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Author Topic: A foul wind a blowin  (Read 157456 times)
gravyminer
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« Reply #1050 on: May 16, 2017, 11:23:02 PM »

I used to have a cracking two stroke Whacker given to me by a mate 30 years ago but after 20 years of never using it again I gave it to another pal. Methinks it has long since gone to the dump  Cry Twas a pure beast of a thing and you had to keep yer toes well clear of it  Grin

Paul

They were pretty good compactors for trench reinstatement but a bit unweildy for doing bigger areas.
The real genuine beast was something called a Jumping Jack and it worked on the principle that you pulled a trigger to spark the plug and the thing shot up about a foot in the air, then the firing chamber got charged with more petrol as the thing came back to earth. It weighed over 50 kg and took 2 kids to bump start.  whistlie
I few less smart got their teeth / faces smashed when they touched the trigger without realising the thing would jump.
Now those things were beasts



« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 11:49:55 PM by gravyminer » Logged

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« Reply #1051 on: May 17, 2017, 06:16:08 AM »

Yup, you could do a lot of damage with one of those  Grin
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« Reply #1052 on: May 17, 2017, 11:48:10 AM »

That ridge in Biffs garden made me think of something that happens in a neighbors garden.  

We live at the top of a 400ft limestone ridge. The neighbor lives about a quarter mile away down the hill about 120ft lower down the south side of the ridge.  He meticulously maintains a very nice  lawn in his back garden.  Now, when we get very heavy rain here the centre of the lawn bulges up by 2- 3 inches, i guess the bulge diameter is 20-30ft.  His house is about 50 feet away and It doesn't seem to worry him but I'd be slightly manic about it.  Is it a spring or a sink hole or what? It's related to water drainage off the hill but the lawn doesn't seem to get boggy at all?


Westie, it could be an artesian effect with water flowing down through a natural fault line in the limestone but increased flows unable to continue downwards under your lawn. So it backs up and creates a bit of hydraulic upward pressure. It would well up until an exit route was found or the increased pressure could push it on down through its established rote. Could be quite a small /local effect.
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« Reply #1053 on: May 17, 2017, 01:51:12 PM »

We seem to be getting the best of the weather,
                                    Every place else is complaining but we are getting good sun and decent wind. The wind make it possible to enjoy the outdoors because it gives the midge a hard time and makes it impossible for them to get their daily blood transfusion. Even yesterday was good in the afternoon.
I cannot help getting annoyed at the mess the swallows have made of my roller door and the floor of my shed. i cover a lot of things with paper but the buxxers go after the flies and the paper slides off. Thankfully ,the young decided to leave the nest last night. There was quite a hullaballu and I knew that the poo output would definitely be stepped up,,and it was. An Hour ago, Mrs Biff and I and the hounds journied  down to the shed to see if the young made it out safely. they have to fly up and down past the roller at the top. As we got near the shed the parents were doing their loops and dives.
 We all piled into the shed and the racket was quite loud. Someone was trapped somewhere. Mrs Biff and I have both got faulty directional hearing but Angel,s hearing is acute.. and over she hurries to the inside window under the loft, lifts the left front paw, looks up at the window and freezes,,All Mrs Biff had to do was follow the direction of her nose and baby swallow was in her hand in a tic. There are baby birds popping out everywhere this morning. The finches at the top of the drive are strangely helpless, even mudder Finch puts on a very poor act of walking about at your feet. She is supposed to drop her wing and drag it along the ground and draw you away from her young but she is just walking about in small circles while her young are befuddled. Incredibly, There has not a cat in sight all morning.
   It is a beautiful time of the year, Diesel,s romantic moonings have tired him out and Angel is almost out of the woods.I will regret now finding a mate for her to father some posh pups but I am not able at the present to cope with the extra workload that this would demand,,to look after them properly and see to it that they got good homes. The world is full of pups and full of dog experts who keep dogs for the every wrong reason you can think off. I would have dearly loved a son of hers, I know the breed. They are a many generations Irish dogs and not easy to obtain. Their characteristics are unmistakable as black and white. But who knows what the future holds.
 Diesel is happy in his old age. I have managed to take him down to 62kgs and keep him there. It is a terrible thing to say but we will be lucky to get him past the 10 year mark. Going by all the others at that weight and build, 10 years is good. The vitality only stays for so long. and gradually they accept that there are more days than there used to be ,where they don,t feel like jumping about and having a ball. Diesel is lucky, He watches TV and knows all the dog adds. He is a fantastic communicator and Angel is the best thing that has happened to him since old Nat died. Nobody can quite get the message across like Angel can. I often think of A and P her previous owners. I occasionally send them pics and tell them how she is doing.. They are in a part of the world where the sun beats down all day without mercy and will not be back in this neck of the woods. Angel is everything that they said she was. We had a language difference and all Angel,s commands would not have been in English but P also used hand signals, so the cross over was easy. She is just about settled in now.
   Outside the sun beats down and our turbine mills away in the North west wind. I will take Angel and Diesel and walk to the shed. My lovely roller door is spotted inn swallow dropping and the floor has got these white splotches .The door lies open. I don,t think that you can house train swallows.
                                                                       Biff
                           
