A big storm came thru the night before and dropped a couple of large branches on my front yard. My son and I were dragging branches into the woods to clean up. I let my son grab the last one and I started to collect the little branches that had collected in the ditch. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on my left ankle and realized I was being stung. I ran while checking myself for any other bees. I looked back and saw a couple of hornets flying low to the ground at the spot where I had started to pick up the branches. When I skooched over to look at the pile. I saw this;
It seems that I had picked up a branch with a 4 inch in diameter Bald Faced ring tailed Hornet’s nest on it. My son was no help. I spend the next 4 hours noticing that my ankle would alternate between itching, pain and feeling stiff in no particular order. I remembered that people would pay money to treat their arthritis with bee stings. I figured that if I had arthritis, then I would now be cured.
Come to Spring Fling on Saturday May 3rd at the Cabin. Bud’s Collective will once again be back providing music at the George pavilion. Bring something for the raffle and something better for the Pot luck. Currently we have scheduled 75 degrees and sunny.
My last 2 pieces of carving went fairly well so I wanted to do something bigger. So I glued up a 2 x 2 foot square of Black Walnut from the Cabin Wood mill. I found a pattern on the internet and blew it up to fit my board. I printed it out and glued it to the board.
I then took a V-gouge and carved the lines into the Board. The gouge made little curls of wood.
I scraped the Paper off with a chisel. This involved re-discovering that I now can make my tools VERY sharp. This involved bleeding.
I started to remove wood from where it was not needed.
And some more
And some more
I stuck o Quarter in the center for scale.
It is still a work in progress.
My son plays trumpet and joined the marching band at Oakton High school. So I volunteered to be a Chaperone at band camp at Orkney Springs, VA. The facility has fields for marching which need to be painted so that the marchers know where to stand. So today I got to paint yellow spots so that the marchers would know where to stand.
Yesterday I got to help fix two of the golf carts that the school owns. This earned me mucho brownie points with the old timer guy. So now I get to drive the carts. We use them to deliver coolers full of water and gaterade to the field for the kids.
I was doing my thing, riding my fourtrak down the gravel pit road at about thirty mph.
The dirt road is bumpy and curvy and it is a slight challenge to avoid crashing into the trees that line the sides of the road at that speed.
I noticed a large hornet flying next to me at shoulder height and about two feet away. It was flying at the same speed as me and it looked like it was just floating in the air next to me. I had a deja vu feeling like I was in a in one of those nature specials where I was on a boat and a goose was flying next to me. I marveled at the floating bee as I sped down the road. We were traveling together thru the woods like two planes next to each other.
You know when you see the blue angels flying next to each other and one of then peels off like a banana and arcs away from the others. Well, the bee did that, but instead of doing the right thing and arching away from me into the woods, it arced towards me. It really looked cool until it actually landed on the underside of my hat. I heard it’s buzzing stop and felt a thump as it landed. It is not a good thing to be distracted while driving at thirty mph down a bumpy curvy road on a fourtrak. Nonetheless I was not sure where on my hat the bee was. I decided that the best thing to do in this situation was to panic. The problem was that I didn’t know what was the appropriate thing to do while panicing. The smart thing to do would have been to do nothing since the bee was probably just resting on my hat and did not mean any harm to me. But I didn’t think of that. What I did was to reach up with one hand to the top of my head, pinched the crown of the hat and threw the hat into the woods while traveling at thirty miles an hour. After this I did not know where the bee was. It might still be on my head somewhere.
So I started doing the zen thing whereby you totally focus on your environment and use your spider senses to detect if the bee was still on my person. The one thing that was interfering with this was that my ATV was still traveling down the narrow road. I had to settle for stopping the bike and checking myself out. No bee. Now I had to go rescue my hat.
A long, long time ago, Laura and I were spending a week at the cabin. It was about noon and we were the only ones at the cabin.
As I sat reading my book, I noticed that I was smelling smoke. After a few minutes, I heard fire engines in the distance towards the farm. Then I could see wafts of smoke coming up the creek.
Laura and I decided to see what the excitement was about. We rode my 4trak up the gravel pit, turned left at on pangletown. We went by the sheep sacrifice spot and started passing people on the gravel road. One of them was carrying a shovel, so I asked him where the fire was. He said he would show us if we gave him a ride. So he sat on my fourtraks front rack and pointed where to go. We went down a dirt road, and we saw a bunch of guys heading down the hill towards the smoke.
