Thursday, July 8, 2010

We put a section of copper tubing in the hose where it lays on the tank's rim. Otherwise the hose kinks and the water can't flow through it.

Sunrise this morning. This was taken at 7:01 am. It's been light enough to see well since 5:oo am. It just takes it awhile to make it over the mountains and trees.

The mighty hunter with her first catch. I hope she gets a real blood lust and keeps the chipmunks and gophers in check.

I put a mark on the siphon hose so I know when the hose is all the way down to the bottom. Not far enough and it won't drain all the water out. To far and it will curl up and not drain the water out.

We haul six barrels (approximately 330 gallons) in the Dodge. When I use the S-10 I load three barrels. It takes about 45 minutes to siphon out one barrel.

When I put the hose in the barrel I have to take the hose out of the tank and drop it on the ground to start the water siphoning. We always store the hose with the ends above ground so that there is always water in the hose when we finish a barrel. That way if gravity doesn't start the water flowing we can go back toward the truck and raise the hose up to start the water flowing. I wait until it is flowing full force before putting it in the tank.

Good morning to me! I've alrady had to fix the same tire twice. Each time it was a new problem. Haven't had a flat on any other tire ... yet! I also need to replace the thermostat and ffind ot what's wrong with the starter.

We had an early morning guest behind the cabin this morning. (A doe.)

I cut the top off of an old pair of rubber insulated boots to keep by the door for quick trips outside. The top was split so rather than throw them away we decided to give them a new task in life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I washed dishes yesterday. After all the company over the weekend we had a stack of them! So, early this morning, I emptied a couple of 7 gallon jugs into the water barrel and refilled the reservoir over the sink using the 12 volt pump. Our youngest son took them with him and re-filled the jugs on his way back in from work this afternoon.

We both had writing to do. I did some research for one of the articles I’m working on. I needed to cancel some magazine subscriptions so I spent some time talking to a brain dead computer voice. It was one of those promotions where you get your choice of magazines (in this case, four) for a couple of dollar the first year. Three out of the four were garbage, the renewal rate was very high on the fourth one. So I called the toll free number of XEOS to cancel them. Of course cancelling one of those subscriptions is a lot more difficult than getting them. You go through all the nonsense finding your “account” then through the list of options. To cancel the subscription they ask if you want to cancel it so you say “cancel.” They then tell you that if you wait until the subscription expires you’ll be refunded your fee. Then they ask if you’d like to receive this refund in which you must say “no.” In the meantime you’re supposed to thinking that, “yes, you do want to cancel it” so you want to say “yes” but the proper response is “no.” If you say “yes,” (I tried it the second time just to see what happened) then they say the magazine will be renewed automatically when the subscription is up. In addition, they give you a couple of more options for great deals on other magazines before giving you the transaction number for your records. The first time they give the transaction numbers it’s done at warp speed. When you ask for them to repeat it (I always have them repeat it to be sure I wrote the correct number) they go at a reasonable pace. They then ask if there’s anything else they can help you with. If you say “yes” you listen to the entire thing again, BUT they can no longer recognize the magazine title when you say it so … you hang up and redial the number and go through the entire process again. It took me over a half-hour to cancel the four magazine subscriptions. Not once are you given the option of talking to a real person or given a web address to do it online.

On to the rest of the story … I updated my blog which took awhile since I hadn’t written anything for several days. After that I started up the generator and sharpened the blade on the power mower. It had taken out a few rocks and took a good bit of grinding to sharpen and re-balance it. While the genny was running I hooked up the pump and Susan gave the garden a good watering. She’d already watered part of it using the water can and refilling it from the tanks in the garden. I topped off the mower with gas and oil and it was ready to go.

