The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Horse riding on Sunday and a tale of my horse named Tommy

Sadie is learning how to ride a horse today. Someone who is related to my wife has a daughter that is a rodeo princess. The princesses are holding a horse riding camp to raise money for new outfits or shiny things or something. So, we paid $35 so that Sadie could learn to ride a horse. This is not a good thing. Now she will want a horse. The first part of the horse riding clinic should have been how to clean a stall. A good solid hour of shoveling manure, then an hour of stacking hay bales, next two hours of fixing fence, then a half hour of cleaning hooves, then fifteen minutes of riding the horse, followed by an hour of grooming the horse, then another half hour of feeding the horse. That would have been a better introduction to horse riding.
I took a profession look at the hay they have been feeding their horses. My hay is better.
I got a bit tired of watching them all ride in circles in an arena. Sometimes they switch directions which is kind of interesting as not all the horses switch at the same time. The horses have been around this circle before and I think they may have it figured out.
I need to be a friendly and out going person. This is an opportunity to sell hay. But, then I would have to talk to people. I'm setting in the truck. I brought my iBook.
I kind of think this whole rodeo thing is a bit silly. You see, I know I'm not a cowboy. I don't have any cows. I kind of like horses. Riding in circles seems kind of pointless. I guess that is how you learn.
When we first moved to the farm I got a horse. I used to read a lot of horse stories. The Black Stallion, Will James, that sort of stuff. We had cows and every year we had the spring great trail ride when we moved the cows from the barn to the river for the summer and then fall trail ride when we moved them back again. This was only a mile and they pretty much knew the way.
Once we didn't bring them back in time and the river flooded, they were stuck on a little strip of high ground and we had to take them hay with the loader tractor. I think we fed them by hauling hay in a row boat also.
But, I digress...
Word got out that I was looking for a horse. I think I was 12 or so. The crusty old neighbor dude who thought he was a cowboy and bought and sold cows and horse brought out a pony. He was half welsh and half quarter horse. The selling point was that his was the horse's last stop before the macker. I bought the horse and I think he threw in a saddle and bridle.
The horse's name was Tommy and he was opinionated. He wanted to stay in the pasture. Our first trip ended with a swim in the irrigation ditch. He would also head for low tree branches.
My father said he would put a stop to that. So, dad hops on with his farmer overalls and puts Tommy through his paces. Tommy objected and even wanted to rear up. Dad smacked the crapolla out of him. After than Tommy was a different horse. He even came to like me once I figured out how to ride him. I think he had two legs on one side that were shorter than the other as he always seemed to pull to one side. If you just let him go he would slowly veer to the right until he made a huge circle and once he passed the apex of the circle he would high-tail it for home.
We used to do a lot of exploring down at the river. He really like to smash through the bushes. He was a pretty good horse.
One of our relatives decided she wanted to ride him. He didn't like her. Of course she would walk out in the pasture calling him and swinging the bridle reins in a circle. This did not work so well. He was basically a lazy horse. It was not that he didn't want to go anywhere it is just that he would rather go home. Should you make a big deal out of going on a ride he would stay just out of reach. I think that was smart of him.
I could almost always catch him. I took him some hay or a bucket of grain. And, when I got done with my ride I would brush him down and give him more oats.
Once I gave him a doughnut. He did not like the doughnut. He made faces like Mr. Ed. and spit out the doughnut.
Once I had to take his temperature. This did not work out so well. I only did that once. I could understand his point.
I kept him for years. I have no idea how old he was. Eventually he got cancer. He had some sort of tumor on his "Return of the Black Stallion," parts. This gave him a woodie all the time. He didn't seem to enjoy it.
The vet said it would take a really deep hole to bury him. So I sold him for dog food. I gave him an apple when I left him.
I have always felt guilty selling him for dog food. It just didn't seem right.

Cops shoot guy in Portland-update

My wife brought me a Willamette Week from her trip to Stupidtown this weekend. There was a story about the police shooting that I mentioned last week. Details are somewhat different than what I discussed.
It is actually much worse for the cops in my opinion. All the high tech weapons and all procedures and science and training are worthless when you have cops running on adrenaline and an affirmative action hire as an on the scene commander.
If you care... read the story in Willamette Week.
The problem is not the skin color. It is politics, policy, training, and a lot of this whole "us vs. them" idea that every person is a nutcase with a gun.
In this case the fellow in question had gun convictions on his record and he was suicidal.
One officer was talking to him on the phone and trying to get him out of the apartment. The office in charge was talking to someone more important. The cop with the M-16 was providing "lethal cover" which I guess is a nice way of saying, he was waiting to blow his brains out when he got the chance.
Problem is that the fellow comes out in response to the cop with the phone, then the cop with the gun doesn't know what is going on and naturally feels threatened or whatever they call the justification to shoot someone who they think has a gun-before he gets the gun out. So he shoots the guy.
Then they put the dog on him.
Then of course they wait for the SWAT team.
Look, you know it, I know it, everyone including the cops-know it, they don't really care.
1. The guy has a criminal arrest record. So what if they shoot him.
2. There is no communication they were all running on nerves
3. Cops have no way to tell if someone is mental, on drugs, crazy, depressed, or just a criminal and they are not going to risk their lives on a judgment.
4. If you got your finger on the trigger of the M-16, it is just such a little bit of a pull, and you are just so jumpy and it is all a big video game anyway and there is no real penalty if you are wrong...
5. Poor on the scene leadership. That is really what went wrong. Officers were acting on their own while the commander was talking to the brass...

Bottom line, if the cops are called and they are standing outside your door, they have real bullets and dogs and whatever happens it is going to hurt...

I start with lunch and go off subject!

Saturday I sold some hay. Actually Josh sold some hay and I gave away five ton. Well, the fellow says he will pay but it will be a long drawn out process. What is best, hay gone and no money, or hay in the barn and no money? Hay in the barn means it will still cost money to move it out for the new crop and if it is "sold" and in someone's barn at least I can attempt collections or a trade or something.
I met with my friend L. and E. for lunch at the Cafe' in Amity. L. and E. came to get me. L. and I have been friends for years. We went to school together. He spent a number of years in Canada working with the "First Nations" people. We don't like to use the term "missionary" any more. There are a lot of problems that came from the old "missionary" efforts. He worked with young people who had drug problems and alcohol problems. The Canadian government thought he was a not a good influence as he is technically a missionary. So, he had to come home. He was not trying to get native kids to blow up great public buildings, just trying to get them to stop sniffing glue. Go figure...
100 years ago it was good to be a missionary. At that time the government was trying to destabilize the Indian people. Now it is bad to be a missionary. Missionary technology or thought has evolved. Now, instead of trying to get native people to be exactly like the missionary, the missionary tries to work within the "cultural framework," which essentially means they are more worried about Indians sniffing glue and killing themselves. Now the Canadian government is opposed to missionaries.
I find the new racism or colonialism kind of amusing. How Star Trek has shaped world thought. The Star Trek prime directive was a clever plot device that was to provoke though and be hip and modern. We ain't tellin' anyone what to do...
So.... You find a culture where people crap too close to the house and cut each other's heads off. You do not tell them this is "wrong," as it will destroy their culture-which you must consider valid based on their own definition. You can encouraged them to use better sanitation and send in a conflict resolution team. You could perhaps substitute a ritualized beheading if everyone agrees. You can steal their oil and let the Muslims convert them or sell the into slavery.
In the end you are keeping them in a second class status, sort of like monkeys in a zoo. There is no thought of showing them a better way.
It is racist..
And I am way off subject. I've got to go, daughter is out of bed and wife on a mini-vacation.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Moronic marketing schemes and things that annoy me from Craigslist

