ShopTalk Sunday: Tree Week, Dancing Alexa

Old Ure is tired and sore today – because knocking on the door of 74 (in mid-February) it’s not part of God’s Plan to be riding roughshod on a tractor moving wood.

The wood, of course, came from removing two 100-foot plus trees with a diameter of over 40-inches.  Two additional 90-footers, too. While sliced up into 8-to-16-foot hunks (depending on weight) should have made the leftovers easy to move, there’s always a snag, seems like.  In this case, it was a flat tire on the tractor.

Now, the whole project is on hold until the rains pass – because there’s no point in driving a tractor on turf (or what used to be turf) when wet.  That just creates the world’s biggest mud pies.  This is even more of an issue if your Big Tools include a Caterpillar bulldozer (they sink in, get stuck, which I personally accomplished with a D-6 way back in my youth).

If you ever get stuck in soft ground with a tractor (or with a Cat) the “secret sauce” is using the blade correctly.

What you do is push the blade (or bucket in our case) all the way down.  This will (if your hydraulic pump has good seals) raise the front of the tracks, or for us, take the front wheels off the ground.  (This is what makes changing front tires on a loader equipped tractor so easy.)

Except, I wasn’t dealing with a big Cat, my wimpy 25-HP Kubota simply got a flat tire on the left rear.

think it was stupidity on my part.  I had occasion Friday early to start up the tractor (25F outside) and go slamming and galloping down to the west side of the property.  Sound of big tree clearing equipment was heard and property lines matter. There are “timber rustlers.”

So, coming back, since I hadn’t checked tire pressure in a while (6 mos.) I likely (while semi-airborne going over deadfall) popped the bead seal.

Which allowed for a slow leak and then progressed to an almost flat with the weight barely supported by the sidewalls and the bead loose.

Which means what?  Waiting for the Truck and Tractor service rig to come out Monday or Tuesday, take off the 120-pound tire and rim, and then (likely) install a tube in the 11.2-16 tire.  While simultaneously uninstalling about $150 from Mr. Ure’s wallet.

The rural Arizona phrase “Shit fire and save matches” came to mind. Which as ancient invective goes is ever-so-more cognizable than “Why? Cat why sewn up in a rag.”  Either one is Zen Koan-like when you’re young.  Neither one, though, has made any more practical sense than “Oh f*ck” as I’ve gotten older, though.

One of these days, we ought to have a course in “Shop Swear Words.”

Before, During, After

The getting ready part:

Which, a couple of hours later turned into this for the first tree:

Notice, center right, the size of that brush pile as a result.  Well, this is my little project (there are two similar sized piles up hill from the three other trees).

Vendor recommendation?  Hell yeah!  Ryan’s Tree Service, Palestine Texas gets a five-star (and 6 if I could figure how to do it) for a perfect job.  Tree limbs overhanging the shop, tractorport, and house with a hot service entrance pole about 12 feet from one of the trees.  Takes art and skill.

Got a couple of other ideas on how to move the brush piles.  Buddy up the hill has that big (*45 HP) stump grinder on the back with a brush grapple on the front of the machine. It’s a beaut.

I’ll talk to him, but he’s busier than a pig with two dinks because he works 50-hours a week and has a young family.  However, it’s another experiment to test his hearing.  “Money talks” and we’ll see where his hearing kicks in.

Failing that, (Claude) Roberts Timber whose timber outfit did our last thinning/biomass cutting has a machine about the size of a 20-foot container that has a grapple and eats branches and smaller logs to like 6-inches in one end and spits biomass out the other.  Overkill.

And the next fallback is just waiting for the mobile tire outfit and for the ground to firm up.  Then doing the 25-hours of (very small, wimpy 25-HP) tractor work to push it all up in burn piles.

This is definitely something that would have been easier to “do as you go” but I’m not part of the tree crew and an old man in the way isn’t what they needed to be focused on.  So, it is what it is.

“Dad, you’ve got to stop putting pressure and artificial deadlines on projects.  Just chill.  You’ll get it all done,” offered the (still out of town) BIG jobsite firefighter/EMT/site medic son.  But one of the things that runs deep in the Ure genes is an almost compulsive need to get things done ASAP.

Which you’d never guess, looking at my workshop, lol.

Rain Day

With the tractor flat – and now the ground too soft to work anyway for a few days (yeah, if you’re a ‘slicker’ bet you never considered that reality of life in the woods, didja?) got us a “rain day.”  Which means inside projects will hold sway.

For one, another shop cart will be taking shape.  And then a whack at the set-up of a couple of more voice-controlled devices around our place.  Since we figured that Alexa was probably the greatest safety aid for seniors ever (it has alarm functions, it’s an intercom system, speakerphone with voice dialing, radio stations with programmable music, and control of lights and switches, a couple of new additions will be added to our voice control system array today.

Here’s the existing devices:

  • 180 Room Online
  • Bedroom Online
  • Bench Offline
  • Egypt Online
  • Guest 4th Fire
  • Echelon Offline
  • Elaine’s 5th Fire Online
  • Focus Offline
  • Garden Room Online
  • George’s 6th Fire Online
  • George’s Alexa for PC Offline
  • George’s Fire TV Online
  • Greenhouse Online
  • Hobby Shop Offline
  • Kitchen Online
  • Nightstand Offline
  • Office Online
  • Overhead Offline
  • Palmtree Offline
  • Paramount Offline
  • Porch Online
  • Shipping Offline
  • Shop Online
  • Sky Offline
  • Studio Offline
  • Vacuum Offline
  • Yankee Online

Many of the “offline’s” are downstream from another switch in order to reduce RF and save power.

Which makes sense, I suppose, only to us.  But, for example, we both already know that when I say “Alexa turn on vacuum” the big central vac in the shop will come on.  Echelon is the home comm’s center/ ham shack.  The next bank of radios will be either Menwith or Alice Springs.

Or, if it’s late at night (dark) and I want to see all over the backside of the house “Alexa, turn on bench” lights up the east shop workbench which in turn lights up the area between the house and shop because the shop walls on that side are polycarbonate clear.

Today, I will get voice control set up for “Spa” to turn on the pleasure center devices (back, foot, hand massage machines) that I wrote up a while back.

The “Northwest Room” will have a ceiling light switch by the name of “Alameda” just east of the Bay Bridge picture we commissioned years back.  A table lamp south of that painting will be “Fremont” although San Jose, and Los Gatos are still in the running.  If you’re familiar with South Bay geography and since we lived on our sailboat down that way for six months, the humor should be obvious.

A voice (and remote) controlled light in the guest bath off the Egypt-themed second bedroom in the house will be called “PooFu” because we don’t go in there to Khufu.

Disney-like mindset?  Well, duh.

Write when I grow up…

80 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: Tree Week, Dancing Alexa”

    • Friend who owned a big tire shop (semi’s and off road construction and mining equipment) used that trick at times when they were having a hard time getting a bead to set on the BIG tires. Sort of a “last resort” deal before demounting the tire and power grinding the wheel.

      Never knew him to use it on anything but the BIG tires. He understood the chemistry of tires (owned an Off The Road tire retread plant for years where they did tires up to 140+ inches across) so he knew when it was doable without ruining the tires.

      Don’t think you can do it for passenger car /pickup truck size tires without tire damage (but hey what do I know … my tire changing ability is my ability to pull out my credit card!! LOL).

      • Did this once on a motorcycle tire.., kind of an emergency – middle of nowhere – fix. Worked great. Don’t recommend it though.

      • I have seen videos of off road rock crawlers putting tires back on the rim with this method, They appear to usually use butane, not lighter fluid.

    • Yeah, I watched the gold miners do that on ‘Gold Rush’ for heavy equipment tires. Talk about a ‘bush fix’!

    • Jack it up first, so the tire isn’t fighting gravity as much. Yes, I’ve done the ether trick hundreds of times and it often works. Removing the valve and airing up with a high capacity hose and compressor helps sometimes too, as does band and a cheater tank. If the tire is damaged, it can usually be removed and flipped into the back of the pickup to bring to a large tire repair place. I had to do that with my cat 1 tractor this year when I speared the tire with a piece of large gauge wire hiding in the grass. My tire is a bit bigger(28″), but not that much, and it already has a tube. The wheel wasn’t that heavy since you only need to lift one side to lean it on the tailgate and then lift and slide it in. That way you can avoid the charges for the mobile service. I do have a large tractor with CaCl in the tires, and I’m not sure what I’d do if/when I get a tire failure.

      Good point about the soggy ground. I picked up a load of wood from a friend who had a tree professionally dropped, and I can’t unload it where I want to ’til the ground dries out from the melting snow.

      Such is life. At least your ranch is well on the way to being even better organized!

    • I’ve never done it. I have seen it done. When the ether explodes, it does so loudly (okay, it’s the combination of the explosion and the tire popping onto its seat). Still, the noise will shock & scare you, the first couple times, because no matter how well you prepare yourself for the {pop}, it’s gonna be significantly louder than you expect.

      ‘Tis just another one of those “old timer” tricks, like spraying ether down a spark plug hole and lighting it, to dry out a wet cylinder, or soaking & lighting a drowned spark plug, which I have done.

      A body can do lots of things with ether, besides testing for solubility of other things…

    • I have seen it done several times.. the one that scared the heck out of me.. was I drove truck.. tires get a flat and the tire guy would come out.. split rim’s.. and he wouldn’t cage the tire or chain it or anything.. then he would be bouncing on top of it while filling it.. I had to turn around and go away.. he would ask.. and I told him.. I don’t want to see the ring come off and take your head off.. so I will walk in the other direction until you are done..
      then one day he was at the shop.. the shop boss made him put it in a cage.. and he was filling it up.. and a piece of the rim broke off.. kapow.. it shot out like a bullet.. scared the hell out of him.. put a whole in the building.. after that.. not only was the tires in the cage but wrapped with logging chains.. LOL LOL LOL..
      mostly they use a tire tiger.. to do the same thing as the ether pop..

    • Sadly I think Armstrong and his computer “Socrates” are correct.

      The War is being pushed by DC and London, for reasons only the insiders know for sure, it is NOT by accident that they are pushing pushing pushing Russia into a corner where it MUST react if it is to survive.

      As I mentioned a couple of days ago … maybe we have some sort of undisclosed secret technology weapon that makes the Military and Political Leadership think that they can prevent any direct attack on the US /GB. I personally wouldn’t gamble a country’s survival on such a new technology, but like the scientists working on “Gain of Function” (ie: Covid Virus), scientists and politicians often (usually) think they know more than they really do about what they have created. (ala Pres. Johnson wrt his “War of Poverty” which destroyed the Black Family)

      We everyday people are along for the ride, whether we want to be or not. Fun Times are NOT ahead imo.

      • Stephen 2,

        You are correct about “some sort of undisclosed secret technology weapon.”

        G.A. STEWART: That discovery on December 10th, 2009 was earthshaking for me, because the Norway Light Spiral was clearly a Directed Energy/Scalar Weapon, and it was the most likely cause of the failure of a submarine launched Russian RSM-56 Bulava missile from the nearby White Sea. The coiling blue beam of light in those photographs appeared to be Cherenkov Radiation, which is caused by high speed atomic particles.

        To this day, I am apparently the only writer to make this connection. These weapons are where the hubris of the Globalists comes into play.

      • pres Johnson knew exactly what he was doing to the black family, he said so, “….for 100 years.”

        It has ruined the white families, too, just took a little longer, as the whole white culture is under attack and up for destruction.

        So now you know why Russia, Ukraine, USA, and other white majority countries are targeted for WAR.

      • “We everyday people are along for the ride, whether we want to be or not. Fun Times are NOT ahead imo”

        I hear ya.. and totally think that you are right on the money.. scary.. what gets me is if they only read the studies that they have paid millions of dollars to have made.. they wouldn’t even be thinking this or pushing this envelope.. its almost like they think it wouldn’t involve them in any way.. I personally like to sit out and watch the cloud formations and have a cup of coffee..see the starlight.. there isn’t anyway I would want to be in some hole someplace hiding for the rest of my life.. or to see civilization come to an end because someone wanted a little more money.. or a few more numbers on a stupid sheet of paper..
        then again.. we are talking about a group that doesn’t have to work for a living.. they have always been at some feed trough and built their whole business existence on getting more from the feed troughs of DC…
        hes at an age that it really doesn’t matter one way or another.. if he had read the biography of Putin or Xi.. I think he would see that.. Putin if pushed in that corner will come out fighting he will turn delaware and the USA into a wasteland .. And not by choice.. it will have to be a last resort thing.. the same with Xi.. Xi.. values human life he has been the voice of reason through this whole mess.. and we have gone to great lengths to make him upset as well.. is there some sort of suicide pact with the politicians in DC.. must be no one is saying anything about any of it.. our borders have been overrun.. and we are pushing a fight that will change the face of the planet for many hundreds of years..

  1. Rain day – eureka! time to ponder…

    How far is DC putrified swamp/ Delaware Beachs – from International Maritime Boundry?
    Bonus question –
    How far is Palestine, TX from Cuba ?

    Insert answer into following data set and formulate Time and Distance to target;

    Admiral Gorshkov – carrying how many Zircon hypersonics ? Its a variable, all we know for certain is she carries 16 zircons per salvo.

    Zircon Hypersonic – Range greater than 1000km, Speed Greater than Mach 9

    The answer to Time & Distance question is rendered mute – because in both cases; putrid swamp creatures (traitors ALL OF EM) or Palistine TX = Nobody will have ANY time to run to a shelter, unless of course you wear a gay red body suite and Ure name is TheFlash.

    ? How did pedo bribem snooker Olaf Sausage into sending his “tattered cats” to cokraine ? Abrahms run on aviation kerosene – massive amounts of it, extremely technical, extremely heavy = no go till at least Summer time, next summer. Logistical support would be near impossible – see Trashganistan.

    Let a concerned reader know how youse all are gonna feel when Admiral Gorshkov docks in Cuba for a little visit. Keeping in mind last time there were Russian missiles, pointed at USA from Cuba – Floridians panicked, and mass exodus ensued..more people died in traffic accidents during that panic, than the prior 3 years of traffic fatalities combined. rutrow..

    Weenie roast time my American Friends, da?

        But how far are you from the morons in control.. those are the idiots I worry about.. I am sure that those in other countries are the same as around the wastelands.. read the daily news and shake your head in disbelief.. can they all really be that stupid.. or is the well to their influence so deep that they can’t see the light or reason..
        Have you ever noticed that since the situation of the laptop hit the news.. that more and more television announcers and actors in television shows playing positive role model parts LOOK like the Perv.. and dress like the Perv.. right down to the physical gestures that they are scripted to make.. its astounding.. of course they are not the perv.. but the subconscious message as in subliminal messaging is that of a positive role model..
        Kind of like when they had the cowboy hero riding into the sunset on a horse where they put womens breasts on the horses azz as a way to show positive outlook for the hero and his beloved horse.. or the guy jumping on a trampoline with sunflowers smiling all around him as a prelude to a movie.. all subliminal messages..

  2. Trees are love/hate. A tree shading a house saves on summer cooling costs but can also be a danger. Good work ditching them.

