The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I did this week

Saturday I moved down Highway 18 to Willamina Creek road. Far enough out that I think the Pacific Ocean might be just over the next ridge...
I was to plant 45 acres. Then it was 35 and it turned out to be a 14 and a 16. The 14 acre was so long and skinny and with enough corners that it ended up being close to 18 acres so I guess it worked out.
Monday I moved back to the valley, just off Highway 18 again for 30 acres of fescue and timothy. It was very rocky ground. I really don't see the point in farming it. Why brave the most dangerous highway in the state for a field that is too wet to farm on one side and to rocky to farm on the other. I did not offer the farmer my opinion, I just did the best I could.
Moved back home yesterday and got ready to finish up our planting. It poured last night and I thought I was rained out. So I unhooked the drill and hooked up to the strip tiller. 2-155 won't lift the six row strip tiller. 
I got an order for two ton of ground feed so I sent hired man over to get a couple ton of triticale and wheat from the neighbor. He came back with close to six ton. That is a big difference.
I had a plan for planting. We were going to have the ground worked, get a sprout, then kill the sprout and plant 2 rows triticale and one row of fescue. The triticale needs to be watered as it is such a late planting date. But, the field didn't get worked completely so by the time I get a sprout it will be another week behind. I think it needs to be planted tomorrow.
We have 20 acres of triticale, 20 acres of barley, and 40 acres of grass to plant. Plus anther 20 acres of clover seed and 20 acres of Teff. So that is 120 acres of seed... Plus 45 acres of field corn, 2 acres of soybeans, and 1 acre of garbonzo beans.
But, teff ground isn't dry enough, this is OK as Teff needs warmer soil and no frost. Corn can wait a little as soil needs to warm up, same with beans.
The barley needs to be planted but the barley field is too wet to work. I do have a no-till drill but straight no-till into our riverbottom soil at this time of year will not work. If you don't disk and seal up the ground you loose all your moisture through capillary action of the undisturbed soil. The other possiblity is still really too wet and has growing annual ryegrass on it. The ryegrass is a little thin for hay and too many weeds for seed. Plus, there is no hay market this year.
So that leaves a 40 acre patch which has been disked and harrowed but that is closer to the irrigation line so that is the spot for triticale and fescue.
Too many decisions. The problem is nothing can fail. We can't afford to make a mistake. It raises the stress level...
There has got to be a better way to make a living!

Planting Barley with GPS

I have an update to my barley field. Have been off planting a few miles away. Our barley field is on riverbottom and can easily be seen from the road. Of course this is where we always have planting screw ups.
We had disked this field first so it was very hard to see what had been planted. Not to worry, I have GPS! Not the straightest rows I've ever made. Plus there are a few skips...
Note the darker strip down the middle with a two-foot skip beside it. That is my return pass which was supposed to be back down the middle, right over the top of the skip! For some reason my GPS was way off that week. Probably was George Bush's fault. This week it has been right on. Now I don't trust it anymore! Guess, I won't sell my foam marker.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Photos to go with post below

You can just see the barley poking up through the dirt. Lots of clods as we disked it once and then planted with the no-till drill. There should be clover as well. I didn't get a very good seed bed for clover. I do hope the broadleaf you see between the barley is a clover plant. I should have dug up the seed. It looks to be in the row so I'll just choose to believe it is clover.
Second photo is of the oil trail. I could smell hydraulic oil and I just had a bad feeling about the whole thing. I blew the end off a main hose to the pump. Goes to the servo valves. It dumped oil everywhere.
Note the empty buckets in the back of the truck. Each one represents $42. See my Harley Tool box. Not sure what I should pay for that. I offered him $50. He said I could have it. Should pay him something. Probably worth $100? Don't know.
Door to the truck is open so I can hear Lefty telling me that life's like poetry and something about a missing line till he met someone. That is what country music should sound like.

The barley is barely coming up!

April 11th I planted barley. It is out of the ground. That is pretty amazing. Came up this weekend. We had rain and drizzle since then. Sunday was pretty warm. Friday was rainy.
I tried to plant more barley today.
First I blew out a hydraulic hose. There went 10 gallons of oil at $8 dollars a gallon. Not to mention a $175 hose.
I hate AGCO. AGCO has decided to raise their parts prices. I mean these parts have been sitting on the shelf since probably 1975. Every White tractor since then has used this stinking hose. It is pretty clever thinking to figure that if you rape the customer on parts he will buy a new tractor from you. Of course if you own all the brands what are you going to do. I love my White 2-155 but I think if I make enough money to buy a new tractor it will be a Case-IH 7140. Screw you AGCO and your stupid saving the family farm AGCO website. Oh, yeah I also priced a ball joint for my front wheel assist White 2-155. It is $375. Once again let me tell you how I feel about AGCO.
The thing is, I've always wanted to buy a new tractor. I thought I'd buy a Cat Challenger, I actually looked at a good used one. But, guess what-it is a @#$%^^&**ing AGCO. No way....
I once watched a poor sap try to order a part for his Oliver from our local AGCO dealer. There was no way they could handle it. I was able to order a part for my Minneapolis-Moline only because I had a manual. Once again- I hate AGCO... They have ruined more good brands than any other company I know of. Sort of the American Motors of farm equipment...
But, I digress.
The barley is coming up and I blew out a hydraulic hose. I got that fixed by going to town and getting a hose made and NOT buying a hose from AGCO. (Did I mention how I dislike AGCO?) I got four wire hose and it was under $90. About half...
So I get the hose fixed and start the tractor. Then I look across the field where my brother is spraying Round-Up, the sprayer broke off the three point of his tractor. Oops! So I drive my pickup over and encourage him, then go back to planting. In the mean time his son who is like 10 or 11 is rolling the field. (We disked it once and then planted with the no-till drill. Worked up very nice. Plus it evened out the rought strip-tilled corn rows) J. had covered up my last pass so I had to depend on the GPS. Who knows where the skip will be.
I start the next section of the field. I'm watching the population monitor and the speed and trying to get the fertilizer to build up pressure. I turn the dial to speed up the pump and I only get 10lbs. I look back about the same time I realize what has gone wrong... I blew out the hose that goes to the spray boom. There is liquid fertilizer spraying all over the drill. I lost 50 gallons of $6 per gallon fertilizer. Ouch!
Thats what I get for saying mean things to people with Obama bumper stickers.
Have not been able to post pictures or do much online as my iBook is in the repair shop. I'm reduced to using the Fujitsu tablet I use for GPS. Kind of hard to type with a touch screen and a stylus.
I didn't work that late tonight. I went up to the shop and washed the fertilizer off the drill and ate supper. Wife and child were in bed. I went back and planted till 9:45 but I was kind of nervous about things going wrong so I quit. I sprayed 10-34 all over the wire harness connectors for the drill monitor and my population count is not working. Perhaps I'll get up early in the morning.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Up all night?

