Vintage Butchering Tools

Dateline: 28 August 2015

click picture to see enlarged view

I've been butchering this year's crop of meat birds over the last three days. My New Outdoor Sink has been an incredibly useful tool. I don't know why I didn't make one years ago. And the Whizbang Toe-Tapper faucet switch worked perfectly. I couldn't be more pleased.

I used a few new-old butchering tools this year. Two of them are pictured above. I bought the butcher's steel for less than $20 at an antique shop. It's a beauty. The steel is 14" long. Swivel loop on the handle end. Walnut handle.

I almost didn't buy the steel because it had a light patina of rust on it. But on close inspection I concluded that I could remove the rust. I used a fine brass wire wheel in my bench grinder to clean up the steel. Half an hour later it was like a new tool. 

The cleaver is a Foster Brothers 1190. I looked at a lot of antique cleavers over the years and none really appealed to me. But when I saw the Foster Brothers 1190, I knew that was my cleaver. $25. 

I used the cleaver to separate chicken backs from breasts where the two parts connect at the neck. A couple of carefully-placed whacks and the parts were cleanly separated. It's a whole lot easier than using a knife, which is the tool I've used for many years at this stage of parting a chicken.

And we typically remove wing tips before freezing. Cleaver-cutting wing tips was downright fun. 

It turns out that the Foster Brothers company was a Central NY business, located not far from where I live. If you're interested, you can learn more about the company At This Link. Here's a picture of a Foster Brother's employee, back in the day, grinding the edge on some meat cleavers...


Sharpening cleaver blades at the Foster Brother's Company

The other vintage butchering tool I used this year for the first time is a French poultry killing knife that was made by the G.P. Pulling Company...


Vintage French poultry killing knife

I learned about the knife from the book, Caponizing, by George P. Pilling (click link to purchase an inexpensive copy). 

The idea of a French poultry killing knife is that, instead of cutting a chicken's neck to bleed it, you skillfully sever a vein in the back of the bird's mouth. Make a nick of the blade, and they bleed out the mouth. 

That old knife is a very rare item. I bought it on Ebay for $30. I waited a long time for one to come up for sale.

In a future blog post (when I have more time to write) I will further discuss the French poultry killing knife and my experience with slicing the artery at the back of the throat.


Nicely sharpened French poultry killing knife.




My New Outdoor Sink

Dateline: 23 August 2015

click picture for larger view

Yesterday I finally got around to putting the finishing touches on the outdoor sink of my dreams. I've been planning to make this thing for years

The old, single-bowl sink with two flanking drainboards was made in 1950. The date is cast into the bottom. It's a very heavy sink. We salvaged it from out behind my parent's barn back in 1999, and have used it over the years to process chickens.

I typically set it up on a couple of sawhorses for processing day, and put it away afterwards.

But the sink is now installed into the front of a homemade Whizbang garden cart and I have it elevated so it is regular kitchen sink height of 36" (sawhorse height was too low for comfort). 

If you look at the picture closely, you will see a Whizbang Toe-Tapper faucet switch is mounted to the front of the cart. Such placement makes it a Whizbang thigh-or-hip-tapper faucet switch. Very convenient.

Water drains through a pvc pipe out to the other end of the cart, into a plastic pail on the ground. The pail has small drain holes in it.

The patio umbrella and pot rack with hooks make for more comfort and efficiency.

I can unhook one hose connection to the Toe-tapper and easily move the cart (and sink assembly) anywhere I want to.

This sink is right behind our house, near the main entrance door, and it has very quickly become something akin to an outdoor kitchen. The first day it was there, Marlene used it to wash green beans before canning them, and she also cut up some cabbages to make a batch of sauerkraut. I had a small problem with one of my Plasson chicken waterers and fixed it at the sink. I also washed a pair of cloth gloves in the sink. This will be the place to wash apples for making cider this fall. And it will be ideal for washing dandelion roots when it comes time to make my yearly batch of dandelion root tea.

My incentive for getting the sink done now is our meat birds. They are almost ready to process.


meat birds in the background





"One More Time"

Dateline: 18 August 2015


Futureman feeding the meat birds.


Metaphorically speaking, I've been skiing ahead of an avalanche all summer. It has been an enormous challenge to keep up with the daily demands of my Planet Whizbang business.  I'm not sure how many more years I can maintain the pace. But things should slow down in another month or so. I'll be glad to see it. Hopefully, I'll have more time to blog here. I've had lots in mind to write but little time to get it written.

For example, I didn't even post a blog about Futureman visiting us earlier in the month! He was here for two weeks and learned all about chickens in chicken tractors. He would help me feed and water and move the tractors every day.

He also had a bug jar into which he collected grasshoppers, and then fed them to the chickens. It's all pretty exciting to a little boy.


Futureman with his bug jar.

