Posts Tagged ‘Farming’

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I Survived! – True Stories of Human Survival Vol. 3

May 21, 2010

Last spotted in the wild on May 6th, but now enjoying a full recovery, it’s… I Survived! Vol. 3. Be sure and check out Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 if you haven’t already. They’re worth every minute of your time and contained brutal portraits of severely lost hipsters and extreme sportsmen. 

Case/IH issues a recall after the disastrous addition of a new "Invert" gear.

Ronald Hofer
On an early spring morning, Ronald Hofer plows his acreage in preparation for planting. As he negotiates a wide turn, a sudden tense change upsets the tractor, severed his arm and pinned both legs below the cab. 

The initial pain had subsided, which allowed Hofer to take stock of his situation. As he gazed at his pinned legs, he sensed that the outcome had already been decided and there was nothing to do but wait and see where this led. Hofer dialled back his already limited movement to “imperceptible” and conserved his energy. 

Ronald gazes intently at the cab and his pinned legs, filling with the sense that the outcome has suddenly shifted into “cloudy,” and that he should act quickly before the moment passes. He fishes in his overturned cab for his makeshift saw, which he hopes to use as a makeshift saw. Ronald knows that if he is going to have any shot at surviving this, the legs will have to go. 

“I knew that if I was going to have any shot at surviving this, the legs would have to go,” Hofer said. “Who knew how long the present tense would last? I just couldn’t take those chances.” 

As Hofer struggled against the odds, his surprisingly dense bones and the constantly shifting time, he was spotted by a passing cropduster and its third-person perspective. The pilot began a slow bank, having spotted what he thought was a crippled or mutated calf. 

“I heard the plane and began waving wildly with my one good arm, while bleeding profusely from the other,” said/says Hofer. 

Within minutes, Hofer was being flown to the nearest hospital where a crack team of surgeons was standing by. 

Hofer has retired from farming and now lives in Florida where he spends most of his waking hours staring at the clock suspiciously. 

Officer Lochman cites the motorist for being "unresponsive to police harassment."

Kingston Miles
While watching a Food Network cooking show and simultaneously preparing himself a light Ty Cobb Salad*, Miles becomes momentarily distracted by Giada’s plunging neckline and severs his right index finger. 

Horrified by the sudden spurt of blood across his former “Fruit/Veggies Only” cutting board, Miles’ innate analness deserts him, leading to a series of profoundly bad decisions. Faced with a myriad of options in a city full of modern conveniences, Miles chooses “none of the above” and slips into full panic mode. 

Rushing to his Boxster, leaving behind his keys, wallet and freshly-cut finger, Miles finds himself locked out of his own vehicle. He swiftly makes a bloody return to the kitchen, grabbing his keys. After a quick switchover, he starts the car and attempts to call up directions to the nearest ER on his GPS. 

Finding himself short one (1) “GPS Finger,” Miles unwisely decides (for the first time in his life) to “wing it,” and heads violently off in the wrong direction, ignoring his increasingly plaintive GPS. 

Miles momentarily regains his bearings while bleeding profusely at an overlong stoplight. Attempting to correct his course, Miles makes an illegal u-turn, which attracts the attention of a lightly-dozing patrolman, who is suddenly forced to slam on his brakes to avoid the arcing vehicle. 

After a brief pursuit, Miles is finally pulled over. He tells the police officer that he has severed a finger and needs to get to the hospital. The officer asks if he would like a ride, which Miles responds to by lapsing into unconsciousness. 

Realizing he would need assistance to move Miles’ unconscious body, the patrolman (Officer Lochman) decides to retire to the local coffee shop and contemplate his next move. Upon returning to the vehicle, Lochman is surprised to find it empty. A quick search of the scene reveals that Miles has indeed vacated the vehicle, a fact confirmed by the discovery of his passed-out body in a nearby ditch. 

Officer Lochman revives Kingston Miles and cites him for “leaving the scene of an accident,” “driving without a license” and “wasting law enforcement time.” Lochman also notes that Miles seems to be “irrational, severely disoriented and bleeding profusely.” He deposits Miles at the nearest ER for a quick psych eval. 

Unfortunately, Miles remains untreated, thanks to his lack of photo ID, valid insurance and general coherence. Unable to contact his wife, he languishes for several long (and expensive) hours in the ER, his pain only occasionally interrupted by various ER staffers who berate him for tying up their resources with what is obviously a “pre-existing” wound. 

Miles is finally treated (and reunited with his wife) after a Missing Persons report falls into the hands of Officer Lochman, who states that he did see somebody matching that description “stumbling around in a nearby ditch.” The local ER also claims a match, stating that they turfed the “malcontent” to the closest VD clinic so the “faker” could learn “a whole lot about being honest.” 

