Monday, April 30, 2012

#81. or, unpleasant Sunday.

  Saturday evening was absolutely wonderful. After my wife got home from work, we were able to spend some time on the deck, have a drink, and i smoked my first cigar at home this year where i wasn't hiding in the hot tub to keep from freezing to death. It was glorious, later we barbecued steaks and corn on the cob, the evening was quite nice. Only one thing would have made it better but my wife was pretty tired from the home stretch of tax season so i chose to leave her alone. (i'm kind of awesome that way.)

  Sunday wasn't so great. I mean it wasn't a bad day. It was supposed to rain and it didn't, so that was good. But sometimes the things that i have to do, are not entirely pleasant.

  We have a cow that had an abscess on her udder. Yesterday i had to bring her in and lance it. I drained about a litre of puss out of it and then had to flush it out with an antiseptic solution. That was a little bit unpleasant.

 After that, i had to bring a cow in to check her out. She had been acting like she needed to calve but nothing was happening. I brought her in and it turns out that the calf was dead inside her. Truthfully, this was on me. The evening before she told me she needed help. I just didn't read the signs properly. I thought it was a false labour and had decided to give her some more time. The calf was backwards with the legs down. There is no way she can calf like that. After a calf dies inside her, it doesn't take long to start to smell. This wasn't bad but it was on it's way. Basically the calf is standing inside of her facing away from me. I had to reach all the way in, as far as my arm will go. Then i needed a few more inches. (story of my life.) So, my arm is inside of her as far as it will go, that puts my ear up against her other exit hole and remember, she's heaving now because she wants my arm out of her as bad as she does the calf. I have to reach down and find the calf's hoof through all the goo and inside of cow stuff, then cup the hoof in my palm and work it up and out. You don't know how tiring this is, there's a lot of pressure on your arm and it's quite hot. When you get one up and out, you do it all over with the other leg. Then you can put the puller on and get the calf out.

 The cow is OK. I gave her antibiotics. Also i had a calf from another cow that didn`t want to claim her calf so i`m trying to adopt it onto her. I hope it turns out well.

  By the time i was done, i was completely covered with cow business and needed to go have a shower. My wife wouldn`t let me into the house like that so i had to take all my gross stuff off, out on the front step so it could be washed. She doesn`t want that type of thing in the same washer she uses for her nice office clothes. We use an old washer and dryer for those things.

  ......Thursday afternoon, my wife`s boss is taking the office out for supper to celebrate a job well done for the end of tax season. Then, she`s taking Friday off, she better look out cause i`m coming for her!

Friday, April 27, 2012

#80. or, The Pish Posh Get Fit Challenge

  I have two suits. The one i got when my dad died. It's a fine suit. It's a suit that i got in a hurry. It's also the suit i got when i weighed over 200 pounds.I don't really like anything about that suit at all.

  My other suit is my suit of awesomeness. It's a grand suit that i got 2 years ago when my oldest son graduated. When i bought that suit i weighed in the 170's. I like that suit a lot. Except for the fact that i tried it on yesterday and i can't do the pants up.

 Earlier this year we went on holidays and i wanted to be in decent shape when i went. I had a goal that i was working toward. I was exercising and i felt pretty good. Even though i didn't get to the weight that i wanted to be, i was in the lower half of the 180's. Since we got back ( mid January) i've struggled to get back in the exercising mode. Granted, we had some things happen here that left me feeling a little less exercisey but i don't really know why i never got back at it. It was too easy not to i guess. That and beers are so darned tasty.

  My middle son graduates at the end of June. There's my goal. Right now i weigh 190 pounds. I figure that if i can drop 10 pounds i'll fit back into the suit of awesomeness and become a little more awesome myself in the process. Plus summer is on it's way, or, it's supposed to be anyways. It wouldn't hurt to look a little better with my shirt off either.

  My friend Pish Posh is doing  The Get Fit! Challenge. Actually it's already week 8. Yesterday she extended it to the end of May. Over there, they've been talking about habit forming. I have to get back into the habit of doing some exercise. 21 days of doing something is what it takes for something to become a habit. Originally, i thought i could do this on my own but i think i might need a little help. I'm going to link up with her page, along with a lot of other bloggers and Fit back into that bitch'in suit by the end of June.

  So, tomorrow morning, i'm going to do some stretching. I've got to google some exercises to work on my gut. I'm going to try to get my heart rate going every day if i can. This should be easier since tax season will be over very soon and my wife will actually be able to spend some time at home. (i plan to spend a good deal of time chasing her around the house!). 21 days from now, i expect to be an exercising machine. 60 days from now, i'm going to be AWESOME!

  ..........when you join the Pish Posh Get Fit Challenge, you get to post an cool badge on your page. Who doesn't like schwag! Except i have to figure out how to do that, so expect it to show up sometime soon.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

#79. or, the neighbour's sauna

  Our neighbours have a sauna.
  Our neighbours are really nice people. He's from Germany, she's from Russia. If i go over to plow their yard in the winter, some sort of baking usually beats me home. It was from them that we got our, English as a second language dog. She's not really a bad little dog, aside from her thick eastern block accent and her thoughts of world domination.

