Sunday, September 30, 2007

Our Ancestors

When you look at it, we all have ancestors within the last 100 years that dressed funny, spoke funny, and ate really disgusting food. They probably smelled bad as well considering bathing took place once or twice a week and they cooked with wood and warmed their homes with wood of coal. See how far we've come?

But what will be said of us in 100 years?

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Up Late

I’m an early riser, hence I am usually an early faller as well. Gearhead constantly bitches me out for not staying up and drinking beer with him when ever we find ourselves at a conference together. He wants to howl at the Moon and by 8pm I’m winding down.

Anyway, I started a project at 8pm last Saturday. I knew it would take a while to complete, but I was running out of time to get this project done. I worked on it and worked on it until 2:00AM when I finally finished. It reminded me of the old days when I’d stay up writing all night. This was back in the days when I had no responsibilities during the day. Those days are long gone.

One thing that got me through the night was KMUN. Their Saturday night programming is out of this world. DJ Kaino amazed me with ever set he’d play and the After Midnight show continued with more of the best stuff in recorded history.

I had such a good time listening and working away that I may even consider making Saturday nights my night to work on projects, at least the ones that don’t require a table saw and a planer.

Thanks KMUN.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Like Likes Like

Years ago I heard a term that has always stuck with me, “Like likes like.” It simply means that things of a kind seem to hang out together, or you like things that are like you.

There is a reason that bikers dress alike. There is a reason farmers dress alike. Sure it has something to do with the durability and function of their clothing, but it is also cultural identification. There are probably times where a farmer could find it perfectly appropriate to wear leathers and a dew rag, but even during those times you will probably find them in jeans or bibs with a baseball cap.

“Like likes like” becomes very important while trying to get a new job or while dating. Opposites may attract, but that is generally short lived and usually ends in disaster. However if you can mirror the people associated with where you want to be, you’re in.

I also once heard an interesting related adage. If you want to be rich take a look and see what all the poor people are doing, and don’t do what they are doing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

What's Eating Me?

OK, I keep getting emails and phone calls asking why I don’t like eating in public. Here goes... To me, a human eating is as disgusting to watch as any human body function. I don’t want to see it go in you, and I don’t want to see it come out of you. Stuffing food into one’s mouth, even if they are small bites can be as visually sickening to me as the photos I use on my sick day posts. I even get sickened from seeing the angelic character in the commercial stuffing a bagel with cream cheese into her mouth. It sticks to her lips and I just want to puke...

Just think of seeing half masticated food rolling around in someone’s mouth, or spinach stick to someone’s teeth. Sure genteel people try to eat with their mouths closed, but they have to open up to take the next bite and there is always something lurking waiting to be seen.

So yes, I am projecting here, but I don’t like eating in public so as not to gross anyone else out because I think that everyone must be at least as neurotic as I am. They probably aren’t, but I like to think they are.

So in conclusion, I don’t care how good looking someone may be; they don’t look good eating… or wearing leather pants for that matter. I don’t want to see anyone eat, nor would I want to see them take a dump. It’s all related in my head.

There’s the explanation. Are you happy? Get over it and don't suggest therapy. I know you rat bastards are thinking it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Holy Crap, Lori !

So I get this comment on Mondays blog post, I'm getting some Blog Award that I've never heard of before. I was just going to ignore it since this is an honor rather than a prize bearing award with gifts of cash or even a new back hoe. But then Lori at Hahn At Home confessed she was the nominator. So just for shits and grins I visited the award web site and read the absolutely kind words that Lori wrote about Astoria Rust and your humble narrator. Thanks, Lori. I sincerely mean my thanks.

The funny thing about it all is like when someone takes a photo of you and when you see it you don't recognize yourself. I questioned every comment Lori stated, thinking "That's not me", but I guess it is me and has been all along. The cool thing about blogs is that you can create your own image. You can put forward the face you want everyone to see. In reality I can honestly say that Lori has captured the essence of Rust, and the personality flaws of its host.

