Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Good day on this sunny Wednesday.  The weather people tell us the temperatures are going back to something at or above normal for the next week.  They did put a 90 on for later in the week.  We hope we won't have to put the air conditioning on.  We'll see.  I dried two trays of oregano and lemon balm, one of patchouli, and half a tray of sage and pineapple sage.  I also started cuttings of pineapple sage, sage, patchouli, lemon balm,  and lavender.  They look good so far.  The earlier cuttings look good also--no wilting so far.  I saw two cabbage and one kale sprout already.  By the time they are ready to be put in the large containers I will have some spaces available.

Oh, yeah, Annie's Granny.  Kunstler's post yesterday does deserve a standing ovation.  We have become increasingly skeptical of technology that offers us 'convenience.'  They also carry with them serious inconvenience.  We are not looking forward to the time (hopefully a number of years off) when we will have to change out our cell phones.  All we really want is a PHONE.  We don't want to surf the internet.  We don't want to watch movies.  We don't want to play games.  We do that on our computers.  We laugh every time we see that commercial with the kids telling younger kids how easy they have it now that they can move the TV anywhere they want because they have (whichever) wireless service AND they can record as many as six shows at one time.  When we moved in here we had two TVs (mine and Mom's).  We now have one.  We have trouble finding ANYthing we want to watch much less six shows at the same time.  So much of the new technology simply doesn't offer us any features we really want or need.  We did our shopping this morning and were surprised to see the beginning of fall color in the trees.  The drought has definitely taken a toll on them.  I noticed a couple of trees where about half or more of the tree is actually dead.  I really, really hope we have some very good snows this winter.

Here is a story for the "WTF??" file.  I can understand someone wanting to avoid sunburns or excess exposure to the sun.  But I would find an indoor pool or a very good sunscreen.  Obviously the true objective here is to be seen on the beach not to swim.  I was amused by the reaction of governmental officials--they are concerned that the 'facekini' can be used by criminals.  Ya think???

We have been hearing a lot about the drought in the U.S. that has damaged a large part of the corn and soybean crops.  The mainstream media has begun covering it heavily over the last month--day late, dollar short to my thinking. The problem is that the U.S, situation is only part of the story as this Al Jazeera story points out.  I haven't heard anything about the light and late monsoon in India, or the dry conditions in Russia and eastern Europe, or the droughts in southern Europe (Spain has had a severe drought and it is a major producer of corn) or the heat wave in France.

And another piece from Al Jazeera brings back memories.  As a much over-educated (four college degrees--two bachelor's and two master's) who has mis-spent all too much of her adulthood in higher education, I can bear witness to all of what the article describes.  When I worked as an adjunct my compensation was about $1200-1300 per course.  The institutions I worked for limited their adjuncts to 3 courses per semester.  The adjuncts I worked with when I lived in Colorado worked for schools in Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Greeley simultaneously.  And they still didn't make a living wage.  Twenty five years ago I saw the beginnings of the shift to adjuncts.  It was a dirty little secret that our academic advisors tried very hard not to mention because, if they did, many of their Teaching Assistants would have rethought their prospects and jumped ship.

A couple of weeks ago I saw a teaser for one of the climate-change denier sites (don't remember which) which triumphantly proclaimed '6 inches of drought!!' after northern Colorado (where that big wildfire charred a nice wide swath) got a bit of rain.  This Coyote Gulch post gives some of the reality of the situation.  That six inches was a drop in the bucket of what they need--we need.

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