Saturday, January 31, 2004

Now, for something completely different... A Theatre review!

Well, sort of...

I've just returned from attending a reading?(I'm not exactly sure what to call it) that Stick and his friend Amy did at the Chattannoga Theatre Center tonight.

I've known about this for a while, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to attend (my bride backed out at the last minute), but I had threatened him a few days ago with appearing 'mongst the artsy fartsy crowd in full hillbilly regalia to heckle.

It seems I have a new skill, the ability to heckle without words. I did go tonight, amongst the artsy crowd of Chattanooga, in Carhartt overalls, Massey Ferguson jacket, the most filthy disreputable tractor ball-cap I own, pocketwatch in my overalls bib pocket and a wad of beechnut. I bet I'm the only feller that's ever walked into that place with a mouthfull of chewing tobacco.

The place was packed because there were two (I think) plays going on tonight as well.

Many where the quizzical looks cast my way.

I think most of them people decided I was the janitor or something.

Well, they dimmed the lights and ole Stick come walking out from behind the curtain. He'd almost got up there t' where he was going to speak when he caught sight of me sitting there sprawled across't a chair on the front row. He hesitated for a split-second and went to talking.

All throughout the rest of it he never would look my way... even when I got to coughing or shiftin' around.

Sidenote: The $%^# chairs were probably the most uncomfortable chairs I've ever sat in. A dadblame iron pan seat on a fifty year old Farmall ain't THAT uncomfortable. Heck, for that matter 6 hours riding a '59 McCellan with half the rawhide split wide open ain't that bad. Wood church pews... anyway, I've made my point.

After it was over with, Stick admitted to me that he was afraid to look my way for fear of bursting out in laughter.

As for the performance, I throughly enjoyed myself. I've not been to anything like that before, but I believe I would go again when they decide to do another one. I wasn't quite sure what to expect because with Stick, one never knows.

I do hope they're able to find some better chairs for the next one. I wonder if them people'd let me bring a rocking chair and cuspidor in there with me?

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

My schedule is finally starting to wear on me. I will be very glad when this week is over with.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I think I had a conversation about this with Stick at one time, but I can't remember for sure.

I read all the time, primarily history, but I read quite a bit of fiction as well. Several months ago I read The Colditz Story (good book by the way). I thought it very interesting the way the POW's held up. Most of the prisoners that the book dealt with were British. Some of them seemed to almost treat it as a game. I thought that was somewhat odd. I haven't read very many books about POW camps, but I couldn't remember ever reading anything along those lines before.

The whole time I was reading it, something kept tickling the back of my mind. The story reminded me of something but I couldn't place what. That drives me bonkers. It was a while after I'd read it that it occurred to me what it was.

Stalky & Company by Kipling. Colditz reminded me of that... the difference being at Colditz, they had armed guards who would shoot you if you got out of line.

So, does an English public school education prepare one for incarceration in a German POW camp?

Saturday, January 24, 2004

It occurred to me today, that I've not written anything about little man yet. Little Man is my brother's grandson and he is a little fireball. He's five now, we've been taking him with us to auctions and to look at equipment since he was two years old. I've got lots of stories about him, because he's into everything, but this is typical of the little feller...

One day he told poppy (bigger brother) that he wanted to go to the farm and ride in the dump truck (side note: 56' International dump, yes it does run... of course, it ran better before the dirt dobbers built a nest in the carbuerator). Brother told him that, yes they could go to the farm, but they couldn't ride the dump truck because the battery was dead. "Tell your uncle Dave to get a new battery for it."

Well, they headed on down here and along the way Little Man says again "I wanna ride the dump truck"
Once again, Brother patiently explains that they can't because it needs a battery...

Little man started squirming around in his car seat and pulls a "AA" battery out of his pocket.

"it's ok poppy, I brought one"

When he was three, we were going up to middle Tennessee to look at some equipment and stopped at a JD place (not sure which one exactly, but it was right up the road from Duck River equipment). He was going wild, they had all kinds of BIG tractors and they were all GREEN (kids seem to like JD's for some reason).

We walked around back and he saw the biggest tractor he'd ever laid eyes on. It was one of those big articulated 4 wheel drive tractors. You only see those were people still do row crops, which means they are few and far between in North Georgia.

He stopped dead his tracks with his little arms flung out and said "Holy Sh%t!"

