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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

nature trail

























































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61 comments:

pansypoo said...

winter fluffies. they look good.

the farmer said...

they do look pretty delighted with themselves.

i hope pjk got his mud boots.

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pansypoo said...

i think the west needs the rain. had a pond in the back '40'. but good for the aquifers.

the farmer said...

they can use the rain out west but looks like they're getting drowned just south of chicago.

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pansypoo said...

lot of flooded ground in WI + basements, so a bit of seeping the basement in not horrible considering our gutters are no longer tied into the sewer system.

the farmer said...

so looks like more rain for you. move it this-a-way. i'll take it off yer hands. can use it here.

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pjk said...

We're supposed to be back in the eye again, but unless someone has a big enough pole barn to keep it on the QT, I think we're past Ark season.

Not wagering on record late branch-breakin' freak snowstorm. Uh-uh.

We got jacked up over the gas pump hereabouts last weekend. I went so far as to (a) see the price at the station visible from our bank, (b) drive 2 blocks to the station closer to home, slide card, and THEN see they went up more like 26 cents instead of 13.

Oil, $88/bbl, wholesale gas about a buck below (cough) market price.

Can't we just get rid of 35 out of the 36 "reformulated" blends in the country, and go to the one that eats FEWER head gaskets and small engines? Please?

farmer- wasn't Uncle Ted supposed to be (quote) "either dead or in jail" by this time if the Obamanist got re-elected?

I'll try not to betray the option that HE AIN'T MAN OF HIS WORD ENOUGH to (heh) live up to, that I prefer.

Moles, voles, and shrews- oh my!

Don't fergit the croquis, either.

pansypoo said...

well, after this bit, no more. how bout 60's?

pjk said...

Let's hope we don't get a year where it's colder on Memorial Day than Christmas, again.

Last month's utility bill arrived. We have a "work when it wants to" 80% efficient (when it was new) furnace, so I bought electric heaters. Starting Dec. 23-abouts.

INSANE bills since then, but not really all that far off from previous years + the hike in therm cost + the connection fee increase etc.

3/13-4/14 was 5081 kWhrs & 63 therms. $699.95 (I shit you not) electric, $51.47 gas (but $21.34 of that is just being their loyal customer).

If I believed all the shit I saw on tv in my youth, wouldn't we have DEA helicopters landing in the yard by now? They must have a HUGE grow room! We thermal imaged the place, and they're not heating the outdoor pool, and they're making out like they're all broke-assed, but you know they're rolling in it!

"It", indeed. Good time for the wife's unemployment to run out, lack of OT for me, register both vehicles, etc.

She also tells me her check got cut 10+% because of "the sequester". I'm wondering if that's a National thing, or just in Repub-controlled states.

Time to fix the screens and switch out the heaters for fans.

pansypoo said...

til my 20's, my grandparents had a USED gravity heater. it was QUIET + according to my grandpa, pretty cheap. the NEW heater/AC unit was noisy + never as nice. the octopus ran from the 20/30's to the 80's. i saved as many bits of it when it was removed.

pjk said...

My Mom's parents had an octopus as well, I think an old A.O.Smith that perhaps was built towards the end of the coal era & got converted to fuel oil.

I liked homes built for gravity heat, because you could listen downstairs through the grates. And as long as you have access to relatively reasonable firewood, you could probably plumb in a woodburner downstairs as well.

That would probably take up at least half of the basement in most homes of that era. But it'd be worth it. Along with converting to fryer grease in the oil burner.

pansypoo said...

i love finding them at estate sales.east side lake shore drive heating systems can be cool.

the farmer said...

I lived in several houses with old octypus in em when i was in college. and i remember the old ugly dirty coal burning gravity furnaces when i was a little kid in some of the houses in the neighborhood where my grandparents lived. i liked to go down in the basement and watch the coal come down the shoot into the coal room too. i remember once getting into a conversation with another kid and insisting you can't burn rocks, cuzz rocks don't burn. Oh yeah, i was told, you can burn these rocks. these rock burn.

you could probably plumb in a woodburner downstairs as well.

something like this here with my woodstove. the stove isn't in the basement but its in a first floor "utility" room with vents in the ceiling which allow the heat to rise upstairs. works ok but like all woodstoves the heat isn't always consistent. working right now since overnight temps are still down in the 20's and 30's.

