Read Your Rod’s Duck Farm News – Too Many Form Letter Words July 2008
“Nothing is as funny as a duck.”
– Antonin Scalia – Justice, US Supreme Court
The Mallard Reaction – Toast:
Invention & Technology fall 2005 p 7 – “heating bread to 310 degrees F triggers the Maillard reaction – sugars and amino acids react, changing taste, color, aroma and reducing water content 2/3 making toast – crunchy.”
OK, maillard isn’t mallard – close enough
Places where nothing is written is sometimes called “White Space”. In times past, white space was thought to be wasted space. Now that people are concerned with conserving trees, white space is a good thing. Want to read a good novel with plenty of white space? Go to Wal-Mart and buy a few reams of copy paper – plenty of white space.
I think maybe I have become my grandfather. In 1954, he moved from West Virginia to a house on the outskirts of a little podunk in the Arizona desert. To make a living, he set up a small machine shop in his garage and made parts for folks like Timex and RCA. Somehow his address came to be 63rd street and 43rd avenue, Phoenix. There were neighbors who felt like his machining was too loud. Grandpa ended up having to shut down his shop and satisfy his socio-mechanical needs by teaching vo-tech. A WWII Navy veteran, he discovered that fighting the world is easier than fighting the neighbors. Now my sister and her son live in the house in downtown Phoenix. Things at Nob Hill have changed since April 1975 when I set the camper off my 1953 Dodge pickup truck onto part of a cow pasture, between two hog lots. Oh well!
Since the last Duck Farm News (July 2007), I have been developing white space. The Duck Farm has become a strange kind of empty nest. Eric moved out. He got a new improved job as a plastic injection mold-making apprentice at a place about 30 miles away. Getting an apartment a mile away from work has saved him a lot of driving time and gas money. Eric comes home for the weekends. Frequently, grandson William, spends the weekend at the Duck Farm too.
The past year has been VERY Ducky, culminating in the Supreme Court decision regarding the amusement value of ducks. Quite a number of duck artifacts and concepts have migrated to the Museum of Duckological Thought:
Soubriquet in Yorkshire England sent picture of a giant (apparently several stories high) polyvinyl duck floating on the Loire Estuary in France.
Cartoon character, Curious George, stole a duck crossing sign.
Camp Lazlo cartoon character ties duck to his head to cure love sickness
Cabella’s has waterfowl catalog
Wal-Mart: plate & napkin ducks
Real Milk ad: duck tries to moo like a cow
Bill & Rita Megee: rabbit swinging on a duck, duck portfolio, duck shoehorn/brush, hand-painted duck lens, cordon bleu Chinese duck plate, Book Ends, shelf edge, Elmer Cromwell 1910 Redhead, Ducks Unlimited wood duck, 2 Kathy Wiss Christmas tree ornament ducks.
PBS television: “Word World” cartoon features a duck named “Duck” (thinks he’s related to truck). They manufacture things using letters of the alphabet as raw materials. ‘There’s nothing better than a letter. It keeps our world together.”
“Last of the Summer Wine” …. swan men with inflatable swan boat episode
OLN television –“We live Outdoors” layout duck hunting on Lake Erie
News: 1000 dead ducks at lake in central Mexico was not caused by bird flu
Nov 21, 2007 news – padlock pops off semi truck, rubber ducks flood the road
Sitcom bathtub game – sharks vs ducks
My Mother made me a Duck comforter with matching pillows and brought a toy duck.
Sister, Sharon, provided updates on the “duck flotilla,” a boatload of rubber ducks that have made it to Europe after their initial swim in the north Pacific in 1992. Sharon sent this link to duck town www.townofduck.com
Dave Renfro news – Lowe’s/Valspar ad about color matching paint to rubber duck, email from a genuine duckfarmer in Missouri, sends Asger Jorn duck art link, describes “chuck and duck” wood chipper (a landscape power tool – throw in the tree branches and duck), French Broad River in North Carolina has inflatable kayaks called ducks. Navigating a waterway in a “duck” kayak is called duckying. Dave’s comment about Scalia’s duck ruling: “The Supreme Court has been ducking this issue much too long. If they didn’t clarify the issue soon, I’m sure Congress would have introduced a bill.”
Amanda & Adam: boy & girl farmer duck, duck tricycle, VFW duck labels, antique duck nightlight, duck bath shower stickups, Bluejean Duck (cloth duck)
Branson, Missouri: Bass Pro Shop has large display of mounted ducks.
Got a duck coloring book. Ordered a cloth duck whirligig at Alpena.
Ride-the-Duck mug, salt & pepper shakers, T-shirt, bell, dog toy.
