Monday, December 31, 2012

Things Just Ain't Right

We miss Daughter C. and Rocky.

Missing Daughter C. & Rocky is no way to begin the year.

Missy is miserable, missing Rocky.

That said, all is well here on the Farm. Our bellies are full. There are leftovers & plans for eating all day on 01/01/013.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

This is What Happens When Smart People Who Live on Farms in Mississippi Get Bored Over the Christmas Break

whiskey cake
The recipe instructs the baker to use a template of the baker's favorite whiskey trademark and some powered sugar. I'll skip to the conclusion.

They-- Mr. Big Food & Miss M.-- were right proud to have baked a whiskey cake, and to have emblazoned it with  the Ole No.7 logo.

We are bored. Did I mention that Mr. Big Food and I are working on a project?

Friday, December 28, 2012

The World Is As It is

When Mr. Big Food & I were hanging out in G'boro, conversation with Kat & Tony came 'round to the Star Trek Movie. Kat & Tony-- the Sophisticated Among Us-- figured we could download it to Kat's iTunes. Haha. That would take a mere 27 hours at 2 bits per hour. Eventually-- and a few miles logged onto the truck-- we watched the DVD on myMac. Good film. We enjoyed it.

Mikey gifted me The Best of Star Trek The Original Series. We watched a couple of episodes our first night back on the Farm.

Fun stuff.

So aside from thinking about the movie, Shane (which we watched last night and are still thinking about), we've been in a Star Trek frame of mind lately.

And now, from Miss M,'s Friend, comes this:

Just sumthin to think about.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

As you can plainly see

I've got nuthin'.

I drove a truck to G'boro. The truck contained three humans, one big dog, and luggage and such. We went through Atlanta. We were then in G'boro-- which was fun b/c Kat & Ton were there, too (Miss M had headed to G'ville).

Best Part was spending time with Kat & The Tonster.

Christmas. (I made the mashed potatoes. There was no wine.)

We drove home. The last two hours of the trip we listened to The Dead.

All the while, I tried to come up with something interesting to say beyond the obvious: How do you people freaking live like this? No wonder you go ballistic living like this!

But I didn't find anything.

So now we are back on The Farm. And if you'll just give me a day or two more to rinse and spit... .


Missy spent four nights in Her Box in Mama's Garage. She had a glorious gallop in the pasture today.

Big Life!

p.s. We miss Rocky.

Monday, December 24, 2012

50+ Years On And She's Still Driving Me Crazy

Mom & I, several years ago.
Merry Christmas, y'all! To paraphrase Steve Martin, it is my sincere wish that all the children of the world would be driven crazy by their parents at Christmas Time. Would they have been, the world would be a better place.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rock & C.

Rocky is going on an adventure with Daughter C. & Mr. Bow Tie.

I'm thinking of giving her posting privileges.


And a camera.

Throw Missy a Bone!

She figured it out!
Miss M. has been fretting about this for over two weeks now. She has recipes for homemade dogs biscuits. She has family (!) and friends with dogs. She'd like to give homemade dog biscuits to her families' and friends' dogs. Alas, she cannot find a dog-biscuit-shaped biscuit-cutter. And so her brain got to work in the background (h/t A. Leland), while she was busy baking people cookies. 

She started with heart-shaped dog biscuits.

And then it dawned on her! And then her brain screamed at her, "Yo! M!"

Good Girl!

I din't have a doggy biscuit, although I did have a delicious people cookie, but Missy tells me she loved 'em. According to Missy, Miss M.'s doggie biscuits were hard enough to throw around for a minute or two after which time, she could sink her teeth into them. Perfect.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Steppin' It Up a Notch

December 19th
Miss M. shot a higher caliber handgun today than she did yesterday. After the first round, she exclaimed (while turning around and still pointing the gun at the ground with her finger off the trigger), "Oh! S&^#!!" She did well with the higher caliber handgun. She now needs to work on form (elbows), breathing, &c. 

I, myself,* did okay.

A little low and seriously too far to the left, but acceptable & correctable
That was the first time in a long time I'd shot Mr. Big Food's Big handgun. It's really Too Big for my hands. But I was pleased. I liked the tight little grouping of four. 

The Hunting Boys took advantage of a glorious day to sight in their Deer Guns.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

This is How You Fix The World

One individual at a time
We began with the rules:

Always treat the gun as loaded.
Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
Always keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Always keep the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy.
Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

"Attention, Gun Show Shoppers...

Will the owner of a White Truck report to the Front Entrance? You're blocking in a White Truck."

The parking lot at the Gun Show.
It was an interesting experience. Very civilized. There was a huge sign alerting us to the fact that loaded firearms are not permitted in the facility. Let me say that again. You cannot bring a loaded firearm into a Gun Show. The sign was quite explicit. To Paraphrase: "We don't care if you have a carry permit. You cannot bring a loaded firearm into this Gun Show."

And since Concealed Carry Permit Holders are by definition Law Abiding Citizens, we all unload. And when we were asked-- as we were in line to pay our entrance fee-- if we had firearms, we answered, "Yes, but there're not loaded" and then we produced our unloaded firearms for inspection, and we watched while a cable tie was inserted into out unloaded firearms.

The nice fellow at the table cut the cable tie as we exited. 

A Gun-Free Gun Show. What will they think of next?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Catch a Falling Star"

Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket
Never let it fade away!
Catch a falling star an’ put it in your pocket,
Save it for a rainy day!
I was humming this tune as Earth approached the shower.

After a delightful oven supper of sausage, sweet potaotes and apples-- yeah, yeah, I'm delinquent on recipes-- Mr. Big Food and I took the truck up to the summit to watch the sky. It was glorious.  Miss M. was watching it from the cheap seats below-- and shouting at us! We could hear her!

"Whoa. Did you see that?"


 Mr. Big Food and I and our truck navigated our way back to the cheap seats and convinced Miss M. to jump in the truck go looking for falling stars. 

We found some.

We put some in our pockets.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Energy to Burn

Doesn't it look to you like she's still growing?
Each tile is 6".
Her winter coat has come in, by the way. It's cold, but she thinks nothing of plunging into the pond and shaking it off.

Found it.
After about 30 minutes of chasing the ball and unwinding, she's settled in. Missy is a Dog.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Woodland, Mississippi

Woodland, Mississippi (2010 population 125) is a company town with a right nice Christmas display.

Seasons. Plural. For Daughter C.
The Company is Woodland Furniture, the largest furniture store in Mississippi.

Not visible, but behind this scene is a non-stationary home-- as most in Woodland are.
From Woodland's web site (all grammatical errors reproduced in tact):
You might wonder how Woodland Furniture, the largest furniture store in Mississippi and the second largest furniture store in the South, became such a store while it is located so far from any major town. Well... the highschool closed in the little town of Woodland in 1986. The Chickasaw County officials sold the property in order to provide additional facilities in the Houston Separate School District for the Woodland's students 8 miles away. The Bullards, a local family with long ties to the town and old school, purchased the property and this was the beginning of Woodland Furniture. By doing this, the "Little Town That Can" dedicated it's self to help provide jobs for employees in the furniture industry and to promote locally made home furnishings. The town and its citizens of less than 200 were and are focused on not letting their little town die like so many others in the area had done. Thanks to "Word of Mouth" advertising, and a policy of Low Cost For Everybody, the store grew quickly. From it's fledgling beinning in 1986, it has grown to become Mississippi's Largest Furniture store and the second largest in the South boasting almost a half million square feet!
Every year, The Little Town That Can sports a wonderful Christmas light display

Sunday, December 9, 2012

What a Racket

Bottom Line: I have long thought that Mississippi State Universities' Extension into local affairs was a money grubbing operation. Every time you turn the page in the MS Master Gardener Program handbook they-- that is the folks who put this program together-- do two things: 1) Alert you that you will violate Federal Law (!!) if you don't apply fire ant killer according to package directions which begin with the phrase, "It is a violation of Federal Law to apply fire ant killer in a manner not according to package directions" and B) TEST your soil. We will TEST your soil for a modest fee. You can NOT plant until you TEST your soil. TEST your soil. We will be Happy to TEST your soil for a modest fee.

[Laura, I'm looking at you.]

