Friday, April 29, 2005

Dumb crooks

We had a service guy in yesterday to do a pm on the printer and he told me a funny story about one of his coworkers.

These service guys all drive leased mini vans full of tools and spare parts. They're not marked with company logos or anything like that, just typical nondescript vehicles that you'd see anyone driving. One morning several years ago this guy gets ready to go to work and finds his van missing. He calls the police and they asked him to come down and fill out a report. The guy hops in his truck and heads down to the police station and as he's driving down the road he sees a pile of boxes by the side of the road. He slows down to look and Lo and Behold, it's all of the stuff from his van. All of his spares and most of his tools, just laying by the side of the road. He stops and loads everything into the back of his truck and then continues on to the police station.

While he was filing out the police report he got to talking to one of the cops and telling him about finding all of his spares by the side of the road. The officer asked him if he had a spare key for the van. Thy guy told him yes and the cop said "Come with me, I think I may know where your van is." So he goes and gets in the police car with the cop and they go for a ride out through a rough section of town, nothing around but tarpaper shacks and ratty looking trailers. Finally, they got to the end of a long winding road and there sat the van in the driveway of a crappy little house.

The policeman pulled up and said "There ya go, go steal your van back."

"What? I can't do that!"

"Sure you can, you've got the key."

"Don't you need to dust it for fingerprints or something?"

"Nah, we know who did it, we'll pick him up later, go on and get your van and bring it to the station."

The guy goes over, gets in the van and first thing he notices is that the thief filled it up with gas. When they get back to the police station they started looking it over to see if it was damaged in any way and find that one the back tires, which had a slow leak in it, has been repaired. Inspection of the interior reveals that it's full of audio equipment, which, come to find out, was stolen from the church the guy attends.

So, to recap, he got a full tank of gas and his tire fixed out of the deal. He also had to inventory all of his spares (which is something they have to do periodically anyway) and got the speakers and equipment from the church back.

They let him take the equipment back to the church. While he was unloading it the preacher arrives. He starts in with a lot of shouting and carrying on. "How'd you do this? I just reported it stolen!"

"Well, pastor, I tracked 'em down and stole it back."

He never did let on any different. To this day, that preacher still thinks he tracked the miscreants down and recovered the church property.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Little girl update

Little girl came home today. They haven't figured up the vet bill yet, but I shudder to think how much it's going to be. Probably enough to completely derail my Moron Project™, although I'm not so sure that's a bad thing.

And before I forget, the powers that be may have chosen a name. My thanks to everyone who made suggestions, but the bride wasn't crazy about any of them. I finally pulled a map of the Smokies and gave her a list of about forty place-names. She liked Fontana (a lake up yonder) and Cherohala (I do not remember what or where that is, but I found it on the map). The last I heard she liked Cherohala better. I'll let you know what she decides on.

Little boy is still nameless, I'm thinking he will end up naming himself before it's over with. Little boy is a different story than girlie, he's a keeper. He will spend the rest of his life here, whereas girlie will most likely be sold at some point in time (most likely not for a couple of years).

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

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This is my Moron Projectâ„¢, after seeing it in the daylight I'm not as keen on it as I was. I'd still like to buy it, but we're going to have to work on the price jussssst a wee lil bit. It runs great, the tach shows 1675 hours... but somehow I don't think that's correct. After getting a better look at it today I saw the yellow paint peeking through underneath the blue, which means that at one time, this was a right-of-way tractor. It's probably been through the wringer.

I dunno, my inclination now is to wait, because I'm afriad I'll be back in the same boat six months from now, bellyaching about this tractor...

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I said I wouldn't...

but I've decided to bore you anyway.

Yes, I have seized Big Daddy Possum's terminology for Moron projects. I like it. And it is very fitting. I'm trying to justify my Moron project (to myself as well as my banker) mostly because I am weary beyond words of trying to work with equipment that, shall we say, was worn out three owners before me. Lately it seems like every time I go to do something, I have problems.

I mentioned the wheel bearing going out on the 285 a couple of weeks ago and before that the holes in the new radiator, since then I've had (on the 285) other issues...

The grill fell off while plowing. I narrowly missed running over it with the disk.

The threads on the power steering pump reservoir are stripped out, have been for a year or more. The cap finally fell out, lord knows where, so I had to re-tap the thing and put a bolt in its place.

Yes, these are minor, but considering the new radiator and front end work last year, the clutch and multi-power repair the year before and the fact that it needs new rubber, we have the fact that it's started smoking quite a bit. The engine may run for the next twenty years, or it may not last the first day of mowing.

