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Preparedness/Survival Skills/BOBs/Kits/Gear If it will help keep you going when TSHTF, talk about it here.

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  #41  
Old 07-08-2014, 02:47 PM
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Our working drawings. Quick, simple sketches illustrate how it all fits together. The math got a little bit messy as we figured how long our wire for the skewer needed to be!

[IMG][/IMG]

Cooking with sunshine! Apprentices wore a non-autodarkening welding helmet to protect their eyes from the sun while taking pictures of the dog cooking.

[IMG][/IMG]

We turn the roaster away from the sun to work on it. It is not safe to look directly at the suns reflected rays! You can see the shadow made by the hot dog roaster. This shows us when we are lined up with the sun. We turn the roaster to face the sun and when the ends of the roaster and it's shadow make straight lines, we're lined up properly. In the picture below we are NOT lined up, the shadow is at an angle relative to the roaster, but we're working on it, not cooking here.

[IMG][/IMG]

The dogs cooked! It took a little while on a windy day. We tried wrapping them in saran wrap, covering the open front with saran wrap and covering the open front with double wall polycarbonate greenhouse material. It took longer when we forgot to turn the roaster to align it with the sun as the sun moved across the sky We were all impressed with how fast the sun was traveling.
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  #42  
Old 07-08-2014, 02:51 PM
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I don't know how to set the time and date on my camera... The dates are way wrong, we did this project about a month ago!

Student sketches of the parts used to make our simple hot dog roaster.

[IMG][/IMG]

The science, brought to us by my Dad, who really does LOVE math! He explained how the lines on the outside of the u-shape (called a parabola) are called 'normal' to a curve or circle. When light hits the curve at any point it is reflected off the curve at exactly the same angle as it first hit the circle. With our special shape, all of the light rays hit the focus. The focus is where we put our hot dog skewer. When we use the sun's rays, it gets HOT!!! Dad explains all that much better than I do, he related the angle of reflection business to playing pool, the ball leaves the rail at exactly the same angle that it first hit it.



Parabolas can be bowl shaped too. We've made a couple of those. With a decent sized model, water can be heated to the point it will make steam we can use for energy! We just love doing this sort of thing.

[IMG][/IMG]

We talked about radiant and conductive heat energy and we used both of these forms of heat as we worked through experiments. I had a hypothesis that covering the front would cause the dog to cook faster by keeping the heat in the cooker longer. We considered how we could use this for a science fair project. I suggested we would need to measure the temperature outside, and maybe write down what time it was and the date too. Apprentices felt we would need to know how hot the dog was before and after cooking, in addition to the cooking time.

With all this information we could make a true scientific comparison of cooking a dog in the roaster with and without a cover. Since we just wanted to eat our dogs, and didn't have a thermometer in our toolbox we judged our experiments pretty successful based on taste



This project is intended as a learning process about how to be a small business. Once apprentices get their little feet wet in that puddle we'll move on to making the heat-grabbers with many improvements for durability. They need to form an LLC for this but we'll help them with that part. They get to keep most of the money too!
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  #43  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:18 AM
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Our shade structure is going to be a LOT easier to manage than my redneck shade! I'm using 1" spring clamps to hold the recycled gazebo curtains (the ones that didn't burn up, some are melted a little) to our pop-up. It makes a HUGE difference in temperature, our thermometer maxed out in the sun but it was only in the 80's in my manufactured shade! With some big patio umbrellas strategically placed I've been able to avoid running the air conditioning most days. But I have to be right on it, wind could rip the whole thing down, rain ponds quickly, water is HEAVY and again I have to be right on it, unclipping the curtains fast if weather gets nasty. If we get much wind we can't have shade. So this is a big deal for us:

[IMG][/IMG]

It's a kit! We're pleased with the quality, nuts are welded all the way around, the joints have better welds than we usually see on commercially done stuff and it's heavy gauge. Recall the pipe to make the structure is sitting at a buddy's house, he's self-employed, builds SERIOUS fence for a living and is giving us his cost on the pipe, really nice savings there!

We had REAL FOOD last night!!!!! Cooked it ourselves and everything! Yeah, it's 'convenience stuff, canned gravy, instant potatoes, but boy was it good!

