The Useful Duck!

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

More New Years Eve and Rain

I have pretty much lost my train of thought from the previous post. I was working at developing an interesting story and now I've completely forgotten where I was going.
Today was a nasty rainy mess of a day. Cold and fog and dying traces of melting snow.
Melting snow in the spring is a happy sight. It means spring is on the way and little flowers are soon to arrive.
Melting snow in December just means mud and more winter.
Melting snow in December means failure. It reminds you it is not the old days with sleds and roasted apples and Christmas parties and good wholesome fun.
It just means more of a nasty foggy Oregon winter and you know if it were three degrees colder it would be snow and not rain. It means the river will flood and I didn't move the last tractor off the river bottom as it has a flat tire. Global warming...
As the snow dies, the old rusting crap looks worse, the hay in the shed has turned black from the blown snow. The old folks are not feeling so well. They need to retire. There is no money and no one competent to do the books and there is not going to be any money cause the whole economy is in the toilet no matter what the folks tell on on the TV. Plus, I'm not only a lazy farmer but a crappy farmer.
Other than that depressing commentary, it has been a good day. We got my new truck to move. I was given a 1971 International with some huge old gas engine in it. You do understand that you rarely get something of value for absolutely nothing.
My other International truck died earlier this year. It had a 478 cu inch v-8. I am going to pull this engine and install in it in my dead truck as the dead truck has a very nice 24ft bed and a good hoist.
I think the free truck has a 547 cu inch engine. I has a tandem axle drive and a five and a three transmission. Five speed main box and three speed brownie. It runs pretty good. It has not been started since 1998 or so. We pulled the spark plugs and pumped in some Automatic Transmission fluid. I let it set for a week while I wandered around the farm and started and didn't finish a lot of other projects. Then my new helper told me we had to get that truck running so we went back and then cranked the engine. I couldn't get it to start at first. Then I discovered the points were bad. I ordered points from CarQuest and of course got the wrong ones. I didn't discover this until I was standing on my head in the engine compartment trying to install them. I pulled the old points and took some sand paper to them. Then I bent the arm that holds the contact so that it would close properly. I put it back together and it fired right up. I can only imagine the amount of gasoline it will consume.
We were unable to get it to move as the brake pads had rusted to the drums and also because I can't figure out how to shift the bugger. The main box has a little lever on the shift handle sort of like the reverse lock out on a 1946-49 Chevy truck. Only it doesn't quite work the same. My brother got it engaged and after some clutch popping one set of axles spun. So we engaged the interlocks and the other set of axles engaged. We didn't drive it as traffic was bumper to bumper on highway 18.
Everyone must be headed for the casino to spend the new year gambling. What a kick in the butt. That is how I want to spend the new year. Noise, lots of people, more beeping noises, fat ladies, and losing money. I hear they won't let you pick up the quarters off the floor. That is the only point I can see in going to a casino.
Which brings me back to my obsession of the week
I want 1.2 million dollars.
1.2 million seems like a nice number. I just did a google search for 1.2 million and discovered that while 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed since the invasion, Bush saved 1.2 million folks in Africa from dying of aids and 1.2 million trees have been planted in Afghanistan, 1.2 million folks are uninsured in Alabama, and a human skull has been found in west Birmingham.
1 million is much less than 1 billion and running a new interstate between Mexico and Canada will not help out Indiana.
Thus, I should be given 1.2 million dollars because:
1. I have killed no Iraqi Civilians nor do I ever intend to.
2. I can find Africa on the map
3. I like trees
4. I am now insured and I don't live in Alabama
5. I do not have a human skull buried in my back yard
6. I have been to Mexico and Canada and Indiana and I don't really want to go back and so I have saved the Federal Government Billions of dollars in highway funds as they don't need to build me a new interstate highway.
So in conclusion, giving me 1.2 million dollars would actually be a gift to humanity and would help balance the Federal budget! I am a hero!
Please click on the donate button at the top of the screen.

New Years Eve and rain

Nasty cold rain. If it were not for man-made global warming climate change we would have snow. Lots of snow. Foot after foot of snow. Snow that obscures the rusting farm machinery in the front yard. Snow that covers all the projects that I have not finished.
Yesterday I brought my drill and tractor home.
I bought a stainless steel auger from the CoOp for $50 cash. Helper and I went after it.
Now he is knocking at the door so I have to go to work.
There was going to be a story about driving down highway 18 with snow on both sides of the road and people giving us the finger.
that will have to wait...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What a load of crap!!!

I was watching OPB tonight. A lot of news about non-exploding Nigerians but NOTHING on the healthcare fiasco. Probably no connection.
Of course no one pointed out the obvious.
You can't make an explosive on an airplane. (Click on this link) Then look up PETN on Wikapedia or find a copy of the Uncoventional Explosives Handbook to at an Army Surplus store. There you can see how you couldn't make Nitro on a plane either...
Well of course I suppose you could-if you had a Gilbert Science kit but they stopped making them in 1976 and they are kind of bulky. See this link to the 12 angry men Blog.
You can of course burn yourself really badly if you inject a syringe full of Nitric acid into anything near your naughty parts AND it will ruin your underwear. Wonder if he had his name sewn in his underwear. That is probably important evidence... Oh no, of course the Keystone Cop battalion of the Homeland Security force (based in the Winston Smith memorial building located at 1984 Owellian Avenue) would have missed that obvious lead.
Then there is the other item that really takes ruins the whole fake sense of security that removing my shoes, getting rid of my nail clippers, and not being able to go to the bathroom for the last hour of a 14hr flight, gives me...Those guys and the fat ladies that run the screener at the airport. Um, they are well, how do we say that.... $%^&*(&!@ rent-a-cops. Minimum wage, little education, inflated sense of self importance, and protected federal worker status. So, slip them a little dope, little cash, a pat on the back, some self importance, and there you go... Boom!
Since I am now undoubtedly on some sort of government watch list because I googled, "is it really possible to bring down an airliner by mixing explosives on board" (no kidding) and "PETN" and "was it George Bush's fault," (it was!) with in the past 15 minutes, I suppose I might as well raise the real question.
Are the folks who run this country and who have run it for the past couple decades morons or evil or evil morons or is it really Donald Duck along with Heckel and Jeckel and the Katzenhiemer kids?
Just curious...
Oh, wait, did someone say health care fiasco? No, I must have been mistaken. Perhaps the sound was covered up by nitric acid eating off some Nigerian's private parts....
It is time to make a choice-laugh or cry...
EDIT: There is a faint chance I'm wrong. OPB also said you could find the recipe online so I looked further. There is a wikapedia article that says a bomb can be made with Tang, hydrogen preoxide, and hexamineHexamine is in a fuel tablet for a camping stove. I suppose it is like mixing nitric acid and sugar (Just from memory, not sure I am correct). It requires the sort of hydrogen peroxide used in rocket fuel and not the stuff in your medicine chest, and it has to be contained. I'm thinking it would fizzle rather than boom. It will burn you balls off and make smoke and flames but probably not blow up a plane.
I don't really know all that much and don't claim to be an expert. I still think it is BS.
I found more info on this subject and there are those who claim this can be done. You can stabilize the peroxide or what ever you have. I really am skeptical.  This stuff seems to be pretty unstable prone to failure. Of course it only takes one time for it to work!
NOTE: Due to the fact that it is now 2010 and not 1955 I need to add a disclaimer:

We have snow!

Global warming strikes again. Snow in Oregon. It was supposed rain and not snow. But since it snowed instead of rain I suspect a nefarious conspiracy based in Denmark. Oh my! We have a neighbor who is from Denmark. Perhaps she has some sort of scheme, oh wait... it is supposed to get WARMER not colder!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Daily Strumpet Feedback

So... you have all had two days to read the notorious and nefarious Daily Strumpet. What is the verdict?
I admit to being a tad rusty with my humor writing skills.
Perhaps my layout skills are not so much anymore but who care?

Was it funny?
Do you want another one?
Could you read it?

