The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Saturday, November 29, 2014

An iPhone app for Florida beach cams

IJust what the Doctor ordered! I discovered a way to view my happy spot with out the illicit application of the pedal steel, strong drink, and a lazy boy recliner.
I found an app which is pretty much explained by the title: "Florida Beach Cams."
If you have ever wondered if people use the pool at the Panama City Best Western on Thanksgiving, you can check!
Or you can watch the sunset at Destin Beach.
I find it quite relaxing, plus I discovered a whole trove of Jimmy Buffet records, which is not such a good thing.
(screenshot from Thanksgiving afternoon)

I'm going to take a few moments and enjoy the beach as I just managed to knock over my vintage tube retro stereo department while attempting to adjust a couple cables and measure the distance from spindle to the center post on the tonearm on my rare and valuable Rek-o-Kut/Fairchild tonearm combination. (Probably should classify that as formerly rare and valuable)
Someone emailed me asking for Rek-O-Kut information and I found a whole trove of stereo connector cables and I just had to tinker.
It would seem that despite weighting a hundred pounds and being made from angle iron and used sickle bar parts, my stereo stand is just a wee bit on the tall side and does not slide on carpet. Nor should you tip it away from the wall when it doesn't slide, nor should you pull on the powerstrip extension corn when it doesn't quite reach.
A vintage record stand, a Minneapolis G900 brochure, two Roy Clark records, and a Jimmy Buffet Album, (greatest hits) died in the crash. However, judging from the gouge in the bookshelf, there may be a few more, I think it hit Montana Slim, and probably also took out the Charlie Pride collection.
The tonearm broke off the gimble thingys, (official term), the Scott 299 tube amp now has a large dent in the face plate. The worthless Dynaco 120 is fine, there is a huge gouge in the bookshelf, but I did not spill my coffee on the carpet.

I just stepped on a very old electrical terminal strip so that must have come out of the Rek-O-Kut.
Well poop.... Yes it the tonearm is no longer connected. Tore the wires out of it and I just dropped the one remaining bearing into the carpet.
Just found my Stanton cartridge on the extra Dual 1019 headshell that I'm supposed to use for 78's. I don't think the cartridge alignment is quite right anymore and the stylus looks bent.
If I wouldn't have drank so much coffee I'd go back to bed...
I just had to mess with stuff...
I just don't see this as going to be a good day and I have to grind feed...

Friday, November 28, 2014

A Thanksgiving day to remember

My cousin fell over dead yesterday. He was in his backyard talking to his neighbor and he collapsed. His father died this summer. You may have seen the post...
Now here is the deal...
I didn't always get along with my cousin but he was family.
He was not quite sixty years of age.
While I sometimes annoyed him and he annoyed me, and he was somewhat of a comic foil to what I see as my clever sophistication, he was my family and I was intensely loyal to him.
When my uncle died I was ready. He was past eighty years of age.
But my cousin was not that old. I still had things to disagree with him.
He had a huge amount of information.
Strangely enough, I am not dealing with it very well.
I'm letting my older brother handle it.
This is not fair to my older brother...
But, my older brother is a nice fellow and won't tell me off.
I've thought about putting everything on Craigslist and getting the heck out of here. However, Muddyvalley tells me I would not be happy buying his property in Florida cause it is too far from the beach...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Riots in Amity Averted by Strategic Street improvements