Saturday, I decided to bush-hog, hooked the six-footer up to the Deutz and very quickly discovered why the previous owner told me he mowed with it at 1000rpm... it's because it won't stay in gear at 540rpm. The poor mower was shaking like a Turkish belly dancer. I mowed a strip about forty feet long and then spent the next three hours trying to get the thing to run at 540rpm. It would stay in gear until I got into tall grass and then kick out. So, until I get this figured out, I can't use the Deutz for anything for raking or spraying. I also found out very quickly last week that even though the Deutz (in theory) has the HP to pull the Taylorway Bog harrow, it won't do it. It might with new rubber, but I don't think I want to put any more money into it.

It still has starter problems, I have to park it on the hill so I can roll it off.

The seat (a minor thing) needs replacing, because my big ole belly is in the steering wheel when I drive it. And I need to reroute the kill switch... I have to stand up, reach around the steering wheel and bend waaay over to reach it.

I was going to mow with the batwing and found three flats on it. I spent 2 hours screwing with it before I finally pulled the two tires that couldn't get to air up. I took 'em to the tire place and hopefully got 'em fixed now.

Like I said, the Case has spoiled me. Sooooo, my Moron project is an attempt to get something that I don't have to work on all the time. The problem is figuring out how.

Ok, my whining is completed for now. Back to our regularly scheduled foolishness.

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sniff, sniff... what's this stuff?

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Look what I've learned how to do!

My South Park persona

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My bride will say that isn't a true representation because the overalls are too clean and I don't have nearly that much hair.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Equine foolishness

I spent most of yesterday putting up a new fence... which the four-legged idiots have, in less than 24 hours, managed to break, tear down and pretty much make everything I did yesterday a waste of time.

How is it that four legged critters can spend three years inside a fence consisting of three strands of rusty bob-wire, but can tear down a new fence built from woven wire (field fence, page wire, hog wire, whatever you want to call it) that is topped with barbed wire that quickly? The funny part is, the fence wasn't finished, all they had to do was walk forty feet and go completely around it. If this continues, I'm going to look into a six strand electric high tensile wire fence.

Cows are stupid, but there are times when I swear horses are even more stupid.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Mo' baby pictures

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Let's sneak up on Junior and see if he's camera shy now that he's learned how to run. I sound like that idiot Steve Irwin don't I?

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It looks like he'll take his coloration from Lucy, which is fine by me, I like sorrels anyway. I hope he gets her disposition too.

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I thought this was a pretty neat shot.

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mmmmmm dinner!

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You've got to love the wary look in his eye here. He's not quite sure what I'm up to, but he's comfortable and doesn't want to get up and hide behind Lucy just yet.

I watched him for a while this morning when we turned him out for the first time. I love to watch foals when they are learning how to use their legs. They'll stop and start, stumble around and then gradually figure out how their legs work. I didn't see him when he ran for the first time (I did get to see several false starts though), but I did see him when he bucked for the first time. That was pretty funny. He ran around and around Lucy bucking and kicking away, as if to say "hey mommy! Look what I can do!"

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

New arrival, Volume II

The bride played midwife tonight/this morning and delivered a bouncing baby boy this time. He gave us a bit of a scare as he was trying to come out upside down, but he managed to right himself and with a little help from sweetie, came right out.

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He's less than five minutes old here...

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Lucy cleaning him off and making sure he's all in one piece...

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Junior attempts his first steps...

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He's up and moving, with a little help from mom...

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And that pretty well had him worn out for a while, so he decided to take a break.

And that's it for now. It's 2:15am and I have to work tomorrow (today!). More photos tonight or tomorrow, along with all the sordid details that I'm too tired to write about right now.

Benedict XVI

I gots me a wonderment 'bout sumthin...

Do the Vatican have, like a list of approved Pope names?

The feller's real name is Joseph right? Is this so they won't have 'em a Pope Joe? or Joey... or Billy Joe... or a Pope Joe "Bubba?"

Stick (among others) has pointed out he belonged to the Hitler Youth. Interesting little tidbit that.

I still think they should have elected the black guy that was in the running.

Baby update

It looks like Baby will be coming home tomorrow. She will have to be kept seperate from the two (still) pregnant mares for at least a week, because they were not able to nail down exactly what caused this mess. I get to do fence repair this evening in order to have a place to put them.

The next baby should arrive within the next day or so. I will do pictures as soon as it arrives.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Plowing, spraying and fertilizing

are playing havoc with blogging.

My posting, or lack thereof, is even more erratic than usual.

