Monday, 15 May 2017

Sympathy for Smaug


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

It is a truth universally acknowledged that dragons accumulate gold. A dragon is a mythical fire-breathing monster which is sort of like a giant flying reptile. Why a dragon would want to accumulate gold is a motivation that is beyond my understanding. However, dragons are mythical creatures after all and as such they don’t have to worry about the nitty gritty little details of life such as eating, finding shelter and paying taxes.

The author J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a story of high adventure about a lone Hobbit (a mythical creature) who joined a band of dwarves (another type of mythical creature) who set out on a quest to plunder the accumulated gold which was being hoarded by a dragon who had the unlikely name: Smaug. The dwarves were motivated to set out on this adventure by a desire to reclaim lost property. You see, Smaug the dragon had allegedly misappropriated the dwarves stash of mad cash (gold). Of course we have to remember that Smaug was a dragon, and as such he could fly around causing mayhem whilst breathing fire, which brought unpleasant circumstances for those unprepared for such an eventuality. The friends and relatives of the dwarves had suffered this fate at the claws and fire breathing mouth of the dragon.

The hobbit was a more complex character because he hadn’t actually lost any gold to the dragon. In fact neither he nor his friends and relatives had even encountered a dragon before. As such his motivations for joining the band were a bit obscure. Perhaps the hobbit in question was bored or he was at a loose end one day and the opportunity for adventure arose, who knows?

Whatever the case may be, the merry band of dwarves and one hobbit headed off into the wilds and through many adventures and by dint of good luck, the band eventually arrive at the Lonely mountain and confront the dragon. Smaug was in no mood to hand over the gold. To cut a long story short, Smaug the dragon became annoyed at the audacious dwarves. Smaug  then flew out to destroy a nearby human settlement (as you do), where after much mayhem and destruction Smaug was killed by a champion bowman.

Shortly thereafter, every nearby community realised that the hoarded gold was no longer defended by the dragon and so they all sent any person, who could bear arms, off to get some loot.

The forest elves were one of the nearby communities lured by the prospect of all that unprotected gold. Of course the forest elves also helped the human settlement that was almost wiped out by the annoyed dragon (note to self: don’t annoy dragons) and that was a noble act. A separate army of dwarves headed out of the nearby Iron hills to help the small band of dwarves and hobbit adventurers who faced the awful prospect of facing a large forest elf/human army who wanted a share of the gold. The whole situation was a sticky mess and needless to say there was an inevitable clash where the surrounding land was again laid waste. The victors distributed the gold as they saw fit. Perhaps the meek don't inherit the gold. The funny thing is that prior to Smaug's demise, the forest elves, humans and dwarves all got along just fine.

Alert readers with a keen understanding of economics may realise that the sudden increase in the gold supply in those surrounding communities would have an inflationary effect. Gold would clearly not have been worth what it used to be!

To me it all seemed like a lot of hard work and serious discomfit, all for a bit of gold. Our society is much smarter than Tolkien’s fictional world because instead of using gold as a medium of exchange, we use money. And people are always concerned for my welfare in that regard because they occasionally offer helpful hints as to how I can obtain more money. It is very nice of the people to provide those helpful hints which have included: “you should offer accommodation”; “you should sell some of the produce at the local farmers market”; “you should run tours”; and "you should sub-divide your land".

Those suggested activities will indeed provide me with more money. However, if I were to spend my time pursuing those suggested activities I would have less time with which to pursue the projects that we do undertake at the farm, and which I take great pleasure in. The quiet enjoyment of the farm would also be lost.

It is at these times that I recall the words that were attributed to Alanis Obomsawin who wisely said: “When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money.” I wonder if the dwarves holed up with Smaug’s accumulated gold after the demise of the dragon realised their dilemma.
Smoke haze in the air produced the most stunning sun rises this week
Smoke haze from large scale burn offs produced the most spectacular sun rise this week. The peaks of Mount Bullengarook which is in the middle of the above photo and Mount Blackwood which is to the right are just sticking their heads above the smoke haze. The clouds which settled in the lower parts of the valley are patches of very cold and very moist air which accumulated in all of the low lying spots.
Given the cold nights, it is a pleasure that the new wood heater is continuing to work well. We have almost completed the many repairs associated with that project. A cowl (a fancy word for a metal cover plate used with chimneys) now covers the rough plaster work where the wood heaters flue enters the roof space.
A white painted cowl now covers the plaster work where the wood heater flue passes into the roof space
The repairs are now complete to the wall where a hydronic radiator was previously located.
The repairs are now complete to the wall where a hydronic radiator was previously located
It may be cold outside, but it is toasty warm in the house. Anyway, cold weather has some undocumented benefits. Now that the days are colder, I am able to mow around that part of the orchard which is very close to the bee hive. Even still, the bees ventured from their toasty hive to check out what I was up to. Fortunately, I was not stung by the bees, and the mowing was able to be completed.
Cold weather allows me to mow around the bee hive without getting stung
Speaking of bees, the agapanthus flowers make great drought hardy nectar and pollen supplies for the bees. And I have huge numbers of these plants which the bees are very happy about. However, at this time of year the long stalks which the flowers sit atop tend to fall over and become a serious trip hazard!
Agapanthus flowers produce reliable and drought hardy sources of nectar and pollen for bees
As you can see in the above photo, the plants produce a lot of flower stalks. Using an electric hedge trimmer, we cut hundreds of flower stalks from all of the agapanthus plants. We then collected all of the flower stalks into many wheelbarrow loads. The wheelbarrow loads were then dumped into two slight depressions in the paddock. I then ran over the entire mass of flowering stalks with the mower. Chopping up the flower stalks has the effect of increasing the surface area of all of that organic matter. That should give the life in the soil a jolly good feed.
The flowering stalks from the agapanthus plants were run over with the mower
Last week we began repairing one of the tables which we’d originally coated with a surface treatment that basically made the table look orange. To be honest, the table looked a bit weird. So, last week that table was sanded back to raw timber, and the table has now had five coats of Tung Oil applied to the surface. I am typing this week’s blog on this desk and I reckon it now looks pretty good.
Five coats of Tung Oil were applied to the table that was sanded back to raw timber last week
Over the past few weeks I have been attempting to learn more about firewood and the science of heating with firewood. It is a complex matter and one which I have not yet mastered despite many long years of experience. Fortunately I received a recommendation from a commenter (kudos to Claire!) for a book on the subject written by Dirk Thomas who has had many longer years of experience as a chimney sweep. A chimney sweep is a person who is paid to maintain wood heating devices. The book is titled: “The Woodburner’s Companion: Practical ways of heating with wood”.

In the long distant past, I knew that it was a bad idea to attempt to burn unseasoned or damp firewood. I just didn't realise just how bad an idea it was, because the combination of steam, noxious gases, and low temperatures inside the combustion chamber are a total disaster for steel. The book provided many valuable insights, one of which was a quote from the US National Chimney Sweep Guild for a recommendation for using firewood with a moisture content of 15-20%. A fine recommendation! However, my next thought was: how the heck can you measure the moisture content of firewood? Well, wonder no longer my friends, because manufacturers produce these little digital devices which are able to measure the moisture content in timber (and it can be used for other materials too). I had to obtain one of those devices, and this is what I measured:
Score 35%: Green timber which had been sitting out in the rain
Score 31%: A disc of timber which had been cut from a stump a few months ago
Score 14%: A log of timber which is elevated off the ground, but still located in the rain, which was from a tree that had been felled over five years ago
Interestingly, most of my stored firewood was in the 15% to 16% range which makes for some very good quality firewood. The occasional piece of stored firewood measured 23%, and what was notable about those particular chunks of firewood was that the firewood displayed signs of previous termite damage. Clearly termite manure and the tunnels that the insects make, hold a lot of water. The driest item of timber was the dining table which scored 11% (kiln dried timber). Even the very old timber in the clothes washing horse which constantly sits in front of the wood fire scored 12%.

The core message which I now understand about firewood, is that if you want to use it as a heat source you have to have appropriate systems in place at every single step in the process, from tree to heat. Near enough is not good enough.

The wild birds here are forever mucking around and getting up to mischief. The other morning I spotted a Kookaburra sitting on the whirly gig which sticks up out of the worm farm sewage system. The Kookaburra was enjoying being spun around and around as the whirly gig caught the occasional breeze.
Kookaburra sits on the old (gum tree!) worm farm sewage system whirly gig
A neighbour with an old Medlar tree donated a huge batch of Medlar’s to us which we are slowly bletting (that is a fancy name for rotting / or more correctly fermenting) on every available flat surface of Fernglade Farm. Once the fruit has bletted, we will make a batch of tasty Medlar wine and another batch of Medlar jam. Yum!
A neighbour donated a huge batch of Medlar’s which we are slowly bletting and will eventually be turned into wine and jam
The autumn months are full of colour here and the deciduous trees are slowly doing their thing and they really are putting on a spectacular show:
A Japanese maple puts on a good show at the autumn leaf change
A smoke bush and sugar maple are also showing their true colours
Many of the trees in the orchard are now starting to lose their leaves in preparation for the winter months. Note the plentiful citrus
The orchard autumn colours are really quite lovely
There are still plenty of flowers around as can be seen by these newly planted salvia and alyssum plants
The bees even make a special guest appearance when the sun shines, albeit weakly
Who doesn’t love the very weird chrysanthemum flowers? Such a delight.
And lastly, the fungi are going feral and are all over the orchard
Fungi love nothing better than consuming timber
The temperature outside now at about 8.30pm is 9’C (48’F). So far this year there has been 344.0mm (13.5 inches) which is more than last week’s total of 339.0mm (13.3 inches).

