The Useful Duck!

Contribute to my Vacation, please...

Saturday, May 29, 2021

I refuse to go to work in the morning and pretend to listen to a self help book but actually listen to...

 I am a bad farmer. A lazy farmer. There is hay to cut and in three days, there will be hay to bale. I have feed to make, I have a broken tractor, a broken motorcycle, a broken golf cart, and several axes to grind. (metaphorically speaking)

It is 8:30 a.m. on a Saturday. I have a baler to put together and I am blogging. Perhaps that is where the Lazy Farmer name does truly apply.

What I would rather be doing

I hate working on baler plungers. I have trouble reading the instructions. When I had my larger helper Bill, we would argue over the instructions and somehow figure it out. I do not think in the same way as my new helper. Nothing against him. It just doesn't work the same.

This needs to be installed and adjusted and then readjusted and then adjusted again. Then I will probably get it wrong.

I have a book but I can't read... Actually, I can't understand instructions...

I need my daughter. But she has abandoned me.

The weather man is calling for 90 degree temperatures next week. I am taking a vacation. I am going to drive a dumbstruck for the company that is redoing the steam lines at my University. I also have an interview at another University as a handyman groundskeeper. There is a very unlikely possibility that it will pay two dollars an hour more. If so I will take it.

My daughter is working in the grounds department of that University this summer. It is where she attends. She has been advocating for my employment there. I am not sure this is a good idea. I tend to interact too much with her. She objects, but then turns around and seeks me out. This job is an example. She was going to work in my grounds department but then got a job at her University. Then she tries to recruit me.

She said, "At LU I am known as Farmer ....'s daughter. At GFU you will be known as Lulu's dad." A subtle difference. But somehow important in terms of status....

The decision to switch jobs is actually impossible. I was offered the job a couple years ago. The pay turns out to be almost the same when the extra half hour drive is figured in. The drive kind of sucks.  At my current job I now I have 15.5 hrs of PTO per month and they give me all sorts of interesting junk. They are renovating the science building and I am really hoping for cool scientific junk this time! 

I am listening to "How to stop worrying and start Living," by Dale Carnegie. It is a refresher course...

Ok, I'm lying... This is what I am really listening to. Probably why I can't read.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The difference a week makes

Last week I was looking at this!
The Road Really Did go on forever...

 Friday I was looking at this in front of me!

Poa Annua goes on forever...

Last Sunday this was the view out of the Crane Hotsprings!

Dramatic view last Sunday!

This weekend I descended into the bowels of the baler! Somehow the baler got put away without being cleaned and inspected. The top plate under the knotters was broken in four places. Saturday my helper and I took it all apart. This is the view from below. I am also sharpening the knives. We probably should be baling hay.

I think the handle of my hammer has dried out! It was a bit disconcerting when it flew off. 

And no baler repair is successful without injuring yourself. The amount of blood from such a small cut was amazing. 
I was removing a knife bolt with the big air wrench. I was holding the head of the bolt down with my finger. Laying on my back under the baler. The head of the bolt turned in the slot and a sharp sliver of metal sliced my finger. When I felt it happen I had the sinking feeling that I had really injured myself and was going to have to sit in the emergency room at 7 p.m. on a Saturday evening. 
Just a flesh wound. Makes it hard to type with a bandaid on.

Monday, May 10, 2021

We visit Crane Oregon

 We are staying at the Crane Hotsprings just a couple miles from the huge metropolis of Carne, Oregon. Crane is notable for being tiny and having a public High School where students board. The area is so sparsely populated that it is too far for student to ride the bus to school. So they live there!

We took a long drive today. The GPS tried to send us to Winnemucca, Nevada. This was not where we wanted to go. Fortunately we had a map. We went French Prairie. We wanted to see an old Ranch and were temped to take the Steens Mountain loop. However we settled for an Ice Tea at the French Prairie Mercantile and headed home. 

We did find a ranch for sale on Ru-Red road near the Malheur wild life refuge. If someone would like to buy it for me. It is only $295,000. A bargain!

The high desert is very dramatic. Rock formations jump out of the sagebrush. 

People also seem to like to live in really crappy old manufactured homes a half mile off the highway. There are also quite a few alfalfa farms. We even found a mint farm on a gravel back road.

A great time is being had by all!

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The problem with vacationing

 I don't understand vacations.

I know the title of this blog is the Lazy Farmer. It is true that I am lazy. Perhaps too lazy to actually take a vacation. 

