Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Catching Up


It’s Been  While.

It has been a while since I have posted anything. That’s mostly because I haven’t done anything of interest.

I am still waiting to get this bandage off my hand so I can type a little better. The bandage has a big lump in the palm of my hand and when I’m typing, sometime the lump hits just the right combination of keys and erases everything I have done to that point.
That happened twice when I was trying to write a post, so I gave it up.
Fortunately I will be getting the bandage off tomorrow.

New Winch.

I went to Harbor Freight the other day. They were having a memorial day sale and had winches on sale. I got a 9000 lb. winch for $300. I also had a 20 percent off coupon so I picked up a mounting plate.
As it turned out the 20 percent off coupon paid for the plate so I got the plate and winch for the sale price of the winch alone.

Good deal!

I’ll have to wait until my hand heals up before I try Installing the winch. Right now I can’t even pick it up.

Okay, That’s enough for today.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hand Repair.


Okay, The surgery on my hand was not too bad.

I got to the surgery center at 2:15 at 4:00 they took me into the O.R. Twenty minutes later I was back in my room. The actual surgery took 4.5 minutes.

The hand has been kind of sore but that should start getting better soon.

Okay that’s all I’m going to do today.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Surgery Day.


Yep, that’s right.

Today at 2:30 I will be going to the Sutter Health surgery center to get the ring finger on my right hand repaired. It keeps locking up and causes a lot of pain.
This has been going on for a couple of years but now is the time to get it fixed.

As a result I probably won’t be typing for a couple of days so no posts for a while.

Talk to you later.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Coyote’s Like Peanut Butter Too.


Mouse Trap Experiment.

We have been experimenting with an idea for a self resetting mouse trap that Bob found on the internet.

A Simple Design.

All it takes is a 5 gallon bucket, a piece of wire, a cylinder (plastic bottle or drink can) and some bait. We have been using peanut butter.

You poke a hole in each end of the cylinder, run a wire through the cylinder, hang it over a bucket with a few inches of water in the bottom. Dab peanut butter around the outside of the cylinder, put some ramps for the mice to climb and that’s it.

The mice run up the ramp drawn by the delicious aroma of peanut butter. They they try to reach the bait, the cylinder rolls out from under them and they fall into the water.

Here is a picture of the trap.


It works!


There are a few good points to this kind of trap.
There is no poison involved so you don’t have to worry about toddlers or pets being poisoned. Even birds can feed on the bait without harm.

There are no springs with wire bales that can snap fingers or sharp pointy things that can puncture flesh.

The mouse just falls in the water and eventually dies from hypothermia or drowning.

There is one draw back though:

Coyote’s like Peanut Butter Too!



Smile Have a nice day…

Sunday, May 22, 2016

5 Days at the Cabin



On the Way to the Cabin.

On the way up I stopped at the Home Depot to pick up a few parts.
One of the things I want to do, is replace the toilet valve as it is not shutting off completely.

When you are on spring water you have to be careful of leaks as what might seem to be a small leak today, could be leaking more than the spring can produce in the summer or late fall.

Another thing I wanted to do was get rid of the “P” trap in the kitchen sink as I think it is causing the sink to drain to slow. As it turned out I got the wrong part.

Once I got out of “H. D.” I headed on up the road toward Boonville. There was very little traffic so I was able to cruse along and enjoy the scenery.

Arrive at the Cabin.

I got to the cabin around 10:30 and got moved in.

After hanging out for a while I decided to work on the water feature on the big stump.

I found a large diameter drill that was long enough to get through one of the thinner parts of the back of the notch on the log. I chucked the drill in my Makita cordless drill and proceeded to drill a 1-1/4’ hole through the stump. Awesome drill!


I stuffed the plastic line through the hole and then connected that to  piece of old copper pipe that was laying up the hill in the woods. It must have been the remains of some past water system.

Here is what the water feature looks like now; no visible plastic pipe.


The idea here is for the water to drip on the shovel blade causing a splash that spreads out and wets a large area. The water that collects on the shovel falls again onto a flat rock where it also splashes. What’s left drips into the old disk at the bottom where it forms a small pool and then runs over the edge of the dish to fall in into a small buddle of water making nice gurgling sounds. It then runs down the hill in a small stream that soaks into the ground just short of the trail that goes to the bench. All this water is from the overflow from the cabin spring up the hill. 


The wild yellow Iris’s that were just starting to bloom last week have all opened up.




I wasn’t sure I was going to even mention this part but I finally decided that it is part of my experience up here this week so here it goes.

A Shocking Discovery.

When I got up Friday morning and was relieving myself I looked down and saw a dark spot near the end of my manhood. I didn’t have my glasses so I returned to the cabin and took a better look with the glasses on. Just as I thought; during the night a tick had burrowed into the tender flesh of my other head.

At first it was hard not to panic seeing this creature half buried in the end of the most tender part of my body.

I tried to get ahold of the offending beast but it was too deep and too small to get between my big clumsy fingers. I didn’t have any tweezers but I remembered that I had a tick spoon in my personal kit.

Below is the tick spoon.


The idea behind the spoon is that you slide the V notch in the spoon between the tick and the skin and lever the tick out of the body.

It was a fairly unpleasant experience trying to get the tick out as it was in quite far but eventually with a pop it came free.
I think I got it all but only time will tell. If I didn’t get it all, it will fester and then I will probably have to have a doctor remove it.

I was a bit swollen and uncomfortable down there for the rest of the day so I didn’t do anything strenuous.

Modifying Sconces.


When I first built the cabin I made some wooden sconces to hold  the kerosene lamps I was using at the time

Since then I have switched over to propane lights.
I decided I wanted to modify the sconces so that they would also hold the propane lights with their propane cylinder.

I just drilled 4 holes around the wooden ring that holds the lamp. Then I made a basket of sorts from tie wire and ran the ends of the basket through the holes.


Here is how it turned out.


I have another lantern setup like this on the post opposite this one. I tried them last evening and it really lights up the place.
I usually only burn one lamp at a time.

A Short Walk.

I took a walk up the trail from the cabin to see what Bob had accomplished when he was here a couple of weeks ago.
I took a rake along so I could clean up the trail if needed.
Bob did a good job on the trail and there is only a short section that needs to be roughed in where the trail goes up hill through some thick brush and trees.
I turned around here and headed back to the cabin.


Rain, Rain and More Rain.

It rained off and on all night.
When I woke up it had stopped raining for the moment so I took that opportunity to head for the bathhouse and my morning ablutions.
By the time I got back to the cabin the rain had resumed.
Now, you may think I am complaining but no, I actually enjoy the rain when I am here.
Since the cabin is mostly windows it is nice to sit here in front of the wood stove with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book. Occasionally looking up when the sound of the rain on the roof drowns out the radio and watch the rain fall.

I am always impressed by how green everything looks after the rain stops. I am equally disappointed by how my digital camera does not quite capture the affect. I had to enhance this one to bring out the greens and it still doesn’t look right.


A ride to the barn.

Of course as you can guess, I can’t sit in the cabin all day. Eventually I decided to take a ride down to the barn so I grabbed a pair of Loppers and drove the jeep down the hill.

At the shotgun range I had to clear a bunch of limbs that were hanging low over the road. Eventually I got to the barn. I walked around the area for a while; I was kind of looking for some old stuff to use for yard art around the cabin but there wasn’t anything there that caught my eye. After a little while I headed back to the cabin.

Toilette valve.

After lunch it was raining pretty hard but I decided that I should take this opportunity to to replace the valve in the toilette.

After all, it is an indoor job.

I got the new valve out of the jeep, grabbed a crescent wrench and a pair of channel locks pliers and walked down to the bath house.

It took only a couple of minutes to remove the old valve.


A few minutes more and the new modern valve was installed.


It all appears to be functioning just great.

The rest of the day I just hung out in the cabin eating, drinking and enjoying the view.


Going Home Day.

I never like (G H day).
I slept in until around 9:00 which is very late for me.

It took me until around 4:00 to get packed up and ready to go home.

Okay, that was how I spent the last 5 days at the cabin.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Change of Plans



Just after I published yesterdays blog I got a call from the doctor who was going to fix my hand. The surgery has been postponed until next Tuesday.


I said; “what the heck, I might as well head back to the cabin.”
Patti said; “sure. why not?”

I have everything almost packed and I will be leaving here in about an hour.

Talk to you in a week or so

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Doctor Visit, 5 Days at the Cabin and More Doctor Visit’s.


Doctor visit.

Patti and I planned to go to the cabin for 5 days from Thursday to Monday. Before we could go I had to go to the doctors for a pre op visit for the surgery that I am going to have on my right hand.

We were out of the doctors office in about an hour and headed for the cabin.

At the Cabin.

When we got to the cabin Dave was there setting up his wall tent.


We got moved in and spent the afternoon visiting with Dave and enjoying the day.

Dave went home around 4:00 but he and Joanne are coming back up tomorrow evening.

New Shelves for the Kitchen.

The last time I was up here, Bob and I brought a couple of pieces of lumber down to the cabin from the wood pile by the slag heap. The wood is for new kitchen shelves.

Friday after lunch, Patti and I started working on new shelves for the kitchen area in the cabin.

This is the original set of shelves on the wall.


I had two 1” boards; one was about 10” wide and the other was 12” wide. Both boards were about 16’ long. I decided to use the 10” board for the main shelves and make the top shelf out of the 12” one.

We worked in the dining hall as it makes a great shop with a good work bench and tables to work on.


Here are the new shelves installed in the kitchen.


Dave and Joanne came up around 7:00 in the evening.


We woke to a cold gray day and spent a good part of the day sitting in front of the wood stove. It rained off and on during the day so we didn’t do a lot.


After lunch Dave, Joanne and I went up the road to remove a root from the middle of the road.

The dirt on the road has been washing away over the years and this root is getting higher and higher. It is to the point where a low car could bang something serious underneath.

Dave and I dug out and cut the root. Now it looks like there was never a root there in the first place.


We slept in and took our time getting things going.
Today was going home day and I am never in a hurry to do that. By about 3:00 we headed for Santa Rosa.


Today was the day that I had to go to see the vascular surgeon and have an ultra sound done to check out the stent they put in my aorta. Everything looks good there so I won’t have to go back until November.

Future Surgery.

On Friday I will be having surgery on my right hand to release my trigger finger. I probably won’t be doing any typing for about a week so you won’t get any posts for a while.

Okay That’s about it for now.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Patti’s Birthday


Today was Patti’s birthday.

Patti’s daughters, Becki and Dina, came over and spent a couple hours visiting.
Becky treated us out to lunch. We went to the Five Guys hamburger place.
Good burgers.

Around 5:00 Joanne and Dave showed up and we went to the Out Back Steak House for supper. It was great as usual.

Patti was real happy because she heard from both her daughters and all three of her grandkids.

Tomorrow (Thursday) we are going to go to the cabin. We will be there until Monday.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Goofing off and a SF Giants Game


Goofing Off.

I haven’t been very productive the last couple of days. The weather has been a bit cold, gray and rainy so I have just been puttering around in the shop, picking up tools and generally cleaning up. The rest off the time I’ve been reading, relaxing and staying warm and dry.

SF Giants game.

Yesterday Patti went to San Francisco to watch the Giants play baseball.

Left to right;
MY nephew John, my niece Joanne, Joanne’s husband, Dave and Cindy (John’s wife). Standing in line for the ferry to take them from Larkspur to AT&T Park.



I Didn’t Go.

I suppose you noticed that I didn’t go with them. I am not a sports fan so I didn’t want to spend around $200 to go to the city, stand in lines, be crowded into a small area with thousands of people, sit in the cold and rain for the whole day watching a game that I have no interested in.

My View.

Since I wasn’t there I will have to just show you a few pictures Patti took and give you my interpretation from what information I got from Patti.

Here is the ferry they went on.


The ferry dropped them off near the marina gate to the ball park.


This is the main score board.




I wonder who’s job it is to keep that glove clean and how do the do it.


Batter up!

Buster Posey at bat.


Here is the gang in the stands.


The game went 13 innings and the Giants won 2 to 1.

The gang got home around 9:00 after stopping for supper.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Couple of Projects.

As it turned out yesterday was a bit more productive than I expected.

Ammo Can Power Supply.


I managed to repair the ‘ammo can power supply’. The socket would short out when the plug was inserted.

I took the socket apart, it is kind of like two tubes, one inserted into the other. The inner tube has the + 12v, the outside tube is the ground. When the plug is put into the socket there are some fingers that short the inner tube to the outer tube. I taped around the outside of the inner tube. That should insulate the two parts from each other when the plug is plugged in.

Transfer Case Adjustment.

When I left for the cabin last week I had adjusted the transfer case linkage so I had 4 low and 2 high but couldn’t get into 4 high.

Yesterday I managed to get it adjusted so now it has all the 4 wheel drive gears.

Just goofed off the rest of the day but at least I got some things accomplished.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Family Visit


My nephew John and his wife Cindy from Sparks Nevada are visiting family in our area.

They came to our house yesterday. We had a nice visit and I fed them ‘unstuffed cabbage roles’ for supper.

“ Boy, That was short and sweet”.

Today looks like it is going to be pretty low key so don’t expect too much in tomorrows blog.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Five Days at the Cabin



Around 9:30 Joanne, Dave and their 2 year old granddaughter, Riley, stopped by for a visit.
Kids are so great at that age.

Arrive at the Cabin.

I arrived at the cabin around 1:30 and got moved in.

Started the refrigerator. At first it wouldn't work but it turned out that I just needed to wiggle the connections a bit.

Next I tried to get the XM radio to work. When I plugged it into the power supply one of the wires burned up. It turned out that the socket for the 12 volt plug is faulty and shorts out when the plug is plugged in. I pulled the battery out of the box and just hooked wires from the battery to the plug for the XM. Now I have radio entertainment.

Cow Horns.

I found some cow horns in my supplies at home that I thought would work to replace the ones that are missing on the skull that is on the stump and brought them up.

I took the skull off the stump and worked the new horn's onto the stub of the horns that I trimmed on the skull. After that was done I hung the skull from the gable beam at the front of the cabin.


Bob Show's up.

Bob showed up around 6:00. We sat around and visited until around 9:00 when Bob went to his van for the night.

Okay, that was Thursday.


Slept in, had breakfast, hung out in front of the fire until Bob came in, then hung out in front of the fire with Bob.
It was a cold morning with gusty wind so the fire in the wood stove was very welcome.
Eventually we got our stuff together and worked on a couple projects.
We fixed a squeaky chair.
Bob took a walk up the trail from the cabin and did some work on the trail.
I made a hanger for towels, coats etc.

The Hanger.

It started with a 1”X 6” X 18” board.

I drilled a 2” hole in one end of the board with my T handle drill.

The next thing was to find the proper sized stick to use as a rod. I took a short walk and found a suitable Fir sapling laying on the ground. I cut about 10 feet of the end and took it back to camp where I trimmed the branches off, cut it to size and pealed off the bark.

I hung the whole works to the right of the wood stove. The board is screwed to the rafter and the small end of the stick is screwed to the door post above the door.

When there is something hanging on the hanger it does block a small part of my view outside but I will just have to get used to it.

A Flower.

I noticed this pretty flower along the trail up to the bench by the stump.
It looks like some kind of poppy.

There is another flower near this one that is just about ready to open.

We are finely seeing some blooms from all the seeds and bulbs we have planted here over the last few years.

I'll just keep planting and hoping for the best.


After getting up, having breakfast and sitting around for a while; Bob and I went up the trail from the cabin and did some work on the trail.

We worked on that for a couple hours until it was time for lunch.

After lunch and a long break we went to the wood yard with the van and got a couple of boards to make new shelves for the kitchen in the cabin.


After breakfast Bob went up to do a little more work on the trail.

I stayed at the cabin and did a couple chores.

I have always thought that the table was a bit short so I took it apart and added a couple of one inch boards to where the base connects to the top. That brought the table top up an inch.

The top of the table also was getting a little weak so I added a couple of blocks to stiffen things up.

I had hung one of the lanterns from a rafter over the table but when it is lit it throws a shadow over the table. I moved the hanger to the outside beam and that seems to help get more light on the table.

The rest of the day I spent just enjoying the passage of time.


Bob left around noon on Monday.

I hung out until around 4:30. I spent my time replacing the legs on the bench that Patti and I broke a couple weeks ago.

Making the Legs.

I used some old redwood fence posts for the legs and shaped them with a draw knife.

After shaping the legs I drove them into the holes in the bench seat with the back of a heavy ax.

Here is the finished bench.


The second poppy bloomed so here it is.

Going Home.

On the way out I dropped off the bench at its spot along the road.

I got home around 6:00. Patti and I went to Mary's Pizza Shack for dinner.

Okay that was my trip to the cabin.