the big experiment

We’ve had our chickens for six months, and we’ve had our dog, Jackie Mudpie, for seven years.

Each afternoon, we let the chickens free range for about 90 minutes, before dark — and we keep Jackie inside.

So today, in order to clean and move the hen house, we created an experiment.

We braced ourselves for a possible dog-chicken attack, and let them be together.

The results are in and they are conclusive.

Not only should the farmer and the cowman be friends; so should the chickens and the doggie.

The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends

I have a tendency to get worked up at election time.

This year, I did a pretty good job of staying cool, calm, and collected.

The best way to do this is by not watching TV — which I did not do for several weeks.

Then, about a week ago, I posted this little video on my Facebook.

I thought it was funny, but it garnered some harsh, emotional opposition.

Thus began the phase of me getting “worked up.”

I wrote a blog, and the response to that got a little personal.

What’s going on!

I know.  I know.  Don’t talk about politics or religion.

But news, weather, and sports should be okay.  These days, politics is news and news is politics — at the expense of real, consequential news.

But these tea party folks aren’t looking for a discussion.  They’re looking for a fight.  Many of them, it seems, just discovered the U.S. Constitution.

It makes me nostalgic for the day, prior to the Bush-Gore election, when the world wide web was much younger, when I tried to teach a 5th grade class a lesson on the electoral college.

I had the computer hooked up to a big TV, so you could see the red and blue states and click on Florida once for blue, and again for red.

This was fancy technology at the time — which was the point of the lesson.  I was demonstrating for teachers how the internet could be used, along with a TV, in the classroom.

As I began explaining that Presidents were elected by an electoral college, state by state, the classroom teachers eyes glazed over.  After a short time, they interrupted me to say that this material wasn’t important and that the children weren’t interested.

They were right.  Nobody was interested.  Until a few weeks later when we all got a huge civics lesson.

Now, it seems, it’s gotten crazy.  We’re all too interested.  And some of the novice politicos don’t have the best manners.

I remember handing out pamphlets for McGovern, and then going to Nixon’s inauguration.

Win or lose, it was all quite interesting — but it was more respectful.

On my blog, I wasn’t sure whether or not to approve the comments or delete them.  I approved and argued that people can respectfully disagree without getting…well…nasty.

Then, in order to feel a little better, I moseyed down to the Democratic headquarters and made a few GOTV phone calls.

And watched a bit more TV.

And blogged again…

And watched more TV.


But, in order to get myself back on track, I took a long walk today with my dog — out in nature.  It was quite beautiful out there, with only the sounds of leaves and breeze and geese.  I noticed that geese love to talk to me, but when I answer, it seems to throw them off.  They get quiet.

And I started humming one of my favorite songs:  “The Farmer and the Cowman Should be Friends.”

This made me feel great — but a little old.