Tuesday, August 30, 2005

All this liquid sunshine

with the thunder and lightning accompaniment, puts me to mind of an incident from a few years ago.

At the Resaca reenactment one year, it blew up a bad thunderstorm Saturday afternoon. Everybody that could took refuge in their cars or in a tent. This one idiot (who is a friend of mine, thus he shall remain nameless) had just bought himself a repop 1833 artillery short sword.

This idiot proceeded to run outside the tent and stand in the rain holding that sword up in the air hollering "BY THE POWER OF GREYSKULL!"

Lightning hit a tree about a hundred yards away.

The sword was left laying in the mud as he knocked about three people down diving back into the tent.

That boy ain't right.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Got my truck fixed today

Wasn't too bad. Fifty-nine bucks... could've been a lot worse.

It had not started raining yet when I got home. I says to myself "I'm going to straighten those belts out and go roll the rest of that field."

One slight problem with that. Evidently the new solenoid on the Ferguson is bad. I started it, opened up the back door on the baler to set the latches that let the tension off the belts, shut the tractor off and only then realized that I needed to leave it running so I could work the door...

Click. Click. Click.

This is the second soleniod I've put on in the past two weeks. I also had the starter rebuilt last week. Between the two of them it was close to... more money than I care to think about, considering the fact that the ^&*%^ is dead again.

Oh well, looks like it's going to rain for the next couple of days anyway.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Murphy's Law is in full effect

At least around here. I don't know if I can take another weekend like this.

To start with, the hay I mowed Wednesday was still too green to bale yesterday, so we had to wait until today. The power steering on the Ferguson went out, but I was able to borrow a spare pump from one of my neighbors. I put it on (twice, because I had to take it back off and change the fittings) yesterday evening. DR came over in the midst of this. He was sitting on one of the wagons watching me slowly become covered with hydraulic fluid and antifreeze when he asked why did I borrow the pump when I could've borrowed the whole tractor? I told him I couldn't do that, because would be logical. See, the boy is smarter than me!

Anyhoo, today I started square baling at 11:30, some of the first bales were still a little damp, but that wasn't a real big problem, because the dew burned off pretty fast. Baled about forty or so and somehow screwed up the baler pickup (knocked a chain out of it's track). Had to stop and repair that. About this time it starts raining. We dropped the wagon from behind the baler, hooked it up to my truck and took off for the barn. We got pulled in, unhooked the wagon and pushed it into the barn (I have too much hay in there to drive through it now). It then stops raining. Not even enough rain to settle the dust, but enough to hold us up for an hour.

Started baling again. Got the Ford stuck in a boggy place. Then broke the chute extension on the square baler, so we couldn't pull the wagon behind it anymore. Started dropping bales on the ground. Dropped about 12 and then had a steering cylinder on the Ford break, so that put it out of commission. Swapped tractors, which stinks because I already had the Ferguson hooked up to the round baler. Baled a few more with the Ferguson and then started popping shear pins right and left. Ok, piss on it, time to get the Gehl and roll the rest of it. But before we can do that, we need to get the square bales up and under cover.

I hooked one of the almost-fully loaded wagons behind my truck and started going around and picking up the random bales on the ground. I was easing down a hill when I realized I didn't have any brakes. It seems I blew a brake line on the passenger side front, so this put my truck out of commission for moving wagons. No problem, we'll use Josh's truck (a guy who came to help me) He's got a receiver hitch, so I Pull my hitch (which doesn't have a ball on it so I can use it to move equipment with), but there is a problem. Josh has one of those combination-lock hitch pins and he doesn't know the combination... Well, we could take the ball off his hitch, but he doesn't have any tools, I have tools, but they're in the bed of my truck underneath a whole stack of hay...

We finally got all that mess situated and everybody else went home. I'm getting ready to go start round baling when I see that the baler has a low tire. No problem, I'll just fire up the ole' air compressor, right? Wrong! The poor little Briggs just doesn't want to run. I pulled and pulled and then pulled some more. Never could get the damn thing to run. Decided to heck with, it ain't that low, so I'll go ahead and try to bale.

Get to the first field. Start up the windrow and everything is going great. Make my first roll, tie it off , whilst noting that my little fix I'd made this morning to the twine feed seems to have fixed the problems I'd been having with it... Drop the roll. Driveshaft falls off. What the %&*^%? This is VERY annoying because it's stiff from lack of use and putting it on requires the prodigious use of a large ball pene hammer (which, incidentally, was still buried in the bed of my truck).

Finally, after much sweat and swearing get it back on, started the next roll. It rolls up great. Go to drop it and the door won't open. What the %^&$% is it this time? Ok, no biggie, the hydraulic line came loose. Put that back on. Drop the roll. The drive shaft falls off...

Rinse and repeat. Several times.

I finally quit when two of the belts on the baler somehow got twisted together. I think one of them got out of it's track. Doesn't matter, because by this time I'd managed to bale or roll everything that was in windrows so I quit.

Did I mention that I still have this gawdawfull cold? No? Well, I do. Interesting byproduct of having this cold, my daily nosebleeds have stopped. I would've thought that they'd have gotten worse.

Tried to fix my truck, but that was an exercise in futility because the parts stores are of course closed... Finally drove (in first gear and cringing all the way, 'cause I had almost NO brakes at all) it over to the garage where I hope to have it fixed tomorrow.

Soooo, how was your weekend?

Saturday, August 27, 2005


Weather Jackasses keep changing the forecast.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

This old boy was driving down the road in South Georgia and got pulled over by the law. Deputy walked up to his car and said "Boy, you know how fast you was going?"


"You got any ID?"

The old boy looked at the deputy with a puzzled expression and said "About whut?"

This has me completely bumfuzzled

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
This stuff is popping up all over the place this year and I have never seen it before. I've looked in all of my books and can't find anything like it, of course that may be because it's not fully mature yet and the seedhead isn't completely exposed. I am sure it is some sort of native grass, but the seeds it came from must have been dormat for at least fifteen years because I don't ever recall seeing anything that looks like it. It has very tall slender stems, with broad leaves, growing up to a height of about two feet(the leaves that is. The stems are between four and six feet). It is somewhat like Johnsongrass, but the stems are nowhere near as big around.

Anybody got any idee what this is?

I had to quit mowing early yesterday

'cause the windshield wipers on the Fergie don't work.

Yeah, it rained. A narrow band about four miles wide, just enough to wet me and all of my neighbors who are trying to mow hay right now. It wasn't enough to hurt anything, but just enough to knock me out of finishing yesterday.

Soooo, I changed the oil in the Fergie whilst it was raining, put the rebuilt starter on the Deutz (it still won't start, I think the battery is plumb dead) and aggravated the neighbors for a while, because I could y'know.

The Ferguson is starting to have a lot of blow-by in the engine, bigger brother thinks this is from my el-cheapo/free Shell Rimula I've been running in it, so I bought oil to put it. Talk about sticker shock. I haven't bought any oil in 2 years. Four gallons of oil and a Wix filter was $48. We had always ran Delo 400 in it in the past, but TC recommended another oil, Mystik JT-8 and being how it was a dollar a gallon cheaper than Delo, I tried it. First thing I noticed was that it was thick... almost like pouring four gallons of Lucas into it. My original plan was to use Delo, along with a gallon of Lucas, but I figured I'd try this first. I really, really, really don't want to rebuild that engine anytime soon.

I guess I'll find out today if this helps.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Things to make you barf

Got home late yesterday, but I did manage to swap mowers (drop the batwing and hook up the disc mower) before midnight. This operation turned out to be more difficult than I thought it would be.

