Monday, 10 April 2017

Crunchy Beagle

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

Last week I was given to thinking about “Fluffy” the former Pomeranian boss dog who is now long since deceased. What started me thinking about Fluffy, was that by sheerest coincidence I walked past the house of the Crunchy Beagle. Now the Crunchy Beagle was Fluffy’s nemesis and that made that particular house noteworthy. The house of the Crunchy Beagle was a rather large bluestone (local granite) Victorian cottage with a small but thickly planted cottage garden in the front and what appeared to be former stables at the rear. At a guess the house was built around 1870 and may well have housed the local doctor, or maybe the owner of the local Gasometer Hotel, or perhaps one of the owners of the nearby town gas plant which supplied gas for the local lighting. Whatever may be the case, when I lived in that area, all I knew of that house was that the Crunchy Beagle resided there.

I’ve known a few boss dogs in my time, however Fluffy the Pomeranian took her role of boss dog more seriously than any other boss dog that I’ve known before or since. A stranger once made the mistake of claiming that “Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth”, to which I replied: “She has the face of an angel and the mind of a sewer rat”.

Say hello to Fluffy, boss dog extraordinaire:
Fluffy boss dog extraordinaire with a very young Poopy and Toothy
Fluffy had the attitude that all humans were delightful and all other dogs must submit to her will. And the size of the dog was not a consideration in Fluffy’s mind. In fact larger dogs simply had more exposed throats with which she would happily demonstrate her skills of domination and their weaknesses. And most of the time the larger dogs would submit to Fluffy’s will – even dogs trained to hunt. Fluffy was a force to be reckoned with.

Some people have only the single tool for dealing with day to day problems in their tool box. For example, some people are very aggressive and that is the only tool they can bring to bear on a problem. Fluffy had a far more flexible mindset than that and she displayed an almost Machiavellian ability to understand her opponents weaknesses. Whilst Poopy readily submitted to Fluffy, Toothy on the other hand was Fluffy’s pet. Fluffy knew that if she simply groomed Toothy – who at the time was not much older than a puppy – she would own Toothy. And so Fluffy groomed Toothy’s face. And sometimes the face grooming sessions went for half an hour. Honestly, there were times that I was worried that Fluffy would extract a Toothy eyeball, but no she was apparently very careful not to do that:
A young Toothy readily submits to a face grooming from Fluffy
Have I mentioned how much I love walking? The dogs benefit from that love as they love walking too. Back when the editor and I lived in the inner city of Melbourne instead of watching television, most nights we would walk around the suburb and enjoy the quiet. And it never ceased to amaze me just how quiet those inner city streets were because most nights you would see less than a handful of other people. Fluffy particularly enjoyed walking as it provided endless opportunities to prove her self-assessed canine superiority.

And then one day, Fluffy trounced the Crunchy Beagle. What actually happened is that Fluffy snuck up upon the Crunchy Beagle and at the last moment decided to use “Canine Submission Manoeuvre Number Four” which worked a treat. Fluffy had yet again proven her superiority over another canine: the Crunchy Beagle.

Now, alert readers may be wondering what exactly is a: Crunchy Beagle? Picture an old and rather well fed Beagle, who walks with the stiff gait of one who suffers from arthritis in the joints and you’ll have a reasonably good picture of what a Crunchy Beagle looks like.

Crunchy Beagle was no fool. She was not to be so easily deceived by Fluffy the boss dog. And Crunchy Beagle did not forget (or forgive) the initial injustice. The very next time we walked Fluffy near to the house of the Crunchy Beagle, that dog caught wind of Fluffy and proceeded to systematically stalk her from over 100m (330ft) away only to then confront her at high-ish ramming speeds (with the arthritis momentarily forgotten). Neither dog was going to do the other any real harm, but Fluffy was such a ratbag on occasion with other dogs that the Crunchy Beagle taught her a valuable lesson and so I let it happen. And every time we walked past the house of the Crunchy Beagle, Fluffy was rightfully nervous, as well she should be.

You could say that Fluffy failed to know how to react to events when those events failed to comport to her expectations of the world. And when events did not go according to plan, she had no alternative plan. I see a lot of that going around...

This week the bright yellow trailer received some serious maintenance. The trailer is now over a decade old. Like everything else, the trailer is a tool that has to be maintained. Some of the original steel in the trailer had rusted completely through and left holes, especially in the end flaps. Having rusty holes in one of the end flaps on the trailer meant that materials were falling out of the trailer during the short trips back to the farm. Of course, an optimist might declare that all of the manure and lime falling out of the trailer was just me being a good citizen and fertilising the roadsides for the benefit of the local wildlife. It sounds like a good story doesn’t it?
Some of the rust holes in one of the end flaps on the bright yellow trailer were now quite large
The first order of repairs was to remove the flaking paint using a drill and a rotating wire brush. I was surprised at how quickly the rotating wire brush which is powered by the drill removed all of the loose flaky paint and surface rust.
The author removes loose and flaky paint on the bright yellow trailer using a rotating wire brush powered by an electric (solar powered) drill
A quick reconnoitre of the available scrap steel stored at the farm produced enough materials to produce a new end flap with which to replace the existing and very rusty flap. (Edit: Dork alert!) Whenever I put together a project utilising scrap steel which turns that scrap into something useful, I feel like I’m an engineer on a Star Trek episode who is forced to use scrap materials to somehow stop the dilithium crystals from falling out of a hole in the side of the fusion reactor. It is unfortunate that a bright yellow trailer is slightly less glamorous than a Star Ship!
A new end flap for the bright yellow trailer was constructed using scrap steel
The bright yellow trailer decided to become a bit more modest and it lost its colour once the undercoat of paint was applied.
A solid layer of quality undercoat paint was applied to the cleaned metal surfaces on the bright yellow trailer
Fortunately, the layer of grey / white undercoat paint which had to dry overnight was only temporary. A new top coat of bright yellow gloss paint was then able to be applied over that undercoat. Changing the colour of the trailer to be a light grey / white would lack a certain je ne sais quoi don’t you reckon?

Early the next day with the sun shining strongly, I cut off the original and very rusty end flap. After that, I dragged out the electric (solar powered) arc welder and welded on the newly constructed end flap onto the existing hinges on the trailer.
The author drags out the solar powered electric arc welder so as to weld on the new end flap onto the bright yellow trailer
The sun was very bright that morning and the solar power panels were producing their maximum possible output of 127A (or 127A x 36V = 4.6kW). Nice!
This week the solar photovoltaic panels were producing their maximum possible output of 127A x 36V = 4.6kW
It was at about that point that I should have heeded the warnings from Scritchy, Storm Detective. Scritchy sat on the veranda looking awkward and nervously licking her nose whilst dark clouds rolled in from the Southern Ocean in the background. And that is a sure sign that perhaps a serious storm was about to roll in.
Scritchy Storm Detective sits on the veranda looking awkward and nervously licking her nose whilst dark clouds roll in from the Southern Ocean in the background
Whatever! The storm could wait as I had a bright yellow trailer to paint. The day was still warm at 26’C (79’F), so I ignored Scritchy’s guidance about the forthcoming storm and simply got on with the task of painting the top coat of bright yellow paint.
The bright yellow trailer is now looking better than its former glory whilst dark clouds roll in from the south
Whilst I had the metal cutting equipment in use earlier that day, I put them to good use by cutting some of the very large dog bones into smaller quarters which the dogs could then manage more easily. It all seemed like a good idea, until I took in a huge lung full of old burnt dog bone which was emitted in that cutting process and then I felt very ill for about an hour. I could taste burnt bones in my mouth and it was only a heroic display of self-control that stopped me from emptying my breakfast contents into the very near to hand garden bed. I don't recommend repeating that experiment, but Poopy loved the now much smaller bones, which just goes to show that good taste is merely a matter of perspective!
Poopy enjoys chewing on the now smaller old dog bones which I cut into quarters using the metal cutting tool
An hour after I’d finished painting the bright yellow trailer, the storm that Scritchy had accurately predicted hit the farm. The skies put on a great show and the editor and I enjoyed sitting on the veranda enjoying a quality latte and munching on a few Anzac biscuits whilst the skies put on the best light show to be seen on the planet! I took the camera out with us and recorded some of the lightning to share with you the readers. As a suggestion, click on the next photo below which will take you into a full screen mode and then cycle through the three frames.
Lightning strikes a remote spot in the valley below frame 1
Lightning strikes a remote spot in the valley below frame 2
Lightning strikes a remote spot in the valley below frame 3
And wow, did it rain here or what! Fortunately we pushed the bright yellow trailer into an under cover area which helped to keep most of the very heavy rain off the curing paint.

Earlier in the week we picked the beautiful looking black capsicum (pepper) and purple eggplant this week and have saved seeds from both for next season and have plans to consume them in a pasta sauce. Yum! And check out the beautiful tomatoes that we are enjoying every single day.
Black capsicum and purple eggplant were harvested this week and were put to good use in a pasta sauce
And I spotted some new flowers about the place this week:
Cosmos are beautiful and also very hardy flowering plants
I noticed this bright red flowering and also very fragrant geranium which we took cuttings of earlier in the season has started to take root and grow
The temperature outside now at about 9.00pm is 8’C (46’F). So far this year there has been 214.0mm (8.4 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 130.2mm (5.1 inches).

81 comments:

margfh said...

@Claire

(From last week)
Thanks for the good wishes regarding Michael. I think his new place will be a good fit for him though there will naturally be a period of adjustment. As he won't be able to walk anyplace to buy pop and they only serve pop there on special occasions I'm hoping this will cut down on his consumption and just maybe he'll lose a little weight.

Good luck with your mother. My in-laws were quite frugal so there are funds for quite some time for my MIL to stay in the care center. However, they had things like excellent health insurance and good pensions - things that are not so available anymore. This is one of the steps in the long decline. While we did "all the right things" financially we won't have the assets she does if the time comes. I hear what you're saying.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Great story about your dogs. I'll bet they're happy they can roam in the great outdoors now rather than look out a fence. Nice job on the yellow trailer too. The work never ends though does it? You certainly have a lovely view.

We've had a couple of very warm, though windy days so I did get the greens planted yesterday. Waiting for a window of calm and dry weather to spray dormant oil on the fruit trees though as it needs to be done in the next few days.

I'm in search of a rooster again for protection of my flock and raising some replacement chicks as well. I'm looking for one that is not aggressive towards people and think I may have found one from someone in the facebook chicken group - one of the few useful things on facebook.

Not a lot of down time at the moment with prepping for pigs, bees and planting. I taught my chicken class at the community college on Friday and the goat one is scheduled for next week. I only do a few volunteer gigs but they always fall on the same week. This Saturday was a big recycling drive - luckily in my town though and Tuesday is my jail visit day. They both fall on the 2nd Saturday and 2nd Tuesday respectively. I have three nieces getting married this Summer so there are bridal showers as well which I am not fond of in general. Michael moves on the 29th of this month as well and I'm working my way through all the misc things that need to be done there. I have recruited some of my sisters at least to help the week before. That's about all the news from here.

Margaret

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

I am another one who failed to notice the change of photo in the top right hand corner. I love all your photos.

To reply to last week's tomato question. I grow large, medium and tiny tomatoes, red, purple and yellow. The small ones are grown in hanging baskets. The harvest was dire last year so am hoping for better to come. This year we are going to grow 'Ferline', they are supposed to be blight resistant, here's hoping. They appear to be a medium sized red.

I liked your allegory using the dogs. Amazing how many people are stunned when things don't turn out as they expected.

Bluebells are in flower, I only noticed when I went to empty my postbox. Now I shall take a walk over to my bluebell wood which is at the far end of the woods from my shack. One year it was so blue there that one became visually disorientated and felt dizzy.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I love your little allegories. A well told tale to illustrate, always have a plan B. Something else you said made me also think, you can't always have what you want when you want it. So instead of fretting, have options.

Cosmic. The second time I've run across the word "dork" in the last 12 hours. I think Star Trek missed a bet when they didn't have a episode called "Planet of the Dorks." :-). So, where did I run across the word? Well, a book, of course. Sometimes when I pick up a book from the library, I read the covers, the introduction ... see if there's any pictures. Then set it aside to read in it's own good time. "Truffle Boy: My Unexpected Journey Through the Exotic Food Underground." (Purkayastha, 2017). Ian Purkayastha is a 23 year old fellow, with an Indian father and a mother from Texas who was raised in the wilds of Arkansas. From what I gather, an uncle taught him to hunt mushrooms and that interest expanded into a business, traveling the world looking for exotic, foraged ingredients for all the very high end restaurants, mostly in New York. Given his tender years, he had a bit of a time being taken seriously. David Chang (Iron Chef?) wrote the introduction. Chef Chang says "He's a dork. A huge dork. A dork in the best way possible: He has a true, deep expertise in everything he sells." It occurred to me that Mr. Purkayastha has razor sharp focus. Keeps his eye on the ball. I think it will be a good read. Traveling the world looking for exotic forged ingredients.

I also couldn't stand it and ended up reading the first few chapters of the Anthony Bourdain book I picked up. His usual irreverent self. I actually laughed out loud, several times. I must say that Mr. Bourdain has very few illusions about himself. And is probably his own worst critic. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. The eggplant, tomatoes and peppers look lovely. Those will make several fine meals. Dress 'em up and give them someplace to go. So, is your larder rounding out for the winter? Those weather pictures included the first snowfall. I wonder what your winter will be like, weather wise.

Starship Enterprise, season 3 finally wended it's way to me from the library. Great fun. Seems to be the Spatial Anomalies Season. :-). Which seem to cause everything from brain parasites that warp time to the bog backing up.

