Friday, November 21, 2014

So Where Were We...

Shame, thy name is Mr. Schprock and Tiffy...

It has been a day or two, hasn't it... so I'll catch you all up...

As you all know, I'm not wont to speak much of my life or times, but this year has led to some sad times and some happy ones to boot.  It's a strange phenomenon that the sad times which carry much disappointment and subsequent depression tend to give way to the good times if you can keep your head and weather the storm...

I've been in a fairly lengthy legal battle with various state, local, and federal government agencies since 2007 which culminated in my filing of a Complaint in the Federal Court under 42 USC 1983, also known as a civil rights case for the violations of my fourth, fifth, and fourteenth amendment rights.

If you've known me online for a long time, you may have noticed that my usual levity and frivolity have taken a bit of a backseat for the last seven years or so, and that's why.  It's one of the main reasons for a lot of white hair in the old barba these days, and the stress level has been a bit on the high side.  So in January, when we last spoke, I was in the middle of typing up a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in hopes that the Supreme Court would take up my case and overturn a 9th Circuit decision against me...

It was a long and costly proposition, but it's the last resort in the situation we were in...

Along with that, a very good friend of mine also had filed a 1983 action and he was crushed by the 9th Circuit as well.  Since he was a 83 year old Shoshone Indian, I took it upon myself to help him anyway I could and so I've been intimately involved in his case as well, typing up his briefs as he wanted and eventually, his Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Supremes as well.  Coincidentally, we both ended up having to file at about the same time... doubling my work load.

Short story long, my petition was denied, and therefore my case was ended before it began on what were called pre-trial motions, but there was still hope because of the similarities in our two cases.   Eventually, the Court denied my friend's petition as well.

With every dark, comes the eventual dawn, and after the depressions we both suffered because of the rejections, the summer was mostly uneventful.  It's always tough when you lose something that you know you shouldn't, but it appears the fix is in against people such as myself and my friends in the West.  So you move on...

UNfortunately...  in a business such as mine, it really takes another's misfortune in order for you to make a little bit of increase, and the livestock industry has suffered a lot of misfortune in the last 4 years or so.  The droughts in Texas caused those folks to liquidate their herds over the last 4 years or so...  then last winter a massive snow storm in the Dakotas killed over 250,000 cattle as well.

The scarcity of cattle has now led to a substantial increase in prices, which I'm sure you all know of if you've tried to buy beef lately...  that's good for me.

I took a pretty big hit to my herd size due to the 2007 incidents, but I've been slowly rebuilding my herd over the last couple of years, and so I was able to capitalize on the higher prices.  What does that mean?  Well...  in the last 3 years, prices have almost tripled for my calves.  Add to that a wonderfully wet August around these parts (read that as almost a year's worth of rain in 25 days or so) bringing tons of fresh green grass for my cattle to eat and gain weight on, and you have a very positive situation for me.

There's been the usual struggles through the summer, and as my folks get older most of the burden falls into my lap for the daily operations.  Add to that the reality that all of the things my folks built or repaired when they were my age are now 25 years older and need to be completely redone by me.  So to say I've been swamped this year would be a bit of an understatement.  I honestly don't see that changing for the next several years.

But it's ok...  I've been taken care of, and I don't worry about things working out anymore.  It seems to if I just do my part...

And today was payday.  It's the day we shipped my male calves and they were 40+ lbs on average heavier than they were last year at shipping time.  I'm not going to tell you how much the check was...  ;)  but it was the biggest check I've ever seen for one truckload of calves, and I didn't top the market either.

I'll ship the girls on Tuesday...

It's a good time to be in my business so I'll enjoy it while it lasts (probably the next 3 years or so) and hopefully get paid out at the bank before things crash and burn.

It's a hard existence to be certain (I blame Tiff for this), but this year almost makes it seem worthwhile...  ;)


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Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

So have you got the guts?
Been wondering if your heart's still open and
if so I wanna know what time it shuts
Simmer down and pucker up
I'm sorry to interrupt it's just I'm constantly
on the cusp of trying to kiss you
I don't know if you feel the same as I do
But we could be together, if you wanted to

Answer to last lyric: Lola Montez by VOLBEAT... My Bro actually bought me tickets to go see these guys in Boise this past April. It was a good old fashioned Rock and Roll show... I highly recommend it!     

