Monday, August 29, 2011

Fixing a Pivot and Some Corn Pictures

I went to check my pivot Saturday and it appeared to be non-functioning. It had watered the beans and half of the corn, so I decided to let it wait until this morning, as the corn really isn't taking much water right now. Dad and I went and looked at it this morning, and Dad discerned that the pivot was out of line. We walked in to the 4th tower and found this:

Whoops... See, that drive shaft is supposed to be attached to the motor. When it's not, the pivot can't move the direction it was headed, meaning the other side digs in and gets stuck. Luckily, if a pivot goes too far out of line, it will shut off. $18 worth of parts and a lot of sweat later (the corn around the pivot is 10-11 feet tall) it's fixed. I hope.

These couplers are what hold the drive shaft to the motor. The black thingymabob is called a "puck". It's made of rubber and basically connects the drive shaft to the motor:

Done now:

My bookbag makes for a handy tool carrier, if you were wondering what it was doing there. Here are the broken parts I could find. The couplers ate it, apparently:

I had to replace every puck on this pivot a few years back, so I've done this once or twice. I think it took longer to walk in and out of the field than it did to fix. I'm going to let the ground dry for a few days, then the pivot should walk right out.

I also took some corn pictures:

The corn looks pretty good. We've been blessed with good rains and decent temperatures. Seeing this is getting me really excited for harvest.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Normally I Shy From These Types Of Statements

But if you don't like this song, or at least respect it in some way, I don't think we can be friends. Check out Micky & the Motorcars. Best band you've never heard. Until now. It's called "Raise My Glass". Here are the lyrics:

Down the street a lamp light glows
The only heat through the slow fire and snow
I raise my voice but it rings hollow
I raise my glass my everytime you called
I raise my glass everytime

You told me once that all it would take
To let the wind carry the weight
is a chance to risk another heartache
I raise my glass to every mistake
I raise my glass everytime

I take a boardwalk down to the bay
I listen to the waves
And its a price that I've had to pay
For every glass that I raised

I took a job at a factory plant
There are some things I can do
There are some things I can't
I haven't been the same since the accident
I raise my glass in resentment
I raise my glass everytime

Ninety miles an hour in the dead of the night
You leaned over and you cut out the light
I flipped the Z10, I was high as a kite
I raise my glass to the dark sick night
I raise my glass everytime

I take a boardwalk down to the bay
I listen to the waves
And its a price that I forever pay
For every glass I raised

I haunt these streets till the bar rooms close
I only live to become a ghost
You were the one I always loved the most
I raise my glass to one final toast
I raise my glass one last time

Then, I take a boardwalk down to the bay
I listen to the waves
And its a price that I no longer pay
For every glass I raised
For every glass i raised
Every glass I raised
For every glass I raise

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Holy Cow

It's been awhile. I can feel this blog slipping away.

I was out of town this weekend. Three friends from high school and I road tripped to St. Louis this weekend. We went to Cahokia Mounds, which is where the largest civilization north of Mexico was 6-700 years ago, before it was mysteriously abandoned. Then we went to the Budweiser plant and got a free beer. We ate some good BBQ at a place named the Shaved Duck, where I encountered the worst case of the itis I have ever had. Seriously, I was still tired and full the next morning.

Monday I worked on my new (old) mower. I've got the 120 running and mowing pretty decent. A guy I met through a forum about lawnmowers (yeah, those exist. I know I'm a nerd) is meeting me around Kearney this weekend. The hood on my mower is fiberglass, and this guy worked for Boeing for 20 years running around the country fixing fiberglass. He offered to fix my hood. I'm pumped about it. I suppose at that point I'll start tearing it down. Fixing the deck is #1 on my list.

Dad and I drove all over hell yesterday. We went to an auction in Kearney until about noon, then went to Holdrege, then on to Minden, then to Hastings, and finally, home. We were cruising around the John Deere dealerships looking at 30' flex heads. A flex head is what we use to cut beans. We currently have a 25' head, but would like to get a 30', as we would cover more ground in a day. Another reason is that a 25' head doesn't really keep our combine up to capacity. When a combine isn't running at capacity, it can cause problems, splitting the beans, spitting some out the back, etc. I think Dad and Grandpa are going to look at a few heads today.

That's all that is new in my world. I might go pick some ears today to see where we're at. I think one more time around irrigating corn, and we'll be done. The beans will be until mid-September. It's getting close to the fun part.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 17

I can't believe how nice August has been. It seems that July and August got mixed up on their timing. I'm not going to complain, though. If we had to go through that hot-as-blazes stretch to get to this, I'd do it every time. We had a really nice rain the other night - 2 inches. I think if we got another decent rain in the next week or so, we would be done irrigating corn. We haven't had to irrigate much, which is nice. It saves us money, and allows me to actually go out and do things, so I'm headed to the St. Louis area this weekend with some friends.

Dad and I replaced some bearings on the deck of my new (to me) mower yesterday, I put some new blades on, and away we went. The belt on the deck is bad, so the blades were slipping and two of them were hitting each other, so now I need a new deck belt. Need a new mule drive belt, too. And it needs a tune-up, but hey, it's 40 years old. What do you expect?

