ShopTalk Sunday: The Quest for “Happy Designs”

Our major shop projects are on hold.  A combination of weather delays (Ure doesn’t work outdoors under 50F if he can avoid it) and supply chain issues.  The local lair of the Home Despots was out of the polycarbonate panel mounting strips for the Studio Grow Room.  So, we await deliveries and a change in weather.

This doesn’t bring proceedings in the shop to a standstill; far from it!  There is always something to do.  One of today’s projects is bringing up power in the existing greenhouse and setting the year’s first batch of plants growing on the seed heat mats.

Grown-up Gardening

Although I was able to mess around with lasers at age 16 (in the basement of the UoW EE building where 3D holograms were being explored), there was a definite “hole in my education” when it came to gardening.

Sure, there was the “usual” drive-by of the topic.  Which involved sticking a few beans in a Styrofoam cup in Biology and watching it sprout.  Talk about death to an ADHD person!  Like watching paint drying!

Since those basic days of “put seed in soil, water, and give it sunlight” the biggest improvements in my gardening came from a study of the “hidden variables”:

  • Planting time matters (at least here in Texas).  Tomatoes that aren’t well-established by mid-April won’t be setting enough fruit to make them worth the bother.  Because although tomatoes love heat, they don’t set fruit worth a damn over 96F, or so.  Second crop in the fall is useful, though.
  • Bees are critical to high yields.  We’ll be putting out another pound or three of wildflowers.  The more bees, the more fruits get set.
  • Soil AND Water pH matter:  Our soil, being sullied by alkaline and 8.2 pH watering, only works on higher pH plants.  Tomatoes?  They like acidic soil.  Quick deeper study here: Greenhouse & Floriculture: Water Quality: pH and Alkalinity | Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment at UMass Amherst.
  • Kill pests early-on and humanely.  And, of course, “Dead-eye Ure” and his subsonic .22 rounds has no mercy for small rodents.  Planting more anti-deer greenery around the perimeter this year.  Adjunct:  The gate height will be raised another 2-feet because our local white-tail deer are Olympic jumpers. Who can flat-hoof it over 4-feet like it was nothing?  6-feet and higher?  Now you’re talking deterrence.

A reasonable person – right about here – might logically ask “If you know all this stuff, why sister-it-up with a conversation about “Happy Design?”

Ah…  Come along.

What is a “Happy Design”?

Out of the garden and into the electronics lab to help explain.

Back in 2000, I was VP Sales at SGC Communications up in Bellevue, WA.  Worked with (the late) Pierre Goral right at the time the SG-2000 HF single sideband transceiver was rolling out.  It was Pierre who schooled me on “happy designs.”  Used the early Apple computers (II-series) as an example.  No, it wasn’t a Cray, but it was a product that did exactly what Woz and Jobs had set off to accomplish.  And it hit the education market.

The SG-2000 radio, he explained, was also a “happy design.”  No, it wasn’t a perfect ham radio – it didn’t have a tuning dial (hams are creatures of habit) – and computer-control would take a while to develop.  On the other hand, it was rock-solid and able to pass FCC Type Approval for commercial use.  So, I wrote-up sales orders for places like the HAARP facility in Alaska and places out in the desert near Tonopah, that may or may not exist, and such.

The main new feature – and what made the design “happy” – was it was among the very first radios to feature a removeable control head.  Visionary stuff.  That was later emulated by many radio manufacturers like Icom, and so forth.

Like I said, the radio wasn’t perfect.  The microprocessor-controlled frequency synthesizer initially had some phase noise to it.  But, in a short time as the state of the art improved, so did the radio.  Such that by 2001 when I married the SG-2000 up with a Frederick Electronics A.L.E. controller (working the the folks at it was a damn good frequency-agile, ALE platform at a hard to beat price point.  Type approved and happy with FED-STD 1045…this was the essence of happy design!

All Projects Can Be “Happy”

When engineers talk about “good designs” they are usually referring to the component level.  The design objectives – often negotiated with Marketing – hit the list of agreed-upon specifications.

Occasionally in the product development path there will be notes on the flow chart like “Insert Magic Here.”

In the Happy Design in addition to everything Marketing wanted, the product also innovates in some way.  Or it interfaces to another system gracefully and without a lot of monkey-motion to make it work.  Or both.

Happy designs are also resource efficient.

One thing Pappy ground into my thinking when building projects out of my head as a kid was the idea that in really great designs, you should be able to remove all the fasteners, for example, and not have the chair (or building) fall down in a heap.  He went on to explain that this is what distinguished Amish (and some European) craftsman’s work.  Their furniture was designed as a system. Resulting in Happy Designs.

