Saturday, February 28, 2009

She's Mighty Dry, Son

I've said before how I can hear what my Dad would say were he here - and that is just what his voice in my head is telling me now. It seems like any time we head north, east or west, we run into snow. Here? Not so much. From the National Weather Service:

The dry winter continued for Dodge City in January 2009. Only 0.02 inches of precipitation was recorded during the month, which was 0.60 inches below normal. The total precipitation from November 2008 through January 2009 was 0.36 inches. This was the 8th driest November through January period on record. Records date back to 1874. The driest on record was November 1875 to January 1876 with 0.10 inches. The total snowfall for January 2009 was 2.0 inches. The total for the 2008 -2009 season through the end of January was only 3.2 inches, which was 7.9 inches below normal. Last year at this same time Dodge City had 19.7 inches of snow. Most of the snow this past January fell on the 26th and 27th with 1.6 inches recorded.

The above picture (from the USDA) is about how our wheat "out here" looks - some better and some far worse. It is "greening up" on subsoil moisture - which won't last long. It's not just the wheat crop that is in danger - it is a common practice to graze cattle on wheat ground. If we don't get moisture soon, the cattle will have to be moved off the wheat if there is even a chance for it to grow into a crop later. If not, the destruction of the crop is assured - the cattle will eat until the wheat is gone and there will be no ground cover to protect the ground from the winds in March and April. So, the farmers who are also stockmen are getting a double whammy at the moment. Of course, the grass pastures will be overstressed since they aren't getting any moisture, either. Hay prices might get kinda pricey around here if things don't change soon.

But, if anyone ought to be used to drought conditions, it oughta be us. Particularly since this area is considered semi-arid desert. If you look at the header picture for the blog, you'll see that The Poor Farm is Large Round Bale Storage. We can't do much for the wheat, but the cattle will have something to eat. And I say we in the societal sense - I sure as hell wasn't out there baling feed and straw, hauling bales and actually feeding them. My neighbors cover that angle. At least they are big bales - small bales means lots of human labor. Large bales require that hydralics be your friend - such as bale forks mounted on tractors and flatbed pickups. I like hydralics, but I'd sure take some rain or snow, too.

Friday, February 27, 2009

New Breakfast Cereals!!!

BS tastes so good when it's sugar coated! Thanks to Darin and Harry.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh Goody

Some of you that are on Facebook knew I went in to the doctor to have a couple skin growths worked over. One was a way old ingrown hair on the back of my neck, and the other was a sore that wouldn't heal on my left cheek (on my face - heh).

Well, anyways, I got the lab results yesterday. It reads: "subepidermal aggregate of small blue cells with severe thermal artifacts and inflammatory infiltrates consistent with basal cell carcinoma, narrowly excised."

Which means malignant skin cancer.

Honestly, I find myself thinking meh. I've always been out in the sun, and I've always disregarded sunburn and rarely wear a hat. Like George Carlin said - "my skin's so white it's blue," well, what do ya expect with Irish and German ancestry? I've taken care of my skin just like any other aspect of my health, so no wailing and knashing of teeth about how life isn't fair and so on. I know where the blame lies. I've had my chest cut open and my heart about pulled out and reinstalled, plus I'm insulin dependent. I do things every day that as a younger man that would make me question the worth of my existence. I've found that it is worth it to fight the good fight.

And two more points - this is really pretty minor compared to my friend who has had an extended life these past four years - he is surviving brain cancer. I just had my chest cut open - he had brain surgery and is still here to talk about it. Mish Weiss is still undergoing treatment for her luekemia, with a whole lot of suffering. So, in comparison, this is pretty minor. Plus, I may not get any more growths, and if I do, chances are they will just have to be trimmed out as well. Too bad it won't be nibbling on my endless supply of fat cells. So, I can deal with having tiny chunks of my face trimmed if necessary.

I'll be wearing hats more frequently.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Watchdog for the Stimulus Package

Obama to name stimulus watchdog

President Obama
will announce while meeting with the nation’s governors Monday that he is naming one of the government's most aggressive, experienced government investigator to oversee spending of the stimulus package, administration officials said.

