Happy Turkey Day (Antidote du Jour)

I must confess my father hunted wild turkeys (if they aren’t too old, they are flavorful but the meat is stringy). I’ve seen them a couple of times live, in Maine, and they are bigger than I expected them to be. They are smart and normally wary of people, but there are always exceptions. From reader John L:

Turkey may be the main course on many a Thanksgiving table today, but a flock of wild turkeys living on Onondaga Hill doesn’t seem worried.

Stephanie Kochan, owner of Spring Studio Pilates, snapped photos recently of a flock of about a dozen turkeys outside her studio…“They must know this is a safe haven,” she said.

Kochan said the flock frequently wanders nonchalantly out of the nearby woods and up a hill toward the building to feed on birdseed. She said employees working in the professional building regularly fill bird feeders, and the turkeys clean up the seed that falls on the ground. “They’re just really very, very entertaining,” she said.

Kochan said the flock has been stopping by the building regularly for years…“They’ll knock on the window,” she said. “Sometimes they’ll come and peck on the building.”…“They’re very feisty characters,” she said.

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  1. mrmetrowest

    I don’t know what makes Maine turkeys so standoffish, but at my western Massachusetts home my record is 30 turkeys in the yard at one time. When I have seed out, flocks visit constantly. When I was a kid there were no wild turkeys, so this is one restocking program that was a huge success.
    As to smart … I don’t know about that. Watching a flock cross a road, oblivious to traffic, I always say shows why they’re called turkeys.
    Also – they’re big birds. And they don’t clean up after themselves.

  2. maineiac

    Wild turkeys are an amazing bird, wary when then need to be, powerful fliers, I’ve also watched them glide surprising distances in open fields. None in sight however this am at my place in Mid-Coast Maine.

  3. Dan Duncan

    Thanks for the blog, Yves.

    You do a fantastic job of breaking down complex issues and I must admit, I really have learned a lot from your site.

    [I cringe, for example, when Right-Leaning commentators blame the subprime debacle on the CRA. Had I not read your site, regularly, I’m quite sure I would fall hook, line and sinker for that kind B.S. Examples like this (and there are others) really do make me question some of the other B.S. that I am susceptible to believe because it happens to conform with my Libertarian leanings.]

    So…thanks again, and best of luck with your book in 2010.

  4. run75441

    Kind of cool.

    We have flocks of them around our home in Michigan. They drive my Elkhound crazy as he can’t quite figure them out. Interesting birds though and fun to watch them in the wild.

  5. Ina Pickle

    We used to hunt them sometimes, too. For the reasons you cited, however, those times tended to be when we couldn’t get enough quail and doves! They taste better if you cook them in a whole, whole lot of butter. ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Tom Stone

    Here nin Rural Northern California I occasionally have to get out of my pickup truck and shoo them out of the road.The only predator locally is a LARGE wildcat who is unafraid of humans,I have seen it at 10 am wandering about.

  7. superintendent

    bottom line:

    if you want the economy to start working again, show that janitor and secretary a little respect;

    make sure they are paid well enough to buy a little home and raise kids;

    make sure the government does not interfere with their marriage;

    because those kids pull everyone else along.

    if you want to do a little extra, pay those kids to mow your lawn when they knock on the door, and they will teach you.

    if you want to know what is going on in an organization, ask the janitor and the secretary, not the executive.

    if you want to know what is going on in an economy, build up your own data from the bottom up accordingly; do not rely on government.

    we have already developed all the new management tools, and will distribute them once discovery is complete.

    Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. superintendent

      The Tide of History:

      We build a system, give it to a set of figureheads, they pretend they are in charge, and that works until they fail to tell their descendents that they are figureheads. About the time the descendents start barking orders, the middle class starts thinking that the idea is to collect non-performing assets, and the entire system discharges.

      You are quite capable of building your own system. Just stay within the laws of physics, and keep in mind that we are the largest group of architects, with several thousand years of experience (we make up the rules, temporary bridges, as we go along).

