Mick Fisch

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since Jun 24, 2013
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Recent posts by Mick Fisch

Bacitracin, applied a couple times a day, because she will probably mess with it.  If it has a problem with hair getting in it, trim the hair around the wound.  (that might be impossible, it's near her eye and cats have definite bounds on what they want to allow).  My son got a major burn last year on his legs (hint, don't poor gas on a fire, some us never learn.  I think he figured it out after this).  Anyway, the burn specialists told him that bacitracin was the only thing other than sterile gauze and/or cotton they wanted touching the wounds.  That tells me bacitracin is the bomb!

Cat's are pretty tough.  We used to have a tomcat that was a lover, but not much of a fighter.  He'ld go out at night, looking for love, and drag his ripped up body home by morning.  He would lay around the house half dead for a few days, healing up and as soon as he felt a bit better, he would head out again.  Did it for a long time without getting infections.  Kind of reminds me of some skirt chasing guys I've known.  Different kind of pleasure, fire and pain, but again, some of us never learn!
1 week ago
green lumber should work fine for clapboard style siding, as long as there is only one line of nails per board, it will allow the board to shrink or expand (mainly shrink if it's green) without splitting, etc.

I think that for floor or roof joists (if you're just using long timbers) I would prefer seasoned timber to avoid sagging, the green timber just has more 'give' in it.  Also they are much more subject to warping.

An alternative would be to use the green timber to built floor joists (top rail, bottom rail, cross pieces in between).  I would build them a bit stouter than spec, because the green wood is more flexible.  Years ago I built and add on to my house manufacturing my own struts.  I made a jig on my garage floor so I could just lay in my top and bottom rails and my cross pieces and then used triangular pieces of scrap plywood to tie them together on the side facing up, then I flipped it and used plywood scraps to tie the other side together.  They were heavier than storebought joists, but I was using scrounges wood, so they were close to free.  Also,  for ease of manufacture and possible access I made them much taller than I would have bought (taller was more expensive for purchased joists, but fewer connection points for homemade) and because of that they were massively overbuilt as far as strength went.  The fact that they are tied together fairly often should also limit warping just like it will limit sagging.
1 week ago
I always know some politician is going to pick my pocket when they say something that starts with "In a country as rich as ours...."  The advertisers have been pretty successful at convincing us that "you deserve this, spoil yourself!"  Untrue!  There will be some things you decide you need, but consider the cost.  I take a hot bath every day because it helps with my back.  I realize it is a luxury, but I am willing to pay for it.  What kills us is the little luxuries we take without thinking about them.  

When I was young I read Walden Pond, by Thoreau.  If you haven't read it, do so.  He layed it out pretty clearly how much of our lives we spend trying to pay off debts, which we mainly accrue so we can pay off the debts.  Foolishness!  His whole point of going to Walden Pond was to show how cheaply and well a person could live.  There are some great insights and points to ponder.  If he had been born in our time he would definitely have been a permie.  

I remember when I was a teenager and my mom started 'splurging' and using plastic wrap over left overs, rather than covering them with an upside down plate.  Plastic wrap was around for quite a while before that I think, but she didn't use it until she had weighed the cost/benefits.  My grandma used both aluminum foil and plastic wrap, you could tell because she washed it after each use, dried it and reused it.  I have never been really impressed with Dave Ramsey because my dad preached that same sermon the whole time I was growing up, as did most of my relatives who grew up during the depression.  They would sometimes talk about some of the stupid things they had done starting out, pointing it out what idiots they were, so we would be smarter.  Dave just seems like more of the same.  It's never about how much cash you can bring in.  It's about how much you can keep in you pocket at the end of the day.  

We don't have a credit card, although I have gotten used to using my debit card most of the time.  I resisted it for years, but it's so darned convenient!

We just bought a new  place with a 30 year mortgage, but I figure we'll pay it off in about 10 years.  We have always just paid cash for what we needed and if we couldn't pay for it, we didn't get it.  I think we once had to buy a used car on payments, but we paid it off within a couple months.   Most people in this country don't know how to live poor and live well.  I'm surprised at the number of people who don't know how to cook from scratch.  Shop the outside edge of the grocery store, haunt the thrift stores and garage sales.  There are far more 'good ideas' than you can afford.  If something is convenient, you're probably paying for it in higher cost and lower nutrition.  I'm not sure my kids really knew what cold cereal was.

