Click here to catch up on everything and have some idea what the heck is going on… 

…Yes, it’s true – cows stink. But let’s not panic over that…

It’s been a couple of years (0ne year and 364 days, to be exact – but who’s counting?) since I left you all hanging, wondering how I am going to explain the benefits of having cow “scents”.

Here’s how…

If you have been keeping up, you know that cows have their own distinktive aroma. There’s nothing else quite like it on the planet. True, there are things that are close, but not quite exact enough to be awarded a cigar. Cow odor is unique among all creatures great and small, and about the closest thing to it is the way a brand newly planted lawn smells on a hot day…

I have noticed that many people don’t actually like the way cows smell, and I find that just a bit mystifying. While it’s true that a herd of cows will probably never win any fragrance awards in the human realm, there are worse smelling things than a cow…

And this, my friends, brings me to the main points of this report…

  1. What could possibly smell worse than a cow?
  2. Why is it that cows smell the way they do?
  3. When did cows begin to smell that way?
  4. Where can one go to learn to appreciate the odor of a cow?
  5. How is it that cows smell so good?

Well, believe it or not, I have been pondering these questions over the past two years, searching for workable answers, and not coming up with even one.

Until last night…

That’s when I was “listening” to my lovely wife, Judy, read to me from her latest work on Translational Medicine

She was reading from her notes on Translational Medicine, and I was listening – hanging on every word, in fact. But I am a very talented multi-thinker, and was able to simultaneously pay nearly undivided attention to her while continuing my uninterrupted search for the answer to why cows smell the way they do.

At one point during her presentation, I asked her the clarifying question, “But how do you incorporate systemic therapeutic approaches targeting multiple factors such as and did you know that cows have an incredible sense of smell, and, in fact, it’s believed that they can smell something up to six miles away? OH! LOOK! There’s the perfect place to hang my “burnt guitars” picture!”

I stopped.. I rewound.. I replayed what I had just said…

SIX… MILES… AWAY…

And that’s when it hit me… 

“Wait a minute… Cows smell really bad, yeah, but they also smell really well.

At this point, Judy appeared to have completed her speech, so I became free to focus my complete attention on the questions at hand…

And here’s what I came up with… The reason cows smell the way they do is ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

Chickens.

 Yes, I said “chickens.”

Unless you have ever lived within ten miles down wind of a chicken ranch, you have no idea how refreshing it can be to smell a cow.  

And that’s where we will pick up when, again, we continue…

Moo.

__________________________________________________________

Click here to catch up on everything and have some idea what the heck is going on… 

Click here to go to Part 7

Advertisements

Well, tool lovers, it’s time for another foray into the world of “putting stuff together with Bill!” This time, also staring Judy as my faithful marital partner and “let’s assemble something today” sidekick, and Troy, as the completely amiable Sears sales representative. 

You may remember my experience with the Black and Decker Workmate  Portable Workbench and Project Table from last year. This one promised to be infinitely more exciting, largely because it came in a much bigger box and had lots more parts than the last project.

This, you would think, would have occurred to me at the time of purchase. It’s a gazebo for crying out loud, and if one pays close attention, there are reasonably ‘easy to detect’ differences..

Portable Workbench instmanual1

Gazebo

gazebo 3

As you might glean from looking at the pictures, there is more to assembling a gazebo than a workmate 125. 

One really GREAT difference, though, is that the instructions were in English (as a primary language).

This all started two weeks ago when Judy and I walked into the Sears store in Oakhurst, CA. Not a large place, but it has all of the things that a guy like me needs to test his patience. And it’s staffed by an extremely friendly group of people who we have come to know well and like much over the last couple of years since the house burned down.

On this particular visit, we met Troy for the first time… I was in the market for some sort of electrical sander, and he showed me one on sale. I thought, “It’s on sale. Sold!”

But my shopping spree was just beginning…

On the way to the check out stand, we passed a fully assembled Bay Window Gazebo. This was a very bad thing for several reasons:

  • Judy and I had had a new patio poured several months ago, to cover up a patch of empty dirt (except for weeds) that used to be the floor of our bedroom before reconstruction.
  • We were trying to think of a way to make it usable as a patio by adding some sort of cover that isn’t going to cost $10,000..
  • The gazebo on display looked great.
  • The gazebo was on sale

In the end, the last point was really the only one that mattered. We promptly ordered one from Troy…

The following Saturday, Judy and I went back in to pick up our new gazebo. While we were there, Judy happened to notice an outdoor furniture set located just adjacent to the check out stand. She had actually been looking online for one all week to go with the new gazebo, and had fallen in love with this specific set. Go figure.

She looked at me. I looked at her. I looked at Troy. Troy looked at me. Troy looked at Judy. Judy looked at Troy. We all looked at the sign stuck to the love seat portion of the grouping…

You know what that sign said? I’ll tell you what it said. It said…

“ON SALE

TODAY ONLY”

Judy smiled at me. I smiled at Judy. I smiled at Troy. Troy smiled at me. Troy smiled at Judy. Judy smiled at Troy.

And the rest is history…

At this point, we had become pretty good friends with Troy, which is both good and bad. Good because it’s always a good thing to make a friend. Bad (for Troy) because this is the point at which I got the idea of “documenting” the assembly of the gazebo, and I thought it would be a great idea to start with Troy briefly going over the process of assembly. Troy agreed and filming commenced…

It’s interesting (to me, anyway) to note that the instructions list only two tools required for assembly – a hammer and a ladder. A small pseudo-wrench-ish looking thingy is provided in the box.

To that list, I personally added two more tools – a second ladder and a socket wrench. The second ladder is only required if you do not have a very tall fellow (8′ tall) to hold up the “roof” during assembly, and the socket wrench is a replacement for the pseudo-wrench-ish looking thingy, which is (in my case) completely useless.

The hammer is for therapeutic use only (in case you elect not to use the second ladder and socket wrench).

And now for the good part of this whole post – I’ve decided to slap together some of the of the hours of video I decided to shoot showing the progress of the assembly. In fact, as you may be able to discern from Judy’s comments during filming, we probably could have knocked this out in about half the time, had I not been so excited about documenting the project.

I will have a few comments after the movie…

After movie comments (clarifications of cerebral flatulations)…

1 – On most good days, I really do know the difference between a hammer and a ladder. I think I was just overly expectant (overenthusiastic?) about the possibility of hitting something out of frustration.

2 – There never was a last step, so anywhere you hear me say the words “last” and “step” together in the same sentence, don’t believe it. In fact, if you hear the words “last”, “done”, “end”, “finish”, “wrap” or any derivative or those (or any other) words, or other indication that something has been completed in any part of this production, you can feel safe in disregarding that sentiment.

3 – When you subtract 8:30 AM from 11:00 AM, you come up with 2 hours and 30 minutes, not 1 hour and 30 minutes.

4 – When you subtract 8:30 AM from 12:15 PM, you come up with 3 hours and 45 minutes, not 3 hours and 15 minutes.

4 – The Bar-b-Cue actually took us 16 hours to complete. This, of course, renders my statement that it took us “between 3 and 4 times as long” to assemble the Weber as it took to build the gazebo a complete and utter falsehood. Probably a subconscious attempt on my part to make myself feel better about my abilities as a “thing assembler”. 

Finally (I hope), today we are going to go see Troy again. Judy ordered two ottomans (ottomen?) for the gazebo. Ottomans. Really. I think she wants to start an empire… And besides that…

They are on sale…