The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I get my hippie bands mixed up...

I dislike Neil Young. I much prefer The Ledge. Anyway, I been a bit under the weather and I finally watched this movie a friend loaned me a year ago. It has Townes Van Zandt singing, "Dead Flowers" which I thought he wrote.

I was wrong.
I like his cover much better than the Rolling Stones original ($5 says Gram Parsons really wrote it).
So I looked up some Townes Van Zandt (may he rest in peace) as I was looking for the song with the lyrics, "been on the job too long," and I thought he wrote "The Needle and the Damage Done," but all I can find is Neil Young's tuneless warble. There are some good covers but none by Van Zandt.

Turns out the song I want is the Ballad of Dunkan and Brady and is a traditional song covered by Lead Belly, Bob Dylan, and folkie Tom Rush recorded it in the 1960's. It is on a old 8-track somewhere. The tape is white and the next song is Ballad of Pancho and Lefty and I know Townes Van Zandt is singing that one.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The law has been laid down!

Something did not seem right in the house this morning. I woke up after a night of coughing and fitful sleep to a totally quiet house. No curious George on the TV, no cheerful morning prattle, no kitty tormenting. Judging from the gray light filtering through the blinds it was near 7 a.m. but very cloudy. I could hear wind or rain. I couldn't hear a sound, except for that annoying white noise sound in my right ear which is plugged tight.
Today is my day to take the kids to school so I knew I had to get up. I staggered into the kitchen where I found my daughter. She pointed me to a large sign which should have been the first thing I saw when I wandered out of the guest room. (I've been quarantined)
The sign read in large black letters, "GO BACK TO BED."
My daughter informed me that since I did not sleep well and was coughing all night, they had been extra quiet this morning and that Uncle 706 was taking them to school.  And I should go back to bed.
So I did.
Who am I to argue with an almost 10-year-old?
I've got my phone so I suppose it will start ringing soon.
I do have some medical advice for you all. Thera-Flu works really well. However, the words "daytime" actually mean what they say. Rationalizing that since the package is four years out of date it probably won't make me stay awake, is just "rationalizing."
I was able to sort of sleep as I was quite tired, but it was that strange half awake dozing sort of sleep that doesn't really do you much good.
MuddyValley thinks it was the sweet sounds of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy which carried a virus. Perhaps it damaged my immune system to some degree but on the other hand, why would it not work like chemotherapy where it would also kill the virus as well?
In order to find out I would have to drag myself some 10 feet to the record player. Perhaps I will try a knife against a glass window or fingernails on the chalkboard!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I went back to bed. $%^&*ing rain...

I am sick. I don't have the sort of symptoms that send me to a doctor. In other words, I'm not coughing up blood (not a lot anyway), no temp of 103, no spurting wounds, and I have a deep cough and I feel really tired. I usually am sick for a day or two and then I'm fine. I usually cure myself by just pretending it didn't happen and focusing on minutia. (I learned that from watching US national policy)
But, today I genuinely feel like crap.
I went out to the shop and discussed just what we are going to do with the offending sewer line and then excused myself and went home. I see that my father has in fact managed to fill the tank nearly full in two days. He has the whole ignore it and it will go away thing down to a "T". He simply does what he wants because he is 90 years old. I do sort of wish he would have worked at his iBook from home from the last few days or that my sister-in-law would have taken away his prunes...
But, I digress.
I found a Mickey Gilley album awhile back and I listened to it Sunday. But I was kind of annoying the family I think so I didn't go to the trouble of recording.
Here is "Room Full of Roses," which Mickey covered in the 1970's.

I suppose my musical tastes are a bit strange as we have gone from The Humans and Radio Birdmen, to sappy country via the Legendary Stardust Cowboy in two weeks.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A clever way to split a tractor

How to split a tractor with no chain hoist.

The fellow has made tracks from angle iron with the triangle point facing up. The wheels heavy rollers that look like two 4" round plates that have beveled edges and they are on an axle. Pretty simple little setup. You can mount the tracks on heavy wood beams for splitting something in the field. This is a much better idea than using the M670 to split  the G706.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A lesson in the undeniable virtue of the oppressed, which will not be understood...

I opened up my mail from WebPro News at lunch time and I was pretty much amazed at what I read.
Click here to view, don't think you have to be a member to read WebPro News.
I'm sure you have heard of video by now. A girl at UCLA had the lack of understanding to post what she really thinks. It was a touch insensitive but yet kind of funny as well.
The article title is amazing, "Racist YouTube Video Results in another Social Media Casualty." In what context is it racist? Well, obviously only as White Person Speach!
I plan showing this to my young daughter to illustrate the "Undeniable Virtue of the Oppressed." Or what happened to free speech in the USA. Or why UCLA is means thought control, or why it should not be on your list of intended colleges.
It is simple. If this was a rap song about annoying white people it would be ok.
Plus, it means nothing, it is just a kid talking. A kid who has not been indoctrinated yet. She is making humor based on exaggeration of real events. It is a freaking joke. Has anyone watched comedy central? The whole thing is kind of silly.
I find the comments pretty amazing. There is true hate and stupidity in this world and is often found on the internet.
Hate speech and racism is when you say a race should be killed or that they are descended from monkeys or basically anything you hear in a mosque. (That last comment was a little racist I suppose)
And, what she said about the tidal wave was insensitive but basically right. If you are going to call everyone in your address book to see if they are ok after a huge disaster you should not do it in the library.
Don't know why I devoted a whole mid-afternoon post to something this stupid but the people who think they are open-minded are such useful idiots. They were the sort that killed their families during the Cultural Revolution. (Which was ok as they were Moaists and people at UCLA think that is just allright.)

