Weird and Other

This was just an accident, apparently.  The hose broke during application from what I have gathered.  It also looks like the safety flow valve failed.

And to think some people try to steal this stuff and they put it in 5 gallon buckets, coolers and propane tanks.  Foolish.

If this was to happen run, run, run, run into the wind as fast as you can. It seeks out water. Its boiling point is -28 deg F (minus 28 F) or something like that, and it will KILL YOU.

Well harvest 2012 is all but in the bag so to speak.  I have about 3 acres of beans that are still too green to cut and a frost will help them along.  I will get them when I get them at this point.  With only about 10 acres of subsoiling left to do and the tillage will be put to bed for 2012 as well.

It rained last night and that brought our rain total for 2012 up to 28 inches here at the farm.  We are still about 20 inches behind for the year with the year running out……..

Trying to sell seed and finish pulling soil samples, but it’s hard to get guys to meet this fall as most everyone wants to get done and not talk about another year right now.

The first deer season for shotgun is this coming weekend.   I think I will go hunt just to have something to do that doesn’t require thought and is pretty relaxing.

Promise to start posting more as I am getting back in the mood for the blog after a hard and stressful year.

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

With deer and the other hunting seasons just around the corner I thought I would hang up these funny pictures to help lighten everyone’s load……..

 

 

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.

Anyway……

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.

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.

Took Friday off, it ended up raining anyway, and went over to St Louis to the NRA convention.  This is the first convention I have been to. I thought as a new life member I should take it in.  I have to say its the equivalent of the Louisville Farm Show for guns……just LOTS and lots to see and none of it work related.

First off I must apologize for the quality of the photos.  I used my phone because I didn’t want to take my camera and have an extra device to keep track of.  That was a mistake.  First, my phone camera had dust on the lenses from planting on Thursday and second, my battery died about half way through the day.  There were so many thing I wanted to take pictures of that I just couldn’t after the phone died.  Oh well.

So squint a little bit and maybe the pictures will be in focus……….

First I got to meet Frank W. James.  Frank is a now retired farmer and gun writer from northern Indiana.  His blog is one that I frequent pretty much daily and the link to it is here.  Great talking with Frank and making the introduction.

I hit the Rock River booth, makers of AR platforms and my favorate AR platform for a visit and fondling of the new products.

I also hit the Smith and Wesson booth and got to fondle the new (or new to me) M&P .22 pistol.  I am really leaning towards one of these if I can’t get my hands on a Tactical Solutions .22 conversion for my Glock.  I visited with the fine folks at Tactical Solutions on the Glock conversion and got to fondle it as well and I like it.  Trouble it no one has one to sell………….??  Back orders.

A quick stop by the Glock booth to see the Glock 20 10mm hand cannon and I got to see R Lee Ermey or “Gunny”.  The line was long for an autograph and picture so I snuck this one just before my camera went dead.

I grabbed this qucik picture of Ronnie Barrett designer of the infamous Barrett 50 cal rifle just as my phone went dead.

As withe Louisville Farm Show, you can’t see it all in one day or in one sitting.  Plus there are all the “special events” going on at each booth its hard to make it to them all as well.  I got to see bits and pieces of Tom Knaff talking, the boys from Shooting USA talk and sign stuff, Maj John Plaster and the those guys from that swamp people show.  But then again I didn’t get to spend a great deal of time at any one place to see exactly what they were saying or doing either.

All that being said, I enjoyed my first NRA convention thoroughly.  Well worth the worn out back and feet at the end of the day………I will be going back to another on real soon.

 

Got up this morning and went and fed cows.  Nope, not mine but a friends who had to be away for a few days and didn’t have anyone who could fill in for him.   Was kind of fun actually.  Had to spear four bales of hay to be put out in the feed  lots for the cows and then put out some ground feed for the steers.

It was a welcomed change of pace and interesting to watch the livestock go through their habits when they hear the tractor coming and hear the bulk bin auger run.  Pavlov was right…….. !

Then if was off to sample for the second day at Ridgeway.  Off the tile fields it is a bit wet down at 5 plus inches.  Rain in the forecast the next few days has everyone sitting on go.  Still lots of spraying and fertilizing going on but little or no field work.

The weather says go, but the calendar and field conditions have everyone standing by.  Some farmsteads look like the flight deck of a aircraft carrier.  Everything is lined up along the driveway ready for take off.

“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.

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.

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.

 

Paul Miller Construction had started on our new shop/office/warehouse.

Lots to do today, will have a write up on KARTA for tomorrow……..

Whats the difference between free advise and paid advise?

Well the $ for one.

But I have to wonder what some people think when they ask “Can I get a little free advise?”  Do they understand what they are asking?

You never hear anyone say “Can I get some cheap advise?”  or “Can I get some low cost advise?”  or “Can I get some discount advise?”

They want free advise.

I recently overheard a man ask a marketing man for some free advise.  He gave him a short quick answer that sounded very vague to me and ended his comments with “this is worth what you paid for it.

To me that signaled “I didn’t give you anything.

The marketing man then turned around to one of his customers and proceeded to give him a boat load of information, opinion and explanation on what the markets were doing.  I would say that the guy got his moneys worth from what little I heard him explain.

In other words “this is what your paying me for and here is the value“.

Free advise is somehow better than no advise and more desirable than cheap, low cost or discounted advise.

Why do some folks value free advise so highly over paid advise?

Do they not understand that they “get what they pay for?”

I don’t know, I just found this interesting today…………..and thew it up to see if it would stick.

Just some free advise……….

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