Tuesday, September 5, 2017


We recently got back from a little trip to Ontario to see our sons and grand kids, before they each departed for some of their own vacations.

My car AC was not very cold so I had it serviced before the trip. Found a leak, replaced a part & recharged, good to go.

After a few days in Ontario in high temperature it quickly became obvious that the car AC was not working very good... Until it just started to blew hot air...

Could not get a Lincoln or Ford dealership to look at my car until about a week, not an option, will need it for sure for the way back. Rudy is with us, and beside it is bloody hot...!!

Found a small shop who specialised in AC work, spend the day there from 0900 until 1600. Guess what they found??
Another @#&?* Squirrel!! That's right a squirrel...

Car front all apart to investigate and replace rad, AC cooler etc...
See it on the radiator?

Brought that little guy from Nova Scotia.

It tried to claw its way out and damaged my radiator, 
and AC cooler causing leaks...

$1600 later I was back on the road, except that on my way home in New Brunswick I started to get some knocking from the transmission. 
Back home the next day, I brought the car in for its Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Inspection (MVI) it was due on the last day of Aug, and investigate transmission slipping, knocking.

Turns out there is a bad leak near the radiator, and this garage wont touch it. They are not equipped for specialized transmission repairs, it is a tire dealer.
Called CAA to tow the car to my local Ford dealer in the next town...

First time my car got towed...
If you drive a GM or a Chrysler, I would not laugh too hard if I was you :-)

Turns out the two transmission lines going to the cooler on the radiator were not tighten and were leaking. Leak more than 2 quarts of transmission fluid on my way back...Did not even register on the dip stick, not good. Hopefully nothing got seriously damaged. seems OK for now...

Needed brakes works on all wheels, plus two new tires for the back in order to pass my MVI, so $1900 later...

Ask me what I think of those fluffy critters...Grrrrrrr
I am not ruling out any actions against them little fluffy bastards,  including a full thermonuclear war on them!! :-)

Funny thing is that Rudy knew about that critter in the rad, he had been quite attracted to the front of the car during his routine rat patrols. I should pay more attention to him.

In other news, picked up a few more tools in my travels, of course :-)
With the Fall weather starting, we started to cover the raised gardens at nite, and are currently getting tomatoes up to our proverbial ears... Must remember next year, I do not need so many plants...

Start to put covers back on at nite.
Rudy is now wearing his Fleece jammy :-)

Put in the remote thermometer to monitor the difference it makes

Before leaving for more than two weeks on vacation, we set up various watering systems.

Installed my solar watering system on the rain barrel. 
Of course having no gutter around it,  I have to fill it by hand.

Filling up the barrel.
I did not quite fully filled it before leaving.

My solar powered drip irrigation pump set up 
on the barrel base's post

Drippers, one of 12 installed in the Veg-Trug 

Upon our return, I was curious to see how much water it did used. It is configured to watered twice a day. It contains 55 US Gallons max.

There was about 2-1/4 in of rain during our absence, 
no were near enough to top up the barrel...
But there was still about half a barrel full

Today, Sep the 5th, as I was taking pictures around, I noticed a constant beeping coming from my solar pump, sure enough, it ran out of water and stopped.

Head filter in water and water sensor dry 

Since I did not quite filled the barrel last time, I thought I could fill that one to the plate....

...but Oups, it is draining on the inter barrel connectors...

Will call that filled and watch for the dripper to work 
after resetting the pump...

 The other raised beds on the ground were watered by an electronic timer, once a day for 10 minutes. It is supposed to be a drip irrigation but there is a lot of pressure coming out of the water valve, should be reduced. It is almost more of a sprinkler than a dripper but it sure does watered :-)
Yes, I do have a meter to measure the water pressure, never got around to used it yet... But I suspect that timer connection could us a pressure reducer...

Select how often and how long to water
The capped off line was to the currently out of service sink.

I also tried some watering ceramic cones with various sizes bottle attached, to see how long they would last.

500-750 Ml were emptied and potted plants looked like dried
2 Ltr, a few were nearly emptied, two had about 1/4 left in them. Plants looked good
4 ltr (was a very hard size containers to find that matched threads on it...) 
A good few inches left in container, would have last longer but water started to turn green (algae)

Obviously various plants and flowers drew different amount of water in the many potted plants trialed.

The front flower's beds along the front of the house was irrigated by about 150 ft of soaking hoses attached to a Bluetooth enabled water timer.  It worked OK but the Apps interface is rather clunky and annoying in use. Phone must stay within range of valve and it goes off erratically, trying to connect. Not the most robust bluetooth interface I've seen...

Bluetooth enabled version of Galcon water timer

But other than that... Yeah, it works...
I currently took it off, was a pain to manually set up the valve for watering the front beds by hands.

The remainders were left to fend for themselves while we were away... They survived but sure appreciated the water upon our return :-)

I currently have about 8 or 10,  5/8, 50ft and 100ft  water hoses arranged around the house to reach all the gardens, flower gardens and trees planted. Via a few 3 way valves I only switched on what I need to conserve pressure. I just flip the switches has I go along to water everything front and back.  There are a few garden hose holders strategically located around the yard to hang the hose off the ground.
And in case you wondered, yes, it is a small pain to work around while mowing the grass. Only the line to the back gardens is currently buried underground.

Whenever I finalize (as if there was such a thing in my life ??) our landscaping layout, I will install an underground system... and of course "enabled it " 

Both of us on some warm beach in the future.
Jean: Oh dear did you remembered to water the plants today? 
Me: But of course, reaching for my phone and launching the apps ... on the beach... :-)

OK, so I like "some" gadgets...
I just strongly dislike stupid predictive (my ass) technology, like autocorrect, or flash me up Ads about prostate, because I once look at prostate cancer ...   
or try to launch something I did not call for or requested, never mind want, on my stupid "smart" phone!!??

Just make a better Bluetooth interface people, its really not that complicated.... once you understand what the end user required... Sigh,
Bob, getting off his soap box

We now return to normal blogging in progress...

Got a few projects on the go, but real woodworking wise, I must first go back into my shop and own it back. I have yet to find the want to go back since losing Heather. It's about time I go back and make peace with myself and carry on...

Besides the odd tool I had to fetch, the shop has sat unused 
and attracted some Crapola (Ralph Tm)

Bob, slowly getting back up.... Now if only my back would cooperate...
I am not aging gracefully... damn you Sciatic nerve