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.