Of even less interest to the average reader.

In the Venn Diagram of topics this musist muses about, this muse is certainly destined to reside in the Whhhaaattt? domain.

So.This one (muse) is, at it's core, an enabler for updating SWITBO. But I'll try to catch everyone up and make it entertaining where possible.

Cables. Managed.

She won't care about this, but I just know there are those out there judging me for the thrown together nature of the new cistern level measuring system. So I cleaned it up.

Cat Habitat.

We have a couple of cats of type plain-ole and color black. The cats have here-to-fore not been in residence at the Quail Manor. If you know anything about cats, you know they poop and pee. Some do it outside. Ours prefer the comforts of fresh litter in an environmentally controlled residence.

During the design and construction of the Quail Manor we included a vent in what I thought would eventually become the cat bathroom. Turns out I was mistaken. We've been through many many redesign iterations before arriving at ...wait for it... the Cat Habitat and Retreat. Has some spa qualities as well, so the name may be revisited.

We have 800 square feet, technically 813, but 800 is close enough. Absent the aforementioned ventilated closet, there is just no place else to put the cat crapper. Could set it by the front door, but just a little too barrio. Wait. We do have a couple of feet in the garage next to the car, and a common wall between the garage and living room. The cats hang-out in the kitchen garden window, when they are not basking under the artificial sunlight in SWITBO's basement greenhouse. What if we put a garden window in the garage and put the crapper in there???

So, here's the general design CtC will be executing. Think garden window supersized, with a litter box.


As "Splenda" (frequent readers may recall that was my dad's code name when he visited during our Germany project, I was Sweets) says, "Heaven will be a disappointment to those cats." Technically. If you've ever lived with a cat. Everything is a disappointment.

Here are some shots of the Habitat Retreat mocked up in the actual garage. We have stock in blue tape. Few glimpses in there of the new screen doors.

Getting in and out of the back seat of the car will be doable, but not for the inflexible.


We've had these brass looking light fixtures for at least the entire time we have been married. I suspect at one time they were gas lamps, then converted to electric lights. Never had a good way to mount them. And, they're not just a little outside of our normal design pallet. 

Well. We're in the barrio now! We're going old school and turning them into candle stands. We brought 'em down and to get them out of the way I stuck them in the dirt. We kind of liked it. So, got some pots and some sand, stuck 'em in. Boom. Pergola mood lighting. Here are some shots in situ with a demonstration 3" X 4" demonstration candle. I am informed it is an absolutely unacceptable color, but I found it in a drawer and was curious...

Good Stuff.

We have a rainwater harvesting gauge. We have had rain events. We have analysis. Not engineers, read or don't read, but no complaining. I just put in pictures of freaking candles, give me a break!

Frequent readers may recall a long dissertation that remains in Current Conditions . Net net, the amount of water we collect off the roof is a function of the intensity of the rain event. More intense event, more water collected. 

Your musist did some analysis and inferred a low intensity collection coefficient. Based on the spotty data collected when were actually here and could measure, the actual water collected is a little better than the Average of intense and less intense. I could recompute a coefficient, but a little better than predicted by Average is good enough for this engineer and the precision of this analysis.

So now I have a gauge. The markings must be calibrated. To Google Sheets for some analysis. Who could see that coming?

Between Full and Empty on the gauge, there are 4 major marks. I'll call those Major Marks. Each Major Mark is 25% of capacity. Beautiful. Between each Major Mark are 4 minor marks, which actually means there are 5 increments, the 5th increment being another Major Mark. So each minor mark is 20% of a quarter cistern capacity. 

In the dissertation I computed tank capacity in gallons, inches, and gallons/inch. Then I related all that to the marks on the gauge. Here is a link to the resulting spreadsheet that with Peggy's actual rain measurement, I will maintain, if I remember, so in the future we can do charts and graphs with seasonal analysis.

Doing the math, that says each Major Mark on the gauge is good for about 590 gallons or 17 inches of water. Each Minor Mark is good for about 120 gallons or 4 inches of water. If you're reading this, you might actually be an engineer or at least capable of performing mathematical reasonableness tests. I know I just said each Minor Mark is 20% of a Major Mark so 5 times a Minor Mark should equal a Major Mark. Do the math and my numbers don't tie. But. I did some rounding so the per Mark numbers did not seem ridiculously precise (we are measuring with what amounts to a string and a hose here!). So, the numbers are close to tieing, but not exactly.

What this tells us, and that I have cross-correlated between the mathematics, the gauge, and the open a hose and raise it up to the level where water stops coming out technique; the math works and the gauge - accepting the fact the needle is fat and the camera is cheep so a little imprecise to read - is pretty accurate. Brings me joy.