Monday, January 1, 2024

A Banner Year

A Banner Year.

Pets add so much to our lives and sharing him with my neighbors gives all a warm fuzzy feeling (excepting the haters – fuck’em).

Not Sure What I Think of This – Political Polarization

Is the subject being studied out of scientific curiosity or a means of thought control? Benign or dangerous?


Climate Change vs Reality

Forest management duplicating natural processes isn’t the way to go?


Worked for eons and can work again.


Natives often set fire to prairies to encourage the re-growth of vegetation preferred by Bison (ok, Buffalo). Sagebrush competes with grasses for water. In areas where sagebrush is eliminated, grasses will grow belly deep to a horse.

Amen, Brother

Iran gets Bit in the Ass – No Gasoline


Coming soon to America? How internet integrated are our gas stations? In reality, our whole infrastructure may be vulnerable. Supermarkets, anyone?

Bottom Line First vs Clickbait – A Rant

YouTube Videos are something I like to watch but get pissed off and stop watching many, quickly.

In business management we wanted to hear the bottom line first and details later as needed, i.e, get to the fucking point!

Far too many of these videos start with subjects that interests me. What follows is two minutes of the poster droning on and on without getting near the point. Quickly, I’m gone. That probably doesn’t enhance the algorithms. Asking me to subscribe, hit the notification button, etc. isn’t the issue. Wasting my time by not getting to the point is an issue. Sheesh, wonder how many reading this blog feel the same about the author?

Stefan Soloview – the Anti-Elite

The billionaire son of a New York mogul is impacting agriculture in Colorado and Kansas. The opposite of Bill Gates, he gets his hands dirty. A long article about him and his endeavors.


He resurrected a 122 mile section of railroad successfully and once tried to buy the dormant Tennessee Pass route from the Union Pacific to the horror of the Colorado trust fund snots. Gasp! Coal trains along the Arkansas and Eagle Rivers again???

Tennessee Pass

For those interested here is an hour long video about the last active trains when the Union Pacific closed the route in 1997. You get to see most of the route during the presentation.


As opposed to riches, affluence, for me, means paying bills without having to wait for a check, or paycheck, to have enough in the checking account to cover the bill. While not a “prepper”, when I see things I use or consume all the time on sale, I buy weeks worth because I can.

Working most of my life on commission, I had a tight budget. Any month I made more than the ‘budget’, that surplus went into savings. My goal was to have six months ahead.  The lean months then were not stressful as I could draw down some savings. My last car payment was in 1984.  

When you are among the top producers and you are not living check to check, that gives you an edge dealing with bean counters and greedy managers.

Like most folks, unexpected expenses happened. Medical bills, children’s DUI’s, and terminating grandchildren’s birth mother’s parenting rights for example. Doing so without accruing huge debt was a stress reducer.

Was I right in helping my one son with his DUI’s? 

He is still alive, now several years sober, and a productive citizen. He put in the hard work to turn his life around, divest himself of bad companions, and ending a bad marriage.

My only accomplishment parenting may be sons who are financially disciplined.

More Local Rare Earth News

Better, faster, cheaper extraction method with wide potential for other minerals.


Colorado Politics, Lauren Bobert Edition

The Congresswoman the trust funds snots love to hate gives them the middle finger, choosing to run in another District.


I’ve always rather liked her as a person. A small town Western Slope resident, knocked up in high school, and a hard worker who raised herself up from her humble beginnings, she is someone to admire even if you disagree with her politics. Plus, I never got sick (or shot) eating in her restaurant.

The open seat being vacated by Loyal Opposition RINO Ken Buck isn’t likely to go (P)regressive. How the voters in the district will view her I can’t forecast. Pass the popcorn.

Hamas War

This isn’t my first post recommending this YouTube Channel. Think the polar opposite of American Media Maggots (h/t BZ) reporting. This is from the grunts point of view. Also, noted are the number of Israeli Generals who have died. Leading from the front gets my respect.

Best wishes to one and all. May 2024 be a high point in your lives.

As always, YMMV


drjim said...