See if you agree with her assessment at Rising Blogger.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I got my truck back from the shop last Friday. There was a valve cover leak that messed up the cam sensor and there was a leak in the manifold. The truck sounds much better and I’m thankful it wasn’t a bunch of other things that I imagined it would be.

I’m also thankful to Auntie L who chauffeured me a few times when my other car wasn’t available. She is such a dear! Her only reward (punishment) was hanging out with me for 20 minute trips and some Pizza on Thursday. Yes, she is one of the few who has now seen me eat. That’s a whole other blog article on how I don’t like eating in public. Yes, I’m a kook…actually I don’t like seeing other people eating so I internalize it to spare other who are afflicted with the same sensitive nature.

I wondered what it would be like if I suddenly had no vehicles in my life. I know I wouldn’t impose on anyone and I’d probably have to ride my bike everywhere. As nice as it is riding horses, I somehow don’t see myself going over the Old Youngs Bay Bridge with one. I do wonder if I could convince the City and County that horse people need a livery or at least hitching posts in convenient locations.

Imagine if fuel prices become so high that people start going back to using horse power. For now the prices are down. It’s funny, but when the price of gasoline goes below $3 a gallon, you’ll see people driving their Hummers again. When it’s over $3 the only place they can be seen is on a sale lot.

I bet when it’s over $5.00 a gallon, you will see horses in town.

Anyway, thank you for your kindness, Auntie. You are a dear friend. Even if you do drive too fast.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Great Escape

Last Thursday began like a normal morning, I woke up at 5:00, had a shower, checked my e-mail, had coffee and breakfast. At 6:45 I go out to feed the animals, but oddly I don’t see the horses standing by the gate as they normally do. I have the pastures sectioned off so we can rest parts of the pasture and let the grass grow. I figured they somehow got through my barriers and made their way to the upper pastures. I walk up there and they are no where in sight.

I look around and saw that they went through the only section of the fence that wasn’t electrified. OK, where were they? There is lots of green grass on the lawn, but they weren’t there. I hiked up a quarter mile to the back of the property; not there either.

I got in the car and drove down to two other farms down the road where horses live to the South; no sign of them. I drove a half mile North where there are a lot of fields that horses would just love to be in; not there either.

Then the phone rang. It was a neighbor about a mile north of us. Our horses were in her pasture. We’ve only ridden that way once and that was months ago. I have no idea why they traveled up there. I would have figured they would have gone where there were larger gatherings of horses in a direction they are familiar with, but this neighbor has only one horse and there are no other horses between here and there.

I know the ring leader was our mare. She is an escape artist. She is able to open latched gates. We have since learned to latch and chain gates. She had even figured out that I had one gate where I didn’t oppose the hinge bolts and she put her head through the bars of the gate and lifted the damn thing off the hinge and got out.

So this weekend I’m going to hot wire the remaining areas where I once thought a psychological barrier would do. Maybe I should put a GPS tracking device on them. Two dark horses roaming a dark country road at night is never a good thing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Archives of Free Stuff

The other day when I wrote the article on the Castrati I stumbled upon the link where I found the mp3 of a castrato singing.

Since then I been checking out that link because it offers downloads of works that have had their copy rights expire, meaning free downloads. If you are really into the old stuff you can obtains volumes of free stuff. I burned three CDs of Billy Murray recordings of the 1920s, and I burned a CD of Vaudevillian singer Benny Bell double-entendre. You’d probably remember him from songs like Shaving Cream and Everybody Wants My Fanny.

This site is also a resource for all sorts of stuff that is not copy right protected: art, books on tape, live music recordings, films, interviews and much more music. It also has stuff that artists want to share with the public for free. So no matter if you are into the really old stuff or the really new stuff, you can go there and download more music than you will ever have time to listen to.

