Friday, July 13, 2007

What's been happening

Here's a bit of an update of what's been happening here.

My father-in-law passed away last Friday at his home in Tripoli, IA. It wasn't necessarily unexpected, but it wasn't something we prepared for a long time, either. He died of congestive heart failure, probably brought on by an infection he had in his toes and foot. One toe had already just been amputated, and if the infection wasn't brought under control, the leg may have come off as well.

So, my wife and kids went up on Friday of last week, and I joined her on Monday. We had the visitation and funeral on Monday and Tuesday, then the reading of the will on Wednesday.

Am I sad that he passed on? To be honest, I'm glad God called him home at this time, rather than having to struggle through a possible further amputation and the stress it would have caused on everyone. He relied on my mother-in-law for everything, to the point where he didn't take care of himself as well as he should have. Getting out and walking, doing some exercises, not sitting around and watching TV probably would have helped. He probably took 20 pills at a sitting, trying to control blood pressure, cholesterol, you name it. I half wonder if he went cold turkey on the pills he would have done better.

My wife, her siblings, and their mother are doing pretty well. I think Grandma will find a level of stress taken off her shoulders, one that she has carried for 39 years. She's looking forward to watching the kids while Jackie is gone on RAGBRAI in the next week or two. I think it will be good therapy for her.

On the same day my FIL passed away, my feed truck decided to pass into the afterworld as well. Or at least try to.

I was unloading some DDGS at a customer's when I noticed it was losing power, the temperature rising, and some oily smoke coming out. I stopped unloading and told the customer I'd run it down the road to see if it would cool down - it was a hot day, and I thought it was simply overheating.

I drove the rig down to the town of Lucas. By this time, I could tell a noticeable knocking sound, especially when I accelerated. I parked the truck in the lot of an empty factory and turned it off, then tried to immediately turn it back on again - it wouldn't turn over.

So, I called a friend who knew of a mobile repairman, going by the name of Smiley. I called Smiley, left a message, and finally talked to him later in the day. After describing the conditions, he thought it was a scored cylinder wall. Ouch.

To make a long story short, I decided that yes, I could fix this truck for not a great amount of $$$, but I'd still have an old truck (1979 International F2275 w/890K miles). On the way back from Tripoli, I stopped at Ryder trucks in DSM. I found a used 1999 Intl 4900 for sale that would suit my needs. It has a 24' van body and a lift gate on it, but that can come off easily.

The tough part will be moving the feed body to the new truck, especially with 4 tons of feed still in it! If any of you out there have any ideas on how to do this, I'd be eager to know.

I was glad to hear that Project Destiny failed. And failed miserably, I might add. I like the fact that a few towns, like Granger and Carlisle, voted 100% against the project.

Unfortunately, we've lost another great blogger, State29. He's hanging it up for the time being, but man, I wish he wouldn't - he is a source of cutting wit and analysis, even if he is a bit crude at times.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My condolences to your family.

I, too, am sad to see State 29 turn out the lights.

Why don't you get one of those "Grain Sucker Outers" like they use in a grain bin and empty the DDGs before you try to make the transfer.

2:53 PM, July 13, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I please amend the commet above?

Change the phase: "Grain Sucker Outer" to GRAIN VAC

4:19 PM, July 13, 2007  
Blogger bgunzy said...

I too thought about using a grain vac, but here's the problem I see - the DDGS is somewhat dusty, and I'm afraid it would loose a lot of product out the exhaust. At least with the grain vacs we have around here (Rem Manufacturing). It might work OK with the creep feed pellets, however.

6:21 PM, July 13, 2007  
Anonymous Russ from Winterset said...

I'm hoping that once he/she gets back from vacation, State will think it over & decide not to let the Des Moines Register drive him away.

I won't begrudge State a hiatus, but I'd hate to see that blog go dark, especially since the CIETC trials will be coming up in the near future. First Krusty, now State29, who's next?

3:35 PM, July 15, 2007  

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