Francis Mallet

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since Mar 29, 2017
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books chicken trees woodworking
acadian peninsula, New Brunswick, Canada
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Recent posts by Francis Mallet

Dale Hodgins wrote:
I don't know any Mafia Bosses, but on TV they often hang out at nice restaurant. I suppose I could sneak in and give him a good kick in the nuts.

Got a 100% genuine LOL from this :)
I've been wanting to share this for a while. It's called an "hypsomètre" in French but the English translation, hypsometer, isn't exactly the same tool (although they both do the same thing).
It uses the properties of similar triangles to measure the height of structures.

Mine is 28 inches long, the same distance from my eye to my fist. You can make the stick any length but matching it to your own size will simplify things (in this case a = b which means that a / b = 1).

To use: hold the stick vertically at arms length and move until it covers the whole object you want to measure. Mark the spot where you stand and count how many stick lengths between that spot and the object. If the stick is adjusted to your size then that distance is the object's height.

Here's an illustration that might help: Mesurer un arbre (ou autre élément vertical)

1 month ago
My job is to fix robots that took jobs from people. While I understand that it sucks for those who lost their livelihood I can't see how things could be different.  Why would I insist that we make nails by hand while we can build a machine that does it better and faster?

"so what are us serfs going to do now?"
It doesn't have to be exploitative. If nobody is going to build anything sensible then I'll build my own.
1 month ago
What I find ironic is that these people design such complex robotic systems and yet they have an incredibly naive view of the biological systems they want to control. Always more of the same...
2 months ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:But all the machines would really have to do is formulate a general pesticide, and spray the whole planet with it. This would eliminate biological life and there would be no need to shoot us. This scenario wouldn't have made much of a movie.

There's an even simpler method to achieve this and everything is already in place. Information could simply be manipulated in such a way to create conflict and let the Humans do all the work. We are perfectly capable of annihilating ourselves (history shows it). Machines are about efficiency.

Also, AI is not programmed to do any given task, it's programmed to learn. There is nothing in biology that isn't mechanical at it's root.
2 months ago

The dimensional lumber plan seems way overkill. For me anyway. I like my stuff to be as simple as possible.

I built mine using the roundwood plan. I did change some things to make do with what I had on hand.  It has only three legs.
My yoke is round and is lacking a notch, this will cause your work to shift around sometimes and that can be frustrating. I should change this but I'm lazy and it is still very usable. I really enjoy using my drawknife on that horse.

I used rope as an hinge and I use various blocks to get the right angle for the support. There is no metal hardware on it simply because I didn't have any.

If I was to make another I'd use something like this design:

This is from "Le Village Acadien", a tourist attraction of the region. I think they used this design to make shingles.

This is the part that I like from the design, there is no treadle frame. The fixed angle for the support is limiting but this should be easy to fix.

A detail of the leg joints.

If you end up building one, I'd like to see it.
3 months ago
So many cans! We rarely use canned goods so it's been a challenge to get my hands on some for my own ideas.

I made a bunch of decorative papers for a bookbinding project and now I had to find a use for all that extra paper.
They make nice gifts.
3 months ago
I don't have much experience with corn. I'm in zone 3b/4a but I wonder if Canadian and US zones are similar?
Last avg. frost on May 19, first avg. frost September 26. Vegetable gardens are usually planted on the 15th of June.
Wet and cold Springs, dry short Summers, cool and wet Falls.

I chose Ashworth's Rat Selected from Hope Seeds. It's said to be 65-75 days.

I removed the top soil, loosened with my broadfork and added maybe 3 inches of marine compost. I was running out so that was thinner than planned.
I sowed on June 22, saw sprouts on the 27th (five days) and harvested on September 10 so 80 days if I'm not mistaken.

Cobs were small but very good!
Here is a close-up of the pipe strapping I was talking about. It's just wrapped around the beam and nailed. Nothing else holds the beam in place other than friction. I was worried about this but it's been holding up nicely.

As you can see, 2019 has brought lots of snow.

If the moose head didn't give you a sense of scale then maybe the shovel will. Even if the roof holds up it's still a good idea to remove the snow because the weight will push the posts into the ground when Spring makes everything soft and wet.

I'm satisfied with this build, solid enough and keeps most of the snow out. I'd like to find tarps that don't use plastic as an upgrade and it would be perfect.
3 months ago
This is a funny thread. I just had a day off because of the weather. We can get snow as early as October and it usually stays until mid-April. That's 7 months! It's hard for me to imagine being new to winter.

The outside world becomes a freezer so take care of your containers or they might break. Some plastics become brittle in the cold.

It takes a long time for warm water to freeze over. I gave warm water to my chickens, I don't know if it's good or bad for them but I figured warm is better than none. We like hot beverages after a day outside in the cold maybe it's the same with chickens?

Don't lick metal that's been outside. If you do, send me a picture :)
Don't grab metal that's been outside with wet hands.

There was mention of cat litter if you get stuck with your car. Ashes also works.
If you get stuck don't put the pedal to the floor to try to get out. Alternate gently between drive and reverse and use momentum. Don't know how to explain this.

On the road sudden changes will get you in the ditch, or worse. I like to test the roads before I get out. I get to a moderate speed and slam the brakes and see how the car reacts. Same with acceleration.

I've never used chains but can't live without studs.

Driving a rear-wheel drive on slippery roads is an art!

In a front-wheeler if you need to turn quickly then don't accelerate. If you lose traction you'll go straight.

If you take to the roads during bad weather take warm clothes with you. Bring a shovel if there is room. There is a story about a foreigner that got stuck on the plains during a storm. He was dressed in city clothes and had to walk to the nearest house. He lost all his toes.

Get some sunglasses, a bright sun on fresh snow is hard on the eyes.

I like snow but normal people complain about it all the time.  There's all kinds of snow, fluffy, sticky, crusty, grainy. They all shovel differently. Plastic shovels work best for light snow. Metal shovels work best for heavy or crusty snow.

There was also mention of greasing a shovel. I use furniture wax. There is nothing more frustrating than shoveling snow that sticks to your shovel. I only use wax on my aluminum shovel and for sticky snow only. Waxing that shovel for fluffy snow makes it useless as the snow just slips off before I can throw it.

Use your knee as a fulcrum when throwing heavy snow. This is difficult to explain, you pivot the handle on your knee to start the swing. Be attentive to your body, especially your back.

For large areas get a snow scoop and make ramps instead of piles.  Remember that all that snow will turn to water.

Stay dry. Don't let yourself sweat. If you're wet you'll get cold. Unless you wear wool I suppose.

Packed snow turns to ice and takes longer to melt. If you make thick trails they will still be there when all the rest has melted away. That's especially important for dirt driveways. You will get ruts and erosion.

Fun :)

4 months ago