56 comments:

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hmm, a light saber would be kind of handy, but I suppose a good chunk of stainless steel will have to suffice in that area. The chickens in particular fear that sharp chunk of stainless steel and I have taken to coating the blade in lanolin in order to protect it against the steel worm. Honestly, I reckon the steel worm, as well as the other more earthy worms will get us all in the end. And I have to confess that within the first minute, I'd managed to stab myself with the very sharp and pointy prongs on that moisture meter. Hope you enjoy the photos. It really is a fascinating instrument and has taught me much. We may slightly alter our firewood harvesting regime next summer because of what we have recently learned with the meter.

Yes, the same thing happened down here too. Some companies apparently claimed that although they were supplying services locally, they were allegedly making claims that they were operating out of Singapore, which is apparently a lower tax regime. It is a very complex situation and I frankly don't understand it. There have been local consequences though for sure.

Oh, you are teasing me. Brainless but enjoyable - I can do that! ;-)! Did they mention what the Merlin character was like in that review. I always felt that it was Merlin who held the whole merry crew of adventurers together, and not the other way around.

I've never seen the film Troy or the film Trojan Women. I have noted that we do tend to colour the past with the stories of today and the cities of old could never have been as large as the cities are today. It is just not possible without the energy sources we have available for now. The thing is that if we told the stories as like they were then people today may be very unimpressed. We've forgotten how spectacular this endeavour actually is from a historical perspective.

Do you get bank failures over in the US? I wasn't aware of that and it is not a good sign. The government here has pledged, I believe, a huge tax payer funded loan to the banks should they get into trouble. It really is a massive facility. It was put in place after 2008. I hope that the facility is not ever used as it may possibly be very expensive for the population at a time when they would most likely be hurting.

Surely some Roman scribe or administrative person would have crunched the numbers? Forts and standing armies are an expensive proposition.

My, my, Mr Greer has been busy. I have listened to the long conversation between Kunstler, Orlov, Martenson and Mr. Greer and enjoyed it immensely. It is a pleasure to see the differing opinions and also who plays what role. Hearing Mr Kunstler assertively saying: "Forget about it" was a memorable moment. He clearly gets tired of all of the pussy footing about from time to time. I hear him. I'll be curious to read your opinion of the matter. Mr Greer made a useful observation about lack of resources for individuals being a roadblock and I reckon he was correct. It is also interesting to see who has skin in the game. I had to laugh about the retirement talk.

Thanks for the awesome recommendation and film review. The film looks like a must get. I'll see what I can rustle up, although down here it may be a complex matter. Ramen is a serious business. They have Ramen shops down here in the cooler ends of town and some of the cartoons look very strange to my Western trained mind. The editor and I always snicker about one in particular. I'm sure it is all very innocent, well, actually, I'm not really sure.

Enjoy your rain, summers can be very hot and dry, so it is always best to prepare early with solid spring rains.

My mate from Ohio is in the country and will be visiting here tomorrow. I'm really excited as it is nice to catch up with old friends, especially when you've known them for so many decades. History. It will be interesting to hear what he has been up to over in the US.

Cheers

Chris

ck said...

Chris and others,

Just to clarify one small point from Chris's comment here: the Aus govt has guaranteed all Aus-bank balances, but not actual banks (to the best of my knowledge). So if an Aus bank goes bust, supposedly our money is still OK, and we can get our balance from the Govt, up to $250,000AUD per person, per institution. They introduced this during the GFC to try to instil confidence in the banking system, and avoid a run on the banks here.

It will be interesting to see how this guarantee plays out if there is another GFC-like event that wipes out Aus bank/s. I agree that it could get very costly, very quickly! Depending on exactly what this black-swan event looks like and how many banks are involved, and how much Aussies have saved (as opposed to how much we owe in mortgages, etc.), I just don't see how this could really be possible to do without making our Federal government bankrupt. But no doubt, in that case, the Government would then be able to pull some kind of political swifty to get themselves out of it. If the black-swan event is bad enough, the Government would probably be able to justify/get away with just about anything.

I know that a favourite action of some developing nations when faced with similar crises in the national currency is to just let inflation go crazy (and devalue the currency by heaps), then introduce an entirely new currency altogether. Obviously, the Government could simply 'issue' this money in AUD, and devalue the AUD in turn. Much like the USA is pursuing quantitive easing.

orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

Oh we are so 'clever' switching from money to gold; we can print money, we can't print gold. Just keep printing!

In the UK we are protected up to £85,000 if our bank goes bust. One has to be careful as some banks our linked and one may then not be able to get more than £85,000 even if one has more than that in the two banks.

Love the pictures as usual and was very interested in the moisture readings in various woods.

I have just watched/listened to the youtube discussion as recommended by Lew and thought it excellent.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - So THAT was what the Lord of the Rings was all about :-). Not to nit pick (but just to nit pick) I'll let the fellow (a dwarf) who runs our men's group know that he's mythical. :-). I'm sure he'll be surprised ...

Rome was occasionally too successful. There was inflation and crashes, from time to time. When they conquered Israel, the price of slaves tanked to an all time low and the value of gold took a big plunge. So much loot ...

All the repairs look great! Seamless. And the table is wonderful. Really shows off the nice grain.

So, the agapanthus plants? Will you get another patch of agapanthus where you put the cuttings? Will the seed heads dry out, and, well, seed? The fall colors around your place are spectacular. Will the hedge plants you planted along your drive show color? If possible, throw in a picture of their progress, from time to time. Speaking of pictures, no hat? :-).

Read ck's post. I'll add a bit about our banks. The big banks (important banks used by, and invested in by Very Important People) were pretty much bailed out during financial crisis. The small banks (used by us little people), not so much. But funds ...accounts are insured by something called FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ... I think). Up to a certain (to me) large amount. People who have more than that amount usually have multiple accounts in multiple banks. The FDIC, I believe, dates back to the Great Depression. My credit union, is also covered by the FDIC. I checked. :-). But what would happen if there was a major crisis? Dunno. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Don't feel bad about nearly doing yourself in with the moisture meter. I managed to give myself a good stick with the meat thermometer at Thanksgiving.

I'd be interested to hear what your friend who's been living in Ohio has to say about Life In These United States. Won't hurt my feelings. I KNOW we've got major problems. I'm always curious about what people see and think as they travel around. Usually, they're not very perceptive.

I'll be interested in the Greer/Kunstler/Orlov conversation. Those three on the same podium...

I hope if you find Tampopo (Dandelion) in the remastered Criterion version. With the extras. There was an interview with the director's wife (who also stared in movie). She said that when it was released, it didn't do well in Japan. But did well in other parts of the world. LOL. The lady must not get out much. She was puzzled that there's so much new interest in the movie, 30 years later. I guess she's missed the whole "foodie" thing. :-).

The video essay, "The Amateur and the Craftsperson"? I watched it again, last night. Only 10 minutes. I took notes :-). The authors thought the movie was about an amateur (the truck driver / cowboy) mentoring (?) the woman into being a competent craftsperson, at least as far as ramen was concerned. I found their definition of "amateur" pretty interesting.

The English definition of amateur is an amateur participates in an activity without pay. The opposite of a professional. But the authors feel that a better definition might be from the French word, which means, lover (of?). They define "amateur" as (and, I guess so does Charbone in his essays ... on hold from the library, by the way) 1.) Obsessive scholarship. 2.) Passionate curiosity. 3.) Curatorial tenderness. 4.) Irrepressible desire to join in. Hmmm. Sounds like me and my tat :-).

I made up some blueberry pancakes, last night. Decided to use wheat flour. Did a bit of research and the recommendation was to use 2/3 wheat flour and 1/3 unbleached white. The blueberries seemed skimpy, so I doubled them to two cups. Worked out fine. Enough for two meals. I used measuring scoops, for the first time. A lot easier then trying to pour dry ingredients into a measuring cup and level it off. Old dogs and new tricks.

I'm feeling a bit stunned, this morning. Got a call from The Warden. I can pick up my keys to The Home on Wednesday morning. Things are moving faster than I thought they would. Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Of course I meant 'switching from gold to money'.

We used to have a chain ferry between Cowes and East Cowes which saved a 10 mile detour. It was removed in January and there was then only a service for foot passengers. The new ferry arrived last week at a cost of £4.6 million. It lasted little more than 24 hours. Cars were being damaged as they disembarked; then it packed up altogether and passengers had to wade off or be carried. I don't know what they did about the cars on board. Modern times!

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi ck,

Many thanks for the explanation. And also for the description of the possible black swan scenarios.

In addition to that deposit guarantee, I believe, but I maybe incorrect, that there is a huge +$300bn federal government bail out facility in place for the banks in the event of a major financial crisis. Honestly, though, I'm unsure on the details of that arrangement which was put in place from memory during, or maybe it was after the GFC. The memory is a bit hazy on such matters. My understanding is that this facility has not been called upon and I have no idea whether the deposit guarantee you referred to is part of that arrangement. Dunno.

It is my gut feeling that the expansion of the money supply is expressing itself in investment assets, but I am no expert in these very complex matters.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Yes we are very clever aren't we? And also possibly a little bit reckless with that policy. Historically it does not usually end well. And I often ponder the situation where some portion of that supply is disappeared (for want of a better technical term). These things happen.

The deposit guarantees are put in place to ensure that "faith" in the system is maintained. Faith is an interesting word, and I have seen it used in that very context only very recently.

