Monday, September 28, 2015

Goats, The Pump House Floor, and the Lunar Eclipse

Yesterday was a productive day.  Well, except for being distracted by Amos and Andy.  They came charging out of the tractor-trailer trailer with Andy in distress.  Amos was trying to help him.  Me, being me, immediately sprang into action and grabbed my camera.  Yes yes, I took the basket off.  After awhile.

I wanted to put insulation under the pump house floor, but couldn't do it while the goats are loose.  They'd be trying to walk all over it.  So I started cutting and fitting the floor boards without nailing them in place.  

Later, when the goats were put in their run-in shed, I pulled the boards off, fitted the insulation, and then replaced the boards and finished. 

Later, it was time for photographing the lunar eclipse.  Everything was going along fine.  I was following the moon and adjusting my camera settings, but then the moon fully eclipsed and it vanished!  I'm night blind and could no longer see it.  How do you photograph something you cannot see?  You scan and pan with the camera taking pics and then look on the tiny LCD display to see if you got it.  After 87 tries, I found it again, but then I didn't trust my focus and ISO setting and so fiddled with that.

This is the result.

Not bad for a night blind guy.  LOL!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

'Squatcin' It

Over the summer, a couple of scouts from Sasquatch Detective visited us a couple of times to check out our Sasquatch activity to see if it warranted investigation.   Yesterday, they were here with their full team and all kinds of electronic gizmos.  Most, I believe, planned on spending the night.

It was a gorgeous day, warm and sunny.  I don't know yet if they found anything since I stayed in the cabin a mile down the road with the dogs.

This was yesterday afternoon taken from the back of the cabin...

But this was this morning.

It was a chilly morning, probably down in the 30s.  I don't know exactly because my outdoor thermometer disappeared.  I have no idea what happened to it.

Tonight is the lunar eclipse, and for once I don't have to get up at 3 AM to see it.  It will peak at 10 PM or so.  I'm looking forward to photographing that

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Floor Joists for the Pumphouse Floor, Changing Leaves, and Sasquatch

Today was the first day of Fall, and it was absolutely gorgeous in Bleecker.  About 75, and not a cloud in the sky.

Two years ago, Earl and I dug out for our foundation.  We found a solid granite ledge in there.  Earl whacked on it with the backhoe but it wasn't going anywhere. Yesterday, a little voice told Pamela to scrape the dirt off of it.  She did, and she found that it was cracked in several places.  Without the aid of any tools other than a garden rake and a rock, she produce that pile of granite in the front of the photo.

Pam had to go to referee a volleyball game, so Earl took the opportunity to use a long pry bar to help things along.  He'll be 85 in November.

My favorite tree, with a saddle up near the top, just below the pine boughs.

The leaves are changing here. Within a couple of weeks they should be at their peak.

I worked on making concrete supports for floor joists.  

When I got to the cabin, I found a note to check the Sasquatch gifting stump.  The photo below doesn't look like much of anything...

But Pam's half is at the back of the stump in this photo, and the Sasquatch's is towards the front.

The Sasquatch moved Pam's dragonfly earring from Pam's side to its side.  I wish I knew what that meant.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Pump House Gable Walls Are Up

I finished notching the end rafters on the gable ends of the pump house with a hand saw today.  Our friend Bill made the mistake of coming over early, so with me on the tractor and Bill and Pam hanging onto the gable ends, we got them both up.

Tomorrow (Monday) I'll plumb them and brace them.  Then it is time for the side walls, the roof rafters, and metal roof.  It is nice to see progress.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

My First Sasquatch Sighting!

Yesterday was a good day. I got a little bit accomplished building the pump house, but then it was highlighted by my first Sasquatch sighting. Sure, it tried to disguise itself, but I'm much too smart to fall for that.

In other news, I almost finished the second gable wall for the little pump house.

