Elizabethan gown

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:39 am

If you are at all into Elizabethan Renaissance gowns, you’ve got less than a day to snatch up one of the best I’ve seen. Right now it’s going for a bit over $1000, and the material alone almost cost that.

“Rabbit, rabbit”

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:36 am

Since tomorrow begins my birth month, it’s vitally important that the first words out of my mouth after midnight is rabbit, rabbit. Vitally important.

Wiz war

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:31 am

There’s the beginnings of a vibrant online Wiz War community. I probably spent more time in college playing Wiz War than any other single activity. Here, they’ve got the rules and cards on-line, a discussion board, and a few other things. Check out the pictures section, where you can see a fabulous home-made board and cards.


We may yet buy the farm

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:52 pm

Yes, at first he politely laughed at us (”Well, at least my belly’s full,” was the quote), but then things got better. It’s still a long shot, but we’ve established a dialogue and he knows exactly where we’re coming from. We’ll continue talking over the next few weeks, and we may yet strike a deal. He wants the land to be used for what we want to use it for, and while he’s been making his money from real estate, he’s more interested in the use of the land than the money he’ll make, for this particular piece of property. All the extraneous factors are in our favor, but the money gulf may be a hard one to jump.

Kestrel’s Nest turns two today

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:16 am

Two years ago today I began keeping this collection of links and thoughts. I’ve never been able to keep a journal or diary more than a few weeks, so for me two years is quite a feat. My intended audience is me, but of course I was pleased when after a few months I had five or so regular visitors. Today, nearly a hundred people a day come though these pages, and I’ve received some of the most wonderful comments I could hope to hear. Many people stumble in here through a search engine — the wide variety of topic discussed have pushed many weblogs to the top of search engine results, no matter the search string — and many return on their own. Thank you, all of you, for deciding my life through my eyes is worthy of visiting.

And I’m even more pleased that so many people I know, and even some I’ve never met, have begun keeping their own collections of links and thoughts, partially inspired by what they’ve found here. Even though I am often not very good at it, it’s my firm belief that writing one’s thoughts down is crucial to self understanding. We’re not just a collection of impulses — there are reasons why we think and do what we do, and through committing these things to writing, we can better understand ourselves and improve our relations with others.

And it’s just plain fun to drop in on friends’ and strangers’ lives and see things through someone else’s eyes. I encourage everyone to write online. It takes no money or technical knowhow. There’s Blogger (where I got started), Diaryland, and OpenDiary, all of which easily work through your web browser and all can set you up with free space. Weblogger is powerful and cheap. I’m now using GreyMatter, which is great if you already have your own space and are technically inclined. You can create your own if your an expert. And there’s many other possibilities I don’t even know about. But of course, you can also just jot notes down on a piece of paper and the throw it away. That’s not as fun for me, but it would work just as well for you. Just write, and get to know yourself a little bit better.

Here is a time lapse of the past two years here at Kestrel’s Nest:

August 30, 1999: It lives!

September 30, 1999: Cheese Roll Goes Down Well

October 29, 1999: Phil dE Cat with Grape Jelly

November 30, 1999: The Clothespin Repertory Theater

January 1, 2000: I went to the Gobbler

January 31, 2000: Udderly Smooth Udder Cream

February 29, 2000: Tour my house

March 30, 2000: There are nipples everywhere in New Mexico

April 30, 2000: I destroy a city

May 31, 2000: Playing baseball with Action Jackson

June 29, 2000: Kitty art for the masses

August 1, 2000: Confederados in Brazil

August 31, 2000: Hampster Dance Lyrics

September 29, 2000: Redcricket Camtoons

October 30, 2000: Stratego Collectible Card Game

November 29, 2000: Tatrachromats see four primary colors

December 29, 2000: The Complete Uncensored Unbelievably True Ren & Stimpy Story!

January 31, 2001: Georgia gets a new flag

February 28, 2001: Cuppycake Gumdrop

March 27, 2001: Call me Trimtab

April 26, 2001: How does my garden grow?

May 31, 2001: A fake life and an earthen oven

July 9, 2001: I’m getting married

July 23, 2001: I’m a bad family member

August 30, 2001: You are here


Have breakfast, buy a farm

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:49 pm

Breakfast tomorrow morning may decide whether or not we buy the farm we’ve been after.

