The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

It will never stop raining...

The rain would not bother me so much but I need to plant. I have to have the money. It is now too late to plant spring wheat. Oat yields are dropping, I never get called on to plant grass, even if there were contracts for grass seed. I sold some hay. I have some loyal Mexican customers.
Speaking of grass my cousin is injured. He hurt his arm in the bunny crash. I will do a quick recap of the bunny crash. My cousin and his two friends were going somewhere. The girl was driving. The bunny was in a cage in the back. They were worried the bunny was too cold. They put the bunny up front. The bunny went a little nuts and got in the way of the gas pedal. They drove off the road.
So my aunt takes Chronic Boy (her grandson actually) to the doctor as his arm hurts him. He moans a lot and acts like he is in pain. No one believes him but my Uncle (his grandfather). The doc pokes him and prods him and asks him if it hurts. It doesn't seem to give the response the doctor wants. The doc asks him if he has a job. He replies, "I work for my Grandfather!" The doc tells him he needs to get a real job...
Not sure what that was all about but it was funny!
Employee and I think it is a scam to either get a Medical Chronic Card or to keep scoring prescription painkillers. Pretty funny, but also kind of sad...
More de-evolution, I'm glad I'm just lazy...

Things which are painful to read and make you wish you lived in a different time...(of your own choosing)

What the FBI does not investigate and the sort of thing that has a direct link to 911 and is not in Iraq or Iran or any other foreign country that we can spend trillions on a pointless war to liberate people who don't really like us anyway and didn't want to be liberated anyway...
Click here for link... How would you like those folks for your neighbors.
Meanwhile, back at the Keystone Kops headquarters located in the Winston Smith Memorial building, they learn of impending danger. So now M-80's are weapons of mass destruction and local idiots are considered to be a dangerous threat to anyone but themselves... (Which is not to say that they SHOULD be allowed to have guns....) But, look a the other article...
Click here for the moronic "terrorists"
And of course the ladies who blew themselves up on the Russia train were just normal ladies with NO religious affiliation....
I just watched a PBS documentary about the Pacific Campaign and the invasion of Japan. We were a real country then and we made tough decisions. Now we are this group-think, new-speak, new-think, parody of a George Orwell novel. How the mighty have fallen...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I eat pie, sell grain, and deal with employee

I had pumkin pie and whipped cream for breakfast today. It is kind of like Thanksgving. There appears to be 2" inches of water standing in my yard. I checked the river levels on the internet. I was a little worried I was going to have to figure out how to get the fertilizer truck out of the river bottoms during a food. River is supposed to peak at 35 feet, we don't have to worry till it approaches 50 feet.
My former employee came back to work yesterday. He has grown a little. He said he is pushing 350lbs. My winter helper went to work for his father, but is still getting calls off of my hay and grain ads on craigslist.
A fellow wanted to buy some whole oats. He called my winter helper who relayed the message. He is very good on the phone. We had to get the truck out of a neighbor's shed. There were two dead JD 3020's in front of our old Ford cabover. Which was dead as well. We pulled everything out of the barn and I drove the Ford home with no brakes. We set up the auger and started filling big bags. Four tonnes of oats is a lot of oats loaded out 800lbs at a time.
Then it started raining. It poured. We were in the midst of putting everything away when the fellow showed up for his oats. He was a very nice older fellow. He had bought some Jersey Heifers from my dad years ago. He said they were a little wild. Then he mentioned he was going to run his oats through a hammer mill. I showed him mine and he told me how to lace the belt so it wouldn't damage the hammer mill pulley. But it was raining so hard we didn't get to talk much.
Later we worked on the International truck. We want to haul scrap. Unfortunately the employee's heart started racing. He took his medicine then laid down in his car for an hour. Finally he went home. I guess he went to the hospital as he called and said he was ok. He says it has nothing to do with his weight. I told him there was no way I was giving him the kiss of life.
I am worried. I can tell it will be a long summer...
This morning I got an email from some folks that came after hay Saturday. The lady sent her husband and he was worried the hay was not bright enough. He just took four bales as a sample. This morning I got an email from her saying it is wonderful hay and she wants three ton. I already knew it was wonderful hay but I told the fellow I didn't want to sell him something if his wife wouldn't like it. It is kind of funny...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I visit my old grain drill

