Friday, August 1 2014
There is an extra hole in the kitchen's granite counter top where a soap dispenser used to live. But that dispenser never really worked, so a few months ago Gretchen got rid of it, and now there's just an empty hole. That got me thinking about some practical application for it (besides supporting the hummingbird feeder when I fill it, since it cannot sit on a flat surface). One great use would be an alternative faucet dispensing water from a different source, and the most obvious source would be rain water. I could easily collect that water off the segment of roof that drains towards the east deck (and that is already being gathered by a gutter). So the other day, I bought that one last remaining water barrel at the Home Depot. The idea is to set up the barrel either in the laundry room, garage, or outside on a tall platform. The best location would be the laundry room, where it could be the correct height, never freeze, and the hose connecting it to the kitchen would be minimal. But putting it there will require a conversation with Gretchen that might not go well, so for the time being I have another possible use for the rain barrel: to collect water from the segment of roof above the first floor office, west half of the teevee room, and northwest part of the upstairs bedroom and bathroom. In that application, it would be just another boring rain barrel, but it would be very close to the garden, the place where most of the rain barrel water goes. And additional capacity is always welcome; just today I found the rain barrel at the northwest corner of the house had emptied, and the barrel collecting water off the woodshed was nearing empty as well. But to set up another rain barrel, I'm going to need another tower. So today I started working on that tower, building the little two-foot-by-two-foot platform that will be at that tower's top. I've already made three such towers, and the design always features a platform with a square two-by-four frame with mitred corners and diagonally-placed decking to keep it square. I used Gorilla Glue in most of the joints so they wouldn't contain gaps and be sealed away from the weather.
Later I went on a massive weeding jihad in the tomato patches and in the asparagus patch between them, removing fistfuls of some species of long-stemmed, short-leaved grass as well as a variety of mustard that has totally taken over as a weed after arriving intentionally in a Hudson Valley Seed Library seed pack. Once I've gotten to a certain point with weeding, OCD takes over and I cannot help myself; I just keep on weeding until I can't find any more unwanted plants left to pull out. In process, I was exposed to something that made my forearms itch and I touched a few slugs, which put unrinseable slime all over my hands. (The solution for that is to wipe it off on something dry; water just makes it worse.)
This evening I continued work on my Debian/KDE-based laptop, and was overjoyed to find that directories of application configuration files copies from AppData deep within the Windows 7 directory structure successfully brought over my hard-won application configurations to Linux versions of those same applications. This worked best with Filezilla, though I had a less complete success with Google Chrome and Sublime (since the Linux versions of those programs were slightly incompatible with the versions I'd been running on Windows 7). Up until today, I hadn't been aware that there was any portability between operating systems of application configurations. The fact that this works at all does much of the work of removing the mental barriers I have to migrating to whatever operating system works the best. Those configurations took years to develop, and they've been subtly adjusted over time. To find them working (more or less) in an entirely alien desktop really puts a skip in my step. As just one example of how great this is: in Chrome, I have a bunch of profiles, mostly for different Facebook sock puppets I control. I copied all of them, in bulk, to the Linux/KDE laptop, and all it took to use them in the new environment was retyping the Facebook passwords.
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