Lambing 2011

is in full swing - Brittany gave birth yesterday to the first set of triplets in the Dor Galen flock. And she's actually doing a good job as momma sheep this time - unlike her last lambing, which earned her name (after the pop diva who was the faux "mother of the year").

We also have three bottle baby visitors. Our good friends Tim and Jackie had a down ewe with triplets as well, and we volunteered to lamb-sit until he goes on spring break next week. You can see a picture of their arrival over at Dances With Ewes. I'll try to get some more photos posted here soon.

19:25 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

A Strange Lawsuit

If you want to know what's wrong with Washington in general and the patent process in particular, seek no further ...

How’s this: A lawsuit that pits a former Ross Perot presidential running mate against the king of patent aggregating/molecular cooking — with a cameo role from organized labor?

(link) [Wall Street Journal]

via Overlawyered

10:13 /Copywrongs | 0 comments | permanent link

How the Filibuster Wrecked the Roman Senate

At least somebody remembers to look at history, even if I do find the conclusions a bit specious ...

Have we just seen a simultaneous, mutual flip-flop on the filibuster? Democrats, many of whom spent the last two years railing against obstruction in the U.S. Senate, this winter cheered the "Wisconsin 14" for walking out on Gov. Scott Walker's anti-union bill, using quorum rules to stage a quasi-filibuster of their own. Republicans, who spent those same two years defending a passionate minority's right to obstruct, were suddenly up in arms over the Wisconsin "fleebaggers."

(link) [The Atlantic]

21:20 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

For a Copy of Theocritus

O singer of the field and fold,
Theocritus! Pan's pipe was thine, --
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

For thee the scent of new-turned mould,
The bee-hives, and the murmuring pine,
O Singer of the field and fold!

Thou sang'st the simple feasts of old, --
The beechen bowl made glad with wine ...
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

Thou bad'st the rustic loves be told, --
Thou bad'st the tuneful reeds combine,
O Singer of the field and fold!

And round thee, ever-laughing, rolled
The blithe and blue Sicilian brine
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

Alas for us! Our songs are cold;
Our Northern suns too sadly shine: --
O singer of the field and fold,
Thine was the happier Age of Gold.

Austin Dobson

21:03 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

First of 2011


Here's the little fellow we fished out of the stock tank last night - fine looking ram lamb.

17:45 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Sheared Sheep

Chunky Buns Sheared

Here's Chunky Buns yesterday afternoon - it seems she went first last year, too! Once again, her fleece is pre-sold. This year, however, she's very pregnant - and due any day.

17:41 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link


Sorry for the recent absence, but so much has been happening as to make blogging nearly impossible. To make a long story very short, Mom's health issues have flared again and she'd now safely ensconced in a nursing home. Layoffs are continuing and the future of my career in my present position doesn't look too rosy. It's shearing season, as well as the run up to the fiber event(s) over the summer. And finally, spring has sprung, and with it lambs! The first one was born last night, a little ram lamb from our Dor Galen flock, and momma dropped him in the water tank! Luckily, Lorraine had felt the need to check the barn before we went to bed, so we found him and fished him out around midnight, and got mom and baby bedded down in the center aisle. With only a bucket for water, and no tank to fall in!

I'll try to catch up over the next few days.

07:12 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Price of preemie-preventing drug to skyrocket

How can this be? Glad you asked - it's a prime example of our marvelous government protecting it's citizens:

The drug, a form of progesterone given as a weekly shot, has been made cheaply for years, mixed in special pharmacies that custom-compound treatments that are not federally approved. But KV Pharmaceutical recently won government approval to exclusively sell the drug, known as Makena. The March of Dimes and many obstetricians supported that because it means quality will be more consistent and it will be easier to get. It seems no one anticipated the dramatic price hike.

Aren't doctors required to take Econ 101? Monopolies always increase prices, and the only way to get a monopoly is through government intervention. As a matter of fact, doctors themselves are a monopoly, granted through licensing and other restrictions on entry to the trade.

But you watch: this story will get picked up and spun as an example of "profit driven medicine" and "greedy corporations" - and the solution offered will be: more government regulation!

For years, a drug given to high-risk pregnant women to prevent premature births has cost $10 to $20 per injection. Next week, the price shoots up to $1,500, meaning the total cost during a pregnancy could be as much as $30,000.

(link) [CBS News]

Update: They backed down.

07:03 /Politics | 0 comments | permanent link

Wearable Sensor Reveals what Overwhelms You

Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive SunglassesIt's been done: pictured is Zaphod Beeblebrox, former Galactic President, wearing the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses.

MIT ain't got nothin' on Zaphod!

In fact, it's rumored that Joo Janta got the idea from an Earthling invention of the 1970's: the mood ring. But who knows?

What do you think most stresses you out during the day? A new type of wearable stress sensor, which constantly checks for signs of anxiety, could give you a precise answer. And it might not be what you think.

(link) [MIT Technology Review]

21:15 /Humor | 0 comments | permanent link

Honest Politicians











20:08 /Humor | 2 comments | permanent link

Oh for a poet!

Oh for a poet - for a beacon bright
To rift this changeless glimmer of dead gray;
To spirit back the Muses, long astray,
And flush Parnassus with a newer light;
To put these little sonnet-men to flight
Who fashion, in a shrewd mechanic way,
Songs without souls, that flicker for a day,
To vanish in irrevocable night.

What does it mean, this barren age of ours?
Here are the men, the women, and the flowers,
The seasons, and the sunset, as before.
What does it mean? Shall there not one arise
To wrench one banner from the western skies,
And mark it with his name forevermore?

Edwin Arlington Robinson, Collected Poems. 1921.

21:30 /Home | 0 comments | permanent link

Missouri lawmakers play dirty pool with family farms

Nice to see this issue framed as a property rights cause: because that's exactly what it is.

Protectors of property rights in Missouri take notice: State lawmakers have embarked on an unprecedented expansion of government power to intrude on private-property rights. Think of it as eminent domain abuse’s country cousin.

(link) [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

06:19 /Agriculture | 0 comments | permanent link