Monday, 23 May 2016

CBF


This is the CBF, how may we help you today?
  • I’d like to invest some trees in the Cherokee Bank of Firewood, I replied.
Thanks for your enquiry Sir. I can recommend the government guaranteed at call deposit account which earns, let me see here, a rate of return on your deposited trees of 1.5%. Remember that this account is an at-call account and you can retrieve it at any time from one of two firewood branches which are located near you, for your convenience, and it is government guaranteed.
CBF Branch Eastside Cherokee "The Peacock Branch"
CBF Branch Westside Cherokee "The Weather Vane Branch"
  • Oh, I was hoping to get a better return for my tree investment?
I’m sorry Sir, I’m not authorised to speak with you about those more sophisticated investment options. Would you like to speak with one of our specialist tree wealth planners?
  • Sure.
I’ll just put you through now Sir.

Hey, this is Carl, I’m a specialist tree wealth planner, how are you going today?
  • I’m good. I’m looking to invest some trees with the CBF but I was after a better return than the standard at-call account.
Sure, I should be able to help you with that. Before we get started, just how many trees are we talking about here?
  • About 10,000 trees.
That sure is a lot of trees.
  • Yeah, it is a lot of trees. I’ve been collecting them for a while, but the growth hasn’t been as good as it could be.
Yeah, I’ve heard that story. With so many trees, you are clearly a Sophisticated Investor and I could get you into one of our Green Leaves Managed Investment Trusts. It is an exclusive investment opportunity available only for Sophisticated Investors with plenty of trees, and the returns are good. It is a revolutionary product!
  • That sounds great as I love circles. So, I’m interested. Just how good are these returns?
Oh, the returns are really good. Here is a testimonial from one of our sophisticated investors enjoying what is known as the returns from the: CBF Green Leaves Derivative Managed Investment Trusts Number 7.
A satisfied customer of the CBF enjoying the returns from the derivative managed investment trusts number 7
  • I’m starting to get excited at the thought of all of those derivative returns.
Yeah, we’re excited too! The really smart money nowadays is into leveraging. And you want to be smart because interest rates are so low nowadays and tree growth is also low so you’re competing against other investors searching for yield. I know that the best way to score those higher yields is to borrow against your initial tree investment and then use those borrowed funds to grow your tree investments. If you earn more trees than you borrow, then you are miles ahead.
  • This sounds great. Where can I sign up?
Well, as a Sophisticated Investor with a large tree portfolio to invest, you can have exclusive access to our CBF private wealth specialists who will assist you personally and help you to make the smartest investment decisions!

Apologies for the silly banking digression, but this week I began withdrawing a few loads of dry firewood from one of the two branches of the Cherokee Bank of Firewood (CBF) – err, sorry, I meant firewood sheds. Access to dry, seasoned, cut, and split firewood supplies is better than money in the bank.
The author has begun removing a few wheelbarrow loads of dry firewood from one of the two sheds
Managing the firewood resources here has been a very long learning process for me that has taken six years of accumulated experience. And it is only this year that I believe that I have stored enough firewood for the entire years supply.

Firewood is a useful energy source as it provides heating for: the house; the hot water system; and an oven and stove top for cooking. However, managing firewood that is harvested form the local trees requires a person to consider their energy needs not just for today, but for many years into the future. The local trees, Eucalyptus Obliqua (Messmate) will not burn when they are green (which is a fancy way of saying: Alive). They require two years of seasoning (which is another fancy way of saying: Dead) before they lose the sap and moisture that prevents them from burning when green. And even if those trees have received the seasoning, if they are at all damp from the very humid winters here, they won’t burn and it is almost impossible for them to dry out during this humid and cold time of year.

As you can see, it is a complex problem learning how to manage a local resource. One mental tool that has served me well with answering those management questions is the concept that: If I’m not considering how to manage a resource or system, then it is probably working and requires no further thought. Firewood has been on my mind in previous years, but not so this year.

Winter is fast approaching and many of the deciduous trees have been putting on a great show of colour. The Japanese maple trees are some of my favourites as they are not only heat and drought tolerant, but they provide beautiful colour in the garden:
A Japanese maple puts on a great show of late autumn colour
Last year was a very cloudy winter and so I made the recent decision to add two extra solar photo-voltaic panels to the power system. Regular readers will recall that the steel free standing frame was manufactured out of scrap steel and then installed over the past few weeks. This week that free standing frame for the new solar panels received a final coat of quality metal paint.
The new free standing solar panel mount received a final coat of quality metal paint
This part of the mountain range has long been associated with agriculture, although you wouldn’t know that nowadays as the forest is very dense. The train line from the goldfields in Bendigo to Melbourne passes this side of the mountain range and historically timber, berries, and potatoes were all harvested from here and transported into Melbourne by steam train.

Long time readers will recall that strawberries and potatoes grow like feral triffids here. However, the local wildlife loves berries and last year was the final straw for me as I was able to harvest less than one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of strawberries because the entire crop was eaten - plants and all - by pretty much any animal that could eat them, including my own dogs!

A few months ago, the editor and I abandoned the existing berry growing systems and had a complete rethink and brainstorming session on how to grow these high value crops without feeding all the wildlife (and dogs!) in the process. We then hatched a cunning plan and over the next few months we will commence constructing a series of different enclosures for those crops in an unused location on the farm. However, before that commences, we have to complete the excavations and new garden beds behind the machinery and firewood sheds that were constructed last year.

Those excavations are a big job and they also include the construction of a set of concrete stairs providing access to that new plant growing area.

This is what the area looked like prior to excavations this week:
The area behind the machinery shed prior to excavations this week
The new berry and potato beds will be planted on a terrace above these two sheds. You will notice that the current garden bed is way too steep and so very few plants have ever grown there. The excavations over the next few weeks will correct that problem.The excavations have to be completed so that the new terrace is sited correctly.

After half a day’s excavations and soil removal, the cutting behind the machinery shed now looks like this:
The cutting behind the machinery shed now looks less steep
During those excavations a lot of clay fell behind the firewood shed ('the peacock branch of the CBF'). This was a problem because access behind that firewood shed had also not been previously completed. Further excavations had to then be undertaken behind that firewood shed simply to obtain wheelbarrow access to the clay that had fallen there. You will also notice that the slope of that cutting is still far too steep and future excavations will have to be completed to make the cutting less steep before that area can be planted out.
The cutting behind the adjacent firewood shed was also excavated this week so as to obtain wheelbarrow access
Observant readers will be able to spot Toothy the overseer in the photo above enjoying a quiet kip in the sun whilst the editor and I continued the earthworks.

Once the excavations commenced we were able to continue constructing more concrete stairs leading up to the new berry and potato growing area. This time, Poopy the Pomeranian (who is actually a Swedish Lapphund) supervised the concrete stair construction works.
Poopy the Pomeranian supervises the concrete stair construction works
And another concrete stair was added this morning – this time with no canine supervision!
Another concrete stair was added this morning
On Sunday, the editor and I woke up before the sun had even risen over the farm. Only a very serious task would prompt such a horrid course of events. Seriously, it was a very strange and disturbing sight to see the sun rise from the east and behind the mountain range as we drove our way into the big smoke of Melbourne on an errand. That morning, two coffees were a necessity!

The reason that we were driving into the big smoke of Melbourne with the bright yellow trailer was that the editor had been looking for a very large and high quality second hand hardwood table on auction websites for a number of months. And during the past week, we finally scored! We won the auction on a second hand locally made tasmanian oak (a local hardwood species) timber table for $100. That was worth travelling into the big smoke to pick up on a Sunday morning because other than us, nobody was interested in that table!

The table itself was over 17 years old and in the past someone had stained the timber a very unfortunate walnut colour and perhaps that was why nobody else was interested in it. However the table top was quality old growth hardwood that was dead flat and because of that I could discern that the table was lovingly made. The top was also 30mm (1.2 inches) thick timber! It was worth waking up before the sun had peered above the horizon, although I do freely admit that the coffee assisted with those problems.

We brought the table back, but along the way we made the decision to stop in at the local bakery and pick up a pie and lamington each, which were very good. As we were on the road anyway, we thought that it would be a nice idea to stop off at a picnic stop high up in the mountain range and enjoy our pies and lamingtons whilst surrounded by the beauty of the forest up in that part of the mountain range.

It was at about that time that I recalled that winter was closing in and I picked up a little hitchhiker from the picnic spot that was very hard to remove from my leg! Yes, a leech had latched onto my leg.
This naughty leech that had decided that my leg was tasty morsel
The leech enjoyed a lovely feed until we arrived home, where a small amount of salt onto the little parasite ruined its life! Once the leech had detached itself from my leg, the feeling of it rapidly crawling away across my skin was very creepy.

I wasn’t easily deterred by a parasite though and we soon started the task of sanding the new (to us) hardwood table.
The new hardwood table had begun to be sanded and the beautiful grain started to show
It may be hard for people to believe this, but that particular task with the hardwood table commenced over 20 years ago!

Way back then, we purchased a bright blue table with a vinyl linoleum surface for about $70. Which at the time was a total bargain.
The bright blue table with vinyl linoleum surface was purchased over 20 years ago now for about $70
That was a very good price back then too. Nowadays as a population we are much more sophisticated because we appear to place no value at all on well-constructed and quality second hand items! Obviously, the bright blue paint and the linoleum on that table 20 years ago were forgiveable fashion sins, because underneath it all, it was still a quality antique hardwood table. So way back in the day we stripped that table back to its bare bones. And this week that same table received a structural upgrade as it was re-purposed.
The once bright blue table received a structural upgrade this week
Unfortunately, I have completely run out of time and words and will have to continue this story of the tables next week!

