Thursday, February 17, 2011
The first picture shows how the tension in each wire is controlled - the anchor is well above the ground level, and all you need to do is use a piece of steel pipe to screw it further into the ground to take up any slack that develops. Of course, I don't want to pre-tension the wire by much because that uses up some of the yield strength - just enough to get both strands tight. At the other end I ran a piece of wire through the top hole, around the outside of the post, and then through the post again. That gave me two wire to hold the post vertical. It wasn't until today that I realized that the other end isn't really stabilized by the wire tensioners, and I think I will end up with one more anchor. I may also bring the outermost anchor in closer to the post because it takes up a lot of room. The two end posts are 40 feet apart, and the braces add another ten or twelve feet.
The BW didn't realize how much room it would take, and I'm a little irritated by the end cables. I need to find some way of marking the boundary that shows above ground level. I also may tie cable to the stakes in the ground and the top wire, and do away with the 8 foot stakes that are only one foot in the ground. They are sort of far from the vines, and might be too thick for the vines to grab. Time will tell.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I spent almost three hours finishing this simple trellis. It's hard to see because the wire cables aren't very large, and the grape plants still have about a foot of shoot above the original vine. I will eventually prune them to get a vertical trunk and two shoots at both three feet and five and a half feet. There is room for four five foot long shoots from each of the four vines, and the stakes are there just to train the trunk. I will take them away in two or three years, when the vines start bearing. The next trick is to keep them from dying, and the trick after that is to keep the birds from eating them all. There are grape nets for sale, but I'm not rushing into anything yet.
I do recall the struggle to harvest cherries before the birds ate all of them, but we never used nets on the trees. My baby brother used to sit on the back porch with a BB gun and try to scare them away, but it didn't work very well.
If what I read is true, each vine should yield 60 to 80 pounds of grapes. Based on the two concord vines we had in Indianapolis, I can believe it. I suspect we will be able to use and give away all the fruit if it happens.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Yesterday I took the dogs for a walk at 11:00. It was 40 degrees at 8 AM, which was well below the 48 predicted low. Today it was 38 degrees at 8:00, which was even farther below the predicted low. I think the St. Pete Times has a new weatherman, and he might be still learning the business.
Today I bought the materials to make a trellis as described by the Ison's Nursery - wire cable for a single strand across the posts, three treated 4 by 4 posts, four 2 by 2 by 8 feet stakes, and two screw in anchors and two cable clamps to tie the ends of the cable to the anchors. I managed to get everything in the Dodge, which makes a better truck than the Camry, carry everything around to the back of the house, dig the holes, set the posts using a carpenter's level, and bore holes through all three posts at about six feet height. The treated 4 by 4's were heavy, but I didn't want to wait until they dried out because the vines are growing straight up pretty fast, and the will fall over if I don't get something for them to hold themselves up.
Then, I decided to let the posts settle until tomorrow to finish the trellis, and to look up other people's versions of what the trellis should look like. It turns out the the consensus seems to be using either a three wire or two wire arrangement, and only one place (which I hit on by accident) recommends a one wire trellis. Since I need to decide when the vines are young how many branches to keep, I think I'll split the difference and use two cables, which means I need to go back to Ace Hardware and buy more wire cable, anchors, and cable clamps. That's just as well, because I want to buy another wood bit. The 5/8 inch bit I used today lost it's temper some time in the past, and I had to put a lot of pressure on the drill to get it to make a hole.
I was totally shot and stripped down to a t-shirt by the time I finished, and when I put down "general farming" on the cardio look-up page, the number of calories they came up with were more than I had eaten all day. It's no wonder I was tired.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I weighed in this morning down 2 1/2 pounds, so I would be in leeway by a pound, the same as last Tuesday. Now all I need to do is at least hold my own through Thursday night and I'll be OK. That's a little surprising because yesterday I took the BW and Jack to lunch at the local IHOP. I had the "all you can eat pancakes" with just eggs and hash browns, but the first round came with just two pancakes. Then you get groups of three, rated at 440 calories, each time you ask for more. Fortunately, I was stuffed by the original serving.
Today I got to Nelson's to start loading by 6:30, and had to use a flashlight to see to unlock the door. It was 40 degrees according to the my thermometer, and miserably clod. We fed a lot of people for the Children's Hospital at Calvary Chapel, but I'm sure there weren't 300 people there. There were a lot, but we had too much food left over to have had 300.
After we cleaned up I brought all of the pancake batter equipment and most of the serving tools and trays home to wash. The sausage trays were a bear, but I got them all clean and back to Nelson's by 1:30. We had as many of the old Tarpon Springs Kiwanis as of our original club there, plus one of the winter visitors, who is from an Ohio club.
When things slowed down Papuga was talking about the school system's actions to play position for the coming budget cuts, and Dan was making his own comments. They both were lamenting that no one would listen to them, and I threw in that before I retired, no one would listen to me either, and I got fairly high up in a small part of the Navy. Then I told them that not only would people not listen to you, but you have to watch out for malicious obedience.
I was a deputy director for the Manufacturing department at the time, which had 1100 people, three year's worth of backlog, and all of it released for manufacturing. As a result, everyone was scrambling over everyone else, and everything was late. A key problem was that every function maintained about 30 to 45 day's worth of backlog. That kept the managers comfortable because they knew they wouldn't run out of work, but when that backlog was used up, that much more work would have shown up and the same backlog would be there. If you have 20 steps in a product's manufacture, it takes the normal work time plus 20 to 30 months to make the item. That explains why the average spare part promised delivery schedule was 18 months, and the actual delivery time was 24 months.
The malicious obedience was when I told the branch chief of chip turning (machining) that I wanted to get rid of his backlog. He claimed that if he speeded up, the heat treat guy wouldn't be able to keep up. I told him that he should let the guy in charge of heat treating figure out how to keep up with his improved cycle time.
The next Monday, I got a call from heat treat - went down to look, and not only was the heat treat area full, but there was a line about 200 feet long of five foot high stacks of machined parts on carts stretching down the hall. Machining had put everyone on overtime all week, plus worked Saturday and Sunday to get rid of the backlog. I hadn't intended to get rid of a permanent problem in one week, and chip turning didn't ask how fast I wanted it done. I was talking about a permanent change in operations, and he was talking about a one time event.
It was either my fault, his fault, or the fact that everyone lives in his own world. You have to be really careful how you tell someone what you want them to do. If you assume too much you will probably not get what you hope for.
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