I may have posted about this before...
I bought Microsoft Streets and Trips for my GPS tablet. My tablet does not have a CD/DVD drive and because it is a piece of crap that runs Microsoft @#$%^&ing Windows it is not so easy to just hook random objects up to it and have it work, like if I were using my iBook. Conversely, since mediocrity rules the world, the windows system is the dominant system and the nice fellow at FarmerGPS does not make his program to run on a Mac. And since Apple is run by semi-morons instead of total morons at Microsoft, Apple only makes expensive laptops that I don't want to see bouncing around in my tractor....
Wow! I am really off subject at this point...
I digress.
I tried to download Streets and Trips using limewire. I figured I had a serial number and it would work. Then I spied an entire album side that I had never seen before! I opened it first of course-since this is a stupid windows computer, the icon started spinning and nothing happened. So I tried to open streets and trips. It was some sort of adware program that started installing itself on my tablet. Then the album opened!
It was porn! Nasty, nasty, nasty, porn. Internet explorer does not block popups like Firefox. So, now I had nasty cascading windows of porn.
I ripped the wireless PC card from the computer and mashed down the on/off button. Of course since it is a piece of crap Windows PC, I couldn't find a mute or volume button. I covered it with a pillow. How are you going to explain something like this to your wife? Sure honey, it was just an accident?
So, I got the piece of poop shut down and restarted and I thought I got rid of the programs. But, I did not. When ever I am online I get offers for products based on where I have been on the internet. You get where I am going, I am a farmer, I look at farmer stuff. Did you know there is farmer porn, and it is not www.tractorhouse.com I still feel violated and so does the cow and pigs and perhaps chicken, I didn't get that far. I did get an offer for one video where foreigners were getting it on in a combine. I had never seen a combine like that before. I think it was Russian. I was able to get the name off the side and do a google search. The website was not in English. It looked like an interesting combine. The porn was not so great.
But, I digress.
The point is... The program installed on my computer has a website (which I have lost) and they were very proud of themselves for delivering targeted advertising. Targeted advertising delivered though what was essentially a virus on a barely legal file sharing site? Advertising that reminds you of every perverted miss-adventure you have had on the internet? Unexpected popups from what ever stupid site you accidently clicked on, or what every your guilty pleasure is? I think NOT!!!!! So, I emptied my cache and now have to find the local computer expert to get rid of this program. Like they will believe I was not looking at people having sex on Russian combines, but rather looking at the COMBINES....

I have an ad on craigslist.
So this moron emails me from my advert:

 Hows it going, I took a look at your ad on craigslist and wanted to show you this program.

To be honest there is really no such thing or way to "Get rich quick" on-line, like tons of people have been talking about. This will show you how to be successful IF you work for it.

The truth is a bunch of those sellers who "claim" to know how to make you rich - haven't earned decent money themselves... And they are trying to teach other people how to make an income?

Doesnt make much sense to me if you're interested so far take a look this site
Here you go

Hope it works out for you.

Jennifer


No I am not going to start a blog with your stupid program. Yes i do realize it is a get rich quick scheme. Yes I did click on the link so I could make rude comments to you and there is no email address.
Here is the link
Of course SMC  Specialty Merchandise Corporation is a huge rip-off for everyone but the founders of the company. See this ling to the Ripoff Report.
Do these emails ever work? Obviously-as SMC is doing quite well!
I would much rather get an email from Nigeria, those are very amusing!

So do you think people will respond to my advert? Click here to view!

Edit or Additions-I am suffering some internal problems which force me to spend more time in my office. So I have more time wander the internet. I checked out the Eye of Polyphemus, he has posted a hot chick photo in a shameless quest to get hits from internet search engines. I have linked to him with much the same intent and perhaps I will just mention his name again, Eye of Polyphemus at http://jeffords.blogspot.com the girl is with out a doubt, very attractive but...
I don't understand the whole naked lady facial expression thing. I am making similar expressions but that is because I am severely constipated. The nice young lady (who I am sure is no better than she ought to be) seems more bemused than anything else, so perhaps she is not such a good example. For better expressions of pain and delight click here... http://jonscottvisual.com/glamourmain.htm
Now, scroll to the right. See the girl in the red underwear? The photographer liked to use our old house. If you look at more of his photos you will see more of our farm and some of our old house. I am almost sure we were not home at the time. We didn't ever lock our house so who knows what happened there. Our house is the rickety one...
But, I digress.
This girl is setting on bird poop. I saw her butt prints after the photo shoot. Is this suffering for art? What about that girl that just got out of the river? It looks cold to me, I think she is shivering! There is another girl in the "fine art category" who seems to be stuck in the grain bin. She looks very unhappy. Probably saw a RAT!
There are things I do not understand! I like the goofy-"Look at me I'm nekked!" expression! I prefer happy and stupid to "I am sooo constipated!"
And now I must go to work...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feed grinding and odd jobs

We are fixing up an old shed for a shop. This is a long process. My helper is doing it. I am staying clear to some extent.
I sold some feed. I get paid in eggs. $200 a ton in eggs is a lot of eggs. Wonder how this will work out. Hopefully some cash will be coming soon. The egg-man brought me a feed mixer. It is an old Geil 75 or something. Perhaps I'll post a photo later. It needs a little work. Lots of bearings out, The inside of the tank has a sprayon liner but the bottom of the tank does not. The bottom is rusted out. The bottoms of the augers are rusted out. The fellow hauled it all the way from eastern Oregon. Perhaps I'm just negative.
A fellow wants some crappy straw bales. I need to move all my feed operation to get at the bales. I got my bags wet so I'm drying out the bags right now. I need to grind one bag of triticale and mix in with the horse feed. This will get rid of the extra bags setting around.
Then perhaps I'll try spreading fertilizer.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Planting in the Rain. I whine and moan and feel sorry for myself...

I have 40 acres of wheat to plant at Amity, 60-100 acres at Ballston, 100 acres at Sheridan, 45 acres of grass at a home for retired zoo animals, and it is raining. Then I have another 20-60 acres of peas to plant at back at Ballston. I field to redo at Grand Island and some camolina to replant at home. The wheat must be planted by the end of the month as it is winter wheat. Winter wheat needs cold weather to vernalize. I never went to Oregon State so I don't know any of that technical stuff. You will have to go ask Ed Winkle when ever he gets back from his trip around the world.
It rained all day yesterday. Today this sun is coming out. I planted 14 acres of Oats. Of course nothing worked right. I would have got done the night before but I lost a planting coulter disk off and I didn't want to keep going and leave a trail of unplanted ground.
The Great Plains is a wonderful drill. I sliced through the mud and I had good seed placement even though mud was building up everywhere. The harrow on the back is key to keeping the seed covered and the special spring loaded carbide tipped scrapers keep the openers from plugging up.
Of course I had to do something wrong. I was watching the seed monitor and keeping the planting rate at around 850,000 seeds per acre. This is what the monitor said for the first 10 acres and the seed rate came out perfect. I had to adjust the drill as the drill wheel built up with mud and the planting rate dropped. When I finished I had seed left over. Not sure where I went wrong but we had to vacuum out four bags of seed in the rain. I was so stinking cold.
Then I took my $2500 rebuilt engine back to be repaired as it the pickup does not run right. Then I found out I am getting 45 acres of hay ground back as the fellow can't sell the hay. Then I tried grinding feed but the flatbelts I scrounged won't stay on the tractor pulley.
So I went and washed all the mud off my drill in the dark. But there is no booster pump for the fire hose anymore so that did not work.
So I went to bed.
Well, not really I wandered around the internet for a while. Then I went to bed but of course did not sleep.
I wish I had a funny story to tell.
I am probably losing readers.
I would like add a few subscribers. Get a nice round number of 20.

I listen to NPR-Cops Kill People In Portland

Yesterday it rained. I had only 8 acres left in one field. I finished it but the mud has getting thick. I need to get some planting done.
I was listening to NPR on my new radio I installed in my tractor.
I suppose my memory goes back too many years. When ever I hear of a police shooting in Portland I think a decade or so when Portland police officers averaged something like 30 shots per shooting incident and hardly every hit their target. They often hit buildings, cars, other people, but not the fellow they were shooting at.
Once time there was a hostage incident. This nutcase had a little boy and was holding him with a knife to the throat. I think they were at the top of a staircase or something like that. There were two cops with guns. The coppers opened up on the guy. I couldn't find the details online but the bad guy was killed with a shot to the head and the little kid died from the resulting 14-30 rounds fired.
So, they issued AR-15's to the officers for better accuracy. From my knowledge of firearms I would say the guy died from the first shot from the officers side arm, which was the only accurate shot, cause you can't shoot straight when you are pulling the trigger as fast as you can, and training should have been reviewed back then.
People in Portland are upset because this fellow who was threatening to kill himself  was shot by the cops. There was a stand-off, the guy comes out of this apartment. He reaches down and scratches himself and the cops open up on him. Thought he was reaching for his gun. Yes, a large penis shaped gun. They sell those in all the gun stores. Many black dudes keep those in their sweat pants. The "gun of love" they are called. I don't know why they could not hear the Al Green playing in the background.
Since the guy was black and thus subject to the undeniable virtue of the oppressed, this is big news in Portland.
It is not big news when cops knock down the door of a lower class white junk dealer sort of guy and shoot his dogs and then don't find any drugs or anything illegal but a bunch of old cars violating Portland zoning laws.
But it is all the same issue.
Portland Police chief Rosie Sizer was on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" radio broadcast Tuesday. One of the callers asked her about shooting unarmed people, and whether police should be trained to wait until they see a glimmer of metal or a weapon. "If you wait for a gun to be presented, you can be shot before you're able to return fire," Sizer said.
She added that some officer's would not shoot unless they saw a gun but that was up to the officer. Rosie's comment was, "I'm not going to go there."
Another caller called and said he was on the police force in the 1970's and they did not shoot anyone who didn't show a gun.
Chief Rosie kind of evaded this statement by saying she did not have the info and of course the info was not available as it is so long ago, blah, blah, blah.
Another caller wondered why they had a, "shoot to kill" policy. She said they did not have a shoot to kill it was a shoot tell the threat is gone policy and they aimed at the biggest target.
I was wondering why they didn't have a black police chief. A black female police chief would have been much better. I guess the white gay males who run Portland don't like black people. Oh, gay people can't be racist...
I was driving around in circles, planting in the rain, and I was thinking about this whole discussion.
Of course you can't have people shooting each other.
1. If someone you know is threatening to shoot themselves you need to think before you call 911. If he has a gun there is a very good chance the cops will shoot him because if the cops feel threatened I guess they can open up with what ever they have. Taser, M-16, AK-47, M-1 Tank, rockets, perhaps in the near future, tactical nuclear weapons.
2. If someone you know is acting strange and you need to call 911. First think twice about it. Then remove anything that could be considered threatening by nervous cops. Tie up the family dog!
3. Just try and avoid calling the cops on anything. Tell them only what you have to. Forget lots of stuff. "I'm sorry I was not really paying attention, no I don't think I could recognize/remember/whatever.
This whole BS about officer's feeling threatened is a clever use of semantics to avoid putting responsibility on cops for killing or tasing people. For some reason they do not want spend money on training on how to diffuse a tense situation. Or how to deal with suicidal folks. Is there a way to tell if someone is on drugs or if they have mental problems? Should cops be shooting first and thinking later? If you are in the Army in a war zone it is shoot first. If you a police officer shouldn't you be expected to take some risks?
I don't know and now I have run out of steam 3/4 of the way through my rant. I just have a problem with authority and your typical rent-a-cop mentality.
I don't like Portland.
The rain makes me depressed.
The end.

