The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Friday, February 27, 2015

Turning a molehill into a mountain

My lovely and gracious wife asked for a bale of straw to spread between her raised beds.

An hour later...
After tools were found, hoses were unplugged, forklifts were jump started, knuckles were scraped, the straw blower was in operation.

It would have taken five minutes with a pitchfork...

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Interesting people who read one's blog

I find the blogger statistic page interesting. I've noticed that my readership from random searches has dropped since I have been banned from GoogleAdsense forever.
Probably just a coincidence...
What I wonder about are the visits from non-English speaking countries. Are they spambots or just there for the pictures?
This morning I got a comment on a post about forklifts and snakes from someone in India (I think). It is either a really good robot that was able to incorporate all the main points of my post or a real person who has an old points ignition vehicle and is a bit nonplused by modern automotive technology.

"Properly right now When i tend not to feel too poor generating a "new for you to me" ninety seven Blazer. I reckon that nearly all of our devices (and it's possible myself) are getting to be dinosaurs although many of us simply continue going. And also you usually are proper, it really is receiving difficult to find anyone who is aware of how to focus on carburetors in addition to ignition points.. in addition to draglines."

I looked up the GooglePlus site associated with the person and it seems to be discussions of medical stuff. Not sure if it is advice or spam.
Kind of interesting.
What do you-all think?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I thought the field would never end

It wan't that big a field. It just seemed big.
I finished in the dark.
People keep calling me to plant for them. They remind me that I promised to put them on the "list."
I am not complaining about the work but you have to understand there are certain logistics involved with driving 18.5 mph and 15 ft wide down the highway, and ground drying at different rates and the need to keep the drill going...
My wife fixed me a nice lunch yesterday. A wrap with steak in it. Interesting concept, I would never had ordered at the local deli but it was pretty good in my lunch!

Today I plant peas.
Tomorrow I want to plant our own peas. Tomorrow it is going to rain...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Warming my fingers

I am sitting in my tractor with the heater full blast wishing the sun would thaw the water hose so I can flush out the fertilizer tank on the grain drill.
I'm using speech to text on my iPhone. It doesn't work very well. From time to time I beat the phone on the steering wheel. This doesn't help because I have an armor case for my iPhone.
It's a beautiful morning.
Yesterday Lulu wash my windows. That was nice of her.

I have 100 acres to plant before it rains tomorrow.
Things go wrong. I have a leaky injector line, alternator keeps quitting, and the fertilizer tank on the fertilizer tank has sticky Humic acid in the bottom.
At least the school bus will not be stuck behind me when I move to the next field.
I did not back over my air wrench!

But I did spill my coffee.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sunday Morning Vinyl

I bought Vassar Clements, "The Bluegrass Session," some time ago. I've never got around to playing it.
This is because it was intimated to me that depressing bluegrass music is not the way to start a Sunday morning.
I guess it doesn't go well with an omelette.
My wife is gone and so Lulu is here to be subjected to my culinary experiments (obsession with the perfect omelette) and odd musical tastes.
So I put on Vassar Clements.

It starts with the old standard, "Six more miles to the Graveyard," or is it eight miles, I forget...and while the banjo picking is pretty fine and the sound on the old record is very good. Nice sharp individual notes, good tone on the bass, wait a second, there is a serious baseline going on here!
I get the first omelette done, sausage, mushroom, and no cheese, I was going to use a cheese stick but then thought better of it and chopped up a green onion, and serve it to Lulu.
She pronounces it a success!
I turn the record over.
I didn't read any reviews before putting this on and so was a bit surprised when I realized I'm hearing some sort of Hillbilly Jazz. These cats are scattin' like the infamous Alley Cats in Lady in the Tramp! (I have no idea why that image came to mind)
As I continue my blog post I find a little Western Swing, a little Blues, and I'm kind of impressed. The only down side is I think I have heard enough "bluegrass classics" and while "Nine Pound Hammer," and "Rocky Top," are fine pickin' songs, I've heard them more than once.
Perhaps in 1972 no one had heard "Rocky Top," 50,000 times.
Should have included "Wildwood Flowers."
No one but Flying Pig Fiddle and Banjo will play my favorite, "Bonaparte's Retreat."

