Tuesday, June 27, 2006

More odds and ends

I have so much work creating training materials. Have not been so busy in many years. Why, just last night I woke up at about 2:30 in the morning stressing about it. I went to the computer and recorded a 45 minute computer based training lecture. With editing and uploading it took me 2 hours. And I have 8 more of those to do. And about 5 documents that need to be expanded in content and enhanced in readability. All due in early July. Ugh.

The parts for my shop dust collector arrived, but I have the time the desire to work in the heat isn't there. Even the chess set is on hold (and I thought I would have it done by now). Guess it will be a Christmas gift instead of a birthday gift.

Before the rains came I was able to continue burning tree debris that had collected for a few years. The plan is to clear an area so I can store my two tree work trailers in a clearing in the back. It is something that I should have done a long time ago.

Took a bucket of dirt from the backyard to the front and filled in a depression where I had removed a tree stump. Threw down some grass seed and straw as the rains came, so meybe I won't need to water it.

And been doing a lot of reading. As my dad's shirt says "So many books, so little time."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What kind of mother is THAT ??

At last report I had a turtle in my back yard, which was Sunday. I thought it was just looking for a pond, stream or lake. Boy was I wrong. On Monday I walked out back and saw it was STILL THERE. It had burrowed down into the dirt a little and looked like it's breathing was labored. Every now and then it would push up a little and I thought it was stuck in the dirt and too exhausted to get itself out. Boy was I wrong. All of a sudden it hit me...perhaps it's a female laying eggs! I got a stick with a little bit of a fork on it, hooked that under the back edge of the shell, picked up a little, and looked under. Eggs!

Later on in the day I looked out the window and saw she was leaving. So I went out and looked. The eggs were covered and she was leaving because that's what they do. They let their young fend for themselves. I told a female friend of mine who said "What kind of mother is that??"

Now, I don't know how to cook turtle eggs and I wasn't going to have turtle soup either. I don't want to kill them. I'd rather not have them in my yard but not at the expense of their lives. So I looked them up:
Chelydra serpentina serpentina

On a different site I found that the eggs can hatch from 3 months to 120 days. SO I made a circle of small stones around the area (to remind me not to mow there later) and wrote down the date (6/12). Will keep a watch in mid-September.

Here she is, abandoning the kids.

And I placed a brick next to her for size comparison.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Not doing much but work.

This is a rather busy time for work. I have been preparing training materials for a series of classes on a product called "CVS". It is a Unix-based source code repository system. It has been around a while, but is new to IT shops like ours. It is what you call a "paradigm shift". Gotta climb the learning cliff and once at the top one can just coast.

Around the house I have been working a little in the yard...removing stumps and roots and filling in depressions with dirt. I want to make the lawnmowing a smoother chore.

Today I should be getting the ductwork for the shop dust collection system. I had drawn a sketch of what I want, made some rough measurements, and ordered the parts. Then realized that I calculated horizontal and vertical parts, but forgot the 90 degree turns for turning horizontal into vertical. So I will need to place another order for elbow pieces. Also need to order some flexible duct. The system will be operational soon, but not this week.

I had JP for the weekend. We went to a baseball game on Friday (our home team won) and the drive-in in Mt. Airy on Saturday to see the animated movie "Cars". We had picked up some drinks, some Haagen Daaz, and a Pizza Hut pizza. Little boy heaven!
Before having to take him back I discovered a pretty big turtle in the backyard and we watched it for a while. Today I found out that it was a snapping turtle, but I am about 1/4 mile from any lake or pond...weird!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Odds and Ends

1. Last week I removed 2 stumps that were in my mowing path. Haven't had to mow since, but it will be nicer next time.
2. The cyclone dust collector is assembled and mounted in its location. Still have to design, purchase, and install the ductwork, get it wired, and install the fine particle filters (which I have).
3. Cleaned up the workshop a little.
4. Made a pen out of maple burl wood (for a friend).
5. Finished turning the last chess piece (now I need to get to work on the board).
6. Poured almost 100 pounds of sand into small holes that appear in the yard. I like to fill them when I find them, before the yellow jackets do.
7. Burned off a LOT of brush (but still have a lot to do).
8. Removed a big root that was in my mowing path. I have cut that sucker many times with the lawnmower and regret it each time. It was part of a stump that is NOT in the mowing path. The stump was there since before I bought the house in 1990, but was always too firm to dig out. After removing the big root I put the shovel under the remaining root stub and pried. The whole stump came out with no effort. It was finally time! The same technique will soon be applied to a few more older stumps.
9. Enjoyed taking a folding chair out and reading under the shade of a tree several times in the past week. Weather has been rather nice.