Sunday, November 24, 2019
The beauty of a miserable day
It was windy as hell today, therefore it was a blowy day. Except it wasn't blowy at all. If that makes sense. And I'd be surprised if it did. Starting a day like this is a delight...
There's a bar up thar...
The wind was kind of miserable. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. it was roughly 30 mph sustained gusting 40-50 mph. That kind of wind makes working outside harder than usual. On the one hand that's a pain in the ass. On the other -- and you know me -- harder is better. Especially when nature greets me first thing in the morning with this.
Didn't hurt at all that the air temperature ramped up to 60 early and stayed there most of the day. The wind can be a lot more miserable when the air temps are cold!
I started as usual watering the chickens and gathering eggs.
After that chore was complete, my plan was to do a quick cow check, get the water turned on, and then get stuck into adding scrap metal to the 40 yard ROF. However...
So what happened is simply this. Some of the cows discovered tasty green grass on the west side of the fence. The tasty green stuff is present there in the form of downy brome, or cheat grass. It's a winter annual grass which germinates every fall from seed produced during the summer. It grows rapidly into lush and delightful green stuff, and it tolerates freezing remarkably well. Eventually, later in the year, it goes dormant. In the spring it perks back up and does the same rapid growth thing before going to seed in late spring, drying out and dying and leaving seed to germinate in a couple of months. So that's a winter annual grass for you. Right now for the cows it's very tasty stuff and they want to eat it. It's on the other side of the fence because that's the disturbed ground of a trail road. On our side of the fence there's nothing but dormant native prairie grass, all dried up and not nearly as tasty as the green cheat grass. So the cows push their heads through the wire, and if they find a weak place, they can pop wires loose and bend steel posts.
So that kind of sucks, because it has to be fixed, and fixed correctly and immediately. So my scrap metal plans have to wait their proper turn. Which kind of sucks.
But not completely. For one thing, fixing fence is always a challenge, always a chore, always interesting, and always satisfying. Add gale force winds and the job gets hard, and hard is good. It's added challenge, added effort, and leads to added satisfaction and enjoyment. I guess I'm just wired that way. And for another thing, when the cows tear up the fence it's all part of the symbiotic relationship we share. The cattle and I are part of a dynamic ecosystem, and we are each in an ongoing struggle to wrest a living from nature. One aspect of our dynamic symbiosis is that the cows show me where the fence is weak, and then I fix it. In a way it's like having a free and ongoing fence testing service. Which I think is pretty cool.
So I fixed the fence, then had to run recyclables to town for Mom. Not much of a chore. When I got back I decided to check the water and turn it off if the tanks were full. They were, so I did. But I also found a cow out, and more torn up fence, just spitting distance from where I'd done my earlier repair. So I got the cow back in and got back to work. Again, simple and satisfying. But this time the wind had gone down, so it was satisfying in a slightly different way. It wasn't a battle, it was just an enjoyable job on a smashingly beautiful pre-Thanksgiving evening.
Between the two fence jobs, before I took the recycling to town, I got busy with the scrap project. I gave the Bobcat quite a good workout and it ran like a champ. I also did some experimenting with technique, and I managed to figure out what seems to be the best approach to efficiently and completely filling the ROF, given the scrap I have to work with.
And while I was in town with the recycling, I took time to download pictures and videos from my phone. Ran into a problem though. My phone is of the locked variety, so I've never been able to directly download pics and vids to my PC via a cable. Rather than figure out how to do that, I've been downloading them wirelessly to my el goog drive, then from the drive to the PC. It's an extra step, but I haven't bothered to figure out how to do it the simple way with a cable. It's been fine, but today el goog decided my drive was full. Turns out that despite telling el goog in settings not to save my files, it saves them anyway. I can only get rid of them by deleting and then emptying trash. Which is a pain, but I can do it that way. however, now my phone tells me that I can't download because my drive is full, despite the fact that when I check storage, either on the phone or on the PC, it clearly shows an empty(ish) drive. The phone just won't let me download to drive. Or rather, an el goog feature is trying very hard to make me buy 100 gigs of storage, and isn't gonna let me download until I comply. So that's quite vexing. My immediate solution is to use my camera rather than the phone. Next I need to get the cabled download enabled on the phone. So I'll work on that.
And goodness gracious that's a lot of very rapid post writing. I hope it holds together for you kind readers. I just need to embed a couple of videos and add a few more pics and I'll post her up. Hope I didn't do too much of the sailor talk on the vids, I barely previewed them and didn't edit them at all. As usual.
I did a lot of push-ups today, a total of 465. My arms feel like rubber this evening, but in a good way. I did all of those feats of manliness out in the country with only disinterested cows in attendance. Kinda sad, really.
Be well and enjoy the blessings of liberty.