I looked at my brother and said "did he say what I think he said?"

"Probably... it's best to just pretend like you never heard it"

On the same trip, we drove through the town of Wartrace. There are several beautiful old buildings and homes there. There is one in particular that looks sort of like the Adams family residence. We slowed down to look at it and my brother and I were talking back and forth about some of the houses features when a little voice from the back seat chimes in...

"I come to look at tractors, not houses."

I have more little man stories, but those are my favorites.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Well, Rob called about my truck, it's not as bad as I feared. I decided to go ahead and splurge and get the oil changed and the radiator flushed. That's a splurge because I have about five cases of oil at the barn, along with a 55 gallon drum of anti-freeze that bigger brother conjured somewhere.

I've been too lazy to change it myself the past four or five years. Part of that is because I was spoiled by rustbucket, which has self-changing oil. I just swap filters ever once in a while.

I do change the oil in the tractors though, mainly because I don't have to lie down in the dirt to do it.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Speaking of declarations of war, I've got a history question that I don't know the answer to (I could find out, but I'm too lazy).

When did the War Department become the Department of Defense?

I'm almost positive it was after the second world war. I wonder if this had anything to do with the Doolittle Board and it's primitive politically correct efforts to make a kinder and gentler military?

I feel like making a Howie Dean noise right now.

As I was coming back from lunch, I threatened the Grumbling Bear (one of co-workers) with a methane discharge. He fears chemical warfare more than anything else in the world, so he promptly rolled the window down, which brought the sound of metal grinding upon metal to my ears.

I can't hear a $%^&* thing in that truck because of the @#$&*^ mud tires on it. There is no way of knowing how long this has been going on.

I haven't even made it to the garage yet and I've already got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Good thing I have my old truck to drive tomorrow... y'know the one I've had for eighteen years, with a quarter million miles, cracked windshield, no floorboard (really!), bad clutch, knocking engine, no-oil-pressure-in-six-years, with it's collection of tools and empty feed/fertilizer sacks that I have to park behind the building because it embarrasses my employer... yup, that's the one.

And although it may embarress my employer, it pisses our landlord off. Which is a GOOD reason for driving it. He hates my truck (and probably me as well) because it leaves little discharges of mud and various fluids in his pristine parking lot. Under other circumstances, I would not take such delight in offending someone I don't know that well, but instead of talking to me, this yokel went to my boss and complained about my truck. I took that as a declaration of war. These days when I drive old rustbucket I park out in front of the building... just to piss him off.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Crunch time for catalog work, I doubt I'll do very much posting the next couple of days.

Maybe I'll get some new material from DR.

Now that boy is the one that needs a blog.

Monday, January 19, 2004

The guy I bought the lumber from had it stacked up in an old chicken house, I had to get DR to go with me to help load it because I couldn't back up to the stack (and yes he whined about his ex the whole damn time). I had to drive through a quarter mile of mud and a small creek to get to it, then pull in beside the chicken house and pass it out through the side of the building.

Whilst we were loading, a small herd of horses came up to investigate. This guy raises Appaloosas, he had several good looking mares. He has a nice paint that DR was about to go wild over, but the one that I was interested in wasn't even a horse. He had the prettiest little sorrel mare mule I've seen in years. She stands about 14.2 hands and had the sweetest disposition of any mule I've ever seen. He uses this little mule for team penning and roping. He said he'd druther ride her than any horse he's got.

He said he had found a good looking mammoth jack he was going to try to buy. If he does, I think I may breed my little mare to him. I believe I'd like to have a good little mule.

Well, I called about the 1085 up north, they sold it two months ago.

I wish these people would learn to update their websites.

I did make it down to pick up my lumber yesterday. 60 2x8x16's for $300. I called the lumberyard this morning out of curiousity, they quoted me $750. Lowes or Home Depot would have probably been closer to a thousand dollars, so I was pretty happy about this. I'll get my posts and lathing next weekend and hopefully be able to start on my sheds by the end of February.

My mother called me yesterday and said her heat wasn't working. This ain't good because it's down in the teens this week. I finally made it down there to check it and discovered she was completely out of gas. She just had the tank filled in November. I knew something wasn't right, because a tank should last longer than that, it has not been that cold until recently.

