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Sleeping on the Job?


On the evening news tonight we saw a report about more and more people falling asleep at work. They said that there's an epidemic of Americans not getting sufficient sleep at night. Some "experts" are recommending not only that Americans try to get more sleep, but also that businesses give their employees a little nap break to help them with this problem. Our wellness program at the university seems to be helping many of us with issue. Anyway, this made me think of something to share with you about sleeping on the job....

The 21 best responses if you are found asleep at your desk (not to be used in class, of course)...

21. "Oh, man! I come in at 6 in the morning, and look what happens!"

20. "This is in exchange for the six hours last night when I dreamed about work!"

19. "You don't discriminate against those with Latient Atrophy Zymosis Yeast syndrome, do you?!?"

18. "They told me at the blood bank that this might happen."

17. "Oh, hi there. I was trying to pick up my contact lens without my hands."

16. "This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the last time management course you sent me to."

15. "Whew! Guess I left the top off the Liquid Paper."

14. "I was just meditating on the mission statement and envisioning a new paradigm!"

13. "This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!"

12. "I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance."

11. "I'm doing the Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan (SLEEP) I learned at the last mandatory seminar you made me attend."

10. "It worked well for Reagan, didn't it?"

9. "Just pacing myself for an all-nighter here at work tonight!"

8. "I was working smarter, not harder."

7. "Auggh! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution to our biggest problem."

6. "I'm in the management training program."

5. "The coffee machine is broken...."

4. "Someone must've put the decaf in the wrong pot this morning."

3. "Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won't wear off!"

2. "Ah, the unique and unpredictable circadian rhythms of the workaholic!"

1. "...and I especially thank you for my excellent boss. Amen!"

Today I received an interesting picture called "Haircut of the Year" that I thought others might enjoy seeing. Truly bizarre!

Hope you had a nice Bonza Bottler Day today. Mine was just a standard day of classes, except that midterm grades were due.

quotation...

"The Bible doesn't talk about rights. It talks about responsibility." - John Hutcheson

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Do you ever get tired of sleeping?

Memory Lane


The first year I taught high school, fresh out of college, I had several seniors in my second year French class. Those seniors turned 50 a year or so ago. This year those who were sophomores and in my first year French class that year are now turning 50. Such a sobering reminder that little Drew is not the only one who's aging!

Someone sent me an e-mail recently to test my memory. I either watched too much television as a child or I am really old - surely not both! :-) The e-mail said that the test was a pushover for anyone over 50. You younger readers may struggle with some of these, and some will be a great trip down memory lane for a lot of people.

So here you go, test your memory (or your ability to make intelligent guesses):

1. What builds strong bodies 12 ways?
A. Flintstones vitamins
B. The buttmaster
C. Spaghetti
D. Wonder Bread
E. Orange Juice
F. Milk
G.. Cod Liver Oil

2. Before he was Muhammad Ali, he was...
A. Sugar Ray Robinson
B. Roy Orbison
C. Gene Autry
D. Rudolph Valentino
E. Fabian
F. Mickey Mantle
G. Cassius Clay

3. Pogo, the comic strip character said, "We have met the enemy and...."
A. It's you
B. He is us
C. It's the Grinch
D. He wasn't home
E. He's really mean
F. We quit
G. He surrendered

4. Good night, David.
A. Good night, Chet
B. Sleep well
C. Good Night, Irene
D. Good Night, Gracie
E. See you later, alligator
F. Until tomorrow
G. Good night, Steve

5. You'll wonder where the yellow went,
A. When you wash your clothes with Tide
B. When you lose your crayons
C. When you clean your tub
D. If you paint the room blue
E. If you buy a soft water tank
F. When you use Lady Clairol
G. When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent

6. Before he was the Skipper's Little Buddy, Bob Denver was Dobie's friend,
A. Stuart Whitman
B. Randolph Scott
C. Steve Reeves
D. Maynard G. Krebbs
E. Corky B. Dork
F. Dave the Whale
G. Zippy Zoo

7. Liar, liar...
A. You're a liar
B. Your nose is growing
C. Pants on fire
D. Join the choir
E. Jump up higher
F. On the wire
G. I'm telling Mom

8. Meanwhile, back in Metropolis, Superman fights a never ending battle for truth, justice and...
A. Wheaties
B. Lois Lane
C. Freedom of speech
D. World peace
E. Red tights
F. The American way
G. News headlines

