Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Snow covered mountains

Wow! the valley is so beautiful today. The snow has melted a tiny bit off the hills bringing out just enough contrasting color. Not that it wasn't all really glorious in the fresh fallen snow but I guess every day is wonderful if you just look for the wonder.

Had a delightful breakfast with my friend Del this morning. If you're ever in Grants Pass, do yourself a favor and head down to the Powederhorn Cafe on 6th street. They have some really good biscuits and gravy and if you're there for lunch their pies are to die for.

Well, gotta go get back to work cleaning up in the barn. My uncles Arnold and Bill will be stopping by for a visit around the 10th of March and it isn't that I want to put up any sort of false front or anything, but it's a good excuse for getting some long standing maintenance jobs finished.

Hope your day is lovely.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

2000+ words about snow

Here's dad clearing the snow from the carport:

A merry ol' prankster

Here is a delightful article about Stewart Brand who used to tour with the Merry Pranksters and the Grateful Dead and who ran the Whole Earth catalog and helped to setup The WELL.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars destroy life on earth

Can you imagine how much "greenhouse gas" was released transporting all those people to the oscar awards ceremony last night? How many CFCs were released manufacturing and dry cleaning their dresses and tuxedos? Oh, but they're going to save the rest of us from ourselves.

I am a trained scientist and I can tell you how to save mother earth, if each person will just send me 19.95$.

It's worth a try; if people are gullible enough to call Algore's scifi movie a documentary they'll believe just about anything.

3:10 am lightly snowing

Al Gore should do the planet a favor and hang himself; that much less hot air in the world.

Just got through clearing a couple inches of snow off all our "soft" out buildings like the small greenhouse. Fired up the computer to check the weather images. Imagine my cursing when I saw several more hours of rough weather coming.

Got go see if I can get a couple more hours of sleep before getting up and doing it again.

Happiness in the face of adversity.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Global warming my ass

Spring is only 26 days away and it's snowing here again. Cold, blustery weather plagues the entire country. I don't see evidence of any global warming much less anthropogenic global warming. The Greenland iceshelf slowed its retreat for the last couple years and India's glaciers are untouched. Global warming is a farce and it saddens me to witness how gullible my countrymen are to buy into it.

snow and rain

The mountains surrounding our little farm are decorated with an abundance of snow. The stark white texture sends a chill down my spine. The air has that sharp, sweet sort of metallicy smell which tells me the rain which is falling here has melted from the snow that is falling above on its way down into this warmer air. So glad to be inside, dry and warm on this Sunday morning.

I had a rough time sleeping last night, only one seriously weird dream about werewolves a strange river in a bed of black stone and the house I lived in when I was 14 out near Hugo.

Breakfast pizza is rapidly restoring my inner balance though, so I shouldn't have any trouble recovering from a spotty night's sleep.

Keep dry and be happy.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Codex Hammurabi

Wikisource has the Codex Hammurabi! This is the oldest written law known to mankind. As such it holds precedence over all that follows it. I especially like this one:

5. If a judge try a case, reach a decision, and present his judgment in writing; if later error shall appear in his decision, and it be through his own fault, then he shall pay twelve times the fine set by him in the case, and he shall be publicly removed from the judge's bench, and never again shall he sit there to render judgment.

#1 answerer of questions

This fella is amusing, check out his blog.

Great quotes

Hope you are having a happy day.

My friend, Del, pointed out these great quotes. I hope they delight you and make you think, for they are good thoughts.

Politics and causes of death

Near the end of last year's sales season I had a couple of democrat customers show up who were lividly George Bush haters. Now, I don't agree with many of GW's policies, especially his immigration policy, but I don't hate the man. However, my discussion with those customers was a learning opportunity. They were singularly focused on the war in Iraq and the loss of our soldier's lives as the cause of their hatred. At the time I remember being subdued in my responses, because I couldn't find any perspective relative to their's.

However, now a recent article has enlightened me. It turns out that more American are killed every year by illegal aliens than soldiers have been killed in the entire Iraq war.