    There was a firestorm in Detroit about 12 years ago.

    Detroit Neighborhood Remains Charred A Year After Firestorm (2011)

    “DETROIT (WWJ) – It was a year ago Wednesday that a firestorm swept through an eastside Detroit neighborhood and destroyed 85 homes. Falling utility lines, high winds and dry weather were blamed for the fast-moving inferno, but miraculously, no one was killed.”

  3. I am a trainee in Murphy’s many laws and corollaries:
    One of my favorites is:

    “When you want to do something,
    You have to do something else.”

    Of course, that preliminary ‘something’ is, itself,
    a ‘something,’ So you gotta do THAT preliminary’s
    own preliminary.

    One would initially reason that therefore nothing can ever get done due to the preliminaries to the preliminary nested matryoshka dolls.

    But, Thank God, there does seem to be some sort of natural limit to this business that tops out at anywhere from one to five (in my experience) the dolls peter out quickly after that.

    So one CAN get things done, but only after Murphy’s matryoshkas are satisfied.

    – 73 –

      • I am right with you on that.. head out to get the mail.. but see the dishes are still on the table so you go to put the dishes in the sink.. then remember that you forgot you had a letter to be put in the mail back in the other room.. head back to get it.. the phone rings.. so you run to answer the phone .. then have to use the toilet.. by the end of the day the mail is still in the mailbox , the dishes are still not done and the letter still is in the room waiting to be mailed.. the story of my life LOL LOL LOL

        • sounds like a story of “waking & baking”. should really consider putting away Ure pipe, before it puts you away..

          beware of the “labrador” , lest he bites Ure arse.

          personally prefer jackrussel..but to each their own..woofwoof

  4. LOL. I don’t know why but as I’ve fumbled and bumbled into the latest years the “OH (eff word)” has emanated from my lips with increasing ease whenever an unexpected negative event occurs. Up until now I’ve made such frequent use of “Dammit” that the family gave me my own Dammit doll back when I was in my 40s but that word just doesn’t seem to fill the bill now days. So far, though, using the F-word doesn’t happen around others in the house – and we’ve been super careful to limit our grandkids’ vocabulary in that regard – but the pasture has been blistered many times already. Perhaps it due to pent up refusal to use that word over my lifetime and now the dam has broken.

    We use a lot of “Fix-a-Flat” on the ranch. Trailers, the tractor, the old pickup and other pneumatic tired rolling stock will often sit for months on end and never move. The old truck’s tire got so low once that the bead had broken, as did yours, so I thought perhaps rolling the truck back until the bead came back in contact with the rim might work – and it did. The bead popped back into place and I filled the tire from there. What I wouldn’t give for a good ICE powered air compressor when we’re out rounding up on the 4 wheelers but they ain’t cheap and you just don’t throw them into the back of a truck and go. They need to be anchored and I need all the space in the bed I can get. We’ve got pretty good tires on the 4 wheelers but plowing through the cactus means they look like a pin cushion on the inside. All the tires have many plugs on them which work well but the repair shop in town filled one of the 4 wheeler’s tires with a gel that keeps them rolling regardless of what punctures they may have. The other 4 wheeler will get the same treatment the next time it goes into the shop.

    As far as long-term waits on projects go the solar powered well in the North end finally, FINALLY was completed a few weeks ago after getting a new pump in back in December and waiting for the son to get enough of a break in his schedule to come out and help. Pulling that thing 4 times was a pain as each time exposed another problem that had to be fixed.

    At least the son got to bring his oldest daughter out, she’s 10, to help, which she did quite willingly as she was interested in the technical details of how the pump system worked. They did, and I was happy to allow it, reserve time for a little play as they competed in their accuracy skills with the BB gun. The bet was who was going to open gates on the way back. The son lost.

    Now my tractor is down as I popped an old hydraulic line and one hydraulic stabilizer ram on the backhoe attachment last week. The ram is still in the shop and the hose that broke is stuck big time on one end such that I think I’m going to have to heat it up to get the threads to let loose. All the flats on the hex fitting have rounded off trying to get it out. Just hope I don’t over heat and screw up that ram, too.

    The more stuff you have the more stuff you have to take care of.

        I had read of a guy once that names his dog shizt head LOL LOL..
        I can see him now out calling his dog .. can you imagine having two dogs one named dammit and the other shizt head LOL

    • So true about stuff! Hydraulics are great until they break, and you’re lucky that your current leak is easy to find. I’m wondering how to even figure out what’s leaking near a buried spool valve under a Bobcat seat! Is it one of a dozen hoses or the spool valve seals? No real clue yet. It’s challenging to run the machine when opened up, and even with cleaning everything, the source of the leak is uncertain. Then fixing it will be yet another challenge since it’s tightly packed. That’s probably a problem left for when it gets a bit warmer.

      • Ah – a Bobcat! What I wouldn’t give to have one of those as an intermediate Earth mover with all those attachments available! But, you’re right, they have a lot packed into a very small space and in this weather another thing I long for is a heated garage to make repairs in.