*Ty Cobb Salad
1 Head Lettuce, sliced violently
1 Bunch Watercress, hurled into bowl
6 Slices Bacon, beaten to bits
2 Avocados, pitted and scarred
1 Tomato, stabbed and seeded
2 Hard-Boiled Eggs, use whites only. Beat yolk senseless and toss into nearest alley.
2 Tbsp. Chives, chopped and blocked
1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar (consume wine and allow bitterness to seep in over the years)
1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard (hold in mouth briefly before spitting into nearest available eye)
2/3 Olive Oil (virginity not essential)
1/2 Cup Roquefort, grated across sharpened cleats
 

Mix all ingredients in glass bowl. Stir harshly. Rest briefly before throwing bowl through nearest window. Serves 1 broken home. 

-CLT

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Fancy Plans Guide to Kansas

December 8, 2009

As part of a non-sustainable push to secure government funding, we are temporarily rebranding Fancy Plans as “blogucational” and fully compliant with the No Troll Left Behind Act. As part of our educational lip service, we are pleased to present our well-rounded profile of the great state of Kansas, birthplace of “The Wave.”

(It may also be noted that we have previously provided such educational features as the Fancy Plans Guide to Wisconsin, the Fancy Plans Guide to Minnesota and the Fancy Plans Guide to North American Trees.)

Kansas: home of the first flag entirely created with MS Paint.

Kansas
A dry, dusty state whose most prominent geographic feature is the horizon, Kansas has long been associated with the twin industries of agriculture and ranching. Referred to as “America’s Breadbasket,” Kansas has also been saddled with less-complimentary slogans such as, “America’s Dustbowl,” “America’s Killing Floor” and most recently, “What Happens in Kansas Doesn’t Matter Anywhere Else.”

Kansas has fought (mostly unsuccessfully) its image as a state routinely ravaged by tornadoes and infested with witches. This image has been reinforced by Kansas’ dry and dusty prog rock (especially Dust in the Wind; Arid as Hell) and Elton John’s hit song Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, in which he deserts Kansas for its lack of shiny red shoes and singing midgets.

Should you be unfortunate enough to find yourself unable to fly over the mostly fruitless plains, here are some points of “interest” which should fully earn any sarcastic air quotes you wish to deploy while recounting this visit to annoyed loved ones and co-workers.

What you call "farming," I call "stealing from God."

Topeka Wind Farm
Contrary to popular misconception, the Wind Farm does not actually produce wind but rather reaps the benefits of an energy source produced by someone else. (Much like a “collective” farm or California’s parasitic electricity usage.)

A joyous Chiefs player receives news he has just been traded.

The Kansas City Chiefs
Long gone are the days of regular season competitiveness and playoff appearances. Presently the franchise is attempting to become the New England Patriots farm team through the acquisition of cast-off benchwarmers and assistant coaches. Catch this excercise in futility while you still can as the owners have made attempts to relocate the team to New Haven, CT, where they hope to complete the metaphor as the Connecticut Minutemen.

The Royals run another "Buy One, Get Three Empty Seats" special.

The Kansas City Royals
Speaking of exercises in futility… The Kansas City Royals continue their bold experiment to operate a major league franchise on a minor league budget. This stems from a settlement reached with their last superstar (George Brett) in which they have agreed to retire his number and avoid competitiveness until “ten (10) years after Brett’s death.”

After four sheaves, Art Mitchum found himself pitching a shutout. So to speak.

Wichita Threshing Dome
Although a yearly high point for many Kansas locals, what with its heady combination of agriculture and pointless competition, the Threshing Dome can be very intimidating for the uninitiated. Trying to grasp the nuance of chaff dispersal only becomes more difficult as the competition heats up and bloodthirsty cries of “Two men enter; one man leaves!” fill the dry and dusty air.

Two members of the Dodge City chapter of Improv Everywhere demonstrate the Wild West Reacharound.

Dodge City, Kansas
The ending point of many dry and dusty cattle drives, Dodge City is also famous for playing host to Wyatt Earp’s early experiments with vigilante justice. In addition to slapping a male prostitute, Earp also winged alleged gunman George Hoy and gave a stern talking-to to hitman Clay Allison.

Visitors often note that Tombstone, AZ is a much more exciting destination, if equally dry and dusty. The Dodge City Chamber of Commerce has countered by stating that “although Tombstone bears more historical locations and an incredible performance by Val Kilmer, the O.K. Corral is just that. ‘O.K.’ If you like your entertainment to be merely serviceable, why not stay in Dodge City and visit our old-timey Adequate General Store or grab a bite to eat at the locally renowned Passable Buffet, which has been hailed by Zagat’s as ‘not terrible; you could do worse.'”

