Thursday, July 18, 2013

Heat wave continues. Gardens.

It is a hot Thursday already.  I just finished watering everything and taking the strawberries off the fence.  Getting to them is much easier if I don't have to reach through my jungle of tomato plants.  They are doing very nicely.  Thankfully the temperatures are not high enough for long enough to stop them from setting fruit.  They are blooming profusely and quite a nice number of tomatoes are maturing now.  As I have complained before--everything feels so slow this year.  Perhaps because of the colder than normal spring.  The chamomile is blooming and I have a couple of lemon squash growing bigger.  Though the crystal apple cucumbers are blooming I haven't seen any cucumbers on them.  It is already 82 on the patio--at 7:30am.  I kept telling all my plants that the weekend is coming and the temperatures will be much cooler.  The borage doesn't like the heat of the day.  It starts out nice and crisp in the morning and then seems to wilt around noon and then perks up late evening.  We are wilting also.  Since the weather people say we have a heat advisory beginning at 11 this morning and continuing till late tomorrow, we are staying in.

The title on this article triggered some memories for me.  Some fifteen or so years ago, I was doing some research on comic books (for a dissertation I didn't complete) and a story line in one of the titles made reference to Nazi "werewolf" guerrillas after WWII.  That intrigued me so I did a bit of research to see if the references were based in fact.  Guess what?  They were.  I found this book at that time.  Looking for it I found several new histories of the time.  And Wikipedia has a nice and much shorter entry.

This goes beyond sad to infuriating.  Please don't crow that we, thankfully, never had national health care.  Our system started out pathetic and is going downhill from there.  It is over priced, and underperforms for those who can afford it and those who can't--we can always die.

I love this story.  I hope these Aussies succeed and it pisses me off that, having failed at the local level, McDonalds decided to go to a higher level hoping to cram their pissey selves down the local people's throats.

Every now and then over the last few years I have seen articles about China's "ghost" cities--rapidly built and without many (or even any) residents.  One boom town has evidently gone bust. The notion Yves cites that "if you build it they will come" underpins all of the industrial production model.  Shove out as much product at as possible and there will always be a market for it.  Until there isn't.  But a nasty little notion tickled the back of my mind as I read the section that said the growth of Ordos started and was sustained by a boom in local coal production which has now faltered.  I remembered a couple of stories about the population and building boom in Montana because of the expanded production in oil from the  Bakken shale fields.  I wonder what will happen there if/when the field becomes too depleted or expensive to work?

And here is another item I found by way of Yves Smith at Naked Capitalist that should make everyone spitting mad.  I don't know how many pundit assholes I have heard bemoaning the rising costs of health care and how it is going to bankrupt the country.  So often they blamed individual consumers for demanding too much and paying too little.  They complain about free loaders who won't buy health insurance (not can't, notice, but won't).  They talk about greedy doctors who over charge, game, or actually defraud the system.  None have mention the Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee, aka RUC, a panel of doctors that send recommendations to Medicare which accepts them 90% of the time.  Which then translates to insurance costs as the Insurance companies usually follow Medicare's lead.  Legalized price fixing!!

This amusing story from Grist--the increased use of disinfecting wipes is clogging sewer systems across the country.  They are flushable in that they do get through the household pipes but they don't disintegrate like toilet paper.

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