Wednesday, November 30, 2011

We Came, We Sawzalled, We Conquered

I have to give my mother some credit. Because for Tara's last birthday, my mother gave her a Sawzall. You know, the type of hand-held reciprocating saw that cuts up just about anything you can put your mind to. Boards with nails in them, hunks of fiberglass, old panelling, irritating neighbors and/or their Jack Russell terrier who just won't shut up oh my God I hate that thing, and of course, our specialty around here, rusty hunks of rusty rust.

Between the shop and the shed there is the front end of an old Citro├źn DS; it's been sitting there for ages. I mean at least I think that's what it is; it's a little hard to tell what with being a rusty hunk of rusty rust and all. But no more. Because today Tara took her trusty Sawzall, and hacked the thing up a treat.

Tara loves her power tools. Her enthusiasm is a little frightening, at times, to be honest. But so long as I stand back, and pray, she seems to get the job done just fine.

And so today we shoved the pieces (all except the engine proper, which is still too big and will need more bits taken off it probably) into good old Larry the Volvo station waggon and hauled it away. It would have gone into the Bus, except on the way over the other back bearing decided to start going pop-pop-grind-grind-grind-crunch. I suppose that's not surprising as the two back bearings were original to the car and therefore the same age and in the same state of wear; of course Tara sounded a little less than enthusiastic about doing that job again.

Here's Larry:



Though the pieces were rather big, still they were on the light end; and though it looked full enough it turned out to be one of the lighter loads we've taken, only weighing in at 460 pounds. Still, it brings our total up to 34,540 pounds of iron removed (at least; again, before we brought it to the scrapyard, where they give us proper receipts, we'd been bringing it straight to the dump. And we did more than a few of those loads let me tell you), or 17.27 tons. And, this time marks our fortieth trip, which, honestly boggles even my brain, and I'm sorta used to it around here. And of course, ha ha need you even ask? THERE IS STILL MORE.

I didn't really get a proper before, but here's a shot of the same area from a little over a year ago. The thing Tara Sawzalled up is that dark hulk on the left. The other stuff has been going away a little here and a little there over the summer.



And here's today's 'after', from more or less the same viewpoint (note Tara's energy drink over there on the right, directly in line with the tree trunk):



It's getting there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Rust Bus Run

Well, after resorting to a blowtorch, the freezer, and a Sawz-all, Tara finally got the back bearings out of the Bus. You know, the ones that were going pop-pop-grind-grind-grind-crunch for a while there. And so she was then able to put a new set in, hurrah. Which means that today, finally, after rather a protracted period of parole, the Bus was back to its purgatorial task of haulin' junk. So after muscling some sort of engine block (don't ask me what kind; they all look the same to me) and the cart it had been sitting on into the thing, off we went. Here's the side view:



And a close up of the usual rusty hunks of rusty rust:



We also got rid of several old vacuum cleaners, ones that we would have thought were enticingly vintage; except when Tara put them up on Craiglist, no one seemed to care, or if they seemed to, never came through. So they went too, and the flakes of the world missed their chance. Which, I suppose they do most of the time, don't they. Poor flakes.



It was a moderately warmish day today for November in New England; and, yes, I have to admit, the air coming out of the defrosters just inside the windshield of the Bus was kinda warmish. Though perhaps the word is more like warmesque. It did appear to have increased by maybe half a dozen degrees (Fahrenheit, let's not get ahead of ourselves here). So while that is certainly a step in the right direction, still I can't in good conscience call it heat.

So it was the usual not-particularly-comfortable ride in the thing. But it's done now! Although, Tara has already said she wants to start putting stuff aside for the next iron run in a few days (holiday notwithstanding I guess). Because, yes, there is still more. Duh.

So, even though it doesn't look like a whole lot in the pictures, today's total was a solid 1080 pounds of iron, to bring our totals up to 34,080 pounds of iron, or 17.04 tons removed so far, and marks our 39th trip to the scrap yard since we've been keeping receipts, which has been about three and a half years. I can imagine we easily have another ten or so. Well, okay, I can't imagine it, since I can't imagine this place actually clean, since that state has never existed in my lifetime, but at any rate I don't see how ten more trips would finish it off. So we'll hit fifty trips, sooner or later.

Fifty. Holy crap.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Interview Up

Also, I have apparently been completely out to lunch for the last couple of weeks: the Writing Goddess over at OCPD - Scattered Thoughts from the Front Lines has an interview with me up over there. I mean it's not like I didn't know I'd been interviewed, I just hadn't realized she'd posted it. I have been totally out to lunch.

Warning: there is rather a lot of honesty involved.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

Quick Note

I am very pleased to announce that Spot the Cat's kitten-making machine days are now officially over.

Friday I brought her in to the clinic, after trapping her Thursday night, which, hoo boy was a job. What with her skittishness, and Smudge and Splotch's lack of skittishness, she just wasn't going in the trap. For a while there it was everybody but her, including her little kittens, who, luckily enough, don't nearly weigh enough to set the thing off. But still, I'd put the tuna out and everybody but Spot would gobble it right up.

But I got her, finally, around eleven-thirty pm, after having started the whole endeavour around five-thirty.

I put her in the garage overnight, with a sheet thrown over the trap to calm her down. When I went to get her in the morning, though, the sheet was gone. The trap was closed, and she was still in there, but for a moment there I thought she'd pulled some weird Houdini disappearing thing.

Then I looked closer. Somehow, through the night, she'd managed to pull the entire sheet into the trap with her. Not a corner of it was sticking out. The wires in the cage are like an inch apart, and yet, there it was, neatly inside the cage, fluffed up into a little nest, in the middle of which was Spot, clearly satisfied about the whole thing.

Anyway, just thought I'd note her new lack of a uterus. She's the last of the three mothers, so they are now all taken care of. And guess what? I haven't seen (or smelled) a tom-cat in ages. I'd have thought they'd stick around for the friskies, but no, female cats in heat are higher on the priority list. Who knew.

Now it's on to Spot's kittens. There are actually three of them, though I haven't gotten any good pictures yet to show. There is the little grey and white shorthair (the one who was climbing the tire a couple posts down), who I have named Rory, after Rory Pond, and there is the little fluffy one called Young Scratch; and then there is the big fluffy one who is Young Scratch's bigger, fluffier twin who I am calling without any exaggeration at all Fizgig.

I am working on them now, playing with them and bringing them food and such; they are pretty skittish, still, though they are better than Aleister was, and I managed to socialize him just fine. Aleister, in fact, is a total absolute trusting sweetie. You can (well I can) hold him in your arms and he'll just sit there. He'll even start to groom himself he is so comfortable with being held. (I'm really, very proud of the job I did with him. I mean, I know, his personality has a lot to do with it, but it was work.) So hopefully quite soon I will be able to grab them and bring them inside, get them their shots, de-fleaed, all that. They look healthy so far, and very importantly, have no eye infections.

As for the yard clean-up, it's been on hold a little as we've all been having car troubles and that's been the priority (as well as cleaning up downed tree limbs from that freak snowstorm we had). Tara did yank some of the giant ugly creosote-soaked posts out from where the Pen was over by the shop, but we wanted to make more progress over there first. There isn't much to show just yet.