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Author Topic: Useless Projects  (Read 9478 times)
Yegolev
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Reply #70 on: January 22, 2018, 01:44:08 PM

There is a horse buried in an adjacent field, so we could be brothers!

I generally don't bury things.  We have a cleanup crew that is mostly composed of possums.  The cats murdered something and left about 1 pound of charnel on the porch.  After 24 hours, it was completely gone.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Yegolev
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Reply #71 on: January 22, 2018, 01:45:14 PM

I'm repairing christmas lights.  That's kinda useless and possibly a project.

Why am I homeless?  Why do all you motherfuckers need homes is the real question.
They called it The Prayer, its answer was law
Mommy come back 'cause the water's all gone
Mosesandstick
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Reply #72 on: January 22, 2018, 02:23:24 PM

Tasty beverage to enjoy?  Check!

That looks amazing, and I have to ask, what's the cocktail?
Polysorbate80
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Reply #73 on: January 22, 2018, 03:07:47 PM

Variant of a Lava Flow, which is in turn a variant of a pina colada with strawberry puree added.  This one has mango puree in it as well.

There's lots of recipes on the web for Lava Flows, most of them call for banana.  DON'T.  It overpowers everything else.  Wave the banana at the blender and then put it back in the fruit bowl.

I'm still playing around with my personal recipe, it's not quite "there" yet but the gist is:

1 cup or so Semi-frozen strawberries and coconut milk pureed in a blender
Semi-frozen mango, ditto with the milk/blender.  These should both be able to be poured slowly, not too thick/thin.  I'm tempted to try this with raspberries as well--raspberry/mango sounds intriguing.

1 cup of frozen pineapple
One small can of Dole pineapple juice (fresh is better if you have it).  I think they're 6 oz.
~ 1/2 pint of vanilla ice cream
Coconut cream or coconut milk--cream is heavier, richer and sweeter, but I don't like the way it blends, and the cans are an inconvenient serving size.  I use coconut milk, the exact amount I'm still working out, but then add sugar.  About 1/8 cup right now, more if you want it sweeter.
1 1/2 ounces coconut rum, and 1 1/2 ounces dark rum.  Warning:  I use Koloa rum--their coconut rum is 40% ABV, stuff like Malibu is about half that alcohol-wise.  Also, the Koloa dark has a very strong note of vanilla that works well with this.  Careful with substitutions. 

Throw in some ice and blend.  Add ice and keep blending until it's your desired thickness. 

While you're slowly pouring that into a glass, also pour in the strawberry and/or mango.  Since I don't have three hands to hold all of them at once and had to swap around, it didn't "flow" around the sides and turn out as pretty as it usually does, but stir it a little with the straw and it will.

This will produce 3-4 good sized drinks, not too stiff so good for lightweights.  If you want stronger ones, use some 151.  Too much liquid dilutes the mix, requiring more ice, and then you lose flavor.  A little coconut extract might fix that; I don't have any on hand.  I think I'll order a bottle and try it--sacrifices must be made in the name of alcoholic science, yo!

"Boat drinks" like this are not technically considered "Tiki", but eh.  They're tasty  awesome, for real  I'll post a "real" recipe when I get the proportions sorted.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #74 on: February 11, 2018, 12:44:53 AM

I had this built for my daughter last year.  It's more than a one-person job, so I didn't tackle it myself.  Plus pouring concrete and all is a pain in the ass, I'm totally happy to have someone else do that



One drawback to building a new house here is a lack of mature trees suitable for tire swings.  My daughter loves swinging--it's kind of her Zen thing--but she's too heavy for kids swing-sets and we needed an alternative.  This is based on a design I found from some company based in Australia or New Zealand.  I forget which.  Aussie F13ers please don't threaten murder.  Here it's done with engineered beams rather than the tubular steel the original is produced in.

The one weak link is the locking ring that holds the chains to the d-ring bolted to the beam.  Found that out yesterday when the ring wore through, it's got an 800kg capacity but it's softer than the d-ring.  Which is fine, it's a $4 part, I just need to plan on replacing it periodically so I don't have to swap it out in winter.

