Thursday, November 30, 2006

The hair pulling of technology

Its like some insane twisted version of dominos.

Mom and I got a scanner for dad so he could scan in his fading collection of family photos, negatives and slides some going back to the old farmstead my grandpa kept in Kansas.

But the scanner required a 233mhz or better computer which the install software from Hewlett-pukerd insisted his computer wasn't, even though it was.

So I went and bought a used IBM 933mhz netvista computer via ebay from a nice place, the blind center of Nevada, cheap at that. It was sold as is, the harddrive wiped and no restore disk. No biggie, I installed an old version of windows98 I had on it.

But it was too new a computer and a bunch of the drivers were missing from the win98 disk. So I spent the day digging for drivers, finally finding that IBM had a driver installation utility available online. (a small blessing, thank you ibm)

But the diagnostic utility required the .net framework installed from microsoft. So I tried to download and installed the .net framework.

Which then would not install without Internet Explorer 6.0 or better installed first. So I am now downloading that and waiting for it to install.

God! F*^&%^^%# &*&&^%%$$ damnit. Dad calls it my refresher course in frustration. We got a good chuckle out of that.

Now I'll go back after IE6 is installed and install .net framework then install the driver utility and then finally get all the drivers and software he needs to make this computer work so that I can finally install the new scanner and he can start saving this rapidly decomposing treasury of family history.

Technology aint all its cooked up to be. No wonder I dropped out of software to run a hoe or tractor. Nobody ever had to debug a hoe and the only thing you have to update on a tractor is the oil and the tires.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rat wisdom

This is from the Nov. 16th edition of the Montezuma Press:
The Whole Farmyard Is At Risk

A rat looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opening a package. What food might it contain? He was aghast to discover that it was a rat trap. Retreating to the farmyard, the rat proclaimed the warning; "There is a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!"

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Excuse me, Mr. Rat, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."

The rat turned to the pig and told him, "There is a rat trap in the house, a rat trap in the house!"

"I am so very sorry, Mr. Rat," sympathized the pig, "but there's nothing I can do about it except pray. Be assured that you are in my prayers."

The rat turned to the cow. The cow said, "Like wow, Mr. Rat. A rat trap. Like that really puts me in grave danger."

So the rat returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's rat trap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a rat trap catching its prey.

The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.

She returned home with a fever. Now everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient. His wife's sickness continued so that friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them the farmer butchered the pig.

The farmer's wife did not get well. She died, so many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide meat for all of them to eat.

So the next time you hear that someone is facing a problem and think that it does not concern you, remember that when there is a rat trap in the house, the whole farmyard is at risk.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

busy day

But didn't really get anything done.

Went this morning to my jury orientation meeting at 8am in Medford which meant I had to be out of bed before 6am for the first time since we closed the farm. Uhg, quite unpleasant. The orientation was both boring and interesting. It reaffirmed my belief that I live in a damned cool country. Not many other places in the world where the general populace gets to sit in on deciding the rightness or wrongness of legal disputes, Sharia law is right out. America rocks.

Then I went to see Cass for the first time since her accident. Oh, what a heart render. To see that vibrate young lady so greatly reduced and still struggling to recover. The hospital has had a heck of a time keeping her electrolytes balanced and she was feeling queasy from the potassium pills they'd given her. So much for "do no harm" I was singularly unimpressed with an approach which is so unsubtle as to introduce raw potassium salts directly to someone's stomach without so much as a buffer. How about a pretzel and some water to wash that down with you medical morons? Or better yet, formulate the thing in a fashion that isn't so harsh.

Got home and was almost immediately waylaid by my best bud Steve on the phone. Rock on brother! I never pass up a long phone conversation with Steve because we end up laughing till our sides hurt. He promised me he'd check out my blog so if he doesn't I'll be posting his email address here for all my loyal readers to harass him with.

Just kidding Steve.

A note of interest about the blog: as of Nov 22 I've had 4055 page views. I know that isn't very many by some people's standards but it is a bunch to me. Who ever knew a farmer's musings would be so interesting?