Saturday, February 21, 2015

I could have gotten stuck!

One must always be vigilant while operating a tractor. Had I not stopped in the nick of time I undoubtedly would have been in trouble. 

Today I must keep an eye out for anvils and a falling piano. I think my duck has been recruited through social media to violence! Perhaps it has been unjustly treated and feels socially disadvantaged. I know that always harshed my mellow!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Planting on old farmsteads

I found an old forged Clevis with the double disc opener. (I carry a hammer and screw driver and flashlight.)

An old house 

and what was inside. 

1943 National Geographic was on top
There was a stack of them but they were wet.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Interesting times...

So this retired guy is bringing home his antique gun and he gets stopped and the cops ask to search his car.
1. NEVER carry a gun in you glove box not even if it is a toy squirt gun.

2. The cops took the very valuable gun. (of course) and let him go.

3. They came back with four cars and beat on his door early the next morning.

The cops get a lot of blame but the problem with excessive force and police state tactics goes higher up the chain. The county prosecutor made the decision to come back "early" in the morning. Lucky he didn't get tased or shot.

You can read about it and contribute to his legal defense fund here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The clever folks are thrilled with a new Governor for Oregon and I have a theory...

Kate Brown pretty much represents what those of us who don't live in Portland think of Portland. She has studied Environmental Science, women's studies, was in Family Law, and has odd sexual issues.
I didn't see anything about tasting wine on a regular basis but I suppose that she doesn't. I mean, that is what "those people" do isn't it?
But... she is also friendly to business... She is certainly not opposed to the biggest scam in recent history, Green Business.
Everyone knew Kitzhaber was dirty before the election. The party faithful in Oregon can always be counted on to vote for "their man," so the party machine pushed Kitzhaber. The clever media folks went along, Kitzhaber is elected, and then the scandal is a political opportunity because next-in-line Kate Brown is a better Democrat than Kitzhaber. AND as a stunning bonus, she has a weird sexual bent that most likely does not involve underage girls and boys, (Goldshmidt, Sam Adams)
I just thought of this as I was listening to Kate Brown saying she will institute reforms so that a Kitzhaber scandal doesn't happen again...
A pet peeve, Government checks and balances worked like it should. Perhaps it was a bit slow but when the First Girl Friend pushed the influence selling so far it could not be ignored then they had to resign. What more can you hope for?
Or does she mean, make influence peddling harder to detect so that they can get away with it?
I'll tell you when I thought we were in for an interesting ride, When the governor stopped to do CPR on a homeless man while driving past in his limo. Why do you need that kind of a PR stunt?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The view from my cab

Yesterday I planted oats on a hillside where I could see Mt. Rainer Mt. Adams (oops), Mt. Hood, and a little bit of Mt. St. Helens, (I think) It hard to see St. Helens as most of it exploded.
By the time it was dark I could see dust in the headlights.

It was a nice view. If only I were not so lazy. It is supposed to be in the 60's today. Good think my airconditioning works.
Meanwhile, the other side of the country is frozen solid.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


It is that time of year
MuddyValley came over supervised the restoration.
Couldn't find the key to start it.
Found it after he left.
Took daughter for a ride. It made her feel better.

A ramble about random thoughts on a Sunday morning in which I have a sense of impending doom...

