Monday, 9 January 2017

Grandmaster Fluff

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

A few days ago I had a bright idea for this week’s blog centred around the 1982 hip hop song “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. I had intended to name this week’s blog “Grandmaster Fluff and the Fluffy Four”. The use of the words “Fluffy Four” in the blog title refers to the canines here. In my mind I felt that that particular blog story would have been quite amusing.

Then I read the lyrics to the hip hop song: “The Message”. I have total respect for Grandmaster Flash and his crew, because that song has some of the darkest lyrics and tells one of the darkest stories that I’ve read for quite a while. I remarked to the editor that there was no way I could do anything even remotely amusing with those lyrics and enquired as to whether she had any ideas. The editor took a look at the lyrics and rapidly came to the same conclusion that I did.

On the other hand, the lyrics in that hip hop song tell an interesting story and it is noticeable that the darkness and problems build for the protagonist in the song and story as the song continues. If a person was to view the lyrics and story as told in the hip hop song through the eyes of an ecologist, that person could sum up the issues raised as: Population Pressures (which I wrote about in Magical Christmas Unicorns, 19th December 2016); Fierce competition for limited resources; and the effects of Pollution. There is nothing even remotely amusing about any of those issues.

The day after quietly shelving that blog idea, the editor and I were repairing the storm damage (see last week’s blog) about the farm. To take my mind off the hot summer conditions whilst I worked, I often have the radio playing quietly in the background. Working out in the summer sun down here is like working under a radiator. Sometimes the summer air temperature can be cool, but despite that the unrelenting sun (with the Extreme UV rays) bakes your skin. And when the sun shows its face from behind the clouds, for some reason, the common house flies dance and dart around your face annoying you.

So, the radio and its music is a good distraction whilst we worked in the hot summer sun. And earlier this week I heard the 2009 song “Underdog” by the band Kasabian. I thought to myself, there is the song for the blog story, but what should this week’s story be about? In a strange coincidence, the ever helpful editor then quipped: “Why don’t you write a story about poo? Everyone loves poo stories!”

Fate had stepped in and this week’s blog story was saved! 

Without further ado, here is a story about poo!

“Kill me if you dare, hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself right on this train
I'm the underdog, live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train”

Alert readers will recall the earlier reference to the “Fluffy Four” which is a satirical reference to the farm dogs. Those dogs eat a lot of food, most of which I make from scratch. In fact one of them is pestering me for his dinner right now. Can you guess which is the beast that is pestering me? Ha! It is Poopy the Pomeranian (clever readers will by now know that he is actually a Swedish Lapphund) who is pestering me for his dinner.

As is the way of things, food passing through an animal soon becomes poo. And four fluffy’s can generate a lot of poo. In fact each fluffy produces around three poos per day. That's twelve a day, or eighty four per week or four thousand, three hundred and eighty per year in a non-leap year (for the numerically inclined).

As a bit of a confession about the dog’s poo which may horrify some readers: I haven’t picked up or disposed of any dog poo for well over a decade now, really since moving to the country. In complete contrast to this disregard for the dogs poo here, if I was to do the same thing in a city environment, that would one be the most outrageous and discourteous behaviour to my fellow humans. Imagine for a brief moment the huge mess caused by a city's dogs inhabitants if lots of people did not bother picking up that dog poo (the technical name for this act is Population Pressure and Pollution)! If that was the case, you certainly wouldn’t be able to walk more than a few metres without stepping on a steamer. I don’t recall that Grandmaster Flash used that particular example of Population Pressure and Pollution in the hip hop song although he did mention other bodily functions. He certainly could have mentioned the outrage of dog poo left on the stairs!

A city may be an interesting place, but when it comes to examining the diversity of life within its boundaries, a city is a very simple ecosystem. In contrast, a farm that encourages a diverse range of wildlife is a very complex ecosystem. And here, many of the diverse species of birds that call this farm home realise that dog poo is an excellent food source.
One of the crimson rosellas tucking into a fresh dog poo
“Tell me if you're down, throw your weapons to the ground
Keep myself right on this train
Hey bird you're on the wire, sold yourself for another one
Keep myself riding on this train”

A dog poo – or any other animal poo for that matter – will not last more than a day here as many of the diverse bird species that live on the farm are very aware of these “resource patties” and competition for that limited resource is fierce! And the beautiful thing is that the birds in their own time will produce guano (which is the fancy name for bird poo) and deposit that randomly throughout the farm and surrounding forest. And best of all I haven’t had to lift a single finger to encourage this random movement of minerals (which is what poo is in its most basic form) around the farm. It is also worth mentioning that bird poo is a very good soil enhancer and plant food.

Saturday night was the warmest overnight minimum temperature since 1997. It sure is getting hot down here, and when I woke up this morning to a house which was warmer than I can ever recall, the weather station was showing that the inside temperature of the house was the same as the outside temperature at 24’C (75’F).
Sunday morning was the warmest overnight low temperature that I can recall
We don’t let a bit of hot weather stop the continuing projects and juggernaut that is Fernglade Farm! However, the storm last week sure did exactly that, and we have spent most of this week repairing that storm damage.

“Love in Technicolor sprayed out on walls
Well, I've been pounding at the pavement till there's nothing at all
I got my cloak and dagger in a bar room brawl
See the local loves a fighter, loves a winner to fall”

The little dirt rat that is the trusty and now 13 year old Suzuki Vitara has been bringing up many loads of the local crushed rock with lime back up the hill over the past week in order to repair storm damage.
The little old Suzuki dirt rat has been bringing loads of the local crushed rock with lime back up the hill this week to repair storm damage
All of the local crushed rock with lime is moved from the trailer by wheelbarrow and then raked flat using a normal garden rake. Once the local crushed rock with lime has been raked flat, water is then sprayed onto that area and the lime quickly sets firm in the hot summer sun. Over the past week we closely observed where the various systems failed during the storm and have used the repairs as an opportunity to correct those failings.
The local crushed rock with lime is placed over storm damaged areas and then raked flat
The area around the new rock gabions also received a good coating of the local crushed rock with lime so as to ensure that any future rainfall flows away from that wood shed.
The local crushed rock with lime was placed around the new rock gabions to ensure that rainfall that collects on the ground flows away from that wood shed
Earlier in the week, the tree dudes who assist me with work around the farm from time to time were scratching around for paid work one day and so they made a surprise visit here. I got them to cut up a massive fallen branch which took them a couple of hours of work. Observant readers may note in the next photo below that the tree that the massive limb fell from is absolutely huge and may well pre-date European settlement.
The tree dudes helped by cutting a massive fallen limb into firewood lengths
The editor made another batch of olive oil soap!
Another batch of olive oil soap was produced this week
This summer has been great for the various berries which are grown here. In about ten minutes of work earlier in the week we picked a plate of black currants, jostaberries, gooseberries, and the very first of this seasons blueberries. All of those berries, along with the red currants picked two weeks ago (which were stored in the refrigerator) were converted into fruit wine which should be able to be consumed next summer!
We picked black currants, jostaberries, gooseberries, and the very first of this seasons blueberries this week
The older raspberry plants are now producing some very tasty fruit. And readers may be surprised to know that so far this season I have not watered these berry canes at all.
The raspberries are starting to ripen
The blueberry crop is also starting to slowly become ripe. Each year brings a slightly bigger crop of tasty blueberries.
Each year brings slightly more tasty blueberries
This season, the apple trees seem to be producing a bumper crop. It is a real pleasure to walk around the orchard and watch the apples become larger with each day that passes.
The apple trees seem to be producing a bumper crop
The Asian nashi pears are really enjoying the combination of hot weather and regular rainfall and the trees are growing very strongly this year and the pears have also been swelling in size.
Asian nashi pears are really enjoying the combination of hot weather and regular rainfall this summer
Today, we cleared a raised bed of broad beans. Originally they were planted almost two months late and that has not seemed to make any difference to the crop. They are an interesting plant in that the plant itself falls over (the fancy word for this is: to lodge) and the large and heavy seeds are scattered ever further away from the original plant. Thus that plant is able to walk across a landscape over successive plant generations.
We cleared a raised bed of broad bean plants today
Clearing the broad bean bed was a quick and easy job. Stripping the broad bean plants of their pods and then shelling the pods is not a quick and easy job. We worked through about a third of that shelling job today.
About a third of the shelling job for the broad beans was done today
The last of the rocket and green mustard plants were also cleared today and the dry seed capsules were harvested and put aside to dry. In the foreground of the next photo are the cucumber plants, some of which are purchased seedlings, whilst the others were raised from saved seed.
Mustard seeds were collected today and the cucumbers plants are now growing strongly
The zucchini (courgette) plants have almost doubled in size over the past week. In the next photo below observant readers will also be able to spot the many basil plants and one rather large coriander plant which is in flower.
Zucchini (courgette) plants have almost doubled in size over the past week
The tomatoes have grown massively over the past few weeks and soon I will have to fence them so as to stop the plants from sprawling all over the ground. In the next photo in the lowest row closest to the camera, the sweet Siberian melons are growing. In the middle row you can see the capsicum (peppers) growing. Whilst on the highest row the miniature eggplants are enjoying the hot conditions.
Tomato cam shows that the tomatoes need to be fenced over the next week, or the vines will sprawl all over the place
The diversity of life here is quite amazing and a few nights ago I spotted a very small baby Southern Brown Tree frog catching insects on the side of the house.
A very small baby Southern Brown Tree frog catches insects on the side of the house
That night there was also a really cool looking brown / green insect wandering around on the veranda.
A really cool looking brown / green insect was wandering around on the veranda
Just before we end the blog for this week, I thought that I should chuck in some flower photos from random spots about the farm:
The herb Feverfew is in full flower this week
A ten year old olive tree has an understory of olive herb and ladies bedstraw herb both of which are in flower
Hydrangea’s put on a good show of blue flowers as seen through an old and tall fennel plant
Who doesn’t like the look of the flowers from the edible globe artichoke plant?
“It don't matter, I won't do what you say
You've got the money and the power, I won't go your way
I can't take from the people, they don't matter at all
I'll be waiting in the shadows till the day that you fall”

Some regular commenters are occasionally concerned that the editor and I work too hard. Just to put that concern to rest, I thought that it would be nice to include a photo of me in my regular coffee spot enjoying a latte and a homemade Anzac biscuit in the shade at the end of a work day!
The author and three fluffy's enjoying a latte and homemade Anzac biscuit at the end of a hot work day

The temperature outside now at about 8.00pm is 26’C (79’F). So far this year there has been 3.8mm (0.1 inches). The half inch of rainfall that hit the farm last week was missed by the official weather station as it was a very localised storm event.

66 comments:

Jo said...

Ha ha Chris, relieved to see evidence that you occasionally sit down!!

Questions: the crushed gravel with lime - does that set hardish so that you could put a table and chairs on it without them sinking as per normal gravel? If so, does this crushed gravel stuff have a name that I could ask for it by at a landscaping place?

Next question - when you harvest the mustard greens, are the seed pods still green? I am hoping to pull mine out, but I don't want to lose the seeds. Do they set after you pick them?

Thanks for your helpful homesteading advice, as always:)

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

You count the number of times that your dogs poo each day?!! I didn't even count the number of times that my infants pooed. Dog poo is fine in the country, I knock it aside with a stick when I encounter it on my path. As you say, it doesn't hang around for long. Except of course when dog walkers collect it in a plastic bag and hang the bag from a bush.

What an abundance of fruit you are getting, I am envious. Everything is looking great around your place.

It is ridiculously warm here at present, has been up to 50F.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Well done for changing the password, honestly I can barely keep up with computer changes and I self taught myself the machine language as a young teenager. Such simple days!

I'm so sorry to hear about your migraines and that is a burden that you have carried all your life. I have no doubts that you consume lots of green plant materials which help with such things. I assume that you wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from bright sunlight which can trigger such pain?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the information about basements as I have zero experience with them. It is interesting that there are a few examples of basements in houses in the suburb of North Melbourne but those houses date from about 1850 to maybe around 1880. Unfortunately I did not understand what I was looking at when I had the opportunity to poke my nose around those old houses.

