Chew Bank of Fluffies

You’d have to have been asleep in a deep coma for the past week not to have noticed that there’s been some odd goings on in the world of banking. Usually banking is something of a very boring world, but not this week. Reading the news, the quotes of those in the know, and the folks with their hands on the policy levers, you’d have thought that everything was OK. On the other hand, for me it was frankly hard to shake the words of the eminent economist Irving Fisher who in 1929 (just prior to the market crash which lead to the Great Depression), proclaimed that: “stock prices have reached ‘what looks like a permanently high plateau.’” Yes, indeed, they didn’t.

Except my sleep was disturbed last evening. In the dark hours of the morning, Sandra reached for her water bottle, but instead knocked it onto the floor. A loud crash woke me with a hit of adrenalin. The light was then switched on as there was some concern that water was now all over the floor and possibly also the electrical board. It was hard to get to back to sleep again.

After the incident, I lay awake in the dark under the blankets. On the other side of the window, drizzle fell, water could be heard trickling into the tanks whilst marsupials crashed through the orchard and gardens. The thought ran through and around my head, how can you make the subject of banking sound absurd? Sleep was far away.

Sometimes dark nights, inspire bright ideas: Write about economics, but substitute lollies for mad cash. Oh what fun, plus the naughty acronym CBF could even be worked in as: Candy Bank of Forever. With the problem resolved, my mind was at rest and sleep took me wherever it goes. When the sun had risen, the wake up alarm went off. The nuisance machine was promptly shut down. Sleep took me again. An hour and half later, I staggered into the kitchen in search of coffee. Mornings are better with coffee.

Some stuff happened during that day. We continued work on excavations in front of the large shed. The job is nearing completion, but by 2.30pm we’d had enough. Tools were downed, backs were pat, things were cleaned and put away. Enjoyed lunch. More stuff happened. A very tasty toasted hot cross bun with melting butter was devoured in late afternoon. The dogs looked on and drooled with envy, but such foodstuffs are not for them.

By 8pm, sitting in front of the keyboard the idea of writing about candy no longer appealed. Probably something to do with never eating lollies these days, except when at the cinema of course. A bag of mixed lollies and a film takes me way back to fond memories of misspent childhood at the Saturday afternoon matinee double feature. My mother probably used the cinema as a cheap childcare facility, but hey, it worked! Except nowadays I rarely consume lollies which messes up the whole economics substitute story. Pah!

Whilst all this drama was going on in my head, the dogs looked exhausted. We’d been digging for many hours earlier in the day on the excavations. During that time, the dogs had been running around like crazy things doing who knows what. They were wiped out. And their dog rawhide chews sat in front of them. The words came forth: ‘You lazy dogs, those chews are expensive’. And there was the economics idea: Chewflation.

Ollie, too wiped out to enjoy his rawhide chew

What is chewflation you may ask? That’s when there’s too much mad cash chasing a limited supply of dogs rawhide chews (i.e. the supply of mad cash increases, whilst the quantity of stuff to purchase doesn’t increase at the same rate, or even worse, declines). It’s real, and oh yeah, it’s happening. Prices for chews are on the up. Purely for research purposes for the blog, we went back and looked at how much we’d paid for chews over the past two years. And here are the results for packs of 20 rawhide chews:

  • May 2021 $85
  • December 2021 $100
  • April 2022 $140
  • October 2022 $145
  • February 2023 $160

A bit of quick maths (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong) suggests that over two years, the price of chews has risen over 37% compounding annually. And as a fun fact, the dogs have consumed over 200 chews (as we buy 2 packs of 20 chews each time), so no wonder the canines are happy. Whatever, you heard it here first: Chewflation is real.

But how does the supply of mad cash increase all the time? Turns out the Federal Government down here spends between $30bn and $40bn more than it receives most years in recent times. It doesn’t sound like much, especially when it’s described as around 1.5% of the value of Gross Domestic Product (economically speaking that’s everything in the country). They don’t have to worry about messy loan applications either, the Reserve Bank just gives them more chews, sorry, mad cash, and notes it in their records. How cool is that? And that much extra mad cash sure can buy a lot of chews, around maybe 43 million of them. No wonder chews are in such short supply and going up in price.

The politicians and bankers don’t like the idea of chewflation. Dog chews are meant to be affordable, otherwise dogs might go look for something else to chew, like say: politicians and bankers. With that worry in their minds, they’ve recently tried to slow down expenditure on chews by making debt more expensive. That’s called raising interest rates. After all, if dog owners suddenly have to pay more money to the banksters, they’ll have less money to spend at pet food retailers. With less people buying chews, the prices won’t go up as fast. It’s all about quick maths, and chews.

Dog owners however, don’t like the idea of rising interest rates, after all the dogs will end up with less chews, then they might decide to bite the owners. Never a good thing. Sooner or later, bitten dog owners might ask the politicians and bankersters to take the bite instead. That’s happened in the past with balanced or surplus government budgets and much higher taxation on the wealthier folks, who can probably afford the chews and not notice the cost. This hasn’t happened, yet.

We’re in a funny hang time right now, and all of us are just muddling on through. Prices for chews are still going up. There’s simply more mad cash in the system each year chasing a finite number of chews. And politicians fearful of chewflation are putting the squeeze on their constituents through increased costs for debt. For them, it’s an easy option but pressure is oozing out all over the place, such as the tanking bond markets, or increased house prices. Unless something changes soon, the chews are going to go through the guts of the dog and come out the back end in a dirty big stinking pile of poop.

Dame Plum is also too tired to chew

It was something of an Indian summer this week. The week began hot, then got hotter. The fire risk was bonkers on Saturday, and fortunately we survived unscathed. There were a number of planned burns in the area and the smoke contributes to beautiful sunsets.

Planned burns makes for great sunsets

At 11pm one evening the inside and outside temperatures were 23’C / 73’F. Bonkers given it is less than a week out from the autumn equinox.

At 11pm one evening the inside and outside temperatures were 23’C / 73’F

We’d taken most of the week off paid work and got seriously stuck into excavating the flat area in front of the large shed. We dream of flat land, but the reality of our cheap land is that we have to make flat land the hard way. The first step was filling the steel rock gabion cages placed on that site last week. About a third of the rocks were scrounged from a now disused drainage project, and the remainder came from a steel rock gabion cage we’ve decided to relocate.

The three steel rock gabion cages were filled

We then spent three days digging and relocating soil so as to create the new large flat site. The electric jackhammer broke up the clay, and the rototiller was used to turn the lumps of clay into a fine loam.

The scary old rototiller was used to break up the clay

The machines make the job easier, but it’s still hard work hanging onto them.

Hanging onto the scary old rototiller whilst it does it’s thing

The loosened soil was moved using hand tools, crates and wheelbarrows. After the first day, we’d created a fairly large flat site.

A large flat site emerges from the side of the hill

By the end of the second day, the flat site was much larger.

Ollie enjoys it when a project is well executed

The digging continued for a third day.

Dame Plum advises me as to the accuracy of the levelling of the site

By the end of the third day, the job was nearly complete. All that needs doing now for this stage of the project is properly shaping the ramp leading down onto the flat site.

Ruby admires the new flat site

Astute readers closely analysing the above photo, may understand how the machinery inspection pit works.

It wasn’t all work, and we had plenty of time off and did a whole bunch of enjoyable things during the week off. I cleaned up a large branch which had fallen, and as part of that job I cut out length of timber with which I hope to carve out an axe handle.

The heartwood in this timber is about spot on for an axe handle

The axe head in the above image has a slightly non-standard wider opening. Basically, I haven’t been able to find a handle which will fit it, so why not just make one? The length of timber was roughly shaped using various saws and is now slowly curing.

The future axe handle is now curing out of the weather

The growing season fruit trees are just about done now and despite the hot weather this week, some of them are beginning to turn.

A Plum tree begins to turn

There’s still quite a lot of produce ripening, and the kiwi fruit for example, won’t be ripe for many months.

Kiwi fruit are still months away from ripening

The pumpkins are coming to the end of the growing season, and we’ve harvested about a third so far. They’ve had a great season and we’ll be eating pumpkins for many months to come.

Pumpkins have done really well this year

The Blackberry harvest is now over and we’ll probably clean up the bed for the winter soon and feed the soil over the next few weeks. On the other hand, Raspberries are continuing to produce some berries most days.

Nothing is finer than home grown Raspberries

At night the place jumps with life. The other night we spotted a Barking Owl in one of the nearby trees.

A Barking Owl sits in a nearby tree hopefully hunting rats
Tree frogs living in the Succulent garden enjoy the dogs watering bowl

Winter is coming though.

This Golden Ash is preparing to hunker down for the winter

Onto the flowers:

A cheeky Geranium is fighting it out with this Wormwood
The Roses enjoyed a very good feed recently
And the Roses haven’t disappointed either
Some of the Roses are simply stunning

The temperature outside now at about 9am is 9’C (48’F). So far this year there has been 110.6mm (4.4 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 107.6mm (4.2 inches)

39 thoughts on “Chew Bank of Fluffies”

  1. Yo, Chris – So, as a sweeping generalization, stuff happened, and then more stuff happened, at Fern Glade Farm, this week? 🙂 Yup. Banking is pretty boring, until they slam the doors at your local money dispensary.

    I wonder if anyone ever named their theatre, “Lollies Theatre.” Or, “Theatre of Lollies.” Just so you’d subconsciously make the connection. They do make a lot of mad cash on the stuff they sell, front of the house.

    Your chewflation part of the post is just genius. It really deserves wider circulation. You should cut and paste that bit, the next time Mr. Greer has an open post. Really, I’m not pulling your leg. Or finger, or ears. It’s so clear and understandable.

    The picture of Dame Plum is quit startling. She’s starring straight into my soul, and all my secrets are revealed! Luckily, if her command of English is anything like H’s, my secrets are safe. Maybe. Depends on how good she is at charades.

    The sunset picture is really nice. I understand there’s something similar, early in the day. Not that I’ve every witnessed it, or want to. Controlled burns: Pity about all those ruined outdoor weddings and laundry on the line. 🙂

    One wouldn’t want a runaway scary old rototiller. Dogs are very good at parsing slope accuracy. They take a wee, and if it puddles, your fine. If it tends to run in any direction, your a bubble off plumb. As we’re on a slope, H is constantly reminding me to watch my shoes.

    There’s an ax handle in that wood bolt. Michelangelo said that there was a sculpture, hiding in blocks of marble. All you had to do is knock off the extra bits. If you’re bolt gives you fits, just remind yourself it could be worse. It could be a very large block of marble.

