Friday, December 31, 2010

Eve


No, not Adam and Eve. New Year's Eve!

The picture shows where we were a year ago today, in the woods of Highland County riding four wheelers.

Are you ready for 2011? Two big checks written today should put us in pretty decent shape for 2010 taxes but probably all we did was just defer taxes to 2011. Most of our crop needs will be paid for.

I prefer a simple cash system but farming isn't simple. Farm management and record keeping isn't simple. The tax system is bad enough for the individual but it is crazy for a business. It creates many jobs for accountants.

Are you getting door to door salesmen? They are pretty well gone here but a few still crop up.

They can make a new subject for blogging. This kid(young man) roars into the driveway in a pickup that looked like my old 98 model and runs to the door.

Now I really like to help people, especially young people and will buy some products I need at a time when I don't really need them. It's their ability to sell themselves and I have become more cynical the older I get.

Our eyes meet then Sable runs up to him and he says Oh My God. I said yep, she is an oh my god kind of dog and try to get her from not jumping all over hm which is in his favor but he doesn't know it because he is still in shock. Her bark is worse than her bite so far.

He feebly said Hi I am from US Beef and I can't go home until this freezer full of beef is sold.

I said I am a US Farmer and I want to know where my beef is produced. My parents and my brother and brother in law are cattlemen.

He ran back to his truck and roared down to the bridge. Are we the trolls of the Martinsville bridge?

No wonder I hated missing the Trans Siberian Orchestra. I read this piece about Paul O'Neill, no wonder I wanted to go see them.

"Paul O'Neill has managed and produced rock bands including Aerosmith, Humble Pie, AC/DC, Joan Jett, and the Scorpions, later producing and co-writing albums by the progressive metal band Savatage, where he began working with Jon Oliva and Robert Kinkel. O'Neill took his first steps into rock music in the 1970s when he started the progressive rock band Slowburn, for whom he was the lyricist and co-composer. What was intended to be the band's debut album was recorded at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios and engineered by Dave Wittman. However, despite the fact that Dave Wittman's engineering was capturing the exact sound O'Neill was hearing in his head, O'Neill was having trouble with it due to the fact that many of his melodies were between two to three octaves. Rather than releasing an album that he was not happy with, he shelved the project, but continued working in the industry at Contemporary Communications Corporation, the biggest arena rock management company at the time.

Over the years, O'Neill continued to work as a writer, producer, manager, and concert promoter. In 1993, when Atlantic Records approached him with an offer to start his own band, he jumped at the chance. Building on the foundation created by the marriage of classical and rock music and the artists he idolized (Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Queen, Yes, The Who, and Pink Floyd, as well as hard rock bands such as Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin and the multiple lead vocalists of the R&B groups the Temptations and the Four Tops), he brought in Oliva, Kinkel, and Al Pitrelli to form the project.

I used to listen to all that music. Becky said Liam loved the lights and the guitars but I bet that music would stick in your head for awhile!

Thanks for reading this blog. It's been TWO years since I started thanks to a challenge from my wife, LuAnn.

It has broadened my knowledge and perspective and given me a chance to share my stories of life.

I always wanted to write a book, this is my book.

Happy New Year!

Ed Winkle

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dad

Would you like a piece of pie and a cup of coffee?

Do you dream? I had a dream last night night that made me smile. I had a new Troy Bilt Rototiller and I was tilling up the worn out yard at the old farm for a new garden.

Dad would take a turn then I would take a turn. Dad's pass would go off at an angle from mine and I would try and straigten it the next pass. It wasn't going too quickly, it looked like all we were doing was aerated that high traveled worn out lawn.

When I woke up I had a smile on my face. I know exactly where I was in that lawn on that farm where dad and I threw baseball. It might as well been a garden, we never had time to play much.

Dad was a very simple man, hardworking, God fearing farmer. Here is the Bible. Read it. Do you believe it? Yes or no type of answer. He never seemed to get ahead but he really did. He was so far ahead of others it isn't funny.

Then I thought about myself. The parts of me I admire most is the ones I got from dad. Generally happy, love kids, love the earth. The parts about me that helped me be who I am where I am are complicated. Grand dreams, grand schemes, somewhat risky, great when it works, horrible when it doesn't. Not simple at all.

Isn't it funny how one dream can make you think? Dad was about of it 10 years ago today.

Do you think he paid me a visit?

I found out I have a young friend I really admire who reads this everyday. I thought wow that is neat when I heard it then I gulped. He lost his dad this year and he is half my age.

You readers are a big responsibility. I accept it. This blog has become therapy and release for me. I tell you things I don't tell anyone else. It has become habit to me. I think about it every time I wake up. What am I going to say today?

Your comments and email keep me going, just like dad did.

I would have done anything in the world for that man.

Ed Winkle

I am digging for a picture of my dad.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

NoTill Cuts Greenhouse Gases


Did you ever have nitrous oxide for dental work? Or use it to increase horsepower of an engine?

It is a powerful gaseous mixture of the elements in our atmosphere, Nitrogen and Oxygen. Mixed together they are green house gas.

"Tony Vyn, a professor of agronomy, finds that no-till reduces nitrous oxide emissions by 57% over chisel tilling, which mixes crop residue into surface soil, and 40% over moldboard tilling, which completely inverts soil as well as the majority of surface residue.

"There was a dramatic reduction simply because of the no-till," says Vyn, whose findings were published in the Soil Science Society of America Journal. "We think the soil disturbance and residue placement impacts of chisel plowing and moldboard plowing modify the soil physical and microbial environments such that more nitrous oxide is created and released."

During early season nitrogen fertilizer applications on corn, no-till may actually reduce nitrous oxide emissions from other forms of nitrogen present in, or resulting from, that fertilizer.

Nitrous oxide is the third-most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere but, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, has about 310 times more heat-trapping power than carbon dioxide in part because of its 120-year lifespan.

"This suggests there is another benefit to no-till beyond soil conservation and improving water quality," Vyn says. "There is an air quality benefit as well."

Using a corn-soybean rotation instead of continuous corn decreased nitrous oxide emissions by 20% in the three-year study. Vyn says the reduction could be even greater, though, because for the long-term experiment, both continuous corn and rotation crops were fertilized based on the needs of continuous corn. A rotation cornfield would normally receive 20% less nitrogen.

Finding ways to reduce nitrous oxide emissions is important because food production accounts for about 58% of all emissions of the gas in the United States. Of that, about 38% is coming from the soil.

"There is more nitrous oxide emission coming from agriculture than the tailpipes of cars and trucks," Vyn says. "And there is likely to be more nitrous oxide emission if we increase nitrogen application rates to increase cereal yields."

Permalink: http://www.farmprogress.com/story.aspx/nl15_13nl/notill/cuts/greenhouse/gases/9/45021

Science keeps bashing ethanol and notill for political reasons.

They both make sense to me.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No Go


Has your family had that terrible stomach virus going around? It hit us both at bed time last night. That bug is wicked. Your stomach gets hard as a rock and you feel more miserable than you can imagine.

We layed in bed about 12 hours and I think we got about one hour of sleep. That is the sickest I have been since Christmas break 1978. Matthew was one and we were both so sick we could barely take care of each other.

So there went the TransSiberian Orchestra today. Becky was able to take Liam herself so at least he will get his birthday present. We really wanted to hear them for our birthday present but the bug took care of that idea.

I hope you don't get it, it is a really nasty bug. Many have had it around here and some in our family. Don't know when and where we got it, viruses are smoking guns, hard to figure out where they came from.

There has been more fires. A house on Second Creek Road burned and they got the people out in time. Once again, firemen are angels. The old Norco building in the Sharonville-Blue Ash area burned to the ground and the fire was so hot it melted the street electric wires and even a cross walk sign. It takes a lot of heat to do that.

It was built by Sears and Roebuck and that is where they assembled the pieces for their famous old pre-assembled homes. We lived in one of them on Canada Road and it was assembled in 1922. It was a beautiful old farm house and still is.

"Many Sears' prefabricated "kit" houses, distributed during much of the first half of this century, were at least partially constructed/assembled in the the Norwood (Oh.) Sash & Door Co. plant. Several hundred "Sears" houses in the Cincinnati area have been identified and classified in a fascinating University of Cincinnati Master's Thesis by Bea Lask."

It had the built in cabinets and French doors. We only lived their 4 years when we moved to Rhude Road when I became extension agent in 1987. It was really out in the boondocks with a Midland address, Lynchburg phone number and the last house in Blanchester School District. It wasn't very handy for any services for our young family but it sure was quiet. I planted a pine windbreak with the kid's grandpa and it is beautiful and functional today. It had the best garden I ever tended as it was an orchard before and got all the manure from the barn. That was the best green beans and veggies I ever grew.

Hopefully we will feel better tomorrow but this really takes a toll on you.

I sure hope none of you catch it.

Ed Winkle

Monday, December 27, 2010

Before and After



The kids and grands as Lu calls them has come and gone. Those nice neat packages are all in the trash. But not the contents, at least for now. In a hearbeat, it was all gone.

What did we accomplish?

I mean if you really think about it we all have so much stuff now, how much can we put upon ourselves? People add on, build sheds and barns to store their stuff. A quarter of million dollar combine is one thing but all this junk made in China?

I wonder if we have all lost it. I really do. That day of shopping and thinking about the number of semi loads of stuff really got me thinking about it again. I have always felt this way about stuff versus the real meaning of the season but it seemed over the top this year. Was that because we had a little more money and a little more hope than last year?

Personally, our family knows each other well enough we learn how to find something special that person can really use. We got the hint and LuAnn bought a Kreuing Coffe Maker for Kevin. He opened it up and went right to kitchen and started using it. Everyone got to try new drinks and flavors.

Have you seen a child push away a pile of gifts to play with one silly little toy? Caolin and Tyler were drawing on a $5 dry erasable board. $50 toys pushed aside.

The bummer is bum gifts. I bought two Jupiter table lamps from Joann's Fabrics sold by Ottlite and neither on of them worked! I fired off an email to them and it will be interesting to see how they respond.

None of us broke the bank as they say for Christmas. The gifts were all well thought out, like Shannon's ice bucket for LuAnn or LuAnn's battery charger for me. You know though I will use the three pack of vice grip tools from Shannon even more?

It's the thought that counts. We are blessed with a family full of good thinkers. We all feel blessed to have each other. Our beliefs and daily work are very similar and compatible so it is not that hard to figure out what Eric or whoever really needs. Now everyone wants a set of those lightweight saw horses.

Five year old Liam drew us a picture he demanded to draw before his family came to see us. It shows two happy people with big smiles and blue skies. That says it all to me.

As a country I think we really need to think before we act before and after an event. I don't know that we will ever all agree on what to do before a 911 and after.

Me, I have a lot of thinking to do. What will I plant and how will I sell it before and after it is planted? What can I do today that is even a little better than yesteday?

It has been a great Christmas for our family. Tomorrow we get to go watch the TransSiberan Orchestra with our music grandson for three birthdays, his, mine and LuAnn's. I have wanted to see them perform ever since the fellow in Mason used Wizards in Winter in his fantastic light display that changed the way people think about decorating a home for Christmas.

The next day we meet with the banker for our 2011 farm budget. I think we are ready. Back to the ebb and flow of daily life and all of its little requirements.

Hope your Christmas was as good as ours. The ideas of a Christmas tree and a gift has exploded in our society in these days.

I just hope we remember Before and After.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, December 26, 2010

I Lost It


I was driving to Kroger's this morning and had this brilliant idea for today's blog. By the time I got home, I lost it.

How could you lose a good idea so quickly?

It is part of man's brain.

We are all attention deficient, some more than others. If you stick out too much you classiy as AD, ADHD and all these other disorders.

We all suffer from disorder, don't we? I think that is man's basic nature. It seems to me the more disordered the world gets, and I think it is, the more disorderd our mind gets.

We can only hold so much information to make decisions. I think we have too much today. I know I have too much for mine and I was able to memorize everything I read in my younger years.

It is all gone. Too many brain cells are full, I can't generate enough new ones and I have lost too many to age and and the way I lived my life where I chose to.

I feel pretty good about it. I can keep up with most of my peers. Some people look to me for advice. I haven't lost it all, I just lost that great idea I had for a blog this morning.

The experts say write it down and I have no doubt those who master this technique do better than we who don't.

Sable was licking my face as I drove down the road and I can't write and drive anyhow. I always wanted to make recordings and notes as I lived my life, I see so many things and get such great ideas and then poof they are gone.

I lost one good idea this morning but I have not totally lost it.

Yet.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas


Let me be the first to wish you Merry Chistmas this morning! You know me, I am a history buff and I looked up the origin of Merry Christmas.

Our friend Wiki says:

A Christmas tree inside a home."Merry," derived from the Old English myrige, originally meant merely "pleasant, and agreeable" rather than joyous or jolly (as in the phrase "merry month of May").[2]

Though Christmas has been observed since the 4th century AD, the first known usage of any Christmastime greeting, dates back to 1565, when it appeared in The Hereford Municipal Manuscript: "And thus I comytt you to God, who send you a mery Christmas."[2] "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" (thus incorporating two greetings) was in an informal letter written by an English admiral in 1699. The same phrase is contained in the sixteenth century secular English carol "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," and the first commercial Christmas card, produced in England in 1843.

Also in 1843, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was published, during the mid Victorian revival of the holiday. The word Merry was then beginning to take on its current meaning of "jovial, cheerful, jolly and outgoing."[2] "Merry Christmas" in this new context figured prominently in A Christmas Carol. The cynical Ebenezer Scrooge rudely deflects the friendly greeting: "If I could work my will.. every idiot who goes about with 'Merry Christmas' on his lips should be boiled with his own pudding."[3] After the visit from the Ghosts of Christmas effects his transformation, Scrooge exclaims; "I am as merry as a school-boy. A merry Christmas to everybody!" and heartily exchanges the wish to all he meets.[4] The instant popularity of A Christmas Carol, the Victorian era Christmas traditions it typifies, and the term's new meaning appearing in the book, Dickens' tale popularized the phrase "Merry Christmas."[5][6]

The alternative "Happy Christmas" gained usage in the late 19th century, and is still common in the U.K. and Ireland alongside "Merry Christmas". One reason may be the Methodist Victorian middle-class influence in attempting to separate their construct of wholesome celebration of the Christmas season from that of common lower-class public insobriety and associated asocial behaviour, in a time where merry was also understood to mean "tipsy" or "drunk". Queen Elizabeth II is said to prefer "Happy Christmas" for this reason.[2] In the American poet Clement Moore's "A Visit from St. Nicholas" (1823), the final line, originally written as "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night," has been changed in many later editions to "Merry Christmas to all," perhaps indicating the relative popularity of the phrases in the U.S."

Every phrase has a history and I am full of the one's I learned around my parents like you're hoot dad but your still an old coot, don't stumble when you put on your boots. One of dad's favorites was about the little boy who couldn't speak English plainly and when asked what he wanted for Christmas, he answered Yoots to Yade in and Yaggin to Yide In. Most people don't get that one, they must think it is Yiddish or something.

I think Merry Christmas must be older than that, don't you? I think a lot of sayings were said in some fashion long before they were recognized on a larger scale.

I do wish you all a Merry Christmas. It is neat to see the big mall areas finally shut down Christmas eve like we saw last night on the way to Cousin Sheila's.

I wonder if most kids have so much stuff they don't look forward to Christmas morning like I did in my Christmas Tale yesterday?

Ed

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Tale


Christmas on the Farm, 1963

I will never forget Christmas on the farm in 1963. It had been a miserable wet year and all our corn was under water at harvest, including my 20 acre FFA Project that was voted most likely to win the chapter corn yield contest.

Agriculture was really taking it on the chin that year and I received a record low 10 cents per pound for my county fair market hogs! The likelihood of farming and college seemed to be slipping away!

Dad did not have enough corn to feed the livestock so the local feed mill gave him all the corn cobs they had all winter and that is what we used to keep the cows alive! Ground corn cobs and molasses, all winter long!

There was not much for Christmas, either, so dad’s school teaching non-married sisters proved themselves as special aunts! I still remember the slide rule and chemistry books and materials I got as I was into science and radio.

