Friday, September 22, 2017

Coffee and Provocation


God Spelled Backwards

Dogs are sacred in the Zoroastrian religion.  Other notes on the role of dogs in various religions are at the link.

Dogs Recognize Themselves By Smell, Not Sight
A dog needs a mirror like a fish needs a bicycle.

Naked, Cold and Out of the Clouds
The first men who flew across the English Channel in 1785 landed in France naked.

Reefer Madness
Marijuana is now more popular among teens than tobacco or e-cigarettes.

Sauce for the Goose?
Trump's voter fraud commission members are (wait for it) using private emails to conduct public business.

Snow Leopards
Snow Leopards have moved from endangered to vulnerable, which is a step up.

A Squirrel is Probably More Organized That You Are
Squirrels use a system that organizes stored nuts by size and species.

The Conquistadors Saw a Tower of Human Skulls
Not a myth, apparently.

A Dinosaur Mummy?
The 3,000-pound animal with skin, armor, and even some of its guts intact.

Moxie Slides In


This was made with a couple of shots with the iPhone which are downloaded to Google Photos, which puts them together as a gif file. That file is then loaded up to a server and can be put on blogger or Facebook.

The Countryside March: 15 Years Ago Today


The Countryside Alliance March of September 22, 2002 (15 years ago today) was the largest political protest in British history, but its seeds were sown several hundred years earlier.

The Enclosure Movement which began in 1750 and which lasted for about 100 years, swept much of rural England clean of subsistence agriculture and human settlement. Most large woods were cut down, and the land was repopulated by sheep hemmed in by stone walls and thick hedges.  It has been described, quite accurately, as a "revolution of the rich against the poor."

The idyllic beauty of today's British landscape obscures the grinding suffering that occurred as a direct result of the Enclosure Movement. Every part of the United Kingdom was effected by this "rich man's land grab" including England, Scotland, and Ireland. In England some 6 million acres, or one-quarter of the cultivated acreage, was enclosed by direct act of parliament. Another 4 to 7 million acres are estimated to have been enclosed privately.

With the Enclosure Movement, came restrictions on hunting on lands that had once been part of "the commons." The Game Laws of 1816 limited the hunting of game to landowners: pheasant, partridge, hares and rabbits. The penalty for poaching was "transportation" for 7 years. i.e. you were sent overseas, and if convicted a second time you were never allowed to return.

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 -- An Act for the Amendment and better Administration of the Laws relating to the Poor in England and Wales -- is one of the most significant laws in British history. After the rural poor were forced off of the land that they depended on for survival, this law set up Dickensian work houses designed to dampen down the the social unrest that was was the byproduct of shifting an entire nation from subsistence agriculture to a wool-exporting economy.

Across England hundreds of thousands of people died premature deaths from diseases that flourished in the rat-infested squalor of cities where sewage, water and trash systems were incapable of keeping up with rural-to-urban migration pressures.

Reverend John Russell counted among his most important work the raising of money for the North Devon Infirmary which provided health care to many of the people made poor made by the seizure of lands to form large estates. Ironically, it was on these same large land holdings that the Reverend Russell often hunted.

With the importation of cheap cotton from the United States and cheap wool from Australia and the US, the British wool economy faltered and began to collapse. What was to replace it? A lot of field crops, of course, but also potted bird shoots and mounted hunts. The stone walls and laid hedges proved perfect for jumps, and the rise of trains and improved guns meant that more and more urban rich and idle country squires could take the to the field for entertainment.

One small problem of the Victorian era was that there were not a lot of fox about. Back when there were poor people in the country, free-range chickens and ducks were common, and so fox were trapped and poisoned with abandon. Now, with the countryside cleared of people, there were not enough fox for the mounted hunts. What do do? Why protect fox, of course! And so the mounted hunts worked to pass laws to discourage free-agent fox-culling by farmers. Look up the word "vulpicide" in the Oxford English Dictionary and you will see it is defined as as "One who kills a fox otherwise than by hunting it with hounds."

Even as fox were being protected so they could be chased, the rise of dog shows was creating new dog breeds. A newly emerging middle class in the UK and the United States wanted to bestow status, prestige and exclusivity on themselves. What better way to do that than to invent a breed with a contrived, romantic, and intrepid history? And is there a cheaper breed to raise and produce for sale than a terrier? And so a "terrier craze" swept the show dog world from 1870 to the start of World War II. Most of the terrier breeds we know today were either created or "improved and standardized" at this time.

