The Useful Duck!

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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cocoa Beach New Year's Eve

We cut across Florida to St. Augustine and then took highway 1A1 down the coast to Cocoa Beach. Lulu got her first sight of the Atlantic ocean. It was a little chilly.
It is kind of a amazing to drive for miles along the beach with old life oaks and palms and pine trees on one side and condos on the other. I would have like to have seen it 40 years ago.

We are at the Best Western at Cocoa Beach. We are with our friends from Oregon. (See the previous post) The internet service is pretty bad.
I think we are going to BBQ in the back yard. The plan was to hang out on our balcony and watch fireworks but we don't have quite the view as described by Orbitz. Nor are our rooms quite as close as we thought.
Also, Duck Dynasty should boycott Cracker Barrel because Cracker Barrel is kind of nasty. "Cheeze" grits and turnip greens don't really turn a Denny's into soul food. Although antiques on wall always makes it feel like home.
Anyway, got to get the daughter to the beach! Happy Nude Year!!!
Saw a pelican.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas in the Pine Woods

We left internet access Christmas Eve. It is not so much that we are deep in the Pine Woods of Florida.

With the Robertsons...

But rather we spent Christmas with some friends who don't have wireless internet broadcast throughout the house.

Many years ago I worked for a farmer in Florida. I baled straw. Why I would go from one end of the USA to the other to bale wheat straw has been a much debated point in my life. Perhaps it had something to do with my affection for girls with southern accents, perhaps it is the boil peanuts and fried chicken, or it could have been that I baled straw 50 miles from Panama City Beach, the redneck rivera... Very nice folks. I would make more comments but they may read the blog and I don't want them to get "big heads" until I'm gone.

Our last stop in "civilization" was a synagogue in St. Petersburg which features a stained glass window which MuddyValley spent a year of his life making.
We made a few affectionate jokes about Mr. MuddyValley being somewhat meticulous. I must say a photograph does not do it justice!
I suggest clicking on the photo to enlarge it.
I'm posting from the McDonald's in Blountstown, FL.
Drinking sweet tea.
We are heading to Cocoa Beach with Mr. Robertson as pictured above.  with friends. It was his parents and family we spent Christmas with. We have been friends for many years. That may change when he reads this blog...
Happy New Year!
I have no corn photos.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

To Tallahassee

We were going to Tarpon Springs...
Daughter had a rough night.
Yesterday was good. I called a friend who is a nurse and found out what we were doing wrong. She has spent every winter in FL, (except this one of course) She said to drag Lulu down to the pool or the beach and the sea air would clear her out and cool her down. She was right.
We sat at the pool and watched the local sunbathers. I like the old leathery ones who chain smoke. Like a dried up strip of gater jerky with perfect boobies bolted on three-quarters of the way down.
But...they are usually friendly.
We got rid of any asprin. You would not believe how many over the counter medications have asprin and you do not want to kid a kid with a fever asprin.
We bought night time nyquil cause "It's the good stuff, It's like Whiskey and helps you sleep"
We forgot about the possibility of freaky dreams that come from Nyquil induced sleep.
It all started around 11 p.m.
Headache and fever....and coughing
So we went to washcloths on the forehead.
I'd get her cooled down and she would sleep and then wake up.
Sometime though my wife took over, (bless her heart and I crashed)
There was a bit of a storm this morning which I missed.
There are clouds and wind and a little rain.
It is kind of nice.
There have been a few more items dropped from todays plans.
1. most likely we will not extensively tour Muddy Valley's life work
2. most likely not going to tarpon springs

But, we are coming back with our friends after Christmas.
Lulu is feeling better this morning.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The world looks different at 9 a.m. than it does at 3 a.m.

Yesterday evening mildly annoyed at the drunk people yelling and the Bob Marley oldies guy at our hotel bar and his war of the oldies with the one-man-band next door. I started to write a blog about it. Apparently I was at the "push send" stage when the daughter started really coughing.
She developed a fever and started shaking.
I got a bucket of ice and wife got wash cloths and we took turns cooling her down. We thought it was going to be ok at 11 and wife went after more supplies.
It was the worst from 3 a.m. to 5 a.m.
We started wondering how things were at the ER room at the St. Petersburg Beach hospital.
It is 9 a.m. and things are better.
For those of you who are the praying sort, this would be a good time for that.
We may not make it to see MuddyValley's life work in stained glass today or and melting clocks today.
Glad we are NOT camping.

