LIGHTER SIDE

SIDEBARS

The Case of Houdini is Finally Solved

by Brent Gill

SPRINGVILLE IN THE FOOTHILLS

Comment Print Email
March 8, 2006 7:07pm

A bull and a heifer calf have been escaping the pasture into the yard for several weeks. Many efforts have been made to cure the problem. Each time, I smugly thought that now I had found where they had been getting out. And each time, they showed me otherwise.
This fence looks very secure ... clear to the corner!
Well, I'll be ... there's the hole!

Previously...

7/25–AUDIO: The dog days of July

7/18–AUDIO: Stubborn as a… bull

7/11–AUDIO: Life with dogs, or, watch where you step

7/4–AUDIO: The case of the purloined grain

6/27–Brent Gill returns!

9/1–Falling Underwear Can Be Revealing

3/19–Sightseeing on an 8N?

1/29–Gardening On The Whitehouse Lawn?

1/29–Windy Texans and Other Tales

12/8–A GPS for finding ... a BATHROOM?

11/28–Serious Sports Fans vs Serious Shoppers

11/24–A Bare-faced (?) Exaggeration

11/18–A Robot For All Ends

11/13–A Real Green Machine

10/15–What The Judges Needed

10/9–High MPG Commentary

10/3–The Eagle Gets Bothered by Crows

9/30–Common Sense in New California Law

8/19–Technology can be a pain

9/15–Epilogue

9/14–Chapter 7

9/13–Chapter 6

9/12–Chapter 5

9/11–Chapter 4

9/8–Chapter 3

9/7–Chapter 2

9/6–Chapter 1

9/5–Prologue!

8/1–Another Unwelcome Visitor

6/5–A Visitor To The Shop

4/3–The View From The Office

3/20–Houdini is at it again!

3/8–The Case of Houdini is Finally Solved

2/28–Houdini and The Cohort in Crime

2/27–View From The Office Windows

10/26–The case of the missing calf

7/28–Could this be a new plum variety?


Having been gone over the past weekend, I was unloading the car, and I glanced out in the field for my two Houdinis and the old Momma Cow. Nobody to be seen, either down by the barn, or up by the other house. Nothing. No bawling, nothing.

Being a worrier, I started wondering if maybe I had caused a problem by installing the twister Fence Stays that I described in the previous tale. My step quickened when I spied the old Momma Cow standing near the fence.

Immediately my mind began to race. Oh man, had one of those stubborn calves started through the fence, and was hung up and could not go either forward or back?

As I got where I could see, I discovered the little heifer standing merrily on top of the rocks, as if she were a goat nipping at the nice green grass growing in and around the big granite boulders that are common in this part of the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

A quick check of the fence assured me nobody was hung up, and the fence was secure and tight, just as I had left it last week.

But, there was the heifer. I stepped up onto the rocks, and there was the little bull, down along the bottom of the rocks, next to the fence, munching away on the tall grass. Obviously this was much more tasty because it was where they were not supposed to be!

The fence appeared to be able to turn anything and was still in perfect condition. But, here were the two calves on my side of the fence, outside the pasture. Obviously they had not levitated over. The fence was definitely not high enough off the ground to allow them to go under. So how in the world did they get in here!

I opened the nearby gate back wide open. Then I eased down over the rocks to a spot in front the little bull, to start him up toward where the heifer was standing, and ultimately put them both back in the pasture.

He took one look at me, decided that the fun was all over and promptly showed me how they had been getting in, all along.

He walked directly back along the fence, toward the corner where there is a big oak tree acting as a post for the barb-wire fence. The fence that I had laboriously put the Fence Stays in comes down the hill and ties into the tree. And, the fence at the bottom of the rocks goes along the downhill side of the tree and over to a corner 40 feet away. That fence is tied securely to the oak tree.

Or at least I THOUGHT it was tied to the tree. Looking from the top, everything looked in place. Both fences tied into the big tree, making a very secure corner. I thought.

The little bull walked back along the fence toward the Oak Tree. Suddenly he was passing BETWEEN the lower fence and the tree! Right back into the pasture he went. Of course, just to show that he was so smart, he kicked up his heels and made a small circle into the pasture.

Well, I’ll be a son of a gun! THERE it is! All those Fence Stays, and my efforts, had been nice … but sure had not solved the problem. And from the looks of the ground, they had been coming through this way all the time.

I still had the heifer to get out, so climbed back up toward her, and had plans to get her out the waiting, wide-open gate. Of course, she had other plans, bouncing down the rocks, toward the bottom fence, she followed her friend back through the hole, and not to be outdone, also made a little kicking, circle in the pasture.

So … now I have to go apply staples and some wire to the fence BELOW the tree, and cure that hole. Finally, the mystery is solved, and at last the leak will be cured.

