The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why I believe nothing I read in the news

I came across this story about a girl who family was from Latvia who was arrested for smuggling Raptor 4X Night Vision Weapons Sights to Russian. She said they were going to some friends who wanted to use them for hunting.
I am not sure why you would smuggle this scope into Russia as Russia already has some of the best night vision scopes you can buy, but she did. I'm betting it was really for some rich Russian gangsters who wanted American technology just for the grins of it. Or perhaps they want to rip off the design. The most incriminating thing that I read was that the serial numbers were removed.
What got me worked up enough to digress from farming and write a post about it were the quotes in the article from former NYPD idiot and "gun expert"  Richard "Bo" Dietl. Who seems to bit of self proclaimed celebrity and his is certainly a self promoting blow-hard and a dumbass. I hate it when people just make crap up and the idiot newspaper writer and MSN just repeats it.
Oh, yeah I looked him up. He has his own website and he is a self-promoting dumbass. Here is the Orwellian quote of the year from his own website,
 "What a tool," that is a quote from me...
So, Bo says these scopes are for snipers with automatic weapons and here is the best quote of all.
"You could take someone out with one of these scopes in the dead of night from up to a mile-and-a-half-away," he said. (see full article in the New York Daily News)
Ok, I'm not a gun expert but...
You probably can't see a mile and a half away in total darkness with a night vision scope and I know you could not hit anything smaller than a very large barn at a mile and a half with a 4 power scope. In fact i would expect this scope to be used under 200 yards. The fact that you can attach it to a machine gun just means that it is shock mounted. It is all pretty stupid.
And finally, I found one on ebay. You can buy it off of ebay with no restrictions at all. What a BS story. The girl is cute and I guess it sells papers and fuels gun/spy/terrorist fetishes of newspaper writers and cops.
Of course real terrorists on get caught by accident, if the bomb doesn't go off, if they are trying to light the fuse sticking out of their shoes, if their underpants catch on fire.
Idiots, the country is run by idiots...
Now that I wrote my amateur rant, I did a search for Bo Dietl is an idiot and I found this blog post from Confederate Yankee that is much better than mine.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Folly of Baling Grass straw

I can see the page count indication drop as I drone on about farming, by my only commentators are farmers anyway.
The grass seed harvest is underway in our neighborhood. The straw is baled and sold for export to Japan and Korea. The word is that they have an excess of protein from their fishing industry and they import the grass straw as they desperately need the roughage.
The straw price is very good right now. From $75-$85 a ton. The key to profitability is on nailing down two things. Is the price quoted on delivered material? If so, then deduct $10 per ton for hauling, and how much do you have to pay for the straw.
The straw used to be free. But... As it always happened, the fellows who wanted to be big time operators came in and started a ferocious competition for the straw. No straw or hay baler person can resist as $.50 per ton profit and so they started paying the farmers for the straw. The delivered price was kept somewhat low key but a couple years ago it started hitting the $75 price range. That lasted but a short while. The rabid straw balers started sporting new balers and service truck and took vacations in the Bahamas. After that the stumpage price started to climb.
Once fertilizer also started to climb many farmers would not let straw leave their farm for less than $20 per ton stumpage.
This year the clever short-pants baler guys were offering $40 a ton for stumpage. Many have gone to those really big balers.
I have a three-string Hesston 4690. I will not promise to pay more than I can afford to pay. Thus, I have barely 100 acres when I need about 500 acres. I am trying to avoid baling any straw off of our farm as we need the P and K back in the soil. Not to mention our lack of organic matter.
So, yesterday I baled four truck loads of nice green fescue straw. I had to rake it three times to get it dry enough to bale. I had to tell the neighbor that it was my field and make him stop baling. He was very apologetic and I got all, "hey it is ok, honest mistake, go ahead and pick up what you baled." Then i started kicking myself as there was no point in being that nice. I shouldn't have let him pick up his bales as I ended up being one block short of 4 truck loads.
But, I could not get the stuff dry. It needs to be below 16 percent moisture for export. One side of the bale would be 8 percent and the other would be 20 percent. I have a moisture tester in the bale chamber. Few other balers have those, despite the efforts of my 91-year-old father who spends his days selling moisture testers.
I think the neighbor baled all the straw he got out of my field at 18 to 20 percent moisture. So, in the end I am glad I didn't get his bales.
But, here is the price break down.  I think I am getting $80 per ton at the press. This means $10 for hauling right off the top so we are at $70. Now I hope I can get by with $30 to the farmer so that gives me $40 per ton. My cost is close to $28 per ton with one trip with the rake. So, I'll be optimistic and say I have $30 a ton in this straw. My profit is $10 per ton. So if there was 100 tons I made $1000 in two days. Total income should be $8000 and of that I kept $1000. I can live with that.
But, I may only get $70 per ton... depending on how fast they straw gets hauled out of the field. Now I'm not making anything...
I guess you see where this is going.
In short, I'm working my arse off, our stacker needs $4000 in tires and has what I guess to be a $1000 hydraulic problem, the baler needs $2000 in knives, knotter parts, and plunger rails, I owe my neighbor something like $3000 for hauling hay and another $2500 for him paying me rent on a field he backed out of doing and I have sold $0 in hay. Would I not be better off staying in the house and sleeping all day? What is the point in doing all this work to essentially be lucky to break even?
That that is the question of farming in a nutshell...
For a more positive view go visit Ed Winkle! He will give you a free breakfast!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I need a bigger rake tractor

