My Sky Color

A forty something Dad, Husband, Engineer guy living in Western Oregon. Reflections on all things in life. A few technical things and whatever else comes along.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Miracle of Electricity
and Training Your Goat
The big goat, Spike, is the leader of the herd. He pushes around the little goats and jumps the fence and visits the neighbors when he gets irritated. With the bully thing he gets the best food by chasing off the little guys. About 6 week ago he figured out that the rabbits had some good victuals. He figured out he could put his front feet up on the barn wall and thrash the rabbit cages to get some grain pellets. Today the carnage to the rabbit cages is major. I tried to take the teaching approach by telling him NO!, catching him doing it, locking him out of the barn, punching and kicking the s**t out of him to no avail. You can see the calm approach escalated into a brawl.
So I put up electric fence. I established a perimeter with posts and strung 3 electrified wires up high. I tried to keep it so the little goats won't get zapped because they can't reach the cages. The fence charger I have is an antique that I have been hauling around since we bought our first house. In the process of getting everything all setup I found a service date in the 1950's on the inside of the charger. I'm thinking this one has a bite!
The boys wanted to see him get zapped so we hid for a bit but didn't get to see the fireworks. My wife reports that the rabbits have food this morning and Spike is giving the rabbits a wide berth. It feels good to win. It is frustrating that the teaching method didn't work. Maybe not... DMP

Friday, January 27, 2006

Parental Teachings
I want to preface this with a couple things. My Mom only told me about half of these things growing up. I swiped these 25 from another blog. They are funny to me.

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE. "If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."
2. My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."
3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL. "If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"
4. My mother taught me LOGIC. " Because I said so, that's why."
5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC. "If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."
6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT. "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."
7. My mother taught me IRONY "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."
8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."
9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM. "Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"
10. My mother taught me about STAMINA. "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."11. My mother taught me about WEATHER. "This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."
12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY. "If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"
13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE. "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"
15. My mother taught me about ENVY. "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."
16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."
17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING. "You are going to get it when you get home!"
18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE. "If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."
19. My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"
20. My mother taught me HUMOR. "When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."
21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT. "If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."
22. My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."
23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS. "Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"
24. My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."
25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE. "One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"
My Mom taught me a lot of good things... DMP

Thursday, January 26, 2006

FJ Cruiser
I am a fan of Toyota but they have ticked me off lately. They made the Tacoma bigger and uglier. Their gas mileage sucks and I bought a Honda. So far the Honda is treating us right. Regardless of the current Toyota offerings I like Landcruisers. They have a new 'Cruiser model coming out and it looks pretty cool. See for yourself - At least they made a great website!
Hmmm... How to work the dollars to get one... My birthday is coming up, so if one of you feels generous I won't say no. DMP

Friday, January 20, 2006

This image is my statement about handgun cartridges. I don't get on bandwagons much but I agree with this one.

This image is a reflection of my workplace. ISO 9000 certification can take a productive company and make it into to a paperwork/procedural quagmire.

The overwhelming amount of water falling from the sky and the lack of sightings of the shiny orb in the sky is trying on the happy-ometer. DMP

Monday, January 16, 2006

Blogs are Like Pets...
Huh? You ask. Let me explain with some examples. I have a hedgehog, Theodore. He is nocturnal and covered with prickles. He is a shy little guy and has bad hygeine. It is fun to get him out in the evening and say hi. He curls up in a spiny ball if he doesn't want to socialize. He is unique but doesn't give a lot of feedback.
Chewy, the new pup, on the otherhand gives lots of feedback. He likes to play. He bites any unattended body parts that he spots. He sleeps on your lap in the evening after a big day of being a puppy. He even gives the possessed rolled back eyes when sleeping on your lap.
Blogs are supposed to be like puppies. The provide feedback to the blogger. I tried throwing out some controversial stuff like a radio talk show host to rile the listeners. To no avail. The readers need to comment and debate, cause a little "pot stirring." Maybe it is the audience. I come from a family that doesn't touch. Did I say that? That could be controversial...
The hugging thing is breaking down due to the spouses being huggers. That is a whole tangent I'm not prepared to take. This is about pet feedback... No blog feedback. So comment. DMP

