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.


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


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 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?