Archive | March, 2014

Shout out to Midway USA!

30 Mar

I wanted to give a big shout out to Midway USA. Late in the evening of the 21st I placed an on-line order with them and choose the least expensive standard shipping.

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Then on the afternoon of the 24th I find this on my doorstep. What could it be?

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Oooo! A complete AR15 rifle kit minus the stripped lower. Sweet! Three day standard shipping from order to delivery is not too bad, thanks Midway. I already have a lower that I have been playing with. I bought a lower kit and put it together with the stripped lower, then I took it apart and put it back together 4 times. I feel pretty competent working with the lower, now I can practice putting together the upper. I’ll let you know how it shoots when I get it together. Keep prepping everyone!

Old Timey Cellphones

29 Mar

Recently Stephen over at dixie critter had a post where some teenagers were laughing and making fun of his old-style landline on his desk. Well, those kids should get a look at my first cellphone.

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Here it is, my first cellphone, a Motorola bag phone, circa 1985. Don’t laugh, this thing was amazing. You could use this in your truck and make a telephone call from anywhere! (as long as you had a signal) It even had a battery and you could carry it with you and make a call standing outside. Incredible! It was a miracle! Previously, I had to be in the house or at a payphone to make a call. I would work until 6:00 or so, then I would get home, take a shower, eat a bite of dinner and start calling my clients around 7:30 up till about 10:00. Now-a-days with cellphones, I can talk to them at all hours of the day and not have to be on such a tight calling schedule. Having a cellphone has allowed me to take on more clients because I could contact more of them throughout the day and not be limited to just the evening hours. Of course, that bag phone was state of the art for that time, but it didn’t even have a camera. Who needed that? I had this.

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A Polaroid Instamatic camera! And yes, I checked on Amazon today, you can still buy film for this camera. Prior to this I had a 35 MM camera that used a roll of film. Kids, this was how it worked. You loaded the film in the camera and took pictures until the roll was full, usually 24-36 pictures per roll. Then you took that roll to the drugstore, put it in an envelope for the lab to pick up. In about a week or ten days you would get your pictures back. After looking them over, if you had some you wanted to share, you went back to the drug store, put the negatives in an envelope for the lab to pick up. Then in another week or ten days you would get back pictures to share with your family and friends. Now wasn’t that easy? Thinking about the old phones and cameras reminded me of this.

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We keep this plastic case under the seat of Sweet Things vehicle. What is it?

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You open the case and inside you have an emergency communication device, a CB radio! Sweet Thing has kept this radio since the early 1970’s and it still works perfectly. As a matter of fact, we used it recently on our trip to Nashville. We topped a hill and I slammed on the brakes to avoid a solid line of vehicles jammed up in both lanes of traffic. What in the world is going on? We pulled out the CB and the truckers were telling each other there was an accident 2 miles ahead and you needed to be in the right-hand lane to get around. I moved over to the right and crept ever so slowly past the jam-up. Sweet Thing used the radio a few months prior to that in similar circumstances only this time the wreck was so bad the traffic was at a complete standstill. The truckers were telling each other how to get off of the interstate and by-pass the accident so it saved her from sitting on the road for several hours waiting for the accident to clear. This radio really comes in handy sometimes, it just helps to be prepared. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

28 Mar

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With the improved weather I did manage to work on a few projects this past week. I used my tractor and brush-grubber chain to pull up some of those sapling trees on the front area by the highway. Someday when I get that finished the driveway to the house will look much neater.

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I noticed Lowe’s had some fruit trees priced at $12.50 each and after quickly checking around town the other stores had trees priced $20-30 each so I went back to Lowe’s and bought 10 more trees to add to the orchard. I also dug enough holes with the posthole digger to plant the vines I bought last Fall, (grapes, raspberries, blackberries) and blueberries. I picked up 6 grapes at Wal-Mart, they were sprouting so I knew they were alive so I felt safe buying them, otherwise I steer clear of buying live plants at discount stores for the most part. I spent an afternoon picking up limbs and using the loping shears to trim up some vines and brush around the fences. I spent a few hours cleaning up inside my shop so I can get better organized. I serviced up my tractor and made preparations to hook up some more of my implements the next week so I can work up the garden area. It won’t be too long and I can start putting some seeds and plants into the ground! Keep prepping everyone!

Tuesday Tunes: Kenny Loggins; Footloose

25 Mar

This is the 30 year Anniversary of the movie Footloose starring Kevin Bacon. (Has anyone else been watching The Following? Creepy!)  Anyway, here is the official video from Kenny Loggins. Enjoy!

