Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year

Wow! 2008 is almost gone. What a heavy year it was.

Up on the freeway the trucks and cars are rumbling in a constant staccato of action. A vibrato of commerce. A tremolo of transportation. So at least at the moment the superficial appearance is one of vigor and normalcy.

Dad is sleeping off a nice lunch of Burger King. Mom has run to Rogue River to get the mail and run a few other minor errands.

Up on Fielder Mountain, fog banks, cloud shadows and sunlight are playing tag amidst the rocks, shrubs, trees and ridge lines. Craggy cliffs emerge and vanish in the play of light and mist.

In our fields the birds and mice scurry diligently to fill their bellies with the remnants of our farming. We bring so much life into the world with our labors. Rodents, small birds, assorted small to medium birds of prey, turkeys, crows, geese, cats, opossum, fox, raccoon, insects, and lizards. Every year their numbers increase and they spread out, filling the empty places in the land.

The New Year is a time of reflection, opportunity, and peril. Best to be alert in all three cases.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Monday, December 29, 2008

A good place for breakfast in Grant's Pass

My good friend Del invited me out for breakfast this morning. We had a fine meal and our (un)usual eclectic conversation. It was a mighty fine breakfast.

If you or anyone you know is traveling along the I-5 corridor up or down the west coast, do yourselves a favor and stop in at the Powderhorn Cafe for breakfast or lunch. They've got good chicken-fried steak, biscuits and gravy, hamburgers etc. and their pies are absolutely delightful. You probably won't find more polite and cheerful people in a month. Here's where they are:


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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Belated Christmas evening entry

What a wonderful Christmas afternoon and evening we had, almost the whole family showed up. We even got to visit with my niece's recent addition of twins. What delightful, bright eyed little joy bundles! We were so surprised when Kaycee (my oldest grand-niece) came gliding around the corner of the kitchen with a huge grin on her face.

A half-hour later we got another magnificent gift as my youngest niece Cassandra came into the house. It was the first time we had seen her walking since her car accident 2 years ago. She's still healing so she spent most of the evening in her wheel chair, but as my brother-in-law Roger said "that just makes me feel good to see you come into the room like that" What courage and strength that young woman has!

The only ones missing were Amber and Travis and their girls, a darned cold had ahold of them so they stayed home. They were missed for sure, but we all understood their priorities.

The evening flew by and everyone needed to get on the road before it got too icy so it was over way too soon. Our memories were so bright that though it was a let-down that evening and yesterday we are still aglow with delight.

Happy New Year, everybody.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Xmas afternoon

What a fun morning we had! Got up around 7, slowly waking. Got out our stockings full of small goodies which Santa left overnight. Then we started opening presents. Too many items to list, but mom got shorted a bunch of gifts. I only had time to find her 2 and dad has been too ill to go out and about.

Well, that is, mom got shorted until my brother brought over the new rocking recliner he and I had picked up a couple days ago from West Coast Appliances at dad's behest. At first mom thought Bro and I were bringing it in for dad, until I told her it was all his idea. Her astonishment and delight were absolutely wonderful.

Mom got me the cheap mp3 player I wanted. Wasn't about to take something expensive into the cornfields with me, but this unit from Coby works ok and I don't have to care if it breaks, other than losing something mom gave me. I also got a Benjamin break-barrel 177 pellet gun with scope from dad for shooting the giant, long-legged rats in our garden ;-) Dad wrote "Don't shoot your eye out!" on the box.

Dad got some warm slippers and sweats from mom and a nice collection of assorted small tools from me. He also got a bunch of other things like a couple books and some other clothing.

We all got the glorious gift of being together for another fun Christmas morning.

Oh yeah, and Sparky got a new assortment of chewable squeak toys.

God bless this good green earth and Merry Christmas to all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Xmas Shopping

Went Christmas gift shopping with my brother this morning. Haven't done much with him in 3-4 years and I must say it was a sublime joy to talk and laugh with my big bro.

Lots of people on the road were crowdy and pushy and grumpy but despite the crowds in the stores, everyone seemed of particularly good cheer. I gave and got many cheerful "Merry Christmas"'s. Some of my fellow shoppers in the aisles even spoke briefly, all with good humor or at least a sweet level of politeness.

May all this good cheer, spirit of cooperation and human kindness spread and grow.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thankfullness

Today was a pretty tough day mentally. Dad is home and convalescing as well as possible and mom is recovering a bit too. But I was pretty down today. Just the vagaries of life I suppose.

But when I went into Rogue River to run some errands I was so delighted by the people there. The post office and stores were pretty crowded but the checkers were so friendly and helpful and the crowds were upbeat. I feel so lucky to have such a positive community to live in.

Then when I got home it was already getting colder and darker and my mood went down again. Fortunately dinner was ready not long after and I was once more grateful to be able to sit down to a warm plate of food with my family.

I hope that all of you find something in your world to be thankful for too.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Al Gore, where are you?

It's gotten up to a blazing 25 degrees Fahrenheit here already. I don't think my pineapple plants are gonna make it.

The whole world and especially the US is showing below average temperatures, but the climate change alarmists won't stop their rhetoric and propaganda for a little thing like evidence. Especially not evidence of the senses. No, no, it's all about model confirmation, and failing to mention that a model can be made to demonstrate anything whatsoever. That's all the energy I have for a rant today.

Dad is going back into the hospital for some more work today, putting a stent in his gall duct now. I can't say more until dad gives me clearance but we are all a bit worried.

There's some beautiful snow on Fielder Mountain this morning but I'm not going out to take a pic, it is just too cold.

Health and happiness to you all, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Chicy hair ums

Been busy with some fun and good web design for a delightful small business out of Grants Pass. If you've got a pet that needs some special style, check out Chicy Hair Ums for fine Couture Pet Accessories.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sense of humor

I'm so glad I have one. Some people out there won't find this funny:
Gay activists offended by UW newspaper image

But I got a chuckle out of it. I think it would've been a better picture if they'd used a pineapple....

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The tide of life

I thought I'd finally have some time on my hands at the end of the season here, but as often happens event and circumstance are conspiring to keep me shrink-wrapped into a state of absorption.

Dad is going in for gall-bladder surgery tomorrow. That came on sudden like but thank god for sonograms or they wouldn't have been sure what the problem was. I won't go into anymore details, medical stuff makes me queasy.

Saturday will be our last day at the stand, still a few ripe tomatoes and winter squash to get rid of. But that won't be the end of it because conditions have been so dry we're thinking of prepping some ground for winter/early spring crops.

Also, we finally got a good steel roof put on my barn which means I can begin the grueling process of repairing/remodeling that mess. Now that water won't be running in like a stream.

Gotta go, hope everyone finds a little happiness today.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful thankgiving

Just getting over a nasty head cold or allergy or something. Still sneezing though. Whatever it is, it's making me fall behind in my work.

I've got a lot to be thankful for, not gonna make a list though.

Gotta go, y'all be as much as you can be.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yes, we can. On our own.

A very good article here, by Paul Ibrahim, about the independence of the American Dream upon government and politicians.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Rainy slow day

With fall firmly holding court we have cut down our open days to Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. So I spent most of the day at the stand waiting for a half dozen people to wonder in. It poured and it rained and it blew and cold was omnipresent. But I got a lot of web page work done so that made the day productive.

We're still harvesting some nice tomatoes from the greenhouse and the yams dad dug a couple weeks back have been selling good. And of course winter squash are a mainstay especially in this weather. Nothing makes the belly happy like some warm baking squash on a cold, rainy day.

I've been reading a book called "The universal history of the destruction of books" which I got from the Jackson county library. Sounds kinda dull but it is actually really interesting. Never realized how many libraries have burned over the centuries. Weird that so many books from so many authors have vanished forever. Gives me a seething curiosity, wondering what was lost.

Hope y'all stay dry and warm and happy.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Social superposition

Right now American society is entering a period of absolute uncertainty as the populace rolls the cultural dice to decide who will be our next president. For the next 48 hours we will remain in a state of being with 2 potentials unrealized. Will America enter the McCain or Obama era? Just like an electron being given 2 paths to travel but both remain potential until measured. So too is America in a superposition. No amount of polls or calculations, speculation or manipulation is going to change this. The fact is that the electorate will make up its own mind and only counting the votes will determine the outcome. Well, I suppose Acorn's attempt at manipulation might have some affect but then again it might back-fire too. Constructive or destructive reinforcement can be like that.

Hmmmm... Blogger's spell checker flags Obama's name as a misspelling but not McCain's. An infomatic omen? Or just more gigo? Time will tell.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

disenfranchized no more

Finally got my ballot in the mail yesterday after having been dis'd from the last 2 voting cycles. Just gotta review the initiatives and candidates and then I'll vote. One thing's for sure: every Oregonian should join me in writing in Patrick Deardon for State Treasurer. He knows how to use Excel and we can all be sure he hasn't been bought by a special-interest-group.