A mildy annoyed crowed of three people gathered Monday night outside the Blue Goat to make sarcastic remarks about Faux News and the Koch Brothers, but were distracted by a park bench and an antique store.
"I sure do love my life of white privilege," said a local activist who would only be identified by his moniker, Disgruntled Steve.
"What we need in this town is more Bike Racks," he exclaimed. "And the curbs don't stick out far enough into traffic," he added.
"But, what about Ferguson," exclaimed a lady wearing a large wool sweater and ill-fitting leggings.
"Yes! Lets burn THE patrol car," said a bearded fellow who was sipping a $25 micro brew and had been waiting two hours for his micro-pizza, fifteen minutes longer than the other three people inside the establishment.
"We should have more diversity in Amity," said members of the city council. "Oh yes, diversity would bring up property values!" said another member, rubbing her hands together and salivating slightly.
"Not if they riot," said a grumpy man walking by on his way to the liquor store.
"It is Bushes Fault! and the Koch Brother's," exclaimed a fellow who just pulled up with his VW diesel pulling a trailer.
Tensions were high and someone was about to make a sign when Assistant to the Assistant to the Sub Assistant, to the secondary Chief of Police, James Clark, pulled up in the Amity Police cruiser and encouraged the VW driver to pull his trailer past the pedestrian island that takes up half the street.
"You wouldn't want a bicyclist to get hit by one of those pesky farm trucks, now would you! People might not come to wine tastings anymore," said James diplomatically.
At the words wine and bicyclists everyone began to hug each other and had a great time sipping wine and eating artichoke and peach pizza at the Blue Goat.
Meanwhile, at the skateboard ramp in the Amity Park..... well, nothing happened, everyone things have gotten much more "mellow" in Amity in the last week. But, try and buy a bag of Doritos in Amity....

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Landfill Farms, Waste Management's clever plan to buy off the local organic crowd

It was just a few years back that some farmers in the neighborhood were shocked to find strange deformities on their animals. There were open lesions, chickens were dying, cows quit milking, calves died. No one could figure out what the problem was. Then one farmer started filling a water tank at our farm and using it to water his animals. Wonder of wonders, they didn't die, In face they did quite well.
There was talk of lawsuits against the owners of the local dump, which had just started a new site directly across the river from the old site, and was making a lot of money accepting out of county garbage.
(Back then, the trucks were red and white, not green, and they didn't talk much about recycling.)
Then, all of a sudden, no one would talk about it... It was sort of like nothing had ever gone wrong. (Aside from a few folks who didn't get the cash, and didn't sign the nondisclosure agreement.)
Shortly afterwards a couple farms sold and the nice fellow whose father had sold his farm to the local landfill with the agreement that as long as there was land owned by the landfill that was being farmed, his descendants would farm it, started farming on our side of the river.
Today, I just heard that my friend, the landfill farmer has been evicted, (but not from him) and that the farm is now going to be part of a partnership between Waste Management and the local organic crowd. The plan is to offer four acre plots to local organic farmers who don't have land.
I find this quite hilarious, people who are so terrified of Genetically Modified seed that they became farmers are now raising delicious crops on land that was once considered as a potential Superfund site. 
Here is a quote from the News Register which is a link to the Waste Management site.

It just goes to show you what a little public relations, nondisclosure agreements, a lot of money, and twenty five years can do for your image.
Just to keep this in perspective, the local dump is located on both sides of the Yamhill River, in a flood plain. The old dump may have leached into the local water supply but Western Oregon Waste bought up all the land surrounding the dump and part of the deal was nondisclosure agreements.
The person who started the local farmer's market used to be very opposed to Waste Management's expansion plans but has "seen the light."

You can find her name repeatedly in this "press" release. You can see the "rehabilitation" Waste Management from the green typeface to the change from "sanitary landfill" to recycling company. It is absolutely amazing. The dump is a nasty place which concentrates "regional" garbage in one location. A location in the "heart of wine country," just off of Highway 18 on the way to scenic Oregon Beaches, surrounded by filbert Hazelnut orchards, and now... Organic Farm to School programs. AND these are the folks that are opposed to Fluoride.
I also find it somewhat amusing to be reminded that selling one's soul to the devil often is not as good an idea as it seems at the time. Take this example, My friend lost a good chunk of farmland but can't do anything about it even though they violated the agreement with his father because, 1. He can't fight Waste Management because that have the resources of Mordor, 2. He gets enough money (I think have heard from a former family member) from Waste Management that he can't afford to do anything that may result in the loss of that income. He can't even tell what he knows about the contamination of the old dump due to confidentiality agreement issues. Pretty funny...

Note: The views expressed on this blog are solely for entertainment purposes are recollections on the part of the writer. They may or may not be as accurate as the News Register. But, you can't read the News Register because they have put it behind a pay wall which only makes it more irrelevant than it already was. Old articles in the News Resister can't be accessed through a Google search so for the casual researcher, the News Resister is truly a throwaway newspaper.

