I won’t be talking much except when I give myself a timeout.
As I write it’s 9:19pm on Wednesday. (I scheduled this post.) We don’t expect them until 2:30am, or later. I hope she doesn’t speed. Not that it takes that long, but just I imagine a stop & rob stop with them in Southaven would be a delightful way to kill 30 minutes.
There will be a lot of laughing.
Lord, please remind C that the Waffle House in Batesville is nasty.
Meanwhile, I left a note saying the coffee would be ready at 6am and I’d see them in the morning.
Now I lay me down to sleep; I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake. I pray Thee, Lord, my soul to take; And this I ask for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
*We passed by a very remarkable scene at the courthouse– which we have to pass by every time we head to town– about 9:30pm. I’ll talk about it soon.
I’m coming to understand that Daughter K has my gift of story-telling.
The Sheriff’s race was contested. Our neighbor is a guy we’ve gotten to know a bit, and who we like, and would probably trust. He served some time in Afghanistan. I think he was in the calvery. He lost his hearing and now has a horse. He’s our “neighbor” because we share a property line.
See how easy it is to write this shit?
But seriously, Our Neighbor is a deputy sherrif. We know him a little, and like him a lot. We share a property line. We were interested in his views on the sherrif’s race.
He gave them to me. I asked a few questions, he gave me answers; we discussed a few general matters, and I voted for a Democrat for Sherrif.
And then he ended up aploogizing. Turns out that since this is such a small county, and since the county seat is in such a small town, people gather at the county seat— actaully at the “tennis court” across the street from the courthouse– to see the election results come in.
He apologized that he hadn’t told us about this before.
AND THEN I turned left and saw the trucks and cars at The Courthouse.
Today was Election Day. The results were all but settled by the time we got back from picking Daughter K up at MEM, stopping for some Memphis bar-b-que at a Tops in Southaven, … and I’d tethered to my phone to connect to the World Wide Wed to see what was going on.*
Sample ballot scanned from the SAMPLE BALLOT printed in our local weekly newspaper
#31 EMINENT DOMAIN: I’m new here, but my sense is that the Nissan thing really got folks in a foul mood about the state appropriating private property. I’ve seen some quick thoughts by bloggers who have never been to the rural parts of a Southern State.For most, but not all, Mississippians, #31 has nothing to do with Kelo:
MISSISSIPPI MEASURE 31 PASSES: “Mississippi Measure 31 – the important eminent domain reform initiative has passed, probably by an overwhelming margin. Although the returns are not yet completely in, the ‘yes’ side has 74% of the vote with almost 65% of precincts reporting. I outlined the case for Measure 31 here. The overwhelming support for the measure is consistent with results in previous referenda on post–Kelo reform initiatives.”
(The link takes you to where I first see it.)
It has everything to do with the early efforts by Farm Bureau Insurance to make this an issue. Look at the wording. Very straightforward, I think. Answer: YES. I saw a late (last week) hit on it that was sponsored by some Jackson statist/corporate types. It was all about jobs and how many jobs were going to be lost if the government didn’t have eminent domain “in its tool box” anymore.
That was insulting. My guess is that a fair number of Mississippians (~74%) actually do have actual tool boxes, and they know that a lot of the stuff that’s in them is stuff used to build and maintain fences that delineate property lines.
#27 VOTER ID: The county-wide results will be interesting to look at. But overall, it’s no surprise. Assuming it’s not held up in court, next November, I will present my government issued License to Carry a Concealed Carry Weapon. It won’t be that big a deal, everybody’s got one.
#26 PERSONHOOD: Defeated. 58% AGAINST. And Lafayette Co.– home of Oxford and TSUP– has not yet reported. All of the is from Jackson’s Clarion-Ledger, which, as far as I can tell, is providing county-by-county- results for this initiative only.
I kid you not, when I saw the headline update at Hot Air, I gasped out loud so loud that Mr. Big Food woke up and asked what was wrong. It took me about 10 minutes to find and pull up all of the relevant sites, and retrieve my Mississippi county map, provided to me by the Mississippi Government. The end result is shocking. The county-by-county is predictable, except for a few like the county we live in, where there were a far greater percentage of NO votes than I would have predicted.
If you’d have asked me yesterday what I thought the margin was going to be on this, I’d have said, 65-35, or maybe 60-40, FOR.