As for the big 2 candidates, you could split a penny on the difference between them. I'd vote for Bob Barr if I thought he had a chance in heck of winning. But that'd just give one less vote to the opponent of the candidate I dislike most.

It's 34 degrees and fogggggy at the farm this morning. Apple picking is the job for today; precarious monkey action on a 12 foot aluminum ladder.

Everyone be well or happy or, preferably, both.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

This is freakin hilarious

Look, I love cats. But this page is freakin' hilarious: BlenderDefender.

redirect warnings

Been seeing a lot of malicious redirects exploiting the recently described security hole in internet servers. I click on a link to Lifehacker, Make or some other webzine or service and will get an odd looking page, poorly formatted, which is clearly not the page I'm looking for. It's a good idea for everyone to be alert for this right now.

Signs of the times

Been working on (painting) new signs for the produce stand. Apples, new hours and next I'll refurb the big baking squash sign. Mom's been working with the dryer and dad made corn bundles. Other than that it's been a pretty easy Sunday. Some bright sunshine, a few passing clouds.

Fall has begun transforming the landscape colors, so pretty.

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are holding their own against mildew and dampness. A couple more days and they should be safe as dryness spreads. Especially if I can give dad the spare time to fix-up the fan he bought in White City.

Few more Sunday evening tasks to do, y'all be happy.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Now! is when you have a gas boycott

According to Reuter's gasoline has just taken its biggest drop ever. So I am reminded of a previous post scorning the ever present chain-email letter encouraging a gas boycott ( link here ) and I would like to point out that logistically speaking, NOW would be a really good time for all of us to start working together to dramatically reduce our usage. Not for global warming reasons, simply to put serious downward pressure on the pricing structure.

So everyone use your cell phones more, arrange mutual trips with neighbors in to town and buy large amounts of storable food to reduce additional trips. Carpool, for god's sake it's the 21st century you can find someone on the net to carpool with you.

Anyways, gotta go sleep now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

cantaloupe gone

Ol' Jack Frost ate his fill of my melons last night. Pretty much everything else too except the tomatoes we covered. 600+ glorious tomato plants under clear plastic, gorgeous. Gotta set my alarm for 3am to check and see if we need to turn on the burners in the greenhouse; another cold night.

Dad and I were scramble busy this afternoon pinning the rest of the plastic down for the greenhouse. What we had up was good enough for one night but we had to put a bunch more slats and staples on if it was to survive wind and rain. Plus we were up at 3:30am to put water on the corn (a frost preventer of limited success) and that just eats a lot of one's sleep.

So it's been a long, busy, tiring day with another likely tomorrow. I'm gonna shuffle off to clean up and go to bed.

Y'all be well.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Greenhouse up

Thank goodness. Heater is in place too. 500,000 b.t.u.s of thermal power. Only have to keep the frost off. I also took the time to hook up the sprinklers over on Pete's ground so we can wet down the corn if frost thinks of taking hold there. Hopefully temps will stay high enough otherwise we get up at like 3 or 4 am, sneak over there and turn the water on.

Gotta go. Sleepy-sleep time.

Y'all be happy.

Greenhouse tomatoes

Today dad and I will finish covering the late tomatoes with a plastic greenhouse. 660 plants in three 300 foot rows.

Yesterday our good friend Gary stopped by in the afternoon and the three of us finished building the rafters. Then, while I was picking corn, dad and Gary covered the first third. So that only leaves the last 200 feet to cover.

Now our tomatoes will be protected from the frost and we can keep selling them, maybe all the way until thanksgiving.

Wishing y'all a hopeful and prosperous day.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Rain Uncertainty

The rain is mostly past now. 2 days of it and you'd think that would've given me time to write at least 1 or 2 more blog entries but no, still busy.

The first morning of rain was sort of intense, loaded with smoke and ash from recent forest fires it made a mess of everything. Yesterday's heavier showers washed most of that away and this morning the air was clear and sweet smelling. Those fresh Oregon mornings always take me back to my childhood at Yew Creek road which the county misspelled "Ewe Creek", bunch a numbskulls. It was called Yew Creek because of the Yew trees growing in the creek basin. Here's hoping that the rains have diminished the fires along with restoring the air and my memories.

The uncertainty is exactly how much damage was caused by the rain. The early tomatoes especially the large ones will be heavily damaged and the grapes will too. Cantaloupe were extremely dry before this so they might not have split too bad and we may see some good harvest tomorrow morning. If I can keep them picked off a little on the pre-ripe side we can probably avoid rot too.

Tomorrow will be morning harvesting of cants, squash, and cukes. Then pumpkins and squash in the afternoon. My good buddy Alice will stop by for a visit and some fresh veggies a little after lunch, or so she is planning. It's always a blast to see my classmates.

Getting tired, gotta go snooze it. Y'all be well and smart.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

They call it a bailout

To paraphrase Boromir, "This is no bailout, this is a tomb!"

A recent study has shown that the vast majority of failed mortgages are in the hands of speculators and risk taking real estate dealers.

The media and congress keep insisting this isn't a bailout, it is an investment opportunity. But if the assets remain worthless even this "new and improved" bailout bill will end up having little or no effect with the exception of weakening the dollar and causing the turmoil on Wall Street to stretch on and on. According to Bloomberg we lost over a trillion dollars in a single day ("Hey Joe, where'd we leave that box with a trillion dollars in it?") Is anyone stupid enough to believe 700 billion will last even one day in such a climate?

Seeing the Senate try to foist this off on the American people again is like finding a five year old playing with cat feces: revolting.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weird day

Really slow this morning then pounding busy this afternoon. Business died around 5:20 so I got out right at 6.

Had some really great customers come in today, everyone was in a good mood and the product was looking great so the business ran smooth. So seldom, very enjoyable.

Cantaloupes, ogen melons, ananas and Juan Canary melons are all coming in great. Sooo sweet. Everyone who has tried one comes back and gets 2. Corn in the second-to-last field is peaking for ripeness, quality, sweetness etc. our little experiment to control the ear worm without pesticides seems to be working and that's not even in the target field. Can't wait to see how the last field fairs.

Dad has the plastic ordered to put on the late planting of 650 tomatoes which are just starting to pink up. Should run us well into November.

I'm praying that the upcoming threat of showers will pass to the north and miss us. Otherwise the first tomato field, the cantaloupes and the grapes will all likely be ruined. Oh yeah, grapes have been selling real good too. Maybe if it rains I can get a bailout ??

Hope y'all are doing well and happy.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Correctness

Or the upright path as they might say in the I-Ching.

Today my country, through the god given wisdom of our founding fathers, chose to do the correct thing. I am so proud, like a father at his kids first baseball game when they catch a fly.

The House did their job, they saw the upright path and they followed it. Now my country can face the consequences of its decisions and be responsible for its behavior.

And it's about time. No more putting it off, no more hand wringing. Roll up the sleeves and get back to work.

Plus, now we're 700 billion dollars richer. And we aren't in debt to some foreign entities for 700 billion dollars. Best of all, tyranny got kicked square in the nutsack.

I'm gonna be chuckling all the way to bed.

Health and happiness to you all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Wrongness

Economics and politics make a crappy stew.

I simply can't believe the amount of "wrongness" in this current so-called economic catastrophe. It was wrong for housing prices to go so high, it was wrong for banks to loan such outrageous amounts to people with little or no ability to repay, it was wrong for the construction industry to oversupply the market, it was wrong for those people with loans to default on the loans and it was wrong for Chuck Schumer and the media to start a run on the banks by conflating the circumstances beyond their true scope.

But the wrongest thing of all is for the US government to take the taxpayer's hard earned money and give it to those same bankers and wall street lobbyists. And don't kid yourself, that is exactly what will happen to much if not all of this near trillion dollar "bail-out".

None of the rest of us get bailed out. I could never hope to get a $20,000 check from the government to cover my losses from our June 28th hailstorm. And that wasn't even caused by bad business decision making. I have no culpability in that hailstorm. Wall street and the banks are and should remain culpable, especially those CEOs and investment strategists whose decisions led to this. Congress shouldn't be bailing them out, it should be arresting them for fraud.

Ultimately the right and honest thing would be to let the chips fall where they may. But instead the craven and the greedy will lead us down another path towards oligarchy. Tyranny truly is a universal human constant.

Update: here's an article at Bloomberg about what is going to happen to the dollar when the Fed creates a trillion in international debt. Of course it is too much to hope that our legislature would understand the law of conservation of energy. Also the old Newton saw: for every action there is a disastrous unintended consequence.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday serendipity

Dad and I spent most of today doing some odd jobs on our selling location. Glued down some rugs that were peeling up, tied wire across the front shade tarp to keep it from huffing and puffing and put up those colored flags that car lots seem to love. That last dad and I didn't want to do, but we get so many complaints from new customers about not knowing where to go that we felt it was necessary.

Not really sure if I want customers who can't find their way to the front of the building. They might get confused and be unable to find their way out.