This blog is linked to the host site of the Strumpet but that site is not linked to this one. I'm not sure how much I want to share at times. If you do a search for The Daily Strumpet it will bring you here but you have to make the effort I think...

Do you think my PayPal donation button is tacky?

What are the chances of me getting 1.2 million in donations?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Christmas Sunday

There are a couple issues I'd like to address.
1. I would like to have 1.2 million Dollars
2. This country is really going to heck in a handbasket
3. People are idiots
4. The Daily Strumpet
5. Gorge's Grouse is especially right on the money today! A pet peeve of mine is addressed!
First of all the 1.2 million dollars.
I've been reading the news and it is pretty depressing. I know the country is and has been run by morons for quite a while. The whole idea of them being evil morons is really starting to grow on me. This whole incredible corruption thing is really getting under my skin. Trillions of dollars are being thrown away with the sole purpose of ruining this country. First Bush's fake war, continued into the fake war on terror.
Another amateur terrorist attempting to blow up an airliner, then we read of another person who refused to come out of the bathroom on an airplane. I laughed at went along with the excuse that they were sick until I read online that it was a Nigerian. Great, now we have a inept Nigerian terrorist operation on Christmas day. Once again you have to make the conscious decision, should I laugh or should I cry. I choose laughter as I don't want to believe the worst. So I choose to believe that Homeland Security is kind of a Keystone Cops organization who ignores it when the former head of the Nigerian bank reports his son as a possible terrorist. Perhaps he was trying to get money out of the country and it all went wrong. They could have just emailed someone to help them. I've got a couple offers but I don't know what to do with five million dollars.
Now 1.2 million seems so much more manageable. 1.2 million is nothing compared to a 1 trillion dollar bill which the government seems to be printing up and tossing away like mad.
If my 12 followers each gave me 100,000 dollars I think it could work. Why not give me a $100,000? The government is spending more than $100,000 per person to pay off their little buddies in the banking industry. You could just borrow it from Red Chinese who would probably already own the ground under your home. When you are this far in debt why not just add a little more? You can't pay it in your lifetime anyway!
I wouldn't waste that much of it. Probably no more than 20 percent and a 20 percent return on an investment is considered pretty good anyway!
I'd like to spend a little on a small farm and a couple good Minneapolis-Moline tractors. I'd like a nice Studebaker for me to drive and a nice car from my wife. Sadie says she will settle for $250 in Legos but I say why sell yourself short. 1.2 million has such nice ring to it.
I've been reading The Other McCain blogspot and this fellow has a nice way of raising money. He has a tip jar that you can donate money through paypal. And he posts pictures of half nekked chicks to bring in the readers. I think it is a good idea.
I'm not so sure posting broken links to a .pdf of The Daily Strumpet is a good idea.
Now I have to go play the Wii with Sadie. I will continue my rant later!

Problems with Scribd and the Daily Strumpet

Some folks have noticed that the Daily Strumpet link doesn't work. It seems to be a problem with the hosting site. I don't really know what to do about it. Perhaps if I ignore it and pretend that it works it will...
You could repeatedly click this link and hope that the next time you click it it will work? Sort of like playing the lottery at the corner store.
Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

I was sent a link to this site: The Other McCain: How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year

The Other McCain: How to Get a Million Hits on Your Blog in Less Than a Year
I'm not sure I want a million hits. I would kind of get the big heads but I do want to feel really important every once in a while!
This fellow is really quite funny. I would like to rant but I'm afraid I will get hauled off to a re-education center or something.
I do wonder if there is a niche market for stories about Lazy Farmers. Surely there must be. I think I'll lift a few ideas from The Other McCain. Like selling advertising and a PayPal tip jar and shamelessly hustling for money and hits. I will wait till I hit 250,000 hits though. I don't want to sell out to soon!

Post Christmas Carnage

Sadie got a Wii for Christmas. That and a box full of 3/4" plastic pipe and various fittings. Her cousins and herself have just spent today and half of yesterday playing at our house. They did every game on the Wii at least five times. They played baseball and bowled and golf and raced cars. They cheered each other on wildly at times... They built a fort out of PVC pipe and spent the night in it. Then more Wii. Then they got out all the plastic tomica world Thomas the Tank engine trains and built a complicated railroad around the Christmas tree. Complete with a Lego station and various cars and boats.
Then they all went next door and played "Apples to Apples."
I made feed and cleaned more stuff in the shed...
I rushed the Daily Strumpet into print and got a couple stories mixed up. I did my first bulk emailing which was kind of a mess and now the links are broken as I updated the Strumpet on the website. (click on the link to see and go to the Budd E. Shepherd section)
Of course the Daily Strumpet was never meant to be an example of perfection. Just supposed to be funny.
I am not sure if I will do another. I have a lot of frustration with inDesign. People will have to encourage me to do it again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Night Before Christmas

Sadie is in bed. She had quite a day. We had Christmas at my wife's family. The Christmas excitement was running high at our house. There were only two presents under the tree all week and they were both for Sadie. Actually there were three. Sadie made one for us, but of course she knew what that one was already! Last night I put down two more for Sadie and one for L. and L. put out a couple for me.
Sadie knew this was not going to be a huge Christmas. She wanted Lego's in the worst way. She shook my present and was not real sure about it. It did rattle a lot but I told her I made it myself so she knew it was something odd. (which it is!)
Somewhere L. found a Wii on sale. This was something we really debated. We are somewhat opposed to video games and wasting one's life away in front of the TV.
Sadie just had to open one present this morning and since she was going to get stuff for the Wii at Christmas today she got to open that. She was totally shocked. I think that she figured out that since there was basically only one present under the tree it was going to be a big one. I told her it was just socks but she didn't believe me. She knows how much they cost and she was amazed.
Anyway, we set it up this evening and played bowling which was kind of dumb. That is the gimmick that Nintendo marketing department came up with to sell the game to parents who are easily fooled by things they want to believe. Bowling and golf and baseball are silly when played with a motion sensing wand. It ain't real exercise. Oh, yeah, I will exercise with a video game! This will make our child more healthy!!! What a load of crap!
But, SuperMario brothers, and driving games are pretty amazing with the special steering wheel! We played till Sadie couldn't stay awake.
I'm guessing this will be another stumbling block on the road to a classical education for Sadie...
As to my health.
I feel strange. Anxious and queasy. What kind of a strange ailment is that. Oh, and I have a cough. I feel better this evening. We missed reading tonight. No Christmas story or The Night Before Christmas. She crashed. I guess I'll try to inject meaning into Christmas tomorrow morning.
Parenting is a struggle...Especially if you are not a completely responsible adult. I guess it is only distressing if you know your failings!
Merry Christmas to my five faithful readers!

Christmas Eve

Sadie is so excited she is practically bouncing up and down.
I am not. How do you treat these symptoms. I feel slightly dizzy, my throat is kind of sore, I have a deep cough, I want to sleep...Anyway I guess I'll just repress it.
We have Christmas today at wife's family.
Sadie will probably open one present from us this morning. She is getting basically one thing for Christmas and supporting presents from her reletives.
Not sure what we are doing on Christmas day. Hopefully nothing...
I think I 'll go back to bed for a while...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sick the eve of Christmas Eve?

