AuToSpRiNkLe

Recently, as I’ve mentioned, the dogs playfully knocked against the PVC pipes for the sprinkler system, causing two pieces to seperate. When I repaired them, it turns out one of the elbow joints had a hairline crack, and needed to be replaced.

That was today’s project. Even though it’s Friday, today is my stay at home and chill day. I’m working all weekend, so this is my little present to me.

After a leisurely dog walk, I head down to Lowe’s. I love Lowe’s – it’s gotta be 10 times better than the Home Depot. It’s not as crowded, the staff know what’s going on, it’s clean, you can find parking, and it’s filled with stuff that I just gotta have!

Locate PVC pipe, elbows, connectors, T-joints, male caps, female caps. Visit the PVC section sometime, you’ll be amazed at the myriad types of PVC. Threaded to not threaded, 1/2″, 3/4″, 1″, pieces that adapt 1/2″ to 1″, and on and on and on. And it’s all so cheap! About $0.34 per piece, and 10 ft. of pipe for under 2 bucks. (which is the same price as Charles Shaw Chardonnay at Trader Joe’s, hence the name 2 buck chuck).

Fate draws me to the sprinkler aisle. Even though we have an underground, two-zone sprinkler system, the valves are manual. So I just happen upon the anti-backflow electric valves. And they are only $10 each. Look around, find basic automatic timer, it’s only $30. The best purchase, though, has to be the PVC pipe cutters. For ten bucks, who can resist? And man, do they work!

Ding Ding Ding!!!!! For only $50 I could upgrade to a fully automatic sprinkler system, thus being able to comply with my mother’s mandate to hose down the yard daily to dilute the dog pee, and save the grass.

I buy the parts, and come home to put it all together.

It took me about an hour, maybe a little more. It is so cool!!!! I can’t wait to show Britton and Brian when they get home, but I have a feeling they are going to roll their eyes and yell, “freak!”

After all, who really gets excited about an automatic sprinkler system? Besides me? I dunno. But I’ve always had this obsession, this ‘thang’, this infatuation with automatic sprinkler systems. They seem so cool, so sophisticated. They take all the hassle out of watering the lawn, because I’m the king of turn on the hose and return several hours later to realize your still watering the lawn.

So I’m psyched! I fixed the sprinkler system, and I got to install electronic valves, and I wired it all together, and it works!

If it ain’t broke, fit it!

One of the things I still suffer from is upgrade-a-gotta-have-it syndrome. For example, if Moveable Type 2.1 works fine, and 2.5 comes out, I gotta have it!

I worked in technology for 6+ years. It’s a deeply ingrained value. Newer is better. Buy it right now. Now now now. Newer, better, newer. Better, newer, better.

I upgraded MT to 2.6, and added some Brad Choate plugin that was going to “humazine” text formatting or something.

It just made things all fucking goofy.

So I think I finally have an MT version that doesn’t talk back. And we’ll be sticking with it till it breaks, kids!

Goals Present

I’ve been hesitating to write this post. It’s been a while since I updated the goal sheet, but I’m always glad when I do. Not immediately glad. But in a few years, I know I’ll enjoy looking back and reviewing which ones I made, which ones I lost interest in, and which ones are still in progress.

I’ve yet to run my 2nd marathon, but I’m thinking of signing up for the SF marathon this year. And I don’t feel bad, or disapointed, or sad that I didn’t meet my 1999 one year goal of running another marathon. Things change. But just having that intent and focus has kept me running, lifting, and in good shape. It’s that trite cliche about the journey not the destination.

That said, I always do enjoy the destination. It feels good to hit a goal. It just does. It’s the taskmaster in me doing a little happy dance.

That said, one of things I’m starting to discover is that I am not my goals. I achieve, therefore I am, no longer seems to fit. Regardless of if I achieve, I still am here. People still talk to me and want to be my pal. I achieve and I am, parallel processes that don’t define each other. What a concept!

Goals Past

From 11/15/99

1 yr goals:
- debt free for Brian and I
- run 2nd marathon under 4 hours

3 yr goals:
- living in downtown of major city
- be in good shape, 155lbs, less than 20%BF
- still w/ Brian
- 25k in savings

5 yr goals:
- be a gay father

I’m happy to report we are on track.

On race and class

Today’s episode at church was regarding reflection on class and race.

What is class? It’s an interesting question. At chuch, the tangent I was going off on was – who benefits from class?

Maybe class isn’t an external structure. It certainly doesn’t seem to be. Maybe class is an internal censor that directs us to the comfortable. The people that went to the same schools, had the same experiences, have the same opportunities. Maybe class isn’t imposed by others, but a jail we each put ourselves in.

Race
Not that class is simple, but race really takes the cake.

As the fab. African-American speaker said today, racism isn’t cured by saying “I don’t even notice you’re black.”

My other favorite quote from her was, “I am tired. I am 48 years old, and I have been spending my life trying to teach while folk to live in the moment.”

I love church!

Yard

Before…

After… (still a work in progress)

The before photo isn’t the best, but oh well. If you look close you can see we ripped out the 3 back junipers on the left. The other two will go soon. Ripping out trees is a lot of freaking work. On the right side, we ripped out 4 lillies, leaving 3 behind.

The lillies were like the borg. These massive entanglement of roots. We have several hundred pounds (no lie) of roots, leaves, and such underneath the deck, waiting their turn in the compost bin. If I knew how tough it was going to be to get rid of those lillies, I would have bought elsewhere (ok, maybe that’s a little extreme, but…)

The grass is a work in progress, but it’s getting better. The dogs knocked one of the PVC pipes in the sprinkler system loose last week, so after a quick and dirty repair, I have a few peices of that to replace. When I was 8 or 9 I helped my grandfather install a sprinkler system once, so at the hardware store I knew exactly what PVC supplies I needed. It was kind of scary. I felt so, together.

We also put down black plastic lining, and topped it all off with redwood mulch. Cut back the Sangria lillies at the back, put some space in front of them for low growing flowers.

Next up…. more edging, fix sprinkler system, mow lawn, find flowers for all the open space.

It’s not just an obsession, it’s a hobby! :-)