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.