      Now that we have global saturation, the frequency of the propagation wave is so high that the process is becoming transparent. The training wheels of government are going to have to come off. Pursue your talents accordingly.

      The problem has always been that the majority do not want to make the sacrifices necessary to build an economy; they just want it to be there when they wake up in the morning, and they want someone to complain to if it doesn’t work the way they want it to work. Everyone wants to ride in the wagon, preferably barking orders.

      We have provided you with all the information and basic components necessary to build your own system. The doers never have to worry about a job; there is always more work than people who want to do it.

      Talent is much better than gold, but if gold is all you have … there will always be a market for those seeking a short cut.

  8. Anonymous Jones

    Thanks for the blog! It really is a fantastic forum for ideas, and my life would not quite be as full without it!

  9. Bob_in_MA

    When we lived in the middle of NJ about 10 years ago, my wife noticed a turkey outside our apartment building. We thought someone bought a live turkey to fatten and it escaped. But it was a little flock of five turkeys. I followed them around the neighborhood, after a while there were a half dozen of us following. Then someone slammed a door somewhere and off they took. Pretty weird.

    They’re very common here in western MA.

  10. Marten

    Have a nice holiday, Yves.

    Perhaps, if given some time, you could give us a take on Dubai’s troubles, and why today.


  11. George

    My funniest turkey sighting.

    Thanksgiving day. Battery Park in Manhattan New York where you go to see the Statue of Liberty.

    We were on our way to eat Thanksgiving Day lunch in the only restaurant in the park. And just before we entered we saw a wild turkey “hiding” behind a sign.

    Swear to god. Most people didn’t even notice him and walked on by.

  12. emca

    Turkey, a truly fine American bird.

    We saw a flock pay us a visit last winter at our local park. Quite remarkable in their skill at flight, considering they are such a large representative of animal’s winged group. They were wary of people (and dogs, although they’d surely better my canine companions), yet they naturally congregated around an across-the-street ‘River’s Bend’ marquee apartment sign (which curiously is not by any river), ignoring people and cars passing by, as though they were patiently waiting for Farmer Brown to arrive with his sack of turkey-grade corn. Which is yet another proof that turkeys don’t assess the perils of the world in a like manner of humans, and considering they met no harm, may indicated one member of the animal kingdom is somewhat wanting in appraisals of ’cause-n-effect’.

  13. craazyman

    The Top Ten Turkeys of 2009

    Turkey Number 10:
    John Thain — A $10 Grand toilet is a good place to flush down half of Merill Lynch. But the men’s room would work just as well for Mr. Thain’s plumbing.

    Turkey Number 9:
    Lloyd Blankfein — Gobbling up middle class wealth like it’s turkey pellets and shitting it out in $15 billion bonuses.

    Turkey Number 8:
    Ben Bernanke — The last real job he had was working in a Mexican Restaurant. All the governors should wait tables for a year, to see what happens to folks who can’t declare themselves bank holding companies when they run out of cash.

    Turkey Number 7:
    Tim Geithner — Can’t tell if he’s a nice guy who’s been brainwashed by Mammon’s Scribes his whole life, or if he really is a Turkey. He’s doing what he thinks is best, no doubt, but he may have lost his mind at some point in his past. Many of us do. ha ha ha.

    Turkey Number 6:
    Me – I’m a turkey too. I have too much of my piggy bank in T-Bills at 0%. How could I not be a turkey? Getting 0% while the world inflates the bubble again?

    Turkey Number 5:
    Anyone who voted for Obama — You were plucked, dude.

    Turkey Number 4:
    Larry Summers — He can count, no doubt. But he seems like a big turkey for some reason. I’ve never met him and probably never will. But if I channel his spirit I smell a lot of Wall Street Gravy. That’s a Turkey signature on my radar.

    Turkey Number 3:
    Gordon Brown — No, the Brits don’t have a Thanksgiving. But if they did, he’d be the meal. Don’t tie your wagon to a bubble if your a pol. Wonder if Obama has figured that out yet.

