Friday, April 30, 2010
Guess it's really just a sign that I am, indeed, getting older...but certain songs are getting stuck in my mind lately!
That's why I just had to look this song up on YouTube. Not only is it a beautiful song, but it is done by a group that made more memories for me in my younger days than any other That I can remember!
I probably fell in love more often to songs by the Lettermen than any other group of my day.
Keep in mind, though, that this was in the 1960's...and during that time I couldn't tell you how many times I fell in love, except that it was a LOT!
This song, and the way that it's done, has always been one of my favorite songs. It seems to lift me up when I need it, calm me down when I'm tense, and gives me pause to reflect when I need it. We all have a song or two like that, I'll bet!
I hope you enjoy this version of a marvelous classic tune!
Beautiful, isn't it? Man, it's really true that they just don't make songs like that...sung by groups like the Lettermen, any more! That's truly a shame, don't you think?
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio for a bit! The birds are singing this morning!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Talk about being held hostage by the folks with the goods!
I know that many think something like this can never happen to us...but you know what? It could! In fact, in slower increments, it is happening as we speak!
Like it or not, this could happen as long as we continue to be reliant on fossil fuels to power our vehicles. something like this only shows that somehow we must find alternatives to powering our lifestyle, or else we all could wake up some day and find ourselves in the same boat!
High gas prices fuel anger in McGrath, Alaska© 2010 The Associated Press
April 28, 2010, 1:11PM
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Residents in the town of McGrath went to bed Friday with the price of gasoline at just under $6 a gallon.
When they drove to McGrath's lone pump the following day, the price was $9.20, prompting shock in the Kuskokwin River town 415 miles northwest of Anchorage.
"Outraged would probably be the best one-word description," said Kas Healy.
The spike follows a winter that nearly drained the city's unleaded fuel supply. Crowley Petroleum Distribution had to fly in a supply Friday, and a company official said the cost increase reflects the difference between flying the fuel and shipping it on a barge.
"When I get a bill from the company that flies in the fuel and it says what the price is, I at least have to pass that on or we're not going to be in business," said Bob Cox, vice president of sales.
The earliest Crowley would be able to send a barge is early June, so the high prices will likely stick for some time. The barge could also be delayed by the same shallow river levels that prevented it from delivering its final load of fuel last fall.
Angry residents have formed an anti-Crowley Facebook page and are trying to boycott the company.
"For people who basically are living at subsistence levels, I think it's criminal that this is not regulated," Healy said.
Mayor Dustin Parker said he hopes McGrath will find a way to fly in fuel at a lower cost.
"Yes, we expected a little bit of an increase for sure, around a dollar, but no one expected over $3 a gallon," Parker said.
I can't blame the supplier, really! After all, everyone is entitled to make a profit. However, it just seems to me that there is a hint of "profiteering" going on here.
I can only wonder if the folks in the town, or at least the leaders of the community, were given any notice of such a hike? One thing about it, being the only pump in town sort of gives you a captive market, don't you think?
I don't think I'll complain too much about the 25 cent increases locally for a while...but we all know it's not only possible, but probable this will happen in some form or fashion in the future!
And the Future, my friends, may be a lot closer than we think!
Now, let's have some fresh coffee on the patio. We'll try and NOT think about the next winter's cost of heating fuel, right?
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Just wanted to share this with you today!
A story like this is always good to brighten up the morning, I think!
Freedom And Jeff
Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer.She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places.
She's my baby.
When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office.
From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes.
We also had to tube feed her for weeks.
This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning.
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her own, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then.
That was a very good day.
We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington . We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets even did a show about us.
In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whole bit. I missed a lot of work.
When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks.. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.
Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving. I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone!
So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her Up, and we went out front to the top of the hill.
I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in.
This is a very special bird!
On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power coarse through his body. I have so many stories like that.
I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.
Hope you enjoy this.
Now, my friends, after that I think some fresh coffee is in order...we can sit outside on the patio and enjoy the morning sun!
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
My eyesight has been getting worse and worse here lately, so I decided it was time to go get an eye exam.
Good news is...I got in the Doctor's office without any problem. Bad news is...cataracts in both eyes. Right eye is really bad, he said. If not taken care of pretty soon, it could be so bad in a couple of months that I may not be able to see out of it!
So, it looks like I'll be contacting the hospital and getting some idea of what the next step is going to be. I want to go through the V.A., since they are already taking care of the problem with my heart and have all my medical history right at hand!
Let me just say that I have complete faith and confidence in the folks at the V.A. and they have always treated me right! This is NOT what I wanted to hear or to deal with, but it has to be done...that I do know!
I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to cut this one short today and go hide in a corner for a bit while I feel sorry for myself.
Actually, even though I might want to do just that, I actually need to put certain things in order...just in case, ya know?
I'll update things a little more as soon as I know more. In the meantime, coffee is fresh. Let's get some and go sit in the sunshine for a bit, OK? Nothing like some morning sun and some birds singing to make things seem better, know what I mean?
The roses smell really good from the patio as well!
Monday, April 26, 2010
Well, I have found just one more reason to be ready for anything!
This is a very good example of why we should continue to prep and try to be ready for ANY disaster! This one could have been a lot worse...and if nothing else, I'll bet that it opened up the eyes of a LOT of folks, if you know what I mean!
Small quake hits near Alice in South Texas
ASSOCIATED PRESSALICE — A small earthquake has rattled awake some residents in South Texas.
April 25, 2010, 2:08PM
April 25, 2010, 2:08PM
The U.S. Geological Survey reports that a 4.0-magnitude earthquake hit an area near Alice, about 50 miles west of Corpus Christi, around 9:10 p.m. Saturday. No damage or injuries have been reported.
But numerous residents felt the quake. The Alice Echo-News Journal reports that calls flooded the Alice police department in Jim Wells County and the sheriff's office in neighboring Nueces County.
A 3.8-magnitude quake was reported in Jim Wells County in March 1997.
This is getting pretty close to home, folks! Pretty close to home, indeed! In fact, Alice is only about 240 miles from Houston!
I can only wonder what would happen with the local freeway system if this had been in the Houston area, ya know? Scary...!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. We can speculate on what could happen next time...!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Well, this is the time of year everyone starts thing about Spring cleaning, gardening, and taking care of the repairs needed around the homestead!
In keeping with that train of thought, let's go back a bit in history and explore some of the superstitions and folk lore regarding the health of your household. I dug these little tidbits out of the Almanac...and they are timeless!
There are many superstitions and old wives tales about the house and home. From our collection of folklore, here are some sayings for good luck in your home.
* Scatter Solomon's seal on the floor to banish serpents and venomous creatures from the room.
* To protect your house from lightning, gather hazel tree branches on Palm Sunday and keep them in water.
