Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Death to the Weasels!

Ha, I bet you're expecting another diatribe about the Wall Street Grand Casino.  Nope.

At the moment, anyway, we're talking about actual weasels.  So, I'm getting ready to finally put the guinea pen together- and as I walk out by the windmill- here on the path is- a dead weasel.  

My first reaction was- "oh, no; the damn dog has killed a weasel!" - because- in the larger scheme, weasels are our friends on this farm, big time.  They eat mice.  And more mice.  Tons of mice.  Mice are huge pests and crop thieves.  Big bucks.  I love weasels, mostly.

And this one was beautiful- a full grown male Short-Tailed weasel; also known as an Ermine.

Then it dawned on me (not too much later, and before I really started chewing Bruce (the pup) out) - this weasel had been in the perfect place to wipe out our guineas- in one fell swoop.  They are known to kill more than they can eat- they're really good killers.  And the guineas are all babies- no adults to fight back, at all.

And, though this is a serious predator, one our cat would never think of attacking- it's so slender it might actually be able to just squeeze right through regular chicken wire.  No kidding.  Which is what I had just been about to install.  Did I know that already?  Yes, I did.  Idiot that I am, I seem to have needed the additional reminder of having a dead weasel in my hand in order for that to truly strike home.

Ah, reality.  This weasel was in the wrong place.  And Bruce, who is turning out marvelously, with more common sense than most people, had just been doing the job we hired him for- protecting us.  There's plenty of room on the farm for weasels still- just not so close to home.

I'd been murmuring "no, no- don't do this, Bruce..."  (he understands English perfectly) - but when I realized - he'd probably saved our entire guinea flock; with no instructions needed, that changed to loud "GOOD dog, Bruce; good dog!"  He understood.

He hasn't eaten it; though I've seen him eat bunnies.   (Sorry).  Weasels stink, pretty uniformly, and most likely taste bad to boot- few things eat them.  Owls do.

So here I am, inside, not putting up the guinea wire.  Because pretty clearly- where there is one weasel, there will be more, and the wire we have is not good enough.  Plus, we have yet another species of weasel here- the Least Weasel; which is only about 1/4 the size of an Ermine- but plenty capable of killing chicks, and maybe even adult guineas or chickens.

The darned thing is going to have to be a fortress, Bruce or not.  He did a splendid job- but even he has to sleep sometimes.  More money; and a trip to town for wire- wire more expensive than chicken wire, for sure.  Sigh.

The guineas are an education, of course.  For all of us.  We started with 33 new keets (chicks).  We're down to 28.  That is what usually happens- a few of them just won't make it.   In our case, I successfully brought all 33 through the first 10 days- but then 5 of them just- failed.   Quit growing.  Lay down, and died.

Smidgen already knew a little about death, in the abstract- even children's books and movies are full of it.  But here was her first real acquaintance with it.  Scary, for a parent-

I think it was harder on Spice and I than it was on Smidgen, though.  She did cry, just a little.  But the reality was right there- death is natural; part of life.  The rest of the keets go on.

Off to town; more gas, more money, more time.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Financial Tooth Fairies, Ex Machina!!

Zooming out to work on the guinea run before the sun gets hot, still I couldn't resist sharing this bit of astonishing fiscal humor with you before I go.  From the New York Times: "A New Tool Announced To Support Home Loans."

The boys in The New York Stock Casino have come up with a new game!!  (that's what a "tool" is-)  it's called- "covered bonds".

Oh, be still my heart!  Finally, the magic wand is waved, and the mortgage collapses all go away.  If you're not cackling and rolling on the floor in helpless laughter yet, you really should be.

They're all chanting "I DO believe in "tools"! I DO! I DO!"- and hoping, praying, the rest of the world will join them.  Puffing new hot air into the housing bubbles- which just don't hold air anymore.  There's no such thing as housing expansion.

