Author: LindaLee

Midday Matinee – Gullibility

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I am the “reader who fell for the Onion Satire piece.” It was not my first moment of gullibility, and I am reasonably sure it won’t be my last. My life is littered with evidence that I am sometimes too trusting. I once not only believed an elegantly presented theory that clouds were flat on the bottom over water (an easy thing to provide ‘proof’ for in the land of 10,000 lakes) but I gladly shared it with others. If you were one of those I shared it with may I just say, “It is not true.” A blend of scientific language and a smooth talker had me suspending my normally functional critical thinking skills. I didn’t see the spoof. Am I embarrassed? No, I am human. I can use the cloud theory to relate my gullibility to other equally human and sometimes gullible people. Someone said the other day that they had “no idea that cutting the deficit without raising taxes” meant cutting social security. I told them I too had occasionally fell for something that sounded good but turned out to be not true. I had them laughing with me about the clouds being flat on the bottom. I told them that it was probably harmless for...

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Midday Matinee – Woodpeckers and homelesssness

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Part of spring cleaning at my campground is taking down the dangerous trees. Dangerous is defined as an old or sick tree which might fall on a campsite or on the road. I am neither an arborist nor a lumberjack so my job is to haul branches into the woods. Doug is the lumberjack who stands with his chain saw and asks Peter, our boss, where he wants the tree to fall and then cuts it so it lays in exactly that spot. For me as a city girl, this is an amazing skill to watch. The three of us were walking down the road that loops my campground. I pointed at an old tree that met the criteria for removal as I understood them. Doug and Peter replied in unison, “Nope. Not that one.” When I asked them why not, they pointed to all the holes up and down the tree and explained that those were made by a certain kind of rare woodpecker and that the tree was their home. We would rather leave the tree standing than have homeless woodpeckers. In fact, it was against the law to cut down that tree. Hmmm. Here is a photo of the tree we saved. I am sure there...

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Morning Feature: Fracking Update – Duke Study Links Fracking to Flammable Water

Earlier I wrote two Morning Features on Fracking. Since I wrote those, a new study has been released by four scientists from Duke University. This Morning Feature is an update on that new information. (More) But first a family story: I was at my son’s house and we were discussing fracking. I said, “Fracking is polluting our groundwater.” My 4½ year old granddaughter, Addi, said, “Nana said a bad word.” After we got done laughing, I said, “Fracking is bad. Do you know what it is?” She played it safe and said no. I told her “it was when gas companies drilled deep holes into the earth and put sand and very bad chemicals into the hole to release gas from the rocks deep underneath us. The gas companies want us to think that gas is cleaner energy than oil. They don’t want us to question the fact that all those bad chemicals they pour into the ground are mixing with our water and making it not safe to drink. Oh, she says, “It is toxic, right?” “Yes,” I tell her, “And the gas that they are drilling for leaks up into the groundwater. Some people close to wells can even light the water from their faucets. Do you want to see a video of that?” Hard to gear my language to her age and to know what she knows...

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Midday Matinee – On his 4th Tour

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. I met a man last week that is set to go on his fourth tour of duty in the middle east. He is a friend of a friend. He is a member of the National Guard and a civilian contractor for the defense department. He does logistics and is also trained as a medic. Oh, and he is 57 years old and really does not want to go at all this time. He was stressed out about this situation and his dejected demeanor broke my heart. I asked him if his attitude was representative of the rest of those serving. He told me that the only “gung-ho, guns and glory” group was the young kids, 18 or 19 years old. They were fired up and ready for war. The older men and women, especially those who have had multiple tours were wondering why we were still there and what we hoped to accomplish.  He felt that they almost all shared his opinion that we should declare victory and say sorry to the Afghans and come home. The death of bin Laden, in his view, was the perfect excuse. He has been in and around the military his whole adult life. His first tour was in Kuwait where he spent...

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Midday Matinee – Taps

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break. Is there a sadder song or a lonelier tune? The flashbacks to 9/11 prompted by the death of Osama bin Laden included more than one funeral scene with a bugler playing taps. The coverage of President Obama in New York included taps, as did the ceremony from the Pentagon with Vice President Biden. I have a history with this song. My dad was a WWII vet and it was played at his funeral 30 years ago. His death was sudden and unexpected as he was 63. I didn’t cry at his funeral. I think I was too shocked to cry but I do remember taps being played on a beautiful August afternoon and looking around the cemetery at Ft. Snelling and feeling lost. About 4 years later I was watching a movie and taps was played. All of a sudden I was sobbing and tears were streaming down my face. It dawned on me that I was finally crying for my dad with all that I had. I think I had grieved but I just hadn’t sobbed yet. I happened to be at the laundromat watching the coverage of the President in New York and the Vice President at the Pentagon. I found my eyes misting and tears sliding down...

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