The trailer looks really nice. I envy your dexterity with tools. I'd probably pick up the wrong end of the arc welder. My big two falls out of three with technology, this week, had to do with my recliner / lounger. Now I never really saw myself as a recliner kind of a guy, but it was here when I moved in. A ratty old thing (kind of a brownish purple) that I've thrown a colorful blanket over. Even though Nell has a perfectly good scratching post, she seems to prefer the lounger. It has become "my chair."

For some reason, the up and down thing-ie leg support (that's the technical term) stuck at half mast. Having given it a few days to heal itself (didn't work) I tipped the whole darn thing over. Have you ever looked at the underside of a recliner? Oh, my gosh, what an intricate and complicated mechanism. So, after providing good light (it's dark in there ... even tipped on it's back) and preceded to bash about the innards with hammer and pliers. I really don't know what I did, but it's back in working order. It seems the trick is you need to snap it up, or down. No hesitation, in between. Otherwise it's likely to jam. Probably needs a bit of lubrication, but I can't figure out exactly what to lubricate.

The lightening pictures are wizard. I can even see the red flash, you mentioned, in the last one. The view you have is very similar to the one I have, out my kitchen window.

There's a story getting a bit of play on the Net. More about the Internet of Things. It seems someone bought a garage door opener, from a very small company. Left a bad review and shot of a not very well considered complaint to the owner. Unlike Big Business, it actually got to the owner. Who denied server access to the complaining client. Which effectively closed up the garage. There's been a lot of ruminating about how dodgy the whole Internet of Things is. The thought that crossed my mind was: "Eventually, they're going to kill us all." :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Steve,

No problems at all, it was an excellent question!

My gut feeling is that the masonry wood stoves are going to be the longest lasting of them all. I've worked on houses that were constructed in the 1890's and the brick fireplaces and chimneys worked well. Were they efficient - like you Russian furnace design? Maybe not, but resilience and efficiency are trade offs that can't be talked around. You see the same thing happening with batteries too. The nickel iron batteries will last perhaps four times longer than my sealed lead acid gel batteries - but are they as efficient? Nope. They require a lot more energy inputs for the same given energy outputs. Everything is a compromise like that.

Yeah, I'm going to miss the wood oven function, but honestly, it really appears to me that a wood heater cannot be everything to everyone and I had to pick which of the three functions provide the least amount of usefulness and then I made the hard call and got rid of that aspect of the unit. The really old wood stoves that combined all three functions could never provide as much heat or hot water as I can afford given the volume of firewood that I have access too. The use of the oven slowed the combustion process down which produced the noxious chemicals which in turn destroyed the unit. It is as clear as mud!

Yes, every step towards independence from large scale utilities involves a series of compromises and changes to your living arrangements, so you are spot on to approach the task from a slowly, slowly approach.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I reckon you are spot on about the lack of leafing out of your deciduous trees is that which saved them from acting like giant sails in your recent wind storm. And to be honest, I can't tell which trees have rot in them and which don't. I had an arbourist look at a particularly dangerous tree and he climbed it and declared it to be perfectly fine, when in fact the top third of the tree was ready to fall off at a moment’s notice (which it did and fortunately did not hit anything). That was an expensive problem to address too as not many people have the cojones or skills nowadays to fell dangerous trees. The guy that eventually did it had a card which made the claim of champion axeman - which was backed up by the facts on the ground. I love watching people at their work who have that level of skill. It is rarer than you'd think.

The European honey bees are easily startled by even the slightest hint of sub fluffy optimal weather! This is perhaps why they are prodigious harvesters of pollen and nectar. Hopefully you have no need to test the honey / bee sting experiment... I am rather alert to not annoy the bees. The first rule of Fernglade Farm: Don't annoy the bees...

Well that is interesting isn't it? It is a shame his second book has since been lost as it would have been equally fascinating. A flexible doctrine is perhaps a good approach in troubled times. I'm frankly curious as to why the ascetics would have even attempted to push their lifestyle choices upon the population at large? It seems a big call to do so. And I've always wondered about intolerance because there are so many religious cults in existence dotted about the place that the sheer mass of diversity would lend a reasonable person to conclude that there are an awful lot of highly individual and rather idiosyncratic spirits loitering about the place.

Don't you wonder at how a Roman nail forged two millennia ago can still be in existence without the worm of rust consuming its guts? Look at the bright yellow trailer. It has known its fair share of the steel worm. Would it still be in existence in two millennia time? I don't believe so.

Haha! We were communicating in real time at that point. :-)! Breaker, breaker, anyone on channel? That just reminds me that one of the things on the very long to do list is to get an amateur radio license and rig... So much to do...

All is now explained. The nails were protected from further corrosion as the top most nails rusted and fused forming a hydrophobic barrier and then the remaining nails were sealed in anaerobic (i.e. no oxygen) conditions. They knew how to store stuff for the long term back in those days. I find it rather strange that the legions worked their way so far north only to fall back in retreat. I guess gains can't be held over the long term, but it is surprising that the tribes and the conditions failed at that far end of the Empire when other parts were unable to do so. I guess it was like the exploration of man into space: There is just not enough economic gain or resources up there to pay for the extreme costs of making the journey. Barbarians are poor for a reason and it is an advantage for them.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Haha! Good luck with getting through the log jam of books (a delightful expression by the way). I needed to read some fluffy works and so have my nose buried deeply into Jack Vance's Demon Princes series of five books. Unfortunately, I take the books to cafes on occasion and I find myself snickering at volume because of the clever word play. That will give the other patrons something to discuss for hours afterwards... Did you see that man laughing to himself whilst reading the book! ;-)!

Oh yeah, the volunteers have the biggest and deepest root systems of all of the fruit trees and as such they are the hardiest. You and the bees are seeing the future there... It is best to have a diversity of blossom times otherwise you get into the problem that I had last spring when all of the blossoms for the stone fruit trees fell from the trees due to a very late frost. I have no preserved fruit this winter. Fortunately there is always the citrus here...

Thank you. And incidentally both yourself and Inge have both achieved the coveted but occasionally under appreciated: Elephant Stamp. And you know why? Well perhaps you may not as I have not mentioned they why of it yet. Well, it is because I'm starting to wonder whether the tools of narrative followed by subtle allegory works more effectively than the more blunt tool of the sermon otherwise known as the lecture. Dunno. But I discussed this matter with the Green Wizards group at the last meeting only to be met with blank stares. Of course, blank stares are the social code for when an uncomfortable topic is reached and so I didn't probe any further, however, I did mention that Mr Greer's last post on the state of the climate read like a horror story to me, and I have no reason to doubt the efficacy of his words. However, I noticed that people read those words and sighed a big sigh of relief and then thought to themselves, tick, done that, and then went about their usual business as if nothing had been said. I was mildly perplexed at the why of that circumstance because it read like a horror story to me. I read it and knew it for the truth and it read like a horror story to me. Did it change anyone's behaviour? Nope. So then I started thinking about what makes a good horror story. And then it dawned on me that the best horror stories leave most of the imaginings to the reader or viewer of the horror story. Their imagination works far better than any words can ever achieve. It is like the difference between the film Independence Day and the film Alien. Independence Day leaves little to the imagination, whilst Alien was dark and you couldn't see much, the alien was left to be, well, alien, and that made it much more scary. And that is where the allegory steps in. If people fail to notice the allegory, then don't worry about it. However, I am most impressed that you noticed that less is more because it is! ;-)! A decade ago I would have taken a very heavy handed approach to writing as that suited my age, but nowadays I enjoy just chucking ideas out there and seeing what if anything happens.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Ian Purkayastha is my kind of guy and I would enjoy listening to his stories of the origins of his harvested foodstuffs. It is funny you mention that sort of dedication to understanding as we can't be good at everything and so it is useful to specialise. I met a bloke a few weeks back who, if I was more focused perhaps, offered an entry into that world of high end produce. There is certainly a market for it, but I'll keep that little tid-bit up my sleeve as a plan C or D if things go awry. I'll be very interested to learn your opinion as you progress (!) further into the book. Certainly a person who takes that path must be the ultimate networker and be prepared to put in the hard yards in the early days of that particular enterprise - which is like everything really don't you reckon?

Oh no! Yes, a book by Mr Bourdain would be a constant source of temptation, much like the purchase of the complete signature edition of the Jack Vance books... How can I sneak such a purchase past the ever watchful eyes of the editor who is also an accountant? Not fair! It has been an expensive week this week as I'm apparently taking possession of the new wood heater tomorrow. Mate, I'll tell ya what, that has been a tale of missed deadlines and has been no end of trouble. I certainly hope for them that they have the correct model tomorrow, but I have my suspicions... There may be a major cracking of sads tomorrow! It should be epic if it is called for (which I hope it isn't). ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

The fluffy collective are very happy to roam the wilds of this farm and they would really struggle if they had to live in an urban environment now. Mr Poopy enjoyed visiting the local general store to check the mail and enjoy a chunk or two of fruit toast this morning – of course when nobody was looking as I don’t wish to upset the local gentry. Don't fear for them as they are spoiled as, whilst having to also earn their keep. The weather has been feral here today and the storm that dropped almost three inches of rain in one day on Sunday / Monday is now starting to dissipate. The fluffy collective are rather fussy about getting their paws damp! I love sharing the dog stories as they really are a fun bunch of creatures.

Thanks, that bright yellow trailer also earns its keep and I find a lot of work revolves around maintenance of everything which makes me very careful not to take on new things, but also not to let the existing things deteriorate. Glad you enjoyed the view. The storms rolling across the valley put on the best shows!

I'll be very interested to hear of your experiences with your new rooster. Roosters are a real mixed bunch don't you reckon? There are good ones and bad ones, but I rarely spot the in between just OK sort of a rooster. Yeah, other peoples experience with the rooster will certainly be telling and I hope that the sales pitch lives up to the reality? I know of a little bantam Pekin rooster who is a true delight and he performs his tasks whilst not creating a fuss with the hens and I wouldn't mind a rooster like that one.

Oh my! After reading about all of the things that you have going on, my head started to spin! I hope you enjoy some quiet time in between all of those activities? The editor is also a bit dodge on bridal showers etc... Marriage ceremonies were different and much more low-key affairs back in the day and I'm personally shocked at the money being thrown at a single day, when the remainder of life flows before them. And don't weddings and funerals always bring out the best and worst in people? Anyway, that is what I seem to notice. I'm really pleased that you were able to get accommodation for Michael and that he is also happy with the choice, especially given the short notice. I hope it all works out smoothly.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Many thanks and it is a real pleasure to be able to share this little wild corner of the planet. The lightning photos were a lot of fun weren't they? Do you get much lightning up in your part of the world? It usually occurs when cold fronts brush against warm fronts from what I understand - but I could well be wrong in that understanding.

Oh yeah, you had a very damp summer last year and the tomatoes would not have enjoyed those conditions at all as they don't like very wet feet. I had a damp and cool summer too, but the soil is well drained here and so I imagine that it would be a very different experience to a damp summer in your part of the world? I've never tried tomatoes in hanging baskets and that would work well as they might enjoy the extra heat a sunny elevated position would give them, plus it would be well drained, although I'm not sure of how you had it set up?

I'll be interested to hear how your new variety of tomato grows this year. A lot of tests and selection has gone into the tomatoes here and I am glad that some of the long term varieties eventually grew from seed in the ground and we have been busily saving the seeds from all of the better varieties. We select for taste and early ripening. Have you ever saved your tomato seeds?

Thank you very much for recognising the allegory! Both you and Lewis earned the: Elephant Stamp for that recognition. :-)! It is a very useful way of writing don' t you reckon? When I was younger I would have taken a more heavy handed approach to writing, but nowadays I feel that less is more and the allegory / narrative tool feels like a strong writing tool to me as the lecture and sermon is so over used these days that it has become more or less meaningless (people yawn and turn their heads) – which is a bit sad because there is a place for that writing tool too. Anyway, I just enjoy telling stories! ;-)! The blog and all the comments and interactions here bring me a lot of pleasure, plus it is great practice at coming up with a story in a limited amount of time. The dogs have a lot of fun most of the time. I reckon they're winning! ;-)!

I envy you your wildflowers - especially the bulbs. The wildflowers here are also prolific, but they have a muted quality (possibly less disorientating though!) so they are not as showy. It is probably because the soils are poorer than in your part of the world. Did you plant the bluebells or are they just part and parcel of the forest? I planted bluebells here and they are very lovely and very hardy flowers.

Cheers

Chris

Damo said...

Chris, it is a very serious question. Which complete edition of the Jack Vance novels to buy? You will of course note the implicit assumption in that question. But yes, the hard back editions would be very lovely and also extremely difficult to justify. The Signature edition however...well it is quite a reasonable price per book I feel. Considering I only own 2 or 3 physical books by Vance and have not read many of his lesser known stories, so perhaps I will get them.

One concern is the longevity. I have the paperbacks of another series I dearly love (Aubrey/Maturin aka Master and Commander etc.) and after 10 years the paper is starting to get a bit 'dry' and brown tinged. I guess the paper in hardbacks is normally better quality? I don't really know...

The other issue is I actually don't have a permanent place of residence to store much of anything let alone a shelf full of books. A month or so ago I promised myself not to worry about sorting out a job and place to live till I got back to Australia, but the other day I may have cheekily inquired about a position in Christchurch, New Zealand. They didn't blink when I suggested I couldn't be there in person till June 30 and apparently some manager type will call me this week. Should be interesting.

