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A Cowboy's Dilemma

Your Cowboy talk show host has decided to not invite the 2 sides representing the issue I'm going to put before you all. It's so fraught with rancor and animosity that to bring them here face to face might cause a reenactment of the shoot out at the Okay Corral. The dilemma is to find a reasonable solution to the Wild Horse problem that is fast becoming one of colossal and out of control proportions and can no longer be swept under a rug, for there's no rug big enough.
                    
For me this whole wild horse program is so absolutely absurd that I'm going to do what a moderator of a debate is not supposed to do, that is TAKE SIDES. I'm going to take the side of common sense, logic, and one that creates a sustainable plan that treats the Mustang and the environment fairly.  To you animal rights people that support the cruel treatment of the wild horse through confinement and starvation on our federal lands, you strident, narrow minded individuals who can't understand that when you create a Mono Culture everything you are trying to accomplish Mother Nature will defeat. Mother Nature wants complexity meaning many different biological groups living in symbiotic relationships. That's not what's happening on our western rangeland today because of your devilish efforts.
                      
It all started back in the 1970's a lady called Wild Horse Annie convinced our United States Congress that if they didn't act immediately the wild horse, this icon of our western heritage, would pass from the scene. Well, what politician worth his salt could vote against this symbol of the freedom that we all cherish so dearly. A bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress and passed with enough rules to protect the horse so that they might live forever on their Home on the Range. But reality raised its ugly head and we now find that we have more than 49,000 mustangs in long and short -term (feedlots). I thought these folks abhor feedlots. I guess it's okay if it's Mustangs. In addition, the open-range population doubles every 4 years and is expected to be more than 60,000 by 2015. Last fiscal year holding cost just for the horses that are in short and long term care cost $46,000,000 of a $70,000,000 budget and Obama's budget for fiscal year 2015 is $80,200,000.
                       
There seems to be no end to the lunacy of these activists as the lawsuits they file in our courts seem to prevail thwarting any attempts by the B.L.M. or the Forest Service to start the process of bring a modicum of reasonableness to this ongoing calamity.
                          
I have a few ideas that to me seem reasonable. Why not grant the same privileges to the Mustang and Burro that all our domestic horses have. Like they can be bought and sold and there worth will be decided between willing buyers and sellers. People that would abuse these horses and burros will have the same penalties handed to them as to the domestic horse and the wild horse won't be arbitrarily branded with some code known to an eclectic few.
                        
So who will represent We the People? How about The Department of the Interior that presently manages all of the land that We the People own? Let's make this department live by its policy of multiple uses. This rule, which allows hunters to hunt, campers to camp, fisherman to fish, cattle, horses and sheep to graze, timber to be harvested, hikers to hike, etc, etc. on our very big ranches. The hired hands would manage by giving full consideration to the whole Ecosystem when decisions are made and no more laws will be made using only feel good emotional knowledge that serves but a selfish few.
                         
There is some hope on the horizon. Last December the Nevada Association of Counties and the Nevada Farm Bureau filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Reno, Nevada claiming that the Mustang and Burro population have grossly exceeded appropriate management levels at the expense of the rangeland and the horses and burros themselves. So with much trepidation as to what the courts might do to stop this madness, I hope that common sense will be their Guiding Light when they decide the fate of the Ecosystems on public lands.
                         
I hope our country isn't spawning Nit Wits faster than Witty Ones.
                              
See Ya,
                               
Jack

A Cowboys Talk Show

My name is Jack Varian and I'm the talk show host for a new program that will present an old but new again look at living a life. I want people from different walks of life to be my guests who will be interviewed about their attitudes and approaches to leading a life that when the last day arrives one might say "I've enjoyed the journey".

“If you're going to be a bear you might as well be a Grizzly" is one of my pet saying, so why not start out with 2 guests that we all know and are my personal role models. I wasn't sure if they would accept my invitation to appear on the show. Well it only took a moment for God and Mother Nature to agree to the live format and both could arrive in a nano second.  I don't know exactly where each of them live but traveling certainly wasn't a problem. Cowboys have always enjoyed beautiful wide open spaces so I have chosen a pristine Oak Savanna on the ranch that I think my guests will be most comfortable with.
                       