Mid-February is not the preferred time to have to deal with it.  It's just above freezing outside but it would be easier if it were colder and the ground were frozen.   I needed my tractor to lift the tire & chains up while reattaching the swing to the new ring, but it turns out my tractor battery isn't holding a charge.  I left the tractor out behind the chicken coops last time I used it, which meant I had to drive my pickup out to jump start it.  Since the ground is not frozen, the truck sank into the mud while it was stopped and couldn't get traction.  So after jump starting the tractor I had to use it to drag the pickup back to the driveway  swamp poop

Lifted the tire with the tractor, used a ladder to climb into the bucket (never advisable, don't try this at home kids) and got it all put back together with a couple of trips into the house to get feeling back into my hands.   Then took a nap for a couple hours and have spent the evening drinking.
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Reply #75 on: February 11, 2018, 12:48:29 AM

Really all I've learned here is you own a tractor.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #76 on: February 11, 2018, 12:50:24 AM

They're amazingly useful for those of us who live in the middle of fucking nowhere  awesome, for real
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Reply #77 on: February 11, 2018, 12:52:45 AM

Alright then, things I need:

Tractor
Teleku
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Reply #78 on: February 11, 2018, 08:13:50 AM

It sort looks like you made a child trebuchet....

"My great-grandfather did not travel across four thousand miles of the Atlantic Ocean to see this nation overrun by immigrants.  He did it because he killed a man back in Ireland. That's the rumor."
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Polysorbate80
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Reply #79 on: February 11, 2018, 09:01:39 AM

No, but an actual trebuchet is on the list of eventual projects  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?
Samwise
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Reply #80 on: February 11, 2018, 11:59:29 AM

 I also thought it was a trebuchet and was like BEST DAD EVER.  But that's still pretty goddamn rad.

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #81 on: February 11, 2018, 04:50:37 PM

Yep, I was on the trebuchet bandwagon as well until I read further. That's an awesome design idea, actually.

Samwise
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Reply #82 on: February 19, 2018, 09:54:24 PM

Okay, I mentioned a while back that this thread had inspired me to do something with my den (which has to this point mostly been a storage space for garden stuff), and that it's too unfortunately too small to set up a tiki bar. 

Behold the fully operational music nook!


"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #83 on: February 20, 2018, 06:28:58 AM

Lava lamp!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?  Got one of those hereóno vinyl collection though :(
Khaldun
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Reply #84 on: February 20, 2018, 06:54:04 AM

I was thinking that you could potentially swing pretty hard into the wooden beam, but then I remembered that's true of a tree-limb swing too. So carry on.
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Reply #85 on: February 20, 2018, 03:33:45 PM

Lava lamp!  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?  Got one of those hereóno vinyl collection though :(

My dad gave me most of his old Beatles records more than a decade ago, so I've had a vinyl collection for at least that long, and I haven't had a decent stereo to play them on in all that time.

Now that I actually have a stereo and a decent amount of shelf space for more records, I have the perfect excuse to start browsing record stores.   Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #86 on: March 12, 2018, 10:30:41 AM

Don't know if this is a project--more of an Un-Project?

Anyway, this morning's edition: Solving Your Problems With Fire

Or, How to Channel Your Inner Beavis

Because really, how many of life's issues can't be solved with proper application of excessive heat  why so serious?  

(Disclaimer:  Open burning is legal here this time of year, and I ok'd it with the local fire department anyway)

We replaced our original chicken coop this last year.  I needed more space next to the shop for another lean-to to park trailers, and the old coop was in terrible shape.  Poorly designed and built, lacking insulation, with the floor rotted out, it wasn't worth salvaging.  I chainsawed through the supports and when the guys brought in the lumber for the lean-to, I had them lift up the whole thing with the telehandler and drag it off next to the field.

