January Bleary

The weekend Farm Report comes to us from Ben.

Middle of January now, gray days, average temperatures, and we must persevere. A couple more weeks, we’ll start to see some change in the daylight, and hope will return.

I’ve been able to do more chores again. Feeding the chickens and ducks and collecting eggs. One day there was 7 male pheasants came from the East, while the 5 females come from the North to eat the corn we throw out. 

I watched a flock of 12 ducks fly figure 8’s over the yard one day. Four finally landed in the pond. Not sure where the rest went.

Bailey played King Of the Hill all by herself.

I’m back to work half days now for a couple of weeks. Then I’ll go full time. The knee is still doing fantastic. Now it’s just getting all those muscles stretched out again and used to walking and retraining those left leg muscles to walk straight instead of bowlegged.

Movies this week were Judgement at Neurenberg, Glass Onion, and Passing Strange (A little known Rock Musical that I really like.

Other movies during various recoveries this year have included Men Who Stare At Goats Animal House, Kill Bill 1 & 2, Django Unchained. (Boy…those Tarantino movies. Kelly won’t watch them. If you don’t know, there’s a lot of blood, and a lot of language).

Obviously having a job is cutting into my movie viewing time so still on my ‘To View’ list is Citizen Kane (for the 8th time) Bridge on River Kiwi, Blazing Saddles (For the umpth time) The Terminal, and the Original The Producers (For the 3rd time).

I’ve got everything locked in now for spring of 23. Oat seed has been reserved and paid for, soybean Seed ordered and paid for, and corn seed ordered and charged. Oats is $11.70 per bushel and I plant three bushels per acre. Soybeans are planted at 55 pounds per acre and a 50lb bag is either $50 for non-treated or $60 for treated. (Treated for insects and rot if the ground is wet when planted.) Corn prices vary depending on the variety and things, but my average cost is $269 per bag. A bag will do a little over 2 1/2 acres and a bag is 80,000 kernals.  I  order a little extra in case I don’t have rates’ quite right or I over plant on the corners or heck, might even spill half a bag on the ground. And we can always return to the dealer what we don’t use. There’s nothing worse than being almost done and it’s 6 o’clock at night and there’s rain on the horizon and I need one more bag of seed. Been there done that.

I had a cement contractor to the farm the other day, looking at pouring some cement either inside the shed and ideally, I would build a wall and insulate and get my warm shop. But of course, a slab outside would be nice to so that I have a place to work on things without lying on the gravel. We will see what the prices are. Like everything, last year the price of concrete increased at a rate no one had seen before. Until this year when it increased again an unheard-of amount. Ballpark around here is $190 per yard just for the concrete not counting site prep work and labor.

I’ve mentioned a few times in the past about remodeling at a local theater and now some HVAC work. The HVAC work was begun in August, new ductwork was installed, and some old things removed, hopefully the rooftop unit will arrive in March. This past week, they installed a ships ladder, and cut a hole in the roof so we have roof access from inside rather than an extension ladder outside the building. It’s really fun; I’ve been on the roof several times this week. Also, couple of supports and steel beams were placed on the roof to support the rooftop unit whenever it gets here. I had a good time talking with both the sheet-metal workers and the ironworkers. The first day, I wanted to get up on the roof to see what was going on, but I didn’t think I should be climbing the outside extension ladder quite yet. It took me a few, tries to find the person that owned and operated the boom lift, and I played the “new knee card“and he took me on the roof.

It’s surprising the things you can do if you just ask. I got above the ceiling of the chapel at the local nuns home, Assisi Heights, because I happen to be there one day, putting up some stage lights for a show and their maintenance crew said they were going to replace some house lights so I asked if I could come along. That was an adventure.  In high school I always heard about the large ventilation pipes under the building and so we asked Milo the head maintenance guy. On the last day of school, he took my best friend Pete and I down to the basement and opened the door and said here you go, I’ll meet you over in the gym.  it was just a big metal tunnel, but it was still kind of cool. You just gotta ask.

Driving one day and the song ‘Open the Door Richard’ by Count Basie was on XM Radio. Remember the Bugs Bunny cartoon with Yosemite Sam chasing Bugs and Sam pounds on the door and yells “OPEN THIS DOOR!” then turns to the camera and says, “Notice I didn’t say Richard?”

Makes me laugh every time.

I returned a box to Acme Tools last week. The clerk asked me if there was an anvil in there.

What have you learned from cartoons?

What have you gained by just asking?

84 thoughts on “January Bleary”

  1. I am a lifelong adherent to the adage that “it’s easier to get forgiveness than to get permission”. So I may have to think about this question for a while today.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wes, you and I are such kindred spirits. I too think I learned to enjoy classical music at an early age through watching Looney Tunes. “Kill da Wabbit, kill da wabbit, kill da waaaabbit!”

      Still not a big opera fan. However, it may not be coincidence that during the climactic scene of my book, Castle Danger, the hero, Matt Lanier, is riding a snowmobile through a raging blizzard, chasing down the bad guys, and the song going through his mind as he’s flying down US highway 61 is Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries.” 🙂

      I also learned that coyotes are not nearly as smart as roadrunners and they tend toward having Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with an extreme bent toward violence.

      Chris in Owatonna

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Rocky and Bullwinkle was my favorite. As I look back at old episodes, I know that the writing was mostly for adults. And much later I came to recognize the voices and the faces to go with them.
        William Conrad the Narrator
        Paul Frees as Boris
        Edward Everet Horton as Fractured Fairy Tales Narrator
        Hans Conried as Snidly Whiplash
        Rocky and many others June Foray

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Despite having spent numerous Saturday mornings while in college (26 to 30 years old) watching cartoons with wasband and our next door neighbors, I feel as if I have a huge deficit in appreciating cartoons. I have only a vague memory of most of the characters, and would fail miserably on a quiz about them. My exposure to them as a kid was sporadic at best, and I had no idea of how culturally important they are to most American baby boomers.

          Liked by 4 people

        2. Until this discussion I have not ever realized that cartoons were such a touchstone and common experience for our generation. And this is why I love the trail.

          PJ,you must have ESP to know someone would educate you.

          Liked by 4 people

        3. There was a newer version of Mighty Mouse from 1987-89, and it was kinda fun. Kelly and I were dating and we’d watch it together on Saturday mornings.

          Rocky and Bullwinkle, they were probably my favorites. Fractured Fairy Tales was the best. I learned a lot from them.

          I have a fond memory of being in Daytons, up in the TV section, and VCR’s were getting popular and they had 5 or 6 TV’s set up with different programs playing via VCR. I’m 16 or 17 yrs old and me and a bunch of 6 yr olds were watching Looney Toons cartoons on one TV.

          Liked by 4 people

  2. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    I learned how to be sneaky from cartoons. My mother was far too compulsive about chores and work, as well as other things, believing that cartoons (and comic books and arcades) were a waste of time. While I suppose that is true, she set up the sneaking scenario. On Saturday mornings she would go to the grocery store, and we would turn on the morning cartoons which we would watch while we did our chores—dusting, vacuuming, and mopping. It established a pattern in which I could not wait for her to leave the house. The only placed I learned to enjoy her company was in her garden.

    Then, of course, everything Wes mentioned in his comment, is what I learned from the forbidden cartoons.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Ben, I presume from the “back to work” that you mean at the college? (as if you’re not working at home…)

    Definitely music from cartoons, opera and other classical stuff themes that I encountered later on. Open the Door Richard was a 45 my uncle Buddy’s that was still at my grandma’s house when I was young. That and “And the Bull Walked around Ole” – which would have been great in some cartoon.

    I’ve been surprised to be able to do things/go places just buy asking, and hope to remember one in detail.

    OT: We have a rare day with no outings or commitments, and plan to process some frozen (whole) tomatoes, use some frozen apples in an apple cake or pie…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmmm, you know, I’ve thought that too. I have said “oat seed”, or “soybean seed”, and I don’t say “corns”. Maybe just sloppy grammar on my end.


  4. I was once the head of the board at an international school in Taiwan that was searching for a new headmaster. After interviews and visits with three candidates, I put the data on a blackboard including “does this candidate golf?” When asked how I found out, I mentioned that I just asked. (Golf had been an issue of difference between the 2 previous headmasters.) All you gotta do is ask, and accept a “no” when it comes.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Well, I personally would rather watch paint dry than golf, but I know very nice people like our Chris who loves to golf. I suppose if you spend more time on the links than in your office headmastering, that would be a problem.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. One guy golfed with a few board members, and it seemed that some “deals” were worked out on the course. The next guy didn’t golf at all, in fact, didn’t socialize at all with board members. That wasn’t why he failed. As I was helping an incoming board think through the NEXT guy, I wanted golf out in front of everyone. I don’t know that it mattered, in the end. I was glad to be out of there.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. If you fail to recognize how many opportunities for referrals happen outside of the official corporate structure, you’re seeing just the tip of the ice berg. Sure most deals are not hammered out on the golf course, but that’s certainly where a lot of the connections and relationships are formed that lead to the possibility of those deals.

          Liked by 1 person

        3. I don’t doubt that at all. Some venues are for starting things, others for signing the papers. The golf course is fine for me (even though I don’t golf). The trick (if it can be called a trick) is being transparent with the non-golfers on the board about the conversation.

          Liked by 2 people

        4. Ha! That’s an understatement. The more obscure and opaque, the better.

          I’m dying to see how this whole George Santos deal will play out. Particularly his financial situation seems rather iffy. Who has an interest in seeing this clown in office, and why?

          Doonesbury just might be a good cartoon to be reading at the moment.

          Liked by 3 people

        5. I’m wondering, Aboksu, if you’ll tell us what, if anything, your handle means, and whether there’s a significance to why you chose it? For some reason is sounds Japanese to me (though admittedly I don’t know Japanese). Is it an anagram? Just curious.


        6. It is Taiwanese. I spent 39 years in Taiwan, and speak Taiwanese. In Taiwanese, surnames come first. Since my English Surname is Alexander, the first syllable became my Taiwanese surname, “A”. Bok-su is the Taiwanese honorific for clergy. So I’m Aboksu there. I retired 4 and a half years ago. Lost a language, a profession, a home and an identity. The name on the blog is the only thing that remains. I will eventually give up that name, too, but for now….

          Liked by 3 people

      2. This is why there are open meeting laws for government boards and agencies. We don’t want policy being made on golf courses or in restaurants and bars.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Oh, Barb, it’s so sweet of you to answer, but yeah, I saw “The Bridge on the River Kwai” when it first came out.

          Reminds me of this quote from a John Prine song:
          “Well, a question ain’t really a question
          If you know the answer too.”

          Liked by 5 people

        1. I think I’m missing a Mighty Mouse gene. Just as a joke isn’t funny if you have to explain it, I guess a cartoon isn’t either if you don’t “get it” on your own. Sadly, I just don’t get it. Thanks for trying, though.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Mighty Mouse is different than other cartoon characters in that he is rarely ridiculous. He is the hero, and the jokes are on the other characters. I adored Mighty Mouse

          Liked by 2 people

  5. hey ben take a look at containers for your work shed
    they are 8×8 and 20 40 or 53’ long
    put it up on footings and total cost for A 40’ is about $3000
    you can insulate and run wiring to it for a song and even go double wide if youd like

    Liked by 2 people

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