Friday, June 26, 2009

Things Farmgirl Is Not Allowed To Do In Road Construction

I’m a big fan of Skippy’s List, because, well, it’s hilarious.

So, while perusing the site and seeing everyone else’s lists, I began to think of all the things I had encountered that I wasn’t actually allowed to do while working road construction… and I though, hey, there’s a blog post in that. Some actually happened, some were cases of "Hey wouldn't it be funny if..." to which I was told "No you can't do that."

So without further adeu I give you, the Things Farmgirl is Not Allowed To Do In Road Construction:

1. Not allowed to refer to the flagger certification test as “The Retardo Check”
2. Even if it is ridiculously easy, and you get to take it as many times as necessary to pass.
3. Not allowed to tell traffic it’s your first day on the job and you totally can’t understand the radio, but you think they just said something about a chemical spill.
4. I am allowed to bring my puppy to work if no one is available to watch her at home.
5. But I’m not allowed to toss her in the windows of cars I’ve stopped yelling “sic em!”
6. Even if they hurt my feelings.
7. Not allowed to sic the contractor’s truck drivers on traffic.
8. Or their company’s equipment operators, if you’re going to get someone beat up do it yourself.
9. Don’t beat people up.
10. Don’t cuss at traffic, or at least not where they can hear you and file a complaint.
11. Don’t tell new flaggers that the proper radio code for notifying the rest of the flaggers that a vehicle has run your flagging position is yelling “PINK FLAMINGOS” on the radio.
12. Must not confuse other flaggers by putting on a “radio” voice and broadcasting WTMI radio on the company frequency.
13. Especially not when talking about one of the on duty flaggers and her love of midgets.
14. Must not pole dance with my sign in front of the prissy state engineer.
15. Must not let word get out that you asked the water truck driver to soak said engineer’s truck when the windows were left down.
16. Even if said engineer nearly caused you heat stroke by banning the water truck driver from spraying you down on a hundred and ten degree day.
17. Must not put bullet hole decals on other people’s vehicles.
18. Must not offer free sex changes to supervisors from other companies.
19. Pocket knives are not persuasive tools.
20. No trick or treating traffic lines unless it’s actually Halloween.
21. When forced to work on Halloween, it is acceptable to entertain yourself by striking up a competition to see who can get the weirdest things from trick or treating a traffic line. However, it is not acceptable to announce over the radio that you win because you got a condom with a phone number on it.
22. Even if it was from a woman.
23. Can’t announce receiving illegal drugs from traffic over the radio either.
24. Because the company frequency bleeds over into the State Patrol frequency, that’s why.
25. Not allowed to throw rocks at traffic.
26. Not allowed to throw beverages at traffic.
27. Not allowed to Hijack the Beer Truck.
28. There is no “toll” for going through the jobsite.
29. Not allowed to Hijack the Hostess man.
30. Not allowed to announce “Ali Babba and his Forty Thieves” as the last vehicle in a traffic line, even if it is a semi being driven by a guy in a turban.
31. Not allowed to tell traffic annoyed by the delay that the jobsite is merely a cover for a secret government test for spatial relocation technology.
32. Not allowed to tell traffic that the contractor’s dirt trucks get to go because they pay you twenty bucks per time you let them go without waiting.
33. Not allowed to accept twenty dollars to let a car go when you were about to release traffic anyway.
34. Not allowed to accept twenty dollars to let a car go and then make them wait anyway.
35. Not allowed to hold the State Patrol officer for twenty minutes while traffic runs freely from the other end so that you can tell him how many times you nearly got killed this week.
36. Even if it is in an effort to get a greater State Patrol presence on site for everyone’s safety.
37. Not allowed to pretend to be mentally challenged at work.
38. Don’t tease the state engineers about mud wrestling.
39. Don’t tease the state engineers about missed decimal points.
40. Not allowed to drag race in the pilot car.
41. Not allowed to slalom through the center delineation barrels in the pilot car.
42. It’s not nice to crank the AC all the way up in the pilot car, put on a sweater, and sing “baby it’s cold inside” over the radio to the other flaggers when it’s over a hundred degrees outside.
43. Not allowed to say you can do the supervisor’s job better.
44. Even if he DID ask, and yes, even if it’s true.
45. Not allowed to tell traffic that we have automated spike strips that pop up if they go through the site faster than the posted speed limit of forty five miles an hour.
46. Can’t listen to unintelligible babble with lots of static on the radio while standing ten feet from traffic with windows down, then look frightened and scream “Oh god he’s got a gun!”
47. I will not die if I don’t get to stop the ice cream man.
48. Can’t pretend the large friendly local dog that comes to spend the day with me every day is a seeing eye dog.
49. Can’t pretend he’s an attack dog either.
50. Inflatable sheep and naked playing cards with morbidly obese women on them do not belong on the job site.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