Monday, February 22, 2010

We go to the beach for a holiday!

Sunday Sadie and I went to the beach. Mrs. Shepherd stayed home as she had stuff to do. Sadie and I stopped at GoodWill where I scored a  Leupold Sportsman Compass for $7.99. In the original box with a note from the fellow's son saying it was a birthday gift and the deliniation or deflection or whatever, was set at 20 degrees for use in Oregon. It is the good kind where it flips open and you can sight on something or put it on a map. I can't figure out how to use it. Mark Trail I am not...
So, we hit the first beach we came to and didn't leave for four or was it five hours. It was beautiful. Sadie made friends with the boy next to us. His name was Andrew. He was drawn to us by the siren song of vintage Tonka toys and monster trucks.
Here are some photos.



There was a young hippie couple sleeping on the beach. They woke up around 3 p.m. and did some smooching. Every time they moved the reek of patchouli oil floated in the brisk sea air. The girl was beautiful and probably in her 20's. She had the usual tattoo's of flowers and vines. She had sunglasses in the shape of hearts. Her face and hand that was not covered by the blanket were burned beet red. She seemed quite happy. The guy was your usually scruffy modern hippy. He looked sort of like Bob Dylan with a goatee. After they awoke he picked her nose for her. It was quite sweet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The new season has started. I plant and listen to the radio! That is real excitement!

I actually worked yesterday. I got a start on my first spring planting job. I no-tilled wheat into some field corn stubble on the river bottom at Grand Island. Or perhaps it is Wheatland. I thought I was going to do it Friday. A farmer said he had a flatbelt for my hammermill and I should look at his field to plant while I was there.
The field was almost ready. A little wet but I could go. So it was decided that I would go after my drill and he would go after seed and we would met back at the field that afternoon. Of course, the best laid plans don't always work.
I stopped by my cousin's place to complain about farmers who are more successful than I and it so happened that he had an Izzy's coupon. So we went to the all you can eat buffet.
The tractor and drill have been hooked together and ready to go for a week or two. On the way out the driveway I stopped at the store for a Pepsi. I looked at the front tire and there was an 8 inch split in the rim. I said, "oh dear me!"
So, I called various salvage yards while my helper removed the wheel. No one has a rim from a White 2-155 front wheel assist with the ten holes. It is kind of a strange size which I can't remember. It was written on my hand but it washed off.
I took the wheel to AgWest and they pulled the tire off. It had sixty gallons of calcium for ballast. That must be 1000lbs. No wonder it doesn't spin in 4wd.
I took the rim home and welded it. I drilled a hole in each end of the crack to distributed the stress and stop the crack. I ground a bit of a v in the crack, then I welded it with the wirefeed welder. It turned out very nicely. I had good penetration and welded every bit of the crack. I welded it on both sides and ground it smooth. Then I cleaned and painted the rim. I met the folks at the tire shop at 8 a.m. They said it looked good enough to put the tire on. That took an hour and with the new tube cost $160. Nothing is free in this world.
I got the wheel installed with no problems but then I loaded some hay. I had to bag some feed. I didn't make it to the field until 1:20 pm. Then the farmer showed up and offered to give me a ride to my pickup. That took some time.
Then I had to set the drill. For some reason the drill openers don't want to track with the no-till counters. The ground is just wet enough in some places that the seed trench is not closing. Then I found the speed settings were wrong on the planter monitor, then a wire pulled out of the run'/hold switch on the fertilizer rate controller. When I got the planter monitor upgraded all the settings were lost and I forgot where I wrote them down. So when the seed rate reads 800,000 seeds per acre does that mean the it is really 1.1 million which would be 125lbs per acre of Alpoa spring wheat. But, I don't know the variety of wheat, or the bushel weight, or if the monitor is correct, and I forgot to bring my balance scale. So I guessed.
There were lots of beeping noises and flashing alarms and frustration.
At first all was well because it was Greatful Dead hour on KBOO and the Dead music always puts me in a happy place when farming. Years ago when I was in Florida I would listen to Deadair from some college station in the Florida panhandle. I was young, there was a beach, I was happy and optimistic, and life was good. Kind of a strange association as most people I know find hippie music annoying these days.
But, all good things must end and soon it was back to regular KBOO programming which is all about black folks feeling sorry for each other cause they been oppressed by Whitey. So I switched to iTunes and got some Hank Williams Sr. and the Bailes Brothers, and Dr. Feelgood, and Eddie and the Hotrods, and Flying Pig Banjo and Fiddle, and something about-The first time I felt lightning, I was standing in the drizzlin rain, with a bottle of gin, a something, something, (dominac hen?) and a rose of a different name. (Why would you be holding a chicken in the rain?) Edit: I listened to the song again and I go the verses mixed up. bottle of gin/a trembling hand/and a rose of a different name. Makes more sense then the whole chicken thing...
The best line is, "the devil made me do it the first time, the next time I did it on my own..." Anyway I figure this song is about gettin' some strange and i guess I will leave it alone.
Fortunately the next song was "Dust on the Bible," followed by "Come to the Savior," and then out of the blue it was Dr. Feelgood (british pub rock from 197?) doing "Route 66"
All of this was by working class white folk who feel kind of oppressed but didn't not really know what to do about it. You can't blame "whitey" if you are white. You can't blame all your problems on slavery if you were never officially a slave, so all you can do is sing country music and perhaps play the banjo... Then there was Bonnaparte crosses the Rhine from the Daily Strumpet birthday party album, it was pretty good till the hippie lady started banging on the cowbell halfway to the end. Pretty much overpowered the mike. I would like to thing that the awesome baseline was me with the washtub base but most likely it was not.
But I digress.
I planted till 7 or 8 or something. I did 30 acres out of 75. I hope I got the seed rate correct.
I went home and went to bed.
My family and wife's sis and niece went midnight bowling or something. I did not. I am depressed about a barn full of hay and a note which will come due. And the fact that nothing anyone is planting will be worth anything come harvest. We are all so totally screwed. Glad the banks got a good bale out. Wish they would extend our credit a bit.
Reminds me of a Bible story about a servant who owed his master. The master forgave the loan and then the servant went out and threw the guy who owed him money, in jail. In the Bible, the master has pretty hard on the first servant. In real life the Government will just give the first servant (the bank) more money and then complain about bonuses.  And I am not real comfortable with the master/servant relationship with the bank.
It was a little wet. You can see the mud building up on the press wheels. Also look at the mud smeared on the opener disk. It kept getting dryer so I kept going. This is a silty clay loam. This section of the field has a lot more clay and is wetter. The other half of the field has more of the silty loam and it dried very nicely.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My Office, Budd E. Shepherd on Facebook, James Brown's song in a Laxative Commercial

