Monday, 10 October 2016

Bow River



This blog is now available as an mp3 podcast through the link: www.ferngladefarm.com.au

Regular readers will know that this blog does not usually touch upon political matters and I see no reason to disappoint those readers. The main reason for this avoidance of all things political is that there are plenty of other places on the Interweb to read about the surprisingly vision free braying of our political class. And to be honest, the dizzying intellectual heights for what passes as political discourse and discussion these days, is perhaps beyond my understanding. However....

The wind has been roaring over the south eastern corner the continent this week and I almost feel as if there is a feeling of change in the air. Whilst I was feeling a foreboding of change, other people down this way have had change forced upon them. Most people would be unaware, but on the Friday just passed, Ford Australia ceased manufacturing vehicles in this country. Ford had been manufacturing vehicles here for over sixty years and now, I guess, the Ford factories are quiet. General Motors (Holden) and Toyota will also soon cease manufacturing vehicles in Australia too. For whatever reason, the political class and/or the population had lost the will to support the vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia. It is my opinion that the people directly impacted by that change, were in a certain sense, thrown to the wolves.

There is a human face to that change. As many of you will know by now, I am an accountant. I  worked on a production line as a young lad and also again in a manufacturing business many years later as an accountant. Both of those businesses were shut down. And I got to see that process of shutting down a manufacturing business twice from two very different perspectives. So when newspapers report that an estimated 250,000 workers will eventually be “affected” (whatever that means) by the imminent shut down of the vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia, I know some of the stories and faces of people who faced very similar “affects”.

Rest assured that the factories themselves don’t stay quiet for long though. Soon the lights get switched on again and the auctioneers move in, the bids are placed, and the tools and machines are quietly shipped off overseas. During the factory shut down that I witnessed, I quickly realised that other countries value their manufacturing industries and are more than happy to take our scraps. And so I saw the containers arrive whilst the tools and machines were rapidly packed up and it could be said that: they performed their final disappearing act.

“Listen now to the wind babe
Listen now to the rain
Feel that water lickin' at my feet again”

My first job as an adult was with the most social workplace that I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. Long lunches and late Friday nights at the pub were all part of that job. Honestly it was like walking into a warm and embracing family. Us young ones used to head off to the clubs after those pub nights – if we were still able to – for a very messy end. I was rarely able to escape the messy end, because the housemates at home, who it was fair to say possibly weren’t as messy as I by that stage of the evening, were often very insistent that I hadn’t yet had enough, and could well use some more. Of course, my housemates weren’t being entirely altruistic in their concern for my partying well-being as my job also enabled me to pitch in with the taxi fare to whatever was their choice of destination. Saturday mornings meant coming down like a dirty mongrel, but there was the warm glow to be had – in between the greasy hamburgers, water and retching – that a good night was apparently well spent in the company of  friends.

Then I was made redundant from that job – through no fault of my own – during the recession that we had to have in the early 90’s and not only did I lose that job, I also suddenly lost a great deal of my social life. The warm and embracing family that came along with that job suddenly disappeared with my income. It was a bit of a shock to me, but I was a young and resilient bloke and so I took that lesson to heart and moved on and was very careful not to repeat it.

“I don't want to see this town no more
Wastin' my days on a factory floor
First thing you know I'll be back in Bow River again”

I wonder what sort of future the “affected” people in the rapidly redundant car industry will face. I have read the average age of the “affected” people is that they are in their fifties and they’ve worked in that industry for over two decades. Sure, they probably received a good redundancy payout so the economic effects of all this will take a while to filter down. But I wonder how many of them had any mates outside of their work and families? Did they have any hobbies or social connections with the wider community or did they give everything over to their work and families? And spare a thought for their unsung wives / husbands / partners who now have to pick up the pieces and form some sort of semblance of a life. I wonder how they’ll all fare?

“I been working hard, twelve hours a day
And the money I saved won't buy my youth again”

Last night, I travelled into Melbourne for food and friendship. And as I walked around the rainy city at night marvelling at all of the people who were enjoying the facilities, I took a moment to look up into the sky and I was a bit awe struck at all the big skyscrapers. It struck me that at the very top of the skyscrapers the city sky was dominated by signs proclaiming the banks, insurance companies, and superannuation funds and I wondered to myself what that lot actually produced?

“Goin' for the heat babe, and a tropical rain
In a place where no man's puttin' on the dog for me”

Speaking of party-time, the marsupials who share the farm have been showing off their little ones over the past few weeks. The other day, the editor took this great photo of a young kangaroo with a joey hanging out of her pouch.
A young kangaroo with a joey hanging out of her pouch has been enjoying the farm’s amenities over the past few weeks
Toothy the long haired dachshund has been assisting me with the construction of the new berry enclosure. A few days ago Toothy was instructing me as to the exact location of the gate post for the far end of the new berry enclosure.
Toothy instructs the author as to the exact location of the gate post for the far end of the new berry enclosure
Observant readers will note that in the above photo the far end of the berry enclosure now sports a delightful new steel wallaby proof gate welded up out of all sorts of scrap metal that we had lying about the place. I love my welder! There you go I’ve said it, and we can now all move on and hopefully the editor is not jealous of my love for this 1970's machine!
The author shows off the new steel gate at the far end of the new berry bed
Funky new scrap metal gates deserve the most excellent surroundings and so the editor and I completed all of the fencing for the new berry bed. I also took the chainsaw for a spin and cut all of the timber posts down to an exact size. Many of the offcuts from those timber posts will make great posts for the various garden taps around the farm!
The new berry enclosure is now complete!
The tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings are growing apace inside the toasty house at an alarming rate. We had an emergency working bee to get the tomato enclosure ready to soon receive the many seedlings. The tomato enclosure was a bit of a minor disaster as regular readers will recall that we had removed many of the berry plants from it and left a total mess behind. Fortunately, composted woody mulch hides all manner of sins and so we placed one cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of that material on top of the mess, and the mess disappeared!
One cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of composted woody mulch was placed into the tomato enclosure in order to cover over the mess that was the removal of the various berries growing in there
Tomatoes love a soil that has plenty of carbon (e.g. woody material) and also nitrogen (e.g. manure). Who seriously wants to disappoint a tomato plant? Not I! So we also heaped another one cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost into the tomato enclosure in nice neat rows.
Another one cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost was heaped into the tomato enclosure in nice neat rows
I find it quite ironic that I am now replicating the vegetable growing activities of my grandfather with all those nice neat rows and heaped soil! Oh well, I guess everything old is new again!

Spring is such a lovely time of year here and I wanted to leave you with some photos of the prolific and also beautiful plants here. One of my favourite plants are the Japanese maples and not only do they look superb all year around, they are also as tough as old boots!
A Japanese maple shows off its beautiful foliage whilst at the same time being as tough as old boots
I have absolutely no idea what this plant is, but the red flowers are superb! It also helps that I nicked this particular specimen from a neighbour! I didn't really nick the plant (are cuttings theft, I ask you??), but it does make for a good story!
This red flower looks superb and I have no idea what species it is
The fruiting cherry trees have decided to produce blossoms this week. I always have this feeling that despite my experience from prior years, the birds won’t get all of the cherry fruit. Maybe?
The fruiting cherry trees have decided to produce blossoms this week
The Asian pears are not quite as showy as the fruiting cherries, but clearly they decided that there was a bit of competition going on and so they had better produce some blossoms too!

The Asian pear trees have decided to produce blossoms this week
At this time of year, the various daffodils can’t be beat for showiness and most of them have a delightful perfume.
The daffodils are putting on a good show this week
The editor has a soft spot for the many succulent plants growing about the place and so to do the bees who all seem to enjoy the flowers. This next one is a little ripper!
This succulent produces a stunning red flower which the bees love
Speaking of bees, the native bees have made an appearance too, and I spotted this one on an Alkanet, which is a member of the borage family (which also makes great all year round chicken feed too).
A native bee enjoys this Alkanet flower and the leaves make great chicken feed too
Nothing, but nothing beats a solid hedge of Echium plants for bee food. These plants produce flowers for about ten months of the year and the bees are thick around the flowers.
This Echium hedge produces flowers for the bees for ten months of every year

 "I don't need the score
I'm goin' through the door 
 Gonna tell the man I don't want no more
Pick up a fast car and burn my name in the road"
-with respect to the rock band Cold Chisel
 
Our politicians would do well to remember that the Golden Rule of: "Do Unto Others" applies to themselves. No more Fords for them, maybe they only like Bentleys?

The temperature outside now at about 9.45pm is 3.7’C (38.7’F). So far this year there has been 1,020.2mm (40.2 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 998.4mm (39.3 inches).

60 comments:

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

The berry enclosure looks great! Visited a friend of mine the other day and she has a similar enclosure to keep out the deer.

Our Asian pear produced for the first time this year - about 25 pears. The pears never get the insect damage like the apples.

Enjoyed the story about your first jobs. My degree was in Psychology and Elementary Education but at the time of graduation there were no jobs available for an elementary teacher. I didn't even bother with student teaching. One of my first jobs was at a small music distributor. Started as a clerk in the purchasing department, then to accounts receivable and ended up after a couple of years as the full charge bookkeeper. I just learned on the job and was promoted. Like your experience this company was like a family. Sometimes if the "big boss" was out of town we would have an after work party in the warehouse often organized by the comptroller. Everyone joined in from the comptroller to the least experience warehouse worker. We had great fun driving the fork lift around fueled by some adult beverages. I don't think places like this exist anymore.

