The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Finished with silage!

The reason I have time to announce this that my diet of snickers bars and coffee as apparently given me certain constitutional problems... I only announce this as a warning to others. While you may think Snickers are the perfect food with peanuts for protein and chocolate for quick energy. They do lack roughage. I would get that from sunflower seeds but there is no where to spit and I don't have the concentration to chew sunflower seeds, drive, run the spout, and talk on the cell phone all at the same time. Who would have thought? You can't say life is not a learning process...

I fix the PTO, but need to take a break due to digestive problems and I ramble and will probably offend family members...

My nephew seems to be a budding computer genius. I gave him one of my old tablet computers I use for GPS and he got it up and running in no time. I figured it was dead and gone to computer perdition.
For a while he had a blog. I think Gorges became a follower right away. I linked to his blog from here.
The blog was interesting to me as it chronicled his day to day life and his computer misadventures. This is different from my young cousin who smokes "Chronic."
But I digress...
One day my nephew's blog disappeared. I inquired and he informed me that the plug had been pulled due to privacy issues and the possibility of people sending him links to things he didn't want to see. If only I had saved the email. I seem to have all his other emails....
So, instead he will be doing a daily RTF "blog-like" emailing to a few people.
Now I support his parent's desire to keep him safe from porn and pre-verts online so while I found some amusement with this, I didn't say a lot. I mean it is really not any of my business. It does not even compare with the days when his father wanted to race motocross on Sunday and Mom was afraid he would come under evil influences and miss Church.
Now I assume they no longer read this blog as I think my frustration that the Asainporndvd website sent more referrals to the Eye Of Polyphemus than I and my expression of that discovery may have influenced the blog cancelation, but I really don't know...
But here is the deal,
I have 30 issues of the "blog-like" emailing in my mailbox. I can't throw anything away, it is a personal problem. I have not read them all as I have not had a lot of time to do so. In order to read them I have to double click them it is not a big deal but it breaks my flow of internet rambling while taking my morning constitutional and I forget to read them.
If they were in a blog instead of being "blog-like" then I would open them in a tab in Firefox and read his blog as part of my routine. Last night I was looking for some specific information in one issue which I couldn't remember. I clicked through 27 issues before forgetting what I wanted to know to begin with.
I would like to politely suggest to his parents some simple internet security ideas. Perhaps some of you could contribute. I would like to be polite.
I think the obvious would be fine. Don't give out your real name. Don't use anyones first and last name together, Use initials instead of names. Set up a different email account under a different name.
Blogger has several levels of security. You can have a private blog-a blog restricted to certain addresses, password security, invitation only. You can moderate comments, restrict comments, have comments sent to your parent's email to be moderated, what ever you want.
The thing is,  You are never secure on the internet your IP address tracks you where ever you go. So, anytime my nephew goes online to check his school work or look up computer stuff his IP address follows him. If you send an email your IP address is hidden in the header, so unless you use a proxy server the government or pre-vert or what ever frightens you online, can follow you.
I went as far as to email the nice girl who does Aspirations Blog. She looks cute and young and I figured there was a much higher chance of Pre-verts sending her links she didn't want to click on than there was of such ilk sending such invitations to Gorges Grouse or Ralph Goff! I asked her what she did for security and if weirdos other than I ever bothered her.
She wrote me back a nice email and said she never had a problem but didn't give out any personal identifying information or her personal email address.
I don't mind the 30 issues in my in-box I just think it is a shame that someone who is a good writer doesn't have access to the positive feedback he would receive if he had more readership.
Oh well, what do I know, I'm just a grumpy farmer...

More things go wrong, 9 acres to go...

We chopped 10 loads yesterday... That is pretty good considering that was 3 loads by 10 a.m. and 7 loads after 8 p.m.
The rest of the day we, 1. did not get the hay fluffed, 2. Worked on the mower driveline, 3. Got the wrong parts, 4. Went back after the right parts, 5. Put it together wrong, 6. Took it apart again, 7. Stood around and scratched our heads wondering why the driveline vibrated so much, 8. Mowed more grass, 9 Chopped 7 loads of silage, 10. Took the 1000 rpm stub shaft out of the 2-135 and wondered if we ordered a new bearing to replace the one we used to rebuild it last year...
In non-silage related news, we also spent a hour trying to removed the thermostat housing on the pickup as it does not work so well to use the heater as a radiator, my brother went to plant corn and I went to put air in the tire on the 670. Just another happy day!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I chop 30 loads of silage and listen to talk radio and spend $360 on a waterpump

