Thursday, July 28, 2005

Finally got the dozer put put together today. The only bad part is I have parts left over...

Seriously! I have two 1/2" bolts about three inches long with rubber washers, lock washers and nuts that I cannot for the life of me figure out where in the heck they go.

I drove by my patch of Johnsongrass last night after the great monsoon. It apears that I may have gotten about an 80% kill on my first pass the other day. I need to do some modifications to my wick applicator and hit the rest of the field this weekend. I may be able to get rid of a lot of it this year. It would be great if we have some regrowth this fall so I could hit it again. In that case, I may not have to contend with it next year at all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Peculiar Habits

Perhaps I should say eccentric. I have noticed that when I go to the Stop n' Rob to buy gas, I tend to leave my keys in the ignition whilst I go in to pay, whereas when I venture to the very same Stop n' Rob to purchase something besides gas, I never leave the keys in the ignition, even though I generally am able to park right by the door, rather than thirty feet away at the pumps.

Am I the only one who does this?

Monday, July 25, 2005

Redneck Chic

And I don't mean Redneck in a good way. This is a Foxworthy joke come to life. I saw one at a five and dime the other day and didn't really think much of it, other than to shake my head and think "Damn, they'll sell anything nowadays."

Then the hellish truth sank in... That there is actually a market for these things.

That's a scary, scary thing.

Hound Blogging

Image hosted by
Elvis proves once again that he's smarter than I am. He has sense enough to stay in the shade during the heat of the day. Which is more than you can say for me.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Redneck Engineering

I'm lazy and I am not ashamed to admit it. I rarely change my own oil in my vehicles because I don't like crawling around on the ground. But I'm also a cheapskate. I have a neighbor who occasionally gifts me with a case or two of motor oil in exchange for hunting privileges, so all I have to buy are filters, therefore I went back to changing my own oil. Note: I do change the oil and do regular maintenance on the tractors, but that's partly because I don't have to lay on the ground in the dirt to do it.

Anyhoo, Thursday evening I changed the oil in my truck, this task taking me, oh about two and a half hours. Two hours of which was spent searching for one of my (three!) oil filter wrenches, but I digress. Friday was the day from hell at the Salt Mines. We've been rather busy lately, but Friday was exceptional. I didn't get to go to lunch and ended up working over until nearly 1am Saturday morning.

I'm driving up the road, about three miles from the office and stop at a red light. Heard this pecking noise coming from what I thought was the car beside me. 'friad not, I looked down to see my oil pressure gauge jumping wildly and realized that it was my truck making the racket.

I pulled over at the first wide shoulder I could find and popped the hood. I immediately checked the oil, but I couldn't tell in the dark. I had talked to TC earlier in the evening and knew he was working late too, so I called him on the off chance he was still in town. He had just gotten home, but he volunteered to come back down and see what the problem was.

In the meantime, I rooted around in my truck and found my mag-lite was was able to ascertain that there wasn't any oil in the truck. So I crawled up under it (still in khakis and a tie mind you) and saw a steady drip-drip-drip from the oil plug. TC pulled up a few minutes later and after we had a short conference decided that the engine probably wasn't hurt. I didn't have any tools with me (which is unusual), but TC did, so I tried tightening the plug, which didn't seem to do any good. TC asked if I had lost the little gasket/seal/washer do-lolly that goes on the plug and I told him, quite honestly, that I'd never even noticed it having one. There was some debate on whether it was cross-threaded, but we finally decided it probably wasn't.

Sooo, I crawled back under there, pulled the plug and watched what little oil was left in the pan pour out. I would hazard a guess that it was less that a quart left in it. After examining the plug I could see what was left of a rubber washer on the plug, which had finally disintegrated from age.

Oh, and did I mention that the road shoulder seemed to be built entirely of broken beer bottles, rather than gravel? Not my first choice of a working environment, but you gotta play the hand you're dealt.

So off we went to the nearest Stop 'n Rob to buy six quarts of oil at outrageous prices (which really hurts since I have a couple of cases in the barn) and some STP (just in case).

Now we get to the engineering. I didn't have anything to make a new gasket out of, so TC took one of the oil bottles and laid it on its side and proceeded to fabricate me a new one out of the plastic oil bottle.

