Monday, 13 March 2017

A brief history of sleep

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



One of my guilty pleasures is falling asleep on the country train into Melbourne. I can’t help falling asleep as the seats are comfy and I do always aim to get a seat on the “quiet carriage”. Hmm, the "quiet carriage" is as you’d expect, quiet, and the sun streams in through the windows, whilst the motion of the train gently puts me to sleep. It is very pleasant and I highly recommend this type of activity.

Of course, the country trains are very good and reliable, but from time to time, buses replace the train. This week was one of those occasions. The government is in the process of replacing level crossings with over passes or under passes for the road traffic. Trains and cars do not make friends. And so it was that I found myself sitting on a near empty bus waiting to start the journey into the big smoke of Melbourne. Being on a near empty bus meant that I scored a window seat. And as I waited for the bus to head off on its journey into the big smoke, another bus turned up and disgorged its passengers onto the bus that I was on. My bus rapidly filled with passengers. This was an unexpected turn of events.

Eventually a scary looking bloke with dirty jeans, a long beard and arms covered in tattoos (the technical term for those tattoos are: sleeves) said to me: “Excuse me, do you mind if I sit next to you?” It was such a polite request that I was momentarily taken aback, before quickly replying with a hand wave at the empty seat next to me: “Not at all, feel free”. It was all very civilised and not at all what I expected from such a character. Perhaps he worked as a hipster barista in a trendy cafe in the big smoke!

Before too long the now full bus got underway and we all headed down the freeway. Needless to say that the sun shone through the windows, the bus gently rocked in its travels, it was quiet, and the seats were comfy. All the boxes were ticked and before I knew it, I was sound asleep. I woke up about half an hour later and quickly checked my fellow passengers for signs of annoyance. One doesn’t want to snore or drool all over the window (or the hipster) in such a circumstance, do they? Fortunately, nobody appeared to want to throttle me, so I assumed my sleep was well behaved – or at least quiet.

When I was a young lad, I could sleep anywhere, anytime. Of course through life we humans pick up cares and stresses and I was not immune to collecting those. And with those additional cares and stresses, a person can find their sleep to be disturbed. 

It is worth noting that I function best if I have eight to nine hours of sleep per night. That may sound like a lot of sleep to some people, but, well, I’m a finely tuned machine you know!

I haven’t always enjoyed such a good relationship with my friend “sleep”. There have been times in the past when I’ve worked high stress, high maintenance, corporate gigs, where I could do the work and I did not shy away from the fights that I had to have. During the day I was Mr Cool, but it is in the wee hours of the morning that the truth comes to the fore and that was when the ongoing work fights woke me up and I personally struggled with the contradictory forces of maintaining an income from an organisation where the work gave me considerable stress.

And so for a few years, I wasn’t getting my preferred eight to nine hours sleep per night. Now, I may not be the sharpest tool in the toolbox, but I eventually realised that such a situation was not sustainable for me and so I reorganised my life in such a way that I was not faced with this predicament. And in doing so, I got my eight to nine hours of sleep per night back again. All was good with the world.

There are times however when I encounter a situation that my brain needs to process upon. I call these situations: 'absorbing new circumstances into my worldview'. As I said, I’m not the sharpest tool in the toolbox and it usually that takes my brain about a week in order to absorb the implications of that new situation. Until, the process of absorbing the new situation into my worldview is complete, my sleep gets disturbed. It is all very unfair and not very nice.

It may surprise some of the long term readers to know that before writing this blog I used to write for many years in the print press and my stock in trade was quirky and enjoyable stories based around the many activities I was doing in my personal life (when you are onto a winner you might as well stick to it!). As many of you may be aware, the advent of the internet has been a bit of a disaster for the print trade and the jobs became fewer and further between, and the increasing demands from the publishers seemed to have a strange and inexplicable inverse relationship to the declining remuneration.

However, I’m adaptable to new circumstances and so I began writing for internet websites. And I discovered that writing on the internet provided the unexpected and delightful opportunity to conduct a dialogue with people who comment on the articles. Except that along with the people who genuinely enjoy dialogue, there are also trolls. The first time I encountered a troll I was completely horrified that people would write such things. And my sleep was affected for about a week whilst I absorbed this new internet troll animal into my worldview. Nowadays, I am simply bored with trolls and they would never dare to say such things to my face on the off chance that I gave them a resounding thump! Take that trolls.

This week has provided me with a new and interesting internet situation which is wrecking my sleep and taking time to absorb into my worldview. The new internet situation is that my favourite blog: The Archdruid Report has simply stopped. Completely dead! I’ve been reading the Archdruid Report for over eight years and I must say that it was a highlight of my week to see what interesting and complex topics and historical characters were discussed. Where else can I go on the Internet to read about historical characters as diverse as: Schopenhauer; Socrates; Aristotle; Nietzsche; and Diogenes (nod to Jo for the introduction). Even better than that, I can form coherent views on these historical characters. One such coherent view would be that: Despite the historical character Socrates performing a minor role on the film Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, of all of those historical characters I mentioned previously, Diogenes was the coolest because, well, he had four dogs after all and he did rather seem to be able to casually give the middle finger to all of his betters. How cool is that?

Putting such silliness to the side, I feel the loss of that blog and the grief to me is the equivalent to the loss of a friend or a mentor. I will however absorb these new events into my worldview and I shall carry on.

Lets now discuss more earthy topics. Who doesn’t love manure? This week I brought another cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of manure onto the property. The bright yellow trailer, which to be honest is now looking a little dirty because of all of the manure it carries, makes it easy to unload manure into crates:
The author unloads manure into crates from the back of the bright yellow and now quite dirty trailer
A wheelbarrow is used to move three crates around the farm. Every cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of manure works out to be about ten wheelbarrow loads of three crates each. The crates make it easy for me to move the manure from the trailer to the wheelbarrow to wherever that manure is needed:
The author unloads manure from a crate into a raised garden bed
Today, I headed off into the orchard with the electric brush cutter (some people call that tool a line trimmer) which is powered by the sun, and cut back all of the grass away from some of the fruit trees. Then I applied some of the manure to those fruit trees:
Scritchy looks on approvingly at the weeding and feeding activities around some of the fruit trees in one of the orchards
Oh yeah, the firewood shed is now full. I forgot to take a photo of the firewood shed when it was full and well the next photo shows what it looked like on the morning before another day of cutting, hauling, and splitting firewood. It is nice to have a full shed of firewood and well before winter too!
The firewood shed is now full, although this photo shows the shed the day before it was filled
One of the 'fun' side effects of collecting firewood is that many huge and very fast huntsman spiders live in amongst the firewood. These spiders are fast because, they don’t hang around waiting for prey, they actively seek it out (which is why they are called huntsman), and as such they have to be very fast. I took this photo of one of the unwanted large huntsman spiders on the side of the house the other day. Even with disturbed sleep, my day ended better than the huntsman's!
A huntsman spider lurks on the side of the house seeking easy prey
We have been harvesting a lot of cucumbers recently so we are in the process of trialling a new style of pickling (preserving) which involves: white vinegar; apple cider vinegar; sugar; dill seeds; mustard seeds; and turmeric. The cucumbers and chopped onions are salted and drained, and then the other ingredients are combined and heated and added:
Cucumbers and onions are in the first stage of pickling
We are also harvesting about a medium sized container full of tomatoes every single day now. Of course those tomatoes are also being preserved by dehydrating them.
A medium sized container of ripe tomatoes are being harvested every single day
And this is what some of the preserved cucumbers and tomatoes look like. Yummo!
Pickled cucumbers and dehydrated tomatoes just waiting to be eaten
Observant readers will note that a loaf of bread is slowly rising in the background.

Today we also pressed the remaining apples for their juice and that was converted into apple wine (which is very tasty) that will age for the next twelve months:
The remaining apples were pressed today for their juice
Manure is a good thing to have readily available and I used some of that manure to plant out the first of many flowering tree groves around the property. The trees in this grove include: Blackwood; Sticky Wattle; Coastal Banksia; and Western Glory Callistemon.
A flowering tree grove was planted out today including: Blackwood; Sticky Wattle; Coastal Banksia; and Western Glory Callistemon
March has been warm to hot and dry and the bees are enjoying this now warmer weather:
March has been warm to hot and dry and the bees are enjoying this now warmer weather
Two of the miniature eggplants (a purple variety) are producing fruit:
Two of the miniature eggplants (a purple variety) are producing fruit
The capsicum (pepper) plants have produced some fruit too:
The capsicum (pepper) plants have produced some fruit
There are still some apples on the trees:
There are still some apples on the trees
Cantaloupes are almost as feral as zucchini (courgettes) and there are little melons all over the place. I hope they get enough warm weather to ripen. I had no idea that these plants are that prolific!
Cantaloupes are almost as feral as zucchini (courgettes) and there are little melons all over the place
The olives are getting much bigger as well:
The olives are getting bigger
And as is now traditional at this time of year, I like to chuck in some flower photos to warm the hearts of people living in the cold northern hemisphere:
I managed to get a close up photo of the eucalyptus flowers high up in a 50m tall tree next to the orchard
Basil mint and fuchsia both produce flowers at the hottest and driest times of the year
Geranium flowers are awesome and the hotter and drier it is the more they like it
This geranium looks like a carnation flower
I don’t know what this flower is as it came with a wildflower mixed seed packet. Any ideas anybody?
Yellow evening primrose flowers stand above the purple salvia flowers
The temperature outside now at about 9.15pm is 15’C (59’F). So far this year there has been 87.0mm (3.4 inches) which is the more or less the same as last week’s total of 85.8mm (3.4 inches).

120 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam and Lewis,

I accidentally replied to your comments on the previous week's blog! Sorry, this is what happens with disturbed sleep you know! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

thecrowandsheep said...

Hi Chris,

I usually try to avoid the designated quiet carriage as that is often packed and noisier than the 'normal' carriage -- unless I want noise. Then I go into the quiet carriage. Although, I am not convinced that it is noisier but rather my expectations of 'quiet' have been distorted, and so I become disappointed with the level of noise, when in fact it is no noisier than the normal carriage. Problems.

I wonder how many Archdruid Report refugees you will get here? Although I didn't always have time to read the comments, I did always try and read your comment as you always had an interesting take on whatever was posted. Thanks!

How long do your dried tomatoes last? I am not talking here about the aging of the tomatoes, but the time before they are all gobbled up? They would last two weeks around these parts.

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

Hey, with the scary looking bloke (sure, sure - Chris is scared . . .) I pull out my mantra (if in a safe place, like a bus, anyway) of See Past What You See. If in a dodgy place, I skedaddle! No, best not to drool on a hipster, though my understanding of hipsters is that they never get dirty . . .

I need 8 hours of sleep, but I only get 6. I have a challenging schedule and naps won't fit in either.

I never knew that you wrote for the print press. No wonder you are such an excellent writer.

Thump! Take that you trolls! Also - Pow! Whaam! Sok! Blap! Bam! And Splatt! Thank you, Batman.

I remember Jo's take on Diogenes. What a neat guy. I don't think that the Archdruid is going to completely disappear. Besides which, he has already left us a vast and valuable legacy. I imagine he needs a break, for many reasons.

I don't have a little yellow trailer, or even a red one, but I have crates for hauling manure. They are smaller than yours because I am smaller than you. I know - the editor hauls the same crates around as you. Sigh.

You are looking in fine fettle, Scritchy! Don't you feel good about all that wood? I mean Chris, not Scritchy, though Scritchy is probably pretty happy with it, too. I can't wait to hear how your cucumber pickles turn out. I think maybe they need a few weeks to fully develope their flavor? What beautifully colored tomatoes. And you really do have peppers! Thanks for the flowers.

I always check the previous week's comments before I read the new post's comments.

Pam

Birdie said...

Hi Chris- the red flower is a zinnia
. I too was upset with the closing of the ADR door. It has been my faithful companion since 2007. I have begun rereading the posts from the beginning and hope that will keep me busy til JMG returns in another iteration.
Your garden looks amazing- and yes- it is delightful to view your blooms from a very long winter and now soggy and grey spring here on west Vancouver Island.

Martin said...

Here where I live (NW coast of the U.S.) the Archdruid Report is still up - just thought you'd like to know.

Martin

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

It seems many people have difficulty getting enough sleep. I know I do. I can function pretty well with a regular 7 hour night's sleep but often, for some of the reasons you described, it's often six hours or even less. Frequent leg cramps also plague me in the middle of the night. I wish I had time to take a regular nap in the afternoon. Of course when that opportunity occasionally arises the dogs start barking or the phone which hasn't rung all day rings.

I am pretty bummed about TADR too - really kind of down about it for a couple days. Funny, as I got towards the end of the last week's entry and JMG said he had three announcements I had this feeling that he was about to say he wasn't going to be writing it anymore even before I got to it. He has brought up his wife's health and possibly moving a few times recently.

Glad to see the garden is producing well. Here it has reverted back to winter again. We had our first significant snow in two months and it's been quite cold as well. I've got my seeds started in the basement now though each day I have to vacuum up all the box elder bugs that have collected under the light. Everyone has these harmless but annoying insects inside this time of year. They hunker down under the siding and who knows where else when it gets cold in fall but as soon as there's a warm day they're everywhere. We haven't found anything that likes to eat them either.

The chickens are picking up their egg production though it seems I have one who is an egg eater as I've found some shells. One day there were two eggs in one of the boxes but when I went to collect a little later there was only one - and no shells!! As their outside run is easy to escape until we (or should I say Doug) repairs some of the fencing some have been laying eggs in different places in the barn. Last night as I was collecting one hidden by the wall in back of coiled up hoses I tripped over the hoses and took quite a fall onto my knees. I wasn't wearing my usual grubby pants and was sure there would be a hole - but no the pants can out unscathed (not so much my knee) and I didn't break either of the two eggs I was holding.

Hope you get a good night's sleep.

Margaret

Elbows Tucked said...

That flower definitely looks like a Zinnia. Thanks for the Solar links and references (@yahoo2 and @chris). It is good to be able to start off by reading things that others have found to be sensible and especially practical. I am also going to miss The ADR. I'm not sure how to go about finding a replacement blog to fill the gap. You may find Scott Adams' Blog (http://blog.dilbert.com/) is a possible stop gap. He has a quirky approach that you would expect from a cartoonist. Don't take him too seriously as he twists your mental world view quite mercilessly and pokes fun at you at the same time.

Jason Heppenstall said...

Hi Chris - argh, yes, the demise of the Archdruid Report. I, too, felt a little stunned by it. In all honesty I actually felt a little bereaved, even though I haven't been following it lately as closely as I used to. When I went away and analysed why, I soon came to the conclusion that it was JMG in the first place who introduced me to peak oil and helped form a good proportion of my worldview over the past seven years or so. I also realised that whenever something 'big' happened in our world I have always tended to think "Hmm, I wonder what JMG will think about this," and more often than not he would dismiss it as a triviality, which was kind of reassuring. And now he's just ... left the building.

Temporarily, I assume. In all honesty, I do wonder what he's up to. I suppose we shall find out in due course. And anyway, there's still his other blog to read.

As for Aussie busses and sleep ... let me tell you a small anecdote. I was travelling on a night bus through the Northern Territories once and the driver and his mate (one of those guys who wears funny long socks and shorts) told everyone not to recline on the seats in case they have to slam the brakes on for a kangaroo. Now, me being me and the bus being almost empty, I simply couldn't resist the urge to stretch out at about 2am when everyone seemed to be asleep. I'd been asleep some time when a sundae violent jolt awoke me. It was the driver's mate - he'd kneed me in the side of the head quite violently and he hissed "I told you not to lie down" - making it out that it was an accident.

When I got to Alice Springs I developed a really bad headache and ended up in casualty where they said I'd probably got damaged nerves in my neck. Some weeks later, in Sydney, the pain had got so bad I had to be checked to see if it was a brain tumour. I ended up having that pain for years (thankfully it's gone now) - all thanks to that silly bloke in his knee length socks taking a dislike to a lazy Pommie like me.

Still, no kangaroos were killed, so I suppose that's a silver lining.

p.s. I've started a writing competition on my blog, which may interest you.

mgalimba said...

your mystery flower looks like a zinnia
Congrats, what a paradise you've made!

