Damn this cold weather crap is way-different than the hot kind, and even different than the mild, non-weather stuff we’re accustomed to. 39°-F makes fixing the drip-line a real icy bitch. Good thing there’s not too many splits, and maybe the plants will survive if there’s enough water in the ground.
UPDATE: 35° and falling now, expected 28° tonight… Dang you Midwesterners!
I should begin a log or hash-tag these events. The Weather-reader on the TeeVee had forecast a high of 60 degrees today, and tomorrow or Tuesday an incoming blast of cold and wet air from a Canadian source, traveling south to chill the region and put some snow down at Tahoe while freezing our own asses. So I decided I better deal with the split in the #3 circuit in the above-ground drip-line, and when I went to address its issues I added my own incompetence to the mix via the application of too much strength, and increased the failure to function by snapping it off at the root. Anyhow it was a good deal warmer than expected, well above 60 and into the mid 70′s at least.
Discovery through digging proceeded, and showed the below-ground fitting to be a t-standard, right in the middle of the seasonal (when it rains) stream-bed. I ran the water to get out the accumulated dirt, and filled the hole – and noticed a secondary leak and decided the t-fitting was unnecessary as the junipers were hellishly well embedded, and drought-tolerant as well – they didn’t need a lot more water diverted to them. I pumped-out the hole with my sump-attachment on the De Walt drill until the battery ran dry and I had to go to the garage for the other battery which was not plugged-in and dead as well. Oh great.
We left off that to attack the overgrown Lavender which had gone native and had transformed into a wild thicket, filled high with the decaying results of years of leaf-blowing – the interior was clogged and caked with a fine leaf-mulch that I spread over gaps in the tanbark. Another half-hour or more of work returned the lavender to a shrub-like appearance and with the skirt raised, it revealed an nice border of local rock all around the base.
Hot and sweaty I made a shopping list and it was time for lunch. After a nice dish of Pollo Fundido at a local Margaritateria, we returned home via Ace Hardware where I realized I had all the necessary fittings, junctions, and do-dads – but no 3/4″ pipe – mine was all 1/2″ from the previous episode… So back to Ace.
Now where does all this thing drain-from, and will the incoming freeze burst the lines unless they’re drained or do I leave them running to keep from freezing, and spread icicles all over the land?
Arrgh my back, but it’s good exercise and stretching too. My 89yr old Dad is still going strong and all he does is garden. So fetch me the Ibuprofen.
After the first rain a week ago we decided to try and hold back against Nature, and planted some small Manzanita shrubs, to spread their roots across the cliff and rocky soil. It’s a small step but the plants are superbly drought tolerant and extremely tenacious.
One really fun bit of timekeeping-section of the Buckhorn Enduro up at Shasta was/is run through a trail called “The New Jersey Trail,” where you a drop-off into a winding rocky creek-bed and follow it for about a mile. Which is all great and a fine way to get a bit wet on a hot day and bash against “babyheads” (large, child-size and smooth river-rock, especially nasty when wet…), but entire section was run through a tunnel of mature Manzanita with its springy barbed branches that have the strength of coil-steel that grab at every part of you and the bike – and the speed shift went from a simple 10- or 15-Mph to something absurd like 25-Mph – completely impossible and nearly lethal for me anyhow.. The name of the trail is revealed by the light in your head going on when you finally emerge at the check torn and bleeding and whipped, and you really do need a new jersey…
Thanksgiving with the in-Laws: my wife’s brother and his wife, and the 21-something yr. old daughter. Missing were the boyz: #3 son on deployment, #2 son away at Fort-Something, and #1 son up in Seattle-area out of the Mil. who sent pics of grandchilds #1 and #2. Kinda awesome after twenty five years of do-your-own-thang, for my wife to see what her brother has become: a grandpa. Ha! Also, conversation was favorable politically – and then it turned to, “Hey let me show you my scooter.” In the garage sat a sleek and fabulous late-model Reise-Tourer, and in the same color as my truck. The parallels and similarities seemed to waft around us like eerie ghosts of the past. We had talked with Daughter about vacations – where had we been in the years since she was born? Guatemala, Hawaii, and our Euro-Moto Dream-Trip figured prominently, traveling through the Alps on a BMW – and now here we are at the edge of the American Alps, with twisties right out the door, a maze of backroads roads leading up to heavenly snow-capped vistas. I had been looking at Dual Sport bikes earlier on Craigslist, but those were solo rides, and later at home my wife said with a bit of puzzlement, “How did I end up with a husband so much like my brother? One who rides motorcycles and shoots and…” her voice trailed off before she came back with, “Let’s get one, let’s have some damn fun before it’s too late and the actuarial tables catch us out!” I looked at her with amazement. This is shaping up to be pretty awesome…!
I’m pretty much over all the Silicon Valley TechnoDweebery and Flavor-of-the-Day – the inevitability and how much I supposedly “need” it. My interest in “mobile” devices and computing and especially Social Media Connectivity has completely vanished in the haze. My wife’s devilishly clever new smart-ish phone only demonstrates what a ridiculous and indecipherable joke of non-usability much of that really is. /rant
So Windows 8.1? Seriously M’soft?
I kinda think not. Dedication to that crap is more akin to getting the Piggyback II to run, filling and not spilling cases. Now even that requires some REAL *touch,* not just swiping at the wisps of passing trends and ephemera like an angry demented psychotic convulsed by Tourette’s syndrome and shouting at telephone poles – and losing the argument.
Actually the thing that absolutely stopped me cold in my tracks (or I maybe would have gone forward) was the demand to set-up a Microsoft Account at some kind of stupid Microsoft App-Store, following in the equally stupid and openly larcenous Apple model. NOOOOO! Just say NO to apps. Many well-meaning but deluded people also tried to get me over to Facebook saying, “It doesn’t have to be a real accoun, it’s just so you can comment!” Plus-NOT and thumb(-suckers) DOWN.
The morning dawned in a thick white haze that gradually was wiped away like a bartender wiping the froth off the top of a mug of stout. In the distance the frothy cloud hung in the valley below, and with a building buzz and then quick roar a Cessna Skyhawk clawed its way up into the bright sunlight overhead – and just as quickly faded into the distance.
I changed-out an ugly old light in the laundry room for a spiffy one, and we went to lunch.
Later: Say, is my wife out watering the plants or what is that fountain in the front junipers? One jet shot UP about eight feet and the other one shout OUT about six feet. Leaks and frost-damage may abound, so I went into the Lower Redoubt to assess the situation on the automatic watering system. Good, there is an OFF button. Given the wet soaking sponge that we just emerged-from, further watering is unnecessary, perhaps until Spring. The splits and breakages in that quadrant-line will have to wait for my own convenience.
The expected drenching didn’t exactly show up as promised. At this spare elevation it’s more like we’re in the midst of a sopping wet gray sponge. And cold. Some actual “weather” is expected to hit a little higher-up in the form of snow, and perhaps we’ll see a spattering of it – and it will be the first time I’ve weathered that in over thirty years. But we were expecting something special, given the hallucinatingly spectacular red-purple sunset of just a few nights ago: