I thought I'd try and get a New Year's greeting in, while what little internet I have is working! The adverse weather is making connection spotty at best, and off at worst! It's a little chilly to say the least.
So here goes...
Happy New Year from the mountains. I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year.
All the best!
Yesterday afternoon, before the rain came, I was alerted to an intruder by the dog. These b*****ds were trespassing on my land and had completely ignored the posted signs.
I managed to snag a few pictures, after they'd scarpered onto my neighbours property. Seriously these wild turkeys have no respect for boundaries.
The weather was beautiful, yesterday afternoon. Mid sixties Fahrenheit and the sun was shining. I recently picked up some ultra-light action, fishing gear, and I wanted to try it out so I headed out to the reservoir.
It's an ugly place, wouldn't you agree?
Had an early start this morning... up at first light to walk the dog and check up on the local wildlife.
The last few months we've had a pair of Ospreys nesting on top of the pylon, at the local sub-station. They don't like people too close so we've always kept a respectful distance. Generally once you hear them call you're too close, and the female has a tendency to distract you away from the nest by circling.
The great news, this morning, is that the chicks seem to have fledged! We counted 3 in total. All perched on top of the pylons, with the parent birds there also. 5 ospreys in one location is a first for me. So has being able to watch them over the last few months as they've gone from nest to the new generation.
Here's some shitty pictures for you...
The above pic is one of the youngsters perched next to the nest.
The pic above left to right are the two parent birds. Far right is the second youngster.
The tiny outline above is the third youngster.
I'm going to head out again, tomorrow morning, while I'm still off work. Seeing if they're hanging around but that might be it for this year, before they migrate to avoid the cold. The good news is that they're highly likely to reuse the same nesting site so I'm hoping next year I'll be able to document them a little more closely.
10 miles from me is the beautiful town of Pine Valley. A few days a week I like to get out and fish their reservoir for a couple of hours.
Tonight was no different although the only thing biting was the mosquitoes!
Living in the mountains is very enjoyable. It's extremely peaceful but not exactly quiet. There's more deer than people in this part of the world and the road leading into the city is known as 'Venison Alley.'
Earlier this year I installed a trail cam, on my property. On my way out to work, one weekend, I saw a bobcat among the trees. I decided that I had to document what wanders through so I bought and installed one the same weekend. Now I haven't been able to document the bobcat since, so as far as I'm concerned it never happened. A lot of the birds fly through and trip the motion sensor and I'm greeted with pictures like this when I download the onboard SD card...
The unit also has an IR camera with it. After being lulled to sleep by the coyotes, one night, I was pleased to find this on next download...
That coyote was about 20ft from my bedroom when that pic was taken. IMHO that camera paid for itself with that picture!
I'll add trail cam pics, to this blog, as and when I get something of note. Checking the LCD display to see 30 pictures on it, is like Christmas! Even if most of the pictures are blurred collared doves!
Greetings and salutations.
Some of you may be aware that I recently moved into the back of beyond. I moved from England, in 2008, and I now live in mountains of southern Utah, USA. I live in a town with around 600 people in it. There are no shops here. No post office. Not even a petrol station. The nearest is about 10 miles away. The nearest city is 30 miles and that only as around 100,000 people in it. If you like solitude you'll love it here. If you need the occasional piss up we're only 2 hours north west of Las Vegas!
As of this post, this is the view from my front porch...
Summer temperatures have hit 105ºF/41ºC so far this year. Winter temperatures dropped as low as -5ºF/-21ºC. Quite the variance for 5300ft above sea level!
I'll be bullshi*ting quite a bit, over the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy!
With this being my first foray into long dogs and also because it gives me a record of progress, if any and failures. I thought I would start a blog about our journey. Combing my love of field sports and my love of writing also seems like a perfect idea so with that having been said I would like to welcome you all to the journey.
