Monday, 1 August 2016

Game of Bones


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Here at Fernglade Farm we’re not shy about blatantly ripping off a current (or even a past) pop culture reference in order to get a snappy sounding blog title! And this week’s blog title was almost handed to me on Sunday by Sir Scruffy – the scruffy terrier – who has won the most recent round of the ongoing Bone Wars saga which is being waged amongst the fluffy collective (that description refers to the rest of the dog pack).

The face in the photo below says it all, as Sir Scruffy makes no bones (apologies for the bad pun) about hiding the most recent bone acquisition:
Sir Scruffy makes no bones about his recent salvo in the ongoing Bone Wars saga
Sir Scruffy is a wise canine because after having enjoyed the large beef joint bone for a few quiet hours on a sunny winters afternoon, he came to the conclusion that it would be sensible if the other members of the fluffy collective were deprived of that same bone. Obviously he was only considering the interests of maintaining a harmonious pack. And clearly the best tool at Sir Scruffy’s disposal was burying the bone somewhere that the other dogs would not find it. And when it comes to such activities, Sir Scruffy is the best in the business, as he can hide bones for weeks on end where the other dogs will not be able to find them. Sir Scruffy is using his superior “Secret Fluffy Mind Powers” to achieve this bone disappearing act, although a more pragmatic person would suggest that he is just really good at burying bones where the other dogs are too stupid to find them.

Whatever may be the case, Sir Scruffy has set hard limits on the other dogs activities in the ongoing Bone Wars, for his own reasons, which may be an altruistic choice, but in all honesty may also involve a certain degree of self-interest. In observing those bone actions, I started thinking about the issue of limits because when I was an impressionable teenager, adults used to tell me all the time that the sky was the limit, and I could achieve whatever I desired, so long as I put the effort into that objective. They usually then went on to say that the times were now so different for me than they had it and how lucky was I to be able to do whatever I wanted. That sounded pretty cool to me. I mean who doesn’t want lots of stuff or to be an astronaut?

Unfortunately for those adults, I was mildly apathetic, whilst also still being a good student, but I never really had much in the way of great expectations or desires. And the idea of having no limits seemed mildly disconcerting and a bit disorienting to me. I mean who seriously wants to grow up to be an astronaut when that means being exposed to hard radiation and possible death in a high vacuum environment? This concept held absolutely no appeal to me, and here it is worthwhile mentioning that as a very young child my older sisters took me to watch the sci-fi horror film “Alien” at the theatre. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t cool for them to hang with their younger brother so they ditched me, and there I sat alone and apart from my older sisters watching this horrific film about unpleasant encounters in deep space with clearly superior alien beings – who had a specific agenda – which didn’t involve humans. There was no way I wanted any part of that space business. No way! It seemed absolutely horrible stuff and those aliens appeared to me to make very unpleasant company.

Anyway, despite the rhetoric from those adults, who were clearly trying to fool me with their talk of the sky being the limit (thankfully for me that same sky set a solid upper limit on the number of astronauts positions required!), I didn’t notice that any of those same adults were reaching for the stars themselves. I didn't see many adults aiming to become an astronaut so that they could take on really nasty and very harmful aliens. I mean, did you the reader see anyone doing that? Maybe it was the socio-economic strata I grew up in, but then again maybe not. All I know is that I certainly did not see any adults at all aiming to study and train hard enough so that they could achieve a career as an astronaut so that they could get quickly killed by a seriously bad assed alien?

So one day, the obvious conclusion popped into my head whilst I was yet a young teenager: Adults were capable of lying to children.Who would have thought that this was possible?

Last week as I walked through an obscure back lane in Melbourne, as I have done so for many years, I thought about that turning point in my life where I discovered the shocking realisation that adults lie to children about not only small things, but also the very big things. And that thought popped into my head because I passed by a choice bit of entertaining and yet confronting street art which always turns my mind towards considering such topics.
Street art: You are free – to do what we tell you
But the unspoken question always remains: Why are limits considered to be bad?

Regular readers will recall the recent lemon-gate saga here which is the terrible situation where there are far more lemons than I really know what to do with. There really are a lot of lemons on the many fruit trees and I have recently been reconsidering the wisdom of planting so many lemon trees in the first place (limits anyone?). Anyway, this week I discovered an additional use for lemons as I created a biscuit based lemon tart which is not one for the diabetics in the audience. Seriously, this lemon tart called for a whole lot of butter and sugar and I was even left with a mild sugar rush headache after consuming only a small slice of the tart! Anyway, that dealt with at least five lemons so now there are only a couple of hundred lemons left to deal with…
An experimental biscuit based lemon tart was baked this week. Oh, it was tasty but so full of sugar and butter!
This week I continued the expansion of the solar photovoltaic off grid power systems. Yes, I used the plural to describe the systems because I have two off grid photovoltaic power systems here. The first and very large 24V system is used for the house, whilst the second and much smaller 12V solar power system is used to power the several water pumps for the many garden taps and sprinklers used all about the farm, and the large uplit tree.

For a long time I have had a small and quite old 80W solar panel which hasn’t been used. As many long term readers now know I am very tight, and not being able to use this 80W solar panel, whilst still having access to it, gnawed at my very soul!  

This week, I did something about getting that 80W solar panel into use. The first step towards using the 80W solar panel was the installation of racking on one of the panel free sheds. Roof space here is a premium commodity and if it is not collecting power and water, whilst keeping the rain of a person’s head, then all I can say is that that roof is not working hard enough!
Solar power racking was installed onto a shed this week
For those that are technically minded (everyone else who is not a techno geek can skip to the next paragraph!) the standard plugs used in the world of all things solar powered are called MC4 plugs. They look hardy enough to the weather and there is no doubt that they work well. However, I have noticed that the metal components in the connectors don’t seem to have enough metal in order to transmit the very high currents often seen in off grid systems. In fact I posed that very question to the renewable energy community down under and people have said that the plugs are rated to about 15 amps to 25 amps depending on the manufacturer which is perfectly fine for high voltage and low current grid tied solar power systems. However, in a low voltage and high current off grid system, I can regularly see currents in excess of 40 amps. With this in mind, I have begun using Anderson style DC connectors which are rated to 50 amps.
An Anderson style plug has been used – note the very heavy duty metal which means that the plug is rated to 50 amps which is more than adequate
Once the racking was in place on the roof, I could then install the old and previously unused 80W solar panel and connect up the wiring.
High up on a roof enjoying the warm winters sun and installing an old previously unused 80W solar panel
The editor positioned herself on the ladder at the front of the shed and did the very important job of stopping the solar panel from sliding off the roof before it was properly secured. Solar panels are actually quite heavy and awkward on a steep roof.
Installing solar panels on a steep roof is a two person job
Next, the much larger 200W solar panel was installed next to the smaller 80W solar panel and all was good! I hadn’t mentioned that the previous day I had to run a cable from that roof all the way underground to the battery charge controller which was a very long way away from those solar panels! I’m getting good at digging trenches! Needless to say that once connected to the battery and controller, the sun went off somewhere else…
The job was now done and the sun disappeared before the two solar panels could be properly tested
It may surprise readers to know that those two panels together produce enough electricity to run two very serious high pressure water pumps when the sun is shining strongly!

The much larger 200W solar panel in the photo above was relocated from the cantina shed and doing that that left a space for a new panel for the larger house system.
Relocating the 200W 12V panel left a space in the racking for an additional panel on another shed
I then added the final new solar panel to the house 24V photovoltaic system. That solar power system has a theoretical upper limit of approximately 50 panels (which is limited by the batteries). But that limit of 50 panels is not reasonable as it makes little, if any, economic sense. I will content myself with 4.8kW of panels and go no further.
The final panel was added to the house 24V photovoltaic system which plugged up the gap left by the relocation of the 12V solar panel
Spring has almost arrived here as I noticed the other day that two of the ornamental pear trees (Manchurian and Snow Pear) began producing buds which appear prior to budburst.
Two of the ornamental pears have begun swelling their buds this week
Regular readers will recall the giant branch that recently fell from one of the very tall and old Eucalyptus Obliqua trees here. Well, the other day the remaining bark fell from the side of the tree and it exposed the most beautifully grained and clear timber underneath. Obviously the tree will form scar tissue over this wound, but it is the size of the wound that is quite epic to see:
The remaining bark fell from this very old Eucalyptus Obliqua tree earlier in the week revealing very beautifully grained timber
The temperature outside now at about 9.15pm is 5.5’C (41.9’F). So far this year there has been 654.8mm (25.8 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 622.2mm (24.5 inches).

Solar PV Statistics (from 4.6kW of installed PV panels)

Tuesday – 26th July Batteries started at 77% full and 5.1kW was generated that day
Wednesday – 27th July Batteries started at 74% full and 6.4kW was generated that day
Thursday – 28th July Batteries started at 75% full and 6.3kW was generated that day
Friday – 29th July Batteries started at 81% full and 6.2kW was generated that day
Saturday –30th July Batteries started at 83% full and 5.1kW was generated that day
Sunday – 31st July Batteries started at 68% full and 13.4kW was generated that day
Monday- 1st August Batteries started at 78% full and 3.0kW was generated that day

87 comments:

Jo said...

I am with you on the space thing. I love keeping both feet on the ground! I am looking at the solar possibilities at my new house. We have a very awkward, small, double gabled roof, which is very bad news for fitting solar panels on. I might have to go with just solar hot water, which will nicely take care of more than half of our electricity needs. Do you have solar hot water, or just the PV panels? Or do you heat water with your wood heater?

Damo said...

Maybe don't approve this comment, I wrote a reply to your computer questions on last weeks blog. Not sure where that might pop up for you :-)

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Have just remembered lemon marmalade, it is very good indeed.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

I love these blog title names that you all think up! What a great close-up of (dirty) Sir Scruffy's face! Undoubtedly, that was a dragon bone.

I met an astronaut once, back in the 60s during the Apollo missions. He was William Anders and had orbited the moon. He took a photo while circling the moon that, at the time, was one of the most sensational and freaky photos ever - of the earth as seen from the moon. It is called "Earthrise". Now one can see such a view 24 hours a day, real-time, on the NASA cable channel. My grandfather the Congressman had been on the Space and Aeronautics Committee, thus making my brother mad for being an astronaut, too, but eventually the amount of studies discouraged him, or other enticing interests came along.

Another thing in our culture when I was growing up was that absolutely everything was perceived to be "germy" and needed to be dealt with forthwith with serious chemicals. This wasn't just my mother. I guess that was because the world of chemicals was still quite new ( I grew up in the 50s and 60s), most of it having started during WWII, and science could do no wrong. I remember getting a penicillin shot for every little sniffle. I eventually became allergic to penicillin. What I find amazing is that people still fall for that. And it was my experience, too, that I grew up knowing absolutely no-one with a food allergy. My mother never had to worry about what to feed me, or my little friends.

I still resent a bit other people setting limits for me, though I am very happy with setting my own, pretty stringent, limits. I can't understand the contradiction, but it probably has something to do with being one of the Order of Contrarians.

Sell your excess lemons!

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

Thank you, Margaret, for the toothy (small t) sentiment. And what fascinating train anecdotes!

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Jo:

We have oodles of tomatoes and so it is now passata time! So I refreshed my memory with the passata recipe at your blog. Before you know it, you will be doing the same - time flies!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - That's an interesting bit of street art. I noticed the CCTV sign, to the left of the photo. Apparently, that little bit of wall for the street art is out of reach of the ever present lens. Interesting how many mysteries I watch, the crime is solved due to CCTV coverage. Or, not solved if the camera happens to be on the fritz. Even in "Shetland", those far northern isles are pretty much covered. At least in town.

Don't know when I figured out that grown ups lie. Can't remember any kind of "moment of clarity." I've steered clear of all the "Alien" movies. I found out just enough about them to know I didn't want to see them. LOL, I really don't remember it, but apparently my father took me to the movies when I was four ... Mum was in the hospital, having my brother. "War of the Worlds". Apparently, when the death ray is first deployed, I screamed and tried to crawl under the seat. Poor Dad had to watch the rest of the film from the lobby.

