Monday, July 6, 2015


Nicely summer-like yesterday and supposed to be warmer today.  I had some unexpected gardening to do yesterday.  I think someone came in the patio Friday night because two of the small tomatoes were toppled over and the mizuna was crushed down.  It looked like someone bumbled into the tomatoes and searched for something in the mizuna bed.  Irritating because I lost one of the two trying to repair the damage.  I will continue getting things cleaned up in the little greenhouse.

Just put lavender, bee balm, and strawberry in the dehydrator.  Nothing else to harvest just yet.  Saw one single little tomato turning red.

A story to reinforce any skepticism I have (and I have a lot of skepticism) concerning our use of nuclear power.  The author writes about problems with a remote storage facility containing highly radioactive waste from nuclear bomb testing in the Pacific but think a moment about the highly radioactive waste stored at the various nuclear power plants.  And then think about the pretty much worthless promises that we can construct storage facilities that will keep it securely isolated for longer than humans have walked the earth as humans.


We should have another sunny and summery day today with increasing clouds and, possible, thunderstorms coming tonight.  I will continue getting things cleaned up and straightened out in the gardens.

I love the title on this FDL article.  I was skeptical of the whole (s)news "terrorists are coming to ruin your holiday" theme that permeated the airwaves.  Didn't you just love the pictures of the heavily armed and armored police patrolling the streets of New York?  Maybe CNN (and the rest of the idiots in that industry) will get bored, or maybe the audience will simply yawn and move on.

Did anyone not see this coming when the Texas jackasses (starting with their under-investigation Attorney General) began braying that clerks, judges, and justices-of-the-peace should rely on their "religious convictions" to refuse to issue marriage licenses?

Saturday, July 4, 2015


Happy Fourth everyone.  Truth is I am already sick of the patriotic music attached to exhortations to buy whatever and patriotic sentiments issuing without thought or sincerity from every talking head on TV.  Just as bad as the rote expressions of "gratitude" to those in the military.  People have been lighting off fireworks for the last three days and, I expect, will continue to do so for the next week.  At least that is a shorter time than when the economy was more robust.

Nothing much planned except to hunt down and drown some more Japanese beetles and spray the plants they seem to like.  Expecting warm temps so I will water everything early.

I like Neil deGrasse Tyson.  I also agree with the point Katherine Hayhoe makes:  science can tell us what is happening, and how and why it is happening but how we respond comes out of our values which isn't the province of science.  There is no reason why a religious leader, any religious leader, can't have an opinion on value judgements.  Or any political leader.  Or any businessman.  Or any ordinary person anywhere.

If they feel they have to deny something, it is a pretty good bet that something is coming down the road.  The precedent was set in Cyprus and most advanced countries have enacted legislation that encourages this kind of looting.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Drowned my first 8 or so Japanese beetles.  I have a couple of formulas for homemade repellants and plan to mix one up to try out.  If that don't work I will try the other later.  I also want to look at some companion plants they don't like to encourage them to go elsewhere.  Time to get the little greenhouse and the shed cleaned up and straightened up now that the spring planting is done.  I have sage, peppermint and spearmint on my harvest to-do-list.  Perhaps some more trimming especially on the tomatoes so I can see what is happening with them.  I changed out the door wreaths hoping that the summer wreath would convince spring to move on and let summer in.  We are going to have more normal temps over the next couple of days.

I like much of Nimue Brown's writing.  Here she makes a lot of sense on what modern life is doing to us--and it isn't good.  I can remember when I did much of what she describes:  driving through dangerous weather to get to a job that really didn't pay be enough to risk life and limb, skimping on sleep and rest to work/study 18 to 20 hours a day until my body and/or mind simply shut down, eating whatever was handy that I didn't have to fix because I didn't have time.

For the last five months the Troika insisted that the Greeks pay up and ignored the Greek pleas to restructure their debt.  Now it appears that the IMF has been sitting on an in-house generated report which says what the Greeks have been saying all along:  further bailouts without restructuring would be worse than useless.  I hope the Syriza government plays it up and the Greek electorate vote no on their referendum.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Errands today: farm market, grocery shopping, and a trip to the garden shop.  The rain should be moving out and things drying out.  Only puttering in the garden--tidying up and such.  I am hoping to find some herbs to put up on the fence in place of the tomatoes I had to take off because of the winds.


Very cool and cloudy right now.  I will wait for a bit before I do anything outside.  I have a new herb--feverfew.  I know exactly where it will go in the gardens.  I also have some herbs I want to put in pots for the fence.  For all the rain we got Monday I had to water some of the plants yesterday.  Herb harvesting on the agenda also--sage, peppermint and lemon basil.


Cool again.  I just remembered I should take down the spring wreath on the door and replace it with the summer wreath.  We are still wondering what happened to summer.  It is July after all and the morning temps today and yesterday are in the mid 50s.  I don't think we got out of the 60s yesterday.  I took out the last stand of mustard yesterday and planted the feverfew in its place.  Also transplanted the St. John's wort, one of the rosemary plants, lime basil, and oregano into pots that fit in the fence hangers.  We'll see how they do.  With that I decided to postpone the herb harvesting to today along with some trimming and clean up.

I don't often read conservative posts but this one at the American Conservative is well worth reading. The author makes two points I have noticed almost from the beginning:  terror is a tactic anyone can use and applying it obscures who the real target of our so-called Global War on Terror is, and the definition of what constitutes terror is incredibly slippery and can be trimmed (or expanded) to suit the needs of who ever is applying the label.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Very cool again this morning but clear skies.  I plan to harvest some more herbs for drying this morning but haven't anything else on the agenda.  I took all but one of the tumbler tomatoes off the fence because of the wind.  I won't put them back up.  Instead I will get some new lower growing herbs to replace them when we go the the farm market on Tuesday.  The tomatoes are distributed around the patio in more protected areas.  The wind was strong enough it nearly picked the pots up our of the baskets holding the on the fence.  I have never seen wind do that here.  I also transplanted the little blueberry into a larger pot.  So far it appears to be doing well--new growth and nice healthy green.

Excellent commentary from Helen at Margaret and Helen.


Wet and cool today so I won't be doing much outside.  Just a quick trip outside to check on things.  At least we don't have the awful wind.  I harvested Moldavian balm, lemon thyme, rosemary and lavender yesterday.  All dried and ground and on the shelf now.  Also cleaned up the shelf so I know what I have where.  Haven't seen many bees so far.  Hope the herbs and other plants flowers will attract more.  No mason bees yet.

I have been hearing about this for the last week on several of the gardening blogs I read.

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism linked to this story with the comment that the story is old and "sank without a trace.  Odd, that."  I am not surprised either by the corruption or that the story got so little traction.  The current philosophy driving much of our politics is privatization of public services which simply transfers public funds and goods into private pockets and provides a ripe field for corruption.  Do we really expect corporate controlled media to criticize other corporations' looting of the public sector (i.e., taxpayers)?  I don't.

Bloomberg has an interesting animated graph comparing the increased temperatures over the last 130 years and various factors that have been proposed as the causative agents of the change.  I won't keep you in suspense over the results.  The only factor which actually correlates with the increase is--greenhouse gasses released by human activity

Here is a feel good story for cat lovers.

From the "if your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails" file.  The war ethos Astore writes about has been growing for a long time.  Now-a-days we have irate "Christians" upset and yelling about a "war on religion" when every any one challenges their overwhelming occupancy of public space and insistence that their interpretation of Biblical rules apply universally.  The war imagery tells us exactly what to expect: no quarter, no compromise.

I love this flow chart that demolishes the anti-gay marriage argument based on Leviticus.  They really need to read all the "paperwork."

Found this on Armstrong Economics.  Damn these idiotic politicians.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


The news readers this morning asked "where is summer?"  The temperature now is just under 60F.  That is well below normal for this time of the year and cool enough that we will enjoy the hot cereal we have cooking for breakfast.  It should be dry enough today and early tomorrow to harvest and dry some of my herbs which are loving the cooler weather.

Update on harvest: cut basil, lime basil, strawberry leaves, Moldavian balm, and chocolate mint.  it is in the dehydrator now.  I will grind them all later after everything is dry.  Thinking about lemon basil, rosemary and lavender tomorrow.  Maybe even take a cutting of hyssop if I have a tray left over.

I didn't expect Tsipras to do this but I think it is a brilliant tactic.  From what I have read Syriza has been on the edge of a knife since it came into office.  On the one hand Greeks were split: they wanted easing of austerity and to stay in the EU.  The bottom line question was what they would choose if they couldn't have both.  Do they want out of the austerity imposed by outsiders badly enough to default and get out of the Union?  The referendum might clarify that. And in the same vein, Syriza itself is split with the hard line anti-austerity wing (and its allies) threatening to bolt which would bring down the government. On the other hand, negotiations require partners willing to actually negotiate and I haven't seen that in the troika, especially not with the IMF.  The Greeks haven't had "partners" in their economic crisis.  They have had tyrants demanding utter submission.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Raining today so I will occupy myself inside.  Should have a break between systems tomorrow morning and, if it develops, I will harvest some herbs then.  I got a bit more of the tangle of tomato plants the wind left in the corner of the gardens.  I have Costuluto and Amish Gold plants there which are getting quite tall and the wind twisted them into a mess.  Usually the gardens begin to look like a jungle by this time.  This year I have managed to keep some order and control.  One of my sunflowers has started blooming.  New flowers always bring me a bit joy.

On the issue of the "Stars and Bars" Confederate flag, what it means and if it should be displayed--John Beckett has a good piece.  An underlying question in his post involves exactly what whoever wants to wave that flag is wanting to honor or proclaim in doing so.

Gene Logsdon, the Contrary Farmer, has another interesting post on "Farming Starts In Cities."  I have followed the "urban agriculture" movement for several years now and it doesn't surprise me that plant cultivation has been a part of the urban environment since such an environment arose.


Cloudy now after rain off and on during the night.  I don't have anything pressing in the gardens.  The herbs can wait till tomorrow.  I have some plants inside to water and trim.

The Onion on the pending 6th extinction.  Crying won't help so you might as well laugh.

This should be an interesting little war that won't be covered by the mainstream media.  I think the corn refiners are feeling a pinch from the latest seismic shifts in American eating habits which has cast doubt on the benefits of one of their major products--high fructose corn syrup.

Philip Car Gomm has a good take on the news.  Everyone would be better off if we turned it off.  And the article he links to has even more good points to make in advocating a strictly curtailing our diet of news.