* Add caraway seeds to chicken feed to keep poultry from wandering. Feed the seeds to homing pigeons to help them find their way back.
* Stuff fennel in your keyhole or hang it over your door to protect against witches.
* Never carry a hoe into the house. If you do so by mistake, carry it out again, walking backward to avoid bad luck.
* Never walk under a ladder, which is Satan's territory. If you must do it, cross your fingers or make the sign of the fig (closed fist, with thumb between index and middle fingers).
* If you give a steel blade to a friend, make the recipient pay you a penny to avoid cutting the friendship.
* Never give a knife as a housewarming present, or your new neighbor will become an enemy.
* Never pound a nail after sundown, or you will wake the tree gods.
* Nail an evergreen branch to new rafters to bring good luck. An empty hornets' nest, hung high, also will bring good luck to a house of any age.
* When you move to a new house, always enter first with a loaf of bread and a new broom. Never bring an old broom into the house.
Well, my friends, there ya have it A few timeless tidbits to start your Sunday!
Now, how about some fresh coffee on the patio this morning! I just cleaned the patio, so it's alright to sit anywhere, OK?
Saturday, April 24, 2010
If you want a complete solar homestead...and I mean COMPLETE, then check this story out!
Seems like these folks are making it easy to start living the "off-grid" life as soon as you can come up with the purchase price!
Catalog offers mail-order home: This one's solar
© 2010 The Associated Press
April 22, 2010, 12:25PM
April 22, 2010, 12:25PM
BOULDER, Colo. — Real Goods Solar Inc. has been selling solar panels for homes for years, but its latest mail-order catalog goes one step further: The Louisville (LOO'-iss-vil), Colo., company offers a whole solar house, with a choice of traditional or cedar siding.
The factory-built, one-story house by Boulder-based Solar Village Homes goes for $90,000 to $120,000. It has energy-efficient and energy-producing features, including solar electrical and hot water systems. Setting it up could cost $40,000 to $100,000 extra.
Solar Village co-founder Mark Kostovny says it's possible for solar home owners to have no energy bills, depending on their consumption.
Well, it's nice to know that a total package can be bought from a catalog. Now, if someone wanted to loan me the small sum of $140,000...I could jump right in! (the extra is for the set-up)
How about some coffee on the patio, my friends? We can plan where to put our new "solar home"...and how we are going to pay for it!
Friday, April 23, 2010
The other day I was in Home Depot, looking at the plants. You know how it goes this time of the year, right?
While checking out the herbs and such, I was surprised to find some Stevia bedding plants. Now, it's not normal to find this at the local nursery, as it is primarily considered a "health additive" plant.
If you know anything about this plant, you know just how it can be used as a healthy alternative sweetener, as it is nearly 400 times sweeter than sugar!
The story of this marvelous plant is the same as many other plants "discovered" by modern researchers in the rain forest...even though the plant has been in use by the native people for centuries!
Here is a brief history for you.
Modern scientific interest in the Stevia plant dates to the early 1900’s. It was "discovered" by Spanish Conquistadors in South America in the sixteenth century. They learned about it from the local Guarani and Mato Grosso Indians who used its leaves to sweeten their medicines and teas. They called the plant CAA-HEE (Honey Leaf).
The early European settlers the used leaves to sweeten their teas, foods and drinks. They called it Yerba Dulce (Sweet Herb). Later the Gauchos of the region used Stevia leaves to sweeten their Mate tea.
In 1899 Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni was first botanically described by the botanist M.S. Bertoni. In 1908 Rasenack reported the presence of various sweeteners in Stevia and in 1931 Briedel and Lavieille began to crystallize Stevioside.
Around 1970 Japan began to prohibit the use of artificial sweeteners, a move that intensified the already ongoing Japanese studies of Stevioside for commercial production and use. By 1977 the Maruzen Kasei Co., Ltd. started extracting Stevioside on a commercial basis in Japan.
Stevioside has been approved and widely used in Japan for over 20 years. It is also approved and used in Brazil, Paraguay, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Thailand, and China among others. It is used in modern industrial countries as a table top sweetener, in soft drinks, baked goods, pickles, fruit juices, tobacco products, confectionery uses, jams and jellies, candies, yogurts, pastries, chewing gum, sherbets, etc.
Here in the USA in 1990 Purdue University's Dental Science Research Group had done three studies on Stevioside. The first regarding Stevioside’s compatibility with fluoride, the second with respect to Stevioside properties to inhibit plaque growth, and a third concerning Stevioside relating to reduction in cavities.
Stevioside has gained special interest to diabetics, persons with hyperglycemia and the diet conscious. Stevia had been safely used in this country for decades years, but in the 1980’s, after artificial sweeteners were approved for use the trouble began. In the late 1980’s the FDA banned it finally allowing it to be sold as a Dietary supplement in the 1991.
Well,here ya go! Another case of a natural plant that can serve us both as a food supplement and health aid being kept from us by the FDA and other agencies in order to "protect" us! I am so tired of the folks in charge completely ignoring the positive uses of natural medicines...simply because they are either being pressured by the companies that feel threatened by competition, or just plain bought off!
Another intrusion into the lives and affairs of the average folks...in order to "protect" them! Kinda gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?
I seriously think that the PTB are more and more are managing to push all the right buttons, in spite of themselves! Nearly everyone I talk to lately has just about had enough. EVERYONE...!!
If you are interested in learning more about this plant, check out this site right here that has way more about it than I could put here in this post!
Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! And before you ask, YES, I do use it in my coffee!
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Sometimes, no matter how badly you have to go...the choice of places to perform the necessaries just make you nervous!
I know that it may be a strange place, or a crowded place, or some other reason that makes going a real problem. But, as we all know...when ya gotta, ya gotta!
Now here is a small collection of places that would make me extremely nervous about taking care of business, if you know what I mean!
I don't know about you, but I don't care for crowds, especially when carrying out a personal bit of "have to"!
Now, if you think that going in a public place is pretty bad...how about trying to ignore the fact that you have an audience looking on...and they are apparently just looking for a reason to laugh at you! Talk about feeling the pressure!
Now this next one would be the ultimate test of just how much you needed to go! On the outside, it's covered with mirrors...only they're "one-way glass"! Here is the appearance from the outside! Pretty normal, right?
Now try this view from the inside! Talk about feeling you are making a spectacle of yourself...! I'm pretty sure that this would make it almost impossible for me to do anything of a personal nature! But that's just me...ya know?
I think that if I had a choice...I'd still choose the standard indoor closed room with a good door that you couldn't see through...or even the old fashioned outhouse with four walls and a moon on t6he door over any of these!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen. We can talk about your favorite choice for your private moments!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I know that I do! In fact, I guess that popcorn is one of my favorite snacks.
