What a glorious cool weekend!

August 31, 2018

We had a cold front move through and got some rain that really helped on improving the air quality here in the valley.  My gosh I not only turned off the Air conditioners I got to turn off most of the fans cooling the house.  Of course rain makes all of the nature aromas more acute so it has been wonderful to turn of the  the A/C units and smell air that is not full of smoke.

I got the new dumb LED TVs installed  though I have not hooked up all the electronic goodies.  I moved the old (20 year) CRT out to the garage.   Gosh I forgot how much those old CRTs can weigh.  Good news the little garden wagon helped me move the CRT to it’s new spot in the shop.  This CRT TV is Digital but it is setup for the EU digital and won’t receive the US version of digital tv signals.  The old LG still has a great picture so I’m going to play around with it as a TV/game/you tube sort of hybrid entertainment system.

Great news I was able to purchase a retro NES gaming system and it has Star Fox!  I’ve always been a gamer starting with the coin op games and loved when you could buy a game system and  NOT spend a quarter or two to play an arcade game at home.  I play like a noob on many games but I like playing a campaign or game beating the “BOSS”.

With the new TV the new Nintendo system games are going to look awesome.  As far as being a part of the PC gamer master race I’m sorely lacking as video cards have become very expensive in this bit coin era.  Though mining bitcoins is sort of dying back.  The price of mid range video cards was reasonable at $125.00-$200.00 range.  Paying $700.00+ for a video card is insane when I can build a solid gaming PC for that same price.  It won’t be a high end gamer pc but it will play most games good.

For a FPS Unreal 99/gold-2004 looks and plays wonderful on a basic computer system.   Bonus there are are are Plenty of private servers and game mods and maps for all of the Unreal Games.  Star Trek Elite force plays well if you run on Win XP admin.  I’ll have to try out the old Star wars games from X-Wing to Jedi Academy.

Please keep buying meat while the prices are low.  Trade agreement with Mexico are announce it still needs to work it’s way through Congress.  I suspect Mexico will take all  US agricultural products and use/resale to China in the next few months.  I don’t blame them I would do the same thing but for now meat and staples ore relatively low cost.  Now is the time to stock up on meats and basics.

Money may get a little bit tight paying for wood and getting the stove cleaned in September.  I think I got all my ducks in a row but there won’t be much play in the budget in September.  Once we get into October the financials should become more positive. Wood will be paid off, chimney clean paid off and hopefully all my work will pay me, in at least less work and worry this winter.

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More clean up done

August 25, 2018

I finally got the front yard flower beds cleaned up.  I trimmed back the roses so a person can walk along my side walk without resorting to Limbo to avoid the rose bush thorns.   I pulled many thorny weeds, made easier from adding mulch in the front beds and tried to to get rid of more “Morning Glory” plants.  Morning Glory can be a pretty plant but it climbs and spreads like crazy when not controlled.  I really hate Morning Glory in my flower beds and I cut and weed it out when ever possible.

I was a little surprised that I was able to trim back most of the elm tree branches hanging over my sidewalk and street.  I could not reach and cut the limb of the tree but I was able to use my loppers to clean up some of the over  hanging branches.  I’ve done all I could to try and make this tree healthy but I think it is time to start saving money to pay for this old elm to be cut down.  It is sad because the tree has shaded my front yard for 15 years and also for many years of the previous owners yard.  The poor tree is infested with elm bugs and the trunk starting to split from the weight of it’s growth.  I think I’ll keep the stump and make a picnic table or “fairy garden” around the stump, since it was great summer shade tree.

One of the neighbors stopped by my place to see the new gravel driveway to see if it might work for their driveway. The neighbors liked the gravel and got the companies phone number for a delivery.  I may complain about the cost a little bit for gravel delivery but overall I have been very pleased with the rock and I hope that people will embrace gravel as a driveway material that drains rather than using concrete or asphalt that water just is storm water run off. The more water that drains naturally into the ground to replenish Aquifers the more water we will have in the future.  Wide asphalt  streets in subdivisions are not conducive for good water run off.  Now this is a little out there but wouldn’t a gravel road inspire people to drive slower compared to a standard asphalt road?  A gravel road would be cheaper to fix short term for potholes, frost heaves or washouts in heavy rain.   Plus I don’t understand how spraying oil on a gravel on a gravel or dirt road is a Bio hazard but making a concrete asphalt road/driveway is not a bio hazard via government regulations.

