Tuesday, January 3, 2012
2011 Recap Part 2 - The "Top 5"
I missed seeing any of my USC classmates during the trip…maybe next time. I definitely want to go back!
Here’s a link to the Japan posts: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/search/label/Japan
The kitchen project proceeded hastily, and it is a real showcase. We’ve been gratified by all the compliments, but even better – it’s been a great change. It went so well, in fact, that we took on a second set of projects upstairs…
We added a classic knee-wall closet up there, cedar-lined. And we updated the upstairs bathroom, including reglazing the tub from its old ‘80’s era mauve to a new glistening white. These are great changes, but I have to admit by the end of all the construction, I was ready for it to be over.
During this time, we adopted Tessie, our 3-year old Border Collie. She's visible in the picture that goes with this post, attending with interest to whatever it is that Mary is doing in the photo there.
Links: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2011/04/kitchen-complete.html ; http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2011/05/remodel-that-goes-on-and-on.html
The project builds on the success of having hiked the 26 “Best Easy Day Hikes” from the eponymous guidebook and was meant to celebrate the Park that I have really come to know, enjoy and love. I picked a preliminary list of hikes that share a common intermediate difficulty – they each are more than five miles long and include a net elevation change of 500 feet.
When I first made the plan, I had hoped to complete the 75 miles during 2011, but as off today’s post I’ve only completed about 50 miles. I have plans for three hikes to complete the remaining 25 miles, and I hope to finish them by May 2012.
Link to “75 at 75 Project” posts: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/search/label/75%20at%2075%20Project
August 2011: The Agribusiness Internship. I mentioned my layoff in the post about the Japan trip above – yesterday I was talking about it to a friend, and I realized I was still pretty angry about the whole thing. After winning those two contracts and leading six projects under them during the early part of the year, and receiving excellent feedback from the client, I was given about a week’s notice that I was to be part of a rather large company-wide downsizing to help make numbers. There was a chance I’d be called back to work, however, and I decided that I would wait for a couple of months before I began a serious job search. (Update: I began my formal job search in October, and had an offer in November. I started my new position in December.)
On Wednesdays, the work centered on his emerging pasture-raised chicken business, modeled on the Salatin book Pastured Poultry Profit$. The cycle for this part of the process was the chicken round-up on Tuesday nights (I participated in this a couple of times, but I think David often got help from more efficient chicken wranglers), then meeting at 5am on Wednesdays to drive to the processor in New Market. After the birds were “sent on their way” at the processor, we’d head back to the farm for some quick chores – moving the chicken tractors in the field and feeding the birds. Then at 9am, it was back to New Market to pick up the processed birds, and then to deliver them to a local restaurant in Luray.
After delivering the birds, there were more chores and assignments at the farm. Some of them were quite dirty…dirtier jobs than I’ve ever had. I learned a heck of a lot at the farm this summer from all of this, and only can hope that there is no lasting damage to the enterprise over there at Public House Produce from my efforts…
As I am writing this, I am also remembering now that it was because of the internship that I happened to be out at the Hawksbill Cabin for the big Virginia earthquake. That was quite a thing to experience and reminded me for a moment of some of the tremors I’d experience in Los Angeles. But that’s a topic for some future post.
Now, a side benefit of the internship was having an up-close view of the development of “Page County Grown” – a local effort to brand and promote family farms in Page County. It is a great organization that has already earned its share of success, including a big highlight of the summer, the first farm tour and a celebratory dinner at the Mimslyn. What a treat to watch this develop, and I am hoping that I can find a few effective ways to contribute to its growth and success in the future.
Here’s a link to the internship posts: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/search/label/Agribusiness
Participating in the event is very rewarding and I really appreciate having the chance to share my experience with my colleagues in the field – and it’s doubly rewarding when we get the chance to discuss their own work, which we often do during the Q+A after my talks. Often, the next week brings a dozen or more requests for a copy of my slides, which I am happy to send along.