Monday, September 28, 2015

Lots of stuff in a few September days...

Think the ignition switch finally died on the Mickey the Mower...time to "tow" it to the garage :D

So I probably should pay more attention at work, I knew a vendor invited us out -- I put "Hard Rock thingy" on my calendar. Thursday night was at the House of Blue's function room, across from Fenway (the vendor sent a limo to pick us up). The band was "Dirty Waters" featuring a couple of the founding members of Boston!

Office shenanigans. I was not involved.

Got the maul hockey-taped up properly!

Saturday was quite a productive day, including finishing my woodpile for the winter -- though I have a few more hours of work to split some small "cookwood" pieces to stack on the deck and in the house; I use those on top of the kindling to get the larger, not well seasoned pieces going:

Front step has needed repairs (over-boarding with Trex composite lumber) for a long time. Tractor forks make for a nice work area!

Saturday night I had an "asthma" attack for the first time in a long while, I was wondering what caused it...till I started running a fever that night. Damn it, caught the chest cold that is going around. Didn't get much done on Sunday. Monday I took off sick, I was doing a little better but still way more exhausted than just sitting in a seat running a tractor should have made me. If I was 100% I could've gotten all this project done in two days.

Figured out it is much easier/efficient to use the front end loader to rough in the trench than the backhoe!

Next up on the septic repairs will be making sure I have the right grade (1/8" per foot is fine, and it will be much steeper after the "bend"), and once I start to layout the grade to finish the rest of the trench. I dug out towards the dry well too, but stopped about three feet shy which I will do with the backhoe and then shovel to make sure I don't disturb the stones.

There is a chance of heavy rain this week, and chance of rain predicted every day through the weekend :(

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beginning work on the septic...

...or, "I am not a six year old playing with his Tonka Toys!"

After 16 years I had my full-to-the-brim septic tank pumped out finally (should've done it last year I guess :D)...looking at the dry well, the septic guy said it was *too* clean, the cleanest he's seen -- so he's concerned the pipe from the tank to the dry well could have roots plugging it up.

He said if the tank backs up again, call and they'll need to come down with a rotor-rooter.

Thinking about it, I have a couple weeks, at least, before my 500 gallon tank is full enough to flow out the pipe and the pipes in the ground are at least 50 years old and probably that "Orangeburg" wood fiber and tar pipe...might as well dig it up and replace now rather than have to pay for the septic folks to pump me again and snake it then tell me the pipe is shot :D

I've been wanting to finish getting rid of the overgrown hedges so might as well do it right while I'm not worried about the pipe which I'm not exactly sure where it is but it has to run close to them if not directly under them.

Hopefully by Saturday I can have all the hedges dug up and gone, move the rose bush to a nursery bed for the winter, and spend Saturday exposing the old pipe and install the new on Sunday. That's the plan anyways.

Big Ox Maul

Over the last 9 or so cords split by Fiskars Super Splitter, I've built up a pile of 'bout 1/2 cord of uglies that either defied Fiskarization or I knew better than to try.

Not all of them look like they require noodling though...

So this fellow followed me home today -- the Stihl Pro Splitting Maul (which best I can figure out is the same head as a PA-80, but substitutes a hickory handle with steel collar in place of the lower-cost ash handle of the PA-80). It's made by the German firm Ochsenkopf, and it is their "Big Ox" model branded as a Stihl.

Two of the three pieces I pulled off the uglies pile responded positively. One continued to mock me. Was just a quick test since I was still dressed for work, but looks like it will reduce the amount of needed noodling appreciably.

I will be wrapping the top the handle / collar with hockey stick tape before I use it anymore..."overstrike" is a common event with me, especially with infrequently used tools.

It also stuck pretty hard a couple times. I might give the head a polishing with some fine, wet sandpaper to see if it helps it slip out easier.

The first piece shows previous resistance to the Fiskars:
This one I just sized up and said it wasn't worth trying with the Fiskars. Maybe if it was 10 degrees out I would've tried it, but I don't feel like waiting. :D

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Steak and Apples

Steak with honey-drizzled roasted pears and apples -- things came out blacker than they should have since I'm still getting used to hot much hotter the grill runs since I installed the new burner and heat diffuser.

More wood than a bunch of teenagers with a stolen stash of Viagara...

Close enough to done for me to do the math:

The stacks are 54" high, 16"+ wide, and 16 16" blocks long -- 21-1/3' x 4' x 4-1/2' = 3 Cords Total

21 Tractor Bucket Loads @ 90 minutes each to split and stack = 31-1/2 manhours, 1/7th cord per bucket

July 26th -- Load #1
July 27th -- Load #2

July 28th -- Load #3

July 30th -- Load #4
July 30th -- Load #5...rained in the afternoon!
July 31st -- Load #6
August 2nd -- Load #7
August 28th -- Load #8
August 30th -- Load #9
September 4th -- Load #10
September 5th -- Load #11
Load #12
September 6th -- Load #13
Load #14
September 7th -- Load #15
Load #16
September 12th -- Load #17
Load #18
September 13th -- Load #19
Less Pride...
More pay attention when backing up!
Load #20
September 20th -- Load #21
About a half load left but my back is acting up so I best rest it close...