After a few weeks of digging post holes, stretching wire, building fences and gates, we now have the nearly 200 acres of the Lee Branch north pasture ready for cows. It’s kind of like moving into a new house. You want to make sure it feels right and the cows will feel happy and content.
So last weekend, the cows arrived. More specifically, 37 Brangus breeding cows, 7 calves and 4 bulls. A total of 48 bovines.
They immediately walked the perimeter of the pasture, surveying their space and checking for holes in the fence where the grass might be greener on the other side. They found their pond and seemed satisfied with the new accommodations.

The next day, John showed up at the “ranch” to check on them. The cows were nowhere to be found.

He looked by the palmetto glade and the north hammock pond. No cows. Finally, he started to see traces of them as he went south toward the orange grove. As he turned into the live oak hammock by Lee Branch, there they were, eating the new sweet grass in the shade of those century old oak trees.
Cows like people have their favorite “spot” where they can relax and ruminate.

As it was the week after Thanksgiving, it seemed that the flock of wild turkeys pecking  and scratching their way past the cows, looked relieved and happy to have the cows sharing the pasture with them.

I swear one of gobblers had a sign that said, ” Eat more beef.”


OK, the election is over. Thanksgiving and the Black Eye Friday nonsense have come and gone and the country is clicking along with its Bread and Circus culture towards some fiscal cliff of irresponsibility.
The empty-headed suits that populate the left lane media are all a twitter about who is to blame and why.

By the way, there is no “mainstream” media, as America has no mainstream any more. We have become a divisive culture that will in time rip itself apart. Network news is already irrelevant as nearly everyone with an electronic device knows the news before the sanctimonious plaudits pour forth at six o’clock.
Lately, one of the most annoying aspects of the media mouthpieces is their collective sheep like reference to a demographic cohort into which apparently I have been included.

Old white men.

It is often applied with the descriptor “angry” to make it more pejorative and haughty.

Since  apparently because of the accident of birth, I am classified into this category, (oh, does the government and its sycophant media love categories!)  I would like to take a moment to decline my inclusion into this classification.

First, I am not angry. Why should I be? I am successful. I built my business. Yes I did! I did have help from my employees, for which I paid them very handsomely. By the way, the government was altogether unhelpful to me in building my business.
I am not rich, but reasonably well off. I have a nice family and fine circle of friends.
No, I am not angry. If anything, I am sad that many young Americans will never be able to know the freedoms that I enjoyed in this country. Because of increasing government intrusion, moral decay and declining education, these young Americans will have a difficult time of it under America’s coming totalitarian society…in spite of their iPods,  iPads and MTV.

I am no doubt older than most Americans. But I am not old in the sense of being worn out or useless.

I am venerable and have wisdom of life.  I am approaching self actualization and personal fulfilment.  My body does occasionally need repairing but in my mind I am 25 with 65 years of knowledge in my hard drives. To those in the death panels that look with disdain at old people, I just say, if you are lucky, if you are very lucky,  you will be old some day. Then you too will die.

It is funny how the network people avoid referring to certain people by their “color.” For black people they like to say African-American, when many of them are neither African nor American.) Or they say, colored people,…er, I mean,  People of Color.

For people from the “East” they say Asians,  not Oriental or God forbid, yellow. And tribal people whose ancestors occupied the land that is now the United States, are referred to as Native Americans, not Red Men.

However, these suits have no reservation  describing all people  with a European ancestry as “white.”
I am not white. White is the color of milk or pure snow. I have somewhat of a mediterranean complexion. It is darker in the summer and lighter in the winter. It is never white.

OK, you got me!  Since I was born with X and Y chromosomes and have  remained as such during my life I guess I have no argument with being described as male.

However, it is interesting to note that if I had decided to change my designation to female with the help of some transgender operation, and I was subsequently murdered, it would be considered a “hate crime.”

Murdering me as God constructed me would be merely a crime. Yet I would be the same dead person (just in a different category.) Apparently we are not all equal in the eyes of the law.

Dyslexia meets OCD

November 24, 2012

I have known for sometime now that I am dyslexcia dyslexic and enjoy a mild but growing case of OCD. For years however, most people, especially me thought I was just a dope.

One of the first indications was my complete lack of spelling skills. My father  did not have an 8th grade education, but was an excellent speller. He was left-handed.  Kate and Donna, both are left-handed and also excel at the science of spell. I am right-handed. Maybe it’s a lefty/righty thing.