I met my Elmer as they say in the world of Amateur Radio, dad’s brother-in-law Paul Hummer, W8FKJ. Our family got together at his house. Christmas Eve and I met him for the first time in my life. I had been teaching myself the Morse code and got to pound it out for him while he listened, then he sent me code and I copied it down.

We had a great time but soon it was time to head back to the farm. The code rang in my brain all night long and I was not able to sleep much. Even the Christmas Show on WRVA, Richmond, Virginia was not able to put me to sleep on the crystal radio I had built and listened to under the covers each night when I was supposed to be sleeping instead.

It had not been too long under those covers when I heard a distinct sound of sleigh bells. The automobile and tractor had taken the place of the horse and carriage and assorted farm equipment by these times so what could it be? Then I heard a loud clamoring on the rooftop and my heart stuck in my throat.

All those years I had believed in Santa but years of scientific study and schooling and peer pressure made me KNOW it was impossible. Nothing was under the tree when we went to bed and we did not expect much because we knew there was not much money to go around.

I snuck out to the living room and there were toys and gifts and presents and fruit and candy everywhere!!! How was this possible? How could this be??? Just then I heard more clamoring and ran back to my bedroom just in time to see a streak of lights shaped like a long team and sleigh shoot off into the sky!

Quite shaken, I hid under the covers to daybreak. I had planned to give dad a present by sneaking out and feeding for him Christmas morning. I got to the barn and you know what I found?

The cows had that special look like something magical had happened. Everything was so peaceful and perfect. Words cannot describe the magic of a Christmas like 1963. But I took care of that later in the day.

Can you imagine what my present was? A Chemistry set! It did not take me long to whip up the most aromatic batch of hydrogen sulfide you ever smelled in your life! That rotten egg gas got into the furnace air flow and the family was out of the warm Christmas home standing out in the cold before you can say Madam Curie!

Everything was back to normal. The magic of Christmas was quickly a dream, just like it had been 24 hours before.

Ed

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Blanchester


Blanchester is in the news and it is a good thing.

Forty years ago I applied for a job at Blanchester Local Schools for the postion of teacher of vocational agriculture.

I was only in VoAg one year and barely knew what it was, let alone teach in a place I had never heard of.

Work started the first week of August, 1971 at the Clinton County Fair. I didn't have much to work with. The program was down to 29 students and few students had a project at the fair. It was hot and so was my new supevisor.

He cursed me up one side and down the other and I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I found out later his son had applied for the same position and the board chose me over him.

I remember I signed the contract for $5,000, paid once monthly and thought I was the richest guy in town. You could still buy a lot for a dollar in 1971.

Forty years later I live on a farm overlooking Blanchester 8 miles away and on a clear day you can see the traffic light in front of Krogers right beside the school.

Much has transpired inbetween. The community believed in me and helped me build a top notch program. Enrollment quickly went from 29 to nearly 100 students each year. I was elected to school board in 94. By 04 we had completed a 30 million dollar construction and renovation project which really put Blanchester Schools on the map.

The town and teachers really came together and they were recognized as a sohool of distinction. Imagine that! When I started there it looked like more a candidate as a school of extinction and now the neighor to the west, Little Miami actually may be taken over by the state. They can't pass a bond levy or any sort of way of increasing school funding.

Blanchester answered the call for me. In 83 the state told my board we needed more facilities for agricultural education or they would shut out program down. I think it was just a ploy but the board responded and built a new shop shown on the picture in the link. We built that second deck by hand and the two men are standing on the shop floor. Now they use that shop for maintenance as we built a whole new facility while I was on the board of education.

The president of the board in the other picture was one of my star students. I cohersed him and couple of other good students to run for the board. My they have done a great job.

Congratulations to every citizen in Blanchester. The two main stories on the front page of the News Journal is just a little recognition of your hard work and dedication.

You did good!

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Twelve Twenty Two


Today is the 22nd day of December. It's almost Christmas, the real reason for the season. I got pretty wound up this time of the year as a boy with my birthday and Christmas counting as one.

Did you see the eclipse? The moon was going orange went I went to sleep and it was in full eclipse when I woke up at 5:30.

Can you imagine what the ancients thought when they saw this? They probably thought the Gods were angry and that they would all die. A few would die, probably just out of anxiety and the myth perpetuated itself for centuries.

I am back on old faithful, a year old. I am disappointed it wasn't properly cleaned but it has the updates and spyware removed and is faster than ever. The screen is brighter too, not sure what caused that.

That laptop is handy but I will take my main desk computer anyday over anything else. I have everything set just like I want it after 20 years of experience.

I started with the Radio Shack Model I, CoCo, Model III, Atari, Apple II, IIe, IIc, you name it. I went throught computers like I go through 9/16 inch wrenches.

I changed my life with my computer. I changed the way I farm, the way I live, even met LuAnn on the computer. It's a very powerful tool.

I won't say I found God on the computer but I bet some people have. I already knew Him, the computer just helped me access the writings about Him as Bibles and Catechisms and everything Christian has been computerized.

Farmers can take their hands off the wheel now with RTK and newer technologies giving them time to access the phone, internet and whatever from their tractor or combine mini office.

I told my parents I could go far in electronics but they thought it was wierd science in 1968 and you should go the University and study music. I love music but I never wanted to study it to that extent.

I wanted to be a farmer first and that was forbidden. Then I wanted to be a electronics technician and that was forbidden. So I went to the University to study music and look what happened. I became an ag teacher in 3 years and filled the teacher shortage in 1971 and the rest is history.

Note to young readers, your choice in spouse and career will determine your happiness and destiny.

That will be my main advice to the grandchildren as they reach age. As I wondered yesterday, I have no idea what they will pursue in life but you can already match traits to careers, we will just have to see how it all works out.

Happy Twelve Twenty Two! The picture shows what I was thinking about a year ago.

Ed

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Repair


I am supposed to get my computer today. Hallelujah! You wouldn't think an old coot would miss his computer so much but all of my documents and pictures are on it.

It is more than that. I have the wireless mouse and keyboard and it fits me like a glove. Some of the letters on the keys are worn out, that is how many miles it has on it.

But $100 to remove spyware? Come on, Brandon! I guess it's bye bye, 4 days and $100 to remove spyware is too much. And, it is no picnic getting to his place, either. Almost an hour to the hills of Clermont County. The roads are so narrow you have to pull off the road if you meet a schoolbus.

He used to make service calls but he didn't like the drive, either. He was in my ag class 10 years ago and I have watched him build a business out of his curiousity of how computers work.

I hope one of my grandchildren turn out to be a computer geek. Seriously. You can make a good living at that profession now. I should have learned myself but those codes and the fine print drive me crazy. I would have been interest 50 years ago but not now.

I never thought of that before. A grandchild as a computer geek? I bet some of you have one in your family. I wonder what the grandchildren will become? Jobs are out there now we never heard of when I was that age. Like auto computer technician. Computers have changed everything, haven't they?

I have mentioned here if you know combines and you know electronics, you can name your price servicing the yield monitor on a half million dollar combine. AGCO really needs help in this department. GreenStar has left them in the dust.

Speaking of automobiles, the code on the Buick was the gas cap. That code came up on the Dakota, too. After awhile, it is like you can't get the cap on tight. Have you noticed that? I blame it on the materials used in the design.

That is it for today. Santa is coming soon, are you ready?

I'm not.

Ed

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shopping


I made it through another birth day. I have made it through 61 of them. I had a very trouble free day. Those are really nice to have.

We had breakfast, the grandchildren left and we just sat around doing much of nothing and discussing what I wanted to do for my birthday. Honestly dear it is Sunday and I don't want to do one darn thing.

I rarely want to do anything out in public because I feel I am out there enough. I didn't feel like laying around the house day, though. I felt like getting out so I offered to go Christmas shopping on the last Sunday before Christmas!

Fool! You know I am in my basic happy, benevolent mood when I offer to do something that dumb. But I had items I wanted to compare and I know LuAnn has things on her list and she shops for a huge family. It was the least I could do, right?

