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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Working in the rain

My little helper seems to have disappeared.

Two weeks ago we were trying to repair a White combine to finish up our flax. He does not like that combine so he took the silage chopper apart.

That Saturday he asked for the day off to spend with his grandchild. That monday he was sick.
Now it is raining.
Everything remains as it was...

The header

The chopper.

I've been working on the Smith and Smith 2-155. Which continually sprouts new oil leaks. Found a chunk of what looks like a casting in the oil.

I wonder if I should fire my helper for something that I could screw him out of his unemployment. After all, I am a conservative Mennonite. It would be only right to make him accept responsibility for his actions. After all, he has cost me money. I could tell him it is for his own good and then expect him to still be my friend.
So what should it be, "Insubordination" or "Workplace Violence,"  or not wearing underwear. What would wearing bib overalls and no underwear fall under, sexual harassment?
I'm thinking it is not actionable till he bends over!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Why everyone should send their child to Western Mennonite School

I've been getting a lot of questions about Western Mennonite School and it's slow motion implosion. People think it all can be stopped. I think not. I think the board thinks it is doing God's work. They have the Mennonite persecution complex at full strength, they will fight to the bitter end.

Today I heard the ousted Bible Teacher has his appeal to the School board denied.
Well of course he did.
They have wanted to get rid of him for several years. They just finally got up the balls to do it. And of course they lied about it.
Western Mennonite School is going through some changes. It is a decades old conflict that is to involved and petty to be discussed in depth.
Basically it is this,
There has always been a conflict between the so-called conservative Mennonites and the so-called liberal  Mennonites. Conservative vs liberal are terms which refer more to theology than to politics but as the years pass Mennonite theology has become less important and political leanings are more important.
The conservatives are a bit of a minority. I identify with the conservatives. We like to laugh at the liberals with their funny shoes and tendency to support gay clergy, non violence and a Palestinian state. The conservatives still like to get out of Jury duty but all voted for George Bush and the Mennonite values of thrift, modesty, and nonresistance have pretty much congealed into a love of organized sports, shooting wild animals, and applying nonresistance in the abstract or to people you think should practice it and not letting it get in the way of sound business practices. Nonviolence is mostly important but the thing is that if you get someone mad enough to hit you then you can always call the cops, and then maybe not press charges.
The school was going along fine until the economy crashed a few years back. There have been two pretty good principles in the last fifteen years. Just the same donations dropped and enrollment dropped and there were projects under way.
So they cut teacher salaries and shuffled funds around and then the board had a genius idea.
They would bring in their little buddy Paul Schultz who they knew from the Gospel Echoes auctions. He was a good talker he could do fund raising.
To begin with Paul was a great asset. He was enthusiastic and seemed to get on well with the kids. He was not a weird liberal, he went hunting, he did word working, and seemed like a regular guy. He was really a salesman and was overly positive but I tried not to let that get on my nerves. I need to be more positive myself.
But his real mission was to get the school back on track. On track meant financially and also to bring the school in line with the school board's misinterpretation of what a Mennonite school should be spiritually. What nobody knew was that Paul was taking notes. He was the so-called efficiency expert. I've talked to a couple people who were fired that told me that he actually took notes on individuals and kept a record of things which were not in the personnel records.
They put him in a position to help Mr. Camp who was in charge of the school but was also pursing further education. This was essentially for Paul to learn the Mr. Camp's job as Paul's basic education was that of an auctioneer which may or may not translate directly into running a Christian High School.
The board was able to sweeten Paul's salary by creating a position for his wife as Head of Alumni relations. To help pay for this, the faculty and staff took another cut in pay.

