Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yet another Lesson from Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain

by Mark Twain

One day a benevolent physician (who had read the books), having found a stray poodle suffering from a broken leg, conveyed the poor creature to his home, and after setting and bandaging the injured limb gave the little outcast its liberty again, and thought no more about the matter. But how great was his surprise, upon opening his door one morning, some days later, to find the grateful poodle patiently waiting there, and in its company another stray dog, one of whose legs, by some accident, had been broken. The kind physician at once relieved the distressed animal, nor did he forget to admire the inscrutable goodness and mercy of God, who had been willing to use so humble an instrument as the poor outcast poodle for the inculcating of, etc., etc., etc.
The next morning the benevolent physician found the two dogs, beaming with gratitude, waiting at his door, and with them two other dogs, -- cripples. The cripples were speedily healed, and the four went their way, leaving the benevolent physician more overcome by pious wonder than ever. The day passed, the morning came. There at the door sat now the four reconstructed dogs, and with them four others requiring reconstruction. This day also passed, and another morning came; and now sixteen dogs, eight of them newly crippled, occupied the sidewalk, and the people were going around. By noon the broken legs were all set, but the pious wonder in the good physician's breast was beginning to get mixed with involuntary profanity. The sun rose once more, and exhibited thirty-two dogs, sixteen of them with broken legs, occupying the sidewalk and half of the street; the human spectators took up the rest of the room. The cries of the wounded, the songs of the healed brutes, and the comments of the on-looking citizens made great and inspiring cheer, but traffic was interrupted in that street. The good physician hired a couple of assistant surgeons and got through his benevolent work before dark, first taking the precaution to cancel his church membership, so that he might express himself with the latitude which the case required.
But some things have their limits. When once more the morning dawned, and the good physician looked out upon a massed and far-reaching multitude of clamorous and beseeching dogs, he said, "I might as well acknowledge it, I have been fooled by the books; they only tell the pretty part of the story, and then stop. Fetch me the shotgun; this thing has gone along far enough." He issued forth with his weapon, and chanced to step upon the tail of the original poodle, who promptly bit him in the leg. Now the great and good work which this poodle had been engaged in had engendered in him such a mighty and augmenting enthusiasm as to turn his weak head at last and drive him mad. A month later, when the benevolent physician lay in the death throes of hydrophobia, he called his weeping friends about him, and said, --
"Beware of the books. They tell but half of the story. Whenever a poor wretch asks you for help, and you feel a doubt as to what result may flow from your benevolence, give yourself the benefit of the doubt and kill the applicant."
And so saying he turned his face to the wall and gave up the ghost.

A lesson from Mark Twain

by Mark Twain

It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in arms, the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the bunched firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering wilderness of flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the wide avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers and sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy emotion as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and which they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the tears running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors preached devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles beseeching His aid in our good cause in outpourings of fervid eloquence which moved every listener. It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen rash spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for their personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no more in that way.
Sunday morning came -- next day the battalions would leave for the front; the church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight with martial dreams -- visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum, the rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult, the enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender! Then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of glory! With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest of noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old Testament was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst that shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing eyes and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation
*God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest! Thunder thy clarion and lightning thy sword!*
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of its supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all would watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage them in their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and the hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and confident, invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to them and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory --
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the main aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale even to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and stood there waiting. With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his presence, continued with his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words, uttered in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our God, Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside -- which the startled minister did -- and took his place. During some moments he surveyed the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny light; then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne -- bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such shall be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import -- that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of -- except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two -- one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this -- keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer -- the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it -- that part which the pastor -- and also you in your hearts -- fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us the victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. the *whole* of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory--*must* follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.
(*After a pause.*) "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits!"
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said.

Monday, March 25, 2013

About time! Something positive from CNN on the AR-15

The Company behind it all: : HogSwat!                          

 A video about Hogswat from CNN:    AR-15s to protect crops from hogs
If you haven't seen the damage these pigs can cause the video is a must-see.  I have seen places in Florida in the woods where it looked like someone had brought in a tractor and plowed up the area. These animals are moving North, and have made inroads into Oregon already. Lets all work to eliminate them. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Mnozil Brass septet

The expression of bored indifference is great!

If you are impatient, just forward 1/2 way to about the three minute spot.

