The Useful Duck!

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday plans


This is what I will be doing after Church today. 

I am No-tilling radish seed. The radish will be used for covercrop.

I am planting on a compound slope. The GPS doesn't work correctly for this. I should have spent an extra $500 for tilt compensation when I bought my antenna. The antenna thinks the roof of the tractor is ground level so when you are on a long hillside it offsets you a foot one direction and overlaps a foot the other direction. If you have a compound slope it just gets weird. The antenna has "look ahead" software but that assumes the field is mostly level.

Also, I think my GPS company is calling it quits. 

I probably should never have gone to work at the college.

I tried joining a "Regenerative Agriculture" facebook page. Bunch of f...g Democrats. (not that there is anything wrong with that) The ideology there is strong. I joined because there is going to be a lot of money dumped into this sort of thing in the future. But it is mostly emotion and anti-plowing activists. I may do a project making fertilizer pellets using wool, alfalfa, and a weird secret organic ingredient. It will be fun because of the science but I suspect I will not like the people I will be working for. 

I miss The New Farm Magazine

I miss the Easter Sunday's of my youth. Mostly Mom making ham and mashed potatoes. 

Have a happy day...

Edit: Yesterday I attended the memorial service for my Aunt. She was the last of the old generation. When I was little she was a little hard to get along with. Somewhere over the years she became nice. I think it had to do with her dementia. She was really sweet in her final years. My wife said it will be the opposite for me. I once was nice, but then I got grumpy... Small Children and dogs still like me so I guess all is well...

Sunday, March 21, 2021

Planting in March

Facebook is a blessing and a curse.

I love reading about WWII airplanes, White tractors, Moline tractors, the occasional AC tractor, pictures of stuck tractors, Dynaco tube stereos, and people who make fun of Democrats. 

Last week a memory picture popped up and I was planting the same field on the same day as I had planted several years ago. Pretty neat to see what you did last year. But then the ten years ago picture pops up and I am just depressed.

I have been no-till planting. It took in an inordinate amount of time to get ready. 

Eight years ago Uncle Harold would not order me Pioneer quick couplers with the built in valve to bleed off pressure so you can unhook under load. He said $175 was too much money. So I rebuilt my old ones. 

They failed just as I wanted to go to work. I bought new ones for $350. 

I no-tilled Radish Monday. Radish is used as a cover crop in the Midwest. The radish roots displace packed soil and add organic matter. I also planted clover as a companion crop. Red clover seems to do well with Radish. After the radish is combined for seed the clover should last two more years.

My friend who is currently obsessed with honey bees says the bees don't do well with Red clover as the bloom is too deep and their proboscis  doesn't reach the nectar. I did not know this.

The radish is planted at 7lbs per acre on 15 inch spacing. The seeds are bigger than clover. Similar in size to Millet but round.  My wife built me little dividers for the drill as I have to block off every other row. This is a continual battle. How do I block off rows but still get the seed to flow evenly? I have made cardboard dividers and duct taped to the drill box. The duct tape is a pain to remove. 

I got started Monday after work. I had problems setting the drill. The seed rate was too low. This usually means there something wrong in the drive and the shaft is skipping. I found nothing wrong. 

The next problem was low power to the fertilizer rate controller. Then a hydraulic hose failed. 

I requested the next day off of work.

Tuesday was a beautiful day. I ran a new wire direct from the battery to the fertilizer controller. I found my  Seed-Meter and set the drill properly. 

I had my wife's dog Goldie with me. She wants to be a farm dog so badly. She is a rat terrier and loves to chase rats, mice, and squirrels. She also loves to ride in the tractor.

Unfortunately she decided to lay between the drill openers and the rear mounted harrow. I had let her run loose as I was getting in and out of the cab a lot. But, when I was working on computer issues and was stopped but did not get out of the cab she apparently made her ill fated choice.

I soon realized she was missing. I checked the brush along the river. I drove around and called her. I first suspected a Billy Coyote. He is a rascal. Finally I drove the two miles back to the house. Goldie was on the porch covered in mud and shaking. I found a pretty bad scratch on your tummy. I cleaned it and put Hemp Tonic on it.

She seemed fine. A little sore but she is a little dog who ran 2 miles. But, when my wife got home. Goldie could hardly move. The scratch was dirty and she wouldn't let us near it.

So, I took her to the vet the next morning. It was an hour wait. The vet thought she looked like she was in a lot of pain and wanted to keep her on antibiotics and pain meds. I pointed out that she had in fact, ran two miles home in panic. The vet thought that explained the symptoms and sent her home. No stitches. All is well...