Monday, January 06, 2014

So Tell Me...

As I reflected on the days events today...  I was struck with the difference between what I do and what the majority of you other peeps do on a daily basis.

Today wasn't exactly what I do on day in and day out, but it wasn't something that was strange either...

So I ask all of you...

When is the last time that you:
1.  Drove 100 miles in a day?
2.  Thawed out a water line with a large weed burner?
3.  Bought a ton of something?  No...  not a figurative ton, but an actual 2000 lbs of something.
4.  Checked the boundaries of a piece of property that you own to see if the fences were still intact?
5.  Moved some cattle to a different field so that they could have more to eat? (I'm betting this one is a never for most of ya...)

So tell me...  what say ye?

Just for a lark, write up a similar set of questions at your blog/website/fb/twitter thingamajig...  then let me know where it's at and I'll see how I stack up against YOU!

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Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

Well notorious I have been
But never for fame that's what she said
Dear Henry taste my whip
Never to see any words you print
Answer to last lyric: Howl by Beware of Darkness... Wicked awesome song there folks, click the link!    

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Remember When...

Last time I told you I'd write when I wasn't feeling quite so slothful? Well...  I'm still feeling slothful, but I'm going to write something anyway...

Once again I spent the week up on the mountain gathering cattle.  Usually, it's got its twists and turns, warm days and cool nights, met with many a day spent in a log cabin that was built by better hands back in the early 1900s.

For those of you that are long timers here (7 years-ish already?  Wow...), you'll remember the last couple of years that my heater fan gave out on me just as the weather got miserable and snowy.  So this year I bought a new motor and had high hopes...

This year...  started off cold and windy, and stayed cold and windy.  Sunday was about a high of 55 and tried to rain all day, but it made the 2 1/2 hour slog up to the cabin a lot less dusty, even though it didn't do more than spit...

Until we set up camp...

I lit all the pilot lights in the trailer...  fridge, heater, water heater, then as we went to bed...  here came the rain.  Nevermind that the weather gurus said that it wasn't supposed to rain until Wednesday evening at the earliest...  that should have been my first clue though...

So here I was...  ready to put the heater to an immediate test.  Good news is that it worked like a shot all week.  Bad news was...  well...  let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

Woke up at 6 the next morning to the end of the rainstorm that had been going on all night long...  as I passed the back side of the trailer, the water heater looked a little funky, with a large yellow colored flame behind the guard.  I thought it a little strange, but figured I'd used a little hot water that morning for my morning routine, it was just heating some more up...  whoo boy, was I wrong...

After breakfast and the coming up of the sun...  I moseyed out and saw that the yellow flame was still there and that the whole outside of the trailer at the water heater was black with soot...  not good.  I ran up and pulled the cover off and the main valve was on fire.  In fact...  all the little plastic knobs were burning in a nice yellow sooty flame.  The steady rain running down the side of the trailer probably kept my trailer from burning up with me in it... 

So that was the end of the hot water for the week...

After that things went ok...  the cattle moved easily enough, the days went by quickly...  and a fairly good crew had some good times with a little...  well...  alcohol was involved...

But one thing stood out every morning...  on the wall of the cabin is a little plywood slab that got painted white in 82 when they painted the inside of the cabin.  On that slab are carved names, brands, just about anything and everything, but one thing still stands out...

In blue ink somebody had written, "Snowing 10-3-1998" as an ominous reminder of the weather invariably to come.

As you can see from the post date...  today was 10-3...  guess what I could have written on the slab right next to the other scribe...

Not only was it snowing this morning it was nasty cold and windy...  we decide to go ahead and make a little ride, then break camp before we turned into the Donner party...

I'll let you know later just how much snow fell today up there...  because I'll be right back in it tomorrow.  Oh...  the fun to be had in the cattle business...


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Today's mystery lyric: (Remember the rules folks, no online searching of the lyrics, if you don't know it, you don't have the answer!)

Lay down, heaven can wait
You think you're right, I think you can change
Draw some blood, I'm not going hungry tonight
Won't it be fun, to Howl in the night?

Answer to last lyric: Paralyzer by Finger Eleven... Way to go BC!!! Ok... Tiffy too... ;)