Update, Sleepless Nights, Smaller Footprint, Interesting…


“I been one poor correspondent, 
and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesnt mean you aint been on my mind.”
— America, “Sister Golden Hair”

OK, it’s been way too fucking long since I’ve updated this thing 🙂

Let’s see… what all has happened since my entry…  Yep, I moved in with Doc.  That’s been it’s own interesting little adventure.  Doc and I get along very well, and he’s doing OK after Patty’s death.  I help him off and on at the farm (a wonderful thing – the horses are always fun… even if there are 25 of ’em currently!), help him get the house in shape (ahem – if you’ve ever been to Docs, you understand what that means.), and just generally keep him company.

I almost started doing construction again.  Robert had done so well paying last time, it just made sense he’d do fine this time.  However, after Lance and I did our first gig for him, suddenly the money dried up.  Aw, fuck.  So, I’ve gotten back out of construction again 🙂

Doc went off on vacation for 10 days, so I became master of the farm for about 11 days.  That was an adventure all it’s own.  All but 3 days I had Brandon helping me, and the extra hand was… well, handy.  Heather and I had cared for the horses a time or two when Doc & Patty weren’t around, but that was different.  Heather had grown up around the farm, knew the horses, all that good stuff.  So I had her to depend on.  
This time I was basically flying solo – I had a contact list of people I could call on for emergencies, but, that didn’t really help that much with day to day decisions.  I realized pretty quickly the implications of having to deal with the farm.  I used the term “Master of the Farm” – that’s really what it was.  Doc was on vacation, so I didn’t want to bug him with problems back at the Farm.  I managed to ALMOST pull that off – one mare who was pregnant (she had her little one today, only one more pregnant mare left.  Whew) had an abcess form on her leg, and I needed to talk to Doc to find out protocol on that sorta thing.  Which turned out to be a “wait and watch” thing – aparently that’s not uncommon (usually caused by a flying insect sting), and give it a few days and it will most likely drain on it’s own.  If not, sterilize and lance it.  It went away on it’s own.  Which is nice – that woulda been a whole lotta puss exploding outta that thing.  YEUCH!

Of course everything couldn’t go perfect.  And the worst things ALWAYS have to happen on a holiday when you deal with the farm it seems.  July 4 Cormac, a stallion, made his escape.  Actually it was July 3rd, but one of the boys not coming up for feed is pretty common when I feed ’em.  Food still being in the bucket the next day is not common – oh… shit…
8 hours later, we managed to get the horse back to the farm (thanks to Brandon’s help).  He was 2 1/2 miles away – that’s a nice long walk when leading a horse on a miserably hot day.  It probably wouldn’t have been miserable if we hadn’t have walked every fucking fence line looking to see how he escaped and making sure all the other horses were still in.  180 acres doesn’t seem like that much.  However, when it’s divided into multiple paddocks and you walk every fence… holy shit that’s a lot of territory to search!

Doc felt bad about the Great Disappearing Cormac, but I reminded him that’s just the sorta thing that happens.  If I said I’d take care of the farm, it’s part of the territory.

I had been helping with the farm before, and ages ago Heather and I would go out there.  I feed the horses off and on when Doc’s going to be home late.  But watching the farm for 11 days was kind of a nice test of what I had learned to that point.  And now I’m pretty damned confident with the horses.  

And they don’t much fuck with me – Resha (a warmblood) decided she didn’t have to listen to me one day about leaving the barn.  Usually the fix is easy – throw a lead rope around their neck and lead ’em out.  No problem.  She decided even THAT wasn’t going to budge her.  So I started pulling and she started pulling back.  Fuckfuckfuckfuck!  If she wins, she’ll forever know she can out muscle me.  I put one foot on each side of the stall and pull with everything I had, and she started pulling pretty damned hard (luckly, she didn’t try and buck – that would have ended painfully for both of us.)

That’s right, color me bad ass, I’m stronger than a 1500 lb horse.  Or at least Resha is now convinced of that.   I know the truth is just a matter who’s got a lower center of gravity and better leverage 🙂  I was out at the farm two nights ago, and she started messing with the gate (which she’s not supposed to do, and does it anyway).  I just glared at her.  She backed up 10 feet from the gate.  

So at this point, if Doc needs to be away from the farm for a while, I feel pretty qualified to handle it.  I say that, and next time the emergency will probably be an invasion of killer bees or something just as insane.  But it’s nice to feel competent enough with ’em to know I can handle it, and that the time I’ve spent out there wasn’t wasted.

Sleepless Nights

“I cant get to sleep

I think about the implications

Of diving in too deep
And possibly the complications

“Especially at night
I worry over situations
I know will be alright
Perahaps its just my imagination

“Day after day it reappears
Night after night my heartbeat, shows the fear
Ghosts appear and fade away”
— Men at work, “Overkill”

BTW, if you’ve never heard it, look up Colin Hay (lead singer from Men at Work) doing the acoustic version of that.  There’s something kind of haunting about his rendition of that.  Very cool.

