Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good Morning, Everyone. We are expecting a warmer and sunny Thursday. The temps are supposed to get into the 70s today and tomorrow although the weather people say we are also going to get high winds. I intend to spend part of the day putting out some plants since the lows aren't going to (fingers crossed) go below 40.

Well, Obama's budget reduction committee (what ever the hell it is actually called) had its first meeting yesterday and the pressure is on to 'do something' about 'entitlements.' I have several problems with this whole notion. First, most of those who want 'something' done really want the Federal Government to simply do away with Social Security and Medicare. But they don't rely on those programs and have paid in on only a small part of their incomes. Second, most of them don't rely on any of the various retirement instruments (401k plans that became 201k (or less) plans, IRAs etc.) or company pension plans that have either been cancelled totally or severely reduced. Third, they are not faced with a job market that is producing few jobs. Fourth, they are not in the position of being either overqualified or not qualified at all for the jobs that are out there. Fifth, they aren't looking at the end of their unemployment benefits. Little wonder that many older workers are deciding to take Social Security earlier than they had originally planned as this NPR piece notes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good Wednesday Morning to everyone. It got cold last night. I woke up to heavy frost on the roof tops and hurried out to check on the plants I had to leave outside last night. I think the marigolds and couple of tomatoes did well covered with hot caps or walls 'o water. I will take another look when it warms up a bit. I don't know about the spinach or beets yet. It was still too dark to look them over. The tomatoes in the 5 gal. pails I brought in over night so they are fine. Over night temps for the next week are supposed to stay in the high 40s to mid 50s. I did get some transplanting done yesterday but all of those remained inside. They all needed it because the plants were all too big for the peat pellets in which I had started them. I should get some more done today. I am already starting my lists of what to do (or not do) next season. I got a better result with lavender and portulaca this year than I did last but not good enough so any of those plants I have next year I will buy from the garden shops. The poblano peppers also did better but we can find those in abundance at our local farmers' markets so I will choose something else. We prefer to put in plants or varieties of plants that can't be found locally.

I watched the Senate hearings on Goldman yesterday. CNBC carried it live. It was a fascinating spectacle over all. Depressing, often, but fascinating. One of the best moments came when Sen. Ensign (of somewhat dubious morals himself) objected to the comparison of the finance industry to Las Vegas Casinos. He was quite right to draw two definite contrasts--those who gamble know, if not the exact odds, that the odds favor the house and gamblers, for the most part, bet their own money. The efforts the Senators made to get the bankers to admit they may have done something to fuel the financial meltdown and that it may have been wrong (morally if not legally) was totally wasted. All of them hid behind the culture of the time which encouraged reckless risk taking. I would have a bit of sympathy for them if they (the banking industry generally) were not so intent on shifting the blame to those sub-prime borrowers (fools if not outright frauds) who obtained mortgages they couldn't pay for. Those borrowers were also a part of the culture that encouraged reckless leveraging and they were aided and abetted by the bankers. But the bankers don't want to expend any sympathy in that direction. The bankers I saw were sullen, uncooperative, convinced that they were persecuted for merely conducting business as usual.

Most of the commentators I have heard in the aftermath think they acquitted themselves quite well and did Goldman some good in the process. I have a very different opinion. From what they said conflict of interest problems are woven into the very structure of Goldman's business. On the one hand you have a division of that business that engages in constructing investment vehicles and, on the other, a division that is in the business of selling those vehicles. Worse, Goldman itself invests in those investment options. And the sales division may market those investments without disclosing to its clients that Goldman is betting that that investment might fail and sees nothing wrong with this practice. And the division that constructs the investments may do so for clients who want it designed to fail so they can cash in by shorting the investment. Now, once upon a time (in 1919 to be precise) the Chicago White Sox made their way to the World Series. But the players (the best in baseball at the time) had a big beef with the cheapskate owner of the team. So they threw the world series and bet big that they would lose. To this day they are known as the Black Sox. But, here is my point--what is so very different about a baseball team that has the ability to throw a World Series while placing bets on the side that they will, in fact, lose and a cabal of bankers that puts together an investment package designed to lose money while placing bets (shorting) that the package will lose at the same time that they are selling that investment to others on the premise that it is a money maker? And how can they serve the interests of one client (who wants the designed-to-fail package constructed) and those of another client (who wants a sound investment that will make money) at the same time? Though a number of the bankers did make a valid point that to have a market you have to have both a buyer and a seller, they missed an equally valid feature of the structure of markets--both sides have to have equivalent knowledge of the particulars, i.e., the value of the assets. What they constructed wasn't a market--it was a scam, a fraud.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good Morning on this (so far) nice sunny Tuesday. I didn't get to the gardening I wanted to do yesterday. Mondays are our shopping days and since it was the last Monday of the last week in the month we also had to run by our landlord's office and pay rent. Those were the expected and scheduled items on our list. But then we decided to take the car over for its spring oil change because the 'change oil' bell started ringing. It is very annoying. The trip to the mechanic turned out a bit longer than we had intended because they found that the charge on the battery was 'thin.' I am not surprised because we simply don't drive very much any more. This winter the car refused to start on one of our very few below zero days but when the weather warmed up and the car started easily again we forgot about it. We let them charge it up so this trip took about two hours out of our day. The weather people say we are supposed to have temps in the 30s tonight so I may put off the transplanting till tomorrow.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that intrigued me and got my hackles up a bit. I can't remember the exact phrasing of the initial part but the end was the old tag line "No body owes you anything." It is one of those nice little cliches that are to a certain extent right but to a very big extent wrong. In this case the wrongness of this statement is indicative of what is wrong in our society today. There are things everyone IS owed by virtue of their being human and members of this society. We are owed fairness. We are owed honesty. We are owed respect. Yet in so many ways we are all treated unfairly. Think about the latest class action suit against Wal-Mart. And the fact that it is just the latest. Remember the last one only a few short years ago which saw them settle on the charges that they forced workers to work hours off the clock, through lunch breaks, and locked them in the stores? And honesty? Remember how food processing companies and restaurants fought tooth and nail not to tell us what fats, calories, salt and preservatives were in the foods they wanted us to buy? Salt is only the latest additive that has hit the news media. Respect? I don't think being treated like brainless, walking wallets is in any way respect. Without fairness, honesty, and respect the trust that makes social and economic relations possible dies. And we are witnessing the death of trust each and every day. The poll that showed that less than 1 in five Americans trust government indicates that.

Fumpzilla at Frump Gazette has a post that melds all three of the above points into one very sad and disturbing story. The story concerns treatment of veterans that borders on sadistic and demonstrates that the reforms promised after the scandal at Walter Reed were lies. No fairness, no honesty, no respect.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Well, it's Monday and we are still waiting for the sun they promised would peak out over the weekend. We had bouts of heavy rain and a bit of thunder and lightening. Thankfully nothing like what Mississippi got and we did need it. They say it has been a dry spring so far. I hope we get the sun long enough today for me to get some transplanting done. Everything outside was well protected--the rain would have pounded the plants into the ground otherwise. (Update--we do have some sun. Hope it sticks around.)

Did anyone else catch that news flash-in-the-pan, or three day wonder, about the SEC employees surfing the internet porn sites? It was in almost every news cast for about three days and now has disappeared. I wondered how many of those employees are, or were, Republicans? Republicans have this rock-bottome, set in granite, article of faith that government, by definition, can't do anything. I love the quote from one of the investigators who told an SEC executive that one of their lawyers had often spend the 8 hours of his working day surfing for porn. The executive said they couldn't fire the man because he was a top attorney working on an important case for prosecution. Yeah, right!!

I wonder what the explosion on that oil rig in the Gulf will do to the plans to drill in other areas off the east coast and Florida. It was already on shaky ground because, although the Obama Administration had opened the areas as far as Federal Government permits were concerned, the states bordering those areas were not all that anxious to give their approval. As I was watching the news stories I had an interesting mental flash--I am amazed how the Republicans always invoke the welfare of children and grandchildren when they talk about our fiscal problems but those children and grandchildren are no where to be seen when the discussion comes round to the after effects of nuclear power or oil drilling or waste generation. They are not willing to saddle the future generations with tax burdens, debt, or other financial constraints but they are willing to saddle them with the burden (and responsibility) of dealing with nuclear waste with half-lifes of hundreds of thousands of years, or environmental damage that will persist for decades (if not longer).