The White House's Recovery Act Transparency and Accountability Board will be headed by Earl E. Devaney, a former fraud investigator and white-collar crime investigator for the Secret Service who is currently inspector general of the Interior Department.

A dozen investigators and analysts working for Devaney helped build a case against former lobbyist Jack Abramoff for corrupt dealings with Indian tribes. A New York Times editorial last fall heralded Devaney as “The Busiest Gumshoe Inside the Federal Bureaucracy.”

An administration official said: “The President has asked the vice president, Joe Biden, to oversee the Administration’s implementation of the Recovery Act’s provisions – meeting regularly with key members of the Cabinet, Governors and Mayors to make sure their efforts are speedy and effective. He will make regular reports to the President that will be posted on”

Obama had previously announced his plans for the board.

The president is naming Devaney on the same day that he holds a Fiscal Responsibility Summit at the White House, designed to send the message that he will be vigilant about government spending despite the record-setting stimulus.

Devaney became the Interior Department’s inspector general in August 1999. From his official bio:

“Mr. Devaney began his law enforcement career in 1968 as a police officer in his native state of Massachusetts. After graduating from Franklin and Marshall College in 1970 with a degree in Government, Mr. Devaney became a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. At the time of his retirement from the Secret Service in 1991, Mr. Devaney was serving as the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Fraud Division and had become an internationally recognized white collar crime expert regularly sought by major media including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and CNN.

“During his tenure with the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney was the recipient of five U.S. Department of Treasury Special Achievement Awards and numerous honors and awards from a wide variety of professional organizations. Upon leaving the Secret Service, Mr. Devaney became the Director of Criminal Enforcement for the U.S. Environment Protection Agency. In this position, Mr. Devaney oversaw all of EPA's criminal investigators and assumed management responsibility for EPA's Forensics Service Center and the National Enforcement Training Institute.”

I don't know about you, but wow do I feel better now. We're hiring more people (stimulating the economy no doubt) to create a board. Of course this board will disband when the stimulus spending is over, right? It's just gonna be this board, Jeffro. Oh, but the brave investigators are going to need, oh, maybe a secretary or fifteen. Just at first. Gonna need office space. Someone to procure all the stuff, repair, keep it clean and so on. And, you can't have such august personalities actually digging through files and whatnot. We're gonna need, oh, maybe a small army of actual investigative types. Oh yeah, we'll need interns, too. Gotta train for the future. Gonna have to procure transportation and drivers, maybe a plane or three on call - yeah, that would be good. Of course when all the stimulizing effects have reached their zenith and there is no need for all of this fine organization to exist anymore, well, they are committed government employees who have dedicated their lives to doing such a good job, well, it would sure be a shame to let them all go. So, we'll have to keep them around, doncha know, and find something else for them to watch over. After all, it's already paid for (well, maybe someday, a hundred years from now, but lets not let those kind of details ruin the moment), up and running and hey, the beaurocracy needs something to do.

So, hey, we've got a whole new investigative arm of the .gov! I know I feel sooo relieved, don't you? That's some hope and change for you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

It Is To Laugh

Blogger is usually pretty slow about notifying me about new posts in comments. Today, they were quicker. I got a notice about a posting to My Hog Hunt post.

Anonymous said...

What a Sicko! Pity the Hog did not win....

So this was my response:
Jeffro said...

Anon: thanks for dropping by and showing us your bravery and character by hiding behind the anonymity of the internet. Considering the high amount of fortitude you possess, I consider your supposed slam to be words of high praise, especially considering the source.

Then, I looked at my Sitemeter and found the info above. This clown was looking for "hogster dancers?" ROFL. Still ROFL. Finally just LMAO now.
Weirdos. They are everywhere.

Black History Month Lesson

link to YouTube

I really don't care what Morgan Freeman's politics are - his view on race relations is spot on. Totally unlike Eric Holder and his "nation of cowards" comment or Al Sharpton, professional race baiter, complaining about a cartoon being racist because it might be taken by some people to impugn President Unicorn. The New York Post's statement in response is a subtle slam right back at Reverend Al as well.

