• Tom Bechman

    Old Eyes Can't Watch Basketball on a 20-inch Screen!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 14, 2014

    My wife, Carla, and I took a journey to Georgia to see our oldest daughter, Allison, during the first week of April. She works for Coca-Cola and is based in Atlanta. It was the week of the NCAA Final Four, but I figured we could watch the Saturday evening semi-finals on her TV. Then we got to her apartment and I looked at her TV, or tried to look at it. Left from her days as a college student, the screen was 20 inches, being generous. Twenty years ago I could have sat in the comfortable…

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  • Tom Bechman

    The 5 Types of Auction-goers

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on April 7, 2014

    I'm an auction enthusiast. I've been to a ton of farm sales and household sales through the years, and lots of toy sales. Before the Internet, you could look the opposing bidder in the eye and try to guess how high he was going to go. People have different strategies when it comes to bidding at live auctions. Here are a few styles I've noticed, or even fell prey to at one time or another. See which of these categories might fit you. Internet bidding is a whole different animal. It…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Teaching the Next Generation is a Privilege

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 31, 2014

    Graham, my four-year-old grandson, has "cowboy" boots so he can help grandpa at the barn with the sheep. Saturday morning he couldn't wait to get the boots on and his Carhartt jacket zipped. We got out the tractor. It's a John Deere utility tractor with a loader. He calls it Johnny Tractor. "What are we going to do, pa?" "We're going to clean out part of the lambing barn, Graham." "Oh, we're going to clean out sheep poop?" "Yes…

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  • Tom Bechman

    My Encounters With Farm Yard Varmints Reaches a New High

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 24, 2014

    Opossums, raccoons, you name it – they all like to take up residence at my place. I've chronicled my battles with big raccoons and wily opossums for months now in the "Front Porch" feature in Indiana Prairie Farmer. Those reports will continue occasionally, because the battle is not over. However, just a couple of days ago I finally broke into the scoring column, quite by accident. For several days I had noticed that after I put the dog up for the night in the garage…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Big Boys and Their Toys: Farm Toy Show Quickens the Heart Rate

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on March 3, 2014

    Farm toy show? Where? When? I can't wait! If you have this reaction, you're hooked on farm toy collecting. If your wife isn't, it can make for some interesting discussions. If it sounds like I'm talking from experience, that's because I am. I caught the farm toy bug quite by accident. I went to a top flight auction held locally on New Year's Day many years ago, and my jaws dropped when someone paid $1,000 for a collection of three small New Idea toys form the '50s…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Will They Need to Clear Snow for the Indy 500?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on February 17, 2014

    My daughter flew in from Minneapolis a couple days ago. We went to the airport to meet her. Snowdrifts along I-70 were a mile high…well, almost. They had piled a huge mountain of snow after clearing parking lots and other areas. It got me to thinking. When will this winter end? How long before that snow melts? Stuck in this cycle of most days in the teens, with a day now and then sneaking above 30 degrees, it's hard to imagine it ever getting warm again. Will they still be pushing…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Man, I Sure Love This Cold Weather!

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on February 3, 2014

    I'm known far and wide for hating hot weather. The summer of 2012 was like being in purgatory for me. If the thermometer is above 90 degrees, I find air conditioning or shade. In 2012 when it was 106 degrees at 5 o'clock in the afternoon on my trusty John Deere thermometer in the shade, even the shade didn't help. So I usually say I'll take cold weather anytime over the heat of the dead of the summer. I can put clothes on but I can only take so many clothes off in the summer…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Story Reminds Us to Appreciate What We Have Today

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 20, 2014

    Jennifer Campbell is a farmwife from Franklin, Ind. She and her husband, Chris, have a livestock and hog operation, and three kids, from sixth grade to senior year. Sounds like a typical farm family, right? There isn't anything typical about the way Jennifer writes. She's a social media queen, and does her own blog. Recently, she began writing some Web items for our Indiana Prairie Farmer website. You can find some of her articles online now. She just told me the headline for her next…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Who Will Print the First T-Shirt: 'I Survived the Winter of 2014'?

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 13, 2014

    How much cold and snow you can handle and still go on with business as usual varies, depending upon what you're used to. Friends from Minnesota claim temperatures in the minus 15 to minus 20 F category are no big deal. Maybe not if you're dressed like an Eskimo every day! When they came to Indiana last week, it meant putting on three layers of clothing, a scarf, a face protector – anything to stop the stinging cold. It meant making sure livestock had water and heat, depending…

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  • Tom Bechman

    Let It Snow, Let It Snow … Just Know How Much

    Hoosier Perspectives

     by Tom Bechman
     on January 6, 2014

    It all started because I was laid up for several weeks in early November with a bum leg. All I could do was keep it up, so I sat there and watched TV. Before long I was hooked on Hallmark's Christmas movies. Many of them involve snow, of course, plus sappy love stories, since they also involve Christmas. Then to put me even more in the snow mood, we received 8 inches in early December. My John Deere utility tractor fired up and I got the snow out of the driveway. My snow thrower…

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