Marsha and humble September 30, 2007




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Below is a rough outline of the rants from The humble Farmer radio show week of September 16, 2012




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Rants Septebmer 16, 2012

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1. The Maine member of a Scottish family asked me to provide a few words of wisdom at their annual family reunion. Some of the family members were colorfully decked out in the appropriate tartan and it was a pleasant gathering. Although my talk was well received, I feel I got more out of the meeting than they did because of this story Bob told me. This family reunion is hosted by a different family member each year so the meeting moves from state to state. Last year it was held in South Carolina, and while sitting in a restaurant Bob says that the pretty little waitress asked what brought him to South Carolina. Bob said, ďOh, Iím here for a clan meeting.Ē

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2. Some people get together and form a company that they hope will make them money generating electricity for their neighbors. And some of said neighbors who read about it in the paper think it is a good idea and some donít. What it boils down to at any stage of the game is who is going to get their hands on the money. And Maine citizens jaw about it back and forth and let it go at that. Of course, the way to go in rural Maine is to have your own solar photovoltaic panels and solar hot water heaters on your house. But the folks who make their money providing energy for us have showed us printed facts and figures that prove that solar energy is not economically feasible in Maine. And if you say something over and over, a certain class of people will believe that it must be true. --- And continue to feed the pig. So am I the only person in Maine who has seen his electric bill cut in half even as he heats his cellar for free by building his own solar hot water heaters and having friends hook up some Canadian photovoltaic panels in his backyard? Before I built these solar hot water heaters I was heating my water with an oil fired boiler. So I donít even factor in the savings in oil expenses even as my light bill is cut in half. I discovered that the 8 solar hot water heaters I made with my own calloused hands did such a great job heating our domestic hot water that I hooked them up to some pex pipes I put into the 22í x 12í cellar floor under the new addition on my house. Iíve insulated and finished off that cellar room and would have moved my office down into my ďmole holeĒ last week if I hadnít spent so much time at my computer writing rants. On Saturday, October 13, I have been invited to be part of a Solar Tour. That is, many of us who are getting free energy from that big light bulb in the sky will have a ďSolar TourĒ sign out by the road in front of our homes. Interested parties will drive around Maine with a little map that tells where all of the solar units are located. Home owners will be on deck to explain how their solar units work and answer questions. http://www.nesea.org/gboh/ True. Most of the Maine people who have solar units are rich kids from away. If you read about it, it would scare you because boughten units are wicked expensive. But a couple of us with more need than money went down to the dump and dragged home some material and, with more than a little help from our friends, built our own. You are right. There are disadvantages to saving money by using free energy from the sun. The other day, when the town manager stopped by to help catch some cow friends that had made a bid for freedom, I invited him down into my solar heated cellar. He looked around with approbation and said, ďYou got a building permit?Ē

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3. I must have heard it wrong. From over at my computer I thought I heard Romney on TV saying, "The Middle East needs American leadership." Can you believe he said that? If Obama had said "The Middle East needs American leadership" I would say that he was crazy. All the Middle East needs is for Americans to get out and leave them alone. For thousands of years our neighbors in the Middle East have been content to happily fight among themselves. For thousands of years they have proven that they can fight and kill each other quite nicely without any help from the war mongering profiteers in this country. American leadership indeed.

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4. I have had the impression that all of our medical records should be shared on computers. It makes it much simpler, I though, when you work five months in Florida and the rest of the year in Maine. Many many old people now live in two places every year. And they are the people who see doctors the most. A friend of mine very close to me in age who has been an MD for over 40 years doesnít like this new way of practicing medicine. He told me that all too many young doctors do now is send each other computerized documents. He says that they look at the computer screen and donít even bother to make eye contact with the patient. Please remember that a doctor who is the son of a doctor told me this. He says that young doctors look at the computer screens and are treating the charts now more than the patients. He says that the insurance companies like it because they are bureaucrats and they can shuffle papers. And the people who shuffle around a lot of paper get paid a lot of money for doing it. Is my doctor friend right? What do you think?

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5. Youíve heard your professional fishermen friends say that there are no fish. Or that there are plenty of fish but the govmnt wonít let them get out there and catch them. Or that there are too many people out there in big boats from away nowadays. We can understand that there might not be as many fish as there used to be. I recently read that codfish used to be very big. You bail away at buffalo or fish or anything else that swims or walks and pretty soon there ainít gonna be no more. But please think about this. Thanks to government regulations requested by Maine lobster catchers, there seems to be no shortage of Maine lobsters. Because the lobster industry is very closely regulated, lobstering is a sustainable industry and plenty of lobsters are likely to be around providing incomes to Maine families for a long time. Oh, fishing? You might remember reading that during WW II when fishing was curtailed off the Irish coast by German submarines, the fish came back.

