The Useful Duck!

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Friday, January 31, 2014

"Forcing Hate to Surrender," an old leftist love-fest, one of the heroes of the revolution has died...


I did a google search for "I hate Pete Seeger," and found nothing but love.
Pete Seeger was the John the Baptist for the new religion. "Leftism Lite" is such a wonderful belief system.
It is about peace and love and helping people see the good in all of humanity. Except for the people who don't agree with you or have the nerve to hang cling to their outdated values.  They are guilty of thought crimes and should be purged.
The times are a changin'
Pete had "Forcing Hate to Surrender" inked on his banjo. I suppose it all depends on how you define hate. In my opinion, "Leftism Lite" has no concept of forgiveness, just rehabilitation and re-education. "Hate" has been defined as disagreement with with current doctrine and all of Pete's campfire hymns of equality and activism didn't make for a kinder/gentler nation. We are still bombing people all over the world in the name of freedom and democracy.
To illustrate my point click on the above link and then read the first comment.
A useful idiot has dedicated their life to a fight against "racist sports logos."
The people who refuse to understand that sports mascots just what they are, sports mascots, and have nothing to do with racism, really put out a lot of hate.
(You know, Fighting Irishmen vs The Warriors, and which is the racist term.
Now then, "Drunken Irishmen vs the Naked Savages" or perhaps Iranian Bombers vs the Casino Chiefs, that would be racist, not really hard to tell the difference. You wouldn't name your team after a group that would inspire you to lose.)
I hate Pete Seeger because he wrote the sound track for taking a great but somewhat flawed nation into a pathetic parody of itself. A nation of strong and independent people who had a few issues to work on and turning us into a nation of wimps who are worried about "self esteem," have no self discipline, can't take a joke, and have no respect for personal freedom, individual property rights, and accuses those who disagree with the current belief system of the new "thought crime," of hate speech.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Death of a commie folk hero, or If I had a Hammer I would bust my speakers, and then my eardrums, to get rid of that stupid song

For some reason I never liked Pete Seeger. Perhaps it was because I had to sing his stupid peace and love songs in grade school music classes. Perhaps I'm just grumpy and bitter and dislike everybody. I don't really know. Just where have all the flowers gone? Riddle me that Joker! Is that like, where do the lights go when they go out? Probably down to the corner for a pint.
This is not to say that I don't have Pete Seeger songs permanently burned into my brain cells.
Sometimes my employees and I join in a cheerful of "If I had a hammer," usually when someone makes the excuse of asking for a hammer. We also talk to each other in old country song lyrics. Perhaps we are weird.
Once time the regional sales representative for Great Plains was out with the local salesman looking at my grain drill. My two little helpers were working on the baler. One of them asked for a hammer and then they burst into song. The salesmen gave me strange looks. I just said that my employees  really love their job. What else is there to say?
But, I digress...
Pete is pushing up the daisies.
Here is a link to a Bob Seger song. I like Bob better than Pete. 
Bob sold Chevy trucks and Beer and Pete enabled millions of hippies have nice campfire sing-a-longs. How nice!
Here is a link to a Bob Seger song not done by either Bob or Pete. Actually, I like neither one. This whole post is just basically free word association which started when I was looking up grain augers on craigslist and found an advert of a "hotrod." This made me think of Eddy and the Hot Rods and wonder if they were dead and then I thought of Pete Seeger and that made me laugh about telling people his brother's name was Bob. And that lead to Bob Seger and how much I hated the "Like a Rock," song and that the only good song he ever wrote was way more listenable when done by an British pub rock band which lead me to "Get out of Denver Baby,"which led me back to Eddy and the Hot Rods and now I'm just plain confused and my lunch is over and I have to go to work.
ANYWAY, I'd much rather listen to this song than hear "like a rock," or drive a chevy truck or sit around a campfire at the Unitarian Church and singing "where have all the flowers gone."
I really hate, "Where have all the flowers gone." But now, I strangely have the urge to hug someone...



Monday, January 27, 2014

A photo of planting with no snow and the sun shining. Just to rub it in!


