The Turkey Farm

Ugh. Think we oughta stick to burgers or such….

About a Turkey

NY Times

…….Now consider the bird that will soon be on your plate. It probably hatched in an incubator on a huge farm, most likely in the Midwest or the South. Its life went downhill from there. A few days after hatching — in the first of many unnatural if not necessarily painful indignities — it had its upper beak and toenails snipped off. A turkey is normally a very discriminating eater (left to its own devices, it will search out the exact food it wants to eat). In order to fatten it up quickly, farmers clip the beak, transforming it into a kind of shovel. With its altered beak, it can no longer pick and choose what it will eat. Instead, it will do nothing but gorge on the highly fortified corn-based mash that it is offered, even though that is far removed from the varied diet of insects, grass and seeds turkeys prefer. And the toenails? They’re removed so that they won’t do harm later on: in the crowded conditions of industrial production, mature turkeys are prone to picking at the feathers of their neighbors — and even cannibalizing them.

After their beaks are clipped, mass- produced turkeys spend the first three weeks of their lives confined with hundreds of other birds in what is known as a brooder, a heated room where they are kept warm, dry and safe from disease and predators. The next rite of passage comes in the fourth week, when turkeys reach puberty and grow feathers. For centuries, it was at this point that a domesticated turkey would move outdoors for the rest of its life.

But with the arrival of factory turkey farming in the 1960’s, all that changed. Factory-farm turkeys don’t even see the outdoors. Instead, as many as 10,000 turkeys that hatched at the same time are herded from brooders into a giant barn. These barns generally are windowless, but are illuminated by bright lights 24 hours a day, keeping the turkeys awake and eating.

These turkey are destined to spend their lives not on grass but on wood shavings, laid down to absorb the overwhelming amount of waste that the flock produces. Still, the ammonia fumes rising from the floor are enough to burn the eyes, even at those operations where the top level of the shavings is occasionally scraped away during the flock’s time in the barn.

Not only do these turkeys have no room to move around in the barn, they don’t have any way to indulge their instinct to roost (clutching onto something with their claws when they sleep). Instead, the turkeys are forced to rest in an unnatural position — analogous to what sleeping sitting up is for humans.

click for complete article

Turkeys and More

While in the shower this morning, I realized Thanksgiving is on Thursday. Will need to be sending some cards.

Genuinely American holidays like Thanksgiving are hard to track when overseas.

Anyhow, gave a thought to those millions of turkeys which have already given their lives and are labeled Butterball or whatever and will, this week, be served on millions of tables on Thursday.

So, if you have bought a frozen turkey, make sure you put it out to thaw in time.

Here it is Sunday afternoon, the weekend is once again vanishing quicker than you can say turkey.

Our weather is much too mild for this time of year, beaming sunshine and 46F. Oh yeah, gotta make sure I remove the rest of those stupid leaves from the porch and the sidewalk.

Yo – regarding the “stupid things I did this week” department. Got home late from work, had to dash to a birthday, laid my wallet on the wood burning stove which was not on.

Ha. An hour later I made a wonderful fire in that stove, the whole house was wonderfully warm – then I discovered my wallet still laying there.

Threw the damn thing in the freezer but it didn’t help.

Every card in there melted and changed its form somewhat – was not able to get any money from the ATM, have ordered replacement credit cards, geeeeeez.

Shit happens, I guess.

Dog Birthdays

Tomorrow, Tobi will be 3. We have an invite, as every year, from his mother’s owner.

It is always a blast, as it was a litter of eight puppies, which have all grown into giant black macho huggables. His mom will be there as will his dad (he is never really very interested in what is going on – just lays on the sidelines and wants to be left alone). Interesting enough, Pieko, the father of the litter, is a mixed breed who looks like a yellow lab. All of his children are black and resemble black labs.

On another front. Could someone please tell me why it is so damn hard getting up in the winter? I have absolutely no problems getting out of bed in the morning in spring and summer, but this time of the year it is a daily torture, to say the least. Some of it is surely due to the fact that I still have this damn cold and have been working a lot, but still. Ugh.

Jenny and Sebastian were on TV this week – she sent me a link to the video. Wow. Cool.

The subject of the report was watches with GPRS for tracking children.

Does this mean that my GPRS cell phone always lets everyone know where I am?

Have to check on that one, could get me into trouble, lol.

Ok. gotta hit the showers and get myself to the office…the daily grind………………

Another Sunday, Another Apology

Things have just been kinda crazy on every front here.

No one has been hearing a whole lot from me and I am sorry for that folks.

Ok, let’s see, where can we catch up.

Mom, thanks again for those jalapeno seeds: here a foto of my harvest:

Believe me, it aint easy growing jalapenos in Bavara, in light of our usually cool and often rainy summers. The record temperatures this year helped a lot. Regarding those round peppers in the picture, don’t ask me what they are. They came, they grew and ripened. The round ones are very aromatic but aren’t hot. Snuck themselves in those little buggers.

I made a huge pot of salsa today, about three gallons actually. Will be freezing that in small portions so as to have another year´s supply.

Here is a foto that really made me laugh – it’s Pat+ the Gang’s dog, Abby:

I have never seen a dog with three tennis balls in his mouth. Wow.

Regarding Christmas, I have promised Mom, Dad, Gene and Jen and the kids socks. Two weeks ago I had an acute bout of carpal tunnel, which has gotten me to the point of staying away from the computer as much as I can, and which has slowed me down in terms of knitting anything. Will have to go back to the drawing board on that one.

Last week, some sort of nasty virus grabbed a hold of me and kept me lying down for four days (including the weekend). The devil is on the loose at work (in a positive way) and things are just whacky.

I will better myself concerning posting here, promise.

Sorry Folks, Haven’t Been Posting Very Much

Am spending a lot of time knitting at the moment – got the crazy idea of knitting myself a sweater coat I saw in a knitting magazine. I get forward relatively fast because the yarn is very thick – the needles I use are as thick as ballpoint pens.

The back and most of the front are done, then I need to two sleeves and a hood so I am hoping that by the next weekend it will be done.

Knitting has become somewhat therapeutic for me – gets all of that same old working day stress of my back, gets me at peace with myself and the world somehow.

Plus its fun to be lazy and spend the day on the sofa knitting and watching TV, grin!

Anyhow, the cold and wet rainy weather we are having just forces you into staying inside, so, might as well make something productive out of it.

Oktoberfest ends today, I heard they put away 6.5 million liters of beer. Wow.


Gotta call Mom today to see if she’s boarded up the windows yet. Just checked the hourly forecast for her town, looks like the hurricane action will be peaking at 3 a.m. on Friday with heavy rain and winds at 57 mph.

For a change, we are again having lovely weather, sunny and 75 degrees and I bet it’s got something to do with the fact that the Oktoberfest will be opening on Saturday afternoon.

Here some stats from last year: 5.9 million visitors consumed 5.7 million liters of beer and 459.259 chickens. Since most visitors have more than one “Maß” of beer (one liter), this means some visitors actually did not drink any beer. Odd, isn’t it?

For those of you who want to know more, go to Official Oktoberfest Website – everything in english as well.

Malaysian Curry Chicken

This is a recipe I discovered a few years ago, which I like to make quite often actually as it is incredibly tasty and wonderfully easy and quick.

Here’s what you need:

– Skinned chicken breasts (1 per person)

– 1 Can of Coconut Milk or better yet, Coconut Cream

(see the Asian section of the supermarket)

– a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger (ginger powder comes nowhere near fresh)

– couple of garlic gloves

– 5 pineapple rings

– curry (about 4 Tbsp)

– turmeric powder (about 3 Tbsp)

– cayenne chili, crushed

– 1 cup of beef broth

Cut the chicken breasts into mouth-sized pieces and sautee (if you are using teflon coated pans, you will need no oil). Add the peeled ginger (diced). Add garlic cloves, crushed or diced. Crush a cayenne chili into the pan (or more, depending on how hot you can stand – it should not be too hot, just somewhat spicy). I usually add three cayenne, but I’m used to eating hot. After having sauteed all of these ingredients, stir in the beef broth, then the coconut milk. Season with turmeric and curry. Cut the pineapple into bite sized pieces and add.

Let simmer for 20 – 30 minutes, then remove from heat and thicken up a bit with corn starch – not too much. Return to heat until thicker. Serve with rice (preferably Basmati).

This dish tastes so wonderful because of the extreme different aromas of the ingredients – coconut and curry, pineapple and cayenne.

Try it – it is one of my favorites and absolutely delicious.

Let me know how you liked it!

Goodbye to an Incredible Musician and Personality

I don’t know about you folks, but I sure am going to miss him.

…..Known as the “The Man in Black” to millions of music fans around the world, Cash struggled up from Depression-era sharecropper roots and became a true folk hero by listening to the myriad marginalized voices around him and setting them to song.

“Johnny Cash was a guy who was really an American cultural icon,” said longtime Atlanta country music disc jockey Rhubarb Jones.

“What I loved about Johnny Cash is … Johnny Cash had a great sense of humor — a very funny guy,” Jones told his listeners on Eagle 106.7 this morning. “We’re not going to mourn his passing, we’re going to celebrate his life.”

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution

….”U2’s Bono noted, “Nothing is as macho as Johnny Cash’s voice. A real threat you will not find in a 22-year-old. You just won’t. You can dress him up in leather pants, you can have him throw his TV out the hotel window. He can roar in front of all manner of white noise, but there’s no real threat when you’re a teenager, when you’re in your 20s or when you’re [in your] 30s. The real sh–, or what they say in New Orleans, the other kind of sh–, comes from the perspective of being in the trenches and having been around a while. All the blues guys had it. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King. Johnny Cash has that and the voice of authority for me.”

From MTV

“…”All through the Air Force, I was so lonely for those three years,” Cash said during a 1996 interview. “If I couldn’t have sung all those old country songs, I don’t think I could have made it.”

Cash launched his career in Memphis, performing on radio station KWEM. He auditioned with Sun Records, ultimately recording the single “Hey Porter,” which became a hit.

Sun Records also launched the careers of Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and others.

“Folsom Prison Blues,” went to No.4 on the country charts in 1956, and featured Cash’s most famous couplet: “I shot a man in Reno/ just to watch him die.”

Cash recorded theme albums celebrating the railroads and the Old West, and decrying the mistreatment of American Indians.

From the Melbourne Herald Sun

“…He recorded more than 1,500 songs and was the youngest person chosen for the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Cash won 11 Grammies, including the 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2002 shared Grammy for Best Country Album.

He had two singles on the country charts for 38 consecutive years, including 25 hits between 1958 and 1960.

He posted over 130 hits on the Billboard Country singles chart.

His daughters Rosanne, Tara, Cindy and Kathy and son John Carter performed with him at one time or another.

Rosanne is a country music singer-songwriter.

Cash was honored with a Kennedy Center Award in December 1996.

According to, he began his career as an outlaw to the Nashville establishment and came to define country music over the last 40 years.

From Rediff-India