She called the gas company this morning and they told her it would be NEXT WEEK before they could send someone out to check her tank and lines and refill her tank. They also wanted $1.87 a gallon for fuel. I told her to tell the gas company to come get their damn tank. That is outrageous.

I told her to call another fellow that she knew that worked for Holsten. She called him and he quoted her $1.10 a gallon and told her he'd have a tank out here for her in the morning.

This fellow did better than that. He brought a brand new tank out here and set it up for her TODAY. It wasn't full, but it has enough in it for a couple of days. They're coming tomorrow to top it off.

That's the kind of service that will win you customers and keep 'em.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Bigger brother has found us a 6600 Ford tractor (70hp) for $6500. He wants to talk to them about trading the 933 for it. That's what I've been after for a while, I'm afraid that it's going to lay down and die on me and I don't particularly want to have 6 tons of imovable scrap metal sitting at the barn. I've got so much junk now people think we've got a farm equipment junkyard.

I like the idea of getting another Ford, but I may have found a better deal. A 1085 Massey with cab for $4500, the only tiny little minor insignificant problem is that's it's in Indiana...

A 1085 is an 80hp machine and it's also a row crop tractor, which means it sits higher and has a lot more weight than a utility tractor. I don't know that I want another Ferguson, but I like the idea of something with a cab (my 285 has a cab, but there's no glass in the windows, which leaves me with nature's air conditioning).

ok, I'll shut up about tractors for now.

Well, I finally got aholt of my lumber guy. I'm going tomorrow to pick up 60 or so 2x8x16's (five bucks apiece!) so I can start on my sheds for my hay barn. Now I just need to talk Terry into doing some drawings for me...

I went down to see TC earlier today, he'd been dragooned into helping another neighbor load up a bulldozer so I went looking for 'em out of curiousity. I found them not too far from one of my leased fields down the road, trying to load a D-6 Cat onto a lowboy trailer by the side of the road. That trailer was a mite small for a D-6. I thought for a minute that those tracks were going to pop the tires as it rolled over them. I got volunteered to follow the lowboy because the lights weren't working. We managed to make it up the road without incident, but an interesting thing occured during that short trip.

They forgot to angle the blade on the dozer once they got it loaded, which means that the blade was hanging over the side of the trailer about three feet on either side. I saw a little red truck coming towards us as we went up the road. This idiot was flying low. He saw the dozer blade coming towards him and didn't even slow down, didn't swerve, didn't do any of the things a sensible person would do when they see a truck bearing a wide load sign headed towards them.

But he did slide over in the seat and crouch down.


Speaking of idiots...

Ok, so we weren't, but that's beside the point.

I had to go to the co-op this morning and pick up a load of fence posts and some feed (did you know a short bed F-150 with semi-bald tires will hydroplane on a wet road with half a ton of feed and a quarter ton of fence posts in the bed?). I took my buddy DR with me so I could get him out of the house (his house not mine) because he's being whiny again about his refugee-from-the-Jerry-Springer-show ex-wife.

Anyway, he's a pretty good storyteller and he knows all kind of local gossip about people I haven't seen since high school.

He asked me if I remembered this one idiot that we'd went to school with and I told him that I did, but wasn't he a deputy somewhere now and he told me no that CB had lost that job (which is another story altogether) but he went on to me about CB's post police career as a bounty hunter. CB was one of those fellers who was very full of himself, with an over inflated sense of self-importance.

CB decided after he lost his deputy job that he was going to be a bounty hunter. He bought himself a ex-county LTD, a Taurus 9mm and a tie and went to work (on commission) for a bail bonding company. Bonded and insured, or so he thought.

It seems that there was a fellow that had skipped bail that CB knew where to find. The fellow was hiding out at his mother's house. CB got her phone number and called the house, the skip answered the phone. I guess CB must have pretended to be someone else when he called (it's hard to say, the boy ain't real bright) Anyway, he asked the guy if he was home alone and the guy said yes, so CB jumps in the car and heads over there to "arrest" this miscreant.

Well, it seems the feller lied to CB. He wasn't home alone. In fact he had two of his buddies with him and they were all sitting in the backyard drinking beer.

