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August 09, 2013


I've never seen a ghost bycycle. The littel road side shrines are fairly common. Some have a folk art aspect to them: elaborate, maintained for years,colorful.

This is a change of subject, but I am pissed. there is some kind of small mean wasp that lives out side my house. Really persistant nasty vengeful buggers. I have, thank god, onloy been attacked by one or tow at a time, but that's enough. they sting repeatedly and persistatly. They chase me! I have five stings on my scalp and two on one arm and three on the other. We have the wasp shut up in the bathroom where it has hidden itself. Paul sparyed bug killer in there and I can no longer here buzzing but I'm afraid to open the door.

Fortunnately we do have a second bathroom.

I am in pain.


I had a nest of those "ground wasps" in my yard recently. They came out of a joint between two masonry stones in a neighbor's adjoining retaining wall. Nasty buggers got me, too. You will have to search around and find the entrance to their nest/hive. It will not be a typical gray paper nest like you find in the garden shed or the old barn. It will be at a crack in the foundation, beneath a porch...something like that. Then wreak your revenge with several cans of that wasp spray that shoots a 20 ft. stream of instant insect death.

Get well soon.

LJ: Why are open threads always on Friday?

Cause it is either late Friday nite or Saturday morning here, and I figure people have more time to chat. Plus open threads are less likely to have people behave like jerks, which I prefer.

In India they do the ghost bikes one better and have Bullet Baba, the temple to the mototcycle god:

"The story goes that back in 1991, on a fateful summer night, Om Bana was returning from Pali to his native Chotila on his Bullet 350 when it skidded and hit a tree, killing him on the spot. The tree stands over the battered vehicle till date. Villagers say after Om Bana’s death, the motorbike was taken to a local police station. But next day morning, it was found at the accident spot. Police initially thought it was a prank and after emptying the fuel tank they brought the bike back to the station. However, the motorcycle was again at the accident spot the next day. 'As soon as the story spread, people in the nearby village built a platform on the spot where the death occurred and started offering prayers,' said Chotu Singh, a resident of the nearby village."

The article is here, and it has pictures:

The greatergreaterwashington blog rages as this type of phrasing from the Wikipedia entry:

where a cyclist has been killed or severely injured (usually by a motor vehicle)

As if the motor vehicle was the one with agency. "Struck and killed by a truck." Instead of "struck and killed by a driver in a hooptie." Their argument being that this relieves the motor vehicle operator of responsibility thus putting blame on the cyclist.

That said, it really seems an odd situation to have people driving two thousand pound (or more) vehicles "sharing the road" with people on bicycles, given the obvious difference in speed/weight and therefore danger (OTOH, riding on sidewalks creates similar issues). DC has in the past several years developed dedicated bike lanes in certain areas to avoid this problem, including on Pennsylvania Avenue and 15th street, and should do more, but it's hard as the streets are set up for cars and parking.

Baby steps, I guess.

While I understand the impulse, people die, life goes on, and these little memorials need to be limited in duration, for if they're not, our roadsides will eventually be junkyards.

i've seen those bikes here in NC. they usually last a month or so before someone takes them away.

the little roadside memorials are everywhere.

cleek's comment reminds me of this map, which gives all auto fatalities between 2001 and 2009.

Googling turned up this for the UK.

Some countries (iirc Turkey and at least one Balkan state) leave car wrecks in place as a deterrant since the locals tend to ignore DANGER street-signs. Seeing the wrecks may persuade them to drive a bit more carefully on those mountain roads. I think there is one road in Alaska where they do it with wrecks of heavy lorries (but that may be just a costsaving measure).

Before reading Hartmut' s comment, I was wondering what it would be like to leave all wrecks in situ, accumulating through the years, demolition derby-style.

Kind of a high school driver's Ed horror documentary directed by J.G. Ballard.

Maybe leave gunshot victims where they lie, too.

Maybe not.

