Yak Herder Central

Yak Herder and his trusty(?) altered ego, The Swami, are content to provide little content of their own, but delight in providing "helpful" commentary to the blogs of others ....ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FAIRLY UNBALANCED

Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Year of the Yak

On behalf of the entire management and staff of Yak Herder Central, we wish everyone, including the yaks of the world:

Happy New Year

And as an added bonus to our faithful readers and the yaks of the world (and to stop Zak the Yak's badgering) we are declaring 2007 "The Year of the Yak." In rereading the previous sentence, Swami noticed a possible redundancy since many of our readers may BE yaks.

We know that you are probably staring, stupified, at your computer thinking how can I possibly thank The Swami (other than sending small, unmarked bills) for declaring 2007 The Year of the Yak? Oh, yes, we have heard rumors that there are some nuthatches that might be staring at their computers thinking: What is the procedure for having a blogger relocated to a heavily padded room?

Needless to say, Swami needs a couple of vats of fermented yak milk in order to stimulate his creativity, which obviously needs some stimulating.

Again, Happy New Year to All!!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Bits, Bulbs and Boners

Swamette usually has very good ideas. From vast, past experience Swami has learned that it is usually a good idea (sorry, I mean a great idea) to listen to The Lovely Swamette. Because we went a bit overboard for Christmas, Swamette thought that we should try to save some money on other things if at all possible.

This, however, was not one of Swamette's best ideas. In fact, this is the last time that Swami will try to save money by getting his dental work done by Zak the Yak's veterinarian.

Today was warmer than usual for this time of year, but that was good. Like a procastinatic yak, Swami finally got around to planting the daffodil bulbs that Swamette bought several months ago. [Hey, you try working "procrastinatic yak" into a sentence. And, okay, so it isn't in your dictionary; it still should be a word]. As I tried to explain to Swamette, this was my plan all along.

Well, Charlie Gibson of ABC just delivered a scoop of sorts during his coverage of President Ford's funeral in the Capitol in Washington D.C. As the camera was scanning the crowd in the rotunda Charlie was identifying various people; "...and there is Representative John Boehner of Michigan...". That was the first that I was aware that our representative had moved from Ohio to Michigan!

Actually, trying to anchor coverage of something like this, with multiple audio and video feeds, Swami will cut Charlie Gibson some slack. However, with President Ford's funeral, James Brown's funeral, and the execution of Saddam Hussein, all happening almost simultaneously, Swami has had visions of tired, wacked-out correspondents delivering something along the lines of:

"We have now received confirmation of the execution of "The Godfather of Soul." But before we bring you gruesome closeup footage, we will go to our correspondent in New York who will tell us why Saddam Hussein pardoned Gerald Ford. But first a few words from our sponsor, Big Bob's Used Dentures."

Perhaps The Swami should cut-back on the fermented yak milk and stick with the (very tasty) yak cheese.

Monday, December 25, 2006

A Yak-a-foosian Christmas?

Swami is still trying to recover from Christmas and cuteness overload (that is in NO way a complaint). Swami and Swamette are enjoying some delicious yak cheese. It brought a tear to Zak's eye when he smelled and saw the yak cheese.

Swami also received a Yak Plaque. To be totally honest, the first thing The Swami thought was: Yak Plaque, Oh no, Swamette warned me not to share my toothbrush with Zak the Yak. Fortunately, it was not that type of plaque. Swami also, received the "YakTrax" Walker for walking on ice or packed snow. [yaktrax.com]

There was one major disappointment. The yak-hair thong Swami ordered for Swamette was out of stock. Bummer.

However, lest you think it was an entirely yak-themed Christmas, 'twas not so, reindeer breath!!

It was also a Zickefoosian Christmas. A Red-tailed hawk water color for Susan; Julie's book, Letters from Eden, for Rachel; Julie's birds on sweaters from a nature catalog (me thinks it was National Wildlife) for Swamette and Susan.

