Sunday, January 3, 2010

Calling Dr. Bell

Welcome to a brand new week in a brand new year in a brand new decade. We kick all this off with Inventors and Innovators week here at OPOD, and we start with this picture of Alexander Graham Bell. He is remembered as the inventor of the telephone. Interesting that both his mother and his wife were deaf. Also, he apparently did not like the telephone much, as he refused to have one in his office.

Now, last Sunday we did an experiment to see if it is possible to judge a book by its cover. We showed 4 pictures of nurses, and asked you to simply look at them and determine who the scoundrel was. By a 2-1 margin, Angel of Mercy #4 was chosen as the scoundrel. Initially, there was some unease with #1, but then people decided that she was just a stern woman, and maybe not a very friendly woman, but perhaps a tough woman in a tough job . . . not a scoundrel. Sure enough, #1 was Mabel Boardmen, who became director of the Red Cross, after Clara Barton. Certainly not a scoundrel. #2 and #3 were two worker nurses in the Red Cross. No scandals there. Now, #4, she was Ethel Langdon Drake, and she was the scoundrel. She was collecting money in World War I for her ambulance service to bring aid and comfort to our boys on the front line. She would also set up schools to train nurses, collect $175 per perspective student in tuition. Come to find out, she had no ambulance service, and would skip town after collecting the $175 tuition from students. Interesting well over half of you picked her, and she was picked with a 2-1 margin over any other candidate. So why did you pick her? When I saw her picture, it sort of gave me the creeps, so I looked into her, and found the items mentioned above. For me, it was sort of her self-pious look in the picture.

DOMESTIC UPDATE:

Thought I would give you a quick domestic update. Yes, I survived that great furniture buying expedition, but just barely. I learned some new stuff on the trip. While our household governing system in the past had been the "King of my Household" system, apparently, without anyone telling me, we moved to the "majority rules" system. I also noticed that my wife and daughter formed a unified voting block, and hence in all cases on the trip, I was voted down. I like the old King of My Household system much better. Will see if we can move back to that one in the coming weeks.

Also, quick update on Chickie Town. I have purchased a scientifically developed feed for the peacocks. It was developed based on years of research to guarantee beautiful plumage, healthy flock, and overall vitality and robustness. I also purchased a scientifically developed feed for the chickies to guarantee robust growth, exceptional egg production, and overall good health and balance for the chickens. Now, when I go out in the morning, I let the peacocks out of the peacock palace, and fill their feeder with the specially formulated feed. Then I go let the chickies out, and I throw their feed on the ground, as they like to scratch around and eat it off the ground. Well, as soon as the chickies start eating, Handsome Jack comes around the corner, and flairs his feathers up, and starts doing this menacing dance. He herds them under the chicken coup with all types of fearful moves. He holds them at bay there until the rest of the peacock flock comes in and eats all the chickens food. The chickies have an escape route on the other side of the coop, and they sneak out, go over to the peacock palace, and they eat the peacock food. When handsome catches on to what is going on, he goes over and gives them the evil eye again, but he has trouble keeping all the chickies in check. Anyway, the bottom line is that the chickies are eating the peacock food, and the peacocks are eating the chickie food.

I feel like if I had a tractor I could build an earthen berm between the two coops and solve the problem.


30 comments:

  1. The grass is always greener......

    Dan

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  2. P.S. I just discovered I can use my gmail account to sign in.

    Dan

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  3. You don't need a tractor, you need a personal valet like Mack Lee. He could take care of your chickens and I'm certain he'd side with you in any domestic dispute.

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  4. Nate,
    I have been thinking that I need a ranch hand to help manage the farm. It is a lot of work keeping the animals fed. Perhaps with a ranch hand, I could secure a milk cow.
    PJM

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  5. It looks like when you seprated the chickens, one of them belongs to some one else.
    Did you check with the other people to see if they got one of yours?
    R

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  6. Yes, but ranch hands are an independent lot. When you get into a disagreement with the 'Gang of Two,' it's more likely that your ranch hand will clam up, pull the brim of his hat low, and just shake his head slowly. A manservant would actively take your side and even if you lost a disagreement, he'd be there to console you.

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  7. Anon,
    I got 7 Black Star Chickens, where were described in the catalouge as "Egg Laying Machines". That shounded good, so I got 7 of those. Then I got 3 Easter Egg Laying chickens, which the catalouge says lay Beautiful Multicolored Eggs. Always a sucker for novelty, I got three of those.
    PJM

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  8. Nate,
    Then a Manservant it shall be.

    I forgot to mention I learned a new term on the furniture trip . . . "you will be sleeping with the peacocks".
    PJM

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  9. As it's obvious that to be a true, and not overworked, Gentleman Farmer you do need a tractor, perhaps you should announce that you are going to buy the best new tractor available.
    Then, to maintain peace, and a place to sleep besides with the peacocks, you could 'settle' for the used or vintage tractor you really want.
    Of course, eventually a manservant would be required to keep the tractor happy.

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  10. Joe in NC;
    Good call. I will start by over-reaching, and then backing up some. I do want a new tractor, so perhaps I should ask for a Big new tractor and then settle for a smaller one.

    Perhaps I could sell Mrs. PJM on a small guest house behind our house, and then once that is in place, I would be set to secure a man-servant, as we would have suitable accomodations for a full time person.