-CLT

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New England Dairy Farmers Gather to Bitch, Moan

September 18, 2009
Apparently, "fair" means propped up by the government and paid for by the consumers.

Apparently, "fair" means propped up by the government and paid for by the consumers.

New England dairy farmers are asking the public to pay more for milk.

As part of Keep Local Farms, organizers set up a Web site for people to make contributions, which will be divided among farmers, and are urging universities and other institutions to charge a little extra for dairy products in their cafeterias, with the proceeds going to farmers. The University of Vermont is the first to sign on.

As the leading source of said milk, you may be asking, “Why in the fuck would they do that?” Why, indeed. Apparently, they’re not making enough money.

Farmers are getting about $11.40 per hundred pounds of milk, down from $18.72 last year, officials said, attributing much of the change to declining exports amid the global recession. Put another way, farmers are getting 97 cents for a gallon of milk that costs $1.80 on average to produce. Some stores price milk at $5 or more per gallon.

So, step one is begging ordinary people to pay more for a product in the middle of a recession. Sound reasoning that will no doubt prove popular.

Step two? Ask for an anti-trust investigation of Dean Foods, whose merger in 2001 led to their currently position as the #1 milk supplier in the U.S.

Some possible problems with this:

1. Dean Foods purchases less than 15% of the total milk supply in the U.S. (Granted, this is according to Dean Foods. The N.E. dairy farmers allege that they control 80% of the market.)
2. Dean Foods’ supposed monopoly did nothing to prevent some record high prices in 2007 and 2008, which the dairy farmers responded to by purchasing more cattle.

It’s not as though they’re not getting any help. There has been a price support system in place since the 1930’s to ensure a minimum price. Dairy farm subsidies in the U.S. have totalled $3.6 billion since 1995. In March of 2009, Obama reinstituted some long dormant export tariffs on milk, much to the displeasure of pretty much the rest of the world.  Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders just got $350 million in dairy aid added to an aptly named “spending bill.”

So, 80 years of subsidies and tariffs can’t keep you afloat and now it’s up to the public to bail you out, either directly (charity) or stealing (taxes, tariffs, subsidies). At what point did running a business ensure you of successful employment for life? Companies close all the time. People get laid off. Expenses are trimmed. Every time the market decides to kick the shit out of your business does not mean the rest of the country needs to ride to your rescue.

Just because the word “farm” is getting thrown around does not mean that it’s instantly a more worthwhile business than anything else out there. The amount of instant pure-heartedness and quiet dignity that gets ascribed to farmers is ridiculous.

You run a business. You are not God’s chosen ones. You are not “salt of the earth.”

You have a powerful lobby and the mistaken belief that farmers are “good people” working for you. You also have tariffs, subsidies and price fixing in your corner. If you cannot find a way to profit while running a crooked game, get the fuck out. You are broke. Busted. Move along.

They bitch about the fact that they can’t break even selling their milk but that the grocery stores are selling it for an assumed incredible amount of profit.

If your problem is the disconnect between the alleged raping you’re taking and the astronomical profit the grocery stores are making, then why not take it up with the distributors and the chain stores?

You won’t because if you alienate them, you have nothing left. But good old John Q. Public, whose pockets have been reached into so often recently, can afford to take one more for the team. And why not? He’s only had to bail out car companies, banks, the country itself (through “stimulus”) and is about to be rung up for “free” health care. And that’s just in this administration.

Your argument with the grocery stores’ prices makes this argument to the public: “We know that you are already paying too much for milk, with their ‘inflated margins.’ We just want you to pay a little more.”

And what happens when prices return to a profitable level? Will you be letting those who have generously agreed to pay more (in return for nothing) that they can stop ante-ing up for your milk? Or will you decide to let it ride until they call “bullshit.”

Maybe you should just cut out the middlemen and reorganize as a non-profit that happens to have milk as a by-product.

Grow up. The rest of industry carries on and it’s the smallest farms holding it back and bitching the most. Everyone wants to root for the underdog, but you really can’t claim that term with the government willing step in and fight your battles for you.

The point of any business is to make money. You’re not a business anymore. You’re a money pit. A sinkhole. A vagrant with a “Will Bitch for Free Money” sign hanging around your neck.

You all enjoyed 2007-2008 just like every other business in a sound economy. Now that it’s a recession doesn’t mean that you should be exempt from the shit everyone else has to deal with.

-CLT