Saturday, January 19, 2008


I have been working very hard on some programming in the background of this blog.
I have been doing normal daily stuff but in the evenings I have been poking the inner workings of this whole setup. I will probably pop the new stuff up in a day or two.
And I will add a story or two, maybe a coherent one if you are lucky.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Monkey Faced EEL revisted.

Waaay back in July, I wrote a quick note about a fun day we had pole-poking for California Prickleback Monkey Faced Eels. We just LOVE saying that.

Here is our little post. Poke Poking for Fun and Profit

It was the finest fish dinner I have ever eaten. Wonderful.

This morning I was looking at some statistics about my website and one of the stats shows me what words people were searching for when they popped onto my site. It is usually "bethandwarren" because some people use Google search instead of their address bar.

But right there at the top of the heap is "Pole Poking Monkey Faced eel".

Cool. Now I am a sport fishing destination.

So I tried the same search to see what other options would appear.

Well this site ( didn't show up but I did find an instructional video:

Instructional Video: How to poke pole a monkey faced eel

If that link doesn't quite work right, try this one:

(By the way, OUR technique was much easier.)

And here is a little more: Article about the very same type of eel

And last but not least, if these cute little fellers really tug at your heart you should really check out

and in case you were wondering...
the other search phrases that people found my site with: "ant lions", "asheville restaurant reviews 2007", "wyoming land rush built around silos", "farmall super c tractor stories", "zen antlions gardens", "pedro's firework store", "bethandwarren", "pole poking", "beth warren witherell blog", "south of the border fireworks store", "route 95 to florida", "weiderhold antrim", "sperm milking machine", "i have decided to get a whiffle hair cut", "my private little museum". "goat farmers; west virginia", "dysan vacuumcleaner", "barrington bunny", "raven stash", "missile silo stainless steel", "http://www.bethandwarren/", "xxx adult shops in glenwood springs, colorado", "", "contractions", "vw couch", "antlion kit buy",
"barrington bunny story", "pedros fireworks", "south of the border fireworks"

Do you see your search in there?

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Shrinkotopia, alpha release

Flushing out via whining. If you are having a cheerful day you should just skip this post because it doesn't seem to be very "up". Flushing, purging, and letting loose. Stand back...

One of the reasons that we are staying in one spot right now is that I have decided to see a shrink in an attempt to "clean out the cellar" and get on with my life. I may be wrong, but I have a feeling that 2006 was the result of deeper problems than losing Derek. I was thinking that since I was not as "emotionally healthy" in 2006 than I was in 2005, there is the possibility that there are deeper problems that needed a catalyst to make them visible. In case you didn't happen to work with me that year, my work performance in 2006 was what you would expect from a very distracted fourteen year old. I wanted to do better, and every day I had planned to do better than yesterday, but I couldn't climb out of the hole and I was getting too tired to hold on. My only saving grace was that the company that I worked for had known me before the "issues" and they showed an exceptional amount of compassion for my confusion.

The whole Adventure wasn't planned, we needed to move out of Derek's house, we never expected to sell it when we did. I was less productive and less profitable to my employer than I had ever been at any time of my life, and if our whole world was going to collapse then we figured that we might as well see things and enjoy ourselves while we flame out. I never expected to finish the trip.
Peterbilts occasionally squash cars, bridges collapse, armadillos spread leprosey, and Montana men threaten to bury you. We came though with flying colors and not even a hint of danger, well, I thought the guy in Montana probably was joking when he threatened to kill me, but the other folks in the bar were telling me he was serious (it was just a little misunderstanding, just because he was trying to give me crap about the Patriots and I told him that I wasn't your typical black lab so I don't seem to get as excited by watching a ball get tossed around as much as he seemed to be, jeeeesh people are touchy about their sports).
Of course we are a little smarter when we travel than we used to be. Someday I'll tell you the story about Beth and I being given a tour of the inner workings of an Algerian grain ship that was unloading in Quebec. Now that was stupid.

So we were winding down on this loop of The Adventure and taking a break from the road in Florida, and as soon as we stopped moving, I started to fall into a bit of a funk, and I realized that I am not at all ready to go back to a job that requires any type of management skills.

So while we are here taking care of the Hampster Ranch on top of this hill, I am going to a psychologist ptwice a pweek.

Things are going fine except when she pokes somewhere in my psyche that is a little raw. We haven't touched on very much of my life yet. Every time we talk about anything that has happened in this century, things seem to swing right back to my childhood. Harumph. It's done. It's over. There is No reason for her to root around in there, except of course, for the fact that I told her that I wanted to clean out my cellar.

