Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rod's Duck Farm Says Hello

Pat Adams was thinking about ducks and sent this picture to Rod's Duck Farm. It seems to be a happy, inquisitive duck. I think maybe the duck just swallowed a june bug.
Quack, Quack!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rod's Duck Farm News August 2009

Read Your Rod’s Duck Farm News – Tooo Many Form Letter Words August 2009

“Maybe if more people had a duck in their lives, maybe we wouldn’t all be so mad at each other.”
-Joe Mansheim

Things have been busy at the Duck Farm since the January Duck Farm News. The above quote of Joe Mansheim came to the attention of the Duck farm editorial staff from the Oklahoma Field Correspondent, Dave Renfro’s Mother. She discovered an article and video about Joe Mansheim and his pet duck, Frank. They drive a flat-bed truck around Minnesota delivering construction supplies. Joe drives; Frank rides shotgun. If you want to see the video, you can use an old-timey search engine such as “Google” and search for JOE MANSHEIM DUCK VIDEO. It will be first on the list. If you are a little bit braver and willing to experiment, try the newer search engine at (You would still have to search for JOE MANSHEIM DUCK VIDEO.)

Down is Up
Ducks have feathers. According to The Free Dictionary online, feathers are “the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds.” Wikipedia says the word “down” comes from an old Norse word, “dunn” (meaning the opposite of up.) The soft feathers under the coarser exterior feathers are called “down.” Down is an internationally traded commodity. When the demand for down exceeds supply, the price of down is up.

The focus on opposites is, in Chinese Taoist philosophy, the yin and the yang …. or as Issac Newton would say, “for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction.” This page is written in black and white. If it were all white or all black, reading would be difficult. Contrast provides a kind of meaning that may have nothing to do with the contrast. This page has very little to do with black and white or even percentages of black and white. I like the word “down” because it is such a great example of a new world order political word ….. it can mean almost anything! Like, for instance, if you are down and out, don’t swallow it down, write it down!
Hero and heroine are that way …. either they are male and female soldiers or else a kind of sandwich and a form of refined opium.

Speaking of swallowing things down, I have gone on strike! I’m having a TAX revolt! Cutting taxes and reforming health care at the same time. Thousands have joined the effort to reduce the weight of social and government pressures.
The movement is called “That’s nuff!”
Perhaps you have been in your living room, bombarded with advertisements saying you NEED pizza, fried chicken, burritos, pancakes, cheese burgers AND reformed health care. Maybe you have experienced the dialog:
“What do you wanna do?”
“I dunno. What do you wanna do?”
“I dunno. Hey! Lets go get a pizza!”
Surely something nagged at your conscious saying, “Going out for pizza is NOT doing something! Taking care of the ducks – that’s doing something!”

HINT: What THEY want is for you to pay MORE TAXES. Taxes on the food. Taxes on the employees adding “fries with that.” Real estate tax on the franchises selling culinary horrors. Taxes on the medical care resulting from being overweight or from eating food prepared by folks with miscellaneous diseases. Taxes on the money you have to earn in order to pay taxes.

There’s a solution. Join “That’s nuff!” As a member of That’s nuff!, you will enjoy MRE rations (Meals Ready to Eat), better health, and more free time to enjoy things that are really meaningful to you.
Membership is about $5. For five dollars (at most grocery stores) you will receive a large round cardboard tube of oatmeal and a small round container (preferably plastic) of snuff. Dump out the snuff and wash the container about 5 times. Fill the snuff “tin” with oatmeal. Anytime you feel hungry, just open yore tin and take you a dip. Form the dip into a “cud” or chew it. Oatmeal does not have to be cooked – you can swoller yore dip. That’s the MRE – plain old dry oatmeal. You will find that you never actually get hungry.

What happens is that you find yourself craving your addiction to a SOCIAL EATING REGIMINE. This is where the true That’s nuff! activist must fight the hardest. Cultist slogans of the movement are: “Is there anything I’d rather do than prepare meals and wash dishes?” “How much tax do I want to pay for breakfast?” “Do I really want to lay around doing nothing because I had a stroke?”

Another benefit to the That’s nuff! lifestyle is that you get to be a heavy drinker! You know how they say you should drink about 8 cups of water a day? You might need a little more eating dry oatmeal. Also, you should probably take a quality daily vitamin supplement to complement the MRE.

There are NO WATCHDOGS! If you decide to engage in social-eating from time to time, that’s OK. The only penalty is the taxman, the cardiologist, and your aching knees and feet.

Join That’s nuff! You’ll be glad you did.

With the extra money I saved as a That’s nuff! member, I went to Movies:
IMAX – “Migrations” more about migratory butterflies than ducks – so many butterflies that the weight of the butterflies breaks tree limbs!
“Gran Torino” – Clint Eastwood explores social change in a multicultural neighborhood (language & violence typical of Eastwood movies)
“UP” – Pixar cartoon/movie (animated comedy adventure) version of Gran Torino
“The Proposal” – Sandra Bullock goes to Alaska
“G-Force” – cartoon/movie (animated comedy adventure) about the problem of controlling nanobots
“He’s Just Not That Into You” – Jennifer Aniston still has problems dating
“The Soloist” - maybe it is OK for people to be the way they are? Schizophrenic guy just wants to play his violin ….
“Food Inc” - corporate holding companies own and control the food supply … for whose benefit?
“Black Hawk Down” I saw that on TV for the first time a few days ago. Dave Renfro is a former Army helicopter maintenance guy that served in Somalia among other places. He mostly talks about climbing Mt Kilamanjaro while he was on leave and how the desert came alive at night with creepy-crawlies and how another soldier bested him at unicycle riding. I asked him if he was one of the guys portrayed in the movie. He said, “No. Actually, I had been in-country for quite a while and was on 2-week (rest & recuperation) R&R at the time. When I got back I did have to repair bucket-sized holes in a helicopter where an RPG round went through instead of exploding. The movie, at least in my estimation, did a particularly good job of capturing what it feels like to drive down the streets of Mogadishu in Somalia.”

