The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Please leave comments! It is really easy!

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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday decisions and my lack of enthusiasm for personal interaction

My wife and daughter went to take Grandpa (on her side of the family) to church. Well, thats how it started out but I think Grandpa didn't get up early enough so it turned into dinner at Aunt S. house.
They decided to leave me home alone. I didn't really question the decision.
I had to skip church anyway as one of the folks from the new church we have been attending has been threatening to start inviting me to "men's retreats."
I refused to go on the grounds that he could not guarantee that someone would not attempt to hug me. I hate men's retreats. They usually involve some touchy-feely lite theology that includes a shallow reading of the Bible to which men are supposed to be in charge of something and we are directed back to a mythological era when Men were the leaders of the family and in reality there has always been a ebb and flow of roles in society. Generally women have been oppressed. Since I'm not a woman I'm not sure a certain amount of oppression is not a good thing. If someone has to be repressed I sure don't want it to be me. Of course when the phrases, "when men were men," comes up I always think of the joke, that has to do with frightened sheep and that leads me to the joke where all the sheep are in the back of the truck and one is in the front seat honking the horn and then I loose the whole point.
I've always had difficulty with disciplining my mind. I remember once years ago when I was attending Rosedale Bible Institute. One of the times I nearly got in huge trouble was  during the Bill Gothard seminar. I dared my friend to stand up and yell, "My father is not a Chronic Mastrubator," when Bill was talking about the sins of fathers being passed on to up to three generations. He stood up but actually waited to be called on and either he lost his nerve or was messing with my head, but he asked a much toned down version of the question. I knew what he was saying but I don't think Mr. G figured it out.
Then there was the Promise Keepers convention where my cousin, brother, and I were the only people not holding hands and hugging in an arena with thousands of men who were mostly wearing short pants and sandals. We were also not wearing short pants and sandals.
I don't think the modern Christian man is going to get his "manhood" back by wearing short pants, sandals, and hugging.
But, I digress...
My plan for today was to read "Jealousy," by Robbe-Grillet. I've been working on it for some 30 years. I feel it is essential to my concept of myself as slightly "avant-garde." However, it is more interesting as an example of different types of literature than it is as a novel. I love the descriptions of scenes but at this point in my life, I have to have a compelling plot. I wish I would have saved one Raymond Chandler novel so I'd have something to look forward to reading. I'd finish it like right before I was going to die... If I knew when I was going to die... So I guess that plan is pretty much shot to heck...
But my wife wants me to rip out the kitchen sink while she is gone. If I would have paid attention in Promise Keepers instead of wondering which of the guys there were closeted homosexuals and were just there for the hugs, I would have declared we were going to church and not working on Sunday and that would have been it. But, I am of course, influenced by Post-Modernism, have no self discipline and I wanted to read Robbe-Grillet and listen to Jimi Hendrix and make a shrimp, bacon, and spinach omelette, (with a little cilantro) and have some coffee with a lot of brown sugar and a little Heaven Hill and sit in my easy chair.
The question is which path should I take?
Making my wife happy (long term goal)

Making me happy. (Short term goal)

Update, The omelette was excellent but I found Jimi a little grating on the nerves and so in keeping with the French theme, Omelette, Robbe-Grillet, I put on Claudine Longet. I've been avoiding the album because Scooter Boy about had a love aneurysm when he saw the album. I figured if he liked Claudine then it had to be about the worst of whatever came out of the 1960's.

Then I looked her up and found out she married Andy Willaims after he found her standing by the side of the road with a flat tyre, and then after they got a divorce had a boyfriend who was an olympic skier. And then she shot her boyfriend, which was probably a good idea, and she got off with 30 days in jail. Plus, she was a cute French girl and has that little lispy accent with a kind of slim waifish look and I one saw her smoking a cigarette on a long thin holder and... you know i think we are getting off subject again....And 35 grumpy old farmers don't need to know what is in my internet search history...
Anyway, I'm listening to Claudine and frankly, it is so horrible I'm kind of enjoying it. I think you would have had to have been in the 1960's listening to the AM radio in a Corvair with a gullible Co-Ed you had been trying to impress by leaving your copy of Robbe-Grillet, "Voyeur " (which I should have bought instead of The Labyrinth) where she could see it.
I suppose I will now go and work on the counter although I really kind of don't care...
I'd kind of like to buy an older Honda XL-250 and go ride on logging roads. I could take my daughter and she has google navigator on her iphone. We could go to Niagara Falls. It would be fun.
I could do things like that and also not look for another place to go to church or find a new school for my daughter if the idiots who run WMS would spend less time at stupid men's retreats and more time just living their lives and figuring how life actually works instead of basically being dumb-asses...
I mean, really... Who would you rather go to Church with? Someone who over dresses and shakes with both hands and tries to sell you Amway or someone who won't hug you, occasionally drinks bourbon in his coffee, listens to Hendrix, attempts to read french novels, has read every Raymond Chandler book, but has also read (and owns) "Doctrines of the Bible" by Daniel Kauffman, will absolutely not sell you something you don't want and won't pretend to be your friend or make up fake policies to fire your wife.
Have a nice day...
(note to self-must let certain things go... The war between the states was over a really long time ago... Get over it....)

