Thursday, March 13, 2014

The school of the molten pool.

I'm taking a welding class through Southside Community College at the high school just a couple of miles from here.  It's the basic introductory class and is the first step towards achieving certifications. 

Here's the second lab.  I passed, I'm proud to say.

The purpose of this lab was to fill the trench with welding rod and to avoid voids.  It took me about seven hours to complete.  You gotta burn rods to get the technique down. Lay down a bead, chip slag, wire brush, repeat.  That's where taking a class beats self-teaching.  There was no way I was going to spend seven hours laying down about five pounds of welding rod into a v-shaped trough without the threat of failure.

 One thing I learned is that with stick welding the surface can be scaly or rusty and you still end up with clean welds because the flux does such a fine job cleaning out the impurities.  With MIG welding you have to do the surface prep before welding.

So that's the "filling the trough on the table in front of you" lab.  I noticed  one of my classmates in a more advanced class doing the same thing, only his trough is up on a stand so that even though he is laying horizontal beads the trough is tilted 90 degrees so he has to work against gravity.

I sure can't do that yet.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

2 below zero this morning.

Two below zero this morning and we had another two below in the last week of January.  This is getting old.   It was 60 on Sunday and I was happily working on the pasture fence, and the frogs were starting to sing in the wet area and I'm thinking.  Yeah, I'm not just being a wimp, it is simply harder to do anything in the cold.  I haven't wanted to do much of anything other than feed the fire and the livestock and sit in a warm, comfortable chair since December.  (It could be age kicking in as well).

Monday, February 24, 2014

A force is a force...

of course of course
and pay no attention about the source
as taught in my free physics course
as I do continuing Ed!

Five more problems to go until I finish my "Calculus-Based Physics" course.  I  finally had this "aha!" moment about force whether gravitational, magnetic, or electrical a couple days ago.  It's not like the concept hadn't been presented before then, it was just one of those loose facts sloshing inside my skull until I felt the piece fit into place.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

5 degrees this morning and 3 the morning before.

Just searched my blog.  It was 5 below zero on 17JAN2009.  So, maybe these last two mornings are not such a big deal.   It's been my experience around here the below zero nights are still, these last couple of days have been windy and made doing the outside chores just painful. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Taste doesn't remind me of wild hickory nuts.

Anybody who spent any time near a TV in the 70s should recognize the title as being a slight twist of Euell Gibbon's declaration that Post Grape Nuts "taste reminds me of wild hickory nuts."   Let's test that. Here's a wild hickory nut.

I'm going to crack it a little more and ...   Hmmm, it's pretty good, sweet, reminds me of mild black walnuts.  Nope, Grape Nuts do not come to mind here.  I would consider collecting these since we have at least one big hickory on the property but  the problem is, the shell is so thick it makes extracting the nut meat too much work.  You would have to be pretty hungry to put in the effort to eat these -as is the case with a lot of wild foods.

Speaking of Euell, I give him some credit for helping me decide that I wanted to live out in the country when I grew up.  As a youth, I read a couple of his books on wild edibles. They were informative and entertaining.  He was not at all like the nut the main stream media liked to portray him as but I suppose he was asking for it agreeing to do those commercials.

Friday, October 18, 2013


I forget about this green, forest shrub  except for that brief period in the fall when it goes to seed.   More proof that God wants us to be happy.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Quiz Time.

My oldest daughter sent this to me.  I scored 16 out of 20.  Not sure if that's a good thing or not.  Yes, it is good.  I can sense evil.  That's the ticket.