Here is the view from my tractor cab on Saturday. I'm no-tilling annual ryegrass. It is a special high sugar annual ryegrass which will be used for forage. The brand is Florida 90 or something like that. It is a contracted variety. I suspect it will turn out to be much less than promised as the contracted price is suspiciously high and the projected seed yield is high as well.
Something will go wrong. It always does.
It is not my field. I'm planting for a friend who has had some serious financial setbacks and is in danger of losing everything and he is 60-plus years of age. No retirement left. I really hope this works. I mean really, really hope. I put down 7 gallons of 10-34 to help it though the coming cold wet weather. I should have also applied slugbait with the drill.
Need to get 100 acres done before it starts raining.
Why is a person always one harvest away from failure?
One step away from heart break and suffering?
I have got to stop listening to bluegrass music!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Planting, A balanced lunch, a picture of corn seed.

Yesterday I no-tilled oats for my neighbor. They are nice neighbors. I do wish I would have suggested that they bring their trailer of oats by my place where I could have used the forklift to put the oats on once of our many old trucks.
Lifting a 50lb bag from the ground to the walk board, from the walk board to the drill tank, stacking them, dumping them, gets to be a little tiresome. He did help me a couple fill-ups. Did fifty acres at 110lbs.
My brother's little helper is home. His back hurts and his joints ache. I imagine this is a sympathetic reaction to my exertions yesterday...
This was my lunch. Note that is is a balanced lunch. Snickers is from Mars, while Reece's Peanut Peanut Butter Cup is from Hershey's. There is also an apple, made by God...
And here is a picture of some corn which was sent to me by my brother. He likes to see my subscribers happy. What did this brand become?


Friday, January 24, 2014

A post in response to a question from OhioFarmGirl which could also apply to Mr. Goff

OhioFarmGirl, whose initials I continually transpose into OMFG instead of OFG, asked about the class we attended on marketing for small farmers.
I'm going to brief as I need to go no-till some oats for my neighbor.
The featured speaker was Atina Diffley (Click here for link).
It was mostly about organic farming and instead of marketing advice it turned out to be mostly about selling and handling organic produce and less about actual marketing.
Atina Diffley and her husband run Gardens of Eagan which is an organic farm in operation since the 1970's.
She fought the Koch brother's to prevent a pipeline from being routed through her farm.
I tend to fade out when the Koch brothers are brought up. I know that the term "Koch Brothers" is a codeword and if I smile and nod then I'm part of a flash mob meeting of looney left club. Not that I love the Koch Brothers, I imagine them to be the sort of short-pants arse-hole republican zero-tolerance multi-level marketing people who I also hate. I also suspect that I am wrong but what does it matter? Who actually takes me seriously?
But, I digress...
I can tell you the basics of small farm marketing. It is no difference than any other marketing.

1. Ask yourself what you have that anyone would buy from you?
2. Ask yourself why they would buy this from you instead of the big box store.

What makes you special?

The way I see it is that you have to compete against people who can do what you do much cheaper and much faster.
So... you have to do a really good job meaning-high quality produce, clean produce, the right produce, and you have to have good customer service, you have to promote yourself without annoying your customers.

Atina talked quite bit about being efficient and being clean. If I can find my notes, I have a link to her presentation. I will post it later.
She is one heck of a promoter.
She found a "golden egg" which they did a good job with and which brought them in a lot of money. Not everyone can do that.

And now I've got to get to work. Perhaps more on this subject later. It was very interesting.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

What MuddyValley did with his record collection when he moved to Oregon


I have a huge amount of work to do. The sun is shining. But... I am kind of wishing I was in St. Petersburg beach, or Tampa, or Cross City, or it was evening and I was listening to my newest Ventures albums that I need to go get from my friend in Albany.
I have lots of issues to post about but no corn photos.
Ideas: the seminar on marking products from small farms I went to Tuesday. The scratchy wool underwear I wore for the seminar has given me a rash.
The hypocritical christian school and board.
Farming in general- look at Gene Logsden's blog or Ralph Goff.
The weather.
Everything that went wrong yesterday
No-till planting

Instead I have a photo of the record department at the GoodWill at St. Pete Beach. They were so well taken care of I figured the records once belonged to MuddyValley. Mostly because he is the only person I know who recently lived close to there. I guess someone might of found Bobby's stash after a few years.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Literature older than 100 years

My daughter tells me she needs to read books written in the previous century.
When I was a lad I devoured old books. If it had a dusty cover and odd sounding prose I was on it.
However, my daughter is a little skeptical.
I suggested a few as starters...

Wind in the Willows,
Understood Betsy
Anne of Green Gables
The Little Princess
Penrod

She was not so interested in The Bobsey Twins or the original Tom Swift.
I'm kind of drawing a blank.
I read Tom Swift, Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, and anything else I could get my hands on.

I really liked, "A Cricket in Times Square," but it is not 100 years old.
I've got old Will James books, Dickens, Sherlock Holmes, and a whole self full of generally old books. She is just not impressed. Everything in the house is old.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

My wife orders Google Chromecast

We are now so absolutely high tech. We have a Google Chromecast. This is an amazing little device which plugs into the HDMI port on the fancy digital TV that everyone now owns. You also have to download the Google Chrome browser. It allows you to then send internet videos to your TV.
It is awesome.
I started this morning with my usual guilty pleasure, girls shocked by electric fences. but soon found the Roosty6 channel and watched the IH climb the hill to the 100 acre woods and the Cockshutt on the hammer mill. Eventually my wife kicked me out of the house and I had to go to work. 
After I post this blog I think I will go back to YouTube and follow Mr. Roosty on a trip to the gravel pit.
Perhaps another view of that guy driving a 671 detroit and shifting the five and four. 
Or should I look for more videos of girls fighting with pillows and wearing flannel pajamas. Oh my, this is so awesome!
Oh I know, a search for Detroit Diesels running out of control. That will sound awesome through the HiFi!
The family will not let me watch any more Dr. Who.
But there are all those videos of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy! And MuddyValley brought me a CD on Da-li last night. Wonder if I can figure out how to watch that on the big screen.
No more posts for a week!!!!! I got Google Chrome!!!!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Travel Tip # 8 Buying your t-shirts from GoodWill makes you look like a local

I did not take this photo today. This fellow is fishing off the pier at Cocoa Beach. I didn't see him catch anything but he seemed happy. I didn't bug him.

Another day where I do not post photos of corn but rant about issues that no one reading my blog cares about

