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Friday, July 14, 2017

Leave Me Alone. I've Been Busy!

Well, well, well, what a month it's been.

At the store, we've been hunting like crazy for new employees.  We recently lost two of our long-term guys.  Like me, one had also had enough of the California bullshit, and has moved out of state.  I had absolutely no "sales pitch" to get him to stay.  Hell, why would I?  I did the same damned thing!

The other one really hurt.  Our oldest employee - whom we had promoted to manager - has had the itch to do his own thing (a different field) for the past couple of years.  Well, he started doing it part time about a year ago, and his business absolutely exploded.  Between working for us and on his new business, he was working 12 hour days, 7 days a week.  I shit you not.

He put in the time and effort, and it paid off.  I couldn't be happier for him.  He's a true friend, and I'll miss him around the store.

He gave us 3 months advanced notice, and we still haven't been able to find a replacement.  It's tough - you can't just put someone you don't know VERY well in charge of lots of cash, bullion and jewelry, and assume things will be fine.  So the hunt continues.

With regards to the first employee, he gave us 30 days notice, and we ran ads on a variety of venues.  I've got to tell you, the resumes I got were shocking.  The lack of grammar and spelling proficiency, and the overall shittiness of the majority of the ones we got, was stunning, to say the least.

One of our applicants.  Looks kinda familiar, no?

I shit you not, I would put the level of competence at 4th or 5th grade.  Same lack of competence whether it was from a recent high school grad, or a 50 year old man or woman.

It was shocking.  I got an absolutely perfect resume from a lady in the next town over, but she had none of the skills we were looking for.  I still called her to tell her that her resume was fantastic, and she should have no problem finding a job, considering her competition.  She informed me she had been offered a job that morning.

These soft-heads out there realize that their resume is their first opportunity to impress or repel a potential employer, right?

Finally found a guy.  Thank you Lord!  He starts this Saturday for training.  Fingers crossed....
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The little bit of free time I've had has been mainly directed to projects around the homestead.

First on the hit parade was fixing our freeze-less yard hydrant out on one of the corners of the property.  I noticed that water was literally bubbling up from around the pipe going underground.  Here's what I found:



What you're looking at is 2 feet underground.  The PVC pipe is the supply line going into the vertical cast iron pipe for the hydrant.  If you look closely, the supply pipe was simply friction-fit into the 90 degree elbow, with a gratuitous bead of caulking added.

Since the genius who originally installed it DID NOT USE PVC GLUE to hold the pieces together, ground movement separated the supply from the elbow, and 60 psi of water gushed out.

I repaired (and glued) the elbow to the supply line, added rock for drainage of the weep hole - as well as adding some landscaping cloth to help keep it clear of mud -



 I then back-filled it and it's ready to rock.




Oh, one little thing:  Our frost line is 24 inches down.  Sure enough, the supply pipe is 24 inches below grade.  Cool.  The problem is, the weep hole - which allows water to empty from the vertical pipe so it won't freeze and burst - is 9 inches higher.

So, some time in the future, I'll be doing some digging to re-route the end of the supply line about a foot deeper to get the weep hole below the frost line.

Hey, I've got nuthin' but time, right?
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I FINALLY got two of my raised beds finished (I was hoping to have 4 done, but...).  They're made from cinder blocks, and better last a lifetime!

The blocks are held together with this construction adhesive made especially for masonry.


The bottoms and the ends, with the second course staggered for the joints -



I let everything cure for a week, then lined the beds with cardboard (worms love that shit) and 1/4 inch mesh to keep any burrowing critters out.



We filled them up with a raised bed soil made here in Northern Nevada (each holds a bit over a cubic yard of soil).  Going forward, I'll "refresh" the beds with my own compost, which I've been making for the past year.  If I can get a chipper for less than an arm and a leg, I'll be adding wood mulch on top of the beds.

The fence to the left in the pictures faces due south, so I get great sun exposure.  These pix were taken early in the morning.  By 10am or so, they're in full, blazing sun.



'Taters in the first bed....



Corn, radishes and cucumbers in the second...


These were all planted on the 4th of July (Independence Day..... hmmmmm) and everything is sprouting as planned.

I figured I'd have a couple of more weeks before I'd have to worry about the wild rabbits eating my stuff.  I figured wrong.

I just came back from their noon watering, and some soon-to-be-dead rabbit "removed" a couple of the corn sprouts, a quarter of the radish sprouts, and a third of the cucumber sprouts.  Didn't touch any of the potato sprouts.  Curious.

I guess my bed fencing project just got moved up in the queue.....  pictures to follow.
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Oh, and on top of that, I gave a buddy who's building a log home in the wilds of Northern Nevada, a hand for a couple of days.  The first day was sorting the logs.  All the first course "A" logs, then all of the second course "B" logs.... all the way to 13 courses.

Some of these bastards were 17 feet long.  I believe they're roughly 8 inches square (they're "D" logs with 3 sides milled, and the outward-facing side left rounded - like the letter "D").

Damned near killed me!  Those bastards were heavy.

I went back a week or so later, and helped him lay the first course so it was tits-on perfect.  Hotter than hell, so we only worked for half a day.

Over the next couple of weeks, he finished the rest of the walls..... by himself!  The guy is a MacGyver kinda guy, and he rigged an engine hoist into a log lifter.  Seriously impressive stuff.

From this.....



 To this....



To this...



I believe I'm heading up to see him sometime next week.  Can't wait to see his progress.
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I've been chompin' at the bit to do a political video rant, but I'm going to wait until some backdrop equipment arrives late next week.

CNN and MSNBC have fucking lost their minds.  This Russia shit is non-stop.  I saw on Zero Hedge that CNNs Prime Time ratings were lower than re-runs of 1960's kids TV shows running at the same time.  That's gotta hurt.

These pinheads just don't get it.  Other than the left and right coasts, no one gives a shit about any of this fluff and/or fake news they keep spewing.
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Back soon(er).


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