Dad never wanted a swimming pool. He didn't want it because, he said, the effort required to maintain it was herculean, always having to skim and treat and test and so on; and you had to have a fence around it, and-and-and. He bought the sailboat in 1977 and said that if we wanted to go swimming, we could do it in Lake Michigan.
We bought it last night at Target for the princely sum of $75. It is not a large swimming pool: 10 feet in diameter, 29 inches deep. As I said, it's not big, but it came with a pump and filter and we'll have to deal with chemicals and such.
My neighbors to the south, they have a small pool--bigger than this one--that they set up every year. They didn't set it up this year, but neither do they have fencing or anything else. For small, temporary pools, the Fungal Vale does not require them.
I got out of bed at 8:30 this morning (after being up until 5 AM working on Apocalyptic Visions, more on that in a moment) and started setting the thing up. Considering that I have never, never, ever set up a pool in my life, I did not do too badly. The only thing I would do different would have been to set it up a little closer to the center of the yard; the place I selected is not as level as it appeared. Hindsight, 20/20, blah blah blah. So it looks a little lopsided.
I had to get out my weed whacker and whack back the foliage near the front spigot. You know, if I ever end up owning this place, I'm going to get that back yard spigot fixed. Supposedly it was leaking or draining or something into the crawl space and Dad never had it fixed, and for about thirty-five years we've been using the front spigot, a hose run around the south side of the house to the back patio which is--to say the least--damned inconvenient. (I don't know how it can be draining into the crawlspace only when turned on. As far as I know there is no inside valve shutting that one off.)
Whacked back the foliage and turned on the water. I don't know what time it was when I started filling the thing. The manual for this pool consists of about ten pages, and of them, four of them are a parts list and another four are lawyer repellent, warnings about diving and jumping and drowning and-and-and. In fact, actual setup and filling instructions? About page and a half.
Nothing about chemicals or anything. Nothing about assembling the pump hoses or anything; there's a diagram, but that's it. For someone like me, the diagram is sufficient, but what about the poor schmoes who don't even know "righty-tighty"?
Got the patio umbrella out, then sat at the table out there in the shade and kept an eye on the pool as it filled. It was finished filling at noon; I turned on the pump and got the air out of the lines, shut off the water and reeled up the hose. It doesn't look as nice as the picture because--as I said--the place I put it wasn't as level as I thought it was, but the important thing here is that Mrs. Fungus and I will be able to go immerse ourselves in cool water approximately whenever we want.
So that's our next great adventure: learning how to maintain a swimming pool. This one's small and cheap enough that if it doesn't work out, we haven't broken the bank; we can always get a larger one later if it turns out to be less trouble than Dad always said it was.
I'm surprised it took so little time to fill. Then again--small pool. From going outside at 8:30 AM to finished filling, 3.5 hours. A typical garden hose can do 6 gallons a minute, so figure six gallons time 180 minutes and you've got a sizable pond to swim in, and in fact wide open I'd bet a garden hose does more than 6 GPM. But at 6 GPM, three hours is a thousand gallons, more or less.
I sweated enough that I suspect I could have stood in the thing and filled it that way. Makes me want to go outside right now and get into it--but I'll wait until my wife gets home from work to try it.
Not looking forward to that water bill, though. Heh.
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As for AV--last night I decided I'd try adding to it, and--lo and behold!--I managed to finish the entirety of the ground war in eight pages. It may need some work--it is a bit weak in spots--but it's good enough for a rough draft. I had not wanted, nor had I planned, to make it a very big part of the story; eight pages is more than enough considering the political situation, and how I resolved it such that the folks who came to Earth to depose the tyrant had to leave posthaste, before they could establish some kind of temporary government, leaving behind a smoking crater and a military junta where a functioning (albiet soon to be totalitarian) government used to be. (Slight exaggeration.)
Because the theme of this part of the story is "decline and fall" we're treated to a view of the American Army as a regional militia under the auspices of the larger government. The Army is now a shadow of its former self. An army with no enemies becomes a sinecure; it's like like serving in the Coast Guard in the Vietnam era: you don't get shot at very often, and although your military discipline and esprit de corps may be top-notch, you're just not going to be very much help in an all-out shooting war, where the other side also has large-bore weapons with explosive shells and the willingness to use them.
...but I've now set the stage to move the action off Earth entirely. Part one was called "The Terran Empire"; part two is called "The Colonial War". It's going to contain space war number two, and we're off to the races!
* * *
Leftists want Republicans to follow rules they themselves refuse to follow. "No normal is the new normal and there is no clear way back from that."
The left, as the article says, "let its freak flag fly", and now Trump is just using the same playbook.
The article that Vox Day links exhorts the right-wing not to use the left's tactics, but I think we need to use them twice as hard as the left does. The left is the why we're where we're at; let them reap the whirlwind they have sowed.
* * *
Anyway, a bit more than three hours of sleep, followed by physical labor on a hot, humid July morning--I think I'm going to go take a nap.