makeshift noise makers
Friday, June 21 2013
This morning I was horrified to see that Richard the Deer had attacked the garden once more, concentrating on the northmost tomato patch and a nearby lettuce patch. He'd severely pruned my most vigorous tomato plant and then chomped off a few others, apparently eating them despite their acrid nightshade flavor. He'd then gone on to rip a beautiful lettuce plant out by its roots and leave it mostly uneaten and wilting. Clearly I had a sociopathic ruminant on my hands. So later this evening, before leaving the garden to another night of cervine depredations, I rigged up a motion-sensor to a sound maker and placed it near where the deer had attacked last night. Originally the plan was to use a radio as a sound maker, but it turns out that there are no working radios in the house that will turn on automatically when given power. They all require the pressing of buttons (it's another example of how the advancement of technology is taking away options even as it provides them). So I had to fashion a crude 120 volt bell from an AC motor, a zip-tie (used as a clapper), and a metal container. But then it turned out that the motion detector I was using was unable to turn off the "bell" once it had started making its horrific racket. So I replaced my makeshift bell (scorchingly hot after about ten minutes of "ringing") with a Dremel set on low. That seemed to work okay.
Ramona somehow managed to rip open her left knee today, exposing gash about three quarters of an inch long. It was sagging in a way that suggested it needed stitches, so of course I superglued it back together. Ramona immediately started licking the wound, so I had to put her in the cone of shame. But it made her so miserable that I took it off a couple hours later. This gave her enough time to open up the wound, necessitating another gluing and another cone of shaming.
Today I used screw-tightened hose clamps to attach metal conduit "handles" to my rebuilt Chinese woodcart. Similar handles had worked well before, and hose clamps had been proved perfectly capable of withstanding the forces they were subjected to. But in the original version of the woodcart, the handles were too close together, making it uncomfortable for me to get between the handles and pull the cart like a coolie. In the rebuilt cart, though, these handles are almost exactly the correct distance apart. With the cart completed, I took it down to the Stick Trail and hauled back a large load of firewood. Since the cart is now bigger and the load projects farther back behind the wheels, the balance is such that the force I need to apply on the pulling handles is mildly downward, which feels more comfortable than however it had been before. I'm satisfied with my two new carts; they're going to make hauling firewood less of a chore, which means I probably won't have to resort to as much "just in time" wood gathering as I have in recent years.
Late tonight as I tinkered away in the laboratory, Marie (aka "the Baby") went back behind some boxes and took a massive shit of her trademark diarrhea. Plppppptch-sklatt! By this point, both dogs were off sleeping, so there was nobody to clean up the mess. And I wasn't going to do it; getting back there to her new favorite shitting spot is easy for a dog, but not for me. So as the first wafts of fecal aroma made their way to my nose, I grabbed a laptop and headed down to the greenhouse upstairs. It's a very pleasant place late at night, and the futon is more comfortable for sleeping than the bed I share with Gretchen and the dogs.
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