When I first started teaching (I did go back to school to complete the requirements for my teaching certificate) the school district was also like a family - not so anymore from all reports. Now it's just test, test and test some more and very little of the comradery that I experienced.

Margaret

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

St. Louis used to have plants of all three of the large US based car manufacturers: Ford, GM, and Chrysler. When I moved here in 1984, all three were still open. But each of them closed as the years went by. The Chrysler plant was the last one left going, but it's between 10 and 20 years since it closed.

Nor are they the only business that closed factories here, of course. My husband Mike worked for almost 15 years at a light bulb factory owned by General Electric, past when they said they'd close the plant, until he left to work for the local water utility. Ten or so years ago GE finally closed the light bulb factory, and it was as you wrote; the folks working there had been working there for years. A close friend of Mike's was old enough to retire at that time and did so, but not all of the folks would have been. Some were likely in the situation you described: their job was their life. Your post has resonance for many here.

Soon I'll head outside to continue with moving the fence and other early autumn yard work. Our morning low finally dropped under 50F / 10C for the first time this autumn on Oct. 8. Usually that happens in September. This month continues the warmer than normal weather we've had all year. No rain to speak of in the last three weeks. It's all falling on places like North Carolina, which is undergoing severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. It'll be a bad week or two there.

Claire

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - That's terrible about your auto industry. Pretty much the same happened here. The rust belt. Bits and pieces of it came back, but on a much smaller scale and non union. Been there, done that, too poor to afford the t-shirt.

What you'll see now is all kinds of "re-training" schemes. For jobs that don't exist. Or that the ex-factory workers have no desire in, nor aptitude for. The next round of official whinging will be that the laid off workers just need to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. Go somewhere else and do something else. If they're lucky, they'll find a (or two or three) service industry job at a small percentage of their previous wage and no benefits. Where ever those communities were, will be devastated. Drugs, alcohol, domestic abuse and suicide. We've been going through the same thing since the 80s. Place by place and whole regions.

On the animal front, here, hunting season is gearing up. It sounds like the Fourth of July ... only in the daytime.

LOL. To paraphrase my father (he was talking about paint), "Composted woody mulch hides a multitude of sins." :-).

And, from our Moron department .... My landlords wife was out of town for the weekend, so I went up for a visit and to check on him, yesterday. He told me the Evil Stepson had fessed up to having a leak under his place. Which is now repaired. While I was there, Roamie the mule guy stopped by. There are two shops, one on my place and one over at Brother Bobs. While using the shop at my place, he had unplugged the fence charger ... and didn't plug it back in. The Case of the Runaway Mule Mystery, solved.

And, I also heard that, being a progressive and modern young man, who doesn't take in the wisdom of "tried and true", a fellow who always knows more than you and has a better idea ... well, he was using a lathe and a piece of wood kicked back. It took seven stitches to put his eyebrow back where it belongs. I will not put a smiley face, here. Hubris, and all. Cont.

Angus Wallace said...

Hi Chris,

Our loss of manufacturing really troubles me. I think it will cause big problems for us down the road. I spoke to a guy who'd know a while back, and he said he thought Northern Adelaide would become like the Bronx when Holden shut its doors.

Read an article recently, and it said that a lot of Pauline Hanson's success is because she speaks "working class". I'd say we need another Keating, but he did as much to deregulate the economy as anyone. I'm think we're paving the way for our own Trump (or worse).

And while I think the Greens are the least bad option, they still mostly come from that cozy intellectual middle-class background. Hard to see that resonating with most Aussies...

Cheers, Angus

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. We have had a bit of rain, and, according to Cliff Mass the weather guy, it was a mini atmospheric river. We are going to have a few nice days, and then on Thursday, a BIG atmospheric river is moving in. The garden hose is on! I'll have to start paying more attention to the National Weather Service site. Having no tv and since I don't listen to the local radio stations (abysmal) that site is my main source of forecasts. And, Cliff Mass.

Happy Thanksgiving to W.H. and all your other Canadian readers! Here, we're celebrating Columbus Day. Well, not that there's much celebrating. They haven't figured out how to commercialize it, yet. And, it does have a whiff of colonization and imperialism these days. I guess the Italian communities in the big cities have celebrations. Or, used to, before the Little Italy's scattered to the suburbs. Columbus sent by Spain but Italian by nationality. The Italian celebrations still linger, here and there. About the only way you can tell it's a holiday is that the Post Office, banks and library are closed.

Well, since you brought up politics ... :-). I did see a couple of quotes that stuck in my head. From another part of the forest. "That odor wafting across the land is the smell of Republicans with their hair on fire." And, "...the Ameritanic sailing into the ice fields of the Future." Both of those after the debate, last night. Which I paid no attention to.

I thought "Bow River" might be a Springsteen song, but I see it's from a group called "Cold Chisel." Springsteen is our Bard of Industrial Desolation and Ruin. There will be no "face" of the dislocation. A few books will be written with individuals personal stories. They will be little read. A few "Special Reports" will appear on TV. Homeless Children in Florida. That sort of thing. They will be little watched. It's just so huge and sprawling that it's hard to get a handle on it. Lew

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

The closure of manufacturing plants of all kinds and the consequent loss of livelihoods and communities belongs to the irrationality of our economic system. It also seems to say something about political will, beliefs and the lack of a political voice? We've watched Newcastle trying to reinvent itself since the closure of BHP there.

You and the editor have done a lovely job on the berry enclosure. I enjoy thoroughfares broken up with design elements that have a practical purpose and also look good. All that moving of compost! The two piles I have are shrinking much more slowly as I move them.

We have visitors from SW France this week. The product of families living all around the world as a result of previous migration patterns. We enjoy hosting old friends and hopefully all garden work won't come to a halt. Our friends are British, retired to France, so it will be interesting to hear how Brexit will affect them.

Spring is rushing forward here.

Warm regards, Helen

Damo said...

An excellent post Chris, if not a little downbeat. Good thing you finished up with some nice flower photos* :-)

Not that long ago, I didn't have a lot of sympathy for the Australian car industry. Being a practical fellow, I found the large, thirsty vehicles not to my taste. The far more reliable** and economical small Japanese cars were for me. On top of that, they were not terribly reliable and needed scarce taxpayer dollars to exist! It was an outrage, and no doubt the fault of unions or something. Oh, and modern economies don't need manufacturing - the real money is in service industries!

But as time continued its inevitable march forward my opinion changed. Large cars can be very useful, and are well suited for long journeys across this country. Taxpayer contributions were minuscule compared to Germany, Japan and Korea. And over time, it became clear to me that modern economies are actually not modern at all, they are simply a replication of the Roman wealth pump. Completely parasitical in nature, the slaves and pollution hidden far away, out of sight. When that wealth pump stops, as they always do, what will happen to Australia? Is Argentina our future? Greece?

Our politicians have sold us out, and many in the public go along with it. Comfortable with a cushy job, home equity and netflix. I can't get too upset though, not that long ago I broadly felt the same way.

Cheers,
Damo

*If you still have the pentax camera - you can get very cheap (possibly free from the right tip or op shop), 2nd hand 50mm lens for it. There is no better way to take photos of flowers :-)

**After owning a falcon for 5 years, yes they don't compare to Japanese stuff. But not horrible either.

Coco said...

Hi Chris,

Lovely photos! And well done on the berry enclosure.

We have a little Japanese maple that got scorched earlier in the summer and, despite surrounding it with other stuff to shade it, promptly shed all it´s leaves. It´s gotten a few back, but still looks sick. Any thoughts on appropriate pruning, etc?

Politics on both sides of the pond have now turned so ridiculous that I can´t even pay attention. Circular firing squads as far as the eye can see.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the good sob reference, but I'm slightly reluctant to face that one. :-)! And those blueberry danishes with lemon flavour sound awesome. It won't be long until it is blueberry season here. Yum! Fresh cranberries taste an awful lot like black currants to me - so they're not exactly a sweet berry. Hey, the seed catalogue that I got in the mail today had white strawberries (with red dots), they looked pretty cool. We have so run out of time for the strawberries this year and we're left wondering what to do... Rice with a lower sugar content - like basmati rice doesn't produce as much of that fluffy starch like product when cooked. On a serious note, I hadn't heard about the fig leaves either as a substitute rennet product until you mentioned that there was a vegetarian rennet product and I looked it up.

Ha! I doubt your hold list will ever get in the doldrums - or hit a slack tide / wind...

Nice to hear that the mule has a name and that one sounds very appropriate for a mule. It makes me think of Willie Nelson... Oh yeah, that garbage truck turning up is a safe bet whilst a mule is running around feral. Your hermitage is web of intrigue and mystery for sure! :-)! Glad to read that the mule situation is now sorted too.

The trees and animals usually know more than we do about such things and so the pine cones are probably a pretty good guide. The marsupials are producing lots of off-spring right now, so that is indicative too.

Yay for the water back on! Did it last? :-)! Yeah, good on Nell for the catch, it is pretty nasty when cats hoover their meals up too fast only to share them with you again at a later time. One of the dogs did that once when I was sitting in the bath - and wow what a stink that dog produced... Yuk!

The storm hit Haiti pretty hard...

OK. Did you try the moose steak? And what exactly is a round? Venison can be quite tasty, although most of the venison I've had was quite gamey tasting. I once enjoyed a chunk of venison up in a remote pub out the middle of nowhere. They had a sign pointing to a beer garden and I thought that that sounded alright. So I poked my nose out and the beer garden was a chair in long grass by the side of the river. It was quite ambient really.

Oh yeah, I've seen that stream and rock laundry process in action in India and it ain't nice on the clothes. The clothes ended up very clean - and how they didn't mix anyones clothes up is a real mystery...

Dunno about bear steak - but of course you are kidding around, aren't you?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the information about picking the asparagus. One of the asparagus beds has three year old plants in it, and the other is less than one year now. I've been trying to work out ways to stop the spears from falling over in the wind as it sets back the growth on the crowns of the plants...

You sound as if you have quite the collection of books! It is very considerate of you to recycle them back into the community. The old pulp sci-fi books could be a very mixed bag. Oh yeah, I hear you! Thanks for the McCall Smith referral. The editor adores that authors written works. He has such a delightful insight on the human condition and he is certainly no fan of globalisation!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Thank you for the explanation about the life cycle of the daffodil plants. I will try removing the green seed heads from the plants. They seem very prolific. Unfortunately, because of the fire risk over summer, I have to chop and drop the daffodils whilst the leaves are still green. Ouch.

Thanks for the report on Matthew. The photos that we have been getting down here show some very serious devastation in Haiti and it is heartbreaking isn't it.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Grey / purple cheese sounds reasonably unappealing to the eye. And yeah I hear you about the waste. They make a raw milk cheese for sale down in Bruny Island of the south east coast of Tasmania. The grey / purple story sort of makes me think about the unappealing nature of trying to roast up a Silky chicken with their purple skin... Wouldn't that one scare the guests! :-)! Hehe!

The rice cooker is an amazing bit of kit and it uses so little energy to cook the rice - properly every single time. Your rice pudding sounds delectable! Yum! This week I used the last Fowlers bottle of apricots from last summer. I reckon that it may be a poor apricot season this year. The trees are struggling with the excess water. It rained again here tonight. How is it going up your way?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for seconding the daffodil advice. Unfortunately, I have to chop and drop them all before the bushfire season arrives.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for saying that about the berry enclosure! It will get reo mesh soon for the canes to grow up. Yeah, wallabies and deer fill the same niche and I do hope for the sake of the orchard that the deer go elsewhere...

Well done with the Asian pears. They would have enjoyed the heat and rain in your summer. Did you enjoy the taste of them? I grow a few varieties of nashi pear here and they are all a bit different. Did your local birds try sampling any of the fruit? They have thin skins which the birds can get into.

I was pleased by that blog entry and glad that you enjoyed the story. The Saturday mornings were the worst! ;-)! Well done with the bookkeeping work too. That is an excellent skill. I started at the bottom of that job chain too and have done most of the accounts jobs. A lot of accountants these days miss out on that experience. But then your story about how things used to be pretty much matches my experience. Where did those places go? Even the local volunteer fire brigade down here got overly serious and ended up looking a lot like unpaid work to me... There is definitely something fishy going on...

Thanks! :-)!

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Yeah, it is a bit sad isn't it? I just don't know what to say about it all as the whole thing seems weird and ideologically driven to me. Exactly, the car plants are the tip of the iceberg too. They all require parts suppliers who may or may not carry huge debt loads and those workers will end up out of a job too. And then all the people that supply stuff to those parts workers will end up losing income too - and possibly also their jobs. The powers that be would do well to recall that a consumer economy actually requires consumers...

Thanks for saying that about the resonance. Your husband Mike was very lucky to obtain a job with a local utility for so long. The funny thing I've noted about the utilities down here is that in the push for privitisation and profits, they rarely put on the huge swathes of apprentices that they used to employ back in the day...

I don't know about people retiring in their fifties. They seem too young to me and if they put everything into their job, well then... I have some mates who have pursued that path of putting everything into their job and when it went away, they were lost as. And I'm not sure how well they've recovered, if at all as they still seem to looking for a replacement community and it is not to be found for them.

Nice to read that you are getting some cooler weather. And hopefully it rains soon for you? Just for your interest, if you are drifting into a warmer climate, my March and October are usually the reliably driest months of the year. Those storm surges are something else. It is like watching a horror show. That happens down here during the big storms too and I'm seeing more and more photos of beaches washed away and little beach shacks inundated.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

The naughty computer just ate my reply to you... Yeah, the whole thing is a total mess and the powers that be seem to have forgotten that consumer economies, sort of need consumers. I mean it is not as if crime rates haven't increased in wealthy areas - you would think that that would send a message... I liked the t-shirt slogan too.

The whole re-training thing is a victim blaming exercise. I read in the business section about a guy who got retrained in "deep tissue therapy" - it was only later that I figured they were talking about a masseuse... Oh yeah, all of those things will happen, it is a slowly escalating problem...

Watch out for stray bullets...

Your dad had a good saying their. The editor remarked to me the other day that politics seems to be descending into a fight over what colour to paint the front door, whilst the rest of the house appears to be burning to the ground. I really don't want to know anything at all about the sex lives of our politicians. It is a bit sordid really.

Hey, was that water leak part of the larger water problem that you are experiencing? Glad to see that you didn't need to get Sherlock Holmes into sort out the mule mystery and that there is a reasonable explanation too.

Yup! Tools can injure at short notice and without warning. It has been really windy down here recently and a lot of trees have fallen over. Victoria winds: Thousands without power; severe weather warning remains for Gippsland. Some dudes using chainsaws clearing a fallen tree off a road in a photo in that article aren't wearing gloves, helmets, ear muffs, and eye protection. Mate things can fly off a chainsaw chain faster than you can react...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Angus,

Oh yeah, we should have kept that industry even for strategic reasons. And those reasons seem pretty sound to me. It is like everything else though: Let's assume nothing goes wrong and then...

Geelong and Broadmeadows are going to be hit pretty hard too. Yeah, that pretty much is her support base - the disenfranchised and our leaders would do well to consider that in between their squabbling. Worse can come along too. No doubts about it.

I'm not even sure what the Greens stand for these days.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Ouch. Yup the steel works was a disaster. I worked in the steel industry and saw the rise of the imported steel. Tarrifs seem to work, but people don't want to pay for them as stuff costs more.

Oh thank you. That is lovely to read. The walk through was a design feature of that enclosure as we have a staircase leading up to that terrace on either end of it. I sort of found that if you can access things here, they tend to get used and maintained more frequently.

How good is compost! Good to read that you are making good use of your compost too. Yeah, it disappears into the plants doesn't it? What did you reckon about the tomato raised beds? I'm thinking that they may need to be raised here this year in case the rains continue through into the summer? Dunno.

Lucky you and enjoy your visitors. Yes, I would be interested to hear their thoughts on Brexit too? That whole argument has been framed in some rather unpleasant ways. I'll tell you what, I'm no intellectual slouch, but those rats, they sure have me figured out because they adapt so quickly. ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Yeah, it was a bit of a bummer, but I was trying to bring a human face to the numbers as they so often get lost in the background noise. I've seen it all first hand too and it is just not good. The good thing about getting hard lessons when you are young is that it is easier to bounce back as you are generally more resilient. I can't imagine what change would be like to someone who has worked in the same "family" for over two decades... And the people that have to live with those people, mate I feel even worse for them.

Mate, that is wisdom, that is what that is. Well done. Yeah, I distinctly recall the days of Paul Keating when he was rabbiting on in his own inimicable style (who could forget the accusations thrown about like: Scumbag!) about Australia being a banana republic - and we had even more manufacturing back then. Not everyone wants to work in a service industry either.

Thanks for the tip too about the Pentax.

Cheers

Chris





Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Thank you for writing that. I hope the canes from all those berries aren't too hard to espalier? I'm really excited about possibly getting some raspberries as well. Yum!

I assume that you have wild berries in your part of the world?

Wow, it may be the variety of Japanese maple? The thing is that the maples here are really very tough to very hot conditions. It can exceed 40'C a few times over the summer and the lot here have been through some scorching summers. It may be that your tree is not getting enough light? That is a possibility.

The whole thing is crazy... Saner minds are to be found in a garden for sure.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

No, the birds didn't get at the pears though they did a good job on the strawberries. I do like the flavor and was very pleased to get such a good harvest from a young tree.

I agree about starting at the bottom as you really get a much better picture how the company works. At my next job computers were just beginning to be used more heavily. Some of the accounting clerks knew the steps to input data but had little or no idea of what it meant so, of course, if the numbers were off due to some error they didn't recognize it. I have many fond memories of that place and it was my best job in the accounting field.

Still pretty warm here - really quite pleasant. Hope the weather becomes a little drier for you soon.



W. B. Jorgenson said...

Hazel,

Your comment last week on the origin of soap seems quite likely to me, for the simple reason it makes sense and I can't think of any plausible alternatives.

Chris,

I feel sorry for the people who lost their jobs and livelihoods. We had a similar thing happen here recently, our car factories shut down as well. It seems odd that everything productive is being done in poor countries. It seems like a recipe for disaster for the "developed" world to me.

In response to last week's comment,

Yes, if someone's response to something is anger, then it often means they are on shaky ground, and they know it. Not consciously but deep down they know and that's why they're angry.

Food preservation and making are both dying arts. The general reaction people have on hearing I make bread is to ask how I can afford a bread machine (sigh).

I find it's not just caffeine I'm super affected by, but anything. I apparently have a very sensitive system.

Well, I wish I could walk a fair bit more, but it's challenging sometimes. Cities sprawl out to the point it gets fairly hard to get around on foot. I'm intentionally structuring my life to try to keep as much as possible in walking distance, but it's fairly hard sometimes. However, I've walked from downtown to one of the suburbs before, so it's doable, but the time required...