My father would help me with my spelling words so I could have a chance at passing my tests. We had the best technology ( hand-made flash cards) but, it was a struggle for me and I am sure the whole thing tried dad’s patience. My complete lack of competence with letters and their relationship to words manifested itself one summer when I was about six. My mother and aunt were taking us to the beach and I was so excited, I could not contain myself.  As we were walking down the driveway to the car, I blurted out,

“We are going to the, B-I-T-C-H!”

The look of shock and surprise, (mostly shock) on my mother face is still with me.

The dyslexia is less troublesome for me now, but I continue to add or leave out letters when I pronounce words. I find myself being corrected all the time. I am good with numbers however, and remember them quite well. I still remember our first telephone number  from over 50 years ago.  (MO6-7162).

I even know all the numbers in Pi. (Usually shortened to 3.14159) I will tell you at the end of this post how you can know them too.

But first, back to my OCD. I think this is getting worse. I constantly go over in my mind the simplest of decisions or  tasks that I will perform at some future time. For example, I will lie awake at night wondering if it will be cold in the morning and whether or not I should wear cotton or wool socks. I have spent hours thinking about this when I should have been sleeping.

Or, sometimes, the OCD involves going to extraordinary lengths to correct some small mistake or omission I have made.

Like the first time I left my old battered briefcase on the platform of the #7 train at the Shea Stadium station on my way to work on Wall Street. I kept checking it, but I got lost in thoughts of work.  I was all the way to the office and in a meeting, when I remembered the briefcase.

Saying, ” I have a problem”, I walked out of a meeting and went back to Queens ( a two-hour round trip.) There it was, right where I left it. If that happened today, the bomb squad would have been there to “disarm” it. By the way, it only contained a newspaper and a couple of magazines.

I have left briefcases and bags many times, in many locations since. Most ended harmlessly with me returning to the scene and retrieving the “misplaced” item. However, whatever you do, don’t ask my kids about the red bag incident at the Miami International Airport. I had a real meltdown.

Lately, the OCD attacks seem to center on letters that I have mailed. After I mail them,  I become unsure if I actually put stamps on the envelopes. Last week, I even went and asked the postal workers if I could sort though the mail to see if I mailed unstamped letters. They said, No!

I guess we will see if the electric company gets paid this month.

I have been reluctant to share knowledge of this affliction with Dr. Zorro because, well,  I have too many afflictions already, and I am somewhat nervous that he might start probing around or scanning my brain and discover some new mutated life form in there. No doubt in the process he will be awarded a Nobel Prize.

Don’t misunderstand, I want Dr. Z to win a Nobel Prize with all my heart, however, the thought of him picking around in my lobes like some latter day Dr. Frankenstein is a little unsettling. Maybe he could manage the award another way… like discovering a cure for baldness.


Okay, back to knowing all the numbers in Pi. It is really quite simple. Pi contains all the numbers from 0 to 9…. and they are used many times.

Happy Thanksgiving!

It is customary on Thanksgiving to give thanks for all  that we hold dear in our lives. Tomorrow, most of us will be with our families and friends, so today I just want to take a moment to thank the tens of thousands of visitors to this site for stopping by. Writing this blog has become an interesting assignment in self-awareness for me. Since starting this space almost three years ago,  nearly 450 posts have been read by citizens in 70 countries across six continents.

I started this project as a way of organizing the chaotic assemblage of thoughts that stream through my head into some sort of  pathway to understanding. I don’t know if that standard has been attained, but I will keep on trying.

Thank You and Happy Thanksgiving!

Also, there is absolute no truth to the rumor that I receive 5 cents for every “hit” on the blog!


The day after Thanksgiving:

When I was a little kid, we did not have Black Friday. It was just known as the friday after Thanksgiving.

I remember it because all the newspapers were thick with ads for toys like Lincoln Logs and Lionel trains. There were also lots of pictures of TVs (black and white only) and washing machines with red bows around them.

Since my father was usually off from work that day, I remember asking him if we were going to the store. I will always remember his reply.
” I wouldn’t go down there if they gave me a $1000!”
Now, a thousand dollars was a heck of a lot of money back then and dad usually only had $30 or $40 in his pocket, so I figured something really horrible was going on for him not to go shopping if someone gave him $1000 to do it. I guess that notion has stuck with me because to this day, I have a near allergic reaction to the very thought of going out on the friday after Thanksgiving.
The whole concept fascinates me and repulses me at the same time; like one would feel while observing a Black Mamba through a herpetarium glass. Intrigued, but aware that death is just inches away. In fact, in recent years the mercantile madness has become so violent with aggressive shoppers, that some wags are referring to the day as Black Eye Friday.