It's a short article.  If you can see anything besides smoke and mirrors in these "covered" bonds, by all means, let me know.  It's pure, pure, puerile fantasy.  This is what our financial leadership has been reduced to.  What they're really showing us is that their entire system of air castle builders has no idea- none- what real wealth is; or real value.  All they know is: money; and if I sell you my pile of money, and charge you interest on it, you can sell me the same pile of money back, and charge ME interest on it; then I have a big pile of money again, and I can sell it back to YOU, and charge YOU interest on it; and we all get bonuses at the end of the year!  Forever!  Really!

Then, look at the list of who's going to be selling these new covered bonds "secured by pools of assets like home loans" - and then read this little bit in the article: "Unlike mortgage securities, which pass all the risk to investors, covered bonds collateralized with mortgages would continue to perform even if the mortgages backing them default — as long as the bank remains solvent."


I'm going to run right out, and bet that Wells Fargo is going to remain solvent!!  Sure I am.

oh, dear, tears of helpless laughter in my eyes.

What fools these mortals be.


Update-  OMG!!!  And it just gets better and better!  A followup article, NYT- has a little more discussion about what the heck a covered bond is, and what it might do-  and contains this gem:

"Covered bond markets exist in many European countries. In some of them, laws make the legal standing of such bonds clear, but Mr. Paulson and the other agencies concluded that no legislation was needed, and that policy statements by regulators would suffice."

My god, why aren't these guys writing for Saturday Night Live! ???  I mean- just look where running our entire financial system based on "policy statements by regulators" has gotten us so far!  By all means- we need more of that!  

Tears in my eyes!!

You can see it: in "Blazing Finances" --  "Legislation?  We don' need no stinkin' legislation!"  Mel Brooks, I hope you're taking notes.  Or Broadway could really use "Springtime For Paulson"; coming soon.

"Springtime, for Paulson, and Bernanke.  Winter, for Congress, and hope."  It even scans.


And the Washington Post chimes in! "Executives from four banks -- Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo -- stood shoulder to shoulder with Paulson at the news conference and issued a joint statement saying they would consider issuing covered bonds, although they were not specific about their plans."

Guys, you're killing me!!  "Shoulder to shoulder!!!"  forsooth!!  Our brave, brave little soldiers in pinstripes!!! - and all committing to- oh, wait, they didn't actually commit to anything at all.

I'm gasping for breath here!!!

Thank god the "Financial Sector"  (gasp!  choke!  cackle!)  is good for something these days; I haven't laughed this hard in years!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Deep Summer

Strange to use the phrase here in Minnesota, but Deep Summer is what I've got.

It's mostly a phrase from the US South- and it means the heart of summer- and the heat.

My current experience is mild, really; maximum daytime temperature is barely hitting 90°F (32°C); but there's a gaggle of accompanying factors that require a human to adapt, somehow, or collapse.  Here is the day-

The morning is still.  No wind.  No wind for almost 2 weeks now, we're having to haul house water from the solar-pumped greenhouse well, since our windmill isn't moving.  No wind coming in the next week, either.

Soaking dew; until noon, moving anywhere on the farm without tall rubber boots means soaking shoes and socks.  Barefoot?  Not if you're working.  Thistles, hammers...  The rubber boots are hot, and heavy.

Hazy sun; all day.  The humidity stays at "120%" - not actually possible, but that's a reasonable estimate of how it feels.  The 85° air is comfortable; until you move; just walk and you will sweat.  Work will have your clothing soaked through, literally to dripping, within just a few minutes.

You have to be very careful in this weather- it's so damp, wet, drippy you can easily forget you're losing water, dehydrating - and losing salt.  When your skin is covered with salt, sweat evaporates more slowly- cools less well.  When you look up from hoeing the beans, and world fades to white- you're on the edge of "heat exhaustion" - otherwise known as a critical shortage of water and salts; you need more than sodium; you're probably running short on potassium and calcium too.  One thing we do is add some salt, and "salt substitute" (KCl) to our lemonade; do-it-yourself "sports" drink.  Plain water is not enough, if your vision is fading.

People have coped with summer forever, of course.  Two major paths- let your body get used to it, adapt; and/or avoid it.

Your body will adapt, if you ask it to.  Work in the heat an hour today; and aim for two hours tomorrow.  Full adaptation can take weeks.  Be careful.

Or- change your hours.  Become crepuscular.  Wake before sunrise; work in what cool there is, before the sun hits; then move inside for other chores, or a nap- with a little fan, perhaps.  (I have one one me now- 12VDC, running directly from the hot sun on my solar panels; designed as a fan for a boat, 20 years old, I think.)  Evening presents more opportunities for outside work, without the sun.  The mosquitoes, alas, tend to be crepuscular, too.  The evening tends to be warmer; but dry- no rubber boots.  Until the dew starts to form.  Our solar heated shower is dangerous right now- it may be way too hot; shower carefully.

Here we tend to have little wind from mid July through late August.  Fact of life.  Cuss and bear it, mostly.  And drip.

And what are we doing about refrigeration?  Not a thing.  Water out of the well is very cool; water stored a day is still cooler than the hot outdoors.  It's cool enough.

At the moment, I've got gourmet meat for 3 days, ready any time.  No fridge.  

This is where I keep it- inside the charcoal grill, where it was slow-cooked.  

It's a boneless chuck roast; on sale when I was in town.  Tasty- but tough, usually.  I set it to cook slowly, inside the charcoal grill, after using the hotter fire to do a little chicken.  The very slow cooking, not over the coals, but beside them, with a little hickory added to the other side of the fire, actually does a little tenderizing, and does wonders for the flavor.

And, incidentally, sterilizes the roast- and the grill.  Once it was mostly cooked- I closed the grill's vents, thus asphyxiating the fire, and any microbes.  The meat is partly smoked, slightly dried, and quite safe right were it is, inside the closed sterile grill, 90° days, or not.

I've eaten some for dinner yesterday, and lunch today; and have 3 more meals there, I think.  Open the lid; cut off a chunk quickly right on the grill with a sharp knife; close the grill.  Yes, one, or two, bacteria got in when I did that.  They landed on dry, smoked, charred meat surface- not a friendly place to them.

The cooled, slightly dried chuck is pretty firm; easily sliced very thin, which solves most of the remaining toughness problems, and makes it perfect for adding just a little flavor, just a little protein, to whatever else I'm having.  Delightful.  It does require chewing.  Consider it exercise.

Any meat will keep after smoke cooking in a closed grill; at least a day, probably 2.  3 starts getting a bit iffy, particularly if you're dealing with chicken or have kids in the house.  You need to make sure the meat was cooked - hot right through- in the first place, though.  Sometimes a cooling fire may leave your meat cool, and not really kill all the bugs; this is something you need to watch meticulously.  The other hazard with this method is closing the grill and leaving it with the fire still too hot- and finding nice chunks of charcoal instead of chicken, when you open it up tomorrow.

This kind of smoke-heat preservation is really pretty safe for large cuts of meat; but don't try this for sausage or burgers- too much chance for bacteria to be incorporated in the grinding.

Now, I don't have to cook tonight, nor did I last night.  No extra heat required.

I'm gaining on the work adaptation, too.  Or, of course, you could always just move somewhere for sissies!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

signs of the times-

This post is not as much fun as dirty dishes or guinea fowl; but it's another one where I just can't help gritting my teeth and shaking my head.

Big news?  Front page, NYT?  Golly, the industry based on pandering to the Wall Street Grand Casino staff, is set to tank; there may be $18 Billion less in "bonuses" this year for them to spend on - you, stuff.  There's a cool graph of bonuses- damnedest thing, right after the neo-cons got in, the bonuses started to skyrocket.

Tiny news?  So little you can't find it?  Suicides- caused by foreclosures.  In the "Health" section of ABC news.  Way down there.

One suicide.  Would you wanna get there are hundreds more, that have already happened?  And how many "investigative journalists" are there digging out that story?  ?  It's nice to know, the mortgage company said they were "devastated".

