Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Autumn is here.

It arrived over a 9 hour windy evening two days past, plus.

Today; Sept. 29th, was a day tinged with a special glow and special fall highlights.

For me it started early, I got up and rushed to Double "H",... and put out hay.

It was chilly with a light gray cover.

It was cold and I forgot my jacket so I put my brown duck coveralls over my jeans.

After helping put most of the horses out, Joe gave me my "marching orders".

I got the one ton truck and towed the stump grinder into town, following mike and the guys dropping a couple of trees.

We, Eric (in the grapple truck)and I, did only 4 stumps total but several were many, many years old and occupied the entire boulevard between the Minneapolis neighborhood street and the sidewalk.

The sky had by now cleared mostly and showed brilliant blue sky between the clouds drifting by. The street was newly paved and all the cars were gone, it reminded me of the old days in a Minneapolis neighborhood.

I wanted to roller-skate, but we had work to do....

We finished this up, and then we went back to "HH".

We got further orders.
I got the smaller stump machine and we (Eric and I) cleaned up a small two tree job in Stillwater after Mike and Justin had dropped them earlier.

By now the sky was becoming more clear and the wind that had lasted for two days, bringing in the autumn chill to Minnesota, had finally calmed.

By the end of the day the sky was blazing blue and the waxing moon showed its approach to full....and it is perfectly calm.


Pictures cannot show what I see.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Summer is Waning While Some are Whining.

It is nearing the end of September and the weather has been warm and mostly dry.

I have returned to a somewhat normal schedule. Tree work out of Stillwater.
My little car is about done, and I need a replacement.

The truck (our 83' ford 1 ton) needs tires. about 800+ dollars.
I also hope to bring the band saw up if I get the truck and tires.

I need a spot to park the saw, ideally a place where it can operate. Maybe at "HH".
I also would like a place nearby to park my motor boat and the little sailboat.

I am thinking about the coming winter, it is best to think ahead. I need boots, gloves, coat...

But today; Sunday, September 20, the sun is up and the coffee is on and I am warm.

I have been following with interest many things these days.

One is the effect Washington County's new "Land and Water Legacy Act", not to be confused with THE STATES new "Legacy Act" sales tax increase.

Washington County; my county, is big and beautiful. It borders the rugged Saint Croix river on the east, and comes to a point on the south end where it meets the Mississippi river, like the state of Illinois does where Ohio River meets our muddy Mississippi.

The main body of Washington County Minnesota is a rolling highground of plains and hardwoods sprinkled with little towns dotting the countryside surrounded by lots of farmland, all laced with fish-loaded lakes and streams that pool and drain the rain and snow that falls on this mid-Minnesota wonderland.

I live in the North West corner of the county, on Highway 61 in the town of Forest Lake.

It is a good description of the town. We have lakes and forests. I am happy here just some thirty five miles north of Saint Paul; Minnesota's capitol city.

This is just one of Eighty seven counties. Minnesota counties are generally large and they are all unique.

Washington county is preparing to raise its property tax levy 1%, and is also mulling over deciding how much they intend to participate with the "Land and Water Legacy program" passed by the county voters authorizing $10 million in bonding to purchase and preserve "environmentally sensitive lands" along lakes and rivers.

There are some lakes that are "impaired" as defined by the MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). They have some algae blooms. they don't like the phosphorus reading.

Now the County is forced to deal with reality.

Do they want to complain that they have to raise property tax to cover costs because of reduced property values and less money from THE STATE, while taking on an additional $1.7 Million dollar annual principal and interest payment to purchase property and remove it from tax rolls.

And on a national level the discussion over health insurance is picking up apace.

I think that most things done by THE UNITED STATES should be done by THE STATES, and currently most things done by THE STATE should be done by THE COUNTIES and most things done by THE COUNTIES should be done by THE TOWNS or better yet by THE INDIVIDUALS.

I think the proposals being thrown about concerning "health insurance" are bad ideas.

I have thought a lot of ideas coming from the government class are bad, lots of bad ideas come from Saint Paul here in Minnesota.

They talk of Minnesota Nice. Well let me tell you, they are not so nice if you start to question them a little.

I thought the Wetland act was a bad idea. A one-size-fits-all, form and fee generating program that sounds good should be based on facts, not fanciful notions of flood control by swamp.

Boy did I get called names over that one. The Dept Commissioner of the DNR gave me a little lecture.

I thought the Septic "8020" rule was a bad idea, forcing people to immediately spend $20,000 + on a mound system prone to fail by freezing in Minnesota winters, (no matter what the global warming kooks in the state house say)is a bad way to "create" jobs in rural Minnesota.

It was suggested that I didn't care about children.

