Friday, October 26, 2018

Things Fall Apart

I haven't posted on a quite a while, mainly because I never took the time to sit down and do it. I guess I have fallen out of the habit. I need to set aside a specific time every day and just do it.

Things have not gone well in the last week

First, I had gone in to town to pick up a few things, like lacquer for a table I am working on. As I was coming back, going up third ave. I downshifted and a loud rattly clatter, clatter, and the truck quit running.

I managed to get off the road. I got out and raised the hood. A small wisp of smoke drifted up from the engine by the exhaust manifold. On closer inspection there was a hole about the size of my fist in the block. I have been wanting to get a different truck for a couple of years, but was having a hard time selling the idea. Guess I get my truck. It was kinda weird because although the truck had the correct amount of oil and water, neither one spilled on the road. So now I am looking for a used 4 X 4 truck. I am in no hurry.

Then our daughter Lisa's fiance' Keith came down sick. We all had a cols at about the same time, but he just kept getting worse and worse. Then he started having belly pain. And it kept getting worse. On Wednesday his eyes turned yellow, so he went to the Hospital. He had a mass on his pancreas that was blocking the bile duct on his liver, so they shipped him off to Tacoma for surgery. The result was not good. He has inoperable cancer of the pancreas. At this point we don't know how much time he has or what he wants to do. He implied today that he wants to go back to Missouri where his mother is, but we don't know anything yet. He will be coming back here tomorrow, and I guess we will have to figure it out from there. I feel so sorry for Lisa. She finally found someone who is perfectly suited for her, and she is going to lose him.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

End of the Alley

When I was n the Army on Okinawa from 68 to 70, I helped start a nightclub.
There wasn't a lot of decent entertainment there. Tittie bars, strip clubs, and a few pitiful music clubs attempting rock n roll. On the weekend we would wander around looking for something different.
Bt we, I mean the enlisted personnel of the Psychiatric Service Clinic in Sukiran.
Sukiran had no nightlife, but Kadena was right down the road.
We were exploring the bars and ended up in a little hole in the wall bar having a drink when this chick strolls in with a guitar. Single white women were a rarity, and a chick with a guitar had our interest.
We asked her to play us a tune, and she did 500 Miles. Cool.
I played and sang, so it was suggested I play a tune. I pointed out that I played left handed, with the strings backwards. She said "In case you didn't notice, this IS a left handed guitar."
Holy Shit! What a convergence of stars.
So I played a finger pickin' version of Don't think twice. She countered with another folk tune, I played Portland Town.
Back and forth. The place slowly filled up until we had a pretty good audience. Then another guy walked in with a guitar, and he joined in. We were having a great time, drinking beer BSing and trading tunes and tunings. When I came time to leave, the two Okinawan ladies who owned the place cornered us and said "You come back Tomorrow, yes?"
So we did.
They had set up a small stage and a mic. and a couple of speakers. Word had gotten around and there was a pretty good crowd. We had a blast.
This was a weekends only thing, but every weekend we put together an open mic night. They owners expanded the stage and the bar twice, and Saturday nights it was standing room only.
It became too much BS and I dropped out after a while, but for a while I was a part of something great.
Funny how things slide in through the back of your head and pop up in you consciousness.
Here's something that popped into my head today

                                      Moose Goosers

Then moose goosers ain't they a gas
sneak up on them moose
an goose 'em in the ass
Goosin' them big moose
goosin' them tiny
sneak up on them moose
goose em in the hiney
You can be a moose gooser
ain't nothin to it
SNeak up on that moose
then you goose it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Arthritis & Stuff

As I get older, the accumulation of damage I have done to my body over the years adds up.
I have bad arthritis in my neck. When it is bad, in addition to the pain in my neck, I can lose feeling in the thumb and forefinger of my right hand, or ring and little finger of my left hand. This is the result of multiple rear end accidents in the car. Not me hitting someone, but someone hitting me. I used to say I ought to just paint a bullseye on the back of my car.
My left shoulder is messed up from my time in the Army, for which I receive a small disability pension. When it is bad, it feels like my arm is going to fall off. I strained it the other day splitting wood, so I have an appointment at the Orthopedic Clinic on Friday to get a cortisone shot. Cortisone to me is a magic bullet. Immediate relief.
Did I mention my appointment is on Friday the 13th?
My neighbor up the road has a small one man sawmill. He also has 40 acres and sells custom cut cedar lumber. He is down to making 2 X 4s because he has used up all the larger stuff. I had asked him to take a look at a tall dead Douglas Fir I want to take down. He got real excited when he saw some of the cedars on my property. I have some large cedars that are close to four feet in diameter. Prime cedar of that size is getting hard to find.He has suggested a couple of ideas of mutually beneficial plans for him to get his hands on some of my trees.
Of course he wants the largest trees, and those are the ones I don't want cut.
I would like a small road put in around the perimeter of the property just so I can get to the areas with my pickup. He has a backhoe.
I want siding for the greenhouse. Cedar would look nice.
I want to build a wood shop. A combination of fir and cedar would work well.
Lots of possibilities.
The neighbor is off fishing in the Colombia for  walleye.
We have agreed to get together and come up with a plan when he gets back.
Until then I have handrails to cut and peel for the deck.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sledding Hill