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - No problem. I usually check the end of the previous weeks comments, just to see if there's anything new.

The red mystery flower. Zinnia? Maybe?

Years ago on Saturday Night Live, there was a ongoing sketch called, I think, "Eileen's Clunky Crafts." One episode was how to make a droll bucket. From recycled stuff around the house. Hooked over your ears and hung under the chin. Might be worth a look :-). I sleep pretty well, these days. A retirement bonus. Oh, sometimes stuff chases around inside my head but the old concentrating on "breath in, breath out" usually works. Afternoon naps are a bit problematic, given the weirdo disturbing dreams I sometimes have. I must say I quit like that I can generally stay up as long as I want and sleep til I wake up. Not many days of the week that I have to set the alarm.

Yup. I'm a bit bereft at the end of the ADR. But there's the promise that it might come back in some similar form. Something's up, I think. I've notice that as of last night, JMG hadn't responded to any of this week's posts. Disquieting. I suppose, eventually, the whole tale will be told. In the meantime, I'll just respect his privacy. Also, in the meantime, I think I'll look about the Net and see what's available from Mr. Greer. I know there are a lot of YouTube videos I've never watched. There's probably plenty of things in print. I may even rummage about and see what I can find by a certain Australian off grid farmer. :-).

Of manure, trimmers and woodsheds. I'd say you're well on your way to riding out the winter in style. I may have mentioned the recipe, before, but the cucumbers reminded me of a one of Grannie's recipes. Called "Harvester Salad" as they used to cool it in tin buckets in the spring house, and then take it out to the threshing crews.

Peel and slice a bunch of cucumbers and onions. Soak overnight in salt water, in the fridge. Takes the burp out and softens them up a bit. Pour a pint of half and half or cream in a bowl. Grind in as much pepper as you please, to taste. Slowly pour in apple cider vinegar with one hand, while madly whipping the mixture with the other. Until it frothes and begins to thicken. Drain the cucumbers and onions and fold them into the liquid. Keeps for days in the fridge. Usually, you end up with a bit of liquid at the end. I find it great poured over chunks of good crusty bread in a bowl.

The eucalyptus flowers are quit pretty. Sub fluffy optimum. :-). Your fuchsias don't look like our fuchsias. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Oh, don't worry to much about blogger. It's a minor problem. I just get spooked when something doesn't do what it's always done. Resistant to change, and all that.

As near as I can tell, our county fairs still have a little bit of an ag flavor. There's still cattle judging and the 4-H is still pretty active. Granges seem to be on their way out. When I was a kid the rural high schools had Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America. I don't know if they're still active. There's a big poultry shed. But mostly it's just amusement rides, tasty weird artery clogging food and booths flogging dodgy tools and potions. There's an evening destruction derby.

"Pompeii" the book, was pretty good as I remember. Well written and absorbing. By Harris, I think. Oh, Whistler kept up his more abstract work. It still sold to "those in the know." They were abstract, but recognizable. Mostly atmospheric studies along the Thames. Misty, smogy days. Foggy nights. Fireworks displays.

I see Elton Musk has said "I can fix South Australis Power Network in 100 days or it's free." I'm sure there are all kinds of disclaimers attached to that offer. :-). Mr. Greer always opined that Mr. Musk was generally sniffing about for government subsidies. Maybe he's running low of them over here, and is sniffing about to see if you have any laying about, over there? :-)

One article I will link to is about a new type of battery. Wait for it ... made of glass. Everything old is new again. It sounds a bit more promising than the usual vapor ware. And, the old guy who's working on it has a big hand in inventing the lithium battery. Lew

http://www.alternet.org/environment/how-94-year-old-genius-may-save-planet

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I also need 8 or 9 hours sleep and 10 is nice but, unlike you, I sleep with difficulty and only at night in bed. Still it is much better than when I was a child and was convinced that I would die if I fell asleep. This resulted in panic awakening whenever I was about to fall asleep. In retrospect I think that I must have been told that my father died in his sleep.

I am wondering whether ADR suddenly realised that his recent philosophical blogs were way below his usual standard. I thought that they were poor. Anyhow he really did need to shed some of his more pathetic disciples.

I have just discovered adjectival order, clearly my education left something to be desired as this had previously been unknown to me. One can google it. But for real fun, google 'ablaut reduplication', I haven't found anyone who has heard of this, though it just might have reached Lew.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

Elton Musk. Elton Musk. Elton Musk. I now have no idea of the guy's real name . . .

Chris:

Zinnia.

Pam

Damo said...

@Inge
I too also found my eyes glazing over a bit with some of ADRs recent posts. I chalked it up to a lack of attendance and concentration on my behalf, but possibly they were just not that good! Your mention of 'pathetic disciples' also strikes a chord, I often thought of the ADR as a church, probably not accidental as he is/was a religious leader. Repetitive comments every week of how much so-and-so loves the ADR and how much penance they had done that week (crops planted or clothes sewed etc.) I found a little grating, although that could be a lingering guilt that I am not doing enough of those things :p

Steve Carrow said...

Just planted our onion seeds this week, the first to go in trays in our sunroom. The brassicas are still a few weeks off. Seed planting time is exciting for me, as it reminds me annually how amazing biology is, that these tiny seeds can bring forth so much bounty with just a bit of sun, rain, and care. You'd think I would be used to it, a mundane fact of the world, but it still renews the wonder.

You may have talked about it in the past, but when you weed whip around your fruit trees, I assume this is just to the perimeter of the mulched area, so you don't damage the trees. How do you weed right next to the trees, or does the mulch suppress the grass enough that this is not a problem? Also, do you manure on top of mulch, or is the manure your mulch?

Yeah, add me to the list of those with some free time on Wed. evenings now. I've been reading the ADR for around five years, so maybe this will be when I finally go back and read from the beginning like I have thought I should.

The Well of Galabes is a bit too far out for me, so I'll make do with my other blogs, though none of them challenge assumptions and yank your brain in new directions like JMGs well moderated home.

Damo said...

@Chris
I generally need 8-9 hours of sleep as well, although I can skate by on a lot less for a few days before problems start developing. Your geraniums look great, Mrs Damo would sometimes put some on my desk if I was having 'mood issues'. Apparently the aroma can help soothe the mind. Obviously this is not required very often!

@Lew
Argh, the end of Pompeii sounds rubbish, I will stick with the book which from memory was a fairly enjoyable, non-offensive romp. I can imagine some coked-up movie executive pitching the movie as a cross between Titanic and Romeo and Juliet, oh and Gladiator for good measure. It can't help but be a success!

RE: Pet Insurance
I have always found this a little perplexing. In high-school Commerce class, they taught us that insurance should be used if two conditions are met: Very rare events, and enormous financial risk if said event occurs. The further you move from these conditions the less useful insurance becomes. So, for example, house insurance makes sense. Not many people lose their house to a fire and the resulting expense would wipe many out. Theft insurance for a $1000 car on the other hand, probably a waste of money.

So pet insurance; every pet will develop some sort of expensive problem, it is called aging and cannot be avoided. And the expense tends to fall in the $2-3K range. A lot, but it shouldn't be enough to send someone to the poor house. I dunno, I have seen some of the ads and they are very heart-string tugging, "Don't you love your pet" type drivel.

Last year our 14 year old Siamese cat developed problems which could "possibly" be fixed with surgery. The vet was very much "oh, it is your decision", but I detected a hint of judgment when we decided to put the poor thing down instead. The expense and pain for an old cat did not seem to be a good path to travel down. However, I would be lying to not admit the $$$ were a major factor. I can't say what I would choose if the cat was a lot younger, they do become your friends. Yet to me anyway, it feels wrong somehow spending enormous sums on animal medical care. Perhaps this is due to growing up on a farm where such decisions were made with a ruthless cost/benefit analysis, or maybe I am just a heartless tight-wad :p

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi crowandsheep,

Fair enough. I guess it all depends on when and where you travel and I do prefer to travel off peak as a general rule which is a generally quieter experience.

Who knows really. Probably not that many ADR refugees, but we'll see. I'm sort of aiming for a smaller and more intimate blog than the ADR which is vast in its scope and readers. Thanks for saying that too. Lovely! Yeah, commenting is a two way process where you try and add something to the discussion. Anyway, that's my take on the world. Mileage can vary on that matter though... I'm in a state of constant surprise about the things that get spotted on this blog.

The dried tomatoes last about six months before being completely consumed, but it is only early days in terms of the dehydrating process and we'll do batch after batch for the foreseeable future. The dehydrator has six trays just for your info, and I found that the more the tomatoes are dried, the longer they physically last. It is a big crop and I expect at least 100kg of fruit - of course a lot of that weight is water which is lost in the dehydrating process.

Haha! Two weeks passes in the blink of an eye! ;-)!

I usually have at least 20kg of preserved apricots to consume over the winter, but this year because of the weirdly cold and wet spring it will be rhubarb all the way. I may get sick of rhubarb before the next spring.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

That mantra of not being seen is very effective, but spotting and getting clear of danger is an even more effective technique. I was once in Phnom Penh and walking around the streets at night between the hotel and the restaurant which was an exciting and possibly very dangerous place to be as the street lights were very bad and I couldn't see very far ahead or around me but I could sense people. I ended up hiring some locals to ride me back to the hotel and they thought that I foolishly overpaid for the trip. Not so!

I've heard that about hipsters but can't really form a proper understanding of the situation, so who knows!!!

Ouch. Sorry to read that about your sleep. Events intervene don't they and sometimes control of the events is well beyond possibilities. I hear you.

Thanks! Hehe! JMG threw down a challenge once about writing a million words and who knows I may get there yet. 350+ blogs to go... Hehe! Yeah, I've been writing as a hobby for a long time now. The blog is a real pleasure to write, but it is very fast paced.

:-)! Yes, dodgy TV shows from the 1970's really imprint upon the mind don't they? I still laugh when I think back about the Table Bunch blog. My finest hour? It was just funny. Hehe!

Diogenes was way cool and he had four dogs too. Can't argue with that logic can we? Of course Mr Greer has earned his break and he has his own reasons which Lewis reminded me that we should respect. Of course he has an alert and curious audience and well, they are alert and curious, but I will respect his privacy. It was a timely reminder. I hope he comes back with a more earthy and practical words as I believe that is the best angle for his work, but that is merely my opinion and he keeps his own counsel.

Any crates for hauling manure is OK by me. And the editor is remarkably strong and can haul crates as well as I. In fact I have respect for anyone who knows the feel of well composted manure and can apply it to the land.

Scritchy says hi and today she is not at all troubled by thunderstorms - maybe Thursday! Scritchy cooks her head in front of the wood heater for most of the winter, she understands the benefits of firewood.

It is funny but most of the methods I follow here are about preserving the natural surplus when it is available. Working out how to produce a surplus is one tough school and it stretches my mind I can tell you.

Excellent. I was a little bit concerned and blame it on the disturbed sleep. What is one to do in such a circumstance?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Birdie,

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for identifying the flower - and you were the earliest to respond! Well done. :-)! That plant is tough as, because the area that it is in, gets no watering whatsoever and the soil is very new.

Yeah, the loss of the ADR is tough isn't it? Still Mr Greer needs a break and like you, I hope he comes back eventually with something new and interesting - his writing is always interesting.

Thanks. It has been a delightful summer down here - if somewhat colder and damper than usual. Incidentally, West Vancouver Island! Wow! What an amazing part of the world that you live in. The images on the internet look amazing. Stunning stuff, rugged coastlines and forests going to the waters edge. It reminds me a lot of the west coast of Tasmania which is a wild and rugged place too.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Martin,

Yes, yes of course. Thanks for the correction!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Yeah it is hard isn't it? The complexities and trials of life often get in the way of a good nights sleep. I find I just don't function as well without a good nights sleep... Oh well. Sorry to hear about the leg cramps as I have had them very occasionally and they really hurt and it is not possible to sleep through one of those. Someone once told me that it had to do with salt intake, but I don't know whether that was rubbish or not. What do you reckon? Ah, the forces aligned against the disco nap are watching over you and ensuring that it does not happen. I tell you what I absolutely hate getting SMS text messages at weird hours of the morning and the postal system does that of a matter of course for package deliveries and you can't opt out of the system. Too bad if you are a shift worker.

I reckon you are correct on both counts about the personal circumstances surrounding the demise of the ADR and there have been many hints that the end was nigh. I note that Lewis below (or above) mentioned about respecting Mr Greer's privacy and I reckon that that was a timely reminder. I'm frankly curious but I can live with mystery. I hope that Mr Greer and Sara are OK.

Thanks. It is a pleasure to wander about the place looking at what is growing. It gets more productive every year too. Ouch, I hope your plants outside in the weather haven't produced buds which may be damaged by the return to winter conditions?

Box elder bugs. Wow. I haven't seen them before and I assume they are not too hard to clean up and remove? We have large stands of sycamores and other assorted maples here...

Hmmm. I have a theory about the egg eating and I am curious about your opinions in the matter. 1) Perhaps some chickens are stopping other chickens from breeding by eating the eggs? I have a mate who breeds and raises chickens and he was telling me that some chickens can attack other hens chicks, so I wonder whether this behaviour has extended to egg eating; 2) Protein levels in feed are at their lowest in early spring, and so the chickens begin consuming eggs. I have noticed that the egg eating stops in early summer. It is one of those topics that can bring out extreme points of view and I also reckon it may be why commercial birds are debeaked. The reasons given for that practice are not necessarily the honest reasons.

I hope your knee is feeling better? To be honest, I've accidentally crunched eggs in a pocket and it is a messy business.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Elbows Tucked,

Thank you for identifying the flower and we seem to have a consensus on the identification which is a good thing. Those plants are tough as old boots as it grew from seed in an area that has not been watered and the soil is very new.

My pleasure. The book that Steve referenced is apparently very high regarded. Remember to feel free to ask questions when you have them.

Thanks for the reference to Scott Adam's blog and I'll check it out over the next few days.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jason,

Mate I hear you about the sense of bereavement as I feel it too. Exactly too, that is why I used the word "mentor". We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Mr Greer. If the ADR is anything to go by, the future works will be very interesting and - as he hinted - different. Yes, Mr Greer certainly didn't shy away from practical and historically minded interpretations of current events. He did a great podcast interview on the Brexit result with an English podcaster. Legalise Freedom - John Michael Greer - The Truth About Brexit.

I am so sorry that you had such an awful and an experience with such long term medical implications on a bus down under. That isn't our culture, that is assault pure and simple, and nothing can excuse what the guy did. It was an extremely violent and unprovoked action by that guy. You rarely hear the word "POM" anymore. I believe its origins were an acronym for "Prisoner On his/hers Majesties Service". Down under was basically a huge prison at one stage in its European history.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Just had to have a coffee break! I'm reading a book by an anthropologist with the unfortunate name of Michael Jackson titled: At home in the world. It is very interesting and I'm learning an awful lot, but I'm starting to think that you may well have been onto something at the end of your Seat of Mars book with the creation of the Art myth. The thing is I reckon such myths can only come into existence when people stop moving around so much and they then have to form stronger ties to their land.

Thanks for the link to your writing competition and I'll check it out over the next few days.

Cheers

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi mgalimba,

Welcome to the discussion!

You have also correctly identified the flower and thank you for doing so. We do seem to have a consensus of opinion don't we?

That is really lovely to read too. It is a real pleasure to create this place and it gets more complex and productive every year too. Sometimes it is just fun to walk around and see what is going on in the different parts of the place and it is always a surprise.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Excellent and I'm glad you are onto that one. I personally blame the lack of sleep on posting the comments on last weeks blog! :-!) Actually, I've taken to writing the blog a few days before the posting to give me a bit of extra time to think about the subject. You never know what insights or bits of humour I can chuck into the text during that time. The whole process is rather like speed writing though and I actually enjoy it, although to be honest I was never much of a slow writer to begin with.

Well done for correctly identifying the flower. I'd never heard of them before and the plant came from a gamblers choice wildflower seed packet mix. The plant is as tough as old boots as it hasn't received any watering and the soil it is in is very new. New soil is always very difficult to get plants started in. Soil is probably best after two years feeding as the soil life needs to get established and that takes time.

A droll bucket (sic) is surely a clever play on words? If it is a clever play on words then it is one funny joke. Nice one. :-)!

