20 December 2008

19 December 2008

BIG brother

This is priceless. I honestly believe that we're in the opening stages of the collapse of Western Civilization. Freedom is being abolished in the names of safety and the collective.


The masses are drunk off of affluence and entertainment - they're unwilling to risk their comfort and demand their freedoms. The American train has derailed and is headed straight for a brick wall. It's time to jump off, but where can one go? In my opinion, the only reasonable alternatives are Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Unfortunately, those places are farther down the path to collectivism than the United States! There is no escaping this issue. One might limit its effects by moving to a more classically liberal region, but they would still be putting a Band-Aid on the problem.

Difficult questions, difficult answers.


Great sites relating to this post...



We're in the middle of another pretty good snowstorm for our area.

14 December 2008

Hockey Pond

This post is borne out of my search for information on how to build a pond solely for the purpose of playing hockey.

(Yeah, I love playing hockey that much.)

The ponds on which I currently play have a number of drawbacks. Our favored location (a friend's pond) was built for hockey and swimming. It is NHL regulation size and between 1 and 4 meters deep. It is also 20 minutes from my house. It sounds great, but its inflow keeps it from freezing on one end (and occasionally floods the ice), and its depth makes it the last of our playing areas to freeze. I have a pond on my farm, but it also has a number of drawbacks. For starters, it's located a quarter of a mile uphill from my house. That distance prohibits a morning skate before work or an evening skate before dark. Other problems include its small size (a circle about 15 m in diameter) and its tendency to silt up. As a result of these difficulties, I have begun planning der Über Teich - the Super Pond.

The hypothetical Super Pond has a number of attributes. It has a rounded rectangular surface area of 20 m x 40 m. It freezes early in the season and thaws late in the season. It freezes completely - it does not have places of weak or thin ice. It is located within 200 meters of my house. It is located "close to" a water source (to facilitate resurfacing). It does not require periodic silt removal.

When I list the attributes, it doesn't sound very difficult. Unfortunately, it's a lot more complicated than that. What type of pond is appropriate? If I locate it in a wet spot, will it remain filled? Will the soil support a pond? Will it require a clay liner? If it's located in a natural funnel, will I have a problem with silting? Will the inflow end freeze? Will the ice be flooded by mid-winter thaws? How deep should the pond be?

Now it sounds a little more complicated.

These are just some of the questions that require answering before I can begin construction of a pond. I have intensively searched the internet, but I have not found a website with the answers I am looking for. Next spring I will contact my county soil and water conservation office. They are supposed experts on pond construction, and I plan to make full use of their knowledge.

In the mean time, I'll continue to hope for cold days and even colder nights.


We were dumped on (by last year's standards) with 15 cm of snow last Thursday/Friday! For the first time this season it was really a winter wonderland. Ironically, the weathermen had forecast a bunch of freezing rain just a day before the storm. They weren't completely wrong, because that's what we got for about 4 or 5 hours. However, after a solid layer of ice accumulated, we were blessed with close to six inches of the white stuff. As I LOVE to snowshoe, I walked about a mile through the woods on Friday afternoon - pure bliss.

08 December 2008

Two thoughts...

Thought 1:

Incredibly for this time of year, snow has fallen 20 of the past 23 days. That total will probably become 21 of 24 after tomorrow, though the storm that will start as snow is forecast to turn to ice and, eventually, rain.

Also incredibly, during those past 23 days, we have only received 22 centimeters (about 9 inches) of snow. Almost all of that came during a week-long stretch in mid-to-late November. Though it has snowed 11 of the last 13 days, we've only had 4 centimeters (less than 2 inches) during that time. (and I was VERY generous with the totals) There has not been complete snow cover since November 29, and it appears that the next 10 days will be the warmest in a month. Are we heading toward our fifth consecutive brown Christmas?

Thought 2:

My sister-in-law was over this past weekend, and she made a passing comment that got under my skin. We were discussing this story when she threw in the old, "We have to bring in [illegal immigrants] because no one else will work those jobs." At the time I told her that I disagreed and simply left it at that. However, as I thought about it later, the comment began to irritate me even more.

