Monday, February 18, 2013

No Rain. Not the Blind Melon song

Where has the rain been? Maybe it has this pent up sexual energy and when it does finally rain. It'll be like that wet vagina. Like a Slip and Slide. Remember that from the 80's? In my optimistic hopes for a torrential downpour. I'm piecing together the first flush diverter kit, to connect to the house gutter. This kit fills up with water to catch things one does not want in their rain tank. Leafs, roof shingle pebbles, hard bird shit. That kinda stuff. Here is an example of what it is, what it does, and what it looks like.

Rain Harvesting Pty  Downspout First Flush Diverter

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Diez Tacos por favor

Trying to situate this new veggie bed has become quite the task for this chico blanco. The lumber is all bowed. Wont lay flat, straight, or anything to that nature. It kinda pisses me off because we've come a long way in milling technology since......1950.
So I shout out a food order through the fence to my neighbors. Who just arrived home from the Oakland piers, where they serve their food during the day time hours. I slip 10 bucks through the fence boards. Take down the last 4oz of my beer and open another one. I use these clamps that really help when I'm working solo. You squeeze the handle until tight, but not too tight. You check your alignment and level. Once dialed in. You give it that last couple of squeezes, until you can't make it any tighter. Secure! Drill the pilot hole. I don't want any wood chipping like a hang nail. I want clean holes and corners kissing like 2 horny teenagers.
Fifteen minutes later. I hear a whistle followed by, "capasa vecino! ven a comer!" 10 incredibly freshly made tacos. I bit into the first one and had to check my pants for premature ejaculation. Descriptive, I know. But I'm not kidding about these folks and their cooking. It's off the charts! When Anthony Bourdain came to S.F and he had a snipit of him in East Oakland visiting a taco truck. He missed some damn good food. I've lived in East Oakland for 3 years now. I've eaten at more food trucks then you have fucked women or men. I've gotten the shits from 3 of em. I've got my 5 trucks I go to on rotation. I like the horchata better at certain ones over the others. Some are just way too dang sweet. While others...meh! No flavor. But all 5 of these trucks have there shit on point! They know how to get this wedo coming back for more.
Anyway, it started raining on me in the middle of drilling pilot holes. I got so excited about rain falling. I dropped what I was doing. Made sure there was a 5 gallon or more bucket under every spout. Started hand carrying buckets of water to the massive rain tank, 5 gallons at a time. Got about 100 gallons in 15 minutes of rain fall. I'll see how many more beers I drink. If I end early. I'll get up early and finish drilling holes.

There's no damn television in this house

That's right! No T.V. Fuck that thing. I don't watch sports. If I want to watch reality T.V. I'll lift the blinds in the living room. I'm in the damn ghetto. There's always shit going on. Way better than what cable can provide. I got the cooking channel in my kitchen. And Pandora is my MTV. I'm not interested in liberal or conservative bias media for news coverage. Besides it's the same shit. 7am. There's traffic. And some ass clown crashed into someone. I wouldn't expect anything less. There was probably another shooting in Oakland and no suspects. What's new there? And what over paid no talent ass hat rapper got beef with who now? There's your news folks. Oh I forgot. Economy sucks, people are jobless, homeless, fat but yet starving. And the S&P is minus a few points. Maybe Toyota has another recall. That's the news. Having a T.V is like having a land line telephone. There's no need! It's obsolete.

There's the internet. All the same bullshit news, tons of porn! Music for days. Social media if you're into that time consuming, brain cell draining bullshit.
So my question is. What have you been reading lately? Personally I've read a shit load in the past 6 weeks. I read like a special ed kid by the way. I wish I could read like that robot from Short Circuit. That would be sweet! There is so much cool stuff to read. And I'm not talking about audio books you lazy ass. Put down the soda and fries and pick up a bloody book!
I Finished up Teaming with Microbes. Worms East My Garbage (for the 3rd time). Holy Cows & Hog Heaven and Folks, this ain't normal by Joel Salatin. Next on the list is one by Will Allen. He is to me as the Kardashian's are to suburbanites. The cerebral lazy if you will.

Then it's onto, Holy Shit by Gene Logsdon. He's actually got a few things he's written that I'm really anxious to read. I need to finish up a few John Jeavons books too. I'm thinking I want to take one of his 3 day workshops. In order to take one of those work shops. They do have required reading. Which might sound of cult like to some. But on the other hand. John has been practicing and studying his craft for 40+ years. What he is doing is completely against the grain and not common practice. The required reading is justifiable.

Here are some links that you can use as a resource. You might find it resourceful for more than one thing.
Note: Google the name, Will Allen. Watch read, and mentally process everything on this guy. I saw him and Joel Salatin at this farmers conference in Grass Valley. Mind blowing stuff! Will deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. And such a gentle giant. The dudes huge!
 Now, if you're going to rot your brains with T.V. Watch some shit with some substance. Sorry all you Star Wars nerds. This might not strike a cord with you.