The Supreme Court is supposed to rule soon on the latest (third, if I remember correctly) challenge Michigan has mounted to force Chicago to close its Chicago River locks to, supposedly, protect the Great Lakes from the awful menace of the Asian Carp. You can tell from my expression that I am totally skeptical on this issue. I doubt very much that protecting the multi-billion dollar fishing industry is the major motivation any more than crushing an allegedly Al Qaeda allied Saddam Hussein was the real motive for going into Iraq. I am also skeptical about how much good closing the locks would do. After all, if carp DNA has already been found in the Great Lakes (as studies have claimed) the either the carp are already there, and closing the locks would be like closing the proverbial barn door after the proverbial horse has left the building, or the DNA was attached to skin or other cells that were shed and drifted into the Lakes which would indicate that the electrical barriers have done their job. I have a better suggestion--fish the hell out of them, no season, no limits. Dry them and grind them into fish meal for animal feed or garden additives. One of the Chicago news stations interviewed a couple of local chefs that were experimenting with recipes for carp. Can't beat them--eat them.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Good Saturday Morning, Everyone. Yesterday was my day to go to the library and generally bum around. It is wet outside at the moment but the temps aren't too bad and aren't getting low enough to threaten the plants I have outside. If we get some dry time this afternoon I will get some more ready and put them outside under the plastic. I will have to start doing my library trips on Saturdays next month--I think the farmer's market near the courthouse square opens up. It will be another month before the one near our supermarket opens. Remus farms has already advertised their veggie and annual flats but we aren't ready for a trip up there yet. We usually go there when we get low on eggs. The local Ace Hardware has their tent up so I will take a look sometime in the next couple of weeks when I look at what Home Depot and Menards have in stock.

On the 'paying the same (or a little more) for less' topic--I wandered through my local Michaels store yesterday and found that the Sugar 'n' Cream yarns are now half an ounce lighter than they were before. The price was about the same as before but I thought the skeins were a bit thin so I looked at the weight and found the difference. Needless to say, I will not be buying that yarn anytime soon. I have a fair stock of left over. I will use it up first. Maybe I ought to learn how to spin??

Well, it's morning again--and I hope it is a good Sunday for you all. I didn't get anything done with the plants yesterday. It was much too wet. I think we got a bit more than the weather people thought we would. I will see what today brings. If it dries out I might get something done.

I noticed another trend in the news stories covering health issues over the last week--the committee of retired generals who claim that school meals are endangering our national defense. They noted the high number of young people who are rejected for military service because of obesity and lack of physical fitness and conclude that the school lunches are to blame. Nice to have that kind of whipping boy around but that is a very simplistic conclusion to draw. It ties in nicely with the movement to make those lunches healthier which is something I can agree with. But I have enough of a memory to recall when the Reagan administration tried to get ketchup reclassified as a vegetable--it was cheaper than providing real tomatoes. I also have enough of a brain to make other connections which would cancel out most of the benefits of healthier school lunches if not addressed. School districts have had perennial problems with budget shortfalls for decades now. Bond issues are repeatedly voted down and followed by a scramble to make up the difference. One of the first things cut--physical education classes along with music and art. Earlier this year, almost without warning, some of Chicago's districts cut sophomore sports hoping the cut would free up enough money for other levels to continue. It caused protests that flashed across the news media for a couple of weeks. Blaming the school lunches (however much the blame is deserved) will not change the fact that all of us (including students) live in a largely sedentary society and that is as much of a problem as what we eat.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good Thursday Morning, Everyone. We have overcast skies today and since I have nothing pressing to do in the gardens I think I will take it easy. Just do my morning inspections and try to keep the cats in because it is a bit too cool to let them out (mainly because I will have to watch them). Actually, I just looked out the window to find the clouds gone and bright sun. I may get something done after all.

It's ok, Kay. I think the political and economic situations give us all plenty to be crabby about.

Has anyone else noticed the wave of news stories on American salt consumption over the last few days? It seems like everyone is getting on the anti-salt bandwagon. I was glad to notice that they stories made prominent mention of the fact that most of the salt we consume is 'hidden' in prepared foods--canned veggies, soup mixes, restaurant meals. Some time ago we got a rude shock when a pot of beans were unpleasantly salty even though Mom doesn't use salt in cooking. At that time we used the jars of prepared beans as a base. We stopped using it after we found out how much salt was in it and now start from scratch with dried beans. After that we started looking at how much was in our canned veggies (and switched, mostly, to frozen). One of the talking heads on CNBC did ask a good question--just how much do we want government to interfere and in what areas? I wonder how many people, if given the information, would do what we have done--switched to lower salt alternatives? They also made another interesting point--as we move closer to a universal health care system in which everyone pays for everyone, will everyone start telling everyone else what to eat, drink, how much to exercise?

Another entry in the continuing story of "we've got ours, screw you," or "thank you little people for bailing out all of us 'too big to fail' banks, but you cost too much so we want to take away your social security and medicare." Worse, these sanctimonious bastards don't see why we shouldn't commit suicide for the 'greater' (meaning 'their') good. All I can say is "you first."