The stage is set and God and Mother Nature have both expressed their joy at being present for they feel that each brings insightful ways, to better lead our lives, in fact they both agree that what makes them saddest is when they are excluded from our thoughts.
                       
Before I could ask either of my guests my first question Mother Nature asked me if I was comfortable with both of them on the show at the same time. I said that for me this get together has been long overdue. One of the things that I hope might come from our discussion today is that we humans don't have to take sides. I know for me you both have very different missions to fulfill in my life. I look to you Mother Nature to help me understand the natural world and the rules you must abide by, like gravity. Dear God you are always in my life for you’re my moral compass and you make my trials and tribulations that seem like insurmountable mountains to climb, climbable, and also make me aware that it’s my choice which mountains to climb and those that aren't worth the effort.
                     
My first question is to you Mother Nature. How do you assess the health of our planet? Well, that's a tall order to start with but an extremely important one. I think we’re at a cross road that pits the status quo against the need to reinvent the way we use our planet. We first must understand and become comfortable with a new group of words and phrases and their consequences so they won't feel so threatening when it becomes necessary to put them into action which is now! I'll start with sustainable, speed of water, recycle, carbon sequestration photosynthesis, complexity, profit, and I'm sure that you all can think of many others. The status quo is a road that will lead us ultimately to a catastrophic end for it is a road that has allowed us to pick most of the low hanging fruit off our tree of life. Once the fruit is gone then the process of annihilation will begin.
                         
I don't think anybody in their right mind wants to go down that road but change for many is extremely uncomfortable especially for the old. So I'm going too cast my lot with the young who are more adaptable to change. For they must grapple and be continuously aware "that with every action there comes a reaction” which I hope will cause them to examine their activities and if they are of a positive kind keep them but if they come from a negative place the courage to change them.
                       
God, are you ready for your question? I believe so. "God how are we doing in your eyes"? I have to be an eternal optimist to put up with all of the stupid, lame brain, cruel, nasty, etc, etc, tricks that you play on each other and on our planetary home. You must get the message. That said, I believe with some minor to gargantuan course corrections you folks can survive and that the ground beneath your feet can be free from strife and meet the needs of all the critters living in this beautiful house. You can even strive, if you like, to be happy or contented, satisfied, fulfilled, joyful, or any other words that might be on your own lists. But, and it’s a big BUT. You have to start with love and forgiveness as a part of your character. Now if for some reason you find that they’re lost some place in your being, I will be glad to help you find them.  Next, you guys sometimes really try my patience,  I've put you at the top of the food chain with a brain that allows each of you to make choices about every conceivable situation that you may ever encounter on the path you are following  and I've given you numerous slogans like The Golden Rule. The Ten Commandments are a good start to follow and if you need more, talking to a minister or a rabbi or a priest or someone you hold in high esteem or a self help book is good.  But in spite of all this coaching some of your choices are horrendous but don't give up as the answers are out there. It won't be easy but I can say this, that if you persevere and don't take any shortcuts like doing drugs and even if you do, you can choose to quite then we can all go walking on the sunny side of the street. 
Thank you God and you Mother Nature for coming.
                                 
See Ya
                                    
Jack

It Feels Good to be Honest

My grandfather John Osborne Varian was a man of many skills. They ranged from one who made six foot tall Harps, to being a Misuse, a Minister to his flock who practiced Theosophy which is a Christian religion and whose members were socialists in their political beliefs, he was a father to three boys.   Two of which invented the Klystron tube that made Radar possible, one was a notable poet and the other a very descent man who seldom had two dimes to rub together. These qualities I think would give a person good reason to be a Democrat in his political beliefs.