Update #2  So I gave up on Robbe-Grillet and took out the sink. Now here is how it goes... I have it out, except for one little bit of the false bottom which is around the cold water in line. I wiggle it to get the line though the hole I cut and the #$%^&*(ing line breaks. Now I have a fountain of water shooting up a foot in the air. In a normal home it would be three feet but even our water pressure here is pathectic. At this moment I really and completely hate 1. Manufactured homes. Don't buy one they are crap. It doesn't matter if they are labeled "Super good sense energy," and cost $40,000. Live in an old appliance box instead. At least you know what you have. No surprises in an old appliance box under a bridge. AND 2. short guys who over dress and shake with both hands, I really and truly hate the sorts folks who want to be in church leadership so that they can feel they are really really smart. I hate them because they are the ones who fired my wife and if she wouldn't have gotten fired she would not have decided to redo the kitchen. As I told my daughter on the way to school the other day, Never, ever, trust a man who is shorter than you, especially if he dresses way too nice. Good rule of thumb. It has never failed me... Now I have to drive into Lowes, great, just what makes me happy on a Sunday afternoon...

Update #4 Ok look... If you find this blog offensive then why do you read it? For cryin' out loud! I post, leave the blogger stats open and I come back to find 10 people have viewed the Lazy Farmer and I have the "offensive" box checked, and one person came here with the search terms, "how do I watch porn on a Samsung Convoy II?" They stayed for 8 minutes and viewed five pages. I have a convoy II you could only view midget porn on the tiny screen (not that I have tried) so just buy a better phone and why would someone who is looking for naked women spend 8 minutes on this blog. That is just weird. Must have been the little helper. Wonder what phone we bought him.... Now, I go to Lowe's for CPVC fittings. Five miles for a twentyfive cent fitting and ten dollars worth of glue...

Friday, March 28, 2014

I repair a power steering line

We had a huge rainstorm. I suspect the peas I planted earlier in the week are now floating.
I took the opportunity to work on the G1355.
Below is a photo of what $150 power steering hoses look like. See how they seem to glow?

I got one part number wrong and I really want to get the tractor running so I modified the bad hose. It is rubber connected to 1/2" steel line with a complicated bend and a fitting I don't have. So I cut off the rubber part and heated up the junction with the steel line to see if it was welded or brazed. It was brazed and came right off. I then made a hose which had a special adapter which put a ferrel on the steel line, kind of like a copper tubing fitting.
I even test fit if first.
Then when I got everything all crimped I found out the hose was too short. By a @#$%^& 1/4"!
So I made a new hose.
I started up the tractor and cranked the wheel. No oil leaks!
I was pretty amazed at the amount of air a 585 cubic inch engine will pump. I decided to see if it would smoke out the rats which have moved in behind the work bench in the shop. So I closed the doors and went to the store and had a Pepsi. (Not leaving the farm)

This is what it looked like when I returned. Smoke was oozing out of every crack in the wall.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pictures out my window that are not of corn plants

The day starting like this. Sun shining and a couple bearings out on the drill press wheels. Seems like I just replaced all those bearings. I didn't check to see if they were made in China. Most likely the problem.
Last year I had wheel bearings fail. I could only find one USA bearing and one Chinese bearing. Chinese wheel bearing lasted for two days. They were not much difference in price. Chinese one lasted just long enough for the American bearing to arrive from the bearing distributer.

Look at the photo below and see if you can find Mt. Hood.

Below is the view from later in the day. It got just a touch on the damp side. I'm no-tilling two rows of peas and one row of fescue into an old clover field. 160lbs of field peas per acre and 5 lbs of fescue.
Farmer was thinking about adding an insecticide to his seed called Lorsban. I was a little worried it might be off-label and even though Lorsban sort of smells like bacon, it makes me sick. And of course I would never do anything I was not licensed to do.
The fescue will grow under the peas and will be harvested next year for the seed. Or at least that is the plan.
I have a lot of glowing things in my cab. The screen on the dash is a tablet PC which runs a program called FarmerGPS. I put together my own GPS with this program and an old Raven antenna I bought on ebay. If I would just buy a better antenna I'd get pretty good accuracy. Instead of an antenna I bought new no-till openers as the old ones were worn down an inch or so.
I keep getting upgrades for the program. I could get autosteer if I'd buy the wheel motor or adapt a steering valve. I have lots of projects I never get accomplished. Not sure I really need auto steer. I think I'd rather have an air-ride seat.
I can also watch cartoons on the tablet. I load them into iTunes. For several years I could connect to random internet networks but people have now started using passwords other than "admin" or "123456789," or "password."

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If you put a can of starting fluid under the seat of your tractor and...

You weigh 375lbs,
it will burst... If only he would have been smoking a cigar!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Why we should all hate the gubment

Look at that smug prick congratulating himself. You see these people actually believe that their safety regulations are based on reality or that they even matter.
He thinks he matters. This is the guy that will be sending you to a re-education camp. It is for your own good.
Those $%^&* even took a Canadian guy's flute because it was made of bamboo and the idiots thought the bamboo could perhaps grow if soaked in water.
Idiots in run the USA...

Friday, March 21, 2014

It only happens on the weekend

I was attempting to finish planting a field of oats this evening. The computer said I would be done at 9:30 p.m.
However, while I was turning at the end of the field i ran over a large round rock that was barely poking out of the ground. The old-timers refer to those sorts of rocks by an extremely racially offensive term and since I know it is offensive, it is instinctive for me to think of it as such every time I see one of those rocks.
I probably need therapy. I could keep an enterprising research assistant busy for years. But, they would give me an ugly guy with large glasses and so I would just lie to him.
But, I digress...
The field is on top of a hill and is next to a quarry. Those guys dig really deep holes. I looked over the edge. I think I saw people in China or Australia. Or perhaps that was the missing airliner? Still feeling a little dizzy.
But, I digress.
I ran over a rock in the dark and broke an axle on the drill. It also broke the wheel hub. I suppose the nearest axle is in Salina, Kansas. Not to mention the broken hub. That wheel was really heavy. I was able to use a technique for leveraging the wheel up onto the back of my pickup which was also highly racially offensive, but very descriptive. If only there was someone I could use these offensive terms, but alas my employee is on vacation and I really doubt MuddyValley would appreciate a call from me just so I could use archaic offensive terminology.
Again, I am off topic... the wheel and axle are damaged...need a therapist...
It is 9 p.m. on a Friday night. I've got 200 acres to plant and tomorrow I will have five different neighbors asking me why I'm not planting their field. And then I'll be down to 20 acres to plant in five acre fields on steep hillsides. Because that is how it works for me.
I wonder what it takes to actually get Zanax legally?
Why do people become farmers? Is it because they are too weird to get any other kind of job? What about those megalomaniac farmers? Why? I know they think they are really clever by farming 8,000 acres but it is still a lot of work. Would it not be easier just to get a government job? In reality, you farm 8,000 acres and have more stress and get less pay than a rent-a-cop TSA agent. It is kind of funny, those guys we hate for farming the whole countryside and driving up land rents are getting their payback in the here and now. They have to work and worry about loans and people hating them.
I'm relatively sure no one hates me. Other than that car that tailgated me for five miles on the way home and wouldn't go around me even though I kept driving slower and slower and making really slow turns when I could see oncoming traffic.
Perhaps I will go find a hot tub somewhere. I think we have one.  I've heard they are relaxing. I just can't seem to relax in one. I'm always figuring the real apartment owner is going to come out at any moment and my girlfriend and I are going to have to make a run for it. It is actually the same girlfriend as I had when I didn't own a hot tub 30 years ago. It is just that now we are married and we kind of own the trailer manufactured home and if anyone tried to kick us out of the hot tub it would mean I'd have to stand up and I'm sure that would frighten anyone away....
Maybe I'll just go to bed...

I read the news

Sooooo, in Hawaii cops are allowed to have sex with prostitutes in order to arrest them. That is wrong on so many levels. Of course I like Hogan's Heros and Andy Griffith and Perry Mason.
Read this for a laugh...

Ongoing snippets from the life of a Lazy Farmer

Ok Orin, I see your Earnest Tubb, "Drivin Nails in My Coffin"


And I raise you T-Bone Walker "Mean old World"


So... If you all remember yesterday I was a little uptight. I was about to have my CDL canceled due to my tendency to forget to get my Truck Driver Physical renewed. They actually sent me how because my blood pressure was too high. So I called Scooter Boy to see if he had any Chronic but he said that would probably have the opposite of the intended effect in my case. Plus, my wife overheard the phone conversation and threatened to tell my daughter who has very strong opinions on the subject.
I read on the internet that one drink of alcohol had the effect of drastically cutting stress, so I tried a shot of Four Roses, it made me sneeze.
I had three hours before going back. I needed to go plant oats.
I was supposed to be planting a 70 acre hillside and I had a idea that planting would not really relieve that blood pressure issue.
I was supposed to take a nap. Instead I took the lawn mower apart an attempted to repair the starter. I looked for a suction hose so I could empty fertilizer out of the drill, I watched the stores so Uncle could go check on Aunt E who is not doing so well, I updated the blog. It wasn't helping.
So I went over to work on the drill. 
I turned on the hydraulics to pump the fertilizer out of the drill and the hose blew out.
I had no more Four Roses so I borrowed a Zanax. 
The rest of the day went so much better.
I arrived at the Doctor's office on time.
The receptionists were giving me a hard time about having a truck driver license when I didn't actually drive truck. I tried to explain that I was an optimist and just knowing that I could drive a set of triples down I-5 or a tanker truck full of grape juice made me happy. They suggested that I not tell them what method I used to control my blood pressure....
I went home and sold six ton of hard red winter wheat and actually go paid for it. The brakes are out on the forklift again and it didn't really bother me. 
Scooter Boy came to visit and that didn't bother me either.
The fellow I was supposed to plant for called and wondered where I was and noted that he had the oats and fertilizer at the field.
That didn't bother me either. I said, "um, sorry..."
I think it was that it was a sunny day and my wife brought me coffee...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bitterness 2


So the daughter and I were setting in the local Middle School parking lot waiting for WMS school bus. I asked her if she was ready for summer, she said no.
She doesn't want to change schools. I noted that we did not have the money to send her to WMS without the tuition break from her Mom's teaching position. She said she understood. But of course that is what she would say.
I have a hard time not being just a little bitter about the whole thing. I haven't been keeping this to myself...

Update: I came home and found a letter from the Department of Transportation saying my license was being suspended because my CDL physical was expired. So I went in to my Chiropractor to get the test done and my blood pressure was so high they sent me home. I know a guy with a Chronic card but he said that would drop my blood pressure but elevate my heart rate. Someone suggested taking a nap. Anther suggestion was nip of Old Grandad.
I kind of don't give a rip. On the way home took off my seat belt and talked on my cell phone just to keep the resistance alive. More and more regulations which do nothing to keep us safe. I hate bureaucrats.
Had another discussion about my wife being fired. I'm sort of amazed at people's lack of respect for local Mennonites and their institutions. I get comments like, "well they do like to feel important," and "oh yeah, it is all about the money." and "Well they like to be different when it suits them," and "yeah they hold you to the letter of the law when it is their favor but if it in your favor then they expect to be treated different."
And, "well that is what I expected out of him. I've known him for a while but I just keep my mouth shut." And, "that is why I don't give them money anymore."
Meanwhile all the important folks are congratulating themselves on "taking a stand," and praying for me that I'll have the right attitude.
Cut one more tie this morning and I feel better about it...Out of sight out of mind is my motto...
Now I'm going to go plant on a steep hillside. I will also have to talk to a fellow who may be going broke and if he does I will loose all my hay storage and move the tractor and drill down a busy highway.
Then I'm going back in to get my blood pressure checked.
My brother's little helper has gone on vacation or I'd get a Flexorall from him. His vacation is pretty funny since he only has worked three days this week. I said, "well you certainly deserve it," and I started laughing. He got angry with me.
Have a nice day...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My friend is on NPR and his interview gets edited to reflect the OPPOSITE of what he said

