Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Or at least it will be by the time I get to bed. This staying up late is for the young. I am old.
Goodnight, see you next year.

Dodge Charger with 22 inch rims?

Its nice to see our tax money being used in an appropriate manner. It seems Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata was carjacked at 1:45 AM Saturday and the carjacker made off with Perata's state leased 2006 Dodge Charger. A Dodge Charger with 22 inch rims? I thought all the democrats drove hybrids or bicycled to work, global warming is going to kill us all don't you know.

Now before I start in on the hypocrites under the dome, I will say that I ran into Assemblywoman Lois Wolk at a Starbucks in Davis last month and she was driving a Prius if memory serves with 'A 8' on the plate so I assume that is her State issued vehicle, she serves Assembly District 8.

It seems that there are some true believers in Sacramento, folks who walk the walk, or Wolk the Wolk as the case might be, and then there are the rest, those who stand in front of podiums and decry the damage being done to our planet by the burning of fossil fuels and then get into their V8 muscle cars and head home. They want you to drastically curb your use of energy, while they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to live a life more closely resembling Paris Hilton than the people they claims to represent. Maybe the carjacker just wanted a taste of the goodlife his elected official keeps promising him.

Makes you hope that California Proposition 93, the term limit initiative written to give two very powerful democrats, Don Perada and Fabien Nunez, a few more years in office, goes down to defeat.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mike Huckabee kidnapped in Iowa!

That is the only explanation I have for this.

In a stark change of tone just days before the Iowa caucus, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas on Saturday unleashed a barrage of attacks on the credibility of his chief rival here, former Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

“If a person is dishonest in his approach to get the job, do you believe he will be honest in telling you the truth when he does gets the job?,”

What happened to nice guy Mike who was surging and overtaking the field with his positive message? Oh, yea the Huckaboom seems to have popped and as the caucus' get closer folks are starting to look at the nice guy Mike and his record as Governor. Woops. That can't be good.

I know you Hucksters will comment about how he is responding to mud slung by Romney and that is my point. Being a nice guy is great if your looking for a house sitter, not so much when picking the person who will have to defend this nation from threats we can't even concieve of right now. If the good Governor can't stand a little sunlight on his dismal fiscal record, how is he every going to stand up to the Democratic attack machine and the electron microscope they will use to tear Mr. Huckabee to shreds with if he were to gain the GOP nomination?

Do you remember Vodoo economics? I do. It's best to get the weak, but charming candidates out of the way in the primary. If your record and your stand on issues can't take the relatively light scrutiny of this primary, believe me, this has been a gentleman's game of billiards compared to some primary fights, when the general election rolls around you will think you have been sucked through a jet engine.

Politics is a messy and nasty business. If you have weak points, like all candidates do, you had better know that your candidate can defend them. When its your side slinging the mud, you call it a refreshing look into your opponents flip-flops. When your guy gets smacked with a mud pie in the face, its dirty politics.

In reality its neither, its the way the game is played, and with the caucus' coming up in less than a week I have two words for you.

Game On.

My fingers hurt, the cats are hiding and still can't play the guitar

With the rain this week thwarting some of my outside project plans, I have tried to play a little more guitar than I usually do, which is hardly any at all.

I am in familiar spot as far as I can tell by reading articles about struggling guitarist. I know most of the major open chords and am pretty comfortable with using different strum patterns, but I can't change quickly or cleanly for that matter, between chords and it gets me a little frustrated and I put the guitar back in it's stand.

I guy I know gave me some advice I am going to follow, play the entire song, don't quit no matter how bad you mangle it, play it to the end. You will get better.

So the cats and the goat had better find a place out of earshot, I am going to keep playing.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas?

Stop your crying, it could have be worse.

It was a stinky holiday for Robert Schoff.

The 77-year-old man spent part of Christmas Eve stuck upside down in the opening of his septic tank, with his head inside and his feet kicking in the air above.

"It wasn't good, I'll tell you what," Schoff said. "It was the worst Christmas Eve I've ever had."

Puts your nagging sister in law or not getting that iPod vedeo in perspective doesn't it?

Huckabee's hunting photo-op gone wrong.

Why is it that politicians try to shows themselves as good ol' boys who like to hunt and fish?
When politicians go hunting there are about five things that can happen, four of them are bad. Shooting over the heads of reporters falls in the latter column.

At one point, Huckabee’s party turned toward a cluster of reporters and cameramen and, when they kicked up a pheasant, fired shotgun blasts over the group’s heads.

This, friends, is dangerously bad hunting form.

If you grew up hunting you know this happens, someone gets tunnel vision and keeps the gun barrel swinging on their target without keeping track of the people around them. Just ask Dick Cheney.

Does this show that Mike Huckabee is unfit to be President? No, it just shows that if you go hunting as a political, go without reporters. Trying to become 'one of boys' is a recipe for disaster.

My advice for Mike, if one of the Iowa farm boys asks you if you want a dip of Copenhagen, say no thanks. If you try to 'fit in' by taking a pinch between your cheek and gum, your face will turn green and you may have an expression like this.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Care package drive in Woodland Friday.

I just sent this to our Men's Ministry leader and I hope we can get a few donations. I am heading to the dollar store and Wal-Mart to stock up.

As a way to support deployed Marines this holiday season, five local women are asking community members to come out and support the troops by bringing in care packages or supplies Friday from noon to 4 p.m. at the Sacramento River Train depot.

"We just want to raise awareness and let people to know that people have family and friends who are deployed," said co-organizer Nicole Zendejas.

The group is asking people to bring care packages or needed items to send to troops, specifically toiletries and other day to day items.

"Just a lot of hygiene products, like baby wipes, disposable razors, socks and food that's easy to open," said Zendejas.

After the donations and care packages are collected, the group will be shipping off them to support troops in Iraq.

What a wonderful opportunity to ask you kids if they would like to spend a little of their Christmas money and bring a small lift to those who would love to be with their families this time of year.

Hatred wins in a landslide

Benazir Bhutto, the once exiled Pakistani opposition leader was assassinated today in an attack in her motorcade as it left a campaign rally. She was shot and her killer then blew himself up.

It might be easy to reach the conclusion that 'those people over there' are just animals and they don't know any other way to settle their differences than by force of arms and murderous violence.

It might be that easy, but if we look back on our not so distant past to remember 1968, we find that racial hatred and senseless violence are not unique to 'those people'. ( I am not equating Bhutto to MLK or RFK, not by a long shot)

I did not grow up in the South, I never experienced seeing a 'colored' drinking fountain or seeing anyone beaten up simply for the color of their skin. For anyone in their 60s who lived in Alabama or Mississippi, I wonder if you asked them back in 1961 if they thought their town would ever have a black mayor or police chief, what the answer would be? I bet the answer would be no, or even, Hell no.

The Islamic extremists who shudder at their very core to think of the possibility of a woman as the leader of their country are not going away. This is not the act of a lone nut job provoked by and underlying culture of extremism. Murder and killing of those who oppose your specific brand of Islam is what is taught in the Madrases, preached in the Mosques, and taught in the homes.

Unlike the US back in the sixties where violent racism was sporadic in most of our nation and culturally accepted only in the deep South and in the Mid West to a lesser degree, Pakistan does not have a strong centralized government to enforce the rule of law and make the change, nor does it seem to have the heart for it right now. The Madrases are financed by Saudi princes who wish to indoctrinate the next generation of youth to hate anyone who does not share their identical beliefs.

Can you imagine if the Ku Klux Klan financed and ran the school systems in the South back in the 60s through today? Do you think things would be different for blacks and for everyone in South? Terribly, terribly different I'm afraid.

