Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Where The Antelope Play

Across the prairie the antelope roam, small herds to oversize herds.  The bucks get booted for a variety of reasons and they wander the grasslands in small groups.

This pair was grazing on the knoll and when I stipped to take their picture they perked up.  Out of the country they wanted, away from the strange bi-peddler.



One stopped and looked, the other was heading out, looking for an escape route.


Through the fence he goes.  Unlike deer they do not jump fences.  They are smooth enough to slide through although they have been known to tear up fences when a herd is running.

Off the the horizon they go, leaving the strange two legged critter behind that got out the pile of metal.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In Memory

This weekend has been referred to as decoration day.  By government decree and the for the want of a paid holiday it is now Memorial Day.  Graves are still decorated, ceremonies are still conducted, friends and relatives go visiting at the cemetery.

There are the moments and stories about veterans making the sacrifice for our country’s freedom.  I used to buy into that big time but in reclining years I question that feel good statement.

I enjoy history and when I look back over the history of the USA I see less and less freedom.  There are volumes of law books published each year and each year there are more laws added to these books.  Each law restricts a person in some manner or other, whether it be consequences, penalties and even taxes.  These new laws are passed by congress, republican and democrat.

Even in my short life I have seen restrictions  placed on me that were not there 30 years ago.  Some are good, few are begin and a lots are ugly. 

So what is freedom……………….?

WWI Allen


My family heritage in this country goes back to 1750.  This is when the US was a penal colony for England and when Europeans were fleeing the oppression of the royal governments or religious persecution.  The freedom these people sought was brief lived.

Yet I understand what was trying to be accomplished, I also understand why there were so many failures.

Not only do I salute the veterans, I acknowledge their families and the people that support them.

Have a blessed weekend, go forth and roast a…………….


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Working in the US….. Maybe

The Price of Business

Driving over the prairies one notices the changes, new homes, business and old homes and businesses gone. It is and ever changing landscape that remains the same. Grasses grow, animals graze and life moves on.

Scattered among the rolling hills of the high plains are numerous oil wells, some places spotty, other places very numerous. Drilling rigs rise up over the plains, looking like christmas trees at night. New jobs are being created as new holes are bored into the ground. With new wells come more jobs, setting the pumps in place, more oil pipe, tanks, support equipment and the maintenance of keeping the pumps running. Jobs in the oil patch are good paying jobs and give a boost to the local economy.

Here is a rub, why are not more holes being bored in the ground? Lots of things for one to look at. The so called war in the middle east, conflicts in other parts of the world and domestic policy. Domestic policy feeds lots of anger and it also feeds lots of wallets.

If there was more oil drilling/exploration in the US lots of the problems in the slumping economy could be eased. More people could be put to work, there would be more taxes and more spending on all levels.

President of the USA comes out and says there needs to be more oil production in the US. A very good sounding comment but it is hollow, for it is the EPA that issues permits for drilling and if the EPA does not want to, they can withhold permits. The president knows that and that is why he can make good sounding sound bites and look good, a very good posturing position for the political minded president.

So why doesn’t the EPA issue more permits when the president says we need more oil production, because the laws are made by congress and written by the bureaucrats. The president does not make laws, he only signs or vetoes laws. So who id the EPA responsible to, supposedly it is the citizens of the US. They are supposed to make decisions that are for the common welfare of the country. Like many agencies in government the EPA has developed an agenda that does not always look out for the common welfare of the people. Instead they listen to the wishes of a few special interest people. In this case a small group referred to as environmentalists. The tail is wagging the dog. So this begs a question, why does the public servant, EPA do what’s good for the country? Or why do we let agencies dictate to us our lifestyle?

The oil patch is but one industry that has been stymied by the EPA and the environmentalists. They battle to stop coal and nuclear fired electric generating plants, they battle the farmers on the use of herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers that help crop production. These environmental rules push up the tab for living and cost jobs. Under the guise of health concerns the EPA stops lots of projects and or makes them more costly.