This week the heat, smoke and humidity has been awful. Here is a photo taken yesterday from our bedroom window: Slash and burn. Ash is everywhere. Tomorrow the official Lao New Year (Pi Mai) celebrations start. This seems to involve beerlao, throwing buckets of water on anyone who passes and more beerlao.

Damo said...

Great story on Fluffy, I notice that many small dogs seem overly ambitious in their station but Fluffy sounds like one who could walk the talk.

I hear you about people struggling when they lack the tools to interpret the world or a situation in a different way, but I don't think Fluffy is an example of this. Consider, she used aggression to great success, took alternative approaches such as grooming to develop loyalty where appropriate. Finally, if faced with no other choice she submits to the superior strength of foes, knowing there will always be another day! Machiavelli would be proud!

Star Trek The Next Generation Update: Just watched Season 3 episode 'Sins of the Father'. Poor Worf is now exiled from the Klingon Empire. Really enjoying the series so far, most of the episodes I have never seen before!

Damo

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Yes, I always save tomato seeds but the Ferline have been bought, it is the first time that I have ever seen them for sale and I am really curious to see whether they really are resistant to blight.

Nothing special about the hanging baskets, just ideal for the tiny tomatoes that hang over the edges. I also put those weeny Mexican cucumber thingies in one along with some clips in the wall so that they can attach along a line as they grow.

The bluebells have been there forever, not planted by anyone.

It does occur to me that an allegory's point may only be perceived by someone who already thinks that way. Which is a rather depressing thought. Thumping the fist has disadvantages of course. I suspect that human beings only learn from personal experience and then they think 'hey he was right after all'.

Inge

Yif said...

The good thing about a bright yellow trailer is that it sticks out like a bright yellow trailer behind the car towing it.
Where as my fathers old trusty wooden trailer painted dark blue was demolished by a right turning car running into it as my sister going straight on was towing it & both had stopped
at stop signs opposite then proceeded on at the same time ...

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I ran across a short video on how to make garum. Guts of fish, mackerel is best, salt 1/8, put in a covered container and let ferment in the sun for one to three months. Strain. Salt to taste (more salt?), eat. I'll pass :-).

When I was a kid, we had a huge fir tree in the backyard, that looked just fine. Dad wanted to build a garage there, so he had it taken down. It was full of rot. That was the summer before the Columbus Day Storm. :-).

Intolerance usually equals fanaticism. The film "Agora" has a good take on that. Oddly enough, one of the Star Trek Enterprise episodes I watched last night had to do with religious fanatics. I also watched "Patriot's Day" which has to do with the Boston Marathon bombing.

From odd little bits and hints of ancient writing, it seems like Roman Britain was always a bit problematic. Was it cost effective? Was it a good return on investment of money and manpower. Or was it an Empire / Emperors vanity project. When things got dicey on the Continent, it sure got lopped off in short order. Writings by and about St. Patrick are kind of interesting. If you wade through all the religious stuff, there's little hints and glimpses of Britain and Ireland in the early 400s.

Blank stares can also be total incomprehension ... or boredom :-). Or a polite pause before the starer leaps in with their pet hobbyhorse. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I think "Truffle Boy" is going to be interesting. And, it relates a bit to some of what Bourdain writes about. Some of the chapters that I've found really interesting, so far, are "So you wanna be a chef." Bottom line: be young, in good shape, have a thick hide and don't fall into substance abuse. Don't do institutional / hotel cooking, unless that's what you want to do for the rest of your life. Sure, it's cozy, with the benefits and all. But like actors, chefs can get to be type cast. Cooking school? Only the best and the timing is important. Maybe it's not necessary. Starve if you must, but hold out for a position in a top flight restaurant. Claw your way up. Be a gem of an employee. Chefs pass around good employees and you move, expand your chops and pick up new skills.

His chapter on the crash of 08 was also good. Of course, he's mostly talking about New York, but mid to high end restaurants lost around 30% of their business in just a few months. It was close or adapt. And the restaurant biz seems to be moving in new directions. This will probably relate to what "Truffle Boy" has to say. His chapter "The Rich Eat Differently Than You or Me" is practically a sociological study of the super rich and famous. He ended up on St. Bart's island. Observed. Those people who run the world really are quit ghastly.

If I go dark, don't be too concerned. I had a prompt to download a new version of ... darn, what is it? On all computers. Has to do with graphics and such. Starts with an "F". Well, anyway, I don't think it was what it appeared. Since then, everywhere I go on the net the popups come fast and furious. Like swatting bats with a tennis racket. Except, oddly enough, here. I've cleared caches and tinkered with security settings. No dice. Next I might tinker with the Time Machine ... which I've never done, before. I wish Damo was sitting by my side :-). But, in the meantime, I'm mowing the front yard. Clear my head, a bit. Cleanse my palate :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

It is a complex matter. What to do? And the signature edition paperbacks are as you say, a more affordable option, and are priced at about what you'd expect to pay for a paperback here. It is good to see the books back in print too. That hasn’t always been the case. And I have to add that I own most of the books already in paperback form, but the books themselves are from the 1960's to 1980's and they are in surprisingly good condition. The funny thing is that the cover art on these pulp paperback books barely resembles the stories held within the covers! It is quite amusing to see the cover art because I always wonder to myself just what were they thinking? Nothing good... The new cover art matches the stories - you can't help but notice that. And the forwards and the remastering of sometimes occasionally quite harshly edited text may reveal new aspects to familiar stories... It's tempting... Unfortunately I've just shelled out $3k for a new wood heater today, far out that hurts the bank account.

I've never used a digital reader so I can't really provide any meaningful opinion about the contrast between the physical paperback and the e-reader. What do you reckon about your experience with that device? I assume the memory on the e-reader is huge and stores massive quantities of books. What sort of longevity does the unit have and do you get a huge charge out of the batteries? How would you even store the physical signature edition. Transport via carry on luggage would be a problem due to sheer numbers of books... ;-)!

I'm sitting out with the chickens as I type this and I can't get over just how green the place is after the weekends out of control rainfall. Today has been the first day the sun has shone strongly too... Before that it was either heavy cloud or serious driving mist and rain. That makes for a hugely different contrast to your experience. The smoke from the burn offs in SE Asia always left me with hay-fever, but what do you do? The burn off restrictions will be lifted here after Easter.

If you are looking at Christchurch then you are clearly after a cold weather experience next. You know you may have adapted to rather warm conditions and it will take a little bit of time for both of you to adapt to the colder NZ south island weather? It should be interesting shouldn't it? And I wish you the best of luck as it is a superb part of the planet to go to.

Celebrations involving beerlao and water fights, sounds awesome to me. I went to a Christmas party two years back that sounded an awful lot like that. Water fights are an awesome thing to do on a hot day.

I'll have to ask Lewis about the longevity between paperbacks and hardbacks as I don't really know much about that business at all. Some of the pulp paperbacks I have of Jack Vance books are in reasonable condition, although you have to be careful with them all the same. I can't imagine what sort of condition they'll be in in 100 years time, but clearly it won't be good...

Fluffy was the most alpha dog I have ever come across. She was a very irreverent and badly behaved dog whilst the other boss dog was alive, but once that boss dog died, she changed almost overnight. It was uncanny to see as she lost the colour in her coat and became ultra serious. I would not have picked that particular change in her.

Exactly, the beauty of the Fluffy story is that it is open to interpretation and of course your observation is spot on and totally accurate.

The Next Generation was a great series wasn't it? Are you watching all of the episodes or skipping some now? They really had the whole Klingon gear down pat by the time Star Trek 6 the movie was released and it really shows in the Next Generation series. I hope they bring back a bit of that gear in the new series? Have you heard anything about that?

Just trying a Wordpress backup addon. Do you have any experience with those?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thanks for the explanation about the tomatoes and the seeds. Ah! I had a chance to check out the Ferline hybrids and mid-sized fruit are the right ones to go for. I'll be very curious to read of your experience with them. Maybe next spring I'll upload an image of the catalogue showing a page or two of the various varieties I grow here - most of them are open pollinated so they do hybridise over time but I haven't noticed any great leaps of evolution in the fruit! :-)! I've long since disposed of the seed catalogue. Oh! There is no need to do that as the club has a very good web page. I'm a bit old school and prefer the catalogue and to visit their shop as it is attached to a very lovely garden. Here goes: Diggers Club Tomatoes. You need to scroll down to see the many varieties and they grow true to type. The short growing season ones would work for you I reckon.

I'd never considered growing tomatoes in hanging baskets and the Mexican cucumbers would probably do well here given they are small. I currently have a round apple shaped cucumber growing - it is meant to be an old variety (apparently).

Fair enough about the bluebells!

You're absolutely correct about learning from experience and hardship. We are a stubborn species after all. I find when dealing with other males of the species I tend to sow an idea and then just wait until that idea has an opportunity to be tested. Sometimes they claim the idea for their own, but really that was not the case. Sometimes people offend me because that is in their nature and so I just give them the truth as I see it. That can be quite confrontational but it does make them go away to elsewhere. Basically, a lot of guys just can't be told and so a softly softly approach yields better results. For some reason women are more adaptable, but still stubborn! That must be part of the human condition I reckon, although that sounds like a sweeping generalisation. Dunno.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Yif,

Welcome to the discussion.

Ouch. Yup dark blue trailers are, well, dark blue and as such can fade into the background. I hope your sister was OK from the accident?

You know a lot of people tell me how much they like the colour of the trailer, but they wouldn't paint a trailer that colour themselves. Incidentally, the colour of the trailer was picked by the editor who at the time couldn't quite decide between gloss bright red or this bright yellow, but eventually settled on the yellow. I'm not sure I would have been comfortable with bright green... :-)! I didn't notice it before but most heavy earth moving machinery is painted yellow...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Damo asked a good question about the difference in longevity between hardcover books and paperbacks and given that you are our resident expert in all things book, I was curious as to your opinion in the matter? Some of the pulp fiction paperbacks I have here from the 1960's to the 1980's aren't in that bad a condition, but perhaps that may be due to the higher humidity here? The pages have browned a bit and my understanding is that that has something to do with the acidity of the paper? Dunno really. I'm in a little bit of awe when I consider the efforts of the monasteries in the dark ages maintaining the earlier works because that was considered to be a valuable thing to do. It would be quite interesting if something such as the Vance Integral Edition turned up complete a 1,000 years into the future. I wonder what they'd make of the stories? Hopefully they wouldn't be literalists, but you never know?

Yup, nup, making garum is off the table (sorry for the very fishy food joke!)

Removing the fir tree would have been an emotionally difficult thing for a person to do, but given the Columbus Day storm which rolled through the following year, there may also have been a premonition of disaster or just exercising plain old common sense. Easier said than done though and most people have strong emotional reactions to that activity. Or maybe he just wanted to build the shed in that location and didn’t overly intellectualise the matter? Dunno.

Yeah, that sounds right to me about intolerance as it is usually a driven activity and sometimes the focus is on purely arbitrary concepts, but the underlying fire is driven by topics which may possibly not be allowed to be spoken of. I always look for sub currents when that sort of rhetoric is thrown about. Were any fanatics sucked into a temporal anomaly? That would be a complex story line wouldn’t it?

Reading your excellent explanation about Roman Britain and the relationship with the Empire, I had the uncanny and rather eerie feeling that the same forces were at play with the decline in infrastructure being felt and experienced at the edges rather than nearer to the core. Ouch!

Those are all fair thoughts and yeah sometimes I do bore people and other times they have no idea what I'm going on about and I can usually pick up on that pretty quickly and adapt the conversation. You can see it in their faces and level of attention. Interestingly I plan to give a talk to the Green Wizards on social interactions in rural areas so hopefully nobody nods off. I may use my old and well tested technique of throwing something at them if I spot that. It is very effective, you know and always gets a few laughs!

Speaking of hobby horses, some people have the amazing ability to pretend that nothing controversial was even said! It is amazing to observe in action and I wonder what goes on in their heads during that process? A lot of people seem to have a standard list of discussable topics and heaven help anybody if they travel outside those pre-instructed waters.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

I picked up the new heater today and hopefully it will be installed tomorrow - all things going well. It is cutting it a bit fine as it is close to Easter. Incidentally, why is Easter celebrated on different days every year? And you know when I was a kid, they used to give the Tuesday as a public holiday, but in these enlightened times we have learned that it is better to work harder for less. My, but we work hard and long hours down here.

I reckon Bourdain is on the money with those observations as it is a physically demanding work environment and most people are oblivious to all of the goings on in a commercial kitchen. You know, I absolutely feel for the people working in hospitality when the temperature goes past 100'F and the grills are pumping the heat out. Mate, they aren't paid enough. I had a day like that a few months back and I was stuck in a hot warehouse and although it was over 100'F outside in the sun, it felt cooler in the glare of the hot afternoon sun. I later got a call from the tax office that wanted to speak to me and because I didn't answer the phone with the business name as I was just hot and bothered, they started doing an ID check on me and I was filthy with them because I told them that they had called me. It was actually them though and not a scammer, and eventually I told them their systems were stupid, it was a very hot day and if they continued with the silliness I'd hang up on them. Needless to say I hung up on them. Not very gentlemanly, but I'd absolutely had it that day...

Oh yeah, the crash of '08 would really have rocked the high end restaurant world. I didn’t think about that side of things. You know, I don't eat at those places and generally stick to more affordable but quality options and I didn't notice much down turn in trade at those restaurants during that time. If the housing market here collapses or declines though, all bets are off.

