By Chuck Wiser, I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels
I have a couple of more serious topics and then will end with the more frivolous and one “feel good” piece.
Yesterday I was upset by a comment made midstream in a social media discussion regarding the incredibly high gas prices thought by many to be “Price Gouging”, given oil companies very lucrative profit gains recently. Many others among the legions of those blaming our President, who has no control whatsoever of the gas and oil industry, feel differently. One of said “blamers”, I believe, meant the President when he suggested killing “him”. I reported the comment to Facebook as threatening harm or injury and Facebook responded by removing the comment. I have no idea as to whether there were any sanctions placed upon the person making the comment.
Some felt that I should just have “minded my own business” (paraphrasing). I didn’t and can’t. I draw the line when it comes to comments like that. It was suggested that the person probably didn’t intend to carry through with any action, but I countered that the statement may have inspired some other “sicko” to do so, however.
My reply was: “We who remain silent, may soon be silenced.”
Ok, that’s off my chest so on to my other “campaign”. Having grown up in Friendship, Olean was the early shopping destination. Later, when my travel patterns changed from heading west to heading east to Wellsville for shopping and work I, and my wife, would often travel the Back River Road from Belmont to Scio, changing our travel route as we loved the change of scenery. It was so picturesque, serene, and seasonally colorful. When we were in the market for a house our eyes easily turned to that area. The only blemish on that scenario today is the traffic.
It didn’t seem to be that bad in the early years but maybe now that we are older and desirous of peace and quiet, it has become more troublesome for a couple of reasons. In the 70’s I was talking with our department secretary who lived in Belmont. I had noticed that she always drove to her home in Belmont going past our house at “a pretty good clip”. Upon asking her why she went that way, her response was that she could “make better time on that road going 80 miles per hour without fear of getting a speeding ticket.” Unfortunately, I believe that reasoning holds true for many. There are two repeatable, predictable, time frames when this is occurs. In the morning when County (and other) employees are headed to Belmont for their jobs, and even more predictably just shortly after 4 PM when they are returning from Belmont home, heading basically South. A number of these travelers come from the South and West including some from Wellsville, but likely mostly from Allentown, Bolivar and off that way. Numerous neighbors over the years have said that they have reported it. I too have spoken to a few law enforcement officers as well.
We frequently see law enforcement officers parked by the gravel piles between Cty. Rte. 31 and the Back River Road, but they are apparently set up to only observe the Cty. Rte 31 traffic. I’m not sure if they are mistaking the speeding complaints, we make thinking the problem is on that road instead of ours. I have been told “anecdotally” that they don’t want to cause problems with the “County Workers” in Belmont and that is why they do not set up enforcement on this road.
In addition to just speeding, often well over the posted speed limits, which caused numerous accidents, including vehicular deaths, there are problems at both ends of the road where there are apparently invisible stop signs. The North end terminates at a stop sign where Cty. Rte 31A crosses Back River Road by the Belmont Conservation Club, and the South end where it intersects with a curve on Cty. Rte. 31 just past the “view blocking” County gravel piles, and across 31 from the Buckley storage units. Add to that, there’s Charles Young Road that cuts over from 31 to Back River Road with an even more invisible stop sign. Our road is their own personal raceway.
I won’t question the motivation or lack thereof regarding monitoring that traffic at “known times”, but it would only take no more than an hour or two a day putting a watch on those areas. I don’t know if it would have prevented any of the numerous deaths that have occurred on that road, but it may have prevented the accident that occurred yesterday morning on the Belmont end of the road during one of those high traffic times. When I or others, back out of our driveways, we take our lives into our own hands. “Look both ways, then look back the other way before pulling out isn’t always enough to see an oncoming vehicle traveling 65 miles an hour 100 yards and a curve away.
OK²…On to some “Wrambling”. For me, once again metaphorically speaking, “a day late and a dollar missed.” I recently saw an ad for a TV device with a solar powered remote control. DUH! Why didn’t I think of that? I have used any number of solar powered “handheld” calculators. During my school years I would use them tirelessly and the device never failed. Seems to me that the typical remote is used less, a lot less, than I used my calculator. These devices are recharged with standard incandescent and fluorescent lighting. No sun needed to keep them charged.
With St. Patrick’s Day on the horizon some may be planning on a meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage. And it is Corned Beef not Corn Beef. The name “Corned” comes from the British (Not Irish) and from the 17th century. The beef is cured in a salt solution. The salt crystals used are approximately the size of a kernel of corn, thus the name “Corned Beef. The curing produces a typically tender cut of meat which isn’t “too” salty, but very flavorful. According to a WYRK survey “Chanderson’s Steak and Seafood” in Delevan, NY is the closest to us of their Top 10 restaurants serving that meal on the 17th.
Has anyone else been aware of the fact that wearing your mask cuts down on the worry of bad breath? We continue to wear our masks out of an abundance of caution for the protection of my wife and others who might be “immunity challenged”.
Speaking of bad breath, I have a disclaimer and apology to any of my former students who thought they might have smelled alcohol on my breath during the day, during my teaching days. I had a college professor as a student, who then became a teaching colleague, and who had somewhat of a reputation of “tipping a few” during the day. I had noticed that alcohol odor on him myself and attributed it to that. It may have been true. I was not aware that my breath also had that odor, until it was pointed out to me by my wife, albeit after my retirement. When I was regularly a beer consumer, not liking water, and that’s no joke. I was also fond of having a couple of Manhattan’s after getting home from school and was conscientious about my breath when going out in public. Unbeknownst to me at the time, that odor lingers on your breath even into the next day, despite brushing and gargling in the morning and with no consumption of beverages that day.
Does the casual, subtle, but continuing development of “Junkyards” at residences on the roads that are the main access to local towns, bother anyone else? Scio is no exception. There seems to be some remediation at the one site I notice most often, but not complete. It is still an eyesore.
Scanner call: Overheard the other day was a call-in confirmation to 911 dispatch:
“They picked the wrong trooper to mess with today.”
Anyone wearing footwear greater than a size 12 may understand why that magic number creates the great divide between comfortable and not. Standard sock sizes from 6 to 12 and 13 to 15. If you wear a 12, 13 or 14 that larger size range is way too large, and socks tend to bunch up in your shoe or you have to pull them up to your knee. My grandson and I lead in the family shoe size war both at size 14. Similar, but different, problems occur with men’s pants sizes. Once you go past a 32-inch waist size they quit making “half sizes.” They don’t typically make odd numbered waist sizes beyond 33 inches. If you have a 37- inch waist you must try on every single pair trying to find an over – sized 36 or under sized 38. Elastic waist only helps so much. I’ve been called odd for many reasons, and it even overlaps into my clothes sizes. The shoe sizes problem started with me at 12 years old. I had the biggest feet and shoe size in the 7th grade.
I take great pleasure in viewing the shared family pictures of my former students as their families grow. Some have even, already, started their adventure of grandchildren. I guess being a grandfather myself now I take special pleasure in viewing other friend’s grandchildren’s photos. One such picture recently shared by a former teaching colleague’s wife, now my Facebook friend, was of their grandchild sorting through a collection box of button odds and ends. I think every family must have that box of assorted buttons, and most, at one time or another, shared that collection with their children or grandchildren. Seeing that picture brought back memories for me, and the picture itself gave me the greatest inspiration as those memories flooded over me.
I share with you now, my thoughts, and the Buttons Galore.