I parked my bike and started to follow when a short and very intense man walked up to me and Starts informing me that there is a water truck coming and the dirt road is blocked by some trucks. He orders me to move the trucks. I start to tell him that I am not one of the firefighters, but he interrupts to yell at me “GET THOSE DAMN TRUCKS MOVED NOW!!! ” I just stare at him a moment while l try to decide what to do. Finally I say “OK” and he stalks off.
Luckily each driver had left the key so I got into each truck and drove them into the woods clearing the road.
After that, I started back to the fire to have my look at it. The short intense man came up to me again he looked over at my fourtrak and told me that the water truck had missed the turn and was lost in the woods. He told me to go find the truck and bring it back to the fire. I really wanted to see the fire but I saw the need for the water truck.
And I really didn’t want the woods to burn down.
So Laura and I got on the fourtrak and went down the trail looking for a fire truck. Using my Indian tracking skills, I spotted tire tracks going past the turn off to get to the fire. I followed the tracks to the top of a hill we call BreakNeck because it is so steep and windie. It can be a challenge for any jeep. The tracks went down BreakNeck. So I went down also. When we got to the bottom of the hill we found the fire truck with an old guy standing beside it wiping the sweat off his face and looking at a map. I rode up to him and told him that he missed the turn back up the trail. He looked up at BreakNeck and said there was no way in Hell that he would go back up the hill. He said he was lost and asked if I could lead him to a road so he could drive around to the fire.
I told him that it was a long way through the woods and the roads were not very good. He said he was not going up the hill. So I decided to show him the way out. A problem was that His water truck was full of water and his truck was wide. The road was narrow at spots. He had to break out the chain saw many many times so the truck could get through. We would wait for him to clear out trees and lead him to the next bottleneck. After a couple of hours of this, the sun went down and we were still leading them out. The lights of the truck would sweep thru the woods as he spun sideways in mud holes. Eventually, we made it past the what we call the chicken coop which is on the edge of the property. There we met a neighbor driving into the woods to see what all the noise was since the fireman had been using the chainsaw a lot. We finally got to a paved road around eight in the evening. The fireman was sooooo happy to be out. He said it was to late to go around to the fire since they had it under control. He insisted that we follow him to the fire house so they could feed us something. We declined and headed back to the cabin. Our unplanned adventure behind us.
At my new place of employment I have been spoiled because they had a Starbucks in the cafeteria where I got my caffeine fix each morning. But at $2 a pop I decided to start making Coffee in my Cubicle. At home I had a large container of Coffee beans. But I did not think it would be a good idea to grind coffee beans in my cubicle each morning. Therefore I decided to grind my beans at home and take the grounds to work. Now I had a little coffee grinder which was very good at grinding enough coffee for my coffee maker, but to create a lot of coffee grounds I needed something bigger. During my investigation of how my little coffee grinder worked, I noticed that it had little tiny blades just like my the ones in my blender, only the blenders ones were bigger and since I had a LOT of beans to do, I decided to use the blender to grind my beans. So I dump about a half cup of beans in the blender and switch it to grind mode. Things spin around and the blades spin real fast but not all the beans have get ground up. So I turn it off and grab my special silicon spatula thingie and poke it into the blender to stir things up. I fire up the blender again and more beans are ground up but I need to stop it and stir things up. A couple more times and I have some grounds to go in my coffee ground container. I still have a lot of beans left so I dump a bunch more beans in the blender and start it up. More grinding occurs and it needs stirring again. I decide to save time and leave the blender on when I stick my black silicon stirrer thingee in the blender to move things around. I figure since the silicon is so flexible that I could stand up to a little beating by the blender blades. At first, things work as expected and I push beans into the spinning blades. Occasionally the blades hit the rubber silicone spatula and it makes a loud noise but the silicone is strong and survives without damage. I start to grind my 3rd set of beans and just plan to use the spatula the whole time. Towards the end of the grinding process, I really push the spatula into the blades many times. Suddenly the sound changes as the blender finally succeeds in ripping my fancy black silicone spatula to shreds. I now have lots of little silicone particles mixed up in my coffee grounds. Since I really don’t want to waste any of my coffee grounds, I decide to add the whole coffee ground/silicone mix into my coffee ground stash. I figure that since the silicone is inert to about 500 degrees, that it would not hurt things because the coffee filter would keep the silicone out of my coffee. Also, the silicone is black and does not distract from the color of the coffee grounds. So I happily take my container of coffee grounds to work and have been making coffee all week. So far I haven’t died. Success.
Spring Fling will be the First Saturday in May 2013. Be there. I will.
