I’m the cool dad, that’s my thing.

Can I make a normal face? A: no, I think you have to have a normal face to make one. ANYWAY. I graduated. It wasn’t pretty. One of us didn’t make it and has to make up shop classes. D:

I’ve been super stressed this month–having nightmares, I stopped losing weight (plateaued) and, shockingly, didn’t have a period this month. I haven’t skipped periods since I was an irregular kid 20+ years ago. The program itself was fine, in fact it’s a great idea to prepare women for the trades, but the people who run it are absolute nightmares. Our primary teacher left at the end of our session to become a bureaucrat with the city. I was interested to talk to someone who knew a former teacher for the program quite well, and was able to comment on how it’s in the toilet right now, insofar as it’s being run. I have no fear of writing about this because I’m already on the shitlist with them and have already been on the receiving end of some minor retaliatory behavior. YAAAAY! Expect the worst from humanity and you won’t be disappointed, eh?

BUT, I made really excellent friends and contacts with my peers. The esprit de corps happened in spite of all the jackassery.

So now I am in a weird place. I have been invited to take the electricians’ aptitude test on the 5th, which is algebra and logic and reading and I think some personality test. I have already taken and passed test for the sheet metal union. I need more money and I am being recruited for holiday high-tech contracts again, which makes my stomach churn. I am also applying for work in sheet metal and machinist shops, but my resume says high tech. What a great place to be! Someone give me a job. URRRRGH

My math class this summer was very rudimentary compared to the electricians’ test, so I am now jumping back into my solo algebra studies. And just trying to keep busy.

Just kidding. My life is now peeing into cups.

Good timing to finish–I needed to get the chicks outside safely. Usually I let chicks fully feather in the house, but this batch is different. I think Laura the turkey poult might be extraordinarily messy with her water, or playing with it, because every time I turned around, it was empty, and the water was on the chips/box floor. Not good, and the box was starting to go funky, and the chips smelled worse than the chicks (the chicks are dusty, but aren’t too bad as long as you change their chips once a week).

Historically I’d been able to keep 3-4 chicks in a Uhaul wardrobe box until they were feathered out and ready to go outside, but I knew the box would disintegrate before then. I like having them in a basement or garage because they get lots of attention and handling, and get very used to people noises, but they had to go.

I decided to make something that I hadn’t before called a “chick playpen.”

This cage goes inside the coop, taking up part of the space so the chicks can come in and get warm. I cut a hole in the top with a hole saw and hung their brooder lamp inside it.

Here it is in situ.

The hens still have space to lay, perch at night, and can get used to the chicks existing.

I “meshed” off the back section of the coop’s attached run, which is roofed as well. The chicks will have an outdoor space that is completely covered and enclosed with hardware cloth on the outside so nothing can get them, and the hens can see them but not peck them.

At night (or anytime) they can go up into the coop in their playpen and be warm. Food and water is on the ground level, on pea gravel. When they get a bit bigger I can cut a hole in the temporary internal mesh so they can enter the main yard with the hens, but pop back into their area for their special grower food and in case they are being pecked. Eventually the mesh comes down and the playpen is removed.

Goethe is my shadow when I’m outside.