I had some dreams ... they were klowns in my koffee.

(With apologies to Carly Simon)

This is my journey through job transition from a toxic environment to a better life. Join me for a few thoughts and a few laughs along the way.
What are "klowns in my koffee"? They are the factors large and small that make you less than you are. A "klown" can be a grossly incompetent boss,
a short-sighted policy or a moronic coworker. They won't kill you, at least not immediately, but they abrade the soul
as you scrape past them to get through the day. Sometimes it's best to dump them out of the cup.


Day 193 - A Barrel of Fun

Daily Kup (My Life as a Buttress [and I've been called worse])
In the "big woop" section of the newspaper, I glued my garage door back together today. Each split was in an area where a clamp wouldn't fit, so I had to stand pressing a section of 1 x 4 as hard as I could against the glue seam for 15 minutes. A quarter of an hour doesn't sound like a lot of time, but pressing with force at shoulder height while intoning, "One one-thousand, two one-thousand" makes this feel very long indeed. There were six places to repair, so that was basically my morning.

Shout Down My Rain Barrel, Slide Down My Cellar Door

One more item stricken from a five-year-old to-do list: Install the rain barrel that I bought from the city a few years ago. Since the front of the garage was painted and I was in the process of reinstalling the gutter downspout, how could I resist attacking it with a hacksaw?

The completed installation is shown at left. The only reason that the flexible connector is on the end is because I cut the downspout a bit too short and I didn't want it splashing on the newly painted wall.

Rain barrels, once installed and not sitting in the back yard for three years, can collect an impressive amount of water for watering lawns or ornamentals. For every inch of rain that falls on 1,000 square feet of roof ("a catchment area"), the output is 600 gallons of water.

For grins, let's say that my catchment area is half the garage roof or, roughly, 24' x 12' = 288 square feet. So, about 172.8 gallons would go into the gutter during a one inch rain. Rain barrels are usually between 50 and 60 gallons in capacity, so about 113 gallons would overflow the rain barrel and end up on my driveway or lawn. That sounds like a problem until you consider that 173 gallons used to end up in exactly the same place.

The barrel is conveniently located uphill from my apple trees, so this should work out nicely. Here's a little more detail of the construction. The wider, less constructed black hose on the left of the bottom of the barrel shown in the picture on the right below is the overflow. When I want to use the water in the barrel, I just pick up the output that looks like a garden hose and turn the valve.

The screen on the top protects against animals or children falling in and mosquitoes breeding.

Many municipalities provide rain barrels at a substantially reduced price compared with retail. The science of building your own rain barrel is an area of great one-upmanship for green living folks. Here's a good basic rain barrel design: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Rain-Barrel/ The Instructables site held a contest on this topic, so you'll see some creative and some crazy concepts there.

Save resources, money and time -- what's not to love?

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