According to the Grape Vine, (and depending on who you ask) yesterday's excitement was the result of:

1. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation deciding that the drug problem in Boonie County is "out of hand" and taking matters into their own hands, resulting in their sending a narc down who then was suspected of being a narc and pulled a gun on someone to validate his criminalness.


2. This guy pulling a gun on someone for the second time in his short stay in our lovely county and this time the local authorities deciding there was "something to that first report after all maybe" and attempting to arrest the guy.


3. This guy telling one of the off duty officers how much easier it must be to live here instead of Colorado Springs, and proceeding to enumerate the illegal actions he's undertaken since he arrived, and hasn't been caught for, whereupon the off duty officer then called his buddy on duty and suggested that he make a routine traffic stop and check out this guy's truck.


4. A practice run for a reenactment for the show Cops.

The reasonably trustworthy facts seem to be thus:

The guy isn't local, in spite of your reporter's suspicions yesterday. The vehicle that I vaguely recognized from around town was in fact reportedly purchased from a local recently, had a temporary tag in the back window, but the guy had no proof of purchase. (How exactly does that work?!?)

He was, in fact, dragged out from underneath one of the vehicles in the junk strewn lot, with no reported tenderness for his fragile feelings (or skin) by the officers in question, and bundled into one of the vehicles that was not visible from your reporter's vantage point.

So, Kudos to the local departments for getting their man after all.

Doesn't make the Keystone Kops version of events any less funny, however.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Small Town Foot Chase Ends In Hilarity

Breaking News!

In Small Town, Colorado, earlier this evening, there was a a vehicular pursuit followed by a foot chase.

Witnesses report seeing an early model faded red pickup with no tailgate enter precipitously into the alley behind the former Cheapskate Shoe Store. Shortly thereafter a Small Town Police vehicle rounded the corner and proceeded, as well, into the alley.

Neighbors say that approximately one minute after the Small Town Police vehicle entered the alley, a man, described as being approximately six feet tall, around two hundred pounds, with long dark hair wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans appeared on the street, running north towards the court house.

What we assume to be the object of the pursuit ran down the street one or two houses, and ducked back towards the alley. Shortly thereafter, a Small Town Police officer popped out into the street in the middle of the block. Upon ascertaining that the object of his search was not, in fact, standing in the middle of the street waiting for him, the officer looked to a nearby citizen for some enlightenment.

The senior citizen (and good Samaritan) pointed the officer in the proper direction, and continued with his evening stroll.

The officer, who is at this time unidentified, jogged down the street until he saw a likely opening between houses to his right, at which point he jigged left, jumped right, jigged left again, and dashed out of witnesses' sight.

Mere minutes later, backup arrived in the form of two Boonie County Sheriff's officers, who proceeded to search the abandoned lot full of junk for a full ten minutes before concluding that their suspect had indeed, gotten away.

Reports say that the officers then went back to their respective departments to complain about running in this damn heat.

At the current time, to the best of this reporter's knowledge, the pursued's vehicle is still sitting where he left it, with no apparent surveillance.

Small Town grapevine is calling this the event of the year, so far, and has dubbed the occurrence "Keystone Kops, Small Town Edition."

Keep it tuned right here for updates!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blogroll Update

I have been inexcusably lax in updating my blogroll.

Sat down and fed in the ones off the top of my head, in no particular order:

The Atomic Nerds because LabRat and Stingray just rawk, and because they're so much smarter than me!

The Gunblogger Conspiracy because hilarious tidbits are always being tossed up on the blog, and because more people need to learn the joys of snarking at a movie.

Snarky Bytes because Alan is a whiner, and is always complaining that no one reads his blog.*

The Breda Fallacy because Breda is the coolest librarian I know, and does wondrous things with pork products. I love her recipes!