[IMG][/IMG]

I'd have cooked some potatoes and made the gravy, but the meat cooler went south and we had to pitch the stinking pork chops we had on hand and Brian picked up a fresh pack so we lost time for cooking. I HATE that, wasting food is one of our biggest pet-peeves. It tends to draw unwanted wildlife too, we're struggling to keep Velcro cat's coons at bay, putting concrete blocks on the cooler lids, etc.

I'd saved some butter from another time we didn't manage to keep close enough track of a cooler, thought surely it would be ok. Not sure that was a good idea this morning, lots of trips to the house facilities with the trots. I'll toss it ALL if it happens again, and it happens fast in the heat we've had That will get better very soon...
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  #44  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:23 AM
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The cleanup crew didn't show on Monday as promised. We thought they were a young, self-employed couple, turns out it's a pretty big commercial affair with locations in our area and TN. We were prepared to be understanding with a small operation but it's bad business not to at least call!



When they did show up, they brought forms for us to sign. One form says we understand that any costs not paid by our insurance company are to be paid by us, the legalease was fairly nasty on that one and this didn't jive at all with their happy assurances that "It will all be ok!" They said that our insurance company was fine with them billing the job as they went instead of requiring an estimate and it would all be taken care of. If that's the case, why the nasty form?



Furthermore, they want us to sign a form to "hold them harmless" for any problems caused by chemicals they use and this form referenced MSDS sheets we supposedly had copies of, to tell us about these chemicals. We didn't get any MSDS sheets and no one even mentioned them. That'd be the point where I said "They're fired!!!" I'll ask them to send us the MSDS sheets before I give them the news. I'm the safety geek, monitoring and updating these "Material Safety Data Sheets" has long been one of my duties, I wear all the gear, and do the drill with chemicals!



We take chemicals very seriously, we're both extremely sensitive to many commonly used chemicals in soaps, deodorants, air-fresheners and lots more. My deodorant was "new and improved" this spring and I failed to notice this on the tube. I noticed right off when I used it, itching, swelling, rash, etc. and washed it off IMMEDIATELY! I suffered for weeks, unable to use anything but witch hazel and still haven't found a product I can use.



Even worse, many pet birds drop dead when their owners get new carpet, build on to the house, etc!!! We have a live Syd bird due to our sensitivity, no air-fresheners, scented candles, potpourris, commercial cleaners (except windex and citrus based stuff), scented detergents or fabric softeners! We use unscented lye soap or sometimes 'pears' soap as it doesn't break us out, make our own disinfectants and cleaning solutions.



I might use some of the products from the MSDS sheets and I might just use Murphy's Oil soap on the wood, my vinegar and soap concoction or ammonia on other surfaces and Stay Kill as needed. I'll gladly suffer a little residual odor before I'll suffer chemical poisoning.





We knew we won't be able to move back into our home for some time after the cleanup and construction is done. Out-gassing materials, paints, etc. will have to dissipate before we can live there and breathe. That's why we're working so hard to set up our camp, we can winter in our ice-cream truck box if we need to - and we might need to! It's also why we're thinking of finishing our loft and closets while we're out.



It's a pain to evacuate for construction and since we're already out what's another month? We usually stay next door at Brian's folks, timing it so we aren't fighting to keep cool since they have no power or water in their vacation camp. No way that would work for us in the heat of the summer...



The good thing is that I'm not involved at the shop now so I CAN do the cleanup. Emailed the adjuster and asked him how we need to document it. It's a pay cut compared to shop-rate but I'll take that happily to keep us all safe! Even better, I can strip the kitchen area, seal it off (opening the window for clean air) and do my LAUNDRY in the house as soon as our generator arrives instead of dragging the whole setup out to our camp - YAY!!! Best of all, we won't need a water-heater in our camp, another savings on overall cost
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  #45  
Old 07-09-2014, 10:34 AM
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Dad would be "Patience", he posted here for quite some time, finally got burned out with trolls if I recall. Probably got too aggravated to use the "ignore" feature...?
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:26 AM
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http://www.winsol.com/smoke.htm

Everything we need to know about how to clean up the mess left by the fire!!! They even provide MSDS sheets. We can do this

We've got all the painting equipment. I said "I'll NEVER paint again!!!" not too long ago. (I painted airplanes in my military life but I didn't love it. We recently painted some of the equipment we built, shown in the shop thread post and it was just miserable without a spray booth.) Never say "never"... I'll drag out my hood with fresh air supply hookup and get out my disposable "bunny suit" coveralls and gloves, yipee. It's always nicer doing your own stuff, you get to KEEP it!

