This and That

The Midwest, between parallels N35° and N43°, has suffered temperatures in the high nineties with humidity above 70% for a good while. It isn’t pleasant. If you work outside, dehydration, sunburn and heat stroke lurk nearby. Still, plants and seeds cannot delay their required attention. The garden experience has transitioned from digging, hoeing, planting seeds, little pots and large pots, to an activity more akin to reconstructing frames for cucumbers and string beans, laying brick walks, processing compost, layering mulch in the gardens and weeding, weeding, weeding. As the mariner tells his town friends, “Anymore it takes me eight hours to work a four-hour day.”

In August, there are wedding bells in the mariner’s family. The wedding is in Los Angeles with many show business neophytes in attendance.

Every August mariner also hosts a neighborhood fete called “The Turkey Fry.” Mariner provides two large turkeys – one for roasting and serving sliced in gravy, the other dipped in dangerously hot and open cooking oil which could easily spill onto the propane burner under the pot. This year mariner planted sweet corn timed to be ready for picking for the Turkey Fry. About thirty neighbors attend. He assumes a fortress of electrified wire around the12x12 foot corn crop using a 13-acre AC charger will deter raccoons.

The mariner has a tip for tomato growers who invest time, money and frustration with tomato cages: don’t use them! The mariner’s model is to grow each plant about eight inches apart in a square configuration. The tomato plants prop each other just fine. It is still possible to tread carefully among the plants when harvesting. Another benefit is the plants help suppress weeds among the plants.

In a manner of days, hordes of in-laws arrive at a park down the road for their quinquennial, weeklong gathering. It has occurred every five years since 1981. They look old now but one can easily tell the new ones are continuing the tradition.

Readers are advised of these events to warn them of other gaps in post writing. The mariner will do his best to be regular.

A piece about Muhammad Ali is in the Reference Section. What set Muhammad apart was his statesmanship. He wasn’t just another boxer among boxers; he had class, empathy and intelligence. True, he played a buffoon as part of the show but he had a quick and caring mind. His feelings about the wellbeing of others were the basis for his conversion to Islam – an act that was spiritual and was distant from more rebellious sects.


Muhammad Ali was a gentleman in the boxing community. He had an extra sense of grace that translated from his pugilist profession to one of awareness, care for the common man and a sharper mind than most in his profession. Oh, that more statesmen could be in politics! Muhammad had the courage to defy the draft and serve his punishment; the courts plucked him from that fate but still he would lose three years of income, age and prestige before the military was behind him.

His extra sense of grace allowed him to quote poetry about himself more succinctly with entertaining braggadocio. Note this one before the “Rumble in the Jungle” against Joe Frazier:

Last night I had a dream

Last night I had a dream. When I got to Africa,

I had one hell of a rumble.

I had to beat Tarzan’s behind first,

For claiming to be King of the Jungle.

For this fight, I’ve wrestled with alligators,

I’ve tussled with a whale.

I done handcuffed lightning

And throw thunder in jail.

You know I’m bad.

Just last week, I murdered a rock,

Injured a stone, Hospitalized a brick.

I’m so mean, I make medicine sick.

I’m so fast, man,

I can run through a hurricane and don’t get wet.

When George Foreman meets me,

He’ll pay his debt.

I can drown a drink of water, and kill a dead tree.

Wait till you see Muhammad Ali.

–      –   –   –

Add another one to the list of extinctions occurring during the Holocene, the period in which humans trashed the biosphere: Melomys rubicola — Bramble Cay Melomys, a species of mouse that remained in existence only on an island in the Torres Straight near Queensland Australia. The rodent, also called the mosaic-tailed rat, was only known to live on Bramble Cay, a small coral cay, just 340m long and 150m wide off the north coast of Queensland, Australia, which sits at most 3m above sea level.


–  –   –   –

Mariner stopped by the Forbes Magazine to review an article. The first screen had a display that said:

Quote of the Day

“You will never own the future if you care what other people think.“

Cindy Gallop

Each of us could write three of four counterpoints to Cindy’s comment – which is  required to be a capitalist. Assets do not normally flow up hill; they deliberately must be acquired. Capitalism unbridled by compassion will make few rich, most poor, and the capitalist, protected by layers of wealth, will be indifferent to environment, fairness, contribution to the point of meaningful sharing and a twisted sense of self-worth.

“Only when the last tree has died, the last river been poisoned, and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.”

                        – A  Cree Indian Saying

Ancient Mariner

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