Sunday, April 18, 2010

Today's Doings

I set out to get most of the emitter stuff done. I installed somewhere around 40 or 50 more of those.

I wanted to get the tree transplanted - done.

I had to both vacuum and the use the carpet cleaner in the new tenant's bedroom. Done.

Decided to get started on digging out the hole for the 1st pond since the tree was removed. Removing the tree was definitely the right thing to do and where I planted it was a much better location than where I originally had it.

So, I put the pond where I wanted it, got some orange spray paint that I bought from work awhile back, sprayed an outline.

Dug out the outline - all the way around - and then filled it up with water. It is VERY difficult to dig out a large hole in this area if the ground is wet, it is freakin' next-to-impossible dry.

It took my 5 days last year to dig out a hole that was approximately 3-1/2 feet in diameter and almost 4 feet deep for that tree I planted. 5 days. I figure as much for just one pond, maybe more for the first.

I am also going to have to find a bunch of good looking rocks for the permiters of both ponds. Dunno about that yet, haven't even started looking. The task at hand is enough: get the ponds in the ground.

I don't even have enough money right now to get the rest of the stuff I will need, so - no big hurry, just want the ponds in before the heat gets worse. I was out there sweating very nicely today, it was very warm in the direct sunlight.

Newest tenant called a while ago and said she was on her way.
She called again and said her dad's truck got a flat and didn't know when she was going to make it with the first load, but sometime "tonight".

I replied no problem - though if after 8:30 pm, she's on her own.

Oh, and I didn't think about this til' today: fill both ponds up most of the way with water and make sure there are no leaks BEFORE putting them into the ground. Leaks are much easier to fix with full access than when they are already in the ground.

That is a day's worth of doings, if I do say so myself. I got a lot accomplished and yes, I'm happy about that. The drip system? I can now say IS almost done. Just a FEW more plants, maybe a handful, and some modifications on setups I already made and I'm done. Guessing another hour's worth of work. I have nothing more than to go to the valves, turn 2 of them on at the same time, and watch plants being watered while I'm sipping sugar-free lemonade. Lol.

Oh, and to get a glimpse of the heat today:
"Temperatures reached the mid-90s on Sunday, and the warm weather got the best of a few firefighters, Caskey said. One rescuer needed an IV and was taken to a hospital for treatment."

Firefighters had been called to rescue an older gentleman who was hiking, fell some 20 plus feet, injured his head and back. When you come out of a nice, cool, spring, there is always an adaptation time to get used to the heat again. I sat out there and forced myself into the midst of it today because - I hate the heat at this point and the only way for me to get accustomed to it each year is to simply go out, in the direct sunlight - with plenty of water of course - work in it and get the idea that yes, this is going to be life for the next 6 or so months.

According to the weather reports, the high temps this coming week are coming back down significantly. I will be totally focusing on getting as much of those holes dug as possible while the getting is good.

Which reminds me, I must get a misting system up for the dogs to help with handling the heat. I have all the materials I need for that project - lumber; dark shade screen; water access; tubing - I only need the misters themselves. I am going to build an overhand off the back fence with the dark sunscreen and install the misters so that the cooling is to be fund underneath that screen. I have a lot of that stuff left, but I wish now that I would have bought more way back when I bought it from a guy that was going out of business and selling it at unbelievably reduced rates.

Oh well. I still think I should have enough to cover everything I want to do out there.

Done for the day.

Good evening.

ben

Pre-Formed Pond

As I continue to ponder how to install these 2 ponds I have acquired, I also decided to take a trip to both Home Depot and Lowe's for some ideas on what is available in accessories and necessities for this setup.

However, even though I have a location picked out - or approximate - I still had no idea how to install 2 ponds that would make it so that one pours into the other.

After looking at picture after picture after picture of such, I finally came to the conclusion that for the best effect, one pond is going to have to be raised slightly higher than the other. Even though I am using pre-formed pond liners, this is going to be quite the challenge for me as I have never even attempted to install anything like this.

It will, however, answer the question as to where I am going to put at least some of the dirt that is dug out of the ground. I will have to build up dirt on the sides of the raised pond with some of that dirt, and if I choose to, I can also use more dirt to build up a waterfall.

Let's just get the ponds in the ground first and then consider waterfalls, pumps, bio-filters and the like. After seeing the price tag of bio-filters, I am definitely going to try to build one myself with some help of one particular site on the net with some people who have been toying with ponds and trying to keep them clear for a couple of decades now.

To the end of getting them installed, I started to move all the landscaping rock out of the way and am watering the tree that needs to be moved heavily. It is a very small tree - maybe 2 feet in heighth, still a "twig", basically, I am hoping it will survive the transplant process. A little vitamin B will help it with shock. I may do that transplant today. Just prepping everything to even start digging is turning into quite the load of work.

I am not, however, deterred, because the eventual outcome will be WELL worth the effort involved.

I am just glad that I am dipping my feet into this unknown by starting with relatively small ponds. When I get it all installed and get plants and a few fish in there and learn how to keep it clean and looking wonderful, THEN I might consider going to a much larger set-up using a liner instead of pre-formed.

