JULY 2008



Friday, August 1, 2008

I finished most of the mowing until the tractor ran out of gas. When I got it gassed up, I found the battery was down too much to turn the starter, and hand cranking didn't work, so I put the charger on it and left it to charge overnight. Then I went to town and picked up a backhoe for more digging tomorrow. I expect it will be another full day.


Monday, August 4, 2008

It was not just one full day, but two. On Saturday I finished unearthing the water line to the barn, about 190 feet. After finding that the backhoe I rented last weekend wasn't much good in hard ground, I was pleased that this Ditch Witch had no such problem. I started digging up another line that goes north, and it was a little slower going because the water line was down about two feet deep, and there was a gas line about a foot directly above it, apparently installed at the same time in the same ditch. I got all of that line excavated up to within a few feet of the tool shed where the valves are located. With the old pipes removed, I filled in a lot of that ditch because the new line will come in a different way. Then I started digging by pick and shovel next to the tool shed. I'll need to unearth the lines where they enter the shed, and inside the shed where they attach to the valves. It will be a lot of digging by hand, but fortunately the forecast for the next few days is for cooler temperatures, down around 90º.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I usually do laundry on weekends, but this weekend I was riding the rental backhoe, so I washed clothes this afternoon. By the time I finished that and did grocery shopping, the day was shot.




Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Today Miss Kitty had three of the kiddos out from behind their pile of boards in the garage. They'll be three weeks old tomorrow, and this was the first chance I've had to see them up close. I still don't know how many there are. I could hear another voice behind the boards, so there are at least four.

This afternoon's project was to start splicing in a new section of electric line where the backhoe broke the line to the barn last week. I need to get the power back on in the barn so I can use the grinder, drill press, compressor, etc. I got some of the wires soldered today, and should finish tomorrow. Then I want to install a switch where the line leaves the shop and heads for the barn. That may end up being part of my weekend activities.


Thursday, August 7, 2008

This morning I was a horrible dreadful liberal treehugger elitist who hates America. I inflated my tires to the proper pressure, like those Commie pinko Nascar drivers. I know I should have drilled for oil in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska instead, but I was busy.

It turned out to be a rainy day, ending up with .6" in the gauge, so with the outdoors sopping wet I stayed in and worked on my website and looked at a few others.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Friday being a short workday, I was home by ten this morning. I took advantage of the cool day, about 80º, and excavated in the tool shed where the valves to the various water lines are located. I uncovered the lines to the house, the back yard, the barn, and the garden. This weekend I should be ready to start putting in the new line to the barn.


