Thursday, July 9, 2015

Year 16, Week 24, Day One (week 759)

Year 16, Week 24, Day One (week 759)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-04-15 Saturday
    I forgot to look at the morning temps. Towers loomed over the ocean when we left to go home from Breakfast. The sun shining through them brought out gorgeous textures and shades. About an hour later, mom’s plants got a thorough watering.  The sky was full of clouds with little blue until late afternoon as it cleared up. This weather report is brought to you by the City of Pompano Department of Tourism.

    I am still recovering from my knee surgery. I went to work yesterday and my leg swelled up nicely. I had a devil of a time getting to sleep at night. When we got back from breakfast, I laid down and somehow went fast to sleep. I woke enough to hear the rain coming down and then back to sleep.
    I woke for good in time for lunch. I later petted the cat, and then watched TV. I feel guilty of not even doing crochet, but it is hard when one is not feeling well.

    There was a program, “Rural Heritage” on RFD-TV,  where a farmer had pre-tractor technology on display. It was a lot of fun to see how things were done before the motor. They had one setup where five horses were harnessed and they walked in a circle turning a wheel. That was geared to a drive shaft that went to a “power take-off.” A wide leather belt was attached from the power take-off to various devices that were put into place. They showed a machine that removed corn from the cob. Another that smashed Sorghum stalks for the juices.
    They demonstrated the proper techniques for harvesting corn by hand, pulling the ear off the stalk and tossing it, without looking, to a “bang board” on a wagon. It hit the board and fell into the box of the wagon. Even looking would slow you down.  He said that with the right technique, one could harvest a hundred bushels of corn in a day.
    They also showed the technique for harvesting Sorghum. They strip the leaves off first with downward strokes of a machete, before cutting it at the base. They had a problem where winds while growing caused the plants to lean in all directions, a bit tougher to work them.
    They had films of some of the harness and harvesting , plowing, equipment pulled by horses, mules, a combination of them. I really had fun watching this stuff. I can see from other shows I’ve seen before,  how tractors were made to emulate the same work done before they existed, like the belt take-off on the tractor.
    The brilliance of the techniques used is fun to see. I would never have thought of doing things that way, but they were completely logical once you saw it..
    It is fun to explore the manual / old way of doing things. If you know the basics, it makes it easy to understand what is going wrong when the automatics don’t work right..
    I had never given much thought about pre-tractor technology until I saw the show.
    I do write science fiction and fantasy stories. It is nice to be able to add a little real detail from having done something for real. There are some old-time methods that are not as fun as they are with machines. I have a slight tendency to avoid a handsaw whenever possible, for example.
    In the kitchen, I know a couple people who cooking a dinner is opening a box and heating a frozen dinner. Of course, while I like to work from scratch, there are some things that are beyond my skills, like thick battered foods.
    I do have to admit that there might be a little pride and a tiny bit of bragging involved in being able to do things from scratch, whether it is metal working, tool making, wood working, repairs, cooking, etc.  “It ain’t bragging if you can do it.....

I doubt I will do anything, but I will see what I do tomorrow.

Year 16, Week 24, Day Two (week 759)
(January 17, 2000 was my first carving day.)
07-05-15 Sunday   
    Last night, I drove home while the fireworks was going on. It was cool to see them from different angles while raveling. Nearly every square mile seemed to have a major fireworks display. The bursts on the beach were spherical, while the in-land bursts were umbrella shaped, which is less spectacular, but still fun to watch. I-95 is raised up in the city and I was nearly level with the bottom of some bursts.
    I am not normally enamored by fireworks. From my fourth floor apartment, I can usually  see as many as twelve fireworks display. I actually enjoyed the view of the fireworks last night. They different feel from the road than they do at the site or from a distance.
    I looked around the house this morning and saw all the things I needed to do. After a long thought, I decided NOPE!!!
    I had a concept to explore so I went out to the woodshed and looked at some Mango wood I received a few weeks back. I studied them  to see if there was a nice straight piece of wood among the pieces. I was thinking about making crochet hooks and drum sticks out of the wood. Which would require splitting the wood to have the grain where the strength is needed. After looking at the wood and seeing I do have a workable piece of wood, I decided I was not in physical condition to work on it today. I am not into standing right now, which would be required for splitting wood, as I would be standing at the work bench.
    Soon after I got to Mom’s, we decided to go out for lunch. We ate at Cracker Barrel. This is a restaurant with a “country store” attached to it. The store is more like a souvenir shop than a country store. The cool thing is that all sorts of antique items hang from the ceiling. Half the fun of the store is looking at the antiques, and figuring out what they were and how they were used, and then deciding if it was something one would pick up in a yard sale. We all over-ate and took home leftovers. It was good.
    A bit after we got back from Lunch, I decided I was on my feet enough and decided to head home and end my day.
    I am hoping to be in much better condition next weekend. Physical therapy is supposed to start this week. I am not making plans for next week because of my knee,  and will deal with the day as it happens.
    I will see what I am supposed to do next weekend.

No comments: