Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summer nights

Out driving at 8:45 after putting in a load of laundry at the laundromat.

Warm, muggy. Heat lightning in the distance. Windows down in the truck, rear slider open.

Going down a country road, corn fields on either side.

Frogs and insects at the height of their evening symphony.

Life doesn't get much better.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I bought a roto tiller

Swore I never, ever would. I'd either borrow or rent.

But I did. After this year, when I my time was severely limited between the bad weather and having the flu in May, and my energy to turn the garden by hand was reduced from the flu, I decided I should have one.

I need a better photo -- that was taken the night it came home from Craig's List.

I'll probably use it to cultivate during the year, too (cultivation is running it shallowly to kill weeds, as opposed to tillage which disturbs the soil much more deeply).

It's a Troy Bilt Junior with a Tecumseh H35 Engine.
Spark Plugs: Champion J8C, gap 0.030
Air Filter: Tecumseh 30727
Oil: 30 or 5w30

Tecumseh Basic Troubleshooting & Service Guide (or my archive copy).

Here's a cool, old piece of Troy Bilt propoganda found while searching for a manual:

Monday, August 17, 2009

A beautiful day.

Sunday started off with a phone call to a Craigslist ad I had seen Saturday night, and then a nice drive to Ashford for this:
It's a Stihl MS 360. It's newer then my 039, a smidge more powerful, lighter weight, and professional instead homeowner quality. This will be my new primary saw, with the 039 as the backup. I'll probably alternate them quite a bit, and the 360 can handle a 24" bar that I need to easily buck up the occasional larger tree. It's always good to have two saws, especially when felling trees -- last thing you want is to have a tree weakened and your saw break, leaving a very dangerous snag that could fall wildly in a strong wind.

Drove home through Boston Hollow, had a long visit with my mom, came home and grilled pork chops for lunch. I had quite a bit of eye strain, so I wasn't up to doing work for the non-profit, so I went for a long Sunday drive down to Beach Pond and around Sterling & Foster.

Came home and pulled in by the garden to check it. First, having drunk a large ice coffee while driving I had to pee...really...bad. So I did. As I'm zipping up, I look up and see a deer 50' in front of me with an annoyed, "Why are you peeing on my lawn?" look. Well she did as deer do, and jumped away once I made eye contact. Jumped all of 50 more feet, and from 100' away continued browsing while I checked the garden. Less respect then Rodney Dangerfield. Hunting season can not arrive too soon.

My garden which is a disaster this year due to flu, weather, and critters and I'm mostly planning for next year. Harvested about 5# of summer squash, which will be about it for the, 361# harvested last year. And to think I had wanted to donate 400# to the food pantry alone.

After that I brought the PC I reloaded Windows on back to Henry for his grandkids to bang away on, made some spaghetti for dinner (and pork-n-spaghetti lunches), did laundry, and had some ice cream.

Life is good. Best day I've had in a long time.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Woodstove Log Sizes...

Looking for a new, more efficient woodstove.

I want one that can take 22" logs since I usually cut about 20" for myself. ("Standard" trade size firewood is 16" -- which makes exactly three rows deep on a 4'x4'x8' cord of wood)

Vermont Castings Encore: 20"
Vigilant: 18"
Resolute Acclaim: 16"
Intrepid II: 16"
Defiant: 24"
Dutchwest Small: 16"
Dutchwest Large: 22"
Dutchwest XL: 25"

Jotul 3CB: 18"
F400 Castine: 20"
F500 Oslo: 22"
F600 Firelight: 24"