I'm getting sick.
We loaded out a semi-truck of straw today. I had to take apart my feed grinding operation and move everything all around, then move it all back. It was really cold and wet. Nasty fog and damp Oregon weather.  I took my employee and a former employee and Sadie to the Chinese Buffet in town. They had really good pepper chicken.
We came home and I started moving everything back. I gave my helper some cash for Christmas and sent him home. I mixed some feed. I made a silly Christmas present for Sadie and I kept feeling worse and worse. Finally I just went in the house found some warm dry clothes and I lay down on the couch and went to sleep.
No Daily Strumpet.
I was going to buy simple presents for Sadie's boy cousins across the machinery lot and a cowboy movie DVD for dad. We are not supposed to be buying presents this year but I was going to defy the ban. I guess it was not meant to be.
I'm going to bed.
Bah Humbug!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Daily Strumpet

Ok I wrote it. My helper read it and laughed...
I have to proof it and redo the layout. I cannot handle the inDesign. I want my old program called Ready Set, Go.
It will not be mailed before Christmas.
Perhaps I will post a .pdf here.
Of course-when has the Christmas edition ever got there on time? It was America's favorite irregular newspaper-for irregular folks.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Battle of the Stolen Christmas tree

Sometimes I worry about my daughter...
S. and her mom are going south to Junction City to visit Aunt B. and see a live nativity program at wife's childhood church.
I am getting ready to go after parts for a Christmas Present I'm making for S. and I'm thinking about making a special desert from my childhood. It involves soggy grahmn crackers, vannila pudding, and cherry pie filling.
I did some quick picking up as S. has my Marx Cowboys out of their box. This is a huge deal as they are collector items and 30 years old and a bit fragile.
The cowboys had been on a quest to find the infamous Green Man, a jade statue of mythical powers which had been hidden and a treasure map drawn, and a quest was on.
Upon closer observation it appears that the quest for the Green Man (a plastic game piece which is grotesque) has degenerated into a battle royal. I have photos.
The boy cousins were here for a while. I will have to blame them as I did admonish against the use of violence several times during the course of the evening.

The Green Man is a 3" high plastic game piece. It is possibly the most ugly plastic figure I have ever scene. A lady gave it to sadie at an antique tractor swap meet. It has become the object of the quest.

This is the scene of the Great Christmas Battle of the "Borrowed" Christmas tree. We have decided to take it back to the great pile of trees, After Christmas...
Note the layout of forces. It would appear that the wagon and the tent are some sort of home base. There is a machine gun nest with two indians. Possibly Leonard Peltier and Geronimo.
It would appear that flanking maneuvers are underway by a group of knights on one side and a mounted posse made up of a cavalry soldier, a cowgirl, and Johnny West himself.
It would appear that one cowboy is a casualty!
Command post? Machine gun nest? Mr. Peltier and Geronimo are certainly well armed, and radio equipped. A BAR and a .50 cal! Yikes!

The girl has a 1911 .45 auto and the downed cowboy has a Thompson. Looks like Captain Maddox has his Sharpes out.

The wagon usually carries all the camping supplies. The wagon driver is my old cowboy who has lost an arm and a leg. There are two men in black who are on the floor and the cowgirl has her .45 auto out. But what is up with the Indians? Is this an AIM last stand? Are they all on the same side?

We have this complication. Is the Barbie a hostage? A damsel in distress? Or has she been rescued? Or is this a Patty Hearst sort of  brainwashing by the Knights? The gold knight is carrying the Barbie Standard. But that cowboy has obviously fallen by the sword!

Here is the flanking party. Custer, Janie West, and Johnny West. The cowgirl is Sadie's identity and she is riding Sadie's favorite horse. Nathan was Custer the other night and I don't know who was Johnny West. I am usually JW and he is riding my horse.
This is quite the mystery. Sadie refused to discuss it all this morning.
She got pretty peeved at me when the cousins were here.
There was a serious gun battle going on and I suggested the bad guys may not really be bad as much as misunderstood. Perhaps they just need to know Jesus? What if instead of shooting at them and making fun of their missing limbs you would invite them to the campfire and give them a cup of coffee. We do have three coffee pots and several Johnny West cups. Perhaps by not shooting them in the bottom and instead showing them God's love through kindness they will give their hearts to Jesus and leave their life of crime and desolation and become missionaries to the great unwashed masses.
The response was: DADDY!
Followed by more gunfire and:
"Ow you shot me in the bottom, that hurts..."
There was also a question about Leon Peltier but that ended up being very complicated. It my daughter and her cousins start shouting "Free Leon Peltier!" and waving clenched fists at school I am going to be in soooooo much trouble.
Especially since the boys attend a Mennonite school...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Our Christmas Tree

Getting a Christmas Tree was not the simple process it once was.
There are several considerations.
Christmas trees no longer cost $5
Christmas trees no longer cost $10
It would seem that living in the Christmas Tree capital of the world there would be a discount Christmas tree lot.
There is nothing of the sort.
Once I did find a baled Christmas tree which fell off a truck. That has shaped the course of Christmas tree hunting in my family for the next few decades.
My daughter will not have the memory of hiking through the snowy woods to cut down the perfect tree. No her memory will be riding up and down the roads near the Christmas tree farms trying to spy a which fell off a load and is now in the ditch. The ditch water keeps the tree from drying out.
We had a fake tree at the old house. Sadie had bad allergies which may have come from the smokey wood stove, or the fact that her bedroom had no foundation and when we moved we discovered the wall behind her dresser blue with mold. Sadie got tired of jokes about fake trees and getting pictures of presents instead of the actual present.
Still, when faced with the idea that spending $30 on a Christmas tree that would only last a couple weeks then that same money could go in on Legos, Sadie lobbied heavily for the fake tree.
Alas, the fake tree could not be found. After a great deal of searching it was determined that the fake tree had gotten wet in the storage trailer after our move and had been pitched with all the other moldy and rusty treasures.
So no tree.
We did drive around looking for lost trees. Several plans were made for finding discount u-cut it lots. Then we discovered the tree farms were burning huge piles of trees that did not sell. So, the hunt was on to find someone we knew who had access.
It turns out that Chronic Boy (uncle H's grandson) lives next to a Christmas tree farm. He mentioned the huge piles of trees that were being torched and offered to bring us one. Of course we said yes.
Of course he forgot.
So the helper and I went to get the tree.
Chronic Boy lives in a trailer in the middle of a Christmas tree plantation. He has two other room mates. A Iraq war vet who got blown up and is on disability and a skinny twitchy girl, who drives him to work in an irratic manner and who raises rabbits. They have a lot of trees. One in their pickup, one on the porch and one in the driveway. That is my tree.
J. and I throw it in the truck and away we go. Somehow this seems suspicious. It could be that there is a giant pile of trees in the field across from his house. Did he ask the owner?
I think I am in possession of a stolen Christmas tree. This has got to be the lowest of the low. Stealing a Christmas tree at age 46.
What will my daughter learn from this...
It is a very nice tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I want more stories from Will Out West

I suggest a letter writing campaign to Will of the
Will is a farmer from Wales. He was traveling around the US looking at different farms and writing stories about what he saw.
I have know idea if he is still in the US but he could still write about Wales.
It could still be willoutwest, he could post from the west corner of his barn, or house, or western Wales or if you think about it, he is still in the Western Hemisphere so there would be no need to change the name.
I do hate to bother people but he was pretty interesting.

People are idiots

You've gotta read this!

Vt. court eyes value of love of man's best friend

"The Scheeles are particularly devoted pet owners. They feed their dogs human food, brush the dogs' teeth and dress them in raincoats when it's wet outside."

So these people were on a visit and they turned their dog loose. The dog was in the neighbor's yard. The elderly neighbor took a  shot at it with a pellet gun. Instead of hitting the dog's rear end he hit it in the chest and severed an artery. The dog died on the way to the vet.
Now they are suing the old plugger for loss of companionship and emotional distress.

Mrs. Scheele has quit her job as a "meeting planner" and devoted her time to advocating for animal welfare. She also has adopted several abused dogs.

Unfortunately this has not left time for much needed counseling. I feel bad for the old dude that shot the stupid dog. This is what happens when you admit you were at fault. This is way the idea of Shoot, Shovel, and Shut up has become so popular in recent years. As a dog owner I understand the need to keep your dog at home. I admit this is hard to do and I understand that he may infact get shot some day. I will feel bad, angry, hurt, and probably want revenge as well. Those are all natural emotions. In the end I will have to say. "He shouldn't been crapping in the neighbor's yard."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I have accomplished nothing all week...