 
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« Reply #1054 on: May 20, 2017, 10:17:47 AM »

Still incredibly good weather,
                            Angel and I walk the early morning dew. The midges must have been still in bed at 6am. She is quiet,determined and struggles under load. She leaves messages for Diese every 100yds. We feel sorry for them. We are denying them their natural urges no matter how understanding and sympathetic we are, it is extremely difficult times for both of them. All we can do is continue on or own quiet way until this leaves us. Diese is next out and tracks her path round the site, reading the messages and hoping for some positive sign. He has stopped eating but 48 hours without food is nothing to him. I command him to drink and he does but food is out. He sings mournfully, yet this releases good internal vibes and he seems happier for it. He was always an honorable gentleman, Kindly, considerate and loyal. Physically, he is in excellent shape and Angel is good for him but we are looking forward to the end of this.
The place is a riot of birdsong and small birds are popping up all over the place. I have noticed more bees and bugs this year than any other for a long time. Our feral cats are strangely absent and I am beginning to wonder if the council may have sent out a cat catcher. These cats do decimate the wild life. Even Blink has gone awol.
Our solar/wind installation is ticking all the boxs and these cold evenings,the house is warm and the stove has not been lit in anger for quite sometime.
I finished wiring my trailer. I routed everything in behind a small panel to the left of the rear door and fitted a couple of 4 pole fuse boxs. I will tape a code to the back of the panel and then remove the paper stickers.I will replace those fuse boxs with a one unit transparent one and tidy the wires. I have a few little adjustments to make and it is finished,


                                                                                          Biff

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« Reply #1055 on: May 20, 2017, 04:38:10 PM »

hi Biff, trailer looks good and will do good service for a while yet to come. For the wiring, I'd be inclined to keep labels on the wires as well as the fuse-box. For jobs like this I add extra fuse places with fuses in them, or cable-tie a little zip-lock bag of spares to the harness. From personal experience things go wrong in adverse conditions, rain/sleet/howling gale etc. Having spares helps to ensure the thing doesn't go wrong...  ballspin
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« Reply #1056 on: May 20, 2017, 08:48:29 PM »

Thanks for that N2,
                   I am replacing the 2 separate fuse boxs with a more elegant one garden that has a transparent cover, but yes it might be a good idea to keep the tags on the trailer wires.
  The code coming from the plug is easy enough but the trailer could be a bit of a nightmare. I do have th very detailed  lot written down on a piece of cardboard. So there was no guessing or smelly smoke.  Grin
        Biff
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« Reply #1057 on: May 24, 2017, 10:17:22 AM »

The hounds have been walked separately these days,
                                                       But the worst is over. I am worn out. Angel spends most of the daylight hours in her kennel and Diesel struggles to contain himself 50 yards away in his own quarters. I walk them every 2 hours and tie it in with my projects in the shed. He went off his food for a good 48 hours and with his heart rate running at top notch and drinking lots of water there was no cause to worry till he approached the 72 hours mark, by then his tum was empty and he was generating a mucus from the inside of his stomach and approaching the danger area. His backbone was clearly visible. I have been around dogs for most of my life and its amazes me that they can refuse food for days,,cast weight and step up their footwork and coordination to an unbelievable level when cubit strikes.
As for Angel, She worries about him but is still seemingly unaffected mentally apart from the 3 days that she was ready.
So I got him to eat yesterday around 12ish,,chicken and soaked dognuts,,small amount for starters and he got his first sleep for days, then a small meal around 8pm and he slept through the night without singing. This morning his motions were almost back to normal and he had a normal breakfast. He is asleep now. It is good to have him back and by tomorrow evening they will be together again. Mrs Biff and I agree that it would be tempting the fates to put him through the same again so Angel is destined for the opp and it breaks my heart to make this decision. She is quite special and definitely not your run of the mill dog but another session like this one could induce a heart attack in Diesel and that would be a calamity..
We have had excellent wind and solar and I have used a lot of it in the shed but never dinting the heat to the tanks or lowering the bank.
 I have been looking at drone plans and wondering about fabricating a full size one, I have 3 similar engine with verticle shafts (Lawnmowers)and after experimenting with  the pop riveter  and 25mm x 2mm wall angle, I recon that it would not be impossible (Dream on Grin). 
                                                                    Biff
                         