It was easy because I simply used the first gable wall as a template for the second.  I felt it was kind of like cheating, but Victory Beers followed anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pamela's Sasquatch Friend

Pamela and I have been busy lately. Friday was a reunion with childhood friends, Saturday was a wedding, and Sunday Pam worked most of the day, and then it was to her mom's house for dinner. Pam's Sasquatch friend must have missed her walking the trails by the cabin. At 12:30 AM, there was an unmistakable knock on the cabin. Sas was back and looking for Pam.

This morning, Tuesday, September 15th, 2015, Pam arose for work. But first, she checked the stump. Yep. There it was. The dead leaf was removed from the stump shard, and a fresh leaf replaced it. On the leaf was a moth, freshly deceased. It sort of resembled the dragon fly earring that Pam left on the stump long ago, and the leaf seems to symbolize Pamela, perhaps because of her ponytail.

The moth was quite dead. I poked it. Imagine the gentleness and dexterity it took for a large Sasquatch to do this. And the gentleness and sensitivity of spirit, and kindness and fondness it has for Pam.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Last Slipform Wall

Pam and I got the last of the little foundation done of our 8x8 pump house.  We're practicing slip form building, even though this foundation is so small that we're not slipping the forms up anywhere.

This is the last wall.  As you can see, the goats had a great time knocking over my stacked lumber.

This is the inside of the last form.  There is a lot going on here.  There is a layer of stone laid on the bottom of the form.  The round white things are PVC pipe laid to drain any water that collects inside the walls, since this is built on a slight hill.   If you look close, you will also see rebar, wire twists to bring the forms together, 8" spacers to keep the boards apart, and braces.

Here's a close-up of stone, wire twists, and PVC pipe.

And here's a close-up of a wire twist, complete with bent nail twister, and a wooden spacer.

This wall was 20" tall, and almost eight feet long.  It took us about two hours to complete.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Waterford Tugboat Rally

Friday was a great day.  Pam and I drove to Waterford, NY where I grew up.  There, we met my childhood friends Bob and Bob, and their wives Linda and Karen.  Bob and Linda and Pam and I went to the tugboat rally, but were disappointed.  The event was three day starting on Friday, but on Friday hardly any boats were there, and those that were, were setting up.  But still, being all a happy sort, we looked at what was there and then headed to McGrievie's for dinner.

These are photos from the day.

A tiny tug!

The Onrust.

Hey, goldenrod are flowers too!

Cohoes-Lansingburgh bridge.

Inside the Onrust.  Notice the pegs.

This is the old, now abandoned Champlain Canal.  The old tow path is now a hiking and biking trail.

And after a two hour drive back to Bleecker, we were met with this beautiful starry sky...

Today it is back to strip the form off little-pump-house-wall-number-three and to build little-pump-house-wall-number-four form.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Slip Form Walls

Pam and I have decided to build a stone house.  Not only because of the economy of it, but because we have the natural resources readily at hand.

We're building a small 8 x 8 shed to house the shallow well pump, which is a temporary pump until we build the house and install our deep well pump.  We decided to practice stone wall building on this tiny structure.  It is a good thing we're practicing.

In a nutshell, you build a wooden frame, fill it with rocks, and dump in cement.  Like this.

We put big rocks on the bottom, and go smaller as we go up.  Pam mixed the cement and I am the placer of the stones.

For a high stone wall, like our house, there would be two forms, with one placed above the other, raising the wall to whatever height is desired.  Well, we'll see how that goes.  One thing we're not lacking is rocks.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sasquatch Easter Eggs

Our friendly neighborhood Sasquatch has been leaving us things. At our rental cabin, it leaves Pam gifts of food, like a mighty fine back half of a squirrel bitten cleanly in half and with the guts removed for her convenience. On our property, it has left me two bungee cords and an assortment of washers, three point hitch locking pin, barrel nut, and a hose clamp (all round things).
Pam is incredibly observant. She was checking the game trail that both deer and Sasquatch use, and called me down.
The first pic is from standing on the game trail and looking towards the woods. The third is a log (from which it can sit and watch us clearly) with an "A" stick structure behind it, which we see frequently. The fourth? A fuel filter. Yep. That's right. It smelled of diesel, and would have come from a John Deere, White, or Allis Chalmers tractor. I have a gas powered 1952 Ferguson TO-30 so it isn't mine.