Saturday, August 9, 2008

This was the day to put in new valves for the various water lines. First I had to uncover the old valve setup completely, then remove it. By the time I did that, it was time for an auction. I went and stood in a sprinkle, then a drizzle, then a real rain, then gave it up. I came away with a drill for $2. I'll try it later and see if it works. On the way home from the auction I bought valves and fittings, then spent the rest of the day assembling and installing. With the old setup, you couldn't shut off the water to the barn without also shutting off the line to the house, the yard and the garden. Turning off the line to the house also shut off everything else. With this new arrangement each line has its own valve. In the picture, the water comes from the left. The line going up goes to the house, the one to the right is to faucets in the yard, and the two going down are for the barn and the garden. The mystery is that pipe on the right. I removed a plug that was in it, and a little trickle of water came out and continues to come out. I can't figure out where it would come from that produces a steady trickle.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last night I went and saw the new Mummy movie. It had great special effects, but I found myself struggling to stay awake. It didn't even have Boris Karloff. When I left the theater it was raining, and by the time I got home the rain was a downpour. The rain yesterday and overnight left .86" in the gauge this morning. Actually, the moisture kept up all day today. Sometimes it was a light mist, and sometimes it became almost a sprinkle. Most of the time it was light enough to let me get some work done outdoors. I spent a big part of the day splicing a new section in that broken electric line to the barn. But when I turned it on, the breakers kicked off. Apparently I got something wrong somewhere, so I'll have to go through everything I did and try to find where the short circuit is. Meanwhile, on the plumbing front, the new valve setup has a leak where it connects to the pipe to the house. I'll have to take it off and apply some plumber's putty. It would be nice to have a dry day with low humidity so I could apply putty to a dry surface. Until then I'll turn on the water to the house just long enough to wash dishes or take a shower. I did figure out what that mystery pipe is. Before the rural water district came along in the sixties, water here came from a well. A windmill pumped the water into a big tank behind the house. That extra pipe is the one that took water from the tank to a pump in the cellar. It did finally quit dripping, but I plan to put the plug back in it and leave it there. It's not in the way of anything.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Curses, foiled again! I spent over an hour this afternoon trying to stop that dripping connection, with no luck. I'll have to try again tomorrow. Until then I'm leaving the line to the house shut off except when I need it. I can do without a steady drip making the mudhole worse.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What a waste of time! After another wet night and morning, the skies cleared and the humidity dropped. With its source turned off, the leaky plumbing project dried. I slathered on plenty of plumber's putty and reassembled the thing. When I turned on the water the drip was even worse than before. Obviously the pressure collar is just not going to work, so I'll thread the end of the pipe and attach another type of connector.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So I bought a brass union and threaded the end of the pipe. I slathered on plenty of putty, assembled the thing, and turned on the water. It still dripped. Since I used part of the afternoon to go to town and pick up a load of pipe for the line to the barn, I didn't have time to do any more today. Tomorrow I'll reinstall that brass union with a wrapping of teflon tape and see if that stops the leak.


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hallelujah! Success at last! Before I left for work this morning I shut off the water, took out the valve set, applied both thread compound and teflon tape, and reinstalled the works. Drip solved. When I got home from work this afternoon it was still drip-free. As I was inspecting the thing I got a phone call informing me that the load of pipe I had ordered for the new line to the barn had arrived. I went to town and fetched that, then spent the rest of the afternoon hitching the trailer to the Suburban and starting to get the dump rake ready to go to Winfield for this weekend's antique farm equipment show.


Friday, August 15, 2008

I got home from work about nine, finished getting the dump rake ready and loaded on the trailer, and hauled it up to the fairgrounds. I got it unloaded and registered and was home a little after noon. Then I spent the afternoon digging and working on plumbing. The line to the house and the valve set attached to it are at an odd angle, so that complicates attaching the other lines that all run north-south and east-west.


Saturday, August16, 2008

I took today off for the antique farm equipment show. I worked at the registration table for a couple of hours, then went around the fairgrounds enjoying all the swell old stuff. The amazing weather continued. After a few 100º days about two weeks ago, we've been having highs in the eighties and even seventies. Very unusual in early August. While I was at the show I bought a few old pulleys. They should be a fairly easy restoration project.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

I spent the morning making a couple of website pages on the K & O Show, then mowed. About three I went to Winfield to bring the dump rake home from the fairgrounds. I plan to finish the mowing tomorrow. Miss Kitty had all her offspring out in plain sight this afternoon, so I was able to see that there are five of them. They were back in hidng before I could get a picture.


Monday, August 18, 2008

The best laid plans... There was enough of a sprinkle to wet things down a little this afternoon, so instead of mowing I went in the tool shed and worked on plumbing. I finished connecting the water line that goes to the garden. It was delightful to turn it on and find no drips.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Mowed. I have a lot of Johnson grass and other unwanted vegetation to put out of business, but I'm waiting for the forecast to show a couple of really dry days before I spray. Maybe later this week.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The good news is the cool weather. It was only about 70º at noon (in August!) and never got above 73º. The further good news is that none of the recent plumbing has any leaks, so apparently it's going to hold. When I got home about 3:30 I went right to work taking advantage of the cool weather to do some digging. There are a few places where I didn't get the ditch for the new water line to the barn deep enough, so I worked on those. I got done about half of what I need to do on that. The bad news is that the cool weather brought plenty of humidity with it, so digging was still pretty sweaty work. When the humidty reached 100% and became drizzle, that sent me inside to do some paperwork. The problem with digging muddy soil is that it turns a shovel into a long stick with a big ball of mud stuck on the end.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

This was my afternoon to spray all those unwanted little trees in the lawn and other places. I may give the stuff a few days to work then spray them again.