It wasn’t until 15-years ago that Elaine and I bought a “happily designed” European-made, solid oak armoire for our bedroom.  It occupies much of an entire wall and is almost eight feet long.  But here’s the amazing part:  It all breaks down into flat panels.

See, in Europe, the stairways are narrow.  Moving several hundred pounds of solid oak up a narrow walk-up as a huge assembled unit “ain’t hap-nin.”  But the whole top pops off into a single 50-pound, 20-inch by almost 8-foot (and 6-inch thick) piece.  The sides do the same.  The carved doors come off easily.  The base (even the feet come off gracefully), too.

The reason than I’m compelled to own a mortising machine is not that I’m any good as a woodworker.  Subpar at best.  But I recognize that there is a reason why mortise and tenon joinery is used by craftsmen:  It provides for a “fastener-free” way to make things.  Things that can be disassembled for ease of moving.

A simple mortise and tenon joint, with a small wedge pounded in to lock it, can all be done with a saw, hammer, and pocketknife.  So therein lies the art.

I’ve often told you there are only four operations to making things:  Measure, cut, join, and finish.  What you may not appreciate is how damn complicated joinery may be, even basic mortise and tenon joints.

Not that metal plates and fasteners aren’t expedient.  It’s just that IF we’re serious as a species about defusing climate, then using the earth to heat-sink heating and cooling,  building metal-free furniture and buildings, plus growing our own food, may be harder but necessary.  A lot more honest, too.

Performance Balance

Happy Designs may also be thought of as idealized balancing acts.  Two balancing examples are cars and sailboats.

In the car department, few people consciously think through what their 6-year “Use Case” will be.  When you do that, however (and in our case having a small ranch with all the moving parts of this project to contend with), it became obvious that driving our Porsche 930 was not a good choice.  While it would do zero to sixty in the whiplash zone, there’s so much here (hauling 3-dozen 2-by-4’s and 4-sacks of Quikrete) that nothing in the Porsche line would handle.  So we eventually sold it off.  (At a profit, lol.)

Same thing with sailboats.  A folding propeller is a balancing act.  When motoring, a folding prop presents much less forward resistance.  Boat goes faster.  When occasionally running over gillnets in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the folding prop won’t snag.  While even a feathering prop will.  Because they still stick out from the shaft.

Making Our Grow Room “Happy”

With the door on the Grow Room and the side panels in hand waiting on parts…

This results in several design issues for today’s pondering.

How will the water be collected from the roof?  What will be the design of the water barrels to provide storage for the captured water?  How will the collected water be dialed-in to precision pH?  Will there be an internal (submersible) pump, or should I install the pump externally?  12-volt powered along with solar panels and a battery to run things? Work out the battery size required?

Poured on approach to water?  Or should we put in a drip system?  How much hydroponic growing do we want? Is that also 12 Volt? Or do we tie in to the big grid-tie solar AC system?

Last year, the hydroponics worked great in the *(small) greenhouse.  But when came time to set fruits the greenhouse simply got too hot.  Which is how we got to the repurposed swamp cooler approach. I also set my plants too close together resulting in root crowding.  Live and learn. Heat is not the gardener’s friend north of 90F.

Even here, notice that basics of engineering matter greatly.  Since warm air rises, the swamp cooler input from outdoors will be in the shade and down low.  The hot air exhaust will be up high and at the far end of the room.  This way, Nature will lend a hand making sure the grow room design has a chance to “be happy.”

Toss in Some Disney, Too

Last point about happy designs:

Years ago – when Google Earth was newish – I zoomed in on Disneyworld.  We had been living in Florida for a couple of years (Boca) and we’d been to D-World several times.

What the “view from space” confirmed was what I’d caught a glimpse of when one of the cast members left a fence open from the Magic Kingdom into the back lot.  The rooftops of my favorite rides (Pirates and the Haunted House) were very much like big warehouse boxes.

The thing is those portions of the park not designed to be seen were as simple and durable (in the sense of industrial) as could be.

Made a hell of an impression on me.

From the front of our home, you can’t see the grow room.  And this place still has an almost uninviting “old redneck trailer in the woods look.” We don’t plan to change that.

Which has become a kind of personal design criteria.  Not only do we want happy designs for us, and an interior that “transports” but we also don’t spend money needlessly on the exterior.