Thanks for the heads up and if you go dark, I shall await your triumphant return - or at least you may be a bit chastised with a slightly repaired computer... Yup, all those updates are a drama. I could tell you how to sort it out if you had a PC, but Macs are a whole 'nother world. I use a program called Ad-Muncher to kill off the annoying pop up ads, but who knows how that is done on Mac's. One thing I have noticed is that there are increasing layers of complexity thrown over computer systems so increased computing power gets absorbed.

You may find that your Safari browser has an option to block pop ups? Dunno.

Cheers (and good luck!)

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

You are a keen observer of human nature (canine as well) to be sure.

I'll be picking up the rooster on Friday and will report after that. However it probably will take some time for him to show his true colors. It'll be over an hour drive to get him but the people apparently raise all kinds of poultry so it should be interesting. Hopefully I can resist temptation to add any more birds. I have to say after losing two hens to a coyote and seeing coyote scat regularly the addition of a rooster will be a good thing.

Yeah, my head spins sometimes too. I used to do a lot more volunteer work but keep cutting it back as I've finally come to the realization that things like the unexpected Michael move keep popping up and I just don't see that changing. It's interesting to observe how different people deal with retirement. I know some who do virtually nothing and then the other extreme of filling almost every moment with volunteer work. A few of the people who go to the jail are like that. Lately I've met many detainees who have traveled to South America and walked though several countries to cross the Mexico/U.S. border only to be picked up immediately. Most are seeking asylum. Yesterday it was two men - one from Haiti and one from Somalia. The very young man from Somalia has been in the U.S. for a year all of it in jail. When I think I have problems I just remember all the stories I've heard.

Margaret

Showers are not my thing though some are becoming more non traditional inviting couples etc.and not having the stupid cutsy games. That is the case with one of the showers which if for my niece and her partner (the first same sex marriage in the family. They will be in town for just a week. They live in Colorado and the ceremony is there. Most of the family is going but we'll be on our Alaska trip. One niece is just having a civil ceremony (yah!!) but the other is going all out with the big wedding, shower at a restaurant and a bachelorette weekend no less. My youngest daughter is in the wedding and has to shell out money not only for the dress and gifts but part of the shower and weekend costs as well. The couple has been totally stressed out for months. When my daughter

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Hmmm. Books. Longevity, etc. Mass market paperbacks (the small ones) are, eventually, a lost cause. Printed on high acid pulp paper. That's the yellowness / browness and the pages get brittle. The binding glue also dries out and they fall apart. To make them last a longer time, they need to be handled with care. Trade paperbacks, the large one's, may or may not last a bit longer. Depends on the paper quality and if they're glued or stitched together. Paper quality is usually mentioned on the obverse of the title page, along with the copyright information. Trade paperbacks seem to have the problem of cover curling. The plastic protective coat shrinks at a different rate than the underlying paper.

Hardbacks. Hmmm. Depends on if it's a good binding, or a poor binding. And, the quality of the paper. A good binding would be stitched, and the paper acid free. With care, might last a hundred years, or more. Dust jackets should be slipped into acid free plastic protectors. Any tape (also acid free) should only be applied to the plastic protective cover. In practice, to preserve value, they should be put on the shelf and never read :-). And, not packed too tight.

Rural social interactions. Well, throw in a few good horror stories and you'll keep them awake. :-). Growing up, I remember having a few teachers who could throw chalk with devastating accuracy. A dive bar I used to frequent in my misspent youth had a legendary little old lady behind the bar. She looked harmless. Little jersey dress, granny orthopedic shoes, a poor wig and makeup applied with a trowel. She looked so harmless, tottering around behind the bar. But she was lethal with an ashtray. Light metal one's that she could sail across a crowded bar to thunk the head of any miscreants. :-) Legendary.

I just don't eat out. Surely, nowhere with cloth on the tables. It somehow offends my sense of thrift. I'd rather spend any discretionary income I have on tat :-). But, when I do eat out, usually once every month or two with my friend Scott, I want something different. Something ... ethnic. Something I'm not likely to throw together at home. If I happen to end up in one of those chain restaurants, I usually rummage around in the corners of the menu looking for something that I don't make at home. Usually deep fried. Since I don't deep fry. Anything. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. I mowed yesterday. Got the front yard and one side yard done. Now the trick is to get to Beau's yard, before the front and side need another go. The other side is a lost cause, due to the logging road. It's just too rough to work on. It's fast returning to wilderness. Not my problem. It looked like rain, all day, but held off til an hour after I finished. Took me three goes to get it all done, but at least this time I wasn't dizzy.

The date of Easter. Oh, my. Religious wars have been fought over the supposed appropriate date for Easter. As I remember, it's tied not to a specific date, but to something astronomy in nature. And the drift caused frequent calendar adjustments. Or something. In this case, I'm going to say ... Google it. :-).

Good luck installing your wood stove. Might be a bit complicated, attention to detail and all that. But pretty straight forward.

Sometimes slow download speeds are a good thing. The onslaughts of popups, continue. But, I can see them coming and generally close the window before they freeze the screen. It's like swatting flies. Most of this latest infestation seems to be related to computer products (yeah, sure.) Macs do have setting to stop pop ups, but the wiley pop up people keep figuring out ways around those. Then there's the infamous pop under. But I've gotten pretty good at detecting a slight flicker when they appear, so I minimize whatever screen I'm working on, do them in, and return to the task at hand.

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

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

I enjoyed reading about the repair work on the yellow trailer. It's hard to imagine that you have enough electricity from your solar panels to do arc welding since I suppose the welder draws a lot of current when it's in use. But then again I suppose it is used for only a short period of time so that your panels can supply what it needs on a sunny day.

May the installation of your new wood heater go well!

I've managed to subdue the weeds that had grown up around the strawberry and raspberry beds while I was away. The strawberries are flowering so if we get another frost I'll have to cover them. No risk of that in the next week however and we are at around our last frost date most years after midmonth, so I hope for a good strawberry crop. Today I dug the potato bed and will soon prepare its soil amendment mix for this year. You had asked if I'm still following the soil remineralization plan. The answer is yes overall although perhaps with certain modifications this year. When I get around to the next blog post I'll talk more about that. I don't think that will happen till around the end of April or early May however.

@Lew - good luck with your computer! I get nervous when I have to install updates. So far so good with the newer computer, but I haven't downloaded Sierra (the latest Mac OS) yet.

Claire

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

I thought Crunchy Beagle was what you ate for breakfast.

What a cute thing Fluffy was - hard to believe that so much assertiveness was packed into such a small package. So - it was not Fluffy's natural mothering instinct to care for her little Toothy, but connivance to win Toothy's allegiance? Did you fabricate that wrought iron looking gate and fence?

Look at that poor Scritchy on alert! She fairly bristles with impending-storm nerves. We once had a dog who had a terrible fascination with lightening. As soon as it started, he begged to go out and stand out amongst the lightening (our front yard is a magnet for lighting; rather curious). He was very afraid of storms, so I guess it somewhat scared him out of his wits. No - we did not let him out, though my husband says that maybe Mr. Jackson thought that it would cure his arthritis.

I am so glad that you were able to fix up the yellow trailer. Back to its old beautiful and useful self. Good for the editor with her choice of color.

Well, there's a new affliction - old burnt dog bone disease - OBDBD aka Obdubub.

I followed your suggestion with the lightning photos and used full-screen mode; very effective.Then I went on to one more photo by accident and there were bounteous tomatoes; a startling transition!

Perhaps by the time we all next hear from you the wood heater will be installed. Since you won't have an oven function, have you considered cooking on top of it in a Dutch oven?

Is it an advantage to be a poor barbarian?

Are you referring to this post of Mr. Greer's?

http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2015/04/atlantis-wont-sink-experts-agree.html

It seems rather far back to be his last climate change essay, but it is the first one that comes to my mind that really gave me chills.

Yesterday a friend had to have a document sent from one government office to another - via fax. Yay! Some places still use fax machines, perhaps more than we know.

Easter is always the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. I assume that it also has something to do with the date of Passover, which is different every year, too.

It was 90F (32C)here yesterday, almost as hot Monday and today. Some young plants I am watering three times a day.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

You made me dizzy. Now that I have recovered, I read your comment about the detainees; such very sad stories. Could it be that even an American jail is better than where they come from? But if they are deported back across the border to Mexico, and are not from there, it doesn't bode well. I suppose the U.S. would not deport non-Mexicans to Mexico?

I thank my lucky stars that I have no showers, or weddings, on my horizon.

Pam

Damo said...

@Lewis
It certainly sounds like your computer has absorbed something untoward from the internet! Although I cannot be there in person, this guide has some steps for cleaning up Mac systems:
Cleaning up a mac virus

Your system probably got infected due an unpatched flaw in the Safari browser. It may be worth using Mozilla Firefox instead. Good luck!

Cheers,
Damo

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

A friend wants to see the bluebells in flower so I thought that I should do a recce yesterday. Just as well that I did; she is out of luck as I couldn't get there. Last summer's very wet weather has caused the greatest woodland growth that I ever seen here. In addition, a number of large trees have fallen and then been grown over. I got lost 4 times and even the sun was in the wrong position! I know that this is nuts but it has appeared so in other years when one becomes completely disoriented. Townies have no idea as to how dangerous even a small wood can be for them. I came out by following badger trails, somewhat incommoded by our height discrepancy.

When you plant bluebells are they the wild or the Spanish variety? My woodland ones are wild but gardens around have the Spanish ones and the two will hybridise. It is therefore fortunate that my wild ones are so inaccessible. Wild ones have drooping heads and the Spanish ones stand upright.

The weather has gone cold again.

Inge

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

I don't have any real experience with wordpress backup addons except to say they are probably a good idea :p You can export your site data with no additional addons required, but this only generates a single XML file with your website pages/posts etc. Images and some minor settings are not retained. I assume the addon does some sort of magic snapshot of the entire site?

My experience with the kindle is OK - it can store hundreds (thousands?) of books and the battery is only used when you turn the page (displaying the page uses no power), so it tends to last a month or more depending on how fast you read. The case also has a little light which runs from the kindle battery which is nice when Mrs Damo wants to sleep and I am still reading. In short, for books I only want to read once it is pretty good. I still prefer a shelf full of books though :-)

Cheers,
Damo

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

The canines can often be far more interesting and far more spontaneous, but by and large they really do share a lot of our personality traits. Hehe! Don't you find that even the individual chickens have very distinct personalities? One of batch of three new silkies is mildly neurotic and spends a lot of her day hiding and acting very strangely, but then when it is time to go out into the orchard, she is out there running around with the best of them. Her other two silkie friends have blended into the chicken collective very well and are happy to have the neurotic silkie hang and sleep with them. I can't work it out at all.

And by the way, with the 80mm (over 3 inches) of rain last week, the straw inside the hen house became damp around the edges of the hen house (a small amount of moisture can get in under the bottom of each corrugated steel sheet). Enough water got in that the straw + chicken manure began fermenting over the past few days and so today I pushed the whole lot into the chicken run... It was a fascinating smell indeed! And at least the chickens will turn it over many times before it makes its way into the orchard. Oh well, I'm genuinely glad I don't have to harvest and store straw.

That is interesting and no doubt, the new rooster will scout out the chicken collective before displaying his true colours. I'm sure you'll keep a watchful eye on him? The rooster will have his claws and beak full with the coyote problem and I hope he earns his keep. Yes, buying more chickens is always a constant temptation. I reckon I have about one more than I need at this stage, but no doubts that one or two will get sick and die over the height of winter. It always happens.

Glad to read that it wasn't just my head that was spinning! :-)! That sounds a bit exorcist film, doesn't it? Everyone is different on that front aren't they and you never know. The local garden club is looking for people to help out with managing the hordes of people ready to descend on the mountain for the leaf change... It is nice to live in the unfashionable end of the mountain range! Those are all horror stories.

I studiously avoid all first birthday's, christenings, bucks nights etc. Ah, yes the brides maids score a very hard deal financially and sometimes they often walk away with friendships in ruins. Good to see that you have more enlightened policies in your country. We are seriously in the dark ages down here and concerns about such things seem to be a matter for a very noisy and tiresome minority! :-)! I have no personal interest in who is sleeping with whom.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Well I don't know what happened to that last comment as it certainly didn't look that way when I posted it :).

I usually have a rooster and they have run the gamut from great to horrible though most seem to be in the middle. I do find that chickens very much have their own personalities which is part of their charm don't you think?

That is a lot of rain. We're getting too much here as well which is interfering with spring projects.

My niece and her partner are really a cute couple. My niece is getting her PHD in Psychology (hoping it's worth the money and stress) and her partner just got out of the Navy after a pretty long enlistment and is getting a degree in fermenting and brewing (or something like that). They both love to cook.

There are many positives to having a large family but all then there's all the milestone events. Doug does his best trying to avoid them too but I do manage to guilt him into some.

Usually this is a busy time of year normally but I can't believe all the other stuff that's falling in the same time frame.

Sounds like you made a wise choice in picking a place to live.

Raining again here.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the information regarding the paperback books. Oh my! I just grabbed my hardback version of the Complete Chronicles of Conan (an awesome read) and now I'm looking at it, I notice that the pages are glued together. And now that I take a much closer look, there was no indication to be found about the paper quality - this is probably not a good thing and the paper does seemed to have yellowed a bit since last I read it. Not good. The book may not survive the Hyborian Age at all well. I've noticed the curving of the front covers with the trade paperbacks. Interestingly too, some of my Jack Vance collection were ex-library copies (with the covers and filing stickers) and they seem like much more physically sturdy books. I'd never considered this aspect of books before. Doesn't it make you wonder just how much of the things we take for granted today will be around in a centuries time? Ouch, I pack the bookcase quite tightly because there is only a very limited amount of room and I have been unable to install more book shelves. I've visited older 19th century houses where one entire wall of what appears to have been used as a study or home office is covered with the most beautiful and sturdy floor to ceiling book shelves. One of those houses was clearly owned by a person in the legal system as the wall was replete with leather bound sets of matching books. No doubts the contents of the books were as boring as bat poo (eg. Hansard), but far out, it looked good and had a sense of permanence emanating from it.

