Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Voting rights and American history

After being privy to some guys discussing how to cure our country's political problems I felt unschooled in history surrounding our voting rights. A sight popped up during my search for information and my education began. I'm sure that somewhere during my 12 plus years in school and college, some time was spent on the subject of the evolution of our ability to vote. I forgot. Being of this generation much of the concerns of our forefathers escapes me. I am not faced with the British oppression, taxation without representation, Religious persecution, prejudice, constant bickering between parties or any of that other stuff so prevalent back then. The basics of the voting rights were well meaning. Freeholders, or landowners voted. They had vested interest and because of their holding showed they were enterprising and able to make mature decisions. Women didn't vote because the were otherwise occupied with domestic obligations. Most minorities couldn't vote in that, that is the way it was during those times of positioning. Common belief was that someone had to take the helm and carry out the mission. "Too many cooks spoil the broth!" Although exceptions were often made for anyone that was a freeholder, regardless of race. In the beginning religion wasn't much of a factor but after a while Catholics and Jews were refused the vote. It took hundreds of years to refine voting rights to where they are now. Because we are an ever changing landscape of humanity, I am sure those rights will continue to evolve.

In reading up on this subject, taking into consideration all the pitfalls, I wondered what other country offers so much to such a vast collection of differing cultures? I wonder that most likely, because of all those differing cultural approaches to what is considered fair voting rights for all of us, the arguments will probably continue far, far into the future. I find it an interesting subject to ponder as it is critical to our ability to collectively proceed and build a great country. No less than it was back when they wrote the Constitution.

I find it very entertaining to view from a distance how the mistakes of the past provided a complicated set of checks and balances on the road to where we are now. A common phrase says: "The pendulum always swings back!" I can see that. Right, left, middle but always swinging.

Monday, August 6, 2012

On the mend, gardening, taxes

Oh my goodness! The weather has taken a turn and a cool breeze swept through the blue room for the entire afternoon yesterday. How totally refreshing! The yard and garden work, cutting, trimming, edging, weeding, watering, fertilizing and a touch of harvesting, all completed in in full sunshine and low 80's temperatures were almost as enjoyable as a day at the beach. I worked when I felt like it, sat when I felt like it, took a break when I felt like it and watched or listened to the fantastic, world class, Detroit Tiger baseball game, lasting 4 hours and filled to overflowing with competitive drama only found in baseball. We won!

That's how my day of complete rest went. I am pleased to report my legs are showing signs of life once again. I wobble just a little bit less this morning. If this healing continues I will be back in the saddle again soon, riding my bicycle into the wilds of mid to upper Michigan seeking adventure. By the looks of it, although any kind of weather around here is a treat temperatures are moderating a bit and riding may become less of a sweaty event. I do look forward to that. I'm running out of t-shirts to soak it up.

The harvest continues in the garden and the job of preserving it for a later time becomes another matter. Canning, freezing and in some cases dehydrating take some education on my part. There are now a grouping of jars on the shelves filled with a cacophony of mixed vegetables I never knew could be mixed. The test jar sits on the cupboard awaiting the obligatory 3 weeks for curing and then the taste test. Thankfully, I've never experienced a bad batch of preserved food from the garden. I'm still looking up the recipe for Ketchup because the tomatoes will be maturing any day now and they are definitely bountiful.

That's my chatter for the day. I just came from a short meeting of friends. They had some breakfast and took shots at solving the worlds problems as usual. One guy said that in the early days of our country, only those people that paid taxes could vote on taxation legislation, not those people that only took money from taxes. I'm not sure but I think he inferred that even legislators couldn't vote for more taxes because that's where they received their incomes, unless they had another job where they paid taxes. Interesting. I'd not heard that before. I think I'll look it up. I wonder when it changed?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

A real eye opener and food

I was determined to work off the discomfort of last week's little escapade of showing off to a couple young guys. I figured that riding around 10 miles a day or so would eventually release the cramps and muscle aches. "Work it off!" Is what I heard in my head. Watching professional sports figures do that is implanted in my Psyche. Every time an athlete gets smacked or develops a cramp or s into a pole, they go to the sideline for a few minutes, walk around grunting and flexing and snorting and then come back for the next play. If they can do it, I can do it. So, I worked at the shop during the day, worked in the garden in the evening and rode my bicycle in between. You know what? By Thursday about noon I could barely stand up. I am not a professional athlete I guess. Back to the drawing board and a new plan was formulated: Until further notice and the pain and cramping subside I am hereby on Light duty and only a mile or two occasionally on the stationary bike just to stay loose. No ride from Manistee to parts North this weekend. No practice run on Kent Trails or any other trail for that matter. Just some time in the garden to assure a proper and prolific Tomato and cucumber harvest for canning. I'm going to attempt to make catsup this year, I heard it could be done. And I enjoy bread and butter sandwich pickles far beyond normal. I could put them on anything and there is only one small pint left from last year. Wait, wait, I was talking about riding a bike wasn't I? Yeah, I guess so but suddenly the thought of fresh eggs fried in butter, bacon, fried potatoes, toast and a glass of tomato juice crossed my mind for some odd reason. I am in a weakened state and cannot resist. I'm gone, I'm outa here, the butter is already melting. I'm continuing my recuperation with proper nutrition. Later..............
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