Around 1990 My wife and I were living in the suburbs of Chicago when our fifth kid was born.  I was going to school to get my engineering degree and working with a bunch of engineers.  We were living in a neighborhood where it was mostly Drs. married to lawyers with a small dog or at most 1 kid.  My wife would get dirty looks from the 'professional women' in the grocery store when she came in with all our kids.  One day a bunch of my coworkers came to me and asked "How can you survive, we all make way more than you, our wives all work and we only have one kid each.  We're barely surviving.  How can you survive without your wife working and all those kids!"  I could have told them the Dave Ramsey saying about eating 'beans and rice, alternating with rice and beans'.  Instead I decided to blow their minds a little further and said, "Well, I pay a full tithe too,..." That really blew their minds.  

Years later, I was working in the bush for weeks at a time, usually leaving early monday morning and coming back Friday evening.  We had a house load of kids, both teenagers and babies (teenagers are emotionally exhausting, babies are physically exhausting, both together are really rough).  I made a lot of money, with a pretty good salary plus per dium and overtime, but my wife ordered a lot of pizza when I was on the road (I can't blame her, it's a wonder she kept her sanity!) and we weren't able to save much of anything.  When I left Alaska and moved to the midwest, I took somewhere between a 33 - 50% paycut, but we made out better because I was home more.
1 week ago
You may have unwittingly saved the rest of the flock by killing a sick bird.  

I have a simple rule with questionable foods.  Don't eat it!  (If you have any other option).  

Years ago I used to trap cottontails in Southern California.  I would butcher them out in the field and bring the meat home for my mom to cook.  Occasionally I would find a rabbit with some kind of growth or bubble in it's gut cavity.  I left those carcasses out in the field.  

I was raised with the idea that if you kill it you eat it, but there were always unspoken caviats.  You don't have to eat mice you trap in the house, or skunks or other varmints you kill out of neccessity.  And you don't have to eat sick animals!

A leading theory is that ebola entered the human population from people eating sick primates.  (I think no one really knows, or can ever know how such things start).  With a few notable exceptions, diseases rarely cross species lines (the more the animal is like you, the easier the disease crosses, which leads me to wonder about the several diseases crossing between pigs and people, then I realize convergent evolution can get marsupials to a dog or wolf like shape (tasmanian tiger), I've been called a pig a time or too, hmmm....)   Wandering off subject!

I guess my advice would be, you can still raise and eat animals, but I err on the side of caution with sick animals.  
2 weeks ago
I'm in my mid 60-s, but I think I can relate to what you are saying.  All I can say is what my folks told me.  PATIENCE.  it sucks and it's hard, but there sometimes is no shortcut for time spent.

I've had many of my kids comment to me how much better the older classic rock music from the 60's, 70s and 80s is than what they hear on the radio now.  My response is that there was an awful lot of bad music then, but it's all gone away.  All you see now from that time is the cream of the crop.  It's kind of the same with what you are dealing with.  I remember when I was growing up thinking how much better my folks had it than I did (of course, I kind of overlooked the fact that they grew up during the great depression and lost relatives during WWII).  

In some ways you are right, things were better then, in some ways things are so much better now.  

It comes down to this, play the hand you are dealt.  That is your only choice.  Some folks will fall into a tub of butter (like, be born rich, beautiful and talented, or  inherit land, or just be in the right spot at the right time, or have great skills that you don't), some won't.  Generally the lucky ones will do better, life ain't fair.  It is what it is.  Don't waste time comparing your lot to someone elses.  If you are like me you will dwell on how good they have it and overlook how bad they have it.  You have a companion you get along with.  MAJOR WIN!!!  Move forward.

Over the last 40 years or so I've raised 9 kids, loved 1 woman, and gone to work at various jobs I wasn't thrilled 5 days a week to make sure those I loved had what they needed.  I haven't been miserable, because my family was where my joy was, I didn't look to my 'career' to find fulfillment.  I figure I'm pretty average in that way.  Most of the guys I've worked with over the years were similar to me in that home was what it was all about.  I'm about ready to retire and have bought a place up in Idaho.

In hindsight, looking at my own experiences, I would say that you need to buckle down and love very poor for a couple of years (eat rice and beans/ beans and rice) to get the grub stake you don't have and buy you're property.  It won't be exactly what you want, because you probably won't be able to afford what you want, but get something that over time you will be able to make what you want.  (You will never be able to get EVERYTHING you want, unless you are close kin to the sultan of Dubai, but decide between what you really want and what you can let go).  If you can find a situation set up for you, fine, go for it.  You probably won't though.  You will probably have to create it.