I've had the batwing hooked to the Ferguson for a month and a half now, and the driveshaft was stuck (rusted?) to the pto shaft. I had to beat the damn thing with a pipe wrench to get it to come loose. It had gotten dark by then, but for once I didn't have any trouble hooking up the disk mower. After I got everything connected, I raised the cutter and was immediately overwhelmed by the gawdawfulest stench I have ever smelled in my life.

I had forgotten to clean the seedheads and other assorted debris off the apron when I parked the mower back in June and all those clippings and seeds had rotted and turned into a thick smelly goo that smelled like a 3-day dead cow in July, lying in a pile of fresh pigsh*t, toped with fresh vomit. Vile, vile vile.

How's that for a visual?

In other news, I got the starter for the Deutz rebuilt (sidenote: Bosch parts are pricey, but still not quite as bad as Caterpiller parts...) and I hope to have it where it will start with a key now instead of having to roll it off. It rolls off easily, but I can't leave anything hooked up to it, unless I have someone around with a truck and a chain to pull me off, which is rare. I guess I'll have to put a new seat on it now. My master plan for using it as trade-in on a brand new Massey Ferguson has fallen by the wayside because the dealer I was going to try and trade with has gone out of the tractor business. Now the only close dealer is a John Deere dealer and I doubt I will ever be able to afford that green paint.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

It's that time again

Looks like we're going to have a short break in this rainy pattern we've been in the past month. I'm going to drop the bushhog and hook up the disc mower this evening. If it doesn't rain this evening I may go ahead and mow some around the house. My plan is to lay down everything on the farm and possibly mow the little field down the road. I'm going to wait a few weeks to mow the big field (my Johnsongrass-infested field).

I hate to guesstimate, but this should be a light cutting, prolly less than 600 bales. I may (depending on weather) lay down some weedy stuff to round bale. I can use those to fix some gullies that are trying to wash away.

Anyhoo, bloggage may be nonexistent the rest of the week.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I mowed for three hours yesterday and five hours today. In all, I've clipped close to fifty acres in the last two days. I cleaned off the batwing with the pressure washer before I started this morning and within thirty minutes my "red" bushhog was pretty much a solid yellow...

Wonder if that has anything to do with my chronic nosebleeds?

At least 24D will kill ragweed. I wish Dow or Monsanto or somebody would come up with a broadcast herbicide to deal with you-know-what.

I rode with DR today to go drop his bike (as in bicycle, not motorcycle) off to get it "tuned up." What the heck is up with that? From what he told me, they're going to hose it down with WD40 and charge him fifty bucks for the privilege. Now, I'll admit I'm not into bikes, but really... Who in the hell pays two grand for a bicycle?

It was funny to me because the sales guys who worked there fell all over themselves to talk to people when the came in the door. It was a couple of minutes before I realized that none of 'em even looked at me...

Of course, I was wearing filthy bibb overalls and the most disreputable ballcap I own.

Those guys knew I wasn't there to buy anything.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Johnsongrass yet again

My 80% kill turned into a 20% kill. That stuff just won't die. I finally threw up my hands and went down there with the batwing to chop the tops out of it. I will probably be able to square bale 25% of the field. The rest of it needs to be rolled, it's simply not fit for small squares.

On the upside, three hours in the sauna (the Ferguson cab) seems to have helped the chest cold that I've somehow aquired.

I did have a thought today. I need to find some Kudzu seeds. Throw it in with the &%$^*! Johnsongrass and let 'em fight it out.

Friday, August 19, 2005

For sale, one owner, low mileage

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Add this to the list of things one doesn't normally expect to see whilst driving down a state highway...

Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Nor does one expect to find an M-1 at just any used car lot.

Too bad I can't afford the payments on this baby. I could give new meaning to the phrase "road rage."

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Time for the book meme

1. How many books have I owned? I have no idee. Several thousand at least, 'specially if I count paperbacks.

2. The last book I bought was: Carrying the Flag, by Gordon Rhea. I read a review of it somewhere a couple of weeks ago and it sounded interesting, so when I saw it at a discount bookstore, I bought it without thinking twice about it.