The little moisture meter was an amazing tool and the results were very informative. What I did notice was that there were diminishing returns in relation to drying firewood. From about 15% downwards, the amount of time or energy required to lower the percentage further, increased exponentially. Fascinating stuff and to be honest, I'd love to be able to test the moisture content of other properties firewood - such as your sons. Time seems to have a bigger impact than the weather as a variable in this process. I'm beginning to re-evaluate my earlier thoughts about firewood requiring a five year planning process, and now consider that it requires a far deeper sense of time than that.

It was an excellent session wasn't it? I loved how peoples views were coloured by the reliance to a greater or lesser extent on the systems that are in place and also the peoples backgrounds. The comments said so much about the underlying motivations and/or belief systems and it was fascinating to watch. Letting go is not so easy for some.

Oh my! That is not good about the ferry service. Ouch. That has to be some sort of record?

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Oh well, I'm a straight talking kind of guy, and well, sometimes feathers are ruffled. Of course you are correct, but I meant that term in the Tolkien sense of the word.

That makes an awful lot of sense, and labour is not immune to the laws of supply and demand. From a practical perspective that would have made for a tough time for the slaves too. Not good.

The table turned up really nicely didn't it? You were so correct about the orange colour. And yeah, plaster bog hides a multitude of sins - I was told that once!

Nah, agapanthus have a reputation as being a bit weedy, but to be honest, they can't compete with the native vegetation. Mostly the two depressions will produce tasty soil. I may add some chicken manure to the mix as well, just to provide a bit of diversity and life.

I've gotta bounce as I'm running short of time tonight. My mate from Ohio visited today and while the thoughts are fresh in my mind... I asked him the question that you raised so that you can see your own society through an outsiders eyes.

Australian's are generally well liked which is nice, although our accent can make us difficult to understand - and your digital voice recognition systems do not recognise the accent at all. And where are the operators for when things go wrong in such an instance? Just an amusing side story.

We're also considered a straight talking practical bunch and as such can get away with saying and doing things that cannot be said or done by the locals. My mate reckons that most of the people are unfailingly polite, even when the circumstances dictate that it may be an inappropriate response. But underlying that politeness is a certain unwillingness to assist their fellow humans if they actually required assistance in normal circumstances. Perhaps this is expressed - and I am interpreting here - in the pursuit of individualism or competitiveness in what is a heavily populated country. Dunno.

He did mention that not many parts of the country were un-populated and it was very rare to see large stretches of the landscape without people, farms, cities. You have to understand that the inland areas of Australia are very un-populated and the comparison is hard to miss.

Some of the states have such huge populations that the local and state news takes precedence over that of the federal news. He suggested that that may have been due to there being so much activity at the state and local levels due to the size of the population. And international news is not really spoken about much, although people here and there take a minor interest.

The polarisation in the recent election was a real eye opener, and the reactions in the population were equally surprising. Some of those seemed a bit over the top from my perspective. We just don't feel that deeply about politics down here, although there is a push to raise concerns about personalities. It is a bit of a waste of time because voting is compulsory down here at risk of a fine.

I do hope that you don't feel in anyway offended by the observations?

Cheers

Chris

thecrowandsheep said...

Hi Chris,

May I suggest another way you could make some hard cash? You should sell all the milk you get once you accumulate a few more cowls.

Cheers

Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

What clever metaphors you have sprinkled about in your rendition of "The Hobbit"; an invigorating exercise for one's mind. Hee hee - this is a tasty scrap": "Alert readers with a keen understanding of economics may realise that the sudden increase in the gold supply in those surrounding communities would have an inflationary effect."

That is an unusual sunrise. That is also a neat and tidy cowl, and it is absolutely impossible to tell where the hydronic radiator was. We shall need Sherlock.

I think I would call the agapanthus "pompom flowers". The tung-oiled table looks lovely. It seems to have dried pretty quickly, perhaps because you have had the wood stove going so much? Hi Toothy, Poopy, and Sir Scruffy!

That kookaburra made my day! I wonder if that is where the word "kook" came from? That particular bird certainly fits the bill . . .

I'd never seen a medlar before. Very interesting. I am assuming that bletting medlars are not a hard smell to live with, as you have an awful lot of them.

The moisture meter is a nifty device. I wish we had one; however, they seem to be rather dangerous.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

My goodness! Busy days ahead - good luck.

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I forgot to mention that the kookaburra on the merry-go-round was a hoot. Was he able to fly off in a straight line?

Oh, the whole dwarf thing .... just me doing a bit of over the top, ironic political correctness. Now, the DLF (Dragon Liberation Front) may get on your case ... :-). What's really odd is I called my friends in Idaho, last night, to fill them in on the latest developments with The Home. And, they were just settling in to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy on DVD. How's that for coincidence?

Oh, gosh, no. Not offended at all by anyone's observations about "us." Interesting. I'm reading a biography of the writer Shirley Jackson. (Haunting of Hill House, etc.). A lot of her writing (according to the author of the bio) was exploring what's under that thin veneer of politeness and civility. Sometimes, down right evil. The insularity and tribalism of small places.

I think (maybe) some of that reluctance to assist is an impulse "not to get involved." Not to be inconvenienced. We also have a wide streak of "minding one's own business." While at the same time relishing a good bit of juicy gossip. And, not a month goes by without some article about a Good Samaritan being sued or fired for a selfless act. The cry of "Is there a doctor in the house?" may now be met by thundering silence, even at a medical convention. That veneer of politeness can also be explained by what some character said in a long ago forgotten sit-com. "Having no manners is worse than being poor."

As far as being a crowded country, I suppose it depends on where you go. LOL, I remember being lost in SE Washington and driving for miles and never seeing a person or structure. Just dead cattle, vultures and the odd broken down fence. As my gas gage sunk towards 'empty.' But that was years ago. Might have changed. There are articles from time to time about the "Great Hollowing Out" of our country. Massive population declines in some states and counties. Small town trembling on the edge of drying up and blowing away, that in a desperate attempt not to die, advertise everything from free houses to free utilities. But the winters can be bruttle, out there.

Usually, what I hear people from other countries comment on is our great distances and lavish supermarkets. Which reminds me ... Michael Ruhlman has a new book out, reviewed on NPR. "Grocery: The Buying and Selling of Food in America." He's a chef. I have many of his books. Our library carries many of his books. But, I discovered that this book, so far, is not on order. So I sent in the "suggest purchase" form. I probably won't see if for a couple of months.

Well, tomorrow I get to spend some time in "my unit", at The Home. With graph paper, measuring tape and ruler in hand. Funny how the mind works. I've seen two units and really can't tell you much about the kitchen, other than that it's "cozy." Can't remember if it's got a single or double sink. Stove? Is there a stove? Gas or electric (probably, electric). Two burners or four? Size of oven? Is there an oven? Well, all will be revealed, tomorrow. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Getting stuck by the moisture meter was clearly my fault! Who'd have thought that the little spikes were that sharp! Lesson learned... The meat thermometer story sounds equally, well let’s not go there... Happy days! Learn how to be careful with something by not being careful with it.

Thanks for being understanding as it is hard to critique something, without also critiquing it, if you get what I mean. And not everyone enjoys such thoughts even when they are requested. My mate is reasonably perceptive. I forgot to mention that he provided an opinion that there is a certain forced cheer, but at the same time there can be some topics which are hot button topics and as such they aren't discussed, but they are also forever just below the surface of public discourse. And heaven help a poor Aussie who makes an innocuous comment which can touch upon one of those hot button topics. The reactions can be rather swift. Ha! Perhaps we do lack manners down here? Hehe! Oh well... We do balance that lack of manners with an automatic reputation for competency, which seems mildly unearned to my mind, but there you go!

He also said that fresh food is hard to obtain, although when it is, it is expensive and it tastes different compared to the stuff here in that it apparently has less flavour, whatever that means. He did enjoy produce when he was working as an intern at a couple of farms for board and feed. I don't hold great hopes for our food quality down here. Let's see. I spotted this article recently: Potato imports worry growers. Potatoes are grown around these parts. Oh well.

Ouch, running out of fuel in a remote location is no laughing matter, especially in the days before mobile phones. You’ve started bringing images of Stephen King’s short story: Misery. Number one fans are to be avoided based on that particular story. Hehe! I remarked to someone the other day that people drive vehicles today as if they have never experienced having their brakes fail. That has actually happened to me, and the vehicle and I shot across a busy intersection without incident a long, long time ago. Ah, the wonders of four wheel drum brakes in a vehicle where they can fade if overheated or if poorly adjusted or both. I hear those stories too about remote living. People tell me they fear being "isolated" and I've truly never coaxed a coherent description of what that emotion means. It would make for a good horror story plot though - the fear felt and experienced but not quite identified. Spooky! I've often felt that modern suburban life can be just as isolating as living in a remote spot, so who knows? Maybe it is fear of the unknown experience? Dunno.

The distances here are huge too. I've seen a bit of the country here and up north and particularly on the west coast, mate it is quiet as and sometimes the only thing to break up a long drive is the road houses set at distances of about 200km / 124mi. And it takes a day to travel between one town and the next.

What a complex question you asked!

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Did you get a chance to listen to the conversation? I recommend it.

No doubts that the recent interest in food has driven the interest in the film.

Well that definition of the word amateur raises the interesting question as to why should the word professional relate to a person who is paid for the same activity and commitment? And also what form should the payment take? I take payment in the form of pleasure at a job well done. Is this the correct form of payment as understood by that definition? I doubt it, but it does sound like a good argument doesn't it?

