Friday, May 25, 2012

A Kinder Society

It rained a bit last night. We were also blessed with a heavy dew and, on such mornings, I sit here and look over my little farm, amazed at the shades of green. The trees are like huge sticks of cotton candy in shades of green. Then as you look back into the shadows the greens go darker into black. I never tire of looking at my woods. When I work down in the trees it is to burn the scrub. The burning enriches the soil, takes out the competition from the invasive undergrowth. The trees reward me with their marvelous shades of green. The soil down under the trees is also amazing. Light, loose, thriving. I once found an earthworm, there, in the woods a good ten inches long. So, why is the soil apparently dead on the hills? This spring my hay yield has dropped dramatically again. Just six and a half large bales. This is pathetic for a parcel of twenty-six acres. I see people get that amount off of two acres. I can take a shovel up there and turn the soil over. It is a little packed but not badly. It is rich and black. It LOOKS like it should be beautiful soil. It LOOKS like it is rich. My hay guy wants to come in and spray herbicide and kill off the grass, Then he wants to plant soybeans for a year and then follow the soybeans with a stand of alfalfa. He says there are no nutrients in the soil and the nutrients need to be put back. He says that the brome grass that I have here is a heavy feeder and the nutrients are gone. Somehow this doesn't seem right. This ground has been in the Crop Reserve Program for twenty some years. The soil should be rested. The action of the dying grass, composting away should be sufficient to revitalize the soil. What is going wrong here? This question keeps weighing on me. Yesterday, a friend e-mailed an article to me about organic gardening, soil management and the disappearing topsoil. It was interesting. Then I went to a link on bio-nutrients. This was even more interesting. It described the soil as something similar to a society. All the parts have to function. It isn't enough to have the soil. It isn't enough to have the nutrients in the soil. There has to be life in the soil. Without the life in the soil there is no way for the plants to take up the nutrients. This was getting more and more interesting to me. Then I went to another link. It was an article on soils and "dark earth". Dark earth are pockets of fertility that were produced by south american cultures before white people appeared. This soil was somehow made so fertile, that it hasn't lost it's richness, even now, hundreds of years later. It is teeming with life. In this article they described the soil and gave descriptions of problem soil. They described my little farm, with it's beautiful black dirt, that can't even support an earthworm up on the hill. My farm is without life, without this kinder society. At one time, before the land went into crop reserve, it was farmed. How many chemicals would have been dumped on it back then? How much herbicide? How much pesticide? How much killing of the soil society took place, this earth terrorism? Last night, while Mac slept, I was reading and coming up with a plan. I can put down manures and wait for something to happen. It will take some time as the manure will need to compost and activate it's life, or I can go a faster route and give the land nutrients and transplant life. I am going to go the faster route. It will allow me to jumpstart the process, especially since I have no equipment to haul and spread manure. The faster route will be enriched manure teas that are enhanced. It would help if I had a means of spraying, but if I must, I can get this out on the hills with a watering can. It may be difficult, but at least it is possible. I can make the teas in one of my fifty-five gallon barrels. I can dip it into watering cans... however primitive the method, it can be begun now. Now, is a good thing. The manure tea will start off by soaking a bag of horse manure in a barrel of water, like a huge organic tea bag. After it has soaked for a day, remove the bag of manure and to the tea add wood ash, molasses, fish emulsion, seaweed extract if you can get it and either add, or spread on the ground, some rock dust. I can't afford to have rock dust trucked in so I will just start with some bags of lime from the garden center. I'm going to do this by sections as I can afford my ingredients. We will begin today. Life is coming back to the little farm. Louie