Oh Poop!

I It was a s.... Job!
And here's to mud on your eye! Yup, that
Is what happened next! And when I exclaimed, "oh shit!" Was i swearing?

Of course something went wrong!
I had a crappy day! Literally... See the puddle behind the tire? Not vanilla pudding!
I really did go up poop creek!

Please feel free to pun further...

Monday, November 17, 2014

The sun was out and it was a nice day

I needed to make skids for my remaining grain bin so that I can fill it with barley and not have it tip over. My brother suggested an old truck frame of which we have more than two.
It really seemed like a good idea. I roughly calculated that it would take at least $25 per foot to make skids out of 3/8" flat bar and have it formed.
It took me a good solid day to cut and trim two 11 foot chunks of truck frame. (Well, I did take an hour to load some hay and have a nice chat with Mr. MuddyValley.)

After dark I spent some time figuring out what I was owed and who owed me. I did twice as much stacking as last year but only planted a small fraction of the acres I usually plant, I got 25% less hay yield and I lost my main pig feed customer. It would be ok but I spent a lot of money on things like tractor tires and a better rake thinking I would do my usual 500 acres of no-till. I'm not going to starve but I'm feeling just a little annoyed about a number of things that there is no point in discussing.
I do think I would have been better off spending the $25 per foot and just buying the steel. I have real work to do.
Perhaps I'll post a photo...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Lies that we want to believe and the useless internet which doesn't really give you answers

The latest paranoia that has going around FaceBook is the "revelations" by farmer Keith Lewis that farmers drench their fields with "Roundup" to make the wheat get ready faster and more evenly.

In my part of Oregon we grow soft white wheat which goes for pastry and to Japan for noodles and we are very sensitive about GMO or anything that would upset Japan and cause them to stop buying wheat.
I will state absolutely that I have NEVER heard of anyone in my area using glyphosate to make their wheat get ready sooner and more evenly. I did a search for this practice on Google and found some discussion on using Glyphosate for this purpose in areas where wheat is swathed instead of combining standing.
I really don't see the point in doing it as most places in the USA have a long enough growing season that there really is not a problem with wheat ripening evenly.

I quote,"It appears that standard, recommended wheat harvest protocol in the United States is to drench the wheat fields with Roundup several days before the combine harvesters work through the fields as withered, dead wheat plants are less taxing on the farm equipment and allow for an earlier and easier harvest." This takes you to the Greenacres blog which has the story. It will also show up on your facebook page from the usually sources.

In another post I found an amusing comment from Mr. Lewis decrying the future use of "Roundup-Ready" wheat and, oh the horror's, more use of Roundup. This is funny because if the wheat was resistant to Round-up then the only reason to spray it on before harvest would just be to poison people. Which is exactly what us evil Monstanto-loving farmers like to do...

However, I could be wrong. Perhaps someone would comment?  In can see it as perhaps a regional practice, but I never thought it would be used on a regular basis in major wheat growing regions.

I will add that if it is a standard practice than by all means keep doing it! Then I will break down and buy those ten bags of Fife Wheat they my neighbor wants a lot of money for, and I'll start growing hard red wheat myself!

And, who is Keith Lewis, is he really a farmer? Who seeds these stories and how do you make money off them...

I've got my own, I know a certain farmer who pooped in a truck load of pumkins. Keep that in mind when you have pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!  Oh well, at least it wasn't Round-up...

UPDATE: Ralph pointed me to NewAgTalk and sure enough, it has been discussed there. Yes the clever farmers are using Round-up on their wheat so they don't have to swath it to get it to dry down for harvest. It is not an issue of if Glyposate is bad for you are not, it is an issue of whether people think it is. However, it does open up business opportunities...

