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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Still sick, my Dynaco SCA80 phono stage sounds horrible, a bit about White 2-135 tractors, and Groundskeeping

Another epic ramble...
First of all, a statement about my health. I feel like crap. I suspect the Russians or the CIA or mind control. I've had a cough for what seems like forever. Sunday is the one day I can just lay in bed. The family went to church and I'm in bed. Now, understand the title of the blog is "The Lazy Farmer" but there is avoiding work cause you are a lazy arse and there is feeling like poop and staying in bed all day. Two completely different things. My wife is threatening to send me to the Doctor. I say no because I suspect that half of it is stress and frustration and that I'll have to go through endless tests and they will find out that I have a cough and I need rest... I already know that.
Then about blogging.
I suspect blogging is a thing of the past. I was reading this blog (Click Here) because he talks about Dynaco amps, mostly because (like myself) he finds the fit into bookshelves nicely. But, he seems to have quit posting. Probably died like half my other blogging heroes.
I just hope MuddyValley, the dude holding a duck, and the funny farmer from Canada, and that carpenter from England stay healthy. Now I left out the guy who doesn't have a job and he will probably leave a mean comment...
Ok, you get the point!
I still like to read everyone's blogs but the problem is that blogging is not really supported like it used to be. The apps that I have for my iPhone don't provide and easy way to leave comments and blog-reader apps try to keep the hits to themselves. I want to read my favorite blogs and have the people know I'm reading their blogs. I don't want them to see a blog reader link, I want them to see my hits in their stats.


In other news, I have started the 2-135. This is the last of my army truck engine swaps. It runs great but I see water in the transmission/hydraulic oil. This is bad as it has been sitting for several years and I never checked the oil. I should have drained it last night but my wife and daughter got Chinese food and I was hungry and I never went back out to work.

 
This is the preheater for a white Hercules diesel tractor engine. Those broken chunks of ceramic insulator will go through your engine and ruin it.

Being a groundskeeper.
Ironically, this is forcing me to learn a lot of things about spraying and fertilizer that I have always had a hard time understanding. I really miss not having a Crop Science degree. AND... my clever plan to stay under the radar and spend my days climbing hills with my Gator and arguing politics with workstudy students have come to naught. My boss keeps giving me more responsibility all the time (with no increase in pay) and of course I am compelled to try to meet his expectations. It is a curse.
I was grumping about being behind to my workstudy girl and she laughed at me. She noted that while we spent a lot of time driving around talking about philosophy somehow I still seem to get as much or more work done than anyone else (aside for the lady who has been there forever) and that she suspects me of actually being able to "really get stuff done."
I don't know.
I spent another 8 hours in pesticide class on Friday. This time with my boss. We went to lunch together. We discussed his life goals, his Christian faith, his upbringing with guns and his ability to strip a rifle by age six but yet his guilt from killing living things. I have the same problem but I am death on pop cans and varmints that run... Strange lunch conversation.
 
One mower for the softball field one more for the baseball field. I get to wash them both three times a week.


I have been really disappointed with my rebuild of a Rek-o-kut 120 tonearm with a Shure M91E cart. (I was considering a new stylus but I have run out of money.) Here's the deal,  I hooked it to the living room stereo system so the daughter and I could "rock out." It sounds kind of tinny and harsh. However, it sounded warm and rich (the kind of distortion I love) in the bedroom hooked up to a Scott Tube Amp and Dynaco speakers.
After some research I found that this is a common complaint with the Dynaco SCA80 amp.
To digress a little and get something off my chest.
The living room stereo is set up for surround sound for the TV. Unfortunately the folks that bought Grandpa the TV didn't think to buy him a TV with a headphone out jack. Now I can't really complain as I didn't pay for the TV and I didn't volunteer to go help him pick out a TV but I am going to complain anyway. It is really not so much an issue with the people who picked out the TV, but more of an issue with TV manufacturers in general. The TV costs an arm and a leg anyway so just put a stinking headphone jack on it. Then, you can buy remote earphones (or use a cord) and you don't have to have another remote to control the volume. Also, since the sound is not that great anyway, you could hook it up to an external amplifier. Having the option of headphones for your TV is really quite handy.
In our case Grandpa would crank the volume and forget about it because he couldn't hear. This caused problems in the retirement home and cost a lot more money when I had to go to radio shack and buy him wireless headphones. Not to mention the issues with an extra remote to control the headphones.
It has an optical output but that is a constant volume. So you have to get up and turn down the volume on the amp or add a preamp. But than means an extra remote. That is stupid...
I think I could wire in a jack to the speakers and then get amplified output that I could run through the Dynaco but my lovely and gracious wife and my astute and clever daughter feel that in the process there is a 50% chance I would completely screw things up.
I concur....
But I digress.
The Dynaco SCA80 phono stage sounds like crap. (see www.updatemydynaco.com) I think if someone gave me 1.2 million dollars this  blog would be a lot more interesting...