It is never going to stop raining...
I've been looking at ratty old international trucks-searching for a running 478 or 549 or whatever. The two engines are supposed to be almost the same but the bigger one has 5/16 more stroke.
I have no clue I am not a mechanic nor do I claim to be.
I would rather rebuilt a baler, or plant, or poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick.
I do not like cleaning wet, formerly important items, out of a shed that is about to fall down and that we are going to rebuild.
I do not like having no money.
What is the point of a a 549 cu inch gas engine? My only hope is that it will make the winter a little warmer through my huge consumption of fossil fuel.
Who really gives a rat's bottom if people get into White House functions uninvited? I say good for them! Some idiot said they could have been carrying anthrax. Yeah, and they could have had a thermo nuclear device shoved up there bung hole. They let Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton in. What if Al smeared poopie all over like he did with Twanna a few years back? Now that would have been a bioHazard!
Anthrax my bottom! Yeah, and they could have had death ray vision and poison laughing gas. And why shouldn't we be able to go see the president? He is paid by us? You go through a metal detector they check you for bombs, big freaking deal. You might bite him?
They get paid more than me also.
Of course everybody gets paid more than me.
Ate at the Amity cafe with the real farmers. They have it all figured out.
We should join the farm bureau to influence legislation. Oh, yeah! We need more good ideas like bigger farms and more corn for ethanol.
Excuse me, I'm going to go in the bathroom and turn on the fan and swear really quietly so my daughter doesn't hear me...
Which reminds me of a story.
I was one laying under my 1970 Chevy pickup in a very cold RV park in Idaho sometime around 2002 or 3. I was changing the starter which means that you have to disconnect the front drive line and injure yourself. I dropped the starter on my finger and said: !@#$%^&* and #$%^^(*& as well as, "oh fiddle."
I heard this little voice say "Daddy?!"
I looked to the side from under the truck and saw little pink sneakers.
I felt very small.
Perhaps I will retire.
I could grind feed and no-till or something.
This guy came by today after I managed to possible blow up my newest pickup truck.
He has a feed ration for me. 530lbs corn 530lbs wheat 400lbs something 230lbs something else. Soybeans and wheat and oats and whatever. He seems to think I can-and will, weigh all this stuff out and mix it for $200 a ton. This guy has bought from me before. Did he see a scales?
I said sure... I didn't feel like an argument.
I just dump it all in an old fertilizer box and auger in out into bags. I have no flipping clue, no stinking soybeans, and the corn is moldy.
Finish this sentence, "When I grow up I want to be a _________"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My dead truck

My truck is dead....
I seem to be unable to make decisions. I have to find an engine for this truck. It is a 478 cubic inch gas engine.
I found another truck with an engine that will work. The truck has not run for 7 years. It has the transmission I need. It was running when parked. It was parked because the farmer bought a very nice truck and no one wanted to shift a 5 and 4. I don't mind.
So I could try to get this motor running. Or rebuild the 478 which has a broken piston and valve problems. But I have to tow it home. I may have talked a guy into scrapping it and giving me the engine "brownie" and front springs.
I can't hide in my house because my helper is cleaning the shed where we need to put a shop. He tends to be brutal in his disposals.
I want to plant or grind feed.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I don't like Mondays

I don't like Mondays.
When i was in high school there was a band called the Boomtown rats. Later the lead singer went on to do the idiotic aid for Africa and that moronic we are the world song.
The song, "I don't like Mondays" was a big deal. A 16 year-old girl shot up an elementary school and when asked why she said, "I don't like Mondays." Bob Geldof is said to have written this song after seeing the report of the shooting come over the Telex. The idea of writing a song about something like this appealed to our sophomoric minds at the time and it was a big deal for a couple weeks. Bob Geldof went on to beat Bono (of U2) to the punch as a pretentious arsehole by leading the campaign to let terrorists run Africa and bring starvation and famine back to the continent in a big way. Kind of ironic in a way. Oh, but they are now "free."
I liked Sonny Bono a lot better. He could laugh at himself. Too bad about that tree...
Today it rained.
My sometimes employee keeps texting me wanting to work. I need to give him some important job so he will tie up the shop and the go away for three months. I suppose I will have to eventually talk to him.
My new employee hunted me down and found me sitting in my easy chair in the dark listening to The Pogues, "Fairytale of New York City, and Love you 'till the End" with I found somewhere. The "Fairytale of New York City," has been called the last real Christmas song written. I'm not sure if I agree.
So he made me go to work.
My 1971 International truck is dead. He pulled the heads and the pan. There was a chunk of piston in the pan and a pile of piston rings. It has a 478 gas engine. From what I can tell so far it will be around $2,000 in parts to rebuild it.
It has a very good bed and hoist and 8 nearly new heavy duty tires on the back. Fuel economy is not so good. Not really sure what to do. 
Sometimes I would like to be something other than a farmer. I'm not so sure it is my real calling.

We had our Christmas Program

Church at an old folks home is an interesting experience.
The turnover rate is at times depressing. The Alzheimer's also takes its toll, along with just a good dose of dementia, strokes, and the general issue of if you are old enough to move to the home you are headed down hill.
Our Christmas program is a voluntary thing. There is only four remaining members of our original church and we are not thespians so there is no pageant. We meet only twice a month, on the second and fourth Sundays. We have our program on the last Sunday we meet before Christmas. I ask people to think of something to share and I find some Christmas poems to read to fill in the blanks.
This year we had several stories and a lady got up and talked about Christmas traditions from her Childhood. Her mother was dutch and was always amazed at the combination of traditions in the USA. In her tradition gifts were given earlier in December and Christmas was a religious holiday.
Sadie read two poems. The boy cousins memorized the Christmas story from Luke, and I got people to cry. I read Han Christian Anderson's, "The Little Match Girl."
That brought forth a whole new round of Christmas songs and stories and we went over-time. Afterwards we passed out brown paper bags with candy and an orange. Then we had our potluck lunch and everyone seemed pretty happy.
I was kind of struck by the thought while I was up in front-this is the last of an era. The last Christian generation. These folks are the end of the traditional era of this country. They have more in common with the Dickens era than with the 21st century.
They sacrificed and worked and saved and sent their kids to college and taught them to believe what they were told. In turn the kids have new values and their kids have little to do with the previous chain of history. I've thought of this before...
I had a discussion with S. about modern science and education. I noted that at one time scientists thought the world was flat and would accept no other idea. I pointed out every one knows that people who believe in God have a built in prejudice-but scientists don't show their prejudice. The thing is both believe they are right. The Christian has their rule system written down so if they get something wrong it is a big deal. Those who worship science just say their original info was incorrect and they just change what they believe. It doesn't make them more right it just makes them appear that way and gives them a way to deny anything they don't believe in.
People want you to believe what they want you to believe so that it gives them power over you. You have to choose what you want to believe in.
This came out of a discussion about faeries and "wee folk."
I said that just because people hadn't seen one in years it didn't mean they never existed. I said that legends were just stories handed down over the years and that most were based in facts at some point. I pointed out the cute four-foot tall waitress at the cafe and suggested that looking back in our memory we could imagine that she was an elf. It would make a much better story.
So, Sadie says, "If you believe in faeries then why don't you say so to other people." I said, "If you admit you believe in stuff like that then people laugh at you and think you are strange so I just keep ideas like that to myself."
Which then led into our discussion of science.
I told her to not believe everything she hears at school. Just because the person has authority and is a teacher doesn't mean they are correct. She needs to listen to those who love her. I noted that our belief in God gives us a set of rules to live by, a heritage of history to look at make future decisions, and a way to explain things we don't understand. Choosing Science as a religion doesn 't really make you less superstitious it just means you won't admit that you are...
I suppose I shouldn't be allowed around children. I don't know why I go off on things like that. I think my kid will grow up kind of bent.
Here are photos of her enjoying the week of freezing temperatures.
We took some time off from work to enjoy the ice. The river hardly ever freezes across. Note the big frozen whirlpool in the river!

Sadie enjoys a chunk of ice. We were looking at the crystals on the bottom of the ice. Pretty interesting!

