Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Rain, Weights, Flowers and Snakes


I don't know how it happened, but this entire storm system missed Eaton Rapids

As-of July 26 we had 12.4" of rain during the growing season vs. an evaporation potential of 16.7". That left us with a deficit of 4.3" of water that plants had to mine out of the soil.

As-of today, we had 14.1" of rain and 21" of evaporation potential for a deficit of just about seven inches that had to be made up out of the soil profile or supplied by irrigation.

If you know a little bit about plants, you know that they have strategies to avoid transpiring moisture. Unfortunately, those strategies also shut down productive photosynthesis.

As most old-time gardeners will tell you, weeds steal moisture. The cheapest way to water your garden is to control weeds and to plant the individual plants far enough apart that they have sufficiently large "block of soil" 

to mine moisture from.

We could use a good rain.


Belladonna likes lifting weights and she really misses going to the gym.

I need to lift weights because once every seven weeks I stay overnight with my mom and she needs to be physically moved to get her out of bed.

I suggested buying a set of weights. It is for our health, right?

Bella demurred. "Too much money."

I asked her "If you could only have a single weight, what would you pick?"

"That is easy" Bella said. "Get me something between 120 and 145. I can use that for deadlifts, squats and benchpressing." Bella is stronger than the average girl, even for Eaton Rapids.

Concrete comes in sixty pound bags. A gallon of water weighs eight pounds. A six-foot length of black, iron pipe weighs about two pounds. Total weight somewhere between 135 and 140 pounds.

Sadly, without a rack it is tough to do benchpresses and squats, however dead-lifts and jerks are still an option.


As fabricated, the bar was too close to the ground.

Ideally, the bar is about mid-shin height. If it is too low you cannot get your foot under it and you start your lift with the weight farther away from your body which is hard on one's back.

Bella gave me a homework assignment, get the bar higher in the air.

As you can see, no expense was spared.

"Too high" SWMBO Jr said.

11" from the ground to the center-of-the-bar

Pro-tip, lift your toes off the ground when dead-lifting. That mitigates against having the weight too far forward and minimizes the chances of you throwing out your back.

I am taking it slow with this bar with five reps per set. I want to sneak up on where I should be for reps.

Flowers of late Summer


Close-up of flower to give a sense of its size.

Milk snake

A baby milk snake. All reptiles like to sun themselves in the cool of the morning. A car got this one. Pretty snake.


  1. Where did you get the "evaporation potential " numbers? I never heard of that before. That would be a very handy thing to have. That has been a big problem here this summer. Hotter than normal and far windier so I mulched heavily between the rows to keep some moisture in the ground. It helped a lot but still..... Thanks ---ken

  2. I second the motion. Where is 'evaporation potential' derived from?

  3. Craigslist is your friend for cheap workout equip...

    Asking.... ain't always getting - make an offer...

  4. I agree - there are lots of used weights available; if you look you can find them quite reasonably. In the past I've even seen them free at the end of driveways.

    1. Covid dried up the supply around here. Big Retch still has the gyms closed. I have been watching Craigslist and they are running $1 a pound for just the plates.

  5. Probably saved yourself $100 or more with the DIY weights.

  6. Kettlebells are also a good option for the price savvy lifter. They pack a punch way above their weight class and can be had for relatively little expense.

    Too, all the strength in the world can be made more useful with better mobility. Just steer clear of the "cult-lebell" folks and they're pretty handy.