Merlin is my first ever long dog. His background will never be fully known as he is a rescue dog but we do no he is a lurcher with definite Saluki in him. He weighs just 23kg and needs to gain weight but other than that the vet has given him a clean bill of health despite his poor background and uncertain journey to where he now finds himself. As for me, this reminds me a little of the novel H is for Hawk whereby the author worked through her grief through her love of falconry. It is a lovely story and hits a chord with me as I am recently bereaved of my father. I say recent, he died just over a year ago but since we rescued our first dog three moths ago, I've found myself missing him more and more. He taught me so much and instilled a love of nature and field sports in me that now I keep thinking that if only he was here.
Dad and I bred and worked English Springer Spaniels. We had four at one point, of which one (Gina) was my own. She was more than a working dog she was my field test and scurry dog as well and for a novice dog and owner we did really well. She won a couple local events and she placed well in a couple others but that was many years ago and as my disability has taken hold and now I have returned to study everything seems so different.
Enter Merlin. He was found dumped and we took him in on July 10th 2016. He had been in the kennels for four weeks after being rescued from the streets. His age is approximately two, the vet said he could be anywhere between that and five but as his behavior is still quite juvenile it is likely he is the younger end of the spectrum.
So, here I am 42 yrs of age. A student nurse and owner of a rescue long dog. So many new starts and yet somethings feel familiar. To be out in the countryside and just sink back into old ways, reading the rabbit runs, recalling the types of grasses and learning how to just observe nature again.
We have a long journey ahead of us but as I am having a new start so is Merlin and with it a safe secure home where he will be loved and learn how to live a life he was born to.
Who knows what pathway this will take but whatever the outcome success or failure Merlin and I will walk it together.
This is to be my record of a year spent hunting down here in Cornwall. A long season awaits with two new horses and less than a fortnight after the puppy show that first text arrives, cubbing begins! Cubbing, or autumn hunting in modern parlance is not only a training ground for hounds but also for horses as the more sedate pace, shorter time spent out and smaller fields lend themselves to educating the novice. Early starts are the order of the day at this time of year, meeting at 7 am usually requires a 5am rise. There is little in this world though that will get a man out of bed faster than the prospect of hounds and horses!
That first alarm of the year brings with it the prospect of a new horse, Rex a 4 year old broken by myself this summer and ready now to see hounds for the first time, and although a total gentleman in his training so far the fact he is standing at 17.3hh means that any bad manners might be a problem!
Our first morning starts on a large piece of covert thick with lush green bracken at this point in the year,hounds disappear in to it keen to get going again, the more experienced hounds cajoling the youngsters and taking the lead. Old faces are met again, hounds horses and people. The new horse is fascinated by proceedings rather than overwhelmed by them. Brief snippets of the wonderful music are heard from the covert, a taste of things to come! By 9am we have seen enough for our first outing and leave the field amongst summers colours of purple heather and green bracken a promising start on what I think is a promising horse. We will be out again within a week, The season beckons!
I put this one on last night:
It's a new one on me, and at just £12, it's not expensive either.
I've done a few of these Brewmaker kits now, and they've all turned out OK.
The only difference this time is that I've used granulated sugar rather than Brewers Dextrose.
Don't get me wrong; I love the dextrose, it's easy to use and dissolves the instant it hits warm water, but at over £2 per kilo, and granulated available for just 69p from Lidl, I just can't afford it at the moment.
I had a quick couple of pints of mild out of the Rotokeg after I'd finished. It's still not holding gas as it should be, so I suspect I'm going to have to do some serious headscratching at some point.
The bottle situation looks good at present; I've got enough bottles cleaned and ready for another 3 brews, but I really do need to sort out the barrel problem. There seems to be no point in keeping an expensive keg and not using it.
One last thing; the mild I've got on the go at the moment is a Youngs Harvest Mild (link) which although very nice, with it's distinctive 'nutty' flavour, seems to be having a disastrous effect on my bowels the following morning! I'll go no further on that one! Except to say that anyone who has ever had a good session on Wadworth 6X will know exactly what I mean!!