The temperature outside now at about 7.30pm is 7.6’C (45.7’F). So far this year there has been 282.0mm (11.1 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 262.2mm (10.3 inches).

56 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yeah, the Etch a Sketch tablets were down here, but I don't recall owning one. That lack would clearly explain a few things! :-)! They were a really good idea weren't they and a lot of fun to draw on? That Roman tablet sounded so much like one it was a bit eerie. I'll bet as decline set in the wax was liberated for use in candles... They had some amazing technologies.

Nice to hear that the cougars roam far and wide. They would make for unpleasant companions in the garden. Much like startling the easily startled: Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis) which is considered by some to be the second deadliest snake on the planet...

Oh, thanks very much for those references. I'll check them out next time I'm in a second hand bookshop. The Michener book is a surprise inclusion too.

Yeah, the bird portraits are usually from old plates or paintings of the birds and when you compare them to the photos the artists individuality and vision become clear. Don't laugh, but I mentioned this to you a long time back that the early colonial artists painted the trees in a different mode than what I was used to seeing and/or expecting and it took a bit of mental re-adaption to see that they depicted them clearly.

Ha! The identification problem also extends to our fun friends the fungi! Chicken breeding and identification is a complex topic I reckon. Mate, I can't even tell if a bird is male or female under about 18 weeks old.

That is funny, the hummingbirds giving you "what for"! You don't hear that expression much these days either. It used to be a standard very ominous parental reply: "I'll give you what for!" The feed sounds like a great idea. The hummingbirds would perhaps have a very high metabolism and the sugar will certainly give them a boost - which they probably need. Drizzling indeed! The mix would attract all manner of birds and insects, I'd believe? The bees would love that stuff too. You may be interested to know that the magpies give the chickens "what for" here too, but fortunately they leave me alone. They can live for about 20 years and they have good memories, so like the Evil step son, the problem may not go away any time soon.

You are totally busted!!! Hehe! Yeah, ah well, tastes change etc... You will be in for a treat with the photos this week. That walnut stain took about six hours of solid sanding just to remove from the top. And there are still the legs and underneath structure to do. I'm going to apply glossy natural Tung Oil which should protect the timber and highlight the beautiful grain. Out of interest how would you treat the timber nowadays - if you had the opportunity?

Thanks for the excellent reference. That sounds like a very creepy movie. The down under version of that would be the movie Wolfe Creek - which is apparently a very scary thriller. They eventually got the guy that did it too, and let's be honest, if he didn't do it, it appears that he may have done other things... Some apples appear to be rotten on the tree.

Enjoy your feral weather for soon the sun will be shining un-relentingly and the heat will be intense. Well, there are plenty more fish in the sea - unless of course acidification of the oceans causes a major break down in the oceanic food chain. Hopefully the Morton place works out for you. Lightening ones travelling load really does help. I used to move around a lot and so kept things neat and tidy. Hey, you may be interested to see some rubbish - which will be added as fill to the concrete stairs over the next few weeks. I still don't quite understand your real estate system as I don't quite understand how the credit union and the agent can have differing opinions. Down here, you get a loan approval before the property is sighted.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I loved the banking digression. Certain words should always be run from e.g. 'managed'. Oh of course keep on borrowing to invest, really, really scary. Actually 1.5% interest would be very good here; our interest rates are going on down. The thought of negative interest rates is very unnerving.

The young here don't like old furniture. I know lots of people who say that their children don't want their stuff. Strange how quality has disappeared in so many areas.

We are still trapping mice. I think that my new neighbours considerable clearance has yet again given me an excess of wild life. Hopefully this will sort next year as the numbers adjust to a viable number.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - But does you're branch have a drive through, night deposit slot and more than 2 tellers on duty at any one time? :-).
I may be dealing with wood, myself. Not a first. The place I looked at in Morton has a wood stove, and three deep "bays" against the back fence, for wood storage.

The Japanese Maple is really pretty. Also one at the place in Morton. Looks like your getting into some serious soil manipulation! Geo-scaping?

Oh, argh. Leeches. Didn't save any for the emergency med kit? :-). We don't have leeches around here, as far as I know. Here, it's ticks. But, not too many where I live. A bit too wet for them, I think. My friend in Idaho got two, last week. She's always got to keep an eye on her dogs.

That is a beautiful table. If I were refinishing furniture now, I'd probably either oil, varnish or shellac it. And, there are ways to restore old varnish or shellac finishes. Depends on the solvent, you use. You might have been a bit quick on the draw, as far as the blue table goes. I think I mentioned, over here, nice old oak and walnut furniture's prices, are quit low, compared to 20 years ago. Shockingly so. I asked the auctioneer about that, and she said the young folk all want painted furniture these days. The brighter, the better.

I think the ratio of sugar in the hummingbird food is about the same as nectar. With the feeders, there's just more of it and it's easier to get to. I've never seen any other insect or animal go for the feeders. Must be the design, or something. The holes are very small ... ideal for a hummingbird beak. But, I don't think a bee can get at the liquid. I stepped out my front door, yesterday, and was almost run over by a pair of squabbling rufus hummingbirds. Nell was sleeping on an old box, and they tore right over her head. Gave her a bit of a crew cut :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. "Wolf Creek" sounds a lot more awful than "Driftless Area." Think I'll pass :-).

I looked up what a Larington is. They sound really nice. So, what kind of pies? Inquiring minds want to know. :-)

Drove up to Morton, this morning. I really like the house. Signed and initialed reams of paper and left a $500 .... oh, boo. Just heard from my realtor. My credit union won't finance a manufactured home. So, no go on that one. The owners offered to carry the contract, but, only for 10 years. The monthly payments would be too high for me to handle.

So, it's back to the hunt! There's something out there, somewhere, that will be just right. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you very much. It was fun to write that story and I tried to include every dodgy bit of talk that I'd picked up over the past few decades. It was fun too making the story escalate as the rabbit hole became ever deeper... :-)!

Yeah, “managed” is a funny term to use isn't it? I often really worry when I hear the word "revolutionary" or the claim that the "old rules no longer apply". Run for your life, zombie loans ahead!!! The funny thing is that I reckon people have a different understanding of the system than how it actually works in the real world. No one seems even remotely interested in puncturing that bubble either.

Interest rates are being lowered here too. I suspect that such actions fuel speculation in the property market. The prospect of negative interest rates will make things interesting (no pun intended). From my perspective, the ever inflating economic bubbles look an awful lot like a devaluation of the fiat currency by way of inflation. There is a fine line between an asset price increase being depicted as a supposed gain and/or the depiction of those gains as inflation. And it all depends on where you stand. All I know is that money ain’t (sic) worth what it once was.

Yeah, that is sad. I don't know the answer as I reckon it is an expression of peoples wants versus their needs. The people I bought the table from said to me that it was a lifetime table. And internally I thought to myself: Not for you mate, otherwise you wouldn't be selling it. That inability to discern quality is a real problem. No doubts about it.

Yeah, the mice would hate the habitat destruction and they're no slouches at moving on to greener fields... You are very correct in that they'll come to an equilibrium sooner or later. Incidentally, is your forest slowly drying out a bit yet? The rain has been picking up here in recent times here, but it was a bit disturbing to see how dry the excavated areas of clay/loam was. It is a timely reminder that I have to increase the top soil and humus before rainfall penetrates deep into the soil. Oh well, jobs are never done to completion are they?

Cheers

Chris

Steve Carrow said...

Ah yes, firewood is one more of those annual cycles we need to learn how to manage as we end our fossil era. How nice of the sun to make annual deposits of energy, tucked away in leafy growing accounts all around us. I planted a bunch more trees this spring, enabling the sun to increase the nearby savings accounts for our use. Of course, as you describe, one wouldn't want to withdraw funds faster than the sun is depositing them, or things won't end well.

I suppose when one is trying to determine what the carrying capacity of an area is for humans, fuel wood needs to be part of the equation when in an area with cold winters. Not sure if the people who try to calculate these things have considered that.

I've been splitting wood the last couple weeks, as we head in to our summer season. This wood has all been dead a year, so should be fine for next winter. Luckily, we don't have brush fires here either, so I just need to keep the rain off of it.

Land leeches!! Long ago, I once made up a story to our kids involving land leeches, thinking it was one of the most yucky things they could imagine, but had no idea they are for real. Luckily, there are no terrestrial species around here, just aquatic. Yuck again, says I.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hehe! Mate, I've never seen a drive through bank before - unless it is the sort of drive through where a nefarious customer drives their stolen vehicle through the front door of a bank branch! Mind you, I haven't seen that either and am not keen to.

I suppose the night deposit slots are still there, but it has been a long time since I've used one myself. A long time ago I worked at a business that dealt with large sums of cash and it was a total nightmare. Fortunately nothing bad ever happened there, but still the office was located in the middle of a - then - high crime rate district. Maybe hiding in plain sight was a good Sun Tzu style strategy and the crims overlooked that one. Just walking down the street and going to the bank from that place was a nightmare.

Wood is an excellent heating source and to have a stove ready to go with three deep bays (with perhaps more on the cards?) sounds like a good setup. Hey, what is with the credit union not wanting to finance a manufactured house? Is there some sort of historical basis for that? Can other financial institutions provide the loan? Dunno. The only type of property that I've heard that the bank won't loan money for down here are for owner build projects. The reason for that is that those projects have a high probability of not being completed, which is a bit unfortunate really. I've heard that some banks now do, but the loan is provided in stages once various stages of that project are completed. You'd be a bit nervous if the budget was blowing out in that circumstance... Most people make that mistake because the houses they build are just way too big and beyond their budgets.