Not that this is a big surprise, after all violent crime in America isn't exactly absent. Our soldiers are probably as safe in Iraq as they would be in many American urban centers. However, the fact points out an inconsistency. If we are to be outraged over the loss of our soldier's lives in Iraq, shouldn't we be more outraged over the needless loss of our citizen's lives here at home? If it is so important for our democratic congress to stop the war in Iraq, shouldn't it be even more important for them to stop the killings here, in our own streets and homes?

Once more we see that government has lost the trail of doing what is right for those they govern.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Floor space

Am reveling in new open floor space that has come about as we've hauled away several loads of junk from the barns, shop and greenhouses.

Mt. Fielder is wearing a cap of snow although most of it around here has melted away.

Gonna go to sleep early tonight as I'm sort of tired. Apparently driving to Medford twice in one day is more taxing than it seems. Was fascinated by the enormous variety of trash that ends up in a landfill transfer station. We dropped a lot of stuff in the recycles, newspaper, assorted plastic, aluminum etc. But had half a truck of mixed junk/trash and when we dropped off our garbage there was so much construction waste and weird scraps laying in there. One dump truck was completely full of dry-wall. Yoiks! I thought, that's pure gypsum; I could've used that on my soil. Oh well, that ol' saw about one man's treasure.

About 28 days until spring, how strange to feel winter winding down like this.

Hope your day has been pleasant.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Condor journalism

Sometimes my dad can be so freakin' funny.

You know how there's all this damned news coverage about Anna Nicole Smith on the big media channels? My dad says "They've got their big ol' twelve foot wingspan spread out and are floatin' on hot air just looking for a dead body."

With full respect to her family, I wish someone would tell the media that this isn't the great big whoopin' crane of a story they want us to think it is. Nobody out here in peon land cares! Leave us go on to something that is actually NEWs.

Blogger sentenced to 4 years for being honest

A fellow blogger has been sentenced to four years in prison for speaking his mind.

out! out! darn snow

We've had about three inches of snow fall since last night. Got up around 2:30 am and raked off the greenhouse, carport etc. had to let the big greenhouse down again.

So as you can imagine, I'm grumpy today. The brunch burrito I just got through eating is cheering me up a little, however.

The snow continues to fall and melt. Although we've had several inches come down only an inch or so has accumulated. It is very squishy out there.

Hoping any squishiness you encounter today is fun squishiness.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Storm mess

Evil lookin' clouds come down out of the west as I drove home from the library.

It's starting to rain now.

Big mess in my barn from cleaning up; from chaos, order?

Dad and mom and I been talkin' about this maybe being our last year of farming. All our backs are achin' and the times been a-takin' their toll. Leaves me feeling really weird, the future uncertain, as it has always been, but now uncertainty more starkly lit.

Gotta get back out to the barn, it's a burn day and the fire will go well with this storm.

Hope your day is warm and dry.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Purge

Spent today getting into the massive grind of a full scale clean-up. Borrowed my brother's truck while he's away in Idaho on a welding gig, put side racks on it and started a process of "survival of the fittest" that is, whatever we can't fit in the truck will survive ;-)

This weird changing weather is giving me aches and pains. I've been grumpy and jumpy all day. Supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow. When we're done with the run to the dump I'm gonna spray the fence lines between showers if I can summon the courage.

Hope your day has gone/will go smoothly.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

wonderful sunny day

Only 30 more until spring. I can feel the pressure starting to build and already my back hurts. Gonna have to start doing sit-ups again.

Today was a burn day in Jackson county. Hooray! Or as Beavis would say, "Fire! Fire!"
Torched off a huge mound of old cardboard and crate scraps and another big pile of grape and blackberry trimmings from last year. The jets of flame and pillars of smoke were glorious. Al Gore $h!t a brick as we rocketed past our "carbon cap". Three cheers for global warming, I can't wait until I can grow pineapple here.

No important animal sightings today although my black cat did come down and visit me in the field as I sat meditating besides the last smoldering embers of the blackberry pile. I could hear one of the turkeys, probably that ol' Tom chortling somewhere up the hill. I got into one of those still, peaceful states of mind wherein you can almost see the shadows moving, the plants growing.

