After enjoying our backyard waterfall for over a year, some serious tweaking came due. Despite our treating the water, the heat of summer caused a lot of algae to grow in the bottom of the pond, and quite a bit of debris had fallen in, like leaves and dust, slowing down the flow noticeably. And worst of all, when I constructed it, no rocks were placed around the sides of the pond, and the black liner showed. Not many Sierra streams reveal plastic lining. For the first step...Read More
Last Saturday Sheila and I relaxed at our waterfall with some wine and cheese and chips to celebrate a new book contract. In the midst of kicking back, I had to rise. Some rocks in the fountain had been moved. Honest, none of you would likely have noticed, but I couldn’t miss the change. Likely from raccoons or coyotes or possums or neighboring cats coming by for a drink. The birds bathe there, but their weight wouldn’t move a rock. One shift caused the water...Read More
That barren pic above is my classroom, after the final group of students has gone, with most of the decorations removed. My room for six years; my school for eight. Just last week while writing an in class essay, one student saw me taking out the guts of the notebooks for the classes I’ve taught and said, “Mr. Riter, that’s so sad. Your life’s work going in the trash.”Read More
While my wife celebrated a few days away with a girlfriend, I figured to pop a surprise on her Mother’s Day return with the installation of a new faucet for the master bathroom. Several complications soon arose. The old house had some funky modifications over the years, and one was the drain trap, a strange conglomeration of plastic and brass and mismatched parts. The threads got stripped, and it took four trips to Home Depot to finally get the correct set up. Eventually I had to replace the entire trap: cutting the outlet pipe, putting in an extension, gluing it into place. That two hour project took nearly an entire day. But the faucet does look nice.
The second complication also came from age. My own.Read More