Use ears to ID vehicles | TheFencePost.com

Use ears to ID vehicles

Laugh Tracks in the Dust
Milo Yield
Damphewmore Acres, Kan.

Last week you'll recall the problem I have of identifying cars and pickups that my family and friends drive. For the life of me, I just don't recognize those vehicles.

Well, my ineptness in that regard drew comments from an assortment of my readers. It seems that I have been using the wrong part of my anatomy to do my vehicle recognition. I rely on my eyes. My readers say their ears are the best way to identify vehicles.

From ol' Keene Drums, Montrose, Mo., comes this advice: "Milo, my dad, before his hearing got faulty, could identify most of our family and neighbors' vehicles long before they rolled into sight. He could identify the hum of their motors or the tones of their rattles long before he could see them. Perhaps hearing aids would help you."

Thanks for the advice, but I already wear hearing aids.

And, from Kay Nine, in Pawhuska, Okla., comes the advice that I need to get a good, reliable dog to identify incoming vehicles. Kay says her Auzzie shepherd mix perks up its ears when friends it knows are on the road nearby. If it's a friend, the dog trots out to the end of the driveway to greet it. If it hears a stranger, it simply watches the car/truck go by.

And, from flood-stricken Nebraska a kindly reader, ol' Heram Cummin, says I need to get a bunch of guineas or peacocks to identify vehicles approaching. He sez his fowl never foul when they raise a racket when a visiting vehicle is coming down his long driveway.

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Perhaps, I just need to train the chickens in my flock to do something other than eat expensive feed.

Thanks for all the advice, but I think I'll just keep waving to everyone who drives by Damphewmore Acres.

•••

I read on the internet that Chinese researchers have genetically engineered monkeys to be smarter by splicing human genes into them. Here's the beginning of the story:

"For the first time, a team of Chinese scientists made use of gene-editing techniques to make monkey brains more human-like. By the end, the monkeys, rhesus macaques, got smarter and had superior memories as compared to the unaltered monkeys. Researchers edited the human version of a gene known as 'MCPH1' into the macaques. The gene made the monkeys' brain develop along a more human-like timeline. The gene-hacked monkeys showed better reaction times and improved short-term memories in comparison to their unaltered peers, as per China Daily."

Okay, here's my observation about that research. First, the Chinese scientists must have sourced the brain-genes they blended into the monkey brains from a motley gaggle selected at random from politicians within the U.S. Congress. I can't think of a group whose brains could more easily be improved upon.

Second, perhaps, after scientists create a super-intelligent, human-monkey hybrid, I hope they don't forget to splice in a few ounces of common-sense genes.

•••

Hoo-boy! The weather! It's up and down. It's ying and yang. It's yo-yo. Yesterday it was 88 degrees and I'm enjoying gardening wearing Bermuda shorts and not long-handled underwear and overalls. Today, it's 40 degrees and I'm bundled up at my computer. Wind's howling. Temps supposed to get down to 31 degrees tonight, which will most likely put the quietus to my apricots, peaches, cherry and pear trees that are blooming.

Such is Flint Hills weather. But, I realize and appreciate that I have it much easier than the poor folks in Nebraska, the Dakotas, and Minnesota who are bracing for their second devastating early spring blizzard.

•••

Here's this week's story with a nugget of wisdom about stress.

A young lady confidently walked around the room where she was conducting a seminar on rural stress and how to deal with it. She had in her hand a raised glass of water. All the farmers and farm wives attending thought they knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, 'Half empty or half full?'

She fooled them all. "How heavy is this glass of water?" she inquired with a smile. Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "… and that's the way it is with stress. If we carry our burdens all the time, day and night, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on. As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for awhile and rest before holding it again.

"When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden — holding stress longer and better each time practiced. So, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Pick them up again tomorrow, if you must."

Have a good 'un. ❖