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« Reply #1058 on: May 27, 2017, 10:16:41 AM »

Today belongs to the midge,
                               The little demons are as bad as I have every known them. This mornings walk with the hounds was quick and businesslike, No hanging around. Both Diesel and I made a beeline back to the house but her ladyship,stopped as usual to check the progress on each and every small bird,s nest en Route, Left paw held high and nose pointing into this and that. I normally stop and have a gawk and Say"Well fancy that, very good, Good Lass"" and give her a random treat. We have plans for something other than birds in their. nest. She is contrary and insists i come and have a look but I am being chewed alive, I make a noise like cats fighting and run indoors, She comes tearing up the garden,through the apple trees and in the front door like a shot. I have a window open and tell the cat outside to clear off home but she knows i am lying, I throw a towel over her and kill 10 million midges. Diesel, smirks in the corner,,Yes,,dogs can smirk and this guy is back to his old self. They slept together last night and in his dreams he chased/dodged and barked, She licked his eyes and ears but he never moved his head as she slumped down beside him. I must be in the dying stages of dementia ,,running up the garden making noises like cats fighting and talking through the window to an imaginary cat outside and she knew I was lying but at the same time,she must give me so me consideration for making the effort.
 Mrs Biff has gone south to a birthday party and will be away for a few days. I have pre-prepared dinners lined up in the freezer and have boiled a few big juicy bones in the pressure cooker for the hounds. It is one of those days best spent close to home. The fog is quite bad but the midge is a bxxxxr. I have been told, on good authority that the local golf club has a midge killing machine. It sounds absolutely gorgeous, It is a big gas powered thing and they place it next to where the course meets the river,,Each evening they shovel out the dead midges. I would have thought that they would place it next to the club house because they normally play better golf over the Vim and Vomit than on the actual course.. I will arise and go now,,, woof.
                                                                     Biff
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« Reply #1059 on: May 27, 2017, 12:16:22 PM »

Today belongs to the midge,
                                I have been told, on good authority that the local golf club has a midge killing machine. It sounds absolutely gorgeous, It is a big gas powered thing and they place it next to where the course meets the river,,Each evening they shovel out the dead midges. I would have thought that they would place it next to the club house because they normally play better golf over the Vim and Vomit than on the actual course.. I will arise and go now,,, woof.
                                                                     Biff

Aye Biff, they were all the rage here a few years ago, sure enough you do have to empty bucket loads of the 'wee devils' out of them. Some folks even froze them then fed them to their hens, apparently the chooks loved em. Me Mam bought the 1100 GT turbo, XLR, special edition one as she lives in 'midge heaven' or is it 'midge hell'. The local hotel bought three and sure enough they all swore by them, funny thing is the midge is as bad as ever it was and I cannae remember the last time I saw anyone using one. Methinks people only 'swore' by them cos they didn't want to admit they'd been ripped off  hysteria Tis a lovely sunny day here but I am assured it's go pishing down by 13:00  Cry
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« Reply #1060 on: May 27, 2017, 01:14:27 PM »

Envy and jealousy are not part of my nature.
There are however times when I wish that I could share an existence in a paradise that is so eternally pleasant, that even the best efforts of Brer Midge fail to spoil.  Grin
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« Reply #1061 on: June 01, 2017, 12:17:26 PM »