Things are changing in Africa. (They still need DDT to kill some mosquitoes!) There are still nearly a million people a year dying from malaria but folks are looking to the future and developing infrastructure. Since nobody is too concerned about cell-phone towers over there, install ‘em while you can is the rule. The Chinese are drilling oil wells there. One day, Africa will suddenly blossom.

Blossoms in Africa bring up the topic of Africanized honey bees. They are attracted by CO2 …. the air you exhale. People and animals that die from killer bees typically die from asphyxiation as the bees enter the mouth and nasal cavities and cause swelling that restricts airflow. (heh, heh, heh ... those wanting to reduce their “carbon footprint” and attractiveness to killer bees only need to quit breathing) On the other hand, CO2 from a fire extinguisher is cold and windy. Bees and wasps do not like being sprayed by CO2 fire extinguishers. They flee from the CO2 cloud. It is reported that ½ cup liquid soap to a gallon of water is effective for killing bees (in instances where livestock is covered with bees, for example).
Adam and Eric both have tales of insect extermination using BB guns. Adam used to practice by shooting dragonflies at a nearby pond. Adam laments, “But I was never able to hit a house fly. Their movements are too random!”
Eric had occasional search and destroy missions involving wasps and spiders. He said, “A CO2 pistol works well on wasps at 2 feet. You don’t use a BB. You just shoot air. The shock wave gets them. At 3 feet, you don’t kill them but it blows their wings off and renders them less of a threat. For spiders, use a spring loaded gun that shoots the little plastic pellets. You can kill spiders from across the room, 10 or 15 feet. Not always on the first shot but definitely within a few shots.”
I got an email from a retired missionary to equatorial Africa that commented, “A visitor asked why I would have a loaded gun in my house. Are you afraid that some evil person is going to break in? ‘No, but then, I’m not afraid the house is going to burn down either. Still, I have fire extinguishers and they are loaded. I have a car in the garage and it is full of gas.’”

I think maybe Africa is a little like Afghanistan. Warfare is just a way of life that has been built into the culture over thousands of years. “Foreigners” are simply invaders that are killed for sport at one’s leisure. The rest of the time is for growing poppies. Afghan officials wiped out 10% of the poppy fields, making “examples” of selected farmers and raising the price of heroine 10%. I guess the 10% that got wiped out failed to pay their insurance premiums.
Niece Karen’s unit plans to go to Afghanistan. Maybe she’ll see her cousin Brandon.
Former Mexican President Vicente says the marijuana traffic into the United States is a “joint problem”…. like arthritis maybe?
Leta Mae is glad to have her car back in operation. It developed a crack in one of the cylinder heads. It turned out to be cheaper to get a low-mileage engine from a salvage yard installed than to get the cracked head replaced.

I was amused recently by comments to a TV question, “What is Fascism?” The broadcasted answers were synonyms of the word “Terrorists”. My 1940’s Encyclopedia explains that Fascism is simply, “The belief that society functions better when the masses are ruled by an elite few.”
Italian dictator Mussolini credited Vilfredo Pareto (a logistics expert with the Italian railroad who discovered that statistics could be used to solve social problems) as being the “Father of Fascist Thought”. Mussolini said that Fascism could be defined variously but that the primary symbol of Fascism is the “bureaucratization of the economic activities of the nation.”

Fortunately, duck farmers are not burdened with the prospect of being part of the elite few. All the news these days has to do with folks thinking they are supposed to be part of the elite few. Right now the emphasis is on union busting. The labor unions are pretty well taken care of but the heavy duty unions are still hard to beat. The American Medical Association and the insurance companies are united and very powerful. Whoever wins the battle, I’ll still be a duck farmer!

Some celebrate Woodstock, held on August 15,16,17, and 18 in 1969 with about 400,000 of America’s affluent young white folks. There were three deaths. One from being run over by a tractor, one from a heroine overdose, and one from a ruptured appendix. At the same time, there were 514,000 other young Americans in Vietnam. 109 of them died during the Woodstock festival, many at the Battle of Heip Duc. (a number of places had “Duc” as part of their name but I have never found a translation for the word …. except for the French “duc” which is NOT pronounced “duck” … French forces spent a lot of time in Vietnam before American involvement. Maybe all the Duc places are French?) I was in boot camp at Ft. Polk’s “Tigerland” at the time (I was induckted on July 22, 1969). There was a lot of duck stuff in Vietnam. You could be a sitting duck or, in the villages, buy a duck sandwich. Some marshy areas had duck ponds formed by bombs. There were duck down sleeping bags or sometimes when the fireworks were exceptional, you might duck down. In 1967, there was a 19 day battle at Dak To (pronounced by many as “duck toe”) from November 3 to November 22. Some folks were highly duckorated. By the time I got there, they were beginning the reducktion in forces.

