The Useful Duck!

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Golfcart fuel truck

Four gallons at a time goes pretty slow.
My daughter is a good driver

I thought the river was going to flood the field where I left my tractor. I ran it so low on fuel it wouldn't start when I went after it when it was pouring down rain. My daughter helped me. She drove the golf cart which was what the farmer uses to get to the field.
I think I'm going to have to find a new pickup truck.
And by new I don't really mean "new," I mean something 20 years old that I didn't own before...

I've spent the day icing my back. I would try the hot tub but I get bored.
I was looking for photos of my daughter as she has turned 18.
Today she went to her senior prom.
I can't believe how fast time has gone by.

Here are some random photos:
 An enthusiastic farm girl
 Both these tractors are really old
My daughter raking hay

Sunday, April 7, 2019

I plant oats and then it rains and it might flood and my tractor won't start

I've had the opportunity to get off the mower and do a little planting.
I went from the top of the Amity hills to sea level in a week. I forget how beautiful Oregon is when it rains all winter.
Top of the world and red dirt

Last week I planted oats on 60 acres of riverbottom. It is nice soil. I suspect it is Chehalis type soil. Well drained silty clay loam. Lots of organic matter.
I planted after work on Wednesday. I finished up in the rain at midnight.
River bottom silty clay loam in the rain

The trusty old 2-155 was running on fumes. A tank of fuel is really only good for one move and 65 acres. I ran in fifth over and idled down a little to conserve fuel. My pickup truck is not doing so well and I have to get someone to bring me fuel.
I pulled something in my back at work Wednesday. I mowed the baseball field with the reel mower on Tuesday but we have had warm weather and the slow release fertilizer kicked in big time. My supervisor is susceptible to slick talking salesman and he fell for the slow release polymer coated fertilizer with humid acid.
Mowing the baseball field between showers

Fertilizer companies put the hard sell on slow release fertilizer in our area a couple years ago. It sounds like a good idea. But it is really expensive. We were using an organic type fertilizer which was basically chicken poop. It worked because it broke down slowly. The polymer fertilizers have a coating which (The way I understand it) expands when the temperature is above 52 degrees to let the Nitrogen out.
It doesn't seem to have been the best choice for fall fertilizer as the fields were stressed all winter and then exploded when the temperatures hit 60 degrees for a couple days.
I mowed the baseball field in the rain and I got clumps of grass. My supervisor suddenly realized there was a baseball game the next evening and wanted me to go out with a leaf blower and break up the clumps. I opted for the Walker mower as it sucks up the clumps and I wanted to remove the POA seeds.
Then it rained again and the Walker is so poorly designed that it plugs up in a light shower and you have to lift the mower deck and unclog it. After lifting it all morning my back started to get sore.
I of course ignored this and planted half the night.
The next morning I couldn't get out of bed.
My wife and daughter made me stay home from work.
I've been pretty much worthless since then. I was going to move the tractor home after work on Friday but my back hurt and I went to bed.
This morning we got a weather alert for flooding in our area. I tried to call the farmer but he was on vacation. I called his neighbor and he said I should probably move my drill as it did flood.
Bleeding the fuel lines in the rain

So, my daughter and I loaded up five gallon buckets of diesel and went after the tractor. We had to used the farmer's golf cart to get to the drill for various reasons not connected to me not having a fuel truck. After making friends with his dog through liberal offerings of doggie treats we headed to the field.
Of course the tractor had lost its prime.
I think I have lost my prime especially after a week of back pain but I suppose that discussion would take us a whole different direction.
We came back home and got more five more buckets of diesel. I brought a portable air tank back and pressurized the fuel tank while my daughter tried to start the tractor. This was a success.
I really doubt it would have gone under water but you never know.

Tomorrow I'm back to work. My daughter is getting free tuition so I have to stay at the job for another four years but sometimes it is difficult.

The above picture is a good example of why I dislike my job.
The bollards on the sidewalk are close enough together that you can knock the axles from under your trailer if you forget and get too close. People in the facilities department go around them if they are towing something wide.
This kills the grass and promotes mud.
No one admits to doing it although there are only four people with trailers and two that actually use that path on a regular basis.
So... Instead of coming up with a solution so you don't have to drive a long ways out of the way or go around the bollard they added another bollard and built up new curb.
Of course the geniuses just did it to the side that people were driving around. They didn't do the other side so I guess it is not that much of an inconvenience. This was enough of an expense that it had to be approved on up the chain of command.
I suggest to my supervisor that he just ask people not to drive around the bollards. Apparently that didn't work.
I suggested areas that were more of a hazard and he told me we "don't always get what we want."
I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
It is truly amazing how money is wasted and we are going broke...

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