and Uncle Herb Sibley at “Half Way Up Farm” in Acton several hundred yards away on the Maine side of the border.  My uncle would sit on some dead fall or a rock edge of the canal, smoking his pipe and keeping an eye on my eight year old self as I fished for brookies and chased craw daddies.  I saw my first otter there.

It was my time with Uncle Herb and Aunt Hellie that opened my eyes to a life without asphalt, millions of cars and the cookie cutter suburban existence I suffered most of the year further south. I never wanted to leave this peaceful exciting place.

And I guess I made a vow to come back and never leave.  I don’t know for sure if I did, but after some years spent working the wiggle worm out of myself, I finally settled in Acton in 1981. I have been here as a permanent resident for the last 40 years.  I married and raised a family here. I chose to make my last stand here.

I wouldn’t change a thing. 

Keep it ‘tween the ditches ………………………………..


2 Images of old Canal Bridge

By Magicpiano - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Monday, July 26, 2021

Moderators Are Nazis

I was called a nazi this morning by a very upset poster on a FB page I moderate. I was not singled out per se. His parting shot before another moderator put him out of our misery was, "we shouldn’t allow 10 n@zi to run this page."

I do appreciate that he thinks there are ten of us Nazis when there are actually only a few doing the work of ten. No, that is a lie. Moderating this page is a cakewalk rural outing. I sleep through most of it. Pretty much everyone minds their P's and Q's and life imitates art.  Idyllic and sane, yeah sure, that is how it is ...... right.

The FB page I moderate is a town page owned by a local fellow. It is by far the most popular of the several pages focused on our area. His rules are simple. Be nice, no politics, no over commercialization, no profanity, and ferchrisakes, pay attention to the flagged words not allowed by FB. That limits me somewhat, but I am guessing my world champion grasp of the many ways profanity can elevate a person spiritually may be one reason I was asked to help. Hire the criminals if you want the best protection.

I was directly responsible for the initial dust up this A.M. Our righteously indignant friend of Acton made a claim about Covid and a local business without supporting evidence. I deleted the comment and forgot about it. In less than an hour of escalating enraged comments, he called on the owner to fire us 10 Nazis while shoving something unnamed where the Sun don't shine.  And with his parting, ride off into the sunset remark, what he meant to say was the perfect opposite of what he ended up saying:

“We live in America and have the freedom of speech you are trying to distinguish that and it’s disgusting."

Word ……………………………………………

Friday, July 23, 2021

Issues From My Periphery

Now that I am sitting in the nose bleed seats, Life has become both bemusing and amusing all at the same time. Life Truths I once considered facts of living are now often suspect or downright wrong in the cultural mindset unfolding here in the twenty-first century. So many of the norms I grew up with, lived my life with, and often fought against are no longer considered relevant.

Some of the norms from my youth were nasty evil things that did not work to separate us, they did separate us, legally and for some, morally. We all existed in the same country but not in a comfy ya'll come back, we'll grill some brats and tip some beers kind of way. I learned that early as I was always a stranger and never one of the up and coming group of good ole boys. My family moved around too much.

The invisible wall between me and whatever bo-dunk town I lived in at the time was often tough on my childhood feelings. Overall though, I think having the outside looking in perspective gave me a leg up in my adult life. As an adult I have been more malleable and less entrenched in old ways. I have been able to embrace changes in the country easier than many of my Boomer peers.

But I have to face facts. The world is spinning faster now. It is getting harder and less important for me to try and keep up. The larger issues, I am still working on. But the ones I have ranked as issues from the periphery are no longer of any interest to me other than for entertainment purposes.

For instance, End Times. If the planet is about to go belly up in some way,i.e., Zombie Apocalypse, World Wide Plague, Nuclear Street Fight, or whatever scourge that might bring us to the gateway of a new Dark Ages, well, I just cannot be bothered worrying about it. I have had a good run and would hope to check out with a smile on my face.

And then there is the clusterfuck of symbols, letters, and pronouns that have become part and parcel of the LBGTQ, etc. movement. I have been a supporter since before gays were called gays. My father made sure I understood they were just people. Sexual preference was a stupid tool to judge the worth of another human. His experience working for a homosexual in college taught him that.

I continue to support anyone to declare whatever they want or need to with regards as how they identify. I just cannot keep up with the newer rules and don't intend to. Identify however or as whoever you want. You can also use whatever pronouns you want. All I care about is your name. I will identify you as that.

"Oh, that goof ball? That's Fred." ...... " Uh what? How does Fred identify? Shit, I don't know. ..... You need to ask Fred that."

And that is how I am going to stop worrying about pronouns and identifiers.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................................

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

My Second Email to Ted

To: Theodore Kryzak(R) - State Representive, District 20, Maine


I received your Happy Fourth of July meme on Facebook yesterday.What a nice gesture from you and the local GOP. Thank you for that. You are a marvel when it comes to empty gestures.

It has been over a week since I emailed you and asked you about your vote on LD 557 and where you stand on the Jan 6 insurrection or the legitimacy of the November presidential election. I have not heard back from you. I am not going to let this go. Now that you are on my radar, you have become the bone this old dog wants to chew on.