  Anyways, having a sauna is a very European thing to do i guess. I've mentioned to him that i like hot tubing, but that doesn't really interest him. They do the sauna thing. He built it himself and did quite a nice job. He's invited me over a few times to sauna with him.

  There's a bit of procedure to doing the sauna correctly. You go in for about 20 minutes. That's as much as i can stand. You have to get out before you start to get light headed. Then, you sit out of the sauna for 15-20 minutes, cooling down and dehydrating then back in for another round. The second time in, you can only stay about 15 minutes, then back out, and once again, back a third time for, maybe 10 minutes. If you do it correctly, you feel relaxed and tired. If you overdo it, you end up with a nasty headache and feel nauseous. I've experienced both.

  When we're in there, we each have a tub full of cool water with us. It's used to dip from and pour cool water onto ourselves. When he splashes water onto the rocks and it gets so hot in there that you can't even breath, you can scoop water into your hands and dip you face into it. If you hold your nose and mouth as close to the cool water that you can without actually sucking it into your lungs, it makes it easier to get a breath.

  Sometimes, when you are out of the sauna cooling off, you can run out and roll around in the snow. I know......this is supposed to be a relaxing thing, but it's not so bad. I tried it. You go directly from the snow, back into the sauna. You get a sort of prickly thing happen to your skin., although that might just be frost bite? Another odd thing they do is, while you are in the heat, you can whack yourself, all over your body with a bundle of sapling branches. It's supposed to help to open up your pores. I didn't do that. It looked a wee bit uncomfortable.

  I'm pretty sure that the proper way to experience the sauna is to be in there in the nude. I don't mind nudity. I've been known to wander around the house at times in my all together. I'm just not all that comfortable sitting there chatting with my neighbour when my bits are hanging out. Even though i'm pretty sure when i'm not there, it's leave your clothing at the door. He's been good about letting me wear my bathing suit when i'm there. He's a good fellow, but we're not THAT close.

  ..............i've considered bringing a few beers along to help keep me cool in the sauna but i'm not sure i know him well enough.  Although, we do sit there sweating together with a thin layer of bathing suit away from having our junk hanging out, i probably know him better than some of my other neighbours.


Monday, April 23, 2012

#78. or, blowing shit up

  Remember when you were a kid and you would rub a balloon in your hair and it would stick to the ceiling. Or, when you dragged your feet across the carpet and walked past the Christmas tree, the tinsel would drift out towards you and give you a zap. That's static electricity, sometimes though, static electricity is not your friend.

  When i turned 40, we had some friends over for a little bash. It wasn't a gigantic affair. In fact, everyone fit around the kitchen table. There was some drinking involved.

  I'm going to stop here for a minute to say that when there's drinking involved with these friends, sometimes bad things happen. Like deciding that it would be an awesome idea to ride down a hill with my buddy in his kids wagon. That ended badly. Or thinking that eating a sausage right off the metal stick you had just used to cook that sausage with over the open fire with is a fine's not. It also ended badly.  However, i'm going to call these things learning experiences. Things that you probably should never do again. It's never good to stop learning, right?

  Anyways, we did a bit of drinking. Somebody suggested that if you were to fill a garbage bag with a mixture of highly explosive gasses, tie a piece of paper towel into it to act as a fuse when you tied off the bag, you could light that fuse and safely move away and watch the excitement from a safe distance. Now, i happen to have explosive gasses in my shop, my wife has garbage bags and paper towel, the next logical step would be to test this hypothesis, purely in the name of science.......also because guys like to blow shit up.

 So we did it. Filled a large garbage bag with explosive gasses, tied in the paper towel fuse, positioned it in a safe spot in the yard, lit the fuse, moved to a safe distance, and watched the resulting explosion,which only a group of drunk guys could fully appreciate. It was awesome....then we went to drink some more. It wasn't too long before someone pointed out the obvious, we should do that again. New garbage bag in hand (one of these large green ones) we headed out to the shop to recreate awesomeness. We filled the bag with the explosive gasses and my buddy came over to tie in the redneck fuse. I'm holding the bag, he touches it and the next second, all i saw was an orange ball of fire and suddenly i couldn't hear anything except ringing in my ears.

  The explosion shredded my shirt, blew my wrist watch to pieces, burned the hair off my arms and singed all my facial hair. The creases in my jeans cut into my legs. I had bits of garbage bag coming out from behind my eyeballs for three days. My buddy had a leather jacket on which protected him quite a bit but we both blew of our ear drums. Also, the explosion blew a large window out of the shop, rattled the drywall loose from the ceiling in all four corners and blew the vent louvers out of the dash in the vehicle that all this happened in front of. The second time was certainly not as fun as the first. ..........also, our wives were not impressed.

  When your ear drums are blown, it sounds like everyone is talking with a sock jammed in their mouth. If you are in a hall or someplace crowded, all the voices and sounds get muffled together and you can't sort them out. It's a bit of an inconvenience. But, the remarkable thing is that they do heal themselves. It takes a month or so but it does get better. Except the ringing, that's still there, you just learn to ignore it. One positive thing is that you get really good at watching TV with the sub titles on. After about three days, it almost becomes second nature.