January 26-30, 2009 was an unusual time. I had not yet finished cleaning up fallen trees from the excessive autumn wind and rains when along came one of those “ice-storm-of-the-century” events. Freezing rain covered everything. The weight of the ice on the power lines was too much for many of the support poles. Broken power lines and power poles resulted in no electricity or phone service for a week. All the schools and many of the businesses were closed. So many tree limbs were breaking, it sounded like machine gun fire at times. Northwest Arkansas was a disaster area. For me, it worked out well. School had just begun and a mastoidectomy left me needing the week to recuperate. Eric had finally begun to receive unemployment benefits. Sadly the Arkansas unemployment folks took the opportunity to cancel his unemployment compensation because he did not apply for jobs that week (government insurance is opportunistic?). When you count the folks like Eric who are unemployed and ignored by the system, unemployment in the US is about 17%. Of course, during the 2008 elections both political parties were warning of the coming problem – jobs would be leaving and not coming back. There is a good side to unemployment:
No job, no income, NO INCOME TAXES!!!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!! … more points for the That’s nuff! movement.

When school resumed, the machine shop class had a “Free for the Month of February – Chainsaw, Hatchets, and Axes Sharpened” for area residents (the local sharpening shops had a 6-week backlog). We sharpened over 700 items. I have spent much of the summer break clearing fallen branches from the Duck Farm. The Duck Farm purchased new forestry equipment: chain saw sharpening machine, chopping ax, handle for a felling ax, rake, and hedge clippers.

Ducks have contributed to the economy, judging from the influx of duckological artifacts. I received a marvelous variety of delightful ducks – some for my birthday, some for father’s day, some just-out-of-the-clear-blue-sky:
Duck Knife, Wood Ducks with Brass Wings, Plush Bunny/Duck, and Duck card from Adam & Amanda, Chainsaw Duck Graphic from Tom Freking, Duck Cartoon – Mother Goose & Grim’s Fairy Tales from James Allen, Duck brand clear packaging tape from Mark Evans, Key Ring Duck that lights and Quacks from Becky Echols, ½ inch tall Duck Miniature from Jim Reese, Duck Spice Rack, Wooden Swan, Tweetie Bird cup, Beanie Baby Duck and Plush Easter Duck from Leta Mae, Duck Drinking Glass from Cheryl Evans, Duck Books – “Duck Soup” and “Duck at the Door” by Jackie Urbanovic from Karen & Bill, Down-hill Racer (ski duck) and a distinguished looking Rustic Duck with a Bow Tie from Elbert & Syble Baker, photo of rubber “Ducks in a Row”, guarding the upper perimeter of an office cubicle from Robert Megee
I ordered some duck stuff from Duck Hats, Quackers, and paper plates.

Ducks in the News
Jimi Harris notes H5N1 bird flu in a wild duck this year, 11 in European geese last year.
Email from my Mother features an eagle trying to pluck a duck from a lake. The duck keeps diving under water to avoid capture …. a submarine duck?
Chlorox had a rubber duck cleaning commercial … Bank of America has a rubber duck in their commercial
Steve Renfro sent info about a Duck Press – culinary device for pressing juices from a duck.
Jim Heinrich brought an advertisement for fowl knick-knacks – the Lucy Goosie collection.
Episode of Hogan’s heroes featured a German bar decorated with wicker baskets woven to form duck baskets.
Jim Reese notes a tune, “One White Duck on the Wall” by Jethro Tull.
New “Peter and the Wolf” show includes a duck …. One of the Florida keys is: Duck Key
1931 Prohibition Coast Guard Cutter “Black Duck” attacks rum-runner Artemis.
July 19, 2007 lady robbed a library in Ft. Smith, AR …. money went in a “bright yellow bag with a 3-D duck bill”
Ed Gee observed the Boston Legal episode featuring a duck with an anxiety disorder having a coronary.
(Later Ed had a heart attack of his own. He got two stints. He would have needed a bypass on another artery but he had mysteriously grown a bypassing artery. He said, “Wow! God gave me a free bypass!)
Pastor Wolf saved the April 24, 2009 USA Today pg 6A & 7A Aflac advertisement/article about migratory flyways of ducks
1977 “Close Encounters of a Third Kind” ……ducks are freed from a fenced area.
Robert Megee directed me to GameVance (site with free online video games such as Duck Hunt)
Steve Whitney, Eli Whitney descendant, discovered a print ad about health care featuring the Aflac Duck. He makes the world a brighter place with custom chrome plating at Whitworx. Their restroom features duck hand towels.
Marion Smallwood’s daughter bought a new place in Oklahoma …. with a pond full of ducks!
PBS TV– animated educational show “Word World” features word play for kids. Words are morphed into the shapes they represent. (One of the main characters is a duck, made from the letters D-U-C-K which are morphed into the shape of a duck)

I have been doing some basic maintenance as well … changing oil in the vehicles …. I even did a lube job on our “Guaranteed for 25 years” Circulation Fan. It may be nearing its 25 years. I take it apart every couple years for cleaning and oiling. So far, so good!
Also I patched the roof. Now, when it rains, a lot of the rain stays outside!

