About Me

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I live in west central Georgia, father of two great daughters. Be sure to double click on the blog photos for a clearer more detailed picture. Click on the underlined words to be connected to the subject's website! Also, all comments are welcome! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Angela's Firewood Rack

Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them, you will be pleased you did, the definition is so much better, thanks!

Angie wanted me to build her a firewood rack for her Christmas gift - it took a couple of weekends to build it. Of course she had to keep after me to get started on it so I would not procrastinate until after Christmas. I fooled her - I got it finished almost 2 months early. The rack is about 10 foot long, 2 foot deep, and 6 foot tall.

But the cool thing is that the majority of the wood used in the rack came from a tree I cut down off their place in January of this year. Sooo, she can now point to the stump and say the tree that used to be there provided the wood for the firewood rack.

One of the pictures is of the rack loaded on a trailer and the other is the rack in place loaded with firewood. Angie says her outdoor cat sleeps wedged under the roof.

I'm wondering what Amy wants me to build. I told my daughters cookies work fine for me as gifts - I prefer making gifts rather than caving into most of society's commercialism of the holidays.

That's it for now folks, smooth sailing for all.

Amy in Chattanooga

Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them, you will be pleased you did, the definition is so much better, thanks!

Hello all, I visited with my daughter this summer in Chattanooga TN. Here's some photos we took. I found the area to be really scenic, especially with the mountains in the background.

We went to the weekly (every Sunday afternoon) farmer's market gathering. http://www.chattanoogamarket.com/ There were the normal displays of locally grown vegetables mixed in with local artists' work. In addition there was a young lady singer performing and selling CD's of her work.

This all occurred under a pavillion which also sheltered food booths representing local eateries. A nursery man had all kinds of plants so I bought a couple of grape plants to start my own vineyard - we'll see how that goes - I'll keep you posted.

The bridge over the Tennessee River in the background is one of the two longest pedestrian bridges in the USA. It is about a half a mile across - I can say it did take a while to cross it.

That's Amy hang gliding, an ultralight actually pulled them up to about 3,000 feet - you would think as an air traffic controller she would want to fly in something more stable - but that's Amy.

My daughter Angie has more high flying photographs on her blog as well. I would like to take credit for Amy's picture but if you can believe that - I've got some other stories I can wow you with!

Visit Chattanooga - there is more to it than Lookout Mountain, the Incline Railway, the Aquarium and the other typical stuff we visited in the past.

One place I would highly recommend for all booklovers is a visit to McKays Used Bookstore http://www.mckaybooks.com/. Bring your old books to exchange and get a credit towards purchasing DVD's, videos, books, and/or CD's. You will be much impressed. Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them, you will be pleased you did, the definition is so much better, thanks!

These are some pictures of a log arch I had a welder buddy of mine build for me about 6 years ago. I would like to be able to take credit for designing the arch, but I saw an advertisement for a commercially made one in a logging magazine. I just cut the advertisement out and got a set of wheels and spindles from a junk yard and gave it all to the welder and he went from there.

The top of the arch lowers to the front. You wrap a chain around the logs and hook to the top of the arch. As you pull forward the arch held by the weight of the logs will raise lifting the front of the logs up so they won't dig in the ground.

To lower the logs to unhook the chain, you just back up a little and the arch folds forward releasing the tension on the chain. I usually just put a short log under the towed logs and as you pull forward it raises the logs and again releases the tension on the log. The arch supports the majority of the weight with the pulling vehicle only used for towing the arch with the logs.

For years I used my pick up but this little tractor does a great job. As you can see I had scooped some sand in the front bucket to help keep some weight on the front wheels.

A word of caution here, whenever you pull logs up a hill or steep rise go straight up and not sideways across the hill. If you try the sideways route the logs may try to roll and the weight of the logs may cause the arch and possibly the tractor to upset.

The first picture is of one pine log about 24 inches in diameter at big end and 16 foot long. According to http://www.woodweb.com/ the log weighs about 2,000 pounds.

The other pictures are of the arch with 2 pine logs one 16 foot long and the other 20 foot long. Both together weighed about 3,000 pounds.

I pulled them about 700 feet (2 1/3 football fields) from the front of my property to where I keep my sawmill. I was able to get 60 feet of logs out of this one tree - one eight foot, two 16 foot, and one 20 foot one. We (or rather mother nature) can go grow the heck out of pine trees here in the red clay of Georgia.

Finally the aftereffects of Fay, mainly rain and strong winds are decreasing. Only had 2 planted pines (about 30 ft tall) blow over.

Take care my friends and family - remember your comments/feedback are always welcome.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Little Dog

Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them, you will be pleased you did, the definition is so much better, thanks!

Hello all,

Finally got some recent photos of my little dog JR. He is a Lab/Beagle/Daschund mix, about 3 years old.

JR, whom I just call puppy is the most independent dog I've ever owned. He'll come to you for a hug or a little petting, but will not stick around for any extended contact. Of course this might be a result of when I got him as a puppy he was kept by himself in a small rabbit cage.

JR is the runningest dog you'll ever see. He is continuously in motion. When he runs he'll hop straight up in the air, maybe this is from his beagle blood jumping up to see above the tall grass when chasing rabbits.

I let him run free on my 5 acres, so hopefully he will keep the deer and other varmits away from my fruit trees. But he did not do too good of a job this year. One of my peach trees was loaded, but the day before I was going to pick them they disappeared. I think the squirrels or crows got them.

He is definitely territorial when it comes to other dogs. I had a friend over one day with his Rottweiler, and JR chased him (the Rott) until he jumped back into the truck. He's done that with every dog that someone brings over. I've got a couple of half wild cats that hang around the garden shed and he is continually treeing them and trying to climb the tree after them.

Don't forget to click on the photos and they will get larger, but JR is a little fellow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

30 Years Later

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Hello all, my daughters took me to Callaway Gardens for a Father's Day picnic. The butterfly house was something I had not seen despite all the years it has been at the gardens. We spent a nice relaxed day - very comfortable just hanging out together.

We also visited the chapel where I married my daughter's mother in March of 1978, 30 years earlier.

If you are in the area you should visit the gardens, it has something for each member of the family.

Life is good!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Heart Pine Headaches

These are some 12"x18"x14' heart pine beams from the former Eagle and Phoenix Textile Mill on river bank of the Chattahoochee River in Columbus GA. They are turning the mill into lofts and condos overlooking the river. The lumber from the beams are going to be used as decorative ceiling decking.

The first picture shows (to enlarge, double click on the photo) the saw cuts made before I started hitting nails. The building contractor tried to remove all the nails out he could see but apparently he missed some. I ruined 6 blades in the process. Never again, everytime I've sawed heart pine beams I've hit nails.

The second picture shows the nail holes and the distinctive staining of the wood by the iron in the nails. The lumber does have character and there is something to be said for recycling products of nature that not only took many many years to grow but also survived the impending Union attack during the Civil War. Supposedly, the machinery from the mill was removed, coated in grease, and sunk in the Chattahoochee to keep union forces from destroying the mill and the machinery. The Columbus Battle was the last major battle of the Civil War. For more details check out:


The final picture is of the lumber I was able to saw from the beams before the nails stopped me. Fellow sawmillers, avoid heart pine beams unless you have the means to find and remove all nails and foreign objects.

Mother's Day 2008

Here is my mother and brothers Bob, David and myself. We are only three of her seven children. My brother Randy who lives in the area could not make it because he is recovering from surgery. The other siblings live in NC, WV, and PA.

My mother is a living example of the strong devoted mother. We lived the typical life of a military family back when soldiers were both severly under paid and under appreciated. To this day I do not know how she kept us fed, clean and healthy. You could always tell who was at our house by the shoes outside the front door. You could not come into her house with shoes on.

Mom is German by birth but has become Americanized to a degree. She is still opioniated and very straight forward in her beliefs. She does not candy coat anything. She basically learned how to speak English by reading everything she could get her hands on. She probably still goes thru 4 - 5 books a week. My mother's love of knitting, crochetting (sp?), and sewing - I think passed to some of us - in that we have this need to work with our hands. She is also still a great cook and baker. She makes cakes for her friends who all rave about them. I could go on and on about her skills and accomplishments. But the one thing I will always remember her for - was her ability to provide for her children and make a home for us on the very limited resources we had at the time. Mom is Great!!!!!

My mother's maiden name is Anneliese Grete Kunzel. She was born January 26, 1931 in Selb, Germany. I hope this information will show up should my German relatives look for her. Please contact me if you would like more information! Thanks, Fred

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Pulpwood Days

This is a photograph of my buddy Danny on the left, me in the middle, and brother Stan to the right taken in 1977. The truck was a 1968 (I think) Ford F700 with a 15 foot bed and a cable loader. You can see the loader boom above Danny's head. The way we loaded it was to drag the cable out and wrap it around a stack of pulpwood, then I would operate the loader controls on the back of the truck to winch the wood to the truck and lift it on the bed. Danny would be on the logs already on the truck directing the load to where it would go. Once I winched the cable out from under the logs he would hand the cable down to Stan who would drag it out and restack logs on top of the cable and the whole process would start again. Labor intensive it was. The truck had the big 360 V8 with a 5 speed transmission and the 2 speed rear end. It would pull whatever you put on it.
I was thinning a stand of loblolly pines on Sand Mountain in Harris County GA. That load was a little over 4 cords. Back then I was getting about $20 a cord, so do the math. I wonder how and why I was spending half a day cutting and loading the wood to make $80 before I paid the help in addition to fuel, truck, and chainsaw expenses - in the mean time - I was a senior in college at the time majoring in accounting, working at night in a factory and still carried a full college load. So even then I was always biting off more than I could handle - I even had a girlfriend then!
Those were the days my friend!
On the positive side I was thinner and did not have grey hair. Well friends I hope I have entertained you with my discourse and a look at the past. Keep the chains sharp, water jugs full of ice and all will be well. As always, comments are encouraged.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Florida Weekend - Panama City Parakeets

This weekend I visited with my friends Leonard and Betty in DeFuniak Springs, Florida. I had not seen their house in quite a while. Leonard has the yard and his barn looking good. Lots of nice, large shade trees. I felt I was staying in a house straight out of Southern Living, Betty should be a consultant to those that want their homes to depict the decor and ambiance of the south. I should have taken some pictures. I don't know how she kept it so immaculate. It was good hanging out with them.