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Time for a Break

I'm tired. So far, it has been a rough week. Another one of those up and down roller coaster weeks. I had some very good news on some possible hay sales on one day just to have them disappear the next. My highs have been high and my lows, have made me really want to cry.... which I would have done... that is, if I could cry anymore. But I can't, so I don't. I have been working on my made from shipping pallets chicken coop. I read quite a few articles. Watched a you tube video. Thought I had a handle on the project. Then since I already had my baby chicks upstairs, I jumped in. Nothing was square. There were rotten boards. There were cupped boards. There were a LOT of nails to be pulled. There were so many times when I needed someone to hold something while I nailed, screwed, cut..... but It was just me. One pallet chicken coop article I read showed a family making a fairly large coop and painting it green in just three days. My coop is just a little over three feet wide, by four foot long and probably four foot tall. It is intended to get some wheels under it so the layers can get out in a chicken tractor and enjoy being out to pasture. The wheels will come later. Perhaps smaller is more difficult. Always working alone certainly is. But today the miracle that I had been waiting for occurred. The little coop got finished. Finished, of course, is more of a theoretical concept. Finished enough to use. It still needs about four pieces of trim applied and it needs the shingles on the roof. So far it is just clad in tar paper, but not considering that, it doesn't look too bad. It does help if you stand back, tilt your head and squinch one eye. I wasted no time in packing up all the chicks and getting them settled out in their new accommodations. It has been a bit nerve racking as one of the buff orpington chicks has been practicing flying from the perch. Other then the sound of the wind being worrisome, they settled right in. Now, in my very silent house, after four days of hitting it really hard, I can stop for a moment. I can rest. I might even get a wild hare and take a nap. And then, when I wake up, it will be time to start in the garden. Louie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Is this Heaven?

So far this morning I have cleaned out the chick enclosure. Given them clean food, water and grit. Taken the refuse out to the garden and buried it, which will have to do until I get my compost pile organized again. Then the horses fed and watered. A few thistles were chopped as well. Now to have a cup of coffee and try to figure out the proper order of my day. It probably won't matter what I think the order of my day should be. Something will come up. There will be a problem some where and my order will fall into disorder. That's okay. There was a film made in Iowa, quite a few years back called , "Field of Dreams". The famous line was ..... "Is this heaven?" "No!, It's Iowa!" Today, for me, as I feel the cool fresh spring air on my skin, listen to my chicks, chirping and pecking away in the loft. I have a wave of contentment. There is so much to do, that I should probably feel totally beside myself, but today, I can't. Today, with my land, there is peace. The tasks for the day are to chop a few thistles that are over by the sugar maples. Mow off a section of grass that I need to rake up for the horses. I'd rather move them but fencing continues to be an issue. Then I will work on the tiny chicken coop. Maybe with luck we will be able to move the chicks out to the coop tomorrow. I have enjoyed all the chicky noises but I have to admit that I feel a bit,... well, a bit less socially acceptable by having livestock in the house. Oh well, it won't be long now. I have a little left to do on the last side of the coop, then doors, window and a roof. Then the chicks will get moved and no one will be the wiser on my animal husbandry practices. Not that I really care what people think, I especially don't care today. Even if you don't have a ball field in your back yard, a day like this is heaven. Louie

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I need a good book.