Graceful and happy designs are always the goal.  This is the kind of thing going on in background as I sketch up the “downspout to rain barrel flange.” which will roll out of one of the 3D printers this week.

So goes life as the Chief Vegetable.

Write when you get rich,

48 thoughts on “ShopTalk Sunday: The Quest for “Happy Designs””

  1. “The gate height will be raised another 2-feet because our local white-tail deer are Olympic jumpers. Who can flat-hoof it over 4-feet like it was nothing? 6-feet and higher?”

    Height is not the only factor in deterring deer invasion. I’ve seen deer run UNDER a 5-strand barbed wire fence that I’d have trouble crawling under. These ETX whitetails can be challenging for sure.


      Deer and other animals are pretty smart.. I wouldn’t spend the extra coin to raise a fence.. instead use ultrasonics..
      Or even better.. just plant a small garden just for them.. you’ll find out that they not only will leave your garden completely alone but will be forever grateful that you planted one for them..
      I have a small garden area just for the animals.. pearl Millet and oats.. etc.. sugar beets can get away from you but the deer and rabbits love it.. you also can make your own sugar..deer tongue.. and spinach .. yummy stuff they like..
      Just plant their garden away from yours.. they will be good neighbors.. like a bird feeder.. to attract the birds..

  2. If you want to make 100% sure that you keep the deer out you will need to make that fence 8 foot high. Deer have been know to jump a 15 foot fence but that was when they were being chased by a predator. There is a farm a few miles down the road from me that raise a few deer for breeding purposes and they use an 8 foot fence to keep them in.

  3. Good luck with the deer fence but watch your windows. Several years ago, had one jump through a plate glass window at our Dr’s office in the middle of the day, run down a hall, and exit through another window in the back. They’re still suffering PTSD from the incident.
    I prefer .22 shorts (not CBs) for small varmint work near the house. Or sometimes a pump-up air rifle/pistol (.177 or .22).
    Anybody remember the old shooting galleries that used .22 shorts and (I think) Browning semiautos?

    • Gun ranges are getting hard to find because owners are having trouble keeping up or complying with the EPA lead laws. Ventilating and sifting the dirt to pull out the lead is considered hazmat work.

  4. My garden is 60′ by 150′ with a 10′ tall fence around it to keep deer and elk out, the harder part is keeping the moles out of the garden. That is a full time issue even with years of various type of tests nothing is full proof but the continuous fight. LOL Raised beds with stucco wired under them are the safest.
    I hope you don’t have them as it requires lots more time than one would like to give.

    • My father use to complain about rabbits..yet my whole life he never had any problems with rabbits. My grand daughter was complaining about deer.. I said the same thing.. Plant a small garden just for them. She did.. She is the first one that will ask you..guess which garden is the animals.. The one all neat or the one gnawed on lol.. It’s cheap simple and works.just make sure both are separate .. They have to know which one is with people everyone is just trying to survive .

  5. I once was walking my dog in some woods along a 10′ security fence on a DOD installation and we came across a herd of deer that took off. One moment they were running along the inside of the fence and the next they were running along the outside of the fence before veering off down across the road. I didn’t see them jump over the fence; it was the most remarkable magic act trick I ever saw.

    I now feed corn to the local deer in my back yard to keep them out of the front yards. Deer have social rules. The head buck gives access to the corn to the fawns and does first before allowing the younger then older bucks to eat what’s left. They also post sentries in a perimeter to provide security for the group while they are eating. Deer are amazing creatures.

    I also have some foxes on the same feeding schedule and they take turns eating from the dog food bowl I put out for them. They shun the sick animals so I put out a separate bowl for one which they left alone.

    Nothing more amazing than watching two foxes nonchalantly eating alongside some raccoons while watching a dozen squirrels and oodles of birds a few feet away eating sunflower seeds and peanuts.

    • Exactly Joe.. Deer are very well mannered and cordial.. I had a big bucket of carrots sitting out.. The dog was originally concerned because they were eating.. Now she knows that’s for the deer and rabbits.. My father use to get the trimmings at the store. Cheap ..

  6. Hey Scoty – looks like youse be draining those gutters toward the house/foundation. – might want to consider slope in other direction away from house..just a thought.
    The other reco for rain barrel catchment sys. – get Ureself a small to middling size snapping turtle – he will live in bottom of Ure rain barrels.
    You throw kitchen scraps in there as generated by the Home kitchen.
    Raised in a rain barrel, the turtle meat will be CLEAN – Not Muddy like usual wild caught – no need to soak for dayz on end to clear out the mud flavor in the wild caught snappa meat.
    One snappa per barrel – couple of good meals/stews/soups from a full size snappa = 15-20lb per Snapping Turts…thats a lot of Snappa Stu!