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6. Did I hear that a U.S. ambassador was killed somewhere and that our President quickly moved warships into that countryís waters? Please think about this. Suppose the ambassador from Peru were blown up at the entrance to the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, D. C. Would you expect to see Peruvian warships moving into the Chesapeake? Thatís so silly that I want to repeat it so you can believe you heard it right. Suppose the ambassador from Peru were blown up at the entrance to the Peruvian Embassy in Washington, D. C. Would you expect to see Peruvian warships moving into the Chesapeake? What would the people in this country say if they saw Peruvian warships moving toward Washington? You tell me.

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7. You certainly know that my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, has a rare kind of muscular dystrophy and that she requires a stair chair here at home because, being a Type-A person, she considers crawling up the stairs a waste of time. But on top of all that Iíve noticed that sheís slowed down more than one might wish lately, and Iím concerned. On one sunny Sunday, for example all she did was clean and paint 8 sliding windows in the garage and the four window casings that contained them, mow two or more acres of lawn, prepare my meals, do two loads of wash and although, as is her habit, she didnít stop to eat or go to the bathroom all day, she didnít have time to help me shingle the roof on the storage shed --- even though I had it scheduled in our plans for the day. Unaccustomed as I am to a sluggish helpmate, seemingly incapacitated by an inordinate blatant display of lassitude, Iíve inaugurated a ten-minute program of constructive criticism that I administer verbally evenings while sheís washing up the dishes. I donít know if it will help or not, but what else can a man do when a woman canít seem to get with the program?

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8. Here is one of the most presumptuous emails I've ever seen. It says, "As a mother of 6 and a grandmother of 13, I would like to leave the world a better place for the next generations. Voting the right people into office is certainly a part of this. Thanks!Ē And it is signed xx. 6 kids and 13 grandchildren. How can anyone think that breeding like a rabbit will result in a better world for future generations? It is reckless people like our friend xx who should thank people like me who could never afford to have children for leaving the world a better place for her grandchildren. I borrowed a hundred grand to buy an 8-house development (which I have shut down) contiguous to my property and because of that crushing mortgage I will be living from hand to mouth until I die. All of my fields and forests are going into a forever wild land trust. My life is a gift to future generations. So please don't send me whining emails telling me that you want me to help you leave the world a better place for the product of your mindless indiscretions.

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9. Not only do we not have our usual crop of Wolf Rivers this fall, this year there were next to no peaches, pears or plums. Living on the coast, I blamed it on fog and rain at blossom time, but what do I know? Over the eons we have had warm and cold snaps lasting hundreds of years in between ice ages. For example, Esther Wood told us about "1800 and froze to death" in 1816 and there was a relatively milder climate during the Medieval Warm Period from around 800 to 1200 which facilitated the Scandinavian settlement of Greenland. So one hot or cold spring doesnít mean a returning ice age or global warming. Most of us are not sure of what global warming is, how to know it when we see it, or what scientists or laypeople mean when they use the term. Perhaps the definitive work on global warming is Deep Future by Curt Stager. Curt Stager knows. So if you'd like to know more about climate change than most of your neighbors, Deep Future is a good read.

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10. Someone wrote that I have the ability to winnow out the chaff. Iíve seen it in print so it must be true. Let me give you an example of chaff winnowing so you can see that there is nothing deeply profound, magical or exceptional about what I do. One morning we saw on TV that American troops who have invaded another country have been attacked by the natives. Does it require a very astute mind to realize that it might indicate that we arenít wanted there? If the man with the furry lip wasnít welcome when he shot up Poland and Holland, why should we be welcomed with open arms when we attack Iraq or Afghanistan? See how easy it is? You can winnow out the chaff, too.

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11. Youíve probably received several emails from too many friends who have been robbed in Spain or England and are begging you for some money because their plane is about to leave and they canít check out of their hotel. Gary Crocker says, ďIt sounds like an opportunity to me. "Don" states the hotel won't let him check out until he settles his bill. I say, settle in and call it a retirement villa. Never settle the bill.....never check out!ď As I recall Gary is a lobbyist in Augusta for some organization. Canít you see that it would be to your advantage to have someone who can think like Gary up at the legislature lobbying for you? I just hope that Gary is on our side.

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Rant #12. Have you heard me say this before? In every article I write I have to look up the spelling of three or more words. Lately spell check has helped but for years I had to look up some of my favorite words every week. If youíve met me, you are certainly aware that I also have a mild case of prosophenosia. I always ask you if we have met before and for years I've told new friends that I won't recognize them if I see them the next day. Although I've known for years that I couldn't recognize people I'd had supper with the night before, I didn't know until recently that there's a name for it and that 2% or so of the population are afflicted. I have communicated with a professor at Harvard who has done a study on it. You might have seen the recently aired 60 Minutes piece on prosophenosia. Some 60-year-old women are married to older men who wake up and see a woman theyíve never seen before in bed every morning, and the women are glad.

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Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860
(207) 226-7442
thehumblefarmer@gmail.com
www.TheHumbleFarmer.com

© 2012 Robert Karl Skoglund