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the farmer said...

I hope Zoobydot hires Orly Taitz to represent the family.

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pansypoo said...

i haven't seen a wood stove in years tho. : (
but i did see a 65 t-bird.

the farmer said...

i haven't seen a wood stove in years tho

At this point I wouldn't mind not seeing one again for a couple of years.

pjk said...

Nothing blowing up this weekend besides the first-round hopes at the NFL draft.

Nice weather, too.

Maybe if the sequester cut into legislators pay & retirement, we'd see a little action beyond air traffic controllers.

What happened to making those "hard" choices? And those jobs they all went to create?

Ah, the stuff of legend.

pansypoo said...

i loved the old stove at the cottage. maybe you got a bad stove.

the farmer said...

maybe you got a bad stove

Its not the stove. Its all the work that goes into feeding the stove. And then cleaning up after its done gorging itself all winter.

What happened to making those "hard" choices?

You mean all that talk about how everyone will have to make sacrifices. Far as I'm concerned that waxed fish mannikin Mitch McConnell can take the bus back to Kentucky if he doesn't like waiting at the airport. Or hitchhike, and get picked up by teenage neo-nazis in West Virginia.

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pansypoo said...

yeah, there is the wood gathering + making to burn.

the farmer said...

About Ron Paul's new cuckoo nest:

From SPLC:
Ron Paul, the libertarian former Texas congressman whose hard-line views are widely admired on the radical right but who claims to reject racism, has started a new organization stacked with a hodgepodge of far-right extremists.

As The Daily Beast reported yesterday, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is ostensibly designed to promote a discourse about U.S. foreign policy. But its advisory board is stacked with what writer James Kirchik characterized as “a bevy of conspiracy theorists, cranks, and apologists for some of the worst regimes on the planet.”


and that beady eyed little fugazi Dennis Kucinich is also a member of the advisory board.

pansypoo said...

dennis is a nitwit for banging on one drum. as is paul.

tho, we can AGREE war is stupid.

pjk said...

I like Denny's wife, tho....

Randy Boy seems to have found the silver lining in Right Wing fundraising.

Nut jobs. !0 million pseudo-patriot survivalists who think giving 10 bucks to this shithead is gonna get 'em a cabinet post after "the coming storm" they fantasize about- coming out ahead afterwards (by virtue of the AK/AR and a few thousand rounds of ammo).

Reality's a bitch. Plenty of shoulder-launched shit that'll turn their super bunker fortress into smoldering rubble.

Better spend the $10 elsewhere. Like on front-row seats for Ted Nugent.

Anybody with a coupla kids, or lawn equiptment, or animals, or sick parents, and/or any combination of the above is a true survivalist these days. That's a $100K gig minimum, and less so if that is total family income.

Ya know you're gettin' old when you start recalling the good old days as relative to what an hours pay would buy you.

I'm a long ways from 10 gallons of gas, and even further off a carton of smokes.

4 years gross pay buys you a new house? Half a year buys you a new American car with a V8? Every year is a SS/Medicare "payroll tax holiday", before Reagan and Greenie jacked us up for another 2%?

I wasn't working before sales tax kicked in here, but I was alive. Throw in a few minor healthcare costs and property tax being a complete ripoff plus everything else that gets "sticky" at a higher price since then-

and a guy starts thinking about a bank job. Because (a) 3 hots/cot/heathcare/no utility bill or property taxes if all goes amiss, and (b) even if I had the money for a small startup, I don't have it in me to ass-rape people so that I may profit from their suffering.

In theory (that money is still worth anything like what it was 25 years ago), we should be doing well. See; Reality, above.

At least it's sleep in the car if need be-season.

pansypoo said...

so, how are those tax cuts helping you? reaganism killed equality rising. the royalists are in charge AGAIN. but revolution is in the air.


pjk said...

