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Ranch Maintenance

Tractor Maintenance

by on May.09, 2018, under Ranch Maintenance

Last fall, I went to a tractor service and supply company and got some oil to change into the Ford tractor. After making the trip up to the Ranch, I found that the tools I brought with me were not able to get a good enough bite on the oil drain plug to remove it. I tried borrowing a different socket from our neighbor up the hill, but that one didn’t work, either.  So I ended up making a second trip a couple of weeks later, this time bringing my impact wrench and a good 6-sided socket.  That did the trick, and I was able to complete the work.

Here is the oil filter on the side of the tractor…

Oil Filter on the Ford 2000

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Screen Door Repair and Other Maintenance

by on Jan.18, 2017, under Insulation, Plumbing, Ranch Maintenance

Sometime last year, the mice or birds chewed a hole through the screen on our screen door.  We brought up some new screen and spline from Metroplex Windows & Glass to make a repairs.

We started by removing the screen door from the frame.  This involved adjusting the rollers on the bottom of the door for as little pressure as possible, the prying the door up and over the bumps which the rollers run on.  We set the screen onto our floor to work on it. We started by locating the end of the spline, and pulling it out of the channel to release the screen material. Replacing a door can be very complicated so it is much more easier to hire a Storefront Door Installation service for professional help, but if you are going to be doing repairs yourself, then make sure to stop by the hardware store to get the right tools and materials, like Flat washers to have a successful repair. 

Removing the spline

Removing the spline

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My New (Old) Tractor

by on Sep.01, 2016, under Ranch Maintenance

While visiting relatives in Arkansas this summer, My brother Roger offered a deal I couldn’t refuse on a 1973 Ford 2000 tractor.  This is a small tractor useful for light grading, pulling, chopping weeds, etc.  After returning to Arizona, I prepared my trailer for the long round trip to Arkansas and back, and set off to pick up my new prize.

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September 2014 Finishing Cleanup

by on Sep.25, 2014, under Ranch Maintenance

Between lingering New Year’s resolutions and impending Lenten restraint, it’s the season when many people are inspired to get healthy by refusing foods they normally delight in.

And increasingly, we’re seeing elimination diets that promise weight loss and a tantalizing bonus: detoxification.

“Cleansing diets” trade on this most alluring idea: By limiting our intake of food to a few superpure items, we can free up the body to get rid of all the gunk accumulated in our cells. Learn more about healthy supplements such as revitaa pro.

There’s only one problem with the idea of using food, or a lack thereof, to detox: Medical experts say it’s baloney. What’s most ironic about the detox myth, they say, is that the body is already quite capable of eliminating toxins – a gift from human evolution.

“The body has its own amazing detoxification systems: the liver and the kidneys,” says Ranit Mishori, a faculty member in family medicine at the Georgetown University School of Medicine who has reviewed the medical literature on colon cleanses. “Unless there’s a blockage in one of these organs that do it day and night, there’s absolutely no need to help the body get rid of toxins.” Learn more about exipure healthy benefits.

I happen to know a few people who recently embarked on the Clean Program, a 21-day diet created by Alejandro Junger — who was once called the “detox movement’s It Boy.” A cardiologist by training, the Uruguayan-born, Los Angeles-based Junger has managed to sell a lot of books (a best-seller titled Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself) and a lot of dietary supplements to people on his program.

One of Junger’s fundamental arguments is that our body is full of toxins we’ve picked up from food and the environment. These toxins slow us down and make us sick. As Junger recently tweeted, a “main cause of dysfunction in the body is the presence of obstacles [toxins] to the normal functioning of things.”

However, Junger writes, it is possible to get rid of them by giving our digestive system a break. That system is normally so busy breaking down irritating foods that it rarely has time to do the hard work of detox. In effect, Junger sees the average body on an average American diet akin to a dirty house that needs an occasional deep scrubbing.

His diet bans a laundry list of foods: dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, nightshade vegetables, soy and peanuts — all foods he calls irritants to good digestion. His website also actively encourages people to spend $425 on the Clean supplement package, which comes in vanilla or chocolate flavor.

After several years of promoting the Clean Program, Junger has hundreds of devotees who chatter on the Clean forum and elsewhere about feeling marvelous, and indeed cleaner after the program — like this writer from Outside. That group of believers includes such celebrities as Donna Karan and Gwyneth Paltrow, who recently launched her own $425 goop cleanse with Junger.

Despite its heavy restrictions, it’s not hard to see why Clean is compelling. Who doesn’t sometimes feel icky, or bloated, or displeased with his decision to wolf down a few too many cookies or french fries? And surely there’s a benefit to eating a lot more fruits and vegetables.

But will that change in diet really push out toxins?

“The body is constantly filtering the toxins in alcohol, food and medicines, not storing them,” Boston dietitian Maria Adams tells The Salt. “So they’re not going to build up. I think the reason people feel better on a cleanse is probably just they’re losing weight and are less bloated.”

It’s true there are plenty of very real toxins in the environment we could be exposed to: the ultrafine particulate matter we inhale from dirty air, asbestos from old homes, or heavy metals like lead or mercury. Unfortunately, there’s really no easy way to get these toxins out. Chelation therapy may work for some metals, but particulates in our lungs are probably there to stay, says Mishori. “A lot of these are irreversible,” she says.

So why, despite the science, does the idea of cleansing with food remain so powerful?

“We live in an era where there are daily assaults on our psyche and body, so cleansing may give you a false sense of getting the gunk out,” says Mishori. As for psychological gunk? Try a little exercise and nature, she says.

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Battery Maintenance

by on Aug.12, 2014, under Ranch Maintenance

While waiting for the scrap lumber to burn down, I did battery maintenance.

First, I let the solar panels charge until the charger went into float mode (about 1:00 pm that day).

Then I checked that the water level was above the plates of the battery (it was in all cells).  I had not filled the batteries since May, so I was concerned, but all was well.

I checked the initial voltage on each battery. They were all in the 6.53 – 6.55 range (I wrote them down, but didn’t capture the figures in the snapshot I took to bring back to town).

Next, I put the charger into equalize mode. I ran in that mode for about an hour, but for the last 15 minutes or so, it had clouded up, so wasn’t fully effective.  I’ll have to run another equalize charge next time we come up.

Finally, I let the system go back into float mode, and measured the voltages and specific gravity for each cell.  All were in the good range (1.265 is usually considered 100% charged).

Battery # After Equalization Float Voltage Cell 1 SG Cell 2 SG Cell 3 SG
1 6.55 1.265 1.265 1.265
2 6.54 1.265 1.265 1.265
3 6.56 1.265 1.265 1.265
4 6.56 1.265 1.265 1.265
5 6.52 1.265 1.260 1.260
6 6.56 1.260 1.265 1.265
7 6.56 1.260 1.265 1.260
8 6.53 1.260 1.260 1.260

 

Checking Specific Gravity.

Checking Specific Gravity.

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