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March 31, 2007


Sometimes, you can't even take you with you.


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So much fer whut we'll be doin' in Heaven ... (or Hell ... whutever ...)


OK, J'G' ... I'll give you that one ... I wuz fascinated by the stories, so I read some of 'em twice ...

I guess Rasputin wasn't swimming in cold water when he died...

*waves at OtheU*

Howdy, OtheU... I'm happy to share this one. ;-)

/serious on
This item brought to mind the story of Ishi, the Yahi Indian from Northern California.
/serious off

we have enough people around here walking around without their brains now, as it is. i never said who.

J'G' - tnx fer remindin' me of the story of Ishi ... I recall readin' that when I wuz quite young ... tho not the "repatriation" stuff afterward ... Intriguing stuff ...

Hi all!
I tried to explain to a friend the importance and thrill of being posted, but I just got a blank stare, and a mumbled, that's very nice....
*still giddy*

Dibs on Dave's funny bone. No hurry, though. :)

offtopic - more pet food recalls, including Hill's dry cat food.

Dibs on Dave's funny bone. No hurry, though. :)

Posted by: Annie Where-but-here | 03:43 PM on March 31, 2007
Annie - You're a big girl now, you don't have to use "funny bone", you can say "penis".

Thanks for that update, AWBH...

*goes into kitchen and looks at bottom of Boontonware bowls and cups made of Melmac® melamine*

/serious on

Yikes... In the Wikipedia article linked above, just after note 6 in the section entitled Toxicity, an FDA report is cited that states that melamine is used as a fertilizer in Asia. Maybe any old compound that contains nitrogen will do...

This unfortunate ongoing event gives me even more incentive to eat organically-produced food. At least synthetic fertilizer would have been prohibited... It also makes me question even more the wisdom of buying food from all across the globe. Granted, there have been numerous cases of home-grown food contamination... but at least it's easier to investigate when the questionable goods are produced domestically. Trying to pin down the source of contamination half a world away in a country way larger than our own looks to be a daunting task...

/serious off

Anyway, I hope the blogpets are all okay... ;-)

J'G' - tnx fer remindin' me of the story of Ishi ... I recall readin' that when I wuz quite young ... tho not the "repatriation" stuff afterward ... Intriguing stuff ...

Posted by: OtheU(manity) | 03:39 PM on March 31, 2007

My pleasure, OtheU... I, too, had read "Ishi Between Two Worlds" by Theodora Kroeber when I was a kid. I was tickled to learn in recent years that Mrs. Kroeber was the mother of Ursula K. LeGuin, one of my favorite writers.

See? SEE???!!!

Whut'd I tell ya ... the "outsourcing" of American Knowhow and Quality is a deadly combination ...

Quote from story: ≤i≥About 70 percent of the wheat gluten used in the United States for human and pet food is imported from the European Union and Asia ... One veterinarian suggested the international sourcing of ingredients would force the U.S. "to come to grips with a reality we had not appreciated." ...

/end serious rant on corporate greed and outsourcing in the USA

... AND ... BTW ... Told ya, Jan ... the best you can hope for from non-bloglits is an attempt to understand your excitement and joy of the blog/forum ... until you manage to convert 'em, NEway ... merely ... wishin' everybuddy well, on their efforts to foster this enthusiasm ...

ack! i use the melamine dishes all the time. they're kid proof. and poison?!

I heard hat John Holmes had in his will that after he died someone was to check up on him every half our till he was cremated to make sure no one took his ahh very large penis.

throws a t up to myself

*waves at OtheU and AWBH*

OtheU, the true cost of "cheap" food is a lot higher than most people realize. I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. John E. Ikerd, agricultural economist, speak at the Farming for the Future Conference held at State College, PA in Feb., 2002. It was hosted by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. Dr. Ikerd's commonsense approach to sustaining the American economy from the ground up -- literally -- was one of the most inspiring addresses I've ever heard. It was like being at a revival... Talk about evangelical fervor. This looks like a recording of that talk. I think I came across one of his articles in Acres USA a couple of years ago.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from food of questionable quality and provenance is to buy it from your friendly neighborhood farmer. When you buy locally, you can ask the farmer directly how s/he has cared for their critters, built up soil fertility, etc., etc. No middleman involved, so more of your food dollar goes directly to the producer... and you have the satisfaction and peace of mind knowing where your food is coming from. [Disclaimer: I'm not a farmer or organizer of the NW Jersey Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign... just an interested citizen.]

