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Friday, May 22, 2015

Gems from Farm Show magazine volume 39 number 3 (May 2015)

"Farm Show" is the only magazine I get -- I actually look forward to it and read it cover to cover. It is a fat sheaf of newsprint pages containing ideas to make your farm more profitable, hacking heavy equipment, tips on what are wonderful and what are awful things to buy, and so much more. So here are some thing I liked this week:

Porta-Potty Pigeon Coop: "Like any good remodeling job, the first task was to gut the interior and wash it out."

From Wildlife Control Supplies, the "Underground Animal Barrier" - 15-inch long galvanized 4-gauge steel rods 1 1/4-in. apart. "The steel rods keep out most wild animals." [Emphasis mine.] Sold in 40-foot kits for $189.95 (plus shipping) that can be driven in the ground as deep as you need to go. See how the animals are always winning?

A guy highly recommended the machines sold by AECT Advanced Earthen Construction Technologies. They turn dirt into building bricks: "Compressed Earth Block is ... formed in a mechanical press that forms an appropriate mix of dirt, non-expansive clay and aggregate into a compressed block." I think this is a fabulous idea and would like to do it. I want to see the dirt patties come spitting out of the machine. Visit this sample Earth Block Machine, "designed for the homeowner or small contractor ... can be loaded with buckets or pails." Hannah and I visited a guy in the Puerto Rican rain forest who would have loved this even more than I do. But don't you end up with a giant hole where you dug out the dirt?

And finally, to solve a problem I am aghast merely contemplating...

"Drop Trap" Catches Entire Wild Hog Herds. 

The BoarBuster is is a remote-activated corral suspended in the air. "[It] sets above eye level, allowing hogs to come and go without fear until an operator triggers the unit remotely. 'We were able to capture up to 86 percent of hogs in an area with drop nets versus 49 percent with standard corral traps,' says Gaskamp. 'That was enough to control the population, and it didn't educate the ones who weren't caught. You need to eliminate approximately 70 percent just to keep up with annual reproduction.'

"One reason for the effectiveness was that hogs don't have predators overhead so they don't look up. After baiting, a remote operator can watch the site anywhere internet service is available. When the majority, if not all, of a group of hogs is inside the corral area, the operator triggers the corral, and the outside ring falls to the ground in a rotating motion. The inner ring remains elevated to prevent the hogs from jumping out. 'I once triggered the BoarBuster while watching a baseball game in Oregon,' recalls Gaskamp."

Monday, May 18, 2015

I realized I'm yearning to paint again...

I used to have a standing date to paint for hours every Sunday with a friend, we were avid followers of Illustration Friday. But that ended five years ago and since then I only paint when I need a cd cover. After doing four cds in two years I was pretty burnt out, so no new cds, so no new paintings.

Tonight my friend Paul was a good sport and went with me to an odd meetup in Chapel Hill. At Zog's Bar and Pool Hall - a charming and atmospheric dive up a rickety flight of stairs in the heart of town - Mandey, the owner, sponsors the weekly "Masterpiece Monday Drawing Event" meetup. This week Paul and I were the only masterpiece makers to show up. She arranged the still life you see here (photo by Paul Deblinger) and put out some art materials and we just chatted and had a drink and an artistic evening. We could also have played pool but I don't know how.

I see that my paints are in awful shape - the lids are gunked up and a lot of them are dried out. I am so stingy with paint that the tubes and tubs last a long time - too long. It pains me to throw them out but it has to be done.