Sunday, April 13, 2014

Weekend Musings, Memories And Observations

I sat a while in the parking lot at the mall the yesterday, while my wife did a round inside for her health. I should do the same, but refuse to walk on that much concrete. Sometimes, though, the Mighty Dachshund and I go for a stroll around the grounds at such times. Yesterday, however, I went online, using their Wifi and did a few things.

During that time, a gaggle of geese flew over as they made their way to the huge mowed area in the back of the structure to graze for a while. Their honking stopped once they hit the ground and started the task at hand. My little companion stuck her head out the window just in time to see them land and gave them an insulted yap, to complain about them landing without asking her permission. Her Royal Lowness seems to think that she owns the world. She didn’t notice the great blue heron that silently flew over a minute later, making great slow silent strokes that made it look as if anyone should be able to fly.

A train sounded its whistle for a grade crossing just out of sight, and then came through the small section of woods between the mall and the store just upstream. Guess I forgot to mention that the Ohio was rolling southwestward just beyond the lawn, the tracks and the woods. In not too long a time, the train was gone, with only a single growl from my little friend. I suppose she thought that she had no business mouthing off to something THAT large. Soon, four teenage boys came strolling down the tracks and then sat down side by side on the nearest track to discuss whatever is important to gentlemen of that age these days.

When I got home, I repaired one of our water hoses. I’d ruined the male end last winter when taking off a corroded nozzle to allow the hose to drain. Since the neighbor likes to have bonfires, and our home is surrounded on three sides with trees, my wife wanted me to get it fixed, in case he got careless. It was at a bonfire where I met my first wife many years ago. I guess that goes to prove that not everything that begins well ends well. I spent a lot of hours with friends or family, sitting or standing around burning brush heaps, campfires and bonfires in my youth. I must say that I miss the camaraderie of those days, though I wouldn’t choose to reconnect with every person from those days.

The three of us took a drive in the next county today. The first thing I noticed is that their highway department is as stupid as ours, when it comes to sign placement. Have you ever noticed how many times they don’t tell you that a road is closed until you’ve passed the last possible place to turn around easily? And then there are those 55mph signs posted only a few yards before the signs that recommend the safe speed for the immediate bend in the road is only 30mph. Of course, I should know that common sense and bureaucracy don’t mix.

You know the old saying that people are the same all over? It’s partly true, at least. As I tooled along at a “overly safe” pace on a crooked road with 55mph signs, they would ride my bumper the entire length of the passing zones, and then pass on a double yellow at the start of a bend.

Also, if you ever want to see how slow “fast” food can be, stop at a chain burger joint in a small town. If you live in a city where things are a bit faster paced, you’ll have time for two nervous breakdowns and one appendectomy before you get your order. It was hot and we wanted some ice cream for us and the pooch, but we ended up leaving without it.

Now that it’s warm enough that an air conditioner would be handy on occasion, I learned today that the one in my truck isn’t working. My wife’s body has never regulated its temperature properly, and she was a bit over-heated when we arrived home. Luckily, the house air-conditioner is still working and she got cooled off okay.

Sitting here at my desk, I see the price list that arrived yesterday from a company that buys botanicals. Years ago, I collected a few herbs and roots and dried them. They made a fair-sized package, but when I got my check, I saw that it was for “samples” and amounted to less than $20. With the amount of work involved, I knew that I’d never do THAT again, but at least I got a good laugh out of it. For one thing, the prices they pay are so low that it barely covers the shipping.

Strangely enough, those botanicals are turned into common medications that are prescribed by doctors who scoff at herbal medicine. I suspect their attitude is more a matter of protecting their turf (and the related cash-flow) than on any scientific evidence. Most botanicals are also edible, so I think they have more value to the average person as food to help PREVENT sickness in the first place. © 2014


Vicki said...

I like reading what you write. Sometimes makes me feel like I'm sitting in the back seat, going along for the ride.

Ralph Goff said...

Air conditioning in April? Well we do live miles apart. I am sitting here with freezing feet and the heater running. On the positive side I will never need to spend a cent on air conditioning for the home.

Gorges Smythe said...

I consider that a great compliment, Vicki. Thank you.

Well, Ralph, it only got up to 84. I didn't need it and the dog didn't need it, but my wife did. Gotta keep the missus comfortable or she gets sick.

Chickenmom said...

Would love to hear the sound of train whistles again. I miss them.

Gorges Smythe said...

These are the diesels, of course. Nothing like the old steam whistles, Cm.