Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Myriad of Things

Well here is a shotgun blast of things from the last week or so. The blue Ranger passed inspection with no trouble and it been used to commute to work and for running around locally. It runs well, it gets better milage than the GMC and we will just continue to us it in that capacity. We ran into a bit of a snag with replacing the GMC bumper as you will see below but it is just a time delay as we have to wait for some fasteners.

The pasture has started to green up a bit, the Daffodils continue to sprout and evn some blackberry bushes are starting to show leaves and yet this is still winte so that isnt good. In fact the weather has taken a turn colder today and we may even get a sprinkle of snow tonight. Holly and I and sometimes Chris continue to work out 3 times a week and I have been able to run and do cardio on the treadmill and eliptical machine and we all feel really good if a little sore now an again. Total weight loss so far for me?....zilch. But I am going into my second month with no chewing tonbacco which feels really good and I know the weight loss will follow.

We had to put the new bumper on without the lower cladding because we found we just couldnt re-use the clips that held it on...at least we can drive the truck for now and wait for the clips to arrive.

These clips arent much but if we re-used these the cladding would never be tight enough to the bumper for me and though most people would not know the difference...it would bug me. Unfortunately we will have to remove the bumper, install the cladding, and then re-install the bumper.

And the new bumper is made in Taiwan also...something is wrong with this picture. I mean I understand why its happened, I understand that if this was made in America it would cost a lot more, but fundamentally I just feel like this should say something like "Proudly made in the USA".

Bandit was close by supervising as always. He is getting on in years and isnt as rambunctious as he used to be...he prefers to be close by and laying in the sun while we toil away rather than do a lot of direct supervision. He just comes by to check the final product and offer encouragement.

This is the inside of the GMC "Made in Taiwan" bumper after close to ten years.

And for a change of pace; we were looking for a new or used microscope to evaluate livestock fecal samples (ahhh the glamor of owning livestock), do some projects with the pond, conduct some further on-going amature research and experiments, and generally enjoy exploring nature in a smaller scale.

And I mentioned on the Homesteading Today website that I was looking for a metal bodied microscope and one of the members had one and sent it to us for a great price (thanks Pheasant Plucker). Note the wide slide base and heft of this thing. Its a Wolfe from the Carolina Biological Supply Co and it perfectly suits our needs.

It has three different optics magnification levels and important to me, a main focus and fine focus knob....just like I remember from my first forays into biology in college.

I am in the process of ordering flat and concave specimin slides and cover glass, pipettes, test tubes, droppers, sterile petri dishes with agar agar, a specimin slicer, and some chemicals and we dont have anything right now so these pictures wont be that clear but this is a picture of one of my wiskers. 

This is a fly wing at lowest magnification...

and the same wing at the highest magnification.

and finally, this is a little blurry because I cant keep the specimins flat without the slides but this is something common from the kitchen that all beginning biology students look at under the microscope..anyone remember or care to guess?

We found this old abandoned farmstead not too far from our farm. I am really curious to know when it was last occupied because it looks like the folks just walked away or died. In this picture your looking through a gate and you could see where there was a gattle guard for the driveway, gardens, etc but the place looks really old.

This was the old barn that was with the place, as you can see at one time this was a fairly prosperous farm but there is litterally nothing showing that it has been used for decades.

This old abandoned house struck me because it still has straight lines but was completely abandoned with not a speck of paint left. What kind of stories does it hold?

This cool old barn is still being used for hay storage but its not being kept up and will soon go the way of most wodden barns around here. This one has a unique couploa and must have been a useful barn in its day.

This poor barn is on its last legs and has been stripped of most of its barn tin. I absolutely hate to see this happening all over this country but its just too expensive for most people to maintain these structures.

Now for a couple plugs for reading material I think are worth highlighting. The Missouri Conservationist is free to all Missouri residents (one subscription per household) and there is a companion publication for the kids (kind of like Ranger Rick). If you from Missouri you wont be disappointed and free is good. If you live outside of Missouri and are interested in the state or live in an adjoining state the magazine can be purchased for a modest subscription fee.

Rural Missouri magazine is an award winning publication of the state's Rural Electrical Cooperatives and as members we get a free subscription. But this is another publication that would be worth spending a few bucks on. It covers everything from points of interest, human interest stories, history, the Civil War, recipes, out of the way restaraunt reviews, etc.

And finally, my most favorite magazine of all time...Farm Show. You dont have to be a farmer to enjoy this one. Its full of ideas for repurposing things, modifying equipment, garden tips, folk lore, recipes, and product reviews. If you have a shop, even just a small one in your garage, you will love this magazine.

So this was all over the map subject wise but we are sure enjoying life right now. The maagazines I highlighted can be further researched by Googeling them and I only mention them because they really stand out to me, they are free or low cost, and I found out about them from others as they dont do much if any advertizing. The only paid subscription we have in this household is Farmshow and we enjoy all three of these magazines every month so I hope that is helpful if you were not aware of these previously.

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