CB pulled in the driveway and somehow or another figured out they were in the backyard. He went back there and confronted the feller, but he evidently didn't learn a whole of tradecraft during his stint as a deputy, because he let one of the three guys get behind him. This feller figured out that CB wasn't a cop and whacked him in the back of the head with a beer bottle. (it ain't like the movies, beer bottles ain't that easy to break)

When that happened all three of 'em jumped on him. One of 'em got aholt of a baseball bat and they were in the process of beating him to death when he remembered that he had a gun. He tried to pull his pistol and somewhere in melee he managed to drop the magazine... He still had one round in the spout and he was terrified that they were going to take his gun away from him and kill him. So he pointed it straight down between his feet and fired. That had the unexpected effect of scaring the three guys off, who promptly made a run for the woods.

In the middle of all this, the miscreant's mother comes home and in witnessing all this has a heart attack and calls 911. CB goes staggering over to the house next door and starts beating on their door. They flipped on the porch light and saw this guy, nicely dressed but covered in blood, who starts screaming at them to turn off the light (he was afraid the three guys would see him and come back after him) and spouting off ten-codes (DR assures me that ten-codes are police talk, I don't know myself).

These poor people naturally assumed he was a police officer and called 911. So the call went out, officer down...

City police, Sheriff's department and the State patrol ALL responded. The ambulance that was on it's way to pick up the lady who was having the heart attack also diverted to the call.

Everybody got there and discovered that CB wasn't dying and decided to pick up the heart attack victim instead. I'm sure the police raised hell at CB for being any idiot. If they didn't, they should have. I think the police ended up taking CB to the hospital.

After they got CB stitched up, he called his bonding company to tell them what happened. They told him that they were sorry to hear about his troubles and real sorry that his skip had got away. He said, "well, what about these doctor bills?" and was informed that they didn't cover that. That "bonded and insured" only meant that they'd take care of him if he got in trouble with the law. His medical expenses were his problem.

They kept him in the hospital for a day or two, he had a pretty fair sized medical bill to go with the knots on his head for his troubles.

This pretty much ended CB's career as a bounty hunter. He decided to try to go back to being a deputy because it was safer. (I'm not sure which county was dumb enough to hire him, but I'd like to think that they found out pretty quick he was an idiot and sent him on down the road)

Friday, January 16, 2004

One of Sweetie's horsey buddies, we'll call her Lambchop, used to be an emergency room nurse in several rural hospitals around here. She told me an interesting story this evening.

Back in '88 or '89 she was working at a small hospital in Northeast Georgia. She said most of the patients who came in either drove themselves or had someone bring them. Rarely did they come in by ambulance. What this means is you never know what's coming in...

One day Lambchop is sitting there and this big ole boy came in and said (very politely) "excuse me ma'am, I need to see a doctor"

"What seems to be the problem?"

"I've been shot."

Lambchop said she was thinking "great! Quickdraw McGraw shot himself in the foot"

"Where are you shot?"

"Here, here and here" he says, pointing to his ABDOMEN...

She says she didn't even bother calling for a wheelchair (he'd walked in under his own power after all), she just told him to come on around the corner while she a paged a doctor and another nurse for help.

This old boy worked in construction and he'd been out of town for three weeks. He came home early to suprise his wife and got a suprise of his own.

He found her in bed with her boyfriend.

Some heated words were exchanged...

The boyfriend then reached over by the bed, pulled a .38 and shot the husband THREE times in the abdomen.

This just served to piss the ole boy off.

He took the pistol away from the boyfriend and proceeded to beat him half to death.

He then DROVE himself to the hospital.

He was either damn lucky or the boyfriend was a lousy shot, because all three bullets missed anything vital.

They dug the bullets out, stitched him up, gave him some antibiotics and sent him home.

The wife showed up in the middle of this with the boyfriend.

He got to spend a week in the hospital.

The law didn't do anything to the husband.

He filed for divorce shortly thereafter...

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Well, it seems the little sh%ts who went on the paintball rampage
through the battlefield last week have 'fessed up.

Sixteen years old, why am I not suprised?

Swamped with side work (regular work too)

I may have found a round baler (540 Hesston) over in Henegar. If TC is feeling up to it we're going to ride over yonder Saturday morning.

TC had some minor surgery (skin cancer) the other day and he's still feeling a little poorly.

Sweetie has some kind of horsey club thingy to do this weekend, which leaves me free to get into all kinds of mischief.

The sound of chirping crickets seems to be telling me to stay away from fluffing up dumb off color jokes and posting them.