"the easy path is often the harder path". All too true! What is easiest in the short term can easily become far harder in the long run, no matter what it is. It's worth thinking ahead for that reason. Once more, a lesson I think it's interesting to see people try very hard to ignore.

I'm fairly likely to disappear for a few days again. My internet time is a lot less than it was, and I have too much to do that needs a computer. It's fairly hard to get by without one in so many ways. I was expecting to have to rethink parts of my life without home internet, but it's a lot more than I had expected.

Will

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - So far, the water has held steady. The Evil Stepson is the last house on the system. So, if he gets a leak, everyone looses water.

Haven't tried the moose steak, yet. I need to get a couple of ingredients when I go to town. I'll start it thawing, today. A round steak is from the upper back leg of whatever animal. Usually pretty tough, so it needs to be cooked long and slow. I've heard bear can be pretty fatty and greasy. This time of the year, they're stuffed full of apples, so, probably not too gamey tasting. Back in older times, bear grease was used for things like lubrication on wagon wheels.

I thought it got pretty cold, last night. 34F (1.11 C) Almost freezing, but not quit. Oh, well. When the Pineapple Express comes in on Thursday, it will carry all that nice Hawaiian warm air. I guess we're supposed to get a bit of wind with it.

I watched what may be one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen, the other night. "The Lobster." In some future time, all people must be coupled. If you break up with your spouse, you're sent to this hotel along with all the other singles. You have 40 days to connect. If you don't, you're turned into an animal of your choice. All through the movie, an occasional odd animal would wander through the background. A donkey, flamingo, camel, etc.. That movie might be knocked out of the "most weird I've ever seen" in two or three weeks. "Swiss Army Man" is working it's way up my hold list.

Nell showed up with ANOTHER mouse, yesterday. Mouse a morning. I think she's 4 for 4.

That was a zinger of a comment from The Editor about the burning house. Speaking of which, trying to keep it brief, I had the weirdest dream, last night. It started out as some kind of vampire thing. Probably because I watched season two of "The Strain", last week. And, once that ended, I was visiting Chris! But not Fern Glade Farm. A big warehouse of a building in town and you lived there and had converted most of the rest of it into flats. Quit nice, but very rustic. Lots of exposed wood, etc.. And, I met The Editor. What a stunner. :-). Dreams are so strange. Places you've never been and people you've never met or seen. And, to me, it doesn't even seem to be composites or imagination. Lew

Sherri Mac said...

Hi Chris, your red flowering plant looks to me to be a gerbera, they are in the daisy family and are easily propagated by dividing the plant. Cheers

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

That is good to hear about the birds not taking the pears. The local parrots here tend to take them just before they are ripe - which is a nuisance. I use the parrots as an indicator as to when to net the trees. I hear you about the strawberries. Nothing beats a cage. The final straw for me is that the dogs broke into the hole in the strawberry netting that the wallabies made. The dogs then ate the final strawberries...

Exactly. And you get to know all of the day to day problems they face and also the language they speak. A lot of accountants miss out on that experience. That is so true too. The software is the tool, not the answer in itself. Yup! Too true. You got to see the big picture and that is a good thing.

Enjoy your warmth. It is still cool and damp here - I noticed an ants nest was building levee banks around the opening and I wonder what they know...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Will,

It is not good. The number one unspoken economic policy being pursued is: we must not have unofficial forms of inflation. Of course we do have rising inflation in house prices and equity prices because some people tend to feel that this is a good thing and it is sold that way. What we are seeing is the ugly practicalities of that policy.

Yup, anger is not a good emotion if it is wildly thrown around. No good. A slow smouldering may be put to good use as a motivating tool though. Of course they are on shaky ground and they want to shut down a conversation - it is a common response nowadays.

The bread machine thing is funny as. I hear that too. How hard is a mixing bowl and a a bread tin?

Best not to stress your system. It is good that you are aware of the impacts. Did you find that all out the hard way? The story this week was a stepping stone along the road to limiting alcohol for me to one glass and then that is it. It is hard to know where ones limits are.

Fair enough about the walking. I regularly walk from the main train station in town (Southern Cross) into the inner suburbs. It is a good way to get a feel for the things going on. There are a lot of homeless people nowadays and they cover a broad spectrum of ages and gender...

Yup! We seek to avoid pain and in doing so tend to attract it later down the track.

Have a nice internet break. Life is compromise for sure.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Good luck with that huge atmospheric river. As a comparison, we tend to get warmer weather just before a big storm arrives too. Watch out for that garden hose! You are lucky to have Cliff Mass providing some detailed explanation of the weather experience up your way.

Oh, I didn't know that about Columbus being Italian but sponsored by the Spanish. Interesting.

Well, we rarely do politics here and for good reason, but sometimes it is a bit hard to ignore. Yes, the taunts have been flying thick and fast over in your country. I'm personally uncomfortable about the attacks on peoples intellectual credibility if they were to vote in a certain way. The thing is that I learned long ago that there are plenty of people who are smarter, wealthier, better looking, healthier, whatever you care to choose someone will be better than you. That's life and the level of personal attacks are being used to silence debate on issues that probably should be spoken about. Dunno.

Hey, Springsteen will be playing over the other side of the mountain range at Hanging Rock in the near future. I do hope that he doesn't get lost there... ;-)! Sorry, that was a bad joke. Honestly how anyone could get lost at Hanging Rock is well beyond me... It is just not that big for a start. Cold Chisel tried to enter the US market and then retreated, not before writing the enormously popular song: You got nothing I want, you got nothing I need. Emotions were perhaps a bit inflamed after the cool reception they received?

OK, what ingredients go with a moose steak? Curious minds demand to know! Hehe! Yeah, you know we don't generally tend to consume carnivores or even omnivores. But then pigs tend to enjoy a bit of meat, and now that I think about it, those chickens enjoy a tasty morsel of rat... Might need to think about that. Yeah, back in the day they used to use whale oil too.

That is cold. Brrr! Hope the Pineapple Express warms things up a bit for you?

Yeah, that actor specialises in slightly off beat films. I assume that he became the lobster in the end? There is meant to be a very strange twist to the Swiss Army Man film and the premise of the film is not the same as what is shown in the trailer. I'd be very interested to read your opinion of that film. I have not seen either of those films. Was the lobster worthy of a few hours of time?

Nell is hitting some serious home runs. Of course the rodents are heading into her territory as the weather cools down.

Nice one! Thanks. Were they nice vampires, that is the question? I wonder at the origins of the vampire folklore. Well, I'll tell ya, I was dreaming about zombies last night. Look that one I can blame on a t-shirt party later this month. So I had to pick up a t-shirt with a silly slogan and I don't really express myself through t-shirts so... Anyway, the t-shirt says: I like you, but if zombies attack, I'm tripping you! Very funny. The t-shirt will be chucked into the workwear pile after the party.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Sherri,

Welcome to the discussion.

Thanks very much for the plant identification and tips on propagation. They appear to be very hardy plants and so I will divide it up. Thanks again. I hope that you grow some as well?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Great photos again. Spring is a lovely season. Autumn is only just starting here thanks to a very warm September. Some leaves are changing colour but none are dropping yet.

I saw a glorious sky on Monday while out. I kept asking people to look at it and was surprised at how disinterested they were. I felt exonerated by the fact that it was mentioned on the weather forecast on television. It was called 'punch holes'. Actually they weren't the best, there was something else even more beautiful which I couldn't find on the internet ( great sweeping curves). The sight was due to ice crystals.

@ the Editor
I have read most of McCall Smith's books, just not quite up to date. My absolute favourite, in case you haven't come across it, is a von Igelfeld short story called 'The principles of tennis'; it is contained in 'Portuguese irregular verbs'.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The storm is supposed to start moving in, tonight. By Thursday night, we may see wind to 40mph. There are flood warnings up in the north part of the state. I hustled out to harvest some fennel seed (can't have a good Finn rye bread without fennel seeds) and some hops. Didn't get many hops, but I just want to sample making some tea out of them. I picked another 5 bags of apples. I figure after the storm, there won't be many left on the trees. Freeze some, a couple of bags in the fridge. A box of perfect ones, individually wrapped in paper in the laundry room.

Well, Swiss steak recipes are all over the place. But I think I'll just stick with the simplest recipes, as I remember them. Chunk canned tomatoes and onions. The moose is thawing. Some one reminded me of another use for bear grease. To waterproof your boots.

Hmmm. Was The Lobster worth watching? Well, I kept watching it, just to see what the next weirdness was. :-). The dialogue was rather ... stilted. And, the acting rather stylized. I suppose to create a feeling of "future." Would I watch it again? Nope.

Nell is now 5 for 5. Mighty huntress! How long can she keep this up?

I don't like having my picture taken, either. I usually throw up an arm and shout, "No! You'll compromise my witness protection program!" :-).

Well. The Safeway finally got in the pumpkin spice Hersey kisses. Now if they'd just get the pumpkin ice cream, my life would be complete :-). Ah, simple pleasures. Off to the Little Smoke. Do my monthly look in at The Home. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you and spring is lovely isn't it? Mind you, autumn is a delightful time of year too with the leaf turn. The tourists descend on this mountain range (fortunately at the more fashionable western end!) to see the leaf turn during autumn. Autumn's are getting warmer here too and the leaf fall often doesn't really take place until very late in the season. Plus some of the poor plants here tend to think that spring has arrived and they put on a few blooms. The first of the rhododendrons has produced some flowers this week. This mountain range is known for those plants - all of which are imported! Once established, those rhododendrons are as tough as old boots too.

