errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
We've gotten our first order of heirloom seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, a non-profit seed exchange. We have a 200 sq. ft. garden under a very poorly maintained hoop house right out the front door that's been largely overrun with Bermuda grass. Few plants are left from last season, so I've been pulling Bermuda all day in preparation for spring planting of cold season crops. Even though I only got about 1/3 of the wall around this garden built, and therefore only about 1/3 of the soil into it, it's still the best place to start planting. To reclaim more of the lawn for gardening will require hours of back-breaking labor, as the soil is about 1/3 limestone rocks. You can't dig with a shovel, you have to use a pick axe or rock hammer. For now, getting this existing garden prepped is much easier.
Read more... )

Progress

Jan. 10th, 2010 03:11 am
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
- Installed vents into two guest wing doors to improve air circulation and equalize temperature

- Finished scratch and ceiling coat of plaster in guest wing office in anticipation of dildo arrival

- Installed heat lamp and water heater for chicken coop to prevent recurrence of chicken death

- Am correlating financial data from 2009 to create budget for 2010 after surviving for a year without "work"

- Have been asked for a job interview next week for position I couldn't be more qualified for

Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I've been looking at a way out of the corporate scene since several years before I even entered it while still in the public "education" system. I lost my job of 10 years last January. Here's how Manifestation Theory works in Real Life:

INPUT: "Gee, I wish I could ditch this cube and become a Permaculture Designer/Firedancer/Musician /Career Coach/Natural Builder/etc/etc/etc, grow my own food, and have a smaller eco footprint..."
"I'd also like to get some chickens."


OUTPUT:

You're entire US Team gets axed. You get severance, unemployment, and health insurance for months.

You buy a Geo Metro from your old roommate and routinely get 40 MPG. You learn how to work on cars.

Recognizing your need to improve your home improvement and carpentry skills, The Universe makes everything break at an increasingly rapid rate, so you have to become a ninja to keep up.

Your married girlfriend's new prospect totally takes your offer to rent an unused wing in your house. He's excited about your plans to re-finish his wing in natural plaster and your chickens.

One of your oldest friends loses his house and needs a room to rent, and you are therefore forced to finally clean all that useless shit out of your life. Storage space evaporates.

Your uncle introduces you a Crazy Money Making Opportunity involving corpses.

Your other girlfriend who's moving gives you her chickens, plus a working coop. Another total stranger gives you two more.

Your already-started gardening efforts Hop the Fence, and you now have 10 edible species lose in your yard, restoring soil, providing food, and pissing off the neighbors.

You finally start fixing things faster than they break. You build new things. You might sell them.

The list TOTALLY goes on and on.

Life is Go(o)d. :)

Be careful what you wish for, but only *slightly* careful.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)


The very first day after moving my new nesting box from the floor of the coop to the wall, the chickens figured it out! Go chickens!


NestingBox 3

More pics behind the cut!Read more... )

errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I was given this frightening, unsubtle reminder today that the Table Saw is basically a steel lightsaber...



Lots more stuff behind the...uh...

Cut.
Read more... )
errantember: (Default)
Chickens aren't very smart.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
After waking up at about 5:30 PM today, I launched into another chicken project with a vengeance. My Fine Feathered Friends have revealed a preference for roosting Elsewhere, Elsewhere, in this context, meaning somewhere other than the coop. The manual relocation this problem causes every night is a far cry from my eventual goal of 100% coop-door-automation.

"Wow, this automatic door is really rad. I'm totally impressed."

"Thanks!"

"Where are the chickens?"

"Over there."

"You mean 'over there' as in 'not in the coop?'"

"Well...yeah."

After perusing a chicken book from the library, I hatched a plot to add a roost to the existing coop, and I just got done installing it and hand-relocating four quiescent poultry to their new digs.

If you push on their chest with your wrist, chickens will climb onto it, just like a parrot.

Just like a parrot, only heavier.

A certain amount of disoriented flapping was involved, but the girls are installed in their new home, and my roommate can look forward to at least several hours of power-tool free audio 10 feet from his bedroom.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)


Made without diagrams or instructions! Bamboo, cork, hot glue, and pennies for counterweight!

Sweet!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
So I've had my chickens for several months now, and overall it's been a fun and worthy adventure. They're goofy to watch, fun to chase (according to Loki) and produce an average of 3 eggs per day. They're not *quite* paying for themselves so far, but the food they consume in a week is roughly equal to the value of the eggs they produce, so they're not doing badly at all. I've been making piecemeal improvements to the coop generously donated by [livejournal.com profile] spottedvasa, including an automatic waterer made out of a toilet valve. One problem with this otherwise groovy system, however, is that it never drains, and therefore has become something of a mosquito factory.
Read more... )

Prejudice

May. 29th, 2009 02:26 am
errantember: (Default)
I was floating my mind over my general feelings about monogamy, and I finally arrived at a short opinion that I feel is correct.


No one has ever achieved happiness *because* of monogamy.

No couple has ever achieved happiness *because* of monogamy.

Discuss.

Read more... )
errantember: (Default)
My puggle Louie has been looking unusually healthy recently. The reason?

Fresh chicken eggs. Lots of them.

I've been free-ranging the chickens in the yard for the past few weeks, and although it's great in every other way, they have unfortunately gotten into the habit of laying eggs in the yard. I've managed to eat precisely *one* of these eggs.

Louie has probably eaten about five. Maybe more. Who knows? We haven't seen an egg for ourselves in about a week.

So, for the time being, the chickens are being confined to quarters to enable the creation of human-destined eggs. A week long phone-tag exchange finally resulted in the original owner of two of the chickens getting his egg boxes into Austin where I could pick them up. Unfortunately, it also was where someone *else* could pick them up, which, evidently, they did.

Back to Square One.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
I'm going out of town to help my Mom, who is having foot surgery, for a few days this Thursday. After getting my four chickens and a coop for the price of gas, I've been working like a madman trying to get everything prepped so my roommate won't have to do shitloads of stuff while I'm gone. I've managed to repair and upgrade the existing coop, which had some holes, one of which became large enough for the chickens to escape. I think Louie, my puggle, probably pried it open.
Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
Due to her planned re-locatage, [livejournal.com profile] spottedvasa generously allowed me to adopt her two already-laying chickens. In the rain yesterday my roommate and I trekked north, hoisted the coop over the fence, strapped it to his pickup, and brought it home. This brings me to a total of 4 chickens! My chickens laid a second egg last night, and so did hers. Since all of them seem to be Rhode Island Reds or a very closely-related breed, I suspect the chickens may be outproducing our consumption capacity shortly. Time to do more baking!

The arrival of the pre-made coop is very welcome, as I'd like to take more time engineering the Chicken Yurt, their long-term home. All four chickens are united in the one space, just beyond the reach of an intensely focused Puggle.

An Egg!

Apr. 17th, 2009 03:44 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
My chickens laid an egg! It's fairly small and brown, and it's their very first one! Wow!

Uh-oh...

Apr. 14th, 2009 07:35 pm
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
While working on building a chicken coop, I had an idea.

Chicken Yurt.

:)

scribblescribblescribble

Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
My sojourn out to Lakeway this afternoon has rewarded me with a gorgeous pair of near-adult chickens, one of which Louie has already tried to eat. It turned out that George didn't need a ride back, Thank God, and he's got quite a setup out there by El Water. I brought him back into town, dropped him off in Travis Heights, and headed home with girls.

I thought there would be Substantial Drama in the creation of temporary chicken housing, but I had totally forgotten about the large plastic pond I scored at the Habitat Restore for $30 (retails for $300.) It was exactly the right size. I filled it full of oak leaves, sprinkled on some diatomaceous earth for pest control, put in food and water, and finally plunked down a window screen on top. Perfect! It's in the sun room for now with Pandora, so I don't have to worry about pest-proofing until I actually build the coop outside.

I'm anticipating having the coop done next week, after gathering data during the Funky Chicken Coop Tour of Austin tomorrow.

I will post pictures of the chickens as soon as I can get someone to hold a camera for me. That person might well be [livejournal.com profile] virgogrrl, who's coming over to see the casa later this afternoon.

The freshly made Oreo Cookie ice cream is waiting...
errantember: (Default)


I generally manage to cruise smoothly through life without really taking any action. When I'm suddenly expected to actually *do* something, I often end up in a similar headspace of a tree sloth who, while reaching very, very slowly and with total concentration toward a juicy beetle, suddenly finds himself grasping, instead, a ping-pong paddle while facing off against Ariel Hsing in the Beijing Championship Semifinals.

Today was such a day.
Read more... )
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
As of 3 PM tomorrow, I will officially Have Chickens.

A good deal came up on the local Permaculture group, and I recognized that my endless string of Good Reasons Not to Get Chickens Yet had begun to stink of habit, so I pounced. Originally I was supposed to get them *today*, but luckily my source flaked out a day, so now I have time to engage in helpful chicken-related activities like, say, building a chicken coop, learning how to treat them, thinking about how to prevent my dogs from killing them, etc.

I'm on Back Yard Chickens even as we speak.

My roommate doesn't know yet. Won't he be surprised!
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)


Through some indirect yet disturbingly accurate means, this picture sums up my entire life.
errantember: (Little Cowboy Scott)
WE ARE PLEASED TO NOTIFY YOU THAT YOUR MOTORCYCLE HAS BEEN SHIPPED.

In a few days it will arrive at the Schenker Depot in Sumner, Washington, USA from where it will be sent directly to you by truck with a lift gate.

WheeeeeeeEEEEEEEE!

My Anti-Manifestation Theory that the vehicle (ordered months and months ago) would arrive just in time for the worst possible temperature is precisely correct!

Time to go helmet shopping...

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