Cota Farms' Blog

July 19, 2019

Fake Likes – Fake Followers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Cota Farms @ 6:16 pm
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SAY IT ISN’T SO!

Sure I was suspicious when I started receiving likes and even followers after not having had any at all. I wanted to believe that people had actually discovered my blog and really liked or at least considered what I had to say. Then I began to notice the pattern that this only happened when I made new posts. Each ‘like’ was accompanied by a suggestion that I look at the sites of those giving the likes. I did. I also noticed that these persons where not the type that I would expect to view my blog much less like it.

Finally, after a decidedly opinionated blog, I noticed that one of the persons liking it should have been offended. Yes, there was a reason I got no comments, only likes. I did the research and discovered what I already knew in my heart, the likes were part of a fake marketing scheme perpetrated by the very platform I was writing on – WordPress.

I felt shame at being so easily manipulated, me, the person that writes about sheep, not always the ones with four legs…rarely now, the ones with four legs. So what to do about it? My research also proposed a solution that I will eventually employ, restarting my own website. In the mean time, I will continue to use this wicked platform as the personal journal, not actual blog, that it has always been and eventually re-post all of my past writings.

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July 15, 2019

The Freedom To Write

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 10:29 am
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I was reading about the death of literature and how people don’t read books anymore, they prefer video. I thought it unfortunate for me since I have recently decided to write a few novels myself. To be fair though the books I’m writing would only appeal to a very few even if it suddenly became trendy to read books. Since I understand and accept that and don’t expect to earn any money from writing, I am free to write what I want and not what is required in order to gain a profitable audience. It is liberating in the same sense that being homeless frees one from the burden of trying to keep a roof over their head or have regular meals.

writing mandala

Most bloggers strive for many thousands of followers, some have greater ambitions and I too thought that was what I wanted but not really. Sour grapes? Perhaps but I don’t think so. Just to be sure I have decided that my novels would be a writing mandala. I was confounded the first time I saw the Buddhists Monks, without hesitation, destroy their works of sand. Those lovely patterns labored over in prayer were created just so that they could be erased. Wow! The more I thought about it the more I saw the wisdom of it. I am no monk nor do I aspire to be one. Fortunately circumstances will allow me to engage in this ritual will little effort on my part. All I have to do is sit back and allow my writing to go unnoticed. This would of course happen anyway but instead of resenting it I will be grateful for it.

Let’s have a go then. “Sour Grapes” is a term from an old children’s parable. Many have heard the phrase but don’t really understand what it means. It is about far more than just a fox telling himself that since he couldn’t have the grapes he desired, he didn’t really want them anyway because they were probably sour. This story is about denial. Denial is one of the most insidious afflictions that is destroying culture, society and mankind. It wears many masks today as does the dark power behind it. We see the deception everyday but don’t recognize it because it is pleasing, beguiling.

The positive thinking mantra is popular these days. We are told that if we have positive thoughts it will in turn bring positive energy to us, improve our self esteem and attract those beautiful people we long to have in our circle of friends. If we faithfully recite the prescribed positive incantations the results will be a healthy, happy and prosperous life. This notion is also among the most popular of all the Christian sects. These churches preach what has become known as the prosperity gospels. God will reward the followers of these churches here and now, no need to wait for heaven, with the good life, being a testament to their piety. You can wrap this up in any colorful paper you chose but this is witchcraft.

People want to be around positive persons, the charismatic. Yes it is true, a merry lie is always welcome while the regretful truth is shunned. Today denial is aided by modern science and a form of media that reaches nearly everyone in every place. We are told by the gurus of the west that reality is what we make it. There are no good or bad things it is only our perspective that needs to be brought into line. It’s all good. Don’t worry be happy. Don’t hate. We only need to evolve. And it goes on and on, the programming, the conditioning, the scam.

And yet there is a glaring error in their fiction. In order for this line of reasoning to work they had to replace the old gods with the new – science for God, evolution for creation. The ideas of right and wrong are abandoned in favor of progressive politics, sexual freedom and profits. But the whole premise of evolution is built on a reality that is not created in the mind of man. There must be actual laws of nature and the physical universe. There has to be consequences for certain actions in order for a lower life form to evolve into a higher one. The theory goes that organisms that developed in a way that aided their ability to survive and adapt are still around. Those that did otherwise perished.

