Sticks and Stones

It was a beautiful 70+degrees out and the mower fired-up after a two-day trickle-charge. I moved some junk around in the shed to make better use of the small footprint, and got rid of some cardboard. Te little (10’x12′) plastic-fantastic Tupperware love-shed has got to go, but meanwhile Organize!
With the dumper-trailer hitched I drove out through the swamp to the gravel-patch where the major hump had stood. Nothing was growing in the bare-patch and I stuck my pitch-fork down into the wet dirt, and struck rock. Tried poking the fork in a few more places and it seems like there’s a bunch of double-fist sized rock down in thereabout five inched deep… Wonder what it was they had out here originally? I heaved a big rock and mud into the trailer. Worked it for about twenty minutes and got more rocks, mud, and muck into the trailer. The disrupted areas seeped-in with water. The current soaked-field water-table is about four inches below grade, that is where it is not already ankle deep.
The Chinese-made “sustainable-wood product” (Corporate virtue-signaling!) spading-fork that I got from Crapola Hardware has a POS plastic handle that doesn’t allow much torque or twisting force to be applied before itself turns, so I couldn’t quite work it the way I wanted. Grrr. Remind me to stop buying expensive tool-crap that breaks from that place. The rake from there also broke, and the axe isn’t holding up so well either.
I let the holes I had dug-out fill in with water and threw the shovels and fork back into the little trailer, and with a partial load drove over to another, smaller, hole-in-the-field, and dumped the load beside it.
Half-way into filling it I decided I didn’t really want big rocks submerged in the field because they would pop up under force of thawing, and mash and dull my mower blades. I went back in and dug some of the bigger rocks out, throwing them back into the trailer with a big KLANG!
My feet meanwhile are bogging down with mud and muck and I’m sweating and my glasses are slipping down my nose. Wonderful! So I stomped around in the ankle-deep wet-part of the field to get the mud and off the muck-boots, then drove over to a pile of sticks we had gathered under the big oak – dead-fall from this winter.
Loaded that into the trailer and drove around back to the shed for cleanup. Yay!

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!