The Useful Duck!

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Fire update

I have an unofficial report on the fire in Amity. I overheard a conversation from some firefighters so what I report is only rumors and they were not speaking in any official capacity. I would like to heap praise upon a someway mild mannered fellow who was involved but I think when you are talking about something which will be investigated and discussed for weeks, and since I didn't say I was writing a story or ask permission to repeat what was said, I will not bring up anything that could be identified.
The story I heard was that a couple people spotted smoke coming from an upstairs window. The fire chief went to investigate and right away called it in as a possible structure fire. One firefighter ran across the street and got everyone out of the building right away. The fellow hanging out the window was deaf (someone said blind as well but I don't know that for sure.) The firemen put a ladder to the window but he had moved to the next window. They moved the ladder, but he had disappeared. By this time the upstairs was filling with smoke and the firemen had to put on airpacks and climb the stairs to rescue him.
The fire probably started in the back of the building. The smoke was so thick and black the firemen couldn't really find the flames. There was speculation that the design of the building contributed to the speed of the fire. It probably went up the back wall. There was also a stairwell in the middle of the building and a back door which may have went into the back room. So the fire had a quick path to the second floor.
The Mexican restaurant burned last. The lady was seen running in and out of the restaurant before the smoke filled the building and everyone was pulled back.
One can only hope she was able to save the salsa recipe.
It all went really fast!
I will say that the loss of the folk art pictures of rural Mexico will be a great loss to the Amity art world. You could not see any numbers on the paintings and by that I mean they were quite good. My daughter and I used to speculate where they were from and who painted them and what era they were from.
The puffer fish hanging from the parrot carving will not be missed. That guy kind of disturbed me...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Perhaps we should start a facebook campaign to bring Nutria cooking to Amity

Some of my loyal readers have wondered if our favorite local gourmet restaurant should look at adding naturally wild raised nutria to the menu. Free range Nutria?
Some may scoff at adding this to the fare bill of the Blue Goat but it is not such a strange idea. Nutria were introduced into this area for food and fur.
Here are some suggestions.
Crock Pot Nutria (from
From our local Gannet Paper-The Statesman Urinal 
And last but not least,
A woman was attacked by a Nutra at.... Yes, you guess it WallMart-the home of invasive species... There are also recipes at this site.

Now for my one cooking tip-Do not throw the nutria that the dog brings into your front yard onto a home built incinerator. It is disgusting... And it grosses out the kids. (good thing)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I like to play with fire

Today in honor of the immolation of one third of the business in Amity I built my own waste oil heater prototype. It mainly consisted of old plumbing parts hooked to the air compressor but it did get my portable fire pit red hot and sort of sounded sort of like a jet engine.

Sam the dog found a Nutria so we thought we would cook it for dinner. It would have been better if I would have skinned it or perhaps not used oil out of the 2-155 and styrofoam packing peanuts.

My daughter thought it tasted like chicken.

Friday, February 25, 2011

No More Salsa! My favorite restaurant goes up in smoke!

I finally find a Mexican restaurant that I like and it burns to the ground. The lady made the best salsa I've ever had.
The building was one of the older buildings in town. I heard the fire started in a kind of lean to shop attached to the rear of the building. I was going through town and I saw the Amity Fire Chief's car zooming around the block and I didn't think that much about it. A few moments later I saw the Sate Police car blasting by me. Then I get a call from my brother that Camino Real is on fire.
It looked like the fire went up the back wall and caught the top story on fire first. One of the onlookers said there was a fellow leaning out the upstairs window looking confused early in the conflagration, I'm assuming he figured out there was a problem.
(Photos contributed by G706 )

While I do feel bad for all those who lived upstairs and the folks with the satellite TV store, I hate to see more bad luck for the nice Mexican lady. Her husband died when they had first started and she has had to work very hard to make it. Which is all quite sad and all that but the thing is... she did a really good job. It has had really good service, good food, and they make made excellent salsa and you could buy a cup of it and take it home. AND I'M OUT!!!

I swear I would have run into that burning building and saved the tub of salsa, the kitty and the baby could find their way out on their own, they have legs!!!
(Movies were contributed by Joshua who has a blog but never posts. )

I removed my craigslist ad

Craigslist is very annoying. Yesterday the Central Europeans who tried to get me to cut my price last weekend called. They want to get more grain (of course).
The vant to feeel zee bagge and vould I poot more off der beans in eet?
I have no idea what they are talking about.
They will pay $200 and they don't want me to change my mind.
I almost said I was out, but I need the $200.
I like hispanic people much better. They are usually happy and rural sorts of people and I can relate.
With these guys I keep wanting to say, "Ceau┼čescu bad man?!" (Sienfeld show where he dates the Romania ballerina)
I'm never going to make it in the retail world.

In other news, I see the reel to reel collection I turned down is now listed on craigslist. I could have got it all for $150. Wow! That would have been a pile on the living room floor...
Truthfully, I don't think it is worth more than $150 total. The reel to reels for all their packaging are not high enough quality to really be worth more $25-$50 each and they will need servicing after setting for years. The tape is worth at least $100, if you were looking for it. It you were selling it, I really don't know. A new power cord for the one reel to reel is $40.
I just didn't have the $$$ or space.
I may have borrowed a nice Akai but I have not made the contact in the past. Oh well...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My wife sent me to Dad's Market for milk and I came home empty handed...

I'm not sure if Dad's Market in Amity has embraced an alternative lifestyle or if I was just in the wrong department... I just couldn't put this on my Wheaties!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The engine is in the White!

My brother overhauled the 3-speed and got it back together yesterday. Today I just went out and installed it. It didn't appear that it was going to stop raining and snowing and I figured cold water running off the roof and down my back was kind of like putting an ice pack on it, so I fired up the old M670 and lifted the engine in.
This was one of the smoothest installations I've done. This is assuming that I didn't put something in wrong and I have to take it out again. I installed the 3 speed first. I put a block between the bottom of the transmission and the tractor frame and it slid right in. I had to get my brother to help getting it all lined up but engine installations are a two person job anyway. Next I hooked up to the engine. I set up some wood blocks to guide the engine in and not pinch any oil lines. My brother heard the tractor start up again and came to help. I had the engine sitting in the frame by then and it was just a matter of one person pushing and the other using a pry bar to turn the engine over to line up the splines.

The tedious work begins tomorrow when i attempt to shim the engine so it is level in the frame.

My helper didn't get the radiator blown out and cleaned and there are some hoses that need to be replaced. I also have to get the tachometer rebuilt and a new tach cable which somehow I forgot to do.

