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Today's blog entry was going to be about soft commodities - that's the ones you can chew. Unfortunately, it will have to be about drunk driving, instead. But don't you worry, it's nothing really horrific, every human will live through the end of the story and, of course, I wasn't the one driving drunk.

Drunk driver's totaled black van

On Tuesday evening of this past week I had to go to a joint Farm Services Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) informational meeting on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Eads, CO. Lena and Sofae came with me. To make the trip a bit more enjoyable, we stopped to see several little-known roadside attractions on the way there and back.

Here are the most memorable of them, along with the photos, which I posted in my Facebook albums. (Make sure to read the captions, as this more or less narrates the story, making it that much more fun.)

Wonder Tower of Genoa, Colorado

I can't believe it is that time of the year again - garlic harvest time. That means summer is 2/3 over already. On the positive side, it means that we are probably done with 100+ degree days - we have had way too many of them this year already anyway. In any case, I took this picture of the last of this year's garlic harvest picked from my garden in Bennett, CO. It aint much, but it sure smells good and beats going all the way to Gilroy, CA!

Garlic Harvest

I am really looking forward to my three day trip to Minneapolis coming up in a little more than two weeks. I picked up my Delta Airlines tickets on sale for only about $200 on the 17th. I thank Delta Airlines for acquiring Northwest Airlines in 2008, Southwest for lowering fares by adding the Denver - Minneapolis route in 2009, and Dmitry for tipping me off to the sale fares, when we last spoke.

Jeff and Josh from Minneapolis in our kitchen in June 2010

Last Thursday morning, Murka, our barn cat brought us a litter of four kittens. Murka is tiger striped gray and the kittens are: one - pure black, one - pure white and two striped, like their mother, except that one of the striped one has white feet and the other one does not. The mother and the kittens are doing just fine. Here is a picture of the little ones I snapped on Monday.

Four kittens

Yesterday, I attended an awesome all day class, "Watchdog Journalism," at the Rocky Mountain PBS (Channel 6) in Denver, Colorado. It was sponsored by Rocky Mountain Investigative News Network and conducted by Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (IRE), a grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of investigative reporting. The cost was $50 and included a one year IRE membership, but a New America Media (NAM) deal with IRE waved my class fee entirely. The lineup of speakers was quite impressive; interesting attendees, too.

Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc (IRE) logo

Mutual funds industry grew up around a basic idea that professional money managers can pull small investors money, invest it more efficiently, using better knowledge and thus producing consistently superior results than small investors over the long term. You would think then that investing your hard earned retirement $ in a well rated and globally diversified mutual fund run by a reputable no load mutual fund company with low fees and forgetting about it would be the way to go. Think again!

Janus Funds logo

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to our farm yesterday. Good fun was had by all. Kids enjoyed flying their kites, playing on our brand new play set (thanks Tom L.!), being packed by chickens, feeding goats and just being kids. The weather mostly cooperated and it was rather pleasant outside well into the evening. The only exception was Joey's rocket launch, which had to be postponed due to the otherwise mild wind.

Sleeping bat on house wall

Yesterday around 9 in the morning, a big yellow dog, apparently belonging to one of my neighbors, trespassed once again this time attacking and killing two of my chickens, a very productive egg laying bantam hen and my big black La Fleche cock. The dog seeing me approach, ran off as fast as it could - to the west and past the forested windbreak. When I arrived on the scene, it was already too late - feathers everywhere and two feathered carcasses was all that remained. Unfortunately, I never got around to breeding the black cock to the several La Fleche hens that the dog spared...

Dead La Fleche cock, killed by a neighbor's dog.

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