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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You Can't Fix Stupid
On hot days in Oregon we like to go to the Sandy River. Right down the road from our house is Dabny Park. Depending on the temperature we might hit the water each evening to cool down. Our favorite stretch of the river is past the beach with the rough crowd. We ride down a rapid about 40 yards then swim to shore and do it again. Near where we do this is a rope swing and a cliff. The rope is not a quality piece of cordage. This year the swing and jump crowd land just past the rocks in the water. The cliff jumpers... are cliff jumpers. There is a 15 foot ledge and a plus 30 foot ledge. You have to be fairly drunk or be weak against the peer pressure to do it.
Every year at least one person dies every summer on the Sandy. The first was last Thursday. He did the cliff in fine belly flop fashion and the impact was too great. So the next day people are back at the cliff jumping. So the other evening we saw a teenage girl get pulled out of the water. After a couple resessitation puffs she started coughing and was back with the living. She was just swimming not jumping. So now you're thinking, why do you go there?! The boys cannot touch the water without their life jackets. They aren't flimsy around the next things but real vests.
It is sad to see these young people with life ahead of them drinking like fish then trying to breath like the fish. The river is pretty chilly and has lots of variation, like smooth slow water, fast shallow, fast deep, wide, narrow, sandy and rocky.
On a happier note the lads are picking up cans and bottles for the 5 cent deposit. They turned in a little more than one days collection for $20 today. If we can teach them to be patient and save they will be able to buy something nice at the end of the summer. If they can be patient. DMP

Monday, June 19, 2006

"The Smell of Death Surrounds You"
So the three legged goat has had his "cast" on for 9 weeks. It is time to see the results. I trapped him in the head stanchion during the morning grain. I started picking at the duct tape. Wow, duct tape can get solid after 9 weeks! I busted out the pocket knife to get a start. No, I didn't cut his leg. I cut along the aluminum bars in the cast so I wouldn't give him a blood letting. As I am wrestling the tape off I grabbed his leg at the knee with one hand to get some leverage, and pulled on the tape with the other hand. Poor old Spike let out a cry like I was cutting his leg off. I backed off, wondering if his leg hadn't healed up. As I revealed a hairy goat leg the stench was bad. I remember reading and talking to people that have had casts and hearing that the sweaty appendage was rank when revealed. As I get his leg unwrapped I am gaging at the smell.
Upon inspection he has a big sore on the inside of his leg that has been oozing. Now I know why it smells like death warmed over. So now I am worried that I have to clear up an infection. We check the vet supplies in the refridgerator door and presto we have some antibiotics. Live stock needles are big! He gets a shot and some Blue Kote on the sore. The leg is looking a lot more civilized a day later. He hasn't put any weight on the leg but that is okay. I need to trim that hoof so I will set down at the correct angle.
Hopefully the goat will survive. He is a twit but that is part of the entertainment. DMP

Monday, June 12, 2006

It is Not a Helicopter
But it Wants to be Treated Like One
So I have this track loader. It is a 18000 pound 1950's model kind of machine (International TD9). It is on long term loan which makes the price right. This machine requires a 1 to 1 service to use ratio. Maybe 1 to 2 ratio. One hour service to two hours of operation. It is educational keeping it going. We use it to take out dead trees, trees that are in the way, and move heavy things.
Right now I am working over the gear shift lever and shift forks. When these old machines sit so much in the Pacific Northwest they tend to get rusty, inside and out. This one has had a few problems in its past. My brother-in-law, the loaner, has a tractor parts and repair business. He has parts, lots of them. So I was able to get a new used transmission top and shift lever. I can salvage the best parts from the two and put it together.
I suppose I should tell what happened to require the repair. It got stuck in second gear. The stuck was only in the shift rails and forks. I removed the shifter and tried to shift it with a pry bar. No luck. I then had to remove the top of the transmission. Upon disassembly I discovered that the transmission top had broke sometime in its past. The boss that contains the steering clutch pivot shaft had broken off. Someone had made up a angle iron fix that used two bolts from the cover to hold it down. Someone had built up the shifter tip with brass instead of steel weld. The soft brass had worn off quickly. The detent ball socket had broken in the past and had been brazed up. The hole was far from round.
It is a fun challenge to rebuild and tighten up this old worn stuff. My evenings this week will be filled with mechanicking. DMP

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Source of All Knowledge
Good or Bad
I like to say the internet is the source of all knowledge... Worldly anyway. If you look long enough you can generally find the information you are looking for. Say for example you think really long hair is a pretty neat thing. In a matter of minutes I rounded up these 4 pictures out of a hundred of some amazing long hair.
It has really changed the way I make purchases. I mail order way more than I would expect. Often it works best as a research tool. Then with printout in hand I can get the local merchant to trim off the fat.
Ebay is something else. Being the tight-wad that I am, I find bargains on Ebay. Patience is the key. We won't even start talking about bloggers. Now that is geek weirdness. DMP