Today was better. I readjusted the reversing transmission on the silage chopper and it work. I got to the field by 7 a.m. to load the semi truck that was hauling to the coast. The truck did not show up but my daughter brought the pickup down to me and Bill and so we decided to hook up the double rake and make bigger windrows so that there would be less turning around with the 30ft trailer.
I was hooked to the dump box and just starting my first window at 8:30 a.m. when my phone rang. The dairy fellow did not want the triticale as it was too dry and his pit was full. He said he tried to call me last night but I didn't answer and when he could call again it was after 10 p.m. I did note that I was still working at 10 p.m. but it was fine if he did not want the silage. was back over to the closer dairy to chop grass into silage. We did 30 loads onto tandem axle trucks. The loads should have been 10 to 12 tons but if I figure the acres it comes out to 26 ton per acre so I think both my total acres and the truck weight is off. I dropped down to the lowest gear which puts me at 1.5 mph and everything worked. I think the silage is going something like 16 tons per acre. Perhaps 18 but it doesn't seem possible.
Then then phone rang. I loaned the stacker to the young fella who sometimes works for me. He called to say the water pump had failed. It took him all day to find one and when he did it was $360. While I was talking to him a fellow called and wanted me to cut his hay. This fellow bought a place we farmed and as soon as he figured out the people he had bought the place from had NOT signed the extension on the lease he kicked us out and rented to his buddy from his prosperity doctrine church. I did not return the call and the temptation to tell him to violate himself would have been perhaps too strong to resist.
The phone rang all day. It is hard to run the electric spout controls, steer, and talk on the phone at the same time.
I figured if Ralph listens to talk shows I should as well.
So, Al Gore was in town and got a massage. It would appear that he gave himself a happy finish and left evidence on the pants of the massage lady. Good grief! He found the one massage from the back of Willamette week that did not offer a happy finish? That has got to be a one in a million chance. Not to mention it was from the one person in Portland who does not worship Algore? I'd say it was a set up but the news is of course timed to take attention off of the oil spill and Our Dear Leader looking like a fool by firing a the general who is way tougher than he is. And what is up with the general's interview in Rolling Stone? I thought it was really funny and I thought it was great they said what they thought. Of course McCain and the others are idiots, we all knew that. I don't see how the General criticized Our Dear Leader. Of course the truth is that Our Dear Leader is in over his head. If he wasn't a wuss he could have deflected it with a few words about peoples opinions and our need to work together and about drinking with the news media and Our Dear Leader would have looked like a bigger man.
The whole country is falling apart. St. Algore of the Church of Global Warming is a bumbling idiot, (how could you screw up an chance to get a rub and a tug from a PORTLAND massage lady? If she declines you a happy finish that does not mean you can finish it up yourself!!!) The government screwed up one of the few things government is supposed to be capable of, regulating stuff like oil drilling, and coordinating disaster efforts, the President is a wimp and fires the General, the economy is going to crash. Idiots are at the controls my friends.
Note: What if the General was talking about the Bush administration, would he not be a hero with his comments?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I still hate farming...

I've been chopping silage. It is not going so well. We sold our triticale to a fellow who lives an hour and a half away at the coast. He sends his wife out with a 40ft walking floor trailer to pick up the silage. It is not so easy to fill a 40 foot trailer when the is so far ahead in the truck she can't see you. Also, you have to plan ahead with the cutting. They were supposed to make three loads per day and we were supposed to cut the whole 10 acres Sunday to be dry by Tuesday. We cut half with a disk mower on Monday evening but they didn't show up till 10 a.m. and only go two loads per day. Today I could bale it... Plus, I am behind with chopping grass on the neighbor's dairy. I am driving the chopper back and forth. Three hours per trip, except they are always an hour late...
And the chopper is failing. The chopper has a reversing transmission so that if the header plugs up you can electrically reverse the feed rolls and clean it out. This probably worked well in 1979 but not so well in 2010. It tends to start slipping and eventually fail. It is slipping. Of course it started slipping after dark on the last two loads.
This gives me anger management problems. I have run crap equipment all my life. While it is pretty cool that we bought this New Holland 890 chopper at an auction for $150 it is just not up to the task of chopping 12 ton per acre grass cut with a 12ft mower. I would like to cut it into 18" chunks and haul it to the steel mill. Which reminds me that the truck I would haul the scrap with is dead.
Supposedly the 40ft trailer will be here at 7 a.m. for another load. I suppose that means I should go to bed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Smoke but no flames. I needed a reminder that things can always get worse, and usually do!

I chopped 19 loads of grass silage for the dairy next door today. Probably 10 ton loads as it was over ripe and very dry. Four loads on a 26ft bed truck and the rest on a 20ft bed truck.
Over the course of the day my International truck died in a spectacular manner and the blower liner on the silage chopper wore through. I nearly set the field on fire cutting twisted chunks of liner out of the blower. The grass is so over-ripe it burns even thought the ground is wet enough to get stuck.
The International truck is the one I put a different engine in this winter. It ran perfect, no knocks, no pinging, decent oil pressure, not too hot, and then it just kind of exploded. I motioned the driver to move up a few feet. When he stepped on the gas he said it felt like it pulled down a bit and made a clunking noise and clouds of smoke poured from under the hood.

See the oil stain on the grass from the exhaust?