Not only is popcorn a tasty snack, but it is actually a healthy one. Another good thing about this marvelous food is that it makes a very practical food for long term storage. It grinds well into meal, which makes it a double duty storage food with a very long shelf life!
Popcorn has been around for a long time, and as such have spawned a vast array of ways to make it pop! We may think that popcorn poppers are a new invention, but how wrong we would be!
I found this article about the history of popcorn poppers and I thought you might enjoy it.
The Unusual History of Popcorn Machines
Popcorn machines have been around for more than 4,000 years and have evolved considerably since. These machines now use electricity to heat oil or air to heat large batches of corn kernels at a time. You can even make popcorn in the microwave or over an open fire in convenient packages. The earliest machines, however, look nothing like they do now.
Primitive Popcorn Machines
When an ancient culture in New Mexico discovered that a certain type of corn would 'pop' when it was heated, they immediately designed the world's earliest version of the popcorn machine. They would heat fine sand in the fire and add the kernels into the sand to make them pop.
Other cultures of the time made a game of popping popcorn. They would heat stones on the fire as hot as they could and pour the seeds onto it. The people of the village would then gather around the stones and catch the grains as they popped and flew into the air.
Eventually, primitive popcorn poppers became more popular and the snack quickly became an important part of several cultures. Many 4th century Mexican cultures would include popcorn kernels inside their funeral urns as an offering to the spirits in order to secure a safe passage to the next life. Native American tribes that appeared years later believed that spirits lived inside the kernels. The natives thought that the kernels popped when the extreme heat would anger the spirits.
Years later, Native North American cultures created prehistoric popcorn machines as well. However, popcorn became a staple food rather than a treat. The Iroquois tribes would use heated pottery to cook the kernels and use them to create foods such as soup and an early variety of breakfast cereal. Others would boil animal fat and simply dip the cob into it to cook.
The Evolution Of Popcorn Machines
By the 17th century, popcorn had become a common sight in the household, and due to the increase in demand, the race was on to come up with an easier way to crack the corn husks. Blacksmiths started to make popcorn machines by fashioning metal cones out of flat iron. Then, they threaded a metal spit into the center of the contraption so that it could rotate over the fire to prevent the corn kernels from burning.
In 1885, Charles Cretors designed and created the first of a long line of popcorn machines in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Cretors owned a sweet shop and had purchase a peanut roasting machine that didn't work as well as it should have. He soon altered the machine and began selling his products in and around the area via traveling salesmen as well as through his store. Eight years later, he attended the Chicago Columbian Exposition with his new machine and history was born.
Popcorn machines experienced widespread growth during the 1900s. Following his success at the Exposition in 1893, Charles Cretors mounted his corn popper onto a carriage creating the world's first mobile popcorn cart and made the world's first electric version a short time later. When it came to the actual selling of the machines, Fred Hoke and James Holcomb of Holcomb & Hoke Co beat Mr. Cretors to the punch in 1914. With prices ranging between $400 and $1300, these machines sold like hotcakes until the Great Depression caused the company to cease operations in 1934.
Today, popcorn machines look nothing like their earlier counterparts. They are available in virtually any size and create many different flavors and varieties of popcorn. The sleek and customizable machines are everywhere producing popcorn in mere minutes.
Now, how about some coffee on the patio? Here's a bowl of popcorn to snack on and feed to the birds! They love it!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Now that Spring has sprung here in the Lone Star State, I thought that a good way to applaud the season would be with a riverboat cruise!
This season we are introducing our newest flagship into the fleet, and this cruise should be memorable, to say the least!
It's on the fabulous new Gypsy Queen Cruise Line ship, The 'Dixie Belle'. All airfares, transfers, food and drinks included - with dinner at the Captain's table as his personal guest.
The Flagship ' Dixie Belle' as shown below...
Your first night's meal promises to be scrumptious, featuring fillet Of Catfish, Hash Browns and Potatoes!
Boy, I wish I was able to describe just how much fun you are going to have! One of the many things to look forward to, is the famous 'Ole' Muddy Midnight Skinny Dip, with your hostesses Eulla Bell And Krissie Mae.
Since ya'll will have the presidential suite, you'll have a balcony view and the finest facilities. What a deal...!
If ya want to put in your reservations for our first cruise of the season...just give us a call on our newly installed phone line. The number is "BR-549"!
Now, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit. We can look at some pictures of last year's trip, OK?
Monday, April 19, 2010
I'm thinking this might not impress your date the way you wanted!
If nothing else though, it will give them something to talk about for years to come!
Limos Repossessed On Prom NightJenks - Students attending their prom at the Oklahoma Aquarium got quite a scare Friday, as an auto repossession company took their limos.
According to Jenks Police, the limos belonged to Galaxy Limousine and Executive Charter. Initially, the limos were reported stolen. Further investigation proved the vehicles were being repossessed.
Crews took at least two limos from the Aquarium.
Galaxy Limo owner Jim Nicolotti said that the whole incident stems from mis-communication between his lender and the repossession company, Chamras Asset Recovery Specialists. He said that he and his bank had worked out their issues, but the bank did not tell CARS to cancel the repo job.
Nicolotti told News Channel 8 via telephone he has documents that show an agreement was reached with the bank, but said he was unable to show them to us or speak on camera until Monday.
He is also working with the customers affected by the repossessions. Nicolotti said he'd be offering a partial refund or a free future rental.
A representative with the Chamras company said they tried to work out an arrangement with the owners of Galaxy but they refused.
Nothing like a little excitement on Prom night!
How about some coffee on the patio? Just keep a watch out for the rain, OK?
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I didn't have any idea that NATO was this much in favor of helping break the law!
This little piece from PTShamrock shows just how stupid this whole NATO thing really is!
NATO has rejected an appeal made by Russia for eradication of opium fields in Afghanistan, arguing that the sole source of income in the region cannot be removed.
Addressing a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, head of Russia's Federal Drug Control Agency (FSKN) Victor Ivanov said "Afghan opiates led to the death of 1 million people by overdose in the last 10 years, and that is United Nations data.
Is that not a threat to world peace and security?" The Russian official tasked NATO forces with "normalizing the situation in Afghanistan" which includes "the elimination of drug production."
Meanwhile, NATO spokesman James Appathurai voiced understanding for Russian concerns, given the country's estimated 200,000 heroin and morphine addicts and the tens of thousands dying each year as a result of their addiction.
However, he went on to say that the Afghan drug problem had to be handled carefully in an effort to avoid alienating local residents. "We share the view that it has to be tackled," the spokesman said."But there is a slight difference of views," Appathurai added.
Did they actually say that they didn't want to alienate the locals? What the hell ...? The only source of income? SO WHAT? If what they are doing is causing so much damage, they need to find another source of income. That's my opinion!
