Saturday, March 31, 2007

Go to the source

The power of blogging sometimes fascinates me. 2 brothers in Iraq (of all places) have stirred up their own little hornet's nest amongst America's mainstream media. Michelle Malkin has details here.

Planting and carpentry

Got the first row of lettuce planted and watered in just about the time my bro called needing a hand putting some siding and a window in his house. So dad and I finished up and drove over there. Spent the next 5 hours doing carpentry. The weather was lovely with many puffy clouds blowing around in fanciful layers. The work was easy, just pulling off siding and holding boards. Lots of standing around and staring at the hills. A pleasant time to spend doing something useful while in the company of family.

Not much else to report.

Have a great day.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Planting day

Will shortly be putting in onion seeds, broccoli plants, lettuce and an assortment of other early crops. Should be an interesting early start to the season.

I'm still struggling a little with the "dizziness flu" or whatever it is. Really weird, sort of like having a beer in terms of lightheadedness, vertigo etc. Might even be pleasant if it weren't imposed and damned inconvenient. But as long as I'm up and moving around it doesn't cause too much trouble.

Well, back to the dirt. Hope your day is fun and learningful.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gettin' on

Been busy doing a lot of welding. Also came down with a head/stomach flu Tuesday afternoon which has made me less than sociable. The weirdest symptom has been a persistent dizziness, perhaps an inner ear infection or something.

Ok, enough grossness. The spring weather is keeping me busy too, trying to get plants and fields prepared for the oncoming avalanche of growth. It is at times like this that I regret not having any additional help. Automation can do much of the farming procedure but some things require direct human intervention.

Hope your day is fine and healthy.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Rainy day welding

I love the smell of ozone.

Dad and I spent the morning in bro's welding shop working on a 3-tier spring tooth crust buster. We put together 6 pieces of 3 inch thick wall tubing to make 3 pieces of tubing 10 feet long. Dad did the cutting I did the welding. That will be the part of the machine's frame which holds the spring tooth fittings and two four foot pieces of 2 inch by 6 inch square tubing will form the sides, probably by tomorrow afternoon. Should be done with the whole thing by Thursday and then we'll start on some fertilizer spreading attachments for the tractor and corn seeder.

A little note of support for our blog-friend Rae Ann, who's father-in-law is very ill and possibly hovering on the edge of that inevitable journey. From each of us a prayer to help her and her family through this difficult time.

The rain really started pouring about 10am and hasn't let up yet. These rapid air pressure changes always make me a little queasy and achy. Supposed to thunder and lightning a little this afternoon, that should be fun.

Joy and happy spring rains to you.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Plowing, fencing

And other stuff too. Working on some of my chemistry and materials experiments on the side. But mostly just the plowing and fencing. Only one more length of wire and 4 gates to build and the big deer fence will finally be finished.

Supposed to rain tomorrow. Might be nice to have a lazy Sunday, but even then I'll be busy with projects, clean-up and etc.

The last field plowed up real nice. We hung a pallet and some chain-link fence under a pipe sticking out the side of the plow and it did a world of good smoothing off the soil. About half that field, 96' by 300' or so, is ready to be planted now. Will probably push in lettuce, cabbage, bean and pea seeds for starters and/or stab in a bunch of 288 plugs of lettuce, broccoli, and assorted stuff dad sprouted in the little greenhouse. Also hope to try for early cukes, squash and melons as an alternative to taking a weekend at Reno. May even gamble an early row of tomatoes.

Wishing you a smooth weekend.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Broken Implement of the week #1

The first installment in a column I've entitled "Broken Implement of the Week" each week will feature a new broken implement, as we bust 'em!

This is the wide-spacing 2 row corn cultivator we used to operate in the golden jubilee fields we first raised 19 years ago. Dad and I busted it when trying to clean up some plastic mulch rows on Tuesday March 20th, 2007. First we busted one wing, then we broke t'other. Cause of bustin': poor welding and too many rocks.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Strangely appropriate

Only because it assuages my ego:

Guy is The Sun

Happiness, Content, Joy.

The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.

Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.

The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Operating a 21st century nanotechnology factory

In the first image we see the preparation of a new field of Direct Interface Resource-Technology, or D.i.r.t as the layman is want to call it.

This matrix-field will be laid-off and rolled over in preparation for seeding with the nanofactory main assembly, also known as Photon Loading Assembler Nano-Transcription System, or Plants.

The second image is of a photon gathering field wherein globes of water, sugar, cellulose, minerals and a smattering of proteins will be assembled for consumption by our appreciating crowd of customers.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Another mind blower

Go here and download the central graphic then if you have paintshop pro or any other image viewing software with multiple fields of zoom, roam around the image's depths in order to explore some fascinating relationships in science.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Some more great new med. tech.

