Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Pacific Crest Trail slideshow Dec. 8

Please join us for the first public showing of our 2008 Pacific Crest Trail slideshow.  If you were curious about what we were doing all summer, have questions about long-distance backpacking, or just want to see some pretty pictures of the American West, come on down.  This event is free and open to all!

When:  Monday December 8th   6:30pm
Where: downstairs meeting room Joel Valdez Library (map)
Cost:   FREE

Sunday, November 23, 2008

El Tour de Tucson

Another succesful El Tour!  This was my third El Tour and second time riding with El Grupo, the youth cycling club I help to coach.  We rode all 109 miles in 6:46.  While this time was slower than our time last year, we have a completely new crew of riders most of whom new to cycling.  I seriously expected our team to take about eight hours to finish so obviously we did great.  No flats, no accidents, no complaints - just 8 kids riding with their hearts.  We also managed a quick "Happy Birthday" to my mom who cheered us on at mile 68!  This last photo is of the incredible celebration breakfast that my beautiful wife prepared for me.

I'd like to give a big shout out to my neighber and friend Mike Dean who could not ride El Tour this year due to the fact that he is in Iraq for the FOURTH time.  He was going to try to ride "El Tour" around the Army base but couldn't due to security concerns.  You are in our thoughts Mike!  See you next year!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Rainwater harvesting!

Today we had our new rainwater harvesting system installed.  You can see the before and after shots above.  First, we had the support wall built (second photo).  This wall was actually less for support than to raise the tank high enough to use gravity to water our raised planters.  The tank itself holds 250 gallons (and weighs one ton when full!).  It is a special tank from Australia that has a slim profile (look closely: it is not circular) which suits our tiny courtyard well - total footprint is 10 s.f.  The roof area that drains in to the tank is 468 s.f. and will fill the tank in a 1" rainfall.  In theory, we get enough rainfall each year to fill the tank about 11 times but this assumes that we completely empty the tank between each rain.  The black pipe in the corner is the overflow pipe that will drain any excess rainfall to the street (which is where ALL of our current rainwater ends up).  This system is essentially just a fancy bucket put under our downspouts - a brilliant concept in the desert!  Now we're just praying for rain...

Friday, November 14, 2008

All Souls Party

It was a looong haul this year but the party was a raging success (emphasis on RAGING)!  We must have had at least 200 people over the course of the night.  We polished off three of my 5-gallon kegs of homebrew and one from Barrio (thanks Ian!).  Only God knows how many calories of amazing food were consumed.  No major damage to report.  Thanks to all who came and helped to make this biggest and best All Souls party yet!