In 1950 the Myxomatosis virus was imported to the UK to control rabbit numbers, and it resulted in the death of 98% of all rabbits in the country. Fox populations collapsed, and ancient rabbit warrens and fox earths caved in from non-use. In order to provide sheltering dens for what fox remained, and in order to encourage these fox to stay on hunt lands, many new artificial earths were created. These artificial earths are a great deal bigger and easier to negotiate than a natural fox earth, and the availability of larger drains and artificial den pipes led to increased tolerance for larger dogs.

The first push to ban fox hunting in the UK began shortly after World War II.  A few dates:

1949 - Two private member's bills to ban, or restrict, hunting fail to make it onto the statute books. One is withdrawn, the other is defeated on its second reading in the Commons. The Labour government appoints a committee of inquiry to investigate all forms of hunting. The committee concludes: "Fox hunting makes a very important contribution to the control of foxes, and involves less cruelty than most other methods of controlling them. It should therefore be allowed to continue."

1970 - The House of Commons votes for legislation to ban hare coursing. However, the bill runs out of time when the general election is called.

1992 - A private member's bill to make hunting with dogs illegal is rejected by the Commons. The Wild Mammals (Protection) Bill, proposed by Labour MP Kevin McNamara, is defeated on its second reading.

1993 - Labour MP and animal rights campaigner Tony Banks fails in his attempt to get Parliament to pass his Fox Hunting (Abolition) Bill.

1995 - Labour MP John McFall is unsuccessful with his private member's bill to ban hunting with hounds. The Wild Mammals (Protection) Bill passes its second reading in the Commons. But it is heavily amended before it falls in the Lords.

May 1997 - The Labour Party wins the general election. In its manifesto it promises: "We will ensure greater protection for wildlife. We have advocated new measures to promote animal welfare, including a free vote in Parliament on whether hunting with hounds should be banned."

November 5, 1997 - Labour MP Michael Foster publishes a private member's bill to ban hunting with dogs. The government delivers a blow to the chances of the bill becoming law by refusing to grant the legislation any of its Parliamentary time.

March 1, 1998 - After the Foster bill passes its second reading in the Commons, the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance organises a massive protest rally in London. An estimated 250,000 people join the countryside march to protest against the bill and threats to other aspects of rural life.

March 13, 1998 - Hunt supporters celebrate as the Foster bill runs out of time during its report stage in the Commons. The bill is talked out by hunt-supporting MPs who table hundreds of amendments to block the legislation's progress. Mr Foster pledges to fight on.

July 3, 1998 - Mr Foster withdraws his bill citing the "cynical tactics" of his opponents. He insists that to carry on would deprive other valuable legislation, such as a law on puppy farms, of valuable Parliamentary time. He predicts that fox hunting will still be banned during this Parliament. But he says it is now up to the government to see the job through.

July 8, 1999 - Prime Minister Tony Blair makes a surprise announcement that he plans to make fox hunting illegal and before the next general election if possible.

July 12, 1999 - Labour denies that Mr Blair's pledge is connected to an extra £100,000 donation it had received from an anti-hunt pressure group. The Political Animal Lobby (PAL), had previously given £1m to the party before the 1997 election. PAL had also made donations to the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

July 12, 1999 - Labour MSP Mike Watson announces plans to put forward a private member's bill in the Scottish Parliament to ban hunting with dogs in Scotland. He predicts the bill could come into force by Spring 2000.

September 15, 1999 - Hunt supporters set up a national body, the Independent Supervisory for Hunting, to ensure hunting is carried out in a "proper and humane manner".

October 1, 1999 - Tony Blair insists he can deliver his promise to ban fox hunting before the next election, despite claims that it will have to wait until the House of Lords is reformed.

November 11, 1999 - The government announces it will support a backbenchers' bill on fox hunting.

November 14, 1999 - Home Secretary Jack Straw announces an inquiry into the effect of a fox hunting ban on the rural economy, to be led by Lord Burns.

March 2000 - MSP Mike Watson's bill starts its passage through the Scottish Parliament.

April 2000 - Mr Straw looks at producing a bill where MPs choose between the three options of an outright ban, no change and stricter regulation of hunting.

