Sunday, August 26, 2012

Manual did me in!

memory fails to dredge up a time when i've felt more worked over than i did this morning as i crawled out of bed.  yesterday's vis-a-vis with manual labor pointed up the fact--  "this old, gray nag ain't what he used to be."  it would be easier to name the muscles that aren't aching than to list those that are.

what i know from my years of running tells me that tomorrow is gonna be a b***h!  the second day after overexertion is most always worse than the first.  hmm... does that mean i won't be able to untrack?  time will tell, i guess.

the way i feel today points up the fact that i'm not as young as i used to be.  then again, who is?

when it comes time to say goodbye to the two aging and sickly trees in the front yard, i think i'll look into hiring it done.  trying to take down those bad boys myself might be the death of me too.

who says i'm too old to learn?


Saturday, August 25, 2012

beyond saving...

i ran into an old acquaintance today.  some of you probably know him, his name is manual labor.  on closer inspection the defect at the base of the tree turned out to be pretty awful.  we decided the tree would have to come down. so that's what me and manual have been doing for the better part of the day.  first we worked at taking off the smaller limbs with my dinky little chain saw.  then we went to the tree trimming saw on the 16 foot handle.
the thing to remember when using this tool is to use the legs.  the key is to keep the hands and arms in one position, rocking forward and then back, the saw makes short work of  limbs 4-5inches around.
the next chore, get the rest of the tree  down.  i was able to rock the trunk, moving it back and for a few inches but it was not to be that easy.

i transplanted this tree from the side yard to its' present position many years ago.  to get it out of the ground then i dug down about two feet.  i then tied a rope around the axle of the sentra. i was driving at the time, and around the base of the tree.  using a gentle rocking motion i was able to eventually tease it out.

i used  the same technique today using the tow rope from my emergency road side kit looped around the tree and hooked to the frontier's rear bumper.  with infinite patience and after multiple tries the tree finally surrendered; didn't want to jerk a bumper off after all.
okay that's done. take a look at the closeup of the non-existent tap root .  i have to believe it's because i transplanted the tree, leaving a big part of the tap root at the original site. i'm sure that played a part in the hurricane force winds having its' way with it.
the next chore was to get this monster out of the yard.  the frontier and the tow rope managed that without taking out the fence.

i have my dad's old scissor jack.  using the jack to raise the bole of the tree off the ground, propping up the bole to save the height i'd gained, i used a car ramp, bricks etc to gain more height and after multiple fits and starts i finally got it high enough. i then backed the frontier up until the tail gate touched the bole.  resetting my contrivance, at long last the beast was in the bed of the truck. after loading the trimmings, and some 8 hours from the start of this grand adventure, i headed out to the tree cemetery (aka the chipping site).
 manual, you're no friend of mine.


Friday, August 24, 2012

...and i'll huff and i'll puff and i'll...

...blow your tree tree down!!  the lone tree in our backyard has always had a bit of a westward list-- but not like this.

on this past monday evening a severe thunderstorm blew threw little a-town.  a rare torrential downpour moved through rapidly.  the rain was horizontal pushed from the vertical by near hurricane strength winds.  reports have the winds gusting to 78 mph;  and i, for one, beleive they were every bit that strong.

as the storm raged i looked out the patio doors amazed that the panes at the top of the french doors were wet. i saw something odd; and i asked myself "has that tree always leaned that far over"?  after the storm passed i went out to check things out and indeed the tree was leaning quite noticeably.  There has been a bit of rot at the base for a while but on closer inspection i saw that the rot involved at least half the circumference of the bole.  as you can see i have braced it up after a fashion.  the job this weekend will be to see if i can somehow push it back into a more upright position. or if worse comes to worse, decide that it has to come down. i'm thinking that it will be the latter but i guess we'll see. 

wish me, and the tree, good luck.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

little a-town...

the daughter's latest post at poses the question "what do you love about where you live?" living in new orleans there is a lot to love for her.

living in little a-town since the early 70's, it's not hard to conjure up many fond memories but with the kids grown and gone it's easier to think of things that i like "not so much" about where i live.  the biggest dislike surely is the little factoid mentioned above, that is the kids are long gone, time wise and distance wise as well.

the closest, son number two, is a hard days drive away (for my ailing knees) in austin. he of the musical persuasion is as "in love" with the "live music capitol of the world" as is his sister is  infatuated with "the big easy".

son number one is way out west in concord, california. close enough to be within an easy drive to the sonoma or napa valleys or to drop on down to san francisco for dinner, he is in love with exploring the many wineries of the area and mainlining foie gras before the ban takes affect.  calife seems to have made him an oenophile and a bit of a food snob.

the gist of  this points to what i like least about little a-town, that is that it's just too damn far from where they are to here, or here to there, to suit me. still and all, moving some where else would do little to make an exceedingly disagreeable situtation better.

so-o-o-o, little a-town i guess i'll stick around seeing as you make for the shortest long distance to where they are.


Sunday, August 12, 2012


this sunday morning, the final day of the 2012 summer olympics, i watched the usa men's basketball team squeak out a win for the gold over a determined and talented spain.  in truth, i haven't watched much of usa's previous games coming up to the gold medal game.  in hindsight that's a shame.  what i saw this morning was something of a marvel to me, that is lebron, kobe, kevin, carmelo et al-- a group of highly paid pros from the various nba teams playing together.  here's the amazing part to me, they played as a team, checking egos at the door pledging their willingness to do whatever needed from coach k, working towards a common goal, that being to win the gold; again proving usa is the team to beat. it was neat to see coach k jumping for joy when one of his boys hit a three in the waning seconds of the game to put the usa up by nine.  it was neat to see this collection of highly paid pros celebrating the win as one unit. when the final buzzer sounded at last with the usa on top of spain  -- 107-100. and even neater still was seeing them step onto the podium as one, arms linked, to accept the gold medal. what impressed me even more was the sight of kobe bryant, kevin durant and others signing along as our national anthem played, tears in the eyes of a few and in mind for sure.