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  May 14, 2004


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May 14, 2004 - Friday

Tanks For Everything

It's been an expensive two weeks.  The water storage tank on the north property has been leaking and the well hasn't been able to keep it full.  I spent a couple of days re-routing pipe and over $1,000 for a 120 gal pressure tank.  After all the work, it turned out that the well pump also has a problem and now I'll have to pay to have that repaired.  Our well pump is suspended on steel pipe 400 feet below ground and though technically not hard to repair, I'd need special tools for the job.

Ultimately, the solution to our water problem will involve the installation of two 10,000 gallon water tanks placed on the upper elevations of the property.  It will be a daunting job and I placed the order for the tanks yesterday.  They cost $6,000 a piece and the logistics of getting them delivered and positioned keeps me awake at night.

The tank going on the south end of the property will have to go up a steep road that was bulldozed a couple of months ago.  Because of the terrain, the grading didn't go well and I have my doubts that a large truck will  be able to make it to the top.  These tanks are 15' high with 10' diameters. Not sure how much they weigh but they're made out of steel and I don't think we'll be carrying them by hand.  I guess I'm counting on the ingenuity of some of the old timers that live in the valley.  It's amazing what some of those old ranchers can accomplish and they usually come up with workable solutions for even the most outrageous projects.

The dot marks our house.  Taken just after the fire by our neighbor the pilot


 We live in cougar country though, after 13 years, I have yet to see one. A few weeks ago a neighbor had several goats killed and a cougar was determined to be the cause. Because of the wild fires, deer are scarce and the cats are getting desperate for food. In Orange county a man was killed and another woman knocked off her bike and nearly dragged away before her friend interceded. Several years ago a woman was killed on a hiking trail about 3 miles from us.

I gotta admit that lately, when I go for my morning walk, I start to wonder if I'm really alone. On our backpacking trip Catherine got into a tug-of-war with a bear over a sack of food.  I had to use pepper spray to drive the thing off and I'm starting to think I should take similar precautions around here.  On the other hand, if attacked by a cougar, I'm not sure if I'd have the presence of mind to use the spray.



June 4, 1968 Ė Tuesday

I had another fight with my father tonight and things are a bit on edge. First he insulted me and then, when I retaliated, he left the room saying he's going to throw me out if I donít apologize. He can say anything he wants to me but Iím not allowed to defend myself.

Things havenít been going well in this family and I havenít as yet been able to pinpoint the cause. I am grateful to my parents for everything they have done for me but thatís as far as it goes. I honestly donít think I like them and I donít respect them. Many times I am ashamed of the way I act towards them but, for some reason, at the same time, proud of myself.

If only I could get away from this place I think I might be able to work out some of the problems that are bothering me. I canít place it but something is pretty mixed up in my mind.

Itís after 12 and Barry woke me up to tell me that Robert Kennedy has been shot. Iíve been watching the news and theyíve taken him to the hospital.

June 6, 1968 - Thurs

On Wednesday Robert Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angelis.  In a way I've been more effected by his death than that of his brother. I suppose because lately I've spent a great deal of time watching him and the campaign.

In the past year I've had the growing feeling that the United States is in great need of a new and young leader. At the moment America is in bad shape and I believe Kennedy was the type of man who could have done something. I liked him as a person and actually, he was the only man I can think of that I liked and respected.

I stayed up all Tuesday night and morning watching TV and before he died I even went to church to say a prayer. I seem to be the only one at school who has been effected in any way.  Most people seem unconcerned.

I felt a little silly going to church especially since I don't really believe in god any more. Of course the station wagon just happened to break down in the church parking lot and I had to find Bill and ask him to help me give it a push. He started asking questions about why I was parked there and I made up some "cock and bull" story that he didn't believe. What a fiasco and as it turned out, my prayer didn't do any good anyway.

These last few days have caused me to examine my conscience and myself more closely. I don't like what I see and I hope time and experience will change me into someone I'm not ashamed of.

School is over tomorrow and a great day for me. I don't expect to work full time at the vet hospital and I'm going to put more effort into trying to understand myself.

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