Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Good Wednesday, Everyone.  We are bracing for nasty weather they say could extend from the Rockies to well east of us.  It is chancy right now as to how bad (or not so bad) it might be.  We are very glad we aren't out in Colorado.  I picked up some kale seedlings, borage, peppermint, and (for a third try) lemon verbena yesterday.  I planted the borage and kale in the gardens last night.  I may not get the rest in before the weather comes in.  I will take the plants hanging on the fence and put them in more protected places.  I certainly don't want to lose the strawberries or my sole surviving cypress vine. I did get the grapefruit mint cut back a bit and the first of it in my dehydrator.  All seven trays are full of mint leaves with more ready to go in as soon as possible.  My little machine will only do seven trays at a time but it is rare I need more so I am not looking for anything larger.  I have several strawberries that I should put into larger containers but that will wait until this weather system passes.

Here is a story that simply bewilders me.  Why in the hell would anyone show this film to anyone much less a 6th grader.  Someone had their common sense surgically removed.  Or was born without it.

This, on the other hand, is totally understandable given that we have a surveillance state instead of the republic our founders gave us.  Combine 1984 with Brave New World and you have a road map for living in our world today.

Update: the first trays of mint are dried and ground.  The second set of seven trays is drying now.  We had bought a small food chopper/grinder that happened to be on sale.  We hoped we wouldn't have to bring out the big one for small amounts of herbs or veggies.  Well, it simply didn't work.  Thankfully, Mom is handy.  She took it apart, adjusted it a bit, put it back together and--omg--it worked.  I am not that handy.  I will give it a try with the next batch of mint.  I used the big one for the first.

I lived in northern Colorado for nearly 14 years (late 1970s to early 1990s).  I don't remember any wildfires during that time.  This is the second year in a row for some big ones.  I don't remember any serious droughts either.

The morning news featured a Consumer Reports story about those single serve coffee makers.  My niece got one over a year ago and seems to like it.  We got to try it out at a Thanksgiving dinner she hosted.  We quickly put it in the "nice--but" file.  Wouldn't really work for us.  We couldn't comment on the quality of coffee--we aren't connoisseurs by stretch of the imagination.  What did the report say, you ask?  As usual price is no indicator of quality.  Some of the most expensive were the slowest and least consistent.  A couple of the lower cost units were quieter, faster, and held a more consistent hot temperature.  None of them made a cup of coffee that passed the taste tester's standards.  We will stick with our under $20 Black and Decker drip unit.

I am always amazed at how little our news media informs us on what is going on in the rest of the world.  I saw a brief mention of this story on NHK (Japanese English Language) and the BBC.  And our media usually focus on national pride or religious antagonism or ethnic tensions not on resources.

Interestingly, there is more outrage over the broad net cast by NSA spying operations overseas than here.  This item from Bangkok is only one.  See yesterday's link to the Washington Post poll showing 56% of us don't see anything wrong with it.  The EU isn't exactly pleased either but I wonder how much of that is merely an attempt to convince their own citizens that someone is looking out for their interests and wellbeing.  While they bash us I wonder how much their own intelligence services have benefitted from the U.S. programs and how far they are pushing the surveillance envelope.  After all, London has more security cameras than anywhere else.

This hit the news big last night and this morning, and we can't avoid it because we live so close to Chicago.  They played a good part of Daley's advertising/announcement.  He went over a litany of problems Illinois faces but in all of the ad, though he clearly holds the incumbent governor responsible, he says nothing about how he would solve the problems.  Somehow, magically, changing the occupant of the governor's mansion will make the problems disappear.

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