far too much writing, far too many photos

A brief assessment of some major print outlets, sent by a friend in the Boston area — I have no comment, preferring simply to inflict it on you:

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.
2. The New York Times is read by people who think they run the country.
3. The Washington Post is read by people who think they ought to run the country.
4. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don’t understand the Washington Post.
5. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country if they could spare the time.
6. The Boston Globe is read by people whose parents used to run the country.
7. The New York Daily News is read by people who aren’t too sure who’s running the country.
8. The New York Post is read by people who don’t care who’s running the country as long as they do something scandalous.
9. The San Francisco Chronicle is read by people who aren’t sure there is a country or that anyone is running it.
10. The Miami Herald is read by people who want to run another country.

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At the potluck here on the hill last night: I told a neighbor about the occasional strange happenings that take place here in the house [see entry of August 14], he mentioned that he had seen several examples of what was called a “ghost clause” (and sometimes a no-ghost clause) — clauses included in Purchase and Sale agreements of house sales which stated a) that the house being purchased was not haunted, b) that should the house turn out to be haunted, the seller would have to prove he/she had no knowledge of that when they entered into the agreement with the buyer, and c) should the seller be unable to prove that they had no knowledge of said haunting, they would have to pay the buyer the full amount of the purchase price. (I assume that meant the house would also be returned to the seller, ghost and all.) According to my neighbor, ghost clauses were a common element of purchase and sales agreements drawn up in earlier times here in New England, as recently as the mid-1800s. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that ghosts or hauntings were widespread. It may indicate more about beliefs, attitudes, superstititions, fears and, by extension, the religious atmosphere of the time more than anything else. We’re talking, after all, about the region that produced the Salem witch trials.

The family of this same neighbor had a cat which disappeared about three weeks ago. Another neighbor, Maurice (pronounced Morris) — 80+ years old and a tough old coot — mentioned that he saw a fisher cat around recently. They’re ferocious predators, fisher cats, and when they appear, small domestic animals have a tendency to disappear. We sometimes forget that we’re living in fairly wild country out here, where encounters with foxes, coyotes, deer, moose and bear don’t come as a big surprise.

After a gray, cool start, today turned out to be yet another spectacularly beautiful day. No humidity at all, temperatures in the 70s, clouds and sun trading off. Wildflowers are everywhere, the crickets and their brethren have been singing around the clock. They’re out there in the cool night air right now, still at it.

I have the feeling this is going to be an excellent night for sleep. Time to go enjoy it.

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