You're right about using meditation and breathing techniques to help get back to sleep if rudely awoken. I'm not sure that people breathe deeply and regularly as a general rule and it is very calming to do so. Do they recommend meditation in AA? Vivid dreams can be unsettling can't they? Some people find caffeine affects their sleep, but I don't feel that and can have a coffee and still go to sleep. Dunno why, everyone is different I guess.

I'm looking forward to what the future creative works that Mr Greer will produce. I hope he takes a slightly different slant and rather than talking to peoples logic, he tries to lampoon people much like that recent Atlantic article. It is a very effective technique because who can claim that technology will save us when a magic toilet clearly scares a five year old? It is a solid argument. I've only ever seen one sensor toilet and the hand basin doesn't work so I hear that dude. Thanks for the gentle reminder too about respecting his privacy and I for one would not intrude upon or hassle him with concerned emails because clearly he wants or needs a break. I'll be curious if you can find any of the old articles. The publishers stuck to print. It is a funny experience to come across people who have seen my writings as happens from time to time (usually in gardening circles) and I enjoy the interactions and point them onto the blog.

Oh yeah, everything here is about trying to create a surplus and then learning how to preserve it for later use. I'm constantly amazed at how much has been lost and how little waste goes on here (but is present elsewhere). Waste is a sign that your income is going down the toilet along with the waste.

Thanks for the recipe for Harvester Salad. It sounds superb and very yummy!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Those eucalyptus flowers were way hard to photograph as they were high up in the tree. I'm still left wondering why the older trees would flower just here and nowhere else in the area. It is really strange and I know it must mean something. Of course, I will learn in time. I hope the trees are OK?

Did you know that there used to be a fuchsia nursery in the valley below the farm. It used to have the largest hanging basket in the southern hemisphere which is a dubious honour. I got to tour the farm a couple of years back and the new owners are starting to slowly bring the garden back. It is an amazing garden located on the banks of the creek which has its headwaters at the bottom of my land.

Nice to hear about blogger. If it gets too much of a hassle, we can transfer across to the domain that I pay for so it is no drama. I back up every week anyway, so not much will be lost in the transition.

Those country fairs sound much like the Royal Melbourne Show - with the exception of the unusual food which you don't see down here. I used to like going and looking at the animals and the editor used to drag me through the arts and craft, which is not as bad as it sounds. You see, they have the cake section in there too, so I used to spend my time drooling over the many cakes and trying to work out what made one win over the other. I won't mention cakes at local festivals not because we won, but because there were accusations of cheating by the local Country Women's Association. Wow, we both felt like a rabbit in the headlights, but the cake did win and it was good.

Thanks for the book recommendation too. Nice! Whistler was clearly onto a winner with his abstract technique and had an audience for his work.

Yes, I noted Elon Musk being in the newspaper. Apparently a local wealthy bloke is also involved in the deal. Honestly, do they not realise that batteries have a limited life span and imagine if one that large had a thermal runaway. The aircraft was bad enough. And what is meant to charge the thing in the first place. So many questions. I wonder how much lithium there actually is on the planet anyway.

I'll check out that link about glass batteries. One of the batteries here has an absorbent glass mat and it will be interesting to see what they have come up with. Generally high efficiency and high discharge leads to shorter life spans.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh yeah, I am so with you. Eight is good, but nine or ten is even better. You know, your explanation makes a lot of sense and I have no doubts that you are correct. People rarely bother correcting kids misunderstandings of difficult scenarios - even when those children become an adult.

Thanks for your frank and forthright assessment. I appreciate your candid opinions. I didn't generally understand the philosophical essays because nobody ever got around to telling me that will wasn't matter and that matter wasn't will. I just always thought that they were one and the same and so have dealt with the world on that basis. I reckon Mr Greer is going to do something very interesting in his next writing project and I for one am glad he is taking time out to attend to whatever personal business he has going on. I just hope that both himself and Sara are OK.

Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that adjectives were meant to be used in a correct order. Clearly my education is lacking too. My head is beginning to spin. Thanks for that... Hehe!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks. We now have a quorum of opinions on that subject!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Yes, lack of salt causes cramp. Very noticeable in hot weather when one keeps drinking water and just gets thirstier because salt is needed. This does sound odd as one would assume that salt would render one more thirsty.

Had my one day worker yesterday. Wonderful, he has already made a great difference.

@ Damo
I have a cartoon in my head of ADR attempting to stride along while hundreds hang on his coat tails. I wish I could remember which of his commentators once asked whether his blog was intended to get people to his other blog (which I consider to be a highly dubious one). ADR ignored the question.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Steve,

I recall photos of your sunroom and I can almost imagine that room full of seedlings with the weak early spring sun shining in. I wish you a productive and fruitful season. Yeah, it is amazing isn't it? And plants are one of the few things that can capture the sunlight energy and use it to produce a surplus. Did you note the photo of the dill seeds in the cucumber pickle jars? I suspect they were used in the past because the plants produce so many of them. I hope you put some photos up of your seedlings as they gather steam.

Nope, I'm just careful with the brush cutter. I haven't ring barked a tree yet. And the secret is that because it is a Stihl electric model it is very light weight and I can manoeuvre it far better than if it was a heavier petrol unit. Nope the grass just keeps on growing. Once I've brush cut around the tree, I chuck manure on the now bare soil. You know in the old days fruit trees used to grow much slower than today because most orchards were grassy and the grass competed with the tree for nutrients. I won’t tell you about the people who use glyphosate around their fruit trees to reduce the competition… It was a bit of a shock to find that one out. Even woody mulch will grow grass after a year or so, but it grows thicker grass species which are harder to remove. Manures grow finer grasses which are easier to remove from what I can see here. I don't use composted woody mulch much anymore unless the plant is heavy on the carbon side of the feed equation (like tomatoes for example) and even then I do a 50/50 mix of manure and woody mulch.

Most of the trees actually have borage (alkanet) growing at their base anyway and that suppresses the grass. I always mow that stuff flat and it grows back. There was some photos of that late last year I believe.

There are a lot of essays in there! I used to set aside an hour or so on Thursdays to read the ADR. Free time!

Fair enough, I hear you.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Mate, I hit the upper limit of what I can reply to tonight and promise to reply to you tomorrow.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I just started some zinnias though I wouldn't call them a wildflower. They are a nice annual though that attract bees and butterflies. I plant some throughout the vegetable garden too. If you dead head them they produce for months.

Regarding leg cramps, I've read that it could be lack of potassium and/or magnesium but tests show I'm OK there and also if you're dehydrated so I make sure that I drink plenty of water. There seems to be some correlation but not always.

I've never had a persistent egg eater before. I've read once they get the taste though they'll keep doing it. Your thoughts about breeding and protein levels are interesting. I know if I ever drop an egg they all rush in to eat it.

How long is your train ride to Melbourne?

Our internet has been quite unreliable the last few days so hoping this goes through.

Margaret

margfh said...

Chris & Lew,

There are less animals all the time at our county fair but still a respectable amount. We spent many years showing goats, pigs and chickens when our daughter was in 4H. 4H is still pretty active around here and there are also some FFA chapters as well.

The cakes can be pretty impressive as well as some of the other projects which range widely.There is a much better fair just north of us in Wisconsin held over labor day weekend - actually six days. It's well known for their poultry show. They also have a draft horse show as well which Doug particularly enjoys. When he was in college in Wisconsin he worked at a farm that had Belgium horses and also raised pigs.

Margaret

Jason Heppenstall said...

Hi Chris,

You are getting a lot of comments on your blog these days! Well done for keeping up with them.

Ah, yes. I did hear that podcast with Greg (who is something of a friend of mine, in an online sense at least - he has done so many fantastic podcasts over the years. Interesting fact: Greg was the keyboard player in the extreme metal outfit Cradle of Filth). I'm sure JMG will come up with something new, but as for guessing what it will be ... that's almost impossible with him. I got the sense a while back that the Archdruid Report was running out of steam and that he had really said all he had to say in this area.

Incidentally, I did a bit of a rough estimation of his word count on that blog and concluded that, if it were a book, his writings alone would stretch to about 8,000 pages. That's based on an estimated word count of 2.5 million. I'm not counting other peoples' comments in that. Impressive, to say the least.

You're right about it being an assault. I remember the whole thing very clearly and how him and the driver repeated several times how they would refuse to be held liable for any injury sustained by passengers. In retrospect it all seems clear now, but at the time it just seemed muddled and confused. The bloke claimed he hadn't seen my head poking out over the edge of the seat.

Jason

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Thanks also for the refreshingly frank and candid analysis. I am always curious about other peoples responses to the ADR comment section. Some of it is pretty good and thoughtful, some not, but then you get a big enough group of people together that is what you'll get.

Yeah, I hear you about sleep depravation problems being cumulative. It is like a slow and invidious problem that creeps up on you and becomes worse without warning. It is much like the old story of the frog in the slowly boiling water. A lot of things I reckon are like that.

The editor loves flowers and I promised her plenty of flowers and so flowers she gets! Plus to be honest, gardens down under do much better when they are thickly planted. Even the fruit trees that ended up in the garden beds grow much faster than those planted and fed in the orchard without the flowering gardens around them. The difference is quite marked with the growth of the fruit trees. I never quite imagined that the 50m tall Eucalyptus Obliqua (messmate) trees would be flowering though. The air smells of honey and during the daytime the air is noisy with insects going about their business. At nighttime the sugar gliders make a sort of rattlesnake like sound as they glide between one tree and another. I'm not sure whether they are eating the nectar on the trees, but I don't see why not, and there are a lot of them around at the moment.

Pet insurance must be a joke, but apparently not. Seriously when the vet pushes surgery as the first option I smell a rat. And why would a 15 minute surgery cost $800. I like Sir Scruffy, but far out, the removal of my ear growth thingee cost me $40. Exactly ageing cannot be fixed. You know over the years I've seen one sick chicken recover - every other one that got sick died. You are so right about the realities of living on a farm in that death becomes a common place event. It is still traumatic, but it is part of living and it is hard, but as you say it is unavoidable. What matters I feel is what we do with the time that we do have - and it is short and fleeting.

I once put an old dog through surgery to fix one problem and the stress of that surgery and recovery caused another problem to occur. And instead of spending her last few months with a minor inconvenience, I subjected her to an invasive procedure and possibly even shortened her life. I promised not to do that mistake again. And you know what? I saw someone looking at the tiny sore on Sir Scruffy's foot and judging me as a bad dog owner. I couldn't believe it.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - Try a banana a day for those leg cramps. I used to have terrible problems with night time leg cramps, back in the early 80s. Then I read an article (Reader's Digest?) that said they were caused by a lack of magnesium and potassium. So, I gave it a whirl, and it was like magic. Ever since then, I've had a banana with my lunch, religiously. Potatoes furnish the same type of nutrients. But I think I would really "pack it on" if I went that route. But, it's something to keep in mind, in case bananas ever "go away."

I generally turn off my phone if I'm going to sleep. Sometimes I can't as it's also my alarm. But then, I don't have near the attachments and obligations that you do. My mother freaked out when she found out I was turning off my phone at night. "What if something happens?" I told her I'd rather get the bad news with a good night's sleep under my belt :-). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - I had never heard of "ablaut reduplication", before. Or didn't know what they were called. Kind of like when I first started cooking, and someone pointed out that I was making omelets. Didn't know that. Just thought it was how I liked my eggs.

This website has a pretty good definition ...

http://blog.writeathome.com/index.php/2013/05/reduplication/

Of course, now I have to figure out how foghoots, eggcorns and mondegreens figure in :-).

Funny, I was just reading a Norman Rockwell biography, and his third wife was an English teacher in a private (your public) girl's school. She was quit enamored with diagramming sentences, and even wanted to write a book about it. I had completely forgot about diagramming sentences. I must be suppressing an unpleasant memory. I can remember doing YEARS of them, in grade school. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I'm not so cleaver as you think. I just misspelled "drool." :-).

At first, I was going to say that AA didn't have a ... history (?) of meditation. But then it occurred to me that we do. But it isn't the "emptying out of the mind" kind of meditation, that I think of as meditation. It's the kind where you meditate on readings. It had almost slipped my mind that the meeting I go to, part of the "opening act" is a reading from "Daily Reflections", which is an "approved" part of the cannon. They're daily readings on something from the approved literature (Big Book or Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" and then a short reflection. Sometimes they lay there on the table like a dead fish ... other times they provide a spring board for a meeting topic. Mileage may vary :-). I'm very naughty. At home I read a daily meditation from something called "Touchstones" which is a little 12 Step Meditation book for guys. It is not part of the official cannon. Oh, well ... :-).

I used to be able to drink gallons of coffee up til bedtime, and never be bothered. I attributed that to my Scandahoovian ancestors. Now, sometimes, if I drink coffee too close too nap or bedtime, I may not sleep as well, or as deeply. This may be a function of age. Or, maybe because I've replaced most of my enormous coffee consumption with tea?

Maybe your trees are flowering to express appreciation for providing them with a great micro climate. Or, maybe they're just trying to lure you in to drop a limb on your head? :-).

Your local fuchsia nursery sounds interesting. Could you're fuchsia be escapees? I find nurseries that concentrate on one variety of plant to be really interesting. Or, what interests me is the mania. When I worked in an antique mall, every once in awhile we'd get in some people from the Fuchsia Society. They would buy any piece of tat with fuchsia on it. At whatever the price. As long as they could trump someone else's fuchsia tat collection. I understand the impulse. Me, I've got a shelf in the china cupboard with tat displaying blue roses. My shrine to the blue rose. I think the most interesting piece is a roll of toilet paper ... printed with blue roses :-).

What determines who wins in county fairs? Politics. In your case, clearly the political system broke down. Allowing the real "best" cake to take the prize. There were probably two old dears (or factions) at war with each other and they were either distracted, or, one decided "If I can't have the prize, you're not getting it, either!." Or, one or more judges dropped dead (probably from food poisoning ... maybe they poisoned each other?) a short period of time before the judging, and a truly impartial judge with no political alliances gained the position? The possibilities are endless :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I enjoy reading your "hello again" as it is a very polite way to continue a dialogue.

That's what I was always told about a lack of salt causing cramps. They are really quite painful too and strike without warning. I have runs of hot weather - like this March for example which is about to break long held records (but bear in mind the weather bureau moved the temperature gauge from the CBD and into a park next to a river a few years back so we're not talking apples and apples are we?) - and there are days when more water does not do the trick. On those days I finish the work day with either a fizzy drink (which I do not drink otherwise and keep on hand just for such occasions) or use a rehydration solution. There doesn't seem to be any easy way around that - other than the obvious solution of stop working in the heat.

Well done with your one day worker. Yes, I find that getting people in from time to time really helps speed things along a lot. The guys usually help me with trees and the last time they were here they spent a few hours chopping up the massive fallen branch (you may recall that from many months ago) into firewood lengths. It was a big job which I was struggling finding time to get too. That'll be next summers firewood collection.

I'm not going to criticise the ADR blog. The only thing that I note about the approach taken in that blog is that the approach itself is subject to diminishing returns and I rather suspect that Mr Greer is aware of that.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

What a coincidence about the zinnia plants. Now that you mention it, I'm actually uncertain what a wildflower is and was only repeating the advertising blurb for the seeds. The Diggers club setup a beautiful and very hardy collection of flowers on the edge of the city just to prove that summer needn't be a flower killer type of season.

I assume the zinnias play well with the vegetables then? Having flowers in or near to vegetables really improves the productivity of the vegetables and reduces the pest problems I reckon that anyway.

Yeah, it is a complex problem the leg cramps - and they sure are uncomfortable. It is funny that you mention dehydration because we're at altitude here (not great, but still 2,000ft higher than the big smoke) if I'm dehydrated and go up or down in altitude I really feel the pressure build up in my inner ears. Drinking water seems to correct that though reasonably quickly and it is a relief when the inner ears finally pop! Otherwise it is like hearing through a tunnel.

I don't know that about the persistent egg eating and have only ever caught two of the birds (commercial breeds no less) pulling that trick. I rather suspect too that the commercial birds are debeaked for that reason although the official reason is that it is to stop the birds from killing each other. The world of chicken is a rough and tumble world isn't it?