Your sky sounded very beautiful and the sweeping curves look really nice when they make a special guest appearance. Just for your interest, I have noticed that they occur during an unstable atmosphere - often accompanied by great changes in the air pressure. Dunno. Did that happen in your area?

Speaking of cool looking clouds, I know it is a flight of fancy, but the other day I saw a really cool looking series of clouds floating along the valley which looked as though it was a young lass riding on top of a flying dragon! Perhaps it was my imagination, but it did look cool. The only time I missed out on taking a photo of clouds that I later regretted was when the tornado hit. I remarked to the editor that: That's a funny looking cloud, don't you think? 4 inches of rain in one hour! Wow! What a mess.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

The editor thanks you for the book referral and she has not read that particular book yet (it is hard to keep up with the author!) but book is on the too get book list (which unfortunately got rather wet and bedraggled looking in the recent rains). Her nose is currently buried in the 44 Scotland Street series at the moment. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Good luck with that storm and I hope it is not too epic? No one really wants to be faced with an epic storm. Out of curiosity, do you have higher land above you that may possibly drain into your hermitage? No wonder Nell is catching mice like the true huntress that she is. All of the poor mice are running for shelter (I spotted a Gimme Shelter reference the other day over at Kunstlers). One of my favourite songs too.

Oh, your Finn Rye bread sounds very tasty. And fennel seeds. Yum! They are prolific plants. Actually I walk past one that has been growing in the same spot for many years - even though it dies back over winter, I reckon it is the same plant? - and pick off a few of the ferny leaves to munch on whilst I'm outside working. It is tasty stuff. Did you have a hops vine growing at your place? I have a recollection about something to do with an antenna? That is one plant I definitely want to grow here. The editor and I have been discussing the possibilities of making a back to basics beer - like they did in the old days. We are of a firm opinion that process nowadays has been overly complicated. Have you ever tried that or have you come across any good book sources on that topic?

Well done with the apples, and yeah, they wouldn't have survived the storm. Maybe not?

The tomatoes and onions (plus potatoes?) slow cooked with the moose steak sounds pretty tasty. I enjoy slow cooked meat rather than steaks as such. I have spoke to you in the past about the place in Melbourne that does 12 hour slow cooked pulled pork in a distinctly Southern style. They also do a top notch Southern fried chicken too which is equally good. Yum! Every time I eat there the film "Chef" bounces into my imagination...

Thanks for the film review. Hmmm, it sounds a bit challenging? I'll be very interested to read your thoughts on the Swiss Army Man - it is still being played down here at the cinema. Sorry, I got the wrong actor in that film it was actually Collin Farrel.

Well done Nell, chiefest of the Felines!

That's funny about the photo!

Enjoy your trip into the Little Smoke and may you break some legs (Hehe!) at the Home so that you get further up the list. ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Went to town, yesterday. Bright and sunny. The Warden at The Home was at a conference, so I'll stop in next Wednesday. Dropped off a small box of books for their library and gassed a bit with the "Old Babes" in the lobby. One told me she went on the list and was in 18 days later. I expect there might be a lot of movement after the holidays. People putting off a move until then ... and, elderly mortality tends to spike about that time. A lot of them hold on until after the holidays and then shuffle off their mortal coil. Statistically.

I stopped by the bakery. Maple bars. The woman at the counter told me they were different from usual, as they don't deep fry much. They're donut dough and baked. That's explains the bottom crust.

By the time I got home the clouds were moving in. I hustled over to the old orchard and picked two more bags of apples. I dug garlic. LOL, I think Brother Bob planted some of those with a post hole digger. Several, I couldn't find. I also brought back several of the poofy seed heads. They'll look nice drying in a vase. Pronounced V Ah ZZZZ :-). Wonder if I can plant the seed? I was having a cuppa on the porch and everything was so still. And, my ears felt funny. No wonder. The barometer was taking a plunge. The rain started about 10, last night. So far, rather gentle.

The landlords place sits quit a bit higher than mine, but my place and his drains into a low spot, in between. And that drains off the back of the place and into a creek in the bottom land. There are high wind warnings, for tonight. 25 mph which doesn't sound too bad. I want to go to my regular meeting, tonight. Cliff Mass is supposed to have an update in a couple of hours.

I quit like the song "Gimme Shelter." And, the movie. It was the first time I became aware of Ike and Tina Turner. They were the opening act for the Stone's tour. Raced out to get their album :-). I picked up the movie "Hail, Caesar" at the library, yesterday. Haven't watched it yet. I suspect John Waters did the theme, better, but it's been so long since I've seen his move, that I really can't compare.

Yes, the hop vine is growing up an old ariel attached to one of the outbuildings. No, I don't think I'll be making beer :-). LOL, one of the things I had to give up to maintain sanity. But I got enough to experiment a bit with tea. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. The Swiss steak that my mother made, you bake the potatoes separate, mash them up with a fork on your plate and pour the gravy from the meat over them.

When I went to call in Nell, last night, she didn't come right away. I could hear her down in the dark next to the porch, crunching away. So, she may have got two mice, yesterday. Right now, she's sitting out in the rain, at the line where the lawn meets the taller wild grass intent on ... something.

Looks like I'll have a few inside days due to the weather. That's find. The kitchen is overflowing with produce of one type and another. Seven big bags of apples. The Chehalis apples were ok. A little scabby, but not too much. I'll use those first as they don't quit keep as well as some of the others. The Melrose apples were very scabby, but I got some nice one's that aren't too bad. The Jonigolds were just about perfect. Those keep the best. The apples from the orchard ... quit a few crab apples and some big round red ones in fine shape. Mystery variety. I forgot to mention that for every garlic bulb I dug (no matter if I could find the bulb or not) I planted 3 or more cloves to replace them. Some elephant garlic from last year, and, some that I got from the veg store.

I have a very long pole picker contraption. Was glad to have it. There were quit a few pollinators around (things that sting) and I was able to get the apples out of the tree without getting anyone too upset. Sometimes, when I'd get them down, I'd find they were split or scabby. Those I left for the deer. Who came last night and did a nice clean up job. :-) Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hey mate, it is just you and me here tonight! Hope you are well and all that? I always said that part of the reason for writing the blog is so that we could enjoy a good chat and a yarn. Doesn't the term "went to town" mean something other than how you intended it? Sorry, just being cheeky. Hopefully the Old babe isn't too handy with the arsenic? Some people will do anything to rapidly work their way up a list. ;-)! It is nice that they have a community library - I can see a potential future project for you in that library? Really? Are you serious about the holidays? I wonder whether it is a case of: People waiting after they have spent the final time with their families? Or maybe they are goal orientated and the holidays becomes some sort of final goal? Or still, maybe what about the change in the weather to the colder conditions makes a big difference? Did you know that peoples blood pressure goes up naturally when the weather is colder than warmer? I read once that the English used to send people out to the colonies as it was considered better for their health and I often wondered about conditions back home that may have suggested that this was a better option? Hey, I'll bet there is a sweet spot on your west coast where the weather is neither too hot or two cold all year around. Down this way that would be on about the mid central coast of New South Wales I reckon. It is an exorbitantly expensive place to live though...

How good do those maple bars sound? Yum! The other night, I was in the big smoke and the editor tried a lethal looking doughnut with Southern Fried chicken and coleslaw. The doughnut had a maple glaze on it. Honestly, we felt as if we were at a state fair! :-)! The bottom crust on the maple bar sounds as if it adds something to the overall end result. Yum!

Ha! We pronounce vase the exact same way. Hey, don't laugh about the garlic seed heads - which are unfortunately sterile - but this is very exciting plant news. It has only been in the past year or so that garlic has actually been able to be reproduced from seed. That particular plant had been cultivated so long by dividing up the cloves that the plant itself became sterile. There is an interesting book on the subject by a local authority called "Garlic and Friends" by Penny Woodard - who I met at a fascinating talk on the subject of garlic. It was very clever of the people to have uncovered the process of growing the plant from seed again as it will introduce greater genetic diversity to the species.

I had to jump onto the roof today to clean the flue for the wood heater. Every time the door to the combustion chamber was opened, smoke billowed into the room... Not good. Anyway, the flue was reasonably clean, but the steel at the top of the combustion chamber had delaminated and blocked the flue exit so smoke had been entering the house for about one to two weeks now... Anyway, that wood heater is in for a good time and not a long time. The editor and I had words about it this afternoon as the steel in the combustion chamber has become paper thin at various points and there is only so much that I can do to repair that beast... I am at a complete loss about what to do as so much in the way of resources has been invested into that unit. It was a bad choice.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Yeah, you can feel the air pressure change in your inner ears. As I climb and descend altitude all the time from here, I've noticed that if I am feeling in any way dehydrated, my ears sometimes struggle to keep up with the changes in air pressure as I climb and descend in altitude. You are so right, storms are exactly the same too, with the drop in air pressure. The interesting thing is that when I walked in Nepal to about 5,000m (16,500ft) above sea level because the climb was so slow and gradual, I rarely noticed any changes in air pressure - or ill effects. But in Peru driving from Cuzco into higher altitudes - mate, we ate cocoa leaves by the dozen. They are quite disgusting too to consume, but I recall that we were giggling an awful lot and the people that chose not to consume them were quite ill.

Cont…

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I just had to change computers and put the chickens to bed. It is an exciting life here you know! That wind sounds quite strong to the sorts that I'm used to (it isn't usually windy here at all) so I hope that you made it to the meeting and back again without incident?

