Thursday, February 28, 2013

The elk are still hanging around (and some birds)

Theresa took the dog and the camera for a walk today about 3pm. I was too tired after the gym. Although it may have been the full day of fruit tree pruning yesterday. My insurance co. was kind enough to buy me a membership to the gym. Once I reached 65, they must have figured it will cost them less in the long run. My premium is $53./mo and the membership would have cost $50/mo, so I am doing ok. 

These were just past the second dam.

I got a different count three times so I numbered them in Photoshop.
This time I counted 54 in the picture,
 not counting the two nice bulls and a cow or two that were out of the picture and up in the brush.

There were Mallards in the North pond



That left pretty abruptly

Some blue birds which hopefully will move into some of the houses we just put up.

A bufflehead or two.

And a hooded merganser in the second pond

Daisy was happy afterwards and continued to try to eat one of her Christmas toys.
Another average day. Life is good!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Still hanging around!
I just took these when we took the dog for a walk.

We counted at least 45.
They were pretty far away, these were all taken with a 400mm lens and no tripod. (which why they aren't the sharpest) They were a little shy and even with us so far away they were nervous. Somebody must have been shooting at them recently. Normally they don't pay much overt attention to us at that distance. 

Homeless can't eat Deer Meat

The Homeless can't eat Deer Meat?
Well I guess they could if the Dept. of Health and Hospitals in Lousiana let them, but they won't.
What a waste! Typical of the government these days.
From Whitetail Woods

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Escolar and Keriorrhoea


                    Or yet another reason why I don't eat at fast food places

"A look at seafood sales across the country by ocean conservation group Oceana found that roughly one third of the time, seafood sold at U.S. grocery stores, seafood markets, restaurants and sushi venues had been swapped for species that are cheaper, overfished, or risky to eat. 

 "Out of the 1,215 samples that were eventually tested, 401 were determined to be mislabeled."The two most mislabeled fish, according to Oceana, were snapper (for which 33 different species of fish including rockfish, perch, sea bream and tilapia were substituted) and tuna, which was mostly replaced with escolar - an often-banned snake mackerel that can cause mild to severe gastric distress to those who consume it."                 "Out of the 1,215 samples that were eventually tested, 401 were determined to be mislabeled." The two most mislabeled fish, according to Oceana, were snapper (for which 33 different species of fish including rockfish, perch, sea bream and tilapia were substituted) and tuna, which was mostly replaced with escolar - an often-banned snake mackerel that can cause mild to severe gastric distress to those who consume it.

Escolar is the most controversial fish that you are likely to find in your fish market. This firm, white fleshed fish has an incredibly rich flavor, often described as 'succulent', or a fattier version of swordfish. Why so rich? It turns out that Escolar's diet contains food high in wax esters. Wax esters that are really difficult for Escolar to digest. As a result, these esters build up in the fish.

And from the USDA  FDA Statement on Consumption of Escolar and Oilfish: "There are naturally occurring toxins in some species that do not involve marine algae. Escolar (Scientific Name Lepidocybium flavobrunneum), and its relative Oilfish or Cocco (Scientific Name Ruvettus pretiosus) contains a strong purgative oil, that when consumed can cause diarrhea known as Gempylid Fish Poisoning or Gempylotoxism. FDA advises against the sale of the fish in intrastate/interstate commerce, and requests that seafood manufacturers/processors should inform potential buyers/sellers, etc. of the purgative effect associated with the consumption of these fish.

UPDATE:  Portland did better than the national average with only 21% of the city's fish mislabeled with the exception of it's sushi restaurants which had 63% of their fish not being what they were claimed to be. Sushi restuarants were the worst offenders nation wide. Southpark's City Wok (shitywok) it now turns out, was aptly misnamed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Happening more often?

There seems to be a rash of these mentally imbalanced persons lately.  I suppose somebody will also make assumptions based on his name,  Ali Syed, which may or may not turn out to be valid. Interesting that this one used a shot gun. In 2011, according to the FBI, more shotguns were used than rifles in California homicides. Probably should be next on the list for California to ban.  I don't suppose that the rabid, sensationalizing, reporting by the news media has anything to do with these occurrences   

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Crop insurance

I've been reading up on crop insurance and federal subsidies. From what I can see, the real reason for the current system of crop insurance is not there to benefit the farmers, but rather to make lots of money for the insurance companies. Go into any town, large or small, and the largest building in town will nine times out of ten, be an insurance building. (My statistics) These guys aren't in business to give money away despite what they will tell you.

Here is an interesting read on the subject: Farm Subsidy Primer

And perhaps a solution:  Giving It Away 

"If the current system of crop insurance isn't working, why not abolish it along with direct payments and redirect the $13 billion in combined annual savings to shrink the deficit and create a truly cost-effective program? Since 2001, the current crop insurance program has cost taxpayers about $50 billion, but only half –$25 billion – has found its way into farmers’ pockets. The other $25 billion wound up in the coffers of crop insurance companies and in commissions paid to insurance agents. It strains credibility to claim that a program that costs $2 to deliver $1 of benefits is a wise use of taxpayer funds."

