Sunday, February 28, 2016

Prescott, Wisconsin

The children had a Saturday event in Prescott, Wisconsin.  It was one of those events that eats up the whole day but you only get to see ten minutes of your kids in action.  In other words, the savvy father finds himself with time to kill.

The oldest man-pup and Sparta joined me on an explore of the town and then the nearby Carpenter Nature Center.

The art gallery has a protector.  Unfortunately the gallery is closed until April.


He kept up, mostly.

Art on a lawn.

There was an eagle on the nest and the people who traveled from the Cities seemed impressed, but, well, we see eagles everyday.  For the record, I can tell them where to find a nest in Minneapolis.

We opened the patio at the local Dairy Queen.

Sculpture made from river trash.

 I am a big fan of the student sculpture in the high school library.

We jumped a red fox while touring the North Loop trail at the Carpenter Nature Center.  Sparta didn't see it, but as when we crossed its path, she was begged for an opportunity to give pursuit.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Man in Black

Johnny Cash was born 85 years ago today.

The Silent Generation, born before the conclusion of the Second War but too young to participate, lived in the shadow of their older cousins and siblings for the first half of their lives.

Then the Baby Boom started to mature, Vietnam intensified, racial segregation was unveiled as racial injustice.

Here's the deal: the Baby Boom provided the ground troops to those struggles but who gave it inspiration?  Who provided cover when the "Greatest Generation" called them cowards and agitators?  Who was it that had been laying the ground work for the justice movements of the mid and late 1960's since the early 1950's?

It was members of the Silent Generation.

The Presidency was never held by a member of the Silent Generation but they provided many leaders who made our nation a better place.  Even if you disagree with every argument or position laid out by someone on this list, we benefit from their service as a "loyal opposition."

"As iron sharpens iron, so one many sharpens another."

