Been slow posting….but what has there been to post about? I mean, I can talk about the drought, but we here at ground zero are all but toast at this point and I am to the point I couldn’t care less.
I have been on the road off and on for the last two weeks and will be doing so again starting next week and have made some notes while driving. I will try to do a meeting comment post in the next night or two, but for right now the driving part is what has my attention.
So here are some observations from last week or so on the road to meetings etc:
1) No one turns a corner anymore, they cut the corner. I have now started pulling all the way up to and on the white line to make people turn a corner.
2) Turn signals are optional except for old lady’s with blue hair who keep them on for miles and miles and miles.
3) I have disconnected my Garmin and have gone back to paper maps and a compass. I have yet to get lost with it vs. the GPS.
4) White or yellow parking lines in parking lots seem to be optional for young girl/women drivers.
5) Speed limits are for sissy’s and are only a suggestion and not followed.
There are more……..but these are the ones that are ever present when I am on anything but a country road the last few weeks.
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 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.
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.
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.
I guess it all started when I went to the airport to pick up my mom and sister. I was shocked, more than usual, at the way a lot of people, 99% women, were attired for travel. Then it became apparent that it wasn’t just the airport but also some of the stores I have been in since then. I wasn’t going to write about this but after today’s fashion distress I think there is a need for a Fashion Gestapo.
Here are a few tips from someone who has no fashion sense at all but knows better than to do some of these stupid things.
- Pajama bottoms are not for wear in public.
- Pants are not for wear when they are several sizes too big and you have to use one hand to hold them up as you walk through the airport.
- Pajama bottoms and sweat pants should not be worn with boots, esp. tucked into the boots.
- One belt is sufficient if its used to hold your pants up.
- We should not be able to see your underwear or lack there of when wearing any pants in public.
- Underwear is not optional.
- Your T shirt should fit appropriately.
- No one whats to see your fat roll.
- No one wants to see your fat roll and your belly button piercing. GET A SHIRT THAT FITS.
- There are just some things that old women should not wear. Spandex and Leather, together, are two.
- If your having trouble walking in your shoes your stupid for wearing them and look equally stupid trying to walk in them.
- If its cold enough outside that you feel its necessary to wear a coat, then its also cold enough to take off the shorts and flip-flops and put on pants and shoes. YOU LOOK STUPID ESPECIALLY WHITH A SOCK CAP ON.
- A scarf that drags the ground IS TOO LONG.
- If the plastic plants wilt as you walk by you have on to much perfume or cologne.
- Just because it looked good in the window does not mean it necessarily will look good on you.
- If your face looks like you feel into Bill Dances tackle box don’t be surprised if people stare at you.
- Your hair should be one color, pick ONE. NEON is not one of those colors.
- Its a purse. If it is big enough and heavy enough that it drags the ground you have to much junk in it.
- Turn off the speaker phone. No one around you cares or wants to hear.
That’s the short list. I could add more but you get the idea.
We have been doing a fair amount of shooting when the weather allows, with our .22 cal rifles. Targets at 25 meters for the most part. The result of four shooters shooting ten rounds at a time has proven a need for lots of ammo. Its not uncommon to shoot 500 – 1000 rounds in a day or afternoon.
This quest for ammo has taken me to search out “good cheap .22 ammo“. That animal doesn’t exist anymore. I have purchased several big box store bulk packs lately and while some are better than others, most of it is junk. You can tell this by two ways.
First is the inconsistent “crack” when the round goes off. Some are a loud crack while others are so weak that you wonder if they will make it to the target just 25 meters away. A couple of brands are worse than the others, but I have found that the Winchester bulk pack has the most consistent cracks it seems.
Second is the stove pipe jams or failure to feed. With the Ruger 10/22 rifles we are shooting, some of the bulk pack stuff, including the Winchester, produces lots of failure to eject or feed, resulting in a jammed gun. This is very annoying if not also an impediment to honing ones skills on a timed shoot.
Even after changing some springs, extractors and doing an action job on the rifles, they still will not shoot some of the bulk pack stuff. What is really sad is that I have some bulk pack Remington from back in early 1990′s that was rat holed away that shoots EVERY TIME with consistent cracks and no failures to feed or eject whatsoever.
20 year old ammo is better than the new stuff.
The new bulk pack stuff also groups poorly in comparison to the old stuff. Another sign that is not manufactured to any great tolerance or specifications.
I have tried some of the higher priced “premium” .22 like CCI and it is much better but the cost per round is scientifically more. The cracks are consistent, the feeding problems go away and the groups are pretty tight so you are getting what you pay for.
Even better than the high priced hi velocity ammo is the sub sonic made by Winchester I picked up at the local gun shop just to try out. Just a bit higher in price than the bulk packs, lower noise signature and it shoots, feeds and ejects and groups as good as, if not better than the premium .22.
That being said, its not .223 or .308, so its not like I have to take out a loan to buy 500 rounds. It’s still a very cheap day of shooting for all four of us. And if nothing else, all those failure-to-feed and eject problems are making for good training on how to quickly clear the gun and get back into action.
For .22 ammo as with everything else, you get what you pay for.
I have recently been amused by all the talk going on by those who identify themselves as baseball fans, particularly Cardinal fans, about one of their players signing a huge contract with another team and leaving St Louis.
“Where is his loyalty?”
“Its all about the money isn’t it?”
“I am going to burn all my Albert Cardinals merchandise!”
And so on……… You get the picture don’t you?
Anyway not being a fan of “games”, and I view baseball along with football and basketball as games, not sports. I have found this whole things very amusing to say the least. Watching grown people, mostly in size only, wine and cry like a bunch of preschoolers who either messed their pants or who have had their toy taken away over a man making a business decision is humorous.
No one knows the team colors anymore. No one loves the team. Its all about the player and not the team.
When the manager of the Cardinals retired after the World Series win, where was all the bellyaching then?
Where is his loyalty?
Its all about the money isn’t it?
Nope, you didnt hear that did you? You heard things like “Smart move Tony” and “He did a good job” and “He was a great manager” and so forth.
But Tony left just as Albert did. Only for different reasons.
One of the reasons I loathe the NBA is what Michael Jordan did. When the Bulls won it was all about MJ and his great score in the game. When the Bulls lost it was all about the rest of the team. It was never about MJ when they lost or the Bulls when they won. The media and the fans forgot that it takes a team to win or loose, not one player. When they won it was MJ and when they lost it was the team.
Was MJ a great player? Yes, I guess he was. But was he any better than anyone else? Nope, I don’t think so because he had a team behind him. A team that was ignored by the media and the fans. Other great players who had such a supporting team behind them could have done some of the same great things.
Its all about the team.
So Red Bird fans your either a Cardianl fan or your not. If you know the team colors then you understand that its not all about Albert or Tony but about everyone who sits in the dugout as well as on the field. You will understand that Albert did what he did because he is a businessman and it wasn’t personal. You will give him the same thank you and courtesy that you give Tony who is also a business man.
And you will put on your generic Cardinal shirt or hat and sit in your seat and support the team. THE WHOLE TEAM. You will know the team colors. And when the Cards trade the next great player away from whomever you wont gloat but understand it was a business decision and support your team.
Otherwise your no different than what your trying to make Albert out to be……..
Between things that have to get done I have been trying to get some things done here in the office and in the house that I have neglected or that got pushed to the back burner because of everything else that has gone on this year.
One of those projects that I got started over the weekend and am hoping to finish up today is installing the new kitchen counter and sink that has been laying in the family room for the better part of 10 months. So at an hour here and a hour there I am down to installing the sink and plumbing it up.
Which means a parts run this morning…………
So off to two (2) local businesses to get the stuff I need. Why not one (1)? Because no one in this economy will stock any inventory. Its not just hardware stores its farm equipment stores and tire shops and everyone with inventory. They are all happy to order, at an additional cost, but no one has any inventory. So it takes two stops to get what a fellow needs to do an odd job.
