Today Kicked My Ass

The following post has somewhat graphic language regarding the slaughter of animals raised for meat.  The squeamish might want to skip the middle part.  Fuck that.  Y’all know me.  Any squeamish were ran off long ago.

The only thing that doesn’t suck about getting old is the fact that it beats the alternative.

My “today” started last night around 2200.  Roomie wanted to watch the new episode of Burn Notice before she went to bed, so I fired up the PC that is connected to the TV and audio system in the living room, and logged on to hulu.  It was a decent episode, or at least it was until the PC shut down with about ten minutes left.

I rebooted, and tried again.  Before I got to where we left off, it shut down again.  Well, hell.  At first, I thought I had a heat problem, but I checked and all three case fans were fully operational, along with the CPU cooler fan.  Plus, the case was cool to the touch.  It would appear that the motherboard is tired, and has put in for retirement.  I hate to lose this computer.  It’s six years old, but it was the shit when it was new – AMD FX-55 CPU.  It’s dated, but still competitive with current lower end machines.  It’s a single core, running at 2.6GHZ.  Newegg has a Sempron version that runs the same speed, but with less cache.  Granted, it is only $30, and I paid $199, but my point is that it is not yet an antique despite its advanced age.

The problem is that nobody makes 939 socket motherboards, and the motherboard is the problem.  A new motherboard means a new processor and new memory, since nothing but the power supply and optical drive are compatible with what is coming off the line these days.  Hell, the hard drive will need to be replaced, too.  It’s IDE, and few new boards have IDE any more, just SATA.

Anyway, we finished watching the episode on the computer in my office, and Roomie went off to bed for a quick nap before her 0500 shift start time.  I went through and scheduled my bill payments for the month, and then proceeded to waste about an hour wandering the interwebs.

As soon as Roomie left for work, I set up in the garage for rabbit slaughtering.  I say this every time, but God I hate that part.  I only had four to do.  They were still small, weighing in between two and two and a half pounds each, dressed weight.  Despite their diminutive size, I should have done them two or three weeks ago, though.  I had all four together in the same cage from the time they were weaned until I noticed fur everywhere one day a couple weeks ago.  I easily identified the one that was getting its ass kicked and moved it to one of the spare cages.  Then, last week, I had a repeat, and had to pull another one out and put it in my last empty cage.

They were thirteen weeks old as of yesterday, and it is recommended to butcher them at ten to twelve weeks.  However, since I do not have purebred parents, the kits tend to be slow to put on weight. Unfortunately, giving them a few extra weeks to put on weight also gives them time to get all territorial and aggressive and shit.

An hour and a half later, all four were in my freezer.  It took another half an hour to clean up.  Note to self:  When being too tentative with the first dispatch, making for a slower kill than desired, don’t overcompensate and yank the next one’s head clean off, causing blood to spray everywhere.

After I got done with the rabbits, I went outside to cut the grass.  Normally, I will do the front and sides one day, and the back on a different day.  Today, I wanted to get all the big stuff done, so I can fuck off completely enjoy my second night off tonight.  It was already hot, and it wasn’t even 0800 yet.

I did the front and sides with the reel mower, like always.  Then I did the trimming and edging, and moved on to the back, where I used the gasoline push mower.  Before I got started, I moved the three now-empty cages back to the rear part of the back yard, and covered them with the camo netting that I used as shade last year.  It’s brittle and falling apart, but it is still serviceable enough to make them less noticeable than if they were just sitting there uncovered.  Maybe the HOA Cunt™ will ignore them, at least for a while.  Speaking of whom, she never did follow up on the letter she sent back in April about the rabbit cages.

It took until about 1030 to get all the grass taken care of.  I manually watered my potted habanero pepper plants, which are looking quite pitiful.  They haven’t grown hardly at all since I got them two months ago, and they have lost quite a few leaves.  If I didn’t know that they were a tropical plant, I would think that they are reacting negatively to the sun/heat.  Since they are native to the Caribbean, which is certainly hotter than here and every bit as sunny, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with them.

I’m sucking this year.  Nothing wants to grow inside.  The tomato plants that I started from seed had a 90% failure rate.  The cilantro that started so well started yellowing, just like the tomato plants did, so I put it outside, thinking it may do better there.  Wrong.

Most of the other stuff that I put outside seems to have recovered.  The directly seeded stuff is doing well.  We’re already swimming in cucumbers.  In fact, Roomie took about a dozen to work with her this morning and gave them away.  She’s also getting tired of zucchini already.

The Celebrity tomatoes are a lot bushier than I expected.  I planted them too close together, and too close to the jalapeños, so they are choking each other and fighting for space.  If I like them enough to get them again next year, I’ll do better at spacing things.  There are small tomatoes, and some small jalapeños already, but it’s going to be a while longer before either is ready to harvest. The other tomato varieties are blooming, but no fruit yet.

I’m having a hell of a time with Japanese beetles this year.  They are bad every year, but usually the traps control them to a large degree.  Not this year.  The trap stays full (I changed the bag again this morning) but they are still destroying the strawberries, and giving everything else hell that isn’t covered with sevin dust.  I can’t dust the strawberries since they are currently producing ripe fruit.  Roomie spends about thirty minutes per day peeling them off her precious strawberries before she harvests the ripe berries.

The last radish crop until the weather cools off is ready, and I had planned to harvest them this morning.  It was pushing 90 by the time I got done with the grass, and I was tired, sweaty, and sore.  It won’t kill the radishes to leave them for one more day.

The onions, shallots and garlic tops have all started to die.  I’m surprised, since I was expecting them to grow a while longer, but they are all good size.  The onions are the cheap white ones from WalMart that come packed eighty bulbs to a bag for three bucks or so.  They did OK last year, but didn’t get as big as I expected.  So, I bought more this year – four bags total.  Wouldn’t you know it, they did great.  We’re going to be up to our ears in onions well into the winter, or for as long as we can store them before they go bad.

After the mowers were put away and the garden assessment complete, I came in, took a shower, ate a little, and have alternated between writing this and reading blogs ever since.  It is now time for me to take my sore ass to bed.  Hopefully, I’ll be ale to sleep without getting back up to take some Aleve.  Yes, I know.  I’m a wimp.  You may kiss my ass.

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2 Responses to Today Kicked My Ass

  1. Garand Gal says:

    Sounds like you had a productive day!
    If I may inquire, how large of an area do 320 onion sets need, and what kind of garlic did you plant? I’ve had craptastic luck with alliums.
    Our local extension/master gardeners thing advise us to apply beneficial nematodes (I think guardian is the name brand they recommended) and milky spores for Japanese Beetles. The nematodes have a more immediate effect as the milky spores need to…breed? grow? multiply somehow in the soil before they reach maximum effect and that can take two or three summers. I haven’t really had an issue with them since one of my dogs developed a taste for the grubs.
    Are you going to repair or replace the computer? Replacing is probably easiest, but repairing is more entertaining in a pain in the butt kind of way.

    • alaskan454 says:

      I guess it was productive. I feel good about what I got done, even though a few tasks spilled over into today. The muscle soreness is already pretty much gone, so that’s a good thing.

      I crowded the onions, expecting lackluster performance, putting them roughly four inches apart, with rows approximately the same distance apart. They took up one entire 4′ x 8′ raised bed, with a little spillover into the adjacent bed.

      The garlic is what Burpee calls Extra Select – I bought directly from them this year. Half a pound separated into probably twenty-five to thirty individual cloves, all of which seemed to take off well. I haven’t dug any of those out yet, though, so don’t take that as gospel.

      Thank you very much for your recommendations for Japanese beetles. Their season is more than half over at this point, and most of the damage is already done for this year. If I can find any, I’ll try some Guardian, and I’ll definitely try to get the milky spores going for future years.

      Cool dog, by the way. Very useful, for sure.

      I haven’t bought a pre-built computer (laptops excluded) for many, many years. I like the satisfaction of building my own, plus the ability to decide exactly where I want to invest, and where I can be frugal. For example, I like lots of RAM and at least a mid-level CPU. To get that in a pre-built system, even from a company that allows some level of customization, I’d end up with a gamer video card that would never see use of 10% of its performance ability, but that would run the price up at least a hundred bucks.

      For this application, a bottom end combo CPU/motherboard combo with onboard video and 2GB of RAM and the cheapest available hard drive would be more than enough. I’ll probably just pull the one down from upstairs at the treadmill. I bought it so that I could watch videos while doing something other than sitting on my fat ass, but it only gets turned on maybe twice a month this time of year.

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