Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Today was another great weather day, so again I took advantage and spent the whole day outside. I moved a bunch of brush from the storm and sat aside more firewood to cut and split sometime later. (The chainsaw needs sharpened, so that has to wait) I emptied the compost tumblers that I made early last year, and spread that on the garden area. I disassembled the tumbler, and will be offering it to someone in our local group. It works fine, but just doesn't hold enough for what we usually put out. I'll just make a regular compost bin soon, and use that instead. I got the freebie landscape timbers ran and staked down the side of the new chicken run, and more ready to go tomorrow where the small brush pile was along the fence. I already cleaned that area and sat the solar dehydrator there, moved the %^#$@ heavy cold frame beside it, and am still thinking of putting the rabbit hutch in whats left of the space. I'll be moving the woodpile soon too (maybe tomorrow depending on weather) to along the side near the empty field. The plan is to still be close to the cookstove, but also create a sort-of wind break for the chicken run, which will hopefully cut down on those 2'+ snowdrifts that I normally get in that area. Plus, both the split logs and matching size kindling pile are both against the garage. I just want to open that area up a little. I got a lot done during the day, and before I knew it, Lisa called and was on her way home from work.
After she got home, I went out to get some straw for the coop. (used a leaf pile for a day) I went to the garden center just 1/8 of a mile up the street and pay the $1 a bale more than the feed store 20 minutes away....makes sense to me! I figured the place would be busy since it's been in the 50's and 60's the past 2 days. WRONG! Not a single customer. Inside the door were 5 employees, talking and looking awfully bored. I paid for the 2 bales and drove around back to pick them up. The guy that pulled them asked how I was doing, and I mentioned being stuck in the house from the layoff, and happy to have a few nice days to get outside. He told me that they were even unusually slow, and that they havent brought in a single part timer to help get things set up. With no- to very little customers, they've had time to do it themselves. It really says something when a garden center is barely getting by......Anyway, the chickens got the straw in the coop and nest boxes, and I scattered a bit throughout the run since they always love picking through it. Tomorrow I'll clean the rabbit hutches and replace their straw as well. Lots to do here now that the weather finally broke, yippee.
We live on a pretty busy road, lots and lots of vehicles pass by every day. I learned long ago here, that if I want rid of anything, put it at the street and it will go away. Old bicycles, tractor parts, anything steel......gone. It's almost always someone with a pickup load of scrap thats picking things up, but today was When Holly moved out, she left this exercise machine downstairs. Some kinda eliptical something or another. I posted it on craigslist and had 2 responses. One never showed,and I contacted the 2nd one. She said she would take it, but yesterday when they came (in 2 vehicles) to pick it up, she decided that she wouldnt use it. (I wont say anything really bad, but when she realized that it wasn't easy to use, her mind changed fast) They left, and I really didnt want to lug that heavy SOB back into the house or out to the garage where I have no room. I thought about freecycle, then I realized that I would be outside all day, and wouldnt have time to check 4357 e-mails from people wanting it. Okey dokey then, to the street it goes.
I gave it 20 minutes, Lisa gave it an hour, we were both wrong. It actually lasted almost 2 hours........unusual but no matter, its gone. What did strike me as REALLY odd, is what the machine went IN. I really gotta admit, I have never seen anyone driving a Cadillac Esculade pull over and root though someones trash, but I did today! This well dressed mad pulled off the side of the road, looked at the machine, and loaded it in the back. THEN he noticed the sleeve of a sweatshirt sticking out of the trash can, (found it laying in the yard by the road), and opend the can to look inside. This man roots through my trash, and pulls out this 1970 something cassette recorder & microphone. I'm REALLY shaking my head. That's a $60,000 vehicle, and you're rooting through my trash? How in the world can I see this? Is he just cheap? Is he flat broke because of that overpriced status symbol on wheels? Is he the worlds richest flea-market guy scavenging for new things to sell? Is he looking for a wedding present?? ( Anyone who has ever seen My Big Redneck Wedding on CMT will get that joke) Or maybe the guy is just really frugal and has the one expense of that truck-wannabe. I just really really made me ponder, and chuckle a bit too, lol.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Coop almost finished & a funny look at something