A few of my dedicated followers know that someone close to me was a teacher at a private Christian school, until the last hour of the last day before she left on a month long vacation.
That month has passed and it is interesting to note at how little the life of an individual is valued by the Church bureaucracy . Thirteen years of dedication to the school is gone in a second and very few people really seam to really care. The board and administration are all now congratulating each other on making through another really tough challenge. The board member at my soon to be former church encourages me not be be bitter.
It is almost laughable.
Here is the story as I see it. (My views don't really reflect the views of my wife and so if she reads this an objects I will instantly take it down. She has a much better attitude than I and is more sad and hurt than angry and cynical.)
Now lets keep in mind that this is a Mennonite school and I have been born and raised in the Mennonite Church.
Mennonites are the ones that used to get burned at the stake a lot for not bowing to kings and for rebaptizing people and for refusing to go to war and kill people. They take the Sermon on the Mount pretty much at face value and would in fact give you the shirt off their back, if you asked.
Much of that has changed in the 21st century.
Now the liberal ones are more about supporting Palestine and Gay Love and many ways to God and the feminine aspects of god and holding hands a lot, women pastors-(a bonus if you are a lesbian woman pastor) and of course making money.
The conservatives are pretty much anti-gay love, a 6,000 year earth, keeping women out of leadership roles, and making money.
Now, there are a few true believers here and there, I met some really good folks in Florida and I know some pretty admirable folks in this state, which are in no way connected to school of which I have been speaking, I'm making kind of rough and kind of rude generalizations to just to get everyone annoyed.
I aspire to be more like the exceptions, the Sermon on the Mount folks, I've met a few and I respect them, but I'm pretty much a failure. So, I keep my mouth shut and do what is asked of me and don't talk about it much and I try to do the right thing but it doesn't always work out so well for me. You folks have read this blog, you know the truth.
However, I'm sort of annoyed and seriously offended by people who are supposed to be better than I. Who are in positions of leadership and who I think have failed, and so I'll just rant a bit.
First of all, It really annoys me to be forced to apologize for something that is not wrong.
The aforementioned person got fired for grabbing a kid and getting his attention and telling him to stop acting like a idiot in woodshop class.
It is an absolute outrage that she got fired for that. (Well, we think that was what she got fired for, they were pretty closed mouth what specific charges were brought. The fund-raiser auctioneer/head administrator said he had "sought much council" and that was about it.)
To add insult to injury, when I complained to the board member who i thought was my friend, he compared it to elder abuse at his rest home. Apparently it is a slippery slope, first you tap a kid on the head and tell him to wake up, next you are beating Altzheimer's patients and giving them atomic wedgies with their adult depends.
AND...to give even more insult to injury I know good and well these same people that fired her are probably saying in private how much they would like to "deck" a few insubordinate obnoxious kids themselves. But they didn't have the balls to stand up for her, OR they wanted her gone.
Of course earlier, this same board member intimated to me in a private conversation that he would not mind if all the teachers at the school got concealed carry permits for school use.
In the early days of this country there were Mennonites who watched their families die and were then tortured themselves rather than kill the semi-naked Savages who were burning down their house.
I can go from that historical perspective to saying that I guess it is all right to carry a .45 in case of School violence but not ok to restrain a kid in wood shop?
Speaking of restraining a kid... Back in the day, I got swats, keys thrown at me, erasers thrown at me, my recess privileges suspended for a year and quite a few laps in the gym and it was an excellent lesson. I learned not to get caught! (Note: This did not happen all in the course of one day, it was more like a year.)
But, I digress...
I had an interesting conversation today with my dentist. I have an awesome dentist. She is conversant on all sort of fascinating topics from C.S. Lewis and Post Modernism to the virtues of the free market economy vs socialism. It helps me forget Dustin Hoffman and Marathon Man whilst setting in the dentist chair trying not to gag.
She pointed out that since Oregon is a free-will employment state (or what ever it is called, I could google it but I want to go to bed, you could google it, you obviously have a computer) it is a common technique to reveal as little information as possible to the terminated employee and thus give less opportunity for a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Later the light bulb flickered on. My metaphorical lightbulb is still an incandescent, suppose that is now a thought crime?
But, I digress...
I thought about a previous meeting in the Auctioneer-Fundraiser/Administrator's office. He was talking about their plan to get back to the basic Mennonite beliefs. I got all excited and started quoting from the 1967 (or whatever) confession of faith, He had no idea what I was talking about. So there was a little bit of dead air...
Ooops, off subject again. I've got a lot of pent up frustration with these people!
At the meeting he was stating how the most theologically sound person there was not Mennonite and thus could not be utilized as a Bible teacher.
I now find this quite ironic.
So they are so concerned about Mennonite values and traditions that they must hire a Mennonite Bible teacher, but yet they don't consider that the teacher they just fired without any attempt at traditional Mennonite Conflict resolution, who they assume will sue them if given the chance, might actually have real Mennonite beliefs. That teacher whose husband has the most traditionally Mennonite background seen at the school in 30 years, a teacher who attends a church which did not allow musical instruments in the sanctuary until two years ago, will NOT SUE them. (unless completely humiliated and egged on by her extremely annoyed husband)
So all they really had to say is, "look, we have a problem." Especially, when she reported herself.
Also, for all this talk about returning to basic Mennonite values, they just got rid of the most traditional Mennonite people at the school, their natural allies! Pretty funny eh?
In the end there is little to say.
I hate to see them getting away with making a mockery out of the Mennonite faith but I have to realize that it is a cultural thing. They don't really believe in any of the hard to do Mennonite beliefs that would have a direct impact on their egos or their need to make money or their love of dapper outfits, sporting events, and conceal carry permits. Just as long as no one tells those Asian exchange students they are going to make it into heaven without saying one of two key phrases and we certainly don't need no alternative lifestyle teachers, although students doing little experimentation in the dorms is ok as long as everyone feels really bad afterwards.
Speaking of that, since they just lust let her go and didn't buy out her contract or tie up any loose ends with a little cash tied to another confidentiality agreement, I can say what ever I want.
I think I'll wait till my daughter is out of school there but I do have some pretty funny scandals to relate.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Another view of Beach Access 12



My daughter and this young man had a great time together. They dug this hole at the beach and made a sand castle. They discussed legos and the Percy Jackson series.
Z. (as we will refer to the fine young fellow) gave us a paddle board tour of a mangrove swamp. He was not the one who forgot the paddles at the boat wash station. (We shall not speak of the misadventure. No one on this blog is forgetful.)
Beach access 12 was it's own little slice of life. It is probably because it is so hard to find. You go down a little alley between two hotel resorts. There is barely room to head in a Smart Car. You can park down one side but to get out you have to go down to the end, turn around on the sand, and drive back out the way you came. It is one car at a time or foot traffic.
Pictured behind Z. are some gangsters from New Jersey.
I assume they are gangsters as they talked like the guys on the TV show.
They had comments on many things and talked on the phone a lot.
They drank a lot of cheap beer.
We had a storm last night. I think I need to go repair some roofing.
We are instead watching Hogan's Heroes.
It a good show. It teaches you how to deal with modern institutions in this country.
Left Bank of the Charles had a good post today.
He ordered a battery jump box.
I clicked on his link because it says something about not being legal in Oregon, not energy complaint or some such BS, so I of course want one. We already have one or two but they are kind of crappy.
I figure if it is illegal it has got to be good!
Have a nice day...

