Saturday, March 27, 2010

Work on the cistern

Currently, we are connected to city water, but that’s something that we want to change. It’s been our plan for quite some time, but the municipal water has been convenient. There is a shallow well down the hill on which I have a hand pump and have used for watering livestock. There’s also a spring that flows about 9 months of the year. We also have the pond now. So, there are alternative water sources available.

We also want to cistern rain water that we can catch off of our house roof. In September of 2008, I decided to start constructing a cistern inside the shed portion of our garage. The garage is a pole building that has an original area of about 24 feet by 40 feet. The previous owner built the garage and also added some space on one side that is about 12 feet by 40 feet. We used this shed portion as a goat/chicken barn for a few years. With gutters we should be able to harvest quite a bit of water off of the roof. Additionally, locating a cistern here would allow us to let gravity provide water pressure to our new house, because there is about a 50 to 60 foot elevation change between the two.

It is inside the shed that I began the construction of a ferro-cement cistern. The basic idea for ferro-cement construction is to build a metal framework that provides strength and structure. This framework is then plastered with a cement-sand mixture that makes it so it will hold water.

floor excavationThe first thing to do was to provide a level space for building the cistern. I used hand tools: a shovel and a grub hoe mainly. I hauled the material that I dug out outside and dumped it on the hill behind the garage.

The next order of business was to begin building the metal framework. This consists of welded wire (re-mesh) and reinforcement bars (re-bar) that are wired together. Essentially, you create a sandwich with the re-mesh on either side of the re-bar all rigidly tied together. Here are two photos of the work I completed in September 2008:

Sadly, after getting started on the framework, I did not get back to the construction of the cistern until Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. We decided about two weeks ago that we should go ahead and get the cistern constructed and start using it sooner rather than later. So, I enlisted the help of a good friend who came over this week to help me.

The first day we worked on finishing the metal framework for the floor. We had to add another layer of re-mesh and a layer of chicken wire on top. Wiring all the layers together takes time and quite a bit of wire. The end result is a framework that is strongly joined together and that will make for a strong cistern. The different layers are offset from one another so that the spaces between the wires and re-bar become smaller and smaller.

The following two photos show the floor ready for to be poured:

We finished the framework on Tuesday after a full day of work. On Wednesday we began with the concrete. I bought an electric concrete mixer for this project and later projects, including plastering the straw bales on our new house this summer. I already had sand and bags of cement that I had bought in 2008 for the cistern project. The sand was fine, but the cement had absorbed some humidity.

Floor finishedWe carried the concrete mix into the shed in buckets and used trowels to force it into the framework. We had to build it up at the edges to the point that the walls would later extend from. I also put in a drain line and an outlet pipe. It took a full day, but we got the concrete finished for the floor (sorry about the dust spots on the camera lens).

At this point in time, I’m not sure that the concrete is going to set up hard enough. I think the cement didn’t work properly, probably from having absorbed moisture during the last year and a half. At first, it seemed like we had nothing more than wet sand, but it is hardening somewhat. I just don’t know if I will be able to trust it for completing the cistern. The dimensions I designed for the cistern would provide about 5,000 gallons of water storage. That’s a lot of weight and pressure.

Our current thinking while we wait on the floor to cure completely, is that we may put in two 2,000 gallon poly water tanks. They will sit on this floor with no problem. I can add some wire around them which will attach to the stub wall that is already framed. Then, inside this wire, I can insulate around the poly tanks with sawdust or some other material. We are not sure yet which way we will proceed. The poly tanks would cost a bit more, but they would save a lot of time and labor. We’ll decide for sure in the coming days.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Carbon material

Earlier in the week, I stopped and spoke with an Amish man who has a small sawmill at his dairy, inquiring about getting saw dust from him. He was happy to continue letting the gentleman who cleans up for him take care of it. When I got home, Anne said she had good news: a friend had dropped by to chat for a while, and she said that we could get saw dust at a small saw mill in Marrowbone. Well, I was busy working on a project Tuesday and Wednesday, so I couldn't get to the mill to see about acquiring saw dust until today.

This mill is only 10 miles away mostly across country roads. The guy in the loader said that I could help myself to the saw dust and take all I wanted, when I asked him about it. He didn't offer to load it, and I didn't ask him. As I show up for loads regularly, he may be more willing to load, but I'm not afraid of manual labor (working a shovel). Thankfully, I had taken the scoop shovel. I was able to back the truck right up to the pile to load it which didn't take long.
After unloading here at home, we (my good friend Danny was with me) hooked up the trailer and headed for another load.

The pile of sawdust is gorgeous. Apparently, when the pile gets too high, the push the saw dust back away from the auger that unloads it.


There's another pile of chipped bark from their debarking machine. We loaded the trailer with this material and then filled the truck with saw dust.

I took another photo with the trailer loaded. We used pitch forks for loading this material, and that worked pretty well.

Here’s a photo of the truck loaded with saw dust. We covered the load with the tarp so that not too much of it would blow away. Notice the dark material in the background: that's where they have pushed the saw dust and chipped bark in the past and let it sit. I'll have to ask about acquiring some of that good looking stuff, too. . .

When we got home, it was time to employ the "burrito-method" of unloading to get the material off of the trailer. It unloaded great.

The trailer load dumped right on top of the first load of saw dust.

Here's the carbon material we hauled today in two trips.

In the morning, I'm heading in the opposite direction to haul home some more material from the sale barn. They cleaned out some of the back lots today, and I want to get some of that back here. If that hauling goes well, I'll haul three or four loads of carbon material in the afternoon. Then, this Sunday, after a nice rest on the 7th day, I'll build a beautiful compost pile.

I bought a new tractor (as I mentioned in my previous post). Here is a photo of it:

It’s a 1976 Case 990 with a loader. The loader has been well used, broken, and repaired, but it’ll work for my purposes. It’s like having 100 men with shovels and pitchforks ready and willing to work for me, something not to be taken for granted. It's a great tool.

I’m thrilled about having a source for carbon material. It’s one more step toward extreme composting!

Friday, March 19, 2010

More compost material

There was no one at the sale barn to load material yesterday – the guy was doing his taxes. He was scheduled to be there this morning, though. So, I set off at 8:00am with my truck and trailer to haul in more good stuff.

When I arrived at the sale barn, Pat, the guy who has the contract to haul off the manure and bedding, was there. He had just finished loading his tandem axle dump truck (a 1967 Mack) and was about to leave. This was good timing. He’d already hauled one or two loads but was more than willing to haul loads for me. I told him that I would take all he could haul. I rode with him on the first load to show him where to dump it. When we got back to the sale barn, my truck and trailer were loaded.

I hauled three loads this morning, and Pat hauled five all together. I had an appointment this afternoon to look at a loader tractor that I’d seen advertised on Craigslist (I ended up buying the tractor – I’ll have more info and photos about that later after I have it hauled home). So, I only hauled manure in the morning.

Using the trailer I am able to haul between 4 and 5 tons at a time. On the first two loads, unloading the trailer went very well with no problems. I let the guy load the trailer too heavily on the third load, making it more difficult to unload it.

The trailer being loaded at the sale barn.

Getting ready to unload the trailer. The method I use involves the use of some chains and some 2x6 boards. I used lag screws to attach several 2x6s cut just less than the width of my trailer to two logging chains. There are approximately three inch gaps between the boards. These slats on chains are then laid on the trailer floor, and the material is loaded on top.

When I’m ready to unload, I connect two more chains to the chains with the 2x6s at the front of the trailer and pull with the tractor. This rolls the material off of the trailer. I connect the ends of the chains with the 2x6s to the back of the trailer in order to make sure they don’t just pull out from under the material when it gets near the back of the trailer.

On the third load, my tractor couldn’t roll the load off of the trailer; it was too heavy. So, I had to shovel some of it off first.

Another picture of me shoveling to lighten the load so that the tractor could pull it off. A larger tractor (which I just bought) wouldn’t have had much problem.

And, finally, the load of manure and bedding rolls off of the trailer.

After pulling the material off, there is a little that has fallen through the slats which needs to be scooped off. This only takes a couple of minutes. In all my fussing with this load to roll off the trailer, the chains on the back came unhooked and left a bit of material on the end of the trailer. This didn’t take too long to shovel off, though. Ideally, there is very little to be scooped off.

The last thing to do is to pull the false floor back onto the trailer so it’s ready for the next load.