Lenny Bruce (1925-1966) Comedian, Social Critic 
William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-    ) Columnist, Author 
Johnny Carson (1925-2005) TV Talk Show Host 
Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968) Senator, US Attorney General, Presidential Candidate 
Paul Newman (1925-    ) Actor 
Gore Vidal (1925-    ) Author 
Malcolm X (1925-1965) Black Muslim Leader 
Alan Ginsberg (1926-1997) Poet 
Alan Greenspan (1926-    ) Federal Reserve Chair 
Hugh Hefner (1926-    ) Publisher 
Timothy Lahaye (1926-    ) Minister, Bestselling Author 
Jerry Lewis (1926-    ) Comedian 
Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962) Actress 
Harry Belafonte (1927-    ) Singer 
Caesar Chavez (1927-1993) Labor Organizer, United Farm Workers 
Bob Fosse (1927-1987) Jazz Dancer, Choreographer, Director 
Sidney Poitier (1927-    ) Actor 
Andy Warhol (1927-1987) Artist 
Michael Harrington (1928-1989) Author, Social Critic 
Jack Kevorkian (1928-    ) Physician, Assisted Suicide Advocate 
Shirley Temple Black (1928-    ) Actress, Ambassador  
Grace Kelly (1929-1982) Actress 
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) Minister, Civil Rights Leader 
Neil Armstrong (1930-    ) Astronaut, First man on the moon 
Warren Buffet (1930-    ) Investor 
Mario Cuomo (1930-    ) Gov. of New York, Democrat Leader 
Clint Eastwood (1930-    ) Actor 
Sandra Day O’Conner (1930-    ) First Woman Supreme Court Justice 
Ross Perot (1930-    ) Entrepreneur, Presidential Candidate 
Pat Robertson (1930-    ) Religious Broadcasting Executive, Presidential Candidate 
Bancroft, Anne (1931-2005) Actress 
James Dean (1931-1955) Actor 
James Earl Jones (1931-    ) Actor 
Bernard F. Law (1931-    ) Former Roman Catholic Archbishop 
Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) Baseball Player 
Willie Mays (1931-    ) Baseball Player 
Dan Rather (1931-    ) TV Journalist 
Barbara Walters (1931-    ) TV Journalist 
Edward M. Kennedy (1932-    ) Senator 
Elvis Presley (1932-1977) Singer 
Donald Rumsfeld (1932-    ) Defense Secretary 
John Updike (1932-    ) Author 
Jerry Falwell (1933-    ) Minister, Evangelist, Founder of Moral Majority 
Dianne Fienstein (1933-    ) Senator 
Susan Sontag (1933-2004) Critic, Essayist, Novelist 
Henry Aaron (1934-    ) Baseball Player 
Pat Boone (1934-    ) Singer 
Shirley MacLaine (1934-    ) Actress 
Ralph Nadar (1934-    ) Consumer Advocate, Presidential Candidate 
Bill Russell (1934-    ) Basketball Player, First Black Pro Basketball Coach 
Norman Shwarzkopf (1934-    ) Gulf War General 
Bart Starr (1934    ) NFL Quaterback 
Gloria Steinem (1934-    ) Author, Feminist 
John Sweeny (1934-    ) AFL-CIO President 
Woody Allen (1935-    ) Actor, Director 
Eldridge Cleaver (1935-1998) Black Panthers Leader, Social Critic 
Jack Kemp (1935-    ) VP Candidate, HUD Secretary, NFL Quarterback 
Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) Professional Basketball Player 
James Dobson (1936-    ) Focus on the Family, Founder 
Elizabeth Hanford Dole (1936-    ) Senator, Red Cross head, Cabinet Member 
Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) Political Activist 
Buddy Holly (1936-1959) Musician 
Michael Landon (1936-1991) Actor 
John McCain (1936-    ) Senator 
Bill Cosby (1937-    ) Comedian 
Jane Fonda (1937-    ) Actress, Activist 
Dustin Hoffman (1937-    ) Actor 
Colin Powell (1937-    ) Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman
Robert Redford (1937-    ) Actor 
Janet Reno (1937-    ) First Woman US Attorney General 
Ted Turner (1938-    ) TV Executive, Philanthropist 
Natalie Wood (1938-1981) Actress 
Russell Means (1939-    ) Indian Rights 
Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963) Assassinated John Kennedy 
Harry Reid (1939-    ) Senate Minority Leader 
Tom Brokaw (1940-    ) TV Journalist 
Nancy Pelosi (1940-    ) House Minority Leader 
Joan Baez (1941-    ) Singer 
Stockley Carmichael (1941- 1998) Black Power Activist 
Dick Cheney (1941-    ) Vice President 
Bob Dylan (1941-    ) Musician, Songwriter 
Jesse Jackson (1941-    ) Minister, Civil Rights Leader 
Martha Stewart (1941-    ) Homemaking Advisor, Entrepreneur, TV Personality 
Muhammad Ali (1942-    ) Boxer 
Michael Eisner (1942-    ) Disney CEO 
Harrison Ford (1942-    ) Actor 
Bill Frist (1942-    ) Senate Majority Leader 
Dennis Hastert (1942-    ) Speaker of the House 
Garrison Keillor (1942-    ) Author, Broadcaster 
Calvin Klein (1942-    ) Fashion Designer 
Kate Michelman (1942-    ) Abortion Rights Activist 
Barbara Streisand (1942-    ) Singer Actress

And let us not forget the Man in Black (1932-2003) Singer:  

We all miss him, Willie, Merle, Bobby, and the rest of us

and we try not to resent those who love him now, but ignored him when he was alive.

Maybe he'd think I'm taking the whole thing too seriously and I should talk more about dogs.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A New Permission

In the wisdom of Wisconsin state law, the groundhog is a protected species.  It can not be hunted on public land and only a landowner or his "agent" may kill them if they are a nuance.

In other words, my hunting is limited to private property and Wisconsin's vast public hunting grounds do me little good are as good as refuges from human predators.

