Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.
The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
NB. These wise words were penned over 100 years ago. Just goes to show that nothing has changed...except news dissemination methods.
Maintaining an Autumn tradition, I made the first of many apple pies. The apples grew on trees in our yard, picked yesterday. I peeled, sliced, and spiced several.
Sadly, this was not my best effort. The taste is great, but the crust was not as it should be. That is entirely my fault, because I abandoned a trusted friend, Betty Crocker, and tried a French recipe. The result was unlike the old standby and not as good as crusts I have enjoyed in France....but the taste was rather good.
The unusual pattern of crust was a creative solution to a problem with the dough. The consistency did not permit rolling into a top crust, so I cut strips. These were not long enough to make a traditional woven pattern, so I improvised. No one unfamiliar with apple pies would know the difference and think this normal. I’m amazed at how the brain works in a crisis. I could have made a crumble crust, but did not want to waste the dough.
I also made a few gallons of apple sauce, which is less-easy to screw up. Most was frozen to enjoy throughout the long, cold winter, so we will not have to suffer with apple sauce from store-bought factory apples or the canned variety. Each taste will remind me of picking the apples, peeling them, and watching over the pot.
Another cliché that will never grace the Saying of the Day is “...is better than sliced bread”. What’s so great about sliced bread? I buy a loaf at my local baker, my favorite among many, and do not let them use their slicing machine. I like to slice my own with my nice bread knife. The bread stays fresher for longer, and I can decide upon the thickness. I like a thick slice for toast, and even thicker for French toast, but a sandwich requires thin slices.
I did not take any political science classes in college. Whenever the subject arose, someone would croon (to the tune of Bali Hai from South Pacific) "Poli Sci is boring."
If I had attended a few lectures, perhaps I would have learned why "democracy", which the United States is supposed to be, means that a handful of idiots can block the will and/desires of the majority.
There is more than one way to learn if the seasons change. One could consult a calendar. Or, one could watch the weather. In some latitudes, the amount of daylight gives a clue.
For sharp-eyed followers of this worthless blog, a new photo on the title page pays tribute to the current season. Fall has arrived. (Duh).
This is self-evident in Vermont, where the photo was taken by a fool standing on a hill many years ago, because the foliage sends a colorful seasonal greeting.
There is a saying, which I have never used for Saying of the Day, perhaps because it is so often spoken. How often have you heard, “How can you keep ‘em done on the farm, once they’ve been away?”? I’m certain that one or two returned to the farm, but most find a better life in another occupation at another place, usually less rural.
This saying came to mind as I worked in the garden and thought about my upcoming trip to Dubai. One often sees reports about foreign workers being exploited in a country with a small Arab/Muslim population and extreme economic growth. Many have surely left a farm to seek a better life or, at least, more money. Some are surely abused, especially in the building trades, but still earn more money than they good at home. Most, I’m certain, are happy to have a job to support themselves and families, mostly left behind in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Philippines, etc. In places frequented by tourists, one has the feeling that most are content...or good actors.
After some thought, I decided that leaving the farm is not the main problem in the United States. The problem is that some get to thinking. They notice that they have been sold a bill of goods about the American Dream. People emigrate to Dubai not chasing an impossible dream, but to earn a simple living. All know that they can never strike it rich or even make much progress, although advancement is possible in some branches. Contentment seems more prevalent in the artificial city in the desert than in some parts of the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, and disillusion is rare.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.