Thursday, December 31, 2015

Broken Stuff & Early Easter Egg Hunt

What a strange week since Christmas,
Got home the night of the 25th to find around 5" of new snow.
No big deal, the next day we went to work,
 I fired up the 4 wheeler in the garage put it in gear and hit the gas to start plowing.
On my way out of the garage door I hooked the plow blade on the door frame and snapped one of the pins that holds the plow on.
Meanwhile Pat is running the snowblower working on the path to the observatory,
 she was able to find one of our hanging solar Chinese lantern that had fallen do to snow load.
Finding the lantern with the snowblower wasn't good! 
It wrapped in the auger and broke the shear pin,
so we are less then a hour into snow removal and all our equipment is broken down.

Regrouping in the house, I started to unpack our new play toy,
 Pat give me a GoPro camera with a package of mounting brackets, 
we started with filming a red squirrel eating sunflower seeds.
see video below

Once at warmed up enough we decided to run out to the storage building for the parts we need to fix all our broken stuff. 

Putting the windshield mount on the camera we climbed into the jeep and filmed the drive out,
it's about 10 minutes long and gives a good look at our everyday drive to get to our vehicles.
see video below

Returning home with parts and the chainsaw we stopped and removed the low hanging tree that we could hardly get under,
 then home to fixed the 4 wheeler plow.

The snowblower needs more attention then I want to give it that day
 so it's up to the plow to do most of the work,
after a few hours of plowing including getting stuck several times things were looking pretty good.
Before calling it a day we pulled down the
 weather station unit to clean off ice
 for the second time this winter,
after reinstalling it we were done for the day.

Back indoors I decided to look at the video we shot throughout the day!
That would be the exact time I realized I no longer know where the camera is.

The search began,
 it included looking in the jeep, garage, house
 then back out to the storage building.
Now in the dark we continued with flashlight trips up and down the driveway
and path to the observatory finely giving up around 9:00 pm.

  The new day brought a new search,
 this included some Google searches and email to GoPro to see if the camera
could be found with a metal detector.
Answers were mixed at best, the guy from GoPro said
 it would have to be a very good detector if it was to work at all.

Now for the metal detector story.

I have always shopped pawn shops,
 so I'm in my mid 30's I had a pocket full of money and a day off in some small town USA.
I decide to make a trip to the closest pawn shop to look around, the great part about pawn shops is you never know what you need till you find it.
That day a metal detector caught my eye, hell what mid 30's guy could pass that up, after a little negotiations it was mine.
This is one of those buys that when you get home your wife gives you the look,
well I got that look but explained we could have some fun with this new found item.
Her response was you'll never use it,
 to prove her wrong I packed it twice for winter vacations, once to Florida and then Costa Rica and never used it.
Three winters ago I was asked to find a underground gas tank
 cover for the owners of Lockport in Lutsen. 
The cover came off during snowplowing and was somewhere in a large snow pile,
I found it in short order and charged them lunch, I was well on my way to locating items for fun and profit.

Back on the shelf it went waiting for the next big opportunity,
2 day's ago it was pulled of the shelf and prepared it for service and the search was on!

I put about two hours into the search the first day to no avail,
 I search enough to be sure I wasn't going to drive over it with the jeep but still worried I might find it with the snowblower.
Well Wednesday Pat and I went looking again,
 this time searching the snow piles humped up by the 4 wheeler plow, we started knocking the tops off the piles so the metal detector could check deeper into the banks and we found it within a hour.

The camera is in good shape and still works fine, the only damage was to the suction cup mounting bracket,
 no big deal.

Between the searching we also fixed all our broken stuff so we're ready again for snow.

Christmas was good with the exception of mom's dog having health trouble that could not be fix so she had to put Henry down on Christmas Eve, very sad.

We took care of Henry a few years back for a shot time, he wasn't much of a woodsy dog, more a city slickers.
We had him down on the dock and he fell in the water, I know some dogs don't swim but I figured all dog at least float. 
Not Henry he sank like a brick,
 I look over to see what happened and he was standing on the bottom of the lake looking puzzled.
Pat jump right into the water and save his ass,
she was not going to let that dog drown on her watch, I would have helped but I was paralyzed in laughter.

One last item for now,
 today is our wedding anniversary, 28 years of married bliss.
I've had people calling and emailing her all day to tell her how lucky she is to be married to me! 
I've been telling here this for 28 years and at times I think she forget just how lucky she is,
 so feel free to call, text or email her and remind her,
thanks for your help on this issue.