More rain and the frustrations of planting

Yesterday I got rained out. I did not get stuck.
I was planting wheat. The farmer said he had 200 acres for me to do. The first 70 acres were pretty wet with little ground cover. I'm planting into soybean ground. It doesn't look to me like soybeans will be the next big crop in Oregon.
I also think that no-tilling soybeans into prennial ryegrass sod is not the best way to go. While the large diameter seeds work well for no-till, I think the ground needs to be worked more after a 3-4 year grass seed crop. I should have tried digging up some roots to see how far the they penetrated into the ground but I suspect two trips with a covercrop disk and then the no-till drill would have helped the water infiltration and root growth quite a bit.
We did test plots of no-till vs minimum till and found the only thing that made a real difference was the rate of 10/34 fertilizer in the row. Of course after we planted out beans it rained for two weeks. I dug up a seed and the loose dirt in the no-till row just turned to pudding. I was amazed they even came up.
I finished the first field and we went to check out the second and third fields. Those turned out to be fields I no-tilled for him last fall. The field I'm in now looks like I set the population too low. (I didn't) The farmer said the rows looked good all fall but the mice, geese, and slugs ate it up. Some places there are missing plants, some areas it is mowed 1/2" above the ground, some areas are bare. West facing hillsides are lush and green, east facing are bare. I don't have my book with me but I think we planted at least 140lbs of wheat per acre in the fall. I think 160lbs actually. $50/acre for seed, $40 for fertilizer, $26 for planting, and now we are doing it again.
From a customer service point of view I feel like I should give him a discount. He didn't ask for one and I make it very clear I only do free planting if the screw-up was my fault. I would knock of 20% without a second thought-if I had my drill payment made! I will have to think about this. I know what I am entitled to and that is full rate, but what is the right thing to do? and/or What is the smart consumer oriented business thing to do? I'll probably give him a discount of some sort.

The sun was out and the ground was drying out. I was making pretty good time. I finally decided the ground was not going to be soft and I filled the drill completely full of fertilzer and wheat seed.
I got back to the field and it started raining. I kept going. It rained more. I kept going.
All of a sudden the tractor started pulling down. I was kind of half-asleep. I've got two monitors, a pressure gauge, GPS, A little screen that shows the bin level on the drill, the radio, and the strange imaginary world that inhabits my brain and sometimes I have a hard time concentrating.

Of course I pulled the wrong lever and lifted the drill instead of raising the front coulters. I didn't get stuck. I got it all adjusted right and it was fine for another hundred feet and then it really pulled down. I raised the drill a bit to put the lift wheels down on the ground and got out of there. I think the mud just built up so much on the drill wheels that it started pulling hard and made the wheels sink in.
So, I've got 90 acres out of 150-200 and the drill is completely full. At least I could park it in a barn. I have not decided if I will go back and try it this morning. I may have been going the same direction as an old tile line. I think if I move over a couple of passes and go by my A-B line I set at the beginning of the field I will be ok. If not, I'm screwed. The farmer took off last night on a spring break trip with his family. I'm on my own.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ralph Mooney RIP

There is no point for me to write an article about Ralph Mooney when so many other people have (Click Here for article in Fretboard Journal).
I'm sitting in my lazyboy after a day of planting and I'm listening to Mr. Mooney play the pedal steel guitar with Hoyt Axton on "When the Morning Comes."
Mr. Mooney passed away at age 82.  He toured and recorded with Waylon Jennings for 20 years. He also appeared as a session musician on many albums and for many different artists. He is credited as one of the developers of the Bakersfield country sound, which was a step away from the over-produced, pop styled Nashville sound of the past 30 years.
You can find him on ablums by Merle Haggard, Neil Young, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Jessi Coulter, and even Wanda Jackson. Plus, he played as a studio musician on many 45's recorded by local artists.
Here is another interesting comment about him.
Everyone is dying, it must be the end of the world...

Tractor is repaired, Nerfgun found, Chinese greasegun fails, Planting stalled by rain...

If anyone would like to contribute a couple thousand dollars the PayPal button still works. If NPR can get people to donate millions why can't I? I will play "Puff The Magic Dragon," if someone gives me a million dollars.
This never ending drizzle has stopped the planting which is my primary source of income. Hay sales is my secondary income and it never got started. I did sell a ton of chicken feed yesterday...

That didn't even pay for my new rear window. As you can see the tractor is ready to come out of the shop. Right now it is actually hooked to the drill. I attempted to get my GPS to work but the stupid PC tablet won't recognize the Belkin Serial to USB adapter. Belkin is crap, never buy a Belkin adapter. It doesn't matter that they are crap, the stores still sell them, but they are crap.

Speaking of being broke and things being crap... Daughter went to the Dentist last week. I stopped by ValueVillage and much to my surprise there was a nerf vulcan machine gun. It was complete with the ammo belt and the tripod. We brought it home and rounded up all the nerf ammo and gave it a try.
It is a piece of crap. The anticipation was much more than the resolution. It eats batteries, has limited range, and the belt jams. The plastic is pretty cheesy and the belt jams all the time. I can't believe it got all those 5 star ratings on Amazon. A fool and his money are soon parted. At least it came from a thrift store and I didn't pay $50 for it.

Which brings me to the expensive crap I bought last year. A Plews electric grease gun. The Plews "ProTuff" 18 volt grease gun is total crap. The first one split the casting the first time I used it and now my second one has failed. The motor stopped and the trigger is jammed.  It is made of cheap plastic and you know the internals are just as cheap. I wonder if regular Chinese folks like you and I are embarrassed by the absolute crap that has their name on it. Sort of like working for GM in the 1980's, I suppose.
The sad thing is that it was not that much less expensive than an Alemite. Especially now that is totally useless. I guess If I can return it, otherwise I will take it apart and see if I can totally ruin it.
If I ever get to use my grain drill...I have 52 grease zerks to grease and the electric grease gun is pretty handy.
Perhaps I should now go to work.
Perhaps we should start a betting pool. Will I get stuck today? How far out in the field before I get stuck? How many tractors will it take to pull me out?
Have a nice day...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Apology doesn't make it all right but it somehow makes you feel better? Or not?