I've decided to start referring to Sasquatch things left for us to find, things not in plain sight, as "Easter Eggs".

Infrasound, Eye Shine, Weird Lights In The Sky

First, let me start off that I am NOT saying that the following is Sasquatch. I think it is a strange atmospheric phenomenon following a Sasquatch visit. Coincidence.

September 4, 2015; Pam and I drove to Whitehall, NY to be interviewed about our Sasquatch experiences for a documentary. It was a lot of fun. We gave them about 45 minutes of interview, which will have to be cut way down to fit in their other interviewees.

When we got home, it was dark. Thankfully, Pam left cabin lights on. It is pitch black here at night. She was leading me to the cabin door (I'm night blind) when she stopped dead (I walked into her) and yelled "David! Its right here! Something big is in the bushes!" Being night blind, I couldn't see anything, and being 65, I couldn't hear anything. But then I saw bright red eye shine, so bright that it is easy to see how some people thing that Sasquatch can emit light from their eyes. I only saw one, the other hidden by something, and then it turned its head and was gone.

In the cabin, Pam said the stars were very bright, so I went back outside to take star photos. Each was five seconds in duration. They were all normal, except this one.

No, I have no idea what it is. I do NOT believe that Sasquatch turn into orbs of light and fly off in UFOs, but the coincidence here was startling, and amusing. To me anyway.
Here are two close cropped pics from the above photo;

I think it must be some kind of strange electrical phenomenon.

Saturday night, I was sitting home alone, Pam off horseback riding. Suddenly, the cabin started to shake and I barely could hear a very, very low noise of some sort. I called my friend Bill who lives about five miles from here. His house didn't shake, so no earthquake. Infrasound maybe?

Infrasound is low frequency sound that is lower than a human's ability to hear, below 20 Hz. For a person to detect infrasound, the sound generated must be very high. Many animals are capable of infrasound and use it to either stun prey or to communicate. These include whales, elephants, alligators, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, and giraffes. And Sasquatch.

Yesterday, September 6th, I was putting things in the backseat of my car to leave the property we're building on and to head to the cabin we rent for the night. There in the back seat was boxed leftovers from the night before. I wasn't going to eat it, so I opened the container and placed it on top of our grill, putting it about five feet off the ground.

Today, I arrived at the property. The container was right where I left it on the grill, but the steak was gone. Whatever got it could reach up at least five feet, ruling out every area creature except one.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Slip Form Wall

Pam and  I started on the little foundation for our little 8x8 pump house next to the well.  It will hold our shallow well pump, replacing the hand pump on the well head there now, and eventually that too will be replaced with a deep well pump.

We started by picking up Earl's very heavy antique cement mixer.

I had already made the forms.  Yeah, its sloppy, but I didn't want to cut perfectly good 1x10 boards that would be used for four tiny foundation walls for a shed.  So they'll have ridges.

With slip form, you simply pile in the rocks and cement.  We piled on the rocks and then the cement.  We did it backwards, and you shall see the result.  But this was our first wall and a learning one.

The top was poured and screed.  Looks pretty good, eh?

Pam poured the excess cement on the ground.  I later found a Sasquatch print in it.  Amazingly, it is the same size as Pam's foot.  What are the odds of that?

and here is the wall with the forms removed.  You can see a lot of gaps in the cement.   Careful as I was, I didn't get enough cement down around the rocks.  Next time, we'll pour the cement in and then push in the rocks, and when I take the forms off, take a hammer and chip off the cement stuck to the outside of the face rocks.

As bad as it looks, we were smart enough to start with the wall in the back, the one no one will see but us.