But, a larger setup will cost a lot more money and that is a thought for the future. I'm looking at probably a couple of months of install - at the pace I work it anyway - to get it to the "finished" point. That's because I have a lot going on around here, I devote an hour here, a couple hours there to projects such as this until it is done.

Yesterday, I got the half inch line installed for the remaining plants that are not serviced by the drip system. THAT was a pain with all kinds of bends and feeding the line underneath plants and attempting to get it at least a bit underground so that my landscaping rock will not push holes through the tubing. I closed off the end and I powered it up with a full pressurization of water. It held for an hour and that's all I needed to see. I mean, it held pressure for an hour with no visible leaks anywhere in the line, which is about 90 feet long with various 90 degree bends. Meaning several areas where potential leaks could exist.

I have been very pleased at the outcome of the drip system. It is remarkably easy to install, even though at first you definitely have your questions and concerns, and it works QUITE well. It doesn't just save time, it also saves a lot of water. You are applying water to the root zones instead of just using a hose and getting the entire area around the plant wet. A remarkable waste of water in such a situation, I am going green, so-to-speak, with this drip system setup. I have spent more money on it than I thought I would.

I can only add here that I am GLAD that I get employee discount on the entire system or the end-cost of this system would have been nearly quadrupled. Yes, quadrupled, that's the amount of discount I am getting on most every product that I needed for it. I checked the prices at Home Depot and Lowe's, which is where I would have bought the stuff if I had to buy it through normal methods.

Basically, I would have only got one portion of the system up and running at regular prices.

I am headed out there shortly to continue getting more done on the drip system, as it takes precedence over the pond. Though, I will also undoubtedly move all of the landscaping rock out of the way today and probably get that tree transplanted.
OHHHHH gag, I totally forgot - again - to clean that carpet in that room. Well, it'll take half an hour. I can't believe I forgot about that, I got totally absorbed into the world of ponds and it just totally slipped my mind. Off to work!!

G'day.

ben

Sunday

Excuse the last posting, but I was reading the online news, I felt the need to vent my feelings about this on-going and ever-escalating situation with Iran.

As for the homestead, the newest tenant - who hasn't moved in yet but stated she would probably start bringing stuff over today (she has to be out of her current place by Tuesday) - well we sat around and talked for quite a while at the kitchen table yesterday.

I will not rent a room to anyone unless they come over here, sit down, start talking and we get to feel each other out. Is it a good fit? Is there any possibility that there might be problems? If so, I want to hear about it - whether they voluntarily give it out or let it slip - before we start talking about moving in.

I pretty much get a conversation rolling and then, if the person is so inclined, let them talk away for however long I can keep it going. When a person starts feeling comfortable, THAT'S when you might hear something that will identify that this person is going to be a problem, next please. Well, we talked for about an hour. She has a lot going on in life, no doubting that, but I didn't hear anything excessive. She has 2 kids - that are not moving in here thank you but will be visiting from time to time. They are young kids, too; a 3 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. I love kids so that isn't a problem. I did ask about the giant dogs and how the kids might handle it. They would never bite them, in fact, Prince, the black Great Dane, will let anyone just climb all over him, he's the most passive dog I have ever owned in that scenario.

Inserted here, a BTW: this keyboard I bought a while ago is "acting up" and some of the keystrokes do not end up on the screen, hence the mistakes I am making in spelling. The C key is the worst offender and I have to keep going back and fixing it - time for a new keyboard, again.

I asked her what the situation is in her current rental situation and boy, did I get an earful about THAT. She is living with a couple - lesbians - that are, at least from what I gathered from her, total control freaks. I need not go into it, as I don't want to. I know what it's like to live with a control freak, it brings back the old agitations and feelings just thinking about it, I don't want to go there. So I won't.

Will this turn out to be the tenant from hell or a great, nice, person? Only time will tell - time and opportunity to either be nice or stupid always is the telling tale in this kind of arrangement. My house is conveniently located a mile and a half from her work, the reason she wanted to move in here. She doesn't have a TV, heard that after I was pointing out the Direct TV receiver in the room. I just happen to have an extra - I have NO idea where it came from. It isn't mine, is all I know. It's in the other female's closet, I don't even know if it works but I am going to get it out of there and find out. Tenants leave things, is all I can say, and sometimes they leave some pretty nice stuff.

Anyway, my ears perked when she stated without being asked that she is very conscientious about electric usage and turning things off that are not in use. Another score was when she stated she is drama free, doesn't like to get into arguments and is very "chill" - laid back. Nice, I hope that is true and it pans out.

That was my meeting with this lady who decided to move in after all was said.
Today? Dunno - I did a pretty good cleaning in here yesterday and the only thing left is some laundry, my room and my bathroom. I can knock that stuff out pretty quick. Oops, just remembered I promised to clean the carpet in that bedroom, have to get to that early on, like right now after I post this entry. I'm also hungry - some hashed browns loaded with onions and tomatoes sounds delicious. No cheese, thanks, I am still on a diet of sorts. I really had no idea how much calories cheese has in it until I started looking at a lot of labels. WOW!! There is a diet-killer right there. I have backed off the consumption of cheese quite a lot - which I wish I didn't have to do because I absolutely love cheese on just about anything and everything.

