The Useful Duck!

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Pay for content? Whatever...

In a moment of frustration I did a search for "how do I make $50,000 in a month?"
There are several internet money making ideas which I was amused to read.
One fellow suggested a pay for content site where you revealed your information one month at a time. He said a person just had to stop thinking "no" and start thinking "yes." All you needed was 5000 subscribers at $29.99 a pop and you had your income.
Wasn't there a Jim Carey movie kind of along those lines?
AND, does anyone ever pay for content?
As far as applying this idea to something of my own invention, I never have paid for a website and I really can't believe anyone would.
Really, how much would you pay to get to my rambling punch lines-if they actually exist. After each, "But, I digress," there would be a "click here for more content" button. 
On the other hand, It might be better as only registered and paying users could read the adventures of chronic boy so I could include more entertaining content which I can't always reveal online.
I just don't think I'm the sort of person to make this happen...So much for my $50,000 a month...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Dad gets an operation and the elderly lady at the desk is a bigot!

Tuesday I took my father to the hospital for a little bit of surgery. He was having quite a bit of pain-that was solved by a procedure usually done quite early in life. I now know why...
Let's just say that no one can call him an uncircumcised Philistine any more...
I was waiting for him in the day surgery waiting room when I saw an example of what is considered racism in American today. I know it confirms several stereotypes which I have...about people who dress a certain way and have a certain attitude and, and, I think Gordon Brown would say something about me that would have a lot more truth to it than when he spoke about his staunch labor party supporter. (Bite the hand that feeds you, much?)
But, I digress...
The lady at the desk was a senior citizen. I don't know if she was a volunteer or just one of those poorly paid elderly people big companies hire for next to nothing cause they grew up on .50 cents a week during the depression and they can be easily taken advantage of. She rain a tight ship let me tell you! When you walked though the door she wanted to know who you were waiting for and who their doctor was. I made some meaningless small talk and found a way to compliment her. I said something about how hard it must be to keep track of all those people or something. She actually smiled at that. I went back to the car to get my book and when I came back in she had forgotten who I was. I again complimented her and told her I forgot people names as well. She actually chit-chatted with me for a few moments before another person wandered in and she demanded name and doctor info from them.
I was setting reading my book when there was a bit of a commotion. A very dark-skinned hispanic fellow came in and he mumbled his information. She spoke louder, being hard of hearing. Again he mumbled his answer. Sounding somewhat frustrated she said, "sir, do you speak English?"
This upset several fat white chicks including the one sitting near me who turned out to be the fellows girlfriend or wife or something. He came back and set near me making comments about being asked if he spoke English.
I wanted to point out that if he would have just spoke loudly and clearly so the lady could hear him and not thought he was Cesar  freakin' Chavez. (who I am sure spoke loudly and clearly around deaf people) the lady would not have asked him if he spoke English. I am sure the lady deals with a lot of non-english speaking people every day and so why was it rude of her to ask? But, being a brown-skinned person with a fat white chick obviously trumps being old and deaf so once again we are faced with the triumph of the UNDENIABLE VIRTUE OF THE OPPRESSED!
I didn't say anything as I think his reward for being a dumbass is to be with a grumpy fat white chick with too many kids. That should be hell enough for anyone. Plus, I was afraid I'd get punched by a fat white chick. I've seen them on daytime TV. The scare me...
I was nice to the grumpy lady and got special treatment. She went and checked on my father for me when he was in recovery, and proclaimed loudly that he was just the sweetest little old man and he was soooo cute. I could have been offended by that remark. Of course there would be some shrinkage if there was a sharp knife nearby, and who said she could take a peek. That was an embarrassing and painful operation. The nurses did take extra good care of him however!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Texas governer shoots coyote, later is crushed by an ACME anvil...

Now here is a story that will have the collective knickers of the chattering classes all in a knot. The Texas governor shot a coyote while on his daily jog!
I don't shoot coyotes cause we have a lot of mice and gophers in our fields and we don't have sheep. But, I don't care if other folks do. And, I take a shot AT them if I do see them cause I think it is a lot better if they are a shy and reclusive critter and don't crap in my yard, eat the family cat, or howl outside my window at night.
I do think that the Governor of Texas should probably watch out for falling anvils, random boxes marked TNT, and ropes strung across his path. Oh, and anything that is marked ACME on the box.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunny day, I'm Planting and grinding feed and running scrappers off the road

There is a scrapper fellow who hauls crap past our farm nearly every day. He has a mid seventies ford 4wd and an old trailer and he loads it with cars and all sorts of crap. He tends to drive a little fast but I always supposed he was in a hurry. He never lost anything in front of our house. I think he lost a small block chevy engine in front of the neighbor's but I never heard comment on it.
Yesterday I got a planting job. The neighbor called up and asked me when I could plant for him. I said, "in an hour?" then I asked how many acres... It was only 20 but I need the work and 20 is better than 0.
I got my diesel and ate lunch and took off. Now I do have flashers, and bright headlights and I was heading up hill and I could see him around the corner and over the black berry bushes so I'm assuming he could see me. The road is pretty narrow in front of Uncle Buck's house and I do hate to meet traffic there. Buck has the distinction of brewing black berry wine in plastic buckets. I have never had any but have see the evidence and I think it packs a whallop!
But, I digress.
I kept edging off the road and scrap boy kept on a commin'. Finally, when he was near my front tire he applied the brakes. While it was amusing to see his load shift and push his truck, that amusement was somewhat tempered by the understanding that his front bumper was even with my rear duals and there was a $48,000 drill behind my tractor. He seemed kind of irritated with me.
I do put up with his cherry-bomb equipped big-block ford hell-bent-for election roaring past my house. I understand he makes a living cutting up cars and I have never made jokes about a possible meth habit as I have no proof of that. However, I would like him better if he would wave. I think he also has sparked a regular sheriff's patrol and I'm not sure if that is good or bad.
I got, over just a touch more. As I pulled away I realized I had uprooted just a little bit of the briar patch. (Don't throw me in Mr. Fox, no, no, no!)
I continued on down the road to my job. At the railroad tracks I met the local rabid democrat who has two real French poodles and buys pig feed from me. Actually we are doing a little trade. I was going to say swap but I need to be more aware of my terminology. I think sometimes I drop codewords that I don't understand...
He was coming after the pig feed I made him the day before. Wheat, oats, and a little canola and molasses to taste, and I run it all through the vintage Minneapolis-Moline hammer mill.
I was on a mission and so he agreed to return later.
When I arrived at the neighbors he was loading some oats for a fellow I know who lives twenty miles away. The neighbor has a seed cleaning plant as well as a farm. The wind was blowing so strong the oats were blowing out of the powerbin as they came off the conveyer. We had to hold up a tarp to shield the oats from the wind.
When I got to the field it was still green. He had sprayed just a day ago and the fescue had not quite died. This will probably cause problems with germination but then again it may start raining Monday. So, we set the seed rate at 110lbs with 10gallons of 32 solution and away I went. It was hard to get the seed covered so I set the depth down quite a bit. Some places were a little wet but mostly the soil crumbled over the seed trench. But, I could not see where I was going.
My markers did not cut through the green fescue rows, there was a bit of a hill and the GPS was off, and when I hit the briar patch I busted the emitter thing on the foam marker. The t-fitting where the water and the air feed in together snapped. I have the foamer thing attached with bungie cords so it won't break the plastic but it did anyway. I don't know if it was an even trade. A broken foamer for me and soil underpants for the scrapper.
I found a roll of duct tape in the tractor and taped it back together. That was not completely successful but with a tiny bit of foam and the GPS I could get buy. Later when the angle of the sun changed I could see.

It really felt good to be working again. Of course there were the usual problems. It was only 20 acres but I loaned out my scale for checking the seed rate. It was a kind of oats I had never planted before. I think they were called "dorado." It started to get cold and damp and the seed rate changed. I had to keep opening up the drill to maintain a 850,000 seed rate. Finally I had to go up to third gear on the drill. Then I almost ran out of seed. I had to shift it back down to finish the last pass on the headland.
I drove home and it was almost dark. One of my flashers burnt out but I only met one car. On a corner. I pulled over so my headlight would not blind him.
It was not a bad day.
This is my incredible dangerous feed grinding operation. You can't see the powerbin I mix the feed in. The other day I sold some chicken feed to a hispanic fellow who had a pretty hard time with MapQuest. Plus, I was grumpy and got tired of answering the repeated phone calls. I figured he would just ask someone at Dad's Market how to get here. I was right.
He had a couple garbage cans and so he parked the pickup under the spout of the bin. The engine kept quitting, plus it was leaking a stream of gasoline onto the bed of the truck and I was spraying starting fluid into the gaping vent hole in the carb. Of course the ignition switch was broken so I had to twist the wires together to make contact and it kept sparking. Suddenly it would start and a bucket of dusty feed would dump out of the auger. He had to hold the spout in the trash cans as he didn't want to get his nice clean truck that close to my rusty hunk. When he left he was white, and his truck was white. He was happy. I knocked $10 off the price...
Unsafe at any speed. The following photo could be used to scare safety inspectors.


I did show a photo of this to a safety consultant. He pointed out that it was so dangerous that it was not as much of a threat as one would think. I can't remember his exact words but I will tell you that when I start this up the dogs will not go anywhere near it.  I swear I am not standing under the loader bucket!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A couple links cause I have nothing to say and I need to go to work...

Here are some links to other people...
GorgesGrouse has a good one today about the junk which we are told is food.

The Eye of Polyphemus has a good post about Waco which was quite disturbing and
And liked his post about scary model Naomi Campbell who was given a "blood diamond" by Chuck Taylor at the home of Saint Nelson Mandela. I guess they were all setting around telling stories about how fun it was to put tires full of gasoline around the necks of people and then setting them on fire. Then they got to talking about "whitey" and then Chuck Taylor started dissin' Mandella cause he is considered a superhero and the UN is after him as a brutal dictator. Then Naomi Campell said she like to wear Chuck Taylor, All-Star Converse Hi-Top tennis shoes and Chucks says, "You are a most be-autiful wooman," I will give you diamond."
I say to Naomi Campbell, keep da diamond. Tell those stinkers to go way back and sit down.... on tacks!

I suppose now the Eye of Polyphemus will link to me again on a day when I have a not-so-funny post and I will get a huge spike on the flag counter but none of those people will stay cause I was talking about no-till or Moline tractors or something boring. Oh well...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I heard the word Pedantic in a Country Western Song!

I had to stop and come in the house and research this issue. When do you ever hear the word Pedantic used in a song?! Of course I lost the scrap of paper where I wrote down the name of the band and the name of the song and I do need to be working so this will be quick.
I think the band is John Doe and the Sadies and the song is "Drugstore"
I was listening to Soma FM, Tunes for Saddle-Weary Drunkards, on iTunes on the POS but at one time very expensive GoBook ix300 which I sometimes use for FarmerGPS. It would be an ok computer but Windows is the most horrible program in the world so it never connects properly. If only it had the Commodore OS... You want to open a program so you tap on the icon. You get the stupid salt-shaker, you wait, nothing, you tap again, same thing, then you tap 5,000 times really fast, then at last it opens-5,000 windows, then you open the tractor door and throw it as hard and as far as you can, then you pick a fence post and line the little gun sight on the radiator of the White up with the fence post and drive the old fashioned way... DO NOT GO BACK AND PICK UP THE COMPUTER! It will only lead to more anger management problems...
But, I digress.
I think John Doe and the Sadies are some sort of "New Country," progressive BS. Possibly the definition of pretentious, well I guess Sting and U-2 have that covered.
It is pretty sad that the only country music I can stand to listen to is either 50 years old or some weird off the wall and kind of offensive stuff on internet radio.
I don't even know what he song was about, I just heard the word pedantic as I was trying to remove a pin from the corn planter drive shaft.
So far I used, a torch, die grinder, punch, torch, punch, torch, larger hammer, bandaid (for me), cup of coffee (had to take a break as I started to swear and I remembered the Gorges Grouse Post on profanity), torch again, my new $20 battery powerdrill that I bought at a garage sale and it works perfectly), torch, hammer, punch, drill, and then I heard "pedantic" and took a break!
This is my radio-it is hooked to a pair of Bose self powered speakers under the bench. I acquired them somewhere and soldered RCA connectors on the cord as the mini plug failed and they work very well.
Note the time on the clock...

What I am supposed to be working on...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Corn Planter and Lego Trains

I have perhaps 50 acres of corn to plant. I did have 120 acres but we won't go into that one. Planting corn is usually my brother's job but somehow I suspect it will be mine this year. I've been working on the planter as you may have gathered from the previous post.
Today I got it all together. It is amazing how something so simple can be so hard to work on. I oiled the chains and inspected the drive clutches. I was trying to figure out how to get the hydraulic filter apart on the blower when I noticed a bearing on the drive for the row units which looked funny.
The seal looked wrong and upon closer inspection I discovered there were no balls in the bearing. If I were planting 40 acres of our own corn I would put a needle fitting on the grease gun and pump it full of grease, but... I'm planting for the neighbor about 5 miles from home. So I guess I will have to take the whole drive line off to fix this one bearing.
I really wanted to cut up a load of scrap for some cash, I need to service the silage chopper, mower, and I have a baler that needs the plunger rebuilt.
Tomorrow I need to finish spreading fertilizer and Monday I have my 75 acres mountain to plant.
Today I wasted a lot of time. I got S. a Lego train for her birthday and it arrived. Aunt E. and I put it together in the store. Then at coffee time we set it up on the coffee table, to the amusement of a hardworking neighbor farmer. He wondered where the key was to wind it up.
The cousins were out of school early and they got to play with it till S. got home. They all had a pretty good time with it till supper time. Lego trains are very cool. I think they are better than regular toy trains. You can rebuild them and crash them and then put it all back together again. S. was quite happy with the train.
But, I didn't get the corn planter out of the shop... Oh well!

Spring is a happy time of year, full of new life and flowers and rain...

I lost another planting job today. Fellow decided he wanted to spend the summer trying to kill all the bent grass on his pasture, instead of replanting it. He still has 15 acres to plant...It is going to be a long drive to do 15 acres. So, I now have 75 wet and steep acres scheduled to plant. I probably can't charge the guy $10,000 to do his 75 acres.
I started working on the White 5100 corn planter again. The parts have arrived for it. Employee called in sick yesterday morning. We ordered some insecticide boxes from our friend in South Dakota. They arrived by mail. It cost $35 to ship them.
Employee forgot to wear rubber gloves when taking the boxes apart. He then had coffee time and a doughnut without washing his hands. Afterwards, he developed an upset tummy...  Lorsban is neurotoxin and suspected endocrine disruptor. Click on link to read wikipedia reference for more info...
I am always careful around Lorsban as the smell makes me queasy and if I'm not careful I will get a sore throat. This has only been a problem when putting it on with fertilizer or planting through a recently sprayed field.
I expected a longtime employee to remember to wear rubber gloves and was his hands after handling the stuff, but... That is why you need to have regular safety meetings and review such things. I suspect that if we ran out of toilet paper folks would either set on the crapper till it magically appeared or just plain forget to wipe.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nuclear Meltdown Destroys Sadieville!

We left SimCity running all night. Everything looked good. The bars for Commercial, Industrial, and Residential were good. We built another police and fire station. We put in another nuclear reactor to provide power, we had good roads, and our tax rate was not too high. Before going to bed I checked and public opinion still rated S. as a good mayor.
But, in the cruel hard light of dawn it was discovered that somewhere around 1970 there was a nuclear meltdown.  Now in the year 2082 large parts of the city are radioactive. The roads are in disrepair, mass transit has shut down, and we only have $752 to spend.
My wife wants to start over but I say we can do it! Yes we Can! Change is happiness! War is Peace! We have always been at war with EastAsia, Oceania has always been our friend!
In other news typical of life here at Strumpet HQ, S and I have been eagerly awaiting the Arthur and the Minimoys 2 movie. Upon investigation we discovered that it had been released in the UK in fall of 2009 and was not easy to find in the USA.
So I looked for it online.
I found it and downloaded it last night.
Sadie and I eagerly started at the computer screen as it started in Quicktime and....
IT IS IN FRENCH!!!!!
It doesn't really matter, we are watching it anyway.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Skywatch One Reporting Heavy Traffic!

Nephew was out today. He had SimCity on his laptop. This has sparked a SimCity frenzy here at the farm. We had to dig out some old computers to play it as I have never updated to the newer versions.
How many people are there in the country who are running a Mac SE in order to play SimCity? Next I think we will play Bolo, if I can find my PowerBook 180 and my AppleTalk connectors!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday

I'm eating my lunch. My wife made bean soup from a hambone from a pig I got from a fellow who fed it with my feed. It is pretty good stuff.
I've been selling hay, I just got 3,400 lbs of barley seed delivered so I need to plant. I have a lady coming for 16 bags of chicken feed, so I need to bag and sew another 8 bags and I'm out of bags.
We sold a load of hay to a fellow who is a long time customer. Sometimes he bugs the crap out of me. He got some hay that was not as good as he thought. We have tons and tons of hay in our barn. If you get some hay you don't like you have to exchange it or something. I don't know how to do it one bale at a time. Everyone else loved the hay and kept coming back for more. I have no idea.... I'd have just given it too him if he wouldn't have acted so strange about it.
Then I made the mistake of trying to sell him oat pellets. He can't buy the oat pellets cause he doesn't know what is in them. He can't buy my ground feed cause he doesn't know what is in it. I did tell him we had a contract with the government for toxic waste which we put into chicken feed just to spite him. He didn't think that was funny.
He pointed to the sprayer truck and thought that we put all those chemical on the oats and blah, blah, blah.
So, he said he would take a big bag of oats. He said the back that was on the truck outside might be wet or moldy. I said, well you think we just leave the bags outside all the day long? Obviously we moved that truck out to get you hay! You think I want to sell you crappy oats?
Sometimes I feel tired...

We limit ourselves-I think...

My wife is an optimistic person. Some where in her life she decided she was going to be happy. It has worked out pretty well for her I think.
I have the opposite problem. I get uptight and reclusive.
I have an add on craigslist for feed and for hay. A fellow called yesterday and wanted me to deliver him two bags of feed for $20. I said no, my wife said, "do I get to keep the $20?"
Yesterday the relatives were discussing computers. It was painful.
If you have a small business there is really only one system. Quickbooks. I do really hate Quickbooks, but then I really hate the Microsoft OS, so if you are already in hell does one more poke in the eye really matter?
We have been through this with our business.
The best system for an amateur would be...
1. Have your nephew (me) buy a 14" iBook with 1 gig of ram on ebay for $250. Then either buy or borrow quickbooks. One of my helpers mother does books for several businesses, she has offered to help. Take advantage of her help and set up the inventory and invoice system and away you go. It would be painful but could be done.
2. Go in with the farm on wireless internet for $50 per month. Then you can look up and order parts on line and it doesn't matter that the idiots at TISCO have set up their catalogue on a DOS based format on their DVD.
3. Get paypal and use that to accept credit cards

The best system for an amateur who is does not realize that the Mac OS is the best would be as follows...
1. Go the local Office Depot or Staples (five miles away).... Got to the isle that sells Quickbooks software. Get the Quickbooks system that you need. Inventory, invoices, payroll. Look on the back of the box and read the minimum system requirements. Go to the computer section of the store. Buy the biggest laptop that you can afford that beats those specs.
2. Go in with the farm on wireless internet for $50 per month. Then you can look up and order parts on line and it doesn't matter that the idiots at TISCO have set up their catalogue on a DOS based format on their DVD.

But they won't. They have this idea to use some other program. Probably some DOS based program called "My Small Business program which is a piece of crap but I don't realize cause I won't take a book keeping class but still think I know what I'm doing..."  And they won't buy a laptop because someone said laptops are not powerful enough... Which is kind of insane, and they won't buy anything that cost too much cause they have no idea of the value of their time vs money vs frustration vs getting the job done. This has always been a problem out here. Waste your time on minutia and then buy something you really don't need.
Of course they will attempt to use a dial-up if they even get the concept of accessing parts-books online into their heads.

And what really frustrates me is that I think my brother could manage the place very well. We just never seem to be able to make the leap or perhaps more importantly- you have to interact with people in a way that makes the opportunity happen. I can never make the connection with the old person where they turn the place over to you. I never want to take advantage of them and I guess I maintain a distance. So they never sell the place to me. I've got a hay field rented where they set up a trust so that I can rent it forever, but yet I could never buy it. They wanted me to drive their bus across the country for them at one point, but they didn't want to bother me. I'd of done it!
But, sitting and complaining is not getting work done.
I go over and read Ed Winkles blog and get even more depressed. He is always happy and wants to go to work.
I just registered with tractorhouse. Perhaps I'll put a few things up for sale.
Speaking of Sales, Ralph! There is an internet auction for a White 2-185 somewhere in your neck of the woods. If I had $30,000 setting here I would see if you wanted to borrow it till I got it home. I will have to look up where that is. I think trucking it to Oregon would be incredibly expensive. Perhaps I could drive it. 2000 miles at 18 mph. Hmmmm.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The sun is out and most people are hard at work

As a lazy farmer I have thought long and hard about sitting in a rocking chair. I really think I rocking chair is more traditional than a lazy-boy or a beat up old leather chair. I do have a really good rocking chair but it is hard to balance the iBook while rocking. Plus, you can't slouch in a rocking chair. Also, I can't move to the front porch in the summer anyway as I must shirk my responsibilities in secret as there is quite a lot of discrimination against lazy farmers in my neighborhood. Also, if I were to set on the porch people would come and talk to me which would be a bad influence on the neighborhood...
I went and looked at my hay fields yesterday. They are so wet I had to hire someone to fertilizer. But, i found a lone camas plant. I instructed the sprayer guy to stay away from it but I suppose it is as good as gone...
In other developments, Sadie dug out her pedal tractor. It looks like she has gained some pedal tractor horsepower over winter but... This may be the last year for pedal tractors as she is growing like crazy. Next it will be boys and pickup trucks and loud music. She will probably run off with a banjo player and we all know where that will end up. Well, it could be worse... I certainly hope she does not bring home one of those fellows who vehicles thump loudly when they go by.
I also went to look at my big 100 plus acre planting job that was going to put me on the road to paying off my drill. It is 75 acres of ex-CRP ground and it is so steep I think I need a D-8 to pull my drill. Oh crap....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I am the worst businessman in the world...

I have been hearing these rumors of folks who are going to call me to plant soybeans or corn and after hearing talk for a while I decided to actually find out what was going on.
Yesterday I talked to the fellow who was going to plant beans. He said he didn't think my Great Plains drill did as well planting at 1/2" depth as a John Deere and so he was going to have the other neighbor plant his beans. I thought that was a pretty stupid reason but I didn't say anything. Now if he would have just said that he wanted to give the neighbor a planting job, that would have not been so annoying. First of all he needs to get rid of his 1/2" deep planting obsession. Just a little bit more depth would make the planting much easier and well, I just plant it 3/4" deep anyway. This may be his complaint. Perhaps I should just do exactly what he says? I guess we shall see if the John Deere can no-till beans 1/2" deep and keep them covered no-tilling into rough ground. So, you figure the bean is 1/4" diameter and that leaves you with 1/4" of soil covering it.... Whatever....
Then I called the fellow with the 70 acres of corn. I worked into the conversation by asking him how his oats looked. It turns out he wanted to ask my opinion on corn. This was not good. He wanted to sell it to a large dairy at the coast which could only chop on weekends. They want to pay him what we think is too close to our break even point.
So... you spend $400 per acre on your corn then you wait for the dairy to come and chop it on the weekend?  What if it rains? What if it frosts? What if you don't get 35 ton? What if you get 22 ton? You may think you are getting $800 an acre gross, but you could just as well get $350. Do you have a contract? Do they pay based on TDN? Where is the scales?
In the end I think I talked him out of it.
I have to be more positive...
I just lost a 70 acre planting job! Plus, I almost had him talked into strip-tilling so there was another custom hire.
I am kicking myself in the shins right now...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It was my daughter's birthday yesterday

She turned nine. The last of the single digits. She was pretty excited. Yesterday was one day she didn't have any problems getting out of bed!
Her mom got her a little heart necklace and I (we) got here a Sansa Clip Mp3 player. (To see Please type "Sansa Clip" into the Amazon search function at the top of the page) and she got a Monster Truck game for the wii that came with a FREE steering wheel. (four pieces of snap together plastic)
Sadie asked for an iPod like her mom and i have. It was just the small iPod that has a built in clip and you can get free engraving on it. So I went to the Apple website and they have changed the basic iPod so it would have required another cord and it it is also more money and doesn't look like it would be all that great.
I did a search for the best Mp3 player and came up with the Sansa Clip. We got the 4 gig version for something like $25-$30.  It has a built in FM radio and it will take additional memory cards which you can get preloaded with music and radio programs and stuff. (I don't understand that part yet)
Best of all I found this website called www.booksshouldbefree.com which has books in Mp3 or Podcast format. I downloaded Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories, Rudyard Kipling,  and several radio episodes of Dragnet. I put a bunch of music on it as well. I think I even got some banjo music on it-just to scare away potential thieves.
I am not so sure Sadie was totally happy not to have an iPod as it is the whole  brand label sort of thing that is important at a certain age. We told her, ok look... All your friend's will not be impressed by this not being an iPod-but, this is better. More memory, an FM radio, a screen, and cheaper... So tell them your folks are kind of strange and buy stuff at GoodWill and act a little disappointed so they won't bug you. But....inside you know you are superior and best of all-someone will not be tempted to steal this from you if it is not super popular!
I think that worked. She thought our explanation was funny and she seems happy with the Mp3 player.
After school we went to the Asia Buffet for dinner. She picked the restaurant although we do not get our money's worth with her at an all-u-can eat. She does love steamer clams and they have them there.
Following dinner she invited her three cousins over from across the machinery lot to play monster truck Wii games. I went back to work and came in at dark. They were all still there. I guess wife had retreated to the bedroom and gone to sleep. Some kids were late for their bedtime yesterday. Nice to seem them play well and take turns. Probably means they will get into a lot of trouble together as teenagers... I shouldn't wonder.
In a side note I wonder if reading the "Silver Chair" as a youngster did not make me somewhat negative. Puddleglum the Marshwiggle was my favorite character...