    Dont forget to get some decent Sherry and quality pepper corns – dont wanna skimp on the spices – Hearty and Rich.


  7. George you might want to consider a product called Zoodo! I’m not pulling your leg here, it is a real product, and it really does work. There are others out there like it but a number of folks I know use it with excellent results. Might be worth a try to defend against 4 legged high jumpers before going the fence route.

  8. To keep the “old redneck trailer in the woods” look will require you to have at least one, or two would be better, junk cars along with a busted up swing set in the front yard. Add an old couch next to the front door and a couple of overflowing trash barrels to complete the ensemble.
    My neighbor Stevie is the kind of neighbor you would always want to have. Honest, always there to help, and hard working. He bears an uncanny resemblance to Junior Samples. His home is as I described above. Once I stopped to say Hi when I saw he and one of his brothers were sitting on the yard couch. Stevie has a beautiful panoramic view from his front yard. Problem is that a few years ago the Power CO OP came through and butchered a huge old elm tree that had since sprouted and looked like a tangled mess. I asked Stevie why he didn’t call the CO OP to have them come out and fix their mess so he could enjoy his view. His answer was “Naaah, I’ll just look over this way.”

    • I would imagine the camouflage keeps the property taxes low, as well. Thought has crossed my mind many a time — old shack in the field and the earth-sheltered home a few hundred yards away.

  9. Tonga eruption + tsunami :
    Is this Clif High’s ‘global coastal event’, forecast many years ago at the same time as the ‘sun disease’ (corona virus) ?

    • You may want to check this out:
      “America Trembles After Russian Doomsday Torpedo Explodes Ocean Causing Global Tsunami”
      They say it can be equipped with a 100 MegaTon Nuke, twice the yield of the largest nuke ever – the Russian Tsar Bomba at 50 MT.
      These would certainly resolve the runaway crime problem in some of out coastal cities: LA, NY, Seattle (sorry George).

      • AS an adder, I was wondering why the Russians chose the location near Tonga for their test, then I called-up an antipode map. Tonga is almost exactly the antipode to the Canary Islands – oops!
        Now THAT would be Clif High’s ‘global coastal event’ wouldn’t it?

        • About them canaries…
          One of the axioms developed during the rush to predict was the axiom that “The Bigger the Event, then long-range in advance language would begin to change.” Roughly.
          So with the “sun disease” from that period, we are (axzs of this morning) about 9/10th’s of the way into a “mega-death” event. Where mega is a million dead.
          For the Global Coastal Event there would logically be some study (if you have all your ancient ALTA reportS) and look at the spacing between “sun disease” first appearing and “global coastal.”

          To anyone well-versed in how “future prediction” works, there’s something of a hierarchy.

          In that first, you get a change at the archetype level.
          Then you see a shift from the archetype domain to the action/bespoke/verb/overt action range.
          Then events come along and bitch-slap the world.

          From the analytics standpoint, language shift might be considered the “harbinger of what’s next” but the verbs in headlines (whether a change report on a tropical depression, or a calling up of reserves prior to war) then becomes a much better, close-in, more accurately timed futuring tool.

          Back to point, when Florida wakes up to a 30-foot wave, or for that matter, just a 10-foot above tide that never goes out, then that would meet the expectation for a Global Coastal event.

          I would defer to Clif’s work for the timing between events, as can best be guessed based on linguistic “heat maps” between events offering some future insights.

          Not sure we want that.
          But, meantime, there’s the Japan Quake 2 coming this September in some RV work and the fulfillment of Brandt’s dream spring 2023 perhaps being in the cards.
          Along the line of kindling events, though, this may be apparent with a basic “power analysis” *e.g. magnitudes over time* and then “lock-up” which would then set a timer for release.

          As always, we shall see. Big data being small comfort.

  10. Automobile engine design.
    I had an Oldsmobile station wagon and the water pump was mounted outside of the block. When it failed no damage to the block occurred. Replacement was well within the capability of a under the tree mechanic friend. Parts and beer came in less $100. Today , depending on the model, water pumps are built into the block. Water pump failure will result in a humongous shop bill and in some cases a blown engine.
    Has progress in automotive engineering been a matter of happy design?

    When I lived in Central Ohio some apple growers added a horizontal element to their fences to keep deer from hitting a running stride before the jump.

