Final on Food (at last)

This is my long overdue post about food.

Pure, plain, and simple, the food industry has been co-opted by the ag giants: Cargill, Pepsico, Tyson, Smithfield, Del Monte, just to name a few and topped off, of course, by Monsanto. Their goal is not to supply the populace with good wholesome nutritious food, but to make money, and they do. Lots of money. Monsanto, in 2017, pulled in approximately 2.26 billion U.S. dollars. Not small potatoes.

Big Ag has infiltrated most every aspect of food production in the U.S. and is working to do the same in Asian and African countries. Big Ag controls most all research being done in our Land Grant Universities, because they put money into the school coffers, steering the research to help them make even more money. And, of course, Big Ag has pretty much bought our senators and congressmen from federal to state levels with money and influence.

And, there is the Big Ag “Big Lie” that they are working to help feed the world. But the upshot of that lie is that they are feeding the world junk food, poisioning the people and creating a growing health crises of obesity, diabetes, cancer and so on. Plus they are poisioning the land, contributing to global warming, ruining small towns and small farms, exerting more and more control over what is left of rural America. They will crush anyone or anything that gets in the way, new or better ideas toward sustainable agriculture, be damned. They don’t want anyone to think that enough food can be grown on a smaller sustainable level to feed the masses. I say they are full of greed laden bullshit.

You may think my ideas are sacreligious and unfounded, but all this information and more is readily available on the internet. I have seen and witnessed it pretty much first hand over my life, as you can see if you have read the previous parts of this rant. So I wish you well for better food choices, better health, and creating a critical mass to ruin the profits of these giant corporations and bring back more wholesome food grown in your localin a sustainable method. Support local small growers.

Of course, there is the issue of overpopulating the planet which may be a topic for another day.

Mountain Autumn

We took a trip into the San Juan Mountains just north of us to experience the fall colors of the golden Aspens. I’ll share a few pictures which don’t reall capture the beauty of the sixty miles we drove.

Snow on the high peaks to the northeast.
Looking south from Silverton at the Gallatin Range.

The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

One evening when Hanna and I were coming in from the hot tub, I noticed a I had a voice mail from Mom, “Russell, Dad’s in the hospital. Please call me as soon as you get this.” 

Panicked, I called back immediately, “Mom? I got your message. Hospital? What’s wrong? Is he okay?” 

He had a little heart attack.”

I couldn’t say anything for a few breaths, “How bad? When?”

“Yesterday. He’s in the Iowa City Hospital Heart Unit.”

“How is he? How serious was it?!”

“He had a dual by-pass. There was little a complication so he has to stay in the hospital for a few days. He would like to see you and Karen. Could you come home?”

“Of course we’ll come. I’ll try to get us a flight tomorrow. I’ll call you when I know. Are you okay?” I asked desperately.

“No, not really. There’s Donny and now this. I’m at my wits end. But the doctors here are very good. They say Roy’ll have a complete recovery, but he’s going to have to start watching his diet and start exercising. That’ll be the hardest part for him.”

“Mom, I’ll call you soon as I know something. Tell Dad hello and we’ll be there as soon as we can.”

“Thanks, Russell. I’ll be so happy to see you two kids. This’s all been real hard on us you know, Donny and everything.”

“I know, Mom. I know. I’m sorry. I will call as soon as I know something. Okay?”

“I know that’ll make Dad happy. Hear from you soon.” She clicked off.

I called Karen who started to cry. Hanna overheard and she was upset. “When you go, I’m going with you.”

“Not a good idea. You know our family dynamic.”

“I don’t care about that. I care about you. You and Karen both. I’m coming, no argument!”

The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henderson. Here’s another. The book is available at

The three of us practiced until we were bleary eyed. We fine tuned, we honed. I kept working on new licks and rhythm patterns. We were becoming a true unit, feeding off each other, commenting, criticizing, encouraging, growing. 

We invited some others, the violin player and the whistle player from our jams, and, of course Frank, to sit in on various tunes. They were eager and we worked out those tunes as well. Other than Frank, the other two played professionally and had recorded before. Frank was a novice like we were but was up to his part.

Our session date arrived. Hanna and I packed up our gear, picked up Mick and Karen and headed to the studio which was in a nondescript building in an industrial area of other nondescript buildings. We were greeted by a twenty something woman, with purple hair and numerous tattoos and piercings, who introduced herself as Bobby, who led to an office where we met our recording engineer, Johnny, who was somewhere north of forty but south of sixty. He was a heavy set man with droopy eyes, and the requisite pony tail. He was professional to the point of being standoffish, but, as we got on, he turned out to a really nice guy.

He asked about our style of music, acoustic or electric, did we have pickups, what were our goals, and had we ever recorded in a studio before? Hanna, our only true professional and spokesperson, answered for us. He explained that we could each lay out separate tracks individually or do it together as a group. We chose the later option. So, We would be in separate recording booths and Hanna would be center where we could see her. At the end, we signed a bunch of paperwork including the contract. 

The rooms were completely sound proof so the only way we would hear each other was through our headsets. We would each be recorded on a separate track so we could over-dub any mistakes or anything we might not like.

We were led to our separate rooms and made comfortable. Bobby brought us each a bottle of water. Before we separated, we got in tune and we were ready . . . as ready as we would ever be and went to our respective places. I closed my door and all sound was gone. It was a sound vacuum. It was weird. 

I put on the headset and heard Derek talking. It was like he was right in front of me, his voice was so sharp and crisp it was unnerving.

I could see Hanna standing about ten feet away, but Mick was in a room outside my vision. Derek was in his control room off to my left.