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good Morning, All, on a nice Sunny Wednesday. I haven't gone outside yet but we are supposed to get into the 60s.

Robert Reich makes a good point this morning and raises an interesting point. Many of the actions banks took that ultimately led up to the financial crisis were legal, but most were not ethical. Just because something is legal does not mean that it is moral or ethical. When the immoral and unethical threaten the wider social and financial group they should be made illegal. I don't care if my neighbor gambles or drinks away his paycheck but I do care if he gambles away someone else's money or gets behind the wheel of a car drunk. Unfortunately, too many of our bright boys and girls in the banking/finance industry gambled with other people's money.

Charles Hughes Smith at oftwominds has another, parallel, perspective on this. Gaming the system, he claims, is standard operating procedure in this economy and it is pervasive at all levels. If the gaming stopped the economy would crash. Some of the gaming he talks about was illegal but much was simply unethical and/or immoral.

In another example of gaming the system take a look at this bit of inanity. Anonymity should have no place in the operations of the Senate. Stand up, stake your position, and deal with the fall out.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Tuesday Morning, Everyone. I just finished setting all my plants back outside--with the hot caps and walls 'o water, of course, since the expected lows are not supposed to go below 40. I will keep the empty milk jugs for a while to be converted into hot caps. Everything seems to be progressing well for now.

Here is a new wrinkle on the Goldman case. Their lawyers supposedly argued to the SEC that they had a duty to their clients to keep the relationship with the Paulson hedge fund secret. If that is true then they created a serious conflict of interest. On the one hand Paulson's people had a hand in selecting the underlying securities for a CDO designed by Goldman which Goldman then sold to other clients and against which Paulson bet heavily. The only way tthey could serve the interests of one client (Paulson) was to betray the interests of other clients (those to whom they sold the CDOs without disclosing Paulson's role).

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Good Sunday Morning to you all. Sorry, Kay. I was feeling a bit disgruntled. I thought I had lost my bean plants in spite of the 'wall 'o water.' They did recover and I brought everything in over night. The temps dropped to just above freezing and I didn't want to take a chance. I will probably do the same tonight and tomorrow night. After that the temps are supposed to go back up. I have to keep reminding myself that this is normal for April. It has been so long since we saw normal we forget what it looks like.


I just didn't get back to this yesterday. Oh, well. Good Monday Morning to you and hope the week goes well. Nothing new on the weather front. Seasonably cool so all of the seedlings are staying inside. So are the cats to Kuma's disgust. The weather starts warming up and he wants out badly. Since he has a nice, thick fur coat he doesn't understand what our problem is.

I find it very interesting how discombobulated we find ourself when the weather or other natural conditions mess with us. The airlines are pushing to modify the flight rules to allow them to fly though that ash from Iceland's volcano. Having already lost a combined $1B they desperately want to get in the air again. Hence the 'test' flights yesterday. Then, of course, there are all the very unhappy travelers who are stuck because no one was going anywhere. We just don't seem to have any flexibility in our lives to let us deal with these kinds of 'acts of God.'

I noticed that the broadcast media, print media, and internet news outlets are making a big deal of the poll that shows that fewer than one-fifth of Americans trust Washington. Here is one link to the Wall Street Journal but you can find numerous other such stories. My question--why the surprise? We have had eight years of a Republican administration that governed on the premise that government was bad and couldn't do anything well--so they basically didn't care much if they didn't do things effectively and efficiently because, by their definitions, they couldn't. Yeah, that is a circular argument but then I seriously doubt that they ever attended any philosophy (specifically, logic) courses. What else can we expect given that Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are the heavy thinkers in that crowd. Unfortunately, the Republicans have just enough strength to stymie any efforts to turn that around.

I belong to, I think, five Ning groups. Three are for needleworkers/fiber artists, one is Elderwomanspace, and one is for practitioners of frugal lifestyles. But Ning is, according to a couple of the group co-ordinators, phasing our its free service forcing them to monetize the sites, pay subscription fees, cancel the groups, or move them to other services (like Facebook). One, Fiber Focus, has already opened up on Facebook.

James Kunstler at Clusterfuck Nation asks a very good question about the Goldman litigation--Where is the RICO filings on this? The SEC filing is a civil case. Where are the criminal fraud charges? And why do we consider this company 'too big to fail?'

