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November 22nd, 2017

Plus Fascinating Shoe Information

Today is a busy day for me, so I am procrastinating. I should be out buying an upholstery needle and a spare folding table, but instead I will tell you about the stump I cut yesterday.

The huge oak that fell on my chicken house is long gone, but the stump lingered until yesterday. It was intimidating. I didn’t think my tractor could pick it up, and it was thicker than my 20″ chainsaw is long. Also, it was down on the ground were cutting it would be difficult. Yesterday I decided to give it a shot.

I had to cut from both sides, and cutting from the bottom was not possible, so there was no way to fix it so it would not split at the bottom. I cut for around 10 minutes, and finally, the free part dropped.

I took my handy-dandy timberjack, and with a lot of effort, I managed to start the log moving away from the rest of the stump. This is when I discovered the split. The log had split at the bottom, and there was still a strap of wood attaching it to the stump. I opened the kerf up so I could get at the strap, and I cut it with the tip of the saw.

Once the log was free, I moved it a couple of feet so the tractor forks could get at it, and I put the tines on the ground beside it. I used the timberjack to roll it onto the forks. Not easy, which told me the log was really heavy.

When I got it onto the forks, I hopped on the tractor and cranked the tines upward. The log moved, much to my relief. It rolled back toward the tractor. I then lifted the forks, and the log was free of the ground.

It’s a big relief to know I can move things this heavy, because I have a lot of them.

I took the tractor down to the gate by the highway, and I drove through the gate. Cars were whizzing by at maybe 70. I had planned to drive down the right-of-way and dump the log maybe 50 yards from the gate, but I would have been driving into traffic, and it made me nervous. There isn’t a lot of traffic here, but I picked the busiest time of the day, and such traffic as we have really moves.

I settled for dumping the log by the driveway. In the photo, it’s at the base of the pile by the road.

The county has given people until November 27 to get everything to the side of the road. It’s not looking good. Let me rephrase: it’s impossible. But I can move a few really annoying things into their lap, and it will be worth the effort.

When I was done, I tried something crazy. I put the front end loader down on the dirt above the stump, and I pushed. The stump rocked back. That surprised me. I was trying to rock it back into its hole. I didn’t succeed, but I made a big difference.

Now that I have put in some hours in two different pairs of work boots, I have drawn a conclusion. I like Danners better than Keens. My Keens give great protection, and unlike the Danners, they came with toe caps that prevent cuts to the leather, but the factory insoles are like concrete. They felt better when I bought them, but I suppose I have compacted them. I looked into aftermarket insoles, but Keen’s site says the Braddock boot is not compatible with them. I don’t know how that can be true. Keen makes insoles, though. I sent Keen a message asking whether their own insoles would work.

I am sorely tempted to get a shorter version of the Danners I bought. These boots are wonderful. The toes are vulnerable to cuts, but I solved the problem by applying KG Toe Guard to them. The Danners are selling for a little over a hundred bucks right now, which is crazy. Maybe the toe issue offended other consumers, and Danner is trying to unload the boots and discontinue them.

My Keens are American. My Danners are from somewhere else. Wild guess: China. People say to avoid foreign Danners, but my experience with them has been great, and at a hundred bucks, it’s hard to go wrong. If they last half as long, so what? They cost half as much.

When I’m rolling heavy logs, I’m very grateful for safety toes. Yesterday I imagined that severed stump rolling back on my toe. It weighs hundreds of pounds. It would not have done my toes any good. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it would have pressed my foot into the ground and then broken my leg.

Logging is not for the stupid. You have to think of all the physical possibilities in advance. Otherwise, you learn about them on the fly, very suddenly.

Wood seems to rot very quickly here. Maybe my problems aren’t as bad as they seem. Maybe my fallen trees will disappear in a couple of years if I get them on the ground and kill them with diesel. When I visited this place in the summer, there was a fallen log that looked fairly solid, and it’s disintegrating now.

I have to order some blackberry briars, and I have to make some decisions about new hedges. The sellers installed maybe six different kinds of hedge. Too busy. I need one bulletproof hedge species. A number of the existing hedges are looking crappy; I suppose hedge plants don’t last forever. It’s time to remove a section and plant something new. I figure I can do this about four times a year, and by next winter, the house will look a lot better.

The sellers put some truly worthless plants by the workshop. The shop has a porch with pillars, and each pillar has its own disappointing ornamental plant. I think I should do blackberries on each end and leave the middle pillar alone. Or maybe it would be best to do some kind of ground cover all the way across.

Blueberries do very well here, so I’ll need those, too. I can also grow kiwifruit and raspberries.

If you want ten or twenty tons of free firewood, and you want to cut it yourself, let me know. I’m the guy to see. Otherwise, I’ll just sit here and root for the termites.

2 Responses to “Web Logs”

  1. Brk Says:

    For a hedge, consider a multi-use plant. Gooseberries are pretty bulletproof and deliver robust berry crops the second year. Just stay away from forsythias. They’re pretty for about six days a year, then they’re a nasty invasive scraggly plant the rest of the year.jerusalem artichokes will deliver a 12 foot hedge in a year or two, and pretty flowers— and the tubers, if you like them — but they’re hugely invasive.

  2. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Happiest of Thanksgivings to you (until next year)!

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