Wishing you that same peace.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Suicidal congressmen

Henry Waxman (D-California) stood on the floor of the House of Representatives today and firmly tied a noose around the neck of every American. "What we now have in Iraq is a defeat." he said. What he was saying to our enemies was "We're a bunch of cowards, would you please come and kill more of us." Count on it my fellow Americans, just as it was in a Salt Lake City Mall so shall it be everywhere. Our brave new democrats are making sure that we have all the rope we need.

John Dvorak on politics and blogs

I have enjoyed reading John Dvorak's writing since an article way back in "80 micro" magazine (a Trs-80 sort of precursor to PC magazine back in the early 80s) He has an interesting article about why politicians will try and fail to corrupt the blogosphere in the upcoming 2008 election. I agree with his assessment: this should be, if not hilarious, at least worth quite a few giggles.

awful night

Glad to be up and about. Little sleep and poor.

Had several vicious nightmares last night. Strangely, woke up feeling rather detached and even indifferent. The silver lining was that I loitered part of the night away watching the Annanberg CPB show about sedimentary rocks and then the one on metamorphic rocks. The perfect antidote to macabre machinations of the dark.

My back got quite sore from all the pruning I did yesterday. Over half the apple trees are finished now and I'll probably finish the last yellow delicious today and start on the biggest tree in the middle of the orchard tomorrow.

There are now 19 wild turkeys grazing on our farm. They rushed me as I came out of the barn this morning, that was kinda scary. The one big ol' Tom has a beard about 9 inches long and the most spectacular bronze colors on his feathers. I quick grabbed a couple of dried corn cobs we saved from last season and broke them out some feed. It's things like that which always makes me laugh at the environmentalist's rhetoric against the farmer. Farms make more wildlife than those idiots could ever comprehend. But they're always railing against us and our fertilizer run-off and pesticides. As if any farmer still in business would waste fertilizer or pesticide so as to create run-off. Duh! Somebody tell them it ain't the '50s anymore.

Have a great and restful day.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A lovely late winter day

Started the day with a hearty breakfast at the Powderhorn Cafe in downtown Grant's Pass, thanks to my fine friend Del for the food and good company. Gave Del a little help with his computer and then made my way home through an assortment of errands for mom.

Got home and slacked for a while, reading etc. while the last few showers passed. Then finally got out and started pruning in the apple trees. That's pretty much all I've gotten done today, what a bum!

Last night I had a few interesting dreams. An ominously rumbling flying saucer covered most of the sky as I rode the lawnmower down the driveway. The funny part was upon awakening I realized that the "flying saucer" looked like the bottom of my dad's 8mm film projector which he had taken off for repairs. Even in my dreams UFOs are fake.

I've been reading Dinesh D'souza's book "The virtue of prosperity" which I have found interesting. Mr. D'souza seems to have the interesting distinction of offending both far left and far right sensibilities. Look him up on the web and you will find fevered attacks upon him from both camps. Sort of delights me; he must be saying many truths if diametrically opposed people dislike him. I find him thoughtful, thorough and insightful. His critics seem to be shallow and closed minded. The truth hurts they say and apparently Mr. D'souza is something of a mental sadist.

Wishing you all a thoughtful and insightful day.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

I wonder how many people "celebrating" this holiday are aware that it is dedicated to a man who was killed for marrying people against church policy.

Taoism teaches that the universe is composed of complementary opposites. I've always figured that somewhere, somewhen, someone out there was a nice lady who is/was/will be my compliment. Despite the impossibility and futility of the thought, I'd like to wish her a happy Valentine's day. Sorry no chocolate, neither of us needs the calories ;-)

As for the rest of you, I wish you happiness and contentment in your hearts.

Off topic- Utah gunman was muslim

I normally try to keep this blog centered on my farming and events around this local area but I've been so disgusted by the mainstream media and government's cover-up efforts that I just had to post something here.

Over at Hyscience is a whole collection of links pointing to the fact that the shooter at that mall in Salt Lake City was a muslim carrying out his own personal violent jihad.

Sorry to post such downer stuff here but sometimes these things are necessary.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A lovely day

Spring has made its first influences known. Today was a sublimely delightful day. The sun radiated from between clouds of ominous color and shadow. The verdant hillsides seemed to ripple with a strange new strength. It was almost a buzz just being out working beneath the open sky again.

