Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fence Building at ECHO

I signed up for a work service program with Road Scholar to assist at the global farm of ECHO , (North Fort Myers, Florida) wherever they needed some help. I thought my efforts would be spent doing gardening work but that was not the case. One of the main areas they needed help with was renovating a bamboo fence that was a bit worn and rickety.

So, the first step is to get some bamboo. There was plenty of that growing in designated areas around the farm, all we needed to do was pull it out. Fortunately, we had at our disposal a John Deere 4-wheeler and a chain..which made the effort a lot easier.
Here one of our Road Scholar hosts, Junior, is removing a live bamboo plant for us to strip and prepare for making into a fence slat.

It is a bit difficult to pull one plant out of a cluster...the branches become entwined and pulling is challenging. The real fun begins when we have to remove the little branches growing along the bamboo pole; this stuff is way harder than I ever imagined. We used machetes and sometimes handsaws; the work was slow and tedious but we finally got about a hundred cleaned bamboo poles for repairing the fences around the property.

The next step is to cut them into proper lengths and deliver them to the fence repair sites. Several of us were working at each site. We had to remove the top hand-rail on the fence and re-align it so it was plumb and vertical, after that we added the newly cut bamboo to the areas that either had none or replacing those that had disintegrated.

Fortunately, we had power drills which made the job go a lot faster than if we had to do the work using an old fashioned screw-driver.

Here is the finished product...much better than that rickety old fence and chicken wire; the ducks will not escape anymore!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Arkansas Snowstorm Clean-up

I started my trip on Friday, a day and a half after the two foot snowstorm that plastered Northwest Arkansas. Surprisingly, the North/South interstate was pretty clear but I found some nasty stuff as I approached Little Rock. Although none of my shots actually show the ice packed road, you can see the aftermath. It is not a pretty sight to see semi's ditched or turned over.

This first shot is of a pick-up truck with a trailer that jack-knifed. Now that the road is "clear" they can remove these vehicles. Each one of these cost me half an hour. It made my first day 12 hours instead of 8. But I did get out of the snowy areas eventually.

This fellow apparently just slid off into the median...but once there...well, he's there for a while.

This fellow not only slid into the median but also overturned. His cargo is spilled over the median and part of the highway. they were manually unloading and stacking the cargo in the road...presumably so it could be reloaded to another truck. This was my longest delay

This accident occurred in Tennessee. Most probably it included a fatality. When I passed by I could see this was almost a total demolition of at least one vehicle. That is a medivac copter sitting on the road opposite my traffic jam.
It was very sad to see all of this destruction and suffering on my first day, but it ensured my taking special driving care throughout my trip.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We've Only Just Begun...

That's the song that kept going through my mind when I opened the garage door this
morning at 6:30 to see just how much snow had already come down. They get all excited here in Arkansas when we get a couple of flakes. So my first reaction was sort of usual, for here...

I mean I had to grab something so you could get an idea of just what I was seeing... I found an old snow brush, we all know how big they are!

I mean, so really....NOT MUCH!

But then, I got my snow stick (I got this from Lowes just a couple of weeks ago...I saw the yardstick and couldn't help springing for $0.60 just so I could reminisce)
I stuck it in a wide open (already cleared from the last snow) part of my driveway.

Stay tuned. they promise this will keep up until at least noon, it is now 7:45. I hope I can still find my snow stick by then!

Well, here we are at 10:00
I decided that the birds needed food too...but where did all these cow birds come from?

Lots and lots of goldfinches...
and finally, my favorite meadowlark showed up...
I started a loaf of bread very early this morning...I have some grilled veggies
that I froze back in July. Keep going to see the sandwich.
It was delicious!
Here is a shot from the end of my driveway and up the street

and down the other end of the street

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Will Rogers

Will Rogers

Will Rogers was quite the cowboy, with all the wisdom of simple, honest folk.
He died in a 1935 plane crash in Alaska with his best friend

Wylie Post.
Rogers was probably the greatest political sage this country ever has known.
His words still ring with common sense today.
Simple but Brilliant and full of truths!
1. Never slap a man who's chewing tobacco.
2. Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.
3. There are two theories to arguing with a woman.
Neither works.
4. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
5. Always drink upstream from the herd.
6. If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
7. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it and
put it back into your pocket.
8. There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading.
The few who learn by observation.
The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and
find out for themselves.
9. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from
bad judgment.
10. If you're riding' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to
make sure it's still there.
11. Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier'n puttin' it back.
12. After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring.
He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.
The moral:
When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.
~ Eventually you will reach a point when you stop lying about your age and
start bragging about it.
~ The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.
~ Some people try to turn back their odometers.
Not me; I want people to know 'why' I look this way.
I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.
~ When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth,
think of Algebra.
~ You know you are getting old when everything either dries up or leaks.
~ I don't know how I got over the hill without getting to the top.
~ One of the many things no one tells you about aging is that
it is such a nice change from being young.
~ One must wait until evening to see how splendid
the day has been.
~ Being young is beautiful, but being old is comfortable.
~ Long ago, when men cursed and beat the ground with sticks, it was called witchcraft.
Today it's called golf.
And, finally
~ If you don't learn to laugh at trouble, you won't have anything to laugh at
when you are old.