Just in case you missed it:

I suppose "monkey see monkey do" is right out these days, as well as the Infinite Monkey Theorem.

Oh, well, see y'all at the reeducation camps!

H/T The Rott

Going, Going, Gone!

Ramirez launches another homer out of the park.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Subject: The New Stimulus Plan

Emailed by several people:

Three contractors were bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Oklahoma, and the third is from Minnesota.

All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor took out a tape measure and did some measuring, then worked some figures with a pencil. "Well," he says, "I figure the job will run about $900: $400 for materials, $400 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

Oklahoma contractor also did some measuring and figuring, then says, "I can do this job for $700: $300 for materials, $300 for my crew and $100 profit for me."

The Chicago contractor didn't measure or figure, but leaned over to the White House official and whispers, "$2,700."

The White House official, incredulous, said, "You didn't even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?"

The Chicago contractor whispered back, "$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from
Oklahoma to fix the fence."

"Done!" replied the government official.

And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Forgot

On this day in 2001, Ralph Dale Earnhardt aka the Intimidator, Ironhead and many unprintable sobriquets, was killed in a racing accident at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR just hasn't been the same since.

Thanks to the DieCast Dude for the reminder.

A Jewish Holocaust Survivor's Tale

FREEDOM PASS: Berger sits next to the passport issued to him in Italy in 1946 that allowed him to flee to England and then to the United States. In June of 1950, he arrived at Union Station in Los Angeles.

Sol Berger, a Polish Jew, survived World War II by assuming other identities. At 89, he's returned to his authentic self.

In his 89 years, Sol Berger has gone by many names.

He started life in Poland as Salomon Berger, then became Jan Jerzowski. Then he was Ivan Marianowicz Jerzowski, then Shlomo Harari, then Sol.

During World War II and its aftermath, the names kept him safe, protected him from the concentration camps and eventually allowed him to seek refuge in the United States.

But the names also forced Berger, a young Jew, to live in constant fear as he assumed identities that included a Polish partisan fighter and a Russian lieutenant. With each name, and each life story he had to remember, a little more of the real man was kept hidden.

After the war he settled in Los Angeles and began to build a new life, this time as Sol Berger. For decades he never spoke about what he endured as Jan, Ivan and Shlomo.

But as Berger came to discover, those identities, though fake, were an integral part of his life story. And to honor the memory of parents and siblings who died in the war, he had to tell the world how and why he came by so many names.

The article recounts Berger's identities and some of his experiences as each alias, plus what he's been up to lately. As they say, go and read the rest. Take your time, it's four pages long, but well worth the read.

And we have people who say this sort of thing didn't really happen.

Presented Without Comment II

Giant Caterpillar Found In Australia

H/T Eddie

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

XM 49

That's pretty much my go to channel on the now Sirius XM unit in the Binder. There are so many music channels that broadcast a narrow slice of music, so you'd think there would be a lot of variety. There is as far as types of music, but when you listen to a channel all day for several days, it becomes obvious there is a fairly limited playlist that isn't changed all that often. The old AOR stations with actual DJs played a much wider variety - tell me "Bob" or whatever plays whatever they want, oh yeah. Not so much.

But, occasionally, Sirius XM (which, as it turns out, isn't going bankrupt today at least) plays something I just don't hear every day:

direct YouTube link

Another Spirit song I've always enjoyed:

direct YouTube link

Researching Spirit on good old Wikepedia (old? since when?) turned up something I didn't know - which is completely unsurprising considering my total lack of musical knowledge - Jay Ferguson was one of the original members. Which was cool, because I have a couple of his albums on vinyl stored away - Real Life Ain't This Way and Thunder Island. Which leads me to Do It Again, a song on RLATW. We were all quite amused by this song back in the day, and it could be the basis for one hell of a music video, In My Humble Opinion. Odds are poor that this song will ever be on a Clear Channel or much of any corporate playlist.