Since I live on the West Coast of the USA, and since we are but 50-some miles from that very coast, and since I just watched a program on OPB about the Japanese launching balloon bombs that exploded in my very county.... I have been watching the Japanese nuclear meltdown with interest. While possibility of glowing in the dark intrigues me I understand there are side affects other than gaining amazing superpowers from a radioactive spider bite.
I read with mixed feelings of the power company's chief executive giving a tearful apology. I'd like to see more of that in the USA. Would it hurt to admit you made a mistake? Perhaps some ritual suicides by top bankers would be in order? I suppose that is pushing it a little...
"It was the only honorable thing to do."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

More Folk Music

The daughter went to spend half of Spring Break with her Aunt. Wife and I watched a movie. The movie ended and OPB comes on. It would seem that the decision to stop fund NPR has driven them to desperate means. It would seem that the only commies left in the world are aging beatnicks in the USA. When they hear folk music they just start writing checks. There has got to be a way for me to make money off of this.
I was trying to be sociable, plus the iBook battery died and the power cord was next to the TV and I kind of hated to leave. I made a few small comments about the sincerity of audience and then Bobby Darin came on. He was singing about freedom and he had the clever little hand gesture where the peace sign turned into a fist. Pretty doggone subtle. Good thing I was wearing my Che t-shirt. If only I had a Norton instead of a Triumph.
I understand that as a freshman in college you get all worked up about social injustice and I do understand that whatever gets chicks all earnest and sincere is a great way to may yourself appear earnest and sincere and that can be used to your advantage. But, to just sit around and watch earnest and sincere upper middle class white people singing about 100 level college courses in the 1960's just kind of gets on my nerves.
Especially when it was pointed out that this was payback for subjecting the family to 30 minutes of The Ledge last night.
I had to clear my head and so I found this on YouTube.  Check out the audience. They look shocked.

Thinking back, I was pretty much a middle class white kid but I really don't remember being all that sincere. I remember being an idiot on several occasions but I certainly hope none of them have been caught on tape...

Persecuted for Art's Sake

My family has issued a warning against moderate to high volume playing of The Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
My daughter asked me when I recorded my own record... This was followed up by the question, "why do you listen to someone who sings exactly like you?"
I countered with "would you rather listen to Puff the Magic Dragon on OPB"
"YES!" was the response.
I think I will curtail my musical enjoyment until the threat of the declaration of a "No Stardust Cowboy Zone" on my music corner is lifted.
I will live you with a link to one of my favorite songs, "Who is That Knocking At My Door?"
Dududuuududuuduudududu, whooooooop, whoooop!

Friday, March 18, 2011


The consensus in my family is that I have it. We watched a show about it on PBS the other night. Of now that PBS is no longer funded by the government we will have to endure hours of fundraising programming which means more aging hippie folk singers. If only we still had the USSR, they could just appeal directly to the Kremlin. I would still watch it as the news quality would still be better than NBC, CBS or FOX. I actually watched FOX (at someone else's house) and it is obviously Murdock inspired. Which leads me to this book that MuddyValley loaned me to read.
He actually brought me two books. One was thick but is a collection of stories. Still it intimidated me. I have to be careful when it comes to book reading. Once I start I am unable to stop. Once when I was first married my wife lost me in GoodWill. After a quick tour of the toy department, followed by a check for vintage stereo I usually grabbed a book from the used book department and  found an easy chair in the furniture department. It was a book on WWII fighter pilots and I became engrossed. She looked every where for me and was a little upset to find we oblivious to the world sitting in a beat up lazyboy and reading a book. Now we have our own beat up lazyboy so I am not so hard to find.
So, I started reading a novel by Dave Barry. I've been boycotting Dave Barry ever since he stole the Daily Strumpet name from me, but novel had a picture of shark-like playing cards circling a vortex in the ocean and there was a cutout on the cover so that the vortex looked-3D and I had to read it.
The name of the book is "Tricky Business," and it is kind of a take off on the typical crime novel. It is one of those books that come about from a couple people sitting around a newsroom and talking about formula plots and the one guy saying, "I could do that!" But, it flows well and has a compelling quirk in the plot and the good guys do well and grow personally and the guitar player nerd is a hero and finds a girl.
So, I read it in one night.
Which brings us back to the ADDDHD  but now I kind of forgot where I went with this.
I know I should go back and edit as smitty kindly pointed out but I got places to go and people to be and I'm out of coffee.
Have a nice day...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

People actually support public employee unions and listen to 1960's folk music? (Oh it is Oregon)

My lovely and gracious wife had the TV going last night. Somehow the folks at OPB think that playing four hours of non-stop Peter Paul and Mary and The Weaver's is a clever fundraising move. Although I'm sure scores of aging hippies were hugging each other across the Portland Metro area last night. I wonder if there was a spike in Chronic sales?
I went into the "Den" and listened to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. It kind of cleared my head. I would have posted but I got distracted by the Japanese Nuclear crisis. I expect a large sea monster to attack next. Oh, wait, I was actually playing SimCity...
For some amusement click this link to a "solidarity" protest in Portland.
There are people who actually support paying government workers more money?
I suppose the useful idiots just pick up their marching orders from Michael Moore but I do think it is a stretch...
I spent a couple hours yesterday talking to a fellow who lost his high paying job and is selling "free range" chicken eggs to bring in some cash. $100,000 to $0 in six months. He is not in favor of most government employees. Perhaps some of his frustration rubbed off on me.
I am instituting a new policy with my feed sales. Free chicken feed but I charge $250 an hour for "companionship." I think I will make more money. (Aside from all those embarrassing requests for "other" services.)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Legendary Stardust Cowboy! (by special request)

One of my readers requested The Legendary Stardust Cowboy. I sincerely hope no one sues me for copyright infringement over this. You can still buy the album at Amazon. I have only posted seriously out of print music before this. Please type Legendary Stardust cowboy into my Amazon search box and I will get a kickback for every album you buy! So buy 2 or 4 so you can give some as Christmas Gifts! I am sorry they do not make the pink vinyl version anymore.
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy had a hit in the 1960's with the song "Paralyzed." He was singing it as he imagined someone who was paralyzed would sing. It is really kind of amazing. (Click Here)
He performed the song on Laugh-In and got quite offended when the cast came up on stage and started singing with him. I hate to be disrespectful by linking to it but they really seem to have gotten caught up in the spirit of the whole thing.
Here is a link to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy website. (Click Here).
Here is my second favorite Legendary Stardust Cowboy song. It is called, "Cast Iron Apron." I was going to post, "Who is the Knocking at my Door," but it is late and that is on the other side of the record. I hope you enjoy this song and please buy the album.

