Category: The Figure 8 Ranch

March Madness

March did not come in like a lamb, not really, but it’s finally here and with it we begin another promising round of spring work on the Figure 8. As usual, I’m entertaining big dreams of an extraordinary harvest – 500 lbs, you may recall, remains the gold standard — and to that end I’m ...

Notes on a Greasy Napkin

I like to write in diners. I like it because I always hear something marvelous about politics, or the weather, and also because there is something inspirational in the smell of bacon, the comfort of a worn-out booth beside a picture window, and the reliable goodness of hashed browns, two eggs over-medium, and a side ...

A Meditation, With Horses

We don’t make as much of Christmas anymore. Each year the tree gets smaller and we put up fewer lights. It isn’t that we’ve lost the spirit of the thing.  Mostly, we just fall behind the season. We aren’t alone.  By mid-May the last of the late Christmas cards usually trickle in, bloodstained and dusty, ...

A Fistful of Dollars

I’ve seen this man before. He’s Mexican, late middle-aged, soft spoken, and there is a shielded focus in his eyes that betrays the uncertainty of a life spent mostly standing over a trap door. His name is Armando. A couple of years ago, while sitting upstairs in my office working, I saw him ride down the ...

Vegetable Transparency

It’s time to come clean. Way back in March, or April, or maybe it was May, I wrote in these pages predicting—it was really more of a populist pandering, almost a campaign promise—that we would grow 500 lbs. of vegetables. That was worth a giggle then, and somewhere inside I knew it was a bold ...

Nuclear Winter

Oregon is burning, and we’ve now lost a month of summer to the smoke. Each morning I look out toward the barn, where it sits in a kind of primordial orange pall, and I can see the ash falling like snow in the offing. Inside the house, which is buttoned up, it smells like a ...

The People I Didn’t Kill

Author’s note:  this post was originally published in September, 2014, following the Ferguson, Missouri riots. The soul of a cop’s eyes Is an eternity of Sunday daybreak in the suburbs Of Juarez, Mexico. James Wright Yesterday, after a luxurious week of toiling underground, minding my own business, breaking the code of a hard poem by ...

Jack Donovan

Masculinity and Tribalism

Adventures Fantastic

Reviews, Views, & Occasional News

Bunkhouse Chronicle

Field notes from the Figure 8 Ranch


Nous Defions!

Frontier Partisans

Field notes from the Figure 8 Ranch


"Strength Through Honor"