Friday, December 13, 2019

Tidbits





Got a little bit run over with events yesterday. I started this post in the morning and thought I'd be able to get back to it in a timely fashion. Life kept happening throughout the day and well into the night, and no part of the life stuff included finishing the post. But 10 p.m. when I finally got home it was already well past bedtime, so I punted this thing toward the southeastern horizon, hoping I'd be able to field it cleanly in the light of a new day. So far, so good.

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Going to be interesting to see what happens in Blighty now as well as what happens here with the coup. The first world is standing at a crossroads. History doesn't ever repeat, but as Twain is alleged to have said, it rhymes. Although shots aren't being fired, I can't help but think of Lincoln at Gettysburg. "...conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure." It's a darned good question. It's going to depend not on what happens in London and Warshington and Brussels, but on whether sovereign people sell their liberty for shiny trinkets.

Ball's in your court, first worlders. It'll be fun to see what you do.

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The above garbage out of the way, Heere's, Howie!


The little girl is named Cedar. She and her sister Willow have taken Howard in and introduced him to their duck flock. By all reports he is doing well and much loved. The story would make for a great Christmas movie, no? With myself as the evil scrooge duck-hater who was planning to murder the poor bird for the holiday table (mmm, Gebratene Ente mit Äpfeln!). Then a pair of brave lasses come along and rescue Howard in the course of much spine-tingling adventuring, and also rescue my evil scrooge heart and soul. I should write the screenplay and get rich have someone else steal it and get rich.

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Principles. You know I've done this before, and you needn't feel you must read this section. I've been a lot of places and done a lot of things in my life. Some people might say my time on this planet has been extraordinary, and I wouldn't disagree, but placed in the context of my time and my choices it's been pretty middle of the road. I know and knew dozens and dozens of folks who had a way more extraordinary ride. Leaving that last aside, in addition to going places and doing things I spent a lot of time reading, thinking, observing, and trying stuff. At the end of each excursion into possibility I've always returned to the foundational principles I learned as a sprout. They are very simple. All humans are equally human, and I must always do my very best to honestly and objectively treat other humans as I would be treated based on that first principle. That covers every possible eventuality, including the fact that outcomes can't be equal and can often be horrible. All I can do is my best to hew to my principles and if I do so the price I must pay can potentially be incredibly hard and awful.

Which is fantastic. Over the years and down through my stack of experiences I've found that hard is best. Hard is wonderful. Hard is where you grow. Hard is where I have to do my very best and where there is no wiggle room at all for shirking. In gut wrenching and incredibly hard times I always find that my best -- which I must do -- is simply not enough. This is when my creator does for me what I cannot do for myself. This is when I have the opportunity to walk in the sunlight of the spirit, bathed in grace and joy. It seems counterintuitive. It is nevertheless true that the hardest trials, properly navigated, bring me the greatest joy I can imagine. Pain and loss and sadness and disappointment and defeat are part of life and can't be avoided. They can be, and are, the pathway to joy and peace.

I like a couple of things that Jordan Peterson says. Not because Jordan Peterson says them and they are cool in some circles, but because they make a lot of sense to me given my principles and my experience.

The first has to do with the Asian concept of Yin and Yang.


The two things are part of the whole of existence, and neither can stand alone. Light and dark, joy and sorrow, peace and strife, order and chaos. The proper place to exist in this life, says Peterson, is at the intersection, with one foot firmly planted in each side. Both sides call to us with a powerful siren song. But we are not creatures of light alone or dark alone. When we try to inhabit one or the other we are out of balance and our lives run off the rails. Joy and peace are not located in those one-sided places, because we simply cannot go to a place where a single influence -- light or dark, if you wish -- can completely eliminate the other. As a consequence, we commonly find that do-gooders crash and burn is spectacular ways and evil-doers can show compassion and remorse. Regardless of the arguments of others, my proper place is with one foot in order and one foot in chaos, where my existence is hard. For me the hard path is the only proper and sane path.

And speaking of hard, Peterson opined that the proper way of being in this life is to find the largest burden you can bear and then bear it. For me this is entirely correct. And this is one of the reasons I recoil (often visibly!) when I'm advised to take it easy. To me it feels (and I'm sure this is seldom the adviser's intent) like being told to lie or cheat or steal. It's a siren song, and I wish to stay away from those rocks and shoals!