So of course a bunch of people had to stop by and bug us while we worked. I'll tell you it didn't raise my estimation of the intelligence of my fellow American, or human for that matter. No open signs, never been open on Sunday in all our twenty years and people still just strolled in like they owned the place. Then we had to go into long winded explanations to get them to leave, or else just forget the whole thing and sell them something. Made enough that way for a trip out to dinner I suppose. But it was still a pain in the butt. Especially the people who stopped by looking for corn, they always have to say "we've got our own tomatoes in the garden." Too bad they didn't plant corn too 'cause they didn't get any from us today.

The very first lady set the tone. I told her we weren't open, didn't have any change. She said she just wanted some peaches and tomatoes. I said ok, so long as she had exact change or at least didn't ask me to break a twenty. She says "I'd never do that." Her bill was $8.25; she hands me a twenty. Arrrg! as Charley Brown would say. I figure I've got two fives in my pocket and tell her so and she gets a couple more peaches, stiffs me for the 10 cents over. Won't even look in her car for the change. Then she and her fat daughter eat peaches and smoke outside our stand while we try getting work done. When they leave there is a peach pit and a cigarette butt in our driveway. Yet another reason we're never open on Sundays: that crowd is a bunch of arrogant so-and-sos.

Anyways we just got through having steak, salad and corn on the cob for dinner. Delicious! Followed by mom's low-fat, no-sugar ice cream with peach topping and chocolate sauce. Yum!!!!!

Gonna do just a couple more chores and then kick back for the evening. Wishing you all happiness and a full belly.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sell, sell, sell

We had a good day at the stand today. Not our best ever but probably in the top ten. The melons and corn were doing good traffic but it's the tomatoes that are really rockin'. Seems lots of people haven't had a good 'mater in a while. It was windy and our stupid canning tomato sign fell over or we would've sold more cases of canning tomatoes too.

Just got through eating some delicious Abby's pizza paid for by our good friends Charley and June Smith as an appreciation for me taking care of their cats.

Today is dad's birthday. 71! Still tough and cantankerous as ever. My sister and mom conspired to get him an ice cream birthday cake from Dairy Queen (where sis works) and neither dad nor I suspected a thing. So when the pizza settles we'll have a delightful treat to enjoy for dessert.

I started picking this morning around 6:45 and have been running ever since so I'm pretty tired now, gonna go rest a bit.

Y'all be happy and well.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hailstorm subsequence

Bad news.

The main field of tomatoes finally began ripening and we are facing a huge press of sunburned and yellow-shouldered tomatoes.

Everything was going fine, all looked well while the fruit was green. However, it turns out that the hailstorm pounded down and opened up our plants too much so we are seeing a huge incidence of basically ruined fruit. It isn't that it's inedible, just unmarketable. I'm afraid our dealings with Ray's Food Place are now going to be a mute issue. Nothing sadder than 15,000 pounds of useless fruit.

We'll still have enough for our stand, just barely but picking will suck. Gonna have to spend a lot of time searching and hunting for usable fruit.

Well, this too shall pass. Hope y'all are being happy and well.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tomato scramble

They've started the chip-seal operation on our highway and contrary to my earlier post, I couldn't be happier. That's how busy it has been at the stand.

Tomatoes are selling like crazy. Seems a lot of people don't trust grocery store tomatoes after the salmonella scare. I've heard many customers say, "I haven't eaten a tomato in three months" or something equivalent.

So I'm really glad we've got extra or we'd be running out.

Melons are also a high point, I brought in a big pile of Crenshaw this morning and they taste so good you can almost hear the angles sing. Sampled a few bites out and every person who tried has bought one. Gotta Love It!

Y'all have a super day.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Singular

What fascinates me about great scientists like Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein? Asides from all the wonderful work they did in elucidating the nature of the universe, they also proved one important point: that it is possible for everyone on earth to be wrong but you.

What's the deal?

I'm fascinated with how coincidences and synchronicity are synergized by the internet and blogs in particular.

I can dwell here for a while and write up some casually thrown piece of reflection and if it offends someone, anyone, anywhere in the world, I hear from them the very next day.

But if I have a great idea, one that could solve a lot of problems for a lot of people, or a particularly useful service or product then it's swimming up a mountain when I try to get my message across.

My visitor numbers have dropped to about 65 people a week, so it isn't like I'm having this huge witness field to draw on. Why is there a dichotomy in what sort of data gets amplified and passed on? And what sort of person is selectively searching for the content of my website and then passing that on? Don't they have a life, a job, children to worry about? At least a pet goldfish to feed.

It's really weird.

Tiredness revelation

The last 24 hours have been lessons in the revelations provided by exhaustion. When I am tired from too much work all sorts of long simmering angers and resentments come to the fore. None of these are irrational or untrue, just expressions of events which went unanswered.

I think that when I am tired, those events which have drawn time, energy, money etc. from me which has not been returned or balanced come to the fore. My weakened state makes my mind dwell on those events which resonate with that state.

A small revelation, but that is all the awareness I have left to share.

Be well.

Bright, bright sun shiny day

A lovely morning to you, world.

Gotta head out in a minute and pick stuff, just wanted to take a moment to support the world with a little positive reinforcement.

So everybody: Be happy, you deserve it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Workin'

Sorry, no time to blog. Very tired. Gotta get up early and strip the pinks and reds from the tomato field as there is a 70% chance of showers tomorrow evening.

Y'all be well now, ya hear?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Cantaloupe!!!

Cantaloupe!
Cantaloupe!
Cantaloupe!
And some other melons too...

Switched over to the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday schedule. Lots of sweet peaches coming in from Meyer's Orchard (bless 'em for growing such a fine peach.) and now the delightful cantaloupes have begun to tan up and smell good.

Sadly the cornfields are barren in the aftermath of June's hailstorm. Next good corn picking will be near the end of the month.

Lots of good ripe tomatoes starting to show up. Should be able to put out the TOMATOES sign Wednesday.

Hope y'all are being happy.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Struggle burrito

Struggle wrapped in challenge and liberally sauced with frustration.

In early spring we had a 2 week illness (probably influenza) then late rains and a June 14 frost which stressed the corn and tomatoes. Then we had the June 28 hailstorm. Now the Oregon Department of Transportation has us in its cross-hairs again. They are getting ready to chip-seal the road in front of our sales stand.

Apparently I must've pissed off someone who works there or some middle-manager's wife or something because last year they totally screwed my September sales by sending out several crews to cut trees and then "repair" the shoulders of the road. Neither of which needed to be done in the remotest manner but certainly prevented many customers from driving our way. The shoulder work was particularly stupid because it was done during a rainy spell and completely dissipated before a month was out. This chip-seal is a similar proposition; a fine waste of taxpayers money. Plus it could've been done ay any other time.

Between this and the steadily decaying character of the new customers who have been coming in, the option of selling wholesale to a grocery store chain is getting to look better and better. Especially considering that I can get almost the same price I do selling to the public.

I wish I could say "anyways, it's been a nice day" but it is hot and humid and smoky.

The tomatoes and melons are starting to ripen though, so I remain upbeat and will wish anyone reading this a most wonderful moment of happiness.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yeeha! Twins

My niece Charley Jeane has given birth to 2 girls, Alex Jaye and Brena Rae. 2 months early but all seems well now. God bless them all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer busy

... And some are not.

I am very busy these days. In about an hour we open for our second weekend of sales. I know it's Thursday but that's all the same to me.

Lemon cukes, summer squash, potatoes, sweet onions and green beans are on the menu for today's sales. Oh yeah, and a couple of golden sweet asian melons for a lucky few early customers; if I remember to stop and pick them.

Gotta go, hope y'all are doing well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Time for another tea party

No taxation without equal representation! Down with King George and Nancy Pelosi!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blazing siesta

The vicious sun drove me into hiding amongst the shadows this afternoon. I actually managed to get a couple hours of sleep, which is a really nice addition to the 5-6 hours a night I've been getting.

The tomatoes are rocking my world and the Grant's Pass Irrigation district are doing a wonderful job of delivering plenty of water, thanks Grant Gustafson! We've got 1000 more tomato plants to put in as soon as the next cooling trend blows in; it's supposed to be 88 this weekend so probably then. And that will likely be our last planting for the year. Corn and cantaloupe are definitely done. So maybe next week some time we can throttle back to only 10 hours a day.

Broccoli is really heading up nice but we lost a lot of heads to the late water supply so we haven't bothered opening up for just that. Mostly just giving it away to friends and neighbors. Summer squash is also starting to produce well. On the down side we've just about lost a planting of corn which we couldn't get weeded in spring due to illness. Darn that Johnson's grass to heck anyways.

Y'all have a summer fun day.

Friday, July 04, 2008

God bless America

Happy 4th of July !!

This is a wonderful day of celebration in our country. Independence from tyranny, what an awesome gift the founding fathers imparted to the rest of us. Everybody grab a hot dog or slice of pie and get ready for the fireworks.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Happy B-day big bro

My brother's birthday is today. He had to be away from home, working in Springfield to support the family so I can't give him his gift until he gets back. Which is good because I haven't finished making it yet ;-)

Yesterday was mom's birthday also, so a belated web entry of "Best wishes" to her too. I would've posted something last night but I was way too tired by the time I got done driving posts in the tomato field.

