The 1924 Fire, Will There Be a 2012 Fire?
The summer of 1924 was dry. The grass never got very tall, and it was as dry as tissue paper, and would turn to powder in your hands. The air was so hot and dry; you got a bloody nose just from breathing the dry air for too long. Water evaporated quickly, so all that was left in ponds was a muddy, brown sludge.
But why was it like this? Because they had a dry winter, little snow in the normally more snowy places, like now, and little rain.
A normal, small forest fire is sort of good; it does little damage, clears away the dead brush and makes way for the new trees, clearing ground for grass and shrubs, which feed plant eaters, which in turn feed the meat eaters.
But, in 1924, the mountain weather dynamics of the Sierras created a downslope wind on the east slope that fueled huge devastating fires, incinerating everything in their path. The wind created an awful firestorm, and spread incredibly fast.
This is historically known as “Washoe Zephyrs.” These winds blast over the Sierra Nevada and through many other valleys. By the way, ‘Zephyr’ is the west wind, from ancient Greek mythology.
This ravaged the Sierra Nevadas, destroying farms, houses, and killing many hundreds of livestock. A woman named Daisy Parker was a lookout for Sardine Peak, she and her two daughters saw lots of smoke and fire, but survived.
And now here is where my family relations come in. My great grandfather was doing some logging work near Westwood, and was called into duty for fire fighting. And, up here at the Prospect headquarters, there are still a few huge trees which survived the 1924 fire. Sattley was almost wiped out, and many surrounding farms were burnt to the ground. And, 400 sheep were killed; the poor things couldn’t out run the fire. And, some of the fire was filmed, for a Hollywood movie staring Tom Mix.
This is the driest December in 105 years, what if we don’t have any more rain or snow until the end of summer, will we have a catastrophe like the summer of 1924. We have the same problem as 1924, too much under growth, and a dry winter. Or will we be six feet deep in snow in the middle of March? I’m hoping for the snow.
2011 was a big year for me, because I started to write Gabby. I have written about 24 ‘Gabbys’. But now, it is three days till the New-year. And if we don’t get snow or rain in the next three days, it will have been the driest December in 105 years.
The new year makes people think about how they are as people, maybe because they are older, and they may have thought they didn’t embrace that last year enough.
This is a list of resolutions to make me a better youth (this is my mom’s list, comments by me):
1. Stop cursing. (But the following are not swears. Poop, butt, idiot, stupid, bastard, fart, jerk, damn. Three of those are natural, four are personality types, and one is a structure to contain water.)
2. Stop eating so much candy. (But all those chocolate bars in the natural food store are healthy food.)
3. Do more chores. (Mom! The ice cream in the freezer is getting freezer burned, I’ll take care of it.)
4. Do more home work. (All right, I’m going outside to do some P.E. )
5. Be nicer to your brother. (It was self-defense. He belched at me. )
6. Shop less. (Not gonna happen.)7. Turn down the rock music. (It’s not rock. It’s pop-rock, there is a difference.)
8. Quit drinking coffee. (Ok, ok. When I’m done with this bowl of coffee ice cream. )
9. Stop being such a smart alek. (Yes ma’am. I’ll be a smart @$$instead. )
As you can probably tell, that was my mom’s list.
This is my list:
1. Broaden my vocabulary. Learn swears in other languages.
2. Buy TV for my room, smuggle it into my room in box labeled ‘homework books.’
3. Dye my hair pink (I’ll carry around a hat.)
4. Remove the slug from my brother’s head-phones if he does my homework.
By Gabby Fringette
Do you want to save some money this year?
Do you want to accomplish something?
Do you want to do something with your family?
Well you should and can make decorations at home. I’m not talking about little cardboard stars, but 3-D angels, and window art.
The first craft is the window art, this is a good craft for kids, it is simple, and safe. (But you might want to watch little kids with the scissors. The curtains learned that the hard way.)
What you need:
1. Lots of bright wrapping tissue paper.
3. Washable non-toxic white glue
4. A tablespoon of water
5. A window
What to do:
Cut the wrapping tissue into snowflakes or snowmen. When you have the desired shape cut out, mix the washable non-toxic white glue and the water, then, with a paint brush, moisten the window with glue-water, and stick to window. You can put together shapes of different colors to make a Santa or a decorated tree. For removal, moisten and gently peel up paper.
The next craft on my list is snowflakes, but these snowflakes are to go on curling ribbon.
What you need:
1. White, green and red paper
3. Curling ribbon.
What to do:
Cut a bunch of rectangles from the paper, fold them in half. You now have a two layer square.
Cut the corners off, fold into quarters, cut triangles out, then unfold. You now have siamese twin snowflakes. Fold in half over the curling ribbon and glue closed. Drape loosely around Christmas tree.
And now for the piece de resistance:
The 3D angel!
What you need:
2. Strong scissors or exacto knife
3. Styrofoam ball (or if you don’t have one, take tissue, ball up some newspaper, place on tissue, and then wrap tissue over it)
6. White paper
What to do:
Cut out four cardboard triangles, (to make the pattern, fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise, cut diagonally from one corner to the opposite corner, unfold).
Tape together so that they make a pyramid
Glue Styrofoam ball to the top of the pyramid (you can use a toothpick to make it stay). Glue on yarn, cut wings out of the white paper and attach. Paint the angel’s face, and dress. Draw moustache on angel. Drop blown glass star on floor while putting cardboard angel on top of tree.
Craft one: Very important! Forget the glue, tape your decorations to the window.
Craft two: Don’t leave loops of garland dangling in walkway, it is possible to pull down the Christmas tree. I might have learned that the hard way.
Craft three: Not everybody appreciates an angel with a moustache. Also: there are more ways to knock down a Christmas tree than you’d think.
By Gabby Fringette
You know how Christmas carols get sort of repetitive? Sometimes you can’t resist making them a little more interesting.
On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
A partridge in a pear tree.
On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me:
Two turtle doves and a
Pear tree in a partridge.
On the third day of Christmas
My turtle gave to me
Three fried hens, two
True doves, and
A pancake in a pear tree.
On the fourth day of Christmas my
True lung gave to me
Four crawling birds
Two tutorial doves
And a Cartridge in a pear tree (quick, how many doves do I have?)
On the fifth day of Christmas
My true dove gave to me
Five golden rings (good, now I can pawn them to buy bird feed)
Four calling cards
Three French braids
Two turtle loaves
And a partridge in a rare tree.
(Too bad I only got him cuff links.)
On the sixth day of Christmas
My true live gave to me
Six grease a lying
Five golden wings.
Four drawling words
Three French fries
Two purple gloves and
Some pesto on a Furbee
On the seventh day of Christmas
My blue love gave to me
Seven swans a sinking
Six geese a graying
Five golden rings (I’m rich!)
Four stalling birds
Three fresh winds
Two turtle dives
And a peanut on a parfait
On the eighth day of Christmas (I’m getting bored of this)
My true love mailed to me
Ate maids a milking
Severed swans a swearing
Sick geese a braying
Hive golden bees
Fore calling birdies
Tree fringe hinges
Too startled doves,
And a-a sorry out of ideas
Hey! Get back on track, sing it right.
On the ninth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Nine ladies dancing
Eight maids a milking
Seven swans a swimming
Six geese a laying
Five golden rings
Four calling birds (so bored)
Three drenched hens
Two lizard doves
And a partridge in a bear’s teeth
On the tent day of Christmas
My glue stove gave to me
Len tords a leaping
Line nadies dancing
Meight aids a milking
Seven swans a swimming (doh!)
Gix seese a laying
Give folden rings
Cour falling birds
Free thrench hens
Two turtle doves (erg!)
And a partridge in a pear tree
On the elfen day of Christmas
My love doth gave to me
Elfen pipers a-piping
Ten lords a-leaping
Nine ladies a-dancing
Eight maids a-milking
Seven swans a-swimming
Six geese a-laying
Five golden rings (the precious)
Four a-calling birds
Three wench hens
Two turtled doves
And a partridge ineth a pear tree.
(Ok, is he secretly a king?)
On the twelfth day of Christmas (finaly)
My true love gave to me
Twelve drummers drumming
(did I forget a number?)
Ten lords a sweeping
Nine geese a dancing
Eight doves a milking
Seven ladies swimming
Six hens a laying
Five golden birds
Four calling maids
Three french swans
Two turtle rings
And a partriiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidge in a pear treeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
Finally, it’s over, and I can’t get into my house, it’s too full. Hey what’s this? That cheap horse’s rump!!! He’s been charging me the shipping!
By Gabby Fringette
What are you thankful for? Are you thankful for the food you have? Are you thankful for the roof over your head? Are you thankful for FOX TV?
Well you should be. Some people have to watch NBC.
I am thankful for my food, my house, my pets (hens, two weathers, the family dog (Cooter), and the cat (the alleged “chew toy,” see Cooter 2011), and Netflix (it is literally impossible to get TV up here).
This is a poem I wrote for Thanksgiving:
Thanks living in a house,
Thanks my computer mouse,
Thanks food in my mouth;
Sweet and savory, Thanksgiving food,
Leaves your bowels with an attitude.
And now you know how I feel about Thanksgiving.
I know a good craft; here is a list of what you need:
1. Lots of colored paper, in any colors you like.
4. A pen.
5. Assorted family members.
What to do:
Cut out a turkey-shape with no feathers out of one color, then out of different colors, cut a tail feather for each member of the family, and have each of them write their name and something that they are thankful for on a feather, then glue it on the turkey.
I also have a recipe for spinach dip:
1. 2 cups chopped spinach
2. 1 can water chestnuts
3. 2 tb olive oil or other salad oil
4. 1tsp lemon
5. 2/3 cup sour cream
Peel and chop some garlic, drain the water chestnuts, and chop up and mix together with everything else that was in the list, serve and enjoy.
And that concludes the Thanksgiving Gabby, I hope you liked it!
Can I Go Out Yet?!
By Gabby “It’s 50 Out” Fringette
Do you remember my first Gabby?
Well, it’s back to “it’s 50 degrees out.”
I just finished 2 reports; if you had, you’d want to go outside too. But instead, you know where I am. Not that this is not fun, I get to gripe on-line and people actually read it. It’s just that, well you know, I had plans for today.
Here is my to-do list:
Eat something covered in sugar, possibly chocolate,
Go out and hang out with my chickens,
Fire goat ”pellets” from my sling, preferably at my brothers,
Throw stuff on the thin ice that is still covering the pond, and possibly get wet,
Run around in the meadow, and pretend I am an animal (it’s not childish, it’s an old Spartan tradition),
Go in and eat lunch, also covered in sugar,
Go around and look for rotten gooseberries to squish,
Watch the sunset from my tree house,
Watch bats flying around while lounging on the hood of our car (though, like most of my favorite items on this list, I am not supposed to),
Look at the stars, looking for constellations,
Go in, and spend half of the night reading and the other half eating candy I hid.
Tomorrow: repeat the above list.
We would all like to do this, but here is what my day really looked like:
Homework, homework, break for chores, more homework.
So with that, it’s 50 degrees and I’m out!
What is daylight savings? Is it a place where you put daylight to save it for winter? Is it a time when daylight is rationed? No, it’s when you turn your clock back an hour, which is sometimes an inconvienenc, like last year, I thought I woke up at 5:00 in the morning (it was really 6:00, which is still early for me.)
Daylight savings was created by corporations hundreds of years ago to save money (Ben Franklin said that we should stay on daylight savings time all the time).
The people working for the businesses are overworked, stressed out and sleep-deprived, that is why when it starts in spring, there is a peak in deaths, from heart attacks, and traffic accidents, and much more. You know people are stressed out when just losing an hour of sleep is all it takes to push them over the edge (when your day is an hour short, it comes out of your sleep because your boss or principal isn’t going to give you an hour off).
One good thing about daylight savings time is it’s not dark at 4:00 in the afternoon. It’s a tough call which is worse, getting behind on your sleep or losing your afternoons.
Fall back and spring forwards. I always thought that was a boxing saying, “if he is trying to punch you in the face, fall back, when he isn’t looking spring forwards.”
If you forget to set your clock, (which is usually always,) then in fall you are an hour late for everything, (which I don’t mind when it’s a dental appointment). In spring, however, you are and hour early, which never seems to make up for being an hour late last fall.
If only I could find out a way to explain how forgetting to set my clock back put me a day behind on my chores.
By Gabby Fringette
Have you noticed those little shakes? And some bigger ones, particularly at night? Well it’s not just you, there have been more than 700 earthquakes since October 17th.
According to a website I read, the quakes have been happening two miles from Sierraville, but, according to the map that the website had, most of the quakes are happening under the mountain I live on. The quakes are caused by magma, many, many thousands of tons of it, moving under the mountain. Eeep.
But don’t worry, according to the experts, my mountain is not going to erupt like Mount Saint Helens, spewing ash and lava all over the Sierra Valley.
Most of the quakes are 2.0 or less (is someone stomping?), but the biggest quake so far was 4.8 (is there a train under my house?). It was a 5.2, but then it got down- graded. It happened at 11:30 at night, and, I slept through it. There was another one, but it was a 3.6 (who would run the air-compressor inside?), at around 6:30 in the morning,
Experts predict a major earthquake, but they can’t say when or how big. Only a 6.8 percent chance of getting a 7.0 (Hey! I didn’t tell anyone they could launch a rocket under my house).
The larger earthquakes can be felt all the way to North San Juan. Of course, the quakes can be felt most strongly closest to the source (unless you are a heavy sleeper).
By Gabby Fringette
You better get the wood stove piping hot,
‘Cause SNOT is coming ready or not.
Cold at night, cool at day,
This means SNOT on the way.
The leaves have not turned orange though,
So why so quick for fall to go?
I wrote this poem, and I feel this way, because summer was three months long, and there was no spring, we went from burning cold, to freezing hot.
I have a special name for real snow: Snow Not On Television or SNOT for short. Now, some people like to make SNOT-men, and some are more into SNOT-ball fights. Religious types prefer to make SNOT-angels. I know some people who like to catch SNOT-flakes on their tongues, but some don’t have the best tongue-SNOT-flake coordination, and they pick SNOT up off the ground and eat it.
But, enough fun with SNOT, now you will need fire wood to keep warm, because at night it’s cold, and the SNOT itself is cold. But there is another thing, IKC, IKC means Ice Kicking Cold. To melt SNOT and IKC you need road salt or large amounts of warm water. WORTC, is another thing, it is Wind on Real Toes Cold (the C is silent)
You need the right sort of SNOT to sled. Not powdery SNOT, not sticky SNOT (which most snot is), but slippery SNOT. IKC would do too, of course, but then if you crash you get IKCy road rash, on your face. The best SNOT to sled on is IKCy- SNOT. 263words
By Gabby Fringette
Do you remember last week? You know, when friend/half brother A and friend/ half brother B and their crazy math story problems were in my column? Well this week William Shakespeare is in the hot seat, and I will try and de-code some of his kooky quotes.
1. Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.
I guess that this means that even if you are foolish, you should still be funny. (Of course, I am smart and funny.)
2. Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.
Good for the valiant. They never think ahead.
(It means cowards are afraid, and the valiant are short sighted, -they are oblivious to death all their lives, which most of the time is a lot shorter than the cowards.)
3. Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.
Listen to all; gather the facts, the BS and the thoughts, but mind your tongue and guard your thoughts. (Although some in the Prospect need not apply.)
4. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
Time will always get its revenge, so don’t waste time; get to whatever you want to do now, for soon you will be as dented and as broken as your first car.
5. How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child!
Does he speak from experience?
It means you loved your kid, and gave her (or him) so much, and they are ungrateful, and it sucks! If you are patient, they will grow to become grateful, and if you wait a little longer, they will have ungrateful kids too.
6. It is a wise father that knows his own child.
I don’t think it needs explaining. I’ve also heard it’s a wise child whom knows his (or her) father.
7. Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
OK, it means that, all that are in love are oblivious to the world around them, as if it were shrouded in smoke. But the sighs come from love right? So it is the sighs that come from the smoke of themselves. This is as tangled as a bunch of necklaces that have been tossed in to a jewelry box together. (I speak from experience (on the necklaces)).
404 words including quotes. See ya all next week on Gabby Fringette!
I hate story problems.
By Gabby Fringette
Do you remember when you were a kid and you had to do story problems? Maybe they were your favorite homework, and maybe you hated them, but you could not have hated them as much as I hate them! Now, it’s a lovely clear day out, and I’m sitting in front of the computer, which has an entire page of boring stories with useless math imbedded. This is what pops into my mind when I do story problems.
1) Two friends agree to meet for lunch. They will jog to a restaurant between their respective work places. The distance for Jogger A is two thirds the distance of Jogger B. It is a fifteen-minute jog for Jogger B; if they are to meet at 12:15 what time should Jogger A leave?
Unfortunately, both of them are in business suits, and friend A walks with a cane. B got stuck at a busy intersection, they didn’t get to the restaurant before they had to return to work, they were late, and they had to work over-time to make it up.
2) Two friends agree to go for a picnic lunch on an island. The friends are about half way when a leak suddenly appears in the boat. The first half of the journey took 20 minutes. The boat is taking on water at the rate of ten gallons per minute and it will sink when there are 180 gallons on board. What percentage faster must the friends row on the second half of the journey than the first in order to make land before the boat sinks?
When they realized that a leak had sprung, they had paddled and paddled as hard as they could, wasting no time on math. When they reached the island, they realized that they were stuck, and that they should have turned around when the leak first started.
They were stuck there for a week and a half, they slept under the upturned boat, and when the food for the picnic ran out, they ate raw bugs, and rats that were living on the island, and since there was no fresh water, they had to drink their pee. When they saw a paddleboat, they yelled and called until they heard someone in the paddleboat say ”hey it’s those survivalist actors that we have been watching all week.” When they explained, the boaters gladly offered to take them back to shore, but the boat could only seat A. The boat took one more trip to collect B, but when the friends got back to work, A got transferred and B got fired and had to move in with his aunt in the next state.
3) In celebration of getting of the island, the Two friends agree to meet for lunch. They are on two different trains, one heading East at 80 miles an hour and one heading west at 110 miles an hour. The first train must travel 66 miles farther than the second train. How much sooner will the second train arrive?
Unfortunately, an elephant that ran away from the circus, (it was a full-grown African elephant), was walking across the track when the second train was speeding along the track. Fortunately, the elephant was spotted, the train was pulled to a screeching halt just in time to avoid hitting the elephant. Unfortunately, this startled the huge thing, and it charged the train from the side, and the train was derailed, and 34 people were injured. But fortunately, B was at the back of the train.
4) In celebration of B’s survival, the Two friends agree to meet for lunch. The restaurant has only three meals: meal A, meal B, and meal C. The first friend orders meal B; the second orders meal C. When they are half way through, the waiter rushes up and says that the cook has discovered that someone inadvertently put drain cleaner in one of the meals, but they don’t know which. What is the likelihood that friend A will die? What is the likelihood that either friend A or friend B will die? Therefore, what is the likelihood that neither friend will die?
The food has to be really bad for someone not to taste drain cleaner. Now they probably couldn’t tell, because of the damage to their tongues from eating their picnic basket on the island. There is a 1 in 3 chance that A will die and 1 in 3 chance B will die.
Well, they did not want to take any chances, they both went to the hospital and got their stomachs pumped, and spent a few months on kidney filters.
5) In celebration of their recovery the Two friends agree to meet for lunch (again). One is coming from Japan; the other from Bolivia; they will meet in London. They have agreed to split the cost of lunch. When the check comes it is for 50 British Pounds. The first friend has Yen, the second Bolivianos. If the Yen is valued at 76.5 to the dollar, and the Bolivianos at 6.92 to the dollar, how many Bolovianos would the second friend have to pay to cover his share of 25 Pounds if the rate is $1.57 to the Pound? How many Yen would the first friend pay?
Well, it would have been more convenient to meet in Honolulu, (cheaper too) because the plane ticket wiped out A’s wallet so B said he would cover it, but he had no money left either, and so the restaurant called the cops, and the two friends spent three weeks in the Can.
6) In celebration of getting out, the Two friends agree to meet for lunch. During discussion they realize they are half siblings, sharing the same father, who died of Huntington’s Disease, an autosomal dominant disease. What is the likelihood that friend/half sibling A will die of the disease? The likelihood of the death from HD of the second friend/half sibling B? Neither? Both? Assume both mothers were negative for HD. Show your work.
25% chance that both have it, 25 % none have it, 50% chance that A, 50% chance B has it.
Well, they both went to the hospital and got tested, and fate was on their side, they both tested negative. But, on their way out of the hospital, they were abducted by aliens, they were brought to different planets, A got rich by performing human tricks, and B got rich after the aliens studied him and discovered how well he could play a piano like instrument, because he had more fingers then they had, and he got rich, and each bought a star ship and a long distance communicator.
7) Two friends agree to meet for lunch. One is coming a total distance of six light years. The second is traveling one light year. The first friend is traveling 90% of the speed of light, and the second friend travels only 25% the speed of light. How much older will the second friend be than the first friend when they meet for lunch, assuming they were the same age when they left?
Keep in mind:
They landed on earth, and they sold their spaceships, and they lived like kings for the rest of their lives.
Is it just I, or are the friends coming from farther and farther, and why do they like earthling food? And how did they maintain such a long distance relationship.
Do you love story problems, and you were offended? Did you think that I did a good job?
Did all those math questions make sense? If so then you need to read this again.
Am I in childhood or adulthood? That is a very good question, I am in between, somewhere, I call it the time in between. I prefer that phrase to teenager or adolescent, because when people think teenager or adolescent, they think stupid, irresponsible, young. OK, I have to admit to young, but I’m not stupid or irresponsible.
Now more than ever I am interested in clothes, accessories, and jewelry. I am still excited when I go to the dollar store, but I used to go look at toys, but now I look at hair accessories, and hand cream, and when I look at snacks, I sort of avoid the candy, and I look at the ingredients. And speaking of stores, I make some money, I keep track of it and I know how much I have, and I keep receipts. I was always a little more adult than other kids my age.
There are bad things about being a kid, one of them is that adults will be less likely to listen to a kid about something like politics. I know that in the Bible if you were 12 you were an adult, and in ancient Greece and Rome you were an adult when you were 13. Now, legally, I am still a kid until I am 18, so I guess that, the second I am 18, legally, I will know every thing an adult knows, because, according to the law, I will be one, and I can’t be one until I am 18, even if I am smarter than some adults. Really, some people need a few extra years, and some people are ready to be responsible for their own lives early.
I’ll Clean the Toilet Next Time
By Gabby Fringette
OK, I’ve been sick, well I am sick. And I don’t like it one bit. All of us have become marathon runners to the bathroom.
If I’d known I was going to be hugging the toilet, I would have cleaned it better when it was my turn. You get to know the bowl pretty well.
I’ve detected three main kinds of vomiting. There is the dry heave, the gagbarf and the projectile puker. The last one tends to splash back.
And then there is the diarrhea. You hope that it’s just a fart- is it just a fart? Your brain focuses on communication from the “rear”. But no, almost every time you get the mostly-liquid-and-fibrous-chunk-diarrhea. Sometimes it happens in your sleep.
Worse yet is when you have to barf and have diarrhea at the same time. Decisions, decisions, which do I want to clean up from the floor? Fortunately the bath tub and the toilet are so close together that, well you know.
Am I grossing you out? Well being sick is gross. So enjoy.
You’re probably wondering what I’ve got. So am I. I probably have Norovirus, the most common cause of “stomach flu.” It is transmitted through air, and through contaminated food or water. There are many strains; this one leaves you your appetite. Oh goody, more diarrhea.
Washing your hands will wash it away, but alcohol rubs won’t kill it. The symptoms are: vomiting, diarrhea, tiredness, and low fever. Do you want me to stop now?
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.
That’s around 250 words and 25 trips to the bathroom now.
By Grabby Fishette
Don’t want to get eaten? Then here are three places NOT to swim
1. The Amazon, why? Well 3 reasons, piraiba, candiru and candiru asu.
2. Rivers in north India, why? One big reason. Big enough to swallow water buffalo.
3. A reservoir in Spain, that holds a very large reason that has been swallowing people since the 1400s.
What are all these things? There's a common theme to these questions.
1. Do catfish have teeth? Well this one does, the goonch is a huge predatory catfish in northern India.
2. What do you get when you put giant fish in a reservoir feed them, and never catch ‘em? The wels catfish in Spain. The wels have been known to live over 60 years.
3. What’s the only catfish that will swim into your bladder? The candiru.
No picture. Aren't you glad?
4. Who’s his big brother? The candiru asu, that attacks in swarms of 100 and eats you from the inside out.
5. I’m big and if you try to catch me I’ll swallow you whole, who am I? The piraiba, an 8-foot catfish with a reputation of eating fishermen.
Yes, these are all catfish, deadly carnivores. These are not the normal catfish you think of when you think of catfish, now are they?
238 words and 5 reasons not to swim where the water is deep and dark.
By Grabby Fringette
Were you hoping for your beloved Gabby to be cheery this week? Well, think again.
Did you know that if you’re a kid, your share of the fourteen trillion dollar debt is $50,000. I can’t even vote, drive, get a house, a job and they are charging me so much, and it isn’t my fault. And when I am forty, it will be more than $270,000.
Yes, it’s true.
Fourteen trillion is three times more than all of the existing money in the world combined. And we are still going deeper in debt. As Mark Twain said, “the only certain things in life are death and taxes.” OK, lets ad debt to that list as it is inevitable.
After the civil war, the U.S. was in debt 3 billion dollars, after the first world war (WW 1) the U.S. was in debt $20 billion, after WW2, $40 billion. In the 1980’s $900 billion and in 2000 it was three trillion dollars. In my lifetime it has shot up to $14 trillion!
But the odd thing is that there are people that say that debit is good for getting us out of a depression. I have a question for those people: how the heck is the government owing three times the existing money in the world good?
Was there a time when the U.S. hasn’t been in debt? Well, not very often. Mostly when we weren’t coming out of a war or a depression, so not much.
How can we get out of debt? Well, we can’t go back in time and spend less, so we’re stuck with pay more taxes and get less services. Thanks a lot.
OK, first to answer some questions: no, I am not French; no, I am not a professional chef; and yes, I can cook, as you will see if you follow the instructions. Today I have some writer’s block, but not making-food-so-good-my-family-eats-it-the-second-it’s-out-of-the-pan block.
