Friday, June 21, 2013

Book excerpt shows that the anti-gun crowd doesn't understand how hunters and gun owners think

    Betsy and I were in the woods alone for the first time in over two years, slipping along from tree to tree. We were mainly enjoying being outside, though I had my 30.06 along.
Robert Hitt Neill
    Thus begins a short essay by Delta writer Robert Hitt Neill in his book, Don't Fish Under the Dingleberry Tree.     I loved reading Neill's newspaper columns back in the day, but I've really only skimmed his books, some of which I think are a collection of his old columns. Anyway, I sat down to read one of his old books and the quote jumped off the page at me.
    I suspect that the average New York or California gun-control advocate simply can't imagine taking one's significant other out for a walk in the woods and just casually taking the 30.06 along. I just thought it was a fun excerpt that shows a different way of thinking between those who like guns and those who hate them.
    Neill is the author of a number of other books, including "How to Lose Your Farm in 10 Easy Lessons," which is a good way to understand some of the changes that took place in agriculture during the 1970s and '80s.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

I've wanted to throw this tantrum myself. Oh, how I hate Wendy's!

    Last year I posted a blog entry entitled "The Death of the Wendy's Hamburger." In it, I expressed my frustration over the fact that Wendy's at some point stopped selling hamburgers. So I can understand the frustration of the man in the video above who specifically asked for no cheese and got it anyway.
    The forced cheese buying adds perhaps 60 cents to the cost of each hamburger. I just feel it's unfair to make everyone pay an extra 60 cents for cheese they don't want.
    The fact that Wendy's used to prepare my burger just as I asked for it used to be the reason I loved Wendy's and hated McDonald's. Now I hate them both.
    On a recent family visit to Wendy's (it was close-by) I ordered a hamburger with "mustard, pickle, and onion," which was the traditional toppings for hamburgers before McDonald's started dumping ketchup on every sandwich. I specified "no cheese" and it came with no cheese, even though they made me pay an extra 60 cents for the cheese I didn't want. They also put tomato, lettuce, and ketchup on my burger.
    My children explained to me that these were "default" toppings, and I should have specified that I didn't want them. But the old Wendy's that I used to love only put those items that were specifically requested. They would always ask me if I wanted cheese on my hamburger and I would always give them a 10-second lecture on how it was impossible to put cheese on a hamburger, because doing so created a cheeseburger. But to their credit, they only put on those things I ask for. I didn't have to worry about ketchup being dumped on my sandwich.
    I've never thrown as big a tantrum as the guy in the video, but I've wanted to. What part of the word "hamburger" do these people no understand? A hamburger does not have cheese, ever, under any circumstance whatsoever.
    So if you, like so many others, find yourself getting cheese on a sandwich when you've asked for none, just search for this blog post and play the above video for the hired help. Maybe you should wait until you get your replacement sandwich to avoid spit or other unwanted substances being used in place of the cheese.
    Honestly, though, I'm at low risk at getting unwanted cheese since I try to avoid both Wendy's and McDonald's. These restaurants just hate their customers too much. Long live Five Guys and Backyard Burgers!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Holland Family Farms to debut new soap line at June 15 Holly Springs Farmers' Market

    The Holland family of Marshall County has been farming near Hudsonville since 1899. Jesse Holland was editor of The Daily Mississippian some years back (say 1994?), and now covers the Supreme Court for the Associated Press. They are going to be on the Marshall County courthouse Square Saturday, June 15, from 7 a.m. to noon as part of the county farmer’s market.
    They have a line of goat’s milk soap. I have not tried it but they are getting some raves on their Facebook page. Click here for their webpage.

“We have been told that the annual Holly Springs Farmers’ Market will begin this Saturday, June 15th on the historic Holly Springs Courthouse Square, from 7 am until noon.
“We will be at the market with some of our produce such as onions, collard greens, swiss chard and fresh herbs. Check back here tomorrow on our Facebook Fan Page for a complete list of our produce we’ll have for Saturday!
“A new addition to our stand this year will be our 1899 Goat’s Milk Soap. We will have our 12 varieties on hand for purchase. Our goat milk soap is great to use for that dry, itchy summer skin! We’ve had great comments about the soap, so we hope y’all will try it! ‘Your skin will thank you!’ ”

    Another post lists herbs and produce available: “Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Swiss Chard, Green Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Mint, Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Chives and Lavender. As the growing season progresses, we will have more produce available!”
Jesse Holland
    The AP reporter Jesse Holland now lives in Washington. He is the author of Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African-American History In and Around Washington, D.C.
    If I get up there tomorrow maybe I'll be able to take a couple of photos and write a short feature.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Legal education program to highlight what we learn about law from the movies

J. Howard Sunderman
    Retired Ohio appeals court judge Judge J. Howard Sunderman, now a professor at the University of Cincinnati Law school, is the presenter for a Kentucky Bar Association CLE. His program is called CLE at the Movies.
    So what have the movie taught us about law and police investigations?