Shocking. More thoughts/analyses and appeal to info from the census to come.
*We passed by a very remarkable scene at the courthouse– which we have to pass by every time we head to town– about 9:30pm. I’ll talk about it soon.
Ole Miss– That School Up North– is not living up to expectations on the field.
Office of the Chancellor University, MS 38677-1848 Dear Ole Miss Family and Friends,
As you know, Ole Miss is dedicated to excellence in everything we do. Recently, our football team has not lived up to that expectation. With much thought and consideration, Athletics Director (AD) Pete Boone and I have decided that it is time for a head coaching change for our Rebel football team. We have high standards for all our athletics programs, and that level of competitiveness is not being reached on the football field.
Please note the Chancellor calls it the “Rebel football team,” not the blacks bears or whatever.
The first contestant is our Fall/Winter soup contest is…
BEER CHEESE BROCCOLI SOUP
1 ¼ C thick cheese sauce (see recipes in Basics section)
Large can evaporated milk
3 oz cream cheese, cut into small chunks
10 oz box frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp ground cayenne
¼ tsp dried oregano, crumbled
¼ tsp horseradish powder
¼ – ½ tsp garlic powder, to taste
½ tsp salt
½ C (4 oz) beer, at room temperature
2 strips bacon, fried crisp, half of rendered fat reserved
1 Tbsp mayonnaise (preferably homemade—see recipes in Basics section)
½ tsp Worchestershrie sauce
Combine cheese sauce, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and milk in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Add thawed broccoli and cook until tender, still stirring constantly. Add all spices, the rendered bacon fat, and beer, and stir to mix thoroughly. Just before serving, sprinkle bacon bits over top of soup. Store any remainder in refrigerator (don’t freeze), and reheat with a little milk to thin leftover soup.
So far, it’s the winner. It has a wonderful consistency, pretty color, and very mellow flavor.
You can imagine how this went. I had a bowl of beer&cheese&broccoli soup and a roll. I proclaimed that it was the best Fall/Winter soup I’d ever had. And since I like winter squash a lot and had had a good harvest of winter squash, and since Mr. Big Food has a lot of soup recipes calling for winter squash, we will be having a contest.
As I mentioned, the girls are coming. So I thought I could whup up a few simple posts now, and schedule them to post later. But I got side-tracked.
Daughter K arrives by air at the Memphis Airport (MEM) at 6pm Tuesday. K & I were negotiating about Tuesday’s supper. Mr. Big Food has already planned the menu for the week, and we have shopped for it. But K suggested that since she was going to be in Memphis, Memphis Tennessee, she would enjoy Memphis Bar-B-Que. Who could blame her? She has been living in LA. But K has no conception of where MEM is in relation to Memphis. I’m not driving into Memphis to get Rendezvous carry out. (I refuse to eat in that place.) Who could blame her, other than me?
I relayed all of this to Mr. Big Food who figured out that there’s a Top’s B-B-Q in Southaven. Problem solved.
As I was getting ready to promote Top’s, and was thinking about some issues surrounding Daughter C picking Daughter M et al. up at MEM at 11:00pm on Wednesday, my little brain cells wandered to “one if by land, two if by sea” and what do you do about three four by air?
This makes me want to be a pessimist.
Okay. I had the search phrase wrong.
Restaurant. Wikipedia. Climate change. Restaurant. Restaurant. NatGeo– that’s heartening. Not. I’ll soon be posting on Ned Flander’s Field.
As has been noted on the World Wide Web recently, we in The South– especially The Rural South– are a well-mannered bunch. There’s the farmer wave, the “hey” to strangers, the “yes, sirs” and ” no ma’ams,” the hierarchical door opening/holding, and of course, the civilized behavior at 4-way stops. It’s all very pleasant. (Sure, there are individual exceptions, but they are not the rule.)
I’ve been reading through the early chapters of The Book of Good Manners by Frederick H. Martens, published in 1928 by Social Culture Publications (New York). What a delight.
Parents of the “occupiers” of various cities should have read this crappy old book 20-30-40 years ago.
Representative American parents, who have the best interests of their children at heart– and for whom this book has been written– will not undervalue the advantages of an environment of true gentility and culture where their child is concerned. (p.16)
Ah. But 20-30-40 years ago we were so modern. Our children were finding themselves. We couldn’t be bothered making them mind their manners. Messing with the food on their plates, talking with their mouths full, banging their spoon and fork together, reaching across others, and “chattering incessantly” were our little dears’ ways of expressing themselves. Aren’t they just adorable?!
Self-expression of the part on the child is one of the cardinal education principles in the child-training of our day but, as a rule, the table is not the place for it. The child is really an intellectual minor: it cannot expect to share the table-talk of its elders as an equal. (p.21).
Intellectual minor! It’s so inferior to its elders that it doesn’t even get a gender-specific pronoun yet.
Sadly, the “Main Essentials of Good Child Manners”–
respect, obedience, and regard for the rights of others, the virtue generally known as “fair play”— (p.22) [my emphasis]
were cast aside by many parents 20-30-40 years ago. It’s a shame, and it shows.
~~ There’s more, but this seems like a good place to stop for now.
We enjoyed an especially Big evening yesterday. Mr. Big Food had something in the slow cooker so supper preparations were minimal. He loaded up some tunes from the Redneck Collection and sauteed some mushrooms for a little appetizer. I fixed us a cocktail and grabbed a crappy old book I’d been meaning to spend some time with.
Occasionally, I’d interrupted the music by reading aloud a few sentences. I’d just finished reading The Lesson of Consideration
The Book of Good Manners by Frederick H. Martens, published in 1923 by Social Culture Publications, New York. “Manufactured in U.S.A.”
and was getting ready to read this
Any little girl whose parents’ means place her in a position to boast to less fortunate playmates about the superior beauty of her dolls or the greater cost of her dresses, is guilty of a rudeness of an especially hateful and vulgar sort[my emphasis]
Back through the years I go wonderin once again Back to the seasons of my youth I recall a box of rags that someone gave us And how my momma put the rags to use There were rags of many colors Every piece was small And I didn’t have a coat And it was way down in the fall Momma sewed the rags together Sewin every piece with love She made my coat of many colors That I was so proud of As she sewed, she told a story From the bible, she had read About a coat of many colors Joseph wore and then she said Perhaps this coat will bring you Good luck and happiness And I just couldnt wait to wear it And momma blessed it with a kiss Chorus:
My coat of many colors That my momma made for me Made only from rags But I wore it so proudly Although we had no money I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me
So with patches on my britches Holes in both my shoes In my coat of many colors I hurried off to school Just to find the others laughing And making fun of me In my coat of many colors My momma made for me
And oh I couldnt understand it For I felt I was rich And I told them of the love My momma sewed in every stitch And I told em all the story Momma told me while she sewed And how my coat of many colors Was worth more than all their clothes
But they didn’t understand it And I tried to make them see That one is only poor Only if they choose to be Now I know we had no money But I was rich as I could be In my coat of many colors My momma made for me Made just for me
As always, we got a kick out of being in Oxford– that’s Oxford, Mississippi– which I’ve poked good natured fun at several times: Oxford the food desert; Oxford of Oxford Town, Oxford Town; and Oxford that turns a Jersey boy into a good ol’ boy. I could not live in Oxford even if I were paid. But I do enjoy visiting. It’s a country mouse / city mouse thing. Not that Oxford is a cosmopolitan city, it just thinks it is. Which is why it’s fun to visit. If you have the chance, go out of your way to visit to Oxford. Don’t miss Square Books.
Implicit ___ism is the idea that despite our rationally motivated desire to be not ___ists, we are by nature ___ists. We are sexists, ageists, racists, … what have you. Both Mr. Big Food and I are skeptical about the “science” underlying this claim. I think there are some deep methodological confusions in the design of the experiments, and the analyses of the resulting data. But… .
The talk was in a large lecture hall in Barnard Observatory. It was packed. There were all manner of folks given to being the subjects of ___isms, including an entire front row of children not of my race ranging in age from about five to 15 or so, and a second row holding two folks older than I, and not of my race, in traditional ___ism clothing.
If any implicit ___ism was going to manifest in me it was ageism. What we had here was a real life scenario of the flawed (? I haven’t looked at primary papers) experiments the speaker was referencing. What we had here was a bunch of kids in the front row of a packed lecture hall. Never have I seen such a thing. And my implicit ageism kicked in. But what I explicitly saw was a bunch of self-controlled, well-behaved, age-appropriately engaged kids. It was a sight to behold!
