Saturday, October 31, 2009
Dr. Howard Hayden wrote a letter to the EPA recently. I've heard of him - he's into energy policy in a big way, and is unswayed by the rush to cut our own throats with restrictive and punitive energy policies that are based on ill defined science. The money quote from the letter:
It has been often said that the "science is settled" on the issue of CO2 and climate. Let me put this claim to rest with a simple one-letter proof that it is false.
The letter is s, the one that changes model into models. If the science were settled, there would be precisely one model, and it would be in agreement with measurements.
Alternatively, one may ask which one of the twenty-some models settled the science so that all the rest could be discarded along with the research funds that have kept those models alive.
We can take this further. Not a single climate model predicted the current cooling phase. If the science were settled, the model (singular) would have predicted it.
As "they" say, read the whole thing. Dr. Hayden writes in a clear, easy to understand, and devastating manner. Devastating if you believe Al Gore, that is, and are capable of logic rather than faith in a destructive earth centric religion. Dr. Hayden blows the "tipping point" argument right out as well.
But, it's difficult to argue against a religion whose backers stand to make a bunch of money. Carbon tax - here we come!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
One of the building blocks that was missing was - building blocks. Western Kansas did have a few trees, but the construction of the early Army posts wiped out the sparse tree population. We've all heard about how people lived in dugouts and sod houses - that's all there was. Freighting in the necessary wood to build a home was strictly for the rich, and traditional wood fences were right out as well. I'm sure most of us have heard of the prairie campfire fuel - buffalo chips. That worked, but you couldn't build anything with a bunch of dried up buffalo turds.
Split rail fence - just like Honest Abe used to chop. The first cattlemen didn't worry about fencing - they ran open range. That required honest neighbors and cooperation, plus it pretty well eliminated any farming, because there was no way to keep the cattle out of the crops.
But, the invention of barbed wire and it's gradual adoption as fencing material also helped settle the west. Even so, the wire still needed some sort of post for support. Here's one of the local solutions:
That's post rock, which amazingly enough, has a museum devoted to the subject in LaCrosse KS. Early settlers discovered there was a layer of limestone beneath the surface - the first quarries were near a creek or river where erosion had exposed the layer. Some were just hammered out, some were cut with a drill and wedge arrangement, and during the winter, holes properly drilled filled with water were left overnight to freeze so the next day - voila - fresh post rocks! Blocks of this same limestone were also used in building construction - you can see many old abandoned farm outbuildings and houses, plus some downtowns have old commercial buildings still in use.
But, that solution was area specific - from where I live, the post rock phenomena is mostly north and east of The Poor Farm. Even though some of these things are still being used for fences, it took a lot of labor to cut, haul, and plant the unwieldy rocks in the days of horses and wagons. The fence building technique also required some sort of wooden post to help support the wire between the behemoths.
Locally, this is called a hedge apple tree, but it's more widely known as osage-orange. The trees don't get very tall, the trunks and branches are twisted and crooked, so the wood is unsuitable for boards or much of anything else.
But, you can get some chunks long enough - if you can live with all the twists and curves - to make a fence post.
A hedge apple. The wood is very hard yet slightly flexible, and one of it's endearing qualities is rot resistance when buried in a post hole. My grandfather used a ton of these things on our pasture fence, and some of them are still out there sixty years later. Plus, if you want to drive a staple in one, finding an old hole or a suitable split is a good idea because driving a "steeple" in a hedge post is a daunting task. If we got enough of one partly in and the thing folded over, but still held the wire, we figured it was good. Otherwise, you just destroyed the staple. That wood is hard, I tell ya.
Now people buy creosote soaked wood or metal posts that are straight and true. It still costs a ton of dollars to build a new fence, but compared to what our forefathers had to deal with - it's pretty cheap.
So, if you're ever driving through this area, and see a fence with rock posts, or an old bank or courthouse built of limestone rocks, you'll be seeing history. And, if you see some old fence made from odd, twisted knotty posts, you'll know why.
Monday, October 26, 2009
So, this is mandatory viewing to getcha in the spirit, as it were....
