Post 101, early morning gardening, and computer case modding

Hit a milestone with the last post, and didn't realize it; this is my 101st post on this blog, never thought I'd be this verbose, that I'd post this much.

Mind, it's gotten fairly narrow of focus, and a focus I never expected. I mean, me, gardening? Get real! Although, as I've pointed out, it's much more me doing weeding and pruning, deciding stuff needs to go away rather than adding stuff, other than relocating the occasional volunteer filbert or maple sapling to a better part of the yard from my perspective.

Yesterday it was determined that we're getting back into warmer weather, which means yard work needs to shift to the early morning hours, when its not so blinking hot out. So, while it is only 6:58AM, I've already put in a half hour or so of weeding today.

Not having functioning air conditioning is going to impact computer use in a bit, as it did last summer; when the computer does an auto-shutdown because the heat sensors have reached critical, you know its getting hot. Tried to fix it last year by adding more fans to the case, with no real impact. Of course, what I realized a month or so back was that the fans were 12v and the power I supplied was 5v, so they never kicked in; I've rewired them so they are now getting the 12v they need, and it is making a difference in re interior temperature. Not surprising, really, adding two 12cm case fans, one aimed right at the CPU, will dramatically increase the air flow. A bit noisy, but that's OK, just gives me more white noise for the brain to try and interpret as music, I guess. Have to be a little careful opening the case, the new fans are on a side panel, and I have to unplug them to set the panel aside. I've read of cases where contacts and wires have been set up such that side panel fans are powered by contacts integral to the side panel and main body, where you close the side panel and the contacts slide into place. I could try and set something up like that, but I'd want to do it with an empty case, not one that has a functioning computer in it while I was working on it. Properly insulating a slide connection would be the interesting bit, although if I used the adhesive copper tape I have in conjunction with the brush-on insulation, I could lay down a layer of insulation under the tape... You know, that'd work. Provided the side panel was just loose enough to allow that much added thickness. Actually, electrician's tape with the copper tape would do, and be thinner.

Funny thing about the copper tape, Lee Valley sells it as a gardening item, wrap it around the base of pots to discourage slugs and snails, I bought it with the idea of running it behind fluorescent tubes in home brewed light fixtures, providing the ground plane needed to insure full function of the tubes if the structure was built of wood or plastic instead of metal. The idea was to build valances at the windows, covering the tops of the curtains and having lights aimed upwards, I'll still probably get around to this if we get the shop in shape, as my seasonal affective disorder really responds well to lots of fluorescent lighting with proper spectrum tubes, and its much less expensive than fancy light boxes that stand out like sore thumbs.

7:28AM now, time to think about breakfast, or so my body says. So I'm off!


Volunteer flowers

Scattered around the yard are a bunch of flowers which have appeared from nowhere; at least, we haven't seen them here previously. I was first aware of them as unexpected greenery, which upon investigation was bulb-based, with significantly large bulbs, giving the appearance of being perennials. In the last couple of weeks they've come forth with blooms, reminiscent of what I called 'bluebells' in my youth, albeit in white as well as blue.

They're nice. I like them. I don't like where they are located, as they sprawl through the center of the yard, where one would consider hanging out or gardening.

So... While not weeds, they are now officially candidates for transplanting to the edges of the yard, specifically along the fence on the Mall Street side of the property. There, they can mingle with the other miscellaneous flowers, looking pretty and being out of the way. Of course, an I do this, I'll also need to fill in the holes resulting from transplanting, unless I want an impromptu puttputt golf course, otherwise known as anklebreaker heaven. Got enough problems with uneven ground without adding to it deliberately.

And guess what? While looking around for remnant patches of dandelions, I found a Clematis! Took me a moment to realize what I was seeing, but I promptly dug it out and tossed it in yard debris. There are also some areas with blackberries struggling to come back, so I need to see about harrowing them again; not real harrowing, allegorical harrowing, but going through with appropriate Implements of Destruction™ and making them Go Away.

I'm still finding the occasional dandelion, but I've really done a number on them, and a couple of related weeds; three yard debris containers in four weeks worth, the yard and parking strip are massively better looking, and the weather has helped on this by allowing for nice soft ground to work with.

My breakfast is beeping at me from the microwave, so I guess I'll be going before it gets mad at me! My motto is 'never ignore food'.