I'm feeling a little tense. It is 11:00 and I'm wide awake. Daughter is having a sleep over tomorrow for her 8th birthday. I've been enlisted to show movies on the side of the big white barn across the road. Can't decide between "Revenge of the Pagans," or Gene Autry in, "Melody Trail." Think I'll go for Gene for the season opener.
Wanted to take S. to the antique tractor day at the Yamhill Country Historical Society. I even have a tractor to drive in the parade. Her friends are arriving at noon tomorrow and leaving Sunday. Sunday is the Gem and Mineral show. We like that show. Especially the people who dress up like wizards and are looking for crystals. That and the fossilized poop. That is pretty cool. Probably won't do any of that this year...
That is not why I'm tense. Probably the feeling of hopelessness that comes from not having my work done, knowing we will probably not make any money this year, thinking I won't have the cash for my $10,000 drill payment, and life in general.
I've been trying to help a young fellow who works for me at times. He has rented some ground and bought a baler and tractor. He is in way over his head. I've been trying to find him some farming jobs and some hay jobs for next year. Have not been having much luck. Will probably bale as much as I can in small two-tie bales so I can give him work baling. Wish he would not have bought a $32,000 tractor to pull his baler with. That is a hard payment for him to make.
Today my brother and I went south to get an engine for my White 3-135. Took us 2 hours to pull the engine. It turns over and doesn't have water in the old. The tractor did sit outside for a few years but it was running good when parked. Have a notion just to drop it in.
Hauled the six cylinder Hercules and the three-speed hydra-shift all in one piece. Made the pickup squat a bit.
Got in big discussion about POLITICS with my neighbor.
I'm laying under my drill working on the fertilizer tubes. Liquid fertilizer is dripping on my head. The v-openers are razor sharp. I've hurt myself.
"Whatcha doing? Can I get you a pepsi?"
"What the @#$%^ does it look like I'm doing?"
"You seem a little tense, come over to my house and have a beer."
I think: "Yes you guessed it. I am just killing time so you will invite me to your house for a beer. I have nothing else to do. I just like to lay under large pieces of farm equipment and slice myself with sharp objects. A beer! Whoopie! Now just that offer will make my day complete!"
So, somehow he got onto politics. As a committed democrat he has the whole line down pretty well. He knows he has suffered persecution do to his Obama sticker on the bumper of his VW."
I listened to this all for a while and then opined...
"The reason people out in the countyr don't like people who have Obama stickers on their cars is because they know if you see someone with that sticker, that person is going to annoy you."
Neighbor: "Bushes falt, blah, blah, blah. Intollerant hicks, blah blah balh.."
Me: "Well, if you really want to know it is because people with Obama stickers on their cars generally don't know when to shut the f... up!"
Neighbor: "You seem a little grumpy today."
And you know he didn't shut up. We discussed politics untill I finally crawled out from under the drill.
The thing is this, I'm not all that "conservative." I just want to be left alone.
I resent the ideological manipulation of the left. For example: we are all forced into arguing the wrong arguments-If you are against illegal immigration then you are against Mexicans. I generally like Mexicans. I generally don't care if they are legal are illegal as long as they are hard working and friendly and don't steal from me I'm fine. I treat Jose with respect because he deserves respect. It is true that I did fire him but I found him another job and he did break two axles in a row through stupidity...
But, I don't like unrestricted illegal immigration and exploitation of Mexicans so big companies and nurserys can make money, and so they can vote for Obama.
I think it is funny that guns are going back across the border. So now the Mexican goverment knows how it feels. We get drugs, they get guns.
I'm not opposed to gun regulations in theory. I think people should have to take a safety course before owning something that you can kill someone with. And I am opposed to killing anyone for any reason. I'm not sure I could even do it in self defense. However, I oppose any effort by the goverment to regulate guns in any way because I don't trust the government. Why should I?
Then he went off on the tea parties. He had to make the tea-bag joke. I think my dad is the only person who doesn't get that joke. Pretty funny, hah, hah. (You should hear the jokes we make about your new messiah...) I think the recent anti-tax protests are amazing. I can't believe that these regular sorts of very moderate people are out holding signs.
Of course the neighbor says it is all a put-up by the republican party. After all it was Bush's fault we are in this mess. I pointed out that McCain didn't get elected either. Of course that was Sarah P's fault and that McCain is an old guy.
So what if Fox sponsored a few of those protests? I don't think the main stream republican party has a clue what to do with those people. They really don't fit the activist stereotype.
So do all democrats think those of us who dissent. Who live out here in the country and just want to be left alone are a bunch of idiots? I've been to college. I've read 60's literature. I understand the "one step forward, two steps back" Leninst crap. I can tell when I'm being marginalized, pandered to, talked down to and generally screwed. No, I'm not going to dig into the box of ammo and join some silly group, I'll just keep putting one foot in front of the other, I'll be polite. Somehow I'll resist.
I had a book as a child. Was about a little old lady who lived in a little cottage and grew roses. They wanted to put a highway through her house but she wouldn't move. They had to move the highway. She is my hero.
Of course into day's world they would condemn her house and put her in an old folks home.
Perhaps that is why I'm in a funk...
Whatever... I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The sun came out and I'm not ready...

I have a planting job. 35 acres half-way to heck and back... Beautiful area. Not sure what farm in the area I'm planting but this one is for sale. I may have planted the field that you can see through the gate. I did about 300 acres in this area last year. To get there involves a long painful journey on HWY 18, a trip through Sheridan which involves a very narrow bridge. Not sure it is really worth it. The drill is 15 foot wide. Have a hard time saying "no" to this fellow. The hardest working man I have ever met.
So, I'm getting the drill ready to plant fescue. Have to plug off two rows, leave one open. Planting on 23" rows with fertilizer. So I have to plug off the fertilizer as well.
Have instead been helping a fellow from Antique Powerland who wants to borrow a MM U for some plowing demonstrations, and shooting rats in the barn. I am such a wastrel...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crazy Traffic Day

