Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

It’s been fun, and time to return to the ranch. I just have this thing about leaving the place unattended, even though I have a neighbor that collects mail and keeps an eye out, and the yard man comes in too.
I do miss full blown internet, and postings to this blog will decrease. I do have a few extra that I have written already, but only for a couple days.
With the onset of winter, the biggest worry are exposed water lines. All the lines I have are covered and strapped with foam insulation.
Before I left, I noticed the heating unit in the bedroom side of the house was not working properly. I packed a portable electric heater for my trip back. Maybe time to figure out the woodstove, and fire it up.
The yard man cut down a huge oak tree that was threatening to fall on the bunkhouse. In doing so, a large branch fell onto the bunkhouse porch, and busted part of the roof and the rain gutter.
There is a stack of logs as big as a Volkswagen so far. The remaining two trunks have enough wood to actually cut lumber from it. These will all have to ‘season’ for a year before their trip to the woodbox.
The bunkhouse had a problem with the circuit breaker that kept the lighting. It would just pop without even a load on it. The work shop and store room also run off the breaker box for the bunkhouse, and I unplugged a non working florescent lamp, and the lights came on.
There are many large chunks of leftover trees from previous tree cuttings; some stumps large enough that in enough numbers, could be used as barrier to keep vehicles off the property. With a chainsaw, I could cut those up for firewood as well. As I said, there’s a lot of them.
The yard guy cleaned out the dead grass in the stump field. Perfect rattlesnake hiding places. Pop said he never saw one, but added that that doesn’t mean they’re not around.

I still would very much like to purchase a large tiller and work on the 2500 sq foot cornfield/watermelon patch during the winter. I wait for the opportunity to arrive (or my ship to come in).
I read recently that cola drinks are useful to add to a garden to speed up the composting process. You may remember I wrote a post about adding diluted molasses to the garden, which increases microbial activity beneath the surface; also keeping ants away. Worms are probably a good idea as well, I just am not sure if I can keep feeding them as they are voracious eaters.
The Direct TV contract is up in March for the house on the border. I am considering getting satellite internet for the ranch, and “cutting the cable”.
Before I know it, I figure I will be too busy day in and day out to sit on my ass in front of the 73″ television.
I also have a full blown chicken coop. Totally self-contained, with water and power in its own fenced yard. I just know nothing about them…although I have been reading a little. Pop said he looked into the coop last year, and it was rodent free as it was closed up tightly. We do have foxes, possums, raccoons, and skunks running around at night. Pop said that they eventually lost all their chickens because they got careless on closing up the coop at night, and the rodentia feasted.
The yard guy has begun to keep it mowed, apparently waiting for me to get something started out there.
I just heard the a/c kick on. Supposed to be 80 here today.
I’m heading north tomorrow.

3 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…

  1. Not sure when you’ll see this, but here goes….

    Satellite Internet comes with it’s own set of problems. It’s expensive, and they rigorously enforce the data “cap” on whatever plan you buy. Your speed will drop to what dial-up gives you once you hit your “cap”.

    It also has significant “lag”, or time delay between when you click your mouse, and something happens. This has cost me some auctions on eBay when I was trying to bid at the last few seconds, and didn’t click the mouse early enough.

    It’s pure death for people that play online games!

    And as you know from having DirecTV, it can drop out with heavy rain, and twice a year you’ll have “solar outages” which happens when the sun goes behind the satellite and the radio noise from the sun overpowers what your receiver is getting from the satellite.

    But good luck with whatever you choose, and keep in touch!

  2. Satcom should always be the last resort for internet and reliable entertainment. I used to install satellite earth stations and had a 2 meg pipe on download and 500K upload as a support/internet connection. It had too much lag to do anything fairly interactive (especially gaming) and the data streams I had are much more than what is economically realistic for home use.

    Keep your cable or get a 4-wire connection from the phone company. You can download most broadcast TV programs or watch online movies much cheaper and reliably.

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