We can’t just simply imagine defying these natural laws to make a world that let’s us do what we want without repercussions. A species that uses sexual reproduction will not thrive if the males pair up with one another. The biology of evolution doesn’t work that way, or so we were told. But now we are told to believe that homosexuality is a natural, positive alternative to traditional human sexuality. A new reality?

I am old enough to remember when gambling was considered a negative behavior, it was counted among the vices. Now it has been elevated from the outlawed and glamorized to serve the state and corporate interests. By the way that is defined as fascism and not liberalism. I am also old enough to remember when history was considered an important tool that could be used to let us know when we were doing things that have proved to be detrimental in the past. Now it seems to be a forbidden subject.

So, if history and evolution were overlaid atop the design of our present society it would be clear that we are dying. We are ancient Rome, can there be any doubt? I’m not writing anything new or profound here I am just writing it, which seems to be new and profound. The irony is that at least on some level we all know this. We are entertained by stories of our own demise. Reality is not what we imagine it to be but the result of our thoughts made manifest.

July 3, 2019

All That’s Left Behind – Selling The Farm – Part 6

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 11:22 am
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Selling your farm is different than just selling your house because the farm is home to more than just you and your family. We have had a large variety of animals here on Cota Farms over the years mostly because we had the space and enjoyed their company. Often we were unable to maintain them here and my heart cracked with each one that died, went away or we had to remove them ourselves. Wildlife just showed up uninvited and we tried to make allowances for them to the point that they ate too much of our livestock. Even then, we used livestock dogs with the greatest success in controlling their advances instead of traps or hunting.

Just yesterday morning we caught and relocated a large snapping turtle that paused in our driveway. Perhaps he was going after the goslings and I certainly did not resent him for that as his efforts are appreciate in their population control. We don’t raise geese anymore and the few that were left on their own would overrun this farm in a few years without the harvest. Living with nature instead of against it can allow you to realize this world on a different level if you are able to open your mind to it. Unfortunately that would required overcoming a great deal of programing and conditioning that is designed to deceive us. I’ll give one of the most difficult examples I can thing of – violence. Yes, it’s true. Violence is as natural an occurrence as rain and just as vital to the life cycle of this planet we call home.

The important thing to comprehend here is that like so much in this world, natural, healthy and good things are perverted, including violence. I believe this debasement of natural law is part of an ancient and ongoing struggle or even a holy war. That doesn’t make me part of any group. It would be too easy to point to this practice or that political trend and make my argument but that is not the purpose of this positing, I have a book for that.

Selling the sheep has been more difficult for me than parting with any possessions I had left to sell or give away. What has surprised me the most is how much I hauled to the dump. It’s plain I’ve been doing something wrong. Our new home will be less than 140 square feet but that’s just a box and I don’t plan to send much time inside it.

Mature snapping turtles can be dangerous like water snakes. There was a strange joy in overcoming my natural fear of the turtle, as I have with the local water snakes, and replacing that fear with compassion, for lack of a better word, and deciding he did not need to die to make me feel more safe. Since the plan is to leave this small farm and relocate myself to a much larger, more natural environment, this was more than just and enlightening experience, but a necessary one.

June 20, 2019

Going Homeless In Style

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 6:16 pm
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I’m taking a little break from my ‘selling the farm’ series as progress has become painfully slow mostly because it won’t stop raining. The change in weather across the world is real and far more serious than the media in the States will admit to. When they do speak about it, we are pelted with politics and misinformation. Eventually the crop losses across the world will force even the distracted Americans to wake up and take notice.

I spend a lot of time considering what I want to happen if the farm sale goes my way. I began this line of thought long before I considered selling and moving on. In my heart I have already moved on. What I don’t want to happen is more of the same. I’m done with all that, really, seriously, completely. I’ve even convinced my wife and long time companion to give up the acceptable life of working, struggling, paying taxes, and struggling some more. It really wasn’t that hard. We have no retirement, no savings and can’t apply for social security for a few years yet but I can’t stand it anymore. Truth is, I dropped out of society years ago and became the stay at home part of the marriage. I busied myself with trying to make the farm work for us; I gave it my all but in the end it just wasn’t enough.

A couple of years ago I decided to up and run away to the desert. My poor health and better sense (at the time I was not prepared to live that way nor did I intend to) brought me back after only a few weeks but the seed had been planted. I learned that there is a surprising large number of people (tens of thousands) that live in not just recreational vehicles but converted vehicles of all kinds in the western part of the country, in the desert, national and state parks and land managed by the government. I did a quick estimate and perhaps 20% of the land within the 48 states is public.

