Patriot Coffee…

"What’s the flag for, ladies?"

"It’s to remind D. Ann Graham to vote today. You know how she forgets everything when she’s working. We’ve even put a red, white, and blue ribbon around her coffee mug – that was Lilly’s idea -- so she can be reminded every time she reaches for it. Patriot Coffee, she calls it."

"Well, we all know the best way to catch D. Ann Graham’s attention is with words, so we had to have a snappy name. The only reason she makes it to presidential elections is because some member of the family remembers to pick her up and drag her there. But in these trying times there are much more than presidents at stake, and every election is important."

"I agree. But I don’t think you’ll have to resort to sign language anymore, in that respect, because she’s recently had an experience that will never let her forget to vote, again."

"What was that?’

"As I recall, the subject came up in a conversation she was having with one of the cousins."

"A young person?"

"My dear Lilly, just because a person is under voting age doesn’t mean they don’t have brains. A lot of them are smarter than most adults."

"Do you know what was said that impressed her?"

"Of course I do. I was impressed myself. He said voting was how we could change the future, and while that might not be important to her from one moment to the next, it was important to him because it was HIS future she was messing with."

"That is insightful, but not something D. Ann Graham hasn’t already heard before. A lot of us have heard that before. Why, all I have to do is flip back through my agenda, here, to where we were discussing that very topic during the presidential –"

"You didn’t let me finish, Ann."


"The young man went on to say that – while he hated to resort to name calling – anyone who doesn’t take the time to vote when they are of age is nothing but a fat-head lazy poop."

"Good lord!"

"My sentiments exactly. Which is why I propose that we should all go on strike until D. Ann Graham does her duty."

"But whatever does it have to do with any of us? We don’t have the right to cast a ballot any more than the cousins have."

"Just because we don’t operate in the so-called real world, doesn’t mean we can’t have an influence over it."

"Is that what you came over here for, Professor? To join our forces together to influence D. Ann Graham?"

"I’m not worried about D. Ann Graham. She’ll do what she has to, even if it’s five minutes before the polls close."

"Why should we bother to go on strike, then? I hardly see the point when we have all this work to do."

"Because – of all of us here – I am the only one who has to work with these blasted cousins day in and day out."

"Are you saying you’d like more help with them?"

"Certainly not. I simply don’t want to be called a fat-head lazy poop any more than the next person."

"I move for an official strike then. And leave the window open today, Ann – with the flag in it."

"Good idea. It might influence some of the lurkers."

What’s happening on the farm today: It is a sad day for the Peabody family… one of the hens is missing. Isn’t it odd that the size of one’s brain makes so little difference as to how much they can be cared about? I’m really quite distraught over it.

Habit status: Day 13 (unless voting day is like bankers holidays)


The Sum of All Peers…

Is everybody finally here? This is the longest we’ve been gone, but for good reason. And coming just in time to have maximum impact on our decision. Would anyone like to go first? Lilly, I understand you’ve been somewhat disillusioned with it all.

“I was at first, but now I’ve changed my mind. That’s because I discovered that even though one has to wade through an incredible amount of junk to begin with, you can eventually find someone out there you have something in common with.”

“You mean you finally interacted with someone?”

“Several actually. It seems once a person does find a subject they’re interested in, something like the ripple effect occurs. I practically lost myself in all the fascinating links. It could have gone on indefinitely, as far as I could see. One has to drag themselves away from it by sheer willpower or nothing would ever get done.”

“I’ll make a note of that. Does this mean – up to this point, of course – you’re giving the blog a positive vote?”

“Most definitely.”

“How about you, Professor? I realize you’re not the chatty type, but how did you do in your travels?”

“On the contrary, the places I visited ended up being vital to my future research. Do you know the kind of impact this sort of rapid communication can have on science? The sharing of information, the interaction with superior brains… I even discovered an unlimited supply of volunteers willing to participate in my experiments.”

“Good lord – are you sure that’s prudent?”

“My dears, prudence is not always conducive to pushing the envelope of the universe in order to discover eternal secrets. Look at Tesla, practicing on his own brain with his x-ray machine. Look at Mark Twain’s eagerness to set himself down in the hot-seat and let the scientist take a picture of his.”

“Is that a yes, then?”

“It is.”

“Then that settles it. According to the consensus, we will at least finish out the trial period. Did anyone bring hot chocolate? I’m having a bit of difficulty concentrating at the moment.”

“A pity you can’t send that through cyberspace. Although I did stop in at one pleasant place that was referred to as the kitchen. So, I suppose if everyone brought their own refreshments and the conversation proved stimulating enough, it could almost be the same. Wouldn’t you say so, Ann?”

“The benefits quite outweigh the setbacks, I’d say. Look how much gas money you can save – or airfare, for that matter. Yesterday, I had quite a decent conversation with somebody in Australia, without ever having to leave America. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even get out of my pajamas.”

“Looks like you still haven’t.”

“What? Oh, good grief – somebody close the window.”

What’s happening on the farm today: We are installing another wood stove, getting in the last of our wood, and gearing up for the first cold-snap of winter. And we have decided to give the chickens a last name: they are the Peabodys. That’s because we have never seen such pea-sized brain behavior in all our years of animal observation. Their recall capacity is so short-term that, unless information is dumped immediately into reaction mode, any moment can become a life-or-death situation. For the most part, they have no idea who they are, where they live, or where in the world they were headed when they first started out. Add to this the fact that their only instinct is to squawk and run… and you have one of the most hilarious forms of entertainment on the place.

Habit status: Day 12 (saved by a narrow margin)