Friday, November 14, 2014

A duck for lunch

This year has been a good year for duck hunting in our area. Our landlord has shot more than he can eat and so is passing sharing the wealth.
He cleans them and cuts them up for you as well. I could not turn down a couple duck breasts and decided to try my hand at cooking them for lunch.
I've never really developed a taste for duck, although I do admit to a certain occasional longing for the sometimes elusive Tubetopped Bar Duck, lightly pickled in Coors Lite, or Perhaps the occasional Red-headed Double-Breasted Bed Thrasher served with a hint of shame and the aroma of Arandas for a little spice.
But, I digress...
My lovely and gracious wife is not a fan of Duck citing a long ago Thanksgiving celebration as an bad memory, but she found me some bacon and the cast iron skillet and kept me focused as I do tend to drift from time to time.

I cooked up a couple strips of bacon for a little grease and to make sure the skillet was heating evenly. When the grease was hot enough to think about smoking I dropped the duck breasts into the hot skillet and turned it to a medium heat.
The plan was to sear them on both sides as you can overcook wild duck easily and it may turn tough on you.  I seasoned them with Everglades Heat, a spice we bought at the Pigglywiggley in Bloutstown, Florida last year and sprinkle on a little garlic because you can never go wrong with garlic.

They appeared to be browning too fast on the outside and not getting hot enough on the inside so my wife "butterflied" them by slicing the breast open and turning them over so the inside would cook faster. This was an excellent idea.

I used a meat thermometer to make sure the center reached 165 degrees.

I found some homemade potatoe salad in the refrigerator and also one of these very excellent dill pickles.

My wife made me up a cup of coffee. It was a good lunch. The duck taste was not overpowering. Wild duck is much better than tame duck. Plus, a little bacon improves just about everything.

Patching a leaking fuel filter

Baling wire is somewhat of a legend. However, baling wire is but a metaphor for "whatever is at hand."
It reminds me of the time the rotor came apart in my brother's Ford Ranger going past Mt. Shasta at night and we fixed it with chewing gum and the aluminum wrapper the gum came in.
A couple days ago I had several sales for pig feed. 
As soon as I discovered my customer was on his way things started to go wrong.
First of all the forklift would not start, secondly I got a call that a truck was on the way to collect 780 bales of straw, and it all sort of continued from there.
I started with fixing the forklift.
It would seem there is a second fuel filter that has never been changed. It was somewhat covered in oil and it was leaking. 
Diesel fuel is horrible nowadays. Has water and alcohol and whatever other crap the clever folks put in fuel to make our vehicles run badly.
We did not have the filter.
It had a rather large leak which caused it to spray diesel on the fan belt.

Fortunately someone has been drinking a lot of Coors Original Banquet in the neighborhood and I found a can nearby. Equally fortuitous was that it was empty, otherwise there would also have been the job of pouring it back into the horse... 
I'm imagining that the can probably came out of the back of the my neighbor's pickup. He picks up cans alongside the road.

A little work with my pocket knife and an extra big hose clamp out of the scrap barrel and I was back in business. 
Which is not to say, that things improved all that much.
After dumping boxes of wheat screenings, peas, flaxseed, and a random half a ton of buckwheat, into a powerbin which I have semi – permanently borrowed from Wilco, I discovered it would not feed out the auger.
So, my customer ran the auger while I poked the mixture through the intake with a long piece of PVC pipe. I discovered he is quite a safety conscious guy.
He moved really fast when I fell into the bin.
It was ok, there was a screen over the auger... AND I had eye protection!
have a nice day!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Freezing rain, meadowfoam, the usual randomness of my life...

Yesterday the sun was shining. There was a pretty good breeze and the ground was drying out. The temperature seemed to stay a little above freezing. I didn't check a thermometer but the ice in the buckets didn't melt, but the mud puddles didn't freeze.

This morning we have freezing rain.
I was scheduled to haul manure today. The pile at the dairy is getting pretty high and the dairy fellow called to see if my little helper wanted to drive truck. 
"Well," said I, "our little helper is off for the winter,"
"Couldn't you call him to come in for a day," said the dairy man.
"Yes, But, I just can't handle the crying," said I.
Here is the deal...
The helper took the silage chopper apart as he didn't want to work on the old White 7800 combine. This was in October when we were trying to combine the last five acres of flax.
I asked him to clean out the White and remove the hangers for the concaves as they were broken in some sort of catastrophic plug up. This is not a terrible job, but not a great job. The feederhouse comes off pretty easily. 
The helper thinks the White should be scrapped and so doesn't want to work on it. He cleaned out some of the straw, removed the feeder house, discovered both hangers were broken and sat down at the coffee table for an hour waiting on instructions, then took off early.
Out of frustration I told him to work on the silage chopper and we hired the neighbor to combine the flax. 
This was on a Friday, on Saturday he asked to take the day off to spend with his grand daughter. Monday he was sick, for a week, Sunday he texted that he would be in Monday.
It rained and he didn't show up.
He showed up the last day of October, walked in at coffee time while I was sitting at the table attempting to balance a feed ration using Buckwheat, Flax, barley, peas, and filberts hazelnuts. I was a little uptight. 
He announced that his little vacation was over and he was ready to come back to work, then he inquired as to, "what shit jobs do you have for me to do?" He was attempting to be light hearted but it was just not the right time.
I looked at my brother and my brother looked at me and my brother said, "We are out of money and won't have work this winter..."
Later, I got a text asking if the little helper was being punished for not showing up. I replied in all honesty that if he would have been working during the nice weather we would have kept him on, but since he was gone we spent every cent we had on paying rent and paying off the loan.
I have not heard back from him.
I am worried about him but I know that he will do what he always does, he will talk his landlord out of three months rent, he will borrow money from someone (with the full intention of paying it back), and he will come back in the Spring, get a substantial advance, and complain about all the things that we didn't get done in the winter time.
But, this wasn't what the post was about...
This morning there is freezing rain and the dairy fellow texted me that it is not a good day to haul. I'd figured that...
There is a two hour delay for local schools so I made Lulu and I cheese omelettes and stoked up the fire.

But, I digress,
the point of this post was to show you the nice weather from yesterday and to show you a photo of MeadowFoam which I no-tilled last month. It is looking good. Has a good population for a seed rate of 40lbs per acre.
Meadowfoam makes really good honey and so I saved what I vacuumed out of the drill for MuddyValley. Unfortunately, someone got a little wild loading hay out of the farm and knocked the five gallon bucket over into a mud puddle, so all that is left is a handful of seed, which I forget to tell him about.
Meadowfoam in bloom produces a starting white flower and 40 acres is a beautiful sight.

Invoice Manager for iPhone update #3 This morning I attempted to look at yesterday's individual invoices. Not as easy at one would hope. Not really enjoying this learning experience...

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

I try the Invoice Manager Pro App and sort of like it until I discover I have not saved any invoices after using it for a week

I have an iPone 5s. The theory behind getting the iPhone was that I could use it to keep records and take credit cards and get the weather every 90 seconds.
This is a good theory.
Here is the problem.
The iPhone uses apps. Most apps are written by morons who don't use the apps.
An excellent example of this is the invoice manager I actually purchased for $5.99 from the Apple App store.
It had good reviews.
It is called Invoice Manager Pro. I figured that was a pretty descriptive name. I downloaded a free demo. It was easy to use, but the demo didn't save the invoices.

It turns out that the full version, in theory, saves invoices, but I just can't find them.
Here is the deal...
It doesn't matter what wonderful features you have, if you can't figure out how to use the app within four keystrokes then it is pretty much pointless.
I just clicked on the step by step instructions. It is walking me through changing the color of the invoice. In my humble opinion, that is absolutely and completely stupid and useless. How about white with black lettering? A custom logo is just want I want on my so far imaginary invoices.
You don't really need a step by step tutorial, you click on the invoice button, it has a pretty annoying setup but you can input name and phone number and then add products. It wants to set up inventory to let you sell items which is really annoying, that is probably where I went wrong.
I made out several invoices last week, I emailed a couple and printed a couple more. But, they are not on my phone.
Apparently there is a cleverly hidden, "save" button.
Who knows? This app is going in the trash.
I tried the Apple program called "Numbers," but like all free Apple programs it almost does what I want but not really. There are only so many hours in the day I can sit on the toilet and figure out how to use my iPhone with out my butt going to sleep.
How can it be that difficult to write an App that does invoices.
An invoice requires a few basic items.
1. Your name and company name
2. The Customer's name and storage of said customer's name for future reference.
3. Date of invoice
4. Spot for invoice number which should be generated by the program
5. Item, number of items, cost per item, total cost.
6. A database of invoices searchable by item, customer, date, invoice number.
7. The ability to get the info out of the phone, email, text, print, export in quickbooks format.

What would be nice...and what I would pay money for.
Management of the information, as in sales per month, a place to enter payments, a receipt manager, the ability to attach a photo of a check or weight slip to the invoice, buttons to indicate payment, credit card payments, basically the functions of one of those companies that competed with Quicken before Intuit bought them all up so they could continue with a hard to use, non-intuitive, and annoying program.

It really can't be that hard to make this App and it shouldn't be that hard to actually get the info to people who want to use it.
But, here is the other problem. You can no longer use the internet to search for reviews of the best products. (or find people's phone numbers.) All the reviews seem to be scams to make money out of getting paid for clicks on your stupid phony website that does paid reviews or overly positive reviews on products you have never used.
I don't really want to run my business on my iPhone but I might if it were just a little bit more intuitive to use.
On the other hand, I see a lot of smart phones and I see people using them in businesses so perhaps I'm just exceedingly dense...
I wish I had my $5.99 back!

1. You can see from my photo that I am using the Blogger app. The Blogger app also kind of sucks. You are very limited on adding tags or formatting in anyway. However, you can take photos with your phone and post them without editing them to size. (I think, as no one has complained)
2. Apps mostly are horrible versions of the real program which have all the features you actually use removed. I own an Apple eMate which has limited programs which actually have usable features, (like entering information into an invoice template) I once owned a PowerBook 100 which had a screen you could read and simple but useful programs. I do not believe that usability of computers has improved since OS 7 but speed and useless features have increased dramatically, and Apple has yet to include any useful templates other than mortgage analyzer in any of their potentially useful programs.

UPDATE: (Wednesday Morning) I went through the tutorial last night and made up a new invoice following the instructions exactly. I still have the invoice after shutting down the App and opening up again this morning. We shall see...  I'm not sure what I did that was differing from the first five invoices I made. It could have been the update I downloaded. If so, that is a serious problem on its own. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Oh fiddlesticks!

New boots and I stab my foot with a hay hook! Didn't mind the blood, top of that foot has a little nerve damage from twenty years ago when I ran it trough the stacker, but new boots don't heal.

Friday, November 7, 2014

This is the trailer we took to visit collieguy

This trailer made stops in Colorado, Oklahoma, Missouri, Indiana, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, and a couple other states.
It has been languishing behind a barn in Junction City.

This is what happens when you languish behind a barn in Junction City

It looks a lot better after ten bucks worth of quarters in at the local carwash.

This is what it looked like in 2002, at a park in Verona, Missouri on November 2, 2002.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The first or second or third challenge of my daughter attending the public school

My daughter is reading, "The Outsiders," by S.E. Hinton.
She has been promoted into "PreAp" classes at Middle School.
I immediately thought of a recent blog post by Mr. Selfevident Truths. Click to read.
"The Outsiders" was published in the 1960's and did poorly on the drugstore novel racks until it was discovered by angst ridden English teachers a few years later.
The book is one of those "coming of age" stories where there are kids who are outcasts and have labels forced upon them and then there is a crisis and they decide to put on a show. Generally, all is solved by the show and there is singing involved. However, in an "edgy" novel there is another crisis and an unexpected plot twist at the end which shows "gritty realism."
Lulu really likes the book. It moves quickly and she says she likes the descriptions. She has not gotten to the killing of the rival gang member.
She has been reading the Percy Jackson series, which is a formula type book that rips off takes Greek mythology, removes human sacrifice, incest, nasty sex, and puts it into an adventure format with kids from the 21st century continuing as the "heroes" of old.
She said this morning, "Why couldn't the Percy Jackson series have been written like this (The Outsiders).  Thereby explaining the difference between "literature" and the dime novel.
I'm not really thrilled that she start out with this book. I felt that while the book provides a discussion for the class structure that young teens are constantly upset about, it also reinforces the idea that you can't change your caste. As I remember it, the gang members can't change, even though there is a sin/redemption/sacrifice/resurrection theme.
So I said to her, this book will challenge your thinking. You know what you believe, can you read a book which has themes of drug use, violence, and realize that these are not your ideals? How will you react to the idea that while you have a moral compass that you have built through your Christian faith, other people don't have that conscience and you will be presented with the concept that there is no real meaning in life, other than in the experience of living it?
And then I went off on the concept of Nihilism and Moral Relativism and how listening to Punk Rock and reading, "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner," made me the annoying cynic that I am now.
She seemed amused...
Later, I had to think of the shrill parents at her former school who had a nervous breakdown and gave birth to several cows when the Bible Teacher extended his middle finger during an object lesson in Bible Class.
Of course the children then went home and watched network television in their living rooms, with their parents, and saw really offensive material that really would negatively influence their lives.
But, that is what you get for trying to actually teach the kids...