People sometimes poke fun at me... They report any sightings of White or MM tractors within 50 miles. Mostly it is me off somewhere baling or planting. They say things like, "oh I didn't know if it was you...ha ha ha..." As if there is another White or MM tractor that is being used within a 100 mile radius.
I really need to find a 2-105 or 2-110. I'd like a 2-110 with front wheel assist to put on the mower and to rake with. FWA White tractors drive and ride so much better than standard White tractors. White has a pretty stupid and light duty steering system that they got from Oliver. It was fine on a 50hp tractor but doesn't translate well to 150 hp and 10 times the weight.
As a result, herding the 2-135 down the highway with a baler on behind is sometimes a bit of a challenge.
Anyway, it is 90 degrees and I opted not to run the double rake on the M670 Super. There is no reason to bust the motor mount bolts on a 45 year old tractor bouncing over fescue rows. I put the rake on the 2-155 which has nice cold freon based A/C and the large front wheels smooth out the ride. The neighbor's do need entertainment.
What I would really like is to get the G1000 Vista going for the rake or just a back up. It is a nice tractor to drive even if it is an open cab. I got a parts engine for the G1355 but I'm kind of afraid to tear the thing apart. I may never get it back together again. Plus, it really needs new steering lines and a cab kit and a repaint. I do like the tractor. It is about my favorite. If they only came with FWA...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Today is the first day of the rest of my life?

My daughter hates it when I say that. She also hates it when I say, "remember, if you let yourself down you let your country down." I wonder if instead of "yourself" our dear leader meant, "Yusuf" and this is a veiled reference to Cat Stevens. And he wants us all to become failed artists from the 1960's who are on the "no-fly" list. Show us your birth certificate!
Actually, he has no birth certificate because he is an alien pod person and the whole story of a midwestern white hippie chick with low morals mating with a Islamic Kenyan is just a cover story... Hmm, curiouser and curiouser. Hmm, how do you spell curiouser?
But, I digress.
I don't want to work today.
We have to haul seven loads of hay that may never sell. It is painful. I need to start baling grass straw. We need to combine. It is going to be 90 degrees. The a/c doesn't work on the stacker and may fail on the combine.
I know 90 is nothing to you midwestern folks but I'm not you and this is my bully pulpit to complain all I want...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Forget tractors and farming and high temperatures and going broke! Check out my latest blog find!

Click here for Uncle John's Crazy town! This guy writes about old cartoons. The sort I plan on showing on the side of the barn but have not got to do all summer as I have been too busy baling hay which will never sell!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Emergency advice for a harvest moon occurance and the Last Round in the hay field...

I should be getting the irrigation going but I have to post this letter from a loyal reader with a crisis!
Perhaps some other readers will have words of wisdom for him.