Be well, big bro.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Who knew evil could be so good?

The villains at Evil Mad Scientist have come up with a delightful meta-meme which I think could be adapted to lots of different pursuits. Model building, crocheting, quilting, education, sports, really just about any hobby or club activity. A box of junk might be the next social revolution.

Oh yeah, I wanne give a special shout out to my best bud. Steve; 43 years of wonder on planet earth. Wishing at least 43 more even better for ya.

All the rest of you, a very merry unbirthday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Tsunami

The tidal wave of crop is about to crash down on us and we are still planting more!

Lettuce and the other greens are heading up nicely. Should be ready to start selling by next weekend. Maybe still have some cherries left to sell too.

Dad and I are scrambling to get stakes sawed and driven for the tomato rows. I've got pics of that, hope to put them up later today.

Gotta go, too busy.

Y'all be well,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cool Agi site

Found a cool new (to me) agriculture site, called "On the turn row"

F'rst fahr

This here's the first forest fahr of the season. Sorry I couldn't get a good pic of the helicopters dropping water. This is either up on Savage Creek Rd. or Greens Creek Rd. I could hear the fahr engines so that probably means Savage Creek Rd. Someone musta let their clean-up fahr get out of hand. Them's my tomatoes infront'n there.

Y'all have a fine day now.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Skin of the teeth

Keeping my fingers crossed and praying. There's frost on the equipment at the west end of the vineyard!! I checked the tomatoes and they still look fine, the sun is up now so hopefully we just squeaked by without loosing any important crops. Haven't checked the sweet potatoes yet.

If I remember correctly, my friend Del said the latest frost on record was June 10 so we may have just set a new record.

Oh yeah: Global warming my foot!

Stay warm.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Hoorah! water

Water's back in the ditch. Of course that means work, work, work, but at least one uncertainty is suspended.

I've got a good night's sleep behind me and my cough is a little better too.

A fine morning to everyone.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Bleak

It's such a lovely day I hate being bleak.

We're all still struggling with recovering from that bad cold. I'm just happy I haven't had to use my inhaler in over 24 hours. But still having aches and little fevers.

Now to truly ruin the mood of recovery: the irrigation district has failed again and the ditch is dry. 2200 tomato plants, 2500 cole/lettuce, 500 sweet potatoes and countless others now in jeopardy. Can't call to find out what is happening until tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it is just a minor problem with a quick fix.

The polywogs and tadpoles have begun to emerge from the pond. Dozens, hundreds of tiny frogs are scattering over the gardens. What fun! With the ditch filling so late in the year these frogs and toads have been in recession for the last 6-7 years but now that we've been keeping the pond full early they have a chance to restore their numbers. But for sure the environmentalists tell us how destructive those farmers are to the ecosystem. Feh! to them. Mankind is the environment.

Y'all have a super fun spring day.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Recovery redux

Finally getting my feet back on the ground after a week of a rather nasty head and chest cold. It got mom and dad too so the farm has fallen behind schedule a couple days. A limping sort of scramble has ensued to catch up or at least to not fall any further behind. The weeds in the corn are getting awful and cole crops are looking pretty bad too.

Yesterday dad and I summoned the courage to pull 4 more black plastic mulch and driptape rows. Then we went beyond the call of duty and planted another 9 rows of sweet corn. That was pretty much all we could sustain.

The plastic mulch rows are for sweet potatoes which should have been planted last week. The little slips are starting to hurt from being too long out of the ground. I just now got the drips running so hopefully by this afternoon we can start planting again.

Whew! that's all the typing I have the strength for, gonna rest now. Y'all be well.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Rainy interlude

Yesterday was a super planting day. Travis, my niece's husband, showed up to help plant tomatoes. So the three of us planted 200 of 300 tomatoes in 2 rows. We planted a set of rows because we were planting tomatoes in 4 and 5 inch pots. Using a hand post-hole digger to make the holes for plants up to 2 feet tall is easier done in an area off the back of the pick-up so we worked a row on each side, thus the set. Travis was a digging machine! Oh, for the vigor of youth. Plus it just turns out Travis is a pretty good worker. Good enough to wear out dad and I.

It totally rained last night like way over an inch according to the bucket in the yard. And it is still gently showering now. Perfect weather for the transplants.

Can't work much in the fields, the king of mud rules the land. So I'm going to run errands in Grants Pass, go to Greenleaf Nursery and pick up some eggplants if they have them. Then I'll probably spend the rest of the day working on some website design stuff.

Enjoy this lovely day on planet Earth.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wonderful showers

The cool weather and rains have persisted!

Yesterday afternoon dad and I finished planting about 1280 tomato plants from Dave's Greenleaf Industries (they rock!) We did that in just a little less than a day. We've got about 900 more of from own sprouting to go including a bunch of heirloom types, pear and golden tomatoes.

Unfortunately they were out of eggplants. We're hoping they have more next time we stop by.

All we have left to transplant is peppers and melons, only another 1200 or so of those.

Yee-haa! planting season is rocking on. I need some trained monkeys or robots or something to take up the slack.

Mom and dad and I went out for breakfast to celebrate their 51st anniversary. Delightful way to pass a morning.

A happy and reflective Memorial Weekend to you all.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Hoorah! Good weather

A mighty heave of gratitude for whatever agency has brought on this cool, drizzly weather! A fervent prayer that it continues into next week.

We've got the plastic rows pulled for tomatoes and melons, now I'm scrambling to get the filters charged and dad will soon be running the terracer to sculpt the ends of the rows and walkways. Once that is done I'll hook up the drips and by this evening if all goes well we will be planting the first of 1500 tomatoes and about 800 mixed melons and assorteds.

It is soooo nice out there! Everyone have a glorious day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday pause

It is very hot out there, 95 and humid. The sun leans on me every time I walk out into it.

Took a bit of the afternoon off for a long nap. Thank god for air-conditioning! That rest will help make up for the early and late hours.

Tonight, even though it is Sunday, we'll go out to hand water the lettuce and cabbage one more time. This will hopefully be the last time since irrigation is supposed to be in the ditch sometimes this week. It is also likely to cool off for the next 5 days or so which will help the lettuce a bunch. Damn those lazy fools at the Grants Pass Irrigation District for taking so long to get us water.

The corn, pumpkins, winter squash, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe, and etc. we planted last week have all started to sprout at farm#2. Before the nap dad and I went over and set water on them to help them up.

Tomorrow we hope to pull black plastic mulch for the tomato rows. That'll be a lot of pressure off our minds. Still gotta find stakes for those too.

On the bad news front our tractor is sounding signs of potential failure. The PTO clutch has began to rattle the internal spline which is not only noisy but also means little or no rototilling, bush hogging or post hole digging unless we have to or until we break the tractor apart and fix it.

On the good news front, the polywogs in the pond are starting to show back legs. If they can stay alive until the cool weather or water comes in the ditch then we'll have a huge batch of frogs for the first time in about 7 years. Another big (sarcastic) thanks to the GPID.

Happiness, my friends.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Spring vississitudes

Yesterday was a pretty good day. Got the pumpkins, winter squash, watermelons, cucumbers, potatoes, onions, cantaloupe and corn planted, in that order. Now just have to do that all over again every week until the 4th of July. With the tomatoes thrown in for good measure.

The PTO clutch spline on our tractor is starting to wear out so we've got to cut back on using it to till, bush hog or run the big one-way disc. So we'll have to rent a tractor with a tiller a couple of times in the next few weeks. Ouch! Time and money...

Dang Grants Pass Irrigation District is taking its good time getting us water again this year. They say they'll start working on getting water in the ditch around the 12th which means we probably won't see water here until the 20th. So we're also having to hand water our early transplants such as cabbage, broccoli and lettuce.

Oh well, life can be a struggle at times but at least I'm free to decide.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Bird day, planting day

We saw many wonderful birds today. A hawk being chased by 2 crows, an osprey displaying for a mate, and a suave little cedar wax wing hunting bugs in our field. And to top it off mom saw a lazuli bunting at the feeder. The lazuli is a lovely blue headed bird about the size of a tow-hee.

Dad and I got about 1500 (mixed varieties of) lettuce planted today. Turns out we finished all the cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli yesterday. That makes a grand total somewhere between 2500 and 3000, not really sure how many.

Tomorrow we plant cucurbits and corn.

Y'all sleep well now, y'hear.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Grosbeak Insurgency

There are about 8 grosbeak which have seized the front yard bird feeders. We had two new visitors to the yard recently. A cow-bird couple and a lovely oriole were both here this morning, before the insurgency. Fortunately the sparrows and finches are holding their own against the larger, slower and less maneuverable grosbeak. Of course the downy woodpecker doesn't take any grief from these migratory malcontents.