I was out of the cab with a fire extinguisher before I realize the smoke was coming out the exhaust. We had to tow the truck to the dairy with the 2-135 and hook up a hydraulic line to dump it.
Later, after I found more trucks and was going again, I picked up metal rake tooth. This tore the lining on the blower and after a while the fan blades started hitting pretty bad.
Not sure what to do for a truck. Don't have the money or the time to fix it.
Note: If someone wants to contribute a few thousand dollars so I can buy another used truck you can just hit on that PayPal button at the top of the screen.
If You want to depress me further just click on "offensive" at the bottom of the page.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Totally random stuff I have been thinking about

Ralph Goff said he likes talks shows in a comment on a previous post. This got me thinking about Rush Limbaugh and his wedding. I guess I could do a google search to make sure, but I'm tired and want to go to bed.
So if Rush had Elton John play at his wedding...who is really the whore? Rush or Elton John... I'm not much of a Rush fan anymore. He is way too country club. The GOP clever rich folks let him in to a few parties and he was making a lot of money and now he thinks he is one of the clever ones.
So, that led to songs you would have sung at a wedding. We only had songs we found meaningful at our wedding. We sang "Blessed Assurance," and Dad said a long prayer and then we went and had lots of pie.
If I were to have another wedding I've thought about singing, "They ought to Name a Drink after you," and that other old John Prine song about the fellow who came home from work and found a note in the frying pan, it read fix your own supper I've run off with the fuller brush man. The refrain was something about, "I miss the way she used to yell at me/the way she used to cuss and moan/something/something/ whatever, it is not as funny in print as it was in my head. I wonder if the Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo folks know those songs.
And what about that song where they guy works at a filling station and this fellow comes around every day in a beat up old model A and says, "give me .50 cents worth of regular, check my oil too if you don't mind, something, something, put some air in my tires, something... And then the guy dies and goes to heaven and just about when he is settled in, up through the clouds comes that guy in his model A.
So, why did the Model A guy bug the songwriter so much? Where did the song come from? Phil Oachs? Is that how you spell his name?  Perhaps Townes Van Zant? Who was the guy that sang "Turn Your Radio on and Listen to the Music in the air/get in touch with God/turn your radio on?" I think first heard John Hartford do it but I think Roy Acoff did is as well.
It has been a long day. I finished our clover silage and I finished the stacking I started last night. Some of the bales were warm when I broke them today. If there are flames I know why!

I hate farming

We chopped silage today. It took 3-4 hours for the truck to make a round trip. It was that extra hour in the 3-4hr wait that really got me. Half the ground is too wet to drive a truck on so we are dumpboxing part of it. I so want to be done. I told the guy there wasn't enough for another truck load and I'm either going to chop it on the ground or send it to the dairy next door. I sent him so really good clover silage and he just can't stand to see someone else getting all our silage.
Then a neighbor called for me to come and stack. It is only 10 acres. I think there is like 800 stinking bales. They are wet. They won't slide on the table, the computer and sensors are not working properly so I have to continually switch the computer to manual to get the first table to trip. Then I broke the hinge bolt on the second table with a full load of bales on it which was a bad deal. I fixed it. Then the bale elevator started plugging up with loose hay, the bales started falling back down onto the second table. The spikes wouldn't go up. It is 1:50 a.m. and I quit. The fellow really wanted me to get his hay picked up. I think I will suggest the other neighbor with a stacker.
I'm thinking about a craigslist advert.
Start your own hay baling enterprise! New Holland 1085 with 44450 hours. Drive it home! Hesston 1490 three-tie baler, field ready. Hesston 1340 disk mower, new conditioner rolls, Set of New Holland rakes with dolly, number 55 and 256, White 2-155, White 2-135, 2008 Great Plains 1500 drill with liquid fertilizer. (So you can plant your stinking hay) And then call the scrapper for the trucks...
Perhaps I could be a janitor somewhere. I think I'll leave farming to the guys who farm 6,000 acres.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our dear leader? I listen to talk radio decide the Obama vs BP thing is rigged!