Today it rained. I took a very long nap.
Yesterday was the last nice day. I planted 24 acres of spring wheat. It was all little fields. Corners of a large grass field that didn't do well and the farmer sprayed them out. It was fairly slow going. The strangest thing was that there was a turkey running around out there. I have no idea where he came from.
Friday I mixed up some feed for my chicken feed customer. First I had to locate some feed wheat. Then pick it up. Then i found some oats, then some clover screenings. Before long the day was gone. I did manage to disable by drill by attempting to install markers.
Then Saturday I got a planting job. I got the markers sort of on and working and started planting close to 5 p.m. I finished around 8 p.m. I made more money with a slow planting job than I did with a good feed mixing job. Kind of puts it in perspective.
Wednesday or Thursday I went to visit my old grain drill. I have a certain affection for the drill. I really didn't want to sell it but I didn't have time to rebuilding. I kind of wore it out.
The farmer who bought the drill had some leftover barley which is supposed to be really good yielding. He wanted me to look at his fields and he said he would make me a good deal on the seed.
So, I went over early in the morning.
He has a pretty good scheme for planting. He is doing grain rotations on deep red hill soil. I think it is pretty well drained. He no-tilled his barley into wheat stubble. He chopped the stubble in the fall and sprayed out the regrowth in the spring. He sets the drill to plant 2" deep so that it cuts through the stubble. He plants as early as he can get on the ground. The barley looks really good. It is two inches tall already.
I can't make that work. I leave the stubble tall and attached to the ground. I've had the best luck planting shallow and not chopping the stubble. I think it is because all the ground I no-till is wet and poorly drained.
When i got back his employee had loaded all the bags into my pickup. I tried to pay him and he wouldn't take the money. He said he appreciated my willingness to help him with no-till questions and that I had given him a bunch of parts with the drill. His way of saying thanks. I guess 800 lbs of barley is a good thank you.
He takes really good care of the drill. I like the old drill better than the new one. The old one has much cleaner lines. It is not cluttered with a tank and gadgets and what not.
This is the new Great Plains 1500. It is very cluttered with a tank and hoses and valves. Now it also has markers. What a mess of stuff!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Insane Doctor, gps failure, blah blah blah....

I was bringing the drill home yesterday and I thought of a funny story about a crazy environmentalist Doctor. Now, to be fair I will add that he is an Emergency Room doctor so I suppose he is kind of crazy but tell that to the county crew that came out to trim limbs.
If you will note the photo of my tractor driving down a narrow road you will see that the oak trees are nearly covering the road.

The crazy doctor lives at the top of the hill at an old dairy. He is converting the place to a natural habitat paradise but he has to have money so he rents it out to a neighbor farmer. This makes it a difficult place to farm. I've planted it once or twice.
The way the story goes is that those oak trees had grown together forming a canopy over the road. The canopy kept getting lower and lower so eventually vehicles would not be able to travel down the road.
The county sent out some of its highly ambitions workers to start trimming trees.
Well the good doctor went nuts at the violation of his tree space. Something about biodiversity and global warming and George Bush. They didn't pay a lot of attention to him till he grabbed his rifle.
The workers did not get real upset, they just called the sheriff and took the rest of the day off. The Dr. had to go to jail for the evening.
Then they cut the trees.
You can't fight city hall.

In these other two photos you can see a field I planted last fall. It is former hay ground and is on the wrong side of the hill to be good soil. And it is very wet. That is why the wheat is kind of yellow.
But, look at the skips and the wide guess rows. I planted this in the dark in blinding dust. All I had to go by was my GPS. It is not as bad as I feared but not as good as people like to see.
If you look at the last photo you can see that it looks like I forgot to do the corner. Actually I did the corner using GPS. The sputnick had drifted so I was offset half a drill width. I made my three passes down the corner but since it was offset, it didn't matter.
GPS could be amazing but I don't have the $3,000-$6,000 that it seems to take to make it work on hillsides.

Today it is raining.
I had four acres to do at home and then another 14 for a neighbor. Monday I have a 100+ acre job. But, it is on hillsides. My last job was supposed to be 150 acres but it turned out to be 92 acres. I need more work.

Monday, March 22, 2010

We take another beach holiday!

I am shirking...

Sunday I took Sadie to the beach. We drove out to Seal Rock to visit my friend Mel. He has an amazing house at the beach. It started raining. But of course the reason we went to the beach was that it was raining at home.
The wind was howling and the surf was high. We took Mel's remote control camaro and his Furby down to the beach. The battery went dead right away. But the Furby seemed to have a good time. Sadie had a Webkin's fluffy dog that rode along with the Furby. They seemed to get a long quit well. Mel must have the longest living Furby in the world. It has quite a vocabulary for a Furby.
Then it started raining again.
We played UNO last night. I lost repeatedly.
This morning is beautiful. It is just a bit cloudy but you can see blue sky. I need to be planting. Sadie will probably be disappointed if we don't spend a little time at the beach.

