The Watering Hole; Thursday August 7 2014; One Day in the Life of An August

A couple of months back I made a deal with myself, a compact of sorts, one in which I promised to enjoy no less than two hours every morning in a realm completely FREE of both politics AND every other human foible — not an easy task in this screwy corner of this screwy world. Still, I had the means at hand: climb on the old bicycle each morning at ten minutes before sunrise, duly outfitted with a bottle of cold water, a pack of gum, tire tool/patch kit and pump, cell phone (and insurance card) just in case I get run over by a pickup, and most important of all, my camera. The goal: twenty miles of riding plus as many photo captures of whatever Nature might care to toss my way.

So far, so good: 1270 miles since June 1 (67 days, 19 mpd avg) plus a huge pile of jpg’s. And NO POLITICS!! Until the other day, that is. The only blessing was that it wasn’t me or any other human that splayed the political bombshell on my lens. Nope, it was Mother Nature herself (and my guess is that she really had no idea what she’d done, no evil intent of any kind — or so I HOPE!).

Here’s the way it went. I took off at around 5:50 AM, MDT, and over the course of two hours ran across some interesting stuff, all courtesy of Mother Nature. First, the early morning illumes over and upon our local lake:

Dawn over Beckwith 252

Next, a very happy bug enjoying his early morning floral soliloquy:
Happy Bug 301

And then another very happy bug doing the same:

Happy Bug 312And next a lesson, one in which Nature demonstrated (with a wee bit o’ help from moi) that no matter how crazy, how disoriented the world might appear, nothing ‘out there’ ever really changes. Note that even when ‘the world’ is turned upside down, the sun still illuminates, the morning sky remains a vibrant blue, the mountains forever stand tall, and the weeds don’t seem to mind if they happen to be pointing down instead of up. What a Grand Place exists ‘out there’! What a Wondrous World it is!

Hollydot reflections 276

Then it happened. About a mile or two on down the road, suddenly up popped the big UH OH! Out of the corner of my eye I spotted him. He was standing alone and peacefully munching the luscious and rain-fed grass in yonder pasture. I watched him with some admitted fascination for several minutes until somewhere in the process it struck me: I was gazing at the metaphoric personification of humankind’s behavioral dilemma, cryptically disguised as –

A Pasture Bull! 

Pasture Bull 274

Ah yes, the Pasture Bull! Fortunately, he was well inside his domain’s (electrified) fence line so I had no need to worry that he might mistake me for either a cow or an evil Matador. Nor did I have to try sneak up to get a close-up — thank all gods for the zoom lens!

Got home, pulled the photo up on the screen and . . . well, suddenly it all came back and brought to mind some words I’d written several years ago, a paragraph that wound up in my book concerning political conspiracies and power struggles amongst those generally mean-spirited buffoons who suffer under far far too many false impressions of their earthly and cultural import (think Cheney, Dubya, Putin, Reagan, Nixon, Krushchev, . . . Napoleon? Sure, why not. The list is endless):

“There are those who see themselves as gods of one sort or another, . . . and they’re not unique to only our modern world. History amply demonstrates. Personally, I see them–each and every one of them–as being nothing more than a manifestation of a genetic carryover of some sort, a trait inherited from certain of our evolutionary predecessors. I mean, take your ordinary pasture bull as an example. He has no intellect, nothing between his ears beyond the instinctive knowledge of what he has to do to have his way with the rest of the herd. But I have a dollar that says the meaner the bull, the more godlike he’d see himself as being–IF only he could think. It’s probably a blessing that he can’t. Think. Too bad some of our own species’ bulls aren’t similarly blessed. I mean, if they were only the mental equivalent of a pasture bull, we could simply shoo them into a corral, lock the gate, and let them bellow. No such luck, though. We elect them, crown them, anoint them, bow before them, die for them, make them rich, famous. Why is that, I wonder? Been wondering that most of my life, actually.”

I have to wonder: why does all of that — the words, the photo — bring to mind the word “Teabagger”? Maybe because it all . . . ummm . . . so perfectly defines them, describes their ultimate fantasies? Ah, well, who can really say, y’ know?

Anyway, ponder that issue for a moment or two; allow your mind to create a mental image that melds Pasture Bull with Teabagger and then take a peek at the (unattributed) photo below, followed by a quick read of the handful of what seem to be appropriate and descriptive quotes:


 “Political liberty, the peace of a nation, and science itself are gifts for which Fate demands a heavy tax in blood!”

