Monday, September 24, 2007

Who said raising livestock isn't fun?

Imagine, if you will, two young, 75-pound skittish male goats. Now imagine that they have to be loaded into a cage, in the bed of a pickup truck, to be taken to a livestock auction. Now imagine a pregnant woman and a man with a broken wrist trying to corner them in an acre of pasture and get them loaded up into the aforementioned truck, while a four-year-old shouts helpful instructions from the cab. Be sure to include a soundtrack of either the Keystone Kops or Benny Hill.

It was, um, interesting. Not quite as interesting as our next task - to separate one 125-pound adult buck, in, um, "full bloom", from his, er, "life partner." And then load him into the same cage as the two younger bucks. It was a long and lonely summer for the two adult males, and they spent the past couple months stinking up the neighborhood. Instead of white, they are completely covered in a kind of yellowish-brown hue, from spraying their own pungent urine on themselves and each other. They had their pink lightsabers drawn and were not in any mood to be separated.

We got them loaded. Don't ask how. And I got to drive them to the auction yard, with what can only be described as an all-male goat orgy in my rearview mirror. We trailed an invisible plume of goat stink and unfiltered truck exhaust, which must have left an indelible, malodorous film on everything within 50 yards of State Route 138 between Circleville and Hillsboro.

Oh, but I didn't describe the accompanying sound wave. Imagine the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, with his voice dropped a couple of octaves, and filtered through a large spinning fan blade. Add one loud, unmuffled truck engine.

Luckily, our route led us through a lot of sparsely populated farmland. Even so, I'm pretty sure there are a few people along that route who are scarred for life.

Sorry, my camera's broken, so no pictures to go with this story.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Ok, so...

...this is why I try not to get too bogged down in self-pity when things are frustrating or difficult. I have no real, actual, serious problems in my life. This is Serious. This was far closer to Slapstick.

Barefoot Gardener said at least I keep my sense of humor when things aren't going my way. Well not always, but I try. Even so, I've got nothing on this guy below. Now I don't tell people what to do very often, but I'm telling you to watch this:
(Sorry, they force an ad in front of it...)
The lecture linked above was given by a friend of a friend.



Thursday, September 20, 2007

Welcome to Post #250, wherein nothing much happens

Well, my cold is just about past. I can type normally. I can even tie my own shoes, to some extent.

But I'm still frustrated. The weather has been a bit warm yet for this time of year, in the high 80's, but sunny every day. And I'm dying to be out there in it, getting some Things done.

I've more or less scrapped my plan for a fall garden - I got as far as a little swiss chard, and some carrots that don't want to sprout. I was hoping to do some prep work for next year's theoretical garden expansion, and I would love to plant some more trees before Baby cuts into time and budget a little. But alas, I'm not adept at one-handed gardening. I don't know if my arm strength will be back in time to get much done before cold weather arrives. I was dying for our hot, hot summer to end so I could get back outside and get dirty. But then I guess if current trends hold, it'll be warm into December, so maybe I'll get my chance yet.

But in the meantime, I'm mostly casting about for some way to feel useful or productive, and coming up a bit short. I have found some interesting reading over at The Simple Dollar - I especially liked the homemade laundry soap recipe (thanks for the tip Groovy Green). It's also given me some ideas for tidying up our budget in a number of areas.

My job's been trying to give me an ulcer too -- We've got two brand new clients launching and three more upgrading to new versions of our software. These are major endeavors, and I'm a lynch pin for four of those five efforts. Each client gets its own dedicated team, and so they plan independently, with each team forgetting that they almost always have to involve me, and that I might already be booked. Or overbooked. So I'm suddenly a huge bottleneck as they all start reaching certain critical points at once.

I said "trying" to give me an ulcer. But it's not working. I just don't care enough to get worked up about it. I do as much as I can (even staying up until 4am the other night for a particularly devilish bit), but in the end I won't be a slave to it. Part of my job means working in the middle of the night once in a while. And part of my job means saying, "Sorry, I can't do that right now." Especially when I have a cold, a broken arm, a pregnant wife, and two four-year-olds.

But despite all the challenges and frustrations, I'm not especially down. I'm frustrated, but coping well enough.

Unfortunately, dear readers, since I'm sitting around doing nothing more than I'd like, my blog entries may diminish because I have nothing significant to report.

Or maybe I'll get bored enough to start writing about the interesting things I found under my toenails, the fascinating courtship rituals of houseflies, and a Which Disgraced Professional Athlete Are You personality test...



Saturday, September 15, 2007

Oh poor me

I'm in a pretty pathetic state at this point.

Broken wrist. Chest cold. Three-day-old headache. And now laryngitis.

Things I am unable to do at this point:
- Tie my own shoes (or anybody else's, for that matter)
- Button my own pants (ditto above)
- Sign my name
- Change a diaper (no, really)
- Stay on my feet for more than 30 minutes
- Sleep a whole night without injury to myself or others
- Dig up my potatoes
- Utter a coherent sentence
- Speak audibly

So the burden of many of these things goes to my wonderful, and pregnant, wife. The rest will just have to wait.

But at least I can type a little now. And laugh at how pitiful I am.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Not much typing required...

An August afternoon in our front yard



Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Just for reference, it's hard to blog if your wrist looks like this:

It's hard to do a great many things, actually. Sleep being foremost in my mind right now.

I'd advise against anything that might result in a similar outcome.