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 ?!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am going to go hug some trees

I was reading environmental news on Oregon Live.
It is pretty depressing.
You know in the old days when the government scientists and university people thought every wolf should be shot, streams should be bulldozed straight, forests should be clear-cut to the beach, Dioxin could be used to keep the dust down on country roads, every river should have a power plant and Salmon could be fished with a water wheel?
Well, there is no in between.
Now wolves are noble creatures which only kill what they need and every snag should be saved and all the dams need to be blown up.
If you read the comments below the stories you will get the picture.
If only wolves would move to the city and chase bicycles. Or be attracted to scratchy wool underwear or the thread used to sew on the REI patches...
The thing is, while wolves may be good for the ecosystem the ability of the Feds to manage them is questionable. Same as every other screw up in management it will be blamed on someone else, farmers or ranchers or loggers.
And you certainly can't depend on science, as science is the is determined by the popular opinions of the rotating door between the University and the Government.

The articles:
Judge opines on river temps-Kind of funny due the utter failure to recognize years of Ag cooperation and leadership in building stream buffer zones and fencing and water quality and the years of NRCS programs providing incentives for those efforts. (One program I actually agree with. They actually got farmers to do soil tests!)
Wolves,
To understand the environmentalists you need to just realize they hate anything to do with 1. The internal combustion engine  2. Domesticated animals (cows)  3. Farmers who don't wear wool underwear  4. Human's in general  5. Only the Judeo-Christian God because apparently they believe He is responsible for the internal combustion engine with is evil beyond belief.
They Shoot non-Spotted Owls don't they?
The undeniable virtue of the oppressed as applied to the environment. There should be an icon of the spotted owl on the wall of every university science room. The Spotted Owl stopped logging in Oregon and has achieved environmental Sainthood status.
Funny to an Oregonian as the Spotted Owl number are declining regardless of logging being virtually at a standstill. Of course the possibility that the Spotted Owl might be in decline for reasons other than the most useful to the cause reasons is not mentioned...
I attempted to read Animal Farm a couple years ago but it was too depressing.
Apparently it has been used as a how-to guidebook, instead of a cautionary tale... 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Patron of the Arts? Anyone?

Will someone please buy me a used 15" MacBook? Could be a couple generations back but NOT first generation. Never buy anything Apple first generation. Don't really care about new, way too expensive.
My G4, 12" ibook is losing it's sight. The cable to the screen backlight is failing which is a pain in the arse to repair.(Needlessly)
I may just start using my GPS tablet but using windows XP makes me swear.
I would post more (perhaps)
I would make MP3's of Legendary Stardust Cowboy albums and Muddy Valley's brother playing drums...
I promise not to look at Pron with it. (Current coffee time pronunciation. Not sure why they don't use the real word-perhaps it that, "I wouldn't want that in my mouth," theory of bad word usage...)
I would not hug you or violate your personal distance in anyway.
Perhaps I will go look at a lottery ticket. I am too cheap to buy one but I understand that really doesn't diminish my chances of winning all that much...

The difference between ideas and fufilment of said ideas is success vs failure, but there is a third way, The Salvage Operation

I hate to admit to being incompetent. The point where you give up is the point where you fail. But, I have some issues. I have been a bottom feeder so long that scrounging is instinctive. Even to the point of compromising a good idea. I have been confused about whether my Uncle is mad at me or not for so long that I am always on edge around the shop, even though I am over 40 and it no longer matters!
So, I am trying to build a light weight sprayer to pull behind a fourwheeler to spray wet and muddy fields.

It was a good design. But the execution of that design has not worked perfectly.
I continually warp the metal when I weld, even though I should know what I am doing. (I've read the book) I do stupid things like use 6013 rod instead of 6011 because I found some behind the welding bench in the shop with the flux chipped and I don't have to pay for it. I switch rod sizes with out adjusting the welder. I forget to clamp the work, or I weld too much on one side before turning it over. I forget the chip hammer. I get rusty metal out of the scrap pile, so I don't have to pay for it.
I mix .082 and .120 wall tubing and then burn holes in the .082. Instead of ordering 3/8 3x3 angle iron I used 1/4. I center punched a row of holes and somehow got them out of line.
The trailer is no longer light weight but may bust in half. (Where did I put that .082 tubing)
I did buy a welder.
It is pretty neat. It is a Lincoln Ranger. Here is a photo. The fellow made me a deal. Can't resist a deal...
Have a nice day.
PS: To those who faithfully leave comments and whose blogs I usually leave comments. Sorry I have not responded. I am trying to get this trailer done and figure out pig feed rations so I have not been wandering about the internet.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Employee relations Part IV

Today is a beautiful day. It is a little chilly but the sun is out and there is stuff to do! I am blogging on my GPS tabelt computer while waiting for a fellow to come for some chicken feed. I have other stuff to do but I have an employee joke.
I got a text this morning from him which is funny,
"I have an appointment at 9 and a couple of quick errands to run right after that and then i will be in."
Now it is funny because this is the only nice day all week according to the US weather service and he has been gone during all the rain storms last week.
Obviously half the joke is on me as I put up with it but it is amazing how people will take advantage of you if you let them. AND when I point out the folly of screwing around on the only nice day of the week he will have a really good rationalization that will make me out to be unreasonable and no connection will be made between that action and the fact that he will be pressure washing equipment, digging ditches, drilling holes in thick steel instead of working on one project in front of a heater. And why he will never get a pay raise...
People never make the connections...

The Secret Revealed, Why the Mice of NIMH were so smart

We used to have a neighbor whose name was Mrs. Frisby. My brother's told me that she was quite wealthy because she had invented the flying disc commonly known as a Frisby. My brothers were a lot older than I and I looked up to them with respect and admiration.
They were so terribly smart.
But, I digress...
Zeta Woof has revealed the secret of NIMH in his blog today. Click to see it.

Mr. Garrison's Bicycle

In response to a question about my reference to Mr. Garrison's revolutionary fuel saving invention. Here is a link. I must say it certainly answered a few questions I had about the Mayor of Portland's love of bicycles...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday at the Opera, I listen to a 1960's performance of Lucia di Lammermoor whilst my Philisine influenced family watches Hogan's Heroes...