        I gave up trying to unscrew the hose that popped off the hydraulic ram it’s going to. The swivel end came off with no problems but the other end is stuck and not even heat being applied to it would make it let loose. I rounded off all the flats and have chewed up what’s left with a Channel-lok. Makes me wonder if the metal fitting expanded and welded itself in place before it blew – and I’ve double and triple-checked the righty, tighty, lefty, loosy thing and it’s not left-hand threads either! It’s twin on the other cylinder is normally threaded. I finally removed the whole ram it’s attached to and will take it in to the machine shop that has the other one. They may have to cut the threaded socket off the cylinder and weld another in its place. The accompanying cylinder it works with has already been rebuilt so might as well make it a pair.

        • I had a fitting once break off flush with the cylinder. Since I had no better idea, I bought a star drill and ground it into an “easy-out” shape with sharp edges to dig into the inner diameter. I pounded it into the fitting and then used a large pipe wrench(with a cheater pipe) to remove it. There’s usually a way, and it usually takes way too long.

        • @NM Mike

          “I had a fitting once break off flush with the cylinder. Since I had no better idea, I bought a star drill and ground it into an “easy-out” ”

          My Dad taught me how to do that with an Allen wrench and mallet, back when the only “star driver” was a Bristol Spline…

        • A small pipe wrench, George? That may have worked but the end piece’s metal was so soft it probably would have just kept chewing it down to nothing. I’d cut the line to get a box end wrench over it and the flats just rounded off – like buttah. The machine shop seemed to agree that it may take as much as cutting the female nipple off and welding another in its place. Since the accompanying ram had already been O/H a few years ago I told them to go ahead and do that cylinder too since they’d have to take it all apart to apply that much heat to the cylinder. Little by little I’ll get a new tractor eventually.

    • “What I wouldn’t give for a good ICE powered air compressor when we’re out rounding up on the 4 wheelers”

      The tow-behinds come up occasionally — seem to sell mostly for between $700 and about $3k. I should think there’d be a lot of them rolling over in Texas and NM.

      • Believe me, I’m waiting with bated breath on all the bankruptcies and sales coming down the pike. They’re starting already around here.

        • Check the surplus sales — the links are in George’s “Hot Deals” section. Sometimes one slips through the auctions at Iron Planet or Purple Wave, but not often, because that’s where every earth-moving contractor on the planet shops for used gear.

  5. Just a suggestion Ure might want to fill repaired tire and other rear with antifreeze before pressuring with air. My New Ho here in Canuckistan has added ballast to assist bucket lift.
    Aside, I appreciate the so many contributors for their knowledgeable words posted. Kathleen yesterday, stole my thoughts and Guttenburged it. Thanks.
    Could there be a thumbs-up thingy for those posts? Any other input is a response as always but would allow one click/reader.
    So much I look forward to this site.
    Cue: “Its a Small World After all”

    • I prefer to hang a weight on the three point rather than liquid in the tires! It’s much easier to handle if/when you damage a tire. Just my two cents. Yes, you can get into tighter places without something cantilevered on the back end, but most of the time it doesn’t matter.

    • “Ure might want to fill repaired tire and other rear with antifreeze before pressuring with air.”

      Around here, they use windshield washer fluid or the old timers used to use used motor or hydraulic oil (say that three times, fast…!) A couple hundred bucks worth of WSW fluid is a lot cheaper than a couple thousand worth of cast iron wheel weights. I have not filled my tires because I have not heard any definitive answer WRT whether any of that stuff damages rubber. At $439 each, I really don’t want to replace my tires…

  6. I have a hitch in my giddy up today too Mr Ure. I tell ya what dislocating your leg at the knee isn’t as painful as jumping back up and popping it into place really quick. cowboy up!

    and now I’m wearing the same leg brace today Mad Max wore. right before I work the Thunder Dome EDM next Friday. brilliant strategy Andy! brilliant! ffs!

    according to legend and several prophesy the chosen one walks with a limp.

    I’m not so bold to think it’s me. I don’t want to be the chosen one. at all. no thanks.

    current pain level a 6 to 8. but that never stopped me before. I been married twice.

    I look at life as One Dialog between THE DUDE and me. one has to ponder if the current world trajectory after considering new data and old sub sets, is that in the near future, there will be a drastic change of women to men ratio. since lately that is a current reoccring theme presented.

    drastic reduction on male population. or a drastic increase in female population growth.


    we shall see.

    been handed a micro phone 3 days in a row lately. not sure what that is all about. last one was covered in gold and sparkles.

    no worries. one thing about practicing meditation alot. pain doesn’t really bother me much.

    well, off to hang out with a thousand Kartwheelers.

    some the first totems or ~ Finger Prints of God~ I found in California are reoccurring again. interesting as they reoccur they have greater presentation and value.

    see ya.