    Turkey Number 2:
    The AIG dude — what’s his name — Joe Something. I don’t think even a criminal mind could have been that enthralled with the power of mathematics. I suspect he’s just a Turkey, not a criminal. But he gobbled up a lot of cash along the way. Probably needs a $10 grand commode too, to shat it all out.

    Turkey Number 1:
    This is a tough one.
    I’d have to say Alan Greenspan.
    His turkeyness is enduring, even beyond his chairmanship.
    Does he still read Ayn Rand? Or is he searching for the antidote, like Voltaire?
    I hope it’s Voltaire, or Montaigne, or Albert Camus.
    You need some gravitas to recover from being captured by a bimbo. Baudelaire would be good too. There are some good English translations, but not too many.

    Too many turkey candidates in 2009 to have a decisive list. But the king Turkey, too big even for the list of the top ten, is the American Taxpaying Saver. But he was cooked and eaten already. Maybe it’s time for a reincarnation as a Buzzard. ha ha hahahaha. Eating the Turkeys’ entrails after they become road kill (metaphorically speaking).

  14. linda in chicago

    Yves, I do hope you are having a bit of a rest on this day!

    I cannot read Jesse’s post b/c the banner ad is in the way. Am I the only person having this problem?

  15. Trainwreck

    Your “The Tide of History and The Resilience of the Human Spirit” post locks comments and is a heavily goldbug post. I am beginning to think that Naked Capitalism is a charlatan website.

    Query: if the US went through a Weimar collapse what would you rather have in your basement? $10,000 worth of gold or $10,000 worth of dried beans?

      1. Trainwreck

        And you will starve. In a Weimar environment you wil get less for your gold then I will get from my beans. I can barter beans better then you will ever be able to barter gold.

        1. KJMClark

          I did a search for “gold in weimar germany”. I looked at the first dozen or so hits, and none of them back up the idea that it was better to have $10,000 worth of dried beans in the Weimar inflation. Most of them suggest that the smart people loaded up on gold and silver early. Some of them point out that looters went out in the countryside and stole crops. Since $10,000 worth of beans would take some storage space, I would expect people to find and loot that large a cache of food pretty easily.

          OTOH, you could carry $10,000 in gold in your pocket, or bury it somewhere that no one would ever find. I could hide it in my basement in places you’d need x-ray to find. I bet people could loot the basement a dozen times over and never find it, or burn the place down and still never find it. I could hide it in my bike and ride out of town with no one having any clue I was on a bike suddenly worth $10,200. Just drop the coins down the seat tube.

          Hard to do any of that with 5,000 $2 bags of dried beans.

          1. Trainwreck

            Hide your gold, you still wont be able to buy much with it, if the US economy were to collapse as so many of the goldbugs portend.

            So what if you can hide your gold in your bicycle, where are you going to go?

            History lesson, the cohort that benefited the most during the Wiemar republic (other then the Nazi party that depended upon populous fear) were German farmers. They were able to barter exorbitant prices from the middle class for all sorts or heirlooms, clothing and other stuff that could be further bartered away.

            The German middle class that was excessively exposed to shiny metals was raped by the farmers of Germany.

            As an aside I think the goldbug argument that the dollar will go to zero is laughable. Dubai is an example. The global economy has far from decoupled and there is a significant portion of global debt that has yet to be properly resolved.

            So what if you can hide your gold in your bicycle, where are you going to go with it? China? Japan? Some small island that is desperately dependent upon food imports?

            When I say you are better off hording beans what I am saying if you believe in a global collapse you are more likely to benefit from an exposure to food supplies then shiny gold.

            Personally I don’t believe in that collapse, but I still think that if you are invested in commodities, you should focus on necessities and not fantasies. Of course I think there are allot of gold-bugs trying to jawbone the price of gold higher for their own personal benefit.

            There were people that use to say buy housing now or be priced out forever, then they said buy oil now, because the price aint going any lower, so I should now be convinced to buy gold now, because the price will never go lower?

            I think not.

  16. Vinny G.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Yves!

    Thanks for all you do for us on this blog. This blog is actually a very nice community, and I enjoy it very much.


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