Thoughts, observations, sea stories and ideas from a former sailor and lifelong rancher
Monday, November 4, 2019
Cool and damp
It's cool and damp here today, with the schizophrenic precipitation flipping back and forth between rain and snow.
Yesterday was warmer but quite windy. It was a good day to get stuff done outside at the ranch, but working in the wind is never really pleasant. It's okay, though, and as I've often noted, a little bit of misery helps me relish the more-perfecter days all the more. Plus I get the silent bragging rights that attend willingness to hard-dick it and not be a pussy. Simple minds take pleasure in simple things.
A monumental and ongoing task at the ranch is cleanup. When dad left us, he left behind a veritable train wreck of a junk yard. We all have our quirks, and one of Dad's was never picking up or cleaning up. Over the years a lot of junk just got piled somewhat out of sight down in the trees, mostly to make room for more stuff to be thrown down in piles in the shop, the ranch yard, the barn, etc. Now that he's gone and can no longer veto a cleanup, it's an all-hands field day.
All hands being more properly most hands.
The upside is that my brothers have been helping out and doing huge quantities of work when they visit. We're making good progress.
The local rural sanitation engineer has been parking 20-yard roll-off dumpsters empty and hauling them off when full. It's a bit spendy but actually quite economical when compared to the costs of hauling junk to the town junkyard/landfill on our own.
Of course every day brings trials and tribulations. Yesterday the Bobcat started to shit the bed; lugging down and losing power under load. Today I'm deep in the manual and perusing online forums and videos and I think I'm closing in on a cure, which will likely be loading the sumbitch on the trailer and hauling it to Sidney to support the kollidge edmacations of the Dear John outlet. It is what it is.
With the Bobcat hors de combat I got ready to fire up the tractor, which needed a battery charge after sitting for two years. Aaaanndd, I found that the battery charger had been rather poorly treated by the last person to use it, who was either the not-me ghost or some firetrucking invisible alien.
Which made me a bit cranky for a while.
Cranky isn't a happy place to be and a waste of the limited and shrinking time I've got left in this plane of existence, so I made peace with it and proceeded with other things I could do.
Today I'll cough up the coin for a new charger, and at some point in the future someone will get punched in the mouth. But not in anger. Simple minds, simple things!
And so it goes. Life on planet Earth. At least the 2700 calf is feeling more better.
Hope you're all well and enjoying the blessings of Liberty.
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My Dad was well known for letting tools lie where he last used them. Not good in a place with 30' of snow each winter, on average. Off to town to buy a new socket set, or wrench set, etc. Come spring melt off and the yard would be littered with tools. The truck of my car ended up well stocked.ReplyDelete
We never sharpened mower blades until after the first mowing of the spring. The mower would shoot sockets and wrenches all over the place. Busted a couple of house windows and windshields too. All part of the adventure.Delete
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You mentioned the calves were not yours. Have you taken up the rustling habit, or are your brothers grazing there, or do you lease it out to a neighbor?ReplyDelete
Yeah, tools not where they should be, or not ready to use are a bummer, however I have no right to cast the first stone on that topic.
We have a three-year seasonal pasture lease with the local vet. She is a rarity, a girl large animal vet. She and her family own lots of cattle but not much land. Good renters.Delete
It's much more fun to fling the stone in the cesspool when you don't have the right!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting John.
Thanks for sharing part of your life with me/us. I liked hearing the train engine horn off in the distance. "It's a bit spendy but actually quite economical when compared to the costs of hauling junk to the town junkyard/landfill on our own." Two of the big savings are your time and fuel costs. Plus, of course, the wear and tear on the hauling vehicle.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the post.
Paul L. Quandt
Glad you enjoyed. Time, fuel and wear and tear make it quite economical indeed.Delete
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Paul!
Lots of old farmers refused to throw ANYTHING away. Which is a bit of a problem now days... Friend of mine found a Model A in the back pasture of his grandda's place. Problem was, a tree had grown up through it... sighReplyDelete
I've seen similar things; lots of old cars and trucks with trees growing out of them on farms around here. We have an old pile of fence panels with a pair of siberian elms growing out of them. Don't know whether to cut down the trees or cut away the panels. Or both.Delete
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A farm without a boneyard or two is probably not a working farm. As to tools, My dad always had a place for everything and everything in it's place. My mother was the same way, and they taught us kids to be the same. It annoyed the hell out of the Cowman when I would pickup tools and put them back as he would hunt them where he left them. I never said a word about doing it... and it got to be funny to see him stomping around looking everywhere but where it was supposed to be.ReplyDelete
That's funny, I've seen the same dance many times. :) There are boneyards, and there are trainwreck junkyards. It's all in the eye of the beholder. The aches and pains of the picker-uppers probably color the vision a tad.Delete
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Brig!
John Deere Bobcats used to really be Owatonnas. Which is now part of Gehl. I don't know if that helps much. Deere has a real nice little articulated end loader, that, since is says JOHN DEERE on it, probably only costs around $850,000. For the base model.ReplyDelete
This one says Bobcat on it but has a JD key, so maybe it's an Onnawanna. Acting like a fuel filter; now I gotta figure out how to change that to find out that that's not the problem and go on to step two. You know the drill. :)Delete
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Scott!
Can't jump it off of the GM flatbed?ReplyDelete
Could have but the geometry is bad for where the tractor was parked. I bashed the sheet metal on the charger back in place and broke the cooling fan but as it was cool out I gave it a whirl and got the tractor started. I ordered a new charger this morning. Of course the point isn't making do, it's that some shitbird made do-do and didn't unfiretruck the mess. Which calls for a loving punch in the mouth. Which will of course not be administered.Delete
Many are the times back in the day when we be out hunting on someone's farm and come across a ravine jammed with old rusting equipment and vehicles. Saw a lot of old cars which would be worth a fair piece these days, if you could get them running again, also provided there were no trees growing through them. (Yup, seen that too.)ReplyDelete
A mix of rain and snow drives me nuts. I'm always yelling at clouds, "Just pick one!"
Crazy old coot that I'm becoming.
I have it on good authority that the clouds listen.Delete
And laugh their nebulous asses off.
Lots and lots of rusting iron piled all across the 50 states and parts of New Brunswick. It's the way of reality. It all came out of the ground, and was placed there by an exploding star billions of years ago, so it's all good.
Thanks for stopping by and commenting Crazy Coot!