Sunday, May 27, 2018

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

Modern medicine and the cowboy

By Julie Carter

I told you no one would believe it, many didn't and wrote to tell me about it.

In response to my story about the blind yearling calf loading up in the trailer on his own, one doubter wrote that he suspected the influence of Crown Royal or at the very minimum, an anesthesia overdose not-yet-worn-off the cowboy sporting the $27,000 shoulder surgery.

He called that the second lie. "Greg wouldn't spend $27,000 on shoulder surgery," he said. "He won't spend that on a truck. If you don't believe me, ask him about "old red."

I responded by explaining to him that I trusted his assessment of his close friends but that the Crown Royal was very likely only available for medicinal purposes for those with refined taste preferring it over pain meds.

I also explained to this occasional ranch visitor that cowboys are sometimes the biggest babies-too tough to take the doc's advice or medication but world class at moaning and groaning for the 90-mile-drive back to the ranch. It's not unusual for the Mrs. to grab the pain pill bottle saying "Give me those blasted pills! One of us needs to feel better."

As for the $27,000 shoulder, most cowboys will sell their soul to get a body part fixed so they can go back out and do whatever it was they did to hurt it in the first place.

Another cowboy, on the wise-side of his fifth decade, had a stout three-year old colt buck him off resulting in an emergency room visit. This was followed by time spent with triage nurses, doctors, radiology technicians, family practice physicians, orthopedic specialists and bona fide physical therapist.

His wife carried a dictionary around to translate their diagnosis, prognosis, treatment protocols, medication and device advice. This was followed by a barrage of bills in the mail box that took a fair amount of accounting expertise to decipher.

The real problem at hand was getting to the cure. His actual diagnosis was Type 2 acromioclavicular separation, as in "hurt shoulder." That made logical sense as that is where he landed. If he had just had the foresight to find a soft spot to land all this could have, in theory, been avoided.

Each of the specialists, with a serious direct eye-to-eye gaze, told him to wear the immobilization device. We call that a splint. They advised he not lift anything including his arm and it would be six weeks before he move anything except his lips to moan.

Next came the electric stimulation to the muscles to facilitate healing and a very dedicated physical therapist determined to bring healing no matter the pain level. In a moment's time the cowboy was promoted from complete immobility to lifting weights over his head.

A series of repetitive moves with pulleys, weights and other devices ensued, moving the cowboy into a realm of exercises he couldn't have done before the accident, let alone while on injured reserve.

The cowboy declared there was nothing about roping that was as physically hard as what the therapist had him doing. So he went home from therapy, saddled his good horse and roped a pen of steers just because he could.

"Hee Haw's" multi-talented Archie Campbell played many rolls on the 60s-70s variety program, one of which was the leering doctor giving sage advice to his patients. "If it hurts when you do that, don't do that."

The jist of all the medical advice given to the cowboy is exactly what Dr. Archie was saying. If it hurts, don't do it. If the cowboy had just remembered Hee Haw, he could have saved a lot of money.