Anyway, I have for years tried to get my head around the attraction of lining up at 3 or 4 in the morning to be the first to race through the doors for that “special” Christmas present.

I am pretty sure Jesus does not concern himself with such things as 18 hour sales events conducted in maniacal preparation for his coming birthday.

Now lately, I have seen in the news, people lined up with tents, sleeping bags and such a week before black friday in front of the stores so that they can be first in line to buy stuff. I think to myself, don’t these people have jobs?

But, then with the high unemployment rate and bad economy, maybe they don’t.

On the other hand, if they don’t have jobs, why are they queuing up to spend money they don’t have?

I know if  I were unemployed, I would not be in a tent in front of the store wasting time, waiting to spend money. I would be looking for work IN the store…even if that meant overcoming my long held black friday fears.

But that’s just me.

I believe in spending money the old-fashioned way…after you’ve earned it.

I usually wake up about 5:30 am.

I lie there in bed for a few minutes trying to figure out where I am and what day it is. Sometimes I take my blood pressure with the sphygmomanometer I keep in the drawer of the nightstand to see if it is sufficiently strong enough for me get up and start the day.

Today, when I reached for the machine, I dropped it on the floor. As always happens when I drop something, the back of the device opens up and the batteries go flying out.
So, now I reach down to retrieve the machine and the batteries. In doing so, however, I alter my center of gravity and go past the tipping point. No turning back now as I go crashing to the floor head first.

Good morning world!
Collecting my wits I sit up and pick myself up together with the machine  and three of the four batteries. I look around but still do not find the fourth battery.
Ok, that is very weird, I now turn on the BIG light and start searching in earnest for the runaway battery. My blood pressure is beginning to rise as the little bastard is just nowhere to be found. When I crawl under the bed to expand the search, Mikey and Oscar arrive to see what all the commotion is about and join in the fun. They are no help whatsoever.

Finally, still unsuccessful, I give up. Who cares about the damn blood pressure anyway.

That battery is no doubt in some parallel universe powering some Lilliputian city by now.

Two o’clock feeding

November 15, 2012

I was talking to Wendy the other day when we were picking up a table she had bought. It would not fit in her car, but mine was big enough, so I took her to the store. During the drive, we got caught up on all the latest news.
I was somewhat surprised when she told me her 15-year-old daughter, Sydney was bringing home the baby today.
“What baby?” I asked.
“Oh, it is her Family Life class baby. she has to keep it for two days.”
Oh, sort of like those 10 pound sacks of flour they made kids carry around in the seventies, I noted.
“Well, yes and no,” Wendy added. “This baby wets and cries, etc. Like a real baby.”
I was thinking about the etc. When I asked, if Sydney has to get up in the middle of the night to feed and attend to the new addition.
Yes, Wendy explained. It is electronically programmed to act like a real baby. It records all activity and how it is treated.

Then at the end it spits up (ha!) a report which tells what type of mom Sydney has been.

Too bad real babies don’t have that ability, I mused.

Later, I asked Sydney’s 12-year-old sister, Kate if she was going to be a good aunt and help Sydney with the baby.

“No way, Kate assured me, ” That baby is too noisy!”

“All babies are noisy, ” I reminded her, “at least you don’t have to pay for college with this one.”

Ok, here we go.

We have the head of the Central Intelligence Agency, stepping down because of an admitted affair with his biographer. So what, no big deal. Happens all the time. In fact I can recall nearly 20 years ago, a Head of State being in the same position. No big deal then only he did not step down.
Today’s version gets a bit juicier as the whistler blower is a perceived rival to the “other woman” and is threatened with unencrypted emails.
No big deal happens all the time, right. Only this time the whistle-blower has a friend in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He checks out the emails and sends an email of his own to the whistler blower showing himself semi naked.
Oh, it gets better.
All this is going on while parallel investigations are underway to determine what really happened that caused four citizens to be murdered in a United States Embassy in a Muslim country with whom we don’t have good relations.
Meanwhile the Secretary of State can’t clear things up to investigators, because she is visiting friends and drinking wine in Australia. By the way, Australia has some excellent wines from the Barossa valley.
Now comes a new revelation.

The current general in charge of the troops in Afghanistan has sent 30 to 40 thousand “inappropriate” e-mails to our whistle-blower. (popular gal!) . By my calculation, that is about 50 a day.
Little wonder it is taking so long to produce a plan to bring the troops home. The generals are spending too much time writing to their girlfriends.

When asked about this the Secretary of Defense said he has no information. He is just “reading the papers” like the rest of us.

No doubt the funny papers, Mr. Secretary.
You just can’ t make this stuff up.