Thanks. I love those Japanese maples and they happily self seed here. And they are so hardy to heat and drought. I respect such toughness in a plant. Perhaps they are the hidden triffid in the garden?

Yeah, lots of digging and moving soil. Still, once that job is done, it's done and then I can enjoy the new terrace. I must not count the strawberries and blackberries before they are grown! ;-)!

I'll send that little fella in the mail to you if you want it? Hehe! There's plenty more where that one came from too. I tell ya what, the bite is itchy as now. Ticks are pretty bad over your way and from what I've read they carry plenty of diseases too... Not good. There are ticks here too, but they are generally just blood suckers. They fill up like balloons, and we've been getting very good at spotting them on the dogs and removing them. Once Toothy scored a tick seed on his belly which was eating into his flesh. Not good, but easily removed and they left a pit on his skin.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

I must confess that I had you in mind when I mentioned the walnut staining! That isn't a criticism either, it was just a sign of the times. However, the bright blue table, well, there is no excuse for such questionable taste with whomever did that disaster. I hear you, but I dunno about anyone preferring that paint. It is a big task to convince me of the benefits of that. Hey did you notice that 20 years ago for $70 the blue thing was the best that I could scrounge, but today look what $100 will score. Your auctioneer was on the money. It is a bit of a disgrace that it was so cheap.

Thanks for the advice about the stains, I'll check them out as I haven't quite settled on tung oil yet. I haven't heard of shellac.

Your squabbling hummingbirds would have been quite the sight! Ah, poor Nell, clearly the birds are disregarding her feline authorita! :-)! The birds play games with the dogs here too, but there seems to be a slight bit of mutual respect, which the birds don't give to the chickens.

Yeah, Wolfe Creek would give me nightmares... I passed by that remote spot late last century. It really is in the middle of nowhere.

Yum! Lamingtons. Please note that they must have the jam in the middle and are better with a drier consistency to the sponge. People can sometimes overdo the butter/fat in the sponge mix which is no good. Well, as to pies, I was looking for either a beef and chilli combo, or a beef and guiness combo (oh yummo!), but settled for a beef, bacon and cheese which was quite good. It was too early in the morning for many varieties to be available. Do you have pies in your part of the world? In Tasmania, you can sometimes find scallop pies which have a seafood stock gravy with a scallop in the pie - and those are really, totally, yummy! :-)!

Well yeah, there is always somewhere. It is like the quest for the table, it just takes a lot of leg work before you find the right place. I wish it were easier for you, but I don't know any other way. It took a lot of mucking around to find this block of land and it was cheap because no one else wanted it because it was a bit scary. Mind you, that near vertical block sounded a bit scary to me too.

Speaking of scary there was a major and horrific truck accident this morning on the freeway from here which has closed it. Certainly it is one of the worst accidents that I can recall. The editor is on the city side of the freeway today and only missed the accident (which was on the other side of the freeway) by a couple of minutes so I'm going to jump on the train and meet up with her in the big smoke and come back much later via another route altogether. It was a really horrific looking accident.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Steve,

Ha! It is very considerate of nature to provide those leafy savings accounts isn't it! Nice one. Hey, the good thing about planting is that you pick and choose which species you want to grow. I've been favouring broadleaf fast growing nitrogen fixing trees that provide both good firewood and excellent furniture timber. It is amazing at the diversity of species we can pick and choose from. It is great to increase the diversity of the forest too.

Yeah, finding that balance is not easy and to be honest, I really don't yet know exactly how much firewood I require for a year - even after all this time. I'm hoping this year will provide that particular answer. I reckon understanding usage dictates all other management strategies.

Well, that is a great point. Elephant stamp for that observation! Of course, I hadn't realised that, but yeah, most people tend to fixate on food, rather than all other uses for land and there are plenty of those.

One year seasoning is pretty good and it is funny how as the weather warms up you find yourself working on firewood! Hey, I use an electric / hydraulic log splitter and it certainly saves a lot of hard work and is a good use of the summer sun.

The little rotters hang on the ends of branches and leaves and drop onto you as you brush past them. Fortunately, they live a up a little bit higher in elevation, so they are not present on the farm - hopefully anyway. If you want some, I'm happy to send you some!!! :-)! That would be the gift that keeps on giving... The aquatic ones would be just as bad and would make for an interesting swim. Telling the story is a great idea too. Nice work.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

@Lew

The buyers of my previous home needed a mortgage and were finding it almost impossible to get one because it was a wooden building (how the British dislike wood!). They finally got a mortgage through an ecological building society. This was discovered by the estate agent; I had never heard of such a thing.

Is there nothing that will lend on manufactured houses?

Inge

Jo said...

Brilliant timing on the firewood post - I am currently doing Firewood and Lighting Fires for Dummies at my place. Had wood delivered, but some of it needs further splitting, and I am not convinced that all of it is dry.. sigh. Also, no curtains at the windows, only pretty but useless matchstick blinds, and I can actually see the heat flying out the windows..

I would love some dry firewood bays like yours. I have a third of my very small shed currently devoted to firewood, and a big heap under tarps. I am planning to get a wood bay built with a roof to keep future years' wood in so I can buy it in in summer when it is cheaper. And I will have to learn to split wood. I have the wood splitter but not the expertise! However I have lined up a lesson from a friend.

orchidwallis said...

Hello again Chris

I am hoping that your financial expertise can explain 'modelling' to me. I keep on reading it. Is this just another word for 'projection' or is it something different? I do understand that it is nonsense.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, here in the Land of the Car, we have drive through ... everything. When the bank I used to deal with did away with their drive through ... and night deposit slot, I was surprised. But, I think that's a trend for that particular bank. They'd rather not deal with the "little people" Just all big accounts and electronic, everything.

I've heard of all kinds of drive throughs. Of course, it makes fast food, fast :-). Drive through wedding chapels ... funeral homes, for the "viewing." When they built the new Chehalis library, it included a drive through. The first for the system, and I've heard it's getting common for any new branch.

Yup. Making deposits at a bank, for a business, can be pretty dicey. The first bookstore I managed, in S. California ... the bank the corporation picked was miles away and the deposit slot was surrounded by tropical foliage and lit by one flickering light bulb. While there was a perfectly good bank, right up stairs from my store. It was like pulling teeth to get corporate to change banks and branches. I've carried some pretty hefty deposits, to the bank, especially around the holiday season. Scary stuff.

I really don't know what the reasoning is, for not issuing loans on manufactured homes. Perhaps because, due to shoddy construction, they don't expect it to hold up, over the course of a 20 or 30 year loan? As if current construction methods are any indicator of longevity. Well, I've been merrily sailing along, thinking there's something out there, for me. I'm going to have to consider the alternative. The flip side of the coin. There's nothing out there for me. Glass half empty, or half full :-).

I don't know what the deal is with painted furniture. The fashion ... a fad. It seems to come and go. And, goes back quit a ways in time. There's quit a bit of old Amish or American Colonial furniture that is worth a lot more money if it has it's original paint. Faux graining used to be big. Take a piece of furniture with cheap woods (maybe even mixed woods) and "grain" it with paint to look like more expensive woods. It was quit an art and used several specialty tools. But the new stuff is so ... jarring. There's a store in Centralia that has a lot of it and it's like stepping into a circus.

Not a lot of meat pies, here, outside the freezer section at the store. Chicken Pot Pie has always been around. I think it was one of the first frozen foods. There seems to be a lot of microwavable stuff wrapped in some kind of pastry. Very dodgy ingredients. Sweeney Todd? :-) Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - Well, the ball is in the real estate agents court, as far as financing goes. But, I'm very leary (sp?) of "creative financing" or "financial instruments." Lew

Coco said...

Eww leeches!

2 years of seasoning the wood? No wonder you need sheds, lovely as they are. We got 4 m2 in January and will likely get 4 more, since we were using the woodstove at night up until May, but that´s all for use next fall/winter.

We´re still going around on fencing the pasture. There´s 30 years of scrubby shrubs that have grown up around it and we´re debating whether to cut it all and start fresh with more productive plants and trees and then fence, or just thin and gradually plant over time.

Do you move the wheelbarrow up the stairs? Or is there an alternate route?

orchidwallis said...

@ Lew

Yes of course, avoid all creative financing. I think that it is 'leery'.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Well done you! You are miles ahead of where we were in the first year here. Why doesn't this damp, but seasoned firewood burn with any heat... :-)! It really takes a lot of years to learn this stuff, so take your time and enjoy the journey and of course in the first year you will use more fuel than you ever thought possible, but each year from then on things will get easier and better. During the first two winters I had a generator creating a racket outside the house and finally decided to get rid of it out of my life because it broke down too often. A bit of thought and determination later... and no generator need be involved!

Incidentally, I use a ripper little electric log splitter and I recommend it highly. Seriously, I'm not kidding about this tool it is worth its weight in gold. I mean, why break your shoulders or risk injury with a manual log splitter. It uses barely any electricity too.

Electric Hydraulic Log Splitter

Mine has been operating perfectly for over 5 years now. The trick with them is that no one (or cat or dog) should be standing in front of the unit when it is operating as firewood can very occasionally ping out and forwards under the tension in the grain when it finally breaks. Oh, that seller has been around for a long time now.