Dueling Pathetic One Man Bands at St. Pete Beach-the post I forgot to publish at 10 p.m. Sunday Evening

So...
I was heavily lobbying for camping. We were looking at Ft. DeSoto park. Beachfront camping spots for $35. We even bought a tent. We were trying to figure out how to brew coffee without spending too much money on camping supplies.
Then everyone got sick.
So we scrubbed travel and adventure for a comfortable hotel room. We are back at the Howard Johnson at St. Pete Beach. Went shopping at Publix cause we couldn't find a Piggly-Wiggly.
However, my brain is about to explode from 1. Thumpy Bass Music, 2. Dueling mediocre one man bands. 3. Dueling mediocre one man bands and 20 something males whooping. 4. Middle aged morons revving their fake Harley's.
The beach is nice.
We are still coughing.
I will be well tomorrow.
Things that I can deal with, Freezing cold hotel room, roasting hotel room, bugs in the drawers, being sick, getting lost, traffic jams...

Saturday, December 21, 2013

St. Pete again

We are at the Postcard Inn at Saint Petersburg Beach.
St. Pete is neat little town. Everyone tells us things have built up a lot and the problem with Florida is all the Northerners that have moved down here.
All the waitstaff are from other places, we found that out right away, they just pick up the accent after like six months.
There are a lot of old buildings from the 1960's-1970's. It is a lot cleaner than I remember Florida from the 1980's. It is cheaper to buy a house here than in Oregon.
I have a CDL, I could drive a dump truck here.
The Postcard Inn is old. It appears to have been recently renovated. Our room is straight out of Crate & Barrel. It looks nice. The beds are good, bathroom in in good shape, (other than one serious issue I will discuss at the end) and it is clean.

Hotel is set up so there is a big internal courtyard. There are nice comfy seats setting around. They have a fire pit and a ping pong table.
We did not try the cafe. There is a restaurant in the lobby which looks cool but we used up our budget for this week and we didn't try it.
Now here is the problem and it is the problem with most resort/beach hotels I've stayed in. On both coasts.
There is always something wrong.
In this case it was that the A/C seemed to be stuck on 60 degrees. This was not what we wanted when sick.
When we walked down the row of rooms to room 267 we noticed the doors were open on quite a few rooms. When we passed those rooms we could actually feel the cold air flowing out.
We did meet some nice local people who were in the process of getting smashed. They had even spent time in Oregon. We had a nice conversation. They had skied Bachelor.
They said if we called the front desk they would bring us a heater.
The phone was busy.
I went to the desk. I wish they would have been just a little more cheerful. I like places where the front desk people are happy.
They were out of heaters. After a half hour or so we got extra blankets. Two hours later they called an offered a heater.
I think they did care.
Since we are all a little grumpy I will reserve judgement. We are moving back to the Howard Johnson tomorrow. They had a beach front room available and it is a lot better to be sick when you can actually see the ocean.
I would stay here again, if the Howard Johnson was full.

Now here is some important/essential info on the Postcard Inn that you won't read in any guidebooks. It is not suitable for younger readers and somewhat embarrassing. However, if you are a guy of reasonable dimensions, beware of the toilets.
The distance between the seat and the water level in the toilet is such that if you adopt the classic thinker pose you can have a rather unpleasant experience, if you know what I mean. Being a rather fastidious person it was quite the traumatic situation for me. Being in the company of women I was unable to explain why I was screaming in the restroom. I said I saw a spider. But then they wanted to know why I needed someone to slide the packet of wet wipes under the door.