Our test video of the red squirrel

Video of our drive to the storage building where we keep our vehicles
we make this drive every day

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Winter hit's with a mixed mess

Well, Wednesday we got hit with rain, then 8" of snow, and I decided to drive the three miles to our house in my pick-up.

Turned out to be a bad decision. If I had waited till morning for turning the truck around it would have gone better, instead I ended up badly stuck.

No big deal,  just run the three miles on the 4 wheeler to the storage building and get Val and Kathy's jeep on tracks, or so I thought.

About a mile into my trip I find a large cedar tree hanging across the road about 5 feet above the road surface. This tree had fell in the 10 minutes it took me to get stuck.

At this point the word "screwed" comes to mind.
 I had only been out of my arm sling 2 days after shoulder surgery and pretty sure over head chainsaw work is out of the question.
With one phone call to my new neighbor Richard Bohnen my trouble was over! He was kind enough to snowmobile down to my fallen tree and he cut and cleared the road in no time.

A quick run for the jeep and Richard helped get the truck unstuck, 
this goes above and beyond being a good neighbor!
Thanks again Richard!

We also had to pull down the weather station today and bring it into the house to let the ice melt,
 it could not be cleared any other way.

Now to answer some of the bullet points from the earlier post, odd but number one question was about the new cat we tried to bring into the house.

Here she is, a 3 year old Sphinx, yup hairless, what a sweet cat, it's the first cat I've seen that came with outfits. I was really hoping it would work but Itchy would have none of it.
I could not guarantee her safety and had to bring her back to Duluth.

I blew my right shoulder in October and had surgery November 2nd, working on physical therapy now and trying hard not to re-injure it. 

This years new umbrella over the bird feeder, it's been pretty good year for feeding.

Ok I'll show one big fish photo,
 my good friend Dean caught and released this nice 30 inch fish on June 12th proving even a blind squirrel finds a nut ever now and then.

a nice photo of the Cascade river taken today.

Just packing up for Christmas in the cities, it's always hard for me to leave here for any amount of time, Pat not so much, she's looking forward to the trip and Christmas.

I hope everyone has a good holiday and stays safe.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Been to Long

It’s a cold rainy snowy day and out of boredom I find myself up at the observatory where the much underused large computer lives. After winning  2 of 13 games in solitaire and looking over the music selection I’d be playing over the next few hours I decided to get to work.

You need to understand  with my level of ADD means everything around me acts like the squirrel that distracts the poor dog, so my getting to work started with a lengthy search for stuff I don’t need on EBay, followed by even more music selections.

Fighting back the urge to click on the Full Tilt Poker site and let LayDownSally have some fun (my poker name at that site) I decided to have a look at my neglected blog and all I can say is wow,
 Where do I start?

I haven’t written since May 2014, as a matter of fact I have not looked at the blog since then. That's when King Leonardo died. Now all the memories of him came flooding back, I had a very  hard time with that and it still hurts today.

Here is one of my excuses for not writing, I can come up with more if needed!

My work hours spent on community items has grown considerably, I guess I’m making up for all the years of pipeline work were I wasn’t home to get involved with local government.

  • unsuccessful run for county commissioner 
  • appointed to the water adversary committee
  • appointed to the Cook County Planning and Zoning Board of Commissioners
  • appointed to Cook County Board of Adjustments
  • seat on the Cook County/Grand Marais Airport Committee
  • elected to the Arrowhead Electric Cooperative board of directors
  • Seat on the county aquatic invasive species task force
  • Volunteer lake & river monitor
  • Seat on the Comprehensive Land Use committee
  • Board of Directors Birch Grove Foundation
  • Still attend most of the county commissioners meetings
               I think to keep this first post short I will bullet  the last few years and write about a 
                 few at a time, they are listed as they come to mind may not be chronologically.
  • · Winter of 13/14 was tough and very long
  • · Winter 14/15 not too bad
  • · Winter 15/16 not much so far
  • · Rebuilt a boat big enough for the Great Lakes
  • · Built a big new floating dock
  • · Have high speed fiber internet to the cabin and observatory
  • · Grand kids visit
  • · Blew out my other shoulder, surgery required
  • · Summer of 2015 was great weather
  • · Lots of friends visited and fished over the two summers
  • · A few large fish over the two summers
  • · Had a yard beaver one summer
  • · Lots of wolf sightings
  • · Bird feeding both winters was unbelievable added a new feeder
  • · Tried to place a new cat in the house (not good)
  • · Road repair
  • · House in the cities flooded from a broken dishwasher
  • · Pretty good garden summer 2015
  • · Flower gardens doing very well
  • · Lost our clothing optional sign (it was holding back property sales)

I'm sure other things will come to mind