Tuesday, July 19, 2016

cantaloupes and cats

Last year our cantaloupe crop was lousy to non-existent. This made me nervous because I didn't have too many seeds left from 2014. Here is what I said about the cantaloupes in 2014:
A friend of ours saved some cantaloupe seeds from his dad's garden in Nebraska 30 odd years ago. Last year he planted them and 5 plants came up and fruited with some of the sweetest cantaloupe I have ever tasted. My friend gave us one of these treasured cantaloupes. I saved these seeds and planted them this spring. We harvested the first ones this week. Boy are they good. The best I have ever tasted. Guaranteed we are saving more seeds!

This year it looks like we will have a good crop. I picked two this morning. (pic)
However we have lost 4 big ones, not quite ready for picking. I think its the cats clawing at them and taking a few bites. This really annoys me. These cats don't do their share in catching mice. We overfeed them, and how they are wrecking my cantaloupe crop! But I need proof!
And here's a view of our modest sunflower patch.

Oremus pro invicem! 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Course Evaluations

About midway through a semester I get the previous semester course evaluations. Sometimes the comments are helpful, but there is always something I get a kick out of.
Take this one for example:
I’d cut out the quizzes, they were utterly unnecessary. The quizzes would pertain to the most simplistic things, usually making students overthink their answers. Aren’t the purposes of quizzes to boost grades? Not hand out free 0’s?

Besides the fact that quizzes are not given to "boost grades", does the student even understand the irony of his own complaint?
Another complaint was that the test questions were not the same as problems we worked in class or on the homework. I always try to impress upon the students that we don’t want simple regurgitation. We teach the concepts and then work examples which apply those concepts. Working test problems correctly will show that the student understands the concept and can apply the concept. It is not a matter of just memorization of problems. It is matter of learning and understanding. But that is not what they (some of them) want.
After Mass on Sunday, Father asked us to pray with him a Hail Mary and the St. Michael prayer due to all the violence going on. I am thinking that this will become a weekly thing....
Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, July 08, 2016

A contrast, but not a contradiction

A contrast, but not a contradiction .....

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, July 07, 2016

On our own ....

Mrs. Curley wasn't home this evening to cook dinner, so I stepped up to the plate and hit at least a double with the fried chicken, okra, and salad. Here's what was left after the 7th inning stretch:
Now to the shower to wash of the dust from our neighbor's corn field which he graciously let us gleam for leftover corn before he disks it. Then, maybe some cribbage?

Oremus pro invicem!

Voting again

My point is not to dispute particularly with anyone, including my friend, neighbor, and better writer than I who lives not too far away, but ........

A vote for Hilary is a vote for Hilary. A vote for Trump is a vote for Trump. And a vote for Darrell Castle (WHO?)  is a vote for Darrell Castle.

To say that my vote for Darrell Castle (WHO?) is a defacto vote for Hilary Clinton tries to deny me the right to vote for the best person running for president.
Why do we have legal same-sex marriage, absurd gender issues, women in combat, women poised to be required to register for the draft, continued abortion on the demand, and host of other problems, both economic, moral and financial?

I could make a good case that it is precisely because men and women of good conscience continue to vote against that conscience, election cycle after election cycle. And because of that the Republican party knows it can ignore moral and social issues and give us the likes of McCain and Romney as nominees, and now Trump. These guys lose anyway, so why not vote for someone better?
The question has been asked: Are you better off than 8 years ago? Financially, most definitely yes. (I give the credit to God, however, not Obama!)
When asked the question, most people think of the financial aspect.
Culturally and morally we are much worse off - and it effects everyone regardless of financial well-being. There is more moral desperation than ever before, more confusion, and more hurting, more poverty of soul.
I know that neither of our major party candidates can make this better because they are either immoral or amoral.
Oremus pro invicem!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016


I read an article the other day praising the interstate project of 60 years ago and claiming we need another such project now.

My initial reaction was that the interstate project destroyed many local economies, communities, cultures.

Big business certainly benefitted as now they could truck their goods more efficiently across country on the taxpayers back.

Individuals may seem to have benefitted with easier travel and mobility, but communities not on the interstate routes died. (Think the movie "Cars", or the story of my town, Bethune, SC which used to be on the route to Florida from the Northeast.)

On the other hand, towns along the interstate now boomed, just like the days of old for communities on the major rivers.

