Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chores I don't like doing

Since things are a little slow right now, I have to make myself do jobs around I have been putting off. When I am busy it is so easy to say, "oh, I'll do that later when I have time." Things like cleaning out outbuildings, picking up trash and junk around the place, and picking up rocks. Up on one place I farm there was an old barn or something in one corner years ago. Now there is just old scraps of metal and lots of big chunks of concrete. I have been going by and looking at those rocks all winter thinking I needed to gather them up. Today I did, and you know what?, it probably didn't take an hour.

I have been going around and around in my mind, trying to decide if I want to keep trucking. I haven't hauled diddly the past 6 m0nths, and I'm not sure what the next year will bring. I kinda need to decide pretty quick because my insurance and registration is coming due the end of the month, and it is expensive. I don't want to pay it if I decide later it just isn't going to be profitable. I asked Amanda's dad what he thought it would be like this year, and he said he thought it was still going to be pretty slow and cheap for a while. Right now I feel like I will probably go ahead and 'sign up' for another year and see how it develops. My insurance quote was a little cheaper than I was expecting so maybe I won't have to do much hauling to come out on top. Worst case scenario would be to pay the insurance and registration then have the truck seriously break down on me.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Showers, snow, then slop.

Just some pictures of what things look like around here.

I wanted to share a typical conversation with Miss M.

M: "What are you doing Daddy?"

Me: "Reading a magazine."

M: "That mag-zeene has letters on it! ♫ A-B-C-D-E-F-GRee.♫ A is for Amanda. I like my Amanda, he nice. Do you like my Amanda?"

Me: "yes"

M: "Me too. She wears big girl underwear. I wear big girl underwear. Grandma wears big girl underwear, do you wear big girl underwear?"

Me: "no"

M: "Cows don't wear big girl underwear, cows are stinky, they need bath. Do you want to give the cows a bath? They need a bath. They can't go way up in the air. [raising hands up in the air] Cows ride in the big ole truck, they don't want to be in the truck. That's too bad. I like riding in the big old truck. Dan___ likes riding in the big ole truck. It goes, Rrrrrrrrrrr. It noisy. You need to wash your big ole truck. It's dirty. ♫Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are ♫, mama called the Dr. and the Dr. said, ewww that's yucky! Two little monkeys jumping on the bed, bumper-bumper Dr. said, no more monkys jumping on the bed. I don't jump on the bed that is a no-no! Are we going to church?"

"No, it is Monday, we just went yesterday."

M:"Yesterday??, I like my Sherry. Do you like my Sherry?"

Me:"Yes, who is Sherry?"

M: [pause, with contemplation] "Your mama."

Me: "That is right, she is my mama."

M: "And Dan__'s momma, and mama's (amanda's) mama, and....."

Me: [exasperated] "No, just my mama."

M: "He my grammy Sherry."


M: "....and Dan___'s grammy Sherry, and Connor's grammy Sherry...."

[more exasperated] "No, she is just yours and Dan__'s grammy Sherry."

M: "I like my Sherry[no pause]Where'd the cows go?! There isn't any cows in my room. They can't come in here. They stinky. They make poops. They need diapers." [actually was discussed] I don't need diapers, I'm a big girl. Dan__ isn't a big girl. He a big boy. Where your phone go!? I have a phone. You want to talk on my phone? [hands me a wood block]


M:"I'll call Aly. [case worker] Hello? Hello? OK. I... OK Hello? OK. 4..5...4... OK, Where are you? OK. OK.. Hello?.....Hello?......OK....Bye. That Aly. Do you want to talk to Aly? He coming here. ♫E-F-G-H-I-J-K.......squishing up a baby bumble bee ♫....

Me:"OK you need to go play in your room now............[sigh]"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I have been more aware of the incredible technology all around us here lately. If you get to really thinking about it we kinda take it all for granted nowadays. Little things that seem so simple now, just a few years ago would have been dreams. Not only are they so convenient they are affordable to most of the population. Things like:

Amanda's little laptop. With it's wireless mouse, and wireless internet. We can surf the net all over the house and even outside. Or hit a hot spot in town. About 5 years ago I didn't even have dial-up at my house.

The internet in general. With Google, Google Maps, Wikipedia, Amazon, we have more information at our fingertips than ever. I have access to parts books for my tractors and combine, free. Even John Deere you can check to see if parts are in inventory at your local dealer. (Parts diagram for my hydraulic repair job at the top of the page)

Internet banking, retirement accounts, and the like. I set up a new Roth IRA account, and didn't hardly have to leave the couch to do it! I can check our bank balances at the drop of a hat, transfer funds out and into the accounts all at my leisure.

Netflix. 50,000 movies just a short wait away. Streaming movies right in your home.

Along that line Clearplay DVD player. You buy their player, pay a small subscription fee and you get filters for a lot of different movies. It skips over or mutes the bad parts. Opens up more possibilities for us to watch.

EFT with checks. More and more places are doing this and it is almost as convenient as using a credit card. Really more convenient in a way because you don't get the bill later. You don't even have to fill the check out. Just hand them a blank one and zap! the money is out of your account. Don't even have to use ID most places. I like it! (I do have to wonder about the security if somebody steals your checkbook.)

GPS in farm equipment. It has become so common and affordable you can't hardly afford to not use it. When I started farming this was portrayed as a coming thing, but nobody dreamed it would catch on as fast as it did. My big Steiger was built in 1977. Imagine what the engineers would have thought if you told them someday it would steer itself! And now it can. I put my autosteer system in it and calibrated it the other day. Amazing!

Electronic sprayer controllers. They use a flow meter and a speed sensor to match your application rate with your ground speed. Much more accurate. Once you get them calibrated right you can finish a field and never have any waste or run out too quick. (I know everybody knows just what I am talking about....but I really appreciate it)

Cell phones. Love 'em or hate 'em, there is hardly anywhere we go you can't be in touch. Affordable to boot. Our plans are $19.99 and the phones free. Also free long distance calls on most plans. Does anybody still use the old fashioned long distance anymore? I get market updates via text three times a day, free!

Scanners and printers, email. The other day the CPS office was needing some papers. I just scanned them, attached them to an email and sent them up there. Took about a minute, and again I didn't even have to make a trip to the mailbox. Very cool application. If you have more than one computer or share lots of files this is the thing to use. It adds a folder to your computer that is linked with an online storage account. Whatever you put in that folder is accessible on any other computer you set up, or log in with. Say I am working on a novel (like somebody I know). I start it on the laptop, and save it in my dropbox folder. Later when I have a quick inspiration, I go to the desktop computer and open my dropbox folder and there is my novel! Great for backup too. I save our important stuff on there so it is always safe and accessible. Oh did I mention the first 2gb are free?!

And to top it off I am well aware of the fact there is much more out there that I am not in contact with every day. Things like Ipods, Blackberries, gaming systems, medical equipment, I could go on and on.

What do you really appreciate now days?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Thanks El Nino

It started out today raining, then it snowed a while, then it rained, right now it is snowing again. The orange blob on the radar has been sitting over us all day. Our road is so sloppy we can't hardly get down it. Thinking we should have bought an extended cab 4wd now, instead of the one we got. Oh, well it's a good reason to stay home.

We are really needing to get some cattle off the wheat, but there is no way we can get trucks in until it either freezes hard or drys out. (the cattle guy doesn't want them to get too big) This wheat is going to boom though when we do get some warm weather! Seems like if we ever get some rain early in the spring it will yield pretty good.