                     

     

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where I attended college was a boy’s school for the first three years of my term. The last two, the school became co-educational and was the time that I met my wife of now 56 years. My political beliefs for some years to come we're shaped by an economics professor that said, "The government that governs best, governs least." This lead me to stand politically to the right of Genghis Kan. All was going well, I was a dues paying member of the Republican Party. That was, until a section of their parties platform didn't believe that a woman had a right to choose whether she should carry a baby to term. I believe that it's a woman's right and responsibility to decide if bringing a new life into this world has a reasonable chance of surviving and thriving.  The Democrats on the other hand, with their policies of handouts to solve all matter of problems that confront we the people has been most destructive to many that would have been better off with a boost to their belief in themselves. So I now find myself and independent whose beliefs will probably never come to pass for there is no political will on either side to modify their stance on these issues.

So, why not champion something that we all need as part of the "What makes me happy puzzle"? For me, to live each day, I need to be honest which is a tall order but it’s a necessary part of my daily ritual.  I believe that honesty is in our genes. It's one of the basic tenets for Law and Order and it allows commerce to happen with the least amount of friction. But beware there are some lawyers in our U.S.A. that would like to be the judge of what is true and honest "for us" for a nice fee. But for me, handshake agreements have always worked out best. Anyway I think that a person that goes to bed at night with honesty in his heart is a person with a satisfied mind.

                              

See Ya

                                 

Jack


     

A Day at the AT&T

    Texas I'm learning is first in lots of things. Some that would make me want to be a Texas transplant and some things that make me damn glad to be a Californian and then there are some problems that we share in common.

    Well, I'll start with Zee and my reason for finding ourselves checking into the Crown Plaza Hotel between Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas on Thursday, 2/ 27/14. We've come to see the biggest one day rodeo in the world called the American in the biggest covered stadium in the world, "I think" in the biggest state in the lower 48 and to this day I think there's a low level feeling of contempt in the hearts of all native Texans to Alaska that robbed them of being the biggest.

    Thursday Zee and I decided to go to Dallas to see the J. F. Kennedy Museum where our president was assassinated in 1963. The book depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot our president was turned into a museum that I thought presented a fair, interesting, and objective view of the assassination.

    We had directions on how to get to Dallas but not how to get back to our hotel. So after 2 hours of driving and stopping at seedy little mini-marts with bars on the windows and attendants that couldn't give directions on how to get out of their parking lot and streets signs that used one name to go left and another name to go right and freeway inter-changes that put Los Angeles freeways to shame we made it. But the system left me always wishing that if I could just be on the freeway that I had just passed up it would surely be the one that would get us too our hotel. What finally got us to our destination was 2 hours of driving to go 15 miles. I blame most of our problem on no mountains to help with our navigation.  This country is flat as far as the eye can see and I also think that these 2 cities are jealous of each other so that whichever town a tourist finds himself in, there’s a sinister plot to put up signage that always directs you back to where you started from. Friday we met some friends that were also going to Fort Worth to see the Cowgirl Hall of Fame that my cousin Sheila Varian and our friend Audrey Griffin had been inducted into. The museum was beautiful and those selected represented cowgirls that rode horses on working ranches, cowgirls that rode their horses on the silver screen and those that called the rodeo arena their home. We finished up with a tour of the restored Fort Worth Stockyards then headed back in the hotel van.  We didn't miss a turn.



    Saturday was the Iron Man Bull Riding at the AT&T Stadium and all the vendors with their wares were located in a parking lot out behind. The temperature was 84 degrees as we watched Chris Cox start a 2 year old colt that showcased Chris's ability to communicate with the horse and showed me he was head and shoulders above all others that train horses for a living. Sunday morning I awoke and looked out the window to see a skiff of snow on the ground and the temperature 17 degrees. By American Rodeo time the wind was blowing and I quickly understood the need for a covered stadium. The rodeo was all that I had hoped for and more as Zee and I watched young guns and some from the ranks of a previous generation all competing for the $2,000,000 in prize money. With the rodeo over we headed outside to weather that Texas had not told me about. I don't know how the Chamber of Commerce was going to gloss over a change in the temperature that in less than 24 hours went from 84 degrees to 7 degrees below zero, closed schools Monday and left the landscape littered with wrecked cars that suffered from fender benders to total wrecks.