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Life of a Bottom Feeder! Check out my new truck!!!

I have no pride. I also have no elbow for the blower on my new hammermill. We lost it on the highway... Oops!
But, that was not the point. I am such a total bottom feeder.
Today I got a new truck, and a new hay elevator. I really didn't need either but hey, they were free!
Ten years ago my cousin gave me a 40 foot Mayrath hay elevator. It was in the loft of his old barn. Last week the roof blew off so he said I should come and get the elevator. I'm not sure I have a use for it but I like it better than the other hay elevator I don't use. It will look really good setting on a pallet somewhere.
Then I attempted to spread fertilizer. That was not a success as the wind started blowing as soon as I got the spreader full, then the stupid thing kept plugging up so I averaged 75lbs instead of 150lbs per acre. It was only plugged on one side so that will make an interesting pattern. Of course this is a very old Allied dual spin spreader and a little International tractor we bought for practically nothing, and an ebay special calc-an-acre with GPS speed sensor that came from.... Yes you guessed it! Misslabeled or miss-spelled eBay auctions-which have fewer bids that when you correctly spell the auction titles!!! My secret to good deals on eBay! Great, I just admitted I take advantage of dyslexic people who can't spell properly!
Then I went to get my new truck. It is an early 1960's GMC with a v-6 and a 16ft bed. It was full of bee's and there was so much algae on the windshield I could have started my own bio-fuel plant. BUT it has a working hoist and good grain racks and as a major bonus-the farmer who owned this beast plumbed hydraulic outlets on the side of the bed to run augers. You have to put the bed down to run the auger so I'm not sure how you would use it to dump into an auger but it would unload fertilizer out a bin on the back of the truck.
It runs good but the cab is totally rusted out. I guess I could just load it with scrap and drive it to the mill and leave it there.
In other stressful events I may have another 75 acres of corn to plant for someone who is really uptight. I'm not a corn planting expert but people think I am because I do no-till planting with a grain drill. That is totally different from setting a corn planter. And I have to drive really straight. Perhaps Ed Winkle will come out and run it for me. I guest write his blog perhaps he could guest plant my corn.

I don't understand ebay

I had three items for sale.
1. Twine disks for a baler knotter. Probably worth $120
2. A structo auto haul in really nice shape, I would say it was worth $40-50
3. A  GPS receiver with a non-working antenna, worth $25 perhaps

The twine disks sold for $26, the structo sold for $24 and the GPS went past $100. I DO NOT want that GPS back. It is totally insane. You could buy a Garmin 18 for $35 which would connect to your tablet PC and it run FarmerGPS and it would work better. I did not hide these things in the auction. I do not want to ship this and have the guy say I miss-represented this item and have to take it back. Perhaps i should just email him and say, "look you paid twice what this is worth here is half the money back."
Then there is the frustration of selling the best Structo Auto-haul I have seen on ebay and getting half what it is worth. If it didn't take up so much room I would keep it.
I can understand the twine disk as it is not something one would buy unless you needed it and I have a five gallon bucket full of them which we scavenged from the Freeman Baler company when they moved out of downtown Portland.
I have have a notion to pull the Raven 210 out of my Tractor and write a glowing description and seeing if I can get $900 out of that, put that money on a good antenna, since crappy ones seem to bring so much!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

1998 Page views and I debate getting on a big old jetliner

I am kind of worried that my blog will shut down when I hit 2000 page views. I am not sure my blog counter can count past 20,000. To think of all the productivity that has been wasted! If that 20,000 represented two minutes per page that would be 40,000 minutes wasted! That is 666.66 hours that could have been used to increase the Gross National Product or to play scrabble or learn to play the Banjo! Which leads us to the other obvious conclusion. We all know the significance of the number 666. Could it be that the feds have been tracking your iP addresses and giving them to the trilateral commission, the Freemasons, and the KGB and that is actually important for some reason. Perhaps we have all been put on a watchlist for potential banjo pickers. This all happens just at the time when this airline pilot who I sell chicken feed to has hinted at the possibility of free airline tickets for Sadie and I to go anywhere in the world if we agree to fly standby and are ready to leave with only a short notice and if we will dress up so we can fly first class if needed. I am not so sure about the dressing up but I would certainly take the daughter out of school for a week. 
I thought about saying I'd just take the first tickets I could get. Who cares where you go. I'm sure there is something interesting to see just about anywhere. I could take the horrible and stupidly designed Microsoft Streets and trips and have a map for just about anywhere. You can always sleep at the airport or in dumpsters or perhaps kind people would take us in. We could pretend to be homeless farmers. I'm sure people love homeless farmers.
The world is our oyster. I'm not sure what that means. It kind of sound disgusting. Curiouser and Curiouser, said the cat.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fifty more page views and I will hit 20,000