Air travel is a pain for me, so oh yeah, I hear you! I once had a job where they thought that it was a privilege to send me from Melbourne to Sydney once per month, and nothing I said would change their perspective. They call those early flights the "red eye special". At least back in those days they used to serve a proper breakfast on the plane.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Bukko,

Many thanks for your honest reply. Not to stress, I'm as guilty as you and have flown all around Asia and even once across to South America. Unfortunately I wavered closer to the sort of response you got from X#1, but wasn't very vocally whingey about the experience.

It is a conundrum isn't it? You know, I respect you for discussing your complex decision making processes surrounding this issue. And you know if it means anything to you, you know I have a dirt rat of a Suzuki and whilst I try to minimise the use of that for the same reasons, and use public transport as often as possible, I still do use that dirt rat of a Suzuki. It is really complex and I hear you. We're cool.

Mate, I totally feel for both you and your sister given the circumstances. I hope that she passes without too much pain.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

That is funny about the weather update from your part of the world. Sometimes reading the ADR gets me up to make a soothing cup of chamomile tea. And nothing assists with reading the book Overshoot... Ha! I have to laugh as it got down to 57'F last night and I woke up in the middle of the night thinking how cold it was... Fortunately an extra woollen blanket was readily to hand. I read about your temperatures and think that I'm getting soft! 40'F is a relief from the temperatures that you are seeing. Brrr!

It is ironic that the photos of the Larsen C ice shelf also show the twin engines of an aircarft! I'm surprised that they expect it to be differently. You know, once the shelf has cracked open, warmer waters will be able to reach deeper into the ice shelf. The news reports didn't seem to be alarmed at the prospect, it read more to me like: This is interesting... Ah, the irony. Oh yeah it will be big.

It is interesting that you mention the cold air pooling, but I saw that effect the other evening in that the air in the valley below the farm was actually several degrees cooler than here, which was a real bummer because it was a very hot night here. In fact it was hotter than I can previously recall. I didn't realise that the basement would be cooler than the house as I would have thought that the thermal mass from the surrounding soil would have kept it above freezing? Ouch, yup, above ground pipes don't work very well in those situations. At least a standard garden variety hose has a lot of give in it and may survive the thawing process quite well. Maybe?

The Brain Dead series sounded like a lot of fun! Yes, who would notice. In an interesting side note, the other day in the city I noticed that almost every second person had earphones stuck in their ears and attached to some sort of device. That is a new development.

Scott Bakula did a good job as the captain and the alien medical doctor was the best in show. He even had a pet tribble in one episode. Obviously the crew had seen the horror film: The fly and knew exactly what to expect with a transporter malfunction. I liked the tow ropes too! I'm not quite sure what you mean by the word tapering in this context?

Tabitha is clearly endowed with both good taste in literature and common sense. I work with the editor all of the time and have done so for a very long time. Of course, when I first stepped outside of the corporate world I did make the unfortunate mistake of not changing my authoritative ways. I mean after all, I was used to managing a group of people. Fortunately this error only went on for about 10 minutes before I was roundly corrected! Hehe!

Yes of course, success does engender success, but one must be careful to avoid the perilous hubris whilst maintaining solid chunks of humility! Yup, the Enterprise folk were probably trying anything to stay in a job, I get that.

Ah, of course, don't let the truth get in the way of a good story, is how they tell that tale down here. That makes a lot of sense. I sometimes feel that the present times will be inexplicable to future generations as they will ask the hard question: Whatever were you lot thinking? Of course, we weren't actually thinking, but they won't realise that as they would have had to have grown up using that underused brain tool. Dunno.

They said that back in 1980, and I'm sure they'll still be looking for simple answers long after the last well is pumped dry. :-)! A bit of shame that. I mean what do you say to that?

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

That is a very funny play on words! ;-)! Hehe! Yeah, it is a slowly, slowly, thing this business and I'm really unsure where it is going. The off grid people had salt water batteries whatever they are and I didn't get nearly long enough to inspect the system. The funny thing about the whole solar debacle thing over at the ADR last week was that nobody who is actually off grid and living with this stuff will argue any of those points. There is instead a sort of acceptance and the people seem to nod sagely and say: "yup, this winter sure was cloudy". Of course it offends other people to have their belief systems challenged and they are uncomfortable about that because it may have been their last hope, and here's this guy from down under saying, "well I really wouldn't bet the farm on this stuff". I sort of feel for the people.

No, I never felt that the author was saying that or writing to that audience. My gut feeling just by the way that the words were used, I reckon he knew that the future was baked into the cake. He argued as much, without much heat, in the tone of a person who had realistically accepted his fate. I sort of felt that he was recording an act because he felt that that was the right thing to do. And that is not a criticism either as I salute the guy. Dunno, what do you reckon about that?

Well, I've sort of felt that we have to fight just to stand still when it comes to those loss of niches, and that is a really complex matter which nobody seems to want to pay for. I'm not much concerned about peoples opinions of me, as long as it does not conflict with my own opinions of myself. But I don't always deal to people because that would make a person too predictable and sometimes there is no winning, and other times as the Klingon's say: "revenge is a dish best served cold". Of course I do realise that they ripped that line, but it is good. What do you reckon about that?

Yeah, I found that problem with the computer problems recently as some older components that were perfectly fine, were not able to be used with the new equipment. It is not a good thing as it increases the rate of resource usage and also increases pollution.

I reckon Mr Catton is correct and he discusses the issues of faith in technology and progress and labels them as "cargoism" which is their correct term really. Of course there is a massive challenge to peoples belief systems that is going to have to take a huge wallop from nature - or other human groups - before anyone gets around to talking about limits. It is a bit scary really.

That is a good definition, but I am unsure of my own knowledge really and possibly was labelled arrogant because I even deigned to challenge peoples belief systems and place in the hierarchy.

Oh that is rotten to the core! And picking up the pieces can be a nightmare. I've seen that too and the former boss dude played staff off one against the other so they were so busy infighting. That sounds familiar to me. I shall tell you the story about that one day.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Thank you very much for your concern and hope you enjoyed the photo! That storm really hit hard here and did damage, but you know the damage was escalated because we had failed to maintain some basic systems. Anyway... I enjoy plenty of good books by the way and am often down at the local cafe with my nose buried into a book enjoying a cappuccino and perhaps some fruit toast. Yum! Not to mention the chunks of fruit toast that I have to sneak to Poopy. The locals may be offended if they catch me. Decorum must be maintained!

Yes, it does set hard enough to put a table on, and if it is rolled down flat by a vehicle it sets even harder. You could try adding some general purpose cement to your gravel - which will look a little bit grey. Or add some builders lime to the gravel, which will look a little bit off white. Dunno, try a test patch and see how it goes?

As to a name, it is unlikely to be seen in the island state as it comes from a local quarry. But here it is known as Lancefield toppings and it comes from a very ancient quarry (originally run by the Aboriginals in pre-European times) at Mount William. A similar product from east of Melbourne is called Tuscan toppings. It may be worth a trip to your local sand and soil place to see what they have? You can tell the stuff has lime in it because of the very fine sandy white/yellow stuff in between the larger rocks (which are no more than about 14mm).

Nope, wait until the seed pods go yellow before collecting them. Although, try a cutting a few green seed heads (stalk and all) and putting them in a box to dry. The tiny little black seeds will fall out of dry seed pods. Give it a go and see what happens.

Yup, garden space is precious. They're very hardy plants, you just have to ensure that the seed pods look full.

Cheers

Chris

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

After the cold spell the last five days (nothing above freezing, and one day the high was only 18F - and it was sunny that day!), it has warmed up to 42F this afternoon. After I finish this comment, I'll go outside and start on the winter pruning work. It's time to get back out and back to work.

I haven't read Catton's book Overshoot yet but I did finally buy a copy, which is now on my large pile of books to read. I have been reading Retrotopia, nearly finished with it now, and that has been a thoughtful experience along similar lines. At the point where I'm reading, the Kessler syndrome is taking out the remaining satellites and it was pointed out to the protagonist that this didn't have to happen, that countries didn't need to keep sending up more and more satellites to the point where the syndrome became inevitable. Then I realized that the satellite situation is a classic tragedy of the commons. Space is large but limited. It's to any nation's benefit to send up as many satellites as it can. But sooner or later space gets filled up, the Kessler syndrome ensues, and the costs of losing the satellites get dumped on everyone whether or not they contributed to the mess. Well, we are the nations getting benefits now and the people of the future will be those who pay the cost. If we were wise, we'd have space set up as a commons through the UN, along with the regulations that would limit the satellite population to avoid the Kessler syndrome, so that the benefits of satellites could be experienced for a long time. But if that's on anyone's radar other than the Archdruid's, I haven't heard of it.

We may be getting a major winter storm, complete with snow and freezing rain, late this week. Good thing we have lots of wood left for the wood stove. We are being quite conservative in using the wood stove, choosing to use it four days last week when it was coldest. It was a sobering experience, making heat tangible in the form of the volume and weight of the wood we handled and the time spent tending to the stove. I'll have to make some estimate of how much wood it would take for a full winter based on what we burned in those four days.

Claire

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well. Woke up to 2 or 3 inches of new snow. Nothing in the forecast last night ... but a "Special Weather Statement" this morning said it was only snowing in Lewis County. Lucky us. And, for the rest of the week, the lows are hovering right around -0-C. Which isn't bad. I can keep the house at a comfortable and the pipes don't freeze. But that's the temperature where the snow comes and goes. I really am beginning to think that it's not the basement that's such a problem, but the exterior hose. And that isn't a problem unless the temps get into the teens F. This mornings snow is already melting off at a brisk pace.

With this snow, a bit of cabin fever comes into sharp focus. Not that I'm planning a trip out, today or tomorrow. But, it's just not having the option to do so. Limits? :-). And, in keeping with the theme of this weeks blog, I don't know, to use an old American saying, "weather to poop or go blind." Appropriately cleaned up for a family friendly blog :-). Will I be able to make my Wednesday morning trip to town? My Thursday night meeting? The known, unknowns. :-).

Well, given that your pups are largely vegan ... the birds interest in your dogs ... leavings, makes sense. And that is some crimson rosella. That little bird would bring a pretty penny in our local pet stores. I don't bother with Beau's leavings, either. Given our climate of so much rain, they don't last long. The grass sure is lush in his yard!

Given the amount of rain you've had this year, and the amount of mulch you scatter around, not watering the raspberries isn't such a surprise. Looks like you're heading toward bumper crops of lots of things. No starvation at Fern Glade Farm, this year. It all kind of makes up for the early tomato problems. Which reminds me of something funny that happened. I was talking to an elderly lady at The Club. Apparently, she manages to keep tomatoes in pretty good shape, just in the fridge. Right up until it's time to start them inside. She must favor varieties that are good keepers. She had picked up a small dark purple at last years Master Gardener sale and quit liked it. So, I'm banging on about saving tomato seeds ... the fermenting, changing water etc. etc.. And she just looks at me and said "I just cut then in quarters and shove them in the ground." Put me in my place! :-)

I wonder if the people who used "salt water batteries" meant boat batteries ... marine batteries. Back when I was reading a lot about solar, a lot of people seemed to prefer and recommend them for their battery banks. Just a thought. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Ack! A typo. What I meant to say is that the studio kept "tampering" with the ST Enterprise project. Yeah, the tow ropes were pretty cool. But I had forgotten about the tension between the Vulcans and Humans. That the Vulcans withheld a lot of technology as humans weren't "ready" and, besides, to them, we really smell bad. :-). So, in one episode, Vulcans have a tractor beam and the Humans don't, so we're still shooting around tow ropes and, no, they don't want to share the technology.

There's been some banging on on National Public Radio about the development of a tractor beam. Of course, it only works at an atomic level and you need huge inputs of power to make it work ... Dilithium Crystals, anyone? :-). Ditto cloaking devices.

I had thought "Vengeance is a dish best served cold" was perhaps a Little Willie Wiggle Sword quote. Seems like half the time, any unknown quote can be attributed to him. But no. First used in Sue's novel "Memoirs of Matilda" 1846 (? ... sounds like a real barn burner) and later in the "Godfather." And, yes, Star Trek.

