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Ramble with the Lady: Spock, pop culture deprivation & Hank Williams Jr., really

By Dale Bowman

A crow cawed as Lady and I rambled off this morning just after dawn. That's a natural reference for me.

Spock on the other hand, not so much.

Either Dr. Spock or Mr. Spock.

Yesterday, I finally asked my wife what was the big deal about Leonard Nimoy dying at 83. Both ``The Score,'' the sports talker, and NPR news were making a big deal about it.

She made a split fingered hand gesture at me (that's different than a one-fingered gesture) and said, ``It's cultural.''

I will admit I grew up deprived of many pop cultural reference. We did not get TV until I was about 15. (For both economic and religious reasons). By then, I was more interested in girls and other things than the stuff on TV.

So Mr. Spock holds no special meaning to me, other than I am aware there are freaks who treat "Star Trek" in the same sort of reverent way others do "Star Wars."

I may not know much about pop culture references to television, but I do not how to pick apart a mountain stream and catch native brook trout, how to shoot and skin a rabbit, and the smell of snow on the air.

Good Lord, I sound like Hank Williams Jr.'s "Country Boys Can Survive:" "Skin a buck and run a trot line."

I digress.

Before I get back on track, let me say what I remember of Dr. Spock is that he apparently destroyed the fabric of American society with his parenting advice. But maybe I am off on that cultural reference, too.

Raw nasty below 0 again this morning. Might as well send February out on same note played all month.

All the same, Lady, our family's mutt, and I both needed a longer ramble than a pee break. But we only made a few blocks and had to turn around. It sounds like today is the last of the brutal below-0 stuff for this winter and we will be back on the schedule of full rambles every morning very soon.

The street over to the north, another crow flew out of an old pine.

Back home, sparrows scattered from below our porch. But not that many. I do not know if the dearth of birds at our feeders on the front porch is related to the type of feed I bought the last time, to the interruption of feeding schedules when my father-in-law died or if a free-ranging housecat (one of those slaughtering machines) took up residence nearby.

Rabbit tracks zigged and zagged across the backyard when I checked my thermometer behind our garage. It read -5.

I have a hand gesture for that, too.

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