Monday, February 28, 2011


Tomorrow. York, Ne. 10:02 AM. Honestly, I don't know why they're starting it at 10:02, but whatever. I'll still be there. I'm hoping to buy a stalk chopper. Also, you never know what might be out there that's not on the sale bill. My buddy Gary lives near York, and he was going to take some stuff up there, but they told him not to because they were full. This means one of two things - there's going to be some sweet stuff, or there's going to be a bunch of crap that should've gone to the scrap yard. I'm guessing number two. 

If anyone wants to come help me raise my bidding hand, let me know.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

While Brushing My Teeth

"Where did this feather come from? Are you cheating on me with a bird? Is it Big Bird?! Is it?!"
"No, it's not Big Bird."
"Who is it then?!"
"Well, you know how the geese are flying lately? There's a special goose in my life..."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dannebrog Pizza

I should have taken pictures because most of the 6 people that read this don't know what Dannebrog pizza is. 

Anyway, there's a little town west of us called Dannebrog. There's a bakery called the Danish Baker. On Thursday nights, they make the best pizza you've never had. On occasion, Mom will bring some home, and tonight was one of those occasions. After pizza, we played some 10 point pitch of the call your partner variety. At the end Shay and I were neck and neck, so I shot the moon. At first, I did it to spite Shay, hoping to call for her and drag her down. Mom said something about never winning. Guess who went along when I shot the moon? That's right, my ma. 

And we won. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I have no idea how my mother stayed sane doing laundry for 7 people. I can't stay caught up with Shay and I. I think I've washed 147 towels today. I don't mind the washing and drying part. It's the folding and hanging I can't stand. Also, laundry is a whole new experience as a married man. In college, I did one load a week. Throw everything in there, turn it on cold, let 'er rip. Now I have to separate, bleach, use three different temperature settings at any given time. Then I have to remember not to dry the bras, dress pants, or jeans. Then I have to figure out what gets folded and what goes on hangars. Neil Young once said "a man needs a maid." I agree with Neil.

In other news, I strongly urge all of you to download a song called "Everybody Needs Love" by the Drive-By Truckers. I know I talk about them a lot, but I'm not sorry about it. Seriously, if you like music, and I know you do, you should hear this song. If you don't like it, what've you lost? Approximately four and a half minutes.

Keep on folding in the free world.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big Day Today

Well, I found a work pickup. I've wanted a 3/4 ton regular cab Chevy/GMC for a long, long time, and finally found one. 

It's a '94 Chevy K2500. It's been very well taken care of. It had a new 350 engine put in two years ago, new front fenders, new AC compressor, new 4 wheel drive actuator, new fuel pump, new dual exhaust and Line-X in the bed. And I got it pretty cheap. Drove it two hours home and didn't have a problem. So, yeah, I'm pretty pumped about it. Take that, tax man.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Things I Wish I'd Written

I'm going to be lazy tonight. These are things I wish I had written.

"Pretty girls from the smallest towns get remembered like storms and droughts that old men talk about for years to come. I guess that's why they give us names: so a few old men can say they saw us rain while we were young." - Mike Cooley of Drive-By Truckers from "Birthday Boy"

"Some people stop living long before they die." - Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers from "The Living Bubba"

"She smiles oh so sweetly, and I ain't so lonely, I ain't so lonely." Ben Nichols of Lucero from "Ain't So Lonely"

"Father forgive me. I know exactly what I do, and I keep doing it, right in front of you. I heard you're patient, yeah I sure hope that's true, 'cuz it's been a long, long, long time since I've been real with you." - Sean McConnell - "Saint's Heart in a Sinner's Skin

"It's only you for me, just like that whooping crane, has one wife for all his life and if she dies, he'll do the same." - Robert Earl Keen - "Think It Over One Time"

"The Banker Man lit into me and spread my name around. He thinks I ain’t got a lick of sense 'cuz I talk slow and my money’s spent. Now, I ain’t the type to hold it against, but he better stay off my farm, 'cuz it was my Daddy’s and his Daddy’s before and his Daddy’s before and his Daddy’s before, five generations of an unlocked door and a loaded burglar alarm." - Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers - "Sink Hole"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Should Be Interesting

I'm reading a book called Wisdom of the Last Farmer by David Mas Masumoto. It's about his organic farm in California that produces peaches, nectarines, and grapes. It kind of blows my mind because their entire farm is 80 acres. That's a hobby farm around here. So far the writer/farmer is discussing how labor intensive his farm is, and I feel for the guy a little. Until he says they "readjust [their] equipment to accommodate different scales of operation and procedures than those on automated industrial farms." This is on page 5.

Here is my bone of contention with organic farmers: I understand that it is different. You pull weeds by hand or use a cultivator, disk, plow, or whatever else you've got to get rid of weeds. That is the life you chose. Please don't try to encompass everyone else by saying we are "automated industrial farms." We don't exactly enjoy paying out of the nose for chemicals. We still use cultivators here. And I can remember walking through acres of soybeans wearing irrigation boots, carrying a machete, chopping every weed I could find. 

Here's my point: whenever I read about organic farmers, they almost always make a snide remark concerning farmers that still farm the conventional way. Yeah, organic food would be awesome, but until someone figures out how to do it on a huge scale that is profitable for everyone involved, it won't happen. If consumers think food is expensive now, they have no idea what it would be if they ate only organic food. How many of you have a garden? Do you do a good job of keeping it weed free? Can you imagine doing that on 80 acres? 250 acres? 1,000 acres? I can't, and I don't really want to.

There is a place for organic farming, and I respect those guys. It's a completely different way of life and much more labor intensive. I wish the same respect could be returned to farmers like us that farm on a large scale. We have no less skill in management, weed control, or marketing. We work long days and sometimes nights. What we produce is no less important than what Masumoto produces. The world has to eat. There are companies making some amazing products from soybeans - foam for car seats, spray oil and lubricants that aren't harmful to the environment, clothing, and of course, bio-diesel.

I'm going to continue this book, because it's pretty interesting so far. I just hope I don't continue to run into the "industrial" farm concept. I'm not ashamed to raise corn and soybeans on a large scale. I love what I do. My family's been doing it for a long time and God has blessed us over the years to be able to stay here, and I know He will continue to provide for us. To any fellow farmers reading this - good luck to you as spring approaches and God bless.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today Finds Me In a Better Mood

I've decided I love fake spring. I don't mind that it's going to get a little colder, because we've had a week of awesomeness. That's one less week of not awesomeness. I had a good game of ball with the dogs today. They like this weather, too.

Some of our seed corn arrived yesterday. I always love it when seed shows up, because that means the fun part is getting closer. 

There's more coming. And we've got that much in soybean seed at Grandpa's shop. There are lots and lots of seeds there, but really, it's just gardening on a very large scale. We get to use really big equipment too. Farming is fun. 

Piece of Farm Equipment I Think It Would Be Cool To Have:

This is a Patriot sprayer. The sprayer doesn't have to be a Patriot. A John Deere would be sweet. Anyway, a self-propelled sprayer would be nice. You can cover a lot of ground pretty quickly with these. Most sprayers like this have 90' booms. Why don't I own one, you ask? I don't have $250,000 to buy one. Yikes. It would be cool, though.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Had Something In Mind

But I really don't care right now. I'm tired and upset with myself. I feel like my blogging of late has been this: "blah blah blah." I don't have much to say. I need a dose of Nyquil and this damn cold to be gone.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wisdom Comes From Unexpected Places

"Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe." - "A Ghost To Most" written by Mike Cooley of the Drive By Truckers

Just the other night Shay and I were talking about how easy it is to fall into the trap of gossip. I said to her "I wish I could stop talking about other people." That's not entirely true. I like talking about people. I like talking about people when it's something good. That's often not the case. I'm guessing 5 minutes after I said that to Shay I was talking about someone else and how I would do things if I were in their shoes. You know what?

