Gary Digs
— Tales of the holes I dig, the dirt piles I make, and the holes I fill at the B-Bar-Lazy-B

“I've seen more of this state's poor cowboys, miners, railroaders and Indians go broke buyin' pickup trucks. The poor people of this state are dope fiends for pickup trucks. As soon's they get ten cents ahead they trade in on a new pickup truck. The families, homesteads, schools, hospitals and happiness of Montana have been sold down the river to buy pickup trucks!... And there's a sickness here worse than alcohol and dope. It is the pickup truck debt! And there's no cure in sight.”
by Thomas McGuane, Rancho Deluxe (1975)

March 3, 2009

Big Wood, Broken Back, Dangerous Chemicals and Oodles of Icky Oil…

Filed under: Biodiesel,Yard — Tags: , , , , , — gary @ 6:24 pm
We’re working on a new raised bed (as previously mentioned), honey bees are coming soon, and I just acquired almost 200 gallons of used vegetable oil that I’d like to brew into biodiesel (most of the oil is in JnX’s garage at present)…More on this soon, and I mean soon, not a month and a half from now as happened with January’s post…

Update: 4/7/2009 - Well, hmmm…I guess I let an entire month slip by and now there is more to tell then there is time to tell it, but let me at least get started…We’re heading out to dinner with JnX here shortly, but perhaps I cover the past month or so in brief.

Way back at the end of February we had a weird sun break and got a couple of days of work in out in the yard, so I took advantage of the opportunity to start working on the new raised bed. It became very clear very quickly that the broken concrete I had on hand from the removal of the sidewalk in the back yard a couple of years ago would not be sufficient to complete the job so I started scouring Craig’s List for additional concrete or alternatives to fill in the gaps. As it turns out someone had felled a gigantic cottonwood, and I mean gigantic, and had a pile of logs, rounds, and slag they wanted removed so we drove by to take a look. Maya did a little research on the burnability of cottonwood, so I contacted the guy and figured at a minimum I could get the bigger rounds that were already cut (and use those as part of the raised bed) and then snag some additional fire wood for J. of JnX since their fireplace is their only source of heat and J. didn’t have much luck finding a boat for winter fishing to augment a mediocre summer salmon season, so I figured anything for free would be good. I so terribly underestimated the weight of these rounds. Each one weighed at least as much as I do, and as previously mentioned many days/weeks have been spent recovering from the lifting, rolling and placing process. There is a picture of these monsters in their final position in the previous post, and here’s another picture of them in the back of the truck when only half of the damage to my body had been done…

I'll admit, getting them in the truck was much more difficult since I just let them roll right out onto the driveway when we got home...

To get them out of the truck? Just roll 'em out and let 'em bounce down the driveway (I did set up a cinder block to keep them from crushing my truck canopy)

So, even though the lifting was done at this point, the process of rolling them out of the truck into the driveway and then rolling them back to their final resting place was a long slow wrestling match betwixt the logs and I. I won in the end, I think, but although they are called rounds, that is a disasterous overstatement and generalization of their actual shape. The path from the back of the truck to the new bad had as many zigs and sags as a saw blade, but in a much less uniform distribution. The rains that followed this activity were not altogether welcomed despite the fact that in the end they probably granted a much needed reprieve for healing of the muscles and joints to prepare me for the final concrete wrestling match which was required to complete the wall around the new bed.

Craig’s List is wonderous, and dangerous, and tonight after I get back from dinner I’ll discuss some of the hazards inherent to a giant list of stuff from the entire region that you might not realize you want until you encounter it somewhat by accident…

Update 4/8/2009: After dinner we enjoyed the spate of nice weather by having a fire out back in which we burned the remnants of the gigantic dead rosemary we had pulled out over the weekend. We’re not sure if it died from old age, the really nasty winter, or my incursions into its bed chasing morning glory root the past couple of years, but we needed the space for the new location of the yet to be moved chicken coop and the rosemary was clearly not rebounding this year as it had in years past. Apparently many, many years past as we were able to burn the dead branches for a couple hours. Hence, I did not return to this post the other night, and probably shouldn’t have today in favor of starting a new post, but alas, here we are…

Actually, this went on too long, so I changed my mind and will continue it in the next post.

2 Comments »

  1. 18 days and counting…:)

    Comment by Maya — March 21, 2009 @ 4:17 pm

  2. I know, I know, I know…

    Comment by gary — March 21, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

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