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About HardyG

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  1. I have not grown Ghost Peppers but have eaten them. Even being a hot sauce junkie, it is not a smart move. Summer of 2015, we get a giant order of Tex Mex on our first day of vacation., I got the Ghost Pepper wings and a Ghost Pepper burrito. The wings were savage and the burrito was worse as no amount of milk or ice cream would extinguish the fire. The next day was a lesson....DO NOT EAT GHOST PEPPERS. I'll spare you the details, however, thank goodness for Wal Mart and a giant bottle of Pepto Bismol. Meals for the rest of the vacation consisted of pizza, baked flounder, ravioli etc. As before, do not eat Ghost Peppers unless you want to eviscerate your digestive tract.
  2. There are a few songs that will get inside your head and haunt you. Harry Chapin Cats in the Cradle, Jamey Johnson In Color, Gordon Lightfoot The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald. While much of his song is based on conjecture, the last communication from Captain Enrest McSorley was that the Edmun Fitzgerald was taking on water but that "We are holding our own". Trailing a few miles behind the Fitzgerald was the Arthur Anderson; the Anderson was giving navigational updates to the Fitzgerald because Big Fitz had lost its radar and a navigational signal from Whitefish point was inoperable due to weather conditions. The Anderson reported taking a monster wave from the stern which would have hit the Fitzgerald a couple of minutes later. The Anderson went through a snow squall and when they came out, Big Fitz was gone from their radar. A lot of theories about how and why Big Fitz sank....the Coast Guard said that failure to secure the cargo hatches allowed water infiltration but I don't buy that. There is a very large shoal in Superior that was not marked at the time and with no navigational radar, Big Fitz had no way of knowing it was there. McSorley reported that the cable guide rails that ran the entire length of the ship had snapped and that the ship was taking on water. Had Big Fitz ran over a shoal, it would have stressed the hull, snapped the cables and ruptured the hull. The concept is called "hogging" (no jokes guys, this isn't funny) A few salvage experts looked at what happened and said that Big Fitz had taken on so much water that when the monster wave caught up and hit from the stern, it drove the bow of the ship down, shifted all of the water and iron ore pellets towards the bow and the ship just dove for the bottom. This would explain why no distress signal was sent. In any event, that song freaks me out.....It's not a tune you can put on to get psyched for an important meeting, at a BBQ etc. It's eerie. The voyage where Big Fitz sank was supposed to be McSorley's last on the Great Lakes and it was.....it did not end in the way that he and his wife had expected. Damn, I need a drink after posting this.
  3. @richie cExcellent choice and a very wise decision on not towing it. A lot of people don't realize that the "axle" on a log splitter is actually the hydraulic fluid reservoir. It's of course perfectly fine to move the splitter around your yard with a garden tractor or ATV but it makes me cringe when I see people towing a splitter at 60MPH. Check to make sure that all bolts, hose clamps etc are tight before starting it up as they DO make mistakes at the factory. I would recommend that you have extra hydraulic fluid on hand as sometimes they are under-filled at the factory. Same goes for the engine oil. Yes, I am a freak, however, I change the engine oil after only the first couple of hours of use on a new machine. Overkill of course, but no engine ever failed because it had new oil in it. Next up on your list of "to do" is learning the ergonomics of log splitting. "What ht heck" you are probably saying? For big rounds and with the splitter vertical, I had a 2 x 12 lying next to the splitter foot and put the rounds on the 2 x 12 before starting. They slide down the 2 x 12, roll them up on the splitter foot and off you go. I would sit on a milk crate while doing this and had a garden tractor and dump cart right next to the splitter so that the splits would get tossed into the cart instead of into a pile that would have to be moved again. Minimize the number of times you have to move wood. Next up, see if you can buy what is called a splitting table....it's a bolt-on shelf that you use when the splitter is horizontal and you're splittting smaller rounds. The size of your splits will depend on when you plan on burning the wood. If you're looking for wood to season more quickly, splitting the rounds into pieces the size of a deck of cards will make them season much more quickly as you are exposing more surface area. As for stacking, it is a MUST that you stack the wood in a north-south direction. The reason for this is that one side of the stack will get the morning sun, the other will get the afternoon sun. My yard is hilly and for a few years I stacked east-west. What wound up happening is that one side of the stack got hit by sun, seasoned faster and the stack would literally lean that way after a few months. I can't tell you the number of times I had stacks fall over and had to re-stack them. As for species and heat output, hickory cranks out the most heat but you are looking at a good two years to season it. Red and white oak also produce stellar BTU's but they need a good two years as well. A good "jack of all trades" wood is ash....it has a lower moisture content to begin with than oak and you can realistically season it for a year and it will burn well. There are some species of maple that are good such as sugar maple and Norwegian maple. Pine actually burns hot as hell and seasons fast. It is an old wive's tale that burning pine causes creosote.....what causes creosote is burning wet, unseasoned wood regardless of species. I have a boatload of pine splits and man, they are awesome as kindling. Congrats on your splitter and don't hesitate to drop me a line with any questions.
