Never put your flames before the swine 

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I accidentally found a way to solve the oil crisis through the discovery of a new, cheap, and very valuable alternate fuel.
This fuel is so powerful that with only a small catalyst, a few pounds of the fuel will burn extremely hot for up to 8 hours. If you believe that the oil companies are trying to control the advancement of alternate fuels, then please know that if I disappear from earth in the next few weeks I am likely sealed in an oil barrel somewhere in a hazardous waste dump for telling the world about what I found. No matter what happens to me, make sure you spread the word about this new fuel - you may find it in your vehicle in the coming years.

It would be hard to explain the chemistry and physics of this new discovery to most people. So, to ensure everyone can understand this new fuel source I am going to relay the story of how I discovered it. This is a true story, and it did happen to me very recently.

If you check out this site ( you will find that our primary vocation is the care of unwanted and abandoned livestock. There are a plethora of places that take care of unwanted dogs and cats, but very few that take care of the rest of the animals. We have lots of great animals, like Gus the mini-donkey and Bubblegum the goat.

We love our animals and spend a lot of time with them. On a daily basis, we feed them in person so that we can see how they are doing and ensure they are acclimated to people. But the animals are rescued. Most of them came from horrific environments, and all of them were treated poorly in previous lives at best.

A side effect of having animals, especially mistreated animals that no one wants, is that from time to time an animal dies no matter how hard we try to prevent it. We have been lucky in that we have only lost 5 animals in 6 years. We have probably rescued more than 40 in that same time frame.

"Even a backhoe was no match for an angry and depressed sow."

One afternoon I went out to feed all the animals and noticed my pet pig Chet was not up and about. Chet is a 400lb Hampshire hog that we raised from a baby, and you can read more about Chet here.

At first I thought he was sleeping, but when I came by with the food bucket, he did not get up. Chet had passed-away for some reason. Chet was only 5, but he had a good life. We are meticulous about the animals, and there was no reason he should have died. When an animal dies suddenly, I usually check for the signs of a snake bite, or some other external, visible injury which could account for the loss of life. Chet didn't have a mark on him, so I took a blood sample to give to the vet in the hopes that we could identify what took him down so fast.

Now, while its a good practice to account for animal deaths, you usually have a bigger issue you need to address - what to do with the dead body? There are many schools of thought on this issue, but since we love the animals so much, we have a section of the property that is set aside for animal graves. When an animal passes, we just dig a grave and put the animal in the dedicated location with the same respect we would give a family member. While this seems very nice and all, there is one catch - burying large animals is extremely labor-intensive. Our general rule is that if the animal is over 150lbs, we rent a backhoe to help us dig the grave and move the carcass.

Being 400lbs Chet was a prime candidate for the backhoe, but there was a complication due to his location. Chet was in a big pen with his mother Penny. Penny is also a 400lb Hampshire, and she was very protective of Chet. It was clear that Penny was very upset that Chet was just laying there. As I looked over my deceased pig, Penny wandered over and nudged Chet from behind the ear - something a mother sow does to motivate her young. She knew something was wrong, and it was clearly making her depressed.

It was obvious that getting Chet out of the pen would be difficult. Sow's are very protective of their young, even when they are full-grown, and I knew Penny would start to get aggressive as soon as we tried to remove Chet. Even a backhoe was no match for an angry and depressed sow. In contrast, Chet was going to become more problematic as the hours passed due to his size. Any dead animal starts to get nasty after a few hours, but a 400lb hog gets very nasty very fast. Worse is that if you leave any animal for more than 24 hours, it becomes hard to move the animal without chunks of its body falling to the wayside.

The wife and I conferred and decided that the backhoe would not work. Priority-one was to get Chet out of the pen so that Penny would not get upset, and so that she would not get ill from whatever took down Chet. It was clear that this could only be done through manual labor. When you live in the country you get used to finding simple solutions to complex problems. I had learned a trick with ropes that allowed two people to move a deceased full-grown horse, and Chet seemed like a candidate for same. So, we poured a pile of food into Pennys space to keep her busy while the spouse and I rigged up Chet and rolled him out of the pen.

I'll spare you all the details, but after 2 hours we had Chet out and all the animals were happy again. It was getting dark and the following day was a weekday, so we had to stop at this point and hope to finish the job the next day. I knew this meant that there would be a little less of Chet come the morning, but there was nothing else we could do in the darkness of night. After work the next day, the wife and I started out to the field to finish the job. The closer we got, the more vultures we counted sitting in the field. We probably stood there for an hour just pondering what to do next. Should we dig a grave for the next 2 days? Should we get a backhoe tonight and hope to get him in the ground the next day? We sure as hell couldn't leave him there due to the effect that death has on the 'automatic disassembly' of a carcass.

It was then that my wife said two words that changed our lives forever - Viking Funeral.


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