Here is the sight
Be sure to explore every nook and cranny at this site. There is a gem in every corner.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Messages From Syd

Normally I don't kiss and tell or share e-mail messages but this is too precious. I got an e-mail from Syd at Adrenaline's Shadow yesterday.

Syd writes:
Guy,How much damage would (2) goats do to the back seat of my car on a 30 minute drive?

My reply:
I can't stop laughing over that question. Holy shit, you are too funny...
Lots of damage if they start eating your leather, and more so if one of them pisses.
Do you have any big dog crates? You could tether them in the bed of your pickup truck aswell.

If they are fainting goats they should faint and stay that way once you scare the shit out of them by the way you drive...

Love ya,

Syd's reply:
See...I knew that you would be the voice of reason. I was worried about the crapping, but you're probably right about the piss. I better borrow my sister's car.

Friday, September 21, 2007


Yesterday I wrote about digging, and I ended the article asking if I’d dig my own grave. Sure it’s a morbid topic, but is seems to me that digging a grave may be the ultimate act of love.

I’ve dug graves for pets in the past. I once dug a grave for a calf that died. I had to bury a horse two years ago. It was during a real rainy spell so I hired someone with a back hoe because water filled the hole and replaced every bit of dirt that was removed.

Digging a grave gives one the chance to reflect on the life that is now gone. Unfortunately, people no longer have the opportunity to dig graves for their loved ones.

There are no longer any family cemeteries on the family farm. There are all sorts of laws, union contracts and standards that prevent this final act of love from taking place. The closest thing one can do is purchase a plot and walk the earth where you eventually will be interned. All aspects of the death of a loved one are taken care of by strangers. Your only involvement is writing a check and attending the service.

I’ve always had the romantic notion that I could find a spot in the woods up on the hill in the back part of my property and dig my grave. I could carefully craft it and stone the walls like a well. I could cover it and maintain it. When I die I can be placed in the grave and it could be filled with the forest soil by friends and loved ones. Then it may be capped with a simple stone.

Maybe this is morbid, but to me I find that an occasional reminder of my mortality helps me appreciate my life much more.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

You Dig?

I’ve done a lot of digging during the last 20 years of living here. I don’t have a back hoe, and most things I need to have dug out are too small to call in a pro. My largest dig where I should have hired someone was a twenty foot by thirty foot foundation and crawl space, three feet deep.

I hired an excavator to dig the foundation for the first addition I built on the house which was 16 X 24 feet, but that excavator not only broke a favorite fruit tree, but he also collapsed to top on my septic tank and when he came back to back fill he put soil back into where the crawl space was going to be. Since basements don’t work out well here, if I ever have to go under the house I want room to get around, not just the required eighteen inches. Yes, he dug it back out.

Anyway, anytime I ever hired someone to dig for me they always broke or destroyed something, so I just dig it myself.

The cool thing is that I have never dug up any rocks on my property. Sure it’s heavy clay once you get down a foot or so, but never any rocks. I lived where there were rocks when you dug, and that was never any fun, especially when you come into a rock the size of a Volks Wagon.

I recently had a big dig. I had to get down to some crushed stone and drainage pipe under a horse a pen and extend it under horse stalls. It ended up being a twenty foot trench, two and a half feet deep. If digging wasn’t enough I had to lay a drainage pipe and cover it with two yards of 2 inch drain stone.

When I put the spade and shovel down I told myself that I would hope to never dig again. However, yesterday my wife informed me that I need to transplant two Hanoki Cyprus trees. They are presently in big pots and will need holes that will be about four feet across and three feet down.

I often wonder if I will one day dig my own grave.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dylan Takes Up Our Cause & Happy 2nd Syd

OK, I saw this at Syd's (Mississippi Syd) Adrenaline's Shadow blog and I couldn't resist making one for the issues we face here. It may take a moment to load, but it's well worth it.

