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October 20th, 2017

Here, Even the Bugs Smile

Today is a great day. I got the road to the south gate cleared, so now I can start moving wood to the side of the highway.

But first, a picture of the coolest spider I’ve ever seen.

I asked friends if this was a spider or a transformer. One says it’s a decepticon. My question: does it know it has a big smile painted on its butt? Is this normal, or is it a spider holiday? Maybe it’s spider Mardi Gras or Carnaval, and this spider is drunk.

To get back to the road, two big oaks fell across it, and to make matters worse, one was on top of the other. The other day I got them mostly subdued, and then my chainsaw ran out of gas. I left one trunk lying across the road, with two plastic wedges stuck in it. Today I went back and finished cutting that trunk, leaving me with a piece maybe eight feet long, lying directly on the road. I used the timberjack to cut that in three pieces, I rolled them out of the way, and the biggest obstacle on the road was tamed. After that I moved down the road and moved a few small trees that were in the way.

This is sweet. Next time I fire the tractor up, I should be able to use it to move big logs out to the highway, and once they’re there, they’re the county’s problem.

I’ll still have to burn a lot of crap, but burning two-foot-thick logs will no longer be part of the job.

In other news, my second pair of work boots arrived. I was considering getting a shorter pair of Danner Vicious boots, but curiosity overcame me, and I decided to try some American-made Keen Braddock boots. Keen is famous for its weight-saving asymmetrical steel toe, which puts more metal over the bigger toes.

The boots seem fine, but I think Danners are more comfortable. We’ll see what happens. People say disparaging things about the Chinese Keens, but these are American, so I have hope.

I needed shorter boots. The tall ones are heavy. They’re great with shorts, because they cover my ankles, but long boots aren’t necessary with jeans.

These boots have a true steel toe, unlike the Danners, which have some sort of hard plastic or something. A chainsaw ought to bounce off steel pretty good.

I came close to rolling a huge log onto my foot today, so I feel smug about choosing not to wear my plain-toe boots.

That’s it for today. Hope you’re enjoying life as much as I am.

6 Responses to “Cheese!”

  1. Cliff Says:

    No. Dangit.

  2. Heather P Says:

    Well I just had to google your cool little spider friend up there. They sound like an awesome little helper. Bold Jumping Spider (Phidippus audax) About half way down this page. They love to go after other bugs!! Dude you’ve landed in heaven! 😉

  3. Ken Says:

    You’re doing too much manual labor. When I bought my land, the seller told me to use hydraulics or hire Mexicans to do the labor. Turned out I needed both at the same time.

    Figure out how to use the tractor when ever you can, it’ll save your body. Break your foot and it’s 6 weeks in a cast and that again or more to get back to ‘normal’.

    Is your tractor big enough to use the backhoe attachment? Put a ‘thumb’ on that and you can pick up anything by just moving the levers. Well anything the tractor can handle….

    Geez that spider is something; I loathe spiders. I think my plans to visit the south are on a permanent hold…

  4. Steve H. Says:

    Ken, I can’t cut trees with machinery. That kind of hardware is way beyond my budget. I don’t have a backhoe attachment, and they are not cheap. I don’t want a bunch of laborers here on a regular basis, because they will spend their time making shopping lists for burglaries.

    I can lift over a thousand pounds with the brush forks, and that will have to be enough.

  5. Ken Says:

    Cutting with the saws is OK, it’s the moving the pieces around by hand is when you get hurt. Like when the peavy almost landed one on your foot. When in doubt, find a way to use the hydraulics instead of muscle. I’ve been dragging around a partially paralyzed leg for 28 years because I used muscle instead of hydraulics…..

    You’re right about the laborers making shopping lists; my neighbor had a bunch to spruce up the property for her daughter’s wedding. They stole all the battery operated tools, the gas operated ones, and stole the license plate off their truck.

    The electrician they hired had the plate on his truck after they notified the police.

  6. Steve H. Says:

    You don’t have to worry. I don’t lift anything heavy, and I use the tractor as much as I can.