The Humble Farmer

Banquet Speaker, Entertainer, Humorist

Name:
Location: St. George, Maine, United States

I enjoy standing on stages in front of sober people who like to laugh. I enjoy playing bass in a jazz band.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

January 21, 2005 ------ Radio Rants

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I have a terrible habit called reading. You and I both have friends who have never heard of it. I’m probably like you, because I’ll read most anything, and because I can understand a disturbing amount of what I read in French or Dutch or Swedish newspapers, I don’t like to watch the evening news. Before I was old enough to read I probably had difficulty understanding that my view of the world might be but one of many. Egocentrism is the inability to see the world from someone else’s perspective. I just read that in a psychology textbook, and I mention it because will fit in here with something I just read in a history textbook. As early as 444 B. C. Chinese astronomers had computed the year as 365 ¼ days. In 28 B. C. astronomers in China observed sunspots, which the Europeans didn’t learn about for another 1600 years. You know as well as I do that I won’t be able to remember any of this in a week, even though I find these little gee-whiz facts very interesting. What you might find even more interesting is that I have a few friends I couldn’t say this to. If I did, they would snap, “If you think China is so great, why don’t you go live there?”
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You know that I will pick up a book, open it in the middle, and start to read, just to see what interesting things are in there. Unable to sleep at midnight, I pulled Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance off the shelf and stood there until I’d read the last two chapters. I thought I must have missed something by not reading the first 30 chapters, until I noticed that the book was praised in a review by Richard Bach.
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Hi humble, Hope we can visit some time this year. We spent the month of December celebrating our 50th anniversary. Glenn. Thank you for writing, Glenn. Yes, being 68 years old, I can understand that it could take a whole month to celebrate a 50th anniversary.
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Dear Humble: I heard your suggestion that itching triggered human speech. I have long subscribed to the theory that speech developed after humans were colonized by the dogs. The very first words were "NO!", "Stop That!", "Drop It!", "Down!", "Sit!", "Shut Up!", "Out!". Recently, right here in Litchfield, we had a very large fire. It was set by an angry town employee who was fired for lying about his education on his application. He tore up a copy of "Gulliver's Travels" and used the pages to set fire to a tire dump. The local paper headlined: DIRE LIAR WITH HIRE IRE USES SATIRE QUIRE TO SET PYRE FIRE IN TIRE MIRE regards, Richard
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This morning I blogged for the first time. Why did I blog? I get a newsletter that is sent out to professional speakers. It contained the blog web site. I went to the blog web site and was able to post a story out there in my very own humble farmer blog. From the little I read, blogging is a new rage. Then, I googled humble farmer blog, and found an on line blog letter, which is no more than a public exchange of emails between two friends that anyone can read. One person told another person that I was playing Django right at that minute on my radio program and they even sent the Maine Public Radio website so the other person could plug it in and listen. Last month when I was Googling the humble farmer, I turned up what I now realize must have been a blog site. And although there was a picture of a young man who had just moved up to Maine to work at L. L. Beans, he didn’t give his name or address --- probably because he said that The humble Farmer program was his favorite show on the radio. Which is, of course, why he turned up when I googled humble farmer. I lifted his picture and put it in with my other radio friends who have been good enough to send me pictures. Blogging. You and I will probably see the word all over now that we’ve had our attention called to it. Tell me what you know about blogging. I’m humblefarmer@midcoast.com Blog and blogging are so new that a red underline appears under them when you type them in your computer.
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You know as well as I do that blogging can be a waste of time. One you get out there on the Internet looking at things, you might as well be looking the pages in my web site which seem to go on forever. Anyway, when you set up your blog web site, you type in your favorite music and your favorite movie and your favorite books. And if you have “Django” typed in as your favorite music, you go back to your site and click on “Django” and it will bring up 50 or 60 people who also like Django. Unfortunately, most people who have blog sites like to remain anonymous, so although their picture is there along with the fact that they love Django, I don’t think there is any way to contact them. You know how much I’d love to email them our Public Radio web site with a note that here is a place where they can hear Django anytime.
http://www.mainepublicradio.org/ondemand/humblefarmer.html
Although there was a whole raft of people who also liked the movie What About Bob, I was amazed that I seem to be the only blogger in the world whose favorite book is the one by Mickey Spillane called, Doden Pa Dig Vantar.
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Perhaps you know people who have done this. Five or six years ago a widow, who was in my high school class, met someone over the Internet and moved a thousand miles away when she married him. I’ve always wondered how you could marry someone you’d met over the Internet but I suppose it is no more dangerous than marrying someone you met over a table of food in the darkened cellar of a Camden church like I did. My wife, Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, was even raised in Connecticut, but I still have to admit that she’s wonderful. She’s a Type A whose genes are programmed to cook and scrub and clean and push a lawn mower 18 hours every day, so I figure I did all right. But when I blogged for the first time this morning, I realized that if you lived to do nothing but read Shakespeare, you could easily blog up hundreds of possible soul mates who also eat, breathe and drink Shakespeare. Blogging would expedite the mating process. You would be taking even less of a chance than the 12-year-old Spanish princesses who were sent up to England to marry kings. Which reminds me that my wife Marsha was only 13 when I started teaching school. It’s just as well she wasn’t one of my students. They probably wouldn’t have renewed my contract.
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Dear humble.......I like getting the Whine & Snivel before Friday. Thank you!!!!!!!!! It will help me enjoy the program that much more when it is on. Best wishes to you both for a healthy, happy 2OO5!!! Linda
