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Past Month's Moccasin Telegraph

December 2008

12/31/08

'08 is over so soon?!
Doesn’t hardly seem possible…
Time flies, and yes, overall it’s fun I have to say.
Some may disagree this year, and ’08 might go down in the books, so to speak. Way down…

For this end-of-the-year column, I’m going to try and avoid the usual Best & Worst Of… list, and stick with the prediction tangent I stumbled into last year. I believe those held up pretty well, although I claim no particular credit. I think it’s become apparent to many that when you cut through the fog, sometimes things really are as simple as that.
So that would indicate to me that we aren’t going to just snap out this little dip by say, the second quarter of ’09, as I once heard someone posit.
No, Montana is always a little behind the curve (which can be good) and I think at least here in the Gallatin, and already moreso it appears in the Flathead and a few other places, things are just starting to get ugly.
Another wave of mortgage defaults is just down the pike, and it looks to me like…

OK, perhaps worth what it cost you, the official Cowboy Heaven Consulting Economic Forecast is that it is going to take several years for things to once again approach “normal”.
Whatever that is! Any economist will tell you that average is seldom normal.
But the part of my forecast I far prefer; is that locally grown and marketed (and obviously beyond local also), healthy and sustainably produced ag products…
Good grief, I can’t help it! I have very low blood pressure, but I swear just thinking about the prospects turns the pump up a notch.
We were recently tickled to learn there’s going to be a winter Farmer’s Market at the Emerson in Bozeman, and can’t wait to participate. The enthusiasm for this sort of thing is infectious, it’s something that just resonates with people. Unless things get really ugly, people are still going to eat, and given the choice overwhelmingly lean toward healthier choices that benefit local economies.
I guess the industrial ag model still keeps Big Macs in front of the masses, and I haven’t heard about any agribusiness titans asking for bailouts, but personally I’m obviously not betting on that model.
In any case, the alternative ag community has the mojo going, IMO. More and more people are making informed choices about what they eat, and in my own and many other cases, once you start eating healthy there’s no going back!
This ties into a much larger scenario also, that benefits not just consumers, but producers and far beyond that the ecosystem at large. You talk about a win-win!!
One of the most striking takes on this I've seen recently is in a column by Dan O’Brien, South Dakota bison rancher and author of Buffalo for the Broken Heart. It's based on a “Cooking for Solutions” conference they attended in Monterey, primarily pertaining to ocean fisheries. The benefits of wild fish; nutritionally, ecologically, and any ...ally you can name so completely eclipse the alternative that there really is no choice, for anyone who gives even the slightest rip about these things.
Dan makes a very apt comparison between oceans of water, and oceans of grass. Especially given the recent turmoil in every market I’m aware of, Dan’s final point really strikes me. Long term, we need both sustainability and profit. Too many (recently failed) models stressed short-term emphasis, certainly on profit.
If it’s only temporary, endless derivatives and assorted other Ponzi schemes, smoke & mirrors, etc., well…
So, here’s my New Year’s prediction! A business that combines profit with long-term sustainability while meeting (exceeding, one hopes) consumer needs and adding to the overall health of the “community” at large…
Now that just might weather a downturn just fine, don’tcha think?

Happy New Year!

 

12/14/08

I'm long overdue for posting an update about the hunting venture I was off on just after the prior post. That will follow, momentarily.

Here it's two weeks later already, and this is nearly the first spare moment since. Buffalo business of one sort or another takes up nearly every waking moment, and beats the heck out of a recession! I think I may declare today "off", however.

Hah! We've already loaded out five buffs, but only have three to skin, unlike ten yesterday. Couldn't do it without Cody...

We were talking about elk hunting, though, and as numerous bureaucrats would agree, I don't know if I've written anything better since recounting what I'd just experienced back on 11/30. Time I got home that night, I'd definitely seen too much, but writing about it provides release.

This was/is a post on a Guitarist forum I participate in. It's quite a place, mostly long-time participants including lots of professors and engineers, a Harvard lawyer (who plays in a punk band, Car Bomb Driver), and a considerable diversity of other folks leaning toward aging, bald, (choose F word) aka OBF's who still bring the rawk.

The following post veered into horses, though, as there's a handful of enthusiasts, including Kevin, who made a fortune in the tech boom, and whose wife and daughters are way high up in Quarter Horse circles. Incidentally, Kevin has come out of "retirement", renewed a teaching certificate and is substitute teaching in California public schools. He doesn't need the money, he's giving back. That's the caliber of people we're talking about here! But anyway, this was in response to a link he'd posted to video of his daughter in a top-level reining contest;

 

You're in the big leagues there, Kevin, no doubt.

Perhaps it's best I don't have videos of my horses in action.
I'm quite sure today should not have been video'd. As if that were possible... !
No, far beyond that the idea of hunting being a spectator sport is fundamentally flawed.

Yesterday morning, while <deleted, too revealing...>that the recently arrived wolves had pushed a truly incredible herd of elk <deleted, be serious!>. Up into country I used to hunt a lot, before I gave it up because it was haunted. And very difficult to reach.

So we got on the trail right at dark last night. Eight year old Buddy, aka Zan Parr Bud carrying me (although I walk plenty too) and leading a barely plural packstring consisting of former flatlander boasting performance bloodlines Sonny, followed by 30 year old Bo. The last of my Blackfoot Indian horses, a truly aged and remarkable Morgan/Quarter cross, he remains the best caboose packhorse in the Rocky Mountains. In fact the younger ponies poured sweat, but the Old Man took it all in stride. I know, this cannot last forever, but he's not quite retired yet.

There is some passing of the torch going on. I hope Buddy is able to absorb any wisdom Bo can pass along, and since not just any nag can lead the way through some notably rough country in the dark he shows considerable promise.

Although he's just as tired as I am right now, barely lucid even.

We spiked out last night, and went way the 7uck up in there today. Up to what we've deemed "Murkwood", where the deadfall is atrocious and precludes attached packhorses, and the mineral deposits render internal compasses useless, but do you think that's where the mightiest stags in the forest were...?

Not today. The last day of the season...

So although I planned on spending the night up there, and packing out a gargantuan bull tomorrow, we came out today, which made for most of 20 miles.

Tsk. What madness.

But thanks to this place, I know counseling won't help, in fact interacting with Buddy & Co just might be vastly more rewarding, so...

 

 

 

 

 


 

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