Monday, October 15, 2012

First Car Revisited

Back in April of this year of 2012 I wrote a blog about owning my first car.  I loved it, and have found since that many others can recall their first car with vivid details.  Several have either written comments on this blog site, or emails describing that same attachment I had.
Now here’s the deal.  Maybe 20 years ago I purchased an MG Midget convertible from a friend of mine here in Northern New York.  I recall that he bought it a few years prior, maybe 25 years ago, in the Boston, Massachusetts area.  The automobile has not had the engine started in at least ten years, but it is complete and restorable.
Details are fuzzy now, but in some manner I learned that it had once belonged to a college girl that drove it from the Boston area to her college in another state.  It was probably her first car, but I don’t know that.  I do not know her name.  I do not know her address.  I do not know her phone number.  I know no way to contact her, and if I did she would probably think I had a screw loose.
However if she were to contact me with proof that she once owned this car, and wished to own it again, I would consider a reasonable offer.  Other than that the car is not for sale.  I have it stored in an old barn on my property, and that is where it will remain for the few years I have left.


Shelter from the elements is ordinarily what I would think of when I hear the one word spoken.  That includes, but is not limited to, rain, snow, hail, sleet, overheating, sunburn, lightning strikes, hurricanes, and many other conditions hazardous to the health of humans.  Again, I usually think of shelter from these conditions as some sort of a building which takes in a lot of grey area.
Therein becomes the question just what is a proper shelter from the elements?  Some would venture to say a human needs a proper castle, or he doesn’t have anything.  Others might concede that a nice mansion could suffice.  Then there are those who can do with a nice home built to standards that will protect an owner from all but the most violent of Mother Nature’s quirks.  The standards can be lessened due to abode building ability, or necessary environmental conditions.  You won’t likely need some forms of protection in some areas.
Following up on necessary shelter for the existing conditions it can be determined that while traveling the travel vehicle is often your shelter, versus your home.  As you drive down a country road in a rainstorm your car keeps you warm and dry under most circumstances.  Thus all you have done is downsized the amount of area you are protecting from the elements, vehicle space rather than home interior.
I came to some of these conclusions while riding a motorcycle in a rainstorm.  My first thought was that I wished I was in my nice warm home, rather than riding in a cold rain in the middle of the night a thousand miles from home.  I then decided I should have had the forethought to pack a tent for such occasions.  As I continued to contemplate my possibilities it came to me that I was wearing a proper rain suit, and was remaining warm and dry.  It was just that my protection limits had moved in to within hundredths of an inch, rather than several feet away.  I was yet being sheltered from the elements as much as was necessary.
Shelter then can take many forms, and need be no more than is necessary to meet the present conditions.  The next time you’re out and about on your motorcycle make sure you have good rain gear in your saddle bags.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Foliage

Driving down the graveled Sand Road of Lisbon in St Lawrence County, New York this afternoon I was admiring the fall colors as I ambled along.  As I approached the driveway to the local sportsman’s club shooting range this scene unfolded so I stopped and took a photo just for your enjoyment.  The top color has not arrived yet, but it’s still impressive as it is.
A little further down the road I came upon this scene which I took a photo of.  I called it cattails and colors thinking that covered it quite well.
As I progressed along I came upon this older hippie abode.  I recall it being built in the earlier half of the 1980s, by a fellow who wanted to live alone.  This being a couple of miles from the nearest residence, it’s about as close to living alone as you can get in this part of the country.  It is about ¼ mile back from the dirt road.
Some thirty years later it stands yet alone, rather rundown and derelict.  The gentleman only lived in it two summers and one winter, abandoning it prior to the second winter.
Continuing along the road I chanced upon this pond just in time to see a beaver drop below the surface near that floating log.  Note the area directly behind the pond has no large tree growth as the beaver population has used them in their daily life over the years.
This is the same pond but showcasing a bit of color not seen in the preceding photo.  With that my afternoon jaunt came to an end.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Muddy Corn Chopping

In Lisbon, New York there is a large dairy operation.  Although I live somewhat near the center of operations I know little about it.  However today I happened to be driving past a large field where corn had been growing all summer, and noticed it was being harvested.  Having little else to do I decided to watch for a while.  When I stopped, the corn chopper was driving down the field blowing a stream of the chopped crop into a wagon being pulled by a common John Deere farm tractor.
In the second photo it can easily be noted the wagon is filled to overflowing, and while the chopper sits idle the load is headed back up the field toward a large truck parked on a slight hill.
The third photo shows that the entire wagon box has been hydraulically lifted and is being dumped into the truck box.  The truck driver, having little to do but wait, is standing on the side of the tractor undoubtedly receiving instructions of what to do next.  Meanwhile that chopper, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, remains idle.
In this photo the unloaded wagon box is settling back to its retracted position ready for another load while a second truck pulls into the field.  The chopper is nearly concealed by the red and white truck as it returns to the point in the field where it finished the preceding load.
In this photo the machine has chopped across the back of the field and up the left side about 2/3 of the way.  This has once more filled the wagon which has made its way nearly around the front of the field heading toward the truck for a second time.  Oops, it encounters a mud hole, and spends a couple of minutes pawing its way through the mire.  The chopper awaits action.
Once more the wagon delivers its load into the yet awaiting truck box as a third truck enters from stage right.  With three truck drivers and the chopper driver all accomplishing little much of the time, this is not a smooth operation.
As the chopper and tractor/wagon combo move across the front of the field a third load is nearly full.  Over the top of the wagon another load appears to either be mired in mud, or broken down.  At any rate it is not moving, nor has it moved since I’ve been watching.
Again the chopper sits idle, while the unmoving load in the background does likewise, as the loaded wagon once more plods over to dump its load in the truck.  The loaded wagon again stops moving forward in the apparent mud hole, but once more works its way free in a couple of minutes and continues on its way.
Normally the trucks drive alongside the chopper and are directly filled which is much faster than this operation.  When one truck fills, another takes its place, and an almost continuous stream of corn erupts from the spout for endless hours.  Mother Nature’s recent rains cut the speed of chopping by many times, costing the dairy operations thousands of dollars.