By the way, Happy 2nd Blogaversary today, Syd, Darlin! You have my continuing love and devotion.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mutt and Jeff at 100

Recently my wife and I were talking about two people we knew and she said, ”They look like Mutt and Jeff.” I thought about her statement and realized it is now a pretty archaic thing to say.

I replied, “ That is a really old association. I bet your kids have no idea of who Mutt and Jeff were.” She thought they would know, so I convinced her to text her kids. Oddly we can text from home, but our cell phones don’t work from there. Also, she has turned into a real texter, where I won’t read one. I don’t care how many text messages are in my in box, that’s where they are staying. Really, if you have the phone in your hand, just call me, don’t text me. I can answer your question and hang up long before I can type a reply.

Anyway, within the next five minutes she heard back from both of them and neither had ever heard of Mutt and Jeff. For those of you who are too young to know of the fame of Mutt and Jeff or why the term Mutt and Jeff is used by us older folks to describe a couple consisting of a person who is tall and a person who is short, here is a quick synopsis for you.

Nearly a hundred years ago on November 15, 1907 a San Francisco Chronicle cartoonist, Bud Fisher began drawing a daily comic strip called "Mr. Mutt.". A short time later, he added the diminutive Mr. Jeff, and "Mutt and Jeff" was born. Mutt was a tall, lanky man with a penchant for the ponies, while Jeff looked like the Monopoly man after a rough weekend. Mutt and Jeff were affable losers; the guys in the cheap seats at horse races on a Wednesday afternoon. In 1932, Fisher formally turned production of the strip over to Al Smith, who continued to draw it until two years before its demise in 1982.

Monday, September 17, 2007


I was recently listening to a piece of Classical music, actually it was a Baroque or maybe even Rococo piece with vocals and the male singer sang in such a high register that I thought it sounded a lot like a castrato.

For those of you not familiar with the term, a castrato is a male soprano, mezzo-soprano, or alto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological, never reaches sexual maturity.

The Catholic Church and most civilized governments frowned upon this act making it unlawful in the late 1800s. In 1878, Pope Leo XIII prohibited the hiring of new castrati by the church. The official end to the castrati came on St. Cecilia's Day, 22 November 1903, when the new pope, Pius X, issued his motu proprio, Tra le Sollecitudini ('Amongst the Cares'), which contained this instruction: "Whenever . . . it is desirable to employ the high voices of sopranos and contraltos, these parts must be taken by boys.

Castration before puberty (or in its early stages) prevents a boy's larynx from being transformed by the normal physiological events of puberty. As a result, the vocal range of prepubescence (shared by both sexes) is largely retained, and the voice develops into adulthood in a unique way. As the castrato's body grew, his lack of testosterone meant that his epiphyses (bone-joints) did not harden in the normal manner. Thus the limbs of the castrati often grew unusually long, as did the bones of their ribs. This, combined with intensive training, gave them unrivalled lung-power and breath capacity.

If you would like to hear the voice of a castrato singing, visit this link and click on player button where it says 1. AlessandroMoreschi-AveMaria

Sunday, September 16, 2007


It’s not that we actually need more advertising in the world, and I’m absolutely surprised that no one has ever done this before, but have you ever looked at someone’s foot prints in the sand or in the snow, or how about a wet foot print on a dry sidewalk?

How come no marketing genius has never put a rubber stamp on the bottom of their shoe that leaves a positive imprint? Imagine the left shoe imprinting the word, “Buy” and the right shoe imprinting the word “Widgets.” Imagine the product imprinting that could be done by just walking a hundred feet dawn the beach after an advertising shoe walked by. Even if your impression was only subliminal suggestion, the imprint and branding could be very effective.

So if you are in advertising and you run with this idea, remember I’ll be happy to take a cut for being the creative force behind the idea. And I am available for future ideas and consultation.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Call in Now!