That's like saying bootlegger's should be allowed to make whiskey because it's the only source of income for them! Which, by the way, I'm more in favor of than growing and harvesting opium!
Smells a lot like major kick-backs to me...but we all know NATO wouldn't have any part of that, right?
man, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit. It will help to clear the bad smell!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I picked up this story from the PTShamrock newsletter!
I guess this is another thing we have in store for us, sine the British have proven that it can be done so easily! This is almost beyond belief!
Pet shop owner fined GBP1,000 and told to wear an electronic tag...for selling a GOLDFISH to a boy aged 14-
Her offence was to unwittingly sell a goldfish to a 14-year-old boy taking part in a trading standards 'sting'.
At most, pet shop owner Joan Higgins, 66, expected a slap on the wrist for breaking new animal welfare laws which ban the sale of pets to under-16s. Instead, the great-grandmother was taken to court, fined GBP1,000, placed under curfew - and ordered to wear an electronic tag for two months. The punishment is normally handed out to violent thugs and repeat offenders.
The prosecution of Mrs Higgins and her son Mark is estimated to have cost taxpayers GBP20,000 and has left her with a criminal record.
Mark, 47, was also fined and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Last night, as an MP criticised the magistrates, Mrs Higgins - who has
run the pet shop for 28 years - said the family's eight-month ordeal had left them traumatised.
She added: 'It's ridiculous. I mean, what danger am I that I have to wear an electronic tag? These last few months have been a very stressful time.'
The seven-week curfew imposed by the court means she is unable to babysit her great-grandson at his home or go to bingo sessions with her sister, and will be unable to attend a Rod Stewart concert after tickets were bought for her by her nephew, actor Will Mellor.
Her son said: 'I think it's a farce. What gets me so cross is that they put my Mum on a tag - she's nearly 70, for goodness' sake. 'She's a great-grandma so she won't be able to babysit a newborn baby.You would think they have better things to do with their time and money.'
Mr Higgins claimed the undercover operation was a clear case of entrapment - when a person is encouraged by someone in some official capacity to commit a crime - and said the case should never have gone to court. He said: 'The council sent the 14-year-old in to us. It is hard to tell how old a lad is these days. He looked much older than 14.'
He added that his mother almost fainted in the dock when magistrates told her she could go to prison for the offence. 'I told her they wouldn't send her to prison but she was still worried,' he said. 'The only other time she has been in court is when she did jury service.'
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is illegal to sell pets -including goldfish - to children under the age of 16 unless they are accompanied by an adult. Pet shops must also provide advice on animal welfare to buyers.
The maximum penalty is imprisonment for up to 12 months, or a fine of up to GBP20,000, or both.
The Higgins family's ordeal began when council officials heard that Majors Pet Shop in Sale, Greater Manchester, was selling animals to children. They sent the 14-year-old schoolboy into the shop to carry out a test purchase and Mr Higgins sold him the goldfish without questioning his age or providing any information about the care of the fish.
A council officer in the shop at the time also noticed a cockatiel in a cage that appeared to be in a poor state of health. A vet found the bird had a broken leg and eye problems. It was later put down.
Mrs Higgins and her son were charged with selling the fish to a person aged under 16 and with causing unnecessary suffering to a cockatiel by failing to provide appropriate care and treatment.
Pleading guilty, Mrs Higgins told Trafford magistrates the cockatiel had not been for sale and she had been bathing its eye daily.
Looks to me like Big Brother is everywhere! So all you folks getting ready to sell goldfish to under aged kids...better beware, because I'm sure that it won't be long before we have laws like this here in the U.S.!
That is, if we don't already have them, hidden somewhere in the massive bills that are being passed almost daily without being read!
I think it's time for some coffee on the patio. Wonder if I have to buy a license to gather here with my friends?
Friday, April 16, 2010
That got your attention, didn't it?
Here's the thing! As I may have mentioned in the past, my Mother was a doll maker at one time. She had a lot of friends that were into making and collecting dolls and all the accessories that go with that hobby (like wigs, hand-made clothes, and such).
Late last year, one of my Mom's friends, a fellow doll maker, passed away! Her husband was left with a large number of dolls, complete with everything needed to make the dolls from scratch, dress them, and sell them.
This poor gentleman, in his 70's, is completely at a loss as to what to do with all this stuff. Mom and her other doll making friends are doing what they can to help him get rid of all this stuff...but everyone is sort of overwhelmed by the large amount of items involved.
This man just wants to rid his house of these constant reminders of his personal tragedy, and I told them I would mention it on my blog here and see if anyone is interested.
I know that things like the molds for pouring porcelain dolls and doll wigs are not real popular items right now, but if you might know anyone that could be interested...please just drop me a note. I know that he has talked about just giving away some of the molds to anyone wanting to come and pick them up.
Free is a pretty good price! These things are just too heavy to ship, and there are roughly 50 or more of them! Anyway, if you know of anyone interested...or if you need more information, send me an email. I'll give you my phone number and we can get whatever info you might need, OK?
I appreciate your help here, guys and gals. We may not be able to help, but all we can do is to try, right?
Fresh coffee on the patio sound good this morning? It does to me, also!
Thursday, April 15, 2010
That's just a little of the "compost" left on the garden spot behind my Mom's house.
Now, contrary to popular belief, neither one of these things will make a good compost...at least not in my lifetime. Just thought I would throw that out there in case you are considering such a thing.
Oh, and by the way...I was NOT the one to leave this odd mixture on the said garden spot!
While taking the beltway to the V.A. yesterday, I couldn't help but wonder about some things. Everywhere you look around the once empty fields along the beltway, someone is building more apartments! I'm talking about 3 and 4 story apartment buildings here!
My main question is WHY...?
Why would anyone in their right mind want to live here in Houston? Is it because of the really tight job market? Maybe the really diverse mix of populace? Is it to learn another language other than English? Is it to afford themselves the adrenaline rush that comes from driving on the freeways? Or perhaps just to be able to partake in the almost daily gunfights around different parts of town...who knows?
I, for one, if I had a choice, would move to another place! Far away from the petro-chemical plants, the ship channel, the 3RD largest port in the states, the close proximity to the hurricane alley located around the nearby Texas coast, and the many other fun things associated with this area!
But that's just me! And I know that I don't have the same likes and dislikes as everyone else!
So, for those thinking of moving here to this area...come on down! They are building an apartment or a new house just for you. The paper said that home loans are easy to get right now...so it must be true, RIGHT?
All I can say is...GOOD LUCK!
Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit. Oh, and just move that saddle out of the way! It's for the 'skeeters!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
I found a little bit of history that I'll admit I was totally ignorant about! Guess I'm not as smart as I thought!
