Fire and water in the Lone Star State

Trip Start Nov 26, 2010
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Trip End Nov 18, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, February 17, 2011

     Fire and water because that's what I dealt with today.  This morning I went out with Curtis and we met up with about a dozen other ranchers and took part in a "controlled burn" of about 450 acres.  We met at the rancher's house on whose land we would be burning and over coffee and donuts, discussed safety and the burn plan and stratedgy for the day.  Everyone hopped on their four-wheelers.   All had a water tank and hose on the back for the just in cases.  The neighbor also was following us along with his pickup truck on the other side of the barbed wire fence keeping an eye out too for errant sparks.  The first step in doing a controlled burn is to use a bulldozer to clear a buffer area of any combustibles at the end of the land where the fire will end up.  From the bulldozed area, teams of three or four would extend this buffer area by walking along with stainless steel torches loaded with a mixture of gasoline and diesel fuel that drip out little drops of the burning mixture and it lights the grasses on fire behind you as you walk.  Youve got to be careful to watch the wind and also keep an eye on where you other two or three guys are so that you dont get trapped in an area where fire is coming at you.  this buffer is burned to a swath of about 30 wide out from the bulldozed area.  Then they all go down to the other end and start the fire on that end and letter role.  The fire will take off rolling over the land until it comes to the area of buffer and then just drops.  I took a couple pictures early on with the camera in my phone, then tucked it back into the holder but later, oops, it warent there no more.  Guess it got cooked.  Sorry no pictures for a coupla  days till I get a new phone.  I left early and went back to the Schultzes home to work on the plumbing for the new shower. (this is the water portion of todays program).  I made up the manifold using 1/2" copper lines hooked to the new diverter, then shut off the water to the house and when the water wouldnt stop completely, got cold feet and went and asked Keith (Habitat's construction mgr) to come help and he agreed and he did.  Keith wrastled the two flexible copper feed lines into submission and we got it hooked up and voila no leaks.  Love those little miracles.  So the tile should be in tommorrow morning, grout saturday and off to Santa Fe New Mexico to see what Ted Swisher and gang are up too.  The concrete form subs are dragging their feet a bit, keep showing up for a bit then running off to other jobs, adding to Keiths stress level-  one-kind-of-show-up and no work to do is not too bad but the slab better be ready for next week when 20 out of town RV Caravanners show up for work..  That's all for now-  Anyone reading this who thinks they might have been in my phone directory and I call you sometimes, could you kindly e-mail me your phone numbers to peter@salemme.net.  thanks.
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