Sunday, July 30, 2006

Carbonization Chamber

Originally I was titling this "The Burn Barrel" but after reading a few forums about 55 gallon drums used as burn barrels I decided to be more politically correct and designated this the 'Carbonization Chamber'. One of the many problems faced in a disaster of this sort, especially in a forested area is the large amount of down trees and branches. The government for the first 90 days or so would pick up and haul off this burnable debris as long as you could get it to the road right of way. One man and over 2 acres of fallen trees could not do that chore in 90 days, Paul Bunyan excepted. Not having Paul Bunyan's abilities, at a slow and steady pace, along with the other chores you read about in this blog, I cut and moved about half an acre in 9 months, Now as I no longer have the governments help with disposal I rely on the venerable 'Carbonization Chamber'. Much maligned by certain types, this ingenious devise gets red hot and transfers the largest log into ash in a very short time span. Keeping the heat contained is a much safer operation than any open burning. Care must be taken not to touch the devise with any exposed skin or clothing. At the current rate I hope to have the remaining debris carbonized in 2 years.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Gate

The old gate was something I rigged up some 10-12 years ago with several repairs over time due to someone hitting hit. Usually with a boat or trailer. My helper was getting supplies on a large trailer and bent one of the two swing gates. He must have felt bad as he brought over a larger farm gate I had on my property in Talisheek and two large posts. He offered to help with the replacement. I really wanted to do a wooden farm fence and gate at a later date having to complete the inside of the addition but as he offered to help we placed the large posts in the ground and I got to work putting up the gate and fencing needed to widen and move back the gate. The old gate was too close to the highway and any trailer set out until the gate could open. Now it is farther off and a bit hidden by bamboo. I used materials found at my place in Talisheek that was severely damaged by the high winds of Katrina. I will not rebuild there, way too much work. The best use of gates, post, and whatever from there would be here at the new addition. I managed to carefully remove the Muscadine grapes growing on the old fencing and place them back on the new. Seems the grape vine loves that certain spot and after years of trying to get it to grow in another area it has come back and is producing grapes. The biggest lesson here was what I thought was going to be an easy 2 day job ended up being a week. What I should have done was just build the permanent fence and gate as the temporary was more work than I envisioned. The best plan would have been leave the old bent gate up until I had the time and inclination to do the wooden farm fence. This temporary will have to stay up a lot longer due to the time and effort it took to get it up. At least it is wider, back more off the roadway thus safer.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Inside

I am taking 2 weeks off to do the inside of the addition and hopefully get a little garden out front. The big thing was what to do for a floor and fast so I can get back to painting. I settled on a latex concrete stain. The key was the acid treatment before it is applied and a consistent application, 2 things I did not do well. But it looks fine for what it is. I had thoughts of also cutting in groves so it looked like tiles but time took that out of the picture. I can always go back to do that. The other issue is making the old match the new, for now rugs hide those spots until I can get to them. The big task is hanging all the paintings. The walls are great as they are real wood so nailing is easy but the paintings are various sizes and shapes so I have less wall space than I have paintings. I am just putting them up for now and will arrange them later? I also need to figure out a crate to sit those in I cannot hang so I can rotate them as I feel like. I need to pick out a spot in the room to set up an easel and arrange how I will paint. I may use the area as the final painting area and do the designs and initial work upstairs in my office space. I like to work on the composition a while before I begin and make the initial drawings etc using my computer to test colors, shapes, and placement. A process I use now days compared to the older sketch book. Van Gogh would be surprised at how much I use the computer in my painting process. My old art teachers would gasp. But we are in the computer age and I intend on using it as I need especially selection of colors and viewing things close up for shapes, like the negative space we need to paint. Next project is a garden out front but it may not be in this 2 week time lot.