And now for the real question... Should I call up my friends on the school board and express my nervousness over the subject matter in my daughter's advanced placement English class or should I read the book with her and try and entice her into arguments over the meaninglessness of life?

Update, another book discussion this evening. It has given us something interesting to talk about.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Clever Folks from Portland know more than us rural nutjobs who cling to God and Guns and Genetically Modified, Pesticide laden, greenish looking corn seed...

This is Oregon...

Legalized Pot, which I don't really care that much about, but it fits the pattern...

A Governor who people the with funny beards, dork glasses and flannel shirts-but are not loggers from the 1970's, think is a regular guy because his conceit is cowboy boots, denim jeans, a sport jacket, and a crazy girl friend. (who takes bribes though her consulting company.)

A conviction that we need to know if we are eating GMO but nobody really knows what GMO means. But really folks, more regulation is good regulation? Right? This is Oregon!

We need a civil rights amendment to the State constitution that probably will give rise to more lawsuits if you decide you don't want to bake a cake for someone, even though the state constitution already has civil rights protections and doesn't need to be changed. 

But, Mexicans can't get driver cards because, well, the folks in Portland really just don't like Mexicans. (They do like their food)

I didn't really pay attention to National News. So I have no good comments... Other than it is pretty funny that the racists Republicans have been electing black people into office. Undoubtedly they (the black people) are Uncle Toms. I do think it is wonderfully ironic to see people of color who are more fiscally responsible and harder working than the mainstream Republican party stuffed suits, thereby proving that us hicks are not really racist, we just hate dislike are annoyed by people who don't know how to work for their living...

The main bright spot is that Chronic is now legal in Oregon. We are going to need it. I'm thinking of starting a nonGMO instant brownie mix company...Or sell Easy Bake Ovens on Craigslist...Instead of coffee break at tea time, 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., we are just going to knock off at 4:20. Well, can't really be expected to be at work before 9:30 a.m. either, I've been having that Futurama and Dr. Who marathon on Amazon Prime...

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The London Daily Mail online is a better news source than KPTV Fox 12, our local news station

The top news story this morning is a lady throwing her son off the Yaquina Bay Bridge, in Newport, Oregon.
"She said excuse me and thank you," said a rather damp looking man on the TV. The man was also walking on the bridge and the woman and her son politely walked past him on their way to their doom...
But the good info, "Who, what, where, when, and why..." can be found at the London Daily Mail site. It was the lead story when I opened up my web browser.
It is truly a tragic story.
No health insurance, father is in the hospital with MS, the child was Autistic, the local news did not report any of this information. Certainly gives the story a little more depth.

And now to completely change the subject...

1. I don't get the hype about iPhones. Sure they look really cool and are really thin but who cares? Does anyone use them without a bulky case? AND, why are they not waterproof? Why did I even think about buying a case that was not waterproof? I live in Oregon. I cannot use my iPhone in the rain. I think the iPhone has great potential but it needs a little development...