May 30, 2000 - Labour backbenchers urge the government to put its weight behind a hunting ban or risk losing voters, and Labour MP Gordon Prentice proposes an amendment to the Countryside and Rights of Way Bill to ban the sport.

June 2000 - The Burns inquiry says between 6,000 and 8,000 jobs would be lost if hunting was banned, half the number suggested by some pro-hunt groups. It finds no conclusive evidence that foxes suffer physical pain when pursued, but accepts they do not die immediately.

February 2001 - Hunting suspended because of the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak.

February 20, 2001 - MPs vote by a majority of 179 for an outright ban as the hunting bill clears the Commons

March 26, 2001 - House of Lords votes by 317 to 68 against the ban. The hunting bill runs out of time when the general election is called.

June 2001 - The Queen's Speech promises another free vote for MPs on hunting.

October 2001 - More than 200 MPs back a Commons motion calling on the government to honour its promises and make time for a vote on banning hunting.

February 2002 - Scottish Parliament bans hunting in Scotland.

February 28, 2002 - Ministers ready to set out timetable for a hunting bill.

March 2002 - The House of Commons and the House of Lords are asked to choose between three options: a complete ban, the preservation of the status quo and the compromise of licensed fox hunting. The Commons opted for a complete ban while the Lords chose the "Middle Way" option.

September 22, 2002: The Countryside Alliance organized a massive march in central London to promote the interests of rural Britain and especially to oppose a ban on hunting with dogs. The British National Party tries to co-opt the march, but the Countryside Alliance issues a statement: "Everything we stand for is the opposite of what they believe in." Over 400,000 people attend the March, still the largest political march in British history.

December 3, 2002 - Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael unveils the Hunting Bill, which would allow some fox hunting to continue under a strict system of licensing but would outlaw hare coursing and stag hunting. Mr Michael says he hopes the compromise would avoid further lengthy battles between the pro-hunting Lords and the anti-hunting Commons.

June 26, 2003 - Commons Leader Peter Hain tells MPs he has been advised that major amendments to the bill - such as moves towards a complete ban on hunting - could mean it has to be sent to a standing committee and cause delays.

June 30, 2003 - An amendment from Labour MP Tony Banks proposing a complete ban is passed by 362 votes to 154.

July 1, 2003 - Alun Michael says that he would be surprised if there was not a ban on fox hunting, with a few exemptions, by 2005. MPs vote to turn the Hunting Bill into an outright ban on hunting with dogs after five hours of intense Commons debate by 362 votes to 154.

July 10, 2003 - Hunting Bill clears the House of Commons after MPs give the measure, which makes no provision for compensation, a third reading by 317 votes to 145.

October 21, 2003 - The bill returns to the House of Lords for its committee stage. A cross-party group of peers throws out MPs' plans for a complete ban and replace them with a licensing regime for fox and stag hunting, as well as hare coursing. But anti-hunting MPs vote for the bill to be re-written to become a wholesale ban on hunting with dogs in England and Wales. The House of Lords then rejects that call in a vote and the legislation runs out of parliamentary time.

September 8, 2004 - The government announces plans to give MPs a free vote on the Hunting Bill by the end of the parliamentary session in November. The Bill is similar to the one originally proposed and would lead to an outright ban on fox hunting. Rural minister Alun Michaels says the fox hunting issue has already taken too much parliamentary time and the government is prepared to deploy the little-used Parliament Act to over-rule the Lords if peers try to block it. But Commons leader Peter Hain says, if the bill becomes law, an actual ban on fox hunting would not come into force for two years. This would allow people involved in hunting to wind down their businesses, but also avoids pro-hunting demonstrations during 2005's expected general election campaign.

Fish on Friday

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy in the Field

The Last of the Kill Devil Terriers?



Doug Potter writes to let me know that Gordon, one of the very last Kill Devil Terriers, was killed by a large Canebrake Rattlesnake yesterday while out in the yard. I am gutted. Gordon was a fun and happy little dog with a great family who loved him. My condolences to Doug, his wife, and their kids.

The Kill Devil Terrier was first launched back in 1902 when Orville and Wilbur Wright did their second glider test at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

Goodbye Gordon. You were much loved, and nothing loved is every lost.

Date Night in the Back Yard






Winter Is Coming

source

“Somebody responsible for the lake found the Fox (which drowned) in the ice, cut him out and put him back on the ice to keep people off the ice.”