Regular lunacy will resume at some point in time in the near future.

Friday, April 15, 2005


$^*%#@%^^&%^@!#@(*! OS X

While Bill Gates may be the right hand of Satan, I remain convinced that Steve Jobs is the left hand.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Goat Man

I went to a County Historical Society meeting last night. I don't normally go, mostly 'cause I forget about it until it's over with. Mom called me yesterday as I was driving home and asked if I'd go to the meeting with her. She said they had a speaker that had written a book about the Goat Man.

I don't remember the Goat Man, even though he was still traveling within my lifetime, but I've heard of him ever since I was a little feller. For those who've never heard of him, he was a wanderer who travelled the country for more than forty years with a herd of goats and a little cart. I have heard that he was a sometime preacher, but I don't know if that's true.

At any rate, the link takes you to a nice little (short) biography of Ches McCartney, the Goat Man.

Monday, April 11, 2005

More gratititous baby pictures

We're at the age of, oh 'bout eight hours here.

I'm in danger of becoming a photoblog. And a crappy one at that, as you can see from these pictures. My skills leave a lot to be desired.

Baby having breakfast.
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Baby looking at me and wondering who is this idiot and why does he keep pointing the little box with the flashing light at her. I know the photo is dark, but I liked the look on her face.
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She's moving around better, learning how to use those spindly legs. For about the first week or so, they're all legs and ears. To me this is when they're the most fun to watch.
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This is the last one I'll subject you to... for now. We have another mare due any day.
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

The new arrival

Age approximately one hour.

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It's a filly. She is still a bit wobbly, but is showing a healthy appetite. The only reason that I have pictures is because we put momma and baby up because baby is still too young to understand the concept of a fence and we were afriad baby might get cut up in the dark. Some mares will keep their foals away from such things, but for some reason this mare didn't seem too interested in what baby was up to. I watched her (baby) walk into the fence twice before we decided to put them up for the night.

Now for the fun part. Baby as yet has no name, so I'm going to make an executive descision and declare a name contest. All six of babies siblings have names related to places in the Smokey Mountians. Since some of you folks who read this drivel live up in there, I think it might be interesting to see what people come up with. If you don't live there, don't let that stop you! If I weren't so lazy, I'd just pull a map, but what's the fun in that?

Anyhoo, it's late, I'm tired (I've just finished my placenta burying chores... I am sure you wanted to hear that, didn't you?) and I'm going to bed.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Auctioned out

Today I attended my second sale in as many weeks and came home with a nice crop of sunburn on my fishbelly white skin. Luckily, I had sense enough to wear a hat for a change, otherwise my balding pate would be equally burned.

First off we'll go with the usual gratititous equipment pictures of the bargains of the day.

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This JD4520 brought $4100. Cheap horsepower at twice the price. The tub grinder that it's hooked to brought more than that. There is not near as much call for 100+ horsepower tractors around here as there was thirty years ago, when big John rolled off the Waterloo assembly line. I've mentioned before, nobody row-crops around here anymore (well, very few at least) and the main purpose in life for a tractor like this is to pull a plow. Most of the serious farmers who do need a tractor in this horsepower range are not going to want one that is thirty years old.

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This IH175 trackloader brought $2500. It was a sore temptation for me. I like trackloaders anyway and this one had a 4-in-1 bucket, which means it can perform some of the functions of a bulldozer. The thing that mainly held me back was the very, very bad reputation IH industrial/construction equipment used to have... that and the fact I'd have to make a mad dash to the bank first thing Monday morning to beg for the money to cover my rubber check.

I'd actually went to the sale to look at a NH311 square baler that was on the list. For whatever reason, the person who consigned it never brought it out there. The only square balers there were a Hesston 4570 inline baler, which I'd love too have, but well out of my price range and a JD338. The 338 had possibilities, at least as far as my ability to buy it. It was weathered, the paint was pretty faded and some idiot had left hay in it all winter. I performed a great service for whomever did end up with it, because I cleaned the damn thing out so's I could look at the bale chamber. It was pretty rusty, but it wasn't rotted completely out. As it turns out, I left long before either of the square balers sold.

My neighbor who lent me the NH275 last Summer has finally decided to sell it. He was down there and gave me a fair price. Since I know what I'm dealing with, I think that is probably going to be the wisest course for me to take right now. I really did want a newer baler, preferably an inline, but for now I think it best to deal with the devil I know. That devil being New Holland equipment from the Sperry-Rand era of their existence.