  4. Doorgunner, The sale of our house in the Crest was finalized one week ago this very minute. I am heartbroken. There is a saying, "Don't be sad that it is over, instead, smile because it happened". I'm trying to keep that in mind but it's difficult as time waits for no one and it did not wait for our family. The three bucktails you provided were put inside my Grandfather's tackle box which was placed in between attic joists and covered over with spray foam. It would take a Sawz-All, crowbar and three hours to get the thing out. Thank you for being part of the farewell to the house that my Grandfather purchased in April of 1968. He and I brought home more fluke, weakies, crabs and mussels for dinner than one could shake a stick at. We will continue to vacation in the Crest and hopefully you will be amenable to hoisting a beer with me at the Crest Tavern in the summer of 2019.
  5. Richie, a 7-ton splitter is not going to get the job done particularly if you run into rounds with twisted grain or knots or very large rounds. You will need at least a 22-ton unit. If you look on Craigslist, see if you can find an Iron and Oak log splitter. They are pricey but are commercial-grade. Tractor Supply sells some pretty good splitters at reasonable prices.
  6. That would be a great photo for a Weight Watchers "Before" shot.....
  7. I don't know what happened to the bay but can say it is nowhere near like it used to be. Back in the 70's and 80's, my grandfather and I would bucktail the Point jetties like madmen. A skunking was rare and we usually did well with fluke, weakies and blues. Never did see a striper in over ten years. Weakies are as rare as hen's teeth now. The bay used to be pretty clear but every time I've been there the past several years, it's been muddy. That of course could be be runoff from upstream. I'll never forget a late afternoon in August 1980.....the water was a gorgeous greenish-blue and was boiling with weakies and fluke, baitfish flying and birds feasting on remnants of baitfish. We got tired of catching fish, went home and ate weakies and fluke that had been swimming barely an hour earlier. The taste was unforgettable.
  8. Very sad indeed. The sharks are doing what predators do and that is find areas rich in prey. I've read quite a few posts on this site about how the seal population is exploding on the Cape and actually had a run-in with one during while kayak fishing near Nauset Inlet.....all of a sudden, this head just pops up out of the water and it's staring at me. What the fork is that? Oh, a seal. We've been getting a lot of them in NJ even in months when they shouldn't be here. One was spotted in the Delaware River in Lambertville NJ, way the fork upstream from salt water. I was watching a show about shark attacks a few days ago and a marine biologist said that a human in a wetsuit with flippers sitting on a surfboard can be misinterpreted as a seal by a shark. Get rid of the seals and the sharks will leave.
  9. We hit a new stretch of the Delaware from the boat yesterday. Water was high and muddy....there's a f****ng surprise. The fish were fairly active and we did well on spinnerbaits and Rattlin Raps.....my best for the day was a 5lb walleye on a spinnerbait. It was kinda sorta tough fishing as there was no real pattern. we found some gorgeous downed timber, pockets etc and they held no fish. Then we'd blind cast into open water and hook up. Lots of small bait int the water which I guess were shad fry. Looks like were in for some more rain late Monday into Tuesday. So, MORE high muddy water. YEY!
  10. For what it's worth, I was watching an interview of with the Mayor of a town in North Carolina. "We just had a ten million dollar beach nourishment project completed and its completely gone". Congratulations, here's your sign.
  11. The old b!tch I used to be married to: "I want a pizza with no cheese. Hold the sauce and no crust. Substitute swordfish, steamed kale and gluten-free rice". I used to sit there, hanging my head in shame and embarrassment. She'd send back a steak if it was medium rare when she wanted medium, she'd order a "Pinot" and have no idea when the waiter asked "Pinot Grigio or Pinot Noir?", it goes on and on. One time she ordered "Sweetbreads" at a fancy Italian joint and thought she was getting a platter of confections. She didn't understand that "Sweetbreads" were organ meat. There is an old saying: Why is divorce so expensive? Because it's worth it.
  12. It's very simple....she didn't play well enough to win and the only one to blame is the person she sees in the mirror. No gender discrimination, cheating etc etc etc, she got beat. Her behavior was disgraceful.
  13. 18 wins and one Giant loss....
  14. Me and a buddy are going to hit a lake tomorrow instead of the Delaware. Bummer, we found a stretch of river last week that is filthy with walleye and stripers but the current will be honking too fast to even consider trying it. Oh well....I picked up a bunch of Lindy No Snagg sinkers and we're going to eventually use them on a modified drop shot rig in a huge stretch of downed timber. The stretch I'm referring to is on an outside bend of the river where the bank has been severely undercut over time and countless big trees have fallen into the river. Sure, we can heave spinnerbaits over the tops of the timber but I'm betting that the fish are hanging deeper down and won't always charge out of the depths to grab a spinnerbait racing overhead. My buddy could get snagged if he cast his lure onto a bare concrete floor so we have to stay as snagless as possible. Damn, he's a pain in the @$$.
  15. American Shad are actually a type of herring and 2018 was one of the best shad runs the Big D has seen in decades. Stripers will likely not distinguish between herring species when feeding. We have caught stripers so far up the Big D that it is nuts. A resident population has been established and they are not exactly picky about what they will eat....shad, crayfish, eels etc.