Archive for January, 2011

Financial Sequelae of Prolonged Cold Snap

My former DIL called me to tell me how shocked she was over her power bill (it was over $400). It has been so much colder than normal, and she has small children recently sick with the flu, so the heat is on 24/7. An air to air heat pump just doesn’t work that efficiently when the weather turns so cold! She thought she had it bad but her sister’s power bill is $600. They aren’t sure how the bills will get paid due to employment issues.

I don’t think ours will be that high…at least, I hope not! We’ve only been turning on the heat when we arrive home and then turn off the heat when it is time to go to bed, something that parents with little ones can’t do.

Are y’all’s power bills under control?

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Tarp for the Price of Chicken Scratch

Scratch feed, that is, and whole corn.

Here’s the deal: Rain was supposed to arrive this morning. The weather forecast said it would be warm (68 degrees!) but I had my doubts. As it turned out, I was right. It was a cold, cold rain throughout the day.

Some of our chickens are in portable chicken pens that look sort of like conestoga wagons but that are covered with welded wire and shade cloth. This isn’t a very weather proof combination. I usually cover with a tarp when bad weather is expected but our last bad weather detached the tarp and sent it sailing off into the woods. Oops. Late yesterday afternoon after the grandsons left for the evening, I realized that I had nothing to cover one of the pens with. I did have lots of plastic woven feed bags that had previously held scratch feed and corn. I cut the stitching at the end and was left wtih a tube, which I cut open down the side. I did the same thing to another bag, rolled the edges together, and fastened them together with hog nose rings. I continued until I had a tarp the size I needed. It worked well for me, and the price (free!) was right.

The chickens appeared dry and happy this evening. I, on the other hand, was neither dry nor happy.

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100 Flavors of Soda at Firehouse Subs

Always wanted your own custom soda flavor? Go to Firehouse Subs in Jacksonville! Hmmmmm. Wonder if I can get a chocolate Sprite?

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Tucson Shooting

Jared Lee Loughner decided to kill as many people as possible Saturday at a supermarket where Congresswoman Giffords was holding an event. The people at the event overpowered and subdued him, preventing him from committing even more mayhem that he had planned. Once his name was known, a number of people were able to access his online accounts and read the rambling accounts of a very disturbed individual.

We do not know why this person chose to target this particular Congresswoman. The more lefty liberal Democrats (and many of the media) reflexively and publicly blamed Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, the military, and Fox News, as though he were some kind of fiscally conservative crazy. They sounded as delusional as the killer! I’m waiting for it to somehow all be Bush’s fault. No doubt Nancy Pelosi is working on that right now.

My heart goes out to the families of the victims and the victims themselves. People that spend a lot of time in the public eye, whether they are elected officials or corporate representatives, know that the risk exists of drawing the attention and ire of the crazy element in society. People going to the grocery store to see their Congresswoman probably wouldn’t think of such a thing.

I’ll be curious to see what the fallout for this will be in terms of personal freedom. Will politicians or, indeed, any individual or organization that holds a public event be forced to provide security? Will people that wish to go meet their representative be subjected to a full body search, much like the people that are assumed to be potential criminals because they wish to board an aircraft?

On a personal note, as a person who works with the violent element in public schools, I despair about what is going to happen to these children. Sometimes they’re second and third generation batshit crazy (my diagnosis). When disturbed kids are finished with years of assaulting their teachers and other students in the public school system and age out, what happens to them? When their caretakers are no longer able to care for them, what happens to them? Institutions for the mentally ill have been closed down and jail has taken its place.

His teachers and classmates are probably shaking their heads and saying “We all knew this was coming someday, but there was nothing at all we could do about it”.

What the Democrats (aka “the party in power”) should be doing instead of reflexively blaming Sarah Palin (when it was one of their own that did the shooting) is take a hard look at why there isn’t an effective treatment method/place for the dangerously mentally ill in this country.

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Friday Nite Booty Shake Music

Found at Rachel Lucas:

Just makes you want to grab your significant other four-footed friend and dance, don’t it?

