We’re optimistic that our well will be sunk before the deep snow piles up (see image, courtesy of Evolve Builders Group [Melanie Scott, designer]).
When TS & I move up to the peninsula, we expect to pay a lot for broadband internet service. Off-grid. Our property line is at least ~1000 m from the last utility pole. Link to CBC article.
From CBC-Hamilton. Link.
I am very aware that I earn a fantastic salary, posess excellent medical benefits, and a have a pension fund that can’t be beat.
I have the luxury of retiring in June. My CUPE colleagues — no.
My colleagues in CUPE (especially in caretaking, as a CYW, or performing EA duties) often do the same tasks as I do. Cleaning up labs? De-escalating students in crisis? Tutorials? Restorative justice? Classroom supervision? They’re in the thick of it — just like me.
CUPE education staff are also thrust into high-risk learning environments. The caretakers I know also have to clean up disgusting messes left by teenagers. Caretakers are on the stop-watch, and must complete their backbreaking labour during the odd hours of the day.
Ontario Federation of Labour. Educate yourself here (link).
CBC Ontario. When my peers do get some (measly) pay increase, it’ll be gobbled up by basic living expenses. Grocery bills. Educate yourself here (link).
TS returned from her knee surgery. Now. Now the rehab begins…
You are looking at my 2nd attempt at making a full-sphere image of our driveway at the build-site. My iDevice did its very best at knitting together images into an image bubble. Yes, PN is wearing red wooly socks in his Birkenstocks. TS is accepting of my fashion crimes.
PN & TS also cut away that risky blind-spot on the West side of the enterance (so that we can avoid the locals who bomb along that gravel road).
To my students & colleagues: don’t speed like a maniac down such roads. These speeders cannot stop in time. If they fish-tail and Tokyo-drift off the side of the road… there’s no way in hell they are getting their vehicle out. Trust me… several winters ago, I got my hoity-toity SNOWKAT (Toyota Tacoma) into the median. And it slowly slid off the embankment. Despite my 4WD, I had to get towed out by a neighbour who happened to drive by (and then THEY got stuck).
Oh, and if one were to injure oneself in a self-imposed MVA (motor vehicle accident), it will take the ambulance 1/2h to reach that victim… and another 1/2h to return to the nearest ICU (tiny hospital at Lions Head, somewhat bigger trauma centre at Wiarton, helicopter EVAC might be possible from that site [with the victim possibly footing the bill]).
…is a nice place to come back to after a day processing firewood.
I’m enjoying working with my junior technicians.
I’m looking forward to this contract year (as a high school science teacher). Would I rather be on the property clearing the build site? Would I rather be pulling out deadfall and Widowmakers on our 10Ha woodlot? Would I rather be maintaining the tractor/ATV trails with my Sthil saws & cutters? Would I rather be chipping branches for our soil operation? Would I rather be bucking & splitting logs for storage (for eventual sale or for fueling an outdoor oven or soaker tub)?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. And, yes.
…I’m still learning how to embed RSS feeds onto our site. I visit HOW TO GEEK and its daughter sites (essentially) daily. This week, there was an opinion article about how unpleasant it is to watch movies at stand-alone theatres (link). TS also enjoyed the article.
…after 2 weeks in the bush, it’s time to clean up our kit. Important culinary safety note = (Dairy Queen [Chicken Strips + Fries + medium-sized Blizzard with Skor bits]) + (Brunswick Smoked Sardines) + (Brunswick Tomato-Basil Sardines) + (PBJ-on-unsalted-crackers) = gastric woe until 01:00 EST. PN should really know better, eh.
…leads to a roughed-in build site! See the attached images, eh.
Revision: Ah. So THAT’S how one inserts images. Oy.
…well, hard. A grove of slow-growing oak, maple, and ironwood (yes, that’s a real Ontario tree [I’m using this tree atlas to identify my plants])… are challenging me. I thought I would be able to sharpen my saw’s chain every 3 days. Nope. The chain skates on the media! Daily sharpening. Daily!
I won’t be burning the straight, unblemished logs. They’re piled on a flat deck… single layer. I’ll be picking up a jig that I can attached to (a second?) saw so that I can try my hand at making lumber. To give away? To make tchotchkes? To turn on a lathe? Give TS and me your ideas, eh.