We got the big greenhouse blown back up and all was well. Some minor holes were punched in the plastic but no serious harm done. So nice to have that big, warm space ready again. And we got the northern section of deer fence up too. So all things considered a pretty good day.

Hope your day is/was/will be just as productive and happified ;-)

Cloudy work day

No significant dreams to report, only one fragment of one where I was trying to jump across the driveway which was covered in ice or running water. No idea what that was all about.

Done with my tea and crumpet. Just gotta get on my work shoes now.

Should be a good one for work today. Supposed to be partly cloudy today so blowing up the greenhouse this morning will be nice.

An interesting side note, D-wave devices is supposed to be demonstrating the world's first 16 qbit quantum computer today. If true that is a dramatic jump in our ability to use quantum mechanics for computing. I'll be keeping my eye on developments and will try to keep you apprised.

Have a great day.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Twilight weirdness

Just after having dinner with mom and dad in the main house I was trudging out to my barn with laundry. It was dark and raining and I had left my jacket outside. In the distance, to the west, a murder of crows was cawing a ruckus chorus of crow laughter. The bastards! they couldn't see me but they knew I was getting wet while they were safely tucked away beneath limbs and branches.

Oh well. I guess crows need a little humor now and then too.

The last few nights I've had intense and portentous dreams which leave me with rich and delightful after thoughts so I am looking forward to tonight's episodes. If you read this before Tuesday morning perhaps my mind will draw upon your consciousness to form new and interesting reflections.

Good night and good dreams.

Gordon Smith on Cspan2

We've been listening raptly to a rather in-depth speech by our good senator Gordon Smith detailing the betrayal of Oregon by our federal government. This is part of the egregious program of social diminishment started by president Clinton that has led to the upcoming closing of all libraries in southern Oregon as well as the extreme reduction of all other government services: road maintenance, police, fire protection, etc. etc.

If you have a chance to catch it now, it is quite revealing. Otherwise I think you can get it from the Cspan website or catch it on re-run.

Back to work

Not much rain today so it'll be back to work for me. My two month long weekend is just about over with, the next few weeks are gonna be sort of like getting ready for work Monday morning. Getting your socks on, warming up the car, packing your bag lunch etc. as we put together all the stuff we need. Seed orders have to go in, the greenhouses have to go up. I'll start setting my alarm a little earlier each morning. If we have 3 or 4 dry days in a row we'll start plowing and finish the deer fence.

My only regret is that I didn't get the fractal scanning software I was working on with Paul finished before this winter was over. Always nice to have the loose ends tied up before changing gears, if you don't mind a mixed metaphor. Oh well, just something to putter around with until next winter.

Wishing you all a productive and rewarding day.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pat Sajak freakin' rocks

No wonder Ed Grimley liked him so much...

The Big Thaw, Part 3

The Broken Pipes Variance.

It took three days for the ground to thaw enough for water to finally flow again in my barn. Today the true consequence revealed itself in a small fountain of water in the driveway. So we shut the water off to my barn at the well and I started digging between rain showers. It's this sort of thing that taxes a guy. Instead of working on getting the last ropes across the greenhouse I'm fudging around with mud and muck.

The crows have been making fun of me all day. They must have seen this coming.

Wishing you all a day free of broken things.

Rain !?

Every forecast I could find yesterday had today just partly cloudy with the rains coming in way late today. But this morning it is just pouring down out there. So much for getting the big greenhouse back up today. Darn!

Couldn't sleep well last night so I sat up reading some "Dresden Files" the books are much better than the shows and the shows are pretty darn good. Consequence of late night reading: weird fragmented dreams. Which is sometimes better than weird coherent dreams.

Here in the basement, cocooned by the soft sussuration of rainsong, I can momentarily feel safe and warm. The world's mad dash towards god-only-knows-what is attenuated and my heart rests easy. For now.

Wishing you a warm, fuzzy and delightful day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I like this

Hey, I found another great blog. A bit preachy and politicy but also some great clear thinking, enjoy.

Song of the wind

Today was a fine day beneath the clouds and blue sky. The sun played hide-and-seek all day. Another hawk came by a little after noon. She screamed that high pitched screech from very high in the sky. The thermals must have been great for riding around today. She wasn't a red-tail, her color was all white and gray pinions from below. Still beautiful.

