Friday, July 3, 2015

Homogeneity

Homogeneity.  Sociologists abound and their studies are legion.  This is no scientific analysis of human behavior.  It is simply some observations regarding humankind's proclivity to flock with like birds.

What portion of homogeneous divisions among us are natural and what percentage of them are artificial would be an interesting study.  Also, who believes what regarding these divisions would be of interest.

I recall an incident that occurred during my tenure as a public school administrator in which we were proposing a cross-graded continuous progress segment, a school-within-a-school, so to speak, in which students from ages six through eleven would be grouped together.  Ignoring the obvious fact that this is a homogeneous group in some broader definition, we found that when we opened the proposal for public discussion  some on either end of the liberal/conservative spectrum wanted to ignite a firebomb and throw it into the mix;

The ultra-conservative members of the community were armed and ready with charts and arguments all the way back to Adam and Eve to demonstrate that the "natural order" of things required that children should be grouped in  much narrower homogeneity, namely traditional graded age groups, else society would ultimately topple.

On the other hand there were those who adamantly pursued their own agenda, that is pipe-dream, that no order should be imposed at all, that the natural developmental processes of the human social and intellectual growth would take care of themselves, should we simply let children "decide" in their own time when they are ready for any given stage.

Our proposal was ultimately approved and a large number of students over a period of years functioned quite well in the broader "family" setting, but that is not the point of my rambling.

Last evening I attended a meeting of a group of people of "a certain age."  These people could correctly be identified as older people, but we are given to euphemisms, e.g., "Seasoned Citizens," "Keen Agers," "the Golden Years," and so forth.  Our group is called "Best Years Fellowship."

I have lived long enough now that I have been lumped in with the very students I taught when they were children in the public schools, for a number of the members of the group did indeed sit in my elementary classroom, lo those many years ago.

Where is the homogeneity?  Well, the groups would ultimately get pretty small.  There were but two people in the room besides me who were my age or older.  And the ninety-six-year-old guy could comprise a group all by himself.  I mean within our social reach, he has no peers.

The whole "age" thing is pretty dumb, anyway.  We are born, we live, some longer than others, and we die.  What our group has in common more than "age" is like-mindedness with regard to the way the world works and the ways in which we should work within it.  Instead of developing insular social groups in which people of like age "relate" to one another, why not a broad spectrum which includes everyone relating to each other?

I do not need interaction with other old poops so much as I need the stimulation of new ideas, new ways of viewing things.  And where will I find that?  Younger people, of course.  And trust me, the younger people would be well -advised to get close enough to their elders to allow some of the wisdom to rub off onto them.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Doing Laundry

We have a little washer,
Load the clothes at top
Then swishy, swishy, swashy,
Makes the colors pop!

But this washer is an inside-outer
Now hear my tale, don't be a doubter
We load the T-shirts, wash and spin
Open the door and reach within.

The shirts are outside in!

Simple solution you might think
Turn shirts inside out and drop in drink
Voila! the shirts will be turned
Not a chance, your theory's burned.

This appliance is an outside-inner
Won't turn shirts inside in
So nevermind, your chore is set
On this certainty you can bet.

Before you fold that shirt to fit in drawer
You'll turn that sucker
Sleeve, sleeve, bottom through the neck
Or you could wear the seams outside, look like heck

Thursday is washday.  BZZZZZ!  Dryer's done; gotta go fold clothes.

Another laundry story here.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Better Buy a Buick

I am amused at advertising that casts one's own product in a negative light. This goes on all the time with the "new and improved" approach, but the current one that tickles my gizzard is the old lady uttering the line "That's what I told him!" in response to the statement "That's not a Buick!"

Of course, I have the line down pat and can mimic quite well the inflection that the lady uses in her delivery of the line.  But that is not the point.  The point in point of fact is that Buick is attempting to sell you a car by denigrating the product they sold to your parents, or to your grandparents, or even to you two, three, or five years ago.

Image result for that's what i told him

Such a response from an elderly lady who for the past several decades was too busy to much notice automotive styling would be natural.  Consider that when her daddy finally agreed to allow Leroy to pick her up Saturday afternoon and take her to the county fair, Leroy, having wheedled the loan of the family car from his parent, showed up in this:

To which today's whippersnapper might well say, "That's not a Buick!"

1937 Buick Special

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Redeem the time

How are you going to use your extra second this evening?

Eating from the Compost Pile

Oh, man!  Did I ever have some delicious beet greens for supper!

BBBH and I were walking the dog in the open field behind our house, as is our wont.  A neighbor several doors north of us cultivates and maintains a very nice little garden.  As she walked by this little gem, BBBH noticed that the gardener had harvested his beets, cut off the tops and discarded them on his compost pile.  She called this to my attention and I had a fistful of greens in my hands at once.

I never cease to be amazed at the profligate behaviors of some folk but this one puzzles me greatly. Why on earth would someone plant and nurture beets then cast off the best part of the plant?  Now I like beets, I mean the bulbous root things, boiled with salt and butter, pickled, or what have you.  But the greens are the very tastiest and most desirable part of the crop;.  Just sayin'.  Over and over.

In my gardening days, I lovingly planted a row of beets.  When it was time to thin them, I pulled the plants,  teeny-tiny globe and all, cooked them up.  Then when I harvested the globes I had greens again.  Following that feast, I would plant another row of beets and start the process anew.  Well, I don't do that anymore, but I'll fix the greens if you give them to me.  Or throw them on your compost pile.

Preparation

  1. Wash tops thoroughly in cold water.
  2. Discard excess stem (on older leaves) leaving five or six inches.
  3. Boil in large pot until tender.  Ten minutes or so.
  4. Drain; put blob of butter on top (there has been no substitute in this house for years).
  5. Optional: sprinkle a dab of vinegar on greens
  6. Eat!
There are any number of recipes for "beet greens" out there, but most of them add a bunch of seasonings and stuff.  Simple is better.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Big Bird Syndrome

Turdus Migratorious, Junior
Still wears his spotted vest
As he bobs along behind
Papa Robin Redbreast.

Or perhaps it is Mother.
Hard to tell one from the other.
But the mission here is clear
Parent still feeds the little dear.

Below horizon sun has gone
The frogs are now in evensong.
The fireflies flit above the grasses
Their lights flickering on their

Abdomens barely brighter than the sky.

Parent cocks its head and Peck!
Grabs a worm by its neck
Or middle, or, oh, dear!
When from Junior, “Cheep!” I hear.

Mom or Pop as the case may be
Gives the worm to Junior and he
Downs it whole.  And “Cheep!”
Not a “Thanks” I think, but “More!” this peep.

Parent snares another drops it on the ground
Tells Junior “Pick it up, there’s no one else around.”
“Cheep,” says the brat.
Mom picks up worm and gives him that.

Silly bird, the lesson shirks
Watches Mama as she works.
This offspring is as big as mother
But has it made, reminds me of another

Species, homo sapiens Americanus
Century twenty-one, I think
ACHOO! I sneeze.
Both birds leap into the breeze.

Gone in a wink.

© 2015 David W. Lacy

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Snoopy: My Role Model





Charles Schulz and Snoopy nailed it years ago.  Hand-drawn copies for bulletin board use.