Here is the pile after hauling three loads today. There was already about four tons there from when I was perfecting my trailer unloading method. So, this pile is made of about 16 to 18 tons of sale barn cleanings.

Here are the piles from five dump truck loads (with younguns playing on them).

I was able to make the trip to the sale barn, get loaded, drive back, and dump it all off in less than an hour. That means I was able to haul more than twice as much per trip adding less than 15 minutes to the round trip. Not bad, I think.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Truck repairs (the do it myself kind)

There’s a beautiful pile of manure and bedding at the sale barn. I’ve eyed it with great longing and hope to bring much of it home. I stopped by this morning to talk to the guy in charge to see if he’ll be in tomorrow. Nope, he won’t. He’s the one driving the skid loader who loads my truck. Unless, I come up with another option, I’ll have to wait until Friday to haul. I would haul my “new” Bobcat down there and use it to load, but I’m not sure I trust it well enough yet. I’ve still got to make a few more adjustments.

Yesterday, I tried out a couple different methods of unloading my trailer, hoping to be able to haul more at a time without adding a lot of extra time or effort to the process. I think I’ve got a pretty good method for unloading the trailer which I’ll share in another post soon. With the truck and trailer, I ought to be able to haul four or five tons of material per trip.

This afternoon as I was adjusting the rear brakes on my truck, I noticed that the passenger side wheel had some movement it shouldn’t have. I figured bearings. Even if it was only the nut having loosened, I thought it best to put new bearings in that wheel. I had noticed a vibration when driving the truck at highway speed and had changed the rear U-joint last week. That helped but didn’t solve the problem. Probably was the bearings. Thankfully, the local auto parts place had the bearings in stock. So, after a quick trip to town, I was ready to change the wheel bearings.

Only there was a problem. I didn’t have a wrench or socket to fit the nut that holds the wheel on. I thought that the tool I had for doing the front wheels, which I did a few months ago, would fit. Nope, I was wrong. These nuts actually take a 2-9/16” (or thereabouts) socket. The auto parts place didn’t have one (I called – they don’t stock it). What to do? Get creative.

Homemade tool for wheel nutsI quickly discerned that a screw driver and hammer wouldn’t work. Scrounging around in the garage, I found part of an old driveshaft, what remained after a previous project (I don’t Using the homemade tool with a pipe wrenchremember exactly what right now). It happened to be about the right diameter, and after a couple minutes with the bench grinder and a few hammer blows, I had a socket to fit the wheel nuts. A large pipe wrench worked for turning loosening and tightening.

So, the project was completed. It’s probably best to have this done before hauling more material. The extra weight puts more wear and tear and strain on the the truck and specifically the wheel Old bearing racebearings. The bearings weren’t completely worn out, but some pitting on the bearing races was visible (the bearings fit sit inside the races).

I’m not a mechanic by trade. There’s a lot about vehicles that I don’t understand. Usually, if I can see how a thing goes together and works and if I can look up some directions online, I can do it. This was a straight forward project, much easier than changing the front wheel bearings and axle U-joints which I did a few months ago. That project took about three days. Earlier this week, I put in new spark plugs and wires and new vacuum hoses. That was simple.

Oh, on a different note, Regina received the maple syrup fine and enjoyed it on some fresh biscuits! She said, “It is yummy!”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Summer kitchen cook stove

In the fall of 2008, we purchased a Smederevac wood cook stove to use in a summer kitchen.

The summer kitchen was only in the plans at that time, not a reality.


We didn’t know anything about this stove at the time except that it is made in Serbia, having been made since the 1920s (or so we read). It’s fairly light weight with a small fire box. It’s designed for cooking, not heating.

The stove has been sitting on our back porch patiently waiting to be set up – we’ve never used it. As the weather continues to warm up here, it’s gotten kind of warm inside the house when we’re cooking on the Baker’s Choice cook stove. So, that has provided some impetus to actually get the 004smaller stove hooked up. I’ve had stove pipe sections that I bought some time ago ready, and I purchased a couple more this week.

So, this afternoon, I moved some things on the back porch, including the stove. I installed the stove pipe adapter (it has a small outlet, not 6 inch). Because the solar panels are installed on the porch roof, I wanted to route the chimney behind and above them. Originally, we were going to install the stove with the stove pipe running in front of 003where the panels are now installed. I guess I would have had to move it if it had already been installed.

