Sunday, July 15, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

An Indian walks into a cafe with a shotgun in one hand and pulling a male buffalo with the other. He says to the waiter:

“Want coffee.”

The waiter says, “Sure, Chief. Coming right up.”

He gets the Indian a tall mug of coffee.

The Indian drinks the coffee down in one gulp turns and blasts the buffalo with the shotgun, causing parts of the animal to splatter everywhere and then just walks out.

The next morning the Indian returns.

He has his shotgun in one hand, pulling another male buffalo with the other.

He walks up to the counter and says to the waiter:

“Want coffee.”

The waiter says, “Whoa, Tonto! We’re still cleaning up your mess from yesterday. What was all that about, anyway?”
The Indian smiles and proudly says,

“Training for a position in United States Senate. Come in, drink coffee, shoot the bull, leave mess for others to clean up, disappear for rest of day.”

Friday, July 13, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

Tracking Fox to Determine Their Impact on Nesting Birds
Sound science is key to sensible wildlife management. This is how it’s done... and why. An excellent read.

Starbucks is Finally Coming to Italy
The company has been asked to serve its coffee in reusable cups, like everyone else in Italy, rather than contribute to a waste and pollution problem.

Groundhogs Ate Paul Ryan's Car 
Apparently he parks it at his mother's house and he never drives.

From Mountaintop Coal Removal to Elk?
My father was born in Pineville, in Bell County, Kentucky. Wildlife biologist David Ledford wants to turn a moutnain top removal coal mine in Bell County into real habitat for elk and other wildlife. Towards that goal, Ledford is assembling the Appalachian Wildlife Center for a nonprofit wildlife viewing, research and education on 12,500 acres of land (over 19 square miles) of wich 4,500 acres (about 7 square miles) are a reclaimed mountaintop-removal mine. Ledford says he hopes that when the Center opens in 2020 it will“kick off economic diversity based on conservation instead of coal mining.” Good luck! Our family has already done its part by givingm back in 2005, a square mile of land to the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust for the protection of area surrounding Blanton Forest.

Trump's Face Used to Market Toxic Substance?
An asbestos company in Russia (of course) is using Trump's face on it product. The huge "seal of approval" on every pallet of asbestos says "Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States”.

Island Rats Can Harm Tropical Reefs?
Coral reefs near rat-infested islands have fewer nutrients, fewer fishes and reduced numbers of fishes grazing on the algae that compete with corals.

The Irish Will Lead Them
Ireland is going to completely divest itself from fossil fuels. Bravo!

Trump Knows Nothing About Trade or Agriculture
While in Europe, Trump said "Our farmers have been shut out of the European Union." In fact, U.S. farmers have made $23.1 billion in sales to the European Union over the last two years, and the E.U. is the fifth-largest agricultural export market for the U.S.

Progress, I Suppose
In the real world, almost everything is better than it once was and cheaper too. For example, a century ago, a worker on the average wage had to work 4,265 hours to buy a new Chevy. In 2018, he or she needed to work a comparatively short 2,350 hours to buy an even better car from the same company. That's a reduction of 45 percent. And, of course, the cars themselves are not comparable; the modern car is light years better than what we had 100 years ago!

Nikon P1000

I have the Nikon P60 and love it. This is the that camera "turned up to 11" Instead of a 60X optical zoom, this one comes with a 125x optical zoom and also has a 250x digital zoom. Price:  $997.

Door Barriers

Half doors, pocket doors, and gates all work to keep dogs in or out of a kitchen or confined to a room or set of rooms. I have to say that the half pocket doors are ingenious!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

I'm Not An Expert on Cats... But

I'm not an expert on cats, but I think the math here might be wrong.

Except that it isn't. 

The defective firing of genes that produced an extra leg on her left side, also created a deformed paw on another foot.

The Wonder of Canine Ears

Beagles and bassets have huge ears, but it's the terriers that actually use their ears for hunting.

Underground, a dog can see nothing -- zero, zilch, nada. Past the first turn of a sette, all is black. All the dog knows for sure is that somewhere in the blackness are white teeth waiting to bite and slash if the dog gets too close.

It is the ears that tell the dog where "too close" is -- the breathing of the animal, the sound of claw and paw against dirt, even the heartbeat of the animal at the opposite end of the pipe.

Though some people will tell you terrier's ears flop over to keep out dirt, that is pure nonsense -- every wild animal that burrows has an ear that stands upright, from rats to fox, from badger to wart hog. Terrier ears flop over, not out of necessity, but out of convention. In all of the wild animal kingdom, only the elephant has ears that flop over, and these are hinged for an entirely different reason -- ventilation.

Deafness in terriers is a very serious problem, especially in Bull Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers. For reasons that are not well understood, deafness in dogs is strongly correlated with the gene for merle coats, and shows up in a higher-than-random incidence in dogs that are mostly white and have blue or "glass" eyes.

Dog that have solid-colored coats or which have large amounts of color in them (such as Border terriers, Fell terriers, Patterdale terriers, and the beagle-colored Jack Russells) are less likely to have heriditary deafness.

All Jack Russell terriers should be BAER tested before breeding. BAER stands for "brainstem auditory evoked response" and involves placing two very small wires into the skin on the dog's scalp just above the eyes. These small wire electrodes register a response if the neural pathways work in response to sound (i.e. they dog is hearing).

Dogs that are unliateral or bilateral deaf should not be bred, nor should dogs that produce deaf offspring.

BAER testing needs to be done only once in the life of a dog, can be done on very young puppies (any time after 5 weeks of age), and costs only $40 a dog or so.

Remember that a dog is a long-term invesment of time as well as money, and a deaf dog is useless in the field, more trouble at home, and a drag on the gene pool.

If you are in the market for a puppy, especially a Jack Russell Terrier or any other breed at high-risk for deafness, demand that the puppy be BAER tested.

For more information, and a list of BAER testing sites, see >> deafness in dogs and cats.

This is what a dog can see underground when it is working, and it is why hearing is so vital to a working terrier.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

Los Angeles' Unhinged Pet Policies

Los Angeles is about to say YES to unlimited Pit Bulls, feral cats and 'retail rescue' pet shops.

Ready for Rhino Cloning?
First test tube rhino embryos could bring the northern white rhino back from extinction.

Long Distance Charges May Apply
A Polish environmental group placed a tracker on the back of a stork. The migratory bird traveled to Sudan, where someone found the tracker, removed the sim card, put it in their own phone and racked up hours worth of phone calls. As noted in a previous post, the first evidence that European storks were flying to Africa and back in the winter came when one returned with a spear in his neck.

Malthus Was Wrong

Since 1950, India’s GDP per capita has grown five-fold, Japan’s eleven-fold and China’s almost twenty-fold. Folks forget that Reverend Malthus opposed birth control and cheered on the grim reaper since, according to him, the poor were unable to control their lustful habits. More from this blog here.

Killer Cows?
The deadliest animals in America may surprise you.

The Sir David Atttenborough Is Ready to Launch
The polar exploring ship is the largest commercial ship built in Britain in three decades.

Thermal Cameras to Fight Against Poaching
Forward-looking infrared (FLIR) thermal imaging sensors, of the kind used on Air Force are now being employed against poachers in Africa.

Senator Mike Lee Pledges Long-Term Attack on Public Lands
Mike Lee is a danger to all that is good in America. From Outdoor Life magazine.

Imagine if We Clear Cut a Forest for Deer Meat
That's what we do with fish, where nets rip up bottoms and one-third of the fish caught never get eaten.

It's a Dark Roast

I had a cup of Coffee Luwak the other day. It’s made from a coffee bean that has passed through a civet’s butt.

I'm not sure I am ready for this though.

This Will Not End Well

A wanna be Supreme Court justice starts with a provable lie.

No date that starts with a lie results in a happy marriage.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

A Fully Self-Actualized Herding Dog

Kit You Never Need to Buy

This is a pig snare — you snare the back feet or a top jaw. It works great on groundhog if you don’t mind carrying pounds of extra weight into the field. A plastic pipe snare saves pounds, plus you can make it with a bigger bight and a longer handle which is better for fox and coon.

Best Headline This Week

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Moxies Versus the Stairs

Four years ago, Moxie faced the stairs as if it was the the Great Ice Wall in Game of Thrones. 

Friday, July 06, 2018

A Bark Collar is Cheaper Than a Lawsuit

Jaws on the Fourth of July

I'm was packing up a few things for storage on July 4th, and one item was this Lemon Shark jaw.

Notice the four rows of teeth at top, already in place and ready to rotate forward as soon as one tooth is pulled out. Mother Nature is a wondrous thing!

And speaking of sharks, this was in my Twitter feed:

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Ratting As It was

Child rat catchers with dog, 1916, probably Britain. This was life close to the bone. 

The dog is of the northern type, whose root stock gave us the Welsh Terrier, Irish Terrier, Border Terrier. Patterdale Terrier, and Fell Terrier

Why So Many Chihuahuas Bite

A lot of Chihuahuas bite, due to a triple decker combination of fearfulness (partly due to small size), extreme attachment and possessiveness (due to being carried around all day like hand bags), and almost complete lack of correction (due to owners who are terrified of breaking the dog and who may also believe that all training has to be positive).

