Welcome to the OddEssay Blog



November 2012 - December 2012:


November 1, 2012 - November 10, 2012:It's Cotton Pickin' Time in Alabama. Julie and I have been fascinated watching the various means of picking and transporting the cotton.


We have seen none of the smaller, previously standard, bales of cotton, but we have seen many of these large round bales.


They are typically moved by flat bed truck, although we have seen a couple of smaller trucks carrying one or two bales.


The fascinating bales are these huge rectangular bales, which are the size of a flat-bed truck. Julie standing next to the bale gives it size proportion.


The cotton is picked from the plants using a combine much as we would use for picking wheat or cotton, but it is specifically set up for cotton and leaves the plants standing after they are picked.


The cotton is discharged from the combine into this baler where it is compressed into the large rectangular bales.


The cotton is transported on special trailers.


The body of the trailer lifts and slides back the same way a tow truck that hauls cars operates. The red enclosure is part of the trailer. The cotton bale is visible in the open area at the front center of the enclosure.


The back edge of the trailer bed has caster wheels to prevent it from digging into the ground. There is also a conveyor the entire length of the trailer that helps pull the cotton bale along as the trailer bed slides under the bale. I tried to get a picture of the truck in action, but the driver was starting as I drove by and was finished by the time I got a chance to turn around.



After the cotton is picked, a separate operation harvests and bales the cotton plants. The baled plants are used for cattle feed. Because the cotton seeds are poisonous, the plants can only be used for ruminant animals such as cattle (or camels I suppose) that have multiple stomachs and can process the seeds.

For more information on cotton, refer to the "Did You Know?" page.


November 6, 2012:                This is our camp site in Alabama for the winter. It will probably be our last camp site as Julie and I are now intending to give up the life on the road and find a Senior Apartment complex to live in. We currently intend to settle in New York for a year or two while we clear our our storage unit, but will probably finally settle in Tennessee or northern Alabama. However, as with all our plans, everything is subject to change.




November 26, 2012:              Not too much has been going on the last couple of weeks except for several visits to Mobile for doctors visits. In the middle of the month, I was re-bandaging Julie's leg and really did not like the looks of the wound, so I convinced her to go to the wound center in Providence Hospital in Mobile. She is now seeing them every week. I also went to see a gastroenterologist because I was getting worried about the severity of the pains and problems I was having.


Today was the start of my series of tests. We got back from Mobile to find someone had been in the trailer. They had turned on the heat, which I had turned off in the morning, turned off the bathroom light at the switch we never used, and had used my computer, erasing the history after they were done, which is how I know they had used it.


Talk about feeling violated. We have been in the habit of not locking things, but that will not be the case in the future. We were fortunate that all the person took were some drugs. Fortunately, most of our medicines are not out and accessible because Julie always sets up our pills for a couple of weeks and then puts the rest away. I guess there is an advantage to having very little storage space.


December 3, 2012:                We are spending the night in a motel in Mobile. I have a colonoscopy scheduled for 6:30 am tomorrow here in Mobile.


December 8, 2012:                The owner of the campground has been raising bobwhite quail, as I mentioned last year. This year he has started releasing them back to the wild. The problem is, they are too used to people, having been raised in captivity, and have no fear. A couple of them even wandered into the camp office. This little fellow, decided to come visit me while I was grilling supper tonight.




December 10, 2012:              More problems with the truck. We were in Mobile at the hospital when it just stopped dead. We had the tow truck deliver it to a garage in Loxley, which is the closest town to the campground.


December 12, 2012:              We got the truck back having been told the problem was the relay for the fuel pump. I picked up Julie and we started out to do some shopping. We got a mile down the road and the truck died again. We sure are getting our mileage out of the AAA membership.


December 14, 2012:              Got the truck back again. It was the distributor. The unfortunate part is that I had replaced the distributor just 14 months ago. However, I think what probably happened is, that distributor is still attached to the motor that was replaced and the distributor that failed was the old one from the new-to-us motor.


These kids are 2-3 days old. They were so cute frolicking around.


December 16, 2012:              HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!! Eighteen years free of cancer and still counting. On Friday, we also got the results back from all my testing. They did not find out what my problem was, but they were able to assure me that it was not cancer. All my tests, including the wonderful colonoscopy, came back negative.