Friday, January 13, 2006

Blue Screen of Death
Yesterday I had this great post almost done when the blue screen of death occurred. And all was lost. My computer at work had been a little tempermental the last few days but that clinched it. The techies at work did a LOF (lube, oil, filter) on it and it seems to be stabilized.
I don't believe in the Friday the 13th nonsense. Beside it was Thursday the 12th. The Caddi lost its serpentine belt at the front gate to work and my computer crashed. Cami got the parts to me and I worked on it in the rain until the darkness overcame my ability to see. So I got it operational this morning in less than an hour. The pulley on the water pump was thinking of a trip, as 2 or the 3 bolts had fallen out. The Caddi was telling me that something was wrong.
There is a bond that forms between a car and its mechanic/owner when the two have been through expereinces like this. So now when I hear a certain noise I will know the serpentine belt is going south. I know to watch the pulley bolts on the water pump.
I had a 1971 LandCruiser that I had restore/over hauled when I was 18. We were thoroughly bonded. I knew if it ran badly in a certain way it needed a new set of points. I kept an extra set in the glove box. (Pocket in LandCruiser talk) I also knew about the pop can shim under the crank bearing cap on the number 3 piston rod. I knew that the Japanese bolts were really soft and broke easily. Its a guy thing. DMP

Monday, January 09, 2006

Blogger Identity Revealed
Sometime the writer of a blog likes to remain anonymous. Not this one. I am in your face, happy to show off my good looks. So this is me... 34 years ago.
Let the hot comments start. DMP

"Chewy Let's Get Out of Here"
(Star Wars)
This is Chewbaca the birthday present for the Mrs. He is 1/2 Pug and 1/2 Pekinese. As you can see he does have a big account at the cute bank. He is 4-1/2 months and generally a good guy. He can test a person's patience with the house breaking...
I just tiled the carpet part of the dining room because he re-activated the old dog pottie from the previous home owner's pee monster. If I can just get the tile sealed with out him springing a leak the Gods are smiling down on me.
Luckily the foster dog, Radcliff, is getting along great with Chewy. It is nice to have a puppy so he can learn cats are okay and goats are okay. The chickens are hard to resist chasing. So now you have met the newest critter. DMP

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

To Be a Long Haired Goat
So I have this goat named Double Stuff. He is white and has long wool. Over 4 inches long. It is starting to look like dreds with all of the winter wet and dirty. So yesterday it was observed that he has some of his long hair stuck in his front teeth. Pull...Pull...MaaaMaaa! So scissors came into play to eliminate the drag racer head restraint. Hoping nature will fix the problem, a few hours later Double Stuff has this 3 inch long lock of hair sticking out of his mouth. To liken the goat reaction to people, think of having a piece of corn stuck in your front bottom teeth. You constantly are working on it with your tongue trying to dislodge it.
So we brought out the tools. By getting ahold of the offending hair in the inside of the mouth it came out to everyone's relief. Goat dental fun facts: Goats only have front bottom teeth no uppers; Goats have the front lowers then a gap, then the molars, a gap like a horse where the bit goes.
On a different topic we went to the beach for a couple nights. We enlisted the help of our neighbor to take care of the critters in our abscence. The problem was we didn't get to show her where everything is and the tricks to controlling the herd. So we get a call at the beach from her relating the $10,000 winning, funniest home video story. Couldn't find the light switch so trekked home to get a flash light. Didn't approve/find the hay for the rabbits, so trekked home to get some fresh hay. (Home is about 200 yards away) So the 4 goats are following her around frantically hoping for their grain, the little ones jumping up the whole time. And on it goes. Hopefully you get the picture.
Never a dull moment on the hobby farm. DMP