We spend all morning at the beach. Mel directed us to tidepools(see link-we were at seal rock) and explained limpets and anenomes and critters than have lots of tiny teeth and make holes in rock which I can't remember the name of. We found a whole pile of floats with Japanese writing on them. Mel collects them.

Then i came home and mixed some feed. This fellow wants me to supply him with 15 ton a month. We will pay me for grain plus $50 a ton to mix it all. I'm not so sure about this all. I need a barn with a concrete floor and then I need to buy a truck load of wheat, 15 ton of camolina meal at $250 per ton, and scrounge up some cheap oats and some clover screenings. So, I would buy all the materials, and he would pay me as he needed the feed? I think it would take more than $50 per ton to make it work. That is only $750 a month profit on what seems to be a lot of work and risk. Why do it?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I can't remember Jack but I can remember Hamish

My friend wanted to name his son Hamish. My first instinct was to suggest that a name like Hamish would help the kid to grow up strong and able to defend himself. However the name Hamish has stuck in my head. I am quite used to no one actually paying attention to me so I just assumed he named the little fellow Hamish. It was quite a surprise when my wife told me his name was not Hamish but Jack.
Her quote was, "You can remember the name Hamish, but not Jack?"
But, of course! I am slowly going nuts...
Yesterday I finished my 53.3 acre field. Somehow I got 65 acres out of it. I discovered my calc-an-acre had a calibration of 80 instead of 100. I think it should be 110. I absolutely cannot understand instructions.
I moved to the next field which was to be 150 acres. It is not 150 acres in one field or two fields or even three fields. The first field was 15 acres. I have not seen the next five. Hopefully I will not screw up any of these fields.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Things often go wrong...

I like grumpy farmers. See Frank James at frankwjames.blogspot.

Yesterday did not go well. The flowmeter was off on my fertilizer rate controller and now I'm 100 gallons off. The fertilizer costs like $2.25 gallon I think. $450/ton and 11lbs/gallon? Then I had a leak in the tank and lost more. Plus, somehow the acres and seed consumption are not coming out right even though I weighed the seed with my drill calibrator tool and I looked up last years rates and I should be right on. Then the hydraulic flow controller that changes the speed of the fertilizer pump to match ground speed and desired flow rate started squirting out high pressure hydraulic fluid.
I'm doing  a 60 acre field that has been planted the short way, it is like 300 yards wide. So I have to go back and forth, a bazillion times. I just want to go to the beach...
The following is what happened Wednesday. This is where it all started going wrong...

Yesterday (Tuesday) was rather unproductive. I needed to plant but the ground was wet. I spent way too much time on the phone in the morning. Then I attempted to make up some chicken feed. An hour's job turned into an all day job. Nothing worked right.
First of all the wheat screenings were very poor quality. There was way to much straw in them. I had trouble getting the oats out of the old warehouse. The screenings were in a wood tote and I had to auger them into a bag to deal with them. The auger motor kept quitting, the Chinese diesel powered generator wouldn't start, and the belt kept coming off the hammer mill. I had to run the oats through the mill as there were dog fennel seed heads that were way to obvious. I dumped all my spoiled grain and my glumpy mess of molasses mixed grain that didn't work into the mill as well. Everything looks better after going through the mill. I even through in some ear corn that the kids picked last fall.
The feed mix turned out to be 1000lbs wheat, 500lbs oats, 500lbs clover, 100lbs common vetch, several tubs of crappy stuff, and five buckets of ear corn. Strangely enough, the chickens like the seed with molasses on it, and they like moldy grain. I never knew chickens had a sweet tooth. I didn't think they even had teeth.  I really need another 500lbs of wheat but I don't want to pay $4.50 a bushel ($270 ton) for  chicken feed I'm selling for $200 a ton. I'm trying to buy everything for under $100 a ton. The oats have been in the barn for four years and they are full of weeds so this is a good way to get rid of them.
The an exporter fellow came to look at our hay. He was not so much impressed. He is going to take a sample to Japan. I don't think it is going to sell. The horsey folks seem to love the hay. We sell a pickup load every couple days. Of course we have several semi-loads to sell...
Today I am going to plant wheat. I think the ground has dried out enough. I wanted to plant barley at home but the ground is too wet. The fellow who bought my grain drill told me Steptoe barley is much better than Belford (we grew Belford last year and it was pathetic). Belford is a beardless barley which I thought would work better for feed and replanting.
I have always waited till the ground was 50 degrees before planting barley as when i planted it early it always turned yellow and never grew. This fellow said he planted as early as possible, the same as planting spring wheat. He applies 100lbs of 16-20 with the drill and then applies enough 32 solution to make a total of 60lbs of N.
Last year I applied 8 gal of 10-34 with the drill and then 150lbs of 38-0-0-7. So that would have been close to the same rates if I can figure that correctly. 52lbs N + 8.8lbs N =  60.8lbs N? Oh I can never figure this stuff out.
The idea is to band the phosphate with the in no-till situations as the phosphate does not absorb into no-tilled soils when you spin it on. I know when you over apply it the yields are amazing. I blew out a hose last year when opening the field and the barley was incredible in a three foot swath!
But, I'm rambling on. I will never gain readership if I natter on about no-till and fertilizer and farming stuff.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More evidence that the country is run by Morons, De-Elect congress!