Perhaps I don't get off the farm enough...
Today I went to the dentist for my once every couple years checkup and cleaning. We have a nice dentist. She understands that if you stick dental instruments halfway down my throat I will gag... She understands that I am afraid of dentists. I always remember the scene from "Marathon Man" when I'm setting in the waiting room but she makes me feel fine by the end of the visit. I figure she pipes laughing gas into the room while I'm setting there waiting for the x-rays to be developed.
I had to take the farm irrigation pump into be repaired so I had that in the back of the truck. Have a pretty heavy duty pickup so it handled the pump ok. Made me a bit nervous as to any sudden stops.
Had quite a discussion with the pump repair fellow. Seems like everyone who lives out in the country and works for their living has a bad feeling about the future.
Headed home to work. Neighbor stopped by at 11:30. He talked for a couple hours. Didn't offer to buy me lunch.
Took a couple checks into the bank. They were made out wrong. Had my last name on the checks. Shall we say they were made out to "Shepherd Bros." instead of "Buddeshepherd." Bank wouldn't cash them. So I called the main office and complained. "I've had my account for 40 years. The reason I use a hometown bank is because they all know me blah, blah, blah.
Nice lady explained to me that there has been a lot of fraud and identity theft and they now need to be more careful. Then she asked me the teller's name. I couldn't remember it. She has been there for like 5 years. So much for me paying attention to my local bank people.
So I went into the main office to cash my checks. They said they would make an exception for me if I deposited them in my account and had my brother sign them as well. So I did.
I had to go to the FSA office to sign papers.
By then it was "rush" hour. This used to be a small town. Rush hour in Mac means silly people in little cars dart out in front of you, or try to cross streets when they should go down two blocks to a light.
One fellow backed out in front of me. A girl in a very nice car cut me off while talking on the phone and a girl with her baby on board zoomed in front of me, ripped around the block and then had to slam on her brakes to let me finish my turn in front of her.
Kind of amazing, was just a touch jumpy by the time I got home. My wife laughs at me for driving 45 mph. If only I could explain...

Sunday, April 12, 2009


There are a lot of secluded places that you would never see unless you were planting someone's field or trespassing. (Trespassing is ok I'm sure if you are wearing waders and carrying a fishing pole-or you are carrying a shotgun and it is goose season. After all the "great white hunter" is entitled to go anywhere-right?)
Perhaps I should not be so snide, sandals, a beard, and a camera are probably worse. Although I might say they were two sides of the same coin. What's yours is mine as long as it is in your back yard and not mine...
But I digress...
I saw a loon. I know it was a loon although I can't find the exact picture. Here are my photos. Kind of hard to see as I could not get much closer for fear of getting stuck. Makes a pretty freaky sound.
If you would put that noise with a banjo you could certainly start a riot!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Frustration

I planted 35 acres of barley, 10 acres of clover, and 5 acres of oats on our own farm. I'm pretty frustrated. Of the 2000 acres or so I planted for people last year the only real failures were on our own farm.
I can see one coming, unless we have some really good luck.
Our barley field is a former corn field. It is a heavy black silty clay soil. Wapato, to be exact. It is on riverbottom ground and the water table is about a foot below the surface. I had the great idea of disking. I used to do most of the field work. I have a hard time telling someone exactly what to do. I always tried one thing, and if it didn't work I would try something else. I tell our hired man to disk and he goes and disks. The disk brought up with clods and didn't want to go in very well. When he harrowed the field the clods only broke down to golf ball sized.
The no-till drill will make a good seedbed right in the row but those clods will be a problem later. I think we ended up with quite a little compaction as well. It is supposed to rain pretty good Sunday so perhaps I will be fine. Just a little worried.
I've seriously considered another career before...

What to plant and where?