The family is in Junction City or rather is on the way back from Junction City and I am listening to opera.
Specifically to quote the program which was included with the 10.5" reel of tape, Lucia di Lammermoor as presented by the Theater Arts Opera Association, Eugene Fuerst, Musical Director, Lincoln High School Auditorium, November 1960, under the auspices of the Bureau of Parks and Public Recreation, Portland, Oregon. I assume this was what lead to the Portland Opera but I don't know. I'm pretty low brow and don't want to contaminate my Google Search cookies with culture
My goodness how the mighty have fallen. I'm not sure what passes for culture in Portland now. Whatever it is probably features Mayor Adams on Mr. Garrison's bicycle invention...

I have the Magnecord 728 professional reel to reel connected to the Dynakit PAS-2 preamp and am playing recordings made by Muddyvalley's father. They sound amazing to my imperfect Audiophile understanding. Except for that fellow with the Croup or Influenza in the second row. The Doc should have smacked that guy upside the head. Kind of like when I "bootlegged" The Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo Folks playing "Bonaparte's Retreat" a few years ago and did not realize the how close lady with the poor sense of rhythm attempting to play the washboard was to the microphone.
I know Holden Caulfield thought the adults were are a bunch of phonies but Portland must have been pretty interesting way back then. Folks were trying to learn to appreciate the arts. They knew they were all one step out of the woods and the wheat fields and wanted to appreciate "culture."
Drat! The tape busted or came unspliced. I suppose I will not trot down to the Amity Drugstore, or Oregon Stationary and pick up some more splicing tape...I'll give the generic Scotch tape a try.
Ok, I spliced the sucker with cheap tape and we are back in business. Since I do not understand Italian I must only guess at the main parts of this opera.
I am pretty sure it follows the standard dramatic for as observed by most tween drama's that I have seen.
The girl's dad wants her to marry this guy, she is in love with some other dude who is either a peasant (with a heart of gold and drive and determination) or a sworn enemy.
This is followed by a major misunderstanding, a car chase, a minor misunderstanding that will derail the resolution in the final act but could also be used to pull off a clever switcheroo, otherwise known as a "plot twist."
If it has a traditional ending everyone will kill themselves-and take a long time to do it with much impassioned singing.
If it is a modern tween movie they will put on a show and the best friends will learn that they can depend on each other and celebrate diversity, along with a gender confused sidekick...
I shall now look this up and see if I am right!
I should note that the family is now home, the door has been closed to the music room and they are watching Hogan's Heroes.
My wife shared that she had in fact been to a number of Opera's and Chamber Music performances as well as the Symphony and did not need a musical education. I countered with the fact that I had seen the Knox brothers and The Born Again Bluegrass Band as a child but that argument got me nothing but a declaration that, "We are Watching Hogan's Heroes..."
Sometimes I feel a bit under appreciated...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

I watched Steve Martin on Austin City Limits

He won a Grammy for his album "The Crow."
I actually bought a new CD this year. It was a bluegrass CD. Well, actually my wife bought it for me but I put it on my Amazon wish list and it was a brand spanking new release. This is really something for me as usually the albums I buy are limited to $2 and for $2 the has to be a dust sleeve and no scratches.
It was not by Steve Martin.
While Mr. Martin's name does I suppose bring some recognition to the genre I don't find it particularly fresh or exciting. Just your standard smug and kid of cheesy Steve Martin fare. I see his music as more of a novelty act, supported by his acting career.
This was pretty much confirmed by his performance on Austin City Limits.
The CD I got was Travers Chandler and Avery Country, "State of Depression." I thought it was a nice combination of traditional and modern with a certain edge to it. And of course, very depressing.
I also happen to be a fan of Flying Pig Fiddle & Banjo. I would really like to meet them in person. I wonder if I could get an autograph on my "Warper" CD, must have picked it up at Goodwill as I don't see it on Amazon. I bet they set around the house in the winter and roast trout on the BBQ and listen to The Legendary Stardust Cowboy and drink Dandelion wine or perhaps do that in a different order.
Whatever...

Is there a competition for the most depressing country western song?

The Ballad of Carla Faye Tucker
Last words, "I love you all, Goodbye"
Very unflattering pants on the lady...
I would like to take this opportunity to state that I am opposed to the death penalty, as applied. I get the point of it. But the death penalty (as well as most other "punishment" by the state) is not a punishment for a crime. Rather it is an expression of the power of the government. Likewise a "guilty" verdict or a conviction does not mean you committed a crime it just means "the state" has decided you did it and proof of innocence does not have to change the "state's" decision. It guilt or innocence doesn't matter as the individual doesn't matter. All that matters is that there is an example shown of what will happen if you are convicted of committing this crime. We, with our pathetic need to believe in justice, tie the punishment in as proof of guilt of the aforementioned crime.
It is psychological warfare to subdue the populace, meaning you and I... Pretty clever ain't it?
That is why they shoot your dog when they come for you to send you in for a little re-education.
The crime is merely chosen from a check list of possible options. If you have a computer it can be images of the underage, if guns then an assault rifle, and now they have the terrorism laws.
Wow! I can't believe I just wrote that, I have got to stop listening to KBOO and Alex Jones. I am getting my paranoia all mixed up with conflicting ideology.
I have got to clear my head!
And so in honor of my latest subscriber who I am certain found me because of my fondness for the legendary stardust cowboy I give you...
If you make it though the video please click on her link. She has a very nice blog. But I think she is insane for moving to a Mountain top in Tennessee, the Greenest State in the Land of the Free. Recycling?
I am so off subject!
I checked by follower list and I was quite shocked to find another follower. There are now 40 subscribers which means one person de-subscribed, I suppose the aliens got him or her, or perhaps someone really hates the Ledge...
Click here to see the new follower's blog.
It appears she may live in Oregon. I don't know if I should try to sell her chicken and pick food or keep a low profile so no one finds out I am actually a pudgey 20 year-old in a rundown apartment in Portland with gender confusion issues...
I've got to go to work...
Have a nice day...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Another day in Paradise...