Hope Everyone had a Merry Christmas (and happy holidays) and that all (or both) of my readers [and, yes, everyone else as well] have a very Happy and Healthy New Year.

Friday, December 22, 2006

What A Deal!!

Well, Swami is trying to wrap up his Christmas shopping, figuratively and literally. There are a few last-minute special presents that Swami is in the process of bidding for on EBAY. Wow, I hope the bids are successful. It was really a stroke of luck to find such unique items.

Swami is currently the high bidder for two one-of-a-kind items: A hunting rifle once owned by St. Francis of Assisi and a motorcycle that was a gift to Attila the Hun's mother.

Gee, what are the odds of being lucky enough to come across two deals like this?

Swami does not like to say, "I told you so," but it certainly appears to me that traveling by yak this holiday season would be much more reliable than flying out of Denver's airport.

And don't forget, if you are traveling with yaks, be sure not to forget that you will need a photo ID for each member of your party.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Very Berry Christmas: (or what IS he drinking?)

Swami was not able to blog yesterday as he was slightly under the weather. I find yak-milk ice cream irresistible. When a neighboring yak herder set up a stand selling yak-milk ice cream, Swami had to stop by to get some. The "Very Berry" sounded yummy, so I got the super-sized Ya-mongous size.

Unfortunately, it was only after polishing off the whole bowl that I noticed that the flavor was actually beriberi.

While recovering, Swami listened to his wood-burning radio. There is no doubt that the quality of music has gone down over the past 30-40 years. Some of what comes out of the speakers isn't talk and isn't music. Swami is at a loss as to what it is. One of these "things" was by a person called Snoop Yaky-Yak. The announcer referred to it as rap music.

If ever there was an oxymoron it is "rap music." If anyone has ever done (I cannot bring myself to say sung) a rap love song, I am unaware of it. It is impossible for The Swami to conceive of a love song that includes: Ho, b*tch, sl*t and other such endearments.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: No yaks were harmed in the making of this post.
It is with deep regret, however, that we must disclaim the disclaimer by acknowledging that the yaks that were within earshot of the rap now have ears that are shot.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Amish Yaks??

Through a very rigorous process of logical deduction, I have concluded that many of you who love birds and yaks must wonder: where can I find an Amish yak. Regrettably, at the moment, The Swami is unable to answer that question. But fear not. We are working on it.

In the meantime I refer you to my younger son's blog, The Amish Cook, which is now listed on the right side of the page. He conceived of a newspaper column and found an old order Amish woman to write it when he was just 19. For the last 15 years his company, Oasis Newsfeatures, has syndicated the column. It is now in more that 115 newspapers throughout the US. You can learn more of the history of the column by clicking on the About tab on his blog and then clicking on "About The Amish Cook."

It is with great disappointment (that I know readers of Yak Herder Central will share) when I tell you that the last time Swami checked there were no Amish recipes for cream of yak soup on the site or in any of the cook books sold there. This is an omission which I find almost unconscionable. In one of the richest nations on earth grown men are going to bed without being able to have even a small cup of warm yak soup. It almost rivals the heartbreak of psoriasis.

What makes this tragedy all the more preventable is that at this very moment there is an animal-lover in the foothills of the Appalachians of southeast Ohio who has the perfect 80-acre Eden for these beautiful bovine beasts of burden. Sure, some nit-picking purists will say that yaks should have mountains at least several thousand feet higher than this Eden provides. The Swami says: Picky, Picky, Picky. Several weeks and several bulldozers and that problem can be rectified. Besides, Swami bets Liam would love driving a bulldozer for a few hours a day!

Well, the Swami must go. It is time for Monday Night Yak Football.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Photographing Geriatric Yaks

Sorry loyal readers, or reader, Swami has not blogged for several days. Like a flea market canoe, Swami has been swamped.

It was a tough choice: blog, or keep searching the internet and comparing cameras. Several times I got as far as putting a camera or a camera body in the checkout basket, only to go back and reconsider what is the best choice vs what I'd really like [Canon EOS 1Ds Mark II 16.7MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only) $6,814.95] vs what I really need( a disposable camera for 9.95?) vs what I want to spend for what is reasonable.

