Monday, January 31, 2011
Also wanted to let you'al know that this writin' is full of errors because it is not really proofed, usually because it is too late at night and I don't know no better. So I am lookin' for a little toleration and imagination, along with intensification. Also keep in mind that a person can make a comment if'n your so inclined. Some of you I just don't see that much due to distance which makes it hard to yell that far, unlike the ones around here that I can yell at just 'cross the holler.
This photo is actually the one I used on my most recent wine project. Made a nice label and set off Wright's Road Killed Specialities. "We find it we use it, dead or alive." I think the picture is Paul a member of our band. Oh, just remebered he plays the banjo---if you can call that an musical instrument.
Today is another day we are not being flooded, we re not rioting because of a food price increase, the county is not being invaded and I am very warm next to a toasty fire. Life is good.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
This graph may be a bit hard to see, so you might have to blow it up. What you see here are graphs showing the rate of discovery of oil, noticing that the lighter batch is on land and the darker is in water. The height determines the amount of the discoveries found at that given time. As can be seen the discovery rate, no matter where we are looking land or sea, is declining at a rather ferocious rate and the production curve is going up. The reason for the production curve going up is that all of the finds of the past are still being drawn from.
The catch is that many of the older wells, the monsters, like Ghawar in S. Arabia and the Cantarell in Mexico, Texas, and the North Sea off England are all declining in production and there are no big wells to replace them. It turns out that no matter what Ms. Palin says no one is having any luck finding more of the stuff (even at close to $100 per barrel).
Oh ya, they find nature's one time gift (that would be oil) but the discoveries are smaller and frequently in some very remote and dangerous places. Think five miles down in hurricane alley or off in the frozen arctic. And while they make lots of blabber about the finds, one has to note they are generally not that big. Like, "8 billion barrels found off Brazil!" Like whoopee dudes. The USA alone uses one billion in less than a month. To see grown men soiling themselves because somebody found a few billion barrels oil half way to the middle of the earth is clear indication they have no sense of scale. Where do they think they will get the magic straws to suck that stuff up from under a layer of molten salt. And, like, at what price, I might add. That little old production line on the graph has been flat since may of '05. It is expected to turn down soon.
Considering that virtually every ounce of economic development in this country is based on having more energy, it is probably a good idea that we begin having a public discussion. My bitch is and my Missionary position is, "WE NEED TO START, NOW!" and it can't be just losers like me. It has to be the big boys.
Don't even dream that the "alternatives" can replace this black gold, because they can not.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Now Buddy here is a bit of a loaf-about-the-fort but the monster of a nose is a thing of wonder. I have seen him run off in the woods only to return soon, but in doing so never once lifts his head from the ground to just look for us. Instead, he runs through the woods until he hits our trail and then zig-zags across it a few times until he is on it. Then he simply runs to us. The entire time we were completely visible but he never bothers with his eyes. Had we walked in circles, he would have run the circles to us.
One day I thought I would test him, thinking that a trail of a number of people was easy, after all we are smelly. I was about to go bow hunting and had before departure done all the real special scent killing things commonly done, including washing my cloths in a special scentless soap, bathed in a scentless shower and really worked hard at not smelling like a human dude.
I slapped on my camo and drifted carefully into the forest for a few hundred yards trying to not touch things, nor scuff my feet. I selected a very hidden spot and stood motionless and scentless. After being there for a few minutes Buddy was let out of the house to do a walk. I knew he was coming in my direction with his master/associate.
Like always, I could see he had dropped his nose to the ground as he headed for the woods and into my general direction. It was not possible to see if he had picked me up because he may have found a mole more interesting. Soon he headed in my more immediate direction but I lost sight of him. I thought he had headed off for other olfactory pleasures but as I turned and looked down, there he was looking up at me wanting a little attention.
We have to be talking molecules of scent. That is all it took. It is then that one realizes that as this dog moves through the forest he must have an entire picture in front of him all of it based on smell and nothing else. A highly detailed picture, there in front of his brain. We will never know.
Here is a group of dogs having an exchange of personal history, or maybe a discussion on the day's activities. Family gossip? "Oh, you should not have eaten that!"
Monday, January 17, 2011
They were in the company of squash, fat onions and some dandy potatoes from the garden. All of them rest comfortably there and cause no problems even for the occasional guest who has mentioned that it was like a root cellar---mostly they didn't like the cold. The visitors simply have to toughen up and embrace the brisk fresh air.
Today, a fat cabbage came out of hiding and found its way into cold slaw. A very pleasant surprise to say the least. While the resting cabbage had some dried and slightly discolored outer leaves, there under the rather natural plastic wrap was a crisp, sassy head well suited to grace any table. Not one leaf eating worm was found. After the two and one half months of storage we still have a locally grown, very fresh vegetable right here in the bed room.