Friday, August 22, 2008

This was my day for a trip to Wichita. A couple of weeks ago I took a turntable there for repair, but it was found unfixable because parts are no longer available, so today I went to fetch it home. While in the big city I did a little shopping for a new turntable. I asked one of the kids at Circuit City where the turntables were and he took me to the clock radios. After I explained what a turntable is, we found the three that they had in the store. None of them was what I'm looking for, so I tried a few other stores and still came up empty. I want a turntable which will play not ony LP's and 45's, but will also take 16" transcriptions. Apparently I'll have to get it online.

I made another stop to buy a starter's pistol and some blanks. That's for a little dog training. When I go out to do my morning three miles, Zeke likes to run along with me. Down the road there's a big German shepherd that sometimes runs out to attack him, and he runs to me for protection. I've already tripped over him and hit the pavement once, and I don't want to do it again. I hope some bang bang from the pistol will scare off the shepherd and teach him some manners.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Well, the German shepherd came out to do his thing this morning, and a couple of pistol shots scared him off. Maybe it won't take too many experiences like that to cure him.

Went to a farm auction today, and got some good stuff. Saw a very nice 1980 AC 175 with a great loader go for $6990. The best deal of the day went to the guy who bought two farm fuel tanks with stand for $5, though it will cost him a fortune to fill them. I got a Craftsman 10" radial arm saw for $95, some ropes and pulleys for $7, a box of stuff including two nice big funnels for $2, a grinder on a stand (it works) for $5, and a pick and shovel for $1.

Because it's done by humans and thus subject to mistakes, I think capital punishment is a bad idea. However, I'd be willing to make an exception for a really serious crime like setting fire to a cigar in a public place. In fact, I'd volunteer to pull the switch at the first execution on that one. For the bozo who lights up a cigarette upwind of me, I'm willing to settle for flogging.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Today was another plumbing day. I did a lot of digging in the ditch to the barn, getting ready to install the new pipe. I installed the connecting fittings in the tool shed, and connected twenty feet of pipe. Tomorrow I'll need to visit the hardware store and get a few more fittings.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Running errands after work pretty well shot the afternoon. Maybe tomorrow I can get home and get some work done.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Made it home by 3:30 today and spent an hour and a half on the barn water line. A good part of it was digging with pick and shovel to widen the ditch to take a 45º bend in the pipe. This thing seems to be dragging on forever, but I hope to get the pipe laid this week and the ditch filled in so I can get on to the other line.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Got home about the same time today, and got busy on plumbing right away. I managed to install 46 feet of the barn line today. At that rate I should have it finished this week.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moving along, I got another thirty feet installed today.


Friday, August 29, 2008

And today being my short day in town, I was home early enough to hook up another 110 feet of pipe. That leaves just a few more feet to the barn, so tomorrow I'll cut the last piece of pipe to fit, and install the faucet. I put a plug in the end and turned on the water, and found one drip. It looks like that should be an easy fix.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

This morning I installed the last piece of pipe to the barn, only about twenty inches, and screwed the faucet onto it. I turned on the line and there were no leaks, and the faucet functioned perfectly. With the line finally installed, I got one of the neighbor boys to come over and help me measure the yard so I can make a map showing where the water lines are buried. Before I started digging up the old lines last month I called the free phone number to have the gas, electric, cable, and other companies mark where their lines were buried. It was as waste of time because they marked only from the road to the house, but they did leave a lot of little flags I used today in measuring the yard.


Sunday, August 31, 2008

Today my cousin Shane came over and helped me finish measuring the yard, then I started drawing a map. I should be able to finish the part of that showing the barn line tomorrow morning, then I can start filling in the ditch. That will leave the line to the two back yard faucets to install. I hope I can finish that in two or three weeks and have all the digging finished and filled in.





JULY 2008