So, some folks gained, and some folks lost.

And by the way, America has always been about mobility: Go West Young Man!

I still think that the loss is greater than the gain. After all families and communities are made up of individuals and the apparent short term benefit is a long-term cultural loss.

The interstate was one of the early steps which killed the family farm. (Need I say more?) We need tasteless tomatoes from California; bland cantaloupe from (who knows where) in the middle of winter; watermelon which tastes so-so, but can sure be stacked (Bradford).
As far as another BIG project now? Isn't everything the government does BIG now? They take over everything: BIG education for one. Now they are regulating bathrooms and marriage licenses!
We need "small is beautiful" not big is beautiful. (or: Local is lovely-Distant is disaster?)

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

still here ....

but been busy.

Am on summer break from technical college next week so may be I will have time to say some things then.

Oremus pro invicem!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Becky's first litter

So here it is. She looked ready to farrow for about a week now. Becky had 11 live births. Of course thy all look like their sire, Thor.

Put up more corn over the weekend. Sorghum is up strong. We've been blessed with enough rain. This is the first summer I can remember it raining so late in many years. Thank God.

Oremus pro invicem!

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Three Greates Cinematic Love Stories (of those I have seen)

Many people would consider a great love story one where a couple falls in love, undergoes misunderstandings, tragedy, and/or hardships, (possibly being separated) and then come together and get married: TheEend. (Alternately, i.e. Romeo and Juliet, death separates the lovers.)
But “the end” is the beginning of the love story. That is why I believe the greatest love stories involve couples who are already married.
My three picks: The Scarlett Pimpernel (1934 Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon); Random Harvest (1942 Ronald Coleman, Greer Garson); and Make Way for Tomorrow (1937 Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi).
The first two I wrote about in this very context 11 years ago in this space: http://bethunecatholic.blogspot.com/2005/01/love-stories.html
The last I mentioned briefly about just a year ago.
We watched Make Way for Tomorrow again last night. Orson Welles said about it: Oh my God, that’s the saddest movie ever made! It would make a stone cry!
It is the story of a couple married for 50 years who have fallen on hard times and have to go live “temporarily”, but separately 300 miles apart, with two of their children. Of course all things temporary become permanent if there is no plan.
Near the end, they reunite for a few hours and go on a date-reliving the happiness and failures of their 50 years of marriage. The “date” is captivating.
One particularly memorial reminisce is when Bark (the husband) recalls that Lucy (his wife) chose him over another she had been dating. The other became a banker and had foreclosed on their house at the beginning of the movie. Bark says, “He got my house, but I got his girl.”
One of the best scenes of acting I have ever watched without dialog occurs at the end, performed by Beulah Bondi – who was in her 40’s at the time playing a 70 year-old woman.
It was reissued on DVD a few years ago. We borrowed it from the library. Roger Ebert gives it a 4/4. The Criterion Collection calls it: "one of the great unsung Hollywood masterpieces". The director of MWfT,  Leo McCarey, won his first Oscar that same year for The Awful Truth (Cary Grant, Irene Dunne). However, he commented that he got the Oscar for the wrong movie. I agree. 
Do see it.

Oremus pro invicem!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Couldn't say it better myself

This voting guide is an invaluable source of reasoning and mirrors my thoughts exactly.

Here are a couple of the gems included:

When people use variants of the “lesser of two evils” argument, keep in mind that this is only a partial statement of the actual principle of reason. The actual principle is, “If one cannot avoid doing one of two acts, from both of which will follow an evil effect, one is obligated to choose the lesser of the two evils.”  Note that the premise here, which is fundamental to the entire principle, is that you cannot avoid doing one of the two acts. For this to apply in the context of an election, you would have to be constrained to only choose one of two candidates and have no other option – you must vote and you must vote for one of the only two candidates presented to you. Is this the actual case in our elections?


Your actual responsibility in an election is to vote for the candidate or position you think should win. What you vote for represents what you choose regardless of the outcome. You are not to blame for the votes of others.
I urge you to read the whole thing.

Oremus pro invicem!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Green Tint

Mrs. Curley asked me to buy some Bennings Green Tint squash seeds-not knowing what it was. So when I started picking them, no one knew what they were (I don't label my rows). We had to google it.

Here are the funny guys. Raw, they taste great! We'll see in an hour or so how they tasted cooked.

Oremus pro invicem!