Thursday, April 24, 2008

Charleston bike fitting vid

Rather than critique, I just repost: A sad little video with some redeeming feetures. DON'T FORGET THE LUBE.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rode to the mailbox

A nice bike trip to mail a document. There were a handful of fledgling wrens twittering in the bushes by the path. I tried to record them on my phone but the frequency was too high.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thyme in a bottle

Poets have often wondered if they could save thyme in a bottle. The answer is "oh hell yes." After about a week, the purple basil and chives are looking pretty good too. :o) (Not so much for the dill, but it was already ill.)

Basil outside and in the office

I have been experimenting with transplanting GrowPods into containers. Meet Basil. I was having a hard time keeping up with the basil, and I wanted to lower the lights in that unit so I could get other stuff started, so I yanked him out and put him in a vase, with my formula of one tablespoon coffee grounds (for nitrogen and carbon) and a little java moss (for oxygen). He spent some time indoors and out, even in the direct sun, and he looked OK for a few days. Now he's starting to look dried out though.


I had lunch on campus yesterday. It was excellent, a half a "Napa County wrap" which involved grilled vegetables and some kind of Tuscan vegetable soup. But the portions were not terribly substantial, so I went for the dessert. Did I ever. Photo attached. No I did not finish the whole thing. It is a fresh-made chocolate cheesecake that uses a layer of plain cheesecake as frosting, topped with cherries. Probably weighed about three pounds.

Hops at two weeks

After two weeks, I have a serious little hops plant. Thanks, ABC.

Crisp and cool

No I'm not talking about my new AeroGarten lettuce. It's the weather to which I refer. Even though it was treacherously windy I snapped a pic on the bridge.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Somebody moved my Vitaminwater

I am having a hard time finding the Vitaminwater in the grocery stores of late. I see Gatorade and the SoBe spinoff LifeWater but no Vitaminwater. That is odd since you'd think their new owner The Coca-Cola Co. would have some channels. I need the Vitaminwater bottles for my 'dro projects and it tastes good anyway.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Thorny branch

I was out walking by the river a couple of weeks ago when I saw this thorny branch and thought, "Damn, that is one thorny branch." I took a picture of it so you could say the same thing.

Heaven in springtime

With temps in the 80s'F, it's been like heaven in springtime around heah.

Hops a daisy

Seeking to alleviate the global hops shortage, I ordered some rhizomes from Alternative Beverage and damn if they aren't the liveliest little sprigs. I put this in a pot and it was sprouting leaves in a couple of days. I didn't refrigerate it or soak it or nothin'.

New pepper army

I believe peppers are the key to our future and have assembled this division of poblanos to lead the way.

A day in the sun

I put the original AeroGarden and the AeroGarden 3 out in the sun today for several hours. I didn't kill anything. Temps got into the mid-80s'F, and I thought it would be too hot for my vulnerable baby greens AG. While the pump was no longer circulating water over the roots, I expected them to stay moist since the tank was enclosed.

Here are the AGs with some of my seedlings and other projects. The AG is in the center with the flower. Front left are some poblano pepper plants; the one I put in the terra cotta pot has been flopped over for a couple of days but seems OK otherwise.

The original AG in the back has the original herbs kit in the middle, and the corners have tomato plants---the seedling on the left is from the cherry tomato kit; the colossus on the right is my Burpee BigBoy freak. On top of the AG on the left, you can see I have started making my own seedling cups out of newsprint, thanks to a tool recently given to me by my bro.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Aerogardens gone wild

My original AG is a mess: the dill is dying out, and there is a mutant Big Boy tomato plant hanging off the left side of it. On the other side I've got a single cherry tomato grow pod, breaking all rules of spacing and propriety. I removed the thyme and put it in a sports bottle as I did not use it that much. The Italian basil has grown completely to the top and I have to trim it to keep it from touching the lamps. I've resorted to giving the excess to acquaintances in a vain attempt to curry favor. Also, there are various seedlings and sick plants huddled about the periphery. It's a mess.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dyson vs. wasp

I have a method for dealing with stinging insects with a Dyson vacuum cleaner. I use the extensible wand and by the time it's near enough to the bug, it's too late for it to escape.

I applied this method to a paper wasp I found inside the storm door to my porch. While I believe in beneficial insects and nature and all that stuff, paper wasps are just to aggressive to allow a foothold near my guests. Heeding the advice of the Tao Teh Ching, to uproot things before they become big problems, I set out to nip this in the bud.

I suppose I should have been warned when the thing held its ground as the great wand of suction approached. Finally, at the last possible minute before I was actually poking a bee with a stick, the legendary filterless vacuum scooped up the hapless wasp and I felt a click as it bounced its way down the hose into the canister. Ah, the canister.

The transparent canister that lets you see what you've sucked up. I am very thankful for this feature. To my surprize, the thing has survived the 90g's or whatever force in those famous vortices within and is groggily stumbling to its feet. Usually this ordeal kills roaches or whatever bugs go in. Not this guy.

There is a fair amount of vacuuming debris already inside, so I can't just dump it out and step on it. I am afraid of it climbing out the opening in the top, so I replace the canister, and start vacuuming.

I vacuum my floor, in the hope the extra wind will slay the beast. After a few minutes, I look. I finally see a wasp, except instead of red and black it is a dirty gray from all the dust. It is walking, better than it was before. Not good.

I can't dump the cargo w/out making a huge mess, and I am afraid of clogging up the toilet with it, so I put the canister in my freezer in its entirety. I don't think it will kill it. It will probably just slow it down. There is an opening in the canister and it will probably crawl out to hide behind the ice cream, then fly out and sting me in the face when I open the door and the warm air revives it.

I figure I have to keep the door shut at least 24 hours to let it freeze. I can't have ice for my tea. The wasp is winning this one. I have a wasp in my freezer. I have a vacuum in my freezer. I'm an idiot.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I'm pretty sure my transplants will thrive in a sunny window. I can't say I haven't got pane for the thyme.

Catching up

I have not posted in a week but things have been happening with the AG's. Not all of them good.

My cilantro in the peat cups is doing very well, same for the zuccini, which is growing tall and a very dark shade of green. However, the tomato seedlings are all turning yellow. Is it chlorosis? Is it because I have not thinned them? Also, even some of the seedlings in my AeroGarden baby greens have dried up. Is it because they were crowded by so many peat pot stowaways? They seemed to be getting enough light. It says you don't have to thin them.

I have also been doing some top secret bike mod stuff.