There are times when I don't like the news writers much.

oh, yeah, and the news in the middle- visible, but barely - 2 more national banks were seized; on Friday; just a bit after the Grand Casino closed for the weekend.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Back but buried

I drove 2200 miles, to hand deliver my greenhouse product.  Kinda buzzy on return, and overloaded with piled up work.  Once again, too many thoughts running through my head to sift into sensibility easily here; just wanted you to know I haven't disappeared or abandoned the blog or anything.

An example of the overload- we have 28 guinea keets (chicks) here and growing.  According to the available info, they want you to keep them in a brooder situation for 3-4 weeks, then a pen until week 6, when you can start letting them out into the world. 

Except, yesterday, as I was turning on their heat lamp for the night (solar powered, by the new panels installed last fall) - I turned my back on them after putting in clean water and food- and when I turned back, one of the little stinkers was sitting way up on the edge of their brooder pen.  He had to fly up there.  Which means my pen is not going to be containing them tomorrow, and I've GOT to figure out yet another temporary pen rig, since the Chicken Dungeon is far from ready (building with sod turns out to- uh- take a lot of work, and time; imagine that)-

AND, after making coffee this morning, I discovered I'm out of propane for the summer cook-stove; so I can't wash dishes until I go to town- AND Spice is not here, but on her way to visit parents, far away, for the first time in a year and a half...  AND in her hurry to pack, and toddler wrangle, and do extra greenhouse chores, she left me with a sink full of dirty dishes, so I don't have a plate to eat off of...  (I'm fishing for pity here, in case you can't tell, and lots of opprobrium for my cruel wife)  :-)

you get the idea.  

More next time it rains, and I'm inside.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All is swell; with police.

Just a quickie.  Thank goodness IndyMac is "back in business!" (according to CNN) - but things still seem a tad dicey- since they needed police today, to keep "angry customers" in line-

Just a little minor note there in the news.

And here Oliphant's input - on AuntFannie, etc-

So how do they keep up the fantasy, when our official court jesters proclaim the truths so loudly?  It's a mystery.

I'm on my way out of town for several days- so input here will be slender; though ya never know, I might manage one from the road.

Hang in there.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Media cahoots

8:30 AM  This is a time sensitive post; I'm sure the links here will look differently in a few hours.

But right now we've got a spectacular example of how the Mainstream Media is indeed in cahoots with the "financial sector"- they're not just reporting the news- they do tweak it, a bit.

Right now their action is perhaps admirable- so they think, anyway.  They are trying to fight off a real full-blown PANIC in the stock markets.

Take a look here; at the NY Times Business section-

It's all about how the two huge quasi-governmental mortgage corporations, known as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; crashed so hard on the stock market yesterday that the US federal government was hours away from "nationalizing" them- (though we don't call it that here, of course).  And trumpeting how this disaster was avoided.  (Teresa, you'll find more than you want to know about Fannie and Freddie there.)

Do you see, anywhere, any mention of another huge mortgage company; Indy Mac?

Shortly after the stock markets closed on Friday - it WAS "seized" by the government, as being completely insolvent and dysfunctional- 

According to Reuters, "The bank is the largest regulated thrift to fail and the second largest financial institution to close in U.S. history, regulators said."

Golly, that sounds like a headline to me.  But it's totally buried under the constant reassurances that "all is well!  don't panic!  NO REALLY!! DON'T PANIC!!"

Maybe we should panic?  

But you can't find a trace of this story on the front pages of the major US newspapers- yet.  Though it happened last night.

(And, sure enough; shortly after I posted this; if you really dig, you now CAN find the story on the front page of the NYT - in the tiniest font they use, a link elsewhere, not a story.)

(ah, and now, 15 minutes later, the Washington Post; likewise, tiny font link on front page; to a nice reassuring story: "But John M. Reich, director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, said IndyMac's failure was a 'unique' incident that 'does not signal a direction for the industry as a whole.' ")
1:30PM (CDT) - the BBC has finally put the story up as an "Other Top Stories"; in middle font; still following "Pope to apologize for sex scandal", though.  

