audio — A Short Tutorial on Declining Solicitations

Posted in Uncategorized on February 8th, 2018 by skeeter
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audio — Making America Great Again — A Disruption in the Force

Posted in Uncategorized on February 2nd, 2018 by skeeter
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audio — bomb cyclone

Posted in Uncategorized on January 7th, 2018 by skeeter
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Idyllic Idleness

Posted in Uncategorized on December 27th, 2017 by skeeter

So all us little hooligans would roll back into school come September and invariably our new teacher would give us our first homework assignment to write what we’d done during our summer break. Three months of unstructured play and now we 4th graders or 6th graders or whatever grade were supposed to compose an essay to describe idyllic idleness.

It didn’t exactly ruin it for us, that’s not how it felt, it just didn’t work, like jamming a square peg into a round hole. Maybe Miss Crenshaw went to Italy with her paramour and toured Rome and the ruins, adult organized vacation time, we didn’t know and we couldn’t make her write that essay, that’s for sure, but how were we supposed to scribble out on #2 pencils an interesting couple of wide spaced pages all those sandlot whiffle ball games and the bike riding or those long treks in all directions past the creeks and ponds or through the woods beyond the new houses or that time we went so far nothing was familiar and it took hours to find our way back home? We spent whole afternoons playing marbles, fer chrissake! We’d kill an entire day trading baseball cards or swapping old musty comic books, what are you going to say to Miss C. about that?

Sure, there was the time Joey Vandiver fell off his bike and broke his arm — he had a story. About two sentences before the rest of his vacation he hauled his arm around in a cast he carried in a dirty filthy sling. What I Did On My Summer Vacation: Not Much!!

We all signed our names on Joey’s cast. Did we all write that down on our essay? Were we going to be graded on all that NOTHING we did when we should’ve gone to Yellowstone National Park or 6 Flags over Atlanta? I shouldn’t have to tell you, I hated going back to school. And that first assignment should tell you all you need to know about WHY I hated to go back to school. Vacations are exactly like freedom. You don’t have to do a damn thing. And you don’t feel guilty either.

Until you go back. Today we’re going back and this is my essay…..

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McMilk

Posted in rantings and ravings, Uncategorized on October 21st, 2017 by skeeter

Some of us farmers down here on the organic South End are alarmed at the news Coca-Cola is making milk. They claim they’re making it better. God is going to be heartbroken to hear this. Probably thought She’d pretty much perfected it after all these millennia. Course God neglected marketing, something the labs down at Coke sure didn’t.

I’ve been getting milk down the road from my friend the Goat Lady. Pure, unadulterated, no growth hormone, no antibiotic, free range goat milk, unpasteurized, really creamy stuff. What we South Enders call ‘natural’, Coca-Cola would characterize as raw, meaning it’s pre-manipulated. They’re planning to separate that into sugars, proteins, carbos and fats, all its component parts, then reconstitute it. I’d tell you the formula, but it’s a secret, no doubt the hangover of those first Coke recipes that used cocaine before the pharmacologists and food scientists realized sugar and caffeine would be cheaper and less criminally suspect.

Science, a powerful tool. And … if you can’t trust your food to a soft drink corporation, who can you trust? It’s not as if they’re a cigarette company, chopping tobacco into its component parts, making a slurry, then adding 200 ingredients known to the state of California as carcinogens before rolling the goop into a totally addictive product for the consumer. Not like that at all! Besides, we got the FDA regulating food, right? Right??

The future looks grim for us farmers is what I think. Reformulated broccoli candy bars, reprocessed pea popsicles, endive gum, bush bean twists. But … when the chemists are done, what an improvement on that stuff growing in dirt and you-know-what. They’ll take that out first step in the centrifuge.

It’s a brave new world and maybe we better put on a brave new face. Hey, if nothing else they’ll take the sting out of our nettle crops. Sales might go back up to pre-Recession and the good times might return. Plus we won’t have cows tromping around pooping in our fields now that they’ll be confined to laboratories. Thank you Coke! But … wasn’t your slogan a few years back ‘YOU CAN’T BEAT THE REAL THING’? So why try?

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Environmentalism on the South End

Posted in rantings and ravings, Uncategorized on October 8th, 2017 by skeeter

I have a sequoia I planted below our house, down where the hill levels out into a ravine. I planted it as a seedling instead of buying a wedding ring for myself since I really dislike a ring. At least one on my finger. Ten years later we built the house up on that hill and from a second story perch I’ve been watching it reach up over the woodshop below, then slowly rise to the new house’s level, go beyond the height of the barn across the ravine and above our own house.

I have to step forward into the window now to see its top. At 35 years old it’s still pretty much a baby so far as a sequoia goes. On our anniversary Karen and I wrapped our arms around its trunk and barely locked hands. With any luck it’ll outlive me by, oh, 500 years or so. In my own lifetime, with a little luck, it’ll be the biggest tree on the place, which is no mean accomplishment considering the five redwoods we planted from seed, a few humongous big leaf maples, some second growth firs and one cedar that, for now, holds the title at a circumference of 13 feet and must be the oldest tree by far on our seven acres.

I’d like to think when we no longer prowl this property, it’ll be a forest again, not some logged off scabwoods the way it was when we first arrived. The field that once grew alfalfa for our goats is now a small arboretum of oaks and maples and beeches, rhododendrons twice as high as us, walnuts and hickories, a carpet of shamrocks and periwinkle growing underneath.

We are definitely shaped by our surroundings, I know that much. And it’s no small pleasure to return the favor by shaping them. The orchards, the flower gardens, the riot of 150 rhodies all blooming over a slowly unfolding spring, the vegetable gardens, the shrubs, the back woods —- all of this becoming as much a part of us as we became part of it. If you were to ask if I was an environmentalist, I would have to say no, probably not. I’m mostly just part of the environment.

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audio — old dog, new tricks

Posted in Uncategorized on October 6th, 2017 by skeeter
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audio — my grandson, the nigerian prince

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4th, 2017 by skeeter
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audio — scroungers, packrats and hoarders

Posted in Uncategorized on October 4th, 2017 by skeeter
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audio —- Prioritizing

Posted in Uncategorized on September 30th, 2017 by skeeter
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