I chopped silage today. I violated my longstanding rule of not listening to talk radio. The problem is that I tend to talk back and that kind of freaks out the silage truck drivers. They think I am in the cab of the tractor going crazy. That is partly true.
I think I was listening to KBOO radio, because they sometimes play weird old country and/or bluegrass and I am old and weird. I hate it when they go to victim radio and talk about the evils of whitey and "da man" and how Israel is really mean to insane middle easterners. Now sometimes it is funny, but it just get shrill and annoying after awhile.
But, I digress...
There was a speaker talking about revolutionary theory and it was really interesting. I don't understand why Conservatives in the US are such morons. Why are there no deep thinkers and charismatic leaders who don't want to spend ourselves into terminal indebtedness? Who will just let us silly folks keep our guns and our old tired religion and not focus on special rights for less than 10 percent of the population and not want to kill babies. (And the insane thing is the sticking point of the argument is not so much about the morning after pill or the first trimester, it is about killing the kid when it is a couple weeks away from sticking is head into daylight.
I don't want to be in no stinking war, in no stinking country where people blow themselves up and stone their wives. But I do think that if an American is held hostage somewhere we should bomb those SOB's back into the stone age. (providing they have left the stone age)  I know we need to conserve energy and we will one day run out of oil and I want to do something about it but I don't want to be in such an economic disaster that I can't afford to pay $6 a gallon to keep my old tractor running cause I can't afford to buy a $100,000 new one. I don't want people streaming across the borders in a human flood of illegal criminals and drug dealers but I do want those people waiting in line for six blocks at the INS (ICE what the ^&*ing stupid acronym is that? Idiots and Morons?) to have a way to come in and work or even move here.
The climate may very well be changing and it might very well be man made, (Or Not) but I don't those bunch of pretentious assholes like Michael Moore and Al Gore getting rich off it.
I don't think there is a corporation that is too big to fail and if so, that is what anti-trust legislation is all about. I think that if if bankers are betting on loans and they bet wrong they should go broke, and if the government needs to do something, then the money should in no circumstances go to those guys who screwed it up to begin with.
And finally, if some foreign company buys up all our oil companies, totally screws up and dumps oil on our coastline and then kind of putzes around and does nothing, now that is something the feds could take over that would make sense. The one thing that the government is in a position to handle and they can't do it. Kind of like the Iraq war and the Afgan war, and the Vietnam war, and the Korean war. Not sure how we managed to win WWII, I guess we had to wait for Johnson to really embrace failure.
I was going to talk about revolutionary theory and the conflict between the emerging new order, the declining old order, and the behind the scenes brokers of power, and how that shapes both sides world views and paranoia but now I am going to bed.
It is really hard to load a 40ft trailer with a little silage chopper in a 10 acre field. A 40ft trailer takes a lot of room to turn and there is no way you can see the truck driver when you are loading.
Oh, I forgot.. Obama vs BP!
Buy BP stock. There is no way Obama will bankrupt BP. I got to thinking about this when I was listening to the guy sitting in for Michael Savage. This guy says Obama will nationalize BP through the proposed cleanup fund he is making BP cough up.
I could be wrong cause I'm just a dumb farmer and no real expert... But I think Obama is kind of a marxist lite and not really of the "Our Dear Leader" caliber.
I think the BP fund is a clever way to cap the damages lawsuits will do to BP. After setting up this fund the language will start to change and BP will be somewhat reformed. Later we will find that damages awarded to these individual lawsuits will somehow come out of this cleanup fund and they will be greatly reduced. Politicians and Obama will may financial and political profits out of this and regular folks will be screwed.
There is no way BP will be carved up. The B in the BP stands for British...There is a lot of foreign money at stake.
It would be scary if I were wrong.
But, I would buy BP stock if I had any cash.
Of course looking at the idiotic way BP is handling this crisis and they heavy handed tactics they are using on the locals and the total screw-ups by both BP and the Feds there is really no telling what will happen.
I just can't believe Americans can't find a solution to this leak problem. That is what we do, we solve problems.
I guess it is just more proof of de-evolution...
(pardon the spelling and the worse than usual editing. I'm tired...Good night...)

Monday, June 14, 2010

To cut hay or not to cut hay, that is the question...

We have good weather at last. It started Friday and Saturday it was in the upper 70's with a warm breeze. Folks are cutting hay like there is no tomorrow. To cut or not to cut is the question.
We could have three weeks of silage chopping left. The grass field we are going to cut is still very soft. I mowed clover and alfalfa. (30 acres worth) The ground was wet enough that I left tracks. The question is if the hay will actually dry. I don't have to worry about it getting dry as it will be chopped into silage in a couple days.
I think I would wait a couple days for the ground to dry out. In our part of the world we get heavy dew and that coupled with wet ground means the hay will be very slow to dry. The worst problem is moisture which collects in the stem. The hay appears dry. If you grab a  handful and twist it three times it will break. But, if you take your thumbnail peel back the skin around the joints you will find they are still green.
We also have a moisture tester which measures the moisture in the bale chamber of the baler. Because of the extreme pressure on the sensor it will pick up moisture which a regular stab-in-the-bale sensor does not pickup. Most folks won't buy the sensor so they will happily bale hay that is too wet. This will not show up till later so they will get the hay off the field quickly.
So, I'm not cutting hay.
I am trying to rationalize why I am not cutting hay. I hope I have done a good job. Of course this means I will be still baling hay somewhere around the middle of July. I think over-ripe hay is easier to sell than moldy hay. Who knows? I've probably done the wrong thing...
Some photos...
I mowed Saturday. I have a hard time with the hydroswing Hesston diskmower. I just can't get the hang of the thing swinging to the other side of the tractor when cutting back and forth. Plus, I was in a bit of a hurry. Things happen fast at 7.5 mph!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Things you tell girlfriends that they choose to believe...

A funny story...
I did some work for a young neighboring farmer and we were talking about his impending marriage. The subject crossed over to the other young neighbor who helped me last winter, who is also getting married. The two guys are friends from childhood and the two girls seem to get along fine, although they have little in common. Of course they will all drift apart later in life, but that is not the point of this ramble.
My helper's true love was showing off her fake diamond. She was stressing how it was more environmentally friendly and it was not a "blood" diamond. These were all positive things!
I started laughing!
The neighbor thought I was laughing at the "Portlandish" sentiments of the girl friend.
I was laughing because the guy bought her a fake diamond as an engagement ring, and convinced it was for the best!
Now that is it a good laugh!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chronic Boy gets fired, Wants to live in the old farm bus, vandals who couldn't spell in 1971!