It is my opinion that people who need to work will (1) take any job they can get and (2) work hard to keep that job. In the state of New York, people do not need to work. Why? Welfare. Low-income residents in New York are often eligible for one or more of the following benefits: welfare payments, unemployment payments, WIC (food stamps for women, infants, and children), food stamps (conventional), HEAP (home energy assistance program = free or reduced home heating), HUD rental assistance (federal program), medicaid (free healthcare). I am aware of single-parent families that subsist entirely on public benefits. Since their needs are completely met by the government, they do not need to work. The result? Many impoverished citizens choose not to take menial jobs. Often, those jobs are filled by illegal immigrants...

So, we've established what's happening, but what about what to do about it? It is my opinion that a significant reduction in spending on public benefits could rectify the problem. Stop redistributing money to those who made poor choices with their lives. Start forcing those people to choose between working at eating and not working and starving. I would be willing to bet that those previously undesireable jobs would become hot commodities. Yes, there would be people that choose to starve to death. That is their choice. Perhaps then our children would begin to understand why they need to do well in school. Perhaps our workers would begin to understand that work is for working, not sitting on your duff and looking at pornography online.

Maybe I'm an idiot for thinking that significantly reducing public benefits would be a "magic bullet" against our society's ills. I know it wouldn't cure all of our problems, but maybe it would be a start. At this point, that's all you can hope for.

26 November 2008

Snow, snow, and more snow!

It continues to look like winter outside. (Which is awesome!) We've had ten straight days with snow covering the ground, and it has snowed every single one of those days. This is the first time anything like this has happened in the five Novembers that I've lived here. I wish it would become a regular occurrence!

Last year I began scheming about cross-country skiing. I think skiing would make more sense than snowshoeing does around here. I love to snowshoe, but we only have a handful of days per year with snow deep enough to justify it. I don't think that it's necessary to have as much snow to ski, so maybe I'll pick up an old used pair one of these days...

Hockey season is just around the corner. All of the ponds are iced over - we've only to wait until it's thick enough to hold a man!

Go Sabres!!!!

18 November 2008

Mother ****ing Poachers

My neighbor knowingly trespassed on my farm this morning, drove two blocks of vineyard with an accomplice, and killed a deer on my property. If I could press charges, I would. Unfortunately, without recorded visual evidence, the cops won't do a damned thing. The most aggravating fact is that the asshole denied doing it, knowing that I lacked recorded evidence. Too bad cops won't investigate poaching, because the boot tracks (in the snow), shotgun shells, blood pool, and drag marks to the neighbor's pickup truck are pretty damn good evidence.

Can you tell that I'm a little ****ing angry???

10 November 2008

Puppy at Play

The season's second snowfall. (A little bit is better than nada!)

05 November 2008

Flowers in Bloom

The Christmas Cacti are beautiful right now. Both of the ones in this picture were started from cuttings in the autumn of 2004. The Jade was started from cuttings early in 2007. In the background is an Amaryllis that I purchased from Lowe's last year.

Great Post


31 October 2008

My poor, neglected blog.

Weather-wise, October has turned out to be one heck of a nice month. Unlike last year, when our first hard frost occurred on October 29, we've had more than a dozen since the month began. In addition, we had our first snowfall of the season on October 21 and our first snow accumulation on October 29! I've been calling it a "throwback" autumn because this is the kind of weather that was normal from the region's settlement by Europeans (about A.D. 1800) until about 30 years ago. I love it!

...In other news, the A.D. 2008 United States Presidential Election will be held next Tuesday. I look forward to an end to the election coverage, but I'm nervous about the results. Nationally, we'll find out if John McCain, the lackluster Republican candidate, can defeat Barack Hussein Obama, the shrewd socialist/messiah (depending on your perspective). I dislike both candidates: McCain for his foreign policy and economic stances - Obama for his disguised socialism. In reality, both candidates will lead the United States of America farther down a path to cultural destruction. Though I will not be voting for either major party candidate, I hope that McCain wins the election. As Jack Aubrey once said, "One must always choose the lesser of two weevils!"