How to correct a chihuahua? An e-collar can work, but so too can a wash cloth rolled up with a rubber band around it to hold it together like a little textile log. A dog bonked with a wash cloth will not be harmed, but it will get the message that it better stop that behavior!

Chasing Groundhogs in a Peach Orchard

Another very old picture from maybe 2000 or so.  This was sandy soil New Jersey, probably Atlantic County.

Pine Barrens Digging

These are some more pictures found while cleaning out my study. This is the late Greg Donnell who would occasionally send me pictures. These would be from prior to 2007, but after 2001, as he had Jagd terrier crosses during at least part of that period.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Ratting Many Years Ago

I was cleaning out my study, and found a folder of old photos. This was ratting a dairy farm somewhere north of Baltimore a looong time ago.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

A Tale of Dreams, Friends, and Hard Work

Mutant Monsters on a Bench

These monstrosities of deformity and dysfunction are called Exotic Bulldogs.

Mockery and Molotovs Are the Best Weapons

I posted the above picture to FaceBook where it was quickly meme'd.

Talking About a Civil War

Here in Virginia we are LOCKED AND LOADED and ready to start the Civil War on July 4th. Jade Helm forever! My troops all survived the Bowling Green, Virginia Massacre.

America's Founding Terrier

George Washington fox hunting in Virginia.

The case can be made that America might not exist today were it not for "our Founding Terrier."

Robert Brooke of Maryland introduced foxhunting to the United States in 1650, and imported the first pack of foxhounds from Great Britain.

Dr. Thomas Walker of Virginia (who discovered the Cumberland Gap and for whom the Walker Coon Hound is named) imported another pack to Virginia in 1742. The first fox hunting pack maintained for the benefit of a group of foxhunters rather than for a single owner, was instituted by Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax, in 1747 in northern Virginia.

Walker and Washington were good friends and business partners, and were co-owners (along with Washington's brother-in-law) of the "Dismal Swamp Land Company" (1763) which was to develop land near present-day Norfolk, Virginia. Walker was probably the person that got Washington started in fox hunting.

Washington moved to Mount Vernon, on the Potomac River just below Washington, D.C., after marrying Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759. It was at Mount Vernon, while still in his 20s, that George Washington first began fox hunting in earnest, setting up a rather lavish set of kennels and carefully breeding a new line of American foxhounds that were faster, lighter and less pack-centered than their English brethren.

In 1768, Washington was appointed as a delegate to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia and managed to fill his need for fox hunting at the Gloucester Hunting Club across the River from Philadelphia in New Jersey near present-day Haddonfield.

It was largely because of social and political connections made while fox hunting that Washington's social prominence rose, and in 1775 George Washington was Congress's unanimous choice as commander of the new Continental Army that was to lead the American forces against the British.

In truth, Washington did not have the forces and equipment to wage a successful fight and hold ground, and his chief battle-field opponent, General William Howe of Great Britain, was a master tactician.

Howe defeated Washington time and time again. In August of 1776 Howe landed on Long Island, captured New York City and defeated Washington at White Plains.

In 1777 Howe defeated Washington again, this time at the Battle of Brandywine (near present-day Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania) and took Philadelphia.

In October of 1777, the Battle of Germantown was waged. This battle took place near Philadelphia, and it too was a defeat for American forces, but it was a turning point in the war.

The turning point occurred when a small fox terrier was found wandering between the battle lines. The little dog was scooped up by American soldiers and the dog's collar identified it as belonging to none other than General Howe.

The dog was brought to Washington as a war prize -- a taunt to use against the British -- but Washington was having none of it.

A true dog-man, who missed his own fox hounds and terriers at Mount Vernon, Washington personally wiped the little terrier clean and brushed its coat. He then dictated a short note to his aide-de-camp, Alexander Hamilton, and secretly tucked a private note of his own tight under the collar of the dog. The dog, and both notes, were then returned to General Howe under a flag of truce.

Washington's private note has not survived, but Howe was extremely pleased by it. The public note, a copy of which has survived (see picture below), reads: "General Washington's compliments to General Howe. He does himself the pleasure to return him a dog, which accidentally fell into his hands, and by the inscription on the Collar appears to belong to General Howe."

After his terrier's return Howe praised Washington's actions as an "honorable act" and historians note that although he continued to win his battles, he never pursued Washington with quite the same vigor.

In fact, when ordered to fight harder and show the rebels no compassion, Howe resigned in protest.