The frustration continues...
But first, the teacher conference: Our daughter is doing very well at school. She is good at math and writing and is a nice person. Now of course everyone thinks their child is above average but... I suspect that the bar for learning is not as high as it should be...
We have what used to be called a normal happy child.
S. has a friend who she plays soccer with. Her friend comes home from school with her. Monday I tried to find the friend's dad as Monday was the first real day of sun. I was going to take S. and L. out of school and go to the beach for the day. I couldn't find her dad to get a note and it just got to complicated so I went and planted. Which was the responsible thing to do.
Saw her dad the other day he was out at the shop. Said your daughter is at my house. He said he didn't know that much about what she did, "he wasn't that involved," with his family.
Kind of through me off.
I assume that it is because he works all the time so can't spend as much time with daughter as he would like. I would hate to hear it was because he didn't like his family, but I think many parents have that attitude. He thought the trip to the coast would have been a good idea...
But, I digress...
Planting this barley has become an exercise in frustration. I had it all figured out, started spreading fertilizer. Then the landlord showed up. The point of his farm is to attract ducks and geese so he can shoot them. I thought he wanted two fields of corn to attract ducks to a wider area. Instead he wants one 40 acre field since we are growing only half the amount we grew last year. He would really prefer the corn where I was going to plant the barley but he is pretty good to work with. I did some figuring and we decided to switch fields. We put down 200lbs of 38-0-0-7 on heavy triticale straw. I don't think we will lose much N. The weather is pretty cool. I was worried about planting barley though all that stubble. Too much shade and possible slug and mouse problems.
So, we are planting our barley on the old corn ground. This pretty wet ground. I check the soil temp and it is 50 degrees. Should be ok. We disked part of the field and harrowed it. It was too wet and we ended up with little hard golf balls. I had lots of problems getting seed and fertilizer and talking to the fellow who brought us our clover seed.
We decided to plant clover with some of the barley.
The question is: Do we wait for a weed sprout, round-up the sprout, and plant through it? Or do I just get it done now...
I opted for the get it done now... I have no idea how we are going to control the weeds in a barley/clover mix. This is old corn ground that was disked a month ago. Had a sprout, then we disked Monday and harrowed yesterday.
So I load up the drill. I put too much clover seed in so I'll have to suck it out with will take more time. I didn't block off every other opener on the main box so the clover would have some bare rows, as there was still a lot of barley in the main box. Then, I get started. Planted two rounds and got out to check seed depth. I suddenly realize...Ok, I'm planting clover into golf-ball size clods. True, it is a no-till drill but this is not really no-till. I put the front coulters way down to bring up loose soil and set the presswheels to plant shallow. It looks like it's bringing up some loose soil to back around the clover seed. I think we will hit it with a cement roller as soon as it is planted.
I hope I don't end up re-learning the motto: "Do it right or don't do it at all."
I was watching my White 2-135. Using it for disking and spreading fertilizer. It is blowing smoke out the engine breather like crazy. Engine must have a broken ring. Not the time of year for an overhaul. Have found another engine, just have to go get it, is in a tractor 75 miles away. Have an engine for my Minneapolis-Moline g1355, in South Dakota. Need to get that as well.
Here are some photos:
I bent a no-till coulter. Hit a huge rock. How many people have a gaint press at their shop. Dad built this 40 years ago. I it is for straightening rake wheels. Nobody straightens rake wheels anymore... Use the press a lot though... Of to work I go. Spreading fertilizer in the triticale stubble. Will strip-till corn through this later. Was going to plant barley, that is why it is being fertilized.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Morning

We are going to a teacher conference. Wife signed us up for 8 a.m. That way I wouldn't have to drive back from some far off field to make it. That was a good idea. Of course I am planting at home today.
We are planting barley. I have no idea if this is a good idea. Yields have been lower on barley than other spring grains, unless we end up planting late. Then it does better than oats as the oat yields drop off rapidly on our ground after the second week in April.
I've been trying to get back home to plant for a week. Of course the day I get home my brother gets called to drive truck. I was trying to figure out where to plant and what fertilizer rate to use, then the seed guy brought out enough clover for 50 acres instead of 15. Big diff. there.
So, should I plant clover and barley together? If so, should I plug off every other opener on the barley so I have wider rows? Should I plant the barley with the Great Plains and come back with the Moline drill and plant the clover at an angle?
What about the fertilizer. I know we are a little low on phosphate but I don't know how much. I don't know where the fertilizer reports are and I never understand how my brother labels the fields.
So, my plan is: Spread 200lbs of 32-0-0-7 with the dry spreader, then run 8 gal of 10-34 in the drill. Will no-till 35 acres, have another 25 in small plots that have been worked. This would be where I would also plant clover.
I may try and get a weed sprout on the worked ground before I plant the barley. Have not decided yet.
The no-till ground is a problem. It was triticale and I'm worried about the tall stubble and the weeds, and that perhaps some triticale will grow and show up in the oats.
I hate decision making.
I'm going to go listen to my Dale Carnegie course, "how to stop worrying and start living." Perhaps that will help.
I really can't ask anyone for advice on barley as I'm the only person I know in this area who has been growing barley. I've had good and bad yields and the only differences seem to be what happens with the weather...