Monday, March 14, 2011

An Affront to German Engineering, Greasing the motor on a Dual 1019

My Dual 1019 has been squeaking. It is not so bad listening to say, Joan Jett at high volume, but gets a bit annoying with Jimmy Buffet, late at night. You don't notice it at all listening to The Beasts of Bourbon or Radio Birdmen or The Humans. I didn't try any Jazz or Trombone music. It actually improves banjo tunes, but it was an issue I felt should be addressed.
I spent a lot of time researching this issue and actually downloaded a repair manual and instructions for oiling the motor.
When I actually attempted the repair, it was a cold and rainy night and I did not feel like slogging out the shop for tools. So, I was limited to items which I had inadvertently brought home in the pockets of my coveralls.
First I laid out the tools. I had 3/8, 1/4, and the ubiquitous 8 inch Crescent, plus a very large pair of snap ring pliers which would come in handy later on. I could not find my special tube of Delo 400 which I had scored at the Chevron booth at some agshow years ago. But, I did have some gun oil and a pot of high temperature grease. I dug up some alcohol and several q-tips as well. I understand George Dickel leaves a bit of a residue. To improve my concentration I brewed a pot of black coffee.

The first task is to remove the turntable base and also support the turntable in a way that you will not hook your elbow on a cord and have to catch the thing 2" above the floor. It can mess up the tone arm balance, I understand.
The turntable platen is held on with a wire snap ring. You remove the center post and the little silver disk covering the snap ring. Care should be taken when pulling the center disk out of the rubber tabs that hold it on. The platen or platter just lifts straight up after the snap ring is removed.
The platter is quite heavy. I set it down out of the way.
I then used the q-tip and rubbing alcohol to clean all the old grease out of the center of the platter. The old grease can get pretty nasty. Somewhere there is a chart that shows all the lube points and what kind of lube to use but I seem to have miss-placed the chart.
The next step is to get at the bottom of the turntable itself. I put it on edge and leaned it against a bookshelf. Shortly thereafter I knocked it off the table and only caught it inches from the floor.
The motor is held onto the turntable base by three studs with nuts on them. But you can't get at them all from the top without removing the little rubber drive wheel. Especially if your only non-metric tool is an 8" crescent wrench.

I opted to take the motor apart as I was pretty sure it was the bottom bearing that was making the squeak. There are two screws holding the motor together. You should mark the motor halves at this point so you get them back in the right position. It is pretty obvious how they go but it is hard to get the bolts lined up when you are putting it back together.
The instructions I had said the motor halves would come apart easily. After 40 years nothing comes easy. I used my large snap ring pliers. I set them to expand and put the tabs in the motor vents and pried it apart.

You have to do it evenly so as not to get the motor in a bind.
The vents are outlined in red.

When it was apart I could see that the bearing was dry with some old caked grease at the bottom. The bearing is brass. I cleaned everything with a q-tip and rubbing alcohol. I put a tiny bit of grease on the shaft and a liberal amount of oil in the bearing hole. Later I read you shouldn't use grease but it was back together at that point.
Putting the motor halves back was a challenge. I tapped it repeatedly with the palm of my hand. I felt like tapping the admiral also at this point but instead took a sip of coffee. After some effort I was able to get the nuts on the screws and pull the halves together. You have to go evenly of course.
Then I put the turntable back in the base.
Next I put a small about of grease on platen shaft and some oil on the bearings. When you put the platen down you should slowly rotate it so that the small and fragile looking tab that catches the tone arm return does not bend.
I put the snap ring back on and installed the trim piece in the middle. This is touchy as the rubber tabs and a bit stiff. Next is the little knob that centers the record.
I plugged it in and tripped the mechanism. The motor was as quiet as can be!
I tried a record. The noise from the tone arm was horrible.
I had messed up the balance weight and the needle had completely bottomed out. Ooops!
I slid the weight back to the little notch and discovered there is a little set screw on the side that is supposed to hold the weight where you want it. I centered the weight, tightened the screw and then turned the weight back and forth until the tone arm was balanced with the needle at the height of the record. I then set the weight at 1.5 grams and the tracking at 1. It sounded pretty good. Less rumble than previous and no squeak!
If you are trying this on your own I suggest some metric tools and something other than a large crescent wrench. Also, read the manual first, you can get it at (click here)
The other important consideration for the Dual 1019 is to make sure you have a good ground. My other turntables never seemed to really care about the ground but the Dual must be grounded to your amp. Also, the wires going into the tone arm are tiny. Be very careful with them.
Everyone warns you about the Dual headshells. You can see the problems with the contacts there. What you can't see is the RCA contacts under the turntable. The RCA plugs may need to be cleaned under the turntable and if you have no sound on one side, fooling with the plug may help.
Here you have it. The hamfisted audiophile guide to the Dual 1019.

Note: Many people say not to use grease on the 1019. I suggest the free tubes of Delo 400 you can score at auto shows or agricultural shows. Otherwise a light multi-viscosity oil seems to be approved by collectors. Delo 400 is 10-40, I think.
Also, this is not mean to be an example of how you should rebuild your 1019, it is how I did it and it is working just fine. But... I am a hack!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I find a Cowboy Copas album at Goodwill

I made kind of an amazing find at GoodWill today. A Cowboy Copas album on Nashville Records. It is a compilation album but I have never seen a vintage Copas Album. There is no date but I suppose it is from the 1960's. Cowboy Copas was in the airplane with Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins the day country music died. March 5, 1963 the plane crashed near Camden, Tennessee.
I doubt it is worth much. Just interesting listening. I hate to admit I like the instrumental song the best. I think the steel guitar is amazing. There are no credits or liner notes so I have no idea who the other musicians are.
I have for you, "The Rainbow and The Rose." The title song of the album is "Alabam" but you can find that on youtube and it has been posted a couple places already.
The second song is "Waltzing With Sin," and I bet you have never heard that one, and never will again. I wonder if that would be one for Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo to add to their playlist. Someday (with permission) I am posting a bootleg recording of Bonaparte's Retreat performed by Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo at the Strumpet Stomp, the formerly annual Birthday Party for the former editor. Willie Nelson's 4th of July Party it ain't!
But I digress...

