Monthly Archives: November 2007

November rain.

Yesterday morning I woke up to the sound of water dribbling down the ABS pipe along the house that leads to the cistern. This was a new sound, and as a homeowner (especially early in the morning) new sounds are by definition suspicious. I sat up very startled, and was quickly calming myself, satisfied that everything was going where it was supposed to and indeed making all the right noises according to their little water paths – I had just never heard these things before.

So today, I googled images for “chicken” and “rain” and this snapshot of Don, Jim, Bob, Alva, and Bud is one of the photos I got. Not exactly what I was looking for – I have never met those five hefty, mountain men, but I am sure they had a good time eating the chicken if the rain didn’t keep the fire at bay.

I am really writing because I could barely contain my excitement that it is actually raining and the water catchment tank is filling up (slowly as there is really only a light drizzle here and there). This morning I could even turn on the spigot to find free, untainted agua pouring out. This is all very exciting as the cistern has now lost its catchment virginity of sorts. I also saw a little toad between the aloe patch and the cover crop I have planted in the summer beds. I always take it as a good sign that random little creatures live in the yard – unless they are feral cats going after the chickens (there’s at least one that I regularly am forced to throw rocks at) or hundreds of swallows making off with free chicken feed (I’m thinking a scarecrow?).

And with the rain, the gutters have not fallen off (though there are a few places I will have to seal up), the tank hasn’t fallen over, and the plants in the basins look very content with their new found locations. According to all the weather websites and forecasters, there is a 100% chance of rain for the rest of the day and night, into tomorrow. For anyone who knows anything about Tucson, saying that it will rain with such certainty is nearly unheard of, and tantamount to saying something like Dick Cheney is going to have another heart attack, take his shiny, black helmet off, and beg forgiveness just like he did in Star Wars – don’t get our hopes up if it isn’t absolutely true.

Well at least it’s raining.

Just before the midnight hour.

In perfect Peruvian form, one of the Araucanas has delivered a last minute blue-green egg just before the big feast of dead birds that takes place tomorrow all across this confused land. It seems that all of my threats of beheading and baking were sufficient for the absolute bare minimum of return on their part. Not knowing which bird it was that laid the egg, I of course cannot risk the sacrifice and all three will therefore survive…

I know you were all dying to know when the first blue-green Araucana egg was laid. So here it is. Behold, the fabled egg of the South! Happy holidays to you all.

Catching Water: A progression

Day 1: Before we got started. I actually just put the ladders there because it looked too empty.


Day 2: Progress has been made – more is about to take place. This time we actually needed the ladder.

After all sorts of hard work and sweat. No ladder, just wishing for rain…

Tragedy continued.

Well they identified the young man who was shot and killed near my house. Manuel Fimbres-Moreno was 26. He will always be 26. I did not know Manuel – at least that I know of. But I am terribly saddened by his murder and cannot begin to imagine the pain of his family.

They arrested someone on suspicion of killing him. The kid they arrested is 21. Certainly it is not proven that he is responsible, but undoubtedly prison is in his future given the broken beyond repair system of injustice. For me it is simply a furtherance of a terrible tragedy. But this time, more than ever we will be complicate in what takes place as the tax payer funded “justice” system will do everything possible to ensure that no rehabilitation will ever take place.

Are we now safer that a young man will spend years in prison learning how to be more violent, less feeling, possibly drug addicted, and completely removed from his family? And when he returns to our community (96 percent of all Arizona prisoners do) will he have any better idea how to positively impact the people around him? Or will he be hardened, broken, and lacking any real understanding of what responsibility would actually mean in a situation like this? Will he ever have a chance at anything different than just that? These are questions I ask myself, but are never asked when laws are passed and people punished. Whatever happens to this young man, will we as a community be better for the judgment that is made on his life? I am positive we will not. This makes the tragedy of last Wednesday evening even that more horrendous.

Tucson police identify man who was fatally shot last week…

Catching Water: Day 2

Day 2 was oh-so-satisfying I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day. Even before 5pm the backyard looked totally transformed with the cistern all finished and sealed, and two whole basins lined with rocks, planted, and mulched. Everyone worked fabulously and seemed to enjoy the whole day. Before I knew it, time was up and we had accomplished way more than I had anticipated. Planting native flowers and grasses is so instantly gratifying, especially here in the desert where greenery is sparse and plant life certainly more subtle. (For great help and a wide selection of native plants visit Desert Survivors.)

Because things went so smoothly I have very little in the way of photo documentation during the bulk of the day’s work. The work mostly included extending PVC pipe to the spigot, cutting inside ABS pipe to length within the cistern, and ensuring that the basin was deep enough to accommodate overflow from the ABS overflow line. Enough technical details. Here are the photos.

This is Basin 1. It is actually not for the water cistern but will be fed by a gutter system off the shop roof.


Working, digging, planting, supervising on Basin 2 that will receive overflow water from the cistern.


Still working on Basin 2. The river rocks along the edge help to prevent erosion.


There is a lot of standing around happening in this picture, but consider it similar to one of those moments when suddenly there is silence among a large group of people – before, it was really chaotic, but for that moment it seems calm and ordered. Either way, we got heaps done.

Everything is sealed, sawn, and ready to get filled with water – as soon as we take the ladder out.

How Chicken Diction has made your life better!

Well the results are in. A little late perhaps, but right in line with all floundering democracies and their voting tendencies. Though you can of course see the results of the poll in the left column, you have no doubt been anticipating the unparalleled, critical analysis of the results by yours truly. So without further ado…

As I suspected and the exit polls clearly indicated, it was a three-way tie between the following ways in which Chicken Diction has made all your lives better:

– I have major chicken envy.
– I am on the frickin’ edge of my seat wondering when those Araucanas will lay a blue egg!
– You’re a nut job.

There is clearly a theme here between the leading positive impacts of Chicken Diction on your lives. Indeed there is only one clear reason behind these responses being equal in votes – clearly you are all die hard chicken fans, forever rooting for the underchicken(?) to lay a fabled blue egg, to the extent that you read this blog so much you are on the verge of a mental collapse, much like myself. I know, it’s difficult to admit, but that is why we ensured that voting remained confidential and free of any tampering, so that you were able to fully express just how beneficial this blog has been to your life.

As an aside, I would like to mention that I am glad no one is stalking me through this blog. Also, I am happy to point out that since it is so obvious that Chicken Diction has a positive impact on peoples’ lives, even the poor soul who got lost and inadvertently ended up on this blog must have had a life changing experience.

Wow. I am so relieved that people love this blog. It really serves to entrench my ego in the way that blogs were meant to do. There is nothing more satisfying than writing about oneself and then having people tell you how great you are for it. Thank you Chicken Diction lovers wherever you are. May you continue to find inspiration from my nutty life, shamelessly detailed on this nut job blog!

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