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And having disposed of that garbage...

Yesterday started with a cow out.



Red took the opportunity in her zeal to run the out cow right past the gate a couple of times. The group of in cows who were watching and observing wanted to join the out cow by passing through the open gate. Therefore Red and I had to move the in cows back away from the gate. At this point the out cow wanted to rejoin the in cow group, so she charged back through the gate and into the pasture. But Red very nearly put her back out! It's always an challenge, and no circumstance ever plays out exactly as you plan it. Which makes it frustrating at times, sure, but also always an adventure.

I believe I've shared the fact here before that cows get out. There are ways to mitigate cow-outage, such as building and maintaining stronger and tighter fence. There are a lot of factors involved in managing fences and cow outages, and for my particular ranch it comes down to assessing the risk associated with cow outages and comparing that to the opportunity cost of spending time working on fence.

The risk of having cows out is manifold. They are big animals and they eat green stuff, so they can damage a neighbor's crops. A single cow can destroy a hedge and garden and wreak havoc on a lawn in an astonishingly short time. A cow on the road is a real threat to motorists, as colliding with a thousand-pound herbivore will ruin your vehicle and possibly send you to the horsepistol. So it's the prudent and responsible thing to keep your cows in.

At the same time, it's cost prohibitive to construct a fence which is entirely and always cow-proof. You can build a fence like that, but you'll go out of business. So you build a non-perfect fence which keeps the cows in most of the time.

But most of the time is not all of the time, so what do you do? You have to constantly  assess the problem and factor it into your running cost-benefit calculation. Are all the cows getting out? Or just a few or even one? If it's the former the answer is clear. You gotta do what it takes to keep them in. If it's the latter then you're dealing with fence that is nearly completely adequate and one or a few persistent fence crawlers.

The time or season of the year is a player too. During the growing season, if adequate rain prompts adequate grass growth, cows won't test even a rickety fence because they've got all the grass they could possibly want right in front of their faces. When the growing season is past (or yet to come) it's harder for cows to find the grass they prefer, which is the green stuff. Even in the depths of winter there is green grass here and there, it's just very sparse, so the cows are constantly searching it out. And because of the dynamics of wind and water and plant life, many of the winter annual grasses germinate and flourish along fence lines. Cows will clean up the green stuff on their side of the fence, then push their noses through the fence to get at the tasty stuff on the other side. Eventually they will break a wire and/or pop enough staples and clips to make it possible for them to get through the fence. It's a dynamic world, and cows and fences are a prime example of this.

It pretty much comes down to constantly patching as needed, and then building/repairing as you can.

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I should like to report that after a bit of trial and error, the stock tank floats in the Cederburg pasture are now properly adjusted. Those two tanks are now called Brig North and Brig South. Here's where they are located in the pasture.


You can see 'em from space. Brig North:


Brig South:


A few more conventional views of Brig North, complete with cows making funny faces.




And a video taken at Brig South.



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Having checked the cows and water and fences, gotten the cow outage sorted, and having received an okay from Red, it was time to go to shopping hell. But first, I had to close the gate and avoid slipping and falling. It's not really a big deal, but because of the way snow drifts and ice forms at the north gate area of the Cederburg pasture, there's always a winter ice patch right where you have to stand to open and close the gate. You just have to be careful is all, be prepared to fall, and not be a hysterical crybaby about the challenges nature constantly serves up.



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The shopping wasn't, of course, shopping hell. It was pretty easy actually, but I like being a hysterical crybaby when it comes to visiting wally-land. Gag. Having visited real wally-lands out in the more populated parts of the world, I know very well that the crowds and the bustle and the shopping-cart wars of the Sidney wally-land pale in comparison. Most of you kind readers would walk into the Sidney location on a busy day and think, "man, this place is dead!"

An upside to visiting the wally-land at this time of year is people watching. So many grim, near-panicked expressions as shoppers go about purchasing holiday cheer!

The Sidney trip culminated in lunch at Perkins. The service was excellent and fast. The food was well prepared and presented quickly while still piping hot. It was a good, tasty meal. I selected the 55+ country fried steak and gravy, which came with mashed potatoes and a garden salad. I was hungry so I snarfed the salad down before I thought to take a picture. As it turned out, I should have ordered the same meal but "hold the steak and potatoes." The 55+ menu is alleged to feature smaller portions for oldsters who don't need all that fuel! It was way more food than I needed or really wanted, but I ate it all anyway. Unfortunately, cream gravy covered steak and potatoes isn't exactly photogenic.