    Also, in my quest for personal independence, I would like to throw a water well and windmill onto the table. Presently, we heat our house with firewood, and produce our oun electricity with soar panels and wind turbine. Chickie Town will provide much of our sustinance requirements in time. We, however, are dependent on the "man" for our water supply, the most critical nececitty. So, I ask, do I need a water well and windmill?
    PJM

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. With a tractor you could get one of those tiller attachments with which you could more easily have a large garden every year. A garden would add to you independence for sustenance. Of course then a well would be a large help so you wouldn't have to pay "the man" for water to irrigate said garden. Also when you clean out the Peacock Palace you would have ample compost to erich the soil of your garden.

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  13. Interesting so many people were able to pick the correct scoundrel.

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  14. Danny,
    I like your ideas! This is all starting to fit together very nicely.

    With all the ideas being thrown out this morning, it is becoming clear to me that a "master plan" is needed. This will help to create the impression that I am not just asking Mrs. PJM for random things. Yes, a master plan is needed. The objective will be for me to become a true gentleman farmer, complete with tractor, garden, and personal man-servant. The key objective of the master plan will be to achieve complete energy, water, and food independence on the compound (that is what our neighbors have started calling our place).

    After this is achieved, I will purchase a hat like Captain Walsh's from a few weeks ago. Then I will request that all call me the "Colonel". You see, in the south, you dont have to be a colonel to be called "Colonel". You can inherit the designation, like a title. Since great grandparents on both sides of my family were cavalry colonels for the south, I am due that title.
    PJM

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  15. I failed your scoundrel survey by picking nurse #2 precisely because she was attractive and had a winsome smile. Some of the most prolific criminals have been very attractive which helps them victimize people. My job in Human Resources has taught me that the outward appearance has little to do with a person's ability or character. However, when someone makes me uneasy or "gives me the willies" as my grandma used to say, I pay very close attention. Gavin de Becker, an expert on criminal behavior wrote a book called "The Gift of Fear" and says that uneasiness is often a "survival signal" that can save our life. Everyone should read this book, especially women.

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  16. Also meant to say I'm glad you are featuring inventors; should be a very interesting week.

    I researched Alexander Graham Bell when I was doing genealogy - thought we might be related since both Bell and I have Scottish ancestry and the name "Graham" in common, but we are not related. Found out he asked to have a middle name and his parents gave him the name "Graham" after someone they liked. Just an interesting tidbit.

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  17. #1 Wow! What a wonderful photo you have today!

    #2 In your quest for independence from 'the man' keep track of the repartee in the comments section. This has the makings of a good book or tv series. Hmmmm. "PJM, nascent gentleman farmer in his quest to become same!" Ever read "84 Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff? The stories, the repartee, the bon mots! Imagine the exciting episode in which the Evil Nate Maas, successful gentleman farmer, drops by to inspect your tractor! Your man servant serves him eggs. QED!

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  18. Marie,
    Very interesting idea. This is like a real life reality show unfolding before our eyes.

    WHAT!?! Nate is already a gentleman farmer, and I am a wanna be? Oh, that hurts.

    I am thinking about challenging Nate to a game of checkers. Any time, any place. It will be the checker game of the decade. Winner takes all.

    PJM

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  19. Be careful! Nate's amazing search engine that he uses so well to cheat on the mystery person contest may also include a 'How to Cheat at Checkers' section.

    Dan

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  20. "Welcome to a brand new week in a brand new year in a brand new decade."
    I keep hearing this, but since there was no year zero, doesn't 10 end the decade and 11 start a new one?

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  21. PJM

    Regarding your question about which nurse was evil. I excluded myself from the choice because I thought for sure the answer was #4 but for only because I thought it was Jane Toppan a nurse serial killer. The pictures of #4 and her are similar.
    Jane of course was a lot more evil.

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  22. Love all the comments today. Fun reading for a Sunday. Carol

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  23. I chose #4. Looked like a man to me, or a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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  24. PJM:

    This is a great photo, and I’m really looking forward to this week’s topic.

    Before leaving my job a few years ago to take care of my parents, I was a paralegal for an intellectual property law firm for over 10 years.

    A lot of our work was very boring, as patent applications are usually related to the regional industrial technology. Therefore, most of our clients were local companies who invented very specific manufacturing tools or processes. Also, patent applications are cumbersome and tedious to prepare and file.

    But there were always a few really creative and unusual inventions that came across our desks. They were usually submitted by individual inventors looking for that big break. Many of these inventions were totally useless (with no practical application or marketing potential); but they were fun to look at nonetheless.

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  25. You have never posted any comment on your blog that indicates you are "King of the Household". If you were King of the Household, you would have that tractor that you don't really need.

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  26. Gee, Dr. Bell doesn't looke anything like Don Ameche.
    When you talk about personal independence, and you say chickie town will provide sustenance, does that mean you will kill and eat your non-laying hens and cockerels like a truly self sustaining and independent farmer?

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  27. well you could solve it by feeding the chicken food in the peacock pen and the peacock food on the ground around the chicken pen. I have the same problem with my ducks and chickens.

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  28. Why don't you feed the peacocks and then feed the chickens an hour later?

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  29. What a great resource!

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  30. Birds hate snakes, (garden hose or plastic snake on the ground). Wiggly or shiny things on strings. Try a large shiny metal surface for your Peacock to attack while you are feeding your chickens. Birds are very aggressive and territorial I really don't think keeping Peacocks and chickens together is a very good idea. I know that Peacocks and chickens that lay multicolored eggs will take to the tops of trees where birds of prey will be happy to take them to dinner.

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