My daughter coughed half the night and so I am letting her sleep in. This is an illustration of why you go to Church when you can because sometimes you need to go to Church and there is a crisis.
I have not been to Church in a Month.
I did not understand the full importance of Church until I stopped going. It is not my intent to convert any of my readers nor is it my intent to annoy any atheists, well actually, I really like to annoy atheists, but that is another story...
I think your life needs balance. You have work, family, friends, and then you have the stuff that goes on in your head. My head is stuffed full of odd and useless information. Strange books I've read, odd philosophy, interesting bits of social science theory I picked up, various out of context Bible verses, random country western and blues songs, and Spike Jones singing about the daring young man on the flying trapeze.
For example, did you know that a WWII PT boat had three Packard V-12 engines rated at 1200 hp each and consumed 450 gallons per hour at the top speed of 40 knots.
It is perhaps why I am not a very good farmer. I am unable to process useful information...
But, I digress...
I find going to church pretty stressful. I have to get there on time. There are people I don't know. They have communion every Sunday.
However, if I can sit there, enjoy one old hymn, listen to a sermon which gets me interested enough to draw a cartoon to illustrate it, get a few issues/people to pray for, have a good ritual prayer at the end, somehow it puts me into a better mood for the week. Clears my head a bit, and things seem to go better.
Also, there is the issue of prayer. Several people of my odd and eccentric friends and customers have said they were praying for me. I think it helps.
Again, I am not trying to get anyone's scientific knickers in a knot but I think there is more to "life" that what we understand. If it makes you feel better I suggest just thinking of it as a very complicated computer program. I like to think of it as divine.
I'm being a bit introspective as I got quite the speech from a fellow who I did not expect to be a person of faith. Being somewhat surprised by his "testimony," and having heard similar expressions by people who do not fit into mainstream Christianity I have been thinking about these things in a different framework than I was brought up to think in.
1. There are people who appear to be very nice and who appear to be devout and who call on you to "do the right thing," but the best way to understand them is to do business with them. Of course it will be your own fault it the deal goes wrong. You needed to read the contract and well, it is just business of course. You get the idea.
2. There are people who are gruff and perhaps swear a bit and have a few "issues," but when you actually start talking to them you find them to be people of faith and understanding who don't fit into the short pants wearing Amway selling morons who are our supposed defenders of the faith.
3. You have your faith for your own personal reasons. The Christian faith has for many years given individuals a direct link with God. It gave us a shared philosophy of a type of individualism where you took care of yourself but which also looked after your neighbors in times of crisis. You have forgiveness of sin. You can make mistakes, learn from mistakes, start over again.  I see the faith losing the treat others as you would be treated and trading it for tough love and "zero tolerance," and "well, business is business."
4. People who are nice often appear to be nice because they just fear disapproval. Inside they would like to slice your tires and pee in your coffee. When they are given a little power they then do those things but since they have been living in denial for so many years they rationalize it as to it "being for your own good, or just taking care of what is they are have been in-trusted-to."

Ok, stream of consciousness blogging, and not in the style of James Joyce...
I think we will listen to Jr. Walker and the All Stars play Shotgun, perhaps I will make an omelette? Or should it be a Tom T. Hall morning.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

I survived the dentist

The cost of medical care...
Most of you are waiting on the edge of your comfy arm chairs to hear about my trip to the dentist. Those who are just tuning in may not know that I broke a back molar the other day and could not find any friends or family to fashion a new crown for me out of JB Weld.
Since my old dentist suddenly retired or was abducted by aliens, (I can find no photographic evidence she ever existed) I had to either find a new dentist or use the dentist that bought her practice.
I chose a dentist though a highly scientific process...
1. Dentists in McMinnville sort of scare me. I have no definitive proof that they are terrible other that the murderous child dentist who went after my then three-year-old daughter with a two inch glistening needle of painkiller and missed the first try and then wanted me to control my screaming daughter, I left...
Well, then MuddyValley had some bad experiences, but my neighbor said his dentist was good, but then I was worried that if I went to that dentist and cried that he would tell my neighbor I was a whiner and I'm afraid of new people anyway....
2. The dentist who replaced my old dentist kept the happy, competent, and cute dental assistant who calls me and tells me a must get my teeth cleaned or start flossing.

