Holiday Dump Status Report

Thanks to State Representative Michael Ramone, last week the Delaware Department of Transportation served a “cease and desist” order on the leader of the illegal dumping ring that’s been filling the wetlands on Upper Pike Creek Road with construction debris. He was given seven days to remove the fill or DelDOT will do it for him… and charge accordingly.

Unlike DelDOT, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control continues to do nothing, but State Senator Karen Peterson has bluntly told DNREC’s David Small that she will be instigating a senate inquiry if they don’t stop shirking their responsibilities.

State Representative Timothy Sheldon has engaged the New Castle County Department of Land Use. If past history is any guide, Land Use won’t be taking any back talk from contractors or local corrupt cops. The status of the County action can be tracked by looking up complaint #201409617 here.

What a lovely Xmas present for me and my neighbors!

The White Tower

The header today is a panoramic view of the Tower of London, taken by #1 son. This is only part of that panorama – the whole thing can’t really be made to fit WordPress’s header aspect.

When I was younger I had a mental image of the Tower as something resembling a chess rook, with the heads of traitors on spikes over the portcullis and shivering naked miscreants suspended in cages from the walls.

Even though I’ve known for decades that my vision of William the Conqueror’s citadel was totally wrong (well, except the heads and cages part) I was unprepared for the sheer size and magnificence of this fortress. I wish we’d had more time to explore, and I hope we can go back some day.

Back again.

OK, so that sabbatical was not so brief. I went a few places, did a few things.

In the meantime my hex tiles have arrived from Cali. I was only able to find one place that sold three- and four-point hex edge tiles, and they sure weren’t cheap.

I’m thinking about throwing down redgard and self-leveling compound before I lay the tile.

Ask the Pope, because the Church has such a great record (not).

Today 30,000 Roman Catholics gathered in St. Peter’s square in Rome to ask a kindly old celibate how he thinks people should manage their marriages.

I find myself remembering Catholic impotency trials of pre-revolutionary France and medieval England, where husbands were sometimes required to demonstrate virility in front of a jury composed of priests (and possibly the mother-in-law), and have their performances described in public record. The Church’s politically based meddling in marriage (their opposition to divorce has no basis in scripture) and system of ecclesiastic courts has wrought many a tragedy.

To give him credit, Pope Francis seemed to be doing his best to keep the conversation from getting too specific. You have to hope he sees the ridiculousness of it all.