Mom had eggs Benedict. Much more pleasing to the eye.


And now that I've finished yesterday's post, it's time to get on with today's day.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.







Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Rubber eggs and stuff





Once again I hit the ground running this morning and didn't make it home until after dark. I'm getting a lot done which is a good thing.

When I watered and checked the chickens and looked for eggs I found a very strange thing.


My guess was this -- the hen had low calcium, the hen was stressed, or it was just one of those things that chickens do from time to time.

Mom looked it up on the interwebz (her pre-lookup conclusions were very similar to mine) and found that the hen either had low calcium or stress or it was one of those things that chickens do from time to time.


Thank you for that algore. Without your own personal invention of the internet, the computer, electricity, sodium bicarbonate, and hypocrisy, we'd have never figured it out.

Well, we did ask. And we asked the interwebz. But I also felt like taking a gratuitous shot at the algore. Some experts (such as mr algore of course) call these thin-shelled eggs "rubber eggs." Or at least that's what Mom told me the interwebz said.

Directly after mr algore solved our problem I hurried down to the Cederburg pasture to check cows and to see how my stock tank float adjustment had worked.

I found the cows busy doing their cow jobs and enjoying the day.



I double checked the north tank just in case the character of physical law had changed over night. It hadn't and the float still needed adjusting. It wasn't running over but the level was right at the top. On a calm day. Add a touch of wind and it would be running over for all intents and purposes. Sigh.  I did get an unexpected early Christmas present though!



Then I headed over to Brig's Tank to see if I'd done a proper job or made a proper mess of a simple job. It was the latter of course.



So I went and changed boots. While I was at it I had some town errands to run including having lunch with the Snow Girl whose Snow Brother has already rotated back into treatment. It's a process. The girl has taken some lumps but she's got a new job and is enjoying it so far. She's also asking good questions and more importantly doesn't seem to be afraid to ask good questions. If I had a magic wand I could wave and fix things for her I would...break the firetrucking magic wand! Life can be tough and she's had a harder go than many, but also a softer go than many. There are no guarantees but if she keeps suiting up and showing up and taking responsibility she'll one day be a real shining example to others. She's got potential. As does her brother. As do we all.

Then I went and drained both stock tanks in the Cederburg pasture. After shutting the water off of course. Here's how you start the drain. Sorry about the wind noise.



And here is how you drain the tanks with a two-piece plastic drain plug. Kinda. Setup:



Conclusion. Sorta.



It takes thirty minutes to an hour or so to drain tanks, so I fixed fence rather than sit idly by like a bump on a noggin. I did take a break to shoot a video tutorial on cow slobber.



I once again shortened the chain on the float in Brig's tank. Replaced the drain plug. Did the same on the other tank. Turned the water back on. Red supervised.



Over at the other tank the water was flowing. Which was good.



And that was pretty much it for the day, except for all the parts I left out or forgot to mention. In the morning we'll know if I did any good on the tank floats or if I screwed everything up like usual.

I think tomorrow Mom and I will make a seasonal shopping excursion. That'll be fun.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Flames and Floats (now with the video actually included!)





Kind of a hectic day today. We had to drive north to Harrisburg for the annual meeting with the bank. Harrisburg is roughly 30 miles away and boasts a population of about 100. It's located in Banner County, the next county to the north. Banner County has a population of about 690. Because a whole Banner County family got threwn in the joint for fraud, bad checks, embezzlement, and cooking meth, the county also boasts the highest per capita imprisonment rate in the state. Cool, eh?

So why do we bank there? Well, been banking there forever. They are also probably the best Ag-centric bank in this half of the state. Kimball is 27 times larger than Harrisburg but the Kimball banks (there are three, all branches of big city banks) wouldn't make a pimple on the ass of the bank in Harrisburg.

Anyway, we went there this morning. But before we did that, there was this.



Here's a closeup (ish).