What is the answer for Pakistan and the broader Islamic world? I don't know.
Those of you hate the War in Iraq will say its none of our business, or we should try a diplomatic solution to these problems. Meanwhile the clerics and teachers train up a new generation in the hate filled and murderous ways of Wahhabist Islam and the threat grows larger every day.

As much as I hate to see a dictatorship rule with an iron hand, I don't know if things will change unless a strong central government can take control of its country and enforce its will. If President Pervez Musharraf is on the side of progress but limited democracy, it may be the best we can do for right now. Many people resented the FBI and National Guard being posted on their streets and investigating their citizens, but it was necessary to enforce the rule of law, not just local law, but the entire Constitution.

There are no easy answers. No one likes a dictator, but as we have seen in Gaza, mob-rule democracy can be much worse. The change must be systematic and cultural. Hatred needs to be taught out of the culture. But how to do that is the question Pakistan and all of us must answer.

Wouldn't it be great to be writing in forty years about the bad old days in Pakistan when they blew up and murdered anyone they didn't agree with. The other alternative is a nuclear armed power overthrown and ruled by a Wahhabist theocracy who have no fear of death.

Frightening? You bet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Goat Update

Holly the Christmas Goat has been renamed Holly Berry, or Halle Barry if you prefer.
She spent Christmas day jumping on the children, chasing the cats and trying to crawl inside the fireplace. She now thinks my wife is her mother and cries loudly when she is left with anyone else.

She is now like all other goats I have known, she is a pain in the butt.
Sure she's still cute, but just ask Britney, cute only lasts so long.

I wonder how long until she is married to a semi-talented back up dancer, and puts on twnety pounds?

Look she's already on the internet without clothes on.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I am getting out my running shoes in the morning.

Holly cow, I must have put on ten pounds since Thursday of last week. My wife brought home about 6 dozen cookies from her gift exchange, my friend made me her lemon bars that I love and we had big, gooey, cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Not to mention we had dinner at Morrison's Upstairs Restaurant last night after church. The Cajun rib eye steak was wonderful.

If you feel a slight shutter and vibration tomorrow morning, its not a tremor on the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault, it me jogging.
Well maybe some fast walking to get started.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve service tonight in Woodland.

Just in case you moved into Yolo County recently or you don't attend church regularly, I would like to invite you to our Christmas Eve service at Bayside Woodland. Don't worry, the place won't fall down if you walk in the door, as one of my friends said, 'that school cost a lot of money, I don't want to cost the taxpayers any more money to rebuild it'. Trust me, if the place hasn't fallen down with me in it, you will be fine.

Everyone brags that their church is the best, and well they should. But I would put our worship team up against anyone in the area. Peter Neumann and the worship team bring a contemporary and energetic sound to the service. Pastor John Withem will make you laugh, make you tear up and make you think. Its church for people who don't like church. The music won't put you to sleep, your kids will enjoy it and you will hear the good news in a way that is relevant and real.

If you know where Pioneer High School is on Gibson Road across from Bel Air, your getting hot. We hold our services in the Cafeteria at PHS and tonight, the service is at 5:00.

See you there, in fact I will probably be at the door to greet you, I won't be wearing my hat so I may be tough to pick out.

( as I have said in the past, please don't hold any opinions of me against my church, I am an not a spokesperson, I am just a regular guy and a poor excuse of a Christian who happens to go to a great church.)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holly, the Christmas Goat

Ya know, some husbands have wives who bring home a new pair of $300 Italian shoes with a sheepish grin, knowing that their husbands are powerless to stop them.
Then there is my wife.

Many a time I have thanked the good Lord that my wife doesn't like to shop. She is a frugal woman, but not to the point where she goes crazy with budgeting every cent we spend or making fun an extra expense that we cannot afford, but she doesn't like to spend money on unnecessary things.

Before you congratulate me on having a wife who is not dead set on driving me into the poor house, there is a dark side to this woman. A devious and malicious side to her that comes out every so often. Tonight was one of those times.

No ridiculously expensive shoes or a new Lexus, something far worse.

A baby goat.

Holly to be exact, the hat is a finishing touch by my daughter. It seems when they found her out in the pasture today she was cold and near death, but my wife is very good at bringing back newborn critters from the brink. We, or she I should say, has raised more lambs, goat kids, calves and even a bobcat kitten and a fawn in our front room. I try to make sure they stay on the linoleum, but they always wind up in the sofa or in the kids room before too long.

Case in point, Holly has been in the house for two hours and she is comfy as can be under the blanket snuggled up to my wife on the couch.

She still is having a hard time trying to eat from the bottle but all seems well as of this report.
I am sure there will be loud crying goat noises tonight.

Maybe Italian shoes aren't so bad.

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by Morgan over at House of Eratosthenes. Ok, so here are my responses

1. Wrapping or gift bags?
Both, I actually enjoy wrapping presents, but sometimes for odd shaped items a gift bag works best.

2. Real or artificial tree?
Real. No discussion. If it doesn't smell like a pine forest and pose a real fire danger in your house, why bother?

3. When do you put up the tree?
We don't have a traditional time to put up the tree, we put it up at least two weeks before Christmas. I haven't cut down a Christmas tree my self for 30 years or so. I'm sure why I don't. I spend enough time cutting my own firewood.

4. When do you take the tree down?
Some time between the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Yup. A little too much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?
A silver Vogt spade bit from my Dad. (part of the horse's bridle)

7. Do you have a nativity scene?
Not really, its a Christmas village. No Baby Jesus. I think the dogs knocked over our nativity and broke Marry.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
One year my Dad waited until Christmas Eve to shop and the only store open after work was a True Value Hardware Store. I can't remember what it was, but it was pretty lame.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards?
I made our family Christmas cards this year with the family photo and everything.

10. Favorite Christmas movie?
Strange Brew doesn't really count as a Christmas movie does it?
A Christmas Story. My daughter and I went out on a father daughter date night with our church and we saw the play of A Christmas Story at the Woodland Opera House, it was great.

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
When ever I find something cool. I have stuff hidden all over the house for months.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Holiday cookies I am ashamed to say.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree?
Colored, and this we found an amazing new way to do it. Net lights, they are the same little bulbs layed out like a 4 foot by 5 foot net with the lights 6 inches apart. Two nets, one on the bottom of the tree, one net on top and one strand of old fashioned lights to fill in the last foot of the tree on top and presto, the tree is lit. Quick and easy, but there is one draw back, the lights are almost too symmetrical, there are no bald spots or cluttered spots. You OCD folks will love them.

14. Favorite Christmas song?
Grandma got ran ove............... No I hate that song.
I love to hear 'The Carol of the Bells" its wonderful.

The Yolo Cowboys tags;

Matt Rexroad
The Llama Butchers
Karbon Kounty Moos

Rules are…:

1. Link to the person that tagged you, and post the rules on your blog.
2. Share Christmas facts about yourself.
3. Tag random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.
4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Friday, December 21, 2007


Christmas time usually finds me trying to get the last minute gifts in the mail, or cleaning house because the relatives are coming over, or trying to find the secret recipe for my mother's sour cream and cream cheese mashed potatoes, but one way or another, it is always a busy time. That's a shame.

This year, for the first time in a decade or so, I will not be working the days between Christmas and New Years. I have a lot of fence to put up, but I will take a day this week and saddle up my horse to take a ride. Just for the time to think.

Its a tradition I have been unable to keep up with over the years but I always try to sneak off from the family and busyness of the holidays to be alone and just do a little thinking. There is no better place to do that than in the saddle. The rhythmic pattern of the hoofs hitting the ground and the sway of you body as you keep time with the motion of the horse is almost hypnotic. In my youth I pondered a great many things on the back of a horse, some important, some trivial, but I always came away with a clear understanding of my situation, even if I didn't know the answer to my problem by the time I unsaddled my horse and was heading back to the house.