Rain, rain, rain. So fine for the 800 or so cole-crop (broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, I think) plants that dad, T.C., and I put in yesterday. Now the tilled field has turned to a clinging paste not unlike half cooked over dry oatmeal mixed with rocks and gravel. But the plants are loving it.

I'm spending a good chunk of today working on some PHP scripts for a website I'm designing. Fun to be writing code again.

Y'all relish the rain and watch for the bow.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cognitive Surplus

Read this before you turn on that sitcom.

Planting

Artichokes are in, tomorrow the cabbage, lettuce and greens operations begin. Cooler, cloudy weather will give these transplants a chance to establish well without too much stress.

Charley got the pump installed over at farm#2 (thanks to June for the insistence) so that is a big motivator to get seed put down but the same cool weather that makes for good transplanting will delay our seeding of corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, winter squash, onions and pumpkins for another week.

Everybody have a fun day Sunday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A visit with the Pretty Proselyte

Had a couple Jehovah's Witness stop by this morning. Normally I'd just politely wait out their spiel and then throw away the tract after they leave.

But today for a change I honestly told the lady I wasn't going to read it and to keep it for someone else. It was at that moment I noticed, what a cute blond she was. Just a few streaks of gray in her hair, probably a couple years younger than me. A couple inches shorter than me and wearing a simple denim dress. She sounded disappointed when I told her I didn't want the tract. But I made up for it, apparently, when I told her I had a copy of the bible.

Sparky dashed out the door behind me and she laughed and said "Now he'll smell my little dog on me!" Sure enough. As we talked a little longer about the farm and gardening, I noticed she didn't once mention her husband or boyfriend. Hmmmmm....

Before she left, I made sure she knew we'd be opening the produce stand in late spring. Hope's eternal motion. I suppose a proficient stalker would have pretended interest in her religion to inveigle his way into her presence, but I wouldn't base any sort of friendship on such a dishonest manipulation. Better to let the universe unfold in its own good time.

Y'all have a fine spring day and don't get twitter-pated.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Cold Week

I've had a pretty bad head and chest cold since last Wednesday. Uhg! I hate this stuff. Finally starting to feel a bit better today.

It's April 21st, a full month after the equinox and guess what? It's spitting snow out there. Had almost an inch on the ground yesterday. Global warming is a big fat, fat, freakin' LIE !! And anyone who says different is either a big dumby or else they've got a political agenda AND they're a big dumby. You saw what I wrote, ya big lying "climatologists" you.

Mom and dad went to Medford to buy drip-tape today. I'm hunkering down on my first day of recovery.

Y'all take care.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Desperately seeking tomato stakes

We used to buy our tomato stakes from a mill on Redwood Highway outside of Grants Pass but their land got bought up by Albertsons and I suppose they just closed up. We were able to use the stakes we had for about 5 years but they've all finally rotted away or been broken. Plus we are doing many thousands of more tomatoes this year.

So now we've either got to build our own mill or find someone who still cuts 6 foot 1-by-2s for stakes. They've got to come from within a hundred miles or so of Grants Pass or the gas to pick them up will make them cost too much. So of course the search engines are no help at all.

So if anyone knows anyone who knows someone who cuts tomato stakes in Oregon or northern California, please hook me up!

Gotta get back to filling pony-paks. Y'all have fun.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Celebrate your weak links

I've been reading books on the science and study of networks. Not so much the technological aspect as the social, ecological and general aspects. One book called "Linked" by Albert Lazlo Barabasi and the other "Nexus" by Mark Buchanan. I'm about half way through each.

One very interesting observations I've noted is that in social networks the most functional links are also the weaker links. Put it in terms of looking for a job. Most of your friends would already know that you were looking for a job and would've already exhausted any effort they could provide in that direction. Your friends all know each other so the information would travel only a short ways. However, if you run into that classmate you haven't seen in 10 years he or she might suddenly connect you to 10s or 100s of new people who didn't already know you were looking for work.

So celebrate your weak links. Hook up with those people you haven't written in a long time, heck go out of your way to see someone you don't even particularly care for. Or just be extra nice to someone at the store or gas station. It'll make the world hook up in new and delightful ways.

A lovely spring day of growth and renewal to you all.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Earth, wind and rain

Dad disced and ripped land the last couple days while I was working in the greenhouse. Today his back was sore so I took over the tractor work while he watered plants. I dragged the bottom two fields below our grapes.

Quite a bit of blustery wind as I finished my last few turns. Rain showers came and went throughout the bottom most field. It was exhilarating. Even now the barn quivers and rattles with the gusts of wind but I notice a bright patch of sun outside my window.

Hope you're having a fine spring day.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring with snow

A little light snow around noon today. Lots of frost this morning, 28 degrees F.

The almonds, peaches and plums are all in bloom but no serious sign of damage from the frost. No idea why. The frost seems to mostly have been at ground level so maybe higher up there it just didn't freeze.

Cherries, apples and pears are hanging back and waiting. Cherries will open next hopefully the frosts will be gone by then.

Loads and loads of plants sprouting in the big greenhouse. Many thousands. 5 kinds of tomatoes, 6 types of eggplants, artichokes, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, 4 kinds of summer squash, cantaloupe, crenshaw melons, 5 kinds of watermelon and an assortment of Asian and European melons.

On top of planting and pruning I've been doing some web page design/repair work for my friend Mark. So blog time has been limited, sorry blogosphere.

The web page design stuff has been pretty frustrating but also challenging and interesting. It's been a couple years since I worked with javascript, CSS, Perl and PHP. Thinking in meta-layers is something I used to enjoy and it's neat to get back into that level of code and the mental abstraction exercise that goes with it. Unfortunately having to fix and redesign someone else's work is quite irritating.

Y'all feel good and be happy.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Otherside

Of the earth that is. I used Google's "drill a hole through the earth" function to find this small volcanic island on the opposite side of the earth (approximately) from Oregon. It looks really cool.

Check it out

Happy Easter

Rejoice in springs renewal.

It's ham and pancake breakfast here this fine Sunday. No egg coloring, thank goodness. But you parents out there better enjoy the ritual, only a few years and they won't be interested anymore.

Don't know what's planned for today yet (beyond the pancakes) probably mostly take it easy, I've got a lots of reading to do for some web design stuff I'm doing. Good day for that. It was supposed to rain today but no sign of it so far.

Y'all have fun and enjoy the sugar rush.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Change Congress

Lawrence Lessig has always impressed me with his insight. Check out this latest endeavor from the man who championed the Creative Commons license.

These are common sense ideas that anyone of sound mind can agree with.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Busy in the greenhouse

Well, not at the moment. But the last couple days we've been scrambling trying to get back on schedule. First couple thousand assorted plants/seedlings/seeded trays are hunkered down in the big greenhouse and making their strides towards spring planting.

First day of spring starts in just a couple hours. So hard to believe. Back in August I would've bet just about anything that I wouldn't be getting ready to plant another crop right now. But here we are again, figuring how late we can buy fertilizer and how much plastic mulch we can afford. With the big new contract for tomatoes our capital overhead has expanded quite a bit.

Rain has been really picturesque the last few days but I've been too busy to wield the camera. Really nice to stand warm and dry in the greenhouse filling pony-trays with seeds while the wind and rain whip overhead.

Y'all have a fine night.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

David Mamet blows my mind

This article by David Mamet at the Village Voice is one of the best pieces on being open-minded that I've ever read. You will totally enjoy it, if you keep an open mind.

My favorite bit:

Prior to the midterm elections, my rabbi was taking a lot of flack. The congregation is exclusively liberal, he is a self-described independent (read "conservative"), and he was driving the flock wild. Why? Because a) he never discussed politics; and b) he taught that the quality of political discourse must be addressed first—that Jewish law teaches that it is incumbent upon each person to hear the other fellow out.

And so I, like many of the liberal congregation, began, teeth grinding, to attempt to do so. And in doing so, I recognized that I held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations, the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other—the world in which I actually functioned day to day—was made up of people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Busy catching up

Finally got the air-inflated greenhouse up this morning. Dad took off to help bro with a gate job. I've been busy trying to get some more pruning done quite behind schedule on that. Will go out to spray the peaches shortly.

Lots of interesting stuff happening in the world it looks like in the news feeds. Glad I'm too busy to concern myself.

Hope y'all have a fine day.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Weirdness Sunday

What a lovely day we had today! Stupid remnants of the flu kept us all just weak enough to barely be able to do anything with it. I got some cleaning done anyways. I suppose it's best to make this a day of rest anyways.

Been cruising a bunch of the transhumanist blogs this evening. What a fascinating group of people. Not exactly the most level-headed bunch but you've got to hand it to them for their optimism. Here's the last one I visited: betterhumans.com They also tend to make some really clean looking blogs. So you gotta give 'em that for style too.

What they've got me thinking about is how far our technology has come since I started in computers in high school. I remember arguing once back then with my dad that there'd never be enough storage space to make a list of every human on earth. That'd still take a lot of memory but a couple of half-terabyte drives at oh, 200$ each could do the job nowadays. It blows my mind that a gigabyte of flash is about what, 12$ or so? That's nuts.