Leta Mae: Plush electronic praying duck “Now I lay me down to sleep ….”, squeaky rubber ducks, alien ducks (green, blue, purple, pink), pair of ceramic flirting ducks, electric Christmas Peeps (look like the marshmallow peeps), ducks with bobbing heads , cloth basket duck, pink duck, life preserver duck, baby crib set (liner, washcloth, shoes, carry bag), rubber ducks, duck marionettes, wire frame ducks, squeaky platypus toy, 3 plush ducks ball player/resting/beanie baby, valentine duck, pink/white/yellow/blue fluffy ducks.
Sgt. Chadduck of the Rogers Police Department provides gang violence seminars.
My plush duck puppet started working …. quacks “here comes peter cottontail”
Red Dirt’s step-dad carves wooden decoy ducks.
James Allen – Stone Mountain Georgia Ride the Ducks photos and Wacky Quacker.
Steve Renfro: notes keyboard symmetry when typing the word duck
Ed Gee: PBS quote of the day “Feeding ducks is like a relaxing brain massage.”
The Milner Duck Farm: StepMother: – Brown cast Duck, Brass Duck Key clasp, Embossed Duck drinking Glass, Decoy Style duck
Crystal – Duck Puppet, Duck Plate, 1946 books: The Downy Duck, The Little duck who loved the rain, spice rack
Melody: book - “It’s a Dog eat Dog World and the Cats are Waiting Tables,” by Martin Babb (stories by an Arkansas preacher), Duck Pajama Pants, Duck house with 4 rubber ducks
Billboard on Hwy 71B, entering Springdale from the South, has a duck
Aflac – continued duck advertising excellence
Huggies has duck-as-secret-admirer commercial
Suburu Forester ad demonstrates transport to where the ducks are.
Hundai … almost duck music, Pink Panther theme “duh, duh-duh ….”
May 9, 2008 mother duck & 7 ducklings waddled onto driveway of the press briefing room of the White House, followed by the secret service.
Griff the dog, suffering from old age, got a loose tooth. The Good Fairy brought him a hotdog. The other dog, Benji, still had strong teeth but he bit young William so pretty soon, there was more white space/no dogs.
If you need a new social security card, don’t apply for it in person with your birth certificate. Get somebody else to request the card for you. For one thing, the Social Security office doesn’t accept birth certificates. You need a driver’s license …. photo ID. I took my license and Eric’s license and applied for replacement cards. They sent Eric’s but somehow lost mine. So I got Leta Mae to take my driver’s license and apply for a replacement for my social security card and they sent it right away.
Leta Mae’s sister, Robbie, came to visit for a couple weeks in April. We only see her at 4 year intervals so there is always a lot of catching up to do.
James Allen sent the source for the leadership quote, “…. of a great leader, the people will say, ‘We did this all by ourselves.’” It is from the “Tao Te Ching” section # 17, supposedly written by Lao-Tse, the founder of Taoism. When or if Lao-Tse ever existed remains in question. What we can be pretty sure of is that Taoism (pronounced “Dowism”) is not related to the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The epoxy putty that you knead and stick it wherever you want, like chewing gum – it really is pretty durable/strong. Eric repaired my belt buckle with “Liquid Steel” and it has worked just fine for at least six months.
I made cinnamon apples … the wind blew down another apple tree this spring, but there was still enough attachment to the roots to produce apples!
No more peanut butter & jelly sandwich …
In my younger days, bread and jam was considered to be junk-food. “Man cannot live by bread alone, he must have peanut butter.” For years, my lunch consisted of a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Now the nutritionist says there are two problems with peanut butter. First, hydrogenated oils are used as an emulsifier, resulting in a peanut butter that causes cholesterol problems. In addition, while they are growing, peanuts soak up pesticides in the soil. Now I have what I wanted in the first place, a strawberry jam sandwich.
Computers are fairly strong. We found some old Gateway computers in a dumpster. They rested on the ground, under the eaves of the house for a couple years after that. Then Eric’s computer burned out. So he went out in the yard and got one of those computers, blew out the spiders and grass clipping, swapped the hard drives and resumed computing.
I got a letter from the county explaining how the Duck Farm was in violation of the junkyard ordinance. Now there is a lot more white space at the Duck Farm. No more Duckmobile, no more boat, no more treehouse, no more lathe, no more bandsaw ….
The folks here at Nob Hill voted 347 – 42 that we need to pay more taxes. I wasn’t the only one to vote NO. There was 41 others!!!!
Dec 1 was a memorable time. I met my mother’s friend, Janet Synaground. Janet, through my mother, had commissioned Eric to make an electronic holistic health device a couple of years ago. She provided the schematic/plans. Eric just had to scrounge up parts and solder them together. Janet is retired from a strange occupation. She used to live in a big city and work for a large church as a member of a 3-person death squad. The death squad is a group of people trained to assist folks during the time immediately following the death of a loved one. It’s kind of a maid/butler/cook/chauffeur/counselor kind of duty. Bereaved folks are often in shock and overlook details like cleaning the bathroom, closing the refrigerator door, dressing themselves appropriately to greet visitors, etc. Janet was working gratis for my mother as my step-father had just died. He sat down to lunch and said the blessing; then his aortic aneurysm burst and he passed on to heaven. David Gainey was buried at the national cemetery in Ft. Smith with military honors, including a cannon firing.
