Good wet Sunday morning. Yes, I said wet. We had rain with our morning coffee. I don't really mind because I won't have to water my plants. They will get plenty from Mother Nature over this week which is supposed to be, still, much above normal--70s to low 80s. We have already had four days over 80 (officially) with another three possible. So far that is 1) the longest 80 day streak in March since records have been kept, and 2) the warmest March on record. Even the lower temperatures forecast for the end of the coming week are above normal. Given the rain, I will give the gardening a break.
I have been busy over the last few days, Nicola. So far all of my cherry, plum style, and Brandywine tomatoes have sprouted. Also half of the Big Rainbow are up. I have my peppers, tansy, pyrethrum, and marigolds started also. I have to give it a bit of a rest because I shouldn't start the next seeds until April at the earliest. I got the strawberry plants in and transplanted the blueberries, mums, lavender, lemon balm, and roses. All came through the winter very well. Of course, we have had an extremely mild winter. I have to get off my butt and get the pictures downloaded and posted.
Some visitors may remember that I had been rethinking whether to plant tansy because it can be toxic for pets and Kuma has shown a taste for blueberries, strawberries and beans. I will plant the tansy but I will also make up some sprays from used coffee or other things cats dislike. I really want the tansy because it is supposed to be a very good colorado potato beetle repellant. I intend to plant some potatoes and I have found that the little nuisances love beans, tomatoes and peppers as well.
While the American mainstream media is obsessing on who the soldier was who allegedly shot the Afghan villagers, his possible marital and financial problems, his, maybe problems with the law, and his anger problems. But not a one has covered this aspect of the story. It is possible that he acted alone but I wouldn't put it past the U.S. military to try to limit the damage by sweeping anything that indicates other soldiers were involved into a very dark closet. As one blogger said--they don't need an Afghan Mia Lai.
The Oil Drum picked up a report from NASDAQ (they have the link to the article if you want to follow it) that the U.S. government has asked the Saudi Government to increase their production when the new sanctions on Iran go into effect in July. There are a couple of points that make me skeptical. First, can the Saudis actually increase their production by almost one-third? I doubt it. And notice that there is some big discrepancy between the official production reports and analysts' estimates which are considerably lower. Second, notice that all of the Saudi fields produce sour crude--whether light, medium or heavy all of it is sour. Remember during the early phases of the Libyan uprising when the Saudis promised to increase their production (which they didn't do) analysts noted that the Saudi oil couldn't replace the Libyan light sweet crude. Also, I don't have much faith that the new sanctions will have much more effect than the old ones have had.