Sapping The Trees

Dear Mom,

I grabbed the spigots Dad delivered when he came over – I think that was when he was over with a load for us.. or maybe we grabbed it when we were down there…  Anyways, I went out today and found a nice big auger bit and put a couple holes into our (what we think is a) Manitoba Maple. Checked it tonight and I brought in our first litre of sap.

Over the next few days with the temp going up and down, I figure we should have a LOT of sap to boil down, all from one big old tree too.

It doesn’t look like its been tapped before either but I could be wrong. I also have NO idea how the syrup will turn out. I’m guessing it will have a distinct taste to it. Can’t complain though for it being free. God is genius isn’t He!!?? Free food, you just need to poke a hole in a maple tree!

Sadly, we have no other maple trees on the property but I’m interested to see how much I get out of this one. It could stand to lose a few pounds and branches anyways as its almost out of control for growth. I’ve trimmed it back with a chainsaw on a couple of sides and its sprouting runners all the time (or whatever you call them, shoots?)

Thanks for helping us all get interested in this stuff and letting us learn and wreck spigots and make the ceiling all sticky every spring from boiling sap.

Talk later mom!

the iPad experience

I have an iPad 1! Have had it for about a week now. It was a gift to me for some work done. It is a refurb 64 gig wifi unit. And these refurbs are spotless! I’m really liking it, I think I’ve wasted more time this past week then I have in 3 months time! I could spend hours on it catching up on all the latest world news, tech news, Apple news, facebook, blog feeds, etc. It is an incredible consumption device no doubt!

In terms of content creation,… well, the onboard keyboard is maybe only adequate, maybe a ‘touch’ below adequate unfortunately. Works in a pinch, but not good for long essays for sure. Your fingers need to be spot on and stay there, and if you get just in the right spot, you can type fairly fast (note that your hand has to be hovering at all times, any touch of the screen and an inadvertent character is added. Most the time every second word has an error which you then have to touch, backspace, correct, there are no cursor keys so you can just hit up and left arrow a bunch of times to get to the letter you need to erase, you need to touch and hold over the word until the magnifying glass comes up, then attempt to get the cursor in between the letters on the right side of the letter you want to remove in order to use the backspace button. Its tedious to say the least 😛 I think arrow keys would really  have helped on the keyboard there so I could fix my own mistakes. Often the spell check doesn’t find the right word either. I did write a blog using it though. So, for anything more then a couple paragraphs, definitely go get a bluetooth keyboard! (i’ll likely be getting one shortly).

I’ve also loaded it up with apps already. Mostly free, but a few paid already. Here are my favourites:

Free:

  • Flipboard
  • Zite
  • CNN/ BBC News / CBC apps
  • textPLUS
  • Blue Letter Bible HD
  • the weather Channel app
  • Kindle
  • VNC and RDP clients
  • NASA app
  • and so on… (65000 iPad specific apps, crazy)

Paid:

  • FTP On the Go
  • GoodReader
  • Scrabble
  • Pages
  • Three Little Pigs flip book

I might be missing one or two but those are my big ones right now.  Flipboard and Zite are awesome for news and social media stuff. I think dedicated twitter apps are useless when you have Flipboard. And Zite is a customizable magazine, within which I have content sections such as: Tech, World News, Bible, Apple/Mac , and Webdesign. It actually goes out and pulls in blog content and articles related to the sections you’re interested in and its fresh basically everytime you load it. Very cool

The battery life is definitely decent. I can use it for about about a day and a half on the weekend, maybe 2 days on the week day cause I only use it usually morning and evening. All things considered that is pretty good. especially when my macbook works for an hour and then I need to plug it in 😛 For some reason though I was hoping it would last for days of usage, like… 3 days or something. I mean, I don’t use it for 10 hours at a time, maybe 4 hours of straight ‘on time’ with it. I should get a timer app and time how long a charge lasts for (is there an app for that?)

One HUGE problem with the ipad is the lack of a good way to use the wordpress interface, the browser doesn’t display the full WYSIWYG interface and there is an official wordpress app but it does even less then the browser interface and again, no WYSIWYG?? Wha? So I have no way to really fully manage my wordpress sites. Thats a problem for me :/

This device can only get better though and I’m loving it for a toss around, go anywhere content consumption device. Just need to find the right apps so I can do a bit more creation – such as this blog I’m writing now which I blew the dust off my macbook to produce 😛

In time I guess!

Once I get iPad 2 (hopefully on the 25th), i’ll be uploading a lot more videos of some of my projects because I’ll be able to stream right to youtube using its onboard camera. Can’t wait!

So. I went to the gym today

they have a new training regiment, it’s not called insanity or craziness or black death or some other hip name. Nope, its called life. i walked outside, did 5 reps of heavy lifting intermingled with a swinging axe exercise (this helps to free the frozen firewood) followed by 5 reps of pushing a wheelbarrow about 50 feet each way. did I mention the hand tossing of the wood into the house and then the stacking of the wood again downstairs?

Oh, and the first year is a free on this plan too, and you can renew it yearly if you wish.

Forget gyms, don’t you have enough work around the house you could be doing? I do, come over if you need some. I won’t even charge you!

This wood is so wet though… You wouldn’t believe. So to dry it out I stoked up the fire and directed a vent pipe straight at the pile. That should dry it out quick! (don’t know why i didnt think of it earlier….)

Beans, Hogs, and Bible Prophecy