I cut a hole in the metal roof and ran the 6 inch stove pipe straight up from the stove. Ideally, I would’ve used double-walled insulated chimney pipe, but for this installation I didn’t want to spend the money for that. 006So, it’s just single wall pipe all the way. There is 14 feet of stove pipe so that the top is above the solar panels.

Of course, once I had the stove set up and the chimney installed, I had to try it out. So, I built a small fire to see how it would work. I set a tea pot on the top to test the temperature of the cook top. It didn’t take long for it to start blowing steam and whistling. It looks like the stove is going to work.

I want to enclose the porch a bit to keep out some of the wind and the rain that blows in. It will have several screened windows for ventilation. We also have a sink with a cabinet that I’ll install, and I’ll put in a couple shelves with counters. Then, we’ll have a fully functional summer kitchen. That will be a good thing since we don’t want to heat the house up during the summer and using the electric cook stove is no longer a viable option.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Bobcat M500

One piece of machinery that is necessary for the expanded composting operation I have in mind is a loader of some sort. I recently found an old Bobcat skidsteer loader for sale in Michigan for a very good price. Everything worked out for buying it, including making arrangements to have it hauled here – I wasn’t interested in driving nearly 700 miles to get it myself, and the haul fee wasn’t too much more than it would have cost me in time, gas, food, and lodging.

My shipper called last evening to let me know that he had it on his trailer and was heading my way. I drove over to Somerset, Kentucky, this morning to meet him and transfer the machine to my trailer. bobcat 003aWe had no problems, thankfully. The Bobcat started fine and drove onto my trailer without any problems. I chained it down securely and headed home. There is an old manure bucket that came with the loader, but it is in need of some repairs.

When I bought it, the seller was unsure which model it was. Someone had painted it in the past, including painting “Bobcat 610” on the side, but he couldn’t find a serial number tag. I looked for information online about the model based upon the seller’s ad which said it had a 2-cylinder Wisconsin engine. bobcat 001aI could find no Bobcat models that ever had such an engine. The 610 had a 4-cylinder Bobcat.

Well, after getting it home this morning, I discovered that it has a 2-cylinder Kohler engine. Based upon this discovery and a little more searching, I determined that it is a Bobcat M500.

The loader works. It does need tuned up a bit – it’s been sitting the last few years. I think it will work out alright for what I need. If not, I do believe that I could sell it and get all my money back out of it since it is a working skidsteer.

I hope to put it to work soon loading some compost that needs spread on the fields.

Monday, March 8, 2010

And the winner is. . .

syrup drawing 003Regina!

I printed out all of the entrants’ names (70 in all), cut out each name, folded them, and placed them in a stainless steel bowl. After thoroughly mixing the pieces of paper, Anne drew out the winning entrant.

syrup drawing 001syrup drawing 002

Thanks to everyone for participating in the giveaway contest! It’s been a lot of fun.

I’m currently boiling some more sap into syrup. I haven’t decided yet, but I may give another small jar away. It depends on several factors. So, if I do, I’ll let you know.

Okay, Regina, you’ll have to email me the address to which I should mail the syrup. My email address is: darrylapifer(at) I’ll let you know once it’s on its way.

Friday, March 5, 2010

You load 16 tons. . .

Loading the truckWell, I didn’t actually load it myself – the guy with the skidsteer at the stock yards did. And, not all at once. My truck couldn’t handle that. It would be nice, though.

I spent several hours today hauling eight loads of manure and bedding that they’ve cleaned out of the pens at the livestock buying market in the local town. It’s just over 6 miles away from our home. I can haul two tons per load. Thankfully, I didn’t have to load it with a shovel. The round trip, including helping the guy switch from the forks to the bucket on the skidsteer and watching him load the truck, took 45 minutes. It would have taken a lot longer if my truck didn’t have a dump bed.

Dumping onto the pile at homeI’ve hauled manure from the stock yards before, a few times using the truck. Before that I’ve hauled on my 16 foot trailer. I can haul more with the trailer, but then I have to unload it by hand. If I can figure out how to unload the trailer more easily, then I could bring more each trip. Any ideas?