I remembered I have an appointment with the Chiropractor this morning. I loaded four bales for my wife to deliver to a co worker. I was going to go to work. I have a grain drill and tractor to get ready and a sprayer I am attempting to build.
Then I noticed my back.
I just need to start doing set-ups again. And drink more water. I will ask the Chiro about increasing the ratio of branch water to Old Number 7. Perhaps he could write me a prescription for a little better grade...
I have a whole list of things for the employee to do but he seems to have vanished, again. It is somewhat comical.
Brother and I went to a breakfast meeting where they talked about planning your fertilizer and fuel purchases and your wheat sales. There was a good discussion of how world events affect fuel prices. For example the ratio of the dollar to other currencies especially the Euro and the debt crisis in the EU. And of course, events in the lands of exploding turbans.
No call from the helper. He can't work when I am gone. I suppose it getting hard to read the list of unfinished projects as it has been on the wall for TWO years. Probably a tough decision to make as to which tractor to change the oil on or which arse cheek to scratch or how many cups of coffee to drink or if one should poop and sit back down in it or if one should in fact wipe one's arse due to the futility of cleaning it only to soil it a few hours later. (Or minutes, depending on where you eat your lunch)
Heaven forbid one would spend a few moments restacking the scrap pile, or picking up garbage off the floor in the shop or grind off the sharp edges of the project being worked on or clean out your car or clean out tractor cabs or wash the truck you didn't wash after chopping silage last year or change a tire or wash the tractor you didn't wash last fall or line up the spare tire pile or sell some hay or pick up the feed bags that blew around the yard in last night windstorm or screw the dog, or go fishing, or ride my personal 4-wheeler, get it covered in mud, turn the fuel selector to reserve, not replentish the fuel-and then leave for a couple days, or just go to the tool boxes and mix up the tools by drawer and by ownership and by brand, or....
I wonder why Frank decided to quit farming?

A rant about politics as I watch the BBC

I was watching the BBC this morning and I see we The US Government are apologizing for burning the koran in Afghanistan.
Why are we there? Why are we apologizing? So what if we burned their "holy book." I don't care. I mean, really what exactly are we getting out of this war?
Despite what I have seen on the Rick Steve's show this is a horrible place, a horrible religion, and a stupid war. Who cares if they like us? Why do we let them into our country?
Did it work for the British?
Did it work for the Russians?
What a waste!
Speaking of a waste, (as I continue to watch the BBC) am I the only person who is somewhat detached from the "Syrian Crisis."  Why would the Syrian government give up? They know they will be given a tortured, given a fake trial, tortured, and then executed. Or found hiding in a drainage tile and then shot. And, I don't really care about the opposition. Why would we want another extremist islamic government? It will not lower the price of oil.
We say fake prayers in the government, pretend to be a Christian nation and then let oldest Christian community in the world be slaughter by the religion of peace.
Pretty amazing...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Frank W. James quits farming

I like Frank W. James and his blog. I have never seen him on TV as we don't have cable but I suspect he is a bit of one of those a little gruff, tell-it-like-it-is farmer types. The one who keep me a one my toes when I am planting for them. The sort who can calculate seed rates in his head and is generally about five steps ahead of me in the thinking department. (Most people are about three steps ahead of me in that department so you can take that statement for what it is...)
I hate to see him quit farming. I found some camaraderie in our concurrent farming activities. I admire his decision making ability. He just made up his mind and did it.
And then there is the fact that it reminds me of my own mortality. He is quitting while on top. I will be farming till I fall over dead or start wetting myself and falling asleep during coffee break and the nephews and the daughter leave me in a wheelchair at the dog track. (an event that happened in Oregon previous to the internet as I can't find a link to the story) Or I'll go broke or run my arm through the hammer mill...
I will be doing that because I have no money and no savings and no other real idea of how to make a living other than being a janitor somewhere-which doesn't sound like that bad a job.
So I wish Frank well in his retirement and if he ever wants to travel west and shoot nutria off the river bank he is welcome to do so at our farm. Now that would make an odd reality TV show segment...
Have a nice day! I am going to a class on wheat marketing, if my brother ever gets out of bed. I suppose I should call over there as I see no lights on in his house.
Of course he could be up by now as I am blogging from my "office" and it has no windows and I probably couldn't hear his knock at the door as the exhaust fan is really loud...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Incredible Stupidity of People who Comment on News Stories is Amazing

I think the general public is just another term for "Collective Stupidity," but that is just my opinion. I was so amazed at the idiocy of the comments on this story that I forgot the point why I wanted the information contained in the story to begin with.
It also illustrates why you can't believe conspiracy theories in general.
Click here to read about food prices and please read the comments below the story.
Food prices have to go up because fuel and fertilizer prices are going up. The projected $5 per gallon gasoline will have a cascading effect as fuel is used in every aspect of food production and distribution.
Of course some folks are making a lot of money off of increased fuel and fertilizer prices but I don't think it is the American farmers.
For example there are a lot of huge farms in Mexico that are foreign owned and the Mexican farmers are in the US working for the same company that put them out of business.
There has a been huge Democrat and Republican bipartisan effort to screw the individual and it is hard to put the blame on just one person or party.
(Of course these high energy costs are going to benefit the green energy scammers and of course we all need to hate the internal combustion engine so we should be happy!)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We go on an adventure

Monday we went to Multnomah Falls. It was like a vacation from my childhood.
It rained.
 It was a nice mile and a half hike.
The falls are pretty spectacular. Was too much fog to see much at the top of the falls.
 When we when there when I was a wee lad I don't remember all the railings keeping you back from the edge. I remember going out on a trail that had washed away and finding some legos. My brothers told me they belonged the little boy who went over the falls when the trail washed away.
I was sad but I wished I would have picked up the legos. They were the yellow and the blue one. Those were hard to find back in the day...
 It was a nice trip. We saw lots of trees and some ferns and a bird and rocks. Lots of rocks.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Meditation 17

I was looking for something to make my devotion interesting and I was trying to find the context of the "Great Sins make Great Repentances," quote as I can't remember who said it or how it was said.
So I wandered off onto John Donne, (We God hath Donne, he hath not Done-or something like that) and so here for your edification I give you,

Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions


MEDITATION XVII.

N
UNC LENTO SONITU DICUNT, MORIERIS.

Now this bell tolling softly for another,
says to me, Thou must die.


PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill as that he knows not it tolls for him.  And perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.  The church is catholic, universal, so are all her actions; all that she does, belongs to all.  When she baptizes a child, that action concerns me; for that child is thereby connected to that head which is my head too, and ingraffed into that body, whereof I am a member.  And when she buries a man, that action concerns me; all mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated; God employs several translators; some pieces are translated by age, some by sickness, some by war, some by justice; but God's hand is in every translation, and his hand shall bind up all our scattered leaves again, for that library where every book shall lie open to one another; as therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come; so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness.

There was a contention as far as a suit (in which, piety and dignity, religion and estimation, were mingled) which of the religious orders should ring to prayers first in the morning; and it was determined, that they should ring first that rose earliest.  If we understand aright the dignity of this bell, that tolls for our evening prayer, we would be glad to make it ours, by rising early, in that application, that it might be ours as well as his, whose indeed it is.  The bell doth toll for him, that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute, that that occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God.  Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises?  But who takes off his eye from a comet, when that breaks out? who bends not his ear to any bell, which upon any occasion rings?  But who can remove it from that bell, which is passing a piece of himself out of this world?

No man is an island,  entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were;  any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Neither can we call this a begging of misery, or a borrowing of misery, as though we were not miserable enough of ourselves, but must fetch in more from the next house, in taking upon us the misery of our neighbors.  Truly it were an excusable covetousness if we did; for affliction is a treasure, and scarce any man hath enough of it.  No man hath afflicion enough, that is not matured and ripened by it, and made fit for God by that affliction.  If a man carry treasure in bullion or in a wedge of gold, and have none coined into current moneys, his treasure will not defray him as he travels.  Tribulation is treasure in the nature of it, but it is not current money in the use of it, except we get nearer and nearer our home, heaven, by it.  Another may be sick too, and sick to death, and this affliction may lie in his bowels, as gold in a mine, and be of no use to him; but this bell that tells me of his affliction, digs out, and applies that gold to me: if by this consideration of another's danger, I take mine own into contemplation, and so secure myself, by making my recourse to my God, who is our only security. 

Of course about half-way through reading this I started thinking about the girl that used to sit next to me in Engish Lit class and my mind wandered. Oh well... I guess  I will not go look her up on facebook. The years have not been kind to all of us...
Again I digress.
Wonder if the Legendary Stardust Cowboy ever  thought of putting this to music. Now that would be art.

Pat Buchanan fired by MSNBC because he never covered a Dolly Parton song...

He should have sang Dolly Parton. It seems to do wonders for your career and even it you ruin your talents with drug abuse and an abusive husband, folks will still fly the flag at half-mast for you.
But, that is totally off the point of this post. This is a post about Pat Buchanan.
I like Pat. He says it like it is.
He says things that should make you think about history and popular culture. You don't have to agree with everything he says, in fact you could be highly offended, but it should make you think.
He has great quotes,
"Without a hearing, they smear and stigmatize as racist, homophobic, or anti-Semitic any who contradict what George Orwell once called their “smelly little orthodoxies.” They then demand that the heretic recant, grovel, apologize, and pledge to go forth and sin no more."  (Click to read his blog post)

I read the story of his termination at WebProNews. Two stories, click here and click here.

And now with the above quote from Pat Buchanan fresh in your mind read this story about the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
I've been reading about him a little bit and don't agree with everything the man says but I have to say he makes some pretty good points and look how he was marginalized. There should have been a vigorous and spirited debate over his oft quoted sermon, but was there?
Politics is not about right and wrong or what is good for the USA. It is about power. That is all...
And now I am going to study my devotion for church. 
The lesson title is, "We are sinners by nature."
I don't care if I am clinging to an outdated belief system. After years of watching scientists change their mind and hearing clever folks make fun of me and suffering through societal de-evolution, I no longer care if you laugh, the brave new world of the 1960's is just that, the Brave New World of Huxley and Orwell.
Frankly, if you want to put me down for my backward belief system you can just go way back, and sit down, on tacks...
I have spoken

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Late Robert Brown and that singer that did the Dolly Parton cover.

I am almost positive that the Kinks song which has the line, "lets all have a drink to the late Robert Brown does not refer to the former senator from Georgia. If only more would follow his example. (of selfless service to the state is what I mean of course...)
But who is the Dead Robert Brown and what did he die of and why should one drink to his memory and why did Ray Davies snub his brother or was it Dave Davies or does it even matter what happened in the previous century now that Whitney and Michael are gone! Gone I tell you!
Whitney did a great Dolly Parton cover... Otherwise, I think I still prefer the Ledge... Now perhaps if she would have covered "My underwear froze to the Clothesline" perhaps that would make the difference.
I am in awe of the amount of drugs she was able to do and the amount of money she was able to waste! Of course us clever folks don't like country western singers especially ones with a southern accent cause they just ain't hip fer us educated folks.
Actually I would rather listen to Linda Ronstadt's cover of the Dolly Parton song.

Oh, and here is Dave Davies from 1967, so you can figure out how he knew a senator from Georgia was going to shoot himself in 2011. Talk about a visionary!

Friday, February 17, 2012

We didn't buy the Fire Truck...