After I took the pics and video I stopped and talked to the three guys who were there. As it turns out, burning sludge pits is illegal. You can't get a permit to do it even if you're like a senator or something. If you look close you can see a truck and trailer and a loader/backhoe. The guys I visited with had been starting to do some work with the loader/backhoe when the fire started. At the time I spoke with them the fire department was enroute. By the time we left for Harrisburg 15 minutes after I took the video the fire was out.

Once we finished at the bank we stopped at the Hilltop Cafe in Banner county for lunch. Mom had a BLT wrap and chili, my brother and I had the special, which was Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and gravy.




I hadn't been to the Hilltop Cafe since about 1973. And now I remember why. It was an interesting visit and the food wasn't poisoned or anything, but, I guess I'm just too picky. And I probably have a superiority complex being from Kimball County and all. Where I avoid the restaurants as well. Yep, too picky.

Back home I got busy. I finally attempted to properly adjust the stock tank float on what shall be henceforth known as Brig's Stock Tank. I think I got it right but it got dark before the tank refilled so I won't know for sure until morning.

Also got started on oil and filter change for the backup generator, having finally sourced the proper chinesium oil and air filter. Tomorrow, unless something comes up, which it will, I shall get the generator going and load test it. And/or whatever fate has in store for me.

All in all a pretty good day.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Monday, December 9, 2019

Crazy exciting!





A competent and accomplished blogger probably doesn't employ sarcasm when titling posts.

I feel kind of bad that so many of my posts lately have been repetitive.  I feel like I'm a bit of a slacker, just flinging up a daily recap of my boring ranch labors. What's more boring than pseudo-assessing pocket gopher damage in December?



I do recognize that you kind readers enjoy the opportunity to peer into the goings on aboard a Naval Cattle Station. Hmmm. NCS Evertson, part of the Naval Agricultural Base KIMBNE.

Now I'm just being silly. But there's a place for silly, at least from time to time. Like trying to harvest dryland corn when the stalks are soaking wet and frozen. Sometimes reality slaps me right in the kisser with the blessing I enjoy of not being a farmer!



Which brings me back around to the question about boring repetition. Where is the line? When does this blog go from enough cows and fences and stock tanks to way too much of that stuff? The line may well be behind me if you kind readers find my dog-talk to be over the top. Didn't know I could hit those high notes. Pretty disgusting, really.



The babble-blather sounds to my ear just a bit, I don't know, Babbly? Blathery?



So line location. It's a good question, I don't know the answer, I fear I'm skating perilously close to the edge. And from the audio-visual side of the blog, I'm afraid it's more of the same. As always, I'm faced with a veritable smorgasbord of delightful ways to be lazy.



So how about a bit of a rant today? A good way to start with a fresh, clean sheet of lighty-uppity electrons and stuff, particularly since I failed to post yesterday.

So Saturday as I was laboring along -- mostly cleaning up after the controlled burn and throwing scrap metal into the ROF (which is scheduled to be collected today, Monday December 9) --

Good gravy and kippers, who wrote that abomination of a sentence?

Anyway, Saturday I slipped on the ice. Now what I should have done was just embrace the fall and PLF myself to the ground and victory. But the stubborn monster me decided it was going to do the cow on ice dance. This surprised reasonable monster me only a tiny bit, and that stubborn monster me pulled it off was hardly more surprising. We me-monsters do have some interesting skills. So I did not fall, and Nona attested to the nature of my dancing ability with a huge double take. I mean a HUGE double take. She nearly mislocated her neck!

Not long after the initial demonstration, however, I noticed a significant increase in nerve pain. Rats. It being Saturday noontime, my choices were to fight a losing battle with the pain or take an hour to visit the local sawbones and collect a prescription for oral steroids before the 3 p.m. closing time of the pharmacia. I took the second course.

And let me just say this about that. Here in Kimball we may not have a lot of the modern conveniences. I can't just trip on down to the mega mall and pick up a gallon of scented tofu and a new set of high-viz blaze orange studded winter flip-flops. I can't get clean and luscious bananas without making a 120-mile round trip excursion. On most days I can't even find a decent chow line to stand in.

But I can walk unannounced into the local hospital's physician clinic at noon on a Saturday and be seen and on my way in 20 minutes. That's pretty remarkable, I think, and I don't imagine a lot of my fellow Americans can routinely share a similar medical experience. So I'm pretty happy with the local balance of available stuff and services. Blaze orange clashes with my mustache anyway.