    • right after I posted that. I came into work the cheer competition. manager says you are limping pretty good. you can go home if you want. I said, nah. I will be alright.

      got inside and that little girl I caught before she went off a 4 story drop off yesterday? she left something for me she made.

      it is the same identical to ~ The finger print of God ~ I found at a shell station when getting gas outside of LA where the wind farm is. completely identical object. with one exception. she wrote me a note that matched exactly what was written on the fortune cookie fortune I found a month ago, laying on the floor in a gas station bathroom. same exact thing. I looks like adult hand writing. perhaps her mother wrote it.

      hmmmmmm…. you could day that again.

      that was over 2 years ago I found that totem at the shell gas station. same identical object given to me today. and the note written with it is the same exact thing written on a fortune cookie fortune I found in the bathroom exactly a month ago.

      good thing I didn’t stay in bed this morning. I really wanted to. the pain was enough for most people to make that choice. but I look at pain as just a distraction. and I thought okay….slow my roll. got it DUDE.

      pretty cool.

      • I pause in moments like that. because whatever it is, that leaves me these ~ Finger prints of God~ has far superior understanding of “time” than that of my finite mind.

        i mean, forget the odds, of occurrence. because it is not an anomaly. or singular occurrence. if it was. the I could chalk it off as, oh that is weird. but it has happend now several times. that shows it is intentional. intentional communication with me.

        quite the ponder George. quite the ponder indeed. the odds of anyone or anything knowing that I would stop at a gas station over 2 years ago to get a large Iced Tea, the wind catching my ball cap and sending it over by an old rusty broke down pick up truck, finding an object laying there.

        then over 2 years later, getting a coffee spot on my glasses, going to the bathroom to clean my glasses, coming out and around the corner grabbing a little girl karwheeling from going off a 4 story balcony. later displaying my leg at the knee, muscling through the pain anyway, getting to work at a national championship cheerleader competition, I didn’t know I would be at 4 days ago, and waking in the door and receiving a thank you note and made object that matches identically to the object I found outside a shell gas station by the wind farm on I-10. and a hand written note by obviously a parent that said verbatim what was written on a fortune cookie fortune in a gas station bathroom I found “randomly” on the floor.

        that shows intent. that shows ability. that shows superior ability and concept of time, I have a hard time wrapping my head around. you would have to know the exact moment I would be in those places, the exact GPS locality, every variable to place me in the exact moment that would line everything up perfectly. because there is not a single mistake made. not a single mistake. every single person including myself, made the exact sequential choices to place me exact where I needed to be, for that to occure.

        not just once. there has been multiple occurrence of this happening.

        and I don’t understand why. or what for. there has to be a reason for it. why me? why now? what is the purpose for it? where is it taking me? what is the end result. I mean I could have stopped at a different gas station that day. I could not came to work today and u thought hard about that. but I cowboy up and went anyway.

        and I don’t know anyone else these things happen to. at all. never heard of it ever happening to anyone else. never read of it happening in any book, I’ve ever read.

        hmmmmmm…… am I being corralled? am I being lead to the promis land? lots of wonders and ponders.

        anyone else experience this on here?

        because I don’t know anyone else this keeps happening too. at all.

        quite the ponder.

        • Synchronicity, Andy, synchronicity… being ‘in tune’ with the universe around you. Yes, I have experienced it. Not as intense or often as you, but once experienced, it is ‘known’. Enjoy it! THE DUDE works in strange ways… awesome.
          It is an effect of the huge life forces you have been infused with after 12 NDEs. Breathe deep and savor it.

        • This “message” was apparently the confirmation of the totems you’d received.

          Now, question of the day for you: If you hadn’t gone to the competition, would you have received this confirmation through another channel…?

        • Just confirm it ! All of it and everything – then move on young man.

          In Qingong terms..
          “a loooong way to the beginning you have to “practice” on Ure own. Advanced masters will not accept you as a student because you are not virtuous enough. If a master gave you advanced energy or taught you advanced Qigong, it would only give you problems. Therefore , advanced Qigong masters will test you first before accepting as a you as a student. Prior to the test, you have to cultivate Ureself, practice by Ureself or with others to acquire virtue, civility, innocence, joy, selflessness, no-desire, modesty, refinement , differentiating right and wrong.
          Only when you are in a very refined state will the advanced master teach you.
          There is a saying that ” in martial arts, the true martial artists should have refined features; men have female-like refinements and females have male expressions.”
          In other words, mankind originally had characteristics of both sexes and had refined and civilized expressions. Once you reach such a state, the master will give you some extra Qigong energy and you will understand the mystery and wonders of Qigong. If he gave you this Qigong energy before you were ready for it, you would not be able to endure it.
          In Qigong, it always masters searching for students, it is not students searching for masters. You can only create conditions for receiving teachings from masters..-YX

          As Confusious once said – “When there are 3 people walking together,I will surely find a teacher among them.”

  7. AmpNess:

    I have been considering taking lots of devices offline to reduce power consumption. My COOP sends the bill online then hard copy. They must love me. I am bordering on commercial grade :0/ house, barn, landline, internet (fiber to the curb). ChaChing.

    Need to make power. Day 21 -0- gain here. Hmm

    George: moving timber or brush piles sorta push a heap then encircle with a strap (rigged to slip closed) and tow with a chain. I have moved countless piles with pick-up trucks, my SUV, and a tractor that is circa Green Acres.