I’ve told you it’s really expensive, but we’ve nailed down just how expensive it is. After talking with the banks, the federal government, the local tax assessor, nearby land owners, and other people who were interested in the same property, we know that the current owner is asking roughly more than double the actually appraised value of the land and buildings. That’s a heck of a markup, and no one I’ve spoken with can justify spending that much or lending that much for the land.

So, tomorrow Chris and I will sit down with the owner and his realtor over breakfast (at a local greasy spoon) and attempt to convince him to cut his price in half. Laughable? Yeah, but if it works… and besides, you never know until you ask, right?

The owner is a shrewd businessman, according to all accounts. So we can try to get much of his asking price by throwing in add-ons. Such as the tractor sitting on the property. And having a well done (he does well-digging). And putting a home on the property (he brokers log homes). And when my Saturn’s lease expires next summer, I’ll need to replace it with the truck (he can likely get one himself very cheap and sell it to us at value). If he can do all these things at low or no cost to him, but get their fair value for them from us, he’ll be right back up close to what he’s asking. And the bank will loan us that money.

So he’ll have to decide, over a platter of scattered hashbrowns, whether he wants us to use his old family farm (well… his cousin’s, anyway) as a working cottage farm and do a little work himself, or whether he wants to hold out and fleece a weathy city person who can pay in cash. It’s been almost a year since the property’s been on the market, and he hasn’t found the right rich person yet, so I’m hoping he’ll settle for us.


BS in Astrology

Filed under:General — eric @ 4:55 am

I went to school at New Mexico Tech, the only school in the country that offers an undergraduate degree in Astrophysics. (At other schools, it’s strictly a graduate program, but since Socorro, New Mexico is one of the world’s centers for astronomy, Tech could go the extra mile.) Now, folks can go to neighboring Arizona to attend the country’s only accredited school that offers a degree in astrology. A subtle, but large, difference. People used to ask why I was going away to New Mexico (to study cosmology) when there were so many good schools for cosmotology close to home. Well, even with their accreditation and federal student loan money, the graduates won’t be able to come close to writing horoscopes as good as those over at Free Will Astrology.

Kevin Smith’s Kiss

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:44 am

Kevin Smith has a very nice comic strip in the New York Times detailing his meeting and then kissing his wife. I’m not such a good artist, so I just had to write about my own experience here on the weblog. In fact, when I want to make a comic strip, I have to steal the artwork and add my own writing. (It’s full of in-jokes and not as effective as the actual booklets I printed up and passed out, but the point is, I’m no comic book artist.)

I Palindrome I

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:04 am

There are campfire legends that the plainsmen spin

of a man who was nothing like Paladin.

Couldn’t ride, couldn’t shoot, but he won his fame

’cause every thing he said said backwards (backwards… backwards…)

was the same.

Palindrome, Palindrome, what’s in a name

Palindrome, palindrome, backwards the same

I’ve finally organized my mp3 collection on my work computer, and so I’ve been able to more efficiently listen to my collection of Riders in the Sky songs. The above is from the most excellent Ballad of Palindrome. Listen to it yourself, and if you like it, search out their albums for your own collection.


Science Paparazzi

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:30 pm

This is what drove me out of Astrophysics: the invasive science paparazzi. The last straw was when I caught the “reporter” from the Science World Weekly digging through my trash for discarded lab notebooks.


Filed under:General — eric @ 11:47 am

This message placed by the Alderaan Tourist Council.


Stranger’s diary

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:40 pm

I don’t know who this person is, but his diaryland diary is well worth the visit.


New Mixer

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:32 am

I have a knack for being at the right place at the right time. This knack has been especially useful in helping me live the life of luxury on a pauper’s budget. Case in point: Friday night I was flipping through the AM stations on the car radio and ran across an ad for an auction of professional restaurant and bar equipment happening the next morning just north of town. Knowing I’ll likely need a professional kitchen some day (if I want to sell cheese and other prepared goods anywhere other than the black market), I decided to go. Besides, I told myself, maybe I can find a stand mixer for a reasonable amount.

