Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two more days...

Until toxic lead covers the entire state of Iowa during the mourning dove season.

OMG it's Leadageddon!!!

At least that's what I hear.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Boswell puff piece

How the not-so-enthusiastic-on-gun-rights representative's family was protected with the use of a gun.
The Boswell homestead, with its rolling hayfields, braying cattle and buggy-driving Amish neighbors, seems particularly far from affairs of state or worries of the world. But at 10:45 that Saturday night, trouble intruded.
Who writes this drivel?

After hearing a commotion in his Lamoni home, Boswell
...bounded down the hallway toward the front door. He had lost weight recently, after stomach surgery; the silver-haired combat veteran was less hulking, but swifter.
Swift as a puma, I bet.

Our good friend Ben has a different take on Rep Boswell as he points out a D- rating from Gun Owners of America and Boswell's support of trigger locks.

I'm glad that the representative and his family survived the intrusion into their home that night and that the punk is probably going to enjoy some justice.

But Ben put it best, "Luckily for Boswell, the Second Amendment protects hypocrites too."

The Des Moines Register discovers "Fast and Furious"

Now that Senator Grassley has been fighting with the Justice Dept for months John Carlson finally recognizes the efforts to get to the bottom of the "GunWalker" fiasco at the ATF.

John Carlson: How Chuck Grassley is causing discomfort for the Obama administration

It is a good overview of the Fast and Furious debacle and the investigation into the administration, but this is an opinion piece and little substance beyond a couple of quotes.
“I won’t let this drop, because I don’t give up,” said Grassley, who is frustrated by the Justice Department’s repeated dodging of questions from congressional investigators.
I've been critical of Grassley in the past and will probably continue, if for nothing else, he's been in Washington too long. But I have to give him kudos for efforts to get to the bottom of this.

I think he should give a little more credence into the theory that guns were allowed to walk to Mexico as an overall agenda for tighter gun restrictions in the US. That fits the meme.

Keep up the good work, Senator.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last measure of devotion

Navy Seal, Jon Tumilson, who perished in the rocket attack near Kabul, Afghanistan, was laid to rest last week. His lab, Hawkeye, walked to the casket, let out a sigh and laid down near his fallen master.
Tumilson’s Labrador retriever, Hawkeye, was photographed lying by Tumilson’s casket in a heart-wrenching image taken at the funeral service in Tumilson’s hometown of Rockford, Iowa, earlier this week. Hawkeye walked up to the casket at the beginning of the service and then dropped down with a heaving sigh as about 1,500 mourners witnessed a dog accompanying his master until the end, reported CBS.
A dog's devotion that was expressed in a final moment of closure.

(Photo by Tumilson’s cousin, Lisa Pembleton)

Fallen Navy SEAL remembered as adventurous, athletic

Tumilson's family has started a memorial fund and contributions can be made to Frogman 238 Memorial Fund, First Security Bank and Trust, 201 West Main Ave., Rockford, IA 50468.

My hope is that Petty Officer Tumilson's family will find comfort in these coming days.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lead shot allowed for dove hunting

The continuing controversy over lead shot apparently put Iowa in the middle of a quiet war. The naturally occurring metal is somehow a danger to the environment when it's used as a projectile from a firearm.

Okay...

The Natural Resources Commission, whom the Des Moines Pravda reports are experts in all things concerning the environment, wanted to ban lead shot for dove shooting, but they were overruled for this year's season.

Apparently the Red-gister isn't happy with lawmakers exercising their oversight of a commission that they created.
Lawmakers who blocked a lead shot ban by the Natural Resource Commission now have the option of allowing the ban to go into effect next year by taking no action on the issue during the 2012 session. They should do one better: They should ban lead shot for all hunting.

And:

Iowa lawmakers have an opportunity to take a debate that has been narrowly focused on dove hunting and use it as a springboard to enact a law that would have a long-term, positive effect on Iowa’s environment. Ban all lead shot. We know too much about the toxic effects of the substance to allow hunters to continue spraying it all over.
By using the royal "We" the editors of the Register apparently are including themselves in the "expert" category.

Biting into lead shot is no fun, but do you think steel shot would be enjoyable? Lead is a toxin in high doses. Maybe if I didn't eat wild game as a kid, I could have gone to some high-fallutin' university instead of a community college (financing had nothing to do with it, trust me).

The solution is to ban all lead ammunition because an animal could ingest it and get lead poisoning before you shoot it.

At least that's what the experts say.