Warning - I'd right click on the link to Do It Again, copy the link location,open a new window and paste the link in the new window. It takes you to Rhapsody's free player, and if you right click and open in a new tab, or just click direct, you are going to get a resized window. Which always irritates me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Deification of Obama

I'm sure we've all read about the kids who have to say the pledge to a portrait of Obama (Dear Leader Mao, or Hero of the Revolution?), as well as all the adoring fans who gush about how He will Save Us All. The commemorative coins, plates, and prayer rugs (OK, I made that up - but just wait) are also creepy. Before he was sworn in, he was already Our Super Hero. It's pretty weird for sure. This has wigged me out, though:

Tastiest Obama-Lincoln Comparison Ever

By Ashley Southall AND Janie Lorber

Zilly Rosen, a pastry artist in Buffalo, took her treats to Washington this weekend, constructing side-by-side portraits of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln using more than 5,600 cupcakes.

But the edible exhibit, on display Saturday at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in honor of Lincoln’s 200th birthday, had a short shelf life.

Just before 5 p.m., after a five-hour display period, the cupcakes started flying off the ground as salivating spectators devoured the mural from the outside in. Within minutes nearly all of Lincoln’s face had disappeared. But an hour later — thanks to either full stomachs or a respect for the sitting president — the majority of Mr. Obama’s face was left intact.

The mural had something for all tastes: Lincoln, on the right, was recreated in vanilla cupcakes with chocolate butter-cream frosting. Mr. Obama’s likeness, on the left, was made out of chocolate cupcakes with vanilla butter-cream frosting. The stripes on the American flag backdrop were red velvet.

Ms. Rosen and a few helpers assembled the mural in a matter of hours Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. It was on public display on Valentine’s Day from noon until 5 p.m., when visitors were invited to help de-install the artwork. The whole affair was broadcast live on the museum’s Web site. The video and a time-lapse feature of the portrait’s journey from construction to crumbs will be available on the museum’s blog, Eye Level, next week.

Ms. Rosen, the proprietor of Zillycakes, a custom cake shop in Buffalo, first fused gastronomy and politics on Election Day, creating a 1,240-cupcake portrait of Mr. Obama, which she served to volunteers at his campaign’s Buffalo headquarters Nov. 5, according to her Web site.

“It started as a crazy love poem in food dedicated to an amazing candidate,” Rosen wrote. She calls her work “equal parts installation, performance, homage, and dessert.”

Several thoughts here. I could go all snarky about Obama being a cupcake, but he is in fact far from it. He and his Congress have managed to spend more money in a few weeks than any previous administration ever. Even taking inflation into account. Our Constitution and by extension, our rights, are being trampled on enough to recall the halcyon days of The Patriot Act with a bit of nostalgia. So, Obama is no cupcake.

And comparisons with Lincoln are far too premature. My G_d, he just took office! We revere Lincoln through the highly filtered lens of history, and since winners write the annals, he looks good now. Obama? He has a lot to live up to.

But, what creeps me out about this issue is - I revere taking communion in my Church. The symbolism means something to me. Putting Obama on the same pedestal as Jesus Christ my Savior, G_d and the Holy Spirit just sickens me. The rush to a G_dless society has also apparently triggered a need for people to believe in something, so apparently that is the Big O? Whew. Just too bizarre.

I say to those who worship our new president - just keep on idolizing false gods and see where that gets us. I'm hardly the most religious person you'll ever meet - sinning seems to be the job of the day, but even I can see this is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finally, The Time is Now

Take a wild guess what I'm doing this afternoon! I'm not as big a fan of NASCAR as in the past, but I still enjoy following the soap opera surrounding the "taxicabs" as Farmer Frank calls them. I wish NASCAR was more interested in presenting their races rather than getting sidelined with Super Bowl halftime style entertainment and other distractions. So far today, there have been several hours of that kind of so called eye candy. With rain probably on the way, it occurs to me that the racers could be doing what they came for, rather than watching the latest semi conservative band on a stage near the start/finish line that no one at the track can actually see (except for the JumboTrons and DiamondVision screens). But, it still beats watching the Chefs (KC Chiefs) lose, and I don't care for hockey or the NBA.