And now I have exceeded my allowed blogging time and my wife says we are going to church! Have a nice day. I was going to complain anyway... 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

March update

I miss Sunday afternoons with my daughter. She is away at college. My wife went to meet in her town. I think they are going to GoodWill bulk bins or something. The daughter and I have differences of opinions nowadays.

I am listening to the David Allan Cole radio station on Amazon. David Allan Cole is not politically correct. Current song is Hank Williams Jr. "Dinosaur," He does not care for gay guitar pickers and is not really in to Donna Summers. I suspect this is where I'm headed. I have been really hoping for some seriously offensive David Allan Cole but have been disappointed so far. One of the most offensive David Allan Cole albums is "Underground Album," I always assumed it was satirical but the idiots of today take it quite literal.

They also can't put Dr. Seuss in cultural context which has driven the price of the best Dr. Seuss book, "I saw it on Mulberry Street" though the roof.

I have nothing to say. Think I will go make hemp buds into pellets that no one will buy anyway...

Hemp chicken crumbles! The right side of the photo is barley, peas, clover, and a little hemp. Left side is hemp bud and top leaves. Pretty sticky and "dank," probably could put it in a pipe. Pellet mill heat might even boost the THC. Perhaps I should pack a blunt...

Sunday, February 7, 2021


February is the in between season. January was cold and wet and I really didn't get much done.

Or should I say, I didn't get anything really worthwhile done.

I rebuilt two turntables. A JVC and a Sanyo fully automatic. The Sanyo just needed the speed controls cleaned but the JVC had two broken cams on the auto return mechanism. Both turntables had rather odd cartridges which are hard to get needles for so I left that alone, other than cleaning. They both came from a lady at work and I gave her back the Sanyo it was the one she liked most. 

The JVC was a bit more frustrating. I had to glue a plastic cam back together. Tried superglue, JB Weld, and swearing. I did meet a nice fellow from Florida on the vintage audio facebook page. He restores turntables for a living and gave me a lot of good advice and the needed part. I was happy to discover he was NOT a democrat and that was a pleasant surprise. 

I bought a cheap Chinese 12v amp and I had an extra preamp so I can listen to the two Ray Price albums my wife bought at bulk GoodWill. I also have the Reader's Digest Compilation, "Songs for Lover's." This is out in the shop. There is finally so much junk on my main workbench I had to abandon it. Can't even see the real shop stereo.

The shop mechanic at work also gave me two industrial speakers which I have also connected so I have a lot of midrange. Mostly midrange.

I also bought a Chinese pellet mill so that I can turn my hemp into pellets. It does turn hemp into pellets. Pretty much as advertised. I suggested to a few test subjects that the pellets were in fact granola. My subjects reported a rather spicy aftertaste and but amazing feelings of calm and wellness afterwards so who knows.

My friend also gave me his old Traeger grill. After discovering that wood pellets for the Traeger and quite spendy, I made hemp pellets. I mixed the hemp with random sawdust I found in the barrel of floor dry at the shop. My wife was quite skeptical. "Just because you have 1000lbs of hemp doesn't mean you have to use it for everything," she exclaimed. The porkchops were fine. Just tasted smokey. Went really well with a couple bags of Nacho Cheese Dorritos.

I also made cow pellets with hemp shake, barley, peas, and clover hay. I tried them out on my neighbor's cows. They seemed to like them. Later I told him of my experimentation and dumped the rest of my lot of pellets into his grain bin. His helper reported lots of dead rats later in the week. My neighbor does not approve of pot. I however, have gotten a lot of entertainment out of the whole situation.

Hemp dust makes the records sound bad. It is very hard to get off the vinyl. Completely ruins the high range. 

But now it is February. 

February is the month when one say's, "OH CRAP! I have done nothing all winter!" Then have another cup of coffee. However the stress level is up. I probably should work on the grain drill. I need to put the MM G1355 in the shop. The three speed has failed.

Of course the stress level is also up due to the knowledge of more regulation, high diesel, high fertilizer, more regulation, who knows how bad will be screwed by this, Those fuckers Widen and Merkley.  Of course that Bastard Biden has brought in Mike "Corporate" Espy as agriculture secretary so I expect a return to the frustrations of the Obama Administration.

Note: I suppose it is not really fair to denigrate my cheap Chinese mill. It is what it is. The company I bought it from seems quite legitimate and gave me a lot of help over the phone. I could not afford $10,000 plus for a quality made product. You can see the company here. 

Edit: It is interesting that you can put hemp juice in a brownie and eat it. But, you give what is left over to your cow and it is called adulterated meat and you can't sell the cow. Gubment! Here to help you!!!

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