10 votes

What did you do this week?

As part of a weekly series, these topics are a place for users to casually discuss the things they did — or didn't do — during their week. Did you accomplish any goals? Suffer a failure? Do nothing at all? Tell us about it!

14 comments

  1. [6]
    Atvelonis
    Link
    I've been periodically going into the woods by my house and picking up all the garbage that has accumulated there over the past however many years. It's mostly bottles, cans, plastic bags, and...

    I've been periodically going into the woods by my house and picking up all the garbage that has accumulated there over the past however many years. It's mostly bottles, cans, plastic bags, and food wrappers, but there's a lot of weirder junk too. Paint rollers, shopping carts, pots, milk crates, bongs, toys, jumbled piles of cable, china, tires, buckets, an entire Jeep (I'm not sure how I'm going to get that one out), shoes, fragments of old playground equipment, and random disfigured pieces of metal and plastic, among other things. I have no clue how most of this stuff got where it is.

    So far I'm at seven full 55-gallon contractor bags, several of which were filled with litter from a part of the trail that I originally thought didn't have any trash lying around. It's honestly shocking how much garbage there is in little stretches of woods like these, and how oblivious most people are to it (myself included). I'd like to think that I've gotten pretty good at spotting reflective or off-color materials hidden among the leaves, even from a sizable distance away, but a lot of the time I completely miss multiple items scattered around me until I'm basically right on top of them. Every time I leave the house I think I'm going to be completely finished, and by the time I get there I realize that I have weeks' worth of cleanup left.

    I also found a tortoise hanging out by a random log the other day. I didn't even know they lived around here!

    10 votes
    1. [5]
      krg
      Link Parent
      Cool project! Are you going about it systematically or somewhat haphazardly? You're like an archaeologist of the present.

      Cool project! Are you going about it systematically or somewhat haphazardly?

      You're like an archaeologist of the present.

      5 votes
      1. Atvelonis
        Link Parent
        Hah, that's a funny way of putting it. I'm going about it as systematically as I can without a metal detector, I suppose. I've done some work in this area before, so I'm familiar with the...

        Hah, that's a funny way of putting it. I'm going about it as systematically as I can without a metal detector, I suppose. I've done some work in this area before, so I'm familiar with the geography and where trash is more likely to accumulate. Every day I go out, I focus on a particular area, and once it's free from everything I can see, I go in a little deeper and repeat the process. Sometimes I run into neighbors walking their dogs or letting their kids loose. Apparently some of them have started to do the same thing once in a while!

        5 votes
      2. [3]
        precise
        Link Parent
        So I do a lot of work with federal land management agencies including the National Park Service. It's NPS policy that if trash we intend to pick up looks older than 50 years old, we can not touch...

        So I do a lot of work with federal land management agencies including the National Park Service. It's NPS policy that if trash we intend to pick up looks older than 50 years old, we can not touch it. We mark it down in a GIS system and the NPS has archaeologists on staff that go look at the artifact to see if it is indeed historical. It's normally not that big of a deal at older parks, but artifacts are found every once in a while.

        My coolest find was on an invasive species project, I actually can't say where per policy because scavengers and collectors will go and steal artifacts from federal and native lands if they got wind. It was a large rock about the size of a melon that was hollowed into a bowl shape with a 1" or so notch along a part of the rim to form a pour spout. It was clearly man made, but we aren't sure what it was for. It was also accompanied by some stone steps about 8"x2', buried in the ground in a spiral pattern at the top of a hill. It was kind of an oddity because the native tribes in the area weren't known for stone workings according to our agency liaison, but I never got to talk to their archaeologist on staff.

        On a cabin restoration project we found a ton of late 1800's artifacts that if you weren't paying attention you'd probably think were trash. All stuff that was left in the cabins and just reclaimed into the ground over time. Porcelain, glass bottles, tools, even some early 1900's wallpaper. It really is cool (and saddening) to think of all the trash we generate and how someday it will be used to decipher the daily lives and cultural aspects of our species.

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          Atvelonis
          Link Parent
          That's interesting! Is the GIS you use public? Could I add potential artifacts to it if I find any, like geocaches? I'm not really sure how old most of this stuff is, but I've found a couple of...

          That's interesting! Is the GIS you use public? Could I add potential artifacts to it if I find any, like geocaches? I'm not really sure how old most of this stuff is, but I've found a couple of sort of retro items here and there, like an old Coke bottle (although I don't know enough about their history to date it precisely). Would be pretty neat if something I found turned out to have some historical value.

          2 votes
          1. precise
            Link Parent
            Unfortunately it is not public, I appreciate the sentiment though. If you do find something that you believe is of historical value, perhaps call your local historical society and see if they'd be...

            Unfortunately it is not public, I appreciate the sentiment though. If you do find something that you believe is of historical value, perhaps call your local historical society and see if they'd be interested? Maybe if you have an archaeology club in your area they'd want to take a look as well? I'm sure those types of associations could also guide you on what to look out for, what has been found in your area, etc. Also, if you ever find something like this on public lands, please call the respective agency. NPS, USFS, BLM and BIA all have archaeological elements to their agencies I believe.

