Sunday, January 11, 2009

Journal: Sunday, 1/11/09

►  Weather Summary:  High = 61ºF/00ºC.  Low = 21ºF/00ºC.  A very nice winter day, except for being a little chilly in the early morning.  Mostly clear with a light north wind.

►  Day of reckoning with the studio light fixture:  Jo and I got the ballast changed with only one minor glitch.  The leads on the new ballast were only about half as long as the ones on the old unit, meaning we had to splice wires together to make them long enough.  Once the ballast was installed, we re-assembled the fixture and inserted two new fluorescent tube.  When we flipped the light switch, the ballast hummed a little, but the tubes did not brighten.  We messed around cleaning contacts and swapping tubes around until the light eventually decided to work -- and is still working.  I hope this project is now completed and stays fixed for a while.

Tickseed Sunflower seeds in Jo's mittens.  The little seeds are everywhere and easily attach themselves to all forms of clothing.  When clothing with these seeds attached is washed, the seeds often come loose and attach themselves to a different article in the washer.  At the moment, there's hardly any frequently worn clothing of ours that doesn't contain at least one Tickseed Sunflower seed.  Sometimes they can end up in very inconvieninet locations.  Those pointy little horns can be very irritating.  (Photo of a Tickseed Sunflower in bloom.)

►  Firewood:  As previously mention, all the firewood I've been cutting lately is coming from alongside our road out, small diameter trees my neighbor thinned from his roadside property back in the fall.  He just let the trees fall and -- with his permission -- I am cutting them into firewood lengths and carting them home.

►  These small trees required no special felling techniques -- like notching and back-cutting.  Jerry Joe just sliced them off, but I did notice he'd sliced them off rather high, some of the "stumps" remaining came almost up to my waist.   Jo and I decided Jerry was just being lazy and loping off the trees at a height requiring no bending.  Since these stumps contained a piece or two of usable firewood for me, I'd been cutting them off closer to the the ground.

►  Today I received a phone call from Jerry Joe asking me to stop cutting off his stumps.  His theory is that the tall stumps are less likely to put out sucker shoots and resume growing. (Creating a coppice.) That's a new one on me, but maybe so.  I'll certainly honor his request since I'm cutting his trees on his land.  And, since I've trimmed of some of the stumps while others remain tall, we'll see if his theory is correct.