Sunday, March 15, 2015

Snark Attacks


You might think this is crazy, but I often wake up in the morning and wonder why John Kerry is Secretary of State and not me. I could do that job. True, he's taller and he has better hair, and he married well, but as for actual skill, I'm about even with him. I know a lot about tomatoes, for instance, far more than he does, but he speaks French and I don't.

This is just one of those old stupid hippie ideas, so I never tell anyone, but I always thought we would have a better world if we took turns. Like John Kerry could take over my position at the greenhouse and get his hands on the soil. It would do him a world of good and he would learn so much. Likewise, I would be going on international jaunts to foreign countries and, as a diplomat, I would practice being nice to people I despise.

All I'm saying is the people in charge get too used to being the people in charge, and I would like to see a turnover at the top. You hear critical abuse against the concentration of wealth and how those who have money just keep getting more money. I agree this is a problem.... But of equal concern is the concentration of power at the top, and I've been seeing some of same old tired faces making airport arrivals and waving to the crowd and answering a few questions from the media.

Meanwhile, at the Greenhouse

I am learning how to work in the heat....just move a little slower... Pause, stretch, drink a little water and keep was pretty hot at work today but I did all right, also I am part-time, from 8 until noon.

I do a lot of shoveling and sifting of compost and peat moss, and the expert use of the wheelbarrow, and the skillful deployment of the rake...

When I stand and transplant the tomatoes from the little pots to the big pots, I stand under an umbrella and listen to sports talk on my portable radio.


Advice to the people of everybody and change the name of your town to something innocuous like Glendale, then slip into peaceful anonymity.

Advice to Obama, get over the GOP disrespect for you and their abuse of protocol. Ask them what they want, then tell them what you want.

Advice to Israel. Don't vote for Bibi.

Advice to everyone. When in doubt, do what Jackie Robinson would do......steal home plate.

Read this essay by Amos Oz. He argues for a two-state solution in Israel. It’s an uncomplicated argument and easy to understand. Oz is not especially idealistic or too firmly wedded to any special agenda. His only bias is that he loves Israel and wishes to enjoy his life in that country.

Watching the News

A young friend said why do I watch the evening news. I said because I want to know all the bad things that are happening. She didn't understand that.

When I was a kid at Catholic grade school, if the ambulance or the fire truck went by the school with the siren blasting, the sister would stop class and lead us in a prayer for whoever was having the crisis. The sister would say it didn't matter who it was, it didn't matter that we didn't know them, we would say a prayer for them anyway.

So this is why I watch the news -- to hear about all the bad things that happen all over the world -- to have at least a moment of concern for people I will never meet, Maybe to be a little grateful that I do not have such trouble myself and that I made it through another day without war or natural calamity.

No homework for grade school students! That’s what this writer advocates. I agree completely. I never had homework when I went to grade school, and I turned out all right. My kids had a little homework in grade school, but I never made them do it. Instead, I let them watch TV or told them to go outside and play. My children grew up all right and they are a credit to society, so that’s my proof.

TED talks are for idiots with time on their hands.

TED talks? I have spent more useful times in a doctor's waiting room, rifling through old magazines. This is one of those things I know instinctively. I have never been to a TED talk. I would sooner go to a convention of Baptists.

What they will put on my gravestone -- "He never went to a TED talk or a Baptist convention. He lived as long as he lived and never wasted time on foolish errands."

MOTH..... I would go to a MOTH talk if you paid me a $100, but I would bring my portable radio and some earphones and listen to a taped re-broadcast of Vin Scully and the Dodgers....... People actually pay money to hear MOTH talks, but if I had an extra $20 and a need for company I would go to a nice tavern and buy a stranger a good shot of bourbon -- you can hear some real sad stories that way.

Loading the Truck

Yesterday I helped Oscar load the truck with racks of tomato plants. He paid me $30.  It was kind of boring, but it didn’t take too long. It was a hot day, but we worked in the shade. We got all the racks on board and then he closed the door and got in the cab of the truck and started the engine. I stood in back to guide him out of the narrow space and onto the street. He said, “tell me if I’m getting too close to the tree.”  I wasn’t sure what he meant about that, “what tree?” I said, but he couldn’t hear me over the engine. So he backs up, turning slowly, I am making graceful hand gestures of approval, yes, yes, come, come, slooow, yes, come, and then the cab roof brushes the tree branches and he looks up startled, then he looks at me quickly, like “you were supposed to watch the tree,”  but these were little branches, and flexible, and the cab roof brushed them aside easily, so no damage was done, and he got fully into the street in reverse, and then he said “can you lock the gate?” and he took off. I locked the gate.

Frog Hospital Subscription Drive.   Your contribution of $25 is greatly appreciated. The Frog Hospital newsletter has been cruising down the Internet for 16 years now. I have tried to kill this newsletter several times – tried to stomp it out like the ember from an old campfire, or dig it up like a pestiferous weed, but it won’t die – Frog Hospital just keeps on going.

So please send me a check. Your contribution keeps me from getting cranky. It helps me to maintain a detached attitude. Let’s keep it going….

Go to the Frog Hospital blog and hit the PayPal button for $25, or

Send a check for $25 to

Fred Owens
1105 Veronica Springs RD
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Thank you very much,
Fred Owens

Fred Owens
cell: 360-739-0214

My gardening blog is  Fred Owens
My writing blog is Frog Hospital

No comments: