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I am still alive and kicking, still farming and still consulting.  Heck even still shooting and enjoying the outdoors despite the terrorist attempts that our government has made to destroy our constitutional rights.

That being said, I have just been real lazy about the website for quite a while.  Two reasons I guess.  First is that I don’t have a smart phone any more.  So mobile updates and picture adds are non existent.

Second, I just needed a break with everything else going on.

So I hope to be back active posting on this page by the middle to the end of July.

Stay tuned!

Work is coming along nicely on the new office.  It will be even better when we get lights in the shop!

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In case you haven’t seen or heard about this yet…………. beware where you hunt.

Water math for a Southern Illinois corn crop.

Inches of rain we are behind in this drought:  14 inches for the year.

Gallons of water needed to produce 1 bushel of corn per acre: 4,000 US Gallons (some say more some say less but we will use this number) 

Gallons of water needed per acre to raise 150 bushel corn:  600,000 US Gallons per acre

Gallons of water in a 1 inch rain fall per acre:  27,154 US Gallons

Gallons of water in 14 inches of rain:  380,156 US Gallons per acre

Inches of water needed to reach our current growth stage (~R1): 13 inches of water per acre or 353002 gallons of water per acre (University of Nebraska Irrigation Guide To Corn) 

Inches of water needed to finish the crop out to maturity: 16 inches of rain per acre or 434,464 gallons of water per acre.  (University of Nebraska Irrigation Guide to Corn)  

Rainfall predicted in inches for the next 5 days:  0.25-0.5 inch of rain (NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) 

Gallons of water in a 0.5 inch rain:  13,577 US Gallons

A half inch rain is hardly a drop in the bucket when your dry like we are and a flood when you saturated.

But I would gladly take a half inch rain right now……………..gladly.

I have been few and far between on my posting on this site as well as the PCS site as of late.  Several things are causing it, none of which are really a good reason I guess.

First off is the drought conditions that just seem to have me repeating anything I want to post about.  It’s dry. Everyone knows that it is dry, and just commenting on the obvious is going nowhere so why do it.

Second, I am just tired as of late.  I feel like it’s the middle of August and I have ran the good race and it’s time for a break or something but the calendar says its the 7th of June.

So a tired farmer with nothing new to post about means we skip updating the website most nights.

The ground is dry.  Very dry in a lot of places.  It will take a major rain event, like two or three days, to get us  to a point where things will green up and stay that way.  Last night we tried to irrigate some of the sweet corn, but after a while we pumped the well dry and had to wait for it to recharge.  That told me we are in pretty bad shape.  But again everyone who is in this mess knows that.  No need posting this to the informed masses.

With the dry weather and poor crop conditions I am even more sarcastic than usual and even a little bit edgy.  With that, simple things seem to be getting to me, and it is better for me to try to keep my thoughts to myself.  Especially when it comes to stupid things the non Ag community says to me.  I have even had to walk away from the cashier at Rural King, who apparently has no clue about how dry it is and how much I don’t care if a rain shower would ruin her boating date.

Even worse is the stupid things that Ag community says, like the major chemical company rep who stated that rain would help the northern two thirds of Illinois corn crop on RFD radio the other day.  He never seemed to care about the southern third and he sure didn’t seem to know or care about our dry condition when pressed about it.  I realize that this dough head just judges his world out his back door in Bloomington but he also needs to remember that there is more to the state of Illinois than Chicago and Champaign Co.

Like I said, its better for me to really be deliberate on my posting right now before I say or do something I might not be able to edit later……..

Send a rain please.

We cooked 360 New York strip steaks at Immanuel Baptist Church last night as part of our revival services.  It has been an awesome week seeing what God had done in the lives of so many people the last three days.

 

But I think I have a welding burn from cooking over this hot grill………..

Monday night we had an event at our church called Touch a Truck. Various church and community members brought different vehicles to the church parking lot for the public and kids to see and “touch”. 

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Since it rained I cleaned up ole green and drove her up to the church for the event.  Thought I had better get a picture of her all clean as she may not be this clean again for a long time!

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Nephew Jack liked the smaller tractor another farmer brought much better than his uncles big green one it appears by his smile.

Some additional thoughts from the NRA convention today as I think about my experience over in St Louis.

In was painfully obvious that some companies/brands/booths were very busy and some were not.  Granted I didn’t hit every booth but I did walk the entire exhibit hall once because I knew I wasn’t coming back for a second day but still in my hurried canvas of the expo hall some were covered up and some were not.

Those companies that were covered up seemed to have two or three things going on.  First was color.  In a world of black rifles, cammo and “tactical” colors, the booths and companies who were bright with color were busy.  Blue, white, red and yellow seemed to attract the most attention.  For what ever reason color seemed to be a magnet.

Second was the representatives on the floor.  Those busy folks were busy because they knew their stuff and wanted to talk about their stuff.  I found that a lot of the folks working some of the booths were not sales people but were from manufacturing, assembly and also development.  I liked that.  I liked talking guns with the guy or gal who either built it or developed it and also uses it.  The not so busy booths were staffed by mostly sales people it seemed.

Last those working the floor worked the floor.  When I walked up to a booth I was greeted and asked what I was looking for, interested in or wanted/needed info on.  They were seeking out the public.  The other less busy booths seemed to be talking to their friends and not really interested in engaging the public.

ATTENTION LOUISVILLE FARM SHOW EXHIBITORS:  Take note above……the last few times I have been at Louisville you have acted like its a chore for me to ask a question or inquire about a product.  Plus your all sales people, get the real people out on the floor would you.  Those that know the product, built it, developed it and use it.

If there was a disappointment in anything it was in one booth I visited.  A company, whom will not be named, of whom I have and use a lot of their products, seemed to be staffed almost by kids, (granted I am now mid 40′s so I find myself saying kids to anyone who looks younger than me, a sign that I am getting old) of whom were more interested in talking to each other and handing out an occasional “sticker” than in talking about their products.  I was almost shocked.  I stopped by there to see what was new, what was up and coming and what might be new to add to my collection but not only did they not have much to see they had even less to talk or hear about.  Epic fail…………..

ATTENTION LOUISVILLE FARM SHOW EXHIBITORS:  Take note above……Last year I went to two different manufactures of the same type product to investigate buying their products only to be greeted by KIDS who didn’t know squat about what you made……………and I didn’t even get a “sticker”.    Pull your heads out of you rear ends and get with the program.

I found all the NRA staff that I recognized to be extremely friendly and kind.  I also found all the big “stars” of shooting TV who were there to be very friendly in the booths.  I noticed that when they left the booths they made a b line for the door and while still nice they were pretty short on fanfare.  This I think was to be expected.  I assume that they were under contract do just what they did in the booths or companies for which they were being paid and couldn’t do any extra for “free” for those that stopped them in the hallway.

Another thing I noticed was that the booths with the scantly clad ladies signing pictures and letting those who wanted to take pictures with them do so were busy but there was little interest in the actual products that said ladies were standing besides.  Just proves that you can draw a crowd but without something substantial you cant hold them.

Last but not least……..

Being a farmer, and a joke that all farmers and ag businesses understand, I have never paid for a ball cap.  We farmers always get a “give me” cap.  For the record I have purchased ball caps, I purchased my Glock hat several years ago, my Rock River Arms hat and also my Knob Creek hat.  But the other 100 or so hats on the hat rack are give me caps from various ag companies.  Those caps I have purchased are of good quality.  Again the joke is that you cant give a farmer a “cheap” hat and expect them to wear it.

Matter of fact there are only certain brands that we will wear because they will hold up to the abuse we give them.

Smith and Wesson was giving away hats when I was there.  Nice hats. Very nice hats.  Good quality hats.  I would have to guess that those hats cost them about $5-$8 wholesale at the volume they were giving them out.  Having bought give me hats to pass out for the soil testing company I know what a good hat will cost.  Smith and Wesson were giving away a quality hat worth the money.

Kudos to them for doing so.

Now that being said a lot of the other companies were selling hats so that you could get the “star” or “expert” they had speaking in their booths to sign them.  Some of these hats they were asking $15 for or more.  And they were CHEAP hats.  Cheap hats that a farmer wouldn’t be caught dead wearing.

Pitiful!

Besides what good is a hat that is signed by someone?  You would never wear it would you?  Hats are meant to be worn and worn out then thrown away.  You wear a hat until it isn’t recognizable and then you go to the closet or hat rack and get another give me hat and go on.

I will wear my Smith and Wesson hat with pride until it wears out.  Thank you S & W!

No, I didn’t buy a $15 cheap hat either.

And no one signed my hat.

Hats are made for wearing.

Leave it to a farmer to go to the NRA Convention and talk about give me hats.

I seem to have got way behind on keeping this page up as of late.  To be honest I haven’t had time with this early spring…………

I will try harder but when I get in at night I have been wore out……..

So for a little while a “lite blogging warning” is in effect.

Promise I will do better!

“The more complex the mind the greater the need for simplicity of play.”  Capt James T Kirk

Its been a few days since I have had time to update my blog so I thought I would do so with a long post so “be warned those who enter here!”  With the level of activity and constant variety of jobs to be done I feel the need for simple play but there is no time right now it would seem.  Nor is there anyone who wants to play either.  This rain would normally indicate a time to stop and rest, but rain isn’t welcome right now because of the list of things that must be done is not getting any shorter.

The new shed/warehouse/shop has a concrete floor now.  The final pour happened yesterday and it looks truly beautiful.  Concrete will be a welcome departure from rock and asphalt.  The heat in the floor will be a welcome wonder for winter work that doesn’t seem to get done now because of the cold in the other shed.  There is still a lot of work to be done on the shed but its getting closer.

 

I got in one good day of soil sampling on 2012 ground this past week before I had to pull out and head to a Pioneer meeting.  The ground is sampling nice for the most part but is kind of funny in a way for March.  With the lack of snow and shallow freeze/thaw that we get here in southern Illinois in a normal winter the ground is very “fluffy” in a lot of areas.  That is dependent on if there was fall tillage done, but there is a good 3-4 inches of fluffy ground on most fields I have been on.

Everyone says they are ready to go to the field and plant corn, or so they say.  Yet I can gather that most don’t have their seed corn yet and they keep forgetting that its March and not April.  This very mild winter has got everyone mixed up and if it keeps this up till April I suspect we will see a lot of corn go in the ground sooner rather than later.

I did manage to slip in getting another field chisel plowed yesterday evening after I got back from my meeting.  The ground is hard in these wheat fields and its no wonder why.  The wet conditions last summer resulted in ruts from wheat harvest, double crop bean planting and from the bean harvest.  Its ground is packed tight!

A side note is that while the big tractor is working in the field, out of no where come these seagulls.  I have no clue where they came from. They are not hanging out around the farm anywhere, and the lake is several miles away.  Yet they seem to show up within minutes of the tractor going to the field and disappear just a quickly when I shut it down.  They don’t hang around.  Strange birds for sure.

 

BTW in case I didn’t gripe enough its week 2 without any acetylene yet………….

If all that wasn’t enough, we have also been trying to get details on the new business finalized.  That also isn’t getting done as fast as I want but it is going forward and we will be ready to go live soon, I hope.  I guess if I wasn’t so busy with everything else I could get that done as well.

Speaking of simple play. What has happened to my “gun” shows on the outside channels?  I mean even my favorites are not worth watching as of late on TV.   It seems that every show is now doing the same topic week after week.  I mean come on guys show me something new or original, not the same thing program after program with the same bad “experts” talking about and using the trendy words or latest fad in “tactical cool”.  I have no interest in hanging an espresso maker off my AR’s rail.

Worse yet some have fallen into this “prepper” mentality as well.  All I need is another show with the end of the word being  preppers or bunker preppers or salt and preppers or what ever, with some gun play involved.  First off your guys don’t have a clue, second you make gun owners look bad and three you can’t be for real.  I mean anyone who is so scared of the EOTWAWKI would not be on national TV or even a gun show showing the world what you have laid in for an emergency.