OPB was doing their fund raiser this week. This is the time when they run special shows in hopes of having you call in and donate money. They break from the show into the studio. Behind the announcers are rows of people answering the phones as people call in to donate money. It struck me as odd how pledge drives and telethons still seem to be using phones that have old fashion mechanical bells. You hear this constant ringing in the background that sounds like your deaf grand mother’s phone on a table in the parlor, ringing at full volume.

Are they really still using that type of phone, or is that this is the sound they think will make us call in and donate?

Friday, September 14, 2007


It happened yet again. I had another engine light problem taken care of two weeks ago, then I was in the Portland area last Saturday and the damn light went on again. I drove it home and got gas the next day and then the light went out for a day, then it went back on sometime Tuesday.

I figured this has been happening way too often so I went online and purchased a code reader yesterday, but while driving through Miles Crossing last night the damn truck stalls right in front of Varners. They were just closing up the shop and I asked if I left the truck there would they be able to repair it in a couple days. They told me they were booked until mid-October.

I got back in the truck and it started, but it died again within a mile after I topped a hill. I waited and it started again and took it to my regular repair shop who are going to get on it right away.

It’s getting time I get a new truck or develop some mechanical skills of my own.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


There was a day when you would be thought insane if you thought that someone would actually buy a bottle of water. One day the world just went crazy. I decided it was time to expose the industry so I saved up plastic bottles and cleaned them with bleach water and removed their labels. I refilled the bottles with tap water and I put a new label on the bottles that said:
Water for People with
More Money Than Brains

It gives me great joy to see bottled water companies finally admitting that they've been selling people tap water the whole time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Take a Hike

Mountain climbing was something I was interested in while I was in my 20s. At least at that time I thought I was interested in it. Now I realize that it was simply hiking that I liked. Even more so, simple day hikes.

I suppose my reality check came when visiting places like Yosemite and the Adirondacks where one can look at the magnificent granite cliffs of El Capitan or Pokomoonshine and see tiny dots moving upward on their surfaces. Then you realize those tiny specks are people climbing those rocks. This reality added perspective to what I thought I wanted to do.

I am reminded of a day hike I once took with a girlfriend of the time. We hiked up a rather minor mountain named Skunnymonk in the Ramapo Mountain Range in New York State. It was a warm late spring day and it was a two or three hour hike. When we got to the top we found it to be like the top of most of the Ramapo Mountains, a bald cap with eroded soil that exposed the rock.

We decider to rest at the top and laid on the sun warmed rock. Shortly we found ourselves each involved in a nap. It was a semi-conscience nap where we were almost, but not quite in REM sleep. Oddly, after a while we kept hearing this sound of a strange wind that would whoosh by and then whoosh by again. The sound became more frequent and louder and closer.

We opened our eyes at nearly the same time and saw a flock of turkey vultures. They were circling us, getting closer with each pass. We got up and moved around and they went elsewhere, disappointed in our lack of demise. I was reminded of the fate of those who die in the wilderness.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Something's In the Air

It was Joe Cocker’s spastic performance at Woodstock in 1969 that launched what is now considered to some, a respectable art form know as Air Guitar. For those of you who have been living under a rock, Air Guitar is playing guitar to music, except your guitar is made of air instead of wood, resins, frets and strings.

Cocker, by the way, I believe was the only air guitarist to actually play an air bass guitar. All the other Johnny Come Lately air guitarist opt for the six string.

It’s not that I have a lot to say about the air guitar performances or competitions, but I do wonder why there are no air drummers or pianists. How about an air cello? How about an air orchestra? There is plenty of music and air to go around. There are endless air music possibilities out there all waiting for exploitation. Why is it just guitar that comes up air worthy?

Monday, September 10, 2007


Writing the piece on the Bean Field brought back some more memories of how I and some other kids profited from living near that field. Kids, at least kids back then loved to earn money. It wasn’t given to us, we earned it and we understood its value.

Every year when the field was cut, I and the few other kids in the area knew that the time for the bivouac was at hand. This was an annual event where the army at Fort Dix would pack up and hit the road to Fort Drum. A several mile long convoy of green Army trucks and Jeeps would roll North on Route 17, and exit at our sleepy berg. They always prearranged to overnight in the Bean Field.

All of us kids would watch with excitement as the MPs stood in the street directing traffic; signaling all military vehicles to pull into neat perfectly spaced rows in the field. Once all were parked the soldiers immediately set up their camp. Hundreds of pup tents went up in an instant. Larger mess, medical and command tents were set up as well.

When the dust settled we kids moved in to make some money. We would go from tent to tent asking the soldiers if they wanted us to get them a soda or some candy from the local gas station just down the road.

We seemed to know the limits of what we could carry back, so when the order was large enough from a couple of tents we’d fly off to the gas station and start pumping coins into the soda machine, and we get the candy bars from another machine. We’d swoop back, oddly never forgetting where our orders came from and which soldier got what.

We’d tell them how much the soda or the candy was and they’d usually pay us twice the amount. We never had to add a delivery fee, we worked for tips only. Not so much because we didn’t want the money, but we were kids and didn’t understand what a mark-up was. Plus we got to hang out with real soldiers who had guns and all sorts of cool equipment that kids loved looking at.

When we were finished with the first round, he’d hit all the tents again, and then once more before dark. The next day we’d collect all the empty bottles just before they broke camp and got back on the road. We’d collect and return all the empty bottles and keep the deposit money.

The field was left with flattened grass from where the tents stood. It was also rutted with tracks from all the traffic of the heavy vehicles.

They never stopped in the Bean Field on their way back to Fort Dix. Some kids in New York State got to work them on their return trip. Those soldiers did good things for me and the local kid economy in my small New Jersey town.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

One Year Dump Cycle

It has been since one year and three days since I last went to the Transfer Station. I was able to store our family garbage for a year and then it all fit nicely in my pick-up truck with a short bed with room to spare.

Previously the longest I had gone was six months. There was a time when I went every four months. Last year I set a goal to go once a year. I want to see if I can extend that further next year.

In an article I wrote last year I showed that each person in Dried Salmon (Clatsop) County generates nearly a ton of garbage per person every year. Estimating the weight of the garbage in my truck, I doubt it was over 300 pounds. So in one year, my family of two generated less garbage weight than the combined weight of our two bodies. Most people generate 25 times their own weight.

Also, it cost me $25 to dump that one years collection of trash. Yep, I'm feeling green and smug.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Scent of Autumn

There are certain things I miss about summers on the east coast such as crickets and fire flies, though I have heard crickets here at the beach. I just don’t have them where I live.

I’ve written several articles in the past few months that talk about summer, but it’s time I move onto autumn.

It isn’t so much the colorful foliage of the east coast fall that I miss. I can get a taste of it with the changing colors of the vine maples and the occasional aspen. Though the color is less here at least there is still a lot of green left here when the deciduous trees have lost their leaves. On the east coast the forests just turn grey.

There is a marked change in the air that one can appreciate weather one is here or on the east coast. A frosty morning feels the same no matter where you are.

One thing I do miss about autumn on the east coast is the smell of wild concord grapes that grow in the woods there. These grapes are a bit bitter to the taste, smell great. You can also make some really good grape juice, jelly or wine from them. Best of all they grow wild and they are free for the picking. The only problem is that sometimes they are out of reach so you need to bring poles with a cutting device and baskets on them.

The smell of ripe grapes on the vine is the smell of fall to me and I miss it dearly, though a the smell of a good apple harvest can do the trick as well.

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Bean Field

Across the street from where I grew up there was a vast field. It was called Carlough’s Field, but it was better known as the Bean Filed. From what I understand Carlough had grown beans in that field back in the in the 1930s. Other than his name being associated with the field; I have no idea who Carlough was. He didn't live on the farm.

