Use of the Forest

Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Interwebs back on.

After a complete fall-through-the-cracks yesterday with AT&T, a repairman came out this morning and diagnosed the problem as... the old DSL modem finally dying. Nothing with the major rain that happened. Nothing with wires somewhere underground between the house and the road.

So now I have a lovely new modem pumping out lovely interwebs.

Of course, I'm not terribly enthused with the level of service on AT&T's part yesterday: the repair guy apparently just returned the work order to the pool without even coming into Saginaw Forest to diagnose the problem, then I had to explain the situation (as I was experiencing it) three times to different AT&T people at various call centers around the US... Oh, well... At least it got done in the end.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Heavy rains knock out my interwebs connection

The heavy (heavy) rains yesterday knocked out my internet connections. After holding on the line with AT&T for 40 minutes (thank heavens for speaker-phone), I was told that they would be able to send a crew out between the hours of 8AM and 5PM (!) this Friday.

The rain didn't only knock out the internet, but it also clogged the recently installed drain along the road, thus washing sand and silt along the bend in the road. Had to dig out some of that sand last night, with humidity and mosquitoes. Not terribly fun...

The graph to the right is from the USGS river gage on the Huron River. Although the site is below two control dams, large rain events still do make an impact, and you can see that (even if part of the increase was due to dam releases in anticipation of the storm) water levels did increase dramatically during a short period yesterday afternoon (from roughly 820 cfs to roughly 1400 cfs).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dealing with an annoying person

I just had to deal with a dog-walker with his dog off-leash, in the forest after close... I make my rounds on my bike as usual, partly to minimize the amount of mosquito bites that I have to suffer on a round, and partly because I want to be able to maximize the number of possible people that I would intercept. Since these rounds are part of my duties of the caretaker, they are exempt from the ban on bicycling in the forest (just as clearing trees from the trails is exempt from the ban on cutting wood).

Anyway, I approach the man and inform him that he needs to put his dog on a leash. He moves toward his dog, but doesn't leash it, instead challenging me as to who I was. I informed him that I was the caretaker, and that he was also inside the forest after it was closed. Instead of riding off, I waited for him to put his dog on the leash, which he eventually did, but without more challenges to my asking him to follow the rules -- "it's also against the rules to ride bikes in Saginaw Forest." I informed him that I was making rounds. "Where is that written? Where can I find that?" Just a little touchy, he was.

I followed him along the west trail toward the north. He was not happy that I was doing so, and informed me that I wasn't intimidating him, and that it looked to him that I was giving Marvin a run for his money. I was trying to do neither. Of course, I could have gone ahead. However, when faced with a person who knowingly breaks the rules of conduct, challenges a person who asks him to follow the rules, challenges the caretaker's right to ask him to follow the rules, and accusing the caretaker of trying to intimidate him, I was not exactly sanguine.

He informed me that he had lived in this nice little city ("When it was a nice little city") for forty years and that caretakers will come and go, but that he will continue to stay. I have no problem with that. However, if someone who knowingly breaks the rules gets angry with another person telling them to follow the rules, that level of presumed privilege is something that just grates on my nerves; to get angry with the person who is tasked with upholding the rules is just counter-intuitive.

Tonight's man wasn't the first person that I've had to deal with. The rules are clearly posted, and tell people what is and isn't allowed. These people know the rules (either from years of experience or from just being told what the rules are by the caretaker), yet some get angry that the rules are being enforced on them. My opinion is that if you consciously know that you are breaking the rules, you have no reasonable right to get upset when enforcement happens.

No, I'm not angry. Yes, I am not happy.

Sound of Rain

I awake to the sound of rain outside; don't know when it started. Checking weather underground (, I see that it should last only a few more hours.

The dehumidifier's running though, so there's gonna be some more water to pour out soon.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pulling dandelions

I hate pulling dandelions. Still, though, I pulled a bunch of them from in front of the cabin. I'll pull more tomorrow, and also do some lawn-mowing.


Lightning storm tonight with lots of rain.  It looks like there is a small leak along the chimney... I'll have to e-mail Nahariya on Monday.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Misty morning

This morning, I was heading out to Great Lakes Cycle & Fitness in order to partake in the National Cycle to Work Day. On my way out of the house, I looked out across to the lake, and saw dew on the grass and mist on the lake; the rising sun -- still screened by the trees -- highlighting the misty lake.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New dehumidifier

Ann Arbor during the summer is normally quite humid. Living in a forest during an Ann Arbor summer is likely even more humid (trees breathe too, you know). When I moved in to the cabin in January, there was an old Samsung dehumidifier the previous caretakers used. However, after plugging it in this time, I realized after a few days of it running that -- for some reason -- it leaked half (or more) of the water it collected all over the carpeting. To that end, I purchased a new Westpointe 50-pint dehumidifier at Stadium Hardware this past Sunday. After letting it run (it has an automatic humidity control) since Monday morning, I poured out about 30 pints after coming home this evening! That's about 8 pints per day!

I think that I'll be letting that puppy continue to run -- it can only help with the maintenance of the building. (And it's much quieter -- and supposedly less energy-intensive -- than the Samsung.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

Damnable galic mustard

 The garlic mustard keeps growing and growing, even after you pull them... (Well, if one crushes the flowers, they don't seem to continue to reach for the skies...) Today I pulled a lot of garlic mustard and burned it in the fire pit. Although rather cathartic, there is acres of the stuff left. Luckily, though, it does cook to ash quite nicely.