On a side note, we haven’t bought a power mower in years because we can get running mowers from the dump. (We did buy both of our reel mowers.) The last one we got looked good and the motor wasn’t seized up so I took it home and dumped the old gasoline out and put in fresh gas. I primed the carburetor and pulled the starter cord and it fired right up. In a minute or tow it ran as smooth as a brand new one. I tried mowing with it and it cut like garbage. I shut it off the looked underneath expecting a dull blade. The blade was sharp but someone had put it on upside down. I turned it over and it works great. Most of the mowers we’ve picked up there just need fresh gasoline to start and run.

Anyway, on with our day. I filled up the water containers in the garden from the main water tank behind the cabin. I mowed some of the yard with the reel mower and she trimmed using hand clippers until time for supper. She’d made spaghetti using our solar cooker. When the spaghetti was finished she put cornbread mix on top and let it cook like you would dumplings. It was good but would have been better with the cornbread cooked separately. Cooking it with the spaghetti dried out the spaghetti too much.

We had lots of sun today so Susan ran the dehydrator awhile this afternoon and I ran the brass tumbler and another load of cartridge casings. Some of them are range brass I picked up where people like to shoot and take a lot of time in the polisher to clean them up.

A neighbor called and said she’d be running their pump and wanted to know if we needed water. Since the water tank behind the house was now almost empty we said sure. I went out to start the Dodge one-ton and saw that it had d flat tire on the front. I’ve had the tire off twice in the last year. Once the valve stem was leaking so I replaced it. The second time it had a very small piece of metal in it so I fixed that. I don’t know what the problem is this time because I didn’t have time to check it out last night. I just pumped it up with a little 12 volt tire pump. It started and ran well while I was pumping up the tire so I shut it off and got Susan so we could leave to get water. Then the truck wouldn’t start. I think it’s the starter now. We got our son to pull the Dodge and I started it that way. On the way to our neighbor’s it began to run hot. The thermostat was sticking. Fortunately it opened up and we made it the mile to our neighbor’s house. I parked on the slope so we could get it rolling to start it after we finished. We got their generator running to pump water from their well and Susan filled the barrels while BS’ing with the neighbor. (They have to run the well for about a half hour to clear it when they pump water. They have indoor storage tanks so the well only gets pumped once a week.) I grabbed my 22 and went gopher shooting. These were mostly young ones and pretty stupid. When I shot one another one would pop it’s head up to see what happened. So I’d shoot it too. I got eight total. Some 50-60 yard shots, some under 20. My rifle seems to be shooting high so I need to do some range work and get it back on target. Might be a new batch of ammo shooting to different point of impact.

We had some watermelon afterwards then headed back home. We had to roll the PU down the hill to start it. At the edge of my gopher shooting range another gopher was sitting up to have his picture taken. So Susan got out to oblige him. Then we saw turtle crossing the road for another photo opportunity. While she was doing that the thermostat stuck again so I drove the truck over to the crest of the hill and shut it off. She got back in and I let it roll down hill and restarted it. The thermostat opened up and we headed home with our water barrels (6) filled. The thermostat behaved the rest of the way home and I backed it up and began siphoning out the barrels. It takes about 45 minutes per barrel so I time it and go change over to another barrel every 45 minutes or so. By then it was late so I still have four barrels to drain this morning. When I go out the tire will be flat again too and I’ll still need to fix the starter and replace the thermostat. It’s a good thing it’s my wood and water hauler so I don’t have to depend on it to get me to work.

I set my live trap outside the garden yesterday and caught a young gopher. I disposed of it and will be setting the trap again today to try to catch a couple of chipmunks who’ve taken up residence near the garden. Since our big cat disappeared we’ve been having gopher and chipmunk problems. The cat used to kill everything smaller than it was and kept them in check around the house.

When I went out to swap the hose to the next barrel last night the kitten had caught a mouse. We finally have a cold blooded killer on the prowl. Good!

Thursday, July 8, 2010
Woke up at 4:30 this morning. My allergies have been bad this year and it’s really cut into my sleep. Decided to stay up and work on the blog and a few other things. We’ll have company today so we won’t get much done outside. It will be a good day for shooting though!

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