Thursday, April 30, 2015


Well, here we are at the end of April and 2015 is one-quarter over.  Happy Beltane for all who celebrate that holiday.  Haven't been able to scratch the gardening itch outside much because it has been too cold to plant.  I have seen some robins exploring my patio and containers.  Good--they like bugs and I always have a few they are most welcome to.  Maybe that cardinal I saw last year will return and bring some friends.  I think the robins also like my bird bath.

Watching the news coverage of the Baltimore riots we wondered exactly what shifted a protest into a riot.  I found this this morning which is thought provoking.  Evidently a volatile mixture of angry but peaceful protestors and drunk sports fans combusted into violence.  Question: who is most responsible?  I tend to have a very low tolerance for drunks which should tell you where I come down.  And this story makes no sense at all on several counts: unidentified prisoner who was in the van with Gray but only heard him thrashing around and assumed Gray was trying to hurt himself??  What about earlier reports that Gray was not buckled in and that the ride was an intentionally "rough" one during which the cops had to lift Gray back into a sitting position on the van's bench???  Sounds like cops trying to cover their collective asses.

I really have to ask: do school administrators get a lobotomy or a prude transplant as part of their qualifications for their jobs?  I ask because of this article.  And what about the teachers?  Do the do prude training as part of their certification?  Or is there a thinking switch someone has turned off because what ever they are thinking with it isn't their brains.

Oh, yes--I can always rely on the Contrary Farmer for a thought provoking essay.  When the "Arab Spring" ignited revolutions across North Africa and the Middle East not one mainstream news source noted that Syria had suffered some three years of drought before violence erupted.  Nor do they discuss the economic conditions what have made Egypt a tinderbox.  Nor how often the religious conflicts grow out of economic troubles and then feed into political wars.

So Bernie Sanders is running for president.  He made his announcement yesterday.  I don't think he has the proverbial snowball's chance of getting (nomination or final election.)  All I really hope is that he brings the political debate back to some semblance of reality.

Canada's biggest banks are just a grubbing as ours.  This is unconscionable.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Sunny right now and a bit warmer than yesterday at this time.  The next warm up comes over the weekend--Weather Gods willing.  I really do need to start getting the containers worked and ready because we are only about two weeks away from average frost free date here.  Sometime next week I hope it is warm enough to get the sunflowers started in the location I plan for them.

On the Baltimore situation, which I don't really want to comment on, Helen at Margaret and Helen encapsulates my feelings pretty much exactly.

Does anyone out there use artisanal soaps--you know the locally-sourced, hand-made kind?  Have you had any problems with them?  I haven't heard of any problems in the various news sources I follow.  So why in hell do we need this?  The only reason I can think of is to provide the government with an new revenue stream in the guise of fees, licenses, and inspections.  It would also make sure that more of us remain trapped in the commercial/industrial matrix we would rather escape.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


Frost on the roofs this morning with temps in the mid 30s.  I got the bird feeder filled and moved.  But that is about all of the garden activity.  We should have warmer and sunnier weather over the weekend.  See what I get done then.  I have some seedlings that still need repotting if the sudden bug that hit me yesterday is gone.

I like seeing innovative ways of solving some of our current problems.  I wonder how this kind of unit might work in some of our drought stricken areas.

I do love it when somebody is bright enough to question old assumptions about our past.  Evidently, female Vikings kicked ass too.  New studies examining the bones in Viking burials to determine gender (rather than assuming a burial with sword was male while those with oval brooches were female) found that nearly half were women.

The Daily  Banter has a good post on the many layers of unfairness evident in Baltimore.  And the superficiality of what passes for news reporting is mind blowing.

Monday, April 27, 2015


It is cold today and feeling colder because of the brisk wind that chills brutally.  I went out long enough to rearrange a couple of things so I could move the bird feeder (after I filled it of course.)  I am feeling a bit washed out so I don't know how much I will find worth the energy to comment on.

