Saturday, October 23, 2004


As getters of our water from the mountain stream, a number of us who live up here gathered together this afternoon to repair the typhoon damage to the streambed setup we'd previously had for the pipe intake that feeds the tanks we use. Seems we do this every year at about this time, after nature by its very nature once again proves the folly of our previous attempt to stem the tide.

Echo and I had walked up to the site yesterday and seen that stream-rolled rocks had shattered the top of the box that housed the screened inlet, and when today at the appointed hour I went up there with my pick and shovel and high boots, I saw that someone of water-familiar genius had designed and crafted an even more complex and sturdy box of strong wood, with handles, hinges, sliding doors and stainless steel. Finely dovetailed with precisely moving and tightly fitted parts, it was very impressive to a mere wordsmith like myself.

The half dozen of us who were there then proceeded to rearrange the streambed so that it would comfortably accommodate this device that was worthy of launching as part of a satellite, but would instead be anchored in a forest stream, where it would lie as oddly in place as an alien spacecraft, sending water back to the home planet. Streams, busy channeling irresistible powers of nature day and night, are by their own very nature not user friendly. They do not respect fingers, nor to they go along with footsteps, nor respect the tops of boots, especially when you walk about in their beds and move their rocks around attempting to impose a fixed and unnatural shape in mid fluency. Add to that the random use of shovels, picks, sledgehammers and crowbars, all by folks working on different parts of the vague overall plan (with no crew boss) in such narrow and slippery confines, and you have a situation of much potential hazard.

However, we all survived pretty much unscathed, though just to preserve appearances I did manage to insert a finger between a stake and a sledgehammer for the necessary millisecond. And when we had finished, we were all pleased at how nicely the stream had been... streamlined. It is working even now to change all that.

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