    The description of your place reminded me of a book. Any thought of offering bridge lessons?

  11. My deer fence, when I lived in the PNW, was a six foot fence with extended pipes supporting a wire at eight feet with pieces of cloth tied to it at intervals. Easier than an eight foot fence, and easier to modify a six foot already built fence.

  12. I slowed down on gardening due to frame and ROI issues. I need a smaller tractor with a PTO tiller for the clay, and I have developed sticker shock on all the ag hardware for hobby use. I’m not seeing any problem with the food supply chain locally at the moment.

    I agree with the other readers that a 6′ fence won’t keep deer out. If you are serious about putting in a garden you can live off of, and are willing to spend the money, then you might want to consider a hardened fence. In Texas, your main threats to the garden are deer, racoons, feral hogs, rabbits, opossums, exotics, coyotes, dogs, neighbors, and your neighbor’s livestock, with the neighbor’s bull(s) at the top of the food chain. My late father and I had all of them raid our garden(s) at one time or another.

    Coyotes? Yes, coyotes go nuts over cantaloupes. Chessies have similar tendencies. I had a Chessie who ate okra, stalks and all. That Chessie is the only critter I ever encountered who would even touch okra. Okra is a Texas gardener’s dream veggie. I lost my largest ever lettuce garden to the neighbor’s three juvenile bulls in about 15 minutes. Hogs like overripe squash. The racoons always pick corn one day ahead of me. The only reason I ever get fruit ahead of the ‘coons and ‘possums is the coyotes guarding my fruit trees when the fruit is ripe. And of course, there is the issue of monster’s in the garden, as I have driven up on Texas panther’s hunting in my garden on occasion. I’ve never seen an extant timber wolf in the garden, but they are sneaky critters. I am always on the look-out for vipers.

    A fence that can keep out one critter will be useless against another variety. If you are serious about this, you will need a hybrid approach. What I have considered doing is starting with extra long posts, put a regular 5′ 6-strand barbed wire fence in, with the bottom strand 4″ off the turf to discourage hogs. I would then cover that with an 8′ game fence. This is an extension of the strategy I used to stop a major league hog assault along the property line on one side, but there the fence was only 5’. I also used auger anchors and rebars in the spots where the hogs were prying up the fence. If there is a flaw, the piggies will find it. That fence stops hogs and undetermined livestock, but not much else.

    My late father became an electric fence enthusiast. He would combine the electrics with large live traps to combat racoon infestation at his favorite garden plot. But that was before the deer and hogs increased in numbers. You might also consider one or two electric wires on insulators with a solar charger on your hybrid fence to take out the climbers.

    Rocks, bricks or concrete blocks are good for the other diggers, but before it is over with, you will end up with plugged holes around the entire perimeter. I have considered the possibility of trenching and putting a layer of hardware cloth around the bottom of the fence, but that is getting into real work and diminishing returns. A rental trencher would be efficient.

    Another survival strategy would be to put in a permanent deer stand overlooking the garden. You can throw the unpalatable veggies over the fence in a feeding area with a clear line of fire from the deer stand. I like the idea of an elevated stand with solar, fans and insulation, but I have seen some sunken stands that looked really good. Again, how much time, money and effort do you want to spend on this, and how much will you need the protein?

    And if the Texas legislature legalizes other cash crops, you have your watch tower (or bunker) in place, and you just increase the voltage on the fence charger a bit, and maybe add some perimeter surveillance alarms.

    • I have done just what you mentioned to combat moles and gophers in my sandy soil – buried hardware cloth two feet deep around the perimeter of my (small) back yard. In some places it had to go deeper because of a sloped creek bank outside the fence. I quickly discovered that the mesh must extend up past the bottom of the wooden fence. Any little chink that opens up due to settling, weathering, etc. will be quickly found and exploited. That’s why I refer to the barrier as the “Maginot Line II”.

      More effectively, whenever I make a new garden bed, I dig it out a foot-and-a-half deep, line the bottom and sides with hardware cloth then fill it back in. I have to watch the sides to make sure they don’t get overtopped with dirt after rains, wind, etc. Being galvanized, the hardware cloth lasts a long time in the soil – in fact, I have yet to have any rust out, and some sections have been in place for years.

      It’s worth the effort to me, as the only way to get rid of a gopher that has settled in is to trap it. I use box traps that fit over the end of an exposed tunnel (after a fair amount of digging), and catch the gopher when it moves in to block the hole in the end. I discovered they work much better when baited with parsley roots. Moles have become too clever to trap in my area (they just dig under whatever I set out), but succumb nicely to poison worm baits. It’s just like the whack-a-mole game, though – new ones move in about as fast as you nail the old ones – hence the barriers.