I have been a bit obsessed lately. Screw that.... I'm obsessed all the time, but that's not the point. I think I'm actually making some progress lately, which just kind of sucks you in deeper. So, in order to be ready for the next day, I read things like, "Farm Conveniences and How to Make Them" This is actually counter productive cause it makes me find more things I should do.... I become more obsessed. I could get more done if I could just relax. I need a good book. One with a plot for a change. Perhaps something that has no building taking place.... or animal husbandry.... or fence building. Maybe a book where the leading man has buns of steel. Maybe there will be nekkidness. If sex doesn't happen maybe it will be alluded to. That's always an interesting plot device. Can't really remember the last time I unwound. If I can't find a good book, maybe some new tunes. I like my tunes. Everything from Harry Connick to ZZ Top. A good song can take your mind off your troubles. A lot of songs are about sex. I think sex and getting dumped are the most popular song topics. I've been dumped. I wonder if there is a song about buns of steel? That would be a good song. (just speculating, that is) Maybe I'd relax if the kitchen were clean, or if I was one of those women whose real happiness came from starched napkins. Nope, don't see that happening. Maybe I'll just plan on relaxing next year. Louie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Yesterday the chickens arrived. I had high hopes of being ready. Hopes of organization and maybe even, dare I say, competence. Hell no!! It was nothing like that. Actually, it was like this...... I got up and started off with a mild anxiety attack. Then I did all those things that were necessary. Made the bed. Fed Mac. Let the dog out to pee. Chored the horses. Then at eight o'clock in the morning, I called the farm supply store to see if my chicks had arrived. They would call as soon as they got there. So, in an attempt to be purposeful and work on my goal, I tried to make some progress on the coop. I just couldn't get anything done. I ended up just trying to do busy work. Made a list of the most pertinent things that I would need. Things like feed and oyster shell grit. A hamster water bottle. A hex wrench set.... Then the call came. Jumped in the truck with my list. Got to town and went to Wal-Mart for the odd stuff. Got some gas. Went to the farm store and there they were.... chicks. My first chicks. Holding them was like picking up fuzzy air with toenails. They were in a little box with air holes and a divider down the center. The broiler cross pullets were on one side, the Buff Orpingtons were on the other. I asked for a bag of starter feed but they were out. So, one more stop on the way home at the other farm store. I got the feed and the grit and we headed home. As soon as we got home, I grabbed the chicks and the water bottle and headed upstairs to the loft where we had decided to house the little puffballs until the coop was ready. From what I had read the number one killer of new chicks was dehydration. I wanted to be ready for this, at least. I got water in my bottle and opened the box. There lay one chick. It's eyes were closed and it's legs sprawled out. I touched and it blinked and lifted it's head. There might still be some hope. I picked her up and stuffed her wee beak into the water bottle. I repeated a few times until I could see her little gullet swallowing. She seemed to perk up but her condition gave me a feeling of urgency. I set her down and she seemed content enough. I got the next chick and stuck her beak in the water bottle tube and watched for swallowing. I tried to get at least two drinks into a chick before moving on to the next one. Finally the broilers were done. I tried to give the weak chick another drink, but didn't seem to do as well this time. I opened the other side of the box and started on the buffs. they didn't seem to take to the tube as well, but we kept at it. Then, I noticed the weak chick. It had laid back down and was sprawling out. I moved her back to the box and continued with the buffs. Finally, all the chicks were done and cheeping their little guts out.... all but one. Then I ran downstairs and found a small aluminum pie plate to put the grit in. I knew the feeder was suppose to be longer to give more chicks access to the feed at one time. I was trying to hurry but found myself thinking..."What would Mother do?".... that is Mother as in Mother Earth News. I was trying to think back to the old Mother days. The fix up, repurpose, make do Mother and then I remembered.... ICE CUBE TRAY! I grabbed an old ice cube tray and ran out to the truck and opened the bags. Filled the little plate with grit and the ice cube tray with feed. The chicks had started pecking the newspaper as soon as they had gotten water. I didn't want to miss out on using this feeding instinct. I did not know if it would wane. Got the feed in their container. They looked at it. I took some out and sprinkled it onto their paper. It turned into a little chicky feeding frenzy! Then for the first time in several days..... I calmed down. I just sat on the floor and watched them. They were strangely fascinating. Then I noticed one off to the side... hunkered up. I wasn't sure if it was cold, tired or weak. I picked it up and shoved it's beak back into the watering tube. It was still. I reinserted it's beak. It drank. I spent the next three hours with the chicks. As soon as one looked the tiniest bit sluggish, it was made to drink. After awhile, when I put my hand down in the container, a chick would jump into my hand and stick it's little head out. Apparently the chicky reasoning had become, the first step to drinking was to jump into the giant hand. Then all of a sudden, they all seemed to go to sleep. I had to move. Every single muscle in my body was sore. I went outside. Walked off the aches and decided the chicks needed a perch. I went and checked a small brush pile and found a couple of appropriately sized sticks. They got stacked on the side of their container. The side closest to the space heater. The hope was that the perches would keep them from piling as well as teach them to perch. One buffie took to the perch like a champ. He seemed to act very superior with his new found ability. I have to say that I was very concerned about their drinking. How much is enough? How much is good enough? After battling with my paranoia for awhile I thought I would add a watering pan..... just to be on the safe side. I went out and found some small rocks and put them into another small aluminum pan. Added water, but not too much. Then put it under the hamster water bottle. All of the buffies, who I did not think had taken well to the water bottle tube, ran to the water dish. I took one and dipped it's beak. It drank. Then the others, on their own, followed suit. They scooped the water up. Tipped their heads back. Closed their eyes and glug-glugged the water down their throats. I checked on the chicks several times before going to bed. Tucked them in as best as I could with the space heater, and as the sun set and the house darkened, their little cheeps went quiet. This morning the process was reversed. The brighter it got, the louder they got. I went up this morning to change their water and their bedding. I wasn't anxious to do this chore because I was told that you always lose a couple of chicks. I knew I would go up there and find another little corpse. But no, they were all alive, and chirping and apparently happy. I guess my water paranoia paid off. It's happened! After just two years and after a lot of really useless planning and worrying, the little farm has chickens. It is amazing. Spring has come. The sky is so blue it takes your breath away. The crab apples are purple against the green of the walnut trees. I have humming birds whirring around the feeder outside my window. I have two horses. I have a big garden. And , I have chickens in my loft, chirping their little hearts out. Louie