There! That should keep you busy for the next month if not longer.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Rain Tank is setup and roaring....well...sorta

The tank is in its permanent home. The ball valve has been connected at the lower end of the tank. This is where the water hose will connect. If you do attempt something like this. The footing needs to be taken quite serious and with a meticulous amount of detail in your work. Making sure that the sides are actually straight up and down and not at a slope. I suggest going the extra mile. If the instructions state to dig a 6" deep footing. Make it 8". 1 gallon of water weights 8.34lbs. 2,000gallons of water would then weight 16,680lbs. Just thinking of that amount of weight makes my chest hurt.
I visited Globe plumbing on Seminary. Just before San Leandro Blvd. They got me the parts needed at a reasonable price and the people there are really helpful. You'll want to use teflon tape around the treads. Now there is a correct way of wrapping teflon tape. You wrap it in the direction of how you'll be screwing on your connections. So like the saying goes, "righty tighty, lefty loosey." So imagine you're screwing in a light bulb. You wrap the teflon tape in that same direction, capiche?
I'm currently at the point where I need to connect the gutter of the house to the tank. To do this. The  pitch of the gutter needs to be found. Reason being is to know whether or not the angle will allow the water to flow into the soon to be new down spout. Which will channel water into the tank. The down spout for the cutter is currently in front of the house, while the tank is in the back of the house. Under normal conditions. The gutter should, might, outabe, at a angle to direct water to a desired outlet ie down spout. My uncle, whom use to work on houses doing gutter work. Told me that most of the time they are not angled. So I'm really hoping that mine are level, which will require far less work. A whole saw bit will be used to drill the desired diameter for the new connection. I'll just use 3" PVC pipe from the gutter to the tank and wala!
To find out if the gutter is rockin to one side or the other. Or to see if it's level. I'm going to use a leveler and get on the roof with a water hose to see how the water flows. Pretty low tech. There are fancy devices out there to do this kinda work. But no need to spend the extra coin. It will however require some effort.
I used bender board around the circumference of the crater I dug. I also used steaks screwed onto the bender board. Then filled the crater with pea gravel. And this is what created the footing or foundation if you will. This can also be done with a concrete slab. It might have been easier with the slab. But I'm really trying to eliminate as much concrete as possible. So just pick your poison.
There is a EBMUD rebate out again for converting your water thirsty lawn to drought tolerant plants. Since I missed the last one. I have signed up for the new one. Not very many folks took advantage of the last one. So they have restructured the rebate. Making the rebate more fiscally appealing. That is, if you incorporate a drip system. Which seems like a oxymoron. If you have drought tolerant plants. They shouldn't need much in the means of water. Plus with a rain tank. I can just water from that if the rainy season is as bad as it is this winter.
I'm waiting for the guy to come out to take pictures and measurements again. So I can't touch the backyard until then. And since the area where the tank is doesn't count towards the rebate (because there was no existing lawn there). I'm just going to start planing that area. Throw down card board and mulch. Start planting some natives. And maybe start building a fence between the house and garage. Just a short one. I don't want towering fences everywhere. Fences are kinda pointless in my mind. But not everyone agrees. But at least this fence will keep Hans in the backyard instead of him chasing the neighbor kids off.
Finally got to the computer that I'm familiar with to upload pictures. I'm thrown back every time I pick up a power tool. I've got two favorites right now. The all mighty miter saw and jig saw. As a complete virgin to tools. I really like the Bosch stuff thus far. Being as naive as I am to these outstanding tools. Perhaps I shouldn't have a preference in name brand. After all, I should learn how to actually use them fluidly. But hey! I'm getting there. I'm thinking a a nice 10-13 inch planer and router are next in my tool arsenal. If I had a nifty friend with a band saw. I could mill my own lumber from fallen trees near by.

Working late into the night like usual. I was making sure that things were square. At least as square would get with being a circle. I put a little more gravel in the center of the footing. I have no confirmation of my thought process on this. But I figured if I put a touch more gravel in the center of the footing. That once the tank started taking on some water weight.  That it would force some of that excess gravel outwards. Filling in any dead space. I did not use any sort of mathematical formulation for this. Purely a guesstimate.

I have since pulled the weeds and temporarily moved the raspberry bush until I get a live stock water trough. The trough will not allow the roots to grow through the bottom like these felt bags have. The felt bags were a temporary situation until I made progress. I have raspberry, blackberry, and blueberry to put into troughs. Should be enough fruit to both eat and preserve at some point.

I sold one of my veggie beds. Only because I was really unhappy with how it turned out in regards to its uneven cuts and horribly constructed corners. It was my first veggie bed I'd ever built. Pretty much the first time as an adult that I had used power tools. I also decided to smoke a joint prior to constructing that veggie bed. Not a great ideal. I became way to relaxed for my control freak nature. Therefore I learned. No harm no foul. I still have all my digits and no one got hurt. I do not endorse refer smoking and critical thinking at the same time. Especially with saw blades spinning at 4000rmps. Up with hope, down with dope! At least until all your responsibilities have been met. But things are looking decent. Not great, but decent. I am building a new veggie bed by the way. It shall have my perfectionist qualities in place this go around.
I can't remove any of the new lawn growth until the EBMUD guy shows up to take pictures. If I do remove anything. I would then void myself of the rebate they are offering. Gotta save money where I can. Oh and I chopped down that lime tree. I felt like such as ass hole. I had a connection with that tree. Not really, but it was the runt. The last thing standing after I had chopped, dug, and used explosives on every other tree. But not to worry. It shall be replaced with another. Just not in the form of a lime tree. I was thinking a money tree. Now if I can just find the butt hole selling the damn things!