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Saturday, January 29, 2022


There are lifelong friends. There are periods in your life when you are able to be really close to someone and then due to life and circumstance you don't see the person but you always expect to be close friends again.

Then you get a call from their wife that they are on hospice.

So I took the day off and drove to the coast to see my friend. He has Parkinsons' Disease. The crazy thing is that I should have taken the day off and gone to the coast a couple times a year for the past six years. But, there has always been something to do on my day off.

I made him a batch of CBD hemp and coconut oil which I fully expect to cure him. This was right at the beginning of the Chinese Curse. His wife brought him for a visit last year. I was going to visit him in June but there was a crisis. I have no idea what that crisis was.

I first met Mel when I worked for the Newport News Times. It was really my first real job out of college. He was the vocation mechanics instructor at Newport High School. He had put together a Pontiac Sunbird with a small block Chevy 350 and nitrus. I think it ran in the low 12's. It was driven only by students and had a lot of wins in the High School Drag Race series.

The drag race club, (a modern drag race club in High School is a completely different and rather embarrassing thing the doesn't involve cars or building personal self respect.) Was the nemesis of the News-Times due to the fact that no one knew anything about cars and pretty much looked down on "gear heads," like myself.

I made an evening appointment to interview Mel and was a bit nervous going to the appointment at his house. He met me at the door, shook my hand, invited me in to his kitchen and handed me a Henry's Private Reserve. He explained his good buddy had just blown himself work grinding on a asphalt tank in Montana and would I mind just having a beer with him and we could do the interview later.

We found a lot of things in common, mostly out of date things involving cars and personal attitudes, and became really good friends.

Since I have worked at the University I have not gone to see anyone. But before when I only farmed I did not work Sundays and my daughter would spend the weekend with him at the beach.  I feel bad about kind of ignoring him for the past few years. Somewhat of an inexcusable thing but you also can see it in the lack of attention to this blog.

We had a good visit Friday. He didn't say much as it is hard for him to talk. I did get him to laugh with a slightly but appropriate off color comment. Of course our wives slightly looked disapproving but that is kind of what made it funny so it was all good.

This is a guy who knew how to do anything and knew something about everything. Everything from literature to sewing the fabric on a Hudson seat. I have never stumped him on any subject. 

He also was a repository of Newport History. He knew how Chief Depoe got his name. He did open wheel car racing at the Newport Racetrack 40 years ago. Mel could tell you story of the local car dealer who rolled his car on 101 by the state park. He maintained a mining claim in Montana despite the determined efforts of the Forest Service shut him down. He went to the Barrett auction every year He sponsored students from Costa Rica and went back to visit them. (Took me a couple times.)

I think the only actually bad advice he ever gave me was that I should quit my job and got to Costa Rica with him and Carlos. But, he had so much faith that I was super smart and would instantly get another job that I don't think he could comprehend that I was a bit of a fraud. So, yes, Mel did have bad judgement.

I was talking to them about my job and the various amazing things my University has screwed up on and I realized I am seriously wasting my life working where I am not appreciated. His wife was pretty amazed at the non- negotiable vaccine mandate which probably isn't really legal. But then it did become apparent that she would be a lot more comfortable if I got the booster if I was going to spend much time visiting. So on our way home I stopped at the casino and got the jab. My arm hurts like hell today but otherwise I am fine. I am taking a lot of CBD so we shall see. I am not telling my university till the exact moment of the deadline. 

I am also looking for other jobs. This is something I hate. It feels like failure. I somehow felt I could make a difference. We shall see what happens but I am done. I may be there another year but I am just like the other old guys. No longer emotionally invested. Probably for the best.

The loss of Mel is a tough one. He was someone who was always there.

The thing is I do have a few really close friends. I wouldn't say a necessarily have a "best friend," because I don't always keep in touch with people I value, but I have a few people I feel pretty close to so I suppose best friend is a rotating title. Mel was certainly my best friend for a number of years and then life brought differing paths.

Anyway, I have my new Tom Petty album and my vintage stereo and I am going to Church tomorrow and next week I am taking off work so I can give his wife a break (if she will let me) and thus I got my booster so I guess that is a statement of my values. Please and thank you get me every time regardless of what I want to do.

Have a nice day!

(I sincerely hope none of my readers die for at least half a year. It takes me longer to recover than it once did.)

