The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

We make a trip to the big city-Whoop! Whoop!

This weekend my lovely wife and I took a weekend away in honor of our anniversary. She found us a good deal at the Governor Hotel in Portland. When we arrived we found that we had been upgraded to the fifth floor high class suite. It was nice. We looked out the balcony and watch the sun go down over the city.

Later we had a dinner at Jake's Grill located in the Hotel. Then we wandered around downtown. We went to Powell's and looked at books for several hours.

Then we caught the Max a few blocks over and had flaming coffee's at Huber's. It was kind of over-rated but I like burning things.
This morning we went to Chinatown and had Dim Sum at Fong Chong's. We usually go to House Of Louie which is a lot better. It was kind of a neat old place anyway.

We saw a brand new building going up. In the close up you can see windmills on top. I suppose someone is making some money off a clever green scam.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How the "professionals" at the Department of Homeland Security (located in the Winston Smith Memorial Building) found the "bomb"

Important clues-
It was marked, "This is not a bomb!" Oh, no wait, that would have worked...
They couldn't help but scrawl "Allah Akbar and death to Israel on it"
The CIA guy who put it on the plane set it down, looked around innocently and then said, "hey look a bomb!" He almost got caught when he had to say it about four times.

But it is nice to know that people in Yemen can't just mail bombs to random Jewish places of worship.
And it is nice to know this is not a "hate crime"

They should have marked it "candy-gram"

The sun came out and I accomplished something!

I spent much of the morning talking to the neighbor I was panting for. I didn't get any good stories. I planted 35 acres today in five different fields. I did a 2.5 acre, a 18 acre, a 12 acre, a five and a 3.5. Somewhere i am missing a 6.3 acre field but perhaps I counted wrong.
The next farmer bought me lunch. He borrowed my pickup to get me lunch and then used it to move the seed truck and the fertilizer truck. He used almost 1/4 tank of gas to do it. I heard him take off one time and I think they were enjoying the fuel-injected 460 with the timing gear out of a 429 and an RV cam. Perhaps a little excessive acceleration.
Here are some photos of my planting miss adventures.
I keep posting these photos of the view out my windshield. That is pretty much what I see for much of the year.

This is what happens when you turn too short with the drill in the ground. This is the second time this year I've done this...

I am planting a few miles away from the interesting farmer's field. This is for the fellow who got me lunch. His uncle is the interesting farmer who is semi-retired.
The farmer who got me lunch has a vintage Ford tractor sign. His father was a ford tractor and truck collector. He has been gone for quite a few years but his wife (lunch getter's mother) often still turns the sign on at night.

 And now it is night...

 In other commentary-
I'm planting near Grand Island which i mentioned in a previous post. I see a few Protect Grand signs around. I attempted to take a photo of one that was right next to the field I was planting. It said "No Big Trucks." The people have a fruit stand in the summer time. They are right on Wallace road and big trucks go past their house day and night. I'm not sure what a few gravel trucks are going to matter.
Frankly I would rather have gravel trucks going by during business hours than bicyclists and lost city folk who don't know enough to get out of the way. Perhaps i should put up a sign in front of my house. Not sure what it would say. Perhaps, Go Away, or Just keep driving, or No bicyclists.
In other news, I heard about the fake bombing attempt on the news. Good timing on that one. Just in time for elections. I'm glad he put the "professionals" on the job instead of using "amateurs" although I don't know that "volunteer" bomb experts wouldn't do a perfectly fine job.
So someone in Yemen mailed a bomb to a synagogue  in New York? Sounds like a real professional terrorist operation. If it really was a bomb and if it really happened. Not to be skeptical, but this whole sort of war but not really, but now we are at war again, but not with Islamic people, and it could really be just random people doing all this, and oh boy those white christian types are really dangerous.
I wonder if the bottom line is that the government has too much money...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I think I talk too much and don't get my work done...

