Sunday, January 22, 2006

Yesterday I drove over to Mayfield to get a dog. The previous one wouldn't stay home, sometimes disappearing for weeks at a time. When he took up the hobby of assassinating the neighbor's chickens, he had to go. I put an ad in the paper and found a family in town where they have a fence to keep him home.

This new one is a lab/pointer mix, black with white feet and a white tip on her tail, about three months old. The pointer part shows up when she's running around and stops, and raises one front paw the way pointers do. She seems pretty smart. When I first put a collar and a leash on her, she threw a major fit over this new and frighteneing experience. An hour and a half later she was walking with the leash like an expert.

Today she went along when I went to cut firewood. She had fun running around among the trees, but when I used the chain saw she got in the truck and stayed there.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Today I got the last of the sheetrock put up in the bathroom, on the south wall. That leaves just the east wall to do, and due to the rock & concrete construction on that side I'll have to use plywood to cover it. The interesting part will be figuring out how to attach the plywood and make it fit around the concrete at an angle to fit behind the door.

After a wait of three months, the tile dealer finally made it out here Friday afternoon to measure and figure out how much of which tile I need. Saturday I ordered one of those fancy sliding-door shower enclosures, and will need to wait for it to arrive (in a couple of weeks, the salesman said) before finalizing exactly how wide the tile in the shower needs to be.

I'd like to get the bathroom finished by spring, since I invited a cousin to join in a tractor restoration, and don't want to keep him waiting forever.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Well, after a few weeks of being too chicken and too lazy to get out in early morning freezing weather, I just went out and did my three miles in 31:50. I guess that's not too bad after a month or so of inactivity. It's a passing score on the Marine fitness test for age 46 or more. I have to get it down to 30 minutes to pass for ages 40-45, and 29 minutes for ages 27-39. Will I ever get it down to 28 minutes and pass for ages 17-26? Not likely. I was never a good runner, so if I can get it down to 29 minutes that will be pretty good. It's better than I cound have done forty or fifty years ago.


Saturday, January 28, 2006

Today I spackled cracks and screw holes in the bathroom sheetrock. While that was drying I went down to the woodlot and worked on roadbuilding. In this case, roadbuilding is done with pruning shears and chainsaw. The area was pasture, but over the decades it has grown up in trees and brush. So building a road consists of cutting a path through a tangle of Osage orange, eastern red cedar, sand plums, hackberry, honeysuckle, elm, oak, and other volunteer vegetation. The immediate goal is to get to fallen dead trees to cut up for firewood, and to clear enough roadway to make a loop that will eliminate having to back up to turn the truck around.

Molly the pup was having a grand time running round through the brush, but after a while she disappeared. I was a little worried she might have wandered of and gotten lost, or eaten by a wild hog, or kidnapped by the CIA. When I went to the truck to refill the chainsaw, there she was, curled up on the seat taking a nap. In a few minutes she was back to bounding through the brush and grass, and kept at it until quitting time at five.

I went to eat at the Beijing Garden Chinese buffet, which has been an excellent improvement in Arkansas City. It's good food, all you can eat for $6.94. For years the only way to get a good Chinese meal was to leave the state or drive to Wichita. Now we have two good places, Beijing and Chinese Chef. I gripe about them wasting space on stuff I could have at home, like canned corn and fried potatoes, instead of more Chinese dishes, but they point out that that's what the customers want. The same goes for the shortage of spicy dishes. I guess their conforming to local small town tastes with too much American and/or bland food is the price for having any good Chinese food at all.