  ...............filling a garbage bag with explosive gasses is not a good idea. I learned that. Sometimes though, it crosses my mind how things might have turned out if we had used one of those expandable, force-flex garbage bags?  Purely in the name of science of course.


Friday, April 20, 2012

#77. or, perpetual energy machine

 It's Friday. I know what's going to happen. It's the same thing every week and i'm kind of undecided if what happens is a good thing or a bad thing.

  Back in early February, i wrote a post called, Friday Cattle Auction. It wasn't a particularly good post. It was one of those posts where i tell you about some of the things that happen to me over the course of what i do to make a living. The thing is, it seems to be a wildly popular post. But, maybe it isn't? I mean, nobody has ever left a comment there. No one ever said to me, "that Friday Cattle Auction post is some really good stuff,  i wish you would do more like that one!" Yet, it sits #3 on my list of most popular posts. (i'll wait if you want to glance over and look at that list to confirm that.)

  It only just occurred to me that, on Friday, is when i get all of the hits on my Friday Cattle Auction post. Because......on Fridays, some people actually google Friday Cattle Auction. (sometimes it takes me a while to become aware of the obvious.)

  After discovering this, i'm not exactly sure how i should feel? Granted, i'm a little sad about it. I don't know what causes a post to be popular. I guess, in the back of my mind i was thinking that maybe i had accidentally written a masterpiece that was so poignant that people, after reading it, were left without words to express their satisfaction. But i've gone back to reread it and i'm pretty certain that's not the case. Also, i feel like i'm letting people down. Google is sending people here to get news about the Friday Cattle Auction and i have nothing to offer them. I dealt with this issue for martial arts guy but if you want the cattle prices i don't know what to do? I could link an actual auction site but i don't know where you're from. I would like the information to be relevant to you. So, i'm at a bit of a loss.

  This has taken on a bit of a life of it's own. It's sort of like the mythical, perpetual energy machine, or a Russian nuclear reactor melting it's way to the Earths core. I don't know how to stop it? ........or, if i even want it to stop? It's still traffic, isn't it? But it's accidental traffic. I'm torn.

  So, there's only one course of action to take. I have to create an EPIC post! So EPIC, that everything else will pale in comparison to it. I'm talking Pulitzer Prize shit here! Plus, i have to come up with a title. Not just any title, it has to be something people google every fricken day! If i can generate enough traffic, i may be able to blow Friday Cattle Auction right off the popular posts list.

  Right, lets get may have to think on this a while.

  ............or, i could just go back and change the title, but then i wouldn't get so much traffic,  sigh. (i'm secretly hoping to get some of that google, perpetual energy machine traffic by using that title.)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

#76. or, One Question Wednesday...on Thursday

 On Tuesday, i was invited by Josie Two Shoes to participate in One Question Wednesday. (OQW) The way this works, is i ask her anything that i want to know about her, and in return, she gets to ask a question back of me. If you follow this link, you will be able to see the question i asked her, as well as her answer. There is also all of the questions asked to her and her answers there, as well as some of the replies to questions that she asked the question askers..........confused yet?

  So, now that it's Thursday, naturally i will answer her One Question Wednesday question, which was this:

  How did you decide to become a farmer, what do you like about it and what don't you like about it and what would have been your second career choice?

1....2....3....4.....that's actually four questions. apparently the rules on the one question part are fairly flexible?  :)

  I grew up where i live now. I live in the house i helped my parents build. I only have a few vague memories of living anywhere else.

  Aactually, becoming a farmer WAS my second career choice. I had originally intended to become a mechanic. Our high school, had an exceptional vocational program and i took a considerable amount of classes toward  that end. I was good enough at it that i could have went directly into second year of post secondary school right out of high school. My intention was to go to school and learn how to fix things.

  The year that i graduated from high school, my dad broke his leg, quite badly, in an accident moving some heavy equipment. I decided that i would delay going to school for a year so i could lend a hand while he recovered. I ended up just never going. Why? Mostly because it was the easy choice. I mean, it wasn't the easy path. I probably worked harder that i ever would have if i had gone the path i intended. It was just easy not to change once i started down a different path. I don't regret doing what i do, but sometimes i regret not being a stronger person when i was younger. If that makes sense?

  Along this path though, i did do a few other things. I drove heavy equipment for a while, i hauled cattle for most of a year.  But i do what i do now because i like it. It's challenging at times. When my dad passed away a few fears back, i struggled a bit. Not because i didn't know what to do. My role just changed, there was things i wanted to do differently. I was scared of making the wrong decision. I was scared to fail. Things have changed quite dramatically in the field of agriculture over that last number of years. There's a lot more time to be spent marketing and record keeping of cattle and crops. I wish i could spend more time outside, doing things. I have glorious projects in my head that i would love to do. There's just not time. I seem to spend quite a lot of time on the computer checking prices and doing research. That's what i dislike.

 The things that are good, are really good. Doing this has allowed me the flexibility to be more involved in what my kids do in school. I like being in the field. I like equipment. I like the smell of dirt when you cultivate a field for the first time in the spring after winter. I like baby calves. I like the beginning of combining season, i LOVE the end of combining season. I like the fact that even though there are things that have to get done, often there's still the opportunity to rearrange my schedule if something unexpected comes up.