9. Hey, kids, what time is it?
A. It's time for Yogi Bear
B. It's time to do your homework
C. It's Howdy Doody Time
D. It's Time for Romper Room
E. It's bedtime
F. The Mighty Mouse Hour
G. Scoopy Doo Time

10. Lions and tigers and bears...
A. Yikes
B. Oh no
C. Gee whiz
D. I'm scared
E. Oh my
F. Help! Help!
H. Let's run

11. Bob Dylan advised us never to trust anyone
A. Over 40
B. Wearing a uniform
C. Carrying a briefcase
D. Over 30
E. You don't know
F. Who says, "Trust me"
G. Who eats tofu

12. NFL quarterback who appeared in a television commercial wearing women's stockings.
A. Troy Aikman
B. Kenny Stabler
C.. Joe Namath
D. Roger Stauback
E. Joe Montana
F. Steve Young
G. John Elway

13. Brylcream...
A. Smear it on
B. You'll smell great
C. Tame that cowlick
D. Greaseball heaven
E. It's a dream
F. We're on your team
G. A little dab'll do ya

14. I found my thrill...
A. And you can too
B. With my man, Bill
C. Down at the mill
D. Over the windowsill
E. On Blueberry Hill
F. Too late to enjoy
G. With thyme and dill

15. Before Robin Williams, Peter Pan was played by
A. Clark Gable
B. Mary Martin
C. Doris Day
D. Errol Flynn
E. Sally Fields
F. Jim Carey
G. Jay Leno

16. Name the Beatles.
A. John, Steve, George, Ringo
B. John, Paul, George, Roscoe
C. John, Paul, Stacey, Ringo
D. Jay, Paul, George, Ringo
E. Lewis, Peter, George, Ringo
F. Jason, Betty, Skipper, Hazel
G. John, Paul, George, Ringo

17. I wonder, wonder, wonder, wonder who...
A. Who ate the leftovers?
B. Who did the laundry?
C. Who are you?
D. Who wrote the book of love?
E. Who am I?
F. Passed the test?
G. Knocked on the door?

18. I'm strong to the finish...
A. Cause I eats my broccoli
B. Cause I eats me spinach
C. Cause I lift weights
D. Cause I'm the hero
E. And don't you forget it!
F. Cause Olive Oyl loves me
G. And outlast Bruto

19. When it's least expected, you're elected, you're the star today...
A. Smile, you're on Candid Camera
B. Smile, you're on Star Search
C. Smile, you've just won life's lottery
D. Smile, we're watching you
E. Smile, the world sees you
F. Smile, you're a hit
G. Smile, you're on TV

20. You can trust your car to the man who wears the star,...
A. It's the Lone Ranger!
B. And he will take you far
C. Our man Friday
D. He'll have you on the road in no time!
E. Deputy Dog
F. The big bright Texaco star
G. Sheriff Matt Dillon

Now for the answers....

1. d - Wonder Bread
2. g - Cassius Clay
3. b - He Is Us
4. a - Good night, Chet
5. g - When you brush your teeth with Pepsodent
6. d - Maynard G. Krebbs
7. c - Pants On Fire
8. f - The American Way
9. c - It's Howdy Doody Time
10. e - Oh my
11. d - Over 30
12. c - Joe Namath
13. g - A little dab'll do ya
14. g - On Blueberry Hill
15. b - Mary Martin
16. g - John, Paul, George, Ringo
17. d - Who wrote the book of Love
18. b - Cause I eats me spinach
19. a - Smile, you're on Candid Camera
20. f - The big bright Texaco star

For those who don't know Pogo...

This has been a good week - much less busy and hectic than recent weeks have been. A week from Sunday (March 9) our grandson Drew will be a year old already! Those of you who were reading my blog at the time of his birth will be amazed that his premature birth was almost a year ago! He's doing very well - crawling all over, smiling with six teeth, and pulling himself up on furniture. Grandma and Aunt Nora will be driving up for a long weekend to help celebrate his birthday. Grandpa will be holding down the fort here, quenching his students' thirst for knowledge and feeding the livestock (our herd of two cats). I'm sure they'll send me pictures to post.

quotation...

"We often minimize our sin because we don't see it as an act of defiance against God." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If Barbie was so popular, why did you have to buy her friends?

The Parachute Paradigm


As I was looking through my files, trying to decide what to post, I ran across something I thought most of my readers will not have seen how two people look at the one remaining parachute.