07 October 2008

End of the Growing Season

This was the scene at my house this morning. 2008 October 07 brought the first hard frost of autumn and an end to the 2008 growing season. The temperature at my house was 28° Fahrenheit (-2° Celsius). The statistics for the growing season of 2008 are as follows:

Last hard frost of spring: 2008 May 05
Last light frost of spring: 2008 May 28
First light frost of autumn: 2008 September 19
First hard frost of autumn: 2008 October 07
Length of the 2008 growing season: 153 days

The statistics for the growing season of 2007 were:

Last hard frost of spring: 2007 May 14
Last light frost of spring: 2007 May 22
First light frost of autumn: 2007 September 17
First hard frost of autumn: 2007 October 29
Length of the 2008 growing season: 167 days

The statistics for the growing season of 2006 were:

Last hard frost of spring: 2006 May 07
Last light frost of spring: 2006 May 07
First light frost of autumn: 2006 September 29

First hard frost of autumn: 2006 October 06
Length of the 2008 growing season: 151 days

I'm not sure of the spring statistics for 2005 because my wife and I lived in western New York for a brief period of time. The autumn statistics were as follows:

First light frost of autumn: 2005 October 20
First hard frost of autumn: 2005 October 28

02 October 2008

The New Europe?

Someone connected the dots.


Vice Presidential Debate

I'm watching the vice presidential debate, and it's reinforcing my conviction that my country's political system is irreparably broken. Both candidates are spewing political garbage...

...I will say this: Sarah Palin is hot!


Interesting reading.


21 September 2008

Awesome! ... Crap!

My wife and I went to the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival yesterday. While there, she decided that she was ready to buy a couple of sheep. I gave in and told her that it would be okay as long as we could wait to take possession of the sheep until a month or so down the road...

Awesome! I've been wanting sheep for four years! ... Crap! I'm not ready!

We've been planning on getting sheep for more than four years. We've purchased books on raising sheep, talked to flock owners, gone to livestock shows... Believe it or not, we've prepared ourselves the right way. The only hold-up has been my insistence that we wait until our pastures are in tip-top condition. As of this moment, some are in decent condition while others are not. I have been creating pastures from blocks of old vineyard - removing wire, cutting down the grape stumps, and mowing over them. It works pretty well, but it takes a few years for the grass to fill-in (and choke out all of the weeds). I had hoped for another full year before we bought any sheep. Now I have about one month. To top it off, the pasture/grazing specialist at my local extension office - a man for whom I have great respect - has moved on to bigger and better things. A visit from him might have helped put me at ease.

I'm not stressing because we don't know what we've gotten into - we know exactly what we've gotten into. We bought the breed of sheep that we decided upon four years ago from the farm that we decided upon two years ago. I'm stressing because now - as I begin to look at things like removing poisonous plants from my pastures - I'm seeing how imperfect my pastures are.

Most sources indicate that sheep will avoid poisonous plants unless they have nothing else to eat. Unfortunately, that gives me little comfort. Though the core pastures are in pretty good shape, it still scares the hell out of me. I'm afraid that the only remedy for my fear is having healthy sheep after a couple of years of grazing...

I guess that getting livestock is like having children: you might as well do it now because there will never be a perfect time.

God save the sheep.

28 August 2008

Oncorhynchus mykiss

This picture doesn't do them justice. The Rainbow Trout that my father and I caught two weeks ago were beyond beautiful. After hiking some of the Finger Lakes Trail, we decided to check out the stream that babbled next to the small gravel parking lot. Some old-timers had told me that the stream contained big Brown Trout or small Brook Trout (depending on who you talked to), but no one had fished it in years. When my father and I peered into a small hole, we saw neither of those species. Instead, we saw nearly a dozen small Rainbow Trout.

The next day, we went back to the stream with our fishing poles. After an hour we had fished less than 50 meters of the stream, but we had caught and released 17 of the most beautiful Rainbow Trout that you will ever find. No longer wanting to disturb such a magical place, we left, thankful of a wonderful experience.

20 August 2008

America: Why I love her.

I value...

...the fact that my wife does not have to wear a veil in public.
...the fact that my wife can choose to wear a veil in public.

...my right to defend myself from attack using whatever means I choose.
...my right to vote for political representatives.
...my right to criticize my government.
...my right to own private property.
...my right to be agnostic.
...my right to life.
...my right to liberty.
...my right to associate with whom I choose.
...the opportunity to increase my wealth.
...a society in which upward mobility is possible.
...my country's affluence.