Annie, the tainted petfood debacle brings to mind an alternative approach to pet nutrition: Bones and Raw Food (BARF). ISIANMTU.

Freezing meat for something like a minimum of 2-3 weeks is supposed to kill many parasites (e.g., worms) that would otherwise be killed by cooking... To my mind, feeding grain to cats, who are obligate carnivores, makes as much sense as feeding cheap catfish chow full of corn to one's prize koi. Neither cats nor fish evolved with corn -- or soybeans -- in their diets... The reason why manufacturers put grain in petfood is because it's cheaper than expensive animal-source protein... and works as a binder/filler when the stuff is being extruded.

Yeah, J'G' ... I know quite well, about the real cost of "cheap" food ... but that's a rather unknown political strategy/platform that all candidates have been using for a very long time ... don't look for any serious changes from the political side anywhere in the near future ... change will need to be fostered in some manner similar to what you describe ... from the grassroots/consumer level ...

When people finally realize that the actual cost of our artificially cheap food is much higher than the miniscule amount of their "disposable" income ... perhaps then they will begin to rethink the entire concept ...

and, tnx for your supportive commentary ...

ack! i use the melamine dishes all the time. they're kid proof. and poison?!

Posted by: crossgirl | 05:39 PM on March 31, 2007

CG... I wouldn't use them in the microwave... Don't know about toxicity under normal circumstances. If we haven't grown extra limbs or started glowing in the dark since eating our Frosted Flakes™, Sugar Pops™, and Trix™ out of Melmac bowls when we were kids, I figure it's pretty safe. ;-)

Beware: Don't try to make Jello in Melmac... I tried it once, and the heat stress cracked the bottom right out of the deep mixing bowl.

As for kidproof: My dear husband, even as a tad, had an inquiring mind. He grew up with Boontonware dishes in Kansas. They were made in Boonton, NJ, not far from where we now live. Having heard that Boontonware was unbreakable, he didn't believe it. One day he took his cereal bowl to "an anonymous product testing lab in Wichita, Kansas in the early 1960s... a small garage-scale operation," and repeatedly threw it on the concrete until it broke. His suspicions were confirmed. I don't know what his Mom thought of this. He must have been an "interesting" kid. ;-)

off topic...i think...
ultra-obscure alert...
("Pretzel Logic"-Steely Dan)

i would love to tour the southland
with lots of parts of famous guys
maybe show off some of trump's hair
and some well-worn hilton thighs
well, there's einstein's brain, rasputin's dong
see cromwell's head for just a song
those guys are gone forever, but drool over their
part like a schmoe... oh yeah

i have never met napoleon, but i've heard his c*ck
was small
i have never met napoleon, but i've heard his c*ck was small
well, he hid his arms when he was with his gang
don't know what he was scratching but it weren't his w*ng
it made josephine frustrated, her lover's wasn't hung real low... oh yeah...

A few years ago I remembered reading about this guy:


Can you imagine? On display at a museum or some scientific institution at least has a little quiet dignity.
A carnival prop to un-relistic for the 6 Million Dollar Man?
That's really hitting rock bottom.

*Gives everyone a big hand*

I can see clearly now my brain is gone...

Ok...very LTTG but I do have an excuse. I had 25 teenagers here in my house tonight for my daughter's 17th bday party. Good news...half of them are gone.

I am now hitting the wine.

A round of *SNORKS* to all!!!

(Annie...you can have Dave's 'funny bone'...I'll pick his brain). It may pick back.

JerseyGirl - I'm familiar with BARF. The terrier (or "Schnocker" as Stevie W aptly named him) on my website was on BARF when I got him. He had breath worse than my ex. We quietly switched him to quality dry food, and he's fine and shiny, and the collietosis is all gone.

*waves back at Meanie*

Yikes, Laura... it sounds like the late Mr. McCurdy got around more than a travelling salesman.

OtheU, Chef Alice Waters said "eating is a political act"... No way do I expect change to come via politicians and their corporate masters. I agree that change occurs through the personal choices of individuals... such as what we put on our forks. It's nice to know that like-minded folks are to be found in unexpected places. ;-) The E. F. Schumacher Society is one organization that deals thoughtfully with issues of sustainability, local economies, etc. The Society's annual lectures make interesting and inspiring reading, such as Wes Jackson's "Becoming Native to This Place."


