Monthly Archives: March 2009

No Rant today, maybe next week or heck even tomorrow, who knows if or when it will hit me.

But this was to good to pass up….


Need I say more?

Short note tonight, I am dead tired.

Hauled corn all day today. Things went surprisingly well, the day was cool to start with but warmed up all day, the sun was out and we only had one snag as the sweep wouldn’t work in one bin. Then cleaned out some wheat that was left over and got it loaded up to haul to the elevator in a day or so after the next round of forecast rains tomorrow.

The thing that made it tough was the sugar high hangover from last night. Our church had a pie auction to raise money for the youth to go on their trips this summer. Pies and cakes went from $80 to $500. And the best part was eating a sampling each one. Needless to say by nights end everyone was about sick. But we raised over $8K for the kids.

I just didn’t sleep very good and then couldn’t get up and then felt like I was moving in slow motion until about noon.

And I still got half a coconut cream pie in the fridge!!!

Sense this week had mostly an Ag theme…………I offer this.

It is a video from Russia, or close there abouts, of a band that uses a tractor for its rhythm section. Note that the tractor has a mic by it that is located near the muffler.

Anyway the band and the tractor aint to bad………………!

I guess the show is over when they run out of fuel………….?

It was raining today so I went and looked at a D3C LGP Cat Dozer.

I ran it for just a minute or two in the pouring rain………and I am hooked. I loved it.

It may or may not be this one that comes home, but I can see a lot of work being done with one of these…………

For some of you who are reading this on a some what regular basis, you have asked what ARES is. Also there a lot of Hams who wear a T shirt or ball cap with an ARES logo on it whom I suspect, from conversations with them, don’t know exactly what ARES is either. So the following is from the ARRL Public Service Communications Manual.

The Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) consists of licensed amateurs who have voluntarily registered their qualifications and equipment for communications duty in the public service when disaster strikes. Every licensed amateur, regardless of membership in ARRL or any other local or national organization, is eligible for membership in the ARES. The only qualification, other than possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve. Because ARES is an amateur service, only amateurs are eligible for membership. The possession of emergency-powered equipment is desirable, but is not a requirement for membership.

Later on it states that: Local ARES operation will usually take the form of nets–HF nets, VHF (repeater) nets, even RTTY, packet or other special-mode nets, depending on need and resources available.

And this: The specifications of an effective communication service depend on the nature of the information which must be communicated. Pre-disaster plans and arrangements for disaster communications include: 1. Identification of clients who will need Amateur Radio communication services, 2. Discussion with these clients to learn the nature of the information which they will need to communicate, and the people they will need to communicate with and 3. Specification, development and testing of pertinent services.

And lastly this: Regardless of the format used, the appropriate procedures cannot be picked up solely by reading or studying. There is no substitute for actual practice. Your emergency net should practice regularly–much more often than it operates in a real or simulated emergency. Avoid complacency, the feeling that you will know how to operate when the time comes. You won’t, unless you do it frequently, with other operators whose style of operating you get to know.

I skipped a lot but you should get the drift. You can read the entire thing at the link above.

So, ARES is a group of volunteer Amateur Radio operators who work with a served agency within a specific plan to preform radio communications on various bands using various modes of operation using the appropriate procedures that need to be practiced.

That may entail using your radios, their radios, their frequencies on their radios, Amateur frequencies on Amateur radios or a combination of both. You volunteer to work for a served agency during an emergency. As a volunteer your expected to know the procedures to be used for the served agency because you have practiced with and for the served agency during regular drills.

Whats wrong with the above paragraph? A lot I am afraid. And it is not uncommon among most if not almost all emergency agencies that are not a fire department or police department where emergency procedures are done on an almost daily basis. Again we don’t practice like we will have to play.

Can you name your served agency?

Can you tell me what your activation procedures are in the event of an emergency?

Have you drilled with your served agency?

Have you practiced what you will do for your served agency?

Can you operate within the guidelines of the served agency?

Do you even know who is in charge of the served agency?

Do you have a plan to operate for your served agency?

If you cant answer these questions, then you need to be talking to your EC (Emergency Coordinator) because at this point all you are is a person in possession of an Amateur Radio license, is a sincere desire to serve.


Even on the “Do Not Call” list we still get calls.

I have started a couple of new tactics with some of these people.

Credit Card calls: Great I need a new card, the other one is full and I just filed for bankruptcy!


Fraternal Order of Police, Sheriffs Association, State Police Benevolent Fund: Uhh, my son has my wallet and my fake ID trying to buy some booze, can you all back later.


Carpet Cleaning: Glad you called, can you get blood out of the carpet and off the drapes?


New Windows: Are they bullet proof? This neighborhood is pretty bad, lots of drive by shootings. Heck the guy who put on the new siding is still in the hospital………


Time Shares: Oh man, I got kicked out of the last one when I accidentally burned it down when we had that welder hooked up in the kitchen trying to fix my girls bike.


Truth be told, the bankruptcy one ends all future calls pretty fast.