I called the dentist who replaced my old dentist, heretofore referred to as DWROD D2. The receptionist seemed quite happy to deal with my indecipherable Oregon Health plan codes and numbers which did not have anything to do with what the instruction sheet said they did.
She called me back and with the information on my plan and said that even though crowns were not covered I had options and I needed to be there at 4 p.m.
So I went...
I immediately spied the familiar face of the D1's dental assistant who gave me a reassuring smile and seemed to appreciate that I made some vague comments about her being a good assistant.
The dental assistant made a difference in my decision to find a dentist. She is in her 20's. She has a positive attitude, she is genuinely friendly, she really likes her job, she is helpful and reassuring and reminded me of exercises to prevent me choking on the x-ray target.
Also, the Dentist has the same first name as I and so I have decided he is a good guy...
He gave me a temporary crown. This was free under the health plan. A permanent crown will be $1000. I could get a credit card to pay for it. I said I would save up my cash. The dentist said not to eat corn nuts or popcorn and it might last a while.
This is the first time in two years my rear molar has not hurt when I drink cold liquids. Perhaps I should have told my first dentist I had a problem...

Back to the cost of medical care.
I don't really know how to compare the costs of different medical procedures. I think everyone hates insurance companies because insurance is the same thing as "protection" money it is just that if you don't pay nobody puts a brick through your window.
I would pay my new dentist $1000 for a new crown because he seemed pretty competent and his first name is the same as mine. I would do this even if he were a little more than the ex-military guys locally.
It does really annoy me that a confused person can reportedly get gender reassignment for free under the Oregon Health plan but I can't get a free crown but that is a whole other issue.
However, I am a desperately lazy person trapped inside the body of a farmer, and it is against my nature to work for a living. DOES anyone care????
I am oppressed....

Thursday, February 12, 2015

I hate going to the dentist and I hate finding a new dentist most of all

There are a couple things in life that freak me out. Rotting dead animals in the front yard, heights, and going to the dentist.
The Rotting Animal thing can be solved with a good respirator which has dual stage filters. I have one. I have to climb haystacks everyday and so I have learned to deal with it, sort of...
But the dentist thing is in a league of its own...

It was not that Dr. Utter was such a bad guy. He wore a traditional dentist uniform with the little collar and a reflector on his head. The receptionist was very nice. It was not traumatic. But I don't like dentists.
I have had a wonderful dentist for years. She never stuck her finger down my throat and choked me. She had great topics for conversation. She did interesting things so I could listen to her and not talk myself. She did a very good job. She was not horrifically expensive.
But all things must end...
She quit..
Too much paper work and I think she felt the need to travel or adventure or something.
She seems to have sold her practice to one of those modern sincere gee-whiz sorts of guys who has a website and a facebook page and doesn't take the Oregon Health plan.
Which doesn't pay for a new cap anyway.
I wonder how much nitrus costs?
MuddyValley used to do stained glass. I wonder if we both took a lot of painkillers if he could fix my tooth.
Perhaps if I ignore it the nerve will die and someday I will get a job with dental insurance.
I wonder if Dr. W is doing a dentistry clinic in Africa or Panama City (Panama not Florida) and I could wait in line in the sweltering tropic heat, risking aids and Ebola and malaria, and get my tooth fixed...
(I bet they were GMO and Monsanto purposefully ruined my tooth!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So my dentist quit and I broke a tooth

There are dental variants of superglue. It is a rear molar. I hate Obama care and all you democrates that voted for it.
Wonder how much Four Roses to kill the nerve.

Before you sign up for Googel AdSense think about this...

I have no idea why I was canceled from adsense.
I may have clicked on an advertisement which showed something from my ebay.
The advertisements seemed to be things which my readers would be interested in.
Google claims to have looked at my blog which is obviously not a link sharing scam.
This is the problem with a monopoly.
I sort of hate Google and feel their products are kind of bloatware, but it doesn't say that "snarkiness" is terms for dismissal.

What I have learned from this... Google may randomly cancel the products you are using. BACK UP YOUR BLOG!

There has got to be a better way....

I just realized you can't read the text of the email. Here it is.

Thank you for your appeal. We appreciate your continued interest in the AdSense program. However, after thoroughly reviewing your account and taking into consideration the information that you have provided, our specialists have confirmed that we are unable to reinstate your AdSense account.
Please note that your account will not receive further payments nor any reissue of previous payments. Your outstanding balance and Google's share of the revenue will both be fully refunded to the affected advertisers. You are not eligible for further participation in the AdSense program due to violation of our Terms of Service, so you may not create new accounts.
We understand that you may want more information about your account activity, however, in order to protect our proprietary detection systems, we are unable to provide further details. Thank you for understanding.
The Google AdSense Team

They can't provide details because they don't really know. Detection algorithms my arse! I tripped some sort of filter or who knows what... If you do a search on this topic you will find all sorts of random cancelations.
If you want to use AdSense then write your blog for the AdSense. If you want to make a little coffee money on the side, don't use AdSense unless you are prepared for random weirdness you can't fix.

Here is why I got banned, (actually it was sarcasm...)

Cautionary Notes: Things to Look Out For

  1. Never Click Your Own Google Ads

    One of the things you must always remember is never click your own Google ads, even if it is to find out whether the site linked to is acceptable for your website's audience. Since (at this time) Google pays AdSense for Content ads according to the number of clicks, clicking your own ads is regarded as fraud, and will, at the very least, get you kicked out of the AdSense program.
    Although Google doesn't say this, if you are showing off your blog or website to your family members, make sure they do not click any of your advertisements either. This is the case even if they are genuinely interested in the products advertised. They can always look for it by name in a search engine later if they wish, but for anyone living in your own household, any Google advert on your site is strictly off limits. The reason for this is that clicks from your household will look exactly like clicks from you.

    Google could have told me this when they canceled me. I could fix that issue. May I recommend GoDuckGo...

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

An interesting record player, record collecting, and U-turn Audio

I have been collecting vinyl records since 1982. This does not mean I have a good collection or that I have that many quality records. It just means I haunt the discount bins at Garage Sales and Thrift stores.
Mostly I look at absolutely horrible records and then reject them.
I imagine I will find a perfect Lee Moses album or "Electric Lady Land," with no scratches but I'd settle for a Jerry Jeff Walker that didn't have Mr. Bojangles and I'd be overjoyed with Merle Haggard.
I once found a very nice Cowboy Copas album in GoodWill but the best score of my life was the 1977 Joe Ely debut album found at the Tigard GoodWill. It was in perfect condition.
But I digress...
The other Sunday I was in the Salem, OR GoodWill store looking through a bin of Glen Miller and other forgettable albums of the early 1970's and I came across a mini-trove of Country-Western music. Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and they were all scratched. I selected a Monkeys album just because I couldn't turn it down.
Beside me was a younger fellow with facial hair and funny sandals and he was quite earnestly digging through the bin. There is a routine as a serious record collector. You pull out the records you want and then pull the vinyl and hold it up to the light to check for scratches.
He had found the Elton John. Oh, boy!
But he also took a not quite perfect Dire Strait's, "Brother's in Arms."
He seemed quite satisfied...
Now here is the issue..
This is 2015, the supply of good condition used vinyl is not what it once was. Add to this the fact that most people listened to absolute crap because that was all that was available, and the pickings are pretty meager.
I suspect vinyl record collecting is more of a conceit than a passion for most people. There are really artistic and there are really kitsch album covers and there is something about the very act of getting sound out of a spinning vinyl disk that fascinates the child in all of us. (I think)
But the problem is...
What do you play your records on?
Old turntables are kind of quirky to say the least. I have an old Onkyo turntable that I was going to get working for my friend Orin. I just discovered the belt has turned to goop and upon taking it apart I see that it is really a kind of awful turntable. Not worth the effort.
So, what do you do? Buy a Crosley with USB?
They seem horrible to me. It is similar to one of those record destroying console stereo's that gave us the wallowed out Mitch Miller grooves that curse us in GoodWill.
Well this is what I found on (I was going to start a kickstarter fund to buy gravel so I wouldn't have to grind feed in the mud but I think Kickstarter is for a little different class than I)
There is a new company called U-Turn audio and they have developed an inexpensive and simple turntable that looks like it will not sound horrible.
The price started at $150 but is now up to $175.
It is a simple belt drive turntable. It comes with a good-enough cartridge, it has pretty good mass for playing warped records, it really sounds like a decent deal. You can add features like a tonearm lift, better cartridge, heavy platter, better cables, an odd color, and the price goes up.
I would love to get my hands on one...
I've got mine all picked out and customized but it is going to cost me more than $175...
Now I'm going to go slog around in the mud thinking of a better life...
If anyone wants to come over and be my spotter whilst I crawl down inside a tipped over grain bin and shovel peas...
(Note: lack of links due to use of iPhone for writing blog)

