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Life on a New Hampshire Horse Farm
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8th-Sep-2013 11:23 pm - Wood - and its many uses.
Strange
When a tree falls in the woods it DOES make a sound. In my case it was just beside and into my lawn. Many focused hours later, it was firewood. That involved a chainsaw that needed to have its fuel lines replaced (rotted by the alcohol in the current regular gas pumped at the station) and then the chain needed replacement - hadn't been used in a year. That resulted in a four-hour marathon wood cutting, loading and carting.
Now I have a 1/4 cord of wood in my woodshed ready for burning NEXT year. It's oak and maple. Good woods for winter fires
My back will forgive me - eventually.
My Diablo III characters are also moving right along.
More later,
D
6th-Sep-2013 09:05 am - It's been a long time.
Strange
yes, It has.
Life - as we well know - is complicated. If I could predict the future and know what was going to happen from one day to the next, week to week and into larger future views, things would be different in many ways.
More later,
D
9th-Jul-2012 07:14 pm - PT HURTS
Strange
Avid readers know that I (actually Tony - the horse) popped my left biceps tendon from my radius near the elbow. The surgeon put it back on - two months later the brace comes off and Voila - I can use my atrophied left biceps again - OUCH!

More later,
D
29th-May-2012 09:35 pm - Minor surgery - all is well
Strange
Tore the biceps tendon off my radius.
Surgeon re-attached same.
Rehab SUCKS! - Big Time

More later,
D
Strange

Entry for Sunday, 26 February 2012

            Okay – So a few days late to protect friends who have had birthdays recently and I don’t want the rest of the world to know the specific dates: Christopher and Spouse. Hopefully, the gift from me to Christopher got there in time for his special day. Spouse’s had breakfast in bed on her birthday, a Carrot Cake – her absolute favorite – and presents that were (for reasons of workdays and the like were opened after her special day (sorry Meghan – she did get your gift. She put it in a “Safe Place” and I found it in that safe place this morning. She was very pleased to receive it. I’ll let her send the rest of the Thank You.

            House Concert: Don and Carla opened up their home to around (more than 40 – the Fire Marshall need not know the final number). We each “Donated” $20 for seats in the living room/dining area/kitchen to sit for yet another WONDER FULL concert by two excellent singer/song writers and instrumentalists. The best part of these concerts is that I routinely have to apologize for tapping my foot into the musicians foot – really – we’re that close. Yes, they tell stories about their musical journeys and the people that they’ve met along the way. They also look me and other folks in the eye and sing to us. Not to bright lights alone on a stage, but to folks in Dan and Carla’s living room. I couldn’t be more pleased. The other very nice part – beyond the potluck snacks and desserts – is that the “Donations” go directly into the artists’ pockets/wallets. It feels very good to think about that.

            World of Warcraft: Who Knew? I just found out when I read Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde” novel. There is a complete discussion of a fictional online game – T’Rain – that acts as a moving focus for the advancing plot that involves all manner of intense persons. World of Warcraft is the model for the fictional game. I went to see what the model looked like and became hooked – sigh. The basement “Man Cave” will claim many more hours.

WoW been out there for more than 10 years and – well – with a very SLOW Internet connection, it wasn’t really possible, so I ignored it. I now have a wireless modem that usually has extra data plan gigabytes left over at the end of the billing cycle. This is a good way to get my money’s worth before the cycle resets.

I found a “Free to level 10” site on Battle.net. So I hauled myself down to a WiFi site – our local country store – would you believe? I spent several hours there downloading the many gigabyte files to my laptop. I then went home to try it out. I was lost. SO – being an old guy – I did what any old guy would do, I called my Christopher – my son. The conversation went something like:

“Know anything about World of Warcraft?”

“A bit.”

“I’ve got a level 5 Paladin – Any suggestions?”

            Many as it turned out. He directed me to his “Realm” and in less time than it takes to load up, I was standing next to a Lvl 85? Character riding a horse that had frond-like wing things.

            “Is this yours?”

            “Yup, I have three of them.”

            “THREE?”

            “You asked.”

            We then joined forces as new level 1 characters and with his help, my level 1 dark elf hunter was quickly level – 11. Yes, I’m a Newbie – but – I HAVE FRIENDS!