Not as much as mold, pollen and "fine particulates".

If so-called progressives, liberals, and libertarians REALLY could find one collective set of balls to come out and say it, the pitch might be something like this:

"please send us $20 for every family member before the next election, so we may save you about $1000 per family member each year until the NEXT election. And when we say a Grand, WE'RE being conservative!"

Or maybe the House and Senate will just decide to forego massive corporate contributions in favor of a $1 checkbox on the tax return.

Heh-indeedy, with a dab of allrighty, then'll do ya!

Back to sucky weather fer the weekend. And no F1 race.

pansypoo said...

ITS NOT SNOW ITS NOT SNOW ITS NOT SNOW!

pansypoo said...

man, spam is flying everywhere.

pansypoo said...

shit. i have never seen so many seed pods on the rhubarb. PIE DAY! shit. i need butter.

the farmer said...

you should cut the flower stalks (unless ya like the flowers) because it hinders growth of edible leaf stalks. Haven't seen any stalks on mine this year.

Cold tonight - mid to upper 20s. I hope it doesn't ruin the apples again this year.

Tomorrow the bat motel (chimney) gets rebuilt and all the bats get evicted (probably right through the god-damned house which ought to be a lot of god-awful fun)

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pansypoo said...

my grandpa taught me flowers bad. i pulled the ones i could, others too small, but SO MANY!

ooh. mountains bad.

be good to the bats. pollinators BUG EATERS.

we had the pussy willow tree + a self planted 12 yr old elm taken down too. i saved several logs. a section of elm i put by the garden for a seat. it has elm growths on the south + east side. a big pussy log was on the stump remains and has pussy sprouts on all sides. i put it by the wall. yeah, it's been wet.

pansypoo said...

less is more. tis a pithy place.

the farmer said...

Chimney fixed. No bats harmed but they had a rough afternoon. you can root one of those pussy willow shoots in water and then plant it later. just noticed yesterday starting to get flower stalks on my rhubarb too. i'll have to cut that tomorrow. Having PJK type lawn tractor problems also. Its always something.

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pansypoo said...

i got pussywillow shoots in the chip pile. the one i had in my room died when i gave it more water. may just let the log do what it does. finally planted almost everything. think i have zinnia sprouts from the free seeds. need to plant some free marigolds.

pjk said...

yo, SBLers.

farmer, I cringe at the thought of having Tractor Disease named after me, like Lou Gehrig.

Best luck with the RHU, pansy.

Also- I took a dump this week, and although it happens on a fairly regular basis, there was a little red food coloring on the tissue.

Well, Son of a Bitch, I'd call that a SCANDAL!!! Northern must be targeting Left-Leaning A-Holes with fiberglass or Scotchbrite- I just need asscess to the memo, or like ABC, I can just make Shit up!

"We're turning into a 3rd World country"? Good idea; dissolve the government, and start over. Begin with Bush appointees whose last act is to fry the current "regime"; 2nd is to give corporate welfare & tax break recipients the ObamaCare Colonic; 3rd is to nationalize monopoly oil & utility companies (throw healthcare in there too!).

So totally fucking sick of it.

Bush/Cheney sucked, did so much shit you couldn't even keep up with it. Now, it's revenge time for supposed slights to assaults on our "Freedom" as Americans.

Got a job? Show up, and do it.

Elected representative job? Represent the people who line your pockets, as an intro into your NEXT job (see Scott Brown, aka Don Draper of the Senate).

I'm starting to wish that the only plane that got to where it was going was Flight 93.

the farmer said...

Tractor disease: Well I think I have what you had but I can't remember what the final diagnosis was when you had it. I think its electric starter disease but not sure. Briggs and Statton. Replaced the usual things like spark plug and filters, checked connections etc... and the battery is fine but the fucker still won't start (trys to). Occasionally starts (one out of a hundred attempts) and runs fine once started but when i turn it off its back to the one out of a hundred trys all over again. Started up fine the first time I started it this year, worked fine for 2 weeks, then it just stopped behaving (or, rather, behaving once out of a hundred attemts).

