The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Another weekly blog without a catchy title

I don't understand how it was that I had more time to blog when I was working 18 hrs a day farming but now that I have a 7:30 to 4:30 job and farm in my spare time I have no blogging moments...
If the iPhone had actual speech recognition like my old android instead of just randomly imagining phrases I suppose it would be a little easier...

Random thoughts on a Sunday morning.

1. I watch my Facebook page for my liberal friends and relatives rants about Trump and find a lot of entertainment out of their purposeful misinterpretation of his random rants. They have nearly convinced me to vote for Trump. I think the only way I will be able to vote this fellow who has annoyed me since "Art of the Deal," came out many years ago, is to just listen to the Democrats whine about him.
Comedy gold...
I also find the Hilary supporters HILARIOUS, (get it?)
I grew up during the Reagan area and find the irony between what was said about Reagan as criticism and what Hilary does and is applauded for.
Ok, get this... A CIA head endorses Hilary and that is a positive? The CIA used to be utterly evil but now it is not?  I could continue but won't...

2. Protest votes... Republicans who endorse Hilary should be noted as they are the ones who have sold us out...

3. Republican policy makers unite against Trump. But of course they do, that is why Trump is in the race. We hate them. They got us into idiotic endless war. They bailed out the banks and screwed up the economy.

4. Bernie Sanders supporters who are voting for Hilary. I am not a Republican and can vote for whomever I want. I was going to vote third party as a protest. You must vote your conscience. If you are a Bernight you must vote for whatever whacko group best fits you, the Greens or Communists, but preferably Libertarian.  As a conservative independent I will vote either Libertarian or Constitutionalist. I'm not happy with some of the Libertarian party planks. I don't think they are taking themselves seriously. I think this is an election where they could really gain votes.

5. I actually bought new old records. I put on Slim Harpo, and Lightnin' Hopkins for Sunday Morning  Omlette Session. Never before played records.
It was beautiful. Lightning' Hopkins guitar blues sounds amazing. I'm not good at describing these things as I am not using proper terms I think. The acoustic guitar has an unbelievable crispness. It sounds like a live performance. A lot of the old blues performers have voices which tend to distort around the edges at higher volumes. Hopkin's voice as clear and there was no fuzziness when he hight the high ranges. The tone was also amazing. A very warm sound but well balanced. Perhaps you could say it had an airiness to it. Again, it sounded like he was in the room and not in the speakers.
Now I need reel to reel tape so I can preserve the sound and not ruin the record by playing it till the record grooves are flat.

6. Baling straw is not going well. I have one customer who buys 7,000 to 10,000 small bales from me. The bales are 14" x 18" x 46" long and weigh 55lbs. The baler must be turned to maximum tension and you cannot bale at 90 degrees temperature. Despite my warnings, my helper baled at too low a moisture and they bales are fluffy and light. This is bad as they are stacked into an 80 bale block and picked up with a squeeze. It will be a nightmare.
I'm mixing the bales Lulu made at night with moisture with the dry bales.

7. The stacker won't stack. The second table won't push the bales back into the load rack far enough and they fall forward. When you raise the bed to dump the push off feet come out. When you want to lower the bed the push off feet won't retract.
Sometimes they will retract if you raise the bed while retracting the feet.
I put a different master valve on from a salvage yard. It cost $500. It helped for half a day. By evening Saturday it was getting frustrating.

8. I must get ready for Church.





Thursday, August 4, 2016

Flat tires and more

The day before yesterday arrived at the field to find three flat tires on the stacker.
When I arrived yesterday the people I am stacking for at the offending tires repaired and mounted on the stacker.
I did some minor repairs and then got Lulu started baling.
I came back to the stacker picked up one load and broke a hydraulic cylinder.
I took it home and came back.
Lulu is listening to books on MP3 and wanted to work late.
I was picking up the last few bales of the day when I hit a rut and heard a loud pop.
It took me a little while to discover that the bolts holding the steering gearbox on had broken.
When I got to our Strawfield I discovered that Lulu had 2000 bales on the counter. She worked past 11 o'clock and seemed a bit tired.
The news is predicting rain on Sunday. I'm taking today off from grounds keeping.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Since this blog is mostly about my stress level

Or perhaps I should say, whine level....
I am now further behind.
I got to the field last night and there were three flat tires on the stacker.
I went to sleep mowing yesterday and The street sign with the mower so hard I almost knocked it out of the ground.
I propped it up, I'm going to blame it on Student drivers.
I'm almost positive no one saw me.
I'm betting that today will be a wonderful day.
Please tell me if you can see what is been mowed and what is not.
Because I can't really tell and I'm the one mowing it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

What I'm doing after "work" today

Filberts....


