Someone Stole Gas From My Truck In My Driveway

tire tracks from gas theifs

There’s no better way to feel violated than to have someone steal something of yours from your own home. Even if it’s a few gallons of gas.

This morning I walked out to my truck to when leaving for work and saw my gas door and cap off of my truck. My first thought was “that’s not suppose to be like that”. Then I started to realize that someone stole the gas and I started to panic a little while I wondered what else they did, did they try to break into my house too?

The snow we had the night before was a big help since they left tire and foot tracks all over and it was easy to determine exactly where they had been. Thankfully all they did was take gas and they didn’t take much as a gas can only holds a few gallons of gas. They even left marks in the snow from the hose and the gas can.

hose and gas can marks left from gas theifs

It was suggested on Twitter that I check if they drilled my tank, which happened a few months ago in Rio Rancho. Thankfully they did not drill a hole in my tank.

Finally, I used the Rio Rancho Police Department’s online crime reporting form and left for work. In case the perpetrators are reading this, I have made some security related updates in case of a next time.


Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser Review

Cloth and paper towels have their uses in my kitchen. Paper towels are difficult to use because I often get too much or two little towel, or I make make a mess of the whole roll of paper towel. I have been looking at automatic dispensers and found one that I like.

One of the paper towel dispensers I considered was the enMotion Automated Motion-Activated Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser that has become common in commercial settings in the last few years, including where I work. I’ve had a chance to check them out pretty good and even if I was to ignore it’s looks, I find that the enMotion doesn’t consistently detect a hand in front of the sensor requiring multiple swipes in front the of the sensor for it to work properly.

Several years go the iTouchless Towel-Matic Automatic Sensor Paper Towel Dispenser and a more recent Towel-Matic II Came out that would be more approprate for my kitchen. Neither one has had good reviews with issues about sensing hands and how it dispenses individual towels.

Recently the Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser came out and seems to address the problems with the other paper towel dispensers.

Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Dispenser Installed In My Kitchen
Clean Cut Touchless paper towel dispenser installed in my kitchen, which is sort of under construction.

Where the enMotion and iTouchless employ a sensor which expects a hand to placed in front of it in a certian place, the Clean Cut employes a break the beam set up. Where the hand must be placed between the sensor and the beam emmiter. This is big advantage for the Clean Cut since it is easy to determine where to put your hand to activate the dispenseor and there’s no guess like the other dispensers.

The Clean Cut does not try to detect where the paper towel perforations are. It has one sensor to dispense the paper towel and another to deploy the cutter. You can make towels however long you want, but it can hold the towels enough that you can reach down and tear off a piece at the perforations if they are exposed. I found myself doing this at first until I got used to using the cutter.

Clean Cut Touchiness Paper Towel Dispenser Open For Loading
Clean Cut Touchiness Paper Towel Dispenser Open For Loading

The Clean Cut has one mounting option, it mounts horizontally under a cabinet. I would have prefered to have a vertical wall mount option. To load a roll of paper towel, there is a latch on the front in the middle. When the latch is operated the unit swings down and and the roll of paper is placed on a bar. I find the operation of the Clean Cut’s loading mechanisms to work very well and I like the design but I think it makes the whole unit bulky.

Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Grippers
Clean Cut Touchless Paper Towel Grippers

The towel gripper and motorized roller can grip any size or texture of paper towel. It takes no effort to load a new paper towel into the gripper, I have set the end of the paper towel into the gripper haphazardly and it still managed to grab a hold of the paper towel and dispense it.

The Clean Cut is powered by a wall transformer. There is not battery powered option. I wish the transformer was built into the device rather than having a brick attacked to the power outlet.

In conclusion I find the Clean Cut Touchless paper towel dispenser to be well designed, easy to use and I have managed not to break it. It does what it’s supposed to, dispense paper towels and is easy to load. It was expensive and the unit is bulkier and doesn’t have a lot of mounting options.

Three Month Update On The Back Yard Solarization Project

Solarization progress

In Mid April I started a Solarization experiment where I use solar heating to kill off everything in the soil of my back yard. So far the results have been mixed.

The weather in Rio Rancho has cycled between days of heat and days of cool with rain. The cool days help to create a greenhouse effect under the plastic that cause plants to grow and the days of heat have killed them off. This is good since it’s easier to kill plants than seeds. Hopefully everything that can sprout has sprouted and died.

Since we haven’t had enough days of heat in a row, I don’t think the ground has really baked deep into the soil. It doesn’t appear it has baked the surface enough to decompose organic matter there.

The cycle of rain and heat appear to be over and we are now we are just getting heat. Parts of dead vegetation with sharp edges along with the prolonged time in the heat has caused some of the plastic to break down and break apart. Of the two sheets I put down one has almost completely broken down. The other sheet of plastic is partly shaded and has held together, it is currently experiencing a greenhouse effect with some plants growing underneath.

All the early summer rain has caused a large amount of goat heads plants (Tribulus terrestris) to sprout outside of the solarization area. I did my best to pick the plants but I had to violate my rule of not using chemicals and apply Roundup to a most of the back yard. My concern with using Roundup is the potential of creating weeds that are resistant to Roundup. Also, Roundup is turning out to be toxic.

This will be one of the few times I used chemicals to control weeds. Depending on how much time I have for the rest of this summer, I will try to apply more plastic to the backyard to take advantage of the late summer heat.

More On Goats For Vegetation Control

A few days ago I wrote about Google using goats to control grass on their property. Techcrunch didn’t seem impressed and was worried about the jobless human mowers.

The city of Mesa, Arizona has used 70 goats for the last 50 months to clear vegetation around a water reclamation plant. They expect to save $10,000 by using goats.

Besides being cost effective, it reduces the use of fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and pesticides. It’s a pollution-free way of ridding the three retention ponds of compromising vegetation, Satter said.

Goats’ bodies break down plants in such a way that they won’t grow back when it becomes waste, making the job more permanent than what a machine can do.

It’s not mentioned how many people it took to mow the grass with machines vs. taking care of goats. I suspect goats are more labor intensive that mowers.

Water Main Break On The News

Some people in a Rio Rancho neighborhood hit by a water main break on Sunday are saying that the city isn’t doing its part to assure that they have clean, drinkable water. “It’s just getting really old,” said Renee Popovich, a homeowner near Rockaway and Pyrite in northeast Rio Rancho. “We’re not getting any support from the city to provide at least drinking water for the residents.” Popovich said that her children had to spend the night with friends so they had water to get ready for school on Monday morning. The break carved out a mini arroyo in front of several homes leaving people unable to back their cars out of their driveways. Rio Rancho officials say that they are aware of the problem and have recently removed asphalt over the water main in preparation for repairing the faulty pipes, which have failed several times in recent months.

The city came and fixed the water main break in front of my house pretty quickly. This break seems much worse than mine which might be part of the problem. Perhaps the city should do a better job of communicating to the residents the problems in fixing this and how long it’s going to take so it doesn’t end up on the news. Just sayin’.

How Not to Get Fired Because of Your Blog

I think this is important because some bloggers just may not get it (regardless of what software you use). Especially the younger types. I don’t talk about my work here. My work photos stay at work. I will often start a blog at work, just as I surf. But only during lunch and break. Unfortunately i have to produce results so i really don’t have a lot of time for this during the day anyways.