Mr. Camp was fired the week before the schools major fundraising auction. There was not a lot of commentary. Everyone was told that his firing was for the best and much prayer and counsel had been sought. (this has become the standard answer to any questions as the school) My wife who was a faculty representative to the budget committee, asked Paul a few questions after the meeting. Paul blew up. He shook his finger in her face and actually yelled at her, asking her if she was for him or against him. She quit.
When she got home I called my board member and had a nice talk. I said she was not opposing Paul but we should expect some answers. We had a nice meeting with a wonderful talk about reconciliation and apologies were exchanged.
We were told that they wanted to get the school on track spiritually and that there were those who had worrisome theological leanings. In fact my wife was asked to affirm that she accepted the traditional statement of faith, salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. I asked about other items on the 1963 confession, feet washing, the holy kiss, devotional veiling, that fell pretty flat...I wish I would have kept my mouth shut.
My wife was pretty heavily involved with the auction. Her shop class projects raised quite a lot of money. It would have been a little difficult without her.
But of course all was not forgiven. She was no longer in the loop.
I was told privately that some had suggested that she not be rehired because she should have been fired for insubordination.
She staunchly defended the school but I was worried. You can't challenge the boss is he is shorter than you and you are female. All would be forgiven only if those involved really believed in their claimed Mennonite theology.
She was asked questions about things she said. Nothing went in her personnel evaluation but it is the standard pattern. Marginalize the employee, keep them out of decisions, make a list of real or imagined miss-steps, and nail them hard if they do anything wrong.
Then she sealed her fate at the end of the school year. She found a proposed budget which raised administrator's salaries, she suggested a raise for everyone else. At the end of the summer she got an email explaining that her position on the budget committee had been cut and that her computer access on the server was being restricted to protect other people's privacy.
We discussed whether she should return to school. Our daughter was doing quite well at Western and we decided that we should do what we could to allow her to graduate from WMS. We couldn't afford the tuition without my wife working there. We had no idea they would be so vindictive as to fire her and screw her out of her workman's comp.
Things went smoothly until December when my wife had a discipline problem with a student. She reported it, asked for help, and she was fired. This happened at 3 p.m on the day before we were leaving for a month long vacation, the first we had taken in a decade.

But, enough about us, let's talk about Dave Engle. That is the issue that really makes me mad.
Over the past few years I have heard discussion at my church about things being taught at Western that I would be shocked if I knew what they were. It was never really explained what those things were. So I never got the chance to be shocked. It was inferred that this happened in Bible class. I assumed it was referring to Dave Engle. I do not know what those issues were.
I accept that the school board has certain standards for theology. I feel comfortable talking with my daughter about what she is taught in school but I want a pretty traditional view of theology.
I can accept that the school can hire and fire pretty much who ever they want. The contract is pretty slimy. It gives loopholes so that teachers can be terminated for disloyalty or insubordination or being a danger to students.
But they shouldn't lie about it. (Also, my interpretation of Mennonite belief tends to stress resolution of differences.) And they shouldn't be mean or un-Christian. All they have to do is just not renew the teacher's contract.
The day I heard Dave was fired I called the person who I assumed was my board representation. He refused to give me details using the fallback of confidentiality but he finally got a little upset with me and revealed that Dave was fired because he was teaching something that would be against my beliefs and I would be shocked if I knew the truth. I pointed out that Dave was the same as he had always been and perhaps they should have not brought him back only to fire him the second week of school.
I got a lot of doublespeak after that and I'll just leave it alone.
I found this statement very interesting because from what I have read and heard he was fired for a "Pattern of Insubordination." I discussed this with my friend on the Amity School board and he said Insubordination would pretty much end your career in education. It is sort of a codeword, like "workplace violence."
So here it is in a nutshell, the board hired Paul to clean house and he is doing it. Paul has no education relevant to school administration, or any real management experience, but he is friends with board members and was on several sports teams at WMS while in high school there. I would suggest that his problems with insubordination comes from his incompetence and his mandate from the board rather than from a problem that Dave Engle or my wife had with authority.
As this whole issue has slowly and painfully drawn on and on I have become much more angry and disillusioned.
To begin with all it would have taken to change my attitude would have been an acknowledgement from the board of my wife's efforts at WMS. She was there for 12 years. She did every job she was asked. She even volunteered to be a janitor when there was a crisis. She would have resigned if asked. Just one official thank you would have made a big difference.
Likewise Dave Engle could been told his contract would not be renewed. Obviously none on the board has the assurance of their Christian Faith strong enough to confront him on his "wrong" theology. I don't even know he has wrong theology. I am convinced the school board has wrong theology and I have just presented you the evidence of that.
As far as I'm concerned the insubordination was a cheap lie and it was mean and vindictive. They didn't have to try and ruin his life. (I bet they are also going to deny him his workman's compensation like they did to my wife.)
Do I sound a little bitter? Well, yes I may be. But, has anyone but my brother tried to talk me out of it? I've been accused of causing trouble, being bitter, distancing myself from Mennonites, encouraging my friends to call the head of the board and not following proper procedure by filing an appeal.
When I was a wee lad our church split because of someone not giving someone else the proper greeting at the proper time. It was a bunch of baloney. Over the years I've seen these same sorts of petty issues time and time again. There is always some appeal to a higher moral authority and there is always some bogus issue of theology but in the end it is about being in control, who you are related to, who you went to school with.
I've pretty much had my fill of it...
My daughter is doing well at Amity. She has Christian friends. She has found Christians who are teachers, she does not have to deal with the double standards at WMS.
One income is a little tough. I'd sell Amway but I don't have any short pants...