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Just finished, just begun

Below is a picture of our first 288 tray of mixed greens, lettuces, cabbage, basil, radichio, etc. We closed the selling stand on Oct. 31st and for a while I could psyche myself into thinking that we were "done" but so often that is really just the start.

These plants will go into our big air inflated greenhouse in about 2 weeks. They'll be ready for sale by the end of January although we probably won't open at the stand, just sell direct from the greenhouse to a couple dozen of our finest clientele.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

My sense of humor

I don't know why, but this sort of busted me up.

First dusting of snow

Fielder Mountain had its first little bit of snow on it this morning. How delightful. The air has that crispy bite hinting at winter to come. Took some miracle grow into the greenhouse for the tomato cuttings and was equally enthused by the warm air in there.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Holiday spirit or just plain good human

Had to run into Rogue River and buy some poultry seasoning for mom. It is about a 6 minute trip in. Got to Ray's Food Place and found the spice. It was crowded so I picked the second line sort of at random, then noticed that the lady in front of me had a huge basketful of stuff. "Oh well," I thought "I'll just be patient and think happy thoughts" I could've tried finding a shorter line or one with less items but one thing I've discovered is that fate hates a line switcher. So I practiced my patience and tried to exude good holiday cheer.

Ironically I didn't have long to practice, the delightful lady in front of me, looking a little holiday bedraggled herself from unloading groceries and the rain outside turned around and, seeing my one item of spice, said "Oh please go ahead of me." We visited briefly while the checker finished with the person ahead of us and she said something great which reflected my own thoughts "Life is too short to be in a hurry."

What a delightful, sweet person! May this holiday story inspire all of us to try and be at our best as we face the crowds and crisis in this upcoming season.

God bless you all and Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving


And here is some delightful wild turkey display action from this morning. The flapping sort not the drinking...[click to enlarge]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Sort of wasted rainy day

Ran a bunch of errands in Grants Pass and Rogue River today. Rained most of the day with some serious bluster this morning. Saw sis at the walmart, she was doing ok also running errands for her job at DQ.

Went to the library while in RR, pretty much a bummer contemplating their imminent shutdown due to loss of federal O&C funds. Gotta put on my thinking cap and write a letter to the county commissioners and library funding committee.

Hope your day is going well.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Smart makes stupid

The New Scientist webzine has prediction for 50 years from now from 70 top scientists.

What immediately struck me about this story and list of predictions is that every scientist makes these narrow predictions from their own field of research as if that field exists in a vacua of its own. Furthermore there is a very obvious filter affect going on wherein which ever arena that particular scientist is working on will "revolutionize our understanding" or some other superlative description of the drastic necessity and importance of their work.

50 years is a long time, look back fifty years and the fields of science these people pursue would be almost unrecognizable by today's standards. With rates of change steadily accelerating it seems likely that the same will hold true into the future.

That is of course assuming some virulent social meme or belief system hasn't eradicated all free thought and reduced all of this material into so much forbidden unknowns or unknowables. [People in the West should know inherently whom I am referring to here.]

Friday, November 17, 2006

Wild Turkey Action

Had a rumble in the pumpkin patch between 2 rival gangs, the Turkeys and the Geese. Here's a neat pic of the Turkeys flying their colors and another of one of the Geese making a run for it (click to enlarge):

And if that isn't enough, here's a link to a short bit of video with some serious rumble action.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


After the last post I was dinkin' around the fractint site and I found Paul's fractal generator which looks very cool and maybe just maybe I can even use it to make my fractal evolver work again, keep your fingers crossed!

No rain, busy, busy

Spent most of the day on the tractor and did some spraying around the perimeter of farm #1 as well as the fence lines and part of the vineyard. Just spraying my special round-up blend to knock down some weeds in the paths and work areas.