The Parachute Paradigm

You are one of two people on a malfunctioning airplane, and there's only one parachute. Here's how you would handle the situation if you were a member of one of the following professions or philosophical outlooks...

Pessimist - you refuse the parachute because you might die in the jump anyway.

Optimist - you refuse the parachute because people have survived crashes like this before.

Procrastinator - you play a game of Monopoly - the winner gets the parachute.

Bureaucrat - you order a feasibility study on parachute use in multi-engine aircraft under code red conditions.

Lawyer - you agree to handle a lawsuit against the airline for a fee of one parachute.

Doctor - you tell your fellow traveler that you need to run more tests, then take the parachute in order to make it to your next appointment.

Sales executive - you sell the parachute to your fellow traveler at top retail rates and get the names of their friends and relatives who might like one too.

Internal Revenue Service - you confiscate the parachute along with your fellow traveler's luggage, wallet, and gold fillings.

Engineer - you make another parachute out of aisle curtains and dental floss.

Scientist - you give your fellow traveler the parachute and ask him to send you a report on how well it worked.

Mathematician - you refuse to accept the parachute without proof that it will work in all cases.

Philosopher - you ask how one can know that the parachute actually exists.

English major - you explicate simile and metaphor in the parachute instructions.

Comparative Linguist - you read the parachute instructions in all four languages.

Computer Scientist - you design a machine capable of operating a parachute as well as a human being could.

Economist - you plot a demand curve by asking your fellow traveler, at regular intervals, how much he would pay for a parachute.

Psychoanalyst - you ask your fellow traveler what the shape of a parachute reminds him of.

Actor - you tie your fellow traveler down so they can watch you develop the character of a person stuck on a falling plane without a parachute, before trying to find a stunt man to jump out for you at the last possible moment.

Artist - you hang the parachute on the wall and sign it.

Republican - as you jump out with the parachute, you tell your fellow traveler to work hard and not expect handouts.

Democrat - you extract a dollar from your fellow traveler to buy scissors so you can cut the parachute into two equal pieces.

Libertarian - after reminding your fellow traveler of his constitutional right to have a parachute, you take it and jump out.

Ross Perot - you tell your fellow traveler not to worry, since it won't take you long to learn how to fix a plane.

Surgeon General - you issue a warning that skydiving can be hazardous to your health.

Association of Tobacco Growers - you explain very patiently that despite a number of remarkable coincidences, studies have shown no link whatsoever between airplane crashes and death.

Environmentalist - you refuse to use the parachute unless it is biodegradable.

Auto Mechanic - you immediately start to look at the plane engine since, as long as you are looking at it, it works fine.

divider

The Modern Language Department plays went very well Saturday evening. I was particularly proud of my students in the French play. Their hard work was evident, and everyone seemed to enjoy our play. Below is a picture of the cast members and directors of the three plays. Most of those involved with the French play are in the top row.

Here's the cast of the French play. What a fun group!

quotation...

"The gospel is about what God has done. ... The gospel rescues those who know they can't make it." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you!

English is Tough Stuff!


As a French teacher, I love language-related humor, but I try to post a good variety on my blog. Because of some of the news in the personal update, I thought I'd go language-related with today's post.

The poem below has been attributed to several sources, as best as I can ascertain by doing web searches. One source says it came about as an exercise from the multi-national translation personnel at the NATO headquarters in Paris. According to some reports, the personnel maintained that English wasn't so hard to learn, except that English pronunciation is a killer! And apparently they composed the poem to prove their point.

Another source says that a an English teacher in Holland required his students to learn by heart this poem he called "The Chaos." The English teacher was named G. Nolst Trenité and lived in the city of Haarlem. Trenité wrote articles under the pen name Charivarious and a little booklet entitled "Drop Your English Accent," in which the poem appeared.

Anyway, I've tried to cover the attribution bases, tending to believe that the latter might be the right one.

So now on to the iv.... Try reading even just a part of the poem aloud and see what happens. The poem highlights effectively (some would say extremly) some of the myriad incongruities of English spelling and pronunciation. If you're unsure of the pronounciation of some words, you could go to merriam-webster.com and type the word in the search box.

It's been said that after trying to read this poem aloud, one native French interpreter said he'd prefer to spend six months at hard labor than reading any six lines out loud!

Every language has its own difficulties as a foreign language that non-native speakers try to master. However, the English language is so notoriously difficult to learn that it's amazing we manage to communicate at all, at least in writing, suffice it to say that English is tough stuff!

