Chicken Talk

Posted by Dell on 07/18/2019

I was watching a commercial for a chicken farm, a popular
brand of chicken we have all probably eaten (Unless you do not partake of meat
then please excuse me). They called it a safe 
and clean place for the chickens. Yes, the announcer said, ‘We maintain
a safe and clean environment for our birds.’ I thought What! I was amazed
because, after all, the chickens end up being slaughtered. So I wonder if anyone
besides me has thought, how is that safe? Safe up until the time we kill them?
Do they give a warning first?


Of course when they go inside the provided hutches as any
good chicken would do they are snatched up and killed. Poor chickens. Anyway,
I’m pretty sure that the chickens are not safe, maybe clean, maybe they have
public showers for the chickens, but safe? I guarantee the chickens don’t think

Reduced prices in the grocery store. I realized the other day
that I have a severe thinking disorder. I was at the store and I saw a box of
doughnuts marked REDUCED. Probably day old or something, or even week old for
all I know. But I realized as I looked at the box that somehow in my brain I
translated REDUCED as REDUCED FAT. So I grabbed it and threw it in the
cart, all the while my brain is saying Yippee! (Or something like that,
maybe a little more appropriately manly) Fat free! or Fat Reduced!
Arrg. It goes past that too. Later when the box was sitting on the counter, I
stopped and snagged a doughnut… Then another, because, after all, they
are/were reduced.

Random things from today: I put in a new mailbox today. The
old one got taken out by the plow the year before last. So Mom went out there,
took some clothesline and tied it all back together. So for the last two years
it has worked that way, the box itself suspended from the post by a cradle of
clothesline. I was not here of course or I would have fixed it with drywall
screws. I fix everything with drywall screws. Well, nearly. If you haven’t
discovered drywall screws and screw-guns (The two go together) you should get
in your truck (Or sedan or minivan or whatever) and motor on down to the local
building material store.

Drywall screws come in many lengths. My personal favorite is
1 5/8″. Yes. That is because you can fix so many things that are broken.
Just long enough to get in there and hold, but not so long that they poke out
the other side. Now, granted, you may find that you have your own favorite.
Some folks like

1 1/4″ or even 2″ which are right on the edge of

So what’s so great about them? They hold well. They are
Phillips head and they grip well. They come in packs of 250 to 500 (Contractors
can purchase boxes of 2500!) for God’s sake! What’s not to like? They have only
one drawback that I know of, when you hold them as you are screwing them in
they sometimes have small thin pieces of black (The screws are black) metal
that ends up embedded in your finger/thumb. But, it’s not really a big deal,
and, besides, you can probably get some sympathy for it later. Show it to your
wife-girlfriend/significant other and she/he might say, Awww poor baby.
Anyway, that’s my plug for drywall screws. With duct tape and drywall screws we
could probably fix the entire world. I mean look at those NASCAR guys and what
they do with duct tape. Now ask a carpenter about drywall screws (I used to be
a carpenter, union even) and they will tell you they are gold.

Anyway, I have said enough about drywall screws and I only
said it to let you know that I installed a brand new mailbox and only used four
drywall screws to do it. Yes, that is because it was new and all I really had
to do was secure it to the post. But what I really wanted to talk about was the
waste. That old box? It so could have been saved. I mean it only needed maybe a
half dozen drywall screws and we could have kissed the clothesline goodbye.
Good as new. Well, sort of, after all it was hit by a plow. But, the amazing
thing about plastic is that it bounces right back.

To prove I was right I actually screwed the whole thing back
together, removed the clothesline and it only sagged a little and leaned to the
right a few degrees. But I could have fixed that with some 2″ drywall
screws and some black duct tape (The box is black) and a little black spray paint
and maybe some ¾ inch pine. But no. I dragged it out. Cut a new post. Sharpened
the bottom. Pounded that into the ground with a 5 lb sledge hammer. Put the new
one together, slipped it over the new post and then used my magic drywall
screws to screw it on, well, and the two lag bolts that came with the kit and
were totally unnecessary if you have drywall screws, not to mention the lag
bolts are silver and stick out like a sore thumb and the drywall screws are
black and blend right in… Sort of.

Let me say also, while I’m not on the subject, that
maintenance men that come and do work for little old ladies (My mother in this
case) and tell her they are putting in a four by four pressure treated post
should actually put in a four by four pressure treated post and not a scrap
piece of two by four they called a post. Just saying. I pulled the old post
free and found that it was a two by four and then had to get back in the truck
and go buy a four by four. So ten years ago when this guy originally put the post
in he lied and charged for the more expensive piece of lumber.

Okay, I did yard work the rest of the day. It finally warmed
up here. Past the middle of May, about time. I swore I saw a woolly Mammoth
stroll past the house the other day, but it could have been my bearded friend
from down-street. He does have a big head and he sort of looks a little Woolly
Mamothish on occasion. I got the yard work done and then watched the cats run
around in the yard. They are brave right now, but, the Turkeys are up and about
and they are particularly fond of cat. If you look back to my blog from last
year you will see we have turkeys that fly up into our pines and wait for the
cats to come out, then dive bomb them and try to get them. I don’t know if this
is because they were sparrows in another life and harassed or possibly killed
by cats and now it is payback time, or if these are just a mean species of
Turkey. All I know is it is very disconcerting to watch 25 or 30 pounds of
turkey drop from the sky and go after the cats.

I shouldn’t laugh, but cats are always so haughty that it’s
good to see them rattled for a change. That got me thinking about Jamestown and
the early settlers that disappeared one fall/winter. I’m telling you, Turkeys
dropping from the trees could have been the deal there. Turkey plummets, hits
the settler, knocks them cold, the other Turkeys come up and drag him or her
off into the woods where bad things happen and the next thing you know they
have all disappeared. Yes, I know, hard to prove, but every time I walk out by
the pines I wonder. And sometimes it looks like those Turkeys are grinning…

Okay. What’s up this week. Dell worked on the SE books. This
has been a long term project. First released in paperback only, but with a
different editor than the main books. Finally, re-edited by the same editor
that revised and re-edited all the books and now released in eBook format, as
well as updated in paperback too.

Earth’s Survivors SE 1


Earth’s Survivors SE 2


Have a good week… Dell.