It was a cold day in March at Noon and this little stand was producing some truly delicious smells. Having neither hunger nor money, I wasn’t a customer. The tent might seem like overkill, but the days before were, as I recall, miserably wet and windy. Even on this brilliant day, I’d bet the folks serving the stand were more comfortable.

Photo by Roman.

A Brief History of Fat

This has gotten quite a bit of circulation on the web so perhaps you’ve seen it. If not, this is almost everything you might care to know about fat but were afraid to ask… with animation!

I’m most certainly overweight — obese to be blunt. It’s not a state that I like. Feel free to like it yourself as I don’t mean to body shame but for me… no. Over the past three years, I’ve lost about a dozen or so pounds. Not enough.

Why? It’s not health. It’s not sex appeal. It’s not longevity. It’s not even not having wannabeclever people greet me as “Santa” on the street. (“Shhhh…” I says, “Mrs. Claus don’t know I’m here. She thinks I’m in Nome, bargaining with the elves. Breath a word and you’ll get coal ash or worse in your stocking!”)

No, if I continue to lose weight, there’s a closet full of clothing that I could wear… Even some bell bottoms…

After all, Social Security pays only the rent and nothing else.

Fish Heads

Eat them up! Yum!

The “Fish Heads” video is a comedic surreal short by the group Barnes & Barnes, made famous by the Dr. Demento Show. Surreal is not for everyone and the original video was comedic mostly to those who laugh at absurdity… any and all absurdity.

The video is essentially a music video. Honestly, I don’t much like it, even allowing for the fact I don’t like music videos to begin with. The song, though, seems to have an irresistible hold on me, an unshakable ear worm that lurks like a sub-clinical infestation all my days. But when it echoes between my ears, I don’t see Barnes & Barnes fooling around with seafood but a chorus of cats circling my feet. Or my head. Singing “Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads…”

I prefer cats.

Even so, I regret the existence of this video. And if you dare, so will you.

Beeves in Summer

Cool cattle in shades…

The photos below were taken in the Summer of 2003 not far outside of South Jacksonville, Illinois, from an overpass crossing a stream. The stream is a branch of Mauvaise Terre Creek that flows into Mauvaise Terre Lake and then on through Jacksonville. They had quite an amazing flood some years back, I understand.

It was a very warm day. A local farmer was in the habit of letting his cattle hang out along the creek and under the bridge.

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Cattle from bridge. Photo by Roman

The cattle very obviously enjoyed the spot, but they had little trust for strange humans. After some consideration, the consensus among them was to return to the barn.

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Cattle consensus: return to barn. Photo by Roman.

The trade-off for allowing the cattle to hangout as if they were trolls is increased erosion of creek banks, soil loss, plus some downstream pollution from waste. Most farmers are pretty hip to such things so it’s likely the farmer felt the kindness worthwhile. The soil erosion is somewhat apparent in the photo below:

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Cattle returning to barn. Note soil erosion on the left bank. Photo by Roman.

I believe South Jacksonville and Jacksonville get their water from wells.

Bye bye Elsie, Elmer and friends.

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Cattle returning to barn. Photo by Roman.