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Archive for the 'General' Category

I just love it when…

Posted by Mike on 30th October 2006

my Inbox gets to…..

Zero Items

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Truck for Sale

Posted by Mike on 29th October 2006

I have my 1982 GMC pickup truck for sale. Click here for details.

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More Time Each Day

Posted by Mike on 29th October 2006

Several years ago, we began the practice, in our family, of not changing our clocks when it was time to switch back to standard time. It has become one of my favorite times of the year! Now I can sleep in, a little, and be one hour ahead when I start my day.

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Catching Up

Posted by Mike on 19th September 2006

It has been so long since I last posted to this blog, that even I was beginning to forget about it! I have just been so busy since moving to the farm. I have also been working on some other blogs and my store. Perhaps I should tell you about them.

First, my new blogs. One is called Free to Farm. This blog is focused on issues that affect the rights and freedoms of ranchers and farmers. The top concern right now is the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). Click on the link above and you can read what I am uncovering about this program which promises to put anyone with livestock under government surveillance.

My other new blog is called Daddy Work at Home. This one is relating my quest to leave Corporate America and work from home. My aim is to be with my family and raise them as God would have me do it. You can click on the above link to learn more and see how it is going.

The third website is my online store called Ten Foot Table. It has been my education in e-commerce and will continue to be! My main product is Celtic Sea Salt, which I sell at a great price. I have a lot of work to do on the store, which I plan on getting to soon.

And I should not forget my ministry website, Close to Jesus. It has been a while since I last posted an article on there too. I have some things in mind to write about. I am waiting for the right time to do it.
Postings should now become regular again, as I am committed to keeping up on these websites.

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Moving to the Farm

Posted by Mike on 16th May 2006

It has been way too long since I last wrote for my blog. We recently moved to a farm to caretake it for the out-of-town owner. Only God could make this arrangement for us, as this farm is right across the road from my land.

As I mentioned, we are caretaking the farm. It is a cattle operation with 78 cows, 27 calves (so far), and two bulls. My wife grew up on a farm, but the rest of my family (including me) are new to farming. We joked during the first few weeks that we were in farm boot camp!  All in all, it has been a great experience. With that said, we have learned some important lessons during the first six weeks!

Lesson #1. Don’t start too fast.  We started too fast, in that we acquired three bottle-fed lambs (and some cats) on moving day.  While the lambs have been a great experience, we started down the path of being overloaded when we got them.  For the lambs, we bought a milk goat named Millie so we would have milk for the lambs. While we were buying Millie, we also picked up a bottle-fed goat.

Lesson #2. You can judge livestock by the environment and people they come from. A week after we got Millie, we purchased a pair of boer goats for breeding.  We were thinking that we could raise meat goats to sell. The problem with these goats is that they don’t like to graze on the fresh spring grass.  All they like is their feed mix and hay.  I equate that to farm junk food.  These goats were raised in a pen and they never learned to like grass!  I should have known it was a mistake to buy these goats, as their owner raised puppies in cages.  All these dogs were frantic and barking at us while we were looking at the goats. In hindsight, that should have been a sign to avoid these goats.

Lesson #3. Have a truck that is up to the job. By now, we were ready to get a family cow. (This was one of our big dreams!) We contacted a dairyman that we met at the Iowa State Fair who milks Jersey cows to see if he had any to sell.  He did!  We arranged to buy Donna for a good price, as she had one quarter that wasn’t producing because of a bought with mastitis.  We also were to pick up another cow for someone else in our area.  I borrowed a trailer, but it turned out that my truck was not up to the challenge.  I ended up buying another truck along the way to pick up the cows.  While I am happy with the “new” truck, I would much rather have looked around more.

Lesson #4. Know when it is too much. With all of this activity: moving, farming, new animals, selling old home, etc., we have discovered that it is too much.  We have now made the decision to sell the lambs and goats.  We are only going to keep our dogs, chickens, and family cow.  We need to focus on learning and doing the best job of caretaking the farm we can.  The extra animals were taking time away from our main responsibilities.  We need to be ready and able before we expand.

I have so much more to write about, but these four lessons will have to suffice for now. Back to work!

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Google Maps

Posted by Mike on 2nd March 2006

For ease of use, Google Maps is amazing! I have a consultant coming into town next week and it only took me 5 minutes to give him the following directions.


Directions to Hotel from Airport:

Directions from Hotel to GuideOne Insurance:

Directions from GuideOne Insurance to Airport:

I especially liked the flexibility of the address input. It even took the “address” of Des Moines International Airport! That’s all I typed.

All in all, it was a far superior experience to MapQuest.


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WordPress Version 2

Posted by Mike on 14th January 2006

This morning I updated my blog to WordPress Version 2. The upgrade was easy, but you do need some basic website management skills, such as FTP and CPanel. The instructions were clear.

I was interested in this version for the improved spam controls and the easy backup option. The spam controls require that you register with WordPress, in order to access their API. I felt that it was worth it, as spam takes a lot of the enjoyment out of blogging.

One last note. I was on Version 1.2 and in the upgrade, lost my theme. I decided to get a fresh theme, so that did not bother me too much. My only caution is that if you want to preserve your theme from Version 1.2, then do your research, on how to do it, prior to upgrading.

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Linux IQ Test

Posted by Mike on 23rd August 2005

I took the Linux IQ Test. Here is my score.

Linux IQ test
(8 of 10 questions correct)

You may be the type to compile your own kernel. You’re certainly no novice. We have a feeling you’ll enjoy ZDNet’s Linux IT area.

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I Hate It.

Posted by Mike on 23rd August 2005

It occurred to me today as I was leaving the office that I have lost my purpose in life. Not my will, just my purpose. Gnat goes to school this fall, and she’ll be there all afternoon. Back to the office for me. We’ll still have our mornings, I suppose, but this is more or less the end of How Things Have Been. My job, my role, my purpose as the More Or Less Constant Presence is about to be subsumed in a sea of teachers and friends as I slowly retreat to the sidelines and shadows. I hate it.

This quote is from James Lileks. It is sad to me that he is letting his purpose be yanked away by society. Don’t do it James! You can homeschool. Now that is real purpose!

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A Simple, but Difficult, Game

Posted by Mike on 15th July 2005

Try the Planarity Flash Game.

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