Sunday, August 29, 2004

I feel about useless right now. I haven't accomplished a damn thing this weekend. I kept the roads hot yesterday without getting anything useful done and today I've been totally useless. I've laid on the couch most of the day watching Civil War Combat on the History Channel. in spite of the fact that today was a gorgeous day.

I told sweetie getting cable was a bad idea.

Actually, the past couple of weeks have finally caught up with me. I didn't set out to be lazy today, actually I did do quite a bit of Photoshop work late last night and earlier today, but I just ended up being lazy the rest of the day.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Elvis just treed a skunk. Unfortunately, he had our wittle rat dogs with him when he did this, so the house smells strongly of freshly washed polecat. The rat dogs got a bath, while Elvis gets to live outside until the odor dies down. I wouldn't be concerned about it, but since my bride has turned this proud specimen of a hound into a quasi-house dog I fear he's going soft.

Why is it that I always end up with the defective hounds? Elvis is supposed to be a coon dog, will he chase coons? No, because he's afraid of 'em. Some guys with the fire department used to come down here to coon hunt and they'd stop and pick him up to run with their hounds. He'd make a beeline for the house as soon as they'd corner a coon. Goofy dog. I guess he's just all looks and no substance. Shame I can't run him for public office.

He chases rabbits, cats and skunks. He's a mite confused about the first two. He's six years old and still hasn't figured out the difference betwixt cats and rabbits. After being sprayed by skunks a few times you'd think he'd learn to stay away from the striped kitty-kats too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Driving into work this morning, I saw a brave man. In fact, 'twas a man brave far, far beyond the point of stupidity. He had this little sticker on the back window of his truck. Y'know the little Calvin (at least that's what I call 'em) stickers of the kid taking a whizz on various objects, usually Nascar related? Well, this was one of the kid whizzing on a Confederate flag. I t took a minute for it to sink in, then I was overcome with amazement that someone in North Georgia would be so foolish as to put such a thing on their vehicle.

As my favorite cultural icon Hank Hill would say, that's teasing the Gorilla in the Monkey house.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Came home from work today planning to move some stuff around with the Ferguson and found that it had a flat. That sort of killed my plans for the evening since I no longer have an air compressor. I did fire up my poor negelected 84' F-150 that hasn't been moved in six months. The accelerator was stuck and I had three dirt-dobber nests inside the breather (no, I'm not joking. Luckily only one was actually in the carbuerator.) It also had a flat, so I whipped out the handy-dandy can of fix-a-flat, the wonderous elixer that I use so often that my tire guys hate my guts. But I got her fired up and moved out of the way, because after lo these many months, we are begining construction of my sheds off the hay barn. I figure it's time since I bought the lumber back in Feburary.

A word about the F-150 though, unlike Terry's beloved Franklin, my truck doesn't have a name. Nor, as Stick will atest, does it have a floorboard, door panels, a current tag, or brakes. What it does have is a cracked windshield, bad clutch, a motor that knocks, a rusted out bed and a cantankerous carbuerator (which I'm sure the dirt-dobbers haven't helped much). I've toyed with the idea of selling it (not that it would net me much) but my bride has vetoed that idea every time I've brought it up. Y'see I've had this truck for eighteen years and up until last October, I drove it to work every day (of course, I had to park behind the building so the clients couldn't see it, but that was my doing, not managements).

I bought from my Dad's boss in Gulfport Mississipi. He drove it up to Chattanooga for me to pick up. My dad didn't like Fords, he'd been a Ford man up until 68' or so, when he bought a brand new one that was an out-and-out lemon. That soured him on the folks up in Dearborne. That's why I learned to to drive in a 73' GMC (in a hayfield, of course), so when he came in with a polariod of this truck and said "Carl wants to sell his truck and I think you should buy it." I was shocked. My first words were "Daddy, I can't buy that, that's a Ford!" He assured me it was a good truck and he thought I should buy it, so I did. Two motors, a transmission, two rear ends, a transfer case and 250,000+ miles later, it's still running, even if all it is is a mobile toolbox and hay wagon mover.