We all wear a uniform

My sometimes a great employee and I attended a safety seminar yesterday. I didn't see anyone I knew and so we picked a table on the other side of the room from the door. He takes up two seats and I attempted to look grumpy.
I didn't work. A nice couple sat beside us. I knew immediately what they grew.
The girl looked nice, no real clues, other than the number of vintage rings on her fingers.
The guy was wearing an old leather baseball style hat, a genuine Filson windbreaker, a felt-like wool vest, plaid shirt, (most likely Pendleton), and those old fashioned pull up shoes that look like high top Romeos. I think he had some sort of wool pants or something. I don't think they were jeans. He had a beard and wore those funny black dork glasses from 1960 that everyone's mother made them wear when they were kids.
I resisted the urge to ask how the organic farming business was, or do you have a CSA? Or you get a lot of gigs with your jug band?
They were nice and earnest young people. Seemed to have a sense of humor.
We were given this little RF keypads so that we could vote and answer questions on the presenter's computerized presentation. I was cheating by running two and voting multiple times. They thought that was funny and several anti-establishment jokes were made. We also discussed the evils of Monsanto and round-up resistant crops.
Good times were had by all.

12:00 update:
I feel like crap today. Not really complaining just telling you. My cracked ribs hurt unexpectedly. My back is sore, I didn't sleep very well, it is cold with sleet and snow. .
It is taking a force of will-power to get me out of this chair. I am out of money and neither hay nor feed are selling. I need to install the engine and 3spd in the White but it is so nasty outside I don't want to move.
The funny thing is that I think it is mostly a mental state. I know I can do incredible things when motivated. But, getting yourself motivated is a whole issue unto itself. Continual crop and business, near failures have really affected my self confidence and I don't really trust the decisions I make.
I guess I'll listen to my MP3's of that old Carnegie course that started all the self-help books and motivational speakers.
How in the world do you break the negative cycle?
Perhaps I need to find another job...
I think I pop a few vitamin D pills and just go do it...

The Islamic Revolution Continues

Country by country the revolution continues. See this story from the BBC. The US administration doesn't seem to be able to see past the word "democracy," of course no one in that administration knows what the word really means, as in what if everyone disagrees with you to the point they take to the streets and protest.... Just the same, you could put cannibals in power as long as they were not supporters of Jews or Western Civilization and the useful idiots at the University of Oregon would be protesting in support. Which probably is what is happening.
I'm betting on Islamic states like we have installed in Iraq and The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. As in "today Iran, tomorrow the world."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I spent most of today in a safety training seminar. There were a couple things that really stuck in my head that had nothing to do with safety. In fact I wonder if the seminar did not have more to do with process that with safety.
I am sure that the people presenting wanted us to be safe. Farming does have a bad safety record and farm accidents, especially when they involve children, are terrible.
True, you do need to develop an attitude of safe behavior on the farm. You can't say it is bad and there are employers who have made unsafe practices a way of making money, but...
I guess it is the whole zero risk concept that comes from insurance policies paying for everything and thus every injury and form of suffering has a monetary value assigned to it.
We now have to have monthly safety meetings and document what we talk about. I have to show the employee how to drive the tractor every year. We have to attend training every year, have an audit every four years, and do something else which I forgot or we are subject to surprise inspections by OSHA and will be fined for violations.
My goodness, what if one morning I forget to wipe my bottom? Will I have to file a report to the government office of personal sanitation and hygiene? If USDA will send SWAT teams to raid Amish farmers for selling raw milk what would happen if I neglect to record an MSDS sheet for that bootleg can of Marvel Mystery Oil lurking in the back corner of the shop?
It was announced at the meeting that there were new guidelines for agricultural truckers after a hay hauler lost part of his load and someone was killed. I heard about that one the day it happened. The guy did not tie his load down correctly, he was going too fast, he did not stop when he lost the load, he then tried to hide the fact that he lost bales, and it looks like he is going to do serious jail time. What new regulations would you add to the 5 major violations the guy already and wantonly violated? Do we need a publication to explain that you should 1. tie your load 2. Not drive too fast 3. Not leave the scene of an accident?
One thing I learned at the community college was that bureaucracy  must always keep expanding and that lesson was once again brought home today.
I guess we just do what we have to do...
In other news my RC helicopter arrived and it is completely awesome. Daughter and I spent the evening taking turns flying it in the living room. It is fun to buzz the cat. The battery does not last long enough.

Monday, February 21, 2011

People are utter morons and news reporters are worse and this one was probably bought off...

I opened my web browser after my formerly trusty iBook crashed this evening to find this story on the Ashley-Madison dating service.
Does anyone else but me recognize a scam when they read about one? Or is able to pick out stories inspired by good press releases and a high paid public relations firm?
I started to write about this a couple days ago and then thought better of it. Here is what I had to say then.
The other morning my wife texted me and asked if I had ever heard of Ashley-Madison. I instantly panicked thinking perhaps I had forgotten to turn on private browsing while using firefox, but then I realized I was thinking probably of Victoria's Secret and was able to just text back a question mark. She seemed pleased to know I did not know what she was talking about (as usual).
She had heard on the news that Ashley-Madison had been banned from advertising on the Super-Bowl because of the nature of their advertising.
Ashley-Madison is a website that provides a meeting place for married people to have affairs, or so it is advertised.
I was somewhat intrigued, and as my habit of drinking 5 cups of coffee in the morning sometimes requires me to spend time in the little echoey room with the uncomfortable white chair, and since my wireless card is now working again I decided to do some research, in the name of science of course.
I signed onto the website as Rob D.... a friend from college. I took some liberties with my profile, choosing a 300lb weight, 5.5 for my height, and Native American as my ethnicity, and stated that I was interested in "erotic tickling."
I soon found a number of ladies with in 100 miles of my zip code which had somewhat prurient interests in round Indians who liked to be tickled. I didn't recognize any of them. I soon regretted that I did not sign on as a woman as I might have found some of my neighbors listed. But, it wouldn't let me change and I soon found out it cost money to do anything so I sent a free wink to a rather large lady and logged out.
A day later I checked my, or should I say Rob's mailbox and I had something like 8 or 10 emails from ladies who had sent me private messages.
It would cost me something like $5 to read each of them.
I looked at their profiles. Most of them had photos and most were very attractive. There was only one that somewhat "plain" and a touch overweight. I suppose she was real. I didn't spend any money and shortly thereafter deleted my profile.
Now here's the deal.
The commerce department can take my computer and make me prove I own all the songs on it, but they don't make Ashley-Madison prove much of anything. Think about it. This company is making millions of dollars. It is said they offered to pay 10 million dollars to have a major airport in Arizona renamed the Ashley-Madison Airport but what to they do to earn that money?
So, people (mostly men) sign up and put up a profile listing details about themselves so others can view their ads and contact them. I'm sure there are success stories for people as I doubt it would be a complete scam.
I think the woman are either paid to contact men or that a fairly large number of them are employed by the company. In the fine print they say they sometimes use paid researchers to contact you to test the system. I say they have a couple people paid the "churn the waters," get men to spend their "credits."
How would you actually prove that the members are legitimate? No one is going to come forward and say they were ripped off. They are cheating in their relationships. The company throws out a few responses to keep people's interest up and to generate a base income. It is a very clever plan to make money off of people's moral failings.
I did some research on the company and while they offer you your money back if don't make a connection, I suspect it is somewhat like the story of the farmer who sold the mule that died and the buyer then decided to raffle off the dead mule. He gave the winner his two dollars back and made a handsome profit.
There have also been accusations that prostitutes were hired by the company in some instances.
I did see a lot of ugly people advertising so I figured the uglies  must be real. I doubt the hotties would really need to advertise.  I'm sure it does work as advertised to some extent but basically is a scam.
But, frankly,  I were planning on using a paid service to cheat on my wife I would expect some assurance of privacy and I would not post my photo. From the advertising I expected more of a dating service. If you suspected your spouse of using the service all you would have to do is sign on as a guest and browse the list of potential cheating partners.
I'm thinking there are a lot of really lonely and kind of stupid men out there with credit cards. You can sure do a lot with slick marketing. Taking advantage of guilty fools is still somehow wrong in my opinion. But, part of me kind of wishes I would have thought of it first. That dude is raking in millions!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Our Postal Delivery Service drives me insane

