Monthly Archives: May 2010

Cookbook Bookshelf shelf space

I have bought a number of cookbooks over the past year. They are:

Unfortunately, they have remained on my breakfast table instead of residing in the bookshelf. I am now motivated to place them where they belong. However, the bookshelf is already full. So books must be kicked out.

The cookbooks are (top shelf):

(middle shelf):

Swimming in Barton Springs

I went swimming today in Barton Springs. It was quite an experience! First of all it is really cold. You would think 68 degree water would not be that bad. After all, I wear shorts and short-sleeved shirts in that weather. But it took me a while to acclimate to it.

The next odd thing is there are plants living in this pool just below the surface. So when you swim, you are brushing against them and swimming through them. The pool is also quite deep so there is no standing around to rest.

It was certainly fun. I should try it in Winter when it is freezing out. I bet it would feel quite warm…

A bike ride

This is my first attempt at creating a video of my bike ride. The video is created from a series of 257 pictures taken with a Canon G10 at 30 second intervals and was attached to my handlebars.

The first problem with this video is the blurriness of some of the photos. There were a couple of reasons why. It was overcast so the shutter speed was not enough to compensate for the occasional bump. And my road bike has no shocks.

The second problem was that the camera mount was attached via velcro straps. These straps did not handle bumps too well. The camera would get jarred out of position. And a couple of times it spun completely around. Sigh.

It was also annoying that the camera took up my usual resting spot for my left hand. This made for an uncomfortable 29.48km trip.

Dead Vine Pattern

They cut down the climbing vine again. Which should be no big deal. It seems to grow back in a year. Its a really fast growing vine.

It left an interesting pattern on the wall….

In the wake of devastation comes rebirth

The architect poorly designed these buildings at work. The Bradford Pear trees were placed too close to the buildings. They don’t get enough light. And the high winds knock them down. And they never get replaced!

It seems that two were taken down recently. Too bad they wont let it grow back…

Water woes

It seems that water problems come in threes. The first leak was an easy one to fix. One of my old, above ground sprinkler heads broke.

The second one took a day to fix. I noticed that water was coming up from the ground next to my driveway. I thought it was from the sprinkler system side. But, when I shut off the master valve on the backflow preventer, it still kept leaking. I could tell because my water meter was running. I tried turning off the valve on my side of the water meter, but no luck. When I turned off the valve on the city side, it finally stopped. Great. I also have a broken shutoff valve. I also like how the city can install a padlock when the water is off. Nice.

Now, I had to track down the leak. Unfortunately, it was not a straight run to the house. As you can tell by the amount of earth I had to dig up. It seems that the 90 degree elbow bend split on the inside of the bend. It was thankfully easy to cut it out and replace it with a 45 degree bend.

My friend and I installed the backflow preventer (and the rest of the sprinkler system) ourselves. Now I am wishing that it was hooked in better. It should have been a simple T-connection. But as you can see that it is higher than the main pipe and also on top of the main pipe. There are a number of twists and turns. I wish I can just rip everything out and start over again. But that’s not going to happen…

Water Problem #3

The third problem was that my shower head started to leak. I really hate my Moen faucets! This has been the at least third time that I have had to replace the faucet cartridge. Unfortunately, it was not doable by me. I tried and tried to pull the old plastic cartridge out. But it was wedged in tight. I had to resort to calling a plumber out to the house. It cost me 128 dollars for five minutes worth of work. Sigh. But what can you do?

This time I used some Plumber’s Grease to lube up the insides. I also learned to not push the cartridge in by the copper stem. But to use the plastic removal tool to push it in by the plastic middle.