Archive for July, 2011

Yogi is a persistant little cuss

We had two visits from Yogi last night..whether its Yogi twice or Yogi and Boo Boo…is any one’s guess.  The Flash  Bang bear deterrent worked like a charm at 2 am.  But since I did not reload and reset in the middle of the night…yah right, when the second visit occurred at 4:45 there was no BOOM.  So the can was overturned and scattered to the side of the yard.  Since Sunday nights visit there was only one smallish bag in there so it was fairly easy to clean up.  Yogi visited the neighbor as well and they are thinking they could use a device as well…who would have thought bear munitions would be a small cottage industry here in our small town.

On the drive side I did get another 1100 pounds of fill today. Its Friday…ye haw and this weekend in the miner’s day festival.  The 1923 – Bucyrus Steam Shovelwill be fired up.  Its the last of its kind and lives in our town.

Our town’s steam shovel

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After my computer work this morning I made another trip down to Boulder and loaded another 1100 pounds of road base in my(solo) bucket brigade and then into the truck.  Once back on home turf, I turned it around and unloaded the 1100 pounds of road base.

Then off to “regular” work.  The trailer parking space is coming along slowly I’m about 24  6 x 6 landscape timbers in..and just over a ton of “fill”.

16 buckets of road base per load.

I figure I have about 1 more row of timbers to set, and maybe 6 to 8 loads of fill to go.  Then I can move the utility trailer over, and begin work on Tori’s dog yard.

Trailer parking space


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Home vs. Bear for the year

Last night we woke to the bang that I have been expecting for a few weeks now.  Months ago I set up a “bear deterrent” using a trip wire and some black powder.  You can see the video and read about it in this previous post.

Last night at about 3:45 Yogi came for a snack but got something a bit more exciting, after this little surprise he left in a big hurry. I got up and looked outside just after the bang, there was no sign of him anywhere.  I was also surprised to not find a pile of bear shit in the drive this morning, as if this would have happened to a human or some lesser creature it would have scared the crap out of them.

The unit performed perfectly…the can’ s lid was not even disturbed, but he noise maker fired, and loudly. This morning we proceeded with our normal routine and  did not have to pick up any mess.  Yogi has learned his first lesson here on Doe Trail… you don’t mess with OUR trash can.  Sunday nights are the most common for Yogi visits as most people have Monday morning trash pick up.

The image above reflects the score as it stands this year.  Months ago he got into our trash and the idea dawned on me as how I might prevent this in the future.  The black powder / electrically ignited noise maker device was born.  The test firing worked perfectly, then a few weeks later we had some late snow that caused the string to sag and cause a misfire.  I  repaired that and re-set the device with a little more slack.  It was a few weeks after that that he ravaged our can for the second time this year.  I was bummed that the unit did not fire.  With a careful examination I discovered a minor problem. Despite my caulking of the wires and lid assembly water had cascaded down the power cable and got my powder wet.  So in the moment of need the old pioneer adage “Keep your powder dry” hit home dearly.  That morning I had a big mess to clean up and vowed to persevere.

Bear deterrent 2.0 had me invert the bottle with a loop of ignition wire below.  Any rain (and we have had a lot these last few weeks) would never enter the powder packet or noise maker chamber.  Lasts nights BOOM proved this nicely.   I will reset a new noise maker device and repeat my upside down placement.   The next boom should even the score at 2 to 2 and then I can reset and try for the season win.  If this is indeed the same bear…I think he may finally wise up and look for more natural foods, or more likely, the neighbors can.

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Its raining…again or should I say still?

These last few weeks have been very wet, its been great to quench this summer’s fire season concerns, but I think we can get back to our normal routine.  As I am writing this there is roll after roll of thunder, I enjoy thunder, but it is the rain that is cutting into the home projects.

Saturday...and a good start

Saturday morning things were looking hopeful as we woke to clear blue skies.  My deck has been asking for a coat of oil since the spring temps came up.  It has been two seasons, so I was fully prepared, I labored for about 2 hours and got about 1/3 of the larger area completed.  Tori and I grabbed a buffet at Katmandu and by the time we returned the sky was dark grey and threatening rain.  I switched hats and started work on the retaining wall dig before heading down to get the girls.