Being a civil servant has got to be a cushy job. Somehow it attracts the most incompetent sorts of folks you can imagine. This not to say they are not very amiable and pleasant when not challenged, but, for the most part they are idiots. This probably the real reason we have so many problems with immigration and tax fraud. It is just easier to walk across the border than to get a VISA and it is easier just not to fill out the paper work than it is to pay taxes.
But, I digress...
I made the mistake of having something I really wanted shipped through the US Postal Service to the shop.
Saturday I got a notice that the package was too big to fit in the mailbox and that I could pick it up at the post office. Now the postmaster at Amity is a pretty nice an competent fellow and sometimes will open the door on Saturdays if I'm expecting an important shipment of 16 mm film.
The rural delivery lady is kind of an idiot. Even though she has been on the route for several years and his seen the mailbox 500 times she still takes the oversized package with her to see if it will fit into the mailbox. Then she puts the pink slip directing you to the post office in the mailbox and takes the @#$%^&ing package with her on her route. So... you can't pick it up until the next day. (Heck, she could chuck it out the windown  and someone would probably bring it to me!)
In this case we are looking at a three-day weekend and I have ordered something especially cool. Something which probably shows why I am always out of money....(click here)
If I would have just used the PO box I would have it by now. Of course you can't complain as she is just doing her job. The previous postal lady used to drive up to the shop and lean on her horn for a minute and if no one came out she left. Now that was good service. AND that was the old days-before idiots took over the world.
When had an incompetent postal lady at our old house as well. She would continually get the mail in the wrong box. Stuff like the neighbor's social security check. After a while I got to where I just delivered the incorrect letters to the neighbors. She was also afraid of Stanley the Great Dane.... Even though she never had to get out to the car. But we knew her so we didn't complain.
When we moved to the farm we moved onto the location of my brother's house and he moved to the farmhouse. That whole setup was too confusing. There were three addresses. The farmhouse and our house were in one zip code, and the shop is in another and that mailbox is at the end of the road. Heaven forbid I put the wrong zip code on something!
Anyway, for us the was a move from the Amity zip to the McMinnville zip. This did not work. For the first year the mail was continually mixed up. When complaining to the post office I pointed out that with our last name they could just toss the mail in any mailbox with our family name and I'd eventually get the mail. The lady looked at me agast and said, "we couldn't do that!" Yeah, incompetence is OK if you didn't mean to do it... if you are just stupid....
Finally I solved the problem by removing the mailbox with the loader tractor and going to a PO box in town Amity. Of course letters sent to the old address are now rejected even though it is a very small town and the mail is hand sorted-because that is the policy...
The PO box is the way to go. One less government employed idiot in the chain...
And you know what really peeves me?
That mailbox out at the road is huge. You could probably fit a small anvil in it. That helicopter is in a 8" square box. It would fit!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I record more stuff and ramble on about nothing in particular

I am having a blast with this new turntable. I have a really crappy and cheap setup. Somewhere I found these little Jensen box speakers and now have them hooked to my Optimus (Radio Shack) 1 watt amp.
What I find amazing is that the sound is not horrible. I am limited in volume as it is 10:30 at night and I'm setting in my easy chair with ice on my back and cracked ribs. I'm listening to the Smithereens, Especially For You, album from the 1980's and I am really surprised at the details I can hear in the music.
I saw them at the Starry Nite when I was in college. I thought it was funny that they were so old. Somewhere I have the t-shirt which I plan on giving my daughter so she can be hip. Wrong values to communicate to her I am sure.

Here is another track from the Humans. A cover of "Pipeline," which I am sure was done by the Ventures. I think they do it justice. Blogger won't let me post an mp3 so I threw in random photos to make a quick low bandwidth movie.

Here is a photo of the setup... This is my mess of a bookshelf and reflects in no way upon my wife's housekeeping skills but does reflect well upon her patience with her husband...

I really need to do some tidying up of my "study." It looks pretty bad in photos!
I sold some feed to some non native speakers from Portland today. They appeared to be Eastern European. They didn't like it very well. They wanted whole wheat and what I thought was whole wheat turned out to be 200lbs of nice wheat on top of barley hulls and cracked kernels from the bottom of the cleaner. It looks ok when it is mixed up but it is not clean seed wheat by any means. They asked me to cut the price I said no. They started to leave. "I thought, you sucker's drove all the way from Portland for a ton of feed and you are going to turn around and go home. Go ahead and see if you can find it cheaper cause you can't. And that is a 1000lb bad (750 more likely) and not a 2000lb bag. So you've been getting screwed."
They turned around and came back and got a 55 gallon drum. I knocked off $5 and I shook the drum good to make sure it was full. Sure I will cut the price if I feel like it, but only if I feel like it.
Now I know how the nice young lady with the reel to reel feels. She emailed me that she found 30 more tapes, and the base for my turntable. Only a select few reel to reels are worth more than $45 bucks in a box. The good ones then jump in value to over $200, but only the good ones. The same is true with tape. Only the really high quality tape is worth money. So, consumer brand black sealed tape is perhaps $2 if it sells on ebay but quality brings over $10.
My ice pack is warm and the record has ended so I will go to bed.
If this blog disappears you know that if have infringed on copyright laws...

