Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Morning, again.  It is gray and rainy but I am not complaining.  We got very little of the last two systems that came through and I have had a chance to see how my cold frames and hot caps are working.  Not bad so far.  They have proven their worth in a second way--protecting my young plants from a hard rain--not as hard as I have seen it but definitely hard enough to damage seedlings.  The skies are supposed to clear and, if they do, I will get out and finish putting up the plastic tents and set out my lettuce plants.  We'll see.  I took an early turn on the patio to see how the plants are faring.  The overnight temps got down to about 45.  But all of the plants are doing very nicely--even the sweet peas and yardlong beans that don't have any protection other than the fence and side of the house.

We did our weekly shopping yesterday and came across yet another example of the commercial tendency to quietly frak the customer.  We need new curtains in the bedroom.  The ones we have were the ones we put up when we moved in, nearly ten years ago now.  They are getting a wee bit worn, no longer wash up well, and are definitely losing their shape.  We needed some things at Target so we looked at the curtains while we were there.  Almost all of the packages contained ONE curtain panel.  Since when does anyone put up only one.  Usually, you put one panel on each side of the window, right?  To get two panels we would have had to spend about 20% more to get two individually packaged panels than we used to spend for the pair together in one package.  We went to the local dollar store and got a package of two panels for $10 as opposed to the $30+ Target wanted.  I will keep the old curtains and sew up some market bags from them.

On an ironic note, I just read the post from Congress.org that comes through my e-mail.  Evidently the Senate is considering a measure that would restore at least some of the $900M that was removed from President Obama's stimulus package for studying and preventing flu--removed at the insistence of the Senate Republicans.  Evidently their alleged frugality has returned to bite them in the ass.  Looks like the swine flu has arrived just in time to enter into a number of debates.

To continue the swine flu theme, this little post--if true, and I have no reason to doubt its veracity--supports my contention that it isn't the small producers (the ones who will be most harmed by the avalanche of food safety legislation) that we have to worry about.  It is the large, factory-style producers that are causing the majority of the problem.  According to this post, the source of the flu was a factory farm in Vera Cruz that is a subsidiary of Smithfield, an American company.  Evidently there have been reports of very lax sanitary conditions but the Mexican government is even more reluctant to bite the source of jobs and revenue than U.S. governments (at all levels) are.  Isn't globalization wonderful?  We export our jobs and import disease.  Great trade that!!

Whirled Peas also covers the Smithfield angle and contains a link to an article in the Times (London) and points out that, to date, no major national news media in the U.S. has mentioned Smithfield in any story concerning the matter.

Joe Sudbay at Americablog is one of several bloggers noting a seismic shift in the Republican ranks as Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania shifts over to the Democratic Party.  Since CNN has and MSNBC has also carried the story I guess it is true and we can celebrate.  I can't mourn over the implosion of the Republicans.  I am so sick of the moralizing and the attempts to enforce their morality (so often honored in the breach) on everyone else.  They were our parallel to those squads of purity enforcers from the Taliban and other conservative Muslim groups who like to go around bombing barber shops, whipping people who don't appear to conform, and throwing acid in the faces of women who don't follow their version of modesty.  Good riddance to them and may they stay gone.  Although I don't really think that will happen.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

Grey here today -- chilly, too.
Sigh. Glad your plants are okay.

I understand your curtain dilemma
-- been there; done that.

I got my email from my Congress Critter, too, telling us about how hard he's working. Right.

Hmmmm . . . I'm going into hiding from swine flu.

I like Arlen Spector -- I hope his decision causes others to rethink their position. However, I do keep in mind that whatever his stripe, he's still a politician and probably can't be trusted.
Yeah, I'm a cynic.