Speaking of exciting, before Futureman left to go back to Toledo, I decided to make an impromptu video of him riding in my garden cart.  I posted the film to YouTube today, primarily for Futureman (in Toledo) to see, but you can see it too....








Here's Why Modern Banking Is An Evil System Of Economic Oppression

Dateline: 12 August 2015



My previous blog post, Considering BitGold (It's NOT A cryptocurrency), has me thinking about the banking system. Ever since I learned the fundamental truth about banks (and bank loans in particular) some 40 years ago, I have sincerely loathed the banking system. This loathing is, I'm sure, a big part of the reason that BitGold appeals to me.

In my book, Writings of a Deliberate Agrarian, I have a chapter titled, My Debt-Free Home And A Personal Testimony. In that chapter I tell the story of how I would not go to a bank for a loan to build (or buy) a house after my wife and I were married back on 1980.  I stated that I would rather live in a shack, debt free, on the 1.5 acre of rural land we had just saved for and bought, than live in a house that the bank owned. (To some degree, we did build a shack to start out. The house was very small, unfinished, and covered with tar paper for many years. But I digress.)

In this blog post I want to shine a light on the immoral, psychopathic loan scheme that banks routinely perpetrate on the unknowing masses. What I’m about to share with you is not common knowledge, but it should be. This fundamental truth about our evil banking system should be shared with all your friends and family. Our children should be taught the evil of banks and bank debt from a young age.

Modern banking can be very difficult to understand, and I don’t understand it all, but I understand the evil bottom line that I’m about to share with you. This evil bottom line is very simply that when a bank loans you money, it is Ex nihilo money.

Ex nihilo is a Latin phrase that means "out of nothing.” Ex nihilo is typically associated with the Christian account of creation. The Bible says that God created the universe and all that is in it—that He created it out of nothing (He spoke it into existence). 

Ex nihilo creation is a divine attribute that the banking system has appropriated for it's own profit. The banks do this by creating credit-money Ex nihilo when you go to them for a loan. The more popular expression is that banks create money for loans “out of thin air.”

Unless you are already familiar with this Ex nihilo creation of "money" by the banks, it sounds kind of unbelievable. But as proof of this claim, I would like to introduce the following YouTube film clip. In less than 2 minutes, two international bankers make it perfectly clear that when someone gets a loan from a bank, the bank creates the money “out of thin air.” Here is the link: Where Does Money Come From

You can also learn more At This Link

In the case of our home (the little, tar-paper house my wife and I built shortly after we were married), my wife’s father, Jay Myers, loaned us $10,000. He was a retired dairy farmer. Jay accumulated the money that he loaned us by working hard (very hard), sacrificing, and saving it. He did not create it out of thin air. 

But that isn’t how it is with bank loans. Banks don’t work to earn the money they loan to their “customers.” They do not expend time and their life energy to accumulate the money they loan. They do not personally sacrifice anything to get the money. They just create an entry in a ledger and loan it to you. Prior to them making the credit-loan, the "money" did not exist.

That is, as the saying goes, a fact, Jack. Now for the even more incredible aspect of this banking scam…

If you borrow money that was created out of thin air from a bank, the bank fully expects you to pay the money back. You know this already, of course, but I just want to put it in perspective... 

You are not allowed to pay the loan with money you create out of thin air. You have to expend your time, your talent, and your life force in order to earn the money to pay the bank.

I hope you see the wickedness of this system. There is more….

If, for whatever reason, you can’t pay back the credit-money the bank created out of thin air, or if you can’t pay it back on time, the bank will foreclose on your property. Again, you already know this, but I need to point it out. The bank will take practically everything you own of any value in an attempt to get their “money.”

A story of bank foreclosure was recently related to me by distant family members. The local Law came to the couple’s home and informed them that they had to leave. When asked what they could take with them, the Law told them they could take their clothing. Everything else belonged to the bank. 

In that particular instance, the couple had a thriving greenhouse business at their home, and income-generating commercial rental property in town, but they had fallen $11,000 behind in their bank payments because an employee was embezzling money. 

Being in a difficult situation, the couple had a $100,000 line of unused credit at the bank and figured they could tap into that to get them through the crisis. But the bank informed them that their line of credit no longer existed.

When it was all said and done, the couple lost everything they had worked all their life for up to that point (over half a million dollars in total loss). 

Stories like that are common when it comes to bank loans, especially when the economy goes bad (and the economy always goes bad eventually). The incredible injustice of it is, once again, that the banks create the money out of thin air, and when it can't be paid back, the banks want tangible items of real value to satisfy their loans.

If all of that isn’t bad enough, there is the aspect of interest (usury). The banks create money out of thin air, expect you to pay it all back, AND they want you to pay even more for interest. It is insult on top of injury. 

