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the water was wetter than I anticipated

June 12, 2011

I can’t remember if I’ve told you this: my grasp of mechanics is laughable at best. 

In the 8th grade I took the Kuder Preference Test.  I punched pinholes in little

circles to determine what I preferred to do and preferred to avoid.  A sample

question (recalled with comic effect) read thusly:

     Which of the following activities would you most like to do and least like to do?

          (a) bake blueberry muffins

          (b) throw stale blueberry muffins at Communists

          (c) change the transmission on an International Harvester truck

          (d) work toward world peace through non-violent activities

          (e) run over a Commie in an International Harvester truck 


Well, it was the late 50’s, after all.  Anyway, the pin punctures were added up and 

divided into general categories like science, English, social studies and the like.

The test showed national averages for boys and girls.  For a boy to be rated at the

zero percentile for mechanical interest, he had to have a raw score of nine.  I

scored a seven.


I’m sharing this to help you understand why my current attempt to upgrade our

micro-hydro system went amusingly awry.  For more context, check out this post

on the system.  This is the time of year when the rains taper off and the level of the

creek that supplies the water for our system drops.  I had several sections of  1.5″

pipe to make another run from the upper falls to the catchment barrel, but not

enough to reach all the way.


So here’s what I did.  I connected the 1.5″ sections by placing them in sleeves of 2″

pipe.  I was about 15′ short of the barrel, so I built a wooden trough that required

the joining of two 8′ sections of plywood.  I hauled all this uphill and set it up.  I

started by cutting out a piece of log to rest the trough on flatly.


Then I put the trough in place and propped it up.


On the creek end, nature had carved out the perfect space for the pipe by dropping

a tree limb on a rotten log.


The upgrade now fully jerry-rigged, I placed the pipe in the creek.  I hasten to point

out that some water actually did make it to the barrel.  Regrettably, the 1.5″ pipes

did not fit into the 2″ pipes as snugly as I’d hoped.


I quickly assessed the situation and addressed it, using all my Kuder-disputed

mechanical skills.


The trough didn’t even fare that well.


If I had a drawing board, I’d have to go back to it.  At bare minimum, I’ll have to re-

think this.  I’ll do it next week.  Right now Jude and I need to tend to the blueberry

bushes.  Later today we have the Giants/Reds game on at the same time as the

Mavericks/Heat.  And the Canucks could win the Stanley Cup tomorrow.  With

the rain being gone and the days so long , we’ve got ample solar power until all

that’s settled.

Go, Canucks!

  1. Charlotte Wales permalink
    June 12, 2011 8:26 pm

    YAY – the Dallas Mavericks WON!! They wiped the floor with Miami – too cool! We (Cody, my grandbaby Sophie and I) went to the UAM Patio Cafe to watch it on the big screen – had the whole place to ourselves, which is good, because I was saying “SHIT!!” a lot whenever Miami would get close to us – – not to worry – WE’RE THE CHAMPS!!

    • June 15, 2011 11:16 am

      Charlotte, are you a Mavs fan from the Shreveport years? Congratulations. Can I count on your support for the Canucks tonight?

  2. June 14, 2011 9:18 am

    Hose clamps my friend!

    • June 15, 2011 11:17 am

      Thanks, Joan. I do have some, but I’m going to try something new today that may not require them. Go, Canucks!

  3. Joe permalink
    June 19, 2011 8:57 pm

    I learned from Red Green that you’ve got to use duct tape!

    • June 20, 2011 10:39 am

      Duct tape rather than a plastic bag? Brilliant, Bro!

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