The Unforgiving Minute because TD may not post much, but he's entertaining when he does, and for all you guys he's got lots of pictures of gorgeous women in his archives.

Anyone else that I may have missed on this round, there will be another one soon.

*Alan doesn't really whine all that much, just when someone like Breda comes in with a thousand hits a day, and frankly I feel a little inadequate then too. Really, go check him out if you don't already read him.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Book Review

Farmmom recommended that I get The Art Of Racing In The Rain by Garth Stein.

I absolutely loved this book, it made me laugh, it made me cry, and I saw so much of my own dogs in it I wondered just how much is going on inside their heads at any given moment.

Written from the perspective of a loyal lab-mix, Enzo, the book details the joys and struggles of an up-and-coming race car driver and his family, Enzo's thoughts on evolution, philosophy, and religion, and the struggles that life bring us whether we be dog or man.

Loyalty, love, life, triumph over injustice, and how to be a good person, according to a dog.

I won't include any spoilers, because if you own or have ever owned a dog, you need to read this book.

If you'll excuse me, I need to go cuddle my pups now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cattle, The New Horse, and Incidentals

Monday we pulled cattle in and sorted some off to go to the sale and sorted some of the heifers that were close to calving off to keep in the corral and keep an eye on.

Rebel, my latest equine acquisition, and I did most of the sorting, and it was a blast! Here are some pictures of Rebel and I working in the herd:

I really couldn't ask for him to work better in the herd, he's nice and calm and just relaxes as we shuffle through the main body of the herd to get to where we want to be. And he's got heart, he never quit on me all day.

Besides, our cattle are mean, and vicious, and will just eat you alive... literally:

This little heifer is one of this year's calves, and she seems to have come up with the idea that people are meant for paying attention to her all on her lonesome. She'll come to the door of the pickup and let you pet her nose while she uses her sandpaper tongue on your other hand, and tries to get it in her mouth to suckle on. You'd swear she'd been bottle fed, the way she acts, but she's just decided she likes people flavor.

Of course, if you scratch under her jaw, she forgets all about nomming on your hand and simply goes into a blissful trance. Note the expression on her face in the rear view... that's one happy heifer.

I'm thinking of naming her Cookie Monster. Ironically her mother is one of the more flighty cows we have, and wants as little as possible to do with people.

Yeah, we raise wild, wild cows.

Other notes:

We took four of last year's late calves and three cows that weren't producing, one of which was the big red blaze face horned cow that we all hated, because none of us had any doubt whatsoever that she'd take us given half an opportunity. Plus, when we sorted her off to load for sale she jumped flat footed over two pen fences, and back over one of them. She was just a pain.

The point of this story, aside from yay the evil cow is gone, is that when the announcer at the sale (not the auctioneer, but the guy who announces the origin and anything else they know about the cattle) announced our heifers, he made the quite understandable mistake of announcing them as the Step Grandpa's. Well, his name IS on the brand as well, but he didn't raise these, so when the two bull calves came in and he announced the same thing, I yelled across the ring that they were (FARM) bulls.

"They're what?"

"(Farm) bull calves, not (Step Grandpa's) bull calves."

At this point Farmmom was trying to inch away from me without being too obvious.

"Are you related to (Step Grandpa)?"

"Well, yeah."

"Well, then, that's how you got to be so good looking. All right we got these good looking young (Farm) Bulls..."

And the bidding actually went faster than it had on the heifers. I maintain that I helped.

*Anywhere I have parenthesis around names what was actually said was my real last name, or step grandpa's last name. The whole anony mouse thing works better this way though.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We all know that I live in a rural community. Tractors are kind of the thing here, and PTO (Power Take Off) powered mowers are fairly common.

The now-empty lot across the road (where I really wish they would build something, or put in a park, or anything, so that we could stop being reminded of the fire and our passed friends) is getting a bit shaggy this summer, so they got someone to mow it.

I can't see who it is from here, but he's got a small (larger than a lawnmower, much smaller than anything that would actually be used for farming) tractor and a mower deck behind it.

So far he's run over approximately three tree stumps, chosen four discrete circles to run in repeatedly, gotten stuck five times (that I've seen) and made enough horrendous "holy crap what just happened over there??" noises to seriously interrupt my perusal of the Surviving The World archives.