Take one project at a time so as not to be overwhelmed and you'll get there - easily!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yeah, I was wondering about the manufactured home business in the US too. And today I came across a remark in Michael Lewis's excellent book "The Big Short" which mentioned that the pricing for the manufactured homes is such that once purchased they rapidly decline in value. Motor vehicles regardless of brand or brand perception have the exact same problem as once they are delivered to the customer and driven out of the showroom by the customer, they decline in monetary value very rapidly.

That decline in monetary value means that the original purchaser of the manufactured home would possibly have been able to obtain credit for that purchase, but subsequent purchasers suffer from the problem that the manufactured home clearly doesn't have enough equity for the lenders to properly shark. Any, that was my reading of that matter.

Does this mean that a manufactured home has little to no intrinsic value? Not at all. The lenders just don't believe that they'll make enough money on the deal. Which is a real shame as they are making a social judgement based on economic events of the recent past and perhaps ignoring more important issues such as ability to repay the loan.

Yeah, the timber house thing gets up my nose too. You know I had someone once who had the cheek to tell me to my face in this house, that mine is not a "posh home" (their words, not mine). And what I understand that they meant by those words is that it was not a brick veneer home. I've always secretly believed that that preference arose from the tale of the big bad wolf - who seemed to also dislike straw bale and cob houses too for some strange reason. Some of the coldest houses up here are solid brick houses. Over winter they are like living in a refrigerator it is that cold.

Ha! That's funny. Projections and modelling can say whatever you want them to say. That doesn't mean that they are inherently wrong or that all models and projections are bad, it is simply that some appear to contain hidden bias. What do you believe about that concept?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Well, as I wrote, I have never seen or heard of a drive through bank before! Hey, mind you, on the drive into the big smoke last Sunday to pick up the table, I did see a drive through coffee place which looks as though it originally began its existence as a petrol (gas) station. It even had multiple lanes, but to my early morning brain it looked a little bit unappealing as I would much prefer to enjoy my coffee sitting at a table with all of the various goings on around me and enjoying my coffee from a proper ceramic cup and saucer which can be washed and reused. I don't recall ever having had a take away coffee and I have never willingly purchased or chosen to drink a drip filter and/or instant coffee. Mate, I'm starting to sound like a coffee snob, but seriously once about a year ago the editor gave me an instant pod coffee thing and I tasted it and was horrified by the experience as I was going: what is this thing? ;-)! Alright, I fess up, I'm a coffee snob and coffee must arrive by way of a proper old school espresso machine or it is a very disturbing product to the senses. Oh, it's not good at all...

Ha! That is funny as I suspect the people in the banks may be saying things like: How good is this gig? Isn't it a shame we have to deal with all of these pesky customers? :-)! Hehe!!!

Get out! Are you serious about the drive through "viewing"? No way. You aren't kidding aren’t you? Aren’t you? Down here some cultures go a huge chain drive past the dead person’s house. It is like car after car forming a long procession and I suspect that there are some historical roots in that practice, but it seems like an odd thing to do in my mind. Dunno.

Oh that isn't good is it? And yeah, it is really risky. But then the head office types aren't at the coal face and having to face the personal risk are they? Yeah, and when you are running a shop which is open to the public, it is really hard not to maintain routines...

I reckon the manufactured housing fears are based on a recent historical event for the banks and so they have problems with the concept. Rather than repeating the story here, I posted a comment to Inge above which tells part of that story. Now, let's get down to business. I never asked you, did you watch the film "The Big Short" or did you read the Michael Lewis book? The book is as good, if not better than, the reviews made it out to be. And they covered your Morton issue very early on.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

My understanding is that most homes built nowadays have a projected 30 to 35 year lifespan anyway. I'm not sure what that says about our culture when you consider that there are cob houses over in the UK that are many hundreds of years old. And I used to restore 100+ year old houses...

Fair enough, who understands fads anyway? Certainly not I. Oh yeah, I've seen that marbled and reproduction furniture down here too. Actually the knock off industry is quite big down here. It used to suffer from legal problems in relation to copyright infringement, but those days appear to be in the past now. An acquaintance has a real deal original carbon fibre dining setting and this thing is light weight, very strong and also unusually and surprisingly quite comfortable which was completely unexpected. But most items are knock offs nowadays. Yeah, that would be like totally stepping into a circus! I hear you, but still the stuff sells or the shop wouldn't stay open very long.

Fair enough. Out of curiosity, do you have bakeries in the US or is this just a down under thing? Honestly, I just don't know about microwaved pastry goods? That is like people reheating frozen scones in a microwave and then serving them. Look, my honest opinion is that I remain unconvinced on the relative merits of science ovens. The editor seems to speak highly of microwave heated pizza slices in the morning, but I just can't go there. Mate, I'm starting to sound like some sort of foodie snob, but I'm actually sitting here replying to you and consuming green lentils for dinner, so I'm really unsure what to make of it all! Hehe! It is complex.

As to the dodgy ingredients, well they changed the regulations for what the term "meat" actually constitutes in meat pies a few years back down here. It is does not make for good reading.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Oh yeah, that is the correct response for leeches. The sore from the leech is quite itchy and inflamed now too. Did I mention that I chucked it in the wood fire? That was probably an ungentlemanly thing to do, but it started it!

The sheds are nice, thanks for noticing! Yeah, the local species of tree has a lot of sap and moisture and takes a long time to season as a result. 4 m2 is a good quantity and quite manageable. How good is the heat from firewood too. I tend to find electric fan heaters quite drying nowadays.

That is a tough call and I'd be interested to see what you eventually decide to do. It is not an easy decision. In your situation, I'd probably thin and add, so that you have a mixed aged planting. The reason behind that is that it allows for some increase in species, but also maintains housing for various critters. Dunno, it is just a suggestion.

Excellent question! When I'm constructing stairs, I tend to start at the bottom of the incline and construct up towards the top stair. In addition to the stairs there are also ramps for the wheelbarrow dotted about the place. However, in this case it is easier to walk up the stairs with a shovel full of wet cement to place into the newest (and highest) stair. Other times, I wheel the wheelbarrow up and down the ramps. A full wheelbarrow of wet cement is quite heavy and sometimes I add the water from a hose as close to the step (or other) construction as possible.

The steps are very handy and with access the place becomes easier to live in.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I understand what a projection into the future means but I still don't understand what modelling is. What is it modelled on? Projections I am sure, just tell you what you want them to.

Noting your very steep slopes, I saw something horrific today while being driven home from shopping. A man was mowing his front lawn, but he had a very steep slope at the end down to the pavement and I mean very steep. He was mowing it with a rotary mower and standing on this slope above the mower. At any moment he ran the likelihood of slipping into the blades.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Ah, yes. I forgot the drive through expresso stands. Without straining my head, I can think of at least four, on my "going to town" loop. I've never tried them out, as, I'm mostly a tea man, now. The 12 Step Club serves up a pretty good cup of coffee. It's drip, but, given the amount of coffee they run through, always fresh.

Drive through funeral homes? You know I never joke :-).

http://time.com/3517280/drive-thru-casket-viewings-funeral-home/

LOL. Yes, we discussed "The Big Short". At length. But I think it might have got lost in all the outrage over the mother in "99 Homes." Which we discussed about the same time.

Bakeries? Oh, in the big cities, yes. I can't think of a single, stand alone bakery, here. But, two of the super markets have in store bakeries ... the smell is incredible. The farmer's markets sell home made baked goods. There was that Mennonite roadside stand ... but I don't go that way, anymore.

Oh, I think microwave is ok, for some uses. Just yesterday, I made my oatmeal ... berries and apples on the bottom. I can throw it in, while I do my stretching and it's ready to go, when I'm done. Then I cut a banana on top and a bit of milk. I save half (without the milk and banana) for the next day. A turn in the microwave and it's just as good as the day, before. I have some casseroles and doctored chili, I nuke. At the risk of giving Inge apoplexy, tea :-). I'm with the editor. Pizza the second day, warmed up in the microwave is wonderful. But then, I like my pizza with milk, so, what do I know?

Mowed the side yard yesterday. Had to take it slow. Snakes were scattering, everywhere. The little hummingbirds are quit something. Just slightly larger than a bumblebee. Off to the Little Smoke. There was a New York City poet, back in the 50s. Frank O'Hara. He called his poems, his "I go here, I go there" poems. I could add, I do this, I do that. Lew

Angus Wallace said...

Thanks Chris,

When I saw the title of your article, I thought it was a different abbreviation ("couldn't be dekcuf") and would entail a discussion about the "looks too much like hard work" comments ;-), anyway, you cleared that up!
I think I've said it before, but the phrase "easier said than done" is really such a beautifully concise way of expressing such a deep concept. That is more than apparent when you talk about firewood.

I expect that burning more seasoned wood will also help prolong the life of your heater, right?

We had 35 mm rain last night -- woo hoo! tanks 40% full now. Our 2 kW solar produced 0.53 kWh over the whole day.

Cheers, Angus

Angus Wallace said...

Hi Lewis,

I totally agree about the microwave. We have a convection/microwave and use it all the time. Fantastic, and the most efficient way to cook with electricity. It's not for everything though.

The other thing I use a lot is the sandwich press -- cover it with a towel and it's very good for reheating pizza or quiche (quick zap in the microwave helps heat it through) without making it soggy. Just make sure it doesn't get too hot if you cover it.

Cheers, Angus

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge, Lewis and Angus,

Thanks for the lovely comments, but I worked in the big smoke today and my brain is officially fried!!! Only kidding, I got home late and am a bit tired and are now contemplating bed...

I promise to respond tomorrow.

