Friday, November 17, 2017

We have nice bright sun today. We weren't expecting it considering the clouds we saw this morning.

I have been reading about people getting microchips installed for some time. Frankly, it raises alarm bells in me. As with any technology it has good, bad uses, and downright dystopian possibilities, as the Organic Prepper notes. For myself, I'll keep the inconveniences all those people want to be relieved of and let whoever is peddling this innovation keep it.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Didn't find much to comment on or link to. Has anyone else noticed that the "news" is monotonous and mind-numbing? Of course, the Repthuglicans have once again tried to attach another attempt to erase the ACA (a.k.a., Obamacare) to their so-called budget bill--which should be titled "The Welfare for the Wealthy and Corporations" bill. What the news coverage doesn't explain is the labyrinthine connections that link the repeal of the coverage mandate, their promises of tax relief for the middle class, their promises of corporate tax relief and the 2025 expiration of middle class tax cuts while the corporate cuts are permanent. Repealing the mandate gives them cover for their promises to cut middle class taxes, keep the deficit ten years out from passing their set cap, and paying for the corporate tax cuts, sort-of. What the whole mess involves is keeping the left hand from knowing what the left hand is doing.

The Wisconsin legislators have made it the 28th state to petition for an Article V convention to amend the Constitution to mandate a balanced federal budget. The process needs seven more states to get on the bandwagon and then the fun will really start. Read this article for an interesting overview. Although most commenters on the possibility will say that the process is "unprecedented" they are right in a narrow sense. It is unprecedented under the Constitution but not within the national experience. In 1787 a convention was called to amend the Articles of Confederation under which the U.S. operated at the time. In that case "amend" came to mean throwing out the entire Articles of Confederation and writing the new Constitution.

Here is an interesting piece by John Feffer dissecting #45's recent Asian trip about which we heard precious little on our "mainstream" news and without any real analysis.

And on this I heartily agree.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Heavy roof top frost this morning although the temps are nice outside right now. Cool but nice. Debating when to cut back some of the plants and just not ready to do it yet. It isn't a high priority because even if I don't do it it won't make much of a difference except esthetically--i.e., it will make things look a little neater.

I found this a bit ago and it raises some alarm bells. U.S. News has a similar story here. So a majority of the sales tax money goes to bond holders and reduces the amount of tax money going to the city. The city then will have to make up the losses or cut what ever they were planning to spend the money on. And, if the bonds are going to pay a part of their obligated pension payments, what will the city pledge to whom for the next round of payments which they will have to make with reduced revenue? I wonder when they will run out of road down which to kick the can.

It looks like another bad year for the Northwest fisheries.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Easy and slow weekend. Cold enough that all the plants outside are gone except for the lavender. We had rain yesterday and last night but, if it dries off, I might get the spent plant cut back. I often leave the roots of the last plants in the soil to decompose in place. This year I am spreading the cuttings on top of the soil to prevent splash from hard rains. We have had more of those kinds of rain this year than I can remember and autumn is an unusual season for the monsoons we have received lately. I cleaned out and dusted two catch-all areas. One of the new seed catalogs has come in so I started looking at it. The company isn't one I usually buy from because they sell larger packets than I like to buy but I found a couple of interesting possibilities.

Ah, the Baker Creed seed catalog has arrived. I will start reading through it tonight. I wanted the bulk of my seed/plant orders in by early December. Too much of what I like others seem to also. I missed out on a couple of varieties of seeds last year because they were already sold out by early January.

Bread baking day--honey whole wheat sourdough. Looking forward to sampling it tonight.

Friday, November 10, 2017

BRRRRRR!!!! Only 29F so far this morning with the chance it will go a bit lower. We might also get the first snow of the season. Good thing I got the patio swept, the bird feeder cleaned out and refilled and the clematis cut back yesterday. As cold as it felt yesterday it was better than today. Some time in the next few days--when it is warmer and dry--I hope to wrap the clematis in bubble wrap and cover it for the winter. I don't know if that will work but I would like it to survive and grow next spring. Inside I started a couple of pots each of Angel Wing miniature roses and a lavender variety. The lavender is old seed and I want to see if it is still viable. The packet of rose seeds was a whim purchase when we toured the Chicago Botanical Gardens last year. We'll see what happens.

Update: Temperature is now 26F and we have very light snow falling.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Not as cold this morning as yesterday but since the sun isn't up yet the temps may drop a little more before the day really begins.

Ronni Bennett and Crabby Old Lady have a cute post on the "end of literacy." I have thought for some time that we are on a downward slope where literacy is concerned. It goes beyond emojis to writers who don't distinguish between words like "were" and "we're" or "their," "there," and "they're." More often nowadays I find items like a comment I read this morning where the writer used no punctuation at all and disentangling where one sentence ended and another began was difficult. And I find bloopers and really poor word choices in professional writing more frequently as well. Worse, my own writing has suffered over the years from many of the same defects. Often I catch the problem but I know I have missed just as many as I caught.

Fed my sourdough starter, swept the patio, cleaned out the bird feeder and refilled, and watered the downstairs plants. I still have the upstairs plants to do but I am glad to say that three of the four cuttings I tried to root from my hibiscus are still standing. The fourth looks like it is ready to give up the ghost but hasn't quite decided yet. I will let it go until it decides. Late this last summer I started using bamboo skewers to check the pots for watering--same principle as using one to test doneness of cakes etc. If the skewer comes out dry the cake is done or the plant needs water. I do have a high tech water probe but I haven't gotten good results with it. The results with the skewers have given me hope that I can try the citrus and blueberry again and, maybe, have more success.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Current temperature is 29F so we may see a lot of frost this morning. The prediction is for sun and a high temp in the 40s.

Evidently the temps have gone into the 40s. Nice that a weather report has been accurate for a change. We did get frost all the way down to the grass. I pulled a pepper plant that had refused to die after I cut it down a month or so ago. It had been a disappointment from the start but suddenly it decided to do something--too late, of course. The other disappointing pepper got the same treatment and did the same sudden growth but is in a more protected area of the patio and doesn't look so cold shocked as the other. It will stay for a while. Begonias, geraniums, creeping jenny and petunias are all still doing nicely.

I tried a new recipe for small batch sourdough pancakes which turned out well although not as fluffy as we like. That may take a bit of tinkering. The sourdough bread is almost ready to come out of the oven and smells wonderful. We love it when I am baking bread or drying herbs. The scent pervades the house.