I planted for a neighbor today. He is one of those older fellows who I have known all my life but have never really talked to. We had to load the drill with 50lbs bags of wheat and we got to talking.
I asked him how he knew my family and if he was from the Camp Adair area or if they all went to church together.
Camp Adair was an Army training facility during WWII that covered a huge area. People who lived and farmed in the area had their farms purchased or taken for a nominal sum by the US Government and were forced to relocated.
He got to talking about the reunions and how they started out with a huge gathering and are now pretty much a thing of the past.
Then he got into a commentary about how quickly they had to leave and how difficult it was to harvest the crops.
One of their neighbors was a large farm with many acres of grain and  filberts (hazelnuts). After Pearl Harbor government agents came and took him away to an internment camp because he was of recent German extraction. (I didn't hear what happened to his family and if they were sent away as well. I asked the old folks here at coffee time if they remembered it. There only memory was that he had a large farm and that his daughters were quite attractive and that they rode the bus with them.)
When the man's crops were nearly ready he came back with two FBI agents who gave him a day to find someone to harvest his crops. He asked my neighbor's father to take care of them for him as he had no one else. They did not really have time to do it as they had their crops and they had a dead line to move out.
My neighbor's two sisters came back to help and they harvested the grain. They had a 6 foot combine and the farmer had a 6 foot combine. There was something like 800 acres to do.
My neighbor talked about driving 8 miles around to work at the fellow's farm. It was right next door but the Army had removed the bridge so he had to drive around. Every day he would pass a state patrolman and the patrolman would wave at him. He said he was only 10 years old and driving a farm truck.
When they replaced the bridge later in the summer the approach to the bridge was large loose rock. Sometimes he would have to crawl under the front of the truck and move rocks that the front axle was pushing and stopping the truck.
I guess his neighbor got out of the containment camp and must have got his farm back. He was spraying peaches with one of the early chemicals and he didn't wear a respirator. The chemical filled up his lungs and he died two years later.
I would like to have heard more of the story but I also had to get his field planted. I think I'll try to get him talking tomorrow. I don't really have the names and chronology of events straight.
I don't really know who had the huge BBQ which was attended by the governor and perhaps 1000 people. The roasted a pig, a cow, and a sheep. Was this the guy that ended up in the concentration camp? (sorry, internment camp)
Was this the same fellow who died of chemical poisoning later?
What happened to the cute girls who road the school bus?
How many acres did he harvest for the man?
He told another story about their farm. They had filberts but after getting a number of extensions to stay and harvest their crops they still were unable to pick their filberts. Sometime later they got a call from the local sheriff's office that they needed to go to Monmouth. The sheriff had picked up a drifter for stealing their filberts. The same filberts they were not allow to harvest. They were called in to see if they wanted to press charges. This did not make them very happy and they did not press charges.
He also told about the government's interest in production for the war effort. Even though they had been kicked off their farms the government still wanted them to harvest the crops. A fellow would come around in a new government car and he had a clipboard and he wanted to know how much they got done that day. One day he came out and my neighbor's mom was mending feed sacks. When he asked her what they had accomplished that day she told him they would get a lot more done if he would put that clipboard down and help out a little. He didn't come back for a few days.
Anyway, I planted 16.7 acres and then I got rained out and lost my daylight. I have something like two acres left to plant in a little odd shaped field. Not a real productive day.

An interesting link to an article about US POW camps and internment camps during WWII.

Why you should never trust the government

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Up to my elbows in grease-what I did last night

I got the steering line change in the 2-155. That was quite the exercise. It was successful as the tractor leaks much less oil than it ever has.

I even planted 22.4 acres today.
I could have done a few more if I would not have spent so much time doing pointless things to my no-till drill.
All I really needed to do was to put two new tires on it. ($150 bucks each) But, I also lowered the fertilizer pump so I can suck fertilizer out of a low tank, and I added a valve doubler so I could run the markers up and down separately of the drill going up and down. So I didn't get started until after three.
I was no-tilling wheat into pea stubble and it worked much better than I expected. Despite over two inches of rain the ground is still pretty solid. It started raining on me again on my last round.
I've got a 10 and a 15 acre field close by and then another 20 five miles away and perhaps 70 acres 15 miles away. I need another 300-400 acres to make my payments. Or I need to sell a few truckloads of hay or get paid for all the grass straw I baled, or win the lottery.
No one has any money and after three years it is starting to really get painful. Good thing we have some really smart people in charge of things in the government. Don't know what we would do without them!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Good Screwing of the Family Farmer By AGCO

