Happy Thanksgiving 2022 to Everybody

What a splendiferous day.  Camera Girl, working on her early food preliminaries, busy as a bee and supremely skilled.  Me, lazier than a lion in the noonday sun, puttering around, anticipating the feeding frenzy to come.  I research anything that comes into my head.  I find solutions to problems that I’ve put off solving for years.  I’m profoundly contented.

I finally made a walkaround outside a little while ago.  That good, late afternoon sun, every photographer’s friend as it transmutes everything it touches into gold, gives me some subjects for my camera.  A frost-burned rosebud, a dying stalk of millet, some seared oak leaves on a branch.  Quite unspectacular subjects but with an obvious relevance to the season.  The walk was invigorating.  The fresh air did me good.

Tomorrow will be a full day of family.  I won’t spend much, if any, time on-line.  Which is all to the good.  The site daily content is all pre-loaded.  Hopefully the world will have the good grace not to explode until after I’ve enjoyed my holiday.  So, everyone will be so good as to amuse themselves tomorrow while I give thanks for all the wonderful people and things with which God has seen fit to populate his universe.

If something important or amusing strikes me and I decide to throw it onto the site tomorrow I hope most of you will be too busy or too groggy with food to notice.  There will be plenty of time on Friday or Saturday to catch up with my pearls of wisdom(?).

I’ll have to say the results of the elections have made me unexpectedly upbeat for the future.  I feel like the future is up to me to create and that greatly energizes me.  No more waiting for saviors or depending on luck.  I feel like the world is for those who seize the moment and wrest the future they want out of the indifferent present that we see around us.  The American dream was shown to be just that.  The fellowship with our American “brothers” on the Left has been revealed to be a lie.  But this revelation is liberating.  An open enemy is so much less dangerous than a false friend.  None of the Bushes or McConnells or Bidens or Obamas can surprise us anymore.  We know just how evil they are and we can anticipate most of their attacks at this point.  So, there’s no reason to think of them at all on a day of thanksgiving.  I’ll think about all the good people that I’ve heard about or met in the last year and I’ll be thankful for blessings that I know I’ve enjoyed.

I hope everyone out there eats and drinks way too much of some delicious things.  I hope that you have a chance to talk to some folks that mean something to you.  I hope everyone has time to think about this life and the good things that we should be thankful for.  And I hope you have a chance to enjoy yourself and relax.  I intend to stay up late tomorrow after everybody goes home and watch some old movies and get up late and then eat a lot of leftovers.

God bless you all.

Guest Contributor – TomD – 23FEB2022 – Thoughts on the Battle of Midway

Tom | Flickr

TomD

I’ve spent a great deal of time throughout my life reading about WWII in general. I was born a few years after the end of the war and grew up in a society in which virtually everyone’s father took part in one way or another. My father was a 1943 West Point grad who was a company commander with the 101st Airborne when the Germans shot him up very badly at the Battle of the Bulge, crippling him physically for life, but not mentally as he later got a MS Degree in Chemical Engineering.

But for some reason, I’ve always been most fascinated with the Pacific war, and especially with Midway. I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve read on the battle and can specifically recommend Shattered Sword, a history taken from the Japanese viewpoint.

Midway, the battle turned on the purest of luck and very easily could have gone the other way had 3 or 4 isolated throws of the dice gone otherwise. The US would have eventually won the war anyway but it would have been a longer and harder version of the already desperate and bloody struggle that it was.

Below, a photo of interest, it is the last actual aircraft still in existence to have taken part in the battle. This SBD Dauntless was based on Midway Island and wasn’t one of the 3 squadrons of SBDs from Enterprise (I think) that luckily found the Japanese fleet as all their fighter defenses were down at wave top height finishing off a squadron of torpedo bombers. The next 5 minutes proved decisive as those SBDs sank 3 of the 4 Japanese carriers.