    It’s so strange to see you’re trees on the downside. Ours are just waking up. The Forsythia bloomed, this week. Gird your loins. Can the leaf peppers be far behind?

    The raspberries look very tasty, as do the kiwi. The roses, as always, are real show stoppers. Lew

  2. Hi Lewis,

    Yup, a whole bunch a stuff happened this week, something of a classic understatement. 🙂 I agree with you on the banking story. It’s all good until you can’t get your money back. Maybe I’ve been unlucky, but in my life I’ve been caught up in two bank runs. An exciting time. One was rescued, one failed, and I didn’t have enough money in the failed one to think about the matter again. The balance was $5 and I was only a kid. Mind you $5 bought you more stuff in those days. They closed the local bank branch a few months ago. Nothing says they’re haemorrhaging mad cash like that.

    True, the business behind cinema’s is rather frightful, and each film operates under a different arrangement depending upon how much influence either party wields. I heard how it all operates from an accountant who worked in that biz many years ago now. The front of house merchandise, that stuff pays the rent and keeps the electricity on.

    Thanks for saying that and I aimed for clarity and humour. That’s this week isn’t it? Hmm. We’ll see. I’m sure some smarty pants is going to come along and say ‘but all them banks can make money too’, sure, if that was possible we wouldn’t have them bank failures now, but here we are. Actually, I was going to talk briefly about the bond markets too, but then thought better of doing so as it may confuse the issue. Those markets are bonkers huge, so huge that few people understand them or even know about them, but when you get down to it, the simple fact is, those behemoths allow a debt based civilisation to exist such as the one we find ourselves in. They’re something of a devils bargain those markets, and my crystal ball suggests that they’ve taken things too far. It was baked into the cake. Hey, let’s roll the dice, post the text, and see what eventuates.

    You’ve got an alert mind, Dame Plum is an old soul and she understands things the other two dogs just don’t get. In some ways she reminds me of the late departed Sir Scruffy, who it goes without saying was the smartest dog I’d yet encountered. After Dame Plum’s seizure a year or so back, I took her to the local vet, and the vet nurse said that she had beautiful eyes. Her sight is penetrating as you noted, but most certainly she is not a classically beautiful dog. But we’re good mates, her and I.

    Yes, early mornings are something of a problem. I so hear you. 😉 Hehe, well the affected folks have to deal, the do-nothing alternative is far worse.

    The scary old rototiller can get away. It’s being directed by 7.5 horses, hope the half a horse is OK? Best to be prepared for that eventuality. That’s very nice and caring of H. Dogs have an ability to look out for us clumsy humans. But then, they sometimes also try to trip us up, what’s with that?

    No!!! On the other hand, we might be able to crack a large chunk of marble into smaller chunks? The finer skills of seeing the sculpture beneath the chunks is probably beyond my competence. 🙂 The axe handle should be fine, maybe.

    The forest here is evergreen, but most of the orchard sure goes deciduous. Forsythia has been described as the harbinger of spring, so warmer weather is just around the corner for you. And yes, that thought occurred to me too about the leaf peepers. Have they nothing better to do with their time?

    You’re not wrong about the fish kill up north. I don’t see anybody celebrating the free fertiliser supply? The fish could be ploughed into the soil if the stink was considered repugnant. Who knows what was flushed into those river systems when the floods a few months ago hit.

    It is very possible that Madame X was easily bored and difficult to keep entertained. Possibly not good traditional partner material. I’d be driven loopy by such a person, or to an early grave, and maybe even both! Far out, talk about hard work.

    Frans Hals appears to have done plenty of very fine work too. Maybe the fast and loose compositions were of people of less means? But you’re right the emotions are there to be seen on the faces. Painters are sort of similar to actors in that they have to convey emotions.

    An intriguing question. What interests me is that the support from the locals at the pub seems to be less ardent since the huge ‘for sale’ board went up. Makes you wonder whether people have lost interest, the economic news has bitten, or the locals feel snubbed. Can’t really say for sure, and it may be some other factor? Dunno.

    What a rabbit hole, and who’d want to live on one of those uninhabited territories. Palmyra Atoll had far and away the most interesting of the histories. How could so little land, produce so much mystery and intrigue?

    The inland rivers here have crays too, I recall the excitement when my grandfather and his WWII mates nabbed one. But yabbies are tastier, and you’re spot on, they do go walk about and can hunker down if the soil is damp for a few dry years. Imagine the sort of selection pressures which would produce that outcome? Far out. Good to hear that your lot are tasty too.

    Hope the donation box kicks off.

    Oh, yeah I can see your point of view. I doubt ol’ George and I would have enjoyed hanging out. Call it a vibe thing.

    In a strange twist of fate, I’d done paid work on Saturday with the intention of taking today off, but no, fate had other plans and so I worked most of the day. Managed to get about an hour and a half free late this afternoon and distributed the coffee ground mix and cleaned the grass away from the trees in the new citrus orchard. Dunno what was going on there today, but work kept dribbling in. It happens sometimes and a person must not complain and maintain some semblance of flexibility.



  3. Yo, Chris – I never experienced a bank run. Now, with 24/7 communication, fear can run through the financial community, at a pretty fast clip. I noticed one article mentioned that some people had tools in place, to move money very quickly, out of harms way.

    Well, as far as posting to Mr. Greer’s blog, I’m sure he’ll filter out the worst of the smarty pants. 🙂 But you’re right. Why get into bonds and muddy the waters?

    Dame Plum’s seizure probably re-wired her brain, so she’s more receptive to vibes. Might come in handy at the roulette table. Classic beauty is overrated. Not that I’d know …

    The missing half horse probably ended up in dog food.

    I really need to take another look at Frans Hals. When I thought of him, in past, all that came to mind was drunken burghers, feeling up jolly bar maids.

    People get emotionally invested in places they hang. Some people. They feel a bit betrayed, when things change. I know when people move on, I have to tamp those feelings down.

    The Palmyra Atoll sounds like the end of the world. A good place to get lost.

    Speaking of getting lost, the article about Alby Mangels was very interesting. Funny how many people get a taste of celebrity, and decide it’s not for them. Alby … “Women desire him and men envy him.” 🙂 A couple of the side bar stories, were interesting. The one about another outback bush bloke, Jack Absalon.

    Also, they seem to have tracked down the source of your earthquake. Lew

  4. Chris,

    I talked to some of the experienced guys at the club. They said that the jigsaw is too small for what you need for axe handles. So, a bandsaw is suggested. When I asked what to look for, the response was that “Bandsaws are bandsaws. Don’t go cheap, but don’t buy the most lavish and expensive one either.”

    Ugg. I’ve been having some internet issues and a lot of cable tv issues since Wednesday. Same company does both. They finally sent “Chris the Cable Guy” to investigate today (Monday). He changed out some of the coaxial cable outdoors and everything seems fine again.

    I think Mr. Greer once quipped that when politics enter the temple, the gods run out the back door. I’m glad you keep political discussions away from here. I don’t allow them at the carving club either.

    Yogurt is fine stuff. Only, I can’t do very much dairy. I like yogurt. It doesn’t like me. So I avoid yogurt.

    Ok, I’ll stick to YMMV meaning Your Mileage May Vary. Although “Yetis Make Masterful Violinists” is unexpected.

    It was dry for enough consecutive days that I raked over half the back yard. The dried mooshy leaves had stuck to the underlying grass. The rake peeled them up readily enough. Stepped in one of those “invisible” piles of dog whatever. Fact of life with dogs. I keep the empty bags of dry dog food and use them to collect the piles of dog whatever. I like that bit of irony, as in “it returns from whence it came, albeit in a different form”.

    I liked your discussion of inflation via dog chews. Very easily understandable way to discuss it. If your calculation of the annually compounded rate of price increase was based on 2 years, then your 37% figure is correct. I viewed it as one year plus nine months. This gives a rate of 43.4%. In either case it is runaway inflation.

    Tired dogs. I took Avalanche to visit Killian Sunday evening. TV was out but not at Killian’s, so the humans watched the local university play a basketball game while the 2 fluffies wore themselves out. A tired dog is a happy dog, or so I’ve been told.

    We were expecting rain all day Monday into the evening. However, the clouds were high and thin. Nary a drop of rain. Similar to the past several years, the rain spigot appears to have shut itself off after February. No wet in the extended forecast.

    I looked at those 3 filled rock gabions. Then I saw where they were relative to the newly terraced area. I said to myself, “DJ, I bet that’s where Chris is going to have his machinery inspection pit.” Kept on reading and found out that, indeed, that is the machinery inspection pit. Good job. It looks functional.

    Nice prelim work on that axe handle. The draw knife is a wonderful tool, isn’t it?

    Wormwood 1: Wormwood 2, come in please. Emergency!
    Wormwood 2: Go ahead Wormwood 1. What’s the emergency?
    Wormwood 1: We’ve been invaded by a geranium, and it is blooming. Red. What do I do?
    Wormwood 2: Seriously? That’s never happened before. Winter is coming on. I’ll have to use that time to contemplate the situation. Maybe winter will solve the problem? Out.
    Wormwood 1: Okay. Out.
    After signing off Wormwood 1 grumbled, “I was hoping for more than that from management!”

    Your roses have had a spectacular year.


  5. Hi DJ,

    Ah, I forgot to mention that as well as the jigsaw there are a both small and large electric chainsaws which can take big chunks off the axe handle hiding in all that timber. It might not be pretty, but it should work – maybe. 🙂 Thanks for the advice. What I’m noticing about bandsaws as a machine, they seem to indicate light or heavy duty, and I’m probably more of a hobbyist. We’ll see, I usually commence with a basic cheap machine to find out what’s good, and what’s not so good about them. But with hand tools, quality trumps cheap every time, no getting around that story.

    Thought you’d been quiet, all is now explained – the cable guy. 🙂 Probably a connection more than anything else. However, I don’t know about your part of the world, but a lot of outdoor cables here have to be treated for protection against ultraviolet radiation. They really do break down pretty fast without that. Garden hoses likewise breakdown in the suns rays, although you can get ones with a 30 year life span. Not cheap, but then replacing them every couple of years is a false economy, well I reckon so anyway.

    That’s a great quote about politics. And dare I say, but market forces enter by the front doors, or hang out in the front courtyard! Wise to do so, and people know, but also try it on from time to time. There’s plenty of other forums for such discussions. When people can discuss such topics objectively, the topics will get discussed, but until then it’s as useful as white noise.

    Masterful with the yeti’s! I admit defeat. Oh, how about: Your Mum’s Most Vociferous?

    Your garden would most certainly be enjoying a good feed with all those mooshy leaves. I haven’t had to pick up dog poop here for at least fifteen years. The local parrots chomp away on the stuff. It’s a bit nasty, but then they’re rapidly converting dog poop into guano. The whole process is a bit more speeded up than most people are comfortable with. It does return doesn’t it? We only but borrow our atoms for a while.

    Yes, you are correct, and the Editor who also has a very good brain for maths pointed out the exact same mathematical analysis. Respect to you both. Leonard Bones McCoy was quoted as having said: You know, back home we have a saying: “If you’re gonna ride in the Kentucky Derby, you don’t leave your prize stallion in the stable.” All very true.

    Was the game any good though? And good to hear that Killian and Avalanche spent their energies on tiring the other out.

    Hmm, not good. Do you usually get rain over the months of Spring? A variable climate is one that is difficult to garden in, but I’m reading that snow pack in your part of the world is pretty good, so you should have water over the summer months.

    🙂 That’s it! The pit is a work of simplicity. It just works, no fancy hoists to power and maintain, and very little chance of the machine falling onto me. Unless I completely stuff something up – always possible. You can drive straight onto the thing.

    Yup, the draw-knife is a tool of beauty with a very sharp edge. I got it from the timbecon folks. The thing I was left wondering about was a curved or straight edge for the cutting blade. I went with the straight edge blade, but don’t really know. Which draw-knife would you have chosen?

    Very funny! Just when you raise proper concerns, they get properly dismissed. 🙂 Haven’t we all been there? Far out.

    Thanks! I gave the roses a very good feed about two weeks ago, and it makes a big difference.



  6. Hi Lewis,

    The bank run was in the early 1990’s and despite the lack of interweb, word got around pretty fast. But I see what you mean about the velocity of bad news having increased with the interweb. For some reason at the time I wasn’t bothered by the bank run, but I tell you, people were visibly nervous whilst waiting to extract their funds. One of the benefits of being broke with little savings and living pay to pay in those days was that my plan was to simply deposit the next wages cheque (check in your country) in another bank. It had the benefit of simplicity, you may agree? The bank didn’t go under, but there was so much bad-will in the population that the bank re-branded for about a decade and had to provide, err, proper customer service. Interestingly, the re-brand was dumped maybe 15 years ago and now it’s like old times.

    I was wrong too. With the Pyramid Building Society (how ironic is that name) run which happened a little bit before the bank run, I’d long since left them and only used them prior to me turning 16. It’s possible that I hadn’t bothered to close the account. Anyway, by the time the building society went down, I was banking with a proper bank, who had a proper bank run. No wonder I was unaffected. Ah, the memory, so much to forget! But I recall when it went down, because the deposits weren’t guaranteed and so the state government put an extra three cents per litre tax on petrol sold in the state for the next five years to cover the deposits. But even then it worked out to be something like a return of 51 cents in the dollar for deposit holders which sometimes took five years to arrive.

    Yes, and that’s interesting too about how some folks allegedly pressured the bank in your part of the world to hand back their deposits. Ol’ George may have quipped that some pigs are more equal than others. 😉

    Traders are located physically close to the exchange computers so that the algorithms can work more swiftly. You can almost imagine a story when the algorithms collectively go bonkers and crash the market before anyone was aware that it had happened.

    We’ll give it a go and see what eventuates. I tend to believe that people are into escapism and they’ll wheedle and argue definitions and basically huff and puff to avoid facing reality. Last I checked, accounting entries aren’t the same as cold hard mad cash. Unfortunate, but there it is. And thanks for saying that. Yes, bonds would have muddied the waters unnecessarily. Most people don’t understand their function, and from what I gather from what is going on around the world, they’re treated like a protected species. I’m not entirely convinced of the wisdom of that, for predators with no fear can become reckless.

    Far out! Yeah, you’re maybe right about that. Of the three dogs, she seems to have the most common sense, and that stuff ain’t commonly found (to paraphrase Mark Twain, who probably ripped it off someone else).

    I tend to think that it’s over rated too. If everyone was the same, it would be a very dull and boring world.

    Or in hamburger meat in the UK. Always a possibility, and it’s not like that hasn’t happened in the past. 😉 There’s a problem with using some horse meat down under because I believe some of the horses consumed food with toxins. Contaminated pet food investigation traces toxic horse meat back to NT property. NT is the acronym for Northern Territory, think of Northern Exposure, but with an entirely different climate and salt water crocodiles.

    Would bar maids really be jolly if they have to put up with lecherous drunken burghers? That lot would probably annoy me too with their loud mouth banter too (the burghers not the jolly tavern maids). You can hear the responses from the local folks: mumble, mumble. brother. yeah. hmm. first up against the wall come the revolution! 🙂

    I can understand your thoughts in that regard. Man, change is tough because it involves loss. But what do you do? We stopped by there this evening for dinner and it was fun but quiet. I don’t understand the locals attitude because if they don’t support the place, it will go.

    Mate, that was as they say it in the media, a good segue about getting lost. The reach of things is so great, that it is kind of hard to make oneself lost. I noticed that theme in the book Cheap Land Colorado, and likewise enjoy the small freedoms we get from living here, but that ain’t for everyone. And trouble is never far away.

    Jack Absalom was another great bushman. And he’d take his artist mates out bush to go paint. How cool is that? People don’t know what they’re missing when they hole themselves up in the city and think that’s all there is. It ain’t! 🙂

    Went into the big smoke today. Tell ya a funny story. On the way back I stopped off at one of those car wash places where you get to squirt soap on the car and then rinse it all off again. It’s quite fun. And that business was quiet as. Previously getting an empty bay was something of a challenge, but I’m supposing people are washing their cars at home to save money, or perhaps not washing them at all. A mystery! Certainly there is less spending going on out there. I don’t expect interest rates to come down though, they might stabilise where they are now, but inflation sure will keep on rising. Maybe that was what Jim Morrison was singing about, and I thought it was Mr Mojo Risin? Another mystery.



  7. Yo, Chris – Prof. Mass called it. “La Nina is Dead!” According to the map, this part of the country will be warmer. I can’t imagine a later fall, or warmer winter, than we’ve just had.

    Speaking of banks, I was talking to someone down at the Club, this morning, about T-Bills. Something I might want to look into, as they pay higher than CDs. I’ll run it by my financial advisor (Julia). Sitting around, talking to the usual Sunday morning crowd, I’d say the man and woman on the street is NOT happy with the bailouts.

    Re-Brands. I always wonder what terrible thing they did, that they need to change their name and go incognito. I’m sure it’s more a case of, “Our brand is getting stale, and if we give it a new name and look, that will perk things up.” Keeps graphic artists employed, I suppose. I just know if they change the packaging, I’m not going to spend a lot of time looking for the tried and true.

    Something was nagging at my memory. Yup. Algorithms go bonkers and crash the market. Just a simple search of “algorithms crash market,” and plenty of incidents come up. It’s called “algorithm high frequency trading.” Happened in 2017. And, back in 2010. Called a “flash crash.” Rolls trippingly across the tongue. 🙂

    That was an interesting article about the horse meat. LOL. I thought the manager was pretty funny. “I didn’t know they were going for dog food. I thought they were going for human consumption.” Back in the day, there were running jokes about sending old Dobbin to the glue factory. Now a days, I suppose most glue is made from petroleum products. Some of the best furniture glue was made out of rabbits.

    “Would the barmaids really be jolly…” Depends on the tips, I suppose.

    Jack Absolom really did some nice landscapes. Some of his colors were a bit acrid, but at least he didn’t go all twee, as some artists I could name. I see he passed away, in 2019. There’s a book called “Absolom’s Out Back Paintings.” Now there’s something you might run across in an op-shop. Or, his paintings.

    I’m in a quandary. I want to get a portable air conditioner. Just in case mine goes TU (Toes up. 🙂 . And even the unit I have now, sometimes doesn’t quit take the edge off. But, our windows aren’t set up for window units. Sooo… I’ve started doing a bit of research. There are a lot of fairly low priced units, based on swamp coolers. But I wondered about my books, and humidity. And, yes, it can be a problem. Wouldn’t want to have moldy books. But the one’s that don’t use water, are fairly expensive. To me. More research is required.

    Today was B&G (Biscuits and gravy), day. H got her usual treat, and was quit good about not begging. But, she needs break lights. I was behind her, and she slammed on her brakes, and got stepped on. What a racket. No harm done, though.

    The car wash. Might just be one of those couple of days, where there doesn’t seem to be any money moving around. It happens, for no apparent reason. But I’d say, people are maybe a bit more careful with their spending. Maybe. Saw an article where during You Know What, savings was at an all time high. Now, it’s apparently gone, and credit is on the rise. Not at my house. Lew

  8. @ Lew,

    The Spokane Arena, home of the local junior hockey team, host of concerts, State B Basketball Tournament, quite often NCAA men’s or women’s basketball tournaments, rodeos, etc. went cashless and contactless several years ago. Use the phone app or a DEBIT card to order food, it will come out a chute or something when it is ready. We don’t attend anything there any longer.


  9. Chris,

    You could probably get by with the chainsaws, draw knife and rasp, then. Sounds like you’re in good shape. As far as draw knives go, I don’t own one. I borrowed one to help turn a rectangular piece of wood into a cylindrical piece of wood suitable for use as a walking stick. It was one of the straight draw knives. I don’t think that I’d want a curved one after using the straight one.

    I think I read that you recently ate some warm angry backsides. I mean hot cross buns. Sorry for the slip up. Anyhow, I remembered that whenever mom had baked some hot cross buns, she would sing a song when they were ready to eat. I found a version of it.

    I tend to store my garden hoses mostly under the canopy roof. Mostly shaded that way. It seems to double their 2 to 3 season expected lifespan. I hate throwing them away, but I haven’t seen any of those 30 year varieties hereabouts.

    I know very few people who can discuss politics objectively. Religion, politics…as you said, there are many other places to discuss such.

    Ah, shucks, thanks. Your latest venture is good too. But what if my mum was rather quiet? We can probably go on and on, waxing creative for weeks. Or beat a dead horse. 😉

    If only people understood that we only borrow these atoms for a short while! Maybe if more understood that, they would live differently, maybe even live rather than be on society’s autopilot.

    I’d forgotten that Bones McCoy quote. Thanks. It brings back memories.