My family has come to be supportive of the Lazy Farmer blog. There is some consideration that their names and photos are not spread all over the net. The lovely and gracious Mrs. Shepherd has issued a ban on all photos of herself posted by me online. They say it as made me a much happier person.
I think this is based on the fact that many times after spending time in the Lazy Farmer room I emerge with a silly grin, I jump in the air, kick my heels together and exclaim, "I feel good! Da-na-nah-nah-nah-nah-so good!"  I think that has more to do with the wonders of wireless internet, and where my office is, and what sorts of "multitasking" I can do whilst typing the miss-adventures of the Lazy Farmer...
Perhaps this has been too much information...
Budd E. Shepherd is now on facebook and the nice chap from WorkForced asked to be my friend. How did he find me? Perhaps a search. I've been signed on to facebook as Budd E. Shepherd for a year or so. I never check it or post photos. I only recently checked it out again as I wanted to look at someone's profile linked to my helper. It was very amusing but I'm not sure I can post the story here. I really want to though...
I would like an opinion from the three readers who actually comment. Should I maintain a facebook page? Would it be some sort of advantage to the publication of the Daily Strumpet? Or would it just attract an unsavory element?
Just between those who actually know me... I'm not so keen on everyone I know being a follower of "The Lazy Farmer." If so, I'd use my real name. If someone knows enough to search for The Daily Strumpet, or Budd E. Shepherd then they have proved themselves worthy to read this blog. And if I do happen to make fun of them, they do know that I most likely did not use their real name and they had to look it up. Sooo, F... them if they can't take a joke eh?
Facebook seems like a real pain in the bottom and I'm not really sure if I want to do it. So don't be offended if I ignore your friend requests. I'm probably not checking.
In other Blog related news.... Mail.com is now crap. If you email me from my profile and I don't email you back it is not because I hate you. I do not have a little voodoo doll with emailer's names on it which I poke with pins and lock it in a room with banjo music playing.
I actually filled out a survey from mail.com and told them they were crap.
I did the same with farmaid. I did add that I thought Willie Nelson should smoke more dope-if possible... And that every farmer I have ever met or asked about Farmaid thought they were irrelevant.
I expect to hear back from that survey pretty dang soon.
Have a nice day.... I'm going to plant!
P.S. is it gross to drink coffee in the bathroom? I think I may have disgusted myself!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Something Revolutionary: Frozen Wasteland @ AMERICAN DIGEST

Something Revolutionary: Frozen Wasteland @ AMERICAN DIGEST

gorges sent me this it is pretty funny. He saw it here at The Vail Spot
My mail has been putting emails from this blog in the junk mail folder and spam in the IN box. Of course mail.com is now owned by America Online. AOL has got to be the very definition of terrible and bloated and needlessly complicated internet service.
I have got to get a new email account!

The Guy with the Antique Store in Amity is a Moron...

We at lunch at Ashe's Cafe in Amity again today. Some clever business folks put in a new grocery and deli across the street and all Cafe customers seem to have migrated across the street. We eat at the Ash's Cafe as I just hate to see her go broke.
So Josh and I are setting there are some old folks come in. They were barely mobile. I should say tottered in. They sat down to order and the fellow from the antique store comes in and asks them if they are the ones parked in the loading zone.
So get this...This is funny. The antique store has a loading zone that takes up two or three out of the ten parking spaces on main street. The other antique store that actually sells something now and then does not have a loading zone. There is no where to the cafe customers to park. This is especially insane as the cafe is only busy three times a day. The antique store is never busy. If he would just take down the ridiculous price tags he could just call it a museum. So the antique store guy and the old feller go out and the antique store guy directs the old fellow to pull his car out of the loading zone so that it is bumper to bumper with the car ahead of it.
Now it could be that the t-shirt guy whose shop is next to the antique store guy enforces the loading zone but I doubt it.
I congratulated the antique store guy on enforcing the parking codes when he came back in. I said, "good job on getting those old folks out of the loading zone," he said "thanks, I think they are all right now." So, I guess he takes enforcement of his own loading zone pretty seriously.
It is good to cut down on these parking infractions in Amity. "Tweek and Tow," does need more towing business. Also, everyone knows that parking in loading zones leads to stealing hubcaps and is a gateway to meth addiction and domestic terrorism. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bleach may look like carpet cleaner but it is not...

Sadie and I are reading "The Horse and His Boy." Sadie went to bed a little early tonight. She wore her shoes in the house and tracked mud on the carpet. She tried to clean it up, but got spray bleach instead of carpet cleaner. Not such a good plan.
I was getting my pickup from the mechanic at the time. It pings under acceleration. I have to take it back.
I accomplished nothing today. We attempted to shore up an old shed. We went after lumber which we salvaged from an unfinished project at the neighbors. We went after the truck. I get nothing done.
I came in and laid in bed with Sadie and read a chapter to her.
I suppose other kids wished they could find a world like Narnia. Find out that they were really a prince from Archenland who meets a talking horse and a princess and so on and so forth. Wonder if the lion would keep me from falling over the cliff or turn me into a donkey. I fear the latter.
She went to sleep and I kept reading.
I walked around the house opening all the closets but failed to find anything behind the coats. I'm thinking I will wake up tomorrow morning in a manufactured home, in an old machinery lot, with a falling down barn to repair and a bad attitude.

Thinking about planting corn and beans

I have had a couple farmers asking me about planting corn or soy beans for them. The whole collapse of the grass seed industry has made people look to other crops. We look at those guys in the midwest and think how much money they make on soybeans and we think we can do the same.
There is a little difference in growing seasons, but there are new short season non-gmo bean varieties and tests have been done....

I've also got a potential job for edible beans on 30" rows but the fellow wants it done precision. Of course since I don' town a John Deere I will have to adapt. We do have a White 5100 air planter and I have heard they can be made to work. (tongue in cheek reference to some fellow who is off in New Zealand at the moment)

So I looked up Martin row cleaners, Martin single disk fertilizer openers-which go right on the row unit and put the fertilizer exactly 2" over and 2" down, and Martin spiked closing wheels. I already made the drag chains. We have disk row cleaners that go right on the no-till opener but they are way too aggressive. I am skipping the reduced inner diameter closing wheels i think for these pricing purposes. I would get the WFM 413 row cleaners that mount to the white No-till openers unless someone tells me otherwise.
I also priced out a Loup planter monitor as we don't have a counting monitor and I have a loupe on my grain drill. The Loup will do seeds per foot and inches between seeds so that is very nice.

So here is what it all costs:
SCW-51 spading closing wheel set fits-White 5100 planters with single closing wheel $176
WFM413 Row cleaner attaches to White frame mounted double arm coulters with brackets $291
Side treader wheels $24 each row requires two
UMO-100 Single disk fertilizer opener $310
Loupe monitor $1800

$176+$48+$291= $515 per row x 6 rows = $3090 + planter monitor $1800 = $4890
$176+$48+$291+$310 (fertilizer)= $825/row x 6 rows $4950 + planter monitor $1800 = $6750

$4890 to $6750 to outfit planter, that doesn't include the simple stuff. New brushes, couple new insecticide boxes. Nor would that include a fertilizer flow monitor or control. We have a squeeze pump.

I would get $30 per acre and probably have a hundred acres of custom work... I don't even really know what would be the most important thing to do first. If I lived in the midwest I could buy used stuff.

What we have now:
Home built fertilizer injectors. I've got a much better setup I did last year when I got yetter spring loaded fertilizer injectors. I couldn't find the photo of them. This was two years ago. Planter has to be set level for everything to work correctly.


Home built drag chains made from old truck tire chains. They work ok. Think I need different closing wheels. I tried the Keeton seed firmers on one side and I think they helped a lot. I would like to try the Schafferts as they are a prettier color. AND the fellow sent me free samples! (They also don't take up so much room flopping around behind the planter.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Silly things on National Public Radio about farmers

I swear the people who comment on the NPR website are such morons.  See below link...
Black Farmers Rally For Discrimination Settlement
I would like to know the real story here. The government farm programs are a pain in the butt. So much depends on who is working in the local office. I personally think small independent sorts of farmers have been discriminated against for years. The farm programs tend to steer you into a more agri-business sort of farm. Lots of rented ground and lots of commodity crops.
But, I thought there were lots of loans and support available to minority farmers. In recent years much more attention has been given to smaller alternative type farms and I would have thought attention would be given to black farmers as well.
I of course have serious doubts about anything I hear on NPR but I would like to know what is going on here. Why would there be a pattern of discrimination against black farmers? I would think that the farm service agencies would have 100 percent participation as a major goal-just so they can tell us all what to do. Unless, there are unethical people in the organization who are steering ground to their favorite farmers. I could see that happening.
The pull quote is to the effect that young black farmers leave the farm as they see a pattern of discrimination against the older farmers. I think this is just the typical virtue of the oppressed sort of thing and perhaps a bit out of date. Young people can see that you have to have considerable resources in order to start farming. Most advice you get from schools or farm service agencies is pretty much crap. You either have to know the right people to give you land or you have to have the money to outbid everyone else to get it yourself. Do you want to borrow $500,000 to make $10,000? Do you want to have a million dollar equipment loan? Do you want to pay $250 an acre rent to perhaps make $1 per acre.  In order to break into farming you will have to know the right person or work for the right person in order to be in the right place at the right time.
The alternative is to have another job and to work your way in through farming small fields, custom work, and doing crap that no one else will do. It is a hard way to go and it is hard to break into.
Of course the idiots that comment on NPR stories think farmers are living on government welfare payments. They don't mention how they are subsidized.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stanley The Wonder Dog!