More later,

Doc

18th-Feb-2012 01:50 pm - WHAT Winter?
Strange

Entry for Saturday, 2/18/12

            I looked over the farm and fields over the past three days and note that there is less than an inch of snow still present in the shady spots with brown grass/detritus showing nearly everywhere. I have a theory for this pattern: I bought a new tractor for the farm and added a “Front End” snow blower. This device has been used exactly twice – once for the “How to Mount It” demonstration and in less than three inches of snow that fell during a December snowstorm – this is the same snow that is hanging out in the shady spots. Be Warned: I mean to keep the snow blower mounted until MAY – knowing as I do, that if I take it off before (and even after leaves are out) that there is still a good chance of a 4 to 11-inch snowstorm. If you are looking forward to some East Coast skiing, I could be persuaded to take the blower off earlier (for a negotiable fee).

            Hiking: Summer hiking preparations are coming along nicely. I have started practice hikes with the partially filled backpack – 28 pounds – for at least an hour every other day. This is possible in the 40F days that we’ve had in New Hampshire in the past two weeks. The dogs couldn’t be happier. Some of the walks have had to go on the (gasp – spare me the boredom) treadmill.

            The Long and Appalachian Trails: If the weather stays as mild through early spring, I may be able to get to the Long Trail in Vermont earlier than Memorial Day (the usual opening day for the trail and good trail stewardship. If this happens, then I can get started on the New England section of the Appalachian Trail. Xmas presents included the trail guides for Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

            Authorship:  I had a few days off in February. I looked over one of the novels that I started writing several years ago. The return was fun. I found that I really liked the concept and REALLY disliked several chapters that I found myself responsible for. Temporal distance has allowed me the insight to look as what’s there and sigh/slash and move on.

More later,

Doc

Strange

Entry for 23 January 2012

            So, the tree that was so carefully decorated with ornaments that are as old as 60 years and some from this year stood vigil in the living room for a month. Spouse and I stripped it yesterday. Son, daughter and daughter-in-law all saw it – and they have NO idea about the work that went into selecting each individual ornament that we hung. Did we hand the fuzzy white things with green pipe cleaners for wings – Nope. We hung the ornaments that had DATES on them with some for each child. There was even an alligator bending a branch. Now they are all safely back in protective boxes, tubes, bags to wait eleven months before competing for a chance to be part of the Xmas celebration.

            It was 10 below zero Fahrenheit just two days ago. Today, we had rain/mist/had falling fogg. This “New England” falling medley has done a dingus on our driveway. Last week I had to wait for Mike, the “Plow Guy” to back up my driveway with the Grit spreader laying down a passable lane for him over a half inch of ice. I am on vacation this week but must leave the house to have lunch with a friend and so will, once again, wait for more grit. ICY driveways SUCK – big time.

            Today - A day off: I am not sure what you do with your days off, but I spent mine avoiding sliding cars and getting not much done. The medley made all the roads exceptionally slippery. One car flew into a pond in Plainfield with others in the ditch. I should have stayed home.

            Authorship requires something that seems to have faded from me. I suspect I am still suffering from the 12 to 15 hour workdays that I suffered through last year. You, too, may have had those types of days. In my setting, I see each available uncommitted hour as precious. I feel guilty if I spend that time in idle pursuit – reading, playing “Assassins Creed” or napping. All these activities are appropriate for leisure time. I think that I have lost the skill to use leisure time as time to just “Hang Out” and “Fool Around”. If that’s the case, I guess that I’m looking for suggestions to decrease the guilt. Any thoughts would be most welcome.

            I hear the rain pattering down so I’ll close and hope that you are not also dealing with unwelcome weather.

More later,

D

Strange
[RANT ON}
I awoke on Saturday to find a big pickup truck parked at the top of my driveway - this is also the bottom of my woods road that leads to several important places on my farm - like the manure bunker and my tree farm. I was NOT happy to see this truck - locked and without a not as to a method of contacting the owners. I initially thought of a Vermont farmer who drove up to a similarly parked truck and filled/covered said truck with manure. I left a note to the effect that I have horses and dogs that usually stay in designated fields or have the run of the farm and associated woods. The delinquent hunter is CLUELESS!!!
I left and note and went on with life.
I later found two more trucks parked in my driveway near my dumpster. These trucks had nearby owner/drivers - who were armed with high caliber rifles. I explained that they needed to obtain permission from the landowner to hunt the property. They balked but then nodded agreement  - sigh.
Then I found TWO MORE  hunters parked across from my property. They too were hunting on the land looking for deer. The beer can that I found on my rock wall? - They didn't drop it.
OMG!
I am not a particularly happy lad at present. I realize that my woods harbor many deer. This is a deer herd that need culling. They have been eating all the small tress last winter - an indication that food is scarce. This is a fact that I acknowledge. I simply want to know who is hunting and where. I also want to tell them where my horses and dogs are.
Sigh
[RANT OFF]

NaNoWriMo has taken a hit. I have tried for several days to devote the time and effort but with Spouse out of town and the &$^@$R^ hunters on the property, I haven't had the time or focus to get words on screen in the volume needed to succeed this year. I've still more than a month to go. I could still get there.
 Spouse returns from an extended trip to present a paper at a national meeting and to learn a LOT more. SHE has had a good 5 days.