I got my newsletter from PGE. (Portland General Electric) They think compact florescent bulbs are wonderful. I think not... I think they like to kiss green government arse. Perhaps they do this in honor of St. Patrick's day. The only day when I "go green."
1. They don't do well when turned off and on regularly. So.... if you turn off the light when you leave the room they will not last as long as an incandescent.
2. They cost 10 times the price of an incandescent
3. They contain mercury vapor which is considered toxic ANY PLACE BUT A #$%^&ing CFL bulb!
4. This is funny: "No flickering or humming-Today’s CFLs have better electronics than the old fluorescent lighting — no annoying flickering or humming. They may take a few moments to come up to full brightness (that’s nice when you first wake up)."
What a load of crap! They take forever to warm up and this is a good thing! Oh, yes when you first wake up... Because, you have to leave the $%^&*ing things on all day cause they will die if you keep turning them on and off! So.... Their stupid little chart only compares if you leave the CFL bulb on all the time, and you keep turning the Incandescents on and off like normal.
5. Buy cases of incandescents and store them somewhere until someone invents a better light bulb. CFL's are crap.
How do I know? We were early adopters and now we have gone back. So, congress and PGE, you can have your little love fest of shoving those little CFL's up your bottoms, I'm storing up incandescents!
Screw you green label, green is good, go green, morons...
Someone is making money on all this and it ain't me!
I think I'll go burn some plastic later today.
I wonder what would happen if I shot a can of freon with my .22-250? Would it explode like Mr. Freeze? I doubt I'll waste a $20 can on a stupid statement that means something only to me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I forget things and get angry about it

I was offended by the lady at the Cafe the other day. I was already in a highly annoyed state due to issues I cannot discuss in this blog but have got me a bit on edge this week.
Since the lady at the cafe does not read the Lazy Farmer I will explain.
I have some sort of strange issue. When I get nervous I forget things. But, sometimes I can make up amazing stories that can get me out of all sorts of traffic tickets and check bouncing issues at the bank. I never know when my special talent will kick in so most of the time I just sound confused.
The other day I called about getting some soybeans to plant. I got confused and could not say the name of the fellow who gave me the number to call. Then I could not remember the variety or day number of the beans we planted last year. I don't understand that .09 thing. We need 1-.06 day number. Then I couldn't remember who our field man was, that is because we never do business with that company, so the lady thinks I am an idiot. She is possibly correct...
When I am ordering food I often forget what I want to order even if the menu is in front of me. It is not really that I forgot, it is just that I can't remember the words to describe the item which I want. This is very embarrassing for me, so I make it into a joke.
The lady at the cafe' thinks I am just being an annoying person. I don't explain to people that I frequently have brain malfunctions or they would think I was a freak.
So, she comes up to our table and wants our order. She says she is in a hurry. She is not in a good mood. There is not waitress. The food service order guy is there which means she is anxious about money. I know all this and I am trying to remember to be quick and clear with my order. But, as soon as she tells me to hurry I go blank and I forget my order, so I make a joke about cheesy broccoli soup. She tells me to order or she will go to the next person. It instantly angers me.
I will tell you why...I think...
First the a few things about the cafe.  The food at the Amity Cafe is not bad. The menu is short and simple which is good. There are some funny and friendly waitresses who are really quite good. There is a lot of local color. The people who run it work really hard and pay way too much rent.
But, it is a touch on the greasy side, the orders are often wrong, I hate the hash browns, the hamburgers have too much water and grease and make me sick, I got food poisoning once, the coffee is terrible.
I have been taking my helper there as often as I possibly can afford and usually when I can't afford it as we are at times, the only people in there. I have spent $10 a day there, 5 days a week, all winter. It doesn't sound like much but I often don't really have the money. I always tip. I hate being bitched at... I understand she is worried but she should not be grumpy every other day and she should not yell at the waitresses. As a farmer who deals with this sort of stress I would say, and have told her, she must have a happy place or take a break or do something else. She is going to crack up.
So, we are now going to the Mexican Cafe uptown. She never has customers, she has really good coffee, and sometimes she tries to talk to me in broken english, and she brings us extra salsa.
Her husband died of a heart attack when she was like 8 months pregnant some years ago and it has been a huge struggle for her. I think I will support her for a while.
In retrospect, I am kind of an uptight person. I have been told otherwise but they were confused. I was thinking about this last night after planting for a neighbor. He was worried and I was worried about the moisture and we were both being polite with each other. So, I went home early. It was dark anyway. Last night it rained. It drives me nuts waiting for the ground to dry out.
I think I will take some vitamin D.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dogs and bicyclists, oh my!