I've been trying to think of clever slogan.
Lazy Farmers of the World Unite!
Banjo playing is not a crime!
Asia is for Asiatics- no that one was used in WWII
Support Bottom Feeders?
I don't know...
I sold some twine disks on ebay for $25
I didn't sell my structo truck...
Some fellow wants me to ship the first generation mid-tech gps with a broken antenna that I have listed on ebay to Australia. I've actually been working and didn't get it weighed.
I worked half the day on my 1970 International truck trying to get the gauges to work. I got smoke coming from under the dash. I can't find where the voltage regulator for the gauges is hidden. I have a whole bunch of old resisters up in the attic at the farmhouse but it seems strange to go ask if I can take one thing from the attic without removing all my junk.
I hooked up external gauges with temp and oil pressure but I have no fuel level. I kind of need the fuel level as that truck has a 478 cu in engine and it absolutely sucks the gas.
In other news the revamped shed has boosted productivity but we are so far behind it is unbelievable.
My Ford F250 that I spent $$$$ on this winter refuses to run and I can't afford to take it to a real shop to get a computer diagnostic scan. I need to drive 30 miles to get barley seed but I have nothing that will run that far and hold 3,000lbs.
I found 4 ton of wheat for sale but have no truck to haul it. Plus I really have the cash for the wheat up front and I'm worried to buy it on credit or on an "i'll pay you later deal.
I need to make some pig feed but I'm not getting cash, just a dead pig.
Perhaps we will have nice weather this week and I can plant!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I shot two starlings, broke my truck, and found a new hammer mill

Yes Ralph, they are small targets and I'm a terrible shot. I gave up on the .22 and got the double barrel 12 gauge. Got em! Well two of them. Freaked the new dog out and she ran away. She seems to have come back again. Perhaps the 12 gauge is a little too much for her.
I needed to change the temperature gauge on my 1971 International 1800 Loadstar. Turns out it is a rare and valuable sending unit. There is only one in existence and it is in Wisconsin and will cost $74 plus shipping.
We tried out a new gauge and sending unit but when we wired it in the oil pressure and fuel level gauges quit. Well, my sometimes a great employee wired it in. I took it apart and I think it uses lower voltage for the gauges. Somehow it depends on the temperature gauge to get the other ones to work. I don't understand it. Then I hooked it up wrong and smoke started coming out of somewhere under the dash. Now the temp gauge is completely dead and so are all the other gauges.
Tomorrow it may get Stewart Warner gauges. I did find a NOS gauge and sending unit on eBay. I see my parts truck is all SW.
Then this fellow called me with a hammer-mill for sale. It is not a Minneapolis-Moline so I don't know about it. He says it has a good flat belt. He seemed relieved to hear that I wanted a flat belt. Seems to be old technology. He said the one fellow who looked at it kept asking where the PTO attached. Tomorrow I'm going to look at it. He said he was growing oats to feed his cows and then lost his rented ground. My cunning plan is to buy the hammer mill for $100 cash and then as I'm leaving sell him ground feed made with his own hammer mill. Heh, heh, heh, I can think of more ways to loose money and make myself extra work than many other folks. It is a talent.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Another happy day on the farm

I've been working on the corn planter. Well, sort of. My sometimes a great employee hurt his ankle on an Easter Egg hunt Sunday and so has taken a couple days off. He did get a draw to pay his rent and electric and insurance on Friday. I am sure there is no connection between the pattern of draws for end of the world crisis sorts of things and the illness that follows these draws. Just random I'm sure.
So, I've been working on one thing for a while and then getting distracted and working on something else and then I shot at some starlings and then I loaded some hay and then I worked on my drill and then someone came and talked to me. My standard day...
The White planter had a flat tire. I was moving it into the shop when a little red car came careening around the corner and smashed into the mailbox 500 or so feet away. I was so distracted I forgot to stop and put air in the tire when I pulled the planter ahead. I kept driving ahead to get a better look and when I looked back the tire was off the rim.
I can't figure out how to remove the wheel. When I turn the bolt on one side of the axle the other bolt moves. I put a wrench on it and then the bolt on that side unscrewed, leaving the axle still bolted to one side of the lift arms. I tried calling the guy in SD we bought the planter from but he had never changed a tire either. I emailed Ed Winkle and he told me not to give up and was quite encouraging, but, he had never changed a tire on his White 5100 either. Apparently White corn planter tires last the life of the machine.
I was working on this last night when a fellow came for chicken feed and distracted me. I had given up on removing the tire and hit upon another solution. I found half a gallon of that goopy tire sealer sold by CarQuest. The container was in pretty bad shape and the pump was broken. So I got a long funnel and dumped the half gallon of tire sealer into the unseated tire. I smeared it around the rim, then I wrapped a ratcheting tie down around it and was trying to get it to seat on the bead. I thought about starting fluid but I couldn't find any matches. It was not working.
So I went to get chicken feed. The fellow handed me a big roll of bills and said this was a payment on what he owed. When I counted it up later it was $100 in ones, fives, and tens. I think this economic recovery is BS. Nobody has any money. People are trading stuff and buying things $2 at a time.
But, I digress.
This morning I went out and put air in the tire. The goop had done its job and the is holding air. I have no idea how to replace it. I think we will have to sell the planter.
In other news I laced up a belt for the hammermill, fixed an oil leak on my grain drill, and nearly shot the radio antenna off the roof of the shop. I missed the starling. I am a terrible shot.
Tomorrow I think I will try the 12 gauge.