That's an ... interesting crust on that lemon tart. Oh, you can probably figure out a way to cut the sugar in the thing. A couple of years ago, I found an interesting recipe for a no bake, fridge pumpkin / chocolate pie. It was so rich, so sweet. Set my teeth on edge and about sent me into a diabetic coma. :-). Made the banana bread. Two loaves. One for now and one for the freezer. Well. The recipe looked pretty bland, so I jazzed it up a bit with spices. Glad I did. Didn't get much "lift". It's a pretty dense loaf. I think, some yeast next time and let it rise for awhile. With a bit of butter, warmed in the oven and a big glass of milk, a passable breakfast. Not in my top ten culinary experiences, but, serviceable. And, those three bananas didn't go to waste.

Kind of the same problem with all your lemons. I think you're like me. You hate the thought of the waste. But, at some point, you have to let go. And, it's not really waste. It goes back into the soil. I'm the same way. LOL. I had a touch of stomach problems, a few days ago, and I think it's because I ate a few boiled eggs that had become a bit dodgy.

Your sliding into spring and, August says fall to me. Not that there are any really obvious signs. Maybe the sun is a bit lower on the horizon. The slant of light seems .... different.

Am reading "The Third Plate; Field Notes on the Future of Food" by Dan Barber. Pretty interesting stuff. I read the intro, and then went directly to the "seed" section. Really interesting stuff. About wheat .... about rice. How they used to be grown, how their grown now. Varieties lost and rediscovered. How every small town used to have a "seedsman." Landrace farming.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landrace

Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I messed up with my first comment this week and sent it to your previous week, which is why the apparent first one began 'Hello again). Sorry.

The rains came back yesterday and it is still raining. I need a drought before my abode and surrounds become encased like sleeping beauty's castle.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Yes, a mushroom kit is a great thing. I've been putting a few brain cells towards extending the harvest too. Have you ever tried that trick? I may try feeding the mushrooms with compost, although they prefer peat – which we are in very short supply down here. The peat is imported!

Ha! No the title is definitely yours. I wasn't under that long either.

We call peppers by the name of capsicum down here. And chili's maybe peppers where you are, but we call them chili's here. The difference indicates to people down here that the capsicum (either red, green or yellow varieties - or a mix of the three) has no chili bite in their consumption. Ouch!

Thanks for the info on both your chili's and your fruit trees. Do you reckon that your summer humidity may be an issue with the fruit trees - just as a suggestion? Cherries and apricots prefer humid winter and springs and then dry summers. I can regale you with tales of their origins if you wish?

That title was pretty funny! :-)! Honestly, I came up with the idea five minutes before starting writing – the blog originally had another more boring name. Of course Sir Scruffy dreams of dragon bones, or maybe just very large marsupial bones.

Sorry about the astronaut bit, it is a tough gig and I have nothing but respect for them, but hopefully you are not offended as my only point was that not everyone can be an astronaut. A lot of them used to come through to that program via the air force?

Yeah, it is one of our last lines of defence against microbiology, which in all fairness just wants a meal too. You know, I see cleaners in the supermarket proclaiming: hospital strength grade. And thus we select for even tougher opponents. And my experience was exactly the same as yours - nobody had a food allergy way back in the day. But few people want to ask the hard question: is the food today, the same as the food in days past? I suspect not. Even the soils are more depleted of minerals nowadays and the plants are fed a different diet.

Greetings fellow Contrarian (secret fluffy handshake is now exchanged and our bona fides are confirmed)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

That is a horrid situation with the needle and I had that same problem once at the Blood Bank where I used to regularly give a donation. It was an unpleasant situation, I mean how hard would it have been to find a vein - it is not like they are not paid to do that very thing? I stopped donating blood - there is no payment for that down under, just a milkshake and party pie and send you on your way - because the waiting times became so long that it took up most of the evening when it should have been a precision machine given that people were donating out of the goodness of their hearts. No way that I'm looking at that needle business either, just get it over and done with and then stop wiggling the thing. It was nice to see that they were competent in the end!

Yum! Now I'm really jealous of all of those fresh berries that you mentioned. Hopefully next weekend I can begin excavating the two berry beds so as to get them planted before winter disappears. Banana bread is very tasty and yes, the grottier the bananas the better the banana bread. How did it turn out? Ouch, I'm starting to empathise with your jaw pain and those nuts. I have a secret love of walnuts and keep a bowl of them to snack on...

Ha! Things of value. Well, it is a relative concept after all. Hmmm, an example: What about a full water tank during the middle of a long hot dry summer?

Oh, I've never come across that particular theory before, but it sort of makes sense. You deftly dodged speaking about your own experience. I have a work of art by a young lady that had the condition of synaesthesia hanging on one of the walls and I believe she felt music was expressed as colours. It is a lovely bit of art and it is also slightly ephemeral in that it expresses something which I cannot quite grasp. The work of art is of a lady playing a Cello, but it is nice to see the world through someone else's eyes so that you as a person can sort of grasp how they perceive things – it helps expands ones worldview.

I doubt that other cultures today see the world as even you and I do. It is a very complex issue which may or may not even require an answer or even any analysis. Does it even matter? They had a discussion on the youth news radio program "Hack" this evening about a cult and I will be most interested to listen to what the program had to say about the matter. I see people proclaiming the strangest of things which don't even stack up under the mildest of poking, but still they proclaim them. The world of humans is a most interesting place.

Absolutely, the term station was often traditionally used by the courts to evaluate the quantum of a settlement. Hope you are not involved with anyone's legal business in the higher echelons of society...

Cheers

Chris

Coco said...

Two words - lemon curd. You can freeze lemons too, I believe.

We have family visiting for the month of August. The current one brought her little Jack Russell mix and, while 90% of the time they get along fine and tire each other out playing, there are moments of tension when Breo exercises his territorial clout. I´m exhausted and the inlaws don´t get here until the 15th.

Good work on the panels. They blend right in on those metal roofs.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B. Jorgenson,

Seriously it is that easy to make - all of them. I should do a post one day on how to break a larger problem down into its smaller components? Dunno. There has to be a fluffy story in there too though...

Pragmatic solutions abrade against our preconceived notions of how the world should be. Take a listen sometime to people talking about rights this and rights that and you'll quickly see what I mean.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Well done, you jumped the queue!!! Just kidding, no stress, I muck things up all of the time! :-)! What did they say about people living in glass houses and stone throwing... Hehe!

Thanks for sharing the story about your sons hearing. You were very alert to have taken him under your wing and begin teaching him when the mainstream system could not. Also, I am impressed that you were able to be flexible as I often wonder about our one size fits all method of education - which I rather suspect panders to the middle ground. Reading the ADR comments this week I have also been rather wondering at peoples abilities to be able to break problems down into their various smaller components, so I feel that the education system is rather lacking in something big. Yes, life would definitely be more difficult for your son, but at the same time I believe that it is good that he has found a role and a place in the world too.

Those lurchers are very alert looking dogs. I'll bet that they have readily adapted with their communication between them and your son? The dogs here have learned the tricks of eye contact and presence. The census officer turned up today and we had a lovely conversation, but wow, did the dogs let me know the lady was at the front door or what! :-)!

Yes, nothing brings out the very best and the very worst in people like either a wedding or a funeral and wills are definitely part of that business!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Apologies, I almost missed your comment from yesterday...

Thanks for the update on your weather. It is a complex beast that weather. The enduring humidity is very hard, I hear you. It is very humid down here as it normally is over winter, but with the extra rain this year you can see the humidity in the air it is that thick.

That was sort of my point too, hoop houses have benefits, but they also have costs which can't be avoided. Even glass houses down here used to have to be heated over the depths of winter and that is a rich persons game. And like your part of the world, the heat over summer knocks out the plants. Usually shade cloth is draped over those structures which then more or less emulates a rainforest. Nice to read about the good soil too! That is excellent stuff.

I love the trains here as the scenery is so scenic due to skirting around the deep river gorges in this area. The rivers are very old and well established and they have just gently cut through the otherwise flati-ish landscape heading towards Melbourne. I'll try and get a photo the next time I'm on the train. Yes, those are the downsides of a country train trip. Down here, they have a quiet carriage on most trains which I try to gravitate too as I can read the latest ADR comments on my dumb phone as text. Oh for the joys of the quiet carriage!

Go hard and see what happens. The group is very enjoyable and I look forward to meeting the group every month. It is always a lively but friendly discussion.

Fair enough about the gluten. I doubt that it is all in your head as even I get a mild reaction to the bread that I make - which contains really high quality stuff. I'm wondering whether it has something to do with the processing of the wheat? I'll do the experiment in a year or two just to see what the difference is, unfortunately there are so many projects to complete first.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Yes, I totally agree with you about the space thing, plus who actually wants to meet one of those very aggressive aliens? ;-)!

Solar hot water is a great idea and such a simple idea too. I have two flat solar hot water panels on the roof and they face north west and so work for about eight months of the year. The other months even if they were facing north, the sun probably doesn't have enough tooth to be able to warm much of anything anyway. For the rest of the year, whenever the wood heater is going, the hot water is being warmed so all year it is toasty warm. Solar hot water will probably be a better investment than photovoltaics. The reason I put the statistics on the blog is so that people can see the real world performance and not get fooled by the hype.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Oh no, blogger ate your comment as I could not find it, but am still interested to read your thoughts and get some guidance on the matter.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge and Lewis,

Events have overtaken me this evening and I am now unable to reply. I promise to reply tomorrow.

It seems as though I am having to go on the attack more and more in recent months as people are nipping at the edges. I rather suspect that this is a sign of decline in action. Annie Hawes spoke truly when she said that one's gain is another loss in a stable economy.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again
Notayesmanseconomics made a reference to Australia today and went on to UK housing. It is a shame that the timing makes it impossible for you to comment on his blog as he blogs every weekday.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, yes, walnuts. I usually try for a small hand full, every day. But they are so darned expensive. But, our Safeway suddenly started putting the one pound bags on sale. Must be a warehouse, somewhere, they are clearing out. So, I've been buying up as much as I can and throwing the bags in the freezer. Walnuts have been as much as $12 a pound. This sale they've dropped to around $6.

I'll be glad to see the Doc tomorrow, get the stitches out and see how much I can return to a more "normal" diet, for me. I'm really missing the amounts of veg and fruit I usually eat. I suppose if I'd really worked at it, I could have done more in that department. But, I felt so sluggish. Doesn't seem to be any infection, but places are still pretty tender.

What? Where? Lost the plot. Deftly dodged what? :-). Language, maybe? No, I never picked up any Finn or German. Other than when they didn't want us kids to know what was going on, they didn't speak Finn, much.

What you speculated with Pam and Margaret ... yup, from what I'm reading now, and have read in the past, food is very different. The varieties are different, the processing is different, the soil is different. What I didn't realize is that most of the wheat we eat now are dwarf varieties that were developed in the 1950s during the "Green Revolution". It was all about yield, not flavor. And, the short wheat has a very shallow root system. So, you don't get a lot of penetration of the soil.

Guess I'll pull myself together and go to the men's meeting, tonight. Got to shake of this lethargy and get "with it." Lew

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Chris,

Good luck with whatever has happened to keep you from responding.

I've never quite understood why people think of limits as bad either. Personally, I find the idea of there not being any to be a little scary, and I find it easier to make decisions when I know there are limits and or consequences, both things many people seem to reject.

In response to you saying that it really is that simple to make, I will definitely try out both lemon wine and sake. I think I'll start with sake first, as I have more uses for it at the moment since I'm very much enjoying Japanese cooking and it uses a fair amount of sake.

And I've absolutely seen what you're talking about with discussions on rights very quickly collapsing into nonsense because people can't deal with the pragmatic aspect of it. I've even been insulted because I asked questions related to the pragmatic aspects of rights people were trying to claim existed. It's interesting watching those people who try to live on idealism alone, rejecting the need to be pragmatic... As long as it's from afar though!

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It is good street art isn't it? I believe the word irony is called for in this situation? And honestly, the worst thing about it, is that the artist was not far wrong. I have had a most disturbing discovery this afternoon. I may not have mentioned this before but a census is due to be completed next week and these are usually good things. Except somehow this particular one has crossed some sort of boundary and now the results can be traced back to the individuals within a particular household. Alas for us, because as decline kicks in, civil rights go out the window. The only logical conclusion that I can come to - and I'd really like to be wrong in this instance - is that the whole process is going to end up being one mother of a data matching exercise for the powers that be because they either suspect that population is up to some sort of mischief, which I don't see, or for just another left of centre suggestion, well there are so many data points required in that form focusing on financials, I’m just suggesting that perhaps the political donors are perhaps taking things a bit far this time. And the interesting thing is that people are being threatened with $1,800 fines if there is misleading data - plus there is also a fine for not completing the form of apparently $180 per day. The unspoken thing is that someone, somewhere is validating your data in order to be able to make the decision that the data is possibly misleading in the first place! Oh my.

Even the right leaning hard core conservative press is expressing concerns about this census... Scott Morrison (Treasurer), ABS defend census against privacy accusations. Far out, that article is from an establishment business press and the criticisms are mild at best. You want to have a look at the rest of the press. Oh my.

By the way, you get the Elephant Stamp for noticing the CCTV camera! I was wondering how many people would spot that and also the accompanying warning sign. It adds to the overall delicious irony of the message, does it not?

Really, I would have considered that the Shetland Islands are so far from anywhere that CCTV would have been almost useless? Although, apparently the Shetland Islands are a tax haven so maybe they actually might have something to hide? If one was to exclude that little side matter then the economic interests in such a remote place seem to be rather minimal...

Ha! That is funny about the War of the Worlds film. Mate, I hear you. Seriously, who in their right mind wants to face a death ray? The original Alien film had the most awful scene when the ships cat jumped out of a locker. That scene alone left me with nightmares. The original Terminator film was pretty scary too because of the unrelenting and unpredictable nature of the opponent. Clearly the writers had read Sun Tzu.

The crust for the tart was made from a mix of Anzac biscuits and muesli. It was pretty tasty, but the sugar was too much for my poor brain and I eventually fed the confection to the worms. They are far more sensible creatures than I and are usually unaffected by insane quantities of sugar. ;-)!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Don't laugh, but a mate of mine once had a hyperglycemia attack after a long session watching films all day long and consuming lollies. He passed out at an intersection in his car which then rolled across and then stopped just on the other side of that intersection which is just outside of the city. He then slept in a mildly comatose state for a few hours. True story. Did you actually crash out too?

Just for your interest, with the banana bread recipe we don't use yeast, instead we add bi-carb which makes for a fluffier loaf. Still, even a dense banana bread must be easier on your jaw than say a cookie?

Sorry to read that you were not feeling so well. Out of curiosity, how long ago were the eggs boiled? That can mean much or nothing. I tend to boil eggs when needed, otherwise I've noticed that the yolks go a bit grey, which does seem a little bit unpleasant.

A sensitive soul can feel the change in the seasons and pin the change down to a particular day! Are you using the light with the chickens yet?

Thank you very much for the term: Landrace. Yes, of course, that is how things went down here back in the day. I don't doubt that necessity will inevitably push us back in that direction as it is a very sensible adaption. I just sort of reckon that it will be a lot of hard work.

Yeah, walnuts are very expensive down here too and out of season they are flown in from the US so they are crazy expensive. They are actually a bit of an indulgence, but I buy them at the farmers market from a guy that sources them from regional farms in the north east of the state – in season – but up there is much colder than here. Honestly, I wonder how the orchardists even net the trees from the birds as they would all love to eat the walnuts. For you interest, I have killed three of those trees so far but I seem to be slowly getting my brain around the problem of getting nut trees established, but it is still early days yet. They are much harder than all of the other fruit trees combined. Hey, incidentally the walnuts down here are sold in their shells.

Good luck with the visit to the doc and also with the results of the biopsy too. You are made of hardy stuff not to have even a mild infection for such an invasive medical procedure.

Ha! Whatever! :-)! That is tough about the language. The editor could have picked up a good grounding in German if not for the teacher at home being such a pain. I reckon back in the day people fixated on assimilation where there may have been some sort of a middle ground?

Oh, I didn't know that about the wheat varieties being a dwarf form. What a joke too. The dwarf forms would have smaller root systems so the plants themselves would be less able to send sugars deep into the soil for the soil life and/or they would be less able to dig deep for water and so they would be less hardy plants. I saw an old photograph the other day in the newspaper of a young lady sitting in the front yard of a house in Melbourne in the late 19th century and she was completely surrounded by a field of perennial flowers during high summer and what was worse is that I could not identify most of the varieties...

Lethargy, well you've had a tough time of it recently, so enjoy and indulge your lethargy!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the marmalade suggestion and recommendation and I will look into that.

That is sort of funny, but at the same time who much rain can your place bear? That is a tough one. Be careful what you wish for though as droughts can be pretty nasty from my experience.

Out of interest, how are your sons piglets and sow going?

The recent rains and wind here have knocked quite a few trees over and it is not unusual to see quite large trees now lying down on the ground.

Thanks for the heads up and I'll check it out. Yes, he is a prolific author! Anyway, I sort of joke that if it looks like a bubble, sounds like a bubble, and smells like a bubble, it probably is a bubble. The reserve bank down here lowered official interest rates yesterday... I no longer even know what to say on that matter as it just makes no sense whatsoever.

It has been very cloudy and rainy here the past couple of days.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B. Jorgenson,

It was a nuisance which had to be dealt with. I have had to deal with more than a few nuisances in the past year and I have been wondering whether this sudden change means anything in particular? I fail to believe that it is merely coincidence.

Oh yeah, acknowledging limits actually means that a person can actually do something in their lives. On the other hand fixating on limitlessness can lead to a person becoming overwhelmed, don't you believe? From my perspective a person feeling overwhelmed generally fails to make any decisions at all. Anyway, it is always easier to sell stuff to people who are possibly feeling dissatisfied which I reckon is linked to the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Go hard or go home, as they say down here! Actually the sake is a good choice and the trick I've found with that is to leave it next to the heater, and I just keeping adding more rice and tapping off the liquid which in all honesty needs to settle a bit and also go through a little bit of filtering via a cloth to get rid of the solids. Other than that, the stuff is a no brainer.

Ha! That is funny, rights from my perspective appear to be granted when it is economic to do so. Other than that, they are words. The legal system is a good example as it is increases in complexity but at the same time it is dependent on energy for enforcement. I'm unsure how many legal practitioners get that limit...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Oops! The publishing option put your comment back in the list a bit.

Oh yeah, I have to confess to making lemon curd using the microwave oven. My foodie mates will kill me when they hear that. But it is much quicker to do so and tastes exactly the same... :-)!

Ah, of course, I didn't explain that bit. I do freeze the lemon juice and keep them in glass jars in the freezer and use as needed. It is good stuff and a person can seriously go through a whole lot of lemons!

Oh no! I'm starting to get very nervous as such a situation would be very unpleasant. I'm very law abiding you know! ;-)! Hope they don't come for you either! Hehe! It is funny that not many people realise that that term is a legal concept, although to be fair it may have been borrowed. I read about it way back in the day being used that way. Too bad if a persons station is considered "low"...

I hope you are enjoying your summer weather!

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I wonder if adults lying to kids re: achieving whatever you desire, is a bit of wishful thinking on their part.

I sure am noticing physical limits as I'm getting older. Our friends who own the apple orchard are a bit older than us and they are struggling with keeping up as well. Their children don't want to take it over and they've failed so far to find anyone reliable to assist them. They feel that if they quit they are admitting they are old.

That "Alien" movie really creeped me out. On the movie front though I am taking my brother to the new Star Trek movie this week. Love the weekday matinee price of $6 and the theater is usually quite empty as well. This is one of the benefits of being retired from a full time paying job. He and I were always Star Trek fans from the beginning and he's quite excited.

Salve and Leo are very possessive about their bones but there is no burying around here. Sir Scruffy is a smart dog indeed.

I am very glad I have animals that get the benefit of the excess veggies. The amount of zucchini, cucumbers and tomatoes is crazy this year!!

Regarding giving blood, that's something my husband did on a regular basis and it's how he found out he had Hepatitis C. Unfortunately he must have given it to others as well as he gave blood many times before they started testing for Hep C.

Margaret



margfh said...

Hi Lew,

That looks like a very interesting book and is now on my "to read" list.


Hi Pam,

The train is an interesting place. As I said my husband used to commute to Chicago for his job for quite a few years. He said the regulars all had their staked out seat in the morning. When I take the early commuter train to the city I always wonder if I've taken someone's seat but so far no dirty looks. The regulars also had parties for holidays on the ride home complete with food and drink. The bars at the train station have "to go" drinks as well and I must admit I indulge from time to time. The train had a quiet car too during rush hour where no loud conversations between riders or on cell phones are allowed. There are a few times during the year when there a really big events taking place in the city where no alcohol is allowed on the train.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have only known one drought here (in the 1970s). It caused a wonderful clear out of the woods and was very beneficial. There is a medieval pond about 20 mins walk away; every single wild animal tracked there to drink. The tracks were fascinating.

They are no longer piglets, 5 go to be slaughtered today and the other 7 go in 2 weeks time. These were the result of an unintended pregnancy when the boar got out. This much meat causes my son a problem. People no longer want large joints as they tend not to have families. Son wants 18ft pigs with no legs.

I reckon that people can always be traced from obligatory form filling. One friend was told that he was okay because only the postal code was given. The poor chap only shared his postal code with one other household.

Back to making courgette quiches; some neighbours have excess courgettes growing.

Inge

foodnstuff said...

Wow! What were you doing on Saturday that dropped the batteries from 83% to 68%?

Jo said...

@Pam, so glad you are getting mileage from that recipe:)

I cannot wait to create an amazing vegie garden that will take up my whole yard at my new house this spring. I have just finished last year's passata, and will have to wait nearly six months for more, but then I plan to never run out again!

Damo said...

Oh it is a shame that my comment was lost. All that insight and wit never to be seen again. I will just do some short points re: computers. If there is anything requiring elaboration just let me know (the least I can do for the free entertainment you provide each week!).

- Mechanical hard drives tend to fail around the 5 year mark, so your 8 year old laptop is doing very well!
- At 8 years old, it is plausible some other circuit will develop a failure (leaky capacitors normally) in the near future. Keep this in mind when calculating time and money investments.
- Any cheap, new SSD *should* work in your laptop, and yes they just plug into the 2.5" bay. It is only the superslim macbooks airs the like that use a smaller unit.
- It might be worth googling your laptop model number and "SSD" as a check against any potential incompatibilities. If you are lucky, perhaps your local computer store will help out (e.g. let you swap SSDs if the first pick does not work). Don't stress too much, most of the time they will just work.
- Being a HP laptop, you might not have install Discs for it. Around 10-15 years ago computer manufacturers realised they can save a few cents by putting the install files in a hidden partition on your hard disk. As an added bonus the customer has less available free space for their own files. JMG would have something to say about that practice I suspect.
- If you don't have the discs, there might be a program already installed on your laptop that will create them for you, look for 'create recovery media' or similar. Failing that, you can navigate the horrible HP website and find the download option, they will be multiple gigabytes so you might need a good coffee shop or friends house :-p
- Once you have an SSD and the install DVDs ready, swap the hard drives. Reboot the laptop with the install disc in the CD drive and with luck it will automatically start the install process (if not, you need to figure out how to tell your laptop to boot from DVD - google is your friend, or pay close attention to text on the screen in the first few seconds after you switch it on)
- After the install is finished, go to add/remove programs and get rid of all the HP cruft, anti-virus program and other dregs that are forced onto new computers. You want the system as bare-bones as possible for speed and reliability reasons.

FUN ALTERNATIVE: Try Linux Mint. For an 8 year old laptop you would want 32bit-MATE edition (Computers less than 5 years old should go with 64-bit Cinnamon). The website has easy instructions for creating install DVDs or USB sticks. The first time you run it, no changes are made to the hard disk so you can test drive it with no strings attached. I have setup a few PCs at the college here and initial feedback is positive. They get very interested when I say no viruses and free (almost everyone has a pirated edition of windows and office with all sorts of viruses installed).

Obviously, Linux is only an option if you don't need a particular software package from Windows or Mac.

Good luck :-)

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

An offense in your comment re: astronauts never occurred to me. I had a thought yesterday of how scary it must have been for the Apollo 11 fellow who had to orbit the moon in the Command Module while the other two walked on the moon. Would he be able to reconnect with them? Would he be lost - alone - out in space? At least the two astronauts on the moon had someone to talk to . . .

A secret fluffy hand shake to you (and the Editor)! In fact, as far as I can tell, all blog commenters here are Contrarians!

Once again, I appreciate your real world solar statistics. There is no way that we could ever have solar panels this deep in the forest, but I am glad to know how they really work. No-one else admits to the pitfalls.

My jaw dropped at your recounting of the taking of the current Australia census. Though, for all I know they do that here, too. We will see in 2020. Gone are the days when one could put the family dog on the census as a joke and just have them tell you to "be serious". My jaw also dropped (ouch!) at your mate in the car with the hyperglycemia. If he had done that here he would now have a long prison record.

Who are you taking your tomahawk to?

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

It was indeed interesting to hear how you dealt with your son's deafness. Good for you in dealing with it in such a pragmatic manner.

We have a veritable jungle here, too, as it has been raining off and on for a couple of weeks, sometimes quite heavily, buy - yay! - no need to water the garden. I am not feeling so put out by so much rain as my parents in Ft. Collins, Colorado are in a drought, with water restrictions.

"Son wants 18ft pigs with no legs." Hee, hee!

Pam

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Chris,

Sounds pretty easy to me. Thank you for the extra suggestion though, it may not have been obvious to me right away that you need to filter it with a cloth. I'm sure I would've figured it out, but it may have taken a while. Any advice on how to use the leftover solid part? Maybe it's best just to compost it?

I also somehow doubt lawyers realize that the legal system depends on energy. I think most people have forgotten how important energy is for most things.

And in response to your central bank lowering interest rates, and you saying you no longer know what to say, I leave you this:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cibc-negative-yield-bonds-1.3685259
Yep, corporations are now able to issue negative interest bonds.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Our census here only comes around once every 10 years. We're due again in 2020. I really can't remember any concern over financials on the last one. This being America, and over populated with Social Justice Warriors (see ADR), the big concern seemed to be over the "race" boxes. But, I think you're right. We (collective we) are asked for, and give, way too much information. Of course, it begins in those fine print agreements on the Net, that no one ever reads (and, would have to be a lawyer to understand.) It seems like over the past 20 years, or so, so many people have given away their privacy, that it's assumed that no one is concerned, anymore. Or, if you are, you're thought "weird." What I often hear here is "If you're not doing anything wrong, why would it bother you that someone is poking around in your life?" The cat is out of the bag and the horse is out of the barn. Too late to go back, now.

The episodes I've seen of "Shetland", so far, hasn't mentioned anything about tax havens, and such. It's all pretty local slanted mysteries. Murders dating back to WWII and struggles over family money or land. Everybody wears very cool jumpers :-).

Yeah, I do have a little problem with hyperglycemia, but I've never passed out from it. At one point when I was working on the blueberries, last week, I suddenly felt a little woozy. I just need to stop what I'm doing, have a little sit down and get something in my stomach. Much easier to deal with that, than say, diabetes. Which is rampant in my Mum's family. The worst episode I had was when I first moved out here and tackled the mowing without enough hydration and carbs in my stomach. Didn't pass out, but I had to sit on the ground, very suddenly, and wait for a few minutes before attempting to get in the house and eat something.

The boiled eggs were a bit over a week old. Maybe more :-). Maybe I didn't mention, but the chickens have been gone for ...three weeks or so? They went to a good home. One of the library ladies I've known for years. What with the surgery, and the upcoming move, sooner or later, it seemed like a good time to relocate them. Here, you can buy the walnuts shelled, or unshelled. The one's I've been getting from Safeway are shelled, and out of the baking section. So, raw, which is how I want them anyway. I don't think we have any bird here that can crack a walnut shell. Not that I've heard of. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: Scotlyn gave you a nice shout out, over at the ADR. 8/1/ ... 2:14 PM. LOL. In case of swelled head, lean slightly uphill so you don't fall over :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Yeah for sure, parents are just trying to save their offspring pain and pretend that things are otherwise than they actually are. I get that. The problem, I reckon is when the tool is over used when actual experience does not reflect the lie. For example, saying that the sky is the limit and anything is achievable when in fact there are really hard limits on what can be achieved. I often wonder about the fine line between a general lack of realism and hard core pragmatism is? You have to admit that the middle ground there makes for some murky waters. What do you reckon about that?

Oh yeah, I hear you about that. A long time ago, I wrote about a lovely old couple that own a nearby orchard and they produce superb fruit and sell it out of one of their sheds. One day after a few years, the old guy told me that his son wasn't interested in anything other than sub dividing the farm and I felt the guys pain as he also admitted that he was getting older and as such it was harder work. I'm working very hard now to set up the infrastructure so that it is simple, resilient and repairable. I'd be interested in hearing of other strategies?

Horrid! Who would make a film like that? I had nightmares for weeks. No spoilers please, but I do hope that you enjoy the film, the reviews have been excellent.

Sir Scruffy is winning! He may be able to teach Leo and Salve a thing or two about bone ownership?

Nice to hear about your glut of produce. I may start feeding the chickens lemons, cut up very small. They seem to enjoy citrus... It does make me wonder whether the eggs will start to have a lemon flavour?

Yeah, my mum had Hep B and it is no joke from what I've seen. I believe they now have a very expensive cure for Hep C?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

That is a very valuable insight and of course you are totally correct. The variations in the climate tend to breed resilience into the ecosystem. I'd never thought about it that way before. :-)!

Of course, I assume that you are referring to demographic change in your area? The mountain range down here has an ageing population too and I worry about that especially if a big fire comes through - as it will. I wouldn't have considered that the demographic changes would have driven changes in the type of food demand. Actually, people don't tend to make stock these days either and not much is simpler than making a stock, you don't even need to be remotely careful. Did you see the huge celery plant I discovered last week? The thing is a feral monster and I'll collect seeds from it in a couple of months. That celery has been working hard at making a stock.

That is true, but this census is asking for name, date of birth (or age), address. But as well as that, it is the financial data that is a step too far. I can't help but wonder whether the banks have had a hand in drafting up that form. I don't recall that the process was that invasive in the past. And the threat of fines, and they don't seem to joking around about it.

Yum! Lucky you to receive excess courgettes!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi foodnstuff,

Elephant stamp for you for picking up on that one. I live in a state of constant amazement at just how observant the readers are here. :-)! The editor had a girlie night so she entertained some friends and the increased electricity use was for the vacuum as the house was cleaned up and the rice cooker (making extra batches of sake).

The vacuum cleaner uses about 1.7kW of electricity so after an hour or so of that machine...

Good spotting.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Blogger gets hungry every now and then... Yes, it is a shame that your wit and insight disappeared completely. How is the internet connection going over there? I recall that back in the day it was spotty at best and only available at certain locations. I used to use the old BBS services so it wasn't a big jump from them to the internet. Just for your info, it was the internet banking services that made me jump on board early with that lot. You may not recall the days when it took over night to render only 10 mp3 files from their original wav format... Was that a flashback?

Thanks for the info on the SSD and you have given me a lot to ponder. I have no experience with them at all. I may have to create a windows xp recovery disk so as to be able to restore the image to the SSD.

I read your LINUX Mint comment with interest. Unfortunately, I have to run software that is specific to Windows - unless there is a windows emulator shell they can run in, and honestly I've had experience with that on a mac way back years ago and it was a complete nuisance as the programs ran fine, but wow, did they have troubles with the hardware side of things.

Yeah, that old laptop is not connected to the internet as there is no reason to do so as it only needs to do a few things - which it does well. Not everyone has a need for internet connectivity and any devices that connect up to it come from trusted sources - that sounds a bit dodgy doesn't it? :-)!

I'll pick up an SSD over the next few weeks and see what happens to the laptop.

There are signs of spring down here now. You really missed on the big rains in Tasmania... You have good timing. Have you had a chance to see Star Trek yet? No spoilers please if you have though! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

That is very true and it was unintended. Yes, that would have been rather disturbing to face that. Once a person is outside of the atmosphere, well, they're reasonable vulnerable to all sorts of minor problems, no doubts about it and they really are on their own. Most fiction stories I've ever read about space travel make light of the sheer danger of those journeys. Phillip K Dick wrote a story called a Maze of Death which touched on that very story. I'm not sure whether I enjoyed his books and I could never quite put as finger on why, but it was certainly an original concept.

Hehe! Yes, we are all Contrarians aren't we? :-)! Is this a bad thing? Probably not!

Thank you for saying that. It is quite difficult to get real world data on this solar power stuff. I'm genuinely concerned that people are pinning their hopes on this form of renewable energy. It is good, but, well, plants only grow very slowly if at all over winter and solar photovoltaics are simply a more efficient version of them when looked at from the perspective of energy harvesting from sunlight?

It is all very strange. They have names, addresses, date of birth (or age) and so the potential to cross check data and data mine for all sorts of things is just massive. Plus, how can we be certain that the data is stored securely? These things happen.

Ha! My mate is a nice person, but the car rolled to a stop - after crossing the intersection, mind you - and then he stopped in a car park on the side of the road. So very lucky that no one was killed. And he just woke up and drove off home. I never asked him, but I reckon he wouldn't have been feeling too well.

I can't really go into details, but other people are nipping at the edges of my business. I guess that behaviour is driven by their desire to grow their own incomes? Dunno. It is weird though, just how many different people I've had to fend off in the past twelve months. People are always mildly surprised at how quickly I stop these things in their tracks before they escalate too far. Fortunately, Sun Tzu's sage advice is not far from my mind and I employ the element of creative surprise.

Has anyone ever tried to undercut your income?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B,

The solids are great feed for chickens, but also you can compost them as the surface area is so great. The other trick to remember with sake is to tap off the liquids regularly (like every day or so) as the yeast seem to be more active when they have access to air. Also, if fungi or bacteria take over the batch then start again. Usually that happened here when the batch did not receive adequate initial heat. The heat doesn't have to be constant though. These things are much hardier than people make them out to be. There is something tickling my mind about the pareto principle.

Oh yeah, they have no idea at all!

Negative interest bonds are just weird. Thanks for the link.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hey, did you do your trip into the little smoke today? And I do hope that the doctor visit went well - meaning the results of the biopsy.

Really? That question of race is asked differently down here, for good reasons too surrounding the reality that there are a huge number of immigrants living here. I don't believe that it is that big of an issue down here, although if the job market ever gets tight, people will be looking for scapegoats and then things will suddenly be very different. I have read some disturbing things though recently about car jackings down here which are being driven largely by economic reasons for disenfranchised youth. The thoughtful and very experienced crime reporter John Silvester suggested recently that the best way to defeat this problem was to drive a manual vehicle... Interestingly enough, the gangs are targeting luxury vehicles, so that seems like a good idea to avoid too. I'm not sure that it is a good idea to stand out in such matters anyway and for more reasons than that too. My car is a 12 year old beast and no one seems to notice it. And most people don’t take it seriously as it is not a “guys” car – whatever that is these days.

I've heard that same explanation too. The problem I have with the data collection is that the authorities themselves are prone to misusing the data, if not the employees - and there are breaches which are not often spoken about, but then there may be the quiet selling off of the data, or the hacking of that data. Again, I reckon it gets back to not presenting a target.

That reasoning about not having anything to hide can be applied to all sorts of problems and it doesn't stand much poking. We give away our hard earned gains for, well honestly I have no idea why. I spotted an article in the newspaper today stating that people can now cash out their employers annual leave obligations. The whole thing is not going to end well.

Sorry, that one is probably indicative of my mind set!!! Hehe! I'd be certain that the Shetland Islands are lovely and full of history.

Thanks for sharing your story about hyperglycemia. Wow. That is tough. There has been a major increase in diabetes in the western world. I assume because of the generic link with your mums family that you are speaking about type 1? A couple of mates have type 2 diabetes and that is not good either. When your body stops regulating things properly, then you get an appreciation of just how many functions are performed more or less automatically. Our world is like that too, you know? If we muck around too much with the climate too much...

Apologies, I forgot about the loss of your chickens to the chicken goddess. I actually meant when were the eggs actually cooked. In season here, I can build up huge stacks of eggs.

Out of curiosity, are your walnuts that are shelled fresh or dried? If walnuts are shelled down here they tend to be sold as dried nuts. Ha! The Images for sulphur crested cockatoo can certainly crack open a walnut shell. And the birds are very smart and live for up to 80 years. People have been known to keep them as pets and they can sometimes even teach them naughty words (an internet search will reveal more)!

Yes, Scotlyn was very nice to have written that. It is very humbling to have touched peoples lives like that. I did respond, but it wasn’t posted as of this morning.

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

The internet connection varies around town, mostly it is almost OK. A few weeks ago the line for our apartment got cut by some nearby construction and there was no internet for 5 days. I can live without it (a personal change from 5 years ago I might add!), but the work I am doing is pretty dependent on it. Luckily there are some excellent cafes where aircon, WiFi and food can be combined!

Hmm, you are making me feel old now. Yep, I used to write little batch files to compress audio CDs into MP3s overnight. I still have some of those files, unfortunately a few of them have degraded due to constant copying between computers (which is not meant to happen, but there you go). I also dialed into local BBSs and transferred mysterious files with no fear. Once, I even played multiplayer DOOM over a phone line. This was a big deal as the only doom server was in Sydney and Telecom charged like a wounded-monopolist for the privilege of a long distance call. Fun times.

RE: SSD. I forgot you were using XP. It is important to note that an SSD works differently to a mechanical HDD. XP is not aware of these differences and thus can wear out an SSD prematurely due to the way it writes pagefiles and handles caching. You can install utilities to help with this but in my mind it starts to enter the land of diminishing returns. Many people don't worry about it, I have no personal experience and there are conflicting stories on the internet so who knows :-)

New versions of Windows (I think 7 has it, 8 and 10 definitely do) and Linux come with a nifty tool called a virtual machine. You can install whatever OS you want and get full compatibility (the virtual machine has no idea it is virtual - all rather clever). This could be an option if you wanted Linux, or needed to get a new Laptop but still run old software. Again, diminishing returns here as well in terms of effort and learning curve. If you need to run XP software, just run XP is my thought. New computers might not run XP very well (or at all) as time goes on.

An alternative is to get a new 7200rpm spinning HDD and a RAM upgrade to 2gig (the maximum that 32bit OSs can see) for less than the cost of a new SSD. This, combined with a fresh install of Windows will make it feel like lightning, especially after you remove the anti-virus and pre-installed HP nonsense (the best result is to just install a vanilla copy of XP, but you will need to go find all the drivers). Your decision should be guided by an appreciation of how much longer you can expect this laptop to work - 8 years is pushing it. No doubt you backup anything important on a regular basis.

If it was me, I dunno. You are looking at ~$150 in parts and half a day in time (full day if things get complex). If the laptop lasts another year I guess that is worth it? ALso, it could be worth the time to see if Linux+WINE, or failing that a Virtual Machine with XP, can run your software. Then you can buy any cheap used laptop, install MINT and run it till it dies. Repeat and wash every few years when the laptop breaks. Hmm, better stop now I am rambling.

RE: internet and trusted sources. USB sticks can be a malware vector, especially on XP. You could scan them on a modern PC before using them I suppose? How much of a problem this is in Australia, maybe not much. Here in Laos, every 2nd USB stick has something atrocious on it haha.

./cont

Damo said...

./cont

I haven't seen the new Star Trek yet, but it looks like I will get to see it in a cinema. We have to fly to Thailand (sorry my environmental conscious - we literally are not allowed surface travel in certain regions of Laos) for a visa renewal. So in 2 weeks we get a weekend in Chang Mai. Fingers crossed the movie is still playing and I can find a cinema with English audio. More importantly, I can eat my favourite meal, check this out:

Lady with cowboy hat serves the best stewed pork in the world!

It doesn't look like much, but I will be eating it every night when I am there :-) I have been trying to find a local version in Laos, but no one is as good as the cowboy hat lady from Chang Mai :-)

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Re: census details. I believe that a previous census question enabled the Nazis in WW2 to know who was Jewish. So a question that may be innocent at the time can become toxic later.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

What income?

Just being silly! As I am a Rural Housewife we depend on my husband's income. He is self-employed. There have been numerous times when someone has tried to undercut it. It never seems to end.

I am probably safe from car jackings as my truck is 22 years old and a manual transmission. Until you mentioned it, I had never thought of a manual transmission as being a deterrent. Probably not nearly as many people know how to drive with one now?

Pam

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Hi Chris,

I don't have room for chickens as of yet since I'm currently living in a fairly small apartment. So compost it is!

I fully agree, negative interest bonds make no sense. I wonder what's going to happen given how much of the bond market is made up of them these days, but I can't make sense of why they're even a thing, so can't speculate. I can't even think of any other examples of the phenomenon to use analogy on: I'm not aware of any case where a large number of people eagerly bought something guaranteed to lose money.

In response to Chris/Lewis about hyperglycemia: I can't eat the amount of sugar most people eat. It's just too much, it makes me sick. It's not really a problem for me though, since I'm happy to avoid it. Well, mostly anyway: I really like homemade sweets... Not that that's much of a problem since most people I know don't make any.

Anyway, I think most cases of diabetes are what happens when this tendency by the body to react poorly to excess sugar isn't handled as a limit, and so it just keeps causing problems. Eventually they escalate to a full blown disease.

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Thanks to Lew's heads-up I found Scotlyn's comment at ADR. I think that I can safely say that she speaks for all of us.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The trip to the oral surgeon went well enough. I've got the lab report, and need to sit down and do some serious Googling. Things like "glandular odontogenic cyst." :-). "...close and frequent follow up ... locally aggressive and has a higher rate of recurrence..." etc. etc. blah, blah, blah. The Doc didn't seem to excited about it. He wants to see me in a month ... and then in 6 months. Will be on soft foods, for that time. There was also a warning about if my bite changes, or, I hear a sharp crack, I should hussle in. No Fight Club. :-(. Boy, it sure feels good to get all the stitches out ... and, there were a lot of them.

My mom's family all had Diabetes Type 2. Mostly came down with it around 40. Since I'm 67 and it hasn't manifested, looks like I may have dodged the bullet. I had Hep B back in the mid 70s. In hospital for about 2 weeks. I've always thought in the end, it will probably be my liver that kills me. If my teeth don't get me first :-). But, every time I have a liver function test, it comes back fine. All that milk thistle. :-).

The reference to the Kessler Syndrome over at the ADR ... I had the sudden vision of a sign saying "Sky Closed Until Further Notice." One of the last comments I read this morning, was someone plumping for abstract art. Wonder if that will be this weeks slightly off topic tangent. I may have to go over and stoke the fire :-).

Interesting bit about the rediscovery of different things. And, I'm looking forward to the post on libraries. I was doing a bit of searching at our library website, last night. Every time the library upgrades the search functions, it seems like they don't work as well as the old versions and, really useful functions disappear. Speaking of privacy, early on, privacy was very important. Later, not so much. In libraries, that is. I don't know where the turning point was, or how it happened. But, it did.

Have no idea if the walnuts are shelled fresh or dried. I checked out the package, and there isn't a clue. It does advise to refrigerate after opening. Cont.

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I have to share this excerpt from some reminiscences of a fellow who was a boy in WWII Britain - Teesside, County Durham. It was the lemon curd that caught my eye!

"I had to feed the animals with Mum when Dad could not get home and that meant washing bags of potato's boiling them in a big boiler then storing them for the rest of the week. We mixed the potato with fresh vegetables and corn meal with Lemon Curd, the waste from Pumfrey's jam factory plus cakes the waste from Spark's Factory. That was for the pigs goats and sometimes the geese, the hens and rabbits got corn meal with fresh vegetable plus grit for the egg shells. Now and again I put a couple of lumps of coal in for the pigs, they crunched it up and swallowed it Dad said for the minerals in the coal."

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Picked up a couple of what looks like will be interesting books from the library, yesterday. "Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class" by Scott Timberg (2015). "But for many thousands of creative artists, a torrent of recent changes has made it nearly impossible to earn a living. A persistent economic recession, social shifts and technological change have combined to put our artists - from graphic designers to indie-rock musicians, from architects to booksellers-out of work." What's interesting about this book is not that he looks at just the artists ... but also the "support staff." From publicists to book or video store clerks. I think this is keeping with the theme (maybe) of "valuable things that have been lost." And, his definition of "artist" is pretty broad. Includes writers, too.

The other book I'm taking a look at is "Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom by Ken Ilguanas (2013). I think I'd heard about this guy, but didn't know there was a book. "In this frank and witty memoir, Ken Ilganas lays bare the existential terror of graduating from the University of Buffalo with $32,000 (editor's note ... what a light weight) of student debt. Ilganas set himself an ambitious mission: get out of debt as quickly as possible." It's interesting he called his Part 1 "Debtor, or My Attempt to Pay off $32,000 in Student Debt with a Useless Liberal Arts Degree."

We are to have two hot days, then back to lower temperatures and a bit of rain. Fire season has kicked off, east of the mountains. Nothing major, as yet, but you never know when it's going to blow up. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Ah, the work would be a problem, but the rest as you say, not so much. Of course, it was the cafes that I was referring too, but they were mostly from memory in Vientiane. It is interesting what you can get used to on internet connectivity, but I have to fend off other peoples expectations like: "What do you mean that you can't receive emails on your phone?". That really was asked of me. I try to steer clear of the cloud as much as possible too. Nothing is free. Hey, you may be interested to know that my domain provider is one of the few that maintains local servers.

DOOM was pretty good back in the day. Some of those BBS providers also ran turn based text D&D games which were a lot of fun and very heavily played too. That phone bill would have been a killer. Sometimes we'd also get together and setup a network and play Warcraft 2 and it was always interesting to see the different strategems in action.

Thanks for the heads up. I would have thought that the advantage of a solid state device is that it is solid state and has no moving parts. How could it possibly wear out? Maybe, I'll just pick up a small replacement HDD and ignore the SSD option all together. The machine will definitely not run Win 7. No way.

The machine runs pretty fast even today, because I have never ever mucked around with it and installed any additional software than what is on there. I used to muck around a lot with computers, but now I'm just sort of happy if they work. And then I take an image which I have had to restore from occasionally. Overall, I believe the systems are more stable now than in the past, but then again, I'm not mucking around on them either. Win 7 definitely requires 4Gb of memory, although earlier versions of it ran fine on only 2Gb. One day everything changed.

I treat the laptop much like I treat the cars. Repair when economical to do so, treat them gently, and then run them into the ground. I didn't mention that once a year I crack open the case and get the air compressor into all of the nooks and crannies and blow out all of the dust. All of it! It is amazing just how much dust collects in only one year.

Yes, the USB stick is scanned on the up to date machine, so that poses no risk and the XP laptop has no way of getting any new software into its guts. :-)!