            2 votes
  2. krg
    Link
    I finally got through to EDD and fixed an issue with my unemployment claim (Only took over 200 phone calls and a couple hours on hold.). Should finally be getting paid soon. Weight off my...

    I finally got through to EDD and fixed an issue with my unemployment claim (Only took over 200 phone calls and a couple hours on hold.). Should finally be getting paid soon. Weight off my shoulders, for sure.

    Otherwise, maintainin'. 😎

    6 votes
  3. [3]
    Staross
    Link
    Finished a project that kept me busy (if not obsessed) in the last few weeks on Monday, spent the rest of the week depressed with nothing to do. I need to find another project that motivates me,...

    Finished a project that kept me busy (if not obsessed) in the last few weeks on Monday, spent the rest of the week depressed with nothing to do. I need to find another project that motivates me, or I'll go insane.

    6 votes
  4. Amarok
    Link
    Refurbished the well. Our old jet pump (from 1962) was finally at the end of its life, and the hoses between the house and wellhead had perforated due to old age, being buried without proper...

    Refurbished the well. Our old jet pump (from 1962) was finally at the end of its life, and the hoses between the house and wellhead had perforated due to old age, being buried without proper gravel packing, and an invasion of roots over the years chasing the water.

    We dug it up figuring that out, called the pros to get a new submersible pump and water tank installed. They just finished ten minutes ago. If the submersible pump lasts even half as long as the old jet system I'll be happy. There goes my stimulus check.

    I have some bushes to kill. Their roots are getting far too close to the water and sewer lines for my liking, thick as your thumb. Digging that thing up by hand was a major pain in the ass, four feet down, all clay soil with a shit-ton of slate and other stones larger than the shovel head.

    Hard part's over at least.

    4 votes
  5. hungariantoast
    Link
    I did not mention it in the last topic, but this past weekend I decided to be part of the problem and went off-roading with friends at an ATV park. Aside from the ever-present risk of infection,...

    I did not mention it in the last topic, but this past weekend I decided to be part of the problem and went off-roading with friends at an ATV park.

    Aside from the ever-present risk of infection, it was a lot of fun.

    However, I did flip the ATV over that I was riding, as well as bend one of its tie rods. It's not my ATV, and my friend assured me it was no big deal (and really, it wasn't, tie rods are cheap and ATVs are meant for thrashing), but I still felt bad about it.

    So the day after we got back from riding, I started looking for my own ATV, something I have been wanting to buy for a long time.

    And boy, did I find one.

    I have an uncle who lives in Louisiana, but works in Texas. His brother-in-law, also in Louisiana, has two non-running ATVs. He sold them to me for $1,000.

    That's $500 each. In Texas? Even though they don't run, that's fucking insanely cheap.

    Oh, and my uncle is going to deliver them to me on Monday. I don't even have to get a trailer, make the trip to Louisiana, and get them myself.

    I'm ecstatic.

    Normally I would never buy something like this sight unseen, but I trust my uncle and his brother-in-law not to screw me over. The history of the ATVs is also clean. They were both bought brand new, and basically left to sit inside his garage, because his sons never rode them.

    So Monday, my father and I are going to start tearing into them once my uncle arrives. The plan is to get them both fixed and running by next weekend, and take them riding somewhere near Houston. I've already ordered a bunch of parts. Thankfully, my parents agreed to let me keep them in their garage. My father doesn't know it yet, he thinks I am going to sell one of them and recoup my money, but one of those ATVs is actually his Father's Day gift.

    4 votes
  6. mftrhu
    (edited )
    Link
    Really not much. I am getting depressed, again, so the salient points of this week pretty much boil down to "did things I really should have done earlier": I... washed a week's worth of dishes...

    Really not much. I am getting depressed, again, so the salient points of this week pretty much boil down to "did things I really should have done earlier": I...

    • washed a week's worth of dishes (and they are already piling back up);
    • discovered that rotten potatoes have an awful smell (I thought they lasted longer than a couple of weeks, and I was swiftly disabused of this notion);
    • mopped up a month's worth of dust (this is at least going to last for longer);
    • finally sent my notes to my colleague (after I sat on 95% of them for ~a week because I kept on putting emailing him off), who seemed to appreciate my work;
    • forked over about €800 to start the whole name change process (but this isn't even half of what I'll need to spend);
    • had my first therapy appointment in more than three years (but it's for a psychiatric evaluation I will need to convince the judge to let me go ahead without surgery), while somehow managing to come off as deliberately hostile;
    • kept on putting off pinging my endocrinologist because I haven't heard anything from him in a year;
    • started keeping a physical journal just to put my new pens to use;
    • finished getting up-to-date on The Wandering Inn, and picked up A Practical Guide To Evil;
    • cursed the daystar for not showing mercy while I stood in line for half an hour outside the nearby LIDL;
    • and slept badly.
    4 votes
  7. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I subtly removed myself from a make-work project at work because I don't see how I'm adding value. Does that count? :) We had the second weekly session of our resurrected boardgames group -...

    I subtly removed myself from a make-work project at work because I don't see how I'm adding value. Does that count? :)

    We had the second weekly session of our resurrected boardgames group - online. It's fun!

    I completed another jigsaw puzzle, and have started a new one which is going to be extremely difficult.

    Life in isolation is pretty routine, even boring.

    1 vote