The train trip into Melbourne is under an hour. I just checked the timetable for the Bendigo line and it is 53 minutes to be exact. It is faster than driving (which is about an hour). And no sleep too when driving!

Sorry to read about your unreliable internet. I hear you about that. The telco didn't cancel my old plan when I got the new modem despite the old modem not working. They slugged me an extra months charge for it. Very cheeky.

Out of curiosity, what is a 4H?

I was wondering whether you can purchase birds at that poultry show. For some reason someone told me that in the US that was a poor choice for purchasing poultry and I never quite understood why? I get my birds at poultry shows and was curious about downsides of that. Although things may be different here.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Once I a took a sick chicken to our dogs' veterinarian, which was not too bright of me because - who would have guessed - he had no experience with chickens. I took her home and gave her the same herbs that I take when sick, and she got well!

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

Some of my happiest experiences were as an assistant 4-H leader for the group that both of my sons belonged to. We used to enter competitions at our county fair: chickens, fruit and vegetables, flowers, and baked goods.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jason,

Oh yeah - some days are easier than others on the responding front. And other nights we go to the pub! :-)! I really enjoy the dialogue, but also like to keep things smaller and more intimate than the ADR. In the past I have quietly managed some people off the blog which is not as easy to do as you would imagine.

Really? Wow. It is such a small world sometimes. There he is too: 1994 to 1997. You know some interesting folks. Greg seems like an OK bloke to me and I have enjoyed his interviews (and he was not the guy to cause Mr Greer to stumble if that means anything). Incidentally, I had heard the name of that band as they do a metal radio show on triple j and you have to admit that it is sort of hard to forget that name. I'll tell you a funny story. I heard on the radio a local band announcing a tour (Airling) and the tour was named: "Hard to sleep, easy to dream". When I first heard it announced on the radio I was splitting firewood and I misheard the tour name as "Hard to sleep, easy to drink"! How cool is that name for a band tour? And I was almost about to use it for this weeks blog and then common sense took over and here we are!

Well the methodology of the ADR was subject to diminishing returns. As a comparison I have it relatively easy as I just write about the stuff I was doing anyway and there seems to be no shortage of quirky interactions down here... I could have started the blog twenty years ago, but the comments section would have been much smaller way back then because I was doing too much.

It is a notable achievement and is also a good example of what can be achieved with hard graft. I take my hat off to Mr Greer.

Definitely 100% assault and that is why they were backpedaling so much (and victim blaming too). Mate, I totally feel for you and of course you wouldn't have been thinking too clearly as you were in shock and possibly concussed from the sounds of it. Some people are just wrong out of the factory and we all encounter them from time to time.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I'm starting to feel real fear about the whole diagramming sentences businesses. Fortunately I have an inbuilt alarm which warns me to avoid unnecessarily complex matters and not look into them any further. And that alarm is going off! :-)! Hehe! Funny stuff, I try not to worry too much about grammar and often suspect that language came first and then grammar was dropped on top of it later as a structure to give the study of it an air of respectability. Some people confuse the map for the territory. Dunno. It is a complex problem though.

I reckon you are pretty switched on and well, whatever, it was a very funny play on words. One might even use the word: "Droll"! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. It was an excellent joke of yours.

That daily reflections is a great idea. The depth of the 12 step program always amazes me when I read about it. Who would have thought that there was an official cannon? Out of curiosity, does that official cannon ever get challenged or changed much? Or is it all sorted out by now. You are naughty aren't you? Is the Touchstones meditation book good?

I don't go much for the sort of clearing the mind meditation that is practiced in Asia. For a start, I reckon my mind will only ever be quiet when I'm dead and buried, but meditation has always seemed like a good use of time to focus your mind on a topic, matter, problem etc. It is interesting that I've noted that in the past two decades time for quiet, valuable reflection both inside and out of work seems to be squeezed or even just outright ignored or discouraged and I've always wondered about that. That situation wasn't always the case.

Hey, get this. The weather here since the start of March has been freaky hot. Up north along the coast they have been getting huge storms (super cells), whilst I read the other day that 87% of Queensland has now been declared drought affected. Melbourne weather: 'Extraordinary' autumn hotter than summer . Far out, this is what global warming looks like to me.

Tea is a nicer drink than coffee. When I was kid most people drank tea and very few people drank coffee at all. Coffee was an exotic drink. Speaking of "luxe" too, some stuff that people drink as coffee using machines is not at all what I'd call coffee - and I know the difference. How the suppliers of instant coffee must be laughing all the way to the bank. And the plastic waste is phenomenal. Glad to read that your Scandahoovian ancestors gave you the resistance to caffeine. Hey, do you prefer black or green tea? It is the same plant, black tea is just more heavily fermented from my understanding of the subject.

I do hope the large and very old trees here don't hate me, but they probably do. Eucalyptus trees are notorious from dropping branches on stuff. My neighbours car was squashed by a tree a few years back.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Yeah, the nursery is an amazing place and it was a real pleasure to be able to wander around the place checking it out. Would you believe that it is also located on Fuchsia Lane? There are quite a few plant nurseries up in this part of the world - probably because of the climate. They're all good too and there are one or two stand outs. Nah, the fuchsia was a bring in from a very remote nursery just out of Blackwood not too far to the west of here (Mt Blackwood is one of the volcano like mountains which can be seen on the horizon in most of the photos). Really about the collectors, well I can sort of see that and good for them too. Did they ever mention that they were getting one up on their society members?

You guessed it correctly to. The answer was: a truly impartial judge with no political alliances gained the position? And he went back for a second slice. The judge was none other than a recently deposed state premier (like prime ministers, we've got plenty of those so no need to worry about them) who was a really nice bloke. Our sin, if such it was, was to include sultanas in the cake. Oh the controversy and believe it or not, the win caused a falling out with another local I knew who's friend had also entered the competition. Welcome to politics, rural style!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

I can well understand the impulse to take a sick chicken to the vet. Alas as you discovered, vets rarely have much experience with sick chickens. Incidentally well done you for thinking to feed the sick chicken medicinal herbs. I will try that too next time.

One thing I really enjoy about this blog is that I get a whole lot of different perspectives and ideas from other people and there are ideas that if you left me to think upon for a hundred years, I'd never come up with those ideas.

Cheers

Chris

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

Sleep is sacred in this house! Often the case for those who suffer insomnia. My husband in particular gets very stressed if he is sleep deprived. I am petrified of falling asleep on public transport. I think it's a very vulnerable position for women to be in? I have adjusted to an almost daily nap regime here and find quiet things to do, like read your blog, the comments and mull over a comment of my own. (I do find commenting hard at times. It took me many months of first reading your blog before I could launch off and still I feel strange at times even though I think your blog is a lovely safe space).

Your writing seems to be a good balance with outside work and paid work? A social or communication activity that doesn't require synchronous presence but still works to foster community?

Lots of the plants in our vegetable garden are winding down now. I'm secretly a bit grateful that the zucchinis have slowed to a useable amount. The cucumbers gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago, I think they were in competition with the tomatoes in one spot and climbing beans in the other. We've had almost no rain this year until this weekend when we had 25 mls in a storm event. The plants loved that. We're planting brassicas, broad beans and spinach at the moment. It will be interesting to see how things go in what is now our vegetable cage.

We have had deer locking antlers in our garden over the past week and another buck trying to knock over a fruit tree cage! We gave them a big fright but I'm sure they will be back. I'm frustrated by them because autumn is prime planting time for Australian natives here but I don't know what to risk.

Your pickles look delicious, Chris. I usually do a sweet Indian tomato chutney (Madhur Jaffery's recipe) at this time each year but the garden and the work renovating the old house has intervened so far this year.

Lew, I'm still puzzled by those who 'just have to ask the question' and after my complaining about the old truck situation and your comment about people knocking on your door following the death of your previous landlord (?), we had another phone call from another neighbour who just happened to see two old water tanks in our house yard and did we want them because her husband would turn them into garden beds for her if we would let her have them. We use both tanks turned on their sides for wood storage. They are, therefore, vital infrastructure. They are only visible from a certain point coming down the road too. I wonder what will come next? Really I suppose I'm wondering if people want to get in with their 'question' now because we are seen as on our last legs?

Warm Regards, Helen

Damo said...

RE: salt cramps and dehydration

For the first month in Laos Mrs Damo and I were getting pretty bad headaches despite drinking enormous quantities of water. We soon realised that all the sweat we were losing was full of salt. Once we started salting one or two meals a day the headaches went away...

Yesterday we both ate something bad (chicken I suspect) and today will be spent in close proximity to the toilet :-(

Unknown said...

Hi Chris,

Finally got here now that I don't have to read ADR. The silver lining on that cloud I guess. Having followed him for most of the journey, and having a fair understanding of the occult from other places, I reckon JMG had taken the discussion to its logical conclusion. Factor in his concerns about the direction US politics and society is heading and his decision to take a break and regroup is not a shock. My only regret is that I had recently pointed a number of people in his direction.

If you can get ABC TAS on a Saturday morning by streaming there is a small holding talkback program whose presenter is an expert on chooks. Actually it usually devolves to chook talkback. He can answer any question anyone has about chooks, never heard him stumped yet. That timeslot from 8-30 til 11 also features Peter Cundall of Gardening Australia fame.

Down here on Turkey Hill the season continues to wander it's bizarre course towards what might turn out to be autumn. Ragwort continues to flower on the dairy farm where I work, when it should have well and truly finished. The snakes have been really aggressive this year, it seems they were in mating mode in January when the weather started turning cold. It will be interesting to see what they do now it has heated up again. The echidna's have been out and about a lot this summer, but I have not seen any for about two weeks, so I assume they have gone back underground till nest summer.

Re sleep, I get by on around 6 hours a night, with a sleep in on Sunday that gives me a ten hour stretch.

Cheers,

eagle eye

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I accept the admonishment. I read ADR for his outstanding intelligence and will certainly miss that.

@ Lew
Oh dear, I have never heard of diagramming sentences.

Inge

margfh said...

@Lew

It certainly can't hurt to give bananas a try. The cramps have increased greatly as I've gotten older which is normal. I also have very flat feet and cramps are also more common in this case as well.

I never keep my cell phone with me at night. We still have a land line that we can hear if it rang in the middle of the night. I know quite a few people that bring their phones and Ipads with them at night including my sister. When we occasionally travel together the darn phone keeps buzzing all night. She complains of poor sleep as well and I'm thinking - "well duh"

I thought of you the other day while visiting my MIL at the care center where she lives. She referred to the residents as the inmates LOL.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Pam

The 4-H years were a lot of fun. Even though the fair was a great deal of work I enjoyed reconnecting with the kids and parents from other towns. I have a funny fair story. The kids all stayed overnight in the barns with their animals - five nights in our case. Doug and I always volunteered as chaperones a couple of those night (talk about not sleeping). The older kids would still find ways to party though. One evening when we were not there I got a call after 10 PM from the woman who was the superintendent of the goat barn. My first thought was that my daughter was caught drinking (she was 16 at the time). To my relief that was not the case. There was a booth at the fair where people could get their picture taken with a monkey on their lap and my daughter had gotten bitten by the monkey. She was OK but the next day there were reports to animal control and a long visit to the ER just to check it out. The booth was closed down. I know it sounds funny to be relieved that it was "only" a monkey bite but there would have been pretty severe repercussions in the other case.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

The zinnias are great in the garden attracting the pollinators and adding a nice touch of color as well. They also attract Japanese beetles keeping then somewhat off the other vegetable plants they like in particular beans. They are easy to start from seed as well.

Yes the cramps are very annoying to say the least. I'm going to try Lew's suggestion of bananas but my diet is pretty good overall - much better than when I was younger so we'll see.

I've been collecting the eggs whenever I'm out now and haven't seen any sign of egg eating for a couple days. Collected 13 eggs from 17 hens yesterday. Even though it's winter again here the chickens think it's spring it seems.

The train to Chicago is about 1:45 from town though there are some express trains during rush hour. During rush hour there are a couple designated "quiet cars" where loud talking and ringing phones are not allowed. It seems that there are more delays lately for various reasons. The weekends are particularly bad as there is a special unlimited ride weekend fare of only $8 and many go into Chicago for the various events. On some weekends liquor is not allowed like last weekend for the St. Patrick's day parade. My sister came out by me as we had a bridal shower to go to and both trains in and out of the city were packed and delayed with many drunk people. One popular activity is a "bar crawl" where a group will go from bar to bar near many of the train stations. The groups will often have matching t-shirts for the occasion. My younger daughter has organized these for her birthday on several occasions. There's not much hope of a nap in these situations.

4-H is a youth organization with local clubs that focuses on hands on activities in many areas. In rural areas most have agricultural type "projects". It also focuses on citizenship, healthy living, science and technology. Participants also get experience in public speaking as they have to speak about each project to their group. The "H" stands for head, heart, hands and health. Kids can be in 4-H from ages 8 through 19.

You can purchase poultry from these shows but not until the end (fairs run 5 to 6 days) as the public really enjoys seeing the animals. I always felt particularly sorry for the poultry as they are stuck in small cages for all that time. Actually all of the animals are quite confined so less than ideal for them. The goats seemed to enjoy the interaction with all the people though.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Helen - I always enjoy your comments. It was my landlord's brother who died. Brother Bob the Bachelor Farmer :-). He was quit a shy man, but known far and wide for being able to fix just about anything. Yup, he was dead for less than two days and people were stopping by to ask "When's the estate sale."

Well, at least I did a bit of rumor damage control. Quit early on, I heard that he had laid dead and undiscovered for "days and days." What nonsense. He died in the night and was found early the next morning. Smile on his face and trusty dog by his side. Which I stressed when launching the counter story. It was like lighting back burns in a wild fire.

Maybe it's a brash American thing, but there's an old saying here, "It never hurts to ask." Well, that isn't true. Sometimes it does hurt, not that that slows anyone down :-). I think some of it may do with a.) people's tendency to hoard and b.) the rural urge to not let anything go to waste. Plus the urge to "get in early and get a good deal." Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - I may have to pick up the book "Pompeii" and reread it. It's been a few years. Scrub the awful movie out of my head. I seem to remember at times, I felt like I was learning more about Roman water systems than I really wanted to know :-). A very small complaint.

I've been fascinated with Pompeii since I was a kid. So many little things that, caught in one moment of time, reveal how much like us they were. Or, not. One of my favorite spaces is a small room, way in the back corner of a garden. I forget which house it was. Taking into consideration the decoration, not just a garden shed. More like someone's retreat. Only a door and window wide, with a bit of a column, as I remember. Clearly a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and the house. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, sure. People attempt to tamper with the AA "canon", all the time. There's always the odd feminist who replaces all the "he's" with "she's". The atheist who strikes out all references to God. The ersatz satanists who replace "God" with "Satan." Those efforts seem to come to nothing. Well, when you sober up, you've got all this time on your hands ... :-). The Book makes pretty clear that "God" is just shorthand for "a higher power (something outside yourself, bigger than you) of your own choosing.

There is some grousing that The Book is getting hard to understand. it was written in the late 1930s by some pretty edjumacated guys. So, in spots, the language is getting a bit obscure. There's a (small) contingent that hunts down unabridged dictionaries from the 1930s, just to prove a point of obscure "doctrine." :-). See, "too much time on their hands", above :-).

There were some major changes in The Big Book, a couple of editions, ago. In the back, there are several anonymous personal stories. Some were kept and some deleted. More women's and minority stories were added. What's interesting is that before the book was published, 300 carbon copies (boy, those are pricey!) were mailed out, for comment, to doctors, lawyers and religious leaders. Asking for comments, and if anything was particularly offensive. Including some Japanese Buddhist monks. Response was positive. Of course, those were less secular times ...

Any way. My little meditation book starts off with a quote from some famous (or, not) person. Then there's two or three paragraphs of rumination. Then a parting thought (shot?). That's a pretty standard set up for little meditation books.

Time for reflection. Our world is so busy and distracting. You really have to (it seems) carve out time.

It's been raining, hard, here. Speaking of sleep, it even woke me up a couple of times, last night. There's a flood watch on for our Cowlitz River. But, the forecast is only for minor flooding. Cliff Mass, the weather guy, always seems to have post about coldest this, driest that. Records falling all the time. A couple of posts ago, he claimed we've just had the coldest winter "in a generation." Didn't seem like that. Oh, sure, a few cold snaps and a bit of snow. Oh well, he's the man with the records and the graphs. :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. My thoughts on instant coffee is "why bother?" :-). I feel the same about decaf tea. Or, decaf coffee, for that matter. Green tea, black tea. I mix it up. I probably have a slight preference for green tea. And I had to sample a few brands before I found one I liked. Stash brand. They make tea like I think tea should taste. I took a run at Taylor's Yorkshire tea. Now that's a real "builder's tea." You can almost stand a spoon up, in it. :-). But I think I overdid it, and it bothered my stomach. I may give it another whirl, in smaller quantities.

Oh, yes, the fuchsia people really crowed when they found something no one else had. Which also illustrates the phenomenon of "dual" (or more) collectibles. Tat that may be collected by people for different reasons. Roseville art pottery decorated with fuchsia would appeal to people that collect anything with a fuchsia on it ... and to people that just collect art pottery. Dual collectibles are valued in the tat biz, as you have twice the chance of flogging something, to somebody.

Well. Off to the Little Smoke. Not too many stops, today. Lew

Coco said...

Hi Chris,

I love sleep so much I moved to where they invented the siesta. Not that the Spanish sleep much at all, but I take full advantage.

Once again, I have manure envy. Oh, for a trusty farm vehicle and a trailer. The fruit trees here are just starting to boom, along with the magnolias and tulip trees.

I was a little taken aback by the ADR´s sudden departure. Has anyone read the Green Wizardry book and would (or wouldn´t) recommend it?

Cheers



Jo said...

Ah, sleep, one my life's great joys. I have very boring joys in life. Sleep, a good book, pottering in the garden. I am very easily amused but not very exciting!

You know, I think the Archdruid was becoming a bit of a crutch for some of his disciples. It is a very good thing for gurus to go away and have a little rest for a while and force their followers to do some of their own thinking for a bit.. (not talking about you here Chris. Obviously you will spend your Thursdays moving several tonnes of rock or manure instead of reading ADR..).

And Diogenes. Whenever I get in a bit of a tizzy I can hear him commenting dryly in my head, "Whatever.." He is a great inner commentator :)

@ Coco, I read Green Wizardry, and it was good, but a bit bossy (homework at the end of each chapter which always annoys me). If you are well on the way to sensibly weatherproofing your house and making your lifestyle fairly resilient this book will not present any surprises. I borrowed it from the library, but decided against buying it..

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, this month it has been feral hot, but not tonight. I've gotten all summer soft and am starting to freeze out in the orchard with the chickens - who to be rather candid don't seem to mind the cold at all!

I had a lovely day today just working on some accounting stuff and occasionally taking Poopy and Scritchy out to do a perimeter check on the boundaries - looking for deer incursions which have been almost non existent of late. The wallabies on the other hand have taken umbrage at my recent mowing and have decided that fruit trees are tastier than herbage. What is a poor orchardist to do? It will get back to over 86'F again over the next few days and then there is some heavy rain predicted. I'm sort of glad I've brought the firewood in...

Surely the satanists are acting in jest with the adaptions to the canon? You know that is such a thoughtful thing to do to send out a publication for comment before issuing it. Such lovely manners and it saves an awful lot of trouble in the long run. I did the same thing with the house plans here and I never heard a peep of complaint from anyone. The funny thing though is that the gift was never reciprocated. I'm reading about the Aboriginals problems with whitefella culture and that lack of reciprocity and often wonder if we have some sort of built in fault in western culture whereby we try to get something for nothing and pretend that there are no limits?

Well we all get a bit edjumacated every now and then... And it doesn't seem to hurt. of course that gives us something to aim for, and I don't personally mind as long as it is never used to create a difference where there was none before, but that is just me and mileage varies on that front don't you reckon? I mean look at the education section how it has hijacked training for its own purposes, it is not nice.

Oh, I like the idea of the parting shot as if people have gotten that far then they are probably receptive to whatever the parting shot was aimed at? Dunno, what do you reckon about that? I see one of those on the ADR from last week - and it was good.

Exactly too bosses get very weird if you are not working and they don't understand reflection time.

Gotta bounce am off to the pub!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Thanks for sharing your experience about dehydration in the tropics. I never realised that would be a problem and of course adding the salt to food is a great idea.

I hope that both yourself and Mrs Damo are feeling better? You bring back horrific memories of tummy bugs of times gone past...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Oh yeah, once you have suffered from insomnia, it does rather haunt you as a possibility - no matter how remote. I rather suspect that that is when you discover some of your personal limits, but I may be incorrect in that observation. Of course, women can have very different interactions on public transport and I rather recall a late evenings train ride into Melbourne where some guy was several seats away and he seemed rather disturbed and wanted to share his highly emotional state at volume. He used some rather colourful language and I reassured a lady sitting near to me that she was safe and I'd sort him out if he escalated - which he didn't. I just wished he was quiet as I was busily responding to comments and he was affecting my concentration and sometimes some people are just looking for an angle. There seemed little point in giving him an angle as life was hard on him anyway. Thank you for writing that as I like to maintain the comment space so that that is the outcome. If you are at all curious, my dad left when I was very young, in fact so young I don't recall him at all, and I grew up with my mum and two older sisters so I know that women get treated very differently in public spaces and forums and I like to keep things nice here.

On the work side of things I avoid debt like the plague and so my costs are lower than pretty everyone else and that gives me time to write the blog and respond to comments. As far as I can tell community is a naturally developing thing, but I'm not really sure what that means. The Aboriginals believe that strong community does not mean strong leaders, it means a lack of government interference and a strong local law, and I don't believe that I would argue with them about that.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hey, I've noticed that the rain has picked up in your part of the country and I do hope that your garden has received a good drenching. Summer seems to have finally arrived down here and it is now very warm to hot and dry down here - which is fine by me given the summer we just had.

I hear you about the zucchini's! Beware triffid alert in the garden! We've been experimenting with them as an addition to salads in a shredded format. It is very nice. Ouch, cucumbers need a good drink to produce lots of fruit. Mind you, powdery mildew seems to be on the leaves of the zucchini now. I reckon you called the brassica planting time correctly as the seasons have shifted. Top work with that too.

Ouch, sorry to hear about the deer. A local very large landowner recently undertook a cull of the local deer population and I haven't seen them for a while. The damage that the deer did to the apple trees hasn't seemed to be too much of a problem for the trees. Stripping bark is not nice for the apple trees. At least the wallabies only break tree limbs... And yes, autumn is planting time isn't it?

Nice to hear about the renovations and hot dry years are the time for that particular activity! I once had a kitchen in the backyard when a super cell hit... Not good for the cabinets.

The Indian chutney sounds lovely. I may yet produce some passata.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...



Hi eagle eye,

Welcome to the discussion!

Well, there are upsides to some things if you look hard enough and I have always enjoyed your comments over at the ADR. Of course there are diminishing returns to every activity and I am seriously looking forward to see what Mr Greer comes up with next. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, it will be interesting. How many times can you shout "global warming" before people look elsewhere. This month it is +4'C over the long term average here - after a very cold and damp summer. Far out, what's with that?

Thanks for the recommendation and I will have a listen over the next week or two. How good is the ABC? I feel it is a good use of tax dollars. Incidentally since you mention the esteemed Peter Cundall, I must mention that Stephen Ryan has his plant nursery next to the local general store here. A small world indeed! One must be careful not to serious mention beards in this corner of the country...

Ouch, ragwort. Does that not produce a bitter flavour in the milk (or was that cape weed?)? At least that is what the local cattle people tell me? I'm currently sitting in the orchard with the chickens and have no internet reception so are unable to look that weed up on the internet. I don't have it here for some reason.

Yes, the snakes can be a problem. I have Eastern brown snakes here! Actually it is one of the reasons I don't keep a farm dam as the frogs attract the snakes. The snakes here are way down near the creek which is about 600m from the house and so I don't visit the creek during the summer for good reason. It may surprise you, but I keep a tourniquet handy in the medicine chest for snake bite. My understanding is that if your tourniquet the affected limb and keep it immobilised you have a good 6 to 8 hours to get anti-venoms and if you were wearing long pants, you probably have much longer again. A mate of mines dog was bitten by a brown snake (which it killed) and it cost them $1,600 for the anit-venom. My mate now says: "just make it comfortable". Yup snakes are a real problem as they are crazy deadly.

I'm now wondering what winter is going to be like given last year and this summer. Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I wasn't really admonishing you, and I respect your forthright opinions. I only hope that Mr Greer isn't in too much difficulty and that he can come back with a completely different angle, that's all really. If it means anything to you, I never really understood the last couple of essays on philosophy.

How is your spring going? Is it warmer than usual? And I hope your neighbours building activities haven't washed down the hill. One of my neighbours has cut a driveway on a slope and I for one hope that it manages to set firmly before winter kicks in.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for that. The whole companion planting thing is very good isn't it? I'm looking into the orchard at the moment and the chickens are scratching around and the fruit trees do so much better when they are planted thickly (or near the chicken enclosure - who'd have thought that?). Pleas keep your Japanese beetles to yourself thank you very much. I'll swap you a wallaby or four if you'd like? :-)!

I reckon Lewis is onto something with the bananas and I consume them regularly.

That's pretty good for early spring. Many of the chickens here are recovering from the summer moult so I'm only getting about six eggs per day from nineteen chickens. The new silkies were out in the orchard tonight with the rest of the flock.

That's a pretty reasonable distance (almost the same as Melbourne to Bendigo). In the old days they used to have dining cars and some of the longer distance train trips still do. Yeah, I'm not sure I'm a fan of rowdy train carriages, but the people are probably mostly harmless - and pub crawls are fun! Hehe! Yup, sleep would be a remote memory in such circumstances.

That 4H group sounds like a good idea. I've never heard of an equivalent organisation down here. The recent Royal Commission into child abuse has pretty much killed off youth organisations, but there were many bad apples, no doubts about that.

Oh the poor chickens five days would be rough as on them, the heat here would knock them out. That makes sense. The interesting thing is that here when you purchase them, you can take them then and there. The local poultry society brings in new chickens for sale. It is probably more of a sale than a show, so perhaps that explains the difference.

Goats are very social and curious creatures aren't they? I like them a lot, but the fencing requirements would be hard, but goat milk would be an exceptionally good thing to have handy. A mate of mine has milking cows so I'm waiting to learn from their experiences. They have a great milking machine - the old timers would have killed for that machine! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I am finding the Spring weather well within usual ranges.

Spent yesterday afternoon with my loganberry. It nearly drowned last year and I thought that it had died. This surprised me as it is well over 20 years old. The old canes usually die and are cut out, new ones spring up. This year the new ones are fewer than usual and look sickly. But hey! I overlooked some old ones (this is usual) and two of them are producing new shoots which has never happened before. The fight for survival is always amazing wherever it occurs.

I am receiving phone calls from further afield neighbours who want to know about the building works next to me. They are all seriously complaining about noise and the mud falling from lorry tyres. I update them and explain that it won't be going on for ever.

Inge

thecrowandsheep said...

Hi Chris,

I would say classic trollery can be pretty funny, which is probably easy to say if you don't have to directly deal with them.

I always think the internet can be modelled on the psyche. The conscious part, that respectable but very thin, fractious layer on the surface is your very respectable Guardian or New York Times or Spiegel or whatever pushing very upstanding and respectable world views. Scratch below the surface and you encounter the comments section, here the unconscious, a turbulent muck of contradictions, bitterness, anger, etc etc.

Quite often comments are only from those Who Have Something Very Important To Say, either strongly for or strongly against, so that the conversational middle (archdruidism?) does not even get a hearing on the internet. Your unconscious also tends to manifest in such situations, when it is perhaps wounded/insulted in some way perhaps, resulting in long screeds and teeth gnashige.

Freud would have liked this model since 95% of the internet is *posh voice* of a sexual nature *end posh voice*

Which I mean to say, what was often so valuable about the ADR, is that it provided a forum for such not-so-schizophrenic conversation (through Greer's troll filtering), and conversation is basically therapy although your kilometerage may vary, depending on who you talk to! :-)

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - Maybe diagraming sentences is just another brash American invention? :-). Actually, on reflection, were there not a grade attached to it, it might be kind of an interesting pencil puzzle game. Imagine tackling a sentence from something like "Ulysses". :-) Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I've been seeing 3 and 4 deer at a time in the back pasture. I'm always surprised when you mention your deer strip bark off trees. Our's just don't do that. Any roses, however ...

As far as the "something for nothing" crowd, it's usually pretty apparent, early on, what you're dealing with. I was helping out with an estate sale, one time, and my assignment was to clear out the garage ... which was full of tools which I don't know much about, price wise. I'd just say "Make me an offer that will make you happy, but not too happy." :-). One fellow tried to low-ball me on something, and the rest of the blokes shouted him down :-).

As far as education goes, so much of it is time wasting nonsense and has more to do with gate keeping, than anything else.

The parting shot in meditations. They go thumping on about something for two or three paragraphs (and, yes, sometimes my eyes glaze over) and then you get to this summing up. The "...and the point is?" part. The take away.

Reflection time and bosses. There are some jobs where you hit those rare sweet spots where EVERYTHING is caught up and done. The rare boss can luxuriate in the momentary slack time, right along with the minions. Other bosses just can't handle even momentary idleness and think that there is always SOMETHING that needs doing. Maybe, inventory the paperclips. :-). Of course, workers develop various methods of "looking busy." Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. There are big fat buds on the daffodils. Any day now ...

I stopped by The Home, yesterday, and after last months rather disappointing lack of movement on the hold list, was gratified to be informed by The Warden that I'm now number 4 or 5. Shouldn't be much longer, now. Several people ahead of me on the list are signed up for both facilities.

Through chance, I got both the movie "Passengers" and "Arrival" from the library over the last week. I quit liked "Passengers" but was rather startled by one of the (few actors). Michael Sheen who plays the robot bartender. He looks so much like a younger twin brother of Simon Pegg. He's done a lot of other acting work, but has never made an impression on me. Perhaps it's just because he's "grown into" his face? I found the subtle subtexts about class, technological failures and corporate intentional tonelessness to be interesting ... and, entertaining.

I like "Arrival" but found it a bit confusing, with lots of unexplained lose ends. Oh, well. That's what happens when you fool around with time. Those pesky temporal anomalies. :-). Lew

Damo said...

@Chris

Thank you for the tummy-bug condolences. On day three now and things are still.....sub-optimal. Mrs Damo (who is now feeling pretty good) says I can take antibiotics if I am still down tomorrow but I would rather not, everything has side effects. I may not be so resolute in 24 hours though..

Cheers,
Damo

Damo said...

RE: Snake bites
Mrs Damo and I did a first aid course last year, a prerequisite for the volunteer program, and it included snake bites. Unfortunately, I have forgotten almost everything from that, dare I say it, fairly useless 6 hour course, except for a story about how Aboriginals treated snake bite.

Apparently, the victim would stay lying down and as still as possible. His friends build a little hut right on top of him and keep him comfortable with food and water. And that's it. After a week he has either made it or not.

Cheers,
Damo

Damo said...

@Lewis

Passengers was fairly harmless fun wasn't it? I was telling Mrs Damo I think it would have worked better as a black comedy than a romantic-drama, but that might be my personal biases showing.

I really enjoyed Arrival, the little insights into language and the practicalities of translation spread throughout were a nice touch.

Damo

Unknown said...

Hi Chris,

Re snakes, tourniquets are a no-no according to the last 20 years of industry and fire brigade first aid training!

Use an elastic bandage, like you would use for a sprained ankle, bandage firmly from the bite to the end of the limb and back past the bite to the top of the limb, splint to immobilize if possible and seek medical assistance promptly. I carry two in a bum bag when I am in snaky situations as the property I work on has had two employees bitten over the years. I also keep a whistle in the kit to attract attention of the searchers when I don't come back for lunch, as the snaky places invariably never have phone reception. Our main problem is tiger snakes which do not inject so much as scratch so long trousers and thick socks help. Apparently the venom moves through the lymphatic system so if you remain still it does not get into your central nervous system where it really runs amok.