© Julie Carter 2006

The Trillion Dollar Heist

Unequal States and Counties
The Trillion Dollar Heist
The Expansion of Valhalla
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            I have the McGarrity Trilogy in the library.
            The setting for the books is in the Tularosa Basin where the rocket men came to stake their cornerstone in the creation of death and destructive devices for the defense of our country starting in World War II and increasing in apogee thereafter. The trilogy crew came long before any of the advances in these killing advances and wonders that fly, shoot, zip, zap, and irradiate were even a concept.
            They were the folks who dug wells by hand, lived in dugouts before they could afford to build a house, drank Arbuckle’s coffee when they could splurge, learned it was best not to eat rabbits in months with spellings that didn’t contain r’s, looked forward to J. R. Williams’ brilliant cartoons, and came to realize what the meaning of sovereignty in the federal West really meant.
            They were the real deal. They had names. They had hopes of a better life.
The problem was they picked the wrong basin, perhaps the wrong state, and, as some are now realizing, even the wrong country for the investment of their sweat and blood and guts. When the nut cuttin’ began, they were treated no differently than any endemic population before them. They were stripped of everything including their dignity. What they came to realize long before we did was when the Great White Father spoke it wasn’t words of wisdom and encouragement.
            Unequal States and Counties
            Trilogy country today is Otero County, New Mexico.
            Eighty nine percent of it is owned by government in one form or another. Think about that. Only one acre of every ten can be expected to provide planning and accommodation for homes, industry, investment, and the tangible future for its citizenry. Eastern states, in their ignorance toward the actual condition of the West, have no idea of what that really means. At some point in time, somebody (and bodies in numbers) ought to become awfully tired of the migration of their tax money to an underutilized West because of the back to nature fetish of federal dominion and its regulatory strangulation.
Let’s shoot this in another direction. Only one in ten acres can be counted upon to grow families, recreate, and stake a path toward future prosperity for anyone not connected to the United States government or the environmental cartels. That is the condition of fact and it certainly doesn’t bode well when this nation’s debt is finally addressed by adult and fiscally qualified supervision. Both the state and Otero County are going to be placed in high jeopardy when the federal dollars are no longer hauled in by unit trains from points east of the 100th Meridian.
            The Expansion of Valhalla
            Fully expected by their constituents and antagonists alike, the staff of the New Mexico Senatorial duo of Udall and Heinrich have crafted legislation to make Whites Sands National Monument, the greater part of the big snow-white gypsum deposit in the middle of the Basin, a national park. Ostensibly, their logic is that the expanded layering of regulatory protection on the sand pile will bring in lots of tourista dollars, marks, and pesos.
            Of course, they had their model manipulators spit out a preemptive economic forecast to prove the worth of their legacy maneuver, but that is getting to be a tedious recapitulation of expectancy. Ask a million people the difference between a national monument and national park and less than one percent could contribute to the answer.
            No, the move is an expected expansion of a designation that will serve as the forward operating base for future, expanded park designations in the southern end of the county, nearby Dona Ana and Luna Counties. It is a green Trojan Horse of consequence that fits comfortably into a drawer marked there is nothing like more government to solve the problem of more government.
            A Trillion Dollar Heist
            To add insult to injury, the announcement was made not in Otero County, but in Dona Ana County next door.
            Otero County wasn’t invited to the party. They never are on these types of environmental issues. They don’t agree with the action and, therein, is the rub. They know the consequences to their future. The senators also know that and opted to run the pony out for inspection in a county that will now nominate and vote for any Dipodomys spectabilis rather than a conservative Homo sapien.
            The iconic platitudes were plentiful.
             Save this great treasure for the children, this will bring in millions of dollars in new jobs and ecotravel adventures, and this great opportunity is in our grasp to do and do we shall!
            The hypocrisy is stifling.
In juxtaposition within the 300 plus square miles of the white sands footprint, some 225 sections are national monument now touted for park status. The rest remains in DOD lands where death and destruction is planned and practiced. There is certainly no private enterprise, though, and that presents the greatest irony of all.
            There are more than 3.93 billion tons of relatively pure commercial gypsum lying on the ground and above the base structure. In addition, there are millions more tons of less pure gypsum in sands and deposits. That represents nearly a trillion dollars of gypsum in a worldwide agricultural and commercial market. It is an incomprehensible natural deposit.
            Moreover, it is growing. A chemical reprecipitation of the gargantuan calcium sulfate background continues to grow the sands. They are then spread by prevailing wind. So, are there words that suggest any logic that some part of this sensational natural resource cannot be used to benefit the local citizenry, in particular, and mankind, in general?
The New Mexico senators don’t think so.

                Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “The amount of agricultural water savings and efficiency alone that would come from the judicious use of this remarkable natural resource would be incredible.”