Mom has been having trouble with her blood pressure being too high and an elevated heart rate so she went back to the doctor (second visit) today to maybe get a different dose of BP medicine. The doc gave her some samples of a different medicine last week but it seemed to actually be even less helpful than her old medicine plus it seems to have made her a little fluttery or nervous. It is hard to say what has precipitated this, end of the season, her recent diet change or the stress of having a grand-daughter in the hospital but whichever it is she's got me worried.

I've been keeping myself distracted by tinkering with an old computer I put together from 3 defunct machines donated by friends. It worked good for about 6 months but I think the bios has finally crashed. Got a little water on the motherboard last winter and I think something toasted the cmos. Too bad because I was just making some progress with the fractal evolution software I was designing. It took a target image and evolved new fractal populations successively to approximate the target image from the Julia or Mandelbrot set. Only works on older machines because the fractint engine it was based on crashes when using the expensive video card on this machine ( fractint is great fun if you can get it to work for you, more info here ) . Suppose I'll have to either abandon that project or make the commitment to design my own fractal generating engine.

Everything else aside, life is still a grand adventure.

Well, gotta go tackle some end of the day chores. Y'all have a great day now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Wild Turkeys of Savage Creek Farm

We've got a flock of about 14 wild turkeys living here enjoying the windfall apples and leftover melons. They are skittish and my camera is not the best (I paid HP plenty for it but they did a really poor design job) so the image is a bit grainy but let me assure you they are a beautiful and majestic bird. Click to enlarge.

Monday, November 13, 2006


For anyone who thinks they know everything about the situation in Iraq, here is a really fascinating blog from an Iraqi gentleman living in Baghdad. Read and be enlightened:

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Caught a cold. Darn. Getting a bit better now, lots of garlic toast and smak raman with parsley. Lots of parsley.

Wishing everyone out there stays out of that cold wind and keeps healthy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Forward looking

We have some great things to look forward to with the newly elected congress according to TCS Daily. It will be interesting to see how the Democrats use their new majority to make the great changes in direction we've been promised.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pitch black and chilly

Just took a walk down the driveway and brrrrr! Stars were twinkling with the frigid taste of winter yet to come.

Kinda in that lull or let down after the selling season now. Mind and body without the focus of routine must now adapt to a new daily scene. Choices to make, what a bummer. Quite a change from the bustle of summer.

Lots of time to think but nothing much to think about. Purpose and direction eaten at by doubt.

Wishing you all a happy autumn night, dream long and sleep tight.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Safer food?

TCS Daily has another great article on organic foods and biotech. Quite an amusing catch 22.

Political quantum super-position

In quantum mechanics one quickly runs into a frequent concept which is virtually non-existent to human beings on their daily macroscopic level. This is the idea of superposition, an entity having 2 separate and distinct states which it can occasionally be in both of or a little bit each of simultaneously. Such a foreign idea is even difficult to write about! but it does commonly happen below the nanoscopic level of atoms, electrons, photons, etc.

Interestingly the same thing does occasionally manifest in larger scale complexes of coherent particle collections.

The current "close race" for congress has me thinking of this complex coherent and uncertain behavior. The future of America's political construct is up in the air and somewhat fluid at the moment. A blending or momentary superposition of all it's possible states.

The superposition state at the atomic level is very fragile however and so too shall be this effulgence of democracy. As the votes are coming in the equillibrium of possibilities shift and prepare to collapse towards a single reality. We all wait with baited breath for the outcome. Will it be corrupted by noise? Will it hover in a long state of uncertainty? Will "The Daily Show" once more be the only correct predictor of our indecision? I can feel the sizzle of probabilities eating at my expectations.

Happy Election Day

And some special thoughts for those unfortunates in Northern Oregon and Washington who are getting flooded out. Also for those people forced out by the Southern California fires. If it ain't one thing it's t'other.

I've been meaning to call my best bud Steve who lives near a river at the coast just south of Portland (Lincoln City). His house is on a pretty high ridge but his driveway is like barely above sea level. Best wishes Mr. C.