I can't help it, I thought it was funny.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

This may be old news, but it seems the PETA idjits have got their grubby little paws on the url, which of course is mighty close to, home of the National Cattlemans Association.

And of course, they're trying to make a big deal out of the BSE thing. Personally, I believe that they've got that situation under control. It's my understanding that the animal in question was a dairy cow, they usually tend to end up as hamburger. So if BSE is something you're concerned about, stay away from ground beef (trust me, you don't want to know how they make it anyway) Steaks, roast, brisket & suchlike aren't a problem, even if they were to come from an infected animal. (brain and spine are where the virus lurks)

I understand that several universities are working on a economical live test for BSE right now (sorry, I don't have the link right now). To test for it currently, the critter has to be dead and the test ain't cheap. They may go to the live test industry-wide once they get it perfected (it's in their best interest and they damn well know it), then all this will go away for good.

I'll be glad to see it.

Monday, January 12, 2004

Well, the 560 baler that's coming up at auction is a 5' wide, so I'll have to pass. Anybody out there got a 4' round baler for sale?

Actually, if I had 35k to throw around I'd buy a big square baler. The link is to Heston, but Vermeer, New Holland and John Deere all make these critters. They make a square bale the size of a round bale.

But, if I had that much $$ to toss around I'd buy some of the stock in the salt mines that's floating around... I figure it'd be nice to have a piece of the pie.

While I was hunting that link I noticed that Agco has finally updated their website. Of course the new one is worse than the old one. The design is a little better, but the information is still not that great. They've also done away with the machine finder, which was a little search engine of dealer inventories with prices and photographs of used equipment for sale.

I always thought when you update these things it was to improve them, not make 'em worse. I guess I'm just naive.

Whew! Long day at the salt mines today, I just got home. Everybody wants everything right now if not yesterday. TO's (a guy I used to work with) favorite quote used to be "do you want it right? or do you want it now?

We may be on the throes of new ownership. We've had a few other changes, a new art director and a new account rep.

Most of the uncertainty that we've experienced since the Gunpowder Plot came to a head seems to be dissipating.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I don't watch a whole lot of television, but I'm watching a show on the WB right now called the Surreal Life. They've got a bunch of has-been actors and actresses living together. Erik Estrada (Chips), Vanilla Ice (rapper), Ron Jeremy (porn star), Tammy Baker (of PTL fame) and two chicks I've never heard of.

Tammy Baker and Ron Jeremy are cracking me up discussing sex. Vanilla Ice believes we're descended from aliens. Tammy Baker actually seems like a nicer person than I'd have given her credit for. Ron Jeremy has an... interesting sense of humor. I guess you have to in his line of work.

Here's a visual for you. Ron Jeremy slow dancing with Tammy Baker while Erik Estrada sings.

This is too funny.

well phooey.

I actually finished up all of my side jobs last night and thought I would be able to spend the day with my darling bride.

Didn't quite work that way. I did get to spend half the day with her. We went to lunch and came back to go worm the horses (ain't that romantical?). Put out a round bale, sold a horse trailer for one of sweeties friends and was debating going with her to look at a new horse that AM (one of sweetie's friends) has.

Got a phone call from one of the account rep's from the office. Cell phones are both a blessing and a curse.

I had to go to the office... on Sunday. To placate the evil client who must remain forever nameless (in this blog at least).

Well, at least I've got a jump on tomorrow's mess.

Ran by mom's to check mail (I still get my good junk mail there for some reason I can't fathom). Got an notice for an auction on the 24th. They have a decent looking 165 Ferguson and a 560 Ferguson (Vermeer) round baler. I need to look that up and see how large a bale it makes. That may be worth going to.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

I had a conversation with TC today about another alternate method of picking up bales off the ground. He mentioned that TH (neighbor with the tractor place) had a couple of old pop-up bale loaders that I could probably get pretty cheap (or maybe free). I could use those to load wagons without having to have a helper. I'd still have to go back there and stack, but not as often as I would when I'm baling and stacking.

While I'm rambling on about it, there are two more methods to moving small square bales. A bale buggy and a kicker. A buggy is just a funny looking wagon that's very tall, with a hinged back door. The bales come out of the bale chamber and go up a slide into the buggy. When you get a load, you just open the back door and dump the load. It leaves a mess, but it's a mess that's all in one place.