Then we all went sliding on the ice. It was fun. We don't always get a lot done in the winter time here at the farm!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Honest Scrap

Honest Scrap heap-my nominations:
3. Will Out West, this fellow a farmer from Wales and is traveling around the country and writing stories about interesting people he finds. He needs to post more. All his stories are interesting. Hope he didn't get done with his tour and go home. Or perhaps he got deported by ICE for being useful, not being a terrorist, not being illegal, or being from a country that has people who are not the right color anymore...

4. John Turner, he has pile of blogs. John Threesixteen, The Beehives, Old West Ghost Town, Free Audio Bible, and Monkey'n Around. He has some pretty good stories and I also like the sites that rattle the atheists. Atheists pretend not to take themselves seriously but they spend way too much time worrying about people who believe differently than they do. I think they need other hobbies than googling the term, "there are no atheists in foxholes," and writing letters of protest when the find that phrase...

I'd nominate Collieguy but he doesn't have a blog. He should. Pigs, fiddles, and banjos. Think there has to be a story there.

That is all for now.

Honest things about me continued

4. I hate cats
5. When I was a little kid I was about to buy a roll of string at the Amity second hand store when I heard the owner say that if someone didn't buy something today he was going to sell the store. I put the string back. Next day there was a for sale sign. That sort of influenced my later life.
6. I hate sports. But you probably already knew that.
7. I was once the sports Editor for a weekly paper.

The Fix is in!

I feel a sense of relief. I have been waiting for the global warming folks to absorb this whole email scandal. See this link, "Climate e-mails petty, not fraudulent."
Then read the Tar Baby story. Of course the Dumb-asses that run our educational system never understood the Tar Baby story. Well perhaps we should say purposely misunderstood the Tar Baby story. The Tar Baby had less to do with race than it had to do with winning a battle.
The Fox caught the rabbit by getting him to fight with an object that absorbed and contained the Rabbits anger and aggression. The Tar Baby simply went with the punches, said not a word, and covered the rabbit with so much sticky tar that he could not escape.
When you fight big government, big science, big industry, big environmentalism, you just become enveloped, trapped, absorbed, and in the end neutralized.
So, those who want to promote change have of course found that the emails do not prove trickery and that of course the new religion of Science and Greed is much better than the old national religion of Christianity and Greed.
I predict a faster move towards new terms. Expect to see "Global Warming," completely be replaced by something along the lines of "Man-made Climate Change."  Also, should it continue to get colder instead of warmer there will be no hue and cry, there will only be a "correction" our previous hypothisis was based on incorrect assumptions based on false evidence given us by George Bush and Dick Cheney."
It could be that the emails were leaked to promote more conflict as conflict and change means more money for someone. Or someone wants to change the climate change model somewhat. Note that the Danish leak information purported to make the second and third world nations pay their way in stopping, "global climate change," which would have ruined the whole redistribution of wealth plan.
The conservative websites say it exposed a new world order plan but the way is already paved for that so that info is probably irrelevant. There must be some conflict within the new religion. It could be that many of the climatists actually believe their own rhetoric.

In other news-I am working on giving out the Honest Crap awards. I have been planting and working out the church Christmas Program. I wish I had a banjo and fiddle player-oh my-and an accordian. The old lady who played the accordian is in pretty bad shape. Now she just supplies the doll for the manger scene.

There was another link to the horrible energy companies. Oil sands sound interesting. I wonder if Syncrude is a good company to invest in or if the opportunity is past? Of course my investment ability is limited to what I can buy for $25.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Honest Scrap Award

As for passing it on, I don't actually have that many followers...
I would propose the following folks
1. Georges' Grouse He doesn't have a lot of posts but they are interesting and he is a good writer.
2. Ed Winkle at HyMark Hi Spots: Ed Writes interesting stuff about farming and updates almost everyday.

Now I'm going to work on the list of honest things about myself and then I have to go plant. I had a horrible dream about an employee getting his finger cut off which a tubing cutter. I am traumatized.
Honest things about me.

1. My name is not Budd E. Shepherd. That was my dog's name. I have always posted on the internet with my dogs identity. He never seemed to mind. He was a really good dog.

2. I like to think I drive a Studebaker. But it has a flat tire and has not run in three months. The above photo is from a few years ago. Sadie and Budd E. Shepherd in the Studebaker. Once i left Sadie in the Studebaker when I ran into the local bank. A lady admonished me that it was not good to leave a child alone in a car. I suggested that she try to get Sadie out of that car. Buddy stuck his head up at just that moment and she stomped off. Just the same, I didn't leave her alone in the car but that one time and a middle aged grumpy lady found me. Just my luck.

3. I suffer from "Night Terrors" that is why I am writing at 4 a.m. See above description of dream where employee lost finger. The scary part of the dream was trying to find the finger. The strange part of the dream was that it was at night in the shop and dad was still in his office. He asked where we were going and I said the emergency room and he said have a nice time...

Now, I am going to go out and plant. I am planting Camelina for my neighbor. Thirty acres of the stuff. I kind of suspect it is once of those dream crops that will never work. We planted 10 acres. I also have to plant 30 acres of annual rye grass for him today and I have Sadie as there is no school. She is still sleeping. Hmmmm.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I got an award

I am now an award winning bloggist. I could tell my friends I am practicing bloggery. If I have more than one blog am I a blogimist?
The award came from the talented Bethany Mattingly who writes the Aspirations blog. She is writing several novels and is a college student. She is also someone with a farming background and is a tireless defender of agriculture.
There is a catch...
To accept the award I have to write 10 honest things about myself and send the award on to at least seven other bloggers.
To write 10 honest things would unblur my line between internet fantasy and real-life reality so I may have to thing about that. I just went back and inserted by internet name into all my stories....
I did some research on the awards as I had no idea what you are supposed to do with it. You post it on your blog with a link to the person who sent it. It is a way to recognize blogs you like-or inspire you-but it also is designed to bring traffic to your blog. It is sort of a chain letter.
Most people want to increase traffic to their blogs. I am not sure why, I guess it is like climbing a mountain. I too wish for more followers. Especially those who leave comments. Otherwise it is kind of like talking to yourself...

In other news....
I have hit an impasse. There are no current funny stories. Amity park is old news, no neighborhood scandals, no examples of the Willamina Wobbler running off the rails, no one has blown up Leon's mail box in years, no drunken hippies have torn up our round-up ready corn field. I guess I will have to make up stories...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I've got nothin

I'm drawing a blank today. So it is a Christmas issue. I don't have a good Christmas story. Christmas is not the same without Mom. The holidays were Mom. When i was a kid it was always a trip to Grandma's house. As a grown up it was always Mom who found the meaning in the holiday. I have nothing funny to say. Making up a funny story is easy when you have a solid base. You can joke about something like the family Christmas celebration when there is a solid and a tradition to base it all on. What is funny? The prime rib might be cold at the wife's family? Or my family Christmas will?? What crisis? Can't make a joke about the Christmas tree cookies with icing cause there probably won't be any. There will be no games of ring on the string, no one will ask my Grandma if she wants to play pool and she won't say that she has never been in a pool hall in her life and is not about to start now-cause she's been pushing up the daisies in the Amity cemetery for twenty some years. Mom is not going to have some sort of accident two weeks before Christmas and I'm not going to end up cooking Christmas dinner for essentially the same reason. Such is life.
Here is the Daily Strumpet Christmas story from 1999 or 98 or somewhere in there. It is kind of funny. I thought I had all the issues in my computer but I changed programs. Indesign won't open Ready, Set, Go files so unless I can dig up the old PowerBook 180 out of the trailer the Daily Strumpet archives are gone...

Its Christmas Pretty Baby!