Additional information about trees? Visit this site: https://www.ontario.ca/page/tree-atlas
…hey! Back off. So we did. 4 hummingbirds found our forest feeder and are now having a turf war over the bloody thing.
Lumber update: I’m chopping straight lengths of oak & maple (~5-6’ blocks) so that I can dry them out and possibly mill them. It’s too nice to burn!
TS had her first black bear encounter this afternoon (at about 3 p.m.). I was splitting firewood up at the parking lot. TS was shredding branches (~150-200m away from me). While I was banging logs apart, I heard someone swear(?) and started blasting on our canned-air horn. A lot. I hopped on the ATV and tore on over. The stupid thing was watching TS on a nearby rock outcrop, staring down at TS. The bear took off. It was close to TS… perhaps 10-20m away.
She later said that she had this feeling that she was being watched. That there was something nearby snapping twigs. TS did EVERYTHING RIGHT and I am VERY PROUD OF HER. We both know people who would never set foot in the forest again after a close encounter with a black bear.
…that green branches and fresh leaves play holy hell with small chippers & shredders. I blocked up the mechanism 3 times before I walked away from it in disgust (TS is more savvy than me about the unit… I end up jamming branches and stuff into the hopper… and look like Wile E. Coyote on top of one of his spinning-blade ACME contraptions [sorry TS… do as I say, not as I do]). After de-energizing the system and pulling the hopper apart 3 times… I gave up.
We crawled back to MTC and are recovering from the grind. This is fun. Right? RIGHT?! Ow, sore.
…consider giving Mountain Trout Camp your business. Here’s a review link to help you decide whether MTC is a good fit for you or not.
In other current events, we’re collecting a lot of logs (for what…? Meh, no idea).
Check out this review of Mountain Trout Camp on Tripadvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/ShowUserReviews-g2242172-d2091211-r848239082-Mountain_Trout_Camp-Miller_Lake_Bruce_County_Ontario.html
TS & I were able to get back into the zone while clearing the build-site. Yesterday, TS was able to rough-out the new ATV trail from the build-site to her soil-operation. Me? I just smashed and crashed my way hither-and-dither using our Polaris! I strung a trail-line from our starting point to the soil-operation.
This morning, I was far more confident with my chainsaw and was able to safely bring down more trees (without huffing & puffing & tripping-stumbling). My Stihl’s MS261’s chain didn’t skip off the bar (as I’m properly tensioning it). Safe, sane, and productive work with a high-performance saw? Nailed it.
TS, the super-ant (AKA ‘The Mad Lopper’), has piled up a stack of branches that will be processed tomorrow. She’s also filling in the rock fissures (exposed after removing the juniper) with punky logs. Now that we are spending more time in the future back yard/garden, we can chip and shred deadfall and material in situ. I’m just not butch enough to haul the bush buggy over rocks & crevices to the soil-operation (despite using an ATV to haul it).
Today will be an indoor session at Mountain Trout Camp (MTC). I’m looking forward to finding out how MS’s wolf-pack enjoy the canine treats (test version 1 and 2). TS wanted to ensure MS received the perishable chocolate-peanut-butter-banana-upside-down cake (as it’s still in its pan). Our recently-purchased deep-cycle battery has been trickle-charging since yesterday evening (we’ll try installing the cellular booster kit tomorrow at the BCB&B build-site). With all this torrential rainfall, TS researched precipitation capture systems. Apparently, Evolve Builders has published some 2010 case-studies of their efforts (link)! One might wonder why we are concerned about water conservation here on the North Bruce Peninsula (as we are surrounded by Lake Huron & Southern Georgian Bay). We are witnessing extreme weather events here on the Bruce (due to climate change) and I want to mitigate its effects on our household. I want to change my consumption habits (and reduce my impact on our local water cycles). Based on my research of the region (here [link], here [link], and here [link]), the area’s also overdue for a major forest fire (and we need to prepare for that with wildfire-control [not avoidance] systems).
…to the bush. I’m optimistic we learned a few lessons from our last session. We’ll have to DIY our own bush-buggy-platform for the wood chipper. King City Trailers gave us good advice, had SOME stock, but couldn’t sell us a ready-made option. Still, I’d recommend them to you.
Meh… we’re planning on pushing another ATV trail around the buildsite so that we can easily move green-matter to the soil operation. SR told TS that we can grab our wheelbarrow from the school shipping container.