Anyway, the word professional is a very misused word nowadays, because some people make claims that they are professional without necessarily displaying the attributes of being part of a profession. Nowadays I sort of feel that the word professional conveys an emotion of reassurance and technical competency rather than the more traditional meaning. Ah, the language continues to grow and stretch in all sorts of unexpected ways.

I like the French definition of that word. Many people in the middle ages probably went their entire lives without being paid in the financial sense of that words meaning. Perhaps it could be said that they were paid in kind? Dunno. Whatever, we’ll make an exception for them!

Those four traits are well deserved if they apply to you and your tat. That is clearly your edge. ;-)!

The blueberry muffins sound great. I've never heard about mixing flour types before. Interesting, but more blueberries are always good! Yum! I hope you are starting to clear out that freezer?

Congratulations on getting a place. And good luck with the impending move. The news is really exciting. Can you take your time moving or do you have to move straight away?

It is raining here, but hopefully it dries up a enough that tomorrow I can do some digging and start constructing a new rock gabion. Dunno. We'll see.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi crowandsheep,

Awesome! Hehe! Very funny. My fortune is now made thanks to your excellent advice.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thanks for noticing and I am so busted! Hehe! Yes, consider that your mind has now been stretched! Well, even when I first read that story, I wondered what they wanted with all of that gold. Anyway, I added a further little joke on the podcast: After Smaug's loot was distributed, I ask you this: who would want to get out of bed for less than ten gold coins per day? It seems like a fair concern to me given the circumstances.

The purples, red, and yellow colours in the sky were amazing. Do you get nice sunrises or sunsets when there are brush fires far enough away to not be a risk, but close enough that you experience the smoke haze?

Yes, if nothing else, we are very neat here at Fernglade Farm. ;-)!

They are pompom flowers aren't they? I'll never think of them the same. Thanks. The bees really enjoy the flowers and they put on a very good show at the hottest part of summer when they are needed the most.

Actually, I was surprised at how quickly the Tung Oil on the table dried, despite the high humidity. It was well past touch dry two days after the final coat, but obviously it will continue to cure as time goes on. I haven't noticed that anything placed on the surface caused any marks.

Toothy, Poopy, and Sir Scruffy return your greetings. Bark, Bark, Bark! Which translates to g’day!

I just ripped this quote from the Wikipedia page on the Kookaburra: "The name is a loanword from Wiradjuri guuguubarra, onomatopoeic of its call. The loud distinctive call of the Laughing Kookaburra is widely used as a stock sound effect in situations that involve a jungle setting."

I never thought about the medlars producing a smell as they blet. I'm going to check, but to be honest I have never noticed any. They make a delightful country wine, but who knows how the jam will turn out. Dunno.

The moisture meter bit me. Well, it was my fault. I'm trying to gain a solid understanding of every step in the firewood process, so that we can produce a good rule of thumb for harvesting and using this energy source. Mind you, it is our only heat source during winter, and well there is a bit of incentive to get it done right...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

I've now prepared a blog Code of Conduct. I'd be interested to learn your opinions in relation to this matter.

The reason for this code of conduct is that it is a reminder to myself and all of the people here that this is a public forum and it is the intent of this blog to live within the legal environment that it exists in and not cause offense or damage to individuals or other entities reputations.

I trust that you will bear with me in this matter.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

So how do you respond to all those suggestions? It's been so drummed into people that money is the top priority that they can't see another path.

Lovely sunrise. On occasion when there are large fires even as far as the western part of the U.S. we'll get spectacular displays as the prevailing winds are generally from the west.

Doug was just commenting that he used to be able to mow by the beehives without protection but not so much the case anymore.

Life has been pretty busy lately. Garden is close to being planted. Had a nice weekend even if it did include a bridal shower. We're still getting quite a bit of rain which has set the farmers back in their planting. Probably will be a big mosquito year.

Garden will be much smaller as I'm focusing on getting stuff out of the house in anticipation of putting it on the market.

Lost a chicken over the weekend. I had a hen that was broody and as I'm not looking for more chickens at the moment put her in the adjacent pen to break her of her broodiness. She was not happy but otherwise doing just fine. As I was gone this weekend Doug was doing the chores and told me that she was just sitting in the corner of the pen when he closed up on Sunday night and when I went in on Monday morning she was dead. I couldn't find anything unusual.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Lew

Well that news must have been a bit disconcerting. Hopefully you have some time to complete the move.

Margaret

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

We have an enormous amount of fresh food available within 10-20 minutes of where I live in a rural area. We have 5 farmers markets and multiple large grocery chains, all of which even have at least some offerings of organic produce. We also have several mom-and-pop natural food shops. There is not as much in the center of Charlottesville - except for the largest farmers market, in season, and a couple of small locally-owned grocery shops - but buses run to all of the other groceries. I must be very lucky.

Many a time I have driven a car with dodgy brakes; that's one reason I love manual transmissions so much.

Our sunrises are hard to view. The side of a mountain covered with forest rises quite close on the southeast side of our property, but since we are high up, and the northwestern side of our property slopes downhill, we can see the sunsets behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. They can be spectacular. I don't know if bush/forest fires would have anything to do with the colors, though we do have fires occasionally.

Ah! Then I have heard kookaburras in the movies. And "Gilligan's Island".

"A good reputation is more valuable than money." Publilius Syrus

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Lew:

I think that you have hit the nail on the head with your comments about the U.S. Though, Chris' friend has probably seen a different picture where he has been. It can very so much.

Pam

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The roof has gone on next door, just as well as it is tipping down with rain.

I spend a fair amount of time going through old paperwork. Yesterday I came across part of a letter from my American uncle to my mother. In it he mentions uncles and an aunt of his that were unknown to me. I found other unknown ones some while back which are quite untraceable. It appears that I probably have hordes of American relatives.

Inge

orchidwallis said...

@ Lew

I wish you happiness in your new abode.

You seem to be good at language. Do you know whether there is a difference between treble and triple? Just a thought that passed through my head while walking.

Inge

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Forced cheer. Oh, yeah. Don't want to be negative. Don't want to be Debbie Downer :-). There was a whole book written about it. "Brightsided." I think the whole thing is a corporate plot :-). Been made redundant? Keep the sunny side up!

Well, we also (among polite people ... or, at least the way I was raised) have this thing about not discussing religion or politics. And, I'd add, personal finance (as in ... "how much do you make?") Sometimes when you meet new people, it's tough to figure out where they stand on the hot button issues. It shifts from person to person. It's a mine field. What was that thing your Mum said about the first person to approach you in a new situation? If I run into anyone chatty at the home, today, I intend to be pretty non-commital until I get the lay of the land.

The fruit and veg may be fresh, but bred for shipping and appearance. Keeping quality. Shelf life. Taste is the last thing considered. Then there's the whole (going to get the spelling wrong) terrior aspect. The weather. The soil. I'd guess a lot of it is grown in bland, rather played out soil. So, you get rather bland produce. Well, that's pretty amazing that they can ship a pretty cheap commodity (potatoes) from as far away as Germany, the Netherlands and the US, and still make a profit. Oh, well. When oil takes a jump again, that will decrease. Or, come to a screeching halt.

Yeah, I get the same thing. But it's usually "Don't you get lonely?" Well, no. Frightened? Well, no. Maybe once or twice in five years. I think by "isolated", they may mean, lack of immediate medical service. Or no internet or cell phone service :-). Oh, the horror!

I'm chipping away at the freezer. The food, not the ice :-). I saw a nifty little freezer, the other day. Now, if I just have space for it ... I can take my time moving. Heck, I can spin it out til the end of July, if I want. We'll see. The Warden tipped me off to the fact that I won't have to pay rent for the first 30 days, if I don't sleep there. Which is pretty much what I had planned, anyway. Sleep here, work on the move during the day.

Well, it's off to the Little Smoke. Lew

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

We were speaking of rabbits last week. I'm glad to report that the additional fencing seems to have had the desired effect of excluding the rabbits from the vegetable garden. As for eating rabbits, I'll be happy to do so as soon as the rabbit hunting season comes around again and Mike can trap at least one of them. Hunting season for rabbits is approximately November through February, so it'll be awhile. I grew up eating rabbit stew, though the rabbit meat was purchased at the grocery store rather than hunted. I've made rabbit stew myself, again from meat bought at the grocery store, a few times when I was much younger but haven't seen rabbit meat for sale in the nearby stores for a long time.

You spoke of rabbit pies. I wonder if you mean something like what we call a pot pie in the US? Pot pies are savory dishes with chunks of meat and vegetables, enclosed within top and bottom pie crusts. I've not made them but chicken pot pies are available in the frozen food section at the grocery store.

Glad the book proved helpful!

Mike and I have sometimes received comments that we should try earning money from something we like doing and do well. Our response is that we'd rather have more time than money, thank you very much. That usually draws the bird eye from our listener. Oh, well - we tried.