It is the day after Christmas at the home of the Daily Strumpet. We have listened two our two Christmas CD’s, Dwight Yoakum’s “Come on Christmas,” and Nate King Cole who sings “Oh Tannenbaum” in German with a very precise American accent.
We loved them for the first 150 times we played them, and that was last year,” exclaimed Budd as he quietly bumped his head against the wall while quietly moaning in time to Dwight singing “Mama said Santa Can’t stay.”
 “Of course that was last year,” said the lovely and gracious Mrs. Shepherd as she inserted stick matches under Budd’s toenail and the lit them.
“Whoopee! I just wannna Dance!” hollered Budd as his toes began to smolder.
Christmas at the little house in the big grass field seemed to all come in a rush this year for the Shepherds.
“We just got back from Mexico and it was December 8 and time to find a tree. The darling duo were somewhat intimidated by the double digit price of tree this yea and so put off the annual purchase with the hope of finding one on the highway.
“I found one and so did Uncle Harold. Those things fall off the trucks all the time,” said Budd. Noting that this part of Oregon is like the Christmas tree Capital of the world.
“You could buy one cheaper in Mexico than here,” he exclaimed. “And you could have a cute little elf in a Santa hat and Daisy-Mae’s deliver it for a couple extra bucks,” he noted.
“It’s a little different at the Amity Lions club. There for a couple extra bucks the old fart might even come out of his trailer and have a smoke,” he added.
Of course it is always a bit o f a let down after all the wild times had at the Shepherd Family Christmas.
Well usually that is. This year Rollan and Eileen went to Indiana for Christmas. Arlan and Shelly and Aunt Ruth were to meet at Mom and Dads with Budd and Laura but inclement weather forced a cancellation.
“We were dreaming of a white Christmas just like the ones we’ve never had. But, we got wind and rain instead,” said Budd.
The party was a bit smaller with just Budd and Laura and Mom and Dad.
“Just more food for the rest of us,” was the motto as the family chowed on ham with delicious pie for desert.
Christmas day Budd and Laura attended the Macy family Christmas at noon and they returned home for a small dinner with Dave and Shirley Miller and their three charming children.
“I really like to associate with people who have a good name,” said Budd.
“Plus I was worried we might not get enough ham to eat. You know Christmas is one of those times of the year when you don’t get enough to eat!”
Geoffery, Rhonda, and Christa seemed to be quite happy with their visit as there we enough computers, toy cars, cats, and dogs to pretty well occupy everyone.
Mrs. Miller and Mrs. Shepherd hob-knobbed in the kitchen and discussed girly things whilst the Daves engaged in discussions of important manly things such as the proper design of a Sim City simulation and ways to end world hunger.
“Yes it is important for Daves to get together. How else would anything in the world get done!” exclaimed Dave Miller.

For Collieguy-Sneak Preview of Strumpet!

This is a draft a whipped out while sitting in my office this morning. (I love wireless internet) What do you think former Daily Strumpet subscribers? Should I do a whole issue?
I think I should avoid the use of the adjective "Pesky"
I do need a better lead...

Aliens Abduct LF Employee

Those pesky aliens have struck once more at Shepherd Farms kidnapping long time Shepherd Farms employee, Willaim J. Hall.
Even more disturbing evidence has been found pointing to a possible illicit probing  and body and attitude reprogramming involving this loyal and semi-dependable yoeman.
“It all started a month or so ago. Bill said he was coming to work on Monday and then just disppeared. I called later in the week to see if he had the Obama Flu and he said he would be at work on Monday. “Then he just vanished,” said LF assisstant to the assistant farm manager, Mr. Budd A. (assistant) Shepherd.
Shepherd says he was completely shocked by Bill’s absence. “I’ve know him to be early for work. Sometimes he has to sit and drink coffee with Uncle Harold as it is like 7:30 a.m. or something, and sometimes he tries to sneak in and work on Sundays, but the idea of Bill missing a day of work is unheard of.”
Authorities were called but declined to file a missing persons report. “It is really out of our jurisdicition. We only go after people not wearing seatbelts and really obvious Meth users,” said Amity Police Chief James Clark.
“Oh and skateboarders, skatebording may not be a crime but they sure are pesky little fellows,” he added.
Rumors persist that Bill may have had a job hauling Christmas trees for another farmer or that he was sitting on his arse watching TV.
“I am sure it was Aliens,” said Shepherd.
“Bill always calls and I know he could never stand to just sit around and watch TV,” he said.
Apparently Alien contacts have become more frequent according to noted radio personality Art Bell. People have been experiencing strange probing sensations especially during wine tasting sessions in Amity...
When Bill unexpectedley appeared for work the first Monday in December, most people did not recognize him.
“I knew it was Bill because it was Monday and Bill said he would show up on Monday and he would never mislead me,” said Budd.
Others at Shepherd Farms were somewhat skeptical. “It doesn’t look like Bill, I need to see his social security card, he could be an illegal alien. You know I have to send all that information into the state. What do I do with this letter about child support. Rollan isn’t here,” said Uncle Ted accountant of the year.
“I just hope he doesn’t use floor dry instead of sawdust, said Uncle Harold.
There is some speculation that an accident befell Bill before his untimely dissapearance the first rainy day of fall.
One anomyous sourse proposed the theory that Bill was running the venerable Minneapolis-Moline G706 and pulling a large flat-roller when he fell off the back and was flattened by the roller.
“The new Bill seems longer and flatter than the old Bill. This would be consistant with what happens to cartoon charactors when they are run over by a steam-roller or ran through the wringer on an antique washing machine,” said the source.
The Strumpet Editor, Budd E. Shepherd “pooh-pooh’s” this idea. “That is inferring that William J. Hall possesses attributes of a cartoon charactor and infact may very well be a cartoonish figure. I will in no way stand for Bill being placed in the same classification as Daffy Duck or any other Looney Toons Charactor, although when he carries a shotgun I once mistook him for Elmer Fudd-But that was only once!”
The Editor is more inclinded towards the Alien abduction theory. “There have been many unexplained helicopter sightings and my wife’s friend has not been around, plus one of Eileen’s chicken is missing. Not only that, most of the clocks in our house don’t work and that is a sure sign of Alien activity,” said Budd.
The question remains, was Bill probed and shapeshifted while in alien custody and did he infact enjoy the experience.
“The fact of the matter is that Bill seems much more happy, he is full of enthusiasm, he drinks more coffee, and he likes Bob Marley,” I think that proves something, “By the way, what is a spliff,” said the Editor.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Program

We attended Sadie's Christmas program. I was pretty offended that they called it a "Christmas" program. I had really hoped for "Holiday Season Program." I was happy to see that there were no actual Christmas songs as I would have felt obligated to sue the school.
They did sing "happy, merry, Christmas," with lots of hand waving and a zippy tune. I was pretty upset with the repeated use of the "Christmas" term and the kid dressed like Santa seemed perhaps vaguely religious but I don't think I have a lawsuit. I think I'll check out the atheist blogs to see if I someone will help sponsor a lawsuit.
I was happy to see the basic program was totally devoid of any deeper meaning. I think the storyline was that a comet was heading towards earth and would wipe out the North Pole. However some reindeer with super powers were able to save everything during another zippy song.
The music teacher sounds very much like Minnie Mouse. However, I could not understand a single word. New bleachers but a pretty pathetic sound system.
In other local news. It would appear that the football team won a championship. I have absolutely no school spirit. I don't even care. I have not been back to AHS since I graduated other than Sadie's events.
On the other hand she throws herself into it all. Good for her!
For those who are following the White 2-155 saga. I drained the hydraulic oil. I think the dump box hydraulic cylinder contaminated the whole hydraulic system of the tractor. I have no idea how water could have gotten into the tractor otherwise. Apparently the White holds 30 gallons instead of 15. But, I only used four five gallon buckets. I was able to spill one. On myself and on the ground. The ground is frozen solid so we have a little oil slick. It was about 20 degrees out. Warm oil doesn't stay warm for that long and it ruins the insulating qualities of your coveralls. I was able to roll around in it quite a bit.
Tomorrow I have requests for my planting services.
The Great Plains drill will go in the ground, but it will probably bend a few coulters. I'm not so sure it is a good idea.
The last time I planted into ice on a field that you couldn't get on if the ground was not frozen it was a failure. When the ground melted the wheat was in cold wet mud. It just kind of rotted. However, the fellow has gotten advice from someone who is smarter than I, and I need the money so I guess I will give it a go.
Perhaps it will work. Sometimes it is nice to be wrong.