However, comma, on with the rant.

Having got my meds and gotten myself back to work, there came a time when I had the opportunity to share the story of my dancing experience and subsequent medicinal excursion.

"What did you go to town for?", axed two separate people who have a right to be curious and have also had my nerve pain condition explained in extremely competent fashion on more than a number of occasions.

"I slipped on the ice and started having nerve pain so I ran to town and got some roids. They're really helping, though I wish they didn't have the 'jangly' side effect."

"Oh! You hurt your back! You shouldn't be working! You need to take some time off! What a horrible tragedy! Never in the course of human existence has there been such a horrific tragedy!"

Arrrggghhh!!!

Several things bother me about this oft-repeated game. Firstly, my fellow conversationalists can't even be bothered to listen to what I actually say. They just decide what my words actually have to really mean. How could I possibly know anything about it anyway? And they've often watched doobie howitzer  and ncis on the universal teaching device, so they're obviously world class physicians in addition to being career government bureaucrats.

Another thing about this situation which I find vexing and jaw tightening is this. The perpetrators, I believe, feel somewhat guilty for not pitching in and working as hard or harder than I. That guilty feeling is bullshit. Why would a reasonable person who has their own life and responsibilities feel like they should be living my life and doing my stuff? How does that make sense? Unless of course it's a form of that sick and manipulative control game. Which I believe it is.

Concern for and reasoned, principled empathy for the discomfort of another human is a sterling quality of character.

However, when a person or persons can't be assed to listen to the words they demanded in the first place, and instead offer guidance and counseling based on a misapprehension of the fundamentals of the situation -- a misapprehension they just pulled out of their ass because it's too hard to even pay attention to the forty-leventh recapitulation of the actual reality of the thing -- it becomes abundantly clear that they do not in fact see the person they're attempting to guide as a human being like themselves. No, that so-called person is in actuality just a thing to be manipulated. A means to an end.

Now people just do people stuff. Humans are all equally human. My responsibility and duty as a human is to be ever cognizant of this fact and to do my very best to treat them as I would myself be treated were our roles reversed.

Therefore, at a certain point along the stupid walk I identify a need to take off the gloves and get caustic. Sailor talk was invented for a reason. "So tell me, o master, how is it that my treating you as a thing to be manipulated would be a crime, yet you treating me that way is okay? You want me to answer your question, which is perfectly fair and proper, then maybe shut your fucking pie hole and listen to the fucking answer, eh? You want to tell me what I must do and how I must do it, maybe you should take a run at understanding what I'm actually fucking doing, eh? And if you understand that, then perhaps you could actually come up with a valid fucking suggestion, eh? For the moment I'm gonna get on with my job. Let's do this again sometime, shall we?"

Yeah, I'm a dick. When I deploy an appropriate degree of dickishness I usually feel better. I think it's quite nice of me to offer up a learning opportunity,

And now that I'm about to post this up for all posterity, I feel even better.

Hopefully I haven't made a dreadful miscalculation.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Saturday, December 7, 2019

Quick again





I wanted to try to do something about Pearl Harbor and December 7 today, possibly because today is December 7, and if my finger counting worked correctly, today is the 78th anniversary of that Day of Infamy.

But you know, stuff.

Rather than what I planned, let me just do a couple of brief things and share the wealth that John Blackshoe laid down in comments a couple of days ago in response to the UNREP video I tacked on to the end of the post at the last moment.

UNREP/RAS is not fun in heavy weather, nor is it very safe, but while you can go on short rations for a few days, the thirsty boilers insist on a steady ration of fuel. Sticky, foul NSFO (Savy standard fuel oil) during WW2 through the early 1960s, then DFM (diesel fuel marine) until boilers were abandoned in favor of jet boats which I think like JP-5 and also reduces the variety of liquid cargo needed.

Here are some links for USS DAMATO (DD-871) fueling in the North Atlantic 1971.
First two photos- ROMEO closed up, making their approach.
Third photo- click on the enlarged version and you can see that they have a shotline across to the forward fueling station on the 01 level by the torpedo tubes, and are pulling in the phone and distance line. The Bosn's mates/riggers in yellow helmets look like they have another messenger and are beginning to haul over the spanwire to connect to the white painted fittings on the bulkhead. This was before the FRAM DDs had the probe receivers, so they will have to stick the hose pigtail down the refueling trunk.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix2/0587142.jpg
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix2/0587145.jpg
http://www.navsource.org/archives/05/pix2/0587148.jpg

Every one is hanging on, and some may have some sort of lifeline connecting them to the ship. The safety observer in white helmet is hanging onto the starboard torpedo tubes.

