Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A USDA-mandated rabbit disaster plan

Watch him pull a USDA-mandated rabbit disaster plan out of his hat

Micro management by our government, at work for the good of us all!
                    Marty the Magician
"The story behind it illustrates the reality of how American laws get made. First Congress passes a bill, laying out the broad strokes. Then bureaucrats write regulations to execute those intentions.
And then, often, they keep on writing them. And writing them.
In this case, the long road to regulated rabbits began in 1965 — when Capitol Hill was captivated with the story of a dognapped Dalmatian named Pepper.
The dog had been stolen from its family, used in medical research and killed. After an outcry, Congress passed a law that required licenses for laboratories that use dogs and cats in research.
In 1970, Congress passed an amendment that extended the law’s reach. It now covered a variety of other animals. And it covered animal “exhibitors,” in addition to labs. At the time, legislators seemed focused on large facilities with lots of animals: “circuses, zoos, carnivals, roadshows and wholesale pet dealers,” said then-Rep. Tom Foley (D-Wash.), a major backer and later speaker of the House.
But the letter of the law was broad. In theory, it could apply to someone who “exhibited” any animals as part of a show.
Apparently, it does.
Hahne has an official USDA license, No. 43-C-0269, for Casey — a three-pound Netherland dwarf rabbit with a look of near-fatal boredom. The rules require Hahne to pay $40 a year, take Casey to the vet and submit to surprise inspections of his home.
Also, if Hahne plans to take the rabbit out of town for an extended period, he must submit an itinerary to the USDA. The 1966 law that started all of this was four pages long. Now, the USDA has 14 pages of regulations just for rabbits.
But not all rabbits. Animals raised for meat are exempt from these rules.
“You’re telling me I can kill the rabbit right in front of you,” Hahne says he asked an inspector, “but I can’t take it across the street to the birthday party” without a license? Also, the law applies only to warmblooded animals. If Hahne were pulling an iguana out of his hat — no license required.
Now, he needs both a license and a disaster plan."
A tip of the hat to: Dan Mitchell at International Liberty

Monday, July 15, 2013

Coffee roasting By special request!

The first batch I roasted, I used this covered pot on the gas stove. When the smoke and flying chaff got too bad, my wife kicked me out of the house. The first batch was under roasted and the caffeine content on a trail cup had me climbing the walls. After this, I did it outside on the barbecue grill. This worked pretty well, but required a more or less constant shaking of the pan to get as even a roast a possible. Because it was somewhat uneven, the first crack was hard to distinguish from the second and left me a bit uncertain when to stop. Nonetheless, it made for a good cup of coffee. It wasn't stale like just about all the coffee sold in the stores. Some people use a type of popcorn popper to roast coffee, but that kind of lacks the snob appeal that a real coffee roaster aims for.

Because this was a lot of work to do every week especially when it was windy, my wife picked out the perfect birthday gift. A Behmor 1600.  A bit expensive, but buying the best coffee grown for about $6.00/lb and always having fresh roasted coffee is making it a great deal. This has several programmable settings for different roasts, and is (semi) smokeless. It is necessary to weigh the exact amount of coffee for the program you use, as even one ounce over or under will change the results. There are two stages at the end of the roasting process that tell you when it is done. The first is aptly named the first crack. The roasting coffee will at this point start to make a leisurely popping sound. Roughly 60 to 90 seconds later the sound will change and increase in intensity which is the fabled "second crack". This is when you stop and cool down the beans. Too long after the second crack will result in either (A). a fire, or (B) burned beans similar to "Char"bucks.
I buy my green beans from a local  place that imports it by the ton. Luckily for me, they will also sell retail.
I bought my roaster from them.
 The container the coffee goes into is like a squirrel cage  that rotates and has fins that keep the beans stirred up.
 It is like a convection oven inside, with quartz heaters in the back and a fan that circulates the air.

 Below is a clever trap for the chaff which helps keep the whole thing from catching fire and burning the house down. I say helps, because there are repeated warnings in the manual not to let it out of your sight when roasting. About a 20 minute process.

 Green unroasted beans.
 Above, you can see the little timer that I use in order to walk away from the roaster and return before the critical "almost ready to catch fire", second crack.
The flea market find coffee grinder I've had for 30 years or more.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Haying in Muddy Valley


Yes, That's a Ford!
Wondering what's happening to their meal

                                                              That's not a Ford

Infrared game cam photo
Notice the time stamp. A certain "Lazy Farmer" looked dead beat around 8 pm and said he was heading home. Some Fairy must be driving for him.

Keeping an eye on the work.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The dentist

                          Today Budde goes to the dentist. With any luck, it will be more like this:

But he will probably get a dentist like:

Steve Martin's song from The little Shop of Horrors 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The buck stops here! The Saturday gamecam photo

A nice blacktail buck and a Really nice blacktail buck.  At least for around here. 
click to enlarge

The mineral block seems to be helping! I am not a hunter. I am somewhat of a shooter, and like to do some long range shooting, but I leave these guys alone. A spike elk every couple of years gives us more than enough meat for the freezer. I don't trophy hunt, but then I am fortunate in that unlike most people, I am able to live amongst them. I am happier seeing these guys show up on the game camera or occasionally getting a glimpse of them in the woods (rarely the big ones). Pulling the game camera cards is like getting a Christmas gift every week. I never know what will be on them, and the big bulls and bucks are a special treat. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Bulls bucks and ducks for the 4th on the game cams.

Click to enlarge.

 Still in velvet. Most of the other deer and elk do not yet have antlers so well developed as these two above. The bucks are pretty much nocturnal, but the does and fauns are out in the daylight.

Mooning duck!

Wood ducks?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

An example of what firearm laws in England are like

A handgun and more than 300 rounds of ammunition were recovered when police raided the quarters of an SAS sniper, a court heard on Tuesday.
Sergeant Danny Nightingale, 38, a special forces veteran who has served more than 18 years in the military, is accused of possessing a Glock 9mm pistol and 338 rounds of ammunition.
sas sniper
Sergeant Danny Nightingale and his wife, Sally
A court martial at Bulford, Wiltshire, was told that the handgun and ammunition were recovered when civilian police searched the father-of-two's accommodation, which he shared with another soldier, known only as Soldier N.
Timothy Cray, prosecuting, told the five-strong court martial board: "The Crown's case put shortly is that the defendant's possession of the firearm and ammunition was in breach of standing orders that are familiar to every soldier and fundamentally was contrary to the law of this country.
"We say there is no excuse for what the defendant did.
"No matter how he tries to deny it, the gun and ammunition were there in his bedroom because he put them there and he kept them there."
Words fail me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wood Duck & ducklings

Wood ducks, click to enlarge

I'm not sure where she nested, and the wood duck, nest box I put up is pretty far away on the north pond, but they all walked by the house yesterday going between the two ponds on either side of our
 house. I'm not sure which is cuter, baby ducks or baby quail.