Falkirk Wheel

 A few years ago, when Luella and I went to visit her son, Joe, in Scotland he took me to see the Falkirk Wheel.  It is one spectacular invention.  There is a huge museum there to show you how the canal system moved a lot of commerce over a hundred years before the railroads.There are literally hundreds of fancy yachts today that can use this system to move a sizeable luxury ship or boat from the Western to the Eastern side of the land. 

Falkirk Wheel - Above

In the beginning there were two canals:

The first, Canal Forth and Clyde, was built in 1777 between the harbors of Grangemouth and Falkirk connecting Glasgow with the west cost of Scotland.

The second, Canal Union, between Falkirk and Edinburgh was finished in 1822.

Because of geographical difficulties, which created a difference of 79ft.in elevation, the two canals were connected by 11 locks.

In 1963, after 150 years of existence of this water way with 11 locks the construction of a huge water carousel started. This extraordinary idea was finished in 2002 and became a symbol of Scotland. This invention saves not only time but also energy.  

Falkirk Wheel - Below 

This is the only rotational boat transporter in the world. It has two arms and each arm forms a kind of huge tub filled with water. Boats enter the tub either at the higher canal or the lower one, then the tub locks up and the huge arm starts rotating.

The “tubs” are filled according the Archimedes’ Law.  So the weight of “tubs” are nearly balanced.  To open the upper and lower lock and turn the whole system by 180◦ they need an engine of 22.5 kW which only uses 1.5 kWh

 Falkirk Wheel - rotating

Here’s a link to a 7 minute video showing a boat going into the tub and then being rotated up to the upper canal.

It is a very interesting place to visit.

The canal system is still a very beautiful way to travel across Scotland.

It is probably one of the most interesting mechanical devices I have ever seen.  It was a fun day.

Excitement on May 16

Excitement on May 16

You never know when you wake up in the morning what are all the potential surprises in store for you as the day unfolds.

From the perspective that I enjoy the picture and plan of our lives is in the hands of the creator.  We only think we are in charge. 

This morning was not particularly unusual.  My wife, Janice was very pregnant in fact the Doctor’s Last exam had assured her that things were normal and they predicted the birthday would be sometime next week.

We lived very near the new Clinic we had built and it was located on a small farm on the East Edge of Brighton, Colorado.  May was one of the busiest months in our practice because we were trying to get all the calves vaccinated, dehorned if they needed it and we would castrate the bull calves.  In 1957 a large part of that sort of animal husbandry was done by the veterinarian.  We wanted to get most of that done before the flies and maggots would be a challenge.

The new hay would soon be ready to cut and spring was in the air.

Except that morning it was snowing.  It was going to change some of our appointments perhaps so I headed to the office.  My first job would be to turn the dogs out to the small exercise run we had and clean the cages. Yes, back in those days in a new small animal clinic we did the work ourselves. For some reason we didn’t have many farm calls that morning so I was back at the clinic at about 10:00AM

Janice called the clinic and asked if we were busy and I told her that not at the moment we were not.

She said she wasn’t sure but maybe we should head to the hospital this afternoon.

Dr. Bill Waddell was not only our doctor but had become a dear friend.  He began his practice in 1951 the same year I went to work with Dr. John Thimmig as new vet graduate.

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Little Orphan Annie

Little Orphan Annie

I had a few rabbits and a few sheep and was just starting in the 4H club.   

The phone rang one day and it was Frank S. Aichelman the son of Uncle Frank that I have already talked about. 

Frank had a few sheep and one of the ewes had twins and would not take care of one of the babies.  He asked my mother if  it was OK with her if he could give me the orphaned lamb. 

Mom asked me and of course I was excited for the opportunity.  Frank drove in the yard a few minutes later with this poor scrawny little lamb.  He  explained that she needed to be kept warm and suggested for a few days that she get about 3 ounces of milk per feeding from a nursing bottle. 

Mom still had a bottle or two left from taking care of my brother Bud and so I began to try to feed the lamb with mom’s coaching and help.  I don’t think it took very many days for the lamb to sleep all night and of course she and I became good friends.  I had a dog named Towser and a pigeon I had saved from some sort of problem so if I went to the field to thin my  sugar beets Mom could see where I was.

I  was on my hands and knees thinning beets and wasn’t much good at it.  But she could see the dog or the pigeon or the lamb because they were watching me work.

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