Last edited by patience; 07-09-2014 at 11:39 AM.
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  #47  
Old 07-09-2014, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rj5156 View Post
I had a hypothesis that covering the front would cause the dog to cook faster by keeping the heat in the cooker longer. !
If you covered the front, how would the light get in to provide the focused energy?

It's said that Archimedes used giant parabolic mirrors to set the attacking Roman fleet on fire, saving Syracuse from invasion 2200 yrs ago.
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  #48  
Old 07-09-2014, 12:40 PM
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Wow Doc, nothing new under the sun is there? Can't wait to tell our apprentices about that, thanks!

We used double-wall greenhouse sheet to cover the opening, lets the warm in and keeps more of it in than the saran wrap. We use that on our "heat-grabbers" too, some folks put it over their windows to conserve energy and still let light in.

I apparently signed in as Dad... I use Patience a lot as a username myself and we're maybe too much alike in our choice of passwords
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:53 PM
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I just spoke with Nathan at Servpro. I told him the forms they gave us to sign stated that we acknowledged we were given the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) for chemicals to be used and also that we had been given the opportunity to seek a medical opinion about these chemicals. I observed we did not receive the MSDS, much less have time to get a medical opinion - and we'd need one from our vet for the cockatoo...

Nathan pressed hard to bring the sheets to the appointment so we could "just go ahead and sign" them while they began removing our stuff. He did offer not to use chemicals we had an issue with but hustled me to just let them get on with it.

I wouldn't recommend them for any job due to their blatant disregard for safety issues and their failure to follow procedures spelled out explicitly in their own forms. I've maintained and updated an MSDS library for most of my career and know exactly why this is so important!

I cancelled the appointment we had scheduled with them on Thursday morning. Nathan was snotty about it. I managed not to waste any energy on it but I'll be advertising for them. I started by telling the insurance adjuster
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Old 07-09-2014, 01:02 PM
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Just heard from our adjuster, they REQUIRE an estimate and don't pay for work done without one! Now I see why Servpro wanted us to sign that we accepted financial responsibility for their payment - with stiff penalties each month for late payment

I will take a little time out of my waiting until I can DO something and report them to the Better Business Bureau. I will also review their services online if I can find a forum! Nobody raises cain like I do once I decide to start - I just NEVER stop
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  #51  
Old 07-09-2014, 02:42 PM
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I have notified our local insurance company and our adjuster, filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, the Indiana Attorney General Consumer Protection agency, posted info for folks pursuing a class action lawsuit against Servpro, called the national Servpro quality assurance department to make a complaint and may contact a lawyer and let them keep the money if they'll drag Servpro through court.

Ahhhh... That's so much more gratifying than hollering on the phone! I'll lock the gates Thursday in case they come anyway, watch for them and call the cops and Brian if they do. Tempting to let them in and lock the gates behind them if they show up, just for sport but I'm trying to give up some of my rabble-rousing as I get older

Bet the neighbors would pull a truck up on their bumper to be sure they were here when reinforcements arrive, I'll ask John if he'd like to join the fun - we're a lot alike in the sports we enjoy. Should they actually show up anyway we'll press charges.

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Old 07-09-2014, 04:41 PM
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Wow got some great information....have to come back when I have time to read. But you made a major point ....
Quote:
Where is the line in your sand? If you can define it you will fare far better in a crisis!!!
This is one thing you have to know....how far will you go and when is the line to stop. People do not consider this super important point.
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  #53  
Old 07-09-2014, 08:28 PM
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The worst experience with customer service only highlights the BEST experience we've had with all this.

I mentioned in another post about our battery charger, John was so helpful, "promoted" our order to the front of the line when he read Brian's note about our fire and off-grid living and when Brian called to ask about the temperature probe feature he REMEMBERED the order and had helpful technical info!