Christmas Issue

I'm thinking about a Christmas issue.
Possible headines-Uncle Ted nominated to Accountant Hall of fame. Located in ???? LF's accountant of the year since 1942 joins such accountant luminaries as ??? and ???.
Aliens abduct somewhat dependable employee. Given body and brain transplant. Now shows up on Mondays.
Uncle Harold gets five barrels of floordry for Christmas, wonders what he did wrong. "Traditionally we were given chunks of coal," he said.
I need a major news story, a feature, and a couple small sidebars. Oh and letters to the editor. I can make those up. I should add an out of date schedule for Flying Pig Banjo and Fiddle.
Perhaps a story of editor winning safe farmer of the year award and photos of my open belt hammer mill.
Hmmm. Somthing to think about today.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Hippies on OPB

We tuned into OPB to watch Antique Roadshow and instead it is pledge week. OPB apparently has declared it hippie Sunday with should play well with your typical OPB subscriber. Yeah, I really care about Peter Paul and Mary. It must have been painful to live in the "Summer of Love," if you were one of the five people in the USA who didn't have their head stuck up their ass.
My goodness, Richie Havens... And Mary is on TV in an interview from 1986 repeating back commie propaganda. Looking a lot like Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Of course then all these people bred with each other and produced progressives which gave us our current revisionist view of history.
And they will give me a CD of all the white liberal campfire songs if I just send money to OPB! Great, perhaps we can keep sophomoric arguments going for ever.
Look, so they wrote the candle song because bad things were happening in South America. I don't mind a debate on the virtues of US foreign policy. That is a joke-fest in itself. Fine, you don't want to go to war, you can protest it. This is the USA.
BUT, just because you disagree with USA policy or dictatorships in South America, it doesn't mean that the other side is right. Marxist "freedom" fighters have killed millions of innocent people. It may not have been a good idea to go into Vietnam but didn't purposely losing the war the way we did lead to the deaths of millions more Vietnamese. Think of Pol Pot.
Just because I think spending trillions on similar unwinnable war in Afghanistan is a bad idea that didn't work for the British or the Russians means that I support Islamic terrorists.
I am so glad my lovely wife changed the channel to the European Art History channel.
Peace and Love man!

Rambling thoughts on Sunday

We went to the same Church as we went last Sunday. I feel the need to keep the daughter in church. She needs to have friends who are part of our culture if we expect her to continue our culture. (sort of a strange comment I suppose) When I was growing up we went to a very small church and I had no likeminded christian friends. I grew up somewhat on the outside of our traditional Christian culture.
Anyway, this Sunday I was a bit more relaxed at church. I observed some things.
There is an old lady who Whistles. I've known this lady most of my life and I never knew she whistled. This is the second older lady I have met who whistles. I think whistling old ladies are a bit different-surreal comes to mind. She trilled like a little bird. It was somewhat disturbing but I guess it was nice as well.
The preacher seems to have taken Andy Griffith as a role model. He does a spot on impression, with a little Don Knotts thrown in as well. Once I made that connection I got sort of distracted.
There is a fellow on the back row who laughs loudly and tends to repeat any punch lines delivered from the pulpit. I did not notice him wearing a bike helmet so I am assuming he is just a really big fan of the pastor.
They take communion every Sunday. It is kind of nice to start the service with a shot of grape juice but I do have mixed feelings about it.
The people are nice and I know lots of people so I'll most likely go back.
After church we went to the local cafe and had split a salad. The waitress made Sadie a special fruit plate. She likes Sadie. Sadie is almost as tall as the waitress. The waitress has a daughter Sadie's age.
S. has a lego advent calendar. It has a lego prize from every day of the advent season. She looks forward to opening the window and getting a lego prize every day. She has most of the days figured out.
We are having a Christmas tree debate. This year my wife wants a real tree while I am lobbying for the fake tree. This is the reverse of every other year. I just don't want to spend money on a tree. Or crawl under it to water it.
There is another follower! Woop! Whoop! (as Budd Clarke used to say-but that was a long time ago and no one even remembers what I am talking about. The good old days when things were not quite so serious)
I wonder about the Lazy Farmer audience. I told a few people who used to be Daily Strumpet subscribers about this blog. However, I am almost positive that the majority don't read the Lazy Farmer.  I understand that most folks do not enjoy reading about no-till planting but there are some funny stories thrown in. I am not so sure what would make an interesting blog. I've been writing what I would like to read. I've been using the blog to make sense of some ideas. Or as a bit of therapy-although have cut that way down so I don't whine too much. And I would like to build a base of stories in order to somehow learn how to be a writer.
I also tend to be a bit stream of consciousness. I hope that is entertaining.
I have to do a Daily Strumpet! A Christmas issue! Hopefully something really funny will happen this week. I have lots of page two stories but nothing for page one.
I'm going to play legos with S. now.
I'm trying to get her to drive me around so I can double check some of the anifreeze in the tractors, and perhaps shoot some tin cans but she thinks it is too cold.
Or I could take a nap...
I could proof read this post!
Edit: I just checked the flag counter and someone from Sweden visited The Lazy Farmer. How do people find this blog and do people stumble upon it stay? I would think I would have a limited audience.
Also, I just thought of this memory from High School when I saw the Swedish flag.
I hated school. I hated school with a passion. I have never been back to school. Amity won some sort of championship. I don't care. I did not go to the game. I don't know the score. I don't care.
I don't remember why I hated school. I think people liked me. I guess I don't really know.
Anyway, we had a Swedish exchange student. I joined AFS for some reason. She was in AFS. She was nice but very quiet. I gave her a ride home from meetings sometimes. I think she liked Bunny Wailer or Desmond Dekker or Bob Marley. I have a faint memory of setting in her driveway listening to Desmond Dekker or something on the tape player. She asked me to the prom but I didn't go to the prom. That was all a long time ago. Pretty funny I would remember that. Might have been because I looked up all my Bob Marley stuff as my Uncle's Grandson is a total pothead.
He ran the shop Saturday when his Grandpa and Grandma went to a family Christmas/Thanksgiving dinner in Coos Bay. He went out for a half hour ride with his friends. He came wearing sun glasses. It was coffee time. He leaned back in a chair and was quiet. As my personal assistant noted, "K. is BAKED!" He reeked of chronic when he came in. I had spilled gasoline on myself so I couldn't smell it. (Good thing I don't smoke.) Hotboxing at coffee time! Now that is what memories are made of!
It is pretty funny. Sometimes I call him "chronic boy." He just grins.

My neighbor is armed and dangerous

He used to read my blog but I don't think he does anymore. If he does I hope he laughs.
My brother called me last night to see if I had put antifreeze in the White 8700 combine that I store in the neighbor's shed. I thought I did but it kept bugging me. So, I got a couple jugs of antifreeze and went over there. I usually text or call him if I come over at night. It was 10 p.m.
Once he caught people out in his shed and he used a lazer pointer on them. Or was it a lazer gun sight. Anyway it pretty much freaked them out. I really didn't want to be threatened with a firearm but I was in a hurry and it was 10:30 at that point.
I parked in front of the shed with my lights on and truck running and I dumped two gallons of antifreeze in the combine. Of course it wouldn't start. That seems like a lot of antifreeze so I think it will circulate. I thought I filled it with 50/50 when I backed it out of the shed to unload the tank. We left it full of oats that we had no home for. I sold the oats for feed so it is empty now.
Not a peep from the house. Thought I'd get a phone call at least. Not that there is anything to steal out there. I have my Great Plains drill backed up tight against his shop door.
I have been adding up tractor repairs in my head.
There is oil blowing out the exhaust when I start... Turbo= $400, Metal chunks in the hydraulic filter=Hydraulic pump=$1000? New tires $1,200 per tire for rear, $1050 each for the fronts= $4500.
Sold some hay yesterday. We have some hispanic cusomers that buy hay for their horses. There is some tie in to the Mexican rodeo circuit. You see posters on telephone poles but never hear an news about it. There is a huge underground economy that is doing quite well and no english is spoken.
The guys that were here yesterday are pretty cool. I asked them about the people they brought with them last time. I said I ended up short on the cash. Yesterday's customer, who brought them last time, new how much short I was. I said that I didn't like to be a hard liner on the money and I wanted to trust people and it annoyed me when people took advantage of my lack of short term memory and math skills-especially when they were getting a really good deal in the first place. He gave me a little extra and said keep the change. The next customer also agreed I had been ripped off. He said the guys were just stupid but he didn't speek spanish so he wasn't sure what happened. He said he wanted to come by himself so I didn't think he was in anyway connected to those people... Hmmmm.
Biting the hand that feeds you?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A week with someone enthusiastic!