Our first day of Summer is warm and damp,
                                            Overcast, a steady glare all over,rather than direct sunshine but that is fine and does the job admirably. Our Turbine is milling away. The place has gone super green with foliage and birdsong like the Amazon rain forest. The overcast day reflects in the hounds lathargic efforts. Angel popped into a hedge and came out with a pigeon, a racing one. She carried it over to me, just like a proper gun dog would genuflect. It was not long dead. I took the ring and reported on the GB site. I remember the electrical storms some 3 days ago and the poor thing must have got lost and ran out of steam. I will bury it shortly. the midges are not too bad, despite the damp air. Our plum tree is thriving and covered in little fat green beauties but our cherry tree is already fruiting and will fall victim to the starlings. It is a waste of time trying to protect it, The buxxxrs still squeeze up under the nets and manage to get free every time. However they will already be enroute to where every they go on hols by the time the Plums are ready for picking. The swallows are not too bad but the starlings will destroy soft coverings  and anything they get their sharp beaks too and their droppings, especially ,when they are eating the fruit are quite messy and hard to remove. Blink is the only cat in the place and she is on her own. It is a bit of a mystry but i got a feeling that the warden has been around and has trapped most of the gang. The birds are thriving, the small birds in particular but soon Mr Hawk will be skimming in between the white store and the shed, picking them off like flies. He is not here yet, he is probably waiting till they get nice and plump and worth the effort.
The lawns will soon need another go, The grass grows up everywhere. I am loath to use weedkiller of any kind and if i can reach it with the mower,well and good and if not, too bad. So we have foxgloves 6ft from the front door and inside the front gate. They are a beautiful flower that is never left out of the children,s fairy tales books. We have banks of buttercup, waves of dasies, we have every last weed that you can think off,even a bank of nettles 30ft long in the hope of a daft corncrake setting up camp for a summer. Tucked away in the side of a rut and always near a supply of water is our sundew or Ireland,s version of the Venus fly trap. We also have a rather rare little black beetle who raises his tail just like a scorpion and behaved just like a scorpion, He is about 30mm long x 5mm wide ,Jet black,and does not like attention. He is also quite intelligent. I have never found the proper name for him to this day, despite the books. Our dragon fly is due out in the nex few weeks. I say fly and not flies because I seldom see any more than the one and it flies up and down the street about head height. They are territorial and quite aggressive. Years ago, i watched Mrs Hubs leap up and snatch one out of the air, pluck the wings off it and offer it to her daughter. I need not have worried the following year, another one was cruising up and down the same area.
   There is a chicken and ham pie in the freezer,shortly to be in the microwave and the kettle is on the boil,,,,,,I will arise and go now,,,arra
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« Reply #1062 on: June 05, 2017, 09:49:42 AM »

This morning,s early walk with the hounds,
                                                Was not the pleasure it normally is. The little winged demon vampires were in a rage once again. Everything dripped wet and the grass must have grown overnight. The fruit trees sparkle in the weak misty light. Intricate webs drape from the branches, Am i supposed to pull them off,? Or do the resident spiders eat the bugs that eat the fruit trees. The place is overpowered with birdsong, the only thing missing are a few monkeys swinging from the nearby pines and we would have a rainforest. I am at loggerheads with the swallows in my shed. Their babies are now out and about but they are applying squatters right to a nonexistent deal, So i have errected nets over the roller door. My loft which house two very posh pianos and lots of electrical goodies is going to have to be scrubbed/vacuumed and washed down. Meanwhile the swallows gather in the trees outside the shed and discuss their next moves. They are very intelligent and know how to fly up under the net and walk along the top of the roller looking for a gap on the net but when the gap reveals another net inside and they just manage to scramble out and away ,it is worth discussing it a lot longer in the trees.
I used 30ltrs of fluid on the bank yesterday which is about right. I started in sunny windy weather and half way through, the rain started and the midge struck. I got there.
My trailer project is finished but an interesting event happened right at the end. The lock on the rear door failed and I could not get it opened. So I had to devise some way to open the door and fix the lock. I slept on it after looking up the doblo door handle/lock assembly online. (Thank god for google). I discovered that there are many doblo owners looking how to open a rear doblo door. Nobody online had managed to get their doors open without cutting a hole in their van bulkhead and squeezing through to open the door from the inside. That was not an option for me. However,when i did get going, I had the door open in 10 minutes and the locking mechanism stripped out in another 30 mins. It was a complicated little buxxer but far from impossible. All that was missing was a small 4mm screw that held the swivel for the rods to the plunger on the handle. I used one of the existing allen headed screws and fed the allen key through a hole that I drilled in the edge of the door. The original screw was nowhere to be found inside the door,despite countless trawls with a fine headed magnet and a probe camera with it,s own light. It must be there somewhere but irretrievable. So it all works fine now with very little evidence apart from a few mysterious bungs. It was a great project and awoke at least three other non related good ideas, When the hands are moving the head is working.
"Monday, Monday" Mama Cass was an incredible singer and that song will follow me to the grave. There was a haunting vibrant beauty in her voice that has seldom been matched ever since. She should have gone straight to the top and stayed there, but that,s life.
    The hounds have been fed, The coffee tastes good and if the midges leave me alone long enough I will take the time and annoy my winged friends in the shed. I will arise and go now,,,,,,,,
                                                                             Biff
                               



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« Reply #1063 on: June 12, 2017, 09:14:03 AM »