If you get a chance this holiday season to get away from the crowd for a little while, I would suggest you ponder something. It doesn't have to be the meaning of your life or how did you get where you are, but those are ok. A ponder that I like to unpack this time of year is to try and remember what I was pondering last year.

I try to remember what I was going to accomplish and reflect on what I did do and what I still need to do. Wasn't this the year I was going to make a difference in my family's spiritual life? Wasn't I going to become more active in my church? Wasn't I going to make this year a special year for my wife and our marriage? Wasn't I going to show more patience and not be so critical with my kids?

I think I did ok with some of those and I have a long way to go on others.That is a lot to ponder.

It may take a few rides.

Christmas shopping - man style

On line.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

If you put another Santa hat on a whale..........

Animal activists' anger after aquarium puts Santa hats on whales.

But environmentalists are saddened by the sight of what they say is the final humiliation for the whale in a country that hunts them down with harpoons.
Humiliation, of the whales? Huh?

Look, I am not pro whale hunting, they are not overpopulating or starving to death, nor are they a necessary food source, except maybe to the Inuits Eskimos in Alaska and they get plenty of government assistance for food.

I say let them swim in peace, they are not eating my shrubs.

But come on, you're getting your panties in a wad over Santa hats on whales? Make your point about whaling to the Government of Japan, if they don't stop it, elect a different government.

Fred new strategy- Kill, Protect, Punch



Now that is funny.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hey honey I know we can't pay our bills, but I just bought a new Lexus.

This is the ultimate in fiscal stupidity. I bet our Governor will sign it.

Health care for all!

The state Assembly on Monday approved a massive health care reform plan that will expand coverage to nearly 70 percent of the state's uninsured and require most Californians to buy health insurance.

Lawmakers approved the $14.4 billion plan on a party-line, 45-31 vote.

"Fundamentally, health care is a right and not a privilege, and it ought to be afforded to everybody," Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, the bill's author, told his colleagues before they voted. "Make no mistake about it, this is truly a historic effort."

Let's see, we will be 14 Billion dollars short this year when the budget comes due, and the Democrats just spent another 14 Billion dollars?

I suggest mandatory drug testing for everyone at the Capitol. You're worried about steroids in baseball? Who cares. Fabien and the boys must be smoking dope under the dome, and you and I are going to pay for it my friend.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

No country for old men - a review

Plot Giveaway warning!

I just walked back through the door of my house and kicked my son off the laptop to write this post.

All I can say is. Wow.

The Coen Brothers ( Fargo, Blood Simple) are either geniuses or insane and like the frozen blooded killer Javier Bardem (Anton Chigurh) in the film likes to say, 'call it'.

I loved it, no wait a minute, I flippin' hated it!
No, I loved it.


The movie is so well framed, shot and edited, it seems to flow like a mudslide, washing aside anything in it's way. The only parts that seem to give you time to breathe are the scenes with Tommy Lee Jones. (Sheriff Ed Tom Bell) Jones plays the old sheriff, who looks like he's seen it all, done it all and is now faced with something even he cannot seem to wrap his mind around.

The main character (Llewellyn Moss) is played by Josh Brolin and he plays that role like a pair of worn in Larry Mahan cowboy boots. He is completely comfortable in the role.
I loved the first one hour and fifty minutes of the film, but the last ten made me shake my head.

It's not too late, hit the back button on your browser if you are going to see the film, because here comes the end.

Still here?

Are you sure?


There is no flippin' end.
And maybe that is the point. The guy you are rooting for gets killed, although you don't get to see him killed so there is, in the back of your mind, a foreshadowing of a plot twist that maybe the Sheriff works out a way to fake his death to throw the killer off the trail, but no, he is really dead and after a while the killer comes back for his wife on the day of her mother's funeral. Nice touch.

Driving away from the wife's house the killer inexplicably gets hit broadside by a 77' LTD station wagon and has a lovely compound fracture of his arm. He buys a shirt off a nearby kid, wraps his arm in a sling and tell the kid to say he never saw him. That is the last time you see the villain in the film.

The last scene is a now retired Tommy Lee Jones sitting in a house talking about a dream he had about his father.

Roll credits.

As the lady in front of me said, 'You have got to be F-ing kidding me'.

But just like in Fargo when you want the guy who was stuffing his buddy into the wood chipper to explain why he did it to Francis McDermott, he doesn't.

I think the ending is torturous and also clever.

Life isn't pretty at times, the good guy doesn't always win, sometimes the bad guys just walks away and you never know where he goes, and the guy who you think should be able to figure this out and make it stop is just an old guy who has seen too much and can't take it any longer.

I almost forget, as a bonus, Woddy Harellson get the crap blown out of him by the killer with a shotgun at a range of three feet, so the movie has that going for it.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has vaulted into the lead among Iowa Democrats polled this week.

So how many DEAN 08' yard signs were printed up that week with the absolute assurance that Dr. Dean would triumph in Iowa and go on to run away with the Democratic nomination?

I'll bet they are in thousands slowly decomposing in a Des Moines landfill. By the way, Dick Gephardt was second.

Someone in Barack Obama's campaign should assign a guy to follow the Senator around carrying a DEAN 08' campaign sign everywhere he goes.

The minute he starts listening to the assurances of victory from the small circle around him, blinded by their infatuation with the Junior Senator from Illinois, he has lost.

The political black bag types in Hillary's camp are putting the final edge on their long knives and will soon be carving up Barack just in time for the caucuses.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Airport screening in Gaza.....

Hey Joe, I think I found something, can you double check this for me.

A Hamas fighter takes position inside a scanning machine in the customs hall of the Rafah crossing border, between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip, after they captured it, June 15, 2007.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Huckenator?

I like Mike Huckabee, he's is a down to earth guy who seems like a perfect choice if you needed someone to watch your house for a month while you are on vacation. I'm sure he would follow your instructions, feed the dogs and fish and not touch your liquor cabinet. However, Mike Huckabee as my President? I have my concerns.

Having looked at his record as Governor of Arkansas, he seems like another Republican Governor I know, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ok, stop laughing.

Both are Republicans that have/had democrats controlling the legislature while in office, and both love to spend money, taxpayer money that is. They seem to want an every increasing role for the government in all aspects of their constituent's life. What ever the problem is, more tax dollars must be the solution.

If you want a sneak peak at what America would look like under a Huckabee presidency with a democratic Congress, just wait a few months until California's budget crisis hits home. No matter how much money there is, both seem unable to stop the democrats from spending even more than they take in. The democrats will hide behind "healthcare for children" or 'programs for seniors', I mean, who isn't for that?

Revenue is not the problem folks, its spending. Five short years ago, the California State Budget was 76 billion, now its 103 billion. When the housing bubble was building and people were using their houses like ATM machines, pulling money out with re financing deals every year, the State was flush with revenue. Did Schwarzenegger tell the legislature that the State cannot depend on every increasing property tax revenue to pay for all the extra spending they wanted? No, he wanted to spend that money on his pet projects too. By June we will be facing somewhere around a 14 billion dollar deficit.

I can't wait to see the 'compromise' Arnold and the democrats comes up with. How much of a tax hike does Arnold think Californians will swallow? He will blame it on the democrats, just like Huckabee did, and the end result will be higher taxes, minor spending cuts and promises to keep future spending in check.

I have already seen this movie, I didn't like it the first time.

I get the feeling that President Huckabee would be a financial disaster for America. He can tout that he balanced the budget every year as governor, big deal. Like California, the State constitution forbids running a deficit. States can't print their own money like the feds can. Under Huckabee, State spending went up 63% from 1996 to 2004. Fiscal conservative? Not hardly.