Yeah, this is pretty much a plug for the comic.

Later: A post about the cows, the new horse, and pictures of both!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chops-lickin Good!

Today in El Marto Del Wal, Farmmom spotted an intriguing box as we were perusing the ice cream aisle. Doggy Ice Cream.

I love my pups, and my pups love ice cream, but don't get it but once in a blue moon because of the potential digestive issues, and the massive amounts of sugar.

So, I bought some, just to see if it would actually make a valid substitute for those oh-so-rare moments when the "but don't you love me mommy?" eyes overrode my common sense. It does happen, I'm a sucker.

Got home, and since Fuzzy Pup had spent the morning in the kennel, and didn't start crying the instant he heard the door, this was a perfect moment to reward good behavior.

Popped a couple of the single serve cups out into bowls and set them down on the floor, and stood back to judge their reaction.

There was some initial sniffing and delicate tasting, but they were pretty confident that it was edible since I called them into the kitchen, and once they got the taste of it, it was a whole hog gimme more DIVE into the bowls.

Farmdog snarfed hers and watched Fuzzy Pup's bowl like a hawk to see if he'd leave it and go into the other room, so she could eat his too.

Fuzzy Pup made it through most of it, but I think he was a bit confused by the frozen nature of the treat, since he'd lick at it a few times, and try to bite it, and when that didn't work, he'd study it for a moment before licking it again. He obviously was enjoying the taste, he just couldn't quite figure out why he had to work so hard for it.

All in all, my dawgs give Frosty Paws treats (original flavor) four paws up, and a chops-lickin good rating, so if your pups love ice cream, this is a lower-worry alternative. It's got several of the ginormous word preservatives and chemicals in it, but it's also mainly made of soy and animal fat, and has vitamin supplements.

My vote says it may not be the healthiest or most natural treat out there, but it's a darn sight better than a scoop of vanilla from the freezer, and they've made a real effort to give it actual nutritional value.

Just a heads up for all of my dawg lovin' readers who like to spoil their pups.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Got an email this morning from someone at Whooga boots.

Apparently, they love me so much that they're offering all of YOU a discount on their boots! How cool is that!

I went over and poked around their site a bit, and while the selection is a bit limited, I did cast my eye fondly over the Elegance style, in purple of course. US size six and a half, for anyone wanting to get in my good graces.

So if you're looking for some sheepskin boots, head on over to their website, and use the code TRACTORTRA during checkout for a $30 gift certificate.

*this isn't an endorsement. I don't own any of these boots, I haven't tested them in any way, I do not vouch for anything except that they were nice enough to offer me a chance to pass some savings on their product along to you fine people. I think that's a pretty cool thing for them to do, so I shared.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I'll Put It Out With Your Nethers, Next Time!

I've let this one sit for a full day, because I was rather hot about it. I figured let it rest for a while and I'd chill out and find a balanced way to speak out about a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

But, after more than 24 hours, I'm still pissed, so here's the straight skinny:

Dear Idiots:

I realize that you enjoy our natural recreational areas as much as the next person. I even realize that the fire helps you get poon, or whatever. But for the sake of your pot and booze or whatever it is you hold near and dear CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES.

If you have enough time to flirt back and forth as you're loading out your car, you have enough time to grab that sack of trash you left behind, and toss some of the water that was five feet away and douse your fire thoroughly.

And you, young ladies, you stood around shaking your just-beginning-to-be-post-sports-season-chubby asses to the beat of the music that you were all inflicting upon everyone else there, hollering across the water to the cliffs for the boys to watch while you did it. In between sitting in your comfy little chairs and making fun of my wardrobe, that is.

In response to your comments about my body type: I eat better than you do sweet cheeks, and you hate the fact that your boyfriend's eyes followed me in jeans, work boots, and what is, I agree, an ugly (but comfortable) tank top, while you were parading around in your "oops my boob fell out" bikini. Some of us stole time that probably could have been better used doing something constructive and labor-intensive to go to the Hole and relax. Don't worry, he got just as grossed out as you did when I grabbed that first fish, and he couldn't even see the blood from where it had swallowed the hook.