The Chaos

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.
I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you'll tear;
So I shall! Oh, hear my prayer.
Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!

Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.
Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it's written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Say - said, pay - paid, laid but plaid.
Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak,
Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding - sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.
Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.
Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.
From desire - desirable and admirable from admire,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,
One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,
Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.
Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?
Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.
Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,
Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation's OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.
Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.
Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?
Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.
Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You'll envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.
Would you like some more? You'll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.
Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.
Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,
Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,
Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with "shirk it" and "beyond it",
But it is not hard to tell
Why it's pall, mall, but Pall Mall.
Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,
Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
People push and rush to possess,
Desert, but desert, and address.
Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.
"Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker",
Quoth he, "than liqueur or liquor",
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.
Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.
Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.
And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.
Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,
Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn't) with nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.
Don't be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.
Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)
Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don't mention,
Sounds like pause, pores, paws, and pours,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;
Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.
No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don't want to speak of Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.
But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.
Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you're not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.
Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!
Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.
Please don't monkey with the geyser,
Don't peel 'taters with my razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.
Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.
The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.
Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget 'em -
Wait! I've got it: Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.
The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight - you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.
Shoes, goes, does. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,
Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.
Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?
Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.
Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.
Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.
Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry.
Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.
Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion, Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!
Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess - it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.
Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.
Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.
Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce.

Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.
Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.
Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.
A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,
Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.
Pronunciation - think of Psyche! -
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won't it make you lose your wits
Writing groats and saying grits?
It's a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.
Don't you think so, reader, rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??
Hiccough has the sound of sup.
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

divider

This Saturday evening the Modern Language Department at BJU is sponsoring three language plays from the Middle Ages. I have had the joy and responsibility of preparing my cast of nine students to present Le Vilain mire - The Peasant Doctor. If anyone local would like to come see the German play, the Spanish play, and the French play, they will begin at 7:00 pm in the SAS Assembly Room. Even if you don't know the languages, you might be pleasantly surprised by how much you understand.

Another bit of personal news is that it appears that my wife and I will not be going to Asia this summer to teach. Last fall when I contacted the Dean at the university where we'd taught two other summers, I was surprised to learn that some retired teachers from Mississippi had already contacted the Dean about teaching. We got an e-mail the other day indicating that those teachers are still planning to go. We are still willing to go if they don't end up going, but the Dean said we could definitely come in 2009.

quotation...

"One of the most important things prayer changes is you." - Dr. Tim Keesee

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

"To do is to be." -- Plato
"To be is to do." -- Kant
"Dobe dobe do." -- Sinatra

Kudzu


With the advent of spring my thoughts turn toward this year's garden. It will be nice to have everything greened up again, including the kudzu especially - since it won't go away, it might as well be green! (In the winter, kudzu is a really ugly grayish brown that covers huge areas.)

I was reminded of kudzu last week when my wife Becka and I visited the Upcountry History Museum. There is one room that hosts traveling displays for about three months each. The current display had some cloth woven from kudzu fiber. At the end of this post are several links about kudzu for anyone who'd like to learn more and who would even like to try some kudzu recipes! I can hardly think of anything I might enjoy less at the moment!

The picture to the right shows how pretty the grape-scented kudzu blossoms can be. Below is something I've had in my files for quite some time about our beloved kudzu.

Kudzu (CUD-tsoo) n. an Asian vine (Pueraria lobata) of the legume family that is used for forage and erosion control and is often a serious weed in the southeastern United States.

Here are several pictures of kudzu covering almost everything in its path...

Gardening Tips from Down South
How to Grow Kudzu

All you beginning gardeners out there might want to consider growing kudzu as a fine way to launch out into the great adventure of gardening in the South. Kudzu, for those of you not already familiar with it, is a hardy perennial that can be grown quite well by the beginner who observes these few simple rules:

Choosing a Plot
Kudzu can be grown almost anywhere, so site selection is not the problem it is with some other finicky plants like strawberries. Although kudzu will grow quite well on cement, for best results you should select an area having at least some dirt. To avoid possible lawsuits, it is advisable to plant well away from your neighbor's house, unless, of course, you don't get along well with your neighbor anyway.

Preparing the Soil
Go out and stomp on the soil for a while just to get its attention and to prepare it for kudzu.

Deciding When to Plant
Kudzu should always be planted at night. If kudzu is planted during daylight hours, angry neighbors might see you and begin throwing rocks at you.