Stolen Painting found in East Tennessee

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Wondered where I've been?

Didn't think so.

Anywaaay, it been a velly, velly interesting week.

In farming news, I managed to bale about 250 bales out of 500+. The rest is floating right now, whether I try to bale it for mulch or let it rot is the question of the day. I have not seen such a gawd-awful storm as we had yesterday in a long, long time. We got the last of the hay off the ground as the rain started falling. I had just broke a shear pin in the borrowed baler I'm using (a NH 275, about the same age as our NH 273, but it makes a MUCH nicer bale) when I felt a raindrop hit the back of my neck. I whipped out my handy-dandy cell phone and called TH to ask if I could borrow a big tarp (we already had a wagon and a trailer loaded down and parked in the barn, so there no room for another wagon) he volunteered to bring it to me since it was raining hard at his place then. The storm came from the southwest and he lives south of me. We were able to get the wagon covered before it got too terribly wet, so I don't think it's hurt. Hope not anyway.

The guys that were hauling for me unloaded the first wagon during the storm and they also unloaded another load that was a tad green out in the field. We stacked it on pallets and covered it, so it might accidentaly be salvageble too.

It's probably a good thing I popped that shear pin, otherwise I'd have still been baling and called about the tarp too late for it to do me any good.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

DR came over Sunday to help me build fence and kept me rolling just about all day. He told a couple of good ones on Skinner that I'd not heard before.

I've mentioned Skinner before, he's one of these guys who can do anything. When we were in high school he built a forge in his backyard. He had cobbled up an old-fashioned bellows to use in his forge, but he ran into problems because he would pump and pump until he got his fire hot enough to work his iron and before he could do very much hammering and shaping he'd have to work the bellows again. Now, he could've got someone to pump the bellows for him, but you can't always find someone to help, so he commenced to trying to figure out a better way to keep his fire hot.

He remembered that his Mama had just bought a fancy new vacuum cleaner what had a reverse gear on it so's it would blow instead of suck. He got to figuring that he could run the hose of that vacuum cleaner up to his forge that'd keep his fire hot whilst he was pounding away with a hammer and he'd not have to mess with the bellows anymore.

He got it, took out to his forge, run a drop cord out there and hooked it up. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It worked like a charm. Well, he sets to working on whatever it is he was building and after about forty-five minutes that vacuum commenced to making funny noises. Ch-chink ch-chunk, chi-chunk. Well, Skinner just reached over with his foot and kicked it. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It started working again. A few minutes later, it does it again. Ch-ch-chink, chi-chunk. Skinner kicks it again. Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

This happened four or five more times before it laid down and died. He finally burnt the motor up. Now, his Mama had never used this vacuum cleaner, it was still in the box when he snatched it out of the house. He ended up having to buy his Mama a new one before she found out about the old one.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Things you don't discuss at the dinner table

Sweetie's teenage cousin is visiting us this week. He's a city boy (from an undisclosed city in the midwest) who likes to come out in the summer and stay with us for a week or so. He is jewish, but he's not real devout. The boy eats hell out of BBQ. I do mean BBQ as in pig meat. He's a good kid, but I am slowly but surely trying to corrupt him. We always do things to aggravate his parents a little when he's here. The first time he came we got him some little washable Confederate flag tattoos and told his mom we'd taken him to the biker tattoo parlor. Another time he watched "Oh brother, where art thou?" about six times while he was here and went home singing "man of constant sorrow" all the time and drove his folks crazy. Seems like we told her once that we'd taken him to a snake-handling church too. Anyway, the day he arrived, I called his mother and asked if I could take him to a strip club. She's not quite sure whether I was serious...

He flies back home tomorrow, so sweetie put out a big feed for him tonight and invited Jeff (one of the farriers we know) over for dinner. Jeff is a basically a fifty-seven year old juvenile delinquent. We have some rather bizarre conversations at times. Monkey boy usually spends a least one day riding around with "Uncle Jeff" while he's here, but he didn't get a chance to this time, but we did get to do a bit of shooting this evening.

