The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

You just type your comment in the text box below the post. You can be anyone you want.
And...Would the joker who keeps clicking "offensive" please leave an explanation ?!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

I have a good job...

I've been telling people about my new job.
I made it three days without getting fired so I might as well "own it."
Usually there is quite a bit of shock when I tell them I'm now a groundskeeper.
However, almost everyone has been encouraging. There are three things about my job which appeal to everyone in my peer group.
1. Free tuition for family at a good private college...
2. Non Obama-care insurance
3. Retirement.
The order of importance of these issues depends upon the age of the person I talk to and the number of kids in the family.
No one asks about the pay...
It is an interesting job. I'm not really qualified for the job. I'm not all that excited about working outside in the rain. But, it is a fun place to work, everyone is nice, and there is quite a bit of humor in my situation. I swear, I have NEVER been hired for a job which I knew how to do. AND, I have never (yet) been fired.
I will say that after a long and tiring summer I was looking forward to time spent talking to random farmers who stop by the shop for coffee.
But on the other hand, I get to drive an old Gator around campus and it is beautiful weather and beautiful girls wave at me. Guys do not wave. It is kind of funny.
I suspect that as I learn how to do my job there will be more time for hanging out and drinking coffee with the Hispanic guys.
I am supposed to be completing my sexual harassment seminar online. I have several training courses to do on my own. This has proved to be difficult as I need to work with the school email. It is quite annoying. Has a complicated security password which I have already forgotten.
I took the sexual harassment seminar one already, but didn't have the password to record the training so I have to take it again.
The attractive 20-something fellow employee said it was ok to take it multiple times should I fail the first time. This was a joke! I was quite thrilled to be interacting with someone on the job! I laughed politely appreciating the irony of a slightly suggestive comment about sexual harassment training, but also cataloguing the comment in case she will be Sexually Harassment-ing me.
"Oh dear, it made me sooooooo uncomfortable and I felt just a touch of humiliation," says I to the HR person. And then I'm fired.... Kind of like the hyena's saying "Mufasa," in "Lion King."
All jokes aside, this sexual harassment deal is kind of scary. If someone wants to target you for something they can certainly nail you.
The other problem is how college girls dress in warm weather. If you are wearing nothing but thin stretch material which clings to your skin and you don't wear underwear then it is kind of like being naked, I think. Then if you go bouncing by some poor fellow weeding a flowerbed and give him a happy greeting and he looks up and then has heart failure as he has been on the farm by himself for the past thirty years and he falls over and has a heart attack, according to my sexual harassment training, it is still the poor sod's fault that he had heart failure to begin with.
Totally hypothetical situation and I would be much more professional than that. I have learned to stand up and smile and make eye contact and say "hello.."
However, I think I can safely say that there is no market for a really good Foundation Garment shop anywhere near a 21st century college campus.

But Friday was a good day. I trimmed some shrubbery.  Jose' was showing me how to trim a fern when there was a strange gurgling croaking noise and he jumped back. He had almost clipped a frog with his clippers. The frog was quite upset, (it was the frog who made the noise.)
Jose' got out his phone and photographed the frog. Then he made a little nest for the frog under the fern. The frog's attitude did not improve. But, it was five minutes till break time and we did need to drive across campus to the break room.
When we returned the frog had vanished. Jose' was quite disappointed. He had come to like the frog.

Here are some bushes that I trimmed.

They are a bit ragged. This is very first shrubbery trimming experience of my life. Jose' said I did a good job and then he fixed it all in two minutes. I was really impressed. Sort of in awe of his shrub sculpting skills.

When I left Friday evening the boss asked me if I was returning Monday. I told him I had to return to work off all the shirts I had been given as the nice work-study girl at the supply department told me I had to cut school logo off it I quit within 90 days. (more humor on the job!)
He thanked me for working so hard and told me I was doing a good job. I told him it was all Jose' who was a groundskeeping genius and I enjoyed learning from him.
He stressed that I was doing well and thanked me again for my hard work.
I suspect they say that to everyone....

Saturday I spent all day putting the duals on tractors for planting and farming.
Today I'm going to see my father.
Monday, I'm back to wage slavery. I wonder if instead of doing the, "Job Safety" seminar online I can just watch Caddy Shack again... I think it is on Amazon Prime.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 3

There are three reasons people work here.
1. Insurance
2. Free tuition
4. Retirement

They claim to like their jobs but they don't love ther jobs.
The problem is that the school is run by the Human Resources department who all appear to be super nice people but...
There has been a huge turnover in long term employees in the last few years.
Benefits have changed, the insurance is not that good, pay is not that great for anyone who does real work.
Supposedly an effencency expert was hired in upper management to "improve" things and of course the "old hairs had to go."
I also got the lowdown on office politics today. And I discovered I just don't care. Eating lunch alone today.
Think I'll now go hang out with the Hispanics. They are happy.
Gonna get the one talking about the Pope visit.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A lunch break and a new job

Today is my second day as a groundskeeper at a local private college.
This may or may not have been a really wise career move.
I have developed a mantra, insurance, retirement free, tuition.
The main problem is that I'm in charge of a section. 
The fellow training me today said he didn't understand how there could be 30 applicants but none with Groundskeeping experience.
I was up against someone who said he was really qualified. But they didn't hire him.
I said, I know nothing and I never claimed to be qualified. 
Guy just laughed and shrugged.
After that we got along great.
We shall see what happens.
Of course after taking job I have had opportunities to make more money farming, or lose it, roll of the dice.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Starting the 2-155

The LDT 465 Hercules is now in the 2-155...
It even starts.
It starts better with a full tank of diesel.
Now if I could just get the hydraulic temp and the powershift pressure idiot lights to shut off...
And why does the new clutch push so hard?
Beautiful weather. I could plant the whole farm in three days, take on another 80 acres, take over my neighbor's straw baling business, I've got a good helper, I could rebuild the G1000 Vista, and the baler and, and..

But...I suspect I've once again snatched defeat mediocrity from the jaws of victory! An unbroken record of sideways moves. "Be almost the best you can be," is my motto.
If there is a choice between the high road and the low road I tend to wander off down the little squirrel trail that leads down to the creek where I get distracted and then forget which way I was going to begin with and just wander in circles...

Plus, I need to make pig feed.

Have a nice day...

Saturday, September 26, 2015


The header broke and jammed everything teddy welded it.  the feed rolls broke, teddy welded them, the hydraulic remote blew out, I switched hoses, it rained, something else broke... 
Ten acres to go,,,
Plus, (in the heading insult to injury category) The air conditioning doesn't work Half the time and so my Ho-Ho melted.
Well, at least it wasn't a Ding-Dong.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

I start the day with happiness and end with frustration

My daughter needed a shirt for "Sprit Week" at school and we dug out my box of 30 year old t-shirts. She actually decided that I have two cool t-shirts and borrowed them.
She wore the Silver Surfer shirt for "Hero" day.

The other is of a band that she hates. I told her it was a band she likes. It's all old people music to her.
Later I will laugh at her...
We started corn silage. MuddyValley brought me some of his honey and some coffee beans.
I told him collieguy and family came to see me yesterday and brought me a collection of lazy farmer clippings.
I think MV feels a bit slighted for not being invited. It was not personal. Crowds frighten me...
We chopped 21 loads after starting at 11 a.m after numerous small delays.
At 4 p.m. I received a text from my wife that she was taking Grandpa to the emergency room as he had fallen and possibly broken a hip.
At load 21 the tractor started making loud chuffing noises.
It is very likely a blown head gasket.
I have three (3) White tractors with Hercules diesel engines. All three are now dead.
I have begged various mechanics to work on these tractors. But they all claim not to know how to work on Hercules.
My helper and I nearly finished converting a Hercules Army truck engine into a tractor engine. As a knowledge base we  used only an I&T shop manual and two-year-old scribbled notes that I took while talking to someone who had done it.
We have never overhauled a diesel engine. It is true that we broke the exhaust manifolds but I we didn't actually know what we were doing...
If you can't do something yourself you are screwed.
So I started changing the oil on the Minneapolis-Moline 1355. I hope I don't kill it as well...
It has been a long, long summer...