Anyway, currently residing in the budget barrel is a Youngs Harvest Bitter (link), which is nearly ready to drink, so I'm looking forward to that one!
As I posted the other night, I'm having a devil of a problem with gas at the moment....
Before any wit suggests it, my rear is producing it's normal quantity of methane; the problem is carbon dioxide in my beer....
The bottled brew (of unknown origin) is so lively it's undrinkable, so in an attempt to rescue what should be a decent brew, I've had to bring the bottles indoors and try and gently release the excess gas.
This is a slow and frustrating process.
You have to carefully release the crown cap enough to let the gas escape and then re-cap each bottle.
Meanwhile, the gas problems continue with the Rotokeg.
Now for a bit of history.....
Years ago, I did homebrew. I didn't use bottles, I just barrelled all my beer and had lovely, drought beer whenever I wanted it.
In those days, I used two or three 'Kingkeg' (Link) which was fantastic and totally reliable.
When I started brewing again about 9 months ago, I bought a start-up kit from the lovely Jeff at North Devon Homebrew, which included a 'Budget Barrel' (Link), which in itself was fine.
First problem was that I wanted to 'gas' my barrels with the small 10g CO2 capsules. Jeff advised me against it, but being the stubborn bugger I am, I went ahead with the small capsules.
After the first brew, I started having problems holding the gas. Being an idiot, I overtightened the valve and knackered the seal on it.
Off back to Jeff, who kindly replaced it for me with no question of me paying for it, so I tried again.
Another failure, and I realised that what I'd actually done was to bend the lid of the barrel which made it impossible to seal up even with a new seal.
Only one thing for it; a new lid was needed, and while I was about it I got a decent S30 gas bottle.
Now this brings me to the latest problems.....
The budget barrel seems to be holding it's gas well at present; I've got a brew in there that's clearing nicely, and it seems well gassed. From memory (and you know how bad that is!) currently residing in that barrel is a Youngs Harvest Bitter. Another week or two and I'll be into that, so I'll report back accordingly.
Anyway, I managed to get hold of a 'Rotokeg' (which has an outstanding reputation) and actually costs more new than a Kingkeg. Mine is second hand, and seemed in good order, so I cleaned it out, sterilised it, and installed a Youngs Harvest Mild into it some five weeks ago.
Obviously, it's now more than fit to drink, and the first pint out was very nice, although much more 'nutty' than the Geordie Mild I'd previously tried.
As I say, first pint was fine.
Second pint, and yes, you've guessed it; as flat as the proverbial you know what.....
So today, I've been to North Devon Homebrew and got a replacement seal (50p).
Seal (sort of) fitted, and the problems continue.....
Now I need to take the damn thing apart again, and try and work out what is going wrong; but I've got a horrible feeling it's the same problem as before, which is a heavy handed molecatcher with a habit of over tightening things....
Anyway, one (of probably many) morals of this seemingly endless tale of woe, is to remind everyone that Vaseline is the brewers best friend when it comes to seals.
Here we go then......
The blog of a slightly eccentric molecatcher who enjoys making his own grog......
Now, I've thought long and hard about where to start off, and at the request of Hampshire Wasp, I was going to post a whole heap of information about barrels, but fate stepped forward this evening, and I thought we'd just mention gas for a minute.....
Now gas, the production and retention of, has caused me some trouble of late.
Just take a look at this:
What should be a perfectly good, clear pint of best bitter is utterly knackered because it's just too lively.
What's the cause?
Well, it could be any number of things.
Did I add too much sugar at the bottling stage (more of that another time)?
Is it the weather?
Or is it just a peculiarity of this brew?
Truth be told (I'm sounding like Mal now, lol), I can't remember what brew it is, which is something of a problem.....
If I knew, I could adjust things accordingly when I next do this brew, but sadly, old age, a fractured skull and other things mean I have the memory of a goldfish.
I know it's not a Hambledon Bard brew, but that's about as far as it goes!!!
Anyway, what to do if you find yourself in this situation:
The obvious, and sensible course of action is to carefully loosen the crown cap of each bottle to release the pressure, and then re-cap it.
Will I do that? I'm not sure at this stage. I'll try a few more and then decide.
I'll keep you updated on that brew, and my next post will be all about pressure barrels.
Thanks for reading!
We are trying to rehome our truly lovey Patterdale x terrier, Kevin, with full history known in advance.
He is a Patterdale x JR, 4 yrs old, chipped, neutered, inoculated. Travels in footwell of car.
He is dark brown, one ear up, one down. He smiles and attempts to laugh. He is keen, bright and eager to please.
House trained and can use a cat flap.
He isnt trustworthy with other dogs and he isnt used to young children.
He doesnt yap and is happy to be left should the need arise.
He is scared of our cat. However, he chases anything else and that may cost him his life.
He has one major flaw which may cost him his life.
Perhaps it should but his vet has suggested trying honest reHoming in urban area first and lead walked forever more.
He has killed a lamb, his second offence, 14 months apart. He injured 4 others.
The farmer didn't shoot him but has insisted a new, urban secure home is found for him.
He is surrounded on all sides here with sheep and we cannot contain him 24/7.
He is an escapeologist and runs through electric fences etc is after quarry.
Please don't critise - we have tried everything since his first attack last year.
Our sympathies lie fully with the farmer. We are mortified.
Time for him to go now, or be put to sleep.
I love meat. Im a carnivore (besides the odd apple) but Christmas brings a dilemma. You see I hate turkey, to me it is a bland tasteless meat so I must look elsewhere for my festive grub. I found it too: goose and duck. Fabulous meats and when cooked right can knock yer tastebuds into next week. I will add pics once completed.
How many murderers are executed every year in the United States these days? Forty? Fifty? I think I can safely say that its certainly not over sixty. If I was an Anti Death Penalty supporter I would be pretty happy with those figures. With that rate they soon won't be strapping anyone to a gurney, and as less are indeed getting sentenced to death by American courts this is exactly whats happening. Its easier for opponents to get some thing abolished if support is low and surely it must be if a mere fifty or so killers are sent to the death chamber.
Let me put it like this: if I was the ruler of a country and one of my aides told me, "look we might as well scrap hanging criminals because we only execute fifty a year anyway," I would probably go along with it. Its half hearted, and bordering on lenient, so why bother continuing it Id think to myself. Its almost guaranteed that it won't deter any future murderers if deterence is the reasoning behind capital punishment. (I personally believe it shouldn't be and that punishment is the sole reason).
Of course if the USA want to be rid of the death penalty, then they are on the correct path because the numbers will keep dropping and dropping until....well they end up with no death rows. One only has to look at Britains history with capital punishment for proof of what I say. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries we hanged people like there was no tomorrow. Even common thieves and sheep rustlers were not spared the walk to the gallows in our enthusiasm to bring lawbreakers to justice. Heck audiences flocked to public executions like rugby matches today (numbers ranged from 30,000 to an incredible 70,000), and stalls sold foor and drink to the ghoulish crowds. It was we Brits who turned hanging into a science when William Marwood developed the 'long drop' and Albert Pierrepoint perfected it. None executed with more zest than the United Kingdom.
But for how long?
And look at us today. The number of death sentences, or more importantly the number actually carried out, began falling in the early 1900's until in 1969 we abolished it completely. Our last hangings were in 1964. So you can see how abolishment creeps up, almost without the general public (especially the majority who take no interest in the subject) ever realising it. I believe its happening in America right now. According to statistics online the number of executions as well as newly imposed death sentences slumped to record low levels in 2011. Also the governor of Illinois put a stop to executions in his state and don't think for one minute that other states won't look at this and think of following it. Once the rot (some call it enlightenment) starts its hard to stop it spreading. We Brits know this and if the Americans have any desire to carry on executing its murderers they would do well to learn from our mistake. (Mistake or victory depending which side of the fence you stood of course).
Could it be that Americans (or its movers and shakers) have been actually listening to European countries when they keep on saying that the death penalty is barbaric and uncivilised? Americans don't like to be seen taking the lead from others, they like to be leaders, and my guess is they have looked around at all of the countries where execution has been scrapped and it has made them uncomfortable being one of the few left who carry it out. Especially when you consider the company they are in. (And I would like to make this clear here, I personally don't regard places like Iran as backward but it seems that some in the Anti death penalty movement do because they enjoy snootily informing us that Americans are in doubtful company when it comes to executions).
We must remember that the United States is a very young country compared to places like Britain, and IF it truly is civilised to abolish the death penalty as folks like Amnesty keep telling us then it will take them that much longer to discover this. European and Middle Eastern countries have been puttig people to death since before Jesus turned water into wine and are not exactly new to the subject. America is. And this is why I really do believe that in something like ten to fifteen years there will be no more executions there.
** If any readers are interested in chatting with Dai Jakes about the subject, you can find him on the ProDeathPenalty .com forum where he is a regular poster. Pop in and say, it really is a friendly place.
According to media reports (and its being confirmed as I type this), Baby P's scum-mother, has been released from prison. This is a woman who allowed her young son be tortured to death by her evil boyfriend and his equally twisted brother.
I HEREBY RENAME THIS ONCE GREAT ISLE, JOKE BRITAIN, WHERE ONLY CRIMINALS AND CROOKED POLITICIANS WIN! THE DECENT, HARD WORKING AMONG US ARE LEFT TO FESTER, AND WATCH OPEN MOUTHED AND SEETHING AS TIME AND TIME AGAIN, THE SICK AND THE LAWLESS TRIUMPH. WOE IS US! DECENCY STANDS FOR NOTHING THESE DAYS, LITTLE WONDER TO ME THAT HOPE IS DWINDLING! GOOD PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN SICK TO THE BACK TEETH OF SICKO CRIMINALS WINNING AT EVERY TURN! WHAT GOOD IS HONESTY IF ITS NEVER REWARDED?
THIS VILE PIG-WOMAN SERVED AROUND THREE YEARS FOR HER PART IN THE DEATH OF HER SON. THREE F**KING YEARS!?! FOR BEING INVOLVED IN THE MURDER OF A CHILD! YOU GET A HEAVIER SENTENCE FOR MUCH LESSER CRIMES IN THIS COUNTRY! I DESPAIR, I REALLY BLOODY DO. AND TO RUB SALT INTO ALREADY RAW WOUNDS, THIS WRETCHED SLUG-BITCH WANTS TO FIGHT FOR HER RIGHT TO HAVE MORE CHILDREN! WHAT IN THE UNHOLY F**KNESS??! THE EUROPEAN COURTS WILL LISTEN TO HER ARGUMENTS TOO! OH AND THE SACKED CHILD PROTECTION BOSS WHOSE DEPARTMENT FAILED BABY PETER IS SET TO RECEIVE £700,000 FOR UNFAIR DISMISSAL!!?
WHERE IS THIS MADNESS GOING TO END? I SHUDDER TO THINK. ALL FAITH IN ANYTHING GOOD HAS GONE, DISAPPEARED DOWN A SEWER, FLUSHED BY POLTICAL CORRECTNESS AND LIBERAL MILK MINDED IDEAS. TWITS. I HOPE THEY ARE PLEASED WITH THEIR DIM F**KERY.
