Sunday, May 16, 2010

On the no ride list

I spent Friday and Saturday doing youth community service once again. I am hoping that someday those hours will be able to be applied to my sentence for whatever law I get crossways with. Friday I traveled to Pullman to Washington State University to be a judge of a contest. The Washington State Future Farmers of America was having their annual state convention and needed judges for many of their contests. Dakota is a first year FFA member and in support of the program I volunteered to be a judge for the Agriculture Sales contest. Basically the contestants have a product that they are trying to sell you in a mock interview type exercise.

I was offered items including artificial breeding services, horse boarding and training, and many animal pharmaceutical products. A few other interesting items were a special mix of rabbit feed that included freeze dried carrots and also a variety of Alpaca wool products. I was impressed at the level of salesmanship by many of the contestants. One thing I noticed was how the gender balance has changed in FFA. When I was in school it seemed about 80% male. I would guess that today the majority of the members are female. Dakota enjoyed her first convention and I enjoyed judging on Friday.

Yesterday was spent weighing, tagging and registering sheep, goats and hogs for our August fair. Many of my fellow Market Stock committee members help with out steer tag day in March so in return I help out with the three inferior species in May. Seeing these kids with their 4H and FFA projects makes me see a bright future for agriculture in this country. Like I previously mentioned this is volunteer time that I feel gives back for all the people who helped with these programs when I was a kid.

Both days involved fairly long drives which gave me time to listen to lots of radio and ruminate on some of the news I heard. One news station on Friday afternoon was talking about how the FBI, CIA, state and local law enforcement agencies are dealing with terrorism. The information was pretty in depth and caused quite a bit of concern for me in relation to making sure I am not put on some “no fly” list. I would however gladly be put on a list that bars me from public transit. I rode a city bus once in a major city and still have nightmares.

Anyway, when I got home I thought about the terrorism program and some of the items that “tip off” authorities. I was driving the gray Dodge while changing some irrigation water and as I took an inventory it added to my worries. Let’s just say you were with law enforcement, had no idea about agriculture and pulled me over and did a search. I am sure the many syringes, hypodermic needles and various animal drugs in the vehicle would not bode well for me. An electric cattle prod, various chains, ropes, scalpels and shoulder length plastic gloves certainly would add to your suspicions. Explaining what an emasculator is and what it is used for would probably add to my criminal profile. Those items are found just by searching the cab, dash and under the floor mats and seat.

Looking in the back of the pickup would do nothing to help my situation. A gallon of gasoline in a Tide detergent bottle for wheeline engines would be a big no no I am guessing. A five gallon bucket that is labeled 80W gear oil but actually filled with red Diesel would not be the end of the world except that it is riding next to a 50 pound bag of ammonium nitrate fertilizer. The “strike anywhere” matches that are on the dash would really arouse suspicion now. Explaining that the matches were only for burning weeds and for starting the benzene, propane and acetylene torches in the back of the pickup would get some attention.

I am sure by this time I would be on my way to Guantanamo. Telling the officer that Stetson does not make turbans and asking if I can take along the .22 pistol in the glovebox or the SKS with the 30 shot clip behind the seat would be answered with a resounding NO is my guess!

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Red milkweed beetle aka Tetraopes tetraophthalmus.

Today’s picture is four of the spring yearling heifers on grass.