The plane in the photo made it’s attack earlier but none of the Midway Island aircraft made any hits. After the battle, this plane was flown to the point of decrepitude and sent back to the US for use in training new pilots. Some US Navy Ensign pilot candidate managed to put this aircraft in the drink while trying to land on a training carrier in one of the great lakes where it remained until salvaged 50 years later. The wreck was taken to NAS Pensacola where it was restored and is currently on display at the US Naval Air Museum.

DSC03221m.jpg
DSC03221m.jpg

A Thanksgiving Wish to All My Friends

Thanksgiving Day 2021

Here’s a wish that today is a special day of peace and happiness to all my friends near and far.  Stay strong and never despair.  We all have things to be thankful for and better times will come again.  And enduring all that we’ve suffered at the hands of the evil and stupid will make the good times that much sweeter when they come.  Remember you’re not alone.  There are many good people out there and we will see a better day.

Happy Thanksgiving

 

When in the Course of Human Events – Part 2

My first part in this series of posts was a love song to the kind of Fourth of July celebration we had when I was a kid.  And that was fun to think about and write.  But the heart of this exercise was a thought I had about the underlying reason for the holiday.  All of this crap about Juneteenth being Independence Day got me thinking about the document that declared our independence.

I know it’s old fashioned to still think about a country that’s founded on the cause of equality.  After all, equality or as it is now called equity is the cudgel that the Left uses to deprive us of our rights.  And it is very fashionable on the Dissident Right to condemn all things associated with Enlightenment political thought.  So be it, I’m a reactionary.

But when I look at the text of the Declaration, I see that it was a list of grievances that free men were making against their government and a statement that they weren’t going to take it any longer.  And the more I read into it the closer and closer is the analogy to the situation we currently find ourselves in.  Let’s look at it.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

If we decided to end our association with the Blue States, I think I would be very hard put to find better words than those found in the introduction to the declaration.  I’d borrow the whole thing.

 

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Other than the use of the words, “colonies” and “King of Great Britain” this section of the document, called the preamble, is also almost word for word the best thing that could be written to describe why we would want to escape from the clutches of the Left.  Who could hope to write a better justification than this, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”?  It’s perfect.  We are being deprived of the things that make life worth living.  We are treated as criminals and third-class citizens in our own country and we are tired of it.

I’ll pick a few of the grievances the colonists listed to show a little of the similarities to today’s grievances.  Obviously not everything jibes in this list because we are not in a sparsely inhabited wilderness.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

(In our case this would equate to allowing Antifa and BLM to burn, loot and murder our neighbors)

 

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

(In our case this would be weaponizing the FBI and Justice Department to prosecute us for trumped up charges.)

 

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

(Nothing needs to be changed on this one)

 

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

(Nothing needs to be changed on this one.)

 

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

(Ask the guys who are rotting in jail whose only crime was being in Washington D.C. on January 6th.)

 

And the conclusion:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Once again, switch out words for Great Britain and British Crown and decide what the new country will be called and you can use the whole darn thing.

What I think I want to show with this analysis is the reasonableness of wanting to escape from the Left.  The parallels with 1776 are obvious.  All the same natural conditions exist for rebellion.  They are reducing us to serfs and we’re not used to such an existence.  We know what it is to be free and we want freedom back.

What isn’t equivalent is the level of difficulty in escaping from our masters.  George III was a peevish nobleman across what was then a very wide ocean.  We are trapped in a barrel with a badger.  We can’t run and we can’t hide.

In the third installment I’ll talk about what our quest for freedom could look like.

When in the Course of Human Events – Part 3

When in the Course of Human Events – Part 1

I am grateful to the Haters of America for putting their new Independence Day in June.  I’ve always loved July as the finest time of the year.  And not just because my birthday is slap dab in the middle of it or because it is the hottest and therefore the time when we in the north feel most vitally alive.