Santa Is Ready For Easter

24 Mar

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Sweet Thing has Santa dressed up for Easter. This just keeps getting more and more creepy!

Home Made Knives

23 Mar

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I recently came into possession of some home-made knives made by Sweet Thing’s Dad. I don’t know exactly what the blades are made from, and the knives are not the prettiest I have seen, but they will certainly get the job done. He also made a wooden handle to fit the small tack hammer at the top of the picture. Being able to make and repair hand tools might be a useful skill to have when SHTF. Keep prepping everyone!

Bee Hives

22 Mar

Pioneer Preppy has been posting about his new bee hives and I noticed some of the local bee keepers have started putting their hives out near some of the fields I check. Last week I was pulling some soil samples and as I was driving down the road, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of something interesting. I drove past the object I spotted then slammed on the brakes and backed up.

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Sure enough, I did see this part of a bee hive on the shoulder of the road. Obviously this blew off of a truck while the bee keeper was moving his hives down the road. I picked the parts up and carried them with me for the next hour as I was working in the area. I had the intention of finding the hives and setting this out beside them so the owner could claim them when he came to check his hives but I didn’t see hives anywhere. If I don’t see them later I guess I will become the proud owner of a shallow super, top, and two frames with comb attached. This Summer I am going to buy a complete hive so I will have a pattern to make a few hives of my own. Maybe this time next year I will be ready to put out my own hives here on the Homestead. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

21 Mar

The weather has definitely turned for the better this week. Signs of Spring are everywhere; birds singing, flowers blooming, trees budding, and grass growing.

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Although, very little of that green color you see looking across the yard is actually grass. Most of it is wild garlic and winter annuals such as mares tail, chick weed, and henbit. The colder than normal Winter kept this weed complex in check until this past week and now it has started to grow. I didn’t do much spraying last year and I decided to do a better job of spraying this year.

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Last year I bought this ATV mounted sprayer with a hand wand and this year I added the twin nozzle boom attachment. The boom sprays an 80 inch wide swath so it makes spraying a large area faster than a hand sprayer. I covered about 4 acres of the homestead today and it still took me all afternoon. I’ll get the other 4 acres next week after I evaluate my spraying from today. I used 4 different rates in my tank mixture so I need to check the results to see what worked the best.  Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Tuesday Tunes: Boom!Bap!Pow!; Suit

18 Mar

You’re so cute I wanna wear you like a suit, I think you’d look pretty good on me. Take that line to mean whatever you want it to mean I guess. This tune has been playing in the background of the Ashley Furniture Commercials for the past 4 months and when I hear it the song just sticks in my head so I had to look it up and find it on You-Tube. Enjoy!

Homestead Update

15 Mar

I haven’t done a lot around the homestead this past week even though the weather is finally taking a turn for the better.

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Oreo and Kensey decided it was nice enough to come outside for the afternoon.

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I walked along the fence line by my barn and cut the giant grape vines that are climbing up the trees. These are the same vines people use to make vine wreaths, only these vines are 3-4 inches in diameter. Kinda tough to wrap those vines into a wreath!

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I used some scrap 2X4s to make this stand to help cut firewood from the small trees I seem to be constantly cutting down.

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I can lay the 4-6 inch diameter trees on the stand and cut them into 20 inch lengths without worrying about cutting into the ground with my chainsaw. I also straightened up inside my barn so I can start on some Spring chores. I used my push mower to trim up the monkey grass around the sidewalk. I put gas in the mower and on the second pull it fired right up. That’s a rare event for me, I hate small engines, especially when they won’t start. Oh, I also went over to the old barn on my neighbor’s property.

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I pulled two of the outside boards and they were so dry rotted I could tell if I tried to cut them with a skilsaw the boards would just shatter to pieces. I went to the inside of the barn where the boards were more sheltered from the weather and pulled down 5 boards and I was only able to salvage 2 of them; the other 3 just split into sections. I know how to disassemble a wooden structure, I have done it many times. Despite my experience, I still think I would not be able to get much usable lumber from this old structure. If it was actually mine, and it was on my property I would take my time and slowly get it down and salvage what I could. But, since it is not actually mine I don’t think I will mess with it anymore. Besides, when I pulled the last board off the studs, I discovered a wad of Bumble Bees as big as my fist. They were sluggish due to the cold, but they started to stir when I pulled the board loose. Oh well, I guess I will let someone else deal with that eyesore!

Hopefully now that the weather is a little warmer I can start some Spring projects and I will keep you posted.