And, sometimes it really was too rough to do- see USS Astoria (CL-90) January 1945 attempt in an interesting newsletter:
http://www.mighty90.com/uploads/2009_Q2_Mighty_Ninety_Newsletter.pdf

But, in nice weather you can UNREP while the airdales go flying- as with this F6F taking off from USS Hancock ca 1944.
https://albumwar2.com/f6f-hellcat-fighter-takes-off-from-the-us-aircraft-carrier-hancock/

For a good history of underway replenishment 1898 to date, see:
https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/SNAME/c94aa3c4-ac81-452f-83a9-e8fdbd2e7837/UploadedFiles/SNAME_CLF%20presentation_McCarton_DEC%205%202012.pdf

John Blackshoe- when you're out of FRAMS, you're out of cans!

Here are the first three images John provided webdresses to. You can click 'em bigger.





And here's the image of the Hellcat launching from Hancock during UNREP. You can make this one bigger too.


Here is a link to the USS Astoria (CL-90) newsletter. What a great read! Halsey flinging 800 sorties against Saigon, sinking more than 40 Japanese ships. And the saga of Captain Gerry Armitage, USMC.

Here's the link to a history of underway replenishment. Fascinating. It is ever true that you can't put fused ordnance on target on time if you don't have the fuel to steam and fly, the bombs to drop and the bullets to shoot, the chow to feed Sailors and Marines, etc. And that all comes from the tail, doesn't it? And among the fascinating facts in this presentation is a little piece about USS Cyclops, which was a fleet collier. This was, obviously, during the time when the USN still had some coal fired ships along with fuel oil fired ships. In 1913 USS South Carolina (BB-26) and cyclops (AC-4) tested stores and ammunition UNREP, which was "slow but feasible." Who remembers what Cyclops is most famous for?

The thing that leaped out at me on this Pearl Harbor day is this. There was a whole Pacific war ahead of the U.S. Navy on this day 78 years ago. A couple of the untold thousands of events that followed are outlined in the Astoria newsletter.

Another of those events is enshrined in the name of the Destroyer pictured above, preparing to UNREP in the North Atlantic during operation Clean Sweep in 1971. That unassuming FRAM Can is USS Damato, DD-871, which is named for Anthony Peter Damato.
Born 28 March 1922 in Shenandoah, Pa., Anthony Peter Damato enlisted in the Marine Corps 8 January 1942. He served in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Algeria, and in the Pacific from 21 May 1943. Corporal Damato was killed in action 19 February 1944 at Eniwetok, when he threw himself on a hand grenade to save the lives of his companions. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this heroic self-sacrifice. Photo from the USMC History Division.


It's a good day to be reminded that there are things in our national history for which adequate words have not yet been invented.

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.




Friday, December 6, 2019

Another quick one





What a day. Nothing major, just a long slog.

Conditions were right for a controlled burn today. We have several piles of trees, tree limbs, and lumber debris. Most places have them. When conditions are right you strike a match and release the murder carbon directally into the atmosphere.

You have to be careful with fire. Especially out here in the sticks where there's a lot of grassland and it's been an abundant grass year.

Snow on the ground around the site is good, as is a lack of wind. It's not always easy to get the right conditions to coincide with your ability to spend a whole day at the chore. I've been wanting to burn this pile for several years. In that time it went from just a little tyke of a pile to a serious pile.

The day began with a trip to the local Fire Chief's salvage yard. It's a volunteer department and he's a salvage guy. Been going to the same place to get a burn permit for the last 20 years.

But he got voted out last month! There's a new fire chief!

Of course I know him and where his business is, so not that big of a deal.


Burn permit in hand, I got busy.

First I lit it off.



Once it was going good I used the Bobcat to push stuff in and pull stuff out to keep things going the way I wanted.



Eight hours later it was mostly burned down. I banked the area with snow and dumped a good bit of snow on smoldering branches.