Dennis Wargo and I started developing a CNC Level I Certification program. Eric, Leta Mae, and I finished it this summer. It covers the basic steps necessary to use a computerized milling machine. There are 28 illustrated Units in the form of hands-on checklists.

Another computerized activity we participated in is located at the Northwest Arkansas Mall – a roller coaster simulator. After paying four dollars, you hop into a box about the size of a 1973 Chevy Van. Inside the box are 12 seats with seat belts. Instead of a windshield, there is a video screen. The door closes and you find yourself in total darkness until the video screen comes on to display a cartoon – you are about to embark on an animated adventure. I’m not sure whether the cartoon became real or if maybe I became a cartoon character. The box I was sitting in tossed and turned, pitched and vibrated. Hydraulic cylinders controlled by a computer synchronized the movements with the video. According to the video, I had just flown off a bluff. I accidentally swallered my oatmeal and had to get another dip! At some point, I realized that I was a cartoon character and would live through anything – I was invincible! Now that I’m out-of-the-box, it’s like I’ve been exposed to kryptonite or something. My super-powers are gone.

Eric went on a real adventure. It turns out that Bayou La Batre, Alabama (home of Forrest Gump’s buddy, Bubba) is a real place near Mobile. He spent a weekend driving down there to visit friends and, I suppose, sample the crawdad gumbo.
After he returned and while we were at the mall he discovered a very excellent pair of tweezers. He provided me with a pair. I have removed a variety of pokey-stickey thingies from my flesh. Good tweezers are a good thing!
My Mother gave Eric a fig tree for his birthday. He has been taking care of it – watering it and keeping the weeds down. The fig tree still doesn’t have enough leaves to cover his birthday suit.
Eric helped replace the circuit breaker box and breakers at my Mother’s house. Step-Sister Connie and her grand-daughter Nicole went to the Gainey reunion in Memphis by way of Clarksville the circuit breakers chose that time to quit – oh well!
He has a new Fender Stratocaster guitar that he lets me mess with. On the 4th of July I straightened the neck, filed the frets, and adjusted the nut and string height. Also I realized the meaning of the Bible verse, “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” (it’s because nobody else wants to hear it!!!) Now I have a tiny battery operated “amplifier” that plugs into the guitar and plays through an earphone jack. I can play as loud as I want and nobody else has to hear the same mistakes being endlessly repeated. I play “Mr. Bojangles”…. he jumped so high then he lightly touched DOWN?

Adam spends his time being a family man. He mows the lawn and fixes things around his place. Adam still makes his living fixing plastic injection molds. Right at the moment, he has shingles – an adult ailment that involves dormant childhood chicken pox viruses marching around one’s torso to form a blistery belt. He is looking forward to the day it quits burning.

This year I planted onions, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, bell peppers, rutabagas, garlics, potatoes. The garlics, tomatoes, and bell peppers are doing best. I took some cuttings from a rose bush and treated them with rooting hormone. Then I stuck them in some well-composted soil and covered them with a wide-mouthed gallon jug “greenhouse”. The gallon jug is now removed and they seem to have taken root.

With all this activity, summer is over and I’m all out of whirly-gig ducks!
Oh!!!! The Duck Farm has a new phone …. (479) 304 - 1648

Just remember:
If people spent more time thinking about ducks,
They’d spend less time thinking about other things.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Search Engine - Almost Duck Duck Goose!!!

If you have been looking for a search engine with a nice clean page ....... something without all the advertisements and popups, try

You can even search for Rod's Duck Farm. It's the greatest thing ever. When it runs out of options, it refers you to Google. I guess that means that Google is more comprehensive. Of course, more comprehensive means more complex. With DuckDuckGo, choose Magnifying Glass or Books or ShoppingCart to indicate whether you are looking for any reference or basic information or something to buy.

Try it, you'll like it.
Quack, Quack!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Official International Rod's Duck Farm Coin
To many, this may look like an ordinary Euro Cent from France. The coin is smaller than a dime. I'm sure you immediately noticed the scripted letters "R" and "F". Those characters could stand for "Rat Fink". From whence comest the claim that it is "Rod's Farm"?
I direct your attention to the Head ... the Face .... or if you will, the mask. Take away the eyes, nose, and mouth. Then turn the coin sideways, placing the "RF" at the top. Now you see the mask was actually a letter "D" in disguise.
Perhaps you think this to simply be a coin-cidence.
It is ok to think that. Sometimes it is comforting to ignore the obvious. The world is changing and Rod's Duck Farm is at the forefront.
Accountants call it the New World Order.
Soldiers call it the New World Armor.
The Duck Farm calls it the New World Amour.
After all, if people spent more time thinking about ducks, they'd spend less time thinking about other things.
It just makes cents!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Word Ardor - Unemployment Protection - Ducks