Yesterday we went to look at a Fire Truck. I would love to have a Fire Truck. It actually would be quite handy as we have fires from time to time. We have set fire to a swather, two combines, balers, fields with balers in them, a shed, and various other small items.
There have been no really good fires since we quit using White combines, Freeman Balers, and Slant Six powered Hesston swathers on a regular basis but the thought of flames on a hot summer day has never really left my mind.
So having a bright red 1966 Ford pumper truck setting in the field would be comforting.  We could have got it for $1,500 from a friend. He sold it five minutes after we left for $1,800. Oh well, forever a bridesmaid, that is I...
Our friend is a pretty interesting guy. He has anger management issues. This coupled with a heightened sense opinion of right and wrong results in some interesting confrontations. He has been banned from a number of places.
I have no idea why we (brother and I) have been friends with him for so long. We don't take him with complete seriousness but respect him for his incredible mechanical abilities and the positive parts of his character, I guess. We also live a few miles apart.
When he bugged me about selling him my 1946 Chevy pickup that I truly loved, I told him that I would take his low offer but if he cut it up for scrap or turned around and sold it for more money within a year of purchase I would be really annoyed. I pointed out that I had know him for years and while the truck was in fact rusting into the dirt in my mind it was destined to be driven. It just needs a bearing on the input shaft of the transmission and it will run.
That was not true, mice had ruined the seat, the bed was full of leaves and had rotted out, and it smokes, plus the brakes were shot from setting. Also, the whole truck was incredibly beat up. So badly that I figured the fenders as a total loss. However, I drove it that way for several years and had a lot of fun with it.
I got to drive it yesterday. I remember the smell and the sound of a Chevy 235 six cylinder, (I removed the 216) It is still pretty beat up but he polished the hubcaps and steam cleaned the truck. It was nice to drive it again.
I suppose it is destined for either restoration or to be parted out but more than one year has passed and so I have nothing to say about its future.
It is now stored inside.
I feel better about that...
Have a nice day, I'm going to go attempt to build a small sprayer, grind some chicken feed, and I'm getting off to a slow start.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A post about audiophile stuff of which I am not...

I am a failure as an audiophile...
The only discernment I have is "muddy vs bright," and I can tell if there is a lot of scratches but then it just sounds dull to me which goes back to the first distinction.
I can hear if the bass is distorting and I can hear amplifier clipping but as far as the nuances between cartridges or the difference between tracking or skating forces I seem to be a bit deaf.
I say this as I am listening to a Boots Randolf record on the Rek-O-Kut and trying to tell if the tone arm has to much drag and is not tracking correctly.
It sounds fine and the little red Radioactive thing that is hooked to the tone arm is eliminating static. Perhaps I shall refer to it as the Fukushima device...
However there is more volume on one side.

So here are the three systems I have put together.
1. Kenwood KA 3500, Dual 1019 with United Audio base and D71 EE cartridge, Dynaco A-25 speakers

2. Dynaco ST120 with Dynakit PAS-2 preamp, Rek-O-Kut K33H with a Shure HiTrack M97 or M91 I can't quite read the lettering, Sony TC230 "portable" reel to reel and Baby Advent speakers.

3. Radio Shack SA155 Integrated Amp, Otimus/Minimus 7 speakers, with a Panasonic record changer and Ceramic cartridge for playing 45's. The SA155 also is running the "audiovisual center," which is a cheap Sony DVD and the Wii.

5. A Sony TC631 reel to reel and a Denon dual cassette recorder/player (Goodwill special) hooked up to Bose Room-mate self powered speakers in the shop.

I hook my Mp3 player to each system as well with a 1/4 to RCA adapter.

I hear more difference in sound between records than I do between systems. The Dynaco A-25 speakers are in my opinion clearly superior speakers. Better sound across the spectrum, but the Baby Advents sound good at low volume in most cases. That system seems short on the high range but it all improves a lot when I hook up the Dynaco speakers.

The Minimus 7 speakers sound very good at medium to low volume and they sound good with the very low powered Radio Shack amp.

I would like to get a new cartridge to replace the Stanton D71EE which I have had since high school. It was my back up cartridge to my expensive AT 155LC which disappeared when we moved, along with a perfect Technics SL1800 turntable.  My albums which I played with the AT 155LC sound like new when I play them now. The reel to reel tapes I recorded on my half track Tascam 2-22 sound amazing when I play them back on Sony reel to reel, as long as I used good tape to begin with. But there is a problem going from 1/2 track to 1/4 track.

I've been thinking about getting the famous "Red Ed" with an eliptical and a conical stylus so I can use the same cartridge on my Dual 1019 and play 78's and 45's. It is pretty cheap and well reviewed.  So far I have spent less than $200 total over the past two years on stereo equipment. The Dynaco speakers were the most expensive but probably the best buy for the sound improvement ever.

I've been hanging out at the Audio Karma forum and I find it depresses me and makes me just as insecure as the New Ag Talk forums did.

I like setting in my vintage lazy-boy and listening to music coming off of a vinyl record from two old speakers with sparkly grills and sipping a cup of coffee or late at night perhaps a little old number 7 and writing the Lazy Farmer. I don't like the sound being horribly distorted, I can't play it loud, I like glowing lights and analogue meters with needles that bounce, but an audiophile I am not...
Have a ncie day... I'm going to work!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Should I buy this album?

Have been reading about Roland Kirk. Should I buy this album on eBay? I have yet to see anything like this at the local GoodWill. Anyone listen to him who reads this blog?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250975869984?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

Another post to make up for lost time.

For those of you who wonder at the day to day foibles at Shepherd Farms here is a quick run down.
1. Events which I can't talk about. No death, disagreement, or crisis within my family but if you happened to see the news today and know what part of the country I am from you could probably figure it out pretty quick. A year from now I will still have strong opinions about the event and will be happy to discuss it. I imagine it made the national news by now...
2. Had two people coming for feed and I am broke. Hammermill screen came apart. Spent morning trying to find a screen. Finally ordered one from New Holland for $250. Then welded sheet metal over the huge holes in the old screen. Took me all day.
3. Had late lunch with a friend. Discovered that issue mentioned in number 1 had appeared in the news. Corrected an erroneous news report.
4. Attempted to build a small high flotation sprayer trailer but forgot that the tank outlet was in the center and now have to reposition tank.
5. Played a round of "Life" with wife and daughter.
6. Tucked in aforementioned daughter and said silent prayer of thanks that I was too afraid to take my GRE's and get my graduate degree in Secondary Ed.
7. Discovered that Speaker.net has vanished now that I've finally decided my Baby Advent speakers need the tweeters replaced and a new crossover.
Which brings to mind the day I bought those speakers with my friend from Florida. We tried to pay for a Pizza with a credit card only to discover they didn't take credit cards and then when I came back with the money from an ATM they ignored us when we tried to pay. So we left. Only time I've ever done that in my life...
8. Presently listening to the Kinks utilizing the Rek-O-kut turntable and Dynakit PAS-2 preamp formerly belonging to MuddyValley's father and a Dynaco ST120 purchased from a retired Yamhill Country Sheriff. And not quite enjoying the sound coming from those aforementioned Advent Speakers. Really good sounding mid-range and bass at low volume, but the foam surrounds are starting to go on one speaker and I just can't get enough high range out of them to compensate for my hearing damage.
After listening to the Kinks I have been reminded that the same stupid ideas by the same sorts of stupid liberals that ruined Great Britain in the 1960's-1970's are just now destroying the USA.
Think about this...
Remember the protests of the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam war...
Do you think you could do that today?
What would you rather have, National Guard troops standing around with M1 rifles or turtle shelled riot cops pepper spraying girls? Is it the same or is it different?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A day in the life...