Mom and I are going to move the 250 gallon large water container out to Mom’s place for watering her garden.  I’m going to buy more water barrels for my garden watering plan.  Mom needs a cistern/catchment more than I do, based on the cost of water.  Mom will need a trash water pump to fill the tank but over time the cost should be minimal. We need to see how much water is needed in the garden and how best to use the pump to fill the tank.  Since we are not adding water to the garden area anything we can do to add water is a WIN!

Good news,  it has cooled off and we may even have a rainy Monday this week.  A good rain would be very helpful cleaning out the smoke from the air as well as helping to fight the fires in the west.  Sunday I’ll make some Artisan bread to bake off Monday.

It is going to be an “interesting” Fall season in the Chinese Curse sense of the word. I know it is passe to ask but are you ready for winter?


Door re-installed at Mom’s place is done

August 21, 2018

So far Mom and I have re-hinged\ hung the door to the extra bedroom twice because of moving stuff and the wood floor install. Not a big job just one of those little pain in the butt jobs that seem to get moved down the list of priorities.

It was very cool to take a tour of Mom’s place and see all of the work she has completed this summer on the yard improvement and clean up!  Her place has improved at least 300% from when she moved in and the out door work she has done is very impressive.

Mom’s place got a bit of  insulation installed via Idaho power program and around the end of August first part of September she will get new windows installed.  Overall Mom is going into this winter with a darn good (Stay warm/do not freeze) plan.  There is still a lot of work to get done in the future but I think we have come up with solutions for the most critical problems/needs to be done projects.

I have got a bit lazy and flabby after getting the wood and rock dropped and sort of giving up on the garden this year because  money and time did not work in my favor.  Oh sure I got some those big jobs started but all the little jobs got moved out of the way and ignored.  It is not the big jobs that matter it is doing all the little jobs that get the big jobs done.

I got most of the temporary fencing cleaned up and put away.  I have one of the bigger fence sections to clean up and store but I’ll have to fight Morning glory and grape vines to pull the fence out.  I got most of the traveling grape vines cleaned around 2 of the garden beds as well as starting on weeds between beds.  I have to say the new garden beds have been mostly weed free this summer.

I cleaned up most of the bark in the driveway and filled two kindling buckets of small chunks of wood for the start of firewood season. I cleaned up some sections of the backyard that had a bit of crusty chicken poo, falling leaves and a lot of apples that the squirrels munch a bit and then dropped in the yard and garden.  I got the front yard mowed and cleared out a few overgrown weeds.  I need to pull a few more weeds in the front yard beds and this fall when it safe to burn weeds use the propane torch to scorch some weeds around the house.

Huzzah! it is cooling down into the mid 80 for a high and getting into to  50’s-low 60’s at night.  Now I can start cutting back on the Air Conditioner use and save on the electric bill.  Big plus,  it is a heck of lot easier to work outside in 85 degree weather compared to 95-105 degree weather.

I have being sort of lazy but I finished up stacking another 2 cords of wood.  Gave Mom an assist on firewood working to stack two cords of wood min.  Got a almost 3 yards of gravel delivered and mostly spread out to help with drainage/ flooding.  Started a new type of raised bed garden.  Some of the projects have been more successful than others but all projects have been a learning experience.

I’ll be replacing a big CRT TV I got in Germany with a  low energy cost flat screen though I won’t toss the TV because the picture is awesome.  This TV is digital but it is EU digital and that signal is incompatible with USA digital TV signals.  I’m not sure where I’ll place the old TV but I have an old VCR/DVD player I can hook up along with an old Xbox so it still has a use though it will no longer be unplugged  until needed for entertainment.

How do you measure success as a Human Being?  Many politicians, business men and celebrities are seen as successful  and would not trade my life for their life.  Oh! don’t get me wrong Id love to have their cash flow but not the “situational ethics”  or power for powers sake.   I think sort of person is the norm, as many people don’t want to be leaders or politicians.

