Monday, 20 March 2017

Everlong

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

“Hello
I've waited here for you
Everlong
Tonight
I throw myself into
And out of the red
Out of her head she sang”

When I was a kid, I used to believe that summer was a never ending, lazy time, chock full of long hot days. When I think upon summer thoughts, my memories drift back to long hot days spent down at the local swimming pool, mucking around with friends. My mother purchased me an annual pass to the local swimming pool, and most of my friends had one as well, so we could all come and go as we pleased. It was a lot of fun.

The local swimming pool was an outdoor Olympic sized pool at 50m / 164 foot long. They also had a separate and much deeper swimming pool for diving. That deeper pool had two very high 3m / 10 foot diving boards. As a young kid, I was terrified of heights, so the two high diving boards were a source of fear and fascination. In the end I overcame my fear of the high diving boards by simply falling off one of them. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and after noisily splashing into the deep swimming pool, I thought to myself that that wasn’t so bad! And then proceeded to go back for seconds, but with marginally more grace the second time around.

Once I became comfortable with the gentle art of falling off the high diving board, the next challenge became: Could I touch the bottom of the deep swimming pool? For the record, I’m tempted to lie and say that I could touch the bottom of the deep swimming pool, but to be honest: why they constructed a swimming that deep is well beyond me! Back in the day, tall tales were told of people touching the bottom of that deep swimming pool, or someone knew someone who could easily do that. But really I couldn’t personally test the veracity of their claims, so who really knows whether they achieved that awesome feat or not?

As a kid I was a mercenary little capitalist who was up well before the sun had even risen above the horizon. I delivered newspapers to houses who subscribed to that service. And then in the afternoons I delivered the afternoon newspapers. That was until the afternoon newspaper ceased production and I was out of an afternoon job.  Fortunately, I lucked into an afternoon chemist round delivering prescription medications to the elderly folk in the suburb. What simple days they were when the local Pharmicist trusted me as a very young child to deliver prescription medications! If only I had known the street value of opiates I would have had even more mad cash.

Anyway, being a mercenary little capitalist meant that after lazy summer days at the local swimming pool ceased to be entertaining, my mates and I would hit the streets on our pushbikes looking for trouble. Now as an interesting side story, it would have been a walk of shame to be driven to the local swimming pool by your mother, so pushbikes were the only acceptable source of transport for young kids and it didn’t matter if there was a 10km / 6 mile pushbike ride just to get from your house via a detour to your mates house and then onto the local swimming pool. No problem.

As a correction to my earlier claim, my friends and I were all dorks so, we weren’t really looking for trouble on our pushbikes, we were actually looking for the local arcade game parlour where much of my hard earned mad cash was spent on Space Invaders and Donkey Kong. Those arcade games were way hard and if you failed in the game you lost your hard earned twenty cents. Not fair!

“Come down
And waste away with me
Down with me
Slow how
You wanted it to be
I'm over my head
Out of her head she sang”

Yup, those summers and their lazy long hot days spent down at the local swimming pool with friends seemed to go on and on forever.

Time marches on though, and lazy long hot days spent at the local swimming pool are now well into the far and distant past. Nowadays I spend most of the summer trying to preserve the summers bounty for use when the winter inevitably arrives.

“And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I'll ever ask of you
You gotta promise not to stop when I say when she sang”

Despite it being apparently autumn here, the farm is in the midst of an “Indian Summer”. Most days this March, the skies have been blue and clear. The winds have been still and whilst the sun has been hot, it does not feel as fierce as it does in summer. And the daily temperatures have been hovering around the 30’C / 86’F mark. It has been very pleasant really. And those conditions let you know that sooner rather than later, the weather will change to much cooler winter conditions.

With that in mind, over the past month or so, the editor and I have been busily squirrelling away firewood for use over the winter. Firewood is used here to heat the house and hot water and it also provides an option for cooking in the attached wood heated oven. Firewood is a pretty crucial resource for us, as we have no other way of heating up the house during winter. And a day or so ago, we processed the final load of firewood for the year! Yay!

Using firewood for heating and cooking requires a person to consider that resource for many years into the future. The local trees (Eucalyptus Obliqua) cannot simply be cut down and burnt, because they will not burn (the fancy word for that is “green”). Once a local trees is cut down, it then has to age as logs on the ground for at least two years (and possibly more) so as to “season” correctly (otherwise it will not burn). 

Once seasoned, those logs then have to be dried, cut, split, hauled, and stored for use over the winter. It goes without saying that damp or wet firewood does not burn very well and so the process of storing that firewood away during the summer is as important as any other part in the process. And the hot summer sun is the most effective energy source to ensure that all of the firewood is crispy dry. Sourcing firewood in the depths of winter when it is very damp and humid is a foolish idea as that firewood will not burn well.
The second firewood shed is now completely full
The firewood storage area next to the house is also completely full (and overflowing)
 “Breathe out
So I can breathe you in
Hold you in
And now
I know you've always been
Out of your head
Out of my head I sang”

Not many plants will grow under a pile of logs ageing for a couple of years. Today, I repaired the area where the logs had been stored for this season. Repairing land refers chopping and dropping any organic matter in that area using my little Honda push mower, and then to spreading around compost over the affected area. Within a year, the land will recover and plants will thrive in that heady mix of organic matter!
The author repairs the area where the logs were stored and processed for this seasons firewood
The ongoing “Indian summer” has meant that the tomatoes have been prolific and this week is no exception. Every single day we have been harvesting containers full of ripe and tasty tomatoes. Preserving the tomato harvest has been a major effort and at present we dehydrate all of the crop (that we can’t consume fresh). Once dehydrated, we store the dried tomato chips in quality olive oil for consumption over the winter.
Tomatoes are continuing to be dehydrated this week
The electric food dehydrator which runs all day long is powered by the off grid solar power system and the other day we almost broke the record for power consumption. 505 amp-hours at about 36V equals 18.2kWh used that day. During that day, we also baked two batches of dog biscuits, a loaf of bread, ran a load of washing, and processed two trailer loads of firewood using the excellent electric log splitter. Plus there was all the usual pumps, refrigeration, lights, computers etc. It was an epic day of power consumption!
This readout says that 505Ah / 18kWh during one day was an epic day of power consumption
My arrangement with a cafe business in Melbourne which involves me taking quantities of their used coffee grounds has meant that the soil in the orchard is now benefitting from being fed used coffee grounds as well as the more usual manure. The fruit trees love the additional feed and have been growing strongly this season. In return for the couple of buckets of coffee grounds they will receive some fresh lemons and ripe Black Russian tomatoes.
The containers used to provide the soil in the orchard with its caffeine hit
All those coffee grounds sometimes means that there is the occasional dry patty of used coffee grounds littered about the orchard. The rain will wash them into the soil. Observant readers will note that in the photo below there are a few spots of mould or fungus on the dry patty.
There is now the occasional dry patty of used coffee grounds littered about the orchard
Over the past week I have been busy removing any grass from around the trunks of some of the fruit trees and then feeding those fruit trees with a good quantity of manure. That should make them grow faster! I reckon I’m about 40% of the way through that job and will continue it over the next few weeks as the weather permits.
Grass has been removed from around the trunks of the fruit trees and the trees were then fed with a good quantity of manure
Well, yeah, the little dirt mouse Suzuki could use a dip in the local swimming pool – although I’m unsure that it would recover from that dip – because the dry March has meant that it is living up to its name of a dirt mouse. Life is too short to spend cleaning cars that will only get dirty again a few minutes later. Plus the sheer volume of dirt scares the folks in Melbourne!
The little dirt mouse Suzuki is living up to its name!
I harvested some Asian nashi pears today and they taste of the summer sun. In the orchard I also discovered a couple of corella (cocktail) pears which I also harvested.
I harvested some Asian nashi pears today
The miniature purple eggplants are putting on some size in the ongoing heat.
The miniature purple eggplants are putting on some size in the ongoing heat
The various olives about the place are also starting to put on some size.
The various olives about the place are also starting to put on some size
In breaking chicken news… The three new silky chickens have more or less forged a place for themselves at the bottom of the pecking order. However, they are also now enjoying the perquisites of the rest of the flock and they enjoy a good run in the orchard most evenings.
The three new silky chickens have more or less forged a place for themselves at the bottom of the pecking order
The rest of the chicken collective are busy most evenings assisting with the gardening efforts. I just wished they wouldn't dig quite so many holes in the soil in the new garden bed…
The rest of the chicken collective are busy most evenings assisting with the gardening efforts
And is my usual style, I now present some of the flowering plants for the enjoyment of people living in the cold northern hemisphere:
Jerusalem artichokes have begun to flower this week
The geraniums are really putting on a good show in the continuing heat
The geraniums are really putting on a good show in the continuing heat
I keep the nasturtiums as summer greens for the chickens
I spotted a passionfruit flower today and it looks great
The Californian poppies always put on a good show in the heat
The citrus trees have begun flowering which is a good sign for the winter fruit crop
“And I wonder
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I'll ever ask of you
You've got to promise not to stop when I say when”

With respect to the Foo Fighters for their excellent song: Everlong

The temperature outside now at about 5.00pm is 27’C (81’F). So far this year there has been 93.8mm (3.7 inches) which is the more or less the same as last week’s total of 87.0mm (3.4 inches).

102 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

“4 temporal paradoxes out of 5 from me” – Hysterical! Very funny, how much fun are the comments?

Well done resisting the urge to medicate. I am made of weaker stuff and would have succumbed about two days ago (on your schedule). Hope you are feeling better? Of course hamburgers would assist with that feeling. Just in case you are not feeling 100% and need a bit of an energy pick me up, I recommend having a strong black coffee (perhaps double shot?) and then immediately listening to: Gesaffelstein - Pursuit . I heard the bit of music a few years back and I’m not sure I enjoy it, but it does raise ones heart rate which could be beneficial in your weakened state? Maybe not though…

You maybe experiencing several illnesses at once given the circumstances? An unpleasant experience for you but I salute your stoicism. Air quality can be a problem here too if there are large bushfires anywhere in the area - even in South or Western Australia too depending on where the wind is blowing from. The burn off restrictions may ease here soon and when they do, there are little smoke plumes rising from various points on the mountain range, particularly on weekend afternoons. Usually the smoke plumes are because the people are burning green timber or damp leaves. I tend to chop and drop the leaves with the little Honda push mower, but that may be considered to be “hard work” by many people. The eucalyptus leaves don’t tend to break down into soil very quickly unless they are mulched up.

Mate, I hear you about the crazy weather. It is 29’C here today but the humidity is unbelievable and it rained heavily this morning and will do that again tomorrow…

Yeah, Riker was very wooden in the first season. Also I heard an interview with some of the other actors who described Captain Picard as Captain Grumpy! By the end of the series they were all on good terms though and I reckon they were a good crew. So the question is: Did you specifically include all episodes which had a special guest temporal anomaly? A mate of the editors who is a fan of Next Gen has a claim to fame that they were on the same aircraft as the actor who played Riker. Of course the actor was up in business class, whilst the editors mate was sitting in cattle class, but she was pretty excited by the brush with fame!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

From your descriptions it sounds as if goats are very clean farm animals and I never realised that they were such picky eaters as people tend to emphasise the ability to eat anything and everything. And I don’t know whether it is a rural legend or not, but I have heard people trying to tell me that they will even eat fencing and fencing wires which sounds very strange to me. The goaty smell is one of the reasons I have never considered goats as they can be really pungent and I find that their milk has that taste especially if it is left for two days. I’m sure you would become used to the taste, but I am soft and am used to quality organic cows milk. Actually, I have had sheep(s?) milk and cheese which is pretty tasty. In fact, I found sheep milk and cheese tastes better than milk and cheese made from cows milk. The sheep in the dairy were a ratty looking collective though being bred for milk production above all else!

Do you reckon maybe the rose had vitamin C (as well as other beneficial compounds) in it? I’ve heard that rose hips are an excellent source of vitamin C. My mates have that feral rose growing in their paddocks. It is funny but I don’t get that plant growing in my part of the world. Dunno. Their soils need a lot more manure but given they have cows, chickens and pigs and large paddocks, they will get there pretty quickly.

The chickens can be wasteful of water too and they constantly kick their deep litter into their water supply, I don’t know what I can do about that. How do you find that problem – of course chickens don’t use as much water as goats.

Far out it is very tropical here today and I’m feeling it. It is about 84’F and not quite 99% humidity, but I’m feeling very hot today despite sitting in the shade of a large elm tree.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

As a disaster junkie, you clearly know that being prepared in such circumstances is everything. I’m personally amazed at how few people down here prepare for the eventuality of a bushfire, and then there are those that believe that they are prepared and yet on the merest inspection of the facts on the ground, well let’s call it: They are in la la land. And la la land is a beautiful place full of magical unicorns (yum!) but it won’t serve them well when the eventuality actually takes place. I dunno I do the best I can on that front given the time I have available and the restrictions placed on me by society. It is a tough one, no doubts about it, but the answer will be provided by nature sooner or later. I’ll be curious to see how it goes and then learn everything I can from the experience. If the house burnt down, there are some things that I would change in the design to make it a much better, more resilient, and simpler to construct design. Hopefully I don’t get the opportunity though… My main concern is that perhaps that the editor and I may be the last people left standing in the area? Dunno, that is a frightening thought.

Did you know that the term “Valley Girl” was brought into the lexicon by - I believe – Frank Zappa and his daughter? Sometimes actors can be disappointing in that we expect them to be different. That may mean that they are a good actor though? Rock bands can be like that too. I recall my disappointment when Peter Garret of outspoken rock band “Midnight Oil” became a minister in the Federal Government and then seemed to achieve very little. He did get a huge insulation for housing scheme up and running, but then there were a couple of deaths and people got weirded out about insulation…

Did Nell come back for breakfast? I hope so with the coyotes out and about in your area. I seem to recall that Nell has been fixed up hasn’t she? Maybe she just wanted to head out for an adventure? Dunno, Toothy sometimes does that which is a nuisance because when he comes back he is showing signs that he was clearly in trouble.

Well your library DVD’s would be free anyway, so that makes good economic sense, plus you support the library through your patronage and that is a good thing. The internet bandwidth required for movies would be very expensive for me here as I not only have to pay for the streaming service, I also have to pay for the internet bandwidth… The good thing I reckon about your new unit is that it is simpler as it does less things and so it will probably last longer?

Oh yeah: What could possibly go wrong? They keep spruiking self driving cars down here in the newspapers. Like we’re so busy we can’t hold onto a steering wheel and push a few buttons? And then as you quite rightly point out there is always the security. A hacked self driving car would make an amazing cheap weapon. What is wrong with these people. It is funny you mention the internet of things as I was considering lampooning the ridiculous option of automatic high beams which I saw work so well the other evening (note tone of sarcasm) . My gut feeling is that we have passed peak vehicle improvements many years ago.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Oh my, that was a good article wasn’t it? Yes greed will get them in the end and I saw that displayed in the lines: “In general, the intelligence community views the Internet of things as a rich source of data.” What is wrong with them? Let’s assume that nothing can go wrong… The denial of service attacks from distributed internet connected machines was an interesting thing which should be ringing alarm bells. Alas for our complacency.

A mate of mine had a cheap vacuum cleaner self destruct the other day, so yeah, there is cheap and there is cheap. Hey, you could pick up some powered (with an in built amplifier) computer speakers to increase the volume. Just make sure it is powered by a mains adaptor rather than a USB.

Exactly first impressions are important and also very telling. They can let you know where the person sees themselves in the pecking order. Often people try to up sell themselves from what I see and I just play the long game and talk to everyone, although many people interpret that as a sign of very low status. The slow long burn is a good way to go as you get to reveal a little bit at a time rather than having to play social games with people. I personally see no point in trying those social games because I’ve met people high up in the social order and really it is not a game you can win and people higher in the social order see straight through people who are climbing. It is fun to watch but at the same time I find it to be profoundly disturbing as the people climbing just don’t realise how well their games are known and they don’t realise that they are playing by certain rules which are used to their disadvantage. I dunno.

That is a mystery illness isn’t it? I do hope that it is not the dreaded man-flu? Awful stuff – just ask Damo who is clearly suffering. You never know, but you are in pollen time too and that may have something to do with it?

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

@Lew

Our vet taught us how to do all those procedures so the goats weren't really all that costly. I actually thought it would be easier to make a profit with meat goats if there's a market for them which there is around here.

Hope Nell has returned. One of our cats, a neutered male, disappears on a regular basis but seems to return just as I'm getting worried about him. Hopefully that's the case with Nell.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

The flavor of goat milk can be an issue. It's only the bucks that smell bad which is primarily why we didn't have any. Some plants can change the flavor of milk as well. If the milk is cooled right away the flavor is good. We had Nubians which are known for their high butter fat milk and generally good flavor.

It certainly looks like you're well prepared in the wood department.

If you're anything like me I just wait for rain to clean my car. Once in a while I'll wash it in the driveway with a hose but it's the winter when they get really nasty with all the salt. Obviously you can't hose it down in the winter here unless you have a warm spell. I'm proud to say I haven't taken the present car to a car wash ever.

Tomorrow my sister and I take Michael up to a facility just over the border in Wisconsin to see if it might work out for him and if there's even a spot for him. If not he'll be coming here to live for awhile.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

You nearly made me pine for my youth. Summer days and swimming! I had a 7 mile bike ride; used to cycle a very short distance to school so that I could leave straight from there for the swimming pool. I loathed school so it was great to end my day in such a fashion even if I was horribly hungry, only getting food when I finally came home.

Not much to add really. My one day a week man has just phoned me from bed, he has overslept but will be coming.

Weather grey and damp.

Inge

Angus Wallace said...

Hi Chris,

Enjoyed the post, as usual. Getting 18 kWh in a day is doing pretty well, I reckon. It's been warm here -- had 3 or 4 days of 34C this week. Then today (totally not predicted by the BOM) we had a downpour. Pretty humid this evening...

We're planning to get some within wall cavity blown insulation before winter. Did you know that a double brick wall is only R0.5 ? Very poor insulation! The blow-in should raise it to R2-2.5

Cheers, Angus

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for the explanation as I wasn't aware of those issues with goats and their milk. Yeah, I have heard of the Nubian variety of goats. It is food for thought given the wide variety of diet that they can consume. Did I ever mention to you the story of the white goat that lives with a huge mob of kangaroos? I see this white goat from time to time lurking about the place and it seems very friendly with the kangaroos. It makes you wonder whether the kangaroos took the goat in when it was very young and it has bonded with that mob? It is elusive and lives in the surrounding forest with the mob of kangaroos and I only ever see it in the valley below where there is permanent water.

Oh yeah, to be honest we have far more firewood than we need or can use, but it is only the second year that we have had two sheds and I have to empty the other shed (not shown in the photos) and raise the concrete slab in the floor because water is pooling in the centre of the concrete slab and turning the stored firewood into soil...

Ha! I hear you about dirty cars and life is too short. I call it an anti-theft device as people are horrified at the external state of the car. ;-)! Nobody uses salt on the roads down here and collectors of old vehicles like the VW kombi vans often travel to down under to recover classic cars because the salt really rusts them out.

Good luck with Michael and I hope that the new facility is OK? Fingers crossed.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh yeah, swimming was your sport wasn't it? And I hear you about the 7 mile bike ride as I had mates that lived 20km away and thought nothing about riding over to their house. Of course nobody mentions these days that population pressures have made for a dangerous bike riding experience and so the culture has shifted and nobody seemed to notice. I worry for kids wrapped up in cotton wool by their parents as they won't be able to properly assess risk when they are older - and also the risks those kids face on the roads is actually much higher than what I faced as a kid. People want their cake and they also want to eat it and sometimes that is just not possible.

It is funny that you mentioned the food, but that was the last thing on my mind when I headed off on an adventure too! And so you went hungry... And I reckon people who do school well tend to be the greatest conformists of all! Just sayin...

Good to hear that the arrangement for the one day per week guy is developing. I hope he doesn't test too many boundaries?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Angus,

Thank you and March has had some crazy weather hasn't it? It feels like the summer was late in arriving to the party but decided at the last minute to put in a special guest appearance! And how humid has it been today? I hear you, it is like the tropics down here. Far out! I remarked to someone that it felt like I was living in Kyogle (which is the most humid part of the continent that I have visited). This afternoon was 29'C and almost 99% humidity and it felt stifling. I had to console myself with a hamburger for a very late lunch which took away some of the unpleasantness of the situation.

I reckon the result was pretty good too, because once the batteries are above 85%, the rate that you can charge them at reduces significantly, so I have to use all of the excess power before it is lost. And that is not as easy a problem as it sounds. Someone on the ADR who didn't really understand how off grid solar works started telling me that I clearly didn't have some of the panels producing power... At the middle of that day, the solar panels were just shy of full output which is a real pleasure to see.

Oh yeah, double brick is not good. My neighbours have a double brick place and over winter their place is freezing. Well done for getting the insulation blown in. Top work! I have R3.0 batts in the walls here and they earn their keep. If you can hack it consider putting some under the floor (if you have timber suspended floors).

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Well 5 hours later my man has not arrived and there has been no further phone call. He had said that he only had to get up and have breakfast! I assume that he fell back asleep but even so it is odd. My son reckons that he will be very contrite. I said that I don't want contrition just action. Actually I am now worrying that something has happened to the wretched fellow.

Here is an asinine question that perhaps someone can help with:- labelling the stuff in our freezers. This applies just to the pork anything else we can recognise. Once the pork is frozen it can be very difficult to recognise. I have found that mince can turn out to be heart. A joint can turn out to be a packet of chops. Doesn't matter so much to Son who just changes his mind about the meal and can go out to get different things that are then required. I shop every 2 to 3 weeks and have my meals planned. All labelling that we have tried, just fades out. Suggestions anyone?

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, yeah. Summer and swimming pools. I grew up within "bike distance" of two municipal pools in parks. Both were about 5 miles, away. And we rode much further than that. "Exploring." I seem to remember we always packed "supplies" for the "expeditions." P&B sandwiches and a piece of fruit or two.

As you know, I also did the paper route gig. One wasn't enough so I picked up a second. Yeah, I'm surprised you weren't knocked over by a junkie, when you were out on delivery for the chemist. Simpler times! I saw a tombstone on an archaeological site to a 10 year old girl who had been murdered for her jewelry!

LOL. I was reading through your post and the thought crossed my mind "Why is Chris explaining all this basic stuff?" Then I remembered an article I read recently about an archaeology professor. He teaches prehistoric archaeology in a hands on manner. Almost a survival school kind of thing. So, he had a class of 19 year olds and told them to crack and separate some eggs. He wandered off to do something for a few minutes and when he came back, no progress had been made. On questioning this, one kid finally fessed up and said "How do you crack an egg?" None of the bunch, in 19 years, had ever cracked an egg. I weep for the future of humanity :-).

Most of the wood that people put up to burn, around here, seems well seasoned after one year. Properly protected from our weather.

Ever had some self appointed protector of the social order write "Wash me!" in the dust of the dirt rat? :-). I see that from time to time, around here. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Your orchard looks spectacular. Manicured. Healthy and all in good order.

Nell showed up around 4 in the afternoon, yesterday. I was already well into deciding if to get a replacement. On one hand, I don't know how long I'll be here. On the other, if I didn't have a cat I think I'd soon be overrun with mice. She was in and out most of the evening. I decided to let her out for 15 minutes before bed (I even set the timer) and she had disappeared again! Haven't seen her yet, today. She's fixed, so I don't know what this sudden attack of wanderlust is all about. On one level, I feel like she's off at a party that I haven't been invited to :-).

I think my internet is pretty unlimited. Or, at least I've never bumped into any limits. But then, I don't download a lot of stuff. I have heard of a few cases where limits were slapped on a few people for downloading incredible amounts of data. Free wi-fi is everywhere, at least in town. It really seems to be a business strategy to provide free wi-fi. The Home has free wi-fi. Our library has free wi-fi. When I move I plan to get a new lap top, and after well versing myself on security issues, that will be my access to the internet. I must say, I won't miss the internet bills ... for not much service.

Well, the new DVD player is a lot simpler (though there are lots of buttons on the remote that I have no idea what they are for) but as I was fooling around last night, I couldn't help but think that a machine like mine wouldn't last long around someone that didn't have a light touch. Reminded me of when everyone thought music cds (and dvds) were the greatest thing since sliced bread ... only to discover that they had to be handled with the respect of a vinyl record as they scratched almost as easily. Some of the dvds I get from the library have unplayable spots, due to scratches. And, any disc I get from the library, I check the surface for "grunge" before I put it in the machine. Usually, they need a good wipe down with a paper towel, before I put them in my machine.

I had a place once where there was a crawl space, but no underfloor insulation. First I put down a ground cover ... just plane old blue tarps. To make the job more pleasant, if nothing else :-). I discovered that that created a vapor barrier. It made a world of difference in helping to keep the house warm, even before I installed insulation bats between the joists.

Milestones. It's the Spring Equinox! That snuck up on me. And, probably more important :-) you had over 100 comments, last week. A record? If so, I think a trip to the pub is called for, to celebrate. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

What a beautiful sight is the second firewood shed, and the storage area next to the house. Hi, Sir Scruffy!

I spent the summers of my childhood running rampant at the Dallas Country Club, quite the ritzy place. Very different from your youth, but I knew nothing different and had loads of fun.

Would you call that spot a paddock that you were mending where the logs had sat to cure?

Are all of those fruit trees dwarfs? Or there is an even smaller type of fruit tree? The passionfruit flowers appear to be literally from out of this world. Thanks for the flower photos, as always!

The silkies seem to be really thriving. Happy girls! The chickens under the trees in the new bed look quite feral. They probably think they are, until it's time to go home to their palace!

I thought that those lyrics seemed familiar.

Tell us about the highbeams.

I'm glad that you reminded us of the ghost goat. Such a fantastic story.

For some reason, this refrain keeps running through my head: "Act in haste, repent at leisure." Perhaps I am going to need to remember that sometime soon . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

We label absolutely everything in the freezer with masking tape. Don't know if you call it that in the UK. It is a paper tape, sticky on one side. We write what the food is and the date with an indelible ink pen called a "Sharpie" and stick it on the outside of the container. When I have run out of masking tape I have used bandage tape, but that is too pricey for everyday use.

Pam

Damo said...

@Lew

Wow, I didn't realise you had ringside seats for Mt St Helens. That must have been quite a show! At university in 2013 I did a first year geology unit for an elective, and lots of the lecture material still referenced that blast. I think it is something that geologists (understandably) get very excited over.

You are right about quickly reacting to disasters. I guess the trick is knowing what signs to act on, some volcanoes do rumble and smoke almost constantly. I guess being attuned to 'things' out of the ordinary and paying attention is the key.

My only experience with earthquakes was on holiday in Indonesia. I was in the bathroom washing my hands and walked out to hear dogs barking. Mrs Damo tells me there was an earthquake, didn't I feel it? Later that week we hiked to the top of an active volcano, but the activity was limited to a sulphur smell and eggs getting cooked if you buried them slightly in the ground.

RE: Arrival
Yeah, in my mind some of her flashback/flashforwards were just artistic choices to enhance the audiences emotional response and not actually what she experienced. A bait and switch. But then, with time travel who knows :p

RE: Riker
As a teenager, I never really liked him. And the impression I got on internet forums at the time (and how small was the internet back then!!) was no one else really did either. Now, on reflection I think maybe the younger Damo took Star Trek a little too seriously and didn't appreciate the obvious fun he had with the role.

Cheers,
Damo

Damo said...

@Chris

Thank you for the musical pick-me-up. I suspect enjoyment of that musical style can be chemically enhanced. Although not back to my normal, jovial-self I feel it is safe to say I have passed through the eye of the needle. Yesterday I had 3 full meals, starting to put back some of the 2.5kg weight I lost! Just quietly, I perhaps don't need to put all that weight back on. Indeed, Mrs Damo and I are on a little weight adjustment journey. An eye to portion control and frequent exercise are our watchwords and although it is early days yet, our approach seems to be working.

RE: TNG
Thankfully, the ranking system seems to already include all of the time travel episodes. I guess they are fan favourites! Needless to say, I would manually add them if they were not present :-) I am about to watch a 2nd season episode where a Captain Picard 30 minutes from the future arrives in a shuttle craft with tales of the Enterprises destruction. Should be a good one :-)

This week, the college students have started their 'National Protection' workshop. I think at some point they get wooden guns and do a lot of shouting. Yes, it is some sort of military training! The teachers love it as they don't have classes for the next 3 weeks.

Cheers,
Damo

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The fellow never turned up. I rang him yesterday evening as I was genuinely worried. His excuse was too lame to even mention and he was as contrite as my son had expected. He is supposed to arrive this morning for a half day's work. Let's see!

The sun is shining but it has been a cold night.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I read your comment this morning and considered the "no show" to be an ominous indication, but as you say time will tell. With employment it is always not a bad idea to ensure that people have incentive to arrive otherwise, the simply go walkabout. Unfortunate. One of my mates told me long ago that his boss candidly told him that he preferred if his employees were heavily indebted.

Do you reckon he maybe contrite? I don't really know the people involved and their history, but, well, some people can say "yes" but mean "no". Dunno really. The guys that help me with the forest have an unusual sense of time, but over the years we've learned to accommodate the other.

It is funny, but I've never really used the freezer as a major preserving tool. Just my personal concern at having faced long power outages in the past has forced me to ignore that preservation technique. On the glass bottles that I usually use, I write what is in them and when it was preserved using a non-permanent marker. Plus then I store like with like. Hope that helps!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Glad to hear that you also explored the surrounding areas in your youth! People are very strange about that nowadays, but it is not my risk to take on board. Oh that reminds me too, speaking about risk I came across an excellent concept today.

Over the past few months more than a few people have mentioned to me how "fatigued" they feel at the recent turn of events. And it is a common enough response that I have been wondering about it - a lot. Interestingly the most recent example was in an article in the newspaper. My gut feeling is that the media has woken up to the sad and sorry state of play that they are out of the game are simply not reaching enough people anymore to have any meaningful effect. And so there are articles talking up fatigue which is really weird, because what has anyone actually done to earn the right to feel fatigued? I reckon the thoughts are a meme that has gotten out. Anyway, that aside I read an interesting quote which talked about this matter even further than I had previously considered. Here goes:

"... we found ourselves withdrawing from the world, growing intolerant of intrusions and distraction. We began to harbour our resources, focus our energies, as if in preparation for the gruelling labour ahead. It seemed to me that rituals that begin with isolation and confinement simply give cultural form to a natural imperative. To endure the most critical moments in life - birth, illness, death - we must disengage from the world about us; we must be in touch with ourselves."

I reckon the expressed feeling of fatigue which I see bandied around the place is a form of checking out and withdrawing. Which must then lead to near change? Dunno.

The problem with junkies is that they are rarely in good physical shape, although I would not want to face someone having a psychotic episode as those people have backed themselves into a corner from which they may not escape. Anyway, I was too fast on the pushbike to worry about that lot. As the tombstone indicates, mileage may vary wildly on that score.

Oh yeah. Over the ADR I had trouble in the comment section trying to explain to a "true believer" - who dare not show his head here - that solar panels don't produce much energy during prolonged cloudy periods. He seemed rather convinced that it was the fault of the system and he also ignored the simple response was that I regularly check (and test) the output to ensure that nothing is going wrong. I reckon he'd struggle with the task of cracking an egg. Hehe! You're right though, I generally stick to introductions to what is possible rather than provide details unless I want to impress upon people just how complex some matters can be. Of course most people don't listen, but that is cool too. Cooking from scratch is a lost art and most people fall into the ding ding school of reheating. I heard a delightful scientist on the radio this afternoon spruiking her book about "the gut". Apparently it has been quite the best seller, but to me it just seems common sense.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Don't laugh, I have known people to harvest damp firewood in the depths of winter. How they got it to burn is well beyond me.

Hehe! That's funny, and I'd never thought about it. They may be a bit uppity in Melbourne and not want to get their fingers dirty writing funny messages in the dirt. I have a personal fondness for people drawing fangs, devil horns and a devils tail on political posters. It is a surprisingly common activity.

Thank you, the trees are looking good and the tallest of them is about 5m (16 foot).

I'm glad to read that Nell showed up and it makes you wonder what is going on in her head? I hope she is alright? I just chucked Poopy outside to have a run around because he was sitting at my feet panting - and it's been a long day and I was getting a headache feeling.

Wow! I'm actually amazed that you have so much free wi-fi on offer about the place. I've never known that to be the case down here. Security is a problem on internet connected devices. I pay for a firewall etc. as I have the unwavering feeling that free does not equate to good. Things are getting noticeably more complex too on that front. Hey, I assume that you'll stick to your Mac World?

I remember when CD's replaced vinyl and I always thought that the sound quality was superb, but then vinyl was pretty good too. You know about a decade ago I sold off my old high end turntable and vinyl collection. It makes you wonder if that was such a smart move on my part... But then sometimes I clear out the occasional sci-fi book from my library and one series I never felt sorry about saying goodbye too was Stephen Donaldson's white gold wielding six pack of books. Honestly, I gave up on the last book and just put it down never to complete it. I think that is an acceptable solution to a tawdry story. Have you ever done that with a book? And what was the book in question?

Putting the ground cover down under the house is a good idea too. I once reblocked a house from underneath the floor and the tarps stopped me from getting too muddy. It is one of the reasons I loathe mud that job! And the timber stump on one corner of the house fell away with not too much effort leaving the corner of the now unsupported house looming only a few inches above my body. I fixed that problem up pretty quickly as the drains were leaking water into the ground at the point and the timber stump had rotted away. Dry timber rarely rots.

Exactly, insulation placed between the floor joists is better than money in the bank. Not many people are excited by the concept down here though as floorboards do not apparently make for a posh house - or so I was rather rudely told.

Was it over a 100, we smashed that record didn't we? And we didn't falter in the nervous nineties (an obscure cricket reference) and I believe there may even have been a BBQ and pub visit thrown in for good measure! haha! Welcome to the jungle! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Woof, woof (that is Sir Scruffy saying hi!). He has developed a rather unfortunate habit recently of running at you full speed and then crashing into you, knowing full well that I know he is an old dog and will moderate the crash. Oooof is the noise I make when I get crashed into by Sir Scruffy. He has a wicked sense of humour that dog.

Ah yes, hopefully we shall be toasty warm when it is freezing outside and I am hearing about your nice summer weather!

That does sound very ritzy, and of course Sir Scruffy being of noble birth would be welcome in such an establishment and conduct himself with all decorum. As long as he doesn't fall asleep as he may snore then and wouldn't tongues wag at that...

Probably, a paddock can mean many things to different people, but yeah it is an unfenced paddock.

What a fascinating question and also an astute observation. Fruit trees work like this: Seedling fruit trees will usually produce the biggest root systems and so you will get the largest fruit trees. Grafted fruit trees have a selected bit of wood grafted onto th e root stock of a dwarfing variety of a fruit tree. It is the smaller root systems which produce the smaller trees, and you never really know what the rootstock actually is and how the tree will grow. It is fair to say that it is indicative rather than guaranteed, but it is not sold that way. The orchard is a bitsa, so there are some seedling fruit trees and some grafted and the age of the trees varies a lot. Plus the wallabies have done their very best to helpfully assist with the pruning job.

Those chickens in the garden are feral, but once the sun goes near to the horizon and it gets darker, they all obediently toddle off to bed. The new silkies are lovely and the grey one - which is a cross of some sort - is a very beautiful chicken.

Glad you knew the lyrics and was it your favourite from the band?

Yes, yes, of course. An excellent idea! Glad you enjoyed the mystery of the ghost goat. One day I shall get a photo of my fine white goat friend with its kangaroo buddies.

Yup, I hear you about that and have been there and done that plenty of times. You'd think we'd all learn, but no as there are always new and interesting problems to test our wits...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

I always write the blog with a single glass of country wine in one hand. I find it assists with the creative process and who knows what strange inclusions pop into my head. I'm always including little jokes in the text and I always wonder if anyone gets them or not. It doesn't matter too much as they always make me laugh.

Hey, perhaps the acoustic version of the song is more to your liking: Foo Fighters - Everlong (Acoustic). I first heard the acoustic version and I prefer it to the original.

Far out there has been some serious flash flooding in Victoria today: Flash flooding in parts of Victoria as thunderstorms move across state. Castlemaine is a town to the north of here. The rain was fairly gentle here all things considered and the coffee was definitely washed into the orchard soil!

Well done for passing through the eye of the needle and being on the slow mend. 3 meals in a day is a worthy effort for a person who has gone through your trauma.

Mate, I've got some bad news for you on that front. As you get older...

Nice to read that the time travel episodes were all included in the favourites. They used to know how to do a series back in those days. Up to 26 episodes in a year was not out of the question. I've often wondered why current shows have such a short run of episodes nowadays? How many have you watched so far (ah, I see season 2 and counting)? And are you going to do the movies after the series?

And how do they know that it is the real Captain Picard and not some dodgy alien look alike?

That sounds awesome. I did cadets way back in high school, except they gave us .303's to pop a few rounds off or maybe they were SLR's? I can't honestly remember now. We were very well behaved and nobody got accidentally shot which when you think about the little rascals that we were, it was quite the achievement. Somebody did however chuck a sealed can of food into a fire which exploded. Much trouble ensued. Hard questions were asked. Fingers were pointed.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I have my fingers kept crossed for you. Hope it works out. Has your son downgraded his expectations?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The man turned up this morning, he had said that he would be bringing me a gift but not to get excited. Son saw him through the window and said that he was carrying something but that it wasn't a greenhouse. It turned out to be edible flower seeds. I have known the man for 30 years and he has worked for me on and off. He is very sweet but quite impossible and we are used to each other. He doesn't need the money, just loves being in the woods.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

Time to get a Nell Cam!

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I draw pictures on my usually-dirty truck. I mostly favor cats . . . Like Margaret, I let the rain wash it.

Sir Scruffy - you are one in a million!

Thank you for the fruit tree clarification. All of our supposedly "dwarf" fruit trees have grown to at least 30 feet (9m), except for one real dwarf apple tree and another apple tree that I grabbed early on and espaliered. This year all of the blossoms on our two pear trees were at the tippy top. Perhaps I can hire a small monkey at harvest time?

Yes, you are right - "Everlong" is my favorite Foo Fighters song. Thanks so much for the acoustic version. I, too, prefer that. I often prefer acoustic versions of songs.

"Somebody" chucked a sealed can of food into a fire which exploded. Somebody . . .

Pam

Damo said...

@Chris

Yes, I think a glass of wine can do wonders for the creative process. I note that Mrs Damo informed me earlier today we are attending a wine tasting next week. Who am I to argue?

Slight clarification, my chemical assistance comment was directed at the lovely german techno track you suggested to get my heart pumping :-p The Foo Fighters require no assistance as they enjoyable in any mental state! I remember wandering the Bellingen Markets in my younger days, a large ramshackle community market with hundreds of stalls and clientele of a more alternative/hippy nature. One stall had a copy of "The Colour and the Shape" with a bonus disc for $4! I snapped that one up and still consider it one of the best Foo Fighter albums. The Bellingen markets are very good, even with the alternative/hippy types priced out of the region.

RE: TNG
Not sure about the movies, I remember them as a bit mediocre. I know First Contact in particular is a favourite for many, but they are *not* TNG movies if that makes sense. In fact, First Contact is an excellent and enjoyable action movie, but not a TNG movie. Insurrection, I think, tries to be an ethical conundrum/intellectual movie but I have not seen it for a long time. Maybe I will watch them again? Except Nemesis, that one was awful, even with Tom Hardy! For me, the original crew movies are definitely the best.

RE: Cadets
I watched some of the 'training' today. Unfortunately it seems to be more indoctrination than training, consisting of day-long lectures. Apparently next week they go play football or something so it might not be all bad.

Your description of the exploding food can incident is hilarious. Really though, I blame the adults. They should have known such hi-jinks were likely and planned accordingly!

Cheers,
Damo

Damo said...

@Chris and other chook owners

I can't remember if I asked this before, but do I understand correctly that you only let the chooks out near dusk?

I presume this would be to minimise garden interference?

Cheers,
Damo

Damo said...

@General incoherent rambling

RE: TV series
Yeah, 26 episodes was considered a normal season back in the day wasn't it? As a boring cynic who loves to complain, I actually prefer a shorter season of 6-8 episodes. I feel it concentrates the quality and focuses the creative juices. However, as I understand it, most TV series were written and filmed only a week or two ahead of the air date so they did not have the luxury of planning long arcs or complex story development. I guess they did pretty well all things considered (especially with DS9).

Speaking of Tom Hardy, we watched a new series call 'Taboo' a few weeks ago. It is set in England, 1814 and involves a mysterious ex-East India Company employee, back from Africa, who starts planning revenge to his former employer. Hints at 'witchcraft' or maybe he is just observant and intelligent? Anyway, I thought it was pretty good although it does have a little gore in places. I think it was 8 episodes :p

Cheers,
Damo

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - Most of the stuff in my freezer is in plastic freezer bags, and as Pam said, a Sharpie (felt tipped black pen ... or, some synthetic pint, these days) works. I usually record contents and date. Sometimes I miss, and there are a few mystery bags ...

Meat usually comes from the butcher wrapped in paper. Pen works on those, too. Because even if the butcher recorded what's in the package, sometimes it's kind of cryptic. Probably makes perfect sense to the butcher. Sometimes I'm driven to my cookbooks to discover what a cut of meat actually is. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - I invested in a fruit picker that I got from the garden / feed store. Not one of the basket / rack kinds, as they, I think, damage the trees, a bit.

The one I got is a long pole (sections snap together and lock) with a bit of an open and shut "claw" at the end. Manipulated by cord. It will pick different sized fruit. It was a bit of a chore to put it together. And, using it ... you need a bit of patience and a delicate touch. You use both hands and need a bit of eye coordination. And once you snag the fruit, you have to lower it gently to the ground.

But all in all, I don't regret the investment. The pole, and going about three steps up my 6 foot step ladder really extends my reach. And I get the really nice big stuff from the top of the tree. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Hmmm. I'm just dipping into a book, here and there, that I think relates to you're fatigue question. It's titled "Can't. Just. Stop. : An Investigation of Compulsions" (Begley, 2017). Her premise is that a lot of compulsion, addiction and impulse-control disorders are ways that people cope with anxiety. Discharge it. And given the way we live, these days, and the state of the world, there's plenty of anxiety to go around.

But my thought is that states of anxiety and only be maintained for a period of time before fatigue sets in. I also saw an article a couple of weeks ago about people living near a volcano in South or Central America that may (or may not) erupt at any time. And how the uncertainty of the situation has a lot of the citizens down with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), which after a certain point is also very fatiguing. Any-who. The economic situation ... the strange unusual weather probably has a lot of people "on edge." Which probably wears at people and, after a certain point you just get tired (fatigued) by the whole thing.

Yeah, I'll stick with Apple. But I'll have security in place before I attempt to hook to the Net. Apple in general seems to have less security problems, not necessarily because it's such a great product, but also because it has a rather small market share. It's not worth the time investment for hackers. Although I also fended off two attempts at ransom ware attacks on my computer. I think it was a combination of being lucky, remaining calm ... and maybe because my Apple was a bit impervious to such an attack. The fact that I am running really old software might also have something to do with it.

As far as the Internet of Things goes, I read a rather disturbing article (talk about anxiety!) a couple of months ago. As a test, a fellow set up a virtual toaster (it appeared to be a toaster, to the Net) and within 11 minutes there was a very subtle "feeler" to take over the toaster. And this went on for days. Automated feelers. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Free wi-fi may be more available than you've noticed. Next time you're tooling around Melbourne, check out the signage on cafes, hotels, etc. You may be surprised.

Oh, yeah. I throw DVDs and books back, all the time. I watched the first season of a series called "A French Village" (set during WWII). I got the second season, watched an episode or two and it just didn't "grab" me. So, I won't watch any more of that. Can't really say why. Too many story threads? Uninteresting characters? I've decided to stop watching "Walking Dead" and "The Strain." They're just moving in a much to brutal direction for my taste. Books? Hmmm. A lot of times, if I start loosing interest, I might skim ... or just read the last couple of chapters. I'm reading a book about butter right now, cultural history, etc.. And, I'm losing interest. Maybe the author's writing style? Got me.

