Corn prices are down and the farm bill is stalled in Congress. So there's a lot of uncertainly in the air as harvest season gets into full swing across the Midwest. But this is a time of year when farm families like the Friesens in Henderson, Neb., come together to focus on the big task at hand: the corn harvest.
Everyone in the family has a job to do.
"Like my dad — he drives auger wagon," Curt Friesen says. "He drives auger wagon only. That's all he's done since 1976, I think. ... My wife, Nancy, she drives the combine; that's her job."
When Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his novel Slapstick to Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, he pinpointed the way an ideal team can transcend chemistry. Like Vonnegut's Wilbur and Eliza, the twins who became geniuses only in each other's presence, Laurel and Hardy united to become two halves of a single being. They bickered, they kicked each other's backsides, and were always mired in "another fine mess," but there was always the sense that they could not survive apart.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 11:52 am
Good morning from Washington, D.C., your nation's capital, where we are now into Day 15 of your government's shutdown and counting down to your government's looming default on its debt.
Yes, we all wish we were still in bed with the pillow over our head. (Even, we imagine, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, who told The Wall Street Journal that military readiness is being damaged by the budget standoff.)
Dire? There is little argument, except from the most ardent default-is-no-big-deal fringe.
Welcome to Stories in the Valley. I’m your host, Charles Kiernan.
Being that Halloween is around the corner, I have for you today a bit of gallows’ humor. It is a poem recited by our Irish friend, Richard Marsh, off of his CD The Tower of Breogán and called The Ballad of Kishóg’s Curse.
At first blush, Okkervil River is obviously a good rock 'n' roll band, but listen closely — especially to its lyrics — and you'll hear a great rock 'n' roll band. The group has been making sharp, thoughtful music since the late '90s, with the first of its seven albums coming out a dozen years ago.
The cult following behind The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been largely underground, but has been no secret. Fans have been going to midnight screenings of the film since 1975 to do The Time Warp again (and again). Presumably, that joke has also been written again (and again).
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 2:29 pm
A strong earthquake has left dozens of people dead in the Philippines. The temblor, whose magnitude was first reported as 7.2 and then downgraded to 7.1, struck near the city of Catigbian in the inland area of Bohol, one of the central Visayas Islands.
At least 93 people have been reported dead, and the casualty count is likely to grow as rescue and recovery teams reach areas that were cut off by rubble and other obstructions.