  13. I installed a temperature-controlled exhaust fan in my greenhouse. It really does help. It also helps circulate air in an otherwise closed environment.

  14. Just try an electric fence, but you need to train the critters first. Hang some metal tags on the wire and smear peanut butter on them. Once the critters lick the fence, they won’t be back, even if they can jump that high.

      • You wanna go ahead – for inquiring minds DO want to know – how do you trick a skitterish deer into Precisaion Peeing on a fence?
        (I was up half the night with nightmares about how this done…seriously!)
        From PETA to PEEDA…

      • Like I said… peanut butter is easier than getting the deer to pee on the fence! That is an old farmboy trick for the visiting city boys… out in the field, just get the city slickers to pee on the fence! That trick is for humans. I dunno how you would get a deer to do that.

        Here’s your nightmare: Boyhood friend and I were experimenting with a HV spark coil at his dad’s workbench. He was standing in front of the big vise with the handle hanging down near his crotch when the HV wire fell against the vise. The spark hit him between the legs, and he went down on the floor with the wind knocked out of him.

  15. I was blessed to see the first Cray computers. Seymour Cray built his lab and production facility in Chippewa Falls, WI, just ten miles from my hometown. Several classmates went to work there, and I also applied and got the grand tour early on. Emitter-coupled logic gates for high speed. Wedge shaped card cages in a circle with the wiring mat on the inside. Timing & switching designs resolved to 1 nS blocks. That’s how far electric current flows in 6 inches of wire. Many of the logic cards had zig-zag traces to ‘burn up time’ between gates or the edge connectors to meet timing specs. Final test on the computers increasing the clock speed incrementally, finding switching errors, and trimming the wire backplane connections 6-inches at a time until things synced up, increase speed, rinse and repeat. Awesome machine. But I opted to stay in broadcast engineering.

  16. Deer repellants – I know folks who’ve had good luck with human hair cuttings and even ivory soap bars (other soaps might work too).

    Rain barrel collectors – be sure to set up a good overflow system – a friend of mine built an early system here in Sillycon Valley with 15 blue barrels and I was always amazed at how fast they filled up (even from completely empty at the beginning of the rain season.) He had to do extra work to get the final overflow part to work properly and was always trying to work out how to keep that part from getting plugged up and causing all sorts of problems. But I was always amazed at how little rain it took to fill the whole system.


    German physicians have joined other scientists around the world in discovering strange objects in the COVID-19 “vaccines.” According to a report by the RAIR Foundation, the pathologists presented an analysis complete with video and photos of the vaccine during a shocking but little-publicized press conference in September, a clip of which has been translated for the organization. According to the video and presentation, foreign objects were discovered in the vaccines along with the blood of some people who were given the jabs. “Some of the foreign objects were described as ‘accurately constructed’ and also — shockingly — worms that were hatched from eggs,” the foundation said in a report.

    Still skeptical, but I’ve my own microscope, in case I ever get ahold of a sample…

    • There was a woman doctor in, I think, Florida last year reporting some kind of creepy crawlies in certain batches of various brands of the vaccine. Haven’t heard anything about it since. Only a few batches here and there appear to be bringing the adverse effects to the populations. Can’t have everyone dropping dead at once now can we?

  18. What my rain barrel looks like:
    pool filter housing about 6x6x10 with window screen siliconed to the top. Hole cut into the top of the barrel so the filter sits about flush with the top. Downspout stops above the filter and leaves get washed off the side so that just water goes in.
    1 1/4 corrugated hose about 5′ long plugged into the side near top for overflow.
    water faucet screwed into the side near the bottom to empty water. (need to add an elbow to the inside somehow, not getting the last few gallons just bugs me)
    barrel sits on a rack made of 2x4s about 30″ above ground. no pump.

    A life long multiple generation deer hunter told me to mess with the landing area. spindly legs and hooves that don’t grip hard surfaces means they won’t jump over anything if they can’t see a good landing area. A little urine (cat is best) mixed with insecticidal soap solution is a good repellent. Respray every few days and after rain. Just don’t spray any plant parts you eat unless you like the taste.

  19. (Ure doesn’t work outdoors under 50F if he can avoid it)
    Now that Im retired I dont go out to work in the winter till it warms up to -5.F
    Im getting soft,
    Peace, Al B. Puposky, MN

Comments are closed.