Thursday, May 26, 2011

Guitar Wish List

Since it's been raining for two weeks, I've been doing about 3 things - Messing around in the yard, watching videos on YouTube, and playing guitar. A lot of guitar. And when that happens, I start getting on eBay and looking at stuff. Which leads to me thinking I need stuff. Which leads to me remembering we are poor. I've been promising myself for a couple of years that I'd buy myself another guitar after harvest. First, I wanted a Guild D-55, then a Guild F-47MCE, then a Gibson Les Paul Special in TV yellow, and now it's a Guild D-35. I'd like an Orange Dual Terror amp, too. Updated wish list:

Guild D-35 - Solid Sitka spruce top, solid Mahogany back and sides. See, I've always really, really, really wanted a Gibson J-45, but don't feel like spending $2,000 on a guitar, and since the J-45 and the D-35 have the same tone woods, they're kinda the same. But not really. But the D-35 is definitely in the budget. I think. I'd like a sunburst model, but they're hard to find. And I don't want one of the shitty ones that has been made since Fender took over Guild. I want a Westerly, Rhode Island built D-35. Anyway, I'm boring you. Here's a picture:

Here's a picture of a Gibson J45, just for giggles and grins. It's kind of the holy grail for me:

I saw a Gibson Les Paul Studio 60's Tribute in Dietze's in Lincoln last week, but I didn't play it. Now I'm wishing I would have. I can't get this damn thing out of my mind. It's also in the budget (whatever that means - I really don't have any budget) at $850. I almost put the frickin' thing on a credit card yesterday, convincing myself I could pay it off at harvest. Luckily, I pulled my head out of my ass and didn't do it. Shay and some of my siblings are going to the zoo in Omaha Saturday, so I may hitch along just so I can go back to Dietze's at some point in the day and play this thing. I also noticed an Orange Dual Terror amp in there the other day. How convenient...

I'm really confused about my guitar preferences. See, I used to be a big Telecaster guy. I suppose I still am. I had two Teles put together by my friend Rob Arnold (If you ever need any work done to a guitar, I will be more than happy to take it to Rob. He is amazing.) and I love them both, but these days, when I reach for a guitar, it's some mongoloid Gibson SG I bought for my brother. It was the personal guitar of the guy that owns Red House Music in Hastings. He bought a different SG and didn't play this one anymore. I'm not sure what it has for pickups, but I'm in love with the neck pickup. And I love the neck. Sam doesn't even pretend to play anymore, so I took it back before he did something stupid, like sell it. I think I'm in the Gibson camp. For now. Things might change.

Here's the Orange Dual Terror Amp I've been blabbing about:

I did order a Boss RC-2 Looping station yesterday. I know what you're wondering - what the hell is that? About the coolest thing on earth, my friend. It's a little pedal that has 30 drum tracks, and 16 minutes of recordable space. So I can start a drum track, lay down a guitar riff, and basically have a rhythm track. Then I can go back over the top and jam. Here's a video:

I also want a Big Muff Pi or a Keeley Fuzz Head, but I don't got no dollas. Those are fuzz pedals. Here's a demo of the Keeley:

 So if you know anyone that wants to get rid of a few thousand dollars, give them my number.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rain. And More Rain

It rained all night and it's supposed to rain all day. We're in a flood watch. There's a 40% chance of rain Friday and Friday night. It could be like 3 years ago if it doesn't quit. The real bitch of all of this is that in two months, we'll be pissing and moaning that it never rains. When it's wet and cool like this, the corn doesn't develop very long roots, so when it gets hot later in the summer, we have to water quite a bit, or else the corn gets mad at us.

When I say it could be like 3 years ago, this is what I'm talking about:

The water was actually running through Grandma and Grandpa's basement. These pictures are after the water went down some.

I don't have any pictures of the cattle yard, but it was chest deep in some places. The machine shed had water in it. 

That's a fence post sticking out of the water.

These pictures were taken by my sister, Alli. I'm hoping that this doesn't happen again. I guess we'll see.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday's Gone With The Wind

This is how today went - we drove around trying to find somewhere dry enough to plant, with no luck. I went to St. Libory to get coffee. I mowed and trimmed the yard, and trimmed the hedge. I ate dinner. I planted some hostas and some sunflowers (As a corn and soybean farmer, sunflowers are the bane of my existence, but Shay likes them). I played with the dogs. That's about it. I had a couple of fantastic meals today - chicken fried steak for dinner, roast beef for supper.

I'm going to try to plant tomorrow before the next rain moves in. We're supposed to get "heavy" rain tomorrow, so more flooding will probably occur. All in all, I'm not going to complain. At least I still have a home, unlike so many people that have been affected by flooding and tornadoes this spring. I ask you to pray for the people of Joplin, Missouri. If you haven't seen pictures of the tornado and devastation, you need to.

That being said, I heard some bimbo on the radio saying that this tornado was further proof of global warming. Lady, if I ever meet you, I may kick you in the head. This is not an opportunity to prove something. This is an opportunity for compassion and service. Don't cheapen the lives lost because of this tornado by saying that it wouldn't have happened if only we hadn't put so much pollution in the air over the years. 

