Saturday, December 20, 2008

Welcome Biggie Smalls

I'm fighting through a cold as well as a really wierd change to my normal routine that could best be summed up as a winter hibernation.  On a normal evening after the kids are asleep, I spend a lot of time in my shop puttering, exercising, fixing things, etc.  Lately, I have found myself watching more TV, reading more books, and feeling a bit hesitant to spend much time outside.  Why do you care about this?  I'm not sure, but it has affected my blogging too, and I seem to posting much less often.  

These days, I am:
  • Finally digging into the hay storage that was built up over the summer.   We had 3 large round bales and about 100 small "square" bales.  The goats are going through about 3 bales a week (supplemented by ground corn and a ultra-high-protein feed mix.  The cows are mostly gnawing down the round bales and grazing.  The grazing is pretty poor at this time of year, but they do seem to be finding something in the grasses because they keep doing it.  I figure the round bales are not going to last until spring.  That means more trips over to my buddy Tyson's house and adventures loading 1,000 lb+ round bales onto a trailer by hand.
  • Working in short spurts on finishing up (or starting new) projects around the house.  We made some progress on finishing our wood floors a while back, but were stopped by the threat of a water leak under the rear door due to a blown threshold seal.  Today I installed a new threshold and replaced some rotted wood - that should get us to the point we can get back on flooring installation without fear that it will be ruined by rainwater leakage.  Jessica put what should be very close to the last coat of varnish on our new front door.
  • Not fishing - Josh and I were planning to dip a line today for the first time in quite a while, but the weather (which was supposed to leave us with a 72 degree high today before the winds brought in another round of freezing temps) changed sooner than predicted and it was pretty dern cold by around 2 or 3.
  • Messing around with a pot-bellied pig.  I never thought I would say wasn't really part of the plan for us to have a pig on the farm just yet - we thought maybe some day in the future, but there was a free one on craigslist and Josh picked it up for us today.  I hope he writes a blog post about getting the pig because it appears it was a bit of an adventure and I won't spoil it for him if he does decide to write about it, but I will say that it sounds like the pig rode the majority of the way from Flower Mound, TX to Leonard, TX in his lap.  What are we going to do with a pig?  Well, I guess they aren't much good to anyone except for eating right?  He is currently about 60 or 70 lbs or so.  I figure it like this - if he is very well-behaved and fits in nicely with the goats and doesn't cause any mischief (like breaking into the chicken coop, digging under fences, rooting up our bushes, etc.) then he may make it to be a 300 lb hog before he meets his maker.  However, if he starts getting pushy, or starts causing problems with the goats, he may find himself on the sharp end of a roasting stick sooner rather than later - which would be unfortunate since he seems to be a very nice pig.  In fact, I am told that he is potty-trained for home living and "scratches" at the back door when he is ready to be let out to take care of his "business."  As Charlotte would say, that is "some pig." Eh?  We call him Biggy Smalls in duplicite honor to the the "chunky" rapper (whom the pig resembles) and because in dutch a small pig is a "pigitchuh" where the "pig" part represents a pig and the "itchuh" part represents a small size.  Therefore, the dutch word actually could be translated to Piggy Small.
  • Sleeping under 2 quilts and a sleeping bag.  (Jessica is keeping the house around 60 degrees or so to save on the heating bills.)  I also can be found at any given time wearing multiple shirts, sweaters and a beany - IN THE HOUSE!  Apparently I am cold-blooded.
  • Enjoying the kids - they really have gotten to where I really appreciate having them around mroe than I ever thought I would.  They each are growing into very individual characters and while they each seem to have their own special ways of driving me crazy, they also are very special little guys and I don't know how to describe it without endless gushy blather so I'll just say that I sure do love them lil rascals.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Two words: Job / Computer

The kids have been learning a few things about money lately.  I paid a guy for some work he did for me while the kids were in the car and they were VERY interested in how that whole thing works.  Tonight, we were talking about how it is unfortunate that we rarely get to see their uncle Carlo (who lives in Holland) since he doesn't have money to come visit us and we don't have money to go visit him.  

Winter then says to me: "Dad, two words: computer - job."

Apparently Winter knows alot about jobs and feels that they are intricately connected with computers.  How's that for a sign of the times?

I told ya so

Sorry folks, I have to do this:


Remember all my ranting and more ranting and more ranting against Chicago?  Well, now I guess I am not the only one that knows.  Let me paint a quick picture of corruption:

  • George Ryan Illinois' last governor  was convicted in April 2006 on racketeering and fraud charges.
  • Rod Blagojevich Illinois' current governor is currently on bail for various corruption charges.
  • Here's a little gem from Wikipedia: "Five Illinois governors have been charged with crimes, either during the administrations or after. The first, Lennington Small, was acquitted. Otto Kerner, Jr.Daniel Walker, and George Ryan all served time in prison. "
The place is a political cesspool.  I can't see how Obama would have missed out on the filth there, but I pray to high heaven on a regular basis that somehow, someway, he managed to side-step through the corrupt political environment there.  Of course, to beleive that is true, you have to beleive you can walk across a feedlot without stepping in any caca...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Have we had this conversation before

I speak spanish - I am a gringo

Just about everytime I end up speaking spanish with a native spanish speaker for the first time, the question is posed, "where are you from."  It's a simple question, but my answer is not really the answer they are looking for:

I respond, "from here - I am a pure gringo."  
Inevitably, the follow-up question is, "yes, but where were you born?"  
I respond, "New Mexico." 
"Oh, well, then that explains it."  
This is where I have to say, "but I've never actually lived there."

Seriously, it is almost remarkable how all conversations I have in spanish start at that point.  From there, we go on to discuss the finer points of learning construction spanish in Dallas, then working with spanish people on a church mission in Massachusetts, and lots of practice.  I suppose I could skip the whole new Mexico thing, but I have to admit, it is kind of fun to just check to see if I can get that same conversation every time - it has never failed me yet.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Walking the Moon

I haven't been blogging lately due to the fact that winter has me in a doldrum or something and I tend to sit wrapped in 4 sweaters not doing much that is worthy of blogging.  However, today is a newsworthy one simply due to the fact that my horizons have been lifted by human technology.  For those who could care less about the ways of mechanical operation, you may resume your day unaffected, but for the rest of you (if there are any) feast your eyes on this:

I sat there watching the video in complete awe.  My concept of where we, as a human race are at (on a mechanized scale) has been dashed, and I find myself standing on the forefront of a new era of both mechanized destruction and order.