Sunday, December 23, 2012

Texas School allows teachers to carry concealed

Texas town allows teachers to carry concealed guns

I'm guessing they won't have any suicidal crazies showing up to make some kind of insane point in Harrold, Texas. They will look for a place with less risk of someone shooting back. I'm also guessing that if the news media played these atrocities down, there would be less incentive  for the perpetrators to follow through with their delusions of grandeur.

""We don't have money for a security guard, but this is a better solution," Superintendent David Thweatt said. "A shooter could take out a guard or officer with a visible, holstered weapon, but our teachers have master's degrees, are older and have had extensive training. And their guns are hidden. We can protect our children."
In the awful aftermath of last week's Connecticut elementary school shooting, lawmakers in a growing number of states - including Oklahoma, Missouri, Minnesota, South Dakota and Oregon - have said they will consider laws allowing teachers and school administrators to carry firearms at school."

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The elk are still here

Best viewed full screen

I set up a camera to see if I could catch the beaver re-building the dam that I tore out. He had built it on the overflow of my second dam and it had raised the water level so high it was failing. These guys were on the way up the hill after having knocked down a portion of fence causing another "cow leak" into the North field.
So far no beavers, but the elk were on all three cameras. This one was set up to make a video recording.
I do have a tag, but we still have meat in the freezer, and somehow I don't feel the need to get up early and enjoy the cold, damp weather and all the work it would entail. Chasing cattle and mending fences will still have to be done. One less elk won't make a difference.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

sand art from Ilana Yahav

A new sand art from Ilana Yahav for 2013 - Give Peace A Chance.

This lady does incredible things! a unique and minimalist ambidextrous art form that is destroyed as it is being created.
Well worth a watch! 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

geese in the north pond

There were lots!

I managed to get some shots of the last group off the water

This was a couple of weeks ago 
They are gone now

Some mostly recent photos of life here!

Elk by the north dam

From the front porch

Daisy as a pup (on the bottom)

Western pond turtle who found his way into my basement

Elk by the center dam

more elk

a bear looking around


Loud commericals (?) banned, starting Thursday

Loud commericals banned, starting Thursday!

I'm not sure what a comerical is, I think they mean  commercials. 
I guess I will never see the millions of $$'s I was planning to make when I developed and patented my device for cutting the volume when a commercial started up in the midst of a TV show.
It's about time!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A skin head? Banjo fun.

One of my winter projects!
A while back I bought a large piece of parchment calf skin to replace the head on my old banjo. I acquired the banjo back in the early 60's. I had "picked" up a cheap one first, and then my banjo teacher suggested I try this one , which really did sound a 100% better. As I had little or no money, I was forced to ask my father for the grand sum of $100.00 to purchase it. He was not impressed, even after I played them both to show him the difference. As the banjo was not on any of his classical tapes or records, it was a miracle he came through.  I told him I had already bought it & now had to pay for it and as he didn't want any barefoot, shotgun toting banjo sellers knocking at the door, he coughed up the money.
Anyway, to get back on the subject, after reading the instructions that came with the head, and watching videos on U-tube, I decided to give it a try. The old head war torn almost all the way around. It was synthetic, and I decided to replace it with a natural calf skin head.
The first thing I noticed on disassembling it, was that there were more parts than in any of the instructions I looked at.

The bracket hooks and the wrist rest still haven't been removed, something I had to do to get them out of the way when attaching the new head.

Lots of round pieces.

The wood rim about ready
I referred to the above. It was not much help.So I dry fitted some parts.

The tone ring

Another brass tone ring? This one rests on the top edge of the rim, not in it. Research tells me that is was an early way of making a tone ring.
Like this! 
I think this is called a high head type of banjo.
The flesh hoop. This is a wire ring that the skin wraps around the banjo rim. I had to make this as the plastic head that was on the banjo didn't use one. I used a piece of copper wire and beveled and soldered the ends into a hoop.. Brass would have been nicer as the copper will probably turn green, but I didn't have any brass and didn't want to use a coat hanger which the instructions suggested. The head wraps around it and is then pushed down by the tension hoop.
This is the tension hoop. It is pulled down by all the bracket hooks to tighten the head. The notch actually goes on the other end where the neck attaches.

The skin is soaked for about fifteen minutes, laid on the rim over the tone rings, the flesh hoop is next placed on the skin. The skin is then folded up over the hoop and the tension hoop is set on top. 

Daisy was interested in this part, as it smelled a lot like the hide dog-chew she buried under the couch cushion last year. She prefers her antler sheds and I guess is saving the chew for hard times. Every now and then when she thinks I'm not looking she checks to make sure it's still there.

A few bracket hooks are attached to start pulling the hoop down. The outer folds of the skin are pulled by hand to remove all the wrinkles, then the rest are attached at the same tension.  

Skipping a "head", as I didn't take as many photos as I should have if this were to really be a "how to put a head on a banjo" post. Especially since no beer was involved.