Your failure to respond to my initial email has given me more time to acquaint myself with your record up in Augusta. Frankly Ted, I am less than impressed.  I was beginning to think you only knew the one word, Nay, when voting; then I saw that you had voted "YEA"  Jan 20th, 2020 to allow candidates to include a nickname on ballots. Sir, that must have been a tough decision. I applaud your courage. 

Below is a compilation of your votes over the last two years regarding elections in Maine:

  • 6/4/2019 - NAY - Voted against setting up a presidential primary system
  • 6/5/2019 - NAY - Voted against automatic voter registration
  • 6/19/2019 - NAY - voted against increases in rank choice voting
  • 1/20/2020 - YEA - voted for allowing nicknames on ballots
  • 3/10/2020 - NAY - voted against allowing more time to process absentee ballots
  • 6/7/2021 -   (LD557) voted for photo ID when voting
Now that I see your voting record on election related issues, I no longer wonder about how you feel. You have no interest in making the voting process easier, more accessible and user friendly. You are nothing but another GOP lackey following the edicts passed down from Trump and his cronies who now control the spineless Republican Party.  If I am wrong, please set me straight.  But at this point, I don't think I am wrong.

I don't want to over burden you with things to think about. So I will close with just two questions you should answer, if for no other reason than to separate you from the rest of your spineless Republican cohorts. Be a man. Speak your mind honestly. I just snickered when I wrote that.  Honesty and politicians are not two images that mingle well in most minds these days.  But please, give it a shot.
  • Do you feel Biden won the election fair and square? If not, why? I am so waiting for a Republican to create a coherent defense for the stupid and fraudulent claims the party supported regarding the last presidential election.
  • Was the invasion of the Capitol on Jan 6 an assault on our form of government or not?
These two questions are not complicated nor are they "gotcha" questions.  They only become "gotcha" questions when you continue to refuse to answer them. By not answering them, you allow any conclusion one wants to make to be floated as a true rendering of your opinion.  Sort of like what I have concluded about your negative actions regarding voting rights and how you want to restrict them rather than expand them.

So far Mr. Kryzak your silence is deafening and telling at the same time.  I am beginning to think of you as a very, very sad excuse of a legislator.  And that is probably unfair, but there it is. Your silence gives me no choice but to come to that conclusion.

Change my mind.


Michael Macrum, Acton

Contact Info for Theodore Kryzak - Legislative District 20, Maine


2 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04330


Legislative Office:

(207) 287-1440


Sunday, July 04, 2021

Happy 4th of July

So it's the Fourth of July, the day that celebrates our nation's creation.  Beyond this one fact of the date, much of what we believe about how we came about is buried in mounds of myth and bullshit.  Our beginnings were precipitated on noble ideas, but the functional parts of the noble cause were anything but noble.  It was an ugly situation to be embroiled in a revolution.  Thankfully King George decided he had other fish to fry and pulled out.  He could have dragged it out like we have recently in the Middle East.

Today is not a day to worry about stupid foreign policy fails.  Today I want to think about that which many folks do not consider when they think of our honorable founding fathers and their alcohol infused hoe down during the second meeting of the Continental Congress in June and July of 1776.

It is a convenient myth that the Founders were inspired by God and what resulted was a democratic and free nation under that god. While most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were men of religious fervor in public, in private, more than a few were anything but. As a matter of fact the main man who is credited with the final draft was not a religious man in the typical norms of the day.  Thomas Jefferson rejected most of the popular Christian tenets at the time.  Jefferson and many others were Deists.

In a nut shell, Deism is a belief that God may have started everything, but that is where God's participation ended. God was not interested in the affairs of Man and was then as God is now, just a spectator.  Deism becoming  popular was a natural result of the Age of Enlightenment, when a growing intellectual class was scrutinizing everything, patrticularly religion.  The draconian days of hard line Christianity were waning, but still held sway among the rank and file.  Deism was considered blasphemous by many leaders, religious and political. They wanted to criminalize its advocacy.  So, many true deists kept their opinions to themselves, went to church, kneeled with the best, and went home to live the rest of their week in heathen joy.

Americans at that point had not known real government that was in theory under their control. They had always been chattels and tied to the whims of a government thousands of miles away.  Many of the early settlements were created by religious dissenters who emigrated from England and Europe. Many of the early colonies were actually set up under local theocratic rules which had unbending and rigid religious based ideas about how one should live their life or pay serious consequences. 

Some modern theologians seem to want to bury the notion that Deism had anything to do with the creation of this country.  Mark David Hall, a professor at the religious university, Fox University in Oregon, wrote a book debunking deism's contribution to the formation of America as we know it.  I only read the first chapter, "The Myth of the Founders Deism".  It was enough to tell me like any less than objective historian, he was interpreting the facts to fit his forgone conclusion.  Nothing wrong with that I guess, but it does not treat the subjects they write about fairly and objectively.

It would have been logical for the new United States to be set up with more religious control than it was.  You can thank the Deists that it was not.  They insisted on keeping the idea of the separation of church and state front and center.  And their first battle was while drafting the original Declaration of Independence.  The real battle came eleven years later when the Constitution took form. Sane men of religion who understood the wisdom of Separation joined forces with the Deists to insist that separation became one of the bedrock notions upon which this country was established.  Without the Deists and their influence, I wonder where and what we would be?

So the next time you go to church, thank God for staying out of the affairs of Man and respecting the Deist way of life.  Snicker, snicker, snicker.

Later ..................................................