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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Stars don't care

My wife bought me a CD last year I think. Anyway, songs by James Low Western Project appeared magically in my computer, along with the James Bell album I actually bought and a Vern Gosden album I also have no recollection of purchasing. Perhaps iTunes is just messing with my head by randomly sending me music, I have no idea.
So I've been listening to a combination of Vintage Soul music, 90's country western, Hipster country western (didn't even know that was a genre) and one track by the Humans (late 70's surf-punk) No wonder I get confused. Conflicting musical styles on iTunes must lead to cognitive dissonance or at least mild flatulence. I have no idea what those terms mean I just like big words.
Anyway, the stars don't care, they shine on Texas, Portland, and Paris and our petty little lives don't affect the winds of fate. Really needed to hear that repeated to me 50 times this afternoon but my hands were greasy and I didn't want to mess up the track pad on the old iBook, plus if I bump it then I lose my internet connection and what if I want to access porn the Great Plains website in the shop?


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rain and work in the shop

Today it rained.
I am like three miles from home. If I would not have worked on the G1355 until noon yesterday I would have been planting at home.
It is sometime interesting to note that I have planted these same fields several times over the past decade.
Yesterday I found a screwdriver I lost several years ago. If you plant screw drivers they don't really seem to germinate well.

It is not in perfect shape but I put it back in the toolbox.

I replanted in the first field I planted this year. I no-tilled oats and then the farmer planted clover on top with his drill. The clover actually did a little better in the wet spots than the oats. You could see any low spots, they were bare. I am somewhat amazed at the field. When he first rented it the field had been plowed in circles for years. It was low in the middle and corners and high on the sides. I think they put quite a bit of lime on the field also. It was also amazingly clean for being planted in January, which would be before a lot of the broadleaf weeds would sprout.

So I have the G1355 running. I see from the photo I forgot to put the cover back on the side of the cab. I see that my little helper didn't notice it either.

Today I put the White 2-135 in the shop and got ready to swap engines. I removed the hood, radiator, turbo, and was working on the manifolds but got hungry and quit for supper. The hard part will be putting it all onto the new engine. It is a hercules military truck engine and I have to change the timing gear, turbo, injectors, manifold, and waterpump. Have to drill and tap a hole in the head for the water pump.
I'm more worried about getting the timing gear changed. Hope I don't have to mess with the cam. Wish I could just hire someone to do it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I've been busy

I've been attempting to post but I've been busy. Trying to figure out taxes, should be helping my wife put the kitchen back together, need to make the house safe for my father to live with us, should be spreading fertilizer, have ground to work, need to make feed, need to put 30 one ton bags of peas into a large bin, and I'm planting for the neighbors.
I need to plant as it is income and if I say no to anyone then I lose the job.
The planting is not going as fast as it should. Bearings keep failing. It is unbelievable how terrible Chinese bearings can be. The no-till drill is a fairly high stress machine. Instead of v-opener bearings failing at about the time the discs are worn out, they are failing randomly. The American or Japan made press wheel bearings lasted at least 6,000 acres possibly 8,000 acres, (they outlasted the wheel mounted acre counter) the Chinese replacements have barely made 2,000 acres.
Wheel bearings are worse, the bearings I installed when I broke an axle last month are starting to fail.
There is not much of a difference in cost between Chinese junk (pun) and bearings made anywhere else. However, there is no choice, you can't get American bearings. At this point I'd take Indian bearings, they have done wonders with the Lister clones. Why don't Mexicans make bearings? A least that would be closer.
I wonder if the problem with China is not so much the Chinese, it is the whorish American companies that are bringing in poor quality products for pennies less than it would cost to make new products here. The company that imports the products could control the quality. Of course the Chinese are also buying up American name brands and then cranking out lessor quality products.
Of course my employee has some sort of personal problems which prevent him from coming to work. It could be serious, I didn't actually read the whole text. Crisis will happen and it would not be a problem but for the fact that he also didn't come to work all winter when he could come to work.
I need someone to come in and "guest manage" the farm to get us all back on track. Someone who could just send me off somewhere to work and then I would not have to make decisions or deal with people who are self-imposed "victims."
I'd put my nephews and daughter to work but I'm not home to supervise.
I'd put MuddyValley to work but then he would find out the vast sums of money I make and raise my rent.
Now I'm going to take may daughter to the bus.
Man, I have a lot of built up frustration from listening to that idiot Lars and other talk shows, but not enough time to write about it.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Grandpa gets the wrong chair

Grandpa (my Dad) slipped a cog somewhere around May of last year. He forgets what to do. It is a bit deceiving as a lot of the time you can carry on a conversation with him and he seems ok.
But, he is not ok.
Yesterday I needed to check on him at 5:30 p.m.
My wife took daughter and her friend to trampoline land and the mall for birthday celebration. (They had chocolate cheesecake and I only got one small bite.)
My brother and family had school convention.
Wife checked on Dad before she left. Uncle checked on him before he went to the fireman's dinner. (even though he is not a fireman, probably donated something)
That left Grandpa alone for an hour and a half. He had Andy Griffith on the TV and he should have been fine.
However, with all the excitement of people coming to check on him I guess he decided that it must be time to go to the bathroom.
The bathroom is always the "default" for Grandpa. If all else fails and he doesn't know what to do then he just goes to the bathroom. This works out pretty well because he then forgets what to do in the bathroom and just sets there until you come get him. This is good because he doesn't wander around the house.
Well.... this one time he figures out that he has finished with the bathroom and should go back to his chair and set down.
He gets the wrong chair.
This chair has a pile of stuff on it and he can't set down completely. Plus the electric chair remote just doesn't seem to work. Won't move the chair and it won't change channels on the TV. (Cause it is the wrong chair and it never does work with the TV no matter how many times he pushes the button)
So... he is hanging on to his walker for dear life and my sister-in-law arrives home first.
She probably thinks we abandoned Dad.
It is sort of true.
I couldn't get the pickup to start, I called three people and no one was home. I went back to planting. I finished the field. I'm fairly happy.
I'm pretty sure Dad has almost completely forgotten that his chair wouldn't work yesterday. Life goes on...
In other news, My wife got daughter a $50 GoodWill gift card for daughter's 13th birthday. It was pretty funny. My daughter does not like GoodWill...
"Think how many things you can get for 99 cents," exclaimed my wife.
I bought my daughter bulk white legos and a furry pillow with LED lights that randomly flash. Then I gave her and her friend a rambling lecture about the human brain needed to make patterns out of random events and a story about an elderly lady who became addicted to gambling after taking anti- seizure medication and then offered to play them banjo music.
They are no longer in the living room.
We are now debating the merits of going to Church this morning...