SO ENJOY YOUR FREEDOM CONNELLY, YOU TWISTED BAG OF SHITE. CARRY ON WITH YOUR LIFE AS IF NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. NO BLAME LIES AT YOUR DOOR, YOU ARE A VICTIM ALSO. OR THIS IS WHAT THE DO-GOODER, YOGHURT KNITTERS WOULD HAVE US ALL BELIEVE. RANCID PESTS! IN A PERFECT WORLD YOU WOULD BE HANGING YOUR HEADS IN UTTER SHAME. AND CONNELLY AND HER EVIL CRONIES, HANGING FROM THE NEAREST GALLOWS.
GOOD DAY, PASS THE GIN, AND MAKE IT STRONG!
Having listened to the politicians conferences (and again shaken my head at their obvious lies) and heard all of the "a better Britain" spiel, I just want to ask: a better Britain for whom exactly? We, Britons need a Britain for Britons. Never mind about Cameron giving tax breaks to his wealthy cronies and opening the gates to all and sundry. We need a Britain for US, the hardworking folk who make this country GREAT. A country where we are not spied on 24/7 with CCTV, a place we can fly our flags with pride, somewhere we are not interfered at every turn by an aggressive bureaucracy and told what we can and cannot do (within the law). What we need is a Britain of old, a Britain of the ages.
Too long we have put the needs of others before our own, too long been told to respect others while having to hide our own beliefs and pride for fear of offending those others. Walking on eggshells in the country of our birth! This my friends is an abominable truth, and change must come before our beloved Great Britain disappears in a vomit fog of alien hues and an entire culture lies dead, defeated. Oh such unbearable crime that would be! Eternal cries within the bones of a fallen kingdom. Such a fate must be averted! We must have a Britain for Britons!
Now the doubters and yoghurt knitters will say this is bigoted and even racist, but I ask; how is it racist to want a country putting its peoples first? This is all I want. I am not suggesting the UK pull up the draw bridge and keeping foreigners out. Really, I am not. I am more than aware of the contributions from others who come here to work and make a better life for themselves. The Filipino nurses, Ghurkha soldiers who fought bravely, the doctors from India, the many others who arrive because they believe in Great Britain. I have no issue with these people in the slightest, rejoice! Let us celebrate this glorious country together.
It is the spongers and thieves who come to take, take, take that boil my blood. People who, even though when discovered and proved to be 'on the game', are hardly ever punished sufficiently, and worse never sent back to whence they came! Mind boggling. Frustrating. Of course we also have the enemy within to deal with, those groups of do-gooders who are never happier when interfering with everything, seemingly oblivious to the fact that they make most peoples lives a bloody misery. We all know who they are, the types who order schools to pull down Christmas trees in case it offended those of different faiths, or fretting that nursery rhymes contain politically incorrect words. (These types can do more harm than any lawbreaker). This madness must end, or we shall pay a dear price. A much much too dear a price.
This is a first for myself joining a BLOG! Just created a profile yesterday. Not that tecno minded so I thought I'd give it a try.
I submitted my SG application to our Licencing Dept at Northern Constabulary, and was delighted at the speed of the response!
Two days after submitting the application my referee was on the phone to say that he'd been contacted and he'd done the nesscary. Working offshore i was shocked when the wife told me that later that week they had being on the phone to arrange an interview and inspect me storeage facilities. With the cabnet still in the garage, it was strait home to get it fitted in position the week before christmas. Quite chuffed with my efforts, I settled into what I thought would be a relaxing family christmas when to my suprise on boxing day night, there was a knock at the door. Anwsering it with a housefull of guests and a large dram in hand there stood to of the constabularys finest. Inviting them in, the interview was progressing nicely through the officers check list until the question arose, "So Mr Bisset, do you drink?" with a bottle on the table and a glass in hand, "Sociably" was the anwser, all the time thinking - "dont pop your head into the kitchen." Well within a week, and two days after i arrived back at work the cretificate arrived. I've now got days to go before i can get along to our local shop in Inverness to pick up the Bettinsoli i left a deposit on.
More about that one soon.
I am a very impatiant person....... Think a compasionate leave might be in order???