Thursday, May 31, 2007
This is it; the last day of May. And once again time has moved far too fast! I am very much a procrastinator and time is always my enemy.
For a gardener; or this gardener specifically –
On a different note; I couldn’t help but notice the sudden and very much unexpected fall in gasoline prices. Memorial Day prices were right around$3.45 a gallon and today they are down to $3.26…how very odd?
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Wednesday and all is well. After much confusion and the replacement of a few missing pieces of equipment, the pool works again. When we finally contacted the ‘pool guy’, he said, “We don’t use the bottom drain anymore. It’s just another hole in the liner and you don’t need that to make it work. We stopped using those about 5 or 6 years ago. Didn’t I tell you that?” No! He hadn’t told us; although in the back of my mind I was hoping that would be his response. I really didn’t want to empty that pool again.
After getting the good news it didn’t take long to fill the pool to the correct level and get the pool sweep installed; which promptly failed to work because of a missing (heavy) nose wheel. Now where did that go? Probably tossed out with the leaves of last winter. A visit to the pool supply place netted us a new (used) wheel for free and the necessary chemicals to make the pool swimmer friendly. In fact, after mowing the orchard yesterday afternoon, I jumped right in to test it. Ah!
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Any leader of any country who places himself/herself above the law is a dictator.
But, if you’re a world leader and are caught being a ‘dictator’, it’s best to remember these Words of Wisdom from the ‘Great Communicator’ when being questioned… “I don’t remember. Period.”
The wind has stopped for awhile. Yesterday’s breezes weren’t as irritating as they had been in the past week and they really tempered the heat for us. A most comfortable day. The first half of the day was spent in pruning walnut trees and repairing sprinklers; sprinklers I had torn up with my rototiller. The second half? A nap, of course!
I do love this time of the morning. A growing light on the eastern horizon and the trees slowly coming into focus. But, still…I see no bats? And a neighbor noted that he hadn’t heard the resident owls this spring. What’s up with that?
According to all reports I’ve read, the cost of gasoline didn’t stop the Memorial Day crowd from moving about the country over the weekend. I wonder what would happen to travel plans if the price ever hits the levels experienced in London, where gasoline now sells for about $6 a gallon? (I had heard it was $10, obviously an error) And how about the price in
Monday, May 28, 2007
Memorial Day. And this Memorial Day, more than any previous, has my attention as we count the numbers of dead and wounded in
It has been said countless times before this that we should never send our young to fight the wars. They are our future. Send the old and the wise. Then see how long a war lasts.
On a different subject; the arts have struck again. I’m feeling creative. Why does that only happen sporadically and not on demand? Grrr! This episode of creativity started with our visit to Zack and
A little investigating reveals that
I can already see this technique being used on my Karlee project. Along with the pieces of acrylic mirror, of course.
Then I looked at the Dick Blick catalog. I shouldn’t have done that. There are far too many exciting possibilities in it. Especially in the Acrylic department. I saw some of the high temperature acrylics and thought I might be able to mix copper, gourds and high temp acrylics together. Can you safely bake a dried gourd for 30 minutes at 325°? We shall see...
Sunday, May 27, 2007
I was just looking at the various music downloads available from alt.binaries.sounds.mp3.world-music. Really odd stuff this morning.
I should be very upset but I’m practicing calm and peace. Not perfect yet; still practicing! Aging should give you a different, more peaceful outlook on life, but it only happens when you practice it. Otherwise you end up being cranky as a matter of habit. OK, I’m trying!
Our pool is still unusable. Without the main drain being open, we can’t run the filter. How could the ‘pool guy’ forget to cut it out when he installed the liner? And why didn’t I notice it? We tried to connect with the ‘pool guy’ yesterday, even driving up to his store in
But…here’s the bright side. The pool looks great! And I suppose I could always go out and walk around the shallow end to cool off if necessary.
Saturday, May 26, 2007
I find it hard to believe that it required a 'study' to discover this.
