Beauty is Intention and Completion
The next best thing to having David Petty here at Right Field Farm is listening to him every Sunday Morning, for Sunday Morning Music. He’s signing I’ll Fly away today, which is one of my favorites, but’s probably one of everyone’s favorites.
It started out mostly as music, but it’s turned into my favorite podcast, and a perfect one for Sundays- David calls it, “the next best thing to sleeping in church,” but I think he’s selling it short. Way better than sleeping in church.
This has all turned into one of those farces,
Where most of the characters lead with their arses,
No one out front, because one, all, and each,
Insist that their marching be managed by breech,
Backward is forward and good stuff is bad,
Downward is upward and happy is sad,
No one as awful as all are together,
Which prompts us to ask if, when, and whether,
Anyone’s worse than the people in charge,
I certainly can’t fathom it, not by and large,
But I won’t complain, since their job is so hard,
Especially for people with heads made of lard.
To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Fatheads. Feh.. This work is published from: United States.
The Senate is deadlocked, the poor House is stuck,
Would go to my job, but I’m fresh out of luck,
The news in the paper is not that exciting,
Senators Reid and McConnell are fighting,
For those of us currently in unemployment,
The unpaid vacation is lacking enjoyment.
Can’t read the news because none of it’s good,
Can’t start a project, because then it would,
Be back to the office, with work to be done,
The project unfinished, and that isn’t fun.
So I sit and write lyrics for children to sing,
Mocking our “leaders” for this stupid thing.
To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Named Names. This work is published from: United States.
Congress and president, Senate and House,
Elected officials as strong as a mouse,
Legislate bickering, execute strife,
Agreement elusive and argument rife,
Unconstitutional powers abound,
Yet those in the charter, they cannot be found.
Republic is shamed and Democracy hurt,
Once high ideals are dragging in dirt.
Now back to your chambers, don’t make me ashamed,
Or in the next little ditty your names will be named.
To the extent possible under law, David Brunton has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Children’s Song. This work is published from: United States.
Mozzarella is one of my favorite cheeses to make, in part because it’s ready on the same day. It takes a few tries to get right, but fortunately we make it quite a lot since we got Melody, and even more since I’ve been on furlough. Today we are making it into string cheese for snacks.
We start with milk from Melody, but it should work well enough from a different cow or a store or a yak or a water buffalo or a friend.
We cool the milk to ninety degrees or so, and add some fresh yogurt. It sits for an hour or so until the milk has a nice yogurt fragrance. Some of the lactose has been broken down into lactic acid, which is why this recipe doesn’t use citric acid, and why the resulting string cheese tastes so good, and why it is incidentally lower in lactose for anyone who’s counting. Some rennet (according to the instructions on the rennet, not the instructions on a recipe) goes in, and it sits for another hour.
Now we cut the curds into half inch cubes and let them settle. We slowly warm them up to about a hundred degrees, stirring so the curds stick don’t stick together. We drain the whey and return them to the hundred degree heat from whence they came for around three hours. At the end of this part of the process, we have a nice, fragrant mass of curd.
The curd mass gets cut up into cubes and dumped into a big mixing bowl. The cut up curds have hot (160 or 170 degree) water poured over them, after which we smoosh them together with wooden spoons or salad tongs or spatulas, depending on what we’ve got handy. Then we streeeeeeeeeetch and fold, stretch and fold, stretch and fold. This part looks fun, in no small part because it’s fun. Also, since I’ve been asked a few times how far this would stretch, I counted this time. I folded it twenty-nine times, and stretched it fourteen inches each time, which means, by my count, that the curds are somewhere in the range of a hundred thousand miles long, or enough to circle the planet about four times.
At this point we stretch out a long rope, cut the rope into lengths, and dump the pieces into a bowl of icewater for a few minutes, followed by a bowl of saltwater for a couple hours:
Our yummy string cheese is now ready to eat, just like storebought except without all that hassle of, y’know, going to the store.
Sunday Mornin is the time I love the best, and now it’s a time I love even more:
David records it on Sunday mornings after staying up all night playing poker or whatever he does on Saturday nights, and leaves it up for just a short time. I’ve already listened to today’s twice :)
Tonight, the few leaves remaining on trees
Whispered secrets. In passing, I mentioned,
I will listen for a spell, if you please,
Though you are cold, dark, and ill intentioned.
In winter we are few, and so we must
Speak words harshly, lest the night swallow them,
But, if you will listen to us, we trust
You will learn to hear and to follow them.
We always and only speak of one thing,
Of everything happening in the world.
And if you listen to us we will bring
Tidings of it all before you, unfurled.
But I tired quickly of hearing it all,
And went back inside to hear something small.
And we have lost our way.
Our criminal system is broken. Our only way of reacting to any infraction is to treat the person as if they are OBVIOUSLY A DANGEROUS TERRORIST. Aaron Swartz was, by all accounts, about the opposite of that. America has, sadly and dangerously, become a jailer state. Proportionality is gone.
Our mental health is broken. So many among us face depression, anxiety, and stress without the tools or support we need to cope. Instead of treating this as a health problem (it’s probably about as common as getting a cold), we marginalize it, we criminalize it, we minimize it, we ignore it.
Our commons is dying. I cannot know what made Aaron take his final, foolish action. But we can all see what drove him in his life. We have slowly strangled our commons by locking away the creative output that we have paid for with our taxes and donations and creation. Slowly, painfully, we are recreating a commons from scratch, but while we receive with that hand, privatization and effectively infinite take from our other.
Now, we have lost Aaron. The actions that resulted in his incarceration were somewhere between a juvenile prank and justifiable civil disobedience. Yet it remains that he spent the past two years hounded by the government that I work for and vote for. I suppose he is a martyr to these causes, but we needed him more as a prophet.
I and others like me feel his death so keenly in part because we aspire to be the misfit, the wunderkind, the maker that he was.
She was one hen out of the flock,
A Rhode Island Red.
She was unable to take to the air, or walk,
I could only help her with one of these things.
And she raised no objection.
On the other side of the river, she spreads her wings,