Tuesday, April 29, 2008


It's the end of April and I'm already sick of the election. Obama. Clinton. Clinton. Obama. The primaries have gone on just about long enough...and why? Because Michigan and Florida got bitch slapped for trying to challenge the electoral supremacy of the Almost All White states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Seriously...shouldn't states with healthy diversity like Michigan and Florida, states that represent the full spectrum of our citizenry, have more say in early primaries? I dunno...maybe I'm just insane.

If the Dems struck a compromise like the Republicans did, they'd have a clear candidate now, too and we could get on with the spankings.

I think that's it, really. I'm just chomping a the bit for the partisan spankings to get started...the low blows and pettiness that make a person pine for a simpler time when political rivals of old just dumped poison from a ring into each other's wine glasses...or maybe had ninjas stab them in bed. Now we have muck raking and mud slinging. Much uglier.

Can't we just put Clinton and Obama into a cage and not feed them or let them out until one emerges? Not civilized enough? Okay, how about we hook them up to electrodes and ask them world facts. First one to get five answers wrong gets 2400 volts...or as I like to call it, ElectRocuted.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spreadin' My Seed. Again.

Alas, my last seeds all molded. I think they were too wet. So now I've re-planted my starter seeds.

Take heed...I think that planting seeds directly into peat can be a bad and moldy scene because peat just holds in moisture like crazy. Even if the top gets dry, the peat in the center stays warm and wet and a nice environment for mold.

Based entirely on this theory and nothing else I've mixed an even dose of my sandy soil with the peat, and put pure sandy soil at the bottoms of the seed containers for drainage and then I put in my sandy-peat mix. Then I replanted my seeds. Maybe this will work.

This shouldn't be so difficult. I seem to remember preschool experiments where kids wrap seeds in paper towels and end up with full fledged plants. I will not be outdone by preschoolers. Or...or...I"ll buy my germinated seeds from preschoolers.

Sunday, April 13, 2008




The first great wood experiment is coming to a close. All in all, it was fun, cozy and cool, and I will be doing it again next year. Did I save money? It's hard to say. My gas bills were around $400 less for this winter compared to last winter, but I purchased around $400 worth of wood from local folks.

On the surface, I seem to have broken even. But this winter was a lot colder than last winter...so who knows, maybe I came out a little ahead. If I want to save more money next winter I'll need to cut and transport the wood myself. The state of Michigan sells wood harvesting permits for $20 per season, and I remove up to 5 cords of wood from designated State Land for personal use. The up side to that is, I get to traipse around the woods. The down side is, I'll need to get a chain saw, some sort of vehicle strong enough to haul several tons of wood, and a whole lot of gasoline. In the end I may wind up blowing $400 for a whole lot more work. Another avenue I could pursue is to simply work on my house's insulation. Right now I don't think it has any...stucko, brick, plaster, paint...no insulation.

This spring, after each storm I drive slowly past neighbors houses and silently envy the fallen wood in their yards. I should work up the courage to ask them if I can relieve them of their dead fall.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Peat and RePeat...

Last year I planted my seeds Right Into the Garden in early May and they never came up. I suspect they were eaten by worms or something because we didn't get much in the way of frost, leastwise not while I was awake. So I vowed that next time I'd start my vulnerable seeds indoors in a predator and frost-free environment. This year my seeds will wake up in a soft, warm bed of peat and flourish before I station them in the dry, barren tundra that is my garden and force them to spin the sunshine into food until they die or they can guess my name, which ever comes first.
I've developed a fondness for kohlrabi and beets, so this year there will be much kohlrabi. Oscar continues his obsession with carrots and tubers of all kinds. And for Julie there will be green onions, which she always seems to buy, and which always disappears, but I never recall actually eating it. Gus still likes formula but he'll get to touch the fleshy, earthy veggies. Of course we have the snow peas (grown on the chain link fence) and broccoli.

No corn this year, and no melons...I'm trying to have a large Veggie to Space ratio, and these just don't fit the profile. The only crawling plants I have are cucumbers (compulsory) and yellow squash (freak zucchini).

Oscar's birthday is coming up and Julie wanted me to post a picture of these DROOLIOUS cupcakes she just made for Oscar's PreSchool class...

And here's a sweet pic of the OscarGus brothers:

Goodbye Cruel World...We're Going To Mars

Ha ha. Very funny Virgin and Google. Way to raise a fella's hopes and dash them on the cliffs of Olympus Mons.

Yesterday, as an hilarious April Fools Joke, Virgin and Google released a joint plan to fund and found the first human settlement on Mars, called VirGle. They went so far as to create a VirGle site, where you can sign up to be a VirGle pioneer, somebody willing to leave the Earth forever and become one of the first citizens of Mars.

As you may know, Virgin is constructing a space port in New Mexico, with flights into edge of space using, among others, the Scaled Composites Space Ship Two (based on Space Ship One). So...they're working on private space travel. What I'm driving at here is, I momentarily believed the story that Virgin and Google were teaming up to draft a Mars mission and my heart went thumpity thump. But no. Noooo...it's a hoax.

President Bush did the same thing to me. I used to say "well...he sucks but at least he laid out a plan to send a man to Mars." and then some time last year he said "Oh that? That's...uh...hiding in a cave with Bin Laden. Let's not talk of them again."

Alas. It'll happen some day. Some day we'll go to Mars. Maybe Obama will have the vision to expand the human consciousness beyond this tiny and vulnerable planet. What the world needs today is something Epic and Hopeful.

And maybe Google and Virgin will still seriously consider a Mars mission. Maybe their joke was how they gauge each other's receptiveness to the idea...

Google: "Gosh I like you Virgin. Hey, let's go to Mars together......HA! Ha ha...kidding, kidding. Ha. Heh. Ha."

Virgin: "HA! Haha! Yeah! That's rich......Good one, old sport."

[Awkward Silence]


Virgin: "Yeah...ha! *sigh* It would be kinda cool though...maybe?"

[Silence, meaningful eye contact]

Google: "Maybe."

[The two embrace, breathing passionately]

"Take me! Take me to Mars!"