Over at AZoNano is "MIT Chemical Engineers Step Closer to Theranostics" which contains the description of a brilliant new medical testing technology. Flow lithography is showing its potential.

Difficult to describe

Coming back to the barn from a little stroll into the vineyard I was struck by moon and star. The crescent was a perfect thin cup for what I think is Venus, pouring forth springtime energy into the celestial lunar goblet. A dark row of clouds dominated the dimming horizon beneath them. Framing two tall bull pines which stand alone in my neighbors pasture, the celestial pair created a sort of mystical allusion, but an allusion to what?

Today was a burn day so I torched off the big pile of branches and yard debris which dad and I have been gathering for the last few weeks. As the fire raged through tinder dry materials a bed of hot coals rapidly accumulated, aided by a forced air device which dad made from a motor and an old blower fan. Some broken bottles, crushed tin cans, bits of wire (galvanized, aluminum, copper and steel) and various other non-flammable materials had worked their way into the coalescing pile of fuel. As the forced air rapidly dried and combusted the lightest parts of the mass, these sundry bits of red-hot flotsam tumbled into the bed of coals and gradually congealed along with small amounts of melted soil and ash which fell into the mix. The flames took on a most dramatic and lovely color while this happened. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera which probably wouldn't have worked anyways. Should be a fascinating looking mass when it cools off sometimes tomorrow. Hope it rains so as to wash it off. If it looks cool enough I'll post a pic up here.

We also got some fence tightening finished, and now my description is completely out of linear order, but you'll just have to forgive my impertinence.

Like I said, today was difficult to describe.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mind boggling stuff

The American Chemical Society's Nano-letters has some mind blowing new science and tech this month. Spring is always a great time for bright new nanotech discoveries, or so I have noticed.

The buffoon jihad

This article at MEMRI reminds me of chimpanzees wearing a hat in imitation of a human. The chimp doesn't know what a hat is or is for but since a human wears one, so will he. That's sort of like these "media mujahideen" trying to imitate modern methods of marketing and propaganda. They have no concept of how inured westerners have become to such methods, especially the specific methods they quote using. Sounds like a how-to book for Amway products written in like 1972.

Fencing in the Rain

This is one of those interesting days wherein work transforms a number of disparate factors into a delightful sequence of perceptions.

Normally one would avoid being out in the rain on a day like this but since we had fencing that needed to get done dad and I went out and heaved barbed wire around for a bit. The showers would come in muted waves of dimming light and white noise hissing across the half-rotted leaves of late winter.

Rain dripping off my blue baseball cap was a random highlight of deception. My cloths would just barely get damp and the shower would pass. We would struggle on with the next strand of twisting, jagged, shirt-sleeve tearing, scratch leaving wire. Crows cawing and occasionally silently winging over.

The next shower would sneak in as we were distracted by tying off one of the long strands. Finally the last strand was tightened. After cleaning up a few broken plum branches on one of the fence trees we beat a hasty retreat from a serious downpour.
Mhmmmm,,, fried meatloaf for dinner. Always made tastier by a long stretch beneath the open sky.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Man! What a lazy Sunday. Haven't done a thing but read and watch some tv. I'm proud of dad, he hasn't stressed at all today, he's just watching basketball. I suppose later on we'll go out and burn some brush and tree prunings since it is a burn day but that'll probably be all we do.

It is a lovely day out there, sunny and bright with just a few clouds blowing around to decorate the sky. Hard to believe it isn't even spring yet. It is a little smoky from all the debris being burned but that's ok. It'll pass when the rains come in tomorrow.

Wishing you an enjoyable and safe lazy day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Tyranny runs amok in Egypt

A bunch of bloggers and champions of freedom (35) have been arrested for protesting changes to their constitution. Sandmonkey has all the poop here.

Fence Saturday

Got a late start today as I woke up feeling not so well. A low level flu I guess from the usual symptoms: nausea, sinus headache, aching joints and sore muscles. Could just be spring and work putting me out of sorts. Also I didn't get to sleep until about 1am for some odd reason. So I just did small, easy jobs in the morning; spraying, pruning, clean-up stuff like that. Finally got my feet under me after lunch and dad and I got many hundreds of feet of barbed wire pulled around the north-western corner of the lower field.

Saw a hawk circling to the southeast this morning and of course the squirrels and turkeys were out in force. The day itself was extremely lovely, warm and cool breezes wafting the intoxicating aroma of plum trees in full bloom across the fields. I'm really feeling a strong imperative to get some beans, squash and melons planted even though it is much too early. Might gamble it anyways what with global warming and all ;-)

Hope you all sleep well and awake refreshed and loving life.

