Thursday, September 1, 2011

County Fair

It is hard to believe that it is already September. We got through our first of three fairs over four weeks last week and things went pretty well with blue ribbons. Dakota and her steer named "Shaq" did well but no champion ribbons. She did get into the championship round in fitting and showing and I really thought she has a reserve championship won but the two girls that did win grand and reserve champion did an excellent job and were very deserving.The intermediate 4H division is full of excellent showmen (actually mostly young women) and just to compete in the championship round is a real accomplishment. Even though Dakota has placed higher at different fairs in the past I felt this was her most "successful". She really took things upon herself this year and not once did I feel frustrated at her focus, work ethic or self discipline. Not only did she have her steer responsibilities, she also had volleyball practice every afternoon last week. She did well and as a freshman made the junior varsity team. This is something I have longed for and yet seeing her grow up and become so responsible is a double edged sword. This does not even take into consideration noticing the teenage boys and their staring eyes coupled by their spittle laden chins of drool. Arghhhhhhhh!!!!! Good job Gus (Dakota), we are all very proud of you, love you and you can slow down the growing up whenever you like.

The fall calving continues to smoke along with a calf or two a day. So far it has been really excellent with very little in the way of issues. I am wayyyyyyyyyyy behind on tagging calves and hope to spend tomorrow getting a few more marked. Last weeks hot weather, the first real heat we have had all summer, has been tough on the grass. The fact that the spring calves are now getting big enough to put a fair dent in grass growth is not helping either. I need to move a few cows around to other pastures and I am going to take a few yearling heifers to a friends just to keep the grass from getting overrun. This week it has cooled down and has been very pleasant but the days are certainly getting shorter and although I hope we are at least a month away, in this part of the country it can frost anytime now that we are into September.

So, for lack of other material a few fun observations from the fair and this past week of running around getting steers delivered, harvested and graded for our "Steer of Merit" program.

Subject; teenage boys and girls at the fair.

One thing I love seeing at the fair is the same kid that is shoveling cow shit or washing a steer at 6a.m. in irrigation boots looks quite different at 10a.m. as he/she heads into the show ring wearing their best jeans, starched shirt or blouse and both the exhibitor and the steer have their hair styled to a level that would make Sally Hershberger jealous. Then, in the afternoon another transformation takes place as that kid heads out to practice in football cleats, volleyball spankies (second skin shorts Arghhhhhhh!!!!), or soccer or cross country gear.

As a casual observer and listener to teen communication I noticed quite an anomaly. When the boy is in his t shirt, football pants and cleats heading to practice the girls think he looks "hot". When the boy returns from practice he is wearing the same clothing but is now "gross", "stinky" and "dirty" in the eyes of the female teen. Contrarily, when the girl heads to practice she is viewed by the teen boy as "stuckup", "slutty" and a "full of herself". However when she returns later in the evening wearing the same clothes soaked in sweat she is now "hot". I often laugh because especially the young men have no idea how life changes over time. There was a time in my life when a cheer leading outfit, painted nails and high heels was the ultimate. Now a woman in insulated Carhartts that knows how to sort cattle is a huge turn on. The high heel thing is tough to get over.

Subject; VIP Tent at the rodeo

Last year I commented that I felt the VIP tent stood for very intoxicated people but I changed that this year as the Washington State Liquor control board may read this blog and have some obscure law and send me to a CIA prison in Nocowistan. I now know VIP stands for very inspired parents. Anyway this year the highlight of the VIP tent was watching my baby sister asked to leave. LMAO, granted she pretty much got caught in the crossfire of some wild friends but still. Standing there as Mr innocent was almost amusing as my sister asking the security guard if there was no height requirement for his job! OMG, Sis, that was awesome, I was ready to leave with you in support and protest but I had a full drink.

Subject;blog grammar

Most of the time I first post this on a Word document, then edit, then transfer and post. Some nights, like this one, in the interest of time i post directly. The blog does have spell check but does not do much for punctuation or grammar. Even when I post first to Word I run into a bit of an issue. I type something out and it says "fragmented, consider revising". Many times I know it if f%cking fragmented, hell I am fragmented. Other times I know it is not perfect in a grammatical sense but it is written exactly how I would SAY it. Then I have to decide if I want it to sound like me or sound like an English Professor. I do however have some rules that I cannot break because of my own issue with the specific issue. Your, You're and They're, their, and there are something I notice if incorrect. The one misspelling I notice every time is the word "quiet" as in STFU or soundless. It is so petty but when I see someone post something like, "I told them to be quite!" I cannot help but ask them quite WHAT????? Do you mean quite quiet?

Subject; hitchhikers

I know this really does not fit the fair and sometime in the future I will tell you a great story about a hitchhiker I gave a short ride a few years ago. This is based on a woman and man hitchhiker I saw waiting on the northbound highway 395 on ramp yesterday. Now, I am not a judge and maybe these people just had time on their hands or wanted a scenic route but still. You do not stand on the NORTHBOUND on ramp of highway 395 in PASCO Washington with a sign saying "Eugene, OR". I mean I guess you could eventually get there and it was a small sign and maybe they needed to stop at a cash machine in Cranbrook, British Columbia to buy deodorant or teeth, er I mean toothpaste but it still seemed like a long route to take. If nothing else they should have at least eliminated the "OR" part. That way the could say they were headed north to their friends in Eugene, Saskatchewan.

Today's real environmentalist species found on the ranch is the Western Screech Owl aka Megascops kennicotti.

I STILL have not purchased a new camera so I am posting two pictures that I think have graced these pages before. One is Dakotas show steer "Shaq" as a newborn last February. Then as a weanling last November. I will get a picture added later of Shaq at the fair. He was a good steer and so easy to tame and he really loved Dakota. Cycle of life keeps spinning.

As an added BONUS I am posting Chris Ledoux video of his great song "County Fair"