Thursday, April 9, 2009

People who are gone...More about Mr. R

I spent the day driving in circles as usual. I have been thinking about the death of Mr. R. I know he had an amazing story and I can't remember it. I know I wrote it down as well. I can't find my journal from that time.
Mom died several years ago. With her went a number of really good stories. I was supposed to remember all sorts of stuff. I didn't. When she died my mind kind of went blank...
There are a couple other people whose stories I miss as well. I think I have the information in my head and when I try to write it down it is gone.
Then is my other issue. I hate to bug people. I think I'm a bit insecure. There are a couple old pluggers who fascinate me. But when you start to write stuff down they clam up.
We had a relative who made his own electric guitars and invented all sorts of stuff. He was the bane of church potlucks. Sometimes brought his own giant plate. He was a confirmed bachelor farmer, dress funny-wore converse high tops and had the most amazing comb-over I have ever seen. Then suddenly he was dead. Turns out he had a secret wife... Who would of thought.
So I did some more searching for Mr. R.
It is kind of silly. I have the family phone number memorized. I didn't realize this but someone called me from salem wanting hay. I thought I had the number but the only number that came to my mind was 501-581-xxxx. So I look it up on Google and here it is Mrs. R. She lives at a different address I think, but that number was still in my head. I could call her up and ask her this stuff. She probably doesn't remember me but she would most likely be happy to talk.
I can't do that. Not sure why. But I can't.
I did find that his obit has even been referenced by Wired Magazine in Feb of 2007.
Found the answers to his cryptogram. Which provided me a clue to his story.
One of the answers was "A beginning - august, nineteenfortythree"
In August 1943 is the 10th mountain division went into combat. They made a landing in the Aleutian islands to secure them from the Japanese. They found the island deserted. From there it appears they went on to Italy, without their special snow/maintian ski sorts of equipment and suffered heavy casualties. Basically infantry heavy fighting. Not especially what they were trained for.
I think something happened to him during the landing. I thought he told me he perhaps broke his leg with prevented him from going on into combat. This turned out to be a huge second chance for him.
Now my problem is of course, since I can't remember anything, I don't know for sure that he was a ski-trouper, I don't know if I read this in a WWII book somewhere and attributed it to him and I don't know if his family would be annoyed with me for discussing it on the internet.
I'm going to remove his name from previous post so it is not searchable. I feel like I am telling someone else's story and getting it wrong.
I resolve to write people's stories down. They should not be lost...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I said you couldn't plant wheat into mud and I was wrong!

I bought a gas sucking pickup. A 1990 Ford F250 4wd with a 454 cu engine. It is the nicest pickup I've ever had. Drives very well, very heavy duty. I hauled 200 gallons of 10-34 (2200lbs), with no problems. I can haul two bags of feed which is again around 2000lbs, no problem. But, the best mileage I have attained is 10 mpg. Hubs not locked and nothing in the back. The worst was 8 mpg, hauling feed and a full tank (100gal) of diesel in the back. I need the truck, I just shouldn't drive it so much.
But I digress.
I was on my way into Amity to fill up the gas tanks and I went by the field I planted in March. I planted spring wheat into what was almost mud. It is up and growing and looks pretty good. The way the light shines in the photo the wheat looks a little yellow. But, up close it looks good. Who knows...
First photo is from March.
Second is of nearly the same spot taken yesterday.
Third is the wide view of the field.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mr. Richings