Better to sanitize, forget, and do it all over fresh, so it doesn't lose it's power to fascinate.

Otherwise the landscape would look like the Somme or Ypres in World War I.

Its, not it's.

Can't leave those feral apostrophes littering the landscape either.

I was reading somewhere recently that elephants who come upon the bones of their brethren, even months or years after the death event, will stop and "meditate" over the scene, perhaps fondling the skeletal remains with their trunks.

Some mountain tribes in the Philippines and elsewhere will sit the deceased relative (I witnessed this) upright in a chair in their huts and play games through the night. They'll haul the putrifying corpse from hut to hut until every unit of the extended family has a chance to repeat the ritual.

Now chickens, organically raised and otherwise, may not mourn their deceased feathered fellows, but they give Kentucky Fried Chicken, Church's and the other chains a wide berth when they travel the Nation's byways. They tend to shun picnics as well, which they refer to among themselves as holocausts.

Americans, on the other hand, travel at high rates of speed, risking fiery death, sometimes running over chickens, to be on time for the chicken nuggets at the local fast food joint.

Sometimes, too often, gunfire breaks out if the service is slow, on account of the fact that the Founders gave us the right to pursue happiness while armed to the teeth.

The unfortunate chickens can never be armed to the teeth.

And pecking in self defense isn't mentioned in the Constitution most fowl.

' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '
' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' '

(sample of a landscape littered with the remains of feral apostrophes)

(or apostrophe's)

(now imagine that running in all directions as far as the eye can see)

(thank the count, not me, for that image)

I posted a comment showing a field of feral apostrophes (apostrophe's?) and it never showed up.

The fix (fick's?) is in.

Obviously, feral apostrophes are something that gets confined to the spam cage, but I've released them.

By the way, the wonderful phrase "feral apostrophes's'es"' a certain band name besides, was an original by the lady artist who ran Taking It Outside when it was whatever it was called before lj took it outside.

I steal.

I'd look it up but I'm three vodka tonics deep after 14 hours today at the rehab hospital keeping my Alzheimer's's mother who broke her hip two weeks ago from laying waste to the scenery.

When do these death panels go into effect?

Or does Sarah Death Panel just sequester ad nauseum until folks croak and we call it austerity?

When we were living in the UK, the Bucks/Oxon area seemed to have a thing of erecting a small white cross at the site of each motorvehicular fatality - coming around a corner and observing serried ranks of 50 or 60 crosses close together was fairly caution inspiring

Oddly enough, while cycling on the Millennium Trail in Prince Edward County I encountered a section upon which some "maintainer" had decided to dump a load of loose gravel that sucked my tires up to the rims. Unable to ride further I dismounted and humped my bike through this mess. As soon as I could no longer ride at 15 km/hr, the deer flies in the swamp right by the trail came over for a snack. It took me quite a while to get my sense of humour back after that.

The last cyclist memorial ride I went on, we placed a white bike to honour a popular local teacher who died at an intersection as a result of a hit and run. At the time, the police apparently claimed the cyclist had run a red light before getting hit; now they admit that the cyclist had apparently stopped entirely legally to make a left turn before the van that killed him struck him. For how hairy cycling in Toronto can get, watch this.

And that's why we place ghost bikes.

I watched your "Surfing the Steel River" video, John, and you really fly down those streets! Leave those cars in the dust!

I live in DC and see ghost cycles around.

In Greece, people build a small religious memorial at the site of a car accident. That some of them fall into disrepair is just the natural cycle of things. Things are built, they are maintained, they decay. No one walked though Greece looking at decaying aqueducts and stripped marble buildings from antiquity and thought, "This place is a junkyard!"

I was reading somewhere recently that elephants who come upon the bones of their brethren, even months or years after the death event, will stop and "meditate" over the scene, perhaps fondling the skeletal remains with their trunks.

I think they actually pick them up and move them, though I don't know why. This habit is what gave rise to the notion of a special elephant graveyard.


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