Opinion, Discussion and Analysis
Karen Gibson of Louisville, Colo., is wondering if any of our readers know anything about this mystery object.
If you think you know what this is, then send your answer to the Fence Post Mystery Photo Contest. Please include your address and phone number.Learn more »
Sylvester Clarke knocks out spectator with brick, WI vs Pakistan.
British police arrest Peter Sutcliffe, the “Yorkshire Ripper.”Learn more »
It’s unbelievable to me what today’s pickup trucks are rated to tow.
The 2015 Chevy and GMC 3500 diesels are rated to tow 19,000-pound bumper pull trailers without a weight distributing hitch. It wasn’t that long ago that a one-ton was rated to tow less than 19,000 pound gooseneck trailer. Hitch companies have had a hard time keeping up with the new trucks. The 30,000 pound gooseneck trailers are here for Ram 3500 and Ford F450, which means 3-inch gooseneck balls aren’t just in Australia anymore. The 2015 Ford F450 comes with both the 2 5/16 and 3 inch gooseneck balls.Learn more »
When Jim Bridger established a trading post along the Blacks Fork River in what is now Southwest Wyoming in 1842 to serve travelers on the overland trails, he likely had no idea that more than 160 years later the location would still be attracting traders and people who live the mountain man lifestyle.
Each year over Labor Day Weekend, Fort Bridger returns to its roots with the largest of the mountain man rendezvous held anywhere in the Rocky Mountains. It attracts hundreds of men, women and children to pitch their tents and tipis and spend a few days trading, entertaining each other, and telling stories.Learn more »
Get ready for the Labor Day weekend with a few new books in your bag that you can sit back and enjoy as you relax at home or in camp somewhere in the Rockies. Here are a few new titles:
» “All the Pleasures We’ve Had” by Wayne Bethard is a bit of romance blended against the reality of ranch life. Ellen met Bill Wilson on a blind date arranged by her best friend, Sally. The reluctant couple finds companionship, love, and a lifetime of ranching with good neighbors, a wayward daughter and a bit of heartbreak thrown in for good measure. This is not your traditional romance, and the book could have benefited from a good copy editor to catch grammatical and spelling errors, but it kept my attention to the end.Learn more »
Around here, Labor Day weekend not only marks the unofficial end to summer, it also signals the beginning of the birthday season for my family. My brother, mother, husband and daughter all have birthdays in September.
So, it always seems like we are having some kind of birthday party on Labor Day weekend. In fact, this year my brother’s birthday is on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and my daughter’s is on Labor Day.Learn more »
Somedays, I think I’m about the oldest 45-year-old guy I know. Maybe I am. An ‘old soul’ has been a common description of me, and I take it as a compliment. I’m certain the ‘oldness’ is related to my father being just shy of 49-years-old when I was born, and my mother was nearly 38. Having parents a generation beyond the age of the parents of most of my contemporaries was bound to have a soul-aging effect on me.
But I’m feeling my age now because I look at the calendar, count back and realize I’ve been writing this Cowboy Logic column for 21 years. How’d that happen?Learn more »
First, a little about T. Tommy; he likes Corrientes, carries a stock whip and is good help when you need a team ropin’ partner, a good hand on a gather, isn’t bad on a back hoe and is good to his dog.
I’m sure he has had many fine team roping horses. His arena is open to all and he always has some steers around to practice on.Learn more »
Gentle readers, I have managed ranches for folks that have had, let’s say, deep pockets. As a general rule somewhere in the far reaches of their minds they have had a lingering desire to be a “rancher-cowboy.”
This one feller, I have written about before so I won’t go into a lot of detail about him other than to say he had a very sharp mind and intellect was no issue for him. Of course the problem was, he had absolutely no common sense.Learn more »
Have you seen those TV shows before the Oscars and Emmys where celebrities walk down a red carpet and two guys named Damian and Stefan from Entertainment Tonight stop the actors and actresses to discuss their wardrobe? If we had a similar show for farmers and ranchers it might go like this ...
Damian: “My darling dairyman, who dressed you?”Learn more »
Nevah and I took a three-day vacation last week to spend a day at the Iowa State Fair — the state fair to end all state fairs in our humble opinions.
We left on our 51st anniversary and spent the night with our good Missouri friends, Canby and May Bea Handy — who went with us to enjoy the fair.Learn more »
Last week, I took my 14-month-old daughter Scarlett to the Sioux Empire Fair in Sioux Falls, S.D. By far, her favorite stop at the fair was the Discovery Barn, hosted by Pipestone Veterinary Services.
Complete with dairy cows and their calves, sows with new piglets, and learning stations educating kids about animal by-products, water use and more, the Discovery Barn was perfect for all ages to learn more about farming and ranching.Learn more »
I have self-diagnosed that I have a syndrome and I’d like to tell you about it. But first, I need to go start a load of laundry.
While I was downstairs with laundry, I took the time to vacuum the carpet in our bedroom.Learn more »
The herd’s getting bigger. USDA says there are at least a million more beef cows and replacement heifers compared to last summer, a rapid start to a rebound that should last several years.
Are you on board, keeping more heifers or culling fewer cows? Buying females from other herds? Those are the usual ways to expand, and heifers may be worth a little less than last year’s record, making it a little easier to forego selling.Learn more »
I happened to be at the National Finals Rodeo in 1988 when Leo Camarillo and partner roped their steer in five seconds flat! It ranked in my mind with John Alden pitoning up Plymouth Rock or Neil Armstrong making angels in the moon dust! I was there when history was being made! It didn’t matter that Leo’s time only took third in the go-round.
I have watched team roping evolve. Thirty years ago it was called team tying.Learn more »
The cowboy’s image varies from place to place. In the Midwest, South and most parts of the West, he will dress much the same and use much the same gear.
There are some differences in the length of one’s rope or how he may shape his hat or the type of bit he puts in his pony’s mouth. That means absolutely nothing to city folks or those in foreign countries who have always admired the cowboy. They know what they are supposed to look like because they have seen the “Duke” in his high water pants with his sleeves rolled up and his almost funny way of walking. Don’t get me wrong gentle readers, I watched three of his old movies this past weekend. No doubt the “Duke” was a cowboy in real life and was an actor portraying one in his movies in the days of old!Learn more »
If you want to be a cowboy you should never skip a neighbor’s branding to attend a PTA retreat, a KISS concert, an aromatherapy workshop, baby shower, or ex-wife’s memorial service.
A real cowboy would never show up for work with purple hair, a nose ring, pony tail, and multiple body piercings, wearing Birkenstocks, spurs without rowels and riding a flat saddle without a horn. If he or she is wearing a ball cap it better say King’s Ropes and not Durocs Rock. He or she better not be driving a KIA with a bumper sticker that says “I Brake for Wolves.”Learn more »
Folks, the Internet is a wonderful addition to our lives, but sometimes I wonder what the end-game of Internet use is gonna be?
I spend a goodly amount of time searching the Internet for new and unusual information, products and services. Well, one of my random searches this week revealed a new product coming on the market soon under the trademarked name Foodini. I’d guess that’s a combination of the words “food” and “Houdini,” as in “Harry” the deceased magician.Learn more »
We all know that the first intrepid travelers from England arrived in America in 1620 and established Plymouth Colony. These first families built houses and a fortification around their new village off the Atlantic coast in what is now Massachusetts.
Theses colonists, known as the Pilgrims, were first at Cape Cod, where they stole corn belonging to the native people and even raided graves. This led to an attack on Dec. 8, 1620, on an exploration party of Pilgrims by a group of Nauset Wampanoag. Soon after, the English colonists left Cape Cod and moved to Plymouth where they built a town on the site of Patuxet, a Wampanoag town.Learn more »
Ben Masters is clearly a man who likes a challenge. In 2010, he and some friends rode horses 2,000 miles on a backcountry trip that took them through parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Texas. As he writes in “Unbranded,” the inspiration for that journey began with “cheap tequila and greasy enchiladas” at Texas A&M University.
Some people might be satisfied with one experience like that 2010 trip, but not Ben Masters, who soon after completing it began planning another. This time he wanted to do it differently — he wanted to make a movie. His initial thought about making that movie was to buy a good camera. So he found a job in the oil field in West Texas, made some big money and bought the camera. Then he did some initial filming and quickly found out that making a film is a much bigger process than shooting footage with a good camera.Learn more »
Sometimes I totally forget about reality and get romantic notions about the way things will turn out. For instance, I have been thinking about how great it would be to get a puppy for my kids. For years I’ve pictured my sweet little cherub-faced children frolicking through fields of flowers with a brand new puppy trotting alongside them.