Look, I reckon the Internet is a wild west so I tend to check reviews once every year and then pay for licenses for virus checkers and firewalls etc. I know you said use the freebie one but I have to run a business on these clunkers so the risk is not worth saving the few dollars it costs to pay for the software.

Well, it is Star Trek after all and a flight sort of fits into that worldview as far as I can tell! :-)!

You or Mrs Damo, may be interested to know that I recently re-located an Australian Red Cedar (Toona ciliata var. australis) from a shady location where it had been doing not much for the past few years into a full on sunny spot. The tree has gone feral and put on loads of new growth. It is not meant to grow this far south, but I planted it in a location that has significant under ground water and so, I'll see how it copes with the summer. I suspect that I didn't give the tree enough space in its new location, but I'm reluctant to move it again at this stage of the year.

Mate, I'd eat there too and every night! Yum! Now just to make you mildly jealous I consumed 12 hour slow cooked pulled pork and chips last night, but obviously your lot looks better. Did you happen to note that there was a minor reference to just how old that particular sauce was? :-)! All you need to do is cook the meat (dodgy film reference)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Wow, I did not know that. It figures. The form has exceeded my comfort levels and I have internal alarm bells ringing. Time will tell.

A local guy I know, once remarked to me that mine is: "not a posh house" and that was a good thing for me to hear as that is the impression that I want to leave. For your interest, I did not seek his opinion in that matter either...

You and I share several things in common.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Exactly, being self employed means that - like your husband - you have to defend your income base. Some people, I’ve found will attempt to purchase income for their own reasons. Their financing allows them to do that. Other people employ "mud slinging" strategies and no matter how untrue, some does stick. Both are effective strategies too, however they can backfire on the individuals themselves. Of course, this does not end and new contenders strut onto the field with the dawn of each new day, but down here it is escalating. I have a general rule of not poaching others work. At this stage of the game it is easy enough for me to pick up new work because other people lose work - and it is usually due to greed. Greed is an ugly business, but I am seeing more of that gear as time is going on.

Oh yeah, that is way too true. I have never owned an auto. Never. I just wouldn't consider it. Good for you for knowing how to drive a manual too, and I do hope that my beastie is still drivable at 22 years like yours. I am a serious believer in preventative maintenance as who needs problems? You may be surprised to know that only about 10% to 15% of cars down here are manuals.

Thank you, it was really lovely and I promise to remain humble as usual. ;-)! I used to do long distance running as a sport - before I had the any trouble with my knees and then I stopped completely, as I'd known too many older runners with dodgy knees - and I always told people who were very ultra-competitive that I ran my own times and set my own goals. That seemed to annoy them, but it is a consistent claim with those, like yourself who enjoy “super secret fluffy mind powers”, is it not? :-)!

Thanks for the extract too. Lemon curd is a delightful experience. You may be interested to know that I experimented with feeding the chickens three lemons cut up quite fine this morning and by this evening there was no trace at all of the fruit. They will now consume apple and lemon as well as the greens everyday. I’ll be interested to see whether the eggs gain a slight lemony flavour?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B,

Well, compost is always easy to do in a tight space. Plus an apartment has so many options for making wines and beers, plus the preserves! Yum! When I lived in the inner city of Melbourne I saw so many fruit trees laden with fruit which no was collecting. I must confess that I used to liberate some – quite a lot actually – of my neighbours apricots which she never picked. The funny thing was that she complained endlessly about the fruit bats eating the fruit whilst doing their business, so I sort of figured that I was assisting her with that problem. ;-)!

Of course, the bond market is where excess funds are destroyed. Once printing money becomes a solution to deficits, the excess supply has to go somewhere otherwise hyperinflation will occur as it has historically in the past. People seem to have a lot of trouble getting their heads around that concept though because it offends their sensibilities. Ever more of our economic capacity gets sucked into that matrix, but that is the only solution to the inevitable problem of hyperinflation. However this solution brings other and different problems.

Yes, that sounds about right. Also there are I believe strong links to sedentary lifestyles which upsets a body’s ability to regulate sugars (with type 2), but I am no expert in such matters.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,


" For example, saying that the sky is the limit and anything is achievable when in fact there are really hard limits on what can be achieved. I often wonder about the fine line between a general lack of realism and hard core pragmatism is? You have to admit that the middle ground there makes for some murky waters. What do you reckon about that?"

Agree about the fine line and this is also something teachers have to address as well. I had a unique teaching position as a resource teacher in charge of the district's "At Risk/Drop Out Prevention" program. When I was hired in the late 80's we were encouraged to push self esteem throughout the schools. I'll probably comment later on this but as we once again have out of town company for the next few days there's not much time right now.

On another note, my husband did get the new, and most importantly side effect free treatment shortly after it came out and is now cleared of the virus thankfully. He never had any symptoms of Hep C. He apparently contracted it from a blood transfusion in his teens. His first biopsy showed no damage but six years later he had some moderate fibrosis. He was very lucky this treatment came when it did.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Oh, that does sound like techno talk doesn't it, did you find anything interesting on that subject? Maybe the conditions which induced that cyst may no longer be present in your life? No one really wants to see an excitable doctor do they? Or imagine one saying to you: This is a fascinating occurrence, would you mind if I included your prognosis in an article that I am writing (or worse still, a book!)?

Fight club did seem to have some upsides didn't it? But then there were also the downsides too. Out of a sense of morbid curiosity, did the surgeon pull the stitches too tight? That is what happened to me when I had them removed from my wisdom teeth extraction – and the dentist remarked to me that that was the case. It was uncomfortable up until that point of removal.

Thanks for the family history. Of course, type 2 does follow family lines, but I know someone who works on the research for that and they reckon that exercise and active lifestyle is the trick to avoiding the worst of the conditions. Sorry to hear about the hep B but I saw my mum go through that and it is no joke, but also most of the time she was fine. I went and got the vaccination as she was too stingy to pay for it. The things I had to worry about as a kid... I have read interesting accounts about milk thistle and it is also apparently good for very serious skin conditions.

That is hysterical. What a laugh! Yeah, I hope people can be patient as the sky won't be open again for quite a while... I did read your comments regarding abstract art and I agree with you. On the other hand it is fascinating to see defenders of the faith come out to battle - and one tactic they took was questioning your opinion when you gave them an angle.

Yes, I wonder about that loss of privacy too. Like sick leave and annual leave we tend to be giving up hard won expectations because no one wants to pay for their maintenance. I don't feel comfortable that the banks won't be looking for new flesh in the exceptions in the census. Fortunately for me, I have read and understood Sun Tzu and have prepared a plan B and C, but things may get ugly down here before the sharks stop swimming amongst the guppies.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

I suspect that if refrigeration is required then they are probably fresh, although you are not in walnut season right now, but I may be incorrect in that assertion not knowing the extreme ends of your walnut orchards and/or seasons.

Ha! You know, when authors do a book tour, they aren't paid for that as there is an expectation that they enjoy additional income from the sales of their books as a result of the tour. Now, the problem with that is, that the book store enjoys sales by people attending the reading. The electricity company enjoys revenue from the supply of energy. The drivers enjoy a fee for driving the author to the event. There may be flights involved which have been paid for. The publisher is enjoying their cut from the book sales. Anyone interviewing the author from the commercial press is being paid to do so. etc. etc. Everyone else is getting paid with the exception of the artist themselves. That is just how the industry is structured. Is it fair, probably not. The industry expectations of an income also perhaps encourage the churning of artists and material. I mean Pink Floyd's album "Dark Side of the Moon" sold in the top 40 albums for over two years! Could Richard Branson pull off a Tubular Bells today?

OK, I'm interested. That was very funny too about the light weight. So how did Mr Ilguanas manage to achieve that extraordinary effort - excluding book sales? I once read an account of a lady who claimed to spend less than $7 in one week. It was an interesting claim, which I thought that I'd look into. Apparently, that involved running down all of the excess stored produce in her pantry. I'm just saying that that looked an awful lot to me like running down a country's infrastructure, but honestly what would I know about such things?

I'm enjoying Empire Falls too, but the thing is the book is a very dark tale to my mind, but the reviews on the cover say things like: "light hearted" and "good old fashioned story telling" and it is such a dark tale. Maybe I am reading too much into the plot and characters? Dunno. The characters are enormously complex and at the same time so self absorbed that they are reasonably dysfunctional. Plus there is this overhanging sadness to the tale of: "we were once great and look at us now, but we still act as though we are great". And few of the characters seem to be able to connect with one another. It is an interesting insight into the authors mind, no doubts about that.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Of course, teachers are at the coal face on so many of our most pressing social matters. I genuinely feel for their plight. I look forward to reading your thoughts at a later date. It is a very complex line to navigate and I have seen self esteem descend into arrogance and I am rather baffled by the party line being pursued. I hope you have an enjoyable time with your friends and/or family.

Your husband was most unlucky to have received that transfusion, but then lucky to have received the treatment before any major fibrosis set in. Nowadays down here, blood donors are screened and the blood tested, but in the past very unfortunate things happened. Incidentally people are not paid for donations down here.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Just to mention that people are also not paid to donate blood here.

Inge

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Hi Chris,

Yes, composting is pretty easy. It'll also make some great fertilizer when I set up my plants. I'm not sure which ones I'll grow yet, but I'm planning to grow at least a few so that it's easier to do once I have enough space. And yes, it's true here in Ottawa too! Canada and Australia have yet more in common, it seems. I think gathering it so it doesn't go bad is a reasonable thing to do...

Thank you for the explanation, however it still doesn't fix my concerns. My problem, and the reason I'm hesitant to speculate about the future of the bond market, is that it seems to be the only place where the present truly defies past experience. I'm not aware of anything else in history like it. And, since it genuinely looks different from the past experience I'm aware of, I don't like it. It's too unpredictable. I mean, it's true I can reason through the likely outcomes, but for me at least, analogical thinking has a better track record.

I think the most likely outcome is a reversion to "normal" circumstances, which is to say hyperinflation, given the amount of money being printed, but I can't say for sure that something else weird won't occur, because I can't explain this.

And diabetes runs in my family too. I've heard, and seen papers arguing that this isn't actually genetic: rather bad habits get passed on and it looks genetic. In any case, despite everyone else in her family having it, my mom has managed to avoid it, which I think has something to do with her being more active than the rest of her family put together.

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

My, you gave me pause with your comment on the German census pre-WWII. It's an eerie thought.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

Wow, Lew - soft foods for months! I'm so sorry to hear that; after two days of soft foods I was going nuts. I'm a real crunchy kind of person.

My son relies on milk thistle. I keep meaning to put myself on it.

You did stoke the fires at ADR.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I get you on the greed in business and I have certainly seen it bring down people's businesses, though that's mostly the small ones. The bigger the business, the more easily it seems to be able to squirm out of the way of consequences. The Infernal Revenue Service also audits small businesses (like my husband's) frequently while leaving alone the big guys.He has to keep vast records (on paper, lest they disappear into the ether) to cover his back on the very smallest of issues. I remember Them calling him on the carpet over $2.00 once - where he was able to prove that he was right and they were wrong. These things bring fines with them!

Lemony eggs sound so delightful, but then I am lemon-deprived - unlike you!

I am wondering if the phrase "beyond your station in life" may have referred to train stations, and a lower-class person riding out of his neighborhood into a tonier part? Perhaps it is a really old saying that predates railroads.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Paths from my place are now green tunnels as the canopy has completely closed over. It appeals to my childlike secrecy. I just traversed one to go to my son who is butchering the pork. I commented on the fact that people don't seem to cook anymore and he said 'yes, if it doesn't go in the microwave they don't want it'. Neither of us has a microwave. Butchering on a summer's day is not fun; I noticed a bag with meat in it outside the door, diversionary tactic for the flies. I came away with gorgeous meat for tonight, no antibiotics, no growth hormone and goodness knows what else goes into commercial animals these days.

Apologies to genuine non meat eaters, hehe!

