My wife and I finally have ourselves a quality connection to the internet. For the last 10 months we had been operating on an advertised 10 Mbps downlink provided by Exede. Initially we tried to get Xfinity by Comcast to hook our services up, however that didn’t play out well with the initial install technicians. Up until recently they were physically unable to provide a connection due to our semi-remote location. I had also tried to use a Wireless Internet Service Provider or WISP for short. A growing company called Rapid Systems looked promising but again we were let down due to geographic restrictions. They kept telling us a new tower would be out here “soon,” which went from two weeks away to months and eventually… Well they never managed to connect us. But hell, Comcast came through for us just about a month ago now.
The difference is remarkable. We went from just a really shoddy 3 – 5 Mbps connection with latency somewhere in the ball park of 1000 to 1500 milliseconds, on a clear sunny day, to a highly reliable any weather connection with recorded speeds of 90 Mbps at 19 milliseconds. Now I know having the satellite connection was better than nothing and in my neighborhood there are still people who have Exede, but I really couldn’t believe that there was no real viable alternative. Sometimes we would use our phones as hot spots just to play a few online games. I bet if cell carriers created a home internet plan without major restrictive data caps there could easily be market share up for grabs. On my wife’s iPhone 6 using Sprint I measured 1.22 down at 52 milliseconds. The download speeds don’t have to be amazing if the latency is decent and a lot of people could get along on a connection like that if the cap were around 120 GBs.
Clearly though a wired ground connection is superior to a wireless connection and I am happy to report we are definitely back in the fast lane thanks for the hard working people over at Comcast. They upped the infrastructure in our location and were able to get us the services we missed dearly. It was almost a deal breaker with the house we were buying, and we love our house! I’m just glad everything worked out.
I’ve made some changes to previous designs around the house. One of which is the fire pit/garden box idea. Here’s a crude doodle of the plan I made in MS Paint…
Ideally I’d have two sets of benches facing the fire pit. This maximizes both the outdoor living space and expands the garden boxes. The levels of garden boxes is negotiable of course. One idea is to have it just right there behind the benches as an accented feature. The other idea is to really expand off the benches as a central point of a larger garden space. This adds a dynamic to the outdoor area that I hadn’t thought of previously. We could even do large archways around the garden “jewel” and really bring out the best in our yard hangout.
A big inspiration for these ideas is Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas cruise ship. Here’s a few shots of that trip on deck 8, central park.
The last photo is actually from the Atlantis hotel. I really liked that fountain area so I’ve got some more ideas on that later down the road.
Oh! Good news is the flowers are doing great. I need to do a little weeding but all in all growth has been rampant. I planted a tulip tree but nothing has sprouted as of yet. I will likely have to give those seedlings a little more attention before I can just plant them in the yard. More on that stuff to come.
My day started a little off. This morning my wife decided to sneak up on me while I was pouring myself a cup of pops cereal. She’s super sneaky, always attempting and usually succeeding at scaring the shit out of me. well needless to say she scared me this morning, and in my fright I ended up tossing my cup of pops cereal on to the tile shattering my breakfast aspirations. So ttoday was a Pop Tart day, although not all bad.
yesterday I texted my wife to put the flowers out on the patio so they could breathe a little bit and get more sunlight. I usually cycle them like that from the sheltered back porch to patio so they are protected yet fed. Well the bottom of $2 flower tray decided it had had enough and properly disintegrated as she moved them causing a whole mess of flowerly doom. When I turned up at home after my shift I did a little digging and creative repurposing of some old garden stones I found near our AC unit. I have no idea what exactly is growing where anymore, other than some of the more obvious flowers, but I did my best to save them all.
I think they’ll be happier in the spot I put them. Hopefully my critter ridden yard doesn’t swallow them up before we get to see their final forms.
