The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Should this ever happen to you

Do NOT rip off the remaining nail with your teeth.
Suffering will follow...
For at least a week...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A 100 year old spider lily

It resides in the library at my college.
It has bloomed twice under my care.
Of course the Ficus tree did lose all its leaves onto the carpet.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Why we can't have nice things

I was driving the tractor down the hill on our farm to get my grain drill when I saw a tail pipe in the road. People had been driving around it.
Me, not being the sort of person to poop and then sit back down in it, stopped the tractor to move the broken exhaust pipe.
I then realized it was from my pickup.
Now I could have lost it last night when I went to look at the drill but I should have heard it. But it makes it more pathetic if people drove around it all day and didn't move it.
At least they didn't run over it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Some photos and my birthday

Happy birthday to me...
Several people have complemented me on the outstanding job I have done on the soccer field. My supervisor is the one who insisted on overwatering it and that is why it is green during the driest summer in years.
I am the one who drives straight and who has not sprayed out the fence rows, cleaned the bark dust beds, or sprayed the weeds in the gravel parking lots.

I talked my brother into buying a combine. The diesel fuel injector pump promptly failed after two days of use. It sat for another three week. It has an odd pump. There are a million International DT-466 based engines and only a few of them have a not usually stocked injector pump.

I have 300 acres to plant and on the last field of straw the PTO catastrophically failed on my planter tractor and it is stranded in a field not that close to home. No hydraulics, no PTO, no brakes, no steering and a painful grinding noise. Hopefully it is just the coupler between the engine and PTO shaft. Whatever it is the minimum is one day to pull engine and three days to put it back in.

Yesterday I discovered the irrigation manager didn't turn off the irrigation on the practice field and golf green like I suggested Friday before the rain. The supervisor didn't tell him to do it. I turned it off  yesterday at quitting time. Today i didn't get stuck.

I was going to have a birthday party as Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo is somewhere in Oregon and I have a work-study student that plays old time fiddle. I decided to just work on tractors instead. Probably for the best...

I made these barn door roller hinge things for my wife. She is building something.

My daughter found Isaac Asimov's "The Robots of Dawn" at a second hand book store and gave it to me for my birthday present. I can't read it as the print is too small.
My lovely and gracious wife got me some SK brand metric tubing wrenches. They are very nice.
Starbucks gave me a free cup of coffee. It was also nice. The barista gave me a smile and several kind words. I gave her a tip.
I suppose it was a good day...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It rained! I ramble about groundskeeping, I complain about blogger, I attempt a link

It rained last night. I think I have all the straw picked up. Unless there is another field which I just thought of five minutes ago. It didn't really seem like there was enough baled for a full day of work...
Plus, I see I left 800lbs of pig feed and the mixer/grinder out in the rain. Plus, there is the bin of flax I knocked off the truck a month ago.
Whatever... I never claimed to be a good farmer.
Or a good groundskeeper.
My goal is to be the sort of cheerful ineffective lout that people just hate to get rid of... Already failed on the cheerful but think I've got the ineffective down.
I applied for a job at a different school. That was a mistake.
I get this idea that I should be the best I can be. This is a load of BS drilled into my by my early role models and three years in the Future Farmers of America organization.
The 21st century model of success should be to attain the maximum amount of compensation of the minimal amount of work.
I had a frustrating month at my job. My promotion has just given me way more responsibility and I am not as fast as the fellow who recommended me for this job. This is a two person (or one person who is really hyperactive) job. My workstudy student keeps having a conflict between he amount of alcohol he consumes and the balancing of blood sugars. He swears this is not true but he misses a lot of work. And then my supervisor tends to send me from one job to another.
Example: I saw the Athletic Director last week. Had a nice chat about upcoming events and what is getting done. I just give up remembering and tell him to make a list and give it to my boss. I point out that I have a lot to do and things get missed so a list would be great.
My supervisor gets an email that afternoon. It is 103 degrees F. He comes looking for me. I was off driving my workstudy helper though the sprinkler system in the Mule and wasn't watching my phone. I did not get caught.
However, we did a walk though problem areas. Two foot weeds were reported on the softball warning track. The weeds were not there. There were a few under the bleachers and the warning track was clean. People from work use the softball field so I keep it pretty clean. I didn't show him the not quite dead blackberries under the bleachers.
So... we were told to drop everything and weed the warning track. I pointed out that were sports fields that had to be mowed and that the track would have to wait.
The next day there were other issues.
My workstudy student didn't get the practice field completely mowed and I forgot to finish it the next day. There was a leaking sprinkler line at the edge of the field which I cut the time down on so that there would not be a swamp. I was told that if I didn't spend so much time talking to people in the morning when it was cool that I would get more work done. That may or may not be true but I just smiled and nodded.
Monday, I got the lecture again. So I filled out a time off request for two days. Tuesday, my workstudy student ran into the grandstands and broke the windshield out of the mule. The only object in 100 yards and he hit it. We cleaned up the mess but I got quite the lecture.
School policy is that students without licenses cannot drive golf carts even off the road. They can drive lawnmowers or their own bicycles (but not their cars) but not golf carts. I said I was training him.
Wednesday I applied at another school.
Friday the supervisor was not there.
After a brief discussion with fellow workers where they repeated things I told them when there were upset- it was pointed out to me that changing schools would probably just mean I had to work harder. I only get upset because I want to do a good job. The real reason to work is tuition, insurance, and retirement and it is a 15 minute drive from home.
Since then the absurdity of the whole thing has made me laugh. My supervisor came to grounds from cleaning services. He is learning about groundskeeping by watching YouTube videos. The same people that hired him as a transfer from cleaning services seem to expect him to do the job of a guy with a degree in Turf Management and manage a crew of oddball independent characters who are old enough to be his parents. Not sure I envy him...

