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terribleturnip

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In some future time... [May. 5th, 2009|08:16 am]
terribleturnip
As someone who spends a lot of time arbiting between authenticity and reality when it comes to 16th century England...

...I used tend bar in a joint -- and the word "joint" is the only one that applies -- where fights were not infrequent, often ended in broken pool cues, and usually started over something so incredibly picayune, like the number of fly balls or false starts or whether you should switch your oil weight and when or many other things that I didn't understand then and don't understand now. And as a horse person I watched lifelong friendships hit the rocks of "how much protein should a weanling get" and bust apart forever...



...so I'm actually relieved that when we're discussing whether this person goes here or there in a precedence circle, or whether yellow could be worn, or are floggers appropriate merchandise or...really, the adrenaline levels stay low and people tend to be good losers. To be clear, I often don't have the knowledge to determine the "right" answer. If it comes to me, it's to decide whose opinion wins. Or to decide whether historical accuracy, expediency or patron satisfaction win. (And please note, this post is NOT about anything that has happened recently at any of the faires I work at...so if you think you "get" my thinly veiled reference to...you're wrong.)

But discussions get heated -- and having spent years married to a historian -- I'm familiar with the waving of historical sources. Some little scrap of mention, a conclusion reached on the basis of a couple of pictures, paintings, documents that survived. And I often think "well, yeah, okay, but we're drawing a lot of conclusions from a tiny, tiny bit of evidence." Sure, if that's all you have to work with. But you have to also acknowledge, that until fairly recently in history, only a little, wee iceberg tip of reality, of everyday life, was documented.

"Oh, but we have this original source book that describes everyday life." Yeah, okay, one book. One author? Read anything lately, written in this century that was written as factual, but was clearly askew? We didn't invent bias, opinons, and making it all up in this century, I'm pretty sure.

I mean, really, when you look at what's survived from any given time period, I imagine it's not that far from a scenario that occured to me one day standing in the library at Penn State. Take twenty eight year olds and tell them that they have 30 minutes to fill their carts with books. And you'll award the prize to the one who has the best selection at the end. And you're not going to give them any parameters in terms of what "best selection is". Which means some will go for a variety of sizes, some a variety of colors, some a variety of books pulled from different areas, some...

And at the end, those books will be the only source all following generations will have to find out what life in our time period was like. How accurate do you suppose it would be? If they were set loose in the library of Congress. A university library. A large bookstore. My house: "By the lights of Andromeda, Scroggins, these people were obsessed with food, disease, bugs and greyhounds!"

Anyway, not to disparage the evidence and records we have to go on, when looking at the past, but sometimes I think we have to realize how LITTLE we have to go on. And I obsessively worry about what future generations will think of us. I live in fear that some future catastrophe will wipe out every thing but the Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh wing of the library.

But mostly, I worry that for some reason, only the Spam will survive. And our whole culture will be judged on that. And future generations will think "wow, they were fat, couldn't get it up and had NO IDEA what time it was."
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pyllgrum
2009-05-05 01:22 pm (UTC)
Enzyte will be the panacea that brings on a New World Order!
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2009-05-06 02:54 am (UTC)
Shouldn't weanling horses eat grass? Like with bugs in it?

I had no idea that was such a source of friction in the horse world. Not surprised, just completely in the dark about it. It's been a long time, LONG time since I hung out with any seriously horsey people...
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2009-05-06 11:44 am (UTC)
Sure, but not everybody has enough pasture, or healthy enough pasture for a whole grass diet to be sufficient. Free-roaming horses will wander over a territory to get the nutrients they need. Lock them in even a generous pasture and they're stuck with whatever's in front of them, which might not be everything.

We always had to supplement our horses with grains. But I never obsessed over it myself. But I make a very strange horse/greyhound person -- I actually believe that there are very few RIGHT answers.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2009-05-06 06:45 pm (UTC)
So good quality hay wouldn't be enough? I suppose then you're into the argument of what constitutes good quality hay... Woo-boy, I can see where folks would come to blows over this.

I keep trying to learn that lesson, that there are very few actual right answers. Since I'm addicted to "knowing" stuff, it's not easy.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2009-05-06 07:25 pm (UTC)
The problem with hay, good quality or not, is that it all probably came from the same field. Same mineral, trace contents. Also, a wandering wild horse, on undomesticated fields will get a much higher amount of seeds (protein) than will a horse on a typical pasture -- where it's mostly the grass blades. Like, you could live on a salad of field greens for a long time...but really, you'd need something with seeds, some kind of legume, some kind of protein. Horses don't need as much, but some.

Work them hard and they will do better with more protein than a horse that goes out for an occasional hack. A lot of the feral horses wind up with that big hay belly, but are otherwise almost emaciated because they're living on what they can find, which, because of the way we've limited their territory and changed the grasslands, can be not enough. (Sometimes it is, sometimes not.)

There are two greyhound experts, one insists that an airline, enclosed crate is best. The other insists that an open, wire crate is better. I prefer the open wire, but frankly, whichever one you have, whichever one your dog likes...that's the best one.

My addiction to knowing has exacerbated my natural devil's advocate. I'm so busy seeing both sides, that it's hard to come down on one.
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[User Picture]From: ferlonda
2009-05-07 12:27 am (UTC)
Ooh, thanks for the knowledge! I kind of new that stuff about grazing and grass seeds, etc., but I appreciate reading it from you. Of course- hay would all come from the same seed stock, the same dirt, etc. And of course a hard working horse needs grain- and I suppose there is a whole 'nother discussion to be done about that, too.

Re: crates, I would suppose it would depend some on what the dog prefers? Or do they have preferences? I know practically nothing about dogs and even less about greyhounds. I like them, I think they're beautiful and I love your stories about them, but for actual facts... zippola.

I'm too opinionated to not take sides... but I'm often easily swayed by new information. :)
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