I will admit my bias. I don't like bicyclists. They are having fun while I am working, they block the road, and they were funny tight clothes. You think it is a girl and it is a guy. It is disturbing. And they upset the dogs.
You have to have dogs or meth addicts will steal you blind, but if you dog bites a bicyclist he will sue you blind.
I came back in the house to check the weather. I want to go plant for a fellow, but he is worried it is too wet to close the ground properly. This is a total switch from those I have planted for in the previous weeks, they just wanted the seed in the ground. This is not to say he is wrong, it is just a switch. I'm going to get a weather printout so we can do some planning when I go to look at his field. If he thinks it is too wet I have someone else down the road who wants me to plant so I will just go to him and come back in two or three days.
So, I'm trying to figure out how to print a weather forecast without getting 10 pages out of the printer when i hear a commotion in the yard. There is a hispanic fellow on a three wheeled bicycle towing a cart loaded with cans. Stanley has him cornered. He is reaching for his dog whomping stick when I get Stanley to come back. Stanley is a bit racist. However, he is also a big pansey and is addicted to kind words and dog biscuits. All the mexican dude has to do is toss him a biscuit and say "nice doggy." It works for the UPS guy, the guy at the gas station, the fex ex dude, and the people that steal gas out of our trucks. Why can't bicyclists figure it out?
Well of course I know the answer. Bicyclists are better than I, they don't waste fossil fuels (except in the tight nylon funny shorts), they are green, so they should own the oil paved highways...
I hate living next to the road. Our new dog which is on loan from a relative is in the road again. She sits in the road and waits for my wife to come home. She is going to get hit and injured and I'm going to have to shoot her. I really hate doing that, she is a nice dog. Not very smart, but nice.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Kenwood KC-135 was designed by utter morons as was most other car stereo stuff!

It is true that I may need anger management therapy but...
Installed a nice Kenwood stereo in my White tractor. It has really good am and fm and it was on sale. But-the people who design car stereos should be a little more in touch with the consumer. I personally wonder if the KC-135 would fit into it's designer's rectum and I would kind of like to be the one to place it there.
How difficult can it be to design controls on a car stereo. You need, volume, bass, treble, balance, and tuning. Station presets are great to have as well. There was once a time when stereos had knobs. You could turn those knobs even if you were bouncing around on a gravel road. Or in a field. There was a time when you could set your radio while driving in the car. You didn't need to pull over and get out a book.
This is why I hate the KC-135. First of all, when you try to adjust the volume and you hit a bump it then clicks the multipupose volume control which also clicks in. This adjusts the bass, then you have to click it five more times to get through all the adjustments I will never use to get back to the stinking volume setting. Secondly, it has a jack on the front to plug in your iPod. But, you have to go through a menu to install this extra feature. It is not intuitive nor is it a default. The battery went dead on the tractor and I had to figure out how to get the iPod feature to work.
It is idiotic.
If I could buy an old Pioneer dual shaft supertuner with a cassette I would buy it. You can't listen to a CD in a bouncing tractor anyway.
I restrained myself from beating the stupid thing with a crescent wrench as you know that would not be productive.
Why does it have to be so difficult to buy one stinging thing that works! The world is run by idiots and they are all paid more than I!

This is a mean post! It is funny! I think I will delete after a day or so...

This fellow sells tractor parts. He has a sprayer controller/monitor thing for sale.
But, then there is this auction for lady's underwear. Note the size, then read the description....
I kind of snorted my coffee. Don't really know why it struck me as funny. Not to make fun of anyone but...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I list a Structo truck on ebay! This is painful for me! I can't part with anything!

I am actually selling something. See my ebay listing here. I guess this means I am not a hoarder. I somehow had this idea that one day there would be a child who would play with antique toys with me. She just doesn't seem to care all that much anymore and now her aunt gave her a Harry Potter book. People are not content to just ruin their own children they also have to try and ruin yours. Sort of like the discussion I had with an Aunt about not having TV. She seemed to think my child would be ruined because she couldn't watch sex and violence on TV. I suppose there is nothing really wrong with Harry Potter but I wanted to finish the Narnia series first.
But, I digress...
We listened to Al Green on the way to Church this morning so what do I have to say?
I'm selling my Structo Auto Haul. I really don't know where I got it. I've had it for years. It sits on the shelf. Now it is on ebay. I feel sad.
I have to get rid of my collections. I need the money!