But also, because the Fourth of July was every young boy’s idea of the perfect holiday.  You had it right in the middle of your summer vacation (back then we had all of June, July and August off).  It included playing with and watching fireworks, eating huge amounts of barbecued food, corn on the cob and watermelon and drinking lemonade.  We would go down to Coney Island and swim in the polluted waters of Lower New York Harbor and then watch the fireworks display that the city put on for us proles.  It was a mighty fine time to be had by all and sundry.  I can remember neighbors that typically spent most of the year yelling at their neighbors’ kids coming out and sitting on their porches and stoops and talking about the weather and the baseball teams and acting almost human.  We didn’t really think about the patriotic aspect of it.  After all we were boys and therefore barely human.  But I am grateful to the Cloud People and Antifa and BLM and the illegal immigrant lobby and the LGBTQ Mafia and everyone else who hates the normal everyday things that America stood for.  I’m grateful that I no longer have to share the Fourth of July with them.

And of course, the Fourth of July stands for more than just fireworks and hot dogs.  But I wanted to start out with those things because they are the things that make it more than just important.  They make it fun.  And heaven knows we need as many things that can make us happy right now as we can get.  I’m having the family over for a Fourth of July barbecue and the weather isn’t going to cooperate.  After days of 90° weather, it’s going to be in the 60’s and cloudy.  But that just means we’ll be able to have a baseball catch and play horseshoes without getting completely drenched in sweat.

We’re going to have a great time.  After the barbecue I know Camera Girl will have desserts, splendiferous desserts.  Ice cream and whipped cream will abound.  And there will be Italian Cheesecake and maybe even pastries.  And I’ll show my little 2 ½ year old granddaughter fireflies in the yard for her first time.  And we’ll even shoot off a few small fireworks and then maybe watch some of the big stuff in the sky.

And I guarantee there will be not a whisper of white privilege or white rage or reparations or Juneteenth or Critical Race Theory.  But there will be a little history lesson where I’ll find out if the boys all know what the Fourth of July commemorates.

And just to end this part of the post on the right note I’ll include some words that probably are more relevant today than they’ve been since shortly after they were written.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

They almost sound topical.  We’ll take a swipe at it next.

When in the Course of Human Events – Part 2

Guest Contributor – The Fat Man – Antifa, Sci Fi, The Bomb, Consumerism and The Death of Innovation – Part 2

Guest Contributor – The Fat Man – Antifa, Sci Fi, The Bomb, Consumerism and The Death of Innovation – Part 1

 

Warning: Part 2 contains a philosophical discussion of innovation that is a bit dense. If you’re here for the comic jabs at “The Muppets”, you may want to skip to Part 3.  My apologies.

(Editor’s note: Because the author was so expansive, I have divided Part 2 into two parts.  So, what The Fat Man refers to as Part 3 will actually be called Part 4.

photog)

The hypothesis I will posit and attempt to demonstrate in the next two parts of this humble correspondence has two main themes. First, that the America of the hundred to hundred and fifty-odd years ending in the nineteen seventies was in every way exceptional; second, that it was so because it had to be.

What gave birth to the ASB that catalyzed an array of naïve musical craft forms into a global cultural phenomenon? How could it be that slave and peasant musical traditions could be combined and transformed to such success? How did a string of still photographs projected on a screen go from peep show to a universal, dare we say, artistic medium? And how did both these forms descend into their own basements? Why even is the use of a phrase like “artistic medium” to be feared and derided?

What if the same dynamic could be identified as the driver behind the creation General Electric and The Bomb that obliterated those two Japanese cities. What if accounting for that dynamic could answer Peter Thiel’s most interesting questions, “Why are our cities strangely old?”..…”Why did the space program abandon Mars?”…..”Why does it take longer to travel between cities in 2020 than it did in 1970?” Put more simply, how can the America that stormed Normandy and called a moonshot in 1961 “by the end of the decade” with Ruthian certainty end up frightened by Antifa?

To answer all these questions, we first need a definition of innovation that helps to describe some common process to all the unlikely triumphs we have mentioned, from Louis Armstrong to Robert Oppenheimer. We need a definition that comprises economic trends reflected in metrics like the GDP, and the commercial success of mechanical innovations like the production of replaceable parts in firearms; cultural phenomena like the art movements that come to be described as “universal”, or the emergence of global capitals like New York in the mid-century.

