Bass on Bass

Monday, June 28, 2010


The patio's finished, the veggies all planted but there's a lot left to do.
     We had the patio done by M&M Landscaping. Their one expert paver installer was a perfectionist. The job is beautiful. The design is my interpretation of one by a contractor who didn't get the job. He was really good with ideas but we couldn't reach him after a while. The only straight perimeter lines are where it meets the house. 
     I did the design by scanning a sheet of graph paper into a jpg file. I took the measurements and laid out the old poured concrete patio in a hand drawing. I then brought up the graph paper file in MS Paint and laid out the patio with the straight line tool after setting line end points per my measurements(10" per square worked well) Then I erased segments to set the old patio lines as dotted lines. Since I had taken curve outline segment endpoint measurements outside I set those points on the drawing for the new patio outlines. I used the MS Paint curved line tool to set and bend those segments to the proper shape. We ended up tweaking it a bit larger on layout on the ground, ~ 30sqft more. I'm still getting used to not stepping off the old tiny stoop when I come out of the back door. One can now step up on the new stoop BEFORE opening the door to enter the house. That's muy bueno
    They also built the 2  3' x 5' beds at the corners of the back of the garage from retaining wall blocks that were given to me 2-3 years ago. They're perfectly square and level. You can see one in the veggie garden photo.

The Veggie Garden:

     I found due to rust welds over time I couldn't remove the Philips head sheet metal screws holding on the top member of the trellis frames  to replace netting . I ended up cutting ~10" off the top of the verticals (see previous post on trellis design) and attaching new cross member fittings using hex head sheet metal screws so any rust can be overcome in the future.  I ended up re-netting only the one shown shorter in the photo this year. It got to be too late for the plants. I'm patching the old nets with string for now. 
    The pathways between veggie beds are yet to be graded and stepping stones installed.


It's obvious when you think about it. They took an everyday task with 2 process options, the more expensive and less healthy one, involving zero participant involvement then in 97% selection. They engineered the possibility of mentally engaging "fun" into the alternative, thereby retaining and even improving the health positive effect and positive cost factors of that option and viola, most chose to have the fun it offered. The fun introduced the possibility of distraction from the mind-numbing sequence of all of those tasks we must all endure to get by in the world. Improved societal mental and physical health would follow more universal application of this type of approach to public facilities engineering.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I went to my local ACE hardware store last Sunday to get a new 20lb propane tank for our gas grill. I left myself only ~15 min. to closing. When I got it home and attempted to install it and fire-up the grill, I found it IMPOSSIBLE to open the tank's valve by hand. Thank God for my Biomedical technician training which ALWAYS emphasizes safety. I therefor WILL NOT attempt it with tools. The tank valve is over-torqued and thereby damaged. This situation was conspicuously absent from any safety info I've found, at least in specific terms. I think it should be included. As for this tank, I'm getting my money back, getting the name of their supplier and avoiding same. See links to Propane tank safety sources below.