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 February 3, 2013




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Rants February 3, 2013

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From time to time we all make bad decisions and I might be doing that by talking about this right now. If you were to try to help a veteran who was recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, do you think that taking him out to a firing range to shoot would help him? I donít know, which is why Iím asking you. We are, of course, talking about the U. S. sniper credited with 150 or so kills who even wrote a book about it, who was shot and killed on a Texas firing range. Too bad. Did you read that this military sniper hero was in favor of arming teachers in the classroom? Some folks say that he'd be alive today had a second grade teacher been there at that Texas firing range with one more gun.

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2. My friend Uncle Jack is a National Treasure. You can find Uncle Jackís writing on his blog if you Google. Hereís an example of Uncle Jackís writing: "Mrs. Greb Fillet and Mrs. Nettie Clayford drove to Norfolk on Wednesday in Mrs. Clayford's new Ford Siesta with optional overdrive. They got 43.6 miles to the gallon according to Mrs. Clayford's daughter Lula who is home on vacation from Central Junior Bible College in Charlotte where she is majoring in long division."

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3. My wife Marsha is a top drawer housekeeper. She snatches clothes from my trembling body before they even start to get comfortable and throws them in the wash. She canít find enough floors of her own to scrub on her hands and knees so she scrubs for friends and neighbors like her elderly friend Helen. Which is why I couldnít believe my nose last night when I entered the tiny trailer we call our winter home. Some people have senses that far surpass those of their friends. The super sight and hearing I enjoyed as a child are gone, but I still have a smeller that Iíll put up against anyone. And when I opened the door I could smell a 300-pound man who had lived in a dumpster in 90 degree heat for weeks. Yes, I smelled this in our immaculate home. I said, ďWhat isÖĒ, and Marsha very quickly said, ďHelen took me out to dinner today. I couldnít eat all of it so I brought home this cup of chili.Ē

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4. Hereís one of those insipid feel good emails that are circulated from time to time. Iím reading it to you right now because I turned a wishy-washy piece of writing into a powerful moral lesson by only changing 10 or 12 words at the end. I only changed 10 or 12 words which turned this insipid story into a moral saga of epic proportions. Please raise your hand when you think weíve come to the part that your buddy humble improved. Ready? --- A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy. "Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies." "Well," said the farmer, these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money." The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?" "Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up... "I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play ball with you like these other dogs would." With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and rolled up one leg of his trousers, revealing a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I can no longer run well myself, and he will need someone who understands." With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy. "How much?" asked the little boy... "No charge," answered the farmer, "Youíre going to need company now that you can no longer play football."

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5. Did you know that there is a Mencken Society? I found it the other day while I was reading some things on Uncle Jackís web page. Hereís an interesting quote by Mencken. ďThe worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.Ē Hereís another quote by Mencken, and although most of us already know this because we see it every day, you tell me if you donít think Mencken said it very well: ďThe whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.Ē

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6. Let me tell you a little bit about Florida and the people who live here alongside of us in blissful retirement. This morning Marsha drove 17 miles to the park where we used to work winters and helped her elderly friend, Helen, get ready to move to Arizona. When Marsha finished with Helen around 2 p. m., she had a first-time cleaning job nearby for another elderly woman. Yes, first time job --- sheíd never met this woman before. But when she got there, there was an ambulance at the door and medical people were running in and out. Marsha went back to Helenís, tried to call the woman, got no answer, and drove the 17 miles home. No sooner got here than the woman called and wanted to know why Marsha hadnít showed up. Ambulance? So what. She was still breathing and wanted her kitchen cleaned. Marsha hightailed it back into town. In Florida tomorrow might be too late.

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7. The father of a student in Bangor wrote this letter to the editor: ďTypical, don't let your children make up their own minds, indoctrinate them to the socialist beliefs that schools push. Next time a teacher makes a political statement in class they should be fired. Present the facts and let the kids determine for themselves what they believe.Ē Well, is he right about only giving kids the facts? Let the facts speak for themselves? My high school civics teacher said over and over that "Roosevelt should have been impeached." I think that facts speak for themselves which is why I encourage every U. S. high school student to spend a summer backpacking in Northern Europe. They should hang out with their peers in Holland, Sweden and Denmark. I lived over there for half a year and have been back perhaps 20 times. I speak the tongue and read their books and newspapers. Nothing like facts for helping a kid make up his/her mind. You should know that the first month in Sweden is the hardest for Maine kids because they miss all the falling down barns and boarded up store windows. Let the facts speak for themselves.

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8. The newspaper headline says, "Tar sands cause heated environmental, economic debate in Maine". What is there to debate? Some of us rural Maine folk are already heating our hot water and generating electricity with solar energy. Iím even heating my cellar floor with solar radiant heat and have moved my office into a 75 degree cellar. You know that I donít have a beard and long hair. I donít eat yogurt or granola. I didnít build solar hot water heaters to help the environment. I built solar collectors because Iím a very greedy person and didnít want to share my social security check with the electric and oil companies. Please listen to what Iím about to say very carefully. Itís something that American gas and oil companies do not want you to even think about. Your buddy humble has been heating his hot water with solar power for years and the sun has never sent him a bill. Itís a very simple concept but only a handful of us know it. But now Iím passing it along to you at no charge. The sun will make your electricity and heat your water and never send you a bill. You remember that Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia said, ďI would like to see Saudi Arabia using 100 percent renewable energy within my lifetime.Ē In the same article you read, ďWhile the oil rich kingdom of Saudi Arabia announces to the world itís embracing the goal of 100 percent green energy, most politicians in America are afraid to make such a bold statement out of fear of losing shocking sums of money that the fossil fuel industry and individuals Ďdonateí to sway elections and manipulate legislation, a force strangling our attempt to wean ourselves from dirty energy and embrace a clean energy future.Ē Is an old Maine man betraying his country when he goes out in his barn and fumbles around until he has 8 solar hot water heaters that slash his oil and electric bills? Why arenít you doing it? If you hide them in a sunny spot out back your neighbors and oil dealer will never need to know. The oil man will think you got Evergreen to insulate for you. Saudi Arabia plans to use solar energy and sell their oil at sky-high prices to the last sucker standing. Letís see if we can figure out who that will be.

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9. Who would believe it, but at 0823 George called from the Bangor Daily News to ask if I wrote him a letter. I admitted that I did, and George says he'll move it along, whatever that means. I sent that rant I wrote about turning 77 on January 18th, to every newspaper in Maine. George did not ask me if Iíd sent it to any other newspapers. Usually I only send a letter to one paper because thatís the way we do it. But I felt that this one about The humble Farmer turning 77 deserved to be broadcast. The Portland Paper wrote back and said that if I'd remove 15 words they could run it as a letter or if I'd add 300 more words it could be run as an op-ed piece. I simply replied with a polite, "Thank you." Isn't it interesting that you can no longer say what you have to say in an essay and let it go at that, but what you either have to pad it or cut it back to confirm with an editor's perception of what is or what is not possible to print. In this day and age can you doubt but what size matters?

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10. Can you tell how much money a Palm Beach or Hollywood or Maine man has by the way he dresses? Yes. But you have to understand how it works. In Maine, the wealthier the natives, the shabbier the dress. If you see an old Maine man with ragged clothes and broken cant dog cane, limping through a magnificent forest of 100-year-old pine, he probably owns it.

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

© 2013 Robert Karl Skoglund