Today my brother and I took engine parts from the MM G1355 in to be checked by a machine shop. I got the feeling it was going to be expensive.
We went to lunch with a long time friend of mine who convinced me to keep updating the blog.
Then we went further down the road to pick up a radiator for the MM model Z feed grinding tractor. We stopped to see our aunt and uncle who are almost 93 years of age.
They are really downright decent people. Incredibly polite and dignified but funny and down to earth. I have a huge amount of respect for them.
For valentines day I bought flowers for my wife (roses) and daughter (a bunch of purple flowers which I can't identify) and I gave my wife some clever plastic sawhorses my brother got for me (well actually her) at the local farm store after she admired the ones he bought for himself and a nice card. I hate buying cards. I usually make my own using scrap printer paper, sharpies, and the occasional crayon. However, I splurged this year and bought a $5 cards for wife and daughter. Got daughter the brightest purple guitar strap I could find. She seemed happy. Wife was bemused and made me a very nice coffee cake.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sometimes one forgets what one says... sometimes people remind you...

I was at a BBQ for customers of a seed cleaner, buyer, seller. It was a good BBQ. Amazing steaks, very tender, the sort that you don't put steak sauce on. I did not see Orin, it was sort of in his neighborhood. I suspect he was off night-clubbing, the young whippersnapper that he is...
It was an interesting experience. They had an open bar and folks were making use of that.
But..before the meal they had a prayer.
The music stopped, everyone took their hat off and the bartender said a very good heartfelt prayer.
And then everyone (except us temperance folks) went back to drinking.
My brother is the friendly one of the family. I don't like crowds anymore.
I retreated to the safety of some of my drunken friendly neighbors. And I got onto my problem of only having three subjects to talk about, no-till, moisture testers, and neighbors who had cracked up. My brother talking to an old friend but I didn't really know what to say. It was in a big warehouse building and I couldn't hear because of the echoes. The last time I saw the fellow I talked about finding his records in the Goodwill record bin and I thought that subject had been exhausted. (he was in a Christian singing group)
So I hung out with my neighbors as they got their profits back in beer.
So one of them tried to sell me his JD no-till drill. Which was kind of funny as he is a former no-till customer. And I said that if I bought a JD I would have to wear short pants and the other neighbor started laughing and exclaimed...
"Yes but I remember you saying one time the only farmers who wear short pants are either assholes or foreigners."
And his father said, "and you know he is right! We have tested that theory!"
The fellow with the drill turned bright red and I started stuttering...
I do not drink in public...
I have been thinking about giving them a call at 7:30 to see if they want to help me grind feed.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What was wrong with the G1355

It would seem that I melted a piston...



I was chopping silage a few years ago. I skipped church to chop in the mud. The MM G1355 pulled down as the chopper kept plugging up from mud and down corn. When it pulled back out it started knocking and I shut her down.
The other time I skipped church and worked on Sunday I nearly died. So this was an improvement.
I thought I posted about it but I guess it has been longer ago than I thought. It must have been on the other blog. The one that went away.
I just threw the sand castle photo in there because I took my daughter to the beach Sunday. Where we built a very large sand castle and a good time was had by all.
Today it poured down rain.
I listened to the Beach Boys on my Sony TC-651 reel to reel. It was nice.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A blurry photo showing what I did today

I screwed around a lot. I was attempting to get internet radio in the shop so I could listen to Soma FM, music for saddle weary drunkards, off the country section of iTunes radio. I do not understand wireless networking, bridge mode and wireless distribution networks, but if I did I could listen to offensive music in the shop. Other than 40 year old tapes on a reel to reel. I do have my MP3 player hooked to through the reel to reel but for some reason when I have it set to play random it mostly plays Travis Chandler, State of Depression, and Jimmy Hendrix tunes. It puts me a little on edge...
My brother and I pulled the MM G1355 into the shop and dropped the pan. I am trying to figure out why she started knocking a few years ago whilst chopping silage on Sunday when i should have been in Church.
I have never had a chance to work on it as I have been alone in the shop for the last few winters. My brother is the mechanic of the family has been driving truck. I mostly fill the role of depressed alcoholic "artistic" type, lazy sluggard and my employee mostly stays home and sits on the couch in the winter.
I actually found a new employee but am daunted by the task of hiring someone.
Anyway, I have not found out exactly why it started knocking although copper is visible in several of the bearings. Next I am going to pull the heads. Have been trying to figure out how to get the injector's out. No one seems to have the special tool. I think my brother found one on Amazon. I hope he used my link! That will be a $8 kick back!
I have no idea how to put this back together. I suppose that is why ITT wrote a shop manual for it.
Here is the photo, did I ever mention how much I need a new phone?

