Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I Got Nothin'

Move along, nothing to see here...


Well... it was bound to happen eventually. The scariest of all occurances for bloggers. Someone that knows me in real life has finally started to read my blog. No puttin' that genie back in the bottle, so everyone, please say hi to Mrs. Bunyan.


Today's Mystery Lyric:

Take a look to the sky just before you die
It's the last time you will.
Blackened roar massive roar fills the crumbling sky
Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry.

Monday, August 28, 2006

If They Weren't Dumb, They Wouldn't Be Insects...

Lately, I've been consigned to cutting wild hay up on our meadows. Consider it just like mowing lawn, only my lawn mower is air conditioned and cuts a 14 foot swath. But I digress...

Anyway, as I've been cutting along, I couldn't help but notice an abundance of grass hoppers. I don't care for grasshoppers. They eat my grass, and I'd rather they didn't. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do except spray or rely on biological controls. Spraying costs megabucks and takes time and effort. Biological controls basically mean letting nature take it's course, and that requires no money or time. I prefer the latter.

One of the main predators of grasshoppers is preying manti, and we've got quite a few of them. Now I've always liked preying manti, and since they kill bad bugs, killing them isn't what I'd call appealing, but here's the problem...

My swather has a conditioner on it. A conditioner is basically two rollers that are designed to squish the juice out of the hay and come toghether with several hundred pounds of force. The odds of a bug surviving, are fairly slim, so that means if they survive, they've got to fly out of the way or else I've got to move them.

If I stopped and "herded" every one out of the way, I'd still be there in December, so I just stop when I see a chance to save the really big ones. Other than those, I just avert my eyes and keep right on cutting.

I happened to look down and noticed a huge one coming right toward me on the hay, so I hit the skids and got out. I walked around to the front, found the big guy/gal and gently placed her on the next windrow over, out of harm's way. Then I got back into my swather, fired it up and started to cut the hay.

Out of my peripheral vision, I noticed this glorious creature that I'd just saved from impending doom take off from the windrow, fly directly in front of me, and then drop perfectly into my header committing the bug's equivalent of sipoku. *sigh*


Today's Mystery Lyric:

Imagine me and you, I do,
I think about you, day and night, it's only right,
To think about the girl you love,
And hold her tight...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Duuuuude... Can I Have A Hit Off That?

A couple weeks ago I decided to browse through all the channels I actually get. I'm a bit parsimonious, so I only get the basic package, and 30 of those are crap. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember what I sifted out, and there was one channel that I didn't recognize called Drive, so I checked it out.

Turns out it's an infomercial channel and they were advertising a vacuum. I knew I should just change the channel, but I decided I'd see what their pitch was to sell this particular brand of snake oil. I think you can figure out the rest. I now own a new vacuum. Bastards.

Here's the thing... you fill this vacuum up with water and it uses the water as a filter. It pipes the crap you're vacuuming into the water and traps it, making the water dirty as heck, but it doesn't pump the dust back into the air for you to vacuum up all over again later. It's quite similar to the style of air filters on old tractors. Those have an oil bath that the air flows through and it traps the impurities in the oil, keeping it out of the engine. Those old tractor air filters work awesomely, so I was willing to risk this.

I got it the other day, and put it right to work. The suction wasn't anything that I'd call excessive, and I wasn't so sure that it was going to be all that, but I'll be dipped if it didn't do a pretty darn good job.

When I got through and dumped the slurry formerly known as tap water out, it hit me. This thing has a suction device that draws air and debris through an inlet, passes all of that through a water bath, traps the bad things in the water and lets the air out the rear port.

I just bought a BONG!


Today's Mystery Lyric:

Turn out the spotlights, one and all,
And let the feelin' get down to your soul.
The music's so loud, you can hear the sound,
Reachin' to the sky, tearing up the ground...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Deja Vu All Over Again...

If you've been wondering why I haven't been commenting much on all of your blogs, it's because blogger has been frelling with me again. Either that or KTM's hex finally worked.

Anyway, PinTA's been stuck on being proud of herself, Schprock's been on Forbidded Fruit, and Beth's been stuck in a Bonfire for the last 3 days. Every time I'd go to your blogs, that's all I'd see.

I know KTM updates daily, so when hers didn't update, I refreshed the screen and *poof* there was a new post. Hmmm... I thinks... perhaps...

So I refreshed PinTA, and found 2 new posts, same with Beth, and one new one from Schprock.

Sometimes I think you're all plotting against me. :ewink:


Today's Mystery Lyric: (another easy one)

She's a very kinky girl,
The kind you don't take home to mother.
But she'll never let your spirit down,
Once you get her off the street...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Inescapable Conclusion

Most women are either liars, or dumb.

I could probably leave my post right there, but I'm afraid that would leave too much room for interpretation, so I suppose I'll go on.