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This fundamental lesson in thievery should make you suspicious of banks in general, especially the big banks. The big banks are perpetually scheming and developing techniques for fleecing the masses. You would think that creating money out of thin air, loaning it to people, and charging interest would be sufficient to make the banks all the money they could ever want (all without working for it). But the modern banking system is never satisfied. It always wants more money. Banking is the epitome of greed.

And when the bank’s greed gets them in trouble, as was the case back in 2008, they expect the government (American taxpayers) to bail them out. Fact is, back in 2008, the banking system’s top people in government (former high-level bankers hold the high-level positions of finance in our government) told the American congress there was no other option but to bail the banks out. 

Calls to Congress by Americans were 100 to 1 against any bailout of the banks back then. But Congress bailed out the banks. 

We now have government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations, with the banking corporations being the most powerful. Or perhaps they are a close second to the military-industrial corporations.


It's easy to go off on a rabbit trails when it comes to banks with their greed and corruption. My point with all of this is that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to bank loans, and I don't think that borrowing money from a bank is wise. I know that practically everyone does it, but that is beside the point. 


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This same principle of Ex Nihilo money creation by the banking industry is also used in a big way to acquire the wealth of developing nations. The reality of this is mind boggling. Check out This 2-minute YouTube Movie. It is an excellent overview of how the game is played out. The narrator is John Perkens, a former "economic hitman." 


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I should make it clear that this blog post is not directed at all the people who work for banks. My brother-in-law is in banking, and he's a truly great guy. My daughter-in-law also works in a bank. Although I personally would have moral reservations about working in a bank, there are plenty of decent, respectable folks who do work in banks. It's the banking system itself that is corrupt. 











Another Kimball Wedding

Dateline: 10 August 2015


Our second family wedding of the year took place on August 1st. It was an outdoor event at the upper pavilion in Fillmore Glen State Park, which is only 6 miles from our home. The weather could not have been any better. Warm but not hot. Clear skies. No humidity. No bugs. Simply perfect.

Pastor Cliff Ostrander of the Assembly of God church in Groton, NY performed the ceremony. There were around 200 guests.

The bride's family (and many friends) did a great job with all the details of the event. And Marlene made some of her locally-famous soap as favors for the guests...



One of the more unique and endearing features of the wedding ceremony was the music for the processional. Instead of "Here Comes The Bride," the old Irish hymn, "Be Thou My Vision," was played on four violins. It was absolutely beautiful. You can see and hear it at this link: Kinney & Kimball: The Processional

Such musical talent! My comment at the YouTube clip provides the words to the song.


Danielle & Robert

My son, James, married two months earlier, was the Best Man and gave the toast. He's the most outgoing of my sons (a real talker) but I don't think he has ever given a speech before. It was funny. It was serious. It was good. I was pleased. 

James told me he wrote the speech earlier in the day while making Baba ghanoush for the reception. Amazing. The kid can write and make Baba ghanoush at the same time!

To which I say, "What's Baba ghanoush?"

The Maid of Honor, Stephanie Tallman, also gave a good toast. In fact, it got Marlene sobbing. In short, being the bride's best friend for many years, Stephanie said she was in a unique position to judge the suitability of Robert for Danielle (the bride), and she knew this was a good match.

Later, Marlene told me that best friends really do know. 

Which brought to mind my best friend from years ago. I advised him not to marry the girl he was planning to marry. I was probably the only person who honestly advised him in that manner. I ended up being his best man. The marriage failed miserably. Upon learning of this from my friend years later, he said, "I should have listened to you."  Yeah, best friends know.


Stephanie and Danielle in the center.

Futureman was the ring bearer. He walked with the flower girl (Eva) until he recognized my sister along the way and veered off to go give her a hug. He got a little impatient with just standing up front during the ceremony and headed off into the woods to get some sticks to play with.

Futureman loved the wedding and reception. The next morning, when he woke up, he wanted to go back. "I walk with Eva?"


Futureman and the bride's 8-year-old brother, Tristan.

As for me, I woke up the next day feeling like I had been hit by a truck. I didn't do anything at the wedding except socialize and enjoy the day, but it is typical for introverts to be exhausted by social gatherings. On the other hand, extroverts are energized by social gatherings. Funny how that is.


Everyone is smiling... except me, Mr. Serious.

Robert and Danielle headed out just before dark. They left the next morning for a week in Cancun, Mexico. The trip was a wedding gift from the bride's parents. I'm happy to report that they are back home now, safe and sound. 

Cancun was a fun place. Robert told me that, "You and Mom should really think about going there some day." He said that with a little smile, knowing that I would never, ever, go to such a place. I just smiled back and told Marlene to put that on our list of things to do.... someday.


Sparklers for the bride and groom as they were leaving.

So the wedding ceremony and the reception was remarkably nice. It was a day of wonderful memories, and great hopes for the future.