Tough economic times? This is from a cubicle in the computing headquarters of a major international operation .... the name of which, I don't need to know .....
What I do know is that at very high levels, at least as high as the ledge of a cubicle, the powers that be have their ducks in a row.
You may notice that the lead duck is a fireman duck. While there may be rumors of layoffs, nobody can be fired when there is a fireman duck on duty. Also, these are rubber ducks which means they are thick-skinned. Not only are they capable of the "water-off-a-duck's-back" phenomenon, they can be completely flattened and just spring right back into shape.
The ducks are socially acceptable since they are multicultural .... no racism here; but I do have to wonder ......... why is the little guy in the back? Is this evidence of a might-makes-right pecking order? Or are the big ducks walking point for the little duck? Maybe all the ducks are walking backwards and the little duck is walking point? And when the ducks are in a row, are they walking? wading? swimming? Is it a row vs wade decision? Just remember, there's a NEW WORD ORDER (New Word Ardor?) these days, evidenced by ducks.
Ducks in a Row
Duck Sin Arrow
Ducksy Narrow

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

Crystal sent this marvelous Duck Candle. (Even though it is a Crystal Duck, it is a Wax Duck!)
I need to make a wax statue of myself. Then I could get lit up and be brighter! Also I could experience the water-off-a-duck's-back phenomenon. I don't really want to light the duck .... but then I hate to waste a good candle .... what a conundrum. For now, I'm content to sit a look. Wax is lighter than water - like a duck, it floats. Maybe ducks are martial arts experts? Wax-on ..... Wax-off ...........
Spring has arrived at the Duck Farm and the daffodils are in bloom. I'm gonna go look at daffodils and think about ducks!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's No Duck .... It's Snow Duck!!!

During a Nob Hill winter precipitation event, a snow duck flew in and landed on the car. Then a snowman decided to try out rodeo tricks. While Duck Riding is not a particularly well known rodeo activity at this time, because Rod's Duck Farm is such a widely followed international blog you can be sure the word will spread quickly to eliminate any discrimination faced by ducks in the rodeo arena.
Soon, Duck Riding will be standard conversation at the dinner table. Of course, one can readily see why most ducks fly south for the winter - to escape winter Duck Riding events. Winter rodeo is only for the most adventuresome of ducks. I think I'll stick with Duck Writing.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Duck Money

There is a such thing as Duck Money! Thomas came up with these coins. In theory, the left one is more valuable, being actual silver bullion. The round features a duck riding an airplane, reminescent of my piloting days. The duck has reading glasses and is reading a book entitled "The Duck Book," consistent with my teaching activities. Tying it all together, the tailfin is emblazoned with my initials "RW" (Rod White). On the other hand, the "My Lucky Duck Penny" is one of those roll-your-own affairs which reminds me of Machine Shop Alumni Brother, Roger King who once said, "I'd rather be lucky than good, any day!"
There are a couple other duck coins I need to post one of these days ..... the Canadian Dollar coin (the Duck Buck) which features an "almost duck" , a Loon ....... and the Arkansas State Quarter which has an actual duck on the back side.
As long as you have a duck coin, you'll never be broke.
Quack, Quack!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Groundhog Day

Today is when Americans celebrate the mid-point of the 12 weeks of Winter. If the Ground Hog see his shadow today, he will be scared and hop back into his burrow. Then there will be six more weeks of Winter weather. Otherwise, we will be saved from the bad weather and springtime will only be 6 weeks away!
This duck is a duck "piggy bank". Since it isn't a pig, it is actually a Duck Bank. It has a slot in the top for putting in coins, accumulating wealth! Dave & Cristine over at Dave Mows Grass gave me this delightful duckological duck decoy depository decoration.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Dry Duck

This Duck Towel arrived from Melody. It is nearly 3 feet wide and 6 feet long. Right now, it decorates the backrest of my living room sofa. I admire the simple clean lines of the artwork.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rod's Duck Farm News - January 2009

Read Your Rod’s Duck Farm News – Tooo Many Form Letter Words January 2009

“Nothing is as funny as a duck.” - Antonin Scalia – Justice, US Supreme Court
News Flash: December 15, 2008 – President Bush DUCKS shoe!

Happy New Year!!!!!
Nowadays you can even Google Rod’s Duck Farm to discover items of duckological interest. I’m having trouble coming up with more plays on the word DUCK so I’m having to work on parts of ducks ….. like the duck’s bill.
-A duck was flying along and got hit on the bill by a hail stone. Another duck asked, “When are you going to get something done about that ding in your bill?” The first duck replied, “I’m headed to the bill-ding maintenance department right now.” J heh, heh, heh ….. yuk, yuk, yuk …..hahaha!

Anyway, if I haven’t seen you in a while, it’s not that I don’t care, I’ve been doing things like:

CHICAGO: Every two years in September, on the even numbered years (like 2008) there is an International Machine Tool Show (IMTS) at Chicago. This year, the students had conflicting schedules and opted out of attending but I went, armed with student questions. In particular, students wanted to know what ceramic cutting tools are made of. It turns out that ceramic cutting tools are just like grinding wheels – made of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, or cubic boron nitride. Cubic boron nitride is billed as being “the same as diamond” despite the facts that it is only half as hard as diamond and is not carbon based. Pushing the tool company engineers and VP’s revealed that it is “the same as diamond” with respect to cost.
TULSA: “The Dark Knight” is a movie, not about ducks but, about Batman. It was playing at the Tulsa IMAX theater. Perhaps there was a novel statement. If so, it was lost in the unnecessary levels of noise and violence.
ARKANSAS: We had a rainy spring and summer. It loosened the ground and tree roots so that when the remnants of Hurricane Ike came through about 2am, trees were uprooted. Our power was out for about 12 hours. We visited Sharon Gann in Van Buren. Lying in her back yard was the 2nd largest pecan tree in Arkansas. It was about 4 feet in diameter at its base.
NOT GERMANY: . Leta Mae, Eric, my mother, and I went to Stuttgart (Arkansas) Nov 28th for the Wings over the Prairie International Duck Calling Championship Festival. There was a caricature artist. I am now captured with Duck Lips …. see (the December 1, 2008 posting).