A couple days ago, Monday, sister-in-law Denece went to the nursing home to visit her declining mother, Wanda Roach. Apparently rooms had been reassigned and Denece asked for her mother’s room number. “Oh, she’s not here anymore. She died Saturday. You’ll have to go to the funeral home to see her,” they said. Denece and her daughter, Marsha, went to the funeral home and scheduled a cremation. To serve as an urn for the ashes, Denece got a ceramic white Persian cat.
The school machine shop is now more consistent with the new world order. It even has a new, modern Haas CNC milling machine (computerized metal cutting). Equipment was moved out until there was room to walk around each remaining item. Then everything was painted white. We took a day off from painting to go to a Zig Zigler motivational seminar. The students still managed to learn stuff . Two of them went to the national vocational competitions (SkillsUSA) to place 8th in CNC Turning and 8th in CNC Milling.
With 225,000 miles, the Duck Truck caught a winter flu. Now the Duck Farm fleet is expanded to include a 2008 Ford Ranger. The 1988 S-10 is now called the Duck Truck GT (GT stands for Gravel Truck). For the present, the new truck is the Duck Truck AC (AC stands for Air Conditioned).
Repairs sometimes look worse than they are. I have a place on my back that appears to me to be at least 3 inches long, held together with 10 stitches, a quarter of an inch apart. When measuring with a tape measure, since the first stitch is a zero point, the length is only 2 and a quarter inches. Of course, I want to count both sides of the closure – to make 4 and a half inches! But then I have to divide that by PI to get the diameter that was removed. I had a couple of basal cell skin cancers in a space that was about 1 ½ inches diameter. It would be called minor surgery if it was performed on someone else!!! – more white space …..
Congratulations to the oil companies on taking over where housing left off. The housing bubble worked well for local governments. Real estate prices and, hence, tax revenues kept rising. Homeowners agreed with the assessor’s offices saying, “Yup, my $20,000 house was a good investment and has risen in value to $200,000!” Now real estate prices have dropped and many local governments are being forced to accept more realistic property valuations and less tax revenue. Once upon a time, Exxon didn’t make much money and didn’t pay much tax. Then Exxon got a $5 billion fine for the Exxon Valdez incident in 1994. But Exxon finally saw the light! Charging $4 a gallon for gas, they make a lot of money and PAY A LOT OF TAX (coincidentally, Feb 7, 2008 the $5 billion was reduced to around half a billion). After paying taxes, Exxon distributed a lot of the profit to shareholders. Then the shareholders paid A LOT OF TAX on the dividends. So, as fuel climbs to $5 or $10 a gallon, be glad that lots of tax will be collected to fund all sorts of worthwhile government projects such as economic stimulus checks.
T. Boone Pickens has aligned himself with the Rod’s Duck Farm Division of Research and Development, headed by Thomas Leech. People want cheap, clean “white” power – electricity for the kitchen to make toast. (Eric points out, “Even diesel locomotives are electric. The diesel engine drives a generator that powers electric motors at the wheels.”) Thomas Leech and T. Boone Pickens know that the wind-powered wings on a whirly-gig duck could be driving magnets past coils of wire – transforming a flow of air to a flow of electrons. The feasibility of wind power has increased vastly because of recent improvements in materials – rare earth magnets and carbon fiber airfoils. Bob Dylan said it best, “The answer my friend, is blowin’ in the wind ……”
Times change. Progress requires change. I suppose that is what all this white space and new world order stuff is all about. They say people like change as long as it isn’t happening TO them. A lot of progress has been made. When the United States was founded, people fought against taxes. Now people demand more taxes. At one time slaves were dragged, kicking and screaming, into the country to perform farm labor. Now Mexicans fight their way, kicking and screaming, into the country to perform farm labor. It is called increasing the demand, encouraging people to focus their wants in a desired way. Somehow, those Persians – those in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan – they are going to have to WANT to water their lawn and mow it and apply fertilizer and pesticide and demand to pay more taxes because their property is more valuable due to having a well manicured lawn.
Eric and I missed a Toastmasters meeting and the club decided to disband.
Now Northwest Arkansas Toastmasters Club is – Toast.
“Think & Grow Rich” by Napolean Hill …. there have been various reprints and updates since the original publication in 1937. (Actually, the 1937 book was a new improved version of Mr. Hills’s 1928 “The Laws of Success”) Andrew Carnegie commissioned Mr. Hill to study the “process of success”. The book is the culmination of 20 years of interviewing over 500 highly successful people such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, and Theodore Roosevelt. If you have been looking for a non-sectarian self-help book, this is it.
Just Remember: If people spent more time thinking about ducks, they’d spend less time thinking about other things!