Here is another post detailing my love for AGCO. I suppose they have been funding their drive to acquire companies instead of developing their own products by raising parts prices. Well, to be fair, I would think they just add a flat percentage price increase when ever the clever folks in the business office decide to do so. Sometimes that price increase gets a bit out of hand.
Here is a photo of a $150 hose. I called my local dealer to see if they had one in stock (fat chance of that) and to see what the price was. I laughed when he said $150 for a power steering hose. I said nothing personal as I know you don't set prices, but I think I have a lot of room for other fabrication solutions on a $150 one foot length of hose.
He did tell me that it was JIC on one end and a Female flared tubing on the other end. I don't really know the difference but both ends looked the same to me. I would have made it myself but i don't trust our hose crimper on 2400 psi steering lines. When the blow the hydraulic fluid is atomized and it is kind of a frightening sensation when you smell the hydraulic vapor hitting the turbo.
So I took it to our local parts repair store and they made me a new hose for $25.
Why doesn't some at AGCO figure out that charging outrageous prices for parts doesn't really bring in new customers. I've come really close to buying a new Hesston Disc mower when hay prices were high and I really hate to go back to New Holland. I think I will just not buy a new one.  Of course there is no more Hesston brand anyway so what difference does it make.

Computer issues

My iBook is dying. The wireless unexpectedly fails and the battery suddenly runs out of juice. This really messes up my preferred means of posting and writing which is in a little room with a kind of uncomfortable seat. I always feel better after leaving the little room. I guess it does have a GFI so I could be plugged in...

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Charge of the Light Brigade and my anniversary

Technically I forgot my anniversary. It is very hard for me to actually forget the date as it coincides with the date of the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade against the Russians at Balaclava during the Crimean war.
I suppose kids don't learn about such things in school anymore. I doubt I learned about it in school. Someone used to recite the poem and I learned part of it as a kid.
The combination of these two evens, the Charge of the Light Brigade and my marriage seem quite humorous to me. While I could never remember the two events separately, I can easily remember the two when they are associated.
I was eating lunch at 3:30 after a rather hectic morning. There is a broken hydraulic line behind the fuel tank on my planting tractor which means I have to remove the fuel tank which I just filled with diesel and it was a bit of a chore. Plus, I spent three hours cleaning all the mud off the grain drill. So, my lovely wife inquires as to if we are going out for dinner tonight. I said, no because this is the 24th and our anniversary is tomorrow.
Apparently today is the 25th.
It turned out that the Amity Cafe was closed anyway so I helped her install floor tile. I am in fact a hopeless romantic.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854
Written 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
'Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns' he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
Was there a man dismay'd ?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd & thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel'd from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder'd.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fall is here and so is the rain

I'm not exactly singing in the rain...This was the view out the window yesterday afternoon. Wheat into sweet corn stubble.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I get more campaign literature

Well, my wife another big glossy postcard from Susan Sokol Blosser. It is titled, "When it's schools against businesses, the big loser is Oregon."
And that means what? I suppose it is some sort of commentary about taxes and school funding and I'm betting she wants more money for schools
She was a teacher in a local school district.
She is a winery owner.
This pretty much means that she doesn't want schools to teach kids the basic skills found in reading writing and arithmetic.
The one room school house provided the education basics that put a man on the moon. It seems to me it has been pretty much down hill from there.
Speaking of down hill I plowed some ground for the first time in years and already the arrow head collectors are out and it hasn't even rained yet. They tell me there was a big Indian war fought in this area. The collector thinks it was right in this area. This is mostly forgotten history. It is certainly not taught in the local schools and the local Indians were not from this area anyway.
But, I digress...
I'm not sure I am a big fan of the Republican candidate either but I have not been getting postcards from him. He actually sounds like a hard working regular sort of guy. He is probably inexperienced but sincere. 
In farming news, I planted more wheat today. I finished the worked ground and moved to the field which everyone can see from 99W. It was dark when I started. I planted 12 acres with GPS and a foam marker that worked part of the time. This will be interesting as I do not have a $6,000 GPS. There may be gaps. I calculated the amount of seed needed incorrectly so I ran out with 17 acres left to do. I may be rained out tomorrow but if I would have had the seed to keep planting it would not have been a pretty sight when the rows started to show...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men

Ode To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I'm truly sorry man's dominion,
Has broken nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An' fellow-mortal!