WAL-MART $1,500 to Machine Shop Program
Bill Megee, Alumni/Advisory Committee Member, used his influence through Wal-Mart Optical to obtain an Educational Grant to the Machine Tool Technology program. Wal-Mart Optical uses computerized milling machines to makes lenses for prescription eye-wear. The grant will provide tooling for the machine shop program’s milling curriculum.

Christmas was a marvelous time at the Duck Farm. Rare and exotic ducks of all kinds showed up under the tree. Thomas Leech discovered two duck coins - a Lucky Duck Penny (penny with a Duck and logo rolled onto it) and a one ounce silver “coin” from the Crabtree Mint featuring a Duck riding a jetliner, reading a book entitled “Duck Book”. To top it off, the tail section of the jetliner is embossed with my initials, RW.
My Step-Mother sent a shower curtain emblazoned with Wood Ducks, Mallards, and Green-Winged Teals plus an Audubon Green Winged Teal Bread Tray, and a set of Ceramic Salt & Pepper Shaker Ducks. Crystal made sure I don’t have to sit around in the dark with a life-like Duck Candle and a “Belly Brights” Duck (a plush duck that incorporates a push button night light). If my humor seems dry, maybe it is because Melody sent a giant Duck Towel, about 3 feet x 6 feet. Dave & Cristine must have known I was getting Duck coins – they gave me a very stylish Duck “piggy bank”. Amanda & Adam unearthed an electronic Quacking/Dancing Duck and Amanda sewed up two comfortable Duck pillows. Syble & Elbert unveiled a delightful wooden decoy-style Duck and a very cute Duck coffee creamer. Diane Bradberry revealed a patriotic ceramic “rubber duck”. Marsha has been doing arts & crafts and made a Duck Christmas Wreath. Familiar with my mid-day culinary habits, Mark Evans provided Duck Lunch Sacks. Sharon & Mike sent a Christmas card with a Ducks Unlimited return address label. From my Mother’s horticultural congregation escaped a darling Duck planter. Earlier in the year, Leta Mae delivered the literary wonder, an electronic/quacking book called “Quacker’s Crackers”. Marie Becker was walking around the Buffalo River when a stone shaped like a duck’s head called out to her. Tom Freking discovered the lair of the graphic character “Super Duck.” Steve Renfro uncovered some Semitic lore, not quite as old as the Dead Sea Scrolls. An individual named Dudu Geva, Israel’s most famous cartoonist, had a dream – to turn Tel Aviv into a city of Ducks. In his memory, they inflated a giant duck atop the city hall building. Though he died in 2005, Ducks will always be remembered by their Dudu.
David White & Steve Renfro are both credited for the observation of the August 31 Great British Duck Race – ¼ million rubber ducks were released into the Thames River. Perhaps all that wetness has something to do with the Huggies diapers Duckmercials, noted by Dave Renfro. Aflac continues to have marvelous duckvertisements to include their SuperDuck. Even Wal-Mart is getting in on the action with a duct tape ad featuring the Duck from Duck tape. You might have seen the “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” episode where Duck was the answer to the question, “Which word is both a noun and a verb?” Leta watched a 1994 movie, “Blown Away” that featured a wind-up duck as an explosive timer. The TV news, on October 15th noted that Duck appetites were the benefactors of a bunch of Humbolt Squid mysteriously dying. Another news program noted California’s “duck & cover” drills for earthquakes. On TV Show episode “TreeHouse” – mama duck taught baby ducks to grow up and fly. I even made a Duck discovery of my own …. at the DollarTree store there were gift boxes with rubber duck images imprinted on the sides. I’m having to learn a bit more Italian …. Nonna means Granny, Papera means Duck, and Mondo means World. I have heard folks call their grandmother “Nanner” but now I suspect the term to be a poor pronunciation of the Italian “nonna” instead of a bad attempt at “banana”. There is an Italian Duck blog by “Nonnapapera” = Granny Duck. The Blog is = Duck World.
Research and development continues in the world of wind power. For large scale power, there is money and a lot of solutions to the problems of electrical power generation. For small yard ornaments generating low amounts of power, finding rectifiers, voltage regulators, and storage devices that will withstand variations in windspeed, vibration, and temperature are challenges. Thomas Leech keeps getting closer to a suitable circuit.

At last!!!! It is OK to be a Vietnam veteran. Rather than having Veterans Day grouped together with Thanksgiving, this year Veterans Day was celebrated on Veterans Day at NTI. (Veterans Day is a re-naming of Armistice Day, the end of World War I, the 11th hour of the 11day of the 11th month). Also, the Golden Corral restaurant chain had a free dinner for all veterans. And the Veterans Hospital has become more helpful. And the State of Arkansas has reduced rate automobile license plates. Woo-Hoo!!!

