Posts

Graduations

Image
  This day has been looming for awhile and though I am excited for it, I'm not sure I'm emotionally ready. My eldest daughter is graduating high school and my youngest is graduating elementary school. The former weighs on my a lot more than the latter. Preparations have been in the works for months, mostly by my wife and daughter. I have done a few things but haven't been pulling nearly my weight on this project. On this day, the morning of the graduation party, my job was to set up a tent that we bought from a friend whose son graduated a couple years ago, and set it up. As one would expect, the directions were lacking but I eventually got it figured out. Below you can see it partially set up with the roof in place and lashed down where I could. Knowing a bowline and trucker's hitch knots are keys in getting a flimsy affair like this tent lashed down to where only a moderate wind might jeopardize it.  We are holding our graduation party a day earlier than most so that

Root Crops

Image
  Although we've been getting timely and adequate rains thus far this year, normally our summers here can be a bit dry. So we started mulching in our garden by mulching around the potato crop seen above. Because this is a new garden, it lacks in organics in the soil which help retain moisture for longer periods of time. This is very evident when immediately after an inch of rain, I can walk out in the garden and barely sink. In our old garden, doing that would guarantee my shoes would be buried in mud up to my ankles. So my hope is that I can till all the straw into the soil this fall and help to start building up the organic load along with any remaining crop residue. Some of you may remember that after I tilled the lawn last year to create this garden, I seeded it down with Daikon radishes in order to help build up the organic load and to help penetrate down into the harder layers below the top soil to allow moisture be absorbed even more. I didn't yet have a fence and after

Legacy Man Living In a Subscription World

Image
A.I Generated My old computer was getting very long in the tooth. The root drive for installing programs had long since filled up and despite installing those I could on another partitioned drive, it still caused issues. The operating system had been upgraded from I think, Windows 7 which was a thing 15 years ago. All in all, it was time to upgrade before the thing just completely shot craps.  So I got a new one with features like Solid State Drives and a new operating system, Windows 11. Whenever I have upgraded in the past, I have always expected problems and this time was no different, but the nature of the problems has shocked me a bit. Nearly every single program has gone to a subscription model. I don't like subscriptions. I'm not a heavy user so why do I want to pay for something I may only use a few times a year. I just want a no frills software that gets what I want done, which I can reliably use without updates or learning for the next decade.  Microsoft Office came u

Updates On Three Fronts

Image
  First, a brief update on my wife's vehicle. The problem turned out not to be a fuel pump issue at all and one that was easily fixed. For some reason, the oil fill cap came off and bounced around upside down in a recess where it was located. This allowed a small amount of oil to spray the inside of the engine compartment and the heat of the engine burned that spilled oil and thus gave us the odor that we both though smelled like fuel. They cleaned up the engine compartment, changed the oil and put the cap back on in place and everything is right with the world. Perhaps due to the recent bruhaha with my vehicle, all was done free of charge. Of course they accused me of not putting on the cap but I have never opened the hood on that thing in the 5000 miles we have put on it since it was brand new from the factory. I suspect that it was never tight to begin with and engine vibrations caused it to eventually come loose.  Finally, a month late, my asparagus crowns came in and so I till

Taking a Calculated Risk

Image
Last fall, I saw the handwriting on the wall and proactively installed a hitch onto the family minivan. At the same time, I neglected to install wiring that would run the lights of any cable I may pull behind said minivan. The reason for that was because it requires a wire to be run from the rear taillights, all the way underneath the minivan and up through the engine compartment. It would be a fairly easy task with a vehicle lifts and not one that I can accomplish without one. I told myself at the time that I might try to find someone who does such things to finish but never did. I also told myself that one of the advantages of living in very rural America, is that I rarely have a car overtake me or I overtake another car in my drive from my house to the farm. In other words, it is unlikely to be a safety hazard. Two years ago, I bought enough clean rye straw to last several years and stored it in an outbuilding down on the farm. We use it to mulch our gardens to preserve moisture and