Behaviorism Joke


After sex, one behaviorist turned to another behaviorist and said, "That was great for you, but how was it for me?"




Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Always Loved, Never Forgotten







This is Trooper as an old man.  He was a 15-inch tall Border Terrier dog with a 19-inch chest and as hard as nails in the hole. I loved this old boy and he was well trained and a joy at the house.  I stopped stripping Trooper when he was 13 or 14, and he eventually got as deaf as post.  Trooper was my second Border Terrier after Haddie.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

We're Going to Need a Bigger Bun

Back Yard Fox



















While moving mulch on Friday, I pulled a stump whose roots had rotted sufficiently that it could be cut free and moved.  It occurred to me that it was about perfect for fixing a game camera to, so I tried it out in the very back of the yard behind the pond.  I clearly did not get the right angle or height -- I will have to experiment a bit with the terriers and set that with a nail placement marker.

Fox showed up immediately, as they  always seem to do in my yard.  This particular fox, however, seemed a bit attentive to the owl box I put up some months back, so perhaps something is going on in there that needs camera attention as well.

A Great Dane (based solely on the back end of the dog) seems to have wandered through the yard at some point. I'm not sure where that dog calls home, but it's not an immediate neighbor.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The Old In and Out

News From the Isle of Skye

Sette Repair







I try to repair the settes I dig. The way I do it, it's more than a matter of simply filling in the hole with dirt, which effectively collapses the den pipe. Instead, I try to find branches, bark, brush, rocks and other detritus to "roof over" the hole. I then pile fill dirt on top.  The end result is that the den pipe itself is preserved so long as the wood or other material on top remains solid. Much of the roofing wood is half-rotten timber, but I still think it helps keep the passage open for a year or so, during which time the collapse is a bit slowed, and a groundhog can work to open it back up.

The Inside of a Deben Locator Box



The too rarely seen inside of an old Deben locator box. Not many of these still in action, I think.

I change out the 9 volt battery every year at this time. Notice that I tape the battery to the side of the box to prevent a loose battery from smashing things inside. I also tape the seams of the box to keep out water and dust.

Notice the splint of black plastic at the top edge of the box -- that's a repair I made after I left the box overnight in the field by accident, and a coyote came by and bit the box before carting away the old groundhog I had left out for it. The coyote also left a big turd on top of the box!

Deben boxes are basically FM pocket radios circa 1965. The electronics design is American, I believe. See here for more information.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Digging on the Dogs


Out with the wee dogs. Bolted one and dug one. The weather was perfect and the ground was soft. Could not ask for more.

"Pure Positive Vs. Self-Rewarding Behavior



For even a very young Malinois puppy, biting is a deeply self-rewarding behavior, and food is not a higher calling.

How do you stop a deeply self-rewarding behavior if you have no higher reward, and are not willing to use the P-word? Too many have no idea. They can prattle on about clickers and rewards (all good) but too many have never really paid attention to what a Skinner box looks like, nor are they aware of the limits of what Skinner did in terms of type of animal and location.

If the only trick you have in your box is a clicker and a food bag, you can do a great deal of dog training, but you are not going to be a dog trainer.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

End of a Day

My Mulch Moving Supervisors



This is five cubic yards of hardwood shredded much, delivered from the County. A cubic yard is 27 cubic feet, so this is 135 cubic feet of mulch, which doesn't sound like much until you have to move it into a wheelbarrow, ramp it up and down the yard, and then spread it out. Suspiciously like work.

Last Remains



I found a complete and clean young raccoon skeleton in the hedge last weekend. I soaked it, and these bits are fresh out of the water-and-bleach bath.

I have no idea why I collect bones and antlers, but I have a nice array in my study in two enormous glass jars and scattered over the top of a few cases.

Friday, September 15, 2017

The Most Dangerous Game

My Garage Door


Mechanical Raspberry & Blueberry Harvesting


Nuts, oranges, blue berries, asparagus, eggs.... the large modern farm is increasingly mechanized. The need to import low-wage farm workers and treat them like slaves with no benefits and shady living conditions is almost behind us.

What's a Truffle?



From The Robb Report comes a very nice article about a Tennessee elephant trainer who is now training dogs to find truffles which are valued as high as $1,000 a pound.