...choice. Something increasingly restricted by local, state, and federal governments.

13 August 2008

Withdrawl Date

Well, maybe it's not a withdrawl date but it's definitely not a date to throw a party.

For more information, click here.

Apparently we'll still be a plurality, just not a majority. It still sucks to be a minority, ask African-Americans in the South or Mexican-Americans in the Southwest.

I wonder if there will ever be a massive return of Whites to Europe? Perhaps Australia? ...just a question that popped into my head.

17 July 2008

What to type?

A couple of months ago I learned that one of my old friends had committed suicide. I've been wanting to write about it for a while, but I've had neither the words nor the inclination.

The whole thing upset me a great deal. First of all, I hadn't spoken to this friend, a girl whom I had dated, since I became engaged to be married back in 2004. I believed that she still had feelings for me and, out of respect for my wife, I distanced myself from her. I would like to say that it was difficult for me to let go of the relationship, but it wasn't. That is not to say that I did not have a strong affection for my friend. Though I no longer harbored romantic feelings toward her, we shared one of the closest and most unique friendships that I have ever had. So, when I googled her a couple of months ago and found a memorial page, I was shaken.

I contacted some of her friends and found out that she had committed suicide a month after we stopped talking. A number of questions raced in my head. Did the end of our relationship lead her to commit suicide? What if I had not ended our relationship? What if we had gotten back together? I felt a number of emotions as well. Guilt for ending our relationship. Sorrow at losing a friend. Sadness that she would not get to experience the joy of having a child.

I thought about death. Since I abandoned Christianity, I have avoided the topic of religion, and the finality of her death was terrible. For the first time, I was confronted with the death of a friend my own age.

I was extremely depressed for about a week, but I slowly began to move on. Now, two months later, I have stopped thinking about her on a daily basis. Still, when I see girls who resemble her, I hope that, somehow, it has all been a bad dream - that she is still living in Boston and making people laugh with her crazy humor.

I worry that there will come a day on which none of us think of her, and perhaps that's the saddest irony. She committed suicide because she felt invisible and alone, and now she is.

09 July 2008

Best Westerns

On a very rare trip to Wal*Mart, I came across "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" on DVD. Since it only cost US$5.00, I decided to buy it and add to my collection of Westerns. I just finished watching the movie, and I must admit that I forgot how good it is. I began to think about my favorite movies, and realized that the majority of them are Westerns. In descending order, here are my favorites:

01. Tombstone (1993)
02. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
03. The Searchers (1956)
04. Unforgiven (1992)
05. High Noon [Turner Network Television version] (2000)*
06. Stagecoach (1939)
07. The Magnificent Seven (1960)
08. Crossfire Trail (2001)
09. Red River (1948)
10. Once upon a Time in the West (1968)

*The most realistic Western I have ever seen.

Note: Dances with Wolves is among my favorite movies, but I don't classify it as a traditional Western.

03 July 2008

Fourth of July

A year ago I received the best present a man could get: I became a father. It's hard to believe that a year has passed - it seems like time has flown. At the same time, it seems like it's been forever. All I know is that the past year has been the best of my life, and that each day is better for having my son in it.

16 June 2008

This sucks

Poor seals.

I've come to a crossroads in my political beliefs. I've long been an advocate of environmental protection, and I feel strongly about the need to reduce carbon emissions. However, it is becoming increasingly apparent that environmental policies are being used as tools for controlling the people. When faced with choosing between personal freedom and "Mother Earth," I choose personal freedom.

Perhaps I'm imagining things, but I recall hearing multiple scientific reports that concluded we had already lost the fight against global warming. If indeed we have lost that fight, isn't the passage of mandatory emissions-reduction legislation a futile exercise?

Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of industrialization and modern society. Still, I am an individual who values his rights every bit as much as he values the environment.

06 June 2008

Heilige scheiße! I haven't posted to this blog in more than two months! With school winding down, it has been an extremely hectic time for me. I believe that my blogging will dramatically increase in July and August.

For now, I wanted to air my displeasure with the government of the state of New York. I am getting much closer to taking political action, for it is becoming increasingly apparent that the rights of citizens of the state of New York are blatantly disregarded by our government. Comparing the wrongs perpetrated by our government in Albany with those of earlier tryannical governments, it is clear that we are nearing levels of abuse unprecedented in modern American history.

I will not stand idle as my children's rights are abolished.

02 April 2008

Der Krokus

Scenes of the Season

After a February ice storm...

A.D. 2008 March 29

Galanthus nivalis - Snowdrops
These began blooming almost immediately after the snow melted in late February or early March

Crocus ancyrensis 'Golden Bunch'
These began blooming on A.D. 2008 March 21

Crocus chrysanthus 'Blue Pearl'
These began blooming on A.D. 2008 March 24

Crocus tomasinianus 'Ruby Giant'
These began blooming on A.D. 2008 March 31

27 March 2008

Interesting Weather

It's raining at the house, but up at the highest point on the farm it's snowing. I just drove home from filling up the car and it was snowing at 1500 feet, snowing but not sticking at 1400 feet, and raining at the house (1150 feet). We're supposed to get between 5 and 10 cm of snow tonight, a pretty good amount for this time of year.

It's been an abnormally cool March. I don't think that we have had one day with a high temperature above 45 degrees F., which is the average high temperature during the middle of the month. I've loved the weather, though another 10 degrees F. colder would've lengthened the hockey season by three or four weeks.

The Crocus ancyrensis 'Golden Bunch' started blooming on March 21 - a full week later than last year. Ironically, the Crocus chrysanthus 'Blue Pearl' started blooming on March 24 - two days earlier than last year. The Crocus tomasinianus 'Ruby Giant' plants look like they need another two or three warm, sunny days. The Crocus sieberi sublimus 'Tricolor' plants look like they need another week or more of warm days.

Other than the cooler than average weather, it appears to be a rather typical spring!

09 March 2008

Tell me what you think

I wonder, do most foreigners perceive the United States to be a neo-fascist, theocratic, right-wing state? It seems to me that a lot of people in our own country think so, and I find that view incorrect for a number of reasons...

*In 2006, the Democrats (our major left-of-center political party) won control of our government's legislative branch. They appear poised to win the presidency this year, and, even if they don't, the alternative is a liberal Republican (our major right-of-center political party).

*At this time, the United States has the second-highest percentage of foreign born citizens as it has every had. Immigrants have a significant tendency to vote Democrat. In addition, the fastest growing segment of our population (Latinos) tend to vote Democrat an overwhelming majority of the time. Our higher education institutions continue to be hotbeds of left-of-center thinking, and it is incredible how lop-sidedly our young people support Democrats over Republicans.

*While the United States may have been a Republican-dominated country for the past 28 years, the Republican grip has grown ever weaker in the last 8 years. At no point during the "neo-Conservative Era" has the United States been anything like a fascist country. During the Republicans' time in power, religion has seen a declining importance in American society. Ironically, the "Reagan Revolution" sought to return the United States to some of the ideas of our founding fathers (freer markets, reduction in the size of government, etc.).

In my opinion, it is not that the United States has moved farther to the right. On the contrary, the political parties of the United States have moved farther to the left. The fact that we have generally elected governments from the far right of our political spectrum does not mean that we have elected governments from the far right of the political spectrum.

One other thing that I find interesting is that Europe has been moving away from its neo-socialist policies of the 1990s. Instead, much of Europe has swung back toward more conservative policies. However, here in the United States we seem to be behind the times (despite what most Americans would tell you). In fact, it seems as if we are following in the footsteps of our European cousins at the very time that they have begun heading a different direction.

What do non-Americans think of our government? Are we right-wing fascists in your eyes? Are we left-wing socialists? Are we level-headed moderates? Put your dislike of our president aside and tell me what you really think about our government.

04 March 2008

Passion versus Restraint

Note to readers: I am having a hell of a time getting this post how I want it. I'm just going to give up and post it as is. Good luck...

Per my "William F. Buckley, Jr." Post, I am putting fingers to keyboard to discuss ideas sparked by the death of Bill Buckley.

The first ideas that I would like to discuss are the lack of passion in political discussions and the dwindling percentage of people involved in political discussions. I am often conflicted by my desire to argue passionately about a topic. However, to be taken seriously, often one must debate an issue without emotion and with sophistication. This has resulted in the exclusion of the average person from political discussions. This exclusion is a travesty; everyone has a right to express their opinions - regardless of education level and speaking ability.

