MARCH 2010


Monday, February 1, 2010

My expectations may be thwarted. Usually snow disappears fairly quickly here, but not this time. The main roads are mostly dry, but otherwise very little has melted. Highs have been in the thirties and low forties, with just one sunny day, and not much wind. The ten day forecast has six days cloudy and four mostly cloudy, and just one day with a high as warm as 50º, so this snow may stay longer than usual.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This was shopping day. I spent most of the afternoon getting groceries, and got home with just enough time to bring in wood for the evening. There was enough sun today to get some melting done, so the secondary roads are mostly clear. And it's 47 days until spring.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today I spent the afternoon saving email. My mailbox is almost full, so I got busy today saving what I want to keep and deleting it from the mailbox. I got through a month's worth, and went from 99% full to 98% full. It may take awhile to get through it all.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

When I left for work at 5:15 it was in a heavy snowfall. But the overnight low was above freezing and the snow soon turned to a light mist that went on all day. By the time I got home at 3:15 a lot of the snow on lawns and fields had melted. Unfortunately the ten day forecast calls for a lot of cloudy days and several with precipitation, so the ground is likely to remain soggy for quite a while. So this afternoon I worked on filing email again. Now my inbox is only 94% full.


Friday, February 5, 2010

It was shopping day. I went to the Kansas Coliseum north of Wichita for the annual swap meet and hunted for bargains. I got a good set of Model T wheels with demountable rims for my touring car. The wheels on the car are the older type with non-demountable rims, so these new ones will be handier. I also found a wrench for $2 and a running board luggage rack for $1. It was a good day.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Today I cleaned up the wheels I bought yesterday and gave them a close inspection. The wheels are in very good shape, and the demountable rims are fair. I could use these, but the 21-inch split-rim wheels are really for 1925 and later. I'm thinking I may give these wheels a nice paint job and trade them for some 23-inch demountable clinchers that would be correct for my 1923 touring. That way I could use the tires that are on my current non-demountable wheels instead of buying new 21-inch tires to fit these wheels. I finished the day with dinner at the new Chinese restaurant. It was there before, but was closed for remodeling and reopened under new ownership and management, so in effect it's new. I thought it was very good. After dinner I went to see Dear John, and was glad to see a movie for grownups, about something real. No spooks, space aliens, or orange explosions, just a good story well told.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

I never went off the place today. I spent most of the day cutting and bringing in firewood. Here's the 3:39 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA0m2gQ4Kbg.


Monday, February 8, 2010

Today I had a lovely session of wire brushing old paint and rust off a pair of brake drums. I was in the barn out of the wind, but it was plenty chilly in there. Spring is forty days away, and I'm ready for warmer days. Yesterday I noticed daffodils starting to push up out of the ground. They're in for a rude surprise.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

After a low in the teens I hoped the ground would be frozen hard enough that I could get sufficient traction to pull the truck out of its mud hole. I wanted to use the big tractor with the weights on it, but I couldn't get it started. So I tried with the Model B. No go. The wheels spun and dug in, and the truck stayed put. I'll try again when I can get the WD started.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Since my cousin Marge died last month her husband hasn't been able to get any info out of her computer, so I dropped in after work and spent about an hour and a half working on it. Dealing with all that microsoft stuff is sort of like being in a commonwealth country where they speak English but it's different enough to be confusing. I ended by sending a message to the email provider asking for a help phone number so somebody can talk us through opening her email.


Thursday, February 11, 2011

I spent a big chunk of the afternoon sending off a letter to the editor of the Traveler. I hope it will get into the paper in the next few days.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Today I worked on those wheels I bought last week. Some of the spokes had little holes in them, so I filled them with plastic wood. I spent a large part of the afternoon cutting up old boards for firewood, then went to the welding supply to get acetylene and oxygen and some stainless welding rod. I won't use that last item for welding. I'll use it to make hangers for a basket in the shower to hold razor, shampoo, toothbrush, etc. My last chore of the afternoon was to go to La Fiesta and buy a dozen tamales, two for tonight and the rest for the freezer. Real tamales are a great treat.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Other than a 30% chance of rain next Thursday, the forecast is for ten dry days. I'm hoping that will dry the ground enough for towing out the stuck truck. When I looked at it yesterday the ruts were still full of water. All the snow this winter has been keeping the ground really wet. After doing laundry this morning I drove over to Harper and spent the day at an auction. Today's haul was a shop light for $12.50, a Stanley hammer and three trowels for $3, a couple of Electrolux vacuums and a couple of boxes of attachments for $1, and a pair of gas cans for $3. A woman who bought a pile of other stuff was going to throw away a steel storage box, so I got that free. I did bid on a few other items, but other people were willing to pay more for them than I was. I had dinner at La Fiesta, then went to see Wolfman, a very well done remake of the 1941 horror classic. After seeing a movie that featured wolf howls, I was out behind the house and heard coyotes calling out in the fields.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm enjoying the results of my surgery. Friday I sharpened my pocket knife and sliced off the callus on my left foot that had me feeling like I was walking around with a rock in my boot. Much better now. Today I got back to working on wheels. Cooking them to dry the plastic wood revealed loose spokes. I'll have to make some wood shims and pound them in to tighten the spokes.


Monday, February 15, 2010

A chore at work recently has been dismantling old screens to make storage space. Today I brought home a trunk full of the boards to cut up for firewood. It took over a half hour to unload all of it. Today being rather chilly and windy, I just stacked it all in the barn and will saw it later.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It was dental day. Specifically, time for another cleaning with the little squirty thing that makes the funny noise. By the time I finished with that and shopped for groceries the afternoon was spent.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

After work I drove down to the tribal casino to fill up the car. The trip of three miles is worth while because the price is usually about a dime per gallon less than in town. My next stop was the body shop. When I was in Harper for the auction saturday I parked in the street, and a man backing out of his driveway ran into my car and crunched the driver's side door. The insurance adjuster looked at it Monday, and today I made the appointment to have the repair done.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

It was one of those warm days, almost 60º, when it's colder inside the house than outside, and I opened the front and back doors to let the warmer air in. I went to work on the non-starting tractor and found out what was wrong with it. The ignition switch I installed in April is already defunct. When I bypassed the switch the tractor started with no trouble. Tomorrow I'll get a new switch.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh, No! Disaster has struck! I neglected buy onions when I bought groceries this week, so I had to eat my chili beans and tamales tonight with just cheese and jalapeño slices. Ah well, I shall recover eventually. I didn't get much done at home this afternoon because I spent so much time in town today. In addition to the usual Friday grocery stop, I looked into getting some kind of light source for scanning large negatives. I have a scanner that works for slides and negatives in 35mm and 21/4" sizes, but the light source is too narrow for any larger sizes. The hardware store didn't have anything that looked like it would be right for the job, so I went to the electric supply. It was the same story there. I'll have to research the subject more to find something that will fit and work well.