Oh, I'd be interested to read your opinion of that movie. It got mixed reviews down here and I sort of didn't watch it as it seemed like a bit of ode to Hollywood. It is funny who opened for whom. I read that Bob Marley and the Wailers used to open for Sly and the Family Stone (how good is the song: Everyday People?). Of course I probably would have enjoyed Bob more as did others and there was a bit of a falling out...

Very funny. I wasn't actually asking you about whether you'd be making beer yourself, for known reasons. No offense was intended. :-)! Well sanity is a relative thing from my perspective and I see a lot of strange business going on so it is sort of hard to tell who is and who isn’t...

Those potatoes sound very nice and there is something about potatoes and gravy that make it a delightful combination of flavours. Yum! We're doing roast potatoes on a home made pizza base tonight in the wood oven - which now after much remediation seems to be drawing correctly. Honestly, I could kick the thing. Not the pizza mind you, just the big lump of steel sitting in the living room.

I hope Nell made it home OK and didn't get too wet in the rain? She is currently emulating Diana! I saw a statue of that Roman huntress God yesterday. She had quite the bow and also something that looks an awful lot like a wolf as her familiar.

What an awesome haul of apples. Nice work. Apples really are a gift as they are a very tasty and useful fruit. Your pole cutter is a very useful contraption. I once put my hand around a cluster of about six European wasps on a wild apple, but fortunately they were all so busy eating that they forgot to sting me. That would not have been a pleasant experience. That was very thoughtful about the deer.

The sun shone here today and the day was warm (63'F). And the insects descended on the plants. There were native and European bees everywhere. You could hear the droning sound that they all made. It made me very glad that we had planted so many flowering species. It is absolutely feral as.

The trains have been replaced by buses this month as the government is replacing road crossings for the trains with underpasses. I've been watching that project in action - from the trains - over the past few months. Death by train is a bit of a problem down here. I used to know a train driver and he always said that it was a matter of when and not if. Cars and trains do not tend to mix well. The editor has been on a train that hit a car and it is not a nice experience. Fortunately the buses were delightful too and it was so much quicker to get into the middle of the city than driving, it still makes my mind boggle that people would drive in.

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Hey Chris and Lew, you are never alone on the internet (or is that always alone - maybe both?)!

If you feel like a laugh and/or become depressed, check out this:
Is our world a simulation?

It features our favourite delusional techno-utopian Elon Musk who thinks we live in a simulation. Why? Apparently the evidence basically boils down to: progress will continue exponentially, therefore computers will be able to cheaply simulate a universe soon, therefore the number of simulated universes will greatly outnumber the real universe thus making it 'probable' we live in a simulation.

You couldn't make this stuff up and reading that article makes me laugh at the leaps of childish logic and faith required. I note it is often people who know just a 'little' about computers that are the most fervent proponents of AI/singularity type thinking. Just enough rope....

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I've had my daughter and granddaughters here for the last two days so not much computer time. Yesterday we went to Old World Wisconsin http://oldworldwisconsin.wisconsinhistory.org/Explore/ExploreOverview.aspx for the day. Even though it's only an hour away I had never been there. They have a membership so have been numerous times but my daughter said each time they learn something new. I am proud to say that I did the best at hand threshing rye and wood splinting - who knew. They had a old breed of pig, the Ossabaw Island pig along with piglets. Butchering of some of the pigs was done last weekend and next though visitors are warned if the process is something they would rather not view.

There has been quite a bit of conflict between my daughter and one of the twins who has perfected "the look" that girls of Jr. High often express, particularly for their mother's benefit. While I enjoy their visits I look forward to their departure too as it certainly disrupts the routine around here.

I've been on trains several times that have hit cars but more often hit a pedestrian. The worst was one day when there was a brief but heavy snow. A young woman on her way home from school slid over the tracks at the same time as the train.

Sorry to hear about your wood stove. Our mistake was installing one that is too small. Don't know what we were thinking at the time. Of course we have central heat as well so the situation isn't the same as yours at all.


Lew, speaking of catching mice the girls reported that Salve caught one yesterday and devoured it whole - they could hear the bones crunch. She is a better mouser than the cats. Perhaps our cats could take a lesson or two from Nell.

Margaret



Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

I had seen a news report last week about the closure of the Ford plants (you had mentioned months ago that it was going to happen) and how very sad people were about it. What an understatement. What a superb essay that you have written on the topic and about your past, similar, experiences.

Is that a magpie that I see behind Mrs. Kangaroo? I have always been amazed at the strength that mother kangaroos must have to haul their - sometimes very large - progeny around, and in a pouch yet. Do they ever have twins?

You have such an eternally useful skill with your welding. Something that will always be needed. And you do it with such artistic flair!

It is funny that you made the comment about replicating your grandfather's nice neat rows. We were discussing recently that the more we garden, the more we seem to shift back, at least in some areas, towards those old practices. It seems to just occur naturally as we find that certain practices actually are more efficient as far as maintenance and harvesting go.

So much is blooming there! It's such wonderful visual evidence of all the hard work you all have done, with planting the fruit trees/plants and the plants that attract pollinators. And the stuff that just pops up!

The foliage on our trees has hardly changed color so far. Often October 15 is when the fall leaf color is at its peak; it looks like it will be weeks yet. You never can tell.

Our wood heater is cast iron. Once, after They told me to keep it really fired up (I think to cure some fix on the stove pipe?) I did just that, until the whole stove glowed bright red. Boy, did I get in trouble! Like I was suppose to know that it is not a good thing to let your stove glow bright red? I was told to keep it fired up . . . No damage done - amazingly. I really like the cast iron.

Thanks so much for Cold Chisel.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

"I don't like having my picture taken, either. I usually throw up an arm and shout, "No! You'll compromise my witness protection program!" :-). " THAT is a clever one!

You must be saving quite a bit on cat food . . .

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Well. I'd say that most people will not be able to afford the price of the ticket to get to the singularity. And the one's that go, probably won't be much missed :-). Virtual Reality seems on the upswing. I keep expecting to hear about someone found, wasted away, with their VR goggles firmly in place. What I find ... er, interesting (?) is how the adult entertainment industry drives, and determines modes of technology. When that industry didn't adopt Beta, and instead went to VHS, Beta died. From what I've read, that industry didn't adopt Blue Ray, much, so it's kind of becoming a dead issue. They are climbing on the VR bandwagon. So that will probably be established. Lew

@ Margaret- I think those .... re-enactment? I think there's a better word for it, but I can't quit put my finger on it. Anyway, I think they're really valuable. And, fun. There's Williamsburg and Sturbridge Village. Plymouth Plantation. They keep some of the old crafts and ways of doing things alive. And, somewhere I read that about one in a hundred visitors get excited enough to develop something they've seen into a serious hobby. Who knows? You may be growing your own rye or get yourself a small flock of sheep. :-). There's a kind of new sheep/goat coop that opened in town. Lots of cheeses, a little cafe. There's always a group of ladies knitting away. They have a room with several looms in it, of different sizes and age. Really cool. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - We do have a sweet spot, weather wise, over on the Olympic Peninsula. The little town of Sequim (pronounced Squim.) It's some weather anomaly and is referred to as the Banana Belt :-). And, yes, it is a rather expensive retirement community.

Well, if some old gal has the library staked out as "her" territory, I'll tread very, very softly. But there's probably plenty of grunt work I can do. I think there's a small exchange program with the local library. I think they bring an occasional tub of books for a set period of time. But, if they don't make it back, there's no fine's involved. No one gets too upset.

That post holiday mortality among the elderly is a very real thing. As to the reasons you listed, I'd say "All of the above." Enjoy one more holiday season with family, and not want to spoil it for others, with a funeral right in the middle of the festivities. I think SOME people, SOME time can decide when to check out. When I was doing a bit of hospice work, there was a fellow with AIDS who had been diagnosed on Valentine's Day. Ten years later, he was pretty much in a coma. I stepped out to go over on the 14th and remember standing in my yard, looking at a full moon and thinking that he'd go that night. And, he did. Even his mother thought he had hung on, just to make it a nice round 10 years.

I really do like those maple bars. And, since I like anything with a crunch, I quit like the bottom crust. What I have noticed is that I'm really thirsty after eating some of their baked goods. They must use a lot of salt.

That is really interesting about the garlic. The one's I dug were mostly elephant garlic. I'll have to check around the internet and see if they can be grown from seed, or are sterile.

So sorry to hear about your wood heater. How many years did it last? At least you're heading into your warm season. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I'm up about 620 feet altitude. Sometimes, when I drive up the hill from the main road, my ears pop :-). I'm not sure what the altitude change is. 200 feet?

Well, "Hail, Caesar" wasn't all that bad. A fictionalized account of a movie studio in the 40s and50s. Contract players and the star system. Which I've always found a bit interesting. When they were cranking out A and B pictures like a machine. In this movie, at the same time they've got a musical going. And, one of those aqua extravaganza, similar to Esther Williams movies. A drawing room drama. A western. And the A movie that was one of those religious epics. Parts of the movie were funny. It really is a movie about making movies .. at that time. Several of the actors in the extras mentioned that it was really interesting how they used to make movies, compared to now. So, it was an ok movie, but for some reason I can't quit put my finger on, I found the ending a bit flat.

Several people have mentioned deer problems. Our deer must be very well behaved, mostly. Young trees need to be fenced to keep them off. But once a tree is established, they don't bother them. I had four deer under my apple trees, yesterday, but they were just Hovering up the apples.