Chronic Boy came to work for a day. I mistook him for his sister at first and commented on a hair change from fake brunette to blond and I asked who was taking care of the kids. All I got was a grunt. Later at coffee time I pushed it just a touch further and one of the old fellers explained that it was in fact Chronic boy. He did not seem amused.
He seemed to be in a lot of pain and a bit out of sorts. Early in the afternoon his buddies came by and he suddenly recovered. His grandpa was gone and soon he was as well.
They fired him!
He had been living in the national forest with his friends but they used up all their 15 day camping allotments and had to leave. The word is they have the tent in the girl's back yard in town.
Chronic Boy was at work because he needed a $300 advance to put on a house deposit. The problem was that 1. There was not a lot of work. People tend to not leave things to be repaired it they know Chronic Boy will be working on it. (I have been informed by those people) 2. He was already in the hole on advances. 3. He has not been released to go back to work. Those pesky imaginary injuries are very hard to cure.
So, Grandpa told him there was no more work for him. We shall see where that goes. He wanted to live at the river but that plan was nipped in the bud. His Grandma told me yesterday she doesn't want him messing around the shop when they are not here.
And so we see the downward spiral....

This is the farm bus. We don't use it so much anymore. We used to use it to pick up kids from town to pick pole beans. Was that 50 years ago? If you look closely at the windshield you can see that it was vandalized. This happened when I was in first grade. I asked my mother what FOCK meant. She said it was a bad word. Actually FOCK is not a bad word. According to the scrabble dictionary it is not even a word. For some time I thought FUCK was spelled FOCK. This impaired my ability to swear at an early age.
I wonder if it was embarrassing for the vandals to have their miss-spelled profanity left on the windshield since 1971? If you were a vandal sort and you were showing the longest lasting testament to your junior vandalism career to your protegee, how would you explain that you didn't know how to spell the most common offensive word in your repertoire? "Son, I was into phonetic spellings in the old days, kind of an avant-garde sort of thing. It was crazy times man! Those were the days of oil-based spraypaint, they had lead in the shit man!"
But I digress,
Chronic boy and company wanted to live in this bus. Much amusement was had at this idea until the rest of the plan was revealed. They wanted to live in the bus either where it sits or at the river. Not so funny anymore! We told them we were going to restore it...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I don't think we will chop silage today...or tomorrow...or...or...

Do you see a problem with this picture? Follow the arrow! Yes, that is a 1984 White 2-135, series three, pulling a Hesston 1340 diskmower and both stuck to the axles in a grass field!

So, Eddie (my sometimes helper who wants to be a farmer some day) went to check on the mowing. Half way there I got a call from my regular helper (shown below) who told me he was stuck.

Should he have walked the field, well looking back, I would say yes. The clever folks who farm big in our area like to plow in circles. This is fine for a few years. However, if you always plow the same way, eventually the outside of the field becomes higher than the inside and no longer drains properly. So, the outside round was ok, but splitting the field in half turn out to be a problem. Plus, he managed to hit the big wet spot pretty much dead on. We went after the 2-155 which has FWA and I pulled him right out. Right out the gate, and we went home...

The lady at the house was pretty bizarre! She came out and started swearing at us when we first arrived. She asked us if we were going to be doing this all day, and I said, "it doesn't look like it!" Then suddenly it was F-bomb this and f-bomb that. The dairy fellow didn't call her and tell here people would be driving through her (rented) yard, f-bomb and yet another f-bomb. We just kept walking as she, in a display of fat-girl bravado pulled out her cell phone and said she was going to call the (f-bomb) dairy.
Why is it that fat chicks of a certain ilk always whip out the cell phone. You see them on COPS and then the cops arrive and run a background check and haul them off to jail. Or they call in that their boyfriend has got a gun and then they go hysterical when the cops shoot their boyfriend-who doesn't have a gun but is on drugs or is a re-tard, or has a seizure which makes the cops feel threatened and so they blow him away. (NOTE: This is what happens in the Portland area, you might have cops with actually training where you live.)
Of course if she was not fat and perhaps more so if she was hot, (that is an awkward sentence structure) and she was dropping the f-bomb, we would have probably stopped to watch, but I suppose that would not have been a good thing either...
But, I digress.
When we got the tractor out and were coiling up the cables she came out and wanted to make conversation. She was all smiles and happy-cheerful-whatever. We did not talk to her.
Hint to those who get irate easily, dropping F-bombs on people who are just doing their job is not a way to gain any sort of friendship or co-operation. If you want something or you are upset with them driving through their rented yard it you should try asking nicely. Perhaps offer them a cold Pepsi in summer and a cup of coffee in winter, this is optional. Mostly, just try saying "please" and "thank you."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Buying cartoons

Is this Woody Woodpecker cartoon worth $50? (click here)

I need more 16mm cartoons. Specifically (by request from the younger set) Woody Woodpecker and Farmer Alfalfa
The adult crowd wants Surfside Six, I want Hawaii 50 or Mr. Ed.
I can't afford the good stuff. I may have to charge admission...

