APRIL 2010



Monday, March 1, 2010

Whew! I finished digging to the building this afternoon, and it didn't look good. The pipe I was following is indeed the gas line, and before entering the building it drops down about a foot to go under the foundation. It looked like I was going to have to dig way down and in about a foot under the foundation to reach the place where the 1" pipe starts. But I dug the dirt away from the pipe so I could see its size, and found that the 1" size begins about three feet from the building. It should be easy to run a 1" line all the way from the meter and connect it to the line going into the building. Sometimes you get lucky.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

After digging up the shop end of the gas line for the past couple of days, this afternoon I started at the gas meter next to the house. I had to remove a lot of buried chunks of concrete and rock, but eventually was able to determine that the line to the shop is black plastic. It's going to take more rock removal and digging to find out exactly where it goes. This end of the line is going to be slower going than the shop end.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The forecast predicted a good chance of rain tomorrow, so this afternoon I took advantage of the recent drying to attempt towing the truck out of the hole where it's been stuck since January 17. Here's the 3:30 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSFSmK6FEIA.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beware of puppies. This was one of those afternoons when it was warmer outside the house than inside, so I opened the front and back doors to let the outside air in. But I forgot to put my slippers up off the floor. Now one of them is gone. I looked all around the yard, but had no luck. One of the neighbor varmints probably took it home.


Friday, March 5, 2010

It was digging day. I uncovered the gas lines at the meter by the house, and started digging the ditch from the shop toward the meter. I also phoned the "call before you dig" number to have the gas line near the house marked so I can find it easily. Unfortunately the semi-automated system scheduled locating lines for water, telephone, electricity, and TV cable. None of those are anywhere near the gas line, so I need to call again and try to unschedule all those extras.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

I got a bargain, but it cost me a day. I went to an auction in Wichita. Among the items for sale were a couple of Model A Fords. Of course, the first thing they do at these affairs is sell all the household junk, and that goes on and on. They finally got to the cars a little after one. The 1930 delivery wagon went for $7500 to a young family, and the mom was giddy with delight. I started the bidding on the 1929 sedan at $3000, it went to $3500, and I bid $4000. When it went to $4500 I dropped out. I got to thinking of the storage problem Where would I put it? I really don't have the space for another vehicle right now. The car finally went for $7250 to Buster White. Buster is 90 and still restoring cars. The auctioneer, gilding the lilly as auctioneers are wont to do, had claimed it was a $15,000 vehicle. It wasn't, but it will be when Buster's through with it. He does beautiful work. I stuck around for the tools, but the only ones of interest went for more than I was willing to pay. I ended up buying a box of miscelleaneous extension springs for $1. I haven't counted them yet, but I'm sure I didn't pay more that 2¢ each for the lot. I probably should have stayed home and got some work done, but it was an interesting day.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

This was a day of sitting. I spent it driving out to Ness County and back, a round trip of 475 miles, to buy some Model T wheels. I got a pair of good front wheels. I need to find the demountable rims for them, so I'll be looking for those when I go to Chickasha next week.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Oy! How soon soft we get. I've been too much of a cold weather sissy to run in the morning since November, so I set my alarm an hour earlier, got up this morning, and chugged around the three mile course in a time of 33:39. That's two minutes slower than some of my slower previous runs. I think I did do a couple of afternoon runs in January, but they obviously weren't enough to prevent advancing decrepitude. I'll wait a few days for the aches to subside, and go again. With twelve days to go before spring arrives, the spring weather came today. There was not only rain, but also thunder. I was happy to find that the wind hasn't disturbed the tarps on the roof, so none of the rain leaked into the house. Here's a picture taken just before sunset. Can you find the rainbow?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The gas company guys marked the line today, but the ground was pretty wet so I didn't dig. Instead I did an indoor job, removing a piece of the old wood from the hardware for a Ford folding top. I'll take that sample to the hardwood dealer Friday and get some wood to make new top bows. At the Chickasha swap meet next week I plan to get the missing hardware I need to install the new top on my touring car.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This afternoon I started uncovering the old gas line near the meter by the house. The ground was still a little sticky, but not bad enough to prevent digging. What made it slow going was all the buried rocks. I did manage to locate the old line in a corner of the hole I dug, but that was as far as I got. By 4:45 the clouds rolled in and the lightning and thunder started. By the time I got the tools put in the shed, the rain was starting. With a couple of days drying, the ground should be about right for me to dig some more.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Last night's rain brought out all the little frogs, and now they're singing their heads off. Listening to Arnoldo "Tigre de la Mañana" Gonzalez on Radio Lobo this morning, I was reminded that this weekend the clocks change. Spring arrives in eight days. This afternoon I measured Ford folding top hardware so I'll know what size and how much new wood to buy.


Friday, March 12, 2010

I drove over to Oxford to buy wood for new top bows for the touring car, and found a notice in the window of the former hardwood dealer that he had sold out to a shop in Caldwell. So I drove on to Caldwell and found the hardwood shop there. I bought a poplar board, had it cut and planed into pieces of the right size, and paid $34.16. That includes enough wood to make the eight curved pieces. If I bought only the four straight pieces out of a catalogue, they would cost me over $70, plus shipping.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

When I was a kid in southern California I would read in books published in the East about crocuses coming up in the spring and wonder what they were. Now that I live in the east half of the country I know. I found these in the front yard this afternoon. That was after I returned from a farm auction where I got another deal. I bought a good hotplate to make steam for bending wood, and a boom box with radio, CD player, and tape cassette player, plus a box of assorted junk. That all came as a lot for 50¢.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This was digging day. The first job was planting a rose of sharon that spent the winter in the cellar. I bought it last fall with some other plants, but couldn't decide where to put it. This morning I planted it at the east end of the porch.

With the planting done, I took a walk down to the woodlot and found that a tree had fallen across the road. That will be firewood next winter, but I won't be in a hurry to bring it up. It's going to be a long time before I can drive the truck down there without getting stuck.

I spent most of the afternoon digging to uncover the old gas line from the shop. So far I have about twenty feet of ditch done. That leaves about 190 feet left to dig betweeen the shop and the meter. Today I uncovered the electric line to the barn where it crosses the old gas pipe, and managed to not do any damage. I hope to get this gas line project finished in March so I can get back to work on the house in April.


Monday, March 15, 2010

Another digging session added about six more feet of ditch. Tree roots made some of it slow going. Just another 184' to go.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

No digging today. After work I drove up to Udall, taking my 1937 Philco to a repair shop. On the way home I scouted a couple of possible picture locations. I'm thinking of shooting some Model T pictures for magazine covers, and looking for suitable settings. It's hard to find roads without modern stuff along them.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Now it's catching up day. Wednesday after work I got ready for Thursday's adventure. On Thursday morning I started out at about four in the morning and drove down to Chickasha for the prewar swap meet. It's wonderful because nothing after 1942 is allowed. I arrived at sunrise and spent the whole day shopping for Model T parts and visiting with other old car guys. These two links have the pictures: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/131157.html?1269150499; http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/118802/131179.html?1269130495. On Friday I returned to Udall and gave the radio repair guy a check to buy the parts to fix my radio, then spent a big chunk of the day editing and posting the pictures of my day at Chickasha. Yesterday brought a remarkable change. Much of Friday was sunny and warm, over 60º, then cooled down in the evening with the arrival of rain. Overnight the rain turned to snow, and by morning drifts were forming. It was not a day for outside work, so I went auction shopping. I drove through blowing snow to Caldwell for a 9:00 AM event, not going over 40 mph much of the way. Finding not much of interest there, I decided to go on out to Harper for the 10:00 AM auction. The selection of stuff was a little better there, so I spent the day. I ended up with a stack of stainless pots and pans for $1 and a nice antique Singer treadle sewing machine for $40. When I came out of the auction about 3:30 most of the snow on the ground had melted, and I was able to drive at the speed limit through Harper County and the west half of Sumner County, all the way into Wellington. On the east aside of Wellington it was still snowing and several cars had slid off the road and into the ditch. All through eastern Sumner County and on into Winfield there were long stretches of highway where I drove through heavy blowing snow that made it hard to see the road, and I didn't go over 40 mph much of the way. From Winfield on south the roads were pretty clear until I was almost home. When there's a strong north wind like there was yesterday, snow blows off the fields west of the house and makes big drifts on the road. I almost didn't make it the last two hundred feet to home. I decided to go to town for dinner and a movie (Green Zone), but I left and came home the east way to avoid the drifts. That was much easier going. The first day of spring was a lulu. I'm hoping that will be the last we'll see of that kind of thing until next winter.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tonight's predicted low is 22º, and that's the last freezing in the ten day forecast. On the other hand, the highest temperature in the forcast is 66º on the 30th. It would be nice to have some seventies before March is over, but I guess I should just be glad if there's no more feezing until next winter. This morning I cleared some snow from the drivewway behind the house. Here's the 1:11 video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmyWPP2X8Fs. A little chore I did today was editing a video I shot Thursday in Chickasha, showing the 1886 Benz replica being started and driven. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MjvAqF9Tgo.