It was a hot, dirty, all-day job.



Glad it's done.

Cattle and chickens are fine. I sneaked away from the fire long enough to fix the stock tank float.

It was a very pretty day but I didn't take in much of the beauty as I was toiling longer and harder than usual. It's what I get paid for. I'm blessed that I can do stuff like this; that I have the knowledge and experience and that I'm not afraid of hard physical labor or of getting dirty. Nona made me roll down the windows on the way home this evening. She's a good dog but she'll only put up with so much bullshit!

Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.








Thursday, December 5, 2019

Why did the black cat cross the yard and other fun questions





As I was out hanging up freshly laundered bed sheets this morning I espied a visitor.


It was the neighborhood black cat, of course. This cat I choose to call Brutus for no good reason. The cat meandered his/her way across the neighbor's back yard. Handsome cat imo.



I understand that across most of the nation it is now eye-leegul to hang laundry outside for drying. Using sun and wind to dry clothes causes global warming. You have to use an electrical clothes dryer powered by fossil fuels. It's vital to put more carbon in the air by using an electrical appliance because the carbon generated in this responsible fashion actually hunts down and kills murder carbon. Also, hanging laundry outside causes very severe and horrible victimization of people who worship greta and eat lead paint and other cornstitutionally garn-teed freedoms. Butt I digress.

Why did Brutus cross the neighbor's yard? Because he/she felt like it. Cats do what cats do because it's what cats do.

Another fun question is this: Why were people looking at me funny yesterday?

There's no way to know for sure. Maybe I look like the ax murderer featured on 'merka's most wanted last night. Maybe a lot of people realized they were in the presence of greatness. More likely the answer is the same as for the previous question. Because people do what people do because it's what people do.

By far the most likely answer, however, is that my face looked funny. You see, my cordless razor ran out of juice halfway through my morning shave yesterday, and I got called away before I could complete the job. Then I forgot that I needed to complete the job. This morning I remembered though, and the razor was fully charged.

Today I'm unsure why people continue to look at me funny. My face is evenly shaved, including on both sides. I'm thinking it's probably that "presence of greatness" thing.

The final fun question for the day is this: Did they change the traffic laws when I wasn't paying attention? Today on three separate occasions vehicles ahead of me signaled left, moved into the turn lane, then suddenly turned right, directly across my path. Good thing I are a defensive kinda driver. Not everyone is. It seems a bit dangerous to me, that whole suddenly cutting across traffic to make a turn thing, but I ain't in charge of the laws. I'm just wondering if I'm doing it wrong. I'm pretty sure turning across traffic like that was forbidden when I learned to drive, but I can sure see where someone could be victimized by having to follow such a restrictive regulation. We can't have that!

Having not really answered those questions, I set out to do the day's stuff.

While checking cows I was able to get over to the well switch for the first time since the storm. My plan was to shut the well off. That way the cattle will drink the stock tank with the not-very-well fixed float down, making it easier for me to adjust the float properly (for certain values of properly) tomorrow. But of course...(sorry 'bout the sideways video. Eww-toobe knows better than I what the proper orientation should be. Thank goodness for al-gore-ithms).



Having turned the switch off I got to work. Same excuse for the sidewize video presentation.



Hey presto, fixed! And not mis-oriented (although that is a judgement which victimizes eww-toobe). Also a very pretty if cool, gray, and overcast morning.



There was a ray of sunshine, which Red took full advantage of.



Then it was onward and upward to more better things!



More stock tank and cow stuff.



Finished with the cattle I got stuck in to loading scrap in the ROF. The Bobcat did yeoman service. Driven correctly it can handle snow and ice with little problem. I got a lot of stuff loaded, and as tomorrow and Saturday are forecast to be quite warm and nice I should be able to finish filling the box. If all goes as presently planned. Which it won't. so we'll have to see what actually happens.

I was going to make the moving pictures of Bobcat scrap ops, but I got busy working and forgot to document. Need to get me one of those go-amateur cameras with the headband thingy or something.

Instead of that, how about this? UNREP training film from 1965. Very top secret and for officers only! Now I know why UNREP's could so quickly devolve into a straight up romeo foxtrot. Nevertheless, this video brings back a lot of fond memories. And the guys featured here were the guys who came just before me. Pretty cool.



Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.