It is kind of funny because my friend is a huge fan of NPR.
He actually believed that the Affordable Care Act would cover him if he quit his job and started raising chickens. He has back problems so it is hard to get insurance. If the Affordable Care Act was really designed to be useful then he could get coverage for a reasonable price and he could pursue his dream of raising way too many chickens.
Instead he found that Obamacare and Cover Oregon is such a mess that he now does NOT have insurance. I think he thought he was being interviewed to provide constructive criticism not to be a cheerleader for a failed system.
It is a real quote but it is only half the statement. His statement was cut when he said, but it didn't work that way.
Click here...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

RIP Gus

Gus was a free spirit. He was born to roam.
At some point Sunday night Gus decided to continue his wanderings. He busted though the electric fence and the woven wire fence and decided to stand in the middle of Red Prairie road.
Where, he was promptly hit by two cars which were going pretty fast.
The cars were going fast, at night, in a rainstorm, on a narrow country road with blind corners. Gus was a mostly white pig standing in the middle of the only long straight stretch on Red Prairie Road.
Of course they hit him. Of course.... The only straight stretch on the whole road...
These was in the general area where Chronic Boy broke his back when the rabbit got loose in the car and sat on the accelerator and Chronic Boy's friends drove off the road and rolled the car.
There is insurance for the cars but not for the pig.
Gus was not salvageable for bacon or pork sausage.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

I attempt to round up a wayward pig


My wife and daughter went to the beach yesterday. I really wanted to go. I love the beach even though it is cold and windy.
My wife bought a Groupon way before we got the chance to go to Florida or were reminded that you should never trust a short guy who over-dresses, is way too enthusiastic, shakes your hand with both hands, and pretends to be best friends with your relatives, with whom you were planning on making jokes about him with. Add fund-raiser-auctioneer to the list and I'm sure you know the type.
But I digress...
I stayed home from the beach to make chicken and pig feed, to get a load of grain, get ready to plant for my neighbors, and because I needed to help my friend get a flock of pigs from Scooter Boy.
Scooter Boy has no idea how to handle animals, he has a short temper, and he has weird friends. The amount of entertainment that this venture would give me almost offsets the intense annoyance that the interaction would undoubtedly provoke.
Things started off at 8:30 a.m. when Scooter Boy showed up with a box of pig feed in his pickup which he needed removed. I was on my way out the door but went back and got another cup of coffee and retired to the bathroom. Some mornings I don't feel like interacting.
Scooter Boy cannot call me because he got a new phone and can't seem to get my phone number into his phone. I daunting task I am sure.
Scooter Boy also likes to create crisis and he does not react well to crisis which I find quite amusing. Usually he deals with the crisis by getting it the hot tub.
We have quite a bit of time to move the pigs but he managed to schedule too many things to do on Saturday so he would have a fake crisis to react badly to and thus have an excuse to get in the hot tub.
He likes hot tubs. (Click here to read a previous pig adventure with Scooter Boy- the Sunday his core body temperature dropped in 65 degree weather and he had to, get in the hot tub)
I called my friend and set up a time to wrestle pigs.
But then came the crisis.
A long time hay customer called to say that he was coming after hay and his daughter was there to help.  His daughter is 19 years old, very pretty, nice, and a Rodeo Queen.
I could have had my brother load them. But really, think about it... A friendly and pretty Rodeo Queen vs a crew of leftists, an Islamic exchange student who is not allowed to touch a pig, Scooter Boy who will possibly have a nervous breakdown, pigs and mud, vs a Rodeo Queen who will laugh at my jokes and give me money...
Strangely enough, Scooter Boy and the pigs did not make the cut.
My friend called me after wresting pigs all morning. He was laughing. He didn't seem hysterical. He said he ended up actually chasing down the piglets (75lbs). They almost got hit by a train, and the Islamic exchange student could not actually touch the pigs so he understandably tended to run when a pig approached.
They did capture the pigs and delivered them to Ruby Hill Farm.
But the entertainment did not end at Scooter Boy's house. My friend, who I shall refer to as Harland Sanders in honor of his chicken ranch, was on his way to pick up feed for our happy family of piggies when he spied the boar wandering in the neighbor's field. "Gus" had escaped and he didn't want to go back to his spacious pen in the oak grove.
He did not complain or run wildly though the fields, he just found a mud puddle and decided to take a nap.

I called Collieguy to find out how to move a pig who did not care about being moved. He laughed. We discussed molasses treats, alfalfa, and a bushel basket over the head, as well as just building a fence around the pig and leaving him there.
Collieguy did offer to bring the collies and help but noted that it would take him 36 hours to get there. He seemed to find the whole situation quite amusing.
I also considered calling MuddyValley but the Rodeo Queen was long gone.
I loaded up all the discussed items along with a pokey stick and my daughter and headed over to help move Gus.
We ended up putting a plastic bucket over his head. He didn't back up as a reaction to having a bucket on his head and he snorted a lot. So we just pulled him by the bucket until the bucket busted. He finally got disgusted with all the poking and prodding and laughter and actually started walking on his own. We herded him, Harlan S. walked behind and Lulu and I were on either side. We actually got him back on the correct side of the electric fence. 
I've had quite a bit of experience with electric fences and I immediately suspected a short circuit. I waked the fence and found several.
After I fixed the last short circuit a heard a blood curdling squeal. Ah yes, the fence is now working. 

We sat around for a while and watch the pigs happily rooting in the oak grove and occasionally backing up against the fence. It was a very satisfying sight.
video

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The lengths one will go to avoid doing something sensible

I needed an air chuck the other day. I need to fill a tire on an old trailer. My friend has adopted 3000 chickens and I'm helping him find feed for them. The idea was to mount an old power bin for fertilizer on an old trailer and transport 6,000lbs of feed at a time. The old idea was to load big bags but since his tractor won't lift over two thousand pounds and my forklift will lift 10,000lbs he ran into some problems on his end.
So, the trailer had a flat tire and it was buried in the black berries and covered in scrap metal. I unloaded parts for a 1930's Minneapolis-Moline disk (brand new), a motorcycle dyno frame, a seat for a long dead 3-wheeler, a new section of hay elevator that didn't sell 25 years ago, an old wash tub, straw chopper parts for an Oliver combine (also new) and a pile of rotten plywood.
It was out of range of the shop air hose. The truck with the aircompressor was headed up against a building and had a dead battery, the air compressor in the back of the truck was out of gas and there is no gas on the farm. (wonder if that is why the duck quit stalking me?)
There is no gas on the farm because my brother's faithful helper likes to come to work for half a day, fill up with gas, and go home and we have not bought gas all winter.
The neighbor's find that amusing, they call me up when I'm not home and tell my I've overworked my employee as he is filling up with gas and going home.
But, I digress...
I found a portable air tank in the shop but I could find the filler. The little bin that was nailed to the wall and held air line adapters seems to have fallen off the wall. (That probably didn't happen yesterday.)
But! I found an adapter to convert a jackhammer type airline to take a large air wrench and it got me on a quest to find a large to small adapter and when that failed I found a whole pile of pipe fittings and stepped it all down to the right size adapter.
I have no idea where all these parts are supposed to belong.
It is a bit awkward to fill tires and wheeling a volkswagen powered rotary air compressor around is a bit awkward. However, I can pick it up with the forklift.
150 psi and enough cubic feet per minute to provide jet propulsion to a midget will fill a tire in a hurry. Nearly came to grief filling my daughter's bike tires.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Every farm should have a forklift

Sometimes I just like to drive around and lift stuff up in the air.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

R.I.P Fraulein Helga

Cynthia Lynn died Monday. She was my favorite secretary from Hogan's Heroes.
Here is the news article.
TMZ says she was the last surviving member of the original cast.
My daughter and I will be wearing black armbands.
She wrote a book called "Escape to Freedom." She was born in Latvia in 1937. I would think the book is about her early life.
If you buy it through my Amazon search box I will get .02 cents.

In other news...
The maroons who called the cops after being "trapped" in their bedroom by an annoyed cat are in the news again. The cat is getting therapy.
I say, shoot the cat and give the maroons therapy and gato burritos. It is not pet brutality if you eat it. Then it is called "hunting."
You have to read this more in depth article. 
1. The people are keeping the cat.
2. They are of course students at Portland State
3. The guy feels compelled to justify kicking the cat
4. People are offering to adopt the cat
5. People are offering, COUNSELING for the cat
6. Peta issued a statement.
There are absolutely hilarious quotes in this story....
There is one term that answers all six issues...
Dumbass

A quote from the article from Oregon Live:

"There are many ways to foster appropriate behavior in our animal companions, but violence — including kicking and spanking — should never be one of them," Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA senior vice president of cruelty investigations, said in a statement. "PETA encourages all families to use positive reinforcement, which allows animals to learn quickly without losing trust in their guardians."

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It sort of feels like spring and I have a link to a wild kitty attack in the big city!

Here is a photo to make you think of spring.
It has autosteer as well but it is random autosteer for stream of consciousness farming. Otherwise known as loose kingpins.

Update: at 8 a.m.
I was looking for instructions on how to take the clothes dryer apart and got distracted by my newsfeed.
You have to read these links about a cat attacking a hipster family in Portland.
Cat subdued by police,   and listen to the 911 tape. They called 911. Pretty funny.
I'm assuming hipster because they live in one of those bunker condos they built on the old train yards.
Although, it says in the article that the cat attacked after being kicked in the rear by the male partner.
I'm assuming that a hipster male would have first tried irony and/or sarcasm on the cat. Perhaps thrown a scratchy Burl Ives record he recently picked up at GoodWill, or tickled him with his beard.
So it could be a scrawny tweaker guy with his fat girl friend. Kickin' tha can in the arse would really appeal to the scrawny tweaker set and then calling da police. But, it would have been the fat girl friend that called the police so I'm going back to the scrawny hipster dude.
Plus the cat's name was Lux. Sounds like a hipster kitty name.
Probably the GMO corn in the kitty food that made Mr. Kitty go mad...
You have to click on this link to the Daily Mail. It is pretty funny. The Daily Mail has the best news and it has pictures.  Look at the photos, these people have sex and that results in babies and thus the cycle of de-evolution continues.
Which brings me to another thought.
I think the term "dumb-ass" needs to be used more. It has kind of a bad reputation as being rude and off color but it is so descriptive. You try to describe people with terms like "hipster, tweeker, tattooed freak, democrat, wife's ex-boss" and really just saying "dumb-ass" just really covers all of those terms.

