The weathermen threw me a curve again. They forecast a 90 percent chance of rain for Damphewmore Acres and delivered zero. But, they did get me off my duff and I planted some more garden and three plots of poultry grazing and two plots for wildlife forage. So, ultimately, I did dust in some of my spring plantings in spite of my promise to myself that I wouldn’t. Now I’m hoping the weathermen are more accurate in forecasting 70 percent chance of rain this weekend.
I mentioned my “duff” above, and as it turns out, I’ve got a “duff” related funny to include in this column. Today when I got the mail, it included a reminder from the trash service folks that the company is putting two trash routes together and that our trash would be picked up later in the day than usual.
What wuz funny about the notice wuz the company asked me to “bare” with them as they make the route changes. Guess that means when they trash boys pick up our trash they’re gonna “moon” me and I’m supposed to “moon” them back.
One of the spring jobs that I hate the worst is cutting back all the dead ornamental grasses we have in our home landscaping. I dread it every year. Since those tall, dry grasses are so close to the house, we can’t burn them. They’ve got to be cut. Finally, I could put the job off no longer and ol’ Nevah and I got those grasses cut back earlier today and I’ve got a big stack of fodder to start the compost pile for next year.
We also got our purple martin houses put up. I always delay that job in hopes the purple martins will beat out the starlings and sparrows for all the “housing” spots. It takes about 30 minutes for those miserable bird species to begin colonizing the bird houses, so I hope the purple martins show up soon.
It’s in the news a lot that Kansas has two big problems — the state’s financial status and it’s support for education at all levels — which everyone knows are interconnected.
Well, that got me to thinking and that, in turn, caused me to do a little mental calculation. Currently, tuition at either of the state’s major universities is north of $260 per credit hour. When I was a freshman in college at Bea Wilder U in the early 1960s, the tuition was $4 per credit hour.
Folks, I didn’t have to be a math wizard to figger out that’s a 65-fold increase in tuition in 55 years. I doubt anything in our economy has risen in price as fast as college tuition.
But, being a heart and soul aggie, just for kicks, I looked up the farm-gate average price for a bushel of Kansas wheat in 1960, the year I started college. That year the Kansas total wheat crop wuz 294-million bushels and the price was $1.74 per bushel and it’s total value wuz $512-million.
If wheat price had inflated as much as KSU tuition, the current price of a bushel of Kansas wheat would be $113.00. At that price, the value of the 2014 Kansas wheat crop — which was 250-million bushels — would have been $28-billion (I’m rounding off, so give or take a few million bucks).
And that’s just for wheat and just for one year. Imagine how much all of Kansas’s farm commodities would be valued at if commodity prices had kept pace with college tuition?
Sure is a big discrepancy between inflation rates on various stuff, ain’t there?
Overheard at the local auction barn cafe: “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy cows — which is pretty much the same.”
I’d agree, with this addition: You don’t have to feed money every day or slog through the mud to watch your money be born.
And, R & R, a husband/wife team from Colorado, report they were traveling on the Kansas Turnpike, bucking 30 to 45 mph crosswinds. At the tollbooth, they asked the friendly attendant, “What do you people do in Kansas when the wind quits blowing?”
The tollbooth attendant didn’t miss a beat when she answered, “We take the rocks out of our pockets.”
And, from somewhere in a western state is this fence line sign: “Prayer is the best way to meet your Maker. Trespassing is faster.”
And, a western reader e-mailed me a picture of an official (at least it looks official) “Welcome to Idaho” road sign. The sign reads: “You may not like guns. That is your right. You may not believe in God. That is your choice. But if someone breaks into your home, the first two things you are going to do are … call someone with a gun and pray they get there in time. Signed: Gov. Nick Waite.
No need of searching for better words of wisdom for this week. I’ll just go with Gov. Waite.
So, enjoy all that spring has to offer and have a good ‘un.