I've planted the tomato, pepper, eggplant, basil, parsley, and lavender seedlings. Yesterday I planted blackeyed pea seeds. It looks like we're to receive more rain on Friday and Saturday, just when I'm due to receive sweet potato slips. I'll have to get to work on the bed where I'll plant them ASAP. I had intended to plant them where the potato onions are still growing, because I usually don't receive the slips until the first week of June, when the potato onions are ready for harvest. Apparently the warm weather prompted early shipment of the slips, however. It's always something. ;)

Claire

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret, Pam, Inge, Lewis, and Claire,

Thanks for the lovely comments, however I have decided to head out and visit the local pub tonight for a pint and feed. A lovely bloke stopped by the farm today to pick up the old wood heater for which I swapped a few dollars for. We were all a bit edgy about whether we could move the unit or load it onto the vehicle because of the weight of the unit (it is very heavy). But fortunately the bloke was well prepared and the old wood heater was soon loaded and they headed off into the sunset and will apparently be reconditioned. I really enjoy getting repairable items back into circulation. However this also left me with the serious dilemma of what to do with the ill gotten gains from the exchange. What a conundrum! So the editor and I will do our best to enjoy these ill gotten gains this evening at the pub! ;-)!

Oh, I promise to reply tomorrow evening!

Thanks also for the feedback on the code of conduct too. There is a story in there!

Lewis - I forgot to mention that there was also a lot of positive feedback on your country and this should not be overlooked. For a start, my mate and his wife were taken in by your country in the first place and whilst my mate had trouble finding employment, his wife had no trouble at all and scored some excellent work experience. Not all countries are as free in that regard and it is something to be proud of. Getting around the country was also fairly simple for them and they saw a lot of your country.

And the upside to the positivity is that it is at least cheerful. And I can contrast that experience with some countries and cultures that I have experienced which are just downright hostile to outsiders and very negative in their outlook.

Today was superb weatherwise here. 68'F sunny and absolutely still. Of course tomorrow afternoon the heavens will apparently open and 2/3rds of an inch is predicted to fall here. In the meantime, today we dug soil next to the rock gabions as we plan to extend the rock gabions further and dig a flat site into the side of the hill above them. The potato beds will be moved there. Unfortunately, the potatoes started growing already... I hope they transplant OK? But who really knows. As usual, we encountered a massive tree stump which took two hours to remove from the excavated area. We're getting faster with practice. I used the wedges to split the stump apart but it is damaging the wedges...

I'm really excited for you with your new digs and that sounds like a smart plan.

Food and pint are calling.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Margaret - I have the luxury of taking my time getting out of this place. Up til the end of July, if I want. Lew

@ Inge - Then there are Tribbles, but that's a Star Trek thing :-). Just off the cuff, but I 'think' treble may refer, more in general, to music. Treble cleft? Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, I didn't think your mate's observations were negative at all. Just reporting things as they are.

Ah. Lost breaks. Once in Seattle, in the early 70s, I was coming down one of their infamous hills when I lost the breaks in my little yellow VW bug. At the bottom of the hill, a car was stopped at an intersection light. I hopped the curb, shot down the sidewalk and through the intersection in the cross walk. Managed to get stopped by a combo of emergency break and crimping the wheels against the curb. I had to pry the mate that was with me, out of the glove box :-). THE next stop was the dealer repair.

The library got that DVD that was on the tv a couple of months ago. A PBS Nova special, "Search for the Super Battery: Discover the Powerful World of Batteries." A bit simplistic. The presenter was quit mad, in an amusing and fun way. "This is definitely a race who will invent the next big battery technology." "A race for the better battery." "...super storage of tomorrow."

It's all about safety vs cost. There was a nice bit, taking a spin in Jay Leno's (night time talk show host with a fab car collection) 1909 Baker Electric. There was a bit about lithium battery fires. Cool explosions. There was a bit about solid plastic electrolyte vs liquid. A lot of discussion about the electrical grid and renewables ... that they are all fine and good but there are problems with intermittent supply and how important it is to develop some form of energy storage.

There's kinetic energy, stored in massive steel flywheels. In a vacuum with enormous magnets to "lift" the flywheel so there's less "drag." Learned a new word ... or concept. "Crustal Abundance." The abundance of this or that element in the earth's outer crust. There was a bit about giant salt water batteries. And, something called a flow battery. Overall, I'd say it was a brief overview of current battery technology, and the possible directions battery technology is heading in.

Got my keys, yesterday, and got a good look at my new digs. Did some measuring up. Looks larger than the units I looked at, probably because it's empty :-). Hardwood floors, $100,000 view of the city. You step in the door and there's a bit of an entry area. Small alcove and closets to the right. Kitchen to the left. The kitchen looks bigger. It's about 8' x 5 1/2. That doesn't include the counter areas. There are two stainless steel sinks on the right, with a view over a passthrough / bar across the living room and out the large window. To the left are 4 burner stove w/ oven. A fair sized fridge with freezer. If I buy carefully, there's room for a small freezer.

The interesting thing is that that small alcove, in the entry, across from the kitchen? Two of my book case units will fit, with two inches to spare :-). Enough space for all my books on cooking and food history. And, maybe a bit of kitchen tat. :-). I met quit a few of the Old Babes (that's a designation of respect ... in my book) that are on my floor. I'll never remember all the names. I inquired as to if they had many noisy parties, as I liked my quiet. :-). I was assigned a parking space by The Warden. I inquired if someone parked in my space, if I could let the air out of their tires. She said I could slash them, if I wished :-). She's also going to look into the availability of a garden spot, for this year. I can at least get some of my perennials in. Maybe a cool weather crop or two in the fall. Work up the soil, though the spots I've seen, it looks pretty good.

Well, off to get a substantial bowl of oatmeal under my belt and do a bit of mowing. The grass is high and it looks to be the first fairly decent weather, in weeks. Lew

orchidwallis said...

@Lew

Thanks for info. I remember all those tribbles falling out of cupboards.

Inge

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

What an excellent question, and to be honest I'm not really certain how to reply to those questions. Generally, I nod sagely at those helpful suggestions and then go on about my business as if nothing had been said. It certainly doesn't derail any of the projects here. Do you have any suggestions? I'm not sure I want to end up in an argument with lots of people because it is challenging their belief systems and people can double down on those even in the face of evidence to the contrary that the belief systems aren't working. Dunno. There are plenty of other paths and I'm seeing some of those play out in the larger society, but they don't tend to be the sustainable choices.

Some of those western and central lands in the US are surprisingly arid, but the elevation provides relief from those extreme conditions, but far out, they can get tinder dry in the right conditions, so yeah, the smoke from those fires in those areas would put on a show in your part of the country. The continent here is so worn down that I am always surprised to learn of just how elevated other continents are. The Himalayas amazed me that it was possible to walk up hill for an entire day, and still have a long, long uphill way ahead of you.

Yes, the bees are more aggressive here too as time rolls on. I wish I knew why? Does Doug have any theories on the matter? One theory I've been chucking around is that hives are calmer when they have lots of food and water to choose from. But really, I just don't know.

I hear you about the bridal shower as I had to enter a shopping mall today. My brain sees such places as a very strange place indeed. Nice to read that the garden is coming along nicely. Some of the potatoes which I haven't harvested yet, have already sprouted. This seems too early to me, but the potatoes must know what they are doing. I harvested a few of them anyway! Yum! Very tasty.

Fair enough about the garden, and I have known some people to consider that a large garden is a burden and that can affect house prices, so yeah yours is an adaptive strategy.

Sorry to hear about the dead chicken. When they get sick, they can fade very quickly and I have no idea why that is the case. You may be interested to learn that the little bantam leg horn which became sick recently appears to have made a full recovery. My gut feeling is that the psycho chicken was almost the final straw for her, but given the recent swift and very final removal of the psycho chicken, the bantam leg horn had the breathing space to recover. I have no idea whether I've pursued the correct approach. Dunno. Sometimes you have no idea why chickens have died.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

You are very lucky to enjoy fresh produce which is grown not too far from where you live. There are multiple farmers markets not too far from where I am too and the produce is usually very good indeed. You are very lucky to enjoy so many facilities in your immediate location. The soils here are mineral rich, but they generally lack for organic matter and not many people seem to be terribly interested in producing fruit and vegetables in these parts of the country - although historically the area was into potatoes and berries, so who knows what the future may hold? There may be a comeback for these in the future? Dunno.

Oh yeah! My mate who just returned from Ohio and I caught up last week and he used to own a vehicle with dodgy brakes but a manual transmission, and driving around in that car was always an exciting prospect chock full of alarming circumstances. On the other hand he never came to grief so that says something as well. Automatic transmissions remind me of pod coffee - and I have studiously avoided such things (well, there were two occasions recently when I was fed a pod coffee and I also had to drive an automatic car). The automatic car was a true beast of a V8 though and gave much more pleasure than the pod coffee. Just sayin...

Fires are a natural part of the environment here too. And we both face the same way you north-west and me south-west! How is that for a coincidence? Facing in such a direction does restrict the morning sunlight a bit, but overall the summer days are cooler than they would otherwise be if one was facing the opposite (south or north).

Who can forget Gilligan's Island? Honestly, they seemed to be a long way from anywhere given that the boat had only been on a three hour cruise! Ah, the memories...

On the value of advice... You know, I rather suspect that the current hook-up culture which appears to be widely promoted among the young may revert back to concern for reputation. The reason I write that is because some of the current practices which I hear about appear to be detrimental and quite abhorrent. Alas for us as we appear to travel from one extreme to the next. That Publilius Syrus was onto something! ;-)!

