March 30, 2011 – Tractor vs Tree

I’ve spent a good part of the last few weeks cutting up firewood and hauling branches from the old maple tree that came down a couple weeks ago.  The day finally arrived to try to move the main trunk sections down to the burn pile in the pasture.  It was a true case of tractor vs tree.  Tree won the first round.  I needed to cut one part of the trunk in two as the tractor could barely budge it.  That was the first time the tractor had been denied.

So, here’s the first section, almost ready to be released to the pile.

More sign that the tree put up a good fight.  I now have an “opportunity” to reseed the area around the tree and the dragging path in the pasture

The big trunks all in their place.  It’ll be a warm December fire when these guys light up!

one year ago…”Winter Damage”

March 29, 2011 – News from Cambodia

A former writer type co-worker of mine is now in Cambodia, volunteering for the American Jewish World Service. Mark lost his job at Wells Fargo and took it as an opportunity to volunteer. He’s keeping a blog at Mark in Cambodia. I’m particularly struck at the people, colors, and stories of the inhumanity of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979, during at which as at least 1.7 million people were killed and deaths documented so Pol Pot could be sure his underlings were telling the truth on executions and murders. If you’re so inclined, you can stop by his blog and read more and get more photos like the one below.

I’ll use Mark’s words to describe his work in Kampot: “Among my tasks this week, I created a volunteer plan for the NGO’s youth group who will be helping out with Cambofest, an indie film festival to held here in early March. I also developed an action plan for my work over the next three months. Central to that plan is an internal and external communications strategy, annual and quarterly report editing, development of one grant proposal and future proposal strategy, as well as developing English speaking, critical thinking and research skills of the NGO staff. Those who know me from my work know this puts me smack dab in the middle of my sweet spot.”

one year ago…”It’s Elementary”

March 28, 2011 – Hooking Up

When you hook up, it’s very important to get the connection correct.  Of course, there are a number of ways to hook up, some better than others.  It’s time for another irregular handyman hint.

This shows hooking up the chain one way – with the link  inserted perpendicular to the hook.

Another way to hook up is to insert the hook into a link. One method of hooking up is much better than the other.  Know which one?

The top one is superior as it is easier to unhook after tensioning the chain in the chain, the bottom one can get the hook stuck in the link.

one year ago…”Vote for Eliza”

March 27, 2011 – Frozen Four

This year has brought back memories from the old undergraduate days in Duluth Minnesota, where hockey reigned supreme.  I still remember the crisp, clear walks back from the arena after the game.  I was thankful that there were many blocks of skywalk to break the chill of the two mile walk.

This year’s team has once again made the NCAA Frozen Four.

This year, the tourney is hosted in St. Paul and would be a perfect time to go…if tix weren’t $100 game and you had to buy three games at that price, so a couple of tix sets you back $600.  That’s about 240 dozen eggs!

I found this photo in the archives of the Duluth News-Tribune from the early 80’s showing coach Mike Sertich celebrating after beating Wisconsin to win the conference championship.  The years I had season tickets the Bulldogs went to three NCAA tournaments.  If they can get by Notre Dame in the first game, they’ll play their nemesis North Dakota.

one year ago…”Sheep Bling”