Opinion, Discussion and Analysis
I’ve heard about scams for at least 50 years, and others have been aware much longer than that. So, why do individuals keep falling for the stories? Even with the advent of new scams, can’t people see there is no such thing as a free lunch?
Twice on the farm we’ve had someone drive in and say they have been spreading asphalt, finished their project and have some left. They offered to lay it for us, at a huge discount. We’d heard about this before so knew it was a scam. If they did have asphalt it would be inferior and not a bargain. The other reason we knew it was not true is this is a rural community. If someone was having asphalt put down, it would be known.Learn more »
Clyde and Buford are cowboys, brothers, and really cool country musicians. They partner running the family ranch. Both cowpokes are married and live in separate houses on the place. You’d think they’d have no complaints considering the price of beef currently. But, they do have one outstanding woe: summer company.
Both households are considered — by relatives, friends and the occasional passing stranger — as a place to visit, hang their hats or even make the ranch a headquarters from which to tour the national parks. Clyde and Buford grin and bear it with fixed smiles cemented to their faces. Because they’re such dandy musicians — Clyde plays guitar and Buford plays stand-up bass — they wrote a song expressing their repressed feelings. The song may be warbled to the tune of “Worried Man Blues.”Learn more »
Yep, gentle readers, we all know what John Wayne called cancer. He called it the “Big C.” He, if I remember right, said that this was one battle he was going to lose.
I got an e-mail from a former high school and college classmate. He was struggling with stage seven prostate cancer. He had had a double bypass and liver failure in the past two years and now this. Trying to be brave about it all, he told me his doctor had given him a hormone shot and that he might have hot flashes and have a desire to put on a little makeup ... ha, ha, ha. Of course I told him how unfortunate I thought his situation was and that I, too, had taken a hormone shot when I had my prostate cancer years ago. And yes, I had hot flashes to the tune of about three to four an hour for weeks or so it seems. I was miserable and yes, “your feminine side will start to flirt with you on occasion,” I told my classmate.Learn more »
If you saw a team roper with his hand behind his back, could you tell if he was a header or a heeler? I have done an extensive study on this very problem with a grant funded by the Pro Rodeo Ex-Wives Collection Agency and the TRA (Team Ropers Anonymous) Halfway House. Here are the results of my findings:
Headers are more likely to have their hair styled rather than cut. Heelers get their hair cut biannually and usually need a shave.Learn more »
The birthing process makes men very nervous, whereas women are used to this sort of thing. Therefore, the careful and observant ranch wife will be alert to the actions of her husband as calving season approaches.
Signs of Approaching ParturitionLearn more »
My New Mexico friend, ol’ Albie Kirky, extended his stay in the Flint Hills another week and we got in some more good fishing and conversations about the “good ol’ days” when we both had far more energy and physical fitness than we possess these days.
Fishing as much as we have on this trip allowed us to see a couple of unusual things in nature. Albie threw a small trash fish on the bank and watched a small water snake try to engulf it. It turned out the snake bit off more than it could swallow.Learn more »
Yes, 2017 truck models are finally revealed. I’ve seen them in camouflage on I-70 but now we know what they really look like.
I can stop saying how ugly the Ford dually fenders are because they changed. Still has the round lip but behind that is a real boxy fender. The controversial 2015 F150 with the aluminum body is now on the Super Duty F250-350-450-550. Not just an aluminum cab but the same cabs as the F150 on regular, Super and Crew Cab. The Ford Super Duty was the largest crew cab 16 years ago but became the smallest of the Detroit Three. The Ford F150 grew with a large flat floor under the second row and larger front doors. Ford saved some money and now uses the same cabs on all their trucks. This made the Super Duty crew cab 4-inches longer and it’s taller. To line up the cab lines, the bed rail is raised 1 inch. Some of you will like it, but I remember 1999 when Heavy Duty changed to Super Duty and it grew taller. Then in 2000, F250 and F350 dually were lowered and just single rear wheel F350 was jacked up. For 2017 all 4-by-4 pickup truck Super Duty’s are more than 4 inches taller. So if you wanted a lift kit, Ford Super Duty comes standard with it.Learn more »
Mine explosion kills 109 at Mount Pleasant, Pa.