We would buy it all online for convenience and deals but you have to see some of the stuff and really study it. Is it worth bringing home?

Kohl's checkout lines were all 30 people deep and Sear's was desert wasteland. Someone said Penny's has bedbugs so no one will go near it now.

Everything I wanted to buy, it was the last one. Was that coincidence or are they holding out on us as a sales tactic? I didn't have time to figure that out.

But I did have time to figure that wow, our buying habits brought on by television, corporate greed and our insatiable desire to be better has more stuff in a Mall than anyone could ever survive on. There is little food or water, just stuff. Stuff as far as you can see. 100 semi loads of stuff here and 1000 semi loads of stuff right there!

I probably produced 100 semi loads of grain this year. Is this only enough to feed 155 people? One farmer feeds 155 people and I am one farmer. Something is way off on these conversions or our system is pretty inefficient. That doesn't make sense.

The good news is I survived and learned a lot about current day shopping yesterday. End story is we are wasteful and a consumer society that is inefficient and doesn't make sense.

And John Stossel thinks ethanol is a waste? Look at our shopping or buying habits. No wonder people go hungry.

Ed



o

Sunday, December 19, 2010

19 Dec


Remember when the date as written like 19 December? That was even short for nineteenth of December. I am sure most you don't remember and never heard of it.

But that is today, my birthday. Many thought I wouldn't make it this far. I didn't think I would myself somedays.

I have a really persistent Guardian Angel. Thank you Guardian Angel for being persistent. I have tried and done some really dumb things. Things like driving a car on bald tires over a hill so all four wheels left the road.

Things like making a tricycle tractor go 60 miles per hour or touching a TV chassis that was 110V hot on a basement floor and waking up on the other side of the basement.

Pretty stupid, wasn't it? It didn't seem like it at the time but I didn't possess the wisdom to know I was endangering myself or the people around me.

Wisdom has to be a grace from God himself. My Guardian Angel kept me alive so I can learn wisdom. You younger folk really need to listen to your wiser, older people. At least I did enough to make it this long.

Last year LuAnn threw a 60th birthday bash. It was great seeing people I hadn't seen in years. It was a really good day. Even better than 19 December, 2000 when I turned on the classroom lights early that morning and it looked like a witche's spider web with a big ball in the center of the ceiling and black streamers so thick you had to cut your way to the desk. That little fat chicken lady that sang Happy Birthday though was over the top, I almost lost my composure in front of half the school.

Today is ten years later though and much different. The grand daughters are asleep in a guest room. We went to church, had stuffed porkchops and watched the movie Annie to the end. Brynn almost made it to the end, Madison did, then we all went to bed for a long winter's nap on almost the longest night of the year.

It was busy but fun and very satisfying. For a musical, it isn't a bad movie. Carol Burnett was at her best as she always is and the the helocopter added a modern touch to the movie set in the early 30's.

I have to read up on Big Daddy Warbucks as I liked his Republican character set against Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Elanor.

After bit the girls will wake up and we will have Bob Evan's Sausage and eggs and whatever. We still have lots of FFA Fruit to eat. You ought to try some poached pears if you have some at your house, they are pretty good.

I probably don't have a picture on this computer to highlight this day so I have just been using whatever I like from it's files, different from mine which is still in the shop.

My own computer back would be a great present but who is asking for presents except the children?

Every day is a gift and I am thankful for this one.

I hope health finds you well and you have a great day, too.

Ed Winkle

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Broke and Broken


Beck's new book is called Broke. He is talking about the debt of our nation and how we got there.

I saw that my neighbor Mike rented a store front in Wilmington. He never got the traffic for his lavender products that stores closer to Murhphy's Theatre got from Beck's appearance here this week.

Fortunately we aren't broke here. But we have lots of everyday items that are under repair. They are broken.

The car is in the shop, my computer is in the shop, the phone line is bad you can hardly talk on it, the transmission went out on the Pontiac and even my mudroom toilet seat is broken.

The Buick needed servicing and tires rotated and OnStar sent LuAnn a message it needs prompt attention so we took it to Mr. Kratzer, our trusted mechanic.

I was researching some cover crop information and spyware took over my computer. I thought I was protected. I am sure it wasn't from cover crop websites though I was on some European websites. It's a nasty foreign spy for sure according to my tech. Usually I can fix it but this time I couldn't.

With the storms I imagine a phone line got water in it so the landline has an eerie modulation demodulation on it. You can barely talk on it. Verizon must own Frontier which took over July 1 because they have the exact same pitiful poor voice prompts. You know, you can never talk to a real person. I think they are supposed to come Monday between 8 AM and 8 PM if I punched the buttons right. What would my mother do in this situation? They are taking advantage of ALL of us.

We let one of the kids use the Pontiac again, our spare and I had been noticing too much transmission slipage. Well, it went out on them, I could barely get it in position to put on the tow truck in our snow covered driveways.

Even my toilet is broken and I was never good with toilet seats. You must have to work on them every day to put a wrench where you cannot see.

When this is done maybe I will be broke, but I am not broken yet!

Winter Wizards and Murphy are here for sure.

Did I not appreciate those beautiful green fields this summer?

Ed

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas


We don't want just happy holidays, we desire a Merry Christmas.

Our forefathers believed in God and most of them believed in the birth of Jesus, his Son, Jesus.

This belief founded the most prosperous and powerful nation in history. Prosperity can really make you lazy. Power corrupts and greed kills. Have we been too prosperous and powerful for our own good?

It makes you wonder. In some ways I don't think so, in others it is obviously and painfully true.. The lives that have been spared and improved thanks to this basic belief has inspired millions, maybe billions of people.

But the corruption has killed or ruined many.

So I don't buy this happy holiday crap. It sounds to much to me like not doing the right thing, the very principles we are founded upon. I believe in Merry Christmas.

Happy Holidays snuck in as all the races and religions snuck into this country. We let them all sneak in, whether they believe in God and the birth of Jesus.

We assumed they would accept the culture of our new country and learn English and try to help improve the country, not divide it.

Happy holidays divides our country. We believe in God, Jesus, the Constitution and Saint Nicholas. If you don't agree, how can you be a contributing person to our country?

Lot's of excuses have been made but none of them fly. You end up with a divided country with some wanting to go a different direction than our country was founded on.

So I wish you a Merry Christmas. I truly do and hope you find the real meaning of Christmas.

Happy holidays just doesn't get it done. It stretches from the Jewish holiday to the Muslim holiday, from August to January on their calendars.

I just need one. Decemeber 25, the celebration of the birth of the risen God, Jesus Christ.

If you don't agree, I don't see how you can fully contribute to the principles of our country.

Merry Christmas,

Ed Winkle

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Unusual Weather


This has been a year of unusual weather since the record snow amounts recorded in February.

The best planting weather was in March of all months and it rained nearly every day in May.

The last inch of rain fell here July 12 and we recorded nearly 90 days this summer with 90 degree or more heat.

A friend sent me a professional weather model that says "we ain't seen nothin"" yet. I have this hunch that model could play out as it has all year.

This European models calls for enough blizzard activity the week after Christmas to bring most of the US to a halt, especially from here east and north of here. That is how most of the patterns have been running this fall.

The good thing is the shortest day of the year is almost here.

Many people suffer from Seasonal Anxiety and Depression Disorder so this is great news for them. I haven't noticed too much in myself or others around me. As long as I get enough sunshine every day, and it doesn't take much for me this year, it doesn't seem to bother me.

Who knows what will happen but this weather model says 2010 will go out with a bang!

Most local schools are closed today so they may be right.

I hope you are well supplied if this does play out.

Ed

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Beck Is In Town

I haven't kept up with the foray but Glenn Beck is in town. That is Wilmington, Ohio, our county seat of government.

Mr. Beck has come out of nowhere via his talk radio programs and now his TV Program on Fox News. I will say he really makes me think about the history of this country.

I don't see how he can hurt things. I think he can only bring more light onto our local demise.

DHL blew into town trying to compete with UPS and Fedex for US freight shipping and when they learned they couldn't compete they blew out even faster.

700 farmers lost their jobs shipping freight over night while farming during the day hours. The loss of benefits was huge beside the loss family incomes.