Our Society is Schizophrenic

We are surrounded by porn. We have naked lady clubs, escorts adverts in the back of Willamette Week, "Casual Encounters," on craigslist and this is all freedom of expression.
But... it is bad to expose children to this, we say.
Somehow society ignores that children have eyes and ears and look at TV and listen to pop music and have idols like Miley Cyrus and that adults are making billions off of selling sex.
We make the hookers and the pornstars and the women who dance with their chests out to be less than desirable people, but people still buy lots of "Girls Gone Wild," DVD's.
I was looking for info about the impending nuclear melt down in Japan and found this story about a teacher in Mo who used to be a porn star.
Some clever little high schooler found her pornstar identity and turned her in. I think the kid should be kicked out of school for looking at porn.
She said she had made bad decisions in her life and had worked to turn her life around. She offered her resignation to avoid controversy.
What every happened to rehabilitating yourself?
What is important...
1. Is she a good teacher?
2. Is she advocating porn in the class room?
3. Does she look like a "Hot For Teacher Video?"
Why is it an issue?
I think they should no accept her resignation say American is a land of second chances. Respect this woman for turning her life around!
Don't look at porn it messes with your head...
This is my opinion. Is there no forgiveness in this world?

Update: I wrote this in a hurry this morning. I was going to come back and answer the comments but my commentary ran a little long. Perhaps this should be a nude new post.

What really bugs me about porn and obscenity is that there has been a demand for porn/sex created though advertising and college professors looking for sex and then there is no outlet. Prostitution is illegal. Strippers and porn stars and girls who put out a lot are still looked down on by the very people partaking of their favors. They have less status in what is supposed to be a "classless" society.
I don't think the whole free love thing has empowered women. I hear young guys describe girls as sluts and I point out that they certainly didn't mind accepting their favors and the guys says yeah but I wouldn't marry her. Of course they end up doing so or fathering a child or going through some emotional roller coaster and having drama and pain and general stupidity.
I think there is too much focus put on sex. There are lots of things that bring meaning in life. Art, music, hard work, nature, but yet so many young people seem to spend most of their free time drinking themselves stupid and having awkward sex and screwing up their lives.
Personally, -while I do like boobies, I don't like to be assaulted by sex all the time. I think if I want to naked ladies I should have to go to a website with a xxx label and if I do a search for amateur radio I should not have to wade through 5,000 sites of ugly chicks on their knees just to find scanner frequencies or tubes for my halicrafter.
I think if the business was not predatory they would do it voluntary and you could filter it out with your browser. (easily) 
And I think there is no connection between teachers having student sex and a teacher who once was a porn star.
Obviously she is NOT promoting porn in the classroom.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Why Christians Should Support NPR

Aside from the Republicans trying to cover their impotence by defunding public broadcasting...
Here is one reason to keep NPR.
I have heard the plan of Salvation explained three times in the past two years on a NON religious station.
1. Jerry Falwell (very well done and a good interview. He came off as a good man in my opinion)
2. Al Green
3. Billy Joe Shaver
Where you may ask?
They were interviewed by Terry Gross (sp?) on Fresh Air on NPR...
While Billy Joe did conclude the interview by saying, "if you don't love Jesus you can just go to hell!" who is to say souls were not saved by the indirect influence of Terry Gross?!
Ha! Ha! Riddle Me that one Joker!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Republicans are idiots

The clever plan by Republicans to cut funding to NPR is all over the news. It is one of those issues that kind of bug me but I was not really sure why. I realize NPR has a left of center bias and it has been that way for years. I don't really care. I know what is. If I want a counterpoint I can listen to Michael Savage. Which also shows up the problem with non NPR news. No one else really does in depth reporting on the radio. What is the competition to "All Things Considered?" I will say the one thing that bugs me about NPR is they don't read books on the radio any more. I will add that the Terri Gross (sp?) series on country music was amazing. You won't find that on commercial radio.
But, I digress.
Which is the point. I'm talking about funding for NPR when the whole issue is a high profile scheme to make it look like the Republicans are actually doing something. And, the Republicans just getting a little revenge on some smarmy arsed liberals. Which, I think is juvenile.
Sure that hidden camera was funny and it proved what we already know about NPR. I was pretty happy that the head of NPR resigned. I thought it was a real cheap shot to fire the news fellow that said what we all think, seeing Islamic people on an airplane in the post 911 world makes everyone nervous. (Why would it not?)
But you see, I'm off subject again.
How about some real controversy. The Republicans don't WANT to cut the alphabet soup of government agencies. How about they start with TSA, Homeland security, The FDA, Education department, how about making some real choices.
NPR could most likely make it their own, it doesn't even matter. The frauds will cut NPR and then congratulate each other while they add money for programs like scanners that don't work and cut individual personal freedoms and waste the lives of American soldiers to support people who don't really like us.
I had a little chat this morning with a local fellow who sell blue berries. He has to triple rinse the blueberries in chlorinated water to sell them. It is insane. The problem with Ecoli is when you bring all your produce into one warehouse, package it in sealed plastic bags and ship it around the country. The bags are a breeding ground for bacteria. The so-called food safety law did nothing to stop that practice but it did effectively shut down small processors who never had a problem with food safety to begin with.
Big Companies caused the problem then bought off the right people to eliminate competition. Sort of like the bank bailout. Utter and complete corruption.
Yeah, cutting funding to NPR will really balance the budget. That was the little nagging voice in the back of my head saying what really is going on here. Cutting NPR is the same philosophy that gives us the naked scanners and ball fondling screeners. It looks like someone is doing something so us idiots will feel better.
Morons, all of them are morons.

Update at 11 a.m.
I've had three arguments about this today. I am even more convinced I am right than I was yesterday. The issue is not that NPR is made up of a bunch of commies. It is that the Republicans are going after an easy target. They have no balls, they are petty and mean and don't have the guts to follow through on what got them elected. They failed at getting the Healthcare reform stopped and so they are going after NPR to make it look like they are doing something. Us conservative folk are getting all tingly now that those evil liberals are getting their due. But one again we are being manipulated as we are mostly simple sorts who just want to be left alone.
For the record, if it needs to go it needs to go. We are going to have to cut costs. I think we should reduce funding to all social programs, either finish the job and take the oil, or go home in the mideast,  stop funding tin horn dictators around the world, start drilling for oil, build some nuclear reactors, and cut a lot of the stupid programs at USDA, and cut subsidies. Get out of debt!
It won't happen...
I'm going back to grinding feed...

I forget my wife's birthday...

There will be no Radio Birdmen, Beasts of Bourbon or Lime Spiders for you today. Yes, the need to covert obscure Australian punk bands to Mp3 has been surpassed by the pain of forgetting my wife's birthday.
Now, I should probably explain the circumstances. A few of you will probably understand..
It is not that I forgot her birthday. That would make me insensitive. No, I've been trying for two months to get her a MacBook for practically nothing on ebay. That includes searches of wrong auction titles, people who write with a lisp, Macbuk, Mikebook, mak book, MacBooke, Apple laptop, Intel mac, and so on. The problem is that I can't afford to pay $500 so I'm trying to get one for $150-$200 and that is impossible. And just yesterday I mentioned my wife's birthday in an attempt to get free barn boards for her. So, I didn't forget the event, or the date of said event...
No, the problem is that I forgot what day it was. As in, today is March 10, 2011. My only defense is that sometimes I get the century wrong and so the days are offset a little. She has been watching Horatio Hornblower and most of the books in my bookshelf are from 1900 and so, I just got confused.
Is it better to be insensitive or an idiot?
I do not know. Perhaps in the future I will try to be both!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One Step Away From Getting Hit By The Bus

I woke up late, woke up the daughter, opened my iBook and was greated by the news that seven kids had died in a farmhouse fire.
The mom was milking cows and dad was driving a milk truck.
Click here for link.
The story says the mother was alerted by a 3-year-old who ran to the barn to alert her that they could smell smoke. The 3-year-old and a 2-year-old were watching TV at the time. The whole thing seems to have happened from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m
Two facts were highlighted in the story. The father had picked up his load of milk as was sleeping in the truck a mile away and the mother was milking at 10 pm.
Of course the kids were left unattended.
I linked to the NPR version of the story where the first commenter noted that there was no word of a carbon monoxide detector.
I read this story with a kind of sick feeling, I know this story. This is a smally family farm. The family is trying to survive with poor milk prices. The dad drives milk truck at night (most of the milk truck pick ups are at night) and the mom does the evening milking. The kids have to fend for themselves at night. The older kids who had to go to school were in bed and the younger kids were up watching TV.
I don't see it as bad parenting but rather the result of desperation.
The dad was probably taking a nap because he was going to do the morning milking after driving milk truck all night.
Who knows if they had a smoke alarm. When you are essentially living hand-to-mouth and working every minute of the day, the question of if there is a battery in the smoke alarm, or if you have a smoke alarm is not on your mind.
Sure I am reading into the story, but it fits the pattern.

Further commentary, I wandered off to get more coffee and then started talking to the family and a pretty bird flew by and I got distracted.
It seems to me that you are always won step away from walking out in front of that big old bus that knocks you down and either ends, or changes your life forever.
Life seems to be a series of judgments of should you get back on the curb or should you run like heck. When you get to daydreaming or to busy to look both ways you cast your life upon the winds of fate. Of course there are always those times when the bus driver is texting and runs up on the curb and nails you, I've heard that happens other places than Portland...

And that is me, being profound. Perhaps I could put that on a Hallmark card and make my fortune! Of course, with my luck, I'd walk out the door to cash my 1 million dollar check and an ACME anvil would fall from the sky. It would not kill me, just mash my foot, or break every bone in my body and I would make a heroic comeback, and then go broke and be back to where I started...
Like the time I found a penny, and it was a magic penny, and I wished for a sausage, and my wife said that was a stupid idea, and I wished the sausage was on her nose, and that didn't end well so I just wished it would never have happened... I read that somewhere.
Have a nice day...

In other news, I have found the Radio Birdmen, Aloha Steve and Danno, and as an added bonus- The Beasts of Bourbon singing, "The Day Marty Robbins Died."  (Which includes the lines, My horse it got divoriced/ and the pigs they all cried/My big iron, it won't fire no more/ because today Marty Robbins Died."
I'm sure you will all enjoy the next post. I suppose someone is going to take away my record player eventually...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Too cheap to spend $3,000 on a real mechanic...

Well, I just couldn't spend $3,000. It just bugs me to pay $1.58 per minute for someone to work on my tractor. I figure if the guy spends twenty seconds out of every hour scratching his arse it is costing me $.50. If you add another $.50 worth of nose picking it all starts to add up.
So...we borrowed a forklift and blocked up the tractor with six by six beams and started removing stuff!
I have no idea how we are going to all put back together. It is all very heavy and there are multiple splines to line up.

Here is the hub and planetary assembled.

Here is just the planetary assembly. I think it can handle 150 horsepower with no problem...

Farmer Frustration

I am trying to figure out what to do with my tractor. I have to change the axle bearings. The wheels have to come off and then the heavy axles come off the rear end of the tractor. The planetaries are in the axle housings and all this comes off with the axles. This is very heavy. The cab must be jacked up in the air and blocked. I can't get the wheel hubs to brake loose.
I called the last local dealer with experience in working with Whites and he said it was difficult to re-install them and I should bring it to him. He estimated the cost to be around $3,000 to do both sides including parts.
I called my neighbor who works mostly on John Deeres and he said it was not that hard and if I ran into trouble he would come help me. Any professional help means $85 per hour.
Then I got a call for a 150 acre job. This would pay the bill. But...I also have a couple other $3,000 expenses.
Man, I do NOT want to work on this. I'd rather pull an engine any day.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I have the best daughter ever!