Gun range - Denied

Once approved (Gun range moves forward) a gun range in Sioux Center has been shelved after a vote by the Sioux County board of Supervisors. Nevermind that Sioux Center city council unanimously voted in favor of the range and the DNR report gives it a green light.

Gun range issue tabled in Sioux County

In a classic "not in my back yard" blather, a local resident states:
"I want to see this happen. I want to see it for the citizens of this community but I don't want to see it happen at Sandy Hollow," said Aaron Bark of Sioux Center.
Many of us have limited choices on where to go to practice and the neighbors of the Sandy Hollow range had a very good opportunity to use a facility so close to their homes. A well-run range would mitigate risks for the community so long as the reasonable concerns of the community are met.

It looks like an opportunity will not come to pass.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday (not so) funnies, 8/21/11

In honor of last week's straw poll here in Iowa:






As always, click on the picture to go to the source.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm from the government and I'm here to help

It was inevitable.

Purchasing a small acreage brings a little attention apparently. The Department of Agriculture sent me a nice little letter today asking for some information about me and my wife.

It seems the county office of the Farm Services Agency wants to know a little more about me, including, but not limited to my Social Security number (which is not part of the form - the bureaucrat drew a line and wrote "SS # here.")

The parcel I purchased was part of a farming operation which included a father and two sons operating four parcels. (That they combined the other three into one parcel when I know one of those was sold off convinces me that they don't know what they're doing.)

The FSA manages several programs including CRP, the Conservation Reserve Program, where land is idled and a "farmer" gets paid. Sort of like a welfare queen from the inner city. FSA also manages minority programs, works with the Commodity Credit Corporation for money to farmers, even grants through the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Oh boy, Pennies from Heaven!

I specifically searched for ground that was not in CRP or with soon-to-be-expired contracts. Why? What the government hands you with one hand, the other hand hits you with a club and I want no part in it.

While government handouts are enticing, especially in these times where I could be fired for saying management where I work is a pile of excrement once too many times. It sure would be nice getting money for not doing anything (similar to a couple of co-workers.)

But that would make me a hypocrite wouldn't it? How could I rant against a huge pile of national debt when my hand is in the till?

But what to do with this official government letter (is Comic Sans font professional?) requesting personal information so that an agency that I cannot support will do its damnedest to get me into? I don't give a rip about their crop surveys or grant programs. They can stuff those in their poop chute.

Form FSA-155 "Request for Farm Reconstitution." "Used to list all of the assets on the farm and farmland that a farm borrower possesses when reconstituting their farm." From the Federal code:
"In order to implement agency programs and monitor farmer compliance with regulations, the agency must have records on what land is being farmed by a particular producer. This is accomplished by a determination of what land or groups of land ‘constitute’ an individual unit or farm. "
"Compliance," there's that word again.

I'll have to choose my response:
  1. Ignore it (they won't go away, you know)
  2. Tell them I don't want their "free" money, advice, or supervision (again, they won't go away)
  3. Ridicule them enough so that they wouldn't want to go near that "crazy bald a-hole", or eventually get tired of him
Number 3 is probably where I'll be going since according to the form: "Furnishing the requested information is voluntary. Failure to furnish and file the requested information will result in the denial of further monies or other program benefits as required by existing law and regulations."

Uh, Okay. What's the penalty? The feds won't let me take corn to market next year? Maybe they will add me to the list of people in the War on Farmers. From form 155:
This information maybe provided to other agencies, IRS, Department of Justice, or other State and Federal law enforcement agencies and in response to a court magistrate or administrative tribunal.
A tribunal? Cool. Since the helpful bureaucrat filled out the Farm Identifier on the form, I guess by their definition I own a farm. If I don't fill this crap out, I won't get any "free" money that I don't want anyway.

I don't see what the downside is but I guess I'll talk to the little Gruppenf├╝hrer today - maybe...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Gun ban update, 8/17/11

After the recent ban decree at our state fairgrounds, Jim over at Travis McGee Reader informed me of Woodbury County's ban. It seems that the county supervisors are afraid since they referred to the Arizona attack on Congresswoman Giffords.

Woodbury County bans guns in four buildings

After defeating a complete ban on all county property, such as parks or recreation areas, the supervisors banned weapons in the County Courthouse, law enforcement center/jail, Trosper Hoyt Building and Prairie Hills.
The resolution said the county was seeking to perform the role of protecting the "peace, safety, health, welfare, comfort and convenience of its residents" and county property.
So government entities are responsible for the "comfort and convenience" of its citizens? What the French?

