Saturday, April 24, 2004

I'm back... sort of

Actually, I haven't really been anywhere, just busy with more madness at the office, a quick trip to Virginia with the bride and of course, tractor repair.

We had our dates mixed up last weekend, the auction was actually this weekend, so TC and I spent a goodly part of the morning riding around. He took me by a farm outside of Calhoun that amazed me. I did not know any such place existed in North Georgia anymore. These folks have a row-crop operation of several thousand acres. The first thing that I found remarkable was the seven center-pivot irrigation rigs. The second thing was their fertiliser... huge mounds of chicken litter. Piles so large the Cat trackloader sitting beside one of them looked like a matchbox toy. The fact that they had two grain elevators surprised me too. One of them was the size of the elevators that rise above the small towns around Des Moines. This is the first operation of this size I've seen outside of the Midwest. I realise there are row-crop farms in South Georgia this big, but for North Georgia it's a throwback to the past.

Sunday I rode up to Southwest Virginia with sweetie to take a mare to visit with this guy. The pictures in the link do not do him justice. He is one of the most impressive stallions I've seen in quite some time... for a non-Quarter horse at least. On a related note, driving through Knoxville dragging a horse trailer is not an enjoyable experience. The roads remind me of 285 circa 1987, except I don't think Atlanta had that many potholes.

Went to the Ferguson dealer down the road from my office and traded $208 for a crackerjack box full of parts (half of which naturally proved to be the wrong parts despite the fact that I walked in with the parts manual and gave them the part numbers).

Had I known that thrust washers were $17 apiece, I would have been tempted to try case-hardening some flat washers myself. Of course that's still not as bad as the $70 bigger brother had to pay for a set of seals to repack one of the steering cylinders. That should have cost around $10 to $15. The markup on replacement parts is outrageous.

We started putting the Ferguson back together this morning and it does at least have the front axle back under it now.

I went this evening to deliver a load of hay. I couldn't round up any of my flunkies to load for me, so I had to do it myself. I am too old and fat for this sh$t. I did at least con DR into riding with me to make the delivery. He's in some kind of blue funk (and this is different from the last six months because of what?), so I was unable to glean any new material from him.

Other than more madness at work and finally getting my yard mowed, that sums up the week...