Tuesday, December 22, 2020
As the days of 2020 wind down, we are engaged in a couple projects.
Brandon and Bill returned last night from a trip to Nebraska to bring home a truck. We are updating our truck fleet by replacing the old 1990 Mack (Red Stripe) with a 2009 Kenworth. After we decided to upgrade that ’90 truck, Brandon found this on the Big Iron auction site, and he was the successful bidder. A bargain, we think. After getting all the payment and paperwork stuff lined out, they drove out to Nebraska Sunday, and returned with the truck yesterday. Took them about 11 hours to get back yesterday. It was a long trip, but it presented no problems. The new(ish) truck ran flawlessly and Brandon is excited to put his ‘touch’ on it. First up, will be to get the name and DOT number on the doors. Then, he has a few ‘accessories’ he wants to add.
The guys are also making progress on the project to rearrange the shop and toolshed. There is a new shelf system in the toolshed that will help make for more efficient use of the space. The shop has also been cleared of some clutter that makes for more usable space in there, too. Our shop is not luxuriously big, so any gain in space is very helpful! Another change coming to the shop is new bulk oil storage that utilizes a pump/meter system. That will replace a decades-old, homemade overhead barrel oil storage stand. The upgrades will be quite nice. It will simplify and speed oil changes in these newer machines that require many gallons of oil. No more climbing up multiple times with that 5-quart spouted container! Used oil will also be collected into a ‘tote’ instead of 55-gallon drums. Our used oil gets recycled.
We have been hearing a lot of news about the “Star of Bethlehem”. It was reported that this stellar phenomenon occurred last time about 800 years ago. So, we took the advice of the local TV station, and went out last night 45 minutes after sunset (6:17pm). Yes, we saw the bright dot of Jupiter and the little dot of Saturn very near it. Maybe it was clouds or maybe it was the position of the sun, but it disappeared before 9 pm. It is reported that this ‘convergence’ of planets will happen again in about 80 years. I’m glad I took the opportunity to see it this time!
This reminds me of the next sky event that will occur right here over our farm in Knox County, Indiana. A total eclipse of the sun will come on April 8, 2024. We have relatives in Florida that are aficionados of such things, and have requested to be here on that date!
Winter arrived yesterday, but the day’s weather brought us 55ºF (13C). Even though it was very windy, 32mph (51kph), it didn’t feel like a winter day with the bright blue and sunny skies. We are told that rain is coming tomorrow, and maybe even some snow by Thursday! Do we dare think we will have a “White Christmas”? It will certainly be cold… high temps on Friday in the 20s!
Have a Merry Christmas, everyone!