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Hello again, everyone. No, Kay. I didn't send you the cold and rain. Who ever sent it to me passed it on to you. I am afraid I got very spoiled by the nice 70s and 80s we had. It is so easy to forget that those temps are 20 to 30 degrees above 'normal.' What ever that is now-a-days. I checked all of the plants in my containers (or on them, as the case may be). They are all protected by 'walls 'o water' or hot caps cut from milk jugs and all were doing very well as of this morning when the temp on the patio registered 36 degrees. I don't think I will put any others out until Monday afternoon when we are supposed to have mid to high 60s again.

I am constantly amazed by how differently the various news channels present the same stories. This morning one of the channels we watch mentioned the Goldman charges and claimed that Goldman created the investment instruments they are charged with fraudulently selling. Other sources yesterday and today make it quite clear that Goldman they did not create the investments. I do wish these people would get the information straight. It is bad enough that they sold the investments without disclosing that the creator, also a client of theirs, was betting against them. I also don't have much patience for the argument I heard yesterday on CNBC that the the investment funds and banks that bought these instruments should have ferreted out the information when Goldman didn't disclose it. There has to be a certain amount of trust and good faith if the allegedly capitalist system is to work and Goldman violated that. Nor does it matter that, as one of the talking heads pointed out, the little investor didn't get hurt directly in this and only the 'big' boys were damaged. Too many little investors put money into the pension funds and banks who put money into investments Goldman pushed.

Newsweek has this op-ed piece by Daniel Gross that makes some very good points on the Goldman case. I remember a furor raised some years ago when investment firms were informing large investors of prime investments or of potential losses before the smaller investors who were either cut out of the money making possibilities or were saddled with the losses. That revelation led to regulations prohibiting that practice. All clients were supposed to have equal access. But, evidently, that practice has simply shifted sideways a bit. Goldman simply serves some clients better than others--and some not at all.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good TGIF, Everyone. Hey, Lois, I hear you. The trees seemed to burst out with leaves and blossoms over the last two weeks. Only the slowest and largest of the trees are still just budding. We have squirrels nesting in one of the trees in front of our unit and they have been driving one of our cats nuts with their running up and down the tree. I have about a third of our seedlings outside under plastic or inside "walls 'o water". Though the next week is supposed to be cooler it isn't supposed to get down to killing frost range and any sun we get will warm up the patio rapidly. I discovered that my experiment with the milk carton planters won't do what I want them to. The plastic is too soft and tends to collapse if they are stacked. So I am shifting gears and will see how the hard plastic juice containers will do.

One story I saw this morning really warmed my heart--the SEC has charged Goldman Sachs with fraud. Essentially they pushed subprime mortgage derivatives developed by one of their clients while that client bet against the investment vehicle. It was, according to the report, 'designed to fail.' Yeah, I would definitely call that fraud. What I can't believe is the crap spewed by so-called 'capitalists' and the finance industry that they can regulate themselves. In a pig's eye!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hello, again. Enjoying the last day with temps over 70 for a while according to the weather people. I can always hope they err on the good side of the matter. I am not really ready for summer heat but some more days in the low to mid 70d sounds good to me.

I saw on the news this morning that at least one of the main news channels (not CNBC) has picked up on the 47% of Americans not paying taxes. I dealt with that one yesterday. I am at the point with all of these numbers where I simply don't trust anybody much (and many not at all.) They all pick and choose the numbers which either tell the story they want to spread (that the economy is in a robust recovery) or that support the position they hold (that there is a war on wealth). So often their numbers don't correspond with my reality and I have to ask whose dream world, or nightmare, are they living in.

HuffingtonPost has a good item on this point this morning. The tax burden for most Americans has actually gone down according to most serious economists (including Conservative ones). None of the tax increases Obama has proposed are in effect and the Bush tax cuts (that overwhelmingly favored the wealthy) have expired yet. The author makes a point that fear is the driving force in the protests just as it is for the talking heads on CNBC. They are afraid of what might happen and especially what might happen to THEM.

Market Watch had this item on the jobs data. The article says that the adjusted unemployment increased last week for the second week in a row. Also, easily passed over, that we may be in for a renewed period of job cuts. But what I find difficult to reconcile is the statement that, on the one hand, the Obama Administration is claiming that the economy has 'created' the most jobs in the last month in over a year and that, on the other, that we are still getting 400k+ first time unemployment claims in that same month. It still looks to me like we are still sliding down not rising up.

This blog entry from Margaret and Helen just about sums up my feelings about the current political situation. Helen is absolutely spot on.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy Hump Day, Everyone. Nice and sunny again and the temps are supposed to go into the high 70s with 80+ tomorrow. Will get the gardening I didn't get done yesterday done today. We are still doing some spring cleaning here.

