Snow Levels

Yesterday started-out foggy and overcast but began to break-up around 11:00am when we drove up the hill some fifteen minutes to the historic Sportsman’s Hall in Pollock, to see the snow and have lunch.
Amy the owner greeted us, and we went through to the big dining room and found a table by the window. Next to us was the 94-yr. old Marine Artilleryman who survived Iwo Jima (and more), with two younger women (but older than us) presumably his daughters.
We watched the snow fall onto the parking lot and trees, and had a burger/salad. It was nice be so close, yet in a few minutes far-enough away from the snow.
In the afternoon we prepped the outside grill for lamb medallions. The sun was out and the sky was a striking bright-dark gray with a end-to-end rainbow, and suddenly the temperature dropped chillingly and sheets of hail swept in and began to cover the deck.
I put on my rubber boots and a hat and attended to the lamb. It had been marinated in yogurt with turmeric, coriander, and cumin – delicious.
This morning the sun came up like a ball of crystal fire in clear pale blue sky, and then a flock of 21-geese flew in to land and nibble at the edges of my swamp.
More rain is coming but a brief respite for now, Happy February!

Gateway to Subterranea – The Risers

First I did a dry-run to see how things fit together.
Not uncommonly, I had to cut the base-flange to get the first circle to fit hard against the square, formerly “half-moon” riser.
I marked a line and clamped a straight-edge on the base – and changed blades in the circular saw (from rough-cut to plywood) to make a nice clean cut. Zoomie!
I marked the concrete with a big fat Sharpie to establish the outline, and where the epoxy stickum-caulk would go once the center clean-out plugs were removed.
And then it was time to mix some mortar and set the first square-hole.
With that in place I assembled the vertical stacking pieces (six screws each) and laid-down the gooey stick-em.
I removed the octagonal center plugs and set down each circular riser.
The last bit was to cement-down the end-unit, the final square – and top it with a lid.
The concrete form for the tank is a kind-of rough casting and not entirely symmetrical. I tried to make it as straight as I could but the pieces only fit together one way. At least there was more room on the overflow end so the last flange did not require cutting.
I’ll back-fill it tomorrow. Country Livin’ at its finest!

Backyard Archaeology

There we were, no-shit! Hunkered down behind the concrete bunker….
After my plumber-friend came by to help with his expertise and professional acumen (“feel”) for setting the throne, I mentioned that when one flusher is dumped, there is a “blurp-echo” in the other. Which he observed before we set to work, and said perhaps it was something to do with the construction of the toilet we were removing – and to test after the install.
So we did. *Blurp.*
And so he asked about the previous inhabitants, and upon hearing the words, “wife and two little girls” he abruptly said, “That’s it! You have no idea how quickly wet-wipes and XYZ add up in a system! Why didn’t you have a septic inspection prior to the sale?”
Problem was that this place sold in just one day with multiple offers, and to complete the sale we (and all the other buyer-competitors) released all contingencies… We “won” because of a variety of reasons, not just on price.
“You probably need to get it pumped.”
So I set-to, digging to find the caps.
I had one re-bar loop to navigate-by, but remember seeing another. Found that corner and then began to dig for the others. Fortunately with all this rain the ground wasn’t as hard as a rock, as is normally. So I made some progress and excavated down to one long-side of the tank. My aching back. Thank-God for the rubber Muck boots. Anyhow, found those two and discovered the orientation and called it a night.
In the morning around 9:30AM I called Sweets and talked about getting onto their schedule, which as it happened they have an opening today.
Awesome! “Do you have a strong young kid to dig?” Sure at $115/hour! Oops I better keep moving dirt myself. I hit the blender with a blueberry smoothie, and an egg for protein and got my gloves. At that price I could afford a bit of exercise.
After working digging till Noon I finally got the entire tank-excavation uncovered and hosed down, and using my Archaeology skillz and Marshall town trowel everything looks nice.
Marshalltown trowels because they are forged and the strongest ones for plying the dirt and rocks at an excavation site.
UPDATE: Yeh it was full – had not been pumped in several ownership turnovers.

Low Profile

We had a nice night at the Gun Club banquet, and met some neat people who provided enjoyable conversation – and so I missed out on the 9mm Shield and the other raffle prizes but it went to a good cause. Went to bed late, about 10:30pm, and slept in until 7:30 – awakening to bright sunrise and greenery. Woot!
Nice to be out from under the damp blanket for a day, so I threw open all the windows as the temps rocketed up to 71-degrees and brought-in some fresh air. With a dry spell forecast and neighbors working outside with blowers and various yard-implements, I vacuumed up all the wood splinters and junk in the Garage then set-to the real mischief.
Oops, now I need a low-profile gas-block to fit under the Troy rail. I was unhappy with the Magpul plastic set because it did not allow me to put things where I wanted them. The M-Lok screw-down fasteners interfered with each other at the various available positions where I wanted them, and I was unable to close the clam-shell onto the standard handguard snap-ring because of the metal heat-shields kept getting hung-up on the interior bits.
I loosened up the gas-block before realizing I had to remove the roll-pin, then I realized I had to remove the muzzle-end flash-hider/compensator. Good thing for the soft-jaws on the bench vise! Now I can also put-on a jazzy compensator-thing too, since flash-hiders are Evil in California. Good thing they are practically indistinguishable from each other and Politicians are inherently stupid people.
The Troy Omega free-float Rail was on-sale and perhaps was a loss-leader and obsolete with current trends, but I always liked it and again it was at a substantial discount. Now I need to get the old handguard Delta-ring off so I can mount-up the float-tube…

Damn the Torpedos!

Spitting down rain all day, several inches projected before the series of storms rolls past us. The “seasonal pond” is becoming a “seasonal lake” – but we have firewood.
The log pile needs a little work, but there’s gravel underfoot so it’s not as bad as appears. I’m told the big stuff, “that have all the energy in them,” need to move topside and to put smaller pieces on the bottom instead.
Okey-dokey mr. Physics Professor friend.
For my Birthday I went to Home Depot and bought myself a little 5-ton log-splitter (electric). That evening during a lull in the monsoon I went outside and around to the woodpile to grab a couple large rounds. No RTFM, I just plugged it in and split them inside the garage. Nice!
Also while I was there I bought myself a new Kohler flush-pot. The little old “round” one of dubious and ancient manufacture in the Master en-suite never made it through the previous owner’s renovations. I need a throne that is somewhat more age-appropriate (comfort height) and also “elongated”… HBTM it’s good to be King of my Domain.

That’s a stock-pic not the correct or current tile or wall-color but I have not yet begun the over-haul and in the end it will be much closer.

Submarine Races at the Meadowlands

The sun came out and the temps climbed, but my gunshop is in the middle of a new-year inventory/audit so I couldn’t yet go pick up the ’74 S&W 19-3 four-inch. Instead I put my rubber-boots and went a-wandering.
The ground level view of the water-table is interesting, and there is a drain on the north-side of the field.
On the other side of the fence the ground is about a foot lower and the ponding looks like a little creek.

Meanwhile I had to get some of my wet burn-pile cut down to size and into the yard-waste bin today, so I worked with the loping sheers and got a sizable portion into the garbage can – enough to make it quite heavy and hard to pull up the driveway slope. But got ‘er done!

Edicts from the Ant-Colony

It’s a very 1st-World thing to worry your head over and obsessively preoccupy-about: how much food is thrown out because: Abundance! The “Natural Resource Defense Council” self-elected members who lecture people on food-use and food-waste are obvious candidates for job termination, since they can quit their work and go eat garbage (as they would have us do) and survive fine, and nobody would miss them. The Parasite Class has to be diminished somehow.

The good news is that ants are not going to take-over the world since they are not as productive as once thought. Under the News heading, “Just because they look the same doesn’t mean they all act the same.” It has been established that not all ants in the hive are productive at the same rate. There are “lazy” ants who don’t do all that much and still benefit, much like the Parasite-Class of Bureaucrats who inhabit Human Civilization, Ant-Civilization has it’s share of slackers:

“…the level of inactivity is consistent for individual workers, but differs significantly among workers, that is, some workers effectively specialize on ‘inactivity’. We also show that workers have circadian rhythms, although intra-nest tasks tend to be performed uniformly across the whole day. Differences in circadian rhythms, or workers taking turns resting (i.e., working in shifts), cannot explain the observation that some workers are consistently inactive.”

Daniel Charbonneau, who led the work, said it was still unclear whether these ants were performing some other task within the colony that required them to be inactive. He said: “As much as 60 per cent of an ant colony is inactive at any one time. There are individual differences in inactivity levels as there are some workers who are always more inactive than others.” They also found activity tends to be seasonal, with more idle ants in the autumn than in the mid-summer.
So fear-not lazy computer-gamers and video-slackers, your unproductivity is simply unrecognized work! All that ant-shaming and tales of busy worker-ants by your elders and betters and managers and the Executive Class is just a bunch of blowhard busybody nonsense!

Meanwhile in Muslim Egypt – formerly the Land of the Pharaohs and the cradle of Civilization, the wheat-grower which long sustained The Roman Empire – today imports about half of its wheat, corn and other staples, and spends about $15 billion a year in food subsidies. Few nations are as dependent on food imports as Egypt and it is in fact, the world’s largest importer of wheat. How the mighty have fallen. And so it is that the only people who raise pigs are Christians, because under the complicated strictures and rulers of Islam pigs are considered “unclean.” However the (remaining) pigs are necessary to eat the huge piles of garbage that the Muslim-Majority constantly throw away – and so the Christians who tend them have a purpose and are tolerated. However they are abused and degraded as also-unclean, and their situation is poor and the conditions that Muslims force them to live-under in ghettos as garbage collectors and pig-tenders is lousy. Muslims hate and despise pigs, but are bound-to them and require them for actual sanitation purposes. Not surprisingly Islam is a political-religion built on human frustration, and the irony is unending.