Seems i remember you having a similar problem with your Briggs Statton last year. Was it the electric starter, or something else? I can't remember if you ever cured that ailment or not.



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pansypoo said...

you need to get a plow to be dragged by a goat team.

the rhubarb is going nuts. all that rain has produced an amazing profusion of stalks + seed pods! tho where i that fucking storm. i planted + needs rain! gonna have to separate the rhubarb next spring. now i gotta make crust cake! mmm rhubarb cake.

the farmer said...

i need a team of sheep to mow the grass. my rhubarb looks good but not going nuts. haven't had much rain. i got a the clutter cleared away from a couple more apple trees i found in the woods. lots of blossoms and the frost didn't get em so this should be a good year for the apples.

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pansypoo said...

i still wanna know how the pussywillow got the elm log pregnant.

the farmer said...

i still wanna know how

you sure it wasn't the other way around?

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pansypoo said...

well, the pussy willows branches were closer than the elms branches. the pussywillow tree had lovely long limbs. tho the elm seeds are quite fecund as well.

pansypoo said...

the rain has sent the rhubarb into hyper mode. extra tart extra juicy as well.

pansypoo said...

any snow your ways? bet that was good for planting.

the farmer said...

no snow. didn't get that cold (upper 30's). no frost or freeze either. no planting yet. i always wait until after labor day. killer frosts at the end of may aren't unusual. soon as it stops raining in go the tomatoes and peppers. maybe this weekend. everything is still indoors and under lights.

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pansypoo said...

ahh, yes. the infamous started seeds. much easier 'closer to the lake'. pole bead seeds up, free cuke seedlings up. free lettuce up?

pansypoo said...

replanted the watermelon.

pjk said...

Sorry folks, but this here port of last resort seems to be working Deputy Dawg Shit Slow these days.

That and my self-medicated weekends tend to keep me erasing the weekly workstain from my soul & clothing, while working up the courage to go spend what we all got between utilities, groceries, and what the remainimg margins on the credit cards will bear.

It really did seem to be a starter issue, farmer- to the point where we got a Toro "personal Pace" walk-behind with a battery pack & starter. Three pumps on the squishy button on the side of the carb and a crank of the key used to work (at a much quicker turnover of the motor).

Now it's a blast of Liquid Fire ether, crank crank MOAN (when the starter kicks out and winds down), and a short yank on the recoil rope fires it up immediately.

Almost like shit battery plus power-suckin' starter mechanism equals not enough juice to both turn over and provide spark.

Took the deck off the old JD. Fuck it. I'd rather entertain a pull-behind reel mower than sink a few hundred into a new electrostatic clutch (that'd be #4 in 16 years).

Let the Mo-in-Law use it for a golf cart.

the farmer said...

Finally got the Husqv fixed yesterday. Just in time for the monsoon. Turned out not to be the starter on mine though. Decompression mechanism on the camshaft was broken off - so had to replace the camshaft. Was covered by the warranty. I have a less glamourous version of that Toro propelled push mower too. 3-4 years old. Not a personal pace or electric start but it gets going on the squishy button and first yank as long as I keep it cleaned up. change the air, fuel filters, spark plug and oil every spring at least - otherwise it seems to get gunked up fast and looses power noticably.

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pansypoo said...

made rhubarb sauce.

the farmer said...

this rain should fatten up the strawberries and then i can go after the rhubarb. assuming it ever stops raining long enough to go pick the god damned things.

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pansypoo said...

i think there is too much rain.

the farmer said...

wasn't as bad as they forcasted around here (no flooding) and we needed the rain so i shouldn't be complaining. got most of the peppers planted yesterday and the soil was just right because of the rain.

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pansypoo said...

illiois is going to flat away.

pansypoo said...

oops. float. we got 1 1/2 in at least, they got MORE again.

saw weird loking trees on drive back from madison. i think dead branhes on trees are coming back from all the rain.

pjk said...