She found a dead crow on the ground. It make a hawk meal
When the Virginia Falconers’ Association (VFA) came to the north 60 to hunt rabbits and squirrels this February, I joined them. The had a number of groups which went to various areas of the property. I followed one of the groups based around a fellow who had a red tailed hawk which he carried on his gloved arm as a group of people followed him into the woods. All of these people carried sticks which they used to walk through the woods. As we entered the woods the hawk flew up to a tree branch which had a wonderful view of all of us. The prepared people then used their walking sticks to beat the grasses and piles of branches in order to flush out rabbits. I discovered that the proper thing to say when someone spotted a rabbit was something like “Ho Ho Hoe”. Now this was nothing like the way that Santa would say it but but with a different cadence and at a much higher pitch. I even heard a person go HooOOOoo HoooooOOOO. I kinda had trouble understanding what he was saying. So there was much whapping of sticks and walking thru sticker patches. The hawk would follow us thru the woods from tree to tree where it had a good view of things. So occasionally after much whacking, I would hear a chorus of Ho Ho Ho’s and see the bird swoop down but come up empty. Then the people would rush to the brush pile where the rabbit escaped into and start stomping on the pile and poking their sticke into all the holes in the pile, trying to get the rabbit to run again. There would then be discussions as to which pile the rabbit was in and people would stomp and whack their piles of choice. After a couple of minutes of this, they would give up and continue on thru the woods.
So I did my stomping around at the fringes of the group and at last I stirred up a rabbit. As I watched its little fuzzy tail hopping down the trail, I pointed and shouted my warning to all who would listen, “Bunnie, Bunnie, Bunnie” in a high sqeekie voice. Neither the Hawk or anybody else around me paid attention. My moment was past, and nobody noticed.
While Eddie an I were walking we found a dead crow which was mostly feathers and bones on the ground and later we found out the one of the hawk owners had scavagened some crow meat that loooked like black jerky from the carcass. The owner treated us to the sight of her hawk chomping away at the crow jerky while we took pictures.
When Big Ed started working on his ATV, he found a mouse nest with 5 mieces in it. He started smashing and tossing the miece out into the grass. We told Little Eddie to offer a mouse to one of the raptor owners for thier hawk. The Lady that Eddie talked to took the mouse but wanted to know if the mouse had been poisened. She thanked Eddie and when he left, she threw the mouse away. Later on we were talking with another Raptor owner and offered him one of the mice. He gave it to his Hawk which ate it with one byte.
Laura has a new job where she cannot bring her iPhone into the building. So when she leaves it in her car, she sets the locking pass code. Yesterday, she must have fat fingered her pass code setting and she could not unlock her phone when she got back. Laura was sad. She could not make a phone call, she could not access her maps. When she got home, she told me to fix it. So I went to the internet. It turns out that for iPhone Operating system 4, there was an unlock hack which could recover a pass code. The problem was that Laura’s iPhone has version 5 which was much more secure. The only option was to totally wipe out her phones memory to reset the Pin. Then restore her phone from a backup. There was a problem in that Laura had not done a sync for over a month. She was sad. So we went for it. The next problem was that iTunes required that she upgrade her OS to version 6 which would disable her favorite mapping program Google Maps. There was no way to keep Version 5. Laura was more sad. We wiped her phone. Hooked it up to iTunes and it installed V6 ios. Then I went to the restore options and discovered that the only backup on her laptop was from 6 months ago. It seems that all the Syncs she had been doing for the last 5 months had been failing, but Laura hadn’t noticed. Laura was even more sad. So I restored that backup. Her phone works now, but none of her data files are up to date.
OctoberFest 2012 is on October 6. Bee there. The Cabin has a pretty little Hornets nest on the roof. We might have music. We will have Smoked Barbeque. Bring Raffle stuff. Enjoy
Come to the Cabin 2012 Spring fling event. Bring Food, Good times other stuff. There will be music (Don’t know who, or What). A Raffle (Don’t know what or how much). A Pot luck (Don’t know how much or what kind [but maybe a smoked something]) Bee There. I will be there on Thursday.
I was spending time alone at the cabin doing my thing when I decided to eat the last piece of chicken from my cooler. So I took that good looking chicken and went next to the creek to eat it. I was pulling pieces of skin off and throwing them to the hungry fishes. When suddenly a bee flew into my collar and got stuck there, buzzing next to my skin. It hadn’t stung me yet but I knew a sting was imminent if the bee felt threatened. I tried not to panic and used my floppy hat to try to brush it out from my neck. I failed. I started doing the funky dance which consisted of lots of shaking my shoulders and twisting my body while arching my back to give room for the bee to fly free. This succeeded in getting the bee to fall further down inside my shirt. The bee was happily buzzing around in my shirt which was not helping me to relax. I decided to keep dancing. While continuing this enthusiastic funky dance, I dropped my yummy piece of chicken which rolled down and dropped into the creek. The bee was still buzzing in my shirt but since I now had two hands free, I carefully unbuttoned my shirt while trying not to pinch the bee against my back which might lead to stinging which would thusly make my solo woods dance meaningless. By thrusting my shoulders back and arcing my back I released the shirt from my manly torso and the bee flew off into the wilderness without her stinger fulfilling the purpose that nature created for it. My communion with nature was now complete but I was still hungry and my last piece of chicken was now at the bottom of the creek. I could see it down there and I think my dance had scared off the fish. Not enough time had passed for the crawdads or turtles to go after it. So I took my shoes off and rescued my chicken. It looked clean and I shook the water off of it. I ate it. It was good. I didn’t get sick. Dumb bees.