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The rain (and other things) have already made me grumpy but I have a link to Dali on "What's my Line."

Yesterday I skinned my knuckles, I waited all day for someone to come after grain, I lied to my father about what happened to the cord for his computer, I got wet and muddy and I have to deal with important life decisions. I hate life decisions in general, it is hard enough answering the basic questions, if I should poop or go blind? And if I make the decision not to go blind, what then? Do I poop or get off the pot? Eventually that question will be answered for me as the MacBook just let me know I'm running on reserve power. I sometimes view that message more as a philosophic statement than a warning that the screen will go dark in a few seconds. No proof-reading this morning! Stream of consciousness baby!
At least the dog and the cats are happy we are home. The psycho kitty is running around the house with her ears pinned back. The mentally handicapped kitty has found a new box to sit in. Crazy Kat is still at  the Aunt's house. Which is I suppose, why psycho kitty is happily running around the house.
Yesterday I took "Lulu" to school. It was raining and dark. We imagined we were actually on our way to Beach Access 12.

We imagined the soft sand. We pictured building a sand castle. We were very happy when our friends from Florida showed up. Sadie went to play with the girl and boy while her tottery old dad sat down in a lawn chair. (I really like the people we visited in Florida. They made us feel very welcome even though we just kind of showed up at their house and family Christmas after not really talking to them in 20 years.)
But then we arrived at school...
For some reason this made me think of Mr. Dali.

We went to the Dali Museum in Tampa. But we did not view MuddyValley's work at the nearby church of which I have forgotten the name. We are a bunch of poopie-bottoms I suppose.
In many ways I think viewing the Dali museum was more fitting for us. I appreciate the Surrealists much more now than I did years ago when life seemed to make sense...Sort of like going to the "Mother Ship."

If you look closely we are wearing Dali pipe cleaner mustaches.

Like Dali, the Museum has no shame! Dali popcorn?!!!! We bought a Dali refrigerator magnet.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The point at which your Gubment becomes pointless?

I'm a believer in limited Gubment. Fewer laws and fewer regulations means fewer trips to jail and less money wasted.
People band together to provide group services like Fire Protection, Police protection, rescue services, but there comes a time when those agencies get out of control.
I think that sending James Anderson Jr. a bill several million dollars for a fire that started in his outdoor trash can shows the utter failure of our gubment.
It raises some serious questions?
Why did it cost 10 million to put out the fire?
AND when you are talking 10 million to put out a fire and you are assigning blame then perhaps you should ask, who let it get out of control?
What practices were used to control the fire?
AND in general, why is the cost of fighting fires so high that the gubment has to send out bills?
OF course I have an opinion after talking to people who have been subjected to the insanity of having an unaccountable agency fight fires on their property.
The whole thing is run by incompetent idiots who are not spending their own money on their own property.
I wish I were on the beach in Florida.
Or even having two eggs and grits at Waffle House...
 I'm already starting to get grumpy...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I arrive home to happiness and sunshine and a letter from the alumni relations director!