I doubt na, whiles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't!

Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's winds ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell-
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee mony a weary nibble!
Now thou's turn'd out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld!

But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain;
The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou art blest, compar'd wi' me
The present only toucheth thee:
But, Och! I backward cast my e'e.
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!
 Or in this year's experience, about five thousand mice. It made the hawks and the coyotes happy.

I would be finished planting ryegrass but planting after dark does not work so well. The soil was sticky and it looked like more ryegrass was stuck to the press wheels than went in the ground and I was trying to lay out two 10 acre fields with GPS in the dark. I don't have a $6,000 GPS. Finally, after the seed monitor quit due to low voltage from all the lights I have running  and I got lost as my field size did not match the acres of seed in my drill, I decided to quit. I needed the seed monitor to tell me when I was out of seed and I decided I could go twice as fast in daylight.
My goal was to finish the ryegrass tonight, then plant 40 acres of wheat in the morning, then move 10 miles and get started on a 60 acre field that is in bare row crop ground. It is supposed to rain hard this weekend and 60 acres is $1,500 for an afternoon's work. It will not happen the way I planned it.
The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men.
I'm going to bed...

I plow 30 acres and listen to old country-western songs sung by Tom Petty cause I can't find Coast to Coast AM...

And that pretty much is the story of my whole post...
My AM didn't work as something kept shorting out the antenna. I think it was hitting the flasher bracket. I am trying to plant wheat before the rain. We were going to no-till wheat into wheat but there were lots of mice. I did have a plan.
The idea was to leave tall stubble in all the low spots and places where the river could wash. I can no-till though the stubble better than we can plow it down. We got over 2 tons of wheat straw per acre and it was knee high stubble. We couldn't flail it down as our flail exploded. My helper disked the field a couple times but that just make kind of a mess. The plowing job did not look pretty.
I decided to plow it myself as the instructions to leave tall stubble where ever the field will wash didn't get translated. I finished it a few minutes ago. It does not look so good. There are still piles of straw and the plow kept jumping sideways and leaving voids. It is hard driving with an on-land hitch on a pull-type plow. It is an old five bottom Melroe 911.
Tomorrow I hope to finish planting ryegrass which should be around 50 acres worth. I may get started planting wheat but I doubt it.
I just got a 50 acre wheat planting job 10 miles away that is on bush bean ground and has to be done before it rains an inch. Which it is supposed to do this weekend. I really want to get that job done as the farmer pays me when I finish the field. I mean, he watches for me to finish, gets my acre count and writes me a check.
That makes me happy....

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I quit early and play movies on the barn

I guess I promised to do this a couple weeks ago and forgot about it. I suppose in five years it will not matter if I planted 20 acres or watched Andy Panda in "Wacky Weed" on the side of a barn.
And here is a short clip for your viewing pleasure, unless you have dialup and then you are screwed...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Im going to move to Eugene so I can vote for Art Robinson

Orin sent me this link.. It is to an attack website run by Oregon Rep Peter DeFazio against someone who had the audacity to challenge Peter's smug reign as the littlest liberal.

I don't think he addressed this as a comment but I'm going to lift his words from his email and if he don't like it he can't come punch me in the nose cause he doesn't actually know where I live...

Our Congressional district contains a whole lot of rural area. Basically the SW corner of the state. Unfortunately for us, it also includes Eugene-Springfield. So we've had the same Democrat (Peter DeFazio) since 1987. Now, considering that he's from Eugene, he's fairly middle of the road. We could have worse I suppose. In the past, the Republicans have done a pretty poor job of finding decent opponents for him partly because no-one wants the political suicide that a run against him means. Elections have been a cake-walk. He's bragged about never having run attack ads. Mostly because there was never a reason to.