I love ice cream and am stuffing myself with chocholate chip mint till I turn green!

The farmer that lives up the road from us is an interesting fellow. He is the hardest working guy I have ever seen. He has made and lost a couple fortunes. He sometimes can hardly walk but yet he keeps going.
The other day I was on my way to plant and I going down some back roads at 7 a.m. and here he is walking out to his fertilizer spreader. He sat in the pickup with me and told me about a trucker who was hauling big bales and lost part of his load that night. The story was that he didn't know and got all the way back to Cloverdale without realizing he was missing a couple bales from the middle of his trailer.
There is more to this story now. Someone saw him tying down his load after losing bales and his truck has been impounded so I guess the old adage about not looking in the mirror and just keep going when hauling hay does not apply to bales that weigh a ton...
But, that was not the point of my story.
Mr. P. (The older farmer) bought us a crate of ice cream. My helper (J.) and I putting tin on our rebuilt shop and my phone rang. It was Mr. P. He tends to call and want help loading seed trucks right at lunch time and so I didn't answer the phone. Besides I was 20 feet in the air holding a 2x6.
It was right at lunch time so J. and I went to town for lunch. Along the way I felt guilty and listened to my message. He said to call him within 10 minutes or not to bother. It sounded urgent so I called. He said he was almost in front of my house and he would meet me there.
So, we turn around and come back and there he is, parked in the road in front of my manufactured home.
He has five crates of rapidly melting ice cream. He say's "grab a crate I gotta run." No mixing or matching you get what is in the crate.
I picked the chocolate chip mint and Oreo crate. 12 gallons of ice cream!
We tried to find out the story but he wouldn't tell. The Mexican fellow who is a pretty cool guy and helps Mr. P, wouldn't tell either. They just had silly grins.
I have no idea.
We have been eating a lot of ice cream.
Have you ever just sat down and ate a gallon of dreyer's ice cream? What a wonderful experience.
I'm kind of wishing we had not given any away to our friends. I think we could eat 12 gallons by ourselves without going past the expiration dates!

Sadie and I are home alone and eating ice cream. We are eating out of small bowls with small spoons. Our theory is that you won't get sick this way. The night before we just ate out of the ice cream tub. That is probably somewhat Philistine, we are now much more cultured with small bowls...

UPDATE: we have been eating ice cream for breakfast. We don't feel so well. This will be a long Church service. Does Pepcid work on ice cream over indulgence? I hope the sermon is not on gluttony!

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love Monsanto! In kind of a perverse manner-I kind of hate them also but, now I'm confused

I got this email from Willie Nelson today. Well not really Willie Nelson-it came from FarmAid but I like to think it is Willie Nelson because of this really rude joke about Elvis and a tatoo, which I cannot explain here...

Did you know that just one company, Monsanto, controls more than 90% of the soybeans grown in the United States? And that they also control more than 80% of U.S. corn?

"This extreme concentration of power is not unique to corn and soy. And it’s a big problem — not just for family farmers struggling to compete. Standing between you and the family farmer are a handful of corporations who control our entire food system from seed to plate."

Ah, thank you Monsanto! Non GMO crops are fetching a premium! Monsanto, you are helping me sell animal feed! Thank you factory farm operations that produce a crappy product, you are keeping folks like me in business!
Please, no one tell FarmAid this. We want consumers to hate Monsanto and factory farms, well, just enough to pay extra for our products but not enough to stop buying from Monsanto completely!
Oh, yes I know this is selfish of me! and yes I do see Willie's point.
Grow Medicinal Chronic! The wave of the future!
n forever.”

Bob Marley says:
“Excuse me while I light my spliff good God I gotta take a lift”
"The more people smoke herb, the more Babylon fall.”
"The good times of today, are the sad thoughts of tomorrow. "
 "When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself. ""The authorities tell you that you mustn’t smoke herb because it’s bad for you. Yet if they catch you at it they’ll carry you off to prison. I think it’s better to be smoking herb out here free than being in prison"
And finally:
 "I have a BMW. But only because BMW stands for Bob Marley and The Wailers, and not because I need an expensive car"

Followed by: "I drive a jeep. An old jeep, so nobody will say I’m driving a BMW anymore. I couldn’t stand that BMW, ha ha ha! BMW make pure trouble!"

And Willie says,
"I think people need to be educated to the fact that marijuana is not a drug. Marijuana is an herb and a flower. God put it here. If He put it here and He wants it to grow, what gives the government the right to say that God is wrong? "
And then there was that quote about, "I'd say that right now my ass is higher than any of you..." or something like that to Chris Kristoferson and Billy Joe Shaver in a discussion of height...