The first attempt of a Portuguese republican revolution breaks out in the northern city of Porto.Learn more »
Don and Vivian Tank of Crawford, Neb., are 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 »
The Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame has inducted a new class into its ranks with a ceremony at the Casper Events Center. This is the second year for the Hall of Fame, and the induction included men and women who have made their living in the saddle. Every one of the inductees has a story to tell. They come from all across Wyoming, and include representatives from three centuries of cowboys in the state.
Meet a few of the inductees.Learn more »
It’s lamb-shipping time. Which means there’s a good deal of conversation taking place as sheepmen meet to discuss the market. Country conversationalists, in general, talk a bit slower than what is heard in urban settings. Often, they don’t speak in actual syllables, preferring grunts to make a point. Imagine a couple of sheepmen leaning on the back end of a pickup while carrying on a meaningful palaver.
Wade: “How’s it going?”Learn more »
About horses I’ve known ... My first was named Maggie. A Standard bred. I was in the third grade. Father gave me an old cavalry saddle, split down the middle, light enough I could lift it. It was so uncomfortable I rode bareback. I went to a one-room schoolhouse with six grades. I was the only kid in the third grade! Our house was on one side of the horse pasture and the schoolhouse was on the other. I rode Maggie to school and walked home.
When we moved from Texas to New Mexico, my new horse was named Buck. He was a good horse to grow up on. In the ensuing years in Colorado I’ve had Cricket, who went with the divorce, Coyote, who raised my daughter, Bay, who had ring bone, Leo, a rope horse who wore a bikini top over his right eye to keep him from turning out, one with a King Ranch brand who tore down my tack room, Reven Bubba, a colt, then Sonny, a left-handed heeling horse. Not to mention several I just bought and sold.Learn more »
In 1883, in the panhandle of Texas near Tascosa, 24 cowboys off three of the largest ranches in the area decided to go on strike.
Yep, they weren’t gonna’ work for $30 a month any more. The work was too hard and the days too long to work for such a low wage. They would hold out for $50 a month, and “bosses” were to be paid $75 a month. They formed a small union and before long more than 200 cowboys had come to join them.Learn more »
I am not a superstitious person. I don’t possess a lucky penny, four-leaf clover or blessed horseshoe and I don’t go out of my way to avoid ladders, broken mirrors or cracks in the concrete. I don’t believe a black cat can do me any more harm than a white cat can, nor do I avoid traveling on Friday the 13th. There is no pot of gold waiting for me at the end of any rainbow. I don’t think wearing garlic protects you from vampires. Which I also don’t believe in.
Knock on wood.Learn more »
The gardening season is winding down here at Damphewmore Acres. It’s reached the “giving tomatoes away” stage. Ol’ Nevah and I have canned all the tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato sauce we’ll need for the year and we’ve given tomatoes to all the neighbors and friends who’ll take them, and I’ve still got tomatoes that would go to waste unless I fed them to the chickens.
I’m sure not complaining because “maters” are without a doubt the finest fresh veggie that can be grown. Everything else pales by comparison. Having an abundance of them is a blessing, not a curse.Learn more »
As a farmer and a state legislator, I watch with great concern as more and more regulations come out of Washington, D.C. — and especially the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rather than focus on its core mission, the EPA is trying to micromanage state and local economies instead. The agency is so distracted, it can’t get the basics right. Just ask the communities of southwestern Colorado, where a huge spill of mining waste was caused by the federal agency that’s supposed to protect the environment.