I’ve done a lot of research on this since and have fully committed to spending the remaining days of my life living like so many others are already doing. God bless the internet! It is so easy now to see and understand how this is done. I’m sure most of these people do not consider themselves homeless, it seems that category is reserved for those who primarily live in the cities without traditional housing. Within that grouping people are divided into those that live in their cars while working yet not earning enough money to afford housing and the rest who are labeled addicts. Unfortunately, they are sometimes all just considered undesirable no matter their circumstances.

Those that live in their vehicles outside the cities fall into different groupings the most interesting of which are those that choose to live that way. I long to be one of them. The biggest difference between those in this category has to do with planning. Many people didn’t have the time, resources or inclination to plan ahead when they made the choice to move outdoors. I have an engineering degree that when coupled with cheap technology allows me to envision a more comfortable and graceful transition to this kind of life. I want to wake up in the desert or mountains but I also want a little refrigeration, be able to enjoy my music, book and video collection, access to the internet and a comfy bed. I also required a certain number of dogs and cats to be right there with me. Of course this would only be an improvement in living conditions from their point of view. I love all my other farm animals too but I will just have to settle for the wild variety.

Our Tiny Home

There are so many YouTube channels on this one subject that you must sort through them to find the specific information you want and get past those personalities that are just not for you. I haven’t had a question yet that there is not several people out there wanting to share their experience or expertise about it. Health care, no problem, concerns with pooping, I’ll even talk about that myself in subsequent posts, how much money do you need, I’ll share my budgeting plans.

My wife has zero spacial conceptual skills so I drew her a picture. This is how much space we will have and this is were everything will go. I naturally think my design is one of the best out there and I’ll explain how it works, about how much it will cost and why I chose the cargo trailer conversion.

June 18, 2019

The Shepherd’s Manual

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 5:12 pm
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I was recently inspired to share †††some books in my collection. It never occurred to me to do such a thing until I was reading a post from Tim Miller, – Classic Jam Hits – in which he shared some books from his collection that caught my attention. Being a shepherd is (for a few days more), one of the most interesting an enlightening things I have done. I can’t exaggerate how the experience has changed my whole perspective of the world, society, people, religion, and more. I grew up in the city and didn’t start farming until I was more than forty years old.

I won’t try and explain all of that but I will say that these books (and others I will share in forthcoming posts) helped me to understand that animal husbandry has had a profound effect on all peoples and nations and how devastating the corporate takeover of this part of our society has been. Some would argue that corporate practices and technology has served to increase food production many times over. I would rebut that you may not really understand just what is being produced, its quality, and the actual cost of production. There is plenty of information on the net supporting this so I won’t go into it here.

These books are old and that is the best thing about them. They were written before the time of corporate agriculture. †††††††††††††††††††††You don’t have to read more than one book to discover that animal husbandry practices today are in sheer conflict with what was done for many hundreds of years. The apparent contradictions make no sense until you factor in the profit motivations of the current way of raising animals. Unfortunately, enough generations have adopted these conventions that to return to a better, more humane and more sustainable way would require temporary sacrifices that the general population would rebel against. No worry though as the present power structure would never let that happen.

Shearing our flock was one of the most frustrating aspects of raising sheep. No books on that here. Shearing is fast becoming a lost art in this country. Over the years we have dealt with a few men who do this and they were quite old and had no apprentices. Some years we could find no one and I bought some electric shears and tried my hand at it. I found them online for a lot less than the well known name brand and they were essentially the same thing without the brand label and perhaps even manufactured in the same place. When I was finished the flocked looked just like one would expect if an amateur with no experience had sheared them. The people I hired for this chore when I could had sheared tens of thousands of sheep and could do in a few hours what took me the whole summer.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

June 16, 2019

Facing The Wall – Selling The Farm – Part 5

Filed under: Book,The Plan — Cota Farms @ 8:18 pm
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The process of selling the farm has been sadly very much like everything else I’ve planned in this life, surprisingly difficult, discouraging, and even spiteful. Sometimes I’m able to step outside the feeling of self pity (I can’t think of a better phrase right now) and view with fascination how circumstances magically become more difficult as I am able to navigate around lesser problems that I have learned to deal with simply because they were always present and I became used to them. It’s certainly not about greater challenges joining with greater ambition, in fact I very much am trying to do less, have less and be less.