Sanibel Island


Yesterday we stood in front of the milepost 0 sign at Sanibel Island. We looked for seashells. It was hot. The wind was blowing. The German tourists looked like they were really having a good time.
We sat down.
After a brief discussion we came to the discussion that we felt like crap and beautiful as it was, there was no point in setting in the hot sun to the point that we were going to end up stuck in rush hour on I-75.
So we gave our parking pass to a nice elderly couple from Minnesota, who were trying to figure out how the parking pass vending machine actually worked, and we hit the road.
We are all sick at this point. A lot of deep coughing, aching joints, tired, but hey! -we are at the Beach!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Thursday in Florida

We are at Ft. Meyers
It is a beautiful city. We were stuck in traffic on I-75 and it took us six hours instead of two hours. We took a detour on 41 but it was like driving on 99 from Portland to Amity like 15 times in a row.
We most likely will go to Sanibel Island tomorrow. Then back to St. Pete
Wanted to see Thomas Edison Museum. Not sure if we will.
I've been a bit under the weather. Ribs are sore from coughing. Spent most of the day in bed. Can't believe I'm sick in Florida.
Hotel cafe was not so great and really expensive so wife bought some BBQ briquets and we had BBQ steaks for supper.
I can't believe how expensive everything has become.
Daughter seems to be having a good time..

Drove across a famous bridge. It was quite beautiful. MuddyValley knows more about it.


Sort of weird to celebrate Christmas in the tropics.

I think I will now go cough myself to sleep.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A couple random photos of fine cusine

We had to try the Waffle House...
We had breakfast at the Waffle House yesterday morning. I had grits and eggs and raisin toast. I like raisin toast.
Our waitress was comically grumpy. I kept wanting to laugh. I expected her to say, "what's in your wallet?" She was not young. We tried our best to be friendly and make her smile.
Then suddenly she began singing, "oh christmas tree, oh christmas tree!"
I love Florida.
There was no police activity in the parking lot, despite what they say on Yelp!


It was a Twistee Treat not a Tasty Freeze

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Insomnia II


So here I am in sunny Florida. It is beautiful. White sand beaches. We are staying at the Howard Johnson in St. Petersburg. It is not super deluxe but it is great for us. People are friendly the weather is perfect for people from Oregon.
We walked the beach this afternoon. Saw a monstrosity of a pink hotel which My wife sort of remembers from when she was here years ago. We want to go the Salvador Dali museum, perhaps tomorrow. It reminds me of home. DON'T ask me why...
It is very hard not to spend money.
Had an awesome deep fried shrimp dinner at the Spanked Monkey or Scalded Monkey or Funky Monkey or something Monkey restaurant next door. Walked down to an old Tasty Freeze that is now something else. Had ice cream. The band in the nightclub down the street is playing of cover of that song about standing on corner in Winslow Arizona, just played us some Bob Marley followed by Skinnard earlier. Everyone is in bed and sleeping peacefully.
I'm not...

Insomnia

So here I am in sunny Florida. It is beautiful. White sand beaches. We are staying at the Howard Johnson in St. Petersburg. It is not super deluxe but it is great for us. People are friendly the weather is perfect for people from Oregon.
We walked the beach this afternoon. Saw a monstrosity of a pink hotel which My wife sort of remembers from when she was here years ago. We want to go the Salvador Dali museum, perhaps tomorrow. It reminds me of home. DON'T ask me why...
It is very hard not to spend money.
Had an awesome deep fried shrimp dinner at the Spanked Monkey or Scalded Monkey or Funky Monkey or something Monkey restaurant next door. Walked down to an old Tasty Freeze that is now something else. Had ice cream. The band in the nightclub down the street is playing of cover of that song about standing on corner in Winslow Arizona, just played us some Bob Marley followed by Skinnard earlier. Everyone is in bed and sleeping peacefully.
I'm having issues.
The following part of this post most likely will go away tomorrow so don't comment on this part. I think I should be pretty careful what I say at this point. I really doubt anyone will use the wayback machine or make a connection between worlds but you really don't know.
I tell you what, you sure learn who your friends are in a hurry sometimes.
Also, I hate modern business practices as adopted by supposedly Christian people. It is pretty classic, they come in with a good cop/bad cop act to get you to put yourself in the worst possible light, then go after the person least likely to sue and they pretend to be really caring and respectful of a person's privacy but they actually reveal/hold just enough info to make them look good and make everyone think the worst of the targeted person. Then you can't defend yourself because if try to tell your side you still look like the bad guy. You are sitting there sputtering, "it wasn't like that, you have to put events in context, what about all those years you knew me before? That is NOT what happened," and they just stick it to you. Unbelievable when it comes from people who are supposed to be better than that. Who claim to practice conflict resolution. But screw you, and then tell you it is for your own good and you should keep quiet about it-for the good of Christendom...
They have Martyr's Mirror in the library and at this point thought I would be funny and make a comment about Anabaptists who have concealed carry permits but it just made me really really depressed. I'm not explaining that joke, if you didn't get it, then you won't.

