Monday, November 28, 2011

Trophy Deer---but

I do very much like to hunt and I work at it. I am not a gunslinger that goes out and takes "sound" shots but a character that enjoys sitting in the woods watching the birds, talking to the skunks that get too close and marvelling a the fall landscape.

Venison in the freezer is a very comfortable thing as it is about the only red meat we eat. My general plan is to go bow hunting by sitting in some natural constructed blind over looking an area where there is a clear shot and then waiting for one of the less unsuspecting to walk by offering themselves up. Bow hunting is not always successful in my world due to inappropriate day dreaming, sometimes falling asleep (even in the snow) and generally not paying attention.

This year three does walked with in 25 feet of my blind before they were noticed due to day dreaming about getting a deer or was it my other dear. They stood there motionless, looking right in in the blind, unafraid but intent on knowing what was in the bushes. I remained motionless knowing any blink of the eye would spook them and the hunt would be done for another day. The cross bow could not be lifted and the only hope was that they would turn away and then I could re-position. No luck. They made a small jump that put a large oak between me and them. It was over.

Well, this meant that I would have to take up heavier armament in the form of a shotgun with slugs and a dandy scope. We headed off to southern Wisconsin for a Thanksgiving dinner and a one day hunt. Filled to the gizzard, we hunters headed out for a pass through a local forest. My position behind a massive Black Oak proved well selected and in ten minutes from the start I was in possession of a very large buck that made a very large mistake. He didn't see me.

While harvesting a magnificent deer is a thrill, it would have proved better if I were comfortable eating it. We were in the CWD area and all had to be tested. Some 15-20% of the older deer are thought to be infected with those nasty little prions that cause wasting disease. Uncomfortable with eating it at all, I gave it to another hunter who was not uncomfortable after it was tested.

I wish the entire act of hunting would have been complete.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Europe---Revolution Watch

Watching The Revolution take place is not an easy thing because it comes in many forms, and has many diverse causes. I have always listed them in the following way. #1 Resource depletion, meaning the active consumption of resources to a point where it affects our ability to grow (both population and economic) most notably fossil fuels but water may be close behind, #2 environmental destruction most notably climate change but there are others, #3 an economic model that is not workable, being based on never-ending exponential growth, and #4 human population growth at 75 million gain every year--every four years an amount equal to the population of the US today is added.

They are all out there and experts in each respective field claims theirs is most pressing. They are all pressing, really pressing it would seem. But one has taken center stage of late, and it is a stage, and that is economics. It seems, and I say seems because there is no single individual who can totally explain it, that we have screwed up.

While I can sit back and read my ass off, which I appear to be doing because my ass is falling off, and learn great things, or things that are not great but may be nefariously monstrous. As near as I can tell we, globally connected banks (JP Morgan, Goldman Sacs, Douche bank and others) have sold derivatives that represent things that do not exist and they have been selling them back and forth to each other for some time. In the process they have (sorta) printed money. In addition many countries have been buying each others bonds almost like selling each other lattes. Nothing is really real. it is a ponzi scheme of a magnitude that has never been known.

In the mean time, people and countries have been borrowing money form each other that can never be paid back because most countries don't produce anything anymore but leave that up to China and India. They and we are all living beyond our means, individually and collectively. Oops!

It is truly a God Damned mess and now we are seeing a bloody revolution as the above great leaders try to sort this one out. I just love the fact that both Italy and Greece have appointed ex Goldman Sacs employees to lead their countries. For Christ sake, Goldman Sacs and the big banks are what got us in this frickin mess. So here we go.

Lets extract the last bit of wealth from the regular folks with austerity and higher taxes to save the fat ass of the banksters. Just how long will that go on? Sell off public assets in a Shock Doctrine move, really? This watch is getting more interesting all the time. Gonna need some spurs, chaps and some good boots to ride this one out.

Pumpkins------Butchering and Preperation

So far I have not be able to secure a deer, which in Wisconsin terms is not acceptable. It does not mean that we will be doing Thanksgiving at the Shelter again but it does reflect poorly. Besides Ann hates pushing our local transportation vehicle, the wobbly-wheeled grocery cart, more than 10 blocks particularly if there are no aluminum cans to pick up. She is not all that fond of Mad Dog in a paper bag either but hey, this is America. Could be Robitussin.

