Sunday, October 27, 2013

Feed me some random thoughts

When I open up Google Dashboard to write down an idea I get to look at my feed which I hardly ever remember to look at. Then I get sidetracked by all the great stuff people are writing and my train of thought jumps the tracks. I had a really pleasant surprise to see one of my all-time favorites come back to life after a year of having been put to rest.  Iceland Eyes is back and Maria's photos and words are as wonderful as ever.

Scrambling toward winter, I have been trying to get all the preparations done on the farm. Winter water, working light bulbs, feed supplies, faucet washers, and other details need to be tended to. Most of this is anticipation of my new bionic knee that I am supposed to have installed on Friday. Procrastination is a luxury I can't afford at the moment, but will be happy to return to when the time is appropriate. Effective procrastination takes a lot of procrastination to perfect, but I keep putting it off.

Did I mention that the PBR finals are going on now? No, it's not beer (Pabst Blue Ribbon) in this case (or keg), but Professional Bull Riding. Who in their right mind would do such a thing? Young guys with more testosterone than brains, but it makes for some great entertainment. The bulls live a pampered life and the cowboys, or in this case bullboys, try to keep from getting seriously hurt while staying on the back of a specially raised and trained bull. It is only for eight seconds, but so much can happen in that time. These are the best bulls and riders in the world and more often than not the bulls win. Mostly Brazilians and Americans compete with a few Aussies, Mexicans, and Canadians thrown in for a little variety.  

The last time (and first time) I had surgery was on Halloween two years ago. I was taken aback when they rolled me into the OR and everyone was wearing masks, but then realized what day it was before they put me in lala land. This time it is on the day after Halloween, so I wonder if they will still be wearing masks. What is it they are trying to hide anyway? 
 I think of my horses missing my twice a day company, but Stitch will take on most of those duties. When they stare at the house before feeding time I wonder if they will think like this? 

'Knee replacement huh? I'm pretty sure Thunder wasn't told that was an option.' by Gruhn, Mike
I hope stitch is up to it. If she holds up physically to the rigors of hay-flinging and water-hosing she won't have to do this anymore to stretch her back. At least I think that is what she was doing at this moment.
Maybe I'll get a chance to finish reading a few books before I have to go back to work.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Foxes climbing trees

A long time ago, the Cooker made a Chinese dinner called Ants Climbing Trees. I don't remember much other than the name and that it was very tasty. The Chinese apparently use a lot of descriptive ways to name food, but the only other one I remember is their name for Coca Cola when it was introduced to them some years ago. Are you ready? They called it "Bite the wax tadpole". If I ever named a drink that would not be what I would call it, but I live in a much more bland (food descriptively wise) culture.

After my step mother died my father, Otto, and my brother and I went out to a local Chinese restaurant for some dinner. My step mother wasn't real fond of Chinese cuisine and my father, therefore, hadn't been to a Chinese restaurant in many years. That didn't really surprise me, but what did was my father addressing the woman who owned and ran the restaurant in Mandarin! Hell, I didn't know he spoke Mandarin and I had known him for fifty some years! In his first years in the U.S., following WW2, he had a good friend, and fellow foreign student,  by the name of Steve Yang. I vaguely remembered Steve from my early years, but that was so long ago. I wonder if Otto taught Steve any Norwegian or a handful of other languages that he spoke?

But I digress. Things climbing trees. The raccoon goes up the tree...

    The raccoon goes down the tree...
And the deer just keep looking for any more apples that the 'coons missed.
Then there was something I had heard of, but never seen, until now. I had no idea that foxes climb trees. It is obvious now that they can, but I also didn't know that foxes might like apples. Since this was taken at 5:04 AM, I must assume that the fox was getting some fruit to put on its otherwise bland breakfast. Maybe.
These are things that go on in the 'hood when I am not looking.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


"If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand.
'Cause I've been in love before
And I found that love is more
Than just holding hands."

No shit! Aah, naivete. We had it! From the Beatles "If I Fell".

The leaves are falling, the temperature is falling, the day length is falling, and soon snow will be falling. Last week was still warm (above freezing) and not too rainy, but the last vestiges of autumn are showing.
 The wind kicked up, but the sound was different. The rustling of leaves was replaced by a whistling over the bare branches and the crisp, cool mornings were a reason to put on a jacket.

The Cooker made a pot roast last night with veggies that Stitch harvested from her gardens. It was all our home grown except the meat. It was delicious!

The rearranging that the beavers did last fall has had some postponed results, like this tree they didn't finish dropping.
I sometimes think that their long-term strategy for water control may reach out many generations ahead. It will be interesting to see what they do on their way through this fall.

I set up the critter cam near the apple tree and left it for two weeks. There were 1170 pictures of mostly deer. There were a few bucks, a fawn nursing on its mother, raccoons, bunnies (snowshoe hares), a coyote, a fox, and some unidentifiable things, but it showed the flurry of feeding activity that is Fall. Maybe that's why I am so hungry. I am probably genetically programmed to fatten up in the fall for a sparse winter. How deep a role does genetics play? I wonder about this when the billboards on the way to the Big City show messages from happy babies. You know, the ones that say, "when I was a twelve week old fetus I had fingerprints!" I always think, "you also had gills and a tail!" Just things I wonder about.

In this picture of the middle pasture last week, there are still leaves on the Aspen trees. This week, not so much.

Our horse Gyllen Aften (Golden Evening in Norwegian), call name "Pookie" left this week to take a job as a therapeutic riding horse in central Minnesota. She was born here on the farm in June of 1996. She came home a couple of years ago after retiring from the Kentucky Horse Park where she was a driving horse for seven years. She is short, wide, strong, not easily bothered by things and she likes to work. I doubt if she'll come back here, but I may stop in to visit her on occasion just to see how she is doing. Here she is with Vedas in a light snowfall.

  Pookie is the wide one on the left. I was able to pick her up during the first few days of her life. Now she can carry my 200 pound carcass with no problem. Funny how things change with time and chapters seem to close in the Fall.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Broderick Crawford and Cheese

Broderick Crawford, "10-4" in Highway Patrol

Today is October 4th, or as my old friends and I referred to it, Broderick Crawford Day.  Our greatest recollection of the actor was his special way of barking "10-4" into the microphone of his police radio in the TV series "Highway Patrol".

He played many other parts on the stage and in Hollywood winning an Oscar for Best Actor in 1949 for All the Kings Men. He played in many roles and formats for over 50 years everything from vaudeville and radio, to drama, and even an episode of Saturday Night Live back in the 70's.  "Twenty-One-Fifty to Headquarters!" was perhaps better known than our "10-4" for his Highway Patrol years.

 Mr. Crawford had one of those faces you don't forget. Probably not handsome, but one that had seen a lot of living.


Cheese! Fellow blogger Pearl inspired me with one of her bus/bus stop stories. This one was about finding string cheese in her purse. Ah, the things hunger will drive you to looking for. The story reminded me that I have seen string cheese come out of many Minnesota purses over the years. Is this one of those mysteries about what women, especially Midwestern ones, carry in their purse? About half of Minnesotans (generally the ones with deeper voices) wonder about this except maybe the ones that carry "European Shoulder Bags". I imagined that women carry a basic survival kit in there that can include, depending on age and musical preferences, things like food, drink, a change of underwear, various prescription and OTC meds, writing utensils, phones, ipad, ipod, money, first aid items, keys to all kinds of things, and in Pearl's case, string cheese. Being from just south of Philadelphia I imagined women there keeping Cream Cheese in reserve for emergencies. In Upstate New York you might find a wedge of Herkimer County Cheddar or in a  Vermont purse, some delicious Jersey or goat milk cheese.

Personally, I will carry a more masculine purse. It's actually a 1981 vintage Igloo cooler that has most of the above mentioned items, less the ipad and iphone, along with some old grocery lists and receipts for stuff I don't remember buying. And my lunch on most days.

And on the way into work this morning... 
The sunsets, when we actually have them, have been pretty nice, too.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Normally I don't discuss politics very much here, not that I don't have strong opinions and have never missed a chance to vote since I was old enough. However, even I will open my mouth and speak up when the morons in Washington D.C. can't do their jobs. I'm sorry, did I say morons? I don't mean to offend actual morons out there as they are much more useful than the human sludge that is our "leadership" in our nation's capital.

I feel responsible for voting for these idiots all these years as I have watched our country slowly go down the road to third world status. We used to be great and show the world what was possible with our ingenuity. We had all kinds of people with great ideas and aspirations and the will to implement great things. We would all get on the bandwagon and get things done. We had skilled labor that was paid enough to feed their families well and an educational system that brought people in from all over the world to participate in it and either stay and help or take things back to the rest of the world to make it a better place.

We have become the bully on the block that everyone laughs at. He is big, strong, and obnoxious, but unbelievably stupid and short sighted and has no idea how to make it in the real world.

The Capital is full of self-serving, egotistical, puffed up bozos (no offense to the real Bozo)  who couldn't decide whether or not to change a diaper full of poop even if it was curling their nose hairs. I almost died from laughing when I heard a politician in the state next door say how difficult it was to raise a family on a $174,000 salary! He was totally serious! "Whadda maroon!" as Bugs Bunny would say. Even that "wascally wabbit" and his nemesis Elmer Fudd could at least resolve a situation.

I want to apologize for helping to elect some of these impotent blowhards in expensive suits. As a person responsible for this situation (all of us that vote are at least partly responsible) I call for an end to this broken system and look for fresh ideas that will live up to the ideals of our founders. The current system is in "Fail" mode and I know we the people can do better. I think the time is right to throw the bums out before they do any more harm.

As there are more talented and smart people all around the blogosphere this little rant will be lost in the melee and I hope something better comes of it all. It's time to join forces and end the idiocracy that governs this nation.

Thank you, I'll go now and I will be back with more of the usual stuff (unless I get swept up in the new revolution).

P.S. I'll bet you can't even get a copy of this from the NSA until congress gets up off its collective ass.