Archive for June, 1996

Sound traveling speeds

time for Monday morning  Frogtown report

Julie and I are both coughing relentlessly. I’m sure I’ve got what she’s got and she hasn’t
gotten rid of hers.

I sincerly hope we didn’t leave this bug in Washington with anybody. What was the
movie- “Out break”?

Friday – lunch time – we met out at Frogtown with counter top sample.  It’s the same.
We put the chip on counter and it dissapeared. Julie seems like she wants to tear the stuff out and pick a new color, but we are going to try to learn to like it.  I also suspect that once the walls are painted and the vinyl is in – it will look a lot better (or a lot worse)

Greige  – I thought it was a made up name.  but  it isn’t
” 1. unbleached and undyed cloth or yarn 2. a color blending gray and beige ”

The color of ashs and dirt in the bottom of the fire pit.
The color of a gravel road, or old dirty pavement.
silly putty and dust bunnies
wood that is going gray, but hasn’t yet.
It has lost the purity of gray, and the spectral saturation of  beige.
it is the color of the third law of thermodynamics, of entropy increasing.
it is the color of the end of time.

how depressing.

I think I like it.

Julie and I then went to visit a going out of business sale. Her company needed some computer gear.  I got a rack for my video gear, and a box that lets one control 8 computers with a single keyboard and monitor.  the box had custom cables that they threw in for free.  It took 2 hours clipping  tie-wrap to get the stuff free.

Saturday was sunny and warm. We left early (9 am) to get a head start on planting. I mowed 4 circles in the field for trees and a rectangle for 3 blueberry  plants and Julie started digging.  I hitched up the red wagon and went for water.   easy enough down the hill behind the house.
Filled up every container I could find with hose hooked up to pressure tank in basement
(only H2O connection so far).  I  was standing outside by Humming bird feeder.   Heard loud buzz. thought it was monster bee.  But was a hummer. he wasn’t afraid of me – 3 feet or so.
tractor couldn’t make it back up the hill. wheels spun in loose wet sand.
so unloaded all the buckets from wagon – that got it. then carried buckets up hill. I reloaded them in wagon then drove to holes.  most of the water splashed out on way

We stuck the root end of the twigs in to holes, then banged the clods of soil to get some dirt in hole and a lot of it on us.
although the dirt was stil moist from recient monsoons, we poured more on the twigs.
We had to leave early – 2pm. Julie was sun burned – she had been working with her shirt off.  Anyway – there was a birthday party for Cody – one of Julie’s nephews and she had to pick up gramma Lynn. I wasn’t allowed to go-since I was sick.
as we rounded Devil’s Elbow there was a big (one foot) turtle in the road.  It saw us coming and ran for the water. I don’t think Ive ever seen a turtle move so fast.

Sunday morning we did grocery shopping – got Sunday papers so I could look for job.
Then we went out to Frogtown to finish planting –  50 strawberry plants

The weather was perfect – low seventies and sunny, with cooling breeze.

I mowed a 16×16 rectangle near blueberries – we were about to start digging with shovels – when Julie asked me if I thought any of our neighbors might have a roto tiller we could borrow (our attachment for tractor is still in shop)
We got in truck and drove over to Judy and Safu’s. Judy’s mom was over from Great Britian.  Judy was happy to let us borrow their roto tiller.  A 3 Hp Sears job.

I have only seen roto tillers used on TV – Ads for TroyBilt -big things that this lady walks next to holding on with one hand.
Julie trys first.
The thing begins walking – no jogging – the tines just getting enough bite for good traction and to throw  up small divits in our face, dragging Julie behind.
Half way across the field she lets go of the clutch and it stops.
We drag it back to where we were hoping to plant.
I figure out that the  narrow bar of metal habnging down  is suppose to stick into the ground .  a cross between a plow, a rudder and a anchor

I try this time,  the anchor helps some.  The thing wants to drive in circles and requires considerable steering force.  not like on TV  and it needs to be urged forward and held back – at the same time.
We chew up 10×12 feet of sod. Then we try to rake the roots balls out. These are going to the growing compost pile, which will be later be brought back to be added to soil we are working.  I’m not sure I fully appreciate why.
Back again to homoginze the soil with the blender.  I am devleoping a much deeper respect for farmers.

Back for more water. This time I park on west side of house and carry buckets down, fill and back up.   After I get done, I discover the hose was long enough – just barely – to reach up the hill.

I put some orange string around the asparagass patch and across the blueberries. I’m afraid I’ll mow over them some day . And then I’d be in BIG trouble.

Finaly we hang up soap bags.   It says in one of our gradening books that deer don’t like the smell of soap.  Deer eating new trees and plants is a big problem.  So Julie gets several bars of our best  bath soap, some nice cloth and some natural jute twine and makes these very nice little bags with pieces of soap.  I think they wil use them to wash their hoves before dinner.

We head home about 5pm. We are both exhaused.

Later I’m reading in bathroom.  Catalogs. One is “Seventh Generation – Products for a
Heathy Planet- tm”  Very slick glossy. Picture of insect on flower on cover – with some PhotoShop zoom, repeat insets.
Stuff is hyped as “enviromentaly, natural, recycled,nontoxic,organic,green…”
And overpriced.
For $9.75   they have “Super Efficent Night Lights. Runs on 2 cents per Year.
Employing the energy efficient phosphorescent technology of laptop computers, this
night light provides its soft green glow for under 2 cents per year. And because there’s
no bulb to burn out, it lasts a lifetime. Safe, slim design….”
Bull! electrolumensecent night lights have been around for 35  years. I took one apart in grade school.  They might be $3 at hardware stores now.
Jeffery Hollender, President of Seventh Generation, also sells a book -$13.00  – “offers 116  concrete things you can easily do to make the world a better place”
Another wierd thing  – there is only one picture of a man in the catalog. Lots of pictures of women – in “natural” nightgowns and “organic” bras and panties. No “100% natural, nontoxic” work boots or “enviromently friendly” Jockie shorts.
The one guy is wearing a “Greencotton”  bath robe ( that is not green, but griege ) – and is about to jump a woman – wearing same thing.
I get the feeling that our buddy, Jeffery has figured out that men aren’t real interested in “Earth-friendly products” and  being “Organic” gets you rich and laid. (guess where the power is.)

The catalog also has some composters  for sale. Plastic box and barrel things that you fill and magicly makes compost – I think we will stay with the “heap in the field” method.
Not as neat, or ” absolutely effortless way to compost” but  not $118 either.

The other catalog in this week’s stack – “Direct Line – The professional and Do-it-youseffers Digest of Discounts”
Now this is a MAN’s catalog – full of tools and welders and standby generators and other esentials. There is even a 116 piece first aid kit with tweezers and ice pack (I have no idea how it is suppose to stay cold) for when you fuck up.
The things that really caught my eye were the wide variety of pumps.

I’m having trouble decieding between the 22,800 gallon per hour 3″ Trash Pump
“..handles up to 1-1/2″ solids. Quick release Stainless Steel coupling band. Patented pressurized oil lube system for silicon carbide shaft seal. Excelent piming ablility ot 25′ in 90 seconds. 75′ head, 25′ lift. Spring isolated base. Buna N packings. Corrosion resistant polyester housing with superior abrasion resistant 656 polymer impeller . powered by 8 hp. Briggs Industrial engine.”
“3” Heavy Duty Mud Pump Self Priming heavy duty pump will handle mud, sludge, & high viscosity fluids and will pass solids up to 1-1/4″ Desinged for use where low continous flow of swater with high content of solids or abrasive materials are present.
Maximum 50 ft head, 25 ft lift  Pump features 3″  suction/discharge size with ablity to pump 4800 GPH. Self priming up to 25′ . Aluminum housing powered by 3 HP Brigs engine with 3 qt fule capacity to operate up to 6.5 hours per tank Convenient carry handles”

Hey, can these guys write copy or what!

Humm…  a heavy duty mud pump….. brings back memories of playing in the mud. Only now I’d have 4,800 gallons per hours! and a 3″suction/discharge for my hose! Could I have fun in the swamp!

I suspect the muck from swamp is better than compost. Its free, ready now and for about a grand or two and a lot of noise and hard work, I could pump some up to the blueberries.

well enough day dreaming for now

lots of love



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