The Useful Duck!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

The not very dangerous lone biker club, we never meet, but always wave!

I got into a bit of a discussion about motorcycle enthusiasts the other day. It started with me ranting about certain news events. I was really surprised at the venom directed towards "bikers."
I'm not a fan of biker gangs.
I've known people involved in the 1%.
I wouldn't even buy the same type of jacket.
I don't even aspire to the $30,000 Harley owners club of middle aged white guys who wear $6,000 worth of leather and pretend to be tough.
I'm not much into the twitchy bike crowd either. Don't like setting with my bottom up in the air. Makes me a bit on edge.
Still, motorcyclists are all about image. You see them checking out their reflections in the shop windows.
I have been trying to identify the theme music playing in my head as a moderately terrorize the neighbor hood with my glass packs on the ratty old Triumph.
I think it is banjo music, but now I have a Honda and a Triumph so perhaps it is dueling banjos or perhaps slightly out of tune Japanese Electric Guitars which were purchased at thrift shops.
I probably should just embrace my folly. I do enjoy myself...
Perhaps I should start my own brand. The .00001 percenters. The percentage of motorcycle enthusiasts that know they are dorks and don't really care all that much...

Here I am in all my motorcycle badness. I think I am Gary Nixon but am really Herman's Hermits.
Note the slight belly, poor muscle definition, male pattern baldness, uncool leather jacket.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The point where I alienate all my law-abiding readers

Ok, so you have a bar brawl with bikers who are supposedly also shooting at each other and no one else but bikers are killed. Lots of head and neck shots.
So, what really happened...
Judging from the slaughter (quite a few injuries) and the fact that a police SWAT team was stationed outside I did a search for "how many bikers were killed by police at a small town in texas."
And I found this article.
Actually the main reason I got suspicious was the police chief saying that "officers felt threatened," which is code for the rookie went nuts and unloaded 16 shots and everyone else fired out of instinct.
Note: I'm not a fan of motorcycle gangs.

Edit- the "gang" massacre in Texas is an interesting and frightening story. 
From doing some reading and from attending swap meets and sort of knowing a few gang members, you have an unlikely mix of hardcore criminal types and regular folks who love motorcycles and beer and leather jackets. You can't tell them apart. (The Trayvon and his hoodie argument)
Bikers tend to not mess with you or provoke cop unless you mess with them OR infringe on their criminal enterprises.
I'd put money on cops seeing what they thought was a gun and going nuts.
That explains the lack of real info, like who shot who and cell phone video.
And, cops feeling threatened is the comman theme in all the protests of police violence all over the country.
Note the spin on this incident, "white people gangs get away with murder."
They got away with 19 to 20 casualties and nine dead.
Who shot who?

Monday, May 18, 2015

If I owned 500 acres...

I'd rent it to someone for $200/acre and just do hay at Muddy Valley...
I think we have been chopping silage forever but it has really just been two weeks. Or three...
I started at 11 a.m. for reasons to boring to explain and finished at 8:00 p.m. We chopped 31 loads which probably averaged ten tons.
I do not understand dairy people.
I had a whole discussion Sunday about this subject with a hay buyer. He is from Canada and was telling me woes of selling hay to dairies. They try to beat you down on the price and then when you do come down they don't pay you anyway so what was the point.
I try to avoid selling any top quality hay to dairies for the exact same reasons. I only try to market hay to a dairy as a last resort, and then ONLY to people I know.
Silage chopping is the exact same thing.
I do the chopping for a small neighboring dairy.
He is a pretty good guy but he often reverts to Dairyman form.
Today was a good example.
I have a neighbor helping to haul. He is doing it more as a personal favor than as a way to get rich.
I run the silage chopper because it is a decent way to make extra cash in the spring, but also to help my neighbors.
We are not trying to get rich. Mostly we just want to get the field done so we can go home and eat supper before 9 p.m.
The plan is to weigh random loads. Perhaps every four or five loads. It is not so much to keep track of every scrap of silage as to establish a way to be compensated.
We should probably just charge $85 an hour for the truck and $150 for the chopper and another $85 for the mower. The key is that you have to average those numbers to come out. When you work by the ton you have the potential to make more money but then you don't get paid for down time so by the time your are done you hope for these figures as an average.
The dairy fellow decided the silage was drying out so he had the truck drivers weigh. Sure enough they were lighter loads.
This is fine, it averages out.
But then one of the drivers weighed again and he picked a load I accidentally loaded light. I don't intend to load trucks light. I try to cram as much on a truck as will dump.
Because I want to go home and eat supper by 9 p.m.
So then he wanted the other truck to go weigh.
It was 7:45 p.m. I did not want to wait 15 minutes for the truck to come back. I told the truck driver to tell the dairy fairy that the scale was closed. There were only two loads left.
I think he just made up something.
The last load I thought I had crammed the maximum amount on the truck but then I realized I had actually forgotten to top off the back of the truck so perhaps the dairy fairy has a point.
I got my supper by 9:30 p.m.
There has got to be a better way to make a living...