Friday, February 18, 2011

I record stuff

What I recorded...

I heard that the new computerized book reader was killing the chain bookstores. I just can't see that happening. I think reading a book off of a LCD screen would not be a good experience. I like to listen to books on MP3 but not read them on a computer.
I think Amazon and one day shipping probably killed the books stores. That and the fact that no one can read any more.
I suppose I'm getting into dangerous territory by attempting to post these recordings. It is like the govt. thinking the 1099 will bring in lost revenue.
Where in the world would you hear the Human's (a very obscure LA surf punk band from 1979) sing "Wild Thing."
Or hear the one country song by "The Replacements?"
Oh, that is right... NOWHERE!
So if a couple albums sell then great! If not, you didn't have the money to begin with. Sort of like stepping over a dollar to bust someone for stealing .0000001 cents!

Rationalizing the cost of a reel to reel tape recorder

Actually that title is misleading.
I found photos online of what a Sony TC-230 looks like and it should look like this with the speakers attached. Or like this when it is open(click).
Then I found these photos of what a Sony TC-650 looks like. I think the player is a not a TC-230 but perhaps a somewhat better model.
It would be really cool to have it but it also seems like a fairly high maintenance item and it most likely does not have the slow recording speed that I need.
I think I need to just repair my Tascam 22-2 but I've got some tapes recorded a low speed with a four track and I can't listen to them on my Tascam.
I recorded some singles to MP3 this evening. It was enjoyable. Not sure if I can post them.
The Replacements, "If only you were lonely."
Followed by The Humans, doing "Wild Thing," I like their almost as much as Joan Jett's...
It didn't work. Perhaps I'll try it tomorrow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My obscession with pre 1980 technology

I am issuing an appeal to my gentle readers.
I'm not a wealthy person and I tend to be a collector. I love things like old 16mm film, reel to reels, old amps, turntables, records, old toys, legos, triumph motorcycles, studebaker cars, Minneapolis-Moline tractors and such ilk.
So I frequently do craigslist searches for things like reel-to-reel and thorens and turntable.
A follower of The Lazy Farmer sent me a link to the dual 1019 which led me to this treasure. (click here)
It is a Sony TC-230 reel to reel. It is owned by the person from which I bought the record player It is a medium to good consumer quality reel-to-reel according to the information I have found. But, it comes with two boxes of decent quality tapes, original packaging, and according to the specs a phono input. So, you could run your dual 1019 through the reel-to-reel. Which is what the nice lady's grandfather probably did.
We had a nice conversation about the tape player and I told her I would give her $100 for it. I said I thought it was probably worth around $150. I noted that it was half of what she was asking but I did not want to be disrespectful and try and cut her down on the price. That was my opinion.
Her grandfather sounds like an interesting fellow as he also had a jukebox at one point in time. I should have asked more about him.
So....a couple days later she emails me and offers me the reel-to-reel at $150. I don't know. I'd have done it the day I bought the turntable. I had the cash right then. After getting the turntable home I realized that sitting in a closet for 40 years is not good on old stereo equipment. On the other hand I have a lot of tapes I want to hear. Plus, I have my uncle's life story who was a CO in Germany in WWI and came to America between the wars. Somewhere there is a cassette of it but I can't find it.
On the other hand it is a huge reel-to-reel. On the other hand is the money. I don't really have it to spend. I am putting a chicken feed add on craigslist to raise some cash and I need to put some of my already view 16mm movies on ebay.
My wife says I agonize over $50 purchases and other husbands blow $$$$ on useless stuff and I should do it if I really want it, but you can go to the poorhouse $25 at a time just as easy as $2000 a transaction, it may take longer but you still end up there.
On the other hand, I am getting a lot of entertainment out of the turntable, static and rumble, and low frequency response, all taken into account.
I think I could get my money back out of it at $150, just by starting it and playing a few tapes and then turning around and writing a different ad. Or by putting it on ebay. I think I'd do it for $100, of course I'd have to drive back to Portland...
I don't know...
If only someone would buy my 100 tons of not very high protein horse hay... or that nice lady whose mother just died would pay me the rest of the $2,400 she owes me, or that fellow who is selling eggs for $4.50 a dozen would pay me the $1,200 he owes me, or my employee would pay me back the $2,000 he owes me, or I would just get a real job....
I think I'm going to have to say no...
I'll think about it today-see if I get any calls about chicken feed.
Any comments are welcome!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You should never let your kids watch pro wrestling!

I'm icing my back. I know my daughter doesn't watch Portland Wrestling. She can't, we only get four channels of OPB on our digital TV, so I have no idea where she got the idea to do a flying W on her father. But Monday night when we were in the midst of a knock down and drag out tickle fight on the living room floor she did and she cracked two of my ribs. I did not move fast enough. I doubled up in pain while laughing and she burst into tears. I suppose this makes up for me nearly breaking her finger during a light saber fight a few years ago. I heard the rib pop.
So, I lived with the pain for two days and decided I was going to the Chiropractor. Sometimes it works. He popped my back with his little popper gun and stretched me around a bit and I left feeling a lot better. He told me to ice my back and said that 32 degrees outside didn't count. I felt pretty good till I installed new glass in the rear window of my White 2-155. I was able to chip a nearly $200 piece of glass.
Anyway, I'm setting in the old Lazy-Boy my Uncle gave me a decade or so ago and I'm listening to Jimmy Rodgers on my Dual 1019 record player through headphones. I went to GoodWill on my way home from the Chiropractor and found a little Optimus preamp. I was in a hurry and didn't look very close at it. Not close enough to see the "Made in China" writing. I just saw a switch for magnetic and ceramic cartridges and I figured it was one of the old one. It is newer than I thought. I've been looking for the little Realistic preamp for making computer recordings. This one is lacking in frequency response but that was I don't hear the pops and clicks and turntable rumble.
This evening I made a base for my turntable out of scrap wood left over from my shed repair project. I roughed it out with the chainsaw and then did the final fit with a little saber saw. It kind of looks like crap but it only took me 15 minutes. Perhaps I'll post a photo tomorrow. My wife just laughed.
Dadgummit, I've got to get up and turn the record over...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A fool and his money

I bought a turntable today. It is not just any turntable it is a Dual 1019 with a Shure V15 Type II. Of course the needle is bad... But if it were only good the collectors would pay a pile for it on ebay. I have an old Stanton D71 that I mounted on the EXTRA head shell. Dual headshells are a little fragile and a little harder to find than the normal twist lock headshells.

