Friday, November 14, 2014


 the law and you, revisited

Yesterday, in my Ocean post, I tested your commitment to a lawful existence. Are you maybe less law abiding than you think? I wrote about common infractions -- such as crossing the street on a red light. Several of you pushed back, claiming that you didn't even go that far: you walked when the little green man told you to walk. One person noted that it may be a cultural thing. People in Japan or Denmark (rather than the the ruggedly individualistic U.S.) have a culture of obeying traffic laws. But I think it hits beyond culture. I'll never forget an early trip  with my girls to New York. Having lived in Madison, their experience with pedestrian traffic signals was minimal. And on trips to Chicago, we always obeyed the signals. Traffic moves swiftly and rather recklessly in that city. Enter Manhattan: do pedestrians ever pay attention to traffic lights there?  I mean, geez, when you're on 54th and 2nd, you can practically see the movement of cars in Chinatown! Nothing is careening down the avenue? Cross! Indeed, if you walk along the avenues and wait for street lights along the cross streets to change, I swear, you're going to hold up the whole rhythm of the city! So, naturally, I crossed. With the girls. On red lights.

They were properly horrified! And they refused to go along! My little girls stood at the street corner, holding hands, waiting for the light, even as hoards of people passed by. Now that's a firm position on obeying the law! (Or maybe they were staging a mini rebellion against mom's know-it-all-ness?)

But I'll take you to another infraction now -- you obedient types out there! If, until the 2003 Supreme Court decision (Lawrence v. Texas), fornication (i.e. sex without or outside of marriage) was illegal in your state, were you, perhaps violating a law there? Because if not, according to the numbers, that puts you in the minority. And so are we back with the position that some laws are best left ignored?

I breathe a sigh of relief. My future stays at (illegal) AirBnBs are secured!

who's who on the Internet

Here's a pattern: I plunge into a new social media forum, then (and only then) I learn the rules. And one rule I learned is that your name is yours to use, from the moment of birth til the day you die -- except when you venture forth into the brave new world of the internet.

True, on Face Book, you can only participate if you use your real name. Are you Judy Schultz in real life? Well then, Judy Schultz you must remain for the purposes of your FB account. I know several people who do not follow this, possibly not having read every last detail of the contract between themselves and Face Book. But most people obey: your real name, or bust.

In blogging, writers are all over the place. Mostly they take on names that match their blog content. A gardening blog might be written by the "wild rose of texas." Parenting of infants may have something like "tired and cranky" as a pen name. My night with a screaming baby. By Tired and Cranky.  When I began blogging in January of 2004, I assumed that I would have to stand behind my words so I chose the very exciting blogger name of Nina Camic. Which happened to be my real name. Creative, no?

In twitter, I again used my real name. I mean, I blog with Nina Camic. I Face Book with Nina Camic. Why would I be different in this forum? But now I'm learning that if you're a nobody, often you play with names there as well. Though "wild rose of texas" would be suboptimal. Too many letters. Choose short and sweet and often nonsensical. Now, if you're famous -- say you're the Queen of England, you put your twitter name right out there. But if you are that famous, someone else will most likely be writing your tweets for you. So if you see a name on Twitter that you recognize, don't get too excited. A paid staffer may be tweeting.

In the end, I'm glad I stuck with the same name in all circumstances, for all purposes. When I run into people who recognize me from Ocean, they don't say "Hi, wild rose of texas!" They say "hi Nina!" It feels personal and warm.


And speaking of warm, here's another update on the Polar Vortex and the cheepers.

After breakfast, in the front room of the farmhouse...


...but before leaving for the weekly trip to The Store (grocery day is a big deal if you live in the country), I peek in on the brood.

You have to check for eggs frequently or they'll freeze, crack, explode, or do who knows what. In other words, you may have yourself a wasted egg (except if you're Ed, who insists on eating it even if it freezes, cracks, explodes or otherwise looks weird). And, besides the egg check, I have this great fear that one of the hens will freeze while standing around waiting for spring to come and so I want to check on them a lot, to nudge them forward in case they forget to move.

They do a lot of standing on one leg and gazing south. I think their brains are working overtime, trying to figure out how to escape the cold. (They stand on one foot to warm the other.)


The chickens are fine. Off I go to shop. Which takes a while.

I come back and look toward the barn. They're still within its orbit. As if fearing that a walk away from this relatively safe haven will plunge them into another unpleasant environment. After all, they don't know that winter is as bad as it gets. They don't follow our calendar. I don't think.

I call them up for a treat. This is the time to bond with the hens, to placate Oreo, to feel like I am really tied to the farmette land, flora and the animal kingdom that passes through.



And then I lead them back to the barn area.


It's such a simple existence for them! So very lovely! But right now, I keep thinking -- so very cold.