  It's now Sunday 3/9/14 and Zee and I are seated in the grandstands at the Clovis Calif. Rodeo Grounds watching our 5 grandchildren performing at a high school rodeo and the temperature is a pleasant 75 degrees. There are 200 high school kids giving it there all, so, "in its own way we had just as satisfying a day as at the Dallas Cowboy football stadium".

     See Ya,

     Jack

Subway is Submerging

    "The more you have, the more you want, the less you get. I think this is what happens to people, corporations, politicians or anybody else, for whom, there is never enough. So it makes all kinds of sense to me that the Subway sandwich conglomerate is casting its lot with all of the above. There are three little words, and they aren't I love you but they are "ain't greed wonderful" and that has become Subway's new mantra.

    You might ask, what has ticked me off this time about an outfit that just wants to make a sandwich that your average working stiff can afford, order, eat and be back to work in a half hour, or one hour if your president of your company has one employee and you make two.

    Zee and I are on our way to Fort Worth Texas to see the very big $2,000,000 in prize money, 1 day rodeo called "The American." And the 1 day Bull Riding called The Iron Man. The meeting place for lovers of Rodeo is AT&T Park where the Dallas Cowboys play football. Zee and I are also going to visit several ranchers along the way that I think are insightful and top notch operators that will help fill my "need to know" bucket list.

    We have just stopped for lunch this 24th day of February 2014 at Sierra Blanco, Texas whose name is prettier than the land it sits on. Jack that wasn't nice of you but the town is able to support a Subway. So here we are. Zee and I are splitting a forest ham sandwich; it’s our minuscule way of being on a diet. I have noticed in the last year that my chest has slipped down around my waist. Anyway, as I was eating my half sandwich I got to looking at a table tent card on our table.  See photo that said Subway was donating $10,000 to the U.S.O. and we readers of said tent card might want to make a donation as well. I read the table tent again because my first thought was that the franchisee was making the donation but logic said, this shop, I don't believe makes enough to give that large a donation.  So it must be the big kahunas who have traded in work cloths for shirt and tie and Ford pickup trucks for a chauffeur driven Limos.



        I think here is how the $10,000 donation came into being. At the last Subway board meeting a member said we have been spending and awful lot of money on advertising lately and I think we need to tighten our belts. Other chimes in "get out the chalk board and let’s throw ideas at the board and what sticks will be how to advertise on the cheap." And the winner is “let’s donate some money to a well known charity." If the reader of the table tent is only thinking what a generous gift the Subway shop they are eating at is making, then the corporate mucky mucks have gained lots of warm fuzzies for $1 a store if there are 10,000 stores. I'm sure there are probably more than that but just suppose this figure is in the ball park. This has the equivalent of giving a waitress a dollar tip on a $100 dinner tab. What an insult. You guys are real cheap skates.

    Ain't greed wonderful?

    See Ya,

    Jack

A Balanced View of Ranching Ups & Downs


I know that the ranching community has many supporters in our cities and many adversaries also. I'm quite certain that waiting for an invitation from the Sierra Club or the Humane Society of the U.S. with and opposing view would be a wait in vain. These folks have agendas that they crusade with, that are so strict that there is no room for a different view about ranching. My thoughts then are addressed to the common sense of the majority of city folks. My beliefs about each moment in time have a great deal of flexibility built into them because experience and the many new ideas that appear  every day dictate to me that it may be necessary to make a course corrections  when “it’s not working" becomes apparent.

            In the past several years there has been a group of ranchers, U.C. Cooperative farm advisors, Natural Resource Conservation Service people, and the beef manager at Cal Poly who have developed a method for ranchers to measure ones management skills. It’s called Ranching Sustainability Analysis. I think this new resource provides to the practitioner a thoughtful guide for the everyday and long term decision making. The RSA guides the producer through a series of self assessing questions within 11 assessment categories of social, economic, and natural resource practices. This method of measuring the ranching community’s performance of these 11 categories can be part of a message to help educate our city brethren to the ups and downs and to the many unseen difficulties that must be dealt with in the livestock business.