Dear Lazy Farmer,

I thought about asking Dear Abby, but that would have taken too long. I couldn't get through to Dr. Laura, so I thought I'd ask you. My question is as follows:

One of my combine drivers has a problem with his arse. More accurately, his lack thereof. We're not talking plumber's crack here, we're talking full posterior nudity. It's almost like a bad freeway accident, you HAVE to glance at it. It is a safety issue too, as you are then blinded for a second and you do a full body shiver, causing you to momentarily lose control of the equipment you are operating. He was unplugging the feederhouse today and his pants might as well have been at his knees. I quickly crawled under and began unplugging from the stone trap just so I was spared the visual. Let's just say I now know WAY too much about his preference in tighty-whitey brands! I thought about offering him the bottle of sunscreen that has been floating around in the service truck.

The guy doesn't have much of a sense of humor, so how can I bring this up to him tactfully? He wears a belt but it's not doing the job. Would it be out of line to buy him some suspenders? Tell him I'm only looking out for him and that I don't want him to be hauled in for public indecency? He's a retired ODOT worker and very safety minded, maybe I should bring up the safety issue...or the skin cancer issue?

I eagerly await your reply.
Blinded in Bellfountain

Well Orin, 
This is an issue that has plagued mankind since the invention of the belt. The simple answer would be overalls. Overalls are a plumber's best friend. When your hips loose their definition and your levi's start to droop you have to make the switch. We have this problem in our community with loggers. They have an aversion to overalls as it makes them look like farmers. Many have adopted the double support system. Suspenders and a belt. Suspenders work really well for loggers as them come printed with logger advertising.
So, I would suggest a couple options.
You could issue all your employees lightweight coveralls with their names printed on them. You could say it was because you were so proud of them and of your Massey combines that you wanted them all to wear a uniform. It could be "team Orin" and you could do high speed combine pit stops with a crew like the Indy folks have. And a trophy girl for the most combined acres in one day.
Or, you could buy him some of those suspenders that say John Deere on them. All farm employees are easily influenced by free John Deere promotional materials.
My wife saw some of suspenders at Goodwill that said something about a Safety Award. That might be a good idea.
We went through this at our farm as well. I took a photo of his other smile and posted it around the farm with the caption, "Our Leader."
Unfortunantly he did not show up to work for a couple days and I kind of forgot where I put all the signs. Eventually he found them all. He got quite angry. I thought he was going to punch me. It is not a fair fight when the person is laughing so hard he can't even run away.
After that he switched to overalls.
That approach may not work for you!

I have perhaps told this story but it is was so traumatic that I must tell it again. Once we were working on the baler. I was wedged in the bale chamber and the employee was handing me something. As he pulled himself up on the baler he ripped his overalls. Now mind you, I am in the bale chamber on my back and unable to move. Suddenly there was a ripping noise. I should not have looked but I did. There, inches from my face was evidence that 1. He goes "commando" under those farmer blue's, 2. He needed talc really bad!
The convulsive shudder that followed was more like a seizure and I bashed my head into the hay dogs. Now I just wear dark sunglasses. It makes everything look better.

In other news, We are done with hay here is the photo to prove it.

I gotta go! Going to haul 7 truckloads of hay that I don't know were to put or who to sell it to. I'm going to get my daughter to help tie stacks. Yes that is seven! Seven 24 ton loads. Eight blocks of 56 bales per load, something like 160 tonnes! What am I ever going to do with all this hay!!!!
(runs off screaming!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Now the unstuck baler won't tie and i need to be done with hay

So we unstuck the Hesston 4690 baler. It was not that hard with the 4wd. A little popping from the chain but those links needed to be stretched a bit anyway.
He baled perhaps 100 bales yesterday. First a bearing went out in the header. This was no problem as I carry extra bearings in my pickup. But, I did not have a cotter pin. For want of a nail the shoe was lost, for want of a shoe, the horse was lost, for want of rider, the battle was lost, for want of a battle, the kingdom was lost?!
So, I got caught up stacking-in that field... I have at least another truck load of crappy hay to stack at Gopher Valley, four stacker loads of bleached alfalfa, and we still have a day's baling at Muddy Valley.
Because...When we got the header going we only baled another round and the shear pin busted.
Something went wrong and I don't know what. I have never had trouble with this baler... The needles were halfway thought the cycle and the knife arm on the outside knotter was busted. I went home and found another knife arm off an old Freeman baler but when I installed it I discovered that the tucker finger drive is bent and the tucker fingers are hitting the needles. And a spring on the clutch for the knotter drive is missing. I think the spring broke and the knotters tripped at the wrong time which busted the main shear pin. I don't really know.
I do know I have just three small fields of hay left to bale. I could borrow the neighbor's baler. Or I could put it in 2-tie bales. Perhaps I will just go back to bed.
In an whole nother subject... Is nother a word? I think not... But I digress...
Is this a photo of the infamous Kincaid Lupine, the only habitat for the infamous Fenders Blue Butterfly, named after Freddy Fender who did a tear-jerking rendition of Blue Bijou-I think. Sounded like him anyway...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

