On Fri, 12 May 2000 08:05:30 EDT Milo G McConnell writes:


> Les what is a wall of water? A while back you said that you

> couldn't get things growing in cold soil without a wall of water.

> i read somewhere that you could put down black plastic to warm the

> soil and hold moisture. Just cut holes for the plants.


Mike M., Putting plastic on top of dry sand would not hold in any moisture. First, there is no moisture there to be held in. Second, if I watered the sand before putting the plastic down, the water would drain faster than I could pump it. On top of that, the plants would still freeze at night.

A Wall O' Water is a ring of plastic tubes that you put around a plant, then fill the tubes with water. The water absorbs heat during the day and releases it slowly during the night, thus preventing the plant from freezing. The lady who sold these to me said she planted tomatoes in her garden in February.

Mike R., I live on the west side of the Rio Grande, but about 6-1/2 miles northwest of Espanola, so did not have to evacuate. The north-south mountains channel the air along the Rio Grande. The Rio Chama meets the Rio Grande in Espanola and I live near the Rio Chama.

Not to worry. Dan could not call me because I was on the Internet, goofing off, as usual. Also as usual, the news media got everything all wrong. There was no evacuation of Espanola. There was a voluntary evacuation of 500 homes west of the Rio Grande for a few hours because of smoke. That's all it was. People without breathing problems or heart problems did not leave. Those who did leave returned about three hours later.

Most of the National Lab buildings were not damaged by the fire. Some had slight damage. None of them were destroyed. Two trailers that were used as "temporary" offices were burned. There were no releases of radioactive or chemical hazards and there were no explosions. Explosives are stored in bunkers designed to withstand fires, even direct impact of a bazooka, RPG, etc. Plutonium is stored in a building designed to withstand the direct impact of a plane as big as a 747.

Roy Weaver, the U.S. Park Service supervisor who decided to set this fire, is on paid administrative leave. If it had been set by a careless campfire, the campers would be in jail.

Continuous coverage of the Los Alamos fire has been discontinued. It was announced that residents would not be allowed to go back to their homes for one week, except for brief escorted visits to retrieve a few items. They also announced that residents could log onto Yahoo and search for Los Alamos County Government to find out if their houses were still standing. I tried that and found 2,947 matches.

Even though my doctor appointment had been cancelled, I had to drive to town anyway to water Roger Life's garden. The last time I watered it was on Wednesday and he obviously will not be able to water it for a few more days, since he is a fire fighter and has been fighting the Los Alamos fire. He is busy and he is very tired.

The Cloudcroft fire (Scott-Able Fire) is now being called the Sacramento fire, because it started near the small village of Sacramento, New Mexico. Sacramento and Weeds, a nearby village, have been evacuated.

At about 1:30 p.m., Denny & Cherryl (the homeless couple) stopped by on their way from Abiquiu to Espanola to buy groceries. We had a pleasant visit and tried to find out by using the Internet if their home was still standing, with no success. Denny told me that there were quads further up on 45th Street. They left at about 2:40 p.m.

After they left, I made a taco meatloaf and put it in the oven. Then, I thought to log on to http://www.770kob.com, the radio station Web site. That directed me to log onto http://www.lac.losalamos.nm.us where they had a list of "damaged" structures and it did not have Denny & Cherryl's address listed. It did say that the list might not be accurate and to call the Los Alamos police department (where you would get a recorded message that also would not answer your question). Anyway, some of the addresses, which were listed numerically, were:

North Community 2016 45th North Community 2028 45th North Community 2046 45th North Community 2337 45th North Community 2357 45th

Denny & Cherryl live at 2057 45th Street, so their home may have been saved, at least at this time. Hopefully, the fire will not destroy any more homes. When I looked at the mountain at 5:30 this morning, there was no glow in the sky where the fire was. It was 29 degrees and there was no wind.

I am unable to connect to my ISP this morning. That has happened a lot recently.

Roy, the following seems suitable for you.

Sign seen on a plastic surgeon's window: "Come in and pick your nose!"