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Not being reasonable, is not necessarily unreasonable


Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, September 3, 2001

An essay by Neil Haugerud

Reason, one can argue, is perhaps one of the most overrated attributes of human intelligence, and the archenemy of innovation and spontaneity. While the analytical lifestyles of today expect and often demand that we have a reason for doing everything, mental health experts tell us that the ability to be spontaneous and impromptu are indispensable for good mental health. And mental health is an essential element of physical health.

Daily, in most households and businesses, one hears the question - "What do you want to do that for?" A serious succinct answer is expected.

When a seventy-year-old man planted several acres of hardwood trees, that mature in 80 years, on his farm this spring, a neighbor expecting the succinct answer asked, "What the hell did he want to do that for?”

Nearly every morning on my trip to town, I see a reasonably wealthy, somewhat infirm, elderly man weeding his lawn – dah! What’s he doing that for?

One of my neighbors takes a daily pee in his yard near the telephone pole. What’s he do that for? I know of a lady that keeps thirty some cats in her house. What the hell for? What’s wrong with these people anyway?

I occasionally go to taverns by myself just to sit, look around and think. My wife has difficulty understanding this behavior. "What’s wrong with you anyway?" she might ask.
When one responds to such questions by saying, just for fun, just for the hell of it, I just feel like it, or for no reason at all, none of the responses are deemed reasonable answers.

And of course they’re not, if we accept the assumption there must be a reason for everything. Now if that were the case, why do so many men, who question the reason of nearly everything, all button the top button of their shirt and wear neckties. There’s surely more reason to peeing in the yard than wearing a necktie.

And what’s reasonable, in this age of enlightenment, about our judges wearing long black dresses in court while shaking their heads in dismay at what they term to be unreasonable attire of the younger generation? Now there is no virtue in being unreasonable for its own sake, but there is also no virtue in being reasonable on demand. Refusing to be reasonable does not commit us to a state of unreasonableness.

What ever happened to the acceptability of being carefree, acting intuitively, talking to one’s muses and acting upon th .....
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Sam goes to the show

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 27, 2001

Last Thursday, I found myself sitting in on a Town Meeting. The only reason that I had for attending was my curiosity. I had never attended one and I wanted to see what it was all about. The meeting started off with the ..... 
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Commute 004

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 13, 2001

I am often asked why I live in a small town and commute forty-five minutes each way to work. I say that I prefer the lifestyle. If the person asking has ever lived in a small town, they probably know what I mean. If not ..... 
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"In Those Days You Walked."

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 20, 2001

The Art of Farming is a project of the Collaborative for Watershed Sustainability to gather stories about farm life in southeastern Minnesota before World War II. Stories have been gathered from individuals near Harmony ..... 
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Butterflies through Binoculars

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 6, 2001

What creature flies; makes no sounds; does not bite, sting or carry disease; is bright orange with dark bands on its upperparts and silver spots below; and is common in meadows, fields and along roadsides in Fillmore Cou ..... 
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Why Study Turtles Anyway?

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Weaver Dunes Field Report Late Summer 2001By John LevellMonday, August 20, 2001

With nesting finally completed, those of us working on the Weaver Dunes Blanding’s Turtle Research Project can at last step back to enjoy a m ..... 
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Questions from the Neighborhood

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, September 3, 2001

How do I tell when eggplant is ripe? According to Charles Nissley's Pocket Book of Gardening: 'The eggplant must be used while it is still highly glossy on the outside. As soon as the outside begins to ..... 
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Dry Spell

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, August 27, 2001


This has been one hot dry summer. Over the last ten weeks we have received less than two inches of rain. I don’t know if that qualifies us for a drought, but it certainly is a wicked dry spell. Even with the satura ..... 
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A Journey West

Fri, Aug 31st, 2001
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Monday, September 3, 2001

June 1975

The northwest wind, gusting to 30 miles an hour, brought tears to my eyes as I concentrated on the road ahead. Huge cumulus clouds drifted across the blue skyline, playing tag with the sun. We drove ..... 
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