We cannot sweep over whole streets, but every one of us can sweep our own door-step, and if we will do it quietly and regularly, anon our right and left-hand neighbors will follow, and before long the whole street will be swept. ~ Henry Williams

29 June 2011

Huh... Time for a Hump Day Hodge-Podge

How is that some people can come up with something to write every single day?  I'm lucky if I manage once a week - more likely once a month.  (Isn't that a lovely sunset?  I wish it would monsoon, then I'd be out herping and actually have something cool to write about - I mean, who doesn't want to see bad-ass photos of lizards and snakes?  Well, except you, Jay, but I'll put a fair warning in the title.)

Hey, it's been hot! I know, that's a  newsflash for June in Phoenix.  The thermometer in my car was reading 118 on Monday - I'm hoping that was wrong, but the plants in my yard tend to confirm the high temps by crisping up and gasping their last.  I don't care how many umbrellas I put up, the vegetation is going down.  Except for the Bermuda grass which grows all the places I DON'T want it to, and none of the place I DO.  Friggin' grass.

Okay, you have to admit, the umbrellas are inspired.  I went to the Good Will last night and got two more to put over the eggplants.  One of them is a rather hideous purple and the other one is covered with cactus and ponies.  I don't think the eggplant are very choosy, though.  It's ponies or die, really. (oh, and I just whack off the handles with a hammer and then duct tape them - love duct tape - to garden stakes - genius!  Jus' sayin')

Although it's kind of hard to see, Tree Man got a sassy new garden glove (it's green - it's supposed to look like he's holding the plant, like a lantern...) Tree Man is great company when I have a glass of champagne and am sitting on the park bench under his branches.

Now, when Steve is home, I'm quite tidy and a bit obsessive about keeping everything picked up.  When he's gone... shhh... I slip out of Monica Mode and let things go to Hell.  When I can't stand it any longer, or I start losing things in the pile - like the registration tags for the car - then I know it's time to pick up.  Of course, since Steve will be home today, everything is back in pristine condition - which will last approximately 15 seconds once he walks in the door.  That's why I love that man.

Fun Job Stuff...

This week was a semi-annual sample collection event AND the installation of a pressure transducer (the Global Logger WL16).  That's one of things I like about my job.  It's never, ever, the same and it looks like July is going to be a busy month.

This is the business end of the WL16 - well that and two 1/2" diameter, 12" long, stainless steel rods held in place with a couple of radiator clamps - that's to keep the transducer weighted down and, hopefully, in place.

The transducer is placed behind a weir and will measure water level, which, through the magic of a simple mathematical calculation, will tell us the flow.  Cool, eh?  The encased data cable and pressure tubing is the yellow cable, and the bubble-wrapped package contains the batteries and a USB port with which to upload data.  No kinks, so the pressure tubing can do it's thing.  The lovely part is that when the barometric pressure changes, it changes equally on both sides of the transducer so that we're able to measure the water pressure alone.  After taking it's measurements (programmed to whatever schedule you want - continuously, every five minutes, every two hours, whatever), the data can be uploaded to a lap-top (or whatever) through the USB port and then the data analyzed.  Voila!

Oooh... we have a pond lily blooming in, uh, the pond out back.  Makes up for all the string algae - the fish seem to be doing fine (little gambusia).

Well, I know this has probably been almost as thrilling to read as it was to write.  I completely left out the part about Boobapalooza: Talking Titties. I'll have to do that next time.  Right now, I have to go cover the eggplants.


IWS Radio said...

But, at least those plants aren't suffering from oppressive humidity.

And, the umbrellas are pretty clever. I would have just let 'em die and blamed Al Gore for Global Warming.


Desert Rat said...

Ahhh, but the plants LIKE the oppressive humidity, which is why I so look forward to the monsoon (besides the impending movement of the critters). I'll just live with bad hair and zits for a month or two.

I gotta keep the peppers going, if I can, 'cause they'll make some excellent peppers towards the end of summer - if they live. ;-D

Anonymous said...

thank you for the updates on all the goings on. I am sure you musta left something out. Love the lilly.

I actually like the umbrellas. I was going to put some over the corn last night (yes in the pots) so they wouldn't freeze from freezing rain.

sorry..global climate change.

Mike said...

I know some people around my neighboorhood that would have a fit over the umbrellas. I'm going to have to remember them.

Desert Rat said...

Hi Mom! I think you'd need some special Squirrel-Deterrent umbrellas, wouldn't you? Ha!

Desert Rat said...

My neighbors are just lucky the purple umbrella and the one with the ponies are going in the back yard!

I have noticed that as it gets warmer, the duct tape begins to melt a bit and the umbrellas are starting to list like a drunk Mary Poppins.

Fresh Garden said...

Wow! Cool!

Desert Rat said...

Thanks, Fresh!