Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mom Takes It to the Street (Oooh, I love her so)

Her letter to the Dairy-L listserv follows:

I absolutely agree that the marketing of non-rBST milk is a ruse. This milk is sold by deceiving consumers, who see slogans like "No antibiotics - no added hormones" and, naturally enough, conclude that there must be antibiotics and added hormones in regular milk.

So here's my question -- why can't regular milk labels carry the exact same claim? If we put "No antibiotics -- no added hormones" on regular milk labels, it would reassure consumers. It would alleviate some of the harm being done to the image of the dairy industry. And it would be perfectly true -- just exactly as true, no more, no less, as it is when non-rBST and organic milk marketers put it on their packages.

The tactic we've been trying to use -- fighting back by insisting that the claims made by non-rBST and organic milk marketers aren't true -- won't work. You can't prove a negative, and anyway, it's too late. Consumers don't have the information they need to understand the competing claims, they've been conditioned to think that the specialty marketers are more honest and believable than "big dairy," and they don't have time to worry about it, anyway. They just want to grab a container of milk out of the dairy case on the way home from work without having to worry about whether they're buying a safe food.

If every package of regular milk were prominently labeled "No antibiotics -- no added hormones," I think we'd recover some of the market we are otherwise, inevitably losing to the specialty milks. By not giving consumers this information, we are CONCEDING that regular milk is inferior to the specialty milks. We don't mean to -- but that's the effect.

If we can't beat them, why not join them? Can any marketing people on the list tell me why this information shouldn't be added, right now, to every label on every package of regular milk?

From the Department of Obscure Statistics

With no fanfare, the blog reached a landmark the other day -- the 1,000th post. [Sitemeter does not seem to keep track of this, at least not in the pared-down free version that we use. But when you sign in at Blogger, you will see the current number of posts.] Post # 1,000 was (drumroll):

Red Sox!! and c.

posted by Dad on Sunday, September 24, 2007. Ironically, that is the post in which Dad said, "...the problem with having a blog is the same as the problem with having a dog. They need to be maintained. If you don't put stuff on the blog, it gets "moldy" to use Caleb's word..."

In the 967 days between February 5, 2005, and September 30, 2007, we have put 1,011 posts on this blog -- slightly more than a post a day. (And since Dad's Mold Warning, the rate has been even better than that: close to two posts a day.) Either way, not too moldy. Let's keep it up!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

I fixed it!

. . . I think. Those of you who view the blog in Internet Explorer instead of Firefox may have noticed that the posts don't always appear next to the sidebar, but sit down below it so that it looks as if there are no posts. I don't use IE and the blog looks fine in Firefox, so I never thought much about it. But today I thought, "Why not see if I can fix that?" And it looks to me as if I did. Please let me know though if you are still seeing the blog the old way, and if so, which browser version you are using. Thanks!

(The way to fix it, it turns out, was to add this text to every rule in the template with the word "float" in it: word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */ . Google knows EVERYTHING.)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Yankees choke! Again!

The Boston Red Sox are the American League Eastern division Champions! Matsuzaka pitched well. Mariano Rivera and Jason Giambi couldn't come through for the MFYs. HA!

On to the playoffs!

Have you seen

this? It's pictures being uploaded to Blogger from all over the world, in real time. Oddly engrossing.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Don't miss this!

WAR! Between the water buffalo and the lions. And the crocodiles! Hey, Walt Disney! Man is in the forest, and he's just watching!

Animals are so sweet. And gentle. And nurturing. If only we could be more like them.

The Greatest Team You've Never Heard Of

Ah, the US Women's Soccer team just lost to Brazil in the World Cup Semi-final. The World Cup flew by this year without me noticing. I usually make a point to watch every game. This year I missed most of it, and the one game I saw, the US lost. I guess they were on a 50 game winning streak, before Brazil and Marta caught up with them. Ah well, guess I will have to wait for the summer 2008 Olympics.
And the MFYs clinched a playoff berth.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If it took me 25 years to get it all said . . .

. . . how come this lady can say it all in under three minutes?

The Big Mo

Five games to go, three games up and do I detect a shift in momentum? Yankee pitching seems to be declining, and the sword that they live by, hitting, is the same sword that killed them last night. Meanwhile, the RS appear to be getting healthier.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

My President

Speaking to the dictators and totalitarianists and thugs at the UN:

"America will lead toward this vision where all are created equal and free to pursue their dreams. This is the founding conviction of my country. It is the promise that established this body. And with our determination, it can be the future of our world."

Sadly, when speaking about malaria, he did not mention DDT. I'm disappointed. Meanwhile, we can keep naming schools after Rachel Carson.

