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Monday, April 3, 2017

Apples, Rabbits and Cinder Blocks

We've been having some decent weather, so the outdoor jobs are making it into the queue.

First, though, my last post had to do with this illegal (in my eyes) bill that had been set forth by a socialist Nevada state senator.  She wanted to make the entire state a Sanctuary State.

I wrote the rotten piece of flotsam a letter.  Apparently, I wasn't alone.

Using all of the expected ass-covering language, her bill was withdrawn from consideration.  F**ckin' A, the good guys won one!

Just like the Terminator, though, I'm sure she'll, "be back".  Me too.

The current projects:

In mid-March (a little late) I pruned one of our two apple trees.  The previous owners of the property hadn't done squat with them for years and years (this is a recurring theme), and the trees produced shitty little apples.  I pruned a good quarter of the growth on the bigger of the two trees to open it up for sunlight, and to get bigger apples.

The smaller of the two was left as-is.  It's over-grown even worse than the other tree, but the fallen apples are like a drug to the cotton tail and jack rabbits on our property.  The little guys gotta eat, so they'll get the dropped apples from this one.

One of our many yard jack rabbits, scratching himself like a dog

I think I previously bitched about the tumble weeds when we moved here last July.  The previous owner hadn't sprayed the property, and we had over a half acre of tumble weeds to deal with!  I was not happy.  Had to rent a Bobcat to scrape those bastards up, and burn them.

The guy told me to contact the county in February, and they'd come out and spray for $300.  Money I'll gladly spend.

Well, February rolled around and we were covered with snow or it was raining most of the month.  After things dried out, I called the county, and they were all booked up!

I cursed.... just a little.

Well, I'm not going through that crap again, so I've started doing the spraying myself.  Three gallons at a time with a hand sprayer.  I knocked out 6 gallons worth today, which took care of perhaps 20% of the half acre.  I'll hit it each morning we don't have any wind for a couple of hours until it's done.

The old owner - God bless his soul - fancied himself a wood worker.  Yeah, not so much.  Not even the basic stuff.

He put up a pair of doors that enclose an 8 foot opening in the woodshop.  Well, the doors were not up to snuff.  OK, they sucked.

And now they're falling apart.

As you can see, the bottom of the door rests directly on the cement floor of the shop.  When it rains and snows, the prevailing winds blow right at these doors.  Rain/melted snow hit the bottom of the door, and wick up like a mo fo - as you can see from the staining.

Everything rotted, and the hinge side of the door 2x4 has rotted and split.

Oh, and he did't do any (decent) cross bracing to stop the latch side of the door from sagging.

Oh, and he used shitty, under-sized hinges, which are coming apart.

Each door is approximately 4 foot by 8 foot.  I've got the wood and the hinges, just need to pick up the skin for the exterior.  It will likely be pieces of weather-proof siding - not quite sure yet.

A fun project I'm working on is a desk for my office.  I'm making a trestle table/rustic farmhouse table.

I've got the glue-ups done for the two halves (3 boards each).  I'll be gluing them together later today.

I milled the rough 1x6 boards to 5 inches wide, then used biscuits to join the individual boards together.

When I'm done with the desk, I'll do a post on the whole building process.

The last project in the works is for 4 raised garden beds.  I had 4200 pounds of cinder blocks delivered today.

Over the next couple of weeks, I'll be laying out the beds and their exact locations, then my two sons will be up after that to help the old man build them.

They will be 4 foot by 8 foot by 16 inches high.  Bastards will last forever.

Here's an example of ,"with age come wisdom":  So, these 4 beds will take 150 cinder blocks.  My first inclination was to take my 3/4 ton truck for a 45 minute trip up to Carson City, buy the blocks and do 2 over-weight runs, or 3 proper-weight runs to get them home.

It dawns on me that this means I will have to lift every single one of those blocks four times - once off the the store floor onto the cart, once into the truck, once out of the truck, and once putting it into place.  Rinse and repeat.

I'm bitching and moaning about it, and my wife asks, "Don't they deliver"?  I check it out, and OH HELL YES they deliver.  $79!

I couldn't spend that money fast enough.  I've got an 8 foot gate into the area where the beds will reside, and the guy dropped them off 30 feet from their final destination.  He got a nice tip for saving my back and sanity.

Schwing!  See?!  There was a benefit to marrying an older woman!  (I know, I'm now a dead man...)

And before someone points it out, yes, I have already designed my, "keep the hell away from my garden, you wascally wabbits" barrier system for the beds.  I'll share some pix after it's up and running.

That's all I got.  I'm running around like a chicken with it's head cut off (note to self:  start redesign process for existing chicken coop....).  Updates and some political stuff in the works.....

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Copyright 2017 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.


RHT447 said...

Yup. In that country, anything green and/or juicy will attract bunnies like a magnet. And, once you get used to waking up with that view in the background, there ain't no goin' back.

Chief Instructor said...

RHT447, We back up to BLM land, so we've got jack rabbits, cotton tails, quail and mourning doves, plus tons of more common birds. Saw ground squirrels a week ago - don't remember them last summer. They may fall under the "pest" heading... we'll see.

I often hear the coyotes howling at night, but have only seen a pack of 4 once.

I didn't even notice the mountains in the one picture when I posted it. That's the so-so view. Directly behind us are some stunning mountains. Each morning, I open the blinds in the kitchen, pour a cup of coffee, and just watch the critters. My favs are the quail, running around in a panic looking for something to eat.

This is usually under the watchful eye of our resident hawk (don't know what kind). We find abused bird carcass' in the yard on occasion, and I've saw it snatch a small cottontail last year. I think he's gonna be a fat boy this year with all of the rain and vegetation growth we've had.

Neighbor said that a couple of years back, we had a Golden Eagle in the area that raised holy hell with the hawks.

No, there ain't no goin' back. I'm pissed it took so long to get here...

RHT447 said...

Having wildlife around calls to us on many levels, and sometimes is just comical. We lived for 25 years on the north side of Chico at the corner of our neighborhood. There was an 18 acre open field across the street to our east. One time a lone wild turkey decided to spend his afternoons camped out in the shade of our front yard. I guess he got lonely because he started hanging out with some of the local pheasants. It was hilarious! It was like a giraffe in heard of antelope. The pheasants would do their thing walking into the tall grass and vanishing, but you always knew where they were because of this turkey head sticking up.

Our house faced a local water company lot across the street to the north which had a pump house for their equipment. The local quail covey would come out of the field to the roof of the pump house at a right angle to the roof ridge. This made a nice up-slope landing for them. They would all scurry to the ridge and stand shoulder to shoulder for a moment, then scurry again down to the west side gutter. As I watched one day, tail-end-Charlie came blasting out of the field. He couldn't see the group until he cleared the roof ridge, still doing warp seven. He slam's on the brakes and does a 9g 180 degree turn, plopping down in the middle of his friends. A moment later, one bird leaves the gutter and glides to the ground under an almond tree about 30 feet away in search of food. All perched on the gutter watch intently to see if this brave individual gets eaten . After about five seconds, the group decides it's all clear, and down they go.