 


Wood stacking complete!

August 15, 2018

I finished the stacking of the last load of wood today!  Actually Mom and I loaded about a 1/2 cord of  poplar wood from my delivery into her Chevy one ton truck yesterday and I finished stacking up the last of the wood.  I think Mom got a little more than 1/2 cord of wood as we stacked a lot of smaller pieces of the Poplar and got a much tighter stack/load of wood compared to the larger chunks of Lodge pole pine she has picked up at Tucker’s Timbers.

I gave Mom more of the smaller size chunks of poplar because she has a smaller firebox and she has not picked up an ax to split wood into smaller pieces of wood kindling for starting fires.  I have about a 1/2 cord of mill ends, lots of small pieces of wood, a splitting maul, wedge and an ax to make kindling from my wood pile. Great deal for me as Mom gave me some big chunks of lodge pole pine to try out in my stove this year.

I won’t be selling any wood to neighbors this year as I think it will be a very cold winter.  I have been begging the neighbors  for 5 months that have wood stoves to go in with a delivery of wood and share the cost. Same thing with the gravel and no one would commit to sharing the delivery cost with me.  I may help them in a power outage this winter but selling them wood for winter heat is not happening.  I think we are going to see another very cold winter this year.  Like -20 degrees for 2-4 weeks sort of cold winter.  Even if I’m completely wrong and we have a mild winter this year.  I will have at least 2 cords of seasoned wood left over and can buy/stack more wood next summer.

Fire wood takes minimal effort protection against rot, all it needs to season is to be kept dry and breathe to avoid rot.  If life is easy, all you do is start a new stack of wood.  If things go “sideways” you may not find fire wood at any price.

Okay enough about the rant.  I can move/level the gravel and cover more area in the alleyway area.  The morning glory is starting to climb out of the graveled area and I think I may try the boiling water method to kill these plants.

I need to replace the weeds in the alley and I’m thinking Mint would start fixing the soil and spread. Sunflowers might be an option or berry plants.   I literally have a massive goat head plant reaching into my gravel drive way wanting to spread it’s seeds.  These weeds sere sprayed for years and the weeds always come back, unless replaced with good plants and soil building.

I am annoyed, but the best I can do is make my alleyway are the best I can for soil building with cover and introducing good plants that choke out the bad weeds and not kill the soil and good bugs.  Good news the gravel and wood mulch is doing everything I wanted and more in the alley.  Not perfect but it should hold the line on weeds until next Spring when I can start adding new plants.

 


This is going to take some time…..

August 8, 2018

 

The delivery.

Stacking the wood

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2 cords of wood has been delivered and I am still sore from the rock delivery.  I have to say the wood delivery people are great!  This delivery was easier for them as they only had to dump the wood in one spot (sort of) under the carport and with the rock being mostly in place stacking the wood is much easier for me.   I got caught out last year on late wood delivery and having to scramble for wood going into firewood season and the people at Tuckers timbers came through for me.

I have no understanding of people waiting till the last minute to get basic items need for survival.  I suppose it is a bit of human nature/lazy and this new world order of I can order on line and have it shipped via Amazon. What if there is none of what you want in stock?  All the money in the world won’t make what you want magically appear!  My fire wood lady said they had people ask for firewood delivery in December and could not understand the company was out of fire wood.

I want to give a shout out to Buzy Bee’s rock delivery and I was able to get at least most of the gravel spread in time before the wood delivery.  Getting the materials for fall/winter projects in place does save time  and usually some money.  There are a lot of scammers/bad contractors out there so when you get prompt service at the agreed price especially from a local company,  I think you should boost up these great businesses whenever you get a chance. Buzy Bee’s delivery of 2.75 yards of rock was less expensive per yard than getting rock from the local farm store and I didn’t have to unload the rock.

Mom stopped by the house and got the wheel barrow back after picking up a load of wood from Tucker’s timbers/ my fire wood supplier.  It is my wheel barrow but I loan it to her because I can’t loan her my little garden wagon.  I love my garden wagon and that is one of my NO LOAN tools.  I’ll share the wheel barrow but loaning the wagon is a NO/GO!   LOL

For the next couple of weeks I will be working on finishing up the garden beds and making a proper Tucker ‘the peke’ proof picket fence around the garden.  Cash is a little bit tight right now what with stocking up on low cost meat,  getting the chimney sweep and the rock delivery.  That is more of a matter of timing, rather than not being able to pay my bills.