Have a nice day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Yesterday was the first day of the rest of my Life?

Took my daughter to school today. She keeps growing up. She listened to Lefty Frizzell, Jimi Hendricks,  and Bunny Wailer- We skipped over Hank Williams III as he swears. We didn't get to "Dust on the Bible," before we got to school, but it was next on the playlist...
She will either grow up to be well read with a broad appreciation for different music and information, or she will be freakin' skitzo... Time will tell.
Here she is with her new glasses.

This is what is going on in No-Till news in my life...

Something happened to the first half of the week.  It it is gone! Today is thursday and it is raining. I've been planting. I've not been super productive. I think I've only done 80 acres so far this week. Planting Dinsdale (sp?) spring peas. It is amazing how well this drill works with large seeds. I have the Loup planter monitor hooked up. It likes the big seeds and gives much more of an accurate population count than when I'm planting small seeds. I planted at 560,000 seeds per acre. This gave us 168lbs per acre. I plant a little higher with no-till. They were using the peat base innoculant. I hate the clay based stuff. Our local co-op insists on stocking the white clay based stuff. I have not found anyone who likes it. I refuse to run it through my drill. It attracts moisture and gums up in the seed flutes, the tubes, the bottoms of the cups in the main box, gums up the sensors on the population sensors, and generally makes me angry...
I suspect that the innoculant is not as important as the soil pH. Much of this ground has a low pH due to the high rates of fertilizer used in grass seed production. The folks I am planting for have not been baling off there straw on a regular basis and have found they didn't need to add as much P and K. They did say their pH was not the best but I didn't press for details. That would be the pot calling the kettle black. Since lime is somewhere above $55 per ton applied, it is pretty hard to come up with the extra money to put it on. You just about have to treat it as an equipment purchase and pay it off over several years. Especially if you need four tons of it!
I am trying to plant shallow, but the fields are very soft. I have the drill openers set a couple notches deeper in the wheel tracks. There is enough loose dirt and straw on the surface to pretty much cover the seed even if it is to shallow, but I hate to see seed on top of the ground.
Today I am going to switch over to wheat. I have to go ten miles or so to plant. I've been having problems with my fertilizer pump. I put a different pump on and have been having problems and so I have to work on that. The tractor won't lift the drill unless I slow down to 2 mph before I lift it. This is because the auto rate controller is directing too much hydraulic flow to the pump at higher speed.  I think the fertilizer pump motor is going out and taking too much flow to run it, but it could be my tractor. I'm going to put the old pump back on today. My brother rebuilt it for me.
Of course all my stuff is scrounged surplus stuff.
Tank and pump $250 from a neighbor. Blumhardt spray boom, free NOS from Uncle H., Calc an acre spraymate II, $750 off of ebay, hydraulic rate controller, $150 ebay... That sort of stuff. As a result, I have to also scrounge for repairs as everything is pretty much last year's model!

Monday, March 8, 2010

It is Monday and I have nothing to say!

I planted 20 acres.
I went to a family deal yesterday. Aunt's 90th birthday and also their anniversary. My Uncle is a really nice fellow. The old folks are on borrowed time. I don't really know the young folks. They all seem to really like each other in that family.
Wife had a headache and stayed home. Without her I am lost. I mean that literally. I get lost. The location of the event was not on mapquest and I got the wrong school. Microsoft Streets and Trips is such a piece of junk as to be unusable. One is much better off with a map. My dad went with me and he has opinions but they are based on memories from 30 years ago and roads have changed. I thought Sadie had figured out how to use Microsoft Streets and Trips but she had only managed to get the gps to find us and was actually reading the screen like a map.
So, you can buy a little thing to put on your dash that only has four buttons and everyone can use it. Kids, old folks, goofy mindless folks like me, but Microsoft with all its billions can't make a computer program that is simple enough to be usable. Insanity!
Everyone asked about my wife as she is the friendly one in the family. They probably think she left me or something...
Today I planted 20 acres of peas. Pretty wet ground. Various things went wrong... blah, blah, blah.
Got my pickup back from the mechanic who is not looking so well. His eyes are now sunken and he has dark lines under them. Looks a bit gaunt, his skin is white like paper. He said he has been peeing blood. I would say that is a bad sign. I made him take some cash even though he did not fix the truck.There has got to be more to the story than what he says.
Daughter got her new glasses. She said things now look 3-D and this is a good thing. She loves her glasses. I guess she was a lot worse off than we thought...
So have a happy day...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tennessee Waltz

I heard Tennessee Waltz on the KBOO old-time country and western show. They only play it at 7 a.m. cause I guess the normal degenerates don't get out of bed till noon. (inside joke for portland area people)
So I looked it up on YouTube. I think Patti Page did it first.
Here is Bonnie Raitt and Nora Nora doing it. Was going to make a joke but I guess it would not be very proper. This is perhaps a family show... Got one off color reference in already...
Here is Patti Page
Here is Les Paul at age 93
I can't find the bluegrass version. I think it was the Freak Mountain Ramblers, which is a local band.
Now I'm bored, time for church...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I planted 85 acres today! Whoop! Whoop!