She just brought me a Ding-Dong. I love Ding-Dongs, actually Ho-Ho's are my favorite. She knows this and has taken hiding them as her father has been know to raid her stash.
The sweet waxy chocolate goes really well with coffee in the morning. I love the rush of sugar and caffeine followed by the droopy letdown in an hour.
But, I digress.
She just walked over and handed me a Ding-Dong and said, "I love you."
When I am old and grey she will probably lock me in the rest home or leave me in my wheelchair at a dog racing track, but for now all is wonderful.
When I have dementia I suppose I won't really care where she leaves me!
Have a nice day...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another Post about Old Records

I have an unopened Wilson Picket album (Wicked Picket)
An unopened Quarterflash album, plus Merle Haggard, Devo, and Joan Jett. I opened Joan Jett so I could listen to "I love Rock and Roll" and "Crimson and Clover," and then I thought perhaps I should sell the rest. I bought a pile of albums when the old music store in McMinnville went out of business. I have no idea why I picked Wilson Pickett, Devo, Merle Haggard, Joan Jett, and Quarterflash? Who outside of Oregon has heard of Quaterflash.
I found three NRBQ albums. They are legendary live but their albums kind of suck. Just plain weird. My daughter and I rocked out to Joan Jett. I hurt my back. My wife accused us of dancing. I asked why she would think of that, her reply was that she heard the record skipped.. Twice! We may have had it turned up just a bit...
Everyone is in bed but me. I'm listening to Jimmy Buffett, Changes in Latitude. I picked up a whole Jimmy Buffet collection at a yard sale some time ago. The difference between a well cared for record and a well listened to record is amazing.
Should I open my records or sell them?
I think I'll open them. I really doubt they are worth anything.

In the Heart of the City II

In the Heart of The City was a song by Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds from the 1980. Here is a link to the YouTube video. If you look closely at 1.32 on the time scale you can see future (at that time)  Iranian President Ahmadinejad awkwardly rocking out on the left hand side of the screen. All that time we thought he was in Iran giving Jimmy C. the finger and holding American hostages. This really will upset the exploding Arabs!
Yesterday was a good day.
The 2-155 is nearly finished. Or so I thought. My occasional employee showed up like he had never been gone, so I set him to changing the oil. When I was putting the engine in the tractor the hydraulics on the loader crept down and the oil pan hit the cross member that holds the FWA to the frame. It dented the pan into the oil sump, so badly that the oil would barely drain.
After much standing around and head scratching a plan was formulated. I welded a square nut to the bottom of the oil drain plug. I threaded a chunk of ready rod into the nut and through a chunk of channel iron that I placed across the bottom of the tractor frame. Then I simply tightened a nut until the oil pan pulled back out.
Then I decided to change the transmission/hydraulic oil filter. I know I should have done this months ago... But... Anyway, the filter was full of ground up cast iron. On a whim I put a dial indicator on a wheel hub and jacked up the back of the tractor. There is 20 some thousandths of movement up and down and 3/32nds end play. I figure this is probably not so good.
This is not the time of year to redo the axles. My brother thinks we can do it. I think I'll have a nervous breakdown. I did find a nice 2-135 FWA with 5,000hours for $17,500 in Michiana (sp?), Michigan next to Indiana, it is only 37hrs away by MapQuest and I do not have $17,500 or $4,000 down and $2,500 for trucking.
Then I decided to have a nice soak for my back in the bath. It would appear that our hotwater heater is not what it should be. Cold water is not as relaxing as hot water.
So, I read my daughter a chapter from the Last Battle, which is to 21st century for my sense of happiness, looked at conspiracy theories on the internet and went to bed.
This morning has already started quite well. It is now 8:53 and the  church we want to attend starts at 9:30 a.m. How can you look at a clock on your computer screen and not realize it is time to get ready. I mean stare at it for 45 minutes and not have the time register.
So, if you start your blog reading with the Lazy Farmer today, next go to Frank W. James and read about the future of farming.
Modern Farmers are not the rustic sorts of folks in old farm houses with chickens in the yards. They are businessmen, that know their bottom line, they are sharp fellows.  When it makes financial sense to go organic they will, when the bottom line supports compost and "sustainability" they will do it and they will put the scratchy woolly folks with beards and hippie sweaters out of business in a second.
I don't quite understand why I like the hippie's better.
If I got a grant for five million dollars I'll tell you what I'd like to do...
I would like to farm 500 acres or less.
I would have some cows and perhaps a few sheep to annoy my brother. I would rotate grazing. I would have a mix of alfalfa, grain, and grass hay. Say, 60 acres of alfalfa, 100 acres of grass hay broken up into 50 acres of timothy and 50 of pasture. 100 acres of clover and the rest in grains, row crops, and annual ryegrass.
I would never bale straw from my own farm.
I would save all the poop for compost and fertilizer.
I would build a shed for composting.
I would not steal ground from my neighbors.
I would not allow anything made by John Deere on my Farm.
I would never attend another farm meeting at Wilco.
I would plant for polite young farmers who were just starting out for free. Later they would try and screw me out of rented ground but that is life.

Have a happy day!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In The Heart of the City, Where the Alligators Roam

I think that is a song I heard somewhere...
I used to like the city. Now it just makes me uptight. The rain and the cars and people everywhere....

You probably won't find this album in your local CD store....

Got my new turntable base installed. Looks good. I think it is called a Plinth by audio snobs. Some of which love the Dual 1019 and some of which say it is complete junk. It is not as good as my missing Technics SL 1800 and AudioTechnica 155LC cartridge. I suppose I just need to let that one go...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Amish people are terrorists according to the USDA

The 21st century makes me uneasy. Mostly it is because of the general de-evolution of the population and that the leaders of the USA read "1984" and thought it was a good idea. The head of each agency probably uses the book as an important reference tool.
I got on this subject because I keep selling grain to working class sorts who think everything is going to fall apart and they are growing chickens so they will have something to eat when the world ends. At first I just figured they listened to Coast to Coast AM way too much but it is like, every single person who buys hay or grain figures everything is going to fall apart at any time. That attitude is what scares me.
My wife texted me from school to send her a link to where I found the info about USDA agents and SWAT teams raiding Amish farmers for selling raw milk.
Check out this search on Google, USDA Amish Milk Raids, pretty scary but this is even more scary... Click on this link and scroll down to the comments. People are in favor of the raids!!!!
I think people who drink raw milk are insane. Sorry, I think I do not want to die from Cholera or Samonilla or whatever. Call me chicken or uninformed or what ever. Don't care. I've been on too many smelly, gross, and disgusting dairies in my life...
But, using SWAT teams and guns against food co-operatives and Amish people is wrong and insane and no one should stand up for it. What if one of those adrenaline junkies pulled the trigger? The police are such idiots they think Amish people will shoot back but Muslims won't? (the answer is "yes")
Then there are the gestapo tactics of the cops. They trash your house, take your cell phones and computers, and point loaded guns at you. Why do law abiding citizens stand for this sort of treatment for anyone? What if the cops get the wrong address? What if you are not guilty? Why should we treat suspected criminals this way? Does it make anyone safer? Does it stop crime?
Amish people don't resist, you do realize these are the folks with the buggies. One raid was the result of an agent (don't have the link, sorry) asking an Amishman for some raw milk. The Amish fellow gave it to him and got raided for his kindness. In court it was revealed that if you asked the Amish fellow for the shirt off his back and the shoes off his feet he would be required by his beliefs to give it to you... That case was thrown out of court.
Now I have to go to work.
Another link...