Half of the half is now gone! YAY!

*still hitting the wine*

Also LTTG, watching the Gators.... Just a thought on plates, dog food, and risk. There are two numbers people pay attention to, PELs and IDLHs. We'll dismiss IDLH, for the moment; that kills you right now.

PEL is 'permissible exposure limit' what a worker might be exposed to, 8 hours a day, for a career. There are two lower standards, but lets just look at PEL. Forget about most of 'journalism' versions of news. Of course you should stop vaporizing plastics, but, from a PEL POV, how about staying away from fiberglass insulation in the attic. Honestly, I see this as the most silly repeated exposure, without wearing masks, when we know nothing about it's health effects, long term. Sure, stop vaporizing plastics in the microwave, but switch your thinking to the bigger exposure with the lower PEL. Watch your exposure to fiber release. Start decking your attics and looking at fibers being released that your lungs can't metabolize.

I see absolutely no Public Health data indicating there is a problem with this, but if it's occurring we should start seeing it soon. It's possibly just me, but I am wondering what is going to happen with fiberglasses. My personal approach is that I started wearing a mask around it, until we know more. Sorry this was so long, but I have been noodling this one for years. Personal opinion, we should all be wearing masks in our attics or around any releases of fibers that are remotely durable.

Oh! and... Go Gators!

OK, CJ' ... you've done it again ... given me more to think about ...

Also, BTW ... I posted some pix on my photobucket site, including a mama otter & pup and a semi-decent one of an egret, both from my "Elk Slough Safari" tour @ Moss Landing ...

Lemme see if I can find the link ...


Yep, that should be it (for my daughter's "cartoon") and then you should be able to scroll around and see the other pix ...

link to pix

*schnork @ Schnocker*

Annie, very interesting. Um, I hope that Jake doesn't attack me for that schnork... Poor dear sounds as if he could have used some chlorophyll and probiotics. Hadn't heard of the collietosis angle re: BARF. Then again, since bones and raw food is supposed to mimic the natural diet of canines' undomesticated forebears, it stands to reason that Fido might end up with a bad case of hyena breath.

*tosses stick for Jake to fetch*


I hate to be serious on this blog, but when you said cats don't eat corn, remember cats are very happy to catch and eat mice or birds that have a bellyfull of corn, and cats tend to eat all (or nearly all) their prey when they eat it. That is how cats get their full nutrition needs supplied, through what mice etc eat.

I think the days of cheap corn (and cheap chicken, pork etc) are pretty much over for the USA. It would require twice as much as your present TOTAL farmland to grow enough corn to produce enough alcohol to run cars. Even a 10% alcohol petrol blend is going to use up a lot of corn and restrict its availability for feeding food animals like chickens and pigs. At least you would have the satisfaction of knowing that your millionaire farmers were getting taxpayer subsidies to do something useful.

Sorry for being serious.

Can someone link to the shot of a well-known oosik to remind us that you can't take it with you.

Napoleon lost his penis? Well at least Stella got her groove back.

*waves at Siouxie*

25 teenagers -- Sounds like your house was approaching critical mass. Did you set up a perimeter? ;-)

CJ, good point about fiberglass... It's made of silica; ditto for asbestos. Teeny particles become airborne, same as with asbestos. It only makes sense to wear a mask when in the presence of either of them.

When we added extra fiberglass insulation in our attic 10-15 years ago, we made sure to wear masks, and long-sleeved shirts... not that it helped much. Itchy stuff. Since then, some kind of newfangled encapsulated fiberglass has been introduced, and that's what our contractor put in the outside walls when the bathrooms were overhauled.

Coincidentally, MSNBC aired "Supersize Me" this evening, and I finally got to watch it. Talk about food for thought...

OtheU -- thanks for the lovely wildlife pix... Nice one of the Cliffs of Moher, too. ;-)

Ross -

I've been noticing this for quite a while now ... railroads are not shipping nearly as much grain to terminal ports, merely becuz the grain is staying closer to where it has been produced ... which is where the ethanol plants have been built ...

Also, more than half of all the grains used in the USA for various reasons -- corn sweeteners, cattle feed, human food, pet food, ethanol plants and whutever else -- is imported ...

The USA was once the breadbasket (and corn flakes bowl) of the world ... not any more ... and the prices to producers have not increased (enuf) despite this fact ...

Millionaire farmers? If you can name six (from your state) I can guarantee you that they didn't make it on government subsidies ... the subsidy program has never (since the wheat referendum was deleted, in the early 1960s) kept up with the cost of production ...

Most production costs (fuel, fertilizer, and machinery, to name only a few) have increased 300 to 1,000 percent since 1974 ... the market price that the producer receives is approximately 1/3rd of what he/she earned in 1974 ... yet we still have some of the "cheapest" (in terms of a percentage of disposable income) food bills in the world ...

Hmmmmmmmm? How is this possible?

Y'all tell me ... I've been farming for ... longer than most of the bloglits here have been alive ... I haven't figured it out yet ...

Hi, Ross, per your request. And before I forget, April Fool! ;-)

You're right about mousers getting the benefit of their prey's last supper... Was going to mention it in relation to the BARF diet, but thought better about it... The pre-processing of the grain by the prey is a boon to the predator. Would Gut-Loaded Prey BAGNFARB?

I don't understand the reasoning behind making ethanol from corn to replace gasoline. It takes so much energy to fertilize, cultivate, harvest and transport corn and then ferment it into alcohol that there's a net energy loss, not to mention destruction of soil fertility, compaction and erosion. I've read that E85 gasoline gives lower fuel efficiency than 100% gasoline, so it's even less of the silver bullet some believe it to be. Gearing up to grow yet more corn to produce motor fuel strikes me as absurd. It does, however, provide a non-food use for genetically-modified corn, so it's not entirely bad.

Perhaps biodiesel would be a better bet. A nice oilseed crop like industrial hemp would also yield durable fiber that's much in demand for textiles, and is used in making the paper American currency is printed on. It has very deep roots to draw up soil nutrients and water, and loosen compacted soil; bugs don't much bother it, so pesticide isn't much needed. You can't say that about corn... Getting industrial hemp back into the crop rotation would be beneficial on many levels.

Yep, the days of "cheap" food in America are over. While American taxpayers subsidize agriculture, I'm willing to bet that most of that dough goes to the agricultural-industrial complex, not the family farmers of yore. None of the farmers I personally know are in the millionaire category -- here in New Jersey or in Kansas.

Not to worry about a bit of thoughtful discussion... we don't always have to be yukking it up around here, do we? I've met some really nice folks here and enjoyed interesting discussions in between the jokes. Cheers! ;-)

Woo Hoo!! The blogclock is finally back on track!

Glad you like some of the pix, J'G' ... we had fun makin' the trip to take those in Ireland ...

As to more conversation on "cheap food" and your several other very valid points ... you seem to have an excellent grasp of the myriad complexities of the agricultural production/marketing commercial machinery ...

It doesn't make much sense to me, either, on the net loss of NRG to make ethanol ... except for the concept of "less foreign oil imports" ... and you can look up CJ's dissertations on that subject, if y'all haven't seen 'em already ...

I haven't actually looked at the federal budget figures for quite a while, but I mentioned some other place/time about the fact that of the $20-billion (or so) in the budget for the "Food Security Act of ... whutever year" (which is whut the actual title of the "farm program" really is ...) well, 60-70 percent of the total amount goes to places like WIC, Food Stamps, and such other political Sacred Cows ...

OK, those are another method of keepin' food "cheap" ... especially for those who need help with their budget (barring fraud, blackmarket and cheating, that is) ... but the ag producer sees none of that ...

HOWever, the foes of the "Farm Program" will drag out that total figure for the sake of their vote-seeking rants -- along with printouts (Freedom of Information/Public Knowledge-type stuff) that show farmers are getting "rich" from the program ...

Sorry ... not happenin' ... sure, Tyson Farms and some other biggies are gatherin' a huge chunk of change ... but there's only about $8-10-Billion in the first place ... [Sheesh! Difficult to believe I said "only" in the same sentence with "$8-Billion ...]

So, if these top-ten Corporations are makin' "Billions of your tax dollars ..." then ... the little farmer gets ... zero ... do the math ...

That's about the size of it ... and the $10-B divides out to about ... $350 per capita in the USA population ...

Perty soon, the USA will be like England wuz a hundred years ago ... importin' virtually everything ... or, Rome, of the HBO era ... take it from the other (conquered or "developing") countries ... don't worry about producin' it your ownself ... after all ... we're the greatest nation on earth ... we don't need to do manual labor ...

/late nite/end rant ...

Glad you like the pix ...

OtheU... Where would I find CJ's writings on oil, etc? Here in the blog?

I've read a fair amount... all the stuff I spout is book learning. Not a farmer. I live in a condo... but was a 4-Her with rabbits in the late 60s.

I've gotten a kick out of Gene Logsdon's excellent books, which led me to Wes Jackson... and Charles Walters's treatise on agricultural economics Unforgiven, which is at long last back in print.

Closer to home, since childhood I've watched the subdivisions march across prime farmland here in NJ... God ain't making any more of it, and when it's all finally paved over (build-out in NJ was projected to occur in 2010, or maybe a bit earlier), I guess we'll have to import all our food. There are a couple of local organizations in Northwest Jersey that support smart land development, local food, farmland preservation -- and more importantly, farmer preservation. I recall hearing that out of every food dollar spent by American consumers, a whopping 10 cents goes to the person who produced it -- 90 cents goes to middlemen or for "value enhancement" such as processing, packaging, advertising, etc., etc. In this part of the country, where land costs an arm and a leg and development pressure is intense, some farmers are turning to specialty crops and niche markets, and when possible, doing on-farm processing to add value themselves... Selling direct to the public at farmers markets and to local restaurants are other strategies.

There's also been a return to grazing here and in neighboring states... The Weston A. Price Foundation is a strong proponent of raising ruminants on grass as that's what they evolved to eat -- not the masses of grain that is stuffed into them in feedlots. Grain feeding causes acidosis in cattle and encourages the virulent strain of E. coli. Grazing cattle in a pasture gives their meat and milk a healthier fatty acid profile, and boosts the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which helps humans metabolize those fats...

I was interested by your comments on the decrease in exports of grain from the US. I can't help but wonder how much that's been influenced by bans on the importation of GM crops into Europe and Africa... and the recent contamination of long-grain rice with GM rice. Throw in the high levels of arsenic in rice grown on former cotton land, and no wonder overseas customers don't want to buy American.

Can't agree with you more about past history lessons from Rome. I'm more concerned about dry-rot than Vandals...

*climbs down off her soapbox*

*fires up the blog-o-matic laser-guided coffee maker for the morning crew*

*fixes up a passel of bacon and eggs, with poppyseed strudel on the side*

*hits hay*

And now, blogging LIVE from Augusta Ga., checking in/on with my bloglet buds. I am "herding cats" which means taking care of my friends here. They are a bunch of 50ish teenagers, and I am their "daddy". When I am the responsible one, things get scary. Will try and give regular reports from The Augusta National Golf Club for any golfing fans. Will check in otherwise as possible, but will be limited........ I'm pretty sure you will be ok without me..........later

i wake up to this!???! i was in a good mood. food for though, as it were, there may be no data but there are quite a few auto immune disorders (not diseases because dr's can't test for them) making the lives of millions miserable. the prevailing theory, to my understanding, is that it is environmentally triggered. the question is, what do you eat, work with, breathe, that IS safe!? our meat and milk is full of antibiotics, we have all been given immunizations of one sort or another, we live in homes full of carpet, composites and chemical soaked lumber, fresh water has been poisoned, oceans polluted, crops engineered, our homes and offices treated with poison to eliminate bugs, processed food is just that, many people claim that corn syrup is practically poison, i have reactions to aspartame, and on it goes......it's all very depressing and scary. i have the room to grow my own crops and raise my own meat but i don't have the time or heart for it.farming is a full time job. vegetarian is not an option. i'd starve.

as for BARF, i had my allergy prone shephard on it for a while but found she was constantly ravenous no matter how much i gave her. she was grazing through the house. absolutely nothing was safe including the packaging that things came in. i figured we'd keep the allergies and spare her digestive system. i switched her to a salmon based forumla and she's better. she'll never be beautiful again though.

It "ended up in private hands"?


J'G' ... more like 2 1/2 to 3 cents of every food dollar ... or less ... of the price of a loaf of bread, the producer gets about 3 cents ... so, you can do the math on whutever it costs you for bread ... same with dry breakfast food ... about 1 1/3 cents per box ...

um ... CJ's oil rants and intelligent commentary would be over on the set-aside (um ... sorry, farmer terminology there) bloglits "forum" (according to Andy) pages ...

If y'all don't know how to get there, email me ...

Good morning!

As you can see, I survived the teenagers. Barely.

I thank the wine.

---Humor break!---

Cute, Blue ... tnx fer that ...

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