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Tamara
02 Mar 14,, 09:33
Went out to the ranch on Saturday. Still there, still in one piece, lots of lichen thick green ground cover.

Stayed for a few minutes, thinking how I really need to start building, getting out there with a GPS unit to figure out how much room I have to build on (the grassy area), maybe get out there with a scythe to cut the grass, and then got back in the truck to go look at house plans (didn't) and buy wine (did).

Started backing the truck out when it sounded like it was slipping on the moist dirt. Well, that would be embarrassing to get my truck stuck in the entrance to my ranch. Didn't happen, just gave it more "gas" and out I came.

But perhaps that's one of the things I put at the top of the list, laying down some kind of driveway, whether it be permanent like paving bricks or cobble stones in sand or temp like gravel or those metal strips we use to make airfields out of. The way modern life is, though, probably that too requires a permit from the county.

And what about chainsaws? Personally, those things scare me, too many movies, too many accident reports of people being sliced and diced. Reason being is I've been looking at maybe building a log cabin and while I'm not ready to chop down my trees, there are lots of ads around here for "free firewood". Ie, there's the tree (http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4335745866.html), buzz away. I can just imagine the laughs of me showing up with an ax and bow saw...........and maybe they would be right. So where does someone learn about using chainsaws?

...................................even though I probably would fall at least one tree with an ax for old times sake.

bonehead
02 Mar 14,, 19:55
Went out to the ranch on Saturday. Still there, still in one piece, lots of lichen thick green ground cover.

Stayed for a few minutes, thinking how I really need to start building, getting out there with a GPS unit to figure out how much room I have to build on (the grassy area), maybe get out there with a scythe to cut the grass, and then got back in the truck to go look at house plans (didn't) and buy wine (did).

Started backing the truck out when it sounded like it was slipping on the moist dirt. Well, that would be embarrassing to get my truck stuck in the entrance to my ranch. Didn't happen, just gave it more "gas" and out I came.

But perhaps that's one of the things I put at the top of the list, laying down some kind of driveway, whether it be permanent like paving bricks or cobble stones in sand or temp like gravel or those metal strips we use to make airfields out of. The way modern life is, though, probably that too requires a permit from the county.

And what about chainsaws? Personally, those things scare me, too many movies, too many accident reports of people being sliced and diced. Reason being is I've been looking at maybe building a log cabin and while I'm not ready to chop down my trees, there are lots of ads around here for "free firewood". Ie, there's the tree (http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4335745866.html), buzz away. I can just imagine the laughs of me showing up with an ax and bow saw...........and maybe they would be right. So where does someone learn about using chainsaws?

...................................even though I probably would fall at least one tree with an ax for old times sake.

I was transported to logging country (Oregon) before I started to use them. Dropping trees are dangerous also BTW. "Safety first safety last and safety everywhere else". All it takes is a moment astray and your life can be altered forever. You don't want to cut alone either.

First you need to figure out what kind of wood and how big of logs you will be cutting…that will determine the length of the bar you need. The bar length will dictate what size saw you need. Personally I would stick with Stihl or Husvarna. Every saw runs good the first year but those two brands will run for years with minimum maintenance and you should never have any problems finding parts and someone to fix it. Don't get caught up in the marketing hype. You don't need a huge powerful saw so you can cut faster. You ned a reliable saw that you can use safely and get the job done in your own time. Always wear glasses or better as the saws spit all kinds of things back..usually at your face. Earplugs and a good pair of gloves. Kevelar chaps, spendy but still cheaper than a trip to the ER. a good sturdy pair of boots (leather) no tennis shoes.