I plan on moving to Sioux City so the county can buy me a Lazy Boy rocker and bigass Tee Vee.

Uh, no. I got my own comfort covered, thank you.


I thought the silly season was over since news reports of cities and counties banning weapons dried up since April, but here we go with another round of "we're in charge" passing a law or resolution because they have to do something to protect the poor citizenry from guns.

Jim graciously stated that, "The best place to track these local gun banners is over at Stranded in Iowa's place."

It's because fellow Iowans like Jim at Travis McGee Reader, Ben at Cold Hard Cashner and others have given me tips.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Don't mess with a mom

Police: Man Tries To Entice Teen, Gets Punched By Mom

Robert C. Harding (Credit: Polk County Jail/ KCCI)
"I got down to the alley and I confronted him. I said, 'Why are you staring at the kids?' and he looks at me and says, 'I want to marry the red head,' I came unglued at that point. I was like 'Dude, she's only 13 that's my daughter,'" said [Holly] Pullen.
Looks like he got served up a can of whoop-ass and deservedly so.

Going to the Fair? Don't be carrying a weapon

The Iowa State Fair is the place to be so long as you leave your carry gun at home or locked in your car outside of the gates. They are prohibited this year after the riots (outside of the gates) at last year's fair.
Iowa State Patrol Capt. Gary Nieuwsma says the permits do not apply at the fairgrounds.

"The State Fair is a place where guns and knives are prohibited," he said.
Interesting thought is that the DNR holds their annual gun auction on the fairgrounds and a gun show is held there several times a year.

I guess it's okay to carry during these events but not at the annual state fair after a couple of dozen people were stabbed last year?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Out of steam, 8/12/11


Server issues this week, an anticipated storage upgrade this weekend, and the general lack of sleep the past few days leads to being out of steam.

I'm with Midwest Chick that a new job might be in order.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Life, interrupted

The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men
Gang aft agley,
An'lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Oh, the Scottish language...

Robert Burns' poem of To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough reminds me that, although Time may be linear, Life is not. All of one's plans or schemes can be snatched away or, if we are lucky, only interrupted for a brief time.

We struggled this week to save a member of our family. Our 7-year-old dog, Buckeye, who obeys me but adores my wife, was very nearly taken from us. An over-prescribed corticosteroid caused ulcers in his stomach to bleed and forced a vibrant and active border collie\spaniel\mutt mix into severe distress. To the point that advice was given that no one wants to hear of "putting him down."

Anemic and with platelet counts of nearly zero, he struggled with every breath and had little energy to fight. The vet didn't think he would last more than a day or two.

My wife brought him home so the boys could say their goodbyes and scheduled a return to the vet for the next day, but something from my Scot\Irish\mutt heritage reminded me that no one in our family goes gentle into that good night. And Buck still had light in his eyes.

I know more now than a week ago of corticosteroids and their effects on dogs and I failed him for not preventing this. But we weren't going to fail him now. A protein rich diet along with Pepcid and Maalox to reduce the stomach acid. And lots and lots of water.

This got him through a very rough night and his color began returning within 24 hours. On the second day, we added a light vegetable puree mix of carrots and beans into his food. By the end of day two, his breathing was easier and his bloody stools were negligible but by no means can we, as amateurs, know what's going on. That's why we rely on professionals because they're supposed to know what they're doing.

By the end of day three he was sleeping in one of his favorite positions: on his back, wedged between the arm rest and the seat cushion on the couch, next to my wife. On the fourth day he ran to the door when my wife spoke the words, "Walk?" But only for short walks until his strength returns. His breathing at rest was finally good but he gets out of breath during his short walks.

Veterinarians are now on my list of professions that I'm skeptical of taking their advice. Like lawyers, doctors or mechanics, when you find a good one, hang onto them.

Corticosteroids can kill dogs, especially in high doses and taken without an antacid. He was taking them with food, but there seems to be a tolerance level that once reached, it's like a dam breaking. Throwing up blood is a bad sign and often can be too late. We should have been giving him an antacid and a much lower dose, but we, the amateurs, didn't know this last week.

He was being treated for a severe rash and to help relieve the itching that accompanies "hot spots." But now we're looking at more natural remedies for dogs.

Following advice from several sites, including pets.webmd.com, it looks like another couple of weeks of Maalox before his stomach is in good shape.

And it looks like we'll be getting a new vet.