Fog and dew

Low gray blanket covers sky.
Ground is wet, air must cry.
Diamond rainbows wait for sun and eye.

I want to give a special shout-out to my friend Lorna, who has had a rough time this week due to losing a long time friend, amongst other things I'm sure (it never rains but it pours) Keep up the good fight, Lorna.

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Democrat that cried wolf.

As anyone who reads here regularly knows, I am in much disagreement with our President, George W. Bush on many issues. His porous border policy, bad decisions in warfare and generally abrasive political style makes for easy criticism.

But what is going on right now with Harry Reid, Charles Schumer and many other democrats is just embarrassing. I understand how desperately important they feel it is that they win the Whitehouse in 2008. When they resort to smoke screen tactics and blizzards of propaganda it insults the intelligence of the electorate.

Here's just one example of how their current round of misguided alarmism can backfire on them. A huge surge of "controversy" is now centering on the firings of certain U.S. attorneys. Yet this behavior is not new or unique, the last 5 presidents have all done much the same. Pres. Clinton fired All of the attorneys in 1993 in order to avoid investigation into his involvement with the whitewater controversy.

And therein lies the crush; for every example of controversy and corruption the democrats decry they expose their own "Acquille's heel". In the case of controversy it's the firings by attorney general Gonzales. In the case of corruption it's William Jefferson (dem. Louisiana) who took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Jefferson still hasn't been ostracized by his fellow democrats, a tacit approval of his action at best, collusion at worst.

If democrats want to prove to their fellow Americans that they are better than republicans they'd be best served by Being better than republicans.

Boo-hoo, another sunny day

Yesterday I had no time for posting because of tractor work and some truck tune-up I had to do. The sun is a fierce task master and I hate getting all greasy and scraped up working on that big ol' truck.

At least I had a really excellent night's sleep. No torturous nightmares or puzzling dreams (that I recollect) to disturb me.

Today will be much of the same, discing ground at farm #2, some plastic clean-up and herbicide application there too.

Wishing you all a productive and rewarding day.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Political Gumbo

Man! the Drudge report has a swimming stewpot full of whacky stuff today. There's coverage of the prosecutor-firing controversy and on the flip-side, an article from 1993 wherein Janet Reno fired ALL of the prosecutors in the same positions. Fascinating how Charles Schumer didn't have any objections at that time, eh? Then there's an interesting conflict brewing between Russia and Iran over payments for nuclear facilities and to complement that is a totally hilarious objection by an Iranian official over the movie "300" which he claims insults the Persian empire (which has been dead and gone for thousands of years). Hmmm, imagine that, an Iranian feeling insulted. I guess dramatic representations of real historical events are just too much for their sensitive constitutions. To top it all off is an assortment of global warming hysteria. My favorite: Actress Jennifer Garner crying over it. Oh, weep, weep those crocodile tears while you ride in your limousine to your 3 million dollar mansion built on top of once sensitive desert ecology.

The media's representation of our human world is one big freakin' joke. I'm so grateful to my friends, family and other community members like the ladies at the library and bank who remind me that there is a real human world full of subtle, wonderful people.

A delightful evening to you all.

No rain- busy, busy

Setting up tables in and moving transplants to the big greenhouse today. Then fencing, fencing, fencing. Mostly putting up the top 2 barbwire segments on the long stretches today. Spring less than 10 days away, oh my!

Have a great day.

Monday, March 12, 2007


First is this awesome hawk that flew over. Darn camera almost didn't get the shot. Then is these two spectacular tom turkeys and the unusual white turkey which showed up this year.

Foggy morning

The fog lies low and heavy across the fields turning the big oak tree in front of the house into a gnarled and skeletal visage.

The palpable greyness fits my mood perfectly. Uniform and almost blank except for a faint and subtle movement. Especially after last nights euphoria of visiting with all our local family up north near the little town of Glendale.

The aunts and uncles from Mississippi had their first chance to meet my nieces and grand-nieces and the evening was a delight for all. Mom and Sis and my niece Charley all out did themselves in the cooking department. My niece's chicken enchiladas I found particularly scrumptious.

Today is supposed to clear off and get sunny which will be nice for our visitors as they head back to Eugene after lunch to re-board the train.

Wishing you a day of refreshing adventures and joyful surprises.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Turkey morning

Lovely sunlight and thin puffy clouds out there this morning.

Just got through feeding the turkeys some corn we saved from last year's sweet corn crop. It's dry and hanging in the shop. The crunchy feeling of shelling it off the cob is sort of trippy, it hangs with my for a while- a ghost of sensation in my hands. Body memory.