Hopefully this up coming winter won’t involve scrambling for everything and nothing is available. I have my drainage rock in place, new gravel and mulch that covers most of my alleyway frontage.  Next spring I can start adding plants that will choke out the weeds.  The wood was bought early (Doug fir in April) and will be dried and stacked for easy winter use.  I can’t express how nice it is to see that pile of wood even if I have to stack it as I know my little Casa de Chaos will have dry firewood for heat this winter.  Mom wants to stack a mix of Doug fir and the poplar for her heat this winter.  With her small house and new windows and insulation she should be good to go this winter with a couple of cords of wood.

Knowledge coming at you (disclaimer).

A full cord of wood is at least 128 square feet of stacked firewood.  Generally considered a 4 foot tall 4 foot wide and 8 foot long stack of wood.  Most firewood is cut to 16-18 inch lengths, so a cord of wood stacked could be 12 feet long 5 feet tall and 2 rows of 18 inch cut/split firewood also equals a cord of wood.  There is a little bit of ‘fudge’ factor in that 128 square feet to equal a cord.   Remember it is the cubic volume of the cord of wood must equal at least 128 cubic feet when stacked.  I am now getting a close to full cords of firewood from the new supplier rather than “face” cords via the old supplier.  Oh there is a bit of wiggle room depending on how tight you stack firewood.  Overall I’m getting a much better deal of full cords of  cut and split firewood. Between the early delivery of Douglas fir, the mill ends and two cords of poplar I think  the wood heating is good for this year with a good level of back up wood on hand.  There is nothing wrong with buying a “face” cord or a “rick” of wood.  But you must know what a cord of wood  costs and what it is worth.  If you buy a cord of wood you should get at least 128 sq. feet of  stacked wood.

Gosh I’m getting a bit more wood stacked than I thought in this 100 degree heat. One cord is stacked and now I’m starting on the second cord.  I think there was a bit more than 2 cords delivered to me. Once I stack and measure all the wood. Well sometimes “KARMA” works for you.  I found a great wood supplier and that is making up for the bad wood suppliers I dealt with for wood.  That lost $250.00 I tried to help a person is now paying back to me.

It is amazing the efficiency of the new wood stoves.  While I don’t agree with outlawing old wood stoves. Survival takes precedence over the law in my book.  The new efficient burning wood stove are cleaner burning and safer compared to 70’s/80 era type fire wood stoves.  One of greatest things about the new stoves is they hold heat and the fire longer. This is awesome for a someone with a physical disability to have a firebox stay hot for at least 6 hours and not need feeding  wood every 2-4 hours so you or your pipes don’t freeze. Don’t forget to check your smoke alarms, Carbon Monoxide alarms and your fire extinguishers. I don’t know that you could fight a fire but having a fire extinguishers might help getting out of a fire.

Overall Mom and I have enough firewood to be snug and warm this winter. I’m not sure Mom will buy a cord of my wood as she seems to be making her own stack of fire wood.  That is all to the good as the wood will keep drying if we don’t use it. If we have an easy winter for cold and damp. the firewood only gets another year to dry.  I suspect SW Idaho may have a very cold and mostly dry winter in 2018.  Trust me I’m prepping for snow, but I don’t think it will happen this winter.

My new garden beds have been a bit of bust but that was my fault, not the garden beds.  We are in good shape for going into winter and it is only August.

Socially we are seeing the political pendulum swing back to the right and trying to find it’s center point. We have to hold the line about the difference between legal and illegal immigrants.  Re-building the USA manufacturing sector and imports via tariffs.  Nationalism and globalism and the wjat is good and what is bad about those choices.

I tend to be a Nationalist of USA first,  but international relations are a thing.  The USA can’t stick it’s head in the sand and ignore the world.  You people have “common sense”  what would you do now to make the world if not a better place at least a safer place.   Also you will have to show your work.  No saying everyone should be nice on twitter and some such nonsense.