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

Chris et al,

We had some excitement the night before last - an F1 tornado hit properties just to our south. No injuries but farm buildings totally destroyed and lots of large trees down. Was after we went to bed so we weren't even aware of what had happened until morning other than we lost power for awhile. Two of the largest buildings were very close to the houses but no one was hurt. Apparently the tornado traveled 10 miles.

http://www.nwherald.com/2017/05/18/tornado-hits-parts-of-northern-mchenry-county/airj307/

The young couple who's staying here while we were are gone on our Alaska trip came over with their dog last night for a walk through of the various chores. The dogs got along quite well though Salve had quite the alpha dog attitude on. Their dog, a big lab, hasn't had exposure to pigs but as all dogs seem to do he loved them too and he didn't go after any chickens either. The couple is quite laid back though so we're hoping everything will be standing when we get back.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

I'm genuinely impressed that they are working on the roof in such weather conditions. The year in which we constructed the house was the wettest year in recorded history (56.5 inches of rain for the year) in this little corner of the planet. I have never before witnessed so much water. It was feral. I am not allowed to put the zinc-alum sheeting on the roof of the house, and the plumbers who clad the roof that year did an absolutely sterling job. Wet zinc-alum sheets are very slippery, but the plumbers knew what they were doing and the job just got done bit by bit as the weather conditions allowed it.

I hope your neighbour’s job continues apace and that the weather holds for them...

Haha! You never know where your relatives will turn up and America is a likely place for them. Last night at the pub I saw high up on a display shelf, an old ceramic Scotsman wearing a kilt and holding a bagpipe proclaiming the Dewar's brand of Scotch whiskey. Have any of your relatives

The tribbles were pretty funny, weren't they?

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

@Lew

It's great you can take your time moving. So much less stressful. The apartment sounds like it'll suit your needs and it appears that the warden has a good sense of humor too.

Margaret

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Rabbits are a real worry in a garden, and down here they have an awful history of destruction, although they don't have much of a foothold in this mountain range. They usually appear along the creek sides. The CSIRO (which is the federal government science agency) put together a short documentary in 1979 on: The Rabbit in Australia (1979). The historical footage is amazing.

I grew up eating rabbit too, although back then the rabbit tasted a bit more gamey to me than it does now.

Exactly, a pot pie for a single person is called a pie down here, whilst the much larger pie is called a family pie. The gourmet pie shop which I hope to visit shortly produces a lamb, rabbit, beef, or chicken pie. Pies are quite commonly available in bakeries, but they can vary significantly in quality and the inclusion of offal. You usually get what you pay for.

You know, kangaroo meat is a similar situation and it is rarely seen in stores, but it is quite tasty if not overcooked.

The book was excellent and I am in your debt for the recommendation. Thank you.

I try too, but have no idea how to address the subject and I do what I can and merely go my own way. What else can you do? I look at history and, well, if 90% of the population were subsistence farmers then it is probably not a bad idea to get a head start. Jokes aside, learning all of this stuff has been one of the most complex problems that I have ever put my brain to.

Wow. What a wet spring you have had. That makes the growing season very short, so I hear you. But combined with early warmth...

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Hey, you may be interested to watch the video footage of rabbits in Australia that I linked to in the reply to Claire above. The historical footage is worthwhile. Do you see rabbits or hares in your part of the world? They have been a real problem down here historically. Fortunately, rabbits or hares are very nervous on this farm – and for good reason. I once saw a hare running for its very life here and that was the only time that I ever spotted any rabbit here.

Have you read the book "Brightsided" and would you recommend it?

The same thing used to be the norm down here too. And not discussing politics, religion, or personal finances over dinner was de rigueur for polite behaviour. I mentioned in the reply to Pam above that the current "hook-up" culture practiced by the youth will eventually be replaced by the other extreme. Us humans gravitate from one extreme to the other extreme and from what I am hearing there seem to be many predatory practices taking place in that world. Eventually the larger culture will react to those practices. Anyway, being an accountant people constantly talk to me about their finances. It is a professional hazard!

People have no shame, and everyone asks me about my personal situation in relation to finances. Look, to be totally candid, my situation confuses them because it is an entirely different narrative. So I walk them through the situation slowly and bit by bit, and when the light goes on for them... Well, most people don't consider my path as an option and it surprises them that it sort of works. It really shocks them, but then many of the people I discuss the situation with then "get it". And that is a real pleasure.

Yes, well, my mum was correct in that bit of advice. No doubts about it. I spotted another useful bit of advice many years ago with a guy who used to respond to requests to get more involved with groups etc. He used to say: "I'd really like to help, but I'm so busy at the moment, maybe in a few months". It is a genius answer as being busy is a good thing, and you are not implicitly rejecting that group. Non-committal is a very sensible strategy until you suss out the lay of the land.

I knew that French word and it is very appropriate! Speaking of that... I spotted cherries for sale at the market today in Melbourne for about $25kg. Clearly they were possibly air-freighted from the northern hemisphere. Cherries do not keep fresh long from my experience and I have not known them to freeze well. How does that situation even make economic sense? I must be rather daft to not understand that story. Apples were in that same boat a few years ago, however apples have a much longer storage life and can take the time to travel in a civilised fashion. What can you do other than build the health and life in your soils and plant as many different varieties as you can manage. For some reason I keep recalling soylent green. Did you note that there is another Alien franchise film out? Who doesn't love a good alien film? Scary beasts. The first alien film terrified me.

You may be right about that lack of phone or medical service being the cause of that fear? The meaning is just lost on me. Sometimes when I'm in the big smoke as I was today I feel the oppression from so much development. It is a felt thing and was probably exacerbated as I had to visit a shopping mall. I rarely visit shopping malls.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Alright, is there any ice in that freezer? Curious minds want to know? Given you have the time to slowly adjust to your new digs, enjoy yourself and take the time. Are you feeling anxious about the impending move? You've been in your current digs for many years now. I moved around so much as a kid, that I loathe moving house and am happy to put down some roots here.

Thanks for being understanding as it was awkward for me to provide that commentary. My mate didn't quite say that the current comfort was making it difficult to implement changes however he hinted that he saw that in action on a few properties, so it may be a larger problem. Dunno what that means. For me, I tend to consider the improving and modifying the systems here to be one of the greatest challenges that I have put my mind too. Sometimes I feel not adequate to the task at hand, but even so, I'll still give it a bash and see what happens. Letting go of things is hard for people to face, but I lost my sleepiness way back in the early 90's when I got a massive wake up call. I recall the story of the cannibal convict Alexander Pearce who would have made sleeping a rather fraught activity – there is a parallel there, you know!

Hey, it is confirmed that I'm going to give a talk at the next Green Wizards meet up. I hope I manage to get my pasta and tiramisu for lunch before the talk...

Yup, VW's of that age had drum brakes and like all drum brakes they did fade after a certain fashion. Not being able to stop in a moving vehicle is an awkward feeling. Glad to hear that your mate survived the glove box experience.

I despair of talk about battery technology. A local bloke who is also off grid uses those salt water batteries and I was amazed to see his setup, but on the downside I had absolutely no idea what I was looking at. My gear is a bit tried and tested old school type stuff. I would like to hear about new developments in battery technology, but my understanding is that the technology itself is very mature as batteries have been around for well over a century.

Some high end hybrid vehicles use flywheels although I am not too sure about how they do that trick. My gut feeling with vehicles is that we are in to diminishing returns time as the low hanging fruit has been plucked and vehicles nowadays in my opinion are far too large and heavy.

Well done with the new digs. Thanks for the excellent description too as I felt as if I was walking there with you on the tour. The views sound great!

With time you will know all their names and habits. I hope they are nice and even more important than that is that they are entertaining! And under those rigid parking circumstances make sure that you don't park in someone else's spot. Just sayin... Hehe!

Did you manage to get out and mow?

The editor and I watched a very fluffy and amusing film at the cinema: Snatched. Two clueless tourists (a mother and daughter) get kidnapped in Ecuador and then escape. It was very silly but also very funny. There was even a scene with a tape worm. Why people deliberately ingest those things is well beyond me. I keep hearing amazing reviews for a new thriller. They really are talking the film up down here. It is called: Get Out. It might be worth keeping an eye opened for.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Wow. An F1 tornado is an horrific experience and I am glad that nobody was injured. They really pack a punch. The photo of the destruction was feral.

Tornadoes are common down here, although they usually occur in remote spots. One Christmas day many years back, this place was direct hit by an F0, which to be honest was like a huge storm or super cell as they call them down here. I recall mentioning to the editor just before it hit: "That is a funny looking cloud". I wish I’d thought to take a photo of it. True story, but the four inches of rain it dumped in under an hour was much appreciated - because it is summer during Christmas and the surrounding forest got a very good drink. The winds were feral though and I had to stay outside and make sure the drainage worked well in those conditions. At least it was warm. The engineer specified that I had to tie this entire house together with steel from top to bottom and that specification paid off that day for sure.

Well Salve is the alpha and as such he has to prove himself to the newcomer. Ah, it is a male dog. Most of my alpha dogs have been female and they usually lead with an iron paw and keep the pack quite tightly knit and entertained. You are fortunate that the new dog is good with the pigs and chickens. I'd trust my lot with pigs, but they have proven themselves untrustworthy with the chickens. I hope the couple look after the place well so that you can enjoy your holiday. It is great experience for the couple too. It is particularly pleasing to note that younger people want to make a go of a rural area.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi everyone,

Please ignore this comment it is just a bit of website admin.

Cheers

Chris

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - The rabbit population around here seems to rise and fall. Right now, there are several about. Sooner or later, the coyotes or a cougar will come through and clean them out. There's one semi ferrel cat that I see around from time to time. It goes after baby rabbits. Nell doesn't seem interested.

I read "Brightsided" when it came out ... so, it's been quit a long time since I read it. Hmmm. Well, just about everything that author writes is well worth a read. "Nickel and Dimed" is a classic. As I remember, there's a bit of a historic overview of The Cult of Cheerfulness. :-). Seems like every few years, someone comes out with a book that's a real barn burner. "Power of Positive Thinking", comes to mind.

Oh, I think things like the cherries are "impulse items." Then you get them home and they taste like cardboard. But, you forget about that before you see them the next time. Or, maybe, it's "It will be different, this time", at work?

I'll pass on the "Alien" movies. When they first started coming out, I learned just enough about them to figure out they weren't quit my cup of tea. I did watch "Promethemis". But that was more of an origin story, and had enough archaeology to keep me interested. I keep forgetting to mention I got the Australian series "Wolf Creek", checked out the "extras" and decided it wasn't for me. I watch trailers and it's either "aye" or "nay." Saw a trailer for a series called "Feed The Beast." Two fellows with lots of personal problems who want to open a Greek restaurant. It only made it one season. But, the library has it, so, I'll give it a look. Food, you know. :-).

Just about all freezers, here, are frost free, these days. And have energy efficiency ratings. The only problems with frost free is that stuff that isn't well wrapped might mummify. :-). Open tray ice cubes can also be a problem ... Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well, I'm not exactly what I'd call "anxious" about the move. But it will be a lot of work. I just have to keep my old axiom in mind (or, old saw, if you prefer :-). "I only have to do it once. There is an end."

Well, it is hard to make changes. You get stuck in a comfortable rut. What works, works. Why change? But then you're either forced, or, just take the plunge and wonder, "Why didn't I do that, years ago?"

Re: The Green Wizards. Tell them you're not imparting wisdom til you get fed. That's the price they pay :-). That you can't put together coherent thoughts in the face of ravenous hunger.

Oh, I think some people contemplate tape worms for weight control. I think it's more wishful thinking than actual practice. Why decrease your calories, get more exercise, eat healthy food when you can just pop a worm (pill.)

Yup. Got a bit of mowing done, yesterday. The tough parts, around the apple trees and along the front ditch. I noticed that there's a bit of erosion between the apple trees and the ditch. There's a bit of a slope, through there. I speculate that it may be mole burrows, close to the surface, that wash out. Oh, well. Not my problem, anymore. Went to a meeting last night and the attendance was down by about 1/3. I think a lot of people were working in their yards, yesterday.

Well, I think I'll wander into town and take a look around for what I need to purchase. Probably won't buy anything, but want to scope out the possibilities. The big ticket items are rugs, recliner, freezer and bed. No one seems to want to deliver, anymore (sweeping generalization, I know.). So that end of things also needs to be organized. Lew



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

The lack of toothy predators here were a real boon for the rabbit population way back in the day. Even the Tasmanian tiger which was the largest marsupial carnivore was not a predator beastie as you would understand them. The Tasmanian tiger used to simply run their prey down, and rabbits wouldn't have fallen for that trick as they would have retreated into their burrows. I reckon a Tiger Quoll (another marsupial predator which is a cat like creature) would have given rabbits a run for their money, but they are rare in this corner of the continent - if not now extinct (but not elsewhere). The fires of 1983 cleared them out of the mountain range and the last sighting was in about 1992, apparently. On the other hand, there are foxes here on the farm and they will definitely clean up a rabbit population. I hear the fox cubs yipping at night and the call of the vixen is blood curdling in the dark forest. It is not lightly forgotten.

Dingoes are the coyote equivalent species and they were hunted out of the area because of the threat to sheep way back in the early days of the colony. The funny thing is that in removing the dingoes (which are like coyotes in that they are a wild dog) the sheep were less safe from the rabbits which out-competed the sheep for feed. We play with the ecology at our peril.

It is interesting that Nell knows her territory and chooses not to become involved in the feral cats activities. Have you sorted out a home for Nell and Beau?

Thanks for the review and recommendation. Recently I have had a few strokes of good luck as a few uncertain situations panned out well. Having said that, I do not expect this turn of events to continue into the future no matter how positive I think about things, as the future is very uncertain. I see trouble dead astern. My mind for some reason turns to music and your comment reminded me of the song: I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow. I believe it is from a Cohen Brothers film, but am not really certain. It is a good song though.

Did you just write: Let's just assume that this food item doesn't taste like cardboard? Hehe!!! We're in the process of making a proper Key Lime Pie for a visitor tomorrow. I've recently been giving lemons to a cafe in Melbourne as a swap for their bulk coffee grounds and I haven't had the chance yet to taste the lemons. Far out, they're good. The wet summer has meant that they are very juicy and full of flavour. Not every year produces good citrus fruit.

Yeah, I watched Prometheus too. The search for benevolent beings is I believe a false search. Us humans are very unimpressed with fellow beings and creatures that foul their own nests, so I fail to understand why benevolent beings would feel any more kindly towards us. It was a good film though. And they only just got away at the end.

Mate, I have been close to Wolfe Creek, and I tell you this: It is a remote place where dark deeds occurred. On the other hand it is also a very large meteor crater and you would not have wanted to have been close to that spot on the planet on the day that meteor hit the ground.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

The Greek restaurant story would be more to my liking! If you ever get the chance, check out the Melbourne film: The Wog Boy. It is very amusing. The comedians in question have been on the comedy scene for a very long time.

Yes, the mummies at the bottom of your freezer would have created quite an unpleasant Halloween scare. It would scare me, that's for sure. ;-)!

My take on that old saw / axiom is: Work first, play later. Of course Tolkien once wisely wrote: It is the job that's not started, as takes the longest to finish.

Who knows the answer to that question? Honestly, I could have done ten times less work and earned ten times more money than I actually did. The upshot to that story is not to ever take any advice from me! But then, I would have had ten times less experiences than I did. Surely there is a middle ground in there somewhere?

Anyway, entropy forces changes upon us whether we like it or not.

Haha! You know, the lovely bloke that runs the group put back the time of the talk half an hour and I do rather fancy that it allows me to scoff down my pasta and tiramisu in time. Maybe? Of course that is rampant narcissism and the time is just the time. How can I possibly perform without a proper lunch? This is an important question for me you know! The train gets me into the city at a fixed time and how can one argue with a train?

The tape worm scene was worth the price of the ticket to the film. I may go and see the other film that I mentioned as the reviews are really that good.

The warmer drier weather may have inspired plenty of people to get into their yards. I don't generally worry about who turns up to an event as the numbers can vary so much for all sorts of esoteric reasons. It is all beyond my poor brain, I just sort of enjoy the company that I find. I learned that lesson a long time ago when I went to a party and the host was decrying the people that didn't turn up, even though they got a good turnout. I sort of suspect that that party was their step into society and the people that didn't turn up was a form of judgement against their good name. Who cares about such things?

Yes, I do believe you have become rather enamoured of the recliner in recent years... Hehe!!! You have a truck so you should be fine with the pick up of the furniture. It is the other end where you have to negotiate the goods lift and actually get the stuff off the tray that becomes the problem. Mate, I was very concerned about the bloke that was picking up the very heavy old wood heater... Down here in the city at least, they have a service which is called Man with a Van, and that sort of service is what you are after. The number of people that asked me to help them move stuff when I was in the city with my bright yellow trailer was a real nuisance.

Hey, we made another rock gabion cage this afternoon and we went and explored the mountain range (the Cobaws) which runs parallel, but to the north of this one. There are some really beautiful parts of that mountain range.

Cheers

Chris

orchidwallis said...

@ Lew

I have now been told that 'treble' is used in betting.

Inge

Pam in Virginia said...

Chris:

I agree with you that the "hook-up" culture will someday be replaced with the other extreme. It seems a necessary reset in a time of declining resources and the stresses inherent with that. When more people finally realize that survival needs to be based on a certain amount of stability and that a free-for-all way of life lacks the basic structures needed for a minimal amount of security, much less a flourishing culture, more conservative practices must have to come into play.

For some reason my husband keeps bringing up soylent green, too. My answer is - Why do you think I am growing all this stuff?! As for batteries - I have a feeling that my household is getting tired of me yapping about the difficulties of battery storage. I don't mean to be discouraging . . .

I haven't had time to read about the rabbits yet, but it sounds very interesting.

Good luck at the GW meeting.

Pam

Pam in Virginia said...

@ Margaret:

I think that tornadoes may be scarier than wildfires. I am so glad that you guys were spared.

And I think that your trip must be coming up soon? Bon voyage, if so!

Pam

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I've found a good home for Nell. A vey nice lady I know who lives in the country. She has a few other cats, and, I suppose there will be the usual jostling. Cats are as bad as chickens, I think, when it comes to pecking order. Beau ... well. I doubt he'll get as good a quality of food, or his aspirin a day. Probably no straw in his dog house. But, he'll get food and water and human interaction. I think, probably, The Evil Step Son will move in here. He doesn't particularly like dogs, but seems to get on with Beau, ok. I've seen his spawn interact with Beau a couple of times, and that went ok.

"Man of Constant Sorrow." I think that's a moldy, oldy , goldie, folkie tune. Might be an authentic old ballad, or, maybe came out of the 60s folk scene. A lot of different artists have covered it. LOL.I've always like it. Sometimes, it "speaks" to me. :-)

I'll see if the library has "Wog Boy." Sounds interesting. Maybe not too much of a rom-com? :-).

This weeks blog assignment, if you choose to accept it (message will self destruct in 10 seconds) is to compare and contrast the Macedon and the Cobaw range :-). And we still haven't seen a picture of the new chapeau :-). It's always fun to explore places, maybe close to home, that you didn't know much about.

Well, without going into too much detail, it was a pretty interesting scouting expedition, yesterday. I've pretty much hammered out where I'm going to buy different things. And, some minor puzzles have been taken care off. I need some fairly large wooden pulls for my old dresser. The big box hardware store didn't have any big enough. So, online I go. I've found someone to do a minor repair on a chair. The freezer I've settled on is a bit of an off brand. But, the reviews are mostly good. So I feel fairly confident that I'm not buying an absolute piece of junk.

Rugs are driving me crazy. Nothing has jumped out yet that says, "Can't live without this." Deciding on pattern (color is a given ... blue, of course). A good recliner is proving to be a problem. I don't need a Winnebago recliner. GPS, cup holders, ejection seats and flotation devices in case of a water landing are not necessary. To me.

Well, I'm off to check out one more furniture store, this morning. Have heard good things about it, from a couple of people. We'll see. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

It is interesting that you mention that stability is a requirement for survival and thus a free for all culture lacks the basic structures needed for a minimal amount of security. That is a very astute observation. I tend to also feel that the predicament can also be expressed as the tension between benefits and costs. Further to that I reckon that you are totally onto something when you mention basic structures, because I often feel that basic social structures have been relinquished or at best perhaps watered down. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but there are some people who try to grab more benefits whilst avoiding the costs. Your observation really notes that if you let your guard down, people will try to take you or yours for their own advantage.

Who doesn't love the film soylent green? It really left an impression on my very young mind. Of course, back then I had no idea about how systems worked and the inevitable forces of diminishing returns.

I hear you about the batteries. So many people tell me about new battery technologies that have almost been developed. I have no idea what to say to them.

With the rabbits it all gets back to Big Bunny (a Goodies - 70's BBC comedy show reference). I believe in that episode they were spoofing the book 1984 in their own strange comedic style. Dare I mention the Big Cheese?

I may record the audio for the talk and make it available for download. Dunno. I wrote out a sketch of the talk this evening.

Cheers

Chris

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Top work finding a good home for Nell. Cats can be pretty rough when it comes to sorting out the pack social hierarchy. Actually, our feline friends can be quite "claws on" (as distinct from hands on). On the other hand Nell is clearly a lady of distinction and class and her generally superior demeanour and good grace will win her many friends in her new feline community. Or on the other hand Nell may just claw the living daylights out of the other contenders and climb to the top of the social heap on the backs of her now bloodied and bruised companions like an all-conquering gladiator in a Roman arena. Maybe Nell will just ignore the other cats as being beneath her contempt? Dunno. I reckon Nell will do well given that she has had plentiful experience with interactions with feral cats.

Well, Beau might just convert the family to become more perceptive to the world of canine? People have to start somewhere and sometimes you never know how things will turn out. The situation may surprise you and people can sometimes have depths that are unknown.

Having just said that I surprised and then confronted (on foot) a horse rider this afternoon. The bloke called me something that wasn't particularly family friendly, the cheeky scamp. I can see why pikes were popular way back in the middle ages when people on foot had to confront cavalry in a battle situation. Given the history of horse riders trespassing around these parts on private property without permission... If they had half a brain, they'd open a dialogue with me and discover that I need horse manure and they have horse manure. Many, many months ago, I finally caught up with one of the trespassers - as I knew I eventually would - and I suggested that trade, but who knows what they were thinking and even whether the trade was discussed among that group. Nothing has ever come of it.

Well, this may surprise you, but yesterday I saw that the author of those lyrics was reputedly none other than Bob Dylan as performed by Rod Stewart. Rod Stewart – Man Of Constant Sorrow Lyrics. I had no idea... The speaking to is really a moment to moment thing as you never know when the tide of events shifts against you. I'm pretty upbeat and have been sad in the past when bad things have happened which is a normal part of life, but I am not one who would wallow in sorrow given my pragmatic nature. But I also understand that it is also an appropriate response to some circumstances.

There is a lot of com, but not much in the way of rom in that film - from memory anyway. And I used to live in the area in which it was filmed.

cont...

Cherokee Organics said...

Ouch! I'm not worthy of such a technical assignment. Many parts of the Cobaw ranges looked quite pretty to my eyes. The Lancefield bushfire of - about two years ago I believe - travelled through some parts of that range, however the trees are now slowly recovering. The maximum altitude of that range is about 600ft lower than the higher ridges of this mountain range and the lower elevation (which is still pretty good) captures a little bit less rainfall. I'm always amazed at just how many people live in remote corners of this state and I approve of their choice.

Ouch! I forgot to get a photo of the new hat. Lot's of digging and all that business.

You are really in for a bit of an adventure with this new place. Furniture can be a real mixed bag in terms of quality, but generally with new stuff, you get what you pay for. Second hand furniture is just strangely priced, and it wasn't always that way. Going with reviews is a good idea, although someone once reviewed me negatively and they weren't even a customer. That was a devil of a problem to sort out.

Blue rugs are good! Have you considered tracking down an older rug as the quality may be higher? I assume the new place has carpets? Wool is a good option.

Better get into some writing for tomorrow's blog! Hope the trip into the stores was fruitful.

Cheers

Chris

margfh said...

@Pam

Well I guess you'd get more notice with a fire than a tornado though tornado watches and warnings are posted. The forecast that evening didn't indicate much other than thunderstorms but apparently the path of the line of storms changed rapidly. It was 100 yards wide but traveled 10 miles.

Our trip is still two months away.

Margaret

margfh said...

@Lew

Will Nell be a barn cat or inside cat? In the past when we've brought an older cat to live in our barn they've taken off - probably trying to find their way home. When we sell our house the cats will stay (hopefully new owners will want them). It's been their home since they were kittens. They do get rid of some of the rodents and only need a little dry food. All three are very personable as well. Actually they can be pests particularly when I'm working in the garden as they think that's a perfect time for me to pet them.

Margaret

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

Not too much time lately for commenting. Second shower was yesterday. It's been raining a lot - almost everyday. Temps were in the 80's on Thursday and on Friday it barely got above 40 with rain and wind. Not sure if my tomato plants will survive. First it was hot with constant high winds for two days, then cold and wind and too much wind. I'm thinking this is a good year to have a smaller garden.

Had a medication emergency with Michael this week too. Between transferring his scripts to a new pharmacy and the insurance company there was some miscommunication and the ins. co. denied one of his psych meds. Between the nurse at his new place, psychiatrist and primary physician it got straightened out but he was without one of his meds for three days. He did OK but had some weird facial twitching until he got back on it.

Margaret

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Nell is very much "lady bountiful" when dealing with the two siamese, next door. Some days it's "You may come on my porch" and other days it's "You may NOT come on my porch." I think they finally threw in the towel, trying to figure out her very changeable moods. They don't come over much, anymore. Reminds me of a supervisor at the library I once had. I found it best to come into work and keep my head down 'til I figured out which way the wind was blowing :-).

I hear piano wire stretched between two trees is an effective deterrent for trespassing horse riders. :-). Doesn't do damage to the horse, but the rider ... well... Is your land posted? No trespassing signs, and such? Of course, being up on a horse gives some people a Lord of the Manor complex, and they'd probably figure that the signs didn't apply to THEM.

Well, that is interesting about the authorship of "Man of Constant Sorrow." So, it's a "new" folk tune. :-). Saw an article on the Atlantic Magazine website that it's about the 50th anniversary of the album "Sgt. Pepper." Oh, my. Lost youth, couches, and all that. Soundtrack of my youth. There was an interesting bit about recording "Day in the Life." Taking a tip from Brian Wilson, they just threw open the studio and improvised, all weekend. There was a bit of film. The Rolling Stones wandered in and out, with the usual gaggle of wives, girlfriends and hangers on. Donovan. Maryanne Faithful. Controlled substances were in evidence. And in the end, a genius piece of music.

My library does not have "Wog Boy." Might take a flyer and see if interlibrary loan can cough it up. I must admit the title makes me squirm, a bit. :-). Misplaced political correctness, and all that. There was an article in the newspaper, the other day, about the impacts the new administrations budget might have on our libraries, state wide and at the local level. So far, mostly computer programs I don't use, anyway. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. Well. It finally sunk in that even a stripped down recliner seems to run about $500. Not going there. So, I'm wrapping my head around going used, for that at least. Stopped by the Club and had a cuppa, and then wandered (waded?) out into the perpetual flea market they have going in the building. Saw a recliner that may work. I'll go back later this week and try it out.

I stopped by the library to see if I could order some knobs for my dresser, on-line. It's a hulking piece of furniture and I wanted 3" mushroom knobs. Easy, no? No. Largest I could find through numerous searches was 2 1/2", and they were rare. So, I'll cut out some 2 1/2" circles, tape them to the front of the dresser and see if I can live with that. I'm going to paint them flat black, which out to "pop" them, a bit. Black knobs were used at that time, on that style. So, I'm not wandering too far from the authentic. I thought of one other place in town where I might find the knobs I need. I'll check there, first.

Luck of the draw, I got one of the units that has hardwood floors. So, carpets are going to be pretty necessary. I'd thought of going with used, but most of the stuff I see is either ugly, stained, or worn. I did stop at a carpet warehouse. Not many area rugs, but I think I saw one that would work in the bedroom. Bold, blue and white zig zag stripe. That will get me up in the morning.

Saw my landlord and negotiated a swap of stuff for the next two months rent. So, not much pressure at this end to get moved. I made a big pan of cornbread. Note to self: if I double the recipe and use my big pan, also make a few corn muffins. Had a bit of an overflow problem in the oven :-). Lew