I did some mowing, yesterday. First of the season. Really, a bit early, but I was in the mood and the weather wasn't too bad. A bit of a drip, but not enough to get me too wet, or make the grass hard to cut. I wanted to make sure the mower would work. I've been chucking in a bit of gas and firing it up, about once a month, all winter. Got down the drive, front yard and half the side yard done before i ran out of gas. Will pick up some fresh when i go to town, tomorrow.

Nell dropped in for dinner, last night (Nice of you to stop by!) but when I let her out before bed, she promptly disappeared, again. About 5am, I heard her screech. Mixing it up with a neighbor cat, I guess. Let her in, went back to bed. Let her out when I got up and she's gone, again. It just is such a lack of .... loyalty. Which I'm very sensitive about. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

Thanks so much for the fruit picking suggestion. I'll check into one of those poles. We have a farm co-op here that anybody can shop at; they might have one.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Chris:

Tuesday was (is) the 21st of the month.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Ah well, that history puts a whole new spin on the matter. I hear you and have almost the same arrangement too with the guys that work here. The last time they were here, they stopped work for an extended BBQ way off down in the shade of the forest - and clearly they like being here too! I've known them for years and we have had our ups and downs but we have a sort of understanding. That is how community works really. It is a pity that a lot of people don't seem to understand that.

The edible flower seeds were a nice gesture too.

Few arrangements are perfect which is why so many prefer the monetary arrangements that so dominate our lives.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Hehe! I love it. Yes, those cat pictures would be quite nice. I hope you draw large whiskers and a swishing tail?

Sir Scruffy sends his regards and is currently on the floor behind where I'm sitting looking damp and miserable. It is very wet and foggy here today.

Lewis's idea was a goodie wasn't it? I tend to leave the higher up fruit for the birds who appreciate the reliable and tasty feed. The old timers used to use three legged ladders too for fruit picking.

Yeah, the acoustic versions are often clearer and far less "produced". Some artists let production get in the way of good lyrics and solid melody. Sometimes that is good too, but like everything it can be carried too far.

Oh yeah, that date was not lost on me and there have been many subtle pokes from people here! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Oh yeah, it does help with the creative process doesn't it? Plus it is not a good idea to hit home runs every time you step up to the plate (or hit sixes from the crease). People start to expect it and suddenly it becomes the new normal - I personally aim for inconsistency here! ;-)! Plus it shakes loose too many new commenters which makes it easier for me. The road is long and winding apparently, or so they tell me!

Enjoy your wine tasting and I assume those are from local grapes? It could be fruit wines too? They're good. Tomato wine is indistinguishable from a very good white wine although it tends to be smoother and black currant wine is very similar tasting to a good red wine.

Ha! Pursuit, of course! Thanks for clarifying as I misunderstood. Gets the blood pumping - sometimes in the form of a headache...

Thanks for mentioning Bellingen. I reckon that is a real sweet spot on the mainland in terms of the climate. I have passed through that part of the country, but, hippies and stuff tend to make my eyes glaze over...

Fair enough about the movies. How is the new series going?

If someone lectured me for a full day in the heat, I'd be asleep by mid afternoon. A tough gig that one. I assume football is soccer?

Nobody was harmed and well, kids will be kids. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Oops almost forgot.

No I let the chooks out in the evenings because otherwise they would be eaten by pretty anything and everything that could eat them and once the sun sets they take themselves to bed and lock them up. I actually have to supervise them and so I'm often replying to comments or writing the next blog whilst I'm out in the orchard of an evening. This can be a very uncomfortable experience in the depths of winter.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yeah I reckon that is part of it too. I see expressions of anxiety displayed in much younger people nowadays - of course this may well be because they are forced to hang around older people, but I also feel that the general weight of expectations on the kids is much higher than in the past. Parents are tending to see their children and the kids achievements as an extension of their own aspirations. And nobody can ever meet those expectations because they just get raised at every new achievement. Fortunately I was free of any expectations as a kid and that didn't load me up with anxieties, because I reckon you are right in comparing to a compulsion because once a person has gone too far I don't reckon they will ever be quite the same again as they can clearly see where things can go wrong - and who is there to initiate them into a world of being able to cope with such things? I don't see that happening much. Your AA is a wonderful group and a good example of what is possible, but prevention is better than a cure - and I see a whole lot of competitive behaviour which is frankly dysfunctional and even worse outright harmful.

That is one of the reasons I gave the story of me riding around the suburbs on my push bike potentially carrying some serious chemical gear and nobody thought that there was anything wrong with that - including myself, because there is nothing wrong with that. Our expectations have exceeded our abilities to deliver on them - and that leads to stress. And I reckon people are checking out in different ways but it is still the same thing. I never realised people did that until I saw my mates descend into a fantasy world of online games and that was a real shock to me that they would choose to do that option even at the high cost to themselves.

Yeah, you're probably correct about fatigue being born of anxiety. That makes sense. The thing is I don't reckon people have done anything to feel fatigued, I reckon it is more a case of potentially losing their perquisites and that seems like a dysfunctional response to me. I prefer to take action in such a circumstance, but you know, everyone is different and there is no judgement from me.

I have heard that about apple products too. That security issue is no joke and I get a lot of attacks on the podcast website from people (or automated programs) trying to hack into it every single day. They must be bored or something. I'd just delete it and then upload the podcasts again... I assume that they (whoever they are) just want to be a nuisance as there doesn't seem to be any advantage to be gained from the hacking...

I'll check it out and look closely for signs, but it may well be a point of difference. Dunno.

Images or stories of extreme violence do nothing for me, so I tend to avoid them. I reckon it is a bit like when comedians fall into the trap of becoming nasty rather than funny. The story is at the core of the matter and it can't be ignored otherwise people will fail to turn up and then the performance ends.

Exactly, I often wonder how many people remember that fuels go "off" if stored for too long. I'd like to get out and mow too but the weather is very foggy and rainy outside today. Mate, when the weather turns here, it really turns and thumps you! :-)! Are you enjoying getting outside and mowing?

Naughty Nell, it is almost as if she has a second family and is enjoying the perquisites of a second lot of feeding. I know someone who that happened too with a cat. They're very clever animals.

Cheers.

Chris

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

Swimming pools featured a lot in my younger life too. I was one of four children and I think the pool saved my mum's sanity in the summer holidays. Plus there was the back story of drowning in my family - my mother's brother, my father's first son - so we were all compelled to learn to swim early and train hard. I still love swimming but definitely don't love huge public pools. Several friends with young children have pools. It keeps them home and in view with their friends. Another change in the world. When we considered buying a house in town I was amazed at the covenants on some areas the disallowed a front fence. I asked an estate agent where the pool would fit because back yards seemed so small. She thought I was crazy because our summers were too short to bother with backyard pools. A mere thirty years later and I rest my case! Pools dot our backyards. Summers generally long and hot and anyway pools are solar heated.

We've had good falls of rain again this week. Our tanks are almost full. We're picking a new flush of green beans, rushing to eat the lettuces as they bolt and still picking tomatoes. I found the largest red backed spider I have ever seen up in a tomato plant a few days ago. It had made a web curling a leaf over itself. It surprised me because usually they keep to the dark places. I'm now wondering if they move up into plants to breed like funnel web spiders.

I enjoyed living in the misty climate of the Macedon Ranges. Here when we have low lying cloudy, cool days we call the Kerry kind of days.

We've only had fencers work on our farm. They built good, strong fences but left a trail of rubbish along our front fence where they were out of sight. I would hire them again but provide them with a feed bag to put their rubbish in.

I confess that we clean our going to town car but not our farm truck. It's getting harder to get parts for the truck to keep it going and roadworthy. Buying another second hand one eventually will be a big cost but necessary to get around the farm for all the necessary tasks.

I have firewood envy, Chris. You and the editor have done an excellent job. Now that we are greening up with a real Autumn break we can begin to gather our own supply.

Warm Regards, Helen

PS. Our next door neighbours very young dog was seen on the road to town where she was eating what we presume was a road kill wild pig.





Jo said...

Chris, busy bee in your Indian summer. I love the comment you left on my blog re attempting to live parallel lives - the one that brings in the money, and the one that provides actual stuff. Time will tell which stream is most productive :)

@Lew, your egg story reminded me of the times we've had the children's friends here and they have done some cooking, only to discover that no, their friends had never cracked an egg into a mixing bowl before.. or sifted flour, or mashed a banana, or stirred something in a hot pan by themselves..

Damo said...

@Chris and Chooks

Ahh, OK that makes sense. I never really considered the predator aspect. Growing up, our chooks were basically safe during the day. It was only foxes that created problems. To my eternal shame, when I was a young 'un, one night I did forget to lock up the chooks. It was not pretty the next day, but I think only one got taken. The others must have been terrified though!

More recently, in Zeehan, our 3 chooks were a resourceful and intelligent bunch (well, except for Speckles) who seemed to know exactly when it was safe to wander the open yard and when it was better to hang around under the many bushes. Wedgetails did apparently take chooks from our neighbours occasionally. To be honest, my bigger concern was when they got into our garden bed. Difficult to stop them when they can try all day long.

RE: Bellingen.
Yep, not really my kind of place. Beautiful, but now dominated by a particular crowd. Very similar to Byron Bay in that respect.

@Lew
Sounds like Nell is playing some mind games. Act as if nothing is amiss next time she decides to grace you with her presence and maybe things will change!

Cheers,
Damo

Coco said...

Hi Chris,

A couple of questions. Are the geraniums annuals that reseed or perennials? Such beautiful colors!

What type of dehydrator do you have? Thinking I´d like to purchase one this summer. Any considerations as to number of shelves, etc?

Regarding series, we´ve just finished Sons of Anarchy and Deadwood. I guess they´re good indicators of how to get along in a warlord culture. SoA went on for too many seasons, we thought. And Deadwood could have used one more, but what can you do. A warning to all about the level of violence and epically bad language in both.

Thanks!

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I have a block about 3 inches tall under the chicken waterer and in the winter there's a heated base about that tall as well on top of the block. This generally keeps litter out of the water for the most part. There are hanging waterers but our ceilings are too high to use them.

I do remember about the white goat with the kangaroos. There's a goat that lives with a herd of deer in a suburban area about an hour closer to Chicago. Goats will bond with other animals and are often used as companions for horses especially race horses as the goats seem to have a calming effect on the horses.

I didn't have the opportunity to go tooling around too much as a kid. As the oldest of eight children I was the one to help with all the younger kids. My mother apologized later when I was adult admitting that she asked too much of me (I didn't disagree). For a short time there were eight of us under the age of 13 and usually two in diapers - cloth I might add. We moved to the country when I was in high school so my parents could expand their hobby of raising Arabian horses. They put an in ground pool which was well used.

Breaking news here!! Our visit to the facility for Michael was very successful. After they had read his application which I sent in a few weeks ago they felt so confident about him fitting in well that they actually put him at the top of the list. He should be moving in about a month. The director of social services said there is the a formal meeting on Monday when she assured us that he would be officially accepted. We had visited this place six years ago and at the time residents had to share a room which isn't optimal. Well they've changed their philosophy since then and he will have his own room - larger than he has now with a lovely view. There are tons of activities and an indoor pool as well. He even knew another resident there. He's very excited and said to them, "I can't move in on Thursday because I have a dentist appointment." We all got a laugh about that. During his assessment my sister and I discovered that his math skills are much higher than we realized. He was asked if he could count backwards by three from 20 and to our surprise he quickly completed the task. The only downside is the facility is not in a town but it is a large property with a retreat center and nature trails. It will be an extra 15 minute drive to visit him but then I was very lucky to have him so close the last five years.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

@ Damo
I was taken to the Bellingen market when visiting my younger daughter. I loved it and wish that we had something similar here.

@ Lew
We have used every kind of pen on the plastic bags and it all seems to fade off in the freezer. Perhaps our stuff remains there longer. All I can think of is 2 plastic bags and the writing between the two. Son objected strongly to use of 2 bags but I shall try it.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Damo - Growing up in Portland, Oregon, Mt. St. Helens was always just "there." A perfect little ice cream cone on the horizon. The other mountain, in the world, that looked the most like Mt. Fuji. Now a jagged peak. From Portland, you can best see Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. On very clear days, you can see other peaks in the distance.

From where I live now, I get good views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. Weather permitting :-). Hood and Rainier often vent steam or sulfur gasses. Sooner or later ... They're all part of the Ring of Fire. I've been up to Mt. St. Helens, once, since the eruption. They've got a great interpretive center with views right into the blasted out north side and crater. You see it in pictures, but up close and personal ... the scale of the thing is just staggering.

I've noticed a lot of the Brit (and Commonwealth) series have scaled back a bit when it comes to number of episodes, per season. I finished off season 4 of "Sherlock," last night and it was just 3 hour and a half episodes. "Brokenwood Mysteries" (New Zealand) season if four long episodes. Along with a lot of bibs and bobs, their seems to be an overarching story line. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - When the pruner comes, he has a three legged ladder. These days, they're aluminum. There's usually a stack of them, in different lengths, at the local feed and grain store. Back when they were wood, there was actually a job called "ladder tuner". Big logging outfits used to have one "saw sharpener." I think they still do, but these days, they work on chain saws. I noticed watching "Brokenwood Mysteries" that in New Zealand, they call what we call a feed and grain a "stock center."

The book "Can't. Just. Stop" had quit a long section in the introduction discussing modern anxieties that didn't exist in the past. ..."They include the possibility that terrorism could again descend from an azure September sky or turn places as quotidian as an airport check-in, a subway, a concert hall, and a marathon's finish line into carmine killing fields. The sources of anxiety include, too, relentless technological advances that seem to outpace the ability of the human brain to keep up ... "

Or, "...other forms are widespread. Experiencing, or merely witnessing, such massive economic dislocations as the financial crisis of 2008-2009 or the waves upon waves of layoffs that crashed onto America's workplaces beginning in the 1980s made us see job and financial security, not to mention career stability, as illusory, fragile, a thing of the past. A job for life, wheather on an assembly line or in an office, has become as anachronistic as a pay phone." The author discusses several other sources of modern anxiety. As an aside, I think the media does a lot to stoke anxiety.

The author has a whole chapter on video games. Doesn't affect me, so I haven't read it. i was more interested in the compulsive shopping and collecting chapters :-). But I think the author is really pretty sensible. She doesn't see an "addiction", everywhere she looks. As she said in a bit on the video games, "I've said earlier that just because someone behaves compulsively doesn't mean his brain is broken; to the contrary, that reaction to otherwise unbearable anxiety is adaptive." Cont.



LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. The author makes the point in quit a few places, that one type of behavior can be ... very different. You can't pigeon hole them into one slot. Say, compulsive shopping or gambling. If the result is euphoria, such activities may be addictive. If such activities end with feelings of relief ... to discharge a build up of stress, it may be more of an adaption to relieve some kind of anxiety.

Oh, the mowing does give me a bit of a feeling of accomplishment. And, the first thing I do is get out and walk the ground that I'm going to mow. Take a real good look at it and make sure there's no junk that's strayed into the mowing area. I cleaned up quit a few branches from under the apple trees. Made sure the hoses hadn't strayed. Remind myself where the funny metal knob that tops the septic tank is, and pull the grass away from it, so I don't hit it.