A kicker (some folks call 'em throwers) mounts on the back of the baler and pretty much throws the bale into a wagon trailing behind the baler. I understand they break a lot of bales if your baler isn't set just right.

I was supposed to go help TC re-posses an offset disc harrow he'd loaned to BP (one of my neighbors in the idiot category) about a year ago. BP took it several miles away to some leased ground he had and LEFT it there. He hasn't bothered to go back and get it. Now, they're building a subdivision next door and TC wants it back before it grows legs and leaves (probably with the road contractor).

Anyway, I forgot about it and he got sidetracked with water heater problems. Maybe next weekend.

Can you tell I've been in front of the computer all day? Far more posting than normal!

It's cold outside and I can only do so much work before I have to play for a while.

My apologies for my rather lengthy post/rant about my farm stuff. When I write, it seems to help me focus on what I need to do/fix. Sometimes a solution actually presents itself whilst I write about a problem.

I had a long conversation with sweetie last night over what we need to do this year farm-wise to keep moving towards the point were we can actually make some decent money. I actually made a profit last year, but it was razor-thin and did not take my time to account at all.

She's not happy with me because I want some more equipment... She asked what other rusty crap did I think I needed?

Well, we need another tractor for one thing, preferably a 60+ hp Ford with mfwd (to give me something else to mow and bale with), but I'd settle for a 35 Ferguson (to free the 3600 Ford from raking/tedding). I'd still need another big tractor, but even a small one would be helpful (I'd have the added advantage of being able to get a finish mower and keep the yard groomed a lot better than I have been).

Ok, actually I sat down and figured this out once. To be productive by myself I need FOUR more tractors. Heh, she won't go for that. Ok, truthfully I need two more, but four would be better. One big one (100+ hp) to leave the disc mower on all summer and another all-around (60-70-80hp) like my 285, preferably with a loader, so that I would have two loader tractors. The other two would be a small chore tractor to use around the barn (pulling a manure spreader, mowing the yard*, scraping driveways... that sort of thing) and another small tractor like an Allis Chambers G or a Farmall A with a full set of cultivators and a planter/side dresser for the once every three years when I get a wild hair and plant sweet corn (lots of sweet corn).

I'll shut up about tractors now.

I made a big mistake when I bought the disk mower, I bought a big one (9'), I should have bought a 7' or 8' so that I could use it with a smaller tractor.

I also need to get a 4' wide round baler. I need to start rolling all my leased ground and try to do all of my square baling at home. I've got the ground here, if I can rebuild my fences and move the horses around, I could probably get 2000+ bales right here and 100+ rolls from my leased ground. I need to roll it anyway because the Johnson grass has taken over my big field.

My other big problem is finding a way to handle my square bales without having to hire so much help (or working myself to death). This past year we went back to the old fashioned method of towing the wagon behind the baler and having a couple of guys on the wagon stacking. That works better than anything else I've done so far. On my smaller fields, I was able to do it without any help, I'd bale until it got piled up in front of the wagon and stop, climb off the tractor, go stack and be back baling in a couple of minutes. The only problem with that is that it's SLOW going.

I've tried a New Holland stack wagon, I've tried an accumulator, unfortunately, like most everything else I have, they ALMOST work the way they're supposed to. Maybe with a little tweaking the stack wagon will work... (it has before, but only with 70lb bales that are perfectly shaped, I like a 50lb bale) but the problem with it is that's its a very complex piece of machinery. If it doesn't work right, then I have x number of bales lying on the ground to be picked up by hand.

The accumulator may be my best option, but the unit I have is very old and tends to get bales stuck in it, drop bales when it's only half full, or not drop the bales at all. It doesn't handle broken bales or misshapen bales at all. I saw one at Sunbelt that will work (he offered me a thousand dollars trade in on mine) but it's $5500 and I can't see spending that much money right now... ok, I can't afford to spend that much right now. Which brings us back to the round baler,

With a working accumulator, I'd be able to take all the labor out of the square bales, but I need to either modify mine or look into buying a new one.

I've also got fences to rebuild and a new barn to finish (and an old one to fix) sometime before this summer.

Great, now I'm depressed.

I've been inside too much.

* The neighbors look at me very oddly when my riding mower is broken and I use the disc mower or the batwing bushhog to mow my yard with...