I'm an idiot.

I can barely take care of my own crap, and now I want to solve everyone else's problems? How's that going to work out for everybody? Not well, I'm guessing.

What makes me feel even worse about gossip is the fact that Jesus speaks often and very clearly about it. Every time I gossip about someone, I hear this words in my head: "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" Jesus speaks these words in Matthew 7:3. Yeah, ouch. 

I talk about others because it's the easy thing to do. I run out of things to say about the weather, sports, music, etc. and turn to other people. There's always a lot of crap to say about someone else. I'm pretty frustrated with myself over it. I'm not sure how to get around it. 

Thank God He sacrificed His son to take our sins. Gossip breeds hatred, and Jesus tells us that if we hate someone, we've committed murder in our hearts. We're all murderers. If it wasn't for the gift of grace through faith, I'd be in trouble. 

And if it weren't for the Drive By Truckers and a loud stereo in a pickup, I'd forget to look in the mirror once in awhile.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

First Sunburn of 2011

Yep. I beat you to it. 

Went to an auction today. I got the sunburn for free and the polish dog for $3. And I burned a lot of gas. I was looking to buy a work pickup, but a couple of fellows got into a, well, a pissing contest over it, so I didn't even bid.

Had a good meeting at Heartland Lutheran High School this evening. The feelings of frustration weren't there. I hope and pray that things continue in that direction.

Drive By Truckers new album shipped today! Yeah, I pre-ordered it. In October, I think. Soon a vinyl edition of Go-Go Boots will arrive at my door.

Another much anticipated package arrived today. I finally broke down and ordered the guitar chord edition of the Lutheran Hymnal, so now I have hundreds of new songs to learn. I also ordered the Treasury of Daily Prayer. Pastor recommended it for devotions for Shay and I, so we're pretty excited about it. 

Another auction Thursday. Wish me luck.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New Week

Feels like it will be a busy one. We worked on Mom and Dad's new house today - Shay painted, I helped with the hardwood floors. I think Dad and I are going to finish the floor tomorrow. Then on to Hastings to preview the auction lineup for the Tuesday consignment sale. I think we're picking up one of the rent's new couches tomorrow, too. I need to prepare my taxes, finish my cash flow application, meet with the crop insurance agent, try to sell some seed, go to another auction on Thursday. Two meetings at the high school this week.

It feels nice to have something to do again. I get bored pretty easily, so as much as I love to listen to music/read/watch anything on History channel, I'm ready to be busy again.

I'm also kind of looking for a new work pickup. I probably won't find one, though. There are also a couple of sprayers on the sale we're going to Thursday that I'm interested in. Or I won't buy anything and save some money. That's what I'm leaning towards, anyway.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Damn You, Fake Spring

It's supposed to be close to 60 degrees for much of next week. Yes, it's pretty awesome.

Except for the part where it's going to get cold again.

I remember getting 2 feet of snow around the 23rd of March a few years back. I really hope we will not be punished this way again. It seems that whenever it warms up early like this, we always get some crappy blizzard-type weather. 

This weather also makes me want to get in a tractor and work some dirt. Knowing it's going to snow again already makes me crabby. 