Regards

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

This was one of your most enjoyable posts ever! I loved the banking metaphor. I could even make a deposit at the CBF, though perhaps I won't as the Copper Rooster branch of CBF here in America sometimes lends out a fair amount of our assets, and we may need them. Winter just left and I have an uncomfortable feeling that it may be back before I even have time to catch my breath. My husband has long grumbled that we deserve some sort of carbon credits (perhaps in the form of lower property taxes?) for living in the midst of a forest which, as you well know, while it has some advantages, has its issues as well. Especially a mountainside forest. One makes choices . . . Which makes me think of your investment in concrete steps - good for you! I think of you and the Editor as Garden Warriors.

What a perfect Japanese maple, and those are the nicest panel frames. They should serve you well.

I am fighting some critter over the strawberries. It doesn't seem to be the usual chipmunk (who ate half of the pea seeds that I planted before I could put netting over them). Mice? Yeah . . .

Darn - I didn't see Toothy until you pointed him out. Poopy was impossible to miss, though.

I have never met a leech and I hope that I never do. I am not sure if we have them here. I used to wander about in the streams around here, and lakes, and never acquired one. I have had thousands of ticks, though. I think maybe I would rather have a leech. Some of these ticks are the size of pepper flakes, really hard to see.

You all have some excellent, high-quality tables. Will you be using tung oil?

We finally have almost everything in the ground, except for some succession plantings of beans. The past two months have been cold and rainy and that set us back quite a lot. Monday the temperature shot up to 84*F (28.9*C) and has made it back up to that each day. The nights have been very nice. And, boy, do we have birds!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - LOL, the microwave I have is one of those microwave / convection oven, thingies. Came with the place. I even have the manual for it. But, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to do anything other than the straight up, cooking / warming up, bit.

Yo, Chris - Fried brains? The zombies are stepping up their culinary aspirations!

I forgot to mention that with so many expresso stands, around, the competition is quit keen. About half of them hire pulchritudinous young women and the dress code is bikini.

In a quandary over what to read for the ADR reading assignment. Wasn't going to go back into town until next Wednesday. Oh, I'll take a look around the house and see if there isn't a "classic" I set aside to read for later. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Hmmm, that's a tough question. In such situations it is best to delve into antiquity and dig into the Concise Oxford Dictionary (hardback fourth edition 1952). I reckon they must know something... So the verb is defined as "give shape to (document, argument, etc.); form (thing) after, on, upon, a model."

You've asked a complex question, so I suspect that by using the word modelling in your context it may mean taking a couple of variables and then trying to give shape to an argument. Clearly, it is open to interpretation. What do you believe about that response?

From what I've seen in the business world, models can be quite useful, but mostly they are intended to persuade other peoples consciousness and decision making abilities.

Some models are useful to explain actions in terms of their future consequences, but I dare say that as models become increasingly complex, they lose relevance. Also, I'd have to suggest that if models are difficult for their creators to explain then I tend to believe that they are rubbish.

Oh yeah, that is not good at all and it is a risk. I tend to mow on contour and not when the grass is wet and therefore possibly slippery. Accidents happen and often quite quickly. Still, the push mower is lower risk than a ride on mower on an incline. People tend to prefer ride on mowers for some reason. I'm happy to walk around for a couple of days once a year. It is no hardship. Plus I get a close up look at the plants growing all around here.

Are you enjoying some summer weather?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, that is funny. You would never see that down here. I know a few barista's and I seriously respect their skills. A well made espresso is something to savour. OK, getting down to the nitty gritty practicalities, how do those scantily clad ladies in the drive through espresso businesses manage to stay warm in your icy winter conditions? That's a tough school that is. I'm mildly concerned for their welfare.

Actually a few years back when JMG was discussing the mechanics of a population decline, he mentioned the occasional disappearing barista and I was very disturbed to read that!!! Who is left to then make a good coffee? I feel very fondly towards them and stop by the regular places when I'm in the city and have a quick chat and catch up on the news. I've known some of them for over a decade.

Ha! OK, I was a bit dubious but stand corrected. What a strange business the funeral business is. I particularly enjoyed the quote: “It’s a convenience thing,”. Oh my, you learn something new everyday! Please accept my sincere apologies.

Of course, the book rocks. It is very hard to put down. How is one meant to do homework when such a tale is being told. And I'm learning a whole lot. Yes, the mother deserved the outrage, but then I have a practical side to my personality and such niceties are probably a luxury item under those particular circumstances.

Oh, the Mennonite bakery products would be well worth the comparison testing! ;-)!

Yeah, I reckon we may have to agree to disagree on the second day, microwaved pizza thing. I've come to terms with the editor on this most important and crucial matter, I believe that I have now also reached acceptance with you as well! Hehe!

You are very lucky not to have poisonous snakes in your part of the world. Out of interest, do your snakes still bite - but are not poisonous? It makes you wonder why the snakes evolved to be so deadly down here? But then, I'm not really onto the sort of environmental conditions that would select for wallabies that could survive on a diet of about 85% toxic bracken fern. Mind you, the kangaroos can survive on 85% spinifex grass...

Hey, in breaking wombat news: Baby wombat is carrying a little bub in her pouch. I spotted her late last night waddling about with a very low hanging pouch!

I'm still crazy busy the past few days, but hopefully things slow down tomorrow.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Angus,

Ah, very astute to have noticed that... Elephant stamp for you! :-)!

Absolutely, "easier said than done" really sums up the harder tasks around here and also at your place. Really big and easy gains are very rare, and mostly it is in the little details and projects that gains are made for everyone, really.

Exactly, dry seasoned firewood burned at lower temperatures really does prolong the life of a wood heater. Part of the damage to the steel was caused by just bad timber (wet, slightly unseasoned) in earlier years. Mind you, most fireboxes have consumable parts which are intended to be replaced.

Wow, you are seriously scoring some good rain. I saw that it was wet in Adelaide again today. Well done and watch those tanks fill. It is about 70% here. The solar stats are pretty much what I'm seeing here too. If you are interested, I'll post them here again from 1st June onwards to the end of July. It always makes for sobering reading.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you, that is lovely to read! :-)! I do try to entertain, and I have heard that banking story a lot.

Ha! That copper rooster branh is doing remarkably brisk business from what I hear! Hopefully the loan book looks solid and they avoid the bond market?

You do feel that in the in-between seasons don't you? Time moves so fast.

Yes, you absolutely should receive carbon credits for improving the soils and managing the forests. Not that anyone other than the animals, birds, insects, soil microbes etc. that live in such places tend to notice... Actually the concrete stairs really make life easier. I often joke to the editor that she missed her real calling in the world of concrete, but I do tend to do that when there is no wet cement lying around that may be thrown at my head for being a smarty pants! :-)!

The Japanese maple is a superb plant and I grow a lot of them here and they self-seed too. I love working with steel construction because it has such a feeling of longevity. Those earlier panel frames have withstood some feral weather!

The lazy dog was asleep on his side out enjoying the late autumn sun whilst we were working! Still he's a good work dog and would wake up if we ever moved away. How they know that is well beyond me. Poopy enjoyed a trip to the post office this morning and proceeded to harrass me for some fruit toast chunks. He's doing alright!

Yeah ticks are horrid, and the dogs pick them up too. I tend to pick them off and then chuck them into the firebox. Sometimes they try to squirm away as they don't enjoy that fate. I can post you some leeches if you want? Hehehe!!!

Thank you. Yes, I'm leaning towards a tung oil finish, which may happen over the next few days. Do you have any other suggestions for the finish?

You are very lucky to have the warmth and the rain as your place will start to become a jungle with those conditions. Nice to hear that everything is in the ground before the heat begins to arrive. Do you have to water them much on that temperature sort of a day?

Glad to hear the birds are arriving in force! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hey, how weird would that be? Zombies that are picky about whose brains they want to consume. I smell a story there. Hey, what do you believe that the basis for choice would be? Great composers of the 20th century who had been preserved before burial? Do zombies ever raid gravesites? Such questions make for busy minds.

That is a great word. I've never come across that one before. Is the derivation for that word Latin? All the same, I reckon they'd be cold.

Yes, that one is a tough assignment. I'm leaning towards Sun Tzu's, The Art of War. If only for purely pragmatic concerns such as lack of the hours to put into anything of any additional length. What are you considering reading? And I'll have to re-read the essay tomorrow when I'm not running around like a hairy goat and trying to do a lot of things. The question that comes to my mind from this homework, was what form did the response take? And that is also relevant to that discussion too. I've got a little story to share on that front.

Cheers

Chris

Jo said...

Chris, thanks for all that info above, and the suggestions you left on my blog. Firewood 101 is us! But we are getting there. Have finally worked out how to build and maintain the fire for maximum toastiness:) It all came back to me, and I worked out how to use the damper and air vents which made life easier. Your suggestion of keeping a welding glove next to the stove for manhandling logs was brilliant!

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Thanks for your comments on modelling. It seems to have replaced projections in economic info. It seems to me that one needs to know what something is modelled on and one is not told this. Anyhow it is best ignored as it is undoubtedly rubbish.

The weather is stunning at present, unusual for a public holiday!

We have now caught 5 mice in the strawberries, it should have been 6 but although there was a sprung trap this morning, nothing was caught.

Neighbours have just shown son their 'wonderful' food plants. He was placed in a terrible position as they were not as expected. In the main they were 'weeds'. He was told what each variety was and it wasn't. He didn't say anything, it was just too terrible. We know who has taken them for a ride.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, since the barista ladies lean through a window, I suppose they're pretty well bundled up in the areas you can't see. I imagine shawls are in play, between customers. Small heaters in their expresso shakes? Yes, that word ... I think I first heard the comic, W.C. Fields, deploy it. Being a family friendly blog, I was treading gently. :-).

I don't know if our snakes bite, or not. I've had no experience. Although, when I was nudging one little fellow on his way, he seemed to be striking at my boot, repeatedly.

One final thought about finishing wood. Pores. Now, that piece you have looks pretty "close grained." But, occasionally I'd run across a piece of oak (very open grained) where paint had been applied to the raw wood. And, got in the pores and was just about impossible to get out. There were a few tricks ... I forget what ... but other than sanding forever ... I seem to remember that the well known furniture refinisher (I had all his books) Bruce Johnston said you may have to call it a bad deal and slop another coat of paint on it. I remember I had to do that with an oak rocking chair, once. I painted it with a nice turkey red and then "antiqued" it, so it really mellowed out and toned down the color. It ended up quit nice. Cont.



LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Hmmm. I've never heard of zombies raiding grave sites. I think they like their meals "on the hoof", so to speak. A busy mind is the devil's playground. Or, something like that :-).

At JMG's suggestion, I have a copy of Petronius' "Satyricon", on the way. The Loeb version, which seems to be favored by Classicists. I'm steering clear of reading any background on it, as I want to form my own opinions. About all I know is that it was written during the time of Claudius or Nero. I saw the fairly raunchy movie, years ago, but about all I remember is bits of the banquet scene and a lot of unsatisfying groping around. And, there are always references, in discussions about freedmen, of the thrower of the banquet, as, laughing at him for being "nouveau riche."

Went to the monthly birthday night, at my local meeting. Someone brought a lovely homemade spice cake. But, as so often happens, after a bit of a sugar binge, I want "real" food. So, I came home and made a couple of CLT's. Now, I don't know if you use the term, BLT, in Australia. Here, just about every restaurant and diner has BLT's on the menu, and everyone knows what they are. Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I just substitute low fat cheese for the "B" and use plain non fat yogurt (jazzed up with a few spices) instead of mayo.

Well. Must rush over to the ADR to drop a small bomb. A couple of people tweaked me, a bit, and usually I ignore that sort of thing, but I thought of the perfect response, last night. Hopefully, I won't set off a flame war. Sigh. A busybodies work is never done. :-) Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: And, as far as the reading assignment goes, I will not use the Cliff Notes ... or, the Classics Illustrated comic books :-). I don't know if you have / had either, down there. Cliff notes were small, cheap, yellow and black booklets ... hundreds of titles. Every book store I ever worked in had a rack of them. Just about any title you might run across in an English or literature class. They covered the plot, characters, motivations, symbolism, obscure references or turns of phrase. The teachers hated them. I never used them except ... when I was up to audition for a couple of Shakespeare parts. They really helped with the "where the play was going" and what my characters part in the action, was. Where to place emphasis. What's a joke, and where to get very, very serious. I've sometimes noticed that young actors who are so-so, suddenly become better. After doing a turn in a Shakespeare play in summer stock or Shakespeare in the Park ... any park :-). Shakespeare is ... magic.

Well, I decided not to drop my little bomb. But, it's too good to let die, so, I'll subject you all to it. I was tweaked by a couple of people because I had misremembered the translation of A.D. What I was going to say is: "Well, I said my Latin was rusty. But, I'm more than happy to provide a momentary thrill of superiority. I live to serve :-). Lew

margfh said...

As always I'm in awe of what you and the editor accomplish.

Wood is all split and stacked here for next winter though most is not under cover. I think we have two years worth.

Never have refinished any furniture though been thinking about refinishing one table this summer. Of course thinking about doing it and actually doing it are two different stories.

Garden all planted. The weather went from a frost one night to about 10 degrees above normal and rather humid too in about the span of a week. Not much rain either so watering has already started.

Met my daughter and granddaughters at a Heron rookery near the town where we used to live. While we missed the peak migration period we saw many herons, cormorants and egrets including babies in the nests. I have a spotting scope from my days when I was a more active bird watcher so we got a good view. One of my granddaughters has taken an interest in bird watching and the other (11 yr old twins) is somewhat interested.

Next week is our town's 75th anniversary of Milk Days (the annual festival). The town was referred to as the "Milk Center of the World". It'll be a week of festivities including a parade, carnival, dairy cattle show and bed races. Just to add to the crazy week my sister and I are taking two of our brothers on our annual outing to a Cubs game. For those who don't know, the Cubs are a Chicago baseball team that are perennial losers but they always have a huge fan following. Legend is that back in 1945 a tavern owner put a curse on the Cubs in retaliation for refusing stadium entry to his goat. Needless to say I'm glad I've got the garden in at least.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Well done with the wood fires and the maximum toastiness. :-)! It has suddenly become a bit cold hasn't it? The wood fires take a bit of practice and sometimes the technique has to alter to reflect the general humidity (more paper and kindling). It is a real art that one. I reckon it is the most sustainable heating fuel around.

Yeah, operating the levers for the vents are also part of that fine art, aren't they? Glad to hear the suggestion of the welding gloves was put to excellent use and it really stops small and continuous burns on your forearms. No other gloves work as well for a wood fire. And a pair lasts for years too. Nice to read that you are enjoying yourself too. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Your comments in relation to modelling and projections is quite relevant as I've been reading "The Big Short" by the author Michael Lewis. It is a narrative of events leading up to the crash of the subprime mortgage bond market (as well as the loans themselves) and one of the characters used to wheel out his "quant". Now in financial speak a "quant" is the person with the maths background who they wheel out to inspire confidence in the prospective buyers of apparently speculative investments. The interesting thing is that the graphs produced by the quant were - I do not believe - well understood by pretty much anyone other than the quant. But the graphs were an important part of the presentation. Oh well.

Nice for you to have a public holiday and even better to read of the nice weather. We have the Queens birthday public holiday soon. It is very cool and humid here now and the nights are rather brisk.

That is quite a good catch for the mice and I hope that they left some strawberries for you and your son? I generally feed caught mice to the chickens as they love dead mice.

I don't know what to say. Out of interest, did they mention why they grew those particular plants? My neighbour is starting to build a massive bonfire and I'm getting a little bit concerned about the size of the thing as it has to be burnt more or less over the next month or so whilst the forest is very damp. I must go and find out what the plans are, because it seems a bit big.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis

Ah, fair enough. Your winters are quite cold though for such attire!!! Brrr! W.C. Fields has an awful lot of very intelligent and witty quotes to his name. I stumbled across his sayings on a desk calender many long years ago. He appears to be an astute observer of the human condition.

Far out about the snake striking at your foot! Maybe, my fear on those matters is lost in translation... Maybe Set has hatched an evil plot? ;-)!

That is a really good point and thanks for mentioning it. Too true! The table was scratched and marked, but as you say, it was a very fine grain and so the scratches and marks were superficial in nature. Although I moved the table inside the house because of the recent rain and I noticed under different lights that there were some marks on table that I had missed whilst sanding and could only be seen once the table was inside, so back to more sanding...

That chair sounds as if it came up well and you are so right, somethings are just beyond repair. And I'm not entirely sure that chemical paint strippers don't also damage the fibres and grain in the timber.

Have we just inadvertently discovered a new zombie genre? And yes, busy minds do get up to mischief. ;-)! I was reading that Michael Burry also utilised as many hours in the day as possible for productive work. Respect, but alas I need regular and deep sleep in order to function properly. I'm always amazed at how other people seem to get by on such little amounts of sleep. I would feel a bit unfocused.

I have heard of the Satyricon. Of course the satyr! Yes, I suspect the Roman could could be quite debauched by even the standards of today. I'd be very interested to read your take on that work. I haven't had a quiet few hours for a few days now and will drop over to the ADR after replying here.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Spice cake is nice. We call them a Tea Cake down here and they sometimes have apple on the top. Homemade is excellent too. Yum! Yeah, the BLT is known down here but not seen that often. Your CLT sounds like a tasty sandwich too. Substituting the yoghurt for the mayo is a great idea! It is funny that you mention yoghurt, but we had a "Duh!" moment about yoghurt a week or two back and have taken action. That is a story for two weeks time though.

Yeah, the ADR has some what I politely call: "Correctors". I sort of just deal with them and own up to any mistakes and the fun gets taken out of the game for them. They want you to be defensive and they smell blood. I'll check it out.

Ha! Those Cliff Notes sound like a Readers Digest type format. Thanks for the explanation and yeah, Shakespeare knew his way around both the English language and the human condition and foibles. I'll bet he had an interesting back story.

You are ahead of me for sure as I have only the barest grasp of some Latin words and phrases. It is amazing though just how many of those words have wormed their way into the English language. It does make you wonder whether in two millennia the intellectuals of the day will still recall the English language?

Hey, I forgot to mention this but in reading "The Big Short" I see some of those quirky character traits in myself and I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that. I guess it takes a certain mindset to swim against the tides and current of public opinion. Dunno.

The Green Wizards meetup today in the city was good fun. Today, the organiser requested that we each bring in a book that had changed our perspectives and there were some very good choices of books. I was very impressed with the selection and discussions. Plus, the place had tiramisu! Yum!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Many thanks! We're having fun and the projects are quite interesting too.

You are lucky that you do not have to store the firewood under cover. I assume that your winters have a low humidity? Here it is almost 99% humidity for 6 months of the year and as the soils become more biologically active and diverse, the firewood that is exposed to the elements breaks down faster. I'm pondering this matter. By the way, two years is a very good idea as you never know when you may require a break from processing fire wood due to an accident or illness or even just the local weather conditions get feral and so an extra year provides a solid buffer. One of the people at the Green Wizard catch up today made the claim that the climate had taken a bit of a lurch toward the warmer this year.

Yeah. Tolkien wrote that: It is the job that's not started, that's never done. Wise words. You know I take my time with all this stuff so that it is enjoyable. If I were in a massive hurry, it would really be a pain, so I reckon take your time.

Hmmm. Glad to hear that the plantings are all in the ground and I wish you the very best of harvests! It is interesting that you write that, but what I'm noticing is that we seem to be losing the in-between seasons. Dunno, it is just a gut feel thing.

That sounds like a really lovely expedition! It is nice to read that the kids are taking an interest in the real world and birds are endlessly fascinating. When people visit with their kids, they are always fascinated by the antics of the chickens and it is great to get the kids to learn how to steal eggs from underneath the broody birds so that they see where eggs actually come from. Hey, you may be interested to know that the egg count has risen slightly over the past week or so, to about 3 eggs per day now. One chicken "Tuffty head" went into a late moult, so I'll bet that she is really feeling the cold. And in very surprising chicken news an Isa Brown chicken who became a bit ill a month or so back has now made a full recovery - and to be honest, I have never known of a bird that has recovered from an illness before. It is mildly surreal as I was at about the point where I was going to take her out for the good of the flock, but she started to recover. The chickens are a constant source of surprise.

Nice to hear that you are in dairy country. Wow, those are good soils. I feel a bit awful mentioning that the price for milk on international markets has become depressed due to product dumping and the apparent cliffing of suppliers. The local dairy industry has been thrown a lifeline, but it is in the form of concessional loans which to my mind seem like a poison chalice and are the gift that keeps on giving for everyone - the public and the farmers alike.

Go the Chicago Cubs! They sound like an excellent and worthy team. :-)! Thanks for the background story too!

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Yes, the humidity is very low in winter - uncomfortably so. It's the opposite in summer and probably the only reason we have AC. It's used very sparingly. We close windows in the morning and open in the evening. If the humidity is particularly oppressive we'll turn on the AC for a little while to bring it down a notch. It can really mess with food items i.e. salt and sugar cakes up and crackers turn soft. I read in some book about climate change that it'll be high humidity that will be more of an issue than the actual temperature. It's disappointing that we had the windows closed a couple weeks ago due to cold temps and now they're closed again during the day due to high humidity.

The Cubs are the only team where you can buy rooftop tickets. These are building around the perimeter that built bleachers on the roof. They do have many screens as well. We opted to take the brothers to a rooftop as for the price of the ticket you can see the game and all drinks and food (unlimited) is included. As I've mentioned my brothers have intellectual disabilities and a big bonus to the rooftops is they can safely go to the washroom without one of us escorting them to the public ones in the stadium. Also they can be rather clumsy so no food or drink is spilled in the person sitting next to them. One is a huge fan and is very interested in the game and the other gets pretty antsy and prefers to flirt with the bartenders anyway. This option works well for everyone and makes it much less of an ordeal for their sisters :). Unfortunately I don't know how long this will be an option as the team has new owners who are buying up the remaining rooftop buildings. They also put up a huge jumbotron which ruined the visibility of some of the others. My sister lives in the neighborhood of the stadium and the neighborhood is very unhappy with many of the changes.

Well it looks like very little chance of rain over the next ten days so some watering is on the agenda for today. Might be shaping up to be a challenging growing season.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I must get hold of a copy of 'The Big Short' as it sounds like something that I would find very interesting. Mind you I am drowning in books that I am currently reading which includes 'The biggest estate on earth'.

Son used to give the dead mice to his ferrets but he has no ferrets at the moment. I am sure that he doesn't know that chickens eat dead mice, I'll tell him.

I have no idea how the neighbours decided what plants to use, I doubt that they no either. I was shown them today and am as puzzled as my son. He thought that I would recognise the ones that they are calling runner beans, I didn't. The pointed leaves had a dark mark in the centre goodness knows what they are.

@ Lew

'I live to serve' was hilarious in its context, I laughed out loud.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Our snakes, though not poisonous, still give me a turn. A human, primal thing, I guess. The little fellow just didn't know any better. Given the opportunity, and a little space, our's just head in the opposite direction.

Yes, liquid chemical strippers raise the grain, a bit. The worst are volume refinishers that use dip tanks. Dip the whole thing in a tank of liquid and then power wash off the gunk with water. Now that REALLY raises the grain. Some pieces of furniture I referred to as "skinned." Not a good thing. Oh, it all boils down to what you can live with, as far as the scratches go. Sometimes when I'm considering a bit of tat that has a bit of damage, I ask myself "Can I live with this?" A bit of damage (scratches) on furniture or worn places can add a bit of "character."

Since most of the Loeb translations were done a long time ago, I expect a certain amount of ... Victorian delicacy when they get to the raunchy parts. :-). Or, they'll leave a line or two in the original Latin and let you draw your own conclusions.

I thought you might be going to the Green Wizards meeting. Don't torture us, throw out a few titles :-). Ought to be interesting. I always like those questions, in interviews, where they ask about the book that most influenced the interviewee.

The Correctors. I like that. A lot more civil than other names I could come up with, but this is a family friendly blog. :-). I'd rather ignore them and imagine them fuming away, that I didn't take the bait. Once, on E-Bay, I asked a question about a comic book, and got a rather sarcastic reply from, probably, some 14 year old, living in his mother's basement. But, I didn't respond, and, a few days later, got a much more civil reply ... and the information I was seeking :-). Of course, another thing I've got to remind myself of, is, on the Net, and in "real life", when someone rubs me the wrong way, I check to see if, perhaps, I've taken a dislike to a person, because they're displaying a trait that I don't like, in myself? More than I'd like to admit, sometimes, that's true. Or, perhaps it's something I'm afraid of?

Well, it's the Memorial Day weekend. A Federal holiday. Another holiday that has the date moved to create a three day week end. So, you have Memorial Day ... and, Memorial Day Observed. Some holidays are sacred, and the date remains the same. 4th of July, Christmas. Oddly, Christmas is an official holiday, but Easter, isn't. Others are fair game. Halloween is not an official holiday. Sometimes celebrated "on the day", sometimes the weekend, before. St. Patrick's Day, is not an official holiday, but everyone seems to celebrate it. Lots of green beer is slopped around. Your mileage may vary. Now when they create a holiday, it's generally "third monday in May", or some such. Thanksgiving has been moved around, a number of times. I looked up Memorial Day and learned a few things ...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

I'd started to wonder about the difference between Memorial Day and Veteran's Day. OK. Memorial day is supposed to be about honoring the military dead. But over the years, at least in my part of America, it's the Veterans and any relatives. Real family occasions. Veteran's Day honors all service people, living AND dead. Federal, official holidays, all Federal offices are close, most State offices, no mail delivery, banks closed, library closed ... but, it's closed on Mondays, anyway. All very confusing, or can be. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for the explanation - and down here those weather conditions would be considered to be tropical weather patterns, but you have a more temperate environment than the tropical areas down here. Interesting stuff. I was wondering whether you would be subject to severe storms over your summer as the heat combined with the wind and moisture tends to drive the occasional tropical weather system like hurricanes perhaps into your part of the world? Dunno.

I do the same thing during the hot days over summer too. Close up the house during the heat of the day and then leave it open all night to allow for the cooler night air to move through the house. Oh yeah, that sounds right about the food items too. Drying would be a nightmare. Plus the vegetation in the surrounding area would go through periods of boom and bust. Do you notice that your compost heaps are more active during high summer? For your info, the lack of humidity over summer here tends to slow plant growth and decomposition. Right now, it is in overdrive, but the weather is cooling and so is the soil.

Yeah, high temperatures and high humidity are really tough, but you sort of get used to it and adjust your life accordingly. In SE Asia they experience that weather, but tend to have quiet times during the middle of the day and there is a lot more activity at night. The dry and very hot summers here tend to keep me inside the house during the middle of the day, although most people tend to operate on an industrially derived pattern. My gut feel is that our work patterns don't actually fit the environments that we find ourselves in.

Thanks for the on the ground story, and those roof top seats sound ideal, especially given the circumstances. Public toilets are a hassle and whilst they are usually OK, sometimes they are just an outright strange experience. On several occasions I've had to tell people: Look mate, I just have to use the toilet! The new owners appear to be squashing the competition. The Cubs sound like an enjoyable team to follow. I rarely follow any sports nowadays but used to watch a lot of cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground which is a huge stadium.

Out of curiosity, how do your chickens cope with the high humidity? The chicken enclosure here has a good deal of air flow and it is often cooler in the chicken run during a very hot day than outside in the shade and the hens seem to appreciate that. I've noticed as autumn is getting on that there seems to be a bit of scaly leg mite on one or two of the hens, although it doesn't seem to be too much of a problem yet.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yes, I believe that you would enjoy the read. The characters are very quirky (and real) and well, to take a bet against the system and put your money behind it makes for a very interesting person and story. ;-)!

No worries, winter is your time for sitting in front of a heater enjoying a nice cup of tea and a good book. Winter is unfortunately the very busy time for me down here as heavy construction can take place without keeling over from heat exhaustion. I find that the middle of the day during summer provides lots of down time. I reckon Bill Gammage had to belabor the point in the book because he was writing about what is for most people an unpalatable subject. I found it fascinating, but didn't quite need the repetition.

His chickens will genuinely appreciate the dead mice and they will have hours of fun. If he has time, he can observe them playing the game chasey, and they tear the mouse to bits that way because they lack teeth.

