Maybe make your own hot spring!

There is a small town on our way to my brothers house called Centralia, Pa. This town has a unique feature in that it is almost a ghost town. You see around the late 70’s and early 80’s it was found that an underground coal mine had caught on fire. While growing up, I had heard a few theories about how it got started. One theory was that it started by a lightening strike. I don’t know the details as to how this would have caused it but alas it is a theory. Another possible way was how the borough used to burn trash in the nearby dump. Apparently the fire wasn’t extinguished correctly, or at all. The other rumor, or theory, was that the state set it on fire so it could relocate the residents and, use eminent domain, then extinguish the fire and start mining the riches of the coal underneath. You pick.

More smoke...

In any case, Centralia is a neat place to drive through. It is basically a field gridded with old streets and sidewalks. A few homes still exist, maybe 5. There are parts where you can see smoke rising from the ground and other parts that are just gray and everything is dead. They have had issues with sink holes and subsistence along the main route 61. It’s an interesting piece of local history and I encourage you to stop by if traveling through that area.

For more pictures go here.

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Wood splitting with old tires.

Wood splitting with old tires.

I had seen some video and pictures a while back of folks using tires to aid in wood splitting. I don’t know what took me so long to incoporate that myself.
I just stacked three tires over a block the other day. The block underneath is not flat on top, which would be most annoying in any other case. I put a log on top, in the tires, and swung. SPLIT! and the two pieces stayed together. I took a few steps around the side and swung again. SPLIT! I was able to quarter a log with out picking up or adjusting a single thing!
This is GREAT! This saves so much time and bending over.
The only thing I have to adjust is the tires shift now and then from the splitting. But that just takes a bump of your leg or tap of your foot to get them in line again.
Ingenious!


Round bail on fire

Round bail on fire

I had always heard stories of barns burning down because of hay and what not. But it never really sunk in till I saw this out in a field one day on my way to work. This is from hay being bailed too early, or too wet I believe. Though I wonder why just this bail is burning and not the others. Regardless, I am sure that this farmer is glad that he hadnt collected these round bails yet! I guess also its a good thing that round bails are usually kept outside anyway, as opposed to the smaller square bails.

The term “Barn Burner” was actually derived from the idea of someone setting fire to his own barn to root out a rat infestation. Also it became used to describe ways of  taking down governments, banks and corporations to shake out corruption.

As far as hay bales spontaneously catching fire, it is from heat loving bacteria in the curing process of bailed hay. Many bacteria grow and die in the curing of hay, but if heat loving bacteria are present, and the bales stay warm…look out! This link has more information about how hay fires start and how to prevent them. It is a very interesting read.


Charles helps center the log

Charles helps center the log

I had a great weekend.  Saturday morning started with a pancake breakfast with bacon from our local market down the road.  Then Charles and I went to go split wood for a few hours. He enjoyed watching the wood split apart with the swing of a maul. He also tried to pick up the biggest pieces he could carry and take them to the trailer.  He also enjoyed the bluegrass music being played from the van while Dadda worked. I truly enjoy these moments spent with my son.

For lunch, we all had a picnic at a local park.  Before dinner we all worked outside around the house. The weather was beautiful all day.

Like I said, I had a great weekend with my family.