I contacted three land owners this winter and was denied access to about 5/6 of the land I requested access to.  Part of the problem seems to have been a rookie mistake.  In one sentence I mentioned shed antlers.  Shed antlers are not my thing but I would like permission to keep one if I find it.  For future reference, stick to the issue at hand, take any found shed antlers to the land owner after finding them, let them decide if you can keep it or use it for the dog to chew on.

The weather has warmed enough that the part of the new permission with southern exposure was clear for the walking, including the two most promising fence rows.

An eagle circled overhead letting me know that s/he did not appreciate our presence.  I found the pelvis and backbone of an animal, probably a first winter raccoon.  I rarely see opossum outside of city limits, it was a little large to be a skunk, and small to be a groundhog.

It is all guesswork.

A short while later we kicked up a couple grouse and I barely caught sight of two fox, grey fox I think, slipping away from us.  Owing to the time of year and the fact that left as a pair, I would guess a natal den is hidden in that fence row.  I did not press the investigation

I will go back when I think fox kits will be mobile and the whole parcel is more easily accessible.  With so many predators about, I doubt my new permission will result in good spring hunting.  We will want to go back, however, in mid to late summer when young groundhogs have left their mothers and are striking out on their own.

Carry On

A Canine's Burden

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Not a Terrier

From the Instagram feed of Camping with Dogs

Sunday Stroll

Merwyn: protector of the Seward neighborhood's land and water.

Purity Bakery Building, now used for work spaces and storage.

The Minnehaha Bunny: a large bronze on the south side of Minnehaha Creek.

As humans and our dogs have conquered the whole globe, we've had to adapt to many different environments and ways of living.  Consequently humans and our dogs are the two species with the greatest amount of intra-species genetic diversity.

It was a good day.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Why Only One?

I'm not sure where they're at, but I want to go there.
I'm not sure who the couple is listening out front, but they're fortunate.
I wasn't aware of this albulm, but I am now.

Bad Idea for the Weekend

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Hal Lindsey is that You?

Armageddon: only sex sells better.
I've mentioned that when it comes to global warming I am a "Lukewarmist."

Yes, I think global warming is happening.
Yes, I believe that humanity is at least partially responsible as the driver of this phenomenon.
No, I do not think the alarmists know as much as they think they know.

I say this because science is about making predictions and testing the validity of our theories upon whether, how, and when those predictions pan out.  Climate science has a pretty poor track record in this department.

Essentially, it becomes a battle against fundamentalists.  Fundamentalists who believe they are doing what is necessary to save our souls planet.

Tom Hartsford over at Real Clear Science describes the problem better than I can in this recent article.

Predictions are made by building models using the smartest simplifications we have thought of and running them on the most powerful computers ever built. Basically, it's the best we can do right now. 
But there is a major failure of science going on. 
The failure is the lack of transparency and honesty about how feeble these models are and how much we should stake on their all-too-fallible forecasts. Thus the same problem continues: climate science has once again botched a prediction that its models were underequipped to make. 
It seems that there can be no moderate and honest discussion of this issue. Skeptics are singled out in creepy enemies lists. Actually, we're now supposed to call them deniers, as though they were disputing the existence of HIV or the holocaust. Numerous scientists, as well as senators,anti-vaccination Kennedysand clickbait purveyors have even called for the imprisonment and legal prosecution of those who disagree with them. 
Climate science acts like it is fighting a holy war. There are only those who are just and those who must be silenced and stopped at all costs. Anyone who mounts reasonable logical, empirical, or skeptical challenges to the orthodoxy must be ruined, not by counterfactual evidence, but by vicious attack.

The problem is not with the science per sea.  It is a problem of thinly veiled hubris.

Sheep Tracks

Highs will hit 45 by the end of the week.

I've seen snow as late as May but the trend is set.  The driveway will clear, snow will melt, and the land will begin to green.  Oh, it might still get buried for a week here or there, but spring is coming.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Telos?  I 'll give you my telos.

The illustration is lifted from my daughter's favorite children's book, Diogenes by M.D. Usher.  I think her kindergarten teacher was a little taken aback last year when she took it to school with the request that it be read before the whole class.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hay delivery

The last few years we have fed large round bales through the winter.

They are delivered before the first snow and a neighbor moves them all up hill.  I roll them down hill as we have need.  Either my calculations were bad this last fall or the sheep have wasted more hay than normal.  Of course if anyone is to blame for not taking into account wastage, it is me.

Sheep are not interested in thrift.

There is way too much ice to have large bales of hay moved around, so it is time to resort to the time tested method of feeding small bales.  In the loft of our small barn we can fit 50-80 bales depending upon their size.  More can be fit in the storage side of the barn.

A 120 bales delivered with two of my three helpers ready to go.
Thanks to them I only had to carry 116 bales up the hill to the barn

The third helper was in the loft doing the stacking.  

It was cold enough, I don't even care that this guy could reach through to steal some nibbles.
118 bales later.

The Icelandic Sheep approve of the new hay.
When I came in this man-pup was doing push-ups.  I guess I need to find some harder jobs.

Reality has a Way

Of busting free from the abstract.

Happy Valentine's Day

Changing Others

Happy Valentine's Day!

When You Come Around

A song for all you lovers out there.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Fruit of Intolerance

We should not praise intolerance but it does lead to some great blues.  ;)

Thursday, February 11, 2016


John Smiths Bitter

The ad accomplishes two things.  First, it does make me want to try the product, which was the goal.  Secondly, however, it makes me wonder how many bouts of the delirium tremens the writer channeled into the creative effort.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Know Thyself, Tame Thyself

Within each of us lies a shadow self, a dark side, a heaping serving of that which we don't really want to show the world and a small dose (or more) of the evil impulses which humanity has demonstrated since the beginning.  If we deny those aspects of our persona, if we attempt to ignore that they exist, we give those impulses power.  They lurk under the bed just waiting for an opportunity, when we are weak or afraid, to seize control of the narrative of our lives.

Instead we should each acknowledge that shadow self.  Name its characteristics.  Understand it.  In understanding our shadow selves, in understanding our personal capacity for evil, we tame them.  We gain control of them.  They may even be channeled toward a more full and virtuous life.

I don't believe in saints but I do think it is possible to live a good life characterized by virtue.  When we try to be a saints, if we try to be perfect, we are living in denial.  If there is a Holy Spirit, it is not in the business of cleansing the souls of homo sapiens.  Owning the "soul" that I do, it is best to make sure no part of it remains hidden from my controlling faculty, my mind.

As much as I can, I want none of my "soul" to remain feral and at risk of biting me on the hand, or worse.

I want to control who I am.
I want to be more a master than a slave of the narrative of my life.

Those require an understanding of the self followed by the taming of one's own monsters.

Woof Da

If this plate ever becomes available again, sign me up.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Northeast Minneapolis

Northeast Minneapolis has a lot to recommend it though visiting it in winter, when some landlords are not adequately compelled to shovel the sidewalks and none of the ethnic delis have their curbside patios set up, requires creativity to find the joy amidst the effort.

We'll be back, though I might have to reach out to some co-workers who live in the area for recommendations.

My oldest son's nickname among his peers is "Otter."

The nation runs on container transport and rail...

...and both presume globalization.

Rails, highways and, in the distance, the skyscrapers of downtown Minneapolis.

The local Marionite Catholic Church, right across the street from a highly recommended Lebanese deli.

A co-worker, half Ukrainian and a self -described connoisseur of the perogie, and I need to make a date to check out the offering of the Ukrainian Catholic church one block down from the Lebanese.  

I'm just thankful there are still some schools out there named after Thomas Edison.

I do love this trooper of a dog.  15 miles and she was ready to wrestle with the other members of the pack.  She was downright sullen that I left her at home the next day.