Edit: One day later, it was pointed out to me that it is important to understand that the board is completely convinced of it's own rightness. So, Dave E. must be fired for insubordination and that must be attached to his permanent record because they fully believe he was insubordinate. They cannot see that they have imagined that he is insubordinate because they just want to get rid of him. They are so self-righteous that they have imagined themselves to be super-ethical. The irony is that they will hire someone's cousin or unemployed recent WMS graduate to replace him. Sort of keep it all in the New Family.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I now get all my news from British tabloids

I am not allowed to look at the page three girls but everything else is good stuff!
It all happened when I got a malware program which I can't remember the name of. It pretends to be an extension of a program you can use to watch TV on your computer. So, you click ok in the little box and it installs and copies all your search history. Then it hijacks your startup page with links to stuff it thinks you should view.
I think it is called macinstaller or something like that. It would be more helpful if I looked it up, but I overslept this morning and I have Meadow Foam to plant.
I downloaded an anti viris program called "avast" which solved the problem (and was free) but in the process I lost my start up news page.
So I switch to the BBC but instead of the BBC I ended up with The Daily Mail. Foreign news services have all the good stuff that the US networks do not have.
Like the story about our Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and his crazy girl friend.
The Governor of Oregon pretends to be a regular guy with his cowboy boots and suit jacket. One of those country folk from 1971 as seen at Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Concerts and neighbor hood hot tubs in Eugene. A local cultural phenomenon.
He dumped his wife and took up with this psycho lady after his first term of Governor. His psycho girl friend started a number of "environmental consulting" firms with ties she had through screwing the former Governor of Oregon  through her own hard work and effort and did not talk the Gov. (affectionately know as Dr. Doolittle during his first tenure) into running again when consulting jobs were hard to find in the economic crisis.
Anyway... I gotta go... Read The Daily Mail story by clicking here. 
Note: This was first reported in Willamette Week and is sort of old news. This is just a twist on the WW story I think.
I looked up Governors Girlfriend Willamette Week and I found her using a State Police Pass to park her Prius  in Portland. She is soooo Environmentally sensitive that I forgive her....
I also found the story about Neil Goldshmidt  tapping a 12 year old having a relationship with young girl.
And Sam Adams and his forbidden love...
Packwood and his box wine seductions seem pretty tame now-a-days!

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We now have goats. They tend to escape. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Daily Strumpet Newspaper is the same as the Lazy Farmer who came up with the name in 1984 and wrote a newsletter for years

I was invited to a wedding today. I was a bit surprised to be invited. I like the kid, (actually he is not a kid anymore) I enjoy teasing him. He worked for a farmer who I stacked bales for. We ran stacker together for a summer or two. He is always really enthusiastic, always ready to tackle a new project. And he has a good sense of humor.
It reminds me of a story of our days stacking for the neighbor.
We were working in a big field with five balers and two stackers.
You dump the stacks in a row. Eight blocks make a truck load. You dump one stack beside the other with as small a space as possible between them.
The squeeze then picks them up and sets them on the truck.
The top bales need to be tied together so the stacks don't spread apart when the squeeze grabs the bottom layer. Usually, one person in the baling crew is assigned to tie stacks. In this case the stack tier was somewhat of a goofy kid who was slightly annoying. He was making a show of jumping for one stack to another, so I started setting the stacks just a little further apart each dump in an attempt to see how far he actually could jump without falling on the ground.
So... I got the last stack just a little two far away.
My friend saw the gap and thought I miss-counted the number of stacks for a truck load. He headed for the gap at full speed but he forgot one thing.
I did not raise the bale pickup.
The stack tier saw him coming and started running. I saw him coming hung out my door and frantically waved my arms.
He hit the stack so hard it actually exploded.
I looked around and saw everyone was looking at him. I got back in the stacker and started stacking...