I had hoped to run across another tedder, but the three I was interested in brought over a thousand dollars apiece. I think I'll spend the three-fifty for the part for the one I have, rob the driveshaft off the old tedder and be done with it.

Oddball sight of the day: The chisel plow with mag wheels. At least they weren't chrome... I shouldn't make fun of it, because I found a set (cheap!) that would fit the wagons, I would have no qualms whatsoever about putting chrome mags on a haywagon.

And in case anyone has actually read this far and is wondering what I bought today, the answer is a hotdog and a coke.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Cotter pins

The idea for my earlier cotter/carter pins post came from a little incident the other day where I was riding along in the Ferguson and the right front wheel fell off. Sorta. It didn't come completely off, but it was close. Naturally this was a mile from the barn, so I had to leave it sitting. It had a wobble last fall, so I pulled the hub apart and tightened everything, in the process discovering a crappy cotter pin and a home-made castle nut. So, when this happened the other day, I naturally assumed the crappy little cotter pin had disintegrated, but that wasn't the case. Twas the outer bearing that came apart. I'm guessing that normal wheel rotation worried the nut the rest of the way off and caused my near-accident.

We had a neighbor several years ago who bought a White 2-85 for some bizarre reason (not that there was anything wrong with White, it's just that the nearest dealer was nearly a hundred miles away) who had the same thing happen whilst plowing (or chopping silage, I forget) one day. Difference was his wheel came completely off and he buried the nose in the ground before he got it stopped.

I've got that put back together now. Hopefully, I'll be ready to go when it's time to do hay. I need to put out fertilizer in the next couple of weeks... I guess I could just go stand in the field and talk. That's fertilizer ain't it?

I've got one price on baler belts so far. Worse that I'd hoped, but not as bad as I'd feared. It's looking like new belts will run me a little over $500 for 2 ply and a tad under $600 for 3 ply. That's assuming I put wide belts all the way across. I need to get with TC about that. The outer belts are 1" wider than the three inside belts. I don't really see any reason why I couldn't run wide belts all the way across. Something to ponder I 'spose.

I helped TH unload the junk MF135 he'd bought at the sale yesterday. He said some fellow had called him with a bunch of junk tractors for sale, but he wanted to sell all of them as a package, which TH wasn't real keen on doing. One of the tractors is an Allis G with a bad starter. That is supposed to be all that's wrong with it. TH doesn't want it, but I told him that I would try to buy the G if there was any way in the world I could afford it. One of the others is a 3020 JD with a blown head gasket. I called Bigger Brother this morning and told him about it and made noises about getting rid of the Deutz in favor of the 3020.

I'd still rather figure out a way to buy the 7610. That would be more doable if I could find a buyer for the Nissan, the NH Stackwagon and the Deutz. That would be a VERY healthy down-payment towards the Ford. On the other hand, it would probably be just as easy to pay off a couple of other farm-related notes and apply the money for those payments toward Ford payments.

I'll figure something out shortly. It'd still be easier to win the lottery. Although I 'spose it'd help if I bought a ticket?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

When I was a wee lil' feller

I spent a week with my Aunts whilst Mother had surgery of some sort. I was probably about three-fours years old at the time. My Dad came by and picked me up when Mother came home. I don't remember this, but they tell me that I met him at the door and said "Boy I'm glad you're here! They're a'starvin' me to death!"

This was evidently because they fed me beans and taters, cornbread, squash and okra instead of hotdogs, hamburgers and pizza.

Big Daddy Possum has moved to new digs, update your blogrolls accordingly.

Y'ever notice who kids get the weirdest ideas about what things are named? When I was a wee lil feller, I thought cotter pins were carter pins and that they must have been invented by Jimmy Carter...

Monday, April 04, 2005

The big white thing in the picture with the two square balers is a Drott Excavator. It is mounted on wheels rather than tracks and I would hazard a guess that it would cost well over a hundred thousand dollars new.

It brought $3100.

They didn't no-sale it either. That was city/county surplus, so what it brought was it. That thing ran, there was absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I don't exactly have a lot of use for something like that... but I was tempted. Oh Lord I was tempted. I could use it, I really could... for about a day. Then I'd be finished and it would sit and turn into a pile of rust.

They hammered away at it for a good ten minutes. I called Bigger Brother, en route to North Carolina, in hopes his boss might want it. nope, no dice. My thinking was, if someone I know buys it, I can borrow it...

I looked at TC then and said "We oughta buy that"

"Well all ya gotta do is raise your hand."

"I would, my bride'd divorce me if I come draggin' that thing home... we'd be in the lawyers office first thing Monday morning."