Have you ever been in a rush to make something sweet to eat? Well, even if you don’t need something, here is a recipe for
1. Melt ½ cup butter and add lemon juice to taste
2. Add ¾ cup sugar to the butter
3. Add one egg to the mix
4. Mix in 1½ cup grated coconut
5. Mix in ½ cup flour (any kind will do)
Spread out on pan and bake until golden brown, then cut with your favorite cookie cutters.
For frosting, microwave:
4 oz of cream cheese
Sugar to taste
Splash of milk
Food coloring (optional)
You may think it’s childish to decorate cookies, but it’s fun!
Having started with dessert, you may be hungry for something more substantial. Well, try this vegetarian (but not too healthy) recipe for griddle fried quesadilla:
1. Wash several mushrooms, and slice them.
2. Peel garlic (I find it helps to cut off the ends first), and cut it.
3. Slice a red bell pepper, (you can scrape out as many seeds as you like and you can cut it as fine as you like, in my family we like our food with chunks and seeds).
4. Cut some little green onions,
5. Turn the stove on low, and put a cast iron pan on the burner, pour canola or peanut oil in the pan, and put the mushrooms and garlic in the pan. Stir around and don’t let the oil burn, after about three minutes add the pepper, and after another three minutes add the little green onions. Turn off the stove and put the veggies into a bowl.
6. Now cut some cheese.
7. Pour more oil in the pan and turn the stove on low, put the frozen tortillas in the pan and turn over when one side is thawed, and then put the cheese on the tortilla, then when both sides are light brown put on a plate and heap with the fried veggies, sour cream, and beans (which will make you cut the cheese).
Are you thirsty after those quesadillas? Well then try this recipe for lemonade with crushed ice
1. place ice on a wash cloth and fold cloth over, then smash ice with a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer
2. put the ice in a cup and pour 1½ cup water over the ice and then ¼ cup lemon juice and then add sugar to taste
3. finally, add a splash of maraschino cherry juice and a lemon slice (optional).
Now if you’ll excuse me I have to clean the kitchen
By Gabby Fringette
In the old days about a hundred-fifty years ago, the 1860’s, it was a strange time when dinosaurs roamed the planet and- oops I was thinking 150millon years ago. Any way, 150 years ago, hhhmmmm, not many people remember back then, but today people call that era ‘the good old days.’
Now, let’s see if that’s true.
Bad things about back then:
1. Medicine, back then you could die from a cut that got infected, some times because it wasn’t bandaged, and then it got red and it swelled up and it hurt and it got so big until puss came out and it got worse and worse until you died.
2. Back then dental quality was very bad often times people got cavities that turned into abscesses and then one side of the person’s face swelled up and hurt, no not just hurt, but the person was in agony he couldn’t eat and he died eventually.
3. Power, they didn’t have electricity, so they couldn’t refrigerate food and some times the food went bad and then people ate it and got sick, and lingered and were in pain until they died.
4. Rights, women, and people of color didn’t have many rights and some times they were beaten, and they were never treated fairly.
5. Cars, planes, and other ways of fast transport, sometimes it took days to walk or go by horseback. There were trains, but only rich people could afford them.
6.Books, back then the schooling was of poor quality but today, most kids can read and write.
7. Computers, if it weren’t for those nifty boxes you wouldn’t be reading this. And spell check. I, and some other writers I could mention, would be illegible without spell check. In the past couple of sentences, I have written five misspelled words that have been corrected by spell check, and why? Well, dyslexia. (To spell it right I had to find it in a book).
8. Housing, buildings back then were not insulated and had other problems, and in winter it got cold and these people did the best they could but they still got frost bite and they died because of the cold.
9. Child labor laws, hey, wait a gosh darn pea pickin’ minute, we want get paid for our work too. OK, homework isn’t really as bad as working in a coal mine. Children didn’t make much money and often starved… until they died.
City Kid, Country Kid
By Gabby Fringet
This week I ponder growing up rural and growing up in a city.
I tend to take it for granted that I can go outside and play in a meadow and in the trees, and I take the seasons for granted too. In summer we bring out the fan, in fall we get ready for winter and I don’t mean Christmas, but 5+ feet of snow. In spring we fix our fence because it has been crushed by feet and feet of snow. (Don’t blame me.)
I don’t know what it is like to grow up in the city, I just assume they are rather tech savvy, and their kids roam around alone, which my mom and dad would never in a million years let me do.
At my house, you have to worry about mountain lions, in a city you have to worry about speeding cars; here you would have to walk almost half a mile to have to worry about speeding cars.
The main difference between my world and theirs is the ecology. My world is nature and theirs is people and human made things. I see many different shapes, and they see many straight or square shapes.
They have things available closely, when I have to travel. Libraries, museums, restaurants, goose-less swimming pool, and a lot of other stuff, within walking distance or a short bus ride. There are some restaurants in the county and three parks, and Downieville has a museum and there’s a tiny library in Loyalton, but at a nice convenient half-hour drive.
I can run free almost any time (minus the algebra homework, chores, and other character building time wasters).
City kids, I think, often have their whole lives dictated by 8 hour cycles and by 7 day cycles, and my time is much less structured. But I do have to do chores, most kids out here do and maybe kids in the city do too, but here and in the city there are the occasional kid who does no chores. My chores are pretty typical: feed the cat and dog, wash the dishes, clean my room, and other duties as assigned (those darn character builders).