At the Wedding I ran into a couple people I went to high school with. We talked for a long time. I scored a pie! (Thank you father of the groom)  It is a good pie. I'm having some now.
Several people asked about the Daily Strumpet. One suggested that in this modern age perhaps paper is outdated and perhaps I should try a blog.
I mentioned that one could do a search for "The Daily Strumpet," on the internet. I noted that one issue is on I looked it up. It was the Christmas issue for 2009. CLick Here to enjoy it.
If you do an internet search for The Daily Strumpet Newpaper you will see that I am number two. Someone has taken the name
I think if you were really interested in finding out if The Daily Strumpet, Americans irregular newsletter for regular people, is still published or has found another incarnation you could find it.
I rarely tell people who ask about TheDailyStrumpet that I have a blog under the name Budd E. Shepherd. I'm not sure why I'm hesitant or why I chose to do it under an assumed name. (If you email me I'll be happy to tell you my real name, I just use Budd E. Shepherd for things online to keep everything consistent.)
I feel sort of weird telling people I blog. It seems rather pretentious to say to people, "I'm a clever fellow, I'm a farmer with a bog!" Also, I tend to go off on strange subjects and use large words and I do this because I'm interested in the subject and like the sound of large words and not because I want my friends and neighbor's to think I'm a really smart and clever fellow. I'm quite content to rant at random people on the internet as I will probably never see them in person so who really cares? I have no reputation to uphold...
Several of my followers are former Daily Strumpet subscribers who went to a fair amount of effort to find me online. Or when I told them the address of the blog, they actually looked it up.
(In the early days I did tell people about the blog, then I discovered that they didn't actually follow it if they knew me and that is another reason I quit telling people. I'm not going to beg people to read the blog...)
Sometimes I wonder if I should do another Daily Strumpet on paper in news format and make up stories about people I know.
Did anyone read the issue on scribd? It wasn't one of the best.

"Great Job Brownie," says President Ebola to the Head of the CDC- after saying "mission accomplished," shortly before ISIS takes over Iraq

Ok, I voted for Bush... And I have yet to hear the end of it from certain neighbors and relatives.
So, tell me how the federal bureaucratic response is different now that Obola is president in stead of Bush? Lets say, Katrina vs Ebola? CDC vs FEMA?
The USA gets it's first Ebola case and president Obola plays his 200th round of golf.
Meanwhile, his person in charge of the CDC makes speeches downplaying the danger and reassuring us that there are procedures and protocols in place to protect the public and we certainly don't want to do the obvious, and restrict air traffic from infected countries.
Next... the guy dies and no one knows what to do with the hazardous waste generated from his death and treatment. His family is sort of put in quarantine but then no one thinks to bring them food so the Red Cross call's Jimmy John's for a speedy delivery.... And the gubment threatens to arrest the dead guy after he gets well.
Soon we realize that there are NO PROTOCOLS.
We see photos of people cleaning up the parking lot in street clothes.
Sort of like video of the Stadium at New Orleans...
A nurse gets sick.
The head of the CDC blames the nurse.
We find out that while the entire world knew the guy had Ebola the hospital was waiting for tests to come back and the nurses treated the guy and were not wearing protective suits...
Next president Obola announces the discovery of Ebola and says the world needs to do more and asks for millions of dollars and sends the Marines to Africa.
But doesn't shut down air travel.

Yesterday I heard the president speaking on the radio. He is really going to get on this Ebola thing.
I understand the cheap psychological ploy. I've seen it used by employees, or by school bureaucracies.
You let the crisis happen and then you can be the hero.
He golfs, the world burns, he speaks forcefully after private individuals have figured out all the problems, and he is now the hero.
The faithful Koolaid drinking supporters will always apologize for him.

Now here is the real problem. I blame Obama, you blame Bush, but yet what are the differences and what are the similarities. I suggest the commonality is the massive federal bureaucracy and the many individual managers and department heads. It is all a focus on procedure and paper shuffling with an increasing lean towards the political left. I suspect bureaucrats love socialism. Saving the environment requires regulation, going green, carbon reduction, fairness, and so it goes.
Sad thing is, if they would have just said the Ebola victims contained asbestos then they would have put up serious containment and brought in a real hazmat team and the world would be saved...

And another thing... Those folks in Africa who we are supposed to care so much about... You realize they didn't just get Ebola yesterday... We meddle in other people's business all around the world but yet it is private volunteers who have been essentially "giving their lives," to help contain a disease that could threaten the world.

Of course Chris Brown could be right...

And they still won't due the most basic thing and shut down flights. Sooo, people panic and Belize won't let a cruise ship with a possible Ebola victim dock despite a phone call from John Kerry.
You know the gubment is lying to you and that is what causes panic...

We are all screwed... If not this then whatever else is coming. You have to have faith in your gubment, it is how the contract works...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I just wander around in circles

Seed bag art?

I removed my four year old expensive Speer seat cushions due to the fact that the foam was cheap crap. I replaced them with a 30 year old seat cushion out of a dead combine. It is a little faded and cracked but still has decent foam.

I was three acres from finishing the field and the needle went below empty. Turned out that my bulk tank in the pickup did not have that extra 20 gallons I thought and so I had to drive back home to refill.

I used my pocket knife to hold the diesel filler on and then thought that was a bad idea so I held it myself. And I over-filled it...

Had to pick up my daughter from school after her volleyball game at 7 p.m. I almost finished. I just have the corners to do.