Couple the cabbage with a hardy side of squash, a crisp onion, mashed garden potatoes next to a nice venison steak and we eating local and fresh right in the middle of winter, and it looks like it will go subzero in a day or two. Dude, for the day we are almost sustainable by our own efforts. This appears to be the rage so I am feeling good while drinking Stevens Point brew. Reckon I could have had one of my own home concoctioned beers but I didn't want to close on a bad note. One can only be so sustainable.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
There was no myrrh, nor frankincense, certainly not gold, nor anything of real value. Well, I take that back because this year I got a bottle of wine apparently left over from the time of Christ or shortly after. It was found at the bottom of the Mediterranean in an intact amphora and tasted like it---very dry, if not sediment like, well aged, no resemblance to wine what so ever and much like sea water. Maybe it was a home brew. The best part of it was that it was presented in a leopard-skinned cozy with soft black fur on the top-- a very tasteless item but well suited to my world view. I was pleased.
The receiving of gifts was determined by draw, but individuals could pilfer others gift if they found them to be desirable and of some faintly possible value---value is a fleeting thing and subject to an individuals fancy or perversion. While most gifts appeared to be less than worthless, others generated real interest. In other words, the peace symbol made in the macrame area was seen as being dated and bordered on being virtually useless even in the company of the ancient hippies. I mean, like, this is so 60s, dude.
The items that received the greatest interest were the plastic chickens that when squeezed made noises like a choked chicken. While choking ones chicken must be a popular activity, these gifts went the next step and emanated numerous noises depending on the degree of choking. The hanging dead chicken had a death rattle sound as the air returned to the deflated bird. The chicken sitting on the chair was battery operated and had a selection of squawks depending on how hard it was choked.
It was a jewel and was garnered at every opportunity. While some individuals went into great speech as to the need for the babbling hen for some sick child, the final victor appeared to have other more devious intentions of using it for surprising some unsuspecting yahoo who needed surprising. Frankly, it took the expression "Choking your chicken" to a new level. Most thought there wasn't another level.
The joy of giving is a wonder. I noticed some gifts were left, but it was the thought.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Now, I know many folks don't just don't fancy stepping into the woods to begin with and find harvesting a living, sorta-cute deer rather unacceptable. Many of these same individuals are willing to gobble up an Argentine produced hamburger from Micky Ds knowing full well just what might be in that so-called meat and how it was produced in a land with fewer regulations.
Me, I figure here is this deer, corn feed, running free, not endangered and tasty, so why not put one in the freezer and make a year long feed of it. This is the same freezer that is now solar powered. What I am getting at is, there is a system out there where a crafty person can get good things at a reasonable price. The harvesting is sustainable if not abused.
Hunting with a gun is fine but it seems to me that prowling around in the woods with something more primitive is more challenging, more demanding and in a way more rewarding. But with many of my joints somewhat trashed due to youthful abuse, coupled with unavoidable, creeping chronological advancement, the bow had to be retired for a crossbow. Sure, this is not something left over from King Arthur, but still it gives me a chance. I don't do atlatals.
Ya, I hear the bleeding hearts saying, "That damn thing has a scope, pulley wheels, the velocity of a 30-30 and you call that cool." I still have to crawl in the tick infested forest, sit in the snow and get a deer closer than 35 yards. The odd truth is, I like living close to the land and knowing where my food comes from---including my vegetables. I might even be sustainable even if I don't look all that good. I know some people who look real good but aren't sustainable. But then "It is better to look good than to feel good."
Life is difficult when we are primitive humanoids living in technologically advanced world.
In fact, today I learned that the panels never in their lives will produce enough energy to equal the amount that was used to produce them. Oh wow! Just what does that say?
Anyway, for us rich guys who have the setup, today's sunshine was a pleasant reminder that the mother sun is very nice, but there is a gap there of about one month each side of solstice where, between nature's preference for clouds and the steep incline of the sun, there is very little power produced. The freezer was taken off a few weeks ago and won't go on for another 2 weeks. We are down to running the sound system and say four lights.
I suppose if it was 1910 that would still be significant, but 2010? What it comes down to is that there are limits to these no fangled alternative energies---particularly when the grid power is dirt cheep.
Still, the sun was out today and the inclination of the sun is up, the days are longer. We did a bit of a walkabout as the batteries charged.
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Thus, after only a little over a week, I was able to test it and Woweee, it is tasting good, so much so that even if it was a touch cloudy, it called for a one glass sampling---not three-sheets-to-the wind sampling, or skidding-on-my-head sampling, just that one.
The first batch tested was the one that had the skins, stems and bugs left in for 5 days while it bubbled. Today, before racking to the carboy, the taste was of a nice Merlot with a touch of Concord, quit dry, nice flowery nose, pleasant back-of-the-mouth follow. Sassy but not pretentious. Sweet Jesus, life is good.
The next, larger mix, proved to be sweeter, had a touch of sulfide still lingering, was a smidgen cloudier but still reminiscent of a fine Rose that I used to experience while in the monastery where we (fellow monks) drank robust flagons of the stuff every night before prayers. I did a nice glass in testing and I am no worse off for it. Stay in touch on this one and maybe I will share if you should stop at the rectory.
Just think, eight days and there is drinkable wine for a total cost of $7 for seven gallons! Church is in session.