The stock yard actually pays someone to haul away the manure and bedding that they clean out of the pens. I’m not sure where all he takes it, but I have had him bring some here in the past. It’s probably cheaper to pay him $15 a dump truck load than to haul it myself, but that doesn’t always work out. He can’t get in the bottom here to dump it where I want/need it when the ground is wet (which seems like half the year – the same time during which they stock yards have the most material to get rid of). His schedule also doesn’t always coincide with mine. I’ll work on that. He’s a nice guy, the same one I had dig our pond. He knows I’d like him to haul more. I need to make a point to tell him that I’ll take all he can bring.

My small mountain of manure goodnessSo, with today’s hauling, I’ve started my own small mountain of compost. It will take time to build it up. I hauled today because I could get it, and there was some pretty good stuff available. It has a lot of saw dust and some hay in it along with the cattle mess. It was steaming really well when he dug into the pile to load my truck.

On another note. . .

The Giveaway

I’m keeping a record of all the entrants and referrals. I’m also enjoying the comments. A lot of people are saying some very nice things. Some of you would like to buy some maple syrup. I wish I had some to sell. We generally make enough for our use throughout the year, not extra to sell. I can see that if I did have extra, there would be a market.

The bottle I’m giving away, which I wish I could give to everyone, is some that I made this week. What I’ve made so far has been very good. This particular batch had a little more than the giveaway jar which I put in another jar. It actually boiled a little too long while I was bottling the giveaway jar and most of it turned to sugar after bottling (we’ll enjoy it, though). I mention this because it should be an indication of the thickness of the giveaway bottle. It’s not sugar, but the next bit that was still in the pan while bottling it is mostly sugar (I have in the past made syrup  that wasn’t as thick as it ought to be – still tasted good, though).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maple syrup giveaway!

maple syrup giveawayNow is your chance to not only sample but to enjoy a jar of fresh, 100% natural, homemade maple syrup! This is not just any syrup, it is special grade syrup made from the sap of South-Central Kentucky maple trees. These trees were grown sustainably and organically, happily enjoying life while growing in the fertile soils and clean air of Kentucky with plenty of fresh water and sunshine. After being gently tapped, sap from the trees was collected and then boiled over a real wood fire in order to concentrate the sugars and highlight the maple goodness that typifies real maple syrup.

One lucky winner will receive a jar containing approximately 20 ounces of select grade, organically grown maple syrup. To enter the contest and have a chance to win this fabulous prize, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. Those who have already commented stating their desire to be considered will automatically be entered. All comments for entrance must be received before I finish my chores and breakfast on Monday morning, March 9, 2010 (I might sleep late, or I might not, so no definite time will be stated). After I have finished my chores and breakfast, I will randomly select one entrant as the winner of the first New Kentucky Homestead maple syrup giveaway. The winner will be announced Monday morning immediately after the drawing.

If you want to increase your chance of winning, then refer someone to my blog. If someone leaves a comment stating that he/she was referred by you, then I’ll enter your name an additional time for each referral. That’s it. Good luck!

Once a pond a time (article in Countryside)


In the latest issue of Countryside and Small Stock Journal, there is an article featuring our pond (and homestead).  Some of you have already commented on the article (you can read the article here), but I waited until the put it online before sharing it.

Jerri Cook, the author of the article, left a comment several weeks ago on my blog. She was given the task of writing an article about homestead ponds. She’d found a lot of information online but thought it was mostly technical, boring stuff for an article. Then, she came across my blog and wanted to set up a time to talk with me.

So, I emailed her my phone number, and she called me on the weekend to talk about our pond. I, of course, was glad to share when information I could about our pond project and building a pond, in general. She did a nice job writing the article and made us sound pretty good, too. So, if you have a chance, you ought to check out Once a pond a time.

I’m working on getting some pure, homemade maple syrup ready for a giveaway. I mentioned in my last post that I might give some away. There was a little interest. I’ll record the names of all those who comment on my blog to enter them in the contest. I’ll also announce the contest when I’ve gotten the syrup ready. So, if you want to be considered, just make a comment in order to be entered.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gearing up for composting on a larger scale

I’ve continued to be impressed with Forerunner over at the homesteading today forums. Some of his latest posts are in the Extreme Composting thread. He’s inspired me to develop and expand my composting efforts. I’m planning on putting the dump bed on my 1979 F250 to good use starting very soon. There are a lot of items in the county that need composted, and our fields could sure use some amendment since they are mostly old tobacco fields.