Monday, March 22, 2010

Curses, partially foiled again! This afternoon I put four gas cans in the truck and went down to the casino, home of the least costly local gas, to fill up. I filled three cans, but couldn't get the lid off the fourth. I didn't have any tools with me to unstick the lid, so I came home with fifteen gallons instead of twenty. Ah well, I won't let that happen again.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This afternoon I started a job that should have been done last fall. Wanting to plant a shade tree in the back yard, before the leaves were off the trees I went down to the wood lot and found a little elm, and tied a plastic strip to it so I could find it after the leaves were off. I never got around to transplanting it during the fall or winter, so I got started today. I dug a ditch around the tree, going down about eight inches. The ground is still too wet for good digging, so I'll have to wait for dryer soil before I dig deeper.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The forecast has a strong possibility of moisture, but I'm glad to say it hasn't amounted to much so far. I'll wait another day or two before I try more digging.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today I finished cutting up boards from old screens. I'll use some of those for firewood during the next few days, but most will be for next winter. Next week we'll be having highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties, so the burning season is almost over.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Well, I tried more digging today, and found it much better going. First I dug deeper around my prospective transplant elm. But I decided that because of its size I'll wait until I have machinery to finish the job. I plan to rent a ditch digger to install my new gas line, and I'll use it to move that tree at the same time. This afternoon I did a little more gas line digging where I have to do the work by hand to avoid doing any damage to underground utilities. I added about ten feet of ditch, and need to extend that by another ten feet to reach a point where it will be OK to dig by machine. I also have about ten feet to dig by hand under the carport where there isn't enough overhead space to operate the machine.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

This was a busy auction day. The first stop was at the fairgrounds in Winfield. On the first table of stuff were some good stainless pots and pans, so I got my number and waited for those to come up. They sold for a lot more than I was willing to spend. After those were gone, there were several long tables of stuff you couldn't pay me to carry away, so I drove over to Wellington for another auction. There I bought a set of medical scales for $11. Then I went back to Winfield. It was a long afternoon of separating the wheat from the chaff, but I did get some deals. Of course, one man's wheat is another man's chaff, but the following were wheat for me: a nice working Philco console radio, circa 1937, for $40; a two-foot piece of railroad track (very handy as an anvil) for $3; a kids' bicycle for $1; a nice big shop vise for $27.50; a box of assorted wrenches for $5; a box of miscellaneous stuff including dozens of drill bits for $1.50; three hand saws for 50¢; jumper cables, screwdrivers, funnels, and more wrenches for 75¢; and two old time safety razors for 25¢. I finished the day enjoying a nice dinner at La Fiesta, then went to a movie. I saw The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, based on the popular book series, and found it entertaining.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

I made it a full weekend of shopping by driving out to Milan for another auction this afternoon. This one raised the definition of junk to a whole new level. I found very little of interest, but I did buy a pair of shovels for $8 and an almost-new farm equipment drive belt for $2.


Monday, March 29, 2010

I got back to ditch digging, working under the carport. The upper layer, about six inches deep, is a mixture of dirt, rocks, and broken concrete. I'm breaking up that layer with a pick and digging it out before I dig the ditch any deeper.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

This afternoon I got a new battery for the Suburban and installed it so I can use the vehicle when I buy pipe for the new gas line. Then I got back to ditch digging. I finished removing the top layer of dirt, rocks, and broken concrete. The next step will be digging on down to the old pipe so I can get it out.


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That's a little better. Monday morning before work when I went out to do my run the temperature was 35º and I covered the three miles in 33:30. This morning it was 64º and my time was 32:23. I hope it won't be too long before I cut another couple of minutes off my time.





APRIL 2010