Nothing on TV at all anymore.

Simple is what I need, simple play.

Parts of Southern Illinois got hit pretty hard not more than 36 hours ago with a 4 a.m. EF4 tornado that killed at least 6 in Harrisburg and destroyed homes and businesses in three counties.  Over 300 buildings were destroyed in Harrisburg alone including the hospital.  12,000 were without power most of yesterday.  The pictures of devastation flood Facebook and local newspapers as well as national and local TV.

In the middle of all this destruction are good people who are volunteering their time, efforts and energy to help search, rescue and recover the lives of those effected.  To you folks I give you a big “two thumbs up”.  Your work is greatly appreciated.  To those who showed up an had nothing to do because the response was so overwhelming kudos to you for caring and wanting to help.  Again that heart of a servant is what is needed today.

What I can’t stand is how, in a great time of need like this, the politicians and media swoop down to make hay out of misery.  Like flies drawn to a fresh pile of crap in the middle of all the hurting and recovery going on you had the Governor, Lt Governor and all their cronies holding a press conference right in the middle of the destruction to tell everyone they were there and that they cared.  The media circus that has followed is just as tasteless.  Watching the national media reduce a towns life altering event into a 30 sec sound bite while standing the middle of what was someones house is equally as opportunistic as what the Governor did.  Just look at how long it takes for the stories to get buried as the next “big news event” happens.

In a day or two the flies will move on to the next pile for their feeding frenzy and Harrisburg, Ridgway, Marion and other towns will be left to fend for themselves.

Southern Illinois alone, again.

God bless those people in and out of uniform who will continue to show up to work and to give with a servants heart long after the circus leaves town.  For those are whom our foundation of community are built on and why we have and will continue to survive without Chicago and NBC news.

God bless you people of Southern Illinois who give.

Had an appointment to get cancelled so I hooked up to the chisel plow and went to the field.  The ground was working great and I got about 65 -70 acres done before a flat tire on the plow shut me down at dark.

Rain in the forecast tonight……….we will see.

Shed progress really picked up again today but by the time I got back to the house it was to dark for a picture……will update tomorrow if is not to rainy.

I have been hit recently by those in academia who believe that anything that comes from the university system that is called “research”, “peer reviewed” and published is gospel.

Who’s gospel is my question.

Having been through a MS program and having done research, thesis defense and abstract of other research papers as part of my MS program, I read all research with much skepticism.

First thing I want to know about any research is who funded it.  Follow the money.  One does not fund a research project with hopes that their desired result is not discovered.  So who funded the research.  If the money is tied to a company or individual who could benefit from such research, then the results are suspect to me.  If the government funded any research it is suspect to me.   If  those who funded the research also are sponsoring the researcher, then they and their research are junk.

Call me paranoid.

Second I want to know who the researcher(s) are and what they have to gain from the research.  Now don’t get me wrong, a researcher who is looking for a cure to a disease is looking for RESULTS or POSITIVES in their research.  That to me is not suspect.  One who is getting sponsorships from the one who funds research and gets a positive result, then that is suspect.  We have a bunch of those folks in the world of agriculture right now.  There are several well known agriculture professors who are out on the rubber chicken and roast beef circuit who are pumping up the results of their research, who are also being sponsored by those who funded the research.  The ever-present sales pitch is part of their “research”.  So I take their results with a grain of salt.

Call me skeptical.

Lastly there are those who use old research to justify their current research.  In other words it’s easier to get researcher A’s paper and then go and duplicate the result on a small scale and get the desired result without doing real research.  Again there seems to be a herd of those type university folks out there right now.  I suspect its a lack of funding from the traditional sources but more likely its just to prove their bias or please their sponsor.

Call me hacked off.

What is research?  I think I know real research when I see it.  1)  It must be randomized and replicated in a way that removes the element of bias of a given result. (Side by sides are not research and multiple side by sides are not research)  2) It must be done in enough locations to show a true cause and effect relationship (for fertilizer, chemicals and additives)  3) The researcher should be free of bias.  While they can get funding from the persons for whom the research is for, they should not be sponsored by them.  4) The research should last over several trials or several years to show it is not luck, happenstance or coincidence.

The sad fact is that a lot of peer reviewed scientific research that was showed at winter ag meetings this winter had little true research in them.  Mostly it was either rehash of old research or it was so biased that it was meaningless.  Worse yet the professors from the Land Grants should know better……..and are the worst offenders.

The barn crew worked on our shed again today and we are now 3/4 roofed and 1/2 sided.  The mud is a problem for the lifts, but I hope that with a few more days of work that they will get it buttoned up.  Then the mud wont be an issue.  The biggest issue today was the wind……it picked up 10 sheets of roofing and knocked it off the lift and bent it.  New roofing wont be here until Wednesday now.

 

Over the weekend we got to shoot a Ruger LCP, the little .380 with a laser sight on it.  Man was I disappointed.  You can skip the laser because it is pretty much a belly gun at best.  I mean at best that’s all it is.  We had a terrible time hitting paper at 7 yards.  The double action trigger pull was horrid as well.  I guess I am spoiled with my Glock.

Got the new hitch put in the truck and got a new trailer on the way for the soil sampling rig.  Will have to make some mods when it gets here……but that being said it will be a very nice addition to the fleet for this summer.

I didn’t get to the farm show at Louisville this year but it seems like everyone else did…….. wasn’t able to get much accomplished last week work wise.  From what I hear, there was all kinds of expensive stuff there this year…..so its a good thing I didn’t go!

Now that the meeting schedule is pretty much down to one here and there I want to get cracking on soil testing work and getting equipment ready for farming the next few weeks.  My hope is my “to do” list gets a lot smaller the next seven to ten days!

Yesterday I was listening to NPR or more correctly our local public radio station, WSIU, and heard a story about who in Illinois had contributed the most money to Illinois Politicians.  The top contributor was a Chicago Law firm followed by a couple of businesses in Illinois.  The amount they contributed was staggering.  The amount they contributed would have employed several hundred people at wages well above minimum wage.

If your so inclined, get on the net and do a search of campaign contributors in Illinois for your county.  It will surprise you who in your county contributes money and to whom.   In my little search I found that some people contribute and equal amount of money to “both sides”.  As an example I saw one fellow locally who contributed to the local Democrat House member and to a Republican House member in another district.  The shocking thing is the amount of money that goes outside of the area to other states where these folks do business as well.  Even in a bad economy some people have a ton of money to use to buy a politician.

Make no mistake about what these folks are doing with their money:  They are buying access and influence to elected people.  When you donate a million dollars you just purchased a Senator, House Member, Judge or Governor. You might even get to own a President.

OK there is nothing new here is there?

Nope, nothing new at all.

So why are you bringing this up now?

I always thought the way to change America, Illinois and Franklin Co. was for good men and women to run for office and get elected.  Folks with morals, conviction, Godly values and dedication to the working men and women of this nation.

That is a grand falsehood.

I have been living in the “Land of Make Believe” with Mr Rogers.

In reality all you need is enough money to buy one or more elected officials.

Its like going to the mall and looking in the window of the pet store.  There are all the cute puppies playing and pooping and you pick out the one with the spots you like and pay at the counter and he is yours.  If the dog acts up, you jerk his chain and get him back in line.

So with an elected official, you go to the State House, Senate, Governors Mansion and you look in the window and you pick the dirtiest, lying, cheating, immoral, valueless and brainless scumbag you can find who will sell his soul for money and you buy him. Then you jerk his chain, his wife/mistress/boyfriends chain or kids chain when they act up and he gets right back in line and does your work for you.

Simple isnt it.

All it takes is money.

So my new goal in life is to make enough money to buy my own elected official…..

And from the looks of the contributors list here locally the old saying holds true………you do get what you pay for!

Dont go cheap……….even if that money could be used to feed the homeless or employ hundreds of folks…………

Thanks NPR……..you enlightened me today.

 

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