Here is another entry in the 'capitalism for you, communism for me' file. I still think that any institution that is considered 'too big to fail' should be treated like a public utility and thoroughly regulated. I wonder how much of its profits JP Morgan is allocating to lobby against financial reform? Considerably more than it is planning to devote to renegotiating underwater mortgages. Oh, I forgot--contracts are sacred (except when they are not.)

Is anyone else finding that they are saying "What!!? Another quake?!!" more often of late? I think I have three times in the last 2 weeks. What is with this planet?

I have heard a lot of drivel lately on CNBC about the '47%' of Americans who pay no federal taxes. I am suspicious by nature and my first question asked who exactly those people might be. I never go any direct answer from the hosts but the clear implication (just from the phrasing and tone of the remarks) is that a lot of us at the low end of the economic spectrum are freeloaders hoping to shift the burden to those hard working upper income earners who provide for all of the rest of us. Thanks to David Leonhardt at the New York Times for clarifying the matter. As I thought the picture is not so black and white as the hosts of CNBC made out. It really irritates me that the whole issue of taxes has been characterized as a 'war on wealth' on CNBC.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hello, All. All I can say is 'blast' and sorry the link didn't work. (It evidently is not your computer, Lois.) It looks like I will have to go back to checking them out before leaving the blog. I don't know how much blogging I will get done today since we are doing laundry and some seasonal and other cleaning up. We take our curtains down twice a year to be washed--when we put the plastic over the windows and when we take the plastic off. It is time to do the latter.

I found this little item on HuffingtonPost this morning. So mortgage contracts (and other loans) are sacred. Unfortunately, I have watched as, over the last 25 years or so, a number of contracts have been abrogated. I don't know how many times I have heard of companies skipping out on workers to whom they owed wages. That is also a contract--the worker provides labor at a specified rate for a specified number of hours and the company agrees to pay them--unless of course the company declares bankruptcy which puts the workers at the end of the line to get paid with the other 'unsecured creditors.' Almost every one of the big companies have forced the labor unions to agree to changes in the 'contract' and, I am sorry if I am a bit old fashioned, but agreements gained under threat are not morally defensible. Nor are agreements gained by fraud and all too many of the mortgages written at the height of the boom were fraudulent often on the part of the lender.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good Monday afternoon, everyone. We did our weekly shopping today so I didn't really get to e-mail and blogs till late. After a couple of days at the end of last week when we had cooler temps and rain it has been nice and sunny. Yesterday I planted some beets and spinach in the planters I cut from milk cartons and put them under the plastic tents over a couple of the planters. I had intended to do some more after our errands but, as happens all too often, once those were done my ambition disappeared. Tomorrow, though, looks like another reasonably warm and sunny day so I should get several plants transplanted and under plastic.

As I noted a couple of posts ago, I haven't had much to say. However, I found this first thing this morning from the L.A. Times. I do like this judge and what he has to say about the SEC and the big banks. I hope he stays around for a while.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good Morning, All. Haven't had much to say for the last few days. The weather has been beautiful--especially for early April. We had, I think, three days over 80 with nice sunshine. We have had some rain and some wind but not too much of either--although the wind is kicking up a bit now and the skies are dark. Hopefully that will all clear off. I did get three of my containers tented with plastic. They should warm up nicely and be ready to plant when the seedlings are big enough. Everything is coming up well except the poblano peppers, lavender, portulaca and mexibelle peppers. I rather expected the mexibelle to fail. That is a hybrid and hybrids usually fail to produce viable seed or revert to parental types. The poblano gave me only one plant out of the four seeded. The lavender has given me, maybe, four plants. Next year I will simply put all of these on my list when I visit my garden shops and greenhouses.

We also lost one of our 19 year-old cats late last week. He went down hill very fast but died peacefully here at home. We called the vet just that morning to get an appointment in the afternoon to put him to sleep but he didn't last that long. His littermate brother is going strong as is our other cat who is 15.

Easter Sunday was very nice. We had dinner at my brother's house with his family, and my sister and her partner. We came home with enough left overs to carry us through half this week. Nice to see everyone.

The long awaited release of Apple's iPad has come and gone. Evidently most people are happy with it. I am still amazed by the social events this kind of thing can become. People camped out at the Apple Store in Chicago for several days to get their hands on the thing. I am a wait and see kind of person. And I will wait until I have an actual need for something like it before I even think about buying one. Right now, with a new macbook, I don't see any need in the foreseeable future.