Hay sales and guns and stuff

I have an ad for hay listed on Craigslist. Something about Craigslist brings out the interesting people.
I had a fellow come after hay and when he got out of his truck I saw he was carrying a side arm. Something that looked like a 1911 .45 auto. Quite frankly it made me a bit nervous. I was not expecting a robbery, terrorists, rabid rats, wolves, bears or lions running loose. However, the idea of some sort of strange random gun accident did put me a bit on edge.
Some years ago when I owned a semi-auto Mini-30 I let an older fellow shoot it. He thought it was pretty cool but when he turned to tell me that, he pointed the gun at me. Semi-auto means there is a shell in the chamber...
Anyway... I thought I would strike up a conversation and get some info on the whole situation. I didn't want to appear stupid, but curious minds need to know.... But, there had to be story there. Perhaps he was a secret agent or an undercover policeman!
I was trying to visualize any movies or country western songs which mentioned guns so that I wouldn't use any of the wrong lingo.  So, I just asked him, "so is that a Browning or a 1911?" I figured I couldn't go wrong there as John Browning invented the semi-auto and the Colt .45 auto is the most recognizable side arm in the world. I think there is some controversy over the Browning .45 and the Colt .45 and perhaps they are the same gun. I suppose I could do Google search and solve the problem once and for all, but I am too lazy at the moment.
My hay customer really perked up at the mention of gun terms and explained to me that he was a proponent of 2nd amendment rights and he liked to exercise said rights. I let that one go by as he was only after 1 ton and I didn't want to get into my personal views which are that I should be able to have an anti-aircraft gun to protect the airspace over our farm.
Then he asks me if I want to touch it. Those sorts of questions have always made me nervous. Anyway, he went though an elaborate procedure to clear the action and eject the clip. It was an amazing fluid movement that I have no idea how to duplicate.
So, how do you accept a gun from someone? I am sure that there is a very cool and safe way to do it. I must watch more movies or take a gun safety course. I opted for the gingerly accepting it in a manner that doesn't point the barrel at anyone.
After you have the side arm, with the slide pulled back, what do you do with it? I don't want to run the action as I don't know how to get it back to the whole ejected, safety position, so I just look at it.
It has a special frame and barrel and is a very nicely machined and finished gun. It looks to me like a basic 1911 frame but I think it has some Kimber stuff on it. I wanted to take note of everything so I would not appear to be an idiot to Frank W. James, I suppose it is too late for that one.
He got the gun from his uncle who was on a SWAT team and he carries it everywhere.
Anyway, we had a nice chat about guns. He showed me a Henry lever action .22 he had found for his nephew. It had a shorter stock and an octagon barrel. It looked like a pretty nice little lever action for a kid. The only thing I didn't like was it had the brass receiver and action like the old "yellow boy" lever action of years-gone-by. I guess that was the point.
I suppose I should be accumulating guns for the big "gun buyout" that will probably accompany whatever gun control legislation the Obama machine gives us in his second term. You should buy $50 garage sale guns so you can sell them back for $250 at the buyout.  Instead of accumulating ammo and guns I'm getting rid of them.
The 2nd amendment is to allow local control. The founders of this country were kind of radical. I'm sure it was their intent to allow groups of people from small areas to band together to protect themselves against a strong central government. I really doubt the idea of taking an individuals guns was even considered. A gun was as much of a daily necessity as clothing in those days. But, lets no go into all of that.
I'm getting rid everything now so I won't get so pissed when I have to turn my guns in to the idiots who will be set up at the local city hall or where ever. It will make my very annoyed.
Hmmm, how did I get to this?
Now my blog will be completely misunderstood by the folks over in the big grey building that watch these things. I think it is located in the Winston Smith Memorial building at 1984 Orwellian place...
Have a happy day!

UPDATE to yesterday's post on the Red and Black cafe. I watch part of a video press conference from the Red and Black cafe. It was kind of funny. The fellow from COPWATCH brought up the 1981 possum dumping incident as proof of Portland Police racism. This is kind of idiotic, perhaps evidence of past racism, but it was 29 years ago. It ain't the same Police force!
Also, If the Red and Black cafe doesn't want to serve a police officer why is it a civil rights issue? Why can't you refuse service to anyone you want? Why couldn't you refuse service to a scrawny hipster, or a jumpy methhead? Hmm, I think I just figured out the answer to this one... Anyway, who cares. I can't believe I wasted the time with this post. Time to flush and go to work!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We go to the big city, see hipsters, drink bad coffee, talk about the Red and Black Cafe...

