The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Monday, July 28, 2014

Raking with a pickup truck

We had an inch of rain of rain last week. It went from 90 degrees to rain, to back to 90 degrees. Sort of odd for Oregon.
The straw is turning yellow.
I've been having a bit of trouble getting stuff done.
Lots of talking, lots of little things that don't work.
Saturday I attempted to grind feed.
I have five customers demanding feed.
It is sort of difficult to get the peas out of a tipped over grain tank.
Mid afternoon people started calling me to see if I'd tedded (fluffed) the grass straw I'm going to bale.
I ran the fluffer on our fields at home it is a wide awkward thing to haul down the highway and I figured they got less rain on the other side of the hill.
At five p.m. I decided I had to do it.
The tedder/fluffer that I was using does two windrows at one. It has a number of rake wheels on a wide frame. The wheels are set at a slight angle and the frame is straight across the windrow, rather than at a steep angle like a wheel rake. The wheels lift up the hay and as you go faster it also kind of spreads it.
It is 16 feet wide and the wheels are set wide apart. It is a pain to pull down the highway.
On the other hand, you can do 25 acres an hour.

Sunday Lulu and I went to Antique Powerland. We went early for church. They should have turned down the gain for "Jesus is the one and only", a little distortion on that one, but a good effort.  We spent the whole day. Didn't win a free bicycle. Listened to Southern Nights put on a country western show. Funny to see a bar band in broad daylight... No banjos...

Now it is back to work. Looking forward to that 90 degree weather and thousands of straw bales to stack...

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Picking up apples killed my uncle!

I figured it out!
Uncle H, was in great shape Saturday. We were fixing a waterline. He didn't feel like digging the hole and asked me to help. It was 90 degrees.
Later we had coffee time and then he cut some steel for a customer.
He was doing fine!
Then he decided to go home and pick up apples.
Now I've watched Hercule Perot and Inspector Morse, and White Collar and I know a clue when I see it.
I figure it was either aliens or apples.
I did not see any aliens so it had to be them apples.
How about them apples!
Apples killed my uncle!

Here are some photos from the last couple years...
I'm gonna go have something with corn syrup and wheat gluten. Perhaps I'll lock my dog in the car for a while...

Edit: Uncle H, did not want his photo on the internet. What happens? He dies and it is everywhere. Didn't even put the censor bar across his eyes. I swear (or rather, I affirm) I'm going get a phone call from him and he is going to tell me to take his photo down. I'm going to be like, "but my brother did it! Your grand daughter did it! They ain't gonna listen to me, have Aunt Elsie tell them!"
(Not that anything like that has ever happened before...)

Friday, July 25, 2014

The End of an Era....

My uncle died Sunday, or perhaps it was Saturday night.
He had been picking up apples in his back yard. He was in his slippers. There was a bucket of apples at his feet.
He sat down in the porch swing and looked like he decided to take a nap.
He was 87 years old.
My aunt couldn't get him to wake up when she found him Sunday Morning. Looked like she got him a comforter just in case he was just sleeping.

So, who will tell me to answer my phone, not track mud in front of the shop, tell me not to borrow money for any foolhardy ventures, not smoke chronic, or use regional idioms, like exclaiming: "What in the Sam Hill is going on here?!"
In a month will we have turned the store into a pot dispensary and will we all be sitting around eating Doritos  and listening to Peter Tosh surrounded by misplaced tools and mud from the irrigation tractors?
Will someone use real floor dry instead of 20 year old sawdust out of dad's basement?
Will I have borrowed $5 million to start an industrial hemp facility?
Time will tell...
One thing I know, I am not the man my father was, nor my uncle.
Perhaps, I will have to grow up now.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I got the level app for my iphone

I discovered that when running a New Holland 1085 stacker side hill. The point when bales start sliding of the  second table is 36-37 degrees of tilt. At 38 degrees I stopped looking at the level app and started wondering if it was getting a little tippy. Slightly thereafter I discovered that one's butt cheek muscles will actually grip your new air-ride seat. I didn't get to the point where I had to turn down hill but it was interesting.
(I posted using the blogger app on my iphone and I couldn't figure out how to rotate the photo. Perhaps you could rotate your computer?)