This year, the Republicans are running Art Robinson. He's actually a pretty good contender. He spent his career as a scientist, working alongside the likes of Linus Pauling. Says that global warming is bunk, and can back it up. DeFazio is flooding the airwaves with ads giving the impression that Robinson wants to close the public schools, de-regulate the oil companies, put radioactive waste in the foundations of homes and schools (I'm actually not kidding!) and the like. There's even a website ( that is paid for by DeFazio For Congress!  The ads are becoming increasingly desperate and shrill. I think he should stop beating around the bush, and just record a new ad that lays it all out there: "Hi, I'm Peter DeFazio and I'll do anything for your vote. And I'll even come over to your house, drop my pants, bend over and grab my ankles or strap on some knee pads, whatever you want. See, I've been in congress since Reagan was still in office. I don't remember how to do a real job. I really don't want to have to move back to Eugene. There's a lot of smelly hippies and scary anarchists there."

Now I know that he will end up winning but it was nice to get a glimmer of a chance, for a change."

So, even though I totally overslept cause my wife and child went to Eugene to see Aunt B, and I should be planting and not blogging, I will leave you with my favorite quote of the day, week, month, whatever:

"The most widespread and pernicious form of child abuse in America today is the daily incarceration of most American youths in institutions [public schools] where their sociological development is distorted and their intellectual development is permanently retarded."- Art Robinson (off the anit-Art Robinson website)

I suppose that quote is political suicide but it is spot on.

I was collecting a bill the other day from some horse folks who it turns out went to my school but were ahead of me. We were discussing how much we hated school. Sometimes I forget how much I hated school and how the petty morons running the school quashed any real creativity. All the individuals and real non-conformist types were marginalized and the whiney self-absorbed kids were promoted. Art Robinson is my hero...

(Note: I did a quick skim of the anti-Art Robinson website and picked out my favorite quote. I see the anti-Art folks have got all kinds of craziness against him. I find it so amazing that the truth is so relative/fluid. Perception is reality in the 21st century. That is why I need to teleport back to the 19th early 20th century. I keep checking out these phone booths but none them seem to be the right one.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No-Till Annual Ryegrass

It is coming up! I no-tilled annual into our poor-yielding teff field and there are rows already. Now for the weed control. Our tests from this year's crop were not so good. I'm thinking it was the volunteer annual field. The neighbor is worried about slugs so I need to put out some test stations with slug bait. I've seen years when the header on the silage chopper or corn picker are covered in them. Haven't seen any so far.
Today I am starting no-tilling wheat for the neighbors. I'm wishing for 700 to 1000 acres of work, and the weather to get it done. I have 300 acres committed and I've completed just under 100.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My favorite photo of the past two weeks

This was the view out my back window this evening at 7 p.m. I am done with the neighbor's silage and now we have five acres of our own left to chop. I don't know how much I did at this point. I think it would be around 1200-1500 tons. We average 15 acres a day. I think we might have done 20 acres today. Probably not.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I contact my representative