    ATL (around the Lake): chill, damp due to temp hanging just under freezing. We dodged two storms, were the cream in the cookie, so I have less shoveling to do than norm. Which brings me to the purpose my commenting today:

    74. That’s a number I aspire to. But OEM gear is wearing thin so it’s time to baby it. Hire help. I’m geeked. My helper is coming over today for the first time in a month. Mrs. Egor is adding to the list.

    Write when you get younger,

    • I just got younger. In fact I picked up a 10,000 pound 20 ft towing strap for presactly this purpose.

      B ut then I remembered to call my neighbor with the Brush jaws on the front of a 46 hp kubota and a big-ass stump grinder on the other. I expect 45 minutes for a $100 bill will make him smile. If not him (he did want to charge me anything!) it will make his wife smile :-) May be done by Friday depending on rain, scheduling etc. But my runt tractor will get fixed, too…

    • If you stack the branches in the same orientation, then thread and wrap the chain through and around the big stuff, the smaller branches will usually ride on top OK, and you can drag the whole clump out to the burn pile. Using a lighter chain for the brush and a heavy chain for trunks works best. Whether you use a strap or a chain, it is still hard work.

      • Calling my neighbor with the brush grappler was way easier…we’ll see if he comes through in a week or two before up armnorning to Man Work. *Be baiuted, hoping some feminot would argue and I’d say “show me” lol
        One of the joys of Elaine is she is ultra-willing to let “a man do the heavy stuff” – she’s good with watching. So far avoiding driving the tractor except for a 4 min orientation…

    • Good nutrition — including “trace elements.” Eschew Junque.
      Adequate good sleep. (Everybody’s different, but just don’t short-change yourself.)
      Drink P-L-E-N-T-Y good water. (Get a Britta or a Berkey — city water is poor quality no matter where you are. Well water MIGHT be ok — have it tested.) Water is VERY important — few people drink enough.) I do a little bit under a gallon a day — sometimes a bit over.
      Exercise daily — few people do enough. Just walking is fine, but do enough.
      Be of good weight. Walking enough will pretty much take care of that. Over-work does NOT equal exercise.
      Moderate alcohol. (Resveratrol is good — in red wine)
      Near-zero smoking. I do an occasional high-class cigar. Less than one a week. (It pleases me. STFU.) Chain cigs are DEATH.
      Be as serene as life will allow. If life doesn’t allow, work on that, and make changes. They ARE necessary.
      Live 250 years in good health — it’s a worthy goal.

    • Are you with WME Co-op?

      People don’t realize…

      20 years ago I had a dedicated media server in addition to my work computer, my “surf & play” computer, and the server I was using to repair & service other peoples’ computers (I was out of the “build” business, but still repairing and doing C/D/H contract work.)

      That’s 375w+450w+650w+425w whenever they were on, and not counting the power draw by the firewall, monitors, printers, KVM switch, or work router, much of which ran 24/7 and unnoticed. I’ve a 46″ TV (because it fits in the hole I have to place a TV in, that’s why). That TV draws 306w (by actual measure) when its on, but it draws 160w when it is off.

      Every smart appliance (and most “dumb ones” made after 1990) is “always on” whether it is “turned on” or not. This is another reason my toaster was made in 1950, my big mixer 1937, my washer & dryer 1980, and my (usually ONE) computer is plugged into an old fashioned power center. When I click a switch to “off,” my stuff turns off…

  8. and just like that the pain in my knee went away. after that last comment. completely gone now. weird.

    is what it is I spose.

  9. I took out two Pecan trees in our backyard, needed help with the third, and took the good logs to a small home miller in Weatherford and had them sawed into 1″ planks. I ended out ahead if I had to buy that lumber retail though if you count my labor to rig up a ramp and winch to load them in the pickup, well…
    The small stuff has all been sawed and split up for BBQ, of which we have less of since the spouse went mostly vegetarian (more for me, lol). Used the loppers to cut up smallest branches for kindling as long as my patience could take it. I know pine is a different story but if I could find a way to mill them I would. I still have a few planks of Pacific Madrone and Port Orford Cedar from my folks place in Oregon, I find the process satisfying, to have furniture and such made from ‘farm to table’.

  10. How many more trees will you have to cut to have enough wood to frame a house? Are you going to put the trunks up on blocks and cover with plastic so they can dry?

    Look into Tim-bor as a treatment. I backed an agricultural sprayer up to the bare framed house and garage and hosed it down, frame, sheathing, and all. Only complaint was the windows had to be razor cleaned (Hint – cover and tape glass).
    Another tip for keeping the insects at bay- put angle aluminum along the bottom plate up against the sheathing in between the studs, and screwed it down. There are always gaps between the sheathing and the frame which can be made tighter. Insects crawl up from the bottom looking for gaps.
    Finish up by applying a line of boric acid on the before putting in the insulation and sheetrock.