My hero is the original Lazy Farmer who was featured in farm magazines of the 1950's. He would not take a vacation. He was a worker! In that spirit, my goal as a Lazy Farmer is to avoid work. My ideal is to sit next to the wood stove on a winter morning with a cup of coffee and read Farm Show Magazine. My other goal is to have my wife get a good job so that I can sit by the wood stove on cold winter mornings and read Farm Show Magazine with out "Mirandy" telling me to get to work.

That has not happened in my life and so I do feel like I am a bit of a failure. I have had a lot of cracked pot schemes. No-Till planting, Non-GMO pig feed, Selling the original stock of Slik Toy tractors. (Still have several boxes), hemp, hemp pellets, pellets in general, hemp tonic, and 55lb wheat straw bales to feed stores and the latest and most ill conceived scheme of all- Being a Groundskeeper!

All of these schemes boil down a sinister conspiracy to keep me away from my rocking chair and a nice warm fire.

My lovely and gracious wife, who we shall refer to as "Mirandy" for the purposes of this story is a determined woman.

Mirandy alternates between encouraging me to work harder and worrying about me working too hard. Three years ago I declared a moratorium on vacations until our trailer manufactured home was paid off. However, I gave in. Mirandy was of the opinion that I either needed to up my life insurance, go to a doctor and get diagnosed for sleep disorders, or go on vacation. She was so sincere I agreed on a vacation. Mostly because that vacation was three months away from the time of the discussion.

Three months have passed and now I am on vacation. We are in Bend, Oregon. We are on our way to Burns Oregon. I am going to attempt fishing. Also, there are hot springs involved and a ranch. I like the idea of hot springs in the same way I like the idea of smoking hemp and listening to Willie Nelson all day. It is great to have goals but often achieving those goals is a bit of a disappointment.

We were going to visit a cousin in Bend. In fact we allowed time for the visit. However, I neglected to call the cousin and we went to GoodWill instead. 

Earlier we had lunch at the place in Sister's Oregon with a large stuffed dead Black Angus on the wall. There was also a bored looking Buffalo and a rather irritated looking Coyote on the wall.

My wife found half a drywall screw in her French Fries. It was the non-pokey end and she didn't actually eat it so alls well that ends well I say.

We also saw lots of burned trees and a large dam. People were catching trout off the side of the dam. The other side of the dam had a better view.

I really am not sure what a person should do on vacation. If my daughter were still age 10 then I can think of all sorts of adventures. I kind of just want to read a book...

Choices of Books to read on vacation...

1. "Dangerous Visions #1,"  Science Fiction shorts stories curated by Harlan Ellison and Isaac Asimov. (present from my daughter)

2. "Farewell Victoria," by T.H. White. I'm sure that will depress me. End of Empires and God, Honor Country, and all that. Then I will start ranting about the idiot professor at work who has a degree in Post Colonialism, ok really?!!! There is a degree in drivel and you can get paid to teach drivel and no one knows why small private colleges are now irrelevant. I guess the gullible blue-haired girls need something to care about... I suppose I should not have read "The Once and Future King," at such a young age. Might does not make right, Ignoble means are not justified by a noble cause. Lancelot should not have been tapping Genevere, but Morgan LeFaye was hot. I would totally have gone for her.. 

But I digress... (In the worst way)

3."Modernism and Totalitarianism," by Richard Shorten. I started to read this to argue with my Workstudy girl who was taking a class in Nazi/Facism but it turns out we agree on most everything. Her family is hispanic and they work hard for their living. She is not happy with the BS she has to be subjected to in the Linfield College of Arts and Sciences but figures that is what she has to put up with to become a nurse. I try to encourage her. Doesn't like to be called "Latinx" No real Hispanic person likes to be called Latinx. It is kind of offensive. I haven't figured out why yet. I think it is the male/female tenses. 

4."Flotsam and Jetsam," by Robb White.  He wrote some of my favorite books from my youth, "Up Periscope," "Torpedo Run," "The Lion's Paw." 

But now my "Mirandy" has returned and I must concentrate on my vacation.

Have a happy day!

Addendium: The TV is on. What the heck is wrong with our Government. Declares the border open and then when refugees from the L.......d College of Arts and Sciences favorite socialist dream country show up and want asylum the border is closed. But it maybe it is open. But then they deny people are being kept in cages. Liberalism is a mental disorder. 

Also... People won't go back to work because of all the Wu-Flu money. I suspect the only reason the economy is still work a crap is because people are secretly working for cash but also collecting COVID bucks. It is the private economy that is the only thing keeping us afloat. 

And Now we shall pack up and hit the road. I shall catch a trout, club it to death, and I shall cook it with lemon and butter. Or I shall burst! Goal Setting is Important!

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