Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Pictures from around the farm and neighborhood


Uncle Norman sent me this picture. He said it was going to break his heart when he burned up the last of them and had to start shooting the bricks he paid $11 for.

Deer pawing through the snow to get at the turnips I planted for green manure. Mrs ERJ informed me that one of the deer was so large she was concerned that perhaps one of the neighbor's cows got out.

Deer tracks at sunrise. I thought this was "artsy".

Mrs ERJ and I toured an abandoned industrial site yesterday. Extra bonus points if anybody can guess the zipcode.

I may have mentioned that this looked like a great place to dispose of bodies. Mrs ERJ declined to try it on for size.

A fellow could stash a lot of hardware around here.

Built like a concrete zhithouse. The building, not Mrs ERJ.

The ERJ Fig Farm. Bottom heat, an inch of sawdust on the bottom and 5" deep pots. "Smith", "Genovese Nero", "Nero 600m", and "Violette de Bordeaux". I want some green/yellow fig varieties because birds pecking the darker ones can be a problem. The post-it note records when I "stuck" the cuttings.

The rest of the Fig Farm. The lid is propped open to keep the top cool relative to the bottom. My target is 60F for the top and 80F for the rooting zone.

Just a random log.

I took both dogs mushing. I took them one-at-a-time.

Both dogs and I are on a steep learning curve for "mushing".

I learned some very basic stuff. 

  • The dog's are comforted by the leash. The leash is mandatory.
  • I need about two more feet of lead than I have. The sled bangs into my calves if I am not paying attention and that takes the dogs out-of-the-zone.
  • Loud noises spook the dogs. There is a chunk of ice frozen to the sled line and it bangs into the sled. They are not used to having a "vehicle" that close to their butt. 
  • Dogs will overlook a lot of stupid mistakes on my part if I feed them a steady stream of American Process Cheese strips when things go well.
  • A quarter-mile loop through the pasture is enough to get all three of used to mushing. At least for now.
  • Herc, the older dog, has a steadier pace.
  • Zeus is better for breaking trail.
  • It would be useful if one of the leg-holes had a buckle. The first leg-hole is easy because I can spin the harness around the dog's body. The second leg-hole is a challenge.

Chrony time

Things that make you go "Hmmm!"

The reloading data led me to expect velocities around 900fps. As the story goes, it was a max load of Winchester WTF powder.

The three shot-string was 605, 625 and 638.

A few things were goofy. I took the data without skyscreens. The sky was cloudy and it should not have mattered.

The chrony was only about 2 feet from the muzzle. There is a possibility that the first screen "saw" the hot gasses and recorded that time, then saw the projectile at the second optical sensor.

The sun is shining now but I will do a calibration check with a .22 rifle and then retake the data with the chrony at 6 feet.

However, the bullets might only be traveling 620fps. Far better that than to have them 300fps faster than the 900fps because that is evidence that the rounds are over-pressure for the caliber. I would have to pitch the lot.

I thought this was a pretty good video. It is about ten minutes long but it is painless to watch.


  1. Drop about a 2 ft length of bungee cord between the leash & the harness. That'll give you the extra length you need and act as a buffer for both you & the dogs. Look into skijoring harnesses for you to clip into if you're on skis. Skijoring & dogsledding are ways of life up here in the Frozen Freakin' North of Alaska.

    1. Wow! Bungee cords sure have advanced since I was in my 20s. Thanks for the tip. I ordered six, 30", carabiner ended bungee cords.

  2. Replies
    1. Yes it is Zip-code 49021.

      Great job!

    2. What was the olde industrial site you visited and how the heck did USMC 0369 guess the zip code from those photos?

    3. Never bet against a Marine when it comes to reading maps.

      If I tell, then I will have to find ANOTHER place to dispose of bodies.

  3. I think I still have a couple of those eleven dollar bricks around. I also have a thirty-six dollar brick of that very same Rem Thunderbolt from five or seven years ago. It's crap. It mostly always goes bang, but with widely varying degrees of enthusiasm. I don't remember the old stuff being that variable.

  4. I remember when Dick's had those bricks on sale for $5 in about 2006; I bought all they had. I've never had trouble with Thunderbolts.
    I may have some left, I'm not sure. Most of what I'm shooting now I bought for around $15 a brick; the rest of what I shoot is specialty stuff that I bought for $24 to $30 a couple of years ago.

  5. Dragging - noises. When we train Berners for carting, we start them out as puppies by tying a short length of twine from their collars to a milk jug. Start with the jug empty, so they get used to something following them. Then throw in a little gravel for noise, and eventually add a pound or so of water. I've never had a problem with distraction when using this technique. Berners are natural drayage animals, so their temperament fits; but I've heard it works with other pulling breeds as well.


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