Baxter Black: Flynt & Frank

Andy and I went down to Williston, Florida to visit a couple of characters. This is horse country and these boys were hock deep in horse training. They were sure hospitable as indicated in the letter they sent after we left.

Dear Bax,

Flynt and I can't tell you how much we enjoyed your visit. It was sure nice of y'all to take the time to come visit, especially with that bad cold. Even though both kids caught it from you, so far only one has gone into pneumonia. Flynt thought it was sure great that you castrated all our colts while you were here. Although neither one of us had ever seen quite that much blood, at least we didn't have to wonder what happened when we found eight of them dead the next morning. Flynt got real excited once I explained to him how much money we were saving by only having to feed two head instead of ten. Not only that, but the two that survived sure look like money makers once we get them over the tetanus.

Me an' Flynt can't thank you guys enough for letting us pick up every one of the bills down at the cafe. It never occurred to us to order steak for every meal. Thanks for the tip.

Remember when we were sitting in that bank president's office and you were telling how all the smart bankers out west were calling in their unstable cow notes? Well sir, you won't believe this but that banker thought that was such a good idea that he's doing the exact same thing here. By not having any cows to feed or interest to pay there's no telling how much money we'll save this year.

And Baxter, I don't want you worrying about backing into the carport and knocking it down. In the first place, it's hard to stop any type of vehicle going 55 mph in reverse and secondly, as you remember, Beverly only had that one big gash over her eye when we lifted the roof off her.

Lee Pitts: The No-Tel Motel

As a travelin' man I spent my life in hotels and motels. I preferred motels to hotels because they were usually closer to my car so I was more mobile and I could escape being incarcerated, which is how I felt every time I stayed in one. Motels were cheaper too.

I live within 20 miles of the very first motel in the world, The Motel Inn. It got it's name from the first two letters of motor car combined with "tel." If you breakdown the word ho-tel in the same manor you end up with a lodging place for hookers and prostitutes.

Frequently, the lines were blurred. Was it a hotel or a motel I was staying in? Generally, at a motel there aren't any bell boys or valet parkers you feel compelled to tip, and there aren't exercise facilities. While a hotel has a weight room the only wait room at a motel is the lobby.

It's harder to get a room at midnight in a motel because the manager turned on the "No Vacancy" light and went to bed two hours ago. That's another big difference, while all motels have Vacancy/No Vacancy signs I've NEVER seen a hotel with one.

The idea behind motels was you could park in a space right in front of your room, but someone else always parks in yours, so you have to park in front of another person's room. In the motels on Route 66 that I stayed in as a child you were not allowed to back into your space because the fumes from your gas tank might get ignited by the water heater pilot light in your room. That's another difference between hotels and motels. In a motel you'd usually find the working water heater right in your room. Or not. Annually I stayed at an old motel where you had to know the right room numbers if you wanted a hot shower. That old motel was probably the first B & B in the world, only the B & B didn't stand for bed and breakfast but for the owners, Betty and Bill.

If you need a wake up call in a hotel you call a number and a hotel operator will take your room number and the time you want to arise. They get it right 78% of the time. In a motel an alarm clock is bolted down right next to the bed. By the time you figure out how to get it set, it's time to get up. Now I'll really show my age… in motels your bed may give you a massage for a quarter, but in a swank hotel you'll have to go to their spa for that.

 Hotels give you free stationery while motels give you a post card...


A Man With No Enemies

Meet Walter  Barnes

All golfers should live so long as to become this kind of old man!
Toward the end of the Sunday service, the Minister asked, "How many of you have forgiven your enemies?"
80% held up their hands.  The Minister then repeated his question.  All responded this time, except one man, Walter Barnes. 
"Mr. Barnes, are you not willing to forgive your enemies?" 
"I don't have any," he replied gruffly. 
"Mr. Barnes, that is very unusual.  How old are you?" 
"Ninety-eight," he replied  The congregation stood up and clapped their hands. 
"Oh, Mr. Barnes, would you please come down in front and tell us all how a person can live ninety-eight years and not have an enemy in the world?" 
The old golfer tottered down the aisle, stopped in front of the pulpit, turned around, faced the congregation, and said simply, "I outlived all them assholes."

