Marsha and humble

Painting by Sandra Mason Dickson




Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860

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and you end up at The humble Farmer's Bed & Breakfast in a pouring rain.

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In February, 2017, I paid ASCAP $200. or so for the right to run this radio show for you on the Internet. Although we are not starving, if you would show your appreciation by donating a small contribution to my PayPal account, you would earn an inedible spot on The humble Farmer's wall of fame.

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Rants April 16. 2017

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Isn't it amazing how we all have our druthers. A friend invited me to go on a fundraising cruise. "Cost for the cruise includes, wine, beer, cocktails, Hors d'oeuvres, and live music." If five of those things were eliminated, I would find the cruise to be not even tolerable but inviting.

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2. We have seemingly survived 9 days without television. I do miss the commercials for weight loss. In the commercials weight loss is so easy. The weight is shaved off corpulent bodies in the editing room. Did you know that if you send certain people a lot of money, they will help you lose weight? These companies flourish because they give people the impression that they can continue to eat sweet things and still lose weight. The food they show on plates in the commercials is bright red and green and yellow and they show things that look like chocolate brownies and milkshakes that you can wolf down every day. I have gained over 10 pounds in the 19 or so months that I have been gorging myself on Marsha's cookies and pies and cakes. You will recall that I went from 175 to 140 by simply eating as much of everything as I ever did --- except I completely cut out cake, pie, cookies, sweet bread and ice cream. I did have a piece of birthday cake one year. So I didn't have to pay someone to send me food or pay someone to tell me what to eat to lose weight. I simply cut out things that nobody should eat anyway. Anyway, once more I'm going to try to go without brownies, which hurt my teeth, and cookies and cake and pie. There is none of this I'll-allow-myself-one-small-cookie-once-a-day foolishness. Unless you are cursed with some wicked bad fat-retaining genes, this one-cookie-a-day kind of thinking is why so many people who claim to be trying to lose weight don't. My pants are too tight. I carried ten pounds of something down the stairs the other day and realized how heavy it was. I don't need to be carrying around 10 pounds of extra weight. All I have to do to lose 20 pounds is to put down that ten pounds of weight. The other ten will fade away when I stop eating cookies. And it won't cost me nothing.

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3. Mark Usinger, who has been a radio friend for over 30 years, says, I sell an awful lot of WD40 to ships. They must know something we don't... I would rather think that I know something they don't. WD40 is like Clorox in that it facilitates rust. Once you have used WD40 to clean the rust out of a binding metal hinge, lubricate the hinge with regular oil or it will soon bind up again. WD40 has a purpose but its purpose is not to lubricate. Well --- Mike followed up with, WD-40 isn't actually a true lubricant. WD stands for "water displacing" and its main use is as a solvent or rust dissolver. The lubricant-like properties of WD-40 come not from the substance itself, but from dissolving components. And the effect doesn't last. WD-40 can be a good substance to start with ó it can help clean up rust or other grime. But depending on what you're working with, you should probably follow up WD-40 with use of a true lubricant such as one based on silicone, grease, Teflon, or graphite. ,,, Well, I guess that Mike just repeated what I said. The only difference is that he always knew it and I had to learn it the hard way. If I'd known this 10 years ago, I wouldn't have rusted out the hinges on the doors of Marsha's washing machine.

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4. Hereís a letter from Charlie Wing. Charlie Wing was one of the insulation experts who told me how to insulate my solar radiant heated cellar/office. Charlie Wing has written more books about more things than anybody I know. Charlie says, Hi Robert, I was sitting at my breakfast table this morning, enjoying your "Memories of the Retired Skippers' Race . . ." when, in paragraph 5, I was brought up short to learn of your "service" on the Victory Chimes during the summer of '57. It was that same summer that I was introduced to summer on the coast of Maine while serving as "Captain Charlie", taking Samoset guests out on the Bay in the hotel's 30-foot sloop, the Samo-Red. In those days, as you may remember, the smell and filth of the fish-processing plant in the North End had driven out almost all the recreational watercraft, leaving the "Chimes" and the Samo-Red as the only active sailing vessels in the harbor. Whenever I saw the "Chimes" leaving or entering port while I was out with guests, I would often sail along the windward side of the old 3-master to show the city dudes what a real sailing vessel looked like. Little did I know how deeply into the dregs of shore riffraff the Captain had dipped to man his vessel. At the start of the 1957 season my own sailing skills had been vetted by another retired skipper, "Captain Jim". (I don't recall what he was captain of.) At the end of our test sail, which was conducted during a particularly gusty South-wester, Cap'n Jim, who hadn't said much as we tacked out into the wind, seemed to ease up a bit as I got used to the boat and her ways. Back on shore, or, to be more exact, the Breakwater, he simply said "You'll do." Back up at the hotel, as he was about to get into his truck, I said that it would be an honor if he would allow me to thank him for his confidence in me by buying him a beverage or two in town. He perked up and accepted, and off we drove to some dive in the South Side where we had two or three apiece. During this binge he told me several tales of voyages to the southern US, Puerto Rico, and South America, packed with references to all kinds of arcane sailing gear of which I knew nothing. (I couldn't help noting that in none of these stories was he an actual captain.) Finally, consulting his watch, he advised that it was time to take me back to the Samoset and go home to "Mothah". Just as he was dropping me off he asked, "Can you do a Maine accent?" I gave a quick sampling from my "Bert and I" repertoire. Jim nodded in approval. "Use it; you'll biggah tips." I did and I did. Let us know when you're back in town. We can get together and swap lies. Please convey the warmest wishes of Dorothea and me to Marsha (t.a.p.w.) and, of course, to your humble self, Charlie