As much as I like Governor Huckabee as a person, we need two things, make that three, from our next President. First a real grasp on the threat posed by Islamic fanatics on the United States. Second, understanding the threat posed by earmarks and run away spending on the future of our nation's children. True immigration reform with an emphasis on border security is also critical.

Just by looking at his website, it looks like he has a plan for immigration, but he puts the war on Islamic Fascism number 11 and taxes/economy as 7th. I'm sorry, but I don't think arts and education should rank higher than the war on terror and the economy.

Maybe I'm all wet on Mike, you can straighten me out if you would like. Where has Mike Huckabee shown the bulldog toughness to stand up to the democrats who would like to spend us into oblivion?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Its time for a haircut!

Sometimes words fail, and thats when its time to whip out the digital camera....

My son, the Uber Dork.

Putin picks a Black Sabbath fan for President

I'm not sure how to react to this. A heavy metal fan is going to have the nuclear button at his disposal.

"I've loved hard rock since my schooldays," Dmitry Medvedev told an interviewer in April, showing off a pair of two metre-high speakers shaped like rockets in his pastel-shaded living room. "Today, for example, I can boast that I have the entire collection of Deep Purple."

At 42, the man who is almost certain to be the next leader of Russia is the young, liberal face of the Kremlin and a protege of the President, Vladimir Putin.

I guess it could be worse, he could be a Cannibal Corpse fan or a Norwegian death metal fan.

Saturday, December 08, 2007


It seems what's on the minds of a lot of Americans these days is can Oprah do for Obama what she does for everything else she touches? When Oprah has an author on her show hawking a new book, that book will rocket up the bestseller charts like a Saturn 5 rocket. So will Barack see his poll numbers rise in the same manner?
Oprah and the Obamas." It sounds like a musical act, and there is indeed something of a rock-concert quality to Oprah Winfrey's three-state swing this weekend with Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

It looks like it could be happening. It is hard to be sure how many people will show up at these rallies because they view it as a fun time or a chance to see Oprah, and how many will stay involved long enough to wade through a tough campaign season to emerge in November and cast a ballot for anyone.

I wonder why other entertainment super star endorsements don't carry as much weight as others? Didn't Sean Penn endorse Dennis Kucinich?

Oh yea, adored mega media mogul+ popular candidate= Front page news item.
Far left radical actor+ far left radical candidate= We better do another story on Jennifer Love Hewitt's butt.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Christmas Parade in Woodland Saturday

Honestly, I have not had my hand dripping with paper mache paste since I was in grade school.
Fast forward thirty some odd years and I was elbow deep in it again helping make a 7 foot earth for my church's parade float. I even painted one of the Styrofoam silhouettes of people from around the world. It looks like this year we will not be rained out and we should have a great time.

Get a spot early, the Woodland Christmas Parade starts at 10:00 Saturday.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Red Bluff Bull Sale 2008

Hey folks, its time to make you're hotel reservation for the Red Bluff Bull and Gelding Sale.

If you have ever wanted to see what a working ranch horse should look like, you should go to Red Bluff. The sale horses are sifted by a small army of vets so you will know what you are getting. A great selection of range ready bulls from all breeds will be judged and sold. I am very happy with the Brangus bull I bought there in 04'. This is not him, he isn't as shiny, but he throws great calves.

Actually you might be a little late for some hotels. This year we are contemplating taking the travel trailer and staying behind the fairgrounds. I am not sure that I am up to the social gatherings around the beer cooler and the Wild Turkey bottle, or Friday night at the Palomino Room for that matter. It might just be a few friends and the camp with a guitar for music.

I go up on Thursday and stay through Saturday morning. I like to watch the cutting horse entries and the working cow horses on Thursday, and try to see the working cowdogs compete.

I get up early Friday from the Cowboy's Pancake Breakfast and then stroll through the vendor areas to check out all the tack, cowboy art and saddles. I usually meet a dozen or so folks I only see at the Bull Sale.

I will be extra good this year because my wife will be going along with me, not that I am that bad when she's not there. In my drinking days it was a different story. I once challenged every man in the Palomino Room to see who was the toughest, but that is a another story for another posting.

Hope to see you there.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Umm, yuck.

This why you should not let small children near pigs.

Hey little buddy, they taste better when they have been hickory cured and spiral sliced.

Thanks Barbra.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I think this is a bad sign.

I'm number one on Google hits for in your 30's and still drinking.

Well, at least anyone who might be searching for that on Google may get some insight from my post, but I doubt it.

The value of a good education.

I have a PhD, really, I do.

My wife stayed in college and earned her B.S. in Animal Science from U.C. Davis. I had to leave after two years to keep food on the table and help on my father's ranch, but I always wished I had stayed in school to get my degree.

But I did earn a valuable education growing up on the ranch. Here are just a few of the lessons learned;

Hard work is hard, but necessary.
Potential means you really haven't done anything yet.
The reward for hard work is the opportunity to do more of it.
The ability to arrive on the scene of a crisis and know what needs to be done is a priceless asset.
Cows are a ruthless adversary.
Good horses are rare and should be adored, bad horses are everywhere and should be sent to France.
Good neighbors are like the Britts, they will show up when you need a hand without even asking.
Bad neighbors are like the French, they're always there when they need you.
A four year old ranch pick would be considered 'totaled' by an insurance company.
You better be able to make anything with a torch, welder and grinder, town is long way away.
You can install a five strand barbed wire fence up a 65 percent incline.
A good cow dog is worth two cowboys, a bad cow dog can make enough extra work for ten cowboys.
Rounding up loose cattle from an almond orchard horseback is darned near impossible.
And the most important lesson I should have learned is digging post holes by hand is no way to earn a living.

Which brings me to my current fencing project at my house. I have a 30 horsepower John Deere tractor with a post hole digging attachment and it works well. However you still have to clean out the holes and sometimes make them bigger the old fashioned way. By hand.

These are the tools of ignorance. Yesterday my wife and son helped me put in another 14 pipe corner posts. Three or four sacks of cement per hole makes for a long day.

I told my son as he was digging out the holes. Don't worry, keep working on your education, you're working on your PhD.

Post Hole Digging.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Deep Fried Pizza!

One double bacon and pepperoni deep fried pizza. Can I get a chocolate chip cookie dough and lard milkshake with that? And a side order of whale blubber cobbler.

Oh my goodness, this thing should come with a 10 day waiting period or a note from your physician saying that he has warned you that, if you do indeed eat a deep fried pizza, you will surely die.

Where's the rain?

It's almost December and my rain gauge hasn't had a drop in it since Veteran's Day.

We need a good winter if the Sacramento Valley and Yolo County in particular are going to have enough water for irrigation come the summer months ahead.

Two years of below average rainfall is showing in the levels at Indian Valley Reservoir, the main source of irrigation water for farmers in Yolo County. Ranchers are hurting too, the stock water ponds that collect rainfall runoff are long since dry and many ranchers are hauling water to their herds up in the hills.

We have seen dry Novembers that preceded wet Decembers and good rainfall years but I am getting worried.

Google searches, I'm number one

Not that too many people are scanning the internet for Miley Cyrus Green Vegetables, but you never know.

I am also a big hit with those searching for Best Christmas Presents.

Update, I am also number one for Hannah Montana vs Metallica

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Football on Thursdays. What a country!

I watched on Thanksgiving day as my Cowboys slaughtered the New York Jets and tonight I made it home just in time to see the start of the 10 and1 Cowboys take on the 10 and 1 Packers.
It is just into the fourth quarter and the Cowboys are up three.

What a game.

Farve goes out in the second quarter, but Rodgers comes off the bench as goes bananas. Great looking QB from Cal.

