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Aug. 13, 1996

By Peggy McCracken

Shake rattle and roll

to different drummer

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I must be the only person on the face of the earth who didn't watch the
Olympics. Everybody's been talking about the events and the athletes for
weeks. I do like to watch some of the events, but I have had my head
stuck in a computer during my "leisure" hours and have little time for
anything else.

I admit that I march to the beat of a different drummer than most,
anyway. For example, I was one of the few unaffected by America Online's
offline tragedy last week. Not that I haven't had an invitation to sign
on with AOL. I probably have two dozen AOL program disks that have come
in the mail enticing me to get hooked up to the Internet.

The question is, "What do I do with all these AOL disks?" One man said
he used them to tile his kitchen floor. Not a bad idea, but I don't need
a new kitchen floor. I did recycle them, though, by erasing AOL's
programs and pretending they are new disks. They are already formatted,
so I don't even have to reformat them. Saves about 50 cents per disk,
and with Mac's tight-fist policy, I need to save as many pennies as I
can while working on our Internet web site.

Recycling is "in," and I have found a use for the mounds of paper that
cross my desk. My new color printer uses plain 8½x11 paper, so I just
turn it over and use the back side. Makes me feel so good to get more
mileage out of something that has already been used once.

Pecos people have really caught the spirit of recycling. It's too bad
there's not much demand for paper and plastic right now, and Butts
Recycling is having a hard time staying in business. Maybe it will pick
up if we all look for the "made from recycled products" label on new
things we buy.

We owe David Madril a vote of thanks for his tireless efforts to get
recycling started here. He did get a plaque of appreciation from the
Pecos Chamber of Commerce when it named him last year's "Hidden Hero."
But if you see him at his old/new job in Reeves County Hospital, or at
some civic event, shake his hand and say, "Well done, thy good and
faithful servant."

David was one of the enthusiastic promoters of the Pecos Cantaloupe
Festival this year. He was disappointed with the turnout, as we all
were. I enjoyed watching the rattlesnake handlers, though, and many
others did too. They were surrounded all the time I was there.

Rattlesnakes have always held a fascination for me. My grandson and I
caught a couple of small rattlers one night and put them in a cage just
outside his bedroom. One of them rattled all night, and I know which one
it was - the prairie rattler. He (or she) was so mad when we picked her
up that we had a hard time getting her (it had to be a she) into the
cage with the diamondback we caught earlier. He (I'm sure the
diamondback was a he) just quietly moved over to make room for her. But
she never shut up. I just knew she was going to bite me when I let go of
her to shut the cage lid.

Rattlesnake hunting is more fun than any of those Olympic games,
anyway. Maybe they should add that as an event.

"(God) is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the
course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones." Proverbs
2:7-8, NIV.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is an Enterprise writer and editor whose
column appears each Tuesday.


Animal rights stance

makes wildlife suffer

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Dear Editor:

If Mari Maldonado clings to the belief that recreational hunting is
cruel and immoral (In Mari's Corner, July 29), I have no objection. Her
selective use of facts, however, is somewhat misleading and her animal
rights prescriptions actually bring more suffering to wildlife than the
supposed evils of hunting.

Maldonado claims there have been only 13 confirmed attacks of mountain
lions on humans since 1890 in North America. She would be nearly correct
if she had confined that figure to California.

Furthermore, most of those attacks happened after the 1972 ban on
recreational hunting and the 1990 law that placed further restrictions
on the taking of mountain lions.

It should come as no surprise that lion populations have surpassed
their saturation levels and are expanding their ranges into areas where
they haven't been seen in 50 years.

Pets being dragged off suburban porches and children being stalked near
school grounds is a fairly common occurrence. Two Californians have been
killed by lions in the last three years.

Of course that says nothing about what mountain lions do to wildlife

Studies in California and West Texas show that when lions are left
unchecked deer populations decline sharply. And efforts to reestablish
endangered desert bighorn sheep in northern California and West Texas
have been complicated due to mountain lion depredation.

That brings us to the crux of the matter. Is being ripped apart by
mountain lions preferable to being tak~en by a hunter's bullet?

Today's environmentalists and animal rightists ignore the fact that
mankind also is a part of the balance of nature. Stable and healthy
wildlife populations don't happen without active management.

That's called wildlife conservation, and yes, recreational hunting
plays an important role.

Michael Cade


Free-lance experts

get games just right

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The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS - One mischievous byproduct of the Olympiad is that it makes
experts of us all. And if there is anything The Great Unwashed loves, it
is to be an authority on something, whether it be how to mix the perfect
martini or train roses on the fence. Expertise, that's the ticket.

Mainly, the Atlanta games endowed us all with the knowledge of how to
run a TV network - how to select the subjects to be shown and the times,
the goldythroats to enlighten us, the amount of background parables and
advertising messages and the exact time and place to burn Bill Walton at
the stake.

Whether male or female or otherwise, we resented NBC's theories that
gymnastics be shown on weekend nights because women are the big
audience. And that track events dominate weekend screens because of us
less artistic males.

Further, we became advisers on security, on international skulduggery
among judges, on the makeup of relay teams, on the FBI's efficiency and
on the stifling blanket of commercialism on the Olympic countryside.

As free-lance experts, we all would make drastic changes in the games.
I can recall coming home from some Olympics - Montreal, I think - beset
with political and commercial hangovers of the fortnight. I was
disgusted with the arrogant expenditures of public money, the graft of
officials, the petty infighting over politics and the almighty WASTE,
all in the name of sport. I found myself infused with revolutionary
ideas on reconstruction.

To the best of my memory, my daydream would trim drastically the
Olympics' 271 events, eliminating competitions in, oh, such fringe
things as synchronized swimming and anything to do with horses or guns
or arrows or wheels.

Further, I would eliminate all TEAM events except for track and
swimming relays and bobsled. No basketball, soccer, volleyball, hockey,
boats, whatever. That might eliminate antagonistic feelings between
nations and reduce the games to individual competition, which was the
idea in the first place, back there in 776 B.C., when there was but one
event - a 186-yard dash. Won by Coroibos of Olis, if you must know.

Then your Vaunted Expert here would divide the Olympics into three
separate games - land, water and ice. Each would be held four years
apart and none in the same year.

Further - and this would be a firecracker - each would be located in a
PERMANENT site. Build permanent facilities in three cities, thereby
eliminating the municipal extravagance of construction every four years
in some locale.

Put the land games - the running, jumping, hopping, boxing, whatever -
in Greece, where the Olympics began. Athens wants it and probably
deserves it. Build the arenas, the track, the dorms once and for all.

You must have one of these divisions in America, so put the water
games, say, in San Diego or Long Beach or somewhere on the Left Coast.
And the ice competition, assign it to Innsbruck, Austria, site of two
previous winter games and already equipped to handle same.

So there. You have one expenditure at each of three sites, easily paid
off with revenue and enough left over for unending maintenance and

The games are mostly TV events, anyway. Divide the events, and show
them on several channels - track on one, gymnastics on another, etc.

How do you get the international Olympic family to buy such a drastic
remodeling? Sorry, you'll have to work that out by yourself - like the
professor who billed himself as the world's greatest authority on

``You know everything about earthworms?'' asked a student.

``Indeed I do.''

``Tell me, then, how do earthworms make love?''

The professor thought for a moment. ``Same way as turtles,'' he said.

``Well, then, how do turtles make love?''

``Turtles?'' barked the professor. ``Don't ask me. I'm an expert on

Expertise is not like peanut butter. You can't just spread it around.

Copyright 1996 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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