I am now going to go eat leftover Chinese food and then take a nap. I am pathetic...

Oooh wait, another story...
When I was forced to take on athletics (have I ever mentioned my feelings about coaches based on my experiences as a sports editor?) I also got the campus greenhouse. This is funny. We maintain a greenhouse for 14 plants in the library and the science building. In the greenhouse are "back up plants." I'm growing a replacement fiscis tree, ten begonias that the science lab uses for two weeks, and some odd plants that are placed around the podium at graduation. And like five aloevera plants that no one knows are there.
I started growing tomatoes, peppers, kale, artichokes, more peppers, more tomatoes, various plants that look pretty and I forget the names. My assistant climbs over the fence around the greenhouse if the sun comes out (like today) and checks on my tomatoes. I should grow pot...

I live in a random world but I guess that is just fine.

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I passed my test and test the RekOKut

Repairing my Rekokut k33h has turned into a bit of an obsession. That, and growing peppers in the greenhouse at work. The peppers are doing pretty well, I put them directly in front of the heat that so they're 80°. I'm a little worried about starting them in pots and balancingThe amount of moisture they need versus the amount of moisture applied is a little bit difficult.
Yesterday I took the health and safety portion of the pesticide applicators license test. I took off work and took the test at the local community college. They have pretty tight security in the testing department. Frankly, it was more difficult putting my wallet keys hat and coat into the locker that it was taking the test. I actually had to read the instructions.
And I think I startled the nice ladies with my out-of-control hair. I'm really happy they didn't tell me I looked like a clown on the Simpsons.
I got an 83% on the test. They have trick questions.
I probably would've done better on the test but I was up sussing about where to find a good stylus for a M91e Shure cartridge. 
When I got home, I got ready to put the Engine into the to 135. But I kept thinking about hooking up the RekoKut. 
My daughter was done with softball practice by eight and I went into the house.
She was up for a test run. So I brought the turntable into the living room and hooked it up to my vintage Dynaco System that is supposed to be the entertainment center.
I found the kinks Kronicle album and we cranked up Victoria, until the Clapper thing that turns the lights on kept cycling.
We listen to the Kinks, The Cars, and a couple other albums. On the way to to school this morning she started singing, Waterloo station. She was impressed because she had been there.
I'm doing my best to create an odd and eccentric daughter
 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

A relapse and more rambling about lawnmowers and tonearms

I though I was getting better.
Last night I started coughing again. I just stayed in bed.
I am still in bed and it is just past noon.
The daughter is now coughing as well.
I was warned it might come back but I of course though I would beat it...
Yesterday I loaded straw and it was cold and wet and windy. This was not unusual and I doubt it set me back. I've been mowing the Baseball field and Softball field all week and that was really cold.
I did give my heavy coat to my new workstudy assistant as she did not dress heavy enough and the weather changed mid afternoon on Friday. I was washing the mower in the rain and she looked so cold hauling pine needles in the rain that I made her take my coat. Then I forgot to stop my other student who was driving off with my other rain coat.
Fortunately the fellow who I replaced was a bit of a hoarder and has a stash of coats and coffee cups which he found after sports events and he had a heavy coat.
We are getting ready for a big track event. For some odd reason it was decided that cleaning under the pine tree between the tennis court and the train tracks was a high priority. My pretty new assistant was commandeered by the irrigation and special projects guy who was convinced that people spent a lot of time in that little area.
The only people I have seen evidence of enjoying that secluded spot are those who turn old PBR cans into chronic pipes and leave empty 16 oz steel reserve cans.
It was ok as everyone looked busy and my other assistant was free to clean up the stands and edge around the Softball field.
 