I was waiting on my friend to come light it up, since she has some pyromaniacal tendencies, but since she's a nurse her schedule is crazy and we couldn't find a good time.  This was probably the last good weekend with snow cover and no wind to keep it a safe burn, so up it went.  For reference, this is an 8 x 12 building, with about another 12' x 6' x 4' pile of accumulated burnable waste piled in front.  I forgot to get a picture of the whole thing before ignition  Heartbreak





It's burned down considerably more from that last one, after being stirred a few times with the tractor bucket.  After it cools--it's still hot this morning, 24 hours later--I'll sift out the metal for recycling.

Bonus pics, Morning Moose--they don't normally let me get this close without running off.  No fire in this one:


« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 11:16:50 AM by Polysorbate80 »
Khaldun
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Reply #87 on: March 12, 2018, 08:34:16 PM

Fun!
Polysorbate80
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Reply #88 on: April 23, 2018, 03:34:42 PM

A couple years ago I bought some pavers to use to make a seating area off the downstairs back patio.  I then wound up having to have the front walk re-poured, so while they were doing that I had them pour a slab to extend the patio.  That left me with a bunch of pavers with no home.  I wound up building a firepit with leftover retaining wall block, and surrounded it with the pavers.

With a 4'-ish firepit in the center, it made a square about 14' on a side--comfortable seating for four, but a bit snug if guests were over.

This year, I found another pallet of the same pavers at the building supply store



That's about 3600 pounds of pavers.  The cat was absolutely no help in moving them.



Here's the original area as I begin work with my unwilling assistant, who is learning that when her grades drop due to failing to turn in homework she's "volunteering" to help me with manual labor.  The grades took a marked improvement shortly after this  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?




Here the project is mostly done, with and without chairs for perspective on size.  I need to finish cleaning up the dirt piles, and fill a little gravel around the edges.

Also note the need for a little herbicide.  Apparently I didn't get enough polymer sand into some of the cracks, and I have a few patches of unwanted greenery as a result.

After that I also need to put back in the holders for the tiki torches.  I had sections of PVC pipe sunk into the soil on the corners and midpoints of the sides, then filled the pipes with sand.  It makes putting the torches in and taking them out much simpler, but they all had to be pulled during the expansion.

Bonus Pic: Adding figs to the orchard this year.  I have no idea how they'll do, I've never seen anyone try to grow them here but they're a hardy variety so it should work.  I've got them in pots so I can bring them into the greenhouse during the winter to keep off the worst of the freeze.




Samwise
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Reply #89 on: April 23, 2018, 05:51:01 PM

I'm envious of your unlimited space to work with.  Every now and then I browse listings for empty acreage up north with the idea of building a wilderness retreat and/or artist's studio -- usually I get brought down to earth by remembering how long of a drive it'd be any time I wanted to get up there, how much I hate driving, and how many unfinished projects I have on the measly 2250 square feet I already own.   awesome, for real

My latest project has been reconfiguring the water feature in the middle of my backyard wildlife pond.  It started out as an island with a waterfall and planted areas

but the planted areas got mauled by raccoons. 

After that I built a castle on top of the island foundations and ran the pond pump up through the middle of it and put plants on top

but the raccoons were just barely able to reach up to the top and get themselves up there and maul everything again.  After I built the castle up a little bit higher they had noticeable trouble getting up there (I have motion activated cameras out there so I can study their shenanigans), and after I built it up a little higher than that they stopped trying.

So a couple of weeks ago I proceeded with a full on rebuild, keeping the unscalable height but also making it narrower so that they have more water to cross on top of that (they can theoretically swim but in practice they really don't seem to like getting in the water and won't cross it unless they're pretty sure they can reach dry land in one hop).

The worst part was slowly deconstructing the old castle and its foundations -- lots of backbreaking labor moving bricks and cinder blocks, and on top of that having to dredge out the muck (I'd used a lot of the standard peat/vermiculite mix that I use for potted riparian plants -- bad move, do not repeat).  The one bright spot was getting to meet the frog (hiterto unseen) who's been chirping outside my bedroom window since spring started.  He was nestled in the moss on top of the castle, safe from raccoons, and I startled him when I was in the process of deconstructing it.



Here's the castle pulled down to the original foundation, before I had to start the really ugly work of scooping muck out of the cinder blocks and then dragging the blocks themselves around:


And here it is with the rebuilt narrower foundation:


The really fun part was having had a lot of time to rethink the plumbing and reintroduce the idea of having a waterfall.


Finished:


The newly rebuilt version doesn't have any soil at all; I filled most of the interior space of the castle with clay pebbles (the kind normally used in hydroponic setups) with a coco fiber lining to keep them in place, with several inches of long-fibered sphagnum moss on top to use as a planting medium.  Water gets circulated up to the top by the pond pump so the whole thing stays saturated and acts as a bio-filter.

As a bonus, all the stomping around I did in there didn't disturb the wildlife too much.  Mr. Frog is still out there chirping, and the improved bio-filtration provided by the redesign has resulted in surprisingly crystal clear water, so I'm able to see things I couldn't see before -- I did not know until a couple of weeks ago that I had fish living in this pond, for example.  I'd caught a couple of tiny fry in a local creek last year, released them into my pond, and hadn't seen them again in all that time so I assumed they probably hadn't made it -- now they're a thriving family of at least six.  I netted the mama fish to get a better look at her:



Might be bad news for the tadpoles, but good news is I now have year-round mosquito protection without needing to use dunks.   awesome, for real  The next project might be building a dedicated seasonal frog pond...

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #90 on: April 23, 2018, 07:38:37 PM

Castle Samwise is fantastic!  Itís giving me ideas for what to do with the girl-pouring-wine statue/fountain I was given last year if I can plan out a tower  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Frogs are great, thereís a lot of ponds within earshot and itís nice to sit out on the stoop and listen at night.  There were tree frogs in the area years ago but I havenít heard of anyone seeing any recently.

Iím also looking into buying a used shipping container, doing some excavation and EDIT:  nevermind, too much work to reinforce.  Scratch that plan.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2018, 09:56:04 PM by Polysorbate80 »
RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #91 on: April 24, 2018, 08:18:58 AM

I'm seriously jealous of you both.  Polysorbate for having so damn much land to play around with (although it's in the land of snow so no thanks!) and Sam for a having a castle in his backyard pond. 

I got a good chuckle out of the unwilling apprentice though. 

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Reply #92 on: May 07, 2018, 11:25:29 PM

Wo, another tractor owner on f13... do we need a tractor thread?
Samwise
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Reply #93 on: May 08, 2018, 12:30:12 AM

Inspired by Poly's first post in this thread, I came across a big pretty slab of redwood at an antique store today and decided that I'm going to turn it into a bar for my officemates.  Here it is sitting in my garage:



Haven't figured out yet how to support it.  One thing I have working in my favor is that it's light enough for me to hoist on my own, so lifting it onto whatever base I can construct isn't going to be too hard, and I'll be able to futz with it if I need to make adjustments.  I like the idea of doing it on the cheap and building a rectangular base out of a couple of scavenged pallets, but given the irregular shape it might be better to buy a little lumber and construct something more form-fitting.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 01:20:31 AM by Samwise »

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
RhyssaFireheart
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Reply #94 on: May 08, 2018, 08:34:11 AM

I initially thought you were going to say you'd taken up wood sculpting and was turning that into a seahorse, because that's what it looks like.

A bar would be really cool too though.  Maybe have the base be a half circle, with the opening along the longer side of wthe wood (the left in the pic), but you might still need something to support that little jutting peninsula section.  A fancy bracket kind of thing if you don't want a leg of some kind?  That looks like a gorgeous piece of wood!  DRILLING AND WOMANLINESS

Polysorbate80
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Reply #95 on: May 08, 2018, 09:03:35 AM

That is a nice pieceógood score!  I canít quite get a feel for the size, is that about 5í long?