Yeah farmer, the old "Sabre" had compression release issues as well, but was so hit-or-miss as to be undiagnosable.

One time on the charger and cranks like a dead battery, next day turns over like it's new.

Also- if you don't already have them on the rider, put a fuel filter and a fuel shutoff valve into the line between the tank & carb. Especially the shutoff, if you gots a gravity feed system, and the soon-to-fail electric fuel shutoff solenoid on the bottom of the float bowl (maybe the Swedes put it somewhere else, but they fail early & often; $10 is better spent there than the $75 JD wanted for a new solenoid).

I may be off on country of origin (like Kurt Russel in Carpenter's version of The Thing).

When it goes, the extra gas you've been missing is in your crankcase; that tends to make it REAL hard to start, backing the piston down into flamethrower fluid.

It just runs past the needle & seat, down the intake, into the cylinder & past the rings. A quick look at the color, level (and smell) of the dipstick was a real wake-up call on that one.

Gonna start gettin' hot & sticky around here right quick. The murder rate tends to go up when that happens.

The wife actually sold a few fixed buck kids for meat this year. I was amazed. But we did have a buck-heavy yield, and the attempts to list them online as pets or companion animals resulted in people checking to see if those were DOES for $35/ea.

Not in this Hemisphere- or any other. Oh sure! $50 puppies, you say? Do they have Championsip AKC papers, and all their shots, and an RFID tag too? How about obedience training?

Free Kittens, I get that. Offer a beater car for scrap price to someone that can use it, sure.

But some people are just clueless.

Oh, wait- we DO live in a Republican stronghold county. Maybe they're just looking for ANOTHER way to make money off of us.

No such thing as "how much is enough". Money can't buy happiness, but being rich and fucking somebody over so you can laugh about it with your friends?

Priceless.

the farmer said...

hit-or-miss

Yup, that's exactly how it was. But it went from being just fine to hit or miss overnight because the compression mechanism piece broke completely off. My brother in law thought it was gas in the crankcase too because he had that problem. I do have a fuel filter but i can put in a shut off valve too. Runs fine for now. Didn't really want to mess with anything on it while it was still under warranty.

checking to see if those were DOES for $35/ea.

Right. I believe it. Next time tell em if they're looking for something to lavish affection on they can pick up a couple of hermit crabs and a terrarium for about $35. Or two large pizzas with pepperoni and extra cheese.

Hot and sticky around here now. I love it. But need some rain again soon. Watching Le Mans. Looks like the safety car is out right now. The Aston Martin GTE Pro car is being pushed off into the weeds. Yeeks.

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pansypoo said...

summer has shown up. the lake side was packed.

the farmer said...

i love it. mid-high 80s, late afternoon - early evening thunderstorms roll through. just right.

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pansypoo said...

it was a FAKE. back to 70's. more rhubarb.

the farmer said...

Not faking it here. Supposed to stay hot all week.

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pjk said...

Hey.

I'm starting to understand the increase in the homicide rate, if nothing else.

And ya throw in a full moon, a little resentment about spending weekends shopping, cooking, and doing the laundry, and a little thing like my daughter wanting to take off at 5pm Sunday to buy a goddam cover for her new phone and watch pjk go ballistic.

The only schedule we seem to have is "let's sit around until Dad wants to make supper, and "need" something else right about then".

We're also in the midst of car-shopping for said daughter, and OMFG, the used car prices these days are truly crack-inspired.

Seems like a better deal to lease a VW for $0 down with a warranty and covered maintenance than risk the same $ amount on some 10-yr.-old bucket of shit with aprox. 130K on it.

You know you're gettin' old when you could latch on to a muscle car in High School for half what it was new, maybe 5 years old, in mint shape and MAYBE 60K on it.

The $100-$200 winter beater days are long gone. Brakes, tires, battery, exhaust, and a full tune-up? Might have $500 into it, and would usually last you at least a few years.

I might as well be Moses or Rip V. Winkle at this point.

Or Dana Carvey's "Back in MY Day..." character from SNL.

pansypoo said...

have you checked ebay?