After that comment, everybody within earshot dissolved in laughter... 'cause we were all in the same boat.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

I am glad that's over with

I've finally made it home after standing outside in the mud, wind, sleet, rain and wet socks all damn day. The nuts were coming out of the woodwork today. TC told me more than once today "If I'da knowed this sh*t was brangin' this much I'da brought everthang I own over here and sold it."

I actually did see a few bargains today. Also saw a lot of no-sales too... The tedder that I went to buy, well, we'll just say some fool wanted it worse than I did. The bad part is I'd watched a New Holland tedder sell for four hundred earlier and didn't take my hands out of my pockets because I was holding out for the Deutz Fahr tedder (since I have the one I bought a couple of weeks ago to rob parts off of). For what the one brought today, I can fix the one I have and have a considerable chunk of change left over.

The M&W baler brought $2500... not a bad price at all, but a bit more than I wanted to put into it. The Gehl 1400 brought $1700 and like a fool I stood and watched the NH 269 sell for $150... never considering that the knotters were worth far more than that. And will bolt right up to our NH273.

They brought in another Gehl 1400, that wasn't as nice as the first one. It is in need of a good greasing and a new set of belts. It brought $600, the buyer no-saled it, but said he would take seven for it, so the high bidder, being myself, purchased said machine for the princely sum of $700.

I went over to speak to the man who sold him to see what he could tell me about it. I walked around and introduced myself and asked if there was anything he knew of that was wrong with it and out conversation went like this;

"I was baling with it two years ago when I parked it. I decided it was time to retire and sell off my equipment, 'cause I'm not going to be needing it anymore.

I'm seventy-five years old, just had open heart surgery, I'm diabetic, blind in one eye and going blind in t'other.

That baler is kinda like me, old and wore out, but it's still got a lot of life left in it."

I think he was pleased that a (relatively) young guy like me had bought it to put to good use.

And that was pretty much my day.

My damn feet are still cold.

Friday, April 01, 2005

My Darling bride

also known as that hussy I'm married to nailed me good earlier today.

I had just got off the phone with my banker discussing the feasibility or getting a loan on the 7610 Ford when she calls. She's using her "oh shit" voice which is never a harbinger of good fortune. She said "Remember that lottery ticket I bought the other day?"

"Yeah, what about it?"

"I thought it was for tonight's drawing, but it was actually for last nights."

"yeah, so?"

"We won some money."

"Hmmp, how much?" I'm thinking we might have won a hundred bucks or something.

"Five thousand dollars."

"HOLY SHIT!!!!!! You're kidding right?????" I had visions of balers dancing in my head... however briefly.


I completely forgot it was April first and had no clue what she was building up to, so she nailed me good. Now I've just got to come up with a way to get back at her...

Watering the plants

When I was a wee lil' feller, we lived up the road from my two maiden aunts (my mothers sisters). They are two of my favorite people in the world and I probably spent as much time down there as I did at home.

My aunt Pauline, who is the oldest sister, cannot abide dogs. This always bothered me, even as a lil' feller, because I am very much a dog person. When I was about five or six, one of the neighbors had a big old black lab that I loved to play with. He was a big friendly dog that loved kids, but he had one bad habit.

He loved whizzing on my aunts flowers.

One afternoon I was helping Pauline do something out in the yard when the dog (I cannot remember his name) came over to visit me. She shooed him away, because she didn't want to encourage him to come into her yard. She had a hoe or yard rake in her hand, so she whacked him on the hind end with it to help hurry him along (not hard, just a little tap), He went sulking off and just as he turned the corner of the little outbuilding behind the house, he stopped, hiked his leg and splattered a steaming yellow stream all over her flowers. Pauline yelled at him and picked up a rock and chucked it at him. ( She wasn't really mad, it takes a LOT to make her lose her temper)

I said "What'd y'do that for?"

"To keep him from ruining my flowers."

So I puffed out my little chest and with all the wisdom a five year old can muster, said "But I thought water helped plants grow?"

"Not that kind of water!"

It occurs to me that I probably sound like the most materialistic SOB on the face of the earth. Well, I've a confession to make... I AM... when it comes to books, tools (I consider tractors and implements tools) and firearms (which should theoretically come under the heading of "tools" but for now, we'll call them a separate category).

I could care less about fancy cars and trucks and although I like living in a fairly nice house, it is not an ostentatious one. I'd rather have a pair of red mules than the finest racehorse in Kentucky. I like to think I am a reasonably down-to-earth person. I guess my priorities are just different.

Regular tall-tale tellin' will resume shortly.