The plumbers were here all day today installing the new wood heater and I'm glad to say that the new one has finally been installed. I promise to be much more gentle with this new machine now that I'm aware of all of the bad things that one can do to such a machine. It was a very expensive problem to rectify. Interestingly too, the plumber suggested a few improvements to how the systems were set up and it is a real pleasure to be receiving the benefits of years of wisdom and learning over when they installed the original system. I’m cool with that as I’d do things differently too given the chance to revisit them here. The changes were very thoughtful and they concurred with what I'd learned about how the systems work in reality. The new fire box has half inch thick plate steel too, which I find to be personally comforting. It is not a permanent solution because entropy gets all of us in the end, but it is far better than what used to be before that.

Haha! Yup, you read my mind. Exactly, they seem to be fixated on the horror stories, so horror stories I shall give them - and then contrast with some very lovely stories too. Urban living seems to be a method of avoiding the costs and benefits of community. People talk endlessly about community, but they have absolutely no idea that there are an equal number of downsides (and perhaps more) than the upsides. The legendary old lady was onto something and it would have provided no end of amusement to the people in the know, that someone who was clearly a miscreant was about to cop a chunk in the head! Jolly good shot old chap!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Yeah, I've done that table cloth thing too (usually at someone else’s expense) and I always feel like I'm uncomfortable and so the editor and I never really go there again. Plus how do they keep those table cloths that bright white, when clearly either the editor or I have spilled some sauce from our plates onto the cloth. Such important questions never really get answered. That is a good strategy about trying things you wouldn't cook at home. I do the same here as you may note that being a mostly vegetarian, it is hard to avoid the fact that most meals off the property involve meat, so why worry about it? People worrying about their food bore me, but other people are very tolerant of such things. Plus you can expand your culinary boundaries and who knows what you might end up enjoying? You don't really see deep fried anything here outside of chips (and maybe the battered fish), but deep fried chips cooked in clean oil are way yummy! Mate, eat like a rabbit at home and then don't worry about the calorie and chemical onslaught off the farm which seems like a good strategy to me. People are frankly strange about food.

Well done you for getting to the mowing. It is a massive job. You've mentioned that Beau's yard has grass of epic proportions which were no doubts fed by Beau's excretions - don't knock dog wee and poo as a fertiliser as nine out of ten parrots would have major punch ups over such things! Yeah, you can only ever look after so much and then don't worry about it. Look after your blood sugar levels though.

Really? Such matters are beyond my understanding and I don't much see the need to get ones self in a knot over such religious matters. Interestingly, in the book I read recently about the Aboriginals, there was the most casual reference to the fact that the Aboriginals didn't believe that the spirits much concerned themselves with the strangeness that white fellas have perpetrated on the physical world. Of course, Google the Easter matter is good advice. :-)!

I'm legally unable to install the wood heater as it contains a boiler and so the plumbers are required to do that job.

Your computer problems sound a bit like whack a mole to me! Damo had some useful advice for you in relation to things, but Mac stuff is way over my head as I have no experience with them at all. Firewood on the other hand. Well I could bore you for hours on the intricacy of such topics (well not really, but it does sound good!)

Enjoy your trip into the little smoke. It is Good Friday here tomorrow so there is not much point heading anywhere. Whilst the plumbers were here today the editor and I spent the day doing work that had been on the back burner and now my poor brain is feeling frazzled.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

@Pam,

They won't get deported to Mexico but rather to their home country. Many are in fear of their life if they return. The sisters have some missions just over the border and in some Central American countries that the detainees can call when they're released and hopefully they can get to the mission where they'll get some help to hopefully get to their home town safely. Most are seeking asylum which takes a long time - a year or more. They also get moved from jail to jail without explanation. Here's a couple of articles if you're interested in reading more.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/immigration/ct-immigrants-mchenry-detention-center-met-20170323-story.html

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/8/3/deportation-immigrantsice.html

All the weddings and showers in the next few months are over the top even for this family.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Thank you and many years ago, that lack of power at this time of year was indeed a serious problem. I just kept adding solar panels until the problem went away (or the truth is it became easier to live with). You may be interested to know that the arc welder uses about 90A (at 28V = 2.52kW) of energy to form the initial arc, and then once it is continually welding it drops back to about 20A (at 28V = 0.56kW) under constant load which surprised me as it is far more economical than I'd considered. It is nice to have a very nifty meter which records all of the flows of electrons about the place. Interestingly too, way up north in Queensland where they get more winter sun and less summer sun, I used to know a guy that ran a plasma cutter and electric vehicle off his off grid solar power system. It was epic! You couldn't do such a thing this far south due to the vastly different quantities of sunlight during the winter, but it was impressive to read about. Your local vegetation is usually a good indicator of what is actually possible with solar power and deserts are not good places for solar panels as they become very hot and start to de-rate – just like the plants. The optimal surface temperature for solar panels is 25'C (77'F) and once above that - which is easy to do on a sunny day - they de-rate their output. Solar produces its best on a very sunny day with thin high cloud (to bounce the light around) and a cool air temperature.

As you are very observant, you may notice that when I mention what the solar panels are outputting I usually use a voltage of about 36V. This is the voltage they produce under load. You see in order to push electrons from one spot to another you need to have higher voltage going to a lower voltage, thus the panels are 36V and the batteries are 28V (up to about 29V) so electrons flow from one to the other. And the voltage is not constant either, I’m talking averages really. I believe the current (Amps) stays the same and so the difference between the two voltages is lost - and that is just one part of the inefficiencies. However the mains grid does that same inefficiency trick, but on a huge scale. I always reckon storing electricity is like trying to hold water in a leaky bucket.

I wasn't able to run the new wood heater tonight as today has been too warm and it is now 20'C (68'F) in the house. No doubts the cold weather has gone elsewhere! :-)!

I'm envious of your strawberries and will be very interested to read how your soil improvements and growing season grows as time goes on this season. And I'm very curious to learn about your modifications. Soil is a truly fascinating and dynamic subject.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

The crunchy beagle would have been upset if I attempted to use its rather juicy (but stringy) hind leg for breakfast! ;-)! It is a good name isn't it? It was a real character of a dog and fluffy had just really pushed things way too far.

Yes indeed. Remember: Face = Angel & Mind = Sewer Rat. She was a very lovely dog right up to her final day and it was a pleasure to have known her. I don't really know about the natural mothering side to her but she was originally from a house which was raided by the authorities as it contained over hundred dogs so I have no doubts she had a litter of puppies. Did you notice Toothy's expression of reverence. He was dirty for the face clean... It was no hardship for him.

Oh yeah, I made that fence. It is a nice fence and I sauntered past it the other day to see how the world had been treating it and it looks good. One of my neighbours was a reasonably well known sculptor at the time and he let me use his tools and workshop to build the fence. I had to do a lot of measurements on the original fences which were mostly falling over so as to get the proportions spot on so it looked right in the street scape. I love that sort of work.

Mr Jackson is a lovely name for a lightning temptation afflicted dog. Honestly, I read that and all I could think about was: "It's alive. IT'S ALIVE, I tell you!" with background flashes of sparks etc.

The bright yellow trailer was used to good effect to bring the new wood heater back home the other day. Maintaining things is always a challenge and it is nice when they end up looking better than new.

Oh! I'll tell you this. The stench was not good... Yes, breakfast was close to making a special guest appearance in the garden! I do not recommend trying that at home. :-)! I see why bone saws are more popular.

I'm blushing at the sheer mention of the infamous Dutch oven. Of course that may be a colloquialism of a very serious chunk of technology.

That one was good, but the most recent one was: How Great the Fall Can Be . I always liked the music from the band Supertramp.

Go the fax machine! I'm glad that administrative folk still know how to use one.

Thanks for explaining that. Now I have to understand what a vernal equinox is. So many questions!

Wow, that is rather warm for this time of year. I hope you are considering selecting varieties for their hardiness to the heat? I do that here and have been having some success at reducing the water requirements for the edible plants. Everything takes so long though. I should include a few photos of the unusual and curiously fast growing avocado sapling. I'm starting to wonder about the benefits of some fruit trees grown from seed. Dunno, time will tell.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Wow. I'm fascinated to read that the benefits of last summers extreme wet season is being seen by you now in your woodland / forest. Fallen trees here tend to slowly decay over a long period of time, usually helped along by all of the soil critters such as termites and other creatures, but I have seen wetter forests where new trees spring from the trunks of the old. I've noticed that willow trees in particular do that and it is amazing to see.

Getting lost in the forest. I hear you about that and I have to seriously concentrate on the inclination of the slope and the relative location of the sun in order to not get lost once out of sight of the familiar. And you are absolutely correct. You made me laugh too as I follow the wallaby tracks as they keep to regular paths in the forest. Fortunately the walllabies are much taller than badgers and I hear you about being discommoded! A lovely word to describe an unfortunate meeting with head high vegetation.

Yay! The new wood heater was installed today, but it is just a bit too warm here tonight to light it. The paint will cure when it is first lit too, which will create a frightful stink and I'm just feeling too tired tonight to worry about it. I won't have to wait too long before it gets cold here though. I'll bet you are glad that your daughters are not in New Zealand as they seem to have some sort of ex-cyclone attractant going on there: Cyclone Cook: Auckland spared but New Zealand still on high alert. This one follows on from the tail end of Cyclone Debbie that smashed the lower corner of Queensland (and Northern New South Wales) not too long ago.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Inge:

Your comment about being disoriented by the vast number of flowering bluebells was interesting. Could it be that your mind thought that you were in the sky, as it were, and thus ungrounded, so you felt dizzy? I wonder, would that be true also if they were "yellowbells"?

It is not nuts to get lost in the woods. I have done so even in our small woods. The tall trees, and the undergrowth, make it hard to get one's bearings sometimes. And the woods can look different, even from week to week. It is a curious thing how the sun does not appear - or stay - where it is suppose to!

Hee hee! You are slightly taller than a badger! Do the badgers cause any problems near your house? I follow deer trails when looking for the easiest route through the woods. Occasionally there is one well-worn enough to ride a bike on. Or cross-country ski, a bit. Conversely, the deer are not above using our dirt road for ease of movement. Share and share alike!

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Thanks for considering the Wordpress back up matter. Yeah, you are probably right and I should probably just use FTP to extract all of the various files from the website. Blogger uses that single XML file too and are you aware of any programs that you have used that can open and view an XML file in a meaningful manner. We must have all written a lot of text here as the XML file for this blog is running at about 31Mb, which is quite tightly compressed don't you reckon? Of course, the images all live elsewhere and I wonder at what point will I be forced to shell out to maintain the service. It will happen. On the other hand we are all providing free content and who knows what happens to all of our ramblings. I doubt anyone could make any meaningful sense out of the text here given the huge quantity of it. What do you reckon about that? Perhaps it is a foolish chunk of speculation on my part. Dunno, I wonder how it pays for itself?

Never used a kindle but it is nice to hear that the batteries have quite a long life. That trick with displaying the page without having to maintain the image using energy is very clever. I've never seen one in action. I assume the screen is not heavily pixelated and so the fonts are all legible? A shelf full of books is a lovely thing to look at.

I'm now reading Jack Vance: The Killing Machine. It's good, I can't put the book down... Hey, have you ever read Clarges or the alternative title: To Live Forever? That was a great story and Jack Vance always manages to write about some of the foibles of the present, but in a future exotic landscape. I guess humans will be humans. Did you notice that Lewis responded about the quality of the books. It looks like my old pulp editions may soon be toast...

Thanks for the photo too, that takes me back! It has the exact same feel too. I did notice how all of the locals have utes or small trucks in their driveways.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Oops - I have a suspicion that "D...h Oven" may not be family-friendly in your part of the world.

The first thing that 20-pound (9kg) Mr. Jackson would have said to Fluffy was: "I'll beat you up!". Even if she was 80 pounds (36kg). But he never got into a fight where he came out the victor. Why on earth he never gave up that passion, even when he could barely totter on his skinny old legs, I'll never know. Even after the neighbor's dog chomped him so that he looked like a sieve. Even after the bull dog . . .

The fence is so beautiful. You have the soul - and indeed, the skill - of a sculptor.

Vernal equinox - phooey! (Uh oh; is that family-friendly?)

We do our very best to save seeds from only the hardiest varieties. Hard to know if we should select for heat and drought, heat and humidity, or warm and humid; all of those things can apply to our summers. Sometimes it rains all summer. Sometimes it hardly rains.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

"How Great the Fall Can Be". Oh, yeah. That was really depressing.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Yes, fallen trees often sprout again here; especially the willows which always sprout and create a fence in the process.
Son just brought me the local paper and agreed that it was no longer possible to access the bluebells by the usual route. He told me how I could still get there. Mind you it is two weeks since he went there and growth is ferocious at the moment.

@ Pam

I don't know whether or not yellow flowers would make me feel dizzy. I have had the same sensation when paddling in a large shallow sea. It seems to happen when there is a lack of other visual stimulus.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Chris & Pam - Crunchy Begle! The new kid's breakfast cereal! Recycled cardboard to keep us appearing green! With a thick sugar coating! :-)

Pam nailed the whole Easter date thing. And probably with a lot less verbiage than I would have come up with.

