Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 14, 2017

Like I said the last time I posted, it seems that now that I am retired, I have even less time to post.  The last post was over 2 months ago.

Where I seemingly have all the time in the world, I also seem to be busier than ever.  I have not done many actual Star Wars events this year, fact of the matter is that I have only done one event and that was in Oakbrook.  I finally had a day on a weekend where I was not doing a workday for the Forest Preserve District so I did the Special Olympics Polar Plunge in Oakrbrook on 3-4-17.  I didn't plunge this time and was just there to cheer on two members of the Midwest Garrison and all of the other teams that went in.  It was a beautiful day.  Not too cold and not too hot to wear the Hoth Trooper.

The other Star Wars thing that occupied most of February was the construction of the Endor Bunker that Nar Shaddaa Base is to display for this years Joliet Library Star Wars Day in June.  We are supposed to  have the bunker finished and set up by the end of April and it will stay up till June.  As always, it will be part of the NSB display in the lobby of the Joliet Area Historical Museum.  On January 28th and 29th I had two "workdays" on this project and had several members of the Base on hand.  Robert Redden picked up the foam board and delivered that on Saturday morning and it was nothing but cut, sand and paint for the next month.

For a month, just about every room in the house was littered with pieces of this project and it became a bit overwhelming.  I would wake up at 1:00 AM after only a couple hours sleep and start sanding or painting or gluing or whatever.  When all of the pieces were finally painted it was time to see how it all went together and to try to figure out the support system for the piece.

I had a bunch of the NSB members over  on 2-25-17 to gather up all of the pieces and see how things fit together.  I also have been working on some greenery details and other things while Crix builds the support.  This is all supposed to come together in a few weeks.  I have tried to do my best to make it the highest quality one can get out of foamboard and make something that people will truly remember. 

The project is actually starting to look like something and I am pretty excited about seeing it up with all of the "set decoration" that we have planned for it.

I am hoping that it rivals some of the other builds that I have seen on-line and in person.

Now to wait for April and the big "set up".

Since January 1st, I have already put in over 100 hours volunteer time for the Forest Preserve Dist. of Will County.  Lots of regular workdays and going out to do clean up at HCB and also a good deal of work at LaPorte Rd Access.  We finished a really nice project at LRA that removed a vast amount of honeysuckle so that now you could see into the woods again and what it is supposed to look like.

 Much of the work I have done the past couple months is follow up and clean up at HCB.  Those things never end but a lot of the area cleaned up very well so it will be interesting to see how things progress in the new season.

In addition to the workdays I have been able to do a couple of burns with the District and at Lily Cache with the Nelsons.  The time for burns already grows short and I hope to get another one or two in before the season ends.  The burns were fairly easy ones this year.  At HCB the fuel was still a little on the wet side so managing the burn was fairly easy.  The morning of the Lily Cache burn the weather was nasty and there was mist and fog, but we decided to go to lunch and begin the burn later and it worked out well as the site burned pretty well once the humidity went down and the sun came out and warmed things a bit.

The warm weather had jump started a lot of the spring ephemerals but we had a surprise snow storm the last couple of days that buried everything a bit.  I have the annual Garlic Mustard Blitz coming up next week so I hope the snow melts so we can find the garlic mustard. 

I also got a chance to see my friend Cheryl's new house in Beach Park Il.  I went up there on March 5th to do a little chainsawing of some trees that were too close to the house or dead. 

I brought my Stihl saw with me and as usual, it refused to start.  I got fed up with it and Cheryl and I went to the local Home Depot and I purchased a Ryobi saw that I had been looking at for a time.  The Ryobi started very nice and ran great.  I had another friend look at my Stihl saw to see what was going on with it and he did quite a few fixes to it.  I think I will still keep the Ryobi as a back up though as I no longer trust the Stihl to acutally start. 

I have so many things coming up in the next couple of weeks that I both look forward to and some things that I don't look forward to.  I have to go to Silver Cross Hospital for tests...that always sucks.  I am also having the usual teeth issues so there will be trips to the dentist.