Saturday, April 13, 2013

Avoiding the Bustle of Life

A friend sent me the following item that appeared in THE ATLANTA JOURNAL in the “singles ads” section.

SINGLE BLACK FEMALE seeks male companion, ethnicity unimportant. I’m a very good-looking girl who LOVES to play. I love long walks in the woods, riding in your pickup truck, hunting, camping and fishing trips, cozy winter nights lying by the fire. Candlelight dinners will have me eating out of your hand. Rub me the right way and watch me respond. I’ll be at the front door when you get home from work, wearing only what nature gave me. Kiss me and I’m yours. Call (404) XXX-XXXX and ask for Daisy.

NOTE: Over 15,000 men called the Atlanta Humane Society about an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever.

* * *

New York City has an open-container law prohibiting alcohol in parks and beaches. On July 4, police rousted people on Rockaway Beach in Brooklyn who were drinking beer at a fund-raiser for a memorial to World Trade Center victims. The following week, police failed to issue a single citation as thousands of people sipped wine in Central Park and Prospect Park as they listened to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s billionaire Mayor, attended the concert and afterward defended this obvious hypocrisy. He felt it was perfectly acceptable for his crowd (the hotsy-totsy elite) to drink wine in a public park but “more dangerous” for others (the lower class barbarians) to drink beer at a public beach.

NOTE: A constitutional guarantee of equality doesn’t mean that some people are more equal than others. We’re all in this together. Either obey the law or change the law. You can’t have it both ways.

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Professor Joseph Olson of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn., has compiled the following statistics about the 2000 Presidential election, one of the closest elections in history.

1) States won: Gore = 19, Bush = 29
2) Square miles of country won: Gore = 580,000, Bush = 2,427,000
3) Population by counties won: Gore = 127 million,  Bush = 143 million
4) Murder (per 100,000 residents) in counties won: Gore = 13.2, Bush = 2.1

Professor Olson also pointed out that Bush received most of the votes where the people owned the land whereas Gore fared better in big cities and among those who were the most reliant on government assistance.

NOTE: It may have been a close election, but there seems to be a clear divide between city and country folk.

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Speaking of country folks, north Arkansas is a great place to live primarily because it’s far off the beaten path. People in this area live a simple live void of the hustle and bustle of big cities. Actually, there’s a bit of hustle on occasion but rarely any bustle. There are some phrases you don’t often hear in these parts:

1) I picked up some Brie and a bottle of pinot noir for the Super Bowl.
2) Honey, did you mail that contribution to the Spotted Owl Foundation?
3) We should take the taxidermist off the speed dial.
4) Please pass the quiche.
5) Who is Jack Daniels?
6) I’d better get a new muffler for the pickup before I disturb the neighbors.
7) Does this necktie go with this shirt?
8) I’ll take Medieval Literature for 800, Alex.

* * *

Quote for the Day -- "Life is like riding a bicycle -- to keep your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein

Bret Burquest is the author of 9 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where bustle moves at the speed of slow.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Full Moon Seasons

The Algonquin tribes of Native American Indians once stretched from New England, throughout the Great Lakes, all the way to Lake Superior. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, they had special names for each of 12 full moons to occur each year. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on average, the exact calendar dates shifted from year to year.

1) Full Wolf Moon – Wolf packs howl hungrily during the cold and deep snows of midwinter.

2) Full Snow Moon – The heaviest snow usually falls during this month (February).

3) Full Worm Moon – Temperatures warm, the ground begins to thaw and robins return.

4) Full Pink Moon – Herb moss “pink” is one of the earliest widespread flowers to bloom.

5) Full Flower Moon – Flowers become abundant everywhere.

6) Full Strawberry Moon – A short season for harvesting strawberries (June).

7) Full Buck Moon – New antlers coated with velvety fur appear on the buck deer.

8) Full Sturgeon Moon – The large fish of the Great Lakes is most easily caught during this month.

9) Full Harvest Moon – The Indian staples (pumpkin, squash, beans and wild rice) are ready for gathering.

10) Full Hunter’s Moon – Leaves are falling and the deer have been fattened.

11) Full Beaver Moon – Time to set beaver traps before the swamp waters freeze.

12) Full Cold Moon – Winter cold arrives as days become shorter.

Naturally, those of us who live in the splendor of the Ozark Mountain Plateau have also had a tradition of naming our 12 annual moons.

1) Full Reflection Moon – The dead of winter. Time to huddle in front of a fire and reflect upon how fortunate you are to live considerably south of Minnesota but not quite all the way to Texas.

2) Full Fixin Moon – Time to be fixin to do things, such as fixin to look for a job just as soon as you get done fixin to rest up a bit.

3) Full Possum Moon – Possum get restless during this month. Plenty of possum stew for all.

4) Full Moss Moon – As moss appears on rocks, it’s time for the spring bath. This is optional if you took a bath last year.

5) Full Shine Moon – Federal revenuers are busy back at the home office during the peak of tax season. Time to set up the sour mash operation for the summer.

6) Full Road-Kill Moon – Road-kill is at the summer peak. Plenty of road-kill stew for all.

7) Full Maintenance Moon – Good month for home maintenance. Time to burn the overgrown grass in the yard, dust the appliances on the porch, start a new trash pile in back, clean the cobwebs out of the outhouse and rearrange the layout of dead cars in the front yard so you can squeeze a few more in.

8) Full Catfish Moon – Time to go fishing. Plenty of fried catfish for all.

9) Full Fair Moon – This is county fair season. Prepare for the upcoming contests, such as cow pie flinging, long distance spitting and the “guess-my-gender” judging competition.

10) Full Nuts Moon – Squirrels start gathering nuts for winter. Plenty of squirrel potpie for all.

11) Full Jerky Moon – Hunting season. Shoot a bunch of deer, turkey and other tasty tidbits of nature. Skin ‘em, can ‘em, make jerky and mount the biggest one on the wall.

12) Full Ammo Moon – Time to prepare for winter. Make a trip into town to stock up on the necessities of life, such as chewing tobacco, camouflage and ammo.

Quote for the Day -- “The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” Tahereh Mafi

Bret Burquest is the author of 9 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and greets every full moon with a gratified howl.