The wind sang to me quite a bit today. Often I noticed her voice like some long forgotten friend. Even before the day started, right after I woke up I thought I heard someone calling my name, but I was alone.

Dad and I got the rest of the fence posts on the north side of the field driven in today and then we hooked up the terracer and dad plowed the dirt back into the greenhouse trench. If the rain holds off until tomorrow evening as it is supposed to we will finally have the big greenhouse back up and running.

Hope you all have a fine and happy day.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The voice of rain

As I was walking in the rain today I listened to the voice of rain upon my umbrella. It whispered to me of far away and secret things. The clouds swirled and mist flowed across the top of Mount Fielder. I breathed deep the faint aromas of winter. The air was clean, pure. The smells were faint ghosts, echoes of summer lawn mowing and watermelon seed spitting. Pines battered by the wind gave up a perfume of different memories.

The road had become packed by the few days of warmer weather before the rains came. After the frost it was loose and smooshy, thank goodness the rains held off a couple days. As it is, only a little sand and clay has washed to the bend in the driveway where dad and I cut a waterbar diverting the rivulet beneath the redwood trees.

We didn't get the greenhouse up before the rains returned but we got everything ready for the first good day. All we have left is to drive the tractor along the south side to bury that edge and pack it down and to tie off a few more retaining ropes. Then we will turn on the fan and return to our 140 by 35 feet of glorious artificial spring.

Yesterday morning when mom, dad and I took Sparky for a walk there was a gorgeous red tail hawk riding a thermal rising from our neighbors pasture. When we first saw him he was only about a hundred feet off the ground but in only a short while he ascended on spirals of sun and air to almost vanish in the blue sky. Then, just before he was too high to see, he dove out of the thermal and sped away to the southwest.

Free speech continues its descent

Along with Ted Kulongoski suppressing the free speech in Oregon, now 5 students have been fired from their positions on Long Island Collage campus for expressing themselves. Admittedly their video might have been in bad taste ( although the protest of muslims seems a bit ironic ) but they are still entitled to their opinion in this country.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Orblogs not so bad

I was forming the perhaps mistaken opinion that Orblogs was a liberal dominated oppressor of free speech but they've uplifted my faith in their service by highlighting Mover Mike's very interesting blog in their "popular" section.

Global worming

My state's gots worms and its name is "Ted Kulongoski"

My misuse of english in that sentence is no worse than the misuse of science which is currently going on in the Oregon state capital. It seems the King governor of Oregon, Turd Kulongoski, has decided to fire our state climatologist because he wants to be scientifically accurate and professional.

It is interesting to note that one of Canada's top climatologists had this to say on the subject of global warming. Or as the Sunday Telegram put it in yesterday's Grants Pass Daily Courier:

Now don't get me wrong, I'm totally in favor of reducing emissions and getting off the use of petroleum. But lying to the public about scientific inquiry is not the way to do it.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Great Thaw, part 2

It's really getting nice out there. Almost all the snow is gone and the puddles have even begun to drain away. Quite a bit of the earth is still frozen but dad and I are thinking that the 2 main fields up here on the hill might actually get dry enough to run a disk over them by Tuesday. That would be so glorious, to smell fresh turned soil again. I just can't hardly wait. If all goes well I might be planting peas by this time next week. I'm getting giddy!

Hope you all are doing well and happy with life's little vicissitudes.

Mark (up) of the beast

Quite literally. I've been chilled and disgusted to find that once again our so-called government has instituted a pogrom of heinous proportions. I don't normally write about these sorts of things, but since this one directly pertains to farming I felt it appropriate.

There is a federal mandate to place RFID tags in all livestock in the United States. The program is called "NAIS" and will be paid for by the individual livestock owners. This includes you even if you just own one chicken or anything else that can be construed as livestock. This even extends to many pets due to the way the law is written.

This is another hidden law passed in the dark of night the only purpose of which is to help the government to control our food supply. Since the tag database is not available to farmers, scientists or anyone else but government officials it can serve no useful purpose. It is only to track the dollar value and location of the entire livestock supply of America.