The new coop is almost ready to go. Yesterday I got the nest boxes finished and installed, set it in place, painted, ramp installed, attached to the run, and the run acess door installed. I KNEW I saved that last piece from the puppy cage for something! There's that packrat thing again lol) Today I need to pull and move a few herbs that popped up inside the run area, stake the timbers to the ground that are laying down the side, then start cleaning up the debris from the whole thing. After Lisa gets home from work, I'll get some straw for the coop and nest boxes, and it's ready to roll. I might run just one heat lamp out there on a timer for them till this weather gets steady, but I haven't decided on that quite yet. It's supposed to be in the 60's today, so I'll be out there all day getting things ready and finished. If all goes well, I'll be putting the birds in there tomorrow, yayyyy.

Now for the other thing I mentioned at the top of the post. I'm an outdoorsy kinda guy. I've fished, hunted and camped my entire life. I've been camping in areas where they had showers and bathrooms, I've camped where they had just portajons and nothing else, and I've camped out of a backpack eating what I got with a 22 rifle and picking from wild plants. I can live on MRE's, basic camp food, or squirrel over a fire with blackberries and dandelion greens.

Thinking and knowing all of this gave me a funny reaction at a posting on a forum this morning. While browsing through the "outdoor" section, I ran across this post, and nearly fell out of my chair laughing: "A prelude to any camping trip is trip to Trader Joes. I recently discovered they now sell a pre-packaged lasagna or penne pasta dish that doesn't require refrigeration. It's $2.49 and gives 250 calories, and they are quite tasty. Comes in sealed plastic container for reheat in microwave or right on the camp stove. Also, I devour the snacks section with Tamari Almonds, Trail mix, honey-roasted peanuts, a $17.99 single malt Finlaggin Scotch which is has a young Lagavulin-type taste, distinctly peaty, Islay origin. It's delicious. "

OK........lasagna? camping? WTH? Do the people with less taste just take Hungry Man dinners and cook them wrapped in foil in the hot coals? I can't stop giggling at this one...I just can't. Almonds....peanuts.....trail mix? Oh man, where's the soy milk and Grape Nuts????? And who can miss the bottle of scotch? WOW. Maybe I live a sheltered life, but I've never described a drink in such detail in my life. "$15 Ouizo, tastes like licorice,bottom shelf origin, distinctly kicks your ass" is about as descriptive as I get, lol. Welcome to a look at camping-California style! Funny ain't it??????

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two post Monday and a plea for readers

Normally I wouldn't ask for anything from people here, but today I am. A freind brought something to my attention that I had long forgotten about, and now it needs attention.

As much as it totally falls different than my homesteader wannabe/country guy life, I'm a huge metalhead. I've listened to the stuff since I was about 11 and never looked back. I've long been into the Cleveland bands, (who never get the attention they deserve), and have followed many for a long long time. Several of these bands have managed to stay around all these years, some off and on, some getting back together after 15+ years....Breaker, Shok Paris/Aftershok, Wretch,Destructor........great bands, great guys. (Black Death-where are you??????????) My lifetime friend Bill even went to work with these bands long ago, and still does. (stage manager/roadie extroidanairre)

In 1988, the origional bass player for Destructor, David Iannicca, was murdered on the street outside the bands practice spot for nothing more than trying to get an un-invited man to leave a private party:

"In the early morning hours of New Year's Day 1988, Robert Bedzyk (inmate # A204234) murdered David Iannicca in a surprise attack without provocation. Bedzyk, a stranger, had crashed a small private party the band was hosting to celebrate Dave's recent Christmas Eve engagement to his girlfriend and his band's first major label record deal after years of hard work. Dave was the bass player for the band, who had a very devoted international following. After Bedzyk began causing trouble, Dave politely asked him to leave. Checking later to make sure he had gone, Dave was surprised to see Bedzyk waiting outside in the parking lot. Concerned about Bedzyk causing more trouble to the guests or damage outside to the area the band leased for their practice spot, Dave approached and asked him again to leave. When Dave refused Bedzyk's taunts to fight, Bedzyk plunged a knife he had hidden behind his back directly into Dave's heart, nearly cutting it in two. Dave was unarmed and unaware of the knife before it was too late. He was handicapped with a spinal condition and unable to dodge the knife. He died minutes later with his fiance and band members by his side. To this day Bedzyk has shown no remorse for the crime he committed and the lives his actions both directly and indirectly effected. In prison, Bedzyk was involved in the Lucasville prison riot, for which he paid no penalty. By his last parole review in 2006, he was still refusing to attend the anger management and victim awareness programs that have been repeatedly recommended for him. "

I did not know David, but I do remember the music, and still follow the band to this day. I've expressed my opinion before on these kinds of things before in a post about the convicted murder of a friend and co-worker, and will again now. This man has no remorse, not once a sign of emotion or apology to anyone. He's long since stated that the band attacked and held him, and that the stabbing was in self defense, but he leaves out one tiny detail.......the band attacked him AFTER the stabbing and held him until the police arrived. Lies, lies, lies. David was just 23 years old at the time, and recently engaged.

I write this now all for a reason folks. There is a petition available to sign to deny parole for this man. No one knows if it will really work, but as of this moment, there are 4048 signatures from all over the world, mainly metalheads like myself who follow the Cleveland bands and the small local record company who has supported these bands since '82. I'm asking any of the readers here to sign the petition.......lets try to keep this man where he belongs......

da coop da coop shalalalalala da coop da coop

Yesterday we FINALLY got a break in the weather. It was around 62 all day, so I got to spend the day outside working on the new coop, yayyyy.
The framing was very easy with this design, which was why I chose it. I've looked at several ones online, and though I like some of the fancy barn-style roofs, they have no internal frame at all. Most are just plywood thats nailed/screwed together. Not gonna fly here....or actually, it probably would with the winds we sometimes get, lol. Anyway...this has an internal 2x4 frame to add support, strength, and weight.
The skylight actually looks kinda neat on there, and I'm sure will bring a lot of questions. I just figured it would let light into the coop sooner and get them up and moving a bit earlier. As you can see, its VERY dark tinted, so it won't bake them out. The underside is covered now in a heavy plastic mesh, and I'll be taking the screws off its frame and adding a piano hinge to the back. This way, the coop gets plenty of ventilation when we hit the hot humid July & August. The back side has a 30x30 door for cleanout that needs attached today, and the right side needs finished. That's where the nest boxes will be. I'll be making those from part of last years old chicken tractor. It's a little bigger than I intended to make, but it's already assembled with a hinged roof, so it will work perfectly. When the other side is attached, I'll be putting the roosts in, made from 2x2's. Then all it needs it painted, moved, attached to the run,a door ramp attached, and it's ready for the birds. Sometime whenever I get back to work, I want to cover it with T111 siding, or I'll get the lumber from my friend Jim and use it for lap siding. For now, this will have to do the trick.
I used the Lowes gift card I got for Christmas for this, and only used $88 of the $100 on it. The other $12 will be for the 2x2's and anything else I might need. I had all the nails, the shingles, and the freebie skylight already, so that kept cost down. (remember the "packrat" post? LOL) If all goes well, it will be finished today and set in place. I'll give it a day or 2 for the paint to dry, then get the birds outside and start disassembling the giant cage in the garage. After that will be the REALLY fun part, and that will be getting the dogs used to the chickens being next to their fence. That's gonna be fun............ugh. Austin (bloodhound) will whine and cry, wanting to see them. Hank (basset) will sit and bark. Jack (sheba-pom aka ratdog) will want to chase them. Copper (beagle) will care less. The problem will lie in Ace (border collie mix). He loves to chase birds off the fence, so this will be irresistable for him....he'll be the tough one. I may have to somehow cover their fence so they can't see the birds, but we'll just have to play it by ear and see how they do.

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