Not much else. I think the Suns (NBA) are playing today and they have looked pretty darn good in recent games, they made it to the playoffs I hope they are able to pull something out of the hat and go somewhere with it. I have my projects outside - always have projects outside - which I will also be continuing on with today at least to some extent.

For that, I bid you a Happy Sunday and to remember that this is the day that that Lord hath made - I will rejoice and be glad in it!

ben

Iran, It's Threats And Obama

Does anyone really believe that Iran is producing those nuclear fuel rods for peaceful purposes only? This is not the same scenario as Iraq - Iran is a rogue nation (at best), has publicly and repeatedly called for the destruction of both Israel and the U.S., has called the U.S. on numerous occasions the "Great Satan", is guilty of human rights abuses against it's own people to the point of killing them simply because they were the opposition in the recent elections and has a leader that mouths off at every opportunity against the U.S. and even Obama in particular. They are looking at us like we are a bunch of cowards because our Commander in Chief apparently is afraid of these people.

That's what I get out of Obama's lack of action. I can think of past Presidents that might have already taken out Iran's nuclear production facilities by this point in time. If we did engage in such, what is Iran going to do, send a bunch of troops over here in airplanes to start a war with us? We need not start a war with them, simply dispose of those facilities and put them back to ground zero.

Actually, I do have a glimpse of what they would do: start a terrorism war against us on our own soil. I fully believe they are funding the likes of Al Queda and that they have their own agenda, not unlike Hitler's Germany. You think that's off the wall? Good, let's just sit around another couple of years and see what they DO with nuclear weapons. They will SELL them to TERRORIST organizations and you can bet your @$$ they are going to use those weapons against US on our OWN soil. They MIGHT shoot them off at Israel.

Whatever the case, you basically have the ingredients for World War III, but this time, the world ends. You cannot start popping nukes all over the place and expect the earth to be able to sustain such and just continue on as if nothing has happened. It will be the Book of Revelations type of destruction.

Don't get the wrong picture,I am not a theory conspirorist, I don't sit around fretting about all of this, but I will be vocal enough to state that if we don't do something SIGNFICANT about this situation with Iran NOW, we are going to pay and pay dearly later - and not that much later, either.

But, we cannot - strike that, we apparently WILL not defend even our OWN borders! I wonder how the people that voted for Obama feel about him now, at this juncture? Oh sure, die-hard Dems will say they love him, but what about the people that got on the "Race Train" - let's vote in a black president regardless of the fact that the man has almost zero credentials to fill what is deemed to be the most powerful position in the world. This Iran situation is exactly why I voted for McCain. I have no idea how the man would deal with all of this economic catastrophe going on - I suspect that whoever got into the White House, regardless of poitical leanings - would have had the same problems and potential outcomes that Obama has had.

But, I have no doubt in my mind the McCain would have already escalated this situation with Iran into serious plans of "covert missions" to take out the nuke facilities in that country. Certainly, there would have been very strong sanctions already implemented. Look, I truly believe Obama is pretty much viewed by the world, certainly the extremist world, as a wimp, a lemonade-bleeding yellow belly that has no intestinal fortitude and will run at the first sign of a fight. How many times has this man visited the troops in comparison to past presidents on the battle fields?

WHERE are this man's priorities?

I'm venting, definitely. When it comes to dealing with world powers that are making obnoxious and outrageous threats and are developing the technology to be able to back those threats up, I don't CARE what political affiliation the President has, he BETTER get his @$$ in gear and get the train moving. This situation is a or THE defining moment for Obama, not healthcare. If he fails, we ALL pay for it. He has too much time left as the Commander in Chief - there isn't going to BE another President coming into the Oval Office before something dire and drastic may or will happen with Iran and it's desire - to own the world. That's it. They don't CARE about human life, they are power hungry, they want to dominate the world. Their religious beliefs tell them that we are all evil and should be disposed of in an appropriate manner. Mix power with religion and see what the results of that little lovely add up to.

I certainly don't have a highly read blog here, so I am mostly just relieving myself of pent-up frustration. While Iran is puking out it's threats; while American is reeling in the aftermath of an on-going housing crisis; while our own borders on the Mexican side are being threatened by what amounts to Hooligans with limited power simply because they have gotten rich off of selling drugs; while Americans are dealing with lost jobs, homelessness, fear of the uncertainty of what is going to happen to them; Obama spend a full YEAR with an intense and almost-total focus on HEALTHCARE?

Again, unless Obama does something DRASTICALLY different, I truly believe he will be viewed, after all is said and done, by history as the absolute WORST President that ever occupied that office and position.

The days are wearing thin on me. My dad is - for all intents and purposes, dying.  Part of his heart doesn't work, the blood he lost fr...