At The Beach, we see dolphins!



My wife and daughter don't want to be photographed and I'm gonna be in deep doo-doo but I had to post the view from our hotel.
We were awaked to my wife exclaiming, "Dolphins!!!!"
This was at 6 a.m. Oregon time. 9 a.m. Florida time!
The daughter fell out of bed.
She thought her Mother was yelling that dad had fallen off the balcony!
Later we had Waffles at the Waffle House.
They are at the beach. I will follow. (The family, not the Waffles)
I really need to be sitting down to post...if you know what I mean...
NOTE: I had to use the smallest filled rectangle I could find in GraphicConverter....Also, the pink rectangle is supposed to be pointing to a dolphin. I saved the photo at too low a resolution.
I love Florida and my new camera...and the fact that I am no longer in Oregon where it is cold and wet and muddy....

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hang it to Houston and hammer down... I think that is how we ended up in Tampa

I really wanted to ask people in the Houston airport about the expression "Hang it to Houston and Hammer Down!" but my ears were so badly popped that I can't really hear anything.
We are now in Tampa.
I imagine the nephews are partying it up at our house and listening to the Legendary Stardust cowboy at high volume. They are probably in the hot tub in the underwear...
I need a online nannycam.
Had a window seat out of Houston and saw some farms. Lots of center pivots.
It is a little chilly here. A frosty 68 degrees!
I ain't commin back!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

I'm an idiot

If you read this afternoon's post...
So I got all self righteous and emailed my complaints to the fellow church member I thought was my friend who was on the school board. I might have been a little harsh...
So I got back a bunch of condescending BS and the understanding that they were making an example of my wife cause they tried to cover up issues in the past and so need to make a statement.
And now I am going to have to find a new place to attend church.
And I don't know what to do with the excellent letter we wrote detailing the actual events. And my wife is justifiably angry with me and I'm feeling kind of ill. Worlds Collide!
The world I want to be true and reality sometimes meet....
This post will also go away.
This blog may go away...
......

Friday, December 13, 2013

Coldness, rain, feed making, nothing much to see here

Yesterday we had freezing fog and then freezing rain and then regular rain and I broke my forklift.


I'm making feed in the worst weather. I somehow ended up at the last minute doing the worst job.
The ball joint end pulled out of the shaft of the hydraulic steering cylinder on the forklift and pretty much messed up the shaft. Someone should have either put a locknut on it or used red loctite which we buy by the jumbo sized container and then over apply when not needed. This will be a fun repair in the mud...

Have a nice day...


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Who wudda thunk? I have friends!

I got several packages in the mail Monday...
I hurriedly ripped open the plain brown wrapping! You know when you get packages with plain brown wrapping there is something good inside! Of course this only exacerbates my problem of impulse buying on ebay, which I guess, makes me a chronic exacerbator.
I opened the smallest package first, cause I knew by the shape that the bigger package was the Jimi Hendrix albums I impulse bought on ebay...
After shredding several layers of brown paper I found a trove of bass plugs.
Including the original "JitterBug!"
It was from a nice fellow who I bought a vintage wax sealing jar lid from a while back. He likes to carry around a duck.
Which reminds me of a story about a fellow with a pet duck. He would take the duck with him everywhere he went. One day he decided to go to the movies.
They wouldn't let him take the duck!
So...he put the duck down his pants and snuck the duck into the theatre.
He sat down to watch the movie and was joined by a couple elderly ladies. They didn't seem to be paying him any mind so he decided to unzip his pants to let the duck watch the movie.
All of a sudden the elderly lady next to him set up with a start and elbowed her companion.
"Mildred would you look at that," she exclaimed with consternation!
"Oh, that's nothing I haven't seen before," her companion replied with a sniff.
"Well sure," the first lady replied, "But this one is eating my popcorn!"

But, I digress...

The second package also had a surprise! A really cool bonus album cover.
The Buddies! West Coast Action Sound. Not a lot of info on the Buddies. But Mr. Buddy Looks very determined!

I only made it past the second song. Sort of a Beach Boys wannabe album. Ok for background music and an awesome album cover.
I do like surf music but the lyrics really annoy me after a while. I was looking for Ventures albums. They don't sing!
I need to be making feed but I have stomach cramps. It could have been the bean soup last night or it could be whatever felled my daughter last week. Or it could be I'm just worried about leaving on a trip, spending money, no retirement, cold weather, and general laziness. Or perhaps it is the five cups of coffee I used to wash down a handful of vitamins that are supposed to keep me from getting sick...

So...

Here is a question for those who have traveled in the past decade.
Should I take my rather large MacBook Pro or should I take a sketchbook and write down my adventures? I could post them with my wife's iPhone.
I did not buy a wireless access point as Old Farmer did for his rambling adventures.
As of now I'm taking a rather large digital camera, MacBook Pro 17," and the assorted cords. I sort of hate to take anything of value that I can't keep on my body. I bought a MacBook 13" on ebay for $250 Monday but then the seller emailed my saying it wouldn't book properly and the battery was dead and he sent my my money back.
I thought about an Acer touch screen tablet which I could also use for GPS but didn't want to pay more than $250. I have a 14" ibook but it is now too slow with all the bloated stuff on the internet.
I'm really thinking about going without a computer.
I would if we were going to camp the whole time, but that doesn't sound like it is going to be practical.
Hmmmm....

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I go to a seminar

Yesterday I went to a seminar/class/whatever about UAV's. They don't like to call them "Drones." For some reason "Drone," has some negative connotations. Probably similar reasoning discourages one from referring to the "Cloud" as "SkyNet."
I sat next to the Lovely and Gracious Mrs. Muddy Valley who is a happy and positive person. Mr. Muddy Valley declined to attend. He does not realize that moving from a Sunny state to the end of a dirt road in places called "Muddy Valley," or "Gopher Valley," can exacerbate your curmudgeonly characteristics. (I have always heard that exacerbation will make you go blind but now that I looked it up on the net, I discover it just means grumpy.)
I suppose I should give a review of drone school and how much I like the cool technology and just how nervous it makes me after hearing the speakers earnestly tell us when it can do and how of course, there are moral obligations to protect privacy.

I will take out all the fun stuff and bring it down to a couple basic points.
1. Drones could be really cool technology that would allow you to use cameras that tell by analyzing the colors of the plants, when you need to irrigate or spray, and identify problem areas of fields, measure the growth of plants. The data can be analyzed to give you a printout much like a soil test and since it can be tied in to global positioning it can be used with modern variable rate sprayers and planters and tied into yield data and so on.

2. This technology would be cool on a small farm but will actually result in gigantic farms where the "land manager" could never get his, her's, it's feet dirty. I really hope it will result in huge crop failures like the commie collectives but it won't.

3. While Law Enforcement has to have a warrant to spy on you.... I suspect other regulatory agencies do not. Some years ago I reported a field was 8.5 acres and it was was really 6.9 acres. The conservation cops actually hired an airplane to fly up a lonely valley in the foothills of the coast range, they took pictures and measured the field. I was off by 10 percent on my reporting. I explained that I really had no idea of the field size as I just dumped seed in the drill and when it ran out I called it a field, and 8.5 acres sounded like a good number... But, that was not enough. I had to write a letter to the local conservation board or I would have had to give all my government welfare payments back.
You can't tell me that if drones are available for cheap automated flights that they will not be used for code enforcement and if you take a leak behind the tractor you will get a fine for violation of a salmon bearing stream!

4. I don't like winery people any more after hanging out with them for a day than I did before I got to spend a day with their L.L. Bean covered bottoms.

5. Drones are cool, I want one.

Also....
I was going to write my whole post about a comment I got on the recent anti-Monday post but I started ranting about drones. Another interesting person from the South found me and I hope joins the blog. I am going to try to give her annual ryegrass growing advice but Orin is the expert and I fear he has abandoned me now that I have no reviews of Porter Wagoner albums.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

It is cold but the snow is going away

I keep being ambushed.

The dog has short hair and gets very cold. He needs a dog sweater.

My wife brings him in the house. I figures that if he doesn't move he is invisible and I can't see him.
He won't even leave the blanket to take a drink from the toilet. This goes back to the time he cut his foot and had to live in the house for a week. He ate five pork chops that were cooling on the kitchen counter.


Friday, December 6, 2013

It is snowing

My daughter had to go to school.
This is pretty funny.
You have to realize we live in Oregon and everything shuts down when there is a hint of snow.
Most people then sit around the TV and watch cars slide down the hills in Portland and laugh when the News People have to run for cover.
My daughter is not happy!
I tried to help.
I said, "Out of solidarity with you, I promise not to have a snowball fight with your cousins."
This did not help.
Right now we have almost blizzard conditions outside our house.
Blizzard Lite-Less Filling
I doubt it is really slick outside as it is 25 degrees. It is not going to warm up today so it won't be dangerous.
I suspect NOTHING will get done at school today. There are a lot of windows and the kids can see the snow. But then again, it ain't like we would be a tuition refund for a snow day...
A record snowfall!

And Now a photo of some corn!
This was like what...last month?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I repair the offending hydraulic line

It is 17 degree F outside.
I've been thinking I should really check on the hot tub. By checking I mean walking out on my porch stark nekked and getting in. Perhaps with some Legendary Stardust Cowboy on the HiFi and a nice hot cup of Swiss Miss hot chocolate heavily laced with Peppermint Schnapps.
One would not want the pump to freeze up!
I wonder if other farmers would stop by and talk to me?
I once told my sometimes a big helper that I would give him $100 if in hot weather he would drive the silage truck naked, and then when the dairyman wanted to talk to him for a half hour each load, he would get out of the truck and casually stretch and ask for baby powder.
He refused.
I repaired my cross-threaded hydraulic line.
I went to town and bought a new double flare collar thingy. I'm pretty sure that is the exact term. Strangely enough, I could not buy 1/2" brake line off the rack. I was told they only stock it up to 3/8.
I exclaimed, "But are we mice or are we men?" and the nice lady just looked at me funny and wandered off.
The autoparts stores just don't hire the quality of help they once did.

The Offending Part

So I dug out my double flaring tool set and I even found the instructions.
I did a practice run on a discarded section of tubing. It turned out perfectly.
So.....
I carefully trimmed the old flare off of the offending line. I removed the old collar. I chamfered the edges of the trimmed tubing. I made sure the edges were square and level.
I put the tubing in the special die clamper thingy.
I used the die to set the height of the tubing.
I clamped it.
The special clampy thingy in the vice

Then I remembered I had not installed the new collar first!
I installed the new collar. It was a tight fit.
I put the die in the end of the tube and tightened the press thingy.
I looked like it was working.
The die is supposed to make the end of the tubing round over towards the inside. But of course my double flare set is an old American Brand that has been almost ruined by the fabled Chinese Export Craftsmanship.
Then I removed the die and used the pointy part of the clamp to make a regular flare.
I don't think it really worked right.
But it is now installed.
Try and get your fingers and a wrench in there!

Perhaps when it starts pouring out ATF it will be warm outside...
Of course it didn't go quite that smooth....
Along they way there were several stops for loading hay, chicken feed, random acts of laziness, lunch, hot chocolate, but no nap.
Perhaps today will be more efficient?

