Beautiful Image: A Quiet Place (a painting by Robert Duncan)

Painting: A Quiet Place by Robert Duncan

I want to live in a quiet place. Atlanta ain't it.

About Robert Duncan (from http://www.robertduncanstudios.com)

Robert Duncan was born in Utah and began painting at age eleven. He spent summers as a boy on his grandparents' ranch in Wyoming where his grandmother gave him his first set of oil paints. It was there that he grew to love the country, the open spaces, and the rural lifestyle. Robert has painted professionally for about 25 years. He studied at the University of Utah and worked as a commercial artist before his full-time dedication to the fine art of the American West. Robert was elected into the Cowboy Artists of America at a young age and won two silver medals in their annual exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum – a dream come true. Robert, his wife Linda, their six children, and a lively assortment of farm animals live in the little town of Midway in Northern Utah.

"I decided years ago to paint the things that I cared most about. That decision has brought me a lot of joy and satisfaction and I'm especially grateful that my family has been such an important part of all of this."

"I grew up in the suburbs, but every chance I got, I would sneak out to nearby fields to watch the birds or play in the creek, and the summers I spent on my granddad's ranch really taught me how much we all need Nature in our lives. But change is all around us. The family farm is disappearing at an alarming rate. Development and sprawl cover fertile fields by the minute. I want my grandchildren to be able to walk through a field and hear a meadowlark call. We don't all have to live on a farm, but to pass by and see the cows grazing or just to know that there are wild places being kept wild makes our lives better. Ina way, my paintings are a call to think about the things that have touched our lives and hope that we might all be willing to do our part to save these things for future generations."

via David Wilson

Nature’s Revenge – the White Oak Strikes

White Oak Falls On Deer Fence

Last Sunday we decided it was time to cut down the beautiful White Oak beside our garden. We had postponed this action for several years, pruning this tree that we loved rather than cutting it down. It had grown quite large and was shading the garden from the afternoon sun. Our garden produced significantly less last year due the shading.

With the help of neighbor Chris on the chain saw, the butchery began. The strong wind out of the west was discussed but not heeded. Chris made the appropriate cuts to get the tree to fall towards the southeast, into the yard. It wouldn't fall. Chris kept cutting – finally, the tree fell directly west, crushing the deer fence and smashing some raised beds in the garden.

The tree didn't go out quietly on this sad day.

White Oak Falls On Deer Fence

You can read Ann's description here: http://inspiredgardening.com/uncategorized/ruh-roh-a-fallen-giant-gets-revenge/

Made in China: A Parody

Uncle Sam points out the problems we have when we buy cheap products from China. "Buy, Buy American Pie" was written and performed by the Capitol Steps (www.CapSteps.com). This is a parody and involves exageration.

Tastykakes are made in the United States and not in China and definitely contain no harmful ingredients. Visit www.Tastykake.Com. Little Debbie is also located in the United States and not in China and their products contain no harmful ingredients. Visit www.LittleDebbie.Com.

Ten REAL reasons to avoid products made in China:

1. Products made with hazardous materials

2. Lack of quality control, monitoring, and safety regulations, plus corruption

3. Tainted food, deadly drugs, adulterated products

4. High levels of antibiotics and toxins in seafood

5. Exploitation of the Chinese workforce and use of child labor

6. Predatory pricing and unethical business practices

7. Massive industrialization at the expense of the environment

8. Deforestation and mining has destroyed the water supply in Asia

9. Chinese military manufactured goods

10. Manufacturing in forced (laogai) labor camps and prisons

As long as China buys and holds the ever-growing massive U.S. debt, U.S. leaders in Washington will be reluctant to confront China and its policies.

Missy’s Mischief: Stuff Happens

I was in my office at 7:45am this morning when Missy, our Siamese/Himalayan cat, looked in the window. She seemed to want me to come downstairs and let her in. I went down to the deck and she came over to jump off the roof. Due to the weekly monsoon, everything was wet and slippery.
 
Missy was very concerned about jumping down onto the grill, the usual path, which has a plastic cover that was wet. She had some problems getting her footing on the gutter. When she jumped, the landed on the backside of the grill, slipped, and went over the edge of the deck, about a 15 foot drop.
 
She landed on her feet, but when we got her in, she was shaken and had a chunk of fur missing from her forehead. We are watching her closely.
 
Our cats keep life interesting. Subtract one from her nine lives.
 
Here's Missy before her fall:

Missys Face

Here is Missy after her fall:

Missys Face

She might not be as pretty as she was if she has a scar. But she must be feeling OK because she's back to bullying the other cats.

PS: Missy was back on the roof three days later. The roof wasn't wet, so I hope she learned not to go on the roof after a rain.

71 Year Old Woodstock Grandfather Gets Call from Apple CEO Steve Jobs

Here's another Truth is stranger than fiction event.

Link: Woodstock man wins $10,000 iTunes prize

Louie Sulcer won a $10,000 iTunes gift card for downloading Johnny Cash’s “Guess Things Happen That Way,” the 10 billionth song downloaded from iTunes. 

Apple started the two-week contest to celebrate the milestone.

Erika Neldner | Ledger-News

Louie Sulcer, 71, of Woodstock, GA, enjoys listening to his blue iPod Nano. Now, he has to figure how he’s going to spend a $10,000 iTunes gift card he won in an Apple contest he knew nothing about.

 

Sulcer said he and his wife, Harriet, had just returned home from  babysitting their grandkids when they noticed several missed calls on the Caller ID from Apple, Inc. Sulcer thought the credit card he used to purchase the Johnny Cash song might have been expired. 

They were watching the Olympics when the phone rang. It was Apple, Inc. … again.

Sulcer said he picked up the phone and a man said “Congratulations, Lou, this is Steve Jobs.” Sulcer sarcastically said, “Sure it is.” 

He really thought it was his son playing a joke on him.

“It took him about four times for him to convince me,” Sulcer said.

Sulcer said he couldn’t believe he won, and he didn’t even know about the contest. “I had no idea, and that probably made a lot of people mad, especially some of the younger people,” Sulcer said. 

He also said Apple had another surprise for him—it was a call from Roseanne Cash, Johnny’s daughter. Her backup guitarist, and husband, played “Guess Things Happen That Way,” for him over the phone.

Sulcer’s kids bought him an iPod for his birthday in October. He said he’s added 400 to 500 songs to it—some from his CDs and about 40 to 50 from iTunes. That collection soon will rise. At an average of 99 cents per song—it could be years before his gift card is depleted.

Sulcer has become an instant celebrity. Following the announcement Feb. 25, he said he’s had all kinds of interviews from local and national television networks to the local newspaper and Rolling Stone magazine. Interviews started in the morning and went through almost 11 p.m. Feb. 25.

“I had five camera crews in here at one time. I’m not used to that,” Sulcer said. “I played football at (Georgia) Tech in the 1950s and 60s. I sure didn’t get this much (attention). I’m not someone that craves attention.”