I guess with Nell she was on such a regular schedule, for so long. A schedule where I knew she was safe, mostly. Yesterday was pretty normal ... took a nap together in the afternoon. Out around sunset. Back in for the evening. But disappeared before bedtime. And, she's a rather silent cat. It's rare that she meows to be let in. Which I'm more than happy to do.

Well, I'm off to the Little Smoke. Lots of stops, today. Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

What good news about Michael!

Pam

Damo said...

@Lew

The scale of geological processes (and time) is a little bit frightening if you think about it too much. Personally I would probably prefer to be next to a volcano then live in many parts of Australia. Our bush-fires happen every year, volcanoes seem to be pretty rare :-)

Did you like the new season of Sherlock? I must admit to being a bit lost now with exactly what is happening. The first couple of seasons were excellent I thought.

@Coco
I never watched Sons of Anarchy, but Deadwood is one of my favourite shows. The creator has said in interviews he felt a little bit robbed because HBO promised a fourth season and he wanted to show the town getting burned down (as it did historically). The swearing had a certain poetry to it I felt :-)

Cheers,
Damo

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Yes, drownings are a good incentive to learn to swim and I'm sorry for your families loss. It may surprise you to know that drownings have seriously increased right across the country this summer for some reason. I have no love for public swimming pools anymore as the lanes can be quite aggressive due to population pressures – there was more than one occasion where I was swum into and then they attempted to swim over me - and I was in the slow lane (I'm a slow but steady swimmer). The only restrictive covenants on a house I've experienced are the usual heritage overlays and I respected the heritage buildings so it was never a problem - but restrictions on front fences sounds like a bit of a joke to me - but I guess the authorities were serious.

It is funny that you mention the changing climate as I was involved in a recent group discussion where people reminisced about the climate that they enjoyed as youths which is alas now gone and I could go on further about the discussion but the next conversation went into "duh" land. Oh well, this is the world we live in and we can only do what we can do.

Well done you and I hope that the drought and heat is now done for you (probably our turn next year!). The past few days it has rained and rained and you are not wrong about the misty Macedon ranges! For three days that is what it looked like - and today was very cloudy. Not much solar power production this week - and the Kerry valley is a beautiful and rich corner of this range with Deep Creek running through it, just in case anyone considered that it wasn't attractive enough. :-)!

Those red back spiders are quite attractive and I never knew that they'd be hiding around tomato plants. They sometimes lurk in protected areas here like under the guttering, but they seem quite slow to move so that is a good thing.

Yeah, sometimes contractors can leave their rubbish here too, but we are nothing if not neat and so we collect it and dispose of it after they're gone. The editor heard a podcast talking about the coffee pod machines (pod coffee shall not pass my lips!) saying that there were now enough disposed plastic coffee pods to circle the globe 20 times. Not good. Espresso machines make a superior coffee for far less waste, but they're more expensive and require a bit more skill to operate.

You are so busted! Hehe! We'd clean our car too, but then it would just get dirty again given the state of the local dirt roads. Out of curiosity I was wondering how old the farm truck is?

Thank you and I shall enjoy your feeling of envy because it rained an awful lot this week and the firewood left seasoning out in the open is looking very damp to me. Of course your warm weather has a ways to go yet, so you should be fine but not so here. I reckon warm weather has left the building.

Ah well, dogs will be dogs won't they and it does seem like a good waste of road kill?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Many thanks, and the last ditch effort with the firewood last week was well considered because the weather has seriously turned this week and the firewood outside is now looking rather sad and damp (not the stuff we stored though).

Yes, time will most certainly provide an answer to that particular dilemma, and I'm not entirely certain that we will like the answer...

Now, I thought of your most recent blog the other day (which I really enjoyed because you are very correct in your assertions). It was the push back that you saw in the comments that was at the core of Mr Greer's dilemma too. I'm digressing all over the shop tonight, but I read a lovely bit of text the other day and wanted to mention it to you in relation to this matter.

I read an account of the difference between Western education with its preference for abstract knowledge over that of the lived experience. Your story was caught between the two worlds of abstract knowledge (which is the world we currently live in) and the world of lived experience (which is the story that you told and spruiked with the potential benefits for the readers). As far as I can understand it, the abstract world pays benefits for the incumbents. One of those benefits is chocolate, but the costs are mounting and people are falling off the deck of that particular ship. As a side note I found the last few minutes of the film Titanic to be a horrendous and sad bit of viewing (I was a bit teary, although fortunately for my manliness nobody saw that), but others may see the story differently (sorry I did tell you I was in digression mode tonight!). Getting back to the main story, the world of lived experience is a form of initiation and it will be painful for many. And I am sorry to have to write that. I saw the same push back over at the ADR and if you put all of the most excellent commenters here on this blog into a blender and produced another person, I'm not sure that the new person would be equal to that particular intellect of Mr Greer who has known the outcome of events for a very long time now. It is a dead end is what I'm trying to more or less say to you. The only way out of the conundrum is to do what you were doing anyway which incidentally is excellent. I’ve explored that possibility too that you wrote about, but hit the same wall, you may find a crack in the wall though and with that I wish you luck.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Rain is lashing my windows. It is coming from the north and is cold. Son just quoted 'Ne'er cast a clout ere May be out'.

@ Margaret
I am glad that you have found a good place for Michael. Your account of your work as a child was not unlike mine. I only had a younger sister but my mother fostered children and she went out to work so I looked after them. My elder half brother had schizophrenia and my stepfather was severely epileptic.

It seems to set a pattern for ones life as I have continued to look after people, adding my friend's two to my three when she died and then caring for older members of the family plus dealing with their estates when they died. I am now the eldest which I find quite weird.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

I reckon chicken tastes pretty good, but so do you too, and so do the: foxes; dogs; cats; wedge tail eagles; heck even the powerful owls would enjoy a tasty chunk of chicken. Speaking of which there was a powerful owl hanging around the chicken enclosure the other night. Chickens being so tasty, well they are all nervous for good reason! :-)! Only one chicken being taken by the fox is not too bad, so I would worry about it too much. Once Mr Poopy was accidentally let out by a visitor and within moments and he killed one chicken and maimed another chicken - honestly it was an impressive achievement and the visitor failed to even understand what had just occurred by their actions. I had to go out and neck the other maimed chicken which really annoyed me. And the visitors were oblivious to what just went on… Nowadays visitors are carefully screened for their level of common sense before they get to interact with the chickens. It was a harsh lesson for me to learn.

Of course with a name like Speckles expectations of the chicken cannot be too high! Hehe! Maybe? I'll bet Speckles knew her way around the garden beds though? Incidentally what breed was Speckles? Some chicken breeds are just closer to wild stock and they have a better sense of danger than other more domesticated stock. I see the differences in all of the many breeds here. One of my favourites is the Arauncana chickens which seem to be pretty alert to all sorts of mischief. One of the new silkies is being seriously bullied by the older chickens and there doesn't seem to be too much that I can do about it other than ensuring she has a place to hide and food and water to consume.

Fair enough, all of these places begin with good intentions even Nimbin. Mind you they have fertile soils, reliable rainfall and a long growing season. But the property prices there are insane.

Hey, I really enjoyed Deadwood too. It was rough as guts wasn’t it? I enjoyed the strange journey which went between the rough and tumble realities and a sort of strange social code which was maintained. The smallpox epidemic was a shocker wasn't it - especially when they just got rid of one of the first sufferers way out in the bush, who had the unfortunate problem of recovering and holding a grudge about the said treatment of being dumped. Fun times. The lesson to be learned for Al there was: don't leave loose ends...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

I'm not entirely sure about the geraniums as there are so many different varieties here and they all respond to the winter differently. Most of them sail through winter and most of them seem to have naturalised and now grow from seed. Over the past few years I've noticed that the colours are hybridising so it will be interesting to see what happens in the future. The colours are great aren't they and I do make a habit of stealing cuttings from interesting varieties from front gardens in Melbourne (my now not so secret shame and well I don’t feel much shame about it either now that I think upon the matter!). Plus there are a huge amount of different scents too - one smells like lemon sorbet and I must take some cuttings of that one. Most of the plants seem perennial to me though.

The dehydrator is: The Ultimate Dehydrator. It is a big call isn't it? The unit is perhaps better than a box type square tray arrangement because you can add up to 12 trays (although I run 6) and the entire unit disassembles so that it can be easily cleaned unlike some of the nooks and crannies of the box type arrangements. I am told that it was manufactured over in the USA so it may be known by another brand name elsewhere. It heats up to 60'C. I picked it up second hand and just purchased a few new trays. Cheap as!

The editor enjoyed Sons of Anarchy although I never watched it, but Deadwood was pretty cool - although a bit rough around the edges and they did enjoy a bunch of potty mouth as you quite clearly noted.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for explaining about your chicken waterers. That makes perfect sense. They love scratching around in the deep litter and they just kick it everywhere with no thought for tomorrow. I've wondered about placing the water slightly higher but then I worry for the bantams. Yeah of course, in a proper barn the ceiling would be way high, so yeah I hear you about that because if the chain started to swing in the breeze it may take out one or two chickens. Not good for them, huh?

Ah, interesting about the goats bonding with other animals. I did not know that. Did you know that down here they don't really promote that side benefit with goats? Instead people tend to have alpaca's as companion animals especially with sheep as foxes and wild dogs can be pretty brutal with lambs and sometimes even sheep, but alpacas are pretty ferocious. I was once spat on by a vicuna which is apparently meant to be a good luck thing. I just felt that some camelid had just spat on me...

Oh, I totally feel for you as the burdens would have been never ending in such a circumstance and you would have grown up years before your time. It was very lovely of your mother to later apologise to you as an adult. That was a special thing which is rare in the world of adults.

Well done for getting Michael into a new facility and it is a good thing is he knows someone there already. You couldn't ask for better, even with the extra drive. I am glad for Michael that he is excited too which is such a great outcome.

I let the chickens out in the orchard tonight for the first time in a few days because it has been so wet this week. Two of the new silkies are now full time in the enclosure with the rest of the chicken collective. However the other new silky is really struggling as she keeps getting bullied by the other chickens. I've seen this from time to time and it is not good for the chicken. I've given her a little space to hide in with food and water and she ventured out into the orchard tonight so who knows how it will end up. And whilst I was in chicken land tonight moving some of their deep litter into the orchard, I noticed that boss Plymie (a huge Plymouth Rock chicken) is now broody with her best friend which is a bantam silky and also the smallest chicken in the collective. I got a good photo of them as they are such good mates and boss Plymie keeps the little bantam safe from the other chickens. The world of chicken can be pretty rough, but it is nice seeing some nicer behaviour from them. It is strange that my boss chicken goes broody though. The previous boss chicken wanted none of that business though and it may be that that is the reason why the new chicken is being bullied as the boss is preoccupied and the other chickens know it? Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Yeah, I used a three legged ladder the other week to pick the apples. The (heritage!) ladder was older than the apple tree, so I'll have to keep a look out for them as I don't see them for sale anywhere. The first time I heard about the three legged ladders was in the Annie Hawes books up in the Ligurian hill country where it seems like a good idea, plus the single leg can get in closer to a fruit tree than the more usual trestle ladder. Hey, I'll tell ya what, I'd like a saw sharpener to keep the saws sharpened down here! That job is no joke and it can make all the difference with the cutting edge. It is a real skill and I was taught how to keep the saw sharp using a manual hand file, by this crusty old forestry worker dude who was a true alpha male if ever I've met one! Honestly I felt like a beta or perhaps more likely a gamma male, but you know I learned a whole lot about sharpening saws that day. I now sharpen all of the steel cutting implements here - even those with carbide steel which is enormously tough. I'd hate to think how much stuff gets thrown out just because nobody realised that it could be sharpened...

Which reminds me of a story. I once loaned my chainsaw to a mate and asked him if he could take it to the shop to get the chain sharpened before using it. I even gave him the address of the shop and told him it would cost about $10 to sharpen. I thought those instructions were reasonable. However, my mate clearly wanted to save the money and so he used the saw in a blunt state. Of course it didn't cut without a great deal of pressure and he spent so long on a simple job that the exhaust got hot enough to burn a hole in the casing. And I was filthy angry about the unnecessary destruction to my stuff which I had loaned. Now I told that story to the crusty old forestry dude and he just patted me on the shoulder and said: "Don't loan your wife or your chainsaw out as they'll both come back (insert a not family friendly word here that rhymes with the word trucked)". He out alpha'd me yet again that old forestry worker dude.

Oh, well just to throw a bit of confusion into the mix, your feed and grain would be described as a feed store in this corner of the world. A stock centre sounds as if you are going to purchase stock.

Well as to anxieties that never existed in the past, I am aware of someone who's school age kid has anxiety about dying. I mean the kid is correct in that we are all going to die sooner or later, but to worry about it as an overt form of anxiety seems a bit scary to me. I've heard about fears of terrorism, but if it happens, it happens. Didn't the pimple faced kid in Mad Magazines always proclaim the rather soothing opinion of: What, me worry? It seems like a useful personal philosophy, unless of course the person is doing something that they should worry about and then they should probably start worrying about the fact that they're not worrying about worrying. If that all makes sense which I hope it does? Maybe?

Ha! That is funny about the redundancy fears as in this weeks story I showed that I was made redundant even as a kid. Incidentally back in those days the story was told to me this way: Don't come back Monday! A brutal world. That whole job for life thing, I believed it for a year or two until economic events decided otherwise. But I had heard about it and it seemed like a nice thing to have. It is funny that you mention pay phones but there was a band recently called "The Cold War Kids" (matey’s I hear you!) and they had a song called "Something is not right with me". Anyway a brief refrain from the excellent lyrics is as follows:

"I tried to call you collect
You said you would not accept
Your friends are laughing cause
No body uses pay phones"


Funny stuff huh?

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...


Yeah I can see that you might be interested in the compulsive shopping and collecting chapters although to be honest I never got the impression that you were as extreme as the local fuchsia society in your endeavours in that activity? And to be honest I never feel that addiction is everywhere. For all I know my mates that lost themselves in the World of Warcraft for many years may actually be on the right track and it may be an adaptive response to the circumstances? Dunno. Did the author talk about the cross over from compulsion to addiction? Was that explored at all and if it wasn't what do you think about that matter?

The author Jack Vance, who I must disclose that I'm a bit of a fan of, often has that narrative of catharsis - or release - from societal tensions as an ongoing meme in many of his books. I reckon he explored it best in the short pulp fiction book "To live forever". Of course his experiences during WWII probably had a lot to do with that particular mem in his writing. Exposure to WWI would probably have seen a similar meme arise. Incidentally Mr William Catton Jr also wrote about that meme from the point of view of a sociologist and an ecologist and I personally found it to be fascinating.