I quit last night after knocking over a stack. I was working up to a discussion of when you realize you are old with yesterday's post.
But I just brought my iPhone to the bathroom this morning...
Overkill horsepower but good a/c for Lulu. 
She fixed a broken bale problem on her own. With the help of the manual and text messaging.
 A monumental step!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The end of summer?

I woke up this morning and looked out the window. There was a heavy dew, it was almost like it had rained. I looked over the river bottom where the heavy fog is laying in like a fall morning.
It is only the first of August.
My wife called from the living room to let me know there may be showers tomorrow morning. She wondered if I wanted someone to bale wheat straw. I pointed out that there was not much point in baling wheat straw when I had a hundred acres of grass straw to pick up before I could get close to wheat straw.
I'm at the point were there is not really much point in even looking at the weather forecast...
I suppose I could call in sick to work...
Yesterday I needed to adjust the hitch on the two-tie baler.
I have a fairly new New Holland BC5070 baler. The hitch bolts screw into the tongue. I needed remove eight bolts, raise the tongue and lower the PTO shaft, hook up the moisture tester, baler stroke counter, lights and adjust the plunger.
It took me four hours to adjust the hitch. The modern New Holland company apparently buys crappy cheap steel from China to build their implements of frustration. The metal is soft and the hitch bolts are grade eight. I had to re-tap several holes.
To add insult to injury the fasteners seem to be a curious mix of metric and standard.


I have not been as careful about keeping the baler undercover. It sat outside through a couple rain showers covered in dust. The metal is rusting under the paint.
This baler sold new for $24,000 (not what I paid). You would think New Holland could come up with some sort of metal coating to prevent rust in five years.
I finally moved the baler to the field and starting baling. It is a very nice baler design. It is just made from tin foil.


I took my daughter for a motorbike ride. We were off to a good start when she remembered youth group at the Christian Church. So we modified our course to arrive at the Church instead of Starbucks.

AND now I see it is 7 a.m.
I must go to work. I think I will just post this and perhaps finish it later. An installment blog. Whoop, whoop!

Any bets on if it will ever be finished?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

It ain't the same speech, it was the same speechwriter! Navin R. Johnson wrote both speeches...

Of all the things that annoyed me enough to write a blog post it was the idiotic claim that Melenia Trump copied Michelle Obama's speech.
The reason they sounded the same is that they were both a collection of similar phrases and idioms.
Saying, "my word is my bond," was not invented by Obama's speech writer.
Not to be horribly cynical but really there are only so many versions of the "I was born a poor black child" speech.
"I was taught to work hard, tell the truth, and never to steel hubcaps. Being poor is tough and family is important," see I did one myself!
I'm just glad when Navin R. Johnson wrote their speeches he didn't put in that joke about finding out what his special purpose was for...

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Weather and whether

The mower is broken. It is a New Holland 1411. I suspect it was made around the turn of the century. It had all its shields until this year so it felt new to me.
A gear is out in the cutterbar. In theory our local new Holland dealer will have a complete cutter bar gearbox section for a few hundred dollars and we can bolt it in and go. Total repairs for this mower this season have well passed 20 percent down on a newer Hesston 1345 which is what I want.
Rain has been scheduled for Thursday through Monday. We have 15 acres of alfalfa and 100 acres of grass to mow.
The 4th of July usually is the start of swathing fescue for seed. Many people have started combining. Not a good time to be waiting 3 days for parts or a week for rain.
Stacker is broken anyway. Need a solenoid coil for a gresen electric valve which of course, New Holland doesn't have...
My wife appears to still be ill.
I can't decide which motorcycle to ride to work.