Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Laugh or Cry--the Weekly News

Here is this week's edition of the news from around the world . . . if you didn't laugh you'd  have to cry.

They say that everything in Texas is bigger!  Apparently that was the case for Janet Johnson of Longview, Texas as she gave birth (by Cesarean Section) to a 16 pound, two-foot long baby, believed to be the biggest baby every born in the state.  That's a BIG baby!  The picture above is four days after delivery.  The kid has more hair than I do--it just ain't fair!  I guess it is one more thing for Texas to brag about--more hot wind!

In Oak Park, Michigan, the problem wasn't super babies, but a garden.  It seems that property owners are not free to grown anything they want in their yards--in particular, their front yards.  Julie Bass was charged with a crime for growing vegetables in her own front yard.  Ms. Bass's garden was tidy and well-kept, but the city through city planner Kevin Rulkowski stated that vegetables are "not what we want to see in a front yard."  The city code requires "suitable" vegetation which is defined as "a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers."  I guess I should be thankful that I don't live in Oak Park, Michigan, because most of what I have growing in my front yard doesn't qualify as a "nice grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers."  Nope, the weeds have taken over and if it weren't for them I'd have no yard at all.  Besides, I thought property owners had some rights--the lady was growing her own food!

The reality stars of the TV show Sisters Wives have filed a legal challenge against Utah's anti-bigamy law.Utah's law states that it is a criminal offense to marry or live with more than one person as husband and wive.  Kody Brown, the show's star, is technically married to just one woman with the other three women being his "spiritual wives."  The challenge is over the right of individuals to choose their private relations.  The Browns argue that they should be allowed to continue with their arrangement--which includes 16 children--so long as they do not violate child abuse or incest laws.  They filed their legal challenge from Nevada as they are under investigation in Utah.  I have a feeling that the whole challenge will be thrown out of court on mental incompetency of the challengers.  The wife and I both agree that it is hard enough to relate to one spouse and be civil--a person would have to be crazy to have four spouses!  But, hey--I like the way that he attempts to keep it in the theological realm by calling the three his "spiritual wives."  Probably does a lot of praying.

It seems that President Obama doesn't quite understand the idea behind Twitter.  During President Obama's recent "Twitter town hall" last week, questions sent on the social-networking site were 140 characters or less--as is the rule for Twitter.  The president's oral responses were, on average, 2099 characters long--the equivalent of 15 Twitter messages.  What did people expect?  Even though the guy is the President of the United States, he is still a politician--wordiness is a part of the game!  I don't know which is sadder--the fact that no politician, including the President of the United States, can answer the question in 140 characters or less; or, that some fool actually counted the number of characters that the President answered with--and got paid handsomely!  Since I can't count that high (only got ten toes and fingers) I imagine the guy's job is safe for now.

If you don't recognize the picture above you might be part of the 30-some percent of those households in the United States that have no land line telephone--up from 14 percent in 2008.  Instead those 30-some percent are more likely to rely upon cell phones than land line telephones.  Males, Hispanics, and the poor are more likely to rely only on cell phones.  In the Keener household we have both--cell phones and land line phones--and I personally don't care for either one.  As an introvert I see any type of phone as an intrusion into my little world.  I wonder what percentage of the United States population feel the same way?

If you didn't recognize the picture of the telephone then you might not recognize the picture above.  It is cursive handwriting.  In the state of Indiana state officials have stopped the requirement of having schools teach third graders the art of cursive handwriting.  Instead, students will be encouraged to focus on keyboard skills, on the principle that almost all writing today is done on computers and cell phones.  It is estimated that in a few decades no one who grew up in Indiana will be able to write his or her name.  Imagine the problems this will create--who will sign legal documents like loan papers, marriage licenses, etc.?  Will people in Indiana need to hire an out-of-stater or immigrant to do it for them?  I guess one potential plus to this is that it could create a whole new job market for professional cursive writers.  Again, I would lose out--my signature has grown progressively worse as I use the computer more and more to do all of my writing--it is on the same scale as a doctor or lawyer.

Seems that farming is now the becoming the quickest way towards becoming a millionaire.  Recent figures state that farm income was up 27 percent last year and is expected to rise another 20 percent this year, despite the sluggish growth of the economy in general.  With more efficient growing techniques and increasing global demand for food there has been created a quiet boom in U.S. farm country.  This is fueling predictions that farming will be a better path to riches than banking for the next generation.  I imagine the requirements and tuition for ag schools will soon inflate with the growing demand for farmers.  Never in a million years would one thought that farming would out earn the local banker!  I think that the farmers and ranchers around Montana would disagree.

The weekly news . . . you either have to laugh or cry!  I think I will laugh.  As I laugh I think I will plant a garden in my front yard and start raking in all those millions!  I wonder if the town has any regulations about what is and is not acceptable for a front yard?  Who am I kidding . . . this is Montana!

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