Irrigation work. Andy yard work. Dish upgrade. Card class.

I finally fixed the drip line today that was putting out too much water. This is the one in which I had soaker hose segments; I replaced them with drip emitters. Pete Petersen came over this morning and attached the compression fittings for the distribution line for the planter boxes, and I also tested out the new line for leaks. Next step: attaching the drip line systems.

Andy Goodhart from here in Royal Palm was here this morning to clean up the now-gone-by poppy plants and I had him also clean up the dead weeds in the back and side yard from where I had sprayed them. He is very popular in the Park for doing yard work of various types.

Elaine headed to The Paper Collage this morning to take a card class being offered there. She really likes this shop and their classes; too bad it is so far for her to drive out to Sun City West.

A few weeks ago the hard drive attached to our Dish receiver failed and I have been holding off replacing it while deciding which way to go. Our receiver has been the VIP211k, which was the only one that would work with RV systems at the time we got Dish service back around 2010. While it supported an external hard drive for DVR capabilities, we could only record one channel at a time and the TV had to be set to watch that channel during recording. This worked fine when recording something while we were not at home, but not if we wanted to watch one channel and record another. I had solved that problem when I switched to over-the-air broadcasts and used Tablo, but the complexity of that approach made me switch back to Dish and I moved the receiver from the motorhome to the house and we have used it there. Today I decided to upgrade to Dish’s Hopper/Sling system and added a Joey for the office TV. Now we can record two channels while watching yet another. And we can watch recorded content from the office as well. Plus there’s a whole bunch of other features, most of which we will not use.

AZ hot, AZ cold, AZ windy.

We have been having above-average temperatures here in the Valley of the Sun the last couple of weeks. Average is around 85° at this time of year yet we have had many back to back 90+ days; this last Sunday parts of the Valley had temps of 100° and 101°. Not totally unusual. From ABC15.com: “Over the past 30 years, the average first day of 100-degree weather is May 2, according to National Weather Service statistics. We’re already a month past the record for earliest triple-digit temperatures — that happened March 26, 1988.” Our current forecast calls for a drop to just below average on Thursday, but the temperatures will climb above average and into the 90s again soon. Continue reading AZ hot, AZ cold, AZ windy.

Drip fix. A job that sucks. Getting ready for yard sale. Less wind.

This was the morning the drip system for the pots out front was to run, and when I came back from walking the dogs my neighbor rushed over to tell me something was wrong. There was water all over the front sidewalk. He said he looked for a shutoff and not finding one was ready to knock on the door to let me know when he saw me walking up the street with the boys. Remember I mentioned a couple of days ago that the soaker line I put in the tray planter was putting out too much water? And remember I said I would fix it yesterday? Guess what I failed to do yesterday? Continue reading Drip fix. A job that sucks. Getting ready for yard sale. Less wind.

More motorhome moveout. Added to irrigation.

motorhome stuff
Another load from the motorhome

We took a trip over to the motorhome in the storage yard this morning and brought back another load on the golf cart. I finished clearing out the front basement storage bay and Elaine loaded some stuff out of the kitchen. We still have many loads to go, but will work on it every few days. It is important to get some loads out this week, however, because there is a Park-wide yard sale coming up this next weekend so we want to get stuff out for that.

flooded tray
This tray got flooded when I added a section of soaker line to it. I’ll have to use less soaker line.

I got some ¼-inch soaker line today at Ace Hardware to use in the long planter tray I still had not done a drip for. I cut a length as long as the planter tray and connected it with a feed line from the distribution pipe and turned it on. Within two minutes the tray was flooded to overflowing! I did not realize the soaker hose put out that much water. Later on I drilled a couple of small holes in the tray to drain it. Tomorrow I will modify it to only have a few inches of soaker hose. I’ll learn! It has been many years since I worked with irrigation systems, and I am relearning about the various components and how they function.

I did some more work on the new Violette Family Association database system today, still learning about how to use the plugin I recently acquired. I am getting more and more appreciation for the thought and work the developer put into it.

Elaine and the box. Breakfast in the Park. More drips. Database progress.

craft box
The box Elaine made today. It is designed to hold custom cards and/or envelopes.

Elaine and Jan Ostlund took a class at The Paper Collage, a craft store in Sun City West, today. This one was on making a paper box designed to hold paper cards and envelopes. It’s a neat design, and can be customized with different papers and designer covers. I can imagine this being used to hold custom cards and envelopes made for sale or for gifting. The ribbon you see above it can be used to wrap the box for closure. While it looked good to me, Elaine was not satisfied with this, her first effort. But I know it will improve with the next ones!

This being the first Saturday of the month, it was time for Breakfast in the Park. We attended, along with over 65 other people, so it was a great success. As usual, the meal was great and was easy to overeat.

drip feeds
These four planter pots now have drip irrigation, fed by the 1/2-inch pipe you see on the ground and with individual 1/4-inch drip feeds leading from it.

I did some more work on our drip irrigation system today. Yesterday I went to Ace Hardware on W Glendale Ave to purchase a couple of tools I forgot to get before and to get a different kind of drip head. I needed a tool to punch the holes in the ½-inch supply piping for connecting the barb fittings, and I also got a ratcheting cutter for pipe.

I tried to make the first connection to the ½-inch pipe but was not able to push the barb connector into the pipe wall. Grrr. I figured I would have to get someone with more strength to do those for me, but later this afternoon I thought of using pliers to hold the barb fitting while doing the pushing and it worked fine. No help needed.

So then I went on and did the drip lines for the five pots we have out front. In the four at the right in the photo I used regular 1 gallon per hour (gph) drip heads, but on the larger pot on the left I used an adjustable spray head since the pot is larger. I tested, and no leaks. Then I set the controller to run this zone twice a week for an hour at 7:00 AM. I still have to place a drip line to the tray in front of the larger pot; I will try a soaker line for that.

I am excited about the progress I am making on the new database system under WordPress for the Violette Family Association membership. I am using the Participants Database WordPress plugin. I had to work my way through several setup glitches, figuring out how to set things up and how to make corrections or changes when I want to do something different. It’s a learning curve situation, but I  am quickly getting stronger and more confident.

Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.

controller
The irrigation controller. I had connected the common wire to the blue MSTR terminal instead of the white COMMON terminal. Duh!

Remember I said a week or so ago that I could not get the irrigation valves to operate? Today Pete Petersen came over with his multimeter to check out my system to see if we could figure out what was wrong. It didn’t take long – I had connected to common wire to something other than the common post! Once moved where it should be all valves worked fine. Continue reading Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.