Since this is a holiday weekend (no work Monday for many) I didn’t get serious in the shop real early Saturday. Too damn cold. It was 26 F and will be in the high 70’s today. You know the saying: “Pappy didn’t raise no fool.”
Besides, I’m grappling with a case of woo-woo. Hell of a tale.
Saturday morning over breakfast, Elaine tells me “I found something odd this morning when I went out to feed and water the crows. I think you ought to have a look at it…”
Yeah, sure. But, like an obedient puppy, a few hours later she showed me. I’ll give you the running narrative (roughly paraphrased) so you can follow along.
“I went outside this morning to fill up the water jugs as part of the morning crow feeding routine. And as I reach down to pick up one of the jugs, I lifted it up and it was broken…right around the bottom…look….”
There was also a hole in the side of the jug, but oddly, no sign of the missing piece of glass from there. Hmm…
“So, then what happened?”
“Well, I lifted it up and looked at the bottom…here, I’ll show you:”
“What’s really strange is that I then went to pick up the second jug and it had exactly the same thing – bottom was out of it. But not only was the jug broken, the piece that should have been in the bottom was nowhere to be found. It gives me goosebumps…”
“Wait. Let me look exactly where it was sitting…”
“Well, no glass at all there. What do you think happened?”
“I’ve been thinking about it all morning, and nothing makes sense,” Elaine explained.
“I came out here, like I always do, and there’s no way the raccoons or possums could knock out the bottom of wine jugs.”
I sort of shrugged; not sure what to think. “No, and animals don’t knock the bottom off of jugs and then run off with broken glass…”
“That’s why I have goosebumps. Makes my scalp tingle. You know, what could knock the bottom out of two wine jugs which didn’t have any wine in them – I’ve been using them for hauling water out to the tub out front for a couple of months, now…”
We kicked it around for a while and still haven’t found either the glass or any clues as to what would do thing kind of thing.
Well, except I was doing some experiments with sound-stacking this week. OOPS!
If you missed the woo-woo on that, click over to the Thursday column Mexico Invades U.S. – CPI Data – Woo-Woo “Day of 12”. Scroll down to the woo work report there.
The last time Elaine watered the crows was Wednesday morning. The water doesn’t get used very fast and the deer are mainly drinking out of the creek which is flowing good in a few places.
Not going off half-cocked here and claiming this is a major woo-woo event, BUT the bottom of one jug is plum missing and I’ve never heard of animals doing this kind of thing.
I don’t reckon it’s a human because they aren’t so neat and who is going to poke around a ranch uninvited in the middle of Texas at night? That’s just asking to be Castle Doctrine 9 mm and 7.62 test cases, which the perp wouldn’t see for the face full of bear spray, anyway…
Elaine assures me both jugs were empty, so it wasn’t a big ice expansion that broke them.
And even if it was, I MIGHT buy that explanation, except, as Colombo would have said: “Sir, sir, ders juss one ting dat bothers me. The bottom of the jug, sir. Where’s the bottom of the jug?” [Spoken in a poor imitation of Peter Falk’s perfect character delivery…]
My head hurts on this one. No, Sam, the Siamese doesn’t do Memorex…let alone pick up after himself…
Since you might have the day off, go ahead and set up 300 wine jugs around your house, have windows and doors open, and here’s the sound frequencies to start with (Second and third harmonics are shown in case the feds want to talk about setting off earthquakes…):
My firefighter/EMT/construction site safety whiz son made an important observation before heading out on his latest adventure.
“You know dad, even if I got from here, up to the fire station, and drove the wildland tanker down here as fast as I could, there’d still be 10-minutes involved and the house or shop could be fully involved in that time… Think we should look at a make-shift firefighting rig here…”
Believe me, there’s a lot stacking up on the side of fire prevention lately. My consigliere has been ragging about how all the tall pines (antenna supports) within 150 feet of the house need to be taken down, too.
Sometimes, when Universe speaks (as it does – always through other people’s voices) you need to listen. I did a little local horse trading (the Texas way!) and came up with a fresh-water safe IBC tote!
“Let us know how many more you need, George,” said my neighbor S. who uses similar clamp on bucket forks on his tractor as we use for moving such things around.
No worries on the hazards – this is a one-time use for food grade organic hydrogen peroxide in food processing, so no tank worries!
I have never owned an IBC Tote before, but they are really neat. Big filler and a standard barrel bong insert on the top. And an inexpensive valve at the low point.
“How you planning to fill it?” my neighbor wondered.
“I’m thinking about alongside the shop building. Guuter it up. That’d give me harvest area of 40 feet by about 22, so call it 880 square feet. I figure we’ll get about 48-inches of rain this year, anyway. So, make that about 3,500 square feet of capture which translates to, um…232 cubic inches to a gallon, so 1,728 cubic inches in a cubic foot…um…7.45 gallons in a cubic foot so, er….25,900 gallons a year refills 275 how often? Something like 90 times over?”
Of course, this is not something that will be simple to move around. 128 pounds of tote with 275 of water will weigh just over one ton; call it 2,330 pounds.
The Fire Plan
Yeah, we have lots of extinguishers – 5 LB dry-chems and the like. But this will up our firefighting game to a whole new level.
But the balance of system won’t be cheap.
Part of me wants to spring for a nice Davey Firefighter 5 High-Pressure Twin-Impeller Fire Pump w/GX200 6.5hp Electric Start Engine. For $2,100 and change.
Hose isn’t too bad – if you keep a canvas cover over it, decommissioned used 1-1/2 inch line in 100 foot lengths isn’t bad. Like any big ranch investment, buy firefighting gear while California is dog-paddling.
Balance of system – a 100 watt starting solar panel, battery, and MPTP controller isn’t too big a cost. Square tubing to weld up a big-ass rack for a big hose reel? Different story.
Dixon Valve makes a hose reel that will hold a hundred feet (+) of fire hose and then some – depending on whether you go with pre-connect or not. But that’s where you start to run into real dough. A pre-connect is really what we’d be after since this would all be set up for a one-person operation. Run out the hose, hit a remote start and here comes water.
If you had to run back to the pump and spin up a hose fitting and start the pump and run back to the nozzle which would be out there a way, that’s wasted time. But only $200 and change for a reel, though.
For now, this is in the same bin with uncountable projects around here: Acquisition of parts. George2 can deal with the specifics when he gets back in state this spring sometime.
Or we could just put on scuba rigs or Airpacks, flood the office with halon-5 and wait around to see what’s leftover after the fact? Naw…not as much fun as more power equipment to maintain…
Write when you get rich,