Thursday, May 31, 2007

"Hey Mom! Can I get This Book?"

"No, of course not, little man. Why don't you go practice your yoga?"

A review of The Dangerous Book For Boys by Christina Hoff Summers. A quote:

In a radical departure from modern schoolroom readings, the book has almost nothing to say about feelings, relationships or how boys can learn to cry. It valorizes risk, adventure and manliness.

Today's boys inhabit a danger-averse world where even old favorites like tag and dodge ball are under a cloud - Too competitive! Someone might get hurt! The National Parent Teacher Association recommends a cooperative alternative to the fiercely competitive "tug of war" called "tug of peace."

By contrast, "The Dangerous Book for Boys" has detailed instructions on how to hunt, kill, skin and cook a rabbit.

A picnic on the ol' front porch

Worked up an appetite.

Where the rest of the house used to be.

No, I'm not peeing on the porch. Geez.

The Cows COULD jump over the moon...

...or they could just roll it along the ridge for a bit. Click to enlarge. By the time I got the camera the moon had shrunk some.

Friday, May 25, 2007

AI Finals-Jordin Wins!

Ta dum. I haven't watched the final show and probably won't. Over the season, the hoopla quotient rises. Too much hoopla, not enough hope.

But I'm happy for Jordin, who just needs some training. I hope fame doesn't spoil her. I'm happy for Blake, too, who seems like a nice guy. I thought the talent this year was superior to last year's, and I look forward to next year. Is it great music? Generally not. Is it my kinda music? Not usually. But I enjoy watching some talented young people pursue their dreams. So sue me.

The final standings:

Arnold 26
Scott 32
Mom 34
Claire 35
Luke 36
Laura/Me 38
Caleb 42

So congratulations, Arnie. Everybody can figure out what they owe Arnie, but Arnie would like you not to send him any money. He won $500 on a scratch card last week (yes, he's the kind of person who buys who few instant tickets every week) and he is feeling flush. So, he is requesting that you take your "losings" and use them to commit an act of kindness. He says he would enjoy hearing what you do with his winnings, but it's up to you what you do.

Thanks for plyaing everybody. We will play again next year, with a new scoring system.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Life in the Projects

New Bathroom.
New Family Room just before Laura painted the walls.
Sorry, buddy, not much time for you these days.
Too tired to work. Can't the kids do it?
The cows are over the hill.
Laura's exhaust. Cole Muffler gave us a price of $750. Jeremy and I did it for $18. It took us twice as long as it should have because we made a dumb mistake. But we still saved $732 less our labor. Next, the Forester clutch and the Outback head gaskets.
New calf pens. No calves in them yet, but we've got 16 cows due in the next thirty days. Gonna be busy!
Four new seedings. could use a nice gentle snower.
Luke is siding the west wall, and doing a nice job.
Luke on the west wall.

Congratulations, Jeremy!

Jeremy has now graduated from SUNYMorrisville for the second time. He now has two associate's degrees, which is one more than I have. It just goes to show what a little bit of nose-to-the-grindstone can do for ya. His degree is in Ag Business so if you have any Ag Business questions, Jeremy's your man.

Way to go, Jeremy!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sunday, May 20, 2007

When you're weary, feelin' small...

...go read your Ebay feedback. Then you'll realize how amazing you really are.

The Curse is, like, SO reversed

Weren't for bad luck, the Yankees would have no luck at all. Two, yes two, rookie pitchers receiving broken bones from batted balls in the first inning of their starts. How weird is that? And why can't Johnny Damon play more than a game or two at a stretch before he has to sit down and rest. Doesn't he have two more years on that contract after this one? It'll take more than Roger Clemens to save this team.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Newest Murbaru


American Idol's charm is in the early going when extraordinary singing comes from ordinary undiscovered people. "When he gets to the end, he wants to start all over again." Towards the end, "the starmaker machinery behind the popular song" takes over and weird things happen and everybody tries too hard and it seeems like the auditions held more hope and promise (The Audacity!) than was warranted.

Melinda, the most professionally accomplished singer in the group is eliminated, leaving Blake, who is kind of a sophisticated goober (he can form his mouth into a perfect circle while singing at the camera) and Jordin, a lovely raw talent, who was named after a calf who lives here on Stornaway Farm. Pictures provided upon request.

Even though Claire picked the top four (in any order), Arnold has clinched the win. Some people have said they aren't going to pay Arnold because they don't believe in him. I think this is sad and sour grapes.

Arnie, congratulations. I believe in you.

The Standings with two positions left:

Arnold 22
Scott 26
Mom 28
Luke 29
Laura 30
Claire/Me 32
caleb 33

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Life in the Fast Lane

Hey! That'd make a great title for a book.