I picked up the mail the other day to find this huge full color postcard campaign advertisement which gave out the personal cell phone number of the Sate Rep from Yamhill County. His name is Jim Weidner and frankly I don't know if I like him or not. I have not really been paying attention to the news. I figure all politicians are either morons or corrupt or both.
But this postcard caught my eye. It was slick and well done. Someone spent a lot of money to accuse Jim Wiedner being behind trespassing and of misrepresenting a vineyard owner's stance on illegal immigration. The vineyard person is Susan Sokol Blosser who was one of the early wine promoters in Oregon.
I don't like vineyards, I don't like vineyard tourism, I don't like short pants wearing, wine swilling, bicycle riding, commies who think they are better than average cause they drink rotten grape juice. (Except for Hauer of The Dauen which is pure entertainment as I know the folks.)
So I dialed the phone number while waiting for a truck so I could start chopping silage again. To my surprise Jim himself answered. I told him I had no idea what he had done to peeve Susan Sokol Blosser but it provided me with a lot of entertainment and he should keep doing. Anyone who annoys a vineyard owner enough to inspire than kind of money has my vote. Assuming I will actually vote...(didn't say that)
I ended up having somewhat of an interesting conversation with him. Susan Sokol Blosser is hooking into some serious progressive funding sources. Perhaps she is not so much an independent as she would have us believe. Not that it matters. Vineyard owners as a rule are not part of the bread and butter ag community. They have more money, more snobbery, and as many or more immigrants with fake ID as anyone else, except for the nursery industry. Susan brought the whole immigration issue onto herself by stating in her book that the family hired immigrants that were most likely illegal.
We discussed the local dump and the Save Grand Island campaign.
He cited environmental restrictions that go so far as to stifle innovations and to force companies to take the more difficult and less effective route to solving problems.
His example was the common sense solution of burning garbage to generate power and reduce the volume of material. I did not argue as I think a modern garbage burning facility could work.
On the other hand why do we need to take Portland's trash? Portland can deal with their own problems.
Or the issue of Baker Rock having a gravel pit on Grand Island. They can't take the rock out of the river anymore so they have to buy land and mine it. Frankly I don't care that much about Baker Rock's problems. I suppose I would care more if they were a local company instead of the company that bought Birch Concrete. So if the folks on Grand Island want to fight it out, good for them. I did point out that those folks on Grand Island are no longer truck farmers and they are renting their ground to big farmers and I thought it was kind of funny they were trying to preserve a lifestyle that hasn't existed for 30 years.
I think I side with Baker Rock as I figure the gravel trucks will scare off the bicyclists which are the bane of local roads.
Anyway, I had a nice chat.
Then I went back to chopping silage.
As an after thought, if you click on the link to Oregon House Democrats you will see that a crowning achievement was a bill banning the use of cartoon characters to advertise tobacco use, oh but that's not all, the evil tobacco companies can't give away free samples either! Wow! What a victory for truth and justice. I bet that Joe Camel was really making a lot of kids smoke. Yes indeed, a cartoon character that looked like a giant limp penis made people want to put burning things in their mouths...At the same time they increased the tax on chew to bring in more tax revenue. You ain't gonna get the tax revenue if kids can't look at giant limp penises cause we all know that's what makes em addicted to nicotine!
The official country color should be purple, the color of wine, or should we say maroon, cause the whole shebang is run by MAROONS!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Laughable Save Grand Island Campaign