Another Update: I may be a little harsh with the couple. What do you do with a crazy 22lb cat in an apartment? Out here in nature-land,  I'd just grab Mr. 12 gauge and open a door. I would not be all that worried about the cat scratching me because I don't wear shorts and I have no nose ring for Mr. Kitty to grab with his razor sharp fangs, and he couldn't claw my ears as I don't have 50lb spacers in my ears so they don't droop past my sagging shorts. (I have pretty much scratched by arse away so my pants do sag but that is a whole other issue.)
The guy did "kick him in the ass," and what more is there, "I mean dude! I kicked his ass! Oh yeah!"
Kind of funny, a couple blocks over they would have just eaten the kitty... Or got him in a fight with a chicken and placed bets...
Um...that sounded kind of bad didn't it? It wasn't mean to be racist, some of my best friends have chickens and they will eat anything! (the chickens will eat anything)
I know how to get rid of Mr. Kitty! Put GMO Soy in it's food, it if lives in Portland then it has a soy allergy!
I really need to go to work.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I feel tired and discuss odd subjects with my daughter on the way to school

I'm eating my lunch at 3 p.m. Perhaps it is the time change.
Feeling a bit tired today for some reason. I did load a semi-truck of hay but didn't actually touch any bales. I could say I loaded fifteen bales into a horse trailer but actually I just pushed them off the stack.
My wife has gone to help her sister who is a bit under the weather.
Took daughter to school.
Started on a theology lecture. She looked a bit blank. I said, "you've been at a Mennonite school for three of your seven years has anyone at school ever explained who the anabaptists were?
"No"
Or Menno Simons 
"No"
What about Conrad Grebel?
"No"
Billy Sunday?
"No"
John Wesley?
"No"
The Great Awakening?
"No"
Do they ever teach you about church history or important Christian leaders?
"Well not really. We don't talk about that stuff all that much...."
I realize that she is a kid and related to me and so communicating with her about specific issues in the morning is not always productive but....
The point of sending her to a Church School, specifically Western Mennonite was so that she would have some else but me talk about important issues that have shaped her family attitudes and understanding of the world. Whatever, I guess people just don't talk about that sort of stuff any more.
But then I kind of went off the rails...cause the conversation kind of dead ended and we were waiting for the school bus so I got to pick the topic.
So Lulu, Have you ever thought about the difference between the Orwellian concept of Societal control  in "1984" vs Aldouss Huxley's vision in Brave New World. They are both fascinating discussions of means of controlling populations and I think you can see them in action in the world today.
Both restrict information as a means of societal control but they do it in different ways. Orwell described a tightly control society where information was completely managed by the government but Huxley took an very interesting different approach. Huxley saw control through information overload, lots and lots of useless information and distractions which distracted and hid the real information that is needed for people to make essential decisions about personal freedom.
"Dad, did you say information overload," she said.
"Oh yes I did, and..." exclaimed I, absolutely thrilled that she was joining in the conversation!
"Oh, yeah, I know exactly what he meant then," said my daughter
A moment of silence then followed...
Then I think there might have been something said about Dr. Who followed by a cough that sounded a lot like the word "Dork."
The helper is here today. My uncle called him Sunday to mind the store while he took the Aunt to the Dr. I left the helper with a list of jobs. He pretty much stayed at the store. I think there were quite a few customers.... Someone did have to make coffee...
Now I need to put him to work.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

G1355 engine photos, feed photos, blah, blah, blah...

There is a chance I could actually get the G1355 running for this season. I checked the torque on the head bolts.

I found out my clever digital torque wrench adapter only reads to 129 ft lbs which makes it useless for much of what I really need a torque wrench for. But...it is kind of cool and comes with several adapters. Adapters are pretty cool. Every toolbox should have plenty of adapters for all sorts of adaptations.

I checked the valve clearances. I really hope I didn't get the intake valves and exhaust valves mixed up.

I had asked my little helper to hook up all the wires to the sensors and gauges. He spent a hour looking for a screw to attach the wire to the air filter sensor and didn't notice that the sensor was broken and dirty air could go directly into the intake manifold.

And here are some random photos of feed grinding which someone is going to steal for their chicken ranch website. In this day and age I'm a little afraid I'll post a photo that will get me arrested.




Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ask Smokey! I repair my wife's pickup in the best Smokey Yunick moment of my life! (Using a vacuum cleaner)

As a wee lad I loved to read old magazines. Especially, Popular Mechanics and Popular science. My dad had a collection from the 30's through 50's and I read them all.
My favorite column was "Ask Smokey," where legendary mechanic Smokey Yunick would diagnose car problems though a masterful process of eliminating the obvious. The best ones were where two things were wrong at once but were unrelated and the answer turned out to be a crossed plug wire instead of a piston though the block. (don't confuse this with the Thanks Smokey! video on YouTube-totally different)
So....
Yesterday my wife called me and said her pickup was missing and backfiring and I might have to go rescue her. We just happen to have a truck with a roll-back bed at our disposal so I went to find the keys and warm it up.
By the time I answered three phone calls and loaded a pickup load of hay she had limped it back home.
Now here is the issue.
Last week the battery was dead. I doesn't want to hold a charge but it will change up when you drive the truck. The truck is a 2001 or so, F150 Ford with a fuel injected v-6. I avoid driving it as I'm afraid I will scratch it and because it has sensors and relays and computers and stuff I don't understand. Also, my father in law gave it to my wife as he was a little suspicious of my 1966 Ford.
The new battery arrived Wednesday and I installed it Thursday morning. When I started the truck after installing the battery the engine raced to full throttle. I shut it down immediately. I put the blame on the random workings of the computer. Who knows how those silly things work.
I started it again. Same thing. The third time I floored the accelerator briefly. I couldn't remember if there was an actual physical connection between the accelerator pedal and the butterfly valve on the fuel injection manifold but I gave it a couple pumps anyway.
The engine dropped in rpm but started making horrible clunking noises and backfiring, and then it cleaned out but ran like it was slightly out of time.
I decided that the computer had malfunctioned due to battery issues and started looking for the phone number of the friendly neighborhood mechanic.
But then, someone else came after hay.
Then my wife drove off in the truck.
I had a little time to come up with a plan while I waited for the family to arrive back home. I remember from Smokey's columns that engines have simple requirements. Fuel, spark, and air. Since I don't understand fuel injection or computerized ignitions systems I opted for an air check. Start simple, then confuse yourself later, is my theory on troubleshooting. Sort of like, if you can't shoot accurate then shoot often is my motto with guns. (if I had any) I meant NERF guns.
Wow, I get off topic really easily... did someone say cookies?
The Ford F150 has a really poorly designed canister type inline air filter. It is difficult to get the two halves of the canister seated correctly when you take it apart.
I took it apart and looked inside.
There had been a mouse nest inside. The truck is driven once a week or so and I would never have expected a mouse nest.

The mouse was gone and so was the nest. I suspect it was a traumatic exit. Perhaps it was the mouse who jammed up the throttle butterfly valve. Or perhaps it was not pinging but mouse screams that I heard when I started the truck.
But if the mouse nest is gone then why does the truck run funny?
I examined the intake tube. I saw wires. Wires must mean a sensor. So, there must be an air flow sensor in the intake tube.
And there was the problem.
A little bit of mouse nest on the airflow sensor.

I got the vacuum cleaner.
Now the truck runs fine. I am waiting for CarQuest to bring me a new air filter. Our local autoparts store delivers. It could have something to do with having so many leaky old tractors that we buy hydraulic fluid in bulk.
If any of my gentle readers wish to make a contribution to the Budd E. Shepherd auto restoration library they could buy me, "The Best Damn Garage in Town," by Smokey Yunick. I would love to have that book but it costs more than my budget. Or you could buy it for yourself though my Amazon search at the top of the page and I would get a small cut. If 500 people bought the book through the Lazy Farmer then I could buy my own. Or if one person bought 500 copies then perhaps I could borrow one of them. Or someone could give me that 1.2 million dollars and I could buy my own. Or someone just give me $5. I'd love to have an extra $5, or cookies, or pie, or even a kind word and a pat on the head.
Don't give me cheese. I don't really like cheese that much. Or eggs, we have lots of eggs.


Friday, March 7, 2014

I get days mixed up and start the day as a grumpy bottom which is somehow different than usual?

It is 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
A very nice pickup pulled into the driveway slowly and pulled up to the shop.
A few minutes later my uncle called me.
Someone here to see me....
Why is my uncle at work at 8 a.m.? He is 86, or so...?
Now a flatbed truck is outside the barn waiting for hay...
I think I will go poop...
Sometimes I hate living on the farm.
Where is my brother? He is the friendly one...

Edit at 9:30 Friday morning: Apparently it is not Saturday morning. It is Friday morning! Somehow I decided it was Saturday because the clothes dryer failed, my wife's pickup has some strange problem with the electronics or fuel injection or some other weird and unnatural modern technology. If the Good Lord would have wanted us to have fuel injection and computerized automobiles He would have never given us the model T Ford.
Those are all things which fail on the weekend when there is no hope of getting parts. Perhaps it is a holiday today...
So, I had a seed salesman who waited for an hour to not convince me to plant 100 acres of fescue and who didn't give me a free hat, my brother's customer who got 40 bales of hay and didn't like the alfalfa he bought from us in June. (140lb bales and some were wet-which means that my little helper was NOT looking at the moisture tester which has a sensor installed IN THE BALE CHAMBER OF THE BALER)
Then Schooter Boy showed up and needed to talk. I think this has something to do with the Glouster Old Spots that I am investing in for a young farmer. Scooter Boy was a little twitchy this morning and when I asked him to meet me at the shop (where I was going to talk to the seed salesman) he backed into a large piece of farm equipment with his little boxy car. I heard a loud crunching sound but I didn't turn around...
And now, my wife has driven off to Eugene as the pickup actually started up and ran, I yelled after her, "you got your triple A card," and she responded, "of course!"
The daughter looked a little unnerved. The daughter often has a somewhat bemused look on her face. I think she knows something we don't.
I see there are little post-it notes around the house explaining how to use the microwave, there is a porkchop defrosting, another post it note on a box of shredded wheat, and I think this means the family will be gone at least a day.
Perhaps I should read the post-it notes. Probably important information contained there in.
The joy of a random life!!!!

Update number 2: Jack's BBQ is closed till Monday, this means I can't put the food back in the freezer and just eat BBQ. I will actually have to cook.  People are coming after hay and feed and hay and I'm supposed to pick up the clover concaves or grates or whatever you call them for the 1480 IH combine I bought off the back lot at the local IH dealer. (One step removed from the scrapyard)
And Now my wife's pickup is not running and I am going to have to go get her.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Tractor Runs!

We return to the ongoing saga, Overhauling the MM G1355!
Saturday we had almost all the parts to rebuild the water pump on the G1355. My gentle readers may remember that after the complete engine rebuild the water pump seal failed and filled the crankcase with water.
The pump was removed and inspected and the seal was rusty and damaged. The engine did sit in pieces for a couple years so something like this could easily be over looked.
Of course we were missing one seal and could not put the pump back together Saturday evening. When it is Saturday evening or the evening before a holiday, you are always missing one seal, or one bearing, or some tiny thing that will prevent you from repairing the offending object by Monday. This is a rule of farm mechanics.
The seals arrived Tuesday and we rebuilt the pump and installed it Wednesday. It is a very difficult fit to install the pump on the front of the engine and after busting my knuckles repeatedly I decided not to start the engine Wednesday evening. Instead I went to the house for supper.
Yesterday morning I filled the radiator with water and looked for leaks. Then I filled the crankcase with oil.
Then I remembered to put the drain plug back into the oil pan.
I did remember to fill the oil filters with oil before installing them.
The engine fired up immediately. I had left an electric block heater on the engine over the weekend in the hope that some of the water would evaporate.
One cylinder is still running a little cold.
I ran the engine for a few minutes and then drained the oil. It was a whitish shade of green.