Six games to go...

and the Yanks are two games out. The division will be ours. The Yanks looked flat, flat, flat yesterday against the BJs. And, next year, the BJs will be a force to be reckoned with.

Jesse Litsch went from being a bat boy with the BJs to one of their starters in five years. His story, and don't miss it, is here:

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Dry Cow barn Rises

I hate post framing. It's the poor man's way to build. But here we are doing it. Similarly to post-and-beam framing in a house (the rich man's way to build) , once you've built the frame you still only have a frame. With stud-framing, aka "stick" building, the frame gives you a place to run your wires, your plumbing and insulation, and surfaces to nail your interior and exterior finish on. It's evolution has been central to the development of affordably built housing. With post-and-beam, or post framing, once you've built your frame you have to fill it in with all sorts of lumber so you have places to attach things. Also, post and beam uses more lumber and therefore is bad for our benighted forests.

So, kids, when you go out to build your own houses, and you decide you want to build post-and-beam, don't tell your father or invite him over.

Stick building rocks.

A smattering of pictures

In the interests of mold-aversion, here are some random pictures taken over the past few weeks. First, yes, the daughter is taller than the mother, though not by as much as it looks in this picture:
Look, they have the same nose:
Fortunately, they don't:
I wish this one wasn't sideways. Later I'll see if I can fix it. Lately, for some reason, Picasa displays sideways pictures as if they were the right way up, so I don't find out that they are sideways until after they're already on the blog. Does anybody know if there's a way to use html or some Blogger feature to turn them the right way up, once they're here? [Later: OK, I fixed it, but I had to do it in "My Pictures" of all places, because Picasa wouldn't admit that the doggoned image was sideways. Now first, how is that helpful? And second, how does it know??]

This one's blurry, but I like it anyway.
and finally, the first in what I hope will eventually be a series of three -- Who Lives Here?

Red Sox!! and c.

Argh. Back to a game and a half. But I think the RS are starting to gather way. In Gordon Ede's last mailbag, fans were just livid at Francona, particularly for going back to Gagne, but I love the guy. He conducts himself like a man. He gives reasonable explanations for his actions. It appears to me that he has been successful at quitting chewing tobacco. I just like him, for the same reasons I like Timlin and Wakefield. Yeah, they're playing a boy's game in silly uniforms, but they are mature. I think he's handled manny and Gagne and the various problems with Drew and Lugo very well. You hear of no complaints from the players, who are all more or less grown men and Francona treats them that way.

The Post-season will be great. Should I call for HDTV today?

Lotsa stuff I've wanted to post lately but been without the camera at the right time, or just can't seem to make the words come out right. But, the problem with having a blog is the same as the problem with having a dog. They need to be maintained. If you don't put stuff on the blog, it gets "moldy" to use Caleb's word. And Monday through Friday, if I leave the house and go to the barn which I prolly do half a dozen times a day, Panda thinks we're goin somewhere, and when I walk past the garage, he slinks into the garage with cowardly dog look which I hate.

So I will continue to post and comment as much as possible. I don't want a moldy blog. This means that a lot of what I say will be poorly expressed, because quantity will be trumping quality. Also, I have this marvelous little new laptop that I bought on ebay for $429 (delivered to the door!) and typing on it is taking some getting used to. Please post and comment so we can keep this blog alive.

Random thoughts: I wished i had the camera yesterday when Mom drove the new JD tractor. She was cute! And the tractor is marvelous. They thought of pretty much everything, which is a lot more than New Holland thought of. The JD works SO well. It is a Lexus compared to the NH's, um, Passat. I will post pictures. And my wife is the Rolls-Royce of wives.

Selling things. The danged Sunfish is gone (but not the trailer) as is the upstairs piano. Sold a cow clipper on Ebay for $90. Luke's Mountain Board is listed now. The weights and bench and the old lawnmower are in the Pennysaver, but I never get much response from the pennysaver.

We're building an addition on the heifer barn for dry cows. In the wintertime, we can dry a cow off, send her out to the dry cow barn and put a milking cow in her place.

Here's something that may be useful to you students:

It's a free conversion program. " Convert is a free and easy to use unit conversion program that will convert the most popular units of distance, temperature, volume, time, speed, mass, power, density, pressure, energy and many others, including the ability to create custom conversions!"

Both Caleb and Luke looked like they would do well in pick 'em yesterday, but, alas, no. C'mon, you guys, we need to win some weeks.

To the barn.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Red Sox!

Hoo Boy! Still not a Lugo fan but I admit he is capable of the occasional clutch hit. Went to bed last night after the top of the eighth with a feeling of doom. Then varitek (he can't hit) booms one. We may yet hang on and win the division, which I care more about than winning in the playoffs. Beat the Yankees now.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Red Sox

Did you see Julio Lugo not running hard on the grounder to short with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh? He makes me barf. As much as Eric Gagne.