Edit: You know I can't just check out. Since my choices are limited, I suppose I will end up staying for the year and a half before my kid graduates. I will focus on the people I work with and my text messages with the president. Will have to avoid a couple subjects I suppose. I probably should quit just so my daughter has to drop out of Cognitive NeuroScience degree. Click here to see what the degree is like at a real college. Or rather a full on Indoctrination Center instead of an Indoctrination Center posing as a Christian College. Psychology is the study of blame and rationalization. Although, I have found that telling a psych major that is somewhat counter productive...

Saturday, January 22, 2022

I rant about my job! So, basically the same old BS post...

I have been enjoying my job. This is a bad thing. It means that something is going to go wrong soon. 

I have applied for a couple jobs and gone through the interview process. I always get the job but there is always a catch. Basically not enough increase in pay to cover the extra travel time and to quit farming in my spare time. I have been at the job I have long enough that I can basically take off whenever I want. Although I tend not to take off when I have important jobs going on as it means I will be behind in some process at work and it will take me forever to catch back up.

So of course I got the email. Get your booster shot or get fired. Oh, there is an exemption form but only for medical or religious reasons. My reason is pretty damn simple and my reason is the reason my college has retention problems of students, staff, faculty, and administration.  "Do it or else..." is a tough term.

My pay compensation is below "living wage," according to my college supplied financial advisor. However, I have a daughter getting programmed with bullshite liberal "christian" theology at George Fox University, formerly one of the last "conservative" Christian colleges on the West Coast.  This means I am getting a huge "benefit," that I cannot replicate anywhere else but GFU.  

There is a grounds opening at Willamette University that is exactly my speciality but no free tuition at GFU. I am applying for it and trying to talk my daughter into transferring but she does not want to transfer. Also, I will get fired in the middle of spring semester and that will screw up her tuition remission,.

I realize most of my friends are adamantly opposed to the jab. I am not. I think the booster is rather pointless as the China Flu seems to have peaked. I also still feel like crap and suspect I had the virus that resulted from the biggest biosecurity screwup in history. I do not want to get the shot while I am still feeling like crap. I know more people who have been sick from the booster than who have been sick from Biden's disaster.

But, after six years of of one crisis after another at my University Job, and I may add, one crisis after another created by bungling administrators and trustees, I really resent the get vaccinated or get fired approach as I know in my heart of hearts this place is behind the curve on every single issue there is.

And there is another reason for my irritation at this demand. I worked for JRT Mechanical driving dump truck and it was like a vacation. I was valued, trusted, and treated with respect. They would have me work evenings, just gave me the keys to the dump truck and excavator and said go to it. They didn't think I would cheat them or destroy buildings or hurt myself if left alone. They appreciated my help and they knew I would do my best and I responded. (I wish it were not a three hour commute to work for them full time.)

Of course my Uni gets back what they put in also. Pretty much from everyone that works there. It is kind of sad, A business school that incorporates the worst of 1980's failed business management techniques in the 21st century.

But I do like the President. He buys me coffee and talks about guns and theology and music and is very enthusiastic. I just don't see his enthusiasm filtering past the Gang Of Four deans that are the barrier between him and the rest of us.

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Comments on Making feed, feeling like crap, going broke, and the usual complaints

Yesterday I attempted to make feed. It did not work. I am having serious problems with logistics and cash flow. 

What I need to make feed efficiently is a concrete slab. I need three bins which hold 2-10 tons. (Oats, peas, barley plus maybe another small bin for flax or clover seed) I need a hopper with a conveyer that goes really slow to feed the pellet mill. 

I need a place to set it up and leave it.

But here is the problem. If the local farm store sell a full pig ration for 40 cents per lb., I can't charge more even though I am locally grown. It is just too expensive, plus I am not able to legally add the vitamins and mineral package as that is another level of licensing. Although, if I had a 20ft by 30ft, 18ft high eves, building with a cement floor I could probably be organized enough to get the license.

Second issue goes back to the first. Pelletizing the ground grain allows you to produce a non dusty product. You can use grain which is dirty or has small hard noxious weed seeds that don't break down in th hammer mill. Or I can more efficiently add alfalfa or grass hay.  However, the pellet mill capacity is a maximum of 900lbs per hour with the 6 mm die. This is for a soft mix of oats, peas, barley, and alfalfa (and a little molasses and/or used cooking oil). That rate drops instantly if you add grass hay or you can't get the moisture right.  So if my math is correct, at $75/hr for the Fiat White 2-60, my lowest cost per hour for pelletizing is 8 cents. 900lbs/hr and $75 is $.08. It gets worse. The small die is a maximum of 400lbs per hour but according to my experience it is more like 200lbs which boosts the price to 38 cents a pound! Even at 400lbs it gets expensive at 19 cents per lb.