It came in the box with packaging, a dustcover (hard to find) and the spindle so I can stack records for multiple play and it plays 78 rpm records! I tried my old Frank Sinatra that has been hanging on the wall and it sounded really bad. Somewhere I've got someone famously obscure singing Blue Moon of Kentucky and I think I have a couple records of Father-in-law singing in the Cascade College chorus.
Plus, I can now fulfill my promise of recording my mother's old 78's to CD. Not sure she still cares, better late than never I suppose.
It took a little work with the soldering iron but I got it going. It is a bit noisy, some motor hum and a little static which I suspect comes from poor grounding. You can hear turntable rumble with headphones so while 78's are so noisy you could tell, I not sure I can record good quality regular albums. I doubt I will as you can get everything on MP3. Perhaps making a base out of a chunk of solid oak 16"x18" will cut down on the rumble.
I wish I had my old Audio Technica AT155LC. It vanished during our move along with my nice Technics direct drive turntable. I'll never be able to afford something like that again.
Of course my 30 year old stereo is not that great to begin with. Just the old KA3500 that came from Discus Records when Butch sold out in 1980 something. I have Baby Advent speakers and they sound kind of muddy. My Tascam reel to reel got wet and has some motor issues and the cassette deck died so that is the way it goes.
Now I have to build a base for the Dual as didn't come with one. (Although I guess I could just keep using the cardboard box it came in. Seems to work pretty good. ) I think the audiophiles call it a plith. Either that or the guy had a lisp and was telling me he had to go to the bathroom. I don't know I don't hear as well as I used to.
I also took the opportunity to drive all over the former industrial section of Portland looking for electric motor shops and the offending chinese capacitor. It is amazing how Sam "I screw underage interns and pretend that people are homophobic when they object" Adams and crew have decimated the parts of town where people actually work for a living. I'm sure it is for the best. They are smarter than we are so we should not object.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Junk motors on Craftsman table saws

My wife is an artist/craftsperson.
She makes all sorts decorative things out of old wood and sells them to city ladies who have more money than good sense. The sort who threw out all the family antiques and now decorate their houses with furniture that I think should be used for kindling.
This is not a statement critical of my wife's artistic endeavors. Sometimes I help. I make any metal parts that need to be heated, pounded with a hammer, bent, drilled, or otherwise abused. She makes neat looking stuff, but somehow the old barn wood on the wall just reminds me of the old barn wood outside my window that is still attached to an old barn and I find it depressing. Perhaps not as depressing as when that said barn collapses on all the irrigation fittings and my hammer mill, but depressing just the same.
But, i digress.
Her table saw failed.
Some years ago we bought a top-of-the-line Craftsman table saw. This was before craigslist... Anyway, the motor failed. I pulled the covers off the capacitors and water ran out. I'm not sure when we had the leak but it did fry the caps.
I went to the craftsman website and you cannot buy them. I looked on ebay, nope! I went to a couple electric motor shops. Of course in the 15 years since I have been to an electric motor shop all the old pluggers who knew about electric motors are dead. The intelligence and common sense level of the average shop owner has not increased in the past decade.
I tried the Granger catalogue and got confused. There are no manufacturer's marks on the capacitors, just the specs, but I can't find anything the right dimensions and with the correct terminals and then I get confused again.
This doesn't really matter as it looks like there is nothing under $40 on Granger. Sears wants to sell me a new motor for $200. I could buy a used motor on ebay for $150...
OR, I can go to craigslist and buy a whole saw for $150. I think I will check the Jimmy Carter store Tuesday. The problem is that the motor is 3600 rpm and 1 hp but it is pretty light duty. I think I'll just buy a saw, remove the motor and toss the rest of it on the scrap pile. That way I don't have to lift the sucker twice.
I've got a spare Briggs. Perhaps she could use a gas powered table saw. I wonder if I could hook it up to the flat belt on the Z. She could saw and I could grind feed. I'm sure that would bring us closer together!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It was quite the week...

Sunday I took my daughter with me to look at a field that I planted and which has come up to solid weeds. I am not sure that is my fault but I am somewhat surprised. I am trying to get the local field man to look at it. Anyway, the fellow has two Rhinos and a couple giraffes. The Rhino came running up to meet us.
That is one heck of an electric fence. You can see the little controller in the foreground. There was a little tube inside it and every couple seconds you could see a 1 1/2 inch spark inside. I did not touch the fence and neither did the Rhino...

So far I've planted an 80 acre field between showers, traveled 15 miles and replanted a 20, then 3 miles where I planted a 7 and a 14 and then 4 miles back to plant 60 acres and then 15 miles back to where I started from and today I planted 30 acres. The acres don't really add up to a big profit... Except for the tire companies and fuel company.
Here I am planting oats into fescue sod.

By evening I am planting wheat into disked up fescue sod that has been flooded and is so rough I'm down to 4.5 mph.

Then I blew out an oil cooler line and dumped 10 gallons of hydraulic oil. I think it is kind of like fertilizer.

I missed a steak dinner and got to watch a couple glowing screens for the evening.

I have no photos of today. But, it is pretty much the same story. By the time I was rained out today the mud was packed into the duals so that the two tires looked like one. That is going to make a mess on the highway. I think I'll have to take a couple trips around the guy's pasture to clean them out.

Ed Winkle was posting about cynics on but I didn't find anything entertaining. Some farmers are making cartoon YouTube videos which was funny to me. There is a nice photo of a G706 over there that some may find familiar. I've got to start posting on there again as there are just too few of us not-very-good-farmers-with-old-tractors posting on there. It just takes too much time. I like the crowd here better.

Getting stuff done...

I'm not getting stuff done this year... Perhaps it is all the blogging.
I just dumped my phone photos into the computer but I'm out of time and need to be moving the drill. I've got to go 10 miles and do 30 acres before 1 p.m. as it is going to rain. I just don't have the drive I once had.
Last night I finished my field at 7:30 p.m. I missed the Corvallis Seed's big steak dinner but I finished the field.
Yesterday George D. died. He had an amazing memory and took a lot of local history with him. He was a war hero and hard worker. He seemed to understand folks like myself who are not successful farmer. He never put me down, unless he thought I was not working hard enough. I can accept/appreciate that.
Last night I had a good post that I'd been thinking about all day. I had just started in on it when my daughter came to ask me to read to her. She finished "Stuart Little" on her own and brought out "The Magician's Nephew" for me to read. So I crawled in bed with her and started to read. I figured I'd be back.
I went to sleep...
I am counting on rain today so I can get a valentine's gift for my wife and something for my daughter. I should have done it online but I don't have a credit card and so I was limited to PayPal transactions. I'm at a loss for ideas this year.
Basically all I want is a hug and a kind word and thinking of elaborate schemes is beyond my current abilities.
I also wonder why every joint in my miserable worthless body has hurt for the past four years. I need to drink more... water. More vitamins. Could it be that I am getting old? Perish the thought!!!
Now... THis time I am really going out that door and going to work!
On to the Gates! Narnia and the North!  Remember the Alamode! They have taken Canrobert's Hill! Fifty-Four Forty or Fight! Old Tippicanoe and Tyler Too! In for a penny in for a pound!

