Monday, May 31, 2010

Holmestead: Meet Jupiter!

Meet Jupiter, our Maremma/Anatolian Shepherd mix. This dog is definitely the most important animal on the farm. I've suffered enough losses to predators and dogs that he is well worth the cost of purchase and food to prevent future losses--and besides he's man's best friend. Maremmas and Anatolian Shepherds are two breeds in the livestock guardian dog (LGD) category. LGD's are not herders. They were bred to have a low prey-drive and to live with the herd or flock. They are territorial but not aggressive--unless you are an uninvited guest on the property.
The first time Jupiter saw our neighbor's beagles he ran right past them, stood in front of our house and stared them down. We can definitely tell when he is giving an alarm bark. We've had a feral orange cat around that I've been trying to shoot and Jupiter notified me of its presence last night when it came into our backyard area. I still didn't get a good shot off though.
Jupiter is pretty good with the livestock but I usually keep him outside the fence so he doesn't pester them when he gets bored. We have two Suffolk lambs and two LaMancha wethers (that means they're castrated). They mow my lawn and sleep in the portable dog run my neighbor let me borrow. We had a third lamb but some neighbor dogs got it. Jupiter was too young to leave out of the backyard fence at that time. He raised the alarm but Taliatha wasn't able to get outside in time. A friend in the ward helped me butcher the lamb. Since then we've had leg of lamb and lamb curry. Definitely go for the lamb curry--definitely avoid the leg of lamb unless you like a strong, gamey lamb flavor.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In a Perfect World...

The Cleavland Lebron's lost to the Boston Celtics tonight. Now for the next two and a half months we're going to hear about whether Lebron is going to stay in Cleavland or jump ship to a bigger market (say New York or Chicago).

I saw a bit of his news conference and was bored to tears by his non-answers to every sneaky way reporters would ask him if he's staying. It would have made my life if this had gone down:

Reporter Jones: Hey Lebron, are you gonna stay in Cleavland?

Lebron: (tears welling up in eyes) Man...I love Cleavland. I love it almost as much as I love my Moms, or apple pie, or America itself. I love it for the fans, and for the food. I love it because I'm from the GREAT state of Ohio, and I'll be DAMNED if I ever leave it. You fat cats in New York, I'm sorry. But you got nothing on me. I'm STAYING BABY WOOOOOOO!

(Lebron rips off his shirt. The reporters cheer. Fireworks go off in the distance.)

Or it would have been cool if he had done this:

Reporter Josephine: So Lebron, any thoughts on where you'll be next year?

Lebron: Well I'm not gonna be in this stinkhole. I'll tell you that. I'll tell you what I want Josephine. Some TEAMMATES! What's up with these guys? I have one bad night and they all wet their pants. There all a bunch of stupid, pathetic, babies, and I'm SICK of changing their diapers. UP YOURS CLEAVLAND! I'M OUTTIE!

(Lebron slams microphone to the ground and moons the crowd of reporters.)

Wouldn't that be nuts? much better than the innocuous drivel they spout now.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Spring/Summer music

It's Tuesday. That means a lot of new music dropped today into the space we listen to. It's time to school yourself, my brethren.

I submit the following: a video by one of my favorite acts of the moment, The National, who's fifth studio effort dropped today. It's smashing. The video might not be sublime, unless you get a kick out of the way they've taken the tropes of music videos and drained them of any color and/or purpose. The pageantry of lavishing the band in light and exotic locations is absent here as the front man, Matt Berninger, wanders alone through dull frames of black & white (albeit, well exposed frames). But dig that song...

What was I saying? Anyway, if the Duerdens were wondering what happened to their brother/uncle who wandered away from the family at that reunion all those years ago, the National found him and they've put him to good use. (he also looks startlingly like someone else, but I can't think of whom.)

The National - "Bloodbuzz Ohio" (official video) from The National on Vimeo.

Other acts to spin and/or load onto your mobile listening device:

Josh Ritter pitched a winner last Tuesday called something I can't remember, but I'm including the cover here.

Also from last week, The New Pornographers (ignore the name) put out a pretty swell little record. It's their 3rd or 4th together and it consists of several artists who record by themselves or with other acts. The one to note is Ms. Neko Case, who is the reigning queen of alt country songstresses. I've said it before, but if there was a worldwide ban on singing, I'd take up arms and go to war for Neko Case.

Broken Social Scene of Toronto, I believe, are finally back together after a five-year hiatus. They're a nine-bodied outfit, so it's hard to get along well enough to make music, but when they do, it's worth a listen. Might not be the kind of noise everyone is into, but it tickles me.

I spent a little time in Austin last week with a musician and she turned me on to this new gem from Bob Dylan's boy, Jakob. I know, you're like, The Wallflowers Jakob Dylan? That's what I said. But he shares the bulk of the songs with Neko Case, and if you like a little more pedal steel in your summer tunes, there's nothing like a collection of solid duets to help the sun sink into your skin. And I mentioned the Neko Case, part, right? I think that's her face hiding behind Dylan's hat.

Lastly, a little something to look forward to. There's a collection of unshaven misfits who go by the name of Band of Horses who have nailed their last two albums and who show every sign of doing it again next week. The album is called Infinite Arms and it'll be available everywhere next Tuesday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Classic Boudreaux

Sorry for the limited output on the blog lately. The confluence of the end of the semester, adding more animals to the Holmestead and a calling "upgrade" at church is keeping me a little busier. Did I mention I have four small kids? At any rate, I'll throw y'all a bone in the form of Don Boudreaux's Open Letter to Prof. Barry Popkin regarding Prof. Popkin's  proposed pizza tax. Depending on your perspective, you may gnaw with relish or choke with disdain, accordingly--but this is one of his best letters yet. Hey Provonians, peace out.