Friday, December 30, 2011

More Obsessive Chronologicality.

And more makin' up words.

It might be 'bout time for the new year. But on this here 'bLog, it is just now gettin' on September.
We loaded up our two girls plus Betsy's sister Abby plus and a bunch of stuff for Betsy's sister Susan's wedding and headed off for Manhappenin'. Or as the kids are callin' it these days, The Hat(t) (Thanks, Twitter!)

We made sure to check out the MANHATTAN letters. A is for...

And we checked out the art museum, which is now twice as big.

And we all did some reading in the great room. Probably my favorite place on campus.

Then we went and visited big-shot-name-on-the-sign Susan at her office in Eisenhower.

And of course hanged out with the Madgwicks.

On Saturday morning Betsy put on her workout clothes "just in case someone makes [her] run up the hill a few times" and we headed out to the new team house for the K-State Rowing Alumni reunion.

Um, wow. No port-a-potties for the crew girls anymore.

Laura (Betsy's old roomie) came, but did not bring her hubby Dave (my old roomie). :(

They took out several boats.

And Betsy was able to tell Anna all about what the girls were doing.

Betsy decided not to go out on the water because as a Coxswain, she would be responsible for for the $45K boat out on the water and that seemed like a lot of unnecessary pressure for a vacation. I pointed out that the other circa-Betsy-era Cox was taking a boat out and then Betsy pointed out that the other circa-Betsy-era Cox is now a rowing coach. So then I stopped talking.

Not going out on the water gave her more Maggie hang out time anyways.

And more family picture time.

Anna and the new team house.

There were quite a few alumni rowers that made the trip.

And here is the group from Betsy's time. The original Varsity rowers. The few, the proud, the Hale girls.

And then, a special surprise. They sold anybody there old blades for a one-time-only super cheap price. Good thing we brought the truck! Seriously, this will look so cool hanging in our basement.

And then later we went to the Rowing Alumni barbeque in 'Cat town. Also much fun.
And then it was time for some football.

We had a blast training up the girls in the way they should go re:football.

Even if Katie didn't pay much attention.

Pre-game, and me with no cymbals.

I love this shot of Betsy and Anna.

At the end of the first quarter, they introduced the Alumni rowers on the field.

See Betsy?

Here's the video: (Nice save, Betsy!)

And then we watched the most boring game of football ever played.

Anna kept asking when they were going to score.  "Hopefully before the game ends, honey." One time when the team was huddled up she said "I think they are hatching a plan!"

Little did we know at the time what a gutsy, never-say-die, 10-2 regular season, Cotton Bowl bound team this was.

Final score 10-7 'Cats.

And there was much rejoicing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Even More August.

So Betsy and Anna headed off for another year of educational excellence at Plymell.

Leaving Katie and I (And Grammy and Papa, of course!) to fend for ourselves.

Over East, the rest of the milo decided to go ahead and emerge. "What is the yield potential of milo emerged August 5th?" You ask. "When is the first freeze going to be?" I answer. Given an average freeze in the neighborhood of Octobe 17th, I would say quite poor.  Given a warm fall with a late freeze in November, I might say 40% of normal. Of 'course, the real question is, What is the yield potential of milo emerging in <6 inches of soil moisture and zero subsoil moisture? And that is a silly question, indeed.

A better blogger than me might take this opportunity  to discuss compaction and its long term effects.  You can see the milo that didn't emerge earlier is all found right where the tractor tires run when I am making my first spray pass around the circle to the left.  If and when I ever upgrade to RTK autosteer, this right here is the reason I will do it. The ability to control traffic patterns would really pay off--once in a while.  While I'm fairly certain that this compaction is from spray passes and so could be redirected to occur only between the rows, all it would take is one pass by one full grain cart during a wet harvest and you can see the same kind of pattern emerge for years.  What really worries me here is the lack of cover this and other strips through the field will have next summer while it is being fallowed. And while I have found the appropriate pictures to show you what I am worried about happening on this particular spot in this particular field, I have also discovered that I am repeating myself. #blogfail. Again.

Anyhoo compaction is a problem any way you look at it, and the best solution for it, a hard,wet winter, is something that we just can't count on from year to year.

Speaking of compaction,I decided I had better get to work fixing the holes I dug at harvest. You have heard of spot-spraying, perhaps. This problem required some spot-tillage.
Step one, the track filler--usually reserved for sprinkler track maintenance.

Also there was a little seed wheat to transfer around.

Why yes, that IS the old Eminence schoolhouse.

I 'bout lost the smokestack on the way home.

We got a smidge.

Followed by a nubbin.

And here is a great visual on the power of residue cover.
If you look right in the center of the picture, you'll see the paths that the combine took last summer.

Here's a better look:

We've got a 30 foot header in the front taking in un-threshed crop and in a perfect world we would have a nice 30 foot distribution of straw and chaff out the back end. While the combo chaff/straw spreader on the 2188 is better than no chaff spreader at all, it still doesn't do a super great job at getting a nice wide spread. Especially in the Kansas wind.  The more residue you have, the less moisture you lose from the soil, and in this case it was the difference between life and death for those little milo plants.

And I finally made it to the bottom of my to-spray list.

Betsy and Abby helped me get some of my old-school spam into the mail for all of our seed customers.

Spot-tillage step 2: A little disk action.

Step 3: Ye olde ripper.

And finally, step 4: one more pass with the disk. Here's a nice view of where the leaking sprinkler sat during the month of June:

Katie hates peas!

Katie loves peas!

Katie learned to scoot!

Finally, it was time for the Tumbleweed Festival. The most wonderful weekend of the year.

I was a little late getting there on the first day though.

Every time the sprinkler makes a pass, it pushes mud out in front of it until it builds up a nice mound and misses the barrier.  Smarter folks than me would simply remember to dig it out every couple of weeks.  Usually you can just hit reverse and it will pull away just fine, but this doesn't work when it has twisted a drive shaft off.

NOW we can go to Tumbleweed!

Good times.

Now, fix my truck, Dad! Please?