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The Dead Farmer's Almanac - Jim Larranaga Plant your beans when the moon is light,
You will find this is right,
Plant your potatoes when the moon is dark,
And to this you will hark,
But if you vary from this rule,
You will find you are a fool,
Follow this rule to the end,
And you’ll have lots of dough to spend.

Growing up on a farm I’ve experienced about every weather possibility that Mother Nature can stir up. I’ve been freezing nearly to death one moment and peeling off clothes the next feeling the sweat puddling at the base of my back. Little did I know that Momma Nature may not be as fickle as we think. Maybe it is a conspiracy. Maybe it is a GOVERNMENT conspiracy.

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When my Grandmother passed away there was a big stack of Farmer's Almanacs going back decades.

My Grandmother Leota was a big believer in the Farmer’s Almanac. The book helped her predict the weather, provided her with information about full moons, and ascending and descending stars. It told her when the proper time was to bribe her grandsons into planting her garden, and when my dad should plan on harvesting the wheat. I thought it was a bunch of mumbo jumbo, but could never deny that the book made her right more than it proved her wrong. It did make for some colorful discussions between my Dad and my Grandmother about how and when things were to be done on the farm.

Frogs croaking in the lagoon means rain
will come real soon.

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Was it lightning or was it a satellite protecting data?

Mick Jacobsen was not your run of the mill farmer. He had come into possession of some data that allowed him to predict the weather. He wrote out an almanac showing what the weather should do and soon discovered anomalies. One evening he is riding around in his tractor when a freak lightning strike fries him into a crispy critter. Investigative reporter Eddy Osland is first on the scene and when Mick’s tearful brother presses the weather almanac into his hands Eddy has no idea what kind of shit storm he has been landed in the middle of.

National Security Agency people start to follow Eddy around, witnesses are killed in mysterious ways, and his wife and children disappear. He is soon in the wind trying to make sense out of the hurricane forces driving this story. He discovers the story goes back to a Vietnam vet named Joseph Simmons known as the Shaman or Rainman. He developed the government program that allowed the US government to gain control of the weather. Now Agent Strickland is willing to do almost anything to keep the government weather program secret and safe. He would love to get his hands on Simmons. In fact tying him up in a barn full of sharp metal objects with a tornado zeroed in on his location would be perfect.

An honest man and a northeast wind generally
sleep together.

As part of his calculations Simmons took into consideration the works of Edward Lorenz. In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.

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Butterfly Effect

So how does the government change the weather? As I rub my jaw and ponder the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America causing my shack in Kansas to get flattened by a tornado.

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My beloved home before the freak tornado carried it away to Missouri.

I think about the satellites needed to control the weather in conjunction with maybe a...Tesla coil. Now what is a Tesla Coil you might ask?

”It’s basically a high-frequency, high voltage transmitter, Simmons said. A scientist named Nikola Tesla had invented the device back in the early 1900s to send electricity without wires. The Tesla coil would be an easy way to heat the ocean and atmosphere.”

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Nikola Tesla sitting in front of the spiral shaped coil of his high voltage transformer in his laboratory in New York.

When Tesla died the government swooped in and confiscated all of his work. He was a man far ahead of his time and a man brimming with ideas. I wonder what his thoughts were on weather?

What if a satellite malfunctions? Chaos on a grand scale I would assume for a while, but wouldn’t eventually nature return to well nature? Yeah sure, but who knows how long it would take for Mother Nature to take back the reins and how many fewer Homo Sapiens would be walking around the planet by the time things stabilized.

If coffee bubbles in the center of your cup, expect fair weather.
If bubbles flow to the sides of your cup, expect rain. If the
bubbles have no fixed position, weather is in transition.

Wake up and smell the coffee people, all is not as it seems.

This book was inspired by a freak hailstorm back in 1998 that caused over $4000 in damage to Jim Larranaga’s car. He didn’t get mad. He started researching and wrote this book. The story hangs together pretty well. The plot keeps pedaling along and had me turning pages. Obviously growing up on a farm I’m obsessed with weather. I’ve dodged tornadoes, seen trees hit by lightning, danced naked in the pale moonlight, been knocked down by freak winds, been deafened by the thunder of golf ball size hail stones hitting the cab of a pickup, and seen storms appear out of nowhere. Well if the government does control the weather I just want to go on the record and say the drought in the Midwest SUCKED last year and what about Sandy was that a jammed cog in the machine? A little light reading that will leave you speculating about weather and how much influence man has had on the continuing unpredictable behavior of planet earth.