The water came back at about 6pm, last night. Caught up the dishes, refilled the gallon jugs and made myself a more substantial meal than I do when I don't have water. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Hehe! Well there was a slight bit of estimating action in those numbers. What do they call those? A back of the envelope calculation is perhaps the correct term?

Really? I wonder what the dog walkers were thinking when they decided to tie the bags to the local trees and shrubs? It is a bit scary really as the plastic will not readily break down and the manure may possibly be a health hazard. The editor cheekily suggested that perhaps these "poo parcels" were some form of strange Christmas decoration? I may hope to spot an LED representation of one of those "poo parcels" in next years Christmas lights gear down here. How funny would that be? :-)!

Thanks! It has been a good year for the orchard and berries. I just consumed a few of the sun ripe raspberries a few minutes ago. The canes for the blackberries have started running into the path in that berry enclosure and we have decided to cut those back and force the canes to grow up and into the chicken wire fencing on either side of the enclosure.

How good did the apples look? Yum. Don't count your apples until they've ripened though...

That is warm for January for you. It is 71'F here right now at about 8pm. A pleasant evening for supervising naughty chickens as they roam among the fruit trees. It is very humid though tonight.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Oh my, -8'C is beyond cold. Brrr! The old timers always say that cold years are dry years and cloud layers really help keep the heat in over winter. It is interesting that you prune in winter. As a contrast, I tend to prune in summer just because I can easily spot the dead or diseased branches in the orchard, but the winter pruning is much better by all accounts. Remember to stay warm in those conditions. Brrr!

Well, Overshoot is a tough read, and if you wish to discuss it in detail, I'm all ears. It is actually quite shocking really because the author leaves so little wiggle room. Also I'm mentioning an aspect of the book to Lewis in the next comment below that he asked about a few days ago and I have now had the time to cogitate on it and form a reply.

Thanks for the reminder to get started on Retrotopia! That is a fascinating insight about the satellites and the Kessler syndrome and I totally agree with you. To speak about limits though is a taboo subject and people really don't want to hear about them at all. The real problem at the heart of it all is that our habitat is not getting any larger, and the resources with which we rely upon are finite and space is just another one of those resources. You know, I reckon the moon landing missions ceased because all the astronauts found was a lifeless rock with no potential for exploitation of resources or environmental space for humans to expand into. That exploratory journey was laudable, but the economic benefits just weren't there. It was a very different outcome to that of Columbus's journey.

Again I absolutely agree with you. Heating a house with firewood is an entirely sobering experience from beginning to end. I have total respect for you doing that in a climate with winters that are far colder than here. Towards the end of this month, we may begin bringing in the firewood for the winter. There is a bit of work to do on each wood shed before that can happen though, minor tweaks to improve them. I will be interested to read of your assessment of the quantity of firewood required for a year’s heating. I have a good idea now what it takes down here. And it is sobering. Fortunately, the solar hot water is producing huge quantities of toasty hot water right now. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

The snow is really falling thick and fast in your part of the world this year. I actually don't recall that your comments from previous years mentioned this much snow. How is everyone coping up your way? At least the snow is melting.

So I finally made it to the heart of Mr Catton's thinking. It did take a while, but we do give ourselves away without even realising it. His thoughts were summed up in a quote from Lewis M Killian from an article (or book) titled "The Impossible Revolution":

"The sociologist, no matter how gloomy his predictions, is inclined to end his discourse with recommendations for avoiding catastrophe. There are times, however, when his task becomes that of describing the situation as it appears without the consolation of a desirable alternative. There is no requirement in social science that the prognosis must always be favourable; there may be social ills for which there is no cure." That sums up Mr Catton's efforts from my understanding of his writing - a sort of reading between the lines and taking the beat of the books heart. What do you reckon about that?

Oh, that old friend, cabin fever. I - as have you - have known me ole mate of old and we is best mates! ;-)!

I hope you make your trip into town for the regular meeting. I reckon those are important events. Speaking of which a neighbour is hosting a bushfire awareness night tomorrow night and I have to admit to a degree of curiosity as I wonder what they will say?

The Crimson Rosella's are the naughtiest of birds and they are very happy to enjoy a small taste of the fruit on the fruit trees only to then decide that they'd much prefer the soapy tasting (to me anyway) kangaroo apples and so they then discard the fruit onto the ground for the soil life to consume. Yes, you are welcome to a few of the Crimson Rosella's, although they may not like your winter overly much!

Oh yeah, the manure sometimes gets dragged away by dung beetles too. Not a single mound of it escapes the notice of anything down here. I was rather rudely interrupted just then by two wallabies who had just decided to have a massive brawl just outside the house. The larger of the two wallabies prevailed before I could get a photo and he was breathing heavily and licking his wounds. The funny thing was though the other wallaby took the opportunity to pounce on its triumphant opponent whilst we distracted it. Not much is fair in war is it?

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

It is funny that you mention that about the not watering, but that is the very problem I have had with raspberries previously. They suffered heat and water stress during the summers. But then, I heard an old timer once quip: “Keep ten sheep, when you can keep ten sheep” and that is sound advice and so perhaps all of the mulch and compost has made a huge difference to the soil. That difference does seem to accelerate over the years. I do feel a bit guilty this year as I should have fed all of the 300 or more fruit trees, but I was unsure whether it was necessary or not. Dunno, time will tell on that front.

Yeah, that tomato trick depends on the ability to keep the tomatoes in good condition – as fruit – until they are ready to be replanted. Down here with the warmer conditions that isn’t really an option and by late June the tomatoes are done. For zucchini it is an option! Although you will most likely be unsurprised by that… Hehe!

No, I believe that salt water forms part of the batteries chemistry. I have no idea how they work and should probably look them up. The interesting thing about them was that each battery was 48V unlike the 2V batteries here. They have an apparently long service life so may be a worthy option? Dunno. As to the marine deep cycle batteries, those are good bits of kit because the lead plates are generally thicker and the batteries themselves (including the casings) are more robust so they are better batteries really. You can’t wire too many 12V batteries together as there is a risk that a faulty battery will drain all of the other batteries. On the other hand the newer lithium batteries require a battery management system which monitors each cell in the battery bank. More efficient, yes, smaller and lighter yes, but higher maintenance which generally means more room for error. Hey, I saw a Tesla vehicle in the big smoke yesterday. Those are some expensive beasties and not for the likes of you and I!

Thanks for the typo correction. I wasn’t trying to be a smarty pants about that either as I genuinely did not understand what you meant. That word makes much more sense in that context. Who doesn’t love a starship that needs a tow rope? Those things would be pretty handy. Yeah, I liked the bit about the Vulcan having to deal with the humans – keeping them on a short leash too! That was a nice touch in the ongoing story.

Pah! Tractor device. What a joke. Mate, I’ve got a good deal going on this here tow rope thingee. It is the latest in technology blah, blah, blah! Hehe!!! People who talk up that rubbish should think more about improving the digging stick.

Thanks for the historic references for that saying. It is good isn’t it? ! I watched a bit of the Godfather but it just didn’t gel with me and I’m unsure why. The family tensions seemed dysfunctional to me, but then I didn’t get the Soprano’s either and people reckon that is a classic. Who am I to argue with them? Each to their own I guess.

It is almost dark here now at about 9.10pm but some of the chickens still don’t want to go to bed. Aren’t they naughty? Do you miss your chickens? The backwards and forwards with them this winter would have been hard on them and you? How is old Beau holding up in the cold weather? Scritchy is still trying to hide under the bed at every opportunity and they say the tropical low pressure system will work its way down here on Friday night / Saturday morning. I may have to get up in the middle of that night. At least it will be warm…

Glad that you now have the water on. What exactly constitutes a more substantial meal?

We picked up a couple of kilograms of fresh strawberries today and have begun making a strawberry wine. It is good stuff and a friend recently kidnapped a few of last summers bottles for their own enjoyment. It looks it will be roast vegetables for dinner tonight. The mosquitoes were out in force tonight too, so I’m starting to feel a bit itchy and scratchy…

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone!

If anyone has any free time or free interweb bandwidth and wants to get another perspective (i.e. not from me!) about living with off grid solar they may be interested in checking out the podcast of an interview with Jill Redwood who lives in far East Gippsland (which is in the very eastern part of this state). Jill is a person worthy of respect, and to be honest she makes me look like a bit of a softie! :-)! Plus Jill has been living that sort of life for far longer than I.

The podcast can be found here: Who is living off the grid?.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Lew,

I wonder about disease too with the lack of cardinals. West Nile wiped out many of the chickadees and crows some years ago but the survivors apparently had some immunity and the numbers are back to normal. Spring will tell as the calls of cardinals are loud and distinctive and they are one of the first to begin singing in the spring.

Our present lawyer who handles the annual accountings for my brothers in probate court does a good job but everything is done at the last minute with her which causes me a lot of stress as I definitely don't operate in that way. After many reschedules of an actual phone conversation we finally ended up talking while I was waiting in the train station and bottom line was she plans to postpone the presentation of the accountings from the 25th of January to the end of February as I can prepare the final one for Patrick and present both at the same time which saves time and money.

As far as lawyers in general I've had experience with both good and bad. This particular one is kind of in between but she charges at least $100 less an hour and anyway I would have to go to court yet again if I even wanted to change lawyers. Better to stay with the devil in know in this case.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Plenty of poop around here but spread around well. Salve likes to eat the dropping of other animals but that seems to have lessened some. Both Salve and Leo love pig poop. Unfortunately the pigs for some reason poop near the gate and I've seen the dogs reach their paw in and pull some out. Some varieties of butterflies also dine on poop. They also seem to prefer pig poop as well.

People in towns and cities are required to pick up poop. In my sister's neighborhood in Chicago there are tons of dogs and everyone is carrying around the little plastic bags. What waste!!

It's time to go through my seeds to prepare for this year's garden. It'll be a bit more tricky with our 16 day trip this year. We tentatively have a young couple that will stay here while we are gone. They are interested in gardening though and can kind of keep up with it I think.

We have a basement and while it's great for storage water can be an issue. We have two sump pumps and there is a crack in the foundation where water seeps in during really heavy rains. A sump pump is a necessity unless the house is at the highest point. Part of our basement is finished - nothing fancy but usable. There was a severe drought and very high temperatures when we first moved in so we would spend quite a bit of time in the basement as it was much cooler than upstairs.

We got the majority of Patrick's apartment cleaned out. He (as we well knew) was quite the hoarder. There were six of us on Friday and four on Saturday and we needed all that help. This was primarily for the two rooms that he kept all his stuff. Sadly we filled every garbage recepticle and then some and there is still more to take out. Everything that could go to a resale shop went as well. There is one just across the street from his place. It's illegal to throw out any electronics in Illinois so we sorted out those as well and found a place that could take them. Patrick put up tons of strings of Christmas lights throughout the entire apartment and on the back porch so those all had to come down as well. He was a prolific artist and writer and there were bags of his artwork and tons of spiral notebooks with his writings which consist of lists of songs he likes, memories of Christmas past going back decades and anything else that came to mind. Some was quite amusing which gave all of us some comic relief. Among his writings were many letters to Selena Gomez (actress and singer). He apparently was quite concerned about her drinking habits and had much advice for her.

This was a big job and there is only a little left to do. I will be relieved once his memorial (or celebration of life as we prefer to call it) is over on Sunday. There are indications that it will be quite big - in excess of 100 people.

The weather here has turned warmer with rain in the forecast for today.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well. In 24 hours, all (or most) of the snow is gone. But, there's still snow in the forecast for the next three days ... and, the nights are going to be cold, upper 20sF. Well, I think we've been pretty lucky the last few winters ... warmer temps and no snow. Cliff Mass is probably right. No significant snow since 2008. I do remember some horrendous winters, here, in the early 80s. When I first moved here. Cliff Mass' most recent post is on how poor the US weather prediction system is, and why. He made an interesting comment that "he's at the point in his career where he can take some risks." I presume he means he has enough clout (or, enough saved in his retirement account) that he doesn't have to worry about repercussions due to his critique.