Ha! Who knows what the plant is or what they were thinking! At least the neighbours are communicating with you and your son. I managed to really annoy one of my neighbours today. It was an impressive effort! Last year they built a bonfire of accumulated forest timber (which is fine by me). However, the bonfire was so big and so close to the surrounding trees that the fire caught in the bark of one of the very tall trees next to that bonfire. The other neighbour adjacent to him had apparently said that the day was a very low risk and there was no way I would have suggested that option for one moment on that particular day - it was hot and gusty and had been dry for weeks. What's going on?

We could not put the fire out with hoses and water pumps from my place and the fire was slowly creeping up into the canopy of the tree - from where it would spread to adjacent trees. Anyway, we eventually dropped the huge tree that was on fire and my chainsaw had to be used for that job. That mess took three of us over two hours to sort out and my chainsaw was damaged in the process and the neighbour kindly replaced the damaged bar the very next day - although the chain was also damaged which I didn't know at the time. It was a total drama.

So, the neighbour has been creating another huge bonfire pile, right next to very large trees. Again. And so this morning, I went over to have a chat with him - he does not live on that block of land and visits only semi-regularly and we offered to set the bonfire off and monitor it so that it does not get out of control again and best of all we could pick the exact day to ignite it so that it was very low risk.

I expected him to go: Thanks for the help, no worries. But no, apparently that was a personal affront and he walked off on me. I yelled out to him as he was walking away that I'm no trying to break his balls, we're just trying to help. Next time, I'll call the local fire brigade if it happens and he can deal with them and explain himself.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Exactly, I reckon it is a primal thing too. Usually snakes are very sensitive to motion and vibrations in the ground so they do the same thing here too - give them room to get on with their business. I tend to avoid them if I can, and then if you stay very still, it is unlikely they will ever bite you. Easier said than done though. Snakes rarely bite rocks and trees etc. and if you stand still that is pretty much how they'll see you. That is the theory anyway.

I've seen that. It almost gives the finished timber a sort of sand blasted look and the grain leaves huge troughs and hollows. Exactly, it is whatever you can live with. And honestly, I do not expect perfection. I tend to believe that people that expect perfection suffer from unrealistic expectations - usually from other people and rarely from themselves. :-)! Character is a good thing! The sanding continued this afternoon and hopefully will be completed tomorrow (maybe).

Yeah, those Victorians really were quite an uptight lot when it comes to that aspect of life. Still, I've been hearing of some disturbing things recently and as usual there is always the middle ground which is often overlooked in peoples desires to go from one extreme to another.

Ha! Here goes: Affluenza: When Too Much is Never Enough
The Long Emergency
The World Without Us
And of course, I took The Big Short (which I was reading on the train in and out)!
There were a couple of other books too. And everyone spoke highly of JMG's books.

Well, I'm with you and thought those names for the displays of sheer pedantry. They need to get a grip. Honestly, they pick me up on the slightest error too and honestly, it is not hard to find them and I'm honest enough to admit to it and say: yeah, whatever!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Mind you, people are very easily offended, without even trying. Check out the story from today in the reply to Inge above this comment! Oh my. You can rub people the wrong way just by being yourself, so who knows what's going on? Fear is certainly a big part and the mirror is definitely there as well. Sometimes people mistake my politeness though and believe that I'm also accommodating to their silliness - and when the find out otherwise, they get really upset. Perhaps we should just turn into grouchy old grumple-stiltskins? What do you reckon about that? I reckon that is a solid idea! :-)!

Oh, I would have thought that Thanksgiving Day would have been fixed in stone. Interesting. St Patrick's day is massive here in the inner city suburbs. I used to visit a local Irish pub (The Dan O'Connell) when I lived in the inner suburbs who used to block off the road, hire a U2 cover band and sell a lot of green beer. It was messy, but fun. At least I could walk home. Ah, Memorial day and Veteran's day are melded into Anzac day which traditionally begins with a dawn service where a minutes silence is observed and the last post is called by a horn player. It is a chilling bit of music to listen too on a cold late autumn morning in the dark as the sun slowly peeks above the horizon. Sorry to digress, but my grandfather flew WWII bombers over Europe - he gave me his old flight jacket, which I still have - and him and his mates used to get rotten drunk on Anzac day drinking milk and whiskey. I get the whiskey, but I couldn't quite understand the milk bit - but then it may have been a stomach lining thing. On the drive home he used to tell me that: I've been driving for 40 years and I'm OK to drive today. Sure enough we never had an accident either, although I was way to young to understand the situation. It would have been nice to have an adult chat with the old man before he passed, but life turned out differently.

No way, it is 2.2'C (36'F) outside right now. Brrr! I did more excavations today and made another concrete step. It has been very cloudy here over the past week or so, but it looks like it will be cold and sunny for the next week which should be nice.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I told Son that chickens will eat the mice. He queried whether it depends on the breed of chicken. He said that some of his are fussy and some will eat anything including each other.

Regarding the weird neighbour planting, Son suggested that I speak to the chap doing the work ( he lives on their land and works for them). I said that I can't because I think that he doesn't like me as he knows that I don't like his dog. Not the dog's fault that it is totally undisciplined. Son expressed horror and said that the man loves his dog more than life itself i.e. what have I done! Ah well!

Yes fire potential where you are is very scary.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

We aren't actually in dairy country anymore. Most farms here are soy, corn, winter wheat or hay. There is a growing number of small diversified growers for farmers markets and CSAs. Years ago though the area had many dairy farms. There are still a few left.

My granddaughters are home schooled and probably the reason they have a wide variety of interests. They only watch occasional movies - no TV and very little computer time. That day the girls spent at least 15 minutes watching a caterpillar. They are part of a large home school group that has it's own girl scout troop and theater group. The group is very diversified as well as far as methods. My daughter says her biggest problem is those that unschool as the kids have full control of what they want to do and don't have any responsibilities around the house. The twins often argue about their household chores comparing themselves with their unschooled friends. The only other downside I've noticed is that my daughter has very little time to pursue her own interests.

Yes, we often have severe storms when warm and cold fronts collide. Tornadoes are a real danger around here as are derechos. A few years we had a derecho go through and lost power for 3 days. Other areas lost power for a week - this was all in the chicago metro area. The outages were scattered. Our town just 5 miles away had power as did the gas station just 3 miles away. Biggest issue for us was lack of water - especially for the pigs. We had a generator but it didn't work with the water pump. We had to haul water over the three days. Shortly after that we got a larger generator and got the house wired so the water pump, sump pump one refrigerator and furnace would go on just by plugging in the generator into a special outlet. Additional extension cords can be used for other items like our freezers. We keep our gas cans filled so we could be OK for a pretty long time using the generator sparingly. The next year we had another outage for a day and a half and just having water made all the difference.

I'm not a fan of professional sports but the baseball is pretty tolerable. It's such a big deal for one of my brothers so it's fun just to see his excitement.

Regarding the chickens in high humidity - sometimes I use a fan or a put out a sprinkler for them. It's much more an issue for the cornish cross meat chickens as they are bred to be raised in a climate controlled building. The heat and humidity is also an issue for the pigs. They need to have a waterhole to keep cool and protect themselves from flies.

Well we had an unexpected storm last night - not a lot of rain but enough that I don't have to water so scored a little extra time today.

That neighbor sounds like quite the jerk and foolhardy as well.

Margaret


margfh said...

For JMG's homework I picked "Robinson Crusoe" as it was in my bookcase and isn't too terribly long and fits the other qualifications. Hopefully I'll get it done in two weeks but I promise nothing.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Inge,

When I teach my class about raising chickens I'll point out the ridiculousness of vegetarian eggs with a description of how my chickens fight over dead mice.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Seemed like every old western movie had the obligatory scene where a rattle snake was crawling over someone. Often the new school marm, who you wanted to impress with your shooting skills :-).

There was a way to get rid of some troughs and dents in wood. Involved a damp towel and a clothes iron. I'll just keep in mind what Voltaire, Confucius and Chris says "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." :-).

Look around and one notices all sorts of disturbing trends. Bad language, for instance. A couple of times, I've said to (usually) ten year old boys, who have discovered a new "bad word" and are layering it on a bit to thickly in a public place "Do you eat with that mouth?" or, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" Well, we all know I've been known to throw around a few bombs, but they're a lot more effective if they're used in moderation. Saved up for special occasions :-).

Well, as far as JMG's books go, I haven't read all of them. But, off the top of my head, I'd have to say that my two favorites are "The Long Descent" (which pretty much kicked off the whole thing, for me) and "Green Wizardry." Beyond that, other authors, I'd have to think on that til my head hurt :-).

Well, some people can't be told anything, even when it's for their own good. No matter how deftly you go about it. And, it's often a "guy" thing. I'd say, keep an eye on it and call the fire brigade, if things get out of hand. The Evil Stepson is a bit of a pyro. I keep an eye on him. Sounds like you had a rough week, all around. Better times, next week.

Well, I think I've made it pretty clear that even though I don't tipple myself, I'm not a Prohibitionist. But there seems to be a certain segment of the population that will seize on any excuse to get falling down drunk. Centralia has the informal "Tower Crawl." The night before Thanksgiving, all the college kids are home for the holiday. They hit all the watering holes, on Tower Avenue, the main drag through town. Some years, it's just this side of a riot. The City has finally learned to have extra officers on, that night, and several bars have private security, on tap. So to speak. :-)

Well, something very rare for me. I think I'm coming down with a cold. Raw throat, yesterday, and have a pretty stuffy head, today. Think I'll lay low and stick with soup like things to eat. Lew