Iíd be tempted to do something single-pedestal, cocktail-round style although itís big enough to be tricky.  If I had a working bandsaw Iíd try a curved leg kind of like I think Rhyssa is describing.  Or maybe a more rustic post or weathered stump, but then that involves finding another piece of wood  Ohhhhh, I see.

Getting it to all balance and stand stable is the trick.  Might need to experiment before you put the top on, needless to say avoid damaging/refinishing the top of that if all possible.
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Reply #96 on: May 08, 2018, 09:36:51 AM

Little over 5' overall; there's room for maybe a 48"x18" rectangle under the main bulk of it.  

My current thought is to build a trapezoid sort of shape with 4 4x4 posts and a few 2x4 stringers, panel the front (which'd be the base of the trapezoid) with something rustic/distressed-looking, and make a foot rail out of pre-cut iron pipe.

(edit) spent some time messing around in Paint to try to visualize how a base built out of right angles would fit under this shape.  The longest side of the base ends up being 5' across.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:00:28 AM by Samwise »

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Polysorbate80
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Reply #97 on: May 10, 2018, 05:38:00 PM

That doesn't leave much knee space around most of the bar, but with the piece being that narrow you might have to forgo that anyway (it's less than the recommended 12" around a lot of mine, more like 9-10")

Eh, grab some inexpensive wood and knock it together and see how it plays out.  Definitely put storage space underneath--I wish mine had it, but it's all full of kegerator and sandbag ballast.
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Reply #98 on: May 10, 2018, 06:35:55 PM

Definitely put storage space underneath

Ya, my thinking was I could do the 2x4s in three levels (counter height, foot height, and one between) and put shelf pins inside the rectangular area to provide a couple of levels of shelf that are reachable from behind the bar.  Be plenty enough room to stash some bartending essentials.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 06:58:37 PM by Samwise »

"Nice attempted blast about my "drinking".  I do enjoy a nice cuppa, but that is because I am a bon vivant of gregarious nature and cheery disposition." - Ab
Mandella
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Reply #99 on: May 13, 2018, 12:46:34 PM

So, we made the decision a month back to go solar, and last week I started clearing out the space for the ground rack:




That's the top of a hill about two hundred feet from the house proper. Going with a ground rack because the house isn't angled right to use roof mounts, and is too shaded to boot. Not much more than scrubby pine in the way on the hill and me and my chainsaw are making short work of them. The camera in the picture is actually pointed northeast, so those deciduous trees are going to be behind the panels.

If anyone is interested I'll chronicle the process here. I'm actually pretty excited about it, and will be doing as much of the install DIY as I legally can. We're still in the permitting process though so I'll be holding the actual construction up until the local bureaucracy approves everything, but nobody says I can't get a head start on site clearing...
Polysorbate80
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Reply #100 on: May 13, 2018, 01:26:19 PM

Iíd love to hear about it. My house isnít in a good location for solar, but Iíve got my eye on a windmill for power generation at some point (we have pretty consistent light wind) and will have some of the same power connection issues you might have to sort out.

Plus chainsaws are fun.  Unless they generate Jimbo-type stories  ACK!
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Reply #101 on: May 13, 2018, 02:45:40 PM

Iíd love to hear about it. My house isnít in a good location for solar, but Iíve got my eye on a windmill for power generation at some point (we have pretty consistent light wind) and will have some of the same power connection issues you might have to sort out.

Plus chainsaws are fun.  Unless they generate Jimbo-type stories  ACK!

Since you brought up chainsaws-- my old reliable finally crapped out on me (right before I took that picture above actually) and I decided to embrace the future and replace it with an electric.

Best thing I've done in a while. I love the thing. 40 volt 16 inch, one battery goes for about two hours of work -- which coincidentally is about when I'm ready to take a break too, so I'm fine with that. No problem at all cutting down those scrubby pines, although I will say I haven't tried it on anything over about eight inches in diameter. But it's perfect for around the house brush clearing.