Unfortunately the EPA’s role in our state, and especially in northern Colorado, is about to get much bigger. By Oct. 1 — just a few weeks away — the Obama administration plans to dramatically tighten the federal ozone standard from 75 parts per billion (ppb) down into the range of 65 to 70 ppb. A report by the Center for Regulatory Solutions (CRS) concludes the new range would throw at least 15 Colorado counties into violation, or “non-attainment,” of federal air quality laws. Those counties — including Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Adams — represent almost 90 percent of the state economy and 85 percent of Colorado’s jobs.Learn more »
Why are people so busy? Are our priorities just so different than they used to be? You would think with all of the “time-saving” devices we have available, we could somehow gain a little more time to spend with our friends and families. Instead, it seems that busy-ness breeds busy-ness.
How long has it been since you wrote a personal letter — not an e-mail or business correspondence? I would encourage you before this week is out to write a letter to someone who you have not contacted recently, but would like to do so, “when I have the time.” Take the time, even if you have to do it in stages. Address an envelope tonight, and check your stamp supply. Start thinking of what you want to catch up on, just one or two things, remember why you care for this person to whom you will write. Later in the week take out a sheet of paper and write the note or letter. It might take you 15 minutes, tops, to give your message. Get it into the stamped envelope and mail it. See how good you will feel. And you will enjoy getting a letter in return.Learn more »
“Call any time ... really.”
When the northeastern cattlemen I was interviewing ended with that, I knew he meant it. His very helpful, ever-available attitude was the reason I was writing a story on his family.Learn more »
In April, the popular burrito chain Chipotle announced it would be completely GMO-free. Of course, many criticized the chain’s public declaration as it further perpetuates the notion that genetically modified foods are something to be feared and to avoid at all costs.
The science is clear that GMOs are a safe technology to help feed a growing world population; however, there are many consumers who will pay a premium to have a natural, organic food option. I have no problem with food producers and retailers offering those options, but I do have a problem with chains like Chipotle using fear as a marketing tactic to sell high-end burritos.Learn more »
If there’s something a cowboy likes almost as much as he likes horses, cattle and girls, it’s facial hair.
Recently, I had occasion to observe an intriguing array of mustaches during a cowboy poetry gathering. There were little Charlie Chaplain stashes, there were handlebars waxed and stiffened to longhorn-steer width. There were drooping whiskers and artful goatees framed by side whiskers and ... the list goes on.Learn more »
I was ridin’ pens for Horton
in the fall of 91.Learn more »
Well, here we are again, gentle readers, me writing to you about this week’s subject matter, the weatherman, slash, weathergirl.
It is the 14th day of September and the weather gal says 94 degrees for this day. I had to take the Harley into Fort Collins, some 28 miles away for an oil change and new headlamp. It was cool enough for me to wear a leather coat. The mornings have been pretty cool with just a slight touch of fall in the air for the past two or three weeks. If you remember, we had such a late, late, spring with lots of rain and cool, cool days. It seemed to go on forever. The result was lots and lots of grass which is still here even with more and larger cattle added to the place for summer grazing. That’s a good thing.Learn more »
I’ve never joined a fraternal club like Rotary or the Elks because I was afraid I’d leave the room for a bio-break and in my absence I’d be put on a committee. I credit this lack of commitment as the reason for my charm and sanity. Believe me, it’s no coincidence that the word “committee” comes very close to the word “communism” in my well worn Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary.
I’ve covered countless conventions where big wigs walk around with those long flowing tails of colorful badges dragging behind them that indicate all the committees they’re on. A stakeholder has to be very careful not to trip on their committees. Speaking of stakeholders ... don’t call me one. I hate the word and the only steak I want to be holding comes from a bovine.Learn more »
I just finished mowing the expanse of grass we manicure here at Damphewmore Acres and, while I wuz mowing, I came to the brilliant idea of starting a new national campaign.
No, not a campaign for president under a third political party named the “Just for Just Folks” Party. I’m talking about a national campaign that, if I’m successful, will do the self-serving job of earning me and Damphewmore Acres national patriotic recognition.Learn more »
Edward S. Curtis created some of the most iconic images of American Indians early in the 20th century when he traveled the West taking photographs of people ranging from Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle to Chief Joseph, and members of the Navajo nation. Curtis was one of the most respected master photographers in the country, recognized for his phenomenal resource: the 20-volume collection “The North American Indian.”
The quest for traditional people to photograph took Curtis among the tribes of the Pacific Northwest, on the Plains, in the Southwest and in other regions. He found support from such patrons as President Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan. The financier became Curtis’ primary sponsor, funding much of the travel and production necessary for Curtis to meet with the tribes. Morgan’s checks provided no salary at all for the photographer who relied on the sale of photographic prints from his studio business in Seattle to earn a wage, a situation that often left the photographer’s family in want.Learn more »
Wyoming’s first prison was constructed in 1872 in Laramie City, not far from the Laramie River. The substantial red brick building was in use housing convicts for 30 years, becoming the Wyoming State Penitentiary in 1890 when Wyoming became a state. Among the most well-known prisoners were Clark “The Kid” Pelton and Butch Cassidy. In fact this is the only prison Cassidy ever served time in, and he came to Laramie for horse theft.
In 1903 the Wyoming State Penitentiary moved to a new facility in Rawlins, and the prison in Laramie closed. But the buildings were structurally sound, and were repurposed and used for more than 80 years as the University of Wyoming experimental farm.Learn more »
Some of the best memories I have from my growing-up years involve 4-H. My mom was part of 4-H when she was a kid and passed that excitement on to my sister and I. We competed in all kinds of projects — sewing, foods, horse, beef, veterinary science, shooting sports and a host of other specialty projects.
For several years my mom taught 4-H cake decorating classes after school and my dad was actively involved in teaching my sister, brothers and me to shoot trap for the 4-H shotgun competitions.Learn more »
U.S. dairy farmers are again having to contend with depressed milk prices, which come on the heels of last year’s record highs. The nation’s benchmark milk price slipped 6 cents. The Agriculture Department announced the August Federal order Class III price at $16.27 per hundredweight (cwt.), down 6 cents from July, $5.98 below August 2014, and equates to about $1.40 per gallon, unchanged from July but compares to $1.91 a year ago. The eight month Class III price average now stands at $16.07, down from $22.49 at this time a year ago and compares to $17.72 in 2013.
Looking ahead it’s not very encouraging. The September Class III futures contract settled Friday at $16.14; October, $16.37; November, $16.18; and December settled at $15.96. That would result in a 2015 average of just $16.09, down from last year’s record $22.34 per cwt.Learn more »
There’s not a piece of black rubber around their saddle horn. Their nylon rope is as limp as boneless chicken. Its rope hangs from a rope strap girded in a way that allows them to have it loose and in the air in less than a second! It is the equivalent of a pistolero, strapped down tight, loaded and cocked. They probably shod the horse they are riding, they wear light leather gloves. The bat wing chaps are broken-in and well-scarred. The long-sleeved shirt was put on clean this morning. A piggin’ string is looped through the gullet.
Saddled, we ride out, me and them. We’re headed for the brush, the scrub, the mesquite ... el monte, they call it. Cool this morning even though it will reach 96 degrees by 11:30. We’re on the hunt for three- to four-week-old calves to brand. We do it a couple times a week. The extended calving season results from leaving your bulls in year round. Spring and early summer is when most of them calve. We have the first option of easin’ up on a calf, calmly tossin’ a soft loop around the neck and brand him on the “outside,” meaning in the pasture. However, the harder-to-catch calves often need to be trailed the 2 or 3 miles to the corral. The latter isn’t necessarily the easier way. There are lots of exits along the trails for them to duck in to.Learn more »
I like to say that I am a simple man. Maybe a little complicated at times, but just the same, “simple.”
It’s not that I don’t like challenges or being in situations that demand something more than just a simple answer. It’s not that I don’t admire those that have more ambition, drive and a much better education than I do. I like anyone who is easy to like.Learn more »