The VFA came to the Pole Barn to hunt Bunnies with Hawks and Falcons.
GyrFalcon at the Pole Barn
They stayed all day but no kills were made. The bunnies cooperated. One even ran between Nick’s legs, but the Hawk ignored it.
He posed for pictures
Nicks Dog Boo tried to get the falcon. I have video of it.
Boo Tries to kill Falcon
Eddie and I went and got a Haircut today. My hair Cutter-ist wanted to trim my beard which I declined. But she also wanted to do something to my Eyebrows. I have never done anything to my eyebrows other than trimming long hairs that poked me in the eyes. I don’t know what she would have done to me. Maybe shave my eyebrows to those thin little lines that models get. Or maybe they shave them off and draw them in with an eyebrow pencil. I guess I should have asked her what was wrong with my eyebrows. Now I will never know.
I have a Samsung android Captivate phone which I have had for about a year. I upgraded my iPhone 3G to get it. AT&T have been VEERRRYYY slow in updating the phones operating system and my phone is now 3 versions behind. I really need my latest Bios fix. The new Bios is supposed to add many special features an make my battery last longer. So I decided to use one of the available internet solutions that a very active group of people have created to update their Bios’s. After much reading and research, I downloaded various installation files and development kits. I had backed up my phone so that I could put all my apps back with their data after I “Flashed” my phone (It means to put a new Bios on the phone). The first step was to Flash my phone back to its stock configuration as it came from the factory. That went well. I had to push buttons on the phone in a special way while powering up to put it in Download mode, hooked it up to the laptop and started the program. When it was done, all my apps were gone and its screen looked like it had just come new out of the box. I tested my backup program and put back most of my apps. So that worked. I decided to go for it and Flash to a newer Bios called Gingerbread. I put the phone in download mode, hooked it to my laptop and started the Gingerbread Bios update program. Everything looked good for the first couple of minutes. But then nothing happened. I waited. Nothing continued to happen. I waited some more. Nothing happening seemed to be all my phone wanted to do. After about 20 minutes of nothing happening, I gave up. I unhooked the phone. The screen went blank. I pushed buttons. My phone would lock up with a new set of Icons I had not seen before. This required more research. The research said to push buttons in various different ways. The phone would only show the new Icon and ignore my button pushes. My phone was in a state referred to as being “Bricked”. Meaning the phone was now only useful as a brick. After lots more research it seems that Samsung phones can be in 2 forms of Brickie-ness. There is a “Hard Brick” which means the phone is a total loss. And there is a “Soft Brick” which might be a total loss. My phone was in a Soft Brick state but could change to a Hard Brick. To replace my phone would cost a lot. After more research, there is a potential cure for Soft Bricked phones, but it requires that I create a special USB connector with a 300k OHM Resistor wired in a special way. So I grabbed a spare USB cable, took it down in my basement and attacked it with my Dremel to expose the pins on the USB connector. After much grinding and cutting I determined that my USB connector did not have the proper connection for me to attach the resistor. All my other USB cables looked to be the same style. Bummer. It seems I could buy one of the connectors from Ebay for about $9, but that would take a week or more. I might be able to get the parts from Radio Shack, but it is not normally stocked. This is where I stand on Monday November 7. I went to work today without a phone. I was sad. I missed my phone. Then I realized that I could pull my Android Sim card and go back to the dark side and put it in my iPhone 3G. When I tested it, I now had an iPhone that worked as a phone on the AT&T network again. Once I get my USB thingie, I will try to fix my android. More information to follow.
Nov 14, 2011
My research sent me to a web site which sent me to an electronics parts site which had a mini USB test thingie. I ordered it and should have my test thing tomorrow. I found in my basement electronics stash an 300k Ohm resistor. So once it arrives i hope to wrap the resistor thru the holes and plug it into my phone. If I am lucky, it will go into download mode and i can unbrick it. Wish me luck.
