Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thank-you for all the free medical care!

I've not been feeling good for weeks now, fever in the evening, general malaise, and so on. All that stuff that goes away instantly, as soon as you step foot on threshold of the Doctors office. Then the Doctor asks you, “what are you here for?” As you sheepishly aim your answers to yesterday, when you were so sick that you thought that you would surely die. But, today you just happen to feel good, in fact you feel great, and you have no idea why you are here bothering the Doctor.

Well, I kept finding excuses for not going to the Doctor. After all, I didn't want to find myself in the doctors office explaining why I was there wasting his time. So, I took my temperature three times a day. It was 98.2 in the morning, which is a little high for me. By noon, my temp was 98.9, but by mid to late afternoon my small fever would consistently spike to 100.1-.5.

This would be my trap, I would calmly point out, “Of course I'm sick, see my temperature?” Then, the Doctor would have to take me seriously.

One little flaw in my plan was that I still have Blue Cross, but I was afraid that they wouldn't pay if they found out that I have Medicare now. Last month I feverishly (literally) filled out all the Damn Stupid Government forms. Hopping to get them close enough to right that they would give me a card. I foolishly thought that all you had to do is prove that you are American and that you are at least 65 years of age. So, I dug out my birth certificate, and called the Social Security Administration. They told me to go to their website and fill out the very simple form that they have provided for that. The form asked me how much money that I earned. I had to tell them that I don't know that kind of stuff, I turn-in all the money that I make to my bookkeeper, My wife. The whole thing wouldn't fit in the slot that they provided.

After deciding that the questions were unanswerable, I called the SS man back. I told them that he would have to talk to my bookkeeper, my wife. He said that he couldn't do that, that they could only deal with me directly. I asked them, “What if I was stupid, or senile, or otherwise unable to function at a full mental capacity? Would you be able to talk to my wife then?” The man saw where I was headed, and realized that I had him beat, so he consented to talk to my wife, but I would have to stay on the line to confirm that she was telling the truth. I was mildly offended that this twit thought that my wife would lie, but I swallowed my male pride and let it go.

A few days later the SS guy called back, and said that he needed to clear-up a few things. I told him that my wife was on her way to Eureka, and we would be unable to reach her. Plus, she never answers her phone. The first time it rings she says, “Hello”. I was totally embarrassed that she answered her phone when I assured the guy that she would have to call him back later. I said “why did you answer your phone”. She said that she had just turned it on because she was going to call me. She said that she “was stuck on the lawn of the school in Cutten” in her GTO.” I told her okay, forget that if you can, I have the SS agent on the line with me, he wants you to answer a few more questions for him. He meekly asked a couple more questions and he sent out my Medicare card, I guess he figured that we would probably need the help.

The card got lost in the mail (on my wifes desk). Sometimes a man just has to re-access his whole marriage. I came to the conclusion that I would be lost without her. (Literally! She is the only one that knows where I put things)

So, card in hand, I picked up the phone and called the Doctor. As luck would have it they could get me right in! I said “No, Sorry... Can I have something near closing time?” I knew by then, my fever kicks in that time of day. Strategy!

Before I went to the Dr.s office. I asked the people at the store what I should tell the Doctor. Carol said to tell him that I've lost my sense of humor, and that I was “Bitchy”. Of course that offended me, and I told her so! I told her that to imply that I was “bitchy” implies something feminine and illogical. That I was merely “grumbly”, which to me, implies that I'm thoughtful, and correct in my thinking, it's just that I'm so tired of incompetence that I forget to be my normal thoughtful, caring, self.

Dennis said, “tell him that you have bronchitis, and ask him for some of that great Codeine Cough Syrup.

A friend of mine emailed me after I announced that I wasn't feeling well. He said something to the affect that I looked dead the day he talked to me.

Ben said to be sure and tell him to check for “Lymes Disease”. ( I did that Ben). In fact, he did a double take when I told him. He looked like he was going to slap me on the forehead and say, “You could have had a V-8!”.

But he said: “You are supposed to go to the doctor and get antibiotics within seventy-two hours of being bit by a tick. It reduces your chances of getting Lymes by 80%! So remember that.

Diana said that she had that Lymes disease, last year, and she “Hot-tubbed it out of her”. I guess that works. Give yourself a fever.

So, I get to the doctors office, the nurse had me step on the scale. I had tools in my pockets, and I had my coat on, plus a few other things. I chuckled to myself, if the Doctor tells me to lose weight, all that I will have to do is empty my pockets. More good strategy, it pays to use your head when going to the Doctor.

The nurse says “you have a slight fever”. I smiled and said “yeah I know, I'm sick”. The doctor came in and said, “I see that you have a slight fever.” Don't you just love it when a good plan comes together?

He asked me what was wrong. I told him the long and detailed story about what all of my friends told me. He asked me what “I” thought was wrong with me. I didn't feel comfortable talking about what “I thought”, I didn't want to look like a hypochondriac! But, I said “I think that I have Lymes Disease”. Sure enough he gave me that “Hypochondriac Look”. So, I watch Miami CSI. I know that you ALWAYS take your evidence with you, I whipped the Bagged Tick out of my coat pocket and showed it to him. He looked at it for at least a full second, then threw it in the trash. That's when I got “The Seventy-two hour” lecture.

He whipped out his Stethoscope, listened to my lungs and said: “You have pneumonia in the lower part of both lungs” I said “That can't be, I'm not that sick”. He said “well why are you here?” I said “well I'm not Pneumonia sick, I only have a little bitty fever.” Right... See how he turned that on me? He gave me some high powered antibiotics and sent me home. We'll see who's right. He sent me down to the lab for a Lymes test also!

I'm Not a Bitchy Hypochondriac! Dammit!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Excuse making

“Open letter” to all my friends and relatives.

First, Thank-you for all of your Birthday wishes, they were all quite gratifying. To the coffee group at the Eel River Café, I’m sorry that I haven’t been there of late.

As some of you know, and others might have guessed, I’ve been fighting some mysterious disease. I get up in the morning and feel semi fine, but I have trouble becoming enthusiastic. I feel like doing a few things by about 10:00 am. By 3:00 pm I start dragging and start getting a mild fever (100 deg.) By the time dinner is over (7:30 pm) I can’t wait to go to bed. Last night I slept 11 hours. when I got up, I took two ½ hour naps in my chair.

Now, for the part that is annoying. I don’t feel terrible, just incredibly tired and forgetful, and I make a lot of mistakes. I’ll measure a board and cut it wrong, which is totally out of character for me, and it is embarrassing as hell to be trying to stretch a board when I don’t have the strength to stretch it. The kicker is, this has been going on for 3 weeks now. I whined to some of my friends at Rotary, their advice was, “get used to it”. Bea Anderson said that she had the same thing for 5 weeks and Dennis Abshire has had it for 4 weeks. Other people have said that they have had the same thing. With similar aches, pains, and maladies.

Now the for the good part. I think that I’m getting better. All of those 12 hour sleep-overs and Vitamin pills are staring to work.

Thank-you for putting up with my cranky moods and fuzzy thinking. Well… That is, the ones that did.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

S.O.S. (Save Our Schools)

This is the kind of event that I like. They offer a good time, at a reasonable price, and where most of the expenses are soaked up internally there is a pretty good profit potential… That is if enough people come, which they should. Who doesn’t like to have a good time and not have to clean up the mess.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pretty arrowhead

From Milkwood Lake.

Arrowhead found in Welsh Castle, brought there by the Romans, probably around 43 A.D. (my guess, bullshistory warning!)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Shades of Ol' Sam Walton.

Wal-Mart recently announced that China has to clean up it's act! They have to meet standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, reduction of non-recyclables, and they can't use or abuse child labor laws. I wonder how Walmart will enforce this? Never mind, at least it's a step in the right direction. At some point if China has to clean up it's act, and play by Americans rules, American workers may stand a chance of competing in the world work force again.

Link: Walmart tells china that there are new standards

"Wal-Mart's suppliers have been forced to get serious about pollution, Ma said. "Wal-Mart says if you're over the compliance level, you're out of business. That will send a powerful signal."

"If Wal-Mart were a sovereign nation, it would be China's fifth or sixth largest export market."
We send a lot of money to China.

"Many China experts say Wal-Mart's guidelines could be more important than the government's."

Whether this will help Wal-Mart's relations with U.S. customers isn't clear.
"Our customers care; they just don't want to pay more," one Wal-Mart executive said.

"Labor costs have risen, Wong said; a worker typically earns as much as $132 a month."

"We hope to get more customers," said Barry Friedman, vice president for corporate affairs in Beijing. "We're not doing it solely out of the goodness of our hearts."


Friday, March 19, 2010

Anna Hamilton, Friend Of Us

Well folks, I'm in a difficult position, so I’ll try to be delicate, but hide the china in case I don’t succeed. Anna Hamilton is a friend of mine and I will always listen to what she has to say. She has done many magnanimous things for our community, and her heart is in the right place. She gave her “We’ve got trouble, right here in River City” speech at rotary, I introduced her. Only this time the “trouble” is legalizing Marijuana, and the “river” is the South Fork of the Eel. It hits pretty close to home, as they say.

Being an old guy, I see a certain amount of humor in all of the squirming going on with the grower, and the business crowd. Forty years ago there was a different kind of squirming going on in the South Fork of the Eel. The loggers, the ranchers, were being overrun by a crowd of long-haired militant people bent on “taking back the land for the people”.

The locals had meetings about what to do about them. They all felt that we had to get rid of them, or surely there would be “hell to pay.” “Logging and ranching just cannot exist with dope growing, hippy dogs, and and the people don’t have any standards whatsoever.” “MY God, they even thought that cheating the welfare system, and living together in communes designed to “rip of the system” was okay”. Can you imagine that?

Out of the meetings, that were designed to try to head of the infiltrating scourge headed to our beautiful canyon... that was about to be defiled... if we didn’t do something about it. It was decided that a judge here in town was “a hippy lover”. We voted almost unanimously to have him recalled. The recall election was held, and he retained his position. The cops clandestinely rebelled, and as much as said; “that they would no longer do anything about hippies, drugs, welfare, or vehicle crime because, the Judge now had a mandate to protect the hippies”. We wasted our time doing all that squirming, the Back to the Landers are still here

The flood gates opened, and there was no stopping it. The loggers and ranchers tried spraying to get rid of the “hippie weed” that they grew here. Out of that futile attempt, the environmental movement took over the north coast. The “Back to the landers” claimed all kinds of rashes and birth defects caused by the spraying. Some claims were real, and some were bald face lies that worked just as well, because nobody questioned the thought that “chemicals had to be bad”.

After the “Back to the Landers” became established, and became ingrained, they started openly growing marijuana, to the point that they were walking all over the local people, I personally had a grower tell me, as a merchant, that I should “just plain kiss his ass, because if it weren’t for people like him, I would just plain dry up and blow away”. I always thought that was particularly unfair, because he, and people like him, drove the local people that we used to depend on out of here, and killed all of our local industry, making local merchants almost completely dependant on them. While I’m in this china shop, dancing on all the china, I want to make it clear that this person was one of the “Bad Apples” that you find in every barrel, and was miles away from the normal rather non-violent “Hippy Dude“. So, don’t holler at me, I’m Frank today not Ernest.

That was at a time that CAMP was just starting, and the growers were in a panic. They thought that if we all banded together we could stop CAMP. They made up a list of merchants that said: “These Local Merchants are for Civil Rights”. It was well understood that if you didn’t put your name on that list, that you would be boycotted, and you would get to, personally, feel the effect of the marijuana dollar. Well CAMP is still here. We did all that squirming for nothing.

About thirty years ago, I introduced a man by the mane of Chris Thiel(Sp?), from the Humboldt Sheriff’s Office, to The Garberville Rotary Club. He said that we needed to band together to stop the growing in southern Humboldt, or there would “be Hell to pay” he suggested letter writing campaigns to every politician on our lists. He claimed that, slowly and surely, the grower was driving out industry, and supplanting it with “a product that would one day either be legalized, or eradicated” and either way if we didn’t get rid of it now, we would rue the day.

What should we do about legalization? Having been there before, I understand that we might as well all join hands, back up to the ocean, and try to stem the tide. We’ve done it before, it never works. So here we are.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Amsterdam, the California of Europe.

This is another of my "Outside looking in" posts. Please feel free to correct my misconceptions and mistakes, but "I tells it as I sees it."

Amsterdam is often referred as the “enlightened capitol of the present world”. It used to be Greece. Amsterdam allows prostitution, and openly allows marijuana and hashish to be smoked above coffee houses, on the second floor. Needless to say, there are a lot of two story coffee houses in Amsterdam.

