Tuesday, June 16, 2009

another photo of progress, another entry without substance

Fence and gate up, potted starts in at last. Then comes the hard part, putting in the path and adding dirt so planting of smallish stuff can go on around the path and boxes.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"it ain't easy getting to heaven when you're going down" -- David Bowie

side yard looking better I'm not quite up to writing a new post with anything interesting to say, but I did kind of promise something "next week" so I'm fulfilling the contractual obligation tonight. Here's the big change, click the pic for a bit larger; compare to last time's picture of the side yard, circa yesterday afternoon. This isn't how the day ended; this was shot after getting the land tilled and weedblocker laid, boxes installed in the area, and four wheelbarrow loads of gravel laid down for drainage -- but right before six wheelbarrow loads of composty matter went into the boxes. My arms are pretty sore right now (shoveling in, shoveling out...) and it's bound to get worse since I will be dumping probably another six or more loads of composty matter in the boxes, plus eventually a bunch on the weedblocker so it can host foliage one can walk on (only plants obtained thusfar for that purpose being Corsican mint). The fencepost goes in where that hole front & center is later today, and I've got 90 pounds of concrete to make it stay there. Tomorrow I'll mount the fence and gate up on that post, soon as the concrete is set, so the world won't have to watch any longer.

Hmm, could always add -- mercifully briefly -- that I added the Linux operating system to a partition on my notebook. That has been an adventure, and not just because I know no Linux command language. In terms anyone can grasp: There's a lot of hype in the support and geekery worlds for a distribution of Linux called Ubuntu because it can be run directly from disk -- helpful if Windows on your computer got broken so you can't boot up from the hard drive, so you can get in there and fix things. I started with that, and discovered an odd quirk: If I boot from the CD, I can get online; if I install Ubuntu (more accurately Xubuntu, a smaller version meant for low-memory computers like my notebook) everything works except networking, it refuses to use the connection... and also inexplicably has the same effect on Windows, which it shouldn't begin to meddle with. That's not right. So I guess I can use this disk for what people are always hyping it for, but that's it. Okay, still wanting to get a taste of Linux, I did some research and found that my best friend Chrome's preferred version, Slackware, has a tangental development called Slax which is very compact, runs faster!, boots off a CD, was constructed so you can just add programs by dropping a compressed file into a folder (think in Windows terms: &herwidehiptfrend2! "run a program from a Zip archive without having to unpack and install it"), and if one can install Slax to their hard drive (the latest version doesn't make it easy or obvious how, like the previous one which had an installer right there on the programs list) it does work just fine for getting online and so forth. So I've got that, I've played with it for a little while, and I'm happy... now to actually learn something practical from this.

3 a.m. and I need to go to bed, I know I'm gonna be sore and stiff when I wake up, but you got an update of sorts anyhow. Here, have a rose from my garden, I gots plenty of them.

Friday, June 05, 2009

after a month's silence...

Wow, has it been a month? Sorry... I remember saying that I would blog from the road, and I did have online access every day (if you follow my Flickr stream you had daily updates), but as for writing? I kinda put it off. We left Tacoma on May 11 (happy 41st birthday, Karen) and drove to La Grande, Oregon for the night... We buzzed halfway through Idaho and spent the night in Tremonten, Utah... Drove all the way through Utah for a surreal night at the Tropicana in Las Vegas... visited Hoover Dam and since we had the Grand Canyon on our agenda we spent the night in Williams, Arizona and then visited the Canyon in the early afternoon... Finally we got to auntie's house in Sun City, Arizona on the evening of the 15th. Here's the Grand Canyon [click picture for a screen-size version]:
Grand Canyon by m³We stayed with her through the weekend, taking a day trip to the ghost town of Congress and the future ghost town of Yarnell, and saw other relatives. So we picked up our stakes on the 19th and cruised over to Banning, California... California is a long-ass state so we had a second night there, halfway up the map in Merced... Determined to get the hell out of California we stopped driving in Ashland, Oregon, home of the perpetual Shakespeare festival... We had a date in Portland with a friend of mine after he got off of work at 6 p.m. so we had a great time in the historic town of Jacksonville to pass the time, then met up with him for a fancy dinner, and since it's only another 120 miles to Tacoma from Portland we were in our driveway at ten minutes until midnight on the 21st (see the odometer, posted at 4 a.m. May 23nd).

We slept and lounged for the next three days. So since that point, once we got our butts back in gear, we've acquired materials for our next home improvement project: we're connecting the edge of the in-spite-of fence we put up between us and the neighbors a year ago to the unused side of the house (having ripped out the rotting fence that was there over the last few months), ripping up the weed-choked ground on that side of the house -- an 8' by 25' area -- to lay down weed blocker and put in a couple 8' by 3' planter boxes which I'm currently building, plus there will be the cleanup / weed-blocking / re-doing of the path between the porch and the side of the house as well as the planting area in the front yard next to where we're doing all this work. I haven't posted any pictures on Flickr of the progress yet, so the two below are more than anyone else in the world has seen unless you come by the house (y'all are welcome):
two pics of the side of my houseThe big picture on the left is the Before image, the huge mess that side of the yard has become. The smaller picture on the right is the visible progress -- stained and bolted a 4x4 to the corner post (because of where the phone boxes are on the side of the house, the gatelatch post on the house side has to be back a bit) plus stained and rigged up a 2x6 to close the intentional gap between my front fence and the neighbor's back fence, and I've cut down the weeds so I could spray them with Roundup. Once those are dead I'll rake up and rototill the area, plant the center post for holding up the fence and a gate, etcetera ad nauseum.

What else is there to report? Eh, probably plenty. Maybe next week.

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