I usually enjoy shooting, although I don't do it very much any more, but today was a bit aggravating. I tried to fire my flintlock and kept having hang-fires because it needs a new flint and I haven't shot it in three years. I couldn't shoot my blackpowder revovlers because I couldn't find any grease or wonder wads and I was only able to shoot one of the Sharps a few times because all of my musket caps were so old they wouldn't fire. I'm also out of .45 Long Colt, so I wasn't able to shoot the single actions. I am in piss-poor shape logistics-wise it seems.I had to content myself with shooting my Grandfathers Winchester 97A .22 and my '61 Navy conversion in .38.

But anyway, on to the purpose of this drivel. As I mentioned, Jeff and I have some odd conversations. Monkey-boy being around makes it that much worse, so without any more background, I give you "Subjects to aviod at the dinner table."

Vaginal warts (I'm not sure where in the hell that came from, but it did come up)
Flesh-eating bacteria (our vet had an experience with that)
Port-a-lets (long story, but actually funny in a gross, juvenile way)
Jeff's love life (or lack thereof)

These were just a few of the many subjects discussed, but they were the ones that made my bride almost get up and leave. You'd think she'd be used to it by now because this happens almost every time Jeff and I get together.

Monday, August 09, 2004

From my buddy Mo, the Alabama riding mower.

I think this would actually work on a flat yard!

Sunday, August 08, 2004

I am wore slap out

I changed the shredded tire on the wagon first thing this morning, piddled around with some odds and ends around the barn until the dew burned off and headed for the field with the rake and spent the next five and a half hours raking. Bigger brother came down and brought the Ferguson and the round baler and proceeded to tear the just repaired belt after one roll.

Since about a third of the field actually looked pretty decent (Bermuda, Dallis and some Fescue) I started square baling until Bigger Brother took over. My last words to him were "...don't bale any of that ^&%# Johnsongrass, I can't do anything with that Sh*t ." I then left to go over to LA's to see about getting him to roll the crappy looking stuff with his JD round baler. Came back thirty minutes later to find brother in the middle of the Johnsongrass just baling away.

I swear he does things like that just to piss me off.

He dropped about three hundred on the ground and went home. I hooked up the wagon behind the baler and baled until dark. I quit when I started popping shear pins. TC came home from work and got LA's baler and rolled most of what was left on the ground. We may have four or five windrows left to do tomorrow. I may square bale most of it. I need to get the broken wagon tongue fixed tomorrow and avoid having to handle the partial load of hay on it twice.

Sweetie finally called, her phone had died earlier in the day, which left me in the dark as to her wherabouts. She was at Mountealge and asked me to meet her at the rental car place in forty-five minutes. We stopped at Taco Hell on the way home (that is a clear sign I haven't eaten all day when I'm willing to go to Taco Hell to eat) and I came up here and finished up my Photoshop project. Now that it's 3am, I find that I'm too tired to sleep now.

Tomorrow (today?) is going to be hell at the Saltmine.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

I've baled roughly five hundred bales in the past two days. Not as much as I could have, but considering all the travel time I've got it's not too shabby.

Today's toll of destruction includes shredding a tire on the Massey hay wagon, breaking the tongue out of the Gehl wagon (leaving myself without a wagon to pull behind the baler, thus increasing my flunkie cost). but at least I didn't get into any more hornets.

I'm down to two fields left to do, the big field (thirty acres) and about an acre below the barn that I mowed on a whim Wednesday evening. I'm going to try and roll most of the big field, too much Johnsongrass in it. I baled some of it today and it looks like hell with the hide knocked off.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Why, yes I have mowed my yard this way, why do you ask?

It helps make the neighbors think I crazy. That way they leave me alone.

When I say neighbors, I mean the yuppified people who are moving in around me, not the folks who've known me all my life.

I'm sure both of mine loyal readers are sick of

hearing about hay, but I admit I am just a wee bit preoccupied with hay right now.

