Check out the eclipse Vine video clips on the Twitter links.
There have been a bunch of stories circulating about the ‘Blood Red Eclipse’. Bad news. Not sure about the red moon causing disaster but we really could use some rain on this years Winter Wheat!
Send us some shots if you have them….clouds kind of got in our way.

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On the road again

72 degrees, Sunny, few clouds
Dew point: 38 degrees
Humidity: 27%
Wind: S @ 7 mph
Forecast: Sunny

Eli has brought the R90/6 back to life and it looks awesome.
Muriel shot this video one afternoon in Lawrence.  Now i’ve got the itch to slip into some leathers and head for the coast.
Good on ya’ Eli. Good on ya’.



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bike run

89 degrees, Sunny, few clouds
Dew point: 41 degrees
Humidity: 20%
Wind: S @ 10 mph
Forecast: Sunny

1974 BMW R90/6. A sweat ride.  900 ccs of the best road bike every made.
The bike has been in the family for years. I first got it in Colorado in 1988. Way low mileage. Maybe 35,000. It belonged to a friend of a friend of Deborah (my sister) who lived up Golden Gate Canyon near her ranch (West of Golden at about 7,800 foot level).
He got it used. Some sort of trade in. Did a few road trips in his youth. Got married. Got kids. Bike got put in the corner of the garage.
Came to me.
Got some leathers . A James Dean jacket from Jim (call sign Candy, 101 Huey door gunner), hand made chaps from Uncle Leroy, bike boots from the saddle shop in town then hit the road.
Did a few short road trips. Got married. Got kids. Bike got put in the corner of the garage.
Bike went to Bruce.
Got it fixed up. Did a few West Kansas road trips.
Got knee surgery. Got wisdom. The bike got put in the corner of Grandma’s garage.
We talked about getting it fixed up, maybe adding a sidecar. But time rolls on.

For several years Bruce has said that we need to move the bike on the Eli (my son). Eli is the kind of dude that loves to fix things. Houses, cars (especially Porches’), electronics; if it can be ‘fixed’ Eli can do it.
We loaded up the bike and all its stuff in the back of the Ford 150 and hit the road right after milking. Clayton Michael is at the farm all day and right after fishing (we have  priorities) and field work he will do the afternoon milking.
Got to Lawrence about 1130. Went to Eli’s and unloaded the bike into the garage  (the most current Porsche restoration had to temporarily give up its spot and move out to the drive).  The bike is proudly sitting next to a BMW 325i. Went to eat with Eli (Chris, Muriel & Malcolm) at the best bar-b-que rib joint in Lawrence.
Then head West. Back to the farm.
We stopped in Topeka to see Clayton Andrew and turn in the data from wheat harvest. The new combine has an onboard computer that records all the data from the field. This is fed into a program, Clayton Andrew has, which will be added to the rest of the data about the field (crop type, planting, any field work, etc) and when it is all said and done we’ll have a great picture of the field. Ya’ farming is rushing into the 21st Century.

After talking with Clayton we drove to Salina for dinner with John & Jan. John works at the Land Institute. A very visionary group that is currently trying to create a perennial wheat (plant it once and it comes back again) with the same yield as regular wheat.  Some of what John is involved in is mapping wheat, and wheat grass genetics. CSI stuff. However it seems to take a lot longer than 30 minutes on TV. Go figure.
Hit the road again about 8 pm.  Drove  through some rain.
By the time we got home the rain had already passed through.  The farm got some. Not as much as needed, but, rain is rain and the dirt is settled on the roads.
Bed felt good. And it is cool enough to leave the windows open for the night. And there is no dirt in the air.
Can’t be beat.

1974 R90-6

1974 R90-6

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78 degrees, Partially cloudy
Humidity 52%
Dew Point 53 degree
Wind NW @ 10 mph
Forecast: Clearing, cooler

A little rain would be nice. Not much chance. But we can always hope.
We take water with us. Everywhere. There are small red ‘igloo’ coolers of water in the semis, pick-ups, tractors, combine, even in the back of the four-wheeler.

igloo cooler


I’ve often joked that we ought to get a small ‘water buffalo’ (water tank on wheels) to bring out into the field. Of course i’ve often mentioned a whirlpool tube on wheels to bring out to the field. We can tow it (with the water buffalo & generator) behind a tractor. It would be used on those really long days…. a great way to revived for another five hours of late night cutting. OK, i sometimes worry that my really good suggestions may be lost in the chaff of dehydrated musings, but if we don’t dream….
A few days ago i was helping move equipment from field to field and saw a well. Right at the edge of the field. Nothing around it but wheat. And that wheat had been carefully cut. Very carefully.
Bruce says there used to be a farm stead there.
The land changed hands. Changed hands again.
The outbuildings were scrapped. The house was scrapped. Salvage what can be salvaged, burry the rest.
The land changed hands. The road to the house was plowed.
But everyone involved made sure to save the water.
Water is, after all, water.

as good as it gets

as good as it gets

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Partly cloudy, 75 degrees
Humidity 65%
Dew Point 50 degrees
Wind SE @ 10 mph
Forecast: Partly cloudy

Generally we don’t go fishing on the weekend.

