Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter's here, I guess

As many of you probably already realize, we have snow on the ground now in actual accumulated amounts. This is not too bad - the daily temperature is near freezing, and the wind is bearable enough. The total, at least here, looks to be around 3-4" or so.

The problem is, I still have a few outside projects to do.

One is getting a feed wagon converted into a mixer/scale for my distillers dried grains product. I think I have it going. Almost. The scale works, but I need it to read up to 10,000 lbs in 2 lb increments. Instead, its going to 5000 lbs x 1 lb increments. I think a call to the company is in order.

Another project is to erect a canvas building around and over said mixer/scale. It needs to be secured to the ground, but guess what - the ground is frozen. I might try pouring hot water over the areas where the anchors will go and we'll see how that works.

Speaking of hot water - it has now become my favorite "tool". Saturday morning I needed to convey some DDGS from a wagon at my father's to my feed truck. I planned to use my belt conveyor, but since I had used it last, water/snow/ice had accumulated at the boot of it and caused it to stick. A couple gallons of hot water, and wa-la, it broke free. Today I needed to free the door of a grain wagon from ice. Again, pour a couple of gallons of hot water around the door, wait a few minutes, and pop, it opens up. Hot water is a great tool.

I'm awaiting another load of DDGS to come today from the Lincolnway Energy plant at Nevada. In preparation, I made a new tool I call a "boomstick". It's basically a piece of 1/2" plastic conduit with an airgun valve at one end, attached to my air compressor. A steel rod is duct taped to the conduit to make it rigid. Sometimes DDGS will settle and hang up in the trailer, and so someone has to poke and prod at it. Well, the idea with the boomstick is that one can poke the 1/2" conduit into a tough pile of DDGS, hit the air, and BOOM, down it goes through the hopper into the auger. I tried it out on some packed snow, and I caused some minor explosions with it. My son would love seeing this work.

So, no real insight this time about ethanol, the corn market, livestock, deer, politicians, or cheesy 80's videos. Just gettin' along, dealing with the cold and the snow.


Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

Boomstick? BOOMSTICK?

You get that on sale at S-Mart? "Shop smart, shop S-Mart" - those are words to live by.

PS - we had our first calf on Sunday. A frisky little bull that didn't have any problem with all the snow. Problem is, we shouldn't be having ANY calves for another 40 days or so. I guess the neighbor's bull must have come calling & skedaddled back home before we could catch him.

9:55 AM, January 24, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

I'm guessing "boomstick" originated in the Evil Dead movies, right? Haven't seen them...

Oops on the bull calf! :)

5:30 PM, January 25, 2007  

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