Very few midges this weather,
                     Our ration got blown across Ireland to Scotland and maybe Raasay, So the weather is good for wind turbines and heating water. We had a few days of heavy rain which was badly needed and now I will tweet them and ask them to turn off the taps. Our plums are fat and jolly and the apple trees are producing bumper crops which will hopefully survive till full term. The winter,s dosing with potash (ash log ashes) seems to have given the trees a miraculous boost and one tree near the control house which never ever produced an apple before is absolutely covered in small apples.
   I built a prop for an FD200 on Saturday, The blades were 1025mm each and I chopped them down to 800mm and took a further, diagonal slice 40mm from the leading edge to 150mm up the trailing one.
 It seems a lot to remove but the same turbine is being errected in a very harsh location where most days sees 30 knots. The sock holes were tricky as usual. It took a good 3 hours to do it properly and the blades ends were bedded in sealant that came up through the 4 screw holes. I am sorry i have no pics but I might get to take a pic of it on location.
 The world is in turmoil and the school of massive porkies is flourishing everywhere but here on the edge of the Atlantic we have a newly arrived visitor from east South Africa and the wet windy weather does not seem to bother her one bit as she hops about our rear lawn. I will contact Mr D Moloney and he should be glad to hear the news. My 30ft bank of nettles has expanded rapidly and hopefully there will be enough for our corncrake. I remembers years ago, fields full of corncrakes calling to each other. Not an attractive sound, somewhat alien but once it disappears like it has done, it become very sorely missed and lamented. Hopefully our one will be smart enough. Now I can see why the feral cats have all but disappeared.
 We got a little dry 10 minute window around 7ish for our morning walk, it was short, Angel is carrying a hurt on her left shoulder. It is like some old injury that has flared up with all the jumping and tearing around the rear lawn that she has been doing lately, so she left herself lame and in quite bad form. So climbing stairs is out and if she cannot climb and sit to watch the TV,then neither can Diesel. I took her bed downstairs and put it next to the door of one of the downstairs bedrooms where I have been spending the nights since Friday. She is on a course of heavy duty painkillers and anti-inflammitories that should turn the tide by this evening (72hours) and then tail off for another week. She has improved both physically and mentally. Diesel is fine and fully back to his old self. It is years since he has been in such fine fetal. Angel put the skids under him. With a little bit of restraint She should be well healed by next Saturday. Pedigrees are notorious slow healers, Don,t I know it.
  My venture into the tyre restoring (By Foam) was an unmitigated disaster and I spent good feverish hours scraping and sweeping the mess up. I went and bought 4 good solid jockey wheels locally .
There are some thing you just cannot get on the net. And still one would wonder how I came to have 3 punctures at the one time. After much pondering and deep cycle thinking, I came to the conclusion , especially after seeing the foam escaping out those little multiple holes on the tyres,,that the little sharp limestone chippings that the chargers was parked on were some how vibrated up through the rubber tyres. It is the only thing that makes any sense and of course the tyres were absolute rubbish as well. I don,t win them all.
                                                                Biff
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« Reply #1064 on: June 14, 2017, 09:51:19 AM »

  The news is good,
                Angel is winning, She headed off into the rough ground this morning, throwing her left leg straight forwards as opposed to the stiff circular movement. She is also quite annoyed at getting banned from stairs and has only been allowed 2 visits upstairs since Last Friday. We live upstairs and have a mini kitchen off a second living room, ( It is handy and easy looked after). The hounds normally enjoy the run of the living room but in an effort to reduce her movements and give her leg a chance to heal, she has been restricted to the hall,downstairs. There is still another 4 days tablets left and these search and recover games that we have been playing, are out for the foreseeable future. She is very competitive but Diese can glide round bends and cover ground in half the time that she can, so she pushed herself too hard and aggravated and old injury that she already had. I am betting that she was hit by a car, some time in the past, judging by the way that she backs away from mrs Biff,s car as it sails down the driveway. She would have the human equivalent of fluid on the knee. We are starting to relax now and hopefully by Friday the worst will be over.
   Last night,s midges would have left me a pint short. I am busy these days, Cutting wood for the winter, giving the odd talk on RE (the little that I know) and still searching for that idea that will make me a millionaire ten times over. It is years since I got a visit from three friends, one of whome, had made the appointment to see our turbine working. They were walking slowly together ,slightly ahead of me towards the turbine which was tumbling over in almost zero wind, The one on the inside turned to me,with gold rimmed glasses in one hand and a "Colombo" kind of inquiring stance.
"What kind of motor drive that machine" he asked as he pointed the stem of his glasses towards the turbine. He was absolutely serious. His two pals jumped on him verbally. I did not feel too bad, It had been explained to me on the phone that one of my visitors was an electrician, the others was an electronic genius . I was told this on the phone. I really enjoyed their visit, in a nice way.
                                                              Biff
                                                                
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 09:55:08 AM by biff » Logged

An unpaid Navitron volunteer,who has been living off-grid,powered by wind and solar,each year better than the last one.
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