Last night the lovely and gracious Mrs. and I went out to dinner with some friends. We went into North East Portland which is the newest hip spot in town.
Apparently the young and trendy think 1970's motorbikes are really cool. I guess they go well with funny facial hair and those weird clunky shoes. Perhaps they showcase vintage Pleather jackets really well. I counted three very original looking Triumph's and several (also original) Hondas. I'm not an expert on model numbers but they were 70's sport bikes.
There were lots of scrawny looking kids with their tattooed girl friends. Crude jailhouse inspired tattoos are now also quite stylish. It is nice to see so much love on a summer night, guys love each other, girls love each other, short jumpy fellows love the big round girls, a very nicely dressed African-American in a perfect 1979 caddy talked on his cell phone while his buddy in the back seat handed something through the window to a punky looking white kid and a couple trashy looking chicks showed attitude to each other. But, hey it was Ablina district. There have always been some pretty cool older cars in this part of town, lots of old trashy restaurants which look like they would be really good.
I've never known how to deal with this part of town. Black gangsters scare me. When ever I have been lost in this part of town people have always been very nice to me. But, I would feel a lot more secure wandering around dressed in my farmer uniform than dressed up like a yuppie. If I were part of the neighborhood I would really resent the influx of trendy people, driving up the prices, and screwing up the neighborhood. So, I could see why folks there would not like me. But, again, I have no clue about race relations and so I avoid those situations.
We had dinner at a "southern" restaurant called Bernie's Southern Bistro. It was ok. Prices were not  terrible. The menu said something about food that was supposed to be like the food you would find at a southern cafeteria. Of course it was not a cafeteria. My wife had southern fried chicken, yams, and a side salad. The salad was just lettuce. The fried chicken was a deep friend breast with no bone. They did not have "wilted lettuce" on the menu.
I had the blackened catfish, a side of red beans, and collard greens with onions. It was reasonable good food. The beans were quite good. I have never found greens to have that much taste, but they had bacon, onions and vinegar and it reminded me of Grandma. It was not terribly expensive, but then it was not completely amazing either. The waiter was nice. The catfish was $16, the chicken was $15. I would say the KFC original recipe is better...
After dinner we went to the Rimsky-Korsakoffeehouse. Our friends had never been there. My wife was a little hesitant as she had been there before. I had also been there in 1980-something and it was ok. The place is great when you are 22 years old I guess.
It is an old house in North Portland. 30 years ago there were not good quality coffee shops on every corner and when you are young and pretentious (vs old and pretentious) it is a great place to take your pretentious and self absorbed girlfriend. There is a mannequin in the bathtub and live jazz or classical music. I was there with some friends from University of Portland and they were small town people like myself and we were in the big city...whoop! whoop! (As mayor Bud Clarke used to exclaim back in the good old days)
Last night it was just kind of silly. I would much rather have my senses assaulted by a banjo, than a squeaky oboe, and I really wanted coffee. The waitress completely missed us. She did wait on the couple of guys from "glee" who walked in and sat together. I thought it was sweet that the long-haired boy in the flowered silk shirt ordered for his special friend. That shirt was a real Value-Village find!
Then a couple of cute girls came in. They knew the drill. First they tenderly caressed each other's hands. When that didn't attract a waitress, they got up, got their own menus and came back and sat down again. I think this "resets" the waitress and gets you served.
Finally, the waitress from the other room came in and we got her attention. I forgot the name of what I was ordering and called it a "Mexican Mocha," instead of a "Mexicana-something." She grinned and it was ok.
The coffee was fine. I got the mug with the bunny on the handle. That was nice. Wife's friend's husband ordered a lemon-something-espresso. They forgot to add the espresso and the lemon, so it was just hot milk. He sent it back and it came back without the lemon, but there was a faint coffee taste. When we were almost finished the first waitress came and asked if we needed anything. That was funny!
Perhaps you get more critical as you get old and stuffy. Perhaps I need to get off the farm more often.

This should be another post I suppose, but I probably will be busy Monday, so here is more rambling commentary on Portland life.
We drove by the Red and Black Cafe, it was packed. It has been in the news lately and I see the publicity has been a boon for business.
I bet Lar Larson went on a rant about it...Someone told people to screw up their Yipe! restaurant rating, i think.
But, things are never what they seem. To every news story there are layers that you never understand without doing the research.
The story that got me thinking of this is the media sensation about the Red and Black Cafe in Portland which kicked out a Portland Police officer.
Now, I will tell you my bias right now-
1. I don't like cops in general. I have heard Portland Cops are a little nuts. There was that possum incident quite a few years back that was kind of funny. I've met a few that were good people but in general I avoid contact with law enforcement. I have a problem with authority and some of the personality types of people who become cops. On the other hand I respect them, their job, and recognize that they are important to the community. I would never refuse them service, I just maintain a respectful distance until I decide if I think they are nice people or not.
2. I don't like pretentious anarchist morons. In fact I dislike most hipsters, hippies, progressives, people with lots of tattoos, uncomfortable looking piercings, bad posture, and funny scratch dark colored woolen clothing. I also dislike wine sippers in short pants, middle aged women who wear leather pants, (unless they have the butt cut out and are riding a Harley, then I find them quite amusing.)

But, I digress.

