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The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia







July '09 Contents

July '09 Cover


Home Remedy By Gert Slabach

Shadows On The Roanoke
(William Byrd & Buffalo Springs)
By Auntie Bellum

Charlotte Courthouse
(Three Centuries - Three Statesmen)
Charlotte Courthouse - Photos

Keeling Fly-In '09
Event Coverage
Photo Gallery



South Winds
(Just Thinking)

Southside Gardener
(July "To Do List")
By William H. McCaleb

Ask Bubba - Advice
Bubba the Contractor


Editor's Page
(CARS & Fool Economy)
V & B Comics
(Verrnack & Blupirk)

Farm &Ag Info

Farmers Markets Listing (FMs in or near SSVA)

Festivals & Events
Sept & Oct Events

SoBo Harvest Fest

Press Releases


Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.


South Winds

(Random thoughts)

Just Thinking - July 09

"If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you; But if you really make them think, they'll hate you. "

-= Don Marquis
American humorist (1878 - 1937)


   As I wander through life I get these random thoughts, some of which wind up as a Southwinds columns. Often, however, these thoughts are more like random Ah-Ha moments. These moments often come on me at times when it is not realistic to ruminate on them. So I scribble a note to myself on some odd bit of scrap paper, old receipt, matchbook cover or what have you. In the best situation, I will one day come across these notes at a time when I can ponder the meaning of the universe, or at least consider, "What in the WORLD was I thinking at that moment?"

   As weeks go by and the notes pile up, some of them get culled and tossed, some become more complete thoughts and others get filed away for future use. Well, over time quite a few of these incomplete thoughts have piled up. And this month we are going to sift through a few of them together. Think of it as cleaning out the mental refrigerator. There is some junk that just has to be thrown away, but there are a few decent morsels, which might, when used together, become a meal.

"He to what he sees, ads observation, and to what he reads, reflection, is in the right road to knowlege."

-= Caleb Colton

   The purpose of this column - if there is one - is to make you think, or at least look at life a little differently. So we are going to toss a few of these seemingly unrelated bits into a bowl and stir, and see what comes out. We'll add a few favorite quotes for garnish or seasoning if you don't mind.

   There is a place I sometimes go, where they hang slogans on the wall. One of them is a picture with the words, "Think-Think-Think." Very often the person setting up the room hangs the sign upside down. A visual pun. I like it.

   I read recently "Aspirin turned 100 in 1999 with an estimated one trillion tablets having been consumed since its introduction."1 That's a lot of little white pills. The saying, "If I had a dollar for every aspirin, I would...."
I am thinking it would make a fine stimulus package.

   It also made me wonder about that sign. You know, the one with the Golden Arches. I haven't paid much attention lately to how many hamburgers have been served. A quick Internet search, and a little estimating turned up this information.

   I found the question(s): "How many hamburgers has McDonald�s sold? How come they don�t put the number on their sign anymore? And do Big Macs count as two?" on of all places, Stupidquestion.net.2

   To paraphrase the answer and the follow up guesstimates, the signs are all frozen in a generic, �Billions and Billions Served� or �More Than 99 Billion Served.�

   As nearly as I can tell, burger sales have been about 5.5 Billion per year during the 15 years since the sign stopped turning in 1994. That works out to about 82.5 Billion which, added to the 99 Billion, makes around 181.5 Billion burgers out the door or drive-up window. Although nowhere near the Trillion count of aspirin, that's still a lot of burgers for one chain. If we add in all the other chains and independents, we are getting close to that Trillion figure. If I had a dollar for every burger...

   I don't, but I am pretty sure McSomebody does.

   Do we really consume as many burgers as aspirin? I know I don't, I take Advil. But the thought gave me a headache.

�If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn�t thinking.�

-= General George Patton

   I hate my toaster. It won't pop up until it is good and ready. You can't manually pre-pop it when you want to. Is this some kind of politically correct safety thing or design flaw?

   I don't know, but I have lived with it for years. Sometimes I just use the broiler in the oven. I can pull the toast out when I want.

   How much does an ice cube cost? I mean really cost. You have the cost to run the pump for the water. The electric to run the freezer. The amortized cost of the ice trays over their lifespan. The waste of all those little chips that fall out when you crack the tray, and a host of other intangibles I am sure I'm not thinking of. I posed this (what I thought was a) rhetorical question to a friend who happens to be a recovering engineer. He attempted to come up with an answer. Now he has a headache.

   Another recent read was about conjoined twins in Indonesia born with single body and two heads.

   In ancient times - depending on the beliefs of the culture - this child would have either been thought as the embodiment of evil and put to death, or revered as a god.

   The "original" Siamese twins, Eng and Chang Bunker (1811-1874) (Who settled in NC - not far from Southside, VA ) were considered an oddity, but more as a medical curiosity even in the 1800's.

   Today this is not considered too uncommon and raises little interest.

   Knowledge takes away mystery.

   We now know the world is not flat and tornados aren't selective. (except for the occasional trailer park in Arkansas)

   I want a little mystery to remain in life. When I let go of the mystery and try to solve too much, the magic goes away.

   There was a birdcall, I have heard for years. I called it the "Theodore Bird" To me it sounded like "Theodore-Theodore-Theodore. Rah Rah Rah" I enjoyed this mystery for years.

   I finally spotted the bird making the call. It is a Cardinal. Mystery solved. Magic gone. I miss the "Theodore Bird".

   I never met a wave friend

   Back in June 2008 this column was about "The Wave". In it, I stated that I had never met one of my "Wave Friends." There was one person about that time for whom, I had made up a story and occupation. I recently saw this person on the side of the road working at his job. He does do what I thought. Hmmm. He must have recognized my vehicle too, because we both waved. I almost turned around to go back to say hello and introduce myself. Then I decided against it. Other than he might have thought I was nut, I am keeping part of this mystery.

"If I should begin life again, I should want it as it was, I would only open my eyes a little more."

-= Jules Renard

   As I get older, I loose some of the magic anyway. But I don't want to let go of it all.

   I know the refrigerator light thing. It isn't a little man in there turning it on and off, I am pretty sure it is that little switch in the door jam.

   I'm still not sure about the tree falling in the forest not making a noise though.

   And I don't want to know.

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

-= Chinese Fortune Cookie

"I write and I confuse people."

-= Yours Truely


-= FCOIT =-   

   1Crossing Wall Street - Aspirin Turns 100

   2StupidQuestion.net - How many burgers?

   3Eng and Chang: The "Original" Siamese Twins


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E-mail:  fcoit@discoversouthside.com



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