Image hosted by

I stayed under the truck and watched while he filled it up and it didn't leak a drop. I started the engine up and we listened to it for a minutes until the lifters quit pecking and then I drove up the road a ways to another Stop n' Rob and pulled up on some clean concrete to see if it was still holding. It was, so I went on home, again parking it on clean concrete. Next morning I did find a little puddle, about the size of silver dollar, but I think I can live with that until my next oil change. As I've said before, I've never seen a 302 that doesn't leak, so maybe this will be my only one.

I was very fortunate. Had I been more sleepy, I might not have noticed anything amiss until it was too late. That would be the saga of my Isuzu Trooper all over again (that's a story for another time).

I had terrible visions of having to buy a new engine on the heels of buying a new transmission for Sweeties truck earlier this week and I didn't like that idea at all.

So, that's the story of our grand feat of hillbilly engineering. It worked and got me (and my engine) home intact. Granted, it would've been better to use the right washer for it, but for some reason the parts stores don't stay open all night. This simply goes to prove the maxim "Nothing ever breaks down when the parts stores are open." Of course, had I not worked so late, I surely would've noticed the gigantic oil slick underneath my truck, but that's the way it goes sometimes.

This pretty well killed my weekend. I've been completely worthless until late this afternoon, when I went down the road to do battle with my Johnsongrass infestation. No idea how that's going to work out for a few days. I have to wait and see what the Roundup® does to it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

It is amazing to me how many hits I get from Google for "Dirt Dobbers." There are some very, very, very bored folks out there. Anyways, it happens that I am #8 on Google for Dirt Dobbers.

I have slipped completely off the radar for "Moron Project," but Big Daddy Possum is still holding #1 against all comers.

I think my new goal is to become the #1 hit for "Redneck Sanford & Son."


One of my flunkies is trying to finish High School right now. He was supposed to graduate this past spring, but managed to flunk English. I gave him a lot of grief about that, even using the famous Hank Hill line; "Dammit boy, how can you fail English? You speak English!" He ended up going to summer school and it appears he's managed to flunk that as well.

Earlier this year, he had an entire litany of excuses for failing the first time, none of which included his real reasons, which mainly consisted of video games and other assorted foolishness. If it were girls, or a job, or even hunting and fishing, I'd be slightly more sympathetic because he least he might have something to show for his lack of effort.

Since I like the boy, I offered to help him with his paper. I gave him the use of my home office, my computer and my fairly extensive library. I also offered to proofread it for him.

Well, I've just finished proofing it and I have to say I am more than a little bit pissed at the little shit. I have to give him credit though, I was three paragraphs into it before I figured out that he had plagiarized the entire paper. I don't mean as in lifting someone else's line here and there, he found an extremely obscure account about an engagement the 6th (Regular) Cavalry was in during the Gettysburg campaign and simply copied and pasted it into "his" term paper.

And when I say it's an obscure account, I ain't kidding. It is SO obscure, I didn't think it was even in the Regimental History, which I happen to have a copy of. It merits only the briefest of mentions... less than two pages.

At any rate, after having the run of my library for two days, the little goob didn't even know I had a copy, even though it was on the shelf with all of the other Cavalry books. He was supposed to writing the paper on military equipage, which was part of the reason I offered to help him, but evidently he's decided since Sunday to write this account of the 6th's Skirmish at Fairfield. I would have been more than happy to help him with that too. But no, he's lazy so he decided to cheat.

I called him on it. He denied it, but I had him by the short hairs because he didn't even bother to edit out the picture credits in the text. How stupid/lazy/idiotic is that for you? His current excuse for everything is "my teacher doesn't like me." I told him I could understand why if this was a typical example of his work.

I told him to rewrite the paper, gave him a couple of books, told him what chapters to read and told him to get his ass to work. There is no way in hell that he'll get a passing grade, but I did at least make him work a little bit.

I also called his daddy and ratted him out. He's not going to be a happy boy when pappy finishes with him.

He's over on the brides computer right now typing away. I am curious to see what he comes up with before I send his ass home.

And yes, I am rambling. But that's because I am pissed off. I like the little shit and he's smarter than this, but he's lazy and has f-ed up priorities. I have told him every way I know how to get his shit together or he's going to end up in some low-end job the rest of his life. I think he's influenced too much by his slacker brother and all of his little useless slacker friends. The bad part is, he is smart enough to know he screwed up, but too damn lazy to do much about it.

I finally gave up on finishing the barn, so I got the guys who did the siding on my mom's house to do it for me. I now have 15' x 48' sheds on both sides, which gives me a place to park my assorted crap. Next on the agenda is putting sides on it and cleaning up my gawdawfull mess that makes the place look like a redneck Sanford & Son.