Sweetie has gone to some silly party will her horsey club friends tonight. I'm not sure exactly how I was able to avoid having to go, but I must be doing something right. She knows that I can't stand most of the girls in her club... and it's pretty much ALL girls. I think out of 50-odd members they have maybe 2 or 3 men. The girls are like a bunch of old hens and I get annoyed at 'em real quick.

So, I'm left to my own devices this evening. She made manicoti to take with her, but she made extra and left me a pan full in the oven, so I shall have a little feast shortly. I haven't stirred from the house today. I've got a lot of free-lance work I'm trying to get done this weekend, so I've sat in front of mac most of the day (I did stop long enough to finish watching Gangs of New York, that's a very odd, strange, weird movie... Mad Max meets Braveheart...).

I'm taking a mini-break right, debating whether to quit working now and finish the other two projects tomorrow...

This guy could never be accused of being dishonest...

He needs a new career as a writer.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Ginger or Mary Ann?

Bob Denver is 69 today.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Stick boy sent me this earlier today. He looks at this sort of thing as Ashcroft and the Patriot Act run amuck. This is along the line of the Fish Story that Jerry Pournelle posted a couple of weeks ago.

I think its more along the lines of petty bureaucrats on a power trip. I think it's human nature. Whenever you get an idiot and put them in a position of power over others, they WILL abuse their power.

I can remember plenty of folks on the right who thought Clinton was out to set up a dictatorship. They were wrong. Just as the left is wrong in thinking the Bush administration is out to set up a police state.

No, we are not as free as our forefathers. Over the last hundred years the federal government has eroded the powers of the states, the states in turn have got into local governments. Some of it is nanny-state bullshit, but a lot of it is simply the nature of bureaucracies.

A bureaucracies primary goal is it's continued existence. EVERYTHING else is secondary, including whatever the bureaucracy was originally created for.

I do not think there is any conspiracy to turn us into Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, I think that we will see some of the more odious Patriot Act provisions to be repealed.

The best way to fight this sort of thing is to do exactly what these folks from the links posted above have done... tell your story. Enough people raise hell about something, even the Yankee guv-mint in Warshin'ton will listen.

I'm just thinking off the top of my head right now, I will probably be editing this again and again...

It seems that some jackasses with nothing better to do have driven through Chickamauga battlefield and used paintball guns to deface 60 monuments late Tuesday night.

Some of the monuments that were defaced were the ones that were placed there in the 1890's by the veterans themselves. The Park Service has some concerns about the dye soaking into the granite and causing permanent damage.

It was probably some teenagers or 20-something slackers with nothing better to do. I hope they catch the little bastards and nail their hides to the wall. Their parents too.

There is no excuse for this bullshit.

My darling bride sent me an email list of "Georgia Engineering" questions...

I actually found two of them interesting enough to attempt an answer.

3. If your uncle builds a still which operates at a capacity of 20 gallons
of shine produced per hour, how many car radiators are required to
condense the product?

I wouldn't use car radiators, instead I'd use a radiator from a '58 Mack dump truck along with one from a State D-7 Cat they they left parked out by the interstate one moonless night.

7. A man owns a Tennessee house and 3.7 acres of land in a hollow with an
average slope of 15%. The man has five children. Can each of his grown
children place a mobile home on the man's land and still have enough
property for their electric appliances to sit out front?

Now that one is tough because of the variables (double-wide or single-wide)... but I'm going to go out on a limb and no, because there wouldn't be room for the cars on blocks, not to mention the actually running cars.

This one was beyond me, so I sent it to Terry Olgesby.

1. Calculate the smallest limb diameter on a persimmon tree that will
support a 10-pound possum.

That there alge-bra stuff was too complicated for me.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I have heard for years that the smaller companies hire a lot of illegals, but I've rarely heard rumors about the larger corporations doing so, especially on such a large scale as this lawsuit is claiming. There's no doubt that North Georgia is full of illegals, they must be working somewhere...

I've only read a little bit about immigration reforms that are being proposed, but I'm going to run my mouth anyway.

I don't think it's a bad thing.

That comment will likely see me ostracized from the ranks of conservatives.

Why would I make such an outlandish statement? Because they (illegal immigrants) are going to come anyway. And some companies WILL hire them, regardless of what the law says.

If we were somehow able to magically close the borders up airtight, I think a couple of things would happen. I foresee huge problems in the short term for vegetable/fruit farmers who have labor intensive crops. In the longer term, say four or five years, manufacturers who use a lot of unskilled/semi-skilled labor will re-locate... to Mexico.

