Friday, March 26, 2004

We're starting on the garden. The nieces and I planted a bunch of things to pregrow in their little pots until the grass is pulled from the garden and the soil tilled. I don't remember all of what we have planted. I tend to forget what kind of flowers there are but remember what kind of food is growing. I know I planted some sunflowers because they're an essential for me. Besides the beauty there's the attracting of birds when the flower dies.
I also have some lettuce, carrots, peas, spinach, squash, watermelon, broccoli, and I think we got some cantelope going too. The garden up here is much bigger than the one I had in OC but I think that's because the backyard up here is about twice as big. Percentage wise it probably takes up around the same amount of backyard space.
Tomorrow Pat and I are supposed to start dismantling the rickety old pool that nobody uses. I'm a little sorry to see it go because I know Poster hangs out under the deck of the pool often. But I'm not too sorry. First of all it'll free up some more backyard space. Secondly it's the first step in a larger project, which is to move the backyard fence forward quite a ways. Far enough forward that both of my windows will then be in the backyard and I'll feel better about leaving the bedroom one open all night when it gets hot.
Of course, it might be too rainy to take apart a pool tomorrow. Today the clouds kept shaking their fists at us, but they never opened.
They came and fixed the septic tank this morning. They showed up just as I was leaving to the post office and they were leaving when I was walking up the street back to the house.
As I understand it I was mistaken in the way I put it yesterday. If you have a septic tank correctly installed you should never have to think about it again. It doesn't clog or cause any kind of problems. Problem is nobody has a properly installed septic tank.
A properly installed septic tank has a pipe which leads the waste to a large tank. At the bottom of the tank is the sludge, which is everything that is heavier than water. At the top of the tank is the liquid. The bacteria that's all a hoppin' in there breaks the sludge up into liquid. The liquid at the top goes out a pipe in the other side which leads to a drain field. The drain field is where the liquid waste comes out into the ground far enough underground for the ground to filter it into proper nutrients and far enough to keep any of it from being noticed by those of us who live above the ground. The previous owners were smart enough to plant a garden right over the drain field. It's the most nutrient rich soil in the whole yard. So, in a way, we're recycling our fertilizer.
Our septic tank was installed long before any of us were born. The Poopsmith said that he almost never sees them anymore with the grey water line and the toilet line separate and joining up just before the tank at large. So we're old school. The problem with how ours works is that the incline of the pipe leading to the septic tanks is at slightly less of an incline than it should be. This causes some waste to settle at the bottom of the pipe which slowly builds and builds upon its self until the pipe closes for business.
That was it. That was all that was wrong. No major pumping. The backyard smells slighly like the monkey house right now, but it's slowly becoming less and less stinky. It'd be a good place to hold an authentic smelling Ren Faire this afternoon. But verily soon the stink will disappear.

This was a strange posting I guess. Sorry bout that. I learned something new and thought it was interesting.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

I'm about 90% better, which is really good since this morning I was only about 50% better. I've still got a little nose goo, but other than that I'm feeling tip top.
After shipping my orders I spent most of the day working in the room again, and then napping in the room and then reading more of the Sandman in my room (this is the first time I've ever read that whole series from start to finish and I really can't recommend it highly enough if you're in the market for a like twelve book graphic novel experience.)
It rained all day until around sun down. I went out when the rain stopped and the backyard fence was steaming from the cold rain water in the late afternoon sun.
Tonight was the Bible study. We're in Hebrews, which is one of my favorite New Testament books. Right before the study we had a problem and I hope I don't get too gross here. Our septic tank crapped out on us. I don't know what indicated that it wasn't working, but I heard that the toilet was broken. So after the study, Todd from church, Pat and I went out to the trap with a shovel and some plastic bags. We were Poopsmiths.
When I was in early high school I worked at a Quaker camp one summer. The septic tank filled and most of the staff had to dig up the tank so they could empty it. The smell was the kind of thing... Well, I suppose a good thing to have in your brain if you're reading about Hell, which I am in the Sandman series. Tonight I got to smell that smell again. It's really one of the worst smells I know. I get sick with the smell of sulphur or the smell of asphalt being poured, but the smell that comes from a septic tank is beyond the pale.
I'm sure there are advantages to having a septic tank. It does keep the city off your land a bit more. But if you own one, you will eventually have to deal with that smell.
And we didn't fix it. We just dug around enough to learn that it was beyond any of our capabilities. It was beyond shovels and plastic bags. So I expect to be woken up early to the sounds of pumps and snakes. Which will be for the best. It will get me walking to the post office to avoid the smell and the sound. After sitting around waiting for your head to drain for two days it's often a good idea to get out and walk.