And yet with all this memory and huge increases in processor power in the last 30 years or so the world really isn't that much different. You can still get a flame-broiled whopper at burger king. You'd think there'd be some sort of dramatic shift, but no the world is still largely a mystery; life is fleeting and precious.

Be happy!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Rainy Saturday

Mighty nice showery day out there. Glad I'm still recovering from the flu, I don't have to feel guilty about being slack.

Sure can feel spring moving our way though. I'm getting stir crazy, wanna run the plow and blow up the greenhouse. Won't be long and my blog posts will start to thin out. Dad's busy planting a 288 tray of tomatoes.

My stupid black cat is trying to get in on the typing here.

Y'all have a super day.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Bloggers Unite!

The call must go out! Round up the troops and ring the bells!

Blogger Brian C Ledbetter has been issued a restraining order by the AP for criticizing their use of doctored images. They claim he is violating their copyright despite the fact that his usage was a clear and obvious case of fair-use. This sort of strong arm tactic could be used on any of us, of any persuasion, if we so much as criticize any news agency for poor conduct or shoddy reporting. Even if they don't win the case the AP and other big news agencies can use the scare of being hauled into court to suppress free speech.

More details here.

Definition of a hero

If anyone is unsure just look at Kurt Westergaard to see a hero:

Sick and tired

Of the 2008 election!

Recovering nicely from the flu though. We are all getting better rapidly. Still not ready to run that marathon yet but I'm itchin' to get out and put up the greenhouse.

Being stuck indoors is no fun especially with TV having degraded so far. I don't have and can't afford a DVR, tivo or whatever so just keep your suggestion about that. Television used to be Ok, but nowadays so many rotten ads. And the news channels really suck. I get ten times better news and information off the web, blogs and assorted info streams here.

Today I'm gonna order seeds and hopefully feel good enough to make a foray outside.

Y'all keep on truckin'.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Terrorists in the pentagon?

Our U.S. government continues its program of ineptitude proving not only that power corrupts but that it apparently corrupts higher brain functions.

It makes me wonder how many incidents of espionage and subversion need to be exposed before the body politic's autoimmune system kicks.

You gotta wonder too, in a year when media outlets such as CNN and the democrats are hell-bent on reminding us of George Bush's failings (in preparation for the November election perhaps) why are they willingly overlooking such a scandalous story?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Recovery

Been down mighty sick with the influenza for about 5 days now, finally starting to get a little better. This has to have been the worst case I've ever had. Uhg! Mom, dad and the Bro all got it too. Bro and mom are furthest along in getting well, dad and I are still a little symptomy.

To celebrate our fevers and chills, here's an article on global warming (can you guess what it says?)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Quick! burn some coal

We're all gonna freeze to death! Call Al Gore and John Travolta, tell them to fly someplace or we're gonna lose all the bananas to polar bears.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gentle showers

It's been raining lightly for the last couple hours. Mom's come down with a flu so me and dad are fending for ourselves today. (Yes, I know that's poor grammar)

Dad's busy planting tomato seeds and I'm about to go out and work in one of the barns I suppose. Maybe place a seed order first.

Y'all stay dry.

My fellow Americans

Something to think about. Hattip Ol' Stogie.

Work, work, work

Got rain coming in later today but this morning dad and I will be rolling tomato wire and preparing some beds for peas and other early crops.

The turkey's are beginning their displays, coming around begging for corn. We saw our first hummingbird last week and put out a feeder for him. He was grateful I think. Hope this cold hasn't hurt him.

The ground is frozen and covered with frost. Will be interesting to watch the transition to rain.

Have a great day.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Political Stimulus Package

This is a great piece of statesmanship. Everyone needs to write their senator and agree with Jim DeMint on this one. You can find your senators here.

Finally! an explanation for why I'm still single...

I got quite a good laugh out of this, though many may not understand ;-)

Although I do often take long, meandering walks; but that's for a reason.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

How did they get to Romney?

It's being reported that Mitt Romney is dropping out of the race for the republican presidential nomination.

This early in the race and with some considerable chance of making a last minute comeback (presumably as the conservatives wake up and realize that the republican party is being taken over by democrats posing as conservatives...) one is forced to ask, how on earth did they get to Romney? Did they threaten his children? Did they kidnap his dog? Was some terrible secret from his childhood uncovered? Just how is it that the republican electorate has been deprived of yet another choice?

The really disturbing part is that this isn't an isolated incident. The same pattern of transparent manipulations can be inferred in the democratic party. There are many liberal women I would vote for before I'd vote for Hillary Clinton and there are many liberal men-of-color whom I would vote for before I'd vote for B. Hussein Obama. But no one is being offered other options for change.

After all the office of the president is just far too important to be left to the choice of the common person.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The morning Load

Continuing the barrage of climate change chicken-little-ism, the national geographic has this article about the "Western U.S. Facing Drought Crisis". According to the article this is due to diminishing snow reserves.

It is of interest to note that the Siskiyou's snow pack is at an all time record high due the enormous storm which just pounded the west coast. Doesn't look good for my plan to grow pineapples here but at least we'll have lots of water for my corn.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mooninites Unite!

On this day in history, remember the Mooninites

Rod Snod Clod

As my ebonics speaking friend would say...

The I-5 corridor from Yreka, Ca to Ashland, Or has been closed in both directions due to heavy snowfall.

Here it has been raining a lot. Smooshy, mucky, muddy, snowy mess. There's still quite a bit of snow on the ground around the farm here though our main fields are completely clear. Doesn't make any of the jobs which are staring me in the face easier.

Hope y'all are having a fun day.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lovely snow and trespassers


The day started with some lovely snow covered hills for the morning walk. Cold but no wind so a very pleasant and exercise-rich walk.

Spent most of the day cleaning up. The leaky roof in the east wing of my barn knocked loose a little drywall, right into my stash of malathion, what a stink. The afternoon was entertaining but not very profitable as I dug through my numerous boxes of robot parts trying to decide what to throw out and what to keep.

This afternoon I had another confrontation with the mobile-home park kids. They're still imposing on us and endangering themselves by crossing our land. I've explained it repeatedly, that there's dangerous equipment and chemicals on our land but it's just not getting through their federally educated little "minds". So after their last incursion I closed the opening in the fence they've been using with some sturdy barbed-wire. No doubt this isn't the last I'll hear or see of it as the youngest was seen pacing the fence just like a deer or wild turkey will do in contemplating how to get around. That's ok, I've got lots of barbed wire and if worse comes to worse I'll contact the owner of the mobile-home park and lodge a formal complaint.

Hope you have a peaceful and private evening.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Grinning Snow-Storm Demon

It's snowing down pretty good out there right now, thanks global warming!

In this radar image you can just make out the grinning snow storm demon that is menacing my lands:

Worry for a rainy day

Just got through writing my senators, begging them to reject the so-called economic stimulus package. It really sucks when someone like me has to beg his representatives to make a common sense decision. If you think I'm wrong about the stimulus package, please read this before arguing with me.

There's a lovely downpour going on outside. The ground is all fluffy, puffy, squishy and weird from having been frozen and thawing out slowly beneath showery skies. I'm wondering what that aeration will do to the soil microorganisms. Undoubtedly be good for all sorts of living things. Might be a good morel season this spring.

Everybody have fun!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sentimental rains

Showers all day have kept my moods gentle and subtle. No raging rants, to smoldering resentments. The ground is still mostly frozen despite the rains though mushy spots are starting to show up.

I had to play the grumpy old man today, some neighbor kids from the mobile home park have been crossing our land without permission. This is like the third time I've had to confront them and tell them to stop, I fear a call to the police will have to come soon if they don't quit. In the 20th century I could've just had a talk with their parents but nowadays that just might get me shot or something. With all the equipment on this place I just can't risk one of them getting hurt messing around, their parents would undoubtedly sue my behind off.

Been cleaning up again so of course everything in the barn looks even more demolished and cluttered than ever.

Wishing you all an interesting and educational day.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Whackadoo Saturday scadoo

Nothing much to report. Pruned apples today, visited with my Bro a bit. Ground is still frozen even a few tiny thin patches of snow from the day before laying about. Doing a little insomnia thing tonight despite the melatonin. Dreams last night were wholly unrestful so why bother?

Hope you're being peaceful and relaxed.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Political Endorsements

The Guy has finally decided who he will endorse for the 2008 presidential primaries.

On the democrat side he will endorse ... Dennis Kucinich.
And on the republican side it's ... Mitt Romney.

Democrats were listed first due to alphabetics.

Justifications:

On the democratic side. I like an underdog. Those other 3 idiots are all scruff, fluff and bother. Plus Dennis keeps a copy of the bill of rights in his pocket. Hillary is just power hungry, B. Hussein Obama is too inexperienced and Edwards just creaps me out.

On the republicans. McCain is a great hero but a poor conservative, what good is it to have a strong military figure if he leaves the borders open? I figure Mitt can push the button as good as anyone plus I've known a lot of Mormons and they're ok. Ultimately Mitt is the least offensive and the most conservative now that Fred has quit.

22 degrees F

The F is for "Freakin' Cold!" (only I didn't say Freakin')

Cold, dry, frozen harder than a Popsicle. Now I know this aint no Siberian, Alaskan, Canadian or Antarctic (sorry whoever I left out) kinda cold, but I'm used to a 40 degree winter with lots of rain and this stuff just hurts. So cold it's blowing right through my long-johns.

But man is it good for keeping down the pests. Insects and some fungus really get hurt by this sort of weather.

Today will be more pruning and clean-up. Getting ready for a big burn of all the loose branches and scrap fiber leftover from last years farming operation. Will have a couple piece of some new pottery to fire in that as well if I can squeeze a tiny bit more time into making a few more slips and glazes.

Stay warm and be happy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008: World of Tomorrow

So freezing cold, 24F out there with a steady life-sapping breeze. Inside I am and reading the data stream from Google Reader.

Stock markets, Fed interest rates, Russian missile tests, new drugs, new diseases, science discoveries, claims of breakthrough-inventions, political games, political flames, political names, political blames and the weather.

So many forms of tyranny. To use Mr. Putin's retro-cold war military disco dancing as an example. How gauche! How passé! Mr. Amadenijad, Mr. Bush, Mr. Chavez, Mr. Putin; these are all tyrants in the technical sense. They exercise power with their choices over their people and the world, for better or worse. Like most humans their focus of attention is narrowly jammed into their specialty, the use of power. The cost of this narrowed focus is that like the rest of us they will occasionally overlook the storm shift that is coming towards their focus.

There is a distinct knew agent acting in the human world easily overlooked.

It's all the rest of us.

The internet and assorted webs built on it connect more people than any one country is populated by. All of those people have access to the same uniform information resource (except for a few who haven't figured out how to easily and safely circumvent government interdiction). Our responses to this information form an ever growing, involving and evolving zeitgeist wherein we sift, sort and mull the assorted truths.

As hours, days, weeks, months go by this "Internet country" ferments these truths into global policy plans and decisions. These choices are largely indifferent to strident demands of the old tyrant system and since they are taken into affect by a diffuse and ubiquitous membership these policies are largely irresistible. Due to their diffuse and pervasive source, the decision are also largely uninfluencable.

No wonder Putin and the rest are acting all psycho. They've recently been warned and are still getting over the shock of having to change their drawers.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I want my global warming!

Dammit! It is cold out there! After yesterday's promising showers it has frozen back up solid. Climate change my fat white American backside; this is the same freezing cr^p we've been having since I was 4. I'm gonna go burn some coal. Come on China, get with the program and burn some more stuff, I'm chilled to the bone and I want to grow pineapple here.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A little math puzzle

6, 10, 12, 14, 18...

What is this set of numbers and what is the next in the series? Hint: it isn't defined by a procedure.

Why Iran blocks the internet

Worth a few giggles to watch the "Mach-mood" video...

Terribly silly.

State of the art in war

Here's a little something for (primarily American) people to think about while we watch the housing market, trade imbalances and assorted political caucuses/primaries.

Hope your insomnia is treating you as well as mine.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Strange melting

Most of the ground remains frozen but odd places around the yard have melted free from their frost. Fog lay low and frigid when the sun came up settling out as thicker layers of frost. But the same fog dispersed the sun and made warm regions and streams of breezes play across the landscape.

The orchard muds are still frozen hard as brick but here and there the frost is gone. The sun is already heading towards the skyline and it seems to me that I can feel the patches of frost waiting hungrily.

Have a great day.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Winter wander

It was a delightful day beneath a deep blue sky and bright sun. The grass and leaves beneath my boots crunching like bags of chips from being so frozen and covered in frost. A black cat scampered across the pond when he spotted Sparky.

In the shade the frost crystals are growing huge from not melting for 3 days. The brown pick-up looks like it needs a shave.

I got a fair amount of pruning done today despite having a really sore neck. Pulled a muscle or kinked a vertebrae, probably from standing, mouse in hand, for hours last night while reading and designing molecules. Feeling much better now. Work usually helps.

Gotta go batten down for the night. Y'all sleep peaceful and dream happy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pandora is freakin' Awesome

I mean it! My music lust is finally satiated.

A Congress induced nightmare

Our illustrious congress is having hearings on the use of steroids in baseball.

I don't even know if I need to write anymore, that sentence alone is sufficiently insane.

One phrase I overheard on the telly my dad was watching:
"Baseball fans find themselves in a drug induced nightmare"

How about Americans in general? We've got a congress that thinks this hearing is actually worth doing. I am forced to wonder, have any of our congressmen or women ever been tested for drug or steroid use?

Because that's the only explanation I can think of for what they are doing. They must be smashed out of their gourds, hallucinating on some mescaline or wired up on crank to think that this is an appropriate use of their attention.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Odd Monday

My newest desktop computer's hard-drive finally gave up the ghost last night so between runs at the orchard and clean-up trips I was irritated by the re-install of win98 and restoration of my backup files just about all day long. Shouldn't have taken all that long but the only hard drive I have laying around to spare right now is a slow old 10gig. Hopefully I can excavate the files from a newer 60gig my sister's previous computer had in it which will perhaps free me to use that drive. We'll see. Otherwise I've gotta kill something worth 50$ to buy a new 80gig.

But the orchard is really shaping up. Should be done plenty long before spring. Got to set a couple days aside and call George Reeves soon. I promised him I'd prune and spray his trees back at the end of summer and I mean to be a man of my word. Plus it's always fun to work over at George and Jody's.

Also had the privilege today to try out some fascinating new software from Nanorex. It's a molecular modeling package for nanotechnology design purposes called "Nanoengineer-1" or NE1. Didn't have as much time to try it out as I'd like today but did manage to construct some snazy branched hydrocarbons and render one 449 base Rhizobium baterium gene. Sometimes in the next couple days I'll write a review on my NanoGuy blog. Actually terribly cool stuff.

Hope y'all are staying happy and healthy.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunny winter day

Clouds blew off around 12. Been quite lovely since. Made a run down to spray copper ammoniate on the nectarine and peach trees. Lots of lovely bird action right now, had a red breasted nuthatch show up at the bird feeder (suet) around lunch time, only the second time we've seen one of those.

All the plants are showing their signs of recognizing that the days are getting longer. Already I can sense the upcoming stresses that will evolve into our first bursts of activity for this year's crop. Specifically, with the good weather, tomorrow. It's Monday after all.

So dad will be working at bro's on some final winter projects and I'll be pruning, cleaning up and doing operational maintenance on equipment here. Gotta have all the spray rigs, blower fans, etc. operating.

Uh-oh, Sparky's barking at something. Gotta go.

1st amendment dies in Oregon

Apparently the separation of church and state is more important than the first amendment in Oregon. I'm baffled as to why NWCN didn't want to even publish the "offending" motto?

No wonder high school students (still) feel disenfranchised by the American system.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

the most red-blooded defense of free speech you've ever seen

I know a lot of liberals fervently hate Hot Air, but totally trust me on this one, go there and watch the video[!]

I don't care if you're an irrational bible thumping conservative or a pot smoking homosexual liberal or any member of the spectrum in between. Every single one of us should agree that this is what free speech is all about.

"This is all hogwash" says head of global warming panel.

Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the U.N. Panel that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, said "this is all hogwash"

I readily admit I've taken the man's words completely out of context, which is no different than what global warming enthusiasts do with their climatological data. So I figure that makes it ok....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Precious

This gave me a delightful giggle.

A new link in my list

Rogue and Poet has won the coveted and disputable "honor" of being added to my list of blog links. I like the cut of this fellas jib. Jan. 11th poem was pretty darn good.

Orchard Ornithology

Out doing a little more for my fruit trees when suddenly I noticed a bird that was a little different than our usual jays, wood-peckers, flickers, finches, sparrows, gros-beaks, tow-hees, juncos, and chickadees. This one has a swept back tuft on its head. Then it hit me: Cedar Waxwings! Yee-ha, they are back for their mid winter visit. Unfortunately they (a pretty good sized flock) were too far up in the tallest black walnut tree for me to get a good picture.

Wishing a fun, feathery day to you all.

Further evidence of Global Warming?

After we in Southern Oregon had the coolest, wettest summer in about 20 years, now it's snowing in Baghdad! Of course some moron climate alarmist is gonna come out and say "This proves the globe is getting warmer!"

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Green ham and eggs?

I just had to say it...

rain, wind and frustration

Brrrr... went for a walk this morning with the wind a cutting blast blowing down from snow covered hills. Rain just barely above freezing pelted nearly perpendicular to the ground.

My newest computer just fried its hard-drive so I'm a little irritated with technology right now. Gotta dig around in my scrap pile and see if I've got an old 6gig drive I can stick in there until I can afford a new one.