More later,
Doc
Strange
We received 6 more inches of snow last night. It started at 5:30pm (this caused me to bring the horses in early) and continued into the wee early morning hours. In itself, snow is initially just a hassle - removing it, using the snowblower, tractor and, if all else fails, snovel. Then it can become a fun thing. Yesterday, it was not a fun tihing. The driveway - .3miles long - had JUST had the surface refinished with hard-pack gravel (crushed stone - small size - packs down hard BUT needs TIME to pack down). The Plow Guy - Mike - would have come by to remove the accumulated 8" snowfall and with his kind efforts - all the new hardpack that is now locked in the snow.
SO
Thing number the first that will get me up after midnight:: Get the car out of the garage and drive it (with its summer tires) down the hill to the driveway landing at the curb cut and park it facing the street to STOP Mike from plowing. walk back up in the snowstorm, wind and wet.
 I'll let the great light it the sky snow melter do the job this time.
 Thing number the second: Get back up and put all the porrch plants on steps under cover of their respective porch roofs - of in the mud room so that they are not buried in snow - go back to bed
Thing number the third - and most important: Put the bullet-proof cover over "At Risk" windows in the hallway leading to the garage/new mudroom. These are 50-pound sheets of Lexan© that prevent roof snow/ice from sliding off the metal roof and crashing through windows (more important than plowing some gravel off the driveway or dead/frozen plants). Back to bed - only to rise again because now the sun is up and the horses need to be fed
More later,
Doc
Strange
Entry for Tuesday, 6 September 2011

 
I am a happier lad. Anyone who has been reading my blog knows that I have had little or NO time to write and spend time considering the arts and my part in it. Workweeks that start at 60 hours and longer on an unpredictable schedule left my mind numb. There were days that the only thing I found I could do with skill and certainty was to drive home, make supper and spend my waking moments with the most dear person in my life – Spouse (who, to this day still prefers that I leave her name from this blog). Time at work and its toll has decreased drastically and (thankfully) not because the USA and other nations are struggling amidst unemployment and the devastation caused by the greedy folks who should have/did know better. No, work volumes have decreased because a wonderful person has joined our group in practice and by doing so has brought out staffing levels back to Usual/normal/wonderful. When he joined the group, the workload dropped by 25%. Another feature of full staff is that two partners drop from fulltime to ¾ time. This is an Extremely nice change for me, because I am one of those partners.
 
I am able to read books, go for hikes in the afternoon, write my blog and do all manner of things that were part of my daily life two years ago. Two years – gadfry – that’s a long time. I freely admit that I am not sobbing with delight, I will say that I am much happier with time to do other things beyond work, eat, chores, sleep, work. . . . I am certain that if it were not for Spouse, my son and daughter family and friends near/far, things could have gone pear-shaped (to quote a favorite author). Things did not go badly. I have just finished reading a book that now sits by my elbow.
 
NaNoWriMo starts up in two months (yes, I know I’m already in September). I’m in the process of outlining the book that will arise from the keyboard over the 30 days that I’ll have in November. I’m once again excited by the possibility of writing without pressure, with the sense that it’s a creative work and not a drudge/chore/odious task that needs doing because I said I would and then find that I can’t. I have only a glimmer of an idea and that’s for the outline. The actual story still sits locked up/stored/germinating.
 
The flooding that showed up on the news was real and the communities in Vermont really are isolated – no passable roads to their downtown commerce centers. I cannot walk the last 50 miles of the Long Trail until access is re-established. I have only six more days of hiking and I’ll have walked Long Trail. It is the oldest USA long-distance hiking trail. It starts at the Massachusetts border and ends at the Vermont border with Canada. I hope to do that last bit this year once the reads are pasted back on the mountains and the trails cleared for safe hiking (Spouse and I agree on this).
 
More to follow,
Doc
 
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