Howe was replaced by General Henry Clinton, who was a poor tactician, and General Charles Cornwallis, who was a poor field commander.

In the end, the United States won the war and Washington returned to his beloved Mount Vernon where he continued breeding fox hounds and chasing foxes at least once a week.

Shortly after returning to Mount Vernon, Washington imported massive hounds from France with the help of his friend the Marquis de Lafayette. American hounds were crossed with these new French imports, and some of the progeny were sent to the Gloucester Foxhunting Club, outside of Philadelphia, where they proved extremely popular due to their speed.

In 1787 Washington headed the Virginia delegation to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and again his friends at the Gloucester Foxhunting Club lobbied for his election as the first President of the new country.

After the Constitution was ratified, Washington was unanimously elected President and in time the new Capitol was constructed just down river from his Mount Vernon estate.

Draft of note from George Washington to Howe, in the handwriting of aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton.

American vs. European Badger?

In a December 29, 200 article in the Idaho Falls Post Register, Charlene Kaserman compares the British badger with its American counterpart:

"Comparing the American badger to its British cousin (Meles meles), sometimes called a brock, is rather like comparing a high-speed blender to a swizzle stick. The Mr. Badger, of 'Wind in the Willows,' is far milder and much more gregarious than his American counterpart. The brock's face is white with black stripes on either side, and the face and body are slender, more weasel-like. The brock lives in a more or less permanent system of burrows and shares its quarters with others. The American badger is solitary, always on the move, traveling perhaps five to eight miles a night and digging a new burrow each morning to hole up in through the day. Some British householders hand-feed their resident brocks. Anyone taking a notion to hand-feed an American badger would probably be better served by putting his hand directly into a buzz saw."

Monday, July 02, 2018

Bill Boatman Coon Tongs

Bill Boatman designed, and made, a special kind of cantilevered set of coon tongs. They were made exclusively by him, which means no one makes them at all any more. I bought a pair and never used mine as I invented something better and lighter — a $5 pole snare.

The Old, Hot, "Buster" E-Collars

Bill Boatman was still selling the old, hot, “buster” collars, and I was not a fan, and did not use them.

The new modern e-collars are a completely different kind of kit, and are very useful for true dog training and proofing.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Bill Boatman Rolling Raccoon Cage

Bill Boatman’s rolling raccoon cage. I never had a need for one.

The Last Bill Boatman Catalogue?

I’m cleaning out my study and found this. Was this the last Bill Boatman catalogue? A good family-owned hunting company of the kind you do not find anymore.

It's Gotten This Simple

Bingley, West Yorkshire, 1962

This is the polluted world as it was.

It’s not that way today thanks to the hippy environmentalists.

Politically Incorrect AND a Snowflake

Friday, June 29, 2018

Benny Rothman, Who Created the Right to Roam

In the U.K., folks can wander over private property without asking permission.

This is called “the right to roam” and its legal legacy can be traced back to a grassroots movement started by Benny Rothman in the 1930s.

Rothman was a member of rebellious group of Manchester factory workers who called themselves “ramblers”.  The ramblers sought to get out of sooty Manchester on their time off in order to see the beautiful Peak District that surrounded them. The problem was that almost all of this land was in the hands of private landlords who hired game keepers to keep walkers (and possible poachers) at bay.

This had not always been the case. Some 300 years earlier, most of the land in the UK has been part of the Commons where people could graze livestock and hunt as they could.

Beginning in the mid-18th century, however, the Enclosure Movement worked to privatize most common land in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. This has been described as "a revolution of the rich against the poor," and it transformed the countryside and shaped the world of dogs in general, and terriers in particular.

Benny Rothman was a member of a rambling club called the British Worker’s Sports Federation. One day while he was out with friends from that group, they were chased off by gamekeepers employed by the landowner. Benny and the other ramblers had had enough, and they decided there had to be strength in numbers.  If enough folks showed up, the game keepers employed by absentee landlords couldn’t possibly stop them. And so Benny Rothman gathered up a big group of ramblers to walk up a small mountain called Kinder Scout in order to prove the point.

Gathering in a quarry at Kinder Scout, Rothman stood on a large rock and talked about the rights that the common working man had lost during the Enclosure Acts. He emphasized that the trespass they were about to do on Kinder Scout was meant to be peaceful.  With that said, and the rules of the mass trespass detailed, they set out up the mountain. The game keepers, of course, did show up and there was a brief scuffle before the outnumbered game keepers retreated.

BennyRothman addressing the group at Bowden Bridge quarry, 1932

That would probably be the end of the story, but the game keepers called the police who came to arrest the six ringleaders as they came down the mountain.  Five of the six arrested were given prison sentences of two to six months.