Then he calmly returned to his seat.

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Our gospel tune today is Five Flat Rocks by the Del McCoury Band.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Antarctica has mountain ranges and valleys bigger than Manhattan deep beneath its ice

Mountain ranges and valleys hundreds of miles long have been sitting deep beneath Western Antarctica’s vast ice region, a discovery that scientists say could contribute to rising global sea levels. A team of British researchers used ice-penetrating radar to map the subglacial landscape, which they say adds a key piece of evidence to understand the frozen continent’s past, present and future behavior. The researchers discovered three valleys linking Antarctica’s two major parts: the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet and the far bigger Eastern Antarctic Ice Sheet. The biggest of the valleys, called Foundation Trough, is 217 miles long, nearly equal to the distance between Washington, D.C., and New York City. Its width is more than 20 miles, longer than Manhattan island. The other valley, called Patuxent Trough, is nearly 200 miles long and nine miles wide. The smallest, the Offset Rift Basin, is 93 miles long and 18 miles wide...MORE

Environmental red tape stalls border agents trying to fill drug-smuggler tunnels

Environmental red tape is causing “long delays” for border agents as they try to fill tunnels used to smuggle people and dangerous drugs into the U.S. from Mexico, according to border officials and Republican lawmakers who have discussed the problem with agents. Frustrated agents complain the lengthy federal review process can stall critical tunnel-plugging efforts for months after passageways are first discovered. The tunnels are being used to move people, illegal drugs and even fake pharmaceuticals. But regulations stemming from laws like the Endangered Species Act, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are putting "remediation" on hold. “I heard firsthand accounts from our Border Patrol agents that environmental red tape is hindering their ability to secure the border,” Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, told Fox News this week. Bishop, along with Arkansas GOP Rep. Bruce Westerman, traveled to the Arizona border in February to meet with border agents and discuss how environmental laws and regulations are impacting security. Bishop, who has legislation aimed at addressing these issues, said they learned of the "significant delay in remediating illicit tunnels," a process where they are filled with gravel and concrete. A Customs and Border Protection official confirmed to Fox News they've encountered “long delays” in remediating tunnels, acknowledging environmental regulations make up a “good portion of the delay.”...MORE

Pentagon approves 736 more National Guard troops to support air, land, sea border agents

The Pentagon has approved another Homeland Security Department request for additional National Guards personnel in an effort to support specifically U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working by air, sea, and remote land regions, a DHS official confirmed Friday. Defense officials signed off on the deployment of up to 736 National Guard personnel to Southwest border states California, New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas. Approximately 1,100 guardsmen are stationed across the Border Patrol's nine sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border as of Friday. That number will soon surpass 1,800 — just half of the 4,000 total troops President Trump approved of sending in early April. The first RFA that DHS submitted to the Pentagon in April outlined the support it needed to help CBP as a whole. The second, sent in early May, dealt with specific Border Patrol needs since the agency is under CBP. AMO officers will help with administrative work, watch support, aviation operations planning, sensor operation, and aircraft sensor operation...MORE

125-year-old Levis sell for nearly $100K

A buyer with a penchant for vintage denim has plunked down nearly $100,000 for a pair of truly vintage jeans that come from the American Old West. The 125-year-old Levi Strauss & Co. blue jeans, which failed to sell at auction in 2016, now have a new owner somewhere in Southeast Asia. "It's somebody who loves old Levis," said Daniel Buck Soules from Daniel Buck Auctions, who worked for 11 years on public television's "Antiques Roadshow." The price puts it near record territory for old Levis. But the private sale agreement prevents Soules from disclosing the exact price or the buyer's location, he said. The buyer sent a representative to Maine to inspect the jeans before buying them on May 15, he said. There's no mystery behind the jeans. They were purchased in 1893 by Solomon Warner, a storekeeper in the Arizona Territory. Warner was a colorful character who established one of the first stores selling American dry goods in Tucson and survived being shot by Apache Indians in 1870. The denim was produced at a mill in New Hampshire, and the jeans were manufactured by Levi's in San Francisco. Unlike modern Levis, the jeans in those days had only a single back pocket. There were no belt loops because men used suspenders back then...MORE