This is Stanley. Stanley is half Great Dane and Half Australian Shepherd. He weighs 105lbs. He is a very friendly dog.
He is not brave.

Tonight the Dogs were going nuts. There was much barking and going on. One would have thought the place was being invaded. I went outside. There was an incredible frog chorus. The peepers were peeping like mad.
I did not see a burglar, perhaps it was a cat burglar. That would explain the dog consternation.
I walked around the house. The dogs were at the other house, still barking.
Stanley spied movement at our house. With a ferocious woof he charged across the machinery lot. I hid behind a shrub. When he was with in a few feet I jumped from behind the bush and said, "Woof! Grrrr! Woof! Woof!" Quite loudly.
Stanley gave a startled "yip!" and turned tail for the other house as fast as he could run.
I nearly fell over I was laughing so hard.
He stopped and came back. He seemed pretty happy to see it was me and not some ferocious stray dog with a really bad doggie accent.
Of course he is just about always happy.
He is a simple dog...

More from my brush with the movers and shakers and clever folks who know more than I (which is just about everyone...)

I really enjoyed this workshop put on by the Oregon Wheat Commission. I am trying to keep the searchable terms down so I won't mention names. The Lazy Farmer makes no claims to accuracy where memory is involved. Years of exposure to diesel fumes and PepsiCola have ruined too many brain cells for any real reliable short term memory retention on any topic. Thus, I don't really want the nice folks who bought me an expensive room and an excellent meal to be offended by my lack of accuracy and attention to their efforts.
Oh, and I got a hat and a nice canvas tote. It is not a purse.
There was a lot of information, good demonstrations, all worthwhile stuff.
What I found interesting was more from the psychology of the whole thing. There are all sorts of competing relationships. There is the farmer who thinks he is really important and really cares about his product. He takes it to the grain terminal and expects to be treated in the same what he views himself. He may have 40 tons or 140 tons and that is his income, his sweat, his effort and his pride. The folks at the grain terminal deal with 1000 ton lots. They take in wheat by the barge or train load and send it out by the ship load. The union workers care about their jobs, or should we say they care about their job descriptions and protecting their contracts. The fellow at the office downtown who buys the grain is basically a salesman. He wants to make everyone feel important and tends to say what ever it takes to make the deal he is on-work out. Then he moves on.
In short, our crop of Soft White Winter wheat is but a drop in the giant commodities bucket.
So, the challenge would be to find niche markets.
We took a tour of Grand Central Bakery in NW Portland. I guess you would describe it as a "Craft" bakery. No preservatives, attention is paid to flavor, flavor is manipulated the baking process and not through chemicals.
We heard an interesting speech from the fellow in charge. He buys wheat from a group of farmers who are certified by the Food Alliance. They are certified as maintaining "fair" labor practices, environmental concerns, sustainablitly, and other code words that have meanings in the so called "green" circles.
He said he bought grain by taste and paid a premium for growers to raise good tasting grain and not use seed bred only for high production. I asked the OWC and OSU wheat breeder fellows about his and the laughed. They raised the question of how you could taste the difference in difference grains from the ground up flower. I don't know, perhaps you can if you are doing small lots.
But...when we were discussing the advantage of Pacific Northwest soft white wheat I understood that taste was a part of the quality. When we made the pita bread it did taste much better than store bought breads. Of course it was fresh out of the oven and made from fresh flower and so on. Which is not to say I disagree or find fault with the humor shown by the plant breeder.
The fellow will believe what he wants to believe and he has the cash. If it is a niche to cultivate then I would certainly try to make him happy.
The farmers I was with had their own comments. Some clever remarks were made about the bakery-which is not to say they were not interested. The bakery was very interesting. Everything is made fresh and sold and consumed the day it is made. Pretty interesting concept.
They were amazed at the Port Of Portland where the Union workers who make exports so expensive and protect their working hours and contracts so strongly. The farmers could not understand how the Union Workers could not work as hard as they could work. Why can't they just get it done and move on to the next job?
Well, that is because their idea of doing a quality job is fulfilling the terms of their job contract-not completion of the task. I'm sure they have great pride in what they do. It is just to exactly what we want them to do...
I find it very interesting to watch how the different conflicting view points influence how our wheat is grown and marketed. How it affects plant research. I see how the Wheat Commission is really important to bridge these gaps.
For example, the Grain company salesman says they will accept lots of trucks this summer and fall, but the terminal manager  says he has no plans to deal with the increase in truck traffic. Somewhere they will have to get together on this.
Small lots of grain are hard to sell because the terminals are set up for shipping in massive quantities. Quality testing is difficult for small shipments, Union and Port considerations make shipping in containers difficult and selling to the new craft style bakeries requires an understanding of a different political mindset.
The challenge is to work with it instead of against it. Your market is a hip Portland baker and wants you to drink the green koolaid I guess you are going to have to fake it a bit, or at least learn to drop the buzz words. We are already halfway to certification with all the government regulations we are doing right now anyway. That what are a couple more hoops to jump through? A lot of the conservation requirements are good ideas that we are doing anyway. The problem is that some of them are totally idiotic and we tend to get all worked up about the stupid stuff.
One final question that has kind of bothered me was with the OSU research. The plant breeder was talking about no-till and doing some no-till trials with different types of wheat. One of the farmers asked about how different types of wheat reacted to different soil types. I thought the wheat breeder said this was the job of a different department and they didn't talk so much.
I don't know if this was a joke or if he was serious. We ate so much every day that I had a hard time staying awake in the afternoon.
If it was not a joke then here would be another interesting example. The plant breeder does what he does and the soils department does what they do...but, I've found that different soil types make a difference when adjusting my no-till drill, or in the success or failure of a crop.
For example, I could no-till into a sandy loam in at the late end of the spring planting season and it would have a much higher success rate than if I no-till into a heavy wet clay soil. In the sandy loam the soil would fracture and break up and the harrow would spread it all out so you would have a layer of loose soil all over the ground. This breaking up of the surface structure helps to seal the ground and keeps the moisture in.
In the heavy clay soils with little residue, you end up working just the 1/2-1" wide slot that the coulters and openers run through. If it is dry not much soil is disturbed, if it is wet then there is sidewall compaction, the seed slot does not close so well, and when it dries it tends to crack along the groove made by the planter. As the heavy clay soil dries it looses all the moisture as you have not disturbed the top soil structure and sealed the ground. In this case you would have been better off to disk it first.
Anyway, this is just my little bully pulpit and what I say does not mean I am right or even know what I am talking about. I frequently get terms wrong and misunderstand people. You will not find me featured in "No-Till Farmer" magazine.
So just take this for what ever it is worth...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentines Day...

Click on this. Funny on a couple levels-or is it just me... (Kim Novak and Frank Sinatra, Is Kim actually singing. I did no research on this)

Saturday morning Tom and Jerry- and I get my first donation!

My lovely daughter is watching Tom and Jerry this morning. She is supposed to empty the dishwasher and clean her room and I am supposed to motivate her. But, she put in a newer Tom and Jerry movie. Tom and Jerry's house has been destroyed by a wrecking ball. Tom rescued Jerry at the last minute and now is trying to get Jerry to leave him alone. Hi-Jinks will follow. Oh my they have met a sage and his side kick. Oh my Tom talked and Now Jerry talked.  Goodness me, the prophetic dog and flea are teaching them to get along through song. Oh my. I kind of miss 1955 even though I was not alive then. Oh...why can't we all just get along! That is what Butters said to the terrorists who hijacked Rocky-Rocket and blew up the imagination wall. Never found out how that one ended...
Great, now the dog and his flea has been kidnapped by stupid people who want to sell them for medical research and Tom is being intimidated by mean alley cats which I think are also confused about their sexuality. And we have another song about dirt and nasty things. This is not the Tom and Jerry of days gone by, now the mouse will save the day, and they will learn to love each other in the end.

I other news, I achieved my goal of getting a link on the Eye of Polyphemus who has a lot more followers than I. This is not so good as I have no funny stories to tell today and all those links will be wasted.

Oh my goodness!!! In an unforeseen plot twist, Tom and Jerry have found a waif. Robin Starling who is an orphan and lives under a bridge whose wonderful father died an expedition to stop global warming and whose Aunt Fig was horrible and the girl ran away. Perhaps she will next turn to prostitution but not drugs and be rescued by Richard Gere.
And we just see Aunt Fig, it is Ursula from Disney's "Little Mermaid," and now her and the butler are singing.

And I got my first donation. This should warrant it's own post but I'm watching Ursula Aunt Fig sing about money.
The generous donation came from an old friend of mine that I have not seen in a couple years. I'm not sure how he found The Lazy Farmer but he may be one of the clever people who tried doing a websearch for "The Daily Strumpet."

Now Robin has been rescued by one of those really macho sort of brown skinned people who turn out to be of another gender trapped in the wrong body and over compensate by wearing tight uniforms and dark aviator shades. I think this is kind of an unfair stereo type. Perhaps a bit racist. But what do I know...

Update: After I posted Tom and Jerry got in a big food fight and destroyed the kitchen. In what I would say was a wise decision, Ursula decided to donate them to the guy down the street who sells animals for medical research. Tom and Jerry have yet to get a bit to eat as they keep getting in fights. Robin's father has been found alive and Robin has been locked in the attic.
I will leave you all with this cliff-hanger!

Observation: Why is Ursula Aunt Fig driving Cruella DeVille's car? And why does she share the same butler? Are they from the ACME branch of the Hollywood Temp agency?

Friday, February 12, 2010

A really big ship...In my opinion! It is actually a smaller ship.

They are filling from the stern first. Note how the bow is much higher. I got a tour of that grain terminal yesterday. The ship looks really big up close. (Forgot my real camera, this is a cell phone photo.)

Why everyone should buy a John Deere no-till drill!

I have returned from the wheat grower's meeting. I could go on and on about storage and rail cars and ships and wheat and more wheat but I'll keep this short at I am spending quality time with my family.
The last presenter was the wheat breeder fellow from OSU. For all you midwestcentric people that would be Oregon State U. He mentioned no-till. OSU has built a no-till drill and they are going to study no-tilling wheat in Oregon. Several farmers spoke up about the difficulty of no-tilling wheat into dry packed fields in Oregon at the end of the summer. Another fellow made an exclamation about no-tilling into 100 bushel wheat straw. I almost made a comment but then I thought a moment, and decided to just keep quiet. No one really wanted to hear from me. Frankly I don't care if they think I'm a smart fellow. They all want to believe that their John Deere no-till drills are the best in the world so screw them. Let them think that. I only need four good customers to make my payment and I've got them. Let them spend $300 per row to get Mr. Green Jeans drills to work. I don't give a rip... So I said nothing.
Here are my thoughts...
After close to a decade of experimentation by regular farmers with no-tilling wheat into fescue fields Oregon State is going to do some tests. This is funny because...The grass seed market is basically dead at this time. If there are no fescue fields to no-till there is not that much point in researching ways to no-till into them. Other rotations are not so difficult as other crops don't require the extreme down pressure to plant.
It would be great if someone came up with some good no-till rotations for our area but it is not really that hard to figure out.
AND-I've successfully no-tilled into fields that a John Deere drill failed in the same conditions the previous year. I have successfully no-till into waist high wheat stubble, triticale stubble, wheat on wheat, wheat into oats, oats into wheat, peas, clover into heavy sweet corn residue, annual ryegrass into solid packed and dry ground. I've planted into mud, through packed irrigation roads, frozen ground, clover fields, alfalfa fields, hillsides, whatever...and most of it worked.
I've got a Great Plains with their turbo-till coulter, followed by their leading edge double disk opener, followed by a spring harrow. It just works. Doesn't look so pretty, it ain't a John Deere, but it works.
The more John Deere failures, the more loyal my customers are so I hope everyone who is going to buy a no-till drill buys a John Deere.
In my humble opinion. Watch me have a huge failure this spring...
 Update: After thinking about this for a couple days I think I may have gotten a few details wrong. I know OSU has been involved with some testing with no-till wheat. I am just out of the research loop. I think I just look for negative things to post about...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I am pretending to be a real farmer for a steak dinner...

I am at a Wheat Grower's Workshop. I am so out of my league. There are 10 growers invited each year to this thing. My name was put in by my neighbor. I rode up here with his son.
Some of these guys farm thousands of acres. The important names from our area. I just kind of keep my mouth shut. They are real farmers, they have modern tractors, warehouses, sprayers, whatever... They know what they are doing.
I'm just the lazy farmer whose claim to fame is his off brand no-till drill. I kept quiet about no-till. The people I sat next to have a 50 foot no-till.
Other than my insecurity...It is pretty interesting. We grow soft white wheat. It is used for noodles and pastries. If I could remember anything I saw today...I think it has a higher gluten content which increases it's elasticity and it is also softer so it is easier to mill. Or perhaps I got it all backwards. My attention span is not what it once was. We saw how they use a machine to test the elasticity by stretching wheat dough and there is also a machine that blows a bubble with wheat dough. That was kind of cool. We made pita bread. To make the pita pocket thing- you roll out the dough and then put it into an over. The flat dough just blows up into a hollow bubble. It is totally amazing. Then we saw how noodles are made. My brother always said that noodles were grown in fields that were very skinny but extremely long. I think he lied to me.
They made us some top ramen out of the noodles.(spelling-can't look it up slow internet at the hotel) It was really good. Then we looked at different types of ramen noodles. The ones with soft white wheat are softer and whiter and taste better. People in Korea like them much better.
Then we went back to the meeting room to hear about wheat grading and prices and why wheat will probably not be worth much next year. I would have been kind of depressed but I kept going to sleep so I missed much of it.
After that we went to our hotel. It is very nice. The streets in real life did not match the directions on the map. I was navigating. We found it. I didn't realize we were leading the pack.
We had an amazing dinner. Chowder, steak and shrimp, and apple pie. Plus all you could drink. I myself, had five glasses of water and two cups of coffee. I am stuffed so full I can hardly walk-but yet I have the urge to jiggle. I guess it is the coffee.
Other folks tippled. I do admit the siren song of free booze did tempt me but I just said no.
We toured the grain facilities at the local Port. You all know where I live. I'm trying to avoid search terms as I would rather remain out of the limelight.) I did see a fellow I know who was waiting in line at the Port. The port facilities are located in a very unhandy location. I predict semi-trucks blocking major highways in this city this summer as there is no parking and there has been a lot of wheat planted in our area.

Update (Friday at 7:00 A.M.): I'm waiting for our free buffet breakfast. I had a nice king sized bed. The roar of traffic lulled me to sleep. I wrote some dialogue. Woop! Whoop!
We will go back to yesterday, I'm feeling a bit awkward.  The head chemist at the Oregon Wheat commission says, "so what do you farm? Are you growing a lot of wheat this year?"  I think, "um 60 acres is a lot to me...But, not to him" but I say, "oh I planted quite a bit of wheat this year-of course it was not all for me!" (thus I deflected the query away from my failure as a farmer and onto my success as a custom no-tiller)
Chemist says, "You plant for other people?" Me, "Yeah, I do custom no-till planting for people," Him, "Is no-till popular in your area"  Me, "oh there has been a  lot of wheat no-tilled in the last few years, but this fellow here, and I think those folks over there from the south valley have done a lot more.
(I gesture to a couple other real farmers to direct the attention away from myself and I use this excuse to get another cup of coffee.)
The other farmers perk up when they hear south valley and soon a group of farmers gather and a conversation is born. I sip my coffee and stand at the back of the group. Looking interested but keeping quiet. It is better that way...

