Saturday, August 30, 2014

This is really what life is all about!

Chili Rellenos, tomatoes and peppers from my garden. What a feast!
 about to go under the knife!
 Tomato slabs ready for the dryer!
BLT with thick slabs of tomato from the garden (Cherokee Purple)
 Abundance of Tomatoes and I discovered Tomato Jam!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Flat Earth Society!

It is quite clear that the world is flat as I have seen the evidence first hand and there are even experiments one can do at home for those who are scientifically inclined.  Water will stay quite nicely on a cookie sheet and even, as you tip it a bit, will mimic the tides.  Put this same water or even a smaller portion,  on a ball and, of course, it falls directly off!  An idiot can see that.  I have seen the Sun, clearly rising in the East and setting in the West as it circles the Earth (This is very observable from any location on the Planet) plunge into the Pacific, clearly falling off the edge, or, at least, extinguishing itself in the salty Pacific!  No wonder early civilizations prayed for a rebirth, a new day and another Sun.  I still do.
   The Pacific is flat as an arrow, a dead straight line for the entire length of the horizon with no curvature at all.  Standing on a cliff edge on the Oregon Coast, the last bit of land on our great continent, one can see seagulls disappear into the horizon, eaten by the sun.
   The Oregon Coast has no private beaches (true!), every bit can be walked on, hiked, explored and for the entire 300 plus miles of coastline you will not find a single fence.  Also true.  They claim that there are more stars in the sky than the total of grains of sand from all of the beaches in the world.  Personally, I have not counted either and can't even imagine such a number.  I think only scientists would have that kind of time and that inclination.  I do know that there are millions of crab, Dungeness, and they are easy to catch.  We sailed under power on a boat without sails on a five hour fishing trip and went near to the edge of the World as one would care.  We saw squid and jellyfish and a big giant whale I, personally, would not have cared to catch!  It was bigger than our boat and would have had an easy time with us.  Away from the sight of land it was easy to understand how the world is mostly water and yes, the sea was a nice deep blue, the color of the sky.  We stopped here and there at secret spots the captain  was aware of and drifted in the ocean currents, 24 fishing lines dangling in the water.
A whole wall of hooks!  I suppose we caught the dumbest fish.  Not this time but on a different fishing expedition I remember catching a 48 inch Ling Cod weighing about 75 pounds and with a mouth so big I could actually put my head in it!  That was a stupid fish for sure.  I didn't really catch it honestly in the sense of hooking it.  I had caught a very small Sea Bass, probably less than eight inches, not even a fighter he was just sort of wiggling on the line.  I hardly knew he was there when all of a sudden the pole doubled over.  I kept the line tight and the pole up as best I could and just seemed to reel in that line forever.  20 feet in and it would go out 30 feet!  I knew it was a big fish.  The deckhand did the actual catching scooping the fish in a big net as I brought it close to the edge of the boat.  Didn't hook him once!  Not a single hook in its mouth.  The big fella was greedy and stupid and could have let go at any time.  He had a bite hold on the small Sea Bass and just wouldn't let go.  Not a fair catch but good eating, that's for sure!
   On this occasion I was with my two daughters and I suppose if truth be told they took me fishing. My baby is 30 years old and my first born 33, very much adult, independent and living thousands of miles from home.  I am lucky and honored at these visits.  For the same price they could have gone to Paris!
The fishing was good. Although not big ones, each daughter caught three and I was happy with the two I caught, even though I caught them both at the same time at the beginning of the trip.  I was happy to watch them fish, just to be such beautiful girls and catch them smiling and looking at the ocean.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It is all so complicated

White cop shooting an unarmed black teen.  I see the news, I read the stories and I am still of mixed emotions.  I hate to see any part of USA look so much like a war zone, hate to see the photos almost indiscernible from the military action in the MidEast.  Clearly the cop, for an instant, was not a police officer with training but an angry man exerting his power.   Pretty clearly too, the young man, at 6 feet four inches tall, was having a bad day.  Five minutes in any direction and this might not have happened.
I hate to think that nothing good will come of this.  Maybe it could be an opportunity to talk?  I wonder how many other areas of our country are sitting on the precipice, on a razor's edge to oblivion?
   I have a tendency to believe that we have been given the perfect world and seem to have a basic instinct to screw it all up!  We don't learn from history because we no longer read and any art to dialogue has long disappeared.  We let our emotions deal with issues even when from experience we know that is never a good thing.
   It is easy to blame this on one, maybe thuggy black kid, or the militarization of our police, but maybe there is a lot more to it.  any time you have a society of "them Vs us" you are asking for barricades, gated communities and particular laws to protect the privileged.  Having been in the construction industry for most of my life I have always thought that when a building permit for a million dollar house was issued it should come with a permit for a hundred thousand dollar house!  That's just my idea. I don't like gated communities and isolated cheap housing.  I like a mix.
    If the police had heavy munitions and were on my side I think that would be great!  But what happens when we disagree?  The police in my community wear cameras.  They are inexpensive and should be required of all police, everywhere.  It is a cheap way to solve a problem of what happened.  Personally, I would like to see the car cruising police to ride in pairs. I think an extra officer would supply a degree of safety and maybe an emotional foil.  I have long been a supporter of community police, officer's living in the areas they patrol.  Seems pretty nuts that in Ferguson there were only 3 black officers in an area 70% black.  How in the heck does that happen?  Seems to be enforcing a them Vs us and that is always a recipe for trouble.
    I can't end my blog today without talking about Education!  I wonder how all this might have been different had the kid who was shot been familiar with Shakespeare?  Or Plato, or Socrates? or any classical literature? or theater or dance? or the mechanical arts?  None of these are taught any more.
Just saying.  Has anyone ever thought about what we are losing?
    No government works without the consent of the governed.  Any community in America is pretty much limited to one cop per a thousand citizens.  The system only works when we agree to it.
Maybe it is time to sit down and discuss what we really want?  I think more "free stuff" isn't working and what we might really want is dignity, respect, some way to self satisfaction and, of course, a job!