I have been seeing these signs all over the neighborhood which read "Save Grand Island." Those of you from the midwest may wonder what is being proposed that will destroy part of Nebraska, do not fear, Grand Island is an island in the Willamette River just a few mile from my home in scenic Oregon.
Now back in the "olden days" it was the spot for fresh produce. My mom would go "to the island" for any vegetable that we did not grow in our garden. The produce stand  that used to be just before the bridge to the island was where she got fresh peaches and watermelons and apples and such.
Now here's the deal.
I think it is a shame that Baker Rock company wants to haul off half of the island to gravel roads in Yamhill country. I am not completely sure that is what will happen but I figure if the folks that live there don't want it to happen then they should be able to stop it.
But... here is what I think is funny. There are no more "truck gardens," or small farms on Grand Island. Sure Heizer Farms is there and they are probably behind the whole Save Grand Island campaign because they have a tourist attraction pumpkin patch kind of thing going on. The farm is not how they started out making their living. I think they are doctors or something.
There are probably only like three or four farmers that are doing anything substantial on the whole island and they are big operations with huge tractors and they don't even live on the island. There is one serious farmer who still has apples and makes his living from farming but the old days of row crop farming are long gone. It is all grass seed and wheat now. Perhaps a big field of sweet corn but that is not fresh market.
As far as the whole pristine beauty of the place, sure there are deer. There are deer everywhere. I've heard the stories of the old days of produce growing-when they would dump toxic chemicals down the wells and pump it out through the sprinkler lines onto the fields for pest and weed controls. The one story noted that birds flying under the sprinklers would die from the chemicals. I would not drink the water from any well on Grand Island, although I suppose it has all been tested and is ok.
I've baled and stacked and planted on the island and it is a beautiful place. I certainly don't want to dodge rock trucks when I move wide equipment across the bridge but then again, I would a lot rather meet a rock truck than I would attempt to circumvent a horde of bicyclists.
I guess I kind of look at the whole thing with some amusement. It is national politics on a local scale. The "feel good" crowd, motivated by a "sustainable" and "feel good" business, which doesn't actually do anything but bring hordes of tourists to block the roads, has taken on a resource based industry. So-called grass roots vs the evil Capitalists, of course the grass roots/sustainable folks are fighting for their own capitalistic interests but they don't call it that. Frankly I don't have much in common with either side, and neither do most of the folks who make their living actually farming in the neighborhood.
Just the same, I suppose I would have to grudgingly side with the Save Grand Island crowd because I have my own similar cause. I hate Riverbend Landfill and Waste Management Corporation with a passion. This is the 21st century, we have had science for a couple hundred years now. What sort of dumbass would build a giant landfill on both sides of a river. AND then advertise being green on their website! I've baled and planted all around the monstrosity and it stinks. Sometimes it catches on fire. Waste Management Corp has so much money they just bought off all the local politicians, who are such morons they didn't even know they were being bought off. What a joke... No wonder we have all the rabid environmentalists running around.
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever about being inconsistent...
Have a nice evening!
Edit-Click Here for a link to the Waste Not of Yamhill County which opposes trash mountain ski resort and environmental oasis. I wish I could find my photo of snow on the peak of Trash Mountain. That was funny...

Rainy Sunday

I opened the Lazy Farmer to see what I was doing this time last year. Then I thought that it is really not that relevant as it is a different year. Check out the post, "Why My Head May Explode," and you will see that it is exactly the same every year, perhaps worse each year...
At this point last year I think we were done with silage and planting at home and I was well into planting for other people.
Right now I have another two or three days of silage and two days of planting for a neighbor.
I need to plant another 50 or 80 acres of ryegrass for us and 60 or 70 acres of wheat. Plus, I need to finish the neighbor's 60 acres of disked ground and I have do something about the additional 80 acres I was attempting to rent and I need to plant 20 of timothy acres at Gopher Valley and 20 acres here at home. Now this does not seem so much to those of you folks with 30ft equipment and good help but the logistics of it all gets me down.
I think I should disk at least part if not all of the wheat ground. I am very hesitant about no-tilling annual the ryegrass ground. I need to find a cover crop disk and a heavy roller and finish the neighbor's field and it is a long drive to Gopher Valley. I also need to get Yamhill wheat from Corvallis Seed and Timothy from Carlton. I have to get a fertilizer tank and the rest of the wheat seed. I have to argue with Wilco about where the wheat seed is coming from. The morons at Wilco are not buying wheat seed from my neighbor (where they have got it for 15 years) but they are using his bags.
I really need to get the other chopper fixed and try it out but I guess that is not so important. I need to chop our five acres of silage. The clover seed needs to be taken to Carlton. I have to readjust the blower fan on the 890 silage chopper. Everything on the farm needs to be cleaned and put away. And I need to plant for three other people to make some cash to live on. Oh, and I left the stacker at the last stacking job I did. (I got rained out...)
And I need to finish putting the siding on the back of our sort of shop before it really starts raining. My employee says he will really work hard and help and I am positive that he really intends to do so.
But he won't...
Here is a video of sharpening the knives on the old silage chopper.Yes, I realize I could drop that wrench in the knives and I should have had the lid down. I have heard of those who would light a smoke off the sparks from the sharpener. I think the guy is an idiot...
My wife bought me a little flipvideo camera. Sadie says they didn't pay list price for it. It came from a closeout sale.
Please tell me if you can't see or watch the video. I'm not sure I can make them smaller but I will try. I suppose it will not work with dial-up.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why I have not posted for a week, silage chopping...