There are three major classes of accidents with saws. #1, kickback the end of the bar at the top is where it happens. If you cut there even accidentally the saw will jump up and aim for your forehead shoulder area. You can minimize this danger by not cutting with the tip of the bar, some consumer chains lessen kickbacks. Any good saw will have a chain brake in the handle so the chain should stop before it gets to you and you get bruised instead of cut/scarred. Limbing cn be the cause of a lot of kickbacks. If possible stand on one side of the log and cut the far side. That way the log can offer some protection from an out of control saw. #2, Cutting through the log and continuing down to the leg/foot. This usually happens when people are tired, distracted and/or have a dull chain. Before each cut always have a firm footing and make sure your legs and feet are out of the way. #3 unforeseen accidents. Unfortunately only experience will teach you that learning curve. This would include the log binding during the cut and/or snapping back at you from tension. the tip kicking back from the tip hitting an unseen second log while you are cutting the first. Falling while having a running chainsaw in your hands. Chain flying off, log falling on you /tree falling on you etc. Attacked by bees/yellow jackets.



The hardest part about the whole thing is learning to keep the chain clean and sharp. Think kitchen knives and how dangerous they can be when dull. Don't cut into the dirt but when you do, yes when…. take a moment to sharpen it before cutting. The saw will thank you and you will cut safer and more efficiently with a sharp chain. Sharpening the chain is a required skill.

When cutting you are going to have to use your ears. Every saw likes a certain RPM as its sweet spot. In time you will learn to push the saw a little but mostly let the saw do all the work. When you push too hard you will hear the saw bog down. When you don't push enough the saw races.

It is possible the state has some resources for you in the ag department. Perhaps through them you can find someone willing to give you some pointers. Arborists may be able to help you also. Be leery of individuals though. Many cat cut but not that many can cut safely and have just been lucky so far. If there is a log home builder nearby they may be able to give some assistance as well.

Tamara
03 Mar 14,, 08:17
Reading that, I've got "Then You Can take me to the Fair" from Camelot ringing in my head. Ie, those sliced and diced situations.

Not that using an ax is totally safe, either.......just I do have experience with one, childhood through undergrad.

Then there is that "not alone" situation. SIGH, somehow, someway, I have to find allies. Something else I've noticed on Craigslist ads, "Bring a friend"....and for whatever reason, maybe it is my work schedule, it is often impossible to find one to do so.

Maybe there's a club for beginning cowboys & cowgirls.............................

sated buddha
03 Mar 14,, 14:31
Isolated ranch, beat up truck, lonely lady ...... and a chainsaw ...... I have a Hills Have Eyes storyline bubbling forth within me Tamara. I would have made you Director if you already hadn't bagged the lead role! :scared:

Doktor
03 Mar 14,, 14:40
You forgot the GPS device :whome:

Tamara
03 Mar 14,, 14:45
You forgot the GPS device :whome:

Well, not quite. It's in the kit but the batteries need to be changed.

As things go, what I did go out with, in addition to the load of tarps and bow saw I carry, was a 6 gal jerry can of water, bail out kit with first aid, food, fire starting stuff, field jacket with gloves, wooly pully, H&K USP with 3 magazines, and a 50 round box of .45.

At least.

Officer of Engineers
04 Mar 14,, 04:55
You know Tamara, let me give some advice. Sometimes, it's worth it to hire the pros to come in and do the job for you. Your logs for example. If you talk to some pro loggers, they can have 30 trees down and rough cut in 2 days for around $1500-$2000. You'll spend that much in gas alone hauling the stuff out of the woods.

Tamara
04 Mar 14,, 05:32
You know Tamara, let me give some advice. Sometimes, it's worth it to hire the pros to come in and do the job for you. Your logs for example. If you talk to some pro loggers, they can have 30 trees down and rough cut in 2 days for around $1500-$2000. You'll spend that much in gas alone hauling the stuff out of the woods.

That's not a bad idea!

Keep them coming, please!

Often, I get so fixated on keeping it cheap, saving money, I miss the cheaper ways to do things.......and often miss things.

Gun Grape
05 Mar 14,, 02:43
Just to add to that. Depending on how many trees you have (the more the merrier), some logging companies around here will cut the trees for the wood. Doesn't cost you a thing. Thats usually pine. They sell them to the paper mills.

Otherwise, the going price is $150 per tree to cut it, remove the tree and grind the stump.

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 06:00
Just to add to that. Depending on how many trees you have (the more the merrier), some logging companies around here will cut the trees for the wood. Doesn't cost you a thing. Thats usually pine. They sell them to the paper mills.