I have mowed a little over 50 acres this week, which may not seem like much, but it is in seven widely scattered fields, so I've got a fair amount of travel time involved. I'm also still working on the catalog-from-hell and I had to get sweetie situated so that she could drive up to Des Moines. Yes, I am batchin' at the moment (I had two candy bars and some beef jerky for dinner). And I'm also trying to do some side jobs for a Photography studio too. Anyway, now you know why I have been spewing less drivel than normal.

Our web guy asked me a couple of weeks ago how was it that a farm boy became a Photoshop guru? My reply to that was how does a Photoshop guru become a farm boy?

Ok, that was a location joke (you had to be there) I thought it was funny. Shows how smart I am.

I had one very odd thing happen today that has never, ever happened to me before.

I started square baling today. Actually I started baling two days ago, but I broke a belt on the round baler, so I'm back to square baling until I get that fixed. Anyway, I'm chugging along on the Ford and I saw something odd in the windrow. Just as it went into the pickup I realized what it was...

A hornets nest. I'm talking great big round thingamajig that they usually build waaaay up on trees or houses. For a brief moment, I figured it was empty and the wind had blown it there. Then the swarm came boiling out of every nook and cranny on the baler. Those little bastards were PISSED.

You cannot outrun bees, wasps, or yellowjackets on a tractor. I know because I've tried. You damn sure can't outrun them when they're swarming something attached to the tractor.

Over the past hundred years (since we began using mechanized equipment) there has been many a tractor, bulldozer, log skidder or whatever left running wide-ass open in a field or in the woods on account of various stinging critters. I myself have abandoned a moving trackloader after hitting a yellowjacket nest.

So, what did I do? Why, I ran the rpms up and upshifted from second to third gear and baled 'em up and shot them out the back of the baler.

I got to the end of the windrow and started down the next one thinking I was lucky to get out without getting stung when, lo and behold, I sucked another, BIGGER nest up into the baler.

This bunch was even more pissed, if that's possible. A few of 'em started flying my way, so I pulled the same trick again... which was working really well until I jammed the pickup with too much hay. I pulled waaaaay over to the far side of the field and commenced to pulling all the hay out of the pickup (by hand) all the while cringing at the thought of reaching up in there and pulling out that damn nest. Fortunately, It had already went into the bale chamber, but it still took me thirty minutes to get the silly thing cleaned out because I was so jumpy.

Later on, as I was walking around with two cans of wasp and hornet killer in hand, I came upon a THIRD nest that I had somehow ran through without even noticing it.

So what's up with the damn hornets? When did they start building nests in the middle of a field? Or is this merely some fiendish plot by Mother Nature to get back at me for threatened herbicide use?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

The case of the exploding pants

A local idiot had his pants explode when he mixed up some of his meth-making chemicals and stuck them in his pocket in a film canister.

Serves him right. Is it any wonder I consider moonshining an honorable profession in comparision? You got to have a little bit of a brain to make corn likker, while any idiot can make meth.

It's a shame he didn't have two canisters. He'd have taken himself out of the food chain then.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Haven't been up to writing much lately. I've been tied up with the catalog-from-hell at the Salt mines and some folks I free-lance for have loaded me down with a bunch of work this past week, which is a very good thing and I've been trying to help Sweetie get everything ready for her mom and stepdad to come visit. They are here now, but leaving in the morning heading to Des Moines. Sweetie was supposed to go with them, leaving me a batchelor for the week, but the plan may have fallen through now. I'm not complaining... my cooking gets really old, really fast. There are only so many hamburgers a guy can eat, even a tub like me!

I left the office at 1:30 today to come home and mow... it looks like (except for one day) that I have a week and a half of good weather, so I am mowing everything except my fields here on the farm. Although I am extremely busy at the office, it seems I am the only one who seems to give a rat's ass about our dealines (the catalog deadline was today) so I said to hell with it and took half a vacation day. Probably going to take another half day Wednesday and I might even take the whole day Friday.

I just finished a field that has the evil-grass-who's-name-starts-with-J that was higher than the tractor cab. Nine $^*&@ feet.! Luckily, it ain't my hay, just some I'm mowing for a neighbor. Caught quite a bit of seed on top of the mower apron... anyone got any nieghbors you're pissed off at? I can hook you up with some of this vile stuff.