Sunday, April 14, 2013

Chickening In

"I don't need chickens. I can buy the few eggs we need."


There's nothing like the luxury of having all the eggs we want, for cooking and distribution (I'm a publisher - we use publisher words). I'm spoiled. I want my hens back. I originally dreamed of having bees (like Sherlock Holmes?) but I have to face it - I'm a chicken farmer. We should do what we're good at.

"Food dish? No, it's a nest. Because we think so."
So here they are from the Airport Garden, five little Ameracauna hen chicks (99% guarantee from a nice bunch of people who keep love-me cats in the shop). The young man who sold 'em to me could talk chickens all day. Green eggs, evidently. Cool. I like color in my shells. Nothing as huge as the big pink eggs laid by old Rhode Island Red, but not quail eggs, either.

The first day, two chicks would fit in the feeder. Not the next day.
The five little chicks were given working-horse names. You don't give working farm animals - or goldfish - fancy personal names; it's a jinx. So meet Goldie, Blackie, Brownie, Pinkie and Stripes. The names might as well be yelled by Andy Devine in Stagecoach.

Yes, they're in the bathtub. The young man asked where I was going to keep them.

"In the bathroom."

"Oh. You're smart."

Most people must stick baby chicks out in the shed with a light. How am I going to get them friendly by picking them up and talking to them, if I can't drop in on their heated room whenever I feel like it, instead of putting on a coat and boots and finding excuses not to? Besides, they're so darn cute. 

Hey, I'm not the only one. The old farmer up here never talks about how his back-bred Jersey calves are successful, or his little Devons are blocky or milk well. They're "cute." He doesn't have a farm, he has a petting zoo. And is successful with all his beasts. Love = success? What a concept.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Now We Don't Have To Pay Them Reparations!

FACEPALM. Article in the Forks Forum was straight out of the 1950's (I SAID it can seem like decades ago, here, with nobody catching up for years). It was panicking over the JAPANESE PLAN TO PUT IN AN AIRFIELD BY LAKE OZETTE. Knowing what I know about any military, I know how THAT went:

Japanese General: "We need plans for an airfield on enemy territory, right HERE!" (Points at harbory-looking place on a map.) (Same thing for any American General, just in English).
Japanese Colonel: "Make it so!"
Japanese Major: "Here is your assignment!"
Couple of confused Japanese Lieutenants and a signalman (Scratching heads over publicly-available maps): "Um.... let's see. Here's what looks like a flat place near a lake... um... Is that a cliff? Um.... Okay, this looks good. Draw it up and it'll make the old man happy."

Back up the chain of command, into the hands of American "military" intelligence, Hearst papers get ahold of it and the next thing you know, the whole west coast loses its Japanese population to internment, who never get their property back. Oh, tell me I'm wrong, go ahead.

As usual, the article is all gaspy about how the Japanese were making war plans while negotiating peace. Hello? Does anybody NOT know how the military and civil arms of a country work? Attack contingency plans in case the peace talks fall through? D'uh.

And don't even be pissed about Pearl Harbor - it was just two empires heading for each other, and they got in the first lick. If we didn't like "sneak attacks" we shouldn't have been sailing into people's bays - more than once - and threatening governments for trade. Admiral Perry's Teeth, INDEED.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Diaper Kitty Box?

Fearless letting BlueBear do her job.
We kitty owners all face - THE LITTER BOX. You know how we automatically used sand because that's what cats use outside? By accident, we found out something else that's far easier, neater and cleaner. 

You know how your towels slowly turn ratty? Use them in the litter boxes. Before you gasp WTF? all you have to do every day is shake the solids into the toilet, throw the dirty towel into the wash, wipe out the box a bit, put in a fresh folded towel. Think of it as using a diaper. Keep the ratty towels in a clean, separate pile. No more tracked litter, no more constantly buying and disposing of litter. It really is cleaner and neater. 

And if you have a kitty with one of those sudden housebreaking problems, you can lay a towel where they go, then put it in the box, then start seeing if you can move the box back to a more secluded place. Cats are conservative. They'll put up with anything if you do it slowly enough (and you can see if the urine changes color or has anything to worry about in it).

Monday, April 01, 2013

Smoke Dem Turkeys

Turkey hindquarters smoking.
Dan's not crazy about turkey, or at least the blah commercial kind. But we have one. So I decided to smoke it. 

Rubbed it with home-dried sea salt from the bay, let it set, rinsed it and smoked it.

Smoker, with lid.
Came out pretty tough - I need to let it set in brine, rather than dry salt. But that's okay. Today there's smoked turkey simmering in the beans. So we've decided to dry-smoke any turkeys we get and use 'em like smoked pork. They smell just as good!

And yeah, that's not a very fancy smoker, but according to the Fire Chief it's legal, and we're using it to cook.

And I'd prefer to use the $80 to buy a commercial smoker for DVDs and stuff.