One of these days, I'm going to have a special edition of the blog, which will focus on the old tractors I would like to own someday. It's not really a greed thing. I probably won't ever own any of them, matter of fact. I just love some of the old brutes, and I respect the engineers that developed them, and the guys that ran them. I romanticize a lot, because I'm sure disking in an open station tractor wasn't a lot of fun, but it had to be better than using horses or mules. Anyhow, here's a preview. If you ever find an Allis Chalmers D21, go ahead an buy it for me, and I'll pay you back.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Winter Project

I've kind of gotten into lawn and garden tractors the last year or so. Not really sure why. Shay doesn't understand it, but she just kind of rolls her eyes and lets it go. I've been looking for an old John Deere to fix up. I was looking for a 140, but couldn't find an affordable one. I found this 120 on craigslist in Wahoo. Went to look at it today, took it for a spin, and fell in love. I think Dad kind of got the bug, too. He was looking at a couple of mowers. We'll see where this goes. I wouldn't mind rebuilding one or two a year and selling them for profit if I could. I'm going to keep this one, though, because they were only made for two years - 1970 and '71. It doesn't look so hot now, but the last picture is what I hope it will look like when I'm all done with it. I'm going to hopefully replace the bearings in the deck tomorrow so I can mow with it for the rest of the summer. Don't make fun of my lawn mower nerd-dom too much, please.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Much New Here

This time of the year, it's kind of the same 'ol, same ol' - get up in the morning, irrigate, drink coffee, shred weeds, spray pipe, mow the lawn, look at things on craigslist, irrigate, eat supper, etc. I think today we need to change a discharge on a well. The discharge is the part that sticks out:

After they've been used for many years, they start to rust out and leak water all over the place. One of the wells I irrigate started doing that. Grandma and Grandpa are getting a new freezer today, so I'm sure I'll get in on unloading that. Oh yeah, Dad and I also resurrected Gus yesterday. Gus is a Chevy Blazer that lived through my sister, Alli, and my brother, Sam. I bought a battery for it, Dad filled it with anti-freeze, and away we go. I'm using it for an irrigating vehicle. Once Dad gets it licensed, I'll probably drive it all over. The brakes suck and it pukes anti-freeze, but it's cheaper on gas than my pickup. And I figure if it can live through Sam and Alli, it deserves to live, not rot in anonymity.

Maybe there's more new stuff going on than I realized.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I Feel Like

I get in this blogging rut, and don't know what to write about to get out of it. I could post some pictures and write about those pictures, but I don't feel like doing that. I spent a lot of time on my mower today. That was fun. Shay helped mow, which was awesome. She did a great job and it cut about an hour out of my time, so thanks pal!I'm going to a land auction with Dad and Grandpa tomorrow. There's an 80 for sale a mile west of my place. We're not buying - just going to watch. I've never been to a land auction before, so it should be interesting.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting For Howard Greeley Public Power

To turn my irrigation well back on. We have what they call "load-control" on some of our wells. Basically, it means that in peak usage times, they shut our wells off from 11AM to 11PM. It saves them some power, and since we agreed to the schedule, it saves us some money. I'm tired, though.

Not much going on. We laid out some bean pipe today, I picked up some bales, and then... Lost all motivation. Shay and I irrigated when she got home, then she made me some awesome chicken ranch pizza.

One of the wells on a farm Dad rents caved in the other day. They drilled the new well yesterday. I took some pictures, but I keep forgetting to bring the camera in the house. Maybe tomorrow I'll get that done.

I'm hoping for some rain tonight. We shall see.

I walked some fields today and picked some ears, and to be honest, I'm kind of disappointed in what I've seen. I'm seeing a lot more greensnap than I initially thought. A lot of the ears I've pulled aborted some kernels, which happens when it's hotter than hell when it pollinates, like it was this year. Some of them filled to the tip, some didn't. My main concern is that most of the ears I've seen aren't very long. It's not like they're stubby little guys, but they aren't the length I'd like to see. Hopefully they'll fill out some. This is the main drawback of farming. I sincerely was hoping some of my corn would make 180bu/acre. Now, I'll be surprised if it makes 165bu/acre. It does look like I'll have a better crop than I ever have on another farm, but again, we have a long way to go. Who knows what the weather might have in store? We cannot control the weather. We just have to trust that God is going to provide us with all we need and that He will bless us along the way.

Monday, August 1, 2011

We're Back

Hello again.

We left last Friday for Parks, Nebraska and got back home today. The fair was a big part of Shay's life while she was growing up, so she likes to go back for a few days during fair week. Her family was also honored for their ranch being in the Roundtree family for 100 years, so she wanted to go back and be there with her Grandma Edith when she received the award. I enjoy going out to Parks and visiting Shay's family when I can get away. We had a lot of fun. I threw horseshoes for the first time ever yesterday and actually did pretty well. I might put a horseshoe pit in at home now. It was Edith's 85th birthday, so the family had a party for her last night.

I started my wells up again tonight. There's a chance of rain the next few days and it's supposed to cool off to the mid 80s, so that'll be nice. I need to pick up some bales and shred weeds this week. Those are pretty mind numbing jobs, but they need to be done.

I can't wait anymore. I have to share this video. I had forgotten about it until my friend, Mr. Kevin Richter, reminded me of it. I'm not sure if this is a great song, but it sure as hell is a

Ridiculous Video: