Sunday, September 27, 2009

Morning Production

Well, it's been a darn fast week. I woke up extra early yesterday and beat the Koreans to the spring and the sun to the horizon. Out in the middle of nowhere, between VA and WV, I was glad I was packing heat. It can be eerie when you are out there alone. Last time, I was with companions and nearly accosted by a baying dog. Luckily for him he was more bark than bite.

Still, the spring itself is a naturally peaceful place and still flowing well, given the lack of rain in recent weeks. I finished quickly and just sat down to roll out as the next patron rolled in. The early bird gets the spring water, or something like that.

The parts counter at Chrysler opened at 8, and I had all the water delivered and put away at home by about that time. I had to order a small contact terminal for the center high-mounted brake light over the tire on the jeep and install it to pass Virginia's draconian inspection procedure. It came, but without the rubber grommet I needed to mount it in the hole. Fortunately, for me it was early. My red tag was about to expire and the inspection shop I went to stops taking vehicles at 11:15. I had 3 hours--plenty of time for some coffee and mechanical work.

I went across the street from Chysler to Napa Auto Parts and came away with a 10-pack or so of small rubber grommets that I thought would work. After I came home and had a cup of coffee with my lovely wife, I started my second and went to the shed where I parked the Jeep.

The challenge? Getting the wires that had falled into the fenderwell somewhere back into their respective holes. Having worked with electricians, fishing wire is not foriegn to me. So I fished the pilot wire through their holes, checked the other terminals to see which was black and which was white, and go to work connecting the pilot wire to the lost wires and fished them back through.

I used two rubber grommets to achieve the right space, actually, closed the gate, tested it and shizam, the light worked. And with plenty of time to spare. Victory!

The mechanic even asked me how I did this, so I figured I saved myself some significant coin. It's stuff like this I enjoy doing on my Jeep, where I actually have a clue, the time, can break the rules a bit, and achieve the desired result. It was even more fun with the caffiene and being so near all of my tools. (I usually have to drag them across my property because I am working on the upper driveway, where it's flat).

I got all this done by noon and spent the rest of the rainy day inside, watching Robin Hood (the version for T.V. from 1991--I've always wanted to watch it) and doing some serious study of chess with Jeremy Silman's book, How to Reassess Your Chess. So far it's excellent and I am really enjoying it. Playing online or general is great, but at some point you need to take the time to study the game if you really want to improve. It's just amazing that I was able to do this today, considering the mayhem that generally ensues around here.

In general, I just like it not to be under the gun so much these days by projects around the house. There's still plenty to do, but the urgency is less because things are getting done and ungodly apple pies, made from our trees' apples, are being consumed.

Over and Out,

--Nick-Dog

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Twi-lite Musings

This evening, we had clear skies and a rosy sunset, my absolute favorite. It was just fabulous to be outside, tinkering around, watching the sunset, the cat, my daughter run around with her balloon, and the transplantation of our zebra tomatoe plants. Wow, life is truly sweet today.

So much to talk about. This morning, I woke early, did some bokken work and stretched before my children came to join me in the living room. Once I was able to escape outside, I tackled the relatively simple project of stapling two new screens up on our porch where the other screens had been ripped. My main concern is my adventurous daughter climbing and then spilling off the porch, scathed or unscathed. It had been on my mind for months to do this, but I never seemed to be able to get around to it. Now that it's done, it frees up energy for other things and I can breathe easier.

We hit the farmers market, which had been picked pretty clean. That's what happens when you go late in the day, I suppose, but I was really just tagging along. When it comes to the pantry, my lovely wife has all of our bases covered, pretty much.

We then ventured over to the Front Royal flea market, one of the better all-around flea markets out there. I mean, you can still find sweet deals there. Over the years I have found all sorts of wonderful, neat items, such as Spanish swords and block prints of the surrender of Granada.

Today, I came across a scoped Marlin 336W lever-action in 30-30. As mentioned previously, this gun in the SC version is one that I want, I'm just not paying $375 for it. There's lots of these guns out there, so supply is not an issue. I will bide my time and save, as much as I would just love to have one "today."

From there, we soon ended up at the Ole Time Festival of Edinburg, VA. We visited some llamas, toured the old mill/musuem, and checked out crafts and shops. I also discovered Murray's Fly Shop!