I noticed that it is darn hard to get any real information about Amsterdam, it’s almost like they have a publicity censor that works the internet. Recently there has been a big push in Amsterdam toward cleaning out the drugs and prostitution in the famous City. It appears that some folks don’t like the way that the city is heading. They say that it is bringing in too many undesirables. They are even closing down the Drug Sanctuary on the park on the river.

Most people really don’t care if the addicts go away. They are still somewhat ambivalent about prostitution. I guess they think that young people need some place to go to learn the art of making love. I wonder how much the hookers charge for prosti-tuition.

People traveling back into Germany from Amsterdam are thoroughly searched, and sniffed by drug dogs. Many are caught trying to conceal drugs. How stupid is that?

Maybe if California legalizes drugs and prostitution we can attract the “Cool” tourists of the world, Amsterdam be damned.

I’ve posted some of the best links to Amsterdam below, and their changing ideas.

1992 http://bigjournalism.com/mwalsh/2010/03/14/sex-drugs-and-euthanasia-amsterdam-1992/

2008 http://www.javno.com/en-world/some-dutch-cannabis-coffee-shops-to-go-up-in-smoke/206157

2010 http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/545-coffeeshops-netherlands

"The leveling effects of the Sixties were more radical in the Netherlands than in other countries. Consensus decision making (which in later years became known as the poldermodel) led to the gedoogcultuur. The official tolerance that resulted has earned Holland, and Amsterdam in particular, the reputation as a place where anything goes — the world capital of relativism."

"Kids will have sex, whether you like it or not. So, at 12 years old, they get education and can go to a clinic to get contraceptives. Anonymously, if they want. Their parents won’t know.
Does this stimulate Dutch adolescents to have sex at a younger age, as critics might claim? No. Dutch youngsters have their first sexual experience relatively late. And more importantly, the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies among teenagers is the lowest in the world."

Drug Tourism
Last month the mayors of two towns in the South of the Netherlands have announced the closure of all coffeeshops — eight in total — within their municipalities. The reason? The nuisance caused by ‘drug tourists’ who cross the borders in search of soft drugs banned in their own countries.

“There are 25,000 drug tourists per week who visit these coffeeshops,” says Mayor Han Polman of Bergen op Zoom.

"A 2007 report by Amsterdam’s Department for Research and Statistics shows that of the 4.5 million tourists who spend the night in Amsterdam during a given year, 26% visit a coffeeshop. According to the Amsterdam Tourism & Convention Board, 10% of tourists even mention this as a primary reason to visit the city."

"At the same time, coffeeshops are more or less forced to deal with criminal organizations. The latter tend to have sophisticated growing operations in out of the way places. Others rent houses, squat abandoned buildings, or even break into home of people who are on vacation in order to set up temporary weed farms.

They are not just supplying Holland’s coffeeshops. It is estimated that half of the Dutch cannabis users buy their supplies on the black market. At the same time, last month a Dutch police commissioner stated that the illegal export of Dutch-grown marijuana generates about 2 billion euros ($2.58) each year."
"Meanwhile, the Maastricht city council has accepted a motion to move coffeeshops current located in the center of town to three “coffeecorners” at the outskirts of the city — close to the border with Belgium.

Mayor Gerd Leers says he prefers to maintain the policy of gedogen, and for now is interested merely in trying to minimize nuisance caused by hordes of drugs tourists by decentralizing the coffeeshops."


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Do drugs make you smarter?

The common Buckwheat grain is said to develop a mold that L.S.D. is derived from.

They say that "if you remember the 60s, you were never really there."
Spyrock brought up a point that I have often pondered. He sent me a clipping from A. Hoffman, the developer of L.S.D.

“Dear Mr. Steve Jobs,

Hello from Albert Hofmann. I understand from media accounts that you feel LSD helped you creatively in your development of Apple computers and your personal spiritual quest. I'm interested in learning more about how LSD was useful to you.

I'm writing now, shortly after my 101st birthday, to request that you support Swiss psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gasser's proposed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. This will become the first LSD-assisted psychotherapy study in over 35 years. I hope you will help in the transformation of my problem child into a wonder child.

Sincerely, A. Hofmann”

Spyrock went on to say:
this is the guy who invented lsd in 1939, it was pure, no other ingredients were added.
i'm copying all of this from elsewhere.

until 1967 everything was beautiful then the insanity began.

the cia got into the business of altering human behavior in 1947.
project paperclip brought 1000 nazi specialists to work in the us military and civilian institutions to continue their work on controlling the mind.

the us army got interested in using lsd for interrogation purposes in 1950. from 1956 until 1975 us army intelligence experimented with hallucinogenic drugs.

the cia and army spent over 26 million testing lsd code name ea 1729. contracts went out to 48 different institutions for testing. the cia concealed their participation by contracting to various colleges, hospitals, prisons, mental hospitals, and private foundations.

the lsd i will refer to is the same type of lsd that the cia used because of the similarity of symptoms between their reports and what happened to musicians or hippies after 1967. we shall be speaking of cia-lsd, not pure lsd.

government agents had the ability to cause permanent insanity, identical to schizophrenia, without physician or family knowing what happened to the victim.

when the first reports came out that the cia could administer a tasteless substance into the beverage of one of their most responsible co-workers, and drive that man into a mental institution, or cause him to jump out of a window to his death, all existing cia records were destroyed.

i found this all on the internet looking for the why of your topic.
i've often wondered why so many people went nuts or died after 1967 or turned into the assholes that have irritated ernie for so long. now we know why.

while we all wait for the few former hippies left alive to sue the government. i'll share these words from bd.

while preacher preach of evil fates
teachers teach that knowledge waits
can lead to hundred dollar plates
goodness hides behind its gates
But even the president of the United States
sometimes must have
to stand naked.
End quote.

Back when I was growing up, I attended college in San Francisco.('63-'64) I had plenty of opportunity to do drugs, but I was particularly un-interested in altering my perception of reality. Remember, I’m the guy that only believes in “reality“. Things that can be hit with a hammer. I didn’t do drugs, and I didn’t drink alcohol. I was raised in the Briceland Bar, and I didn’t see a whole lot of intelligence in the bar scene. Some engaged in a lot of big talk about how smart that they thought that they were, but the smart talk didn’t seem all that real to me. I used to wonder how smart they were in the morning.

My roommate in college sometimes drank too much and he expected sympathy the next morning. I really didn’t care, and went about my noisy clamor. One night he brought home a bottle, sat two shot glasses on the table, poured two shots, one for him and one for me, and said “drink”.

I went about my standard polite refusal. About how I preferred not to drink. He said, “you don’t understand, I said drink. it wasn’t a choice”.

I considered the alternatives, being a country boy, just out of working in the woods, I was I really good shape. So, I considered flat refusing and standing my ground. He was also a country boy, just off a rice farm in Gridley. He was also in very shape… but about twice my size. So I said “here’s too ya”. and bottomed it up.

He poured another, and looked at me. He said “you’ve never been really drunk have you?”

I said: “Nope, I don’t drink. I never really saw the point in drinking. What would it be like if something happened that I needed a clear head to deal with it, and I was all screwed up and drunk?” I though that was a great point. “I don’t believe that there is any God that is going to take care of me. I’m the only one that gives much of a darn about what happens to me, so I take real good care of myself. I don’t push my luck, because when I do, it seems like something always bites me in the rear.”

He said “well your going to find out what a hangover is like.”

I guess that I really didn’t get that drunk, I remember every agonizing moment of it. The place next door had a fire the week before, and I wondered if I could get out of the building if it was on fire. We were on the 4th floor. My girlfriend lived on the 5th floor and I was certain (In my mind) that she would need rescuing. Then, I lived in San Francisco, they have earthquakes! What would happen if there was an earthquake. Can you imagine how tough it would be to rescue your girlfriend off the 5th floor and make your way out of the city to safety, all while being DRUNK!

I’ve seen drunk people in emergencies before. To hear them tell it, they claim; “I just sobered right up when I discovered that there was an emergency”. Maybe in their mind they did, but they were still spinning, and doing everything wrong, and getting in the way of other people. So, the thought of being drunk seriously bothered me.

In the world that I was raised in, alcohol was bad enough, but “drugs” were out of the question. We were told that L.S.D. would fry your brain and that it would make a person think that they were smarter, when outwardly, the things that you did made it apparent that you weren’t smarter.

Then there was the variety of drugs that made you feel better while you accomplish zero. Or the ones that made you scratch your face off, and make your teeth fall out. It occurred to me, early on, that I was not a “altered state of being” type being. I’ve always been real fond of reality. I don’t need drugs or religion lying to me about anything.

I’ve heard a lot of stories about how people have expanded their minds with L.S.D. Eased their pain with painkillers, or plain old Marijuana, or used drugs recreationally. Most people do, it’s just not my bag.

Does anybody think that Steve Jobs invented the Apple computer because he was wacked out on L.S.D. or do you think that he would have been better off without it?


Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm all ears.

Once I moved about like the wind. Now I surrender to you and that is all. -- Geronimo

It has become more and more apparent to me that my words sometimes offend people. What I might think is humor over the human condition, others see prejudice and malice. At what point is it not okay to mention the things that happen around us. At what point does conversation become unacceptable.

I encourage open comment on this blog and have not deleted anything except flagrant viciousness directed toward me or others. This blog is a good place to post your thoughts. I encourage comments. Some tell me that they read every word written here, but they don’t comment or add their own thoughts. I accept that, but I don’t understand it. I don’t ever make fun of people that have trouble communicating, and more often than not we can all understand a poorly communicated position. So, the fact that you may not be able to write well is no excuse for not adding your thoughts here.

Lately, it has been occurring to me that I am one of the few people that lived here before the huge influx of people that came here in the late sixties and early seventies. We now have three generations of the “back to the land” movement living here. The people that were born here rightfully feel that they are a part of culture that exists here.

I was talking to an old friend this morning about my use of the term “Newcomer”. I consider the term to be tongue in cheek, while others see it as being just plain cheeky.

I was wondering if anybody really cares about what it was like before the influx of new people? Is it important? Tell me how this area has benefited from the back to the land movement. I’ll listen for a change.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Fever

Okay, I’ll admit it! Spring may be my favorite season, if for no other reason than; I get cabin fever in the winter, and I can’t wait to poke my nose outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Even though I get tired of the rain, I like the rain, especially when it rains hard and makes the skylights on my house roar. The early rains of Fall make the dry brown grass start to turn green again in an early promise of renewal. Mother nature likes to tease me with little promises. A blade of grass here, and Daffodil or two there. Pretty soon about the 1st of February I start itching to get outside.

The ground hog comes out on the 2nd of February and always has discouraging news about more of a long winter. I grumble to myself; what does a ground hog really know anyway. I pass it all off as Ground Hogwash. But, the rains keep coming. Soon, I can’t stand it, and I go for a walk in the rain. I don’t wear a raincoat because for some reason the locals never wore raincoats. If it was raining too hard we didn’t go out in the rain. There was an old expression about “not being smart enough to come in out of the rain”, so locals just didn’t go out when it was raining too hard. If you had work to do outside, you would just wait until the hard showers were over, step outside when it slowed down, then come back inside when it started raining too hard again. Because, we had great pride in having sense enough to come in out of the rain.

The Newcomers that came up here to get back-to-the-land, showed up dressed like later-day Daniel Boones, complete with a Jim Bowie knife strapped to their belts and a coonskin cap. They smelled like patchouli oil, B.O. and dirt. I don’t see any of those guys any more. I think that they got rich and winter-up in Puerto whatch-a-ma-callit now.

The thing that we always noticed about the newcomers is they had raincoats and Vibram soled barn boots. When it was raining hard the locals would sit inside, usually in a restaurant booth with a good view of the street. We’d look out the windows and watch the newcomers walking up and down the street in the rain. One of us would mumble, “look at them damn fools, no sense to come out of the rain”. Then we’d feel real good about ourselves, being inside where it was dry and smart.

If one of them would head for the door we would bet whether they would wipe their feet or just track mud all over hell. We had a theory that city bred people didn’t know how to wipe their feet, because they’d never seen mud before. Humboldt County must have been a wonderful learning experience for them.

But, I was talking about spring wasn’t I. About the middle of February there is a little flower that comes out that is a real pretty flower. It only grows in complete shade. It only blooms for a short time. We called it a Zebra Flower, because it has three Zebra striped petals about ¾ inch long it has long green waxy leaves, with pea sized grey/green spots on them. The Newcomers call them “Slink Pods”. They are very abundant, but unknown by most people, because few people walk around in a dripping wet forest in mid-February. Just us cabin fever types.

