Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Coyote Morning

So along about 6 a.m. the dogs and the human are trotting up Sub-Feeder Lane, headed back toward the Funny Farm, when flying around the corner comes — HOLY SH!T — a full-grown coyote moving out at a gallop. Big one, too: probably male. His hackles are standing on end (so, we might add, are mine…). Something’s got him scared. He glances at the human with its jaw hanging open and the extremely interested (and interesting) dwarf dogs but keeps on keepin’ on.

Don’t know what spooked him. On the other side of the corner wall, the only people I could see were Manny’s wife and daughter pushing their dog in a baby stroller (don’t ask). No one could be more unprepossessing.

So that was an interesting start to a soggy day. Water is still dripping off the eaves from last night’s rain. It’s hot, muggy, and wet out there.

The pool dude is supposed to materialize in another hour and a half, by which time I will need to be washed, dressed, and painted, and the pigpen more or less picked up.


The mind (as it were) is about made up: for the new PebbleSheen surfacing job, we should go with the lightest color available that has some sort of irregular mottled-looking pattern. This is most likely to retain its appearance over the product’s 15- to 20-year lifespan. Pool Dude remarked, when asked straight-on, that the coveted darker colors all fade to gray over time. Over, he added, not so much time… Yesterday whilst killing time a-cruisin’ the Web, I came across a chat board inhabited by guys who make their living in the swimming pool biz. One conversation was going on about recoating with PebbleTec and Pebblesheen, which several of the guys had put into their own pools.

{chortle!} God, but I love finding an online chatfest made for guys (and gals) in a trade. You learn so much from their water-cooler yakfests.

So, yeah: all of these products indeed do fade to a pretty uniform gun-metal grey — and it may take just three or four years for that to happen. Several of them posted images of the results…in their own pools. One guy had a chip from the original (black) surfacing job, which he held up against the (faded to chalky slate) side of the pool.

It appears this is mostly caused by precipitation of minerals and pool chemicals out of the water, although sunlight may play some part in it. Around here, you can be sure you get plenty of mineral precipitation: our water is very hard. That’s why, if you have any sense and plenty of money to burn, you should drain and refill your pool at least every two years. Really, it would be ideal to do it every winter, but I don’t like that kind of water waste and so put it off as long as I can.

Like…ahem…four years, just now. This, Pool Dude speculated, might explain the algae issue.

If you could install a couple of water tanks in the backyard that could hold the agèd pool water and allow you to pump it onto your landscaping or use it to wash the car, that would be ideal.

But in the first place, it’s probably illegal. And in the second, it’s unclear to me how you’d pump 18,000 gallons sitting below soil level up into a tank sitting on the surface of the ground.

My water bill this month was $277.

No, not an illusion: that’s almost three hundred bucks! A hundred and twenty-seven dollars over budget.

True, we had an irrigation leak on the front patio, which Gerardo has now fixed. But that zone runs only about 20 minutes…it’s a little hard to believe that would be enough to run up a $300 bill.


Pool Dude just called to cancel today’s get-together. Lhudly sing huzzah! It’s hot, muggy, and stuffy in here, and i gotta say…the LAST thing I feel like doing just this minute is banging around picking up the mess and getting myself washed, combed, & painted. Yay!


This will free up a lost hour or two to return to drafting the over-prescribing book. Yesterday I finally finished a second draft of the chapter on NNT and NNS (number needed to test and number needed to screen), and even managed to throw in outlines for half of the 14 chapters. Today: finish the chapter outlines; recruit someone to read the NNT squib. I’ve already shipped a draft off to The Kid to fix the documentation — when you write that fast and focus so tightly on difficult subject matter, getting the commas, colons, periods and italics right is more than you wish to cope with.

Next: write the proposal cover letter. Run through the NNT chapter again — third, maybe fourth draft. Then put the package together and ship it off to Editor #1.

As soon as it goes into the email, it’s off to the GDU library to track down their database or (preferably) their hard copy of LMP so as to compile a list of another half-dozen university presses that might be inclined to publish the thing.

Actually, I like a list of a dozen potential publishers for a project like this. Back in the Day, I would always have a half-dozen copies of the proposal in circulation: ship off six copies to six editors; then as a rejection comes in, just ship off another one to the next person on the list. This keeps half-a-dozen queries in circulation and cuts the time required to sell the project to a publishing house by several months. (It’s very bad style, BTW: publishers and editors hate you for doing this!).

LOL! Do as I say, not as I do. 😀

At any rate, this time I’m starting with a publishing house that I have some reason to suspect might be interested in the project. Once they reject (which they probably will: they don’t know me from Adam’s off ox), then we’ll start with the proposal-pushing waltz.

A-n-n-d…if any of this grand plan is going to happen, I suppose I’d better get to work…

Author: funny

This post may be a paid guest contribution.

Comments are closed.