“Narrow minds can develop as well through persecution as through benevolence; they can assure themselves of their power by tyrannizing . . . others.”

“Nature makes only dumb animals. We owe the fools to society.”

“There’s nothing so fearsome as the revolt of a sheep . . .”

Those tidbits of descriptive wisdom are all courtesy of 19th century French novelist and playwright, Honoré de Balzac; interesting how appropriately his words work to describe today’s American Tea Party. What’s even more satisfying, however, is that the words do NOT describe the behavior or passions of even the most aggressive pasture bull — means that Mark Twain was right in his thesis that mankind has descended from the higher animals! Seems to me, too, that allathat stands as proof positive that every Teabagger everywhere is therefore definable as INFERIOR to each and every pasture bull, given that when compared with their eternally unsavory human mimics, each and every pasture bull automatically becomes a gentle and fair-minded critter!

Yet one more win for Mother Nature! And better yet, my “One Day in the Life of an August” was NOT unduly interrupted by political . . . by political what . . . by political Bullcookies maybe?

Actually, watching that bull do his thing was so far more interesting than watching, say, the Gohmert-Bachmann-King triumverate trying to do THEIR non-thing that I think maybe the bull deserves some name recognition. Were it up to me, in fact, I’d name him Honoré de Balzac! He’s clearly earned it! 😀


oops 😳

55 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Thursday August 7 2014; One Day in the Life of An August

  1. Ah yes, the pasture bull. They’re everywhere, more get put out to pasture everyday. One such has wandered up my road, towed behind his boss cow. Disgruntled Vietnam veteran, blaming the failure of his GI Bill to provide him with a career as a doctor, instead he had to settle for spending his working life as a radiologist. Retired now, he has a considerable pension, has just sold his house (she kept hers) and apparently has some financial cushion which he hides behind a “poor me, everything is so expensive” pile of BS. He talks big plans, energy self sufficiency, a shop where he can make and ship “product” from (I still don’t know what his product is, something made out of wood, he has every high end woodworking power tool I’ll never need that he thinks he can run off of solar panels and a $$$$ hydroelectric system); all from a small chalet which he and the aforementioned slow bovine rent. On property he does not own. Big talkers, they showed up here through the law firm the (elderly, failing health) owners use to determine their late life course through modern predatory society. The bull’s heifer is considerably younger, she’s the paralegal in the law office. Getting a whiff of manure here yet? They bitch about taxes, and want to (when they get their own property) build a 12×12 cabin to live in because they could avoid taxes and building codes. 2 people plus two extremely overweight and poorly behaved large dogs in a 12×12? Not going to work. They have a lot of general debris strewn about the place already and they’ve only been here three months. He has a big truck and trailer, some sort of low slung sports car under cover in the driveway which he can’t drive up and down on because of the steep road. Hasn’t made room or the time yet to cut his winter firewood, even though he is literally surrounding by acres and acres of prime alder. Easy to cut, easy to split, burns hot… just doesn’t want to do it. He and she want handouts, they want someone else to do the hard work for them, already he’s eying the wood pile I’ve built up in reserve for next winter. (not this coming winter, the one after that). The bull’s cow keeps him perpetually busy pulling such horribly invasive species like thistle and blackberry from the front lawn, and complain about the meadow grass being to high for the dogs to find the ball in.
    -I could go on and on with the minutia, but maybe it’s time for me to go on a metaphorical bike ride, or at least make breakfast.- chuckle-
    They don’t like me anymore. Assuming at first take I was just a simple hired hand and a rube who would buy the bamboozle about how much they know about organic farming and life in the country, they’ve run into the electric fence of realization that not only do I know what’s going on with alternative lifestyles and life at the edge of civilization, but I also might have serious suspicions about their agenda and the moldy fodder they kick about.

    The quote “There’s nothing so fearsome as the revolt of a sheep . . .” is very appropriate here. Beware of greedy self serving conservatives in liberal/progressive attire, all hat and no cattle means there’s something missing from the picture. Mind your step through the fields…
    Thanks for reading this everyone, if you made it through the weeds.

      • LOL… you’ve boiled it down to a fine broulee!
        I think it’s the likely outcome, but they’re going to leave a big pile and a cloud of methane behind when they do.
        Thanks OIMF

  2. I look at the two men in the picture and I don’t think bull, I’ve loved some of my bulls over the years. They’re more like aggressive steers, who retain some of the instincts of the bull, but act on them to no effect. The cow in the middle just makes me think “bullshit”.

    • They certainly have a vacant look.
      (Please pardon some of my analogies above, realizing I’ve used some out of date stereotypes…) 😉

      • Stereotypes exist because some people really do fit them. I can picture the folks you describe. They love an idea, but can’t actually deal with the reality.

        • The term ‘dumb animal’ is a stereotype of sorts. Just because they don’t “reason” doesn’t mean they are stupid.
          They understand cause and effect and can modify behavior, all without a lot of emotion.
          Modern culture preys upon humans by emphasizing emotion over reason, and so then the question truly is “Who’s the dumb animal here?”

          • Courtesy of Mark Twain, a summation:

            In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which the other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.

            Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones–not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.

  3. Former Amb to the Czar of All the Russias, Michael McFaul analyzes Putin’s performance

    “He has one option left—invasion. “

    The prospect of this puts a chilling silence over the passengers in the streetcars and buses in Kyev listening to the news radios…. NATO has spotted now 20,000 troops sporting ‘peacekeeping’ decals on their vehicles and helmets, waiting on the border….

    McFaul doesn’t think even Putin is that stupid. From a brief Twitter conversation with a Russian émigré in NYC (who spent half his time blaming the US for every genocide he could think of)

    “Russia is going to take back whatever it wants because it belongs to us”

    The hatred and the lack of self-awareness runs deep, even for those not pummeled by Putin’s propaganda every day….. someone else said it “felt like August 29th 1939 out here”.

  4. Speaking of Putin — I see he’s retaliating against US and European sanctions by halting all food imports by Russia from the West. Apparently Russia depends on imports to supply about 40% of its food supply so one has to wonder, what could possibly go wrong?

    Imagine the emission pile from the south end of a northbound pasture bull and then say “Putin.”

  5. A while back, I planted the seed with my youngest that the University of Oregon is pretty cool and he should check out their fisheries programs.

    I mentioned UO in passing this weekend, and he said their natural resources programs really are awesome.

    Soooooo, mama plants the seed, boy actually checks it out on his own, and all I have to do is wait for him to be completely disgusted with living in Dumfukistan. 😀

    My powers of under-handed manipulation are fully operational. Thankyouverymuch.

    • Gentle guidance is a better term than underhanded manipulation. I hope he goes for it.
      My son is selling honey this year. He thinks it’s the best thing ever!

    • There are standing openings for entry level hatchery technicians with natural resources (fisheries) degrees. Various parts of the state, but there are always openings. I seriously wanted to work in the hatcheries upriver, but it seems my lack of education has hurt me some… 😉

      • That truly is their loss. Education isn’t only ‘on paper’ – your experience and knowledge would certainly have been beneficial to that position!

        • Thanks Ebb, that was great, had not seen it before.
          A light bulb went off realizing that entry level means toting 50 pound sacks of smelly fish food for a few years and coming home smelling worse, and I’m to old for that now -chuckle-
          It’s all for the best, finding ways to get creative with what the Universe provides achieves the best results. The best use my experience and skills appears to be farming, because farmers have to at least know how to do everything.
          Thank you for the compliment…

  6. I’ll never understand the hatred toward innocent children.

    The refugees, fleeing dangerous situations, enter a hostile country (U.S.) …
    welcome to the home of the brave and land of the free…///

  7. GOP outreach knows no bounds:

    Kansas GOP official: “Offending Muslims is the duty of any civilized person. Especially with a .45.”

    • And, backtracking/non- apology apology, in typical Repub fashion:

      “I’ve had folks call me,” he added. “I’m not trying to offend anybody. I sure wouldn’t shoot anybody. I don’t even own a gun.”

      He said he later deleted the tweet.

      • “He said he later deleted the tweet.”

        The digital version of ‘closing the barn doors after the horses are out.’

    • Hey wait – isn’t this the guy on my toast after I put my bread on the toaster ? Maybe we should listen to him – or maybe off some dagos and credit him for telling us to do it?

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