The view was quite nice. Kind of warm out...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

GMO paranoia vs consumer freedom of choice

I understand that many people have concerns food from genetically modified seeds. I'm a bit skeptical about modern science and the absolute refusal to tell the truth by large corporations and big government in the twenty-first century.
On the other hand, I'm even more skeptical about lawyers and lobbying groups and I do not support the  initiative petition to require labeling of products containing GMO seeds.
I do not trust the anti-GMO people. I suspect ulterior motives.
I mean look, I would start my on anti-something group and do fundraising if I could lie effectively.
So yesterday when I was stacking annual ryegrass straw in 90 degree heat on a seemingly 90 degree slope and feeling a little stressed, I looked in my cooler for something to eat and found this fig bar.

I like these fig bars. You used to be able to just scoop them out of a big bin at the bulk food store. Now they are packaged. Probably health concerns or something. I feel so much safer now that I'm paying for paper packaging. Today I actually read the packaging.
This fig bar is certified GMO-free, kosher, and natural. Don't know what natural means, probably nothing... The pretty "natural" colors make me want to eat it and the confidence that it is GMO-free makes me so much more reassured so that when I fall off the stacker I will have no GMO contamination when I am paralyzed in the hospital.

So, if you don't want GMO, there will be a market for Non-GMO. Why is it your responsibility to force labeling? If you create a demand then the market will supply it. I am moderately happy to supply you with non-GMO chicken, pig, and cow feed. Although, I do take a while to get it done.
Why not just go ride your Mr. Garrison bicycle on narrow country roads if you want to annoy people? Why the missionary complex in the country? Why do we have to have a law for every special interest? Why can't you just leave me the #$%^&* alone?
Just saying...

Do I force you to listen to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I hate Cycle Oregon

Hardcore bicyclists are complete arseholes. I awoke this morning to loud talking outside my window.
It is Sunday and while I'm not working as hard as I should be, I'm working hard enough to want to sleep in till 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Yes, it is time for Cycle Oregon. The two days when thousands of bicyclist wobble down the highway, talking loudly which freaks out everyone's dogs, taking up both lanes of narrow roads, making it impossible to get down the road with tractors. I can accept the blocking the road for one or two days as long as they wave at me. What really annoys me is the attitude that they own the road because they are not using an internal combustion engine...
There is a basic conflict between those of us in rural Oregon and those who live in the city. Here's the deal...
I have no urge to got to Sherwood, Beaverton, or housing developments in McMinnville and drive my tractor in front of people's houses and yell at their dogs. But...people who live in the city/suburbs dearly love to ride their bicycles past my house and yell at my dog.
I can see how it would be much more fun to ride past my house, but read your own bumper sticker, share the road.
AND, don't yell at my dog who is sitting in the lawn. This causes him to get up and come over to see what is going on. Stanley has a job to do. This job is to prevent your meth-head criminal kids from stealing our gas. He is supposed to bark at you.
If you don't want to get attacked by farm dogs don't yell at them, don't yell loudly back and forth between groups of fellow bicyclists, and carry a lot of dog biscuits.
My wife was sitting in the yard enjoying the cool weather and hanging out with Stanley and watching the bicyclists.
A bicycle lady screeched at Stanley.
Stanley got up and barked.
The hardcore male cyclist behind the lady told my wife to, "control your f......g dog."
I didn't hear it as I was finding my shoes to go out and yell at Stanley.
Pretty soon a race official came by in a pickup and stopped. Stanley went out to greet him. I went out to greet the race official but I did not know the cyclist had yelled an obscenity at my wife.
The race official was very nice and said Stanley was a nice dog and not a risk and thanked me for coming out. (In shorts and a tee shirt and my hair looking like a mad scientist or Harpo Marx.
The race official said to expect 2500 cyclists past our house.
I should go pick up a load of straw before church so my brother can irrigate corn.
I had a similar bicyclist experience on Muddy Valley road yesterday.
I was going to stack and met the whole pack on Muddy Valley road.
They were racing down hill and in my lane.
Several people were wobbling.
Does this look like a bicycle killer to you?
Of course, one of those hard-core cyclist guys, you know, one of the guys on the Mr. Garrison bicycles, gives me the signal to slow down. I'm not the one out of control, I'm not racing another stacker down hill, I'm not going to hit a pothole and fall over...
I'm going 30 mph.
Did I mention, I hate bicyclists?
Except for the nice regular folks who are not wearing spandex and look kind of tired and wave at you. Those people are fine. Don't mind sharing the road with nice people.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