 

What is innovation

Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Heisenberg. These names transcend words like discovery and invention. For human beings, the members of this class are, along with a few others seemingly from other fields, other names like Homer and Shakespeare perhaps Mozart or Beethoven, the ones that define our world. We don’t have to worry about their sins or similarities because they are like their creations, both real and unreal. There is no E in E equals MC squared in the real world, any more than the number one. E and one are exclusively human. There is no ideal realm where they reside outside of our minds. They are beyond the hills, the animal or mineral, shared only in the humanly conceived eternal. They are wholly ours and once invoked by anyone they join the patrimony that is accessible to all if we choose to claim it. We can choose, however, to lose treasures like F equals MA or “it is the east and Juliet is the sun” or Euler’s identity. We can forget or revise or misattribute or commit a hundred other crimes against history. We can break the chain of humanity that links all ages and places to every remembered and forgotten name with the new and the unborn. We can fail to imagine.

Lesser mortals do lesser things. They discover like Columbus or Curie; they invent like Edison and Bell. A lightbulb is not humanity but it helped humanity read. The telephone was not a part of us though they did at times seem attached. America is not Italy but someone had to sign the map. We remember these names and forget, revise, misattribute them at much less peril, perhaps some would say, at no peril at all, perhaps, even to our benefit. But the status of the names of our discoverers and inventors matter today if not tomorrow. We need them today to tell our story, even our history, but they are not immutable giants like the others. Because we all know who gets to write history, the stories beneath these names can change from discoverers today to slavers tomorrow.

Far below the Olympian pantheon of Newton and the discoverer’s Rushmore of Edison, in a stratum of the day to day, lives innovation. It has no name but certainly is more fun. Discovery finds things and invention makes things but innovation gets to do things. And nameless, it is free to beg and borrow, not caring who found it or made it so long as it can use it. Innovation is the doing with what was discovered, invented, invested, neglected or just plain forgotten.

Innovation has no name, or at least it shouldn’t. The artifacts of innovation are not important, but their impact is. What is a subway or a skyscraper? Who would care except that they move infinitely more people faster in a crowded city than any combination of horse and car or fit infinitely more people to live and work on a half-acre than possible in any other urban plan? But innovation does not only serve the visceral. The long line of innovations that culminated in the gothic cathedral are nameless. But at some point, in the 11th or 12th Century, they lifted whole societies to spiritual consensus. Yet there is no name associated with the Gothic Cathedral except Chartres, Cologne or Notre Dame. In fact, subways, skyscrapers, cathedrals, choirs or even particular iPhones change as we use them and disappear when we don’t. Innovation doesn’t have his fun alone, we get to join in.

In the sense that innovation is not discovery or invention we can also say that it is not exclusively human. Because it is nameless is also, to the extent it is distinct, not aware. Innovators manage the details of their initiatives and even at times claim to plan their applications. But no one ever knows when they cross the boundary between an improvement or invention or discovery and true innovation. So as anyone who has ever seen the cat finally achieve the canary knows, animals innovate as well. Nor does one individual even ever really innovate. Beyond the clichés about standing on the shoulders of giants, innovation relies primarily on feedback loops whether from a market or a metabolism. And beyond animals, all biological systems possess in their ontogeny the mechanisms of not just change but proliferative innovation. From this perspective, no doubt, it is conceivable that by their ability to determine natural existence, the laws of physics in their constants and relations and limits do as well. Or at least one could probably find a business-minded physicist to agree. So, it is also cliché to say innovation is collaborative or diverse or possessing of secret ingredients, let alone genius. Innovation emanates as all phenomena do, that is to say, through itself.