After drying all night and tightening all the clamps, the head was removed, the excess trimmed off, and it was all re-assembled. All the instructions I found say to trim the excess skin in place. I couldn't see how to do that neatly, so I took the head off. It was nicely wrapped around the  flesh wire and I used a pair of scissors to trim it enough so that the cut edge wouldn't show above the tension hoop. It worked very well, was easy, and went right back together. It looks like there will be plenty of room between the tension hoop and the neck to tighten more if needed.

Somebody had had a set of Scruggs pegs on it at one time & then filled the holes. Maybe some day I'll clean that up.
 The resonator attaches to a metal bracket on the dowel-stick. The dowel-stick attaches the neck.

All ready for the strings!  Something I forgot to order when I bought the head. It seems the local music store is no more and I'll have to either drive to Newberg or Salem to get them. I need a new bridge as well, the old one is slightly warped from sitting on the broken head for so long. 
Then I need to do a lot of practicing as it';s been a while.
I have no idea who made this banjo as there are no serial numbers of names anywhere on it. If anybody can help me with this it would be appreciated.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Powerball and the orangutan

                                        The Phoenix Zoo let their orangutan.choose the numbers.

Kasih picked 21, 3, 29, 56, 50 and a Powerball of 24.

               (not really Kalish, perhaps a relative)

I will now rush out and pick the same, as well as the numbers on either side.
A mere $26.00! I figure I can't lose. I will also pick my lucky numbers of:
05, 16, 22, 23, 29, and 6.

Darn!  They just told me at the local "convenience" store that I am too late and the winners have been picked!  Looks like I won $26.00!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Inflation Calculator

The Inflation Calculator  is a site that adjusts any given amount of money for inflation, according to the Consumer Price Index, from 1800 to 2007. 
Plug in the amount, the initial year, and the final year. It's interesting and more than a little disturbing, to see just how little the money we have now is worth.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The beavers are back

As soon as things calmed down with the dam repair they moved back in. I set a camera up to watch them re-build this one. They had just started to build it on the overflow ditch. I should get some photos of them if they don't incorporate my camera into the dam.

                                                                     I removed it:

It will probably be back tomorrow. Time to set up some traps and get started making felt for my new fedora.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The US Debt, A Clock

"If Americans ever allow banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless"
Thomas Jefferson

"the FED is a bank"

"I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared."
Thomas Jefferson

The US national debt is 16 trillion and counting....

The US total debt is almost $59 trillion dollors and growing.

The link below is an eye opener.

The US debt clock.

A bit of humor

Well, the cows went through a section of the fence that the elk knocked down & we spent the evening hours doing damage control last night. I patched twenty feet or so good enough to last until Sunday when it is supposed to be dry. I ran out of light. 

It's raining now and I just don't feel the urgency!

A farmer got pulled over by a state trooper for speeding, and the trooper started to lecture the farmer about his speed and, in general, began to throw his weight around to try to make the farmer uncomfortable.
Finally, the trooper got around to writing out the ticket, and as he was doing that he kept swatting at some flies that were buzzing around his head.
The farmer said, "Having some problems with circle flies there, are ya?"
The trooper stopped writing the ticket and said—"Well yeah, if that's what they are—I never heard of circle flies."
So the farmer says, "Well, circle flies are common on farms. See, they're called circle flies because they're almost always found circling around the back end of a horse."
The trooper says, "Oh," and goes back to writing the ticket. Then after a minute he stops and says, "Hey... wait a minute, are you trying to call me a horse's ass?"
The farmer says, "Oh no, Officer. I have too much respect for law enforcement and police officers to even think about calling you a horse's ass."
The trooper says, "Well, that's a good thing," and goes back to writing the ticket.
After a long pause, the farmer says, "Hard to fool them flies though."
A policeman stopped a guy for driving erratically. He peered intently into the driver's eyes and said, "Your eyes look bloodshot, have your been drinking?"
The guy peers into the policeman's eyes and says, "Your eyes look glazed, have you been eating donuts?"
In case of emergency this is good to know. I had a flat tire on the interstate, so I eased my car over to the shoulder of the road, carefully got out of the car and opened the trunk. I took out two cardboard men, unfolded them and stood them at the rear of my car facing on-coming traffic. They look so life like you wouldn't believe it! They are in trench coats exposing their nude bodies to the approaching drivers.
To my surprise, cars started slowing down to look at my life-like men, which made it safer for me to work at the side of the road.
And, of course, traffic started backing up. Everybody was tooting their horns and waving like crazy. It wasn't long before a state trooper pulled up behind me. He gets out of his car and starts walking towards me. I could tell he was not a happy camper!
"What's going on here lady?!!!!!"
"My car has a flat tire,"I said calmly.
"Well, what the h---- are those obscene cardboard men doing here by the road?"
I couldn't believe that he didn't know. So I told him, "Helloooooo, those are my Emergency Flashers."
Thanks to Car Talk

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Albert Einstein's wisdom

This has been going around.

The day that Albert Einstein feared may have     finally arrived,    Or    The new generation.

Having coffee with friends.

A day at the beach.