Monday, April 5, 2010

My favorite seller on Ebay whose films I never can afford...

Oh man I want this one, One Froggy Evening- It is a classic animated cartoon!
This fellow has got some good ones. There is a Mr. Magoo, Pluto, and a whole pile of other films. And I am #$%^&* broke.
Plus it will never stop raining so we can't watch them anyway.
I'm going to pop some vitamin D and go back to work.
There has got to be a better way to  make a living...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Chronic boy outdoes himself!

I was looking in the shop for some grommets for a neighbor and I was checking upstairs in the shop. As I was going back down the stairs I happened to look in the sort of secret hiding place where Chronic boy used to store the home made machine guns that made in the shop.
I kind of started the homemade toy submachine gun business when i made one a couple years ago. (Note-It was a TOY home made submachine gun. Sort of an artistic abstract sort of thing. Not something you would scare the neighbors with)
Chronic boy was very impressed and started building his own.
What caught my eye on this one was the walnut stock that looked very much like a Ruger 10/22.
My brother had a stainless 10/22 that he kept in our section of the shop under the work bench. He didn't shoot it much and it was not in an obvious open location so it was not checked on a regular basis.
Last winter I found a stainless 10/22 with no stock sitting on the back of the old gun cabinet in the shop. My brother started looking for his gun and couldn't find it.
Of course no one knew where the gun had come from. Chronic boy of course had no knowledge of this gun... Even though I had caught him in the past with my ammunition and as a result moved all my gun stuff out of the shop.
The stock that I found was of course the stock to the missing 10/22. He had welded up a receiver and barrel out of scrap metal. He made a scope out of pipe fittings. It sort of looks like a cross between an H&K and an AK-47. He held it all together with a couple rolls of duct tape and black electrical tape.
There are a couple things which really piss me off about this.

Of course there is the theft of the 10/22 and the bizarre disconnect with reality. (Well, he didn't really steal it, no he borrowed it... and wrapped it with a lot of duct tape, and kind of messed up a very nice gun.)
Then there is the fact that it was not made out of "scrap" metal. The pipe fittings were new black pipe out of the store, not used stuff out of the used pipe department.
And the fact that no blame will be assigned, there will be no apology or confession. Instead he will used the modern tactic of denial in the face of all evidence-and he will sort of get away with it.
We went through this before when his brother broke the windows in all the old cars below the hill. Total denial and of course his parents backed him up. Despite the fact that he and his friends were the only people on the farm with wrist rocket slingshots and despite the fact that he had been cutting up old bearings for the steel balls earlier in the day.
Without a resolution there is no renewal of trust.
I didn't make a scene.
There would be this big inquisition. I would be questioned on how and when I found the gun. Chronic boy could never admit to playing with toy guns as a 20 something. Uncle would get all uptight. Chronic boy would deny it all.
I would then get really angry and there would be another scene. I would probably point out that we all know that he gets stoned out behind the shop and that he is lazy and kind of incompetent. And the discussion would go down hill from there. The thing is I really don't give a rip if he gets stoned and fakes an arm injury for access to painkillers. I just don't like him stealing.

Farmer interactions

I was looking at the Workforced.com blog, specifically the post: "My Handshake Brings All the Boys to the Boardroom," yesterday.
I commented and then I got carried away. I thought I would bring my post back to the Lazy Farmer and talk about interactions between Farmers.
On the farm we also have our unwritten rules of behavior. Have you ever watched two farmers meet at an auction or a fertilizer company meeting? You almost always have to have a good handshake if names are exchanged. If you know the fellow real well you don't shake hands. If you have not seen the fellow in a long while then there will also be a handshake. Some people do not welcome touching. They acknowledge you with a verbal greeting, keep their hands in their pocket and kind of slouch back. If they are still smiling then they like you. Perhaps they will fidget with their hat.  They just don't like to touch people.
There are a few very shy farmers. They kind of shuffle their feet, keep hands in pockets, and keep an eye out for the exits. I always want to yell boo!
I like the grumpy farmers. They put a lot of effort into having a bad attitude.
Personal distance is kind of a big deal. Most farmers have a good three foot personal distance. Some farmers measure that in meters but is the USA we think those folks are commies and don't talk to them. One old farmer tends get closer and closer as he talks. You keep backing up as he often has egg on his lips and huge globs of snot in his nose. He is pretty much deaf so while this is annoying it is understandable. The other farmer who violated folks personal distance turned out to also be the sort that violates little boys so people kind of a avoid shaking his hand.
Farmers who are way too enthusiastic about shaking hands are also suspect. Those who shake your hand and also pat you on the back are not to be trusted unless they are your uncle from another state. There is a retired fellow from California who comes up and farms in the summer. He is way too enthusiastic, cause he is having a good time. When you are not having that much fun, say when it is 102 degrees in the shade and you've busted your knuckles and the combine is plugged from stem to stern, and you are having problems with anger management, someone being very enthusiastic and suggesting simplistic solutions you've already tried, then giving you a pat on the back and a hand shake, is not so welcome. (that was a long sentence) He also drools when he talks. Long strings of drool, and he likes to ride with you. This is bad when there is a wind and you are on an open tractor. Or if he is between you and the A/C vent on the combine.
Mostly we just hide from him....