Otherwise, the going price is $150 per tree to cut it, remove the tree and grind the stump.

Pardon me for asking a sort of related but yet unrelated question, but been wanting to for some time. Americans use a lot of wood for construction. Most of your residential homes and such are wood frame. And there is a lot of logging - and that has been happening for more than a century (or more probably). Agreed North America is a big continent with a lot of forest cover to begin with, but this could not have lasted or sustained without some proper system of reforestation. Can you share broadly how its done, at what level, and who takes the responsibility and bears the cost? Here in India, even on your own property, it is impossible to cut a tree, foreget full grown ones, even smaller immature ones, without taking the permission of the local municipal body formally. Or you can be prosecuted if someone blows the whistle on you.

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 08:24
Pardon me for asking a sort of related but yet unrelated question, but been wanting to for some time. Americans use a lot of wood for construction. Most of your residential homes and such are wood frame. And there is a lot of logging - and that has been happening for more than a century (or more probably). Agreed North America is a big continent with a lot of forest cover to begin with, but this could not have lasted or sustained without some proper system of reforestation. Can you share broadly how its done, at what level, and who takes the responsibility and bears the cost? Here in India, even on your own property, it is impossible to cut a tree, foreget full grown ones, even smaller immature ones, without taking the permission of the local municipal body formally. Or you can be prosecuted if someone blows the whistle on you.

One of the things I'm not is a forestry expert......BUT I do remember Jason (Robert Brown of the show "Primus") saying in the 60's show, "Here Come the Brides" that they plant in the areas that they cut.


Just to add to that. Depending on how many trees you have (the more the merrier), some logging companies around here will cut the trees for the wood. Doesn't cost you a thing. Thats usually pine. They sell them to the paper mills.

Otherwise, the going price is $150 per tree to cut it, remove the tree and grind the stump.

Well, let me clarify. I am not looking, at least not yet, to cut the trees on my land. Most of the ones in the grass area, cedar, have already been cut so all that's left of them are stumps. There's a huge tree in the center I am not going to fall at all. Down in the lower areas, there are more trees and I plan to keep those, too!

No, I was talking about ads on Craigs list for "free firewood" where open it's "there's the tree" (http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4313366395.html), cut it down! In reading, it seemed like a cheaper way to get logs for a cabin, but we are talking trees on someone else's land.

As it is, a log cabin is one possible approach to a starter home on my land. I might go adobe......but the problem there is with the earthquakes Texas is getting.

I'm still quite the dreamer, want some kind of castle or hacienda. How realistic that is can be debatable though from figuring out how to build it to trying to keep it clean to a point that I may have a grand hall in the castle but I haven't entertained in years.

Visions of the kitchen from "The Witches of Eastwick" to the secret passages in "The Haunting" dancing in my head........................

bonehead
05 Mar 14,, 08:48
Pardon me for asking a sort of related but yet unrelated question, but been wanting to for some time. Americans use a lot of wood for construction. Most of your residential homes and such are wood frame. And there is a lot of logging - and that has been happening for more than a century (or more probably). Agreed North America is a big continent with a lot of forest cover to begin with, but this could not have lasted or sustained without some proper system of reforestation. Can you share broadly how its done, at what level, and who takes the responsibility and bears the cost? Here in India, even on your own property, it is impossible to cut a tree, foreget full grown ones, even smaller immature ones, without taking the permission of the local municipal body formally. Or you can be prosecuted if someone blows the whistle on you.

Some trees are protected in the U.S. as well. Heritage trees in cities and some wilderness areas. Some private land has some restrictions. However there are vast tracks of federal land and land owned by timber companies and that is where the bulk of the logging takes place. We also get lumber from Canada. There are strict requirements to replanting. If you get a bid and cut but don't replant you are fined heavily. In many cases replanting is tied to taxes for instance ( random number alert) if you replant you pay 10%. If you don't replant you pay 60% in taxes. About 95% of the old growth lumber has been cut. Many tracks have been cut 2 or more times already. When growing wood for pulp the younger trees don't matter. However the dimensional lumber, 2x4, 2x6 etc is a far better quality when cut from old growth. Otherwise you get too many defects.

bonehead
05 Mar 14,, 08:51
One of the things I'm not is a forestry expert......BUT I do remember Jason (Robert Brown of the show "Primus") saying in the 60's show, "Here Come the Brides" that they plant in the areas that they cut.



Well, let me clarify. I am not looking, at least not yet, to cut the trees on my land. Most of the ones in the grass area, cedar, have already been cut so all that's left of them are stumps. There's a huge tree in the center I am not going to fall at all. Down in the lower areas, there are more trees and I plan to keep those, too!

No, I was talking about ads on Craigs list for "free firewood" where open it's "there's the tree" (http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4313366395.html), cut it down! In reading, it seemed like a cheaper way to get logs for a cabin, but we are talking trees on someone else's land.

As it is, a log cabin is one possible approach to a starter home on my land. I might go adobe......but the problem there is with the earthquakes Texas is getting.

I'm still quite the dreamer, want some kind of castle or hacienda. How realistic that is can be debatable though from figuring out how to build it to trying to keep it clean to a point that I may have a grand hall in the castle but I haven't entertained in years.

Visions of the kitchen from "The Witches of Eastwick" to the secret passages in "The Haunting" dancing in my head........................



Do you like a house that moans and groans? Or a house that is quieter?

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 08:57
Do you like a house that moans and groans? Or a house that is quieter?

Moans and groans might actually be a benefit seeing how I'll be going from 30+ years of dorm/ship/city living to being out in the country. Ie, a little noise might be helpful to it being too quiet.

Maybe.

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 09:07
Moans and groans might actually be a benefit seeing how I'll be going from 30+ years of dorm/ship/city living to being out in the country. Ie, a little noise might be helpful to it being too quiet.

Maybe.

Thanks bonehead. Sounds like a good system. Old lumber = how many years from sapling approximately?

As long as we are talking about houses and moans and groans, I love the sound of rain on old wood and tin sheet window awnings at night. Its a sound I associate with childhood and its one of the most soothing sounds for me (comfort sounds).

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 09:38
Thanks bonehead. Sounds like a good system. Old lumber = how many years from sapling approximately?

As long as we are talking about houses and moans and groans, I love the sound of rain on old wood and tin sheet window awnings at night. Its a sound I associate with childhood and its one of the most soothing sounds for me (comfort sounds).

What I DON'T like are the "lonely hours".

This is the time from about 1 AM to sunrise on Sunday morning where I'm awake and everyone else is asleep. Where the light outside is harsh and it feels like a lonely vigil during lunar day.

Now this is mostly a factor of my life, of being a graveyard worker, and it's just the way things are. The usual choice I have is I can keep on my schedule and do something to work through it or I can sleep, mess up the schedule, make Sunday a very short day because I still have to be at work in less than 24 hours of the "lonely hours".

As I design and build my hacienda, I have to keep this aspect of my life in mind so I don't experience, as much, there as I do now and here. Find ways to isolate myself from that harsh feeling, whether it is burying myself in a grand library, going to the top of the silo to look at stars, having some kind of theater, or busying myself in the kitchen.

As a child, my midnight cooking was inspired by
35799
where "Laura" (the girl with the rifle), is there in her kitchen, top and flour dusted jeans, when she is called out to do some late night sniping.

Now I don't expect to be called out to put a round in someone, but creating something in the kitchen at night does appeal to me, better if the kitchen is bigger (have a galley one in the apartment).

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 09:48
where "Laura" (the girl with the rifle), is there in her kitchen, top and flour dusted jeans, when she is called out to do some late night sniping.

Now I don't expect to be called out to put a round in someone, but creating something in the kitchen at night does appeal to me, better if the kitchen is bigger (have a galley one in the apartment).