  I think that i could be happy doing anything. I like to think i'm that type of person. Sometimes, i wonder what life would be like if i had gone down the path i had intended. But i am not unhappy that i do what i do now and i certainly don't have any regrets.I know that i'm not the best at what i do but i do the best with what i have and i'm happy doing it. I think that's something more than a lot of people have in life.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

#75. or, hamburger helper

  I'm not a very good cook.

   That's not exactly true. I can cook certain things well. I'm pretty good when it comes to using our barbecue. I've cured bacon and hams and smoked them, and i've made sausage and smoked that as well.  When we go camping, i can make eggs, over easy, on an open fire. That requires a little bit of skill, doesn't it? Oh, I do this thing where i make small pancakes, an over easy egg, then a sausage patty with melted cheese on it and put it all together to make this sandwichy thing for breakfast when we're camping. It's pretty good.

  It's a busy time of year for us here. Being tax season, my wife is pulling some pretty long hours in the accountants office these days. And my hours are all over the place with calving going on. But i like to help out, if i can work it in, to try and have something going for supper when my wife finally gets home. Nothing grand mind you, it doesn't really work so well this time of year. If it's going to be after supper when she gets home, i try to get at least our youngest kid fed. The others are old enough to look out for themselves. Thing is, you have to prepare something that can sit in the pot for a bit, because if it's possible, we like to wait to eat together.

  The other day, she asked me, if i had time, could i put together some hamburger helper. I know it's not a really good dish, but like i said, it can be reheated without changing it's complex flavouring. So, because i had the time, i made the hamburger helper. I didn't think it was so bad. I followed the directions on the box. It's pretty idiot proof. Brown the burger, throw everything else in, cook it a bit, done. We all had some.

  Yesterday morning, there was more burger on the cupboard. I asked what it was for this time. Taco salad. I asked, how she wanted me to prepare that if i had time. She wanted me to leave it for her. I said that really, it wasn't a problem, if i had time, i'd like to help her out. She wanted me to leave it.

  Turns out, i guess i screwed up the hamburger helper the other day. The only step in the whole process that actually requires an inkling of cooking talent, i failed at. Brown the hamburger, simple enough. Seems i only greyed the hamburger. It would appear, i need a hamburger helper, helper.

  My wife is a really gifted cook. She can take an arm load of groceries and put a dish together that tastes wonderful. I wish i had that talent. I can take a group of words and string them together into a coherent thought and occasionally be humorous. I can take a pile of scrap metal and turn it into something useful and functional, I can take something apart and reassemble it, better than it was, with pieces left over. You would think that after hours on the couch watching The Food Network with my wife i would have picked up some knowledge, apparently not.

  ...........of course, i could just stick to making salads, but that's not very good for business.

Monday, April 16, 2012

#74. or, 11 questions

  I mentioned the other day how some of my friends are doing the A-Z Challenge throughout April. Well my friend Pish, over at Pish Posh, chose to write about limericks for her "L" entry. I was stricken with a bit of inspiration and whipped one up about her to leave in her comment section.  Be damned if she didn't decide to use it, along with one written by Super Earthling to update her "about me" section. If you feel inclined, and i hope you do, you can check it out here.

  Also last week, i mentioned that Brett Minor at The Transformed Non-Conformist  had tagged me to do a list of 11 question. I was pretty happy to be invited by him to do this. I've been thinking on some of the answers over the weekend so i hope you can get to know me a little better from these answers.

#1. Book or movie and why?
 I'm going to go with movie here. I love books but i really love renting a movie and spending an evening on the couch with my wife. The other night, during a movie,  i fell asleep on her boob. It was awesome! That rarely happens with a book.
#2. Real or e-book?
My wife has a Kindle, it's crazy convenient for travelling with but i still like a real book. For Fathers Day, my wife got me a first printing of a book off of e-bay, that came from England. It's neat to know that sometimes, the book you're reading belonged to someone else once. A book can have a life of it's own.
#3. Funniest thing that you've done in the last 5 years.
I struggled with this a bit. On my 40th Birthday, after a few drinks, some friends and i made, what for lack of a better term, was a bomb. Well, 2 bombs. Anyways, a bit of an accident really put a dampener on the rest of the evening. After that, i had t-shirts made up for everyone involved that said "I Survived Ken's 40th Birthday Blast." It was kind of funny, i'll tell you about that sometime.
#4. Do you put yourself into the books you read or the movies you watch?
I don't think so. I tend to get caught up in them but while they're happening i just go with it. After, yes. More with movies though. I mean, who wouldn't want to be John McLean kicking some ass? But if i could be a character in a movie, i'd be in this! It's from one of my favorite movies.

Everyone else hated it but i loved this movie. I always liked this scene for some reason. Know what it's from?
#5. How would your best friend describe you?
I asked my wife. (she's my best friend.) She said i was The Rock! I thought sweet, he's an awesome dude! (then i did that thing with my eyebrow.) She said "no no no!" I'm HER rock, calm, thoughtful ,and kind. Funny too. Plus irrestiably sexy! I added that last part on my own.  :)
#6. Favorite kind of car and why?
Well, The Batmobile of course. But the chances of ever actually getting to drive the batmobile are slim to none, so i'm going to say my truck.

i like big trucks with wide asses. That's not over compensating for anything, is it?

#7. Would your choice of party be catered meal or barbecue out back?
I would love to have a grand barbecue out in my back yard. All of my friends would be invited, there'd be a big fire pit going and i'd mix awesome drinks and maybe roast a pig. (We wouldn't blow anything up.)
#8. What's your favorite season and why?
That depends on the time of year. In the winter, it's winter. Because i'm Canadian and it's been genetically bred into us. If it's spring, summer, or fall, i'm going to say summer. I love the summer. I like camping, bare feet, and women in sun dresses. I'm also pretty busy then so the longer the season, the better. There's plenty of tractor'n to be done.
#9. What specific lesson have you learned. Spiritual, educational, occupational?
Spiritual:  As comfortable as it is to sleep naked, if you're on a field trip and you are overnighting in a church basement, you probably shouldn't. (that's most likely another post sometime.)
educational: You will NOT become better at spelling through osmosis from having a dictionary on the desk beside you while you are trying to blog!
occupational: You are not always going to make the right decision, but if you can make the best decision available, you're probably going to do alright.
#10. Besides writing, what's your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?
Going into to town to have lunch with my wife. I'm assuming this would be day to day extra time, because i really like winter tropical vacation as well. But that's a planned event and i don't think it counts?
#11. What's one place you can be found at least one time every week?
Lately, it seems that at least once a week i find myself at the local John Deere dealership. They like to take my money.

  Now i am supposed to tag 11 more people and allow them the opportunity to do these as well. I looked at my list of the people that i follow and i haven't really got to know them well enough to be comfortable sending this on. The ones that i do, this has already been sent on to. I feel a little bad about that and it's like i'm dropping the ball here. Sorry. If you're reading this and would like to answer these 11 questions, by all means take them and answer them. I had a lot of fun doing this and was happy to be asked. seems that i have been dubbed, The Almighty Sceptor Wielding Limerick King of the Blogosphere by Super Earthling, The Great and Powerful Limerick Queen. It appears we may be limerick royalty. Big shoes indeed! I wonder if the position comes with crowns, that would be awesome.  :)

Friday, April 13, 2012

#73. or, Friday odds and ends

  Truthfully, i had a couple ideas in my head but Thursday was pretty hectic and i hadn't really planed on posting anything for today. It's 12:40 A.M., i'm tired, and i'd like to go to bed, except i'm waiting for a cow to calf, nothing was on TV, (why does that not surprise me?) so i thought i needed to say a couple things.

  This has been an exceptional blogging week for me. Not that anything that i've written has been so wonderful but there's been some new developments for me happening here. First, new followers! (YAY!) I would like to say names here, but i don't want my originals to feel like "old" followers. Either way, all followers are grand. I'm at 17 now, i'm pretty happy about that.

  Next, i have comments now. I've always gotten comments on my facebook page when i shared the link but now, i have discussions happening on my blog post as well. I like that. I try to be engaging and i like it when new people show up and throw in their two cents. I'm pretty sure this is happening because i've also started to leave a few comments on other blogs.

  I was a little hesitant to start leaving comments. Mostly i was worried that my meager offering wasn't going to be worthy of some of the wonderful stuff out there that i've been reading. I think i have to thank Pish Posh for getting my feet wet in this department. She was more than welcoming of my comments and always has an interesting reply. If you have time, you should check her blog out.

  Also, i was "tagged" twice. That's when another blogger puts a link to your blog into one of their posts. First, by Workingdan, when we talked about smoking meat, then Thursday by Brett at The Transformed Non-Conformist, wanting me to do an 11 questions quiz. I considered trying to squeeze it in for today's post, but i didn't get to see it until after supper yesterday and i thought i needed more time to give it an honest effort. I'm going to try for Monday.

  Another thing that i noticed yesterday when i was reading one of the two posts, Bozo posted, i discovered that right there, on the right hand column of her reading list, there i am! As far as i know, that's the first time someone has me out in the open on their home page! That's pretty exciting news! (i might have pee'd a little bit, i was so excited!)

  ..........anyways, i'm quite happy about this week in my blogging adventure, i hope you all stay around and that i don't run out of ideas.'s 1:30 A.M. and it's raining, i have to get all dressed up, grab my big-assed flashlight and go check that cow. I hope she's finished and all is well, i'm getting tired.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

#72. or, nobody died

 Some of the new blogger friends that i have are doing this thing called the A-Z Challenge. Basically, you are supposed to post your way through April, with each post being something related to the next sequential letter of the alphabet. I actually thought about doing this quite a lot. In the end, because it's getting to be a pretty busy time of year for me, i decided against it. Still though, i've been trying to keep up on reading the posts of some of the people that i've recently started following.

  One of those people is Bozo, over at a bozo's abbozzo..... She lives in India and for the letter "I" blog, she posted about India. Mostly, it's a video of some of the funny, crazy stuff that happens there.

