Big BEEF …

Ron and his BIG BEEF ….

This is a story about Ron and his life in the country as a vegetable farmer. There is always much talk about the rights of free-range animals to have room enough to live their short lives before they end up on somebody’s meal table or in their sandwich.

two friendly pigs and a cow in a pen

I try not to think about it as I was raised eating meat, but find that as I get older, just healthy eating dictates changing my habits. I eat more fruits and vegetables.  I avoid fats and carbs, especially white flour and sugar-based foods.

So, it amazed me to have Ron tell me the story of why he no longer eats beef. After all, he is a retired farmer.

Seems he had his vegetable farm right next to cattle slaughterhouse someplace southwest of Chicago.

He tells how he could see the cows in over-crowded holding pens awaiting their ultimate demise.  They could hear and smell the cows ahead of them meeting their butcher.  Worse yet, he said, he could hear the whining cries of the yet to be killed cows.  They knew their turn to die was soon in front of them.

And that I why he said he could never eat beef again.  It is just too much for me to fathom.  I still take no position.  It is an individual choice.  But it makes me wonder.

Back in the 1980’s trying to eat vegetarian items involved too much salt.  Now I just eat the vegetables, often chopping root veggies and seasoning plus sunflower seed oil. 

Every story has an ending, but this ain’t it.

Preacher Psychology prof built several new early computer systems.
This is not really an adventure story, but a good human interest story. What you can do if you focus and get creative.
Dr. Edgar Eddins was a friend of mine, long gone now. But he was an early pioneer in the computer and computers in the education space. He worked with early Computer Automation and Hewitt-Packard mini-computers.

He moved from being a Baptist clergyman and psychology professor to set up the computer department at Hartwick College. He rebuilt the computer systems and upgraded them for the whole state of Wyoming, National College of Education in Evanston, now National Lewis in three cities, and Hadley School for the Blind in Winnetka IL. There he created the computer department, installed the first hybrid printer that put brail on both sides of a thick, paper-mâché like paper, calculating the proper spacing so they did not interfere with those on the other side.
He paved the way for his wife who came to Hadley after getting her MBA and took over as VP of administration and eventually Dr. Ed’s computer department when he moved to a new position. His wife, Maureen, later moved down to be the VP at the Printing House for the Blind, affecting students all over the country.
After Hadley, Dr. Edgar Eddins moved to be the computer director at Columbia college and ran their Hewlett-Packard minicomputer operation and programs for both administration and education departments. He created a pioneer project of a PC-based student computer center using a large, clumsy Magnavox computer and CP/M operating system. The monitor display was yellow low-resolution letters on a brown background.
cation and file management system. Later it had a Fax modem board to allow directly faxing a document from a word processer.
Ed used the money he earned from my project to buy his daughter her first computer. He just loved empowering other people. It would be hard to count the number of students and administrators he helped get their start.
Naturally these stories are from before 1990. The names are long gone, but paved the way for where we are today.
Made him a pioneer.

The amazing story of how spirit the carriage horse overcame his fear of the nasty, big, red fire truck.
Spirit is an unusual horse. He is a twin, and both survived birth. His father, grandfather and grandmother were all grand champion Percheron registered horses. Spirit is a Spotted American Draft Horse: a paint mixed with, in this case, a Percheron.
He has always been very friendly and curious and prone to befriend the bigger horses.
But some things scare the dickens out of him.
One day I was with John, our Polish horse trainer, and Spirit. We were training the horse Spirit on the streets of Chicago. Whereupon a hugh fire truck just moseyed down next to us at a red light, with all its gears grinding as it stopped. Spirit freaked out incredibly. Quickly I handed the lines to John and he said some magic words to calm Spirit down.
So, I said: “John we have to do something to overcome his fear of fire trucks. There are lots of fire trucks out here. He can’t be a carriage horse for us if he’s afraid of fire trucks around all the time!” And John agreed.
So, two days later I engineered a plan to take Spirit over to a big Firehouse at Grand and Dearborn in Chicago. Luckily, the truck was just returning from a call and backing into the garage. So, I directed Spirt to follow the truck nose to nose into the garage. The firemen were very gentle and understood apparently what I was doing. After they stopped the truck and came out to say “Hello” to Spirit they brought him a large, 20 gallon pan of water. Whereupon Spirit drank half of it. So now Spirit has never been afraid of a fire trucks again. They are good to you: they bring you water.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could just take our children and give them one lesson and they would remember it for life? When’s the last time we remember that happening? These horses are just amazing at how they want to figure things out then make everything work safely so nobody gets hurt. Thank you Spirit for being our wonderful horse.

