More stuff about water

New Image
The shiny, new pump above, and the old faded one below.

old

A FEW DAYS ago, I wrote about where water comes from, and the annual cleaning of the underground cistern, a chore we handle ourselves, the two of us. Coincidentally, during that same week, the nearby pump that delivers water from the cistern to the tank on the roof made funny noises for the second time in recent weeks, so I decided to replace it. It was 17 years old, installed during the Hacienda construction.

It is not a pump you want to fail. Without it, there’s no water anywhere in the house.

I don’t know the useful life of such a pump, but 17 years seems a long time, and the pump looked quite ratty, as you can see from the photo. The new pump is big and beautiful.

Like Muhammad Ali.

Coincidentally again, and also water-related, the Honda got a new water pump last week, another precautionary measure. That pump too was the original, and the car has 210,000 kilometers. As I write this, the Honda sits in the shop having its A-C radiator replaced. The A-C decided to commit suicide during our hottest month of the year.

Yes, the Honda has a streak of malevolence.

But enough about the Honda. Let’s return to the house. The tank on the roof sports some sort of electronic gizmo — with mercury inside, I think. It dangles inside like a snake — that senses when water falls below half full. At that point, it signals the pump below, the one that was replaced, to ignite and send water from the cistern up to the roof.

Following this?

Just after the pump started acting goofy, the electronic gizmo up top failed its mission, and the roof tank’s water level fell considerably below half. I knew this because I went to the roof, put a ladder against the tank, popped the top, looked in, saw the situation, and gave the electronic snake a shake. It turned on the pump below, and water started to come up.

But obviously, there was a problem. So today, Jorge the Plumber came with the new pump, plus a new electronic snake for the roof tank. Jorge is also an electrician.

So now I have a new pump down below and a new electronic snake up top. With luck, this pump will top the 17 years of the previous one, and the snake will last as long as possible. And the Honda’s A-C will keep me cool for a long time to come, especially in May.

The entire cost — the labor and materials — ran the peso equivalent of $160 U.S. The cost of the work on the Honda has yet to be determined.

Let’s go have a coffee now. I’m bushed.

More yard butchery

before
Before shot from the side.

STUPIDLY, I PLANTED a couple of these pointy things some years back, not knowing the plant’s tendency to run wild. It’s an error I have made numerous times in the past.

Yesterday I said to myself, Enough already! And I phoned Abel the Deadpan Yardman who came this morning and removed the entire mess.

frontbefore
Before shot from the front.
Abel
Abel the Deadpan Yardman does his magic.
sideviewclean
After shot from the side.
frontafter
After shot from the front.

Abel arrived at 10 a.m. and left 2.5 hours later with a paw of cash. The uprooted plants were dumped into a ravine down the way behind both our houses. They’ll likely revive there, possibly becoming like kudzu in the American Southeast.

I like our new clean look. There’s room for more cacti. Some of those tall cacti appear to be San Pedro, an hallucinogenic plant with mescaline that’s used in South American religious ceremonies. For me, however, they’re just decorative.

The garden tales

I FIND IT useless when people post photos of flowers. You can find zillions of flower photos online. No matter. Here I go.

Some readers may recall that last spring I butchered the monster bougainvillea that had lived in the yard for many years. Here is how it looked before the bloodletting. My child bride poses for the purpose of perspective. Both are beauties.

bougain
The before shot.

And here just below is how it look skinned.

stump
The after shot.

And here just below again is how it looks today.

today
The today shot.

It’s about four feet high. The only reason it’s not bigger is that I maintain stern discipline. When the Hacienda was under construction over 17 years ago I foolishly planted five or six little bougainvilleas along the far wall. A couple died, a few did not.

bougs
Hearty survivors.

These are two of the survivors from 2002. They too are subjected to a heavy hand. The near one began to creep over the wall into the neighbors’ yard about five years ago, but I cut it back, and began applying discipline. Without discipline, a bougainvillea will make you his bitch. It can get quite ugly.

Oddly, of the original bougainvilleas from 2002, one is a different strain. It was unintentional. It looks different and does not want to rule the world. I like it.

frogflower
A rare, polite bougainvillea.

That’s it behind the frog. It appears to be growing out of the frog, but it’s not. It’s planted in the ground. This bougainvillea is the only well-behaved one of the cursed bunch.

Speaking of curses, remember the monster nopal I removed back in October 2018? The neighbors planted at least two of those nasty babies right up against my wall — the property wall is mine, not theirs — some spell back, and now they’re topping the wall and likely will start creating problems before long, throwing their spiky fruits with red stain onto my grass. Here below you see the cursed things.

Mine grew about 30 feet high before I slashed it down.

noopal
A new development, alas.

Maybe some dark night, I should toss some plant killer over there.

Why can’t people be good neighbors? Perhaps you are thinking, Why don’t you speak with the neighbors? Because I know full well it would be useless. They are sullen.

Hail wallops the Hacienda

snow

IT SHOULD NOT be raining in these parts in March, but it’s done so a couple of times in recent weeks. But not like this afternoon. Lord no.

First, black clouds hovered over the mountains. Then they headed this way. Wind began to blow, big-time. Rain came and then hail, lots of hail.

We had one of the three canvas curtains extended on the upstairs terraza. The center of each curtain is clear plastic to permit light to enter. But after a summer in direct sunlight, the plastic had discolored and weakened. The hail tore it to shreds.

Here you can see the one that was destroyed, the clear part in the middle.

I’ve already called Nico the Curtain Man who says he’ll be here Wednesday. I think we’ll have to find some other material for the center of the canvas curtains, which we need to block the daily rains of summertime.

In the meantime, the yard looks like it needs a snowman.