No more drop starts. No more mixing fuel. No more tinkering with the carb for an hour while my project window slips away. I'm in love.

Howso is your house not in a good place for solar? I see a pretty nice line of sight all the way to the horizon in your photos, and you can do like I am and just put the rack holding the solar on the ground. Makes it easier and safer to work on too.

Or are you just too far north to make it worth it?

Speaking of those pics, nice job on the firepit! Unfortunately, that reminds me that I "volunteered" myself to build a new firepit at my daughter's house, so I need to budget some time/money in for that too. That wide patio you built around it looks pretty nice too, dammit, which has convinced me to do the same thing -- it was going to be just a narrow ring of pavers. Plus she's got a toddler so the "pit" needs to be higher...
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Reply #102 on: May 13, 2018, 03:08:04 PM

I have loads of space for it, including a nice south-facing pasture.  4-5 months of the year, though, I donít have enough sunlight for solar to be worth the trouble of keeping the snow & ice off the panels.  The prevailing winds that make wind power attractive would snowdrift the racks pretty consistently I think.

A windmill and a backup generator system would do a better job for us.  I donít think I could ever go fully off-grid without rethinking the house a bit.  For instance, while I love my geothermal hvac system (itís extremely power efficient overall) it takes a lot of amperage at 220v to start up from locked rotor.
Polysorbate80
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Reply #103 on: May 14, 2018, 05:54:12 AM

Front garden renovation: Phase 1

The front flower garden is looking like shit.  The cats and chickens have wrecked the micro-sprinklers, weeds are rampant, and Samwise has given me motivation to get started on the pond/water feature I'd like to put in.  It's a bit of an odd space anyway, you can see the box for the water right in the middle of the path, and the electrical service box is just out of frame to the right next to the sasquatch statue.  And of course the "don't dig here or you'll die" sign.  I don't know why I don't take that out.  I know where the power line runs  swamp poop

Todays portion of the project was putting in the path in the middle.



It's way easier to get around with a path and easy access to the water line.   I used to have one but it was just some leftover pavers and got all jacked up when I had contractors trench a new line for water over to the orchard years ago.

The side off to the right is ribbon grass, pampas grass, iris and lavender.  Trust me, it's all buried in there under the trash grass that's sprung up around it.  I'm taking out what isn't supposed to be there, covering it with landscape fabric to slow down the inevitable regrowth, and piling cobblestone over that.  I moved a yard and a half of stone, then got tired and drafted the kids into helping with the last half yard.  Holy shit, you'd have thought I asked them to build the goddamn pyramids by hand to listen to them complain...

It's also a looooot of wheelbarrow loads of gravel.  Which the cats have been using for a litterbox, yay!  Little bastards.

The rose pavers are just some artsy things made by a local guy who does concrete artwork.  I have several of his items scattered around.  I should get his concrete version of the sasquatch, the one in the photo is resin and the color is all fucked up from the sunlight---it looks ok in the photo but IRL it's gotten bad.

He didn't do the pot laying on its side, I got that from a local garden place years back.  I needed to move it over to make space for the path.  Turns out, it was full of ants.  Several ant bites later, I got pissed and dumped it out to encourage them to find new residence.

Between the pot and the wheelbarrow there's a couple of daylilies; I'm thinking the fountain will sit back in there, aimed in towards the center left side of the garden for the pond.  Cause, y'know, power line on the other side and all  awesome, for real
Mandella
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Reply #104 on: May 14, 2018, 11:54:03 AM

I like the pavers, and if my wife sees them she's gonna want some like them. I already use a "cobblestone" mold to make kinda natural rock looking pavers out of poured concrete. Note: the "terra cotta" pigment from Home Depot is actually "pink," at least when I mix it.

Aren't you worried about the water access being a trip point?

Also, you're really making me want a tractor. It's the one outside expense I haven't been able to justify yet, not having a working farm or livestock (other than a load of dogs and cats and one overly friendly fox).
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