Last night, I'm watching Miami Ink and this chick gets a tattoo of a Spanish skull to remind her of her last boyfriend. Why a skull? Because it was an abusive relationship and he beat her. Huh? I must be denser than I realized, because I still can't see the tie in... But it did get me thinking.

Back in the day, before all my rowdy friends got fitted with their ball and chain, we used to do a little clubbin' every now and again. Ok... every weekend, but that's not the point... I hope. No, it's definately not the point. Now where were we before I got so rudely interrupted by PinTA's thoughts... oh yes, clubbin'.

Invariably, when any one of us would speak to some girl, the story always seemed to be the same. She was divorced. No... it wasn't her fault. Her husband used to "beat the shit out of" her. EVERY ONE!

Now I know a lot of guys, and I know a few fairly violent ones, yet none of them have ever slapped a girl around. So where are these masses of abusers? Do you women out there actively seek out someone who looks like he's gonna smack you around a bit? Doesn't the wife beater T-shirt give you some sort of clue? I'm gonna bet that the three or four of you that actually read this blog couldn't find a guy each that would beat you if you were actually trying to find them, but I digress...

Let's say for the sake of example, that each of you could find someone willing to sop up on you. The first time would probably be his last if I were a chick. I've got no problem cutting bait for such an offense, and if he did it again, well... I'd be tried by twelve, and he'd be carried by six. Hmmm... and I even got a 0% wrath on KTM's latest post, go figure.

Now that means that women probably aren't dumb, even the ones who went bar-hoppin' back in the day, so that only leaves that they are liars.

Do girls actually think that a guy's going to be interested in them over sympathy? Hell no! The first thing a guy thinks is, "Man, if I went out with this chick, it could turn out to be seriously bad. This guy might show up and shoot us both. Not worth the risk..." End of story.

Good grief... if you're gonna lie, tell a guy that your ex just couldn't keep up with you in the sack and you need it 3 times a day. That'll at least get you a slew of first dates, and a few free meals!


And now I'd like to unveil a new feature here at the End of the World. I call it the mystery lyric. Since I don't have the time to actually post things of substance every day, I've decided to at least post a mystery lyric from a song every day, so that you can all rack your brains for the song based on the obscure lyric I give you. The only rule is that there's no googling the lyric. This is a test of your recall, not your typing skills. Don't worry fermi, I'll even post a few that you'll recognize too. ;P I'll start you all off with an easy one...

Today's Mystery Lyric:

Late at night, she knocks on my door
Drunk again, and looking to score.
I know, I should say no, but
it's kinda hard when she's ready to go.
I may be dumb, but I'm not a dweeb...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The 7000 Word Post...

Well... they say a picture is worth a thousand words. So what we have here are seven pictures. :P Go ahead and click on them to see them in better detail.

Here's the fire that I was telling you about. This first pic is kinda what it looked like when we got there.

This next series is one where the fire is moving along a hillside up to some rimrocks. You'll notice that in the last one, there are some fire fighters above the rim.

These next two are an airplane dropping retardant, and what that retardant looks like once it hits the ground.

And finally... last but not least, is one specifically for KTM and PinTA. Yes ladies, that is an honest to goodness, real life actual sunrise.

Monday, August 14, 2006

To Buffet, or Not to Buffet...

I know I said I'd post pics of real live fires being fought, but I haven't downloaded them yet, and you all need to learn patience anyway, so I'll tell another tale instead.

My stacker broke down the other day. I guess technically, it's not really broken, but the fan/air conditioner quit working, and that qualifies as a breakdown in my book. So I spent yesterday morning figuring out what the problem was, and we were able to narrow it down to a faulty solenoid. A rather easy fix if you've got another solenoid, which I didn't, so that meant I had to run in to town today and buy one. No problem.

Whilst I was in town, I decided to go ahead and eat, and went out to a little Mexican place that I like to eat at. Around these parts, we have a plethora of Mexican food restaurants, and they tend to fall into three categories. Those owned and run by white folks, those owned and run by Americans of Mexican descent, and those owned and run by legal immigrants directly from Mexico. The place I went to fits into the last category.

When I first started going there right after they opened, none of them could speak much English. It usually required pointing on the menu and them nodding in approval. I don't know if this is a good thing or bad thing, but it does probably mean it's fairly authentic Mexican food. Over the years, their English has improved and the quality of the meal has stayed pretty much as it was in the beginning. I think that's a good thing because I like their food.

Anyway, a few years back, they started offering a lunchtime buffet for around $4.50. All you can eat, in fact. Needless to say, it has been a very popular addition to their lunchtime menu, and it's also brought in lots of business. The menu changes around, so when I looked at it today it wasn't full of dishes that I really wanted to eat. Instead, I opted for the menu item (a couple of chimichangas, if you really want to know).