I planted 20 acres yesterday, many things went wrong. The field was 100 acres I ended up with 105 which is pretty good.
I did 85 acres today. I started at 7:30 and finished at 11:30 this evening. It is pretty good considering the seed was in 50lb bags.
I planted Montezuma oats for hay into a killed fescue seed field. Fellow is going to make them into hay for export to Japan.
Soooo, 120lbs/acre x 105 acres = 12,600lbs / 50lb bags = 252 bags of seed I dumped in the drill. I had help from the farmer for several fill-ups. The worst part was mixing the seed treatment. I hate messing with chemicals.
He did bring me a sausage from a deer his 16 year-old daughter shot by herself. I was impressed at her willingness to kill the young prince. Bambi will be lonely!
Listened to bluegrass on KBOO, followed by the Greatful Dead until I started to go nuts with the hour long jams, so I switched to my iPod. Four hours of Lefty Frizzell, Hank Sr., George Jones, The Bails brothers and Tom Petty. My worldview has got to be a little off kelter...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I am following FarmAig blogspot!

I am doing my part to support old and not really relevant rock and rollers. I've become a follower of the FarmAid blogspot! John Cougar, Neal Young, and Willie could do me a favor by clicking on my PayPal button at the top of the page and giving me a hundred grand. They wouldn't even have to have a concert. Heck, I know enough folks with medical chronic cards to get Willie high for at least five minutes. Click this link.... I am a little worried it will attract riff-raff to the sight. Folks crusin' by lookin' to smoke a "J."  I tried to buy Cheech and Chong, "Up in Smoke," in 16 mm to show on the barn the other day. It hit two hundred and I walked away.
I filled out a survey for FarmAid a while back. I want my key chain bottle opener. Why a bottle opener? FarmAid should be giving out free roach clips! But, enough jokes about Willie Nelson.
Does anyone think FarmAid is relevant at all? I've come to think it was somewhat harmful as they tend to get a little shrill, in my opinion!

Towlie says, "you wanna get high?" (the new FarmAid sponsor and new slogan for Willie's next tour)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I got stuck!

Ah, my first stuck of the season! I knew I was going to bury it. The field was so soft I could only run with 100 gallons of fertilizer and five acres worth of grain. (100 gallons of fertilizer does 10 acres and it weighs around 11lbs per gallon.)
I really hope this field works as it is planted next to a neighbor who is a one of those perfect farmers. The fellow I am planting for has pretty good ground. It is pretty well tiled. There were solid strips and then there were soft strips. I think it had to do with his drainage tiles. We have had steady light rain all winter and the soil is saturated. Then we go over an inch last week.
I'm planting Merrill wheat. It is a soft white spring wheat. I think it is either experimental or proprietary this is all I could find out about it. I think I will call the seed company. I planted it last year for this same farmer. It was into very wet and cold conditions and he said it yielded very well. This is not good no-till conditions. There is very little soil crumbling, most of the time it just makes a slot and drops the seed at the bottom of the v. It will rain enough to close the slot so I think it will be fine. Plus, we planted at 140lbs per acre so there is some leeway in the population.

I got off to a late start as daughter did not want to go to school. She had problems going to sleep Sunday night. I checked on her at 10:30 p.m. and she was awake and crying. We let her sleep in till around 9 a.m. Then she was in tears and was very upset. Wife was gone and I was busy getting ready to plant. First we had a discussion, is there something specific wrong? Then we said a prayer. Then we practiced deep breathing and how to relax. Then we had a lecture about putting one foot in front of the other. Then another inquiry as to what specific was wrong-bullies, school work, teacher.
Then she was told to get ready and go or.... there would be something to cry about. I have no idea what I would do... We have not got that far in a couple years. About the time she was ready for school L. called and talked to her. On the way to school we talked about ways to deal with school stress. I discussed the advantages of imaginary worlds and developing a "happy" spot. Then it was another lecture about putting one foot in front of the other, doing what you need to do one step at a time. Then we had a prayer. Then we went into the school.
So I got off to a late start.
I really did not get started until noon but I did 42 acres. If only I could do 40 acres a day for 30 days straight! That is $1000 a day!

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