To be perfectly honest I've finding this week's adversity extremely amusing. The sickness and the poopness.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Oh, and I think the frog might be eating the tetras. If he is he hasn't much further to go. We're down to one tetra, so I've decided not to name him just yet. The frog's name is Seeger, after Pete, not after Bob. The molly is called Huelsenbeck.
I haven't named the snail yet either. Maybe I should have waited on posting the naming news. Maybe you should write me with suggestions for a name for a snail. So far all I can come up with is Hermes, and I don't think that works for me. It's not how I want to identify with my snail.

Maybe Europa.

I don't know. Send suggestions. I like Europa and I just thought of that now. We'll see what Morning Paul thinks of that name.

I wish I could come up with names like my nieces do. Abi named her fish PurpleGuyYellowGuy. I think that's one of the coolest names I've heard in a long time.
Sick. Again.
Actually, I don't know that for sure. I may be adjusting to the levels of germs or pollen or mold surrounding me up here next to my anti-septic conditions down south. But still to be sick twice in a month in a half is unheard of for me. Actually to be sick twice in a year is a rare and rough year for me.
Of course the last time it was the belly flu and this time it could just be allergies so bad that I think I've caught something. But I suppose when it comes down to dealing with it the distinction is arbitrary, what?
I think it's probably really bad allergies, but I spent the day working in my room. Packaging orders and shifting shelves. And rereading the first third of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series. Beautiful work that. Can be so uplifting even though it's one of the darkest things I've read in my life. Anyway it was something to make the hours fly while I drank tea and waited for my nose and throat to balance themselves out.
One of the worst parts about it is not being able to jump on the trampoline, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite times of day. Also sucked because today was my light work day and I really wanted to go see the new Charlie Kaufman film. But now I must wait for the slow process of my sinuses dealing with some unknown force in the air, or not dealing with it in which case I'll be better around summer. Slow slow processes of my body as opposed to the quicker than light synapses in my skull. Slow as molasses in January.
Except for January 15th, 1919 in Boston. Apparently there was a giant molasses storage tank that burst (from the cold maybe) and a great wave of molasses plowed into Boston. Buildings toppled, people died under a wave of molasses. That molasses was moving pretty fast, but even molasses can't stop physics.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Today I finally finished the lawn.
I also decided to sell some videos, which to the old me would seem like madness. Here I am in a place with no good video library, getting rid of films is the last thing I should do, right? Why limit my variety? But I put my film library up on my shelf next to the stereo and thought, "By gad what a monster of a library." And I picked out five to be sold. When I came back I picked out two or three more that could probably go and I wouldn't miss them. I'm finding that less stuff is almost always the better path to take, the path towards happiness.
That's about all that went on today. And I have very little to do tomorrow. So we're in one of those periods of my work. In fact we're in kind of a sales lull. It's that time of year. All of the buying holidays are months away.

Oh, there was progress with Poster today too. He was sitting in the garden and I went out with the cat food like I always do. He got up to run, this time to climb over the fence, like he always does. I talked to him reassuringly like I always do. But the new part was that he stopped and looked back and watched me put the food out. He usually runs out of sight and comes back when the food is there. Today he watched me put it out for him.
Sorry I'm not terribly interesting tonight. That's really all that's going on. I just felt that I should post something. And that's the best I have.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

This morning I woke
and found that the screw gnomes
had stolen one of the screws for my glasses.
They were fine when I set them down
at midnight
but morning they had no screw.
The ear piece came off in my hand.
So it made me late
and I twisted the back of a pin into the hole
so the sharp part from the pin
kept stabbing me in the eye all through church
and every time it stabbed me
I brushed it away
and tried to think of everything else
that I need
but wouldn't even noticed I have
unless I lost it.