The Useful Duck!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Down with the ship? Bounty sinks, captain missing!

You forget about the dangers faced by sailors in today's world of gyroscope-self-leveling cruise ships and supertankers bigger than the actual storm.
You can see that by reading the comments in this article about the recent sinking of the Bounty.
They made a dash for St. Petersburg when it was realized that Hurricane Sandy was going to be so big it would damage ships in port. I suppose it was a calculated risk.
When they lost power with their auxiliary diesel engines it was all over with.
The captain is missing and a historic ship is gone.
(Of course it is not the original HMS Bounty but rather a replica built in the 1960's for the movie.)
You all do realize this was a storm created by HARP to do something nefarious.
Affect the election in some way, or cover up the President's cover-up of his failure to rescue his formerly favorite ambassador or take away some basic freedom, or harken the end of the world.
I really hate it when I finish a field before I get to good parts in the Ground Zero broadcasts. (link takes you to KXL radio) I started to give you a link to the show website but the website is so full of stupid audio montages and flash crap that it locked up my browser. For cryin' out loud... MuddyValley can email me photos of a bear pooping in the woods, along with pictures of his entire herd of elk and it comes through fine, but I just want to find out about the end of the world and it locks up my computer. It is a conspiracy no doubt.
Anyway, here is info about Clyde Lewis. I would listen to him more if he didn't do those annoying audio montages. I get it... he can use a computer to edit sounds... good for him! After a while I start to get the idea he uses those montages to fill the dead air between commercials for gold and emergency preparedness kits.
I miss Art Bell.
But, I digress.
Here is another ship that sank. It was loaded with gold ore. Probably transported by aliens.
Would someone please explain how screwing with the weather advances the one world government or what ever?
I get Katrina, the evil overlords hate Black people.
But Sandy the Frankenstorm? 
They also hate Jersey Shore?
I suppose it will all unfold. It all makes so much more since when it is interpreted to me AFTER THE FACT.
Well, that is the answer... After the fact it will be Global Warming, and Gay marriage will somehow be mentioned. I mean, that is the pressing issue facing us today.
In other news I just got a message from "PayPal" indicating something is wrong with my account and I need to click on a link.
Um right...
It would be a lot more convincing if the scammers would study basic grammar. I looked at the return address and it was "PayPall", as in Pall of Doom?

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Monday, October 29, 2012

HMS Bounty finally sinks, victim of storm which was no doubt caused by George Bush! Or Obama- depending on your perspective...

I think they were trying to outrun the storm...
There are two missing crew. I think one of them was Fletcher Christian?
Probably headed back to Pitcarn Island.
I attempted to view the Bounty website but it would seem their server went down with the ship.
All part of Obama's Libya cover-up I imagine. Although, if there would have been a gay US ambassador on board, and crazy homophobic Middle Easterners involved, I'm sure the Coast Guard would have been ordered to stand down. Of course then it would have been up to these guys to rescue them...
Wow! I can really get off topic!
Questions to ask...
1. It is a sailing do you run out of power?
(obviously it has an auxiliary engine which is kind of cheating in my opinion, unless it was a Buda diesel.)
2. How do you sail with a 17 member crew?
3. What the heck were they doing in the path of hurricane Sandy? They must have modern radio and weather equipment!
4. Where is Horatio Hornblower, cause he would have had this completely under control. Well, there might have been a cliff-hanger two part installment and I'd have to dig through that box of 40 year old Saturday Evening Posts another five times to find the ending but I know he would not have lost his ship!
5. Am I the only person who did not understand the 80's song, "Sister Christian," until I saw a lyric sheet and discovered it was not titled "Fletcher Christian," and it had nothing to do with the HMS Sutherland?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Will someone in Nashville please buy me this?

It is a rare and not really valuable Triumph 250.
I've been looking at "dual-sport" motorcycles. I want to do some exploring of back roads with my daughter. But, I really don't want to spend $4,000 on a newer motorcycle. Honda XL500's seem to be a bit spendy and parts for a 20 year-old Japanese motorcycle are as hard to find as parts for a 1970 Triumph 250.
But a Triumph fits into my obsession with obsolete technology.
And I also think my daughter needs to learn to make the evaluation on what point you attempt to make a repair or when you need to walk and to always have tools and chewing gum wrappers.

Of course we are all crazy wacko to think anything about the Lybia coverup...

And now Admiral who some people say attempted to send a strike team to rescue the Ambassador in Libya has been relieved for poor judgement...
Click here to read.
Perhaps a little more reading about the USS Liberty?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I listened to talk radio yesterday

I miss Savage. He told interesting stories to break up the politics...
Listened to Beck and Larsen.
I must say I prefer Jeff Beck...