So, how about that rapture?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Farmer Ramblings

That global warming article really chapped me the other day. I found this article this morning, which seems to confirm that we will be "lucky" once again this summer. This makes me semi-nervous, though, because corn does need hot weather at some points in its growth to mature fully. So... we'll see.

This article freaks me out. You're probably wondering why. Well, maybe I'm just pessimistic, but I'm fairly certain we're going to pay for these high prices at some point. When corn goes higher, soybeans go higher. As long as we raise a crop, we should make some good money. I should be enjoying this. The first corn I sold, which would've been 7(?) years ago, I sold for $1.92/bu. If I could sell corn for $8/bu, that's a huge chunk. Over a 1,000 bushels, the difference would be about $6,000. For the same product. The market is cyclical, and from a few things I've read, it's going to go back down again sometime in the next couple of years. I could be wrong. I don't know. What I do know is that corn prices will go down, and when they go down, rent, fertilizer, seed, fuel, etc. probably won't. So we'll get $4/bu for corn while paying $250/acre rent, $300 for a bag of seed, and $4/gallon of red diesel. My money is going into a coffee can this fall. I'm preparing for a farm depression.

Here are some flood updates, if you're interested. The first one is a radio interview with a farmer that lost his farm. It's not a long interview, but listen to all that he and his wife lost, not to mention the 3 hired men he had:

This is a link to a newscast about the flood:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Well, Hello

It's always nice to wake up around 5:30AM to the sound of rain falling on your roof, coming to the realization that you didn't put your seed box covers on your planter the night before because you didn't think it was supposed to rain until Thursday. I threw on a hoodie and some Chucks (they were the first shoes I came across) and headed out the door, only to remember that my covers were over at Grandpa's. A promising start to the day, no doubt. I got them put on just in time for it to quit raining. They changed the forecast, though. 100% chance of rain today, 70% tonight and tomorrow, 60% tomorrow night, 50% Friday and Friday night. I really don't want to see any crops get flooded out - it's happened the last 3 years - but I'm steeling myself for it.

Does iPod shuffle ever change your day? "My Hero" by the Foo Fighters came on yesterday, and there's a specific image that comes to mind every time I hear that song, and I've always wanted to write about it. It inspired me to do so yesterday. I'm working on something. We'll see how crappy it turns out.

Monday, May 16, 2011

This Just In - Farmers in Corn Belt "Lucky" Not To Be Affected By Global Warming

"The climate science is still unclear about why summers in the Corn Belt haven't been warming. But most explanations suggest that warming in the future is just as likely there as elsewhere in the world," Lobell said.

"In other words, farmers in the Corn Belt seem to have been lucky so far."

Wow. I didn't know you could use luck as part of scientific research. Where was that knowledge when I was in 5th grade?

"Ben, how did you come to this conclusion about cirrus clouds?"
"I was lucky."

I've read this article three times trying to make sense of it. Basically, they're saying that global warming doesn't seem to be affecting our yields. Yet. But watch out!

"Lobell and his colleagues examined temperature and precipitation records since 1980 for major crop-growing countries in the places and times of year when crops are grown. They then used crop models to estimate what worldwide crop yields would have been if temperature and precipitation had typical fluctuations around 1980 levels." - The article doesn't make mention of the fact that farming practices have changed quite a bit in the last 30 years. Genetics in seed have changed, soil sampling and nutrient placement are more intense, irrigation methods have become more efficient, no-till has become more accepted and practiced, etc. 

The reason our yields haven't dropped, and have actually gone up? Because we were "lucky" to dodge global warming. 

Are you kidding me? Are people really that desperate to prove global warming? Look, I don't care one way or the other. Either it's true or it's not. There's not a whole lot we can do about it either way. I think God knew what he was doing when he created this place. If you want to prove global warming exists, fine. Don't be giving me this bullshit about being lucky. If you can't prove something, keep your mouth shut.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

True Story

The rain of Wednesday brought its blessing and its curse
Thursday dawned clear and sweaty
And would soon become a fence fixing day
Dinner came without a problem
Excepting the fact that it was a few minutes late
Because of that damn slough

We'd had our fill of Runza and ice cream
Headed to the big pasture south
More than once I caught myself staring at
The thunderheads like popcorn in the western sky
While I stood under the shade of the blooming Cottonwoods
Listening to Prairie Creek meander on its way

We had three strands of barbed wire left to stretch on the north end
Down by the creek and the high tension power lines
We tightened the wire to our specifications -
"Yeah, good enough for the girls I go with." -
I was ready to head to the next pasture but
I noticed Grandpa was gone

He was headed down to Prarie Creek to check our wire that crossed the stream
I followed to see what I could see
When something in the knee high grass bit me
I looked down to find a 2x4 attached to my foot
Words I'm not proud of left my mouth as I
Stepped on the board with my left foot to yank the nail out of my right

3 inches to the left or the right and I
Would not be writing these words to you
Remember, the next time you're by a creek that floods
Watch where in the hell you're walking

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Possibilities Are Endless

I'm sitting in my cave, listening to my wife on the radio and drinking coffee, pondering what I'll do today.