8000 plus people lost their good job in an area few other jobs are available. The rollover effect is probably around 24,000 jobs or more total. That is why I feel our unemployment is around 20% and our underemployment is around 20%. I am not sure how close those figures are but I think they are and they point to a huge decrease in income in our community.

We are hurting just like the rest of the country is, some more than others.

At least we need jobs to keep people out of trouble as they have too much time on their hands. We will always have those who don't want to work and cause society problems but these good people really need a job. A good job.

I hope Glenn Beck can help a little.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Projects


I have two projects to work on this month. Both center around a Power Point presentation. I wish I knew my way around Power Point like LuAnn and Tara does.

I need to find a new guineau pig to help me. I have wore out their power point bridges to me. It is very stressful doing one and it shouldn't be. I am not doing this for payment but my passion for advanced farming techniques to help farmers like dear old dad. I saw him struggle and try to adapt new techniques while keeping the whole thing together. I have made it my mission to help farmers and students of agriculture.

Just one hour a day for a few days and you would have a rough draft to revise. It takes me about 30 days to do one like I want to so I come out with a product I know and believe in. I used to use Matt's students as my guineau pig students and get their reaction to what I taught. I always got good reviews and some good ideas for improvement.

One of these presentations is on seed treatment and one is on micronutrients. I know why I do both but getting them down on paper so to speak is another story.

Interesting pictures really help me tell my story. If they can see what I am doing they can visualized the process better. It's like summarizing a whole course in a 45 minute time period. That is very challenging.

So I bid a fair warning to you, you might be my guineau pigs this month as I wrangle with my ideas and how to share them.

Both presentations are on topics important to farmers, in this case, notill farmers. Seed treatments are keys to profit as well as nutrient balance of their soils and the crops that grow in them.

Wish me luck.

Ed

Monday, December 13, 2010

House is Warm


Boy it is cold this morning, but the house is warm. That Alberta clipper chased me out of Chicago and is dumping Lake Michigan's water on our farm. We have a few inches of snow which slows down or shuts down everything around here.

It is so nice to type my blog in a warm house this morning. I didn't do that for six years.

Yes, we just got central heat and air this year.

We heated with wood and corn and some electricity since we moved here and used window air conditioners the few days it was unbearable in summer.

We got just desperate enough to go to central heat because we are older, my joints hurt more and the crop was just good enough to have a little extra money this year.

We are like kids in the candy store. We can talk and do other things without tending stoves. We have a real life.

Before, on a day like today, I would be building a big fire in the Vermont Castings while building a smaller one in the pellet stove. Not that we can't, I just don't have to wake up to a cold house anymore unless the electricity goes out.

One month's gas and electric bill might send me right back to the wood pile but it sure feels good this morning.

I think dad would have done the same thing the last six years to have this farm but he wouldn't have admitted to it. He got central heat in 1958. I remember him saying "I don't care what oil costs I am not going to split another rick of wood."

He meant it too, but when I started heating with wood in the 70's, he helped me cut a lot of ricks on his farm just to try and start cleaning fence rows up again. They hadn't seen attention since the 50's.

I know, I am a little woodsy and a little backward. Always have been.

It sure feels good to wake up to a warm house on a pretty artic day for southern Ohio. I bet there are a lot of "snow days" here today when they call off school because of the weather. All the schools are on a delay so far.

Ed

Sunday, December 12, 2010

FFA Fruit


Rich from Kansas asked if any of us had gotten our FFA Fruit and if it was any good. He said his citrus was kind of bland and not so juicy.

I was afraid ours would be because of the nasty weather in Florida but Matt delivered ours the other night and it is very good as usual.

One farmer asked what is FFA Fruit?

In my first year of teaching, 1971, our state association came up with the idea of each chapter selling a semi load of fresh Florida citrus as a fundraiser over the Holiday slack time.

Forty years later, they are still doing it. It was a big hit and became a project you couldn't let go or the band or home ec department would grab it up.

We usually made $5000 per year in today's money. Over the years, chapters have added apples and all sorts of other products to boost sales or keep the profit up.

I managed the sale every year I taught school and now Matt has done it ten years. Fruit runs through our veins, I guess you can call us a fruity family.

I think Wilmington still sells fruit for Christmas but I have not been asked since we moved here. The sale is as good as your students are at taking orders.

Most of you wondered what FFA Fruit is so I thought I better explain it a little more.

Ed

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ag Day Contest

We got our FFA Fruit this week and remembered the essays I used to assign my students. I always felt communication is extremely valuable and that one of the best things I could help me students do is become a better communicator.

The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) is calling on 9th to 12th grade students to submit an original, 450-word essay or a two-minute video essay about the importance of agriculture. This year’s theme is "American Agriculture: Your Food. Your Farmer" and the deadline is Feb. 4, 2011. The ACA asks teachers and parents to encourage student participation. The theme presents an opportunity for students to address how the agriculture industry continues to feed a growing population, acknowledge the many ways today's growers are providing a safe, stable food supply and the significant role agriculture plays in everyday life.

The national written essay winner receives a $1,000 prize and round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C., for recognition during the Celebration of Ag Dinner held March 15, at Whitten Patio at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During dinner, the winner will have the opportunity to read the winning essay, as well as join with industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and other friends in a festive ag celebration. The video essay winner wins a $1,000 prize, and the winning video will play during the Celebration of Ag Dinner. For more information, go to www.agday.org/media/pr4.php.

To encourage our local students to participate I will give $50 to the best essay OR video sent to me by the contest deadline above. This is open to the world and you heard it here first on HyMark High Spots.

I like this year's theme, too, Your Food, Your Farmer. I bring up the farmer feeds 155 people data in many conversations. People are always taken back by that and just think a minute then say something like wow or that is impressive.

This little contest should give us lots of reading and writing fodder by Feb. 4.

Spread the word, contest is open!

Ed Winkle

Friday, December 10, 2010

Seed Wars


This was going to be Death of the Entrepreneur but I have changed it to seed wars.

Many people in my age group commented about the changes they have seen in the seed industry. "This conference used to fill three hotels until just a few years ago, now it fills one."

As the Round Up Ready trait in genetically modified seed became popular in the late 90's, Monsanto Company started buying out all the small companies who sold their seed or who would not sell their seed.

They offered lucrative deals. Small seed companies were offered millions of dollars based on their previous years sale of seed. It worked.

Only a few stalwarts stuck it out and just about every company signs some kind of agreement today with the major seed and trait suppliers.

I told LuAnn that and she said look at Lowe's and Walmart. Now there is little competition for the items they sell. They killed more mom and pop stores than Monsanto did seed companies as we as a society choose one stop shopping.

Is that really good for us? What happened to the entreprenurial spirit?

We debate about tax cuts in this country to help small business but we already allowed millions of them to be ate up or destroyed by big business.

I like to deal with the smaller companies. They have to be sharp and provide better service just to survive. I think that is true of the seed industry, too.

I won't be planting the number one brand on my farm this year.

It just doesn't fit in my seed war.

Ed

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Biotech


I have heard some really interesting things this week how biotech is changing the seed and crop industries.

There are some pretty interesting technologies coming but must of us struggle to understand what we already have.

Dr. Joachim Schneider from Bayer Crop Science spoke to the convention yesterday. He showed where biotech is going, especially in his company. Bayer is number one in oilseeds, cotton, canola and number for in vegetable seeds.

They are big in the genetically modified trait industry too, with glyphosate, glufosinate and HPPD inhibitor chemistry. Their expense and budget in biotech is huge, in the billions of Euro's.

They employ 3000 people just in their seed development industries.

Our job was to show how the Liberty Link Soybeans worked on our farms. They are new in the market place as Round Up Ready has that market.

LL shows a lot of promise and I think we were able to communicate that. They are the best tool we have for Round Up Ready weeds, those resistant to glyphosate that we have.

Many more farmers are using this technology this year in their fields.

I think most of us are ready to go home.

Ed

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Resistant Weeds


I made it to Chicago in good shape and was busy all day preparing for our talk on resistant weeds today and what farmers can do to fight them.

I have been able to meet with several seed companies and learn some new things.

One seed company is coming out with a guarantee that if you follow their soybean management program they will guarantee your results.

This is ground breaking news and it will be interesting to see how farmers respond to it. More details will be available when they officially roll out the program in a few weeks.

I met with another seedsman who is concerned about moving all of his soybean seed. I assured him there should be good demand by farmers for the type of seed he is providing and I would help get the word out to farmers in the midwest who need a 3.5 to 3.9 genetically modfied seed.

I have tested this seed and studied the data and I can recommend this seed to farmers. There will be lots of options for seed treatment and inoculant on this seed and it should be a super package for farmers I talk to and work with.

I am looking forward to the trade show and presenting our ideas today.

I should be a good day.

Ed Winkle

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ASTA

I am heading off for Chicago this morning for the American Seed Trade Association exposition. I have been invited to speak about resistant weeds like we did in Tennessee and Arkansas this summer.

I hope to get some pictures and new information.

It is an exciting time in agriculture and the seed industry has always been key to agriculture.

Wish me luck and better yet a prayer for safety.

Ed

Monday, December 6, 2010

Time To Tip Your Service People

Sable is waiting on Karen, our mailman. Rural mail delivery people are some of the best people I know and Karen is at the top of her profession. She also gives Sable the yummiest hot dog looking dog treats almost every day. Sable often digs around the mailbox looking for a morsel she missed.

Karen and her substitutes rarely makes a mistake and goes out of their way to fiz it if she does. She is a family friend now. She bought my old hay baler a few years ago and that was probably the best gift I could give her. It was a low priced New Holland baler that hasn't missed a bale since I sold it to her!

This summer she lost a barn full of hay to fire which is not uncommon. I don't know what her loss was but I am giving her a big tip this month to help make up for her loss. She treats me so well.

I tell you, the local Post Office is right there with UPS and the both blow the competition away. The UPS people are friends of me and Sable too and she has been known to jump into the truck when they slide the door open for a delivery. I would hate to lose either service.

What prompted this story is another plug for volunteer firemen I saw. A fireman answers a fire alarm every 23 seconds somewhere in the United Stated and three fourths of those firemen are volunteer. God Bless our firemen. I am going to send them a donation, too. I have not had to use them yet and hope I never do but they are there if I need them.

The nice guy who picks who our garbage is probably higher paid than all the others that services us but they do a job in the dark and the cold or heat most don't do. He works for Rumpke Waste Systems, one of the largest in our region. Carl Rumpke was a farmer who got pushed out by Cincinnati so he started burying their waste for them. We now have three Rumpke Mountains within and hour of the house.

I know they rotate drivers and I am not often up when they show up before 6 AM but this guy loaded a bunch of heavy carpet backing that should have been cut up in pieces. I owe this fellow a nice tip and I am going to write a thank you note to him and include a tip at the office of the site where he unloads our refuse.

Why send money to another continent when our people need help right here? The people I mention earned it and the list goes on and on. I owe so many people who help me. Our farm is a popular spot for teens to get some money because I always need something done I cannot get done.

So this Christmas season, consider tipping the people that help you or give them an appropriate gift if you know them. We often forget them or take their service for granted.

We have to take care of one another.

Ed Winkle

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It Is Written

Isaiah
Chapter 11

But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.

The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,

and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide,

But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked.

Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.

Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them.

The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox.

The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.

On that day, The root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, The Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Have you ever seen animals together that get along when they aren't supposed to?

It is great when people act like this in times of peace.

This was one of our Bible reading's this morning and I thought to myself, that says it all about what I believe, hope and pray for.

A Blessed Advent to you,

Ed Winkle

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Spoiled


Boy we are spoiled aren't we? I mean we are spoiled as individuals, corporate, government, about any way you want to look at it.

I caught this story on USA Today this morning about a poor guy who lost his big job and a now he had to take a $95,000 "gig" job to build his resume and support his habit of spending.

People have no idea what poor is, do they? I wonder if the poor really understand? The interpretation of poor has really changed since I was a child.

There are so many programs and promotions and whatever people in the states really don't suffer that much. We want more and we want what used to be but it isn't there anymore and some people are just in a tizzy.

The guy lost his $400,000 job because his employer lended money to people who couldn't pay it. Am I wrong on this? Did he satsify his employer or do what was right by not lending money to people who couldn't pay it back?

Our country is really in disorder. We all want to act like it is alright but you and I know it isn't and no one wants to be the first and rock the boat.

How do you change a child when they are spoiled? You catch them the first time or two they want their way and keep working on that behavior.

This has been going on now for decades and no one has punished the spoiled child.

This isn't going to change because no one wants to make the change. It hurts too much to make the change.

It is going to hurt a whole lot more when we have to make that change.

Ed Winkle

Friday, December 3, 2010

Harry Ferguson


I see an old farmer friend passed away Wednesday and I thought about his love for Massey Ferguson tractors. So I looked up Harry Ferguson to see what kind of man he was. He was quite an inventor.

Irish Eyes had the best story.
"1884-1960
INVENTOR
Ferguson was born at Growell, near Hillsborough, Co Down, on 4 November l884. In l902, he joined his brother Joe in a car and bicycle repair business in Belfast, and in 1904 began to race motor-cycles. In 1909, at Hillsborough, he made the first powered flight in Ireland, travelling 130 yd (118.5 m) in a monoplane he had built. He later drove racing cars, and helped to establish the famous Ulster Tourist Trophy races in 1928.

Ferguson formed his own motor business in 1911, and during World War 1 began to sell tractors to Irish farmers accustomed to horse-drawn ploughs. With the revolutionary concept that tractor and plough should be designed as a unit, Ferguson began to register his own patents. The American tycoon Henry Ford offered him a job, but he preferred his independence and set up an American plant to make Ferguson ploughs. In 1926, the principal patent of the Ferguson system - hydraulic regulation of the working depth of the various implements linked to the tractor - was granted. In time, the system would change the face of agriculture, but commercial success proved elusive.

This photograph was taken in 1910, after one of the first air flights in Ireland. The pilot, Harry Ferguson, had constructed the aeroplane from plans in a magazine and he made the first flight in the country at Hillsborough, Co. Down, on 31st December 1909.

In 1938, Ferguson and Ford reached a 'gentlemen's agreement' by which the American could manufacture tractors for Ferguson to sell, and the deal was sealed only by a handshake. The tractor contributed enormously to wartime food production, but Ferguson's real hope was to raise living standards throughout the world. 'Agriculture,' he said in 1943, 'should have been the first industry to be modernised, not the last.'

Ferguson's later years were clouded by a dispute with the Ford Motor Company, after Henry Ford's death. He won $9.25m compensation in 1952, but a 1953 merger with the Canadian Massey-Harris concern worked out unhappily for him, and he retired to Stow-on-the-Wold, in Gloucestershire. His last ambition was to improve car safety through a four-wheel drive system and anti-lock braking, but he failed to make a commercial breakthrough. He suffered from insomnia and depression and, when he died from a drugs overdose on 25 October 1960, a coroner's jury returned an open verdict.

Read
Colin Fraser, Harry Ferguson: Inventor and Pioneer (1972)."

I liked his quote on agriculture needing to be modernized first, not last. One of my neatest jobs ever was a parts picker and packer for Massey Ferguson part time when I studied agricultural engineering at Ohio State.

Ed

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Go, Hunters, Go!


I like wildlife as well as anyone else but as a farmer they eat my crop and run up my insurance and liability cost. The amount taken Monday is good evidence there are way to many deer in Ohio.

Monday was a good day to hunt deer according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. Hunters took over 37,000 white tailed deer. The deer-gun season remains open through Sunday, December 5, and then reopens for two days on Saturday and Sunday, December 18-19.

The preliminary figures from deer check stations throughout the state show an increase of 12.5 percent from last year's opening day total of 33,607.

Counties reporting the highest numbers of deer checked on Monday included: Tuscarawas - 1,806; Coshocton - 1,536; Harrison - 1,439; Guernsey - 1,406; Holmes - 1,312; Licking - 1,259; Washington - 1,192; Ashtabula - 983; Muskingum - 930; and Athens - 886.

Combining the results of Monday's harvest with those from the early muzzleloader season, the first six weeks of archery season and the recent youth deer-gun season, a preliminary total of 97,371 deer have been killed so far this deer hunting season. That number compares to 97,371 harvested last year at this time. In all, hunters took a total of 261,314 deer during all of last year's hunting seasons.

Approximately 420,000 hunters are expected to participate in the statewide deer-gun season. Ohio's deer population was estimated to be 750,000 prior to the start of the fall hunting seasons.

The white-tailed deer is the most popular game animal in Ohio, frequently pursued by generations of hunters. Ohio ranks 8th nationally in annual hunting-related sales and 10th in the number of jobs associated with the hunting-related industry. Each year, hunting has an $859 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more.

Division of Wildlife Chief Dave Graham has challenged all deer hunters to make this year special for Ohio's hungry by labeling Saturday, Dec. 4, as Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry Day. Last year, hunters showed they cared by donating nearly 467,000 meals to Ohioans in need.

Hunters who give their deer to a food bank are not required to pay the processing cost as long as the deer are taken to a participating processor and funding for the effort lasts. Counties being served by this program can be found online at www.fhfh.org.

The following is a list of the number of deer checked and tagged by hunters during the first day of deer-gun hunting season. The number taken during the 2009 season is marked in ( ): 2010 (2009)


Adams –502(481); Allen –90(118); Ashland –793(619); Ashtabula –983(836); Athens –886(925); Auglaize –87(80); Belmont –844(640); Brown –364(240); Butler –121(89); Carroll –680(691); Champaign –150 (232); Clark –100(87); Clermont –420(297); Clinton –191(186); Columbiana –851(628); Coshocton –1,536(1,353); Crawford –306(288); Cuyahoga –30(25); Darke –68(55); Defiance –425(293); Delaware –199(179); Erie –96(112); Fairfield –499(609); Fayette –37(74); Franklin –62(68); Fulton –188(123); Gallia –607(455); Geauga –268(188); Greene –64(63); Guernsey –1,406(1,284); Hamilton –99(72); Hancock –119(153); Hardin –198(169); Harrison –1,439(1,374); Henry –203(88); Highland –490(543); Hocking –703(793); Holmes –1,312(1,165); Huron –477(367); Jackson –720(776); Jefferson –774(767); Knox –700(761); Lake –83(63); Lawrence –406(320); Licking –1,259(1,182); Logan –333(255); Lorain –233(210); Lucas –72(76); Madison –55(42); Mahoning –307(238); Marion –114(96); Medina –200(146); Meigs –717(569); Mercer –98(79); Miami –37(35); Monroe –638(670); Montgomery –52(37); Morgan –610(579); Morrow –354 (260); Muskingum –930(799); Noble –741(745); Ottawa –19(12); Paulding –322(140); Perry –681(631); Pickaway –149(188); Pike –211(300); Portage –177(122); Preble –60(39); Putnam –242(196); Richland –449(404); Ross –734(638); Sandusky –43(67); Scioto –450(249); Seneca –341(255); Shelby –165(141); Stark –602(487); Summit –88(62); Trumbull –639(572); Tuscarawas –1,806(1,763); Union –165(125); Van Wert –125(55); Vinton –629(548); Warren –172(117); Washington –1,192(1,010); Wayne –285(220); Williams –364(253); Wood –138(99); Wyandot –231(167); TOTAL: 37,805(33,607)

I saw a big one in a bed of a famililar looking Chevy at Brown's Monday. Reminded me of the one my friends from Michigan took here November 23, 2008, but larger. I wonder if that was the big one we have been seeing all year? That deer filled the bed and his antlers were almost as wide as the truck.

I like the venison program, that is a good deal.

Ed Winkle

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Austria

Austria is sure a beautiful place. I bet it is really crowded in summer with all the tourists. Winter was busy enough for me.

This is one of those perfect trees in downtown Linz, Austria. All these river towns are an easy walk from the cruise ship. For longer journeys we take a cab or a bus.

This is one of those places you could live. It just feels like home. You can walk to any store you need, pick up your loaf of fresh bread and walk home like we did in Paris.

LuAnn uploaded more pictures to her facebook account. She is getting good with her new Canon camera.

We saw the name Abt on a plaque on a wall above the river and asked what it meant. The German interpretors thought that Abt was short for Abbot or the one in charge of the Abbey so his name became Abt. Abt is two of the grand daughter's last name and I have known the family and family name most of my life.

Like most towns and cities, Linz has a history over the tolls of history. When the people were liberated, they became the artsy, intelligent people I view them as now and not the industrial workers they once were.

The tiny difference in the lifestyle is the big difference, you walk more than drive. You eat fresh bread that is only good for a day or two, no preservaties, no factory loaves. You drink tiny cups of coffee rather than sip on a watered down 20 ouncer.

Personally I really like because it makes more sense to me.

Either way, life in Austria is what I would call very good. We have something similar here in this region, it's just been Americanized.

Ed

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Auction


There is an auction tomorrow I would like to attend. There is always a story behind a farm auction. By farm auction I mean machinery, not real estate.

At least half the auctions are sad stories. This one is. The dad was a real good farmer but died at my age of a heart attack. The son took over and couldn't make it so now all the chattels are being sold.

The next door neighbor was one of my students and also died suddenly at 53. That community has been hard hit.

There are three pieces which would add to our versatility here. A 1955 Oliver tractor, a Gleaner R-72 and a Rogator crop sprayer.
The 1955 would pull a notill drill to get the little fields or patch bigger fields. The R-72 is the same size as the R-75 but a little older but could be bought cheaper than renting a second combine.

Those combines are still bringing around the $100,000 area as a replacement is closer to $400,000.

That tractor is what I would call a classic tractor, over 30 years old. Still it would be new to me. They are selling for 5-10 thousand dollars but this one needs up to 5 grand of work in the transmission so I wouldn't want to bid over $5000 for it even though it is a good tractor in good condition other than the tranny.

That Waukesha engine is known for spitting connecting rods out the side and there goes another five grand if it does. Some of us know how to prevent that but many don't.

My brother traded my 2-70 White I had sold to him and dad and they got a 1955 in the deal. The first day dad was spreading manure on the 27 acre field by White Oak Creek it spit a rod out the side that went several hundred feet. That tractor is still on the old farm but it has never been the same.

The Rogator would make the most money spraying our own crops as much as possible. The entry level would be so much cheaper than buying newer. Tractorhouse has these sprayers selling in the $50,000 ballpark.

I like going to auctions but not when I am bidding on big ticket items as someone always wants to talk when you are in the middle of a thinking process and you hate to be rude but if you don't pay attention, you will be on the wrong side of the deal.

I guess auctions aren't the best places to buy big ticket items.


Ed

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Cleveland's

Eric and Tyler are direct decendants of President Grover Cleveland.

The First Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland was the only President to leave the White House and return for a second term four years later.

One of nine children of a Presbyterian minister, Cleveland was born in New Jersey in 1837. He was raised in upstate New York. As a lawyer in Buffalo, he became notable for his single-minded concentration upon whatever task faced him.

At 44, he emerged into a political prominence that carried him to the White House in three years. Running as a reformer, he was elected Mayor of Buffalo in 1881, and later, Governor of New York.

Cleveland won the Presidency with the combined support of Democrats and reform Republicans, the "Mugwumps," who disliked the record of his opponent James G. Blaine of Maine.

A bachelor, Cleveland was ill at ease at first with all the comforts of the White House. "I must go to dinner," he wrote a friend, "but I wish it was to eat a pickled herring a Swiss cheese and a chop at Louis' instead of the French stuff I shall find." In June 1886 Cleveland married 21-year-old Frances Folsom; he was the only President married in the White House.

Cleveland vigorously pursued a policy barring special favors to any economic group. Vetoing a bill to appropriate $10,000 to distribute seed grain among drought-stricken farmers in Texas, he wrote: "Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character. . . . "

He also vetoed many private pension bills to Civil War veterans whose claims were fraudulent. When Congress, pressured by the Grand Army of the Republic, passed a bill granting pensions for disabilities not caused by military service, Cleveland vetoed it, too.

He angered the railroads by ordering an investigation of western lands they held by Government grant. He forced them to return 81,000,000 acres. He also signed the Interstate Commerce Act, the first law attempting Federal regulation of the railroads.

In December 1887 he called on Congress to reduce high protective tariffs. Told that he had given Republicans an effective issue for the campaign of 1888, he retorted, "What is the use of being elected or re-elected unless you stand for something?" But Cleveland was defeated in 1888; although he won a larger popular majority than the Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison, he received fewer electoral votes.

Elected again in 1892, Cleveland faced an acute depression. He dealt directly with the Treasury crisis rather than with business failures, farm mortgage foreclosures, and unemployment. He obtained repeal of the mildly inflationary Sherman Silver Purchase Act and, with the aid of Wall Street, maintained the Treasury's gold reserve.

When railroad strikers in Chicago violated an injunction, Cleveland sent Federal troops to enforce it. "If it takes the entire army and navy of the United States to deliver a post card in Chicago," he thundered, "that card will be delivered."

Cleveland's blunt treatment of the railroad strikers stirred the pride of many Americans. So did the vigorous way in which he forced Great Britain to accept arbitration of a disputed boundary in Venezuela. But his policies during the depression were generally unpopular. His party deserted him and nominated William Jennings Bryan in 1896.

After leaving the White House, Cleveland lived in retirement in Princeton, New Jersey. He died in 1908.

Learn more about Grover Cleveland's spouse, Frances Folsom Cleveland.

Wiki goes into the political details of his presidency with lots of links.

It is good reading.

Ed

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Family


You know, people who have a loving family are really, really blessed. Some people don't have that, can you imagine?

Yesterday we got together and had about the most wonderful time you could ever imagine. It was nothing fancy, just a day to see each other, enjoy some food over a traditional Holiday that is very important to our country and some families.

Those Pilgrims, how did they do it? They left everything to have a chance and come and eat with perfect strangers, the native American Indians. They had to be desperate or adventurous or both as that boat ride was no picnic.

The grandchildren are growing up so fast but progressing so wonderfully. Madison brought her second letter to us. I told her she spells better than most of my friends and she is only in the second grade. She is so loving and kind and the best older sister and cousin you could imagine.

Her sister Brynne just blended in with the kids. the older three like to play and march around together and she is usually in the middle. They were all just happy as larks all day, no fusses and and no one wanted to go home.

Liam is my little buddy, he loves slapstick home grown corney humor like me and I can make him laugh in a second. He is in preschool and really advancing himself. He reminds me of myself at five and yes I do remember that.

Caolin is just the sweetest little girl I ever saw, she looks right through you with those big eyes and smile. She is quite independent and plays and sings to herself but gets along great with the others, too.

Her new little brother Finn never cried all day. He is quite a hunk, over 12 lbs at 6 weeks. He was very comfortable with the commotion going on. In a year he will be holding his own.

Tyler is speaking words but still has that Bow stamina and such stoutness for a little guy at 18 months.

You think we are proud granparents? You bet. We worked hard to get here but we are really blessed. We had our days with our kids as they grew up and made decisions. We were pretty firm with them but always did it with love and it turned out great.

So here is to our family, our most prized possession. You kids are doing a great job and we are very proud of you.

Ed and LuAnn

Saturday, November 27, 2010

River Cruising


Three weeks ago we left for our first river cruise, this one on the Danube as you know now.

We chose Vantage Travel for our cruise and can highly recommend them after using them. We saw one other Nordic cruise line and those people seemed to be happy too.

I sleep really well on a ship. Of course the five I have slept on were usually on calm waters and I know I wouldn't be sleeping in a storm. That would be like me trying to sleep on a jet airplane 6 miles high going 5-600 MPH. That is what I call an out of body experience.

Sleeping on a ship on calm water is like sleeping on a giant comfy bed on top of giant waterbed. I don't wake up in the middle of the night like I often do on land.

Our bed was two small beds put together and each had its own fluffy comforter but looked like a queen sized bed.

I mention sleep because we spend 1/3 of our lives in bed and without good rest the day is pretty well shot.

Vantage really knows what it is doing. Everything is top notch and service is better than anything else you will see. You have to work together on a 5 day to two week deal or the customer isn't going to be satisfied. They do it and the customer is very satisfied.

The routine is great for me. Wake up, shower, eat, walk, read, study, eat, walk, see, experience, eat, have some entertainment and go to bed. After three days I am totally relaxed like a leaf on a tree, just blowing in the breeze.

Our ship was 170 guests, mainly couples, and 42 staff so the chef cooked 640 or so meals a day for us and crew. The kitchen was very high tech and very efficient. Every worker was at the top of his game in that kitchen to the dining room.

We got to eating on the higher deck of the Compass Dining room with the kitchen underneath us. There we met Emil, the best waiter I ever had and his able assistants Milai and Atilla. They soon knew our habits and we became friends on our short journey.

You can take one of these vacations for about $3000 each, U.S. After adding tips for crew and whatever you buy off the ship, you are probably still under $10,0000. It is well worth it to me and compares to every kind of vacation we have taken in the last ten years. It is different though as you are really being waited on and the herds are not as big as the big cruise ships. That makes it very personal and special.

The guests are all in our age group and education level. That makes for good relations and discussions at dinner. The hard part for me was seeing where I will be in 10 years as we were that much younger than most of the cruisers.

It was good to see older folks still out learning culture and seeing sights. They take their bumps and bruises from age in stride. One old german from New Jersey was 89 and his wife right behind and he was still doing his thing in retirement. Hip and knee replacements are common among passengers.

It really was a good experience and I would sure do it again.

Holland in bloom, the Christmas markets and new countries are still out there for us.

Ed

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wheat Grew Overnight


This is the most unusual thing I ever saw but yesterday's rain made the wheat grow overnight.

It has been so dry the wheat and barley barely came up. With a nice 1-2 inches of rain on it it grew overnight.

Usually it is so damp in fall the cereal crops come closer to drowning than lacking from water but this year's La Nina event is quite something different. The grain prices are so volatile because of high demand and questionable supply that the rumor of drought in South America has the markets queezy.

We are about 12 inches behind an average year's rainfall. We had one inch of rain June 12, another one Sept 17 and more than that yesterday. That's almost a half a year with 3 one inch rains, very unusual around here.

They said it was the coolest October on record in Europe but then turned record warm while we were there.

The yard greened up a little but not like most places we have been to where it is lush green. I really need to re-seed the whole thing now.

It sure has been a different year weather wise!

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving. It is amazing how affordable a home cooked meal still is.

"While the average cost of a traditional Thanksgiving meal rose by 56 cents, the price of feeding a gathering of 10 is still less than it was in 2008, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table.

The average price tag for a holiday meal for 10 with all the trimmings rang up at $43.47, up from $42.91 in 2009 but down by $1.14 from the 2008 average. The rise was in spite of a significantly lower average price for the centerpiece 16-pound turkey, which was down by 99 cents.

“Turkey prices are down some this year despite the fact that, according to United States Agriculture Department estimates, turkey production has been slightly lower in 2010 than in 2009 and supplies of turkey in cold storage are below last year’s level,” said American Farm Bureau Federation Economist John Anderson, who said this indicates retailers are being aggressive in featuring turkeys in special sales and promotions.

“Overall, the change in the price of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner is basically in line with the modest changes that we’ve seen in the overall price level this year. At $4.35 per person, our traditional Thanksgiving feast is still a better deal than most fast-food value meals, plus it’s a wholesome, home-cooked meal.”

The survey involved shoppers from 34 states (including one from Georgia) collecting price data on turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and beverages of coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10.

The cost of a 16-pound turkey, at $17.66 or roughly $1.10 per pound, reflects a decrease of 44 cents compared to the prices from the 2009 survey. A 38-cent rise in the price of a gallon of milk and a 72-cent increase for miscellaneous ingredients (coffee, onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) offset the decrease in the price of turkey. The price for a pound of green peas also declined, by an average of 14 cents, while the cost of 12 ounces of fresh cranberries was the same as in 2009."

I am sure most of us spent more than that but food is still affordable.

Those little wheat plants won't make a dent in the cost of producing the pumpkin pie shell it could make.


Ed