Drugs: You have probably seen the emails and rumors about Tylenol (acetaminophen) being dangerous. As it turns out, acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide. The good news is that recovery is likely if treated within 8 hours of the overdose. The bad news is that symptoms often do not show up until 12 hours after overdose. On Monday December 29 I stopped by the local hospital to see Jonathan Fuller. He was in a critical care unit under armed guard as a suicide risk. He commented, “I wasn’t trying to commit suicide, I was just trying to get high. Now I need a liver transplant. Nobody told me that Tylenol would do that!” Of course, lots of things besides Tylenol have associated risks (the difference between poison and medication being the dosage rate). The best way to get high is to dress up like a duck and go sit around at a petting zoo – everybody will love you and you will be alert enough to realize it!

Russians invaded Georgia …. remember that? Sort of like the country western tune, “Devil came to Georgia.” The US waited for the matter to resolve itself – sort of like when the US invaded Atlanta, Georgia. But that was a long time ago.

The world’s economy is in an interesting state of flux. Prices bounce around with 100% price changes accompanied by silly excuses. The big companies go bankrupt and the courts rule that the firm should reorganize by closing out their books and starting up a new company – the old stock holders get nothing, not even stock in the new company. Interest rates are down so much that retirees have not only lost their stock but are having to spend their retirement savings. Young men trying to raise families find themselves unemployed, living in homes and driving cars that are worth less than what is owed – their option is to join the military. Of course, the presidential elections show that people didn’t want a dollar – they wanted change!
Fortunately we aren’t having a banking collapse …. well, I got a note in the mail that my AG Edwards money, that was purchased by Wachovia, is now owned by Wells Fargo. The $16 in cash is supposedly alive & well, waiting for me determine a good investment option for it. I will be glad to see the securities companies, mortgage companies, and insurance companies moving into HUD housing. They are already on disability income.
I remember the President-Elect focusing on affordable health care for all Americans, etc., etc. Now that he has met more personally with the CIA and Pentagon he is saying things like, “Iran is a genuine threat.” I think maybe Obama is correct ….. afterall, “not-being-blown-to-bits” is essential to good health.

Eric is having some 1st hand experience with the unemployment business. Along with 31 of his coworkers, he found himself to be a free agent, just a couple days before Thanksgiving. Although he applied for unemployment benefits immediately, he has yet to see a dollar of that money. He has been applying at machine shops regularly. One shop read his resume and said, “We don’t need any help but I see you can weld and repair welders. Here’s a broken portable welder. You can have it! Fix it! Use it! Sell it!” Maybe it is a kinder and gentler world.

Dave Renfro did his part to change the world. He brought his library to the machine shop for folks to pick through. There were books on everything imaginable. Eric picked books on guitar making and playing. Next thing you know my mother gave Eric a guitar. Perhaps Eric will be a musician or welder? Actually, he’s planning to take a computer drafting course.

Lots of folks have sinus problems. An article I read years ago, by an old country doctor, explained what everyone already knows …. (paraphrased) “nasal problems are an irritation for which people seek medical relief. The problem is that there is really very little in the way of a cure. But I did manage to soothe a lot of folks and make a bit of money selling salt-water nose drops at a nominal charge. I bought bottles with droppers and had labels made up that said, `Sodium Chloride Solution – place two drops in each nostril as needed.’ Nobody knew that Sodium Chloride is table salt. They were very impressed with the results and would return for refills.”
Sister, Sharon, once worked as an inhalation therapist. Patients would be treated for respiratory (breathing) problems by breathing a special prepared mist (of salt-water). All agree that living by the ocean and breathing the "good ocean air” is excellent for sinus problems. A daily swim in the ocean is even better …. some folks go a step farther to say maybe we didn’t evolve from monkeys so much as we crawled up out of the ocean … maybe we used to be kelp or something?
Sharon researched a simple way for folks in the midwest to have the nasal benefit of a swim in the ocean. You can see the “sinus rinse” video at
It is a squirt bottle, specially designed for nasal irrigation (to squirt salt water up one nostril and out the other). NeilMed comes with pre-measured packets of sodium chloride (salt … ¼ teaspoon). You get the bottle and 50 packets of premeasured salt for about $10 at Wal-Mart. I would guess that some folks might use Sea Salt to make it a more natural thing. Even more natural, do nothing and just live with a “stobbed-up-doze” (stopped up nose).

The angels keep getting lonely and calling folks to heaven. Rita Megee and Retha Skaggs have both joined their ancestors. Rita Megee you know as the chief executive of the Bill & Rita Megee Foundation for the Preservation of Duckological Artifacts. Retha Skaggs was wife to Leta Mae’s brother, Doyle. Like so many others, Bill and Doyle are both pretty busy figuring out which half of them is gone and which half is still here – and what to do with what is left.
Bill asked, “How does it work …. when somebody remarries and their spouse is in heaven? What happens when everybody meets up in heaven?”
Leta Mae had the best answer to that: “In heaven, everybody is happy. For one thing there is plenty of time and no jealousy. So the number of mates is inconsequential.”
“What to do next?” is a fairly common question. Psychological studies indicate that stress is hard on people and that major changes cause stress – the loss of a spouse, the loss of a job, getting a new hose, anything that arouses emotion. The idea is to limit the amount of stress on has per year. The loss of a spouse generally considered to be enough stress for one year. Getting new houses and cars – making long term commitments for the first year increases stress. Of course, when the house burns down with the car in the garage …. you’ve got to live somewhere!