However, Robert Reich has a piece that I think is right on the money.  In most areas of our lives we do feel powerless.  Sometimes the only power we have is the power to say "No, we don't agree with this."  That is what the voter who no longer votes is saying.  Over the last weekend I had a similar experience.  We got our new MacBooks and part of the package included the tech's services to "migrate" the contents of our old MacBooks onto our new ones.  Mom's went beautifully but mine gave all kinds of problems.  This was Saturday and we left the shop with the new computers and the promise that we could come back Sunday when a more skilled tech would be working and get it done.  Well, we did that and the tech told us that they would need "two or three days and would call us."  I said "NO" much to their surprise.  I got the process done in two hours and took my machine home with me functioning much like my old one--only better.  We have said no to a lot of other things as you know if you have followed this blog.  No to On-Star in spite of the dealer's persistence. No to expanded cable service--again in spite of the company's desperate attempts to "upgrade" us.  No to highly processed supermarket foods in spite of constant advertising during the few times we have the cable TV on.  I think the only way this will change is when enough of us decide that the TINA alternative (There Is No Alternative) is not an alternative, say "NO!" and look for the alternatives they say aren't there.

Ah, yes!! Leave it to Kunstler to lay out a potential nightmare that so many of us are ignoring.  I have been hearing about the push for a "cashless" society and in many ways I am in it now.  My Social Security is automatically deposited and I use the debit card attached to my account--though I try to reserve it for large purchases or to purchase Nook books.  Otherwise I try to use cash.  I am and have been uneasy about the ease with which unknown and unnamed parties can trace what I buy.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Cold still--only in the mid 30s.  We got some dry granular snow yesterday that didn't stick around.


Another cold day.  We are back in winter mode for our meals--turkey casserole yesterday and chili today.  A week ago we were looking forward to salads and other summer fare.  I got re-potted the mustard seedlings and plan to do the same for the mizuno today.  I need to start new pots of orach because the ones I started earlier haven't done well.

I wonder how widespread this is going to become.  I have heard, frequently over the last three decades, about the plight of small colleges.  LSU is not a small college.  It is (or was) Louisiana's "flagship" university.  While I have, often, questioned the emphasis our political leaders have placed on higher education (seemingly for all, regardless of qualifications, talent, or inclination) I have never question that public colleges and universities are a public good and service and should be publicly supported.  Evidently a certain faction of our Repthuglican party thinks otherwise.


Chilly but a bit warmer to start--mid 40s rather than the high 20s to low 30s.  We had rain last night.  Don't have much planned for today.  May be content with being lazy.


It wasn't quite a lazy day yesterday.  It was miserable, rainy and cold so we decided to do some shopping.  Mom wanted some blue jeans--has for some time.  So we looked at clothes.  Unfortunately, we didn't find any that fit her.  The inseams were far too long.  I didn't find any in my size.  We have been talking about computer problems for about a year now and finally decided to  check out what was available at our Simply Mac store and Best Buy.  We didn't get to Best Buy because Simply Mac had good deals on MacBooks so we both now have new computers.  Now we have to get used to them and get what we need back on them.

An interesting take on our modern economy which doesn't make things any more but seems well geared to creating assholes.

I have seen a few articles on this issue.  File it under "Downside of Computer Technology."  The problem is one I have contemplated often--the increasing complexity and interconnectedness of nearly everything we own.  Ford (I think) is pitching their cars wi-fi capabilities.  On-Star has been touted as a reason to buy this, that, or the other car.  I forget which car maker it is that talks up its internet connections in its commercials.  The cutest one shows an awed Granny gushing that she can update her blog from her grandson's car and Grandson says in astonished tones "You have a blog???"  We here at Chez Contrary have recognized that the days are long gone when a bobby pin (anybody out there remember those?) was all you might need to get your ancient Volkswagen beetle running again.  Our new-to-us car is On-Star capable but we choose not to spend our money on that.  Our most frequent discussion here on technology is whether we want to spend money on whatever and whether whatever will actually do something valuable for us.  I took us over a year of increasing frustration with our old computers to decide whether and when to replace them.  I just bought some earbuds for my new computer and couldn't find any without a microphone.  My only choice was to get the combined unit and not use the microphone.  That seems to be our only choice now--to get (and pay for) capabilities we don't want and won't use.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


The calendar does say "spring."  I checked.  But the weather says "not yet."  It is cold right now (mid 30s) with frost likely and snow possible.  Yes, I did say snow.  It is already reported in areas not far northwest of us.  Needless to say, no gardening today.

Asthma is one of the serious medical conditions which, like obesity and diabetes, has been increasing in recent decades.  Usually, writers tell us that the "experts" don't really know why such maladies are exploding in our modern age.  This article gives some indication that modern life itself is at the bottom of many of our health problems.

I am not at all surprised by the results of this poll.  It follows my own opinions down the line.  I don't trust either the federal government or the state government.  They are too far away from me and what concerns me most.  I don't matter to them while they are very sensitive to the concerns of businesses who want a free hand in polluting the environment, privatizing public services, lowering taxes that pay for things like infrastructure, education, health (all of which affect me directly.)  I vote but the elected officials don't really serve my interests.  Therefore, I don't trust the state and federal officials (elected or otherwise.)