If John doesn't own the place maybe he should, and we will find out how to send his boss a nice letter. Thank-you letters are my next priority project and http://www.quickcharge.com/index.html is so far above all the other really helpful folks we've dealt with I can't just say enough good things about them and their product!!!

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Old 07-10-2014, 11:39 AM
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HawaiiDi I never really wanted to think about all that stuff but I couldn't learn to keep my mouth shut, stand by when something bad happened to another, or put up with petty bullying myself, thus I got a chance to give it a lot of thought

Most people I know couldn't "make me mad" if they tried I'm not interested in giving others control of how I choose to feel, for one thing, it's a big decision for me to take on a battle over something. I do draw a line at physical assault to my person but I'll generally just walk away from verbal ugliness.

Good folks outnumber the troublemakers by a big margin though the popular media seems to focus our attention on tragedy and the bad guys. Sometimes a real nasty bad guy does cross my path and I STILL can't keep my mouth shut or stand by when I know bad things are happening...

The safety factor was the first thing that led me to engage with Servpro. They aren't giving anyone those MSDS sheets I bet and the consequences of chemical toxins can be death! Because they would put me - and more important to me - cockatoo Syd at risk, they get the "Mad Mom" treatment. Don't pick on my kids (we don't "have" kids but we've worked hard to earn a place in the lives of young folks with potential and we claim them as "ours") or put them in harm's way. Most folks feel that way from what I've seen.

The scam factor sure counted too. Looks like it's just how they do business at Servpro, note that they tried this on ME and not Brian (He's 6'5", 260 or so I'd guess, we're still losing weight). So they go for the weakest link, try to get them to sign that they have authority to sign for their spouse. Then go on about an "Emergency!!!" to get them to sign to accept financial responsibility when they know full well the insurance company won't pay for work done without an estimate. I really wonder how many folks are loaded with huge bills they can't pay because they got sucked into the drama enacted by this company.

They're preying on those least able to defend themselves and I think people who are predators, attacking their own kind, need to be shot! Since that's not legal in Indiana, I'm working through a list of what I CAN do.

The message I left for Servpro's QA dept. spelled out the complaints I had ALREADY made, so they had to call me back. I told them I was a business owner and felt sure they wanted to know about this (ok, big lie, took notes, names, date and time. They schmoozed me but probably met the requirements for "dispute resolution" and said over and over that nothing actually happened so I there was nothing I could do. Boy were they wrong about that...

Once the agencies I've already contacted process my complaint I'll call the local news troubleshooter. I can lay groundwork for this by posting in local forums on craigslist, topix and try to find out how many folks in the area are on the hook for payments to this scam because they can't afford to hire a lawyer to get them out of it.

It's not the biggest fight I've got going on right now and I take it seriously indeed to put time and effort into it when I have other things I'd sure rather be working on! I do have a special place in my heart where I love to persecute bullies who prey on the helpless.
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Old 07-10-2014, 01:10 PM
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Our insurance adjuster asked for a preliminary listing of items to be replaced or repaired. We'd been working on that.

We'd been moving unused items to the shed (also used for garden supplies and occasional overnight guests) and transporting them to store in the shop due to planned construction projects so there's an eclectic collection of stuff lost in the shed. It's incomplete, we're still figuring it out when we need an item and head for the shed to get it... We haven't started on the house, awaiting blessings that come from official cleanup estimates. Mostly the house stuff will be food, and structural looks like. Few things got trashed with water or stepped on but we were fortunate there!

I actually have an inventory of many of my school science and shop class supplies for students use in case they want to borrow items. I may even have receipts on some of it, depends on how recently I got it and if it was bought online. Fortunately the REALLY expensive items like my triple-beam scales, lab and student microscopes, most of my texts, many activity kits (electronics, radio, etc.) were already moved to our shop for storage. Even better, I had already moved ALL my tools used in the classroom back to the Conrad Machine Shop location for apprentices to use!

My stubby T-handle shovels were in the milk truck box! Brian had been gathering lawn and garden tools and putting them together. Our immense joy at finding stuff like this is probably a good indicator of the trauma or grief that comes with a disaster, Sacajawea mentioned this in the Back to Eden thread and we're fascinated with how our minds are coping with it all without denying ourselves the chance to experience it so we can move past it.

My most beloved hand pick was in the bucket beside the shed - the one that MELTED. I'm afraid it's irreplacable, I've never found another like it and I've looked for one "just in case" I should lose my favoritest one... Perpaps I can reclaim it, be more work than it's actually worth but it's worth it to me!

Same with the birdcage, bet it's more expensive to sandblast and powder-coat it than to just replace it - but we can't BUY anything that well-made, have to make it ourselves to be happy with the quality of a replacement and we don't have time for that!

I'm trying to get my head around this, have to price it all out, turn that in and go GET it all when we're ready for it... So glad we had 'minor' losses! Thinking it'll be cheaper to hit TSC, and the hardware stores in town with our list and price everything we can get there, then try Home Depot when we're already there for something. It won't save us money to run all over creation, spending days and much time on the road to get prices and begin replacing stuff.

Some of it I got online and that sounds easy, doesn't it? Well... I had 10 petri dishes. They aren't sold individually anyplace I can find. Three of them cost about $4 on one site, TWENTY of them cost $5.97 on another, and so it goes. I want especially to be fair and do the best job I can with replacement costs. It's a bit daunting right now...
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Old 07-11-2014, 12:52 PM
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Always something. The county highway department, or an employee, has given a local construction business permission to dump their waste on two gravel roads that adjoin our property - and dump they do!

We've done our civic duty and may just sit back to watch the show.

This is what it looks like AFTER they've tried to clean it up.

[IMG][/IMG]

Tracked down the highway.

[IMG][/IMG]

We get this a lot. Tar this time. Tar-coated gravel is jammed in the all-new brakes we put on the truck a couple months ago. Tar tracked into homes, neighbors just BUILT their home, they're steamed! Oil so deep it threw sheets when we crept through it last year, a HUGE pond of oil on a curve going downhill the year before, and so on.

I told the County Highway Garage superintendent and our County Commissioner last year I'd report it to the EPA if it happened again. I've got documented complaints with photos going back 4 years or so. Gotta get my date fixed and take more pics...

Everyone living on our road has called the superintendent, we're ready to go to the commissioner's meeting next week! Someone needs to bring popcorn! We're tired of paying to have these dumps cleaned up - and paying to clean our homes and vehicles to boot!

Neighbors called the post office to report they didn't get their mail, Brian called the State Highway Department and reported a "spill or something" as a hazard on the highway. I just called the EPA and gave a non-native English speaker a report.

I expressed concern for folks with asthma, I had trouble breathing just driving on the road after they covered it. I said I wondered if covering the tar was adequate cleanup since both roads drain into the Delaney Water Conservancy District - we're the largest watershed in the STATE and this watershed drains into the Muskatatuck river.

I shared my concerns for public safety, it's HEAVY on the highway and when it rains it's gonna be slicker than snot. There aren't even any signs to warn folks on the highway. I asked if I was even calling the right place and told Filleul that we had already called our county and state road officials, names, times and dates of couse I expressed doubt that these agencies understood how to manage the problem, and wished Filleul a good day

Looks like we've got a violation AND an emergency. I experienced breathing difficulty just driving on the road. Can't imagine how bad it is for the poor kid with asthma that lives on our road. The dumping was done sometime well after business hours.

The law tells us:
www2.epa.gov/home/report-spills-and-environmental-violations



What's a violation versus an emergency?


An environmental violation occurs when an activity or an existing condition does not comply with an environmental law or regulation. Environmental violations can include (but are not limited to):



smoke or other emissions from local industrial facilities;

tampering with emission control or air conditioning systems in automobiles;

improper treatment, storage, or disposal of hazardous wastes;

exceedances of pollutant limits at publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants;

unpermitted dredging or filling of waters and wetlands;

any unpermitted industrial activity; or

late-night dumping or any criminal activity including falsifying reports or other documents.


An environmental emergency is a sudden threat to the public health or the well-being of the environment, arising from the release or potential release of oil, radioactive materials, or hazardous chemicals into the air, land, or water.