National Park Service Approves Quarantine And Transfer Of Bison To Tribes

Hundreds of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park each year are rounded up and killed to keep them from spreading brucellosis. But tribes have long wanted the disease-free bison to go to reservations. Now, the National Park Service has signed an environmental assessment that will quarantine animals for six to 12 months before releasing them into tribal care. Mark Azure with the Fort Belknap Tribe said a surveillance program to give bison to tribes has been a long time coming. The Fort Peck Reservation even built a half million-dollar quarantine facility, but still the transfer of bison wasn’t allowed. “But the tribes stood firm,” said Azure. “Now it sounds like those animals at those two facilities down there around the park, before the end of this year, will make their way up to Fort Peck.” Almost 60 bison are ready to go. Azure said tribes around the U.S. and Canada are celebrating...MORE

Friday, May 25, 2018

Mysterious furry creature shot in Montana, puzzling wildlife experts

Is it a wolf? A new kind of hybrid dog species? A relative of Bigfoot? This mysterious furry creature shot in Montana has even wildlife experts puzzled. The animal was shot on a ranch outside Denton on May 16, but looks as if it came out of the Ice Age. It looks almost like a wolf, except some features are a bit off. It has long grayish fur, a large head and a snout; but its ears were too large, its legs and body too short, and its fur uncharacteristic of that common to a wolf, the Great Falls Tribune reports. "We have no idea what this was until we get a DNA report back," Bruce Auchly, information manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told the newspaper. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) took the creature in to do DNA tests, and are working to identify this enigma of an animal. "The animal came within several hundred yards of the rancher's livestock. He shot it and reported it as required by law," Montana FWP said in a statement...MORE

How Trump is making it easier to say 'You're fired!' to bad federal bureaucrats

President Trump has ordered a crackdown on poor performance and misbehavior within the ranks of the federal workforce, senior administration officials said Friday. Mr. Trump signed a trio of executive orders that reform civil service rules by expediting termination for cause, revamping union contracts and limiting taxpayer-funded union work at agencies, said a senior administration official. “Today the president is fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming civil service rules,” said Andrew P. Bremberg, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. He said the president was instituting “merit system principles.” “These executive orders will make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and make sure taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” Mr. Bremberg said. The changes met loud objections from unions. “This is more than union busting – it’s democracy busting,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “These executive orders are a direct assault on the legal rights and protections that Congress has specifically guaranteed to the 2 million public-sector employees across the country who work for the federal government.”...MORE

Cattle Slaughter Hits 5-Year High Ahead of Memorial Day Grilling

A record amount of beef is on the way to consumers ahead of the start of summer grilling season.
Drovers editor Greg Henderson told AgDay TV that 660,000 head of cattle were slaughtered last week, the largest of any week in five years. Why are cattle moving so fast and furious? The disparity in the current cash price and June live cattle prices. That wide basis has more cattle moving to the feedyard, and packers are willing buyers. Earlier this week, John Nalivka of Sterling Marketing reported packer profit margins are approaching $300 per head. Aggressive marketing has also led to lower dressed carcass weights at an average of 849 lb., nearly 6% below the first week of January. Will this support prices through the summer? If demand continues to move beef supplies and feeders continue to remain aggressive sellers, it’s possible. link

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

TGIFF! Its Fiddle Friday and we have Texas Crapshooter by Bobby Hicks.