Mnozil Brass is an Austrian brass septet. They play classical, jazz and other styles of music using traditional brass instruments and more unusual instruments such as the keyed trumpet and Wagner tuba. Music is presented with a typical Austrian style of humor  which can be approximately characterized as "jet black" and "here and there" absurd. Elements of slapstick exist next to virtuoso brass playing. Austrian and German schlager songs of the 20th century are often caricatured. All founding members were graduates of the renowned Vienna College of Music, who met while playing at the Mnozil pub in Vienna's first inner city district. The band was founded in 1992.

For your pleasure, the William Tell Overture

Lots more on Utube!

But I have to add this for collieguy:

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Grandparents homestead in Swan Lake, Klamath Falls, is for sale

A view the location in Google Earth:

This is the largest tree! 
The property, 154.24 acres, is one of the few tracts left in the area that has un-logged timber.
A timber cruise was done, and  there are 767.370 MBF 12" to 39"  and 924,320 MBF 6" to 11" 
 (The old growth tree in the photo above was not included in the cruise). Prices are much higher now, and the trees will keep getting larger. A 80% cut will still leave enough timber to be attractive, not require replanting legally, and in the end, pay for the property in a pinch.
I would hate to see any of the trees cut at all, but this is an asset that I feel I should mention. 

And the house my Grandfather built:
There are no utilities and never were. There is a well, and power lines could be run in from Swan Lake Road. There is an outhouse that is still usable until indoor plumbing is added. The house is of unconventional layout. My Grandfather built it himself, and leveled the hillside with a shovel and wheelbarrow. The roof has new asphalt shingles, but they were laid over the old shingles and probably should be replaced. The house needs work, but IMHO is structurally sound and could be brought up to date.
As-Is, this would be ideal for someone that wishes to live "off the grid"
The small chimney to the left of the Kitchen chimney, is for a wood or fuel oil heater.

This chimney is for the kitchen wood stove. We still have the stove, but it has been removed for the time being. It is a nice one, and fully functional. In my mind, I can still smell the bread my Grandmother used to bake in it.

This chimney is for the living room fireplace.

Out building for firewood storage, garage, and guest room above. 
This is also where the well is.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

More wars in store for us?

Things in Afghanistan are starting to wind down and it seems that our leaders and the big business leaders that call the shots are looking for more places to utilize the military complex that we've built up. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tomorrow's News Today

It's only a matter of time!

More news from the same folks  that brought us gasoline laced with ethanol.
 Knee-jerk responses to today's problems,
Thanks to Dan at International Liberty!  from whom I stole the story because I'm too lazy to look everything up.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bird houses and owls

Through a friendly neighbor, we had the good fortune to meet a gentleman with a one man lumber mill that likes to make bird houses. He gifted us 34 assorted houses made of everything from oak to black walnut. They should last a long time.
Lots of blue bird houses, a couple for barn owls (they were heavy!), two for kestrels, swallows, nut hatches and a wood duck house (also very heavy).

While checking the game cameras we saw this little guy in one of the Kestrel houses. I believe that it is a Western Screech Owl.
No Spotted owls have been (or will be) spotted!
It would be nice if we had pygmy owls, but we are too far North.

Elf owl
Or  Elf owls, They are really cute.

Friday, March 8, 2013

3-D printing

My Lovely wife & Daisy the pound hound

If I had a 3-D scanner and a 3-D printer I could make a mirror image of the Mercedes driver’s side rear view mirror so I could have one for the right side. They are very rare for a 1972 200D, for some reason they didn't usually come with one..
Then I could make a mold, and cast an aluminum copy & get it chromed. The problem is that it would cost four times what the car is worth.
Still........That kind of thing never stopped me before.
I could make garden gnomes except that I like them about as much as I like seeing clowns in my yard. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Monday, March 4, 2013

poetic justice? Darwin?

W. Salem man accidentally killed by AR-15 he had just stolen

Darwin was right.
I guess these “assault” rifles are so dangerous that we don’t even need to be there when our homes are broken in to. I wonder how many cartridges were in the magazine.
Only one was needed I see.

Friday, March 1, 2013

And yet still more elk photos

I went out and pulled the cards from a couple of cameras. The elk had already pulled the aux. power cords out of the cameras and they were running on the internal batteries. Sometimes they bite the cord in two and that shuts the camera off and I lose the internal memory, so I don't mind if they just unplug them. They have a habit of licking and or breathing on the lens which makes for some pretty blurry shots. I have a few hundred to erase for the last couple of days. They took a total of about 2500 self portraits between the two cameras. Here are a few of the less "congested" photos:

They like that salt!