I am strong enough now to resist the platitudes that state we all have these experiences and that life is just like that. No, it is not. We all don’t experience being raped, or wrongly imprisoned. Many of us have never had a drug addition or desired to gun down a room full of people or actually done so. I’m not saying that some people never experience disappointment, but it is obvious that those born into families with great wealth and power have lives that don’t resemble what most of us call life. Likewise, a person who has talent, recognizes that talent and then works at it to become a star athlete or musician will leave this world with other thoughts in their mind than the person who has never read a book that transported them to another world or has an unattractive face.

I have spend much time considering this and how could it be that we humans have anything in common beyond the biology of life. Turtles and hawks are easily grouped together among themselves because we don’t perceive them as having life beyond their particular biology. They act consistently within the established framework (nature) to ensure their continued existence. We humans don’t do that nor do we have very similar experiences across the population as do say Aardvarks. No, life is not just like that and it is completely illogical that we evolved in a way that is contrary to the forces of nature, the same forces that are the primary principles behind the ideology that is the theory of evolution. It is obvious there are other forces in play here, give them whatever name pleases you. I wrote a story (not a lecture) about this – The Souls of Sheep

Once again I find myself facing a wall, the boundary of my ability to pass beyond. What scares me is that my past experience when facing a wall dictates that I will not pass through the wall. Usually I just stand there for a long or short period of time (days, years) eventually moving left or right and sometimes backwards. In those past times I was younger and physically stronger and could endure the ordeal. What happens when you progress beyond your ability to endure? Perhaps that is the definition of death.

June 1, 2019

Oblivion Is Sweet

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 4:23 pm
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In a recent conversation with a friend, the topic of what happens to you after you die came up. Oblivion! Nothing happens, you’re just dead my friend gave me his opinion. The word opinion is important here first of all because it is important to acknowledge that what anyone has to say about the matter is assuredly speculation. Also, that my friend’s opinion on this matter is no less valid than the Pope’s view.

I have given a good deal of time considering the question, what happens later, throughout most of my life. So much more information is available to me now than went I first began to think on this weighty idea. In fact, I now find the whole thought of, what happens later, tedious, exhausting, nihilistic, and just not any fun at all.

In the same conversation that I was having with my friend, the subject came up concerning the sensation associated with being anesthetized for surgery. If you have ever had this experience then you know exactly what I’m speaking of, how you reacted to it is not certain though. Some people may pay little mind to the sensation of having had no time pass as the world goes on without you. This is not simply going to sleep. I believe that this is as close to realizing oblivion as a human can without actually going there not to return.

I gotta say, Oblivion Was Sweet. It was total, final, absolute peace and I didn’t mind it at all. In the seductive embrace of the simulated oblivion I cared not about if this merciful state of peace should be awarded to everyone. I didn’t hate the wicket people of the world, I didn’t even care about those who acted unjustly with me personally. Whatever you did, however you lived your life it was all the same, blissful peace.

The irony of this was so overwhelming it stayed with me, haunted me and now I’m sharing that with you. It seems perfectly reasonable to devise a set of religious doctrines to disavow this possibility. There must be a god accompanied by all the storied hosts of angles to assure us that there is a just ending to this circus, that the unjust are punished and the godly rewarded. Now the irony is multiplied and my mind breaks…

May 23, 2019

Disassembling Your Life – Selling The Farm – Part 4

Filed under: The Plan — Cota Farms @ 5:31 pm
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It is difficult to prepare your home, farm, business for sale when you are not moving upward but rather moving on. After speaking with my realtor I understood what selling this property, my home, means. It is about erasing my presence here as much as possible. Sure it make sense, perspective buyers must be able to see themselves living there, not the remains of the former owner.

We have seen the closed store fronts where the ghosts of the logos still linger. It is generally an impersonal thing because despite the laws of the land, these are companies and not human beings. The persons that worked for those companies hopefully moved on to other opportunities. If they didn’t then perhaps they were forced to sell their homes and likewise erase their presence from where they once lived.

It’s a life changing experience particularly when future expectations run toward the bleak end of the spectrum. I recently re-watched “The Grapes of Wrath” just to verify that my frame of mind was more than just self pity. Yep, my feelings are totally justified and I am in the good company of many a fellow human being past and present.

The Grapes of Wrath Poster

Like those characters in Steinbeck’s novel, I too am looking at homelessness but I hope to do it with more grace and comfort. It’s a race and there are so many of us joining it all the time. The number of homes for sale in my county is disturbing but I can only see competition for the too few buyers that are able to secure mortgages. It’s a shameful thing when we are set against one another over scarce resources, exactly the point of Steinbeck’s masterwork.