We need some way to get a grip on this mess, this may not be the best way, but from what I can undertand this will at least help us have some idea of who is crossing our borders and living/working here. I realize that I'm going off half cocked with incomplete information, but that's just my gut feeling right now.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

DR told another cat story...

When he was a teenager he was out in his backyard practicing with his bow (He had a bale of hay set up as a target). The little girl who lived next door came by and asked if he'd seen her cat. He told no he sure hadn't, but if he did he'd let her know. He went back to shooting and directly he missed, had an arrow skim over the top of the bale and go flying off into the honeysuckles.

He went thrashing around in the woods looking for his arrow and found it....

Sticking into a dead cat.

He retrieved his arrow and went looking for his dad to ask him what to do. He found his dad sitting on the patio and said "Daddy, I believe I've found Mandy's cat"

He daddy looked up at him and said "Well don't tell her, her daddy threw it out there in the woods 'cause he don't want her to know that he hit it with the car yesterday".

This is a touchy subject, but I'm going to get into it anyway... This is a tale that's horrible and funny at the same time.

Acidman, among others, has been vocal about his dislike of felines. I'm not overly fond of 'em either, since my bride is, this has led to more than one distrubance of my domestic traquility. (I don't have anything against them, I just think they belong outside)

We had a couple of my bachelor friends over for dinner Sunday evening, which led to a great round of tale spinning and man-talk in general around the table.

My buddy DR related a tale of one his friends who'd been in a running argument with his neighbors over their cat. It seems this feller had a car that was his pride and joy. His neighbors had a cat that evidently took great delight in walking through mud and leaving paw prints all over his car. He had spoken to his neighbors about it on several occasions, but the cat continued it's daily tap dance on his car. (why he didn't just buy a car cover I'm not sure)

He told his neigbhors that if they didn't do something about the cat he was going to kill it. They ignored him. He went and bought one of those little pistol crossbows, figuring that he'd kill it quietly and dispose of the evidence (I think I would have trapped it and taken it for little ride... far, far away).

Anyway, one evening he walked into his kitchen and saw the cat in his garage (why couldn't he close the door?) and grabbed his crossbow. He wanted to make sure that the cat wouldn't get away, so he decided to just shoot through the screen door...

He fired... tearing heck out of his door and hit the cat so hard that it pinned it to the fender of his car that he was so proud of.

So instead of paw prints, he had a hole in his fender and a whole lot of blood to clean up.

DR didn't know what happened after that, but I'd like to think the neighbor beat the crap out of him.

Earl Scruggs is 80 years old today!

In honor of this day, and to the chagrin of my co-workers, I am listening to bluegrass all day....

Now go listen to Shuckin' the Corn (or Foggy Mountian Breakdown).

Friday, January 02, 2004

I was still feeling kinda bad New Years Eve, so I stayed home whilst sweetie went to a party one of her horsey friends was having. Since the boss was out of the house, I took the opportunity to watch my Battle of Britain DVD.

For it to be a old as it is (1969), it's very good. They must have rented the whole Spanish air force to do some of the scenes (Spain had a bunch of HE-111's and ME-109's that they'd gotten from the Germans). The acting is a bit flat in places, but overall it's one of the best movies I've seen lately.

UPDATE: I've done a little reading and discovered that those HE-111's and ME-109's were actually spanish built. That's one of those things I knew a long time ago and forgot. Aircraft were once one of my great interests, but that changed as I grew older. It also seems that my poor tiny little brain can only hold so many facts before it starts to leak.

When I said that the TSA folks were nice I wasn't kidding. I'd forgot to mention that sweetie tried to go through secruity with MY swiss army knife that I didn't know she had (she'd forgotten about having it too). They let me take it back down to the ticket guy who put it in with our checked baggage.

I'm starting to recover from my cold, but my sudafed/dixorial/niquil cocktails are leaving me a tad woozy still. I believe in the shotgun effect of medicine. I take a whole bunch of different crap and hope at least some of it will work. Cure ya or kill ya I always say.

If the weather is decent tomorrow I think I'm going to fire up the Cat and go knock down some trees, after I catch up on my loafing (tractor place, barbershop). I have been remiss in my loafing duties lately.