Sunday, July 23, 2017

I Need a Whip Rack and a New Camera

Some people have gun racks on their vehicles.  I need a whip rack for my Kawasaki Mule.  The weather has changed again, which means that my barn chore routine has to adapt.  I was driving the Mule up the barn aisle after locking all the horses in their stalls at mealtimes, but now we are getting hit by monsoon storms every evening at dinnertime.  The barn gets so muddy that I can't differentiate between the mud and manure, so I have to clean up in the middle of the day.

That means the horses are loose, and I have to chase them away from the gate and keep them away long enough for me to run back to the Mule and drive it in, hop out, and shut the gate behind me.  So far, Lostine and Bombay have been the naughty one who have tried to escape.  Every time I try to drive in, they watch me closely and wait for an opening to race past me out into the yard where they can have their pick of weeds.  As long as I have the whip with me and keep cracking it, they stay away, but I have to set it down in order to drive.  I don't have power steering, so I need both hands on the wheel.

When I try to set the long whip down across my lap or the dump bed, it often falls or the tail of it slips under the tires or into the engine.  Today the tip of the stiff part got stuck in my hair, and I was wrestling to get it out while Bombay was charging the open gate.  I'm thinking about jury-rigging a whip rack so that I can attach the whip to the driver's side of the Mule, easily pull it out when I need it, and put it away when I don't.  I'm not sure how to do it yet, but I'll come up with something.

Today while I was cleaning stalls, Bombay walked up to the front of the Mule and began rubbing his muzzle around on the hood.  I got in the driver's seat and figured he'd move out of the way, but he just stood there with his chest against the grill.  I honked the horn twice and he didn't react at all.  I clucked my tongue and pointed, but he was being belligerent.  I ended up backing up and driving around him.

We are having unusual temperatures of July.  We are actually dropping below 100 on some days.  The humidity is horrible, but at least we don't have the high temps to go with it.  We noticed that there were about twice as many people in the market this weekend as there were the weekend before, and they looked like they were from out of state.  I know that some of the northern states are actually suffering from higher temperatures than us, so I'm guessing that the snowbirds are coming to Arizona in the summer now to escape the heat in addition to coming here in the winter to escape the cold.  I never thought I'd see the day that would happen.  And some people say that Global Warming is a myth.

My husband called to me that there was a snake outside, so I grabbed my camera and scurried out.  As I was walking through the garage, he said, "Look up."

I stopped dead in my tracks and looked up horrified, expecting to see a snake hanging from the rafters in the garage, but I didn't see anything.  He said, "I changed the light bulbs."

I said, "Don't tell me there's a snake and then tell me to look up!  I nearly had a heart attack."

The snake turned out to be a good sized gopher snake.  He or she posed for a few photos.

Of course it was in the one junk pile we have on our property.  My point and shoot camera has been a stinker lately.  It refuses to zoom and/or focus in a timely manner when I'm taking pictures of wildlife.  My husband said, "Get a new camera already!"

The problem is it has a 60x zoom, and is therefore more temperamental.  I'm thinking of getting something closer to half that amount of zoom in hopes of having a more responsive camera.  Does anyone have a point and shoot with a fast zoom and auto-focus they can recommend?


Camryn said...

You can always get a whip holder like those used on carts/carriages to attach. I just matinee you can google it.

TeresaA said...

hmm, I first thought a small bungee cord but that won't work if you want it fast. Would this work?:

ellie k said...

Maybe your husband could put a pipe or something on the side of the mule so you could just drop the handle of the whip in it. Something to hold it upright and you could put you hand right on it. A piece of PVC pipe might work.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Those are all good ideas. The biggest challenge is going to be finding a place to attach the parts without ruining the frame of the Mule. I might use zip ties or twine. I don't want to drill holes. Also, most of the surfaces are curved. I just glanced at it today and didn't see any obvious place to attach something. I'll look into more when I get a few uninterrupted minutes and decent weather.

TeresaA said...

Take a piece of pipe/tubing, attached some velcro to it and wrap it around the frame.

Linda said...

I'm trying to remember to have my whip with me, too. Eww, snakes, but I guess that one is a "good one". All I use for photos anymore is my phone. I am probably going to upgrade to the Iphone 7 plus from my old Samsung. My sister has one and she took beautiful photos and video this last weekend.

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Lumix by panasonic only a 20 X zoom but an awesome little camera