You seem to like cooking. I have created a small study for myself with a TV (not very big, as its only for me), a coffee maker, and a toaster. And I am set. If I feel more snackish, its tasty toasty time (with imagination the only limitation) or the old hostel staple - 2-minute noodles (again, imagination can run riot in the form of spices and garnishing and sauces). So tasty are the noodles I make and the toast, that my girls follow their noses - so I invariably make double first off anyways. The coffee is very strong and very black. So that's only for me (freshly ground South Indian coffee beans). :)

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 10:18
You seem to like cooking. I have created a small study for myself with a TV (not very big, as its only for me), a coffee maker, and a toaster. And I am set. If I feel more snackish, its tasty toasty time (with imagination the only limitation) or the old hostel staple - 2-minute noodles (again, imagination can run riot in the form of spices and garnishing and sauces). So tasty are the noodles I make and the toast, that my girls follow their noses - so I invariably make double first off anyways. The coffee is very strong and very black. So that's only for me (freshly ground South Indian coffee beans). :)

It's something I learned as a financial counselor in the Navy; you can save a whole lot of money (or make out like a bandit) by learning to cook instead of having to buy frozen meals. As time goes on, I'm learning more and more, such as making a killing on meat prices by cooking 10-16 lb briskets (even if it's gone up $.30/lb over the last month).

I have moved away from having a coffee maker at home to having a stove top percolator. Given my homesteading and moving away from the grid, it is growing on me. The microwave is also up for replacement (bugs have moved in to it) but I am unsure if I will replace it since I'm moving away from microwave cooking. Maybe, could be, just as something to have around as another way to boil water.

Basically, I don't want my life to be like living on what NR-1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NR-1) was suppose to be like! Lots of frozen meals cooked in a small oven (but in reality, the oven wasn't was efficient as it was tooted and everything ended up tasting the same--as they said in the book "Dark Waters").

There are issues, of course. How much of a particular dish you can make at the moment for how long it can be stored (and talking about food here at work is making me hungry, ambitious.....and I have a busy day after work, too). I love cooking with fish, but cooked fish really isn't suppose to be kept more than a day.

As I said, I'm a dreamer, fed by small bits from the movies and TV shows and books, where if you can cook and cook well, you can always find a place in people's lives should you need to. If you are ever taken hostage, you'll probably be the last one they shoot.

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 10:31
I mad the mistake of Google Imag-ing for brisket. Now I am hungry too ..... and dinner is a good 4-5 hours away!

Lets talk about chainsaws instead .....

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 10:34
I mad the mistake of Google Imag-ing for brisket. Now I am hungry too ..... and dinner is a good 4-5 hours away!

Join me in a can of sardines?

Had two cans in the bottom of the pack, my emergency rations (in more ways than one) as it might be.

As things go, I am loaded to the gills with candy bars, but I bought them for my students, so I want to show restraint from eating something so easy, so wrong when not dessert.

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 10:38
Join me in a can of sardines?

Had two cans in the bottom of the pack, my emergency rations (in more ways than one) as it might be.

As things go, I am loaded to the gills with candy bars, but I bought them for my students, so I want to show restraint from eating something so easy, so wrong when not dessert.

I am sitting in office with no food. No cans of sardines and no tasty meaty cow shoulders (?) either. Just water, biscuits, and tea or coffee. And I quit smoking 5 years ago too, so even that's out.

Oh well, now that the juices are flowing, might as well go the hwole hog.

Speaking of fish, here is the most divine fish dish I have ever eaten. Recently in Phildelphia.

35802

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 10:51
I am sitting in office with no food. No cans of sardines and no tasty meaty cow shoulders (?) either. Just water, biscuits, and tea or coffee. And I quit smoking 5 years ago too, so even that's out.

Oh well, now that the juices are flowing, might as well go the hwole hog.

Speaking of fish, here is the most divine fish dish I have ever eaten. Recently in Phildelphia.

35802

I take it that "biscuits" are a type of cookie and not
35803

As far as sardines in oil being emergency rations in more ways than one, I carry then around as a cooking oil source as well. Between the fish, brown rice, lentils, split peas (and a wok pot), I can make a decent meal out of them. The lentils and split peas are items that are not likely to disappear off a community pantry shelf.

Having had my sardines (found some S&P around here to season them), I am not now as hungry. I do need to mix again, however, a spice cannister to carry around in my pack, especially if I am going to continue this dashing to work without eating.

So.....what's the fish?