I know this made the email rounds last year, but some of y'all may not have seen it. I can guarantee you back when I thought stuffing dollar bills into private places of good lookin' wimmen at a certain kind of bar was the thang - well, I ain't never seen nuttin' like that!
H/T Ant Gail - yeah, I've got a hellacious aunt who sends me kewl emails like this.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Well, I'll tell you. Cats. They have trained cats. We do not.
Crazy I am you say (now I'm talking like Yoda)? Here's proof:
"Our" cats need time lapse photography in order to view any activity what so ever:
That is why we are doomed.
Get a whiff of this. Mitsubishi has put a new spin on the automotive fight to save the environment when it introduced a concept at the Tokyo motor show that makes the unexpected passing of wind a little less embarrassing.
As part of a new interior package its calls 'cocochi', the PX-Miev's upholstery incorporates an anti-allergen coating that Mitsubishi says breaks down offensive odours and volatile organic compounds as well as deactivating allergens such as ticks and pollen.
And if fighting farts isn't enough, each of the PX-Miev's four seats is air-conditioned to ensure any remaining odours are quickly distributed and dispelled.
The PX-Miev's obsession with smell doesn't end there. The air-conditioning system pumps out aroma molecules as well as negative-ion and enriched oxygen to reduce fatigue and enhance comfort.
And a driver-monitoring system uses a distinctive fragrance as a warning if it thinks concentration is wavering.
It also issues audible, visual and vibrational warnings. The PX-Miev is also concerned about your looks, its new-age interior including a radiation-blocking glass that prevents darkening and aging of the skin.
Mmmmkay. Could it be, just maybe, possibly - there was a whole design committee that had their potty training just a tad early?
Thursday, October 22, 2009
A tribute to human villians in the movies. No cyborgs, supernatural beings or animals - just plain ol' mean people. Forty four of them. You can see the list at the link - click on "more info". I didn't get fifteen of them, so that means there are some movies that need watched.
Call it (coin flip)! Would you like to hear the story of right hand - left hand? Please, mother. Liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The horror, the horror...
So - any they missed that step right out for ya? Naturally I think of Wilson the gunfighter, portrayed by Jack Palance in Shane. He was so bad dogs slunk away in his presence. Or how about the Scorpio Killer in Dirty Harry? Nasty! Who do you think they missed?
SKULLET- (skûl-ït) n. Someone that shaves their head (to expose the skull) but leaves the mullet. (Uncommon)
A mullet ain't enough, it has to be specialized. More, if you dare!
Disclosure - back in the day, I had a ponytail. Hair kinda short on top. Pretty much a mullet if it wasn't tied off.
Or in China - right, Billy? It really doesn't matter because they all walk upside down "down" there, and if Daddy wasn't holding on, you'd fall off the earth into the sky, screaming all the way into the sun!
Yep, with your towering intellect, you'll go far in this life, Billy. Good luck.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As we get older, brain function and congnition can be enhanced by searching the internet.
Stand back, the ol' brain is gettin' bigger! And we all thought messing around on Algore's intertubes was a waste of time.
H/T Dave Barry
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Yeah, that's right, The Poor Farm is el numero uno for the Google Search "sauteeing green peppers."
Try to contain your jealosy. I know my life will be all sunshine and lollipops from now on.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
A badlands (also badland) is a type of arid terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water. It can resemble malpaís, a terrain of volcanic rock. Canyons, ravines, gullies, hoodoos and other such geological forms are common in badlands. They are often difficult to navigate by foot. Badlands often have a spectacular colour display that alternates from dark black/blue coal stria to bright clays to red scoria.
The term "badlands" represents a consensus in North America: the Lakota called the topography "Makhóšiča", literally bad land, while French trappers called it "les mauvaises terres à traverser" – "the bad lands to cross". The Spanish called it tierra baldía ("waste land") and cárcava. The term badlands is also apt: badlands contain steep slopes, loose dry soil, slick clay, and deep sand, all of which impede travel and other uses. Badlands form in arid regions with infrequent but intense rain-showers, sparse vegetation, and soft sediments: a recipe for massive erosion.snip
Some of the most famous fossil beds are found in badlands, where erosion rapidly exposes the sedimentary layers and the scant cover of vegetation makes surveying and fossil hunting relatively easy.