                     There's nothing as devastating to the livestock industry as drought and the drought that we are in could turn into a real mill stone around our collective necks without rain. Only Mother Nature knows when we will be released from this Dust Devil. That said there are many humane road blocks that weaken our ability to keep our ranches on sustainable footing. One example that comes to mind is a bill that is somewhere in the legislature in Sacramento. It would require special driver’s license for those that replace the pickup bed that your everyday pickup comes equipped with from the factory for a flatbed that is flat which makes it much more useful for a multitude of jobs. I'm sure there will be a fee attached and a day of waiting in line at the local D.M.V. Office. My question to those that live in our cities, will you feel safer because of this regulation? I think not, but these types of nonsense rules stacked one atop the other are the kind of thing that will inevitably find its way to the grocery store in the form of higher prices.            

Fees, fees, fees, and more fees in California. Everybody is pretty well tapped out when it comes to taxes so the bureaucrats have invented the “fee” and made it legal by saying it only applies to the benefactor of the service rendered and the frosting on the cake for the bureaucrat is the charge in dollars will be whatever he or she thinks in their eyes only is justified. So each year a service that many of us thought was paid for by taxes we discover is “not so". For us on the ranches fire protection now has a brand new fee and I'm sure that whatever it feels is necessary to protect we the people in the future we the people will be assessed with no recourse. Eventually, if you deliver enough pinpricks to the elephant you will bring him to his knees. But we in the ranching business are a hardy adaptable lot. We will carry the day and every last soul in this state of California will be better because we ranchers are still on the land.

                                 

See Ya,                

Jack


My Day with a Delightful Person


My Webster's New World Dictionary defines the word "delightful" as giving delight, very pleasing and charming. It's not a word that is much used in today's world but it best describes my day today. I was hoping that a member of my family of 18 would want to go with me to the WORLD AG EXPO at Tulare Calif. For one reason or another everybody was busy or it wasn't there cup of tea as the AG Expo is a 160 acre gathering of tractors and all the other things that are necessary to farm or ranch. My phone rang last night, it was my son Greg calling to say that his 9 year old Kincade would like to go. What a stroke of good fortune for me. I told Greg that I would meet Cade at 7 A.M. this morning in Parkfield. “Good morning Cade. You know you will be missing school today?” I said.  Cade’s response was, “Oh Grandpa I can miss school. I will learn more at your tractor show than at my school.”


        

     

                   
Our driving time to Tulare was about 2 hours where Cade got to learn firsthand how traveling with a hard of hearing old guy takes graciousness to put up with; as in “huh, huh and huh” and "say that again." But I had my chance also to acknowledge the importance that Cade will have  a birthday in one month and he wanted me to recognize how important it was to be almost 10 years old rather than a lowly 9 year old. Oh how I would love to greet each new birthday with "gusto" instead of "yuk O". We arrived just about 9 A.M. into a parking lot that went for acres in every direction. “Cade, I want you to remember where we were parked just in case Grandpa forgets,” I said. Cade said, “Okay, grandpa look over there that big building it has a big C on it.”  “Good eye, I can remember that.”


                     
The AG EXPO is the largest show of its kind in the world so you just start looking. Watching Cade I thought he was trying to digest the magnitude of so much brightly painted iron laying before him,  but it didn’t seem to faze him. As we entered Building C it didn't take but looking at a few booths for Cade to discover that more than half of the booths had complementary dishes of candy. What made me proud was at each booth with a candy tray in full view Cade would select a favorite 1 or 2 then tell the salesman thank you and offer me my choice. Needless to say, we both over dosed on sugar.


                         
We had lunch over slices of pizza washed down with a Dr. Pepper then back to an afternoon of looking for a high pressure washer to buy, which I did. It will wash fodder trays in my hydroponic operation. The sun is now moving toward the western horizon and I have not heard one "when are we going home or I'm tired."Going home I thought to myself this is a day I shall long remember and for how blessed I am.

See Ya,

Jack

Blessings in Disguise

In this New Year of 2014 which is only a few days old I've had several blessings in disguise. At first all I could say was what a crappy way to start a New Year as the blessings were well hidden under the cover of drought. I want to say up front that this is now going on 3 years of drought and is not on my hidden blessing list except to say that some sage of days past said "it builds character". Well I'm up to my eyeballs with sterner stuff.  It hasn't helped to feed one steer or water one spear of grass or pay one bill. Droughts seem to go on and on but rain storms seem to visit for only a moment. So what's a person to do? Well I like to play “look on the bright side".  My first blessing in disguise appeared on December 29/ unlucky /13 which is close enough to the start of the New Year. My first Reefer Van was wrapped with Rice Straw Bales for their insulation value but I forgot about their volatile nature. Just one little spark from an Arc Welder was all that it took for me to realize my 1st blessing in disguise.  This disguise came dressed as a fire. I was going to wrap the bales with some metal roofing that I found at one of my lovable auctions for protection from whatever but it was in a pile on the ground. The reality was that if I stuck with rice straw sometime in the future the total farm would have burned instead of just one van.


        
                
What absolutely won't burn? Water works for me. I'm already irrigating my trays of fodder with water so why not heat the water to 70 degrees then I insulate and irrigate all at one time. First blessing in disguise gets an “at a boy" The next day the phone rings the voice at the other end says that there is fire at your fodder farm. I hope this will be blessing in disguise number 2. I drive the 6 miles at a subdued speed and arrive to see the unused straw bales that were stacked separately going up in big plums of white smoke after a spark from jumper cables used to start a tractor hit the stack.  The tractor was moved out of harms way. The blessing was that I won't be tempted to use these bales over again thinking I could fix there need to burn.













1/3/2014 there is a part of the V6 that has some grass but no water I know my cattle are hoping that the guy that arrives from time to time on a horse with a bunch of pesky dogs to move them to new pastures will get on his horse and show us the grass. My son Greg owns a Cat D7 tractor that can rip poly hose into the ground and within 2 hours he had put a mile of Poly hose from the Joy spring 12 gallons per minute to a watering trough set in a field of grass. Next Greg is going to deliver my third blessing in disguise as his D7 was crossing a small patch of sub irrigated native perennial grass but this patch was a hidden trap for his 20 ton piece of clanking iron. Down he went the right side track buried to the top of the track his reward was a 4 mile walk to the ranch headquarters. Greg calls me to say, “How about helping me get my D7 Cat out of a bog tomorrow ". I said fine I will meet you first thing in the morning. After several hours of digging out the muck from around the Cat we were ready to see if Mr. Tractor was ready to back out of its muddy trap. The cleaning was done with Greg's excavator that we now hooked a cable to and then to the back of D7. With Greg on the excavator pulling and me on the 7 and with both engines at full throttle we started crawling backward to dry ground. What was left behind was gigantic bathtub full of water so with   a couple more hours of digging, a drain pipe in place, I had water running out the end at a gallon per minute or 1440 gallons per day enough to water in a trough to water 200 head of my stocker cattle each drinking 7 gallons a day. Blessings in disguise, they sure lift your spirits when they show themselves.


                              
See Ya,
                Jack

Ranch Roads a Necessary Evil

Zee and I have found a new way to appreciate the V6 and get some exercise. As the aging process makes its presents felt with the ache of  a knee or the stiffness in my neck the best way to keep the old Reaper at bay, for me, is to walk and walk and then walk some more, walk tell that feeling of well being kicks in, tell my fog bound brain starts to clear. What the hell has walking got to do with a ranch road? Well if they were not there I probably would have a very valid excuse to spend my walking time by languishing in front of our TV.  My hunting club members would never get to see the back side of the ranch without a road and all matter of wildlife, livestock and me need roads to get from point A to point B.


                         
Now that I've established the need for ranch roads the question becomes. "How do I maintain them"?  First, if I keep the ranch roads so they are Cadillac slick I've created a race track for the rain that falls upon them and will be sure to cause plenty of erosion every time it rains.  Second, I like my roads to have lots of speed bumps and turn outs and be a little uncomfortable to the rear end so that any water on the road exits quickly. To make sure that I don't make my roads Cadillac friendly I took my perfectly good road grader and cut it up into little pieces of scrap iron and sold it all to the local junk dealer so I wouldn't be tempted to use it again.

Excuse me but the phone is ringing its one of those old style instruments that is attached to the wall by a cord so I'm going to have to leave you all hanging and wondering how I will possibly save my V6 roads from road rage.  You know roads can rage too when they are cursed by a poor design that sends rivers of soil into the closet creek every time it rains.


My son John has just called to tell me that there's been a fire at the Fodder Farm and that the first van that I was going to start growing fodder in tomorrow has just been completely destroyed by fire. My dad used to say when I wrecked my first car, "It's only iron. It can be fixed". there's nothing I can do about the fire right now as it’s 9pm this December 27th 2013.




                          12/28/13 a picture is worth a thousand words. Tricia Varian was at the farm shortly after the fire started, by a spark from an arc welder. Zee and I were up on Mustang Peak checking all the watering troughs as all of the livestock ponds are dry. Pumps, pipe lines, troughs and subfreezing weather make for a watering system that needs a fair amount of watching. Zee taps me on the shoulder and says look at that smoke down there it looks like it’s near Parkfield. "Yea somebody is probably burning their trash." You guessed it" it was the fodder farm. We learned about our blessing in disguise several hours later when all the heroics of saving most of the fodder farm was over thanks to John, Greg, Brinan, Juan and anyone else who rose to the occasion. Thank You!







The blessing in disguise showed itself to me last night around 3 AM in the morning. My obsession with "do it on the cheap “backfires every once in awhile and this is one of those times.

If you want to control the temperature of a house the cheapest way is to use lots of insulation. That was the premises that dictated rice straw bales for insulation they were cheep but very flammable especially when you use them out in the open air. The other way to control the temperature is make the inside of the van like an overgrown shower then control the water temperature and you  control the air temperature and the shower now irrigates the grass crop and the fodder farm will be fire proof as well. I'm glad that I only burned up one reefer van now rather than the whole farm some year in the future. I'm within a few days of birthing my first blade of fodder, will let you all know when the baby is born.

See Ya,


Jack

P.S. 12/29/13 the unused portion of my rice straw stack just went up in smoke because of a spark from a pair of jumper cables while starting a wheel tractor.

Is there gravity in Heaven?

I was driving home from Bakersfield the other day after spending a pleasant day at a Miscellaneous Auction which sounds better than a Junk Auction having outbid whoever was in 2nd place. You will all be excited to know that I bought a pallet of steel screening, another pallet of picks, shovels, rakes and a clam to clean out post holes, a propane heater and a redwood stair case. I hope these items light your fire like they have mine. I'm not sure how I will use them at the moment but for the future they hold much promise. I've just had a brain fart. I've forgotten what I was going to write about, oh yes heaven.

            As my years race by in a blur and I'm doing 70 M.P.H on Interstate 5 which also seems faster than when I was in my prime, my thoughts carried me back to a blog about my 9 month journey inside my mother’s womb and how I couldn't wait to get out to meet all my new friends to be. Although I was never clairvoyant as some claim to be I have always been satisfied with the here and now. Communicating with those that had already "been there done that” has always been very interesting to me. There's so much to learn but you have to be careful who your mentors are. Some are plausible practical, logical and humorous and they are scarce as hen’s teeth and then there are lots of nice people to hang out with.

                   Heaven is very different for nobody that I know of has ever comeback to tell us what to expect when God says "it’s your turn".

                  Artists have their ideas about how heaven looks and they all seem to think it’s up in the clouds so my question is? When one is sitting on a cloud do you have less gravity pulling on the old body because my experience has been that if you’re up above the clouds and you jump out of an airplane and your parachute doesn't open a cloud doesn't seem to help you much to make a soft landing. And another thing, if we're living on top of a cloud instead of under one I don't think there will be much dirt around so should I take soap with me? I have another unclear thought. If people have been going to heaven for a long time and nobody moves on and everybody stays, I'm wondering if it’s real crowded on those clouds. And my last big unknown, are there stoves and refrigerators in heaven because I sure like my hot food hot and my cold food cold? Well these are just some of my "I would like to know things" but I guess that's not possible so I guess I will just have wait until it’s my turn to have my questions answered.

See Ya,

Jack

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