TROUBLE SLEEPING – (sign: will work for sleep)
If you have just awakened from a 20 hour nap and can’t go back to sleep, probably 8 hours of some kind of activity resembling exercise would help. If it is 11pm and you have been up since 4am drinking coffee, maybe quit drinking coffee at about 7pm would help. On the other hand, if you are simply tossing and turning, wondering if the dogs are scattering the trash and thinking about how to get back at an evil co-worker and feeling a bit guilty about eating all the ice cream … then you may be a “stay-awake-and-worry-aholic”. The first step is to decide that you really do want to quit worrying and start sleeping. The next thing is to occupy your mind with …. boring? …. thoughts.
Santo Ciabatta explains things this way: “The human mind cannot really concentrate on two things at the same time. Since you can’t do that, when you try to do it anyway, the body rebels - the act of trying to concentrate on two things at the same time results in an unexplainable psychic experience.”
Santo continues, “That’s really the way the Catholic Rosary works. There are prayers and mysteries. The prayers are just prayers, like the Lord’s Prayer (our Father who art in heaven …). The mysteries are visual images of the life and times of Jesus, such as those painted by Michaelangelo – the manger scene for instance. So, you concentrate on the image while earnestly praying the prayer. It causes a kind of sensory overload that makes you feel good.”
A lot of folks fall asleep trying to get through the prayers of the Rosary.

Another simple sleep-inducing trick is similar to hypnosis – the snap of the fingers. It goes like this: probably when you were a baby, somebody was determined that you were going to sleep. They kept winding the music box, playing “Lullaby” over and over until you finally fell asleep. Even better, maybe the music box included some kind of animation … You could have your very own animated music box or musical mobile …. listening to music and observing the image, feeling good, going to sleep. Sometimes something as simple as a music box can be a psychological cue that snaps one to slumber.

At any rate, “mind-numbing repetition” of something intermingled with concentration on “what comes next” can result in sleep. Perhaps one might memorize the stories and pictures of children’s books, “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” “The Three Little Pigs,” etc. Maybe one could visualize each kind of duck in alphabetical order and mentally recall the sounds of the different ducks.

But it all starts with the realization that one is awake and needs to engage in a sleep-inducing activity.

Leta Mae’s clothes dryer was 20 years old when I scavenged it … 30 years ago. Recently, a modern new-looking dryer showed up next to a dumpster. When I plugged it up, I could tell why it was where it was. It made a terrible grinding /screeching sound, like an explosion was imminent. It turned out that the fan that blows the hot air was loose, rubbing on its housing. Now Leta Mae has a dryer that matches her washer. If you are in need of a good clothes dryer, a 50 year old brown one that can be repaired using cheap industrial parts – boy do I have a deal for you! You can have it! Use it! Sell it!
Eric’s 1988 Celebrity has about the same engine as my 1988 S-10 Duck Truck. The Celebrity’s “check engine soon” light would come on until the engine warmed up. But until that time, the speedometer/odometer would not work and gas mileage was terrible. One would think the culprit to be a speed sensor but the problem turned out to be a programmable-read-only-memory (PROM) chip in the electronic-control-module (ECM). Since those two things have to work together in an engine designed for operation in the central United States ….. the good thing was that $60 at the salvage yard got an ECM with PROM whose ID numbers matched Eric’s, solving the problem.
The 1988 Duck Truck GT had what seemed to be either a fuel pump problem or an intermittently loose wire. Sometimes it would run, sometimes it wouldn’t. Almost always it would run if you had patience to stand there with a squirt can “fuel-injecting” it. As fate would have it, the distributor has sensors and electronic controllers in it. Now and then, my distributor was telling the Duck Truck’s electronic brain that the engine was not running – therefore, the fuel pump and sometimes the ignition should be shut off. A rebuilt distributor ($150) was about the same price as buying and replacing the sensor and controller.
The 2008 Duck Truck AC was plagued with the same problem as most trucks – the places to tie ropes were inconvenient. So I installed cleats, like you use to tie ropes on boats. Woo-Hoo!
After enough eardrum ruptures and a clogged eustachian tube, part of my eardrum decided to grow on a path of its own, back into the inner ear. That kind of growth is called a colesteotoma. It needs to be removed because it could grow into the brain. January 23rd, I’m scheduled to have an operation. I was scheduled to have the operation on January 9th but the doctor cancelled. Hopefully he’s feeling better by the 23rd.

If people spent more time thinking about ducks,
They’d spend less time thinking about other things!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

For Red Dirt Mule

Here is an interesting set of footwear for the shoe fanatic - Duck Slippers. Perfect for the beach or for showing off your manicured toenails while keeping most of the foot modestly covered. Also you don't wear a hole in the skin between the Big Toe and Index Toe as with Flip-Flips. This item is all the more attractive, being Italian shoes. Granny Duck (Nonnapapera) has them on the DuckWorld (Mondopapera) blog.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

This duck came from Crystal. It is called Belly Bright Duck. When you push the belly, it lights up. It is a Duck security light. At night, when ghosts and goblins come around, I push the belly button and the light comes on. Then I throw it across the room. Whatever is in the room can not keep their eyes from following the light traveling across the dark room. Ghosts and goblins become so disoriented by this scheme that they disappear.
If you are having trouble with night-time monsters, this is the Duck to have!