Monday, November 23, 2015

Why Did Rich Disappear?

If anyone's been worrying themselves sick or losing sleep over what might have happened that caused Rich to disappear from the ether of the online world, I haven't posted anything in awhile mainly due to some overly frustrating computer problems.  I've almost reached my limit of patience dealing with dying monitors, bad hard drives, defective memory cards, and lost software verification codes, and I think my head would have exploded during that ordeal if my livelihood actually depended on anything computer related.

In addition to my computer woes, I've also been thinking hard about how to deal with lower wheat and grain sorghum prices, dropping cattle prices, drought, and how cover crops will fit into my future plans.  

Day to day, I change my mind slightly about what might need to change, but hopefully I can somehow sort through some of my options and ideas easier by writing a few blog posts on those subjects.  Who knows, some of those thoughts might even be halfway interesting to whoever reads them (although I'm not making any promises).


  1. I did wonder where you were.

    "I think my head would have exploded during that ordeal if my livelihood actually depended on anything computer related. " Oh, indeed. I've been there, and computer problems of that type can be frustrating in the extreme!

    "I've also been thinking hard about how to deal with lower wheat and grain sorghum prices, dropping cattle prices, drought, and how cover crops will fit into my future plans." Yes, after a period of good prices, the corner turned, as we knew it would. Locally, and there as well, it turned on petroleum at the same time, which is hard on the state. Of course, lower fuel prices are one somewhat bright spot in operating costs in agriculture right now.

    1. I sometimes wonder if all the sci-fi types that think humans are going to eventually leave Earth and colonize space have ever had any computer problems, and if anyone has thought about what exactly they're going to do when they're hurdling though space and they keep getting that blue screen with the error message on the computer that their lives depend on.

      I knew that cattle prices would come down, but it seems like they came down faster than I expected. Two years ago, I was getting about $1000 for a 550 lb. calf, a year ago I was getting over $1500, and this year it's back to $1000/head.

      I never figured out how anyone was making any money at all with those $1500 calves and $1000 for a weaned calf isn't too bad, but I keep reading predictions of prices dropping 15-20% lower which is kind of worrying.

      At least with these lower prices, I can start saving some replacement heifers, there was no way I wasn't going to sell every one of my heifers last year when someone was willing to pay that much for them.

  2. Ahh, yeah, my livelihood depends on computers, and I can certainly relate to the head-exploding. :)

    In my opinion, things are better now than they were before, but at the same time people depend a lot more on computers working correctly and reliably a lot more than they used to. I definitely do not want to be on Spaceship v1.0 when it takes off...

    1. If I ever find myself in some sort of therapist's session laying on the couch being forced to talk about my computer fixing anger management issues, it will probably come out that I wouldn't get so frustrated if I simply took better care of my computers by updating the software, backing them up regularly, and just replacing them completely more often.

    2. I'm afraid that my work has also come to depend on computer, and I'm one of the dreaded "early adopters" of a lot of that sort of technology.

      Which leads people to believe that I like computers. I don't. I have really mixed feelings about them and I really don't like they way they have taken over everything. Nor do I like they way that younger generations are glued to them like pacifiers.

      I have days where, sitting at my computer, I imagine a retired future where I don't have a computer or an Iphone. I'll probably keep the home computer if that day ever arrives, maybe, but the Iphone is getting a dirt nap.

    3. I use my iPhone mostly as a camera, and in case I ever break my leg and need to call someone to come drag me to the hospital. I've never understood why some people seem to be so addicted to their phones, the way some people text non-stop is an even bigger mystery to me.

  3. I use my Iphone camera as well, but probably the biggest use I make of it is to play podcasts and music, which I do with it a lot. I like that feature, and I had an Ipod prior to the phone, which the phone replaced. If the occasion ever arose where I no longer needed the phone, I'd probably keep it for those features.

    Otherwise, I truly feel the phones are mostly a curse.

    My father received one of those "bag phones" as a gift, which I thought neat but which I really couldn't see a need for, and therefore used very little. When I was first married 20 years ago I finally convinced my wife to let me cancel the phone, and no sooner had I done that than I stuck a truck miles and miles off the highway and had to hike in over a long distance. I didn't see that as a need to get the phone back in service, but she did, and we've had cell phones ever since.

    That would have happened anyhow as in the law cell phones are now pretty much a requirement, and indeed a smart phone is. It's been a sad development, in my view.

    About the only things the phone does as a phone is it lets me keep up with my family when I'm at work or away, and I like that. But all in all, I think cell phones have not been a good development.

    1. I keep meaning to start using my phone to listen to music, but have never gotten around to actually doing it.

      Whenever I'm in the tractor I have the radio playing, but after a couple of hours it usually seems like it's just the same annoying songs being played over and over and over again. I always tell myself that it would be much less irritating if I had something better to listen to while I was driving around in circles. Then when I get out of the tractor or combine, I tend to forget to do something about it.

      I've gotten stuck or stranded more than once back in the olden days before anyone had cell phones, and it wasn't any fun at all. One time, I was having major carburetor problems with my old '83 pickup (not only was that before cell phones, it was before fuel injection), and I drove from Gunnison, CO, struggled up and over the mountains, across New Mexico, and back to OK with the engine sputtering, backfiring, and cutting out all the way home. I practically developed an ulcer trying to get home, thinking I was going to be stranded in the middle of nowhere.

      Of course, after writing about that trip home, I'm not too sure if a cell phone would have done me any good at all during that misadventure. Cell phones don't fix stupid yet do they?

  4. I've followed a lot of blogs that have simply stopped with nary an explanation over the years. I generally figure life got in the way for awhile and then I go onto suspecting a massive coronary or stroke killed/incapacitated the individual. I usually leave the blog linked to my reading list for a couple years hoping I was wrong before I eventually unlink them and forget that they ever existed. I'm glad to learn that I hadn't taken such drastic measures to your blog link yet!

    1. You could easily say that I seemed to disappear for a short while because life got in the way as much as anything else.

      It was so dry back in October that I wasn't sure if any wheat was going to get planted, then after we finally got a little rain it was a mad dash to get everything fertilized and planted. My soybean test plot harvest was pretty disappointing, while my double-crop sorghum was much better than expected. All of that had me thinking, but I didn't have enough time to write a halfway interesting post about any of it before all my computer woes began.


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