Crock of Ages
Rage at 35,000 Feet

Sandhill Trek

Frank Paynter, who blogs at Sandhill Trek, has a lot on his fertile mind. He’s been ranting about Rove lately, but he’s just as likely to tell us that he counted 35 varieties of flowers on a morning walk near his home in Wisconsin, or to explain why most of us would never have eaten an Oscar Meyer weiner if it weren't for his biochemist dad:

“Without my dad, generations of Americans would have missed the ‘Wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener’ jingle, as they would have missed the ubiquitous alternative tranportation system known as the wienermobile. For without national branding, the Oscar Mayer wiener would have remained a cultural regionalism, unsung on network TV.”
- But enough about me...what about MY DAD?


The name of his blog undoubtedly stems from this:

“I worked on Sandhill Road in the seventies, and I live in Sandhill Crane country today… Beth said she heard the Sandhill Cranes out on the marsh this afternoon. They always show up right around Washington's birthday.”

(Do click that link for some photos of those birds. As a New York City girl, I am astonished that anyone can watch such magnificent creatures without going to a zoo.)

I had been reading Frank for a long time before I got around to blogging and in an earlier incarnation of his blog, he was a lot wordier than he is these days. Even so, he is still capable of writing stuff like this that is a bit - uh, dense for me…

“Nietzsche's trivial attempt at linguistic equivalence notwithstanding - schlecht and schlicht and the rest of that reductive nonsense based on some 18th century epistemology unframed by linguistic anthropological referents…”

Sometimes you lose me, Frank, but then I never went to college. Still, he is equally adept at pop culture and has recently joined the ranks of fans like me who believe this is the best-written show on television:

“For me commercial television avoidance is almost a fetish. Imagine my surprise at being sucked into West Wing re-runs. They've been renewed so it looks like I have a lot of soap opera enjoyment ahead of me. This is almost as good as the Sopranos and I get to write blog posts while they're selling soap!”
- Bravo

And he's pretty good at partisan poetry, like this little ditty:


No C-heney
No A-shcroft
No R-umsfeld
No B-ush
and Absolutely NO RICE!

Although I wouldn’t call Frank a political blogger, politics plays a good-sized role on his site and he's not shy about letting his readers know where he stands on the issues:

“Here in Wisconsin, embarrassingly enough, the christian ignoramuses have locked a school district into teaching something called ‘creationism.’ Makes me want to puke. Really…Hard to believe that what we thought were dying embers of superstitious claptrap when we studied 19th century history have flared up anew in the 21st century bonfires of the fanatically ignorant.”

Rants notwithstanding, what comes through strongly when you read Frank is an enormous warmth and kindheartedness. His praise for other bloggers is abundant; he writes about and links to others generously, and he generally reminds me of everyone’s favorite (opinionated) uncle. He even tries to understand his dog's transgressions:

“It seems to me like the chaotic distribution of my footwear across the house when I return after a day's absence may have certain algorithmic properties that only an Australian Shepherd is capable of getting its teeth into…

“Oddly, I am sure the dog doesn't think the distribution of shoes is messy, but rather that it has order and beauty best appreciated by creatures closer to the floor than the housemonkeys that provide the food and water.”

- Messiness, Miscellany, and Mad Dogs

It’s always worth your while to make Sandhill Trek a regular stop on your blog rounds.


Actually, I pretty much consider myself an "fp" groupie! I quote him so much that I'm sure everyone thinks so too! But he says we shouldn't care what anyone thinks and I like that a lot! Good for my "out of confidence." Great post about Sandhill Trek, Ronni!

Wow. Okay, I'm getting older and I can admit it... this kind of wonderful warmth and appreciation makes me teary-eyed. Thank you for the beautiful review Ronni, and the kind selectivity that went with it. I have to say that Time Goes By is one of my regular stops on the blog-express too, so here we are, a mutual admiration society!

And Tamar, I may say what you said I say, but I do care, and I'm very glad that what I say sometimes strikes a chord with you.

Thank you both for being here. Our community grows and so do we.

Not too very long ago there were some people who had the privelege and pleasure of "being Paynted." Not it seems the very Paynter himself has "been Bennetted." I know there's a "beneficial" wordplay in there, but am struggling to discover it.

Let's hope this post widens the readership of Sandhill Trek, a daily stop for this reader.

Well said, and so true.

I'll tell you what, it's TRUE. It's TRUE! Frank, you deserve every word of this wonderful tribute--and you HAVE been paynted for all the wonderful little quirks and brilliance that makes you frank.

Awesome post.

WordNet has a wonderful definition for curmudgeon:

"a crusty irascible cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas"

If to the list of adjectives, you add in 'generous', 'caring', and 'playful', and tone down the 'old', this is Frank.

Excellent overview of one of my favorite curmudgeons.

I'm a few days late in getting to your post on Frank, but, as one who has been proudly "Paynted," and one who has been a blogging buddy of Frank's since almost the beginning, and one who has had the great pleasure of breaking bread with the fabulous "fp" on two occasions, I cannot let your post go un-commented, late or not.

I'am so glad that you've exposed this wonderful blogger to a new audience. And I'm even more gladdened, as a fellow oldster, to have discovered you--thanks to Frank.

I love what you're doing with your blog. Keep it up--please!

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