This view of innovation is useful in a number of ways. It avoids the sociology of science associated with the Olympian creations that began our discussion. Newton’s human creations like numbers and letters truly are human constructs, artifacts. Concentrated matter moving through space is no artifact. The novel phosphorylation of a bioactive molecule that confers a replication advantage is a fact, observable, unaware, unstoppable. Humans can only participate in innovation; they cannot originate it. We are lucky when we properly observe it.

If innovation is not human then it must be free from the requirements of human logic. Innovation is not consistent or moral or balanced or meaningful beyond the very next step. Innovation is productive change and with that single modifier, alone it is unconstrained in ways no human system can be. It can comprise blitzkrieg and washing machines. It moves along paths that cross all boundaries and all borders. It can change its products, landscapes and even man-made literary forms. Innovation is free to impinge on domains that are aware and self-constrained without being so itself.

All we have said so far describes what innovation is not and qualities of its nature. But what is innovation? Economists define innovation as the translation of an idea or invention into a good or product that creates value as reflected in the customer’s willingness to pay for it. So, innovation in this context is the occurrence of a new offering to generate sales. But innovation is also a larger concept usually best measured by the economic idea of dynamism. Dynamism is defined as the creative destruction in an economy that reallocates resources across firms and industries according to their most productive use. Presumably this destruction can at least in part be bottom up, unplanned or subject only to market guidance.

In its broadest sense, as we have discussed it so far, we might simply define innovation as productive change. Change that moves in a self-defined positive direction. A successful virus is essentially a protein shell with an innovation factory coded into its genetic material. Its sole function is to continually make slightly inexact copies of itself so to ensure that some of its related progeny can survive the immune systems that act as it’s feedback loop. To that virus this is productive change or innovation.

So, when is change productive or destruction creative? The laws of physics and biology seem to imply these are oxymorons? Science holds that all change is random, certainly all destruction must be, so how then can it be productive and creative? Does not its anonymity and randomness exclude any notion of “positive”? The answer must be no, but only because reconciling these seeming contradictions leads directly to the question of intentionality and the origin of change. The origin of change is itself a question of first causes that, as we have said, is immanent yet unbounded by space and time. Even a physicist would agree that the universe is productive because of primal conditions whose own origins are inexplicable, partially observable, even describable, perhaps, but ultimately unaccountable. But where does the ineffability of productive change lead us in our search for its nature? It frees us. Clearly productive change exists as do distinct stars that convert matter to energy and men who turn forests to farms, so we are free to inquire and observe without accounting for first causes. In our investigation, we also can be dynamic along with others in our niche and join in the reallocation. But as human logical commentators, at least, we are obliged to make observations that suggest relationships, if not lessons.

So much for the ultimate source of change, what about proximate causes? What about their number and weight? This is not obvious yet it is the main business of our discussion. And although economics would seem to be the obvious framework to account for the proximate cause of innovation, those most familiar with that exercise commonly offer only very subjective, sometimes poetical explanations of even large changes in innovative trends. The great economist of innovation, Edmund Phelps, cites the loss of the “spirit of adventure and discovery” as chief among the proximate causes of the halving of the 3% annual growth in US GDP he attributes to American innovation going back two centuries before the 1970s. To understand the proximate causes of the end of American innovation in the 1970’s, we must first understand its proximate causes going back at least those two centuries and likely much earlier.

Guest Contributor – War Pig – Autumn Memories – Part 3

Wild turkey has a flavor totally unlike domestic turkey. They feed on insects, acorns and other goodies. Just as wild rabbit tastes better, in my opinion that tame rabbit. When mom was laid up in hospital one year before Christmas, I went up to dad’s and cleaned and cooked for him. My own dear wife had passed on by then. I took up three squirrels I had shot and the first meal I made for him was mashed sweet potatoes covered with squirrel gravy. Sauté the squirrels in a cast iron pan in butter until the meat falls from the bones. Then keep cooking it until the butter browned, add the flour and brown the resulting roux, then put in the milk and make gravy. He ate so much I thought he’d choke. Mom had been sick for weeks before her hospitalization so they had been eating mostly carry out or delivery fast food. Dad would only eat so much fast food before he just stopped eating. I also made him some pie crust cookies. He liked it so much we had leftover squirrel gravy and biscuits for the next two breakfasts