After checking the mail today and seeing that I did not receive a photo assignment from National Geographic (which is strange, since I did not apply for one,...Hmmm) I ruled out the 16.7 Megapixel. Well, that's one less choice. Progress.

Swami almost had a very good deal on a Canon EF 12-800mm f/1.4-22 telephoto auto zoom image-stabilized lens for only $139.95 from a very nice man in Nigeria, but his internet connection must be temporarily down. I lost contact shortly after I gave him all my personal and financial information. Well, I'm sure he will ship the lens in time for Christmas.

It is strange how pictures sometimes get distorted over the internet. The glass in the lens photo looked a lot like the bottom of a Coke bottle.

I had to stop looking at cameras today because I spent an hour and 37 minutes on the phone with my insurance agent trying to find out why the premiums on my yaks went up so much. There was just that one little incident in the china shop and once the walls and floors were repaired they were able to glue a lot of the china back together again.

This may well lead to a class action discrimination lawsuit. It was a geriatric yak that tripped in the china shop. Raising rates on a geriatric yak is probably age discrimination and discrimination against yaks. Swami is very confident that he will have no problem finding an attorney to take the case.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's A Wrap

Swami has always been very tolerant of other people's beliefs and traditions. If someone puts their unwrapped gifts under the tree on Christmas Eve instead of putting wrapped gifts there two weeks before (in order to drive people mad with curiousity) that is ok.

In fact, Swami is so tolerant that it seems fine to me if Christians, Jews, Muslims, agnostics, athetists, Druids, and others all celebrate Christmas in the traditional way: unfettered, half-crazed shopping.

[Today's note of interest: While perusing Wikipedia's list of world religions Swami noted that Scientology is listed under "Alien Religions."] Hmmm,...I thought that Tom Cruise seemed to be in orbit.

Back to putting gifts under the tree. Swami and the lovely Swamette usually wrap and place gifts under the tree in the weeks before Christmas. We wrapped a number of gifts this past weekend. For reasons beyond our control, we had to spend nearly six hours wrapping one gift. We thought that it would be a fairly quick job. Swamette and I were pleasantly surprised that the gift required no assembly nor did we have to run out to buy batteries. Still, we were very surprised by how long it took to wrap a yak.

At one point Swami decided that the only way to do it was to first hog-tie the yak. The yak was not co-operative (This is what I believe is referred to as an understatement). After the three of us rolled around on the ground for nearly 20 minutes, the dust settled and I discovered that I had inadvertently hog-tied Swamette. Swami will deny that any very interesting ideas flashed though his mind at that point.

Well, to make a long story longer, let's just say that we decided that this one time, we will put an unwrapped gift under the tree.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Deck Your Yak With Boughs of Holly

As you might well imagine, at this time of year The Swami is often asked, "What is the best way to decorate my yak for Christmas?"

As you may have surmised, Swami is pretty much a traditionalist. Yet, at the same time, Swami does try to always to remain tasteful and not allow himself to just follow the crowd. That is why, for example, Swami would not copy the rotating, flashing pink-flamingos that Britney might have on her double-wide.

Swami prefers to decorate his Christmas yak with several thousand tiny white lights. This has the added benefit of helping to keep Zak warm on a cold winter's night. On the other-hand, Swamette is always complaining that she gets very cold as she follows him around the hills and meadows trying to keep the extension cords plugged in. We really do need to convert to a steam-driven battery pack before next Christmas.

[Required Legal Disclaimer: Do not connect more than one yak per extension cord. Never decorate your yak with lighted candles.]

Finally, Swami has always felt that a wreath around your yak's neck is a festive Christmas touch.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Yak Skin Clearance Sale??

Not surprisingly, Swami has had many aspiring yak herders ask, "Where can I get a good yak-skin rug for in front of our fireplace as a Christmas present for my wife?"

Well, guys, let's be real as we say out in the meadows. You and I both know who you expect the real beneficiary of such a present would be. I hate to be the one to give you the bad news.

Swami bought a reindeer skin in Norway many years ago thinking it would be a great complement to our fireplace. As far as its desired effect on Swamette, The Swami would have been way ahead if he had spent the money on a couple of vats of fermented yak milk for the Swamette. We would highly recommend Norway for the scenery, but don't make a trip just for a reindeer skin.

Please forgive Swami for a brief lapse into lucidity, but while on the subject of Norway I should mention an incident that happened when we were there. As we were parked awaiting a ferry to cross a fjord, Swamette realized her purse containing four passports, jewelery and virtually all our cash was missing. After thinking and calling a restaurant we had eaten at an hour back the way we had come, we drove back to find not a farthing missing (of course, you ninnies, we had not had any farthings to start with). Nothing was missing and they would not take any money, until Swamette finally said if they did not want the money she gave them to give it to a charity.

We are sure there are others who would have done the same, but it was generally a great place with wonderful people.

We will now return to our regularly scheduled nonsense.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Yak TV??

It is here at last! The channel that yak fans have been clamoring for.

Mongolian Internet TV

Please, Please. Restrain yourselves. I know that this is exciting news and most of the readers of Yak Herder Central are eager to sign up for Mongolian TV. You may want to wait a bit though.

Contrary to many expectations, Zak the Yak does not yet have his own show. There are some other shortcomings of Mongolian Internet TV. The schedule is a bit sparse. Programing does not begin until late afternoon. It is much like TV in the US was in the late 1940s.

As a public service The Swami wondered how he could help Mongolian TV lurch forward into the 21st century without taking the 50+ years that it took the US to move from only a few hours of TV per day to the cornucopia of wonderful, highly-educational choices we have today. Swami asked himself what is the key difference between 1950s TV and today's TV.

Eureka!! Infomercials. That's what's missing.

By Jove, Clive. I believe that's the answer.

All that the Mongolian TV channel needs to do is add 16-18 hours a day of infomercials for Flab Master, Yak-hair Toupees, get-rich-quick schemes for selling yak milk by yak mail, and The Yurt Shopping Network.

And above all, Mongolian TV is probably more uplifting than our evening news.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Yaks In The Attic

Swami was awakened at about 3 am Saturday by an urgent phone call seeking help. The caller was distraught because he feared that his attic was the site of a yak infestation. After calming the person and going through the standard 47-question checklist, The Swami determined that the caller did not have yaks in the attic, he had bats in the belfry.

Still, in order to relieve his yak anxiety, Swami explained that the best way to avoid an unwanted yak infestation is to spray Yak 'B' Gone around the perimeter of one's property. It should be sprayed in a counter-clockwise direction during a full moon. This absolutely works. No one who has used this method has ever had a yak infestation. Amazing, but true.

Where else can you get such invaluable (or is the word un-valuable) information. On second thought, it is not necessary to answer that question.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Chortling We Will Go

When I arrived home today Swamette was sitting on the floor in middle of the family room. She was surrounded by bulging shopping bags and she was chortling incoherently. As every married man knows, it is not a good sign when your wife is chortling! Swami has no idea what chortling is, but he knows it when he hears it.

Since first slithering out of the prehistoric ooze, there are two things that the primeval male brain knows when he hears a female chortling: 1. He should begin slowly backing away; 2. The chortler has just returned from shopping. Some scientists believe that chortling is a vestigial sound of frustration made by female lifeforms who had learned to shop even before they had arms to carry the packages in.

In this case the Swamette had spent (spent being the operative word) the day with a friend. Every year these two inveterate shoppers take it upon themselves to do whatever is humanly possible to re-invigorate the U.S. economy. To the best of my knowledge they have single-handedly kept the economy from sinking into a depression for at least the last 15 years.

Swami has to run. He hears chortling again.