Think I'm kidding about that? There's an equipment dealer down the road from me. I'm fixin' t'start charging him for all the people who stop at my place thinking it's his place...

Monday, July 11, 2005

I spent most of the day mowing again yesterday. I had the presence of mind to throw the camera into the cab, but of course there weren't any wild critters to photograph.

There were however, a few somewhat wild critters.
Image hosted by

Image hosted by

Image hosted by
Naturally, the closer I'd move towards them with the tractor, the more apt they were to hide behind momma.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Reinforcing a few sterotypes

When I was in middle school, roughly about the time Smokey and the Bandit came out, our Sheriffs department got new vehicles. Trans Ams. Yes indeed. I think they finally got rid of the last one 10 or 12 years ago. I am sure they made dandy pursuit vehicles, but I'll bet it was hell to try to put a recalcitrant prisoner in the back seat.

But that's only the background. All you Dukes of Hazzard fans pay attention now. One of mother's cousins was a deputy back then. From what I gather, he had a rather colorful career in law enforcement there for a little while. I don't know all the details, but I've heard the tale for years that on one occasion he actually chased a fleeing suspect through a chicken house whilst driving one of the aforementioned Trans Am police cars.

Now, most folks would have visions of feathers flying everywhere right now, so go ahead and savor that visual for a moment before I ruin the story.

It wasn't quite that way y'see, because they were cleaning out the chicken house at the time and the doors on each end were open. Furthermore the suspect was fleeing on foot rather than in an orange Dodge Charger. It does make a better tale when I leave that out don't it? Still pretty damn funny though. I'd say a stunt like that would get him fired nowadays.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

My bride has a B'day coming up and I've already bought her present and gave it to her. I will never understand women and the inner workings of their brains. I have figured out by now that many women, my bride included, do not like gifts that are practical in any shape, form or fashion. That being said, I bought my bride something somewhat practical. Shockingly enough, Sweetie is quite happy with her present, but when I told one of my female co-workers about it her response was "...oh, you're such a romantic..."

Yes indeed, that was sarcasm. Why the sarcasm? Because I bought my darling bride a vacuum cleaner.

To be honest I can understand the sarcasm directed at me because of that, but the rest of the conversation was what boggled my Tiny Little Brain™.

"What kind of vacuum cleaner did you buy her?"

"A Dyson full gear."

"OH! That's a different story then..."

Apparently women lust after Dyson vacuum cleaners, therefore they are considered to be acceptable gifts. I wonder if the reaction would have been the same had I bought her a Hoover. I doubt it.

Tiny Little Brain is a trademark of Possumblog Industries, LLC.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

I woke up before seven this morning to the sound of thunder. I usually sleep in on Sundays, but I scrambled out of bed pretty quick today because I had went to Lowes yesterday and bought four bags of concrete that was still in the back of the truck. I figured I'd best get it unloaded. Naturally, the storm passed on by. But at least I did get a little work done before it got too hot.

I spent about four hours today sitting on the Ferguson mowing. In that time I thought of about forty things to write about and damned if I can remember any of 'em right now. My memory has never been good, but it seems to to headed south in a hurry lately.

I did see more critters today than I normally do. I am accustomed to seeing field mice and the occasional rabbit, but today I saw about six or eight BIG rabbits, one of which was so big I thought he was going to walk up to the tractor and say "ehhh, what's up doc?" I narrowly missed getting eaten up by a nest of hornets. They are evidently building low this year. Not sure what that means. Saw one black snake, which I left alone... had it been a copperhead or rattlesnake I would've shredded him. Speaking of which, I killed a baby copperhead at the barn the other day. That tends to make me nervous, because where there's one, there are likely to be a whole lot more.

The most interesting thing was the deer. A very young one. Momma was nowhere in sight and this little thing was scared to death of the big red noisy thing. It kept circling back around, but as soon as I would make a turn and head back to that end of the field, it would head for the tall Johnsongrass. I am guessing that momma left it hidden in the part of the field that I mowed. I'm glad that it was big enough that it had developed its flight instinct, otherwise I could have very well missed seeing it and hit it with the mower. Some of the neighbors have had that happen before.

And naturally, I didn't have the camera with me. I have noticed that whenever I take it with me, there's nothing to take pictures of, but I when I don't have it there are all kinds of interesting things to see. Too bad... I would've liked to have had a shot of the deer and the big-assed rabbit.