No, we are not there, we are here in paradise and getting ready for a Thanksgiving dinner that can't be beat. To start it off one of the big squash had to be sacrificed. Now, I told a friend I had shot one with a 30-06 and was now butchering it. I was butchering it but I didn't really shoot it.

The pumpkins/squash, to put it bluntly, were gargantuan, elephantine, like really big. I took the smallest (20 Lbs) and hacked it in quarters to as to get it to boiling size. The photo doesn't really give the size but this is a beauty. The meat was thick but not as dense as last year's. It may be the seeds from last years got crossed with an actual pumpkin and we have a bit of genetic cross. The meat looks succulent and boiled down real nice.

Tomorrow the leavings , combined with cream, maple sugar and exotic spices will produce some six pies. Some will accompany us to friends estate were we intend on glutinizing until the tryptofan hits us along with numerous beverages to complex to mention. We have no discretion when it comes to consuming other peoples booze.

The highlight of the butchering was the surprise find of quarter sized seeds that will be fit for toasting and subsequent consumption. All of this from the frequently discarded Pumpkin/ squash. The hell with the shelter. I love being part of the 1 percent.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art-------On An Eighteen Wheeler

Every now and then, a person runs into things that, no matter what they say, you just have to take note (I suppose this also includes humans) . While coming back east from our sojourn to western destinations largely centered around mythical fish, we stopped for the usual callings at a truck stop. I think it was in Nebraska but it is hard to remember because it gets to all looking the same out there---not that we don't like it.

There parked next to us was this, obviously independent trucker with a mural on his cab. The first thing that came to mind was just how was this done. We didn't run up to and try to figure it out but assumed it was done by one individual with an air brush. But even if that is the case it is one hell of an undertaking that must have lightened the pockets of somebody.

I liked the two little admiring kids transfixed in front of the robust men of arms. I actually think it is a copy of a Glenna Goodacre sculpture that we have always seen and thought seriously sucked. We hate kid art. It also looks like Rambo might be in there caring the 50 cal on his shoulder. All in all, the quality was quite good and somebody had some serious talent, or some serious tricks---photo projection?

I'd really like to know how this was done----not that we plan on doing it.

As for the message, well, I guess I have a little trouble glorifying soldiers to little children. It may be that he should have had a couple of dead foreigners scatters about with body parts missing, or maybe a picture of some dictator or war mongering politician lusting to go steal some precious resources. Still, one persons feelings expressed in any form of art is fair game in this country. I wonder what was on the other side.

Hey, we didn't see any Jesus stuff.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Dogs----I Couldn't Live Without One

What is it about dogs? Some are nothing more than an unquestioning friend. Oh, I guess they are all that in some ways. Others go a bit farther and actually do things. Now, I could take our dog Chester first but while he is a great critter, he has limits.

Here we have Mist, I think we have Mist because he is not my dogs but Gary's and Carmen's, and Mist does real things like herd animals. For reasons unknown to me, but probably not to breeders, these dogs have to herd to feel right with the world. It is their life. While I could go to great length about this dogs prowess of hold and moving these sheep. I would rather relate a incident we experienced at a trial of sheep dogs.

We sat in the bleachers. We sat there with other folks interested in watching this activity and we sat there with other sheep herders who sat there with there dogs sitting there next to them. The dogs, unlike our Boarder Collie who would lay next to us, SAT on the bleachers watching the show. We could look down the line and here were all these collies and mutts watching the show and in some cases seeming to be a part of it, ot at least wanting to. The owners/companions were jabbering and laughing, paying little attention to the events on the arena but the dogs watched.

I do not know if they were admiring the work, judging it, or learning, but cared and given the word all of them would have headed for the floor. It was their life.

This dog is a pointer. This dog does hang by a warm fire and will fetch a ball in good suburban style but what he wants to do is point at birds. Oh, he will, I am told, point at other animals including a skunk, but he lives to mark the presence of birds.

He has an interesting ploy. We leisurely walk along a forest trail where in dwells the grouse, talking and telling anecdotes of hunts gone by. This dog, almost uninstructed, moves back and forth in front of us with his head held high, not to the ground like spaniel. He is hell bent of only a couple molecules of grouse and the minute he finds them he locks up, tail raised and one foot lifted in an elegant stance. There he will stay until we, noble hunters, step froward, our fouling pieces raised and release him to flush the bird. It is grand sport. The only thing we lacked was a single bird and appropriate knickers made of Scottish wool. Still had fun.