I have to watch myself, TO just dropped a sure TD and I may have a stroke.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Did you watch the YouTube Republican Debate tonight?

I didn't. I had my small group Bible study that I lead on Wednesday night and to tell you the truth, I probably couldn't have sat through questions from stuffed animals being asked to the potential leader of the free world. I guess a Hillary operative planted a question in the debate about gay soldiers, but hey it is CNN after all. I'm surprised Anderson Cooper didn't have a live feed from Hugo Chavez asking why Republicans are so evil.

If you want a funny presidential debate, Saturday Night Live is still running right?

Do you know who I want to moderate the next Republican Presidential Debate?

My friend Stig.

Yes his name is Stig, he lives up in Northern California and when he isn't doing day work as a cowboy he is packing his string of mules and horses into the back country. He doesn't follow politics very closely, but he served in the Army and he knows what he wants from his government and he has zero tolerance for BS of any kind.

A typical question from Stig would be as follows;

Why the hell do we spend all that money on office buildings full of government employees pushing paper from one stack to the other and I can't get anyone to fix the potholes on the highway?

Thats a great question, first let me say that you should have your roads fixed, but there is a real need for government in our nation, the jobs that those government employees do is vital to delivering services to the puplic by way of ..

Hey, I asked you a question. The problem is holes in the damn road, The folks who fix them holes say they don't have any money to do it, but instead you pay money to a bunch of people who used to eat paste when they went to elementary school, to write, sign, stamp and file a bunch of worthless papers down in some cubicle prairie, office building.

Stig, its alright if I call you Stig?


Stig, those folks do a job that needs to be done, maybe those people who work in that office are busy filing the budget appropriations to get the federal highway funds.....

The only job I want the federal government to do is to protect our nation, deliver the mail, fix my road and otherwise stay the hell out of my life.

The next question is why in the name of John Wayne is that S.O.B. Osama Bin Laden still breathin' my air?

You get my point. Real questions from someone who might just stomp a gravy hole in your forehead if you don't answer his question.

Somehow, Anderson Cooper doesn't seem to have that kind of presence when he's moderating a debate. But he does have great hair.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Childish? Petty? Hilarious? You Bet!

I have a nutcracker in my kitchen drawer, but you can rest assured that I will soon own two.

Again, I apologize for being childish, but c'mon, you know its funny.

Islam, the peaceful, tollorent, religion strikes again.

You know, every time a not so bright, or just plain crazy 'Christian' says or does something stupid or violent in the name of 'Christianity', I am the first one to say he's an idiot and a terrible example to those in need of grace and forgiveness.

But that is just who I am. I do not hold back any satire or anger because the person saying or doing something stupid calls him or herself a Christian.

But where is the outrage at the parade of honor killings, beating and jailing female rape victims, rioting and murder in response to publishing cartoons in a newspaper, and now a British teacher is in jail and facing 40 lashes for the terrible crime of...

wait for it....

Allowing one of her seven year old students to name his Teddy Bear 'Mohamed'.

I can't wait for CAIR to trot out some dolt to explain how naming a child's toy, after the child's own name mind you, constitutes an offense worthy of imprisonment and 40 lashes.

The good news is the offending bear has been seized by the Sudanese authorities, no word on if the bear will undergo any punishment.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Here is some not so good news

Iran builds longer-range missile.

"The construction of the Ashura missile with a range of 2000km is one of the accomplishments of the ministry of defence," Defence Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was quoted as saying.

The weapon's range is sufficient to put US bases in the Middle East and Iran's arch enemy Israel within reach.

The crazy guy in charge over there really must like twisting the tails of the US and Israel.

Careful Mr. Ahmadinejad, one day you might just convince enough of the right people that you really are a threat. Those 2,000 km missiles will not do you much good when you are wearing your palace for a hat.

But you don't care about that, anything that brings the return of the hidden 12th Imam is ok with you, right?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Having children is selfish?

Is this what passes for enlightened liberal thought these days?
Had Toni Vernelli gone ahead with her pregnancy ten years ago, she would know at first hand what it is like to cradle her own baby, to have a pair of innocent eyes gazing up at her with unconditional love, to feel a little hand slipping into hers - and a voice calling her Mummy.

But the very thought makes her shudder with horror.

Because when Toni terminated her pregnancy, she did so in the firm belief she was helping to save the planet.

Incredibly, so determined was she that the terrible "mistake" of pregnancy should never happen again, that she begged the doctor who performed the abortion to sterilise her at the same time.

He refused, but Toni - who works for an environmental charity - "relentlessly hunted down a doctor who would perform the irreversible surgery.

Finally, eight years ago, Toni got her way.

At the age of 27 this young woman at the height of her reproductive years was sterilised to "protect the planet".

Incredibly, instead of mourning the loss of a family that never was, her boyfriend (now husband) presented her with a congratulations card.

While some might think it strange to celebrate the reversal of nature and denial of motherhood, Toni relishes her decision with an almost religious zeal.

"Having children is selfish. It's all about maintaining your genetic line at the expense of the planet," says Toni, 35.

An almost religious zeal? She is the very definition of a religious zealot. Her religion is environmental activism and she worships at the church of global warming.

Toni was happy, at last, with fellow environmentalists who shared her philosophy. But when she was 25, disaster struck.

"I discovered that despite taking the Pill, I'd accidentally fallen pregnant by my boyfriend.

"I was horrified. I knew straight away there was no option of having the baby.

"I went to my doctor about having a termination, and asked if I could be sterilised at the same time.

"This time it was a male doctor. I remember saying to him: 'I want to make sure this never happens again.'

"He said: 'You may not want a child, but one day you may meet a man who does'. He refused to consider it.

"I didn't like having a termination, but it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world.

"I've never felt a twinge of guilt about what I did, and have honestly never wondered what might have been.

"After my abortion, I was more determined than ever to pursue sterilisation.

Here is the rub my darling, you decided to have an abortion, that is your choice, not one that I agree with, but it is yours none the less, your not having a child means absolutely nothing to this world. Absolutely zero. Why do you consider yourself so important to the grand scheme of life on this planet that your child would be a burden on it? Today in India alone around 72,000 babies were born. Today. Why is your child a problem? Why do you think you are so darned important?

Because the environmentalists tell you your are. Because they tell us if we all trade in out SUVs for a Prius the world would be a tangibly better place to live. What a load of self delusional crap you are buying into. You are not important to the well being of this world, sorry to break that to you, but buying compact florescent light bulbs because they have a 'earth friendly' sticker on them doesn't mean a thing to the earth. You cannot conserve your way out of a problem when everyone else is going full bore in the other direction.

The world is not a zero sum game. If you change every light bulb in your house, sell your car, buy a bicycle, walk to the store and grow your own vegetables in your garden, that does not change the fact that China and India are just now hitting their industrial stride when it comes to building infrastructure. Coal fired power plants are being built everywhere, new roads being paved to make way for the new wave of private car ownership that is sweeping through the second world's economies.

China and India have doubled their private car ownership from 1995 to 2000. As the global economy grows, these two nations will soon be using more energy that the United States. Is that a good thing? Not for the environment. There is no EPA in India or China. They are polluting this planet at a tremendous rate.

If you want to stop global pollution, talk to China and India, don't try to make me feel guilty because I have children. China is the worlds second largest importer of oil and by 2010 it should become number one. China will spend about 3.7 TRILLION dollars to increase it power generating capabilities in the next twenty years, mostly from coal. How much carbon will that burn? About 11.4 GIGATONNES of CO2 emissions by 2030.

I don't know how much CO2 my kids will be burning by 2030, but I am sure it will not be 11.4 gigatonnes.

I do agree that we are heading towards a major crap storm of pollution and an energy crisis, but one person having one child somewhere in the UK? It does not matter one little bit.