I'm home...
It was a long flight...
It all started at 3:30 a.m. this morning in Tamp. We were supposed to catch the first shuttle at 4:45 a.m. We rushed. I'm not an early starter and neither is my daughter.
Neither was the shuttle driver.
He arrived at 5:15 a.m.
He also was not able to connect the large number of bags with the seating in the van and loaded up all the bags before the riders figured out there were more of them than there were seats.
"It is ok, I will return, right back!" he exclaimed.
"Ten Minutes, No probleem," he said.
It was more like 20 but who was counting. Well other than the people who needed to catch the 4:45 shuttle.
When he returned I noticed the numerous signs encouraging gratuities.
He quickly loaded the bags and exclaimed "no problem" several times.
This made everyone feel so much better.
Then he had a problem with his iPhone.
He fixed it by pressing really hard on the button at the top of the phone and staring intently at the blank screen. I was hoping the German speaking passenger in the front seat would plug the phone in for him but he did not.
After a few moments which seemed like ten (but who was counting) the driver realized that the problem was not that the button did not work, but rather, the phone was not actually connected to the battery charger.
And away we went.
We did not actually hit the curb at International House of Pancakes.
Then his phone rang. He was able to hang up on the caller. But unable to call them back. He was able to dart into traffic and several alert drivers missed running into us.
He figured out how to return the call.
But not right away.
"I arrive quickly," he said.
He also changed lanes and very nearly wiped out a Prius. He never even saw it.
We did make it to the gate on time. There were only five people in line. My wife got in trouble with the TSA fellow for putting the plastic tote on the floor to put her shoes in it. He had just advised people not to do that. He said he "could not believe," she was doing what he just told her not to do. She said she did not understand him. He said he probably needed to speak clearer.  She did not get the sarcasm. He did have a heavy accent.
I was so worried about my wife and daughter going into the little TSA room that I forgot to take out my containers of 2 oz liquids or my wallet, or the water bottle in the side pocket of my backpack. My wife offered to give up her nail clippers. The agent said they didn't take nail clippers away, but he did take her bottle of suntan lotion even though it fit in the ziploc bag. I doubt she will be using it in the next few months anyway. But.. if she would have left it in the backpack it would have gone though.
I went right though. Didn't even set off the alarm with the change in my pocket.
So... if you are a terrorist all you have to do is make the TSA rent-a-cop feel important and you can tote a small thermonuclear device though in your backpack. But, you can't have the detonator in your shoes. They will check for that.
It is raining and cold and muddy in Oregon. I probably should start on the Vitamin D pills tomorrow morning.

If you feel like reading on,

So I came home and checked my mail.
I ignored all the bills and opened the letter from my Alma Mater. I always get amusement out of their fundraising efforts towards myself.
After all, I do have a job.... A very good job.... if you know what I mean.
But aside from my potential employment at GoodWill...
George Fox is tearing out my fountainscape!
I feel a great sense of loss!
First of all, I never knew that my graduating class had actually installed a fountain at GFC before it became Gee F U!
Also, I have been confused for the past 24-26 years as to what year I actually graduated from GFC. I don't recall ever attending any sort of class meetings, I'm almost positive I skipped orientation, I think I went to graduation, I'm almost positive I had a diploma, although there was some doubt if I would ever get the actually paper as I owed $5.75 on my tuition bill for a couple years which I forgot to pay.
And, I really have no idea exactly what a fountainscape actually is. Perhaps someone has a photo. I read an article online about "manscaping," and I found that rather frightening. I only hope that a fountainscape does not involve hot wax and a kind of poofy guy with funny hair.
If so, that could explain the GFU facebook group I was recently invited to join.
I do appreciate the letter from GFU apologizing for removing my "fountainscape" and assuring me it was done in the name of progress.
I am almost certain the letter was really signed by the Vice President for Advancement Strategy and Donor Relations himself or herself which ever it may be. I am somewhat in awe of the title. I'd like to have a job with a title like that.
Perhaps something like, Assistant Advisor to the President of the Poop and sit back down in it Farm Department of Coffee Drinking , Couch Sitting and Customer Avoidance, Resource Management Authority? But in the interest of a long term commitment add "For Life," to the end of the title.
So to summarize my intellectual development today:
1. Apparently I graduated from George Fox College in 1987
2. I possibly voted yes on something to do with a fountain
3. That fountain alteration/improvement/whatever, is now being bulldozed in the name of Progress.
4. George Fox wants me not to feel bad about it.
But I do have questions.
What is a fountainscape? Can you really shave a fountain? Why would you want to shave a fountain? If not shaving, then wouldn't the wax plug up the jets? Is it like a Brazilian? Or is a Brazilian a term for a lot of money just a little less than a Ga-Zillion?
And, if I would have gone to Fox for the full four years and did the whole group showering thing as a freshman in Penn One would I feel more connected? Is it that lingering sense of shame that unites the Alumni or did everyone just really bond in that class where we were supposed to say what kind of animal we thought we were? Did I really pay $14,000 to hear that the girl next to me thought she was a cheetah? I mean, I had already found that out on my own? But, did I get extra credit for that? NOOO...
I think I really need to hug someone right now!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sarasota mangroves and Siesta Key and a Checker Station Wagon

We are in Sarasota. Tomorrow we go back to Tampa and Tuesday we fly home.

dh spotted this Checker stationwagon
Yesterday we took paddleboards on a tour of the mangroves.