April 29, 2019

Everybody’s Grammar

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 8:55 am
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I recently wrote a book. It was a novel and the experience was not what I expected. During the writing I was reminded of two books I read in which the authors referred to the story writing experience in almost magical terms. It was understated in both instances as I now know after having had the experience. It was magical and I never thought what those authors expressed was meant to be literal (pun intended).

Publishing a book is not a magical experience at all. It is anticlimactic. In today’s book publishing industry, the cost to publish a book (I am not including the cost to write one) can only be recouped by the most successful authors and since there are so many authors these days the percentage of authors who make a profit on their books is quite small. There is a standard procedure, cost structure, and if followed even loosely it would cost several thousand dollars to bring a book to market. For self publishers of eBooks, editing can be one of the more costly parts of the process. It you sell your book at a modest price of say between $4 and $10, you would have to sell several hundred copies to break even.

I could not afford to have someone edit my book so I had to do it myself. I understand that this is not the preferred method but I know of nothing that is done as it should be in spite of costs, profits, sustainability and the list continues. There is a variety of software available to help with the editing process. I just assumed that the fundamentals of punctuation would be included in the basic versions of these programs, I was wrong. But what bothered me the most was the rules of grammar. One program always wanted a coma where it wasn’t necessary but was called for in grammar text books while another ignored commas in favor of sentence structure. The cruel (and capitalistic) part of all the software I looked at was the large number of corrections that were tallied but not shown to coerce you to purchase a key to unlock the the full program. Yes, I do understand that we all must make as much money as possible and there is nothing wrong with this marketing approach…

So, what I got out of all this was that vocabulary, sentence structure, and all the things that makes writing a creative, artistic process is to be regulated and style is only allowed to the extent that it falls within the rules of grammar. I even asked a person to give me a sample edit and cost schedule but they too just relied on some grammar rules they learned in books or college. Oh the hypocrisy!! Some of the most lauded books in English literature are nearly unintelligible but they get a pass since they went from being a novel to literature as specified by some college of literature. And of course when it is pointed out that famous author X edited his own material the standard reply is “you are no author X”. Such arrogance can steal your breath away.

You have to write like this.

The irony then is the complaint that so many of the new self publish works are terrible. At least some of that is because the authors are driven by a formula that allows for the most possible profits within a standard marketing format and genre. There are so, so many sites, videos and blogs about how to make money writing. It seems to me they are akin to telling an artist how to make money painting houses in lieu of pictures because it pays better. If life is truly reduced to that equation then prostitution should be legalized simply because it pays better than waiting tables.

April 26, 2019

The Souls of Sheep

Filed under: Book — Cota Farms @ 1:09 am
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This is the title of a book I have written. It is available on Amazon Kindle, written by Cota Adams. It is very much related to the sale of the farm in as much as the sale of the farm is an integral part of my life transition. The book itself is a novel, a story, not about farms but about what it could mean to change your life. The book is fantasy no doubt because I can’t show anything in it to be more than pleasant musings. But that makes it no different than many venerated books that can do no more but yet are the inspiration for war and hate and fear. We all know these books.

My Book

Changing your life is not about discovering yourself or about trying to become something that you are not like a hedonistic hermaphrodite that thinks sexual experimentation is the pinnacle of enlightenment. I guess many people don’t understand what that means and perhaps that is why there are so many confused and unhappy people out there willing to believe that the world is a better place because morality has been replaced by rationalization, legislation and the rejection of responsibility.

I’m not a crusader nor do I have a passion to educate or warn the masses of people about an impending doom. I just don’t believe that is the case. It seems more probable to me that everything here is proceeding on scheduled as planned. When your train arrives at the station you get on or you don’t. If you miss it you may be lucky to find another stop alone your way but you can’t count on it and the fare could be more than you’re willing to pay the second time.

Having actually been a shepherd, I have more understanding of what that really means now and how it is often used in error when referring to people, even in parables. If I were to give a single simple phrase that illustrates what I am saying it would be, sheep are content with being sheep while people are not.

Sheep suffer no unnaturally ill effects by being blissfully ignorant of their place here. You must admit that while being killed and eaten by a coyote could be thought of as an ill effect, it is not an unnatural one. But for a person, any ill effect at all is objectionable. Getting past this idea is what it could mean to change your life.

The Souls of Sheep

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