I go to the big city, my head nearly explodes, and I have BBQ

Yesterday I went to pick up the rebuilt Tachometer for the 2-155. Somehow in all the excitement I forgot to get the tach rebuilt and to find new insulation foam stuff for around the radiator and firewall. I didn't want to install the fuel tank without the tach cable housing as the fuel tank is kind of a pain to remove.
I found the old Speedometer repair shop which has relocated out of the hip industrial section to the new industrial section by the river and rail yards.  (I kept getting the urge to take photos which I know would have alerted the morons who would have loved to respond to an obviously not a terrorist event.)
I had to pick up clay for my wife's art class on the other side of town and then get the turntable base from the lady at Montgomery Park.
I tried to maximize the number of GoodWill stores along the route in the hopes of finding old stereo equipment. They were bare! I did find some reel to reel tapes at value village but they were in rough shape.
For having a slow economy there is a lot of construction going on it Portland. Mostly modern apartment units that are supposed to look hip and be better than the old box type buildings. They are probably also made from "sustainable" building materials with a preference given to minorities but they pretty much look like crap after five years in the cold rain. The modern earth tones really stand out from the old grey brick and broken neon signs along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks way.
I wonder if the minority business preference thing is not kind of a Joke in 2011. If you were a minority and owned a construction business and you were any good you would go on to compete city and state wide and not worry about being a minority cause you would be making money. On the other hand, a couple guys with a skidsteer and a ratty old pickup truck would either not be very good or they would just be starting out. I really have no clue, but if I were a minority I'd sure try to get a chunk of the change.
Of course the folks in Portland never got past Oppression 101 in college unless of course they went to U of O and then they were able to get up to 201.  "To the Barricades!"  "Whoop! Whoop!" (Nothing personal Collieguy)
The traffic was amazing. It was pouring down rain and everyone was driving 60 mph bumper to bumper. It was like a big old slotcar racing set. If someone would slow down to let another person in some idiot five cars back would start honking.
I saw a pneumatic girl getting her mail in front of her apartment complex in nothing but her brightly colored underwear. I am sure it was not the Maidenform girl.  There was a really impossibly attractive black lady in impossibly tight jeans and high heels outside a boarded up club. Judging from her height and the size of her high heels she was not really female. I did not stop and ask for directions. I had my GPS...
I got my turntable base. It is kind of a cheap flimsly wood thing. I'm becoming somewhat disillusioned with the whole vintage stereo thing. Perhaps I'll put it all on ebay.
But the day was saved!
On the way home I stopped at Huckabee's which has moved to Newberg and I picked up a BBQ pulled pork dinner to go and we had it for supper. I couldn't wait and shared some with my wife when she got home from school. Baked beans, coleslaw, pulled pork, and really good buns. I didn't ask them if I could substitute Nutria.
Now I'm hungry again. Perhaps I'll have BBQ for a late breakfast!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Record Store Guy beat me to the Garage Sale Store...Or Limewire sells another album...

I bought a couple albums today. The Wailers, Long Cool One and The Sonics, Meet the Sonics. I've been interested in both bands for years but never found much except for pirated music on Limewire. I see there are now reissues on Amazon so a few other folks must have used Limewire as well as I. I'm assuming everyone but the record industry realizes that music sharing services actually resulted in album sales. They probably did realize that and wanted to shut them down as it gave consumers knowledge of bands other than the four in each genre that the label promote.
But, I digress.
I got to my chiropractic appointment early and they were having some sort of a staff meeting. So I thought I get some minor entertainment out of the guy that runs the record store. I swear these places never change.
To my surprise I found two albums I have wanted to hear for years.
The Fabulous Wailers were a band from Tacoma Washington that had some hits in the 1960's but turned down fame and fortune to play clubs in the Northwest. Their energy is amazing. The album has a few pops and the sound is not the best but I like the guitar work. There is a nice level of distortion and some manic piano playing. Those guys were having fun.
The same energy can be found with the Sonics. They were another Northwest band from the 1960s. The sound is not so good but they make up for it with shear volume and effort. I was disappointed it did not contain my favorite, "Dirty Old Man," a song which was written about my employee. I laugh out loud when I hear it. Oh good grief it is on YouTube...
Anyway, I've listened to the Wailers album about three times through. They do a nice mix of instrumentals, (think of the Ventures) not exactly surf guitar but a similar sound.
Back to the Chiropractor.
I forgot about our high deductable and the limits of a medical savings plan when I decided to go back to the Chiropractor after skipping for two years. The perky receptionist made a comment about my bill the other day and I nearly had a heart attack. The guy is really helping me but I've been going to often. I can't afford it. He charges about the same rate I make no-tilling at 7 mph but the difference is I can't do it all winter long like he can.
So I am making the best of my treatment by coming home and lifting heavy objects and then spending the evening sitting in my old lazyboy listening to my record player, writing the Lazy Farmer and putting ice on my back. It proves to be a rather enjoyable experience. I should be reading my Bible and listening to the Knox brothers and sipping hot tea but alas I am a seriously flawed human being.

Barbie Crackhouse

Today I was in GoodWill and found the most amazing dollhouse for sale. It was one a very nicely crafted dollhouse but has now fallen into disrepair. Sort of a dollhouse for kids whose parents want them to learn what to expect when they become tweekers later in life.
As you can see from the front most of the windows are broken out and the door hangs ajar.
We can see the mismatched garish carpeting. One wall is askew and we have a dangerous stairway.

Water damaged walls and floors. I sure there were tiny needles in the carpet but i didn't touch anything.
In think barbie may have been cooking meth in the corner of the blue room.
It was kind of depressing. Someone once put a lot of work into that house.

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