Monday, February 11, 2013

Some repeating crossbows


And for the crossbow fans among us....Some very innovative designs, including one that shoots a magazine of 45cal. balls, and an electric cocking repeater that uses crossbow bolts. Very impressive engineering.!
Duckman's Website in the UK

The full auto slingshot

Another example of fine German engineering. When I was a kid, the best I could come up with was a high capacity rubber band pistol.   "Weaponizing Black & Decker tools"  A fine winter woodworking project!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Unclear on the Concept

Mauritania's tourism sector has failed to rebound 
Go figure!

And this one just seems like a good way to spend all the surplus money we are burdened with. The world surely needs more camel milk!

The Official Travel Guide of the Maldives
" The United States has sought to support Maldives’ ongoing democratic initiatives and economic development agenda Google the above, it belongs to a US Gov. site I won't link to, although I am probably already on a list somewhere.

  "Voted in December as vice-presidents of the United Nations Human Rights Council for 2013 were the nations of Mauritania and Maldives, both of which permit the death penalty for renouncing Islam. In Mauritania, a person so charged has three days to repent for a lesser sentence. (An August 2012 dispatch in London's The Guardian reported widespread acceptance of slavery conditions in Mauritania affecting as many as 800,000 of the 3.5 million population. Said one abolitionist leader, "Today we have the slavery [that] American plantation owners dreamed of [in that the slaves] believe their condition is necessary to get to paradise.")
[Reuters via Yahoo News, 12-10-2012; The Guardian, 8-14-2012]"
From our good friend Chuck Shepherd:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Some barnyard humor

And one our dog Daisy must have read

Clancy Of The Overflow

Banjo Patterson

I thought I would share this. Clancy of the Overflow written by Banjo Patterson and sung by Wallis and Matilda of  The Band from Snowy River


Clancy Of The Overflow

I had written him a letter which I had, for want of better
Knowledge, sent to where I met him down the Lachlan, years ago,
He was shearing when I knew him, so I sent the letter to him,
Just `on spec', addressed as follows, `Clancy, of The Overflow'.
And an answer came directed in a writing unexpected,
(And I think the same was written with a thumb-nail dipped in tar)
'Twas his shearing mate who wrote it, and verbatim I will quote it:
`Clancy's gone to Queensland droving, and we don't know where he are.'
In my wild erratic fancy visions come to me of Clancy
Gone a-droving `down the Cooper' where the Western drovers go;
As the stock are slowly stringing, Clancy rides behind them singing,
For the drover's life has pleasures that the townsfolk never know.
And the bush hath friends to meet him, and their kindly voices greet him
In the murmur of the breezes and the river on its bars,
And he sees the vision splendid of the sunlit plains extended,
And at night the wond'rous glory of the everlasting stars.
I am sitting in my dingy little office, where a stingy
Ray of sunlight struggles feebly down between the houses tall,
And the foetid air and gritty of the dusty, dirty city
Through the open window floating, spreads its foulness over all
And in place of lowing cattle, I can hear the fiendish rattle
Of the tramways and the 'buses making hurry down the street,
And the language uninviting of the gutter children fighting,
Comes fitfully and faintly through the ceaseless tramp of feet.
And the hurrying people daunt me, and their pallid faces haunt me
As they shoulder one another in their rush and nervous haste,
With their eager eyes and greedy, and their stunted forms and weedy,
For townsfolk have no time to grow, they have no time to waste.
And I somehow rather fancy that I'd like to change with Clancy,
Like to take a turn at droving where the seasons come and go,
While he faced the round eternal of the cash-book and the journal --
But I doubt he'd suit the office, Clancy, of `The Overflow'.                               

Friday, February 1, 2013

A clutch of Cows

Yesterday afternoon

                                               And a young bull this morning at the north pond

One reason why I drive old cars

 And the winner of the Car Talk Ugliest car contest is:  The Nissan Juke. Rhymes with . . . ?

What were they thinking?  Can they really sell these?  It would be nice if one of the major companies decided to manufacture something similar to my old International, or my Willys MB, or even our 72 Mercedes 220d (no computers anywhere, all mechanical), all of which had not much more than the basics, making them easy to repair and keep on the road. Many of the classics  had closely interchangeable parts with other cars and trucks. The IH having been built by the factory as somewhat of a Frankenstein from parts sourced everywhere, was even more so. Looking at the "Juke", I doubt there is a part on it that isn't proprietary. My guess is that not even the Chinese would feel comfortable making knock-off parts for it. If it were given to me, I'd start by knocking off most of the body.