The rain here isn't getting me down. I've got loads of indoor work to do just getting my work spaces straightened back out again. I am a little bummed that I didn't get to vote this time around though. Simply couldn't invest the time and money into a trip to Medford to get my ballot. Damn you post-office, why didn't you deliver my ballot like you did every body else's? I feel so disenfranchised.

Hope your day is high and dry ;-)

Monday, November 06, 2006


Woke up fighting off a cold or something. Could be allergies.

More rain in the forecast.

Dad and mom went and saw Cassie at the hospital yesterday. They report she is in good spirits and slowly healing up as to be expected. No good news on her paralysis so far but there is still some reason for hope.

Gotta go have breakfast and gird my self for the day's battles. Hope life gives you sweet kisses.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday sussurations

Man! I've got information overload. Tried watching the news, can't believe what an enormous crock of spin is being brewed by CNN and all the rest of them. Convoluted convocations, or is it invocations? "We just report the news, we don't make it" NOT! The liberals are in their usual fervor of fantasy having worked themselves into an excited state by their imagined imminent take over of congress. Wolf Blitzer, what a shnitzer.

I've got to go get my ballot from the County office tomorrow, all the way to Medford because they couldn't do their job right. How many other people with my opinions mysteriously had their ballots "vanish"? One out of a hundred would make a sizeable shift in results. Just how desperate are the democrats to get back into power anyways? We've heard noted liberals like Mrs. Lear saying they'd "take to the streets" if they don't win, insinuating violent unrest. I wish they'd just get stoned, stay home and forget about it instead. One thing I know for certain is that the liberal agenda under a state of war will be a disaster. Appeasement simply will not work with an enemy who is dedicated to our destruction. But what the heck, it's no big deal having everyone's daughter wear a burka.

Sorry about that momentary rant, too much salt in my breakfast pizza probably. May your day be light as a breeze.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another lovely rainy day

Spent most of the day cleaning up and following through on a few plans, experiments and art projects. Got some tomato cuttings I made last month transplanted and just about ready to go out into the big greenhouse. Also unscrambling about 8 unfinished electronics projects. At this stage I'll mostly be glad to just get all my table surfaces completely cleaned off and all my tools and materials back where they belong.

Hope your day is productive and dry.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nice Rainy Day

Didn't know it was a burn day until way too late to take advantage of it. Darn, would've dove-tailed in with the clean-up I was doing most of the day real well.

After a long, intense summer with almost no rain it was easy to forget how inconvenient these showers can be. My mind is still adapting to not being open for sales too so it is sort of a weird twilight of moments now as I have dropped all the routines which were necessary for business.

We pretty much got all the "water soluble" stuff done except for getting plastic on the small greenhouse. Dad and I just didn't have the unbending intent to manifest that before the rains. Probably because it doesn't really matter all that much.

I didn't get my voting ballot in the mail so now I have to figure out where to go and what to do in order to vote. Damned post-office probably had some malcontent trying to sway the election results from behind the row of PO boxes.

Hope you all have a comfortable and satisfying day.

Awesome bit of thought

Frederick Turner has a delightful article about atheism over at TCS Daily.
I especially enjoyed this part, as I have much respect for personal responsibility:

Valuable also is the moral lesson of atheism. Virtuous atheists actually have a stronger claim to real goodness than virtuous Christians, Jews, or Muslims, because there can be no taint of cupboard love in their obedience to the moral law. They do not believe in a reward for goodness, and thus must love goodness for its own sake. The challenge to religious people is that they ought to do the good as if there were no afterlife, no heaven, no reward. God does not get a reward for all the good things he does, and if we are supposed to become as much the image of God as we can, as we are told in the scriptures, then we should seek out that life of love and service that is its own reward.

Not that I'm an atheist or anything, but it is good for one to face up to things which make you think.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day after last

Closed for the season that is.

Just watching the place and doing a few chores. Mom is running errands in GP. Dad is at the stand dumping all the pumpkins and other trash leftover from the sales season. I can just picture people flinching at the image of all that produce just being thrown out. It makes good soil ammendment so nothing is really lost, I would tell them.

No news on Cass so far today.

Well, back to work. Have a great day.