One baler won't tie and the other is stuck

We attempted to bale our alfalfa last night. Had to wait till dark for the moisture to come up enough to bale it. Then the baler quit tying. The knot pulls out on one side when the bale pops out. I tried tightening and then loosening the twine disk. I tried adjusting the bill hook. I think it might be the tucker fingers as they were a touch on the loose side. Perhaps i shall adjust them all over again. That is a pain. The book also makes reference to the knife arm, so there we have just about all the parts of the knotter covered. I kink of hate this baler...
The three-tie baler is mire to the axles at Muddy Valley. The name is an apt description. Here is a photo. I have little else to say. The M670 wouldn't pull it out. We are getting the 2-155 4wd this morning. Of course I have to rake alfalfa, take my wife's truck to get the brakes fixed, pick up bales, and get the irrigation going this morning as well. Short post...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Down a Dusty Dixie, I mean- Oregon Road...

I was inspired by Ralph's title, "Country Road Take me Home," on Mindless Ramblings but then I realized that I didn't really have a song title to match my picture with. I'm going to rake alfalfa hay, not on my way home, and the song in my head was,
Down a Dusty Dixie road/my old levi's draggin' tracks/nobody cares about where I'm going/they all know I'm coming back...
I'm not wearing levi jeans, I'm not in Dixie, and I most likely not going anywere...

The alfalfa won't dry out, the grass hay moisture comes up at 9 p.m. The moisture tester cords that go in the baler are all broken, the 2 tie baler is stranded as the person moving it didn't see that the hydraulic line to the tongue adjusting cylinder was dragging on the pavement and it wore a hole in it, the fellow who borrowed the stacker never gets done with it and I got a call that I need to bale grass straw on Friday...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I talked to the land lady and baled more hay and the washing machine flooded our manufactured home...

Mondays should be an optimistic sort of day. The first day of your work week. You have Sunday to recharge and plan and Monday should be like the starting gate for a race or the trail head for a hike. Sometimes Mondays seem more like staring over the edge of the cliff and my rush out of the gate reminds me about the story I read of a fellow who tried to commit suicide by jumping off a bridge. He said going over the rail was a very liberating experience but it took him something like 30 seconds or more to hit the water. He had a lot of time to think on the way down. He changed his mind and lived a pretty happy life. I, on the other hand, keep jumping off the stupid bridge.
I called my landlady who seems to be in really bad shape. I told her no one would come see her with her gates shut as it looked like she didn't want to be bothered. She told me her step-grandson's dog would escape if the gates were open. She also said that one of my workers left the field gates open and deer came in and ate all the corn plants in her step-grandson's garden. I will have to take her some corn... She seemed fairly happy by the time I finished the phone call.
We are moving to a new field across a small mountain. Gorges would probably feel at home at my hay farm. I got the rake and the tedder moved and my sometimes a great helper and I were on the way for the baler when we spied a large bolt with yellow paint on the highway. It was part of the hitch for the M670 Super. So, back to Muddy Valley to fix the hitch so the tedder wouldn't fall off. Then turn around and head for Gopher Valley to get the baler. I sold some of my bad hay to locals and had to talk to my "hay broker" who is a retired fellow. I keep him supplied with hay and he helps me empty my shed. It works pretty well.
My sometimes-a-great-helper decided he needed to go and haul some of his own hay so I went back and ran the rake so Bill could bale. The baler tractor is the White 2-135 and it has good A/C. Those Kneodler seats on the old MM tractors were not made for 350lb farmers and B. looked pretty uncomfortable.
We have an old Allen V-rake which has electric over hydraulic controls and is kind of POS but has nice paint. I acquired it in a trade of services. But, it streamlines the haying.

