Day: September 3, 2023

Sun. Sept. 3, 2023 – more work, some play if I’m lucky…

It started out reasonably warm, and then got reasonably hot. Not scorching, but hot enough that I tried to stay in the shaded areas most of the day. Didn’t manage it when I was doing all the grass cutting though. I was seeing low 100s most of the afternoon and evening.

So after getting a bit crispy weed whacking and riding around on the mower, and blowing all the debris off the concrete driveways, patio, and various other hardscapes… I switched to playing with water to try to get some more areas covered by sprinklers. Some of it went easy, some, not so much.

I found several breaks by backfeeding the area I wanted to get working. One was a buried valve that had been leaking for some time. The retaining wall above it had sagged at that point, so it must have been years. In the same hole I found a drainage pipe completely filled with a 5″ root. Takes a while for a 5″ root to grow. There was another broken drainage pipe right next to it, but it only has dirt and stones in it. I might try waterjetting it, but I don’t know where it comes from or where it goes. Probably joins the other one that ends up in the lake. That might be a case of letting sleeping dogs lie.

Old boy ran several valves for zone control of his irrigation system, but he buried them near the zone and ran the control wires to the valves. Most installations have a manifold with valves in one place, and then run the zone pipes from there. I guess he thought running more conduit and wire was easier than running the water pipe. Seems nuts to me. And both control and supply are run willy nilly, without any logic that I can discover.

I’m a fan of DIY, and I’m sympathetic to “making do” and “making it work” and even “I know it’s not exactly right but it’ll last long enough..” but there are GOOD REASONS for doing stuff the way other people do it, and the way code requires it. NOBODY buries valves in the middle of the yard. Repeatedly. They might cluster them in the little hand hole boxes, or the big boxes, but they aren’t designed for direct burial. They need service and attention, which is difficult if you have to dig up the yard to find them. And if they leak, you won’t know it (as he and I found out.)

Systems should be ‘discoverable’ meaning someone else should be able to figure them out later, based on what they can see, and what the system does as they manipulate it. They also need to be maintainable. And if there is a standard, formal or informal, they should follow it as much as possible. The parts are designed to fit together and make it easier to use them in a standard configuration.

From a prepping standpoint, you might not be there! All your preps do no good if whoever is there can’t use them. From starting a generator, to running a water filter, or operating a solar system, or even accessing your secure storage (physical or cyber), make sure your systems are documented, discoverable, and maintainable. If you hide stuff, SOMEONE else should know where. If you have stuff, someone else should know it’s there somewhere. You don’t even have to be dead. You could be stuck somewhere else and your family needs your preps. You could be sick, or incapacitated, or on the run…

I admit that I’m deficient in this area. My wife could start and run the gas gennie. When I switched it to propane, she got a tour and demo, so she knows it’s different, but she hasn’t had to run it. She knows there are food, medical, cooking, and water supplies, but might not know the extent. She knows where to look though, and she knows how to use the individual pieces, or the instructions are on the gear and she’s used similar. I’m even starting with the kids, showing them where stuff is, and what it’s for.

Ideally, there is time to train everyone on everything, but in reality, even if they are willing, and you are willing, there always seems to be something more critical, or desirable that takes priority. If SHTF happens, their focus will change, and hopefully you’ll be there to walk them through it then. REALLY HOPEFULLY you never have to use any of it. We know that chances are, you’ll use some of it at some point though.

So stack it up. But also make sure you aren’t the nail that is missing from the horseshoe..


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