When I got there, I saw that the majority of the items was junk, and most of it wasn’t even kitchen and bar equipment. Mostly it was trashed furniture from an old high school that got demolished last year. But among the items was a grungy KitchenAid 5 quart mixer, as filthy as it could be. I walked around with the crowd (twelve strong, and all restaurant owners) for two and a half hours, waiting for the mixer’s turn. When we got to it, the auctioneer bundled it with several tables of miscellaneous junk, including the tables themselves and opened the bidding at $100. Before he could continue, I offered thirty for the mixer alone. He looked around, accepted my offer, and solicited bids from the others. Nope — already got three — he can have it. He took my thirty, and now I’ve got the $370 mixer I’ve been scheming over for years now. It’s mighty grimey, but it works well.


Bush’s Wishlist

Filed under:General — eric @ 12:10 pm

If you want to send the President a few books for Christmas, use his Amazon.com wishlist for gift ideas.

Mmmmm… Blackberry

Filed under:General — eric @ 10:26 am

As is typical, Randy and I are on the same track. He got the jump on me, though. His blackberry wine is already bubbling, while my blackberry mead is still in the design stage.

More on Bonita

Filed under:General — eric @ 10:18 am

The El Defensor Chieftain has a slightly longer article on Bonita. Marjorie found a brief obituary in the Four Corners newspaper.


Wonderful story

Filed under:General — eric @ 2:26 am

Country Life in Georgia in the Days of My Youth, by Rebecca Latimer Felton, 1835-1930. This seems to be a facinating account of life on the frontier. Western Georgia was, at the time she starts her story, on the very edge of the settled United States. I’ve only skimmed this, but it looks like a good read.

State regulations

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:11 am

When I get a farm, I plan on selling more than just vegetables and eggs. Fresh cheese, chile sauces, and other canned goods would greatly help bring money in. But, to sell these kinds of things, you have to satisfy the state, and more often than not, these laws were actually written by large commercial operations, such as the large dairies, with the intent of keeping the little guy out. Georgia is no exception. Even the limit on egg-selling is shockingly low — more thn 40 dozen a week and I’d have to have everything the large outfits have. 40 dozen may sound like a lot, but 70 hens in full production would pass it. So, should I sell certified organic free-range eggs at $2.50 a dozen (the local going rate), my egg income would be limited to about $400 a month.

In Georgia, it appears, there’s no allowance for dairy products at all.


Lab results are in

Filed under:General — eric @ 11:25 am

The lab results are in, and it appears my rooster died from lymphoid leukosis, a once-common poultry retro-virus. He probably contracted it at conception from his mother. It can spread to other chickens through contact, though that’s rare. I will have to watch the others, though. Unfortunately, the exterior symptoms are subtle to non-existant, and the disease is untreatable. Most chickens fight off the virus, but those that lose the fight always die with tumors in the liver and other organs.

I notified the hatchery, and they’re looking in to the problem on their end. The chicks were vacinated for Marek’s disease, a more prevalent and nasty virus, but not for lymphoid leukosis.

Meanwhile, much like amphibians, my number one hen has switched sides to become my new rooster. Yes, I thought that was odd, too. Penny is my favorite hen. She was always by my side in the garden, eating the grubs and bugs I found for her. She’d let me hold her with hardly a stuggle. She and the rooster were childhood best friends, but when the rooster matured, he preferred the company of the early-maturing white hen to Penny. A couple weeks ago, the rooster was crowing mightily in the yard and I heard a tiny, whispered echo crow. Several times. I looked around, and there was Penny, mimicing the rooster. He’d flap his wings, puff up his chest, and let one rip. She’d flap her wings, ruffle her feathers, and in the faintest possible voice she’d cockle-doodle-doo. I thought it was pretty cute, but it made me wonder. Was she mimicing, or was she an extremely slow developer? Once the rooster died, though, everything changed. Her comb tripled in size in just a couple days. Already the largest bird, she filled out even more. Her crows changed from a whisper to a yell. And now she’s mating with the other hens. So now… she’s our rooster. Penny — short for Pendleton?


Shittlecock brilliance

Filed under:General — eric @ 9:53 am

For a while there, I was afraid they were fading away, but this last week the Brunching Shuttlecocks were back in full force. And today’s bit ranks with the best they’ve ever done: Your Roommate Plays The Indigo Girls.

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