  I think that every country has a video on the internet about their quirks that other people watch and laugh about. In this India video, i was taken by the trains. The ones that are not only packed full of people on the inside, but also, every available piece of real estate on the outside of the train has people jammed onto it as well. They look like giant woolly bear caterpillars rolling across the country side. I thought that's pretty messed up and dangerous, who in their right mind would do something like that? Then, i though about some of the things we did while i was growing up as a kid.

  Before it became illegal, in the summer, we always rode in the box of the truck when we went to check fields and pastures. It wasn't unusual to see a pick-up rolling down the road with a couple smiling faces peeking out around the cab. It was great fun, wind in your face, eyes watering, until you got twapped in the forehead by a bumble bee.

  I can remember my Dad, pulling us down the road, on our toboggan, tied to the bumper of the truck with 30 feet of rope. No helmets, no titanium skid plates sewn into our clothes, Not even any leather. The only thing protecting our head from bouncing off the frozen gravel road was our tuques and scarves. We'd go for miles, coming home all smiles and frozen snot-sickles.

  We had a camper that fit on the back of the truck that we used on holidays. Because we were a family of four, and my Uncle sometimes came with us, the truck cab was often full. That meant one of us kids got to ride in the camper. It had windows that opened between the truck and camper so you could pile up the cushions from the camper and lay facing forward to look into the truck cab and be part of the conversations. Perfect, in the event of an accident, to be guillotined when the windows became un-alligned.

  Our family car had that shelf between the rear seat and the back window. If you were an 8 year old kid, it was great to lay up there and watch the traffic out the back window. It was also an exceptional launching pad for when your dad had to slam on the brakes for one reason or another.

  We didn't wear helmets when we drove mini-bikes, or bicycle helmets when we rode bicycles. We made ramps out of plywood and rotten lumber that more often were more dangerous because they fell to pieces when you hit them, than from actually launching you into the air. We rode on tractor fenders, and grabbed onto bumpers and skidded along behind the car on our boots on the ice in the winter. We got bumped and bruised, we ate dirt, we broke bones, (not me personally) we sprained things, and sometimes we we had teeth knocked loose. But it never seemed out of the ordinary.

  ...........Oh, as much fun as it sounds, no good ever comes from pulling a bicycle behind a motorcycle with a rope. We tried it.......twice.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#71. or, is this sexy?

  I'm not really sure what to think of that new shaving commercial on TV with Adrien Brody in it. I mean, most of the time, he's a pretty sexy fellow, isn't he? I'm not an authority on sexy fellows. To tell you the truth, i wouldn't mind being at least a little more knowledgeable on this subject. Not because i want to look at sexy fellows, i could just use a few pointers.

   Really Adrien Brody, i don't know what to think about this look?

 can you look like this and not be in a Heineken commercial?

 Actually, when i first saw this, there was this small voice coming from the back of my brain saying "OH YA! WE COULD TOTALLY PULL THAT OFF!" That lasted about 8 seconds. Then reality set in. There is no way in HELL that i could ever pull off that look. It has the potential to go wrong in so many ways. First, you would need to be exuding confidence. Like ALL the time, 24/7! If you crack and show any signs of wishy washy-ness, (and i have plenty of wishy washy-ness) you're probably going to end up looking more like a shifty drug dealer.

  Also, i don't think that you could have this look and wear jeans and a hoodie. Unless of course, you're selling knock-off watches out of the back of a van. Then it probably works. Otherwise, you need to be in a suit all the time. I can't do that.

  If you were Spanish, you could pull this off. I think being Spanish gives you an immediate buy into the sexy department. Especially if you have the accent. But i'm pretty sure, if you're not Spanish, or Adrrien Brody and you try to go through airport security, you're going to end up in that little room with a security guard snapping on that rubber glove.

  If i was even going to attempt to pull off this look, i'm pretty sure this is how i would turn out., Adrien Brody, with your sleepy eyed, confident stare, and pirate facial hair, you can rest easy. Because even though i ripped your picture off of the internet, i won't be ripping off your look. I just wouldn't be able to pull it off.

Monday, April 09, 2012

#70. or, makeshift barn

  So, this past weekend, i got to put my new makeshift barn to use.

  Because our calving barn burned down this spring and we lost all of the tools that i use in there, it became necessary to set up new digs, as it were. Because i'm a bit of a procrastinator, it wasn't really ready the other night when i needed to make use of it.

  Everything else was the same, i brought the cow having trouble giving birth up the alley to where we would have normally turned left into my cozy, heated barn. There, i had hot water at my disposal and all of my tools were basically at arms reach. I don't have to do this with every cow but when i do, it had become almost second nature to me.

  This time, everything was changed up. We turned to the right and headed for my, as of yet, incomplete makeshift barn. I had the pens in place, so that was a major piece. However, i had to wander about the yard and gather up all of the equipment that we had begun to replace and stored in other various sheds until we needed them. Also, i had to pack a pail of hot water over from our shop, because when you are assisting in a birth, hot water is always nice. If you watch movies at all, they always boil water and start tearing up sheets. My water was just comfortably warm and i didn't really need to tear up any sheets. (i think my wife appreciates that.)