I was searching for the word "cynical," on google. Not sure exactly why, seemed more important than farming at the time. Anyway I came across this website. Where I found the obituary for Mr. Richings. Ted Richings, to be more informal. I guess as a 40-something I don't have to refer to him as Mr. Richings any more. Still it just doesn't sound right to me.
I have mixed feelings about the cynical blog. It is funny at times, but I'm a bit bored with the whole anti-christian humor thing. We are a bit of a silly lot I suppose and well, our foolishness is pretty funny when you are in college and you are astounded by the foolishness that surrounds you, (and you haven't figured out yet that you are a moron...) but now I kind of understand what got my parents/grand parents through life and I have a lot of respect for the old true beleivers.
I had a professor at Chemeketa Community College who I keep remembering as having life figured out. She noted that we all had a personal bias. Knowing and admitting the bias was more important than denying it. Makes sense if you think about it.
But that has nothing to do with my post today.
Mr. Richings was someone I instantly liked. He was tall and self confident and friendly. He shook my hand and talked to me like an equal. He talked to me a little about WWII and I wish I would have written it down. I can't remember if he was one of the special US soldiers trained for ski patrol in the Alps. It seems like he was. Another friend of mine's dad was in the mule skinner corps.
The story in my head is that he trained in Colorado Vail for the ski patrol, then didn't actually use the training. (I should look this up somehow) I could have my info wrong. He was an interesting fellow anyway.
Anyway his daughter was a good friend and she gave me his old ACME cowboy boots. I think he told me he found them in Death Valley while he was hitching his ride home after ending his WW II service.
More later, employee at the door-bye!
Ok, I'm back. It is evening and instead of making a new post I'll add to this one.
I don't like to get to personal about other people's lives as they might not want to be identified online.
I've been thinking about Mr. R all day while planting.
One of the members of his family was my good friend. I didn't know Mr. R all that well. Just talked to him a couple times. This whole deal got me thinking about the past and people who you remember.
C. was my friend from Community College. The place I actually learned stuff...
I remember C. as tall and beautiful and self -possessed. She was funny and sarcastic and cynical. I liked her a lot. She was way out of my league, I think. We were friends for a number of years and then kind of lost touch. I think I offended her somehow. Sad thing is I really don't have a clue.

Good friends become more important to me as I get older. It seems like I have a lot of friends but only a few that have been with me from high school or college. Those are the one that seem to stay my friends whether I talk to them or not, or if we really have anything in common or not.

Peta Kills Animals dot com

I found this website but have to go to work so I'm not going to say much. It is pretty funny. Seems as though PETA is, well, oh dear- MIGHT BE IN IT FOR THE MONEY?! well and the power. It is fun to change the world and of course make money at the same time.
I did a search for "who funds and found this on wikapedia.
I understand that wikipedia may not be the most reliable source for all this but frankly I think it is funny that they are funded by PhillipMorris.
And-many of the things that should be counted against their parent group, are just fine with me.
I mean, really...where is the money going to come from to combat activist hysteria. I'm pretty sure there is not a organization called, "The center for sensible thought and moderation in all things," the concept wouldn't work. What are you going to tell people in a direct marketing campaign. "Well we do need a lot of money but please give in moderation." or "Now we are not taking away from your food budget with this money?"
Anyway, I've got to go to work. Thought this was funny.
It is a beautiful day. We have 100 acres to farm and I am off 15 miles away planting in little 10 acre fields. The other tractor is spreading fertilizer on hay ground which could have been done three weeks ago during the previous weather break. But, my wonderful employee was not feeling well and I was off planting-100 acre fields that week... I need to be a better manager.
Possibly I should start that by getting to work early and not setting on the loo posting to a blog read by five people...
Actually I was out checking fields at 7:30 a.m. for what that is worth...
And I can't actually plant this morning do to a slight miscalculation in setting the drill last night. I had 12 acres left and enough oats to plant at 140lbs per acre. So I put the drill in third gear which is 20% more than second. I was planting at 110lbs so thought a 20% increase would be about right. But, when I started the monitor read only 1.2 million seeds, which was basically what I was planting before. So I messed around with the settings. Got it up to 1.5 million. I kept looking at the little TV camera that shows the seed level guage and it always showed full. I DID NOT look in the box. Well, the little plastic indicator got bumped because when the bin empty alarm went off the indicator showed half a tank of seed. So, I planted 210lbs per acre. The farmer has to drive 30miles to get more seed. Didn't seem to bother him much. He just laughed at me. Said you will never be able to forget this one. Heh! Heh! and showed me his hotrod collection. Pretty cool.
Now I'm going to work...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I bought a funny stainless steel clamp

Went the big auto swap meet at the expo center today. Went with my friend Mel. Mel is pretty much a car enthusiast from way back. Knows just about all there is to know about the automobile.
The swap meet is huge. Takes up the three big buildings and both parking lots with cars and parts and vendors.
I was looking for some 1007 light bulbs for my Z. Found some 1323 NOS light bulbs that work fine. Cost me $5 each. Then i bought a coffee tin full of funny stainless steel clamps for $3. I'm sure they will be useful. I think I will use them to attach my calc-an-acre to the cab of my White tractors.
It was a beautiful day today. Nearly 70 degrees. Hard to believe it was 34 this morning. Dad burned global warming no doubt...

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