Thursday, October 23, 2008

Chuckwagon Cookoff video

Here's a video I shot at the Roundup on the Range Chuckwagon cookoff.. Youtube compresses the crap out of video, but the "high quality" version is much better. If you click on the video below and view the video directly on the youtube site, you can select "view high quality" if you have high speed and the vid will look much clearer.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chuckwagon Cookoff - Roundup on the Range

One of my favorite annual events was this past Saturday. It's the "Roundup on the Range" Chuckwagon cookoff that's held each year outside Mckinney Texas. Each year, about a dozen chuckwagon teams from all over the US compete for prize money based on how authentic their rig is, as well as how good their food is.

ror team

Not only is it a fun event to watch, its some really good food!

ror lunch

This year they added a Native American Pow-Wow. Maybe we just missed the good parts, but what we saw was kind of a disappointment. One guy telling stories and playing a flute does not a Pow-Wow make, in my opinion. Maybe it will get better if they have that part again next year.

At any rate, the food was great, the wagons and chuckwagon teams were wonderful (as usual) and the live music was especially good. Ashley Austin performed, and she's as good or better a singer than many of the national acts. We also really liked the Quebe Sisters Band, who Ashley Austin described as "the Andrew's Sisters of Country Music" - and that's a great description. I even bought one of their CDs :)

ror flour skirt

You can check out my flickr stream for more pictures from this year's event - and last years as well. I'm editing some video as I get time and I'll post it here sometime this week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Camping Trip

This fall is shaping up to be really busy, schedule-wise. We actually had this weekend free, though, so we made a run up to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area park near Sulphur, Oklahoma. Really nice, relaxing weekend.

weiner roast

The leaves are just starting to change, and the weather was pretty much perfect - not too cool and not two hot.

chickasaw color

All in all, a really good time.

travertine creek

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Girl Friday - October 10, 2008 - Jean Ackerman

Not much time to blog this weekend. We're going CAMPING!!!!! First (and possibly only) trip of a very busy Fall season.

Reaching way back to the Golden Era of Silent Films and Ziegfeld Girls for the Girl Friday post:

Jean Ackerman, a Ziegfeld Girl:

jean ackerman

Thursday, October 2, 2008

New Babies

One of the Jersey cows at my Dad's farm had her baby this week. A beautiful black and white crossbred (Holstein) heifer.

cross calf

She has a healthy appetite, but Jersey cattle have been selectively bred to produce TONS more milk than a single calf can drink. Since my folks aren't too keen on milking a cow every single day for months, Dad opted for another solution.

He picked up a couple of week old Jersey Bull calves from a dairy. Bull calves aren't worth much money to a dairy - not nearly as much as a heifer.

jersey calf

As cute as they are, bulls don't make milk. So, they aren't any use as replacement stock. A single good bull can "service" alot of cows... so that leaves about half the calves born every year as unneeded bulls. Most dairies will sell them off cheap, to people who want to go to the effort of bottle feeding them and raising them for beef.

I've bottle feed calves before - the "fun" wears off pretty quickly. But if you have a cow that will tolerate "strange" calves nursing - its a perfect arrangement. This particular cow has proven extremely tolerant of the babies, and lets them nurse all they want.


Now.... you may be asking yourself a couple of questions at this point - assuming that your food gathering experience has consisted mainly of going to the store.

Yes, the calves are adorable. Yes, the calves will eventually be eaten. No, I don't see a conflict.

I love animals. My Parents raised me to understand that animals in your care were to be treated with patience, love, and the best care you can provide. It seems to me that some folks have become so disconnected from the natural world, that they can't wrap their minds around the fact that someone can kill and eat animals - without finding it neccessary to "hate" them. I hear some variation of that at work on an almost daily basis.

"I couldn't hunt... I'm an animal lover."


"I couldn't do what you do for a living... I'm an animal lover."

The underlying meaning, of course, is that I must hate animals in some way. Nothing could be further from the truth. I know better than lots of people how precious life is. I understand exactly what it takes to provide the meat that I eat. That's a humbling thing, realizing the cost of our own existence.

I value that.