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day before Chickens

I have had a busy spring so far. Some small projects finished up. Horses moved. Chickens ordered. Bee class taken. It is an easy thing to only look at what is left to do, instead of what has been accomplished. This morning I spent some time looking at one of my infamous to-do lists and had to admit that I had about two years worth of work represented on that sheet of paper. Silly me. The coop continues to come along. Not as well as I had hoped, but we might slide in under the wire. I just might need to run to town to buy some supplies to build my feeder. I think I will take a gallon vinegar jug and cut access holes on either side to hold their grit. I have looked at ads and instructions on the internet about building a nipple waterer for the chickens, but I haven't got time to send away for the components to do that. I am thinking of picking up inexpensive hamster cage waterers instead. My main concern with all of these containers is that the chickens not be able to roost on them and poop all over anything they need to consume. Chickens are notorious poop machines. The garden is another endeavor that holds a great deal of hope for me. I don't ever want to use a community food pantry again. This last weekend a friend showed up and helped me with the garden. Quite a bit of space got turned over and filled with tomatoes. We also got some kale, salad greens and brussel sprouts planted. Before that I had gotten pumpkins, pickling cucumbers, beets, carrots, sweet corn and onions planted. I just keep expanding my garden, creating more beds. Sometimes as I am digging away, I envision Scarlet O'Hara gathering up Georgia clay in her fist and shaking it at the sky..."God, as my witness, I'll never go hungry again!" It is my motivation. While I have never let Mac go hungry, I have to admit that there have been many times when it was pretty damn skimpy. Man cannot live by frozen corn and chicken hindquarters alone. The other great thing that happened this weekend was that my oldest daughter got me something I needed very badly as a mother's day gift. I new belt for the mower. I am ecstatic!!!! The grass was driving me nuts and the ticks were once again converging on the civilized portions of the farm. I really, really hate ticks! I can't wait to get out there and start mowing. Later we will gather up the grass and get it thrown into the horse lot. This job will be total pleasure today. The world is changing out there, almost as I watch it. The greens are stunning. My trees are like great green barriers, encircling me and protecting me from the outside world. This is a good place to be, especially today, with so much to do. It isn't just that life is good, but it is rich, varied, and infinitely compelling. Louie

Friday, May 11, 2012

My Rollercoaster

This morning has already been a roller coaster event. I was up at six this morning. The weather is too beautiful for words this week. I am anxious to get back to work on the chicken coop this morning. Today I want to start the roof... which I fear will be a tricky operation. Mac was bathed, dressed and fooling around with something on his iPod. I had gotten his pills out for the day, breakfast was done and it seemed we were on greased groves. Mac has been pissy with the prednisone therapy and a spring head cold. He was bitching and coughing. Blew his nose and bitched and coughed some more. Then he got a gusher nose bleed. Needless to say, the mood got worse. Finally got him in shape to get off to work. Then I went out and fed the horses. The cool spring air was a balm to my nerves. The grass is pretty dry this morning and I walked through the garden. The plants and seeds haven't really taken off yet, so it is still mostly dirt. But it felt good to be there. The birds are all very happy today. Hooded woodpeckers, robins and jays of course. The place seems to be goldfinch nirvana this spring. Brilliant yellow flashes are everywhere. The tiny wren, though plain, just fascinates me. Such a delicate thing. The pair of Baltimore orioles haven't shown up for the party yet, but should be out when it warms a bit more.. A bob-o-link was on a far post, ever cautious. I could hear the cardinal but couldn't see it. It wasn't quite a Disney flick, but it was close enough. Maybe it was better, because it was real. I will go out and work on the coop this morning for a bit. I want to start painting the interior while it is easy to reach, then work on the garden while it is drying. Later I should be ready to work on the last two sides and the roof. That's the plan anyway, and I'm hoping that the labors wash away the emotions and the stress. Everyday, I can make this place, this little farm of mine, better. It is the canvas of my lifetime. In return, it makes me better too. Louie