So I drove four hours ( I set out with four bull calves in the back of the truck, figuring to go to Unadilla and drop them off, but I ran into the trucker on the way there and switched them to his vehicle saving about an hour of time) to visit grandma Murphy (who really really wanted me to eat half her potato at the Bluebonnet Diner, which has great broasted chicken) for four hours and drove back four hours to arrive home at 1130pm only to have Luke come in the door at midnight saying the Forester was over at Craine Lake and wouldn't move. The clutch lasted only 25000 miles. Ouch. So new clutch in the works. Went out and bought another Murbaru (Subarurphy?) today, a deal I couldn't pass up. Needs head gaskets, of course.

So, I'm fried. Look for AI update and more tomorrow.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Stornaway Jerseys is eighth IN THE NATION for Jersey Performance Index, an amalgam of production and type traits. We jumped from eighteenth place to eighth. Interestingly, there are only two herds ahead of us that are BIGGER than we are. The bigger the herd, the more difficult it is to maintain high JPI numbers.

So things are looking up. The socialists who run our state (NY) just sent us a nice check drawn from other people's money, for which the socialists take credit, of course. Helping the poor stupid dairy farmer, doncha know. Maybe we'll do a farm update. Been awhile.

Why I was late to work the other day . . .

Well, duh, I got stuck in a traffic jam. Here's the proof:

The trouble with slowing down on a May morning in Chenango County is that, once you've stopped rushing, you might notice a roadside like this:

Which might force you to stop and get out for a closer look.

And then, further down the road, you might have to stop again to check out the luxurious way a brook meanders through a valley.

And then you might step back to notice the picture-book valley that it's wandering through.

Eventually, you manage to get to work. But even there, it's a challenge to be on time when, between the parking lot and the door, there are sights like this:

In May, at least, who'd want to live anyplace else?

26 degrees and getting colder

Yes, it's 26 degrees out. Here. Right now. Fortunately, while Obama lectures us about paying a "few hundred dollars" more for hybrids (we must, he says), HIS family car is a Chrysler 300C, and he and his family are going to warm the place up for me. Thanks, Obama, you phony.

Happy Mother's Day!

To all you mothers out there. To the rest of you, have lotsa kids. Have 'em young. You need 'em, and the world needs 'em.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The AI Update is late!

Sorry. Lots goin' on yesterday. ( Wait 'til you see Panda!) Please stop phoning. And the police are looking into who slashed the tires on my truck. C'mon, people, it's just American Idol.

Well, my favorite, Lakisha, did not have a good night. I don't know what possessed her to do "Stayin' Alive", or even why someone like Lakisha should have to sing BeeGee songs. I'd give anything to hear Lakisha sing "As I Went Down in the Valley to Pray" or "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" but I don't expect they'll be having a Religious Songs Night soon on American Idol.

I don't really dislike the BeeGee music. A couple of the ballads are really nice, and the dance music is, well, dance music. But as with so much other AI music, it's really not conducive to the kind of singing I like to hear.

So Arnie is locked into first place, and it looks like Scott could tie him if things fall right. I should have never answered Arnie when he asked me what a blog was.

Arnie 22
Scott 24
Mom 26
Luke 27
Laura 28
Me 30
Claire 31
Caleb 33

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lileks 24 update

is in the last section of today's bleat.


UPDATE: hold on, people: a ranking section chief is coming over to replace Nadia. This is more exciting than a subsection non-com demi-colonel with a level 46G clearance factor coming over to change the urinal cakes. You can almost feel the excitement at CTU Human Resources: new employees? At 3 AM? Well, he’s going to wait until tomorrow if he wants his medical and dental to follow him over here, because I am done for the day. My house was nuked this morning and I have to go to my sister’s, and she lives way the hell out in the Valley. Damn.

UPDATE: FLASH ALL AGENCIES / CC EMBASSY SUBNETS COPY TO MILINT: Milo suspects there is something going on between Nadia and Ricky

UPDATE: Were in ur sewerz, resettin yt permissions. The Chinese have managed to seize control of America’s primary anti-terrorism unit by typing on a computer conveniently located by the sewer lines.

UPDATE: Well, Ricky, the path is clear now. On the other hand, Milo raised the bar for what it takes to impress Nadia.

Eff the environment.

"Sustainable weddings?"

Ya wanna be green? Really? Then sit in a corner of the basement sucking your thumb. And don't exhale, because when you do, you're emitting, omigod, CARBON DIOXIDE! Deadly Carbon Dioxide! Almost as deadly as Dihydrogen Monoxide!

I like the gist of the column, which is "give it a rest already". But, really, there is no need to spend your lifetime reducing your consumption. We are not running out of anything, and societies with higher rates of consumption have cleaner "environments". Consume and be merry. At least, shut up about how you're doing something for the environment by reusing your plastic bags.