I have a system for doing over-ripe hay. I set the mower windrow narrow and I cut way ahead to stop the hay from maturing so fast. Then I totally ignore the hay until I am ready to bale. (I do check the bottom of the windrow to see if it is turning yellow.) Then we run the tedder to fluff up the windrow and mix up the bleached top of the windrow and all the wet spots in the hay. Within a couple hours we merge and turn two windrows together with the double rake. And then we bale. I try not to rake more than I can bale in a day as we get very heavy dew this time of year. With a little luck the hay will still be bright green on the inside and the tedder mixes it up well enough there are not big chunks of beached stuff in the bale.
And i have a spotlite sprayer on the tedder tractor and I spray it with molasses. Just a little bit... For some reason the animals like our hay...

Monday, July 19, 2010

I look forward to more hay, talking to landlady, Gopher Valley madness, and feel completely overwhelmed...

This will be short as I need to get going. Have not posted for a couple days as loyal readers may have noticed.
Last week we baled something like eight semi-truck loads of hay. One truckload would be eight blocks with 56 bales per block for 3-tie and 70 bales for small 2 tie. Somewhere around 24 ton. We completed somewhere just over 100 acres. That is not so much for most farmers but is quite a lot for two people in my humble opinion. I have another 60 acres of grass hay down and 18 acres of alfalfa. I am going to go check on the alfalfa as soon as this is posted.
The quality of the grass is not what it should be. It is much too late in the year for good hay. I tried to give a load to the fellow who hauled for me but he wouldn't take it. He said he had enough hay.
So...I had to find storage. I had a fellow with a large barn who owes me for stacking so I had it hauled to his shed. I'm having some landlady problems I guess.
She is a very nice elderly lady. Last winter she got hit by a car crossing a street after church. I did not realize that she was in the hospital and in therapy for something like 6 months. Then I forgot to pay my rent. I thought I paid it. But, the check never came through. As soon as I found out I sent her a check. I have to talk to her in person. She now has a step grandson living with her. I think he is the one who will inherit the place. He has been putting up gates and fences. He also left 100 feet of fencewire in the field which my employee found with the mower. It took two days to get it all out. He as also been driving in the field when it is wet. I spent a lot of time last winter getting it all smooth and level but I didn't get it planted. I was waiting for a sprout so I could get weed control and when it started raining, it never stopped.
So, now I have to go discuss all this. I know the drill. The family thinks I am getting the place for nothing and they think it is worth a lot of money. I have been doing it for 15 years and have not been making a lot of money. The field was so rough it was impossible to harvest. Last year I plowed it, now it is nice and smooth. Except for some ruts left by the grandson. Mostly, I just rent the ground to get an old shed I use for hay storage and because when I tried to quit she didn't know how she would get her hay done. Now I have way too much hay ground. My sometimes-a-great helper is interested in the ground and the landlady likes him. Perhaps that is an angle. Of course no one is shutting the gates and so the gate person is probably upset. He has all the gates shut, even the one to the house. Of course no one comes to visit the housebound landlady as shutting the gate means you are not home or don't want visitors. I just do not want to deal with this. I want to go away...
Here are photos from my other farm next door. This is how we load hay for hauling.

This is the farm with the landlady issue...

This is the fence in the diskmower...

Here is my stunt pilot neighbor buzzing us...

Have a nice day...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Things get done and some hay is baled

My hay is not as bad a failure as I thought. It is actually pretty nice, just not perfect-which is what it takes. I should have taken some photos for the non-farm readers as I am in a bit of a hurry and will be short on explaining details.
My sometimes a great helper was having problems with his baler. He has a little Hesston 7115 baler. It is an almost new 14x18 sized baler and it was breaking shear pins like crazy. He was baling grass that had been swathed for seed but had weeds in it and the farmer wanted it for hay. The farmer would not rake it and so there were wet spots all through it, even though it has been over 80 degrees.
I was on my way to work on our 2-tie baler myself when I talked to him. Our is a rather old Freeman 200 which makes 16x18 bales. (Our main baler is a 3 tie Hesston 7140 which is an awesome baler but we are making bales for the horse hay market and there is so much hay on the market this year I am going back to small bales to get a marketing edge.)
I just decided to go  fix his baler as he sounded a bit desperate on the phone. I got to the field before him and called a service department to get some advice. It was pretty straightforward, I re-timed it. Of course I thought I went the wrong direction the first time and had to redo it, only to find out I had done it right in the first time. (I had it re-tarded instead of advanced which I guess makes me retarded...)
The farmer showed up and was convinced it was the dull knives. He used a detailed analogy of using a sharp knife to cut a tomato vs using a 2x4. Then he went off on swathing and how he changes his guards every year and the sickle sections every 50 acres. Which was pretty funny considering we were standing in the middle of a pretty ragged looking field. I guess he must have missed a section or 20.
The baler worked and off I went. I fixed our Freeman 200 and then moved on to bale hay with the 3 tie baler at the next field. I forgot my sun screen. I had the trusty old M670 super on the Hesston 7140. That was a picture for the AGCO family farm website...
The employee was finishing mowing a field and then he took the mower to the next field and brought the 2 tie baler back.
I finished 20 acre field and switched the rake.
It didn't work. It is an old Allen V-rake. It puts two windrows together. It has electric solenoid valves to spread it out and to turn on the rotating baskets that pickup the hay. One of the solenoids burnt up and nearly set the field on fire. I sort of wired around it but then I had to run the hydraulics backwards and it wouldn't work with the wimpy old M670 hydraulics. It worked very nice on the 2-135 white.
We were putting two windrows together. Since we have a 12ft mower this means a 24foot swath. That is a lot of hay at 2.5 tons per acre. I had just finished the field when my sometimes helper showed up with his little Hesston. "I came to help you out," he said with a big grin until he saw the size of the windrows. Then he said "s...!!!"
He gave it a try. Now that would have made another good photo for the AGCO website. I don't think that little baler was designed for that size of a windrow. It chewed right through it. He was in low, low, gear. Perhaps 1 mph or slower. It will be nice for stacking.
It will be a bit odd to have 3 tie and little 2 tie bales in the same field. He baled 310 70lb bales and I baled 300 110lb bales out of a 12 acre field. So 11 ton for him an 16 ton for me for a total of 2.3 tonnes per acre. Not too bad a yield for this sort of grass hay. Not enough to make much money on it. Now it needs to be stacked...
On the way home I came back into cell service. My wife's pickup is stranded. A brake locked up. I must go get it right now. Have a nice day...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

On being a manager and getting stuff done...

I've been looking for 2hrs for a roll pin punch so I can take a knotter apart. The fellow who is going to haul my hay wants to do it on Saturday. The fellow who wants to buy some hay does not call me. It would not help that much if he did call me as I don't understand a heavy spanish accent over the cell phone.
So here is the deal.
I have 75 acres to ted, rake, bale and stack at my farm. I have 50 acres to stack 15 miles away. I have 20 acres to stack 15 miles the opposite direction. I need to mow 65 acres but it may rain the 20th. I've got one person to help me, perhaps two. My brother needs help to finish swathing. But has to go drive truck for three days. The irrigation needs something, the combine needs to go, the trucks need their side boards, and my wife is rebuilding the bathroom.
It is not so much the acres I have to do as the logistics. I figure if I drink lots and lots of coffee I can bale during the day and stack at night. I think I can do the one 50 acre custom stacking job if I go all night and the other I will try to get the neighbor to run our stacker so I can help haul bales on saturday. Fortunatly I did not update my CDL medical card so I can't drive truck. I have never hauled doubles, shifted anything but a five and four, and I do not want to learn on a twisty narrow road between two small mountians. Perhaps I can drive the squeeze.
This would all be different if the hay was worth money. At this point it is kind of a salvage operation and it is all costing me money...
If I keep hiding in the bathroom will it all fix itself?

Monday, July 12, 2010

I take photos at the beach!

I need a better cell phone camera. I forgot my good digital camera. If only I would have had a good zoom lens!
Here is a photo of my lovely daughter walking on the sand. Note the lady in the background. She is really pretty normal looking and so it is not that funny.

Now check out the photo below...

Now check out the closeup of same background scene. This girl looked amazing in a bikini. She had three distinct fat rolls on her belly. Sort of like the Michelin Man!

And then I saw this chair at GoodWill that I really want. It was only $4.99! It had a massage and heat feature and it also reclined. It was pretty comfortable as well. But, we did not have the pickup! Oh well, that's me, always a bridesmaid!
EDIT: It was suggested that perhaps I should not post photos of folks at the beach who do not want their picture taken. While I may find a fascination with the three distinct fat rolls and find it kind of fascinating in much the same way as one would view a train wreck, it was suggested that my innocent curiosity might be misunderstood as perversion as worst and at best some poor girl's feelings would be hurt. I say it is all in the name of science. So I have placed censor marks over the faces. I hope this will prevent any hard feelings. I'm sure the girl was very nice and it was just a bad pose.

I take a vacation

Sunday we took Sadie to Drift Creek Camp near the beach. My wife got us a nice motel at the breach for Sunday night. We were relaxing on the bed watching TV at around 8 or 9 p.m. and watching some illegal fireworks that the neighbors were shooting off. There was talk of a walk on the beach and we had a jacuzzi tub in the room. ($100 room, not too bad)
The next think I knew it was 7:30 a.m. this morning. I WASTED A TRIP TO THE BEACH WITH SLEEP!!!!!! Dadburn it.... I ain't as young as I used to be...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I picked up hay bales and made a thousand dollars, or close to that...

I picked up two semi-truck loads in the first field, three in the second, and two in the third. Each stack has 56 bales and can be picked up with a forklift with a large squeeze clamp on it.The 8 blocks make a 24 ton truck load. This would be a set of double trailers.
I picked up the bales with a New Holland 1085 bale wagon. I would explain more but I am tired. It didn't involve a lot of hard labor. I did loose all the hydraulic oil out through a broken hose and had to make a new hose and get more oil, but otherwise it was a good day.
I think that is 3136 bales at .43 cents per bale. I can't think anymore. Good night!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hot weather and busted driveline equals crappy hay, oh boy!

The cv joint on the driveline on my Hesston 1340 disk mower failed. We ordered a new one from TISCO which was half the price of one through Hesston, but it didn't arrive till yesterday.  Of course it has been in the 90's and my hay is over ripe. I did borrow a mower but it was too little too late. When you think something will be here tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow you don't always act as if you knew it was going to be at least a week away.
This hay was hopefully going to bring top dollar as exported hay to Japan but now the fescue in it is too ripe. The timothy is fine but the fawn fescue is not. Fawn fescue was such a bad idea to plant. Gets ready too early and has thick stems. I wonder if I could weed wipe it and kill it? I think I may have to just plow it out.
Today I have thousands of bales to pick up for the neighbor...Probably on hills...
I will add one thing, not to be ungrateful to my JD loving neighbor, but... A White 2-135 attached to a Hesston 1340 12-foot diskmower will do a lot more acres in a hurry than a New Holland 911 411 attached to a 4020 JD, and the White has A/C! Actually, a G1000 Vista will pull the 1340 faster than a 4020 on a 411. (9.5 feet)
Actually, a hamster in a plastic ball would probably have more bottom end than a JD 4020- that is not a popular replacement for the JD 4020 as the hamster ball has no provision for 540 PTO. And there are no green hamsters...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The fourth of July

Sunday I built my daughter a catapult for water balloons. Actually it works best for those little spongy ball thingies that you soak in water and throw at people. Monday we launched six of them at the Uncle before he noticed balls were falling around him. It is not as accurate as it looked on paper. Daughter drew it all out and we built it together.
We had our annual 4th of July picnic in the backyard of the farmhouse. Then the kids talked me into taking them to the river. Employee was there with friends, there were setting around drinking beer. Brother brought dad down the the river. Dad is 91 and NO-ONE drank in front of Dad. Pretty funny. Dad had a good time. Chronic boy was there with his sister. I apologized to him for all the mean things I have said to him over the years. But then I ruined it all by getting him confused with his sister. Long-haired kids these days, can't tell the boys from the girls.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This would make an illustraton but for what? What was I thinking when I doodled this?

I found this on a church program in my Bible. What does it mean? What was the sermon about? This is kind of disturbing. I think it needs some sort of caption. A cartoon of sorts.
Perhaps I need counseling...