I love the little captain's beagle (or, the beagle's captain?) on Star Trek Enterprise. Porthos. We had a beagle when I was really young and she was a sweet dog. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Usually, if the paper is low acid, recycled whatever, the publisher crows about it on the obverse of the title page. If you can get a book out of a bookshelf with ease ... without a crowbar, that's enough room for the books not to feel crowded.

You must get on with tradesmen / installers in a good way. I'm sure they run into some real pieces of work. If I have a repair guy in, I generally offer coffee or tea, ask if they want me to stick around to provide a third hand, or, go away and leave them to it. Maybe I can take a bit of the sting out of the cost of the wood stove. Look at it this way. If it lasts 12 years, that's a little less than $21 a month. I'd say that's a pretty good return on investment. :-).

Psst! I'll let you in on a little restaurant secret. ... Linen service. A restaurant laundry service. Even smaller places often send out bus towels and aprons. It can be a big expense for a high end restaurant. I may go to an AA weekend men's retreat, this fall. I noticed on the application form they asked if I had any food "concerns." I intend to answer that by saying if I had any food foibles, I think I can suspend them for one weekend. :-). I'm with you. Eat healthy at home, don't worry about it if you're out and about. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Your aboriginals probably take the long view. Our Native Americans (First People's? I can't keep up with the PC speak ... oh, well. Someone, somewhere with a bad case of virtue signaling is sure to correct me.) There are whole books of Native American prophecy or tales where the White Fellas totally screw up and end up going away.

That bit about one of your pups coming from someplace with a lot of dogs. Probably either an animal hoarder (a particular subset of hoarders) or, a puppy mill. It's interesting that on the east coast, a lot of busted puppy mills turn out to be Amish run.

Lightening. "Igor! Open the roof and let the lightening come in!" :-). You know, I can't run down that quote, anywhere. Given all the manifestations of Frankenstein, I might have just missed it. Or, it popped out of my fevered imagination.

The religious war episode of Star Trek Enterprise ... at one point the doctor asks what the source of the conflict is. One fellow says that they believe that The Makers, who created the Spheres did so in nine days. The other side claims that it took ten days. Heresy!

There's another interesting episode where the Vulcan science officer, T'Pol and Captain Archer have time traveled back to Detroit in 2004. They're tooling around in a van, scanning to try and run down 3 rogue aliens. T'Pol asks, about the people in 2004 ... "Were they aware at the time that Earth's supply of fossil fuel was nearing depletion?" The Captain answers "They had been for 30 years. But it wasn't until 2061 that they finally...." And at that point, the scanner picks up the aliens and they never get back to THAT conversation. One wonders. Oil wars? Vaporware?

Raining puppies and kitties. Oh, well. Inside day, today. Meeting, tonight. Huge flea market at our fair grounds on Saturday. I just might give it a whirl. Lew

PS: Had a dream last night that I was helping two different fellows move into The Home. One was a fellow out of my past and I can't put my finger on where and when. Maddening. If I stop mentally picking at it, it may come to me. Maybe in a dream?

LewisLucanBooks said...

PPS: Saw a rather worrying article on NPR. Bird flue seems to be mutating.

http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2017/04/11/523271148/why-chinese-scientists-are-more-worried-than-ever-about-bird-flu

See? White Fellas are going to go away. Lew

Coco said...

Hi Chris,

¨Captain, we´re using the last of the unobtanium to patch the dilithium cores, but if it doesn´t work, she´s going to blow!¨ Scotty was fabulous. And the yellow trailer looks terrific.

Your lightening shots are great! What a stunning view you have.

A neighbor very kindly dropped off a bag of sprouted potatoes yesterday, so I can plant over the weekend. He and I chatted over a beer in the evening and basically agreed that 1) caring for aging parents was complicated and likely to get more so, and 2) the political scene doesn´t look promising on either side of any pond. His father emigrated to France in the 60´s, like many Spanish, and he´d seen first hand the emerging problem with immigrants and integration. A problem which only seems to have gotten worse. They came back in the 90´s. All sorts of class and cultural resentments wherever you look.

I´m going to keep my head down and garden.

Cheers

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

It must be my mindset, but I'd never realised that a Dutch Oven was a serious bit of sturdy cookware. Who'd have thunk it? It is a very good suggestion, so many thanks. We fired the wood heater up this afternoon for the first time and in just four hours the entire house has reached 21'C (70'F) which is too hot for me but we did want to see how it all works. In addition to that heat, the hot water system is now at warp factor seven. And the entire house load of radiators are producing heat. It's good, and better yet, it just seems to work with all of the components of the original system - which I can now see from 20/20 hindsight - never worked... Who would have thunk that? I’m a bit filthy with the people that sold me that original wood heater as it was under sized for what it was being asked to do.

Hmmm, Mr Jackson and Ms Fluffy would have had an epic meeting of the minds. I'm not sure who I would place a bet on as the victor could have been either of them and Ms Fluffy had a go hard and go early attitude, whilst Mr Jackson was clearly in for the long haul. You can never quite tell what is going on in the mind of a canine and why they would be so obstinate and set in their ways. Mind you, I could say the same thing about a lot of people too. :-)!

Thanks for saying that, I loved that fence and it was a pretty close replica of the originals. One thing I really enjoyed with houses was making new things which from a casual glance were indistinguishable from the same things made a hundred or more years ago. Too often with reproductions people skimp on the proportions to save money and the outcome just looks off to me. Proportions are an interesting consideration and the editor always reminds me that it is usually one third / two thirds which is some sort of golden rule. A lot of new houses have low ceiling heights, but soaring roofs. The reason for that is because the roof design is much cheaper than the walls and fitting out of the internal spaces, but the whole result just looks off to me.

Phooey is a fine choice of words with me! :-)!

I hear you and have the exact same problem: If it is not a flood, it’s a drought. Of course I have seen one or two years where everything just works out perfectly weather wise and those are great years. However, like your part of the world this is rarely the case and so we must make do with where we find ourselves. I select for the earliest ripening fruit or vegetable that tastes nice. I picked a ripe cantaloupe today. Take that my delightfully French accented naysayer. :-)! And we saved some seeds from it for next year.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Oh an addendum! I've heard that story from all sorts of sources and you are correct in that assertion. However, I tend to lean towards the point of view that we live in an amazing time where if your wood heater packs it in, if you have the resources, you can try something else. At what other point in recorded history has this been the case?

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

@ Pam
I forgot to answer your badger question. The badgers don't cause any trouble up my end. There is a large badger sett at the far end of the woods because the soil there is an almost pure yellow sand. The badgers try to move in my direction but are baulked by the clay.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yeah, the willows are amazing to see when several new trees sprout from fallen logs or branches. I grow a few varieties of willow here in the swale (which collects all of the excess water from all of the systems here) as they enjoy a very good drink. I haven’t tried the bark, have you?

For some reason there is some sort of ideologically driven program to cut willows out of the rivers and creeks here. The interesting results from those efforts is that the water in those rivers and creeks are no longer shaded by the removed willows during the summer and either the water dries up, or the fish die from too high a water temperature. The local river dried up this summer because of this despite the wet summer (and a sign was put up about something, something, healthy waterways). My reading of historical accounts of the land around this part of the world is that the water was held during the summer in rivers and creeks not as a flowing waterway, but as a sort of chain of ponds, and the willows performed that same sort of function in the now very disturbed eco-system. Oh well, I've noted that they are very hard to remove once they are established, so they will recover in time.

I rather suspect that a warmer and damper climate in your part of the world will lead to the sort of rampant growth that you are seeing in your part of the world. It is one form of feedback mechanism which is part of the genetic heritage of the plant world. They've been there before... I hope your garden is as productive this year? Oh! I picked my first ever ripe cantaloupe today and it was everything that the fruit and vegetable grocer or market melons aren't in that it was full of flavour and juice. It reminded me of what melons used to taste like when I was a kid. Of course, I didn't like melons back in those days... I reckon tastes change as you get older. What do you reckon about that?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It is a pretty cool name for a brekkie cereal. Crunchy Beagle! You could even have the strange foodstuffs in the shape of small Beagles. Cool! Unfortunately I make all of my own toasted muesli from scratch and I have no idea how to press that lot into Beagle shapes? Maybe cookie dies would do the trick, whilst the binding agent would be honey. Yum!

Mate, I'll tell you this: We got so done over on the previous wood heater. I have never experienced the heating system here just working like it is right now and we only lit the new thing for the first time about five hours ago. The new wood heater uses less firewood and the whole house and hot water is now feral hot. I just don't know what to say... I'm not often at a loss for words! The wood oven is not as much a loss as you'd imagine as I will probably be able to use the electric one for the majority of the winter. You know, I said to the Green Wizards group in all seriousness that now is the best time to test all of this stuff out as most of it doesn't work like the nice advertising blurb would make you believe - or even like you believe it will. If I could get one message across to people, that would be it. Alas, few would listen, and fewer still would believe me. Oh well.

I appreciated Pam's explanation of the whole Easter date conundrum.

Beagles are pretty smart dogs and glad to read that you were once acquainted with a fine example of the species. I reckon the Beagle was a nice addition to the crew and the doctor was much less a technophile than later doctors. I hope the new series is OK too? Who knows though - as they say the proof will be in the pudding (whatever that means)?

Just in case you need an Easter laugh, the editor spotted an intriguing concept: Lillie belle farms zombie chocolate bunnies. Those people are real artists. I don't generally spruik products and/or businesses but zombie chocolate bunnies are something way off the charts! I once saw a brief snippet of a simpsons cartoon (which I have never watched) and I saw the character of Crusty the Clown saying: I sincerely endorse this product and/or service. I reckon that sums up endorsements very nicely indeed - and I have to admit to ripping off that particular saying at appropriate moments. ;-)! Sometimes the best ideas are other peoples.

Thanks for the explanation. Clearly the Chronicles was on high acid paper (that sounds a bit dodgy really), but fortunately I don't stack books that tightly in a bookshelf. Out of curiosity, do they have standards in libraries about how tightly books can be stacked in the shelves? And now that I think about it, did you ever get first dibs on the clearance book sales? I used to pull that trick on the discontinued items at Radio Shack, much to the dismay of my boss. No wonder I eventually got the sack there...

Oh yeah, I'm really nice to tradies as they do a hard day’s work and I also try not to drive too hard a bargain and stick to hourly rates. I reckon the golden rule of do unto others applies in that circumstance. Alas, other people feel differently. There are some shocking websites for service seeking things on the interweb and that lot may be a good idea to save a buck, but where is the relationship if anything goes wrong? I avoid that gear as I know that sooner or later it will come back to bite me in one fashion or another. The installation is gonna be expensive... Oh well. Most people choose project houses because they are cheap, but the ongoing costs are huge. I'd prefer utilising resources as a flow into the future.

What? Linen service? That makes sense as it would be a huge amount of washing. I've seen some places that clothe the tables in butchers paper, and they even have little clips holding the paper onto the table tops. Unfortunately the paper is very glossy and so one wonders how that is possible?

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Your answer about food foibles is very amusing and I hope you use it. The retreat sounds like a great idea. People forget that the skinny guy wearing the hoodie and holding the scythe is coming for all of us sooner or later, so getting stressed out about the occasional deep fried meal, whilst you usually eat like a rabbit, is probably more likely to renew your acquaintance with the dude far earlier. Stress is a silent killer. I must confess to feeling a little bit anxious about the wood heater situation. I see so many arguments up this way about house temperatures during the long wet winter. Most people only last a winter or two before moving on. If they get past that hurdle, they usually know what they're in for and have adjusted their expectations accordingly. It is interesting to see, but some houses are far worse up this way than others on that front and they turn over every two years. It is uncanny.

Taking the long view is possibly the best point of view, but I hardly think that things will go back to the way they were because the land itself is changed, the population is different and there are new creatures and plants available. I'm not particularly PC about such matters because it was for all intents and purposes a war and we walk around pretending otherwise because it is an uncomfortable thought. Perhaps in many years I will feel differently again as I did in the past when I was slightly more naive about such historical matters. Dunno. Humans can be rather unpleasant from time to time.

Really? I heard a rather off handed remark about the Amish the other day on a podcast which more or less implied that the Amish were a rather exclusive community and so one wonders about how they spread costs into the surrounding communities in which they live? Of course I take an ecological point of view and note that the Amish, whilst leading laudable lives, have not addressed some underlying ecological and in built problems with their culture and they do require new lands to expand into. It is like all of the problems relating to farm succession planning, which is generally avoided for the same unspoken reasons.

The Igor quote was a gem! :-)!

Yeah, I can't believe the Captain would leave us hanging on such an important point! It is outrageous. What we need is a temporal anomaly to transport us into the future, see how it all worked out (probably not well) and then transport us back again. Mind you, they never believed Marco Polo either...

Good luck with the flea market and you never know what you may find in such an event. They're good fund raisers too. Enjoy the rain. :-)! Rain is good, but too much rain is possibly not so good.

Ah yes, memories are like that and not concentrating on them is a good process. Less is more. Are you moving up the list?

Thanks for the link about the avian flu. Ouch!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Scotty was an inspiration! I reckon Simon Pegg and his little alien side kick rock that role with the new crew too.

That bright yellow trailer is an integral manure carrying machine! May it carry even more manure back to the farm. I may actually get another load tomorrow. Your soils look quite good from the photos.

