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What a pain in the side...

February 16, 2009 11:11 AM 2/16/09

So I’m pretty sure I have another kidney stone due to the pains I’m having today. They’re in exactly the same place and about the same intensity. Bah!

No big deal really. I’ll follow the same procedure as last time and the stone should break up.

My wife did some serious de-cluttering yesterday so tonight I’ll likely vacuum when I get home and then we should be pretty much done with the living room. She wants to do the library next. I argue that the kitchen should be next but in reality it’s pretty clean except for the wood floor which needs to be scrubbed.

A check I requested from the credit union didn’t arrive before lunch so I’m depositing it after work which is later than I like. It’s still before five p.m. but I wold rather it were 10:30 a.m. just in case.

Did a little research on lighting timers for the seedlings in the garage and so far the best advice is about 16 hours maximum so I’ll probably just do a normal 12 that synchronizes with the natural sunrise/sunset. That should give me good results and not hork the electric bill too much.

We filed our taxes and we’re definitely getting more money back than last year. One annoyance is that we bought our house in February of last year and the housing credit for 2008 starts in April. Grr... Anyway the money is enough to fund the trip to Montana this year so it’s going to go right into the middle account and not get spent.

I really hope it gets warmer soon. I’ve got a lot of things to do and this whole winter thing is seriously getting in the way. For instance we have to clean up the leaves in the lawn that we left there last year on purpose. That’s going to be a bit messy but should go fast enough. Don’t know where I’m going to put them as I have no compost space allocated at the moment.

I so want pie right now but that would be a stupendously bad idea. :-(

Have to pick up a headlight on the way home today as my driver’s side one is dead. That means I’ll probably pick up two as they have the tendency to “theater bulb” on me. (If one goes the other is not far behind.)


Man I’m tired. I wish I could go home but I can’t take the time off work. This is where Federation style replicators would work wonders for the human race. Get one of those in every home and all of a sudden people wouldn’t have to work for anything but the power bill.

Yeah yeah, pie in the sky, I know.

Looked over some Instructables on Hydroponics yesterday and there is some good stuff there that is easy to do. I’d love to set up some long pipes and try it that way but that requires space and materials I don’t have yet. Though if the pipes aren’t going to be pressurized then cheap Schedule 40 PVC would make a good setup provided it’s been outgassed beforehand. I just have to source a local place for the clay pellets. Though there are designs out there that use the tiny styrofoam beads you get when you break up the white styrofoam. Some user vermiculite but I“m not sure if that would work or not. I’ll have to look into growing medium. I would assume that since all it has to do is support the plants then you could use something like the tiny plastic airsoft beads or something.

Another question I have is how often the nutrient fluid needs to be changed. Can the old fluid be filtered then new nutrient added to it? Is there a special kind of filter that I need to use or could I use something like a fish tank filter to do basic filtering?

Many many questions...

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Man, you must have some incredible pain tolerance! My husband had a kidney stone once; he's not at all a wuss about pain, but he couldn't walk down the stairs to get into the ambulance - when he tried, it made him throw up, and the EMTs had to carry him down. He's been very careful about drinking enough water and cranberry juice ever since.

I was just thinking about hydroponics myself, but on a very small scale. See, one of the two vegetables I will occasionally eat is watercress, which is apparently very easy to grow hydroponically. But often I can't find any watercress in stores. If I could grow a small amount of it, I'd be able to pick some fresh whenever I wanted, and I might well eat more of it if it were always available. So I hope you're going to continue to "think out loud" about hydroponics, so I can pick your brain ;-D
Feb. 16th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC)
Well as far as the pain goes I've been living with back pain for a good chunk of the last decade since I gained weight. I'm working on reducing that but that takes time.

I always had a fairly high pain threshold. It's kind of like it's a little detached from the rest of me. Some things hurt really-really bad (mucus membrane stuff - eyes, etc.) and other things don't hurt as much. Skin, bones, etc. It just varies as to the event in question.

Hydroponics is always something I've wanted to get into so it's always been there in the back of my mind when I think about growing stuff. It's not all that hard. As I posted earlier that's what that stupidly overpriced Aerogarden is - a small hydroponics unit. (Frankly I _want_ people to buy those things as it gets people thinking about their own food sources and hydroponics even if it's the yuppie tabletop version. ^_^ )

Dig around Instructables.com and you'll find some simple ones made from 2-liter plastic bottles and fish tank pumps that should suit your purposes just fine.
Feb. 17th, 2009 09:58 am (UTC)
I did poke around on Instructables, although there are so many ads and other crap on each page that they each take ages to load, and occasionally crash my browser. None of the ones involving soda bottles seem suitable; besides, nobody in this family drinks soda, and we have to recycle bottles anyway. I think I can get a cheap plastic colander and a suitable dark bucket in a "dollar store", but I'm afraid I'm still going to have to spring for an aquarium air pump. And I wonder what goes into the nutrient solution, and where I would buy the stuff. (Damn not having the use of a car except in the middle of the night!) I suppose I'll try to get to a garden shop - I need to find watercress seeds and planting medium anyway, and maybe they also have the chemicals I'd need.

I just made some stir-fried chicken for dinner, and I'd have loved to have been able to put fresh watercress in it ;-D
Feb. 17th, 2009 12:38 pm (UTC)
Aquarium pumps are about $6 - $10 at the local big-box store so I don't see that as too big and expense. (Financial situations not withstanding of course.) The nutrient formulas are available online and there are directions for mixing your own but I don't have a link handy to give you. As for seeds normally I'd suggest seedsavers.org but they seem to have no watercress.

Edited at 2009-02-17 12:39 pm (UTC)
Feb. 18th, 2009 11:41 am (UTC)
It appears that some of the big commercial seed companies do have watercress seeds, and that it's ridiculously easy to plant and grow, as long as it gets the right amounts of sunshine, water, coolness, and warmth. As it happens, I know a place where there's a dollar store next to a pet supply store, so I could get the plastic bits and the air pump in one go - then I'd need a garden store or equivalent for planting medium, nutrients, and seeds. I suspect I'm also going to have to add a small grow-light, since there really aren't any suitable windows in my kitchen. (I mean it about wanting to just reach over and pick some watercress whenever I feel like adding it to a dish I'm cooking.)

(I had an aquarium air pump, three moves and 20 years ago, when my son had a tankful of goldfish. I think the pump failed, though, just after most of the goldfish died - it probably died because it inhaled a dead goldfish.)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )



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