  I put the cow into the stall, and couldn't find a piece of twine to tie her tail to the side. I do this so when my arm is inside her, checking things out, she isn't whacking me upside the head with her shitty tail. I went without the twine this time. You need to know here, that it's 2:00 A.M. and about 5 degrees below freezing outside when i'm doing this. Because i am lazy, i had yet to get the power installed,  i had no lights in my makeshift barn. I had to drive my ATV up and aim the lights in the general direction of the dark end of the cow. Because a cow is the size she is, it's often the case, that you need to have your arm inside of her beyond your elbow. I some cases, you can be right up to your shoulder and wish you has 6 more inches of arm. This time, just past my elbow was enough. The calf had a front leg back and i needed to bring it up into place so she could proceed with the birth.

  Bringing a front leg up into place is relatively easy if she hasn't been pushing too long and pushed the calf too far into the birth canal. All was going along smoothly, despite not having everything that i need, in it's familiar spot. I know it doesn't sound like repositioning a calf requires too much effort but it does, your arm gets tired in there. So, i remove it from the cow to take a break and rest it on the metal rail of the calving pen.......where it promptly sticks. Because of course, when you put something wet and warm onto metal that is 5 degrees below freezing, that tends to happen. (like your tongue on a metal flag pole.) It wasn't terrible. I just pulled it off and put it into the pail of warm water i had brought  and warmed it up. Then back into the cow. I think she appreciated that as well.

  In the end, she delivered a nice healthy calf and all was well. Over the weekend, i finally got the power installed so at least i have lights now. It's still cold at night, and my shed only has three walls, so i'm waiting for the spring to hurry along. I know it's on it's way, it hasn't, not arrived yet.

  ............if you get a minute, check out workingdan. He has a pretty entertaining blog i've been checking out lately. We talked about smoking a brisket the other day. As soon as the snow melts off my deck again, i plan to do some major grilling. But it's still going to be some time before i can put the cushions back on the deck furniture.

Friday, April 06, 2012

#69. or, bodily anomalies

  I'm not really sure how to say this without coming off as some sort of genetic freak, but the hair growing out right ear, is growing faster than the hair growing out of my left ear.

  Now, you're saying, "EEEWWWW!" Get over it, i'm 44 years old. I have hair growing out of all the holes in my head.  In fact, just to get ready to go out, has become a labour intensive venture. I've had to do more clipping and trimming of my orifices in the last 4 years, than the previous 40. (Well, not my mouth, except for that one night i did Jager and Vodka shots straight from the bottle, the next morning it felt like i needed to shave my tongue.) When you're an average looking fellow, you need to take the extra time to make sure that you don't have odd things happening to your body when you go out. People are going to notice that stuff way more than if you're one of the beautiful people. Nobody cares if Brad Pitt has extra ear hair, they just want to look at Brad Pitt.

  I've never been that head turner fellow. I'm pretty average. I'm OK with that. Really, if the only woman that i make swoon for the rest of my life is my wife, that's fine by me. The thing is, i wonder why, that when you finally, really start to figure out who you are, time starts throwing the odd curve balls at you? Like the hair out of my ears. OK, it doesn't look like i have pot scrubbers growing out of the sides of my head or anything. It's just there, but more abundant than it used to be.

  Somebody smarter than me should invent some type of ear wax hair removal system for ear hair. I bet you could make a million bucks with that idea!

  Also, i have a couple skin tags. Little flaps of skin growing off me like a new appendage. I don't need any new appendages, thank you. To remove them, you can buy a kit from Wal-Mart, containing some sort of liquid nitrogen type substance. You're supposed to freeze them until they die. I did one, it hurt like hell! Then it hurt every time i bumped it until it finally fell off. Actually, the only time anyone would see it is if i take my shirt off. I had planned to deal with it before we went on winter holidays but i chickened out. Now summer is coming, and occasionally, i like to go to the beach. So i have to deal with that.

  Anyways, i don't know why i have to shave the hairs growing out of my right ear twice as much as on the left? Sometimes, i wish mutton chops were back in style so it wouldn't be so much of an issue. Like my moustache hides my predominant nose hair growth. More of a clever camouflage than actually dealing with the problem. Sometimes i'm lazy that way.

 ................another thing, i discovered an eyebrow hair twice as thick and three times as long as all the rest the other day when i was shaving my mono-brow. Now i have to deal with that shit too.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

#68. or, snow-pocalypse

  It's snowing again. By the time this one is done, they say that we are going to have around 25 cm. (if you're metric-ly challenged, that's 10 inches.) Spring storms are a little disheartening. Mother Nature teases us by letting things begin to dry up, then WHAM!, we get hit by another blast of winter.

  It's not like we didn't know that this was coming. News of the impending snow-pocalypse has been the topic of conversation here for the last couple of days. They've been talking about it on the radio non-stop. Tuesday was a pretty awesome day. I spent it working outside. Wednesday was the same, except with more foreboding, and sense doom on the way. I had to run to town to pick up a few things for our make-shift barn we have to use this year. Everyone that i bumped into, and asked how their day was, said the same thing. "oh, it's nice today, but just wait until tomorrow!" So, i went to bed, and our yard was just about dried off. I woke up to about 6 inches of snow this morning. Light fluffy snow. The type you like to see on Christmas Eve. (except maybe not the quantity.) Plus, we also get a nice brisk wind  to go with it. Drifts! that's just dandy.