3. The last book I finished was: Hell at the Breech, by Tom Franklin. This is a pretty good novel about some murders/lynchings and outright lawlessness that occurred in southwestern Alabama in 1897-98. Actually, I'll go further than say it was pretty good, it was excellent and I thouroughly enjoyed every word of it.

4. What books made an impression on me? That is a question I am tempted to skip, simply because there are so dadgum many books I've read that have made an impression on me. I will say that there is a range, from Sam Watkin's Company Aytch and James Webb's Fields of Fire to Jimmy Buffet's Tales from Margaritaville to T.E. Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom and Winston Churchill's History of the English Speaking Peoples. Quite a mix there huh?

It's easier for me to point to authors and say that they've influenced me in various ways. To that list I'd say (not necessarily in order) Louis L'Amour, George MacDonald Fraser, Sir Walter Scott, Winston Churchill, Shelby Foote, Robert E. Howard, William Manchester, Ian Fleming, Lewis Grizzard, Walter Lord, Roger Welsch, Baxter Black, John W. Thomason, James Warner Bellah, Ben K. Green, Tolkien, Elmer Kelton, Cornelius Ryan... I think it's time to quit now. How's that for confusion? It's the whole Bambi & Thumper hiding from the Germans in the trenches dream I keep having...

Is it any wonder folks think I've got a screw loose?

As for who to tag with this, I have no idea, but I'll accept volunteers.

Update: The Applachian Intellectual was gracious enough to answer my plea for a volunteer to pass this on to. Go check him out!

"nother update: Lea at Teak Talks has also volunteered to jump into this, so go have a look around.


Yup, thats me.

I have some catching up to do with this. I have been tagged with a book meme, which I shall try to get to shortly, but for now I will merely state that I am still among the living.

As I was driving home yesterday I was listening to Sport Talk, a local radio show and they were playing some bumper music by Roger Allan Wade, a local songwriter. They played a song which could very well be my buddy DR's anthem. I don't know the name of it, but the chorus was "I want a butt-ugly woamn with a bad dranking problem and a jealous old man in jail"

That, my friends, is Country music with a capital "C."

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I'm actually not in the middle of doing hay right now, just velly, velly busy at the Salt Mines plus trying to get a lot of things done on the farm. Mostly moving my piles of crap around. I've noticed that we never really get of rid of anything... we just move the piles.

I was trying to do some dirt work with the Case today (I'm trying to learn how to grade and do a halfway decent job) and had moved several yards of clay over beside the roadbed I'm trying to fix when a gawdawful thunderstorm blew up. I was soaked within seconds and my pile of dirt is now a gigantic mud pie.

In other news, I heard a good one at the barbershop this morning.

There is an elderly gentleman who comes in there who got into some sort of legal dispute with some of his relatives over some hay that they claimed belonged to them, while he claimed it was his.

The relatives took him to court over this. While he was on the witness stand, the relatives attorney tried to make something of the fact that the old man liked to drink a lot. He asked him whether he'd had anything to drink on a particular day and the old man told him "Naw, I didn't drank no anti-freeze, jist had some kool-aid." This apparently stymied the attonery, who did not realize that "kool-aid" was the term the old man used for beer. Liquor, of course, was "anti-freeze."

Later on, they got down to the questions about the hay and the lawyer asked "Where exactly, is this hay now?"

The old man answered seriously (as in not being a smartass) "Way-uul, I reckon it's in them cows bellies."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Busier than a one legged cat in a room full of rocking chairs.


Busier than a one legged rocking chair in a room full of cats.

Hmm, that ain't it either.

Too many pies in the fire?

Too many irons in the pie?

You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him fish?

Now I've just confused myself.

Oh well, it's all water over the bridge now.