The turkeys are gorgeous with iridescence in this morning's sun. Bronze and green and orange ripple and cascade across their backs especially the brave one that likes to get the kernels that sporadically drops at my feet. The others chase the corn I throw in the field and fight amongst themselves but this wise one has a found an easy meal.

A fine Sunday to you and yours.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Family night

After a day of contemplation and chores we just got finished with a delightful evening of visiting with my uncles Arnold and Bill and their wives Orma and Betty. Talking about their train trip from Mississippi, agricultural practices on their farms (catfish) and those of my cousins (grains, chickens, cattle, etc.). Discussions ranging from biofuels, politics, to the Katrina disaster in the gulf states. Really all sorts of stuff, too much to recollect it all here.

Today's wildlife: 2 squirrels, 2 tom turkeys and some crows plus the usual flock of finches, juncos, sparrows, chickadees, blue jays, and tit-mouses.

Wishing you each and all a wonderful evening.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another busy day

Just scrambling with clean-up details still. Some rain, some sun today but I was too busy to look for rainbows.

The buds are starting to swell on the fruit trees so I'll have to gear up for spraying again soon.

Got a bunch of interesting books on alchemy from the library while I still can, oh and one by John Stossel; he's funny and makes you think.

So many interesting things happening in the world right now. Reprap has been making some great progress in the last few weeks. I'm not gonna dive into the politics except to say it still blows my mind that illegals are driving armored vehicles full of dope across the southern border and no one in our government seems to care.

Hope everyone's day is going peachy-keen.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Busy, busy

Ungh, numerous aches and pains. Spent the day doing a lot of stooping and hauling so many sore muscles in unusual places.

Lots of stupid stuff happening in the political world and the media but I'm too tired and sore to care. They can all go hang.

Hope your day or night is full of comfort and happiness.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A day of flame and smoke

Torched off lots of debris today. Also finally managed to get the fence line spraying done, should help keep down the weeds for a while.

Rain is supposed to come in tonight, nice change of pace. Although I have really enjoyed the sun and sky. With the big greenhouse up and cleaned out rain will be no impediment to work.

Have a fine and restful night or a fine and active day, which ever is appropriate.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Sunday even'

Got the greenhouse up and running, sorry no time to get pics.

Was a lovely day. Some sun, some clouds. It was a burn day so I had lots of fun setting the torch to things and just generally cleaning up. The first couple of trays of lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and etc. are doing well. We'll buy some earlier stuff from Greenleaf Industries next week to get the jump on the season and then switch to our own plants when they reach size.

Well, I'm sleepy so I will wish you all a fine and feathery night and get on with my evening.

For the ladies

Found this at Sandmonkey, typical stupid web-meme vanity virus thing. But funny....

Guy's Name Is Too Too Sexy! :)

Your name scored 209 in the "How Sexy Is Your Name Test"

Sunday working

Trying to get the big greenhouse back up again but now the inlet hole has filled with water for some reason. So I either have to move the inflation fan to one of the other (outlet) ports or I have to come up with some way to drain the inlet. Started digging some trenches that will help keep any future rains out of the inlet but still have to come up with something more affective than bailing out the inlet which will only work temporarily. Thinking seriously of just buying a big extension cord and moving the fan; might be easier.

An easier and more rewarding Sunday to you.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Just some big patches of fog and cloud left up there. Lots of sun already flooding across the farm, so this'll be a short post. If I get a chance I'll put up a pic of the cool looking snow patches up on Mt. Fielder.

Hope your day is as light-full as mine.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Health Care

Rae Ann had some interesting things to say about universal health care in America in this post. Which has really had me thinking about a lot of the problems people face.

I got to talking with my dad specifically about the health care issue and right in the middle of our conversation an Aricept commercial came on tv. Yeah, it's great for alzheimers if you don't mind risking internal bleeding. My dad summed the whole conversation up like this:

"The medical and pharmacy system in America is like taking your car to the mechanic because you've noticed a knocking in the engine. The mechanic says 'yeah, we can fix that' and then he sells you a pair of ear plugs."

Thursday, March 01, 2007

0% Unemployment?

An article at TCS Daily points out something I've been asking for years. Why is it necessary to have such high unemployment rates in America? Alan Greenspan kept commenting on the link between labor and inflation, especially through the 90s and I always thought "this dude is so out of touch, automation and computers readily absorb far more cost than is imposed by higher earning rates."

The article goes on to point out that this is even more true today with the outsourcing of labor to other countries that goes on. Inflation is no longer intimately tied to labor costs. Therefore, every American should be able to get a higher paying job; even those kids flipping burgers should get paid more.