So if raw grain is $150 per ton or $.08 per lb and I add $.05 for grinding and $.08 for pelletizing then my cost is $.08 + $.05 + $.08 then my basic cost per lb is $.21! So, if I am hitting the magical price point of $.28 per lb which is where the feed really starts to move when I am selling locally I am doing all this work for eight cents a pound???? Not even counting the price of equipment! So, I am making a profit of $160 per ton?

Why am I doin this???

I had to do sprayer training Thursday. I hope you all understand that my other job is a groundskeeper. Somehow my supervisor signed me up for sprayer training with Agri-Service dealership. It is a multistate AGCO dealer. I learned how to run a Rogator. Doesn't really translate to a ten foot sprayer powered by a Honda engine. 

One of the trainings was on a system that reduces drift and increases sprayer efficiency. There were numerous testimonials where BTO's swore the system worked but they didn't know how. The "system" is a stack of tubes which appear to be on the suction line which are full of rare earth magnets. This costs $30,000. I found a DYI which perhaps I will try. I do love me some powerful magnets!!!

It doesn't matter what you produce, it is marketing! I have hemp tonic which will prevent the Wu-Flu, I have local and sustainable feed, I have rare and valuable old stereo equipment, I have a charming and fun personality, BUT DO I HAVE MONEY????

Also, I am still sick. My student helper of a couple years ago came out with her husband to get a big plastic shuttle tank to store rain water. I didn't tell her this was probably illegal. She is from Vietnam and is used to dealing with Commie Bastards so I think she can adapt. We talked for a long time. I got really cold. I also spent the day covered in dust. Today I once again feel like crap. Can't breath and just general low energy. I have taken zinc and vitamin C and hemp tonic and Vitamin B-1 and I sleep 12 hours. Good Grief! I have also tried will power... Perhaps I need a booster shot of Will-Power and not some weird vaccine that will probably kill me though a blog clot.

Views from my week, cause I know you like pictures...

This is where I want to be..
Making Hemp Pellets

The Cure for Covid!

350 pounds per hour! I am getting rich!

However, when I try to grind grass and alfalfa I have to feed it super slow. If I cover the rollers it plugs up. Extremely frustrating!

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Existential Illnesses are the Worst kind

I think this is more than just a simple Chinese engineered virus that I don't have. I wonder if I have finally been abducted by aliens or I was abducted years ago and a programming switch has been pulled or maybe this is what getting old looks like. 

It hit me this morning. 

I went to bed at 8 p.m, last night. I thought about going to bed and sleep all day. Much of the day I spent working on my wife's Kia Soul. It is the newest vehicle I ever have partially owned. It has been a great experience. I avoid driving it. But one rainy and cold night I drove it and I backed into the Forklift. It is the very same Forklift that I left I the way that afternoon and said to myself. I have left the Forklift in the way. It was a really stupid thing to do. It probably precipitated my illness. Perhaps I am just dying of shame. 

The crash broke the plastic bumper cover and it cost my my remaining HiFi and random Sprayer Controller purchasing fund eBay allowance to buy a new cover. I got the cover partially off and discovered that I also munched the fiberglass 5 mph bumper and the new cover wouldn't fit. So I taped it back with Gorilla Tape and zip ties and I now I must spend another $150. 

I also spent most of yesterday talking to random people who were looking for my brother who is on some sort of vacation. I must remember to keep the shop door closed. Or not be so darned interesting and likable.

But, I digress...

I felt like crap this morning. Which is every boring in recent memory. I went back to bed because I could and I don't fear disapproval. (I thought)  My wife went to church. This caused me enough guilt ruin my nap and force me to get up and get Sunday dinner started. I found a couple steaks, they were frozen solid. This was predictable as I found them in the Freezer. Not to be put off by a mere technicality, I liberally coated them with salt and worcheschire sauce and stuck them in the Traeger with a load of hemp pellets to dry thaw them out. 

I retreated to my Barcalounger to recoup. I reviewed my options for the day. 