But I am wandering off topic………
I could get started on this inventory and parts thing esp. with equipment dealers who charge a premium for ordering stuff but I won’t. I have learned to save gas on the farm side and just go online and order it that way. Its here in 24 hrs delivered to the door by the Brown Truck of Joy (UPS) and I don’t have to leave the place, drive anywhere and find out they don’t have it…….plus its always flat rate shipping that is cheaper than the gas to drive to the parts store anyway……….
But again I wander off topic……..a blog for another time.
I got home from my parts run and put the receipts down on my desk so that I could record them in the checkbook. You know a receipt, that strip of while thermal paper that comes running out of the cash register or computer printer once you complete your transaction and pay for your items. A receipt. A receipt is an evidence of purchase. A receipt is an acknowledgement that a transaction has taken place.
Well, I guess we are so stupid as a nation anymore that this morning when I put the receipt down on the desk, I noticed on top of the of the white thermal paper, in bold face type the following: THIS IS YOUR RECEIPT.
What? I mean what have people been thinking the paper they get was? THIS IS YOUR RECEIPT. KEEP THIS FOR YOUR RECORDS.
Is being able to identify what a receipt is at this particular business so difficult that they have to print THIS IS YOUR RECEIPT on the tickets? Is this some legal junk to keep them from being liable for returns or has there been a problem legally where they have to state to the customer that they have got their receipt?
If any of this is the case I don’t want to shop there anymore. Why? Because that much stupid could rub off. Both in the business that has to tell its customers what a receipt is and in the customers that shop there.
Its no wonder our country and economy is in so much trouble……………
We got about half an inch of rain yesterday. Now it’s cool and damp, which isnt going to allow the corn to dry much. But better weather is promised for the weekend and next week. I am ready to get the corn done and get on to soybeans.
The soybeans are just days away from cutting and this rain will help them a bit by knocking off the remaining leaves. Pioneer scouted their seed production and made an estimate yield of 35 bu/ac. I sure hope they make that and would be tickled to death if they do, but think their estimate is way high. We will see. They have a track record for being pretty close on their guess every year.
While waiting for the corn to dry and the beans to get ready, I have moved some dirt to get the site of our new shed ready. Still have work to do, but the rain interrupted that activity as well.
While moving the dirt that had been stockpiled at the other farm I found a hidden cache of copper wire , wire cutters and flashlight. I had just about ran over it with the dozer when I saw the black from the wire jacket under a pile of weeds. Luckily it had not come from our barns but wherever they got it, it was big stuff. After the LEO’s left I felt compelled to have Mr. Glock ride with me the rest of the day on the dozer, in case someone showed up to collect their stash.
And last but not least was the excitement on Monday when my ATV caught fire. Was out in a corn field sampling and some leaves got up against the motor and caught fire. I always watch the exhaust but this time it was clean and it was on the motor. I got back to the truck in time to get my water jug and threw water on it to put it out. No damage was done and I didn’t catch the field on fire……..
That’s about all the news that’s news around here right now……..
Well the combine sits idle as this band of rain moves through and it has allowed us to get a few things done that were not going to get done until the combine stopped.
The tracks are on the Cat and I am waiting on the pads for the master links. They shipped the wrong ones….so we put it together minus the pad and moved it outside so we could get other things inside the shed.
I spent a few hours yesterday trying to do the seemingly endless amount of paperwork that has to be done anymore. It was pretty painful but its done and now ready to move on to the next pile of papers.
Took a while to clean up and out some junk that had accumulated in the office as well. I now realize that I need to get some more junk moved out as it seems that every time I turn around I am finding yet another box of Dads stuff that hasn’t been gone through.
When the wind calms down and the threat of rain is gone I have grain to haul and want to get that started soon as well. For now though I think I will just let the wind blow and think about it!
24 hrs in a day.
60 minutes in a hour.
60 seconds in a minute,
1440 minutes in 24 hours
3600 seconds in an hour.
86400 seconds in 24 hours.
7 days a week
52 weeks a year (yea 7 X 52 is 364, who knew the DHS was so smart?)
There is never time to do it right but there is always time to do it over.
We waste time by burning daylight and try to make up time by burning the midnight oil.
Whos got time, I’ll make time, you got the time, when I get time, what time is it, time for a change, tying to make up time, killing time, time and time again, is it time, time time time is on my side, if I had time, the time goes by, our time is gone, where did the time go, time has expired and I have run out of time.
Wow, that post just wasted 10 minutes I will never get back.
I seems that we are bombarded with experts at every turn anymore. If there is no one to serve as an expert, someone seems to always self appoint themselves. In some cases there are gatherings of experts walking all over each other trying to get to the top of the expert pile. Most of these folks while possibly well meaning or even good hearted generally have no clue what the heck they are talking about or they come across so absorbed in their own self promotion that they are not tolerable.
Case in point #1: I got a notice that a person to whom I have a very casual knowledge of had passed away. Upon following a link to read what happened I found a gaggle of experts on a discussion board that not only knew what happened to him and how it happened, but his life story in many details. The kicker is that the 4 or 5 pages of comments were dominated by three or four people who were telling all the other people they were wrong. The funniest post was were one person commented on the deceased’s connection with Illinois, to whom the lead expert on this fellow admitted he didn’t know he had any ties to Illinois then wanted proof that the commentator knew what he was talking about. Funny to me but I can just imagine how sad it might have been for any of the family members who might have happened upon this mess. I do know the “one” head expert mentioned above in this discussion, he is an expert on everything he talks about, just ask him. He is one of the skid-marks in the underwear of life that we, regrettably, cant dispatch in a burlap bag with a concrete block tied to it over a bridge into the river.
Case in point #2: While I was trying to find some ballistic information online I came across a discussion on how the .17HMR was not suitable as a coyote round and would not kill anything bigger than a prairie dog. Having dispatched coyotes, at range, with my .17HMR I thought that I must hurry out into the fields and tell these coyotes go get up and run along, despite the smell and decay, as they must be mistaken that I had killed them. The expert was using all kinds of “math” and “physics” to show that the .17 lacked the punch and power to take a dog down beyond 50 yards etc so forth at nausea. Despite testimonials and the comments of a real hunting expert (a person acknowledged as knowing what he was talking about), this fellow held to his guns that you needed a big gun to kill coyotes at range. Maybe coyotes in Ohio wear bullet proof vest or their fur is like Kevlar due to difference in their winters or something. Despite this expert, I still dispatch ole wile coyote with a .17HMR at every opportunity.
Case in point #3. I have been bombarded with propaganda to attend a farmer/consultant field day on growing corn and soybeans like a “high yield expert”. I do attend field days, when there is something to learn or there is a topic of interest. Its just part of the learning and educational process that farmers must go through if they are going to compete and stay profitable. That being said this particular field day is a big JOKE. Its put on by a couple of self promoted and self proclaimed experts whom I wouldn’t let on my farm. One half of this Abbot and Costello team I have know and been some what acquainted with for over 10 years through a friend. They are only about the sale and what they are selling today is better than what they sold yesterday. Did I say this was a joke already? What do they know? NOTHING. Most of what they are going to present is either stolen from universities, picked from other companies with similar products or services and other field days or is not proven with independent non biased research and is only being used to end up selling a couple of products that they get kick back for. Yet, with no industry certifications or qualifications, they have set themselves up as experts, and got the backing of people who should know better, on growing high yield crops and are fleecing attendees for big money when its all said and done.
Case in point #4. The University of Illinois Extension. A complete Chinese fire drill of experts who have never “been there or done that” trying to tell the world how much they know about the real world. Nuff said there.
Yes, I have had my fill of experts this year already. That is why I wont be going to any more field days, conferences or meetings other than a very select few for the remainder of the year. That is also why I have assigned junk and spam status to a lot of emails from experts and why I have erased several talk and discussion boards from my internet favorates.
The result of riding myself of so many experts is that my blood pressure is much lower lately.
Trust me, I know what I am talking about…………..
The last few weeks I have taken a bit of time to really watch and listen, as much as I can stomach, the morning news shows. Really most are more like tabloid talk shows than news shows, there seems to be little news and a lot of comment and mud slinging. The one thing that they all have in common, minus maybe one, is the soft sell of a political view or spinning of the news to their political view. For me it seems pretty obvious what they are selling, and I am not buying. So here are my reviews/overviews/comments on my watching of the morning news shows. Take it for what its worth.
In no particular order:
Morning Joe. Joe Scarborough is the “anchor” of this program along with his sidekick Mika Brzezinski. They have a panel of has been political hacks and has been media types as their choir to whom the seek comment on about every story they cover. The leather faced choir is dull and adds little value to the program as far as I can tell. All of these horses should have been let out to pasture a long time ago. Joe, while reported to be a Republican (and I have no idea why this is important) seems to not have any anchored values on any issue and is blown in the wind on what he believes or feels on any topic on any day by what the old horses say. A better show would be Morning Mika, where they just let Mika do the news and not have any old fart choir, comments or Joe to bring her down and mess up the program.
Fox and Friends. Steve, Brian and Gretchen (of who hasn’t been on much the last two weeks I have tuned in) anchor a program that tries to offer news it appears along with to much stuff that isn’t news. The non news seems to outnumber the news items about three to one. The news items are reported almost always with comment from the anchors or their panel of “fair and balanced” hacks. There is always disagreement in the panel (big surprise there) and while there is room for comment the anchors always have to comment on the comments. I find this to be very boring and not watchable. Worse yet the real news segments are very short and incomplete. Much like Morning Joe, Fox and Friends needs to loose the panels and just stick to the news. Brian’s humor is much needed and appreciated on the show. Cut the junk out, cut the comments out and make the news segments longer. Then I could stand to watch the show longer than 10 min a morning.
Countdown. I assume that Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show that is on in the morning is a rerun of the show on at night. It doesn’t matter. Two things about this show or more important the shows host. I have never seen a person on TV look like they are in so much pain. Seriously, he looks like he is in a tremendous amount of pain (or severally constipated) while he is reading his lines. That and how one person can be full of so much hate. I tried to watch this several times and just couldn’t. Get this man some professional help, he needs it.
American Morning on CNN. The only show that is maybe as bad as trying to watch Countdown. Its very shallow. OK shallow doesn’t describe how “non” deep it is. Ditch the anchors, get some news anchors and just do the news. Better yet just pipe in the HLN feed during this time slot and save the production money CNN. It’s the cellar dweller for a reason.
Imus in the Morning. Not much news. They do a news segment that covers the “top” stories, a business news segment (its on Fox Business News after all) that covers breaking business news of the morning and they have comment. Just enough comment and not too much. It’s a radio show and Imus interviews his guest, does his commentary along with the shows cast following the script. It has the right amount of humor and interviews and depth on interviews. I don’t know if its because its not a “news talk show” or if its because it’s a “radio show” that’s on TV that makes it different and entertaining. Other than the “Blond on Blond” segment which features Imus’s wife, the show is watchable.
Overall after surfing the programs in the morning anymore I migrate back to Imus and end up spending most of my morning news show time on his program. I laugh, watch and listen while I am getting ready in the morning. What ever this show is doing works for me and makes me watch and listen (except for when he drags his wife on, then I go to the Weather Channel) for most of the morning.
To be truthful there isn’t much news on the news programs or stations anymore. If you want news, you’re not going to get it from any of these shows without the slant they want you to hear. Matter of fact your not going to get any news, just a headline with lots and lots of comment from people that don’t have a clue what real people living in or going though in this country right now. .
Spent some time this afternoon on the Cat pushing trees that had fallen into the field edges from fence rows and woods during the last few weeks wind and rain storms.
A Cat is like a backhoe, you dont know how handy it is to have until you got one. Then you wonder how you ever got along without one.
Now, if it will just stay dry for a while…….maybe I can have some pictures of field work to post in a few days……..
Out of focus photos provided by my bride, Lori…………..