My new helper has a notebook. He writes down things we need to do. I have a big notebook which has sort of the master list. He kind of follows me around and takes notes. This is important. I get started on one project, then I see something else important and mess with that. Then my cell rings and I talk to some other distracted farmer, then I come back and start on something else, then someone comes to visit and I talk for half an hour. Sometimes this gets me a job, but mostly I get confused and can't remember what I am doing. Josh looks up in the notebook what is next and he won't let me take coffee breaks unless we have accomplished something. I'm not sure who is the boss...
This morning we had to burn some trash. He collected lots of old spray cans. Then we built a fire under the cans and when they were good and hot we shot them with the .22. This was our break. It was a lot of fun. The explosions are bigger after dark, but they were still very nice in broad daylight. Then we started the old loader tractor which was parked down at the river with a dead battery. That took a half hour.
I managed to get my feed grinder going. Josh found me a stainless steel auger from the local CoOP for $250 and they threw in a box with a tarp and engine for free. We got that going yesterday and mixed up an order of feed for a local freerange chicken guy. It worked pretty well. We stuck a short electric auger down in the center of the powerbox to mix up the ground corn with the wheat and oats. It kept jamming up. Then Josh yells, "You drilled through the box." The bottom of the powerbin was a little rotten but it was nothing a rolled up paper towel didn't cure.
That 19 percent corn got really hot. I hope mixing it with dry wheat and oats drys everything down. Otherwise there may be burning bags tonight!

This is the hammer mill set up. It is wedged between stacks of straw in the hay shed.

This is Mr. Cheerful and Enthusiastic. My wife won't let me make fun of him as I have done for years. She says it may give him a complex and that I should be nice to people.
This is my feed mixing set up. I send grain up the main auger into the box. I can circulate the grain with the short auger sticking out of the box. The cardboard box around the auger keeps grain from falling out of the grain box. The box has its own unloading auger. It is powered by an antique Wisconsin single cylinder engine.

In other news. Sadie is teaching herself how to type. I do not know why. She is writing a letter to her friend. She has been writing a book. She does not want any instructions from her father. She is a mystery to me at times.

I couldn't figure out why the transmission low oil pressure light kept coming on when I ran the hydraulic auger with my 2-155 White. So I changed the filter. It had chunks of metal which look link the remains of shims and small hard junks of plastic in the bottom of the filter. The oil looked like there was water in it. I have no idea. I did use the 2-155 to empty a dump box full of triticale earlier in the week. I think that is where the water came from. I'm a little worried about the other stuff.

It is white out!

No snow, just a heavy frost. We have been checking antifreeze, I hope we got them all.
I just realized that I did not pick up the windfalls of hard red apples. The old apple trees in the fence rows are for cider. I was going to make cider! I got all distracted by grinding feed and employee relations and cleaning and other stuff and forgot the cider plan.
It is 24 degrees outside, I think the cider apple plan is over for this year.
The song of the lazy farmer....
Although the Lazy Farmer would have gotten his wife to do it! If my memory serves me correct "his Mirandy" got a lot of the farm chores done. He was a clever one!
I'm going to have to make a trip to Portland or somewhere that has big old used bookstores and look for Old Farm Journals and Country Gentlemen. I need some more Lazy Farmer cartoons.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crisis update

So I called my wayward employee. He wants to work. I pointed out that he said he was coming to work the next Monday and that was a couple months ago. He said he had been hauling Christmas trees. I said he should have told me. He said he was sorry and did I have any work.
I listed the baler that still needed to be cleaned, pipe left to pick up, wood to cut, but said I didn't have enough to keep him busy all winter.
He said he would pickup pipe, clean the baler and cut wood, he said he had to take his mother somewhere but he would be here Monday.
I laughed.
He said, "no I really meant it."
I said, just call me Monday....
It is kind of funny.
New helper went crazy cleaning the shed. I was working on fertilizer bin that I am getting ready to grind feed. I am a little afraid to look. I guess if we didn't know it was there we won't miss it will we...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Moral Crisis

I have somewhat of dilemma. I wonder what other people think. I now I have 9 followers and a few lurkers as I can see the hit counter go up after a post. A few people have followed me for a while. I'm interested in some opinions.
I just posted about my new helper. Well, just now my old employee called me for the second time today. I didn't answer the phone as I don't like confrontation and I don't want to talk to him.
I'm really angry with him. I talked to him at the end of this summer and I thought we had an agreement that he would help me with fall work as I had a lot of planting and my brother is driving truck.
When the first rains came he just disappeared. This left a number of things not finished. I had also rented another grain drill with the idea that he would run it. (the rain kind of ended that idea)
So, the fertilizer didn't get spread before the fields got soft, one baler (out of two) was not cleaned. The other equipment was not cleaned or greased or service for winter-in fact it was all left lined up in a field in preperation to be serviced, and some of the stuff had to be pulled out with a chain. Swathers were not cleaned, antifreeze was not checked, a custom farming job was lost, and I'm kind of peeved.
I know the routine, it happened last year. He needs a job, he will apologize, he will admit to doing the wrong thing, he will promise to do better.
Even though I am really annoyed I would give him a job because it is Christmas time. Actually, what I would rather do is give him $200 for presents and tell him I have no work for him but here is some money for Christmas and I can't afford to employee him till hay season.
Other people say no way. It is not your problem. If he would have asked for a vacation it is one thing but this is another.
But, it is Christmas time. I don't care why he didn't come to work, I don't really want him back, but I don't want anyone to have a sad Christmas!
Eventually, I will have to answer the phone.
Why do people put you in this situation? Don't they have any pride or self respect?
Any commentary would be helpful.

I've accompished something!

I've got a new employee. I sort of hate to call him an employee. He is working here for a while after quitting his real job. He wants to go back to school and be an elementary teacher. I think he would be really good at it. He was selling insurace. That could be a pretty bad job.
I call him Bill.  His name is not Bill. Bill was the old employee. I think I will just call all employees Bill from now on. In this way I will not become attached to them. He could be the old Bill, we joked about that at lunch. If the old Bill fell off the back of the G706 and got ran over by the flat roller like in a cartoon, so instead of being round he was flat and tall.... I really don't know where that joke is going.
So I gave this fellow a job. I sometimes work for his father picking up bales with our stacker. He would run their stacker. That is how I got to know him.
He carries around a little notebook and sometimes makes notes of things he needs to do. I drive him crazy. First of all I forget constantly what I am doing. Then there are so many things of the same importance I tend to start one then go to the other, then I get a phone call, or someone stops to chat and I end up doing something else. Instead of telling me to make up my mind he looks at his notes and figures out what I meant to be doing. This is so very helpful.
He checked the antifreeze today, unstuck the old Toro-Flow truck, we emptied our box of triticale, got tires for my tractor, he swapped seats in the stacker we are trying to sell, and he got me bags of grain to make into feed. He just went and did it! It is totally amazing. I have no idea how I am going to pay him what he is worth.

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