So, Catton's books are of the "Oh, ain't it awful" genre? :-). We know things are bad, we know why things are bad, we know there's probably going to be some rather unpleasant changes. But the great mass of the population doesn't know, or chooses not to know. I am encouraged that the ADR seems to be getting "out there" and is even beginning to penetrate the fringes of the Main Stream Media. In a kind of interesting twist ... I've been banging on about the ADR to my friend Scott, but he hasn't been very interested. But, when I mentioned the New Year's predictions, he got interested enough to take a look at the ADR. And noticed that a book his sister (who lives in California) has been banging on about one of Mr. Greer's books. The penny dropped, so to speak. So ... tomorrow I'm taking him my Greer collection. Not "great awakening" but (maybe) one convert at a time?

The bushfire awareness get together ought to be interesting. You'll probably hear a lot of rubbish ... but also ought to be able to figure out which of your neighbors are on the same page as you. Not a bad thing to know

I think the Crimson Rosella's look happiest right where they are. Our blue jays also have that bad habit of sampling just enough of a bit of fruit to spoil it. But I sometimes wonder if, with their sharp hearing, they perhaps detected a tasty sample of the local insect life, just below the surface. The worm turns ... :-). "Wallaby Wars." Sounds like a good idea for a reality show. At least, better than most of the dreck, out there. Yes, I'm pretty glad that I didn't have to deal with the chickens, during all this cold weather. I don't know if they would have made it through. Beau is doing ok in the cold weather. It's hard to keep his water ... liquid. Especially when I don't have water to spare. But, I manage. He didn't want to come in, last night, as it was warmer. I bow to his wisdom in such matters. Cont.


LewisLucanBooks said...

Usually, when NPR has a segment on some kind of speculative tech, they ask, in an off hand way, if the new tech has any practical applications at this time. Usually not. But they then just kind of gloss it over and move onto the next question. I've noticed something about interviews, in the last week or two. A question is asked and the interviewee says "That's a good question." I've noticed it to the point of irritation. It's usually a red flag that your not going to get a "hard" response to a "hard" question.

Like you, I never became enamored with either "The Godfather" or "The Sopranos." Organized crime just never wound my clock. Even though I have brushed up against it, a few times in my life. The library is getting the first season of an Australian series, "800 Words." It's about a man, a writer, who after the death of his wife, buys a house in a fictional, New Zealand coastal town. Buys it off the internet and moves his two teen age children, kicking and screaming, to the boonies. It promises all sorts of "colorful" local characters and cultural misunderstandings of a humorous nature. We shall see ....

Well, when the water is out I have to consider how much clean up is involved in whatever I want to eat. So, I go long on sandwiches, of various sorts. I don't use as much fruit and veg that has to be washed. No baking. Too much clean up.

According to National Public Radio, there's a "new Foodie tribe" known as the Climatarians. Apparently, what winds them up is the amount of greenhouse gases created due to food production, transportation, preparation and consumption. Related to locavores. :-). Apparently, they spend a lot of time making food choices by fiddling with online "food carbon emissions calculators." I checked a couple of them out. They're not very good. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Dear Margaret - I think you're wise to stick with the lawyer you have. Given the expense. And, she "knows the drill." I was surprised (several years ago) when i discovered that some lawyers have specialties. The one lawyer who was a ... good ... estate lawyer told me that over 80 percent of his business was doing estates. I asked him how that happened to come about. Well, early on, he found out that he really liked doing estates ... but hated family law. Divorce and such. Other lawyers he knew really liked family law, but hated settling estates. So, he'd refer family law clients to them, they'd refer estate clients to him and eventually .... I worked as a file clerk / janitor for awhile for a lawyer. 99% of her cases where getting people their Social Security Disability and State Worker's Compensation. Apparently, these days, SS Disability claims are rejected, out of hand. Just as health insurance companies often reject first claims as a matter (it seems) of policy.

Oh, I know about hoarding. I have a tendency towards it, myself, so I've read widely about it. I think two of the best books are by Randy O. Frost. "Buried in Treasure" and "Stuff." My library had both of them. It's such a complicated thing. Research is ongoing. The reasons for hoarding are many, and like it's manifestations, so interrelated. Genetic? Maybe. In some cases. Brain chemistry? Possible. Due to trauma? At times. Does hoarding have a long history, or is it just a result of our affluent society (long history.)

LOL. Reading Frost's books has been an interesting experience. In some places, I think, "Oh, that's me." In other's "Nope. Doesn't apply to me." I find myself more ... mindful when I want t acquire something ... or, get rid of something.

It does sound like you're on the right track. You laugh a bit, you cry a bit, you savor memories. When tackling big jobs, like yours, I always try to remind myself (when things seem overwhelming) that 1.) I only have to do it once and 2.) there is an end. That became my mantra on more than one occasion. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Yes, dogs will be dogs and they sure live by the ethos: Leave no poop unturned! Aren't they naughty? I tell visitors to ensure that the dogs do not lick them, or at least remember to wash their hands before consuming food. Scritchy almost killed me once. Of course I was teasing her mercilessly and after that incident - I was very ill and ended up in the local day hospital on a drip - I now respect her speed, and of course her lack of tolerance for being teased. Pig poop would be very tasty to a dog and aren't they clever to be able to drag the poop from the pig enclosure! Pigs and dogs can become quite fast friends.

The plastic is really a huge waste, and of course there are plenty of garden beds that might appreciate the fertiliser? To be honest though, the situation is really a drop in the ocean when you consider just how many minerals are shipped around the global food chain and the results are treated as a waste product.

I once read a story about Japanese farmers in historic times installing public toilets along busy roadways so as to collect fertiliser. An elegant solution!

Alaska versus getting this seasons seeds started is a tough decision! Hehe! Not really, Alaska will be amazing. You are lucky to have a young couple to look after the place. That is something I've never gotten around to considering.

Ah! Of course, your groundwater table is much higher than here. I was talking to someone the other day who had put in a water bore (well) and they had to bore down 80m (260ft) to get reliable water. Thanks for the top explanation too, and that makes a lot of sense. I'm planning to install a water barrier in the new construction by using thick pond liner.

It is really hard going through a deceased estate. There is a feeling of unreality about it all. And Patrick was a hoarder too. Total respect and I'm am glad that you found some humour in the days. I prefer the celebration of a persons life too, and Patrick clearly touched upon a lot of peoples hearts if you are predicting in excess of 100 people.

I hope the weather is good for the memorial service.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I'm trying to imagine what a horrendous winter would be like and I'm failing to understand what that actually means. The winters here aren't anywhere near as cold as they used to be. Incidentally, I have a correction to make about planting citrus in your area. It is probably not worth the effort as the low temperatures are just a bit too low and for too long.

Well, sometimes you can be free-er with your opinions than at other times in your life. It is interesting that Cliff Mass is taking a swipe at the general weather prediction system. That is interesting. You know, I'm not even sure I can trust the accuracy of the reported weather down here. Take Tuesday for example. The official readings reported the maximum temperature for that day as 79.16'F. But I saw 87.8'F in Melbourne and fair enough I can discount the temperature that I saw by a few degrees, but the forecasts are becoming more indicative than realistic. It never used to be that far off. This is a new thing and the maximum temperatures are being under reported compared to what I'm experiencing.

No, I didn't quite get that flavour from Mr Catton's book, but your perspective may be slightly different to mine. To me he appears to have written the book in a style which indicates that he felt that he owed a duty to report his findings as he saw them, despite the unpopular reception, and then he let the chips fall where they may. His predictions for the future based on extrapolating the events of that time as well as the historical precedents seemed quite accurate to me. They accord with my understanding of human nature too. It does not make for light reading though. There wasn't even a sense of sadness in the writing, it was more a sense of dogged determination, if that makes any sense to you?

Well done you. I hope that the reception of Mr Greer's work is good? How did it go? The ADR is one of the handful of blogs that I actually read and I enjoy the diversity of topics that the blog covers and also the way those topics are discussed and reasoned. Sometimes I see that the issues being discussed on the ADR turn up slightly later in the mainstream media and so you get the feeling that the blog is being read in wide circles, or at least it is talked about. The thing I wonder about mostly is can we face the future with good grace and a sense of community, especially when so many messages that people receive into their minds and homes are intended to breed dissatisfaction - purely to push products onto people. What do you reckon about that? So, what book would you recommend? I particularly enjoyed the Long Descent. Hey, I've got an order for Retrotopia coming here eventually by mail.

We had the local fire brigades do a presentation on bushfires for the local community tonight at the end of the road I live on. Far out, that was convenient for us. We walked there and said hello to many neighbours and it was nice sitting out in the forest as the sun set and it was a very thoughtful idea on behalf of the Country Fire Authority. Usually they do those talks annually but at very distant spots in fire stations which are often very poorly attended. I reckon maybe about 30 or 40 people attended tonight whereas previously only about 6 people would attend!

I have a suspicion that people over estimate their abilities and under estimate the danger in such a situation. It was interesting that they mentioned that the view from my place was a real bonus on that front, and the fire authorities have used my place from time to time to try and spot trees that are on fire and in remote bush due to lightning strikes. I know enough about fires and the consequences of them to be concerned enough to run well before the fire gets here.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Today I spent about half the day using the jackhammer to break up rocks in the paddock below the house. Mate that is some hard work, but eventually it was all done. Out in the sun it is seriously hot work too.

I don't get too many insects that can work their way into an apple or pear. And the citrus is not even possible as the skins are quite thick. The small birds tend to pick the slugs off the fruit trees such as "pear and cherry slugs" but the small birds live in fear of the larger birds.

It is wise to not to second guess Beau. I'm with you, if he wants out, let him out. The water problem is a nightmare. And nobody wants their tongue frozen to an ice block.

Interviews can be a mixed bag can't they? I've noticed recently that some interviewers have a set list of questions and they ask them regardless of the answers provided by the interviewee. It seems mildly strange to me. There are a couple of really good interviewers that I'm aware of and they are so polished they sound as if they are having a chat with a good mate and they also let the interviewee talk and not try and control the direction too much. The other thing is that some interviewers miss conversation hooks. Actually I have some friends that have that problem too. :-)! It is annoying for me talking with them on the phone as they struggle to engage with those conversations and I have to be less subtle with them. I rather suspect that peoples abilities to undertake the difficult task of making small talk in social situations has rather atrophied in recent decades.

The other thing I've noticed is that an interviewer can ask one question and the person being interviewed evades that question by answering a completely different question and thus they take control of the direction. It is very strange.

Thanks for the explanation about the series 800 words as I hadn't heard about it at all. It sounds like a bit of fun doesn't it? Do you recall the character Psycho Sam in the film: Hunt for the Wilderpeople? That may be a brief introduction to the series!!! I hope it is good. A mate of mine keeps talking about moving to Invercargill right down at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand. The funny is that he has the resources and family contacts to do just that.

Of course, long on sandwiches. That makes sense. You started my brain thinking in humorous directions... Is that short on fruit and vegetables? You sound like a trader - sorry! :-)!

That really is funny. I'm glad for everyone else that the climatarians are filling their days with massive expenditure of greenhouse gases on their online calculators. I'd hate to consider what mischief they'd get up to if that food choice thingee wasn't an option available to them! Hehe! If it makes them feel good, I guess it is mostly harmless...

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Dear Lew,

You are correct that lawyers specialized. Ours specializes in guardianship probate and trusts. Our mother had the wrong kind of trust for the brothers which prevented them from receiving many services provided by the government. I asked a friend who was a lawyer who specialized in getting clients Social Security disability what I could do about the situation and she said she didn't know enough to assist me.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Oh I'll get the seeds but will probably adjust the garden some this year. It will be great having the couple stay here. They are interested in purchasing the family property next to us (44 acres) and want to restore it (both work in natural area restoration) which would be wonderful. However, I don't know how they would swing. Anyway they thought it would be a good opportunity to experience living out in the country so a win-win for both of us.

Have you ever read Gene Logsden's book, "Holy Shit"? If not I highly recommend it. He has a very entertaining style of writing too. Sadly he passed away earlier this year.

The weather for Sunday looks good thankfully.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well. Looks like I won't be going anywhere, for awhile. We had just shy of 4" (10cm ... I'm getting better at this metric stuff!) overnight. What's weird is, it's just in this county. We're in for another cold snap. Not as long, or as cold, if the forecast holds. Low 20sF at night, 30F during the day. Will start warming up, on Sunday. I don't mind so much, as long as I don't loose my water.