Yes, pets can make our lives more rewarding. I like dogs, my son likes cats. I don't care for cats, but I definitely get the whole "pet" thing.
You and Banner are lucky to have found each other.

Forest management is (or was) well understood. Except when it runs afoul of the Greenies and their "Don't Touch ANYTHING!" mentality. We were taught what the Indians did in grade school. Guess they're too busy teaching which pronouns to use these days.

Our infrastructure IS vulnerable. Poorly written applications are a huge problem. Applications with deliberate back-doors are especially troubling.

At least half of the YT videos I watch don't get watched all the way through. Many don't match the description, or have misleading descriptions. Or they're boring, with droning presenters. Or two minutes of meaningless intro. Or commercials. Just not worth my time...

I read about the New York guy. Seems legit, but you never know...

Affluence....we have more than we "need", and are comfortable. We measure our wealth in friends and family.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

My mother, sister, ex, and sons all have had cats. I like them but not as much as dogs.

Granddaughter is minoring in cyber security. Back doors are worrisome, not that I understand the mechanics/coding.

Wild, wild west said...

Interesting about the Soloviev guy. He's becoming big ag in order to compete with big ag. Very interesting to see where he ends up with all that. But for sure the Chicago Board of Trade doesn't care two hoots about anyone but the Chicago Board of Trade.

That was one of the few times I've seen in print the relative sizes of Cargill vs. ADM (known in some circles as "another damn mess"). Seems many people have heard of ADM but Cargill, who is much larger, flies under the radar for the most part.

Debt. Proverbs 22:7 tells us that borrower is slave to the lender. Mrs. and I started married life with a bucket full of debt but were free and clear of everything in eight years. Whilst our friends drove big cars and took fancy vacations on the Visa card, we put the work in and have reaped the dividends of living debt free ever since. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that cash is king and it's good to be king.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Soloviev as a maverick. IMO we as a society need mavericks shaking up the status quo and discomforting the comfortable.

Sounds like you and your wife are comfortable in your own skins and have no need to impress others. Good for you!

Old NFO said...

Happy New Year, and yes having a 'cushion' makes life much easier.

Well Seasoned Fool said...


Wild, wild west said...

I sent that Soloviev article to a buddy of mine who farms in western Kansas. His reply was that a lot of his peers are watching Soloviev's operation closely, and for the most part, favorably. The idea of sticking it to big ag has a lot of appeal to those who have had big ag stick it to them for years when it comes time to buy seed, chemicals and fertilizer and then sell their crops.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

That is interesting. All across the area are abandoned grain elevators that once provided jobs. Another problem is transportation. Trucks cost more than rail by far. In some areas the bridges are in such bad shape a truck may need to drive three times as far to get to an operating elevator.


8821 53RD AVE
11/2021 - 01/01/2024

8517 57TH AVE APT 1
09/2018 - 12/2021

SUMMIT, NJ 07901-5906 UNION
08/2020 - 09/2020

Wild, wild west said...

WSF, you're right about truck transportation and road conditions. Here's some more to consider.

Every small town used to have their own separate Co-operative that was open all year round, even if empty, if for nothing else than to give the old farts a place to play cards and drink somebody else's coffee. Then came consolidation and all the local elevators got absorbed into huge regional Co-ops shipping grain by unit trains from "agri-centers" that handle the chemical and fertilizer sales as well and like as not, fuel and tires while they're at it. And probably offer marketing "services" and you know what getting serviced means in the farm context. Meanwhile the local elevators the big co-ops absorbed are only open during harvest to feed grain to the agri-center where it's shipped out and therefore are often closed 11 months out of the year.

Also. Lots of the little concrete elevators out your direction (and mine) were built in the 40's and 50's and are at the end of their service life due to structural issues, if not past it already and even if not, were designed around five or maybe six thousand bushels per hour machinery and can't be sped up. Even if there was room for bigger conveyance, and usually there isn't, the old "houses" don't hold enough grain to justify the expense. These days if you're not moving grain at fifteen or twenty-thousand bushels an hour for truck receiving and distribution systems, the farmer zips on down the road to the competitor's elevator that can. The older "tin can" elevators using corrugated steel bins are likely in as bad a shape or worse. Never mind the railroad. They have no interest in anything but unit trains, 100 cars at a time, give or take, loaded at 40,000 bushels an hour or more, often much more.