An Update: I found another corn picture and so here it is! Perhaps I already posted it. Who knows? Like I actually read my own blog!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

More positive thoughts!

Yesterday...
My daughter has been sick so I have been working on sending out bills and figuring out what I need to buy before the end of the year.
I ordered 24 new coulters for my Great Plains drill. By ordering 24 I got the price down by two dollars per row.
I called about tires for the 2-155.
I can get four bias-ply Goodyear tires for $5,700 installed. (Two front and two rears)
I could get radials for $7,500. I think that would be Titians. Some people don't like Titians.
I really wanted Firestones. They used to be the best.
Of course who knows? A new tire will last a decade at least and by that time the company could chance everything.
It is sort of a hard decision.
The rear tires are 18.4-38's and the front are 16.9-26. The fronts are an odd size which limits my choices.
The question is- Would radials give me that much more flotation and traction over bias ply? I'm getting a long-bar/short-bar pattern because they are supposed to wear better going down the highway. I rarely pull the tractor brutally hard. It is mostly pulling a 15ft no-till drill behind a 160hp tractor at 6.5 mph.
After reaching the limits of my decision making abilities I retreated to the shop to alternate between working on the G1355 and repainting the uncle's sign.
I couldn't find the orbital sander.
I did get the transmission cooler lines hooked up in front of the radiator.
I printed and lost the wiring diagram.
A fellow no-tiller stopped by and looked at my no-till drill.
I attempted to look up Newholland parts online out at the shop but the airport is not working correctly.
I helped my dad in the restroom.
I put air in my sister-in-law's tire.
I checked on my daughter.
I scratched
my nose.
I spent one hour attempting to attach the oil cooler lines to the three speed shifter and stripped one completely.
This could mean I have to pull the hydra-shift or amplitorque or what ever they call it. This means the tractor splits part into three sections.
I didn't even say a bad word.
I was going to take a photo by my phone quit.
I thought about grinding my phone to a powder but I didn't.
I shut off the lights and went to the house.
It was 7 p.m.
I am now looking at the online job openings for janitors and groundskeepers at the local college...

And moving to Belize...

Note: Just because I am frustrated does not mean that I am not aware of pain and suffering in the world. I am frustrated in my little fishbowl and so you read about it in this blog. And now my phone has chimed that I have a message. Is this my wife or daughter texting about forgotten glasses or a text book which will give me an excuse to take a drive or is it my brother's sometimes a great employee texting that he will not be coming to work? I do not know. Perhaps I will continue to set here in my easy chair and wonder. Of course if my brother is reading this at some truckstop or on WiFii in his truck sleeper he will most likely have no sympathy for me. He will probably think I am a ma-roon for stripping the threads on that cooler line. An hour! I spent an hour trying to get those lines hooked up. Did I mention how difficult it was to get the lines into position? I must get more coffee.... Look at the phone... Go to work....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Another Monday which I hate

My daughter was quite excited to spend a couple days with a friend who has moved to the next town. Well, the town next to the next town. Actually, the town next to that town. Well, lets just say 45 minutes or so away.
The worst thing happened at the sleep-over.
Everyone got sick!
So we went after her Sunday morning.
She is on the couch right now and I'm trying not to wake her up. I need to go out and finish the pig feed for Werner Von Braun (not his real German name) who didn't text me when he expects to arrive.
However, I suspect the scream of a three cylinder Detroit diesel and the roar of an unmuffled turbo-charged 806 International outside her window may wake her up.
She is going to be worried about missing school, since we are leaving soon for Florida. The cold part of Florida, where people used to say "Sheeeeeeee-it" a lot.
Perhaps some ideas for places to go?
I should get on NAT and see if I could get invited on some farm tours.
Where is the place where the Mermaids swim in the tank?
I want to go there...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Blue Goat Doesn't Suck anymore!

