Monday, February 21, 2011

Dogs and Humans, an Archeological Contribution

After reading a report by archeologists that at one time humans and dogs seemed to have been carrion eaters. I will add what I learned in a lecture series on Africa given by a Malboro College professor and what I know about dogs and have a possible contribution to archeology. It may have been soon after our human-like ancestors came out of an African jungle to survive as a land animal that the early ancestors of the wolf learned that by following humans on a hunt they could benefit by the left overs of the hunt. Gradually over thousands of years a few of the wolves became involved with the actual hunt and may have become the difference between a successful hunt and an unsuccessful one. Finally the human recognized the usefulness of the dog-like creature and accepted it into the campfire. There is at least one other necessity of humans than food, water and shelter and that is sleep. The dog creature could announce danger approaching by the bark to awaken the deep sleeping human. Further consideration concerns the info from the African lecture series. Today in Africa there are perhaps 150 small villages scattered over the continent each with its own language. The geography of Africa is varied with rivers and mountains and the open Savannah. With such a variety of landscape the wolf-dog had to adapt to hunting in open space and in forests. It is possible that those immigrants with dogs that helped with the open space hunting might favor a greyhound-like hunter that could run down an animal such as a rabbit and the hound could trail one specimen for over a day until the prey was exhausted and the hunter could dispatch it. The inherited traits useful for hunting in our breeds of today include the ruthless killers such as present day fighting dogs as the pit bull. The bird dogs who could have located game in brushy areas for a hunter to approach close enough to kill. Some breeds may have survived as ornaments and alarms as we know the early Romans had dogs and signs, "Beware of the dog." That warning was to prevent visitors from stepping on small house dogs. It seems reasonable to suggest that neither you nor I nor the dogs we know would have survived without coming out of Africa together.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Metal Station Wagon and a Ram

It was shortly after WWII my father had collected the first of its kind, an all metal station wagon from a car agency he had ordered a year previously. It was a Plymouth and the second of it's model to be sold in our area. Being proud of it and wanting to show it off he drove into our sheep pasture where he knew I would be. He had tome to get out of the car before our ram saw his reflection in the shiny new paint job, put hes head down he rammed his reflection. Furious, my father ran to chase the ram away. The ram ran to escape to the other side and rammed that side, too. It was less than an hour passed when my father drove into the dealership with a request to have the dents corrected. The injured vehicle drew a crowd and gales of laughter.

Chiropractic Ram

It was early on a nice spring day that I had fed my flock of sheep and was walking slowly toward my garden thinking of not being able to garden because of my injured back. Shoveling wet manure from a pit to a trailer I felt the sudden stress resulting pain in my lower back. It would be a piercing pain as I suspect being stabbed in my back would feel. It was over two weeks of suffering after this incident occurred. I had not realized my ram had come out of the flock, followed me and suddenly charged and butted me at the base of my spine. Up in the air and down in a heap at which time I experienced a hot flash of pain in that anatomy. Assuming my back was half broken that the ram had finished the job I got to my feet and slowly returned home where I relaxed on a couch until my wife called me to lunch. It had not entered my mind that my back could be anything other than worse than before that butting but I walked with ease up a staircase to dine. It seemed incomprehensible that my condition could be other than worse. The ram had in large part corrected in my back. Previously I had contacted an orthopedic specialist friend at the Yale School of Medicine for advice. He was Dr. Ned Shutkin. Ned had explained that such an injury as I had could be compared to tying a shoelace until it was broken or creasing a paper until it separated. "George, go to bed for six weeks and see what happens." After the episode with the ram I realized no butting of a ram could "heal" my injured tissue and composed and mailed a letter explaining my situation and in the last paragraph offered to let Dr. Shutkin send a few of his better patients through my sheep pasture for a nominal fee. Dr. Shutkin liked my letter and posted it on a bulletin board at the Medical School. The reason for the letter was to suggest that not all back pain was due to tissue being injured as a shoelace breaking. Ned Shutkin is gone by now but was a dear friend.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Corporation Evollution

