• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Haasl
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Dave Burton
master gardeners:
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Kate Downham

! Incredibly stupid things we have done

 
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 13
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have just finished a two day battle with my tractor. No, not a full two days, but enough .   It would not start no matter what I did.  I would turn the key, and I would hear the click ... that was it.  Today, in a flash of subaverage brilliance I figured it out.  I had the PTO engaged.

So, what are you willing to confess to?
 
pollinator
Posts: 1301
Location: Bendigo , Australia
79
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
haha
That is brilliance
 
Posts: 7599
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
1444
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Incredibly stupid mindlessly or incredibly stupid even after much thought?

This 'we' put a lot of thought into trading the truck, the only vehicle, for a herd of goats and doing that after planting the hillside in fruit trees.  

'Incredibly Stupid' was apparent fairly soon

This was 'stupid' in our twenties though... our 'stupid' at seventy is not quite so interesting.....
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Judith,

I have done enough foolishness in my younger years as well. Like getting on a second story metal roof on Christmas eve to repair a leak with the nearest other warm body being over a mile away.    Actually, getting on the roof was not the issue.  It was when I rather rapidly got off of it that things got splendly exciting.  

Note to new homesteaders: It very difficult to get a good grip on a metal roof when there is a thin coat of ice on it ... even if your boots do have Vibram soles.
 
gardener
Posts: 785
Location: Piedmont 7a
279
hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Had a similar brain freeze, John. Turned off the zero turn mower to move some electric fence to mow the lower paddock. Got back on, and...nothing. Click.  Walked halfway up the hill and it occurred to me ~ pto still engaged!  Only lost 30 minutes, but it could just as easily been 2 days.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1551
Location: RRV of da Nort
244
  • Likes 11
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dad and I were trying to get an old Ford 8N started.  Dad used one all his childhood on the farm....we were in good hands!  

Worked on it for a full day, from noon Saturday to noon Sunday.  Would not start.  Wife walks into the garage and reaches under the tank saying "maybe the fuel shut-off is still closed....."


...Nuff said?

(.....Doh!) ....... :-/
 
master pollinator
Posts: 385
Location: Vermont, USA
74
hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi foraging books chicken cooking medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
[Irrelevant comment:]

We love our 8N!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 379
Location: Durham, NC
134
hugelkultur cat home care gear fish urban cooking building writing woodworking homestead
  • Likes 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hm.  I was once out hiking and came to a cliff.  I don't just mean a cliff.  I mean a beautiful crescent that nearly spanned the horizon, like an Olympian god had set his heel down and smashed an arc into the earth.  There were thick, straight, limbless hardwoods rising up from the ground. Sixty, maybe seventy feet down, and stretching way up over my head.

I thought, how cool must that view be?  So I put my feet at the edge and leaned over with my full weight to press against the trunk of a tree so I could look down into the valley below. Without a sound the tree simply leaned away.  Then I was leaning against nothing but air, 3/4 of the way to horizontal.  

I am absolutely certain that my balance point had been tipped, but I obviously had enough momentum from pushing against the tree to wrench my whole body backwards and collapse onto the ground in a quivering ball.  Just enduring the cocktail of crazy brain chemicals that has erupted, and trying to forget the certainty of death. It's been many years but to this day I cannot work out how exactly I'm still alive.

I wish I could say that was the only such incident.

 
 
pollinator
Posts: 143
Location: Northwest Missouri
54
forest garden fungi gear trees plumbing chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I replaced a ceiling fan with a ceiling light (ceiling was too low for a fan anyhow) and when it came time to test it, realized there was no light switch.... The fan had operated on a pull chain!  
 
Posts: 30
Location: Central Oklahoma
7
cooking food preservation medical herbs writing woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I always wanted a brass bedstead. I was in probably 7th grade and Dad brought home an iron bedstead that was really rusty but the design was really cool. He said if I sanded it down we could paint it with brass colored paint. It wouldn't be as shiny but at that point I didn't care. Went out every afternoon after school and sanded and sanded and sanded, for about 2 weeks. I was just about done except for some little detail stuff. Went in the garage to get the sandpaper and Dad had nicely set out the electric sander for me.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Marie,

If you have to go back to the 7th grade, you are an amateur at messing up.  I know of an adult (not me this time) guilty of burning out a pricey solar array by wiring it into his household circuit. The whole thing went up when he turned threw the main to his breaker box back on. How did your project turn out?
 
pollinator
Posts: 368
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
52
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

John F Dean wrote:So, what are you willing to confess to?



