Pin it

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Wow! It's been 2 weeks since I posted anything. I have one more big post coming for 2011 but I don't have everything put together yet. I have to scan in some pictures and compose a few more thoughts about closing out the year with a tribute -which I hope to do all by tomorrow afternoon. 
I hope my little band of readers is enjoying this holiday time!
I only wish I was here right now!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oppose SOPA now!

I've censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet--a bill that could pass THIS WEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop internet censorship, visit:

Don't █████ ████ █████, ████ ████, █████, ████████ or ██████+ ██████ █████ ████ ████ ████? If ████ ██████ it █████!

Uncensor This

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hellhounds on my trail?

I was feeling pretty darn grateful yesterday. My boss gave me the option of switching my days around so I could take Monday off instead of Friday (and I needed it after my 'sump pump weekend' - see previous post). I was able to go for a nice long walk on the trail with Kayla & Chance and we all enjoyed it. 
Nahhhh...just my faithful companions on the local Perkiomen! 
Kayla was atypically a good photo model - probably because she was well exercised! Chance was way too distracted by everything to give me a good pose...

I'm a proud supporter of the rails to trails program!

The mighty Perkiomen Creek!

I forget this is practically in my backyard. Most of the time I feel like the world is going to Hell in a Bucket so when I get an opportunity to pause and take a look around, I'm always pleasantly surprised at the beauty that is right there in front of me. 

A small tributary

Recording it here helps me remember it and not get dragged back into the normal day-to-day doldrums. I hope you're seein' it too!

Lemonade from Lemons...

 First of all, to my small and devoted group of followers, I apologize for not posting more frequently. Now that the holidays are approaching, I find myself busier with real life and unable to devote as much time to virtual pursuits. I also realize that I could just continue to post pictures every day to achieve my previous goal of posting daily but the season also brings a time of reflection and I've been wondering why I post at all. Before I get into a major ramble here, let me just say that I intend to change the focus of this blog as we approach the new year. Very simply, most posts after today will deal with the following themes: Gratitude, Inspiration, Creativity, Vitality and Service. Which brings us, in a most circumspect way, to today's post:

I planned on going to NYC this past weekend to visit my brother and make the rounds with some friends but this damned thing consumed my whole weekend:

The Old Sump Pump

On Wednesday night, my wife was playing around with this dying contraption and succeeded in getting it to remove much of the water from last week's downpour. After work on Thursday, we realized that this galvanized monstrosity was finally done for. We have an emergency pump but it doesn't have an auto shutoff so I decided to use this until we could get a new sump:

The Pool Cover pump
So my Thursday evening trip to NYC was, at that point, only postponed until sometime Friday. Later that night, I watched this video on YouTube:

...which, along with a visit from my friend Chris McColgan, gave me hope that I would indeed be on my way in no time at all...

On Friday, I went out and got a new sump, some 1.5" PVC, a check valve, and a few other parts, realizing I'd need more but not sure what that would be until I removed the old sump pump and converted some of the galvanized joins into PVC. Do you remember that 1st picture of the sump pump up there? I actually took that late Friday afternoon after struggling with those galvanized fittings for most of the day. Talk about frustrating!
Ultimately, I took a calculated risk and yanked the whole thing from the wall. I finally got it out and that's when the real fun started...

The hole in the wall
Inside the wall was a piece of 3/4" black pressure pipe inside a piece of 1" pressure pipe. This 7" length of pipe was all that came between 1"  piece of pipe that was attached to the reducing joint of that wonderfully corroded galvanized pipe. Now I knew why the wall was so water-damaged - a small pipe inside 2 larger pipes with nothing to prevent the pressurized water coming out of the sump from spraying inside the block wall. Oy! I would have to get creative and craft a solution. That meant no NYC.

What it did mean was this - me, using my brain to come up with a solution. I tackled it alone and came up with this:

The replacement
So I went from this:

Galvanized don't give a shit how strong you are!
To this:
Clean looking PVC and new 1" pressurized pipe into existing  system.

Now I had a proper check valve, a weep hole and even though I decided to use the existing pipe behind the wall, it all had proper joins and reducers. The part you can't see here (sorry, forgot to take a picture) is the smaller, 3/4" pipe joined to this 1" piece with a similar gray reducer join. That smaller piece is still inserted in the 1" piece of hose behind the back of the block but I inserted about 4.5' of it rather than the measly 3" it only had previously. 

I then filled the sump hole with water and tested it all out. Success! We saw water coming out of the drain into the drain field which slopes away from the house. Would I have liked to use 1.5" PVC all the way through? Of course, but this works - much better than before - and I completed it solo.

So that's a win in my book. I'm sorry I wasn't able to keep my original plans but I was ecstatic to solve the problem using my brain and a bit of brawn - even if the galvanized won a battle - I won the war. Huzzah!

The new pump doing its thing!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sundays we serve Dog!

We commit to dog runs as a form of service. Service of others, be they human or canine, can be a sacred experience. Not to help the weak, fix the broken, or assuage whatever guilt we have but rather to experience that which makes us feel alive and connected to the mystery of life. As we approach this holiday season and take time to reflect on changes we may make in the New Year, I expect I'll devote more time to service, gratitude and experimentation as I try to become healthy and whole and to paraphrase Ghandi 'be the change I want to see in the world'.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Diaspora* - Open Source Social Network

Do you like the ability to control your information easily and transparently? Without large corporations controlling what you see & how you see it? This may be the social network platform for you. Currently in alpha, Diaspora promises these abilities and more. From what I've seen so far, it looks a lot like a mashup between facebook & google+. I am curious to see if it delivers on its promise and I believe it can with our help. To be continued...