This, by the way is a photo of me when I was four years old with a small portion of the Bean Field in the background. I am pictured with Lynn, my oldest brother’s girlfriend. Both my brother and Lynn are no longer alive.

My earliest memories of the Bean Field were of it just being a field. Every year someone would come by with a tractor and cut the grass. I don't recall the grass ever being baled. When the grass was tall one could easily get lost in the field. I can recall just laying in the grass and spending hours looking at clouds floating over head.

The Bean Field was my source of entertainment and discovery from age 4 to my mid teens. When I was seven someone did some soil and gravel mining in the back part on the hill. This action exposed a water spring and made a pond. It also exposed a wonderland of fossils.

There were all sorts of natural things to discover there, be it pollywogs, dragon flies, or foxes and rabbits. It was also a great place for a kid to dig in the dirt and study rocks.

A few years later a developer built a strip mall with an A&P grocery store on about ten acres on the North end, but fortunately most of the bean field was still intact. Then a few years later they built a Savings and Loan bank on an acre right across from the photo above. Next a cinder block strip mall structure was built behind the bank that was never finished and stood until I left twenty years ago. That structure has since been destroyed; however the bean field is all gone now. There are now, as I understand it roads and condominiums all through the Bean Field and all the woods in the hills behind the field are now developed as well.

It is sad to think that there are no longer any wild areas for young children who live there to explore and discover like I did. Nature to them is a manicured lawn with maybe a bird feeder if they are lucky.

I feel lucky to be living here, however much of the natural areas around where I now live have been clear cut, paved over and built upon. Had I grown up here I would probably be saddened just as much as I am saddened about where I used to live.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

It's Time

OK brother and sister Bloggers and readers, from what I’m reading you’re all starting to get too depressed out there. The days are getting shorter and it’s time to bring out your light boxes and get a handle on your Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I know you think you are just in a temporary funk, but it’s going to get worse and you know it.

If you are depressed and tired and you don’t have a light box, get one. We don't want to hear you whine for the next eight months.

If you do have one; get in the closet and yank that bastard out and dust it off. Brew your coffee and read your favorite blogs while you dose yourself every morning with light. It’s time! I can see it, most of you need some light. Trust me!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


OK, if you have a permit in or on your car that allows you to park in one of these marked spaces, please don’t park there and jog into the store. I want to see signs of an injury or a medical condition, either in the form of a limp, slow walking, bent over or oxygen tubes. If you don’t display any of the signs it looks to me like you’re faking it.

If you have a condition that comes and goes, use the parking pass when you have a flair and park elsewhere when you are OK. Also, if you let your 18 year old use your car, they shouldn’t be abusing its intended use.

Now to the medical community, just because someone has a fat ass and can’t get in an out of their car without a giant shoe horn and bear grease doesn’t mean they are disabled. There should be special parking spaces for them at the far end of the parking lot where we can enable them to get some exercise by walking a little more. Please stop giving out permits like they bags of popcorn at the lumberyard. These permits are controlled substances, too.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sick Day XVI

OK, I’m going to sink to an all new low and show you just how shallow I really am for this month’s sick day presentation.

There are some notable and celebrity people who I find are just too hard to look at. I will over look those with asymmetric faces like Lyle Lovett who can actually look good because their faces have character.

What I’m talking about are often icons of beauty or those who are at least known for their looks. Take Nicole Kidman for instance. There is something creepy about her forehead and eye brows. I can’t watch her. Jackie Kennedy, her eyes were so far apart I wondered if one of her parents was a hammer head shark. Julia Roberts and that throbbing vein in her forehead. Katie Brown, the sports caster at KATU makes me dizzy. In fact, all sports casters are hard to look at. These are attractive people by most standards, but something about them just hits me the wrong way.

