Thursday, August 25, 2011

Critters on and around the homestead

Still getting my crap together, mentally and physically. In the meantime....


Not so much. 
Yes, that's a bat, hanging in my living room.
Gotta start closing the door at night.


Not so much. 
There's a much bigger one hanging high in the tree behind the barn.

The leaves are already starting to change. Hard to believe.
Guess I better get it together quick. Winters are pretty harsh down here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not so wise.

I once had a partner. Now I don't. I am struggling with that fact. I am mourning my loss. I must deal with the pain. I must get past this.

I shall.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Warning! The following pictures are very graphic and somewhat gruesome. 

After much soul searching I have decided to release photos of the gruesome disembowelment of my trailer. If it is too much for some of you to handle, please click here:

Snow load due to build-up from no heat in the trailer collapsed the roof on the living room and kitchen area. I was trying to decide if rebuilding the trailer was worth it. On one hand, trailers are only a couple grand down here, in fact there is two currently for sale for 1K each. The real cost is in not only moving, but actually dragging a trailer up this mountain. The one that is here took three days with massive chain hoists and lots of block and tackle to get up the mountain once we got it to the bottom. The tractors and four-wheel drives we were using just spun. A bulldozer might be able to do it, but may not make it back the driveway without sinking, much less over the bridge. 
Anyway, I finally decided to tear off the damaged part and make a porch/deck out of it. I no longer needed the extra room, and this was much simpler. 

Once I stripped off some of the aluminum siding and removed a couple of the windows, I ran a log chain thru the windows at the corner and hooked it up to my rusty trusty tractor. Sorry about the picture quality. I only had my cell phone along because I hadn't planned on doing this today. While I had been thinking about it for a while, this was a decision that needed action to be final before I changed my mind again. I don't have the luxury of time to keep stalling and still get done before winter. Once the decision was made I fortified myself with an adult fermented beverage or two and proceeded to start ripping and tearing before I lost my nerve. 

The funny thing was, I had the tractor hooked up and I was really worried that when I pulled on the corner I'd pull the trailer off it's foundation. Instead, the chain ripped thru the beams and internal paneling just like a can opener. Didn't do nuthin'! Damned thing was just standing there laughing at me with a big split in the corner , just like a big grin!
So, in order to bring down the house, so to speak, I had to knock out the rest of the supports by hand. Kinda touchy, considering I didn't want to get stuck under there or hurt with no one else around. But, with a little judicious whacking, the walls came tumblin' down. I think it's gonna make a nice porch. And like my son Ben says, "and who doesn't like a nice porch?"
Now to clean up. I wonder how much aluminum siding is going for these days?

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's still a bridge!

Due to some extremely strong thunderstorms rolling thru the area, combined with the usual spring season high water level in the creek, the new bridge is undergoing some unscheduled stress testing.

Yea, it's up in there somewhere, over along the woodline. Can you see it? Neither can I. I was undergoing a little stress testing too.

The next morning the water receded enough that at least I can see the outline of my driveway. Maybe I should get one of those canal boats...

But, hey, I got a tractor. No problems!

Well...., maybe that wasn't such a smart move. Most tractors have a 'stack" exhaust that comes up the side of the engine and rises above the operators head. This tractor has a low exhaust similar to any car or truck. As soon as the water covered the exhaust it developed too much back pressure and shut down. Yes, I am standing in ice-cold water up to my knees to take this picture.
So, since I'm already wet, lets go see what the bridge looks like!

Amazing! It's still there!

Somehow the bridge is still intact although nothing was bolted down. The green oak timbers that this bridge is made of are extremely heavy. Ask Ben and Tory, they'll tell you! I'm thinking that because they didn't float easily, and the fact that they were placed close together contributed to the bridge's survival.