It is particularly interesting down here as with all of the interesting events unfolding all around us, our federal politicians are busying themselves instead with efforts to water down racial discrimination laws. I sometimes wonder what we are paying them for? Interestingly too, the efforts to water down these laws are aligning the most unlikely of bed partners who are forming a concerted grass roots reaction to this latest bit of political silliness. The politicians seemed to have lost themselves in the abstract issues and believe those to be the real issues that need to be addressed. I kind of feel a bit sad for them.

Isn't it a good thing to get out and walk around and at the pace of a push mower you get to see things that may otherwise get missed? And nobody wants to run over a septic system as that would not be good. I noticed mowing the other day that a seedling cape gooseberry (which isn't a normal gooseberry but is more closely related to tomatoes and potatoes) had just popped up in one of the garden beds.

Hopefully it is only a spring thing with Nell and nothing more. Is she normal when she finally makes it back inside? Is Beau treating her differently? Well, we constructed the doors and so the animals have a certain sort of claim on our time and so like you I am happy to let them in and out as needed, as long as they are not doing it to annoy me for attention.

The rain finally stopped today, but it was way cloudy and I have to hold off using much electricity because of the complete lack of it to be had. Oh incidentally, the powers that be closed down a quarter of the electricity generation in this state a few days ago. I wonder whatever they were thinking? I doubt very much that it was concern for the climate. It was probably - and here I'm just speculating - an effort to extract higher prices and better returns for the remaining generators during peak usage. Really glad not to be connected to that rubbish system.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I hear your son. Very wise words. I don't know whether you recall that I ran the firebox a couple of times this most recent summer? And one day I had on my sheepskin jacket it was just so cold. I hope it warms up and you get a decent spring and summer? Thanks for the old saying, I appreciate that.

It finished raining today and the fog lifted and it was merely cloudy instead. Not much solar power and I hope nobody anywhere is betting the farm on that technology?

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Chris and Helen:

In many of the suburbs in this country no fences at all are allowed, either front or back. Also, no clotheslines. The fence restriction seems to me to be sort of a case of trying to give the place the effect of a bucolic country setting. There arises an issue of a lot of loose dogs as people get tired of having to take their dogs out on leashes every time they have to do their duty, yet while living in the "countryside". The no-clothesline rule is to keep things looking "upper class". Drove us nuts when we rented a house in a modest suburb while building our house. I think it may be loosening up a bit, as one hears of neighborhoods now allowing chickens.

Chickens are such fascinating creatures! Loved hearing about Plymie and her little friend.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - I'm so glad that you found Michael a nice place to live, that he likes. Housing. Always a problem. I'm a little nervous about the place I'm moving as it's part government subsidized. And the way things are going, that may change. The Warden doesn't seem to concerned ... yet. She told me they're pretty financially healthy. We'll see. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Oh, yeah. I quit liked the new season of Sherlock. I'll have to watch the spoilers :-). Everything was brought to a satisfying conclusion. But plenty of room for another season. I watched a bit of the "extras" and the director said that everyone was up for another season ... but the actors are now so popular, that it's difficult to get everyone's schedule to align. I'd also guess that quit a few of them are commanding some pretty staggering salaries, these days.

Not too many years ago, a hot spot on Mt. Rainier caused a lot of ice and snow to melt. A large wave of mud and enormous boulders went ripping through a popular camping area. Luckily, it was the off season and no one was about. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, that is a funny story about the crusty old forestry dude. I know the type. They're thick on the ground, here. :-)

Your friends who have the kid who has anxiety about death. Have him volunteer in a hospice for about 6 months, and the problem should be taken care of. Heck, "processing" a couple of hundred chickens out to do it. :-) How good was Alfred E. Neuman?

The way I understand it, compulsions and addictions are two completely different things. One does not evolve into the other. it's important to identify one from the other, as treatment is different. The author of the book "Just. Can't. Stop." was also a bit miffed at the whole, ever shifting psychiatry "industry." Someone gets an insight. Dodgy, not very rigorous studies are done. Over time, it's a mess. Things are getting a bit clearer, over time, due to advanced brain imaging. I haven't got to that chapter, yet.

The more I figure out about my tat addiction/compulsion, the easier it is to handle. :-). I'm a completest, which I have to watch. If I find a pair of candlesticks, I want to find the console bowl that matches. And vis versa. Of course the trick is to just not buy "orphan" bits and bobs. If I pick up a piece of say, Fostoria glass blue etched Brocade pattern, I somehow think I should have 3 or 5 pieces (always odd numbers). My mind is a strange place, but the more I figure out about it, the easier it is to control the impulses. And I've developed a bunch of little tricks to avoid buying "stuff." Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well. Watering down the racial discrimination laws is, partly, politicians playing to the mob. A nasty way of acquiring power. And, why not? It's working so well in other parts of the world.

Oh, when Nell's back on schedule, she' pretty much the same. As far as Beau goes, she has always given him a wide birth. He's pretty territorial about his space. When she disappeared for the longest time, one thing I did was check his yard to make sure she hadn't wandered in and been done in. Oh, argh. I did find a possum I had missed, who is far beyond the "shovel disposal" stage. It's in an out of the way corner of a garden bed, so I think I'll end up just dumping a pile of earth over the corpse.

Our PUD (electric Public Utility District) is moving toward an 8% increase across the board. At least they're non profit. But some major aging infrastructure upgrades need to be made. And, there's thousands of miles of line that need to be maintained. This last winter really dug into their surplus funds.

I watched an interesting documentary, last night. "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." About these Russian grannies who live in, have snuck back into the exclusion zone and live in ones and twos in the scattered villages. At first the Russian government tried to get them out, but finally pretty much gave up. They figure they're mostly so old, they'll die of old age before radiation induced cancer kills them. And, they discovered that they seem to live longer that the old people who have been relocated. And though it wasn't stated, I think they came to the conclusion that it's an opportunity to study the long term effects of radiation.

What a bunch! They're feisty, independent, resilient ... and at times, really, really funny. They're full of pragmatic wisdom and herbal lore. In winter, sometimes the roads are impassable. There are wolves and wild boar. They all have huge gardens and forage off the land. One thing that a woman said that stuck with me "Some people look at a puddle and see the sky. Some see themselves. Some see nothing." Worth a look if you run across it. Lew

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Margaret

The new living situation for Michael sounds like a very good fit for him. How lovely that he's excited to go. Accommodation like that is hard won here. My older daughter worked with a local organization here that had both a hostel and cottages with live in carers for their residents but they had piecemeal situations in the sense that they were in the hands of more than one organization during the day. I hope the extra travel is not too hard on you.

Warm Regards, Helen

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Chris

The nightmare scenario of coffee pods taking over the planet is ghastly. I do not take coffee from them as a matter of principle. Not that anyone notices because most of our friends think along similar lines and anyway use a variety of old style coffee makers. I have read however that there are biodegradable pods with organic coffee? The pods are a little more fragile, I think from memory. It's a bit like fair trade organic chocolate. People know about it but prefer the tastes of chocolate they are habituated to, no matter the cost and exploitation of those products.

I definitely hear you about lane swimming in public pools. I've had a fingernail split my eyebrow in the past - needed a single stitch. The other person just ploughed on. We also used to swim in the city in a indoor heated pool in Clifton Hill but my husband got one respiratory infection after another so we had to give it up.

Our farm truck is a 1984 Toyota FJ45 land cruiser but we replaced the engine over ten years ago with a younger one from a troop carrier. We also had necessary repairs done to the upholstery. We keep it in very good repair even though it's old because it's essential for living here and we need it to take wood into town through the winter to the family that we share wood with and all of the other farm supplies that don't fit in our little town car.

Warm Regards, Helen

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

I'm unsure whether I'd be comfortable with no fence at the rear of a property in a township location as the dogs would simply avail themselves of all of the neighbours facilities. It would happen, you know, and then people would get upset, there may even be tears and recriminations, and it would be a giant hassle for me. I maintain a dog run here which is quite nice, has shelter and a couple of kennels and a bean bag, but most importantly it stops the naughty tykes from escaping into the bush at night. When we first moved to a rural location Toothy and Poopy wanted nothing more than to run around the bush at night for many hours causing mayhem and chaos. They tested every single fencing option until we eventually upgraded to the sort of steel fencing that was used to stop car accidents adjacent to road-works way back in the day (they use huge plastic barriers full of water in these enlightened times). Very strong steel stopped their nocturnal naughty activities proper like and dead in its tracks.

I had to laugh about the no clothes lines business because way back in the day when we lived in a snooty inner city abode, we used to leave the washing at the front of the house to dry on hot sunny afternoons on washing horses. Oh the kurfuffle we created by doing that! But not everyone was upset by our actions and across the road there lived a very well-known sculptor who was delighted by our actions. The upside of that was that he allowed me to use his expansive workshop and tools and equipment to construct steel works like the front fence which ended up being a replica Victorian era fence - which I note is still looking good today so many long years later.

I reckon people will be singing a different tune about clothes lines when energy becomes much more expensive.

Yes, they are and I shall put a photo of the two mateys in the next blog. The most timid of the new silkies is trying to muscle in on that arrangement too, and appears to have been achieving some success...

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Thanks to everyone who commented about Michael. We consider ourselves (and him) very lucky. As Lew said continued government funding is always an issue though this organization seems to get funds from many sources. They have a huge, well known resale shop that employs some of their residents. It's a very Christian organization and has a retreat center on the grounds as well. It's a bit too religious for my taste but Michael enjoys trying different churches and Bible study so he will fit in well. The drive is only an extra 15 minutes so other than in bad winter weather it shouldn't be an issue. We don't have a full grocery store here so I go weekly to the next town south for many of our groceries. There's a grocery store on the way to the new place so I'll probably stop there now. Now there's all the paperwork as the court has to approve this place, forms for his current doctors etc. He'll need a new primary care physician closer to his residence. Michael will now be a resident of Wisconsin which has better funding for people with disabilities than Illinois (well every state is better than Illinois).

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

There are areas here where properties may not fence their front gardens and there can be covenants forbidding the drying of washing outside. So odd, I love seeing a line of washing blowing in the wind.

I can second Lew on the excellence of the programme 'The babushkas of Chernobyl' I saw it quite a while ago. I assume that they live longer because they are happy to be back in their old life, no longer uprooted.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Well those old crusty dudes have something to say, and despite being allocated a gamma position in their social pecking order, by them and their interactions, I always learn an awful lot from them. They're unfortunately not thick on the ground here, and I worry that I'll be left in that role of crusty, well informed, but brutally pragmatic older dude without having much of a clue about a whole lot of things. It is a conundrum you know! :-)!

That is an excellent idea and I will suggest it. I never would have thought about that. I may suggest that the kid spends some time with terminally ill kids, at say, the Royal Children's Hospital. That should fix that particular obsession, although I'm not sure that they will do that though. Such a strange obsession for one so young. Oh well. People are very uncomfortable and detached from death, but when you see it firsthand, it sort of makes it hard to pretend that it doesn't happen, which is what I see a lot of people trying to do. It doesn't stop the physical process though which comes for all of us in the end.

Yes, processing chickens (a delightful way to describe that particular activity) is another way to cure such a phobia. I first felt a bit weird about killing a sick chicken, but later came to terms with the simple fact that it was better for the other chickens as well as the sick chicken. You know, I watched to see what the other chickens would do to a sick chicken once and they were far worse! They continually stomped the daylights out of the sick chicken and so it was a mercy to end its life. It was not coming back, of that I am certain.

Alfred E Neuman rocked out! Nuff said really. Me, why worry? Very good advice when you think about it. Hehe!

Fascinating stuff and I was not on top of the understanding of the difference between addiction and compulsion. That makes sense too. And here I have to fess up to having a little night time ritual with the chickens... As I lock the shed I call to them: "Nighty night girls. Chook. Chook." I have absolutely no idea how I started that ritual but there you go. I feel much better now that I have shared that. It will be interesting to hear what the advanced brain imagining scanners tell about these sorts of actions.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hmmm, a completest, that makes a sort of sense and I have experienced that sort of activity as a young kid. When I was a young kid they used to sell trading footy cards with some sort of lolly - it may have been a candy or bubble gum, but I now forget. The interesting thing about it was that other kids used to swap and barter (thus the trading reference) for the hard to get footy cards and of course there were always those cards which made the full set hard to obtain in the first place. What did people get when they obtained the full set, well, there was a certain sort of adulation and commensurate rise in social status upon achieving that outcome. Yes, I can see how you may be more inclined to odd numbers in a collection than even numbers as then there is always the middle isn't there? So what sort of control strategies do you find to be effective?

No the racial discrimination laws are trying to be watered down by the media interests as far as I can understand the situation, the population at large doesn't seem to appear to see the need for the change. And this was the same media that keeps endlessly writing articles about your President, and I'm pretty sure they didn't pick the Brexit result either. Why your President is near to the top of our local news every day is well beyond my understanding! As far as I can understand the guts of the problem, the problem with being on the take is that once you are on the take and well, you have to do what you're told, otherwise you wouldn't be on the take and there will most likely be consequences.

I hear you about the beyond shovel stage as I discovered a dehydrated and mummified rats corpse the other day. Fortunately the worms get all of us in the end, and I have a lot of worms. Nell is pretty clever to give Beau his space, but I reckon he may defend her given the right circumstances. Dogs can be quite fond of cats when given the chance. Nell is a complete mystery.

Far out - 8%! People are heading for that reaction down here too. Ouch.

Thanks for the reference and I will try and track that documentary down tonight. I must get to a certain well.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

The only opportunity that I had to watch Sherlock we watched the episode "The Abominable Bride" which, frankly, was weird. The person that I watched it with said that the other episodes were not like that.

Perhaps it is the sense of independence, and the close connection of like-minded people, that contribute to the babushkas longevity? I would be curious as to whether or not religion plays into it at all.

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

It is a ghastly circumstance isn't it? The podcast for the record was the Canadian podcast titled "Under the Influence". It has been quite long running and is written by a guy in the marketing industry who spills the (bad coffee joke alert!) beans on all sorts of interesting topics. Well worth your time.

I suspect that people know the gritty realities that underlie their perquisites, as I see beneath the discussions with other people, and I see exactly that. I don't know what to make of it, and just try not to be too judgemental or preachy. What else can you do? As a general observation, we place an awful lot of emphasis on abstract knowledge over that of the lived experience.

That is awful behaviour, but yeah, I have had too many similar experiences in swimming pools and so eventually just gave up swimming. Exactly, most people are very unapologetic about such rude interactions too and it is not nice to be on the receiving end of that sort of thing. I know that pool in Clifton Hill as I used to live in Fitzroy North, although I never swam there though. It is funny that you mention Clifton Hill, but a long time ago I used to have a post office box at the local post office which is just up the road from that pool in an old art deco building. Anyway, I was in the post office one day and somehow I ended up speaking with the lovely couple that ran the post office, and I have no idea how the topic arose, but I mentioned Mark Chopper Read who was in the news at the time. Well, the lovely couple looked very panicked and told me quite firmly and quietly to be careful about what I said, as apparently he had also had a post office box there! Across the road a bit from that post office was a lovely couple who used to open their café on Christmas days and the editor and I could start the day most appropriately with a proper espresso. A fine way to start a Christmas day too! Alas for the area, I know it well, but I know not the people there now as it journeyed from a bohemian wonderland to something I never realised might happen. Some people call that process “gentrification”.