At my new place of employment I have been spoiled because they had a Starbucks in the cafeteria where I got my caffeine fix each morning. But at $2 a pop I decided to start making Coffee in my Cubicle. At home I had a large container of Coffee beans. But I did not think it would be a good idea to grind coffee beans in my cubicle each morning. Therefore I decided that to grind my beans at home and take the grounds to work. During my investigation of how my coffee grinder worked, I noticed that it had little tiny blades just like my the ones in my blender, only the blenders ones were bigger and since I had a LOT of beans to do, I decided to use the blender to grind my beans. So I dump about a half cup of beans in the blender and switch it to grind mode. Things spin around and the blades spin real fast but not all the beans have get ground up. So I turn it off and grab my special silicon spatula thingie and poke it into the blender to stir things up. I fire up the blender again and more beans are ground up but I need to stop it and stir things up. A couple more times and I have some grounds to go in my coffee ground container. I still have a lot of beans left so I dump a bunch more beans in the blender and start it up. Lots of grinding occurs and it needs stirring again. I decide to save time and leave the blender on when I stick my black silicon stirrer thingee in the blender to move things around. I figure since the silicon is so flexible that I could stand up to a little beating by the blender blades. At first, things work as expected and I push beans into the spinning blades. Occasionally the blades hit the rubber silicone spatula and it makes a loud noise but the silicone is strong and survives without damage. I start to grind my 3rd set of beans and just plan to use the spatula the whole time. Towards the end of the grinding process, I really push the spatula into the blades many times. Suddenly the sound changes as the blender finally succeeds in ripping my fancy black silicone spatula to shreds. I now have lots of little silicone particles mixed up in my coffee grounds. Since I really don’t want to waste any of my coffee grounds, I decide to add the whole coffee ground/silicone mix into my coffee ground stash. I figure that since the silicone is inert to about 500 degrees, that it would not hurt things because the coffee filter would keep the silicone out of my coffee. Also, the silicone is black and does not distract from the color of the coffee grounds. So I happily take my container of coffee grounds to work and have been making coffee all week.
I was watching TV and browsing the web on my laptop, when the laptop made a kind of fizt, pop sound and the screen went dark and it died. It was an old laptop, it only had 80 Gb of disk. But until 5 minutes ago, it was a good laptop. I wasn’t suprised tho. So now I have to shop for a new one.
For the last week, I have had a cold with sneezing, a runny nose and lots of productive coughing. While I was cleaning up after dinner in the kitchen, I had to cough a lot. Laura was helping and we were talking. I had a fit of coughing into my hand then I did some stuff and noticed that my hand was sticky. When I looked at my hand it was covered with some red slime and I think “Oh S#%t”, I have just coughed up some blood. As I examined the red goo, I tried to think about what it meant. I remembered from some stupid television hospital drama that you could tear your esophagus from too much coughing. I figured that blood from my lungs probably was not going to be good for my evening relaxation and I didn’t want to show my red gooie hand to Laura. So I calmly walked over to the white paper towels to wipe my reddish problem up and get a better look at it. I don’t know why, but I licked the white paper towel and rubbed my teeth to see if there was any blood in my mouth. There wasn’t any. The red stuff on the paper towel just did not look right so I started thinking about what I had been doing. I remembered that before I had done that last cough, I had put something in the refrigerator. When I looked in the fridge, I saw that it was a jar of mild red Salsa. It seems that I had not done a good job of pouring the salsa out and it had dribbled down the side of the jar. It got on my hand when I put it in the fridge. I should learn to be neater in the future. Maybe I will increase my medical insurance coverage.
As I was driving along Vale road at high speed in my Prius with my family. I noticed that there was a Deer on the side of the road. As I came near it, it decided to cross the road. I started to hit my brakes and I saw that the Deer saw me as it put its foot on the road. I figured, “Ah Ha!” it will not continue onto the road and I could stop hitting my brakes. I was wrong. It decided to “Go for it”, trusting in its speed to cross the road. Stupid deer. It timed its crossing so that I would be forced to hit it. I hit my brakes harder as the deer was running broadside so it would be easier to hit. My anti-lock braking system started to do its buzzing thing as I hit the brakes really hard. My left front bumper struck the deer with a loud THUMP which sent the deer sliding on its side across the road. I watched its legs kicking the air as it tried to get back on its feet. I figured that I had broken its back legs and I was about to witness something horrible as it tried to stand up. It finally got its feet under itself and started running towards the woods as I failed to see any dangling appendages on the deer. But it seemed uninjured and disapeared into the woods. So I kept on driving down the road to my destination where my car did not show any damage.