Egypts Strange Revolution

I have been listening to the radio again...
Something is wrong with the Egypt revolution. It has been too neat and too clean so far. They are saying it is the "Facebook" revolution. Facilitated by social media. The triumph of the young people.
In my experience the young people are mostly "tools."
If Mubarak was serious about supression would he not have just started shooting people?
What would the US do? "Oh boy, you should stop that right now!"
I expect there is a lot more to come.
I suspect freedom of religion and democracy have slightly different meanings over there.
I suspect the countdown to burkas and beheadings has begun.

After I wrote this I checked out what other people were saying.
Eye of Polyphemus puts it quite well. The military is now in charge...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blog traffic

If I don't post every day my blogger stats plummet. I can skip two days, but on the third hits are down and by the fourth it is dead.
I don't know who is signed up for auto alerts so perhaps people get emails when The Lazy Farmer is updated.
I sometimes wonder where to go with this blog.
I have some funny local stories but I can see there are a number of local people who are viewing this blog. I suppose I could find out by writing those stories and seeing who stops waving at me from one day to the next. I imagine anyone local is from the days when I published The Daily Strumpet, (everyone's favorite irregular newspaper- the irregular newsletter for irregular people). Speaking of, I should be doing a special edition for George D. who is dying as we speak. He was a regular subscriber. It is really bringing me down that all the interesting old folks are picking this year to die.
But, I digress...
I started this blog to collect my no-till info and to rant into the ether and didn't really count on regular readers. So, I have not promoted.
It would seem that to promote a blog you need to spend an hour a day commenting on other people's blogs. You need to pay a lot of attention to key words. You need to keep posts fairly short and have pictures. (Of course the latter is a general rule of journalism.)
Gorges and the Griper commented on my post of a day ago which had a short comment about generating blog traffic.
I like to get comments and I kind of like complaints, especially from people I don't know so that I can unleash my pent up sarcastic bile. (Of course then I later feel bad about it and think I was too hard on them.)
So, I don't want a blog with hundreds of followers and no comments.
It is really quite interesting.
Of course it is also quite humbling. There are a million bloggers with not that much to say. I suppose I'm luck to have 32 people who say they care!
I'm going to go drill wheat. I wonder why they call it drilling? A grain drill is not a drill. It slices a furrow and drops seed into the furrow. There is no drilling involved, except where I added lights. I did drill a hole for that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I plant and do GPS and complain about Microsoft crap...

I've actually been working.
I planted yesterday and today. Yesterday I replanted a field of common vetch for a neighbor. I no-tilled it last fall and I think we should have gone with a higher seeding rate. There is one good row which continues for three rounds. I had accidently left one seed gate open when i cleaned out my drill and it way over planted until I noticed it. Of course it was on a row that didn't have a monitor on it so the high population alarm didn't go off. That one row looks really good.  You can't really tell that it was planted at 250lbs per acre. The slugs were really bad in this field. Just wiped out the vetch. I think I'm going to charge the guy half price even though it is not really my fault. Seems like a nice thing to do.
Then I planted another 19 acres of oats in two triangular sections so there were lots of sharp turns. I came up with almost 23 acres due to lots of corners and half rows.
Then I moved back close to home and did 20 acres, mostly in the dark. This wheat into fescue sod that was disked in the fall and then flooded by the river. It is rougher than a cob. Much of it was 4.5 mph instead of 6.5 mph.
I made good use of my FarmerGPS program. I had straight rows and I worked on my lights so I was not driving completely by the little arrows. I have to have something visual out in front of me to line up the little glowing tractor on the screen with. It doesn't take much just a hint of a line now and then out in front of the tractor and I can stay one the row. The GPS keeps me pretty close but if I can't see something in front of me I oversteer. I really need to play more SuperMario with my daughter.
Of course it was too slimy to use my mechanical markers and the foamer was broke again as usual.
I even attempted to make a land off the A/B line using only the GPS screen. This was a failure not because of FarmerGPS or my inability to see anything but rather because the windows operating system is crap. Just when I got going good and was following the arrows and keeping the glowing tractor lined up with the A/B line the screen went black.
I have set the power scheme control panel on that computer time after time only to have it revert to the screen going dark after 15 minutes.  Windows does not like to remember user settings. I'm sure a computer expert will disagree with me and I'm glad they know some special way of fixing the problem but I have just given up. I touch the pen to the screen every 15 minutes. It is easier than wading through six counter intuitive screens only to have your settings lost when the tablet locks up unexpectedly. It does that every so often.
I would probably buy a new windows laptop or tablet but I am so annoyed by the OS that i don't want to give Microsoft any of my money.
Yesterday I tried out a GPS map program that I bought to replace Microsoft Streets and Trips which is complicated and doesn't really work on a tablet computer. I bought nRoute which is much simpler and it works. It is an older version I got for $15 on ebay. I was pretty happy with it although there is no point in using it as I got a Tom Tom  GPS for Christmas. I have a road finding GPS as sometimes I get lost finding fields. It is kind of a bummer to wander around back roads with a 15foot wide no-till drill. Hard to find places to turn around.
Anyway, I plugged in the farm address and then didn't follow the directions. It kept replanning my route as I kept trying to avoid Highway 18. It was amusing and not as frustrating as Streets and Trips.
I think it is the corporate structure of Microsoft that make all its product utter crap. I kind of expected to begrudgingly become part of the PC world after getting the GPS program. I figured that I just disliked Microsoft products because I was a Mac user and I'd buy a new PC laptop and use it for internet and the GPS.
I don't think so...
Now if FarmerGPS was ported to the Commodore 64 I would see if I could mount our portable Commode 64 in the tractor cab. Now that would look good setting on the dash!


I over slept this morning and so will be brief. I need to post every day to keep my blogger ranking high. (I guess)
Frank James has an interesting post which I may expand on later. He is reading Raymond Chandler.
My almost absolute favorite author.
(Don't read the comments as I revealed an embarrassing story about myself.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

I ramble about planting and computers and roundup ready alfalfa

It rained today and I couldn't plant. I went to check out the field and attempt to get my iTronix Tablet to talk to my spray monitor and to see if my upgrade to FarmerGPS 5.0 would work. It didn't. I think I need a little more powerful computer. I am used to a computer that will tell you if something is not going to work, as opposed to just locking up. And, it is so unbelievably slow... I use my brother's old and slow powerbook with half the clock speed and I can get online and even run GPS programs in OS 9. It is slow but it doesn't lock up the whole computer with it's slowness. Which brings up the only problem I have found with FarmerGPS. It runs on a PC. I wish he would write the program for the new iPads and Android tablet computers. Any operating system is probably better than Windows XP.
After watching in amazement as the formerly $3,000 rugged tablet PC searched in vain for 1. an internet connection, 2. The serial port, 3. Just sat there and redrew the screen 4. Locked up so I couldn't shut it down, I just pulled all the cables out and tossed it in the pickup. It stopped searching when the battery went dead. Problem solved for today. What a hunk-o-crap! I suppose I should just buy a "netbook" but I don't want a tiny screen and a keyboard. I want a touch screen and no keyboard. I just really hate to spend real dollars on a windows computer. Seems like such a waste!
I then went to see the younger fellow who helps me bale from time to time. He was going to make pulled pork sandwiches. They were really good. I must have traded him some really good quality pig feed. As he was making me a sandwich I got a call from someone after hay. I do not understand why someone drives an hour and a half for hay and then calls me 2 minutes from my house. As I dashed out the door with my sandwich I ran into his 20 something or younger sister who is kind of a hottie.
Anyway, I mumbled something about this being a really good sandwich. She was disgusted and informed me she doesn't eat meat and thinks it is gross. I had to laugh. I guess we all need to cling to some scraps of virtue. I don't work on Sunday and she doesn't eat ..... pulled pork sandwiches.
When I got home the fellow had self serviced his hay and left the money under the seat in the combine.
I called around trying to find some Alfalfa seed and got into a discussion about round-up resistant and GMO crops.
You know I can see the point in boycotting Monsanto as they seem to be the stereotypical multinational corporation. But, it is never so simple. It seems as though the fellow behind the push to ban GMO sugarbeets raises lots of GMO sugarbeets in Brazil. Clever marketing plan.
I have mixed feelings about GMO Alfalfa. Alfalfa can turn into a weed. Ed Winkle has some reservations about over use of Round-up.
But... Round-up resistant Alfalfa is a wonderful crop to grow. You don't stress the crop like you do when you attempt to control weeds in regular Alfalfa. I have not seen any resistant weeds growing either. You usually mow everything before it goes to seed anyway. It makes a clean and long-lasting stand. Plus, if you are going to pay $4 a pound for Alfalfa seed why not just pay a little more and get the round-up resistant. You are kind of being screwed anyway. $200-$350 for a bag of Alfalfa seed? You might as well be buying corn seed.
Anyway, I'm waiting to see what the paranoia level is on Craigslist and I'll plant conventional if it will get me a premium.
I looked at ads for chicken feed tonight. Someone is selling chicken feed for $26 for fifty pounds. They swear it has no GMO soy or corn in it. Unbelievable! I guess people buy it. I've got to get my ad back on. I found out I can't sell feed without a license so I'm going to sell ground grain and you can use it for whatever you want. I could just get a license but that involves paperwork and paying a fee to the man and I find that annoying.
I find it amazing that even in a "post-relegious" society there is more superstition than ever.
I also find it pretty funny that the fellow I sold all our GMO soybeans and corn to last year neglected to tell his customers there eggs came from the devil. They are all still alive... I did quit using GMO bean and corn as I think you should be truthful and if you are paying the money you should get what you want.
Which is why on the other hand, I kind of like all this controversy. It helps me sell chicken feed!

GPS and computers and trying to see where I'm going

I try to drive straight when I plant. Straight rows seem to really be important to most farmers. Skips are just not allowed.
So I have a foam marker which lays down a line of foam to show me where I've been. I have a mechanical marker that puts a trench down the middle of the next pass. I have lots of extra lights and I have a GPS.
The foamer quits all the time or it runs out of water and it draws too much current for anything but my 2-155 with a 120 amp alternator. The mechanical markers dig in too much in wet ground and not enough in hard ground. The GPS is something I put together myself and is not accurate to 7.5 inches. I don't have the lights or the alternator to run late with my 2-135.
Saturday evening I got lost. I was planting at an angle to the fescue rows and somehow I got off the row. The GPS was close but I was a foot or so off. Most of the problem was due to the bright screen of the GPS computer and the dim tractor lights.
I have an iTronix ix320 rugged tablet. It cost someone (probably a government agency) well over $2,500 new. You would think that for $3,000 you could put a stinking brightness control on the case. It has six buttons on the front and I'm sure some combination will dim the screen but I don't know which. How about two dedicated buttons? Or how about downloadable instructions on the company website. If I buy a Ruger gun at a yard sale I can write to the company and they will send me an instruction book and there are not that many Rugers at BiMart selling for over $2,500.
I see that FarmerGPS has an upgrade that gives you a 3-D view. Perhaps I'll spring for the upgrade.
I wonder if it connects to my micro-trak better? I think it is pretty cool that the rate controller will tell the GPS to stop recording when the fertilizer boom is shut off.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

This is what I want for my birthday, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentines Day, Lucky Number Tuesday, and MLK day.

Somewhere there has to be someone who wants to make major donations to grumpy farmers who blog. If you happen to be such a person please buy me this tractor.
This would have to be the peak of White tractor building and only has 1,600 hours. That is almost brand new. I promise to wash it frequently. I will never make mean comments about restaurants in Amity again.
People pay more money for their stupid big honkin 4wd pickup trucks.
Charlie Sheen pays this much for vapid pornstar hookers from Oregon who don't know that to keep the celebrity hooking jobs and the associated drugs and dollars rolling in they need to just shut up.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I have a frustrating day and then end up with cookies

