Back To Work... Ugh.

Monday... It wag a rainy day. A glorious cool damp day. No thunder and lightning, Darn. We're used to only one natural phenomenon, earthquakes, and they are few and far between, so lightning would have been an absolute thrill for us. A perfect day to start work though, however I'll say (anyone who has shifted gears this radically will understand) it was very difficult to get started but get started I did. I like the project I'm working on and especially the team I work with. Some new friends some old with many different talents, views, styles (great arguments) but they all are a great bunch of engineers who don't get nearly the recognition they deserve for the time, and extra time, and extra effort they put into their work (but that's typical of today's engineering climate though).

Now it turns out that CKT is in the middle of a complete facility move (how convenient, so am I). They own a fair sized machine shop, electronics assembly line, mechanical, electronic and software engineering departments and the office overhead to accommodate this enterprise so the move has been very disruputable to manufacturing and development. A little background... Every Monday, at a predetermined time, we (my development team) have a teleconference (secure, web based and capable of desktop sharing like VNC) with select customers. This is how we share updates, demonstrate features, take criticism, etc.... Kind of like a town meeting with customers. We are working on a very complicated program and sometimes a feature needs guidance to introduce. The point here is that because of the move my team was to preoccupied to participate (which I didn't know) so when the first conference came up, tonight (Monday), I was the only participant from my company and I was totally unprepared. Up until now I have normally glanced over someone else's shoulder only occasionally offering a sarcastic comment. It turns out that it was not a big deal and because of the disruption at work the conference was postponed until tomorrow.

After dinner we decided that today I would move the cats to the little house They, as well as we, have been staying thus far in Irene's room at here family house and have been eating all our meals with them. Extra special thanks to Irene, Donna (Irene's mother) and Megan for being such good friends. Anyway... We had been staying there for the entire week and although I know they would have tolerated us for a very long time it was Donna's house and I was a guest. We have done a lot for them in the past 10 yrs so I don't mind staying for a visit, our relationship so far has been equally reciprocal but it is Donna's house and I don't feel comfortable moving in, any more then I have already (almost our stuff is still in their shop). So this night was our first night in the little house on the prairie. And a great night it was. In our house. On our farm. On a beautiful, cool, summer night in Canada. The only problem is that the kitchen is full of saddles and horse tack and the shower does not work properly. But those are only minor problems...

Tuesday... This morning we decided to put the tippy-tonak to work. First thing, we loaded up the come-along and chains and headed for the back acreage to skid the logs. Holly Cow! The truck is a (modified) Ford F350 four-wheel drive one-ton Diesel with a two speed transfer case and the low range was a real stump-puller. Trying to keep the thing at a consistent low speed was next to impossible. The accelerator was so sensitive and the terrain was so rough that my foot kept bouncing making it unbelievably difficult to keep a steady pace without snapping the cable. If the cable breaks, under that much tension, and whips, it is a decapitator. The first few logs skidded well but (they were fairly small) we soon realized however that we were short about 30 ft. of cable (and tired from climbing the hillside with chains and cables). Darn. So that's is for the day. We called a relative and they said they had a 50 ft choker they weren't using for a while and offered to bring it by. So... Back to work. I worked the remainder of the day and again was the only participant in the teleconference. Ugh...

Wednesday... It was kind of drizzly and the choker never showed up so I worked all day.

Our Stallion

Thursday... Worked all morning and the choker again didn't show up so Irene and I decided that this was something we would be using constantly so we went to the local machine shop and purchased 60 ft. of 1/2 in. cable. Capable of pulling 11-tons. We also bought clamps and learned a trick so we could make good, strong loops at either end to attach our other chains. Ok... So we proceeded to haul the new cable, beyond the pasture, to the logs. At this time, a breeding customer (with a prearranged agreement) drove up with her mare who was finally in heat. After wrestling the stallion for a while everyone was too exhausted to pull logs in the late afternoon sun although we did get a chance to determine that we indeed had enough cable finally. So much for skidding for the day. Back to work.

Friday... Junk has been piling up on us and we needed to do some repairs and the junk was in our way. We had the dump truck and of course couldn't resist the fun of going to the dump and dumping something. There was already a little rubbish in the box but we still had tons more. After a couple of hours of loading we proceeded to the dump, in our dump truck. We got to the dump, paid our fee and backed up to the drop off spot. We got out of the truck and pushed the 'UP' button... And... NOTHING. Some people came by and couldn't help figure it out. One guy even offered to buy it. In the meantime Irene wasn't going to waste a lot of time here and proceeded to unload the tippy manually. Of course the embarrassment level is rising minutely. Sigh! Back at the farm I looked at the darn thing, scanned the Internet, and finally came to the conclusion (having no experience with hydraulics) that the hydraulic fluid may be low. The reservoir was only about half full. In the morning I had planned to buy all the parts for the tippy-tonka anyway so I would just wait and get fluid then.

Fixing up the shed -->


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