11 August 2009

things I have learned from this year's garden

1. Give the yellow grape tomato plant more room. A lot more room. It needs basically a 3x3' space all to itself, and lots of supports.

2. Grow herbs close to the kitchen. They're growing very well where they are now, but I don't use them as much as I would if they were more conveniently located. Maybe the back deck will work, or even some of them on the landing of the front steps.

3. Stink bugs are gross and evil. So are leaf-footed bugs.

4. Scrotomatoes are funny, but mostly to me.

5. San Marzano plums are fantastic, but need to be planted where they won't be crowded out.

6. We need to figure out early on how to keep the cats from using the beds as a litter box. I'm looking at you, Muldercat.

7. I don't like pole beans. I do like snap beans and filet beans.

8. Piquillo peppers grow very easily on the downhill side of the larger bed but not so well on the uphill side.

9. This year's cucumber plants produced very bitter fruit. Maybe cukes are not worth the large amounts of space that they need.

10. Mustard greens grow terrifically well, but need a commitment to regular harvesting or they will bolt much sooner than you expect.

11. The Tasteful Garden plants are superior in almost every way to plants sourced from other nurseries. I need to resist the temptation at local garden centers, as I am disappointed more often than I am impressed with their plants. Hastings may be the one exception to this.

12. We can successfully grow both zucchini and eggplant, much to my amazement.

13. Our bell peppers produced only very small fruit. I will try a different variety next year and be prepared to stake them earlier.

14. We need more stakes.

15. We may need more worms.

17 July 2008


there will be time for procrastination tomorrow

25 February 2007

oscar predictions

click twice on ballot image for larger, readable version.

03 December 2006


The Beatles

So most people who know me know I have always had a special place in my heart for The Beatles. When I was a kid I wanted to know anything and everything about them. After Lennon was killed, I demanded that my parents drive the twenty-or-so miles to the big record shop from the small town we lived in so I could buy a Beatles record. I bought a double-album called Love Songs and it wasn't the normal collection that usually gets trotted out - it had Yes It Is and Eight Days A Week, She's Leaving Home and their cover of Buddy Holly's Words of Love. I listened to it a lot. I don't know where it is now.
But I'm not sad because today I picked up Love. I looked at it thinking it was a collection of Love songs, but then I saw Revolution, Back in the USSR and Lady Madonna. These are not love songs. So, I flipped the case over and saw a sticker claiming "Beatles Songs as you've never heard them before" and I thought, "Oh great...they've decided to remaster them and sell them as something new." But then I saw that George Martin and his son, Giles, had been involved in the mixing and I was intrigued.

If you haven't heard this work of art that mashes up some great tunes (look for Drive My Car/The Word/What You're Doing) you have to open that browser window and download it, or order it online, or stand up and buy it, steal it or borrow it. But get a copy. Immediately. You need to hear it.

I love The Beatles. I never thought I'd want anyone to mess with songs that most of us fans feel are perfect already. But the Martins have made something incredible in its own right. By sharpening the distortion in Revolution, by mixing Lennon's guitar -and-vocal demo of Strawberry Fields bit-by-bit into the final production version by the end of the song and then tacking on a fantastic montage of riffs and hooks, by using Blackbird as the intro to Yesterday...I can't even describe it.

I'll shut up now, but I should say this...get this into your CD player and leave it there.

08 August 2006


why is it that I think the solution to having too much to do is to create yet another thing to do? expect a template change in the next week or so.

in the next week or so, when we're also packing, moving house, cleaning the old house, learning to use the new camera before my sister's wedding, being understaffed and overworked, watching as many movies as possible with L, trying to get back into the gym habit, and FINALLY, football is back shortly (both kinds!).

life progresses, not apace, exactly, but it definitely progresses.

25 June 2006

You know what this is?

My store, that's what it is.

Seriously. I get to be in charge of it and everything.



09 June 2006

It's not whether you win or lose...

...it's whether the Germans and Argies lose.

Okay, for those of you who either don't know us or have been in the dark, under a rock, at the bottom of a cave...on Neptune...today is the start of the World Cup Finals in Germany.

In the opening game the hosts will take on Costa Rica, and we reckon it'll be a walk in the platz for the sausage-loving, ski-trip-taking, bierfestival-having, neighbor-invading nazi apologists (what?!? which part of that is untrue?). We predict a 3-1 Germany win.

And Poland look unlikely to offer any solidarinost to Ecuador, so we think that will turn out 1-0 to the Poles.

Eventual Winner Prediction: France
Runner Up: England (No, seriously)

Golden Boot Winner: Thierry Henry, Peter Crouch (No, seriously)

Cinderellas: There won't be one, but T&T v Brazil in the next round looks a good bet; and look to POrtugal stumbling against Angola.

Biggest Win: BRAZIL v Australia (by at least five goals)

So there you have it. We'll update this properly, but the game's kicking off any second...

02 June 2006


...we bought a waffle maker.


Waffles with ice-cream, waffles with maple syrup, waffles with butter, home-made freaking waffles with freaking home-made freaking strawberry jam. Do you have any idea, even a hint of a whiff of a clue how much more time it takes to get out the door to work now?

Work at five, leave home at four-thirty was the olden-golden rule. But now...now, you shiny silver belgian bastard...now I have to factor in time to make the batter and heat the iron...and you can't just make one. Oh, no, if you've made enough batter for a dozen you might as well just go on ahead and make the whole batch. After all, you can have a waffle any time of the day.

So. To be at work at five I must now get out of my pit at three-fifteen. Did you even know there is a three-fifteen in the morning? I just thought it was an afternoon time or a really late time at night, you know, after the pubs and clubs boot you out and after you can't get a good pizza, no matter how much you bang on the pizza shop door.

Waffle maker, th'art mine enemy, and I shall defeat ye. I shall wear ye down, laddie. Mark my words, you shall break before I tire of the waffles.

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