Gosh what a week it’s been! As my good friend Plume has already said, I’ve had technical difficulties and posting was the impossible dream. But my laptop has returned to the fold and it appears that all is well. At least until the next great disaster. In any case a great big thank you goes out to Mr. Plume for lending a helping hand.
Soon you will notice links in my posts when I am talking about equipment and material I’m using. These will be links to Amazon in case you are remotely interested in purchasing said stuff. I will also be starting to post product reviews with links as well. If you click on the link and purchase the product, I’ll make a few cents. Who knows? Maybe in 20 years I can rent a movie.
I was keeping a running journal right up until my laptop died so here it is.
Well, it’s Thursday, of that I am fairly certain. I’ve been here since Sunday with one lightning fast trip to town. Ice and a shower, what else?
My neighbor to the north, Amos, was out for a few days. We built a table, shot the hell out of some tin cans and for my part, didn’t really accomplish much of anything. The table is really nice and serves well as a stand for the gas grill and Coleman stove. I had forgot how nice having an extra set of hands was when doing some so simple as building a table.
While construction was underway there was a major disaster. My generator went breasts vertical so running the air compressor was out of the question. Running the saw was dicey but we managed to
get by. Our first guess was bad gas and of course there is absolutely no provision for draining the gas short of hiring some full scale bio-hazard facility. So we let it run. And run. Along about nine o’clock that night it finally ran out of gas.
The next morning I cautiously circled the generator ready to battle while quietly confident that it was going to behave when I added known quality gas. Nope. Asshole just kept up the bad behavior.
By lunch I had taken every readily removable part off, cleaned it, lubed and re-installed. Then totally by accident I found a cable cleverly hidden behind a bunch of stuff. After a bit of tweaking I got it loose and gave it a go. Success. Needless to say I was relieved since I had read the fine print in the warranty. It essentially said “In case of failure, you’re screwed.” I have a spare generator in storage but it’s of questionable reliability.
We shot the dog crap out of some tin cans. After awhile it turned into a competition. Amos is a former Marine so needless to say he wiped the floor with me. I’m not a great shot anyway. I have a belief that quantity has a quality of its’ own. Why shoot once when you can shoot twenty times? And I broke my glasses recently so I was really at a disadvantage. Still, I won a couple of matches. I tried shutting one eye or another. I believe the best results were when I was shooting by braille with both eyes closed. Still I believe he pulled his shots a couple of times so I wouldn’t get mean and surly.
It rained for a couple of days. I ran to town the day after and the roads were a disaster. Where I was running 35 to 45 I was down to four wheel drive since the lumber companies are hauling in loose sand to grade the roads. Add a good rain and it’s a real mess. On the way back in a few hours later the roads were drying well but I have to wonder what they will be like next time out.
The road in front of my place seems to have taken the rain in stride. I drove around checking swamp levels and was surprised to find that they are only slightly higher than before the rain. Before the culvert was put in they would have been flowing across the road.
Today was a big cleaning day. I did prune the muscadines back. Looking at them I doubt I’ll have any grapes this year but hopefully next year. I haven’t as yet planted the blackberries so next year is probably the best I can hope for also.
The yellow flies are getting pretty bad. This afternoon I was bit several times and probably killed about 20. They’re nasty little assholes. Their bite hurts like hell then itches like mad. The bad part is there is no known repellent or traps for them. I have fly strips up everywhere loaded with insects but very few yellow flies.
I bought some strips on Amazon that were sposed to be the ultimate deer fly solution. So Amos and I put them on our hats and walked around for two days with these strips guaranteed to stop deer flies on our hats. At the end of two days the score was a bunch of bites and a whole big two flies trapped. Guess the strips are kind of like a thirty dollar fishing lure. They catch a lot of fishermen but not all that many fish.
Woke up ready to go today. Built some coffee, put on the boots, grabbed the brush cutter and set off to slaughter hundreds of innocent brushlings. I’ve been wanting to cut a straight path to the southwest swamp so I can sit on the porch and see what is going on there. The current path sort of wanders a bit since I cut it by following the path of least resistance.
Anyway I was happily engaged in wholesale carnage when I noticed it was getting dark. The weather prediction for today was 20% chance of showers so I was sort of freaked to see the entire sky covered in black clouds. I reluctantly left the anguished screams of dying brushlings and hoofed it to the shack. By then it was thundering and lightning so I was passed by a brown streak as the Boy went by. So now we’re sitting inside waiting on the rain to quit. Actually he’s racked out sound asleep and I’m thinking of building more coffee.
Well it continued to rain off and on for the rest of the day. I was able to run out between showers and finish cutting the path. I still have to go back and clear some more on a couple of areas to be able to see everything but it’s nearly complete. A short while ago I was looking at it and realized that part of it was moving. Grabbing the binoculars I was able to make out about six baby pigs before they made it into the brush. About six a light steady rain began and it’s been raining since so I’m done for the day.
Amos brought a couple of electronic fly swatters
with him this trip. Initially I was amused by them and didn’t expect them to really work. They work. With a fresh set of batteries a mosquito or gnat will simply flash and be no more. A yellow fly will put on a light show for some time. As the batteries weaken the flashes aren’t as gratifying but impressive none the less. At one point we were surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes. We held down the buttons and began swinging at random. Every swing resulted in flashes while filling the air with the smell of charred insects. In one night we reduced the insect population more here than I’ve been able to do the whole time I’ve been out here. I’m still using the original set of batteries so I have no idea how long they last. I was picking a fly out today and got a decent shock since I was dumb enough to have the button pushed. I want to buy some more then see if I can supercharge one using a 9 volt battery versus 2 AA cells.
Soon I have to get back to siding and painting. And put up a solar cell so I can get away from flashlights supplemented with solar powered yard lights. I have some 12 V dc compact florescent bulbs with bases so I should get moving on that. My inverter has a low voltage shut down which protects the battery but I am powering some 12 volt loads so no protection there. I’ve decided to put in a 120 volt relay then run the 12 volt hot lead through it. Lose 120 volt, relay opens, no 12 volt load. So I went to the local hardware store and asked for a 120 volt ice cube relay of about 30 amps. I was shown ice trays so it’s back to the internet for material.
Tomorrow will be another lightning fast trip to town. I don’t need ice as yet but I’ll stock up anyway. What I do need is Ziggy food. It was on the top of my list last trip but naturally I didn’t take the list so it was forgotten.
And then the laptop went south.
I did kill what I think was a fly but I’ve never seen a fly this large before. It’s possible it’s an alien visitor from another galaxy here on a peaceful mission but I don’t really think so. In the picture that is a AAA cell below it. I threw it in to show just how huge that sucker was. I was afraid to try the electronic fly swatter on it just in case it really was an alien fly with Jedi powers which could cause me to beat myself to death with the swatter. So I zapped it with wasp killer.