First, he creates what he calls “scent tubes.” These 2-inch pieces of PVC pipe are filled with cotton balls and injected with truffle oil through holes drilled into the pipe. From there, it’s a three-step process. Step one involves imprinting the truffle scent. Sanford presents the tube to the lagotto romagnolo; when the dog smells it, Sanford immediately puts a treat in its mouth. This teaches the dog that this particular scent will earn it a reward. The next step involves having the dog wait inside while Sanford hides scent tubes under piles of leaves outside. Once the dog is let outside and smells the tubes under the leaves, Sanford again rewards it.

The final step is the most critical. Because truffles are buried underground, “I need the dog to give me an overt signal that says what you’re looking for is right there.” To that end, Sanford buries the scent tubes underneath the ground near a tree because that’s where truffles are always located. When the dog acknowledges it, Sanford doesn’t reward it. Instead, he points to the ground, asking, “Where is it?” Eventually, the dog learns to paw the ground at the location where the tube is buried. Then, Sanford moves the dog away and carefully digs up the tube (and in real-world scenarios, the actual truffle). Only after Sanford has extracted the truffle does the dog receive a treat.

Fish on Friday

Too Many Humans Is the Problem

Not the Stupidest Thing Ever Sold


It may not be the stupidest thing ever sold... but it's close.

A Life With Dogs


My son, Austin, has been around dogs his whole life, and now he's trying his hand at the dog walking business, offering traditional walks as well as rollerblading and electric long-boarding. No dog could be in better hands.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Just Say NO to Trifexis; It Kills

Golly Gurl lived a terrific, well-loved, and fully actualized life.

A friend just lost a very good dog, Golly Gurl, the love of his life, to the flea and tick medication Trifexis. Back in 2014, I wrote of the alarmingly high deaths and adverse reactions from this particular flea and tick preventative:

A huge chunk of veterinary pharmacology is dedicated to getting you to NOT use cheap, over-the-counter flea, tick and heart worm treatments like simple pyrethrin-based shampoos (pyrethrin is so safe it is FDA-approved for food plants) and low-cost ivermectin.

To be clear, I am OK with folks using whatever they want, but I always advise caution with newer branded medications, whether for humans or for dogs. Cox-2 drugs like Vioxx have not proven more effective than Cox-1 drugs like aspirin, but they did leave over 20,000 Americans dead. Whoops!

The latest heads up in the world of dogs is Trifexis, a two-year old flea and heart worm preventative that is already linked to 7,000 dog deaths and an estimated 30,000 illnesses. Do these numbers mean Trifexis is the culprit, or that Trifexis is going to harm your dog? No. Remember that all animals present with a wide variety of reactions to everything, and as a consequence honey bees kill more people in this country than terrorists. That said, is Trifexis a medication I would stay away from for now? It is.

Please spread the word that Trifexis is VERY BAD NEWS.

The Continuing Crisis



Link
to story in The Guardian.

A Staffordshire bull terrier that killed its owner by crushing his larynx in its jaws in front of a BBC documentary crew had probably taken crack cocaine, an inquest has heard.

The dog’s owner, Mario Perivoitos, died at his home in Wood Green, north London, in an incident in March that was seen but not filmed by BBC journalists making a programme about drugs.

An inquest at North London coroner’s court heard that the behaviour of the dog, called Major, could have been triggered by crack cocaine.

Welcome to Gotham City



From Atlas Obscura:

[I]n the 13th century, King John of England announced his intentions to build a hunting lodge near the village [of Gotham]. Such royal patronage may have inspired joyful celebrations from many loyal subjects, but not so with the people of Gotham. Any road used by the king automatically became a King’s Road, and as such, attracted a hefty tax burden for the locals who also used it. This extra tax could be ill-afforded in a poor rural backwater such as Gotham. Determined to do anything they could to prevent King John from ever setting foot in the place, the so-called “Wise Men of Gotham” hatched an ingenious plan.

At the time, madness was thought to be infectious, so, legend has it the entire village pretended to be insane by staging surreal acts of folly whenever a king’s representative was present. The villagers tried to build a hedge around a bush which contained a migratory Cuckoo, a symbol of summer, to prevent the onset of winter. They tried to drown an eel. They sheltered wood from the sun and rolled cheese down a hill, expecting it to go to market in Nottingham of it’s own accord.

The ruse worked. The King supposedly never set foot in Gotham and the village became a byword for madness, slipping quickly into folk legend. Tales and nursery rhymes have been published since the 15th century about the antics of the villagers.