My lovely and gracious wife has finally objected to the over abundance of HiFi crap located around the living room and wants me to make room for a few plants by the window. I looked at the array of mid-century awesomeness and decided to put on a record. I was looking for Tom Petty, because that is just who I am, but then for some reason thought of hot girls from the 80's and inappropriate sexual relationships that were cool back then but would put you into jail today. That lead to Maria McKee and I took to the "L" section where I found Claudine Longer, "Lets spend the night together." Skipped right by Marianne Faithful, not in the "L" section.

I cued up the Red-O-Kut and the Scott 299 tube amp and sat down to read blogs. If she sings in French again I am going to faint.

I think I have finally cracked up....

Possibly I have time traveled to 1963?

And after a quick search wondering what happened to the singer corrupted by Tom Petty band member and U2, I discovered that of course the inevitable happened. She gained weight and she went 21st Century.  I guess that is one way to deal with getting old...

I think I will go build a mail box stand to replace the one that just fell over. This is one screwed up world...

Have a nice day...

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Laziness Continues

I am honestly starting to worry about myself. 

Last night I went to bed at 8 p.m. after sleeping on the couch since 6:30 p.m. 

This morning I woke up at 9 a.m. It is a Saturday! My lovely and gracious wife has a job painting someone's living room. It appears by the warmth of the coffee and the state of the fire that she has only been gone an hour. She did not wake me. She cooked bacon, which did not wake me.

I am starting to actually worry that I have/had the China virus. Which is why I haven't just ignored being tired and went to work. Other than it is cold and damp outside and I hate cold and damp and I am lazy.

I suppose there is no point in getting a test Monday. Not really sure what the point is at this point. I am not coughing much, I have probably already infected my circle of influence. No point in taking the horse wormer when the horse has left the barn...

If my wife was home she would be marching into the bedroom with a cup of coffee and telling me to get my lazy bottom out of bed. She left me fixings for lunch so I suspect I have all day. I figure if I run a couple loads of laundry and do the dishes I and go out to work about 2 p.m. I can escape her disapproval.

Then my goal is bed by 8 p.m. Sleep just seems like a wonderful place to be right now. It is my goal...

Have a nice day!

Monday, January 3, 2022

Happy New Year

There have been New Year's such as this in the past. I have trouble dealing with stress. I have been feeling a bit under the weather. There are a lot of reasons for this. I took a test and I don't have the curse of Dr. F unless the test is wrong. I just feel like crap. 

I thought I was well New Years so my wife and I called a lady I used to work with and we went out to dinner. We didn't stay out super late. We were home by 10 p.m. I was hoping my daughter would come over when she got off work at 9:30 but she didn't. So I set off my own fireworks. Tradition is important.

Next day I felt like crap again.

The problem is that if I ever drop my self discipline I revert to my normal lazy self. Having a job was awesome for the first two years. Insurance and 11.25 % of my wages into retirement was nice. Things have gone downhill since then. When I get sick and have to lay down and can't read a book then I start thinking of the things I seem to be unable to change. I don't have a bad life, I just took some wrong turns and I can't seem to recover and I feel like I am running out of time. No matter what I try to do I never make a cent at it and I miss my daughter.

I am not really sick today. I am just depressed. It is pouring down rain. My head hurts. I have given myself until 3 p.m. to be depressed. Then I am giving myself the only pep talk that actually works. "one foot in front of the other buddy. Get up and get on it..."

Actually, 2 p.m.

I am working on my books. This is depressing of itself. I got a lot of potential, just got to get it done. I have a great mix for pigs. Peas, Triticale, oats, and alfalfa. I should sell like crazy since the local farm store is at .40 cents a pound for 16 percent hog grower.

In other news. I have been sort of obsessed with old audio. I sold a turntable. The guy I sold it to keeps sending me photos of it with various albums he loves. I think I sold it too cheap. 

I dug out one of my reel-to-reels. I have a couple boxes of reel-to-reels I have acquired over the years. Most of them are total crap. I always had this image of reel-to-reel guys as HiFi aficionados who crafted Dave Brubeck tapes so save their records. Actually reel-to-reel guys were cheap arsed old dudes who crammed as many hours of the worst easy listening music as possible onto one reel because they were too lazy to turn over the record.

I found the tapes I made years ago. I bought the reel to reel from the radio station at my college. I didn't have a cassette recorder. I listened to some pretty random stuff. Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley, The Tailgators, The Cars. It is kind of interesting.

I got a text from the President of the University I work at. He spent New Years in Dubai. He has a boundless supply of energy. Not sure if it is inspiring or annoying.

Have a great year!

Tailgators, "Brown Eyed Girl," Swamp Rock 1985

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