The main north / south train line runs through Chehalis and Centralia and it seems like once or twice a year someone gets hit on the tracks. Some suicides, some drunks. People with ear buds stuck in their ears. It's a mixed bag. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. And, last but not least .... the weather. Last night the wind gusts were in the 20s mph, with one gust that hit 38. Today it's gusting in the 30s and will continue to do so until around 6, tonight. Then we'll get a bit of a break. We may get very high winds tomorrow night. Saturday. Or, maybe not. Depends on if the storm passes to the north, south or hits us head on.

Keeping an eye on the forecast, I did go to the meeting last night. Wasn't bad, getting there and back. Attendance was down by about a third. 20 people still made for a good turn out. I've had to pry Nell out of the house, even though she has plenty of places to shelter and keep dry. Even Beau when I fed him last night, was really crowding me to come in. Something he never does. But, he was dry, so his dog house is still tight. And, the temperatures are in the mid 50s F.

I learned a new word from Cliff Mass, the weather guy. Bombogenesis. The rapid intensification of a storm. There will be a steep gradient over western Washington. Or, Oregon. Or, maybe Vancouver Island. It's a rather narrow storm track and as Mr. Mass has said, "...trying to forecast the exact track and intensity of a storm that is thousands of miles away and currently very weak..." is difficult.

Driving last night was kind of a trial. There weren't many limbs down, but lots of water on the roads. And the leaves are skittering everywhere and sometimes I'm startled as I think a small animal has run into the road :-). Which is silly, because which animal would be out in that weather? Besides me, of course :-).

I'm putting off cooking the moose until we get a break in the weather, this evening. (Which puts me in mind of M. F. K. Fisher's book, "How to Cook a Wolf.") I worry about loosing power, half way through. (Which puts me in mind of the Thanksgiving where we lost power. Luckily, everything was far enough along to coast to a perfect finish. A memorable Thanksgiving by kerosene lamp light.)

I DID have space on my hold list, so I have requested the Park book. I don't know how many copies may be floating around libraries in the US. And, if it's really new, some libraries won't lend until a title "cools" off a bit. Still worth a try and I shoud hear early next week if another library is willing to lend a copy. We'll see. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo, Margaret, Pam and Lewis,

Thanks for the lovely comments, however I am unable to respond to them tonight.

The warm winds have howled down from the northern part of the continent today. This has seriously been the year of great wind - and not in a funny way either! ;-)! Who doesn't appreciate a fart joke? :-)! It is meant to rain all day tomorrow, so we raced to get a lot of work done outside today and it has been one long day. Fortunately, this means that I'll have plenty of time to respond to your comments tomorrow whilst the rain is keeping me inside. I ended up digging a bit today and the ground is dry on the surface, but wow, is there a lot of water just under that dry crusty soil surface. The garden water system had to be turned into a working system because despite the very wet winter and spring, the tomato seedlings have to be planted out tomorrow (in the rain)... And they won't survive long without the watering system (at least until they are well established). It would be nice to have a bit more time... Alas, I musn't grumble, and hope that you are all enjoying more pleasant weather than here?

Cheers

Chris

Jo said...

I can agree with everything you have said re closing down the auto industry. Insane! I am all for trade tariffs, even if only for social justice reasons - most of the industries we ship offshore are now staffed by impoverished workers being seriously exploited by large corporations. But I'll take a minute and breathe now..

Ok, so much as I hate to be controversial, but your red flowers are not gerberas but gazanias. You'll see the difference in the leaves and flower heads if you study some photos. The good news is they are as tough as old boots, and divide easily, indeed they will increase to cover whatever space you let them have..

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, our weather is getting pretty feral. There was a tornado on the northern Oregon coast. Not far from where Joel Crais used to live. It was an E-2. Some serious localized damage, but no fatalities or injuries that I heard of.

Well. Things might get pretty wild around here, late this afternoon. The National Weather Service is forecasting sustained winds of 25 to 30 mph with gusts to 60, for my area. Cliff Mass says it's a small, intense storm and if it wanders off it's forecast track by even 25 miles, the forecast winds could change substantially. There will be another update at 1:00.

The moose turned out quit well, I thought. Easy to cut with a fork, but not as flakey as I expected. Taste? Well, good. I really couldn't get a distinct flavor other than "meat." I'll have to try a small piece without the tomato / onion gravy. Of course the most fun part is whaling away with my meat hammer to drive in as much flour and secret herbs and spices (salt, pepper and sweet basil :-) as the meat will take.

An interesting quote I saw: "Tech products no longer feel like something offered to the public, but something imposed."

Christopher Guest has a new movie out. Hooray! Called "Mascots." The review I saw was generally good, but though he was "mean." Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

Here in St. Louis, it's warm and breezy today (Saturday). High at least 80F, maybe more, about 10F higher than normal. On Monday there's a good chance we'll set a record high for the date. Predicted high is 90F, record is 87F. Should cool down a lot later next week, however.

Lew, we might get a little of the rain from the storm about to affect you along about next Friday. Hope all goes OK for you and others!

Claire

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Firstly, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your latest post of your motorbiking adventures in SE Asia! Very funny stuff.

Yeah, you know I've heard that whole matrix / simulation argument and you know what? When I walk out into the rain - you may note that it is raining here right now - I get wet. What's with that? That's what I want to know. :-)!!!! Hey, I got wet, but you two packed some serious mud business. Never again shall I complain about the state of the dirt roads here.

Man that is so true and they have not witnessed the blue screen of death. Surely that would put a bit of fear into them. No doubt, that they'd try to do the coding for that giant AI thing on the cheap. I can see it now: Well, we had to cut some corners and so we got these dudes under contract on a freelancing site to put together the code. They're really good and really cheap. What do you mean errors? Well, yeah they're within tolerance specs... Hehe!

My thinking is that if it is such a good idea, they can go first.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Old World Wisconsin sounds like a fascinating place. The gardens would have been quite interesting too. Did they sell any of the heirloom plants or seeds to the public? Nice to read that your daughter has a membership too as those places are worthwhile of supporting. Actually the outdoor cooking cauldron caught my eye. Wow. The glass mason jars (we call them bottles) for the preserves looked pretty good too. It is funny how you pick new things up as your own experiences and knowledge grows.

Well done you for best the threshing of the rye. Technique plays a big part of that process. I've never done that task. Wood splinting is a very good skill. Did they have a two handed blade which sort of chops through the green timber? Some old school hand tool places make them down here and they are very good. You can shape posts and all sorts of thing with those tools. I noticed that there was a lot of timber in use in the photos.

Ha! Yeah, processing a pig is not for everyone! And that is a real skill too. I've often wondered how much meat people would be comfortable to eat if they had to process it themselves! Hehe! I assume that they run courses there too as it looks very hands on.

Withering would be a good description for that "look" would it not? :-)! I was talking to someone about that a few weeks back and we sort of agreed that at that age you just feel everything more strongly than you do when you are older. I don't know whether it is perspective or experience or what, but it is certainly a felt thing. Yeah, I enjoy peoples company too, quite a lot, but it is nice when it becomes quiet again and the only noise you hear is the birds and the occasional dog bark. Mind you, hearing a wallaby vandal jumping through the garden is not much fun!

Ouch! That is a pretty nasty business with the pedestrian. I can only hope that it was a quick end? They tend to have electric gates between pedestrians and the trains down here so when a train hits a person it is usually a choice thing. Sometimes people slip between the platform and the train and become trapped and that is also a nasty business...

Exactly, the one here is too small too and so it works too hard for our requirements. I'll chuck in a photo of the combustion chamber on the next blog and some of the steel is paper thin now... Oops! Central heat sounds nice and your winters are much colder than here so I hear you about that. Brrr! Did I mention that it is raining again here. What's going on with the weather? The tomato seedling were planted out today and I finally have the water system for the garden taps up and running again - for now anyway. I'm going to have to upgrade the pump to a slightly bigger unit as perhaps like the heater, I'm asking too much from it? Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you. Yes, it is extremely sad and I would have kept the business going just for strategic reasons alone at the very least. Oh well, we rarely know what we have till it is gone. What did the lovely lady sing about: paved paradise and put up a parking lot? I really tried hard to put a human face on what is a very dark story. The newspapers in such circumstances write as if the people are numbers and I feel that that is a sad thing.

Oh you're good! Yes, it is one of the family of magpies that live here all year around. I love the magpies not just for their beautiful song, but also because they are tireless workers here. They do not eat any of the fruit and vegetables and will happily chase off any other bird species that does. They are the nemesis of the local parrots and eagles. Unfortunately they also lack a bit of discernment and will scare away the chickens too whilst they are in the orchard. Oh well, it is a small price to pay. The leave all of the small birds alone, and they're too fast for the magpies anyway. And strangely enough, the magpies and Kookaburras (also a beautiful bird call) all happily co-exist despite consuming the same diet.

The joeys are huge too. They are all gangly legs and tail and where it all ends up in the pouch is a complete mystery! The pouch is perhaps a bit Tardis like? Kangaroo mums are very gentle with their progeny.

Hehe! Yeah, I always feel a bit A-Team with the welder: Let's take some scrap steel, bolt and weld it together and hey, presto, we've got a nuclear reactor! It is really fun to take scrap stuff and make something useful and attractive out of it. Most of that berry enclosure was made from scrap too.

Exactly, those practices are easier in a low energy system. We're all just not used to thinking in those terms. I got the tomato seedlings in today as it was forecast to rain for the next three days and so I sort of felt that the transplant shock would be less with a good watering in. The sun is quite fierce down here now - despite the cool air temperatures.

