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Going to see ‘A Parie Home Companion’ and I’m Sorta excited

phcIn a few minutes, Alicia and I will be making the pilgrimage to see A Prarie Home Companion, in Brevard, NC.

That show begin a month after I graduated from high school, and I’ve been a fan since then.

My dad liked it, and I have a vivid memory of sitting in the car on trips and listening and laughing. After all, I was an English major, and Mr. Keillor has always had a knack for English major jokes.

I’m not much of a concert goer. I could count on both hands the number of I’ve been to in my life. I’ve been to more political rallies — and a whole lot more training and development weekends :)

But this is special. He’s retiring, and I’ve always wanted to go.

So this is just to say I’m pretty excited!

Conservative think tank workers cancel July 4th Vacations

novacationDeclaring this past week “an emergency,” conservative think tank thinkers have canceled July 4th vacations so they can use the time to come up with new ideas for the future of our country.

“We lost same-sex marriage, health care, and the rebel flag — all in one week,” said the head of RTTCTOA.

“And Obama looks a lot less Muslim now, after he sang Amazing Grace from the pulpit of a Christian church.

“It’s time to regroup. We have plenty of money with which to spread our ideas, but we need some new ideas to spread.”

Some of the ideas under development are

– Making Hillary Clinton look like a murderer

– Making Hillary Clinton look like a thief

– Making Hillary Clinton look like she’s brain damaged

– Making Hillary Clinton look old

“All of these ideas have potential, but they are underdeveloped. We need a comprehensive strategy, clear talking points, and a few rehearsals before we launch.

“It takes time to convert an idea into the truth. That’s why we’re working over the fourth.”

Scrum, chickens, and extra time

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past two weeks trying to outsmart a clever flock of backyard chickens.

I did not succeed.

Humans have a long history of dominating these little creatures. We eat their eggs and eat them. We live longer, eat more interesting food, live more interesting lives, use languages, create science and art. So one could say that we are the superior species and I’m happy to report that in the end my will has prevailed.

chicken in hot weatherBut let’s back up.

The last two weeks have been very, very busy.

I work at home, which is great. I love it and I’m not complaining.

That said, I publish a paper 52 weeks a year and vacations are few and far between.

Two weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to take an eight day trip to Seattle. While there was some work involved, and two days of training — most of the time was spent enjoying ourselves and visiting with family.

However, on the plane, I listened to a very awesome book called Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time …

I was inspired. When I got home, I subscribed to a software service called Scrumdo.com. The system is designed for software developers. I’m not that — but I’ve applied the method to my own brand of madness, using it as a kind of ‘to do’ list and have, well, gotten a lot done…

I’ve done stuff around the house, accomplished tasks for the business, attended networking events, made progress on the writing of a screenplay, participated in a training and development program, and other stuff…

And I’ve also spent a lot of time dealing with something I was not planning on doing — trying to outthink a chicken!

It’s been a grand experiment, an adventure.

chicksOver the winter, our older, retired birds (who had not been laying eggs for some time) got even older, and died.

In the past, we got chickens when they were young — a few months old.

This time, I went with my daughter and her friend to Tractor Supply and picked out a shoebox full of iddy biddies — one day old chicks.

Alicia and I have been busily obsessed with the raising of these birds, and they have thrived.

At first, they pecked and chirped under a warming lamp in the house, then on the porch, and finally in the henhouse (with an extension cord and light to keep them warm). Next came warmer weather — no more lamp.

Finally, the day came when it was time to let them free range. We let them loose.

Such freedom. They were a joy to watch. It was fascinating to see them stick together. If one chick decided to dart across the yard and explore the area underneath a bush, the others scurried to join her. They were a tightly knit group — funny, adventurous, and entertaining.

chicken in a treeAnd then, a couple of weeks ago, the summer heat kicked in abruptly, early, and with a vengeance. The temps reached the upper 90’s and that’s where we’ve been each day.

One night, after sundown, when I went to close the door of the hen pen, they were not inside.

Moments later, I found them, high up in a tree (actually a large holly bush), enjoying the night air.

The next morning, they were eager to get back inside for food and water.

We punished them by leaving them inside for a week — a time of retraining.

The idea is that these chickens live in the hen house, lay eggs in the morning, free range and eat bugs in the yard during the afternoon, and return to their pen at night, so they’re in their proper place to lay eggs in the morning for our breakfast.

They are due to start laying in three weeks, and we need the routine in place NOW.

During their week in the hole, I replaced the door with a screen, and then upgraded to a shutter window, for ventilation.

Again, we let them free range.

I’ll spare you the drama, but after they spent that night in the tree (all together) getting them back in the henhouse was not as easy.

I ask you. How do they get to a height of 10 or 15 feet in a tree?

My assumption was that they flew there.

So we sentenced them to another week of captivity and then clipped their wings. It’s a two person job. I held the chicken and fanned out the wing while Alicia administered the feather cutting.

We’ve done this before, with past chickens, to keep them from flying over the fence. It does not hurt the chicken. It’s like a haircut. You only clip the feathers on one side. That way they can still fly — but they’re off balance and fly in a circle and can’t go high enough to jump a fence or, presumably, reach the upper branches of a large holly bush.

Last night, just before dusk, we gave these clipped fowl a few minutes of freedom.

My theory was this: During their week of incarceration, they had probably forgotten about the tree, and if even if they remembered it, it was already late in the day. They didn’t have time for a lot of exploring. They would stay close, and go to bed in their proper place at night.

And even if they did not feel the time crunch and wanted to try the tree shenanigans again, they would be hindered by their lack of balance.

I should have known. The past clippings never stopped them from jumping a fence.

They slept in the tree.

I spent much of today trying to coax them back into the henhouse.

They certainly remembered the clipping and took it personally. They held it against me. They were aloof. They kept their distance.

I gave them treats of pineapple and banana. I shook the can of cracked corn (Pavlov’s discovery is pretty obvious when you shake a can of cracked corn near a group of chickens. They will come running for it).

chickens in holly bushThe plan was to befriend and outsmart them. I’ve done it before. Lure them home, into the pen, and then come up with another plan.

They spent the day ignoring me and my treats.

They would eat the treats, but not the way I had in mind. I would throw out some corn and they would act oblivious, like they didn’t care. Then, when I walked away and looked back from a distance, they would enjoy the treats.

Manipulation, domination, and trickery did not work.

This evening, at dusk, I stood at attention, daring them to fly into the tree — and I got to see it. They weren’t flying into the tree. They jumped, one limb at a time — up, up, and up.

A couple of them (such good girls!) actually went to bed in their pen.

A couple of them roosted on branches I could reach. After dark, I grabbed them and put them to bed.

When it’s dark, a chicken is nearly blind and completely vulnerable (which is one of the reasons I don’t want them in the trees — for their own safety!).

Tonight, with Alicia shining a flashlight up into the tree, I was the one who was perched — perched atop a stepladder and still unable to reach these girls. So I bent the branches until I could grab a sleeping chicken’s foot and wrestle it off it’s comfy branch.

With one, rather than falling off a ladder, I had to pry its leg from the limb and drop it to the ground and chase it around the yard.

Like I said, a chicken is nearly blind in the dark — so while it wasn’t easy, I did have the vision advantage and finally chased it into the darkest of shadows and grabbed it.

Now they’re all in, where they are safe and have a modest sized run. It’s time for plan B, whatever that is.

So for the past two weeks, that’s my life. The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time… and spending that extra time trying to outsmart a chicken.

Responsibility cast and production team

L-R. Sam Post, Markeita Cornelius, Pamela Mitchell, Matthew Holley, Nik Blocker, Holly Horton.


I had an eventful Easter Sunday.

The Theatre Department at Lander University, in Greenwood, SC, put up an evening of Student Directed One-Act Plays — and they held a Sunday matinee.

Senior Nik Blocker directed one of mine, Responsibility.

I went to the show. It was a bit of a drive, but

Continue reading Responsibility cast and production team

Who’s the fool?

April Fools Goat

Yesterday, I played an online April Fool’s joke.

I asked Alicia to take a picture of me in the yard. I called the dog and the chicken over. The chicken did not obey, so Alicia sort of herded it in my direction.

And she took the picture.

I slapped on a a picture

Continue reading Who’s the fool?

Yard Sale


I wrote this little play for the Lee Street 10 minute play festival. The guidelines requested a comedy with the theme Yard Sale. Alas, the period of suspense has ended and this script was not picked. Which gives me the opportunity to share it here

The picture here is my front yard

Continue reading Yard Sale

Buddy Snider


A week ago, my friend Buddy Snider passed away, and it broke my heart.

Buddy grew up next to the City Park tennis courts. Boyd Gilman lived across the street. That was like my second neighborhood, where I hung out all summer and most days after school. In the summers, my parents would

Continue reading Buddy Snider

Pretty juice


After making juice this morning, prior to stirring and pouring out, I thought it deserved a picture, or two.

It was so beautiful!

In the picture on the left, there’s a bottom layer of green — spinach, lemon, orange, apple, and cucumber.

Then there’s the beet — an overpowering deep red that, moments

Continue reading Pretty juice

There’s never been a film like Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

Last night I went to a late movie at Concord Mills, sat in a nearly empty theatre, and saw a movie that certainly has no equal in film.

Richard Linklater spent twelve years shooting “Boyhood.” Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason, is seven years old in the first scene. He’s nineteen at the

Continue reading There’s never been a film like Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood”

Remembering Maya Angelou — a teacher of life

In 1994, just before Christmas, I embarrassed myself, just a little, at Maya Angelou’s house.

She had made a great big, delicious lasagna for her students, and I served myself a large portion.

“That’s too much, Mr. Post,” she said. “You don’t need to eat that much.”

She was right. I put some

Continue reading Remembering Maya Angelou — a teacher of life