Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Winding down the gardens.  Collected a lot of tomatoes including some nice green slicers which are now in the freezer sliced and ready to fry sometime this winter.  For the rest I have both dehydrators working and probably will for the next week.  I still have a lot of tomatoes on the vine but should get most in during the nice weather expected over the rest of the week.

I have seen a lot of stories about the refugee crisis in Europe.  I won't link because it is, at least superficially, every where on the news and the net.  It seems the situation is widening some already large cracks in the Eurozone.  A year ago I read about the troubles Belgium was having assimilating European migrants settling there.  There were grumblings at the number of Spanish, Greek, and others from deeply depressed (economically) member countries entering northern countries.  At one point Belgium and the Netherlands threatened to set up border check points in contravention of the EU charter.  The British government has been pressing for a renegotiation of the parts of the charter allowing for free movement of all persons throughout the Eurozone.  Several countries have flat out refused to accept the Syrian refugees.


I won't be doing much in the gardens today.  We have our regular shopping today so most of the morning will be doing that.  We will be busy tomorrow with non-gardening tasks so nothing tomorrow either.  I may putter for a few minutes and see if anything needs watering.

I found this first off today.  I have suspected for a long time that the allure of computers for school administrators, politicians, and businesses associated with computer technology has been profits not educational efficacy.  The administrators and politicians see a cheap way to replace fractious and expensive humans with something that doesn't complain (or strike, or demand more money, or want time off every now and then) and only costs once (unless you consider costly upgrades, which they don't.)  The businesses, of course, see dollar signs.  The bottom line is expressed nicely by Andreas Schleicher:  don't banish technology but consider carefully how you use it and what you expect to get from it.  I have often felt that our technology has come to run us not the other way around.

I found this yesterday a bit too late to put it up with my comments on the refugee situation.  It took a moment for me to notice that the map was not a modern geopolitical map of Europe.  It depicts the Roman Empire and its attempts to build walls against the barbarians at their borders.  Ugo Bardi has some interesting comments on the effect of those efforts.

The Financial Times has an op-ed that speaks to the refugee crisis but connects it to broader problems within the EU.

We aren't overly in love with Comcast either and Susie has been talking about their planned changes in their pricing schedule for a while now.  We aren't in any of the areas where they are rolling out their early version but we are already checking out what it may mean for us.  We changed our Comcast package earlier this last year with great difficulty because the rep simply couldn't understand that we actually wanted less service.  The old joke about "500 channels and not a damned thing to watch" finally stopped being funny in any way.  I wonder if this is a way recoup given that we aren't alone in this.

I do love Pope Francis.  I'd think about converting if I sympathized at all with the doctrine--and I don't.  He hits on what has been a sore spot with me for some years--religious tax exemptions.  I would also like a stricter definition of the term "religious use" that excludes mucking about in politics.

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