I have a similar confession to your, John.  I bought a brand new off the showroom floor Italian motorcycle at one point in my life.  Rode it about a week.  Walked out to go to work and it would not start.  Missed a full weekend of riding.  Loaded it on a trailer Monday morning and hauled it several towns over to the dealer.  I was not in the best of moods.  Talked to the Service Manager, whom is a really nice guy.  Managed to keep my composure and not go into the "brand new bike, and it won't even start" diatribe.  Told him my problem.  He smiled and said:  "Did you put the kick stand up?  These bikes have an interlock on them."

Apparently, I was not his first (or last) customer to make that mistake.  I was really glad I had held my tongue.  
 
Jack Edmondson
pollinator
Posts: 368
Location: Central Texas zone 8a, 800 chill hours 28 blessed inches of rain
52
  • Likes 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Rob Lineberger wrote: It's been many years but to this day I cannot work out how exactly I'm still alive.  



I whole heartedly believe there are times and places where the laws of physics do not apply.  There is only Devine intervention.  

I was hunting with my older brother, as young adults.  My turn came for the first shot at anything over the decoys.  Birds came in.  Gun jammed.  I called no joy and took a knee, so my brother to my left could fire.  I cleared the jam and without thinking stood up to get a follow up shot.  just as I reached full height and was about to shoulder the gun, my legs gave out on me.  Very gently, but against all my efforts I fell to the ground.  I was confused for about a split second when the sound of my brother's shot rang my ears and the flash of a 12 gauge raced overhead.

I am a lefty shooter.  He is a righty.  When I went down that was a step forward.  When I stood up, that was another step forward.  He was leading the shot from left to right, I was in his blind spot and he was in mine.  I stood up in his line of fire.  I have no doubt my Guardian Angel kept my brother from having to explain how he shot me in the back of the head at point blank range and had no idea how.  
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1861
Location: mountains of Tennessee
718
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Speaking of stupid things on a motorcycle I fell asleep one night on a long straight stretch of I-10 trying to beat a hurricane home. Woke up when the road turned & the bike went off the pavement ... barely missed a huge metal sign ... headed down a steep hill with a very short amount of time to stop before crashing through a fence. That could have ended bad. Was WIDE AWAKE the last 75 miles to home.
 
gardener
Posts: 1608
Location: South of Capricorn
602
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've also felt more divine intervention than I deserve. Not noting where the paved roadway turned to dirt and driving imprudently led me once to a movie-worthy car disaster scene. The car fishtailed and I lost control. Pulled on the wheel too hard to get it back, and the car stood up on the two left wheels for a very long second, as time basically stopped and I realized what an amazingly large pile of excrement I had created for myself speeding alone in a borrowed car, an hour out in the middle of nowhere in upstate New York where nearly nobody travels those roads outside of hunting season (years before cell phones, but there would have been no signal up there anyway).
The car slammed back onto the ground and time started again. I was within touching distance of the only telephone pole I had seen in miles. I could have put my hand out the window and laid my palm on it. The tiniest bit farther and I would have wrapped the car around it and me.
As has been mentioned already, this was not the first time I felt the guardian angel, and there is no understanding the apparently boundless patience of such angel with my stupidity.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 1551
Location: RRV of da Nort
244
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
......then there was the time I happily and proudly cleaned up the woodstove after its maiden voyage in our new rural home.  Shined up the glass window, swept up the extra bits of wood and dust on the protective pad, and then joyfully, before the next fire that night, shovelled the ash from the previous evening out of the firebox.....



.....and into a paper bag.


Yep........a good practice run for the local fire department.  Fortunately caught before any major damage, but pretty good flames in the back entry-way.


{head hanging to floor....}
 
master pollinator
Posts: 509
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
119
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tereza Okava wrote:I've also felt more divine intervention than I deserve.


Yup. Me too.
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 1551
Location: RRV of da Nort
244
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like this humbling thread.  It's a reminder to the newby and the seasoned alike that you never stop learning and collective mistakes are the wellspring of wisdom.
RRR.JPG
[Thumbnail for RRR.JPG]
 
pollinator
Posts: 1799
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
732
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I had any pride in my public image, I would be ashamed to tell you that more than once I’ve forgotten that I engaged the kill switch on my ATV, then worked for hours trying to “fix” the bugger the next time I went to start it. I’ve recharged the battery, cleaned the electrical connections, bypassed the electric starter by trying to pull start it, changed the gas, tried to jump it, replaced the spark plug, etc. At least now I figure out the problem in a couple of minutes. It took me a while to catch on.
 