I saw this last week. Frozen fountain in front of the library. Click on one of the small pictures, further down, for a nice shot of the front of "my" library branch.

http://www.chronline.com/frozen-over-ponds-and-fountains-freeze-amid-cold-snap/article_97fc2a3e-d4aa-11e6-a787-43e8170af31f.html

I'd agree with your assessment of Catton's book. It's just that I've read so much in a similar vein. I think I like Greer's "Long Descent" the best. I have four of his books and will lend all to my buddy Scott. Not going to happen today, though. :-) Life on life's terms ... or, more like, weather on weather's terms. :-).

Australia gets stranger and stranger. You have slugs that climb trees? There's something very creepy, about that. Or, maybe it's just that in the episode of Star Trek Enterprise, the captain met an alien who appeared to be a human woman, but was actually a huge slug. Our slugs here stay firmly on the ground.

Well, the Climatarians and their little carbon calculators ... keeps them busy, gives them something to do and off the streets.

I think I said somewhere along the way that I hadn't seen any Tarantino films. I did see "Inglorious Basterds" which I quit enjoyed. And, I had completely forgotten "From Dusk til Dawn." Written and acted in by Tarantino. That was years ago, but it's recently been turned into a tv series of the same name. Season one pretty much follows the movie, with more characters and plots. Mexican snake vampires. What's not to like?

Back when I lived in S. California in the early 70s, we got several tv stations from Mexico. There's a genre of film that I can only call Mexican vampire movies. THE worst movies ever committed to film. But there was something strangely fascinating about the. Like a traffic accident, you didn't want to look ... but couldn't look away :-). One of our local Mexican restaurants has a bar that has several posters from these movies as decor. A notch above the usual paintings on velvet of matadors. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...


Hi, Chris!

That's a nice little summer photo of the farm on the right.

Now why is it that other people in the country who have dogs don't seem to step in poo when they go out, but I do? Ah - I think the secret is lazy dogs. When we had the Fluffy Five, I swear (pardon me) that I stepped in poo pretty much every day. I got to where I mostly took off my shoes when entering the house, just in case. Maybe they should have been the Poopy Five.

When we lived in Dallas, Texas it sometimes used to cool down at night in summer to only a humid 85F (29.4C). I knew absolutely no-one who did not have air conditioning. Your UV rays are a thousand percent stronger, though.

That crushed lime looks so tidy. I remember when we discussed it. Hi, Toothy! And Scritchy! How many times a day do you feed the Rock Gabions in their nifty cages?

I still have the bottle of olive oil (a cheaper brand) that I bought the last time that you showed soap making. And I am still waiting for myself to make it . . .

Maybe the apples and pears will be making up for the lack of stone fruit this year? Do you dry those shelled broad beans? I've never had any. Do they taste like any other sort of common beans? Hi, Toothy! Obviously, you all have dodged the Summer of No Tomatoes - whew! That was a bit scary.

I don't think I thanked the editor for her feverfew recommendation - but maybe I did. Thanks!

What a pleasant end of the day photo. Hi, Toothy! Hi, fluffies! No Poopys?

My, my - is there any hope for you? "I'm not much concerned about peoples opinions of me, as long as it does not conflict with my own opinions of myself." Hee hee!

My son needed a calendar, so I bought one for him today. They've been pretty well picked over. It was either cute kittens, puppies, or Star Trek. I rather wanted to keep the Star Trek one that I bought, once I really looked at it. I don't remember if it had Klingons . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

What dear memories Patrick left behind for you - what more could a person hope for? The best of good wishes to you at the memorial service.

I did not know that Gene Logsden had died. I always enjoyed his books. He really helped nudge me into a lot of the things I do here.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Lucky you and best wishes for that particular arrangement. I really do hope that it works out well as so very few people around here seem to be interested at all in growing edibles and/or have any great concern about the forest - beyond the very strange belief that it is all some sort of big wilderness setting thing... :-)! Hope that makes sense? I did notice that a nearby neighbour has recently upgraded the fencing around their vegetable patch so that is a good sign, but they are one of the few that do grow some edibles. You definitely are winning with that arrangement.

Thanks for the book referral and I've tracked down a copy. Being at the bottom of the world means that it will take a little bit of time to get here! I'll let you know how it goes, but the blurb resonates with me and I can't believe that I can wander down to the sand and soil place and buy manure in bulk. What a strange world that we live in - and nobody notices how strange our societies treatment of this resource actually is. In a sane world, I would not be able to buy this stuff...

Glad that the weather forecast looks good for Sunday. I'm assuming that it is an indoors event?

The sun is very hot here today and we brought the rocks back up the hill in the trailer. I overloaded the trailer and couldn't get the Suzuki dirt rat back up the hill - even in low range gears - Ooops! It was a real tragedy as we had to roll several large rocks off the back of the trailer and away down the hill. A sad tale, but at least then I could make it back up the hill.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

That is definitely cabin fever weather! Oh my! I saw your astute comment at the ADR. I'm always a bit nervous when people talk about consciousness awakening and internally I'm wondering if the people aren't asleep at the wheel to say such a thing. Hehe! Thanks for the link too and I'll try and check it over the next few days. That is interesting. Weather can be really localised can't it? I mean last week, we got hit by a solid dump of rain of about half an inch and it didn't make any impact on the next mountain over (the more fashionable end of the mountain range).

I forgot to tell you but I did a double-take last night as someone turned up to the community talk who is a doppelganger of my mate, who I'm pretty certain is in Ohio. It was a bit eerie really. Have you ever had a doppelganger? Can't say that I have ever had that problem, although I did note once that someone had ripped my style on a permaculture course poster and the editor looked at it and said: Is that you? Pah on them! Get their own style. Incidentally my mate is having trouble getting much paid work, despite having a Green card and so maybe himself and his lady may come back down under. Good on them for giving it a go over there though. Who knows, but time will tell what happens there.

What a great couple of photos. Thanks for that. The ice skating on the lake looked eerie to me as you would never see that down under. Ice skating is usually done on the insides of buildings in rinks! True!

I enjoyed the Long Descent book too as it covered a huge amount of territory and captured that sort of style of writing that tells it like it is, rather than how the author wants the story to sound like. And yes, Mr Catton covered that ground too. I was mildly amused with some of the quotes on the book cover as most of them seemed to have missed the point of the book.

Oh yeah, those pear and cherry slugs look like leeches too. Horrid little things, but ultimately not harmful for the fruit trees and the small birds - if given a chance get in and clear them up. But plenty of insects climb into the fruit trees. One of the biggest nuisances (not so much these days) were the ants who harvest sugars from the trees. They bite too, those ants.

Unfortunately, the climatarians are on the interweb. They won't get much of a chance to comment here!!! What a strange obsession that they have.

I haven't seen that film: "Inglorious Bastards" but appreciate your review of the subject. Honestly, Tarantino's films always make me feel tense as they have shock your momma value, although most of the shock value is handled well and most of it is left to the imagination which is a real credit to Mr Tarantino.

Really, I'd never heard of that genre before of Mexican films. Were they very formulaic? If there is such a thing...

Speaking of horror films, I almost stranded the Suzuki dirt rat down the hill today as I'd overloaded the trailer with rocks and being on an incline meant that the back wheels had very little traction and so despite being in four wheel drive and also low range, I couldn't get back up the hill. And do you know what made it a horror? We had to roll off two large rocks away and down the hill despite having spent the effort to get them into the trailer. Such a total waste. Anyway, we did bring back plenty of smaller rocks from the jackhammering yesterday and now the paddock is free of rock obstacles (kind of like a rock lobster!) :-)!

It is meant to rain here tomorrow, but South Australia seems to be copping the brunt of the tropical low pressure systems this year.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

You are very observant. I changed the photo of the snow - which I quite enjoyed really, but that was perhaps only because it snowed for one day. As they say in your country, mileage may vary! :-)!

That was a very family friendly way to swear. Respect. They definitely should have been the Poopy Five. Sometimes I joke to the editor that we should have five Pomeranians, but I'm only kidding, really, maybe... Imagine the Poopy Five? Well, perhaps you have touched (stepped?) upon the problems. Hehe! I have to admit that that is a nuisance stepping on dog poo.

Oh, that is a very hot night. I had a conversation the other day with someone in the UK about sunscreen, and they said that they believed that it was a bit of a con. I agree with them about sunscreen being a con in the UK. But down here the sun is just wrong and sunscreen is a real skin saver.

The lime is pretty good, but alas it is not up to the task of withstanding a landslide. Not much really seems to be, but the rock gabions might just do the trick. It was probably more than six hours but less than eight hours of scrounging to fill the large rock gabion.

Soap making is a good job for any time of the year and the cheaper olive oil is a good idea. A lot of olive oil is not really the extra virgin type that it purports to be. Some of the olive growers down here were having a whinge about that.

Toothy and Scritchy say hi! I dried the broad beans today in the sun. They taste a bit different to some beans, but then they grow over the winter and so you'd expect that. The skins are a bit harder than usual. I'm grateful for the tomatoes that are now growing. I've found a few seedling ones and am nurturing them along, but we'll see how it goes.

Oh yeah, apple and pear trees love wet feet - particularly pear trees and so they are enjoying this year. Both trees are also dry hardy too once they are established. Apple trees are real givers.

The editor appreciates the feedback, the plant leaves really do work.

No Poopy and Toothy must not linger outside in the world together as they head off for far and distant adventures - even though they ostensibly detest each other. I can't get my head around that problem.

Well done to you for picking up on that bit of silliness. It was fun wasn't it? I love word games.

Ha! Your son deserves a calender written in the Klingon language! That will mess with his head for sure: Klingon pocket dictionary. Don't blame me!!! Hehe!

Cheers

Chris




orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I am awaiting the severe winter weather which they have been promising us for days, it is supposed to finally arrive this afternoon. Not a sign so far, temperature is 46F.

No, I never wear sunglasses, don't possess any.

Son is stressing about pigs. He is supposed to have sorted the breeding regime but the boar got out again, another load of piglets will therefore arrive next month. It would be okay if the ground wasn't so sodden that he can't have the pigs out. He claims that he is unable to prevent his huge boar getting out if it chooses to.

My loganberry canes look seriously lacking for the coming season. They have always been wonderful and the only thing that I can think of is the excessive wet that we had.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Sorry to hear about the jettisoned rocks, especially under the circumstance of peak rocks.

I had wondered if you wore sunscreen. My parents in Ft. Collins, Colorado wear it year round as, at an altitude of almost one mile (1.6km), the suns stays really strong there. They have also just had in Ft. Collins a chinook, which is a very, very warm, dry wind that comes over from the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains in winter and down the western slope (the "Front Range") and can change the temperature dramatically in a short time. I believe the record was a 100 degree change over a few hours. Avalanches in the high country (where everyone skis) become a big problem.

All I needed to know - and more, much more -of the Klingon language. I now know how to say "stewed rat liver" in Klingon. Gee, thanks.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello yet again

According to the internet our current temperature is 41F with light rain. Light rain my eye! It is tipping it down, there is a river running down the road. The neighbour who has his permission for his building, came to see me yesterday as one of his trenches has fallen in close to my boundary. He asked for permission to go onto my land... Okay by me as we have agreed the boundary. Goodness knows what is happening to his trenches at the moment. His piling hit voids and he had to go much deeper than originally intended. He is tearing his hair out.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, it pretty much snowed all day and we ended up with about 5" of snow. Given the forecast, I don't think it's going anywhere, soon. There is some melt on the south side of the house. It got down to 25F (-3.88C) last night at the local weather station. And, is supposed to get down to 19F (-7.22) tonight. It will start warming up again on Sunday night. Maybe I can make it into town on Saturday. I'm out of eggs and banana, but have plenty of other stuff to eat.

There are a few fringe benefits to the snow. At one point yesterday, the sun broke through, while it was snowing and it looked like the air was full of mica flakes. For awhile last night, it looked like there was a bank of fog in the back pasture. Fog or snow kicked up by the wind? Dunno. And everything lit up by the moon. The fountain at the library looked quit pretty. Still merrily bubbling away, but totally cased in ice.

Well, when I lived in Seattle in the early 70s, I used to hear that I had a doppelganger about. Never ran across him. What really gave me a turn is that there used to be a guy that went to the Mary's Corner meeting ... who was an exact replica of a close friend who died, back in the 80s. Eerie. Right down to the voice. Every time he opened his mouth, it gave me a bit of a turn. I never mentioned it, to him. "You remind me of a dead guy I used to know" seemed a bit out of place :-). Years ago I knew someone who was mostly of Bohemian extraction ... and was a dead ringer for Tommy Chong of Cheek and Chong. Who is half Chinese and half Mexican. Genetics are a funny thing. I have seen a ginger or two who looks a bit like a certain off grid farmer from Australia :-).

The rocks vs Suzuki vs hillside does sound like a real horror show. I just hate having to do anything twice.

I really can't remember if the Mexican vampire movies were formulaic or not. They didn't have sub titles, so there was a lot of people doing things that made absolutely no sense. When I was reading about Bram Stoker, a couple of months ago, they mentioned that while Universal Studios was filming the classic "Dracula" with Lagosi, right in the next studio they were filming a Spanish language version with a different director and cast. I guess that wasn't so unusual, in the 1930s. They'd pick actors who were very popular in Mexico, for the Mexican market.

Speaking of ... speaking Klingon :-). I was watching some of the extras on the ST: Enterprise DVD, last night. They had an interview with the actor who plays Admiral Forest. One time, they were caught short and needed a Klingon captain ... so, on two days notice he stepped in. It was just a little scene, but he had to spout a lot of Klingon ... and memorizing it on such short notice was difficult. And, he was VERY aware that there were people out in the world who spoke Klingon, and would call him on grammar and pronunciation, if he didn't get it right :-). Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris and all,

I am really enjoying the conversation this week.

Speaking of winter weather, we are under an ice storm warning from tomorrow (Friday) morning through noon on Sunday. With ice storms the temperature isn't particularly cold, at least for winter (generally a few degrees F below freezing to right around freezing), but it's cold enough to cause the rain that falls to freeze when it hits surfaces. Ice-covered roads and sidewalks are a major issue. It can be very dangerous to drive as road crews can only keep up with a small subset of roads if any at all. But ice can be as much of a problem when it coats tree limbs beyond their ability to remain on the tree, when they proceed to fall on buildings and electrical lines. Also the weight of the ice can pull down electrical lines on its own if it gets thick enough. And it gets worse if it's windy. We aren't supposed to have as much ice or as high winds as we had during our last bad ice storm about 10 years ago, which I hope turns out to be the case. Some folks lost electrical service for over a week during that storm (we lost ours for most of a day), and some of our trees sustained considerable damage.

Because we have the wood stove and a goodly amount of dry firewood, we can heat and cook even if we do lose electrical service for a time. But we did take the precaution of storing enough firewood on the back porch to get through Sunday, so we don't have to walk on ice to get to the wood shed. A warm front is coming through on Sunday which will allow the temperature to climb above freezing by afternoon, ending the ice threat. None too soon, in my opinion. Ice storms and tornadoes are tied for my least favorite weather events.

Claire

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Well that is an interesting contrast! We seem to be having very hot days here this week, but much cooler nights. And the night time temperatures are not dissimilar to your maximum day time temperatures. I generally sleep better in those colder temperatures than the much warmer nights that we were experiencing in previous weeks for some reason. The daytime temperatures here this summer have not been record breaking, but the night-times have been much warmer than I can recall for many a long year and certainly hotter than I expect.

Did you end up getting the severe winter weather this afternoon? It is pea soup weather here right now as the tail end of the tropical low pressure system is making itself felt. The fog is very thick. Fogs are usually an autumn occurrence though.

Fair enough, the UV radiation in the UK is very low. Down here, wow, the UV radiation is extreme for a couple of months and you can feel it. I wear sunglasses during the day when outside all year around and to be honest, I'm one of the few people that I know who is my age and who doesn't require reading glasses. Just sayin...

Out of curiosity, what is the gestation period for pigs? Well huge boars are a force of nature to be reckoned with. Hehe! I'm with your son in that matter as I was introduced to a few youngish sows a couple of weeks ago and they had serious presence and personality plus! I likened their noses to snuffling moist suction cups!

I grow loganberries and they seem to enjoy a good drink of water, but they also enjoy the heat as well. I don't honestly know the plant well enough to be able to comment any further. My gut feeling is that the various blackberry species are all very hardy, but they do enjoy good soil drainage. I reckon you may be able to see the effects of your rather damp winter and summer in about June or July, but until then... Are the canes showing signs of fungus attack - i.e. white strands on the canes above the ground? What things have made you make that prediction?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you. It was sad to watch those hard earned rocks roll off the back of the bright yellow trailer and away to rock freedom down the hill. However, it would have been much sadder to watch the little dirt rat of a Suzuki roll down the hill, along with the bright yellow trailer. Tensions were very high here at that particular moment. And you may be relieved to know that the editor and I retired to the local pub in the evening to work off those said tensions over a quiet pint of local cider (for the editor) and pint of local wheat beer (for the author!). Problem solved really! Hehe!

Sunscreen is a necessity here - and even then the UV radiation burns you through your clothes. Seriously! I have burn marks on my skin which show the straps of my overalls. People underestimate the extreme UV in Australia and it is a real shock to visitors from abroad. The editor and I have seen older shows of River Cottage which is set in the UK and over summer the delightful host is wearing a t-shirt, shirt, and vest. YOU WOULD POP of heat exhaustion if you wore that sort of gear down here at the same time of year.

I've seen those sorts of temperature changes in the Tasmanian highlands during a summer. On a long bush walk once I encountered a couple wearing shorts and t-shirts in a very alpine area down there. The morning was clear, bright, sunny, and warm. They asked me where was the directions to the nearest hut as the weather had turned and they were looking for shelter. I said to them to go back to the car park immediately as it was cold wet and foggy by that time of the afternoon. And they ignored me... I dunno. Those environments are rough as.

I saw an article about some Aussie who had survived an avalanche in your part of the world by having an inflatable backpack. I'm just saying that it is probably better not to be there, although that is an unpopular point of view.

OK. How does one pronounce "stewed rat liver" in Klingon? And how does it rate as a proper insult? Curious minds want to know the answer to these important questions! Hehe!!! :-)! Hope you had fun with the dictionary.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh, I don't know what to say about that circumstance given my recent (and relatively minor) experience. Ouch. Good luck is what your neighbour needs at this point in time. Piling is only as good as the substrate, builders should know that. I took the foundations of this place down as far as I could go and ensured that every single stump sat on solid clay. In the process I got to learn a lot about the different types of clay that form part of the soil here as I was up close and personal with the stuff.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, that is a huge and deep bed of snow. I do hope that you stocked up on food and other necessary provisions and have no immediate need to travel to the shops? To be honest, your chickens may not have enjoyed those sorts of weather conditions? I usually find that every winter here - which is far milder than what you are seeing - at least one or two chickens drop off their perches. I hear you about the banana's. They're good. My mates that live in a greenhouse not too far from here, gave growing bananas a bash in the greenhouse, but alas, even there it is still too cold. I have seen banana palms growing in Melbourne, but the bananas always looked sickly and the fruit was very green, but who knows what the future may hold?

I wonder how the meetings are holding up in such weather? I always noticed a distinct drop off in attendance at community meetings when the weather was less than fluffy optimal down here.

Oh yeah, snow is very pretty and that sounds beautiful. The night before the big dump of snow (well for us anyway!) I took the camera out and recorded some video footage of the snow falling at night as I'd never experienced that here before. Speaking of pea soup, the tropical low pressure system finally reached down to this remote corner of the continent today and it has rained and alternately produced thick fog. The clouds are low and dirty looking too, right now. Oh yeah, that fountain looked superb. I wonder if the water pump in the photo shut down as otherwise it may burn out?

That is really spooky! And I am glad that you never ran across your doppelganger. Who knows what the correct etiquette is in such a meeting? Do you tell them to go away as you were there first? Or does the shock settle into mild acceptance? It would make for a good Stephen King short story wouldn't it?

Once a few years back I was accosted by a stranger in the city who asked if I was some actor who he knew. That was weird, but it appeared genuine as he didn't hang around and try to engage in further conversation. Another time in the city some dude that was high as a kite on something or other tried to physically stop me from crossing the road at the pedestrian crossing. That time I went with my gut feeling and clopped him right in the sternum with my right fist which made a satisfying crunch feeling, and I yelled at him that I “did not want this”, whatever that meant. That was weird because it all happened so quickly. It is amazing what your instincts can tell you before your consciousness has had the time to process all of the information going on around you. That isn't my normal reaction, but that was also not a normal situation and it was in the middle of the day so my guard was lower than at other times.

That is tough about your close friend who died in the 80's and then seeing someone else who reminded you of him. That would give me a turn too. And people would immediately get the wrong idea if you ever mentioned it to the individual. What an eerie situation.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Well there is always only ever a few degrees of separation... That is a story in and of itself. Unfortunately didn't one of the Cheech and Chong guys fall to cancer? Well there you go, they're both alive and kicking. Wonders will never cease!

Hey, watch out for gingers bearing presents of fruit and vegetables. Just sayin, if they look like me, well, they ain't me! Hehe!!! Don't laugh, that poster I saw for the permaculture course showing some dude that looked exactly like me was very, very, strange. Even the editor who has known me for well over two decades was going: is that you? Of course it wasn't me... But then again, maybe we all have alternative lives. How weird would that be? What would you be doing in an alternative life? I'm clearly flogging permaculture courses! :-)!

Those couple of rocks are now a write off. I'm considering the problems surrounding that steep ascent as it is a bit of a pain and a risk. Doing anything twice is a problem, but then I rarely get things right the first time and then when I do that, I don't recognise it for what it is!

Oh no! How is your Spanish? Mine is not so good, and the spoken word is way too fast for me to even pick up a hint or two. Alas, I should have begun languages when I was far younger and my brain was more malleable. Do you write, read, or speak any other languages? I can usually decode meaning from the Spanish written words, but the spoken is way too hard for my poor brain.

It is funny that you mention Bella Logosi, but a mate of mine many long years ago was into gothic music and unfortunately for me, I heard the old gothic rock band The Sisters of Mercy performing their song Bella Logosi's dead one too many times. In today's more enlightened times we'd describe "gothic" by using the term "emo" whatever that means... Apparently it is a negative word. A decade ago "emo" bands also included the band Death Cab for Cutie (an uplifting band name if ever I'd heard of one) and they did some good songs like "I will possess your heart" which was probably one of their bigger hits. Honestly, they're just depressed and fearful, from my perspective. That is a strange malaise which hits people and I see plenty of that, especially with people who are much younger. I often wonder whether they know that the doors have been shut in their faces and that is their reaction to a culture in decline or perhaps the stories they hold in their heads and are told don’t match the realities that they see? Certainly it is not a new phenomena that mental health issue, but it does seem to be one on the rise. I've been giving thought to that problem of late.

That is hysterical about the Klingon language. Apparently some people do speak it fluently and I do recall an interweb link to someone who had a Klingon wedding in the distant past... That would have been a lot of fun!

Would you believe the sun has just poked its head out from behind the clouds?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

We all do try to maintain a lively conversation here. It is part of the fun of it all!

Far out! An ice storm warning sounds like very harsh winter conditions. I hope you stayed safe during the Ice storm? Thanks for the detailed explanation too as that certainly paints a picture for those with no experience of such weather. Did you know that down here, the tree limbs fall off after - and not during – storms? An old timer once explained to me that the tree limbs fall due to the additional strain on the trees due to the excessive weight of the water which may have entered the tree through hollows (which are scars left from previously fallen branches or the head of the tree itself)?

I often suspect that such weather events are nature’s form of pruning on larger trees. The interesting thing to note about such events for the trees is that the tree will also either lose some of its root system (which in turn feeds the soil life and builds soil); or the now smaller tree feeds better from its previous root system. I often suspect that such things are a sign of environmental shock, but don’t really know and am just guessing.

Well done for organising a store of firewood on the back porch! It is funny how you get used to thinking about the future weather when you have to rely on natural systems for energy. ;-)! I do hope that it warms up a bit for you as there is still a bit of winter to go.

Speaking of firewood, we are now turning our minds towards filling the firewood shed over the next few weeks. We've had to lift the surface inside the shed so as to reduce the impact of any water making its way inside the wood shed. More on that on the next blog though! Plus the roof drain on one side of the shed just didn't work by about 10mm (just under half an inch) and so it leaked water from the roof and onto the ground around the wood shed... You always find yourself learning more as time goes on! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Bad weather has hit other parts of the UK but not here. The sun is shining, the temperature is 36F and an early frost is melting.

I don't need reading glasses either but Son does and never has them with him. It is funny to see him struggling and then to have to get his aged mother to read something for him.

There is an alarming lack of new loganberry canes. Very noticeable as I tie them in; a job that usually requires some thought as to placement. No thought required for the first time ever. No fungus attack.

Shall have to ask Son about pig gestation length as I have forgotten.

Inge

margfh said...

Hi Chris,
So sorry about the rocks. That must have been, to put it mildly, a real disappointment.

Five bottles of mead that Doug bottled last weekend exploded - well the corks popped out and there's quite a mess in the basement. There's another advantage of a basement - out of sight out of mind at least until there's time to clean it up.

Glad you tracked down the book. Mr. Logsden has a entertaining writing style so I think you'll enjoy it.

You mentioned chickens in the winter in a response to Lew and I want to report that mine are doing just fine. With some of the cold snaps we've had I thought I'd see some frostbite but no. I'm getting an average of 4 eggs a day from the nine young hens even in the dead of winter. They do not like snow much so I shovel out an area for them after each snow and lay down a bit of straw or hay. Most of the snow has melted so they are out and about again. We've got temperatures in the 50's in the forecast for next week which means muddy dogs. We had a couple days in the low 40's this week so Salve and Leo used that opportunity to roll in poop - probably wild turkey droppings much to my joy.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you. I will say that I'll be glad when Sunday is over.

I have several of Gene Logsden's books. He also wrote a weekly blog right up until his death which I enjoyed as well.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

I tell you what - I am glad that I am not building a house.

I haven't owned sunglasses since I was a young lass. I think that the sun in both of our climates is too soft to need them. We have cloudy skies so often, anyway. They are a must at the high altitude that my parents live.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

In the summer here I wear as little as I can get away with (well, not in town). The forest trees tower so close to our garden that it is in shade much of the time, so in the hottest months I usually coordinate working there with when the garden is shaded. Except that then I have to balance it all with getting enough sun exposure to get my vitamin D.

I used to ski in the avalanche country of the Colorado Rockies. I never saw an avalanche. Things like avalanches don't seem to concern one when young . . . And music tastes can change so much from when young. I used to like Death Cab for Cutie. I used to like Nirvana, and Smashing Pumpkins. Actually, I guess I still like such genres of music, but I don't listen to them any more; too depressing.

Criminy - fisticuffs!

Stewed rat liver in Klingon = Boqrat chej Though it isn't guaranteed that boqrat is actually a rat. It was unclear.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Son says pigs' gestation times are just under 4 months. He had one pig that used to go exactly 3 months 3 weeks and 3 days but he now has one that goes 4 months. I restrained my pernickety self from interrogating him as to the number of days in the relevant months.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - Maybe those voids you're neighbor is running across is the remains of a nice Roman sea side villa? Or smuggler's caves! Probably filled with 200 year old Napoleonic port! :-). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, it got down to 21F (-6.11C) last night. Forecast is for a few degrees warmer, tonight, but not much. There's been very little melt. Today looks pretty much like yesterday. The snow plows been through a couple of times but there's still large patches of ice on the road. As it's Friday the 13th, I think I'll just sit tight. :-). From our "It could be worse" department, I heard the Portland was supposed to get 1-4" of snow ... but instead got 12-14". Portland gets a lot of ice storms. For some weather reason, they come roaring out of the Columbia River gorge. Ice storms in the gorge really shut down east/west traffic. The one time in my life that I got a touch of frost bite was during an ice storm in Portland. Couldn't feel the side of my head or tip of my ear for a good nine months! Oh, I'm well stocked up. No danger of coming anywhere near real hunger. The new Star Trek movie has been "in transit" to my branch for several days. It ought to land today or tomorrow.

I think Stephen King has written a novel or two about doppelgangers. Literature and movies are full of examples of "mistaken identity." And, as long as we're on the topic of books and movies ... :-). I finally remembered what the term was for groups of animals ... collective nouns. I know this because I was taking a look at the new book list at the library and found: "A Barrel of Monkeys: A Compendium of Collective Nouns for Animals." Years ago, when I was in the book biz, one Christmas a book came out called "An Exaltation of Larks." Just a little paperback that we kept at our POS (point of sale .. cash wrap) as a last minute stocking stuffer. Sold them hand over fist. One of my favorite collective nouns is ... a piddle of puppies :-).

Also on the library new list was two Swedish films from the early 70s. "The Emigrants" and "The New Land." It's about a poor Swedish family that emigrates to the US .. Minnesota, in the 19th century. Which is pretty much the story of my Mom's family, though they were Finns. Worth a look when I have the time. Also, a book called "Wasted World: How Our Consumption Challenges the Planet." (Hengeveld, 2012). Oh, ain't if awful! :-). Looking at the table of contents, I don't see anything I don't already know. Also on offer is an old tv series (later released to theaters as a Saturday kiddie serial) "Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe" (1953). That could be fun. I'll make some popcorn. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I saw a news report that we've invaded Poland. Apparently, our troops were met by pretty young girls bearing baskets of flowers. I'm sure I'm taking a simplistic view, but WHAT are they thinking? Oh, yeah, let's just goad the Russian Bear a bit more.

Once upon a time I had a very worried mother show up in the library, wondering what the whole "Emo" thing was about. That was early days and about all I could tell her was that it signified "emotional, or emotions." That seemed to calm her down.

I took two years of French and two years of Latin in high school. Can't remember much, but the naughty bits. :-). Well, actually, I can puzzle out, a bit, most of the romance languages. Given the current ethnic mix, here in the States, I pick up the odd bit of Spanish, from time to time. I've often thought if I wanted to pick up a bit more Spanish, it might make sense to start with children's books and songs.

I think cognitive dissonance can be kind of fun. To watch. Not comment on in other people. That, in the early stages, can be risky. I think Mr. Greer touched on that, this week, over at the ADR. In my experience, it usually is caused by people realizing that they've been misinformed (or, downright lied to). By friends, family, the media, society ... whatever. You can almost hear the wheels and gears grinding in their heads. Given a few days of quiet reflection, usually things come right.

Those rocks just wanted to be free. To live in their natural state of ... rock hood. They saw their chance and made a break for it. Probably organized and engineered by the RLF (Rock Liberation Front ... I think there's a manifesto ...). And today's ear worm is .... "Born Free!" :-) Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Lucky you for avoiding the worst of the UK storms! That is a feat that is harder to do than it looks! :-)!

I suspect that down here the extreme UV radiation damages peoples eyes as well as their skin. I don't know of anyone - other than the editor - who is our age and does not have some sort of vision impairment that requires either surgery, glasses, or contact lenses. It is not good and I wonder how they drive around and exactly what can they see. It is a bit scary.

There is a bit of irony in you helping your son out with his eyesight isn't there?

Oh, that is not good about the loganberry canes. Do you have any thoughts as to why there are not many canes this year? Given the plants produce berries on second year canes, this does not bode well for next summer? Maybe? Have you fed the soil around the berries recently? Dunno. I'm a beginner when it comes to berries, but am learning.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Sometimes you have to make a decision quickly and in that circumstance, there was a risk of the car and trailer not being able to get back up the hill and so we chose to rescue the car and ditch the rocks. It makes you wonder about the ethics that the software developers of driver-less cars are having to navigate.

Best wishes for tomorrow too and I hope that Patrick is well remembered.

Ouch! We've never exploded a brew before, but that would be extremely messy to clean up. I hope it was too traumatic for Doug? We tend to use bottles with screw caps but keep them on loosely so that the carbon dioxide can escape. Your exploding bottles reminded me of the scene in Breaking Bad when Hank's home brew bottles started exploding and the sound was confused for shots.

Thanks for the book referral. :-)!

That is an excellent result for egg production especially at the time of winter that you are in at the moment. Thanks for the explanation of your chicken / snow process as I was wondering how that was all handled. Your chickens are in a good paddock with good care!

Naughty Salve and Leo! Dogs are far more excited about their extra-curricular activities than we are about those activities. And it is so nice that they want to share them with you too! Dogs will be dogs.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Same here, as some days it is just so hot. I hear you, and it is nice that we maintain a respectable facade in town. Oh tongues would wag wouldn't they if we were to do otherwise?

You know, a few months ago doctors were pushing a belief in the population down here that Vitamin D deficiency was rife within the community. Now the doctor even told off the editor, who spends almost as much time outside as I do. And then, I believe, there was a government report saying that the doctors were apparently over identifying that deficiency and pushing pathology tests. Naughty stuff that.

Ha! When you are young you are as free as a bird, until something goes horribly wrong! Fortunately we all made it to adulthood - mostly intact! ;-)!

It is funny that you mention those bands - I enjoyed them too - and could have gone to see Nirvana live ($27 a ticket in those days) but went, I'll see them next time... They were touring down under when their fame exploded and they were such honourable people that they continued their tour here and they played all sorts of small and intimate shows.

I wasn't bagging off Death Cab for Cutie as I quite liked that song that I referenced. It is nice to be in good company!

At the risk of sharing some recent obscure Australian music... You may enjoy (maybe?):

Vallis Alps - Fading

Emma Louise - Illuminate

Hmmm, there are a lot of ads on YouTube nowadays, I rather suspect they may need the money as it would cost a fortune to run those servers.

Oh yeah, that dude had it coming trying to pull that trick. It was a spur of the moment decision and I recognised that he meant no good.

What a delightful import into Klingon space, rats would be! My money would be on the rats too.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you very much for asking your son that question about the sows and the gestation. My mates now have two new calves and a Maremma dog so I hope they know what they're doing! They'll be fine. The piglets will be interesting. Of course, I'd never considered that the seasons may impact gestation times, but I reckon you are spot on with that thought. Nice one!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, I hear you about that Friday the 13th business. I was in the big smoke yesterday and it is good to keep ones eyes, ears, and senses open on such a day. Mischief is never far away under those circumstances. ;-)! Ouch! You are lucky that the frost bite didn't actually kill the appendage - in this instance, your ear - and that feeling finally recovered. So, would 12" - 14" of snow bring a city to a close for a day or so? Really heavy rain when it hits Melbourne sort of closes roads, floods underpasses, roofs leak, public transport can get shut down etc. I once recall as a young bloke in my first job, I had to walk out of the city as a huge storm just stopped the trams and trains. It was like zombieland as people were walking around asking themselves: How could this be? I just took the initiative and walked for several hours to get home.

Hope you enjoy the new Star Trek film. I really enjoyed the gag about classical music, but you may not be much of a fan of the Beastie Boys? All I can say was that their song was loud and shouty! Hehe! One of those guys died from cancer a few years back.

That is funny as! "An Exaltation of Larks." Not something that a person would want to encounter. Larks can get quite angry! A piddle of puppies sounds like more of a truism than a collective noun. Puppies can be very annoying...

You know, I may have seen that series about the Swedish immigrants to the US way back in the day. I recall a scene where one of the brothers was furious with another brother because he'd been paid in a currency in a remote location that wasn't of any value in the area that he'd returned too. For some reason that scene really stuck in my mind and I don't know why? Is this the same series? Who knows, I'll wait to read of your opinion.

I wonder if the producers of that show about consumption realise that they themselves are producing something that is to be consumed? OK, I'm fascinated does the show end by recounting the many ways that a person can still consume and save the planet? Curious minds want to know!!! Hehe. I'll bet it does.

Well, there is something to be said about being a Sky Marshall of the Universe! Not a person to mess with...