But what really bothered me was the fact that it was considered positive that it now takes two working adults to show a gain in wages over those of the 70's. How is that positive?
"The authors of the report were reluctant to speculate as to why men's wages are weaker today, but suggested the decline might be attributed to more women in the work force, a generally weaker economy and men working less hard than they did a generation ago..." A bunch of slackers!
Is it summer yet? No, it’s still May and we have a few weeks (A month!) to go before the official start of the sizzle season. But still, it will be in the 90’s all week long. That sure seems like summer. And the Phoenix/Scottsdale area? Whoa! I just checked NWS for Phoenix and this is the first time I’ve seen the orange tinged icons that represent REALLY HIGH temperatures. I think this is the time of year that the Zumwalt’s and Maiorano’s begin their reverse hibernation; drawing the blinds and keeping all the doors and windows closed until October. Not that we’re much better off; we are usually just 5 or 10 degrees below them.
The garden is on the mend after being battered by high winds last week. The tomatoes all have scars where they were being whipped against the bars of their cages. Everything else is growing well; maybe too well. I prune everyday, picking off fruit that is burdening the branches.
Yesterday, I did my part for fair business practices and bought a two-pack of Terracycle Garden Fertilizer. Smart; they package the stuff in used plastic soda bottles. And I did my own comparison of labels between Terracycle and Miracle-Gro. They do not look alike. I think
Friday, May 25, 2007
By Bob Drogin
IAEA chief says Tehran could have enough enriched uranium in three to eight years. U.S. to push for more sanctions.
Want to know something really scary? Israel has nuclear weapons right now, though they won't admit it. (They don't allow snooping by the IAEA either)
And once again I’m interested in audio blogging. I read Michelle’s blog this morning and she had a posting all about using Odiogo for podcasting. It uses a computer generated voice to read your posts and it’s done quite well. No, it didn’t sound anything like
And this from the Blotter; “The
The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, say
Here we go again. These are exactly the same things we did to
Of course ABC was vilified for breaking the story, even called "traders" by one ignorant commenter. ABC's side of the story? "In the six days since we first contacted the
Duh! Of course they didn’t object. They wanted
Clear skies and just a mild breeze to touch the tops of the tallest trees. There is a very large oak on the north east corner of the property and it dominates the view from our study window. I use it to determine wind speed and direction, as the uppermost branches will sway in the lightest of breezes. Yesterday, I added to the view by planting honeysuckle and potato vine along the fence to the north of us. Someday I will be able to look out the study window and see those vines covering the fence and blocking the view of the weeds on the property next door. And on a warm night I will be able to open the window and smell the fragrance of the honeysuckle.
Today is the day that the pool will officially open for business; just as soon as the final filling takes place. I want to talk to the pool installer and see if there isn’t a better way to keep the pool clean other than by using chlorine. It’s the chlorine that slowly destroys the liner and I would love to keep the liner longer than the 15 years that seems to be the average.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Yes, we're still shopping! This is one we are looking at...
But Laurae isn't so sure about it. She wants one that will be certain to embarrass our children. That's #1 on her list of priorities. The Scion xB certainly fills that requirement. But how about this one? The Nissan Versa.
Ah! the vacuums are silent and the pool is as full as it needs to be.
During our visit to
Apparently the cat has forgiven me for torturing her. I kept her in the garage overnight and while we were gone, ‘strangers’ had come and made all kinds of noise with vacuums roaring outside her place of refuge. All very traumatic. And once she got out last night, she wasn’t coming back in! She stayed under the car and glared at me. But a few minutes ago she knocked at the window and I let her in. She’s asleep now in the chair next to me.
I’m awake at an early hour this morning. The droning sound of the two vacuums made sleep difficult. I have looked at the water in the pool and it’s getting close to the level where I can shut off the water and the vacuums. The silence will be deafening.
We had a most interesting trip on Tuesday, driving down to
Later in the afternoon, we made our way down highway 193 to
We slept in. Unbelievable! It was 7:45 when we woke up. After getting packed up, we went into town for breakfast at the Buttercup Pantry. A little pricey, but it was good food.
Afterwards, we headed down the hill (
By 10:30 we were pulling into the parking lot at Ikea’s.
OK. We’ve been to the mountain top and we have seen the light! We are new converts in the Ikea cult. We liked it; a lot. It took us 3 hours to make our way around the store and we ended switching from a shopping bag to a shopping cart. There were bargains everywhere! But, I think an explanation is in order. This may be a Swedish store, but the products are almost uniformly, all made in
We bought an odd assortment of items; a kitchen knife, some scissors, place mats, a kitchen trash can, countertop cutting pads, an alarm clock, etc. etc. What we found most frustrating about the shopping experience was the fact that Ikea had all sorts of things that we had been shopping for during the past few years and they had them at half the price…or less. Drinking glasses were .50 cents each and we had bought some at the Dollar store for, duh! A dollar each. Kitchen canisters, half price. Whenever we saw something we had purchased somewhere else during the past year, we were afraid to look at the price. It was always less.
I don’t know if any of Ikea competitors are looking at how the Swedish giant does business, but they really should. They know how to make the customer feel good. I was even excited about their shopping carts! On our next trip we plan to be there at 9:30 for breakfast; only $1.99. The store opens at 10.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Was that a bird or a bat? I just saw a dark shape dart across the sky. It might have even been a leaf, blowing past in this gale we are experiencing. And now it’s light enough to see that the weed block fabric is still in place…good!
I won’t be here for the scheduled irrigating day on Wednesday. We’re heading south this morning to visit
The north wind continues to blow. The EVIL north wind continues to blow. I looked out the window yesterday and saw my weed blocking fabric sailing across the garden. All of the stakes had been ripped out. One minute and all of my work was undone. I have a 20’x20’ area set aside for growing gourds and the weed block fabric was defining this area for me. All very neat. After about 15 minutes of unraveling twisted fabric and gathering bricks to lay upon it, we had the garden shipshape once again. It’s still too dark to see if the fabric is in place this morning, I can only hope.
Speaking of work; I ran across this memorable quote that puts work into proper perspective.
“What is work? Work is of two kinds: first, altering the position of matter at or near the earth's surface relatively to other such matter; second, telling other people to do so.” -
Another family member has decided to explore their creative side; writing for their own blog.
When compared to blogs, phone calls are rarely honest. We feel compelled to put a positive spin on everything we say. “I’m just fine…how about yourself?” “Yes, that would be great!” Our voices are on a stage and we must act.
Monday, May 21, 2007
Finally! There is someone with some smarts in Texas. Turning landlords into Immigration police was idiotic to begin with. How could a landlord determine the validity of the identification documents? Impossible.
Good for you, Jimmy!
If Carter is 'irrelevant', why does he bother bush so much?
Actually, everyone that disagrees with bush is irrelevant. Including the 70% + of all Americans that disagree with him. So Jimmy is in good company!
The wind is blowing and that means the temperatures will soon be rising. I’m watching the trees in the orchard bending in the breeze and I’m reminded…that I need to wash these windows!
Some random thoughts about the xenophobia that is spreading throughout the land. (Xenophobia: A dislike of foreigners. Tribalism.)
This week, the Senate is working hard on a new immigration bill that will place the Senators firmly in the hearts of their constituents…or so they hope. And I hope it becomes law. I really do. I want those who dislike immigrants so much to have their wishes come true.
No matter how many economists tell us the hard truth; that immigration, legal or illegal…raises the value of an economy, no one wants to hear it. They already have their own version of the “facts” and it doesn’t include uncomfortable ones like that. If removing all of the immigrants will cause a depression of our economy, that’s a small price to pay to get to the truth, right? And one of the first things we need to do is to remove those words found at the base of the statue of
My own ancestors were both victims and perpetrators in the relentless spread of xenophobia. I’m part Scot; those ancestors were hunted down by the Romans as wild beasts. Extermination was the goal. The “civilized” Anglo-Saxons did the same, massacring them at every opportunity. It was “Ethnic cleansing” before those words became a sad part of our vocabulary. And since I’m part English, I inherit some of the blame. Laurae’s ancestors include some Welsh, another group despised by the English. Do you see a pattern here? The Romans were an empire as were the English. The American’s? Yes, also an empire. The powerful always fear those around them and do their best to demonize them. And when the immigrant has the bad luck to look or act “different” in any way, the xenophobic has a field day! That’s history, look it up.
So, how did you become an American? Did you work really hard at it? Good for you! Or were you simply born here? If it wasn’t simply good luck and you are sure that God placed you here in
Me? I was just born here. As were my mother and father and some assorted grandparent’s. Lucky me. And I have behaved pretty much like an American ever since. I dislike paying my fair share of taxes and I’m always looking for loopholes. Like 90% of my fellow citizens, I dislike the way government works. I only like to obey laws that I agree with. (65 mph? Are you kidding me?) On Memorial Day I go shopping.
How about some of those ancestors of mine? My paternal grandfather came from
Sunday, May 20, 2007
A cloudy morning, but I don’t think that portends anything at all. Summer is on its way; there is no stopping it, and no rain is in the forecast.
Another way to tell that summer is coming is to see the great number of trailers and U-Hauls roaming the streets of
Over here, in Orland, summer is not so easily recognized. It might be recognized by the increased height of the corn crop. Or, the ripening of the apricots; the ‘official’ first fruit of the summer. Cherries (a spring crop) have already peaked and are being stripped from the branches right now. That reminds me; I better check this morning and see if the higher branches on my cherry tree are ready to be picked.
Some political thoughts;
To recap my position; I’m very supportive of the idea of a woman as president. But not
No, you can’t remove politics from the presidency and there’s the shame of it…but you can (and should) hope for extraordinary politicians.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
And do it often! Only sheep are easily led
(On a different subject...I fixed the Morgan links on the previous post)
A silver dawn with not a cloud in sight. Time to water the plants and make a quick inventory of the garden. Yes, all is well at this early hour.
The news from the White House just gets better every day. With Wolfowitz now gone; the ideal way to start the new week would be for Gonzo to resign on Monday…Oh, be still, my heart! If only he would! I think the public is finally beginning to see that the Emperor has no clothes on.
And last night we had dinner with a group of friend’s; turkey with all of the fixings. Yes, I know it’s not Thanksgiving but there was bird in someone’s freezer and we had the time, so why not?
After dinner, we sat around the table and listened as
Anyway, she suggested that we Google his name and here’s part of the story. There was even a second wife, a snake charmer from
Friday, May 18, 2007
I keep going back and forth between the two browsers, Internet Explorer and Firefox. Firefox is certainly the better browser; images appear much faster and pages load quicker. But it’s not all that friendly when it comes to managing bookmarks/favorites. I have always edited my favorites outside of the browser by using my file Explorer. It’s much easier, but Firefox has them so well hidden that I have given up. But on the plus side, Firefox remembers my Blogger password and lets me on whenever I want.
And I just read a great quote, “Future presidents rejoice; no one could possibly be a worse president than
Bicycles are the subject; new and old. I got my bike down from storage last week and bought a new seat for it. An ‘age appropriate seat’. It’s wide and comfortable. I also bought a speedometer but that was a mistake. The instructions for it left me in the dark and so now I have to wait for my son to arrive and help me install it.
Now; where do you ride your bike? Don’t say “on the road”. To tell you the truth, I don’t feel very safe sharing the road with the drivers I see every day. That bike lane doesn’t have any barrier to keep a 2-ton car out of it. It’s always popular to advocate the use of bicycles (It’s Green!) but our infrastructure isn’t made for their safe use. Whenever you’re out driving, keep an eye on the cars ahead of you and see how many times they violate the restricted space of the bicycle lane. Me? I'm heading for the safety of Bidwell Park.