In this era of apathy, I worry that many people lack strong feelings on important issues. It is my opinion that society has contributed to this. More and more, it is becoming unacceptable for people to express their opinions. Many people argue that an expression of strong opinions will result in the hurting of someone else's feelings. Perhaps that is the case, but does it matter? As the old addage goes, "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Apparently, an ever-increasing number of Westerners* disagrees.

This is a frightening development, for our freedom of speech is the freedom on which all others rest. I often applaud those who speak their mind - regardless of whether I agree or disagree with them. Personally, I believe than an unsophisticated but passionate argument may be just as legitimate as a calculated but emotionless one. It is imperative that we stop robbing our children of passion and drive. Inspired individuals created the world that we live in. If we are to continue to improve society, our children must know that everyone has a right to express their opinion - even if they aren't a member of the debate team.

Freedom of thought, speech, and expression is necessary in a healthy society. Promote these, and (it is hoped that) the result will be increased dialogue and improved society.

*Westerners used in the context of Western Civilization

William F. Buckley, Junior

On A.D. 2008 February 27, William F. Buckley, Jr. died in his home in Stamford, Connecticut, United States of America. To be honest, I know of Buckley more for the attention surrounding his death than his life. Ironically, the first and only time that I remember listening to him speak was on "Charlie Rose," sometime in the past six months. At the time, all I knew about him was that he was a "Conservative political strategist." As it turns out, that was only half true. From the articles I read, Buckley seemed to have been an aristocratic, Socratic, party animal. At that same time, he is with credited with single-handedly making Conservatism a respected political ideology.

After reading so much about Buckley, I wanted to type a few ideas that I have been thinking about. In the coming days, I plan on putting at least three of these ideas on screen.

18 February 2008

It's late, and I'm not in the mood to mince words...

I don't like watching the news. It seems like the only events reported on the news are bad, which leads one to believe that all (or most) of the noteworthy things happening in the world are bad.

Today I read that Kosovo was recognized as an independent country by my own country, the United States of America. I also read that Russia and China have chosen not to recognize Kosovo, citing the fact that such a recognition could set a dangerous precedent. It is extremely rare for me to agree with Russia or China, but I certainly agree with them today...

Let's say the real reason that Kosovo is receiving international recognition of its independence - it has a Muslim majority in an otherwise Christian country (Serbia). Countries like the United States of America and the United Kingdom are seeking to improve their status among Muslims, many of whom perceive that the U.S.A. and U.K. are anti-Muslim. By recognizing Kosovo's independence, they are trying to prove that they do not dislike Islam.

If the situation were reversed, and it was a Christian majority seeking independence in a Muslim country, I do not believe that the U.S.A. or the U.K. would have recognized a declaration of independence. In my opinion, that is a double-standard that is ludicrous.

An additional reason for my agreement with Russia and China is that it sets a dangerous precedent. Is establishing a new country as simple as thousands of people flooding across an international border, setting up shop, and declaring independence? It must not be.

A third reason that I agree with Russia and China deals with geography. When do you draw a line regarding a country's minimum size? Kosovo will be one of the smallest countries on earth - by my calculations, the eighth-smallest land-based country. (behind Vatican City, Monaco, Andorra, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Lebanon, and the Palestinean territories) If you're going to start creating countries that small, then I want in on the action! I'm sure that my wife, in-laws, and neighbors would be happy to form our own little country! Unfortunately, things don't work that way.

...well, not until today.

14 February 2008

Happy St. Valentine's Day!

On this day in A.D. 1929, four members of Al Capone's gang killed five members of Bugs Moran's gang and two others on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois. Two of Capone's men dressed as police officers, entered the mechanic's shop where Moran's men were gathered, and claimed that they were executing a bust. They ordered the seven men to stand facing a brick wall, and promptly shot them all with Tommy Guns.

My grandfather lived in Chicago at the time, though he was only a baby. He tells stories about living under Al Capone and how his father was forced to pay "protection money" in order to stay on the gangsters' good side...

On this day in A.D. 2007, we received 50 centimeters of snow.

