The Useful Duck!

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Friday, July 21, 2017

I am recovered and doing my usual mucking about...

I have recovered.
I am still having phone issues so I have no photos to share.
Today I went to sleep mowing and hit the fence. This was a bit hard on the reel mower. It is ironic that yesterday I got in trouble for letting my student run the reel mower. He was making perfectly straight lines and driving perfectly.
It was I who hit the fence...
Oh well, that is why God gave us welders...
My phone is a frustrating experience. I have an iPhone 6plus which has failed at least four times in the year I've had it.
I have Asurian insurance through Verizon. It is kind of an amazing scam, or at lest as I understand it.
Apple gives you a one year limited warranty but does not cover screens. However, they will sell you a new screen for around $150.
If you pay through the nose for Asurian they will give you a "reconditioned" phone for $150. Apple will not honor the one year replacement warranty on the Asurian replacement phone. Asurain gives you a phone that someone traded in because it was broken. So you get a crap phone for $150 which will probably fail and if you get stuck with a crappy model then you can't trade your way out of it.
I'm not sure there is any point in Asurain insurance on your phone. I think if I get a new phone I will try a SquareTrade warranty. I had it on a computer once I was very happy.
Today I intended to go pick up bales for my neighbors. They loaned us a baler when our engine failed.
However, my brother and I went to look at a combine instead and then I made some pig feed.
Making pig and chicken feed is not as much fun as it used to be when I didn't have a job.
I now have a good and rather large New Holland mixer-grinder. It pulls easy and holds 4,000lbs. It will also grind hay.
I liked making feed because I could trade it for beef and pork and it was a nice break from working on tractors in the cold. Grinding dusty grain when it is 80 degrees and almost dark is not as much fun as I had imagined. Plus, I think feed prices are down and I'm not getting the serious buyers I used to get.
Tomorrow I'm going to pick up bales. But, I am using my old iPhone 5 which does have enough memory to store books on tape. So it will be a long day.
Perhaps i can think of funny stories to blog about.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

A day off

I've been a bit busy.
Before I took on this job at the College I may have worked long hours but I usually had some sort of break to write the blog.
I have also been having frustrations with my iPhone and MacBook.
The iPhone 6s has died for the fourth time in a year and I'm back to the old iPhone 5. The small screen doesn't work for blogging.
I took the day off today.
Actually, I'm sick...
It is really frustrating as I have Muddy Valley's hay baled and it looks good. But it is now sitting there bleaching in the sun.
I went home at 8 p.m. last night. Decided after the second time I had to stop the stacker in the field and take a puke break that perhaps I should just go home. I was a little worried it would come out the other end next.
It seems like I spent most of the night puking my guts out and now every muscle in my body hurts like heck. Especially my back.
I'd try the hot tub but I still can't trust my farts.
I should have some adventures to post about but frankly I feel like crap and I'm going back to bed...
Perhaps I should just call in sick for tomorrow.
Soccer players should mow their own soccer field, with push mowers, it would build charactor...

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Random photos of my week

It was meant to be a picture story but the photos are out of order...
I'm going to church.

Subjects covered by photos. Warm weather, hay, late planting, bicycle trip to the coast, Russians and pacifiers.

You may assign captions at random




Saturday, May 13, 2017

White 2-135

I still need to redo the inside of the cab. Right now I'm more concerned about the digital tachometer not working.
The mounting bracket's are on the front pulley and I think I have to remove the radiator to change the sensor.
Or rather, I think it would be faster to remove the radiator to change or adjust the sensor.
It has gone from 135 hp  at the dry bar, to an estimated 200 engine horsepower. I would like to put it on the Dyno and actually see.
This is the 3rd White tractor/army truck engine conversion and I think each engine behaves differently. This tractor starts harder than the other tractors but I have not pulled it hard yet so I don't know how much power it actually has.
The 2-155 that I use for planting doesn't feel like it has this much horsepower as the ugly 2-155 I bought from Missouri.
All the engines were the same model.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The past few weeks of which not much has happened but they have rapidly passed

Having a dumb job is different from not having a dumb job (in reference to a fellow blogger) and much different from being self-employed.
Much less stress when you discover that you don't really matter. I probably will not get a raise and I most likely will not get fired.
I always thought insanity was the ultimate escape but really it is Mediocrity. That way you can have hobbies. And still appreciate them. Waiting for the End of the World becomes just waiting for the end of the day. Tractors to paint, a Triumph to ride, a supervisor to gaslight. It's not a bad life...

This is a 90 year old Spider Lily plant in the library. I have not killed yet...