The really bad thing? It was signed into law by a man that I thought was such a good example of someone who was "for the people"!
See what you think...!
John Adams: The nation's second president has been getting a well-deserved reappraisal, thanks to David McCullough's magisterial biography. But Adams' signing of the Alien and Sedition acts during the threat of war -- effectively outlawing anti-government dissent and curtailing freedom of speech and freedom of the press -- was a radically anti-democratic action and a black mark on this Founding Father's otherwise honorable service to our nation.
There were actually four separate laws making up what is commonly referred to as the "Alien and Sedition Acts"
1. The Naturalization Act (officially An Act to Establish a Uniform Rule of Naturalization; ch. 54, 1 Stat. 566) extended the duration of residence required for aliens to become citizens to 14 years. Enacted June 18, 1798, with no expiration date, it was repealed in 1802.
2. The Alien Friends Act (officially An Act Concerning Aliens; ch. 58, 1 Stat. 570) authorized the president to deport any resident alien considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States." It was activated June 25, 1798, with a two year expiration date.
3. The Alien Enemies Act (officially An Act Respecting Alien Enemies; ch. 66, 1 Stat. 577) authorized the president to apprehend and deport resident aliens if their home countries were at war with the United States of America. Enacted July 6, 1798, and providing no sunset provision, the act remains intact today as 50 U.S.C. § 21–24. At the time, war was considered likely between the U.S. and France.
4. The Sedition Act (officially An Act for the Punishment of Certain Crimes against the United States; ch. 74, 1 Stat. 596) made it a crime to publish "false, scandalous, and malicious writing" against the government or its officials. It was enacted July 14, 1798, with an expiration date of March 3, 1801 (the day before Adams' presidential term was to end).
This whole thing is very disturbing to me, and I don't kid myself about the possibility of some of the folks in power trying to bring it back in some fashion.
Thomas Jefferson even voiced his opinion about the constitutionality of this act!
While Jefferson did denounce the Sedition Act as invalid and a violation of the First Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights, which protected the right of free speech, his main argument on its unconstitutionality was that it violated the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Jefferson more strongly argued the Federal Government had overstepped its limits in the Alien and Sedition Acts by attempting to exercise unjust powers
I'm sorry to say that I don't believe all of the folks in power would hesitate to use this, if it were reinstated. And we could be even closer than we think to another version of this act becoming law!
I hate it when I find out about something like this, but because I was not wise enough to find it on my own!
C'mon...let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit. I can really use it today!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Normally when you read about something like this, it is connected with Texas...or another southern state!
I'm glad to see that things like this are NOT restricted to those of us in the South! In a way, it offers a bit of solace to know that red-neck behavior is found in other places.
Indiana town picks 'Village Idiot'
April 12, 2010, 8:28AM
STORY, Ind. — A woman whose hair caught fire when her hairspray-coated follicles ignited as she lit a cigarette is now a southern Indiana town's reigning "Village Idiot."
Dani Hamm earned the honorary title this month by getting the most votes from regulars at the Story Inn, a restaurant and bar about 15 miles east of Bloomington where she's a bartender.
The title awarded every April comes with a $100 bar tab at the rural inn.
Hamm was driving to work in February when she lit up a cigarette and then heard a "whoosh" as her hair ignited.
She wasn't injured because she used her hands to douse her hair, which she had coated with a liberal layer of hairspray.
While I'm glad the woman wasn't hurt, and that she didn't cause an accident...I can't help but be amused at the picture that ran through my mind when I read this story!
I guess it's like the line from Forrest Gump, where Forrest says "stupid is as stupid does...!"
Might be a case of just a tad too much hair spray, ya reckon?
Coffee on the patio today, my friends. Are you up for that?
Monday, April 12, 2010
Now let me see if I understand this correctly.
A professional law enforcement officer , even though wearing a holster, is carrying his side arm in his waistband...?? WTF ?
You would think that if anyone would know the risk of this, he would! Check this out...!
Off-duty officer injured when gun accidentally firesBy ANITA HASSAN
April 10, 2010, 10:42PM
A police officer was injured when he accidentally discharged his weapon at an off-duty job in southwest Houston late Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
The officer arrived at his off-duty job around 5:25 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 10500 block of Spice Lane.
He was taking his pistol out of his waistband and placing it in his police holster when he accidentally discharged it, said Houston Police Department spokesman Victor Senties.
The officer suffered a minor injury when the bullet grazed him in the leg. He was treated at the scene.
No one else was injured during the incident and no further information was immediately available.
Now...this is just my opinion, but I'm thinking this fool is very lucky he didn't shoot himself in someplace important...if you know what I mean!
Seems to me that a little "firearms safety" refresher course is in order! Wouldn't you say?
Now, What say we get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! I could use some...!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
I know you recognize this little guy!
Heck...nearly everyone on the planet almost immediately knows who this fuzzy, pink, sandal-wearing rascal is! Makes a good commercial, gets the point across, has become an American icon...all that is true!
Even though this little bunny is famous, I wouldn't think he is worth THAT much! I mean, I could think of a lot better ways to spend such a sum! How about you?
Energizer Bunny sales for $18,000 at auctionASSOCIATED PRESS
April 10, 2010, 7:03PM
DALLAS — An Energizer Bunny has sold at auction for almost $18,000.
Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries says the bunny, one of the four original Energizer Bunnies, sold at auction Saturday in Beverly Hills, Calif., for $17,925, including the buyer's premium.
The buyer wanted to remain anonymous.
The auction house says the pink bunny with sunglasses that beat a drum in the commercials was one of the two in most of the television commercials for the batteries. The bunny is 25 inches from its feet to ears.
Now, it says that the "buyer wanted to remain anonymous"...! I wonder why? Could it be that he (or she) doesn't want anyone to know just how stupid they really are?
Or could it be that they didn't want us to know that this was a genuine case of "More Money Than Sense"? What a waste! A colossal waste!
Of course, this is only my humble opinion...and I'm sure that some folks will think I'm completely wrong! But you know what? That's OK! Everyone is entitled...everyone!
Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
This might just be something to try and go see!
A little bit of history is always a good thing to see first hand! Imagine what the kids reaction would be if they were able to see and actually touch something like this old timer!
No. 844 locomotive chugs through Texas© 2010 The Associated Press
April 9, 2010, 12:50PM
DALLAS — The last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad is chugging its way through Texas as part of the Valley Eagle heritage tour.
Locomotive No. 844 pulled into north Texas early Friday afternoon.
The tour is named for a Missouri Pacific passenger train, the Valley Eagle, which formerly operated between Houston and Brownsville.
UP says the high-speed passenger engine was delivered in 1944. No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959, then was saved from being scrapped the following year. It's now used for goodwill runs.
