Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I have been "missing in action" for the last few days partly because of shear laziness and partly from lack of interest.  I can attribute the laziness to the heat--summer has finally arrived--which simply saps mental and physical energy.  I have roused myself early in the mornings to water everything in the gardens and every so often to hunt down Japanese beetles to drown.  I have another month of their "chowing down" season to get through and the more of them I kill now the fewer survivors to lay eggs.  I don't expect or even try to kill every one.  We should have cooler weather today but it rained during the night so I will wait until later to spot water what ever needs it.  But another round of rain should come in for the mid-morning hours.  We'll see.

As to as lack of interest--

Ten years ago during the week I watched the local morning news (2 hours), Good Morning America (1 hour), a mix of channels (Scifi, History, CNBC, etc.) during the day depending on what was on, Jeopardy (half hour), local evening news (from 4 to 5:30), national evening news (5:30-6), and finish up with another mix of programs depending on what was on (PBS, History, Scifi, Al Jazeera, etc.)  But over the years the kinds of programming changed (Scifi and History added more and more "reality" shows which didn't interest us), shows we liked developed in ways which left us utterly uninterested (Lost lost us in the middle of the third season) or ended their run which wasn't necessarily a bad thing (Battlestar Galactica and Eureka told their stories and ended before they became boring rehashes.)  The news has become repetitive and uninformative presented with maximum drama and no real content.  All of that was broken up by repetitive and often annoying ads.

I used to be a "news junkie" but lately there isn't anything really new.  Even "new" developments on an old story are rarely new.  We turned off the morning news after the weather report--the only interesting segment for us.  We have turned off the evening news early because they had nothing new.  For the most part the stories simply drift out of the media's ken without explanation or resolution.  Greece, as an example, has disappeared because the situation has gone from a roaring boil of crisis to a simmer on the back burner.  But the contentious issues haven't been resolved and very little of those issues have been explained.  Or how about this story, totally absent from our media, which reveals the deep fissures in the European (Dis)Union?

On the political front--can anyone really tell me that they find the clowns vying for a Presidential election over a year away terribly interesting?  The news reports of the "contest" leave me angry, frustrated, and very, very bored.  I follow politics mainly to keep a tab on what the bastards (of both parties) are proposing to make my life harder.  As far as commenting--what can I say beyond what I have said repeatedly and often with more profanity.  I get tired of swearing and I have ceased to be amazed by the abysmal level of stupidity.

I like Nimue Brown's blog and today's entry is a good one.  Whether a system, such as capitalism, works one has to define terms.  What do we mean by "work?"  If we chose to define "work" as providing unprecedented amounts of material goods to a wide (though now narrowing) group of people or unprecedented wealth (often ephemeral and to an even narrower group of people) or providing unprecedented profits (same caveats as above), then capitalism "works."  However, if we choose other metrics, as Nimue Brown does, then it doesn't work at all.  And today's capitalism doesn't work like the capitalism described by that patron saint of capitalism, John Lock.

I do love the Contrary Farmer.  I can sympathize with control freak gardeners having been one once.  But no garden has turned out in the fall as I planned it in the spring.  Sometimes things work; sometimes they don't.  All you can do is step back and punt.  Like Logsdon age cured me (to a large extent but not completely) of being a control freak.  I just thank the gods of nature for what I get.

So California farmers are beginning to switch to less water demanding drops.  About time.  I don't mean that pejoratively.  I recognize the reluctance to cut one's losses and shift over to something else after a large investment of time and money--even if the project isn't working well.  And until the last few years the project--growing thirsty crops in a desert--paid off handsomely (for some at least.)  Given that the projections of climatologists calls for at least five years of above normal rainfall to recharge the ground water in California, shifting to less water intensive crops is a good idea.

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