We are having "self-evaluations" this week at work.
This is idiotic.
The goal is a pitiful "merit" raise. It has been announced that there will be no "merit" raises because we have fewer students and have no money.
I took this job for three reasons, tuition for my daughter, insurance for my family, and retirement for me.
I did not take it to reach "self actualization."
The lady who sits across the table from me freaked out Friday when it was announced the evaluations were due. Apparently she had missed an entire weeks worth of complaining about the evaluations which happened every morning before work. 
She gave me a ride after I ran the diesel lawnmower out of diesel in the middle of the main street on campus Friday afternoon.
She was swearing up a storm about the evaluation. She wanted to know why she only had a day to do the evaluation and the rest of us had a week.
This was good as I had forgotten to turn my into the boss.
Well, actually I didn't forget all. I was contemplating doing my little manipulation trick of acting like I was getting it done but not really doing it and being super polite and helpful and sincere but really stringing the who thing out as long as possible just to push the authority figure to the point where frustration wins out over sympathy.
That approach just seemed petty.
I filled out my evaluation that morning in the greenhouse. I took me longer to find a stool, clean off the potting table, fix myself some coffee, sharpen a pencil, and find a good radio station than it did to fill out the evaluation.
First I checked the scoring to see how many above average scores I needed to get in order to barely qualify for merit pay. Then I started reading the questions. Then I got bored and checked boxes at random. "Meets Expectations" and "Exceeds Expectations."  In the comments I described my biggest challenge as being able to keep up the professional groundskeeper who had moved on to be boiler man.
My main adventure yesterday was running out of diesel. The diesel pump has a four pin round connector that is supposed to mate with a connector on the diesel vehicle you are filling. Apparently, sometime in the past, people would get the diesel and gasoline mixed up at the pump.
However, not all the diesels have the connector. 
I usually use a couple paperclips to hotwire the whole abomination so I can use whatever vehicle I want to transport fuel. But I was in a hurry Friday and the fuel gauge doesn't work right and I knew there were full diesel cans at the other building.
I wired up a much better system which is still rather unsafe but now I can at least fill the dadburned thing without looking for random drywall screws and paperclips. 

In other news...
I've almost finished the 2-135 paint. 
It is the classic "good from far, but far from good." I really screwed up the decals and had to mask and repaint a couple areas. I've just given up on quality and am attempting to just get it done. 
I had all the hoods on and discovered the lights didn't work. I had installed a metal firewall behind the fuel tank which would necessitate removing the said fuel tank and firewall to get at the wiring if it was a serious problem. It turned out to be a bad connection at the light switch which I fixed  by prying up the dash and wedging a screwdriver against the offending spade plug. I need a new connector but that would mean a lot of rewiring.
I should have been planting clover...
The weather has prevented any planting on our wet ground. I planted barley for my neighbor and got rained out. The tractor and drill are on the wrong side of town and the tractor duals are wedged full of goupy mud.
I think I'll bring it home today on the back roads.
I see the new "big time operator" has been advertising for summer help on Facebook. I'm surprised at the number of farmers who have liked his page. I'm also amazed at the people who use his services. He is notorious for stealing your land. However, throwing money around and talking capitalism makes farmers get all weak at the knees and while they talk big they really just want to be his special "friend" so of course he won't steal their land.
It reminds me of the hyena's saying "Mufassa" to each other in Lion King.

When they see his ten combines blocking traffic on Highway 18 they pretend to be angry but really they have secret, um... nevermind...
I would like to see land use and commercial vs farming tax laws revised but I don't trust gubment to do it without screwing the small farmer. The idea that large farms need tax breaks cause they are feeding the world is a load of crap.
The idea that large farms are good for agriculture because they hire lots of people is crap. Those kids that run balers and combines in the summer don't join FFA. They don't learn how things work, there is a service truck chasing them.
Kids who work for small farms where they are involved in the operation are the ones that go into agriculture careers. 
More farms make more jobs and produce people who know how to fix things, who have a vested interest in the future of their own land.
Feed the world my ass, feed their own megalomania more like it.

I included this photo to show the problems of painting with cheap metallic paint when you don't really know what you are doing. The metal flake tends to pool or spot, as in big spots, like metal flake camo at a lowrider convention. Which brings up another point. I want to turn my daughter's 72 GMC into a lowrider. But, no time or energy...

