Entries to Win Afghan

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Vocabulary Day- Feb 2013

vocabulary day

There have been fewer new words this month. I haven't read a book set in any exotic location, and that helps. Take some guesses, or show me up, whichever! These are words that are either brand new to me or rediscovered (my personal rule is that if I can't define it, I have to look it up).

I'm currently reading Bridge of Sighs which I think might endure to become the best book of 2013.

You missed the free story if you didn't get on the email list at Mail Chimp, but who knows what I'll give away next, so you might want to join.

1. fichu
a. a fish sneeze
b. a neckerchief
c. a type of knitting
d. a Chinese time period

2. chorine
a. a greenish gas
b. a prostitute
c. a chorus line dancer
d. a yellow mineral

3. vaporetto
a. a type of cigarette
b. a coffee drink
c. a a tea kettle
d. a public water bus

4. simoon
a. a hot dry wind
b. an ape
c. a type of sailboat
d. a half moon

5. skirred
a. gathered
b. traveled rapidly
c. edged
d. corrugated

See Vocabulary Day- Jan 2013
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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Noses In or Not?

I took these pictures last week, but I really like them, so wanted to share.

They are at the Pentwater Snug Harbor Marina. I can't decide whether I like the noses in the picture:

Pentwater marina

Or not:

Pentwater marina

What do you think?

See Cold But Lonely
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Carr Creek

Out and about doing assignments today. The best picture was one I didn't get. I needed to get to an appointment on time, and didn't take time to stop. Sigh.

However, I bring you a clear and cold stream called Carr Creek. Just pretty pictures.

Carr Creek

Carr Creek

Carr Creek

Another big storm heading toward us, but the worst of this one should hit south of us. Watch out Lin!

See Pere Marquette River
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Glazed Tile Silo

I love old barns, but so many of them are falling down. It's sad. Every farm had one or two silos. One of the types of silo that was commonly built in the 1920s and 1930s was made of glazed tile.

glazed tile silo

The whole point of this type of silo was/is to contain corn or grain in a semi-fermented state. The round shape prevents air pockets from being trapped in corners, and a number of different materials have been used to build them. Once the silo is filled, the contents begin to ferment and use up the remaining air. The silage can then be maintained at the same state, ready to feed to livestock.

Maybe I'll start a series on types of silos. In any case, the glazed tile ones are very attractive.

glazed tile silo

The tiles are what's called salt glazed. Salt is placed in the kiln during firing, and the salt vapor reacts with the silicone in the clay. This creates the sheen and the rich brown colors. The hard glaze makes the walls impervious to air and moisture. The blocks were generally hollow allowing them to expand and contract with temperature changes.

I thought I was going to show you a picture of a farm in good condition with two beautiful tile silos, but I can't find it, so perhaps some time in the future.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Step 7 and Some Perks

We've worked on Step 7 of the Freezer Project in little pieces all week, but it appears that the entire thing is DONE. The final part of Step 7 was putting the recycle tubs back in place, which I did this afternoon. Along the way there was a lot of cleaning (not everything... but everything that had been moved). That includes a good cleaning of the dehydrator. Much overdue, and it took a while.

Now for a couple of perks of the new freezer. Just as a reminder, here it is again.


It's currently fuller than in this picture because, this week, the refrigerator decided to develop a problem. Thankfully, it can be fixed, but while the part is being ordered all the small freezer stuff is also crammed in the new chest freezer.

Today, when I want to the pantry to get something from the new freezer, I realized two wonderful things about the new one.

#1- It has a light. I knew that, but hadn't thought about the fact that I won't have to turn on the room light to get something from the freezer. Nice.

#2- I never thought about this perk at all until... When I opened the lid I automatically leaned forward to rest the lid against the top of my head to hold it open. Wait! I don't have to do that any more. This lid stays open by itself. Nicer! That old lid was so heavy it could give you a headache. And the stick we kept handy to hold it open for longer searches in the depths had a nasty habit of popping out and dropping the lid on the searcher.

See Saying Goodbye to the Crosley Custom
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Church Dinner

Tonight was a dinner at church to thank volunteers and staff. It was catered and was very nice. I'm on my way to bed.

fancy dinner

photo label

See Inside the Magic Kingdom
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Thursday, February 21, 2013

On the Way Home (With Qualifiers)

My program this morning went really well. The group, although not hikers, were really engaged and asked a ton of questions. And several of them bought books. Hooray! (North Country Cache)

I was on my way home shortly after noon. Here's a view of the Lakeview Hotel in the daylight. Supposedly we actually had a lake view from our room. Did I remember to look for it in the light? No. All I can tell you is that you can not see the lake in the dark.