    Yes, the game was quite good. Exciting. And the local team won. The game was part of the annual national event for the large universities “The National Collegiate Athletic Association Basketball Championships”, or some such official drivel. Most refer to it as
    “March Madness”, as it occurs for the first two weekends of March and ends the first Monday in April. Starts with 68 teams. There are 16 teams remaining. All of the games are televised. No, I’m not a glutton for that type of punishment!

    On our walk today, Avalanche got a bonus. We ran into Killian and his mum. So we walked the final 2 km of our route with them. Both dogs were happy. Both humans were amused by the happy dogs.

    Yes, we typically get extensive rain in March, maybe 50mm, a bit less in April, then we rely on thunderstorms in May and June for another 70mm. The wettest season is November through March, but can last from the 2nd half of October through the first half of June. The annual average total is maybe 440mm, but only about 80mm is usual from middle of June through middle of October. Yes, 4 months of bone dry. The past several years have seen less rain in March and April, heavy thunderstorms in May and early June, then little or nothing until November.

    The snowpack in the Cascade Mountains is very good. It is a bit less than normal in the mountains that feed our aquifer. “A bit less than normal” means that if “normal” is 8 meter depth, we are at 7.5 meter depth. Within the statistical average as far as I’m concerned.

    “You can drive straight onto the thing.” Maybe you and I can. I know several people who would either miss the ramps and fall off one side or the other, OR would drive onto the ramp correctly but drive over the end of it. This area has a plethora of drivers who misquote Forrest Gump “Stupid drives as Stupid is.”


  10. Hi DJ,

    Very good, and many thanks for the guidance of your experience. I can’t even say for sure why I picked a straight blade over the curved blade with the draw knife, but maybe who knows what is buried in the old memories. Hey, I noted that some clever folks used their band saws as little timber mills. Mate, I’m getting excited at the possibilities presented by such an option. Sooner or later, we might have to do something along those lines.

    Yes, very amusing about the angry buns – which I initially considered to be a chili reference. 😉 Bunflation is real, sad to say, so prices are on the up. But they’re worth it.

    Maybe the sun is harder on things down here, but here’s a garden hose with a 30 year warranty: Premium Garden Hose 12mm x 30M. Mate, I’ve had some hoses that lasted less than two years and now don’t bother with such waste.

    I’m of the opinion that the inability to discuss such topics objectively is a strategy pushed down from on high. It won’t end well, but nobody asked my opinion.

    What? Surely the horse can’t be dead yet? Still in the interests of overall harmony I shall shut the suitcase and say no more about: Your Mojo Moves Virago’s – whatever they are? Didn’t make any sense to me either. I once owned a large motorcycle which was nicknamed the Virago. It was a good bike, but very loud.

    A lovely way to put things: societies autopilot. Yeah. Nice. Beats me why folks want that option. Between you and I, I’ve noted that the default option is rarely high quality. Look at the Pinto, and what happened with that thing. Yes, most exciting, and all for a few dollars more – hey, chucked in a Clint Eastwood segue there.

    The gentleman doth protest overly much! You do seem to be a glutton for such punishment. 🙂 I’m enjoying your relaxation and entertainment vicariously.

    Yeah, it’s nice when out walking the dogs you get to say hello to people you know and like. We don’t have to ask Avalanche’s opinion, it’s known in that regard. Also had a nice chat with a neighbour when out walking the dogs earlier this evening. The walk clears my head, because as you’d know, such work demands as you and I did uses much from some corners of our minds but not others. And it would be a bad thing if the brain became heavier on one side and we fell over as a consequence. Most certainly the dogs would look at us strangely, don’t you reckon? 🙂

    That sure is some low average rainfall, and if it weren’t for those rivers fed from snow pack running through your area, things would get dire. I assume you’ve had the pleasure of enjoying extended droughts in your part of the world from time to time? It interests me that your wet part of the year coincides with the summer months – or their approximate equivalent. It’s basically all over the shop down here when it comes to ‘will it rain this month?’ The averages relay little useful information as to the real world experience.

    Ah well, yes your observations are true. Honestly, living in a place like this is not for people who express such carelessness. And mate, things go wrong for me too from time to time. Accidents can happen very quickly and without warning. But that level of carelessness as you described, is something that is not within my experience. Having had no dad around I got lumped with the ‘you’re a guy, you should know this stuff’, even when I was the youngest person in the household. I learnt early to speak the language of tools and machines, but even then, sometimes they bite me. Knowing when the day foreshadows ill events is something of a sixth sense, but like Radar O’Reilly, occasionally the foresight fails.



  11. Hi Lewis,

    There’s a bit of a move towards the ‘cashless society’, but it certainly unintentionally penalises all manner of folks. I listened to a discussion on some of the folks impacted by such a push, and yeah it wasn’t good and it’s not right. On the other hand, having worked in a business that had to deal with bonkers amounts of cash, I can understand the reticence, but the stuff is legal tender and not everyone has or wants a smart phone. One of those things was forced onto me, not at gunpoint, but it wasn’t far off that. Take this, or else, and I took a good look at what ‘or else’ meant and had to come around to someone else’s way of thinking.

    There’s a weird meme that got inserted into the public discourse a long while ago and it was that ‘gobarmunt activities had to turn a profit’. Call me naive, but wasn’t that why we paid taxes to support activities which were otherwise never going to make a profit. A bonkers belief. It’s good to see that military vets get free access to the national parks. Nice one.

    I was also interested in the side bar story of Johnny Cash the rottweiler dog. I sensed more that there was more going on in that story than was reported.

    Oooo, I dunno about that. Possibly the good professor is correct, but down under we reckon it’s still too early to call. After all, there could be neutral conditions for ENSO,or a fourth year of La Nina (statistically very unlikely, but not impossible). Hope that low land snowfall doesn’t freeze the daylights out of unfortunate fruit trees breaking their dormancy in your part of the world. Such has been my fate of late these past few years. Lost about half the crop of fruit this growing season. And in another massive whinge fest: I really don’t like having to get up in the dark. Leaves me feeling a bit out of sorts. 😉 Where’s that lost hour, we wants it back, the precious (said in best Gollum voice)!

    There’s been a lot of talk in the media down here about how the bank troubles in your part of the world are going to make it harder for tech start ups. Like do those things actually make money? Makes no sense to me, although the people involved usually appear to be super-happy if the photos are any indications of emotional states. Not sure what is going on there.

    Hehe! I’d say a major bank run is possibly a terrible thing. 😉 The re-branding occurred after that incident. Before the incident, nobody seemed to care. The local council changed its branding a few times since I’ve lived here. Someone is probably making money somewhere, and yeah the graphics artists have to keep food on the table too. And hey, how about this angle: Did the consumer or citizen ask for the change?

    Flash crashes (yeah, it is a great name isn’t it? Like a Flash Mob, instead they’ll shake you down for mad cash) seem to have no single theory as to why they occur. Bonkers is the theory, I’d put forward. As good as any, really. The 2010 flash crash looked at one point like it was going to be pinned on some shmuck.

    I didn’t know that about rabbits, but had heard the old story of the ‘glue factory’. I’m sure some unsavoury stuff went on in such places. You’d hope that mobsters didn’t have access to such businesses, but yeah, it seems a bit convenient. Used to work down the road from a blood and bone recovery business, and wow that place used to smell rather fragrant on hot days – from quite the distance. We also used to live in a rather industrial area where there was a commercial sized wool scouring business, and that also used to be fragrant. I often wonder if some of the off-shoring was due to the stinks and pollution from those sorts of businesses. The Editors granddad used to work in a tannery way back in the day.

    Actually way out in the outback there is a lot of reds and big blue skies. I checked out some of the paintings and they were pretty good. I’ll keep an eye out, you never know. It’s a sort of coffee table book I’d reckon.

    Yeah, no point sweltering and heat doth rise! And you’re near to the top. It’s a shame that windows don’t tend to open properly to let in cross flow ventilation. I prefer the cool to the hot weather – hardly surprising given where I live. I’d be curious to hear more on those swamp coolers that don’t use water. We have a portable swamp cooler here and it’s a simple machine but noisy with a display that lights up the room like a jet fighters instrumentation. Is that really necessary. Hardly use it, I prefer the overhead ceiling fans, but then 10ft ceilings mean they’re not a hazard – unless they fall. But I anchored them, not the electrician.

    Hope H is OK? It’s possible she is learning how to interact with large groups of people, and she’ll get there.

    Yes, that is the case about savings. As interest rates rise, rather than reducing expenditure, I believe in the big picture, people are continuing established spending patterns and running down their savings. Habits are hard to break, but then like you I stick within my means. How this will play out, I suspect we’ll find out. Sooner or later the margin between what’s coming in and what’s going out were going to get squeezed, and maybe worse.



  12. Hi, Chris!

    Don’t say the word b-a-n-k. I shudder. That was an excellent analogy; much better than lollies. What I am seeing around me, though, is plenty of stuff, but not enough money to buy it. The staff at my mother’s assisted living – where I spend a lot of time, so I have gotten to know them quite well – have young children and they are having a really hard time making ends meet. And yeah, we are muddling through, you and I and all here, but we are doing our best. Can’t do more than that.

    What a beautiful sunset. I love the Ollie and Plum pictures. They show true character, those dogs – and Ruby, of course, too, Dame though she ain’t. I can’t believe you got an owl photo; I hear them at night, but never see them.

    That is a beautiful piece of flat land. Oh – now I see what you were saying about the machinery inspection pit.

    The timber for the axe handle looks like a nice piece. Making tool handles from wood around the place is something that my husband really enjoys.

    There your leaves go turning, while here I go with my new seed heat pads. The two I have are working great, so I have bought two more. Their price is a bit higher than when last I bought some a few years ago, but not much. No real chewflation there.

    Thanks for the flowers! What a rich, dark rose.


  13. Hello Chris,

    Indeed chewflation. Here in Scandinavia food prices on average are up +22% annually. But we have a long way to go before the +400% of currency is absorbed in retail prices. (M3 expansion since 2005, a period with “zero inflation”). As you say, most media focus on the interest rates, not on the monetary volume. Why?

    I suspect that the last thirty years of loan bingeing has been a way of eating up pension funds in advance.

    A lot of funny memes have circulated about “Credit Suisse” changing name to “Debit Suisse”.

    Coming back to reality, nut tree planting season is coming to an end in the coming weeks, and it has been a good start for the new nursery in Sweden. Yesterday a full feature article in the Swedish permaculture magazine about the first nut-tree nursery in Sweden, with some nice photos of “my” trees.

    Next phase is grafting season, and my cooler is full of scion wood, and I look forward to sharpening my knives and unrolling the grafting tape. April and May are good also for outdoor grafting.


  14. Yo, Chris – Uff Da! I”ve been out playing with the Master Gardeners. And, to continue the Scanda-hovian theme, not it’s time “for a little lunch.” I potted up some more parsley, for the plant sale. Also, five pots of Snow in Summer, a ground cover. I finished off Elinor’s bed, so she can do whatever she wants to do with it. Lent a hand, wherever needed.

    She had some Elephant Garlic, in her bed, that needed to be thinned out. So, I put three bulbs in each pot, and potted up three of those. Only 12 more to go, for the sale. LOL. Elinor decided I needed to pot up some for her daughter. Not that her daughter probably wants, or has asked for, Elephant Garden. So, I did, and it’s in “Carol’s Box”, inside Elinor’s front door. I stuck a tag in it with “Triffid” on it. Not that any of that lot, will get the joke. In further, local gardening news,315729?

    Nice to see it will continue on.

    I’ve seen articles about the “unbanked.” Those who can’t get a bank account, for one reason or another. They generally use “check cashing services” and use money orders for whatever bills they need to pay. All of which entails steep service fees.

    Sigh. Weather. Whatever comes, comes. Things are blooming, but so far, I haven’t seen any fruit trees, in bloom. Maybe this weekend will be our last frost?

    Tech people who appear “supper-happy?” It’s probably good drugs. 🙂

    They’ll say the consumer or customer asked for change. Names. I want names.

    Yes, you might find the book in an op-shop. Or, you might even stumble across one of his paintings. Thrift store finds. Probably more likely to be hit by lightening, but it does happen.

    Oh, our windows open, but slide vertically, rather than horizontally. And there’s the screens. So, I can get a bit of cross ventilation. If I prop open my front door, or turn on the stove fan. Search: “portable air conditioner” or “ductless air conditioner,” and you’ll see what I’m researching. I don’t need anything big. Maybe just enough to cool the bedroom, bath, and a short hallway.

    Oh, H is ok. She didn’t even put on a limp, for additional sympathy.

  15. Hi Pam,

    OK, I’ll try not to say the word: banksters! Oops, broke your rule there. 😉 I hear you about that, the analogy with lollies was working right up until the point where I couldn’t recall the last time I’d eaten any. Maybe when we went to the cinema last year to watch the film Top Gun II Maverick, so much fun, lots of adrenalin (probably a whole bunch of sugar from the lollies too) and a simple story told very well. Little wonder it was one of the highest grossing films last year, but alas probably not a film for the purists perhaps? 😉 Oh well, sometimes I enjoy a good dose of fun and silly – something of a personal failing perhaps? But on the other hand, dog chews is serious business, and they’re on the up. Maybe we all need to be investing in them? The returns sure look good. Did you ever provide dog chews to your lot back in the day, or was it all bone off cuts and stuff?

    And yes, I’m seeing a similar story playing out here. The technical description for that process is known as: rationing by price. Not nice you may agree? The grocery bill last night came to $170, and there wasn’t that much stuff in the sturdy cloth bags. Hmm. Not good, and may not end well, but last I checked, neither you or I are in charge of this ‘ere ship.

    Thanks on both fronts, and Ollie and Dame Plum send you and yours cordial tail wags. Ruby, she may never be a dame, but hopefully she’ll do well enough.

    The camera struggled a bit with the light conditions for the photo of the owl. The bird was hunting rats, and possibly also sugar gliders. It’s pretty feral out there at night. The owl did not take kindly to being lit up by the torches for the photo, but graciously allowed the process to occur – if we were speedy.

    Us hill folks, we dream of flat land. 🙂 Of course flat land can be created, with a whole bunch of work – but you have a Mr Diggy. I’m in awe of a Mr Diggy machine.

    Respect. There’s something remarkable about making the timber handles for the tools which get used. I’m in the early days of this journey, and have watched a few videos on how to do this task. It’s a lot of skill, and something of excellent use, so double respect.

    Happy to hear your report on the heat mats, and will nab a few of them over the winter months. First, the power has to be taken out to the greenhouse (not a particularly complicated job). Always something to be done isn’t there? And best wishes for your new improved seed raising journey and I’ll be interested to hear if your reckon the heat mats are making a difference? If the world suddenly flipped upside down, I’d be starting seeds too right now.

    The roses are lovely aren’t they.

    We got hit by a super cell storm this morning. An odd time of year for such a thing. It was briefly over – here at least. Ook!



  16. Hi Göran,

    Holy carp! A bit of quick maths suggests that a 22% compounding increase more than doubles the initial prices over a four year period of time. Not good. Recently, we’ve begun noticing the increased prices for food as well. I doubt that it is easily possible to become entirely self sufficient with food production at the scale we are doing but every year we expand production – and the trees get older and better established. A person can only do their best. 🙂 We lost half the crop of fruit and nuts early in the growing season to a heavy frost which killed off most of the blossoms. What do you do?

    And for your comparison, the money supply here has doubled every decade for at least the past two decades. That’s what living beyond your means as a society looks like.

    That’s possible about the pension funds, certainly expanding the money supply and relying on debt is the equivalent actions of stealing from the future. I’m of the belief that the bond markets are being supported at all costs, but then those things are a tool to hide some societal ills. Just for one example: when I was a young bloke, people saved up to purchase a car. Over time I watched as the debt required to take on ownership of a new car became more arduous and the loans kept getting longer. Where will it stop, I don’t really know.

    Hehe! That’s funny about those memes. From what I’ve read, the purchaser of that bank may possibly not be in all that good a condition either, but time will tell.

    Well done you. Respect. I struggled to find an interweb link, and would love to see the photos, if you could please provide a link? And I’ll try and nab some locally grown chestnuts and try your technique of raising the trees from seed. I used to write for the permaculture news website. Lovely people.

    I can see that about the outdoor grafting during those months. Many years ago I attended a workshop with an old timer orchardist on the art of summer bud grafting, and that’s a good technique too. I’d be curious to hear how you choose your rootstock?

    Now the weather is cooling and the rains are returning, I may move a few more fruit trees whilst the soils are warm.



  17. Hi Lewis,

    Oops then! 😉 Hope your lunch was nice? Mine was nice at first, however, I’m uncertain as to the correct word to use, and was hoping you’d help me out here. I’ll paint you a nice picture of the scene: The ladies voice on the next table over was so loud and penetrating, that I was utterly unable to read anything. The words were on the page, my eyes were taking them in, but everything was over ridden by the noise. Yes, possibly the voice that sunk a thousand ships! Anyway, I was rapidly developing a headache, so we moved tables to a quieter corner. Even in the full sun, with that hot ball of fusion in the sky cooking my skin, the conditions were preferable, and the headache receded. It would have been at least somewhat beneficial if the topic being discussed wasn’t what sounded to me like a very boring holiday.

    There’s always something new isn’t there? Some experiences can be rather unpleasant! Perhaps the lady had worked in the theatre and learned how to elucidate her words, at volume? A handy skill in some circumstances. But alas, all tools can be misused, and such appeared to be the case today. I must say that it was an impressive effort to clear that area of customers, a true feat of endurance! One which I hope not to encounter again.

    How’s that for a proper whinge? 🙂 After we moved, lunch was lovely.

    Bizarrely, we had intended to work today finishing off the ramp on the new flat excavation site. Nature had other plans, and a super cell storm hit this morning. The rain was very intense, almost tropical, and things were worse elsewhere on that front in the big smoke. I’m not working outside in those conditions, so we had an admin day instead. You know, doing the stuff which needs doing in order to keep the juggernaut afloat. By early afternoon the sun was shining, and it was very warm and humid.

    Good stuff potting up the plants for the Master Gardeners plant sale. And in the garden, the work is never done – you heard it here first! Has Elinor come up with any plans for her garden bed? How about your plans? Are you going to chuck in anything new this year?

    That’s funny too! I’d enjoy seeing the joke.

    Mate, you’re very lucky that the plant nursery has new owners. A nearby nursery went through a very similar change of the old guard few years ago now: Riddells Creek Nursery. I was there today, and picked up a couple of Globe Artichoke plants. It is nice to see local businesses carrying on with new owners, and it’s better than before.

    I’m not sure you could be un-banked down under. Their magic is strong… But I’ve heard of people who’ve lived in other unusual countries and now live down here, and they have little faith in the banking systems here, and keep most of their cash outside the system. Fair enough too, their experience has to guide them, and for all I know, they might be right to act so. I see that despite the protestations of the media and many statements of belief, official interest rates were lifted in your country. I did remark that this would be the case. Poverty for millions, no worries. Hyper inflation – holy carp! Perhaps the folks with their paws on the policy levers know where that story leads? It won’t end well.

    Sigh, indeed. I hear you, and wouldn’t be taking this economic path, but it ain’t my choice and I’d be roundly hated by all for taking the path which needs taking. No point giving them all something to fixate upon is there?

    Fingers crossed that this is the last frost for you guys. Always a risky time of year for fruit trees.

    I picked up some more parts today for the ongoing solar power system upgrade project. There’s a few more things that need doing with that system, but as of today none of those things are urgent – that I’m aware of. Of course, things can change suddenly and at short notice, but I’d like to hope that this isn’t the case in this instance.

    Hehe! I was thinking that too about the drugs, but didn’t get around to saying it. All those cheesy grins must mean something. ‘Tes not natural. I feel content, but super-happy is not my natural state of being – takes too much effort. Probably risk takers to boot. Hey, all I know is that start-ups, might not be getting started-up as easily in the future.

    We don’t go looking for art in op-shops. Most of our lot comes from small time local art shows, you know the sort of thing you see in a small country hall. I quite enjoy visiting those shows.

    Ah, I see about your windows. Out of curiosity, if they slide vertically (and two of the windows here do likewise), is there some sort of counterbalanced weight or friction to hold the moveable pane up? Occasionally, the vertical ones here will slide down with a crash when least expected. Friction is good, but weights are better. The older Victorian era houses I’ve worked on have beautiful lead weights and pulleys which counterbalance the window pane. Super easy to repair, but it astounds me to see the number of windows over the years in other peoples houses where the rope has broken and the weight has fallen to the bottom of it’s channel… Bonkers, but I enjoy fixing things. The crashing weight would have made quite the sound when it fell. Sometimes only one rope for the weights has broken, and those windows are difficult to use.

    Interesting. I believe the ductless air conditioners require that a compressor be installed outside the house. From what I understand, not to do so would be akin to cooling off by standing in front of an open refrigerator door. Sure it feels cold at the front of the machine, but heat is shifting to the back of the machine – with both being inside the house, so overall it will get hotter inside. The ducts expel the now hotter air outside the house.

    Compared to heating with electricity, cooling is a far more effective thing to do with the energy source. Basically, the machine works using compressed gas. Not hard. If you’re going to put one in a bedroom, then I’d be concerned with how noisy the machine is. Sometimes the winds at night can occasionally blow hard and the noise will wake me up, so a machine making a lot of noise would be a sort of torture for me, and may require more coffee to compensate for the affront. You may feel differently?



  18. Chris:

    You always have the three fluffies of fun and silly with you . . .

    Yes, we do have a Mr. Diggy (I like that; I think I’ll call him Mr. Diggy from now on). Though I was pondering the other day just how much he might be compacting the soil. Still, for clearing the land and removing the trees, all at once and not taking years to do it by hand, I don’t see anything better. We’ll see how it plays out.

    Perhaps you needed the rain?


  19. Yo, Chris – Oh, my “little lunch” was the usual. That I never seem to tire of. Oatmeal, four fruits and berries, almond milk. A bit of cinnamon. A small handful of walnuts and two squares of dark chocolate.

    Well, you could use cacophony or cacophonous. Brays like a Molly (which is a female mule.) We have one of those, here. Sits in the smoke shack, all the way across the parking lot, and if I’m working in the garden, it’s like a buzz saw, through my head. I’ve picked up ear plugs, but haven’t deployed them, yet. But, the problem may take care of itself. She hasn’t been much in evidence, lately, and I think she’s sliding downhill.

    Nature always has other plans. 🙂 The next four days, we may get late night / early morning snow. Maybe. Overnight temps will hover right around 32F (-0-C). Keep that juggernaut afloat. World domination can’t be too far, ahead. 🙂

    LOL. I’m pretty stiff and sore, this morning. Elinor already has some elephant garlic, in her bed. Some Snow in Summer. There will also be plenty of Nasturtium that comes up, snapdragons and gladiolas. Sweet peas. She’ll want two tomatoes, and there will be lots of dithering over variety. Depends on what the variety store has on offer. They usually have good looking plants at the cheapest price around.

    I don’t know if I’ll plant anything new. Nothing comes to mind. I think my tank plot will have a cherry tomato, and lots of different things from the Allium family. Depends on how much space I have left over. The other bed, green beans, corn. Don’t know what else. Cool weather, fall plants will go in there. Beets. Etc.. I’ll just put in this and that til I run out of space.

    Well, now that the interest rates have gone up, I wonder if the CDs and T-Bill yields, will rise? No self interest, here 🙂 . Takes awhile for those kind of changes to filter down.

    If I smiled, my face would crack. Smiling makes one “approachable.” I’d rather be unapproachable.

    Maybe I should have said, our windows move horizontally? From side to side. Oh, yeah. I’m pretty familiar with the weight and sash kind of windows. When I had the place downtown, there were huge, two story upper windows. All the sash weight ropes, had rotted out. So had the frames. I kept expecting all that glass to end up in the middle of Tower Avenue. Weights, here, were also made of cast iron.

    And, again, maybe I should just have stuck with portable air conditioning unit. I guess ductless is something completely different.

    Well, that’s interesting. I guess in some versions of the Triffid story, Triffids were “farmed globally, for their premium quality oil.” Seemed like a good idea. What could possible go wrong? Lew

  20. Chris,

    Your Mojo Moves Viragos? Nice one.

    Wednesday turned into a mid-week hiatus. Then the Princess arrived home from her latest venture with her brother. Hiatus day.

    In the Clint Eastwood vein… if Goran’s 22% annual food inflation continues for long, it will take a fistful of dollars to buy a loaf of bread.

    Wednesday was such a hiatus day that I dropped Avalanche off with Killian the Doberman. They got 6 hours together to wrestle, chew on one another, sniff, and drive Killian’s human absolutely crazy.

    Extended droughts? Yup, we’ve had them. Errmm , 80% or so of our rainfall occurs from late autumn through middle of spring. Your summer. 1973 saw no rain for 91 days, April through early July, and that was brutal. There have been other years in which there was low snowfall, dry spring, then hot summers. The years 2021 and 2022 put us into a severe drought. The combination of the rain spigots turning off in mid-winter and the very early onset of record setting temperatures set us up for near record drought. On the other hand, it was as recently as about 2015 when the rain didn’t quit until late June. Lots of flooding, water everywhere.

    I get it. If you’re a guy, you’re supposed to know that stuff from birth. Yeah right. And level of carelessness? We have had a rash of automobile accidents in the past 2 months that feature car vs. utility pole, car vs tree or car vs house. Single car accidents. The local joke is that the trees and poles and houses hate cars and jump out in front of them to wreck the cars. I don’t know how these accidents occur on bare and dry roads…carelessness I guess.


  21. Hi Pam,

    A person and their fluffies can but only try and do their best to entertain. 🙂

    Compacted soil can be repaired, and nature does that job for free, if allowed enough time in between squooshing incidents. If you’re concerned about the effects, give the worms and fungi something to eat – say some wood chips, and the problem will go away.

    Sometimes you need to get in a big machine to do the heavy lifting.

    Maybe so about the rain. Hey, it rained again today. It’s very damp outside now, and there are times I do wonder whether I’m living in a rainforest. And spare a thought for me: if it stops raining for a few weeks, I begin to worry. That perhaps is not a resilient mindset. 😉 All this rain is both a blessing and a curse. How are you doing on that front?



  22. Hi DJ,

    For the record, I’ve run out of ideas in relation to the acronym… My brain is occasionally full, and I risk the awfulness of chunks falling out of my brain if too much is demanded to be squeezed in there. Not nice for me, and possibly far more unpleasant for those around me.

    The mid-week hiatus is a thing to celebrate, perhaps with a brewski and some fine companions.

    Hehe! You got me there with that movie title. Yep, a fistful of dollars indeed. Hey, I should re-watch some of those most excellent spaghetti westerns. But yeah, the foodflation thing is a complicated problem. The Editor did the grocery shopping on her way home from the big smoke the other day and the tally came to $170. Bonkers given how little stuff was stashed in the quarter century old cloth bags. The yummy cheese with the vegetable rennet (I assume they used fig leaves or something like that) has only been intermittently available over the past few months, and so she stocked up. It’s interesting that as things become less available, we’re adapting the amount we store. A few months ago, dry dog food (which we chuck in a little bit each day as a filler with the stuff we make) was in short supply, but yeah rode through that on stores. Sooner or later, we’re going to stuff it up, but when is the interesting question?

    I’ll bet Avalanche slept heavily after that day? Took the fluffies for an hour long walk this evening just to get them out of the house. It’d rained for most of the day and by very late afternoon the rain had departed the area. The dogs were suffering a bit from cabin fever before that. All sound asleep now.

    Thanks for the detailed description of your climate extremes. Interesting and remarkably variable. The 91 days without rain would have stressed me out. For your info, I’ve experienced the city reservoir storages in the big smoke reaching the mid-teen percentages with wide scale water rationing. I believe the big smoke now has a million or more people since those days – an exciting prospect for future drought years.

    You get that, it’s a weird expectation isn’t it? Oh well. Oops! that’s not good and with a tiny little bit of soul searching, there may be some underlying issues to uncover with that story? Here’s where a touch of Cro-magnon and Neanderthal blood assist: situational awareness makes the sensitive person wonder if there is a Saber-tooth tiger in hiding wanting to chow down upon our otherwise in-use bones? Always handy from that respect. 🙂 Good luck!



  23. Hi Lewis,

    Of course. Hey you make the oatmeal in advance then nuke it don’t you? What you described is pretty much my breakfast, except the oatmeal is a toasted combo which I bake of: rolled oats + pepitas + peanuts + honey. Super yummo! The cinnamon is a nice touch. Had a gravy the other evening and the chef appears to have added nutmeg. That was new and unexpected. The naughty potty mouthed celebrity chef may have remarked: “F!@# me! Have you tasted this? Always something of an uncomfortable conversation to have with chef, you may agree? The spice addition was more unexpected than unpleasant.

    Ah, so you do the dark chocolate for lunch? I wouldn’t tire of that lunch either. Yum. My food tastes are probably suited to the well fed peasant. Nothing wrong with that, those folks know how to eat properly. 🙂

    Cacophony sounds about right, although a discordant note might work equally as well? I’d intended to use the word ‘enunciate’ but instead yesterday used the word ‘elucidate’. A bit of a difference there. Mate the only thing which was becoming clearer from that incident was my headache. 🙂 It was a relief to move to a table far, far away. I can see why the Star Wars fictional thing was a Galaxy far, far away. A lot of noise those Death Star machines, and they always seemed to get blown up. Surely the evil empire could have made them to be more sturdy and resilient?

    With that, I’m so torn. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing that you are no longer subjected to the voice which sank a million ships. And I agree, some problems take care of themselves. So true, time has a way of sorting that out.

    You need to get that quote about nature trademarked – then our fortunes will be made as we live fat on the licensing deals. 🙂 Have you seen any snow around yet? I awoke to pea soup thick fog, then it rained, and kept on raining on and off for most of the day. Abandoned work plans and went and nabbed a gourmet pie. Just the thing to soothe the soul on an otherwise miserable day of weather. Still, the rain dampens the forest down, and this is a good thing. I’m wondering if the burn off restrictions will be lifted soon? With this sort of weather – and next week looks equally wet, possibly more so – the restrictions may ease early.

    World domination would be nice, except for all the continual squabbling and expectations.

    You’ve worked hard on getting the garden beds ready for the growing season. Feeling stiff and sore is the reward for such labours. 🙂 Wise to take a flexible approach to planting. Like you, we too fill the available space and just kind of hope for the best. I was making noises yesterday about pulling out the eggplants. The Editor brought it to my attention that the bushes have several slim purple varieties of eggplants hanging off them. A bit hasty on my part perhaps? With all this wet weather today and in the forecast, we’re probably going to pull the pumpkins over the next few days and harvest all of the fruit. The vines are coming near to the end of the season and you can see the leaves yellowing. It would be a disaster if all the rain caused the fruit to rot.

    Hehe! Nothing wrong with a bit of self interest there, and it is not as if the folks who’ve indulged in heavy levels of debt haven’t been partying like there’s no tomorrow for the past 26 years or so. It always interests me that fat margins are being made between official interest rates being announced and when deposit rates physically going up.

    Like your style there with the unapproachable face. I try grunting from time to time, and that is also an effective response. Hey, we’ve come up with a new response one liner to weird situations. Always handy to have such things ready to chuck into the conversation. And how’s this one: “Don’t involve me in your business” I reckon that one liner will come in handy at some unknown point in the future. I just have to repeat it enough so that it’s locked into the brain. It isn’t my hard wired response, so it takes more effort. If I was brought up right, these things would be easier, but that didn’t happen and we mustn’t grumble. Or maybe we should, huh?

    Man, whatever works on that front with the air conditioner. I can get on my stump (as the king in the Wizard of ID cartoons used to) and um bang on in a self righteous manner, but if the building doesn’t work without mechanical cooling, the building thing probably doesn’t work right. It’s not an uncommon story.

    In the original John Wyndham story, the Triffids were farmed for their oil – and possibly also their bad attitudes. Don’t turn your back on one if ever there seems to be a Triffid lurking down the back of the garden. It won’t end well, that’s for sure.



  24. Chris:

    Just about right here, as far as rain goes: About every four days we get a nice shower, then a wind comes up and dries out the surface for a day so that Mr. Diggy can work, yet the garden still retains its moisture. I don’t think I could ask for better, though yesterday was 86F (30C), while a couple of days before there was a low of 28F (12C). That makes me a bit whoozy.


  25. Hi Chris,
    Those are some jumbo sized rawhides! I hope it takes them some time to go through them.

    Your tiller looks very similar to mine which I bought over 30 years ago. It’s served us well though I don’t use it much anymore unless we’re tilling up a new bed.

    March has been colder than normal. Usually we’ll get a day or two in the 70’s and several in the 60’s but not this year. Precipitation is normal or maybe a little above. After two years the creek is running well.

    I’ve been successfully cutting back my online time lately. Found I can get sucked into the rabbit hole when there’s a better use of my time. It’s time to start monitoring the bluebird trail at the conservation district and I’m on the Friends of the Library committee and we have a fundraiser at the end of April which is taking up my time. Recently a seed library, board game library and soon a library of things have been added. Some of the funds we raise goes to purchase of those items.

    At any rate if you don’t see me as often that is why though I always keep up with the doings at Fernglade Farm.

    The house of cards that is the economy is certainly swaying.


  26. Hi Chris,

    Happy autumn equinox! (a few days late)

    I too liked the CBF: both clear and clever. Win for you! Except that it would have been preferable to not have the situation come up at all, so you could apply your clear and clever writing to a more pleasant subject.

    It’s not clear here at all. We’ve had few sunny days in 2023, and an even lower percentage in March. After a very warm start to the month, the weather swung the other direction. Last weekend’s morning lows were 21F and 19F respectively. No snow, but the magnolia flowers were burnt to a crisp. Fortunately daffodil flowers are hardy enough to withstand that much cold. It’s a good thing I started seeds on the front porch in late February, a little earlier than usual, because the plants came up while it was warmer and brighter. Their growth has really slowed down with the cold and cloudy conditions of the past two weeks. Last night we had 1.8 inches of rain and expect more rain this afternoon and overnight. I miss sunshine!


  27. Yo, Chris – Yes, this morning (Fri.) is a “make some oatmeal in bulk, morning. The next time around will be Monday morning. The morning we have biscuits and gravy, I skip the oatmeal, but have a banana / walnuts / chocolate when I get home. That extends the “make oatmeal day” by one. 🙂

    “The Two Fat Ladies” were great believers in throwing a bit of nutmeg in a lot of things. But they used a light hand. They used it on baked or roasted meats, of one kind or another. I often add nutmeg to baked goods, if it’s called for, or not. But then, I like nutmeg.

    “Time had a way of sorting that out.” Especially, around here. 🙂 The EMTs, come and go. Stinky Lady (she wears something I’m allergic to) from down the hall, has disappeared. She hasn’t been here, long. Of course, she could be on a trip to the Holy Land, or something.

    We’ll start out with the t-shirts and see how it goes. We’ll know we’ve hit the big time, if there’s action figures in children’s fast food meals. Or maybe, a Broadway musical 🙂 .

    Well, the possibility of snow has been adjusted from four days, to two. When I took H for her walk this morning, there were a few flakes, mixed in with rain. But, the temperature is well above freezing, so, no worries until tomorrow morning. Maybe. Overnight low didn’t get anywhere near freezing.

    Oh, the garden beds probably won’t be ready for much, for another month and a half, or so. My stock tank bed is pretty ready, but I think I’m going to have to store some dirt in there, from my other bed that will start undergoing reconstruction (replacing the 6×6″ top stringer.) Lots of prep to do, there.

    Increased deposit rates do take awhile, to filter down to us great unwashed. 🙂 The banks and credit unions don’t seem to be in any hurry.

    I find unapproachable face, coupled with dead silence, works better for me. Seems to ratchet up other people’s discomfort and unease.

    As to air conditioners and noise, if it’s noisy, I’ll turn it off, at bedtime. I’d do that, anyway. As I’m a night owl, the thermal inertia will carry me through, in comfort.

    I see you posted on chew-flation, over at Mr. Greer’s. I didn’t get a chance to check last night, but as of Wednesday night, no one had commented. But then, posts were only up to 68.

    I had to hit the credit union, last night, and figured I’d do a look in at one of the cheap food stores. They had the biscuits, for the biscuits and gravy. Tin’s of 5, 2 for $1. I bought ten, which will carry us through a couple of weeks. I also picked up a gallon of milk. Cheapest place to buy it. Just over $3. I was on my way to do my weekly grocery shopping, at my regular store, but picked up a few things at the cheap store. Anything I buy there, will be less than the regular grocery. But, it was still a pricey trip. Lew

  28. Hi Pam,

    That sounds lovely, and I hear you about needing some time out every now and then for the wind to dry the top layers of soil, just so that some work can get done. It’s been my experience that too much rain, is as problematic as too little. 86’F is an almost perfect temperature. So lovely.

    The seasons have turned here and it barely reached 59’F today. A good day to move rocks if I must say so. 28’F is very cold in my books. Brr! 🙂 We’re creating a new succulent garden near to the existing terraced one. It’s good because the area the new succulent garden in was a bit steep and hard to maintain – more correctly, it wasn’t maintained.

    This morning it rained, and it’s been a few days of that now. At least it stopped raining by the time we got stuck into moving rocks. Oh well.



  29. Hi Margaret,

    Yes, they’re pretty huge aren’t they. About as long as a 12″ ruler. As you’d imagine Ollie has the capacity to get through one of them in a few hours, but his chew time is limited. Interestingly, he prefers the chews when Dame Plum and/or Ruby have begun the process of breaking them down into smaller chunks. Dame Plum and Ruby do the hard yards with the chews, but it takes them a long time to do so.

    Seriously, the scary old rototiller is an amazing machine. Why haven’t I had one of these machines before? Good to hear that yours has survived three decades, and this one looks about the same age too. I bought it off the farm machine repair dude the day before he passed on, and I think of him whenever I use the machine. I reckon he would have appreciated the thoughts. I agree with your usage pattern too. It’s good for ripping up new garden beds. I try not to till well established garden beds and instead use the hoe to cut the weeds out of the soil. Easy enough to do – for now! 😉

    Good to hear that the local creek is now running well. A good sign as to the wider soil moisture in that area. The local creek here has likewise been running well right through summer – which is amazing.

    Ah, yes, a digital detox is a fine thing. And I hear you. Mostly I limit my screen time to nights. My job forces me to stare at screens for longer than I’d candidly prefer. Good stuff and hope the work with the bluebird trail mob goes well – and that the birds appreciate the efforts. That’s a great idea of using the library facility as a seed library, although working out who is reliable enough to replenish seed stocks is always a difficult proposition.

    Margaret, it is always a pleasure to hear from you.

    Yeah, it isn’t good, but on the other hand I have a belief that the good news out of the drama is that some of the worst excesses in our society will no longer be possible. And fingers crossed it puts an end to leaf change tourism.



  30. Hi Claire,

    And a happy spring equinox to you too. 🙂 The day here was quite pleasant, warm actually (my version of that, not your version! 😉 ) and cloudy.

    I know, the subject just doesn’t seem to garner much enthusiasm. The decisions have been made by others and the pendulum has been set in motion. Oh well, ours is simply to muddle on through doing the best we can. At least that’s what I’d like to think how things work. We’ll all be fine. Economic declines are better than some alternatives because at least all the useful stuff is laying around waiting for re-uses. Things could always be worse.

    The growing season was frankly rather short here, and is now rapidly turning towards winter. I’m thinking about pulling all of the pumpkin (your squash) vines over the next few days and harvesting all the fruit before the consistent rains assist soil critters and fungi breaking the otherwise thick skins. On the other hand with the soil still warm and the rain persistent, I might be able to move some fruit trees. Dunno, but it’s worth doing. Some of the huge eucalyptus trees have extensive root systems – bigger than you’d imagine possible, but that I’m guessing is how they reach the great heights they do. A few of the fruit trees have to compete with the eucalyptus trees and it is easier to move them than try and adapt.

    Fingers crossed you don’t enjoy growing season conditions like I’ve had to deal with for the past three seasons. Let’s put it this way: It’s been something of a challenge! Magnolia trees are really stunning when in full flower. Beautiful. Yes, they might not play so well with the frost. But daffodils, jonquils, snow drops shrug off such weather.

    Wise to start your seedlings on the protected porch. You don’t have to wonder why we constructed the larger greenhouse last year. 🙂 Hey, we even produced a few slim eggplants in that greenhouse. I will definitely save seeds from that plant.

    I’m pretty sure that around 55 inches of rain fell here last year. It’s a bit much really, probably a touch over the top, and I hear you about the pining for the sunshine. Fingers crossed that fusion reactor in the sky does its job properly for you. 🙂



  31. @ all
    Still here, just got a lot to deal with e.g communicating with people about my sister.
    Thanks for kind comments.
    I am currently reading the essays of William Hazlitt 1778 – 1830. One of them is entitled ‘The ignorance of the learned’ nuff said!


  32. Hi Lewis,

    Isn’t it funny that when you make a lot of food from scratch using raw materials that you end up having to do a lot of that work in semi-regular processes? We do a lot of cooking that way too. We’ll make up a big batch of vegetable and lentil base just for one example, and then use that in all manner of meals. I’m sure you may have noticed as well, but in reading about how other cultures do things food wise, they often cook that way too. It’s kind of a natural response I reckon, because if you were forced to do all of the steps in one hit, you’d eventually be worn down by the effort. Nobody wants that. I have had to sort of work out how to spread the cooking work load across the week too so that no day requires a monster cooking effort.

    🙂 Banana, walnuts and dark chocolate sounds pretty good to me. Interestingly, plums were in very short supply down here this summer. Frosts and floods hit the orchards across many parts of the country pretty hard. But grain growers in some areas of the country have done really well. Always good to have access to diverse growing areas. Your country has that advantage too.

    That’s probably where the nutmeg idea got its legs. I like nutmeg too, but not too much, and not too little, but just right. That’s how much to add that is! Oh far out man, that’s hard work on the olfactory senses! That’s the more-on (say it fast) approach – where a little bit is good, therefore a whole lot must be better. Ain’t necessarily so, there are limits, and some scents just make me sneeze too. Always fun to do so in these freaked out times. 🙂 Chris has the dreaded lurgie, they may say – no, did you have to apply so much scent to your personage? Hmm. Then the conversation rapidly escalates to the point where strange ladies, barely known to me, whack me around the back of the head – there was no provocation in that instance. A truly odd incident. Anyway, I hear you bro. 😉 And that outcome is always possible, sorry to say. People have invested much effort over the ages to keeping the skinny dude with the going-out hoodie and wicked sharp scythe away. Delay yes, Defeat – no.

    I like how the business side of your brain works! Couldn’t agree more, start small: Begin with the t-shirts. 🙂

    Such weather forecasts sound like a snow-tease to me. I doubt you’ll get any snow. It rained again this morning. Frankly it was a touch wet and unappealing outside. However, once the rain stopped, we started work late and ended up having lunch well past 3pm. Moved a whole lot of large rocks (fourteen I believe) out of an existing chunk of infrastructure we’re in the process of dismantling. The large rocks were used to construct a retaining wall for a new succulent garden bed. It’s a really steep section of the property below the new low gradient ramp project, and something had to happen to make the area easier to maintain. It was the Editors idea to put in the succulent garden. It’s a good idea. Many of the succulents are ground covers and they’ll eventually spill over the rocks and it should look quite good. I’m hoping to fill that bed with soil and top soil tomorrow, but we’ll see. The soil is being dug out of a nearby drainage collection area which I intend to plant out with ferns. There’s no reason infrastructure shouldn’t look good, although it will be a few weeks away from completing it. We’ve got a few projects on the go right now because the outputs from one project are the inputs for another project. It’s been quite the challenge to juggle all of these ideas – and cope with the sudden turn in the weather.

    Hey, at least the freezing weather held off for you. And another month and a half (would be the same here too if things were flipped upside down) should put you safely out of frosty weather.

    Yeah, funny about that isn’t it with the deposit rates? Someone is making money somewhere, and it might not be either you or I.

    Your face and demeanour (what I might call by the technical description: ‘get lost face number five’!) would probably do the trick, but some folks are rather persistent, and they may catch you unawares when your: ‘sunny disposition face number two’, is on display. Always something of a problem that, because you’re then on the back foot.

    That’s probably how I’d use such a machine as well. I’ve known the occasional overnight low summer temperature here of 84’F, and that is a bit of a struggle and those nights I really appreciate the ceiling fans. Very uncomfortable sleeping temperatures. I prefer cooler overnight temperatures. I’ve been to the tropics, and have no idea how people adapt to those sleeping conditions.

    Between you and I, people appear reluctant to engage with the topic. That outcome surprised me. It most certainly means something, and I’ve given some deep thought to the matter over the past few days. Do you have any ideas in relation to that outcome?

    Most excellent hunting and gathering – and for your info, I’m also stocking up. Hmm. Anyways, your milk is so cheap that it’s awesome to consider. A gallon of milk would cost me just under $10. Yes, things are on the up here too, but it’s a bit all over the place and some costs have risen, whilst others have not. A mystery.

    I’d organised my week next week so that I had some free time on Monday to source and plant out the ferns, but the weather forecast is promising a fair bit of rain. Oh well, the ferns may appreciate such weather, not sure how I feel about working outside in those conditions. We’ll see how it goes.



  33. Hi Inge,

    Thank you for taking the time to drop by and say hello.

    It’s always good to read something new, especially when the subject was written upon several centuries ago, and just seems so applicable in these enlightened days. 🙂 Always something of a surprise!

    Ah, the seasons have turned here, and we are rapidly moving towards the winter months. There has been rather a lot of rain, drizzle and fog over the past few days. I’d been enjoying the recent run of dry and warm weather. Oh well, mustn’t grumble.

    The land dried up just enough today that we were able to relocate some rather large rocks from a project which we are dismantling and recovering the materials, and used the rocks in a new succulent garden bed. In a couple of weeks, it should look good.

    Hope spring is showing in your part of the world?



  34. Yo, Chris – Yes, food in batches is the way to go. Intense effort followed by “fruits of your labor.” I think a lot of cultures cook like that, as it uses less fuel. In the long run.

    Diverse growing areas is the way to go. With luck, there’s always something around to eat.

    Maybe the strange lady who whacked the back of your head, thought she saw one of those new spiders. The big red trap-doors, discovered up north. Or, she hallucinated one. Or maybe she’s a retired teacher, who misses smacking young men in the back of the head.

    It got down to freezing, just for a few hours, last night. Still no snow. Not even a few flakes. The succulent garden sounds like a good project. Stabilize the bank a bit. Look pretty, eventually.

    I read through the comments, at Mr. Greer’s, last night. Not much action on the economics front. Though I see Mr. Greer said “all will be revealed” at a later date. People have so many other pressing (to them) concerns. Such as: “Do wizards live in towers?” 🙂 Magicians? Alchemists? Economics are an existential threat. Like climate change. If it’s not in their face, well, it doesn’t exist. And, besides. What’s the individual to do? Go on. What’s the solution?

    Milk (among a lot of other things), is heavily subsidized. Keep the prices low, so the natives don’t get too restless. Any talk of reducing subsidies, and whatever industry involved, screams bloody murder. As of 2011, there were 23 registered lobbyists, for every Congress critter. Sometimes, they even write the bills, that make it to consideration. You sort of saw that system at work, in the film “Thank You for Smoking.”

    I finished an interesting book, last night. “The Little Wartime Library.” A novel, but based on true events. Bethnal Green is an area in the east end of London. Right next door to the area portrayed, in “Call the Midwife.” So, poor with a lot of immigrants. One wave after another. Early in WWII, their library was bombed. There was a tube station, nearby. It had been under construction, when the war started. The people broke down the gates, and took it for their own. 5,000+ people slept there, every night. Eventually, it had an auditorium, doctor’s station, food canteens … and a library. There was a terrible stampede there, early in the war. 175+ people were killed. I found it to be a good read. A bit of a romance, but I just ignored the mush and stuck with the historic stuff. 🙂

    So, any more tree ferns? They are so cool. Prehistoric. Lew

  35. Hi Lewis,

    Ah, I had not considered the fuel involved with cooking that way, but yes that makes an awful lot of sense to also save on cooking fuel. I reckon longer term we’ll have to install a wood stove, but that project is not something that my mind can wrap itself around right now. Bit busy.

    Exactly, and that’s how a small holding is meant to work. Nowadays, most people consider a small holding is a place where you run a small flock of sheep, or goats or cows, but it’s far more than that. Understanding all of the stories of the plants whether it be the annuals, those longer life ones out in the garden, or in the orchard, is a very complicated matter. Animals have their own issues. My understanding was that back in the day, the animals were kept on small holdings in order to convert paddocks into manure, and only the occasional animal could ever be eaten. I’m sure the Victorian and Edwardian Farm folks had something to say about that matter.

    Hehe! I saw the reports of those newly discovered spiders. Ook! A frightening critter, and best left undisturbed. Unfortunately, I did actually disturb a few trap door spiders today. Couldn’t be helped. Anyway, we dug the new drainage basin where the water run off from the front of the house and the driveway ends up before heading further down hill. The work day was short by about an hour and I ended up rock lining about two thirds of the drainage basin. And you guessed it correctly, I’m going to head down to the local nursery tomorrow and see if they have any tall tree ferns. Just the things for a very damp location. If they don’t have any, I’ll have to head up to the specialist fern nursery which is about an hours drive from here – but on another day. Underneath the tree fern will be some of the local mother shield ferns. It should look pretty interesting once it’s all planted out.

    And, rain is on the forecast tomorrow, so I’ll be able to test if the drain works the way I believe that it may. Fingers crossed.

    Did you get any snow yet? Sounds like a lot of talk to me that promised snow forecast. 🙂

    All of the top soil we excavated today for the drainage pit, ended up as fill in the new succulent garden.

    Yes, if Mr Greer says that all will be revealed in time, I have little doubt that it will happen. I was curious as to the ‘why’ of the wait, but patience is a virtue. What’s an individual to do? Why spend less than they earn, that’s what. As a strategy, it’s achievable. But alas, for most folks, it is an unpalatable option. It’s funny you mention that question…

    Oh my! Imagine being harassed each day at work by 23 people? You’d quickly lose the plot. Hang on a second… Hehe! You know, I secretly enjoyed that film, it was dark, but really hit some home runs on how things are. I’ve noticed that people have recently been smoking in places where they probably shouldn’t. Laws are only good if they can be enforced.

    That’s a very interesting topic, and shows what motivated people can do in a tight spot. I’d read about the stampedes, they happen and I’m not sure how I’d go in such a thing – probably not well. The madness of crowds, perhaps? Good to hear that the citizens of the time decided to rescue the library (or what remained of the contents) and relocate it to a safer underground spot.

    Fingers crossed the nursery has them for sale. 🙂

    Better get writing!



  36. Yo, Chris – Besides the manure, maybe milk and pull power 🙂 . Maybe some little ones, to trade for filthy lucre, or maybe barter. Perhaps a bit of extra to sweeten a daughter’s dowry.

    Our Master Gardeners wanted to put in a willow, in a damp spot. Where we had some drainage problems. Admin wouldn’t allow it. Willows can get out of hand, though.

    Just those few flakes, the other day. I don’t know how Seattle and Portland fared. We might have a couple of nice days, this week. A few 60F+ days.

    I’d guess that Mr. Greer has an agenda, of topics to cover. Probably stacked up like planes at an airport 🙂 . I’d guess, unless something extraordinary comes up, he sticks to it. Especially given his being on the spectrum.

    Or wined and dined by those 23 people. A little money under the table for the re-election fund. Maybe a nice vacation, somewhere. Cushy jobs for extended family. Maybe even some real estate.

    I picked up a new book at the library, that you might want to give a look at. “The Devil’s Element: Phosphorus and a World Out of Balance.” (Egan, 2023). It’s a good read, and I’m finding it pretty fascinating. Lew

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