The story is, (click for some interesting reading about this from the commie point of vew) A Portland cop went into the Red and Black cafe and ordered a cup of coffee. The Red and Black cafe is one of those Portland hippie hangouts. It is "worker owned" and everyone wears the uniform, funny facial hair, tattoo's, Goodwill clothing, lots of Angst, if you want to understand the practical application of the term, "undeniable virtue of the oppressed," go there! Of course they hate, "the man" and cops are just terrible-even if  Sam Adams, the underage intern screwing mayer, is queer as a pink three-dollar bill, is a progressive.
So the cop is given his coffee in a to-go cup and asked to leave as he makes people there "feel unsafe."
Now this is in itself a hoot as they claim a vegan social anarchists policy. They offer a "safe space," and are "welcoming to all."  http://redandblackcafe... ).
I don't know if that applies to grumpy farmers but I'm betting you service varies depending on how you look! Obviously they don't like cops!
So I did some research whilst sitting on the can. It seemed like a proper venue for such a search.
Some people say that the restrooms are a popular place on craigslist for some m4m meetings, some say chonic is sold there. I suppose this is all quite true as it defines itself as a counter culture hang out.
The cop was one of the officers involved in the high profile shooting of a despondent local African-American and according to news reports was getting to know the folks in the area as part of Portland's community policing program.
So...I did a little thinking...
Red and Back cafe, counter culture hangout, serving bums coffee, anti-police flyers, supporter of the Portland anti-police crowd, underage Goth chicks, the faint hint of chronic on the breeze, hmmm.
I find it hard to believe that the Portland police department purposely sent on of the officers involved in the shooting into the cafe to make a statement. That is his part of the city after all, but, this whole psychological warfare thing is pretty popular in US police and military circles so who knows. I'm sure the folks at the Red and Black cafe thought so. After all, Chronic makes people a bit suspicious, I've been told.
Anyway, I think it is amusing. All sorts of people are going crazy with a "cop love-fest." Oh, the officer is a Iraq decorated war veteran! My neighbor was on the beach at Leyte and I don't refer to him as a decorated war veteran every time he shoots a starling off the wire in front of the shop, although as of late I have taken to hitting the "deck" every time I hear a .22 shot.
We drove by the cafe last night and it was hoppin' the local alternative folks, so I'm sure the guy who stood up to the cop is a hero.
I myself have capitalized on the event by writing about it here but I guess my opinion is the cops and the anarchists need each other. It gives them all something to do. But, I'm not going to call anyone a hero. The copper was making his presence known and the commies reacted, but don't make anyone of them a hero. I don't like either side!  The cop wanted to "intimidate," and the Red and Black stood up to him. If I would have done it I would have gotten tased.  And so it goes and so it has always been and always will be. Keep your head down, be unimportant, when the riot starts get the heck out of there!

Here is a photo of the bathroom vent at the coffee-house. They just gouged out the drywall. The funky paint covers a lack of attention to detail. The place is so cool that they can get by with mediocre coffee, a kind of crappy bathroom and funky-looking but no-so-competent help.

Friday, June 4, 2010

What I did today

Electric welding helmets are really cool!
What I made was a wedge that helps me pick up small bales with the stacker. I could explain further if anyone cares, but I doubt you do.
Look! The soybeans are growing, who would have thunk! They don't look so healthy. Perhaps they are lonely and miss the midwest.
Really! There are beans growing in the photo. If you look really close you can see rows. The not quite dead fescue rows are a sad story and we won't go into that one...
Have a happy day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

It rains and things go wrong

This morning I attempted to collect from some of those who owe me money. This didn't work out so well as anyone who actually has money paid me as soon as I sent them a bill. So then I got the pleasure of talking to the nice lady from Case Credit on the phone to ask her about a little bit more time on the drill payment. They are not as agreeable as they were a few years back. I've got ten days grace period. Then there is a 30 day time period but basically after ten days you have to talk to the collections department. Great, 10 years ago it was not so adversarial. Actually, two years ago when I had December payment they were quite happy to change my payment date.
Normally I would be making money from other sources right now. We did chop silage today. The rest of the week is supposed to give us 2 inches of rain. The neighbor swathed his clover Saturday. It was not ready to chop but we did anyway.
I got in a bit of a hurry and over fed the silage chopper. This makes the fan blades slip and start hitting the blower band. It kept getting louder so I stopped and worked on it. That took two hours to readjust them. Then the bolt came out of the flipper on the spout so it started blowing silage everywhere. Then the truck almost got stuck. We got another dumpbox on the 2-135 but that slows things down a lot. Then is started raining. We gave up. The dairy didn't want it and the farmer asked me to just turn the spout and blow it on the ground. We had seven rows left in the long 20 acre field. Perhaps 3 12 ton loads. It took me an hour or so to finish chopping the field (onto the ground) and to clean up the field.
I can hear it raining outside right now.
This is going to be a bad year. It is not just the weather, prices are crap. Row crops are worth nothing, wheat is worth nothing, forage is worth nothing, grass seed is not moving, clover is kind of sad, hay is not moving. Fertilizer is expensive, diesel is expensive. Of course the morons running this country have screwed things up so bad with the gulf oil spill and oil in general, not to mention destroying the economy, that there is just no hope. Grass seed will not come back. Lush lawns and golf course are not the wave of the future!
Here are some nice cheerful photos!
Our sad soybeans and our "wrong shade of green" barley.

It is painful to blow the clover on the ground. I wish I had it on our fields. Good fertilizer and it conserves moisture. I need a new rear window but I'm broke. I think that White GMC might be overloaded. He was texting and didn't get in behind the chopper, so he got another dumpbox full. I think that truck is probably too small for two full dump boxes..
But at least my wheel didn't break off like what happened to Mr. James.

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