Are New Econoboxes Better Than Old?

I still have the car I learned to drive on — a 1975 VW Rabbit. I like it, and Karen likes it better than I do. It’s a classic economy car, one of the first modern subcompacts. Way back when, it got over 30 MPG pretty regularly.

It hasn’t run in the past couple of years, but I got it running well enough today to get it onto the grass where I could wash it and check it over.

My 1975 VW Rabbit

It has an undiagnosed problem that’s making it run ragged, which I’ll take to the mechanical geniuses at the Independent Auto Werks in Corvallis if Karen and I can’t figure it out, and it needs to have the rust fixed and a new coat of paint. And a new stereo. Other than that, it’s as good as it ever was, which was pretty good. read more...

Update on “Slow Cornish” Broilers

[Edit: Never mind. This batch was a bunch of “Fast Cornish” broilers, which isn’t what we ordered. The real “Slow Cornish” have been far too slow-growing for us, and we have reverted to the faster-growing birds.

Lesson learned: if you tell the hatchery that it’s okay for them to make substitutions, always look at the shipping invoice to see what they actually sent you!

The rest of this article reflects my thinking at the time, when I still thought we had Slow Cornish broilers.] read more...

Aw, man! It’s the Seventies again! Bummer!

We’ve got the energy crisis, we’ve got the foreign quagmire, we’ve got the wacky economy. Wait a minute — It’s the Seventies all over again! I did the Seventies already! Hey! No flashbacks!

Admittedly, people are getting the details wrong. Hybrid cars that combine fuel economy and conspicuous consumption? Gross! A fad for piercings that leaves young people with more holes in them than Bonnie and Clyde? Double gross! What are people smoking?

Look, if we’re going to do the Seventies again, let’s do it right. Attention, young people! Ditch the black clothing and wear pastels! Attention, politicians! Let’s see more resignations! Attention, lunatic fringe! More conspiracy theories! (It was JFK himself on the grassy knoll!) read more...

Slipping a Mickey to Mice

Anyone with a farm has an ongoing rodent problem. I’ve noticed that other “alternative living” writers deal with this issue the same way they deal with everything — denial. (Of course, it helps that most of their readers live in the city.)

Once you’ve had an outbreak of rats in your brooder house and lose a whole batch of chicks to them (and you will — everything happens to you eventually), you won’t be able to regain the live-and-let-live attitude of yesteryear. But once you decide to make the area around hour house and barn a rodent-free zone, there are good ways and bad ways of doing it. read more...

Sorry about the spam

I always take the “trust, but verify” approach, which means that instead of anticipating trouble, I wait to see what happens. Often in turns out that “abolutely necessary” precautions aren’t necessary. But sometimes it blows up in my face.

So I wasn’t too surprised when some spammer left “comments” on most of the posts, offering to sell you pills to put extra lead in your pencil. I’ve tightened up the anti-spam features of the blog to see if that helps. If not, there are other things I can try. read more...