But I digress...
Yesterday I was going to sell the last of my annual ryegrass straw and clean up the shed. I arrived to find my extra pile of three-tie straw knocked over with a number of bales missing, only one stack of annual, and then the tire blew on the hay squeeze.
My landlord blocked access for the trucker as he had the well-drillers truck parked in the shed and it wouldn't start.
If the tyre would not have blown I could have had the truck half loaded before they started the dadburn truck.
As it was there were problems. I had to sell the guy two-tie straw and I had problems with several stacks. It took me much of the afternoon.
I had a lot to do when I got home but the guy who I replaced and is the new boiler man texted me to see if I had a chainlift although he called it a chainfall. I guess I'm more optimistic.
I had not used the device in the ten years since my wife got it at a yardsale. I had problems getting it to work and so I took it apart.
There is an aluminum wheel with little knobs on it which match holes on the ratcheting gear. This gear is threaded inside and I think you turn the knob to set the brake to release the chain. I think the tabs allow the gear to move to change the direction of the ratchet.
 
I drilled out the broken tabs, tapped the holes to 1/4" threads and installed socket head bolts with the heads to the inside. I turned down the heads to match the holes and applied red Loctite to the threads.
It seems to work. This took way too much time and was utterly a waste of precious time.
Lulu wanted to go to Maria's in Amity to shoot pool. I was cold and a little damp but she asked nicely and I figure it is only a matter of time before the figure out that under 21 age kids are not allowed behind the fake half wall to shoot pool when the other half of the Mexican restaurant is also a pub.
The non-Mexican owner figured it out when I showed up with my daughter to play. But, he let us play Foosball for free and we had overpriced Mexican soda pop to make up for it.
Lulu beat me multiple times.
Later that evening I retired to work on the Rek-o-kut.
I am having trouble determining the distance from the spindle to the pivot point on the tone arm. I wanted to use the old Fairchild 282 mounting holes but they are slightly different.
Now I have discovered that the cartridge is not mounted according the the Rek-o-kut specs which makes the effective length of the tonearm different.
I am researching this...
 
I should be studying for my pesticide applicators license which I most likely will fail. However, I can explain to you the difference between the Baerwaold and the Loefgren theory of calculating tonearm mounting distances to minimize distortion when mounting tonearms.
Somewhere in my head there is a switch that is set incorrectly. There might be two or three...
In a side note, since this post is already so long no one will read it...
This pesticide applicator license pretty much explains why we voted for Trump and why I am overjoyed at his pick for head of the EPA and Education department. The bureaucratic rules and regulations to do anything in the country are insane and most are BS. I spent 8 hours learning the obvious, the pesticide label is the law and the instructions, look to it to find your safety equipment and how to use. If you look at the ingredients and use it for something that is not on the label you had better lie because it is illegal.
There was a discussion of how to kill the bamboo that is pushing up the rubber playground mat at the preschool. I pointed out that we have over a month when there are no children there. Then I kept my mouth shut. As we say out in the country "Shoot Shovel and Shutup"
Also, it is not in my area anymore to I really no longer care... But... If you pick a cold and overcast day and apply crossbow to the recently cut tips of the bamboo they tend to not grow as fast. Hypothetically, I read that somewhere. Actually a local city was experimenting with this direct application of crossbow and glyphosate to control blackberries without spraying the volatile 2, 4-D Esters.

A guide to making protractors and solving equations for proper tonearm alightment and mounting.