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken Coop

My chicks have been ordered. Somehow, I think there should be a pregnant pause following that statement so the effect can be fully realized. The chicks have been ordered..... that means they will come! Then I will have twenty five fluffy little balls that will expect me to not eat them. And I feel a bit like a hypocrite trying so hard to keep them alive at the outset just to make them dead later, I imagine I will still wrestle with that problem until it is time to put them in the pan. When I ordered the chicks I had absolutely no faith in my ability to be prepared. I am still not prepared. It was almost a shock this last week when I realized that I had given no thought to waterers... or feeders.... or grit pans... or lights..... or bedding. Yikes!! I have given a lot of thought to ... foxes.... weasels... dogs.... coyotes.... large cats.... hawks.... you get the idea. I have spent a great deal of time studying different styles of chicken tractors. I've read warnings about which will withstand attacks from the neighborhood dogs. The whole thing has left me so worried about doing the wrong thing, that I have done nothing. Damn fear of failure!! Then I remembered that I had promised myself to not quit. To not cave in to that old pattern of getting so far and stopping. I was sitting on the rock in the front yard thinking about how to "not stop" and I looked up and there was an old pallet. It wasn't like the other pallets around the place. It had a kind of long narrow shape instead of the usual 4 ft.x 4 ft. My brains clicked. I went and got my measuring tape. The pallet was not too big.. not too small.... it was just right. I had some other pallets behind the house, so off I went with my handy measuring tape. I had a second pallet in no time. I started to take the three thin cross pieces off the back. It was taking too much time, so I went off in search of the sawzall. I don't like the sawzall reciprocating saw because it darn near shakes my eyeballs out of my head. I managed to saw through the nails barely able to keep my eyeballs in place and then got the jigsaw, a tool I really like, and cut the thin boards down the center. This made two narrower boards that I could use on the fronts of the pallets to cover the gaps. The pallet front now had the look of a board and batten barn. That was side no. 1 completed. I began the next pallet. This one had some broken boards on it, but they were all broken on the same side. So, I decided that this should be the side that I fit in the nesting boxes. I would have to cut away the boards for the boxes anyway. This gave me a head start. Once again the back boards were taken off and split as needed and put on the front as battens. Reinforcing 2x4 pieces were screwed into the pallet backs close to the edges. This will give me something to nail to when putting the sides together. The second side was completed except for figuring out exactly how I need to do the nesting boxes. Currently, I have no clue, but I know that at some point in the day it will just come to me.... because that is how my mind works. Usually, my day starts with a bit of anxiety. I wonder how long I can deal with heavy work. I wonder if my back will hold up. Then worry turns into procrastination. Then it gets a little crazy, then I'm dealing with crisis management. But today... well today I am so jazzed!!!! I cannot wait to get out there and see just how this thing is going to turn out. God knows I'm not following a plan. I'm kind of just holding stuff up and saying, "Yup, that ought to work." It will be a bit trickier today as I have to deal with roof pitch and that stuff, but you never know, holding a board up and seeing if it will fit just might work again. This is going to be so much fun!!! Louie

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

For the Want of Concrete

I was looking at a list of things I would like to accomplish in the next few weeks and it was a bit depressing. Many of the materials are here, in stacks and going to waste. But it seems that we are stopped on all fronts by the want of concrete. We could do it on the cheap since I already own a concrete mixer. (How many women can say that?!) But I still need to get a load of sand and bags of portland. If a miracle occurs I think I could get started on two sheds, the footings for the outdoor kitchen, the footings for the deck and probably most importantly, the footings for the carport. Ah yes, the carport...... you see, I'm a bad wife. There's no doubt on that score. But Mac's older brother, Jim mentioned that garages were over rated. All a person really needs is a carport. I got to thinking about that. Then I realized that for the amount of concrete that big two car garage plus attached man cave would take, I could get a lot of footings poured. I would be over the hump on almost every project on the place. We could move on with our lives! I have no doubt that he will be upset by this decision but Mac isn't a woodworking, mechanical type of a husband. In truth he would rather have a new computer. So, we will do the right thing for the big picture. It's kind of exciting to think about getting stuff accomplished again. The swallows are back. I put out a finch feeder the other day. The rain is over for now and the little farm is clothed in shades of green. As I look out my window at this panorama that has become my life, everything seems possible. I just need a little concrete. Not so much as I had originally thought. Just enough, but then, enough is as good as a feast. We can do this. Louie