Apartment 3-G and a blog I enjoy called SecretOfficeConfessions

The following link is kind of a guilty pleasure. I have been reading the Workforced blog which is about life working at a nameless and mindless company in Britain. Somehow I came across this blog called SecretOfficeConfessions-click here for today's post: SecretOfficeConfessions: Angry Fishy, gloating and new responsibilities
I must have commented as Kate (the author) commented on my post about frogs and movies. She writes a continuing story. She writes good dialogue. I don't do that. I have wondered about doing my blog as a continuing narrative but I can never distill the evens down into a smooth flowing storyline. Kate puts the dialogue together so that the characters tell the story probably a bit more than the narrator does.
I mean really-does anyone give a rat's bottom about the strange and sometimes reactionary things I rant about? Of course, I did start this blog as a shout out into nothingness and then people started viewing.
Anyway...Her blog is a more interesting version of a comic strip I used to follow called Apartment 3-G. Apartment 3-G was about three girls living in New York on their own. I think one of them was from the country and one was from the city. I don't really know. They had cool furniture and were nice girls. Their boyfriends were all pretty dorky. Funny mustaches and swinging 1970's clothes. The strip seems pretty silly nowadays. But, girls moving to the city and working is a little more common place than in 1969.
Here is a link to King Features about Apartment 3-G. I found it after I wrote my post.
Lost my point...
Oh yeah. I like SecretOfficeConfessions in much the same way I enjoyed Apartment 3-G some years back... And her dialogue-I want to be able to write dialogue and oh I don't know. It's all trailing off now...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jennifer Aniston's photo at Eye of Polyphemus blog

You have to look at this photo of Jennifer Aniston. I think the photo right before this one would be a lot better. She had that little finger buried to the second knuckle-I would bet a chilicheeseburger at the Amity Cafe on it. Look at her startled expression at being caught. But why is she wearing a hat in her underwear? And why is she sitting on a kitchen stool?
As a farmer, I tend to wear my hat most places I go. My favorite say's Berkley Pumps. I got it at the big ag Expo in Tulare CA. So, I may wear my hat in the kitchen but I almost never wear my hat when I'm in my underroos. I very seldom pick my nose in the kitchen as it seems kind of nasty. Perhaps that is why she is so surprised. I would not want to be caught sitting at the kitchen table, in my underwear, wearing a funny hat, and picking my nose. But, celebrities do funny things. Who am I to judge? I do fart in public-but only when I am positive I will not get caught...
We all have our secrets!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Singing Frogs means spring, which means movies on the Great White Barn!

I've been thinking about showing some movies. Click here for a view of last February, the start of movies on the great white barn across the street.
I have a couple new titles. "Colon Semi-Colon," is not a do it yourself proctology examination film. Rather, it is about punctuation. I think everyone should be more punctual, so it may be interesting.
I also have, "I'll only Charge you for the Parts," which is a consumer consciousness film from the 1970's. I need this one as I've been having issues with my pickup repair project. I didn't get a lot of new cartoons as I have not sold any of my old films on Ebay and I'm broke.
And I have the headline feature-that we never get around to watching, "Revenge of the Pagans!" It is a Sword and Sandal epic, although I did not find it listed at IMD. I probably bought some 16 mm porn by mistake. That will stop traffic...
It is a bit chilly and I did not get my projection booth built. The kids will brave the cold if there is hot chocolate, Farmer Alfalfa, and Woody Woodpecker involved. The adults are not so hardy. It could be that I am really the only person interested.
The cold/damp weather is hard on the films also. I wanted to build a projection booth but I donated the plywood to the Sadie playhouse project. Unfortunately it is in the back yard, not the front, so I can't use it.
I should explain for those who have not read the story of the great white barn and the 16mm projector. The neighbor built a hay shed across the road from our house. He built it out of surplus white painted tin and it is huge. If we put a movie projector in our front yard (which is the machinery lot of an old farm machinery dealership) we can project the movie across the road onto the side of the barn. I find it quite fun. Other folks like the idea of watching the movie better than the actual act. Most of the time I don't care as two people make up an audience. One person is just being weird...
Today we went to pickup the recently repainted hood for my tractor. On the way I got a call from Crazy Mark who is working on my pickup truck. He discovered that the bushings are worn out on the distributor. So there goes another $150 and I'm betting that was what made the truck run bad to begin with. Since my helper and I were in town anyway we went to help him put the engine in. Mark smokes a lot! He is not looking very well. He has two large German shepherds in his shop. One was in a crate and went nuts anytime we went near her. I like Mark. I hope he is not dying.
Mark does not have a lot of patience. The engine did not go in very well. You would think a pickup truck manufacturer could make the engine compartment big enough to install an engine easily. Then the transmission fell off the jack. There was a lot of swearing. Mark said we needed to take a break. We went home.
When we got home we discovered that the newly painted hood had worked it way under the toolbox and had rubbed the new paint off. Sometimes I figure if I didn't have bad luck I would have no luck at well.
I do have eggs. The fellow who is buying feed from me lost his contract to supply several hundred cartons of farm fresh and sort of organics to his health food store. He needs more feed. He has lots of eggs. He brought me six dozen the other day. Tomorrow I'm getting another six dozen. The nice lady at Ashe's Cafe in Amity said she would trade me lunches for eggs so I won't have to live on custard. Mark said he would not trade labor for eggs.
The gas station will not trade gas for eggs but the coffee lady might trade for coffee.
My helper no longer thinks it is funny when I sing, "I am the egg man/I am the Walrus," says he doesn't like the Beatles.

Cartoons

Man I wish I had some money!
I would soooo waste it on ebay. Dave Ramsey would cry!
I've been watching an auction for a16 mm film called, "Duck Dogers in The 24 1/2 century." It is in good color from 1953. It was voted as one of the Top 50 animated cartoons of all time.
Here is a Wikapedia entry on it. I thought it also saw the introduction of Marvin the Martian but I was wrong about that.
In somewhat related news the frogs are singing. It is unseasonably warm. I thought it was due to my clumsy efforts to recharge my airconditioning but have decided that it is really because everyone in Portland and Eugene believe firmly in Global Warming. The midwest is colder because those provincials disbelieve in Global Warming. Our here we drink more wine, drill each other's bottoms, and believe in Global Warming. It is a much better place to live...We also like to wear short pants and sandals in the winter and we drive 4wd Subaru's even if there is no snow. Oh, and those wonderful "Green" toyotas with the non-polluting batteries. Oh, and bicycles! Some folks have even figured out how to combine bicycles and wine tours! Great, drunken bicyclists running stop signs and blocking traffic. Our new slogan is, "Oregon-home of bikes, buggery, and booze-trot your short-pants clad bottom right over here!" Or something like that.
But, I digress.
My Aunt E. is... well I have no idea. She is no spring chicken. She is running the store at the farm. Yesterday she was talking about frogs. I was fixing Dad's computer, sometimes it won't print. Dad really likes to print. I heard Aunt E. talking about frogs. It sounded like your usual commentary on the strangeness of frogs croaking in February. Then she says that the sound is annoying. She asks if it annoys anyone else. I mutter, it ain't the frogs that are annoying. Dad kind of snickers, I think. He doesn't hear all that well so I don't know. Then she says. "H... can't you do something about those frogs. Maybe you can kill them. Isn't there something you can spray that kills them. They quit their noise when they see me. I'd step on them if I could find them."
Oh my! Frogacidial Granny and her can of DDT is on the loose!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Scrap metal project

I've been feeling a touch militaristic I guess. I was making some shelf hangers for my wife out of scrap metal and I got distracted. When I was a kid I always wanted a toy gun. Toy guns were not allowed. Sometimes I made them out of scraps of wood. Once we made machine guns out of tinkertoys and stormed the couch. We got our tinker toys taken away.
So I made this toy gun out of scrap metal. Took me about half an hour. Ran out of wire for the welder so I didn't quite get it finished. I was going to give it to the kids. I see Joey has been marching around with his new campaign hat and a broomstick.
I decided perhaps this toy gun was a bit over the top. I think one could get the elementary school locked down with this. Of course I hear you can get that done with a boy scout knife-if they still have such a thing is the pathetic and stupid day and age.
Don't you think my helper has a certain communistic propaganda sort  of glow about him in this photo?


U are what U eat...

We all wear a uniform.
Twenty some years ago I was in college. My good friend and I were obsessed with "coolness."
Cars, chicks, rock and roll music, all of the important things in life-when you are at a certain age. We really wanted leather biker jackets as that one item of clothing would get us chicks, a free pass to the rock and roll hall of fame, and we could be James Dean.

I think my friend was out of college by the time he got his jacket. I never did get the money. We were both working at newspapers. He went to interview an older gentleman about who knows what. He ended up with a lecture on life. I don't think the old fellow appreciated his leather jacket.

The senior citizen told him that everyone wears a uniform. The way you dress, the mannerisms you affect, and the language you use determines what people think of you. Then he suggested he read, “How to win Friends and Influence People,” This sort of speech sounds a little silly to young hipsters. But, young hipsters probably by definition are pretentious. After all, why would you wear a cigarette behind your ear if you don't smoke? Why would you live in the "Pearl" district of Portland if you don't have any money? Why would you put a five hundred dollar stereo in a two hundred dollar car? Now, I would answer that question very quickly, "because you're a dumbass."

But, I digress.