  That being said, Yahoo says there's been more earthquakes in Mexico this past week. I've never experienced an earthquake. That's got to be a pretty intense thing to have the Earth shake your fricken house to pieces around you?  Also, this past week, there's been some terrible tornado's in the Southern United States. The videos that i saw, showed tractor/trailer vans being hurled 100's of feet into the air like they were kids toys. The devastation was terrible, yet, people continue to call those places home.

  So, this morning, i'll put on my boots, get into my tractor, and dig my way out to feed the cows. I probably won't lose any equipment buy having it blown away in the wind. I won't have to rebuild a home because it was shaken to pieces. By next week, the snow will be gone again, and things will be back to normal. Easy come easy go?

   ............the worst part of this is that the bedding packs where i've been spreading straw all winter are turning into mush, with all this moisture, that threaten to suck my tractor out from under me. That, and baby calves don't do so well either. I'm hoping the cows keep their backsides clamped for a couple days.  

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

#67. or, new baby calves

  So, on Saturday, we officially started calving. I say that because the first calf was born on that day, and with that, so begins the rest of my year. Yesterday, we had a set of twins. Three calves from two cows is a pretty good average.

  There was a time, when we used to start calving in January. The dead of winter is not a very friendly time of year to start having calves. It's dark for more hours of the day that it's light out, and more often than not, the temperatutres can dip to -25 degrees Celsius. It's not the most pleasant of environments for a wet baby calf to make his introduction into the world. You have to be there as they are born to hustle them into the barn, or try get the cows into there before they have their calf. If you don't, they can freeze their ears or tail off, or die if they get too cold.

  April, is much more pleasant. April, feels right. Spring time, is a time for new beginnings, and perfect to start having calves. The sun is out. The temperatures are above freezing most of the time, and cows can take their time to calf without having me check up on them every half hour.

does this agnle make my ass look fat?

  I have mixed feelings about calving. It marks the end of my winter. Time to get going. Calving leads right into seeding, then to haying, onto harvest, and so on. My free time pretty much disappears. But, it's good to get moving, because calving season leads right into my my favorite season.......tractors.

  One time, when i was assisting a cow to give birth, she gave a mighty heave, and covered the front of my coveralls and filled my pocket with "inside of cow goo". (that's a technicial farmer term.) I had my cell phone in that pocket and it was ruined. Try explaining that to the phone guy. There's no warrenty for "inside of cow goo".

     ............really, it's hard not to like new baby calves when they're born without problems and get going on their own. I'm not looking forward to being up to my armpit in the back side of a cow, and having her crap down the front of my coveralls. At least it's warm for a minute or two.

Monday, April 02, 2012

#66. or, the difference of a day

  Friday morning i was in a pretty good mood. Thursday afternoon, just before 5:00, i sold most of the balance of the canola that i had for a pretty good price.  I had been painfully patient this year, selling off what we had produced in smaller volumes. I almost bailed and dumped everything a couple months back when it looked like the prices were heading into the toilet. The prices since that time have been slowly climbing back to a reasonable position. Thursday, after a bit of a dip the previous day, they jumped back up. I decided it was time to sell, i thought it was as high as it would go. Friday morning, i checked the price, 10 cent drop! I WAS A FRICKEN GENIUS!! Will of steel! Riding out the lows, following the markets, finally selling just before the prices drop........Friday afternoon, when the markets closed, they were 25 cents higher that what i had sold for. No more fricken genius, just average ken.

  Saturday, was a gloriously awesome day. The sun shone, the show melted, water ran, and the yard dried off some. I took, my son to the Farm & Ranch show in the city. It was so nice, we debated on leaving our jackets in the truck before we went to the show. We wore shoes, and i didn't have to grab him by the arm to steer him clear of any water holes. In the evening, we BBQ'd on the deck. I wore sandals. (socks as well, but no one saw so i don't think that counts?) Truly, a fine spring day. Sunday, i woke up to 4-6 inches of snow that fell overnight. What the hell!!  The fields, which just the day before, were a wonderfully optimistic shade of brown, with the promise of green to follow, are now blanketed in white again. 

  Sunday, aside from the snow, wasn't so bad of a day. My wife, who works in an accountants office, has been working Saturdays for the last few weeks. It's tax season and their office is open extra hours to accommodate the people who need to file their taxes after hours. I miss having her home the extra time and try to spend Sunday hanging out with her. Sometimes, i think she might actually like to just be by herself to recharge, but i do my manly part by finding her and trying to get my hand in her shirt. I'm pretty sure she really appreciates that. Anyways, we were watching a movie, and i decided to try my hand at making martinis. I've been wanting to do this for some time now. I finally got all the tools and booze gathered up and whipped up some darned tasty, Key Lime Martinis. Three hours later we were blown up like balloons with gas because, of course, we don't fart in front of each other. (well, i do, but i'm trying to pass myself off as a cool fellow so i'm not going to tell you about that.)

  ...................i'm pretty sure it was the martinis? That's rather disappointing. I had envisioned myself looking rather James Bondy sipping my martini. James bond is going to be a lot less awesome, if now i am going to imagine him stopping mid-save-the-world, to have someone pull his finger.