Friday, November 17, 2017

A pat-on-the-back for Menards

These mittens are not perfect.  Perfect would be if the gauntlets were just a little bit longer.  But they are darned excellent for $5.
An official ERJ atta-boy for Menards.

I bought three pairs of these mittens.  It is easy to find gloves but few stores carry mittens.  And when they do have mittens the are "ski" mittens and usually cost about $25 a pair.

The mittens at Menards are well constructed and have a pile lining.

Gloves have a place, but when you really want to keep your hands warm you cannot beat mittens.  Keeping your fingers all together keeps them warm, just like puppies dog-piling on a cold, winter night.

The other thing about mittens is they can be constructed of thicker, more wind resistant materials because they don't even try to support manual dexterity.  More than one person I know wears a thin pair of gloves beneath a  pair of mittens made of a sturdy, high-loft material.

Perhaps one reason that Menards offers such reasonably priced cold-weather gear is because they are based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Record low of -43 F tends to make people sensitive to cold.


Non-native earthworms rebound more quickly than native species after the soil is tilled.
Most Americans have never seen a native species of earthworms.

What stresses earthworms?
Tillage is a problem because it kills worms outright, it destroys nightcrawler burrows and by incorporating surface litter, it makes it more difficult for worms to find food.  Worm species from western Eurasia are more adapted these stresses.

Earthworms are relatively resistant to herbicides.  The problem with herbicides is that it reduces the amount of plant life which impacts the amount of surface litter later.

Mowing and grazing favor earthworms.  A six inch tall grass-clover sward has a ton of edible matter for earthworms per acre but most of it is out of their reach.  A six inch blade of grass is as accessible to them as an apple atop a 40' tree is to us.  In particular, management intensive grazing produces and even distribution of manure around the sward.  Manure is awesome worm food because the plant material is already broken down into small particles that can be easily ingested by all types and sizes of worms.  Think of cow manure as the Chicken CmNuggets of the worm universe.

In some areas, like northern Minnesota, non-native worms are impacting the ecosystem.  They quickly gobble up the mat of decaying leaves.  That tilts the niche in favor of some species at the expense of others.  For example, acorns and beechnuts that might have escaped being eaten by deer and turkeys because dead leaves drifted over them are now exposed.

Worms have been explored as a way to process solid, human waste.

There are two approaches.  One is very low-tech and has been proposed as a better way to handle system over-loading along wilderness trails.  In theory, passing pathogenic human wastes through worms is likely to break the transmission pathway that would infect other humans.  Worms do not demand the same level of care and the high temperatures that other composting toilets require.

The high-tech approach is more energy intensive as it demands pressurized water.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Extreme savers

Link will be provided at the bottom....

Think of the most frugal person you know.  What percentage of their monthly "check" do they live on?

The best Mrs ERJ and I did before kids was to live on 55% and to bank 45% of our net.

What would you think of a man who lived on 4% of his gross?

What is doubly amazing is that his co-workers are notorious for splurging.  He did not run with the herd.

When asked the secret of his savings he said the key was to identify several things that bring you joy and to not spend money on anything other than those joy-givers.

In his case "...the things I love the most in this world (reading math, doing research, playing chess) are very, very inexpensive."

This gentleman's name is John Urschel and he was paid very well to play a game.

He is currently going to MIT and is working toward a doctorate in Math.  Frequent commenters Lucas and Guy will be pleased to learn that his home town is Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada).


Hat-tip to Salamander

I cut the cord

Yup, sure enough.  I cancelled the land-line today.

It will save $64 a month.  Looking at the bill, much of that went to fees and transfers that were completely unrelated to the cost of delivering signal to my house.

The nice gentleman who cancelled my account had difficulty finding it in the computer.  Strangely, AT&T never had any difficulty with the billing software sending me bills.

Guess I will have to find something else to spend $768 a year on.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

No deer were injured in the production of this blog post

I did not see a deer.

Kubota spent the morning with me.  He assured me that hoodies were plenty warm enough for deer hunting.  He was wrong.

Later that morning I asked if he was suffering from hypothermia.

He said, "No.  I am suffering from hypo-fur-mia.  Ain't seen nothing with fur on it yet."

I did not had much time to hang out and talk with my brothers.  Early in the season we are focused on putting deer in the freezer.  I am particularly gladdened to see the one who was shot in the face with a 30-06 in his youth and hope to have some time to chat with him.  Plastic surgery is amazing.


He was attending school at University of Michigan, Flint campus in 1990 and he worked third shift at a gas station that is exactly 1.98 miles from the heart of town.

The gas station was on a major road and during the daylight hours the customers were working stiffs buying cigarettes or gas.  After dark the customers were less affluent and significantly rougher.

He was working in the shop and did not hear anybody pull into the station.  The next thing he remembers was looking down at the blood and thinking, "Da*n, the boss is gonna be pissed if I don't get the floor cleaned."  That is the definition of tough...when your first concern is how you going to clean the floor after getting shot in the face while on-the-clock.

Based on the shell casing that was found at the site the weapon was determined to be a 30-06.  Fortunately for my brother it hit the corner of his mouth and traveled between the skin and the inner part of his right cheek.

He did not tell mom and dad, who live in Lansing, for three days.  Really, it turned out OK and his wife finds his lopsided smile endearing.


God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.

But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.  Wisdom, 2

I have a friend who is tormented by the wealth inequity in the United States.

He sees the 1/10th of 1% and the wealth they hold and he perseverates on it.  He is stuck.

The great joys of life are passing him by.

Hold hands with a pretty girl.  Giving her a kiss.

Watching the joy of learning in a child's eyes.

Catching a big fish.

Harvesting a garden.

The sound of a well played instrument.

Reading a book.  Composing a poem.  Comforting an elderly person.

I wish I could reach him but every conversation is like a record with a skip that keeps going back to "...the real problem is....  Capitalism is bad because...."

He is not tormented because of the 0.1%.  He is tormented because he gave others the power to separate him from happiness.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wednesday's post

Warm and breezy predicted for tomorrow.

The guns are sighted in.  There was a bit of drama after Kubota's friend, The Great Brain, helped him sight in his gun.  But now everything is good.

 Thurdy point buck.

Trunks of trees in the orchard were painted white to reduce the risk of sun scald.

I had an anomaly in the reloading room.  I set the powder measure for 6.8 grains of a popular pistol powder.  I double checked it.  I ran about a hundred rounds.  I rechecked it and it was 7.8 grains.  7.8 grains is WAY over max for the cartridge I am reloading.

My technique is to make five powder drops into the scale's dish.  That smooths out the noise.

It looks like I have to pitch about a hundred rounds.

I checked the powder throw between full powder hopper and nearly empty powder hopper and saw almost no difference.  I considered the possibility that I had thrown four measures instead of five but that does not work out because 4*7.8= 31.2 grains while 5*6.8=34 grains.