Wednesday, April 8, 2020

The EF Plyometric workout

I suspect most of us have had days when most of our muscles were sore, when it was a symphony of aches and pains to get out of the recliner to go to the can.

Maybe it was after a day of cutting, splitting and stacking wood. A day when we used a multitude of muscles that were not hardened to that kind of work.

Maybe it was the day after running a marathon or roofing a house...tasks that are not your every-day kind of jobs.

That is how I felt yesterday.

I ran through the list of everything I had done the previous two days. That explained some of the sore muscles but not all of them. The sorest muscles on my body were my triceps. Nothing I had done could account for them being sore.

Is there a better therapy than a good nights sleep?

In the middle of the night, it hit me.

I had been walking the perimeter of the fence and taking a few pictures when I heard the snapping of a short in the fence.

Not all shorts make a snapping sound. Only the ones where the fence has to spark across an air-gap.

The dark streak is sometimes called a "carbon trace" although, in this case, it is probably mostly iron oxide that vaporized off the two sides of the arc. In this case, the spark was arcing across about a half inch.
It wasn't hard to find the short. I followed the snapping sound.

The cause was self-evident, the wire had twisted and the point of the barb had gotten too close to the fastener holding the insulator on the steel post.

Incidentally, this is a legacy system. The post is from more than 25 years ago and the Captain repurposed the barbed wire for the electric fence. Barbed wire is NOT the preferred wire for an electric fence. For one thing, it can grab clothing when you are stepping over it and the barbs make it very difficult to "pull off" the fence when it is energized. That can be very, very bad if the victim is a child or has a heart condition.

The other reason it is not preferred is that barbed wire is about five times more likely to short out than smooth. Barbed wire collects trash (including wire and sticks kicked into it as cows walk by, hangs up on woven wire fence and the barbs act as lightning rods for arcing.

I didn't have any tools with me to fix the short. Then, I had the bright idea "I will just grab the steel post and yank it sideways so the insulator is a couple of inches away from the barb."

I really didn't think about it beyond the fact that both the post and I were on the ground side of the short.

Yes, it knocked me on my dupa.

THAT is why my muscles are sore: the old Electric Fence Plyometric workout. I am sure that at least a dozen readers can identify with the feeling.

I went out this morning to fix the short. I turned off the fence. I used channel-locking pliers to crush the barbs back, close to the wire. Then I added some baling twine to center the wire back in the groove in the insulator.


  1. Ouch, yeah that 'stings' a bit... Glad you 'learned' the second time... LOL

  2. Can we call you Eaton Rapids Multimeter now?

  3. Back when I was a kid one of the most fun things to do was have a city kid out on the farm and bet him a dime he couldn't piss over the fence. It was really worth the dime.---ken


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