Saturday, November 14, 2009

If it ain't broke then don't fix it.



I was wrong and Ron was right proving again that I should leave machine diagnosis to others. There was nothing wrong with the tiller. Some oil just happened to get burned but nothing is damaged. This means the time that I had set aside for repair was spent tilling. He also tried to explain how to service the undercarriage of my riding mower. I think it would be wise for me to leave that to the professionals.

As you can see, there is still some shovel time left to do but I move closer every day. We are going to enlarge it further as well. Ron suggested using the fence on the left of the picture as trellis for the beans and peas. That is a great idea and I am going to use it. I don't really need to be able to drive around the whole thing. This will extend the width to 32' and I am thinking that the new length will be at least 80'. Maybe I should just cut to the chase and just till the whole thing. ;p

I am really getting a kick out of this gardening thing. I should have started this a few years ago when we first bought that lot.

On a totally different subject, I have been sporting a beard for about a month now. I have noticed a few peculiarities. Maple syrup and beards seem to be inexplicably drawn to each other. A beards holds an amazing amount of liquid. Beards let you experience wind in 3D. The best thing about having a beard is that I no longer get carded for beer. Yes grocery store checker, I HAVE been over 21 for 13 years.

Until next time

Friday, November 13, 2009

I break things.

I have an amazing aptitude for breaking things. My Wife and Mother-in-law spend the Christmas season searching for tools labeled unbreakable. I have even bent a breaker bar.

As a side note, there is an interesting fact about unbreakable shovels, the warranty only covers the handle. They don't give you a new one if you break the blade. That should be large font information. It should be in big letters right next to the stupid,"Wear eye protection," note. Two of those have met their demise at my hand.

I know that I need to go easy with all of my tools and equipment but there is a difference between practical and theoretical knowledge. With that statement in mind, I broke my new rototiller.

It is called a horse, I assumed that would be a reference to a Clydesdale. I ran it hard for about 3 hours and it started blowing beautiful clouds of white smoke. I shut it down, parked it, researched it and the internet tells me I may have blown the head gasket.

I am far from mechanical so I have enlisted help. Yes, I work with technicians but that condition is not contagious. My buddy Ron is coming in the morning to look it over. He seems to think that sometimes things just blow white smoke. I do not know much about these things but causality is universal until you hit quantum mechanics.

I will let you know.

Until next time

Friday, November 6, 2009

So I am looking at a new smart phone.

I have resisted getting one this long. I have Verizon and I love their coverage here but, until now, they have required that all data run through their network and disabled the wifi capability of every phone. They say it is to insure the quality of the customer experience but everyone knows that it is because they are greedy and charge high rates for data.

Now Verizon has released the Motorola Droid and the HTC Eris. These are the first to offer both the Google Android operating system and unlocked wifi. The Droid also includes the Google maps turn-by-turn GPS service which precludes the need for VZ Navigator. VZ Navigator is the program Verizon uses to charge you monthly to allow you to use the GPS capability of the phone you bought and paid for.

I don't know if this shows Verizon has recognized the need for and is moving toward a more modern customer-centric view. A view that the customer as more than just a cash cow that needs milked for every little thing. Really, I am pessimistic of this and must assume that Google made them do it.

I don't mind paying for what I want but I already pay monthly for your service. I want to pay for any software, music, ringtone or addon once and then it is mine. If you consider it a license, charge me for the software and then renew me once a year. With the cost of one year of the VZ navigator service, you can buy a whole navigator for you car.

I am happy with this change, no matter how or why it happened, and I may very well vote with my wallet for this to continue. I hope it does continue, I want to feel like a valued customer.

Until next time

Thursday, November 5, 2009

There is no light...

Darkness has postponed all work outside. When I get home from work it is already dusk. I cannot wait for the weekend. We have set up a line around it so I can till in a straight line. We are looking at a completed size of 1680 square feet. I am not sure it will be big enough but I can add on a less than full sun area for greens or something in the back.
Pictures and updates will hopefully get posted this weekend.

Until next time

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Digging and digging and digging...

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. After today, I think we have 2 more loads of gravel and then I get to play with my new toy. Is it sad that rototilling seems like fun to me? After 3 weeks of digging anything else sounds fun. The light will be short lived because after I get the preliminary tilling done, I will be digging fill.

We have really accomplished a lot. The work has been hard but fulfilling. After it is all said and done, next time we do it with equipment.

Until next time

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where does your SELF come from?

@tinybuddha sent out a tweet today that brought into focus what I have been pondering lately. "As long as you make an identity for yourself out of pain, you cannot be free of it." ~Eckhart Tolle. Where is it that I derive what I believe myself to be? How do I hang on to what is joyful when this world seems to attack my stability and disparage all that makes me happy?

I need to realize that that I decide what has impact and what pain I carry. Nothing is decided for me. What is inside, I let inside and I need to choose carefully. I don't need to listen to the news every day if it causes me to be anxious. I don't need to constantly visit those things that make me hurt. We all have those pet tortures that we inflict on ourselves, those favorite demons that tell us that we are not what we are supposed to be.

I am not going to define myself by my pain. I am not going to dwell on those demons or external situations that cause me anxiety. I am going to focus on another quote @tinybuddha tweeted, “Things and conditions can give you pleasure but they cannot give you joy—joy arises from within.” ~Eckhart Tolle.

That works both ways, "things and conditions" can make you happy or sad, anxious or calm but to feel true joy or epic sadness it has to come from within.

I choose joy.

When I look inside and find my SELF, I want it to find it happy, joyful and stable so I provide that to those who rely on me. I want to be that kind of husband, brother, son and (sooner or later) father.

Until next time

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maybe we shoud have put the garden somewhere else



As you can see from the picture I promised, we are removing all of the buried pea gravel where it is loose first. This is the clean stuff my mother-in-law wanted for her house. The middle is cemented in due to the clay they used as fill. Thanks City.

I think if we can get most of it out, I can till whats left into the clay to improve the drainage. After I get that done I can pull the fill from the lower yard, bring in compost from Lazy J's Tree farm and till. I am using Lazy J's because it doesn't have biosolids from the treatment of wastewater at the City Wastewater Treatment Plant which is a good thing. The biosolids give me pause.

Until next time

One post, one mistake

I need to apologize for double posting. Twitter feeds face book and facebook feeds twitter and twitterfeed feeds them both. So I triple stamped a double stamp and multi-posted. Thanks to those of you who let me know.

Live and learn

Monday, October 26, 2009

Daylight savings time is a pain in the early fall.

It is getting dark too early to get much done outside after work.

We have been doing the farm share from Nash's Organic Produce. Those boxes have been great and have inspired us to make a big garden of our own.

A couple of years ago we purchased the one lot park next door from the city. The city workers did not remove the pea gravel when they removed the play equipment. They buried it under a couple of inches of soil and I haven't even been able to get grass to grow there. This happens to be within the desired area our garden.

Sooooo we have been working on digging the gravel out. My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law wanted some for their house and we have given them as much as they can take. Now we are piling it behind the garage. We seem to be about 2/3 of the way done (I will post a pic later).

I am having trouble waiting to use my new toy. It is more new to me than new but we bought a Troy-Bilt Horse rototiller. I cannot wait to give it a try.

There is a good thing about these dark times, it is much less tiring to talk about digging than to dig.

Until next time

New Blog

By new I mean brand spanking new. I have never had one before so I will do it wrong but you will not have to try and read my handwriting which is good. I will need to look up blog etiquette so I won't annoy everyone when I link cool stuff in.