So I started to wonder if it might cost MSU about 3 cents to test a soil sample for the modest fee of $7. And I wondered, don't you people write grants so folks in New Jersey can pay to test my soil? 

Anyway... . I'd sort of forgotten about this rant until I got my Masters Gardeners Newsletter.

I would have had a perfect score but as you can see, I took issue with Q3-- a poorly worded question if you know anything at all about-- good Lord-- genetics, growth, development.

Still, I am a "soil master." Would that were true.

Note that in the very bottom-- if you've scored poorly-- there's more information about donating to MSU. 


On a side note-- I've been tilling rotted cow manure and lime &c. into my beds. Thanks to all of you who support Anthropogenic Global Warming, my growing season is now year-'round.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Blog-Worthy Evening

We have the Cristina Hoff-Summers post. 

We have the Soil-Science Knowledge Quiz. (coming)

We have the Best Defensive Back in the Whole United States of America-- are you kidding me? I've been sitting there watching him & I didn't even know it-- post. (coming)

And we have the upcoming 50th Anniversary of a watershed movement:
In 1963, MSU’s basketball team was invited to play in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs, under head coach Babe McCarthy, were slated to play Loyola College, a team that started four black players. At the time, state law prohibited Mississippi teams from playing against integrated athletic teams. With the support of Coach McCarthy and university president Dean Colvard, a plan was devised for the team to sneak off campus and play in the tournament anyway. With the plan successful, the game between the Bulldogs and racially integrated Loyola became a watershed moment for the state of Mississippi and the civil rights movement.
 And... we have Aunt Bea & Uncle James' 50th Wedding Anniversary. 

Happy Anniversary, y'all.

I am not a fan.

From Christina Hoff Summers, a former "feminist philosopher" writing at The Atlantic.
Is it discriminatory and degrading for toy catalogs to show girls playing with tea sets and boys with Nerf guns? A Swedish regulatory group says yes. The Reklamombudsmannen (RO) has reprimanded Top-Toy, a licensee of Toys"R"Us and one of the largest toy companies in Northern Europe, for its "outdated" advertisements and has pressured it to mend its "narrow-minded" ways. After receiving "training and guidance" from RO equity experts, Top-Toy introduced gender neutrality in its 2012 Christmas catalogue. The catalog shows little boys playing with a Barbie Dream House and girls with guns and gory action figures. As its marketing director explains, "For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we have had to adjust."
Knowing my thoughts on the Swedes, Mr. Big Food brought this to my attention this evening. 

Lest We Forget

December 7, 1941
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 17 (1962), page 422B

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I Couldn't Have Said It Better If My Self Had Said It

h/t Aristotle.

"Are you in the industry?"

"No," we said, "not any more."
Today Miss M. and I made our way to the Horticulture Club Poinsettia sale. There were poinsettias everywhere.

There were five or six different varieties priced $5-8. Not a bad deal at all. I had planned on getting a couple for the Farm, and surprising Daughter C. with one for her office. We were just beginning to decide which three we wanted when Miss M. spotted them.

We decided to tactfully pull aside one of the students who seemed to be running the show-- and also a bit too talkative, if you know what I mean.

"Yes, I know," he said. "Are you in the industry?" He must have asked us that three or four times. He then entertained us with a quite lengthy discussion of what variety the flies prefer, how many poinsettias the club had begun with-- did you know he watered each one by hand every day?-- his Herculean efforts to control the fly population-- the red varieties look okay, don't you think?-- and so forth. 

"Are you in the industry?"

"Why do you ask?"

"Your boots, the way you were both looking at the plants. I knew you were in the industry."

"Not any more," but she knows enough to know she doesn't want a whitefly infested poinsettia in her room.

"I am but a lowly vegetable farmer," who knows enough to know I have plenty of whiteflies on the Farm, I doesn't need any in my house.

The whole exchange did get Miss M. and I a look at the tomatoes and of the real greenhouse.

Christmas. Christmas. Christmas.

Here at Farther Along Farm in rural Mississippi we are fighting back against this nonsense.

In case you can't read the upper left:  RI Guv: It's Not 'Tradition' to Call It a Christmas Tree...
Men Busted For Tailing UPS Truck, Stealing Gifts...
Hundreds Of Donated Gifts Stolen From Church...
Baby Jesus goes missing...
UPDATE: Church Cuts 'Charlie Brown' Play After Backlash...
Lawsuit threat cancels holiday concert...
It's Christmas for Christ's sake. Get over yourselves and start behaving yourselves or all you'll get is a lump of coal.



I always liked the Elves and the Shoemaker.
Miss M. and I are soon headed to Starkvegas to do some Christmas shopping for Mama and The Girls.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Kitchen Table: A Dispute

We addressed two grammar issues today. The first, whether 'faculty'-- as in 'Law faculty' as in  'members of the Law School faculty'-- was singular or plural, we dispensed [dealt out] quite readily. 'Fish' 'Fishes' whatever. Consult some crappy old dictionaries. Take a stand. Justify it. Move on.

The second was not so easily disposed.

Gosh dang it. Now I have to go look up dispensed and disposed.

Word-wise I'm fine.
 And now to the second issue.

Just because a word doesn't appear in an abridged dictionary or

in a crappy old unabridged dictionary--

doesn't mean a word is not a word.
Miss M. owes me a pack of cigs.


End. Of. Discussion.  

ADDED LATER: These aren't really grammar issues are they? Vocabulary issues. 

Christmas Budget: $0.00

When The Girls plus the girls (The Girls' cousins) came of age, The Girls decided we-- that is, all T/the G/girls' families-- would do Secret Santa. I wasn't the biggest supporter of Secret Santa in the beginning but I sympathized with The Girls' reasoning. Better to give and receive one nice gift that you actually wanted than try and spread Christmas budgets so thin no one received anything more than a chap stick from Dollar General. And now having seen how it actually worked, I support the idea. Sorta kinda.

This morning my mom called. Please note that Mama's name is never included in the Secret Santa drawing. Mama is the keeper of the secret Secret Santa list, although Mama didn't realize this until Miss. M. told her where on her fridge the list was. Anyway, Mama told me that Mr. Big Food's name was in the left column (actually, she said Mr. Big Food's Christian name) and mine was across from his in the right column. I confirmed that the arrow was in fact a two-way arrow:
Mr. Big Food's Christian name <-----> Marica

You appreciate what this means, don't you? 

Mr. Big Food's and my Christmas shopping is done!

Steak & Martinis & ...

well behaved dogs &
beer battered fried croppie &
RUDOLPH (!!) &
a long chat with Kat.

What a BIG LIFE!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Let It Snow!

Not really. But just so there's no misunderstanding, I love the magazine snowflakes with which Daughter C. papered the doors.

Positively Festive
Daughter C. is coming out to the Farm tomorrow-- three weeks before Christmas-- to celebrate! 

There's no chance of snow when the forecast for December 4th is 72°F.

Don't Know Much About History

A remarkable generational change is also coming. Most of the historians in the declining fields, economic, intellectual and diplomatic history, earned their degrees more than 30 years ago. At the same time, more than 50% of the new PhDs are now trained in women and gender history, in cultural history (a watered-down version of social history), in world and African-American history. This is going to make an extraordinary difference in what kind of scholarship will continue to be undertaken, and how the past will be taught. The history profession, seemingly innovative and robust, is in fact intellectually debilitated, and sadly reduced in scope.

Most ominously of all, changes in college curricula across the nation threaten to severely reduce the place of history in liberal arts education. Americans are threatened with losing touch with their past. We are in this regard on the brink of becoming a nation adrift. New core requirements at many institutions permit students to graduate without taking a single history course. When one considers how much first rate history scholarship and teaching remains in the academy, this is a tragedy. And yet, in contemplating the evolving state of the profession, one might equally ask - will they be missing so much?

From "The Mangling of American History" by David Gordon at Minding the Campus [my emphases]

"... extraordinary difference in ... how the past will be taught." 

"... losing touch with [our] past."

Well, that may be true for some people living in some houses in These United States of America,
but it is certainly not true for those of us living on Farther Along Farm.
Here on the Farm, we keep in touch. We learn American History by reading crappy old books.
From Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage by Ruth Painter Randall, published in 1953 by Little, Brown and Company, Boston

Yes indeed! I did make another trip to Palmer House Thrift Store-- the day before we traveled behind enemy lines