Cheering on the team.

Having dinner out with  friends.

Out on an intimate date.

Having a conversation with a friend

A visit to the museum

Enjoying the sights

                                                                 I think we are there!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Twinkies are back? Update

Hostess Brands and its second largest union will go into mediation to try and resolve their differences, meaning the Irving, Texas-based company won't go out of business just yet.

The fool that paid $10,000.00 on eBay for a couple of them thinking he was making an investment for the future (They probably will be fresh for 20 years or so) is probably pretty sorry right now.
 Hostess Twinkies Cream Filled Snack Cakes 10 Count Box Delicious Tasty Sweet

To the best of my recollection, I have never eaten one of these things. But I suppose they are "American as apple pie" to some people. My guess is they aren't near as as good.
I've always preferred apple pies.

Update!  Looks like they are gone again. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A 7,600-pound hydrogen bomb lost off the Georgia coast

On Feb. 5, 1958, a B-47 bomber dropped a 7,000-pound nuclear bomb into the waters off Tybee Island, Ga., after it collided with another Air Force jet.
In this day and age of IUD's, uhm, ICU's, Oh, IED's.        Why isn't this still news?
Fifty years later, the bomb — which has unknown quantities of radioactive material — has never been found. And while the Air Force says the bomb, if left undisturbed, poses no threat to the area, determined bomb hunters and area residents aren't so sure.
         A Mark 15 thermonuclear bomb, like the one shown above, lies in the Wassaw Sound, just a few miles from          downtown Savannah, Ga.
              NPR has an article                                              and here is Wikipedia's take on it  

While I agree that there are certain elements of the deep south that we could do without, it would be a bit of an over-kill if this thing started leaking whether or not it has the ability to explode. Both being debated questions. 
Somehow I think that the money to find this thing could be diverted from any number of :
                                       wasteful government expenditures.

Ode to the welfare state 1949

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease here in the valley!

I am sorry to report that an occurrence Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease has claimed the life of one of our neighbors. He was only 62 years of age. This was diagnosed by OSU only this month, and he died soon after. To the best of my knowledge has yet to make the news media. Out of respect for the family, I won't offer any names, but I imagine this will all be out in the open soon.
The prions that cause mad cow, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy as well as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease cannot be destroyed by normal cooking and can be acquired by eating food contaminated with the brain, spinal cord or digestive tract of infected carcasses. 
In view of this, I would suggest researching this disease, and great care in processing not only wild game, but domestic animals, as well. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Elk hunting season

Spike season started today! I went out to check the cameras for trespassers and found these guys frolicking in the mist and fog. Or is that redundant?

RIP The Twinkie

It was time!  
Oh, Twinkie. You were a great snack, a great reference, and right up to the end, a great joke. Please bow your heads as I read from Ecclesiastes, chapter 3 verses 1 & 2:
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.”
Stolen from :The Twinkie should die: Why it’s time to say goodbye  because I am lazy and thought it was about time I posted something.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A quote from an unknown author

"Marriage is like a deck of cards. It starts with two hearts and a diamond, and in a few years you wish you had a club and a spade".

That the author is unknown is not surprising. He just may wish to remain anonymous.

Fortunately this is not the case with my current marriage.
(I of course need to add this on the chance she will visit this blog)

I am not the type to join clubs, and I will refrain from any further puns out of political politeness.

However, in 30 or 40 years I plan to still be married & perhaps we will share the spade in a way.

I probably should just shut up before someone gets the wrong idea about me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Salmon fishing

While my good friend Buddeshepard was sliding around in the mud and rain and suffering the sorrows of the habitual farmer, I decided to accept the invite of my friend Randy the cat-skinner. (not that kind of cat, the one with tracks), to go to the coast and fish. The other Randy (the logger) joined us. Getting up at 3:30 to meet along the route did not allow enough time for the morning constitutional, and the outhouse at the boat ramp on the coast was not conducive either. Everything there was covered with a layer of ice, including Randy's boat.  The sun came out briefly to tease us, then the clouds moved in and it got colder. There were about three dozen other boats slowly trolling back and forth in the bay in hopes that the one fish we all saw landed, had brought along his family. It was not to be. I believe that the survivors were all happily laying eggs far up stream by then. Although told to wear warm clothes, I didn't realize what I was in for until I saw both Randys donning multiple coats and assorted survival gear. I don't think I have ever been that cold, for that long, and in a place with no escape, since & spent the night in a small tent in Eastern Oregon as a kid. It was below freezing, the tent blew down, and the sun came up to reveal several inches of hail covering the high desert.
Note to self: Do not believe the tag on those $6.00 pair of gloves that promise "waterproof" and 40grams of thinsulate.  The Chinese have a greater tolerance to cold I guess. Also, long underwear today isn't what it used to be and costs a lot more.
Needless to say, we caught no salmon for our $16.00 tags.
But I guess a good time was had by all.
But next year I hope the invitation comes at the start of the run, not the end.

                                                                  What I expected:

What I got. Herring cut bait