Want more, John Kerry, Henry Waxman, and Waxman look alike Dr. Phil, Lester Holt, Meredith Vieira, Charles Gibson, Barbara Walters. They are all just too difficult to view, they make me sick and yes I am that shallow.

Monday, September 03, 2007

A Wet Summer

This has been a rainy summer. We are used to it raining on the 4th of July, getting small sprits in mid August to remind the cut throat trout that there are streams waiting for them and that’s about all the moisture we get until sometime in October.

I don’t think a week has gone by where we didn’t get some sort of precipitation. It has been wet enough that my ponds never dried up this year. My pastures are still green and the grass is still growing. I’ve had to mow the lawn more than once in August. Finally, I was setting some fence posts last week and I was hitting water at two feet in depth.

Around here it is being called the summer that never arrived, but when I think of it, it seemed like a good thing. Friends on water wells still have water and there isn’t that nagging feeling that there is going to be a forest fire that will wipe out all your trees.

Climate change be damned, I could get used to this.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Bye Bye Fly

Anyone with live stock knows the most annoying problem on the farm is the fly. As soon as the temperatures rise into the 60s horses and cows get covered. Most kind horse owners will put fly masks on their horses to keep the flies out of the horses’ eyes. Newer masks even cover the horses’ nose and ears.

A lot of money is spent on fly control products, be it fly sprays, feed through fly repellent, and insects they prey on flies. We’ve been through all of that and they seem to work marginally.

What seems to be working really well for us this year is a manure composter. The photo above is a three bin composter where I deposit the manure every day. I also put lawn clippings, garden weeds and kitchen scraps in there. As the matter decomposes it heats up and destroys any fly eggs and larva. It is covered so moisture is controllable and the compost doesn’t turn into soup that leaches into the stream. Best of all it doesn’t smell.

I used to pick a spot and then I’d dump manure there it never decomposed properly and the mounds just got bigger and bigger. I’ve been using this composter since May and I have yet to fill two bins. One will get high and I’ll use the next bin giving the first bin time to cook down. After two weeks the pile has gone down enough to accept another two weeks worth of manure and clippings.

The best part is that we virtually have no flies. We can saddle up the horses and go down the road past other farms that have live stock and the flies from those farms will swarm us until we get far enough away from their manure piles.

Another benefit is that next spring we will have a couple cubic yards of garden compost. It is win-win all the way around.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Four Hours

When going anywhere with your partner or spouse; no matter what you do it will always take four hours. Sure, you think it’s just a quick hop to the grocery store, but consider the time spent getting together a list, getting dressed, waiting for your spouse or partner to get themselves presentable with hair, make-up. At this point when the question arises, “Does this look all right?”, if you have any answer other than the affirmative, you just set yourself back another half hour.

This was going to be a quick hop, but now that they are dressed and presentable it is time to accessorize with the proper watch necklace and earrings. After that it’s a task to find the purse, the phone and the bottle of water for the trip. Then you get into the car and you hear, "I forgot my sunglasses."

Then there is the drive, 20 minutes each way; no matter where you live it’s 20 minutes each way. I don’t care if you can see the store from your living room window; it will still take you 20 minutes each way.

Next there is shopping. As a guy, I can get through any store in ten minutes if I’m alone, but with a partner we have to visit isles that guys never venture down. These isles have absolutely nothing for us. Occasionally, yet rarely, mind you, there will be some sort of specialty tool in one of those isles that will hold our attention just long enough to prevent us from gnawing off a leg, but no matter how cool that eye lash curler looks, there is absolutely no other use for it and it wouldn’t look cool hanging on the peg board in the shop.

After shopping, even though there are frozen items in the grocery bags there is yet another stop to make because the price wasn’t good at the first store, or they didn’t have it in stock. Off to another store.

By the time you return home and unpack everything you will note that four hours have passed and you spent more than double what you intended to spend. Had you gone alone it would have taken an hour. With the time saved by going alone you could have taken a nap, made and ate a nice lunch and mowed the lawn.