Then there is Chester, part Border Collie Part Spaniel. His life is good. He is mostly a friend and appears to have no genetics that render him useful beyond a companion of great affection. He hates water, will not fetch by hides the balls, couldn't smell a dead chicken, thinks cattle and goats are stupid, mindless brutes that need no handling. He doesn't even try to eat the fish I catch like his buddy Zoey who appears to love trout as a toy. We love Chester.

The Upper Midwest---My favorite

Nothing like a good visual. Ya, I know what you are thinking but I am talking about the above map and enclosed information.

It would seem that those states in the upper Midwest have the smallest amount of poverty, say no more than 12%. The deep south appears to have the most. So just what does this say? I reckon it says we have less income disparity (that may change if we can not get rid of the most recently elected, Ayn Rand loving, yahoo that somehow thinks he is one of the "Enlightened") and that we have fewer unemployed. It may also mean that our working folks are paid more.

I find this all very attractive and probably means we have fewer unhappy citizens, fewer folks who just might feel left out, fewer dirt bags, and for the most part more workers less likely to go ballistic if things take a small turn south.

Then again maybe the poverty of the south has produced a vast group of individuals capable of living real low to the ground who will not be too rattled if things go even farther south. But the south has lots of fundamentalist religion, and poorer education as well. (I do have a chart like this that shows folks listing of importance of education---it looks just like this one) Where is Nascar more popular?

Truth is, I have a number of these types of graphs and all of them show this same pattern. The upper Midwest is strong. If this Walker character remains in office there will be a continued attempt to put us in the "southern way". I guess it is not all his fault, the world is changing and we are all not much different than Greece.

Now if we had to live with less, which it looks like we will, maybe we can redefine poverty and just lower the scale. Never the less, the upper Midwest will still retains its rather jaunty position. I'll take that. I don't need no stinking NASCAR

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chard----Beating the Reaper

Today is the 9Th of November. It snowed about 5 inches, a wet heavy slush that weighted down the cedars and buried the Chard. The temperature hovered all day just above freezing. While yesterday I did manage to get a small bowl of red raspberries for my cereal, that was it on the fruit front. No more.

But this evening as I slipped out of the wood pile, there was a few leaves of very green Chard peaking through the snow. While many of the plants had been picked down there still remained a good meal of rich greens under the snow.

While it has been freezing every night, the Chard always rebounded during mid day and seemed to still be growing, and certainly remained very edible. But the forecast for tonight is 26 and tomorrow night 22. In the world of chard that is reaper time. While they have not gone gently into that good night, there was no way growth could go on much longer. It was time for the last good-by for this season. Not bad I would say.

The next fresh vegetables will show up in April, so unless we go to the just-in-time delivery of fresh things from Mexico and South America, it is 5 months of laid-away vegetables and fruit. Interestingly, it was not that long ago when only stored, or canned products was the way it was for everybody here in the north.

I do remember as a kid getting oranges and grapefruit in winter, but not much more. Wonder what the Native Americans ate?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Our Cat----A Sad Excuse

We have this cat. We have had him for some 12 years, plus or minus. He was a replacement for the past one who one day decided he was going to go for a walk in the canyon, on the ranch in Redstone. That was a bad mistake for a cat because up there numerous predators constantly pursued the compound just waiting for anything to leave the yard.

This also included humans as mountain lions were beginning to feed on joggers in Colorado. So Ann always had to take along the dogs as protection and some, more 2nd amendment oriented, carried heat.

Truth is, the last cat got out too far and he became a carryout lunch for who knows what. Maybe a big cat, but roaming bands of coyotes loved a little pussy. This didn't play well for me because it was on my watch. Never even found a hair but we did find this ratty-assed thing we now call a cat, or Catmando.

He made it out of the canyon in one piece, sorta. Truth is he was never a whole piece to begin with, just a seriously skinny, disheveled, unkempt, shitting-on-the-floor cat, that never found any affection from me, but Ann has held on to him because he purrs---and does things like sneak up on every thing the minute he is out of my sight.

To top it off he is ugly beyond reproach with teeth missing, hair in gnarly blotches, and the general appearance of being from Ethiopia. He doesn't even smell respectably.

