Friday, February 27, 2009

Word Verification

It is hard to comment on blogs with word verification when you've lived your whole life with a "That's close enough" attitude.
They must hire retired Doctors to write them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I recently walked out the door on my way to a conference half-way across Nebraska. Here, I've said my goodbye's to Marilyn and I'm on my way to the truck. I had my laptop but I couldn't find my Garmin. Sooo......

Actually the globe, (the one in my left hand not the one on top of my jacket) was on it's way to a garage sale in Lincoln. We didn't need it anymore. A lot of the countries were incorrect and it still has the United States on it. It could really be useless in just a few more years.
The upper 50's are forecast for today. Our states residents are giddy. I've got to go dust off the clubs.
PS: For those of you watching national politics I have a definition of terms for you: Closing Loopholes for businesses means "changing the tax code to raise taxes on businesses even more." The wrong direction once again. However, we don't need to pay taxes anymore it seems. Nothing will be done to you if you don't. All one needs do is plead Ignorance. But 'ignoance' sure works and is believable for the ones caught so far.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Out Of The Mouths...

My daughter and children, ages 6 and 10 are at Disney World. The trip was their Christmas present.
Uncle Tom, who is an old hand at the parks down there offered to meet them down there and help his sister with the kids to insure all had a maximum time.
I got a call yesterday from Tom. He had been standing in a short line with his ten year old nephew.
They were standing by a sign that warned everyone that 'This ride makes sudden sharp turns, abrupt changes in direction and has sudden drops.'
Quote: "Hey Look, Unca Tom, this ride will be like riding in a car with Mom."

Friday, February 13, 2009

Precious Moments

I got my Valentines card from my Bride.
On the outside it says:
Sometimes, I lay beside you and gaze on your face while you sleep and this feeling overwhelms me that I'm the luckiest woman in the world.
On the inside:
And then sometimes I just lay there thinking I'll never, ever, cook chili for dinner again.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Free Milk

My Dad didn't say much. And I was with him a lot, until he died when I was 34. But when he did talk, people listened.
My first recollection of, or the beginning or our welfare state began when I was sitting in our one room school house that used to sit 2 miles from my present home. President Kennedy was in office and I came home from school to report that a refrigerator had been put in the wash room at school. When I say wash room I don't mean restroom. The toilets were two little buildings out back. We had a wash room where we all lined up to wash our hands with rusty water and a bar of Lava before we could eat. I went home the day they installed the 'fridge' and reported that it had been placed there and it had been stocked with 'FREE' milk from the government. Even though we brought our own sack lunches we were now going to get cold mild for lunch. I thought the reaction to this news would be good from my parents. It wasn't. It was disgust. My Dad's reactions was "Oh Bull." The government shouldn't be involved in that sort of thing. It's up to us to take care of our children and their schooling. Mom replied that they will want something in return.
These were very wise people. They knew the dangers of relinquishing control of anything. They were always completely against any organized farm group saying that being independent and completely backing the free market system was the only answer. He hated the farm programs when they got started.
I'm headed to a statewide meeting. This annual conference is largely to educate us on the brand new ways the federal government is going to tighten their grip around the throats of the counties in our country, and the adverse effects it will have. How they want us to take care of more and more folks and they want to give us 'part' of the money to do it. The mandates keep coming and now this conference will likely have an organist over in the corner of the big hall playing a death dirge for the individuals who are on their way to losing all control of their lives.
The free milk paved the way to a majority of this country (all be it a small majority) who now believe that government is the answer. They can't see 'NO' as a viable answer to the disaster that is looming large. They can't see that we should be letting the free market system work. You know, where the less competitive go out of business and the ones who know how to survive continue getting bigger and hiring more and more people. I'm not against helping someone who is out of work for a short time.
The big problem with extending help to everyone for everything is that you could end up with big cities full of parentless kids in gangs who kill more people in American cities in two months than we lost in Iraq. Who end up in the prison system. Who never were educated. Who grow up with no morals because there was no Dad, and Mom is on welfare and knows that if she can produce another child she can get more money.
You see, there is no end to a free market society. But we already know that there is an end to our country if we continue down this path.
My children were eligible for welfare the whole time we were raising them. We never thought once about accepting any of it. Don't get me wrong, we never lacked for anything we needed. It's just that the bar had been set so low that almost anyone with kids qualified for some sort of help from the government.
Has anyone else noticed that since the time of free milk, we as a country have thrown more and more and more money at all of these social programs and education, and we've ended up with everything getting worse. The number of people getting in line for 'free milk' is getting longer, and longer, and longer instead of shorter. I have a smirk on my face when being absolutely sure of the fact that MONEY IS NOT THE ANSWER I see politicians in the act of giving away the farm in the hope of being re-elected. It's not the politicians fault. It's the voters of this country. They knoweth not what they do.
Now instead of raising the bar, we are about to lay it on the ground. That ought to do the trick.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Time Means Nothing To A Hog

Midwest Producer Jan. 2, 2009 Edition
by Cliff Morrow

In the past week I read a short column about a famous actor who related a story about his first job. He said that at 21 years of age, he had finally got an acting job and for the first time in his life, time had no meaning. He enjoyed it so much that the clock was irrelevant.
That was an epiphany for me. It explains the thinking of most of the people who read this column across the great states of Kansas and Nebraska. Growing up in rural areas, whether working on the clock or not, or whether living on a farm or not, there is a mentality that says the job is the important thing. The time on the clock means nothing. As a farmer, you are fully aware, that if the seed doesn’t get placed into the ground at the right moment or during the right window of opportunity, there will be no crop to harvest or at best it will be greatly reduced. So the threat of bad weather that could cause a rain delay of a few days or even a few weeks will keep you on the tractor for as long as it takes to get done planting.
The same thing applies to the fertilizer, and cultivating, and spraying, and the mowing, and the baling and the list goes on. Each job, in turn, has its time or season to finish. You can’t look at the clock. The job needs to get done no matter what the dial on your wrist might say.
Almost everything we do as farmers is governed by the weather. We try to beat rain, or we pray for it. We buy hail insurance in case there is bad weather. We buy sprinklers in case it doesn’t rain. We buy crop insurance in case it does rain, too much…or because it might not rain enough.
Then fall comes and we forsake all things to keep the machinery running. The clock doesn’t matter. It’s your livelihood at stake here.
Every conversation up town starts with a question. “Are you done planting, or picking corn?” “Did you get the hay put up before the rain?” “Are you done calving yet?” No one asks if you’re working too many hours. What are they really asking? They are asking if the job is done yet. Because our ‘clock,’ is a calendar.
I remember my Dad in a discussion he had with one of his neighbors back in the 1960’s. Our hogs were on a dry lot and Dad had switched from ground corn to a pelletized feed. It was a complete ration and got the hogs to market a couple of weeks faster. It was a pretty high powered ration for back in those days and more expensive feed than a grinder mixer would produce. The discussion was about feed and Dad was sharing this news with the neighbor. “You might be able to get your hogs to market a month sooner.” Our neighbor replied, “Art, time means nothing to a hog.”
Time means nothing to farm folks either I would guess.
We often hear of large companies wanting to expand into the Midwest because of the work ethic of our citizenry. That might be another way of saying we don’t watch the clock around these parts. We watch the calendar instead.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

To The Vineyard

When we were done with the parade we started on our way to the winery. This picture is a good representation of the hills north and west of town.
This is near the entry point to the winery.
Looking west, along the lane to the winery buildings.
I'm having a brief conversation with JD and the Rev. One of my regrets of Blogstock '08 was not having had enough time to sit down and have a long converstaion with these two. I guess I could say that about everyone who came. We'll do better at the next Blogstock.
Mr & Mrs LZ and Rachel. Rachel has just posed the question, "Why are we here?"
I just remembered why we have only one picture of JD out at the winery. She and Rev were next to last to go thru the food line. So about right here I put the camera down and headed to the chow line.
We left the winery and stopped for a few minutes at my mil's. To get the float home, we needed to strip it of it's dignity. The 9 miles at 50 mph wouldn't have been good. We'd have had Bolgstock stars, posters, and trimmings strung for a good distance. Here Mr and Mrs LZ and I are taking it apart. It took about 30 man hours to build and decorate and about 15 minutes to take it apart.
We've finally finished this long journey and have arrived at the farm. This is our house. The little window at the top is where I look out to see if it's a human or an animal that trying to get in.
Next is food and fun under the big top.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

I Promise, Last of the Parade.

Our daughter on right and Grandaughter (Princess in middle) family friend is on left of picture. They were behind the Blogstock float in the parade.

Rachel looking fairly patriotic in this picture. She's actually trying to conceal a truffle that JD had just given her. She was afraid I might get it.
Jerry had just crawled off of the float and is working the crowd.
If you will enlarge this photo you will see why I like it so much. Had there been a prize for the float with the most cameras, we would have won it. I finally located my photos from the event so this one has Ralph proudly displayed in front. Now we'll head out to the vineyard for a bit.