Selecting the Proper Fertilizer
The best fertilizer I have discovered for kudzu is 40-weight non-detergent motor oil. Kudzu actually doesn't need anything to help it grow, but the motor oil helps to prevent scraping the underside of the tender leaves when the kudzu starts its rapid growth. It also cuts down on the friction and lessens the danger of fire when the kudzu really starts to move. Change oil once every thousand feet or every two weeks whichever comes first.

Mulching the Plants
Contrary to what the Extension Service may say, kudzu can profit from a good mulch. I have found that a heavy mulch for the young plants produces a hardier crop. For best results, as soon as the young shoots begin to appear, cover kudzu with concrete blocks. Although this causes a temporary setback, your kudzu will accept this mulch as a challenge and will reward you with redoubled determination in the long run.

Organic or Chemical Gardening
Kudzu is ideal for either the organic gardener or for those who prefer to use chemicals to ward off garden pests. Kudzu is oblivious to both chemicals and pests. Therefore, you can grow organically and let the pests get out of the way of the kudzu as best they can, or you can spray any commercial poison directly on your crop. Your decision depends on how much you enjoy killing bugs. The kudzu will not mind either way.

Crop Rotation
Many gardeners are understandably concerned that growing the same crop year after year will deplete the soil. If you desire to change from kudzu to some other plant next year, now is the time to begin preparations. Right now, before the growing season has reached its peak, you should list your house and lot with a reputable real estate agent and begin making plans to move elsewhere. Your chances of selling will be better now than they will be later in the year, when it may be difficult for a prospective buyer to realize that underneath those lush green vines stands an adorable three-bedroom house.

History
Kudzu was introduced beginning in 1935 to the early 1950s to prevent erosion. It was also brought to the South in an attempt to provide improved fodder for cattle. It worked ALL TOO WELL. Cattle do love kudzu but not nearly as much as kudzu loves the South. The South provides nearly ideal climate and growing conditions for this rapid growing and hardy perennial (calling kudzu "hardy" is like calling nuclear weapons "explosive"). In 1953 kudzu was recognized as a pest weed by the United States Department of Agriculture and was removed from its list of permissible cover plants.

People have been known to leave home on vacation down here only to return a week later to find cars and other LARGE objects buried under lush greenery. Kudzu climbs telephone poles and crosses wires. Its eradication is a major expense to utility companies. The city of Atlanta has used bulldozers to dig up the tubers in vacant lots. It's resistant to most "safe" chemicals although the herbicide 2, 4-D (2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid) has some effect if used frequently enough. It's sometimes call "yard-a-night" down here because that's how fast it seems to grow. The only question seems to be whether the "yard" referred to is that of "3 feet" or that of "front and back." Rumor has it that some of the roads in the more rural areas don't get enough traffic and will be covered by kudzu after a long holiday weekend.

Kudzu is a very pretty vine in early spring and summer. Its broad leaves and flowers are quite attractive until you start to realize that the dead stick, that it's sunning itself on, used to be a huge pine tree. In the winter, the first hard frost turns kudzu into tons of ugly brown leaves and thick vines. It becomes a real eyesore and possibly a potential fire hazard, although who's ever heard of an actual kudzu fire? (see the comments to this post - they have happened!) The plant re-grows new vines from the ground up every year, so you can see its growth rate must be phenomenal.

I understand that the Japanese make a highly regarded form of tofu from kudzu tubers. It is supposed to be prized for its nutty flavor (soy tofu is rather bland). The Japanese cannot produce enough to meet their own demand and think we're nutty for trying to eliminate it. I haven't been able to confirm this use for kudzu, but, if true, they may well be right. We've got plenty of hungry people and LOTS of kudzu!

The existence of kudzu in a neighborhood has been known to adversely affect property values. The threat of planting kudzu in someone's yard is generally considered an extreme case of "fightin' words," potentially followed by "justifiable homicide." Regardless, you can still obtain kudzu seeds from several major seed companies who list it as a "hardy ornamental perennial." If understatement were a crime, they'd be on death row!

Learn more about kudzu on these sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu

This page may not be accessible through some internet filters since it's on someone's personal page....
http://home.att.net/~ejlinton/kudzu.html

Here in South Carolina we're seeing signs of spring - crocuses, hyacinths, and daffodils are beginning to bloom. We're only a few weeks away from the annual Bible Conference on campus, followed by the annual Living Gallery. Some of you had wished you could attend in the past. I hope that many will be able to attend this year.

quotation...

"Missions should not be a spectator sport."- Dr. Tim Keesee

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

What do you do when you see an endangered animal that eats only endangered plants?