Joie de Vivre


Today, we headed out to Harford Community College to attend a hedgehog show. Breeders were on hand, as well as owners from as far away as Boston.

On the way, I stopped to photograph this water tower, which I spotted over a year ago when heading to a funeral and then couldn’t find again. I pulled over and took some pictures. There are signs all around this thing that state “ALERT! ALERT! ALERT! – REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY.”  I suppose taking pictures of it counts as suspicious activity, and I know a guy in a truck was watching me. Observing water towers is risky. I escaped without incident.

The show itself was held in a very safe place:

Hedgehogs are great pets. They are nocturnal, so if you work, they sleep during the day and get up at night. They are curious and good with kids. They have a lot of personality, and are delightful oddballs.

I’ve never seen so many hedgehogs in one place.

And, most importantly, here’s our very own Esme, waving goodbye to this post.

Joie de Vivre

Water Main Break

From the “Stuff only Jim is interested in department…”

Breaking News (get it? HA!)!

There was a water main break in Owings Mills today, not far from where I live.  The water is out and I could REALLY use a shower after this morning’s Kung Fu workout. Ahem.

According to ABC news,  the break was located at 3:00PM this afternoon. And, here’s where it gets interesting:

“The leak has drained two water tanks nearby that contained a total of 1.3 million gallons of water. ” source

I bet you are wondering the same thing I was wondering…could those water tanks be the same towers I’ve written about before?

I conducted some exhaustive  research which will surely get me nominated for this year’s Excellence in Blogging Journalism award and conclude that, YES, most likely, my towers ARE the tanks in question.

As I’ve reported in the past, the bigger tower holds 1.5 million gallons of water. So, either both towers were not completely full, or maybe they stopped the leak before they were completely emptied. While I’m on the subject, I’ll also add that the renovation of the big tower is complete. I’ve been looking for a reason to mention it.

Previously, I covered these towers here:

Water Tower Watch, part 1
Water Tower Watch, part 2
Water Tower Watch, conclusion

This excellent post brought to you by Baltimore’s Best Water Tower Blogger,

Jim Doran from


The Secret Guild of Water Tower Engineers

To celebrate the relaunch of this web site (and my new layout), I’m posting pages from a comic I’m working on. I’m drawing it on pages from a water treatment handbook – which I think is very appropriate. As is the water color.

Job Interview Day

Closed Factory


All thumbs



The Baltimore unemployment office

The address for my appointment

Big Blue

Also – I’m submitting these pages for this week’s Illustration Friday prompt, “adapt.” Our man in the story is doing just that, as a lot of people are during this great recession we are having.

Joie de Vivre

Watertower Watch, Conclusion

Today, while running  errands, I noticed the water tower guys are at it again. I decided to go talk with them.


  1. The top of the tower is being replaced, due to some kind of damage
  2. This tower is 120 feet tall, and considered a medium size tower. I was told that there’s one in Chesapeake City that’s 160 feet high
  3. This tower holds 1.5 million gallons of water
  4. One  gallon of water weighs about 8.35 pounds (Roughly,  over 12.5 million lbs/5500+ tons)
  5. There is no internal pipe, but the water flows through the main stem (shown below)
  6. There’s a basement

Long View

Working on the tower

Looking Up


(This is looking up on the inside. Finally – I’ve seen inside the main column)



One of two new cravistans for the tower. There’s a rock in the picture to show scale. It’s bigger than the engine in my car.

This concludes this series in my water tower renovation coverage (see part one and part two).

Joie de Vivre

Watertower Watch, Part 2

Following up on this post, I am happy to report that the water tower engineers are merely doing maintenance on one of the twins. I wasn’t able to get a picture of the far side, but it’s all closed up.

Big Blue

Big Blue

Big Blue

Big Blue

It was a beautiful Saturday day to be on top of a water tower in welding gear.



Hope on Earth