Earlier this year, I experienced what could only be called the "call of the fish." Without even knowing "why" exactly, I wanted to be fly-fishing for trout on rivers and creeks. It was like waking up one day, and boom, you just know you need to be fishing. No rhyme or reason. Just boom. That said, I actually want to have a clue about what the hell I'm doing, so I have been wanting to take fly fishing classes locally at a reasonable price. Well, now it seems like I have found the right place to begin!

I have also discovered another amazing place, this one online, called the Wood Whisperer. Notwithstanding the cheezy-ass name, this is an awesome resource for serious wood work for both the advanced and beginners. I want to take my knowledge of carpentry to the next level, and this seems like a great location to do that. It's what got me back outside today in the shed, making it a more organized space where my tools are actually accessible. They used to be, but you know how it is....

Over & Out,

--Nick-Dog

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bug-Out Chic

Weekend Accomplishments

video

So we went down to Charlottesville this weekend to check out the Heritage Harvest Festival. As noted in the video, with the exception of the view, the event was a serious bust. There was one or two decent booths, but the emaciated liberal eco-scum that inhabit environments like this appalls me. They say they believe in sustainable farming, but are the same drones who support Obama and his draconian energy policies, which will drive farmers out of business.

Notwithstanding the above, the view was breathtaking; the weather, superb. A great day for a tea party.

On Sunday, I spent a leisurely afternoon building shelves in our utility room to accommodate and showcase our canned goods. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would. I seriously enjoyed my time with the jigsaw, getting into the rhythm of notching the shelves. I got lucky with my template on the first shot, obtaining a mostly tight fit between the supporting beams on the wall. Frankly, it was just kick ass to be outside in the shed, cutting wood on a cool, sunny afternoon.

Over and Out,

--Nick-Dog

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hero

I just wanted to make a quick post to salute representative Joe Wilson, R-S.C., for giving the Obama the proverbial middle finger during his Castro-esk health care pep talk. "You lie!" was his actual comment, but it definitely had the effect of the bird.
Representative Wilson later called to apologize, saying "his emotions got the best of him" and that his comment was "inappropriate." You know what, it was perfectly appropriate. Screw propriety. The country's future is on the line and we are supposed to be concerned about ettiquette and offending Obama? Ettiquette be damned. The representative represents the people, and that's how the people feel.
Welcome to the tea party Comrade Obama. You are a damn liar and have sounded this country's death knell with your reckless policies.
Over and Out,
--Nick-Dog

Monday, September 07, 2009

Amish Driveby


Doesn't happen often, but when it does, it looks cool. :)

I am enjoying the long weekend, with today being sort of "Labor at home" day. I am in between putting up pieces of drywall in the eternal bathroom renovation/rebuild project. I have already succeeded in giving myself a haircut, and we are prepparing to can a slew of seckle pears from our tree, which has produced wonderfully this year.

We are trying to get our stock in order and trying harder to make use of the produce from our fruit trees. We are also planning in earnest to do some serious planting in the Spring for our garden. Actually we have two, an herb/vegetable garden and a purely vegetable garden, the latter being a large one. Because the deer and groundhog sacked the plants away from the house, I will be building a fence in the future in addition to clearning our raspberry patch.

There's lots to do, and complicate that with renovating a house at the same time, it makes it difficult to prioritize, let alone find the cash. So many projects too little time.

I wanted to get this off my chest: I recently had a run in with one of the county inspectors for my work. He was damn rude to me, and so I filed a respectfully written complaint with his HR department. Within 24 hours I not only had a response from the county's HR dept, but also I had his boss calling me on the phone to apologize, explain the situation, and beg to give the guy another chance. I think this will be the last time the haughty inspector screws up like this. Sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword. That's why I train with both. :)

Anyway, one point I drew from this experience is how some bureaucrats take themselves so seriously, are so into their codes and so forth, that they cannot be plainly spoken with about a point of concern. No, you have to go to the supreme boss at HR, file a complaint, make the guy scared of losing his job (if you are lucky enough to have them take you seriously) and so forth, to get his attention. Imagine if this was a faceless bureaucrat for government run health care, making the decision about whether or not your son or daughter dies. This would be a nightmare scenario to say the least.

Pres. Obama, you are not my doctor, comrade.

Finally, I just wanted to include in this update that I have been listening to www.thesurvivalpodcast.com. I really enjoy listening in and have been especially getting into his recommendations for year round gardening. I just can't read a book on gardening--to damn boring for me right now--but I can listen to someone passionate talk about it, especially while I wash the dishes.

Alright, over and out. Enjoy your Labor Day, yo's.

--Nick-Dog