I thought the Forest Stewardship Act was an underfunded ruse to get more Sierra Club, anti-logging policies enacted on private property, as they seem to be getting the public property fairly locked up now. It would result in deadly and destructive forest fires

Why is a burnt stump better than a logged one? Jobs and power and products vs. wreck and ruin, destruction and ATMOSPHERIC CONTAMINANTS.

Hey you carbon-o-phobic types, where is your reasoning brain?

I was called a greedy agent of the timber industry who was just a Global Warming Denier, just like someone who denies the holocaust.

Never discuss the issue always attack the messenger.

I thought the recent State-Wide Legacy Act, that raised property taxes for water, property and the arts was a bad idea.

I thought the rhetoric surrounding the discussion was much too alarming for the conditions they were attempting to portray. Minnesota has clean air, fresh water and health forests. Children were not getting Methomoglobonemia but they kept bringing it up to scare voters.

I ended up getting our very own lovable Ron Schara right in my face asking me where I get my figures. I admitted I got mine from the same place he got his, MPCA, DNR, EPA... I don't think he was really listening at that point in our little "conversation".

Let me tell you, the "raise taxes and programs" crowd are nice and polite until you disagree with them. Then its venom and brick bats.

I could go on and on about my many, many, many experiences with snotty officious patronizing government agents and elected officials.

So, now I see more and more of regular Americans being called names by "journalists", "reporters", lawmakers and Presidents, all just because they may have ideas contrary to the government know-it-all's.

I think this is terrific.

Now more and more people are seeing what these people in power really think of us.

Last year we had a convention in Saint Paul that was attacked by the Democratic Party with infantry, bombs, fire and caustic weapons.

Most reporting was about whether the police overreacted.

Now these same Democrats in the news rooms are wondering if those demonstrating against an ever expanding government are, "corporate manufactured","ignorant","mostly racists","greedy doctors","too well dressed","unstable","dangerous","selfish","Un-American"

The Democrats, the lords of protest and civil disobedience(mostly government subsidized), cannot stand the notion of freedom loving Americans using their stage.

It galls them. I say Good.

I think it is fantastic that more and more of my fellow Americans and fellow Minnesotans experience the treatment I have been getting for over twenty years now, just for voicing my opinion.

Most people in government like their job and want to keep it. This motivates their reasoning and actions.

I am prepared to pay any government workers a lump sum as we close their agencies.

But we must close agencies, departments, silly studies, ridiculous grants, costly programs and at the same time dramatically reduce the tax burden on people.

Nothing else will really matter much.

At least not in a positive way.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Home on Labor Day

It is Labor day, Monday September 7. The sky is clear with little wind and I am back home in Forest Lake, Minnesota.

This morning I am doing laundry. I returned from the Otter Creek Horse Show last evening about eight o'clock. It's a sprawling facility and we jump crew cover a very large area.

It is really one of the most spectacular settings.

The Otter Creek Horse Show is easily one of the most beautiful in all mid-America, if not throughout the entire nation.

Located in the northern edge of the driftless zone of mid-west Wisconsin just north of wheeler it is a magically perfect terrain for an equine paradise.

Carved out of the stunning northern hardwood forest, Mark and Lena Warner have created a fantastic wonderland of fields, pastures, jumps and trails.

Be it dressage, hunter & jumper shows, long distance eventing, a gentle ride in the valley or a fun trail ride in the woods, Otter Creek Farms has what you are looking for.

The rolling wooded hills are laced with horse trails and rustic jumps, while the low ground of the valley, also dotted with neat rustic jumps, is a groomed savanna.

The barns are large and roomy, the last one they built from local wood and it is beautiful.

At the one end of this long green shangri-La is the upper sand ring where the ponies and the youngsters did their hunter and stirrup work.

Heading from there down a long gentle slope you pass the schooling area they use.

The cocoon of trees on both sides opens as you continue.

You can now see farther down the valley, and also you are approaching the sprawling main sand ring. It is very large and perfect for the Hunters.

From here the grounds dogleg left another hundred and fifty yards or more, towards a timber-framed, open sided pavilion. It is nice, and seats forty or fifty people.

Here you can sit and have a drink or a bite, you are at the foot of the third ring. We used it for the jumpers.

From here you can see to the other end of the valley bottom.

Easily half of the pastured valley bottom is open for riding and access to the multitude of trails heading into the wooded hills ringing this horse paradise.

When the fall colors change a dazzling display of reds, greens, and yellows envelops the grounds. It is absolutely effervescent.

The owners are nice and aren't afraid of a chainsaw. As a matter of fact there is much chainsaw art all about the grounds, Bears, eagles and of course, otters.

This is the one show I do that is not in Minnesota.

I may do some more work there, they do lots dressage and eventing stuff and the walking is good for my leg.

Today I get organized, tomorrow I go to work at the stable/tree service in Stillwater.

Time to eat.