The whole story has now disappeared from the NYT front page- it's not only inobvious, but if you search for "indy" the result is - 0; it's not there at all.  It's barely visible in Business; tiniest font, very obscure, as "mortgage lender seized"; which is also the language of The Washington Post.

The Google News compiler has been varying all day- right this second- the story is NOT findable; but it was a half hour ago.


2PM - FINALLY!  CNN- headlines it in the Business section, though still not screaming on the main front page- "may be the most expensive bank failure ever..."    nah, what story?

4PM - Story is now gone from BBC front page, though the Pope is still apologizing for Australian pedophile priests in exactly the same place; the collapse of Indymac is now only to be found on the Business page; replaced in "Other Top Stories" by: "France Rejects Veiled Muslim Wife".  Cute eyes.

Next day- CNN wins the spin prize!  NOW, it's the top front page feature; big photgraph- "Back in Business: IndyMac Reopens Monday!"  No, it's not back in business, it's still in collapse.  Yes, the doors will reopen, but it's mostly going to be for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to start paying newly printed money to depositors- since IndyMac was broke.  The FDIC wants to find a buyer for IndyMac within 90 days- but at the moment, no one is offering a dime for it.

BBC now has "Key US mortgage lender collapses" as a subheading under Business.

NYT - no mention at all on front page; no mention at all on Business, to my astonishment; but if you go to the "whole paper" Most Popular page; under Most Blogged - it's #1 - and I don't think that's my fault.  :-)

Friday, July 11, 2008


It seems to be a day for head-shaking over human foolishness- what with Wall Street and Fannie-Freddie on greased skids and all- so this just really seems totally appropriate to add to the soup- At last!  :-)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Garden Triage

A couple weeks ago Sharon generously exposed herself in public- as a backslider in the garden.  She had let her weeds get out of control...  again...

Any old-time food gardener got a good chuckle out of that piece.  Yes, indeed, we all do it.  Pretty much every year.  There are plenty of gardeners out there who do have weedless, spotless, picture perfect gardens- but I will guarantee those folks either don't really need the food; or they have secret help sneaking in by moonlight; or they're just not doing anything else with their life; at all.

What do you do when the weeds have taken over?  That's not a trick question- you can, easily, do the wrong thing, and lose even more time and energy.

When my boys were small Spouse and I ran a garden every year that consisted of 7 blocks, each one 50 feet square.  One would be all corn; one all potatoes, one tomatoes/peppers, one all vines; etc.  And we rotated plantings each year, to decrease disease, etc.  Plans in the computer, year by year.

My point being- I've killed a LOT of weeds in my life; I'm good at it, and know how.

When Spice got here, she was eager, frothing, fulminating, to have a garden.  Totally in love with the idea; days spent with seed catalogs, compiling lists; computer diagrams; seed packets, 15 kinds of tomatoes...  and no real experience.

Spice grew up at high altitude in Colorado; family runs a big ranch.  Her mom had a garden there, when she was growing up.  I took her aside, as gently as I could and told her- "My dear, I love gardens too, but you really need to understand something.  I'm serious; very very serious.  Are you listening?"  She assured me she was.

"We have two things here in Minnesota that you do not have in Colorado; that make running a garden very different. 

" We have soil.  And we have rain."

Ha ha ha, I hear you laughing, but believe me, it's caused a lot of tears over the years, and still does.  Don't turn your back on the quack grass- it will eat you.

Part of this is the curse of good soil.  Really good soil.  Those of you suffering with poor soils, I recommend you do NOT google "Fayette silt loam" and get the technical aspects; it will break your heart.  I've got some of the very best agricultural soils in the world here; which is not an accident; that was the deciding factor when Spouse and I bought the place.