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - It's a "glandular odontogenic cyst." Well, I spent some time Googling around, yesterday. A couple of places said it was rare. Lucky me. Most often seen in white guys in my age bracket. Cause? Inflammation from god knows what. Well, actually I do. Smoking all those years ... recurring infections that I couldn't afford to have fixed in the correct way and instead just kept throwing antibiotics at them. Didn't see anything that said it was linked to anything "cancer" or "cancerous". Just generally an expensive, painful, pain in the ..ear. " ... close and frequent follow-up ... as the ... is locally aggressive and has a higher rate of recurrence." If I do have a recurrence, I wouldn't be able to afford to do anything about it, anyway. I am tapped out.

So, for the time being, it's just figure out bone regeneration. Yogurt, milk and cheese, at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day for the vitamin D. Don't bump it and stick to soft foods. No mention was made as to if the stitches were too tight. But, there sure were a lot of them and some did seem to bind a bit. It feels a lot more ... relaxed having them gone. The Doc seemed really pleased with how it all turned out. He was rhapsodizing to the nurse about how he did this, instead of that for better effect. Or, something. So, back in a month and we'll go from there.

Oh, yes. Type 2 diabetes can be controlled, or eliminated with strict diet and exercise in a lot of cases. Sure, it's stringent. And, I do (and I don't) understand why people would rather go the medical / medicine route instead of following a regime that is FREE. My landlord is a case in point. Not quit as intense, but when they told me that my blood pressure was a bit high and wanted to put me on medication. Well. I said, give me a couple of weeks and see what I can do. Lost a few pounds, got more exercise and stepped up my garlic intake. Problem solved. I'm on these darned pills now for acid reflux. Luckily, cheap. But once I'm back on a regular routine, I'm going to explore how to take care of the reflux without medication. Mostly, smaller meals, not much before bedtime.

LOL. Well, I went over last night and fired another salvo in the Art Wars. LOL. Sometimes, I play the ... dense and drifty, kind of potty, clueless card. :-). Just a harmless senior citizen who's not quit "with it." But it became apparent that my adversary really didn't read what I had to say and just assumed a lot. Such as, I wasn't referring to him (or her) as snotty. That was a critic in the Ken Burns DVD on Benton. So, unless Over The Hill is that particular critic ... well, it didn't apply to him (or her.) I'm looking forward to the posts on art and libraries. That ought to yield some lively discussions. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, I've just started reading "Walden on Wheels" by Ilgunas. The book comes much later, and, knowing what I do about the book business, since it wasn't a mega million seller, he probably didn't make much money off of it. But, from what I've gathered so far, he does pay off the loan in about 3 years. Then he decides to go back to graduate school, but is determined not to take on one penny of debt. So, he illegally lives in his van in the college parking lot.

Well, whoever wrote the jacket blurbs for "Empire Falls" was clearly on drugs, or, at least heavily medicated one way or another. Or what may have been at work is "Once we get them in the door (or, between the covers) they'll enjoy the story. The trick is to get them in the door." Just as an aside, if I pick up a book and the jacket is all blurbs ... tells me nothing about what the story is about ... I generally put it back. LOL. Are you more likely to read a book that is described as "light hearted" or one that is about "angst ridden people who are isolated from one another?" Must admit if I pick up a DVD that says it is "heart warming" or "inspirational", I generally put it back. Being a sour old crank, and all :-). Lew

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Inge,

In response to your if it's not microwave people don't want it, this seems far too true. I've lost count of the number of people who refuse to cook anything unless it's microwaved. Now, I can taste the difference between oven/stove/grill and microwave, and much prefer the other options, but I seem to be alone. I've also been called a snob for it...

And I hope you enjoy your meals from the pork! I lean a bit more towards vegetarian myself for exactly what you said: I don't trust what goes into farm animals. I suppose this means I should consider raising my own, but that'll have to wait a few years.

Lew,

I guess I'm a sour old crank too? If I see something being called "heartwarming" or "inspirational" I view that as a bad sign too. The only time I seek it out is when I'm looking for something to be offensive...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge, W.B, Pam, and Lewis (note the Oxford comma!) :-)!

Thanks for the lovely comments, but I am unable to reply tonight and promise to reply tomorrow evening.

The editor and I spent the day working in the forest cleaning up the old loggers mess just behind the bee boxes. It was a bit of a fire risk really and the needle grass was taking over, but it is an epic job (unless someone wants to donate me a 20 tonne excavator!). You could say that I had a bee in my bonnet about doing that job today (sorry for the bad pun)!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

Hee, hee! I love meat; I just don't eat it. It doesn't bother me to hear about raising lifestock and the attendent accoutrements such as butchering. We used to raise chickens and, though we didn't eat them, there was quite a lot of bloody death to deal with. C'est la vie.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

@W.B.

I have had dreadful micro-waved meals in friend's houses. Have endeavoured to remain courteous. I do remember a micro-waved potato which was supposed to be the same as a baked potato. It most certainly was not.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - Yes, I'm quit fond of anything with a lot of crunch. LOL. The nice lady at the cheap bread store refers to my choice in breads at "squirrel food." :-). My go to sandwich spread is plain yogurt with a squirt of horseradish mustard. I always add a small handful of sunflower seeds, just for the crunch.

Oh, my. John Michael has threatened to ban the guy I was sparing with, over art. Yikes! For trolling. Startling, as he so seldom deploys the big guns.

@ W.B. Sour Old Cranks of the World, Unite! :-). I do a lot of cooking. Occupational therapy :-). I do use the microwave, but lightly. Oven and stove top is the way to go, as far as flavor goes.

@Chris - Strike while the iron is hot and the weather cooperates. :-). Lew

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Inge,

The funny thing is that people calling me a snob happens whenever I find a way to eat something not microwaved (I prefer cold pizza to microwaved, for example), and when they ask why I'm not using the microwave it upsets some people. Now, if someone makes something for me, I will politely eat it, no matter what it is. It is quite hard to do sometimes, but courtesy is a good thing. :)

Lew,

I shouldn't post comments late at night. I could've sworn I wrote something mentioning I'm actually fairly young.... I'm 21, but will gladly accept being an honorary sour old crank! ;)

And I also do a lot of cooking, and will use the microwave some too. Not much, and usually only if I'm in a rush, but I'm glad to know someone else agrees with me about it not tasting as good. It's one of those things I've stopped mentioning because most people don't understand it and a small number react poorly to hearing someone say it.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh yeah, donations are definitely donations down here too. The reason I mentioned that topic at all was because I had read somewhere - and I could be wrong - that over in the US blood donations are paid for. I stopped donating blood because at one point the staffing levels exceeded their ability to process the number of people donating (and you had to book in to do so) and the experience extended into a many hour long experience and I sort of felt a bit used and abused.

Your forest sounds delightful - almost enchanted! Did I ever mention before to you that I get fairy rings growing in the forest? They are generally places where I have had a fire at some point in the past. The forest here is looking pretty nice too at this stage of the year as it has had a good drink - and there is plenty of ground water.

Oh, yum! That home butchered pork sounds very nice indeed. Yum! You are cheeky too! Hehe! :-)!

I started constructing a brand new terrace into the side of the hill today. I often wonder whether the birds are watching me - which they are - and wondering why those humans do so much digging. Mind you, the moment that the humans and their canine friends went elsewhere, the birds immediately descended on the grubs and worms that we uncovered and a family of blue wrens were happily bouncing around.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi W.B,

Good luck with the compost, it will get more life and diversity in it as time goes on too! You just have to remember to drain off the juices so that the whole mess doesn't go anaerobic. I did that once, through neglect, and then sat the compost bed directly in a garden so that any liquids drained into the garden itself and plus the worms could come and go. With the hot summers here they tend to burrow deep into the ground to escape the heat anyway. The ants don’t mind the heat at all – and I have a little story about that in the next blog. In your cold winters, the worms probably die off, but they leave plenty of eggs, worm poo and tunnels, so it is not really a drama.

Canada and Australia have very similar cultures in a lot of respects.

Yeah, fair enough. Look, my thinking for whatever it is worth, and it isn't advice either, is that if loans that look and smell like dog poo, get bundled up and sold off as bonds, well they don't suddenly miraculously smell any better in a different format because the underlying assets are still dog poo. And, I can tell you in the past that I have owned bank bonds and not understood what they were.

I'm not so sanguine about the hyper-inflation scenario in the short term, but eventually it will occur. My thinking on this matter is that every trick in the book is being chucked at the efforts to reduce prices for basic commodities (why else would the monkey business going on be tolerated) - and those are the commodities which have weighting when it comes to calculating the CPI. Inflation is currently expressing itself in financial assets, although that is a very unfashionable point of view. People are however comfortable with this scenario as it appeals to self-interest. For what it is worth, I am uncomfortable with this turn of events.

The unfortunate side effects are that the first arm which reduces prices for basic commodities reduces employment and then reduces consumption and those are the things that are necessary in a consumer economy.

The second arm increases the price for financial assets (and I include property in that definition) which some people would argue that that is a good thing, however it has the effect of excluding parties from joining in on that bubble who are not already in that bubble.

The details are very complex, but the story is very simple. What do you reckon about that? As you correctly say, it does look different from that of the past, but then we may just be pursuing a different policy which is along the same road too? Dunno. Time will sort that mess out. Certainly these policies have a finite life span.

Yes, at the end of the day perhaps it does not matter about the genetic side (nature versus nurture) of diabetes type 2, when the impact is perhaps the thing to watch out for and be concerned with. My understanding from speaking with a researcher in that field is that more than anything activity is the thing to do to avoid the complications from type 2.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Yeah, I hear you greed is not good (that is a dodgy 80's film reference by the way!). :-)! I can deal with people who are honest about their intentions in that regard, because, well they're honest about their goals. The ones I get annoyed with are those that pursue the objective of greed but at the same time espouse strong religious views which clearly contradict the persons actions and objectives. I don't get that viewpoint at all. And at best I consider them to be mildly confused, but at worst they seem to be...

Oh my! You know you are dealing with an irrational entity when such small gains are pursued. Good for your husband too. I tend to view that lot down here as a dog lying in the corner which you should not poke or annoy because you don't know when it is going to bite you. On the other hand, I have read that they have to turn a profit on those sorts of jobs too, which makes sense. Every now and then they do make a public spectacle of someone, who usually has a public profile. And on the other hand, I keep good records and keep my nose clean and so stay out of trouble.

Yeah, how good would they be? The chickens are eating three finely chopped lemons per day and they love them, skin and all. I discovered that taste thing with eggs when I fed the chickens a whole lot of pineapple skins once, years ago.

That is interesting and no doubt they mean more or less the same thing: i.e. Where do you stand? - at the railway station or in life? I suspect that railroads borrowed the term as you already are aware. You made me laugh though as I went on a search for my actual legal handbook only to find that it has disappeared to who knows where. The concept applies to contract law, usually not in a good way for the other party making the settlement! :-)! On the other hand a journey by train is a whole different thing. The next time I'm on the train, I'll try and take some photos of the spectacular deep gorges that the line traverses with a view back towards the mountain range.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

One more day of company and thankfully life will get back to normal and I can get caught up around here.

This is county fair week. Every year the local environmental organization gets paid to sell admission tickets and I volunteer for a five hour stint each year. In past years one could only pay in cash. There are various ticket prices - child, senior etc and different methods were used to track the number in each category. This year tablets were used and credit cards were allowed. Well all I can say it caused more problems (probably not a surprise to anyone here) mostly due to the tablets freezing up resulting in long lines of impatient people. The credit cards took much longer to process as well. I was sure anyone using a credit card knew that there was an extra fee involved which changed the minds of many. All in all a frustrating experience.

We did check out the rest of the fair with our guest bringing back pleasant and humorous memories of the years our daughter showed her goats, pigs, chicken and other 4H projects. Many of our local contemporaries come to support their grandchildren now.