Oh my, a 1984 Toyota FJ45 is a truly venerable old beast of a machine which will serve you well for the next dozen decades (give or take a few replacement motors!). I loved those older cruisers and have known a few of them. They were absolutely 100% business and were the inspiration for my purchase of my back to basics Suzuki Sierra all those long years ago. Same, same, but much smaller. Lovely stuff!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Thanks for reminding me of Alfred E. Neuman. I like the campaign slogan he used in his frequent runs for U.S. president: "You could do worse . . . and always have!".

Pam

margfh said...

@Inge,

Well your childhood does sound familiar. Interesting, your comment about setting up a pattern in one's life as for the last 18 years we've had family members in and out of here. Patrick's will be the 3rd estate I've dealt with and I'm my mother in law's POA of property and her executor as well.

I suppose being the oldest sibling plays into it a bit. Both Doug and I are the oldest of our siblings. He and I have taken care of his parents as both his brothers live out of state. We made the decision long ago not to move far from our families. My siblings all live in the area though and most of our children do to. I've seen too many people struggle when their parents begin to have health issues and they live far away.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

The base under our waterer is rectangular so part extends beyond the waterer if you can picture what I mean. When we've had hens hatch out chicks the chicks will hop up onto the base to drink by the time they're two weeks old.

My mother really wasn't terribly maternal. She should have had a career. Once you become an adult yourself you realize that your parents are just people with flaws like everyone else and at least in my case I cut her some slack. She was a smart, capable and interesting person which especially as an adult I appreciated and considered her one of my closest friends. She loved to drive and always did the driving instead of my father which was unusual back then. At one point she got a Trans Am and I have fond memories of just tooling around with her when I was in high school. She would try to drag race people too and loved to pull pranks.

I hope your silky begins to fit in better soon - poor thing. I find chickens quite fun just to watch.

It's supposed to be 75 (24C) here today so I'm taking advantage of the day to get the fencing up around the garden. Tomorrow will be 30 degrees colder. Had a thunderstorm last night and rain is forecasted for tonight and tomorrow. Left the car out of the garage so all the salt can finally get washed off.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - The dreaded CC&Rs! (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions.) Anything that brasses off the powers that be, not covered by zoning. Some restrictions (and, the court cases) are truly bizarre. I picked up a copy of "House Rules" from The Home, early on. Just to see if there's anything in there that I couldn't live with. Looks pretty straightforward and sensible.

Of course, CC&Rs are justified by the reasoning that they "preserve property values." Of course, they're often used to keep the "wrong sort" of people out ... or, to get them to move along.

I guess religion permeates the Babushkas lives. Russian Orthodox. There sure is a lot of religious tat, about their homes. There was one segment where ... well, they have one church service a year. Easter midnight mass. They round the Babushkas up in vans and buses and take them to a central church. I think it's the high point of their year. For the sociability, if nothing else.

There was one very funny bit. Apparently, part of the service is the blessing of the produce. The Babushkas have baskets overflowing with stuff they've grown. The priest blesses the contents. LOL. There's one Babushka standing with her dajughter, or grand daughter ... well dressed and clearly from "the city." The daughter looks in the basket and says "Is that moonshine?!" You can't have that here!" Babushka: "They bless wine." The Daughter: "Hide it!" Babushka just shrugs. It was great! Well, maybe you had to be there .... Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - "...without having a clue?" Oh, I think you'll do alright as crusty old dude / font of wisdom. You do know how to crack and separate eggs? :-). A cult will form. You can perform that slight of hand. The crowd will oh, and ah. :-).

As far as the kid with the death issues ... you could always get him a puppy or kitten. And then shot it. Naaaw. That's probably over the top. Maybe a gold fish or a guppy. They seem to pop off with great regularity. Thinking about it, the ... archetypical child playing out a (sometimes) elaborate funeral to bury a pet is probably a coping ritual to deal with death.

Your "chook, chook" ritual made me spit tea. :-). Nell was back on track, last night. I go to bed, she climbs up and perches just below my shoulder. I say, "We go night, night? We go sleepies?" Then she goes into her 5 minute routine. She kneads and gives me a little mini massage. Always manages to hit whatever the sorest spot is on my shoulder. How does she do that? Then it's a bit of grooming. She settles in to sleep, and all is right with the world. :-).

Oh, we all have odd little habits. Superstitions? Things we do in private. Harmless but ... quirky? Things we do that we'd rather not have other people know about, as they might be thought "odd." But try and skip them and things do not seem right with the world. Everything seems to be a bit off kilter. Like there's something missing. Something important has been left undone. Hmmm. I was trying to think of other things, but I'm drawing a blank. Something will come to me. What's that old saw? "Confession is good for the soul." :-).

Somewhere along the way, I think when I was very young, I read something about, I think, Asian aesthetics. And that odd numbers of things were more ... harmonious. Pleasing to the eye. For reasons unknown, that just really stuck with me. It's so odd that you can hear something at one place or point in time, and it has very little impact. Hear the same thing in another place and time, and it's like the ceiling falls in. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, as far as our President goes, probably the less said, the better. :-). I suppose there's a lot of fascination in the world that such a bizarre character has been elected. Who does bizarre things. And the people he's gathered around him are .. well, words fail. Each new day brings something that leaves me nonplused, angry or frightened. To quote Dorothy Parker, "What fresh hell is this?" :-)

I watched a new documentary, last night, called "The Story of Australia: A Land Like No Other." Probably from your tourist board. It was pretty good, and the photography was fantastic. Unfortunately, there were no subtitles. Given that my new DVD unit, even at highest volume, is rather soft ... and the accents of some of your country folk :-). I missed a bit. It was divided into segments. A general overview, agriculture, mining, education, living in Australia, and the Chinese in Australia. The format was short interviews with all kinds of different people.

I learned all sorts of things :-). "Bush Tucker." As one indigenous woman said, in referring to the bush, "It's a supermarket, in there." I didn't realize that macadamia nuts are native to Australia. It was stated that they are the only bit of bush tucker that has been commercialized. In the parts that touched on Australian history, absolutely no mention was made of the convict part of the story. Kind of glaring, by omission. Just lots of happy settlers looking for opportunity.

There was a part of a segment about the Canberra Glass works / school. I'll have to look into that. It looks like they're going some really interesting things. I thought it a bit odd that one whole segment was about the Chinese in Australia ... who only make up 6% of the population. I got to wondering if the whole point of the film wasn't, perhaps, to be sent to China as a bit of PR? Lew

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Well, Crusty Old Dude - just act like you know what you are talking about, probably no-one will be the wiser. Unless they catch you with your: "Nighty night girls. Chook. Chook." . . .

Enjoy the well; don't fall in.

Pam

TalkingTrees said...

Hello Pam and Chris

I think I have unreconstructed notions of private property and security because I feel exposed when our fences are not all intact. We left our front gate open for a couple of years but with the deer arriving we've closed it again and I find I prefer it. It's a bit like lowering the portcullis?

The washing line restrictions would drive me insane. On this old farm our washing line, which is made up of old telephone posts, cross posts and fencing wire, is in full view of the road and in front of our house so technically in our front garden. It's quirky and funny. City visitors think we are rustics. And we are but in a complicated way.

Chris, I am what is loosely called a radical empiricist (Gilles Deleuze/Felix Guattari). So experience is in there somewhere but probably turned on it's head.

Warm Regards, Helen

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks for the laughs, I'd completely forgotten about that one. So very true too!

Don't laugh, but a mate of mine who has a very serious job says to me: fake it 'til you make it. But of course we must not let "them" ever hear me putting the chickens to bed, although after a bit of mumbling I may hear them say to me: Did you just say something? No, no, you must be hearing things. And I shall reply (with maybe an extra nighty night girls, chook chook, whispered just to be sure that nobody hears)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

A mate of mine who is far more experienced with breeding chickens and raising chicks than I, told me that one of his champion chicks drowned in a small and really shallow pool of water which sounds an awful lot like what you described. Unfortunately I remarked to him that it wasn't much of a champion breed if that was the outcome and now I feel a bit mean about having shared my possibly incorrect thoughts on the matter. The world of chicken is a rough world indeed and from what I now know it is possible that one of the other hens may have caused the drowning of the chick.

Yeah, my mum was likewise and did study and have a career too (as a single mum) and from hindsight I can see that such a load would be untenable over the short term let alone the longer term. Little wonder that she was a bit on the ratty side of things. Yeah, exactly parents are just people too and they all have flaws and are far from perfect. Plus they were just so young and who does anything smart when they are that young? Don't laugh I almost bought a Trans Am at one point and it was a 455 HO model with a giant abstract bird on the bonnet (converted to right hand drive too). Alas I was not man enough for such a beast. I'll bet your mum had some serious Dukes of Hazard style fun in that beast! You can hear those cars coming from miles away... The funny thing is that your mum was an individual with a very distinct personality which probably didn't mesh too well with the narrative that was allocated to her.

I hope so too, the little black silky was in the orchard tonight and I must say that she has mastered the art of the defensive squawk when harassed by some of the other birds. It is blood curdling.

That is a smart move with the salt being washed off by the rain. The same thing happens here with the red dust that gets all over things - of course the mud takes a bit more work. Hope you received some good spring rain.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thanks, but how do you make an omelette again - and does it involve eggs? Hehe! Just mucking around. It just started raining outside which is cool as today was quite warm at around 86'F. I headed into Melbourne on the train for the Green Wizards meetup and we now have a new format and new location (the Melbourne city library). A talk was given by Marcu on e-waste which is a frightening form of waste and there was a good turn out for the talk and discussion. The new location proved to be a success because it was quieter and people could talk more easily. Nobody dominated the discussions either which was really cool and there were a few new faces. All up it was very good. The lunch component was brought forward earlier and next time I will have to order earlier if I'm to nab a proper tiramisu! Alas, I feel the loss of the tiramisu and will organise myself better next time. The mushroom pizza was very tasty though.

Your comment about the eggs reminded me of National Lampoons send up of Dune "Doone". A cult will form indeed! Hehe! Very funny.

I can see that you too are at heart a brutal pragmatist with that puppy or kitten aversion therapy. Of course, I know you are mucking around with that suggestion. I reckon the core of the problem arises from undue pressure on the kid from the weight of parents expectations. It is not pretty, actually it is quite grasping. The old timers used to say that the apple never falls too far from the tree. There are exceptions to that of course, but it is perhaps more true than false, don't you reckon? I've kept fish as pets and sooner or later something goes wrong, it is one demanding hobby. I once had someone house sit my place while I was on holiday and I came back to find that the water in the aquarium had evaporated and there was a dead fish or two on the stones. I was absolutely filthy that someone would do that, but carry on we must and it does make you wonder how they put up with the stink? I faced my first pet death as quite a young kid as the terminally ill cat was given the bright green injection and it was traumatic, but probably a necessary experience.

Glad you enjoyed the night time chicken ritual. For some reason I feel that the chickens will be safe if only they are put to bed with the following incantation... :-)! It was a tea spitter wasn't it? Seriously, I'll bet you're now missing your opportunity to try that one out on some chickens now that your chooks are retired to the chicken lady? Hey, you can always make a visit just to see how the chickens are travelling in their new digs (and then slip in the incantation)? Hehe!

Animals can be far more receptive to humans than we realise. A while back I heard a story about a blokes dog that was sniffing his arm at one particular spot and he went to the doctor to find that he had a melanoma on his arm. Of course I have seen dogs licking other dogs warts as if they were a fast food outlet, but the dog in the previous story could have been well intentioned too.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

I've often wondered whether confession was originally a form of social currency for the priests and unburdening for the population. Dunno I'm personally uncertain that the soul benefits one way or the other from the experience, but if people feel that it does, then that is cool. It is funny that you mention the whole confession thing but... One of the Green Wizards lives on an island and he's cool. I mentioned a little story about sitting around with another group of friends recently talking about how much the climate has changed since our youth. Then I mentioned that they went on to talk about how much air travel they wanted to do in the near future (and I just kept my mouth shut and nodded sagely) and about the disconnect. Anyway, the GW guy mentioned that he was travelling to Europe and honestly I really only pointed out the disconnect and make no judgements because in the long run it changes nothing as things are baked into the cake. Oh well, I noticed he had to leave after that comment... Ooops!

Yeah, I find that with different bits of information or a story or whatever too. We never really get the big picture despite the suggestion that such a thing is possible. We do get bits of information here and there and from that you can form a picture which can be pretty big, but I defy anybody to say that they have a complete perspective. The: complete perspective vortex perhaps? It does seem like a big call, doesn't it? ;-)!

I mentioned the President in passing not because I have any feelings on the matter one way or the other - because I actually don't - it is just that he seems to pop up a lot in our news and a mere glance at the media shows me that some of it doesn't seem very nice and he strikes me like the sort that holds grudges and will act on those in his own time. The media are possibly becoming less relevant as time goes on anyway. That Dorothy Parker was quite the character and I rather suspect her writings had the ring of authenticity about them which is a very appealing characteristic. The people she hung with, oh my!

Possibly that was a bit of PR. The Chinese have long been a part of European history in Australia, of course the beginnings here - like all of them for all but a few - were built on unpleasantness... You don't often hear different accents much anymore, but they are around. Did you consider getting the amplified computer speakers that plug into the headphone socket on your new device? I'm starting to sound like your mum! Now, look here Lewis, have you... Hehe! Seriously even el-cheapo speakers will make a big difference and I would be surprised if you couldn't get some second hand.

A lot of Chinese tourists visit down under, plus the students. Plus there are anecdotal reports of foreign money propping up the property market, although nobody is really told what is going on there, but if I was another country with a huge foreign currency reserve, it is probably not a bad way to get rid of some of it...

Ha! Yeah, that is true about the bush tucker, but that is not an area of my knowledge. I wouldn't starve, but it might be unpleasant after a while. That reminded me of a Conan story where he hid in a swamp for a few days surviving on water rats – as you do when your life is on the line.

The rain has stopped now. Tomorrow I'm going to do some mowing I believe. Mate, the passata production has upset the apple cart this week. Ouch!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Helen,

Well, everyone feels differently on that front and I only have a sapling fence that surrounds the tomato enclosure and that is really there because the chunky wallabies would love nothing more than to squash all of my tomato plants - which they don't much like anyway. The wildlife is free to come and go as they please. However, I hear you about lowering the portcullis and there are times when that would be handy - like my hassles last year with the horse riders just casually taking their trail ride through the orchard. What a fine mess they found themselves in.

The restrictions on washing lines would drive me insane too because I use the sun as much as possible to dry off clothes and wouldn't want to think about the consequences of running a clothes dryer on an off grid solar power system. I was just shy of hitting a new record today with power usage too. Plus we put the washing horses in front of the wood heater during winter! One of those washing horses used to belong to the editors mum who has long since passed on. It is a complicated mix isn't it, but I reckon we’re winning.