If the responsibility of having children is too much for you, its better that you don't have them. I would hate to be raised in a home where I was looked upon as a burden to the planet, not a blessing from God.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Game feed at Pine Flats

Just when I thought it was safe to try and cinch my belt back to where it was before Thanksgiving, the family and I went to a picnic and game feed up the Capay Valley. Everyone brings game meat that they harvested this past year and what a spread it was. Oh my goodness, wild pig sausage, deer meat, fries potatoes, sawmill gravy and a table full of deserts.

I am stuffed tighter than Britney's outfit from the MTV awards show.

I love getting out in the country and spend time with our friends. Today was a particularly good time to do just that. The setting is beneath a grove of pines and oaks a few miles off the beaten path. About twenty pickups and suvs parked under the trees. While the kids played and rode atvs around the camp, the adults talked and swapped stories. Our kids played with a friend's new terrier puppy and my wife and I caught up on old times with our friends.

Before the sun went down the wood was piled up and soon a circle of chairs surrounded the campfire. I don't know why, the food tastes better when you are sitting around a campfire with good friends.

Today was one of those simple yet wonderful days that happen every so often and you can let them rush by unappreciated, or you can take a minute to try and remember the smell of the campfire, the image of the kids roasting marshmallows and the sweet sound of your wife laughing.

Yep, today was a good one.

Friday, November 23, 2007

The man who shot Liberty Valance

The little red light on my Dish DVR is glowing right now. I am recording "The man who shot Liberty Valance" one of favorite movies of all time.

Ted Turner may be a horses rear, but he has a great movie channel.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why don't we have egg hunts on Thanksgiving?

Good question, glad I brought it up.

I know that one of the main reasons we have an Easter Bunny and Easter egg hunts is the mixing of two traditions, one secular, the spring equinox celebration, and one religious, the celebration of Christ's resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion. While spring is the time for baby rabbits and chicks and all thing cute and cuddly, every one associates birds, usually turkeys or geese with Thanksgiving. Why not have a Thanksgiving egg hunt?

Dye them with the colors of the NFL teams playing that year, or just go with Blue and Silver, Dallas and Detroit host Thanksgiving games every year.

You may need a character to hide the eggs like the Easter Bunny does, so how about The Thanksgiving Wampanoag. I know that doesn't roll off the tongue like Easter Bunny, but I'm open to suggestions. You could go with the 'The Turkey Day Puritan Separatist' but that is quite long as well. What about 'The Thanksgiving Turkey', now thats a winner. It makes sense, a bird hiding eggs, and they can look cute if you use the right turkey suit. I am not sure how the little ones will feel about waking up Thanksgiving morning to find eggs hidden by a turkey that they will be eating that afternoon, I may have to work out a few kinks on this one.

Besides, its cold on Thanksgiving morning and I like to sleep in and watch the Macy's Parade in bed. You know what? Scratch the whole idea, I'm sorry I brought it up.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, try to realize how truly blessed you are, compared to most on this planet and try not be too upset by the one relative at the house today who really knows how to push your buttons.

Cold turkey sandwiches on dinner rolls with little mayo and a glass of cold milk taste better than what ever they are serving at County jail after you slug you uncle Marty in the nose.

Thankfully yours,
The Yolo Cowboy

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Is Price a Barrier to Eating More Fruits and Vegetables for Low-Income Families?

But not according to a new study.
"The new dietary guidelines, which include more dark green vegetables, orange vegetables and legumes, are based on solid science and have the potential to help protect Americans from some of the leading causes of death, including stroke, heart disease and diet-related cancers," said lead author Diana Cassady, an assistant professor of public health sciences and researcher at the UC Davis Center for Advanced Studies in Nutrition and Social Marketing. "But, we need to take the next step to ensure that all consumers can actually afford to follow the guidelines. Low-income families have less discretionary income than more affluent families. Buying the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables would take up a large proportion, perhaps an unacceptable proportion, of their food budgets."
The barrier to eating fruits and vegetables is, well, fruits and vegetables.

Some folks just don't like them. Take my family.
We are not poor, we do not take a vacation to Hawaii every year, or any year for that matter, but we pay our bills and live comfortably. If I did not do half the grocery shopping there would be one bag of Fuji or Gala apples in the crisper drawer of the fridge and a five pound sack of potatoes in our pantry. That would be the extent of our family's fruit and vegi consumption.

I love vegetables. When I shop, I fill up the crisper. The darker green the better, spinach, mustard greens, artichokes, broccoli even brussel sprouts, I enjoy them all.

When I make a batch of greens, I make enough for myself because I know the rest of family will turn their noses up at it. I get a collective ewww out of them as I serve up my sprouts with dinner.

If you are poor, its a pretty safe bet you are not well educated, and you may have some self discipline issues to boot. Not a group to that makes the wisest decision right?

So if I have a choice spending my $1.08 on a 13 ounce bag of -

Blazin' Buffalo and Ranch Doritos

or two bunches of celery at 47 cents each

or three pounds of oranges at 39 cents a pound

Guess what choice 90 percent of people will make?
Which is why Frito Lay's revenue is an astounding 8.5 Billion dollars, thats billion with a B.

Look, if you gave away free broccoli at the food stamp offices, I would bet that one person in five would bother to take it home. So what does our government funded study find as the answer to this problem?
You guessed it, spend more tax dollars!

Her study suggests a combination of strategies, including distributing discount coupons for fruits and vegetables; increasing food stamp allocations; promoting low-cost sources of produce such as farmers' markets, community-supported agriculture and warehouse grocery centers or bulk stores; and counseling consumers on household budgeting approaches that could help them purchase more vegetables.

The word promote means spend tax dollars by the way.

Here is my solution, take the money we are going to spend to 'promote' farmers markets and bulk stores and hire Frito Lay to make and market a new product that uses fruits and vegetables as the main ingredients. If that fails, start subsidizing coupons so if you buy three bunches of celery, you get a free bag of Blazin Buffalo and Ranch Doritos.

Or you could just face the fact that most people choose refined sugar and salt over healthy foods.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Building a new home in Yolo County?

You had better sit in on this.

People who are architects, engineers, designers, contractors, or others who perform work subject to building codes within the state should be aware that the new building code, based on 2006 International Building Code, is significantly different from the 1997 Uniform Building Code.

Each training session will focus on the transition to the 2006 International Building Code non-structural provisions, known also as the 2007 California Building Code.

As the new 2006 IBC goes into effect, homeowners might be caught in a very bad place, between an inspector who is just learning the new code and a contractor who has been building houses for years and doesn't think the new code will be any different. You might be spending lots of your hard earned money and precious time dealing with 'gray areas'.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Snort worthy

The wonders of professional make up.

Stolen from blah blah blog

I truly regret being so petty and juvenile on a Sunday, especially as I head out the door for church, but I will add this post to the long list of things I need to pray for forgiveness about.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Fence building 101

Start with a stack of 4" well drilling pipe about the size of an Escalade, two pallets of concrete sacks, a half a mile of string, a tractor with a post hole digging attachment (yes that is cheating, and no I am not apologizing) a magnetic level, a cutting torch and a portable welder, 1,000 t-posts, 6,000 feet of 60" woven mesh wire and you have the basic ingredients for my fence.

I have been working on this for a while and I have almost all the pipe in the ground for my corner and gate posts. As luck would have it, my friend had some spare time at work while they refit the plant and he has a portable welder. He has been busy welding the cross bracing on my corner posts and gate posts. He will catch up to me by next week, so today my son and I laid out the long run on the side of my main pasture. I now have another 30 posts to set in concrete on the long side and another 16 on the back side.

