Brian's Morning Newsletter
Monday, June 21st, 2010
Geeze, I had to rebuild my PC this morning just to get back on-line and begin this newsletter. Then, too soon after that I realized that it was acequia water rundown day and we hadn't opened our sod-head-gate. Now I am back, the ditch is open, although there isn't any water in it yet. It hasn't really rained since Tusas Campout, well once, it hailed and murderized the little starter plants I had just put in the garden. Two things come to mind, first we need to build a real head-gate and concrete it in, and second, that'll no doubt be the last of the irrigation water for this season, as it seems like we are just beginning a scorcher of a Summer.
No one said farming was glamorous, right? Actually as I look at the acequia calendar I see that the water is already supposed to be running. It isn't in our nature to freak-out about a lack of irrigation water. Sure it is possible that others have "forgotten" to open their gates as well, and in a dry spell like this most are inclined to let a little water leak. It just so happens we are near the end of the irrigation ditch, and every leak adds up to a trickle down here. We could, of course walk up the ditch and locate the water, if there is any, but it is a long hike, and I don't have the time, nor do I cherish the notion of walking through neighbor's yards pointing to leaks with a shovel, while their dogs form attack packs.
Anyway, the gate is open, just in case someone were to come a walkin' down the ditch, we look proper.
So, yeah, over the weekend we had some sort of network event, and by event I don't mean a celebration. We were listening to our stereo through the TV, via Roku streaming video and Pandora.com. Boy, now that I write that string of connections, it does seem a wee bit, Rube Goldergesque. No wonder the battery storage system was screeching a warning when I went out to the shop for something Saturday morning. The power level wasn't dangerously low, looked like 23 volts, somewhere around 22 volts the inverter will shut off.
It was a little later for some reason that I decided to switch the power-strip from the inverter to the house receptacle, thereby leaving the wind turbine to recharge the batteries without the drain of the entertainment system working against it. Actually it was Friday, evening, even with a full day at work for Desertgate Internet, I went ahead and pushed myself to plant three packets of seeds I bought at Hacienda Home Center earlier. It felt great to be in the garden, on the north side of our home protected from the afternoon sun. I was a tad rushed, with the sun setting, so I didn't even look for any tools, I used my fingers to drag a line in the soft soil, sprinkling seeds in and covering them as I went.
Maybe it is the dire situations around the globe which propel me to make the garden work, more likely I need to feel that I have some small amount of control over our destiny. A productive garden, the little wind turbine creating most of the power to run our entertainment system, and of course the first sustainable lifestyle project Nell and I researched, learned, and built our own homemade fuel processor, for converting waste veggie oil to biodiesel. It adds up, yes each effort by itself isn't a whole lot, indeed in my cynical thoughts, nothing we do will amount to more than a spit in a bucket. Still, somehow, I need to keep trying, and gardening is about a difficult as any of the sustainable lifestyle projects.
We need to do litmus paper test on our soil, I am flying blind not knowing the pH of our soil, the worst part is years ago, Scott Hopkins gave us a soil test kit, all I need to do is find it and use it. For some reason our garlic is growing poorly, many didn't make it through the Winter, some seem to be withering, all are very small compared to Karan's and Wayne's. I'm guilty of not applying the Scientific Method to our garden. No telling what goes wrong, and nature throws in continually varying issues as well. I've got to get my act together, or just continue plodding forward naively, Idonknow.
So, somewhere along the way, I think I was already asleep Saturday night, when our newest favorite device the Roku streaming Internet video box gave out. I know. We were forced to watch selections from our 200 plus DVD collection. Can you imagine? Now, I don't know for sure, but like I said, I suspect the power from the wind turbine as the culprit. Troubleshooting electronics I do well with, and had the issue narrowed down to only the Roku failing to get on the Internet. All of our other Internet devices appeared to work, although I do not spend time on my desktop PC during the weekends, so I didn't know this machine wasn't getting online either. Nell's was and still is, our living-room PC is online. I even enabled the living-room PC wireless device as a test as that is how the Roku gets online. I then plugged an Ethernet cable into the Roku, still not online.
Well this is no doubt boring to everyone, so I'll cut it off, knowing now, that two devices quit getting online this weekend, whatever this means in the troubleshooting flowchart.
I did work on my painting some.
I am not really pleased with this one, although it is pleasing to work on. I still feel as though I can make it into something.
I like this photo better, the water is starting to look more like the photo I am loosely working from. My aim is semi-abstract-impressionism. I have a long way to go. Somehow, I need to make the orange look like Aspen trees in the late afternoon light. One excuse, I tell myself is the orange in the photo do not look like Aspen trees to me.
Perhaps I should not have shown the photo I am working from
On the bright side, I now have a new fan in my desktop PC, and it doesn't sound like a kid's Stingray bike with baseball cards flapping in the spokes.
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