mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A weekend of very low Lows and very high Highs, but taken all for all, a good weekend.

Friday night/Saturday morning, about 1:45, Katie became very sick. It hit her so sudden that she didn't have time to make it to the bathroom for the initial heave, so in addition to seeing to her comfort we had a mess to clean up in her room as well. It was shockingly sudden: she was fine when she went to bed, no symptoms or warning. She ran through a new round of vomiting every forty-five minutes or so until mid-morning, so none of us - except for Jami - got a lot of sleep. The rest of Saturday, day, was relatively quiet. She's fine now, bouncing back. Even rode her bike some yesterday (Sunday).

Saturday night, my usual first-of-the-month performance at Stone Bridge. My God, what a terrific night that was.

The rest of the story... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
A weekend of very low Lows and very high Highs, but taken all for all, a good weekend.

Friday night/Saturday morning, about 1:45, Katie became very sick. It hit her so sudden that she didn't have time to make it to the bathroom for the initial heave, so in addition to seeing to her comfort we had a mess to clean up in her room as well. It was shockingly sudden: she was fine when she went to bed, no symptoms or warning. She ran through a new round of vomiting every forty-five minutes or so until mid-morning, so none of us - except for Jami - got a lot of sleep. The rest of Saturday, day, was relatively quiet. She's fine now, bouncing back. Even rode her bike some yesterday (Sunday).

Saturday night, my usual first-of-the-month performance at Stone Bridge. My God, what a terrific night that was.

The rest of the story... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
4" x 10' black, corrugated pipeDear dad,

I found your pipe. No no, not the one in the picture of you smoking outside your barracks door at Fort Bragg before shipping out to Okinawa. I'm talking about the pipe you buried - that 4" x 10' long black corrugated pipe you put in the ground to drain water away from the foundation. That pipe.

When I was putting in the new patio by the deck, I had to dig away quite a lot of dirt to prepare the site and I found the pipe. Digging it out took a lot of effort since it had long ago filled with dirt through the drainage holes in the sides making, for all intents and purposes, a very long and very heavy dirt sausage.

I mused as to your mindset when you buried it, digging the long trench by hand with the old tile shovel. Filled with dirt, the pipe was no longer fit for drainage, though I know for a fact that drainage was your intent. The proper use of this stuff is to surround it with gravel to allow water (but not dirt) to pass into the pipe and thence downslope. There was no gravel, and thus the pipe filled with dirt. It was probably wasted effort within just a few years.

I love you dad, and miss you, but more than once I have paused to say, usually out loud, "Dad, what were you thinking?" The more I find, the clearer the picture gets.

As I was growing up, you were always rushing somewhere to do something. Many times you were running away from something else: running away from debtors to bring your family to Missouri; running from the Aviation World News and your partner Ron to try your hand at Amway and Nutrilite Vitamins: fleeing that to start Medical Information Services with Norm. Shortcuts were a habit. To stretch the analogy, you always wanted to build the building without bothering with the foundation or, for that matter, the roof.

You applied the same philosophy - or, non-philosophy - around the house, too. So, here's what I think.

The back of our house, as of May, 2009Your favorite home improvement book was a large paperback volume the size of a Chicago phone book, with a blue cover and black and white pictures, published in 1970 or so. I still have it, though it's in the pile to go to Goodwill. I'm willing to bet  you looked at the chapter on "Drainage" and saw a picture of a 4" black corrugated pipe sitting in the bottom of a shallow trench. The heading and picture were all you needed. You were off off to Sutherland Lumber Company to buy the pipe as fast as our Ford Pinto could carry you.

Had you read the chapter, you would have gotten the rest of the story. The gravel, and the dry well or bubble outlet at the far end. I think you did that on a number of projects.

Is there a point to all this? No, dad, not really; I just want you to know I'm doing my best with what you gave me, genetically and practically, and, sorry Pop, I hope I'm improving upon it.

Love,

 - Wm

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It's been a running battle in my front yard, one that I've been fighting with varying degrees of success year to year, ever since high school. It is a battle that I am determined to win this year, even if I have to drown the battlefield in non-selective, broad spectrum herbicide and wade ankle deep through the tiny dessicated corpses of my enemy.

I'm speaking, of course, of clover, yard violet, chickweed, crabgrass, and dandelions.

As I was growing up, going out in the front yard - or worse, the back yard - without shoes was a gamble. Many was the time I hopped back to the front porch after stepping into a thistle plant. My father wasn't much of a gardener, even though he spent a good deal of his pre- and post-WWII life as a farmer, and even less of a landscape artist. If it was green, he welcomed it as "yard". He was not selective as to his "yard" plants, and I never saw him reseed a dead area or, God forbid, fertilize.

This gave my childhood a front yard to play in that looked like a missle testing site.

Now that I own the property, I have babied the yard as much as time and finances would allow and now I have a space where my children can run barefoot without worry (except in the back yard where the dogs - er, run, so to speak). They enjoy a lawn that is thick, mature, and mostly soft.

It's not without its problem areas. Scotts changed their formulation - or the dandelions have been stealing state secrets from the Russians - because I put down two applications this year and the weeds laughed it off and kept coming. Clover is advancing, yard violets are taking up reinforcing positions to my rear, and pockets of chickweed are slowly emerging in my center.

Time for the big guns. I pulled out The Ortho Broadleaf  Weed and Grass Killer. I loaded my weapon of choice, an adjustable siphon sprayer, and covered the front lawn.

An hour later, it rained. Doesn't it just figure.

The poison did have time to do some damage. The chickweek is almost all dead, there's not a dandelion to be found, and the yard violets are I hope gasping their last. The clover may have survived, beaten but not broken.

It's okay. I'm patient. I have more Ortho. And next time, I'll check the weather report.

The only plant I wish I could exterminate entirely are the yard violets, since I hate the way they smell, but this is not to say that I'm going to kill every weed within my grasp. Far from it. I have put no chemicals in the back yard, and do not plan to. There are, in fact, areas of the back yard that are thick with clover that I'm going to let grow without mowing for as long as I can stand it. 

The raised bed are in, and with them comes the promise of (eventually) vegetables. I want to attract bees to my yard, and if I remember my childhood story books correctly, bees love clover. As plants go it's a good plant to have if you want healthy soil, as it adds nitrogen back in. It's also soft on the toes. Bees and nitrogen rich soil. An all around beneficial plant to have.

I'm letting the area between the redbuds go to seed as well, a combination of clover and yard grasses - fescue I think. It'll be pretty I think.





mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
It's been a running battle in my front yard, one that I've been fighting with varying degrees of success year to year, ever since high school. It is a battle that I am determined to win this year, even if I have to drown the battlefield in non-selective, broad spectrum herbicide and wade ankle deep through the tiny dessicated corpses of my enemy.

I'm speaking, of course, of clover, yard violet, chickweed, crabgrass, and dandelions.

As I was growing up, going out in the front yard - or worse, the back yard - without shoes was a gamble. Many was the time I hopped back to the front porch after stepping into a thistle plant. My father wasn't much of a gardener, even though he spent a good deal of his pre- and post-WWII life as a farmer, and even less of a landscape artist. If it was green, he welcomed it as "yard". He was not selective as to his "yard" plants, and I never saw him reseed a dead area or, God forbid, fertilize.

This gave my childhood a front yard to play in that looked like a missle testing site.

Now that I own the property, I have babied the yard as much as time and finances would allow and now I have a space where my children can run barefoot without worry (except in the back yard where the dogs - er, run, so to speak). They enjoy a lawn that is thick, mature, and mostly soft.

It's not without its problem areas. Scotts changed their formulation - or the dandelions have been stealing state secrets from the Russians - because I put down two applications this year and the weeds laughed it off and kept coming. Clover is advancing, yard violets are taking up reinforcing positions to my rear, and pockets of chickweed are slowly emerging in my center.

Time for the big guns. I pulled out The Ortho Broadleaf  Weed and Grass Killer. I loaded my weapon of choice, an adjustable siphon sprayer, and covered the front lawn.

An hour later, it rained. Doesn't it just figure.

The poison did have time to do some damage. The chickweek is almost all dead, there's not a dandelion to be found, and the yard violets are I hope gasping their last. The clover may have survived, beaten but not broken.

It's okay. I'm patient. I have more Ortho. And next time, I'll check the weather report.

The only plant I wish I could exterminate entirely are the yard violets, since I hate the way they smell, but this is not to say that I'm going to kill every weed within my grasp. Far from it. I have put no chemicals in the back yard, and do not plan to. There are, in fact, areas of the back yard that are thick with clover that I'm going to let grow without mowing for as long as I can stand it. 

The raised bed are in, and with them comes the promise of (eventually) vegetables. I want to attract bees to my yard, and if I remember my childhood story books correctly, bees love clover. As plants go it's a good plant to have if you want healthy soil, as it adds nitrogen back in. It's also soft on the toes. Bees and nitrogen rich soil. An all around beneficial plant to have.

I'm letting the area between the redbuds go to seed as well, a combination of clover and yard grasses - fescue I think. It'll be pretty I think.





mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Busy night last night, going to be a busy day.  In summary:

To start with, I'm back on my own computer.  I found a dual-head video card at home and brought in to see if it still works.  Apparently it does.  It's a cheap-ass Matrox and probably won't last without having to reboot after while, but I can limp until the replacement gets here.  I had one just like it a while back and the memory went bad: it would give you an hour's worth of clean video and then go all wonky.  I don't know if this is the same video card or not.  We'll see.

36 ears is a lot of corn to put up. 
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Busy night last night, going to be a busy day.  In summary:

To start with, I'm back on my own computer.  I found a dual-head video card at home and brought in to see if it still works.  Apparently it does.  It's a cheap-ass Matrox and probably won't last without having to reboot after while, but I can limp until the replacement gets here.  I had one just like it a while back and the memory went bad: it would give you an hour's worth of clean video and then go all wonky.  I don't know if this is the same video card or not.  We'll see.

36 ears is a lot of corn to put up. 

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