I removed the filters and let them drain over a bucket.
Then I wandered off and I have no idea what I did for an hour or so. I think I may have checked the valve adjustment even though the engine was warm.
I put new oil in the engine and refilled the filters.
I started the engine.
I discovered I had forgotten to install two bolts on the water pump housing. That explained the water spraying around the shop.
I let it run for a few minutes and then drained the filters again. The oil looks really clean.
So I decided to let the engine warm up.
I closed the doors in the shop but for a wee crack so that I could watch for flames or explosions. I then sat in my pickup with my laptop for 10 minutes outside the shop and attempted to figure out how to use Quickbooks.
The plan was to kill all the mice with carbon monoxide.
I'm not sure if it worked but after 10 minutes diesel smoke was pouring out of every crack in the wall. A 585 cubic inch engine pumps quite a lot of air...
And now I shall go to work. We are having a rainstorm. There is a piece of tin loose on the barn that is out of reach of my ladder.
I think I will adjust the valves on the tractor. You are supposed to do that when the engine is cold.
Have a nice day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I got a new toolbox

I like tools. It is part of this image I have of mechanics and farming. You see it is really the idea of the work that I like, not so much the work itself. The noun form of the word and not the verb. The idea of good quality wrenches and clever diagnostics and the purr of a 585 cu inch inline six cylinder engine that was designed in the 1930's and is still running in 2014, or a barn full of hay or nice straight rows of corn. Getting the work done is a whole different subject.
I found a nice older Sears toolbox yesterday in a salvage store. It is in really nice shape. I swear anything made before 1990 is of superior quality. A few thousands of an inch thicker, a little more polish on the castings, a bit more oil in the plastic.
My wife and I were in Portland looking for a vintage sink. One of those old sinks with a built in drainboard. Rebuild-it had a metal counter with sink listed on their internet site. I like the old Youngstown Steel kitchen cabinets.
Rebuilding the kitchen is therapy for my wife after her good screwing by Western Mennonite whose new motto is "procedures not nonresistance," or perhaps "we won't make you wear a devotional veiling but if you wear a strapless gown to the prom, we won't put your picture in the yearbook, if we had a prom and not a banquet."
But, I digress...
We didn't find a sink but I bought a tool box. It is a pretty small toolbox but it is a very nice sized toolbox. It replaced my previous Sears special which I carried on trips or when I went to buy cars/trucks of questionable salvage value or attempted to start dead tractors.

The key is to have the correct tools but still be able to carry the box.
Since I have to also repair commie metric stuff as well as standard I need essential metric tools as well.
Here is the basic complement of tools.
-3/8 socket set up to 3/4"
-3/8 sockets up to 18 mm
-A speed handle for when I don't have an air wrench
-Box end wrenches up to 3/4, Metric up to 19 mm.
-Tubing wrenches metric and standard
-The biggest crescent wrench that will fit in the box
-6" crescent
-Vicegrip
-screwdrivers, a big one to pry with also.
-Allen wrenches
-Hammer
-Emory cloth for polishing points and spark plugs and battery terminals.
-Battery terminal cleaner
-Pliers, side cutters, needle nose
-A length of 16 gauge wire (for electrical testing and short circuiting)
-Electrical test light
-various 3/8 and 5/16 bolts, nuts, washers.
-Small box electrical connectors and crimping tool
-7/8, 15/16, 21mm, 1 1/8" box end wrenches
-A special tool that helps you pull the strange little bolts up through the sickle when you are changing sickle sections.
-A couple different sizes of spark plug wrench sockets.
-A sharpie pen.
-Flashlight

I've found that with these basic tools I can fix almost anything.
And now, I am off to try starting the G1355. Last night my brother and I rebuilt the waterpump and I installed it. I have the busted knuckles to show for it.
Today I am going to start the engine again....


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Nephew saves the day! Jr. Mechanic!

Removing the water pump on a Minneapolis-Moline G1355 is not a fun job. It is driven off the timing gear. You can see it and you can see all the bolts but seeing and getting your large meaty paws behind the not-easily-removable side panels is a different story.
My enterprising nephew made the mistake of expressing an interest in mechanics and my brother dispatched him to remove the offending and afore mentioned water pump.

It was a bit of a tight fit even for him.
But, he persevered.

And got the satisfaction of a job well done!

The seal had completely failed. Not sure why it failed. Somehow water had been setting in the pump and it rusted the seal area. It has been a long repair process.
Now I will have to put it back together.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dissonance is a way of life

I'd show you a picture but I lost my phone cord so I can't down load into the computer.
So... for those of you who are fascinated by the excitement of my daily life....
Suddenly and without warning!
Antifreeze/water appeared in the oil on the G1355!
I drained the oil.
I got a lot of extra oil.
I poured more water into the radiator.
I shortly thereafter it ran out the oil drain hole.
Ideas:
1. Just my rotten luck
2. Water pump seal totally failed for some unknown reason. Didn't start the engine without water and have not really run the engine at this point. Just trying to get it to hit on all six cylinders
3. Oil cooler failure.
Rather than swear I will give you some soothing music...

In other news.
We went to dinner with a friend from college. It was very nice. It is amazing to not talk to someone for 20 years but yet see how lives have ran somewhat parallel.
No corn photos.