After all the steel pipe in welded and ready to for pulling, that is when the fun starts. Banging in the t-posts is my least favorite part of fence building. If you have ever woke up in the middle of the night with your hands numb and tingling, you know what I am talking about. After the t-posts, its time for the 60" woven field fence.

Wish me luck, I should be done by April. If I don't buy a condo and forget the country life by then. Maybe I can sell my cows and buy a labradoodle and start hanging out at the free trade coffee shops listening to 'progressive' music while I read the latest issue of The New Republic.

Probably not, see you in April.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blue Ridge Berryessa National Conservation Area -Eco Babble of the first order.

For the life of me I do not understand why some people need to designate public and private lands as National Conservation Areas? I wonder if it has anything to do with getting a better seat at the table of power and better access to federal dollars, or is it an ingenious solution to a non existent problem. Just listen to this.

The Blue Ridge Berryessa Region is a mosaic of over 800,000 acres of public and private lands located in Solano, Napa, Lake, Colusa and Yolo counties. The public lands are managed by the Mendocino National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, California Department of Fish and Game, the UC Reserve System and local parks of various counties and agencies. Much of the private lands are large intact ranches that make up the working landscape.

The region is a result of plate tectonics with blind trust faults; steeply titled sandstones and shales that make up the Blue Ridge and Cortina Ridge; and a Franciscan m lange containing serpentine soils that were once part of the ocean crust. Putah and Cache creeks flow through this diverse place giving it life. Blue oak woodlands, chaparral plant communities, and the rare and endemic plants found on serpentine soils together with tule elk, black bear, mountain lion, bald eagles, falcons, osprey, river otters many more animals and birds that live in the oak woodlands make up this biological Hot Spot.

The large, active, private ranches and farms within the region represent our agricultural heritage. To protect that agricultural heritage we must protect the land and the water that they need; help to ensure their economic viability; protect an agricultural infrastructure; and train future ranchers and farmers. It is important to who we are as a People that we are successful in that effort. It helps to define our sense of place.

I'm not sure where to start. Just how will any government designation of a private citizen's land make more rain fall on his ranch? I know all about the Blue Ridge, the sun sets behind it every night, about three miles from my house. I have ridden the Blue Ridge on horseback, hunted on foot and driven almost every inch of the dirt roads and trails that snake along its spine.

The private land that makes up the area in question are cattle ranches, the water on these ranches comes almost exclusively from rainfall. Plain and simple, rainfall. Not Putah Creek or Cache Creek, just rain falling from the sky or maybe if you were luck enough to find ground water at the base of the ridge, you could put a small water well there. I would also like to know who is going to "train future farmers and ranchers", train them to do what, strap on Birkenstocks?

What Bob Schneider, president of Tuleyome, a local environmental group wants is access. He wants access to hike the Blue Ridge from one end to the other. From Berryessa to Cache Creek. There is only one problem, some of that land is private. Tuleyome has found one way to gain access to private land, they bought it.

Hooray for Mr. Schneider, really, I am all for it. Their group now owns the Ireland ranch. Hike to your hearts content. Just don't try to tell the people that their land needs some designation or it will be threatened by development. That is why we have local County zoning, the cattle ranches on the Blue Ridge will never be developed, its zoned Ag preserve and contracted into the Williamson act. Oh and its so steep that if you roll a rock off the top of the ridge it won't stop until hits highway 16.

For all Mr. Schneider's eloquence when it comes to writing about the Blue Ridge, just keep this is mind. He wants access to private land for his group's hobby.
This is straight from the Yolo Hiker website.

Aren't you getting just a little political in advocating trails and public access?

A: I don't think so...I think there is a big difference between politics and passion. I am really passionate about public access and trails. Public access to natural areas within our own watersheds adds to our understanding of the world and appreciation for where we live. For this, the Farm Bureau hates me. Well, that, and the fact that their leadership has exclusive use of the public lands on Berryessa Peak (vis-a-vis friends that own adjacent property), and they hate that I'm advocating for public access to the public lands. I take this as a compliment and sign I must be doing something right.

I also believe that people should work together to come up with solutions for public access and land purchases. If there were no advocates, there would be no trails! Politics is a fact of life, but rest assured, you won't see ranting emails with headlines like "Act now, or your mountains will be destroyed by evil capitalist pigs!" More likely you will see emails like "Hey, we are having a hike this weekend", or "Your input needed on planning effort".

Public access to public lands? More like public access to private land to get to other public land, and private landowners be damned.

If Tuleyome wants trails through the chemise brush on the Blue Ridge and money to buy land for access, Bob can hold a car wash, or bake sale.

This seems to be a familiar screed with me these days, but if you want to recreate, go do it, don't ask the rest of the tax payers to pay for it!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hannah Montana fan club sued!

Having never been the epicenter of teenage culture, I am not sure how one goes about avoiding the pitfalls of super stardom. I wish I had some sage words of wisdom for Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, but other than not taking hair styling tips from your father, you're on your own girl. If you don't who Hannah Montana is you obviously don't have any pre-teen or teenage girls in your house. Either that or you don't own a tv with more than six channels on it.
Thousands of disappointed Hannah Montana fans are taking legal action against the teen sensation's fan club after promises to find them priority seats for the singer's much-hyped concerts fell through.

According to a lawsuit filed in Nashville, Tenn., fan club bosses knew tickets wouldn't meet demands, but they still offered devotees choice tickets as part of a membership perk.

Hannah Montana is a TV character played by Miley Cyrus, the 14-year-old daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus. Her summer Best of Both Worlds Tour sold out almost instantly.
I on the other hand I do have a pre-teen living under my roof. I also have Dish network and believe me, I know who Hannah Montana is. I have been suffering from an overdose of Billy Ray Cyrus' offspring for about a year or so. Sure she's cute and she on the Disney Channel, how much harm could she do to America's youth?

What if Milley/Hannah starts going out with a guy on her show who wears a Mullet?

Pretty soon all the girls in Junior High tell their boyfriends that if they want to go out on a date, they need to be rockin' the Mullet like surfer boy here.

Then those girls grow up and move on to high school, and one day this chuclehead knocks on your door wanting to take your daughter to the prom.

Give Billy Ray's daughter ten years and the guy who comes to your house to fix your furnace will be looking like this.

Lets stop the madness now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

"There was no sexual anything involved"

Uncle Kracker says he didn't do anything wrong.

Um, yea. Right.

(Kracker) was arrested by local authorities after a 26-year-old woman approached an off-duty police officer in a nightclub to report Shafer had put his hand up her skirt. He was charged with second-degree forcible sex but pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in an effort to avoid a trial.

"Assault is a far cry from sexual battery. You can either wait a year, spend 150 grand, go to trial, make more of a debacle out of it, or you can get it over with."
Yea, or could stop putting your hands where they don't belong, or you could stop hitting the clubs, drunk out your skull like you were 19, or you could just grow up and learn that the world has rules and no matter how much money you have, you still have to abide by them.

Hey if you run into Lindsey, Paris, Nichole or Britney while your in rehab, pass the word on.
Grow up, these lessons just get harder as you grow older. There is nothing more expensive than regret.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Woodland's own Dustin Pedroia wins Rookie of the Year

Atta pepper! as they say in Boston. I am actually not certain they say that in Boston, but one of the guys I used work with said it all the time and he was a chowder head.

Anyway you slice it, Dustin Perdoia is hotter than two rats (makin' sweet love) in a wool sock. (that was another colorful metaphor he used, I had to clean it up, but it works)

Pedroia ran away with the AL Rookie of the Year award today.

I hope Dustin keeps scrapping and playing full speed ahead. That's how he made it to show and that is how he helped his team to a World Series sweep.