My new phone is not very good for blogging. Google has made it hard to have two identities on the same phone. I can't post photos or videos like I could with my iPhone. The Blogger App is pretty much a waste. There are no good replacements.

Today I'm trying to lay down and keep ice on my leg. I seem to have pulled a muscle a month or so ago and it is starting to get annoying. I have a hard time getting in and out of the stacker or off of a lawnmower once I run it for a while. I have tried wrapping it but it is a bit awkward. I see kids wearing all sorts of clever sports type wrappings for sprains and injuries. I'm going to have to find someone in sports medicine to give me advice.

Now I'm going to try and post a video.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

I buy a new phone, go to a high school reunion, run out of money, and urchins steal my gator...

It is a Sunday morning and it is hot.
My family went camping.
I expect them back today.
I fixed myself eggs for breakfast. The eggs were fresh out of the chicken. I found some peppers in the garden and some mushrooms in the refrigerator. The mushrooms were in a brown paper bag. They were not growing in the refrigerator. My wife has not been gone that long.

I should have put fewer peppers in the eggs. I grew Hungarian Wax Peppers and Jalapeno's. The Hungarian wax pepper can be quite spicy. It is good for cooking and you can control the heat by the amount of seeds you keep. The flesh is mild and mine were a little sweet, more like a Bell Pepper than your usual fry your mouth ball-o-fire pepper.

I've been having a lot of phone problems. I've gone through five iPhone 6plus 16 gig. The iPhone six plus with 16 gigs is a junk phone. If someone gives it to you sell it. It will lock up and will randomly not receive texts, not send texts, send phone calls but not receive and received and not send. Plus, there seems to be a problems with certain Apple iCloud servers and you can't restore your piece of crap Asurion refurbished replacement phone.

I just got my replacement iPhone after the last failure and I could not restore the phone properly. I missed many important phone calls and texts. So I went to my local Verizon store where I got the car salesman treatment from a nice young man.
I was going to buy either an iPhone six 32 gig, an HTC, or a LG s6. The iPhone was too expensive for someone who continually breaks phones. They didn't have the HTC. So I got the LG.
My salesman said I could get $250 for my old phone from Verizon's buyback program. But, I had to do that at home. He also found me a $200 credit for switching to the LG. He did try to sell me a Motorola but the Motorola doesn't have a headphone jack. I don't want to deal with missing or dead bluetooth speakers in the middle of a Librovox recording fifteen miles from home and eight hours of boredom ahead of me.
But, I digress...
I bought the LG and paid double what I should have for a hard case and now I'm back to the other phone system. It is ok. I'm not thrilled but my phone doesn't really define my life. It is requiring some adjustment. I really just wanted my iPhone to work. I had finally got the iCloud BS to actually work. I liked the voice recognition for blogging. I was using BlogTouch Pro (which I really liked) for my phone.
I think the bottom line is that Apple is no longer longer an innovative company. The PC side seems to have learned a lot from the old days of Apple superiority and I can now tolerate them.

But you are all waiting to hear how I made the local scanner monitor page on Facebook.

The fellow who got my old JD Gator when I was "promoted" went on vacation. I fried the belt on my Mule climbing hills behind the college and it was in the shop. So I commandeered the Gator. Apparently his workstudy student was leaving the keys in the glove box and these two juvenile delinquents attempted to steal the gator. He also left so much crap in the gator it is hard to shift the darn thing and while the kids got it started and into reverse they were not able to get the shifter into the forward position because the mirror had fallen off the roof and was stashed on top of the shifter and prevented shifting into forward gear. So they reversed it into a big pile of grass and clippings couldn't get it into forward and then ran.
Security chased them in the little security SUV but nearly got stuck in the wildlife area. The kids escaped and I have been getting a lot of comments.
There is now a new edict that we have to chain up our steering wheels. I produced my keys to security so I was not in trouble. They like me as I laugh when they harass me and so I didn't get reported over the keys in the glovebox incident.

Last night I attended my 35th high school reunion. There were something like eight of us. Class size was around 47. I was not going to attend as I hated every moment of school. I was also a weird kid with odd religious beliefs, didn't do the pledge of allegiance, didn't go to dances, didn't go out drinking with everyone else, and people made fun of me a lot until eight grade when I became brutally sarcastic and somewhat of a cynic. Apparently I was well-liked in high school but the bitterness lingers on.
The fellow who was hosting the reunion at his winery told me if I didn't show up he or his wife would come and drag me out of the stacker. I was picking up bales just down the road.
I figure that was as good and invitation as any so I went.
Strangely enough, all the people there were people I liked and none of the people I disliked (in High School) were there. It was nice.
It is amazing how your early school experiences stick with you though life.
I had a nice talk with a couple people I hadn't seen since graduation and when the hosts heard I was on my own they loaded me with food to take home.

Next week it is supposed to hit 105 degrees. This is going to not be so fun.

Note: Blogger app on the phone is not letting me add photos. I foresee problems with the iPhone switch...

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