Well the guests will be up soon so must move on.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Sorry to hear that, especially about the recurrence problem. On the other hand at least it is not linked to cancer and perhaps the contributing factors which increases the rate of recurrence is now in the past for you? Maintenance is always better and cheaper than a cure, but honestly we all lose out in the end eventually no matter how good the maintenance. That and taxes are one of the few guarantees in life they tell me, and I honestly see no reason to doubt those claims. At least you got onto the problem before it became a bigger problem than it was. How is your jaw feeling now?

No one really wants to be a medical anomaly. Most often seen in white guys in your age bracket! That is funny. I'll tell you a weird story. The lovely lady that cuts my hair and has done so now for over a decade was telling me off for not wearing enough sunscreen on the back of my neck last summer... And what is worse was that I actually do wear a lot of sunscreen!

That all sounds like a good strategy for you and of course bones do repair, if given the chance and good feed. I wasn't aware of the Vitamin D issue in relation to bone repair? The doctors once told the editor that she had a Vitamin D deficiency - which seems mildly surreal given how much time we spend outdoors. And then a little while after that, I read in the newspapers that the federal government was attempting to reduce the tendency of doctors to request pathology's on patients as the intent of that was act was suggested to be merely increasing income from services. Who would have thought that would happen?

Yeah, I sort of get why they would want to go down the medical/medicine route as I saw a few of my friends follow that path. The people aren't stupid, they just didn't want to compromise their life choices until they had no other choice, and I also reckon there was a level of disconnect between those choices and the outcomes. Dunno, it sure is complex that one, but it is also a good metaphor for how we approach larger problems in our society. Would I follow that choice? Nope! I hear you about the acid reflux. A bit of mint and a whole lot of greens certainly wouldn't go astray either. We really are what we eat. :-)! In the old days they used to say: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a nobleman, and dine like a pauper.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Oh no, the ongoing Art Wars! ;-)! Don't laugh I do that all of the time too and Sun Tzu - as do I - would applaud your ingeniously deceptive strategy of coming across as a duffer! It has however descended into the pits of the internet flame war in your case, so I guess that is not a good thing? Mind you, I've been there once or twice too (maybe more) and as always I was mildly baffled at this darker side (which no doubt you share!). If memory serves me correctly, JMG should have much to say on the subject but hopefully something in particular to say about this thing (I had to edit myself to a family friendly term): Seattle public library.

Total 100% respect for the guy that is prepared to do what it takes, because that is what it takes. I moved in to a 100+ year old house once that only had one room with a floor, one tap and one power point. But it was all good and I survived and repaired the house as I had the money to do so. This place here is no different. Gumption is a word you don't often hear these days. People always ask me about my opinion on the housing bubble down here and I always tell them to do something different and unexpected. And then I go on to suggest that they construct a very small house in order to reduce exposure to debt - and that is where the conversation rapidly goes on to other topics and they pretend as if I hadn't said anything at all. I live in a small house and there is nothing wrong with that option, but at this point in time it seems as if it is an unappealing option for the population. I take the long view and reckon we'll get there in time, but my gut feeling says that the options will also shrink in line with house sizes.

That is the funniest thing that I have read today. You definitely had your book review hat on just then with the line: "angst ridden people who are isolated from one another?" Hysterical! Reading that book, I'm starting to get the feeling that we should all develop a few more existential crisis's or maybe just indulge a bit more personal angst? I suspect that the main character Miles, just doesn't like himself and can't understand why anyone else would – certainly he acts that way?

Apparently, DH Lawrence used to enjoy the fine art of literary troll reviews and was quite accomplished at that art! I'd like to have a chance to tell him what I thought about Lady Chatterley’s Lover. The intimacy scenes were insensitive at best and appalling at worst, but then all of the characters were dislikeable and I'm personally glad that it was pure fiction and I never have to meet any of them! Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris and Lewis

I do wish that I could remember this properly. At one time I was the librarian in an art college. There was a quote from Picasso in an art journal. In essence he was saying that he rose on the backs of a gullible public. If it was possible to track down the journal and the quote it would be great for the discussion on ADR.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - I took a quick look around for that Picasso quote. My, the man was verbose. Well, he lived a long time :-). You'd think if I did a search for "Picasso quote, gullible public" that something would come up. No. Just pages and pages of unsorted Picasso quotes. Hmm. As with so many other searches on the Net, I'll have to try to ... approach it from an angle and maybe get the results I want.

@ W.B. We've talked about it here, and over on the ADR. How it's so odd that when you don't particularly care for something (or, are just bored with it, as Mr. Greer is with modern art) that people take that as some sort of personal attack on their value system. They are "invested" so everyone else should be, too. It affirms the "rightness" of their choices.

@ Margaret - Fairs. My friend in Idaho just went to enter some of her "found" art at the fair the next county over. She was rather put off that this year, when she showed up with her work, the first question is "Didn't you register on line?" She is hooked up to the Internet and has pretty good skills. But the thing that she didn't like was that she would miss the sitting down with someone to get registered, the interactions with people that wander by and see her work. All the human interaction.

I know what she means. Quit a few years ago, now, our county went to voting by mail. I really liked going to the polling station. It was the time I most felt ... like an American. Like I was participating in government. Seeing the oldster volunteers. Getting a homemade cookie (biscuit). A cup of coffee of varying quality. Wearing the little sticky tag with "I Voted" on it for the rest of the day. That's all gone now, and I think we're poorer for it. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - OK. All this talk of blood donations. Back in the late 60s when I lived in Seattle, there was a commune nearby that pretty much supported itself by selling their blood plasma. It works a bit different than selling whole blood. You can do it once a week. They take out a pint, spin out the plasma ... put your red blood cells back into you ... take out another pint and repeat. That way, they get a pint of plasma, you get back your red blood cells.

I went along a couple of times with "the guys" when they went on their expeditions. And, my pockets were a bit light. What was really funny was that one of the guys was a big, hyper masculine ex highway patrol officer. He couldn't contribute. He'd faint dead away every time they hauled out the needle.

Little by little my jaw is feeling better. Or, more normal. There are odd sensations and twinges, at times. And, still not much feeling on the inside of my lower lip and gums in that area. To build bone you need calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Milk, yogurt and cheese contain all three. Vitamin D kicks off absorption. D can be taken in pill form, but is found in nature in sunshine. 15-20 minutes of sunshine a day is about right for proper dosage. Mileage may vary :-).

Well. When I moved to Seattle in 1968 I had a job waiting for me at the Seattle Public Library. In the very spot where the new library is. In 1968, the building I worked in was the new(ish) library. It did rather ... age me when I found out they were tearing down the "old" building and building something new.

Most of downtown Seattle is built on quit a slope. With lots of springs in the hillside. Makes for interesting construction problems.

http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&file_id=1197

I do believe in the lower right hand corner of the post card, you can see just a sliver of the old library building. Ah, here it is. And, it gives you an idea of the slope in downtown Seattle ...

http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/imlsmohai/id/2370

When they started building the Sea-First tower, across the street from the library (at about the time I started working there) the construction caused ... slippage on the slope. The entire front of the almost new library building began to pull away from the the floor of the second level. The gap became so wide you could look from the second floor, into the first. I don't remember how that was all resolved, but the library received a lot of money in damages. Also, it was discovered that in high winds, those corner sections on the tower would come loose. One afternoon, abound 5 there was a terrific crashing sound. About three floors of the corner sections landed in the middle of 5th Avenue, right in front of the library. It was a miracle that no pedestrians or vehicles were hit.

I have driven by the new Seattle library. Can't say it does much for me visually, but, I'll withhold judgement as I wonder ... does it work for the patrons? Does it work for the staff? Does the roof leak? :-) Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Oh, I don't know. I think a good existential crisis, expedition into personal angst or a good roll in the blues can be therapeutic as long as you know exactly where you are and don't spend too long at it. A little running around with your hair on fire can be cleansing and energizing. :-). Then you can settle down to figuring out options and solutions with a clear head.

I noticed what you posted over at the ADR about degrees. Here's an interesting little bit from "Walden on Wheels." This is as of 2013. And, I don't know where he gets his statistics.

"Josh and I were nothing out of the ordinary. Like us, many students had spent their years in college thinking they'd get that well-paying, planet-saving job,even if they'd heard horror stories from recent underemployed grads. Those jobs, of course, no longer exist (if they ever did.) By 2009, 17.4 million college graduates had jobs that didn't even require a degree. There are 365,000 cashiers and 318,000 waiters and waitresses in America who have bachelor's degrees, as do one-fifth of those working in the retail industry. More than 100,000 college graduates are janitors and 18,000 push carts. (There are 5,057 janitors in the United States who have doctorates and professional degrees!)"

"Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class" (Timberg) has equally bleak statistics, but they tend to be scattered through the text. What I find interesting about this book (or, one of the things) is how many people refer to the loss, or, not being able to get health insurance as a major concern. Maybe I don't feel it quit as deeply as I went without health insurance for so many years, and had pretty much made peace with that state of affairs.

Well, it's going to be interesting when Mr. Greer wades into art and libraries. I may have a lot to say about both. Or, perhaps not. Right now over at the ADR, it's unnecessary for me to comment, as other people are commenting for me.

Woke up to rain, this morning. Cool enough to kick the heat on for awhile. Lew

W. B. Jorgenson said...

Lew,

I always wonder about that. I figure some of the more vicious reactions are probably from people who actually deep down agree that whatever it is is really boring, but have invested in pretending otherwise. So when someone comes along and says what they feel but can not say, reminded of their hypocrisy, they lash out.

I doubt most of them are consciously aware of it, given how much human thinking occurs at an unconscious level, but that has something to do with at least some of it, I think.

orchidwallis said...

@Lew

Trouble is that I don't remember Picasso's words, just the meaning. How about trying to find quotes that he gave on the reasons for his increasing success.

Inge

Bukko Boomeranger said...

If you're curious, here's a link to the website of that street artist E.L.K. (real name Luke Cornish) who did the confronting "You Are Free" stencil in the laneway off Bourke Street. I found another of his pieces in a grotty alley in East Brunswick (killing time waiting for the owner of a Lebbo nut shop that I favoured to re-open his doors after he stepped out) and possibly one by him tucked away a bit south of Vic Market. Gas mask and hyper-militarised kit worn by the figure in that one, but not quite the same line technique in the drawing. I poke around all sorts of places all over the Big Smoke metro area coz I love to explore. Taking pictures of the better artworks is like a visual diary of what I've been up to, because re-seeing them brings back memories of the context in which I found them. After I crop and colour-edit the images, I put them in a computer photo album that flashes a rotating selection of the pics for the screen-saver function on my 'puter when I leave it on idle.

Re: nuts -- Shelled walnuts are not hard to find here, and not terribly expensive. I get my walnuts (Californian) from a Greek grocery in Bundoora named Psarako's; price holding steady for the past years @ $20 a kilo. Aldi sells 'em a bit cheaper at times, but no Aldis in Gisborne, eh? Nuts are my addiction. That's why I like making dukkah!

Re: lemons. There was a mention of making lemon juice in the comments, but you get so many on your posts (as does the Archdruid) that I don't have time to plough through them all. When I lived in rural Florida during the early 1990s, I scoped out many abandoned citrus groves whilst driving my pickup truck through the back roads. One could tell the ones that were not used because of the weeds that overgrew the spaces between the trees. I'd go with plastic grocery bags and fill five or six at a time with oranges (mostly) and the occasional lemon (not as plentiful) or grapefruit (only when I couldn't find oranges) theftbounty. Only, it wasn't stealing if nobody was going to harvest them, eh? Gleaning! I had a hand-cranked citrus squeezer, tremendously durable item from the 1950s, made of magnesium, and I'd extract litre after litre of juices. It was pretty much organic stuff, too, because no one was spraying the derelict groves. Then I'd freeze it. I would literally occupy all the space in my fridge's freezer and start stockpiling 2-litre soda jugs of it in the staff room freezers of nursing homes where I worked. Frozen lemon juice is a good way to utilise those yellow globes, if you have room, without necessitating lotsa sugar.