It’s another 4 AM and I’m still awake.  Here’s the thing – I really don’t make a good leader in some ways.  There are days I just don’t fucking know how to shut off all the worries and get to sleep.  Lance went to work with me, and unfortunately, we had a month where two people are slow-paying us, and not enough cash in the bank to pull off paychecks.  Aw, fuck me.  We were going along pretty well, but not pulling in enough business to tuck some away for this.

On Friday we (Meredith, Lance, and I) sat down and went through it all.  Now, here’s why I’m a bad leader – the situation is actually solved, but it’s not solved to MY satisfaction (Lance is going out and picking up a job / his own income).  So my brain locks in on the situation, and won’t quite give it up until I’m sure I’ve exhausted ALL possible reasonable options (this month, by the way, isn’t the only problem – in three or four months I’m supposed to be moving out, and it’s going to be time to pick up on “real life” bills and such again.  Though… in my usual style, I might have found an interesting solution to that 😉  Someday I’m going to have to learn how to properly handle situations like this – to “turn off” for a while so I get that proper recharge, or learn when it’s time to quit going through all the possible itterations. 

Of course, we also haven’t completely given up on the situation – I’m supposed to propose a few new payment options (Lance was salary before) that scale better to how the company is doing business without raping ever dollar of income I get in from the company.  I’ve got a couple of good ideas, and in the end, it’s all probably gonna work out just fine.

Smaller Footprint

I’ve found it interesting that my life has been getting smaller and smaller over the past three years or so.  I went from a house of my own to living with Lance and Meredith in their basement, with a bedroom and an area for my way too large desk.  Now at Docs all my stuff has been pretty much reduced to one room.  One very small room.  Really small.  Had I been thinking, I would have taken the front bedroom which is significantly larger.  But it means I’ve had to optimize what I own, and how to organize it, etc.

When I say I now have a smaller footprint in life, it’s litteral, not just a “Carbon Footprint” sort of thing.

However, I’ve also been slowly working on that too.  I get out and about less (basically only when nessisary).  Unfortunately I’m not very happy living that way – I like, well… getting out and about and going absolutely nowhere, just being anywhere but home.  (One of the many things I miss in life, btw, is a girlfriend – I like long drives with a girl who’s got at least two working neurons to chat with.)  I had mentioned buying a bicycle to Doc, and lo’ and behold, he’s got one.  (Doc, owns four of everything.  One is broken, one is missing, one is at the farm, and one is new in the box in the garage somewhere.  No shit.  I expect to run across a Fabrege Egg someday, and him sayin’ “Oh yeah, I picked that up one day – I’ve got another one out at the farm, and I think if you look in the garage…”)

So now I’ve become petal powered.  Woohoo!  Ok, it does work a bit better than walking, but I can’t transport tools or my computer that way.  I won’t be giving up having a gas powered vehicle anytime soon, but alternative means of transportation is nice.

An interesting though occurred to me the other day – sort of a ressurection of an idea Heather and I had discussed many times:  And RV.  Hm.  Why go rent a house when I can just buy (for really cheap these days) a house on wheels that’s larger than my current living space?  Throw a few solar panels on top, and a 3G adapter on my computer, and I could live just about anywhere.  Of course what I’d really end up doing is renting a slot at one of the RV parks for cheap and living there until I find some land to buy.  Once I’ve got land out in the country, just drive my house out there – no need to wait until the first phase of construction is done 🙂

And lord knows I’ve found some for cheap – to give you an idea how much the market has tanked, Heather and I had drooled over a couple that were in the $150,000 range.  Same models, now used by two years can be had for $50,000.  I won’t be buying one of those, but I have seen some in the $1,500 to $8,500 range that aren’t bad at all!

No idea if I’ll do it or not yet – I’m exploring the options.  Something I don’t have to make payments on for two years is always a nice idea.  And since my life has gotten a bit smaller, it could be feasable.  That does, of course, put me one step short of “living in a van down by the river” 😉

So I gave up all the cola type stuff.  I drink tea, copious amounts of tea (partially because it hides the flavor of the water here at the house.  Even filtered, it still tastes off)  I have a root beer about once every three days on average, and usually don’t bother to drink it all.   I try and have a beer a day (extremely good for the liver), though I don’t quite pull it off all the time.

There has been a very interesting side effect from that.  I can sweat all I want, and I won’t smell at all.  I worked 14 hours straight rewiring a 277 volt lighting system in a machine shop when it was 92 outside, and probably 15 degrees hotter inside up by the ceiling in the non-airconditioned building.  The top half of my shirt was white with salts.  I wore my shoes all day doing it.  I should have reeked.  Nada.  Pretty fucking cool really.  ‘Specially for a guy who can clear rooms when he takes off his shoes – no foot odor anymore.  

Interesting the changes one change in your lifestyle can produce.

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