 

I made pork tenderloin fried in that cast iron skillet, baked him an apple pie after making the pie filling in the skillet (par cooking the filling means less liquid to ruin the crust). and then as a Christmas present, I bought them one of those spiral-sliced honey hams. I took most of the meat off it and we had ham for breakfast most mornings, and I froze a lot. Then I took the bone and the meat off the bone and put it in a pot of beans and put it in the oven for 6 hours on low. Hot damn, was it good. Made cornbread to go with it. When mom came home and was able to take over her own household again dad tried to get me to stay a little longer and cook. Mom was a great cook, but she insisted dad needed healthy food at his age. I just fed his belly with what he liked as a child.

Guest Contributor – Jason M – Autumn Memories – Part 2

Late every summer the entire extended family would get together. I mean the “very extended” family. Both my grandfather’s and grandmother’s families and their children and grandchildren. The men would seine the pond in the cow pasture behind the house I grew up in. All the bigger fish they caught would be cleaned and fried that same day for a giant fish fry. My grandmother made the world’s greatest hush puppies and coleslaw to go along with the fish. Come to think of it, I need to see if I can find her hush puppy recipe from one of my aunts. We only had large-mouth bass and little bluegill bream in that pond. I still love bream more than any other fish I’ve had.

This past summer I took my boys to Walmart and got them both fishing rods. Then I pulled my old rods out of my parent’s building and got the reels working again (they hadn’t been touched for 20+ years), and showed my boys where to look for worms. I took them to that same pond and taught them how to fish. We caught several decent sized bream and a couple small bass that first evening. It was enough to take home, clean and fry so my boys (and my wife and daughter, too) could get an idea of how good “real” food can be.

A few days later I managed to land a bass that topped 6 pounds. I got her off the hook cleanly and let her go back in the pond. Maybe one of us will hook her again someday.

I’m trying to give my kids memories like mine. I took my older boy squirrel hunting with my dad last fall. I’m looking forward to more of that this year. Squirrel hunting was one of my favorite pastimes growing up. My best friend and I spent countless hours out in the woods with our little .22 caliber rifles. Would you believe that squirrel tastes like chicken?

By now, the squirrel population behind my parents’ house has recovered nicely. I’m talking to my wife about getting my older boy a rifle for his 13th birthday in a month. Hopefully I can pass along that love of hunting and fishing to him. So far, he’s truly enjoyed it, and I’m encouraged by that. He might just be a better shot than me soon. While I’ll hate to admit it when he finally is, inside I’ll secretly be elated by it. Now to start working on his little brother…

My grandfather used to complain about Canada Geese. I’ve never had it, but apparently it was not uncommon as a Thanksgiving meal a couple generations ago. Grandad told me that the problem with them was that you had to soak them for hours before you cooked them because they ate so many of the wild onions that grew around here the meat tasted too much like onion. He said it smelled bad when you cooked it…to the point that you had to leave the house. He could exaggerate at times though, so I don’t know exactly how serious he was.

 

Several years ago, those same wild onions came up in a conversation I had with my dad. I was asking about milk cows and how many cows a family of 5 would need. Despite growing up with cows on the farm I had no idea because grandad raised beef cattle when I was growing up.

My dad, on the other hand, grew up milking cows. He told me that their family of 6 had so much milk from two cows that they threw half of it out every day. They had enough for milk for all its various milky uses and even enough cream for my grandmother to churn her own butter. I asked him why they threw away half of it and he told me it was because of the wild onions! Of course, that made no sense to me and further questioning revealed the rest of the story: they threw out the evening milk because the cows would be grazing in the pasture all day and the onions made the milk taste bad, so they threw it out. They only kept the milk from the morning because the cows were in the barn all night munching on sweet hay and the morning milk tasted good. I still haven’t decided if a couple milk cows are in our future or not though.