Do you ever wonder if you are,"fiddling" while Rome is burning? I do and about many issues that have long since come over the horizon. One concerns the warning President (General) Eisenhower warned about the Military-industrial complex. Another President, Abraham Lincoln gave a warning years before that when he said with the advent of the the corporation would be the end of the Republic. I have mentioned our military with a corporation supplying the caterers for feeding our military as well as for the military laundry and even M.Ps who used to do the work of protecting and keeping order in the fighting men and women. Now I recently read it is closer to 200,000 armed civilians doing the M.Ps work in the Iraq and Iran area. I may joke about the KP duties of pealing potatoes but this subject is too serious to joke about. I see evolution in the development of cars and communication and in medicine and in the numbers of Corporations. I have a question for an Answer Man about what is the predicted result of corporations in say 500 years? Will they continue to become fewer and larger? Will they take over the Military? will there be one giant grocery store chain? One giant hardware store all with branches all over the country? And with that power, in case of a strike will they hire the civilian army we now have to confront strikers? There would be no contest. I believe the overwhelming percent of our thinking public has to be somewhat concerned as I am and that is the reason for our President to be so popular in spite of insults fired regularly. There is no other bright light on the horizon and it seems to me that even with his charisma and intelligence and with his winning elections the corporations will prevail. I will take some video lectures to try to find answers to the above and report. If you know an expert with sound opinions I am all ears. Thank you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sam Lurcher

Before continuing with the adventures of the SLOWAT Co. I feel compelled to mention some of the idiosyncrasies of our hero, Sam Lurcher. First he is a recluse and on the surface seems to care about no one but himself but time and experience claims otherwise. Visiting his garage next door I would always give him a. "Hello there!" and it was after a year that he acknowledged it with a, "Humph" or something that sounded like that and then asked me, "Why do you wear different colored socks?" Rather than explaining I said, "Just to be different. Who likes to be like everyone else?" A week or so later I thought Sam had a grease smudge by his nose and mentioned it to him. He responded with,"Mustache." I let that subject drop until a week later the smudge grew more obvious so I asked him and he replied with only, "Mustache." My curiosity grew and I mentioned it seemed strange that the mustache was on one side only. He shot back to me, "Who likes to be like everyone else?" It was soon after I noticed he had different colored socks on. I have to wonder if, to be different people will one day have to wear the same colored socks? He seemed to me to being sarcastic about my socks and when he finally painted his car as he had claimed he would do, "one day" he painted it half white and half the original black. Sam was always busy doing strange things such as one day he drove in with two 500 gallon galvanized tanks he set on end in the back of the garage. Another time he set up a windmill like device on his garage roof that twirled with the wind a lot of the time. Another day he arrived with a strange garden tractor and unloaded it inside the garage. It was from the time General Electric made all electric garden tractors. I had to have an explanation and all he would say was to conserve energy. I found the answer just by watching Sam work. The wind device was to operate a small air compressor pump to compress air in the 500 gallon tanks. Whenever the breezes blew and that was often all night there was air being compressed. He used the compressed air to run a small electric generator that charged the batteries in the old G.E. electric tractor as well as using compressed air to operate an air wrench to take the lugs off the oval tires I used to give occupants of a vehicle with the tires the sensation of running without the exercise of actually running. Like they say, one thing leads to another and that's where we will go to tell about the research with the oval tires and the new company.

Service Clubs Before Rotary

Early on we had no service clubs in Town so when a professional organizer approached me about being part of an Exchange Club I was interested and became the first President. Soon afterward in an article in Time Magazine it was mentioned that my new club did not permit African Americans. I was outraged having not only a close friend of African extraction but enjoying every ethnic group in my veterinary practice. I resigned but thought the concept was worthy. Soon a Lion's Club came into Orange, roaring and I became a member. Now if there is anything I dislike more than going from neighbor to neighbor selling light bulbs for blind research I can't think what it may be. After hearing that our profit was over $2,000 the leadership decided that the fund raiser was so successful we would spend half the profit on a big club party. I found out about spending the cash after the fact of an Italian party with all the pasta and wine flowing like liquid light bulbs. I discovered my hawking of light bulbs paid for that event I resigned in disgust. Soon thereafter I was invited to join the Rotary Club of West Haven, Conn as filling the category of Animal Husbandry.(No, they didn't catch me at it). After 10 years or so we decided to form a new Rotary Club of Orange, Conn. and I was the second president of that new club. That was 1971 and after moving in retirement continued my affiliation with the Rotary Club of Brattleboro. My association with Rotary has been a resounding satisfaction and I recommend it to all.