RE ragwort, don't know what it does to milk taste, the cows do not eat it unless they are really pushed, but it is a toxin the buggers up the liver and that eventually kills them. My dad used to by weathers, run them after the cows to clean up the ragwort and then send them off to the meat works. We are currently trying to get on top of "Californian Stinkweed" which the local council have imported to our district via road maintenance equipment and then mismanaged. It will likely cost the weeds officer his job if his performance continues to define stupid. The natives are becoming very restless.

LLB, re bosses and "slack" time. We occasionally have 1.5 hr lunch breaks when the work is done and the discussion is better than the weather outside. Most enjoyable.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Glad to hear that you are taking full advantage of the local customs of the siesta! Such a civilised activity for a hot summers afternoon. :-)!

Ah yes, that manure is pure gold. Seriously, get your hands on whatever manure you can add onto your soil, it will reward you for years to come! Hope the arrangement with the racing stables is still working out OK? I'm bringing back another load of manure tomorrow morning and the editor and I have discussions about whether it should be a half cubic metre or a full cubic metre. I'm inclined to the full cubic metre, but we shall see.

How beautiful are magnolia flowers? Really great stuff and I wish you a productive and pleasant summer too. I reckon the Indian summer here is going to come to a rather abrupt end this week, but time shall tell...

I haven't read the Green Wizards book, but you two seem reasonably capable to me so I'm not sure how much you would get out of it. Plus you have the esteemed Breo!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

You know the people who enjoy life's boring joys are some of the most interesting people around! I enjoy boring joys too, and after processing two trailer loads of firewood today (and finally finishing the job for the year) I sat out in the orchard with the chickens, a latte and some homemade Anzac biscuits and just quietly listened to the bird calls as the sun set whilst the chickens were doing their very best to dig up a brand new garden bed.

Haha! You know my secrets - and believe it or not, I did actually move another huge rock today. One of the rock walls around an olive tree was poorly constructed originally and needs to be rebuilt using more substantial rocks and so, more substantial rocks are needed. And tomorrow I'll pick up more manure!

I sort of felt with the ADR that Mr Greer was becoming more aware of the diminishing returns on pursuing the ADR in the format in which it was written. And of course ideas can be readily attacked, because well they are ideas after all, and opinions take very little energy. Nobody tries that with me, because I can simply point at them and say: what are you personally doing? I rather suspect that Mr Greer will come back with a very different format and message and it should be even more interesting. I don't really know though and am just guessing based on what he has written.

Diogenes epitomises cool!

I have to apologise as I have asked you about this before but I would really appreciate tracking down your passata recipe if you could provide a link to it?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Good to hear that the weather is more or less within the expected range. We're having an Indian summer down here and it is about +4'C above the long term average. It is really weird, but not unprecedented and it looks set to depart on Monday where about an inch of rain has been forecast. With all of that in mind the editor and I brought up and processed the last two loads of firewood today and it was a big day of work and we only just finished and cleaned up as the sun was slowly setting.

Loganberries are really delightful berries so I'm glad to read that you have some canes. I hear you about missing bramble berries as they are just hard to remove all of them and they so easily tip root. I've been slowly threading the canes in the berry bed through the strong chicken wire fencing around the new bramble berry enclosure (which will be extended shortly!). Yes, the plants will out survive the eventual demise of the human species as they are far more adaptable and productive than we are. I'm always amazed by the Eucalyptus tree species which can completely adapt via the process of hybridisation to new environmental conditions within three generations. I've seen them in other parts of the world - even the UK (on the screen) - and they are the gift that will keep on giving.

Really? One of the neighbours has had an excavator working recently (I know the driver who is a top bloke) and I don't much notice the noise, I just sort of worry about the dogs getting squashed - especially the rather elderly Sir Scruffy. As to mud on the road, nobody would think twice about such a thing here - mind you the roads are clay anyway. I should chuck on a photo on the next blog showing just how dirty the car is here - I call that an anti-theft device! Hehe! Funnily enough it gets noticed when I’m in the big smoke and people look down their noses at it. I see no point in discouraging them either.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi crowandsheep,

It is funny that you mention classic trollery, but I was trolled recently in French and it was a beautiful bit of writing which I rather enjoyed, once I understood what the heck they meant! Some trolling can be very amusing too.

I rather like your analysis and I will note that there are plenty of opinions held about all sorts of topics. The thing is though that opinions take very little actual energy to hold or display and because the blog here falls into the more pragmatic side of that equation, I get to point at people who have high falutin opinions and ask the very difficult question for them to answer: What are you personally doing? It gets them every time, because if they are doing things I get to draw them out on how is it going, and before too long we're having a lovely dialogue, or they've gone somewhere else because they were talking rubbish in the first place. Too easy, it's like fishing in a lake with dynamite, in that you're bound to get some fish! :-)!

Exactly, the ADR was a very well managed forum, and the comment section was as interesting as the essay itself. However, ideas can be easily attacked because it takes so little energy for people to do so... And therein lay its downfall. I wouldn't give such people air time.

That is a very astute observation too, in that the conversation was a form of therapy in that it allowed people to grieve the decline of industrial civilisation. It never was going to end with a bang, it was always going to be a whimper a long way into the future, but decline is here no doubts about it.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Mate, I'll tell ya what, just after clicking on the "Publish Your Comment" orange button last night to you, I raced out the door with the editor and we made it to the pub five minutes before the kitchen closed, and do there was a sense of relief all around that the order was received in the kitchen and all was good with the world. We cut it pretty fine really...

Cliff Mass would have an entertaining time down under as the weather is on crazy street this month. I'm looking at the forecast and rainfall maps for the next week and it looks like the Indian summer that we have been enjoying is coming to an abrupt halt on Monday. They're forecasting one inch of rain that day with more to come over the following days which is sort of feral. And yeah, I hear you about that sort of rain waking you up overnight. We've already begun putting out seed for the winter crops, but time will tell.

With all of the above in mind, we decided to put in a huge effort and bring in and process the remaining years firewood today, and mate, I'll tell you what, I am feeling it tonight. I'm an old fella nowadays (someone said that on the internet so it must be true! :-)!) and huge work days are a thing of the past. Still we can pull out all stops when required...

The deer thing is a surprise to me too. Apparently, and I have not seen this to confirm that that is what is happening but, the buck rubs his antlers on the bark of apple trees and it seems to strip the bark off in strips. Interestingly I was concerned that the apple tree would then die, but the affected trees seem OK. And I have no idea why it is just the apple trees, but there is something in that. The pear trees in that area were left alone.

Oh yeah, I'll tell ya what, the wallabies are onto the roses here too, which is why I grow roses surrounded by plants the wallabies really hate - like scented geraniums - those plants are like a solid fence for the wildlife here which is one reason why I grow so many of them here.

Happy, but not too happy is a wise outcome. Incidentally, I have heard that that outcome is often encountered in the legal system - don't go there for justice... I reckon that "something for nothing" is part of our culture and it is one aspect that we have not come to terms with yet. There are certainly plenty of historical (and current) examples, and I'm not totally convinced that it is not officially sanctioned.

Yeah, exactly, so much education becomes a barrier to entry more than anything else, but when courses are over subscribed for obvious reasons, then the certificates at the end of the course are reduced in value (is that deflation?).

Interestingly enough, the medium house price has apparently finally dropped in Melbourne and Sydney. Hang onto your hats folks, this will be a wild ride!

Do you reckon that the thumping on the points in the meditation is an effective strategy? The editor and I were discussing this evening that sometimes in the blog I deliberately drop issues rather than exploring them further. And this is a deliberate strategy on my part to avoid the diminishing returns and tread lightly so as to avoid the eyes glazing over bit. Plus sometimes I feel that the best horror stories were the ones that set up the scenario and left much to the imagination. Dunno, what do you reckon?

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Yes, some bosses in the past were mortified that I would want reflection time, and of course they felt that they were being cheated in that process. I really rather tire of working at full utilisation and sort of feel that I work better and more productively with a bit more down time. These days that down time comes at my expense and so everyone wins with the arrangement. Of course, if you live your life where you have to chase every last buck then you won't be having much down time. It is a balance more than a place.

Hey, are those daffodils in clumps? The local bulb farm seems to have shut up shop which is sad as I have picked up bags of bulbs from them every single year.

Well done you for your persistence and I hope you get there before the next winter sets in. You're getting close to the top of the list. Good luck and fingers crossed.

Passengers was fun wasn't it? I saw that one at the movies and really enjoyed it. Oh, I'd never heard of the Arrival film and may check that out. I liked the bar tender character too and he was a nice touch to the story. Gold passengers did seem to do rather well didn't they? :-)! I was wondering how he planted an oak tree on the concourse deck... How good did the spaceship look on arrival too? I had to laugh when I saw that scene as that would be the sort of silly thing I would do too.

I thought that temporal anomalies where there to tie up loose ends in a story, much like the classic: And then I woke up! ;-)! Nobody really uses that ending, do they?

I had the first of the dehydrated tomatoes with roast vegetables and gnocchi tonight and it was very yummy.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Thank you and I do hope that you are feeling better now, of course there is always broad spectrum anti-biotics just in case. Yes, some people are rather hardier to such tummy bugs and they can have completely different experiences and as such sympathies can be elsewhere! :-)! Of course men do such things tougher than the more hardier females of the species and so yeah I hear you. Hehe! I hate getting sick overseas and I say to Mrs Chris that this touring experience should not be a torture. That seems to work.

This should make you feel better (maybe): I was very ill in Varanasi in India and on a small boat tour on the sacred river Ganges, the pungent and rather bloated carcass of a floating donkey took down my final defences. A couple of days in bed followed. I can still see that donkey carcass in my mind floating past.

You know I have total respect for the Aboriginal solution to snake bites as without an anti-venom that is the next best option. I did once read a rather cryptic reference that the local Cherry Ballart fruit trees (native cherries which are an epiphyte on eucalyptus tree roots) have some sort of purpose in treating snake bites but of course it would have been far too useful for them to elaborate in the text exactly what the purpose was.

Eagle eye above is totally correct too about the tourniquet and I thought that word referred to a bandage, but apparently not. His description of snake bite treatment is pretty spot on.

Passengers was a fun film too and I loved how the concourse deck looked at the end of the film - I would have done that bit of silliness too!

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

It was old loganberry canes that I missed, not bramble ones. I actually wonder whether the two can interbreed as brambles are endemic here and keep sneaking into the fruit cage. Only their extreme thorns can initially identify them.

It was very noisy where the works are going on. Steels went in yesterday and today they are pouring concrete. The people who moan about the mud are those who try to create suburbia here. Son and I have a horribly muddy and uneven stretch of road that continues to us. We hope that it puts vehicles off from passing by.

@ Lew
I agree that the diagramming makes a good puzzle. I prefer number, code and logic puzzles being verbally quite bad. Only the literary family that I came from and education hides the fact.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi eagle eye,

Thanks for the correction and you do indeed have an eagle eye! I used the word tourniquet without actually understanding what that word meant. I saw a reptile dude at the Seymour alternative farming expo recently and he advised to do exactly as you described. And of course, part of the funding for the reptile show was by the purchase of a couple of snake bite bandages. If you need them - and there are brown snakes here - then it is a small price to pay (they were $10 each in a plastic container which isn't bad value) and long enough to go from the fingers to the arm pits (or toes to groin).

Glad to read that you carry the bandages with you and the reptile guy said that that bought you about six to eight hours depending on how immobile you kept yourself. Running around like a crazy person would reduce that time period by quite a bit...

How did the two people who were bitten react? The reptile guy said that the bites weren't very intense and sometimes people were not even aware that they were bitten. You know, from what I've seen most snakes want to be left in peace and will only bite if accidentally trodden on, backed into a corner, or annoyed in some way. What is your take on that? I don't generally see many snakes here (the lack of above ground water is a reason for that).

Hey, I'll tell you a funny story. Today we finally finished bringing in and processing the years supply of firewood. One of the logs was still quite damp in the centre where the termites and wood borers had gotten into it. Lots of rich brown manure which I chucked onto the garden although the wood borers didn't look very happy about being disturbed (big thick white grubs which the chickens kill for). Anyway, out of that damp log bounced a big fat toad which I quickly chucked into the nearest garden bed. The toad was huge and had managed to survive a chainsaw and then a log splitter - it seriously deserved a second chance in that thickly planted garden bed. I reckon it should be called "lucky"!

Local councils can be a mixed bag can't they? They're not much in my good books either and for the amount I pay to them in rates, they should be. One year they graded the local road the day before a huge downpour and the road became impassable. And there was no reason for grading the road in the first place and nobody up here had even asked for it to be done. I was left wondering what they were thinking. Surely nothing good.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I really miss the goats and hope someday I could have a couple again just for pets and manure producers. At the height of the 4-H goat project we had five milking does which meant many kids as well. Doug does not like goat milk or cheese at all and there was just too much for our younger daughter and me. We did feed the excess to the pigs which they loved. We would dry them off after the pigs were done in the fall, breed them and they would have kids again in February and March. People who raise dairy goats usually take the kids right away and bottle feed them. There are two reasons for this. First there is a disease, CAE, which is pretty prevalent and is passed on through the milk so many would pasteurize the milk and feed back to the kids which was the primary way to prevent this disease. The other is that the kids bond to people and are usually much easier to handle. We did both and found that this was generally true but sometimes depended on the mother. You could also sell the kids before they were weaned too. The first two we got were only two weeks old and we bottle fed them until about three months. I have mixed feelings about this.

Finally warming up here to normal temperatures - 40 to 45F.

Margaret

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

You may have heard a little about the freeze across much of the eastern US this week. Damaging the flowering cherry tree blossoming in Washington DC was the least of it (except for people who plan vacations around it). This morning I heard part of a TV news story about the freeze, in which it mentioned that orchards (presumably peach, plum, and cherry orchards though some apples may have been blooming also) in the affected area would lose most or all of their harvest this year. I won't have any apricots for sure, but Mike didn't mention if our plum or peach trees were blooming when the freeze hit. St. Louis had subfreezing temperatures for most of three or four days. It's warming up to more normal conditions now, hope it stays like that. Here in SW Florida (I'm still at my mom's place) we experienced lows around 40F yesterday morning and this morning, near record lows. It's supposed to warm up again tomorrow.

I have read Green Wizardry. It should be especially valuable to folks who haven't done much to prepare their home space for decline. The first part explains the science behind peak energy in an accessible way, with exercises to try at home (I have done these over the past few months and they helped me identify some holes in my preparations). The next two parts treat different ways of reducing home energy use, taken broadly, and growing some foods. Each chapter is an introduction to what can be done. At the end of each part JMG includes a list of references to the literature from the 1960s through the early 1980s which discuss the techniques and describe how to do them. JMG wants people to know about this work because it was often done on very little money, which may be the situation of many of his readers when they want or need to do the work. Of course people can do Internet searches to find more recent info as well. I will be starting to collect some of the references he cites this year.

As for sleep, I generally get 7 to 8 hours a night and it's usually good sleep. If I get caught up in thinking about something, however, that disturbs my sleep. I've noticed that the "thinking" I do then isn't very clear, so I do the best I can to transition gradually from daytime activities into a quiet state for about an hour before bed, so as to avoid getting caught up in nighttime thoughts. The routine at my mother's is different; I don't do the gradual transition so my sleep hasn't been good. At least it is improving now as she continues a slow improvement.

Claire

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Cosmic. Synchronicity. Whatever :-). Got an e-mail from my friends in Idaho which included this ..

"Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya. We are going out to lunch for corned beef and cabbage with the 4H serving at the Legion Hall. They are raising money for their cooking group. We like to support the 4Hers and their leader use to have a restaurant here in town...a good cook. So the meal should be real good. I laugh because there are 4 places serving the same meal. Lol"

Since my green beer and pub crawls days are long past, St. Patricks's Day got right past me. Even though there's been a lot of green, Irish themed stuff in the store for the past few weeks. I do have a corn beef in the freezer but no cabbage! Next trip to town. Hmmm. Is it "cultural appropriation?" Which seems to be the latest hot buzzword (among many) with the SJWs (Social Justice Warriors). Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - If you have a slight interest in Pompeii, you might find this interesting. It's an animated 8 minute clip of the last 24 hours of Pompeii, from one vantage point. I posted it for Chris, maybe a year ago, and just happened to run across it again, yesterday. Lew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dY_3ggKg0Bc

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The weather here was quit nice, yesterday. When I went to the meeting, last night, it was still light and quit warm. About 52F. When we were done, it was quit nippy out. What a difference an hour+ makes. I checked the weather record, this morning, and during that period the temperature had dropped 12 degrees. It didn't get down to freezing, last night, but close.