Stop and look at many jobs have been pushed overseas because of environmental rules, plastic industry, steel mills and even lumbering. These are well paying jobs that are no longer in the states. Does that mean that we are now killing people in these foreign countries because these dirty jobs are no longer in the US? That is one of the reasons jobs went overseas, they were harmful to our health. It must be okay to harm a foreigner’s health?

Back to the middle east and the so called war. What purpose is it over there? Are people being killed over there because of the dirty jobs we don’t want in the US? Is lead poisoning but a secondary killer over there? Will the real culprit be the banned jobs?

Where does the power really lie? We get mad at the politicians and rightly so but where are decisions being made that impact our lives? Presidents have some influence yet in the long run it is the bureaucrats that have the impact on the day to day life. There is no check or balance for the different government agencies. Congress tries but because of political bickering gains are minimal.

Today the dirty industries of the rust belt are some of the cleanest because of clean air technology, automobiles run cleaner than ever and coal fired plants are but a whisper of the junk they used to belch. These industries meet the criteria of today but are vilified by a few and government agencies are used to keep the industry from prospering or growing.

When I fill up at the gas pump it is not the politician I am mad at, although they are partly to blame, it is the faceless bureaucrat I should be kicking at instead of goads.

Domestic Policy has a great influence and it used to be a policy that focused on the common welfare of the people not the ideals of a few.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Bit of Sun and Leaves

It has not gotten warm enough around here for the leaves on the trees to fully fill out.  It is till early spring for the higher elevations of the plains.  Here is a cottonwood still in early spring stage.  The leaves are still translucent and the cotton buds are forming.  With some more sun and warmth the seed pods will open and the air will fill with cotton.




With some backlighting and a clear blue azure sky, the young cottonwood leaves set off nicely against the sky.

The weekend is over, a new week begins.  The travels of life continues.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

From Years Ago…. They Roamed


Took an afternoon off and went off the sand creek to do some rock hunting and maybe find an arrowhead.  It has been sometime since I found and arrowhead, I have found pieces and a small scraper.  Arrowhead hunting is a hobby for a few people that live on the prairie.  For centuries the Indians wandered across the plains, following the buffalo herds and living out their lives.

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Looking up a bluff through a small draw.  There is a small thread of green where the water collects.  The buffalo find these and graze.  It is also a place where the Indians could stampede the buffalo over the ridge and a few of the buffalo would perish in the tumble down the hill.

It would then be easy for the Indians to finish off the animals and skin them.  Below is a creek and a spring nearby for clean water. 

I walk the fields and pastures searching for the tips and scrapers left behind from the processing of the buffalo.  Not much luck but I enjoy the walk and the getting away to a place of solitude.  There is a farmhouse over there about a half mile and another over a mile away.  Then a few more miles to find another farm house.

As I walk the open spaces, the wind dances around, grasses wave in the breeze and clouds are absent.  High clear blue sky.  Summer has been postponed for a few more days, a sweater is need to keep the cool needles out.

Some smoky quartz is found, a few agates, maybe a piece of opal and petrified wood pieces but no arrowheads.  It was a nice walk on a cool day.  Batteries recharged and cobwebs scraped away.

Will have to revisit there another day and remember why life marches on.  Here is a cadence that nature sets.  Man is but a stepper to the cadence.

Friday, May 13, 2011

It Be Gassy

The downward spiral of rising prices.  There are times the people in the US are amazing.  They can be so independent and determined.  Damm the person that gets in their way.



buzzard circles about looking

Read the other day that the price of oil is falling because of the decline in demand.

The US life revolves around the automobile.  The car is the great equalizer, it offers freedom, mobility, independence and status among other things.  Mess with the americans cars and there will be repercussions.

I posted a blog while back about gas prices, not complaining but pointing out how our buying habits influence the market.  The US economy is very market driven by the consumer and this drives the marxists up the wall.  Even the russians with their big hammer could not control the market.

When one stops buying a product the dynamics change. either the producer changes or they go out of business.  Buying less gas forces the producer to look at his pricing and if he can not meet the market demands he usually goes out of business.

Stop and look at what would happen to the gas market if we did not buy gas for one day/stopped driving for  that day.  It would take more then a few hundred dollars out of their pocketbook, it would be close to a billion dollars in revenue the oil boys would lose.  Big dollars like that grab attention.

Us little people have lots of influence, most don’t exercise it.  When we become complacent the bully’s take over and all of a sudden we are in a corner and wonder how we got there.

If I’m going to complain about something I am also going to take some kind of action.  I don’t always have the desired results but I gave it my best shot.

If the politicians would learn to keep their interference in our lives to a minim, life would be much better.  There are some great every day people out there and are very capable of taking care of themselves, for the most part.

The marxists do not see it that way, they want to control things and there are other groups.


So have good look at your spending and see what kind of influence you have, albeit a small one but it does effect the economy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The heat of Summer

Spring just passed by and I didn’t even catch but a small glimpse.  The hot dry winds of summer are hustling over the parched grasslands of the prairie.  Spring was but a moment here n there.  Clear high hot skies are now the dominant scene in the great outdoors.

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Bing in the middle of the migratory route I get to see a variety of birds headed north and later this fall they will go floating by overhead.  A few new ones from the spring ritual.  Along with them are the butterflies.  The spring movement isn’t as populous as the fall migration.  There are times the butterflies are like a mat.

It reassuring to hear the call of certain birds for it is the beginning of summer.  The robin has been hopping around since the late winter snows..  The the distinctive chirp of the Western Meadow Lark joins the chorus.  The yellow of the goldfinch sets on the feeder, joining the other little birds.

Spring is becoming a memory and the heat of dog days is approaching.  There will be couple more late freezes yet.  The garden stands by for the leaving of the final frost.  Grasshoppers are yet to make an appearance because there are still cold temps at night.

Today the wind whistles over the plains, grasping at what little moisture is in the ground.  Overhead is blue sky, tainted with the bits of dust floating in the wind..  Sounds of spring are fading, the hot hand of summer is grasping.

May you have a blessed week ahead and may the steps of the Lord be your guide.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wandering Thoughts…… looking for mine

Time passes and events happen, some are remembered a few recorded but most are forgotten.  What happened over there, used to have very little impact here and they would go into the file of round.  today there are so many who want to be world leaders they try to make their place to interfere in others lives.  At what point does one meddle in the life of another, a question that remains to be answered.  Ethics have been tossed under the curb, so who would know what would be an ethical choice.  Even “christians” have vague ides of ethics.

So when that guy was killed in Pakistan, there was some celebrating but to what end.  The problem has not been solved.  There still is hatred and conflict.  Those over there hate them over there and the rage flames on.

A question of who is going to control whom…… Oh who controls you?



Watched this big transformer get off loaded from a rail car.  No big cranes or machines.  A few men, lots of axels, some jacks and blocks.  They moved tons with simple tools that have been used for centuries and they were successful.  Nothing high tech in this operation.  some sense, leverage and patience.  They got the monster onto some wheels and toted it a few miles north to be part of a wind farm.

So that big gray glob you own a small part of it because of the tax subsidy the manufacturers and utility companies get. 

that makes things interesting for the consumer gets to pay for his electricity twice.  First as a taxpayer, then as a consumer.  Makes for some expensive electricity.

Don’t stop now for those that drive are doing the same.  The government subsidizes the oil and gas industry.  Not to the extent they subsidize the wind farms.  As consumers there are lots of things we pay twice for.

Read where the subsidies for oil is about a dollar per megawatt and for the wind farm it is about 5 bucks for a megawatt.

Tax money goes for lots of things.  I ask for whose benefit.  Is my tax money being used to make somebody rich.  Most of the time the answer is yes.


feb 2011 094


Maybe I shall go forth and join robbing hood and his merrie men.  Go rob the rich government workers and give to the poor taxpayers.

How trite things can become as priorities are not clear.

Into the non pressure cooker I seek a path.  A stew it shall be, gurgling slowly, rich aromas ushering forth.  the stench of ……. covered over.  Wool of sheep sheared, pulled over the eyes.

Royalty not we are, emulate royal breed we seek.  Crowns placed on heads, worn with emptiness, seeking to live in castle.  Content not, striving for more.  Envy green curls the limpid skin. jealousy flows overboard, drowning in greed.

What does life owe me?