Penthouse apartment?

Here on the farm, we take our slogan, "mov'in on up" quite seriously!

Friday, May 15, 2015

A success

I This evening I received this photo from a neighbor that I planted fescue for.

He asked me to send him his bill and seemed quite satisfied with my planting job. 
This was encouraging as I just heard from another neighbor that planting fescue seed "three fingers" deep was most likely going to fail. 
This field was no-tilled at 3 pounds of seed per acre. The seed was placed 1 1/2" to 2" deep, the rows are 22 1/2" apart.
 The seed depth was measured from the surface of the ground. I set the front coulters on the drill 2 1/2" deep and the  double disk openers 1 1/2" deep. The press wheels force the seed into the bottom of the trench and it is usually covered by 1" of packed soil and then another inch of loose soil.
Then the farmer rolled the field at opposing angles with a corrugated roller. This broke up the hard surface and helped seal the ground.
I think I planted this two weeks ago.
It also had 10 gallons of 10-34 fertilizer placed in the row.
One key is that it rained a good half an inch soon after planting. I think that will keep it growing through the summer.
Makes me feel better about life...

Friday confusion

I thought I posted at 3 a.m.
Last night I started coughing and finally just got up and set in the easy chair for a while.
I wrote a slightly funny post about it.
But it has disappeared.
It had to do with chopping silage and had a picture of a rainbow and a Minneapolis-Moline tractor and a hay rake...
That tractor and that rake are two of my best buys.
The moline G1355 allowed me to farm, which was probably a bad idea.
The recent rake purchase really is invaluable. It has the power to rake wet clover! And as per terms of my loan agreement, I  not allowed to loan it!
Towing the dead 2-155 it was not a good purchase...

In other news...
I have been listening to Amazon Prime music on my iPhone while chopping silage. They switch around the free music so all my Joan Jett is no longer available, as well as Dr. Feelgood and the Kingbees, but The Band and Commander Cody is still available.
And I own the Vern Gosden CD...
And three billy Jo shaver albums. (Where you want it buddy, the face or the gut, and "if you don't love Jesus you can go to hell")
So, after listening to the same Social Distortion song three rotations in a row, I tried switching to FM 101.1 and talk radio.
Now I know that in this day and age there is no freedom of speech so this blog may get deleted from this observation but it is kind of funny.
I'm listening to conservative talk FM radio.
It is the only conservative FM talk radio station.
during the news break for Lars Larsen, they bring in the entertainment commentator who is queerer than a pink three-dollar bill. And he is getting quite giddy about a musical coming to Portland. He got to go back stage. He starts talking about musicals and the thrill of theater and I had to chuckle.
As I changed the station I could imagine radios clicking off all over the state. Not a lot of Lars Larsen listeners who care about entertainment news as breathlessly delivered by a lisping gay entertainment reporter.
Also, just how many in the Portland gay community are listening to Lars?
I could imagine (but try not to) a gay coffee klatch, listening to Lars and sipping coffee, holding their little fingers out, and giggling...
"Say Mufassa!"
"No, no, no, no, don't say it,"
"Now say Lars Larsen..."
Anyway, I say, Way to go FM 101.1
You sent me back to my weird iTunes playlist once again...