Monday, February 9, 2015

The morons at Google disabled my adsense account

Well, this was an interesting experiment. Should you consider monetizing your blog remember that Google is kind of useless and annoying.
Google cannot recognize that you or someone using your computer may click on an adsense link by accident. They can store your IP address for ever, they know that your computer is clicking on the advertisement, so if they know then all they have to do is NOT COUNT THE CLICK. But, no the clever 16 year olds who do the programming at Google think that users of adsense are making money by repeatedly clicking on their own advertising and so they suspend your account. That is not how it works. You click on your friend's blog and your friend clicks on your blog. It is not that hard...
Honestly, does anyone ever buy anything through Google Adsense?
Compare this with Amazon links and keyword advertising. Amazon makes sure you actually buy something. I use Amazon links on other peoples blogs when I buy things and I know people use mine. I just need to get more readers...
Irritates me that I'm not getting my gift card for $51. Of course I never did get around to providing Google with a mailing address or valid email to get that gift card.

What is better than having a forklift on your farm?

Having two forklifts on your farm!

I had no way to lift of the back of the Mercury-Pettibone. It is too low to the ground for a bottle jack and the Harbor Freight floor jack just won't do it.
So I used the Other forklift to lift the back end of the Mercury-Pettibone and put it on blocks.
As you may recall, I had to replace a ball joint tie rod end.
I discovered that the thrust bearing on the kingpin failed. This helped contribute to the tie rod failure. I fixed it by using a bolt together spacer collar and a lot of grease. I have no idea how long this will last. I will add kingpins for the forklift to the long list of repair projects.
"Triage," is what it could be called at this point...

To Do List:

-Rebuild 2-135 engine
-Fix a/c and various oil leaks on G1355, paint if I have time
-Replace auger bearing in mixer/grinder
-Fix massive oil leak on 806 IH, put gauges and wiring harness together, change oil, change clutch, fix loader.
-New clutch in NH 1085 stacker, replace third member in Rear end, rebuild main hydraulic valves and lift cylinders, rebuild brakes.
-Rebuild FWA on 2-155 number 2
-Find a combine, buy it...
-Rebuild sprayer
-Stand the fallen grain bin back up
-Put hoist under Ford L8000
-Tear down old barn
-Sell hay
-Take a nap...

I think I will start at the bottom of the list...

Friday, February 6, 2015

Did you know it is hard to find Left Hand Internal Thread Ball Joint Ends?

The The Mercury-Pettibone DA-100 lift truck is no longer a current model.

I was in a hurry and crashed into the IH-806 in a full lock turn. Broke tie rod end.

Spent three days looking for replacement.

Gave up and decided to improvise. Cut apart ball joint from 1975 Chevy.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The man who could have won the civil war

I received an email from Patrick Cleburne yesterday. I found this to be somewhat disconcerting as I thought he died in 1864 and those blue-bellied Devils stole his boots.

Apparently he never really died but lives on sending spam emails to Yankees. I didn't click on the link. It most likely wasn't porn.
Cleburne proposed freeing slaves to fight for the Confederacy. I suspect he was right. People will always fight for their homes. In today's world we see slaves as in constant pain and misery singing negro spirituals and the women being assaulted by the evil white man.
I suspect that idea was more of an exception than a rule. Bad things and good things happened. Home is where you live and what is familiar I suppose.

