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Your Backup Hobby

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30 Apr 2021 06:56 #322725 by Gary Sax
Replied by Gary Sax on topic Your Backup Hobby
It's about 40 minutes away, then a 3 mile hike.

Not pictured here are the 30 drunk college students about 1/4 mile behind me at the swimming hole, but once you get past them you don't have much company.
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30 Apr 2021 10:31 #322734 by DarthJoJo
Replied by DarthJoJo on topic Your Backup Hobby
Probably jumped the gun a bit as our last frost date is May 7, but the forecast looks good. I’m excited to get this going, and a YouTube gardening channel out of Michigan says these should be fine. Planted rows of lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, carrots, radishes, beets and leeks this past week. Also started beds of asparagus and strawberries with bare root plants.

Bird feeders have been a hit. Been keeping a notebook of daily visitors and marked hairy woodpeckers, white-throated sparrows, black-capped chickadees, dark-eyed juncoes, white-breasted nuthatches, hoary redpolls, northern cardinals and maybe even a pair of mourning doves this morning. And the Central American migrants haven’t even passed through yet.
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30 Apr 2021 11:03 #322739 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Your Backup Hobby

DarthJoJo wrote: Probably jumped the gun a bit as our last frost date is May 7, but the forecast looks good. I’m excited to get this going, and a YouTube gardening channel out of Michigan says these should be fine. Planted rows of lettuce, spinach, kale, cabbage, carrots, radishes, beets and leeks this past week. Also started beds of asparagus and strawberries with bare root plants.


We're in Ypsilanti and we moved (literally down the street) a few months back. My girlfriend is an avid gardener, but sometimes loses impetus for the daily maintenance, which is kind of where I step in, as I'm still an unemployed writer. She picked up a pretty sizable raised bed structure and we planted seedlings and plants that she'd started hydroponically. We have several different kinds of tomatoes, peppers, squash, zucchini, kale, chard, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, and some herbs in the ground now and have been using a cover to protect it from the intermittent frosts. And, like you, asparagus and strawberries went in, but we won't see production on those for a while. She's a mechanical engineer and has an irrigation system set up with a timer on it to make sure things stay watered. At our old place, there just wasn't enough sun for a lot of those things, but the new setup is probably going to get 17-18 hours/day in the summer, so it will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

The woman whom we bought the place from had a half-dozen birdhouses scattered around, including a 12-nester on a 15-foot pole in the back yard. We've added a couple feeders and they burn through that stuff, man. We're right on the river, so we have heavy traffic, but I haven't taken the time to watch and see what's showing up beyond the usual robins, cardinals, etc. I'm also not knowledgeable enough about birds to identify a lot of them, either.
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30 Apr 2021 11:06 #322741 by the_jake_1973
Replied by the_jake_1973 on topic Your Backup Hobby
I had a woodpecker show up to the fire pit where an old log was stacked. That thing was much larger than I had thought it would be. The red crested one I think. Pretty cool watching it tear into the log for bugs.
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30 Apr 2021 12:50 #322742 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Your Backup Hobby

the_jake_1973 wrote: I had a woodpecker show up to the fire pit where an old log was stacked. That thing was much larger than I had thought it would be. The red crested one I think. Pretty cool watching it tear into the log for bugs.


They're almost all red-crested. If it was enormous it was almost certainly a Pileated, the go-to species for arguing that birds descend from dinosaurs. Just not beautiful animals. Impressive, but not beautiful.

We have Pileated neighbors and their call is obnoxious as hell. But yeah, if they're on a tear getting food from an old rotted log they'll let you walk right up to them.
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30 Apr 2021 12:53 #322743 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Your Backup Hobby
My wife and mother-in-law are big on feeding the birds. We get Downy and Red-Breasted Woodpeckers, House Finches, Goldfinches, Cardinals, Robins, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves, and the usual Cowbirds, Starlings, sparrows, and Grackles. There's a Sharp-Shinned Hawk that visits the buffet every so often. Once in a very great while an oriole or an Indigo Bunting will turn up.
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30 Apr 2021 13:23 #322746 by Jackwraith
Replied by Jackwraith on topic Your Backup Hobby
We have several raptors in the area, as well. There's a trio of Turkey Vultures that has shown up recently and what I believe are a mated pair of Broad-winged Hawks. We're also in the territory of a Bald Eagle, as we've seen him swimming in the river (doing the butterfly stroke.) We've had our eye on all of them because we have chickens, which are nice targets for those birds, but there aren't really any good diving angles where we have their enclosure, so it's not a huge concern. There's a flock of wild turkeys around, too. We've only seen one fox and I pulled a sleeping possum out of the nesting boxes one time (that, uh, prompted us to change our fencing arrangement) but our backyard is also kind of a deer highway, based on the constant tracks they left in the winter, so there's a lot of activity around here.
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30 Apr 2021 14:54 #322756 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Your Backup Hobby

Michael Barnes wrote: I’ve been through the clumsy DIY stuff, reading LL Cool I’d book, resistance bands, kettlebell, RingFit, Fitness boxing, etc. and I’ve shredded down to a lean 140 lbs and I am in the best shape of my life at 45.


Recovery progression is going well; today I overhead pressed one Michael Barnes.

Wasn't strict though (push press, plus layback), so I have a ways to go.
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30 Apr 2021 15:33 #322757 by Space Ghost
Replied by Space Ghost on topic Your Backup Hobby
From now on, all my weights will be measured in MBs. I’ll shoot for deadlifting 3 MBs tonight
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30 Apr 2021 17:23 #322762 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Your Backup Hobby
It’s the preferred measurement of the discriminating nerd fitness enthusiast.
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30 Apr 2021 17:55 #322763 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Your Backup Hobby

Space Ghost wrote: From now on, all my weights will be measured in MBs. I’ll shoot for deadlifting 3 MBs tonight


That's too big a weight for reasonable increments. You could use MBs to stand for Milton-Bradleys. A typical old-school Milton-Bradley coffin game weighed maybe 3 pounds. So one Michael Barnes would be about 47 Milton-Bradleys, which sounds more impressive.
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02 May 2021 21:39 #322799 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Your Backup Hobby
Went to the gym for the first time since mid-March of last year. Thanks to the pandemic, I had to wear a mask the whole time except in the pool area. I also had to keep six feet distance from other patrons whenever possible. Half the lockers were marked Do Not Use, and all of the drinking fountains were turned off. Fortunately, they got rid of the requirement to wipe down the equipment after each use. Unfortunately, I didn't think to bring a water bottle, so I got a little dehydrated by the end.

I stepped on a scale in the locker room, weighing myself for the first time in over a year. I now weigh 192, compared to 187 pre-pandemic. This was not a big surprise, as I could feel myself starting to get a little out of shape starting in December.

The workout went okay. I promised myself that I would go a little easy on the weights this first time, but most of the few people there today were exceptionally fit, especially a couple of young blondes. So I tried to go all out with my old routine. Some exercises were easier than I expected, and some were much harder, despite similarities or differences with my limited workouts at home. And I told humiliated myself by trying to start out with a set of 10 unassisted pullups and only completing 5. Towards the end, my muscles felt like they were ready to burst into flames.

Normally, I would then sit in the sauna for a while, but that was also shut down due to the pandemic. So I went to the pool to swim some laps, but was only able to complete 75% of my usual number of laps. Then I retired to the hot tub, which has a new pandemic limit of 3 occupants. My mask strap broke as I was leaving the locker room at the end of my workout, so I walked a long walk of shame holding up one strap as I walked through the entire gym.

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03 May 2021 00:55 #322804 by RobertB
Replied by RobertB on topic Your Backup Hobby
Air rifle madness. I sprung for a cheapo AO (Adjustable Objective) scope, still cheap but better than what came on the rifle. It seemed to have improved shooting a little bit, since the AO is alleviating problems with parallax. It doesn't cure it, but it minimizes it. I shot some nice (for me) groups before my arms got sore and everything went to shit. I don't think a PCP gun is in the cards just yet, but maybe sometime in the future.

I also bought 100 lightweight pellets, just to hear the noise when they go supersonic. It makes the air rifle crack like a .22, which tickles me. Physics in action!

Finally, I put together a 4'x4' backstop out of 2x4s and 2'x2' floor pads. It will be used down in my basement for shooting at night or in inclement weather - I have 10 yards of unfinished basement, and the backstop is to catch the pellets just in case I miss the main pellet catcher.
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03 May 2021 07:56 #322809 by mc
Replied by mc on topic Your Backup Hobby

mc wrote: Cheers Gary. And yep you can actually pick these up at the national parks office which I try to do especially if going camping but they're not always available. I have thought about getting one myself. Usually after, say, almost treading on a snake, which happened within a kilometre or so of the spot i was talking about. No mobile coverage at all, even radios don't get much reception, so a PLB and a helicopter is your only hope if things get serious.


Trip was fantastic.

Our exit today though was accompanied by the sound of choppers looking for a local who had gone missing.
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03 May 2021 08:48 #322811 by Sagrilarus
Replied by Sagrilarus on topic Your Backup Hobby

mc wrote:
Trip was fantastic.

Our exit today though was accompanied by the sound of choppers looking for a local who had gone missing.


I'm trying to decide when the National Park Service will realize that you can send 40 drones up for the cost of one helicopter.

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