A couple years ago, my cousin, who is somewhere around 50 and not really a very close cousin, called me from Hawaii. He wanted to let me know he was wearing short pants and knowing my feelings towards people who wear short pants as a matter of course, wanted to make sure I would still speak to him when he returned home. I assured him that all rules were invalid when on vacation. This is a speech I will not have with my daughter when she turns 20 and goes wandering around the world.

He then noted that he had actually seen two people in Hawaii who were wearing long pants. His wife met the one fellow who turned out to be a farmer from Minnesota, and the other guy had a “Got Milk,” baseball hat on. It was a pretty good bet he was a dairy farmer.

In short, real farmers don’t wear short pants. Unless they are from New Zealand or something. It could be put into a mathematical statement if I was actually smart.  All arseholes wear shortpants but not all shortpants wearers are arseholes? I don’t know. My logic is not so good.
I do know that I was a dumbarse in college and for several years thereafter and perhaps am right now…
If I would have bought that Langletz jacket it would be worth more now that what I paid for it... 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What I was doing in 2007 at this same time of year!

I had a blog before. I've been trying to find some posts. I had some kind of interesting stuff when I started writing around the time my Mom died. This is what I did find. It doesn't seem like 2007 was that long ago, but it seems that I have had my White 2-155 longer than that. Hmm, different fonts.



Here is my new tractor. For those of you interested in tractors. It is a White 2-155 series III. One of the local Minneapolis-Moline collectors spotted it at a dealership a half hour away. It is a 1982 model. Has 6500 hours and fairly new paint. I spoke with the previous owners before and after buying the tractor. It has less than 500 hrs on a rebuilt engine, new clutch, rebuilt three speed, and new pto clutch. I paid $17,500. Seems to be a good tractor. However, It really drinks the fuel. Worse than my old MM G1355 it think. Have only used it one time. Had an early planting job.
Of course I got stuck. Doesn't look so bad here but it got worse. By the time we got it out the steps were in the mud. I was planting for the neighbors. I spun out when the drill broke through the sod. They brought a two wheel drive tractor without duals... Almost pulled the drill out but John Deere's have no bottom end and he killed it. I raised the drill when it started moving so the coulters wouldn't act like a bulldozer. When we stopped the wheels instantly sank. We were stuck. It took a JD 4wd, the 1355, and their 2wd tractor to pull it out. Not to mention four broken chains. The ruts are amazing. Attending the show, four neighbors, plus the various farmers who went by and didn't stop.... A John Deere tractor of the era of the 1355 was such a gutless piece of crap. However, I think the old 1355 has a bit more bottom end than my 2-155.
Of course I had but four left to acres to plant. When I got out, everyone left but my brother. I was planting along at a pretty good clip when I suddenly stopped. Sort of like applying the brakes. I hit a spring or seep in the field. While the ground looked solid, it was really somewhat like Jello. I walked around behind the drill to check the damage. Water spurted up with every step. My brother hooked up the 1355 and then we saw the neighbor on his way to help. He cut across the field where I had already planted. He almost got stuck. No duals on his tractor. The drill and 2-155 combo has pretty good flotation. So, you can get way out into the mudhole before you get stuck. We hooked up two tractors. But, I must say it looked worse than before. Although it was less sticky, just just goopy mud. However, there was another difference. My brother and the MM G1355 were there. The brother did not realize what gear range he had the 1355 in. So instead of using third he was in fourth or fifth. He took up the slack in the cable and the old MM just grunted at just above idle. Neighbor had the JD in a low gear so it wouldn't stall when he took off wide open. So then brother opened up the throttle on the MM, slowly, so it wouldn't spin out. The neighbor with the JD was already wide open so he started dropping back. I actually had to stop to keep from running into the neighbor. So, basically it was the 1355 that pulled me out. We did it in one try which was the key to our success. I lifted the drill when we started moving to get the openers free and then put it back down when the wheels started to sink, then lifted it a little to transfer the weight to the press wheels and all the while the 1355 was pulling like crazy.

I spent a couple hours washing the nasty sticky clay mud off the drill and tractor when I got back.
I really blew my money this year. I figure it is the last year I will have any money as my brother and I will probably have to get a loan to run the family farm.
I bought a Loup drill monitor and a GPS speed sensor for my tractor. My new tractor is pretty basic. No digital dash, or radar, just S&W gauges and a tach. I have an extra calc-an-acre that I accidentally bought on ebay so I installed that as an acre counter/speedometer. I was having trouble finding a place to hook up the magnets for the speed sensor when I found a skytrak 7htz gps speed sensor for $150. I bought it. They are usually $400.
The Loup monitor is pretty cool. It was too expensive to reveal the price, but it does work. It has sensors on eight rows. It counts the seeds per foot, gives the distance between seeds, and the seeds per acre. Plus, it tells me if I’m low on seed, has a speedometer and acre counter. The counting info is useful only in making sure I’m putting the same number of seeds per acre as I was when I started planting. The seeds per foot info is only accurate at 2 mph as the volume of oats going past the sensor pretty much overwhelms it.
The most useful purchase was a $40 balance scale that is calibrated to give me pounds of seed per acre. You put a bucket under one seed tube and dive 235 feet. (I can measure feet traveled with the calc-an-acre) You empty the seed into the hopper on the scale and it reads out in pounds per acre. I start planting and make a note of the population reading on the Loup monitor. Eventually I’ll have a chart of seeds per acre for typical planting rates for the different seeds I plant.
The population monitor is pretty interesting. The drill plants differently at high speed and soil conditions. If you drive over 6 mph the population goes up. At 10 mph it can go down because the drive wheel on the drill slips. I usually plant at 6.5-7.5 mph. In soft soil the population goes up when the drive wheel sinks in. The population went up drastically after the first four acres of the season. Not sure why but it did.
The low bin alarm and the seed rate alarms are pretty nice. I have the main seed box set so the alarm goes off when I am down just above the agitator. This gives me a couple acres to get back to the truck when planting oats or wheat. Yesterday I was running with just 400lbs of seed in the drill to keep the weight down. I was quite low on seed but had very little left to do. Normally I would have been stopping to check my bin level or I would have put another couple bags of seed in to make sure I didn’t run out. However, with the level alarm I was able to basically run the seed down to the bottom but not have any skips and save a trip across a very soft field.
Now all I need is the acres to pay for this whole mess….

So that was 2007. I now have a different drill that I am making payments on, and I have the tractor paid off. I am still afraid I will run out of money...

Haitians die at hospital cause the UN is run by Morons...

The White Man: Haitians die at hospital for lack of . . .

I figured out how to link to other blogs. You click on the little icon that says "link" what a discovery. Mr. 706 sent me this link. Acres and acres of supplies in Haiti and they can't get it distributed. As the world crashes and medical people, firefighters, and policemen are more and more programmed to follow specific practices and procedues, we become more and more helpless.
Trouble shooting skills and the ability to just see a problem and fix it are no longer part of our culture.
For an example that has nothing to do with Haiti.
I got a call from friend's mother. She wanted her old tractor started. Several people had tried and it couldn't be started. Her longtime companion had mothballed the tractor before going into hospice care four years ago. No one really knew what sort of tractor it was. Just that is was red and old. I suspected a MF TO-30.
So, I loaded up a battery, some gas, sandpaper, test light, various tools, starting fluid, and away I went. It was a TO-30 and it was old. Looks like an 8N Ford. I installed a battery and checked the wire to the key, then to the coil. I filed the points. I turned the petcock on for the gas to flow to the carb. Then I looked for the starter switch.
I couldn't find a starter switch. I traced wires from the starter to terminals on the transmission. From that I deduced threre was some sort of switch in the transmission. I called and asked the Uncle for help. He didn't know exactly but the folks at coffee time said there must be a switch in the transmission. I tried all the gears looking for a start position. Low and be hold! There was a shower of sparks from behind the dash (loose ground I had missed that) and the old girl roared to life.
Now here's the deal. I'm a pretty crappy mechanic. But-my dad drilled into my head that things follow a reasonable sequence. Power flows from battery to starter, fuel flows to the carb, you start at the most simple and work your way to the point where you have to get some one to help you. Most of the time it is something simple. I am not all that good at it. I get confused, I have to start over.
I am amazed at how many people can't do it at all.
People can't figure out from a news story that the Haitian government is probably lying about the Baptists accused of stealing Children. They don't see that it is the Haitians who said the Baptists were going to sell the children. They are the ones who now say that just the leader of the group knew this was illegal. Do you see the set up?
Some of the parents say that they are shocked that the children were going to be adopted, they thought they could come see them in the care facility in the Dominican Republic.
The Baptists did not say, they were going to sell the children. What is the truth?
I could be wrong but I would say just about everything put out by Haiti is a lie. Why would it be the truth?
Here is a new story. Much better info. Again look at the idiots who comment.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2010-02-05-haiti-baptists_N.htm