But you ladies, you had plenty of time to douse that fire, and yet, you left it hot behind you. Why? Your sheer damned laziness could cost everyone the enjoyment of that particular nature spot if one stray spark makes it into last year's dead leaves. One. That's all it takes, and not only does our shady, water filled, handy dandy party spot go up in flames, but if the fire reaches the back of the canyon, it spreads out onto the grass land, and you cost ranchers their livelyhoods.

Yes, I said it. Your "out enough" fire could take food out of the mouths of children, you selfish little pricks.

I've seen people who are considered by society to barely be good enough to tolerate show more respect for the place than you did. I've seen known drug dealers police their trash and make sure their fire was out out out before they left from their party.

I've seen ex cons take a hike through the back trails with a black bag sticking through a loop of their shorts and come back with a fifty gallon trash bag full of other people's leavings.

So you, you freshly graduated young things, all set to take over the world, should be expected to do better, not worse.

The fact that you bagged the trash shows that someone had an inkling of what should be done, but that person obviously didn't have the spine to insist on your packing it out with you, or on dousing your fire entirely.

So instead, when I discovered the results of your sloppy, self indulgent visit to our fair Hole, I took more time from my day to make sure your fire was doused, with half-empty sodas and water bottles, and when I ran out of them, out of sheer pique, my own work boots. So now the soles of my boots, which I had managed to keep relatively un-melted through a couple of tours of working road construction, and at least one asphalt-laying job, now have pitted, disfigured faces, where they encountered the coals that hadn't gotten doused or smothered.

Let me just tell you this, if I see you there again, we will have a discussion about proper "wilderness" etequitte. And if I catch you leaving a hot fire behind the next time, I'll drag you back by your ears and smother it with your lazy little asses. Maybe that will get the point across.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Smell Like Fish

Cause Farmmom and I went a-fishin.

In spite of the drunken high school and college students, we managed to come home with a fairly tidy catch, four pan-sized catfish and three pan-sized rainbow trout.

There for a bit it was just almost toss the line in and reel in a fish!

The dawgs went along and had a blast... Farmdog found a fish head to munch on right off the bat and darned if that floppy thing that Gramma was playing with didn't smell just as yummy! She tried to steal one of the trout in a very sneaky manner, grabbing just the tip of the tail fin and backing away slowly, as Farmmom wrestled the hook out of it's mouth. She didn't succeed, but the Fuzzy Pup did get a taste of salmon egg bait. We left the jar open while in the process of getting lines cast (no small feat in a little treed in cove like we were in) and he investigated.

We also provided a bit of entertainment to the others at the Hole, when Farmmom dropped one of the fish I'd caught and it almost got away. We were scrambling around on the rocks and trying to get ahold of it, the Fuzzy Pup was wondering why we wouldn't just let him get it for us, and Farmdog was busily warning everyone in ear shot that that was our fish, back off!

For never having been fishing before, both the dawgs were exceedingly well behaved, in spite of a couple little slips.

All in all, a great time was had, for a day when we really expected nothing more than a chance to wet a line and relax.

Now if ya'll will excuse me, I really should shower. I wasn't kidding when I said I smell like fish....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Well, things have been a little hectic around here, which would be why I haven't posted much. Spring/summer, lots to do, lots to take care of.

I did get a new horse and a new trailer this week, even though I couldn't really afford them, I couldn't really afford to turn the deal down either. A good horse (E's horse, Rebel) and a decent trailer for less than two grand... just too good to pass up. The trailer needs a little work, but other than putting some plate in behind the ramp latches, and adjusting the latches themselves, it's pretty much cosmetic and organizational.

Other than that, I believe I may have found my internship (FINALLY!) and a job all in one, with a little luck. The cutting horse trainer north of here is needing some help, and I would love, love LOVE to have the opportunity to learn from him. E took me out yesterday (he used to work for the guy) and introduced me, and the timing seems to be good. Waiting for the phone to ring, crossing my fingers.

If I'm working with him I won't be able to ride Legs and Red out the way I had planned for the sale, but I can take a couple months of riding on days off, and accomplish the same thing, I hope. The internship and job are more important, though, by a long shot. I can always list those two on craigslist and hope for the best.

Again, sorry for the dearth of posts, I have a few percolating, but finding the time and motivation together to get them onto the screen is a challenge lately, as my brain has been going a million miles an hour with real world stuff. Hopefully the muse will return from her summer vacation soon, and things will go back to normal around here.