All eyes in the Ag world on focused on the 31st of March. That is when the USDA crop report comes out. And that is what everyone is waiting on to see what the planting intentions are for corn and beans. And that is when the market will react one way or the other to try and “buy” acres for one crop or the other.

Today the markets started squaring up, taking a profit and trading sideways so to speak prior to the report. There appears to be little news to move the market right now, so we sit and wait for the 31st.

Most people I have talked to are pretty firm in what they intend to plant. However there are still those out there who haven’t made a decision and will wait for the 31st to see how the market reacts. Lots of extra beans sitting in sheds it seems like………….

One market expert I talked to indicated that maybe 30% of the farmers are undecided. I think that is a fair guess. He also talked about how much fertilizer had come down etc so forth. Well that is true to some extent, but a lot of those guys on the fence have bought input high, which is why they are waiting for some profit so show up on the Board of Trade.

So the pencils are out and all eyes are on the 31st waiting to see which way the market moves and what it is telling farmers to plant.

But no one has talked about what happens after the 31st if the market doesn’t respond to the report.


Food for thought on our food and what you believe and who you support.

Rob Smith reports on new legislation heading towards our meat producers on Feedstuffs:

The industrial activism movement “is coming at us like a freight train,” it affects all of livestock and poultry production, it affects states with and without ballot initiatives and there will likely be federal and state legislation restricting the way livestock and poultry are grown, according to Chad Gregory, senior vice president of the United Egg Producers. He emphasized that the “freight train” analogy came from a cabinet secretary in the Obama Administration.

I have tried to be open about our new “Commander and Chief” as much as I can, but have determined he is a dough head and no friend of agriculture.

On a related note about the Obama White House, Bill Harshaw over at the Faceless Bureaucrat blogs about the Obama garden:

I’m not sure what the First Lady is teaching the school kids–making them work for 15 minutes and then a cookie break. I don’t think the mother of either of the Obamas would be that lax–standards are slipping. (Even I can work 30 minutes straight before taking a break, and I’m old.)

15 students, plus maybe 10 adults from the staff–that’s 25 people for 1,100 square feet meaning each one does 40 square feet.

Were they hauling off the turf–is that to be used for patching elsewhere on the lawn (maybe after the Easter egg roll) or maybe on the Mall? If they composted it, and where’s the plan for the compost pile for the White House–surely that’s going to cause lots of criticism from the organic people, maybe that would reduce the carbon released from the sod breaking. Or maybe not: if you plow native prairie you turn under the sod, but I haven’t seen that mentioned as a redeeming factor in converting land to crops.

He also hits NPR on a report on gardens in general here with a link to the full story. Worth the read.

A story on Fox News about Fusion Centers, think tanks that decide if your a threat to national security, has many up in arms:

If you’re an anti-abortion activist, or if you display political paraphernalia supporting a third-party candidate or a certain Republican member of Congress, if you possess subversive literature, you very well might be a member of a domestic paramilitary group.

That’s according to “The Modern Militia Movement,” a report by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), a government collective that identifies the warning signs of potential domestic terrorists for law enforcement communities.

What about those of us who own guns, hunt, fish, camp, go to church, have made preparations for emergencies, believe in the Constitution, vote and pay our taxes? Oh yea I forgot, the Democrat Party already has us targeted for elimination as “subversives”, never mind. I guess this applies to all the rest of you.

And just when I thought that the Democrat Party was completely castrated the Jim Abrams of the AP reports this: WASHINGTON (AP) — Sixty-five House Democrats said Wednesday that they would oppose any attempt by the Obama administration to revive a ban on military-style weapons that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994 and President George W. Bush let expire.
The pro-gun Democrats, led by Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., wrote Attorney General Eric Holder that they would “actively oppose any effort to reinstate the 1994 ban, or to pass any similar law.”
They urged the administration to avoid a “long and divisive fight over a gun control issue” at a time when Washington needs to concentrate on the economic crisis.

Lets hope that these Democrats grow some bigger balls and tell the rest of the administration where to stick it as well.


Well after going to Ridgway to work on Saturday morning it was home to enjoy a beautiful day getting ready to go camping. I don’t know when we will go yet for the first trip, but I know we ran out of firewood last year so it was time to put the kids to work to get some split up. I have been cleaning out a water way and it was making some pretty good wood. It seems like it takes a lot of logs to make a small pile of logs but it turns into a big pile of split wood.

There is nothing more relaxing to me than to sit around a campfire at the lake and just stare at it.

When I was at Ft Knox for PJOC in 1982 the PJ’s had us practice making fire. We had fire building races and such that were pretty fun and educational as well. (for those that don’t know, PJOC stand for Para Jump Orientation Course. It was a orientation course of the US Air Force Pararescue men, the guys who go in behind enemy lines to rescue downed pilots. PJ is the nickname for the Pararescue men.)

The PJ’s and our SERE instructor called our campfire “survival tv”. It has one channel and everyone watches it. How true it is.

A campfire is not only used to cook by and to warm by but it is also very calming and therapeutic in many ways. Often people who are lost or separated from their groups in the wilderness comment that building a fire made them not only warm but also made them relax and calmer.