As kids we would tell the girls that if they picked a bunch of them and rubbed them between their hands and rubbed it on their arms, they would smell like flowers. Which is true. They would smell just like Zebra Flowers, otherwise known as The FETID Adders Tongue. Fetid like in rotten meat.

Slink pod photo by:

The Indian warriors start blooming in February and into March I learned from Kym the other day that Indian warrior was a parasite plant that grows of the roots of other plants, just like mistletoe grows of the limbs. Why didn’t I know that? I’m ashamed that I didn’t, but at least Kym knew it.

The Buckeye trees are starting to get small leaves, and the Dogwood is starting to get green colored buds. I saw three gray squirrels doing the squirrel thing, where they circle the tree at blinding speed, chasing each other. They speed around the tree at such a blinding speed that you can’t tell who is chasing who. I had to laugh. Even the squirrels are getting kinky nowadays. A manage a trois of squirrels??? That’s just a little to squirrelly for me!

The skunks are breeding, I’m not really sure why Skunks think that the only place that they can breed in in the middle of the freeway. You can expect to see, and smell, a lot of road-flattened skunks in your travels.

Now, if you are a Birder, the swallows should be showing up any day now. So start watching. See if you can be the first to see a swallow. They show up at Benbow, because they nest in the freeway underpass. They fly up into the little holes in the bridge and nest inside. I usually don’t look for them, I just notice one day that; “Hey, the Swallows are back”.

Photo of Clif Swallow By Dori

The bridge used to be great habitat for them, because of the lake, and the bugs that the lake provided. It will be interesting to see if the swallows can survive without the lake. I know that the Newcomers want to take the dam out, because it was not their idea, but I feel that the dam was beneficial for the fish, in that it provider deep water pooling that was lost due to the erosion that the floods caused. But, what do I know. Time will tell, and as always, it will be too late.

But, spring is coming!

Monday, March 1, 2010

A question from "Anon"

“So, why did you promise yourself that you'd never do this post?”
(About the post below, "oh The horror")

I think that if you read carefully, you will understand that the “Indian Island Massacre” has become the focal point of our shame and pain between two people. During normal everyday life, we all become one community, we work and play together and become one. We are all just friends and family. Any post about “oh the horror” inevitably becomes the source of a new conflict. Usually not between the people with great history on the north coast, but between the “them and us” among us. Or the people that just woke up and heard a story that the early whites killed Indians. Then they say “Oh, how could they”, but they never bother to really try to understand how they could. Not only could they, they did. I think the questions should focus on why it happened. Then you find a failure of government and law and order. You try to see yourself as an early white man. You take it further back and include what would make that man be who he is. You go further back and include his early life, and maybe the trials and tribulations of a wild, wild west trip to California, through a gauntlet of Indians that are trying to kill him. Then you began to understand a little of the bitterness. The whole time you realize that a truly wise man would be able to differentiate between right and wrong, but we aren't talking about wisdom, we are talking about what happened.

You need to read carefully the statements of people like Spyrock, who is by his own admission; “i'm a six generation native american. and i'm proud about that. not ashamed. ernies right. you had to be tough to survive”. And he also said: “when you talk about uncle jack and all those scalps that just meant he was a great warrior by indian standards because that's what he had become by living or surviving here.”

I know from the stories that I was raised with, from my grandmother, my dad and uncles, and local people that “Uncle Jack” Farley killed any Indian that crossed him, but was good to the ones that didn't. He attributed his long life (104) to his friendship with the Indian people. One of his philosophies was “twenty-five Indian lives to one white man's life”. For some reason the Indian people respected that. How do you explain that? I've wondered if it might be the same as battered wife syndrome, where a person really thinks that they did something wrong, and tries to make up for their perceived misdeeds.

The only thing that I know is, that people really don't try to get beyond “oh the horror”. Which causes me to wonder why. I've come to the conclusion that it has to be people that haven't heard the old stories, that I was raised with, to get any kind of understanding. That puts me into a “them and us” mindset. It seems to be okay for “them” to form an opinion, but not “us”. “They” don't see that.

That's why I simply shouldn't bring it up....