Thursday, September 22, 2016

Work? Not to Me

We are back in Illinois for a bit to enjoy things we can do here we can't do in Georgia. Try getting a Midwestern pork tenderloin sandwich in Georgia. You know the ones. Those deep fried beauties that the golden fried loin is two or three times the size of the bun. Getting to go to your favorite bar to have the best pizza around and a lineup of craft beers to match with any meal. Maybe even the chance to ride in the combine while corn is being harvested. 
The young man we have mowing the acres of yard doesn't weed the flower beds. So when we came back they looked like this. 

After a couple of days crawling around pulling weeds and figuring out what flowers survived they now look like this. 

It might look like work to you. It didn't feel that way to me. There is something about getting out there and working in the dirt that always feels satisfying to me. We aren't done yet but the progress is clear and makes me feel good. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'm a Simple Man

I think I learned a long time ago what the key was to open the lock on happiness. It is quite simply, low expectations. Not low expectations for myself but of what I expected from everyone else and from life in general. 

I was thinking the other day about cell phones. I have an Apple iPhone. It does lots of things that I don't understand, don't need and don't use. I told Carol in keeping with my low expectations that I only want two things from my phone. It must be able to make and receive calls. It must not catch on fire and burn down my house or burn up my car. 

Isn't that an interesting turn of a phrase. Why does my house burn down and my car burn up? 

Is it wrong to want politicians to tell the truth? Talk about issues and not the alleged shortcomings of their opponent? I did however enjoy the comment last week about Hillary Clinton. An Hispanic follower of Donald Trump stated if she won there would be taco trucks on every corner. If I had been on the fence it would change my vote to Hillary. 

There are lots of jokes out there about Chuck Norris. I think my favorite is this one. Why does Chuck Norris sleep with a light on? Because the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris. Why are there no Bruce Lee jokes?

Seems reasonable. 

I kept going to McDonalds and being disappointed with the alleged food. Was it too much to ask that the meat, cheese and condiments be inside the bun? I realize these are low paying, low skill jobs. Don't they still demand the employee take some measure of pride I their work? I have determined the best solution is to never eat at McDonalds again. I doubt they will miss me. 

In closing, shoot low and you will never be disappointed. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Leave That Alone and Eat Your Corn Flakes

In 1894 Dr. John Henry Kellogg and Keith "WK" Kellogg operated a sanitarium and health spa in Battle Creek, Michigan. John was the Superintendent and WK was the bookkeeper. The brothers were Seventh Day Adventists. They were fundamentalists who believed in strict Biblical literalism. The body was the temple of God and was o remain pure. They were also strict vegetarians.  

Treatments offered at the sanitarium included hot and cold water baths, hydrotherapy with water enemas, electric current therapy, light therapy, exercise and message. Clients included Henry Ford, Johnny Weissmuller and Emelia Earhart. 

John Kellogg was convinced that sex was impure and harmful, especially masturbation. He did marry but never consummated the marriage. He and his wife had separate bedrooms. John wrote several books condemning sex and promoting celibacy. His books described the evil health effects of masturbation which he claimed included epilepsy, mood swings and dementia. One of his books contained the following. "Neither plague, nor war, nor smallpox have produced results so disasterous as the pernicious habit of onanism. Such a victim dies literally by his own hand."  John Kellogg proposed treatments to prevent masturbation that included piercing the foreskin with silver wires to prevent erections and using carbolic acid to burn the clitoris to prevent it from being touched. 

His treatments to prevent masturbation included diet. He was convinced that meat and spicy food increased sexual desire. He prescribed a bland diet of whole grains and nuts. The two brothers experimented with different types of bread. They rolled whole grain dough into thin sheets to make toasted crackers. One day after cooking some wheat for rolling they were called away. When they processed the cooled wheat through the rollers each grain was crushed into a flake. They thought it was a wonderful health food and began to serve it to their patients. In 1898 they tried the same process with corn and "corn flakes" we're born. They served corn flakes to patients and WK wanted to add sugar to take away the cardboard flavor. He wanted to sell them as a breakfast cereal. They patented their flaked cereals and formed the Sanitas Food Company. In 1906 WK purchased the rights to make corn flakes from his brother. He changed the recipe to include sugar and formed theBattle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Company. After a later legal battle with his brother it became the Kellogg Cereal Company. 

So there you have the twisted tale of corn flakes. So keep in mind, one hand on your spoon and the other one on the cereal bowl. Be K-e-double L- o- double good and keep your hands above the table at all times. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Around Town

I walk most mornings and some evenings with Rose and Lily. I'm always surprised that I can walk by the same place every day for weeks before I finally notice something. 

This house is over on Second. I could get a better picture if I was willing to walk up in their yard. I just can't do that.  I get mad when someone trespasses on our property in Illinois. It keeps me from doing that to someone here. 

Lily, Rose and I were out walking over the weekend and the Lighthouse was adorned with a flag in memory of those lost on September 11th. I got Rose and Lily to stop long enough to take some pictures with my phone. 
The picture above has not been photoshopped. It turned out pretty well. 
The one above now has been tweaked quite a bit. Perhaps too much. 
This one was lightly edited. Seems like a better idea. 
The next two pictures were not taken by me. 

The anchor was located off Tybee beach and dates from the 19th century. It has snagged numerous shrimp nets over the years. A couple of locals decided to raise it up and bring it to shore. I included the second picture just to show how big it is. 

The last picture is one I took at the Wilmington Island Farmer's Market. I can't tell you what make of car this is. I talked to the owner briefly and he told me it was a 1911. He was trying to get his dog tied into the seat and his wife walked up with their purchases. He said he drives it on a regular basis. The lamps on the side are kerosene so I'm guessing no night driving. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Stand Up, Sit Down, Fight, Fight, Fight

This guy. 
Did this.
During the playing of the national anthem. 