About 15 minutes later, a young married couple came in with their 3 or 4 year old son and infant daughter, and got seated at the booth directly in front of me. Then they proceeded to go ahead and get the buffet.

From where I was sitting, I had a direct view of the buffet and I couldn't help but watch as everyone made their trek to the food. This couple left the little girl in the high chair and then went up to get plates for them and the boy. Of course, the little boy was right along side of them. As his mother placed things on his plate, he let out a series of whines and then he proceeded to reach up and grab a burrito off of the plate with his bare hands while saying, "Mommy, I don't want this." Of course it sounded more like "MOMMY! I DONWANDIS!" but I digress. The little shaver then proceeded to put it back ON THE BUFFET!

I was slightly taken aback by this little display, but I was even more astonished when his mother just turned with him and headed back to their table. She never said a thing, nor picked the now soiled burrito back up and explained that he couldn't do that. She just left it for the next poor schlub to find.

Right then and there, I was glad I'd decided on the menu. In fact, I think I'll probably stick to the menu evermore. I don't know that what I get is any cleaner, but at least I can't see some kid, in bare feet no less, fondling it.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ready, Aim, FIRE!!!

Well, we had our first wildfire of the year this week.

We had just gotten home from moving our vacas around, and I'd just woken up from my nap, when dad called and said there was a fire up on the range. The BLM'd given him a call and were all frantic wondering if we wanted to come up and move our cattle out of the way of the fire.

So we got in the pickup and headed back up on the mountain to see how dire the situation was. I decided to take along the ol' camera, but unlike KTM, I wasn't scared to get real pictures of the fire. :P It looked like there were a few good ones, but it's hard to tell from the little screen on the back of the camera. Once I get them on the ol' comp, I'll post a few of the better ones.

Here's the best part. The fire season's getting pretty close to ending, and there haven't been any major blazes, so they're milking the one's they've got for all they're worth. Let me explain...

Each year the government agencies get budgeted a yearly sum to operate on. As most of them are superfluous positions, they tend to have budget cuts and whatnot. At least they're always pleading poverty to us, but I digress. Anyway, fires are not a budgeted expense, or to use their terms, fires are "off budget". Here's what that means to you lay people -- fire crews have an unlimited budget. The amount of money spent is proportional to the severity of the fire. Do you see the problem with this type of allocation? A small fire that gets extinguished right away only costs a few thousand bucks, but a small fire that "gets away from them" and turns into a major fire can be worth millions. And they're really good at it. So good, that there's never any evidence of negligence. It was a "breakdown in the chain of command", or some other such nebulous reason, but the result is always the same. When they need paid, the fire gets coincidentally larger. :shrug:

Now we get to our little fire. Once we got up there, it had burned about 300 acres max and it could have been contained right then and there. They had 2 airplanes dropping retardant at $5000 per dump. While we watched they dropped 3 loads, and we were only there for 30 minutes or so. Then just as we left, a helicopter crew flew in and unloaded their firecrew, and started running water back and forth to the smolders. Helicopters run about $500-800 per hour. This was Monday. The helicopter was still shuttling water today at 4:00. I think you can all see where this is going. I'd wager they're up to at least half a million, and I'm still not sure it's "out" yet. If they play their cards right, this can keep them on hazard pay for at least another 3 or 4 days.

There ya' go. Your tax dollars in action.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

And Speaking of Sleep...

This past week has been somewhat typical around here.

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all spent moving cattle to the high country, as probably will tomorrow and Tuesday. It's a yearly occurrance so it's not something new, but here's the problem. When it's kinda warm like it is, you get up early to beat the heat. 4:30 a.m. early to be exact.

Now for the unSchprockly amongst you, that's early. Personally, I can only think of one thing that I'd rather be doing at 4:30 in the morning, and that's a rather short word that begins with "s". But alas...

For the last few moves, I've been relegated to the short seat. That means, I haven't been on a horse, but rather a 4-wheeler. Even though that doesn't sound bad, let me assure you, it's less than ideal.

When I used to be ahorseback all the time, I kinda thought that the guys on the scooters had all the luck. All they had to do was run around on them and enjoy life while the rest of us did the work. Those thoughts only lasted until they stuck me on my first scooter for the day. Believe it or not, it's just as hard as being on the ol' pony.

As much as you'd doubt it, I can assure you by firsthand knowledge. The main difference is that the muscles in your legs don't get sore, but your arms and shoulders take a beating. Well... that and you put on lots of miles so that the horseman don't have to. This past week wasn't too bad. I probably only averaged 40 miles a day. Before that, I was approaching 60, but the terrain last week was a bit steeper and deeper so there were a lot of places I had to defer to the hosses on.

To make a short story long, we moved for as long as we could until the heat overpowered the cattle, then we'd quit. But the job's not done so were heading back out this week to finish up. If I didn't think that I'd bust my camera, I'd have taken some pics for you. But until then, you'll just have to settle for this one...

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