Ok, I've been pulling my punches.
I have a bit of a love/hate sentiment towards the infamous Blue Goat restaurant, located in Amity.
I wanted to like it because they have a really cool oven, they are locals who work hard, really good restaurants are hard to find outside of Portland, they seem to be nice people, weird funky stuff is really cool when no one else is being weird and funky.
I hated the Blue Goat because they represent the death of the old ways. There is no Amity Cafe. There is no hardware store. There is no Meeker's Warehouse. Just wineries and pictures of grapes and people who have more money than I and I hate them all.
But I digress..
This is not about my objection to "progress" but rather about my recent happiness at the Blue Goat.
Back to my complaints from the early days at the Goat.
Here is the problem, I've been mildly annoyed by their tendency to run out of food. They ruin a perfectly good pizza with pear sauce. Voices echo off the bare brick walls and prevents me from hearing most conversations when there are more than five other people in the building.
I also have never had the urge to eat dead goat.
The food has been ok. Not really great. It is more novelty food. In my opinion it is from things put together for contrast and effect rather than from a love of good food. Clever and interesting food rather than a good satisfying meal. And when I say satisfying meal I mean a big good steak and a baked potato.
So, in my previous reviews I tried to be nice. I looked for something positive in what was kind of a laughably poor dining experience which was basically decor and "coolness" over really good food.
My wife and I had planned to treat my brother and his wife to dinner. In the end he turned out to be the one with the hundred dollar bill and I was the one with the tens and twenties and somehow I think he ended up paying.
Perhaps that is why I enjoyed the food.
It was a Saturday evening and the Blue Goat was fairly busy. We did stand at the door for a little while but soon a place was cleared.
The menu was pretty simple which is good.
I avoided the Jersey beef. I've had that before and I would say I was disappointed but how can you blame the cook when you are the one that ordered the "Jersey" beef. Jersey is a milk cow. It may be more lean, but it also tends to be a little tough and stringy and with less flavor than Angus, or Herford, or an actual beef type animal. Of course my experience comes from raising feeders purchased at the local auction or bull calves from local dairies and should have some merit.
I ordered the Blackened Pacific Rock Fish (I think, my mind is starting to fail).
It was very good.
I've never like the Blue Goat tendency to pair contrasting tastes. I do not like pear sauce and cheese on a pizza. However, the blackened fish with little squares of yams and crunchy greens really went well together. The sweet yams contrasted well with the blackened fish the spices set off the flavor nicely.
I am enough of a Philistine to not remember terms now that I don't have the menu in front of me but then again, if you were high culture you would probably not be reading this blog.
The portion was not huge but it was not small. I would say just right.
Last week I had fish and chips at the Hotel Oregon and it was much more expensive and much less tasty.
My wife had a Jersey Burger and was quite happy. It had Blu Cheese on it and came with sliced potatoe fries, like the old Captain Neon burgers of the above mentioned chain of brewpubs. But, unlike the modern incarnation it was $10 and the waitstaff were happy and helpful and competent.
My brother had the Rockfish and enjoyed it. My sister-in-law had the Hungarian Stew. It was a little too loud for me to hear how she felt about it. But, that is a problem with my ears.
I've gone to the Blue Goat several times a year since it has opened. I've been a bit frustrated.
This is the first time I've been able to say that I would go back for the food rather than just to be amused by the clever wine crowd, or to look a the cool oven, or because I just don't want to drive to the city.
So....
If you have tired of reading my drivel and just scanned to the bottom of the page...
It was good, I liked it, I will return sooner than later, and....
I didn't like the Jersey Beef because I have a freezer full of fat Black Baldy Beef and it kind of ruins you. If you've been buying your beef in town then you will think it is great, so peddle your bicycle or pop in your Prius, put on your short pants or perhaps those trendy back ones with the narrow legs and the ironic shoes, and if you are really a ma-roon, wear your kilt (cause everyone cares to know you think you are Scottish) and swill some wine at the Blue Goat. Tell them I recommended it ask to see the oven!
Also, please mention that you think the people that run Amity are a bunch of idiots for screwing up the parking and putting a bench directly in the way of being able to see South on 99W.
I swear, Amity is run by door-knobs. What the world needs are more wine tasting rooms with no parking and five handicapped parking spots per block. Oh, not to mention the 5 crosswalks per block, except for where the kids from the elementary school cross every day.
I'm sure they hired traffic engineers.