Saturday, April 12, 2014

My truck keeps dying

I was supposed to come home and check on Grandpa today at 5:30. But my pickup wouldn't start and there was nobody to give me a ride.
I was planting oats for my neighbor and was not quite in walking distance. The wrong side of town.
I figured Grampa has been on his own before and he will be ok, so I went back to planting. I think the starter has died on my pickup. This is a brand new starter. Probably made in China.
The last time it died was in the parking lot at Dad's Market in Amity.
I had let the truck roll backward into the middle of the parking lot. Then the starter failed.
I was underneath it removing the starter when a local winery owner came by.
Hey "Buddy" he says.
Hi "Dave" says I.
Having problems, says he.
"Yup," says I
What's wrong," says he.
Starter quit, says I.
"Got another one in the back of your pickup?" says he. (Making reference the fact that I'm carrying a welder, aircompressor, vacuum cleaner, and a huge number of other important items in the back of the truck.
"Thats one thing I don't have," says I.
And he walks off....
Could have offered me package of box wine and a long tube so I wouldn't have had get out from under the truck.
I planted 50 acres today and still had time to break down three times. I suppose it was a good day.

Friday, April 11, 2014

It is a beautiful day and I need to go to work

Yesterday I planted 10 acres.
I having my usual trouble getting stuff done.
I should be planting for my neighbor. I told him I'd be there today.
I have planting to do at home. I have 20 acres of peas to plant, 30 acres of Flax, various fescue fields that need to be replanted, and some oats. Most fields have wet spots which I must go around.
I attempted to plant alfalfa yesterday.
The plan was to no-till 8lbs alfalfa and 75lbs peas/oats mix into wheat stubble. It is right on the irrigation line so there is a possibility that I will be able to water it this summer. Then I was going to roll it down and plant another 10lbs of alfalfa going a different direction. Sort of a shotgun approach where if you put enough alfalfa seed down some will actually grow.
Of course the other tractor was not ready, the roller needed to be greased, people came after hay, things went wrong-whatever...
My friend H. Sanders came over and made his own chicken feed. He also brought me a brisket sandwich from Jacks BBQ. Jack has really good BBQ. It is worth stopping and sitting on the tailgate and having lunch for a brisket sandwich from Jack's.
Somehow I have to get the 20 acres of peas done and I need to get moved to the other side of town and start planting oats. But I also have to take off for my daughter's birthday party this evening.
I guess I better get to work.
You know, if someone would give me 1.2 million dollars I would not need to work and I could post photos of corn plants on this blog all day long.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Thinking about planting corn but I have no photos of corn

I need to call Ed Winkle but i lost his phone number. I suppose i could email him. But, it is easier to complain about it here and actually do nothing.
A neighbor called with 100 acres of corn that he wants to no-till. I use the term neighbor loosely. He is a day's journey by horse or a good hour at 18 mph on the M670 Super.
I really need to do something to the Corn planter.

We have a White 5100 with White frame mounted no-till openers. I've added Turbo-till coulters off of a great plains no-till caddy for the fertilizer. I used the Yetter style fertilizer injectors with a John Blue squeeze pump. My goal is 2" down and 2" over.
I am also applying six gallons of 10-34 right in the row though modified keeton seed firmers.
I need to figured out if I should try to find row cleaners that mount to the White no-till coulters or try and do a row unit mounted row cleaner, or should I do a unit row cleaner and no-till coulter?
I've been looking at the Martin catalogue and am now confused.
I'd like to do the whole Nu-till system. I can't afford it all. It would almost be cheaper to find a White 6100 with all the stuff installed!
We have single wheels in the back so it is hard to add closing wheels. I do have a funny Shaeffert closing wheel which sort of works and we have drag chains.
I'm kind of thinking about pulling it which the MM G1355 if it is cold weather.
I'm going to be planting into annual ryegrass sod following silage chopping. I think it will probably be a little on the damp side.
The system we have will slice right into that sort of conditions and may work perfectly. I planted under similar conditions a couple years ago and it turned out really good. Then I planted into ground that had been worked wet and was packed and cloddy. It did not work well.
I have never felt so much stress in the spring before. I have close to 1000 acres of hay that I have committed to stack, Might have couple hundred acres of silage to chop, have at least 200 acres of my own hay, don't even know how much straw I'm stacking for the neighbors, but I have 400 acres to bale myself.
I'm going to have to find a full time helper...
The one bright spot is that now that I've spend $10,000 on grain, all my feed customers have left me. Other than my friend who has collected 3,000 chickens...