More details here. We're one step closer to that horrible and inhuman scenario that everyone senses but refuses to think about.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The big thaw

Finally! After about a month of frozen conditions the weather has began to change. I could tell right off this morning when my wisdom teeth started to ache like someone was twisting them with a ratchet. That always means the air pressure is dropping. In most parts of the world an air pressure drop coincides with a temperature drop but around here it means a new front is moving in off the coast and that is usually accompanied with moisture and a more energetic air mass. Consequently in winter it often brings an actual increase in average temps.

The snow has started turning to slush in the driveway and is generally diminishing everywhere else although much of the surrounding soil is still hard frozen. Hopefully these conditions will sustain for enough days for the entire mass to thaw out. Then I can really get back to work.

Despite the agony of my wisdom teeth/sinuses I am overjoyed at this change. I'll see if I can find some herbal remedy to help with the transition and if nothing else is available there's always naproxen sodium.

Hope you all have as fine and more comfortable a day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Some good reading

Charles Krauthammer is an excellent writer and makes some very thoughtful and significant points in this piece about who's to blame for the chaos in Iraq.

The Dangers of insomnia-Mooninite mania

For quite a number of years I have been struck with minor boughts of mid-night insomnia. Consequently I often sit up at 2 or 3 am in the morning and watch the Cartoon Network's AdultSwim block of "edutainment" especially the now notorious Aqua Teen Hunger Force which recently shut down Boston.

I've been checking out many other blogs this morning and laughing my butt off. I just can't help myself, I know I should be sympathetic, concerned and patriotic but I just can't get past what a bunch of asses the Boston authorities are being about this.

We live in a dangerous world wherein a drawing of muhamud can invoke riots and mooninites can bring an entire city grinding to a halt. What artwork must we fear next? Will the Mona Lisa and Michelangelo's David go on a killing spree? Are we all doomed to be memetically infected by the Andy Warhol soup can pandemic?

Let's all take a moment to laugh at ourselves; life is short and we need the exercise.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Canary in the coal mine.

Or maybe a candle in the wind.

It's official, our neighboring county of Josephine will be closing its libraries soon. And the Jackson county libraries may be following them shortly into oblivion.

These are the signs of chaos folks.

We've got a government that has flushed 500 billion dollars down the toilet of Iraq (some of which has gone to pay for weapons used to kill our own soldiers no doubt) and to add insult to injury now we have a congress dedicated to stopping our last chance to win in Iraq. The democrats are selling us out to special interests and the republicans are selling us out to big business. Neither party is interested in representing the well being of the run-of-the-mill American.

We've got enough geothermal energy to provide almost 100% of our electricity needs for 400 years but is anyone in government or business interested in pursuing that? No, just give us the status quo, never mind killing the price of oil and stopping our enemies dead in their financial tracks.

In Boston they're jumping at shadows, a couple of 1 foot square plastic placards shut down the entire city. But do any of them care that the southern boarder is more porous than cheese cloth? Heck no we need all that cheap illegal slave labor. Meanwhile millions of Americans are out of work and millions more are also homeless.

Chaos abounds. Tiamat's eye shutters open and Ctullu heaves a deep sigh of contentment while Kingu, Hubol and a thousand other bloody gods stir the cauldron of discontent. Human flesh is their favorite meat and bones burn to heat the stew.

Ok, I admit I'm being melodramatic. But come on people, does any of the stuff that's happening in this world today make sense?

Another lovely day of frustration

The sun is bright and warm, the air sweet with a gentle winter breeze. The ground is frozen hard like the heart of a vicious frost giant. Lovely crystals of ice decorate the driveway and orchards and I hate it.

The beauty is wonderful but it is just killing my ability to get done the serious jobs I have to do. And I'm sick and tired of spinning my wheels with make-work and trivial chores. It's too frozen to work on the equipment and even pruning is difficult with 2 inches of hoar-frost to contend with.

Sorry to be whiny like that, I sometimes forget how wonderful a life I have and what great luck to live in this land of freedom and choice. It is kinda funny and ironic though that things can be simultaneously so great and also so irritating.

Wishing you all a smoother and more melodious day.