Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I Made a Pond Filter

I started with a plastic waterfall liner for a whiskey barrel bought at Lowes,
and a handful of 1/2" fittings and PVC.

click for photoI cut some plastic ceiling lighting grid to fit on the bottom to keep the filter media separate from the Mighty Vortex I created with the PVC.

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I drilled a teeny tiny hole (1/16") in the fitting and angled it toward the bottom of the tank so the water doesn't squirt out. What the heck is the hole for? It's to prevent all the water from siphoning out of the filter if the pump quits.
Next I turned on the pump to fill the holding tank.


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Next we put the filter media in to the filter. I'm using synthetic swamp cooler pads and the Bridal Veil from Mrs. Geezer's first wedding.
Just kidding, we bought this material at Savers.

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Really it's just gauze type material, we just put all that stuff into the tank. I think the more filter media the better it will work. I may cut up some sponges and throw in there also.

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Notice the little hole squirting down into the tank? That's my anti-siphon hole.

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We cut some more plastic grid to put over the filter media so the puppy doesn't eat it.


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Notice the yucky green color. LauraW says with the proper bacteria, it will be "Gin Clear" in a few days.

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DISCLAIMER: I have no idea if this thing works. Don't try to build it yourself. Don't mess around with electricity and water. Pay an electrician to do this job. Look both ways before crossing the street. Not responsible for injury and/or death. Your mileage may vary.

I'm just sharing this to tell you how I spent my day.

Chopping Peas Correctly



My buddy, Sobek, over at Innocent Bystanders, should start a cooking show.

This information is priceless.
"How to Chop, Dice, Julienne or Slice Fresh Peas

Part 1: Chopping

You will need:

Fresh peas

One clean razor blade

A cutting board

A black magic marker

A box of Band-aids

Some people believe that chopping fresh peas is simply a matter of putting a lot of peas on a cutting board and chopping them without paying attention to the relative size of the resulting pieces, or even whether all of the peas get chopped. Such casual disregard for proper chopping procedure can result in peas that get more squished than chopped, pieces of uneven (and therefore aesthetically unpleasing) shape, and ultimately a meal that you would be ashamed to serve to, say, the Queen of Belgium, should she happen to pop in for a bite."

How to Chop, Dice, Julienne or Slice Fresh Peas, Part 1: Chopping � Innocent Bystanders

Monday, July 30, 2007

See Vick Run


All suspects are innocent unless proven guilty.

I just needed an excuse to post this picture.


Running with Bulls


Or as I like to call it, "Darwinism in Action".

Looks painful.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Leapin' Lizards

It's hilarious. The more times you watch it the funnier it becomes. It
Is from a Dallas news broadcast. Watch the little critter, a small
desert lizard from Tucson, on the left side of the table. Remember the
man on the left is concentrating on the snake the other guy is holding.
This news guy will never live this down, that's for sure!
Watch it a second time and listen closely to the "sounds" the newscaster
makes.
Leapin' Lizards

H/T Tahoe Red.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Red Ring of Death


I don't use my Xbox 360 that often. I haven't turned it on more than a couple of times in the last 6 months. Lately however, I have been playing Gears of War, Battlefield 2 and Halo 2.
Yesterday it was working fine but this morning when I turned it on, there were 3 red lights around the power switch. I looked this symptom up on the internet and discovered that it was an epidemic.
I was pretty unhappy about it until I read that Microsoft is extending the warranty on the 360 to 3 years!

When I called Xbox support, they told me they would send me a box to ship it back to the factory and fix it. They also said I would get Xbox Live Gold free but they didn't say for how long.



Sunday, July 08, 2007

My Rose has Fuzzy Balls



I couldn't figure out why I would get these fuzzy balls on my roses every spring.
That's the tip of my finger so you can guess at the size.



They start small and gradually form a 'mossy gall', it's kind of like Rose Cancer.



They are caused by Cynipid Wasps laying their eggs on the leaves and stems of roses, usually wild roses. They form into balls with little chambers inside for the wasp larvae to grow.



Here's some of the larvae I rudely dumped on the hood of my truck.

Mossy rose galls are caused by Diplolepis spinosa, a cynipid gall wasp. These galls are common on wild roses of North America, from Ontario to Alberta in Canada and throughout most of the northern United States. They are becoming common on Rugosa cultivars.17 The presence of these insects is indicated by the formation of spherical, golf ball-size, spiny galls on the canes of host plants.

Insecticides have no effect on the wasp that causes mossy rose gall. The most effective control is physical removal and disposal of galls in autumn after leaves have dropped and galls are visible. It is important to dispose of all galls since even a single missed gall can produce and reintroduce 30 to 40 mature wasps to the garden the following spring.

Gall Wasps

Many species of gall wasp attack roses, each producing a characteristic gall. A gall is an outgrowth or swelling of unorganized plant cells. It is usually spherical. Each gall contains the larva of a gall wasp. The mossy rose gall wasp is the most common gall wasp infesting roses. The female wasp lays her eggs in young leaf buds in the spring. The plant reacts to this by producing a mossy gall. The moss-like galls are greenish or reddish, about 2.5 cm in diameter, and appear in June and July. The larvae remain inside the galls until the following spring. They are common on wild roses but seldom appear on garden hybrids. Mossy rose galls have little effect on the plant aside from being unsightly. The only method of control is to prune and destroy stems harbouring galls.

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Full disclosure;
I've been offered a free firearms training course at Front Sight in exchange for posting these links.
Since I've already taken one of their excellent courses, I jumped at the chance to get a free one.