I watched them as they left the lecture. I finally saw them get into a van with “Fannie Lou Hammer Freedom School Etta, MS” printed on its side.
Later, I asked Bill about them. I learned that the couple began bringing their children to this series of public lectures years ago. The children were expected to sit quietly and listen. As they got older, they were expected to engage the subject. He said the older ones were expected to set an example for the younger ones. He said the patriarch and matriarch valued learning and education. The kids I saw today were their grandkids. Their parents had gotten Ph.D.s
Ism. Schism. I am sick and tired of focusing on ___isms. Let’s talk about expectations.
Retold by Alan Benjamin; Illustrated by Jeffrey Severn; Published by Western Publishing Company, Racine, Wisconsin
Those of a certain age may remember this little story of two friends who live in very different worlds. “A city mouse was once invited to visit a friend who lived in the country.”
The city mouse was curious about country life. Simply curious. Apparently, she had no preconceptions about country life. Or if she had, she was keeping an open mind.
She found country life rather pleasant, until she and the country mouse sat down to a meager supper of “nuts and berries and a few stalks of wheat.” (We hope the country mouse was not gluten intolerant.) Although she found the meal boring, she was polite and ate just enough so her friend’s feelings would not be hurt.
After supper the two went for a walk. The country mouse was “all ears” as the city mouse told her of the fine home and delicious food city life offers.
The city mouse had a hard time falling asleep because of the unfamiliar– and scary– country night sounds. “The country mouse, on the other hand, was peacefully dreaming of all the things her friend had told her about life in the city.”
The next morning the city mouse saw more nuts and berries and wheat on her breakfast plate and had “had just about enough of country life.”
We must give the city mouse some credit here. She gave country life a shot. She seems to have enjoyed the company of her friend. It’s the country life style she objected to. When she invited the country mouse to the city for a few days, she didn’t preface her invitation with slurs about the country. And she certainly didn’t mock her friend’s style of dress or rustic home. If she had opinions about her friend’s habit of going to church, or carrying a mouse-sized .357 magnum in her apron pocket, she kept them to herself.
The city mouse respects her country friend.
When they arrived in the city and at the city mouse’s home, they found the remains of a such wonderful dinner that, “the country mouse could hardly believe here eyes.”
But just as the country mouse was beginning to nibble on a piece of cheese a large orange cat “charged” into the dining room. The city mouse and the country mouse ran for cover under a china cupboard. I’m sure the country mouse, and perhaps the city mouse, too, said a little prayer. After the cat left, the city mouse explained to the country mouse that this was, “Just part of the excitement of city life.”
They returned to their meal only to have it interrupted by “WHAM BAM” a boy and his dog.
Now, you may be saying to yourselves, “Wait! I thought the country mouse had a gun. Clearly, the cat– and possibly the dog but probably not the boy– posed an imminent threat to their lives. Why didn’t the country mouse at least fire off some warning shots?” That’s a good question and the answer is quite simple. The country mouse had to leave her gun at home. She is a law-abiding mouse, and guns are not allowed in the city. In the city, she is defenseless.
It’s worth taking a moment to contrast the country mouse’s fear here, with the city mouse’s fear of the sounds of hooting owls, croaking frogs and buzzing bugs. The country mouse’s home appears quite secure. The scary sounds posed no real threat. But the cat sure did.
The excitement of city life was a bit much for the country mouse. “My dear, ” she said to her friend, “your house is grand indeed, and the food is truly marvelous, but I really prefer the quiet simple life of the country.” She packed her things and they said goodbye.
We must give the country mouse some credit here. She gave city life a shot. She seems to have enjoyed the company of her friend. It’s the city life style she objected to. As she departed, she didn’t question her friend’s choice to live in such a dangerous place. She made no mention of the wastefulness of the family in whose home the city mouse lives. And she certainly didn’t comment on the fact that this perpetual “excitement” must be shortening her friend’s life.
The country mouse respects her friend.
Perhaps they will visit each other again one day.
Meanwhile their mutual respect has deepened.
~~ We are heading to the city today! We will have a wonderful visit, but by the end of the day, we will be anxious to return to the country.
I must admit, I am not a big fan of this nutritious vegetable. But I am a Big fan of Mr. Big Food, and he loves rutabagas so I grow them occasionally.
Rutabagas, or Swedes, are a cross between cabbage and turnips. Have you seen a rutabaga in a garden? Just exactly where are the cabbage genes being expressed?
In northern climates they can be grown in the spring. Here in Mississippi, I sowed the seed in early August– which was a bit too early, the seedlings struggled early on. They take about 90 days to reach harvest size but can be left in the ground later into the fall. “They” say rutabagas taste better after a frost. We shall see.
UPDATE: I peeled, sliced, boiled and mashed them as I was asked. Mr. Big Food turned them into a little casserole with a dash of nutmeg.
When the girls were young, we had a policy– a rule. You don’t have to like it, you do have to try it. When you try it and you don’t like it, you say, “I don’t care for this, thank you.” To this day, Marlena Rose remembers this rule.
The Art of Social Letter Writing: Twelve Charming Studies by Josephine Turck Baker, copyright 1909, new edition 1925, published by– this is rich— Correct English Publishing Company in Chicago. $1.00
The Art of Conversation: Twelve Golden Rules by Josephine Turck Baker, copyright 1907, new edition 1923, published by Correct English Publishing Company in Chicago. $1.00
Correct English in the Home by Josephine Turck Baker, copyright 1909, new edition 1924, published by Correct English Publishing Company in Chicago. $1.00
[apple c apple v does make life easier.]
Group Socials for Every Month by Jane Kirk, copyright 1957, ’56, ’55, ’54, ’53, ’52, ’51, ’50, and ’49 published by Abingdon Press in New York and Nashville. [It was the Nashville thing that tipped the scale on this one.] $1.00
The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories edited by William J. Bennett, copyright 1993, published by Simon & Schuster with offices in New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, and Singapore. Paperback, so only $0.50.
Including Mississippi’s 7% sales tax, I spent a whopping $5.88.
Please note that every single dime I spent went to support the Palmer Home and the Mississippi kids it helps.
I’d have gladly paid the hardback price for Bennett’s book. I once did. I bought a full priced brand new hardback copy and gave it to my dad, and then a bit later stole it from him, and then a bit later one of my girls stole it from me. I hate theft and thieves, but I don’t get too upset about familial book thievery. If one of my kids– and I’m still not sure who it was– wanted to read a book about The Virtues that was edited by a Kantian… .
Mix a bag of thawed mixed veggie (be creative) with a can of cream soup, 1/2 cup milk and some salt & pepper. Line the pie pan with crust. Toss in the veggie mixture. Top with crust. Use knife to create scary face. Bake 45 minutes at 350. Eat.
~~ I felt bad about wandering so far off the farm in that last post. This was Halloween supper.
The popular science publication, New Scientist, has just published a series of articles and editorials addressing “The decline and fall of science in America.” What is being called into question is the rejection– by knuckle dragging, God fearing, gun-tottin’ morons, imbeciles, and idiots– of settled science.
I love science– which I will loosely define as the objective systematic activities associated with learning about the world. (I did not consult a dictionary on this.) But as with any other activity, science can be bastardized by the individuals engaged in doing science. Thus, it is right to be skeptical of all science. Skepticism is not rejection. A healthy dose of commonsense skepticism should be– but often isn’t– welcome among scientists. Here’s why:
From General Zoology by Tracy I. Storer, published in 1943 by McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. New York and London.
From the Preface
This text is a general introduction to zoology, primarily for students in colleges and universities. It comprises a general account of animal biology and a systematic survey of the animal kingdom from protozoans to man…
In other words, this text presents settled science. Please click on the photos to enlarge and read that, for example,
… the most serious of these [heritable defects] are mental ones such as feeble-mindedness and insanity.
In the United States there are seven million persons with an intelligence quotient of 70 or lower, from high grade morons to imbeciles and idiots.
The feeble-minded become juvenile delinquents, problem children, and cases for public relief and charity. They breed early and often and so tend to increase their kind.
Although 29 states have laws that permit insane and feeble-minded persons to be sterilized, only about 35,000 have been so dealt with up to 1941.
And what’s to be done about all this?
Call me a moron, imbecile or idiot– or all three– but me & my science are skeptical that “legislation to prevent matings between obviously defective persons” is a good idea.