Do you get a lot of volunteer seedlings in your garden? I spotted some feral Hellebores the other day and I'm planning on moving them as they are in a path. I'll put a before and after photo of a garden bed in the next blog too.

You're having a bit of a warm autumn this year aren't you? The climate is getting increasingly variable from my perspective and the generally understood rules are shifting.

Oooo! Cast iron. I dream of a cast iron wood heater. Yeah, you can get them pretty hot can't you! They do glow red too... That was a funny story. I originally tried to cook some biscuits (cookies) early on in the wood heater and the recipe said to get the oven preheated to 200'C (392'F) it may have been hotter. Anyway, so I got the wood oven to that temperature and thought to myself, that this is taking a lot of wood to get the oven up to temperature. Anyway, not to be put off, I chucked the biscuits in the oven and within two minutes they were burnt to a crisp. Of course, all is not the same with wood! I needed to halve that temperature to a bit over 100'C (212'F) and then they slow cook (properly). There almost needs to be a course on these things before we are let loose on them!!!! Hehe!

My pleasure! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Yup we are in total agreement. It makes no sense at all. And yes, tarrifs are the way forward. I hear you too - I have to sometimes take a deep breath and calm down too.

I bow to your greater knowledge and greatly appreciate your assistance in the plant identification matter. It is quite amazing just how many plants and their cultivation and uses that is required of the gardener. It is a real skill.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Oh my, your autumns are starting to sound an awful lot like the ones here. 90'F would be a very hot day - but not unusual - for mid April here. I'm very curious as to how your winter will go this year.

It is raining here right now and it is quite cool outside at about 50'F and unfortunately the rain will mean that the chickens miss out on their sojourn in the orchard this evening. The tomatoes were planted out this afternoon so as to take advantage of the rain over the next few days. The sun had some serious bite in it so I had to wait until the clouds started to build up in earnest before planting them out as I felt that the sun may kill many of the seedlings.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yes, Sequim as a retirement community, I can sort of see that. There is a similar sort of sweet spot on the New South Wales coast in the town Byron Bay and it too is hideously expensive for pretty much the same reasons. As an interesting side note, the town of Nimbin is not too far from there and your PNW equivalent would be Ashland. Now, no disrespect to the people that live there, but it really annoyed me when I visited the place. The poor editor had to deal with me having a tanty about that place... No sooner had I stepped out of the car than some dude comes up to me unsolicited like and says: Do you want anything to smoke today? And I don't smoke so I sent him unhappily on his way. I couldn't shake the feeling that the sad place which I was visiting was the very best that they could do. Dunno. It has haunted me though, and I wasn't sure whether the people there were winning the rat race. I just couldn't tell and didn't want to know. All I know is that Ashland and me, well, let's just put it this way, we wouldn't be mates... Have you ever stayed down in Ashland in your misbegotten youth?

Oh my goodness yes. Of course a sagacious person such as yourself would understand that a softly, softly approach is the best approach in that library otherwise you may find yourself turfed out of the library on your ear! Not a pleasant situation!

Thanks for sharing your story. Of course some people have very strong wills and can drag their bodies along for that particular ride. It is hard to know where either of us stand until we're faced with the inevitable. It is rather concerning how fast time flows as you age, but the future will be what it will be, and who knows what is around the next corner.

Salt and maple bars is probably the least of it! Hehe! There is a bakery not too far from here, which for some strange reason I feel mildly sleepy after consuming their sweet stuff. Dunno, but it is probably a combination of sugar and fat... Tasty stuff, but the costs...

Isn't elephant garlic, also known as Russian garlic - which I believe is an onion and so may be readily viable from seed? Dunno.

Yeah, the wood heater has lasted six years. It is too small. Sometimes, I under spec things here to save a bit of coin and most times it works out, sometimes as in this case it is a bucket of wombat manure... Unfortunately the wombat manure is more useful...

Ah, of course, even 200ft would make a difference with air pressure. Melbourne is at sea level and I'm about 2,300ft above sea level so the drop in air pressure is very noticeable for me over such a short distance.

Maybe I'm a bit cynical but films about making films are in danger from day one. There would be in jokes and all sorts of things not understood outside certain circles and that becomes a bit lost on me. A story has to be understood. Someone years ago, not quite clubbed me over the head, but close too, by saying that you write so that other people can understand the story. Good advice, if not brutally delivered (and it wasn't the editor either)...

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Lucky you for having delightful deer. The deer population here is building but not at problem levels so a good dog will see them on their way here. Nature always seeks an equilibrium anyway.

Oh my! Death by .mp3 player (or Walkman for us oldies) is not a good thing.

The winds here have been the same too with gusts in excess of 60mph - Victoria weather: Trees down, power out as high winds sweep across state. Last evening I observed dozens of trees down in the area. And big ones too.

Glad to see that the weather didn't stop you from going to the meeting. I reckon those are a great thing. Well, Beau and Nell are sensitive creatures and the weather possibly would have concerned them. Scritchy hides under the bed when there is a thunderstorm.

Oh, the wet leaves on the road are almost as bad as ice. Good luck with stopping in those conditions. It is nice to hear that - with the exception of humans - your animals are too smart to be out in such weather too. ;-)! I mean what self respecting wombat would head out into the rain?

Thanks for the Thanksgiving story. Well, sometimes a bit of hardship on such occasions makes for a very memorable and entertaining evening. I have very fond memories of sitting around a mates woodstove (of a class much better than my rubbish unit) and drinking wine and talking rubbish on an otherwise very dark and very cold evening.

You know what? I reckon you will enjoy the Ruth Park book. It is a good insight into what was and also what made an author. And she tells a very engaging tale. It is definitely not new by any stretch of the imagination. I picked up a second hand hard back edition for next to nothing.

Glad to read that nobody was injured in the tornado. Oh my! I wasn't aware that you got tornadoes in your neck of the woods. But then I didn't know that a cyclone would form off the Southern Ocean either...

Ha! I appreciated your amusing review of the moose! Meat, yes indeed! Well, down here they use a much more delicate term than "meat hammer" which is "meat tenderiser"!

Thanks for the quote too. The product crapification list just for today has gotten to: My dumb phone had a software melt down; I had to replace a water pump; and the charger for the laptop died in mysterious circumtances. ;-)! Seriously, I could do a crap product of the week if I wasn't concerned about the legal consequences of that bit of fun. I might not be very nice either...

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Lew,

Well yes, I could see some of those crafts developing into a hobby. If I only had a clone....
Nice to hear about the goat/sheep coop. I had a herd of goats and did make some soft cheese and yogurt from their milk. We never had sheep though a neighbor has raised them for years and now his grandchildren are following in the tradition.

Hi Chris,

We were actually splitting small logs into kindling - easier for children I think. The amount of calories necessary to mind when we were threshing by hand. Apparently it took an entire day to thresh 10 bushes of rye using that technique. Going back to at least some of the facets of life at this time would go far in solving the obesity problem, wouldn't it. It was interesting to see all the styles of fencing used and building in general as the immigrants brought their techniques from their different countries.

The person in that particular train accident was a driver. Most of the mail rail crossings have gates. I don't recall if this one did but she may have slid right through the gate as some in the more rural areas aren't too substantial.

Going to be 80 here on Monday. We've had a couple of light frosts but the tomato plants are still OK.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Thank you for "It is rather concerning how fast time flows as you age, but the future will be what it will be, and who knows what is around the next corner." It cheered me right up. I am not being sarcastic!

Wow, I didn't know that you were having such winds there. Really scary with the big trees that you live under.

Bad things come in threes? Maybe your crapification issues are over for awhile?

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, the storm was kind of a non-event. Right up til late Saturday morning, the forecasts were dire. Then everything changed. There's a lot of "Monday morning quarterbacking" going on in the weather community. :-). Cliff Mass did a bit of a post storm analysis and says he'll have more to say about it, later. One thing that happened was that two lows developed off the coast (a rare event) and they sapped energy from each other. Tornados are very rare here, but we do get them. There were 10 tornado warnings on the north Oregon coast on Friday. Only two formed and touched down.

Here, my lights never even flickered. We did get gusts to 40mph. But I never had a "maybe-I-better-round-up-the-dog-and-cat-and-head-for-the-basement", moment. :-). At times, the trees were thrashing about and there would be intense periods of rain. At other times, there were breaks in the clouds, I could see blue and sunshine. Last night, after the storm started petering out, periods where the moon shown. Further north, 16,000 people lost power and a tree crashed into a house in Olympia.

Never went to Ashland. It's most known for it's Shakespeare and theatre festivals. I think, maybe, that's where Mr. Greer lived? I did read a fellows blog for awhile, who lived there. Sounded very hippy dippy with a well organized recycling Gestapo. :-).

Well. A first with the Park's book. Every time I do an Interlibrary loan request, they always ask how much I'd pay. But I've never got anything from an institution that wanted payment. So. I got an e-mail that the Park book was available, but that I'd have to pay $15 to $20. Mmmm, No. LOL, if I have to pay that much, I'd rather just buy it. There's some copies on Amazon for $8 or less. I'll have to think about that.

I had another go at the moose meat and thought long and hard about what I was tasting. Meat. A lot like beef. And a slight taste memory of the venison I had as a kid. No wild, gamey flavor, at all. A lot of it depends on the age of the animal, what it was eating, sex of animal, time of year it was hunted. All things I don't know. I know when I was a kid that venison from the Willamette Valley was preferred, as the deer there eat a lot of grain and veg from the farms. Lew