The locomotive's journey began April 2 in Cheyenne, Wyo., winding through Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
The Texas schedule includes stops and layovers from Denton to Fort Worth to Houston to Harlingen to Longview. No. 844 is scheduled to depart for Arkansas on April 21.
It's a pleasant task to post about something like this for a change. I just thought you might enjoy reading about it.
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside. Supposed to be a nice day!
Friday, April 9, 2010
It's Friday and I'm going a little crazy with all that's going on!
I can't tell ya too much about it yet, but after everything settles down some...I'll explain it in more detail!
With my mind wandering all over the place, I figured I would just post a few rambling thoughts so that you could see how screwed up my train of thought is, OK?
Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake!
I have kleptomania,
but when it gets bad,
I take something for it.
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
Except that one where you're naked in church.
Sometimes too much to drink isn't enough.
Kinky is using a feather.
Perverted is using the whole chicken.
Heaven is Where:
The Police are British,
The Chefs are Italian,
The Mechanics are German,
The Lovers are French
It's all organized by the Swiss.
Hell is Where:
The Police are German,
The Chefs are British,
The Mechanics are French,
The Lovers are Swiss
It's all organized by the Italians.
My short-term memory is not as sharp as it used to be.
Also, my short-term memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Welcome to Utah
Set your watch back 2020years..
In just two days from now,
tomorrow will be yesterday.
A bartender is just a pharmacist
with a limited inventory
The statement below is true.
The statement above is false.
I may be schizophrenic,
but at least I have each other.
I am a Nobody.
Nobody is Perfect.
Therefore I am Perfect.
I'm not your type.
I'm not inflatable.
Dyslexics Have More Nuf.
I LOVE COOKING WITH WINE
Sometimes I even put it in the food.
When you work here,
you can name your own salary.
I named mine, "Slim".
Reality is only an illusion
that occurs due to a lack of alcohol.
I like cats too.
Let's exchange recipes.
Red meat is not bad for you
Fuzzy green meat is bad for you.
I am having an out-of-money
Don't sweat the petty things.
Don't pet the sweaty things.
Corduroy pillows are making headlines!
See? I told ya so...! Maybe some fresh coffee on the patio will help keep my mind on a short leash! Certainly can't hurt...!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The old saying goes..."even a blind hog finds an acorn once in a while!"
Although it only took them 4 years, the Feds finally decided to let Mother Nature take care of her own...without stepping in like they normally do!
This is a rare step for the Feds, who seem to want to control everything...including Mother Nature! I'm sure She appreciates it!
Feds deny request to protect 2 insects© 2010 The Associated Press
April 7, 2010, 12:32PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has denied a petition by environmentalists who were seeking endangered species protection for a stonefly and a mayfly found in the Southwest.
The agency says the petition did not present substantial information indicating that listing either species may be warranted.
The agency had initially turned down listing for the stonefly and the mayfly in response to a 2006 petition that sought protection for hundreds of species. The decision was challenged, and the agency agreed to review the two insects as part of a settlement.
The stonefly has been found in: Dona Ana County, New Mexico; El Paso County, Texas; and Huerfano County, Colorado.
The mayfly has been found in Gila County, Arizona, and California's Riverside County.
Finally, they decided to let nature take it's course. Now, if we could only get them to stay out of OUR business...think what a joy that would be!
Now, my friends...let's get some fresh coffee and sit outside for a bit! OK?...OK!
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I thought that this letter was important enough to share with you!
The comments made by the senator show just how unconcerned with the public view of them that they are. I agree with this letter 100%...!
Do you remember the scene? The Senate. Barbara Boxer hearing from a Brigadier General? Silly General! He addresses Barbara as "Ma'm", and she CORRECTS him, telling him she's "worked SO hard to earn the title, "Senator", so please use that when speaking to her.
Read the letter sent to Sen. Barbara Boxer from an Alaskan Airlines pilot below. Many of us witnessed the arrogance of Barbara Boxer on June 18, 2009 as she admonished Brigadier General Michael Walsh because he addressed her as "ma'am" and not "Senator" before a Senate hearing.
This letter is from a National Guard aviator and Captain for Alaska Airlines named Jim Hill. I wonder what he would have said if he were really angry. Long fly Alaska !!!!!
You were so right on when you scolded the general on TV for using the term, "ma'am," instead of "Senator". After all, in the military, "ma'am" is a term of respect when addressing a female of superior rank or position. The general was totally wrong. You are not a person of superior rank or position. You are a member of one of the world's most corrupt organizations, the U.S. Senate, equaled only by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congress is a cesspool of liars, thieves, inside traders, traitors, drunks (one who killed a staffer, yet is still revered), criminals, and other low level swine who, as individuals (not all, but many), will do anything to enhance their lives, fortunes and power, all at the expense of the People of the United States and its Constitution, in order to be continually re-elected. Many democrats even want American troops killed by releasing photographs. How many of you could honestly say, "We pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor"? None? One? Two?
Your reaction to the general shows several things. First is your abysmal ignorance of all things military. Your treatment of the general shows you to be an elitist of the worst kind. When the general entered the military (as most of us who served) he wrote the government a blank check, offering his life to protect your derriere, now safely and comfortably ensconced in a 20 thousand dollar leather chair, paid for by the general's taxes. You repaid him for this by humiliating him in front of millions.
Second is your puerile character, lack of sophistication, and arrogance, which borders on the hubristic. This display of brattish behavior shows you to be a virago, termagant, harridan, nag, scold or shrew, unfit for your position, regardless of the support of the unwashed, uneducated masses who have made California into the laughing stock of the nation.
What I am writing, are the same thoughts countless millions of Americans have toward Congress, but who lack the energy, ability or time to convey them. Regardless of their thoughts, most realize that politicians are pretty much the same, and will vote for the one who will bring home the most bacon, even if they do consider how corrupt that person is. Lord Acton (1834 - 1902) so aptly charged, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Unbeknownst to you and your colleagues, "Mr. Power" has had his way with all of you, and we are all the worse for it.
Finally Senator, I, too, have a title. It is "Right Wing Extremist Potential Terrorist Threat." It is not of my choosing, but was given to me by your Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. And you were offended by "ma'am"?
Have a fine day. Cheers!
16808 - 103rd Avenue Court East
South Hill , WA 98374
Feel free to check out this letter and the author on Snopes...I did! Genuine! Says a lot, don't you think?
Now, let's get some coffee and sit outside. That's enough politics for today...!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Now this might just be one of the best ways to get someone to take the stairs that I have ever seen!
Many times, when we have a choice of taking the stairs...we don't. But if it were fun to do so, we might be more inclined to get some exercise. I think this is a pretty fun way to get a small workout.
Who knows? If this were more available...we could all benefit some...ya think?
In my personal opinion, this is pretty smart and very effective! Even the old guy in the video looks to be having a good time! How cool is that?
Now, my friends, let's get some coffee and sit outside on the patio. Pretty day outside!
Monday, April 5, 2010
I'll bet that a lot of us have some of this wonderful and useful stuff around!
It's like the duct tape of your pantry! Very useful in cooking, but did you know about all the other wonderful tings you could do with it?
Let the Hermit tell you just a few, if you don't mind...!
Fido needs a bath, but you just don't have time. Rub cornstarch into his coat and brush it out. The dry bath will fluff up his coat until it's tub time.
Knots in string or shoelaces can be stubborn to undo, but the solution is easy. Sprinkle the knot with a little cornstarch. It will then be easy to work the segments apart.
Soak up furniture polish residue
You've finished polishing your furniture, but there's still a bit left on the surface. Sprinkle cornstarch lightly on furniture after polishing. Wipe up the oil and cornstarch, then buff the surface.
Remove ink stains from carpet
Oh no, ink on the carpet! In this case a little spilt milk might save you from crying. Mix the milk with cornstarch to make a paste. Apply the paste to the ink stain. Allow the concoction to dry on the carpet for a few hours, then brush off the dried residue and vacuum it up.
Give carpets a fresh scent
Before vacuuming a room, sprinkle a little cornstarch on your carpeting. Wait about half an hour and then vacuum normally.
Make your own paste
The next time the kids want to go wild with construction paper and paste, save money by making the paste yourself. Mix 3 teaspoons corn-starch for every 4 teaspoons cold water. Stir until you reach a paste consistency. This is especially great for applying with fingers or a wooden tongue depressor or Popsicle stick. If you add food coloring, the paste can be used for painting objects.
Make finger paints
This simple recipe will keep the kids happy for hours. Mix together 1/4 cup cornstarch and 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until the mixture becomes thick. Pour your product into several small containers and add food coloring to each container. You've created a collection of homemade finger paints.
Clean stuffed animals
To clean a stuffed animal toy, rub a little cornstarch onto the toy, wait about 5 minutes, and then brush it clean. Or place the stuffed animal (or a few small ones) into a bag. Sprinkle cornstarch into the bag, close it tightly, and shake. Now brush the pretend pets clean.
Ever buy a bag of marshmallows only to find them stuck together? Here's how to get them apart: Add at least 1 teaspoon cornstarch to the bag and shake. The cornstarch will absorb the extra moisture and force most of the marshmallows apart. Repackage the remaining marshmallows in a container and freeze them to avoid sticking in future.
Lift a scorch mark from clothing
You moved the iron a little too slowly and now you have a scorch mark on your favorite shirt. Wet the scorched area and cover it with cornstarch. Let the cornstarch dry, then brush it away along with the scorch mark.
Remove grease spatters from walls
Even the most careful cook cannot avoid an occasional spatter. A busy kitchen takes some wear and tear but here's a handy remedy for that unsightly grease spot. Sprinkle cornstarch onto a soft cloth. Rub the grease spot gently until it disappears.
Get rid of bloodstains
The quicker you act, the better. Whether it's on clothing or table linens, you can remove or reduce a bloodstain with this method. Make a paste of cornstarch mixed with cold water. Cover the spot with the cornstarch paste and rub it gently into the fabric. Now put the cloth in a sunny location to dry. Once dry, brush off the remaining residue. If the stain is not completely gone, repeat the process.
Is the sparkle gone from your good silverware? Make a simple paste by mixing cornstarch with water. Use a damp cloth to apply this to your silver-ware. Let it dry, then rub it off with cheesecloth or another soft cloth to reveal that old shine.
Make windows sparkle
Create your own streak-free window cleaning solution by mixing 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/2 cup ammonia and 1/2 cup white vinegar in a bucket containing 3-4 quarts (3-4 liters) warm water. Don't be put off by the milky concoction you create. Mix well and put the solution in a trigger spray bottle. Spray on the windows, then wipe with a warm-water rinse. Now rub with a dry paper towel or lint-free cloth. Voilá!
Say good riddance to roaches
There's no delicate way to manage this problem. Make a mixture that is 50 percent plaster of Paris and 50 percent cornstarch. Spread this in the crevices where roaches appear. It's a killer recipe.
From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things
Maybe we should all consider adding a little extra cornstarch to our pantry supplies...just in case, ya know? Just a thought!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit out on the patio! Seems to be pleasant enough today!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Here it is...Easter!
To me, this has always arked the beginning of the Spring season! I have to admit that I am more ready for Spring this year than I have been in a long time!
Let me take this opportunity to wish all of my Net friends a very Happy Easter!
Oh, and if you are having an egg hunt...don't forget to have a before and after count! Don't want those missing eggs to start to smell after a while, ya know ?
C'mon, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee. Happy Easter to ya...!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I get a newsletter every week from a company that sells land in the Ozarks. It's called The Ozarkland Newsletter!
Besides having some great parcels of land for sale, the owner, a gentleman named Neil, can spin a story that makes reading it a true pleasure! I always enjoy reading what he writes, but since this weeks article deals with gardening...or rather the urge to garden, I got Neil's permission to share this story with you!
I think you will enjoy it...!
The Salad Wars
I think I must be akin to those whales you read about who get so confused that that they swim up rivers only to flounder in the shallows. That is, sometimes I sort of lose track of time and space and reality.
Take the current crisis playing out at our house as I speak. Right now, giant vegetables have invaded our home and are occupying our spare bedroom plotting God-knows-what devious scheme to oust us from power.
Or something like that.
Here's how it started. Maybe you noticed what a brutal winter this past season was. Well, along about the end of February, I was really getting fed up with it all. Like a prison inmate, I began to let my mind wander to more pleasant times to come, when I'd be free again to bask in the warm sunlight of spring-time.
I began to steal my mind away from the gloom of winter by planning next year's garden.
Among my first plans was to end my usual habit of buying at Walmart bedding plants which have been raised in another climate zone, shipped cross-country and which are now maintained by listless teenagers. No longer would I be enslaved by the unimaginative selection and shoddy quality of WallyWorld.
No, I had a much better idea than that. I would be my own man, I would start my own plants.
Unfortunately, in the process of this really good decision, I made a really bone-headed mistake. First, I put together every thing I needed, seeds, potting soil, dozens of plastic and peat-moss cups. I even made little cutesy markers out of plastic knives.
What I forgot was a calendar.
It seems so obvious now, but the first step in starting bedding plants should be timing their germination so that they're about ready to be transplanted after the last frost. To my sincere regret, I neglected this seemingly minor detail.
You will note that today is April 2, 2010. The average last frost date here in my part of the Ozarks is May 10. Woe be unto me, I started this small field of tomatoes and cucumbers somewhere around the last week in February.
