May 31st, 2008

Ninja Pyrates!

Holt City Heist (conclusion)

St. Otter's Festival

The crowd nearly filled the church, though they tended to congregate in the center aisle and pews. I walked briskly up the side toward the alcove with the Icon, my eyes sweeping the crowd looking for someone, something to stand out.

One did, towering above the people around him and headed toward the alcove as well. I sighed, recognising the shape of a bald bullet head. As I neared the Icon I could see a svelte shape next to him, looking petite even though she wasn't much shorter than me. Anyone would look petite next to the guy next to her. I stopped in front of the Icon and waited. They were clearly heading my way. The big guy stopped about 10 feet from me, eyeing me warily.

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harrison ford

Home, Home on the Ranch

The type of fence we use primarily, is 'rated' as 20 year fence. The first round of fencing we put in lasted pretty much that long. Part of the reason the goats had been wandering the 'Home Compound' during the winter is because one stretch of that fence had become holes with patches of fence. You may recall I mentioned a few weekends ago replacing that fence. The new part is working well.

The longer stretch, along our private road (it seems too long to call it a 'driveway') is now fence with patches of holes. Goats are hard on fence, not because they chew it. Goats are actually somewhat maligned as eating anything. They are herbivores. In fact, they're actually somewhat fussy herbivores, preferring to browse rather than graze which means they'll prune all your decorative shrubbery before they start mowing your grass. They are hard on fence because they'll lean into it and walk (oh, look, a back-scratcher! ahhhhhhhh). They will also rub their heads on it to mark, particularly the bucks as they have a musk gland somewheres between their horns, or where their horns would be if they're hornless goats.

If they're horned goats, then those horns go through the gaps in field fence (the type we used nearly 20 years ago). Not so bad on new fence of heavy enough gauge. Nineteen year old rusty fence doesn't stand up to this well. That's how the holes with patches of fence came about. The one we replaced. With 'no climb' fence, gaps too small for goat horns to get through.

So now they're working harder on that fence along the private road. This morning I went out to feed everyone and found the goats out contemplating going on walkabout. They quickly followed me back into the paddock, since I carried that bucket thing that's got the Good Stuff. They moved particularly quickly when Mamma Mudge Bordercollie encouraged the laggerts to Move Along Now.

After feeding everyone, then I walked along that fence to figure out where they'd made the most recent big hole. And found two. Plus another smaller one by an area Herself previously reinforced with wood slats off a dead piece of privacy fence once used as a shade roof. For goats. Ingrates.

I've finished patching those holes. The real fix is to replace that stretch of fence, and we've got the materials to do so. However, Herself as previously mentioned is off to SCA again this weekend being a feastcrat for Trimaris Arts and Sciences. So I hauled a couple old cattle panels over, and used those to patch the previously patched section and a large hole nearby, and then cut some short lengths from some other field fence (newer, also lighter gauge then the existing fence) and spliced them over the other large hole and a couple small ones which the youngsters were going through.

I think it will hold them about 36 hours. Which means sometime on Monday, Herself will be dealing with rounding up goats to put back into the paddock. I imagine next weekend we'll be replacing the entire stretch of fence.

Fencing. One of my favorite activities. Just not the kind that involves fence posts and wire fabric.


It is frickin' hot out there.

I know this because I needed to head out to purchase something. The thermostat on our hot water heater started acting flaky a bit back, so I purchased a replacement. However, the replacement, while matching all the other specs of the Original Equipment power handling, is shorter. So I needed to find either another one of the same length, or the means to extend the wires in the hot water heater to meet the shorter one.

Events proved to be the latter. Fortunately, only one wire needed to be extended. And the hot water heater appears to be working; the water is warmer than it was this morning at the point the Original Equipment flaked out the door.

When I went out for the short drive, it felt like walking into a furnace. Indeed, Sydney SubaruOutback has a thermometer display for exterior temperature, and it ticked over at 95 F, just about 35.5 C. It is frickin' hot out.