The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I can't weld

The mower broke today. This of course puts me even further behind. I did repair it, I think. The mount for the hydraulic cylinder that swivels the mower from side to side broke. It is a center pivot hesston 1430 disk mower. The cylinder positions the mower behind the tractor. You can cut on either side of the tractor and also use the swivel to make sharp corners.
Anyway, the cylinder broke off the tongue. It is like one inch thick steel which would only be welded from the top. We ground a deep vee in the offending chunks of metal and I welded. Took me about two hours in the hot sun. My back hurt so bad I had to lay down on the ground. Was welding bent over and concentrating on what I was doing.
I was able to warp it pretty good. Thought I could keep it cool on one side so it would warp back. That didn't work... Hooked up a water sprayer to cool the bottom. Didn't burn up Muddy valley either so all was not lost.
Photos are in reverse order. It is 12 at night and I'm going to bed...
Baled and stacked a semi truck load (set of doubles) since 6 p.m. So all was not lost. Mower seems to work fine.

Monday, June 29, 2009



Monday Morning

So, what to do...
I need to cut hay, I need to bale hay, I need to pickup bales for neighbor, I need to rake hay, and I need to ted hay. There is hay to be moved into the barn. I need to get the tire for the swather and rake from AgWest. I think brother is swathing, but both swathers are broken... I sort of introverted Sunday so didn't get an update. Probably should be putting diesel in the irrigator right now.
But instead I am sitting in my easy chair drinking a lot of coffee.
Wife was asking doctor about my aching joints and tendency to be tired and lack of short term memory. Dr. thought I was drinking too much coffee suggested I take an andrelial (sp) supplement and stop drinking coffee. We shall see what we shall see...
Said it might make me grumpy...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Morning

I've had these song lyrics stuck in the my head.
"i wish it was Sunday morning/Saturday night's sure looking bad"
I knew it was a Waylon Jennings song
and it went with the other lyrics that have been bugging me.
"Down a dusty dixie road/My old levi's draggin' tracks."
Found the rest of the song by doing a search on Google.
I didn't realize how many albums Waylon put out.
After finding the rest of the lyrics I remembered why I liked the song or perhaps
why it was stuck in my head for a week.
Monday it is back to doing hay.
My brother has been swathing annual ryegrass all night.
This whole hay thing sometimes gets a bit frustrating.
Had a schedule all planned and now I'm off again.
Flat tire on the rake yesterday, safety latch on the baler plunger broke.
Have 800 bales to stack for the neighbor.
Have hay to mow Monday but I also need to rake and bale.
Just have me and B. to do the work.
Using the 2-135 on both the rake and baler so it is hard to do both at the same time.
Perhaps I'll have a relaxing Sunday and fell like starting fresh Monday.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Hay Season

It would seem that over the years I've become a bit negative.
I have observed people who I see as successful and self satisfied and they are all positive.
I tell my former employee D. who has bought his own baler and wants to be a farmer that he needs to be positive and always be looking for the next opportunity. Never stop selling, whether it is selling yourself or your product. But, balance it a bit. Nobody likes a show-off. Always be positive and always build other people up.
I don't do that. But I know it works...
Here is a photo or D. last year with his new Hesston baler and our Minneapolis-Moline M670 super.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I could talk about hay...

I've come to hate doing hay. I used to enjoy this time of year. It is not too hot yet and the overcast days are actually kind of pleasant. But, we are attempting to make hay. The weather is not being very helpful. We have a couple hundred acres to do and they are all spread out in 10 to 40 acre fields over 20 miles. We baled the last two days and I'm worried.
I'm worried that we will get more hay rained on as it is pretty cloudy and the weather calls for scattered showers.
I'm worried that what we did bale will mold or get dusty.
I know how to do hay. I've been doing this for years.
So, the field have been cut for five days. On day two and three we tedded the hay. On day four we raked. Some fields were raked twice. Day four and five we baled. Mostly day five.
We were putting hay in the barn. Use the neighbor's squeeze to do it. Several stacks of beautiful timothy hay came apart and we had to restack them by hand. They felt warm inside....
This hay was baled at 16 percent moisture, monitored in the bale chamber, 12 percent when you stab in the bale. It has been down five days. It passed the twist test, there is no stem moisture. But, it sure feels damp. Did not test with a moisture tester.
The oat and triticale hay that I tried to bale yesterday has higher moisture. I know cause I was baling. I quit when it started hitting 20 and above in the baler. Oh poop!
I want to go back to the beach.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

I take a day off and go to the beach

My wife made me take a day off. She reserved a room at the beach, the last day of winter rates. She even checked the 15 day forecast and picked what was to be a rainy day. It didn't rain, which was a good thing, I worked all night so that I could go on my vacation, forgot my cell phone changer, my phone died, another VERY good thing.
Best vacation I've had in years. (Only vacation I've taken in the summer in years.)
We stayed in an older cheaper motel. It had a hot tub on the balcony and easy beach access. Daughter and I brought along some old Tonka toys and built in the words of J. Hendrix- "Castles Made of Sand, into the sea, will fall eventually." That song kept going through my head. Saw a couple huge star fish devouring muscles which were stuck to rocks uncovered at low tide.
Next day we went to the aquarium where Kieko the killer whale was once imprisioned. They have filled his old home with fish and put clear tubes through it so you can look at everything under the water. Then we went to seal rock to see my friend Mel. He treated us to a wonderful supper in Newport.
Got home at 9 p.m.
Irrigation broke down again, neighbor borrowing my hay rake, time to swath Meadow Foxtail, and after half a night of swathing the swather is broke. We have 40 acres of hay down and it looks like rain, I have another 30 acres to stack for neighbors, need to deliver hay to another neighbor, I think I need another vacation.
I love the coast. I remember the trips to the beach when I was a little kid. The sticky salt air, the smell of the pines and the saltwater, the gravel parking lots and sand sticking to your feet. The continual disingration of everything exposed to the air. Paint peeling on signs advertising crabs, oysters, and smoked salmon, and the feel of a hot vinyl car seat. Dad always wanted to get a crab and Mom said it would make a mess. So we would get smoked salmon and eat it with Ritz crackers.
Anyway, I hope Sadie had a good time. Perhaps I will post more photos tonight.

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