Somebody, please, ten or twenty or thirty years from now, when we're sitting sround shivering and worrying about the coming ice age, remember where you heard this. There is no environmental "crisis".

Monday, May 07, 2007

And while I'm at it . . . .

. . . here are a couple of pictures from our Rochester expedition back in April.

Laura, it really is pianos and clocks. Proof:

During that trip, I probably should have taken pictures of my children and their friends. But instead, I took pictures of Dad and dogs. Here's Dad at Lake Ontario:

Lots of people bring their dogs to the lake shore to fetch sticks out of the water. Here's one that did so over and over and over again:

You'd think Panda would have wanted to do the same thing, but no. He refused to follow any sticks into that water. He did, however, like drinking it, and he looked scenic doing so.

It's a lonely life . . .

What do you think of our redecoration?

Note the new carpet -- just below Dad's right foot. Nice, huh??

Julian Beever Chalk Drawings

Credit goes to Jason for forwarding me these crazy chalk drawings.

As you can see these images can only be viewed from one angle to get the intended effect. This is the swimmers leg from the image above.

How did he do all that with chalk?

Sunday, May 06, 2007

here's another one...

proof that there are other men in vet school, and that I never do well in posed photographs.

And here's Kate fighting a cow, just for fun:

I need bigger coveralls...

but it's a nice picture anyway.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Red Sox

Does anybody know when and how Lenny Dinardo ended up in Oakland? And you can have Julio Lugo. I'll take Alex G. I'll take Coco, too. Lugo looks lost in the field.

The vet who tried to save Barbaro looks back


The Global Warming Front

Get it? The global warming FRONT?

There is so much good stuff out there now on GW it's hard to keep up. We've been told that all the scientists are on one side on this but from what I can see the advocates of global warming are entertainers, politicians, and actors, and the skeptics are scientists! The IPCC reports are written by policy wonks, not scientists. It is SO weird and disturbing.

Alexander Cockburn, a socialist leftie if ever there was one, writes for The NAtion. He has a column on GW here.

The first two paragraphs are about "carbon credits", which allow the over-indulged to continue their high-living ways while lecturing the rest of us on our use of fossil fuel:

"In a couple of hundred years historians will be comparing the frenzies over our supposed human contribution to global warming to the tumults at the latter end of the tenth century as the Christian millennium approached. Then as now, the doomsters identified human sinfulness as the propulsive factor in the planet's rapid downward slide. Then as now, a buoyant market throve on fear. The Roman Catholic Church sold indulgences like checks. The sinners established a line of credit against bad behavior and could go on sinning. Today a world market in "carbon credits" is in formation. Those whose "carbon footprint" is small can sell their surplus carbon credits to others less virtuous than themselves.

The modern trade is as fantastical as the medieval one. There is still zero empirical evidence that anthropogenic production of carbon dioxide is making any measurable contribution to the world's present warming trend. The greenhouse fearmongers rely on unverified, crudely oversimplified models to finger mankind's sinful contribution--and carbon trafficking, just like the old indulgences, is powered by guilt, credulity, cynicism and greed. "

He goes on to hammer on a point that has always bothered me. This is carbon dioxide we're talking about here. Carbon. Dioxide. A major component of our "ecosphere". A small simple molecule that is everywhere. A byproduct, not a catalyst. And the amount of CO2 given to the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuels is very small compared to the amount of CO2 given off by the oceans. I"m not a scientist, but I really don't believe the CO2 molecule has the power they think it does.

And Glenn Beck had an excellent show on GW on CNN tonight. Real scientists with real credentials talking about their skepticism.

But the thing I find most objectionable about this whole thing is the showing of "An Inconvenient Truth" in schools. I can see why it won an Oscar. It's a great performance by a great actor. But scaring kids about their future on the basis of flimsy evidence is unconscionable, and they should be ashamed. It will come back to bite them when the kids grow up and realize that, like all the other Malthusian fears, it was just a big hoax.

AI update

Well, after a night of cliche-ridden ego-driven songs, Phil is gone and chris is gone. Bon Jovi performed tonight. Is this what idol contestants aspire to be? Ecch.

Arnold appears unstoppable. By my figgering, Scott or Mom can tie him.

Claire managed to pick the top four. Next year I think we'll weight the places with first place being worth twelve times twelfth place, second place worth eleven times, etc. The suspense was over early last year, too.

Arnold 19
scott 22
Mom 24
Luke 26
laura 27
dad/Claire 28
caleb 30

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Panda's Top Speed

is about 25 mph. Downhill. And for a very short distance. He can maintain about 15mph for nearly a mile.