Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Groundhogs, Bankers, and Tea

Wow! It's almost May already. Don't know where the time has gone. Rested up now after vacation. Isn't that how it goes? Guess some icky weather forced that issue for me. Rain and cooler than I like. It's the magnolia's fault, you know. Whenever they bloom it's a signal for the weather to change and try to freeze the blossoms. Or so it seems. They are nearly done so maybe, it's time to think garden seriously.

We limed the soil several weeks ago. The weeds didn't seem to mind at all. They are looking very happy right now. Need to turn them under and do all that ground prep like tilling, raking, moving a few of the rocks that have surfaced now. The ground here grows them, according to the locals. I believe them and also believe that if the rocks were removed there'd be no dirt at all. But that's probably not entirely true. Just mostly so.

The groundhog family has moved to a quieter neighborhood now. We mowed this past weekend and all the noise didn't please them. Especially driving the tractor back into the shed which they lived below. They were cute and grew amazingly quickly. The "pups" (Don't know what groundhog offspring are really called.) doubled in size after about ten days. And learned to duck when a hawk cruised by. That was good. If they learn to stay off the roads they may even make adulthood. Haven't seen the fox lately and he's about the only predator that remains that's large enough to get them, ignoring some person with a gun that is.

The talking heads should have a great time this evening reviewing the congress' conversation with the bankers. I did pick up one tidbit related to that somewhere yesterday that I thought was revealing. Someone, and I didn't fact check this, said that the percentage of the GDP related to banking is now somewhere around 60%. I guess that gives them the clout to speak about things they think are important. I'd like to follow that back a few years and see if that sort of trend was true of other sectors like the defense industry or auto manufacturing. Or is this a totally new phenomenon? Just wondering. When someone throws some numbers around it would seem like a good idea to check something like that. Maybe I'll go see what I can find later on.

Got a chance to hear Greg Mortenson speak a couple of evenings ago. He's the Three Cups of Tea author or coauthor. I'd read the book quite a while ago so his talk was a nice review. He's dedicated to the idea of education, especially for girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That's good, but the main thing that he's really done is open the door for looking at another way of life and validating the people who live that life. Until someone can see that there may be more than one way to approach life their way is always the best only way. That's true in the US as will as the countries he's involved with. Education is only a tool in my opinion to bridge that gap, especially when religion and money block the way.

His method included the local leaders first. They own the idea by the time the school is built and will guard it for that reason. Education helps in many areas but eventually, like all goods things, it can be overdone. The "ivory towers" of learning become detached from the real world and can no longer offer anything that is useful. But, before then, the health and well being of the people is improved. Let's hope that is what happens eventually among the people he is working, even though recent news seems otherwise. Patient slow forward motion is one thing that particular people understand and use in a variety of ways. Maybe they could come here and teach us some of that. Or have they started already?

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