Didn't Germany invade Poland in 1939? I'm pretty certain the German's weren't met by pretty girls with flowers - although that has produced a delightful mental image. Strange things take place as one guard takes over the job from the previous guard. Standards and policies may vary! ;-)! None of it matters really and my take on geopolitics is that both China and Russia have time and resources on their side. It isn't going to be pretty.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

That was a very thoughtful way to approach the whole "emo" matter. You know, from my point of view I reckon some younger people sense that the door has been slammed shut in their faces. Some are angry, some oblivious, and others are depressed. I can see the closed door from where I stand, but so few people have any concerns about it that I don't see why I should concern myself if they can't get off the couch...

Well done you for remembering the naughty bits! I respect that. I recall one saying from my High School days in the Greek language about going and eating... Stop it, we do have to maintain decorum here! Hehe! That is a clever idea about picking up the children's books. I would be happy to converse with a bilingual person in order to learn a new language, but alas there are none to be found in these parts. Usage seems to be the best way for me to learn a language. Every time I've picked up a book on that subject, they've groaned on and relentlessly on about grammar and it drives me bonkers as I say to myself what is the point of learning structure if the most basic aspects of the language are beyond me? I want to know where are the baƱo? That is the important stuff. Of course in my scenario, bad habits would be learned, but who cares about those? Honestly... Grrr!

Thanks for the advice on cognitive dissonance. It is a massive problem and people obviously - as you say - have a bit of quiet reflection to work through the problems on their own. On the other hand people don't seem to be getting quiet reflection these days. Have you ever heard people talking about how busy they are? I reckon that speaks to that particular problem and of course this "business" (oh, that spells business... Spooky!) is linked to the clouding of peoples abilities to think through matters clearly. Why would you train people to do such things when it is not in your interests to do so, and also you control the mechanisms that ensure that such a thing cannot happen. Just sayin...

Far out, thanks for ear worm. Yes, I recall Born Free from when I was a young kid. Now, who makes all these horrible soppy ending animal films? Not fair! Hehe! Yes, the crack team from the Rock Liberation Front sent some smooth criminals (Michael Jackson / Alien Ant Farm) to sort out my rock problem and the rocks made a Jail break (ACDC). Apologies for the bad music jokes, but you started this!!! Hehe!

I’ve gotta write the next blog tonight so…

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Thanks so much for the two music videos. I enjoyed them both very much. A bit like Death Cab's style - but positive!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - From our "it could be worse" department. I don't remember it, but when I was a wee small lad, I came home from school and observed "The house smells like dog do!" Dad had a still in the basement (it was an experiment ... he really didn't know what he was doing) and it exploded. Corn mash. According to reports, he was scraping mash out of the beams for days.

I had an uncle who made up some root beer and bottled it. Again, an amateur attempt. Stashed them to age under the bed. About half exploded. Never like that uncle, anyway. :-). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - 25F (-3.88C) last night. And, no wonder the landscape didn't change much, yesterday. The temperature never made it over -0-C, all day. I'm going to head for town, but will wait til 1 or 2. I figure if I can just make it to the main road in one piece, I'll be fine. After all. Star Trek is waiting for me at the library, according to the computer.

Oh, Portland does pretty well in snow and ice. But I bet the city closed down for a day or two. Joel Crais would be the one to ask. He's living there, now. When I got my frost bite, I was young and dumb. Didn't know we were having an ice storm ... or, it didn't register. I just HAD to get to the store, so, I'm waiting for buses. They were running late. Don't think I was wearing a hat. So, I ended up standing around in the weather, for awhile. When I took a shower that night and took a brush to my hair, it was the oddest feeling. Or, the oddest no feeling. So, I feel the brush ... and then I don't feel the brush. As if it had disappeared into a black hole on the side of my head. That went on for quit a few months.

Oh, that bit about consumption and the planet is a book. I was not clear. Too much mixing book and film recommendations. :-).

Oh, I was just being sarcastic and ironic with that comment about the US invading Poland. But the Nazi invasion was on my mind. Pretty much kicked off WWII. There were no girls with flowers in Poland. Now, Austria was another matter ....

Back to doppelgangers and alternative lives. Sometimes I wonder about alternative time lines, and how far off they are. Mostly, because sometimes I have the strangest dreams ... usually in the afternoon. People I don't know and have never met. Places that are kind of like our world, but not quit. There's just such an oddness to those types of dreams.

Well, in the first episode of the Star Trek Enterprise series, it's about a temporal anomaly. And, a temporal cold war. Ought to be an interesting arc. Looking forward to watching the new Star Trek movie. Will have to figure out something very naughty to munch out on. :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Glad you enjoyed them and they're both quite ethereal songs in their own way. I heard the Emma Louise track performed from a live recording on the radio the other day and her voice is as good live as the studio version.

We may have gone well past Peak Rocks, but I rather suspect that human things that take very little energy such as story-telling, music and singing all have a grand future. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Waiting until 1pm or 2pm to head into town seems like a smart move. I'm seriously starting to feel like a softie should I ever again complain about how cold the winters are down here. Hehe! Today was a glorious summers day too. 72'F, light winds and blue skies! Unfortunately by Tuesday, it should be well over 100'F again... Oh well. At least it will cool back down again after that.

We've started bringing in the firewood for winter and that is a huge job. Really, massive job in fact. And in another incident of the ongoing crapification of products one of my two electric log splitters packed it in. It wasn't the older one of the two either... I really feel quite strongly that a lot of products are quite shoddy, despite the fact that they can look the part. Anyway, fixing that log splitter is, I reckon, going to be expensive.

So did you get the new Star Trek film(?), and more importantly, did you enjoy it? Simon Pegg steals every scene that he is in. I like the new crew too as they seem to be having a bit more fun with the stories. I know people go on endlessly on about Star Wars but they all seem to be the same story told over and over again, and I am curious to know at what point does the construction of all of those Death Stars beggar the empire? You have to admit that in theory a Death Star sounds like a good idea, but in reality, they never quite make it to completion. So, do you wonder whether the empire blames subcontractors and the whole messy blown up Death Star thing gets dragged through the empire's court system, or what? Of course, I do have to exempt the film "The Empire Strikes Back" from the above criticism because well, it was genius.

Haven't spoken to Joel for a while now. Hope he's OK? The Into the Ruins is a great looking production and I subscribe to it and enjoy the short stories.

Young and dumb is a rite of passage! ;-)! It is good that we have all survived such experiences more or less intact. Did the frostbite set in, in only that short a time period? Glad to read that your body repaired the skin and nerve damage - that is really serious. Did the skin ever show any signs of damage, like scar tissue? Incidentally, did you get what you wanted at the shop that day? When I was young and dumb, I did not give the weather a second thought. Nowadays, I keep a close watch on the weather forecast and the actual conditions because I realise there are serious consequences to not doing so and we are all a part of nature. The first time I experienced a "Super Cell" in Melbourne was the day that I had my entire kitchen in the backyard - and it all got very wet. I guess learning about the weather and its impacts is a change in a persons perspectives. In the city, you tend to ignore such things because the entire environment is so artificial that sometimes you lose track of who the boss actually is (hint: nature).

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Fair enough, that makes sense. Hey, I like to deliberately mix metaphors just because it annoys some people. That ship just bolted is one of my favourites. Have you ever tried that trick? :-)! It is nice to keep oneself entertained!

I got that, which is why I mentioned 1939 too. One administration is trying to stick it to their favourite hobby horse is all that is going on there. Who sang the words: For the times they are a changin?

Those are spooky dreams. Have you ever felt compelled to write them down? You just tickled a memory too. I read a book by Gregory Benford called Timescape which covered that story. I quite enjoyed the book, although the story treated pollution as a simple problem, which it really isn't.

Ah but of course. A temporal anomaly would be an excellent start to the series. Temporal anomaly is Star Trek code word for "We're back, baby!" or something silly like that.

So what naughty food did you decide to snack upon? Hey, we've made a form of pesto that has a huge quantity of greens, a bit of olive oil, and some crushed peanuts. Yummo on local tomatoes and freshly baked bread. The food processor that crushes the peanuts is well over two decades old and still going strong. Hopefully it continues to do so, but alas that entropy is a force to be reckoned with.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Got down to 19F (-7.22C) last night. One more cold night and then it's going to start warming up. Now they're forecasting possible flooding, next week. For all of western Oregon and Washington. Cliff Mass the weather guy has a couple of posts about Oregon's snow. And, there's this ...

http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2017/01/relentless_winter_prompts_soul.html

Some pictures. Abandoned cars! Truckers chaining up their 18 wheelers! :-).

I managed to get to town and back. Solid sheets of ice anywhere there were trees to shade the road. Only did two small slides. My first stop was the grocery store. It was a zoo. And then I discovered I couldn't get out of my parking space! Thought I was going to have to camp out there, for awhile. Finally managed to "rock" my way out. Here we have "sand" trucks. More like small gravel. The guys had done a good job in all the worst spots. Even managed to lay a bit of gravel down on our dinky little side road. Don't think I'd have made it up that last long hill haul to my place.

Made myself a big plate of nachos and settled in to watch the new Star Trek movie. Finished off with some really nice cookies (biscuits according to the Universal Translator). Store bought, but a favorite of mine. They're very thin and crisp and stamped out to look like little dutch windmills. Highly spiced. Any-who ... LOL. Simon Pegg really wrote himself a juicy part for the movie. I was surprised when the Enterprise goes down in the first 15 minutes. And, I also wondered ... at the point of where they're cranking out another Enterprise where they got the money for all that.

Falling into complete fan boy-hood, I noticed a glaring lapse in continuity. In almost the opening scene, Dr. McCoy shows up with a bottle of bourbon that he found "Cleaning out Chekov's locker." Then Chekov shows up, later on. I really wonder if more was going on besides him getting smushed between his SUV and mailbox? Even with the wonders of Hollywood makeup, he just didn't look "healthy," to me. I thought it was nice that running the credits, there was a "For Anton" memoriam ..and, also for Nemoy. All in all, a bang up movie. How long do I have to wait for the next one? :-)

I actually went into the library when I was in town. I was checking out the new book shelf and there was a big pictorial "The Star Trek Book" (Ruditus, 2016). Covers "all things Star Trek" from all the series and movies. Thanks to some bang up graphics, I now understand a bit better, the whole alternative time line thing. As Captain Janeway stated in "Voyager", "Time travel! Ever since my first day as a Starfleet captain I swore I'd never get caught in one of those god-forsaken paradoxes: the future is the past, the past is the future. it all gives me a headache." :-) Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. When I stopped by the library, much to my surprise, "The Emigrants" and "The New Land" was waiting for me. It was on the new list as being "in transit to libraries". Apparently, even though there was a small number of copies, Chehalis was one of those libraries. And, no holds so ... I watched the DVD extras, last night. And, yes, you remembered correctly. There is a scene where one brother smacks the other over money. Don't know if I'll watch it tonight, but I'll get to it soon. From Star Trek in the future, to Swedish emigrants in the past. All that temporal bouncing around gives me a headache. :-).

Also when I was in the library, I checked out their perpetual book sale. Found something called "The Consumer Society Reader." Looks like another "Oh, Aint' it Awful!" :-). But, for 75 cents ...

You mentioned living in a dry suburb. Here we have taverns, which only serve beers and wines ... and lounges which serve beer, wine, and hard liquor. In this state, any place serving liquor must also provide food. Taverns can be quit ... low rent. :-). Centralia used to have a lot of taverns, but a group of rather shadowy businessmen, wanting to cater to the tourist trade, decided they brought down the whole "tone" of the place. So, rather quietly, when a tavern would come on the market, they'd buy it ... and then resell it. With a stipulation in the contract that it couldn't be used for a tavern ... or, a tattoo parlor. Quit a few old loggers taverns bit the dust. We had the "Whiskey Rebellion", in the US, back before the Revolution.

Mixed metaphors are fun, and I also like, I think they're called, malapropisms. "Indian Doom and the Temple of Jones." Tolkien's "Silly-marillion." :-).

And, from the wonderful world of archaeology, a horse jaw bone with dressing out cuts to it has been carbon dated to 24,000 years ago. Found in a cave up in the Yukon. Pushing the peopling of North America even further back. Of course, "Not everyone is convinced..." Maybe they'd be better convinced if slapped up against the side of the head with said jawbone :-) Lew