It is hot and there is enough dew that it is like rain and the hay looks rained on

I managed to screw up my hay quality this year. Last year I had very nice hay. Partly because my neighbor came and helped me mow and I kept my little helper raking and baling.
This year I got behind, we got a heat wave, which was accompanied by rain-like dew.

I lost my raker/fluffer girl to a camping trip and stuff broke down.
So I just raked and baled it.
But the heavy dew bleached the tops of the windrows and with out running a fluffer/tedder that bleached/brown hay shows up in spots in the bale.
The problem is that I have it sold to the neighbor girl and she is not going to be happy..
Yesterday the right hand feed auger broke on the baler. My neighbor had a new one. After I had it almost installed my little helper pointed out that the new one was longer than the old one.
I brought it back home and chopped 8" off with a cutting wheel on the grinder.
My neighbor who loaned me the auger part needed stacking done and was feeling charitable so he sent one of his balers to Muddy Valley to help.

Day before yesterday I bent the forks on the load rack on the stacker. Long story...

You can see them bent at an odd angle.
I put the offending parts in a large Rube Goldbergish looking press. And straightened them out.
Last night at 10 p.m. fuses started blowing on the stacker. I gave up and went home.
Today I've got to make room for hay.
And stack...
I wanted to dive by my other neighbor's rental house and see why there is the front half of an old bomber in his driveway. It was too far away to get a photo.  You don't see large airplanes in peoples driveways just every day of the year. Must of been one heck of an auction. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seed bag art! Plus, attractive cloggers from Eastern Europe are now my friends on facebook!

Who designs seed bags?
Do they hire a graphic designer?
Does someone's daughter just sketch it out?
You can't really collect and frame plastic or paper seed bags. However, I think the art is kind of cool. I like this bag. I has a funky retro 1970's feel to it. Perhaps I staple one to the wall of the shop.
Planted this Sudan grass hybrid at the neighboring dairy the other day. I have to remember to call the dairyman and make sure he dumps a lot of poop-water on the field. It will most likely be a failure but everyone loves an optimist so I'll just be Mr. Positive about it, outside of this blog...
As you all know, I hate Mondays. I got up at 5:30 a.m. as I had plans to either, go stack hay, get my four acre flax field watered, fix the stacker, balance Quickbooks, or just wander around and look busy. Instead, I have had four cups of coffee and am trying to get the house cool before I shut all the windows and doors and pull the blinds. It is supposed to be 90 degrees today and I hate coming home to a 80 degree house. Perhaps one more cup of coffee before 7 a.m.

Note: To those of you who follow Budd E. Shepherd on facebook. Ok, yes I have been sending facebook requests to attractive young country-western singers and cloggers from Eastern Europe. Yes, I probably do need some sort of psychological help... My lovely and gracious wife is not amused...  I figure if chicken-little-egg-boy-Harlan-Sanders can have 800 attractive chicken farmers as his friends on facebook, I can have five attractive young banjo players, and Stacy Sheridan... (she accepted my friend request, oh my! It must have been my photo that did it. I bet she also likes me personally!)
I should also note that I have been left alone all weekend...
I also joined the Legendary Stardust Cowboy fan club! I should post a link!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

