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Cold Iron consists of random bits of irreverence, surliness, and contumely; sometimes it's even funny. Reading it is entirely optional.

...the iron monger and rusticater himself

Cool Iron

"Never hit someone over the head with a hot iron. Wait until it cools so you don't burn them."

...the source of my ideas

Iron Filings - 58

February 1, 2019

Iron Filings – 58

Things I just didn’t know about – It seems that some parents in Connecticut have taken umbrage over a change in their school district’s policy that restricts, or forbids, parents from joining their children at lunch time. Apparently so many parents were showing up that it was disrupting an orderly lunch period. This is a wealthy part of Connecticut so I suspect these were parents with a lot of time on their hands. I don’t know that this is a problem, or even a practice, anywhere else.
* * *
Years ago, when malls first came about, there were dire warnings that this would be the end of shopping as we knew it and the downtowns would die. Then Wal-Mart came along and those same warnings were broadcast once again. Many people hated Wal-Mart both because the chain was putting small businesses out of business and because they had nasty employment practices. Nowadays one almost feels sorry for Wal-Mart because they, like so many businesses, are reeling under the impact of Amazon. You see where I’m going with this? Before you know it some as yet unknown mercantile behemoth will put Amazon on the ropes and the dire, nay apocalyptic, warnings will emerge once again.
* * *
Did I just say nay?
* * *
Speaking of warnings, it could be that we are living in The Age of Warnings. We are warned about opioid use. We are warned not to submerge our electronics in water. We are warned about not walking alone at night. We are warned about approaching storms. We are warned in our cars that the operator is responsible for the vehicle. We are warned about eating too much sugar and salt. We are warned about all manner of things from the pulpits. We are warned about looking at the sun during an eclipse. We are warned not to overdo it. We are warned (thank you, sir) if the officer says we were driving a bit fast. We are warned about drinking enough fluids if we are sick or the day is hot. We are warned that bridges freeze before road surfaces and that objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. You’ve been warned.
* * *
I think the Brexit situation in the U.K. makes a good case against democracy. They had a referendum on a complex issue that the vast majority of voters weren’t up on – Yes! Let’s break free of the EU and be on our own again! – and now that some of the difficult, nay dire, consequences are apparent, they want to utter a big Whoops! maybe we should vote again. Sometimes the voters just shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Occasionally, that’s also true of the legislators.
* * *
I think I just said nay again.
* * *
If you’re looking for a really good – and long – read that will take you through a good many winter nights I’d recommend Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Nothing tricky or bizarre about the book, just a good story.
* * *
We really need to stop filling out surveys, whether funky little things we find on Facebook or elsewhere on line, or those oh-so-sincere pleas for “knowing how we’ve served you” from merchants where we’ve actually bought things. We’re just doing market research for them and we’re doing it for free – and did you ever know anyone who actually won that $500 gift card? Keep in mind, too, that every bit of information we provide online is filling out a profile of us that can ultimately be used for good or ill – not that we’ll have any choice in its use.
* * *
Once again the snow is piling up and my Toro snowblower is getting a workout. I’ve often said I’d refuse to go through life without a wheelbarrow since it’s one of the handiest tools you can have and really saves your body from suffering under certain onerous chores. I think, however, that I’d have to add a snowblower to that list. In fact, I’ll go further and suggest that insurance companies, including Medicare, should pay for the machine. No entitlements here, just pragmatism. What those companies would pay for snowblowers is a pittance compared to what they pay for all those snowy heart attacks.
G.K. Wuori © 2019
Photoillustration by the author

Selected Works

I think this book would appeal to anyone who likes a dark crime story set in a rural, somewhat remote part of Maine in a time when the radicalism of the nineteen-seventies was sweeping the country.
Ellen DeLay, an upstanding citizen of Quillifarkeag, Maine, suddenly and unpredictably leaves her happy, twenty-five year marriage for a lonely cabin deep in the Maine woods, where she makes a living dressing hunters' kill - bears, moose, deer. It seems an idyllic life, punctuated only now and then by rifle fire as she shoots into the air to scare off cheeky teens who come to taunt "the crazy woman."
A small-town lawyer in the middle of a gruesome murder case finds salvation in the world of a homeless woman and her daughter.
A young woman's morning walk through her small town finds her immersed in a small tragedy, an indifferent government, and the "science gone mad" of her best friend's husband. Quirky, goofy, nutty - yes, but a gentle look as well at some of the values that keep us from falling off the planet
A hint of generally true autobiography, this piece is part of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill's "How I Became A Writer" series.
Quillifarkeag is a state of mind, one marked by innocence and regret, by guile and sympathy. The people there will let you into their lives - but not very far. Go too far inside and things start to echo, people get close. Honesty becomes negotiable. Bare all and someone might still say, "Were you naked or nude?" It's an important distinction. In a small place like Quilli the naked truth is hurtful. The nude truth is not so bad.

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