My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Helping Hand

I like to help people. I figure that I need to share my talents. They are a blessing. I have boundaries to my charity. I won't help the worthless.

I remove trees. I climb them and bring them down in pieces. Due to the legal climate in this country I do most tree work gratis. I was once asked to take down some cedar trees as part of a church related service project. The people didn't even come out of their house while we were there doing the work! This has happened twice. If the tree owner is willing to help out and clean up the mess then I am more than happy to help out.

One thing I have noticed is people have a tendency to keep score. Meaning if I help them then they feel obligated to do something for me. I don't operate that way. If I help you, I seek no pay-back, unless it was a pay job in the first place.

Matthew chapter 6 gives some insight and guidance on this subject. Check it out. It makes one think.

As I have gotten older the the list of people that I have to buy gifts for has actually gotten shorter. My family set down the rule a few years back that we would have a rotating assignment of a sibling to buy for. Sometimes I will be shopping and will see something that is a perfect match for a family member. I buy it and give it. It drives me nuts when they think or assume that they need to reciprocate with a gift. The joy is in the giving.


A Few pictures of the Farm Critters

What a nice physique Harvey has. The ever present straw on his back from his bed/nest. Every time we clean out the barn and put in new straw, Harvey pushes most of it into his bed.

Harvey is growing up. Those are tusks at the back of his mouth. Luckily he hasn't learned that they can be used for defensive or offensive purposes. The white at the front of his mouth is slobber. Hey, he's a pig.

Our two newest goats from last spring are dwarf Nigerians. They have lots of personality. As most goats go, they like to climb. The little ones really like to climb. This is Gibson. He reminds me of an African antelope. He is very shy and runs out of reach whenever we try to approach him. He is standing on the woodshed overflow. We have plenty of wood this year.

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Nice Cockerel!

As most of you know my wife has layer hens. Due to the high mortality rate around our place she has to get
a few chicks each spring at the local farm store. When we get the chicks the store maintains that the sex of the hens is 90+% accurate. Almost every year we have gotten at least one rooster. Generally the roosters are not nice. They can be a little rough on the hens. Often they are aggressive and come after us with their spurs slashing. They become targets for the boys.

This past spring we had a nice batch of chicks and of course we got the obligatory rooster. He's nice! He doesn't crow incessantly and is quite handsome. This rooster is the picture of the perfect rooster. The Mrs. want me to butcher it to save on feed. I don't want to because he is such a nice fellow.


You Know the Wind's Blowing When:

- The level in the toilet is 30% lower due to the wind blowing across the plumbing vent pipe causing a vacuum.

- The goose doesn't want to be outside.

- The pig doesn't even get out of bed.

- The kiddie pool for the goose only stays on the property due to the 3 inches of solid ice.

- The wood stove burns 24 hours a day and the house never gets to 65 degrees inside.

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Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Wolves Who Needs Them?

Oregon is now the reported proud owners of a pack of wolves. Now I admit that the settlers didn't always do things right when it came to "taming" a land but there were a few they got right. Wolves were killed of during the 1800's and earlt 1900's because they like to kill. Most predators kill what they need to survive.

I think the reintroduction of the wolf was a case of "the squeaky wheel" getting greased. It is a neat idea when you live in the city and make your living pushing meaningless paper around a desk. When your livelyhood relies on your herd being successful the whole picture changes.

Don't tell me they are a necessary part of the food chain. They weren't part of it for what? Fifty years and the chain seemed to be doing fine. Millions of dollars have been spent on this science experiment with what benefit?

The big game populations are the hardest hit. So the State Fish and Game departments are killing their golden egg laying goose. Hunting and hunters inject a huge amount of money into the state economies. Introducing something that depleats the game populations is counter productive...

Whoever said governmental decisions had to make business sense.

Okay I feel better now.


Friday, December 04, 2009

Winter Decided to Show Up Finally

We had 3 days of east wind with the temperature around 40 degrees. That got our attention. This morning was the first day I had to scrape the icey windows. I'm fine with it. Bring on the white Christmas.