Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Progress in Paradise...

Progress in Paradise...  Yesterday morning I managed to get myself almost completely covered with light grease.  This happened as I was unpacking and assembling my new Grizzly jointer (at right).  If you're not familiar with this tools, they do something kind of magical: they put a perfectly straight, flat surface on the edge or face of a board (in the case of mine, up to 6 inches wide).  The top part of it weighs about 150 pounds, a bit too heavy for me to lift onto the stand safely by myself.  So I rigged it up to my engine hoist, and in the process the preservative grease on the milled surfaces got everywhere.  The fence was light enough for me to lift by hand, but that just spread more grease around.  The final straw: the fence carriage's milled surfaces had been painted over in manufacturing, and I had to scrape and steel wool all that paint off – and naturally, it was completely covered in grease, too!  I smelled like a tub of petroleum by the time I finished all this.  On the other hand, I now have a really nice jointer!

Debbie and I went out to lunch at Jack's Wood-Fired Pizza.  I've blogged about this place before – it's got weird and wonderful pizzas with magically good crusts.  I had the “chuck wagon” pizza – barbequed pulled pork with pineapple – scrumptious!  Debbie had one with pepperoni, sausage, and jalapenos; she pronounced it wonderful.  To my surprise, Debbie also ordered dessert (something I'd never had there before).  She got a huge slice of lemon cake, and it was as good as I've ever had.  The cake itself was delicious, but the lemon filling was absolutely superb.  It was lightly drizzled with a not-too-sweet icing, and garnished with perfect fresh blackberries and raspberries.  I was full from the pizza, but I still managed to eat some of that...

We were up in Logan to visit Campbell Scientific company.  They're the manufacturers of the Weatherhawk weather stations – a lucky coincidence for me.  I ordered one last week, and they offered to let me pick it up rather than ship it a mere 12 miles.  I got a model 621, pictured at right, with no moving parts in it all all.  The wind speed and direction is sensed by an array of ultrasonic sensors, and precipitation (rain or snow) is sensed by an upward pointing radar.  The unit is quite a bit smaller than conventional weather stations, and (best part!) has no regular maintenance requirements.  I'm going to be mounting it about 200' north of my shed, where the properties of two of my neighbors intersect with mine, with open fields for at least 200' in every direction – a perfect location.  It will be solar powered (another project!) and it will talk with my server via 918 MHz radio, so there is no need for any wires running out to where I'm mounting it.  With any luck at all I'll have it rigged up within a couple of weeks.

Yesterday afternoon I mowed about half our yard.  It's been two weeks since the last mowing; all the rain has kept the yard so soft I didn't dare run the mower over it.  In areas where there's full sun, the grass had grown up to about 6 or 7 inches high.  I had to go very slowly in those spots so the mower could digest all that :)

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