2. Plumbing- I hate plumbing. I also hate Lowe's. But I was not near a regular hardware store, or the local WILCO store. In the last few years there have been sorts of advancements in new plumbing technology, PEX, special plug in connectors, CPVC, PVC, and it can all be mixed and matched in one bathroom.
Sometimes you just want regular pipe fittings. Good luck with that at Lowe's. A wall of shut off valves and not a single one that is standard pipe thread on both ends.
So I had to buy adapters and plastic tubing...

I used the crappy teflon tape that came with the new faucet fixture. China has figured out how to make a roll of Teflon Tape that is actually worse than usual. It could not seal.
So I took the whole thing back apart, got the industrial Teflon in a tube out of my service truck, cranked it all back together.  Five trips outside in the rain and laying down in the yard with my elbow down the manhole cover to shut off the water.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Idiots for measure 92

Oregon is voting on an initiative which will require labeling of "genetically modified foods."

I started out in favor of 92 because I believe you should be able to make choices when you buy food. After seeing all big environmental money promoting 92 and realizing it will increase government regulations I am opposed.

I have also now decided that most people opposed to GMO don't even know what they are opposing and are easily manipulated paranoid idiots...

Here are two of the resolutions which were taken from the "Read the Initiative," website posted by Oregon Right to know.

(15) Requiring that foods produced through genetic engineering be labeled as such will create additional market opportunities for producers who are not certified as organic and whose products are not produced through genetic engineering. Such additional market opportunities will also contribute to vibrant and diversified agricultural communities.
This is a lie. Labeling will require certification which will benefit the sort of farmers who love regulations and have the money to pay for the extra certification. Labeling will also benefit environmental groups which can promote their favorite grant supported farms. If you want to know what is in your food then develop a relationship with your local farmer. I'm not going to certify my chicken/pig feed. It is made of barley, peas, flax, and the occasional filbert. If you want certification buy it somewhere else. I don't like to answer my phone anyway.
(16) The cultivation of genetically engineered crops can have serious effects on the environment. For example, in 2013, 93 percent of all soy grown in the U.S. was engineered to be herbicide resistant. In fact, the vast majority of genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand herbicides, and therefore promote indiscriminate herbicide use. As a result, genetically engineered, herbicide resistant crops have caused 527 million pounds of additional herbicides to be applied to the nation’s farmland. These toxic herbicides damage the vitality and quality of our soil, harm wildlife, contaminate our drinking water, and pose health risks to consumers and farmworkers. Further, because of the consequent massive increase in the use of herbicides, herbicide-resistant weeds have developed and flourished, infesting farm fields and roadsides, complicating weed control for farmers, and causing farmers to resort to more and increasingly toxic herbicides.
This is the big one, the whole point of the genetic modifications was to REDUCE herbicide use. Of course the commercial on TV says, "pesticides," which is a lie to make it sound more scary. I suppose they are talking about insect resistance in corn but again, THAT REDUCES THE use of pesticides. 
It does not promote "indiscriminate herbicide use."  It promotes use of ONE herbicide at the rate suggested on the LABEL. If the weeds become resistant then you go back to the herbicide we used before we had the LESS TOXIC herbicide that every one is now afraid of.

People are idiots. They are incapable of basic reasoning skills, they are purposely uniformed and purposely stupid. AND they are dishonest. 
If you are afraid of "Frankenfood" then argue this issue on the dangers of playing GOd with nature. I'm a little afraid of that myself. I use NON genetically modified seed when ever possible. I don't like paying the technology fee, I don't like Monsanto, and I have many more reasons which I could go on for at least an hour...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

"Helping" in Africa random people just pack up and go to Africa and "help fight Ebola," and then just randomly return to their home countries and then "self"monitor" their temperatures and go bowling and take bike rides and have sex with hang out with their slightly nervous looking significant others and then go to their local emergency room if their temperature goes up or they start puking in public?
Is there any coordination with this?
Does this actually help the "fight against Ebola?"
OR is this just more white guilt and our European missionary complex and liberal's unconscious racism?
I found the red headed nurse somewhat condescending. We can't save Africa if we have to wait another two weeks before going bowling?
Also, going into hiding is in what way so much better than quarantine?
Just wondering about random things today...

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