Memo to Shannon; if you read this, please contact your mother. She wants to make sure you have drain holes in your new planter!
Thursday, May 17, 2007
I was listening to one of my home made CD’s the other day, one that will hold about 120 MP3’s and give you about 4 hours of music. The one I was listening to was all very old Hawai'ian music; stuff I have collected over the years. Of course that brought back memories of our trips to the islands and made me want to go back…soon! But a second thought was that of Hawai'ian independence. Why don’t we give
I love this time of the morning. The horizon is just beginning to appear and it’s cool outside. A great time to walk around in the back and listen to the silence of the early morning. Odd, but I haven’t seen any bats lately. I placed myself in a position where I could see their silhouettes if they were flying by, but none were spotted. And I haven’t spotted any mosquitoes either; which is fine. But I’m worried about the lack of bats. I hope the owners of the barn that lies to the north of us haven’t done anything to remove them. We may lack bats this morning but we certainly aren’t lacking for birds; although it’s still officially ‘dark’, the birds are making all kinds of noise as they welcome the dawn.
Earlier yesterday, we made the usual library run to
And another stray thought; I was mentally lamenting the fact that there are no good restaurants in Orland. Maybe only two passable restaurants and that’s a stretch. And
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
And besides the obvious 3rd world benefits...how about going camping with one?
Or, using the same science...a self powered rock concert! The drums could handle the lighting and the guitars could power their own amplifiers. The singers could generate the electricity for the refrigerators and freezers.
The days roll on and we’re almost into summer. The temperatures will tell you that; into the 90’s all of this week.
The Republican candidates for president seem to be making all of the news these days as they try hard to distance themselves from Bush while trying to appear loyal to Republican ideals. I certainly hope they can come up with a man or woman of integrity and intellect; we certainly need one. But that candidate won’t come from the current crop. And I still have hopes for my preferred candidate for the Democratic ticket;
Of course, right now the best show in town is the Gonzales/Wolfowitz "Extravaganza"...A laugh a minute!
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
What a mess! I forgot to wear some gloves while I working yesterday and now my right hand is all sliced up and bandaged. I had bought some concrete reinforcing mesh to roll up into tomato cages and somehow my hand got in the way of the rapidly unrolling mesh. Ouch!
Once the sun is up I’m going to have to take some pictures of the cages (and their contents) and post them on my garden blog. I know that I was once accused of having “wimpy” tomato cages, but that shouldn’t happen this year! Now I have to worry as to whether or not my tomatoes can fill the cages.
And yesterday, when I was posting links to
Monday, May 14, 2007
And they have extended the recruiting age from 37 to 42. So if you and your wife had children at an early age, let’s say 21 or 22…you and your whole family could join up! As Mr. Hightower says; “The Brady Bunch does Iraq!” (Oops! I didn't mean "you" and "yours" ...I should have said, "them" and "theirs".)
I was wandering through my Journal from 2006 and found this…
“A blonde man decided to wash his sweatshirt, but when he started to put it in the washer he stopped and asked his wife, "Should I wash the sweatshirt in hot water or cold?"
"What does the sweatshirt say?" she asked.
The more I think about it, the more I think that’s not really a blonde joke, but a true representation of the differences in Type. A man whose Type prefers Sensing versus a wife who uses iNtuition. Oh well, it’s still funny!”
Did I post this before? OK, it is still funny.
Uh oh…it’s going to be warm today. It’s already 65° at . And the wind is still blowing; raising the temperature. I was just wandering around outside a few moments ago, looking at the empty pool and wishing.
Oh well, back to the reality of the world. And one of the things I wanted to look at this morning was data about the city of
I happen to like
Back to the news. Here’s one that caught my eye.
“…Before leaving, my mother had purchased a small tube of lotion and put it in her purse. When she got to the security checkpoint at the airport, she realized she still had the lotion. She handed it over to the
What’s wrong with that scenario? How about this: the