This is something I hope spreads throughout the modern industrial economy.  I like Akio Toyoda's comment about "big-company disease."  They aren't replacing robots see a definite place for human expertise.

If the conclusions presented in this article are right, our current problem with antibiotic resistance is far more complicated than we thought and probably not amenable to technological solution.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


Wet today and cool for the whole week.  I have nothing planned in the gardens but have a number of plants to transplant into larger pots.  We still have about three weeks before it is safe to start planting outside.  I might be able to put a few plants out with protection from wind and frosts.

With our Senate and House of Reps getting ready to ram through the "fast track" authority it is amazing how little our mainstream media says about it.  Leave it to the writers at Naked Capitalism to detail the implications of the move "Toward Absolutist Capitalism."  I really hope the other nations  involved in the negotiations balk at the provisions the multi-national corporations have been writing in secrecy.  And I wish I could hope that some of our so-called nationalist law makers would also get up on their hind legs and scream about it.  Given how those companies have bought so many governments and legislators I don't hold out much hope.  What galls me is so many of those idiots bray about the Founding Fathers and the principles enshrined in our constitution only when the NRA perceives a threat to gun rights and Christianizes feel threatened because they are told they can't discriminate against whomever they say their religion doesn't condone.

I have been skeptical of the "sharing" economy from the first and my skepticism has grown.  This tells you why.  It was never really sharing and it provided a way to cheat both traditional workers of their livelihood and the new workers these companies engage.


Well, it is definitely cooler.  I put the furnace back on as the temperature is about 40F and won't get out of the 50s.  That is supposed to be the pattern for the rest of the week.

Our western wildfire season has started (as you can see on the news so I won't link to anything) and evidently the Siberian fire season is also off to a roaring start also.  You can read an interesting account here.  As I read the piece I was struck by how very similar Russia and the U.S. really are.  Anything that affects the centers of power get far more coverage than anything on the "periphery" (i.e., anything outside the capital and other centers.)  I don't know how the Russian media is on mind-numbing fluff but that is where ours spend most of its time.

Enjoy these pictures--they had us smiling and laughing throughout.

I don't know why I didn't see this coming.   It will definitely ensure a steady stream of customers cash for company sanctioned repair shops.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


The blueberry arrived yesterday but not the sweet potato slips.  I will let it rest before getting it into a larger pot.  That will give me time to condition some soil for the acidity blueberries need.  I transplanted several of the seedlings and plan to do more today.  And unplug the heating mat.  I don't think it is needed now.  I am also conducting an experiment to determine how fast I can lower the pH of my soil.  I have two pos--one with soil treated with a very dilute vinegar solution and the other with the amount of quick acting sulfur recommended for that size pot.  I will water each daily and check the pH.  Hopefully, one or the other (or both) will work.  Mom was surprised that I ordered only one blueberry.  I told her I prefer to kill only one plant at a time.  I may get more if this one survives.


Should be cooler today with rain coming this afternoon.  I am getting my seedlings transplanted a few at a time.  I got a good germination rate.  I still haven't found the key to getting anything from stevia seeds.  Not a one sprouted this year--just like last year and the year before.  I need to get the garden hose out, connected and tested for leaks.  However, next week is supposed to be colder.  Continuing my experiments in adjusting the pH of my soil.

One would think that this incident would have made the national news but we don't remember any account of it and I couldn't find any reference on the site nor any national coverage in the first page of a google search.  Worse it is the second explosion at a fracking site over the last month and a half.

Interesting notion this although our first question was how Walmart and those are going to survive when they have no customers.  Robots don't buy anything.

I have seen some articles on the "negative interest" rates some countries are allowing.  Here is an account from Australia.  It suddenly occurred to me that this seems (to an ordinary person, namely me) that this would be a sneaky way to devalue the money without actually coming out and doing so openly.  The apparent value remains the same but people lose buying power because they have to pay the bank to keep their cash for them.

Friday, April 17, 2015


It may be a lazy day today.  We had rain overnight and may have on and off rain for most of this morning.  All the seeds I want to start have been started and are doing well.  Now I am considering what transplants I want to buy.  A few strawberries, spearmint, peppermint and stevia for sure.  What else depends on what I find at the garden shops.  Signs of spring have started appearing--low bushes leafing out and daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and some of the flowering trees blooming.  The color is a feast after the bleak drabness over the winter.

