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Alpaca bag


We went to a tractor festival on Sunday. We almost didn’t. I’m going to level with you here: I’m not all that into tractors.

These people, these people are into their tractors. This isn’t even the first tractor fest we’ve been to this Summer (though the other, you’ll recall, was a traction engine thing. This was, like, John Deeres). This was a three ring tractor festival. Glad we went; it was one of the best country fairs we’ve been to.

In addition to my alpaca friends here, there were three-banded armadillos, a skink, a wallaby and A WHOLE TENT OF CHIKKENS! There was a pair of buff Orpingtons there that probably weighed more than my whole flock.

As dog is my witness, I shall take Buff Orpington as a username some day.

The food was exceptionally good for one of these events. Too good, in fact. By the time we decided to eat, our first (and second) choices had sold out. I had a very decent pad Thai and a cider (note to visitors: all cider in Britain is hard).

And thus the Summer fete season marches on. Next weekend is a big one; it’s a long weekend. After that, it all kind of peters out.

Ah, well. Gather ye tractorfests while ye may.


Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: August 22, 2016, 9:21 pm

I used to know a guy who looked exactly like that guy on the right… but he was human. I mean, I guess he was human. I never really checked him that closely…

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 22, 2016, 11:06 pm

I saw a 3-stripe skink just the other day. It was half-wriggling and half-curling and half-flailing while half-hanging out of my cat’s mouth. I didn’t actually know it was a skink for some time, mind you. The tail (a distinctive very bright blue) was long gone, and, ya know, half of it was in a cat’s mouth.

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 22, 2016, 11:17 pm

Oops. I misremembered. It was a juvenile 5-line skink. There’s a good pic (with tail) about 1/3d of the way down the page here: https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/five-lined-skink

I have pics of the actual captured specimen(deceased), but I don’t know how to post local pics online. Also, it’s a bit gory.

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: August 22, 2016, 11:25 pm

In the early 80’s I was stationed at NAS Lemoore, in CA’s Central Valley. First place I ever lived where the TV had tractor commercials.

One summer a new raisin drying tray was introduced. Every evening that week there was a story on the news about how the trays were being received by the farmers. If the President of the US had been assassinated that week we probably wouldn’t have heard about it until the furor over the new raisin drying tray had settled down.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: August 22, 2016, 11:37 pm


As dog is my witness, I shall take Buff Orpington as a username some day.

I like it! And it is amusingly similar to a nom de clavier I used for a while several years ago…Biff Wellington.

There’s something about a fixation on tractors, trucks, and working vehicles that’s just a little off-kilter. Maybe after having your butt abused for several hours per day over the span of years, you can develop an unnatural affection, akin to Stockholm Syndrome.

Comment from Niña
Time: August 22, 2016, 11:51 pm

It seems a bit late in the season to prune your alpacas, doesn’t it?

Comment from gromulin
Time: August 23, 2016, 1:40 am

RE: Tractorfest fetishists. Being a gear-head since early teens, and now old motorcycles, it’s really amazing what tinkerers and farm boys were doing at the turn of the century. Everything from strapping engines onto bicycles to inventing combine-harvesters. Just ideas, slide rules, calipers and lathes. Much respect for those gents, so it’s a thrill to breathe life back into the machines they cobbled together.

Comment from AliceH
Time: August 23, 2016, 2:14 am

Love your story, Steve. I sort of wish I had one of those new raisin drying trays.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 23, 2016, 2:50 am

I spent a large portion of my life waking up to or eating my lunch to the Farm and Ranch Report. I miss it. Cattle futures. Pork bellies. The price of wheat or cotton. Beets, sorghum. Our little inherited farm came with a Farmall tractor—a ’30s something—originally red, long since faded to almost pink. Never missed a beat and started every time, if you knew how to start it.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 23, 2016, 2:57 am

My brother-in-law is a tractor guy. He loves tractor pulls. He carefully and lovingly rebuilds the engines; he spends his evenings and weekends scanning old manufacturer’s parts catalogs so he can build technically legal cheaters. He spends nearly as much time making the outsides of the tractors look old and beat up as he does making the insides look shiny and new.

Comment from Mitchell
Time: August 23, 2016, 3:46 am

Buff Orpington
Slab Bulkhead!

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: August 23, 2016, 6:39 am

I had a Deere from 1995, to 2010. I miss it.

Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: August 23, 2016, 2:19 pm

John Deere tractor pulls bring back fond memories of my youth, now that time has worn the rough edges off of that time in my life.

Of course remembering the good times reminds me of the bad.

Comment from Mr. Dave
Time: August 23, 2016, 4:28 pm

I have a 1954 Minneapolis Moline 445. Propane powered. Orange with silver wheels. That was their color scheme for some reason. The green and yellow guys don’t approve.

Comment from MikeW
Time: August 23, 2016, 4:47 pm

Remember in the original Independence Day movie when Will Smith first launched the small alien spaceship and yelled “I gotta get me one of these!”?

Well this might just do the same for you:


(I may need to start a GoFundMe for my birthday 🙂 )

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 23, 2016, 9:22 pm

Holy shit, those were cool, MikeW. So many, many different ways I could kill myself in the water…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 23, 2016, 9:26 pm

And speaking of country living — they’ve spread pigshit on the fields today. Gurk.

AliceH, I’d really like you guys to have the ability to post pictures, but I can’t find a plugin that will allow it. In theory, if the image is hosted somewhere else (like Imgur), I think you could post an inline graphic. I can’t try it, on account of the blog knows who I am.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: August 23, 2016, 11:13 pm

Actual book:
Roger L. Welsch, Everything I know about women I learned from my tractor.

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