Tag Archives: tools

Dressing Hoes, Handles and Whips

Good morning readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

Different world.  This is one of the first adult jokes I ever remember hearing:

First morning on her new job in a hardware store a man approached her.  “I need a flat bastard.”

Cad!”  She slapped him and he rushed out.

The manager was aghast, but she explained the customer swore at her, so he just shook his head and went back to his business as another man approached her.

“I need a flat bastard.”

“Cad!”  She slapped him and he ran from the store.

This time, the manager questioned her and she explained the offending language.

Ahh.  It’s okay.  They were asking for bastard files.  See,” pointing to a bin of files, “Those are called bastard files.”

She apologized, and he went back to work.  Another customer approached her.  “I need a file.”

How about one of these flat bastards?” Glowing with new-found knowledge.

No, I think I’ll take this little round son-of-a-bitch.”

Trying to dress my tools, all the little bastards I could find around here were Chinese s-o-bs.  Worthless.  I ended up using that grinding wheel as a whetstone, which was slow, but worked.  But the stone soaked up a lot of oil while I used it. 

While I was dressing those blades and working linseed oil into the handles I found myself wondering whether anyone does that anymore.  As a kid I was taught that nobody would respect a person who didn’t take care of his tools.  But I suspect there aren’t enough people doing any hoe work anymore to cause them to bother with it.

And of course, the tools aren’t made to last, anyway.  Aren’t even made to do the job they’re shaped for.

I’m going to keep my eye out at auctions and thrift stores for some broken tools with metal D-handles, I reckons.  That shovel has a lot of life left in it if I can find a handle that was made when the folks making it thought someone would use it eventually.

Old Jules

Today on Ask Old Jules:  Open Range Ranching?

Old Jules, what can you tell me about open range ranching in the 1800s?

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Wobblehead Extensions, Crowfoots and Mayan Ruins in Georgia

Good morning readers. I’m grateful you’re here reading this cold morning.

Every time we think we’ve got things figured out and can make pronouncements to one another without fear of someone making a counter-pronouncement back at us with any danger of validity this seems to happen.  Some smarty-pants academian digs around where he’s got no business being and spang finds something to cut us off at the knees.

In this instance it’s fairly solid physical evidence a Mayan city once thrived in the otherwise non-Mayan and feet-implanted-in-the-ground US state of Georgia.  The offending pointee-headed guy with the cheek to find it doesn’t even have the courtesy to be a US academian who can be bludgeoned by grant money and sneers from his peers to shut the hell up about it and not go around shaking and rattling previous pronouncements.

1,100-year-old Mayan ruins found in North Georgia http://tinyurl.com/d5gwjpq

When evidence began to turn up of Mayan connections to the Georgia site, South African archeologist Johannes Loubser brought teams to the site who took soil samples and analyzed pottery shards which dated the site and indicated that it had been inhabited for many decades approximately 1000 years ago. The people who settled there were known as Itza Maya, a word that carried over into the Cherokee language of the region.

The city that is being uncovered there is believed to have been called Yupaha, which Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto searched for unsuccessfully in 1540. So far, archeologists have unearthed “at least 154 stone masonry walls for agricultural terraces, plus evidence of a sophisticated irrigation system and ruins of several other stone structures.” Much more may still be hidden underground.

A good level-headed other good US scholar took a more level-headed approach to the finds:

UPDATE: Raw Story contacted another UGA Scientist, Dr. B. T. Thomas of the Department of Environmental Science, who indicated that, while it is unlikely that the Mayan people migrated en masse from Central America to settle in what is now the United States, he refused to characterize Thornton’s conclusions as “wrong,” stating that it is entirely possible that some Mayans and their descendants migrated north, bringing Mayan building and agricultural techniques to the Southeastern U.S. as they integrated with the existing indigenous people there.

He didn’t go on to say what needs saying.  Namely that the South African guy needs to go home and  tend his own affairs.  There’s plenty of digging to be done in Africa and plenty of good US academians capable of handling any digging needs doing here.  And most especially the South African guy needs to be kept away from the copper artifacts found in Florida and Georgia in other mounds that bear a strong similarity to Aztec artifacts in Mexico.

We don’t need any guys running around in pickup trucks drinking beer and talking about Mayan calendars.  Things are already complicated enough.

Which brings me to crowfoots and wobblehead extensions.  I borrowed Little Red yesterday and went into Kerrville.  I spent a goodly while hanging around in the AutoZone store picking the brains of guys in bib overalls with grease under their fingernails.

Those wobblehead extensions offer a new lease on life for the hope of getting the starter off the Communist Toyota.  The crowfoots might be helpful getting the new one back on.  Not pictured here, but also new to  the anti-Japanese engineering arsenal is a mirror that swivels at the end of a telescoping handle for looking into places nobody ever intended them to be looked into.

Old Jules

Sunday Morning November 27, 2011 Musings

Old Sol’s finally recovering some dignity, getting some of the southern hemisphere melodrama behind him.  He’s spun around about 90 degrees and you can still see some of it lower right near the horizon.  But all-in-all he appears to be getting back to the business at hand. 

Nobody’s sure what the business at hand is, there’s a nice little solar breeze flowing out of that coronal-hole complex mid-south, leading us the way a hunter leads a goose he’s trying to shoot down.  It ought to reach us around the 29th of November.  Interesting stuff happening down at the south pole.  Remember where you heard it first.

I went up to turn out Kay’s chickens just before daybreak and kicked up a herd of about 20 wild turkeys, which we haven’t seen on this property in a goodly while.  But the country’s filled with hunters now, and there was some shooting not-too-far from the property lines yesterday.  They’re skittish critters and might have decided this side of the fences is safer, everything else being equal.

I swung into Kerrville yesterday to finally pick up that primer-bulb for the chainsaw and get chain and bar oil.  In the AutoZone store I noticed a couple of things I think might actually be worth buying as new tools after studying them a while.  One is a ratchet with 1/4 inch drive on one side and 3/8 inch drive on the other.  It has a comparatively short handle and a break just where the ratchet handle ends with a swivel on it to allow the handle to be bent allowing access to communistly personal space invaded places.

The other was a set of two box-end wrenches with ratcheting heads covering 8mm, 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, 14mm, 17mm, 18mm and 19mm.  If someone had told me yesterday morning I’d buy some new tools if I went to town they’d have lost intellectual standing in my eyes.

But looking at these I’m figuring I’m a pretty smart puppy.

Afterthought:  Jeanne found a discarded copy of Chancellorsville, by Edward J. Stackpole and sent it to me for my birthday.  I’m up to my elbows in it, finding it particularly interesting because the Stackpole generation of Civil War historians have such different perspectives about so many facets of what went on in that war.  He goes into loving detail about Hooker’s history, his behaviors throughout his career, his relationships with Lincoln and his various commanders and particularly with Burnside.  I’d never read that scandalous self-aggrandizing report he sent in about Antietam before now.  I’d also never encountered Grant’s “I consider Hooker a dangerous man,” appraisal of him. 

If I’d been driving my own truck I’d have had Chancellorsville propped up on the steering-wheel reading it on the drive to and from Kerrville, is how seductive I’m finding the tome.

Old Jules