Because of the changing world I probably cannot live rurally my whole life. I’ll need to go to college and I’ll need to work. Do I want to move to New York, or Portland? It would make some things easier but I would miss the privacy of the country.
I am a kid here, and how do I like it here? I love it, it’s fun, but how would I be different if I had lived in the city? I don’t know, but from the data I have I would have to know my way around at least my neighborhood, and I might have my own cell phone, I would wear socks, and I would think the park was nature. In a city to be with nature people have to drive, and their idea of nature might be the zoo, or the park, and I have to drive to be with people. When city people come here they have urban ideas, they’ll probably also get Giardia from drinking our water.
Some people in the city are originally from the country or from a town, and they have rural and random ideas of nature; others, have neat, and ’civilized’ ideas of nature. What do I think? I like random wilderness and natural stuff. The people who like neat nature think that our valley is a park but it is just part of their fantasy.
But maybe they can get over that and I might get to know and like the city.
Shoo Fly Shoo
By Gabby Fringette
Talk about snow to mosquitoes. Just as we are freed from this hog’s burp of a winter we are frantically seeking shelter from the bugs.
At my house there were ants all over the place, the garden was infested with cabbage moths, and worse were the biting bugs: gnats, no-see-‘ems, and most of all MOSQUITOES.
I find that aloe and corn starch works as a non-itch cream. I have a bite on my knee, several on my shoulder, one on my foot, behind my ear, etc, etc. Boy, I’m gonna need a lot of aloe-corn-starch-goo.
Now I have a bug horror story. Once, on a warm day, a little girl was playing in a pond, but she wasn’t ALONE in the water. There was a kind of water bug called a boatman and several of these bugs got stuck in the back of her swimsuit and went vampire on her. It’s been several years, and I still cringe when I spot a boatman.
Not to mention what happened to some of my pals, they were almost eaten alive when they were playing outside, and it seems the sneaky little bugs like the victim’s neck, like Dracula.
I think that this gym-sock-under-your-pillow of a winter is why we have all the bugs. Why? Well to answer that question: all the melt water. We are surrounded by swampy grass and stagnant water, a mosquito resort-- and they have the buffet running for bug repellant.
Row row row your boat gently down the stream
if you see a mosquito don’t forget to scream.
Gee, he must have seen a whole swarm of ‘em.
283 bug bites, I mean words.
By Gabby Fidget
Ok, I’m sorry about skipping the odd edition I was sick and then busy, but now that all the excitement is gone I am BORED.
Now all I can do is reminisce.
Like once my dad said, “Come on Bub” to our dog and my sister said, ”why did you call him that?” I said “it’s a term of indogment”. I crack me up!
And one Memorial Day I was at a friend’s house and I ate two hot dogs and dessert and barfed and later that day I snuck a third marshmallow and these were giant four-inchers and I was only supposed to get one and he (family friend, not marshmallow) ratted on me and then I was forced to watch the mallow melt in the fire. My lesson: marshmallows burn great.
Let me see, oh yeah, I forgot about this once I wrote on my feet the words to this song I heard on a computer game. The song was: they call me doctor worm, good morning how are you… I have to stop now or I’ll have to pay for the song. Anyway, I considered that moving my feet was singing as well as dancing.
Now I’m just listening to the radio and typing my Column, boring huh? Only 33 words to go, what should I do now?
I know! I’ll paint faces on my toes and fingers. Oh, too bad I can’t take pictures until I get more batteries, but you know, life is good. I shouldn’t be complaining. Of course it could be better but there are tradeoffs… time’s up, 272 words!
By Gabby Fringette
I didn’t write last week, I was busy choreographing Mom’s day, but last week I didn’t hab allergies, no ruddy nodes, throat of cottod, eyes down the ant hole, a whistle in each ear, and don’t forget the muckus! Wawawawahhh!
They say time flies wen you’re having fud, so I suppose wed I start to like allergies, all the allergens will be gone, I wish!
Even though it’s freezing oud, I still have allergies, ad this should be a widder wonder lad, it’s only snowed an inch at the deepest. Hahachoooooo!
Have you eber looked dowd ad ant hole? That’s what my eyes feel like. Have you ever swallowed a cottod ball? That’s what my throat feels like. Have you blewd a whistle all day? That id what by ears feel like, and I still hab to write this column! Oops, I forgot the muckus, well hab you eber gotten corn syrup up your node? That’s what by node feels like!
The only thing I cad think ob is bed were I cad close by ant covered eyes ad led by whistling ears sing me a lullaby and travel to a world where by cotton throat and syrup nose won’t bother me!
I suppose I could take Benadryl but the allergies will come back worse and Dad told me not to do drugs.
This is to sneedes, to whinig breakdowds and three, no four coughs, hakcoghf cough cough, ad 243 words. Close enough, tibe for a bowl of steabing zoup.
By Gabby Fringette
In this article we explore what corporations are doing to us. And by that I mean girls, not 18 year olds but that is happening. And not 15, but that is true too. But 13 and younger.
Even 6 years olds have beauty pageants, and it’s not men who are doing this, it’s the mommies influenced by the corporations. When someone looks at one of these pictures we think ‘awww so cute’ but it’s not, these kids are being exploited so that corporations such as clothing and make up, get rich, all for a plastic tiara and a coupon for a quilt store nobody goes to.
And a Christian group did something I agree with, they called bull #%*t on a department store for selling a bikini for 8 year old girls with a padded top that made it look they had boobs (the 8 year olds, not the Christians)
And then there are the magazines for teens. I looked at some “teen” magazines that encourage teens to wear makeup. Makeup was originally made for old women to make them look young, which kids ARE young. The fashions are trashy though when the readers write in the readers are often very sensible.
And the corporations targeted adult women as well; they’re encouraging women to spend all their money on sports cars, makeup, clothes and shoes. Virginia Slims cigarettes have been marketed to young women for 40 years, like smoking made you free. It doesn’t.
Those are all short-term investments, but we should have a car we like, smoking is bad for you, like makeup, and thrift stores are excellent for bargains.
It’s a fact of culture, they have something and they make it seem necessary, when it is probably bad for you. But those are bad points to culture and there are good points too.
By Gabby Fringette
Today we talk about chickens, what they eat, their family history (dinosaurs), and true stories about the chickens of yours truly.
You’re walking through an early Cretaceous forest, and you hear a cramp, cramp, I mean, chirp, chirp, that is, sort of a cluck, clurp, clurp, and you look around and you see something streak past. Naturally, you’d expect it was a pterosaur, but you’d be wrong! It’s a microraptor, which means ‘little thief’ in Greek, it is much like a chicken, but it was technically a dinosaur and it could glide. It ate bugs and was a foot or two in length and weighed three or four pounds and looked slightly like a chicken.
Now for the ‘what they eat’ session (chickens not microraptors). They eat bugs if they are free ranged, but if they were Foster Farm, then they got their beaks clipped off and their claws too, then they ate grain and antibiotics, and if any of you works for one of these factories I hope you feel awful and this is animal cruelty and these are intelligent animals like dogs or humans, but if the chickens are like mine they eat grain, bugs, worms, and anything they can get their beaks on, such as snakes, small rodents, and small birds.
And now we hear my chicken stories: one hen, a white one, who was named White Hen, was smart, tough, and courageous. Once she was carried of by a raccoon, and survived. She came back, and recovered, and then she went feral but she came back again, but one night she met her match and the neighbor’s dog killed her and several other chickens.
And here is another chicken story, not as sad unless you knew the grasshopper. A hen, a fat golden hen named Goldy, was in a meadow and was after a grasshopper and it flew 8 or 10 feet high and the chicken jumped and caught the hopper in midair, yes a fat hen caught it.
Remember when you see that fat hen launch skyward to snatch a bug from the sky that her ancestors were dinosaurs!
Microraptor from Wikidino
In this column I, Gabby Fringette, take you on a magical journey as we explore the world of corn prices and… wait did I say this was going to be exiting? Oops sorry. What we are going to “explore” are the many reasons why the price of corn and many other things are going up.
I apologize but there will be no grass watching today, there isn’t enough water for it to grow, well there won’t be.
Some meteorologist, Bryce Anderson, said that the drought has already taken a toll on winter wheat. And the drought has not only struck Kansas but also Texas and even into Colorado, Louisiana, Arkansas, Arizona, and Nebraska, New Mexico, Georgia and Mississippi and there will be no improvement in June and the snowstorm that blanketed parts of Kansas won’t help.
The price of any flour will rise dramatically, and corn has already reached a historical high.
And with the price of corn rising then so will the price of anything with cornstarch, high fructose corn syrup (and that is used in almost everything) and yes, that juicy slab of prime rib that makes my mouth water, and even the price of fuel because corn is used to make methanol. On the other hand, maybe this will be good for Americans’ health. And the rise in the price of corn fed beef will be good for the local grass fed beef.
The rise in American corn prices has been a definite boon to Australian wheat and corn.
Sorry I haven’t been very funny but this is a serous column today, maybe I’ll have something funny next week. But probably not, I’ll be writing a piece on Independence Lake.
This is 428 words now.
(including end notes)
Did I happen to mention that the price on that seven hundred-gallon tank of water will go up even more? It will. In Las Vegas if you take a shower in a hotel then the water would get recycled and shipped back to Lake Mead. And then it would get shipped back to Las Vegas and if you take a shower again a month later then you might be showering in the same water twice. Yuck.
There are already riots for water all over the world today, not water to wash in, that would be nice, but to drink. So consider your selves lucky that you can wash your dishes and take showers and drink water all at a twist of a knob on a faucet.
My Tyrannical Father is Making Me Write a Column
By Gabby Fringette
It’s 50F out, that is T-shirt weather! I open the door and right on cue dad says, ”did you write your column?”
“What column,” I ask.
“The one we talked about yesterday.”
“When did I agree to that idea?” I lost the argument and here I am.
I do not want to write this. It’s not that I don’t like to write it’s that I don’t like to be told to write. And it’s 50 degrees out!
Hear are the reasons he’s making me doing it:
It’s part of my school assignment
It will develop my writing skills and teach me how to express myself clearly and convincingly
It will instill a value for print news in me
It will teach me to think critically and do research
He’s lazy and it will fluff content
Reasons I don’t want to do this:
Its 50 out!
I’ve been stuck in side the house all winter, and when the weather was clear the snow was terrible for anything except for getting stuck in.
I’m being told what to do when I could be following my hens to find out where they have been laying, or watching grass grow.
Washing the cat is less painful.
Well, it’s not too bad in comparison to two hours of math homework.
Finally, having finished it, what do I think?
I’m not crazy to do it again but I would.
I am supposed to write 250 words and this is 250 words, right, OK, now.