So our weeds really tend to take off; and take over, if you give them any chance at all.  Every year, year after year, they DO get that chance, one way or another.  Maybe it will rain for a week straight, making it impossible to work the soil.  Maybe you'll break your little toe; making it nearly impossible to spend any real time on your knees.  Etc.

Now- "How To Garden" - is a topic that people write whole books about.  Really!  You didn't know that?  I'm not going to shoot for covering the entire topic in this post; I want to make ONE point; just one.

Many beginners, faced with a garden section buried in weeds, will do exactly the wrong thing; partly out of guilt; partly out of ignorance.  They'll try to weed it.

And where will they start weeding?  Obviously- where the crop is smallest, weakest, and needs the most help.

Poor wittle potato plants; they're buried under the foxtail and pigweed; totally stunted.  You need my love, more than those big potato plants over there..

Wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Are you putting in all this hard work because you need the food?  Yes?  Harden your heart- and put your work into making your very strongest plants stronger.  Weed the best of the patch first.

Look- the fact that you've got a big chunk of garden out of control is pretty definite proof that you've bitten off more than you can currently chew; fantasies and intentions aside.  You have not been able to keep up.

The overwhelming probability is that you're not going to be able to keep up next week, either.

If you put your work into boosting your best plants- they should make food for your family; the better you care for them, the more food.

If you start trying to rehabilitate your puniest plants- a) they're puny right now; it may well be too late for them to produce anything this year, even if you get them cleared; b) the shock of getting full sun after weeks of all that nice shade from the lambsquarters may set them back; c) their root systems are so tiny that pulling all those healthy weeds nearby is quite likely to harm your crop plants significantly; d) chances are you're going to be interrupted in this chore before you get around to weeding the good parts of the patch, good intentions notwithstanding-

So the upshot is, you will sweat like the dickens, release a few plants which cannot respond, and the good plants will get buried deeper as they struggle along with no help- so you'll lose any crop they might have had, too.  And all your sweat.

Here's the rule: Save the best first.  

IF if if you find yourself with lots of time available, you can try to save some of the weaker stuff.  As soon as possible, though- you will benefit from facing reality; and plowing under the lost parts; either replanting to a fall crop, or cover crop, or whatever you do to keep those weeds from going to seed.

Tender hearts are good in lettuce, cabbage, and artichokes; but pity for puny vegetables is a waste.  Plow 'em under.

(And so why am I writing about this just now?  Spice, it turns out, has good tender maternal instincts...)


Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Future of The World... Illustrated.

Today and recently the blogosphere is dripping with blog producers and blog consumers lathering about - The Future.  And if there is one.

This is entirely understandable, and believe me, I'm not smirking at all those silly people.

We are, indeed, standing on the edge of the cliff here.  Read Sharon; read Ilargi and Stoneleigh.  

The thing is, I've known this for a long long time.  I do believe in physics, I do, I do.  And if you do- this collapse of industrial insanity has been inevitable for a very long time.

But how, forsooth, to explain that?  Lucidly, and convincingly, to folks who have not spent decades looking and listening, and studying.  What we are all taught, growing up, is that "progress" is glorious, inevitable, and endless- and good.  They pound that in hard.  It's not easy getting folks to the point where they can see it's a dogma based on fallacies and illusions.  And it's not fun. 

Luckily for us, California has produced several years of completely clear data.  It isn't necessary for you to understand "the science of economics" (ROTFL!); or physics, or the chemistry of global warming.  You just need 4th grade arithmatic.

California is burning, yes?  Badly.  Happened last year; and the year before.  And what are they doing about it all?

Not planning, that's for sure.  Here it is: the reaction to the entire state burning down- the reaction of the wealthiest, most forward looking people on the planet.

Cost of firefighting in California; by year:

Can you say "impotent"?

The fact is; our world governments are all in this state at the moment; utterly unable to cope with reality.  The various forces at work are able, time and again, to prevent action.

Manifestly- California needs to agree- fires are more costly than they used to be; we must budget more for dealing with them.

Manifestly- the state of California has failed to do anything about the problem, year after year.