Driving to the meeting, there were lots of daffodils in bloom in yards along the Jackson Highway. Which is considerably lower down that where I am. Mine are still in bud, though I see a spot of yellow by the back fence. Haven't got out there yet to see if it's a daffodil, or not. Most people plant them in clumps ... to provide a good show. But it seems there always an escapee or two, all off on their own. Hermit daffodils that don't like the crowd? :-). More likely, a mole dug up a bulb and then thought better of it. They don't like the taste. There was one that always popped up from the lawn, close to a bed. I always mowed around it. Gone now, as the logging road ran right over the top of that bed.

Oh, the summing up part of the meditation is just a line or two. The trick is, can I remember the jist an hour later? :-). Usually depends on how directly it applies to whatever is going on with me at the moment. Some I find so cleaver or meaningful, to me, that I dog ear the page (something I don't usually do) and it's always a pleasant surprise when I come around to it the next year. I also pencil in names of people who have passed on, that I want to remember And, the few birthdays I keep track of.

My recent low cal, healthy dinner has been a veg plate. I slice up two or three tomatoes and arrange them on a plate with clear space in the middle. I stud the tomatoes with bits of garlic. In the middle I heap up broccoli or sprouts, mushrooms and cubed firm tofu. The tomatoes get a splash of olive oil, salt, fresh ground pepper and a bit of turmeric. The pile in the middle gets a capful or two of soy sauce. When finished, there's a nice puddle of sauce left on the plate. So, I take a slice of good bread, tear it into pieces and soak up the liquid. That's my most recent go-to for a fairly healthy, low cal, filling dinner. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. What got me about "Passengers" was the unshakeable corporate belief that nothing could ever go wrong with the sleep pods and that there could never be a major systems failure on the ship. You'd think with the cascading failures, that somewhere along the way some of the crew would be awoken to deal with the problems. Even the crew member that did awake was an accident. The one thing I'll ask about "Arrival" (spoilers and all) is, one daughter or two? Past and future or all future?

Congratulations on winding up the firewood. I think a trip (or two) to the pub was more than well deserved.

Well, my TV gave up the ghost, last night. No amount of slapping it about woke up the broken part. So, I'll make a trip to the abandoned farm, today. There was a fairly new DVD player and screen over there. If it still works after being through a couple of winters in a minimally heated house. If not, it will mean a dreaded trip to some tech store where they probably won't understand my minimal requirements. No, I don't need connectivity to the internet. There are player units out there, but the one's I've seen so far (not a long hunt) have 9 inch screens which won't cut it.

Here's a picture of an ancient Greek vase that will inform you of everything you need to know about harvesting your olives.
:-). Apparently, all you need is a few sticks and a small team of minions. I did wonder if those nifty red swim trunks were a Victorian addition, in the interest of modesty and not scaring the horses :-). Lew

http://lucyvivante.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/Attr.-Antimenes-Painter-British-Museum.jpg

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I have been meditating on Mr. Greer's last essay over the past week, but even more than the essay itself, I have been focusing on the title: "How Should We Then Live?". Do you think that he may have meant us to pay even more attention to the title than to the body of the essay? Is it one of his spells? I was in a very difficult situation today; I do not lose my head easily, but I had to think fast and "How Should We Then Live?" kept nagging at me: Should I just react, or follow what I call the Right Path and hope that all turns out well (as it always does, even if I don't recognize it at first)? The Right Path it was, and it turned out very well.

And I wonder if the diaspora of Mr. Greer's readership - is that another spell, forcing us all to disperse and venture in other directions, to grow in other ways and not be so dependent upon him?

Pam

Jo said...

Hi Chris,

Passata:

http://alltheblueday.blogspot.com.au/2015/04/easy-peasy-passata.html

Easy and delicious :)

Jo said...

And I do agree that Mr Archdruid likely has more to say. Like Pam, I have been pondering the question, How Then Shall We Live? It is actually a bible verse from Ezekiel relating to the fall of Jerusalem, which is an interesting parallel to our current circumstances..

We made up an answer to that question which lead to the Industrial Revolution and to the present moment, so oops, obviously that was the wrong answer, now we have to try again. There is plenty of scope to explore there.. because we will have to try again whatever happens. This path is leading to a dead end. Possibly literally..

Springtides said...

Gday Chris

Long time ADR reader ... first time reader here.

As for the ADR a great place really,though with the number of folk who are now pretty much in the same camp, i would rather put more time into how to most affectively respond to our current situation.

As for cramps .. its a hard one to figure out. In QLD I dont much get them, but in Tassie where i do a lot more physical work, i get cramps almost every night if i dont prep well.

I mix one litre of water with apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon, dehydration mix or magnesium, a nana and most importantly a pinch of SALT. And if i alternate with plain water all day, i never get cramps.

If i dont do this i know there will be a good 15min of jumping up n down ... rolling around on the floor in agony with cramps ... only in one place ... both adductor muscles at the same time. Weird i know. Not fun for me of anyone that sees me like that.

Anyways Chris, I've always enjoyed tge lightness of your comnents on the ADR.

Cheers,

Glenn

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

We have daffodils that bloom along the road to our house. They are practically in the road now, as it has been widened a bit over the years. We bought our property in 1990 and they were there then. I have no idea how old the road is, though there were freed slaves living up here after the Civil War (and I can tell you from trying to "farm" up here for so long that it must have been pretty hard). Gravel has been added to the road every year or two for at least 50 years. How deep might the original bulbs be!

I have bought a TV at the Salvation Army store (opportunity shop). They mark them as "tested" if they've been cleared as working. It's a bit risky, though. Do you ever do Craigslist? What about people in your group?

You got me wondering about that vase and the "red swim trunks". However the non-swimwear-wearing figures pictured are posed tastefully . . .

That is a delicious vegetable plate!

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It has warmed up here today at about 86'F right now, but with the cool nights it all feels very pleasant. Strangely enough, it was about 52'F here last night too. And I went out for a nice walk to look at the stars and here the various birds and animals kicking up a fuss at my presence in the otherwise dark night. Some of them do carry on a bit. And it is always amazing just how much car traffic is out and about even late into the evening - I tend to stand back into the shadows of the trees when a car comes along as the drivers may be a little bit freaked out by my presence. No need to cause an accident is there? Oh yeah, that is quite a drop in temperature as it works out to be about 4'C. Brrr! I'll tell ya what, it makes for cold reading... It is close to freezing isn't it? That temperature would start to produce a small and very light frost which would probably settle in the valley below (I'll quote a New Zealand friend of mine "Sucks to be them! :-)!). Ah, too funny, but it is colder down in the valley.

But yeah, they get the warmer days down there too, so yeah, the daffodils would bloom earlier. Do they often line the roads with daffodils or was that the efforts of individuals in an area? Down here and out of towns, the road sides are usually native vegetation with whatever seeds they had kicking around. But leading into and out of country towns are the avenues of honour (usually elms or oaks) which is quite a sobering reminder given the sheer length of some of them.

Ha! Hermit daffodils - the ones that cannot abide the crowds and set off to do their own thing. They must taste pretty awful as the wombats and wallabies won't touch them here either, of course they are quite happy to stomp the daylights out of them. I tend to collect those flowers that have been stomped otherwise it is a bit of a waste.

Ouch, yup not much survives heavy vehicle traffic. It is funny you mention that, but I'm occasionally tempted to hire a bobcat to come in a relocate some large rocks, but the damage to the soils would take years to recover from. I often wonder if people concern themselves with that? I cleaned up the area I removed the firewood from yesterday late evening and will go down there tomorrow with some manure and compost and seed and throw it around the place. It should get a good head start with the heavy rain next week. But essentially I chopped and dropped everything that was there which is like feeding the soil life a junk food diet.

It is a hard thing making an impression on others. Hmmm, without revealing too many secrets, I just sort of plant the seed of an idea and then move on and not worry too much. My observation on that matter is that some people can't be told and so they wont listen regardless as to how good your arguments are. I mean, you must see that at AA? Dog earring pages is a good idea too and I do that when I come across a valuable passage too. And yeah, remembering the people who have touched your life and are now past is lovely. What else can you do?

Mate, it is hard to do a hard days physical work on a low calorie diet. Tofu and mushrooms are a delicious combination. Your dinner sounds very nice.

I'd never thought of the sleeping from that point of view, but of course you are totally spot on. Wow. Like many things it all seems clear from hindsight. Yeah, like who watches the AI? So much systems thinking starts these days with the premise: Assume nothing can go wrong. As you pointed out the other day, it is not like you aren't seeing how that premise plays out with the electricity grid here.

Have to run as I'm heading off to a St Pat's day BBQ!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

I was so interested to read about raising milk goats. Once upon a time I considered raising a couple, but was worried that it might be a lot of work. I believe I was right!

@ Claire:

When the freeze came earlier in the week I woke up to literally everything encased in ice, including the blooming cherries, apricot, pears, and peaches (the smashed plum, she will not bloom again for years, though she looks well). The apple and mulberry trees haven't bloomed yet. Yet by afternoon it had warmed up enough that the ice was falling from the forest trees like hail and soon all the ice was gone. So, only time will tell if all is lost. We only had 1/2 inch of snow. My sister in New York state had 3 feet.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

Thanks for the lovely comments, but a St Pats day BBQ is calling and the weather is nice! I promise to reply tomorrow.

Cheers (and yours irresponsibly!)

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - That was a very astute post, further up the line. "How shall we then live" and the bit about the "Right Path." Looking back, things seem to have fallen into place the way they were supposed to. Often times, in hindsight, it's ended up that I've fallen face down in good fortune ... through no effort of my own. Or, very little. But sometimes it takes awhile to figure that out.

"Diaspora." One of those words I just like the sound of. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Night before last there were coyotes in the yard. They haven't been in that close in a long time. Maybe because I've been seeing more bunnies around? Beau was generally going nuts and Nell stuck very close. They're like the Angel of Death. But, they seem to have passed on.

Cliff Mass had a post about our "water year." We've talked about that, before. Meteorologists consider the period from October 1st to September 30th a unit of measure. In this part of the world, at least. Most of the reporting stations in Washington State have already hit their normal average as far as water goes. So. Is it an anomalous year? Prof. Mass trotted out his graphs and, no, it isn't. Based on records going back to 1948, it falls within natural variability. It's odd though. I didn't SEEM like it was all that wet a winter. No major flooding.

All the daffodils about are individual efforts. They're really quit inexpensive and can be bought in bulk. They come back year after year without much care, so by now, it's a pretty spectacular cumulative effect. The planting bed that was run over by the logging road not only had a lot of daffodils, but was also one of the spots where I planted potatoes. And, it hit me this morning that it also wiped out a forsythia bush. The only one on the place, as far as I know. Sad, that.

Oh, I make sure I've got plenty of calories under my belt if I've got a project coming up. And that I'm well hydrated. Looks like tomorrow and Monday the weather is going to be nice and I'll be doing some heavy lifting, out in the yard. I'll make sure I've got a good substantial breakfast under my belt. I'm also pretty attuned to if I get a bit shaky, hungry or thirsty, I stop what I'm doing and tank up a bit. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I checked out the screen and dvd player, over at the abandoned farm. Oh, my. I had forgotten that it's enormous. I don't think I could move it my myself. And it is connected to the internet ... I think. Judging from the snarl of wires and bits and bobs of electronic things. The manuals are the size of our phone book. Way more than I want or need. A pity really, as the gizmos look quit new and unused.

I really didn't sleep very well last night. Which runs counter to what I said before, but the wind was howling and I was mulling over the whole tv/dvd thing. "How should we then live." :-). Do I want to dispense with a DVD player? A possible trip to the Big Smoke (Olympia) which is always a major undertaking, for me. Well, the weather is still pretty feral, this morning, and I'm not very well rested. So, I began looking around, on-line, as to what's available locally. Looks like there's a very modest portable unit on the shelf at our local Sears. So, since I have to go to town, anyway, I think I'll take a look and give it a whirl.

Wanting to wind down a bit from my day, I checked out a few things on YouTube. A bit of Roman archaeology caught my attention, but out of curiosity I also did a quick search for Mr. Greer. Well. There's really quit a few talks he's given, here and there, some quit recent. I wondered a bit about why he's never really mentioned them. I think (maybe) he's ... as a personality ... not really given to "look at me, I'm on the internet." And that by nature (maybe) he tends to compartmentalize, a bit. Anyway, plenty of stuff to check out if I need an ADR "fix." :-) Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Absolutely, that particular species of plant readily hybridises and so you can never know what type of berry you really have in your area unless you planted it from a known source - and even then my gut feeling is that over time the plant will adapt to your particular location and climate.

Yeah, I enjoy that aspect of living on a dirt road. If the road here was made then there would be a constant stream of traffic through the area. There is enough traffic as it is. I reckon people travel over this part of the mountain range as a more scenic drive, but it is not much good for the wildlife, because they are usually in a hurry. Some vehicles have looked to me as if they were part of the World Rally Championships the speed they were going on a narrow two way road. Yesterday, someone in an expensive car was parked in the middle of the road on the other side of a blind corner taking a phone call. Fortunately I rarely travel anywhere quickly... What were they thinking? Who knows?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

I'm curious as to your opinion of goats diet. Is it as varied and adaptable as people claim? The manure would be good value too, especially if they consume plant materials that other animals don't want to eat. You can tell I've been in the orchard today (95'F too) brush cutting the grass away from the fruit trees and feeding them a healthy dose of manure! ;-)! Yeah, my mates feed their excess cows milk to their pigs too, but I reckon the chickens would enjoy it as well. As a note I often feed the chickens cows milk and oats warmed up on cold mornings and they destroy that meal!

That is a tough issue that you raised and I understand your mixed feelings. On the other hand the goats probably had a pretty good life at your place, so a little bit of pain and then the goats are OK. Dunno. You find yourself getting quite pragmatic about things don't you? I felt a bit strange the first time I reached under a chicken to take its clutch of eggs (and then I cooked those eggs up), but nowadays I just lift them gently, get pecked, and then it is egg central. :-)!

Glad to hear that things are warming up for you, but that sure does sound cold to me given is 95'F here today. They're predicting a heavy rain tomorrow and I note that Scritchy is hiding under the bed...

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

@Lew / Arrival
*
*
*
*Spoilers follow, it is a good movie worth watching, so please ignore if you haven't seen it*
*
*
*
*
My understanding of the sequence of events is the daughter was born after the aliens departed Earth. The scientist chose to go ahead with the (doomed) relationship and pregnancy despite knowing the outcome. The early scenes were shown to help disconnect the audience and prepare them for understanding how the aliens perceive time. Of course, it gets a little circular when she 'looks' into the future to decipher more of the alien language, but knowledge of the language is what allows her to perceive all time at once. Some might call this a perfect example of the problem with 'time travel' plots (see: countless Trek episodes and movies) and refuse to enjoy the movie. Myself, I love a good Trek time-travel episode and 'Arrival' felt like it could have being a Star Trek episode (maybe TNG). 4 temporal paradoxes out of 5 from me :-)
*
*
*

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

That is exactly what happened here in early spring late last year. The affected fruit trees didn't just lose their blossoms, they lost all of their leaves too. Apricots, Peaches and Nectarines were particularly affected and for about twenty of those trees, they generated about half a dozen fruit. The cherry trees weren't as affected, but they only lost their blossoms and not their leaves. Plus the cold snap followed by the damp conditions meant that the pollinators stayed in bed rather than getting out in the sub fluffy optimal conditions. The thing is, I was unable to purchase apricots grown anywhere near here and they are my major fruit that I preserve.

Fortunately, apples and pears seem little affected as they set blossom and fruit later than the stone fruit. Still. I picked some nashi pears today and a couple of cocktail corella pears. Yum!

Strangely enough some plum trees were affected whilst others did not seem bothered by the cold snap. So I will be interested to read of your account of the weather craziness in your part of the world.

The leaves that fell off the fruit trees (along with any fruit that had set and/or blossoms) eventually grew back and the trees look right now like you would expect them to do so, but they will not suffer that and produce another set of blossoms.

Thanks for the review of the Green Wizardry book. It is funny that you mention such matters...

That is a good amount of sleep. Incidentally that is very sensible to wind down from the day before sleep. I do that too which is why I spend time outside under the stars with either Sir Scruffy or Scritchy who are on a lead, and enjoy animal spotting - it is very relaxing - of course nothing around here wants to eat you (i.e. no bears, mountain lions etc.). That perhaps wouldn't be a relaxing experience...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

That is a fascinating question to which I don't have an answer.

This however does not stop me speculating on your question. As the title reads it begs that question of all of us as if we all have common goals and skills to bring to bear on those common goals. But that is not the way you would ask the question if you were focusing on actual activity or individual responses. However given Mr Greer's penchant for individual actions, responses, and dissensus shouldn't the questions read: "How Should I Then Live?" although in the context of a blog people would misunderstand what was meant by that question when phrased that way. And perhaps also many people on the internet would be unaccustomed to reading a males voices expressing doubt over the subject matter - I don't reckon our society encourages that sort of activity.

The original question lends itself to a sort of group think where a group of people spend energy constructing plans. Do those plans come to fruition - maybe not from what I can see.

Your other questions are equally fascinating and I have no answer for them either.

Have you had any clearer thoughts on the subject since you wrote that comment?

You know, it may possibly be a monkey puzzle to offload a percentage of readers too before recommencing with a new style of writing? Seriously, I don't know.

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

@Lew

Thanks for the Pompeii animation, very well done. I wonder at why people hung around after the first rumbles at 8AM, but I guess by the time things were getting serious you had rocks falling from the sky to contend with. Staying indoors and hoping to ride it out could be a valid choice. Of course, if you managed to survive the falling boulders and poisonous air it would be all over when the pyroclastic flows started. 700kph and 1000 degrees doesn't sound very nice!

The physics behind pyroclastic flows are quite interesting, they will actually speed up if traveling over water and in some situations can 'flow' uphill. A stationary camera got footage of a flow in action in Japan some years back:

Dome collapse and pyroclastic flow

Cheers,
Damo

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Thank you for the excellent passata recipe! Yum! Much cooking has occurred today...

Both yourself and Pam are very switched on to have noticed the phrasing of that question. I doubt much that Mr Greer does is undertaken in a less than conscious mode. I added some thoughts about it in my response to Pam in the comment above and would be curious as to your opinion on that subject matter.

I was not aware of the historical reference to the title either, so thank you for that. Mr Greer in the past has alluded to the fact that some bible references were a unsubtle reference to the fall of Rome and that makes a sort of sense to me.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Springtides,

Welcome to the discussion!

Pragmatism is the order of the day here. :-)!

Yes, I've always believed that under working conditions in the hot sun (like today it was 35'C here - far out it was hot) yours is a very appropriate response. I consumed a rehydration solution at the end of today's work too. Apparently reasonably heavy rain will arrive tomorrow, so things have to be done before that.

What sort of physical work are you doing in Tassie? The summers there can be every bit as hot as here as the sun is unrelenting even if the air temperature is cooler. Until you've experienced it, you just don't know, do you?

Thank you for writing that, I do try to keep things light (and as I say "fluffy optimal".

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

@Chris

Thank you for the charming tale of the floating donkey corpse. It did bring a brief smile, even weakened I still have strong internal fortitude!! On day 5 now, I have resisted the urge to take antibiotics and since yesterday I am feeling a lot better. I even ate a burger yesterday and scrambled eggs today! Real food is great. Unfortunately, bathroom visits tend to be quite urgent in nature but I feel on the mend!

A couple of my neighbours (also foreign) have come down with the sickness this past week as well, although not to the punishing extremes I suffered. And the symptoms were more cold/flu like rather than stomach issues. Some suggest the change of season combined with poor air quality could be making us a bit more susceptible to bugs and so on. Some days, due to farmers burning off, visibility is less than a kilometre and the air is very dusty at the best of times.

Strangely, we got some very heavy rain yesterday. And more is coming through now as I write. Wet season is not on for another 2-3 months, very unseasonable.

RE: General Ramble
With my ample couch time, I started re-watching Star Trek: The Next Generation. A few years back they re-released them all in HD. The Enterprise-D looks fantastic, it is probably my favourite version of the ship. I have started from season 1, but to save my sanity am only watching the 'good episodes' (IMDB rankings and a couple of minutes in a spreadsheet helped me here). Even the good ones in Season 1 were average at best, but it is starting to come together in Season 2 (we just met the Borg for the 'first time') and there are many I have never seen. I never remember liking Commander Riker, but he is pretty good no? Playing it with the just the right amount of self-awareness and fun. Picard of course is awesome, and Troi is still useless (I sense they are hiding something Captain!).

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

No wonder Nell and Beau have been unsettled at night of late. Spring is the lean time where the winter food sources have been exhausted and the protein levels in the plants are low and everything is looking for an easy feed. So no wonder the coyotes are sniffing around your place. I'm glad that the coyotes have moved on and I reckon those bunnies are possibly now coyote food... Bunnies have an enormously fast and repetitive breeding cycle and a mate of mine was talking to me about that a month or two ago. No wonder the rabbit population recovers quickly from introduced diseases like the calesie virus which knocked the rabbit population back for a while. They're in the area here, but I've only ever seen a single hare in about a decade and it was running for its life. The dogs would eat them in quick time if they were foolish enough to establish a base here. Even the rats get cleaned up by the owls every few months or so. Hey, I forgot whether I mentioned a Powerful Owl visited the other night? They are the biggest owl of the lot and they clean up the possum population. Interestingly too, I reckon your possums are a lot like our quolls (which is a native marsupial cat).

Yeah, you haven't mentioned much in the way of serious flooding. I do recall a year or two back when that was in fact happening. You seem to be having a wet year, but not a flooding year, whatever that means. Climate is all over the shop really. We're having a wet summer, but it is not extraordinarily wet (which I've experienced and am not excited about that possibility) or extraordinarily hot or cold. It has been quite nice really except for the spring cold snap which took out a lot of fruit. In such a year a pragmatic person learns to love plums which seemed unfussed by climate strangeness!

It is nice when people undertake such work out of the goodness of their hearts. And yeah, the daffodils really start to multiply after a while. Sorry to read about the loss of your forsythia to the logging trucks. It doesn't seem to be a good trade to me. The potatoes are a real loss too, but you never know they may pop back up again by mid summer? Potatoes seem to be very hardy to me.

Yeah, you do know the signs of fatigue and they are easy to manage if you listen to what is going on inside yourself. And then when you forget to do that, there is always simple first aid such as the rehydration solutions. Mate, it has been feral hot out here today. 95'F. By late afternoon I was feeling the heat but was operating at a slow and steady pace. I'm amazed by how much the orchard fruit trees have grown this year. It is a real pleasure to see.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Have you got a trolley? That may help move the enormous TV and DVD player? I can't even imagine why a television would be connected to the interweb, but there you go. I don't let any devices connect to the interweb unless they are computers and then I can manage what is going on. I'm not sure anything else here actually does that trick anyway. I once heard someone talking about their refrigerator which was connected to the interweb and I just thought to myself: Why?

We all have those nights don't we? That's life. Yes, both Pam and Jo were contemplating that very question too and I chucked in a few thoughts in the replies to both of them above this comment. One has to always consider motivations as that may provide missing subtext...

Did you end up getting the smaller unit from the big smoke?

Well again, I sort of feel that that question can be answered by reviewing a persons motivations which we never really will know in full. But over a long enough period of time many things can be deduced from a persons actions, concerns and words. What do you reckon about that? I reckon it is akin to putting a puzzle together when you only have a few fragments to work with. Fun stuff though, huh?

I spent most of today removing grass from around the trunks of the fruit trees and then feeding them with manure. It was nice, but hot. Now the sun is setting and the chickens are almost in bed. It is interesting that the frogs are croaking, the birds are calling and the sugar gliders are making their whereabouts known (they sound like rattlesnakes). As Scritchy can attest (from the safety of under the bed), there is a storm coming tomorrow.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Goats are more picky eaters than people realize. I think it's just that they prefer different foods especially compared with grazers. A goat will not mow your lawn and in fact don't eat much grass at all. The only time they ate grass of any significance was in early spring when they were craving something green. We would mow or whack down the grass with the string trimmer several times during the summer. They do love brush though which is why herds are now rented out to clean out brushy areas for restoration or fire prevention. They will even eat the horrendously thorny and invasive multi-floral rose. I had a doe who was a bit off after kidding once and I was trying to entice her to eat by providing many different goodies. What she ended up craving was the multi-floral rose branches. It must have had some nutrient she needed as she seemed to feel much better afterwards. When feeding hay it should be in a hay feeder as they won't eat it if it's stepped on and even with a feeder they waste a lot. One little poop pellet in a bucket of water and they won't drink it either.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Pam

You are right - dairy goats are a lot of work. If you have a partner to share the work (mostly the milking) it's more doable but still ties you down. The more you milk a goat (or cow) the more she'll produce so after a few months people go down to just milking once a day. Many dairy goats will produce a gallon of milk a day and there's not too many families that need that much. And then there is breeding obviously necessary if you plan to milk. Bucks are pretty easy to handle but quite odoriferous to say the least. In fact if housed near the does they can change the flavor of the milk and not in a good way. We ended up either leasing a buck or bringing the does to be breed for a month to a breeder to be bred. Problem there was that there are several serious diseases that can be spread so often it was difficult to find a breeder or you had to test each year for them which was costly.

On the plus side though is they are small and generally easy to handle. We did just about all our own vet work. When we first started we had the vet come out to disbud the kids (they needed to be hornless to show and there's a few good reasons for them not to have horns). Well after a few times he said we should learn to do it ourselves which we did. He talked me through a difficult delivery over the phone one time as well rather than come out and charge us. He lived in town and just worked out of his car and only did large animals but would give free advice for dogs and cats as well. He's well into his 80's and still working but now has an assistant to help him.

"How then shall we live?" - that is the question isn't it.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam & Margaret - On goats in general ... My friends who moved to Idaho decided to try goats ... for meat. They had two. I even took care of them when my friends were back and forth from Idaho. Besides being great escape artists, they really cost a lot to keep. Vet bills for inoculations, de-horning, castration ... hoof trimming. The augmented feed and milk when they were young. Well, that turned out to be pretty pricey meat. I still have some in my freezer :-). If you do it "right", not very cost effective. But they sure were sweet, cute animals! Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Those sure were spectacular films of the pyroclastic flows on Mt. Unzen. Pretty much like our Mt. St. Helens eruption. I had a ring side seat, for that, from Portland. We couldn't see the flow (other side of the mountain) but there's plenty of film footage. What we could see was more than awesome. I could see Mt. St. Helens from where I live now, if it weren't for the trees. I see it coming and going from town, if the weather is clear. The blown out north side where the flow, was. I live far enough away that pyroclastic flow wouldn't be a problem. Well out of the danger zone.

Many studies have been done of people in disasters. Being a disaster junkie, I've read a lot of them. People who react right away have a good chance of surviving. People who stand around "waiting for instructions" or have the attitude that "someone will take care of this" don't have a good chance of surviving.

Spoilers ahead .... Oh, "Arrival" was well worth watching. But a lot of her flashbacks (flash forwards?) happened before the aliens even arrived. So, what? She's on the forward edge of some evolutionary human leap? The aliens were beaming rays at her to initiate this change in human evolution? A tin foil hat might have helped :-). I found one line pretty interesting. The aliens said that they were giving this gift to humans, as humans would help the aliens, 3,000 years in the future. What a set up for a sequel. :-)

I saw a bit of an interview with the actress that plays Troi, years ago when the series was going strong. What a disappointment. Her delivery was pure, empty headed Valley Girl speak. The most exciting thing going on in her life was that she was living with some drummer from a Punk band. Clearly, anything intelligent that came out of her mouth on the series came straight from the writer's room. I always quit liked Riker. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, Nell didn't come in when I called her, last night, and hasn't shown up, this morning. I'll go out and take a look around for her, after I finish with this. She has been spending long periods of time, away during the day. Where, or up to what I don't know.

Well, I went to our local Sears and found a DVD player / screen. And that's all it does. I successfully resisted the charms of a wi-fi enabled model. Even though it was cheaper than what I bought. If I had the wi-fi enabled model (not an issue now, but when I move they have free wi-fi) I could sign up for all kinds of movie and tv services (individually, they're pretty cheap). Hulu, Amazon, Netflicks, etc. It's the wave of the future, and eventually, DVDs will bite the dust. I figure I waste enough time with just the DVDs I can get from the library. The why of why I haven't had cable in years. Sure, I've got the internet, but the download speeds are such where I live, that movies or tv series aren't a temptation. They would take longer to download, than to watch.

As far as your refrigerator being hacked, check out "The Internet of Things" at Wikipedia. It's a very long article, but the first couple of paragraphs explain what it's about. If you want to scare yourself to death, scroll down to the section "Criticisms and Controversies." Particularly the section on "Security." In the back of your mind, keep repeating the mantra "What could possibly go wrong?" and "It seemed like a good idea at the time." :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Anyway. I got the new electronic gizmo set up last night. Didn't do my usual "leave it in the box and poke it with a sharp stick" for a couple of weeks. I was a bit worried about the screen size. It's less than 1/4 the area of the old set. But, I set it up on a box next to my chair and the quality is such that I really didn't notice any ... loss. Sub titles are sharp. The volume leaves a bit to be desired. Even at the highest setting, it's still a little low. But, there is an ear piece ... which I wanted as when I move, I'm kind of a night owl and don't want to disturb the neighbors. I hope they're equally thoughtful. Overall, the until seems really ... fragile. Cheap? Well, yes it was. Well under $100.

Mmmm. Yes, often people's real motivations don't become apparent until over the long haul. Lots of interaction. But at the same time, gut feeling (which I pay attention to) can reveal a lot. There are all kinds of cues us human beasties :-) pick up on, that might not make it to a conscious level. Sometimes, first impressions ARE correct. But it (usually) doesn't hurt to leave a bit of wiggle room, when it comes to judgement.

I don't think I'll be spending as much time, outside, as I wanted to, today. I'd been sneezing a bit over the past few days. Not unusual. I do from time to time. But then, when I got back from town, it was sneezing my brains out of my ears, unstoppable runny nose and, something new, I was dizzy! I really had to watch myself when I moved around. Oh, no! The dreaded man cold! (?). So, I took a nap and when I got up, the dizziness was gone. Had a good substantial dinner and got a good nights sleep. All symptoms seem to have disappeared, today. But I'm not going to push it, today. An allergy? If so, it's something I've developed in my dotage. Or, maybe it's something I bumped up against in the Sears. Not that I remember any strong odors, or anything like that. It's a mystery. Lew

Unknown said...

Hi all,

On the ADR, Jmg has a new post up at the other site where he outlines his future plans in a bit more detail. A "bit", not a "lot".

On goats, vet bills are not a mandatory part of the journey.

Castration is done with rubber rings and an applicator, which works on the horns as well. Just make sure you have both nuts in the bag, so to speak. Feet are trimmed with hoof clippers.

The tools are available for purchase online or at any decent farm supply outlet. With goats, just having rocks in their paddock should be enough to keep feet in trim.

My background is growing up on a property that ran over 1000 feral goats when purchased, and having several as pets. What they hate is not being able to get out of the weather. Cold weather and rain without shelter will kill them. So will poisonous plants. Set your enclosures up so that they have enough time to rotate around several paddocks to prevent parasite build up on the ground and allow the feed to regrow.

Electric fences will keep them under control if maintained well.


Autumn has arrived in Tasmania, went to work with just a shirt on Wednesday, milked on wet weather trousers and sleeves and was freezing by 6.30, put on a heavy jacket, and was back to the shirt by lunchtime. Today is miserable and cold, my son just lit the wood heater.

Looking around for solar hot water equipment, and about to modify an old dairy hot water cylinder to run solar and wood heater via an instant gas heater

cheers


eagle eye