"Is this bad?" you may ask.
Well, yes. This is really, really bad. At this moment, we have lost the use of our entire spare bedroom to a jungle of leaves, vines and tendrils reaching hungrily out of tiny cups of soil that need to be watered every day like so many grasping, green goslings.
Some of the cucumbers are even starting to bear teeny and not-so-teeny cucurbits on their long, lush vines and now the vines are starting to invade and encircle the unsuspecting tomato plants next to them (can't we all just... get along?).
Just last week one of these rogue cucumbers grabbed Olia's ankle as she was walking past the bedroom door, and dragged her, kicking and screaming into it's dense mass of foliage until I came running with a butcher knife to save... oh wait, maybe that was only a dream.
But you get the idea. I never knew vegetable gardening could be so stressful. We've taken to barricading ourselves in our bedroom before going to sleep each night, and I keep an atomizer of herbicide on the night-stand just in case things turn ugly.
There are still have about five weeks of regular frost to go, and I'm staying up nights repotting lest I have to spend each entire day watering (good thing we have our own well) but now some of the pots I repotted need to be re-repotted. Add to that the grisly new development that some of the tomatoes are starting to flower; I shudder to think what may become of us.
It's still another five long weeks until I can start putting these guys in the garden, - provided the doors are still wide enough to get them out of the house - but I've held up this long, so I'm not quitting now.
This spring is going to give the term, "salad days" a whole new meaning.
Now, didn't you enjoy that? It's sure good to put a grin on your face, in my opinion!
If any of you are still looking for some land in the Ozarks, why don't you drop in over at Neil's place and look it over! Plenty to choose from, and different price ranges. Always a good set of pictures for each parcel, driving directions as well!
While you're there, don't forget to sign up for their newsletter...if only to read what Neil comes up with from issue to issue!
Really, you know I wouldn't steer ya wrong! I think you'll enjoy the visit! I always do...!
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit on the patio until the rain comes. I have some fresh pineapple upside down cake to go with it!
Friday, April 2, 2010
I think I told you recently about the fact that I had taken up Loom Knitting, thanks to a gentle push from my friend Wretha!
Well, like any other addiction, this one needs to be feed regularly and it just continues to grow! Instead of being satisfied with what I started with, it wasn't long until I started thinking I was ready to go to the next level!
I started with this nice set of four looms ranging from small child size, kid size, adult size, and REALLY BIG adult size (for those that have a big head)
These are great to learn on and are just the thing for making hats, scarfs, flat panels, and many other projects. The problem is...I wanted to be able to make some things a little wider than these looms allowed, and I really didn't want to have to sew two panels together.
After practicing and feeling like I had the whole loom thing down pat, I decided that I needed to get another set...but this time, I wanted to go with the long looms so that I could make the longer pieces I was after without having to sew two or more pieces together! What a deal! Sounded like just what I needed! So, I got this set!
Now I could make beautiful pieces in double knit...which means that there is no bad side. You end up with a nice thick piece and since the longest loom is 22 inches long, you can do some nice semi-big pieces!
But once again, I decided to go for something bigger! I wanted to make some afghans up to 55 inches wide, all in one piece! Now, That's what I'm talking about! Christmas gifts made early, just for the investment of a few skeins of yarn and some time! Pretty easy move, right? WRONG!
What I ordered and got yesterday was this beautiful hardwood monster! It eats yarn like a hungry teenager! In fact, one of the patterns using this loom for a nice afghan calls for 14 skeins of yarn! That's right! 14 skeins! Folks, that's a LOT of yarn...!
Now, with my big fat fingers, and with smaller pins and with the pins only being 5/16 inch apart...this big rascal is taking some serious learning time! A little harder to work with (OK, a LOT harder) it's going to take me some time to get used to it!
I'll get there, but I think that the learning curve on the bad boy is going to be a tough one! Have to hurry, though...Christmas is only a few months away! It should be interesting to say the least!
Now, let's get some coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! Raining on the patio this morning...!
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Once again, the day for jokes and pranks is here!
I'll admit that in my younger days, I pulled a few good ones myself...usually with my running buddy, Biff! But ours were nothing in comparison to some of the major, imaginative pranks pulled over the years!
I thought you might like to read about some of these...just in case you haven't heard them before!
* Alabama Changes the Value of Pi:
The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein, however.
* Spaghetti trees:
The BBC television programme Panorama ran a famous hoax in 1957, showing Italians harvesting spaghetti from trees. They had claimed that the despised pest, the spaghetti weevil, had been eradicated. A large number of people contacted the BBC wanting to know how to cultivate their own spaghetti trees. It was, in fact, filmed in St Albans.
* Left Handed Whoppers:
In 1998, Burger King ran an ad in USA Today, saying that people could get a Whopper for left-handed people whose condiments were designed to drip out of the right side. Not only did customers order the new burgers, but some specifically requested the "old", right-handed burger.
* Taco Liberty Bell:
In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Lincoln Mercury Memorial.
Wikipedia's Main Page on April 1, 2007.
The featured article write-up purposely confuses U.S. President George Washington with an inventor of the same name.
* San Serriffe:
The Guardian printed a supplement in 1977 praising this fictional resort, its two main islands (Upper Caisse and Lower Caisse), its capital (Bodoni), and its leader (General Pica). Intrigued readers were later disappointed to learn that San Serriffe (Sans serif) did not exist except as references to typeface terminology. (This comes from a Jorge Luis Borges story.)
* DT Day:
In 2008 fliers were handed on Brigham Young University campus, saying that the last in a series of dorm buildings being torn down was scheduled to be imploded on April 1. Hundreds of people eagerly turned up to see the implosion, but to their consternation it never happened. The culprits of this prank remain unknown.
* Decimal time:
Repeated several times in various countries, this hoax involves claiming that the time system will be changed to one in which units of time are based on powers of 10.
In 1965, the BBC purported to conduct a trial of a new technology allowing the transmission of odor over the airwaves to all viewers. Many viewers reportedly contacted the BBC to report the trial's success. In 2007, the BBC website repeated an online version of the hoax.
* Tower of Pisa:
The Dutch television news reported in the 1950s that the Tower of Pisa had fallen over. Many shocked people contacted the station.
* Write Only Memory:
Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.
* The Canadian news site bourque.org announced in 2002 that Finance Minister Paul Martin had resigned "in order to breed prize Charolais cattle and handsome Fawn Runner ducks."
You have to admit that this makes most of the pranks pulled by the average person seem rather tame! I think a very loud "well done" is in order for the folks that pulled these gems, don't you?
Now, my friends, let's get some fresh coffee and sit at the kitchen table...no pranks this morning. I promise!