December 17th, 2010

Houdini & I

More Ning, Frai Dae

Coffee is good. Or at least just enough is good, too much bad. How true that is of most everything, eh?

Warmer this morning. Yes.

Freeze damage here at teh Ranch included the inlet valve on the old washing machine. Not being terribly inclined to spend a lot of time learning how, and looking at the accumulated dirty laundry we called in our usual repair person. In about 35 minutes, inlet valve replaced, washer re-connected and functional. Cost? Approximately $700 US less than a brand new one. Even including the labour expense. Clean socks. Yes.

Progress in bringing new PC up to snuff, good. Second external USB HD and the one I felt most concerned about is good to go, no errors in file structure, scanned & de-wormed. This one holds the data backups which are within 24 hours of Laptop Deathcrash. So, yes, this is most excellent. Software still to install, eight apps and/or suites. With rain in the forecast for the weekend, likely to be accomplished soon. Oh... there are incidentals not included in that estimate. Still, no more than 10 total to be back to normal operations.

A couple of anniversaries of sorts today. First, it is carlyinrome Day! Hippie Birdbaths! Probably I'll even post a separate Hippie Birdbaths note.

Today in History is also the anniversary of two significant aviation landmarks. On this day in 1903, a freezing, mildly blustery day over some dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina the Wright Brothers made their first powered flights in a biplane they constructed. Their success at this grew from a foundation of several years making glider flights at the same location, first making an airframe which could sustain flight with a human pilot. Their bicycle shop mechanic, Charlie Taylor made the engine they used after they determined no existing gasoline engine met their needs. Among other innovative things, the engine block was made of cast aluminum, quite unusual for the time.

Thirty-two years later on the same date, Arthur Raymond first flew the Douglas Commercial (design) 3, the DC-3, one of the most significant and produced aircraft designs that made commercial passenger aviation an affordable possibility. Other designs came later, larger, faster, stronger... not all of them however remain in service. And there are still, various places around the globe, at least 400 of these venerable aircraft still flying.

I've ridden in a Goony Bird (nickname from WW-2 for the ungainly appearance on the ground yet excellent flying characteristics); one of the highlights of my life. The design did show drawbacks. Many pilots who fly, still, bring along a poncho rain cover, because the cockpit windows leak like sieves.

Now, off to feed teh Ranch.
Weather - Blue Skys

Kid Count

Sometimes, in my mind though probably not yours, I wonder if y'all believe me when I say teh Ranch is a working ranch. Mostly this isn't an issue with me. Just sometimes.

Today isn't one of those days.

Mentioned to y'all about the kidding starting during the intense cold of last week. Key word, starting. By Wednesday the kid count (counting the two that died of cold stress) was 15. Today the kid count (counting the two, and one stillborn today) is 34. This makes 31 live kids out there.

Today we warmed up. It's like the heat sucked all these kids out. It's also good that this, probably the peak of the kidding, occurred on this nice, balmy, clear and still day. We've three sets of triplets, all so far (two from today) doing well. One of those sets of triplets isn't moved over to the barn yet, and isn't going to be. Their doe is one of the orneriest in the herd. Seriously, I pity any predator that tries. She's already butted Herself twice. Herself is fine, thank you.

There are still three does we're expecting to kid soon. Tomorrow the forecast is for rain; so yes, probably those three will kid tomorrow. The barn is prepped.

Oh, and one of the chickens I posted in a photo a while back, she showed strong desire to brood eggs. So we let her. Her clutch hatched probably Wednesday, we heard them yesterday. She's got four chicks.

So. There's gonna be a whole lot of goat available for sale next year.