Visits at Work & Chick Updates

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This past weekend, Tony had enough downtime from work that he came out to the farm to hang out while I milked. I wasn’t surprised he didn’t think it was a lot of fun. There are a lot of things I do that aren’t company compatible. Assembling the cans is a one-person job because only employees are allowed in the milk house. Getting the animals from the field was something we did together (that’s the picture above…you can tell because they are all assembled at the fence, rather than scattered around the field). It’s hard to make milking a muti-person job if someone doesn’t have any idea what the routine is. I don’t think he had any interest in trying, even if it would have worked out. This is not me complaining. Filtering the milk and cleaning the cans happens in the milk house, so again, not something he could be part of. Taking the animals out was fun (we saw a hawk and the giant frog…seen in the picture below…it was 7-8 inches long for reference).

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On to chick updates. We started with six, but we’re down to three…one black chick (a Maran cross is my best guess at this point), one buff (potential cross), and one Rhode Island red (potential cross). One was squashed by a snake and two have mysteriously vanished. My best guess is that they went through a gap in the deer fence around the bottom of the house (where their mom couldn’t protect them) and were snatched by something before we let the rest of the flock out. But they’ve got their wing feathers and they’re starting to get their tails, so they’re growing. I’m interested to see whether they are males or females. I’m guessing the Maran mix is a boy (it has really nice gold coloring on its wings…all the female Marans are nearly pure black).

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The Rooster Needs a Name

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Hey, look, an extra post. This one is asking for you to contribute. Our rooster needs a name and you’ll get the whole story, as well as the chance to help us pick a final name.

Our last young Rooster was George (his story is here). We’ve been enjoying Hamilton, which isn’t for everyone (Mom) and so the names we’re considering were inspired by the musical.

Adams is a reference to I Know Him, when King George is talking about the leader being frequently replaced. The intent is to replace the roosters periodically, so it seemed fitting.

Rex is a longer story. George was the name of our last rooster and George is also the name of the king from the Revolutionary War (although he was the third). Somehow, we came around to Leroy being a corruption of le roi (I’m not sure if “king” is supposed to be capitalized in French without a name, so I’m going with not). Tony said something about “le roi” probably being a corruption of “king” in Latin. I pointed out that in Latin, it’s “rex” and so we came to Rex as another option.

So your choices are as follows:

  • Adams
  • Rex
  • something from your imagination, if you’ve got something you think is even better

I think the way I’m going to do this is to suggest that you either comment on the blog or send me an e-mail if you have it. I’d like him to have an official name by the end of the day on April 16, so any suggestions or votes after that won’t be considered.

Surround Speakers…Installed!

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We’ve lived in our current house for three years and we finally installed the surround speakers we moved from the other house. They’ve been sitting on the bookshelf (the movie shelf, really), waiting for us to get around to putting them up. I was surprised, after having put it off as long as we did, how smoothly the project went.

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It didn’t take us long to decide that the best way to run the wire was through the attic. We got the ladder and opened the “door” to the attic. Whiskey thought about coming up to help, but decided he wasn’t ready to try climbing a ladder. The biggest kink, which wasn’t much of a problem, is that the air handler blocks the way to the side of the attic we needed to get to. There is a very small gap on the side that I can inchworm through (if I try to do a taller crawl, I get stuck). Once I got over, we quickly figured out where to pull up the insulation to push the wire through and got everything put together in a couple of hours, at the most.

I’m switching the schedule for the blog because of my work schedule this year. I have Mondays and Wednesdays off, so I’m hoping that once things settle in, that will be a better fit.

Dinner, Beer, and Whisky

This past weekend, we went to the Virginia Distillery Company for dinner (BBQ Exchange), beer (Three Notch’d Brewing), and whiskey (Virginia Distillery). I’ve been wanting to go down to check out the distillery for a while, but we’ve never made it down there before now.

I thought the setup of the night was pretty cool. We got there and the introduction was a little overwhelming (“here’s what you do and where you go and have a map”). Once we figured out that the plan for dinner was written on the map, it was a little more manageable.

We started in their visitor center with a drink and little appetizers. From there, the map showed that we were supposed to go to the museum for the main appetizers, so we did. The museum was small, but pretty informative and it was honestly nice that it wasn’t so large that I felt like I had to spend a day there just to look at all the information.

From the visitor center, we went down to the cask house. There, they had biscuits with caramelized onions and I’m not sure what else. They were Tony’s favorite, I think. The cask house was my favorite. I told Tony I wanted to live in there…it smelled like oak and some other things I can’t name. In there, they had their whisky neat. I don’t really know anything about drinking whisky, but it wasn’t terrible.

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It was interesting to hear them talk about importing their whiskey while they get their operation up and running. To give the imported whisky more of a local flavor while their home-distilled creation is ages, the imported whisky is finished in casks from area wineries before they label and sell it.

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From the cask house, we walked over to their distillation building. Tony and I walked around and peered in containers before the official tour started. It wasn’t their full hour and a half tour of the whole thing, but a maybe 15 minute presentation with just the basics of how whisky is distilled. It was pretty cool that they had grain soaking in one of the tanks and the window was clear enough to see in.

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After the distillation building, we went back up to the visitor center for little pork and beef tacos, which were up to BBQ Exchange’s standards (of course). After dinner was dessert of little pies, but the informative part of the night was over.  We learned a lot and Tony thinks he might want to take some of his out-of-town colleagues down when they’re in town next.