Examples of environmental emergencies include:



oil and chemical spills,

radiological and biological discharges, and

accidents causing releases of pollutants


These emergencies may occur from transportation accidents, events at chemical or other facilities using or manufacturing chemicals, or as a result of natural or man-made disaster events. If you are involved in or witness an environmental emergency that presents a sudden threat to public health, you must call the National Response Center at: 1-800-424-8802.
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Old 07-11-2014, 01:08 PM
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I always give my FULL name dealing with local officials, using Renee maiden name married name to save us all time if I'm dealing with someone who doesn't know Brian and I got married. Anyone who has ever had a round with me gets right on it. If the person I call hasn't had learning opportunities with me, they'll probably complain about me to other locals, they'll find one who knows me, again saving us both lots of time.

I'll endure persecution for local campaigns and rat out my persecutors for years. When the city tried to pass a "limit-law" on how many and what kind of pets folks could keep - without grandfathering existing pets as civil law requires - I was working for the shelter. Boy was THAT a fight when they told me to go GET animals they had no right to take! They told me they couldn't grandfather existing pets "because then we can't get the people we're after!" My was it ever fun from there I was harassed by Officer Cauble for a long time but he eventually got bored with it. I'm still telling everyone he did it!

I really do love living in a small town!

New cleaning crew comes to evaluate tomorrow. Given an estimate, we can begin work!!! I'll happily PAY for the estimate since I mean to do the work myself. We'll tell them that after they do the estimate, in a nice note with a check. I hate folks who waste my time on an estimate or evaluation and then take it someplace else, try to do it themselves, mess it up and bring it BACK, or whine "that's too expensiiive..."

Shade structure should go up this weekend. Generator missed the Tuesday delivery somehow, be here next week. Might have to take Cleo to the vet tomorrow, she's carrying a front paw. Can't see anything wrong with it, no swelling or obvious injury. Sprained maybe? She's still climbing trees so it can't be too bad?
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Old 07-11-2014, 04:26 PM
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The road mess is an annual event around here, should have seen it coming I guess... Good news is the EPA got RIGHT on it! Patrick returned my call in about an hour and a half and was ON THE WAY to check it out!

He said it might take a day or so to get something done but I heard the big trucks on the highway and Lick Skillet Rd. within another hour and a half after speaking with Patrick.

They're still working on Lick Skillet, seem to be all done with the highway now. Probably put sand on it. Hope it spares folks having a nasty accident when it does rain. That was my biggest concern! Can't believe the state didn't do anything with it.

I did start at the lowest level with all this, 4-5 years ago and have been insisting on cleanup, following up with my commissioner and escalating my response every time it happens AGAIN.

Not sure how to top this round so I hope there are big expensive fines (oh yeah, that I get to help pay for, gotta hate that!) to accompany the cleanup costs (that I've been paying for all along) and some settlement for personal damages (right - I've been paying for those all along too!) caused to vehicles and homes. I found TAR on my sheets this morning!!! It's just everywhere. I've been tossing chunks over the hill as I find them in the driveway - a mile away from the mess. Will see if nail polish remover will get it of my feet... Ick.

A month ago I'd have been fuming and steaming about it. I don't seem to have any chemicals left to fuel it right now. Just chugging along doing what I promised I'd do next time
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:55 PM
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Horrifying!!!
But you seem to have adapted and over come.
I am so sorry for your loss.

Keep us updated.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:03 PM
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rj5156 rj5156 is offline
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]We've decided to have an adventure Texanne - instead of a disaster... Once everyone was ok we were fine. Moments like that cut right through to the things that matter in life... Love your signature, trouble sure does ride a fast horse!

I'm posting here because I've enjoyed the forum so much. I hoped there might be useful stuff to the group, and it saves me emailing all 200 of my family and friends individually. Might get you some new members before we're done!

Brian got time to try the new battery charger tonight. Some assembly required! Gotta make cables for everything we do.

Dielectric grease on every step.



His preferred plugs have little crimp on ends for the wire. These slide into the plastic receptacle. Putting it all together.


Short cables are tidier and thriftier.


And we're charging with the spiffy new unit!


I mistrust new technology by nature. It always has bugs! I like to ride the trailing edge of technology. It's not really cutting-edge and I am going to learn to love it!

Last edited by rj5156; 07-11-2014 at 10:28 PM.
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