Here is the quote:

"Satisfy the negro that if he faithfully adheres to our standard during the war he shall receive his freedom and that of his race ... and we change the race from a dreaded weakness to a position of strength.

Lots of interesting ideas in that quote.
Look at Europe now...

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rain and some art

It is pouring down rain...
My grain drill is a mile down a dirt road sitting in a field of harvested Christmas trees. I did not replace the batteries on the tractor like I was supposed to do and the batteries are on the side away from the road.
Well, I'm not going to move it in the rain anyway. The weather forecast this morning was talking about two inches.
Here is some artwork by my wife. I found it on my computer. She has been challenged by an artist friend on the other side of the country to post her work on facebook.
I think the Lazy Farmer is a better venue...

This work titled "Streams of Copper," shows the fluid stream that is our life. Parallel lines of copper illustrate the essence of our life energy. Alternating patterns embossed in the warm burnished patina of reclaimed vintage copper tubes, along with the vertical parallel visual pattern give hints to our recent understanding that life can be past present and future all that the same time.
The reclaimed materials used in the artistic masterpiece strengthen our understanding of the concept of history building on tradition and becoming the future.
Her use of circles alternating with straight and curved lines pay homage to the circle of life which is continually moving forwards and upwards, the warm earth tones hearken to our previous culture as an agrarian culture but the polished center streams show the strong energy of our present and future...
Now how is that for a five minute review?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Why you should run your oats through a debearder and other musings from a Lazy Farmer

We have had a week or so of non-rain. I'm not saying it was dry weather, I'm just saying it didn't rain. I have several planting jobs but since the fog has been of the pea soup variety which keeps the dirt quite well hydrated, I've been doing things other than planting.
Thursday was the first day I could do anything. I planted 5 acres. Friday I planted 30 acres and moved to a new field.
Saturday I planted 20 acres and moved ten miles and planted another 12 acres.
The nubs are still on my new tires.
Saturday did not start well.
The fog returned and the drill continually plugged seed tubes.
This happened more than once. I'd just get going good and, "beep, beep, beep, beep, beep..."

The problem was this.

I think it was an odd combination of the amply applied seed treatment,  the fog, and the seed company did not run the oat seed through a debearder to remove the tails.

The little sharp beards on grains like wheat, barley, tails on oats, tend to stick in the rubber seed tubes. Strangely enough they don't plug my 1953 Minneapolis-Molne slope side grain drill nearly as bad as it has metal seed tubes.
The high moisture in the air causes the steel box to sweat and the seed treatment sticks to the metal and plastic in the drill. This slows down the seed rate and causes plugging.
To illustrate this, I started in drive three at 60 on the scale. This gave me 105lbs/acre at 1.0 million seeds per acre (or so the counter says)  As I progressed the Loupe Population monitor showed the seeds per acre dropping to 900,000 and then to 800,000. To get back to 1 million seeds I ended up opening up the drill to 65, 75, and then 80. The problem is that the population monitor can't read a huge stream falling past the sensor so it is not a one to one relationship between what is planting and what the monitor reads. You can't always just open the drill to match the monitor reading and be exact.
But, I was pretty close.

I planted at my old house. When I moved my landlord said I could leave my Studebaker truck in the barn. I likes Studebakers.  Tweekers have looted the place as no one lives there anymore. They stole the radiator, horn button, Studebaker emblem, and the cheap ropes out of the cab. 

They left my log chain and booster cables. I know this sounds harsh but sometimes I'm glad meth is poison...

Yesterday we went to visit my wife's father. He looks tired. He does like Spike jones and he admitted to writing Kilroy Was Here" on random stuff during WW2.
I did not tell anyone that I thought of seeing the slogan after that girl bent over in front of me at GoodWill.

This is what I found at GoodWill. I couldn't resist The Monkeys.

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