Piece Of Farm Equipment I Think It Would Be Awesome To Have

Freightliner Classic XL Day Cab
I like these trucks. I think they look pretty sweet. I'd like to have one to haul corn with. If I was super rich I would buy a side dump trailer also. And a lowboy with some fertilizer tanks. But I'm not rich. All I can do is dream.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Memory - Better

I was listening to Lucero (who has surpassed the Drive By Truckers as my all-time favorite band) and this song came on. I think it's more about the city in the song, but I like songs about girls, so that's where I'm taking it. It's called "Mine Tonight":

There's nothing romantic on the city streets
You drive down 'em once and you’ve seen everything
The river's rising up, the city’s sinking down
Well I’m just trying to get back to the other side of town
Well I got a little girl, and she's waiting on me
She says 'I'll see you when you get home'
And now these working days are getting just a little too long
Well I can see her now, sitting at the kitchen table
Record player playing for my rock and roll angel
She says 'I'll see you when you get home'
Now we ain’t got much
But this town belongs to us
Tonight she's mine, tonight
Tonight she's mine
The wind crossing over
the river just howls
through the empty city streets that we drive down
Riding in the car, one arm around her
Living, this city's gonna be all ours
the wind on the river, such a beautiful sound
Now we ain’t got much
But this town belongs to us
Tonight she’s mine, tonight
Tonight she’s mine
Cause tonight
She's mine for the night
Tonight she's mine

This song reminds me of living in the house on North 1st Street in Seward. That's where I first discovered Lucero. I can picture the girl I wanted to insert into this song. I remember her canceling on me, and the realization that it wasn't going to happen. The voice inside a man's brain when he realizes she doesn't want anything to do with you - "Well, f*** her." Then drinking a beer or four with a good friend. The song reminds me of my pre-date ritual - shave, shower, two squirts of cologne (one on the chest, on on the neck, because you'll never know if you might end up cuddling), iron the shirt, starch the collar a little, pick out the right hat (it can't be new or perfectly clean - has to have some wear so you remember where you came from and so she knows you're not some candy ass), pick the right pair of boots. Always boots. Either the Double H's or the Doc Martens. Both worn and scuffed. Pick her up. Open the door. Ask her what she wants to listen to. On and on it goes. 

What's cool about this song now is that her canceling led me to Shay. I wouldn't trade that for anything. Shay makes me laugh and makes me feel good about myself. She wouldn't cancel on me. She lets me pick the music. She doesn't care what hat I wear. Hell, she doesn't care if I've showered or not. She knows when to make fun of me, she knows when to listen, she knows when I need a beer. She's sleeping on the couch right now. I'll have to wake her up and get her to bed so she can put her ice feet on me and fall back asleep. I'll have to kick her out of bed in the morning. I'm not going to worry about that now. 

Tonight she's mine.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Being A Man

"You didn't wanna throw your fishing line in that old mainstream." - Todd Snider

I've been reading a book entitled Wild At Heart by John Eldgredge. To be blunt, it's about how modern Christianity has castrated men. According to this ideal, men aren't supposed to drink, smoke, fart, burp, discipline their kids, stand up to one another, etc. Eldgredge argues that, hey, we weren't created to live this way. God created us the way we are for a reason. I mean, look at Jesus. If you can tell me that he didn't piss anyone off, I'll call you a liar.

I'm not saying it's ok to piss people off in the name of Jesus.

I am here to say that it's perfectly ok to be honest in the name of Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus means that most of the time, we're going to flow against conventional wisdom and what our society sees as common sense. Instead of shriveling up and fleeing when it comes to the fight, we're supposed to stand up. That's what makes us men. We want to battle. We like to fight. We don't like people telling us when we're wrong. That's how we were created, and I'm starting to get more and more comfortable in that role.

The mainstream would tell me that I'm way off track. My main focus should be how much money I can make before I die, how big my house is, how new my pickup is and the boat that gets towed behind it. Living together before marriage isn't just ok, it's the smart thing to do. Sex doesn't mean anything. It's purely physical.

I'm tired of that bullshit. As Mr. Snider says, I don't want a part of that stream (in full disclosure, that particular song is about a pool hustler who looks up an old classmate who has chosen a life of prostitution. I love the song and the line).

I'm not ashamed of the Gospel anymore. Now, this isn't a call for me to be judgmental towards fellow men and women, rather, it is a call for me to correct, with love, where Christ's words call for it. And I expect you all to do the same for me. 

It's very freeing for me to know that God has created me this way and that I don't have to fight against it anymore. Does this mean I run wild? Of course not. I can't run around pounding the crap out of people in the name of Jesus. It means that I don't have to be ashamed of following Christ, that I can and should fight for Him. If others don't like you because of it, who cares? They are not your ultimate judge. God gave us His son because He loved us so much. I don't think it's too much to ask that I fight for him in return.

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's Getting To Be That Time

Had a situation where a landlord wanted a little more rent than last year. Ok, a lot more rent. We had a decent discussion today, and we met somewhere in the middle. It's a good chunk of extra change, but I can contract corn for October/November delivery for about $5.40/bu and soybeans for about $12.80/bu, so I won't complain too much. I also really appreciate the fact that he wants to rent to a young farmer, not the top dollar. That's a pretty rare thing to find around here.

Soybean seed will be delivered tomorrow. I need to get my cash flow done so the FSA can push my young farmer loan through. I think the interest rate is 2% for an operating loan this year. Can't beat that with two sticks. I need to get my taxes finished also.

The fiscal part of farming can kind of suck, but it also means we're getting closer to the fun part. And I really like the fun part.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One Of Those Days

Sunday School was a little rough this morning. I was trying to get the kids to start reading Romans. I read the entire first chapter because no one wanted to read. No one volunteered to read any of the 2nd chapter. I know kids are weird about that, but they've all grown up together. There are no strangers in our class. I know for a fact they can all read. I got a little frustrated because I don't really know what to do.

How can I get them to realize that reading the Bible in a group that accepts you is one of the coolest things you can be doing? There are a ton of people that would love to have that opportunity, and here these kids are not wanting to partake because they don't want to "sound stupid."

This is the word of God! It's not a 19th century novel or a beat poem. This is awesome stuff. No matter how you read it, you won't sound stupid. Know why? Because it's the inspired word of God. I tried explaining all of this and got a bunch of stares. No response.

Then I moved into the "if you don't want to read Scripture, tell me what you would like to do" speech. Still nothing. They wanted to play Apples to Apples. Apparently, none of the 7-12 graders in our church have anything to talk about. They must have pretty boring lives.

I'm kind of at a loss here. I want them to actually learn something, but they don't seem interested in much of anything. I'm confused because this is a new phenomenon. They've been pretty good about participating until lately. Must've been a case of the Mondays a day early.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feb. 3, 2011

I have no idea what to title this, so there you go. Not much going on in the world of me. Talked to a landlord today. Rent is on the way up. Talked to a salesman today. Might be buying a stalk chopper. Sorted some cattle. Went to the bank. Drank a couple of beers. 

I finished Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller today. I'm going to firmly say I liked a few things contained therein, but mostly didn't like the book. I've heard a lot about it, so I finished it to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I get really tired of the "the church is full of right-wing-liberal-hating-money-grubbing-hypocrites" argument. Yes, he did discuss that he is working on loving all people, but I got tired of the ax grinding. I also get tired of people saying they aren't "comfortable" in a certain church. Yeah, I get it. There are instances that can make a person want to leave a church. My thing? Church really shouldn't be about how I feel. Last I knew, I wasn't in church to give thanks and praise to Ben, or to celebrate what I've done for the people of this earth. It is important to feel like you are part of the church community, but have you ever been in a community where you feel comfortable 100% of the time? I haven't. If you're looking for that church, you'll be at it for a long, long time. It's called sin. We live in a world full of it.

I feel like this isn't making a lot of sense. 

I get frustrated when I read a 250 page book written by a Christian author that doesn't contain a whole lot of scripture. In fact, I don't remember seeing a verse in the book. Is the book really about Christ at that point? I don't know. I didn't feel like it was. It came across as a book about how great of a Christian Donald Miller is. 

I sound really judgmental right now. I'm sorry, Donald Miller. Please forgive me.