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5. My wife Marsha is known for her ripping and tearing. When she works, she is a whirlwind. There is a downside. She is rough with things. One night she pulled the chain out of a light in the upstairs bedroom. It broke because she yanked on it. I took it apart the next morning and looked at it and noticed that the little balls in the chain did show a bit of wear, which is to be expected as the lights were installed in 1922. But just because a light chain has been chafing metal against metal for 95 years doesn't mean that it should wear out and break. I think it would have gone a few more years if she hadn't yanked on it. When I mentioned it she got back at me by pointing out that I had my sweater buttoned in the wrong holes like an old man. What good is it to be an old man if you can't wear a sweater buttoned in the wrong holes?

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6. Would it surprise you to hear that to the best of my knowledge Iíve never read one of Stephen Kingís books? I donít know why. Perhaps because 30 or so years ago someone told me that Stephen Kingís books were ďevil.Ē And I didnít want to read anything that was evil. But the person who told me that Stephen Kingís books are evil is mentally ill. Very mentally ill. So I really have no excuse to not read one of Stephen Kingís books. About the only fiction I read anyway is in Dutch or French. I donít like to read novels in English because I already have a fair to middlin vocabulary in English and I like to increase my vocabulary in other languages. Iím telling you about this because I just read a magazine article that was written by Stephen King. It was very funny and informative and it hit the nail on the head. You can read it, too, if you simply type into Google, ďStephen King article Guardian.Ē Stephen King is a very funny guy. Iím going to get one of his books in Dutch or French and read it. Tell me which one is your favorite and Iíll look for it.

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7. Terrible things can turn up in your life. I just noticed that some of the things I posted on YouTube in recent years are now linked to my Facebook page. I am now a man who is haunted by his past. The bad thing about being over 80 years old is that you have so much past. Thereís hardly anybody in my neighborhood now who has as much past as I do. When you get to be my age just about 100 % of the life youíve had so far is already past. Luckily for me, my friends who were part of my past 30 and 40 years ago were so involved in the process that they aren't likely to boast about their part in it. Most of them wonít even admit that they were there.

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8. How many great musicians have destroyed themselves by doing drugs? I can identify with the drug part. For years I ran around the country telling funny stories at banquets. I billed myself as a humorous after dinner speaker. About 10 minutes before I was to be introduced, Iíd put down two cups of Americaís favorite morning drug drink. And Iíd be higher than a kite when I got the mike in my hands and my mouth would run like it was on roller bearings. But there is a price to be paid for getting high on Brazilian beans and there comes a time in a manís life when his body will no longer tolerate it. After doing drugs every day for a week or two, I get a pain in my heart. My wife thought it was my imagination until our friend Susan, who is an RN, said that she gets the same pain and cannot do the caffeine drug. Withdrawal is hard. I'm now on my third day without drugs and am barely able to get out of my tracks. You have heard me say that an RN who went to Haiti with a medical crew had a headache for a week --- as did all the others --- when it was discovered that their usual morning drug drink was not available in Haiti. You know about drugs. How long does it take to get the need for drugs out of your body when you quit cold turkey? There are web pages that tell about it and I posted one on my Facebook page, hoping to garner a bit of sympathy from my coffee guzzling friends. Here are only two of the things listed that destroy your life when you quit drugs. Exhaustion and a lack of interest in doing anything. Tell me about it. Last night I went to bed around 6, right after supper.

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

© 2017 Robert Karl Skoglund