Everybody stay dry and out of the wind and be happy.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Most important issue in 2008 election

Sandmonkey has come through for me again, pointing out this salient and well focused piece of journalism on the biggest issue in the 2008 election.

Tech geek irony

Getting a smug chuckle from watching the G4 TV [channel 73 in the Rogue valley] coverage of the CES in Vegas. Here's a show entirely populated by geeks and techies at an industry event composed of nothing but cutting edge tech. But for some reason their audio feed is running about 2 seconds behind their video feed. It's like a really badly dubbed Japanese movie! Considering how often AOTS dogs on everyone else's inferior use of tech this is really quite funny.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Fielder Mt. snow

The snow stopped about 100 feet above our farm last night. What a lovely, cold, stark morning. The land and air washed so clean you could smell it, that crisp metal-y smell of nearby snow.

Modern education

This is what "outcome based education" will get you:
Flunked: 14 Signs of a Deficient Intellect

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Did earthquakes trigger levee break?

There were 3 earthquakes ranging from 3.8 to 4.2 RS to the east of Fernley, NV about 30 miles (details) in the hours preceeding a levee break that has forced the rescue of 3,500 people.

The last quake was at 4:03am, just about 20 minutes before the levee failed completely.

A ghost blogs

If you have the courage, read this.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The death of advertising

I am getting so sick of the advertising on tv. It's bad enough what I've got to pay for the privilege on a monthly basis, cable, subscription, tv upkeep etc. I mean, I already pay to have the signal brought to my house.

I figure that in a given week I watch 2 hours a day for 6 days. 20 minutes of each hour (at least) is wasted on commercials. That's like, uhmm... 4 hours a week. At minimum wage that amounts to an additional fee of 29 dollars a week! 1500 dollars a year, and for me that's been at least 30 years. The advertising industry owes me $45,000 damn it! And the same goes for anyone else trapped in the insidious tv addiction.

I say we put together a class action suit and sue for it! It'd keep the lawyers busy at least.

Global warming fallacies

Found this interesting and revealing graphic on the placement of temperature stations around the globe. [click to enlarge] It is readily apparent that the majority of new stations in the last 50 years have all been near the equator. I'd be willing to bet that if you graphed these placements the resulting figure would look like a hockey stick. Anyways, one thing is for sure: if these additional sites are being included in the global average, that average would only appear to increase. In fact, any progressive comparison would be invalidate by the inclusion of these additional sites.

Spooky storm#2

Is it just me, or does this storm look evil:

It's put down almost an inch overnight.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Night-time animal conundrum

During a brief nocturnal sojourn I cross paths with an interesting animal.

Seen at a distance of about 30 feet in flash-light it looked sort of like an opposum. After it ran away into the shrubs I walked by where it had been. A distinct and pungent aroma of skunk filled the air there. And yet, that was no skunk. To add to the oddity was the way it ran off. In my 36 years of living in Oregon I've never seen skunk or opposum run away like that. I've walked up to within 5 feet of opposum before and he just hissed at me and waddled off. Don't need to explain why skunks never run off.

So what was that critter? Way too fast for skunk but smells like skunk, way to fast for opposum but looks like opposum.

Ahhh, the wonderful mysteries of night.

Warm winter evening

After a week of frost and ice this sub-tropical stuff makes me feel down right smothered. Times like this I can really tell my people are from northern Europe. Come on neandertal genes, mellow out! Gonna have to go tromping in the cold dark and kill me a mammoth. Well, an evening walk anyways.

Doesn't help that my American lifestyle means I'm carrying about 80 pounds of totally unnecessary flab. Sure, it turns on the ladies, but is it worth it?-)

Dreamt about my weird little ol' Amerindian friend Syd last night. She picked me up hitch hiking near the coast in her little red volkswagon. She used to live across the road from me when I was doing computer programming in Veneta. We lost touch a few years back because of an obviously stupid remark I unintentionally made. In my dream we went to the grocery store and got some chips, it was a sunny day and some young men were playing hackysack in front of the store and she joined in. Considering how poor Syd's health was last time we spoke this dream somehow makes me think she might have passed beyond. The boys she was playing hacky with resembled the son of a classmate who recently passed. I dream about the dead a couple times a year, it always freaks me out a little. Especially when it's someone I had unfinished business with. Sorry about that comment Syd, I didn't mean to offend just chose my words poorly.

On that creepy note I'll wish you all a loving, life filled night with no misunderstandings.

You could be a TV critic too!

Or for that matter so could your pet monkey.

Troy Patterson over at Slate.com holds forth on last night's Leno and Conan return to tv without writers. Considering the content of his column, it's easy to see why the world is getting on fine without any guild writers. I can hardly think of a better example of shallow elitist drivel; really makes me sad that I was too tired from working to stay up and watch Jay and Conan. I bet they were actually pretty good standing on their own two feet again.

Wouldn't it be super if Jay and Conan let some bloggers write for them? I bet they'd be way funnier than tired ol' WGA writers.

Storm #1

It is just raining down out there. The ground was still frozen at 6am but it's about 43 right now and raining even harder than it was when I started typing.

NWS says this is the first of 3 storms and that tomorrow's will be even worse. Won't be much pruning going on but I've got plenty of other work to do. My barn is still a huge mess and I've got like 20 other projects that could all use my attention plus whatever I manage to do with the computer. Maybe I'll summon the courage to write that pruning guide now. If I'm really courageous I'll tackle a neat MAKE project I saw and cobble together my microscope and an old webcam. That should satisfy both the geek and scientist in me.

Lots of weird stuff going on in the news. We're all gonna be so sick of hearing about the campaigns by November, uhg I'm totally saturated on Iowa already.

Everybody keep dry and happy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Pruning endurance

Standing on a twelve foot ladder holding a ten foot pole pruner can give one very sore shoulder muscles. That's been my major chore this morning and the brisk air is the only thing keeping the job from being truly irksome.

I keep hoping I could marshal the time to post a rudimentary pruning guide up here that I was putting together earlier but there always seems to be some other chore stopping me.

Mom's running errands in town and dad's putting a new faucet in the kitchen sink. Like always, that's more work than the words make out. 1945 built house has some crummy piping in it.

I've started getting a line on boxes for this years tomato harvest. Next week dad will contact his friend Dave at GreenLeaf Industries to see if they can provide about 3000+ tomato plants this spring and early summer. I've already found sources for a couple miles of support wire and that just leaves finding a stick mill for the stakes. We used to get tomato stakes from the Meur mill on Redwood highway but they got bought out by Albertsons and bulldozed shortly after.

Wishing you all a comfy, safe winter day.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Pause before the push

Today was another slack day, with the ground hard frozen and the air sucking moisture away from everything.

I suppose it wasn't really a slack day, just felt that way to me. I did plenty of work today; cleaning up, pruning, writing software, working on assorted high tech and low tech machines. But in my mind there is a creaping and insidious awareness of the recently turned season.

The days are getting longer now. Bit by bit, even under the frost, plants are beginning to swell. A faint vibration in their osmotic attentions.

This year's growing season promises to be especially hectic. You see we've made arrangements with a local grocery store chain to start providing our high quality locally grown tomatoes to their produce departments. This will at least triple the amount of tomatoes we have to raise. Since tomatoes are something we do especially well demand may even be higher than that.

So my subconscious casts days like this in the light of a surging urgency. Only a matter of time until time will be the only matter.

Hoping you all are getting a fine and frisky start on this freaky 2008.

Feedburner Frustration

Been struggling with Feedburner and RSS for the last couple of hours, trying to get my blog posting to update correctly. Unfortunately, at least for Google Reader, I seem to be up Stuff Creek. I'll probably be forced to write my own XML page for RSS of the material or something, I suppose. For some reason Feedburner doesn't accept the validity of the XML currently being generated (by blogger I guess.)

Come one folks! Blogger, Google Reader and Feedburner are all owned by Google. Company with 16,000 employees many of them millionaires and they can't get a simple range of interoperability working. Cheese!!

Frog buloney on the web

The Uk's "the telegraph" is demonstrating just how bad journalism has become. They have a panic article about "Virus threatens mass extinction of frogs" but don't specify what virus. When I ran a search down I got articles going back to Feb 17, 2007 describing the same "Amphibian Ark" project but in that case it was a fungus not a virus. Still no definite explanation of which fungus or virus or trans-dimensional frog hunter is leading to the extinction of frogs.

We had frogs and toads serenading here well into mid-November, several weeks later than usual.

This project just strikes me as one more special interest boondoggle. Don't get me wrong, I care deeply for the environment and frogs. So much so that I actually work to make sure my farm is nature friendly.

What bugs me is how often we are being poorly informed or just plain misled by the media and so-called specialists. Exactly how many amphibians are dying? Not just "might die" or "could lead to the biggest mass extinction since the dinosaurs" Heck, that'd be like 10 times the number of amphibians that there are in the world. Where are we gonna get these extra frogs from before we can extinct them?