I own a couple pitchforks. Actually, I own three, but one has only half a handle because it got broken. I need to buy a new handle and figure out how to put it on that one. Pitchforks and the old scoop shovel that I own are good tools for making compost and cleaning out a barn. I’ve done that. There’s nothing wrong with hard work and a bit of sweat. However, I’m thinking of doing some composting on a scale larger than what I would like to do with a couple pitchforks and a scoop shovel. I’ll do it that way if I have to, of course.

So, I’ve been seeing about acquiring some equipment to help with this endeavor. One of the things that would be helpful is a manure spreader. Old Oliver manure spreaderI already have one, but it’s about 100 years old, or thereabout. I bought it a few years ago from a man who cleans up junk for people. He drug it off of an old farm where it had sat for who knows how long, but it was still operational. I didn’t pay much for it, something less than $150.

It continued to work until last year when both of the chains for the moving floor broke. Tag on the manure spreaderI haven’t fixed them yet. I know I should have, but it’s just one of those things that I haven’t gotten to. I’m going to soon. I haven’t decided whether to keep it or to sell it. It’s an old Oliver horse drawn spreader that someone removed the front axle from and welded on a hitch for a tractor. It shivers and shakes when in operation, threatening to blow itself apart, but other than the chains that broke, it hasn’t given me much trouble.

Still, I’ve wanted a newer manure spreader, or at least one that doesn’t seem like it’s gonna blow apart. Newer Manure SpreaderI found one on Craigslist last week and bought it on Friday. The business endIt’s a pto driven spreader and is in decent shape. I’m going to replace the floor sometime and replace a bearing in the top beaters which are currently disconnected. They only serve to knock the top off the load when spreading, so it works without them connected. I think it will be a good piece of equipment to have, especially when considering the amount of bedding in the barn that will need spread after it composts.

Contemplating loading several tons of composted bedding and manure by hand for spreading doesn’t excite me greatly, although if that’s what must be done, I’ll do it. My old International 424 would make a nice loader tractor except for one thing – it doesn’t have power steering. I know how hard of a beast it is to steer without extra weight on the front. So, I have never seriously considered adding a loader to it.

I thought about maybe buying a small loader tractor for my composting endeavors. Then, I thought maybe it would be better to find another tractor to bobcat 610 photo from the adreplace the 424 that had a loader. I looked at one that might have worked, but it only convinced me that I really like my 424. Then, I found a good deal on an old Bobcat skidsteer online.  There was only one problem: it was located way up in the thumb of Michigan. That’s a long ways away. However, the deal was a really good one and I found someone to haul it very reasonably. So, I’m buying it. I believe I could resell it here and actually make some money off of it. I’ll know better once I get it here.

Someone on a forum explained that they considered their tractor to be their most important investment on their farm/homestead after their house. I never thought of it that way, but I can see their point. I’ve mostly approached buying equipment with a very frugal viewpoint. That’s been justified, I think, by the fact that I don’t have much to actually spend. However, I’m going to consider saving some pennies in order to upgrade my tractor (not Grandpa’s JD MT, though) at some point.Josey, a happy cow

The animals in the barn are doing well. Josey ought to have her calf in a couple of months. She isn’t really showing much, but she’s not been in heat for the last seven months that I’ve been aware of, and she usually makes it obvious by how noisy she gets. Cleo is growing strong, but she’s a wild thing. She never calmed down and responded positively to human interaction. I decided I really didn’t want to spend the time to tame her. So, we’ll sell her in another month. Hopefully, Josey will have a heifer – I’d rather keep hers anyway. It will be Ramiah’s calf.

Jessica’s horse, Spice, is fairing well, and Jessica is looking forward to it warming up and drying up a bit around here so she Jessica with Spicecan work more with her and ride her more. I’m trying to figure out how to rotate grazing for the cows this spring and summer. I want to really implement management intensive grazing. Milk cows offer some extra challenges for doing so than beef cows. I’ve got some ideas which I’ll share later as they develop.

I’m going to boil down some more maple sap to make syrup. I’m thinking about having a giveaway with a bottle or two of the syrup. Is anyone interested? I’ll announce it soon. There aren’t a great number of readers of this blog, so the odds should be pretty good. So far, what we’ve made has been excellent.

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