I’ve also been doing some reading up on shade trees I could use in the yard. I need something rapid growing for my landscaping plans but not weak or soft rooted. The American tulip tree meets these requirements so I am looking into that. Here’s what one of these bad boys looks like:
I think that’s all I have for now. We’ll see what happens at work. I believe we’re on trac to recieve a visit from corporate. I can already feel the cortisol pooling in my brain. I wish I had a chance to draft a few thoughts about the fire pit and garden boxes. I’ve got a few hurdles, one my desktop PSU died and two I need to reformat. On my birthday I downloaded a Mario party rom from an illegitimate site and watched as that shit installed god knows how many malware apps. I have a background in surgically removing stuff like that but this new codes is too much for me to handle that way. Once I get that PSU it’ll be PC nuke time.
About a month ago my wife and I had a little weekend time together that we used to take on a few projects. We inherited a grill and needed a back patio to really take advantage of the potential cook outs and gathering. In addition we decided it would also be cool to have a fire pit for evening hangouts. So we got to work!
Now this took us maybe an hour or so, aside from the time spent in Lowes trying to figure out what kinds of stone to use. I’m super cheap and she is super Froogle. The difference is I look for the lowest build overall and she looks for the best value in terms of regular usage. This wouldn’t look as awesome as it does without her help. I think the stones and paver sand really tied things together well.
Anyhow, we use 30 pavers on the patio and we figure we’ll need another ~180 to finish, so that’ll be on going for a while. I believe each paver was around $2, so it’s definitely long term. The fire pit however is almost there. For a while I had the remaining stones sitting in the yard just waiting for motivation.
I changed that today. I went ahead and used some cement from my fence post stockpile and threw on the next layer. I’m thinking that because I dug down a little to level the bricks with the soil I may need to add one more layer of bricks to really finish the fire pit at the proper height. Melanie Ann for scale.
Elizabeth, my wife, asked me to add some pavers around the fire pit itself at some point, I believe the idea is to have pavers running all the way down the yard to the fire pit area. I may add some circular bench seating with garden box backing. Might be a cool idea worth exploring. I might not have any time to draft those ideas until next week.
I had trimmed the fuck out of our orange tree last week in an attempt to get it healthy again. There was moss everywhere on this thing so I decided to pressure wash all the nasty little barnacles and what not from the tree bark. Hopefully I made an impact on it’s ability to heal itself. It had been very hard to trim around the tree with those low hanging mossy branches as well. The yard needs to be cut, I’m thinking I’ll use the last bit of my day for that since it has cooled off a bit. Here’s the view from the back porch.
And that water tank needs to be painted. Ack!
I have some very exciting news! All of the African daisies are out and doing great. They are followed today by four groups of Bachelor buttons and three sunflower seed lings. The dew is still present on the soil so I’ll hold off on watering until this afternoon. I’m very hopeful that we’ll see some of the others soon.
I am attempting to grow some flowers this summer. The varieties include African daisies of mix color, sunflowers the American giant kind, bachelor buttons, coleus rainbow mixed, & 4 o’clock daisies mix color.
Each floral grouping has a row of six pods, the exception being sunflowers which have two because I plan to give some away later. I started about 3 days ago and I’m proud to announce to the African daisies are currently winning the race with successful germination happening today sometime between 9 o’clock and 9:49am.
This is the first post of this blog. There are several like it but this one is mine. I’ve had bad experiences running a blog in the past so if this site spontaneously disappears at some point, try to understand that death is a part of life. Removing the idea of permanency helps us all value the posts in general. “All” in this case is a reference to myself and my invisible audience reading these ramblings.
So I’m working on a few yard projects, at the moment a fence to contain my herd of chihuahuas. I would like to at some point also paint our well water tank to look like R2-D2, possibly build a replica C3PO to keep him company and of course garden-esq projects involving money that isn’t there yet. More to come!
I also enjoy thinking about cool designs and crap. I will doodle once in a while, no promises on the ability though. I have not seriously sat down to doodle in quite a while. My wife and I having just purchased our first home kind of gives me the free space to do what I want again but… who has the time anymore. I’m old I guess. Here’s a link to my old deviant art account.
Pictures! Holy crap I take a ton of those. Maybe I’ll share a few too.