Well, that dream was quickly put to rest when we actually got a puppy. I totally forgot how much work those cute little things are!Learn more »
I baled hay well into the night when the conditions were finally right and I still had windrows of hay needing to be wrapped up for next winter. I got home and my oldest son met me with a downright sad look, and said, “So I guess we won’t be camping tonight ...”
Call it a case of father/son miscommunication. I don’t remember talking to him about camping that night, but when he asked his mom about doing that and she said “maybe, you can ask your dad if he can,” I think he might have skipped over the asking me part and started packing up the tent and sleeping bags and sat there waiting for me to come home from the field.Learn more »
The Emperor’s New Clothes is a fairy tale wherein two swindlers convince the vain emperor they could weave the most elegant clothes so uncommonly fine, only those with the highest refinement, good taste and intelligence would be able to see them. The ambitious emperor heartily agreed, thinking it would help his ability to distinguish the wise men from the fools in his empire. The swindlers went to work for weeks weaving the most beautiful cloth ever seen. They fitted and sought his opinion frequently while charging him mightily.
The emperor began to worry because he could never see any cloth, even though he praised them profusely for its quality and beauty. He questioned whether he was really qualified to be emperor, so he pretended to admire the cloth that the swindlers pretended to weave, lest he be thought a fool. On the day of the public procession, the swindlers dressed the emperor in the exquisite invisible cloth. All the emperor’s sycophants lauded him with admiration. He put on his most regal face and strode down the street, his noblemen carrying the train behind him. The crowd, who assumed they were unable to see invisible clothes, cheered as if they, too, could see something more than just an old man parading through town naked.Learn more »
“Savvy Sayin’s, Lean and Meaty One-Liners” is a book of utterly cowpoke utterances collected by Ken Alstad more than 30 years ago. I’d wager many expressions are known wherever the wily cow is the focus of attention. Western jargon is always good for a wry smile, a smug smirk or a double entendre even if you’re not sure how to spell, or pronounce, entendre. I found my copy of “Savvy Sayin’s” in a thrift store.
Here’s some gems from its pages ...Learn more »
Yesterday I was sitting across the table from my oldest grandson as he requested “more q-cummers, please.” Actually, he wanted more cucumbers as he really like them.
I just returned from his wedding in Cedaredge, Colo. It seemed like only yesterday he wanted more q-cummers, but low and behold, here stood this 6-foot-4-inch handsome young man getting married to a beautiful young woman. They are both very young at 19 and 18, but have know each other most of their young lives. It was a touching ceremony in a little church under large cedar trees with a doe grazing just outside the church. Man, I wished “Little Miss Martha” had been there in person to share that with me. I did shed a tear, I admit it. I was a little soft but not ashamed at all.Learn more »
No man wants to admit he fears his wife and I am no exception. I’m just a little henpecked that’s all. So much so that I molt twice a year.
It’s just that I have been known to make some pretty stupid mistakes on occasion and have had to listen to my wife scold me ... “Where were you when they passed out brains, in the basement?”Learn more »
Last week, I attended the surprise birthday party for my young friend Ben denPitchett. It wuz Ben’s 20th — what he called his “cusp of manhood” birthday party.
Now I’ll mention that Ben was not born and raised an Aggie in any sense of the word, but he’s been a willing and able student of all things agriculture for the past year.Learn more »
The July Federal order Class III benchmark milk price was announced by USDA at $16.33 per hundredweight (cwt.), down 39 cents from June, $5.27 below July 2014, $1.35 above California’s comparable 4b price, and equates to about $1.40 per gallon, down from $1.44 last month. The 2015 Class III average is at $16.04, down from $22.52 at this time a year ago and $17.69 in 2013. Looking ahead, the August Class III futures contract settled Friday at $16.47; September, $16.56; October, $16.54; November, $16.27; and December, $15.95.
The July Class IV price is $13.15, down 75 cents from June, $10.63 below a year ago, and the lowest Class IV price since March 2010. The Class IV average for the year stands at $13.62, down from $23.19 a year ago and $18.27 in 2013.Learn more »
Is there another year-round profession that is more weather dependent than farming?
Rain is welcome and good, except when everything is already soggy or when the hay has been cut and is waiting to be stacked or baled. However, few farmers would ever say, “I wish it would stop raining.”Learn more »
Who said, “There is no such thing as a stupid question?”
■ Is that cow really angry with me for messing with her cute little calf or is that just a defensive posture she assumes because it is expected of her?Learn more »