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You might remember that I once told you what turned up when I Googled a sequence of words. I’m sorry that I can’t remember what the words were because I’d like you to try them for yourself, but I do remember that they brought up an eclectic assortment ranging from Devil Worship to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. This was just brought to mind when I employed a fascinating Internet tool called stats to see how many people had looked at my web pages. According to this stats tool, two people found me by typing “nude bed and breakfast” into a search engine. Nude bed and breakfast? Is there such a thing as a nude bed and breakfast, and if there is who would want to stay there? Most of us look bad enough with our clothes on. I went to my Bed & Breakfast page and typed in “nude” to see how this could have happened. And sure enough, there was the word “nude” on my web page. How did that come to pass? I posted this reply on my web page when Sherri up at the Rockland Chamber of Commerce asked me if we had a television set. “Si! Por su puesto. Adelphia's cup runneth over: Friends from away will be delighted to discover that even way out here in the willywags they can enjoy preachers quoting from John 14, half nude girls demonstrating exercise machines, sales pitches on jewelry and weight loss, a very fuzzy channel where people appear to be playing tennis and two channels where Clint Eastwood speaks a dubbed in French augmented with French subtitles.”
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You’ve heard me say that every day I read a page or two in a high school history book. The one presently by my bedside is People and Nations, A World History. My undergraduate degree is in history, but I’m like Henry Adams in that I’ll readily admit that I really don’t know anything about history. I’m still trying to understand why so few of us bother to put our lives and times in perspective when we can do it so easily by reading a few pages in a high school history book. You might think that people and the way they operate never change. But today I believe I can point out one basic difference between a highly civilized society and a primitive group of marauding raiders. You tell me if it would make an interesting topic for a PhD dissertation. Uncivilized people thought nothing of invading their neighbors and stealing everything they could get their hands on. I’m talking here about the Hittites, the Babylonians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Persians, the Indo-Aryans, and of course you had the same thing going on in China and India and any other place in the world where one group had something that another group wanted. Yes, back in the old days, uncivilized people simply marched into town, took what they wanted, and either killed everyone they could catch or carried them off as slaves. This barbaric way of operating went on for several thousand years, right up through Viking times. But then, as people became more civilized, the process changed. By the time of the First Crusade, leaders in civilized God fearing countries had to fabricate an excuse to attack and plunder their neighbors.
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For $499 people in Boston can buy a dummy to put in the window to discourage would be robbers. The dummy has broad shoulders; a firm expression molded into a rugged face with a square set jaw, and huge arms and legs.
It is being outsold, however, by the dummy of a small, rat faced man with a gun.
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Have you ever heard of an impressive exercise called tai chi? If I have the name right, from what I have seen, anyone who knows tai chi is a pretty limber person, indeed, and if I lived next door to a tai chi master, I’d be tai chiing for all I’m worth. The next best thing is exercise class, which I attend three times a week. It might surprise you to hear that I can now do things that I couldn’t do a month ago, like deep knee bends so I can squeegee the shower stall right down to the floor. The more I think about it, the more I believe that some old people simply freeze up, or get fat and die, simply because they don’t get any exercise. And I am guilty on both accounts here. Do you exercise? You would be amazed how hard your muscles get after only a month or two of exercise. The muscles in my arms and shoulders are hard hard hard. You’ve seen the men who work out on exercise machines in the TV ads. They have huge ugly arms and shoulders that I’m sure my wife Marsha would find repulsive. Luckily, I don’t have that bone and muscle structure to begin with. But I started to say that although a speeding bullet would probably bounce off the hardened muscles in my arms and shoulders, you wouldn’t even know they were there. I’m still a stooped and scrawny mild-mannered reporter. On top of that, for the past week I’ve have a vague pain somewhere in my right shoulder. You can see at once that there is a lesson to be learned here. My posture is so bad, I’m so stooped over, that there is a danger involved in hardening up my muscles: My skeletal structure is not designed to support it.
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When you get your newspaper you probably turn first to the court record, just to find out what your neighbors have been up to. Being a police officer isn’t easy where I come from. Cops rushed into one home to break up a domestic argument and found a young couple trying to catch a mouse. And here’s a fellow who fell asleep in his pickup and almost smothered in a pile of bills in small denominations. Experienced crime scene investigators determined that he was on his way to town to make his monthly health insurance payment. And then I see that in only one week, five different people ran into deer. Total estimated damage to the five cars was $9500. Right below that we see that a fellow was fined $1,000 for hunting deer in closed season. Doesn’t it make you wonder if we have our priorities in order?
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Last night I dreamed I was helping Ruth Ann fill up her soda cooler. I think that’s what it was called. A soda cooler. When I was a kid they had a soda cooler in the store. It was a rectangular metal tub with two metal covers on the top that were attached with hinges. When you wanted a soda, which cost a nickel, you lifted the cover and the soda was in about 4 inches of cool water. Must have had some kind of refrigeration device underneath that cooled the water. I mentioned soda cooler to my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, and she didn’t know what I was talking about. Said she’d never seen a soda cooler. And now that I stop to think of it, I haven’t seen one for five or ten years, have you?
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humble, Am home now and sharing Christmas with our family's adopted Colby international student, Andrei Roman from Bucharest, Romania.I was showing him your web page, where we both read about your adventures in Bucharest and Andrei had a flashback. He remembered that his aunt, Zizi Stefanescu-Goanga, who attended the 10th International Linguistics Conference, had met the "crazy American representative." According to your biographical information, it had to be you, as the lone American representative, whether or not you were the only American to apply for the honor. Andrei remembered that his aunt mentioned that she had received three letters after the conference from you with lots of family information. Could it be? Now, some 20+ years later, in the next generation, Zizi, whom you met in Bucharest, has a nephew attending Colby in the Great State of Maine.....go figure!your pal, Steve

2 Comments:

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