How to fix all those crappy little LED flashlights

I am always amazed at the engineering of things from China. Brilliant ideas combined at times with terrible execution which leads to head scratching and the inevitable, "what were they thinking," comment. And then other times you get very good quality and design. You just never know.
(Of course China is one of those countries where you shouldn't joke about execution... So perhaps I should have used a different term.)
Anyway...
The little LED flashlights were a great idea. However, despite the machined aluminum housing and the gasket seal and the illusion of them being waterproof they are not and they corrode inside. And they have four little AAA batteries when it looks like one C cell would fit perfectly. But, it won't. Of course that would only be 1.5v and the AAA's bring it to six so I guess that is the point.
But, I digress...
In my efforts to restore aging stereo equipment I came across a product called "DeOxit". I bought a little kit on Amazon which has samplers of the different products.
I figured if this chemical can help audio connections then why not annoying flashlights that you have to bang of the table to get them to work. So, I applied a trop of DeOxit gold to each of the contacts and suddenly I had light. I am quite impressed. You may ask me why I chose DeOxit gold out of the box of products? That happened to be the tube that was open and said on the instructions that it would improve electrical connections.
I also used the DeOxit fader lube on the switches and potentiometers on the Dynaco PAS-2 amp that Muddy Valley gave me and the difference in sound was amazing. Scratchy volume controls are cured quickly and the 40 year old balky slider switches now work.
And... if you put the term DeOxit into my Amazon search box and then buy the product I will get a kick-back. I like to think of it as a bribe or a payoff. Makes me feel edgy... or is that the excess coffee I have consumed this morning?
Of course the DeOxit costs more to buy than five cheap Chinese flashlights but that is not the point...

Monday, February 6, 2012

How hungry am i?

Two quick issues...
1. Got a call from a farmer 20 miles away on the wrong side of the capital city of our fine state. He wants me to no-till 40 acres of rolling hills, red dirt. Will pay me extra to transport.
Do I want to drive 20 miles and across the Willamette river on a crazy bridge and crazy traffic with a 16 foot drill? And tires that need replacing and that will cost me a total of $6,000 to replace? Keeping in mind that rolling hills and red dirt also probably means rocks.

2. The sometimes an employee showed up Friday. He got my pickup dirty, my four wheeler dirty, and filled up with gas. He said he hated to do little jobs but would be back Saturday. Have yet to see him.
Drove the pickup to jump start the neighbor's pickup and couldn't see out the window.
Neighbor gave me a bad of out of date bakery goods as payment. I would rather had him recite that poem about the flying goose.
But, I digress.
Oh, heck... don't even know what I was complaining about....
Have  nice day...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Harry Truman School of Disaster Preparedness

I've been reading Gorges' Grouse and Surviving in Argentina and I am starting to get a little overwhelmed.
I am thinking about starting my own school of emergency preparedness and call it the Harry Truman School of Disaster Preparation. (HTSDP)
Harry Truman is the local folk hero who refused to be evacuated from Mt. St. Helens before she blew. I watched the Mountain blow and thought of Mr. Truman, but that was before the neighbor built a series of huge hay barns movie screens blocking our view of Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood.
I think it all ended pretty well for him and his cats. Or at least it ended well for Mr. Truman. He was obliterated by a avalanche of ash and toxic gasses. His cats probably boiled to death but Mr. Truman was already pickled. They had a well stocked bar at the Spirit Mountain lodge and his plan was preserve himself by pickling in alcohol.
Those statements have been somewhat glossed over in the official narratives...
I am also thinking that instead of firearms and knives I should install motion activated speakers which play "My underwear froze to the clothesline," when intruders approach the house.
Instead of a tazer I will just carry a boombox playing James White and the Contortions.
Sort of my own little force field...
But, I digress...
I give you the ballad of Harry Truman-grumpy mean old codger and possible former gangster


Radish is more than just those little round things in the garden

Our little slice of heaven has a clever little seed organization which specializes in the production of specialty vegetable seeds.
Radish is a popular one. Radish is a weed so after growing for a few years your soil becomes contaminated with radish seed and the seed company quietly drops you and moves on to a bigger farmer with new soil.
For some reason this seed company really feels the need to blow smoke up one's um... Well they do like to encourage their potential growers. As in, we want you because you have the EQUIPMENT to get a field planted in a day. Translation, the neighbor's radish production has not contaminated your fields downstream."  Or, there is a nice discussion about God and honesty and perhaps a Bible Study, Translation: You have ground that has never had radish seed and we want it...
But I digress,
Perhaps that was just downright mean...
Radishes have many uses. People eat the bulbs of which there are many different varieties, from the little red bulbs to big white ones that look like turnips. The seeds can be used for oil production, and that variety also is used in cover crops as the large bulbs work up the soil as they expand and then release nutrients as they decompose.
The reason that the radish growers in Oregon are so uptight is that they are growing radish for seed stock. This seed has to be pure and not contaminated with the pollen of any other variety of radish.
Japan takes a lot of radish seed and they are absolutely paranoid about GMO contamination.
(Which is why there was a lawsuit about GMO Alfalfa in Oregon.)
So in conclusion, I find the psychological manipulation by a particular seed company very entertaining as I have seen the pattern applied for several farmers, but the real reason of course is that that seed company doesn't offer me any lucrative contracts. And I'm mad at them for making me feel guilty and not plant sunflowers because my neighbor got a sunflower contract. It really irritates me because I have been fooling around with growing sunflowers for years. I think they are pretty. Sometimes I put them in one outside row of the planter so I can tell where I am with the silage chopper in strip-tilled corn.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Route of the Gila Monster

Here is the full text for those who couldn't get the link to work. The full effect is when this is recited by a 80 year old farmer...

The Route of the Gila Monster

HE lingering sunset across the plain
Kissed the rear-end door of an east-bound
train,
And shone on a passing track close by
Where a ding-bat sat on a rotting tie.

He was ditched by a*shock and a cruel fate.
The con high-balled, and the manifest freight
Pulled out on the stem behind the mail,
And she hit the ball on a sanded rail.
As she pulled away in the falling light
He could see the gleam of her red tail-light.
Then the moon arose and the stars came out —
He was ditched on the Gila Monster Route.
Nothing in sight but sand and space;
No chance for a gink to feed his face;
Not even a shack to beg for a lump,
Or a hen-house to frisk for a single gump.
He gazed far out on the solitude;
He drooped his head and began to brood;
He thought of the time he lost his mate
In a hostile burg on the Nickle Plate.