I cut a few corners in this manifesto (ethanol, feed milling, etc.), but in a nutshell, that's what happened to the little grain elevators. I look for the huge co-ops to start merging in the next several years......and if Soloviev can be a market disrupter to all this stuff more power to him. If I had another twenty years left in this industry instead of another twenty weeks or so, I'd be bugging him for a job. It sounds like fun.

drjim said...

Thanks for the insight on Ag operations, WWW! Growing up in Northern Illinois, I'm very familiar with both ADM and Cargill. ADM had a huge operation in Quincy, IL, but in order to build it, the City of Quincy told ADM to pony up for the required enlargement and improvement of the waste water treatment plant. We sold the city the pumps, controls, and instrumentation for a part of the plant, and NOBODY in Quincy liked ADM. I heard "Big Bullies" more than a few times.

Wild, wild west said...

Decatur is the center of the ADM universe and not too far from Quincy. I never worked that area but from what I've heard there might be similarities......Jim, I have to be kinda careful here so as not to disclose identity of myself or my employer, but I've had lots of dealings with Cargill and ADM. For the most part, the Cargill people have been ethical and of a mind that nobody should have to take a screwin' simply for the privilege of working with them. I'll just leave that right there and wander off for now, ya follow?

WSF, thanks muchly for the soapbox. I apologize if I've abused the privilege.

Brandon said...

Yes Today is January 6th, please remember Ashli Babbitt, never forget or forgive those who took her life at the point of a discharged handgun carried by a thug. MAGA 2024 is coming - and remember Ashli Babbitt when you vote.

drjim said...

I stand corrected. Decatur is the ADM Mothership. Quincy had to deal with their wastewater from the new facility. Been about 40 years, so things are a bit, uh...."fuzzy"?

LSP said...

There's a lot going on in this post, including politics, money, thrift or lack thereof, and dogs. All good.

A priest friend once said to me, "It's important that you have a dog because it forces you to look after someone other than yourself."

He had a point!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

No problem with the soapbox - feel free anytime.

Thank you for the kind comments. I read something of interest and copy it to a working file. At some point I start shaping it into a post. I'm humbled that others bother to read it.

Banner keeps me engaged. Sometimes I wish he had a 'pause' button.

Peter said...

Look, It’s high time that we Put an End to what these Sick’o Liberal,, Progressive, Democratic-Socialist have been trying to Convince the Country with.
Yes, it’s 100 percent true. A large mob of activists and Trump supporters stormed the Washington Capitol Building. This is a Fact.
And yes, they were A bunch of Stupid, and Rowdy people. And yest they should be punished for doing what they did. BUT! And a BIG BUT..... In NO way wrere they trying to do anything but a Protest! And that is all.
Yes they were Stupid, and Yes they did a lot of damage, BUT in No Way was that an INSURRECTION! NONE!

Joe Biden said THERE’S “NO QUESTION” that former President Trump supported an insurrection after a Colorado court ruled to remove Trump from the state’s ballot.
Well Joe Biden Is a Stupid, Sick, Old, Delusional, Man Who Doesn’t Know What He Is Doing, or Saying.
And there is also NO QUESTION that the democrat planned the January 6 an Insurrection in their own minds! And if there was an actual insurrection it was a Democrat Hoax!
Don’t you even wonder why they are trying to take Trump off the ballots?
Ask yourself how many guns were fired and who fired them? Who was hit by the bullets? That was NOT an insurrection? WHAT KIND OF INSURRECTION INVOLVES NO WEAPONS? How many guns were fired and who fired them? Who was hit by the bullets? That was not an insurrection? What kind of insurrection involves no weapons? And why are so many of those people STILL in Jail. And many of them are still in Solitary! ? A 5 time Rapist, and "Convicted Murderers” doesn’t get treated that way!

sparkee said...

Thanks for the link to the Tennessee Pass video - really nice footage. And lots of "jointed rail", yeah, baby!

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Glad you enjoyed it.