Shanty Creek

The weather was much better today. The roads were pretty clear and the sun shining, so I drove home by my less-main-route that I like better. One town on the way is Manton. Here there is a mural on a wall beside the railroad tracks. The tracks were originally the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad. Then it was bought by Penn Central. They sold this section and it became the Tuscola and Saginaw Bay RR. Currently it's part of the Great Lakes Central line, a passenger service with a number of short sections of line. As for the picture... there was no label and I couldn't find out anything about it on line.

Manton Michigan Railroad Picture

The last sight to share is a Michigan fieldstone house. Michigan doesn't have limestone or sandstone which can be cut into blocks. Michigan doesn't have shale which breaks naturally into rough rectangles. Michigan's Lower Peninsula doesn't have any rock near the surface. The bedrock is safely hidden many feet under lots of sand, and when you get to it, it's basalt. However, the LP does have rocks, plural. These are rounded rocks, dragged, scraped, rolled and dropped by the last glaciation. They don't stack well. But if you have some sort of mortar and a lot of patience, you can build a house. Actually, this looks like it was originally a school.

fieldstone house

Tomorrow- work at the paper again.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I am spending the night at one of the most luxurious resorts in Michigan's LP, Shanty Creek. I am giving a program at the Professional Surveyor's Conference in the morning. Actually, this may be the earliest I've ever given a program. I should be awake by 9:30, but it's not my best time of day!

I got here a little after 8 pm. Here's the entrance to the Lakeview Hotel.

Shanty Creek

I was met by the woman who booked the program. I'm sharing this nice room with her.

Shanty Creek

I pigged out on a Cinnamon Brown Sugar Pop Tart from the vending machine (there wasn't anything healthy, so I just picked one I really like), reviewed my program so I won't mess up (I hope), and now I'm just chillin'!

See Augusta Rose
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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blizzard Swirls

I was out doing assignments today in the worst storm we've had yet this year. It was beautiful! But I didn't seem to want to stand outside taking pictures too long, for some reason. I just captured some snow patterns made by the wind and played with them a bit.

snow texture

snow texture

See My World is Blue
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Monday, February 18, 2013

Where Do You Want to Go?

No spectacular photo today. No rare bird or interesting plant. Just some rows of corn stubble in the snow. But don't they look like paths? They just make me want to pick one and follow it wherever it goes. Does it only go to the end of the field or somewhere else? What if?

corn row stubble

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Red Shouldered Hawk

My bird guru, Dave, says this is definitely a red-shouldered hawk. I was sure it was not my red-tail, with that banded breast. Dave says this is the only hawk in the northeast US with a red breast and black wings. He also said it's a little unusual for them to stay over the winter, and the migrating ones don't get here till March.

red shouldered hawk
It was sitting in the aspen trees, very close to our house. I've never seen my red-tail come that close, so I was suspicious, but couldn't see any details of the markings until I looked at the pictures on the computer.

red shouldered hawk
It quickly spotted me and my camera and took off. I caught one lousy picture of it taking off, but it does show the underside of the spread tail.

red shouldered hawk

I'm really pleased, because I might be able to recognize this one from now on.

See Immature Red-Tail Hawk See Red-Tailed Hawk It Is
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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Lake Effect

We got genuine lake effect snow today, and right at the lake the total was 14-16 inches. Probably a foot at our house. I had to go out and do some assignments.

This picture is not the highway, but it's not really a back road either.

snowy road

I actually think this picture gives you the best idea!

snow plow

See Snow on Big Sable Headwaters
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Friday, February 15, 2013

Strapping the Newspapers

The last mechanical step in the newspaper stuffing line is where a plastic strap is sealed around a bundle of papers. After the papers leave the stacker, they travel along a conveyor where one or two people check the piles for correct numbers. Sometimes they come out of the stacker fine, and sometimes they are a mess and have to be checked.

At the left of the picture, notice the frame that has a clear bar with yellow edges above it.

newspaper strapper

You can either let the papers go along the conveyor, or manually put the stack under the frame. Then the clear bar comes down like a guillotine (see the yellow caution stripe at the bottom of it?). That holds the papers and the plastic strap snaps down around the papers and is sealed.

newspaper strapper

Then the bundles go in tubs to await the carriers to come pick them up.

Today was pretty good. I didn't get reprimanded very much at all. I got to do a couple of slightly more responsible things. We were shorthanded in the afternoon, so we had to really hustle. I actually like that better than waiting around.

See Why This Job is Good for Me
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