I am often amazed how often the technology that is portrayed as some kind of savior creates as many problems without really solving any of ones it was supposed to save us from.  As an example look at this article at Naked Capitalism on the electronic medical records.  And those urging the adoption of the technology often (almost always??) have ulterior, unspoken motives for wanting it.  We were sold the notion the the electronic records would reduce errors and facilitate patient treatment and welfare.  The real motive was to control doctors and increase profits.  Any harm patients suffer is simply "collateral damage."


Should be dry and sunny today--and warm.  That will be good because I received an e-mail that my blueberry and sweet potato slips will be delivered today.  I didn't expect them quite this soon but have everything nearly ready for them.  That will leave the wintergreen and lemon verbena yet to arrive.

I read the headline for this article and thought of the ad I saw on TV last night trying to sell nuclear power to secure our energy future.  The narrator noted that a number of nuclear plants are nearing the end of their engineered lifetime and that we urgently needed to build new ones to replace them or face crippling energy shortages.  Given Fukushima, Chernobyl, and Three-Mile Island I would say it is well past time to phase out nuclear altogether.

'Tis the season when potholes blossom along with the tulips, daffodils, and other early spring flowers.  This WGN story shows an artist making the potholes almost as smile-worthy as the other signs of spring.

While I can agree with this article that our infrastructure is suffering from serious and long term neglect, I think they are way off base in concluding that the deficiencies of the infrastructure is a threat to democracy.  Most of us forget that, though Presidential elections are held in early November, until the 20th Amendment moved the date  inaugurations were held in March not January.  That four month gap allowed the votes to be counted and transmitted from remote areas, Electors to meet to cast their votes and for the wining candidates to travel in mid winter to his inauguration.  We functioned quite well as a democracy without a modern infrastructure and would again without it--assuming we have the will to maintain democratic structures.  We have far more compelling reasons to maintain our various infrastructures.

Susie Madrak asks a good question in her post--what does it mean for our voting systems?

I saw this and simply don't believe it.  I haven't seen any decrease in prices and several prices that are definitely higher.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I am already irritated with the news.  Between the coverage of the next national election (still nineteen months away, for goodness sake), the "coverage" of developments on other shows carried by the network (which I don't watch and which are not news) and the continuation of stories that are already so old they are starting to smell television news is becoming a major time-waster.  The rain yesterday came in sporadic bursts so I didn't get anything done in the gardens.  I will wait until the weather comes on to decide what and how much to do outside today.  It is about ten degrees cooler (F) so far than this time yesterday.  Temperatures are doing their usual springtime imitation of a roller coaster.

So someone has finally noticed that human beings do better with a regular "dose" of nature.  Now all they have to do is define "dose."  We have been so busy--and in some places still are--destroying our natural environment that there seems little of it left.

"Food Forager"--now that is an interesting job title!!  It is what we do for our own benefit June through October when the farm market is open.  Didn't know you could get paid for it.


Nice weather yesterday.  Dry, sunny and warm.  I got some of my gardens set up and some cleaning up done.  Temperature right now is mid 40s (F) with probable highs in the mid to high 60s.  I have some plants I should transplant into bigger seedling pots and a couple of seeds I should start (or start more of.)  I also got one of the beds cultivated to put a damper on a whole lot of sprouts where those messy birds dropped the seeds.

Ah, I do love to see this.  The "testing regime" has grown into an ogre and needs to be killed.  I don't mind real tests having taken many and constructed more than a few for the classes I taught but it was mainly to assess how I or my students were doing in the classes.  The results didn't determine whether my teachers got their raises/bonuses or even kept their jobs.  And most of the tests were not multiple guess.  They required thought and a good mastery of the subject and an ability to organize the information to provide a coherent answer.  The tests mandated by Common Core and such programs are usually multiple guess the answers to which are quickly and thoughtlessly memorized and just as quickly forgotten.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Looks like we have at least partly clear skies this morning.  It is still dark but a bright half moon is hanging in our sky.  If things dry out I will try to move a trellis I want in a different container.  The soil in the containers should start warming up because they are getting more direct sun now for at least part of the day.

I have often said that modern people are much divorced from nature.  We only notice events in nature only when we are inconvenienced by them like travelers facing delays and cancellations because of snow storms or thunderstorms.  Or we are actually hurt physically or economically by an event like the recent tornadoes in northern Illinois where 2 people died and one small town was obliterated.  This story confirms my conclusion but when economists and economic analysts put out studies that don't consider long term weather patterns (like drought) whether related to climate change or not, the phenomenon borders on the criminally insane.  And an interesting thought on the notion of moving at risk populations:  how many, where will they go, and who bears the cost?


I am not doing much today.  I got all of the tomatoes transplanted into larger pots except for the Rosella which aren't as well developed as the others.  I could transplant some of my other seedlings but they can wait.  I moved a couple of my five gallon buckets outside the gate near the fence and filled a flower box that will ride between them on their rims.  I will do the same on the other side with the two more gallon buckets and the last long flower box.  I did move the trellis and got it anchored.  Now the space for this year's tomatoes is clear.


Rainy today.  We have errands and grocery shopping today so I probably won't get much else done.

So Hillary Clinton has announced her run for the presidency.  Surprise, Surprise!!  Yeah, I'm underwhelmed.  The only way she looks good is compared to the Repthuglican idiots running or likely running.  And I am not at all sure that would be a sufficient reason to waste a vote on her.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Foggy this morning with possible rain/thunderstorms predicted.

We didn't watch  CNN much before we reduced our cable service and we don't watch it at all now.  But this illustrates a pet peeve I have had for sometime with the U.S. media.  They can't handle controversial issues in any manner but the "he said/she said) fashion and they can't bother to get facts straight.


Fog again and thunderstorms predicted.  It dried out yesterday so I was able to set a wire shoe rack (rescued from a neighbor's trash last fall) as a trellis.  Also pulled out a bunch of 3in pots so I can transplant some seedlings that are rapidly out growing their starter pots.

War on the Rocks has some comments on U.S. foreign policy that parallel my own.  Our government has engaged in what I call "cowboy" diplomacy (swagger, bluster, and send in the troops) for as long as I can remember.  That policy has wasted a lot of lives (mostly non-American), wasted a lot of money and equipment (economic stimulus, perhaps???), and justifiably earned us a lot of enmity while weakening our ties to once strong allies (now lukewarm friends??).  Maybe our "leaders" should read Sun Tzu.  Although that assumes they can read, can absorb the information, and will see the significance of it--which is a debatable assumption.


Watching the news this morning and thankful we didn't get any tornado like what hit west of Chicago.  We got some rain yesterday with mild enough temperatures we were able to open the doors for a large part of the day closing the one facing the direction of the wind only when the rains fell.  I think I saw some new leaf buds on the rose and most of the stems are green.  I have hopes for the season.  But then I have hopes every season--that is what spring is for.  Just finished transplanting eight tomato seedlings into 3 inch pots.  Plant to do ten others tomorrow.  Four are looking a little slow so I put them back on the heating mat for a while.  As cool as it is and as chancy as the weather conditions are none are going out in the garden for at least another month.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Rainy and dreary today though the temps are mild (40s now with highs predicted to hit low 60s).  I used one of my handy-dandy meters to check the fertility and pH of several of my containers.  I won't have to add much fertilizer and the pH of everything I checked were very good.  Only one of my five-gallon buckets needs some fertilizer.  I think it is time to put some of the tomatoes into larger pots and move them onto the plant table by the south window.  That will open up some space for the seeds I want to start in about a week.

To continue in a similar vein--another report debunks the hype over GMO seeds: they don't increase productivity over traditionally produced seeds.

It has taken nearly five years but at last this scumbag family is getting some punishment for their crimes.  Not nearly enough but some is better than none.  The DeCosters represent the worst of industrial agriculture and food production.

Interesting post from Robert Reich this morning.  Money has always spoken very loudly but perhaps not so loudly as now.  I am remembering a segment of Neil deGrasse Tyson's Cosmos in which he talks about Clair Cameron Patterson, the scientist who determined the age of the earth.  Patterson's work also demonstrated the pervasive presence of toxic lead in our environment thanks to the addition of tetraethyl lead in gasoline.  The petroleum industry and the chemical industry offered him lucrative research grants so long as he ceased his investigation of lead pollution.  As the Wizard of Id said years ago: The Golden Rule is "He who has gold rules!"

Monday, April 6, 2015


Not much to say today.  Out most of it with errands and doctor's appointments.


Frosty this morning.  Cold enough to remind us that it is early April and winter isn't all that long gone.  The afternoon temps should be much warmer.  All the greens (orach, mizuno,  and tong ho) are up and vigorous.  I may have to transfer some of my other seedlings into larger pots soon but for now I am resisting.  We are only a month-and-a-half away from our average last frost date.

