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Thursday, March 14, 2013

I swear I am loosing my mind

I'd tell you more but there are locals who read this blog. Who actually would recognize me on the street. Who might hire someone else to plant for them.
It started a month or so ago but we will not go there at this time.
Last night I thought I had a flat tire.
This morning I checked it out and there was in fact a lot of air coming out of that tire when I put pressure on it.
So I called around to find a used 20.8-42 radial tractor tire.
After a couple hours on the phone I found no used tires but did find someone who could get me two new tires by afternoon.
I thought I was getting Trelleborgs but they were out of stock and the only tires they had were from India, I think the brand name was "Savaroo," opted not to buy the "Happy Fortune Good Luck Real American" brand tires which are made in China.
So the tire guy shows up and starts to work.
About that time my neighbor calls and tells me he has two new Firestones he will sell me for a reduced price. It is a little to late for that. I suppose being polite to the tire guy is not worth $3465.50 but he already had the tire off the tractor.
The tire guy then asks me if I had changed those tires recently with the look in his eye along the lines of, "What idiot farmer would but worn out tires like that on as inside duals," and pointed out to me the fresh tire grease on the inside of the tire.
I told him it was a tractor destined for Orin but he didn't know Orin so it wasn't funny.
I said, "you know there is a funny story about this tractor..."
About then a hay customer arrived, followed by another, and then there was some sort of minor crisis which I don't remember.
When I got back the tire guy was just putting on the second new tire. He showed me the old tube that was holding air and said that someone had put a tube in a tubeless tire and it must have leaked into the tire and then escaped when I ran over rough ground.
I asked him if I could have got by with just a flat repair and he said, "um, but you ordered new tires... no one said anything about a flat repair"
He didn't know, he was just dispatched...
So I could have shopped around or gone for another four years on baldies or whatever. But now I have new tires.
For the last two days I been getting calls to no-till. I'm now have 230 and one half acres to do by Tuesday with four different fields 15 miles apart.
So at nearly dark I am ready to plant our own 20 acres of oats and clover, 10 acres of flax, and 1/2 acre of hard red spring wheat. (Someone wants to make flour.)
We can't find the wheat.
The drill won't pump the fertilizer out of the truck into the drill.
I forgot the inoculant for the clover. I went to the house to get it out of the refrigerator but my wife gave me coffee and I forgot why I was there.
So I lay out the half acre with my GPS with the $25 antenna and I thought it looked a little big but it was in the dark and I figured the GPS wouldn't lie.
I then figured out that I forgot to turn the automatic rate controller on and the hydraulic flow control was stuck at zero miles per hour and had turned the pump off. So I got my fertilizer into the drill.
My helper found the wheat. It was only one bag.
I set the rate down to 25 pounds as I thought I would plant it twice and there was 50lbs in the bag.
You can see right now where I'm going wrong.
I wanted to plant at 100lbs so I needed to set the rate at 50lbs so I could plant it twice and not have any skips and it didn't matter if I had a 50lb bag I was not planting 50lbs per acre so setting the drill at 25 was not the thing to do.
I started planting. I thought the population was a little low on the monitor but I soldiered on. The seeds seemed rather far apart when I was digging them up but it was dark and then someone called me on the phone.
The field seemed a lot larger than the GPS told me, but I was on the phone.
I made a couple more rounds.
All of a sudden the low seed alarms started going off. Half the drill was running out of seed.
I looked at the GPS screen a little closer.
It was not .55 acres, it was two acres, I had been going 5.5 miles per hour, the GPS had actually measured the field at 2 acres.
I just quit and went home.
I had planted two aces of wheat at something like 20lbs per acre. 350,000 seeds per acre. But I got down 10 gallons of 10-34 per acre so I got one thing correct.
Actually I quit, got out of the tractor and forgot that Orin ordered an extra step and missed the ground and fell on my bottom, but I managed to protect the GPS computer this time.
THEN I went home backed the seed truck into the barn with no backup lights. The crash I heard was me hitting the hammer mill.
Then I found the screenings truck parked outside and so I backed it into the barn with no brakes and no lights. The jarring crash that knocked my head into the rear window was me hitting the Mercury-Pettebone forklift. I didn't see a dent on the forklift. Perhaps I should add brake fluid.
The evening ended well as my wife had fixed me mashed potatoes and gravy.
I have a feeling tomorrow will be a long day...Anyone have 200lbs of hard red spring wheat that you can send me?


  1. I find that even for the simplest tasks that I have been doing for years I have to make checklists. And then actually check off 1, 2, 3 as I do the steps. And then since that is not idiot proof and I often make some idiot mistake, I have to redo it.

    1. I make lists. I am also amazed at my ability to think incorrectly. Half rate, half of 100lbs and I end up at 1/4. There was logic there it was just wrong...

  2. Hmmmm,,bad day alright. Got plenty of red spring in the bin here but the shipping would probably price it beyond reasonable.
    Brakes I don't want to think about. Currently trying to get the old IH mobile for spring seed cleaning and having no luck locating the badly needed front drums. Who would have thought it would be impossible to buy new drums for a 40 year old truck? By the time I'm mobile the ground will be thawed to mud and its snowing again tonight....

    1. Ralph,
      I wonder what the shipping would be for 100lbs? Someone around here must have a couple bags of the stuff.
      It is strange that parts for 40 year old trucks and tractors are getting hard to find.
      It is kind of amazing that 40 year old trucks and tractors are still so useful.

    2. I was told the drums on my 72 IH are made of unobtanium and to be good to them. I guess that means don't use them. Fenders are reparable.

  3. When I was a kid we had a grinning blow up Bozo the Clown that was our equal in height. It stood on a rounded, weighted base so that when you punched it in the nose it would pop back up and punch you back. If you had such a thing about six feet tall you could get that part of your day out of the way before you'd finished morning coffee.

  4. I think you will get a kick out of this one: I was in a hurry today and was filling the sprayer tank with a garden hose. I started the engine and turned on the mechanical agitator, then walked into the shop to grab a jug of chemical. As I came out I saw the garden hose retreating into the tank fill port like a blow snake into a mouse-hole. You guessed it......the hose wrapped around the agitator shaft. I managed to get it shut off before bending the shaft or ripping the hydrant out of the ground. Luckily I was able to reverse the hydraulic motor and uncoil.

    You must not be reading much NAT lately. Don't you know that Firestone and Michelin are the only "approved" tires for my new tractor?

    1. I wanted Firestones. Not because they are better, but because they were OEM. I have to have an identity as a tractor "restorer."
      That way I can delude myself into thinking next winter I will paint this tractor. I won't, but having goals, or rather-self delusion makes the world go round.
      Good thing you had not added the chemical. That could have been an unpleasant swim!

  5. And I thought this might be applicable:

    My apologies if I've already sent it to you. What's fun is to walk around the shop, absent-mindedly repeating the title lyric. Employees give you a puzzled look!

    1. And now I have the refrain, "where is my mind," echoing in the empty caverns of my skull.
      Going to plant peas today. What is the verb in the sentence I am going to plant peas. Could I say, I am going to pea? Or I peaed in the field?


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