It turns out that the dominant person lurking in my cellar is good ol Mother.
Anybody that knew my mother is now shaking their heads knowingly. She was Nancy. There was no one quite like her. She was true to herself. It made all four of us very tough. There maaaaay be a few issues here and there related to her child rearing techniques, but after all, who didn't have a difficult childhood. Her childhood was pretty crappy too. It didn't affect her one little bit.
I'm sure there are LOTS of kids who were never physically touched by their mothers. At least that means that you never got hit, right? We are reading in the papers every day about kids that were touched too much by the adults in their life. So we were lucky.
Oh sure, she didn't touch us, and there is a very good chance that none of us would be able to remember any example of affection from her but she was usually aware that we were there. We just understood that it was our job not to interfere with her life too much while we did our chores. The good thing is that none of us ever had any problem moving away from home, we had been independent our entire lives.
All four of us kids share a very serious work ethic. If you have spent your entire childhood doing chores, when you get into the working world everything seems easy.
I have convinced myself over the last few years that she had Asbergers, and it would explain a lot. She wasn't the nurturing type. Nurturing was for sissies. If she had seen the doctor perform a procedure just once, then there was no need to pay the money again, she could do it just fine. No wonder we always hid the usual kid injuries from her. You have no idea how much a simple broken nose can hurt until you have experienced a "nose reset" by someone who has to keep "starting over" until it is deemed "close enough".
Test my siblings sometime: just hold a needle over a match and watch them hide their hands behind their back. It's an involuntary reflex. Minor surgery in our house was such a common event that Mother didn't even have to snuff out her Chesterfield first. I remember my neighbor Marty would be painted red with iodine if he got a scrape. I thought that was cool. At our house scrapes were ignored unless they got infected and started inflating, and then that night after supper the wooden match was waved under a needle or a buck knife, depending on how big the "balloon" was. A match to sterilize the tool before the procedure and a splash of bourbon on the wound after the procedure. I am soooo glad that none of us ever had appendicitis.

So based entirely on the paragraph that I have just written, it seems that my visits to the shrink are digging out memories that had been dormant for a long time. So the big question is: Does this do any good? If I purposely review all of the absurd things that I went through as a child, what am I supposed to DO with this information that is being looked at by an adult for the first time? Am I supposed to sweep it under the rug now that I have dragged it out, or am I supposed to wallow in it and use my mother as an excuse for everything that I do? I haven't ever done this stuff before. I have seen a lot of Woody Allen movies so I am aware that these things don't just pack up and say goodbye. Everybody had a screwy childhood in one way or another. I don't understand how looking for the errors of the past can help you since the past cannot be changed. Maybe it can give you justification for being wierd but if you have to learn to have good posture and stand straight you don't need a flat surface to do it, you can ignore the few lumps that are under the carpet and just adjust your posture by minor tweaks to the position of your feet.
Well, tomorrow I am going to ask my shrink right away where this is all going, and hopefully I will get an answer before things veer back to Nancy and her novel method of running wires and insulation through very small spaces.

Has anybody done the whole "Mother" thing with a shrink before? Did it make things better, or do you wish you hadn't done it? Let me know.

... If you are reading this, PLEASE click a Star, just so I know you are there ...


... If you are reading this, PLEASE click a Star, just so I know you are there ...

Sunday, January 13, 2008


Well things have been pretty busy at the ranch. I had been trying to learn as much as I could before the big day, which is today. Today Noel is driving Beeper down to Chappaqua New York so that Simon can get an early jump before riding season starts. Simon is a 13 year old that grew up in Paris and is now living in Chappaqua. He has great potential as a rider so David (in Paris) had hooked Simon up with Noel who owns the place where we are living. Noel is an internationally known dressage instructor so Simon stayed here last summer as his first American stop on his ride to stardom. Today was just a 12 hour stop to collect animals.

Beeper is being loaned to Simon because he has the opportunity to take lessons with one of the very bestest dressage instructors who also specializes in kids. Got it? Take a breath and I'll continue... Simon's younger brother Sam had to be brought up to UNH for a fencing competition and then the whole family headed over here to pick up Beeper and Chance (pronounced shawnce), a wonderful German Shepard that sings in french but can't say one word of english. Chance has been living here at the ranch since we arrived and doesn't seem to miss Paris one little bit.

There, that explains why Noel is gone. Now the problem with Noel being gone is that the ranch still has a lot of animals to take care of, and I have had to learn HOW to take of them.

I now am feeding the furry things and doing the things you have to do at a modern Hamster Ranch. So you see, I have been VERY busy. Which is a healthy change for me.
Since I have to stick close to home for the next few days I can fill you in on the other things that have been going on.

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