Saturday, February 20, 2010

It was an inside day, with enough mist and drizzle to keep things wet. I spent part of the day sorting and filing papers and receipts, then put a couple of hours into filing and deleting old emails. My email is over 90% full, with some stuff going back three years or more. I'm saving a lot and trashing a lot, and one of these days I'll get it all cleaned out. When I was in town I bought a toggle switch to replace the bad ignition switch on the WD. Apparently the brand of the switch that went bad in less than a year is China. That's the only name I could find on it. A key-operated switch isn't really necessary. The toggle switch will work just as well, and costs about half as much. Maybe I'll have time to install it tomorrow and try it out.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Numb toes and snotty nose. You can't stay inside all the time. Sometimes you need to just get outside and get some things done. So this afternoon I spent a couple of hours sawing up old scrap boards for firewood. It wasn't all that cold, only in the mid-thirties, but there was enough of a north wind to persuade me that I didn't want to install that new switch on the tractor today. You have to take your gloves off for a job like that, and on a day like today your fingers are soon so numb you have trouble handling small parts. The new switch can wait for friendlier weather.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Today after work I took the Camry to the body shop to leave it for repair. It has a crunch in the driver's side front door where a guy backed into it last week. There was supposed to be a rental for me there, but the rental company forgot, so I went grocery shopping. The rental arrived just as I returned to the body shop. Being hit by a driver with American Family is partly like being crunched by an uninsured one. They'll pay for getting the door fixed, but only partly for the rental.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Another dental day, only a week later. Last week's cleaning revealed a leaking filling, so today I spent most of the afternoon getting a new one installed. Meanwhile, the cool continues. Today's high was about 39º, which is ten degrees below normal. But the ten day forecast shows a couple of days next week above 50º. Spring arrives in 25 days, and I'm looking forward to an occasional day above 60º. By this time of year I'm more than ready for winter to be over.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This afternoon I went to see if the ground around the truck was any dryer. Nope. In fact, there was more water in the ruts than there was a week ago. That truck has been mired there for over five weeks, and it may be another five weeks before I get it out. I'm afraid it may be summer before I'm able to use that road.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Good news. The predicted rain/snow turned out to be next to nothing. Meanwhile, the ten day forecast calls for several days with highs in the fifties next week. Other news is not so good. It seems I may be dogless again. It's been over a week since I saw Zeke. I don't know if he went out and got squashed by traffic, or found a better place to stay. Either way, I may never know.


Friday, February 26, 2010

My first chore when I got home this morning was installing that toggle switch on the WD. The temperature was in the mid-forties and there was no wind, so I could get the job done without my fingers getting too numb to function. So now I have a bigger tractor, with weights for more traction, to move that truck. BUT the area is so wet that I think I'll wait for it to dry out a little before I try to do the job. This afternoon I went back to town and got the Camry from the body shop and returned the rental, then came home and went to work with the chain saw, cutting up several branches for firewood. As the February 7 video shows, the chain saw was getting dull and slow from cutting so much hedge wood, so I put on a sharper chain. I cut a couple of pieces off a sixteen inch mulberry log in short order, but the wood looks pretty damp. We're nearing the end of the wood burning season, and I think I'll cut and split all that mulberry and stack it in the garage to dry for next winter.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

After doing laundry I went to the annual farm equipment auction in Winfield. I didn't see anything I wanted to buy, so I drove over to Caldwell to prowl the cemetery in search of relatives. It turned out to be a much bigger graveyard than I expected. I'll need to contact whoever runs the place and inquire about the names I had in mind. Walking through and looking at all the stones would take forever. This afternoon I took advantage of the nice day and did some digging. I've been waiting for the ground to dry a little before trying to find the old gas pipe that I need to replace, but then I realized that some of it is under a carport and I don't need to wait for that part. It didn't take too much digging to find a pipe, and I think it's probably the right one. It's only fourteen inches deep, too close to the surface for a water line. The odd thing is that it's a half inch pipe. The part that I dug up farther east last year when I was putting in new water lines was 3/4", and where the line comes up inside the building it's 1" pipe. I'll have to follow the line I found today and see where it goes. Here's today's two minute video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jyw5lTXIk8.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

That was excellent! This afternoon I started at the hole where I located the old pipe yesterday and dug a ditch following the pipe ten feet to where it enters the building. All that remains is a couple of feet to finish the bottom of the ditch leading up to the wall. That will uncover the rest of the pipe and confirm whether it's really the gas line. On the stuck truck front, today I found the ruts have no more standing water in them. The forecast calls for three more dry sunny days, so the plan is to allow three more days for drying and then hook a chain to the tractor and make another towing attempt.





MARCH 2010