Some interesting and disturbing photos.


Happy Easter for those who celebrate the holiday.

Ain't it the truth!!!  A corollary:  Not all who learn from history learn the same lessons and the lessons they do learn are contradictory.


We had a lovely sunny and warm Easter with family.  I was too lazy to do much reading--as you can probably tell.  Let's see what I get done today.  I did go out and check the gardens.  They are defrosted to at least 10 inches so I figure I can start working out there on dry, warm days.  I got the cover on the mini-greenhouse.  Took a bit of work but once the plastic relaxed it was fine.  I may pick up a new cover for next year or the year after depending on how this one weathers the conditions.

Charles Hugh Smith has a good post on the question "Who Would Jesus Shun?:  It is unfortunate we have so few true Christians spouting off for the media these days.

Thursday, April 2, 2015


Thunderstorms rolled through early this morning--just as we were waking a bit before 5am.  The temperature though is mild in the upper 50s.  The rains and mild temps should speed the thawing of the last patches of frozen soil.  The seedlings are coming along nicely.  I think I saw orach and mizuno popping up.  They are greens I am trying in place of the lettuce and spinach that seems to bolt almost as soon as they come up in my gardens.  I changed out our door wreath yesterday switching the winter wreath for the spring.  Wednesday was wonderfully springlike so we opened both doors and raised the storm windows so we can open the windows when it gets warmer.

Mark Morford has a good piece on Amazon's new "dash buttons."  The wi-fi enabled devices that allow you to reorder your name-brand products directly from Amazon were featured on one or another news story a couple of days ago.  Most of what I thought as I watched was best left unsaid and what I did say was best not repeated.  Objections: a lot of what we buy are not name brand; we haven't bought anything from Amazon in years; we still know how to apply pen to paper to generate a shopping list (archaic, yes, but it serves well); we don't mind a weekly (more or less) shopping trip which gets us out of the house; we actually like schmoozing with our favorite clerks.

So the grocery stores are losing us and are desperately trying to win us back.  Unfortunately nothing the author listed is likely to bring me back.  We broadened our shopping some time ago.  First, we became totally unimpressed with the meats--didn't like the quality, the taste or the additives.  So we found a little local meat market that gets their stock from local sources as much as possible.  Most of those sources supply free range, hormone free and antibiotic free meats.  We haven't had a disappointing cut of meat (you know, the kind that has large amounts of inedible gristle or that cooks tough while losing a lot of water and other filler) since making that switch.  Though their meat is a bit more expensive we find we have less waste so our bill for meat has actually gone down.  We go to Panera for bread--better taste, fewer additives.  We go to the farm market in season for produce and freeze as much as we can for winter use.  Our local grocery has gotten smart and they get as much of their product as they can from local growers.  Restaurants in the store??  Not interested.  Delivery?? Not needed.  Smaller store?? Depends on what they carry not on how big the store is.  If it doesn't have what we want we aren't going.  And the notion of appealing to millennials?  We ain't.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Welcome to April.  Damn but the year has flown by.  It seems like only a day or so ago I welcomed you all to 2015.  The year is already one-quarter gone.  I checked the gardens with my garden fork yesterday to see if it was thawed enough to work but the fork just bounce off the soil.  Nope--not ready.  The seedlings are doing well and I have another variety of my peppers peeping through the soil.  Still too early for the other flat to show anything.  The rose has some green on some of the stems so I have hopes for it.  I just went out and swept up most of the patio.  I am always amazed by how much blows in each winter.  I also checked the soil again and several of the containers have nearly thawed out completely.  The largest containers have a couple of frozen sections but it is warm enough that I opened the doors so they should get a lot of melting done.  Most of the week should have temps above freezing.

Ursula Le Guin  expresses so well my long-held assessment of the religious bigots (for lack of a better word) who think they have the right to be assholes for Christ.  We have seen way too many of those here in Indiana (and other states).  As well as in history.

The Colorado River basin is nearly bone dry.  We read the statistic which says the basin has been in drought 11 of the last 14 years. About 14 yeas ago we started commenting each year on how weird the weather has been.  The California "rainy season" is over and what storms came through did little to alleviate the drought there and they won't get much out of the snow pack which was less than 20% normal (what ever the hell that is anymore.)

I saw a snippet of this on another site earlier.  Goes to show that the Supreme Court isn't wrong all the time on everything.