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“Water Table”?

November 5th, 2017

I Usually Drink Mine Standing Up

Good day today. I accomplished nothing whatsoever until after 1 p.m., and I call that a victory. Then Amanda dropped by, and she graciously helped me move boxes from the kitchen to the upstairs storage room. Since the move, I had been hoping elves would break in and move them, but they didn’t show up, so I resorted to physical exertion. Thank God I’m not the only one who suffered. I know how to treat a guest.

After Amanda left (I was out of jobs for her to do), I took her advice and used a new weapon on my immortal live oak stumps. She told me a fascinating story about the house she and her once-husband bought. The original owner built it around a tree. Smart! When the tree grew, the house mysteriously remained the same size, so something had to be done. Amanda and Co. paid someone to cut the tree and lift it out of the house, but the cable snapped, and it fell on the roof.

Anyway, she ended up with a stump that would not die. She used Roundup and I know not what else, and nothing happened. She then pinned her tree person down, perhaps physically, and forced him to tell her the real solution. It was two words: motor oil.

Roundup does not do a great job of killing stumps, and the hippies would much prefer seeing our houses replaced by useless trees to having us taint the precious water table with one part per billion of oil, so we don’t hear a lot about motor oil. Now I know the secret, so I used it.

I read up on it on the web. If what I read is correct, other petroleum products will work. One such product is diesel, which I always have on hand. You drill holes in your stump and you fill them with diesel.

I do not have a really good cordless drill right now, so I decided to bore-cut my stumps with a chainsaw. Beats dragging a generator across the yard. I fired up my little Jonsered and plunged into the stumps, scaring the crap out of a number of carpenter ants. I returned with the diesel jug a short time later, and I filled the stumps up. Except for one, which was apparently bottomless. I am now looking forward to seeing the results.

Using the chainsaw was a good move. I think. I don’t want to dull my drill bits on crappy live oaks, and anyway, drills make very small holes. The chainsaw made holes several inches long and about 3/8″ across. That’s a hole that means something.

Is diesel good for the environment? Don’t bother me with trivia. Besides, my well is a good hundred yards away from the stumps, and I drink bottled water.

It would be nice to have a skid steer with one of those stump attachment things. They rip stumps right out of the ground in seconds. But renting one would cost money, and the diesel trick probably cost less than three bucks.

After I treated the stumps, I shocked the pool again and brushed the algae off. I hate pools. When I was a kid, my dad made me clean the pool at our house, and I rarely did what I was supposed to. He didn’t supervise me or anything, and I was the king of all procrastinators, so basically, every month or so, he would explode for an entire day. I can’t tell you how miserable this made me. Not sure why I didn’t respond by doing a better job. You know how kids are. I have been doing as little as possible to maintain our current pool, and it has worked out about as well as you would expect.

After the hurricane, the pool pump clock died. I don’t know if the death was storm-related, but that’s what happened. I replaced the clock, but I bought the wrong model, and it died again. I finally got the right one installed last week. By then, the pool had gone quite a while with irregular pump cycles, including the long period of inactivity that passed before I realized the clock was dead.

I have been keeping the pool alive with shock treatments, hoping I could avoid skimming and vacuuming, but today I gave up and got out the brush and scoop. When I removed leaves from the bottom of the pool (which is fully screened; go figure), little bits of white stuff came up with them. I wondered what it was. Then I realized I was looking at chlorine-eaten organic material. Stuff I had left in the pool had sat on the bottom, slowly turning white. Also, I’m sure a lot of things that would ordinarily have been sucked into the filter went to the bottom when the pump wasn’t working. My guess, at this point, was that this stuff was eating my chlorine. When you put chlorine in a pool, how well it works depends on the job you give it, and if your pool has a lot of crap in it, it’s not going to get much done.

I accepted my fate. I removed whatever I could, and I brushed the whole pool to get the crap into circulation so it would go into the filter. I am hoping I can backwash it out and get rid of it.

Right now the pool is about as inviting as Chernobyl the day after the accident. I’m pretty sure it will glow at night with or without the pool light. I did not skimp on the chlorine. It’s downright poisonous. That’s fine with me. I don’t care if anyone ever gets to use it. I just want it to be blue and clear.

Maybe I could have it filled with blue lucite. That’s genius.

I also checked my burn pile. I put some big logs on it yesterday, and in the evening, I poured nine gallons of water on it to put it out. This afternoon it was going great guns. It had come back to life. Maybe burn piles aren’t for big logs.

Tomorrow my plans include eating Mike-Sell’s Puffcorn Delites and possibly poisoning my pond. Hope your day is equally fulfilling.

4 Responses to ““Water Table”?”

  1. Og Says:

    We generally burned stumps. Start with one way away from the house so you know what to expect.

  2. Steve H. Says:

    Can you burn a 2″-tall stump? I thought about filling one with gas. Of course, the hair on my ankles is still recovering from my last gas-assisted trash burning effort.

  3. Tondelayo B Says:

    Put down the gas can and step away from the stump. Your ankles and eyebrows will thank you.

  4. Ruth H Says:

    If you soak them with oil you should at least have some flares. That should give locals some interesting stories. Pour some of that oil, whatever kind, around the base of the tree and the roots, otherwise you will probably get suckers coming of of them until they rot.