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 11:15
I take it that "biscuits" are a type of cookie and not

Ya normal packed cookies to offer to guests with tea/coffee.

35804


So.....what's the fish?

Its caled sea bass. Melts in the mouth. Lovely texture. Buttery.

Tamara
05 Mar 14,, 11:30
Ya normal packed cookies to offer to guests with tea/coffee.

Its caled sea bass. Melts in the mouth. Lovely texture. Buttery.


35804

Ahhhhh, munchies!

...............things I don't keep around the house, too easy to scarfe.

As it is, though, for the munchies one doesn't have, one often finds other things to eat by the handful. The two things I have found are raisins and croutons.

The raisins are good because they substitute for doing it with chocolate chips. I just have to remember to buy them.

The croutons, though, are another matter. I have bags of those things around, they are a common item in salads, stews, and pastas, which is where they should be used. But when dinner is cooking, I occassionally get antsy for something.

Perhaps that is what I should turn my midnight cooking to, making hors devors that I can store and use for those moments. No use in making a salad, though, since my salad making is doing it for the entire meal.

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 12:16
Raisinets are nice. As are After Eight thins.

2-3 hours more. Think I will cheat snack a bit and get home early today.

Are your croutons baked or fried? The ones we make at home (for tomato soup) are deep fried (and yes, very tasty).

sated buddha
05 Mar 14,, 12:22
Damn you Tamara. I could not hold out man!

35806

Officer of Engineers
05 Mar 14,, 15:58
No, I was talking about ads on Craigs list for "free firewood" where open it's "there's the tree" (http://austin.craigslist.org/zip/4313366395.html), cut it down! In reading, it seemed like a cheaper way to get logs for a cabin, but we are talking trees on someone else's land.Heavens! Tamara, it will be damned cheaper if you buy a prefab log home. You just can't cut trees down and then use it for a log home. It has to be dried for at least a year and today, it has to be treated against insects. On top of that, a prefab log home already has the insulation and cracks filled ... and it's damned cheaper to meet code.

Stitch
05 Mar 14,, 17:14
Its called sea bass.

Are they ill-tempered?

bonehead
05 Mar 14,, 18:30
Moans and groans might actually be a benefit seeing how I'll be going from 30+ years of dorm/ship/city living to being out in the country. Ie, a little noise might be helpful to it being too quiet.

Maybe.

Some log homes make a lot of noises when they expand and contract. There is a lot of shrinkage of the walls as the wood dries out. An egineered log kit with kiln dried wood would be quieter in the short and long term.

bonehead
05 Mar 14,, 18:32
I mad the mistake of Google Imag-ing for brisket. Now I am hungry too ..... and dinner is a good 4-5 hours away!

Lets talk about chainsaws instead .....

LOL it takes at least that long to make brisket.

bonehead
05 Mar 14,, 18:38
Thanks bonehead. Sounds like a good system. Old lumber = how many years from sapling approximately?

As long as we are talking about houses and moans and groans, I love the sound of rain on old wood and tin sheet window awnings at night. Its a sound I associate with childhood and its one of the most soothing sounds for me (comfort sounds).

Most trees that are "farmed" run a 35-45 year cycle. Old growth is closer to hundreds to thousands of years old.

sated buddha
06 Mar 14,, 05:54
Are they ill-tempered?

Can't say for sure man. Came across as pretty agreeable and even tempered to me at the time.

Tamara
06 Mar 14,, 12:46
Heavens! Tamara, it will be damned cheaper if you buy a prefab log home. You just can't cut trees down and then use it for a log home. It has to be dried for at least a year and today, it has to be treated against insects. On top of that, a prefab log home already has the insulation and cracks filled ... and it's damned cheaper to meet code.

Well, it was just one of those thoughts about seeing how to do things.

As it is, falling trees and being able to get it home may be in the future for one thing or another, so learning how to do that, one way or another, is probably on my list of things to do. For example, sooner or later, I know I just have to be able to work with a pickup truck trailer. I probably can't get away without knowing how to use a chainsaw, will probably need to learn how to use a Bobcat, etc, etc, etc.

Back to looking at castle designs!