I've lived in major cities, suburbs and very rural.  While the percentages vary some (as well as customs and mores), you have pretty much the same folks everywhere.  Pick the spot you want.  Over a few years, if you mingle in society, you will collect a group of 'your people'.  

2 weeks ago
Some view it as my personal quirk, harmless and eccentric.  (Don't let him get on the subject, he won't shut up).  My adult kids are at various levels of excitement/interest.  Being starving college students with young, growing families their plates are already full to overflowing. Most of my siblings are waiting to see the rubber hit the road.  Their thought is 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating."  My wife is conceptually converted and is willing to let me run with it as long as it looks ok and isn't too expensive or inconveniences her too much.  She is mostly interested in the food storage/medicine side of things.  

We just sold our house in southern Indiana and are buying a house in Cache valley in southeast Idaho.  Pretty stoked about it.
I was working down in the Silicon Valley around 1980.  Because of the massive influx of engineers and programmers there was about a 2 to 1 single guy/gal ratio at church.  I was a lowly tech.  I met my wife at a halloween party thrown by some young adults from church.  Everyone there was from that group.  They had paired me up with this pretty, nice gal with long red hair (I've always been partial to long hair, particularly when it's on redheads and blonds).  We were carving a jack-o-lantern and I happened to say something to this cute gal with short brown hair setting on the other side of me.  I made a comment, she responded and I guess I was a jerk because I kind of forgot about the redhead.  Sometimes you meet someone and know "We're going to be good friends".  The balance somehow feels right.  Anyway, after talking quite a while that evening, I asked her out.  I was soon in hot pursuit and, given the guy/gal ratio, I kept her evenings booked from then on.  I asked her to marry me a little over a month later.  (I had left one night open 3 days before I asked her to marry me and she went out with another guy).  Nine kids and almost 40 years later, it's still good.  She's my best friend and the balance is even better.
1 month ago
I love this idea!  I have a suggestion that might help.  If you allow the "gasket" between the pipe and the lid on one side to dry before you put the lid on, you can remove one end of the window clean out any moisture.  I view this as a real improvement over double paned glass, which if it gets moisture in there, you can't get at.  I would recommend opening the outside end on a very cold day (hopefully below 10 degrees F or -12 C).  The colder it is, the less water vapor the air can hold.  At about 10 degrees, there just isn't much water left (I think that's why snow flakes get smaller the colder it gets).  That way the air you introduce will be very dry.  Another alternative is to put some CO2 in it.  Rice could also work and if it starts to get moldy or something, pull it out and replace it.
4 months ago
I've heard an acopcryphal story about a guy who made long trips pretty often he rigged up an extension to his tail pipe that sat on his rear bumper (i envision a pick-em-up-truck).  The hot pipe would would slow cook his food, so after a few hours you had a hot meal.  I assume he insulated the cooking box.
5 months ago
When I was a kid we ate a lot of roadkill rabbit.  When a cottontail ran across the road my dad would try to go over it without hitting it with the tires (no wild swerving, but little turns).  Then we would stop and check it out.  If it was beat up too bad, we left it.  Often though the damage wasn't bad (rabbit got hit in the head) and we'ld take it home and eat it.  My mom usually would use it as flavoring, mixed with potatos, onions (make gravy, make a stew, pie, etc.).  

When I lived in Alaska, roadkill moose was seen as a huge windfall.  You called the troopers and got you name on the rotating list and they would call whoever was on the top of the list if a moose got hit.  If you answered and could come, it was your moose.  You were responsible for making sure the offal (guts, etc) didn't get left on the side of the road (it attracts bears).  There was a spot at the dump to take the waste.  In Anchorage area it was so popular that they restricted it to charities.  My church was on the list and I helped harvest a lot of moose.  Anyone who we knew was in need got meat.  Anyone who went out got meat.  The troopers kept a list of charities and a few times I had strangers call and come by for meat.  

When a moose was hit by a car, usually one quarter was bloodshot and ruined.  That still left 3/4 of a moose.  A couple of times we got called when a semi hit a moose and once when a train hit a moose.  In those cases, the moose died so quickly that there was no bruising, although some of the guts ended up in strange places, pretty much all the meat was salvageable.  Even the bloodshot quarter might be good for dogfood, although it won't keep that long.

I won't touch road kill that I don't know how long it's been lying there, but a fresh animal is nothing to turn your nose up at.
5 months ago