Way to go Dustin, if you ever thought about doing a short interview with a regular joe who would love to know what its like to be a regular joe who happens to be hotter than the two rodents mentioned above, shoot me an email.
( You never know unless you ask, right?)

Attack of the killer sheep.

You should have seen them, running at me, yellow fangs gnashing, oh the horror.
Well, not really.

With the late fall and warm weather, the alfalfa around the country has been growing well and it is a good time to be a sheep man. With the good feed just sitting around going to waste, most farmer don't want to risk trying to squeeze out another cutting this late in the fall, the sheep guys are putting up portable electric fence as fast as they can and feeding off the hay fields. With the exception of one neighbor, I am surrounded by little woolly field ornaments making sheep noises well into the evening hours.

I don't have a problem with sheep or the sheep ranchers. Well, maybe just a little one, I did see 'The Sheepman' with Glen ford a few times.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veteran's Day 2007

A blustery Veteran's Day in Yolo County finds many American Flags snapping in the swift North wind. The sky that just a day ago was gray and dark with a soft soaking rain has been replaced by the clear deeper blue of a bright fall day. Puddles are disappearing, the soft ground will soon become firm enough to walk across without leaving footprints and the hawks are out in the fields, soaring aloft and diving down on their prey. November in Yolo County, my favorite time of year.

There are many wonderful stories written today about the debt we owe to those who served, fought and especially to those who gave their lives in the defense of freedom. In wars both here on our soil and in far away lands in places that don't make it into history text books.

As I sit in the quiet warmth of my home today, watching football with my son, I find it so easy to forget that today in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the world there are soldiers strapping on their gear, getting their orders from their squad leaders or company commander and heading back out to stand a post or to go out on patrol.

What they would give to be home today with their family enjoying a relaxing day in the familiar comforts they once knew. Reading the blog entries of some on the front lines, I get the feeling that while they would love to see their families and feel the love that comes from being home, I get the feeling they would want to get back to their second family very soon.

The bond between veterans is amazing, forged by common experiences that we as civilians just can't understand. It is both instant and lifelong. I have listened to two veterans talking and as soon as they found out they share a mutual friend, or were stationed at the same backwater base, they instantly connect and those of us who did not serve are left outside of their conversation. And while I cannot feel that same bond with these men and women, my admiration for their service is something I am not sure they can understand. I send care packages and write cards and letters, I also thank any uniformed solider I see. It is the very least I can do, and it does not begin to explain how much I respect and admire these Americans.

I will leave you with a portions of a letter written by a soldier today, Veteran's day 2007.

As the veterans of World War II pass too quickly into history, their ranks are being replaced by a new "greatest generation." The war on terrorism is creating veterans at a rate not seen in decades.

Yet the military is much smaller now than during World War II, leading some analysts to posit that a rift exists between soldiers and citizens and that those making sacrifices on the battle front are disconnected from the society whose freedoms they defend. The American people are oblivious to the war, they claim, as well as to the men and women who are fighting it. Some have even suggested that the only way to close the gap is to return to conscription.

But these observers of the social scene have never served in Iraq.
Those of us overseas know that "support the troops" is more than a slogan. Here we are besieged by what my master sergeant calls "paper love," the cards, letters, posters and other gestures of support sent by people across America.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Anti-gravity hotel opens, pets ok.

No word on the breakfast buffet. That could get messy.

I just hit 25,000 visitors to the Roughstock Journal.

For the life of me, I don't why anyone reads my blog. Really, I don't.

But I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for all who have left a comment, positive or negative on the pages of the Roughstock Journal.

I hope you will continue to stop by from time to time and leave your feedback.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lions for Lambs - soon to be in the 5.99 DVD bin at Wal-Mart?

I was not planning on spending $1o to see what I was sure would be 90 minutes of dialogue written by , and it seems I made a wise decision.

I was saying to myself not 10 minutes in "Shoot me please for taking these tickets." This was not entertaining and actually kind of pissed me off. The tickets were free, but they came at the price of boredom and an assualt on my intelligence and patriotism.
If you hate America this is a movie for you. I wouldn't watch this again, even when it comes on TBS years from now.

There are so many heroic stories from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why does Hollywood want to keep remaking PlatoonII?

In five, or ten years, we will start to hear the stories coming out of this war, not all will be positive. There will be people who have been changed forever by what they saw, some will deal with those emotions in different ways and some will need our help with fitting back into society. We owe them that, and much, much more.

There will also many stories of heroism, and bravery beyond our comprehension. I hope that the stories of everyday soldiers doing the impossible, when many at home were telling them they had already lost, will not take 50 years to make it onto the silver screen.

Where is the 'Saving Private Ryan' for this generation, and this war?

Those stories are out there, the people who lived through them might not be willing to tell them just yet. When I have sat down with veterans, some of them don't want to relive those terrible events. Those memories are too private, too emotional to bring up. I just hope they find a way to do so. I also hope someone out there will set aside their personal politics and tell a great story that people deserve to hear.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

If you don't laugh at this, check your pulse.


Bicycle paths, if you want them, you pay for them.

How about we tackle the issue of bicycle lanes in Yolo County like we do everything else in California, a new tax.
Bicycle advocates were before the County Board of Supervisors Tuesday pleading with them to improve what they called dangerous traveling conditions along County Road 99. "That section is dangerous," said Paul Erickson, a bicyclist commuter who logged more than 4,000 miles on that stretch of highway this year in his commute from Woodland to Davis. "I've had several close calls, especially at night." The group of bicyclists was mostly comprised from a group called Davis Bicycles!, a bicycle advocacy organization that promotes the rights and safety of bicycle enthusiast in Yolo County......

"The thing that really pisses me off," said Jim Watson, a founding member of Davis Bicycles!, "is this has been an on again-off again issue for 14 years."

If the 'Davis Bicycles!' want to ride on publicly funded bike paths only a very, very small percentage of the County's population uses, then they should shoulder the burden of building and maintaining them. Bicycle paths are expensive to build and maintain. The two dollar a year bike license just doesn't raise enough cash. How about a $200 per year tax on every bicycle sold in Yolo County?

Gasp! Are you crazy? That is outrageous! Why should I pay for a place to enjoy my recreation? I ride on the public roads and I want a six foot wide, well lit, freshly asphalted surface between my house and my work, oh and Lake Berryessa, its pretty up there. And I don't want to pay a dime for it. I pay taxes and that should be enough.

OK, I enjoy riding my Quads with my family. The closest OHV (off highway vehicle) park is located above Folsom. And guess what, I have to pay sales tax on my quad ($8,000 x .0725= $580) and then license my ATV every year @ $25 and I cannot ride it public roads! I have to drive an hour to Prairie City OHV, or take my chances sharing the steep and windy dirt roads with the rafting buses over low water bridge to access the BLM land an hour away. Where is my place to ride near my house?

I know, I know, bicycling is healthy and its fun and its a great workout. So is a spin class at the gym or a stationary bike. Why do I have to subsidize the entertainment of such a small group of citizens? And don't give me the story about how you use it to commute to work, I drive from Woodland to Davis everyday and I can count on one hand the people I see heading to work on their bicycles. Take a bus if you don't want to drive, I already subsidize that.

It would be like demanding the County build me an ATV park. I'm sure I could fill up a board of supervisors meeting with over 100 off road enthusiasts who would love it, why don't we demand our place to ride?

Because we are normal folks who work all week and play hard on the weekends, we don't demand the other 95% of our neighbors who don't participate in our sport pay our way.

Oh and by the way, if you want us to share the road, how about you guys start obeying the rules of the road. A stop sign is just as valid for you as it is for me. I know it sucks to have to come to a stop and it takes more energy to get started again than if you just blow through the intersection, but you're the one in Spandex fella, not me.