They had mooched the stem and threw their feet,
And speared four-bits on which to eat;
But deprived themselves of daily bread
And slufied their coin for " dago red."
Down by the track in the jungle's glade,
In the cool green grass, in the tales' shade,
They shed their coats and ditched their shoes
And tanked up full of that colored booze.
Then they took a flop with their skins plumb full,
And they did not hear the harnessed bull,
Till he shook them out of their boozy aap,
With a husky voice and a loaded sap.
They were charged with " vag," for they had no
kale,
And the judge said, " Sixty days in jail."
But the John had a bindle,— a worker's plea,—
So they gave him a floater and set him free.
They had turned him up, but ditched his mate,
So he grabbed the guts of an east-bound freight,
He flung his form on a rusty rod,
Till he heard the shack say, " Hit the sod! "
The John piled off, he was in the ditch,
With two switch lamps and a rusty switch,—
A poor, old, seedy, half-starved bo
On a hostile pike, without a show.


From away off somewhere in the dark
Came the sharp, short notes of a coyote's bark.
The bo looked round and quickly rose
And shook the dust from his threadbare clothes.
Off in the west through the moonlit night
He saw the gleam of a big head-light —
An east-bound stock train hummed the rail;
She was due at the switch to clear the mail.
As she drew up close, the head-end shack
Threw the switch to the passenger track,
The stock rolled in and off the main,
And the line was clear for the west-bound train.
When she hove in sight far up the track,
She was workin' steam, with her brake shoes slack,
She hollered once at the whistle post,
Then she flitted by like a frightened ghost.
He could hear the roar of the big six-wheel,
And her driver's pound on the polished steel,
And the screech of her flanges,
As she beat it west o'er the desert trail.
The John got busy and took the risk,
He climbed aboard and began to frisk,
He reached up high and began to feel
For the end-door pin — then he cracked the seal.


'Twas a double-decked stock-car, filled with sheep,
Old John crawled in and went to sleep.
She whistled twice and high-balled out,—
They were off, down the Gila Monster Route.
L. F. Post and Glenn Norton*





A short post about farming and human nature.

I am a bit disillusioned with the whole concept of the noble farmer as expressed in the FFA creed.
I believe in the future of farming with a faith born not of words but of deeds... the promise of better days through better ways... and something about the owl being a symbol of wisdom and knowledge and soil judging and public speaking contests where I made up entire speeches in fifteen minutes based on information I had gleaned from Monty Python skits.
But, I digress...
My neighbor came by with a petition to sign and send to the ODA. Some of us want to plant canola.
Canola and other brassica's are restricted in our part of the state due to lobbying efforts of the specialty radish growers.
The specialty radish growers have a pretty sweet deal.
The one seed company that puts out the good contracts has the farmer psychology down pretty well. The field man comes out and tells you what a good farmer you are and kind of intimates that it is hard to find good farmers who can get the radish planted in a timely manner.
Then they micromanage the planting. Everything has to be done at the drop of a hat, but this makes the farmer feel really special. Like they are doing "God's" work or something.
In reality, radish contaminates the ground and the seed company is not looking for good farmers with BIG equipment as much as someone with virgin radish ground and a good sprayer.
Here is the funny part.
Farmers have been growing tillage radish. In my opinion they get by with it because they are the "right" farmers and because it is radish and not canola. The seed company guy just hates canola and mustard and that is what is on his radar.
There was a meeting early in the week and there was a heated discussion.
It is funny because all farmer think they invented the concept of growing what ever crop they read about in some paper from the midwest and they don't want anyone telling them what to do... Unless it is a slick seed salesman who tells them how wonderful they are and what good farmers they are and gives them a hat.
But that is just my opinion and I'm sure I have some facts wrong.
I've never been offered a radish contract so I'm just annoyed.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Rec-O-Kut plays and I give you Thanatopsis and The Route of the Gila Monster for your edification

I have accomplished something. Goal completion and all that rot.
I put the Rec-O-Kut K33H back together with somewhat mixed results. It is paired with the Dynakit PAS2 and the Magnecord reel to reel so it has the components it grew old with. I am not so happy with the sound. The high range is not what I had hoped.
Part of it is my speakers. The Baby Advents don't sound like I think they should. I have not tried my Dynaco A-25's.
The sound is not as clean as it was before I took it all apart. However I used screw terminals instead of soldering because I was afraid I would have to take things apart again.
The Fairchild tonearm has an old shure hitrack M97 which should be a pretty good cartridge.
I completely reinforced the "plinth" but there was not a lot of rumble to begin with. However, the whole thing was mounted on a chunk of plywood. I see I have the motor drive in the wrong place but I think it was put that way to save space.
Right now I am listening to the Allman brothers do Statebourgh Blues. That sound pretty good. The Kinks Village Green Preservation Society sounded kind of dead in the highs. It is kind of scratchy record I use for doing tests as another scratch or pop won't really matter.
Anyway here is a picture and I'm going to bed.
I think I should clean up my background before I post any more photos of my projects. I have a lot of clutter.
In other news the neighboring farmer quoted poetry at coffee time. He said he learned this one from his father. It is called. "The route of the Gila Monster." It is about a couple hobos and has lots of train lingo. I think this link will get you to the poem.
Last week he quoted us this poem by William Cullen Bryan:

Thanatopsis


by William Cullen Bryant

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And gentle sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;--
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings, while from all around--
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air,--
Comes a still voice--Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that hourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolv'd to earth again;
And, lost each human trace, surrend'ring up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix forever with the elements,
To be a brother to th' insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thy eternal resting place
Shalt thou retire alone--nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
, With patriarchs of the infant world--with kings
The powerful of the earth--the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre.--The hills
Rock-ribb'd and ancient as the sun,--the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The vernal woods--rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and pour'd round all,
Old ocean's grey and melancholy waste,--
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.--Take the wings
Of morning--and the Barcan desert pierce,
Or lost thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregan, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings--yet--the dead are there,
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep--the dead reign there alone.--
So shalt thou rest--and what if thou shalt fall
Unnoticed by the living--and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh,
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favourite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come,
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life's green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron, and maid,
The bow'd with age, the infant in the smiles
And beauty of its innocent age cut off,--
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustain'd and sooth'd
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
1814