Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

Just sittn’ can drive this man to thinkin’

Guess I should be glad that last word isn’t “drinkin’ “ LOL
Yup, been doing some sittin’ of late watchin’ the world revolve around, the birdies chasin’ bugs and seed, and the dogs acting like its mid-July (fool dawgs have no clue how hot its gonna get! This here is FINE weather) Reason I am sitting is for lack of forward momentum on the house/shop project. Waiting mostly for ground to solidify enough that I can start getting rock and mortar in place for the foundations. Yeah, I am working on both at the same time and depending on which gets furthest soonest, determines where I stand on continued employment elsewhere. (outside forces like economic failure not included in computation of such. That is out of my control, and would/will force ‘self and others to re-assess situational strategies on all counts. )
I could be gathering up poplar logs for building house, or other things, but hell, every hermit needs a weekend off now and again. This will be the first in several so I am kicking back.
But that does not mean my brain does likewise. Hell no. This ol’ analog electro-chemical computer just keeps ticking right along and without input, starts to play the ‘what if’ game.
As in “what if I took that ol’ locust beam that I haven’t been able to find a use for and make it into a shaving horse like they used to use way back when? Ya got all the pieces there, ya jest have to shape
’em up some, but ,,,,”
Or “that ol’ cider vinegar should be about ready, what if we shook it up with some sourwood honey and mixed with water. Bet that would wet a whistle. “ (note: It does, and quite well. Supposedly was a drink of common lineage ’round these parts before ‘pop’ became so popular)(and Moose-chelle be damned, the obesity problem round here isn’t so much the food people eat, but the quantity of it in ratio to the activity level. Back when grunt human labor and one horse/mule power was the norm, people NEEDED to eat at that level and still looked emaciated come early spring. Sadly, the expectations of mothers never diminished in contrast to the activity level. And “y’ate yet?” is a common “how-do” when you visit someones house. Well, times are a changin’ again and those days of “grunt human labor and one horse/mule power” are gonna come back, and when they do, sugars, starches and fats are gonna be essential to good health.)
Then, sheer boredom kicks in and I do an experiment on fire starters to see which burns better: Petroleum jelly and cotton ball or candle wax and cotton ball. FYI, the PJ+CB burned 14+ minutes where the W+CB burned slightly less than 7 minutes. Guess I know what to keep in the bugout bag from here on out. Either will work fine, but why not a touch of overkill in a survival state of mind; go with what burns longest ‘just in case’.
I did do one thing ‘strenuous’ this weekend. I was gathering up stone for the forge, foundations and chimney builds. Gonna be doing that for a long while yet as the rule of thumb is “gather what you think you need, than do it again. You will still be short, but a lot closer to finished than if you didn’t make the second go ’round.” Luckily for me, there is an abandoned deep mine (shallow by todays standards) around the hill, with several slag heaps about that make perfect stone for what I need. Still takes work to drag the cart up there, load it up and return to unload. Can’t get a truck up there anymore thanks to the timberjacks that goosed the hill up last year. Dog cart and me, since I can’t convince Voo to do more than sit in the traces when I hook him up. (just kiddin’!!!!! I know better than even trying with the lazy mutt.)(kinda wish we still had that shetland around. Maybe could have put him to work, if I could have dealt with his nipping issues. Horse nips HURT!!!)
Yup, been a slow 4 day weekend here on the hill. Can’t complain, but the ol’ mind just keeps tickin’ away at things, trying to solve all sorts of issues that I anticipate with the stead. Things like making a small woodgas generator to run the tiller if things get real funky in our future. One never knows, and I try to think of all the tough stuff in advance so that when such time comes, there isn’t much hesitation. Hesitation will get a body killed just as quick as a bullet in some cases. Some of the ‘tough stuff’ I think about isn’t really all that tough, but hey, it’s called preparedness for a reason. You never know if you might need to know how to create such things, but knowing how means you won’t have to scramble when you need ‘the know’ at hand.
One thing that has been on my mind of late is the “flame licker” atmospheric engine. I have never managed to get around to building a Stirling engine yet, but the flame licker is a simpler design using the same principles. I couldn’t figure a horsepower rating at this stage as I haven’t even started drawing one up yet; yet it seems to me that in certain cases, this would be the perfect solution to power needs I may have. Like powering a blower for the forge using exhaust gases from the forge itself to power the engine. Its not like I am trying to get free energy, just tapping into wastes and utilizing them for benefit. ( I know better than trying to get something for nothing in the thermodynamic realm. Ain’t gonna happen with Laws that are far more unbendable than mans laws.) Yet again, just one more reason to kick myself in the ass and get that shop built soonest. But Hey!, the fun of experimenting/learning is most of what drives this crazy ol’ hermit on the hill. Maybe what I come up with won’t benefit me in the way I anticipated, but it will at a later date, even if the only benefit is the knowledge I gained. Win-win, no matter how you look at it. Just like learning how to sand-cast; so long as your mold doesn’t blow apart, you will learn something about doing the job right. Even if your casting fails, you are only out the energy spent, not the materials used and you gain by learning what not to do.

Well, I am probably boring several people right now with my rambling so I am gonna go back on the porch and watch the birdies play, the dawgs snore, and wait for the humidity to hit rainy stage.(inevitable this time of year, and why I am watching my mud pits settle into hard clay to support foundations)

Y’all take care and heres hoping you enjoyed the weekend even if it is a somber holiday.


(sad note: One of Voo’s buddies met an early demise this weekend and we laid him to rest in his favorite field.   Not that Voo really understands, he kept trying to get Smokey to get up and play, but lost total interest once the dirt was going in the hole.)


3 responses

  1. SnakeIN

    Glad to see you are giving the physical side a little rest, even if the rains might have forced it on you. Don’t know how you can capture the forge gasses since the top of the forge will have to be open when the blower is running in order to work the metal, just when you need the gas to run the blower. Mutually exclusive? However if you’re smelting…hmmm. If you work this one out, it will be pure genius, and probably quite marketable. Maybe even a patent? Hey, dream big. Wx map today looked like it had measles with all the little storm cells. Our chance goes up big time tomorrow depending on the track of that low in TX. Wood gasifier still a major dream for the Alamo. Gave up on steam. Miss the late night chats more and more.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

  2. His first death? But not his last.

    May 27, 2014 at 9:54 pm

  3. We’ve received some much need rain (hail too) this past week. So much to do now….stay safe Brothers…

    May 30, 2014 at 10:14 am

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