When you go to the end of our driveway and look to the south, the pavement ends in about a hundred yards. On the left side of the road, there is one house about a quarter of a mile south. On the right there is not another house. There is National Forest and Olympic National Park. The next house would be somewhere around Hoodsport or Shelton.
The road goes up. Then it goes up, then up from there. I have heard that the uphill is constant for seven miles.  I have heard that the grade is 14 percent, which is pretty steep. I have driven to the top once.
Around a half of a mile up the road is a steel gate, which is always open. Another half a mile up the road is another pair of gates, which are usually closed except during hunting season. One of the roads goes across the side of the hill, the other continues up.
There is very little vehicle traffic on the unpaved road. Especially when it snows.
Where the road changes from paved to gravel, a road takes off to the West. There are several houses on that road. It dead ends about a quarter a mile in.
This makes the hill an excellent sledding hill. The snow compacts well, and the road ends up very slick. The last time it snowed, we had to rescue three vehicles from the ditch. A fourth truck made it out without our help. Three of the four were on the same 40 foot stretch of road.
You need to have a sled that steers, because the road is not straight. Not a lot of sharp turns, but enough that you will end up in the ditch or maybe over the embankment. I think I need to invest in an old runner style sled.
If they open the upper gate, the sled run is 7 miles long, and I have heard you can reach speeds of 40 mph.
What could go wrong?

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Deck


About two years ago, I decided to build a deck off of the front of the house. Being the kind of person I am, It would not be like any other deck around.
I didn't want anything that was available commercially, so I figured I would build it myself from timber I made myself, harvested on our property, milled myself.
The first thing I needed to figure out was how to mill my own dimensional lumber. So I did some research and found the Alaska Mill, which attaches to a chain saw. I would need to upgrade my saw, so I bought a Stihl 362C, approximately $820 with a 24" bar., Alaska Mill to attach to it $320.
I selected two cedars for the decking. Felled them and cut them into two inch thick planks. Set them aside to age for a year' Also felled a fir tree to make the supports with. Set it aside.
Last fall, we decided to build a small greenhouse, eight by sixteen feet. For the work surface I removed the little existing deck from the house and use the Trex to build a couple of workbenches, so I decided that meant it was time to start working on the deck/
We dug out the cedar and fir, and bought the pier blocks, layed out the boards. They had a lot of saw marks on the so I used my hand held electric plane to work out the saw marks Half of the dedck is now fastened. After the weather breaks, I still need to do a little finish sanding on the deck so I can put on the weaatherproofing (clear Thompsons Water Seal.)
I will have to cut down another cedar to make the boards to close out the deck.
The upper part of the cedar I will use to make posts for the deck, after I peel off the bark. I will use peeled cedar poles for the handrails. Use maple branches to fill in.
As you can see, the boards are all 16 foot, and of various widths by two inches thick.
You can't buy the boards at Loews or Home Depot.
I guess I am about halfway through with the project.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Long time Comin'

Haven't been around here much lately. Just have been rel busy with stuff. Wood working, land clearing, lumber making.
I was out looking around the property the other day, and noticed a nice sized fir tree, maybe 80 feet tall standing there dead. Looks to have died fairly recently, like withing a couple of years, so it ought to be in pretty good shape.
My garage is getting pretty crowded with wood for projects, projects in mid stream and wood working tools and supplies.
If I have free wood, and the desire for a shop, it is a simple but time consuming thing to turn the tree into lumber and assemble a shed.
First thing is to decide where to put it.
There happens to be a fairly flat spot behind the wood shed. No big trees, fairly level, covered in ferns and salal.  I took the DR Trimmer mower out there with the toughest cutters and cleared out a 14 X 20' area behind the wood shed, and cut down some scrub alders. About that time my back gave out on me, and it has been slow to recover. Getting old pisses me off. I am always attempting to do stuff and my body just says "Whoa there dude, you are exceeding the design specs."
So at the moment I am having to take it easy, which grates on me.
Yesterday I spent part of the day cleaning the garage, but when I got bored, I went to build a raised bed box for the garden. I didn't last too long. swinging a hammer just wasn't in the cards.
I also have a request from Carol to build a greenhouse. That won't be cheap. Harbor Freight has one 10' X 12' for $650, but I need to figure out where to put it, level the ground. The fun never stops.