I stopped in Panama City and visited with my friend Becky. We ate seafood at Hunt's Oyster Bar. It is located near the city marina, away from the tourist crowd. If you are in the area you should try it, the food was great as usual. I recommend the blackened Mahi Mahi. Oysters were good too. We later went to the city pier to check out the shrimp boats.

There was a lady there with three parakeets that rode on the back of her MG Midget. She said the wings were not clipped. They were trained to hang on to the convertible top frame as she zipped around town. When she left they just rode back there like it was the thing to do. They were pretty tame as you can tell when they roosted on my arm. They liked me, they waited until they were back in the car to do what birds tend to do. She had a bag of peanuts still in the shell on the hood of her car (see the bottom picture). The parakeets would hop over to the bag, get a nut, crack the hull, and eat the peanut. I guess I better plug the business the lady was advertising for - "Legend or Legends" -could not remember which. It is a charter fishing boat based there at the city marina. When we walked by it had just come in from a charter and it was loaded with fish.

On the way home I stopped to check out Sadie's Flea Market south of Dothan. I bought a couple of tomato plants. Lots of stuff there and mostly just that, "stuff." I did pick up a few woodworking ideas to add to my "to build" list.

Well I better get back to my day job. I wish smooth sailing for all.
Comments are always welcome.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Amy's 4/15/08 Visit

My daughter Amy visited from Chattanooga to try out dad's new toy. She enjoyed the throaty sound of the 3 cylinder diesel and the ease of the hydrastatic transmission - basically a 2 pedal (one for forward and one for reverse with a hi/lo option) system. It works well if constantly backing up and pulling forward when digging a stump or loading dirt.
If you double click on the photo you'll notice the blooming dogwoods and also little flags stuck in the ground. The flags are there so I will not run over the little volunteer walnut seedlings from nuts buried by the squirrels. I've read somewhere that squirrels forget where they bury nuts within 30 minutes after burying them.

Well friends it is time for the annual Apalachicola FL Boat Show trip this weekend to look at the wooden boats and eat seafood. Every year I go I say I am going to build a boat for the next year's show, but hey we all know how that goes - something always comes up! Wellll thats it for today. Comments are always welcome!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Before and Later!

These are some logs a local farmer cut off his place near Greenville GA. My tractor could not lift any of the logs. But I was able to drag them to the mill and roll them on the lifting arms with the tractor. The pine logs (18"x17' & 15"x16') were sawed into 1 inch boards and the 2 oak logs (34" x12' & 28"x10') were sawn into 5 quarter lumber. The farmer pulled the trailer with a full size pickup, which was strained coming up my drive. It took me about 3 hours to saw the logs.

All's well that ends well - no nails or other foreign objects.

This is about 700 board feet of lumber sawed from the 4 logs, 2 which were water oaks (of the red oak family) and the two long ones were local loblolly pines.

Sooooooooo bring your logs and I'll saw them to your dimensions.

All comments are welcome!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New Toy

Hello all, its been a while since I've added anything. So here goes. As you can see my new toy is the John Deere 3203 tractor with a front end loader. I also got a set of pallet forks to move logs and lumber with. The dealer delivered it Friday 3/14/08. I spent all weekend moving sand/dirt from my creek bottom to level spots in the yard and fill in a flower bed. Last night I moved logs with the pallet forks until after dark. It is truly something I should have gotten a long time ago - maybe it would have lessened some of my back issues.
Saturday, a customer will be delivering pine and red oak logs to be sawed. I will post some pictures of the tractor in action moving the logs and lumber soon.
On another note, a former colleague/good friend - Leonard and his wife Betty visited about a month ago on their way home from Atlanta. Leonard and I worked together for the federal government and then later for a CPA/consulting firm. It was good to share old memories and reestablish our friendship.
Just finished a good read, David Baldacci's "The Camel Club." Like all good books, it causes you to imagine how his story is really possible, especially knowing what I know (based on my 20 years of government exposure) about how certain government officials can and do abuse their positions. Enough!
A couple of friends and I are going to start an informal interactive group, we decided to name it the Creek Social Club based on the core members either live or have property along Mountain Oak Creek. Our meetings will be directed towards exchanging ideas and experiences related to our past careers and current interests. The Camel Club inspired us. Of course we will not be able to impact the nation as Oliver and the rest of the Camel Club members did. I will keep you posted and of course will add our world and local society saving ideas
Well, I am off to play with the green machine. As always your comments and responses are always welcome. Later, Fred