The one thing he has done is survive to the age of around 18 which from my point of view is a touch too long. I am now convinced he will go to 25 and out live me just in spite. Oh well, he is sorta tough but makes no attempt to be civil. Maybe he is a feline personification of me. Oh God!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Banking Today---Unregulated---Revolution Watch

I find it odd that some 40% of our GDP is in banking and money handling. Can you believe that? The handlers are producing nothing, just touching money as they pass it along to the next handler and then extracting a fee. The really sad part seems to be that many of the "instruments" they handle are nothing but made up investments called CDOs, CDSs and those charming derivitives that do not really represent anything tangible. They are simply pieces of paper thought to represent debt.

They may claim to be something, these derivitives, but in reality they have been leveraged so many times that in the end they are really worthless. The sad part of the deal is the "instruments" end up in the portolos of retirement funds, pension holdings, soveregn nations and unwarry investors. Most of these holders have been sold a product that they were told had value, even a high ratings from a rating agnecy like AIG.

It was all a scam, a fraud, a pozi sceme and oddly enough, they are still out there, still going on. The reason being that the individuals doing this operation, this fraud also are the ones who made the laws that eliinated the rules regulating these transactions. The removed the Glass Steagall act, allowed naked short selling and let Wall Street sell things that were not real.

Oh, but they made money from it, they added to the GDP with it, and now that they have been found out. We are all the poorer for it, all of the 99%. What does the government do, gives the dip shit banks bail out money because they are too big to fail. Yup, if they go down, we all go down. Cute. One has to wonder just want our real GDP is, paticularily if we are not really producing anything.

Has anyone been arrested? I don't think so. In fact, Lloyd Blankfein got something like a $62 million bonus last year. And there are folks out there wondering why we have an Occupy revolt going on and they are saying its not the fault of the rich. Dear Lord, what are we coming to?

Fortunately, most of the real conflict is going down in Europe---but it is all the same cause, and caused by the same people, that would be people on on very own Wall Street. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan have their hand in all of it. Lets hope that when it all collaspes that the blame is put on Europe and OBama will not be the target. Sadly, few of our citizens remember that it was Republicans, or I should say the Laissez Faire economist associated with the conservatives that set it off. Unregulated captalism is not a sustainable system. It is time for a change.

Late Harvest---Don't give up on the Garden

I'm sure most folks think a garden is a summer thing that is largely harvested in the fall. You know, Harvest Moon and all that. What I am learning this year is the garden actually lingers very well and as of the 1st of Nov. we still had a handsome collection of goodies after everything seemed to be at an end.

Let's take the broccoli. I noticed that many proud backyard farmers buy broccoli plants, put them in the ground in May and by July they have a nice selection but by August the plants are belly up, covered with aphids, stinking and telling me to buzz off. Lately. I have only planted seeds and I have not even been in a hurry to do that. Once up and robust in July, I transplant them around the garden in areas where growth has failed me. If the friggen rabbits don't get them, and this is where the conceal carry comes in, they will thrive nicely, get huge but will not flower until fall.

Broccoli loves cold weather, sneaky aphids hate it and the flower heads are firm and most succulent----and that includes now, now being November. I will say, I believe 2 weeks from now, with a bit of covering, they will still be growing.

About conceal carry, if you show a rabbit a weapon, he will depart in haste but unarmed he will linger casually lifting his nose at your miserable presence. "Get out of my garden you silly boy, you two legged swine, you sniveling, flat assed old coot, you gun hating left-wing commie." That is when the heat comes out and he is met with a blaze of fire power. Now in town I have to set up a blind, wear Rambow camo and get him with a scoped crossbow. Be prepared, they love broccoli beyond all else. Maybe an electric fence---and that might get a cat or two---whoopie.

Also the chard takes on a rich green color in the fall and, I maintain, stocks up on more nutrients making it the best ever. Lightly boiled and covered with butter or bear grease it is sublime. Seal oil is also excellent but the fresh water seal population is down.

If the frost is not hard the late variety raspberries just keep coming even though someone told me they don't taste as good in the winter/late fall. I find that to be drivel. They are sissies, sloth-like panty wastes who are tired of picking and love rationalize away a little work. This will not work after the revolution.

This is not all of it. The tubers are still out there, as are the Brussel Sprouts and check out the celery. Gardening is really a nine month affair and I dig it.