Posts: 96
Location: California Zone 10b / Wyoming Zone 3b
5
building woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Years ago in my first home I had installed a really nice ceiling fan in the living room (9 foot ceilings) with a wireless remote that mounted to the wall and could control the speed and reverse the direction.  At the end of the project there was an extra screw that i could not figure out what it went to but the fan worked fine so I did not worry about it.  Weeks later my girlfriend and I are walking out the door dressed for a charity event at her hospital (med student) and she was fumbling to turn off the light but accidentally turned the fan on in reverse which was making a weird sound.  As my brain somehow made the connection to the missing set screw I run across the room and manage to almost catch the fan as it unscrews itself from the pole and fall to the ground smashing itself to pieces and leaving dangling wires.

I went down to the basement, flipped the breaker and walked out the door.  Lovely evening.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi John W,

Your post raises a serious question. What was wrong with my mother. ...probably all of our mothers that they were willing to read us a story about ....

A little girl dressed in red.....

With her Goodies ....

Being persued by a Wolf ...

Who wanted to eat her and her grandma?
 
gardener
Posts: 2957
Location: Southern Illinois
530
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John,

if it is of any comfort, I have had the EXACT same issue with my tractor.  I tried to start the tractor, nothing happened which makes me assume the worst.  I went online to get some advice and I eventually discovered on my own that the "problem" was in fact the gear range not being in neutral.

Embarrassing, slightly humiliating, but all too human.

Eric
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Eric,

Quite true. It is part of being human. Anyone who says they have never done some foolish mistake is not telling the truth ...and they are not very good at not telling the truth.
 
Posts: 78
27
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My biggest one was this year. I over-ordered plants. By a ton. Over 500 trees and nearly 300 shrubs. I dang near killed myself getting them in (many never met dirt) and many had a very rough beginning waiting to be planted longer than they should. I had help lined up before the pandemic, but even so looking back I know this was grade A dumb. I just got a notification my giant garlic order is shipping, with no beds prepped yet. I’m crying tears of tired, and I did it all to myself. Lesson learned to know my limitations and be more patient.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi S,

This is probably more common than you think.  My wife was severely injured many years ago. She still loves to garden. Every year we have the same debate. She over estimates her abilities. In the end, she orders more than I can plant.
 
pollinator
Posts: 129
Location: Ohio 5b6a
52
food preservation homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I was born in a big city and moved to the country when I was 3.  I soon learned to not piss anywhere near an electric fence.  

Later on my cousin and I would have competitions on who could hold the timothy on the fence the longest.  She would giggle every time it pulsed and I would let go.  She was tuff.

This spring early in the morning I started weed eating around the fence.  Dew, a metal shaft and a dipshit in a hurry is equal to pain.

You know, you would think I would get it by now.
 
Marie Grace
Posts: 30
Location: Central Oklahoma
7
cooking food preservation medical herbs writing woodworking ungarbage
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
How did your project turn out?

We grew up with a dad that was a firm believer in "if you're gonna be stupid, you better be tough." Not only would he laugh while he made the bleeding stop, he'd repeat the story at the coffee shop the next morning. We learned quick. The bed turned out great. I gave it to my grandson this year for his first place of his own.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jack,

I am in a similar battle trying to get my Sthil chainsaw to start. I know it is simple. I has something to do with the choke selector being put back correctly. But I'll be darned if I know exactly what it is I am doing wrong.  Fortunately, I have an Amazon cheap  chainsaw as a backup.  One day, at 2 am it will hit me what I am doing wrong.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Marie,

I hope you shared your story with him. It increases the value of the bed by a factor of 10x.
 
author & gardener
Posts: 394
Location: Southeastern U.S.
194
goat cat forest garden foraging chicken food preservation medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm almost ashamed to admit this, but after battling a wiregrass (invasive Bermuda grass) invasion for several years, I made a stupid decision in a moment of desperate insanity. I was trying to establish a large area of comfrey, so I spent days putting down landscape cloth between the plants in an attempt to eradicate the wiregrass. What a mistake that was! The wiregrass quickly popped up through the landscape cloth and 6-inch layer of woodchip mulch. It then proceeded to spread and anchor the landscape cloth to the ground. What a mess! The wiregrass was more stubborn to remove than ever before, and the cloth ripped and tore with every pull. We finally took our old tiller to it, chopped it to bits, and I raked up millions of teeny pieces of that cloth. Years later, I'm still finding them. Lesson definitely learned.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Leigh,

Honestly, I thought the cloth was a reasonable decision.   I didn't see that outcome coming.
 
