Donner Party Kitchen Staff -- Cookin' up something different...
Frames 
Sunday, August 31, 2008, 2:53 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
In most hives there are 9 frames in the shallow, 8 frames & a feeder (a container for sugar syrup) in the deep. This is Hermilindo inspecting a frame from one of our colonies in Poway (where I grew up! :mrgreen:).

At the top right you can see where the honey is capped. The cells are full and the moisture has been reduced to less than 17.5%. That is when the bees seal off the cells to store the honey.
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Bee Fog 
Sunday, August 31, 2008, 2:19 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
Sometimes the bees get so thick it's kinda like a fog. Usually when they are robbing, stealing honey from another colony. The bees are completely ignoring us, all they want is the honey.

This picture is my foreman Jose. He's been working bees for about 18 years. He's standing about 3 feet from the stack of boxes, posing to make it look like he's holding a box. We took this picture as a dare at the honey house.


I could have stood here in a t-shirt & shorts and not been stung. The bees smell the honey under the netting. They don't care about me.

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Bee Yard 
Sunday, August 31, 2008, 1:12 - Stuff
Posted by Administrator
This is a typical bee yard in (cue up ominous music) The Valley, (California's Imperial Valley, 100 - 115 temps, high humidity, no breeze). 15 pallets with 4 colonies each. We have about 2000 colonies in The Valley. We spent Wednesday - Friday for the last two weeks in The Valley feeding & medicating the bees. We medicate the hives with Tylosan (an antibiotic) and a miteicide for Varroa & Tracheal mites. The feed consists of sugar syrup for sugar food & a mixture of brewers yeast, soy flour, pollen & sugar syrup for protein food.

The heat & humidity is beyond description, not to mention the back breaking labor.

In this picture we have already pulled the honey, leaving only the two boxes, a shallow & a deep that are part of the permanent hive. Each stack of boxes is a separate colony, with it's own queen, brood & food stores.


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New living room 
Sunday, August 17, 2008, 20:40 - Misc
Posted by Administrator
When everything I owned was boxed up and thrown into storage a few years ago, my soft furniture was junked. It was pretty beat up & not worth storing. While talking with my former boss at church this morning I mentioned that I didn't have a couch. The former tenant at the building he owns was a sofa retailer. I was able to pick up a brand new, still wrapped in plastic wrap-around sofa for free! :mrgreen: Not my first choice in color, but at that price, what can I say?

My place is still a mess, but it's getting better. I have my radio gear set up, but haven't been on the air much. My antenna tunes up great on 160 (Top Band), 80/75 & 40 meters. Anybody want to try to meet me on the air? (Hi Ronald SM7WDL!)


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Home Sweet Home 
Saturday, July 26, 2008, 0:28 - News
Posted by Administrator
I'm living in the middle of a huge avocado grove. Squirrels everywhere. Quiet, safe, nice neighbors, great landlord. Couldn't ask for more!

I'm renting the first floor of a three story house. It's built into the side of a mountain. My place is essentially a large one-bedroom apartment with it's own entrance, bathroom & kitchenette. I have access to the main house to use the real kitchen and laundry when needed.

Two and a half years ago when I became a long-haul trucker everything I owned was very hurriedly packed into boxes and stuffed into a storage unit. Now I'm trying to undo that mess. It's a slow, sometimes intimidating, process, but it's coming along.
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Radio Station KI6FCI 
Sunday, July 20, 2008, 23:59 - News
Posted by Administrator
I kinda carefully brought up the subject of installing an antenna this afternoon. My landlord, Karen, was totally cool with it! :mrgreen: I don't know exactly where I'll set it up on the property, but I'll make sure it doesn't block any windows.

I have my Operating Position just about set up, I'll be posting pictures soon. Awesome set up, custom 24" x 72" desk covered with an ESD safe conductive rubber pad. This is one sweet set up! Everything is within easy reach.
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Bee Cool 
Friday, July 18, 2008, 1:06 - News
Posted by Administrator
OK, it's been a long time since I posted. Sorry. I've been busy moving into me new home, buying a new car & learning my new job. Whew!

