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Doldrums

Just an early reminder that the summer solostice has passed and winter’s on its way again. So, don’t forget where you stashed your longjohns.

And, even though summer has just begun, I’ve already hit the doldrums — but not the summer doldrums. I’m suffering from the mental doldrums.

This week has been a pretty doldrum week. Nuthin’ I’ve done has really been out of the ordinary. No one has told me or sent me a funny story — or any kind of story for that matter.



All the above is preface to this fact: I’ve got a column deadline to meet and I ain’t got no “kernel” that stands out to attach my column to.

***



So, I’ll revert to the mundane and report on my gardening. It took me awhile, but I’m finally temporarily “on top” of all the weeds in the garden. All the rain we’ve had since I got back from my Tennessee vacation, definitely put me behind the eight ball on weed control.

It’s still early in the gardening season but I can already tell that it’s gonna be a bad year for controlling crab grass in the garden and for mowing it in the yard. In the lawn, it’s already 6 inches high in some places and usually it’s just beginning to appear. However, hoeing and mulching let me get a temporary handle on weeds, including the crabgrass.

Mulching the tomatoes and pepper plants this year wuz easier than usual. Why? Because one of my half-rotted big round hay bales wuz quickly broken down with my front-end loader to about an 18-inch core. I wuz able to load the bale core in the loader and dump it between my two rows of tomatoes.

The bale core was easy to unroll and it wuz pretty easy work — in cool, non-humid weather, I might add — to pick up hay slabs with my pitchfork and place them around the tomato cages. I’ll mention that I really like tomatoes, all kinds and all ways, so I have close to 30 total tomato plants — and they’ve really started to grow and bloom. I have to keep them trained to the cages about every other day.

My garden efforts have started to pay dividends. I dug some nice new red potatoes and picked the first of the green beans, which Nevah cooked up for supper. It was late, but I did plant okra in a raised bed that I had leaf lettuce in. The lettuce became chicken fodder. The okra is already out of the ground.

Mowing the grass in the lawn and around my buildings is a not-so-insignificant deal this year. Every time I go to town for container gas, the bill runs higher than $75. I considered letting the vegetation go wild this year, but I can’t stand the look, so I’m just gritting my teeth and paying the bill for the nation’s foolish energy policies.

***

The weather sure took a turn for the better this week. The temp went from near 100 degrees, with repugnant humidity, to comfortably pleasant 70s and 80s, with low humidity. And, the wheat fields — which were still too wet for harvesting a few days ago — have dried out and most folks are able to harvest without rutting up their fields. The informal wheat harvest yields I’ve heard about are all over the place. Top yield I heard about wuz 80 bushels per acre. The low wuz around 30. Test weights seem to be varying quite a bit, too.

There’s still a lot of soybeans that still need planting and a lot of hay that needs baling. Many soybean fields have had to be replanted — a costly endeavor.

Glad, at my age, I don’t have to worry about weather/harvest problems any more, except in my garden.

***

I warned you about the summer “mental” doldrums. So, to fill out this column I dug into an old political folder dating back to the late 1970s. Sure enuf, I found something new about what I’ll call “political physics.” Here’s the story:

Physicists and chemists at a prestigious U.S. research lab have discovered a new chemical element. It’s the heaviest element known to exist. The new element has been dubbed “Administratium.”

Here’s what you need to know about it. It has no protons or electrons, and thus has an atomic number of 0. However, it does have one neutron, one vice neutron, 74 orbiting unattached loose neutrons, 125 assistant neutrons, and 111 assistant vice neutrons. Total atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by a force that involves the continuous exchange of meson-like particles called morons. It is also surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since it has no electrons, administratium is inert. However, it can be detected chemically as it impedes every reaction it comes in contact with. A smidgeon of administratium caused one reaction to take four days to complete, when the normal reaction takes a fraction of a second.

Administratium has a normal half-life of approximately three years, at which time, it does not decay, but instead undergoes reorganization in which all the assorted particles exchange randomly with each other — but, strangely, the atomic weight actually increases. Attempts are being made to determine how administratium can be controlled, to prevent irreversible damage, but results to date are not promising.

***

Words of wisdom for the week: “Folks who don’t make regular sarcastic comments towards each other are probably not very good friends.” Have a good ‘un.

Milo Yield

‘Words Women Use’

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Usually when I stray beyond rural topics, and venture into human relationship topics, I get negative repercussions from some folks or some groups.



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