I plant garbozo beans for Jose and he brings booze

Every year I plant an acre of garbonzo beans for Jose. It hardly ever works. This is because: 1. I am not a very good farmer, 2. Jose thinks they should be planted like they did it in Mexico. Plow with a horse, spread the beans by hand, drag a tree branch over the field to cover the beans.
Now, you must understand that Jose does not get the best ground for planting Chick Peas. It is usually a wet corner of a field that we couldn't plant earlier. This is not the way to grow the beans. They need a bit of a longer growing season than is provided when you plant the last week in June. Also, I think it is too wet when we first plant and then too dry during the rest of the summer.
Right now the grass type weeds are growing like crazy and the garbonzo/chick peas are not.
Garbonzos are quite the delicacy with the hispanic community. They pull the bushes up whole and pick off the beans and eat them fresh. My farmer brother who lives across the machinery lot from me says he read somewhere that a farmer has figured out how to freeze dry the beans so they can be packaged and eaten later. I never remember to look this up anywhere, so I have no details.
Jose is always quite happy with the free acre and my planting services and tries to pay me. Of course I never accept. It is kind of fun to plant an acre of beans with my 15ft no-till drill. Not, that it has ever produced a crop... This year I went with 1" planting depth and 250,000 seeds per acre. It looked like about 8" spacing on 7.5" centers. I am not sure the monitor was working correctly and I'm not sure of the seeds per pound. Jose handed me a bag and asked it I could make it cover the whole field. I said "sure..." It looked to be about 25lbs.
He also brought my hired man and I enchilada's and a bottle of this-

You may deduce from the photo that I had more than a sip. This would not be the case as I just wanted to get the acre planted before dark and I know that Tequila is the devil's drink and that strong drink is evil and might cause me to want to watch internet pron and perhaps even view the asianporndvd website. Here is a handy prayer for you to use if you have problems with demon alcohol... I have printed a copy out for Chronic boy just to show him that I care and not to make fun of him in any way.
For further resources here are some links to help you with your porn addiction. Click here and here to find resources.
But, I digress... Public service always distracts me. It is such a responsibility to be a hero to American youth!
I did have two sips just to be polite and I do know that may lead me down the path of darkness, sin, and desolation, not to mention progressivism, I did not abstain. It was good! Very smooth and no bitter aftertaste. Soon I felt a warm happy glow and was tempted to sing mexican songs and do the chicken dance. I even forgot about the enchilada's that did not do so well during the ride to the farm. But, I stopped at the two sips. I have no idea where my employee stopped as I then wandered off with the drill, still feeling quite happy.
Later, when we were finishing up the silage, I stopped and talked with the dairy fellow who has been through rehab. I'm a bit worried about him. He skipped his meeting because he said he was a "happy drunk," he just liked the "warm buzz" feeling. He did not loose his farm or ruin his life, he just wanted to stop. I of course had no productive response as I am not adult enough to come up with words of wisdom for those who are suffering. I went for the cheap laugh and said, "well you better not say that in your speech at rehab, cause you will make everyone relapse..."
I was thinking more about the meth habit that really ruined him and not about the amount of beer he drank.
I see storm clouds on the horizon.
Of course I always see those....
Current problems:
1. CV joint on the Hesston 1340 failed... $1000?
2. It broke the pto stub shaft on the 2-135... $250
3. I won the argument with employee about whether or not the tedder gearbox took oil, but the victory doesn't mean much as the bearings are all out and I don't know how to take it apart.
4. The hay got rained on...
5. The A/C doesn't work in the stacker and the window doesn't open and it is going to be 90 degrees
6. The pump is not in the river
7. The combine is not ready and the A/C does not work on that either
8. The hay fields are still too wet to cut but we will cut anyway
9. G1000 Vista is dead
10. G706 is dead
11. G1355 is dead
12. PTO is out on the old M670
13. The M670 super nearly broke in half yesterday
14. The hay is too wet
15. The freeman 200 needs the pinion gears adjusted and doesn't run for crap
16. I'm hiding in the bathroom and I won't come out...
I wonder if the reason I'm constipated is that my arsehole is starting to pucker with age? Is this a family problem? Will playing banjo music help? Hmm, banjo music....

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 ?!