Just look around the “survival tv” set the next time your camping and see the looks, the stares, into the fire, and see the calm expressions on the faces of those that sit around it.

In recognition of the end of the “Rubber Chicken and Roast Beef Circuit” I offer the following video. I think a lot of presenters from this years meeting need to watch this!!!!!


Ham Radio and Civil Air Patrol.

In many circles in CAP, they don’t go together. But yet they really do. I cant understand why more people cant get the relationship between the two and not interject their own version of the FCC and CAP regulations into it.

Yet there are the dough heads that just either cant except it or don’t want to.

Yet there are examples of the two working in harmony.

A good example is here: WB0CAP

Give this website a read fellow CAP and Ham buddies and lets see if we cant do the same in Illinois Wing and in Great Lake Region.


Sorry for nothing to read today, its been a long day.

We started today off with a phone call in the early morning hours and my wife spent the night at the hospital with her grandmother. Things didn’t improve much during the day.

For me it was worrying and waiting on word from my wife between meetings all day today. Rain totals look to be in the half an inch range. Everyone standing down for the day but by days end it looked dry again. Saw several planters hooked up today and lots of tillage equipment hooked up also. I think it will start shortly.

I was also to visit the Mt Vernon Civil Air Patrol Squadron meeting tonight and talk ARES/HAM Radio to the cadets, but that got put off until we are done dealing with everything else.

To tired to type much else, will try to come up with something for Ham Radio Friday.

Short note this morning, got a full day ahead of me.

Saturday I delivered a set of soil reports on a new farm for a client whom I have been doing testing on for some time. The last two farms he has purchased or rented have been farms that had an absentee landowner and a cash rent tenant on prior to his getting the farms. Sounds familiar in a lot of situations doesn’t it.

Well it is incredible how low the soil test values have been on these farms. The last soil test showed potash below 100 on the entire field. Thad’s less than one third where I like to see a soil test value for potash. One sample was at 60. The phosphate was just as bad but maybe not so in comparison to the relative numbers.

Scary thing is that this is now becoming a trend and not the exception to the rule.

If your going to cash rent your farm out, get a fertility clause in the contract. A fertility clause based on soil test values. And if your going to rent a farm that has had a low maintenance tenant on it before you get there, you need to have a plan to address the short comings of the farm with the landlord so that you don’t end up on the short end of the stick either.

With that in mind there is a lot of field work taking place this week. Lots. A lot of tillage, even some chisel plowing, and lots of anhydrous going down. A lot of the fields look like the one pictured above but most still look a bit wet.

I am scared that some will try to plant if it stays nice the rest of the week. Will this be a good decision? Don’t know, but you have to plant early if you want to replant timely.

Also of note is the lack of dry fertilizer I see going on the last few days. See the note above on that one.

My .02 worth for this morning.

Following Instructions…………….What is so hard about this?

I think that I am pretty smart in a lot of ways, there are things that I am ignorant about for sure, but not stupid about. Ignorant is lacking knowledge on a topic or subject where stupid is lacking intelligence.

The world is full of stupid people and stupid appears to be contagious. It also appears that the stupid people are reproducing.

Take for example the simple act of following instructions. Yes following a set of instructions. Most people, even the ignorant ones, when presented with a set of instructions, start at #1 or A or the beginning or at the top of the page. Most people have enough pride or determination or guts or “intestinal fortitude” to at least read and work through the instructions before they would ever think of calling the help line at the bottom of the instruction page. Then and only then when all else has failed and there is no hope will these people humble themselves and ask for help. Only after they have exhausted all possible avenues of understanding the instructions, when the instructions have won do they break down and ask for help.

Are these people smart or not? I think so, at least they give it the old college try.

Then there are the “intellectually challenged”. Those that immediately skip to the bottom of the instructions, call the help line and cry that the process is unfair, to complicated, that feel because they are who they are they can skip the bulk of the necessary steps and get things done faster.

I has been my pleasure to deal with the Squadron Commanders of Civil Air Patrol this weekend that lack the simple ability to follow instructions. They have called or emailed multiple times to ask for help or special treatment in getting in cadet staff applications. Over 45 days has passed and just now, 24 hrs before the deadline questions have been asked that are spelled out in the instructions on how to apply, what needs to be done, how it needs to be don and WHEN it needs to be done.

I could list the questions they have asked, but for those who are not in CAP, it would be rather boring. So lets just say in a 8 step process, I have been asked about how to accomplish steps one through eight. I have even been asked why some steps are necessary.

It’s ok to be ignorant on a topic or subject. I am ignorant on brain surgery. Don’t know a thing about it. But then again following a set of instructions is not brain surgery either.

I go get my taxes done today……….

Want to guess what kind of mood I will be in the rest of the week?

I wouldn’t mind so much the paying of taxes if they used my money responsibly. However the word responsible and government don’t go together. Especially with the spend thrift we have in the White House and his bosses in charge of Capitol Hill.

How many cabinet appointees had to back out because they didn’t pay taxes? It took both hands and one foot to keep track……….

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