Monday, May 7, 2012


Last week Mac went to see his oncologist in Iowa City. I don't know why it bothered me more then usual. It seems to have knocked me backwards. Then everything just slows me down. All endeavors just become fraught with emotion. Soon, the emotion is a bigger problem then whatever caused the emotion in the first place. I can't afford to be bothered. Too much emotion. Too much backlash. Then, a couple of things happened. One friend sent me some information about the Parelli patterns. It is a part of the Parelli horse training program and of course, I couldn't afford to buy the instructions. I'd been craving this instructional set. So some of the pattern information was sent to me. The idea is to teach the skill. Have the horse confident in the skill and then how to build on it. The building is either making the task more complicated or doing it at a higher level, such as going from a twelve foot rope to a twenty-two foot long rope, Eventually the forty-five foot rope. And when you are really good, you work at liberty, which is no rope. I don't know what there is about Parelli but you can't seem to work on your horse without working on yourself. Actually I think I have had to work on myself first. I'm not quite emotionally fit enough for the horse yet, but I digress.... So, I have this pattern information that I am studying. Another friend e-mails me and we get to sending e-mails back and forth. We talk about aliens and ducks and childhood, and how I am trying so hard to make money. How I worry about money. Then it becomes the blinding flash of the obvious. I see my own pattern. Because as surely as there are good patterns that give growth, confidence and education, there are patterns that take them away. I see my childhood of ... you can have this much but no more. You an dream, but only this far. No matter how hard you worked in high school, no matter how smart you are, you can't have a real college education. Then later in life I would be told , "If you try this, then I'll help you when you get to this point." But the help never came. I would be left hanging. You can go this far, but no farther. Sometimes it feels that everything that I tried was stopped short... yanked out from under me. Now, the pattern is learned. I work to halfway and then I stop. If I try to proceed, the anxiety is overwhelming. The pattern is completely ingrained in my nature. I can only start, but never finish. Then the opening is there to be told that I am a failure. And I have certainly been told that. I have been told what I deserve, what is good enough for *me*, what I will be allowed. That's all you will get, because you can't finish anything anyway. The vicious circle continues. So, now what? Well, I have a couple of good things going for me. I see what I have been doing. How I have been subverting my self. Just like I have been trained to do. And, I have been studying how to train, so why not re-train myself? The other thing that I have going for me is that I am friggin' awesome at starting on something new, even if it is a huge project! No matter how beat up I get, I have the capacity to drag myself up and start again. My middle might have to be many, many beginnings until I build on my new pattern and create some endings. The more I succeed, the more confidence I will build. Then the more I will build my new pattern of success. I see this from a new perspective now. I can do this. I can change this. I can start again. Louie

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Another Day in Iowa City

Yesterday, Mac was back seeing the doctor in Iowa City. Since he had a moderately severe graft vs host incident, he is back to monthly doctor visits over there. He responded well to the prednisone and they are taking his dosage down a little bit. He will need blood tests in two weeks and if they look good then the dosage can be dropped again. His liver function was iffy. Now it's better. Dr. Silverman thinks he had the GVH in his liver. I am hoping it is just that my husband, the dumb ass, wouldn't listen to me and kept drinking wine while his GVH was flared up. He thinks he is funny and has gotten away with something. Not funny when you consider that having rejection attack an organ can be a prolonged death sentence. Not funny when you consider that stem cell/bone marrow transplant for the treatment of leukemia is still in research mode. It is not an exact science. I'm tired. I'm trying to not be completely pissed off. My back hurts after six hours of driving yesterday. I would really like to take car designers and slap the shit right out of them. They get so concerned about making the outside of the car look sleek and angular that they can't make the seat line up right with the steering wheel. Almost every car I have driven in recent years has the steering wheel more over the right leg then the left. So, if you drive like you are suppose to, with both hands on the wheel, in the ten o'clock and two o'clock positions then your body is twisted. The body twists right where I have three herniated disks. Don't those people even sit in their damn cars?!! Car designers and doctors..... they all do their best to make other people think they know what the hell they are talking about. They're just better trained at slinging bull shit. And with that in mind, I want to tell you all.... I'M A NOBODY!! I'M AN EXPERT AT NOTHING!!!! I'M JUST HERE FOR THE RIDE! I just hope that I make it the best ride I possibly can. And I'll do my best to not let my ride, do anything to derail someone else's. Louie