Ending Slave Labor Was the Start of a Good Thing


Tomato harvesting machines like this have been around for several decades.  This particular machine has a harvesting capacity of 40 to 80 tons per hectar depending on machine size and field production.

Tomato picking machines are not for back yard plots, but for large commercial canning, ketchup, and sauce farms located in places like the central valley of California, where over twenty-eight billion pounds of tomatoes will be harvested this year (14.23 million tons).

What drove the mechanization of the American tomato harvest?

The short story is that when America ended the importation of unfree foreign "Bracero" labor to compete with American workers paid near-slave wages, farmers had to decided whether they were going to raise wages and improve working conditions, or mechanize field planting and harvest. The University of California at Davis plant science department explains.

When plant breeder Jack Hanna and engineer Coby Lorenzen, two scientists at the University of California, Davis, teamed up in the mid-1950s to invent a machine that could mechanically harvest tomatoes, no one thought they could do it. The laughingstock of the Davis Plant Science department for more than a decade, the two made countless prototypes that failed — tomatoes split and turned to juice in the field, and the machine broke down after hitting clods of dirt.

Plus, when they started, it was cheap and efficient to pay farm laborers, many of whom were brought into the country from Mexico through the Bracero program. These guest workers harvested tomatoes by hand in much the same way that workers in places pick fresh tomatoes today: very gently.

By 1963, rumors started to circulate that the Bracero program was coming to an end and the tomato industry broke into a cold sweat over the prospect of losing 80 percent of the cheap labor force they used for tomato picking. In a dramatic tale of perseverance and ingenuity, Hanna and Lorenzen achieved the break-through they’d been waiting for. The industry quickly pinned their hopes on the rickety machine and the new, tough, easily de-stemmed tomato hybrid affectionately named “vf-145” that scientists were developing alongside it, in hopes that it would withstand a mechanical harvester.

With help from a local machinist named Ernest Blackwelder, and an eager network of financiers and UC Cooperative Extension agents, the California processing tomato industry mechanized almost overnight. Within five years, 99.9 percent of the industry was using the mechanical harvesters, and most farmers were planting the comparatively tasteless hybrid tomatoes built to withstand them. And processing facilities retooled their systems to receive the mechanically harvested fruit, reversing the practice of paying premiums for hand-harvested tomatoes.

Twenty years later, nearly all of the tomatoes grown in the U.S. for tomato sauce, paste, ketchup, juice, and other processed foods are harvested by Hanna and Lorenzen’s once-scorned machine.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Never Bet Against the Rabbit

The Smithsonian-Roosevelt Expedition of 1909-1910


In 1909, ex-President Teddy Roosevelt went on safari with his son to eastern Africa in order to stock the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. In his 1910 book, African Game Trails; An Account of the African Wanderings of an American Hunter-Naturalist, Roosevelt presents the 512-animal tally for himself and his son, Kermit.

Kermit and I kept about a dozen trophies for ourselves; otherwise we shot nothing that was not used either as a museum specimen or for meat—usually for both purposes. We were in hunting grounds practically as good as any that have ever existed, but we did not kill a tenth, nor a hundredth part of what we might have killed had we been willing. The mere size of the bag indicates little as to a man’s prowess as a hunter, and almost nothing as to the interest or value of his achievement.

LIST OF GAME SHOT WITH THE RIFLE DURING THE TRIP

  • Lion: TR, 9; Kermit, 8
  • Leopard: TR, 0; Kermit, 3
  • Cheetah: TR, 0; Kermit, 7
  • Hyena: TR, 5; Kermit, 4
  • Elephant: TR, 8; Kermit, 3
  • Square-mouthed (white) rhinoceros: TR, 5; Kermit, 4
  • Hook-lipped (black) rhinoceros: TR, 8; Kermit, 3
  • Hippopotamus: TR, 7; Kermit, 1
  • Warthog: TR, 8; Kermit, 4
  • Common zebra: TR, 15; Kermit, 4
  • Big or Gr√©vy’s zebra: TR, 5; Kermit, 5
  • Giraffe: TR, 7; Kermit, 2
  • Buffalo: TR, 6; Kermit, 4
  • Giant eland: TR, 1; Kermit, 2
  • Common eland: TR, 5; Kermit, 2
  • Bongo: TR, 0; Kermit, 2
  • Kudu: TR, 0; Kermit, 2
  • Situtunga: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Bushbuck (East African): TR, 2; Kermit, 4
  • Bushbuck (Uganda harnessed): TR, 1; Kermit, 2
  • Bushbuck (Nile harnessed): TR, 3; Kermit, 3
  • Sable: TR, 0; Kermit, 3
  • Roan: TR, 4; Kermit, 5
  • Oryx: TR, 10; Kermit, 3
  • Wildebeest: TR, 5; Kermit, 2
  • Neuman’s hartebeest: TR, 0; Kermit, 3
  • Coke’s hartebeest: TR, 10; Kermit, 3
  • Big hartebeest (Jackson): TR, 14; Kermit, 7
  • Big hartebeest (Uganda): TR, 1; Kermit, 3
  • Big hartebeest (Nilotic): TR, 8; Kermit, 4
  • Topi: TR, 12; Kermit, 4
  • Common waterbuck: TR, 5; Kermit, 3
  • Singsing waterbuck: TR, 6; Kermit, 6
  • Common kob: TR, 10; Kermit, 6
  • Vaughn’s kob: TR, 1; Kermit, 2
  • White-eared kob: TR, 3; Kermit, 2
  • Saddle-backed lechwe: TR, 3; Kermit, 1
  • Bohor reedbuck: TR, 10; Kermit, 4
  • Chanler’s buck: TR, 3; Kermit, 4
  • Impalla: TR, 7; Kermit, 5
  • Big gazelle (Granti): TR, 5; Kermit, 3
  • Big gazelle (Robertsi): TR, 4; Kermit, 6
  • Big gazelle (Notata): TR, 8; Kermit, 1
  • Thomson’s gazelle: TR, 11; Kermit, 9
  • Gerenuk: TR, 3; Kermit, 2
  • Klipspringer: TR, 1; Kermit, 3
  • Oribi: TR, 18; Kermit, 8
  • Duiker: TR, 3; Kermit, 2
  • Steinbuck: TR, 4; Kermit, 2
  • Dikdik: TR, 1; Kermit, 1
  • Baboon: TR, 0; Kermit, 3
  • Red ground monkey: TR, 1; Kermit, 0
  • Green monkey: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Black and white monkey: TR, 5; Kermit, 4
  • Serval: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Jackal: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Aardwolf: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Rattel: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Porcupine: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Ostrich: TR, 2; Kermit, 0
  • Great bustard: TR, 4 (1 on the wing); Kermit, 3 (1 on the wing)
  • Lesser bustard: TR, 1; Kermit, 1
  • Kavirondo crane: TR, 2 (on the wing); Kermit, 1 (on the wing)
  • Flamingo: TR, 0; Kermit, 4
  • Whale-headed stork: TR, 1; Kermit, 1 (on the wing)
  • Marabou: TR, 1; Kermit, 1
  • Saddle-billed stork: TR, 1 (on the wing); Kermit, 0
  • Ibis stork: TR, 2 (1 on the wing); Kermit, 0
  • Pelican: TR, 1; Kermit, 0
  • Guinea-fowl: TR, 5; Kermit, 5
  • Francolin: TR, 1; Kermit, 2
  • Fish eagle: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Vulture: TR, 0; Kermit, 2
  • Crocodile: TR, 1; Kermit, 3
  • Monitor: TR, 0; Kermit, 1
  • Python: TR, 3; Kermit, 1

Mechanical Pea Harvesting


We don't live in the age of schooners and candles anymore, and that's as true on the farm as it is on the docks or in your kitchen. 

Mike Murphy: Not Soft on Marmots



Former Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle lost his election, some years back, because he was soft on marmots. That's a mistake this young man did not make. Back when it was still considered a "thing" to tell the truth and disclose one's finances so folks knew you were not money-laundering for foreign dictators and organized crime or under the influence of bribe-paying corporations, 12-year old Mike Murphy came clean. Running for the position of secretary of the student body at Madison high school in Phoenix, AZ, his 1952 financial disclosure statement let the world know he earned a dollar a week in allowance and was penalized a dime for every infraction, which meant he was generally broke. He earned a dollar for every gopher he caught in the yard, but he had cleaned them all out and was recently informed by his parents that gophers caught in neighbors' yards didn't count.  Needless to say, he won the election.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Late Great Barney


I rescued this dog off the street -- a dump in a small college town in Ohio.

Barney was with me for 15 years.  Always loved, never forgotten.