/Okay, maybe I spend too much time with the animals.

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Don’t Let the Door Hit You In The Ass On the Way Out….

H/T GCP

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Grouchy Conservative Pundits is Temporarily Down

Do not despair, GCPers. Mike C and Rayra are busily working to find a solution. In the meantime, please feel free to check in at Bob’s Bites, Nuke’s, A1A South, Conservative Talk, Blogmocracy, or any of the blogs run by people that also comment at GCP.

Update: Heh. I worked late, ran inside before feeding to check to see whether the shit had hit the fan or not during the day, noticed GCP down, read my E-mail, and put up a notice about it. Unfortunately, I published it at Nuke’s but forgot to hit publish on A1A South! Ooops. Sorry, y’all.

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Shelter Humor

Unfortunately, my daughter tells me this happens all the time. She is the one who has to tell the owners that their dog will be put to sleep because nobody is going to take an old, heartworm positive, unsocialized, untrained mutt.

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If I Would Have Known Putting Up Fences Makes It Rain

….I would’ve done it several months ago. Unfortunately, now it means that I’m outside in a chilly rain fixing fence because if I don’t get it finished today, the neighbor’s Rotty who does not like me AT ALL is going to be eating all my livestock. He’s been out there threatening to eat ME, too, but I believe I can take him.

So if you’re saying to yourself “man, I wish it wouldn’t rain today because I wanted to wash my car” or something like that, just think of me out there attaching wire to my T-posts, having to dig through blackberry briars and fireant beds to get that bottom couple strands attached. My hands are swollen up to about twice normal size! Luckily (or not, depending on how you look at it), I’ve borrowed a friend’s leftover pain medication (I know, I ain’t s’posed to do dat, but the fence was in REALLY bad shape) so that the pain from my feet and knees doesn’t keep me from finishing the job. I barely even feel the briar rips and ant bites! Then there’s the pissed off Rottweiler who thinks that fence is HIS, not mine. He even peed on it in several places to make his ownership perfectly clear. Ha! He doesn’t know about the pain medicine. The hardest part was at the bottom where the woven wire has tiny little squares (and the ant beds and briars, of course). Hard to get a pair of pliers to go through those little holes (and my hands, by this time, were having problems going through as well). At the top, I used a small nut driver to tighten up the fence clips, much like this tool does but, unfortunately, the nut driver didn’t work at all on the bottom. Back to pliers! I bet it would really bother the arthritis in my hands if I could feel it.

Update: SwampMan bought me the tool in the link above because he says he’s tired of having his nut drivers ruined (or lost in the briars), and I’ve got a lot more fence to replace around the perimeter. I’m going to wait until we get more rain, though. It took me about two hours to get a post hole just 3 feet deep to drop a telephone pole section in to use as an end post. Sheesh. It was like tryin’ to dig through concrete. Then hammering in the T-posts took me the whole rest of the day for just one teensy little section behind the neighbors’ house! We tried to put ‘em in with the tractor, but the ground was so hard it was bending them, and those heavy duty T-posts ain’t exactly cheap.

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Happy New Years!

Yesterday we cleared a fence line, put in some fence posts, watched a couple hours of a House marathon, and went to sleep. Yup, we just livin’ la vida loca here. The battery in my ol’ vehicle decided to go to battery heaven during the prolonged cold snap once I quit making multiple trips to stores of the grocery and department variety. SwampMan’s manifold gasket is leaking radiator fluid into his oil, so he’s going to be changing that out today. We seem to have neither the time nor the cash for “fun” stuff, but we count ourselves among the blessed because somehow we always seem to be able to scrape by. In comparison to many folks here, we’re rich because we have a roof over our heads, food in the freezer, and electricity, something that a lot of folks on unemployment and food stamps here would have taken for granted just a couple years ago.

So, this morning I will toast all y’all with sparkling grape juice and wish y’all a Happy New Year, with the hopes that you have plenty of fun, your health, food, shelter, and a way to more than cover your expenses in the new year.

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