In other news...
Lulu likes the Blues Brothers.
This is my favorite movie.
I like the scene where they start swearing in front of the nun and fall down the stairs.
Last year I bought a faded copy on 16mm from a guy in Australia.
We will not mention how much shipping cost me.
I hooked up speakers and was prepared to be amazed. The sound was terrible.
Last night we watched in on Netflix.
Lulu likes Carrie Fisher so we were looking for all the scenes where Jake's exgirlfriend was stalking him.
This morning we are listening to Robert Johnson before church.
This is the lesser know Tommy Johnson. He also made the deal. I don't have a Tommy Johnson album... While quite influential he has a funny voice. (yeah I'm a philistine)
I made bacon omelettes. I started off with a lecture about the crossroads metaphor in literature and if it were possible for a person to trade their immortal soul and was heading straight for an explanation of faustian agreements and their importance in literature ending up Madonna stealing Brittany Speers soul and Katie Perry's supposed agreement with beelzebub but I saw her eyes glaze over and went back to cooking.
She just noted that all Robert Johnson's songs sound the same... But that she was still enjoying the album...
Yesterday she had Elmore James on the CD player.
I suppose it is alright to have a CD player if it is hooked to a 50 year old tube amp... And since CD technology is now considered yesterday and the new thing is analogue.
I'm such a rebel... Rebel lite...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I get the new lawnmower stuck, I attempt to paint a tractor, general complaints

Due to weather cycles that us puny humans do not understand man made global climate change Oregon is having the wettest spring in years.
Mowing lawns is a bit of a challenge to say the least.
As my loyal readers may remember, I have been transferred to mowing athletic fields. I have suggested sheep and or a herd of goats as being sustainable and wonderful but the sheep guy says the school is worried he does not provide a barn for the sheep and the school is worried about sheep poop and electric fences.
Also, they worry about the oppression of transgenders (transphobia- I think its called now-a-days) which I suspect is related to a lack of access to sheep but I can't prove that point...
But, I digress...
The mechanic wanted me to try out the new mower. It is the last replacement for mowers that got damp in last years, weather cycles that us puny humans do not understand man-made global climate change inspired flood.
It is hydrostatically driven and has a bit of a counter-intuitive control system. When things start to go wrong they go wrong fast.
I promptly go it stuck.
I am really glad I installed my own winch on my Mule.

Note the thin cable between the Mule and the mower. The winch control is remote wireless so I can run the mower and the winch at the same time. $49.99 from Harbor Freight.

In other news...
We actually competed out tax returns a day ahead of schedule. I can report with confidence that Turbo-Tax is worse than worthless. Put that $80 you would spend on Turbo-Tax home business towards either an accountant or just blow it on good booze and get the tax forms at the post office.

A side note: I like to think I have a good relationship with Jesus, at work... Sometimes he takes me for the free coffee at the dining hall. He helped me get ready for the tennis tournament. Meaning-he did all the work whilst I mowed. He lectured me about Tequila. I didn't understand all of it. It would seem that the stuff with the Stag on the front is good. The bottle with the Goat on the front is crap that is a cheap knock off on the Stag. This is funny for some reason and I suspect has to do with "goat love." 
Jesus says a good way to drink Tequila is to take a bottle of Corona Beer, pour the Tequila into the space between the beer and the top of the bottle. This is the correct measurement for a shot. Do not mix the beer and the Tequila, "Because then it will taste like shit!" (say that with a heavy Mexican accent to fully appreciate the experience and bear in mind that Jesus almost never uses "bad" language."
I kind of think you are then supposed to chug it. 
Have not tried it as I suspect suffering will follow. As in singing songs about fighting with Chickens and a broken heart and land which Pancho stole from father long ago.
He also told me how to bet on the horses and how to bet on Cock Fighting. You never put your bet on the best looking Rooster because the scrappy one always wins. Never bet on the favorite horse either for the same reasons. I asked him if this applied to women as well and the consensus was that a little "Gordo" is good. I assume this means she is a good cook.

But, I digress...

I am attempting to repaint a White 2-135 Series Three tractor. I forgot the first rule of Farm Implement restoring. Never trust the paint codes. While you can get a lot of personal enjoyment out of looking up the paint codes the best thing to do with the codes when you find them is post them on New Ag Talk so people can argue about it.

Find a section of unfaded sheet metal and take it to your local autoparts store. They have a scanner and can then match the paint. When you get a match, try to find an industrial color that is close to the match, or just use a chart of industrial paint chips. If that fails use automotive paint chips to match. Stop a moment to think hate towards the regulators who have enacted insane VOC standards that have resulted in $75 a gallon paint now costing $375 a gallon. Remember that hardener and thinner will also set you back $150.
Now look at your tractor again. Do you really want to paint it?
It might be that using the above mentioned of theory espoused by Jesus on how you should drink Tequila will help with your decision.
In the end, I suggest spending the money. You only want to do it once. Knowing you are spending your life essence on paint will motivate you to do better prep work. Prep work is the key.
Don't forget to buy a good rust resistant primer. You can't buy DP-40 anymore. Thank you Al Gore...
We bought cheap paint for the sheetmetal and used a code to match paint for the engine and frame.
I think it is now going to be a Series I White 2-135. Unfortantly you cannot buy decals for a White Series I. Having a White painted as a Series one and putting Series III decals just drives me nuts. I also got a really bad sag above the door where I will see it every time I get into the tractor.
However, I seem to have lost the decals anyway so I guess it will just be a silver and not-exactly-black tractor...
I really hate not having the correct paint color or the correct paint scheme with the proper decals.
Plus, I am a terrible painter. Orange Peel abounds. I've never painted metallics before.

I can't find my old HVLP paint gun and so I bought a Harbor Frieght special for $15.
I took it apart and rebuilt it according to info I found online. However, the fit and finish of the parts lead to some problems. It won't stay in adjustment.
I dug around until I found my Sharpe 75. It was an awesome gun but it is not a high volume, low pressure model and I quit using it because the HVLP guns made less overspray. It is in perfect condition as I always cleaned it and it cost me a lot of money at the time. The cup is missing... I suspect it is with my old HVLP gun that I use for painted balers and home built sprayer projects that I never use after building...
So back to the Harbor Frieght special.
I went back to Harbor Frieght and bought a cleaning kit with small brushes. I took the POS apart again and cleaned it. I also put another filter and regulator on the air compressor and reduced air pressure to the cheap Harbor Frieght regulator on the gun.
This sort of helped.
The paint on the hood started bubbling after setting a week for some reason. I used aircraft paint remover to strip it. (Hint, if the paint you bought from the tractor supply store says you should use mineral spirits you have cheap paint. 
Find out exactly the type of paint you have and then get thinner and hardener from your local autoparts store. It will be worth it...)
I put primer on but it orange peeled badly. I can't seem to get the airflow and paint flow balanced. I followed the directions for thinning but it appears I have to add quite a bit of extra thinner to get the gun to work properly. This causes its own problems.

In other news...
My workstudy student wants to be a farmer. She is into "permaculture."
I bought her the Farmer-Stockman's handbook by Ensminger for a graduation present.

It came with the owner's notes.

I'm thinking of keeping the notes, but that is what makes it really cool. I have not decided if she is really sincere or just a modern college student.

An Apology...
I'd blog more but there always seems to be something to do. My iPhone is not a good blogging tool. I'm a lazy former farmer. Also, when ever I'm setting with a computer I find there is always something else that I should be doing...

I bought a Kinks Greatest hits CD for my daughter for reasons too odd and confusing to be related in this blog post.
I have this song stuck in my head...

Friday, March 24, 2017

Those idiot republicans....

I didn't think I was going to get a Rose Garden.
I didn't vote for Donald Trump because I thought my healthcare premiums would go down. I voted for Trump because I hate liberals preachy liberals are starting to get under my skin after eight years of a fake negro president, our first sort of, but not quite black president, Bush Lite. I voted for Trump because I think it is insane that I can't clean out a ditch on my own farm. I voted for Trump because I think the gubment is running a protection racket just like the mob with health and safety inspections. I voted for Trump because my liberal friend told me that even though I am the only white male in my department, I got my job because of white privilege.
I expect my healthcare premiums to become unaffordable because the Afordable Care Act institutionalized the graft and corruption of the insurance companies and once it was enacted the insurance people who signed onto it and contributed to the corruption were institutionalized and accepted and the ones who were deemed unworthy were put out of business. Even if the ACA is revoked we are still screwed because the competition that makes the free market work has been eliminated.
I voted for Trump because he was going to upset the apple cart (so to speak) He was a rich bastard but yet an everyday moron enough to appear on the Howard Stern show and laugh at himself. He gets in a big rig and makes motor noises. He isn't a smug prick in a bicycle helmet.
Rejection of the ACA may have been akin to Slim Whitman riding the A Bomb in Dr. Strangelove but it was me turning the wheel off the cliff and screw the establishment and screw you pathetic liberals. He put  climate change denier in charge of the EPA and a private school supporter in charge of the Education Department. YES!!!! I don't care if it all goes to hell. I love to see the shrill cries and hand wringing on Facebook!
But no, the Republicans had to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I hate them almost as much as I hate Democrats.
I suspect we are heading for some interesting times.
There is no way in heck I would vote for Paul Ryan or John McCain. No freaking way, well perhaps if it were Hillary. Naw, I don't think so....

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