How uncle Jack's barbecue saved our Fourth of July

Fourth of July has always been a special event at the farm.
It is not that we are extremely patriotic. Rather, The Forth of July comes at the busiest part of the season. 
In the old days, when mom was alive, it meant a big picnic and an afternoon down at the river.
When I was a little kid sometimes my Grandma and my Great Aunt would actually go wading in the river. This was accompanied by much giggling and lots of exclamations of, "oh my!"
As the farm expanded the Forth of July was the one day in the summer when we would stop whatever we were doing and come home for a big dinner. We usually went down to the river but in later years it was just a picnic in the back yard. Employees were also invited and so it was an event that was looked forward to.
After Mom passed away the tradition has been slowly dying.
My wife's family has birthdays on the Fourth of July and so they always have a picnic somewhere. No one else really seems to care that much.
If I make a big deal about it then my brother's wife will have a backyard picnic but the farm is not the same without a Patriarch who pulls it all together.
This year, my daughter was at camp and my wife went to get her. My sister-in-law and brother are taking care of Dad is a full time job.
My little helper texted to find out if there was a picnic, so he could bring beans, and got a negative response.
Now you may all wonder how Uncle Jacks and I will eventually get to it.
The hay department (meaning me and my little helper and whatever part-timers we have) is the most concerned with picnics on the Fourth. I suspect that it is because we spend our summers miles from home eating candy bars which have been lost under the seat and in the A/C vents and wishing we had time to got the Dairy Queen.
I sometimes haul them along to my wife's BBQ which is often at the river, but it is not really the same, I mean they are fine people and all, but it is not the Farm BBQ.
So, my little helper and I have our own picnic when we can.
One year it was Kentucky Fried Chicken on the tailgate at Gopher Valley.
I baled the neighbor lady's hay before my own and our got rained on. Dad and my brother and my helpers sat on hay bales in the shed and watched our hay get wet.
This year we decided to just not annoy anyone and do it ourselves. Little Helper was tasked with getting the KFC after he finished raking and I attempted to get the irrigation to work and then hook the 2-155 to the baler and fix the A/C.
I started adding up the time it took to go to McMinnville and the futility of checking on the broken window from the G1355 that has been at the glass shop for a week, and it struck me, Uncle Jack's BBQ!
So I used my trust iPhone to find their hours and phone number on Facebook and I called them.
Yes they would be there till four and they had potatoe salad and cole slaw and chicken.
So I suggested Jack's.
Helper came back with half a chicken, ribs, cole slaw, macaroni salad (named after the inventor to the wireless I'm sure) and a couple hamburgers.
My wife and daughter showed up about then and we had a feast on the porch steps.
It was nice.
Now here's the deal...
Uncle Jack's BBQ is an awesome place.
Everything is slow cooked out back and it is good.
They now have hamburgers. The hamburgers are thick and simple. They don't use pretentious beef and tough bread like the Blue Goat and the service is fast. You can get a simple hamburger, lettuce, tomato, mustard, catsup, big beef patty, a bag of chips and a pickle for under six bucks. AND you can call ahead and stop the truck in the front of the handicapped parking space, put the flashers on, run across the street  and get your hamburger.
You have to park in street with a big truck because the idiots who run Amity have eliminated all the parking spaces. Did I mention that Amity is run by morons?
And that is how Uncle Jack's saved our Fourth of July picnic..
And this is what the Hay Department does all day long, when not eating at Uncle Jack's or sleeping under tree somewhere.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

It looks like rain

If I could retain any of the information I read, I could be a weatherman.
I kind of need to be a weatherman in my spare time.
So, we have high-pressure, and a flocked sky.

Our neighbor across the river, used to keep us updated on the weather.
So did the neighbor who lived on, what he called, poverty Ridge.
It wasn't really a red, and he really wasn't poor, but he was often correct on the weather.
A lot of times he came over after I had cut the hay, and wanted to know what the ;():&$@" I was doing cutting hay.
I would protest sometimes. 
I start to say, but the weatherman said...
And that would lead to a commentary on what he thought of weatherman and their accuracy.
He didn't think much of them.
Then tne other neighbor would come over, and shout the weather forecast at me.
It wasn't what you'd call a forecast discussion, because he was deaf and he couldn't tell what I was saying anyway.
Sometimes, he would also talk about boobs. He really liked big boobs.
Big boobs have nothing to do with the weather, but he would still talk about them.
Here is a picture of the sky yesterday. I have hay down in little fields in a ten mile Square area.
WeatherBug and AccuWeather and the US weather service say it is not going to rain.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A joke

I was supposed to paint over the name of the packing company when I was given these filbert boxes.
I played a rude and juvenile joke on my neighbor. Hope he notices before I forget about it.

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 ?!