It has been a busy week. I have a 200 acre planting job and I need to chop corn silage. Suddenly the corn got ready... Instead of mid-week start we started Tuesday.
I got off to a good start.
The first day I turned too short and busted the tongue on the chopper. Now, you understand the chopper is a couple years old. It is a 890 New Holland that we bought at a farm auction for $125 and it turned out to be better than the 892 we were using.
Then the smooth roll kind of destructed which I should have seen coming but I only have 30 acres to chop and we just put new bearings in it, um, well a couple years ago... Like five years ago and we did not pull the header at the end of last season.
That took a day...
But, I got to plant. I did 60 acres of very loose dirt. The no-till drill doesn't work so well in loose dirt. It tends to plant a little on the deep side unless you lower the gauge wheels on the drill quite a bit.
The farmer wanted me to plant 140lbs of wheat per acre. It seems a touch hight to me. He asked me what I had the drill set at. I said 135 as I figured that is what he wanted to hear. He asked me if I could bump it up to 140. I said "sure." When you are running 140lbs of wheat per acre through your drill 5lbs is not much of a difference. I have found that the seed rate can vary 10lbs per acre from morning to evening with the temperature changes. I have my planter alarm set to go off when seed level gets to the point where I have two or three acres left to plant at 100lbs of wheat per acre. (it is not adjustable) At 140lbs I don't have time to get back to the truck when the alarm goes off!
But, I did it...
My brother and Bill got the chopper going and chopped four loads Wednesday.
Thursday I went back to chopping.
Then the reverser quit on the header. The A/C fan failed on the trusty 2-135, a bolt came loose in the blower on the chopper... (The one bolt that didn't get loc-tite on it!)
The field I'm chopping is for our neighbor who doesn't have a chopper. He didn't leave wide enough headlands to turn around so we have to back up a lot.
I move to the field by his house.
He is a really good farmer and he works really hard so I have to do a better job working for him.
The hose going to the hydraulic oil cooler blows pumping five gallons of hydraulic oil out the grill of the tractor.
He got a little off on the strip tilling/planting line up and the four rows through a 3 row header thing is not working so well.
More, no headland/short rows.
No A/C and the sun is out...
Then, I'm trying to open the last gun alley and my truck can't find me.
I was sitting there watching the electronic tach and I noticed the numbers...

It is a little late for me to start now but perhaps it does have some medicinal value?

Here we are nearing the end of that row. I really didn't think we would make it to the end. Right here we still have 100 feet to go..

And here is the load. I could have got a little more in the right rear corner!
And this is the whole set up, in case anyone wanted to know what I am doing...

Friday, October 1, 2010

I take my daughter to work and we see a rhino and a giraffe

You never know what you will find when you get to a planting job. Yesterday I planted a pasture for a fellow who has a ranch for retired zoo animals. I took daughter with me at 7 a.m. and she got a tour.
The photo below is what we saw after going through the gate. Look closely in the trees!
It thought it was all pretty cool but kind of like five minutes worth of cool and then I went back to work. But... when you are 9 years old being five foot away from a 6,000lb rhino or looking at a giraffe out the window of dad's pickup is pretty freakin' awesome.
Here is the giraffe up close. I think this is the male. There are two, Allan and Wenzie (sp?). The girl came from the San Diego zoo. The owner showed us the special modified trailer he used to haul a 16 ft giraffe. He has a special tall barn that they live in. They eat alfalfa and the tops of trees. I guess it is a bit of a challenge to winter a giraffe in Oregon. In the cold weather they burn up a lot of fat. If they have no fat reserves they can get sick very easily.

The rhino was pretty cool. I can't remember his name. There are two of them. Both males. The one pictured likes to have his head scratched. They are incredibly strong, but they don't like electric fences. Their pen is built from 3" square tubing.

The rhinos followed me along the fence line while planting. I think they may have mistaken the silver White for another White Rhino. I had to distract them while getting through the gates. Sometimes they charge vehicles.
Best of all they fellow was happy that I came and planted for him and he paid me the full rate even though I give all my returning customers a substantial discount due to the economic crisis.

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!