After first rain storm of the day

Tori called while I was getting the girls and said a couple more storms rolled through.  Sunday morning the deck was still wet so I started with more work on the retaining wall.  I got the better part of 6 of my timbers cut and installed before I ran out of my 8″ timber lock screws. Later in the afternoon the weather turned nasty again and came down cold and mean with some serious hail…by the time the deluge was over we had about an inch of hail on the deck and the rain gauge was showing a bit over 1 1/2″

A lot of hail

Today (Tuesday) I picked up four more timbers and another box of screws, and will continue with the wall build.

Its now Wednesday morning…the storm yesterday took out the power for a bit and with the continual dance of lightning bolts about the house I took the safe route and shut down the electronics.  I counted a few dozen strikes looking out the living room windows, with about 1/2 of them within a 1/2 mile .  Lets just say it was some excitement.

Wall start

More wall

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Shot off the deck


Last year we spent the 4 th at the cabin…This year I went down for the long weekend but still made it back for the “show”.

Things are starting to get back to normal following my tweaked back from Memorial day…full work days no longer leave me spent.  This week I finished up a subway shower tile project for a client and next week I start a smaller floor tile project for a another client.

Subway tile start


completed tile

On the home front we finally got half a day with no rain…so I started on the deck oiling…we ended up with three separate thunder storms later in the day.  You squeeze in what you can when you can.

Oiling start


Rain rain go away

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Miss Maybelle and Some Hide and Seek

Miss Maybelle knows a few tricks, she also knows a few games.  Aside from her antics with the handful of doggy boyfriends (Lenny, Rufio and his totally cute little brother Yogi). Miss Maybelle is pretty good at hide and seek…with a canine nose and four legs for speed…she kicks my but every time. When it is her time to hide I do pretty well when we play indoors but outside games are a real challenge.

OK your turn to hide...One one thousand, two one thousand....

With the daily rains we have been having these last few weeks one of Maybelle favorite haunts is the little creek down the road a bit.  In drier years it is gone by now…the sticky mud does not last too long and occasionally produces some dreadlocks.

What do you mean I can't sleep on the bed tonight?

Miss Maybelle is not the spring chicken she used to be just a few years ago.  After  fun-filled day playing with the boys or hanging out with dad and the other members of the family…a little after dinner time…is nap time.

Its my couch too!

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Last year our 4th of July trip to the cabin was filled…filled with laughter, voices, kids , dogs, etc.  This year MY trip to the cabin was also filled but in a different way.  It was filled with peace, solitude, silence and a bit  of work.  When I was down there with the girls for Memorial day I did get most of the siding up  (at least on two walls) Boulder lumber had a minor omission on my order so a number of the trim boards were MIA.  Before I went back down I ordered up the missing bits and some larger pieces to use on the facia.

Sat Morning

When I arrived at Moontree Friday evening, the air was hazy and a bit smokey due to the fires in the west and south.  Six hours in the saddle…ah behind the wheel…had me longing for a stretch and a bit of activity.  First on the list was to unload the truck and air out the cabin, once that was done an ice cold bevy was enjoyed with the chirp of the birds.

I had spend the last few weeks cleaning up our rental property after our illegal sublet tenant bailed.  With that project I ended up painting every room but the bath, and painted all of the exterior windows and doors.  I knew there would be a little painting work here to…but when you get to work on your own place the work part fades a bit.

Trim and facia up Primed front

Saturday I got the rest of the window trim / door trim up and even caulked a good bit of it.  Sunday I got the west and south facia up and added the drip edge to the west roof.  Sunday I did some priming and tile work.  I would have completed 100% of the cabins floor tile but ran out of adhesive with about 6 sq foot to go.  The bummer there was I had  1/2 a bucket more at home that I could have easily slipped into the truck.

Monday morning I got some painting done on the front, (one coat of color an door trim)

Dry fitting the tile

End of the weekend

Moon set...at Moontree Ranch

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