Really, the possibilities aren't that endless. Grandpa will be out of hay after he feeds this morning, so that means cattle will have to go to the pasture tomorrow. Which means I'll be fixing fence today. Until it starts raining again this afternoon. I like taking cattle to the pasture. It's kind of fun to watch them jump off the trailer and run around like the bunch of idiots they are. Sometimes they get off the trailer, stop where they are, and start eating. Sometimes they make a lap around the pasture.

I'm not sure how much rain we had yesterday. My gauge had a half inch in it after the afternoon storm passed through. It rained off and on through the night. That's alright, we needed a decent rain.

I've got about 75 acres of beans planted. I'm approximately 14% done with bean planting. I noticed yesterday that Grandpa, Dad and I all have corn popping out of the ground. I always get a little nervous until I see it coming out of the ground. I don't know why. Every year I get nervous, every year it comes up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Soybean planting has started. I didn't take any pictures today, but I'll try to take some tomorrow. I like soybeans. They're easy to plant, not too difficult to raise, and leave nitrogen in the soil for corn the next year. They can be a pain to cut, but once you get used to it, it's not too bad.

Supposed to rain tomorrow and tomorrow night, with a chance Thursday. Remember when I was complaining about rain? Well, we could use some now. I just hope if it does, it's not a repeat of the last 3 springs - We hope for a rain, and end up getting a monsoon. 

We also planted a test plot today, which is exactly what it sounds like - You plant a bunch of different corn varieties in a small area. This helps us to see what works in our soils and what doesn't, and it gives the District Seed Managers some numbers to point at when trying to sell seed.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Holy Hotness

It was 97 degrees today. A new record. It's going to be 63 on Friday. I will spare you all the jibber jabber about Nebraska weather and let you reach your own conclusions.

It was a big day around our house. I scooped some rocks and wood chips out of Shay's flower bed, mowed the yard, and helped Shay plant her garden tonight. We hung some plants today, too. Shay worked her little tail off. She raked her flower bed, tilled it up, planted her flowers, cleaned around the house, and planted her garden. We've got sweet corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions, pumpkins and cantaloupe. If we actually raise all of these things, my palate will have to change. Out of that list, I currently only eat sweet corn.

I'm going to start planting beans tomorrow. I don't know whether it's right or wrong, as there is rain in the forecast. If we get rain after planting and it gets hot and windy again, it could crust, which is problematic when little soybeans start trying to poke out of the ground. I'm anxious to get started, though, because I was planting beans until June 1st last year, and I'd rather not do that again.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Some Spring Snap Shots

I've done a lot of disking the last couple of weeks. Enough to make me want to scream. I think I'm almost done, though. 

I finished planting corn this morning.

I pulled around a fertilizer trailer quite a bit. And our seed tender. It's nice when the corn comes in the big boxes. A lot easier to fill a planter when you don't have to throw a bunch of bags around.

Here are a couple of pictures of things in my tractor cab. The first one is my fertilizer controller. In the 2nd picture you can see my planter monitor and hydraulic drive controller. They have loud buzzers on them to let you know when something goes wrong. Pretty idiot proof. 

And here's an action shot of Michael W. Peters (Dad) planting:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Am Mad

I'm so pissed off about this that I can't even think straight. I heard about it on the radio today, but until I saw the pictures, I couldn't comprehend. 

"Hey, where should we build our town?"
"Oh, how about where two major rivers come together?"

I can't believe this. I realize that if the town would've flooded, people would've lost homes and jobs. These farmers are losing an entire year of income. They can receive crop insurance if they had it, and can get loans to rebuild.

"Hey, didn't we build the levees to protect the farmers and their land from being flooded?"
"Yeah. Fuck 'em."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Got the GFE Going

That's an inside joke for a couple of people that read this. For the rest of you, it simply means we started planting. I took some pictures, but the camera is out in the pickup, and I'm too lazy to walk 15 feet to get it. I'm also too lazy to put the pictures on my computer and then add them to this blog. Maybe tomorrow I'll do it. Depends on what kind of mood I'm in tomorrow night. I planted about 65 acres yesterday and 60 or so today. Not good days, but yesterday we started late because we had to get everything set and because the people at Ag Service aren't smart enough to make sure the motors on their fertilizer trailers work before they bring them out. They had to bring out a new motor and pump. I thought the top of Dad's head was going to blow off. Today I started late because of Sunday School. 

It feels good to be planting. I'm always about 50/50 - nervous and optimistic. I get nervous until I see the corn pop out of the ground. I'm hoping that this will be the first year of my farming career (I think this is year 6 of farming my own ground... I can't remember shit anymore) that I don't have any hail or flood damage. I hope we get some good rains. I'm nervous that it won't yield as well as I'd like. And a million other things. 

Shay went back to Parks this weekend and she won't be home until tomorrow. As much as I bitch about sleeping with her because of her ice cold feet and nuclear body heat (Seriously, how does that work? That's the first question I'm asking God when I get to Heaven) I can't sleep very well without her here. Wife, if you're reading this, come home soon, ok? Thanks pal.