I love that view and I'll tell you a little secret, I enjoy that view from the bath! Hopefully there are no busybodies with telescopes way off in the distance...

Well done with the sprouting potatoes. That is an excellent score. I harvested the first of the potatoes tonight and roasted them up and they are delightful tasting.

Both of those issues are not good at all and when you throw in a declining economy, well the resentments and problems get even greater. I honestly do not expect to be able to ever retire as that is currently understood and the retirement age was lifted recently to 70 for my generation and nobody blinked an eyelid. I recommend to keep working on those potatoes. :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

That would be the golden ratio, that the editor mentioned, as to house proportions? I have tried to understand that equation, but am mathematically challenged.

It looks like you are in clover now with your new wood heater. Good job, you!

Wonderful that you have finally gotten a ripe cantaloupe. We are trying them again this year, only once having gotten a very small (but perfect) one. They must be very particular.

I like to say that we live in the Anomaly. At no other point in time (at least in our respective countries) have people had the luxury of having so many second chances. And third. And fourth . . .

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

"People forget that the skinny guy wearing the hoodie and holding the scythe is coming for all of us sooner or later . . ."

You have taken the horror out of the Grim Reaper . . . maybe that's a good thing.

Skinny guy wearing the hoodie - indeed!

Pam

Damo said...

Hi Chris,

I often wonder about 'free' services on the internet as well. Fundamentally, it is something that is not sustainable. Blogger is cross subsidized by the ad-revenue google gets for search, other services like Wordpress.com seem happy to provide free services for 90%+ of their customers and presumably make profit from the the small remainder. I guess it works until it doesn't? Back before the first Dotcom boom people seemed happy to host their own websites and that worked well enough I thought.

The e-ink screen in a kindle is actually kinda amazing. The resolution is basically like paper as far as I am concerned, and being able to set your own font size is nice. I would be reading a lot less without it, but for sure when I move to our next place it will be used a lot less as I start to build my own library again.

I did note Lewis's comments on paper, it is hardly surprising in that you ultimately you get what you pay for. I would like to leave books behind that are still in good condition when I pass from this Earth, I guess that is not very logical though?

Far out, today was pretty full on - It is the Buddhist new year, 2560, and the water blessing festivities are in full swing. We spent a few hours driving the project truck around town throwing water at everyone - and getting a lot back in return! Now I have to pack and get to bed early to make our flight tomorrow. We have to leave the country to get a new visa, and this, our last trip, is to Sri Lanka via Bangkok (since we have to leave the country anyway - it seems sensible to bundle a little holiday in at the same time).

Cheers,
Damo

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Willows and stream beds ... Here, by law, a certain amount of "buffer zone" must be left along streams. To prevent erosion and, yes, shade the fish.

Are you going to name your stove? Smash a bottle of champaign over the bow? :-). I'm happy it's up and running and ticking along. Ah, the Dutch oven. Next time your out and about in the used bookstores, check out the cooking section. There are several books out there on cooking with cast iron. Which I'm sure you know how to do, but it seems there's always a bit of tips for fine tuning. As far as return on investment ... it's like when I was in the store the other day. I take an aspirin a day and was just about out. A generic bottle of aspirin was $11! But then I realized it was 500 tablets and I won't be running out til the end of next summer. Takes some of the sting out.

Oh, the zombie chocolate bunnies are great! Every once in awhile, you see something that's just so clever. A Caesar in a toga kitchen knife block. Well, you know where the knives are inserted ... all in the back! Or a Steiff teddy bear tricked out to look like a centaur! Well, the knife block was $200 and the Steiff bear was a limited edition and sold out. Thankfully. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, when I was traveling around the different library branches, sometimes I'd get to take a look at the donations (being saved up for a library sale) and, sometimes, not. Depended on the building head. I did find a few gems ...

If I don't know someone very well, and want to get a look at how they tick, if we go out for a meal I pay very close attention to how they treat the staff. You can learn a lot about people, that way. If you want to get to know them better or steer clear. Oil Cloth (probably some kind of petroleum product, these days) makes an ideal table cloth in cafes and restaurants. Lots of colorful patterns. Especially if you're trying for a "country" look. They wipe down so easy. I've heard of a custom where the host splashes a little wine on the table cloth at the beginning of a meal. To make guests feel comfortable and relaxed. Kind of, "See? No big deal. I'm not going to freak if you splash a bit."

Some people idealize or romanticize the Amish. And, forget that just like any other group there's good people and dodgy people. LOL, I have heard that you don't want to get in a horse trade with an Amishman. They know their horseflesh and drive hard bargains. The Amish have pretty much solved the farm succession problem. Their population is rapidly expanding and they launch new colonies. They're found in many states, now, and have even launched colonies, for years, in Mexico and South America.

I figured out who the guy was in my dream. First the name came (interesting, as I'm terrible at names) and then more bits and pieces. He was an old fellow who volunteered a couple of afternoons a week at one of the branches I worked in. I didn't know him all that well. I'm sure I haven't thought of him in 10 years, or so. Why he'd pop into a dream is beyond me.

I watched some of the extras from Star Trek Enterprise and their engineer (Tripp) was very aware that he was part of a long line of beloved engineers on the series. Those extras were filmed before the new movie series and Simon Pegg assumed the mantel. :-). Flea market might be interesting. The last one I went to, a couple of years ago, I didn't buy a thing. If you go at 8am and pay $5, you can get in before the Great Unwashed at 9am, who only pay $2. I've never done that before so I decided I'd give it a whirl. Two pot lucks the last weekend of this month. Hmmm. Desert or salad? Hmmmm. Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I have never tried to do anything with willow bark; isn't that where aspirin comes from? My son reacts to aspirin with anaphylactic shock.

The golden mean: it works when framing photos and some drawings etc. Probably important in creating pictures in the first place.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Hehe! Yeah, maths did my head in too. Of course sitting next to the school bully in year 9 maths did nothing to improve my concentration. He was a constant source of distraction - almost a bit like Pennywise the nefarious clown in Stephen Kings book It. Which I believe is being remade and the clown union is apparently up in arms about it (no pun intended). No doubts that you have a similar story of maths? What annoyed me about the way it was taught was that it was always taught in an abstract mode and my mind struggles with that sort of business as I prefer the more practical application of things. Oh well, mustn't cry over spilt trigonometry.

Thanks! I'm constantly surprised at how long it takes to learn all of these alternative energy systems and in that learning process there is sometimes the occasional wave of expensive destruction. It takes a fair bit of internal fortitude to own up to having completely stuffed things up and then set about correcting them. I reckon as a culture we don't have what it takes to do that as at the moment we are too comfortable.

Swapping some notes about the cantaloupe: This summer was quite mild and damp, which is the complete opposite of what I understood the plants wanted. However, I rather suspect that they enjoyed the constant and regular drink of water more than anything else. Plus I planted them in a thick layer of mushroom compost. I'll pop a photo of the melon cut open on the next blog. The melon smelled exactly like a remember them smelling when I was a kid. I reckon nowadays they grow them up north which is much warmer than here, but they pick them green and then ripen them as the flavour is more milder with the shop or market purchased fruits. I wish you the best of luck with growing the melons. I saved seed from this lot too!

Exactly! I could not have stated the case any clearer and I really hope that people get into giving things a go, otherwise it may not always be the case that wood heaters will be readily replaceable (at vast expenditure).

I hope he's not reading as he seems like the patient sort always looking for an opportunity... ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Damo,

Yeah, I remember the days when people ran their own servers which contained their web pages. Nowadays I outsource that job to a local ISP that runs local servers (one in Melbourne and the other in Sydney). They seem OK to me. If anything ever happens to Google blogger I can switch across to the domain that the podcast lives on, there's plenty of fat there and I cover the costs for it every month and can ramp it up if need be. The stats are amazing on the dashboard (which you should be able to see) and I'm constantly surprised at the level of interest. I'd be a bit unhappy if Wordpress hits the toilet as it is very easy to use, but then there is always Open blogger among a few other options. I enjoy all of this ongoing dialogue and that is one of the reasons I started the blog, although it is not the primary goal.

Really? Wow, I'm impressed that the resolution is that good on the kindle and that would improve the enjoyability of the device. There is something to be said about floor to ceiling book shelves and both Mrs Chris (the editor) and I are both bookworms and so we designed bookshelves that line the entire hallway of the house. The editor has the north and I have the south shelves. Alas for me as I have run out of space and may have to cull the collection a bit. The property market here is just crazy as it makes absolutely no sense to me, but I have suggested work arounds to some people, but am unsure how those suggestions are ever received.

Well you have to be careful about such wishes. I recall in Jack Vance’s trilogy on Lyonesse that a protagonist was speaking with the fairies who advised the character to be careful what they wished for! The protagonist had wished to be always with the fairies and the fairies advised the character that they could kill and bury them in the fairy shee and thus the wish would be fulfilled...

The water blessing festivities sounds like huge fun! Enjoy your trip to Sri Lanka. That country has had its fair share of troubles, but they seem to be on the other side of those now. I hope that you enjoy a nice meal and iced drink on Khao San Road in Bangkok? I have always enjoyed Thailand, it is a beautiful country.

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

Sometimes I don't get to your podcasts till the end of the week. Hee hee - you even make yourself laugh!

Pam

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Maintaining the vegetation along the waterways is a sensible thing to do. Unfortunately, the authorities down here have got a bee in their bonnet about the exact type of vegetation and so there is an ongoing pogrom against the willows. I guess it makes them feel good or something like that? It certainly employs a lot of people. Historical accounts of the waterways her indicate that they were absolutely chock full of vegetation and the benefits of that were that it slowed the flow of water across the landscape. Of course it also caused flooding and so in our wisdom the vegetation was removed to alleviate the flood risk, but the downsides of that strategy was that the water drained away from the area too quickly and the lack of floods meant that soil fertility decreased (flooding increasing the movement of minerals). We mess around with any eco-system at our peril! ;-)!

Speaking of which I placed another 1.3 cubic yards of composted woody mulch on the rhododendrons along the driveway this afternoon. The naughty chickens had been digging that area up in past years and rhododendrons have such shallow root systems that one or two of them died over the summer... I picked up a replacement rhododendron (as I like the spring flowers – incidentally called Vulcan’s Flame) which is a variety that is more sun hardy. Fortunately the chickens are no longer interested in that area of the garden. They're very fickle in their tastes!

Can you suggest a possible name for the wood stove? Incidentally, I should mention that the new wood heater works very differently than the previous wood heater. There seemed little point in pursuing the previous system and expecting a different result. Thanks! It is a relief to me that the system is simply working as I was a bit anxious about it all over the past week. Nobody really understands how all this stuff works. I took the advice of the local plumber who installs these wood heaters (who did the original work here) and that seemed to trump everybody else’s opinion and I can't argue with the advice either.

Yeah, those generic medicines are way cheap! I'll tell you a funny story about that. When I was in Nepal, I was feeling very ill from a stomach bug which I couldn't shake and all I had to do was drag myself to the local chemist and they just handed me prescription medicine (a course of anti-biotics) and I recovered within the day. That would not happen down here!

Glad you enjoyed the zombie bunnies. It is apparently a thing for them and I loved it. The Caesar in the knife block is very amusing too! It warms my heart to see people not taking things too seriously!

Speaking of which, the leaf change folk have descended upon the more fashionable end of the mountain range given that it is Easter and all. Some of the local gardens opened, which I would have ordinarily wanted to go and see, but the massed hordes are too much for my now softened sensibilities. I'm starting to wonder about the logic of living in such a quiet and peaceful spot.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Ah, that makes sense. With the Tandy / Radio Shack stores the different managers that I dealt with always treated those discount items differently. My poor young brain was wired to self interest which should not surprise anyone and so I argued the self interest given previous managers attitudes over a more common sense and empathetic approach. Ageing is a wonderful thing to improve ones perspective! :-)!

I had a sangria injury tonight. Don't laugh, this is a serious thing. :-)! A chunk of strawberry splashed back into my sangria drink and the splash hit me square in the eye. Ouch. I had to flush the sangria out of my eye. Ouch! We're using the millet beer as a foundation to the sangria drink. It is very good.

Oh yeah, that is so true about watching how people treat other people. It is funny, but when I say thank you to people who serve me, I mean it exactly as it is spoken. I was horrified to see a few months ago that other people say thank you as a form of dismissal and that was all too clear to me. How can one forget the lessons learned in Fight Club?

The tradition of the minor splash is a nice one and it is a nice idea to put people at ease. We're having home made pizza tonight and so Poopy is milling around my feet and agitating at me. How could one forget a large-ish Swedish Lapphund making all that noise... :-)!

I'm not so sanguine about the Amish having solved their problems, as in order to find new territory, something or someone has to be displaced. It is not like the land was empty. From an ecological point of view it is no solution at all, and I'm pretty certain the Aboriginals and the First Peoples alike would see through to the truth of that story. One of my compromises living here is that I provide free access to the local wildlife to the gardens and also provide a constant source of water for them. The increased fertility of the soil and the constant water now means that there is a lot more of that wildlife than before I turned up. It only seems fair to me. The Amish in Mexico and South America may have to defend themselves one day if they expand too much.

Dreams are interesting aren't they? I have heard it said that dreams take us to places where we may not otherwise travel for all sorts of reasons. People living in places far from their land often dream of their land where they feel belonging, for just one example.

Tripp was a good engineer and he grew stronger in that role as the series progressed. What do you reckon about that? T'Pol was good too and I liked the implication that she thought that us humans didn't smell so good to a Vulcan nose! Funny stuff. No doubt Porthos would have been happy with the stink!