  11. George
    Damn it actually worked!
    I needed to strip a wooden chopping board of residue that had accumulated over the years. And yes the board was washed after use, but residue seeped into the wood.
    I had heard that oven cleaner could be used to do this. As the board would be scrapped if it could not be cleaned I decided to give it a try. EasyOff in the blue can is the preferred chemical. An outdoor spot was selected and cardboard laid down. The board was positioned at an angle so all sides could be treated. Using rubber gloves I sprayed the board until the can was empty. I let it sit for 90 minutes. I then scrubbed the board with a wire brush and then hosed it down. I let it dry in the sun light for an hour. Upon inspection I found a perfectly clean board that showed it was made from Birch wood.
    People are using this method to restore old furniture. There are tons of videos on YouTube showing this. One problem you might have is with plastic coated wood. The EasyOff will not work. It will not dissolve plastic. You will have to sand that off.
    I recommend this method to strip wood. Just follow all safety precautions!

    • If you read the label, Easy Off is basically Sodium Hydroxide which is lye
      lye is cheaper. There may be some surfactants to energize the process.
      Be careful as lye is toxic

      • Hmm.. had to go look .. most of them use propane as the propellant..
        same thing with a potato gun and a can of underarm deoderant.. a little propane in it.. its the air to fuel mixture that makes it explosive..

  12. “there’s always a snag, seems like. In this case, it was a flat tire on the tractor.”

    do it your self videos is always a plus..
    and the best advice anyone can give another handyman.. if they don’t find you handsome they should at least find you handy..
    have skills…
    and the best advice..

  13. George- my old farmstead,sold it 4 years ago ,after 28 years.Moved there from the city where i grew up and still worked.Took down 7 winbreak 100yo ash trees that the beetles killed.Found a guy who wanted the straight 3ft diameter trunks.Sawed the rest up my self.The smaller branches twigs bark and debris we threw on those cheap plastic tarps from the big box store.Rope attached at 2 corners and dragged quite easily with our big cub cadet lawn tracker.Had less than 10 acres but when those old trees died it was time to go even tho i had it nearly paid off.Property taxes went from 1200 to 13,000 during my time there.It was hard work but meaningful cutting 6acres of grass with an orchard and 100s of other trees .700ft gravel driveway 90yo barn etc.Kids grew up and moved on.I worked construction in Chicago for 38 years and am just too beat up .Bought a house in town for 170 cash and was offered just under 3 for it last summer but not ready to move again.I will get what i get when the time comes.Got enough coming in to keep the lights on and our bellies full.I escaped the southside as a young man .It has not been an easy life but a fine one.You may have more luck dragging some of that wood than trying to lift it .I put a standard hitch on my garden tractor,20hp, and bought a cheap flat bed trailer for most tasks even hauling gravel ,I also had some great neighbors who had full size tractors bobcats dump trucks and such.Ash is primo firewood so was ablt to trade wood for gravel patio blocks ,field stone and some mower belts and blades.

  14. “…if you’re a ‘slicker’ bet you never considered that reality of life in the woods, didja?) got us a “rain day.”

    My first ever job was working retail at the local Radio Shack downtown. Being low man on the roster, my job included keeping the mop handy and floors clean when there were no customers. I quickly learned that ‘rain days’ were busy as all the farmers came into town to shop. Most still in their ‘barn boots’…. Mud and manure still a clinging. With customers at a constant flow, the white tile floors looked much like the rain soaked curb gutters outside. But I did clock an extra half hour cleaning floors after closing time.

    “Echelon is the home comm’s center/ ham shack.  The next bank of radios will be either Menwith or Alice Springs.”

    With two confirmed contacts with NA1SS now, mine would have to be ‘Houston’. George go to the bottom of my QRZ page to see the photo proof of my callsign in the NASA photo record.

    “Write when I grow up…”
    LOL! I tell people routinely that I may be getting older, but I REFUSE to grow up!

  15. It looks Ike you picked the right week to cut the trees down as a weather report suggests that you might get an ice storm!

  16. George, you had the smarts to do what I did with a massive house overhanging sweet gum tree a couple months ago.

    I got a call this evening from a friend of a friend of mine who told me the friend is in intensive care because of a tree he was cutting down. The tree fell in the direction he’d planned, but a gust of wind pushed it into a neighboring tree, it bounced back and fell on him, putting him out. He doesn’t know how long he was out, and was found later today by a neighbor who wondered why there was no chainsaw noise.

    He’s got staples holding his scalp together, several broken ribs with a punctured lung and a trashed collarbone. I was surprised to hear this whole thing since he’s been having heavy chemo because of a recurrence of prostate cancer. He’s a heck of a nice guy, in his 60s, only recently married, but a trouble magnet, I guess. I’ll have to beef up my nightly prayers for him again. Gray Fox

  17. Re: “Dancing Alexa” feat. Mr. Z.


    Gosh, golly. Billionaires are pulling strings behind curtain #4 again! Msm headlines are woking us up to petition from the Servant of the People that athletes from Russia and Belarus should not be permitted to compete as “neutral” in the 2024 Paris Olympics. The IOC disagrees, so far.

    Global Athlete, an American tax-free charity founded in 2019 and fronted by a British olympic cyclist, has picked up Mr. Z’s truncheon. Global Athlete was cofounded and receives funding from American charitable foundation FairSport which is fronted by a Norwegian olympic speed skater. FairSport was cofounded by two multi-billionaire venture capitalists. The flagship company based in San Francisco of one of the two holds a quotation from Louis Pasteur as its guide: “chance favors the prepared mind”.

    Don’t miss the starting gun.

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