While arrest is never good, it can have an impact.  In this case, the effect was to propel the mass trespass on Kinder Scout into the national news, where it received a great deal of popular support. Soon there were more mass trespasses, and in 1951 Britain opened its first national park, not coincidentally located in the Peak District where so much trespass activity had been occurring.

In 2000, the Ramblers got what they had always sought; an act of Parliament that created the right to roam.  Happily, Benny Rothman lived to see that day; he died of a stroke in 2002 as the age of 90.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Buy a Bulldog to Support the War?

Was this really a thing? This World War I-era poster from 1915 encouraged people to buy a bulldog, with proceeds going to benefit soldiers and sailors.

North Korean Propaganda Poster, 1950

“Do not forget the US imperialist wolves!” - DPRK, 1950

It's a sad day when the actions of the US Government start to line up with a North Korean propaganda poster.  Prior to Trump, could anyone imagine that the U.S. government would ever kidnap children from their parents and literally hold them hostage to a policy goal? 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Coffee and Provocation

All He Wanted Was Freedom
Virginia used to have an official groundhog, but it killed itself on Groundhog Day 1954 trying to escape.

Flamingo Born in Africa, Jail Breaks from Zoo
A flamingo born in Tanzania, Africa, and which escaped from a Kansas zoo more than 15 years ago, has been spotted in Texas. Since it flew the coop, so to speak, it has reportedly been seen in Arkansas, Louisiana, and even Wisconsin. The Kansas flamingo from Africa seems to have found company in Texas with a Yucatan-born Caribbean flamingo.

The Vegans Have Unleashed the Ticks
Being bitten by a “Lone Star tick” can leave people with a red meat allergy.

Painted Ladies Migrate to Africa and Back
The Painted Lady butterflies of my youth in North Africa migrate form Europe, across the Sahara, and back. The round-trip journey usually plays out over several generations, and is an annual journey of 12,000 kilometers.

The Math Crisis
In the 1980s, A&W tried to compete with the McDonald’s Quarter Pounder by selling a 1/3 pound burger at a lower cost. The product failed, however, because most customers thought ¼ pound was bigger.

Strange House Mates
In 1936-37, Salvador Dalí, Henry Miller, and Anaïs Nin lived together in a house in Caroline County, Virginia. It seems the whole thing was the idea of Caresse Crosby, who patented the first modern bra at the age of 19. Ms. Crosby went to Paris in the 1920s with her second husband, where they created "Black Sun Press" and hobnobbed with authors and artists from the "Lost Generation". In 1936, as World War II loomed and her second husband and his female lover shot themselves, Ms. Crosby left Paris with her new husband (her third), to settle in Caroline County where she invited her odd collection of friends to join her at Hampton Manor, near Bowling Green.

Hammer and Glue to Fix Coral Reefs?
It's an unlikely fix that works. This is the story of how it was discovered.

Out With the "Bad Fat"
The eight billion pounds a year of partially hydrogenated oils (aka "trans-fats") that we once used to cook our food in the U.S. is now officially banned by the FDA.

Kurt Vonnegut on Creative Writing 101

Kurt Vonnegut has eight guidelines for writing a good short story.

  1. Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
  2. Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
  3. Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
  4. Every sentence must do one of two things — reveal character or advance the action.
  5. Start as close to the end as possible.
  6. Be a sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them-in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
  7. Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
  8. Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To heck with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Want to Be a Movie Financier?

As the video shows, you can use a ferret to string a wire through tight pipes.

Back in World War II, however, Bill Wynne used “Smoky” a 4-lb. Yorkshire Terrier to do the job of running a line through a 70-foot-long drainpipe beneath an airplane runway in the South Pacific in World War II.

Smoky went on to win an army mascot competition, grace the cover of the troop-oriented Yank Magazine, and become the first-ever therapy dog. After the war Smoky became a celebrity in Cleveland, Ohio and even did a number of local TV spots with owner and war photographer Wynne.

Mr. Wynne is now 96-years old (we first wrote about him in 2005 when he was just 83) and a movie is being made about his exploits with Little Smoky.

Three-time Emmy award-winning director Dean Love's short film is to be entitled Angel in a Foxhole: Smoky the WWII Therapy Dog, and every donation to the Indiegogo campaign that is made between now and Wednesday July 4th will be matched by Blackpool Records.  Your donation will GET DOUBLED!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Kitchen Coffee Table Book

I picked this book up in an art museum gift shop, of all places. Its 670 pages packed full of dog pictures and was only $20. You can that same deal here.