Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stuck

More than a frame of mind.

We went out to the woods today. The pile just keeps growing and my feeble efforts on weekends are not reducing it. However, bit by bit we are stockpiling wood for next winter - House and Green house. There were some really large pine in the pile. My saw could barely make a though cut.

Of course getting the stuff into the trailer took just about all I had.


It was a very warm day, hovering around zero. Which means the snow was very slippery, wet, and sitting on a layer of ice. Trying to make it up our hill to deliver the goods proved problematic:
A no go situation. Time to take a deep breath, put on the chains and once again commiserate about the desirability of putting the chains on before I am stuck. I just get, well, stuck on that one.

Putting the off road chains on all four tires solved the problem. Barely. I was surprised at how slippery the hill was. It was touch and go. But we did make it home to a lovely cup of tea and got to open the parcels that had been waiting for us in our mailbox in Endako.

Thanks to Aunty Berta I scored some wonderful gloves. I "heart" my Thrum gloves.

Inside they have wool pulled through that makes them extremely warm and cushy.

I now have a nice pair of " go to town gloves" -- these babies will never see a woodpile. There just too nice.

Our long awaited seed order has come through. Well most of it. Seed spuds some lettuce and beets are back ordered. Hope they come soon as it's getting to be time to start sprouting and getting some of the tires ready for an early planting. I have some heating cable and am going to try growing a couple of tires with the soil heated to 70C. We are starting to get a lot more light.

Ah well, time to finish my tea, unload the trailer, drop it off and take the chains off. Were humming and hawing about making a run to Prince George tomorrow and try and get some ram for a server.

I am now having a look at Microsoft's Azure platform. It's an interesting cloud based solution to SAAS. If you don't grok that acronym - you will. It's about purchasing software as a service as opposed to buying a cd and then dealing with updates etc. It's an idea were toying at for a business model for endatako.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Head Case

I was doing some telephone support the other day. Needing to use the keyboard and talk on the phone. Problem was my handsfree headseat packed it in. Remembering a joke "cordless headset" picture that was making the www rounds a year or so back, I had a flash of inspiration:
Necessity being the mother of invention. I am now offering these very effective, extremely light weight, adjustable to most any head size, cordless phone headset adapters for an amazingly low introductory price of $14.95. ( phone not includedAnd for those of you who notice the non-up to electrical code wiring in the background, I assure you the electrical maintenance staff has been alerted.

After this adventure it was time for a meeting of the Poor Meow group. Always nice to have a place to go where you feel a part of.. And they just "Lap" up every thing I have to say.


I have the shop back to it's pre entropy stage. Way neat. I took a lot of time to organize it shelf by shelf and drawer by drawer. It just makes getting work done so much easier.

Now to tackle the office. Rearrange some servers, set up a new Windows 7 development machine and make a spot to resurrect dead P.C.'s of which I have been doing a lot of lately for friends. Virus problems most of the time. I am sure there is a special place in hell for virus writers and script kiddies..

We're taking the weekend off from our wood cutting endeavors as we both have computer related stuff to do..and get done before planting starts.

Hope your weekend is restful.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Sharpen the Saw


We got up early on Saturday to start the weekends wood cutting operation. The ice fog left crystals over all the trees and the morning sunrise was inspiring.
This was a pic taken with the "little" camera. J0-Ann snapped some beauty's with her camera:

We managed t0 bring in six cords of wood over the two weekend days. One chainsaw, a 10 foot trailer and a pickaroon. We had a leisurely start and a chain saw breakdown. Maybe a total of eight hours. Two of that driving. Fortunately I managed to quickly repair the chainsaw after a trip to the shop. We have way more than enough wood for our house heating needs but I am contemplating using wood heat in a green house and chicken shed.

I am still in wonder over the bounty that is going to be left to rot or burned as slash in our forests. The trees we're cutting here are too twisted or cracked for the mills to accept. They will be burnt if we don't pack it away. We're much more accepting than a mill. A buddy of mine pointed out that firewood is going for $300 bucks a cord in Prince Rupert. Let's see: with a large wood processor:

I can get four cords an hour times eight hours equals...hmmm. Of course a lot depends on the cost of transportation, storage, and how big the market is. Some research is required.. We have a whole province of the stuff and it's all dead and soon useless for lumber.
I am getting a lot better at sharpening my chain saws. Still a long way to go - but these skidded logs provide plenty of practice.

Speaking of sharpening the Saw.
I find an ice scraper an indispensable tool around here. Especially now that we have some snow melt and freezing going on. I have been pounding away with a very dull one. The edges were rounded over to such an extent that I was effectively bludgeoning the ice rather than cutting through it. I find I do the same thing, metaphorically, in my life. Forgetting to take time to sharpen the saw. A quick trip to the grindstone:
And slicing through the ice becomes way easier. I don't know how many times this lesson has to be presented to me before I internalize it. Sharpening our tools doesn't take time, it saves time. What ever our tools are. Pencil to Computer programs to.. you name it.
Steve Pavlina has a great blog about the Stephen Covey concept.

Hope you can take time to sharpen a saw of your choosing this week.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Clean Up

This Picture was taken from Ashrita Furman's Blog - a very interesting guy- an amazing multiple Guiness World Record holder who I have added to my "must read" blog list.

I want to get back to re-building the Skid Steer. Fix the seat, add a three point harness, some lights for those times when snow if falling in the dark. I want to do it in the comfort of the shop. Thus the concept of "shaving the yak". Joi Ito's Blog has a great explanation. Basically it's getting caught up in the sub-routines of life. One thing leading to another. Some times I can get so deep that I forget what the original goal was- the ( to badly mangle a couple of metaphors) "I Can't see the forest cause I'm so busy counting the moss on the bark of the trees", kind of thing. Or: "The draining the swamp endeavor has given way to the alligator sweater franchise." Wictionary has a concise definition.

Back to the Skid Steer 2.0 problem. In order to get the machine back in the shop I need to clean up the repair debris of the last work session. In order to do that I need to make some more room. Re-arrange the tools, consolidate the old nail and screw containers, make a swinging shelf for the unused space in front of the garage doors, finish the microwave shelf to house the standby microwave while I attempt a repair of the old one, get the re-built table saw running so I can move the old one out, move the stove rebuild project out to storage until I'm read to get it under way, move the cut off saw back in the shop from the garden shed...yak, yak, yak.

I am going to do a post on why disorder happens in the first place. And I won't use the word, entropy, once.

Back to my point.

Helping to get the mechanical tools part of the Yak better organised ( easily at hand, metric with metric, SAE with SAE) I refurbished an old rusted, beat up, frozen wheeled tool box that had been languishing in the dirt and mud of the old garage. Here's a sort of before;
most of the rust has been ground off, the wheels freed from their rust frozen confinement and a coat of stop rust and Rustoleum silver applied.

And the after:

Ready for shelf liner, loaded with tools and finding a place for it. That means the drill press will have to move...

In the mean time..back at the office..

We're switching all our financial information ( or non information) over to an open source application that runs on our Linux machines.

It's KMyMoney, it's free, which fits our budget. It's simple, which fits my accounting abilities. It's powerful, I can electronically transfer my banks records to KMyMoney. It's Open Source, a term I would like a lot of us to be more familiar with. Simplistically, it's the concept of software that isn't owned in the traditional sense by a corporation. It's supported by a community of developers - yes people just like you-and it's free to use. It's altruistic - giving back is a great way to heal a lot of what's not working with our economic systems.

I now know why there is more days in the month left than there is money in the budget!

Ah well, we have snow - and the snow shoes are paid for!

If your not having fun today odds are your probably doing it the wrong way..