Then in the eighth, Elsbury gets on and because of this stupid rule "We must not take the bat out ot Ortiz's hand", he can't steal because it will leave first base open. But if he had stolen, he would have gone to third on Pedroia's fly to right and scored on Ortiz's fly to right. What's the bigger weapon in this case, Ellsbury's speed or Ortiz's bat?

the Red Sox deserve their fate. The yankees smell blood.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


How about some posts from the College Kids? How are things going out there in the world of Higher Education??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Recent searches that found this blog

Here's another installment in my occasional series of internet searches that found this blog, gleaned from SiteMeter. All of these searches occurred in the most recent 100 visits to the Murphies.

Google search: iliotibial band aka the fascia lata
from someone in Illinois with an ISP at the National University of Health Sciences

Google search: ingerto
from somebody in San Rafael, California

Google search: how's the cow?
two of these, all of a sudden, a few minutes apart -- one from an "unknown organization," the other from an ISP with a tag at the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC.

Google search: kid tries to say blood
from Puyallup, Washington

Google search: samodais song lyrics
from Ontario, Canada

Google search: keep having children until they have a boy
from Green Bay, Wisconsin

Friday, September 07, 2007

Silo, Pt. 1

On Monday, an Amish father and son showed up here interested in buying a silo. Being generally interested in selling things I no longer use, I said, "YES!" I had hoped they would want the bigger silo, but they only wanted the smaller one. They are VERY likable people, open, honest, hardworking, friendly. They showed up on Tuesday with one more adult and three more young men. They had several different people chauffering them around in one-ton diesel pickups with heavy duty trailers for carting the silo up to Lebanon where they live. They had an ancient scaffolding with them that they rigged inside the silo. Of course, they weren't interested in the unloader because they have their own "Armstrong" unloaders. I asked if they minded having their pictures taken, and they said they did, so I tried not to get them in the photos, which is really too bad because they were so interesting.
BONG! goes the roof.
Sorry about that, kid. You popped up just when I hit the shutter.
YOUK! They would yank the stave apart after removing the hoops, and toss the staves down inot a pile of hay.
Not the same picture. Really.

Silo, Pt. 2

Looking up at the staging from the bottom. So clever, a hundred years ago.
Where'd the silo go?
YOUK! Good, dog, Youk.
There's a big hole in the wall.
The new view out the big hole in the wall.

104,160 lbs. of milk

Which is what we shipped in the month of August. About 13,000 gallons. A modern day record, surpassed, in the early years, only by the spring months when all the cows were fresh at the same time.

In 2003, we shipped an average of 56,000 pounds a month. This year, we'll average 91,000 pounds. Had I taken this approach to business starting when I was 35 rather than just 5 years ago, I'd be a wealthy man. Too soon old, too late smart.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti, RIP

You may not be an opera fan, but take three minutes to listen to this, anyway. See if you don't have gooseflesh by the end.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Almost done

After a break for summer work, it's back to the siding. The kestrels are gone. I don't like it up at the top of the staging working around the power lines, but somebody's gotta do it and I haven't been able to talk Mom into going up. Click to enlarge and you can see the power lines running through the staging, and you can see what's left of the 8X13 beam that ran the length of the
gable end cornice, and could easily have supplied enough wood to build an entire modern house, and which was structurally completely unnecessary. Fortunately, for our benighted forests, they don't build 'em like they used to.

Panda Clean and Shiny

Go where? Panda, the dog I"ve been "rescuing" after he was abandoned by his four previous owners, needed some professional cleaning. Arrow wouldn't take him but they recommended this dog groomer in Sherburne, Happy paws or something. Panda was suspicious.
In he goes!
Greeted by the lovely Mary. "She smells nice."
All Done! That was fun! Do I get a treat now?

So we DID land on the moon.


Edit: If you're in public, like in an office, turn the volume WAY up.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

My, Youk, how you've grown!

Arthur Jones, 1927 - 2007

Arthur Jones, the founder of Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries and MedX corporation, died in his home in Ocala, Florida last Tuesday. During his lifetime he served in the Navy in World War II (possibly as a pilot, but I'm not sure whether that was then or in Korea), imported exotic animals, was a wildlife filmmaker, and invented the first variable resistance exercise machines. At one point he rescued 63 elephants from Zimbabwe, most or all of whom were orphaned babies, and flew them to Florida (not sure if the problem was drought or poachers). He also invented the MedX Lumbar Extension machine, which is scientifically proven to cure chronic lower back pain in 80% of patients. He lived a long, controversial, and extremely interesting life. All the articles about his death that I was able to find were pretty terrible, but these two were the best of the worst.

The second one has some pretty serious inaccuracies and lies in it. The IRS was unable to find that he had done anything illegal; they investigated him because he criticized them on national television. Also he managed to not pay income taxes for something like 30 years by always investing any of his profits into new business endeavors. Another important thing they leave out is that of all the people who tried to sue him, none of them ever won. After reading his descriptions of some of these people, I don't blame him for threatening to kill them. As Jones often said, "I don't care what the problem is, violence is the solution." I don't necessarily agree with everything he ever said, but there is no question that Arthur Jones was an independent thinker, and was probably among the most intelligent humans to live in the past century. Anyway, here is the statement from MedX about Jones' death:

Inventor and Fitness Pioneer Arthur Jones Dies
Arthur Jones, the legendary founder of Nautilus and MedX exercise equipment whose groundbreaking inventions changed the way people throughout the world approach health and fitness, died on August 28, in Ocala, Fla. He was 81.
Jones was born in Arkansas in 1927 and grew up in Seminole, Oklahoma. After successful simultaneous careers as a pilot, animal importer and wildlife filmmaker, Jones´ enthusiasm for physical fitness led him to develop the Nautilus exercise machine system. Introduced in 1970, the equipment was the first of its kind to utilize the principle of variable resistance to develop muscles and build strength. Nautilus quickly became a lifestyle phenomenon, creating widespread awareness of the benefits of strength training and launching the modern fitness industry.
The success of Nautilus Sports/Medical Industries earned Jones a place on Forbes list of The 400 Richest Americans. He sold the brand in 1986 and liquidated much of his extensive North Florida real estate holdings – including his private zoo – to finance his next enterprise, MedX Corporation.
Jones reportedly spent more than $100 million of his own money to develop accurate measurement tools and rehabilitation machines designed to address problem areas of the lower back, neck and knees. Jones developed the MedX medical machines through years of research at the University of Florida’s Center for Exercise Science in the College of Medicine and College of Health and Human Performance, Gainesville, Fla.
Geared toward spinal rehabilitation, the MedX Medical line introduced in 1987, produced two breakthrough technologies: 1) positioning the patient to ensure that only the targeted muscles are worked during the session, and 2) a computerized measure of the patient’s functional strength to monitor progress during the rehabilitation process. These unique machines were able to make resistance adjustments as strength increased. Jones sold MedX Corporation in 1996.
The MedX Core Spinal Fitness System was developed in 2002 as a medically-based workout system delivered through five machines designed to isolate and strengthen the low back, neck and torso muscles. Both the MedX Medical and Core systems are used in spinal clinics and throughout the world, with the Core System being used as the exclusive system in a growing number of fitness centers.
Jim Flanagan, MedX´s Vice President of Sales, who worked with Jones from 1971 until 1996 and remained a lifelong friend, commented: "I hope that Arthur Jones´ contributions in the fields of fitness, sports medicine, exercise physiology and orthopedic rehabilitation will be recognized and appreciated. With the accomplishments and contributions he has made over the past 40 years, he should be awarded the Nobel Prize one day."
We tried to get a picture of us with the tower in the background but it was raining really hard. Or as the French say, "Il pleut des bebes!"

Out to dinner in Paris.

Us at the end of our journey with Arthur's friend Thibeau. Thibault? I'm not sure but I think it's one of those.
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We had 3 different people try to take a group picture of us with the cliffs in the background but none of them really turned out that well.

This is the view facing in from the cliffs.

Anna said this was a pretty picture!

Now we are in Paris on the steps of the Cathedral Montmartre I think.
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Yes, Pieboy is making a kissy face.

That's the tourist center at the cliffs. It kinda looks like a hobbit hole though.
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Saturday, September 01, 2007

A tower.

More cliffs.

Mom I thought you'd like this one because you can see the rock layers.

I'm not sure if you can make them out or not but there are some mountains way over on the other side of the bay from the cliffs.

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More of the Burren.

The other side of the bay from the Burren.

Mike with his shirt tied around his head standing next to a pile of rocks at the summit of the mountain we climbed at the Burren.

The day after seeing the Burren we took a bus down to the Cliffs of Moher which was pretty amazing. I liked the Burren better, however, because we were the only ones there and you could really see forever. The cliffs were a little different because there were tourists all over the place, and there were walls so that you couldn't really get right up to the edge. Also some of the really cool parts of the cliffs that we wanted to go to, like the part in the above picture, they weren't letting people go to. Apparently this was because they were in farm fields and they're really concerned about Footh and Mouth disease right now.
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The view of the bay from the Burren.

Mike pretending he's an Abercrombie and Fitch model or something...

The Burren.

More of the Burren.
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