Yield: Nuthin’ is more efficient than one
July 6, 2018
Weather alert! Winter's coming. The days are beginning to get shorter, so don't forget where you stored your long johns.
I hadn't heard from my Iowa sheep shearing buddy, ol' Nick deHyde, in quite awhile, so I gave him a call recently. Naturally, he told me that Iowa is drowning in water, since I can't buy a decent rainfall here at Damphewmore. This week's rain total is .06 of an inch. Yep, 6/100.
However, ol' Nick relayed a piece of Iowa news that I hadn't heard about. In April, Boone County became the epicenter for a plague of buffalo gnats, also known as black flies. The pests took the county by storm and hardly anyone could work outside without getting eaten up by the flies.
But, here's the scary part to me as an owner of a small chicken flock. The black flies have some kind of irritant in their bite that is simply deadly to chickens. Lots of small-time poultry growers in the county lost most of their chickens to the pests. I even checked ol' Nick's story out on the internet to confirm that he wuzn't jokin' me, and, sadly, it turns out that he reported the black fly story correctly.
The life history of the black fly is this: lay eggs in slow-running water in the fall; live overwinter by eating bacteria in the water; hatch in the spring to "bug" people and kill chickens.
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I don't know what I'm worried about. I don't think we're ever going to have running water again at Damphewmore Acres, except out of a faucet or a hose.
Speaking of water from hoses, I've had to start watering our fruit trees and that takes a lot of water. But, my alternative is to watch them wither and possibly die.
Only good thing I can say about our drought is that is has greatly shortened the length and severity of our annual chigger infestation. I've only been bitten a few times so far this season. Mosquitoes are nil, too.
I read that the Trump Administration is in the process of trying to streamline the executive branch of government by moving or eliminating whole departments from one cabinet position to another.
Even the staid ol' USDA is most likely to be changed, too. For instance, the SNAP (food stamp) program might move from USDA to Health and Human Services. Food inspection might move from USDA to the Food and Drug Administration. And the National Park Service might leave USDA and become part of the Department of the Interior.
Given the unmistakeable change in the last 50 years toward industrialized, corporatized food production, the USDA might end up to be one department entitled: The Department of a Single Humongous Food Producer That Can Feed the U.S. and the Whole World for Pennies a Day Per Capita.
It makes sense if you believe that bigger is better and always more efficient. Nuthin' is more efficient than ONE.
I recently called a really old engineering buddy of mine, ol' Sly Drewl, and asked what he was working on these days.
He replied that he was working on "Aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel under a constrained environment."
I was impressed until, upon further inquiry, I learned that he was washing dishes with hot water under his wife's supervision."
Even peace-loving Canada cannot escape the scourge of terrorism. Recently a deranged terrorist drove a rental van into a crowd of Canadians and killed 10 innocent folks and injured 15.
Following that tragedy, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is challenging authorities and the liberal media to start using the term "assault vehicle" or simply call these killing machines "assault weapons." Fatal vehicle attacks have been increasing. The 2016 Nice terror attack in France killed more than 80 people. Last year a man driving a rental truck killed eight people on a bicycle path in New York City. Also last year, 13 people were killed in Barcelona, eight more died in a car attack in London and four were killed in Stockholm. If a gun had been the weapon instead of a vehicle, all of those would have been mass shootings.
The CCRKBA asks, logically, "How should we define an 'assault vehicle?' Is it a van or truck? Does it have a high-powered engine? Does it have an automatic transmission? Can it be fitted with a high-capacity fuel tank? Do they all come in solid black, or are other colors available? Can they be equipped with large mufflers to suppress engine noise? Once we define them, should we ban them, require special training to operate them, or just raise the age limit to buy or rent one? Or is the problem the individual driver, rather than the equipment he turns into a weapon? Once you realize how absurd it is to call a car an 'assault vehicle,' you see the lunacy of defining, and then banning, so-called 'assault rifles.' Instead, we need to focus the blame where it belongs, on the deranged, violent person(s) who commits the violent act. We don't reflexively demonize every other motorist for the acts of a madman, so why do some people insist on penalizing every gun owner for the acts of criminals?"
I'll close by saying I hope to be recovering from hernia surgery by the time you read this column. The surgery wuz June 27 and the doc sez I'll be laid up for a bit. Hope I get healed quick enuf to pick ripe tomatoes and sweet corn when those lucious crops are ready.
Until, then, keep these words of wisdom in mind: "Be careful when you follow the masses. Sometimes the M is silent." Have a good 'un. ❖
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