Comment Print Email










  • How to compete against Wal-Mart
  • Stockton mom turns a need into a business
  • The entrepreneur is in
  • Writing her own success story
  • Growing a small business the family way
  • The future pencils positive for this company
  • Niche marketing -- Italian style
  • Sipping success with niche marketing
  • Roasting a business out of his passion
  • Success as an independent consultant takes more than expertise
  • Avoiding the traps of employee law violations
  • Cracking the voice-over market
  • The American Dream realized, one package at a time
  • Female winemaker plunges into business
  • A new take on nurse education
  • Family sees moving business success
  • STEM thrives in pockets of education innovation
  • STEM goes solar in Stockton
  • Quick! There’s a robot in my pool
  • Retiring seniors can mean new business
  • Predawn biotech class trains next generation of science workers
  • Staying ahead of the competition the old fashioned way
  • Central Valley sees mismatch between high-tech jobs and job seekers
  • STEM starts young
  • Get ready – the future is here now
  • STEM Education: Growing the Valley's Future
  • They’re low power in wattage only, not ideas
  • Thinking success spawns Successful Thinkers
  • Small business success can mean finding the right niche
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Getting the scoop on small business success
  • Reshoring could rebuild America's manufacturing
  • Marketing that’s deliberately anchored to the past
  • Guitar artist plays his way to success
  • Paralysis no handicap for this entrepreneur
  • Boost sales with better communication
  • Making sandwiches sexy with a franchise
  • Going solar without spending a lot of money
  • They’re cute and cuddly. But are they a business?
  • Opportunity sails forth in the Delta
  • How bad etiquette on the job could kill your career
  • Growing their way out of hunger and poverty
  • Finding small business success from floor to ceiling
  • Why he’s public enemy #1 – for gophers
  • Running a home-based business successfully
  • Your boss needs a vacation – really
  • Couple makes transition from big corporations to small business
  • Carving a small business niche with a better idea
  • Calm is the goal of computer service and education franchisor
  • Developer squeezing new life into downtown with juice franchise
  • Signs of a recovering economy
  • How to keep a family business in the family
  • Ford dealership expands despite the Great Recession
  • Utility Telephone connects with customer service
  • Crowdfunding basics
  • The roar from crowdfunding is getting louder
  • California water wars’ bulldog
  • Water wars heat up in California
  • Helping businesses grow with a stronger STEM
  • How to retain your best employees
  • Small business runs success up the pole
  • Winery expands in Lodi
  • Lodi wineries tapping into growing Chinese market
  • Has the jobs picture brightened for the Valley for 2012?
  • The right education will be needed for 21st Century jobs
  • Where new jobs for San Joaquin will come from
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin – Part 2
  • Developing jobs for San Joaquin
  • Fruits of his labor
  • Helping grow food security in the Valley of plenty
  • Doing a business turnaround despite the recession
  • Keeping customers loyal helps build her business
  • Expo exposes businesses to utility contracting ideas
  • Drink mix maker taps expertise to blend success
  • Entrepreneur finds success in a basket
  • Tips for catching resume fraud
  • There’s no checking out for this small business owner
  • Entrepreneurs take Valley sports play-by-play to the world
  • Starting a winery from scratch
  • Job hunting tips for the long-term unemployed
  • In the Central Valley, opera isn’t always the Grand Ole Opry
  • Branding ideas for small businesses
  • The ump’s not blind, but the players are
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way - Part Two
  • Finding success by tapping your brain in a new way
  • Machines talking to machines is the future
  • Getting involved in the fight against AIDS
  • Franchised divorce says it’s a better way
  • Small business owner is brewing a success story
  • To beat the Great Recession, they’ve expanded
  • Taking a swing at strokes
  • Alert your taste buds – here comes Taste of San Joaquin
  • This franchise has real muscle behind it
  • Passion for his city drives him
  • Vicente Fox speaks out on U.S.-Mexico relations
  • Give your support staff recognition and reap top performance
  • Central Valley baker gets top honors for Royal Wedding pie
  • Asparagus Festival ends on high note
  • Stockton close to annual ‘tipping’ point
  • Framing small business success
  • Small business sees Affordable Care Act helping its bottom line
  • What you eat – and when – helps local restaurants
  • Coping with the aftermath of foreclosure
  • How to raise charming children
  • Central Valley grad school goes all-iPads
  • Solution to Delta water wars voiced
  • Making sure your personal bottom line is covered
  • Small California winemaker is all family
  • Small winery relies on family and innovation to compete
  • Central Valley company says it has a better way to store solar power
  • What’s wrong -- and right -- about local TV news
  • What planning means to small business success
  • Making the leap to small business
  • Out of work at middle age? Experts offer advice
  • Small business marketing, one article at a time
  • Congress on your corner as it’s supposed to be
  • Central Valley city’s heritage rediscovered
  • Central Valley school is building students’ foundations
  • Job tips from the expert
  • Long-term jobless worker re-invents himself
  • Building a new power plant means jobs for Central Valley
  • Sacramento reaches for the stars with new science center
  • Lodi Chamber opens China’s doors to small business
  • Writing books for fun – and sometimes profit
  • Black Friday shopping? How to protect yourself from scams
  • California winemakers can find added rewards overseas
  • Wine makers tap overseas markets from Lodi
  • A new revenue stream for Central Valley small businesses
  • Food bank seeks more business support
  • Tips for finding a job in the Great Recession
  • State may solve some of its prison woes with new Stockton facility
  • A solution to underwater mortgages
  • Should public libraries be managed by private firms?
  • Central Valley moves ahead with critical water project
  • Dee Dee Myers and the increasing impact of women on small business
  • How women are growing their small businesses
  • A market with a mission
  • Retailer 'paints' solutions to cash flow challenge
  • An answer for the unemployed – return to school
  • A ‘golden’ small business success story
  • Central Valley winegrapes blessed
  • Rubbing out the recession with a franchise
  • Surviving the recession as a small business
  • It’s personal, union says of Stockton fire cuts
  • How old it too old to start a new business?
  • They've found the recipe for small business success
  • MBA students help revive Central Valley farmers market
  • Classic wooden yachts anchor in Stockton for weekend
  • Foreclosures, short sales – a bank president comments
  • The strength of family helps this small business compete
  • Festival spears success in Central Valley
  • Social media helps keep family business prospering
  • Central Valley students get training in ‘green’ futures
  • Knives readied as Valley cities slash services
  • Central Valley jobless picture still grim
  • Delta residents told to ready for water war
  • Opportunities outlined for Central Valley small businesses
  • Rewiring your brain for success
  • Central Valley no longer ‘shell shocked’ by recession
  • To fix California’s government, look to London
  • Taking your sales pitch to the next level