1. During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
2. The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place. No one will ever think of looking for you in there, and you can travel to any other part of the building you want without difficulty.
3. Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language. A German accent will do.
4. A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating, but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
5. Kitchens don't have light switches. When entering a kitchen at night, you should open the fridge door and use that light instead.
6. If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
7. Cars that crash will invariably burst into flames.
8. Stripping to the waist can make a man invulnerable to bullets.
9. Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
10. All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they're going to go off.
11. When confronted by an evil international terrorist, sarcasm and wisecracks are your best weapons.
12. Laptop computers are powerful enough to override the communication systems of an invading alien civilization.
13. Most people keep a scrapbook of newspaper clippings – especially if any of their family or friends has died in a strange boating accident.
14. All computer disks will work in all computers, regardless of software.
15. Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure they are assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
16. When they are alone, foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
17. If you are a hero, you never face charges for manslaughter or criminal damage despite laying entire cities to waste by your actions.
18. You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
19. Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds – unless it's the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
20. When driving a car, it is normal to look not at the road but rather at the person sitting beside you or in the back seat for the entire journey.
21. Taxi drivers don't require exact or even approximate payment – the first bill you pull from your pocket is always correct.
22. Honest and hard-working policemen are traditionally gunned down three days before retirement.
23. A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of Yankee Stadium.
24. The Chief of Police will always suspend his star detective – or give him forty-eight hours to finish the job.
24. Television and radio news bulletins usually contain a story that affects the plot at that precise moment.
25. You're likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart from back home.
26. If you need to reload your gun, you will always have more ammunition even if you weren't carrying any before.
27. It doesn't matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a martial arts fight – your enemies will wait patiently to attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out each of their predecessors.

    The Kentucky Bar does a good job with lawyer education. Their bar convention is a working convention reasonably priced, versus the Mississippi Bar Convention, which is designed as a week-long vacation for the whole family. The Kentucky Bar Convention CLE is top-notch.
    In addition to having a good education program at the annual convention, the Kentucky Bar offers at no charge an annual two-day Kentucky Law Update. In other words, free CLE.
Curtis Wilkie
    The Kentucky Bar Association convention is June 19-21 in Louisville, Ky.
    Oh, and Ole Miss journalism professor Curtis Wilkie will be there, with a one-hour CLE on his book, The Fall of the House of Zeus, on Dickie Scruggs and the Mississippi judicial bribery scandal.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pope's call to eliminate food waste won't feed a single poor person

    Pope Francis has just declared the wasting of food equivalent to "stealing from the poor." It's a statement that reflects a poor understanding of economics.
    I remember as a child being told to eat everything on my plate and not to throw away a sandwich. "Think of all the starving children in India," we were told. Today I think children are told that it's the Africans who are starving.
    Finally we got wiser and would tell the sermonizer to "just put it in a box and mail it to them."
    Certainly there is plenty of food wasted in the United States each year. A recent study said 40 percent of American food production is "wasted," whether in the fields, on the way to and from market, in processing, or thrown away uneaten or spoiled. The study says that if we reduced food waste by 15 percent we could feed 25 million more people each year. Apparently unanswered in the study is exactly how this food is to be delivered to these people.
    Food is money. When we waste food we waste money. So we shouldn't waste food. But time is money, too. When we waste time we waste money. So sometimes we make choices and throw away food money to get time money; or manufacturers waste 10 cents worth of food to save a dollar in labor and processing costs.
    The fact is that food is cheap in relation to the cost of reducing food waste. Restaurants could cut their serving sizes and offer free seconds, which would probably help all of our waistelines. But somebody would have to cook those seconds. Somebody would have to serve those seconds. And somebody would have to clean the extra plate. It's far more efficient -- and cheaper -- to just put enough food for a hearty appetite in the first place, even it it increases food waste.
    I keep a bell pepper on hand for cooking, particularly when they are in season and low in price. Sometimes I don't need a pepper and it goes bad and into the garbage. I could just wait until I was sure I needed the pepper, hop in my car, drive to the store and get a nice, fresh, bell pepper. But what is the cost in doing this, in terms of not only time, but gas? Isn't it better and cheaper to just accept that a few bell peppers a year will have to be discarded?
    If everyone in the world stopped wasting food tomorrow the price of food might drop, thus benefiting the poor. But guess what happens next? Farmers cut back on production on their more marginal land, since the crop price would have dropped lower than the cost of production, and prices go back up again.
    I try to buy pasta on sale at 50 cents per pound. I frequently cook about four ounces more than I really need, so roughly 12.5 cents worth of pasta goes in  the garbage can. It's cheaper to cook four extra ounces than it is to measure the exact amount, marry partially used boxes, etc. And I know there will be plenty to go around. But if the pope wants the 12.5 cents of pasta that we throw out on a regular basis I'll put it in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate it until he has a chance to come pick it up. Of course, the Ziploc bag costs about six cents, so he'll need to reimburse me for that.
    Eliminating food waste will not put one ounce of extra food on the plates of the poor. If eliminating food waste would feed the starving, then when Black Oak Arkansas disbanded every poor person in the world should have gotten a guitar. They didn't.