Oh yeah go early and go home should be your motto for the flea market as all the best buys are early in the morning. Have you ever been to a farm clearance sale? People swear by them down here, but I am uncomfortable spending the day waiting for the auction to begin.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh my goodness, that would be an awful and very dangerous thing for your son to experience. I am curious as to how you discovered his reaction to aspirin? And yes, aspirin is derived from an extract of willow bark. I grow several varieties here for that reason, although to be honest, I have not tried this myself.

Yeah, the golden meme is one thirds / two thirds. The roof height should be two thirds of the height of the walls. As an example. There are probably heaps of other examples though. Do you know of any others?

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I had heard they were making a remake of Stephen King's "It." And wondered, "why bother?" On the other hand, I wouldn't mind seeing another run at "The Stand." :-).

"...vegetation removed to alleviate flood risk." Here, conventional wisdom seems to be to leave as much vegetation as possible to mitigate flood risk. The vegetation is also believed to sometimes prevent a river or stream from wandering. Changing it's course. Cattle can also break down river banks, and I think there are some laws in place to manage cattle and waterways. Don't know what they are, exactly.

Oh, like animals and vehicles, the wood stove will probably name itself. Just live with it awhile. He (or she) will let you know, sooner or later.

Well, there I was at 7:40 waiting to get into the flea market. Mmmm. I don't think I really found any good scores, just by being early. But it sure was nice to have a bit of elbow room, during the first hour. I found 3 Fenton glass animals, so my friend in Idaho's next two birthdays and Christmas are covered :-). A pair of brass bookends that portray a candle and books, another single bookend that can pass quit nicely for a sculpture. A stylized art deco lady. A nice Japanese Hakata figure for my collection (guy with fish), and a great blue opalescent bud vase. Circa 1910 ... Northwood glass? Spent $95. Not bad for all that loot. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. There were a few things I passed on. Too expensive (I thought) or, damaged. On reflection, the wrong color. Or, just plain ugly. Oh, and I picked up 5 pieces of glass fruit. Those were just really dumb. :-). But, I have quit a pile, already, and they really look nice to put out in the fall. I ran into an old buddy from the library. AND made a good contact. The woman with the Fenton animals .... she has two spaces at the local antique mall that I have bought from. Turns out she has a warehouse full of the stuff and as she gets it out, is going to call people that might be interested. A kind of private sale.

I haven't been to a farm clearance auction, but helped my friends set one up. I was reflecting this morning on how tense going to auctions make me feel. But that the flea market ... well, I felt quit relaxed. Wasn't after anything in particular and a bidding war wasn't going to be on the agenda.

Ohhh. The dreaded Sangria in the Eye syndrome! :-). Be glad you didn't have to explain that at the hospital. Or, try and get an insurance company to cover it. "If you carefully check your policy, we don't cover Sangria Syndrome. I have to be careful with tea bags. If not properly managed, they can flop over and drive a wave of tea, up my nose or into my lap.

There was quit a long interview with the actor who played Tripp. Oh, he did get stronger in the roll as he went along. He really put a lot of thought into that role. From Southern good ol' boy to a character with real depth. T'Pol really mellowed out as the series went on. She also expanded the roll in a lot of unexpected directions.

Still playing whack a mole with my computer. Oddly, once I settle into a web site, things calm down. It's worst when I first fire it up in the morning. Or, move from site to site. I haven't got around to following up on Damo's suggestions, but intend to.

LOL. I don't know about local peeping Toms seeing you in the bath, but Google Earth is quit revealing. Next time, smile and wave :-). Lew

Yif said...

My sister and her car were undamaged, but she was a bit shook up when the bloke ran into our dark blue trailer she was towing.
But our father just happened to drive past a few minutes later so he sorted out the situation.
And I should have said it happened long ago, in the early 80s in not so small town Moe in Gippsland.

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

I don't know any other examples of the golden mean.

My husband was allergic to aspirin and at least one of his brother's was as well. So I made sure that none of the children ever had one and they were told. Son reacted to some gout medication (I assume that the ingredient is salicylate). It was only the second episode (which he was lucky to survive) that he brought to my attention. Ferocious lectures from me on the subject and it is now on his details with his doctor.

We were told that Easter would be a washout but the sun is shining from a clear blue sky.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Glad to read that you are enjoying the podcasts and thanks for the feedback. Yeah, busted - I do keep myself entertained too with all this stuff! :-)!

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Redoing The Stand properly would be a good thing, I reckon. I wasn't aware that Stephen King cited the book Earth Abides as an inspiration for the story. The story line was very dark indeed.

Leaving a buffer of vegetation along the sides of any waterway seems just common sense to me, which is why I can't quite get my head around why there is the ideologically driven campaign against the willows. It must make them feel good or something like that. The idea I believe is to get the water away as fast as possible rather than allowing it to infiltrate via the mechanism of flooding. Cattle have such hard hoofs that they rapidly erode the banks whilst the native animals are soft footed with pads and so they cause little damage.

Oooo! You've touched on a minor mystery with that gender comment about the former heater. My mates purchased a high end wood heater from the same supplier that we got ours from and they scored an invitation to a demonstration of the capabilities (and a good feed!) of the unit and the bloke that sold me our heater made a rather cryptic comment directed at me that most wood heaters were female, except for the previous one I had purchased and because the comment was made in a group I was not able to pursue what exactly was meant by that. Oh the mystery has remained... Life is like that don't you reckon?

Out of curiosity, what were the other people like who had shelled out the extra entrance fee to get into the flea market early? Do you often get resellers out looking for a bargain? I've heard that that can be the situation. I reckon you did reasonably well with those finds.

Lucky you making the contact. Did the lady mention how she came into possession of a warehouse full of the stuff? I sense that there is an unspoken story there...

Oh yeah, I hear you about the clearance auction bidding war business and feel much the same. I'm not really comfortable with purchasing things that way as I can't ask searching questions from the former owners and maintenance standards can vary widely... I sold a chest of draws recently and the guy came today to pick it up. I'm always surprised at how people fixate on the bushfire risk up this way. He said to me: It's a nice view, but I wouldn't want to be here during a bushfire. People are basically bonkers when it comes to assessing risk.

Fortunately, the fresh water eye flush sorted out the unfortunate sangria incident! Oh yeah, down here the insurers appear to be latching on to any minor excuse to get out of settling on a policy. I don't know about the details, but I read about one recently where the individual had a terminal lung disease with only months to live and apparently the insurer decided that they would not pay because there was a minor probability that the person in question could receive a lung transplant. I dunno, best not to be involved is what I reckon.

Yeah, Tripp really did show great depth didn't he as did T'Pol. Isn't that sometimes described as "finding one's feet?" I've had to do that myself on many occasions so I get that. Have you ever been faced with that problem? Incidentally I am curious as to how you first felt when you faced up to your first meeting? Mate, you have my understanding as it is no small thing to admit that you are in a situation outside of your control. I get that.

Haha! Grasshopper you have come to acceptance with strange Mac matters (something, something about walking on rice paper and not tearing it)! :-)!

Pah! You roused my curiosity and I checked Google Earth. Well for a start, the street view was from 2008 and the Google Earth was from 2017. I'm remarkably easy to find but the resolution is very low indeed. Can they see the seedling oak trees? I don't think so. Anyway, the wallabies will hardly be offended when I take a bath. :-)!

I'm planning to start writing tonight...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Yif,

Glad to hear that the trailer received a worse outcome than your sister. And I hear you, I am a bit shocked too if involved in a car accident. Nobody is at their best after such an incident, so it was rather handy that your dad was on hand to assist with matters. There are some nefarious people about the place who would take advantage of that situation prior to your dad arriving on scene. A long time ago an old bloke pulled a u-turn in front of me and took out the front corner of my '77 hatchback Torana and before I knew it he scuttled off to the local cop shop where he knew the police and started claiming that I was speeding. I got done because I wasn't thinking straight and such things happen, but only once...

Moe is doing it hard because of the shut downs and I reckon that is just wrong, and it will have serious implications over the next few summers. I'm waiting to hear the screaming as it hasn't happened yet, but it will.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Oh, fair enough. I only apply it to buildings, but I'm sure it rears its head all over the place. I'll ask the editor. Oh, the editor reckons it turns up in the fashion industry too as it is all about proportion.

Glad to read that the ferocious lectures were attended too. And yes, such a tool is very useful in those circumstances. I'd never heard of salicylates before, but given they form naturally in all sorts of foods, is it just a matter of concentration or is it any occurrence?

Enjoy your sunshine. Today was an almost perfect autumn day here too!

Cheers

Chris

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

"LOL. I don't know about local peeping Toms seeing you in the bath, but Google Earth is quit revealing. Next time, smile and wave :-). Lew"

Argggggh! Talk about tea up the nose!

Pam

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Lately it seems I've had to follow up on everything as no one responds to a request, calls or even texts back. This was also the case with the woman I was to get the rooster from. After conversing with her on facebook and by text (she didn't call back after I left a message saying she generally only responded to texts) I gave up on her. I found that a Fur and Feather Swap was being held on Saturday (yesterday). It was advised to arrive early as it was sold out within a couple hours. I arrived as it opened at 7 AM and there were lots of people already there. Within 10 minutes I found my rooster - a year old Black Australorp. The sellers wanted him to go with two other hens so I agreed. I had lost two hens to a coyote anyway. So far so good. The three new birds are in the pen next to the other hens for over a day now. I'm thinking I'll open them up to the common outdoor run this afternoon while I work outside.

Speaking of outside we've had way too much rain and I'm concerned the seeds I planted may rot. Last night was another inch. Doug was replacing some posts and the holes filled right up with water. The first asparagus spears have made an appearance. We have a couple more warm days but after that a week of cooler and rainy weather.

Doug has a case of the man flu of the gastrointestinal variety. It's most likely the norovirus as the care center where his mother resides was quarantined two weeks ago but his mom came down with it this week - the day he visited her.

Your new wood burner sounds quite wonderful and I'm hoping you'll be including some pictures of it soon.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Maybe the whole willow pogrom is being led by the "It's Not Native" people? Maybe they were frightened by "Wind in the Willows" when small children?

As far as the "gendered stove" goes, if you really pinned the guy to the wall, it would all probably boil down to "well, it's just a feeling." The whole thing skates on the edge of gender politics, and if one isn't careful, a bloke is likely to end up sleeping on the couch :-).

Hmmm. Who goes to flea markets and pays an extra $3 to get in an hour early? The older couple I chatted with as we waited in line to get in didn't seem to have any particular area of collecting interest. I think, for a lot of people, it's just pretty cheap entertainment. There are always a few who literally run, when the gates open. I did notice something a bit odd. Every formica table (1940s, 1950s) I saw had a "sold" sign on it. It looked like someone had just run through and snapped up every one in sight. Yes, there are resellers. If I had seen a treasure that was cheap, that I thought I could flog to a dealer, I'd have picked it up. But so much stuff gets sold on the internet, these days. Or, at least checked out on the internet. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Hmm. The Fenton lady. Well, she's a widow, but her husband also collected Fenton Glass. I think, as with so many areas of collecting, after awhile you end up buying and selling. If for no other reason than to finance your "habit." :-). You upgrade. Your tastes change. There's a couple of Fenton collectors clubs. They do (or did) have yearly conventions. The Fenton Glass Co. would occasionally make items just for the collector's clubs. They'd also flog limited editions (limited as to form, color, finish, decorator) on the home shopping tv networks, from time to time. She is also good friends with a woman who had an "all Fenton" shop at the local antique mall, at one time. I worked for her, just Sundays, for a year or so. She used to go to the Fenton factory outlet store, two or three times a year. Would bring back new lines, experimental pieces. After she closed out the Centralia Fenton store, the woman I met filled two spaces at the antique mall with mostly Fenton glass.

As far as the fellow worried about brush fires, well, some people are born (or raised) worriers. They fret about everything. I think we all have a tendency to contemplate bad outcomes, but some people are over the top. My mother was a worrier and I get a bit from her. But I realize it, and usually put the cabash on those feelings, if they're getting out of hand.

Yup. Finding one's feet ... exploring the role ... doing preparation. There seem to be a lot of different ways of doing those things. I think actors try a lot of things and finally settle on what works for them. It's been so long I hardly remember what my first meeting was like. I'm sure, given my frequent attacks of social anxiety, that there was a bit of that ... going someplace I hadn't been and meeting people I didn't know. Somewhere, early on in the opening of the meeting, there's always the question, "Is this anyone's first AA meeting, ever, or first meeting since their last drink." That last bit is in case anyone had relapsed. If there is an affirmative, then we shift into "First Step Meeting" mode. :-). People, in five minutes or less :-) relate "what it was like, what happened, and what we are like now." The "pigeon" (and old AA term you don't hear much anymore. Now it's "newcomer.") hears a lot of different stories from a lot of different angles. Hopefully, something will click. That a newcomer will think, "That's me. They're telling my story." Some people "get it" from their first meeting, others, like me, fiddle around for years before it clicks. And, you're right. It's hard to admit you're out of control. "That your life has become unmanageable."

LOL. Google Earth. Well, you left yourself open for that one. :-). Made you look. Your shoe's untied. I have a feeling I'd better keep my guard up and watch my back, for awhile :-). Lew Oh! PS: I heard a rumor that they're introducing kangaroos (the big fellows) to the State of Wyoming. Don't know why. I'll have to take a look into that.

LewisLucanBooks said...

PPS: Well, the jokes on me! That story about releasing kangaroos in Wyoming was an April Fools joke. Lew