Considering BitGold
(It's NOT A Cryptocurrency)

Dateline: 6 August 2015




I'd like to introduce you to a new idea that I think makes a lot of sense, and could well become a popular way for us "little people" (the non-wealthy) to own gold, experience the relative safety of gold ownership, and even use gold for everyday purchases.

It's called BitGold. That name—BitGold— brings to mind Bitcoin which is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. But BitGold is nothing at all like Bitcoin, or any other cryptocurrency.

Personally, I have tried to understand Bitcoin, and I really don't get it. I want to understand it because I like the decentralized aspect of it. But the whole concept boggles my mind. On the other hand, BitGold is a concept that I can understand...

BitGold is like a bank that allows you to buy and deposit gold in small (or large) quantities. You can save the gold in your account. And you can easily sell, convert back into dollars, and withdraw it.

I opened a BitGold account yesterday. It took less than 5 minutes to set up the account. I deposited $100 into the account using my bank debit card. 

$100 purchased 2.823 grams of gold at 1% over the spot price. Buying gold in very small quantities at 1% over spot price is remarkably inexpensive. The online purchase took place almost instantly. I chose to have my 2.823 grams stored in the BitGold vault in Zurich, Switzerland.

In actuality, the gold I purchased was already in the vault and owned by BitGold. Ownership of that portion of the gold was transferred to my account. No one else can own that 2.823 grams. It's mine, and mine alone.

BitGold does not charge a fee for storing the gold. This is kind of remarkable, as it is typical for a reputable gold vault to charge 1% or more a month to store gold.

So how does BitGold make money? They say it is on the fees. They take a 1% fee when you purchase gold, and a 1% fee when you make a withdrawal (spend via a debit card or transfer to your conventional bank account). Their goal is to build on what PayPal has done with online payments and the enormous fees they generate.

In my case, when I deposited $100 in my BitGold account I actually got $98.63 worth of gold. They deducted $1.37. That's more than 1%. I don't understand how they figured that.

The amount of grams of gold in my account will remain steady at 2.823 grams, unless I add or take away from it. BUT the dollar value of my account is continually fluctuating, because the price of gold in dollars is continually fluctuating. For example, as I am writing this, a day after my first deposit, the dollar value of my 2.823 grams has risen from $98.63 to $99.06. Here's a screen shot of my BitGold account page...


(click for much larger view)

When you make a withdrawal, the gold is sold at the current gold price and the dollar value is credited to you. And BitGold takes their 1% fee.

If you ever want to withdraw actual gold from your account, you can do so in 10-gram cubes or 1 kilogram bars. They will mail it to you. 

What makes this concept so appealing to me is that BitGold has a lot of credibility. They have a lot of money behind them, and there are reputable people who are involved. Eric Sprott and James Turk are two such people.

Without a doubt, the absolute safest way to own precious metals is to have them in your possession. But BitGold may well be the next best way to put a portion of your savings into gold, thus protecting it from long-term depreciation. All paper currencies have been (throughout history) and are being (right now) depreciated.

Furthermore, BitGold provides almost instant liquidity, which means you can easily convert it into currency and use it if/when you want to.

I have listened to every YouTube video about BitGold. A few are misleading because they aren't really about BitGold. They just put the name in the title. If you want to learn more about BitGold, I recommend you listen to This YouTube First, and then This One. A lot of your questions will be answered in those two interviews.

If you are intrigued enough to open an account and experiment with this new concept, it's surprisingly easy to do. They ask for minimal personal information (name, DOB, e-mail, phone number, mailing address). Then a robot calls your phone and gives you a special 4-digit number. You enter the number online and your account is verified.

BitGold currently has a new-account special. They will give you .25 gram of gold when you open a new account, if you click the following link... 


BitGold.com/r/522vto


The neat thing about that special link is that when you get .25 gram of gold in your account (I don't think you even need to add any of your own money to the account to get the .25 gram), BitGold will also deposit .25 gram of gold into my account. So we both benefit. I like that (I wish I had known about that feature when I opened my account). 

BitGold also has an affiliate program that will pay you even more money for getting people signed up, but those who sign up don't get the .25 gram of gold. That is not so appealing to me.

BitGold is a new company. They signed up 100,000 new accounts last month. This is an opportunity to be a part of something new and exciting that could really take off.

Please understand that I am not recommending BitGold as a reputable and safe place for you to put your hard-earned money. What I am recommending is that you check it out and try it out. Do your research and come to your own conclusions.

Obviously, you wouldn't want to put any more money into this BitGold concept than you can afford to lose in a worse-case scenario. But, if BitGold is truly a reputable business, and the internet continues to function, it could prove to be a wise way of diversifying and protecting your finances in an uncertain economy. 

Diversification is, after all, an old agrarian concept, best embodied in that familiar aphorism.... "Don't put all your eggs in one basket."