Okay, off the soapbox and back to watching the idiot box.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Driving in the dark tonight, I was reminded of a problem that has bothered me for years. Hang with me here for a bit, hopefully it will become clear.

When you are in your car or pickup, your eyes and the headlights on your vehicle are at about the same level. The eyes are actually a foot or two above the headlights, but for this exercise, they are close enough to consider them the same height.

Now look at a large truck. A conventional cab has the headlights at about the level of the driver's feet. A cabover is even higher. They have to be that low so that smaller vehicles aren't blinded - think a light bar on an off road truck. The driver also sits in a more vertical position than in a car - car drivers generally have the feet stretched out and the seat back leaning rearward - similar to a recliner. A truck seat is more comparable to a kitchen chair. This is because most truck seats have air suspensions, and not many human backs could take the pounding a reclining position would cause. So, the driver's eyes are more towards the upper reaches of the cab - as is the automobile driver, but there is less of a gross difference than a large truck.

So, at night, when you meet a truck and see the marker lights on top of the cab - the driver's eyes are just underneath those lights. Your eyes are closer to the level of your headlights.

This is an issue when you meet a truck cresting a hill and the auto still has it's bright headlights on. The driver of the car cannot see the headlights of the truck, so most just leave their brights on until they get a line of sight on the truck headlights. Meanwhile, the trucker is being blinded by those bright lights. Remember, when you are in your car and can see the cab marker lights, the driver sees you and your vehicle as well.

As far as I know, this isn't something taught in driver's ed classes nor is it taught in any truck driving school I've ever heard of. I don't think a lot of truckers have figured this out, considering the complaints I hear at night about "that damn four wheeler didn't dim it's light until I was almost on top of it." Well, while there are plenty of people who don't dim their lights properly, some don't simply because it never occurred to them that maybe they should "dim" even though they cannot see the oncoming truck's headlights.

Now, there are those out there that just won't give a damn one way or the other, so I hasten to remind them that they might be meeting a drug crazed slack jawed mouth breather whose whole life has gone badly and he just needs one more thing to push him over the edge. He's driving a forty ton vehicle in your direction, and he might just be ready to take action.

But, odds are it's someone like me who has put in a long day and whose irises don't contract as fast as they used to back in the day, so y'all will be blinding the tired tubby trucker who is resigned to having one more light bloom staying in his vision for the next few minutes, and hoping it doesn't cover a deer or some other hazard that he'd sure like to see a bit better.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

You Gotta See This

H/T Darin

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 H.R.45

And so it begins.

To provide for the implementation of a system of licensing for purchasers of certain firearms and for a record of sale system for those firearms, and for other purposes.

Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 - Amends the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to prohibit a person from possessing a firearm unless that person has been issued a firearm license under this Act or a state system certified under this Act and such license has not been invalidated or revoked. Prescribes license application, issuance, and renewal requirements.
Prohibits transferring or receiving a qualifying firearm unless the recipient presents a valid firearms license, the license is verified, and the dealer records a tracking authorization number. Prescribes firearms transfer reporting and record keeping requirements. Directs the Attorney General to establish and maintain a federal record of sale system.
(1) transferring a firearm to any person other than a licensee, unless the transfer is processed through a licensed dealer in accordance with national instant criminal background check system requirements, with exceptions;
(2) a licensed manufacturer or dealer from failing to comply with reporting and record keeping requirements of this Act;
(3) failing to report the loss or theft of the firearm to the Attorney General within 72 hours;
(4) failing to report to the Attorney General an address change within 60 days; or
(5) keeping a loaded firearm, or an unloaded firearm and ammunition for the firearm, knowingly or recklessly disregarding the risk that a child is capable of gaining access, if a child uses the firearm and causes death or serious bodily injury.
Prescribes criminal penalties for violations of firearms provisions covered by this Act.
Directs the Attorney General to:
(1) establish and maintain a firearm injury information clearinghouse;
(2) conduct continuing studies and investigations of firearm-related deaths and injuries; and
(3) collect and maintain current production and sales figures of each licensed manufacturer.
Authorizes the Attorney General to certify state firearm licensing or record of sale systems.