I got a new customer. I don't think he is one for me to keep as he was referred to me by my no-till neighbor. We trade clients back and forth a bit. This guy has a reputation for being a bit picky and uptight.
My other farmer neighbor (farmer "B") decided he didn't want to wait for me and so hired another person to plant for him. That fellow's drill broke right away but the farmer "B" had already bought dry fertilizer and I plant liquid.
So, I had a day to work on my drill. I changed eight press wheel bearings, any loose v-opener bearings, fixed the broken fertilizer tubes, plumbed the hydraulics, checked the wiring and greased the drill. At last I was ready to test it.
I put the flow meter on "cal" and punched in 5 gallons per acre and set the speed manually to 6 mph. Everything worked. There were a few plugged tubes but they started flowing. The hydraulic flow controller for the fertilizer pump didn't seem to be quite right but then it started working.
Yesterday my new "Client" called and said he was going to put 5 gallons per acre of a special fertilizer that stimulated the microzial soil fungi and stepped up the intake of P and K. I hate using the stuff as at 5 gpa there is barely enough pressure to insure even flow.  Plus I had to change all the orifice plates to smaller holes for the low rate and it is a pain to do when it is 37 degrees outside. You have to wash out each one of them and the plastic gets hard to take apart.
Then I moved the drill to a client's house near my new job. I was supposed to start at 4 p.m. but I wanted to unload 50 gallons of $4/gallon fertilizer which I owed him from some previous job.
The pump blew out.
Actually the automatic rate controller that controls the flow to the hydraulic power fertilizer pump went to wide open and stuck because I had the manual boom valve shut off to pump out the fertilizer and the computer increased power to the pump to compensate for the lack of flow and I forgot to put a flow restricter in to protect the pump and it put full 2200lbs though a little Ace 204 sprayer pump and it blew out the seals. I made quite the puddle of hydraulic oil, it is only $37 for five gallons.
The hydraulic flow control then stuck in the wide open position and I had to take it apart and wiggle stuff to get it to work again. By then it was dark and I had to explain that I would not make it that evening.
Back at the shop my uncle was working on my spare pump. He put new seal in it for me and made me new hydraulic lines. They turned out to be only one inch too short. He is not as young as he once was and said he didn't think he could handle rebuilding a pump. I told him I thought he could do it.
This morning I got up early and got all my stuff together. Extra v-openers, extra flow controller, extra pump, extra fertilizer lines, extra tools.
The new pump didn't work and I had to take it apart. The fertilizer lines kept plugging. The stainless fertilizer tubes are bent where they bolt to the back of the v-openers. I have to get new ones made.
I finally got going at 10:30 a.m.
I filled the drill with seed, fertilizer and expensive slugbait.
I almost got stuck.
It was so close I was sweating.
Then I discovered the GPS computer was having a serial port conflict between the Micro-Trak spraymate and the GPS antenna. This was a problem because the Micro-Trak automatic rate controller needs to turn off the GPS when I'm not planting so I can see exactly where I stopped seeding. This is important because the fellow got me exactly enough seed to plant 85 acres. I can't get more if I run out, so everything has to work right.
It works this way because the clever fellow who wrote FarmerGPS was thoughtful enough to write the code to accept info from Micro-Trak controllers. This is good because my fancy Raven GPS is hardwired into the 2-155 and I'm stuck using a cheapo Garmin 18 hocky puck receiver I bought on ebay and it has no provision for a shutoff when the drill is raised.
Then the slugbait kept plugging up. Then the population alarm started going off. Row 2 and 12 kept plugging up.
Finally I discovered that row 2 had a bearing out on the v-opener. I had a extra set of disks so I installed them.
Then there was a problem of picking up the daughter from school. Then there was a misunderstanding.
Then I didn't have a pickup. Then it started raining. Then I found out the daughter was supposed to just go home with her cousins like normal. Then I discovered the teacher had stayed later to wait for me to pick up daughter. Then I discovered the person that was going to bring me my pickup was 20 miles away.
His daughter came and got me and I got my daughter and met my wife to deliver the daughter. Of course by then it was pouring and my wife was on her way to the doctor so I just brought the daughter back to the field where she  drove the pickup and followed me to put the drill in the farmer's shed.
Then I took her to see the chinchilla owned by the daughter of the fellow who was going to pick me up but was 20 miles away but sent this very same daughter to pick me up. In thanks for her help I assisted her in installing her alternator and my daughter played with her puppy and had cookies. And the wife of the fellow who was 20 miles away invited my daughter into to the house and gave her a dinosaur egg thing that is a junior archeology kit where you did bones out of an egg shaped piece of dirt.
In short, it was a confusing and frustrating day but I ended up with cookies.
Mmmmm cookies....
I'm going to try collieguy's lovely wife's sore throat  concoction and go to bed.
Good night...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everyone at my house is sick except for me and the dog...

The cat is even coughing.
Wife and daughter are coughing and have sore throats. They are curled up on a heat register and look cozy except for the hacking cough...
I feel fine. Well, my back hurts and my head hurts, and I feel kind of foggy- but that is perfectly normal for me.
I should be on my way to plant.
One farmer (with the small fields) didn't want to wait for me and engaged someone else. The someone else has drill problems and didn't plant yesterday either. I took the opportunity to work on my drill. It would seem that after 7,000 or so acres you have to replace bearings on a Great Plains 1500. Who would have thunk? It is a bugger replacing press wheel bearings when it is cold as the rubber gets hard.
I had to put two new tyres on the drill. Over $200 each. Ouch!
I am sticking around to see if the family needs anything.
I have a funeral to attend at 3 p.m.
A friend died setting in his easy chair. I good way to go for him. Freaks out the friends and neighbors. I just hope he wasn't looking at porn or 3 and a half men or GLEE! I doubt they will say at the service.
Have a nice day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blah, Blah, planting, blah, blah, complaint, now you've read the post...

Yesterday I got a real planting job. 80 acres all in one block. It is near the 15 acre fields. The problem is I need to apply fertilizer and the 2-135 only has two remotes. I need three. Up/down, coulter depth, and fertilizer pump. I already have a valve doubler on the coulter depth so I can use my markers. I will either have to plumb in to the "power beyond" little plug, add another valve, or put the valve doubler on the up and down/coulter down pressure.
Adding a valve will be a pain as my extra valves that I have scrounged all leak.
I could do power beyond and I have a electric flow control device but to do it right will take time.
I suppose I'll just have to move the valve doubler but that will mess me up and I'll keep running the wrong lever.
Life is just too complicated.
Actually, it is cold outside and I don't want to get out of my chair. Not midwest cold, just wet Oregon cold. Everyone one is sick at my house today. I'm probably next...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Planting wheat

This is what I am doing today

The bucket in the photo is for measuring the seed.

I put it under one seed cup.

I drive 234 feet. Sometimes I drive too far but at 150lbs per acre it doesn't really matter that much...

I use the Berckes Seed-o-meter to weigh the sample. It gives me a read out in pounds per acre. It is an incredible invention. Every farmer should have one. I think most farmers just guess...

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