Sunday, May 30, 2010


The other day I was sipping coffee, listening to parents brag about their wonderful children.

My Joe is going to OSU on a scholarship, one mom said. Football, yep. How's Francine? She's going to Duke? Well, I guess her father went there. Not that that's how she got in, but, well . . .

I was reminded of a time when I was listening to my father at a cocktail party many years ago, when all his friends were bragging about their brilliant kids, each one trying to one-up the others. My father jumped in . . .

My son's marijuana crop was excellent this year. His plants must be six feet tall. Would anyone like to see them--- They're up in the corner pasture . . .

The room went silent. Only the sound of ice in cocktail glasses.

Well, I hope he doesn't end up behind bars, Mrs. Thomas commented finally.

No worry. I have heard that the sheriff enjoys a toke now and then, my father laughed.

(Not that my father was telling the truth about the sheriff . . . )

Another time, he was at the barn with some of his friends when the conversation turned to bragging. My father let out a fart as loud as thunder.

Again it went silent. Then Tiny, the blacksmith, started giggling.

Just like the horses, my father sighed And everyone joined in with the laughing.

Well, that being said. I have to admit am one proud mother right now. Proud of my daughter, Suzanne, who is working for Catholic Relief Services this summer in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras . . . Proud of my son, Jimmy, who passed his quals . . .

Okay, now I hear my father farting his applause in heaven . . .

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

summa *** laude

I wanted to find out who the anchor is on NPR's Daily Buzz, so I googled Stacia Erdos.

Stacia Erdos earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism in 1985 from Ohio University, where she graduated summa *** laude.

So I guess the censors are at work.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Prairie Dogs

I was reading today and came across this . . .

If you kill off the prairie dogs there will be no one to cry for rain.

- Navajo warning

Amused scientists, knowing that there was no conceivable relationship between prairie dogs and rain, recommended the extermination of all burrowing animals in some desert areas planted to rangelands in the 1950s "in order to protect the sparse desert grasses. Today the area (not far from Chilchinbito, Arizona) has become a virtual wasteland."

- Bill Mollison, PERMACULTURE

Water under the ground has much to do with rain clouds. If you take the water from under the ground, the land will dry up.

- Hopi elder

Burrowing creatures, such as prairie dogs, open millions upon millions of tubes in the soil of Earth. As Mollison notes, these "burrows of spiders, gophers, and worms are to the soil what the alveoli of our lungs are to our body." As the moon passes overhead the underground aquifers rise and fall and Earth breathes out moisture-laden air. This exhalation of negative-ion-charged air through the many fissures and tubes opened by the burrowing creatures helps create rain.

How could indigenous peoples have known this? By all our standards of scientific knowledge they could not. We have neglected to realize that indigenous peoples have always had access to the finest probe ever conceived, one that makes scientific instruments coarse in comparison, one that all human beings in all places and times have had access to: the focused power of human consciousness.

- Stephen Harrod Buhner

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