If you haven't figured it out, I'm a beekeeper now. Monday & Tuesday I was out in the field pulling honey, which is when you remove the boxes of honey filled frames from each colony at a bee yard. Yesterday & today I spent extracting the honey from the frames. Probably the messiest job in the world. It takes 3 men to run the extracting machine. We each have a 5 gallon bucket of water to rinse our hands in every few minutes, no drying, honey doesn't stick well to wet hands. Also, this is the core of the business, the machine runs fast, you have to work full speed to keep up. It's loud, dirty & hot (everything is plumbed with hot water pipes to keep the honey flowing) work, but the challenge is kinda fun. You gotta be on top of your game.

To make it more fun, today the hoses that fed hot water to the vibrating knives burst, twice, spraying me from head to waist. Not hot enough to burn, but annoying. When something like that happens it's a minor emergency, as any water in the honey is a major problem and can make it unsaleable. Plus, the machine was down for an hour for repairs.

Oh yeah, I got stung in the middle of my left ring finger. A bad place to get stung. Hurt for a few minutes, no problem. But it swelled for a few hours. A hassle, but fine now.

I'm pooped, later I'll tell you about my new digs.
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Bee Trailer Park 
Friday, June 27, 2008, 2:34 - Misc
Posted by Administrator

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Getting Buzzed 
Friday, June 27, 2008, 2:26 - Misc
Posted by Administrator

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Engineers.... 
Friday, June 06, 2008, 15:25 - Funny
Posted by Administrator
This is an attachment point on NASA's Shuttle Carrier Aircraft used to move the shuttle across the country.

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Reminds me of high school... 
Friday, May 30, 2008, 5:07 - Funny
Posted by Administrator

Check this out: INDEXED
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Guard Duty 
Monday, May 26, 2008, 2:07 - News
Posted by Administrator
The way my church's building is set up, there are separate entrances for the main building and the part of the building used for the children's classrooms. Not the best set up, but it was an existing building and that's how it worked out. While it hasn't been a problem in the past, we have somebody sit outside the classrooms' entrance as a preventive measure to make sure nothing bad happens. I wish this wasn't a concern, but that's the world we live in. :(

This morning I had the duty for the first service. (we have two services on Sunday, too many people for one) My niece Rebekah was in class, there was no way somebody was getting past me! :wink:

Being able to do this is just one way my life is returning to normal after being gone for two and a half years. :mrgreen: The separation from the people who I care about & who care about me took a greater toll than I realized. It really hit me today that this is where I need to be.
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Lunch time 
Saturday, May 24, 2008, 22:10 - WN GTG
Posted by Administrator


We had our monthly SoCal WidowNet lunch get together today. WidowNet is an online support group for widows & widowers. We met at the Mission Inn in Riverside. Good food, great friends. 8)
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I wonder where the hose is? 
Monday, May 12, 2008, 19:23 - Funny
Posted by Administrator

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All good things must come to an end...  
Tuesday, May 06, 2008, 18:12 - News
Posted by Administrator
You may have noticed that the truck cam has been down for a while. Sorry, it will be down indefinitely.

I am no longer a OTR truck driver.

Feels like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It was a lot of fun for 2 1/2 years, the experiences were incredible, but being on the road wasn't taking me where I needed to go. I'm going home.

Where do I begin:
5-7 weeks away from home at a time, missing family, church, holidays, birthdays, friends, everything. Being on the road was separating me from everything that is important to me.
OTR driving is a sleep-drive-sleep-drive cycle that continues day after day without break for weeks at a time. OTR truck drivers don't have weekends.
Working more than 70 hours a week for not-quite-the-money-they-said-I'd-make is rather discouraging.
Even with making as much real food in the truck as I could, there is still a lot of junk/fast food involved. I have 40 more pounds to lose since I left.
Then there is always the fun of finding and, usually, training compatible co-drivers. Not to mention every time you go to sleep in the winter, you don't know if you're going to wake up to your inexperienced co-driver rolling the truck over in the snow.
There are some less-pleasant aspects of OTR driving I won't miss, like bathing every few days, peeing in a bottle in the sleeper & being propositioned by lot lizards while parked at a truck stop.
I hope to meet another woman someday and settle down. You can't meet anybody on the road, much less build a relationship.

I've started using the phrase 'while I was gone' when referring to things that have changed around town.

I started my new job today, delivering for a local floral wholesaler to florists & supermarkets. I actually *gasp* got out of the truck, walked around & interacted with real, live people several times today.
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