Spirit the horse and the Nasty Firetruck!

© 2020, HorsesEveryOne, Inc. and/or the author, Donald J Geldernick
Maybe be reused with noted credits.

© 2013 by a horse charity and the author

Mark is a young lad, like any young lad … he likes football, soccer and basketball. He lives in a small town where life is easy and you can pretty much do what you want to do for fun.

His sister, Stormy, is always ranting about her horse riding, running around in tight riding breaches and tall black riding boots. She rides often and likes to show off by making the horse jump over logs and barrels.

She does a lot of fussing about and bragging about her horse and her blue ribbons from many contests.

Mark says he wants nothing to do with all of this horsing around. “Give me my soccer game and leave the horsing around to Stormy,” he says.

One day, Dad takes the family to Oakbrook to see a horse polo game.

“Seems like this is a lot like hockey or soccer, but played on a horse, says Mark. No girls are riding today, but the ponies are small compared to Stoney’s horse. They can cut and turn much faster. They sweat like crazy from the constant running.

After each period of play, called a chucker, Mark notices that the rider gets a new, fresh horse. The one ridden is cooled down by wringing big sponges of cold water over their bodies.

Maybe Mark would go again to see the polo matches, but without his sister, Stoney.

When they got back home, Dad had an announcement to make at the dinner table. He was being called to a special assignment in Switzerland for the coming summer. He would take mother along, but his sister would have to spend the summer with Aunt Margaret in Boston. So where would Mark go?

Dad gave him a choice of going along to Boston with Stoney or going to a special camp in northern Wisconsin. It was called Camp Arrowhead on Trout Lake and was more than 400 miles from home. There would be many activities at Camp Arrowhead, including fishing, camping, hiking, nature stuff like learning about snakes and raccoons.

Mark decided camp was better than going to Boston.

When school ended some bags were packed with clothes and a couple of books. Included in the luggage was two new pair of boots. One was for hiking and the other he hardly recognized: ugh! Black riding boots like Stoney’s, only in a young boy’s size and style. What was this all about he wondered.
Well, dad explained, there would be several kinds of horseback riding available: trail riding, barrel racing, pleasure riding and just plain simple events with some jumping. He said Mark could choose any or all kinds of riding, except he had to agree to try each kind at least twice before he made his final choices.
Ugh! Just like sister Stormy, he thought, riding horses and getting a sore butt. Well, at least there would be snakes and fishing. Maybe he even would see a wild bear!

So off they went to Wisconsin …. It was an awfully long trip and they stopped for lunch along the way in Stevens Point. Finally they arrived.

Everybody shared a tent with one other camper. The tent was raised up on a wood platform and had two cots for sleeping. There also were cabins for bad weather days. Up on a hill was the Grand Hall where everybody would meet for meals and stories and such.
When the summer ended, Mark had learned more about outdoor live. He had learned all about fishing and tracking wild animals in the woods.
He even learned how to barrel race and do special events riding a horse.
Didn’t seem so bad when he was the one commandeering the horse. Eventually he got to like how he and the horse seemed to understand each other.

So back to civilization and regular soccer he went. There were no more mosquitoes and no more fish. Horses again were for Stormy. But Mark kind of missed his horse.
And so the next summer, Dad had to go to Vienna. But this time Mark would go along and Stormy would stay home with Mom.

Dad was busy all day long in Vienna which was a wonderful, Old World kind of city in Europe. Flying there was fun, but also took a long time.

While dad was conducting his business, the lodge concierge found some activities for Mark. He was escorted around the city and discovered some very old, small carriages each drawn by a team of two horses. He inquired about these carriages and was told he could learn to drive them.
To Marks amazement, he was able to talk to the horse with ease and soon was directing the horse about town. So Mark decided he liked this and asked if he could hang with them for the summer.
Mark was so good at handling the horses that they asked him if he would like to drive each day that he came. He did and met a lot of new people from all over the world who visited Vienna, Austria.
Turned out, this was better than fishing in northern Wisconsin.

When Mark returned to his home at the end of summer not one of his friends had such an exciting story to tell. Even his sister Stormy did not top his stories. She had won blue ribbons in contests with her horse, but she did not drive a carriage in Vienna with passengers from all over the world.
So Mark decided that horses are alright.

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