That, and a little prayer never hurt.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Power Problem #2

I've been cleaning around the service pole and removing some small trees that are growing close to the power lines. One tree's branches were actually tangled with the telephone lines that run under the power lines. Since the tree was leaning towards the lines anyway, I figured I had better cut it down before it caused any more trouble.
With #1 son's help, I got a rope anchored up in the tree and tied the rope to a strap so I could put some pressure on the tree, making it drop at an angle to the direction it was leaning. With time getting short for #1 son, he took the chainsaw and headed home, promising a tune-up and sharpen on the saw. After a bit, #4 son showed up with a well-used axe. That was good enough for me, so I proceeded to hack away at the offending tree while #4 put some added pressure on the anchor line.
As the tree started coming down, the anchor line started slacking. Apparently I had gotten the forgotten to take into account that the angle of descent needed to be more acute than the angle provided for by the attachment point.

What that all actually means is that the damned tree slid along the wires and landed on the transformer.

It could've been a lot worse than it actually was. Some small sparks and some glowing, smoking branches were the only visible signs of how badly I had screwed up. Oh, and me jumping around and cussing, too.
So, after making sure that we weren't going to die by touching the tree, #4 and I started trying to use the straps to pull the tree off of the transformer. We moved it a couple of feet, but didn't make any real progress.
With light fading and visions of starting a forest fire by lighting off the transformer like a torch, I sent #4 to the neighbors house for help. Help arrived by 4-wheeler with his chainsaw, cut off a couple chunks of said errant tree, and the rest slid to the ground without any explosions or wildfires to contend with.
Ain't I lucky.

Power Problem

I've been trying to clean everything up around the electric meter to make it as easy as possible for the power company guy to turn it back on. The broken latch on the meter panel cover meant that I had to come up with another cover. That was a PIA but I was able to get one at an electrical service company about 30 miles away. Apparently you can't buy a new meter panel, or even the whole box around here since they are provided buy the electric company when they install it. They stores have them in stock, but you need a work order from the power company in order to get one at any price. That was actually pretty silly in todays internet based markets because I looked on Ebay and found one there for about $40. I was pretty close to buying that one but decided to try the old electrical shop because I was going into town anyway. Chatted up the guy behind the counter and he took me into the basement where he kept all the spares. It took about 10 minutes of digging thru old panels, but I felt like I struck gold when I found one that matched! Not only that but the guy didn't even charge me a dime for it! Thanks, Mr. Electrical Service Counter Guy!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Baby steps...

Been pretty busy. Ditches need dug, brush needs cut, electric needs turned on, garbage needs picked up, whats left of the trailer needs cleaned, the list goes on and on.
Spring flooding. Even though this looks pretty bad, I'm reasonably happy with the performance of the bridge. It's still above flood level and you can see that as level as the land is it would actually have to spread over the whole area in order to rise the foot needed to wash it out. That has happened before, but not on a yearly basis. I do believe that I have built this bridge strong enough that it would survive that event pretty well. You can also see that the driveway itself is flooded, but that will take a long time to fill in.
In the picture above you can see the line of cut out tires I've placed to form the edge of the driveway. I will be filling these in with dirt and going at least another layer higher before planting them with something. You can see in the top photo that the tires in the middle are mostly submerged. That gives you an indication of how deep the water is as well as how much fill is needed. It'll get there.
Electric. I've called to get info about getting it turned back on, and it's not going to be too bad. Well, I thought that before I found out somebody cut off the lock. Great. I have no idea what this means now. Anyway, I've been cutting the brush back so the electric guy can come check it out. You can see in the background how thick the brush is, if I'd have waited longer to cut this, the green growth would have made this a job for a chainsaw. Gotta love that crappy old mower, it really takes a beating but keeps on cutting. I love tools that do their job well.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Due to circumstances beyond my control...

I have decided that relocation is in order. I have done my best to withstand the brunt of a negative reaction to my presence and to counteract that front, but find that the potential benefits no longer make that effort worthwhile. Plus, I'm tired. I am supposed to be retired and enjoying life, my children, and my grandchildren, not preparing to be attacked every day when I wake up, securing my belongings the best I can against theft and destruction, and putting up with verbal and mental abuse. I don't need it.
So, I am relocating to my other property, hopefully far enough away to have some peace. There's a lot of work to be done, as the place has actually collapsed. There is garbage everywhere, and the living is going to be rough for a while.
But it's sure looking better than what I have right now.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tire Wall

On the other side of my bridge the land slopes down before it starts climbing the mountain up to the cabin site. This creates a not so small pond when the creek floods. In order to alleviate this issue I'm going to fill it in. However, without some way to stop the fill from washing away it would be a losing battle. To stop that from happening I'm building a wall out of tires. Now these tires have to be packed with dirt so they don't float away themselves. Usually the method to do this requires pounding dirt up into the tire sidewalls so they are solid. I'm going to take a little easier approach by cutting out one of the sidewalls so the tire resembles a large "bucket" and then filling it with sand, rocks and gravel and whatever else I can find.
Not sure what I'm going to do with the cut out sidewalls yet. I could use them in the driveway proper, just tossing them in low spots and covering them, which would add a little flotation in the mushy spots. The other purpose I'm thinking of is for the garden. I understand they can be used around plants to help warm the ground and keep down weeds.
Definitely have to get the rest of the wood on the bridge. I tried carrying one of the large tires over the  metal beams. My balance was off and that water is way too cold to go swimming just yet.

Monday, February 14, 2011


This is what I was anxious to see. I'm showing some significant erosion around one end of the beams. The ballast that I put in, concrete wash, was a little powdery. the powder washed away. leaving the concrete chunks and gravel. I'm definitely going to have to do something here before the spring floods. Still have about a foot of beam supported, but I'll feel better with a little more.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The day the Internet died.

Control of the media by the government. Would you like the government to stop you from getting the news or communicating with your family and friends? Don't you depend on the internet as much or more for communication and news than television or radio? Haven't you heard about the "Internet Kill Switch"? Think it can't happen? It's happening now, and we could be next.
The day the Internet died. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Heroes and Victims

In today's society we hear about victims every day. The media puts this in our face constantly. We are victims. There is nothing we can do. We must rely on the government and their multitude of agencies, the police, anybody but ourselves.

Out of this last tragedy of some maniac gunning down a politician, then picking off the crowd, who did we hear of? An intern who held a bloody rag to the congresswoman's head.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm glad he was there. But his story is basically that he saw his boss was bleeding and held a rag to her head. So he's the big news?

What about Judge John Roll? Here is his story.

Why aren't we hearing about this hero? Where is mainstream media and why aren't they reporting about what this man did? I believe it's because we are to remain victims. If given an example of this man's heroics and many other untold stories like it, we may stand up as one and put an end to this culture of victimization.
We may start acting like men.
And they wouldn't like that. Not at all.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


I am TJIC, and why you should be too.
I'm not saying he is right. I am saying that he has the right to say it. If the first amendment falls, the rest mean nothing.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I give up.

I've tried not to be political in this blog. Lord knows there are a multitude of "those type" of blogs out there.
I give up.
This is the only medium that I have to stand at my window and shout to the world, so in my frustrations at the way things are and my thoughts (and others) on the way I believe they should be, I'm lettin' 'er rip. I follow a lot of conservative/anarchist(which doesn't mean what you think it does)/survivalist type blogs. These guys are on top of the situation when it comes to their rights. I will be posting links to articles I find interesting and giving my thoughts on the matter when I feel the urge. If I wasn't worried about the signs, I wouldn't be doing this.
But I am.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Now this makes me nervous...

Ok, we have a sign. But what does it signify?
In the last two weeks:
    450 red-winged blackbirds, cowbirds, grackles and starlings found dead on a highway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    3,000 blackbirds dead in the small town of Beebe, Arkansas
    Thousands of 'devil crabs' washed up along the coast near Kent, England
    Thousands of drum fish dead along a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River
    Two million small fish dead in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
    Thousands of dead fish found floating in a warm Florida creek
    Hundreds of snapper fish found dead in New Zealand
    Scores of American Coots found dead in Texas.

What the hell is going on? I'm not sure, but it sure makes me nervous.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Maybe they'll listen. And take notes!

The U.S. Constitution will get its first-ever reading today on the floor of Congress . This really explains a lot. Why am I not surprised?
The Constitution is what all laws should be measured by. It should be posted as reference in front of every member of Congress' every Lawmaker's chair. We got in the mess we are in by straying from this document. A return to these basic laws is the only way for America to return to any kind of freedom for it's citizens.