Yield: The Red-green minority
November 5, 2018
The starter topic for this week's column has nuthin' to do with agriculture, but it's been a lifelong pet peeve of mine — and I claim to be an agriculturist of some sort, so I'm gonna air out.
First the fact. 8 percent of American males are colorblind. One-half of 1 percent of women are colorblind. I'm one of that small minority. As with most colorblind persons, I have what's known as red/green colorblindness.
It's hard to describe being colorblind to a person with normal color vision. I do not live in a world of shades of gray. I see colors. They are pretty. I can even see primary red and green when they are vivid and alone. Fire engine red is pretty to me. John Deere green is pretty to me. But put a fire engine red strawberry on the ground amidst a sea of John Deere green vegetation and I'll step on more strawberries than I can pick. An apple tree full of red apples and green leaves just appears as another tree to my colorblind eyes. Same with a red rose bush. Fall leaf colors are attractive to me, but certainly not seen with the same vividness as normal sighted persons.
I have trouble correctly identifying the individual colors that make up a plaid or a striped garment, but I can usually pick out the bright blues and the bright yellows and the bright oranges. Browns and tans get lost to me. Purple and blues sometimes confuse me. Pastel colors are a lost cause to me. Forget about taupe, peach, teal, burgundy, mauve, and all the other exotic colors of fashion fame.
I've taken the long way around to my pet peeve. TRAFFIC LIGHTS. Colorblind folks have trouble telling red lights from yellow lights. Green traffic lights at night look the same color as normal street lights to me. Traffic signals that are not vertical, or old traffic lights that have an unusual green color pose difficulty to us colorblind folks.
I've never had a traffic accident at an intersection governed with traffic lights, but that's because I know my limitations and am extremely careful.
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But what gripes me is that all the traffic light confusion for colorblind persons could easily be solved. Almost everyone can see blue. So, if every red traffic light contained in the center a 3-inch diameter blue circle, and if every green traffic light contained a 11/2-inch blue colored circle, they would be easy for me and other colorblind persons to see. Yellow traffic lights would stay the same uniform color.
Since traffic lights and colorblind folks pose a danger to ourselves and others, they therefore deserve first retrofitting. However, the entire world forgets colorblind folks. My new DISH-TV hopper feature uses a red border to identify specific programs. I can't see the danged thing worth a hoot. Same with my garage door openers. They use red/green lights to confuse me. Every warning light in the world is pure red. Every "OK" light in the world is green. Please, make one of 'em blue for us colorblind folks.
I will admit that being colorblind has one benefit. My children and grandchildren had a ball with dad and grandpa when they found out I had difficulty identifying colors. They thought it was hilarious and that made me happy, too.
After re-reading my words above, I'm thinking that as a member of a deserving minority, with an overlooked physical disability, I should be entitled to some sort of government assistance. I'd organize a million man colorblind march to Washington, D.C., but I know it would be useless because no one in Washington is colorblind these days.
The flood waters around these parts have subsided and left soggy fields of soybeans in their wake. It's going to be a messy harvest unless it quits raining for several weeks.
It's been a while since I provided an update on Giant Clawsway, the Thoroughbred race horse that I've got a 10 percent racing interest in.
In short, the colt passed with flying colors his initial training in preparation for more serious race training next spring. In fact, his equine educator, ol' Trey Nimm, has turned Giant Clawsway out to pasture in Texas for a few months to grow and mature.
If everything goes according to plan, his next stage racing trainer, ol' Ray Simm, will start serious race work with the colt probably next March.
So, in summary, everyone involved in the colt's future is pleased with his progress.
I watched and listened to a TV therapist today and his message to achieve true inner peace and contentment wuz to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished two beers, a bag of chips, and a half gallon of chocolate ice cream. I feel better already.
Last week we buried my Uncle Ellwyn, a WWII veteran. It wuz wonderful to see kinfolks I'd never met before. The service wuz thoughtful and thankful and wuz topped off with full military honors. I inevitably tear up when I hear the bugler play Taps.
With my uncle's passing, it dawned on me that in our family, yours truly is now on the top step awaiting the inevitable visit from the Grim Reaper.
My words of wisdom for this week comes from ol' Willie Jay in Missouri. He sez a hospital gown is like insurance. You ain't got near the coverage you think you got.
Have a good 'un. ❖
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