He made a statement explaining why he chose to sit rather than stand. Tradition calls for Americans to stand during the playing of the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick has his reasons for exercising his right of free speech. I'm not going to comment as to if those reasons are appropriate or valid. That is not the point of this post. It is this.

Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech. Under the constitution he has the absolute right to sit during the national anthem. He can set forth any reason or reasons he wants. I only have two issues. 

First, those who employ him as a representative of their product or service have no obligation to continue to employ him. His free speech right may cost him endorsements. I doubt it will put his football career in jeopardy. Skilled NFL quarterbacks are an extremely rare commodity. He will not be judged on if he stood or sat during the national anthem. He will retain or lose that job based on his playing ability. I have a fantasy football team. He is not my quarterback. It has nothing to do with his decision to sit. It has everything to do with his ability to play football. There were better players available. 

The second issue has to do with what I see as a double standard. When the duck dynasty star spewed his racist and sexist nonsense many were screaming bloody murder when there was talk of cancelling the show or booting him off. Many of those same folks are now screaming for Colin Kaepernick's firing. Those who defended Kim Davis' position to exercise her freedom of religion to deny gays marriage licenses are opposed to his right to exercise his free speech. It just seems to me that contrary to what many claim there is a racial component to this. This uppity n------- needs to stand during the national anthem and then get out there an play some football. If he can't stand his black ass up he shouldn't get to play. It is just wrong. They are just wrong. 

I think what is important to me is that I get to hear a variety of viewpoints. I won't agree with all of them. Some I may find extremely offensive. It does not mean I want them silenced. If, like Mr. Kaepernick, they are peacefully calling attention to what they perceive to be injustices they should be allowed, dare I say, even encouraged to exercise their free speech rights. So, for my part, Colin, speak. Say what you need to say.  Try to move the conversation about justice and black lives and experience forward. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Things You See on a Walk

Lily, Rose and I go out and walk every morning. First question might be this one. Why in the morning? The most important reason is that it is summer and hot as hell. I can't tell you what it has been on Tybee Island, however today was Savannah's 69th consecutive day with a high temperature for the day has been above 90 degrees. I don't usually keep track of the temperature but a few days ago when I finished walking the temperature at 9:15 was 87 with a heat index of 97. By the afternoon the heat index is about 110. The other problem is the sand street and paved streets are too hot for Lily and Rose's feet. Before we went out this morning I checked the weather radar because the forecast included rain. The radar showed rain to the west that was moving west away from the island. So out the door we went. Trying to be sensible I figured walking near home would be prudent. The farthest we would get from the house would be three quarters of a mile. The pace I walk at the worst it would be about a 12 minute walk in the rain to get home. So off we went. Sure enough at the far point of the walk it started raining. Not hard but enough. We headed for home. Before we got halfway back the rain stopped. Might as well make another lap. Same thing happened again. Before it started again I got these pictures of a rainbow over the marsh. 

We continued walking and on the next lap came across this turtle crossing Solomon Avenue. 
He or she didn't want anything to do with Rose and Lily. 

The turtle headed back to the woods and we continued on our walk. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What Are We Doing

August 8, 2016 was Earth Overshoot Day this year. What does that mean? It means that with over four months left in the year mankind has used up the amount of biodiversity the Earth can produce in a year. We are now borrowing from our future. Earth Overshoot Day arrived five days earlier than it did last year. It is reasonable to ask how the date is calculated. It is based on our demand for resources like crop land, livestock, fish stock, use of forests for timber, space used for urban infrastructure and carbon emissions. We began going in debt in the 1970's and as a point of reference Earth Overshoot Day in 1971 was December 24th. We are now at the point where we are using 1.6 Earths per year. If we do not change our ways by 2030 we will be sing the equivalent of two Earths. The problem is we only have one. 

I write about this because it bothers me. Not so much because I'm concerned about how it may affect me. I'm an old man. I suspect before things get too bad my time on Earth will be over. I have children and grandchildren. I don't wonder any more what kind of Earth we will leave them. We are in southern Georgia during the hottest summer on record. Savannah is on its 57th consecutive day with a high temperature above 90 degrees. It appears based on the current weather forecast that trend will continue for at least another week. I understand that weather short term is not climate change. I do not understand how folks can look at long term global warming and deny it is happening. In the kindest terms I can manage, those who deny climate change and mankind's role in it, are idiots. So what can we do? 

Eat less meat especially beef. It takes 14 times more land to produce 1 ton of beef as it does to produce 1 ton of grain. I like a good steak or hamburger but not so much that I'm willing to destroy the Earth to have one. 

Lower your electrical consumption. I read an article recently that indicated that all the electric power used in the United States could be produced by solar power by setting aside six tents of one percent of our land for that purpose. Zero emissions. I understand it would adversely impact those who mine coal and produce oil. If we don't change there will be little demand for what they produce because there will be few people left to use them. 

Reduce paper waste. In the United States alone one billion trees worth of paper are thrown away each year. Recycle paper, use recycled paper, use email, just do whatever you can to reduce paper waste. 

Use alternate transportation like walking or biking when possible. Utilize public transportation. 

The dinosaurs were destroyed by an asteroid. They ruled the Earth for millions of years. Mankind has been dominate on this planet for much less than a million years. I would argue less than 10,000 years. We are, through our actions and ignorance, destroying our world. We are not as smart as we think we are. The Earth will go on. Man may become another failed evolutionary pathway. We need to change now. We can sit back and think our individual actions will have no effect. It will contribute to our demise. The clock is ticking. The timer is headed for zero. Do something.