We have come to realize that we didn’t so much stain the deck the other day as painted it with stain. Even yesterday evening it was still tacky in some spots. We live and learn.
A blog reader said that we should have been wearing a respirator when using the spray gun, and after reading the blog, Terry’s mother sent a message asking why she wasn’t using a mask. The only excuse is that we overlooked it because we were busy trying to get the deck stained and were on a roll. We will definitely take precautions the next time around. However, as thick as the stain is on the deck right now, we’ve decided that we’re not going to do another coat at this time. We will touch up a few spots with a brush and let it go for a while and see how it looks.
As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, Travis came over to help finish piling dirt up in front of the shooting back stop. He’s just got a feel for the tractor and does a better job with the pallet forks or bucket than I do, so I just stood by and let him do all the work. Someone asked why we were using dirt in front of the railroad ties. It’s just an overabundance of caution. I expect the dirt will stop most bullets before they ever get to the ties, which means that hopefully, I won’t have to replace them for a long, long time. Besides, it gives my son and I a reason to play with the tractor and a chance to bond. That’s good enough for me.
Somebody else asked why I didn’t use old tires in front of the backstop. I know a lot of people do that, and they don’t realize how dangerous it can be. We found that out for ourselves years ago when shooting at a friend’s home range in Texas. Terry was shooting a .40 semi-automatic pistol, and one of her bullets hit a tire and ricocheted back and hit her in the thigh. While it had enough impact to drive the fabric of her jeans into the skin, the bullet itself did not penetrate her and we found it lying in the dirt at her feet. But if it would have come back higher, hitting her in the torso or head, it could have been tragic. You can read about that incident in this blog post.
It only took us a couple of hours to get all the dirt that we needed moved, and then Alli inspected the job. She’s in charge of quality control around here.
As you can see from the smile on her face, everything met her high standards and we’re good to go.
Now I just have to find the time to do some shooting.
Once we were done with that, Travis used the Husqvarna riding mower to mow the grass in the front and side yards, while I used the tractor’s mid-mount mower to open up a couple of the trails at the back end of the property that have become very overgrown. In doing so, I ran over an old log and got the tractor stuck. If I had been using the bush hog mower that attaches to the three-point hitch in the rear of the tractor it probably would not have happened, but the log wound up wedged between the front wheels and the frame of the mid-mount mower and I couldn’t get enough traction to do anything. A lot of people take their mid-mount mowers off when they’re not using them, but it’s such a hassle to attach and disconnect that I just leave it on all the time.
Since I was at the back of the property and Travis was up front, I called him on his cell phone and told him I needed help. He jumped in the Kawasaki Mule and came to see what we could figure out. The first thing we did was try to use a pry bar to move the log, but that wasn’t happening. So we scratched our heads and scratched our butts for a while, and then Travis came up with a solution.
He went and got my new Stihl chainsaw, which I haven’t even had a chance to use yet, and first cut the log up into sections and moved most of it out of the way. But the part I was hung up on still wasn’t budging, so then he used the saw to cut lengthwise wedges out of it. That reduced the overall diameter of the log and also weakened it enough that I could back up and it collapsed inward on itself. How did my son get so darn smart? I’d have never thought of that. What a guy! Thanks, Travis. Without your help I’d probably still be sitting out there!
And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. Asking a server to do things like this is why I can’t go to Denny’s anymore!
Thought For The Day – Please be patient, I’m screwing things up as fast as possible.