The lack of coverage of the abandonment of the US Ambassador to Libya and those who attempted to rescue him reminds one of previous events.
It was a boat on a listening mission and it was a set up.
And the cover up continues the same today as it did back then...
Of course it could all be election year spin-in both directions.
Here is what I found at the Huffington Post. Interesting view. The father of T.W. who called Lars Larsen certainly sounded like he know what was going on.
I think it is funny to describe Lars Larsen as "fringe," and "hate speach." I guess I don't need to laugh at myself for calling BHO a "communist" any longer.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

So do I vote for the democrat or the communist?

Someone made this comment in a somewhat joking manner this morning. I didn't actually realize that was true.
Click here
This election is an exercise in frustration...

Unrelated but painful subjects, A long drive on a busy road and switching my ISP

Today I am planting at Carlton, OR. It is 14.9 miles from home. The map says it will take me 29 minutes by car. I think it will take two hours by White 2-155 and Great Plains 1500 grain drill.
Click for map...
If you look closely at the map you can see the alternate route I will take. Specifically the little side roads along HWY18 or in winespeak, "The Salmon River Highway." (to the west of 99W)
I think I have found a gravel road that runs parallel to my planned route. We shall see what we shall see. Actually, we won't see much of anything until the fog lifts. Not going to move in Pea Soup fog...
Speaking of pain and suffering we are about to give up on OnlineMac or OnlineNorthwest (whatever they are calling themselves now) for our internet.
My wife found a plan from Frontier for $100 a month which also gives us a home phone. I'd do it if it didn't also include 30+ TV channels. I really hate network TV.
I emailed onlinenorthwest to see if thy would speed my connection up from 1.2 mbps but I have a feeling it is a lost cause.
Was was optimistic until I looked at the chart that comes with the Onlinemac/Northwest free speed test.
If you care to click on this link you can see the various speeds of ISPs in my area. Note that OnlineWhatever is down at number 25 and Frontier is right in the middle at 10mbps. That is a big step up from 1.2 Mbps.
The most frustrating thing about switching-aside from the added TV channels and the extra $50 per month, is the Frontier modem. It is hard to extend the wireless network. The Frontier modem won't let you bridge with another wireless router to give wider coverage. Instead you have to hook another wireless router to the Frontier modem with an ethernet cable.
We already have two Frontier modems at the farm and we could just share one instead of three separate accounts. I can extend my OnlineMac service around the farm buildings by adding routers, or at least I was able to do that until we got the new Apple Airport which in the true spirit of 21st century Apple products, make things more difficult than they were previously.
Have a nice day.
If you are driving in the Amity/McMinnvile/Carlton area please watch out for the large silver tractor with really bright headlights-no it is not a train...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Since everyone cares about the details of my life on a farm

Today I am grinding feed for a neighbor.
I am also loading a 1,500 bales of wheat straw on a truck. This one of the few times I actually wish I was doing it by hand.
The straw is in blocks of 80 bales. You pick them up with a big Hyster squeeze forklift.
The customer wants blocks that are in the back of the barn with a number of blocks of 14"x18" bales in front.
Little bales do not pick up well the second and third time you try and squeeze them.
It is raining.
I just got notice that I am supposed to watch the store for my uncle. This is due to the fact that the only person in our extended family who is capable of sitting on their arse all day and answering the telephone is Chronic Boy and it would seem he has managed to get himself banned.
Good grief, the place has been there so long it is basically a self service facility. People even make out their own invoices. There is wireless internet.
My sometimes-a-great-helper seems to have taken his vacation. Perhaps he will show up today.
Perhaps MuddyValley will come over...and bring coffee. He does a very good job of roasting coffee. The MuddyValley blend...
Mmmm coffee! I think I will have some more...
I love winters on this farm!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

I start to repair the DCM timeframe 350 speakers that I ruined by playing The Ledge

It would seem that "Standing in a trashcan thinking of you" and the accompanying rebel yell is the true test of a 30 year old speaker.
The foam surrounds have completely turned to foam powder.

The DCM timeframe speaker is not so hard to take apart. Kind of a pain it the arse. But, not that hard.
The top wood cover is held on by pins. You use a piece of wood and a mallet (as opposed to a mullet which only makes the neighbors laugh at you) to gently knock the cover straight up.