Zach was our guide. He is pictured on the right. dh is in the center, Lulu is on the left. I am taking the photo.
Today we went to Church and then the beach. Nice sunset.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Goodwill In Sarasota

It is cold in Sarasota.
A chilly 57 degrees.
So we went to GoodWill.
I met a nice fellow from Canada. He did not know Ralph. He said Canada was a big country. I think he was from Nova Scotia.
I learned that Wilf Carter was known as Montana Slim in the USA. Would that make him a "cross-over" artist?
He also explained to me how to clean old records using Elmer's glue. You coat the record with a think coating, let it sit 72 hrs, and peel it off. I was suitably impressed.
I have heard of this technique before and it can end badly.
However, I am trying to not be a "basement" person (as explained in last Sunday's Sermon) and so I actually engaged in conversation, instead of pushing the "fake phone call" button on my phone and pretending to talk to my wife.
Then we went to see the site of the first hardware store in Sarasota. It is now Yoder's fresh produce. It was nice.
Later we waited in line for an hour to eat at Yoder's Restaurant.
I had fried chicken.
It was good.
Then we went to our friends place of business.
They do something with construction and contracting.
They share space with an alarm sales company. The alarm sales guy is an ex-Kirby salesman. He was number 2 Kirby salesman in the USA. I wish I could have met him. Alas, the sales team was out harassing elderly people into buying their alarm monitoring systems.
One technique he used to motivate salespeople is to have balloons which had slips of paper designating a prize inside. If you make a sale you can poke a balloon and get a prize. There were all these posters, "$500 or a trip to the Bahamas," along with motivational slogans written with a sharpie on poster board.
The balloons had all been popped. I unfolded a whole pile of prize tags. The prizes were $1, $5, one extra chance at the big drawing, another dollar, and the biggest motivation of all, A BALLPOINT PEN!.
Now that would be a motivation to get my foot in the door.
They said he never actually had pens and would offer to take the salesperson to Wallmart to , "get a really good one."
We are having a good trip.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Space Dots and Sarasota and cold weather

We arrived in Sarasota yesterday afternoon. We brought the rain with us. It was 75 degrees at Cocoa Beach and the sun was shining. So we left.
We couldn't have a perfect day at the beach, it would ruin our streak of medium luck.
We are staying with friends and sometimes readers of The Lazy Farmer.
We refers to Me, My Wife, Daughter, and Friends from Oregon who are really from Florida. Well "D" is from Florida and is the son of the farmer I used to work for. His lovely and gracious wife is from Oregon.
We are staying with his Sister's family who may also at times follow The Lazy Farmer.
I have not seen any corn.
Here we are eating Space Dots. They are a flash frozen astronaut dessert.

My wife got me a NASA T-shirt at Target.
I think we are going to Goodwill or perhaps a tour of the mangroves.
Last night we got Amish style cheese curds. They squeak when you eat them. Oh, and Pickles! I like pickles!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Space Center was cool but...


Too many movies...But the Rockets Were Cool!
NASA is now a tour bus company
What is the kickback scheme in the relationship between Space X and NASA?
Did the moon rocks in the exhibit come from US Marshals raiding little old ladies who were trying to sell the family moon rock? (NASA used to give them away like candy)
Where was MuddyValley's art work?
For those of us who remember the excitement of the first trip to the moon, going to Cape Canaveral is depressing. There was a time when the USA was the best country in the world, when that blue passport got you to the front of the line and everybody was happy to let you.
Now we defund NASA and spend trillions on people who hate us.
Now we have metal detectors and ID checks to see old rockets?
Found no strange bottles on Cocoa Beach...
RonJon's is a massive tourist trap. They even hit us up for a condo and water park with the promise of ham sandwiches and a waterpark in the rain.
My wife bought me three Ventures albums. The covers are good but I think they have scratches.
I didn't tell her.
She didn't go to NASA. There was not much to do in Cocoa Beach, on Nude Years Day, in the rain.
Went to Waffle House last night.
Dinner for $3.99, same price as water at the Space Center...
I have limited internet, I gotta go...