Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday the Thir.....oof!

We don't tend to be superstitious, but after the start we had today, I'm beginning to wonder.  It's not that anything particularly bad has happened, these are all surmountable issues.  And, it's not that I'm looking for sympathy, all of these events are things that happen on and off with the farm.  It's just the way it is.  But, it can be strange how these things tend to happen all at once.  And, I didn't know that this was the 13th *AND* Friday until I wrote down the work plan for today (last night). 

My first thought was - "All right!  Dad's lucky day!"
My second thought was - "Is Dad's lucky day, my lucky day?"

To set the tone, allow me to sum up yesterday:
I've been fighting a head cold, which means less sleep and less energy.  But, things still have to get done on the farm.  And, part of that something is reorganizing everything from "Winter" mode to "Rest of the Year" mode.  That implies alot of lifting and energy used.  We got alot of it done, but a few things just didn't get done.... yesterday was worth a blog post.  Maybe later.  Also, we picked up hen chicks.  Our chick area in the Poultry Pavilion is not ready, so we had to work up an area in the garage. 

Last night's plan for today:
I made two plans.  One in case it rained over night and one in case it held off.  Rain meant spending the day on farm paperwork, taxes, grants, etc.  If there was some time prior to rain, the plan called for some work on the tractor and maybe a little tilling/planting just prior to the rain.
What did the weather do?
It didn't rain overnight, but as soon as the sun started to come up, the wind began to howl.  As we started to do some things outside, it began to rain sideways.  So, it looks like we finish chores and necessary things I do office work.

What ACTUALLY happened?

The wind this morning wasn't "hold onto your hat" strong, it was "hold onto your head" strong.  First issue - several trays of onions blew off their cart.  Result, we lost a number of onion plants.  Of course, these were some of our oldest ones (closest to transplant).  Oh well, these things happen.  We picked up the pieces and got the rest off of the cart and onto the ground.  This was one of the things we meant to do yesterday, but figured they were fine where they were.  After all, they'd been fine for a week or two on that cart.

Issue #2 - the door that would not stay closed.

The chicks are in the garage, right?  Well, the wind and cold was coming from the East-Southeast.  The doors on the garage both face east.  Chicks are sensitive to breezes and cold, so we didn't want to open the overhead door any more than we had to.  So, we used the service door.  It decides to not latch properly anymore AS OF TODAY.  So, the wind had a great time "re-opening" the door for us.

The call that made us wonder if we could hit the restart button.

We decided to go into Tripoli and check the PO box and just take a moment to set ourselves for the rest of the day.  On the way in, I answered my cell.  It was the Waterloo post office telling me they had MY chicks.  My WHAT?

Schedule as we knew it?
April 12 - Hen chicks
April 20 - Broiler chicks
May 31 - Ducklings
and turkeys in there somewhere too.

Remember the part about not having an area ready for the hens in the Poultry Pavilion?  Well, if you didn't, you do now.  This means we have to move a bunch of things out of the garage that were slated to be moved - but maybe not right at this moment.

The NEW work plan for the day...
Prepare for 250 (or so) broiler chicks to arrive. 

More About Doors
A good gust of wind today was strong enough to make me wonder if I could get knocked over if I also happened to be a bit off balance.  So, if the wind was that strong, imagine what it was like trying to open and hold a door that opens INTO the wind.  Now, imagine opening that door when you have a heavy bag that requires both hands to hold them. 

On the Bright Side
We know some physics profs who could use the door opening problem as a neat exercise for their students to figure out the force exerted when wind hits the surface area of a standard size door that is angled to be perpendicular to the wind direction.
We don't have to go driving to the Waterloo post office next week to pick up broiler chicks.
We'll get on the ball and start the late batch of onions sooner rather than later.
We'll be encouraged to replace a door we meant to replace anyway.
We moved a whole bunch of stuff that needed moving anyway.
ALL of the chicks appear to be in good shape so far.
I have a super cool spouse with whom I enjoy spending my time - even when things don't go as planned.

Friday the 13th IS my lucky day.


  1. The force exerted when wind hits the surface area of a standard size door... when it's angled to be perpendicular to the wind direction... will be maximal. :) But it sounds like you've already confirmed that.

  2. Experimental conditions were optimal for highly visible effect.
    New question - if wind speed is 40 mph from the SE and the door is on the east side of a wall swinging to the south. At what angle from the fully closed position does the farmer get stuck between the door and the door frame with his 50# bag of dirt?


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