Full Text Here

I have two thoughts - one, that the election was 52 to 48% - not exactly a resounding victory with a corresponding mandate, and two, ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ motherfuckers. Sorry about the language, but it's how I'm perceiving the situation.

Put Me Down For A Can or Three

If only! Still at home, studying the inside of my eyelids and cranking out mucous. Antibiotics are starting to kick in, so it won't be much longer. So, the television is on and I've seen too many infomercials. May Billy and Vince burn in hell, I say.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Change Is Good

Yep, Hope N' Change. Here now!

Edit: The player won't load for me - so here is the direct link.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Just Wow

I know I'm late to this party - but I'm a Neanderthal when it comes to network television. I just don't care to be bothered to watch the majority of the Big Four's nightly offerings. I used to like Monk, but I think it jumped the shark a long time ago, along with The Dead Zone. The Law and Order and CSI clones have never appealed to me. E.R. should have been put out of it's misery years ago. I run from the so called reality shows, and what passes for comedies just plain blows. I prefer classic movies, but I've seen most of them, too.

So, out of sheer boredom, I've been tuning in to USA Network's showings of House M.D. I've learned what an asshole Dr. House can be, as well as see his humanity. The detective nature of the plots seems fascinating. But, what makes the show are the actors and the emotional sides of their characters. The writing is pretty dern good.

I think tonight I saw my favorite episode: Three Stories, Season 1 Episode 21. House is teaching a class of prospective doctors and uses three examples of diagnostic puzzles. It starts out funny, because they manage to include Carmen Electra as one of the patients. She really wasn't one, but it was his fantasy, so what the hell. At any rate, the show turned serious, and we find out quite a bit more about Dr. Gregory House's past and why he has to use a cane. That is all I'll say about it, other than I think Sela Ward kicks ass as an actress, and doesn't get her due from those who hand it out. The supporting cast is in fine form as usual, too.

Not many shows draw me in like this one does.

Valentine's Day Searches

Last year's post about Valentine's Day brings me a lot of hits during the year looking for pickup lines. It's odd to me how many look for such things out of season, as it were. Maybe all the seekers were Boy Scouts once - you know, "Be Prepared." Naw, not so much.

At any rate, I really wasn't prepared for this in my referral logs:

No, I really don't want to know. I've got my suspicions, and they lead towards certain Japanese fetishes, but I just really don't need to go any further.

Sunday Funnies II

Whew. I've been fighting a chest cold all week, and it's morphed into a sinus infection. TMI, I'm sure. Appointment tomorrow - git 'er done!

Reading various comics is a favorite pastime of mine. Reading editorial cartoons is as well. In My Humble Opinion, if you are going to play politics with a comic, it should at the minimum have a laugh in there somewhere. I savor preaching at church, not in the comics pages, but Tom Batiuk has the subtlety of an anvil to the head.

Whether or not you embrace the junk science surrounding the whole global warming - excuse me climate change - is not my concern here. Environmental changes aren't forced upon us here - it's just a mechanism for humor. Whether the whole issue is valid or not is not addressed - Captain Planet said it was so, and our intrepid superheros had to comply with his wishes. This is funny. Funky is not.

Lucy demonstrates why she is such a heartless beyotch in this blast from the past. I cannot help but be reminded of Acidman and what he'd have to say about her lies to Charlie Brown. I expect there would have been a line like this: "Lucy should be dragged off and shot."

Poor Charlie Brown. Look what trusting people did for him. Ol' Schulz really did provide kids with valuable life lessons.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Sums It Up

Yep, that isn't their money they're blowing. It's our kids and grandkids - no relation to the politicians.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tubby Trucker is Tuckered

Good weather all through the Midwest, so we're running hard to deliver the backlog. Three days over fourteen hours. I'm done in and am gonna stare at the inside of my eyelids real soon.