Reality, physics, will prevail; every time.  Which is why California is on fire again.

Another litany of years of inaction is here; NYT: Asleep At The Spigot.

This is perhaps the largest problem I see for humanity at the moment- regardless of how or why we got here- our joint decision making processes are universally paralyzed.


Universally paralyzed.

Pick a disaster; any disaster- as the pundits are sifting through the rubble, you will find this phrase, over and over: "repeated warnings were ignored..."

How we got here; why; and what happens next- is tome material; cannot be crammed into a blog.

What do you need to do about this?  Realize- you're on your own.

Technology will not save us.  Because any truly revolutionary technology will be fought tooth and nail; and subverted, and co-opted; by the same forces that have paralyzed our states.

Policy will not save us.  Ditto.  They'll be holding policy discussions at our funerals.

What might save us is- us.

Communities, working to stick together, and face realities.  

The best initiative I know of there is Rob Hopkins' "Transition Towns" - 

Tons more on his website; and in video/audio.  

There's hope there; if you're willing to roll up your sleeves.

Python wisdom

I know I've been remiss here in the past days; please stick with me, I'll be back.

The problem is a lack of time, and personal energy (got plenty of electricity, since the sun is shining daily just now) - and my personal curse, which my sister the shrink calls an "educated disability"; i.e., the inability to give a short version - of anything.

There's no shortage of stuff to write about; the problem is that when I start thinking about a post; it gets longer, and longer,- can't leave THAT aspect out... oh, and , it connects over here...  

Just currently stuck in that rut.  I'll work it out.

Meanwhile; here is nice story, relevant in many many ways to today's changing world- about the floods- and dead fish.

Tsk, tsk; all that flooding and now there are tons of fish rotting on the lawns.  Hard not to giggle.

As the article points out- "Carp are rich in phosphorus and nitrogen, so they also can be buried in gardens or used in composting if you can stand the smell."

It's a free resource, folks!  La Crunchella DeSpill  has been subverting the masses to get folks to hoard the family pee- and recycle it through the tomatoes- obviously, in this changing world, we can't afford to just toss away all that fertilizer.  And it's obviously, also, a gift, for heaven's sakes, from the Universal powers, that we shouldn't spurn.  Obviously.

I have this trick brain that sometimes just fills in the blanks for me; way ahead of where I'm asking it for input, and in this case, it flashed here, to the brilliant bit in "Monty Python And The Holy Grail".

It's perfect.  "Bring out your carp!"


Man, somebody in Janesville Wisconsin really needs to DO this.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Can't go work on the soddy just this second; intense little thunderstorm passing just north at the moment, with wet edges- so I was poking around on the news, and found this.  An encyclopedia for simple living.

I haven't dug through it all yet- but so far, I really really like these people and what they're doing.  You can buy the books; or get a CD - or- it's all available for free download.  Hm.  I don't think they're in it for the money.

And they seem very careful about checking and re-checking their information; and about having actually tried everything they write about (so it seems).

And the section of potties has a couple versions that look like the THWASPCO; a little, though mine would be the rolls royce version.

Where did I find it?  A tiny note in the New York Times science section, right beside the huge, noisy thing on "are undersea volcanoes REALLY melting the arctic ice!!??".  (The answer, astonishingly, is , duh, no.)

So here in the midst of the crumbling world- there are still some good folks- and they're still doing good things- for you and me.

I feel a little better.  :-)  Just a little; but it helps.

Hank- you're in Berkeley; are these folks as wonderful as they look to be?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

More gallows humor

I've been out and down for a few days, hence the long dry spell.  Going to be working hard in the next few days on the soddy- which actually makes it more likely I'll get a good meaty post up here soon.

Meanwhile, for your amusement: $47,000,000.00 for...?

Cripes, I wish somebody would pay me for MY bellyflops.  Not that I've ever had any as big as his.

Why is this even legal?

sigh.  Ah, well, incredulity is more fun than mourning, so that's the reaction I recommend.