some sort of miracle
Monday, April 11 2005
My "driveway trench," which is inscribed mostly in bedrock, is now well over a hundred feet long and consistently eight to twelve inches deep. Today I continued trench-related digging some distance southward along the stone-veneered concrete path leading to the steps that go down to the start of the Stick Trail. I've decided to put a stone retaining wall against the slope that runs beside this path, so I wanted to remove what little "meat" I could from the bones of the earth with a view to putting it down later atop a backfill of broken rocks to serve as something that plants could grow in.
As I was digging, I unexpectedly encountered a section of four inch PVC pipe coming up at a sharp angle from the general direction of the house's basement area. At first I thought it might be some sort of esoteric drainage system, but then I discovered that the pipe had an obvious break in it where two sections were butted together without ever having been properly attached to one another (somebody had lamely duct-taped them together). In the gap that had inevitably resulted, I could see that the pipes contained an electric cable and a heavy black high-pressure water hose, the kind used for water supply systems. This was, it turned out, the house's well line, and it had only been buried beneath about eight inches of soil! No wonder our water supply pipe froze in January of 2004! The biggest mystery of all is this: why doesn't this pipe freeze every year? And what moron signed off on this well installation?
This made me open up the well itself and stick a tape measure down to the nub where the supply line enters the casing to see how far down it was. It turns out it was only eighteen inches below the surface, only half way down to the bottom of frost penetration in this area. How can this pipe have survived so many winters without freezing? It's contained in a four-inch-wide PVC pipe so perhaps this isolates it from the heat loss it would experience if it were in direct contact with frozen soil. But I can't imagine how it survived beneath a mere eight inches of soil. In the absence of any scientific answer, I'm left with the impression that this is evidence of some sort of miracle.
This evening Kathy from the Catskill Animal Sanctuary came over and Gretchen whipped up a delicious meal of homemade pizza and greasy pan-fries asparagus. By then it was chilly enough to justify a fire in the woodstove. This was the first time we'd used it in a couple of weeks.
Take the my footprint test! - see how your resource consumption compares with your friends as well as normal people. When I took the test I discovered that my footprint is 33 acres in size, 9 acres more than your average bible-clutching American! If everybody lived like I do, we'd need 7.4 Earths dodging each other 93 million miles from the Sun.
Terry Schiavo is just the tip of the turdberg! - learn about the utopia that Christian fundamentalists hope to establish in America sometime soon before the imminent Rapture.
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