Posted by Dell
I was watching a commercial for a chicken farm, a popular brand of chicken we have all probably eaten (Unless you do not partake of meat then please excuse me). They called it a safe and clean place for the chickens. Yes, the announcer said, ‘We maintain a safe and clean environment for our birds.’ I thought What! I was amazed because, after all, the chickens end up being slaughtered. So I wonder if anyone besides me has thought, how is that safe? Safe up until the time we kill them? Do they give a warning first?
‘WONK! WONK! WONK! WARNING! WARNING ALL CHICKENS! IT IS TIME TO GO INSIDE THE PROVIDED HUTCHES FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY! WE CAN NOT GUARANTEE YOUR SAFETY ANY LONGER IF YOU STAY ON THE MAIN FLOOR AREA! … WONK! WONK! WONK! WARNING ALL CHICKENS…’
Of course when they go inside the provided hutches as any good chicken would do they are snatched up and killed. Poor chickens. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that the chickens are not safe, maybe clean, maybe they have public showers for the chickens, but safe? I guarantee the chickens don’t think so.
Reduced prices in the grocery store. I realized the other day that I have a severe thinking disorder. I was at the store and I saw a box of doughnuts marked REDUCED. Probably day old or something, or even week old for all I know. But I realized as I looked at the box that somehow in my brain I translated REDUCED as REDUCED FAT. So I grabbed it and threw it in the cart, all the while my brain is saying Yippee! (Or something like that, maybe a little more appropriately manly) Fat free! or Fat Reduced! Arrg. It goes past that too. Later when the box was sitting on the counter, I stopped and snagged a doughnut… Then another, because, after all, they are/were reduced.
Random things from today: I put in a new mailbox today. The old one got taken out by the plow the year before last. So Mom went out there, took some clothesline and tied it all back together. So for the last two years it has worked that way, the box itself suspended from the post by a cradle of clothesline. I was not here of course or I would have fixed it with drywall screws. I fix everything with drywall screws. Well, nearly. If you haven’t discovered drywall screws and screw-guns (The two go together) you should get in your truck (Or sedan or minivan or whatever) and motor on down to the local building material store.
Drywall screws come in many lengths. My personal favorite is 1 5/8″. Yes. That is because you can fix so many things that are broken. Just long enough to get in there and hold, but not so long that they poke out the other side. Now, granted, you may find that you have your own favorite. Some folks like
1 1/4″ or even 2″ which are right on the edge of long.
So what’s so great about them? They hold well. They are Phillips head and they grip well. They come in packs of 250 to 500 (Contractors can purchase boxes of 2500!) for God’s sake! What’s not to like? They have only one drawback that I know of, when you hold them as you are screwing them in they sometimes have small thin pieces of black (The screws are black) metal that ends up embedded in your finger/thumb. But, it’s not really a big deal, and, besides, you can probably get some sympathy for it later. Show it to your wife-girlfriend/significant other and she/he might say, Awww poor baby. Anyway, that’s my plug for drywall screws. With duct tape and drywall screws we could probably fix the entire world. I mean look at those NASCAR guys and what they do with duct tape. Now ask a carpenter about drywall screws (I used to be a carpenter, union even) and they will tell you they are gold.
Anyway, I have said enough about drywall screws and I only said it to let you know that I installed a brand new mailbox and only used four drywall screws to do it. Yes, that is because it was new and all I really had to do was secure it to the post. But what I really wanted to talk about was the waste. That old box? It so could have been saved. I mean it only needed maybe a half dozen drywall screws and we could have kissed the clothesline goodbye. Good as new. Well, sort of, after all it was hit by a plow. But, the amazing thing about plastic is that it bounces right back.
To prove I was right I actually screwed the whole thing back together, removed the clothesline and it only sagged a little and leaned to the right a few degrees. But I could have fixed that with some 2″ drywall screws and some black duct tape (The box is black) and a little black spray paint and maybe some ¾ inch pine. But no. I dragged it out. Cut a new post. Sharpened the bottom. Pounded that into the ground with a 5 lb sledge hammer. Put the new one together, slipped it over the new post and then used my magic drywall screws to screw it on, well, and the two lag bolts that came with the kit and were totally unnecessary if you have drywall screws, not to mention the lag bolts are silver and stick out like a sore thumb and the drywall screws are black and blend right in… Sort of.
Let me say also, while I’m not on the subject, that maintenance men that come and do work for little old ladies (My mother in this case) and tell her they are putting in a four by four pressure treated post should actually put in a four by four pressure treated post and not a scrap piece of two by four they called a post. Just saying. I pulled the old post free and found that it was a two by four and then had to get back in the truck and go buy a four by four. So ten years ago when this guy originally put the post in he lied and charged for the more expensive piece of lumber.
Okay, I did yard work the rest of the day. It finally warmed up here. Past the middle of May, about time. I swore I saw a woolly Mammoth stroll past the house the other day, but it could have been my bearded friend from down-street. He does have a big head and he sort of looks a little Woolly Mamothish on occasion. I got the yard work done and then watched the cats run around in the yard. They are brave right now, but, the Turkeys are up and about and they are particularly fond of cat. If you look back to my blog from last year you will see we have turkeys that fly up into our pines and wait for the cats to come out, then dive bomb them and try to get them. I don’t know if this is because they were sparrows in another life and harassed or possibly killed by cats and now it is payback time, or if these are just a mean species of Turkey. All I know is it is very disconcerting to watch 25 or 30 pounds of turkey drop from the sky and go after the cats.
I shouldn’t laugh, but cats are always so haughty that it’s good to see them rattled for a change. That got me thinking about Jamestown and the early settlers that disappeared one fall/winter. I’m telling you, Turkeys dropping from the trees could have been the deal there. Turkey plummets, hits the settler, knocks them cold, the other Turkeys come up and drag him or her off into the woods where bad things happen and the next thing you know they have all disappeared. Yes, I know, hard to prove, but every time I walk out by the pines I wonder. And sometimes it looks like those Turkeys are grinning… Maybe…
Okay. What’s up this week. I worked on the SE books. This has been a long term project. First released in paperback only, but with a different editor than the main books. Finally, re-edited by the same editor that revised and re-edited all the books and now released in eBook format, as well as updated in paperback too.
Earth’s Survivors SE 1
Earth’s Survivors SE 2
Earth’s Survivors Plague is the latest and probably last Earth’s Survivors book. Hurricane is on the burner along with Fig Street, and then I believe we will all be looking towards our Fall releases and maybe even enjoying a little summer weather… I hope you do too. Have a good week… Dell.