The Buffum

  “Are you leaving here?” Janet said. “Are you giving up on us?” I was.  She would go to the meeting at city hall alone.  I loaned her two bucks for carfare, I can’t go.”  I said,  “Got to teach a class.” “Got a meeting,” I added, gilding the lily with fools gold. The meeting … Continue reading The Buffum

Easy Does It

  By now it is painfully obvious that our strategy of intimidation and saber-rattling to keep North Korea from getting an atomic bomb of its own has not worked. I liked this New Yorker cover cartoon showing this poor unloved tyrant  Kim Jong-un gazing fondly down on his first born,  his own thermonuclear warhead.  Will … Continue reading Easy Does It

Goodbye, Everybody

It has been a pleasure writing and being read over the years.  But from now on Kirby is going to still be on the loose, but not in his digitized Wi-Fi form.  This will be my last posting.   Readers are welcome to consult the index, and I will post the links to some of … Continue reading Goodbye, Everybody

And the Winner of the Battle of the Algorithms is:

   In the middle giving out awards to their storm water committee is Suzanne Beck, executive director of the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. This is a high-powered group with a lot of technical, legal and lobbying skills. They had this Chamber committee up and operating in January of 2013, when it became clear that the … Continue reading And the Winner of the Battle of the Algorithms is:

Work begins on tunnel under railroad

Mark the day, this morning, Monday June 20 2016 at about eight in the morning construction started on the railroad underpass. Or to be exact, preliminary site clearance started. I knew something was up because when I got to my favorite railroad crossing there was a big white Pan Am pickup parked across the opening … Continue reading Work begins on tunnel under railroad

Major Upgrade on railroad crossing

Those of us renegades who use the hole in the fence to commute between Walgreens and Woodmont, and/ or navigate between the three railtrails noted with pleasure the improvement made by some anonymous angel this week. Two sheets of 3/8″ particle board have been laid laid in on top of the three? very shaky pallets. … Continue reading Major Upgrade on railroad crossing

We’ve seen what the future looks like, and it could have been worse

The architect’s concept of the new building as seen looking down a narrow alley from Phillips Place. The St. John Cantius church will not fall to the wrecking ball, only the priest’s residence will be demolished, and the housing that is going to be squeezed into the long narrow space behind the existing housing will … Continue reading We’ve seen what the future looks like, and it could have been worse

The Road to Johnston Island

In 1957 the AEC needed a place to test out an idea they had at Livermore Laboratories. The idea came from a young charismatic Italian physicist, Nicholas Christofilos, who worked for Edward Teller, the  co-father of the H-Bomb. In those days Livermore Laboratories had punch with the Joint Chiefs, their star was ascendant, and they … Continue reading The Road to Johnston Island

“Well, what do you think about the “Black Lives Matter” sign on city hall?

One of my readers hit me with that hot question today when she saw me coming into the turkey dinner  at the Senior Center. And what did I do but waffle on her? You would have thought I was the mayor. Maybe I’ve been retired too long. I remembered too well the noisy chaotic night … Continue reading “Well, what do you think about the “Black Lives Matter” sign on city hall?


REFORM! I can’t remember this happening. (ever) The police and the Northampton Housing Authority putting the spotlight on active heroin and other drug dealing in our public housing.  The new director is putting her stamp on the organization. A Housing Authority that asks for help with drugs, that works with the police to make complexes like … Continue reading HURRAY!