Behold the dancing backhoe

We didn’t get our septic tank today — mechanical issues with the delivery truck foiled that plan. It’s been rescheduled for tomorrow, probably around noon, followed by installation. We’ll be unable to supervise, but I’m sure it’ll go just fine.

Our backhoe guy, who’ll also put in our septic system, was on The Mountain with us this morning anyway. We asked him to clear away a pile of brush from the area where our well will be drilled, which he did.

Last week the well contractor left a cairn where he wants to drill. Because it allowed very little room to maneuver the backhoe today, Deb grabbed a can of marking paint and sprayed a red circle on the ground around the small pile of stones, so that we could rebuild it in the same place later. The precaution, as it turned out, wasn’t necessary — we watched, smiling, as our man made his backhoe dance, never touching the cairn (or even the circle around it).

After the work was done he pulled his rig up onto the driveway and we talked a long time. The three of us chatted about travel, family, the nagging (but welcome) pains of aging, music, current events and local wildlife.

At one point I called the others’ attention to a graceful form gliding less than a hundred feet above where we sat, noticing first the gleaming white head, then the golden beak and then the white tail. We all watched in rapt silence as the bald eagle passed overhead, a moment of inspiration and awe.

In other news, construction of the house’s foundation has become complicated and a bit frustrating. I won’t go into details here, but it’s looking like we’ll be going with a crawl space (instead of piers). Plans are being drafted.

We’ll spend tomorrow here at the campground, refilling Ernie’s propane tank. Saturday we’ll take a much-anticipated road trip. I expect we’ll be back on The Mountain on Sunday.


I can’t say that I’m the jealous type. But after handling that Kubey Flash folding knife I got Deb for her birthday I developed a serious case of edge envy. That sent me browsing for one of my own, and eventually I dropped $34 on a Kubey KU322 Tityus.

(I’ll admit to chuckling when I say the name out loud. Tityus.)

I won’t run down all of its specs, since much of that would be a re-hash of the Flash. The overall design of the Tityus makes it a very different knife, however — instead of a “reverse tanto” pattern it’s a drop point, maybe a quarter-inch shorter but much broader. The handle is correspondingly beefier, which gives it a better feel in my big paws.

Naturally, then, the Tityus is larger when closed and it outweighs the Flash, but by only a half-ounce. I like the extra weight, actually.

The other noteworthy difference between the two knives is that the blade of the Tityus incorporates a thumbhole, offering a second ambidextrous way to deploy it (in addition to the silky-smooth flipper).

To be perfectly honest, if I were designing a folding knife to use in the woods, it’d look and feel exactly like this. About the only thing I’d change is the steel — as I’ve said, D2 isn’t my favorite. I’d prefer CPM 3V, or a stainless like 154 CM, but then it’d cost more than 34 bucks.

In some ways the Tityus reminds me of a couple of other knives I own, both US-made. The first is the Zero Tolerance ZT350 (MSRP $235, street $170), a large assisted-opening flipper with a liner lock and a blade of CPM 30V stainless. The other is the now-retired Benchmade 808 Loco, a hell-for-stout folder featuring an Axis lock and, like the ZT350, CPM 30V steel. When the Loco was available it retailed for $240, with a street price of around $180.

As my 55-year-old Boy Scout Fieldbook counsels about edged tools, “the test will be in the using.” I believe I’ll carry the Kubey Tityus awhile and see how it holds up. I hate like hell that it was made in China, and it certainly won’t replace my Benchmade 551 Griptilian, but this knife is worth a shot.

Say it with me now: Tityus.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

Five frisky whitetails appeared on our trailcams late last night.


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