10 February 2008

Winter Scenes

These first three pictures were taken after our first sticking snow of the season - way back on November 16.

I'm pretty sure that these next two pictures were taken on our first day with complete snow cover - December 01.

These last three pictures were taken last Thursday - February 07.

06 February 2008

More Ice. How is that possible? ...and some thoughts on Super Tuesday

We are currently in the midst of our sixth freezing rain event of the season, and our fourth significant event. As I've mentioned on other posts, we only had two freezing rain events in the previous three winters; the fact that we've tripled that number through one half of one winter is incredible.

I think that the ice is beautiful, but I'm starting to get sick of falling down all of the time. We received an inch of ice last Friday, and it didn't melt until Monday. That meant that all weekend I was slipping and falling on my arse...or knees...or side...or back... I already slipped once tonight while I was getting the chicken eggs. I think that I'm going to have to buy some crampons pretty soon! Walking on ice-covered slopes is tough!

Oh, I don't want to forget to mention that my Buffalo Sabres are back to their winning ways! They've won five of their last six games, and it looks like they have a shot at making the playoffs!

Okay, Super Tuesday. I like Mike Huckabee's personality, but I'm not crazy about his politics. With that said, I don't like any of the other Republican frontrunners. Consequently, I was disappointed to see that John McCain fared well last night. I keep getting closer and closer to changing my party registration from Republican to indepedent...

To be blunt, I detest Hillary Clinton. Although I disagree with many of his political stances, I like Barack Obama because I perceive him to be honest, straightforward, and intelligent. I was glad to see him win a majority of states last night, but I was unhappy to see that "the alternative" won the states with the greatest numbers of delegates.

The bright side about living in a state that will vote Democratic in almost every presidential election is that I can "waste" my vote without affecting the outcome of a close race. If I want, I can vote for Ron Paul, the Libertarian candidate for president, the socialist candidate for president, my father-in-law...whoever I want and it won't affect the election's outcome. In a state where my presidential vote is worth less than a pile of horse crap (I can fertilize my garden with horse crap), being free to "waste" your vote is not a bad consolation.

04 February 2008

Super Tuesday

Ahh, New York's primary election for selecting Democratic and Republican candidates to run for United States President will be held tomorrow (along with a bunch of other provinces-errr "states") I will be voting for Ron Paul, and, though I seriously doubt he has any chance of winning our state's primary, I strongly encourage all registered Republicans to vote for him. He is the only candidate who seeks to shrink the size of government and return responsibility to the people.

27 January 2008

Hockey...at last!

I finally got some hockey in this weekend. Yesterday I went up to the woods and cleaned off our pond with my wife. It was the third time that I've cleaned it in the past couple of weeks, and the ice had finally smoothed out some. I skated for about an hour, working primarily on stickhandling skills. Later in the afternoon I went over to a friend's house and six of us played for about an hour and a half. It was a long time coming, but well worth the wait. There's not much better than a good game of hockey.


I read this article in the New York Times Magazine today about the Ankole-Watusi cattle of Rwanda. It was a very interesting discussion of modernization, loss of culture, loss of genetic diversity, and economics.

To be honest, sometimes I question whether I should go ahead and start raising sheep and/or cattle. My wife is constantly telling me how we already don't have enough time to get everything accomplished, how could we do so if we had more responsibilities? Still, when I read an article like this it really makes me want to start a herd of Dexter Cattle or Soay Sheep. Not only do I want to help preserve the ancient bloodlines, I still feel that Indo-European desire to raise animals -- wealth in livestock.

First a few movie reviews...

First I want to talk about a few movies that I've seen recently. In the past week I've seen:

Lords of Dogtown
Reservoir Dogs

I had seen Amistad when I was much younger, but I was able to appreciate it more this time around. It's an excellent movie that, at various times, made me want to cry in sadness, shout at the television, cheer, jump for joy, and cry in jubilation.

I borrowed Lords of Dogtown from one of my students at school. It's about some of the early skateboarding pioneers from southern California, and I thought that it was a pretty good movie. It's the first movie that I've seen in a long time that I was pleased with when it was over. If you think skateboarding is cool, you'll enjoy this movie.

I've heard about Reservoir Dogs for years, and a VHS copy happened to be on sale at the local video store the other day. It was only a few cents more to buy the movie than to rent it, so I went ahead and got it. I couldn't get all of the way through it in one sitting, but I finally finished it a day later. What can I say? It wasn't a gripping movie but it was interesting. I didn't enjoy it but I was glad to have seen it. If you're into movies that contain graphic violence and marginal plotlines, maybe you'll like this one.

Weather Update

Through A.D. 2008 January 27:

Days with snow cover: 64
Days with complete snow cover: 29
Total snowfall: 70 centimeters
Maximum snow depth: 20 centimeters
Maximum low temperature: -17º Celsius

08 January 2008


As indicated in my previous post, I'm following the primaries this year. It appears that The Alternative won New Hampshire today...ugh

All I'm asking for is:

Environmental protection/Responsible development
Fiscal conservatism
Personal freedom

Is that so hard?

Sabres Skid!

Wow, the Sabres have lost seven games in a row (including three overtime losses). They are having a heck of a time this year and I'm starting to worry that they won't make the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs they probably won't win a series, but, for some reason, it still feels a heck of a lot better to lose in the playoffs than to not even make them.

...I'm really getting sucked into the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign. Usually I'm a casual observer, but the lack of a quality* Republican candidate (other than Ron Paul, who has no chance of winning the nomination) has me following the primaries and caucuses. I'm paying attention to find out which candidate the Grand Old Party will send against Barack Obama or...shudder...The Alternative. I don't have a problem with Barack Obama. My impression of him is that he is a decent and honest human being. While I disagree with many of his political stances, I'd much rather have an honorable left-of-center president than a dishonorable right-of-center president.

*I like the political stances of Fred Thompson, which are primarily based on his strict constructionist interpretation of the United States Constitution. However, Thompson has the charisma of a frog (which, unfortunately for him, he resembles) and he has no chance of being elected. Therefore, he does not qualify as a "quality" Republican candidate.

I briefly mentioned Ron Paul. His libertarian tendencies fit very well with my own views, but he's a little bit of an odd duck. I don't see him pulling a Ross Perot and making an impact in the 2008 election.

I'm discouraged by the fact that no Republican OR Democratic candidate seems to have any interest in the environment. I had hoped that global climate change would become an important topic in this election, but it appears that that will not happen.

...I'm really on an ecovillage kick right now. Often I find myself daydreaming about getting out of the rat race, moving to a low-impact community, and spending the rest of my days gardening and raising small animals with my family. Subsistence agriculture has always attracted me, but I imagine it would be quite different from how I picture it...

...I'm also getting on a pre-Cromwell Ireland kick. Like many Americans, my wife has a lot of Irish blood and I thoroughly enjoy piggy-backing off of her heritage. I especially love Gaelic-Irish culture, Norman-Irish culture, and "traditional" Irish music. I can't get enough of it!

...To come full circle...it appears that our extremely warm weather [20 degrees C. today - 20 degrees C. (35 degrees F.) above normal] is coming to an end. Though I love the cold weather, I must admit that it was beautiful today. Nonetheless, more seasonal temperatures are scheduled to return this weekend. It looks like next weekend (Jan. 19-20) would be the earliest that I could get some pond hockey in. Everyone keep your fingers crossed for me!

01 January 2008

Winter Classic

Well, the N.H.L.'s Winter Classic was held in Orchard Park, New York (outside of Buffalo) today. To be honest, I completely forgot about the game and didn't turn it on until the second intermission. (That makes me a bad hockey fan!) I was able to watch all of the third period, both overtime periods, and the shootout, which was won by those pesky Penguins from Pittsburgh.

If you didn't know, the Winter Classic was the first outdoor N.H.L. game played in the United States of America. The game pitted the Buffalo Sabres against the Pittsburgh Penguins and was held at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the N.F.L.'s Buffalo Bills.

Three things stood out in my mind after the game:

01. N.H.L. hockey played outside is not something to do regularly - because of above-freezing temperatures and snow squalls, ice conditions were terrible.

02. Sidney Crosby is really good - he made some incredible moves in the game, including single-handedly setting up Pittsburgh's only goal in regulation.

03. Pittsburgh's vintage jerseys are hideous - teal and yellow do not complement each other!