Some of the best-known badland formations can be found in the United States and Canada. In the U.S., Makoshika State Park in Montana, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Badlands National Park in South Dakota together form a series of extensive badlands formations.
This was taken on US85 southbound climbing out of the Little Missouri River basin located in the North Unit of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It's not much of a climb in or out, particularly compared to the passes in the Rocky Mountains, but what you do see is awesome. I'm not too wild about heights, so for me there is always an element of fear in the mountains. I feel closer to this kind of scenery - it's more accessible and friendly to me. I feel more at home here.
The following pictures are from Wikipedia's entry on the Badlands National Park. While the actual acreage set aside is south of I90 near Wall, SD - the interstate does cross a pretty rugged spot just west of Wall - you get an idea of what the whole thing must be like.
How do you even begin to try to traverse something like this?
Even from I90, one can see rock formations erupted from the flat terrain, craggy snaggletoothed sharp bones of the earth exposed for the ages. I doubt the walls of Mordor have anything on these barriers.
This is the sort of thing you'll see on the interstate west of Wall.
I dunno, I get an emotional reaction from this area that I like. It's dangerous ground for sure, inhospitable, wild, tumultuous and rugged. The ambiance neither is neither inviting or threatening - the effect just is. Millennia were required to shape this - it doesn't deign to notice a mere tubby trucker blasting by at seventy five on the interstate. The mountains can getcha - a slip on the ice, a shift in the built up snow leading to an avalanche, an inattentive or aggressive driver - just a minor mistake completely out of your control can result in death. Mountains don't care, but their capricious nature can take ya out.
The Badlands could getcha just as easily, but I don't get the unpredictable vibes the mountains give me.
Does this remind you of anything? Maybe some scenery in an old John Ford western? Think Monument Valley.
Dances With Wolves was filmed in South Dakota territory - a fact that is driven home on I90 by the signs advertising the 1880 Town near Murdo, where you can view some memorabilia from the movie. The 1880 Town ads can't hold a candle to the Wall Drug ones - if you've ever traveled on that stretch of I90, you'll know just what I mean.
But, I digress. After seeing the area (plenty of times over the past few years), I've come to the conclusion that Kevin Costner shortchanged his movie by not utilizing more of the local terrain. He really showcased the vast, rolling prairie with the grass waving in the wind. But, he missed out on the grandeur of the Badlands. John Ford was a master of setting the mood with the backdrop - that was just one of the techniques in his filmakers' tool chest.
Just as an example: at the end, when the Union troops and Pawnee scouts are looking for the Lakota - that area could just as easily been in the foothills of the Rockies or in the hills of Arkansas. Not necessarily where you might find a Lakota band in the first place. Costner wanted to paint a bleak picture - the scene was winter, he had a howling wolf in the soundtrack - cold, lonely, stark - that was the mood he was looking for in those closing scenes. He had all that in easy driving distance from the ranch location they used, and they did shoot in the winter.
It's just my opinion, but Dances With Wolves could have been a lot more eye popping visually. I suppose considering the big picture the salient points Costner wanted made were achieved, and the movie certainly was a financial success. It's definitely a movie I enjoy. But, this is one area that it missed being a really great movie. Lonesome Dove used correct terrain for great visual and emotional impact, and it was a freaking TV miniseries.
But, I suppose in the end, the authenticity of Dances With Wolves beats the tar out of television oaters like Gunsmoke, where a trip from Dodge City to a local town involves more trees and hills than the entire state of Kansas possesses (as opposed to the canyons and forests near Hollywood, where those shows were filmed). At least Costner got the rolling prairie right. South Dakota certainly looks like what we see in the film, in a tunnel vision sort of way.
In the yes or no columns for the Badlands, put me down as a yes.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
I've whined before about how I just don't care for winter. When I started hauling oversized loads, we were generally left alone in bad weather. Most states have some sort of bad weather restriction on the permits they issue - they say they don't want us out there if it's too dark, windy, rainy, icy or snowy.But, in these days of the various .gov agencies looking for dollars, the LEOs will park us, probably even accompanied by a fine. The various states enforce these rules differently, and as a matter of fact, so do the individual officers. It's a judgment call.
Colorado is one state that turned one hundred eighty degrees in their approach to enforcing their oversize restrictions. If there is even a dab of snow on the road, it's likely that we'll be parked. Nebraska is now paranoid about rain. We didn't have to go through Colorado today, but we sure had to go through Nebraska.
Another driver and I are headed to eastern North Dakota (Bakken oilfield, anybody??), and we didn't get out until noon. We had to go about seventy miles out of our way in Nebraska due to road construction, and it rained on us the whole trip. Until we got to Broken Bow - then it turned to snow. Getting parked out in the middle of nowhere isn't high on my list of Things I Want To Accomplish In A Day Cab - luckily we made it to Thedford. For a spot in the road, it has a nice motel and restaurant/club next door. If the roads are dicey in the morning - we will get stopped trying to get through Valentine tomorrow. The state trooper based there is a stickler.
But, you can call me a lot of things, but you'll never call me late for dinner. We're warm and dry with internet access and cable tv, so all is well for a while at least!
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I don't even know what you'd call the dern thing. It was shaped like a tennis ball placed atop a cone, and the "base" and "top" were both colored lime green like the high visibility balls. Instead of a tough outer coating, it sort of had a micro suede like covering. It also had a long white clothesline cord attached towards the bottom of the base, which is how I found the thing in the first place. A plush toy on a string.
I needed a bit of cord to tie a bundle of stuff together, and when I found a tangled mess of cord. I picked it up and as I sorted it out, the attached thing became evident. Wow, was it ever heavy for something so small. It was knocked around a bit dragging it across the garage, plus I fear it got a bit dirty as well. I had a bit of fun twirling it about, but it was really too heavy for that. Looking it over, it had a black dot on top of the ball portion. What was really strange was the dot apparently followed me, seemingly swiveling to keep the black spot pointed at me. When I handled the thing, it hummed. Not a happy sort of sound, more like a muffled wasp or bee buzzing.
So, it wasn't my garage, or my kids' toy - and it surely wouldn't do to tie some stuff together. I just neatly coiled the "tail" and put the whole thing on a handy shelf, and went on about my business. And later, I asked around, and none of the kids around here have a clue what kind of toy it was.
Oh, well, guess I'm just out of it, as always. Heh.
Execute command function DESTROY
DESTROY ready to acquire target. Visual targeting enabled.
Target acquired. Destroy command Y to commit N to cancel.
Destroy command Y to commit N to cancel.
Destroy command Y to commit N to cancel.
Destroy command Y to commit N to cancel.
Destroy command Y to commit N to cancel.
Destroy command Y to com-
N entered. Destroy command canceled.
Friday, October 09, 2009
An Announcement from The Westminster Kennel Club
The Westminster Kennel Club is proud to announce the winner of the annual Best In Show award is Michelle Obama. Ms. Obama has shown the potential to be a pure breed dog advocate with her assistance in choosing a Portugese Water Dog as the formal White House Pet.
Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.
Defending their surprising decision, the committee chairman said they sought not just to reward the winner of the
"We do hope that this can contribute a little bit to enhance what
"It is a clear statement to the world that we want to advocate and promote," the efforts (not yet)undertaken by
Congrats! And wear well!
With apologies to the real Westminster Kennel Club.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Gawd, I swear, talk about a weak effort here. OMG - Sarah Palin had help with her book! It was even in the news - Palin announced her ghostwriter before the project was started - Lynn Vincent, a Christian writer, no less. Apparently, having someone ghost write a book deserves scorn, particularly if the parties concerned are Christian and conservative.
Unless you are JFK (Godlike Democrat), author of Profiles in Courage, widely considered to be ghostwritten by Theodore Sorenson. He even admitted his contributions years later. Or perhaps we could cast a disparaging eye on the current inhabitant (another Godlike Democrat) of the White House - it sure looks like William Ayers (you know, the guy Teh Won just knew "from the hood," not being very close and all or gawd forbid a friend or mentor) wrote major portions of Dreams from My Father.
I've said before that I'm not sure Sarah is the answer to our problems. She damn sure is closer than her erstwhile running mate from '08, but that's another kettle of fish. What is really getting under my skin is the constant hypocrisy. In our faces.
Yep, Marvin said it best.
Monday, October 05, 2009
If you think this is cool, you are probably a redneck.
I'm probably a redneck - I could see chasing coyotes or something similar with this puppy.
Seen in the beautiful metroplex of Kansas City - it was on I435 or I470 - probably on the Missouri side.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
We should stop the comparisons to Hitler. At least Hitler got the Olympics to come to Berlin.
I LOLed right out loud, I did.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
What would we do without Sitemeter? I noticed this in my referrals a moment ago, and just for fun I checked the actual Google search. It was to my dismay that a search for cattle haulers did not lead to one of my best friend's site: Cattletrucks.com, home of Hilker Trucking.
I dunno what the searcher's intent was - whoever it was at least enjoyed looking at the pictures. But, if they were looking for someone to haul cattle, well, Google let them down with that search string. I've been in the Kalona, IA area several times, and while I'm sure there are plenty of cattle haulers in Iowa, most livestock haulers I've seen are set up for hogs. Piggie trailers have shorter decks, so hauling cattle on them isn't such a great idea.
So, consider this post as a route marker for future Google searches. If you want cattle hauled, call Steve, Judy or Brant at 620-855-2378 or go to the site: www.cattletrucks.com. The cattle biz is nothing but traditional and conservative - newcomers aren't trusted. It might be part "old boy network," but it's also based on trust, handshakes and a lot of unwritten contracts. Newbies by definition haven't built up the currency of honesty. So, rest assured, Hilker Trucking has been hauling cattle for at least three decades, and have a hard fought reputation for on time pickups and delivery, plus professional handling of livestock. Also, if they can't haul it, they probably know someone who can. There are advantages to being a member of the "old boy network." One tends to find out who the "fly by nighters" are, and who has earned trust.
So, yeah, looking back on what I just wrote, this sounds like an ad. Maybe it is - I'm not much into the idea of selling ad space on this ol' dump, I don't have a "tip jar," and I don't run marathon "blegs." This thing is provided free of charge, and I contribute for my own entertainment and enjoyment, so unless my writing suddenly starts paying bills (hah!) or they start charging to use Blogger, this joint will remain ad free.
But, I'll do a favor for a friend. One of the more popular pages that keeps on appearing in the referral logs of this blog is the post Blower Motor Chevrolet Silverado. It was about the travails of finding information online about servicing the same, and the lack of any information that could be found online (for free) about it. So, I wrote and tagged it hoping it would help someone in the future, and it has - it's collected a few thank you comments and it's usually in the top five results in a Google search on the subject.
So, I hope I can do the same for people searching for someone to haul cattle.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Wow. Danziger is on fiah heah. He just discovered trucks have communications technology in them now? OMG, we better stop that For The Children.
Hee hee. Sarah Palin wrote a book. Her supporters are too dumb to read it, and want it read to them. Wow, isn't that funny. Ha ha. Remember, these elitists are smarter than you or me, so laugh, laugh laugh at the sophisticated humor depicted here. It's clever and topical, andwhyinhellwon'tshegoawayanddiealreadyshe'spissedoffthosewhoknowbetterandit'stimeforhertogo!
I guess the Empire State Building's managers are right up there with Google as far as remembering to dance with the ones who brung ya - they'll honor the 60th anniversary of Communist China, but wouldn't honor the Marine Corp's birthday. Wouldn't wanna be too parochial or embarrassingly patriotic. I mean, c'mon. It looks bad to other countries when we toot our own horn.
I swear, I think I've woken into some sort of alternate reality. Brazil doesn't seem all that far fetched anymore. I'll be seeing y'all at the reeducation camps. I'll be the one sporting the white canvas long sleeves that tie in the rear style shirt.
The .gov just doesn't let us have any fun anymore. No mail order guns directly to the door - no phostoxin poison - don't get me started. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not sayin' we need cocaine back in our Coca Cola, plus booze and laudanum in patent medicine, but some good ol' dyno-mite could be useful, to say the least!
Pic from here, H/T RT