Then you roll the grill covering down the speaker.
There is another foam covered cloth under the grill cloth. You have to separate them at the top. I started to roll them both down at the same time but this spread rotten foam on the carpet. I don't think there is any reason to roll them both down.
I have ordered a refoaming kit off of ebay. We shall see how this all works.
I am somewhat skeptical about this whole HiFi religion and have become a bit more so as I progress.
The DCM TimeFrame was a well reviewed speaker in its' day. They are neat as they have a small footprint for a tall speaker.
The design is interesting as it appears to have one driver in a "tuned" box. I need to do a little more research and I don't claim to be a definitive expert on anything.
I have seen several similar designs on the Parts Express website and I can't find them now. I had collected plans for several designed which used a Dayton driver and a tuned box but I now can't find any of them. There was even a website where a physics teacher had kids design speakers as a final class project.
I soon found out that it was going to cost more to build a speaker than to buy an old speaker.
However, when buying used speakers it is best to do a little research.
Speakers such as the Dynaco A-25 do not use foam surrounds and so hold up better over the years. I think Early Advent speakers (from the Henry Kloss years) are good choices but the Jensen Advents all have foam surrounds and the price reflects this.
I suspect that the TimeFrame speakers were designed to somewhat appeal to the stereo snob who thought they looked innovative. I don't see the foam impregnated inner screen and foam surrounds as reflecting a design that was expected to last for 40 years.
But what do I know? Very little...
My goal is to repair them, find a working changer style center spindle for my Dual 1019, find a Dynaco SCA80 amp and set them up in my living room. You may very well ask why I have such a plan and why I want to stack records on the Dual 1019 as it is a very philistine thing for an audiophile to do.
Well, I am not an audiophile...
And, my father-in-law wants to listen to some old records which feature a quartet he was once a member and I don't want to keep changing records. Of course he may never visit our house again and it is pretty silly to go to this effort but then again, I am a bit silly...
Have a nice day.
I think I shall go fishing.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Everyone learns the wrong lessons or misses the point or something. Murdered girl in Oregon

A hay customer told me about this yesterday and so I looked it up on Oregon Live.
Click here for link...

1. The girl was abducted by someone she knew...
2. Having a gun would not have helped her
3. The family organized their own search party and found most of the important evidence.

The lessons to be learned are,
1. Don't wait for the police
2. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
3. Don't be nice to creepy people? I'm not sure about the third one, but she trusted someone she should not have trusted.
Which leads us to the important lessons in judgement. You have to be aware and you have to be careful. Those are things that you have to think about all the time. I would imagine that by the time she realized she needed a gun or pepper spray it was too late. Although they were seen driving around Gresham...
What do you do in that situation? Jump from a moving car? I think if I were such a situation and even if I had a gun pointed at me I'd jump. You have to realize the point when you are already dead. I suppose that if I were in one of those stand offs like you see on TV and someone had a gun on my child or wife and I had a gun I'd still shoot them. Even though it would violate my moral principles. You might as well consider yourself dead the second the gun or knife is pulled. Why would they let you go if they have gone that far?
I hope I do not have to make that decision...

I suspect there is more to this story.

Friday, October 19, 2012

If you really want to know what I think about farming and farmers...

I'm starting to get a little negative...
Go to this link, scroll down the comments till you get to the one written by "The Colombia County Kid," and tell me what you really think. If you have the attention span...
I speak as someone who at times gets a bit frustrated about growing stuff that nobody actually needs.
I got an inquiry from a possible new chicken feed customer today.
Yes, I grow it myself.
If you don't want soy curls I won't put them in.
If you don't want corn I won't put it in and we only combined one combine tank full anyway.
Basically I am making this feed to your order as that is the only way I can legally do it.
No, I don't put in any vitamins or minerals or oyster shell. You have to do that yourself.
I do know I am $250 a ton less than the feed store and that is because you will go broke on feed that costs more than $400 a ton, according to my figures.
Yes, I know I would sell a lot of it at that price-but then I would run out of grain I grew myself and I would have to buy all the ingredients and that would push me completely into the realm of a commercial feed business and I would have to charge you $650 a ton as I cannot compete with the volume purchases of a real feed mill.
Why am I doing it?
Because I want longterm customers who will still be in business when feed prices come back down and I am making the amount of money per ton that I want to make.
When I do not have that profit margin I am going to quit...
I don't really understand why people are amazed by this attitude.
I know my costs,  I know how much money I need to make, I know (or have a good idea) how much it costs to raise pigs/chickens/cows, If I push the price limits then it all gets more complicated and a bigger pain in the arse and I don't really make that much more money. It is not worth it to me. It is not like I want to be your friend I just do what I do because that is how I want to do it...
However, You could give me more money if you want... Or some extra eggs, or more of those REALLY good porkchops that you are charging the gourmands in Portland a small fortune for...

The way it works...


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rambling thoughts

And another seed company goes off the map. Alfalfa seed is already horribly expensive, and less competition and less genetic choice is certainly what we want...
According to Hay and Forage Grower, Dow has purchased Cal/West seeds.
Cal/West was a major breeder of Alfalfa and Clover seed.
Of course with the advent of GMO "round-up" resistant Alfalfa the demand for regular varieties of Alfalfa will plummet.
Which puts one into the whole GMO argument.
I would like to see a herbicide resistant Alfalfa which was bred that way without the use of GMO. The danger of cross-polenation from a GMO seed can be a market killer.
I personally like to see the GMO paranoia as it always boosts my feed and hay sales.
I don't like Monsanto.
Now I am going to go plant wheat. If only someone would buy me auto-steer I could have planted all night. The dust is too think to see my marker row and since I don't have tilt compensation in my GPS antenna I tend to start wandering from side to side on the A-B line. I really should have spent more time playing Astroids and Pac-man as a kid.
Perhaps I could practice on the Wii.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I disc-ussed the disk issue with my brother and disk-associated myself.

For those of you setting on the edge of your seats, waiting anxiously for the news of my disc decision... Or is it disk? To disc or not to disk, that is the question...
The brother and I went this morning and looked at the discs. We decided that the blades on the Krause were actually worn to quite a blunt edge and that along with the welding on the frame swayed the decision towards the smaller Steiger.
Twice the money plus having to buy new discs for the disk would be 3.5 times the money.
And, in reference to my other question, I decided it was better not to go blind.
I am taking care of that problem right now...
WiFi is a wonderful thing!
Have a nice day...

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I still have not decided which disk to buy

I decided to just borrow a disk and not make any major decisions. 
Well, I am now deciding on buying a small woodstove for in the house or this outdoor woodstove which has a duct that goes through the wall. I can't decide. I think I will go obsess about vintage stereo for a while.
Or wonder if I can spray carbon with my Great Plains drill and not plug up my fertilizer boom. I could buy these but they cost $150 per row. (if you want to see them click on "band spray kits) Or I could build something myself. Or I could take up bicycle riding!

We baled Alfalfa October 4th? This is Oregon, you don't bale in October here!

This is our corn field. Some of it was good and some was not as good and some we will not discuss.

This was the worst of the neighbor's corn field. This year I did love the three row header!
It would seem that the $60 a bag corn does not have quite the genetics that the $200 a bag corn has... We miss the days where there was a choice in non GMO corn varieties!

Friday, October 5, 2012

I attempt to buy a disk and discover my wife is correct about me having ADHD

I am unable to make a decision, but yet I obsess about the details and then forget half of them and have to start over again. Perhaps medication would help...
I want to buy a cover crop disk.
I looked at two well-worn disks which would be in the bottom-feeder price range.
First was a Steiger 12 foot disk.
It is part of a larger folding disk made first by Wilbeck. It has 9" spacing, I think. 16 blades per gang. The disks are worn down to 22" and will have to be replaced. I was quoted $65 each for 24" notched blades.
However, I think I would get by for this year as it is, replace the front gang next year and the back gang the next.
Plus, we have mostly 12 to 14 foot equipment so the rollers and harrows would go nicely behind it.
Tires are ok, all the gangs are tight, bearings good, no welds on the frame, a little wear on the lift assembly, adjustments seem to be frozen with rust, but nothing I can't deal with.
I called a farmer who owns a similar disk and he loves it. Says he can pull it with 135hp and has never replaced a bearing.
It is $2000 delivered.

Then the salesman said, "I have this other disk you should look at."
It is a Krause 1480.
It appears to be 15 foot wide.
It has 26" notched disks that are worn down to 25" in the front and 24" in the back. There are various welds and "fish plating" on the frame. However the frame appears to be square and straight.
It appears to be a much heavier disk.
One front gang was run loose and needs to be tightened.
The disks would cut.
Bearings are good.
$4,600 delivered.

So here is the deal...
1. Can I pull the 15ft disk with a White 2-135 2wd that is turned up to 160hp?
2. Would it be better to have a (the Steiger) 12ft disk with new bearings and blades that is a little lighter and fits all my equipment or a bigger disk that will go in the ground deeper but I might not be able to pull with the smaller tractor?
3. Will the narrower spacing and smaller diameter of the disks on the Steiger mean that it will not cut through much trash? Even if the disks are new?
4. Does the Krause ridge more than the Steiger?
5. If I'm pulling a 15ft disk at 4 mph will I still get more work done than pulling a 12ft at 5.5 mph, BUT, would it not be too rough at 5 mph and so would I not be better off disking at 3.5 mph anyway?
6. Should I buy the Steiger because I could take it to MuddyValley and disk up all the anthills without worrying about breaking a blade because I have to replace them anyway?
7. Does MuddyValley's Traxcavator have hydraulic remotes? Cause then he could do it himself!
8. Should I just quit farming and turn it all over to my brother and become a janitor somewhere?
9. Shoud I poop or go blind? Sometimes I just don't know...

I'd go listen to the Ledge and kick back in my broken down lazy-boy but I blew up my DCM timeframe 350 speakers the last time I had a crisis and so I have no recourse.

I know! I'll go blind! Yes that is a great decision!

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