Saturday is just way too filled with catching up on things from the week.  And Sunday, well we just don’t fish on Sunday.
OK….honestly….there are just too many people on the lake on the weekends.
But Monday…..well Monday is a great time to go out. Clayton Michael had spent the night. He was doing field work on Sunday afternoon and evening.
Not much wind.
Good temperature.
Time to go fishing.
As soon as milking was done we were in the truck, pulling the boat to the lake.
The rule in Kansas is that you can have two fishing poles in the boat per person. So we always take two poles. Clayton Michael actually fishes with both poles. Sometimes one trolling (lure trailing behind the boat) and casting with the other. Sometimes trolling with both. It takes a fair amount of effort to keep two poles going at the same time.
He can do it.
The only thing he’d, maybe, rather do is hunting. If he cold do both at the same time….nirvana.
A few days later Bruce and I were out with Carroll. He has the farm a mile and a half East and half a mile North of Bruce’s. He lives right in the middle of the section. Which he reports is great. Less traffic so less noise. Nobody ‘just’ driving by at speeds above prudent. Less light from neighboring farms. Generally great. The only drawback Carroll says is that the mailbox is half a mile away.

Carroll is a fishing guru.
He has skill. Knowledge. Years of experience. And now that he is ‘pretty-much’ retired from farming, lots of time to practice.
A few weeks ago he was on the lake and found himself in the middle of a bunch of white bass feeding on a school of shad. Shard are small fish that big fish like to eat. These feeding frenzies are visible from a good ways off. The bass chase the shad to the surface and suddenly an area is filled with jumping fish. These feeding frenzies will often last a few minutes.
So a good fishing guide will see the disturbance, get the boat over there just in front of where the fish are going and people with the poles will get dinner. Carroll’s, now legendary encounter lasted for about 30 minutes. ‘So many fish hitting the surface it sounded like rain’. This ‘fish-story’ has the advantage that there were other people in the boat and the two hours he spent cleaning fish.
Again we were on the lake just after morning milking. Carroll, living up to his reputation, caught the first fish, a white bass, and within ten minutes of getting on the lake. Things kind of fell off after that. We pretty well cruised all over the lake, fishing here then there. There were several others we knew on the lake and because everyone has cell phones we were able to get fishing reports from all over the lake. After four hours we were all evened up with two fishes each so it seemed like a good time to head home.
The final analysis showed that we held our own. Dinner that night was potato fries and fish.
Call it a good day.

ready to go fishing

ready to go fishing


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101 Degrees
Partly Cloudy
Humidity 22%
Dew Point 55 degree
Wind W @ 15 mph
Forecast:  Possible thunderstorms

Last year we started a new post harvest tradition; tubing.

tubing '12

tubing ’12








The fishing boat is more than big enough to provide an awesome ride even for hardcore East Coasters.
Last night we made it out.

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grain-cart camera

92 degrees, Sunny
Humidity 32%
Dew Point 58 degree
Wind N @ 16 mph
Forecast: Sunny

First load of wheat for the day is now on the grain-cart.
We’re on top of a rise and there is a good breeze. I turned off the tractor and kicked open the ‘doors’. OK just one door and the back window.

kick open the 'doors'

kick open the ‘doors’

Warm but not yet hot. The sound of the combine on the other side of the pasture. A fly passing through.
A real relaxing way to start the day.
A real relaxing way to start reading about our new grain-cart camera and monitor.
Grain-cart rule #1: Don’t spill any wheat.
There are several obvious times where wheat can be spilled. One is when we are off loading wheat from the combine into the grain-cart while both vehicles are moving. Pretty obvious potential for spilling wheat. Another is off loading the wheat from the grain cart into the semi. Maybe a little less obvious unless you sit in the tractor seat: the semis are taller than the tractor. It is hard to see where the wheat is actually falling. So….
A few years ago we started talking about a camera on the grain-cart auger. A ‘wheat’s eye view’ of the semi. Well it came in the mail the day after harvest began.
Took several days to get the time to set it up. Had to mount it on the grain cart and not the auger. Too much vibration on the auger itself.  But this configuration is working really well. More 21st century technology to augment the age-old art of cutting wheat.
The camera monitor is mounted inside the tractor and will accommodate three cameras so Clayton Michael is thinking of putting another one on the back of the grain cart so we can see who is behind while riding down the road. Dirt road courtesy dictates that whenever riding along in farm equipment it is polite to pull to one side and let the people behind (in pickups and cars) pass.
The grain-cart is wide enough that it takes up a fair amount of dirt road. The classic way of checking to see if anyone is behind is to pull to one side of the road then make a sharp turn toward the opposite side of the road. As the tractor heads to the other side of the road, there is very brief moment (maybe two seconds) when the tractor mirror (on the same side of the tractor as the road the tractor is turning toward) will have a fairly clear view of the road behind. Then the grain cart gets in the way again. This is the way folks have been ‘checking behind’ an implement for years.
However a camera mounted on the back of the grain cart, like many modern SUVs, RVs, etc, would make life a lot easier, safer and more friendly for anyone following. They won’t get stuck riding behind for too long.

Maybe next year.


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