Leigh Tate
author & gardener
Posts: 394
Location: Southeastern U.S.
194
goat cat forest garden foraging chicken food preservation medical herbs writing solar wood heat homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks John! That makes me feel better. My issue with those kinds of products is that, being petroleum based, they don't decompose, they disintegrate. If it has worked, I might have felt better about it, but it didn't, so it felt like a disaster, lol.
 
Eric Hanson
gardener
Posts: 2957
Location: Southern Illinois
530
transportation cat dog fungi trees building writing rocket stoves woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Leigh, I am with John on this one.  Honestly, your plan seemed like a good one.  The outcome seems more like dumb luck than bad decisions.  I have made plenty of those.

Eric
 
Posts: 31
Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 6a
8
hugelkultur cat monies books writing ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My wife and I had just purchased a dehumidifier for the basement. We tried to pull it out of the box and set it down on the floor but couldn't as its passage out of the box was blocked by a long black cord-thing wrapped in plastic. We thought this artifact was disposable, some kind of weird packing thing. Since it was in the way, we cut it off with a knife.

Exactly one second later we realized that it was the electric power cord. Now the dehumidifier was a humongous boat anchor. (There was a happy ending; we managed to convince the maker that this was an honest, albeit stupid, mistake, and they allowed us to return it for a replacement.)
 
Mike Barkley
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1861
Location: mountains of Tennessee
718
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So now it's stupid power cord tricks?

I was helping someone install a big machine that goes ping. It had about 20 extra feet of 480 volts 50 amp power cord that needed to be removed. As I went to turn off the circuit breaker the guy said it was already off. I stupidly listened to him. I knew better but got careless. I did not verify. Cut into the cable. Sparks sparks & more sparks. It wasn't off. I still keep that pair of cutters as a reminder to never ever trust someone else that it's off. They're missing chunks of metal that vaporized. I'm pretty sure I ruined a perfectly good pair of underoos too.
 
Paul Sofranko
Posts: 31
Location: western NY (Erie County), USA; zone 6a
8
hugelkultur cat monies books writing ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Barkley wrote:

I'm pretty sure I ruined a perfectly good pair of underoos too.



I'm sure they're compostable?
 
John Weiland
pollinator
Posts: 1551
Location: RRV of da Nort
244
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Again, first time rural dwellers at about the 4 year mark into our experience when the big flood of '97 hit.....the one that took out Grand Forks, North Dakota so bad.  The old farmstead that we purchased still had (and still *has*) overhead power lines from the REA days.  No generators in our possession and the water was rising pretty fast, but the sump pumps were actually keeping up with a lot of what was seeping into the basement.  Wife and I agreed that if the power went out, I would just go out to the power pole and disconnect the mains so that we would not have the power coming back on with a basement (and wiring) full of water.

It happened.....(and for those who may recall, we were recovering from a heavy blizzard at the time the water was peaking).....and I slogged out through the slush to disconnect the main breaker....a large older plug type that you just pull out of the box.  Despondant at the decision, I went back inside and we waited for the worst.

Ten minutes later, the power came back on, the sump pumps resumed, and we were spared the worst outcome of that flood. But what the heck??....hadn't I disconnected the mains for the property??  Of course not!
The box I had pulled from had long been abandoned.....that pole harboring about 3 era's worth of the electrical main shut off switches from the time power was installed in the 1940s!  The active shut-off was actually a large lever that actuated the pulling of a large contactor way up near the top of the pole!   Good thing I went to lengths to figure that out when we bought the place, right! (Doh!)........Still amazed at our incredible luck on this night.
 
John F Dean
master pollinator
Posts: 1531
Location: southern Illinois.
301
composting toilet food preservation homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi John,

Dumb luck is better than no luck at all!
 
pollinator
Posts: 303
108
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

S Greyzoll wrote:My biggest one was this year. I over-ordered plants. By a ton. Over 500 trees and nearly 300 shrubs. I dang near killed myself getting them in (many never met dirt) and many had a very rough beginning waiting to be planted longer than they should. I had help lined up before the pandemic, but even so looking back I know this was grade A dumb. I just got a notification my giant garlic order is shipping, with no beds prepped yet. I’m crying tears of tired, and I did it all to myself. Lesson learned to know my limitations and be more patient.




I've made that same mistake many times. Not quite to that scale, but I definitely ordered more than I could possibly plant.

I've started limiting myself to a maximum of 12 live plants per year. If life happens and I'm not able to plant them, it's not too hard to scrounge up 12 large containers to use as planting pots.

Seeds don't have that limit, so I still tend to over-order seeds. But losing live plants because of my own lack of foresight was just too heartbreaking.
gift
 
19 skiddable structures microdoc
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic