Saturday, July 21, 2012

Adapt, Improvise and Overcome

One thing you can always count on around a dog mushing kennel is that NOTHING will ever go quite as planned. 

Well, almost nothing.  Yesterday everything pretty much went as planned.  I got my errands finished, got my BATF compliance inspection completed, and all that sort of thing.  Meanwhile, I was also notified that an "angry" grizzly bear sow has been seen in the neighborhood.  I helped get the word out to my neighbors to keep eyes open, try to give her as much space as possible, and so forth.  While working outside I've been wearing a high caliber, center fire pistol on my hip just to be on the safe side.

My friend Trish brought her two pet dogs over for me to 'babysit' while she is working.  She has a very busy weekend and 2 more dogs really isn't a big deal around here, usually.  Last night I put Maggie and Shadow into the isolation pen along the east side of the yard.  Then Trish and I were talking with Jeff when both dogs came dashing past, off to play run amok in the front yard, harass the chickens, dash in and out of the woods and so forth.  I went to the pen and found the gate still closed and latched, and no signs of an escape tunnel.

They apparently climbed the fence.  I'm not surprised that Maggie could do that as she is in excellent physical condition, but Shadow is very overweight, so I'm rather amazed that she was able to duplicate the younger the more athletic dog's effort.  I put them out on posts and hadn't been away from the yard more than 5 minutes when I heard all of the dogs "going off".  I grabbed a shotgun to check things out, and it seems that young Capella had watched the other dogs make their escape, and decided she could do the same thing.  I ended up putting her in a different pen that I've already covered with wire fencing to prevent such airborne antics.  I was starting to think my dogs were turning into monkeys.

Today's goal was to get the site for the new pole barn prepared, and get posts cut to length and ready to plant.  While working on the site I realized there is more of a grade in that location than I had previously understood, so I drove up to Pleasant Valley Equipment to rent a laser level to see just how much grade there is.  Between the highest spot and lowest spot there is a 17 1/2 inch difference in elevation, so it proved to be a good investment.  It's important to me that the roof line be level and the pitch accurate.  I only want to have to build this thing once in my lifetime.

Surveying the locations for the posts was very basic stuff.  I picked the location for the first post and used a tape measure and high quality magnetic compass to lay out the rest of the site, then double checked by measuring the diagonal between corners.  It took a couple of tries to get everything just right, but everything is indeed just right.

Next was cutting the abandoned utility poles I plan to use as corner posts to length, and that's when things started going not quite as planned.  How hard can it be to make a cut through 12 inches of wood with a chain saw?  HOLY COW.  I've NEVER had so much difficulty cutting rounds with a chain saw before.  I had to resharpen the chain several times just to get four posts cut to length. 

That's not the worse of it.  I mounted the auger on the tractor, drilled out the first hole, grabbed shovels and a manual post hole digger to clean and clear and widen - and it turns out I'm not able to dig the four-foot deep holes I had planned on.  Consequently, all of that work with the chain saw needs to be duplicated to get these damned things the proper height. 

I'm probably going to leave this first one extra tall, and perhaps mount a yard light on it for some extra illumination in the kennel.  All of the others are going to require more chain saw work, though.  Not tonight, though.  I've had enough of this stuff for one day.  I'll deal with it tomorrow instead.

The site for the pole shed surveyed, and first post set into place.

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