Well, in a rather unexpected turn of events, this is the second mention today of the term “radical empiricist”. And if it means anything to you, I believe that it is an empathetic and pragmatic mode of thinking and experiencing. You may note that I usually tell stories here and provide hints rather than giving details (which some have asked for) because as the radical empiricist knows arm chair theorists may sound interesting, but can they cook the rice? Possibly not, I believe. What a fascinating world it is and thanks for the explanation! Respect.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Ooops! Almost missed your comment, please accept my apologies.

Really, I don't know of anywhere that has a ban on washing lines, although I am aware of height restrictions on front fences. Of course that may also mean that I don't get out much or am possibly not invited to such swanky suburbs! :-)! It is probably the latter reason. How good is it using the heat and energy from the sun to dry clothes? Good stuff.

Thanks for the seconding of the show and I will try to track it down and watch it.

It was reasonably warm here today at about 30'C / 86'F. March has been just hot down here, but I can't claim that it has been dry. The fruit trees in the orchard are just growing strongly and it is a real pleasure to see - and smell the eucalyptus oils from the surrounding forest. I always feel very happy to see the mountain range spread out before me on the final section of the drive home from the railway station (which is not that far away).

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

I just caught myself telling Eldora the Bearded Dragon - "See you later, alligator" (it's good for her ego).

I'm with the Chernobyl babushka and her moonshine - sometimes life has to be a case of "So what?".

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

Even numbers are harsh, odd ones are smooth.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Vancouver, Washington, about an hour and a half south of us had a tornado, yesterday. Not much to write home about. An EF-0. Knocked down a few fences. They're rare, here. In 1972 there was a bad one that killed some people. Hmm. Just about the same time of the year. Filthy weather, today. Daffodils all over the place and I see something blue, blooming.

You didn't mention which of the 6 branches of the Melbourne Library system you met at. The main branch is quit spectacular. And I love the whimsical sculpture of the library sinking into the muck. What a hoot! Appeals to the apocalyptic section of my sense of humor. :-). Hopefully, you didn't meet at the branch that looks like it's stuck under a freeway overpass ... I often say something when it's out of my mouth, I know I've really stuck my foot in it. I'm getting better ...

Oh, when I put my chickens to bed, I generally just said, "Everybody in?" and do a head count. Then, "Goodnight, ladies!" I really don't know how my chickens are doing. I told the chicken lady, who I see at the library quit a bit, that I didn't want to know. I'd rather think of them as off happy somewhere, laying eggs and chasing bugs. The same will apply when I take Nell to her new home. She seems to be back on track. Came in the last two nights.

But I did think of another kind of compulsion. In all my cupboards (spice cupboard, pantry, bathroom cabinets) everything must be face out. Never mind that they're always in the same place, and have very distinctive shapes or colors. I couldn't mix up the hydro peroxide with the rubbing alcohol. At least I don't alphabetize :-). The tea box backlog is all very regimented.

Hailing, now. What next? :-). Ah, yes. Confession. When I stopped by the club, this week, I confessed to doing (or, actually, not doing) something at home. It's quirky and I have no idea why I haven't got to it. So, I told my mate Scott and Julia about it. Now I'll probably get to it as I don't think I could face one of them saying ... "Did you get to..." Or, I could just skip my look-in at the club, next week :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Yes, I heard you about the speakers ... Mom. :-). It just all sounds so ... complicated. Does my new DVD player even have jacks for add on speakers? If it does, what if the jacks don't fit? LOL. Besides, when I move to The Home, being a night owl, I'm a bit worried about putting someone off with noise. When I bought the DVD player, an ear plug was a must have.

One of the places I lived in, in town, I built a fence. The front fence and the sides, the first 12 feet back, could be no higher than 4 feet. The rest of it could be 7 feet, as I'd planned. It was explained to me that that was so the fire department or emergency services could find the place. That was logical enough that it made sense, to me.

You asked about control strategies for resisting going too overboard with buying tat. Well, price is a consideration. If I think something is out of line, or, too rich for my pocket book, I pass. I just tell myself I'll find it cheaper, somewhere else. There is something I want that is going to cost about $500. I've just told myself I'll buy it, when I've saved the money for it. Sometimes, I'll grab something (interesting, low price) and then think, "Wait. Is this even a color I like?" Back it goes on the shelf. Sometimes, I'll think to myself, "I want to sleep on this." Is it the first thing I think about, when I get up in the morning?
Is it "nagging" at me? Sometimes its "I want to research this item, and see if the price is in line ... or, is it what it appears to be. If it sells in the meantime, so be it.

Buying books can be a problem. Especially, since on line buying is so, so easy. Usually, see if the library has a copy. To see if I really want it. If not, I might interlibrary loan it, to take a look. LOL. Sometimes I ask myself if I REALLY need a third Finn cookbook, when I haven't used the first two, very much.

Brain science is getting really interesting. Which parts of the brain light up, when certain things are done. Hoarding used to be considered part of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). But, hoarder's brains do entirely different things. There are distinct differences between hoarder's brains, and collector's brains. Which parts of the brain activates or works in concert with different parts of the brain. Just as an aside, 20% of the adult population in England, collect something. Probably about the same, here. By age 6, 70% of children collect something. Lew

Damo said...

@Chris

RE:Chooks
It is true that many creatures do like to eat delicious chickens, to me (perhaps not the chickens!) the daytime dangers always seemed remote. An over excitable dog is reason enough though, and with the marvelous chook house you built I doubt the chickens mind that much! Out of interest, is is just Mr Poopy who cannot be trusted with the hens? Our dogs were always well behaved, but they grew up with the chooks as puppies which no doubt plays an important part.

Honestly, you seem to have very bad luck with some people. Empty fish tanks, letting dogs out and obnoxious horse riders. It could be enough to make a weaker person crack the sads!

LOL, you are not wrong about Speckles. She was just happy to be here if you get my meaning. I don't know her breed, but some photos are here:
Chooks in the snow at Zeehan
Our names were hard won and well considered. Speckles is the big one, Scraggles the small dirty one and Red Girl is the red one! Who says we are not imaginative? Can you tell from the photos which was the boss chicken?

We bought them from a couple who lived on a distant bush block in the middle of the Tasmanian wilderness. I think it was the sort of place where only the smartest and most resourceful chooks survived. Certainly those three were pretty switched on (except Speckles at times). Scraggles seemed to enjoy talking to Mrs Damo through the bedroom window if she slept in, having to wake up at 5am most mornings I also found this amusing!

@Chris/Lewis
RE: Priests and Confession as social currency
That is an interesting observation, and in my mind it is not hard to see a "village" supporting a priest type position in exchange for spiritual guidance and unburdening. Somewhat related, in the Jack Vance biography he was visiting orthodox christian churches and cathedrals in Eastern Europe. He remarked the priests and bishops must have been truly remarkable to extract and concentrate so much wealth and resources in such a poor land.

RE:Air Travel
Oh Chris, a cynic might say you were trolling that poor GW fellow :-) If you see him again, point out that Mrs Damo and I, in the spirit of assisting economic and social development in Lao PDR, have already boarded over 20 separate flights in the past 12 month. It is a bit sobering, and most of those were for nothing more than a red stamp in our passport or to pat each other on the back at an embassy function. In light of such blatant waste and over consumption I feel it is difficult to reach a completely rational and sensible position. Or as you said, it is baked into the cake anyway. Perhaps it is sermonizing from people who still choose to live a high consumption/frequent air travel lifestyle that is the galling part?

Cheers,
Damo



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I almost typed Hi Dexter... Oops. The thing is that I was thinking about the Vancouver tornado - and incidentally Vancouver is a very attractive city - and well, not to say that ours are bigger than yours, but Cyclone Debbie (thus the Dexter joke, well I thought that it was funny!) looks like it has turned into a category four and may make landfall up in Queensland over the next day or so. She looks like a big one too: Cyclone Debbie forces coastal evacuations in north Queensland communities ahead of tidal surge. I reckon Cliff Mass would enjoy the satellite images.

The daffodils are so reliable, I quite enjoy their show every spring. Could the blue flowers be bluebells? They put in a special guest appearance at this time of year?

I had no idea that there were even 6 branches of the library in Melbourne. The sign over the door stated: City Library. Now the whimsical sculpture is good isn't it? That incidentally is the State Library which holds lots of book treasures. When I was a kid, it used to be the museum and the place always smelled of wood wax, a touch of dust and fascination. The insides were dark and the walls had heavy timber paneling as befits a proper museum. I used to have to do research in the state library for Uni and I remember the old microfiche readers for the old newspapers (plus the paper catalogues). How slack have researchers become these days with everything online and at the click of a few keyboard strokes. Incidentally as you couldn't make copies of the microfiche, you had to note the reference and write down any relevant bits... Of course the days of the paperless office changed everything and now we use far more paper than ever! Ah, almost forgot: 253 Flinders Lane branch.

Ah ha! "Good night ladies" is not that far removed from "nighty night, girls". Alas you may never get to know the feeling of calling "chook, chook" to the chickens, but perhaps that isn't that much of an experience to miss out on... :-)! The head count business for chickens is serious business and sometimes I wish they would all settle down a bit more quickly than they do, of course I realise that they are conducting important chicken business and so who am I to intervene in that, but still they could speed up about it sometimes. I'm sure your chickens are doing well.

Glad to hear that Nell is back on track and on her usual routines. Sir Scruffy has been a bit sluggish (more so than usual) because of the long course of anti-biotics that he was put on for the foot problem. Interestingly though, the foot problem really does look to be getting much better.

Well proper labelling ensures mistakes are not made. Imagine in a moment of distraction you accidentally swapped cayenne pepper or chilli powder instead of all spice in your batch of hot cross buns? Not good. A good way to remember which is which though, is to actually try that mix up. Not that I have made that error. Recently my hand slipped and I accidentally dropped too much pepper into a meal and it was very hot. And later the stomach gurgled in outrage. Glad that you didn't alphabetise, and I refuse to discuss with you whether I have in fact done so... ;-)!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hailing? Wow. Are your hailstones like golf balls like some of the storms seem to dump on Melbourne and Sydney? Being at altitude here, hail tends to only be very small. Far out it was hot again here today and very humid, and I may even have cooked my head a bit as I mowed the other half of the farm. That little Honda push mower has only just come back from the mower doctor, but fortunately it was designed and built to be repaired. It recently had aluminium welds on the case.

Now then Lewis, you go clean up your bedroom and I don't to hear another peep out of you! Hehe! Glad you heard me about the speakers and fair enough, that all sounds cool.

Front fences are one of those things that you have to get planning permission for in Melbourne, but sometimes I'm a bit contrary, and just built fences that wouldn't annoy the neighbours and they were generally an improvement on the previous fences. Did you have to get permission or was it all ok as long as you stuck within the guidelines?

Thanks for the explanation about yours and others collecting habits. That is fascinating and I'll have to think further on it. Absolutely about the hoarders versus the collectors too. Mate I hear you about that. Hoarders seem to have no order or system to the hoarding and the process rapidly becomes the outcome. Mate, hoarders scare me a little bit. Down here, I have noticed that some people on property seemed to have received clean up orders as the accumulated stuff has reduced – at least the visible bits that we can see. I'm not sure whether such things address the core of the issue? Hoarders are often moved on after community outrage. Dunno.

Cheers, although I really do believe that I've cooked my head,

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

I just got your thoughtful and entertaining comment and promise to reply to it tomorrow!

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Pam - Hmmm. I see odd numbers as spiky. And even numbers as water smoothed pebbles. :-)

So, what? Or, to quote that Great Sage and Philosopher, Alfred E. Neuman, "What, me worry?" :-).. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - There are two Vancouvers. Vancouver, Washington, which is really just a kind of suburb of Portland. I lived there for a few years, twice in my life. And, Vancouver, British Columbia. Where I haven't been, but I understand it's quit a spectacular city. The whole tornado / cyclone thing confuses me. I think tornados are usually pretty localized. Cyclones and hurricanes are huge storms.. cyclones in the southern hemisphere, hurricanes in the northern hemisphere. I've heard tornados referred to as cyclones, but I think that might be an ... old name for them. Maybe.

I think I figured it out. The enormous classical library building is your State Library of Victoria. Which is not part of the Melbourne City system. The branch where the Green Wizards met is quit a nice looking building. Looks like what I imagine a London street scene to look like. The branch that looks like it's stuck under a freeway overpass is down on the Victoria Harbour Prom.

I really like the sinking library sculpture. Some public sculpture, I really like. I guess, the one's that make me smile. Like the Big Blue Rooster that seems to be making appearances, around the world. Portland has some interesting and quirky street sculpture.

LOL. Not everything is on line ... yet. And it seems there are always new re-discoveries being made in musty old book collections. I do hope there are hard copies being kept ... somewhere. For when the Internet goes poof! A tremendous amount of data is going to be lost. There's quit a bit of excitement in the Classics study world. The Vatican is putting a lot of ancient manuscripts on line. Hope they keep the hard copies :-). Might have a giant book sale in St. Peter's Square. I can see it now. Sheets of plywood on saw horses ... piles of musty old manuscripts. :-).

Also getting ready to kick off the archaeological excavation season in the northern hemisphere. Vindolanda up on Hadrian's Wall is kicking off in a couple of weeks. Wonder if they'll find more shoes ...

Oh, yeah. Waiting for the chickens to come home to roost. Sometimes I'd miss calculate and have to stand around for awhile. Seems there was always one who just couldn't quit make up her mind ...

Sir Scruffy might be a bit sluggish due to the upset in his ... digestion, due to the antibiotics. Sure hit me hard when I had my oral surgery. Lots of yogurt and veg ... oatmeal put me right, but it was a long haul. There must be a way to restore doggie tummy flora? Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Oh, boo. Opened a new window to look something up an lost the Cont. Now where was I? Hmmm.

Sir Scruffy is probably / maybe sluggish due to the antibiotics. They sure upset my digestion when I had the oral surgery. Lots of veg and yogurt set me right, but it was a long haul. There must be something on line about restoring a doggies tummy flora?

Our hail is usually about the size of rock salt. Anything bigger is really unusual.

I didn't need a formal permission for the fence. I probably could have built it 7' all away around and not been bothered ... unless the neighbors complained. But why chance it?

Hoarders have no system, but it's amazing how many of them know exactly where something is. And, if anything has been disturbed. I have a pile or two around that I refer to as the "archaeological method of filing." The older it is, the deeper it is. I've read a few books on hoarding. Randy Frost seems to be the go-to guy for all things hoarding. He's written a couple of books. He kind of fell into the phenomenon, early on, and pretty much kicked off the whole study.

I'm pretty sure the blue flowers that have begun to bloom are hyacinths. The grape hyacinths will begin blooming, a bit later on. Tulips should make an appearance in about a month. The weather is absolutely filthy and it looks like it will remain so, for the foreseeable forecast. Oh, well. No more mowing, but I can probably get out between rain storms and hack away at the blackberries. Lew

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