Hunting for witches

People don’t read this blog to immerse themselves in yet more commentary on the rather tiresome sport of politics. However, given the events of the past couple of weeks I’ve decided that a brief foray into that landscape might be worthwhile. If I may add, the politicians at the helm of this here ship, otherwise known as ‘western civilisation’, look like a bunch of numpties. I’m astounded that our leaders could stuff things up so badly. And yet here we are today, with what looks like a second proxy war over in the land of sand and oil.

Ordinarily, I’m unfazed by such activities, but it was hard not to notice that during the week, a bit over 40% of my readership suddenly disappeared. Vanished. Gone. Kaput. No more. It’s an impressive achievement after nearly ten years of continuous blogging. Since day one, I’ve blocked spammers, trolls and all of the other unpleasant life-forms lurking about the interweb, so the numbers don’t lie. There’s a part of me that wonders if the missing readership are glued to the news cycle. “The war is going well Brother!”

I do genuinely wonder about the abilities of our leaders. Last weekend the adult population of the entire nation came together to vote upon a change to the constitution. That’s serious business and voting is compulsory at risk of a fine, and here is the question which voters faced:

“A Proposed Law: to alter the Constitution to recognise the First Peoples of Australia by establishing an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice.
Do you approve this proposed alteration?”

The vote required a simple yes or no response. Given the track record of the government in this matter, it sounds like a great idea to get local people bringing local problems and solutions to the very people who have the resources to get something done about them. It seemed like a good idea, except the politicians promoting the ‘voice’ concept provided no further details whatsoever. I wondered how many people would represent each of the 250 or so indigenous language groups, and how long would those people serve on the ‘voice’. All fair questions, and yet the politicians gave no details whatsoever, because there were none to be had. The message being delivered to the public was ‘trust us’ with this, we’ll work out the details later. Hmm, track record.

It was an utterly bonkers way to run a campaign for an otherwise good idea. And unsurprisingly, outside of a few wealthy inner city areas, and the capital territory where the Federal Parliament is located (an area which is less than a state), the population resoundingly said ‘no’. That looked to me like it sent a strong message from the population at large about the perception of trust. The aftermath in the media looked like a hunt for witches driven mostly by the same people who were asking for trust.

Talk about crazy days. Two proxy wars on the go. Failed referendum. Numpty leaders, and 40% down on readership. It’s at this stage of history in the ongoing decline of western civilisation, a bloke needs a cunning plan! Write about oil. That’ll do it. Yeah! I’ve got this long standing in-joke with Sandra with regards to writing about the subject of oil. Every time reader statistics head south, I say to Sandra: “Reader numbers are down. Better write about oil next week!” Those words generate a sort of groaning sound combined with a look which can only be described as withering. Whatever, let’s talk about oil.

Incidentally, if reader numbers ever get too much for me to cope with, I write about the realities of living with solar power. We are equal opportunity offenders at Fernglade Farm!

It’s hard not to notice that things and stuff seem to cost more all the time. The technical word for that is known as ‘Inflation’. The official inflation numbers get mucked around with, and leave out important household costs, like houses. And that’s done for all sorts of political reasons. But, those are the numbers we have and you get the vibe that when the official numbers are bad, the reality is probably far worse. A useful statistics website (Worlddata) provided the official numbers for Australia and the US from 1960 to 2022 in graph form.

Inflation rates for consumer goods in Australia and the US 1960 to 2022

It sure looks like a rocky road to travel, and it’s hard not to notice the big mountain of inflation in 1975. That was at the end of the Vietnam war, which didn’t work out so well for the west. Australian troops were there too. Wars are funny things, if you win them, the winner gets to say: “You’re free to do whatever we tell you to do!” On the other hand, if you lose a war, you don’t have much choice other than to politely be told: “This is how things are gonna be now!”

It’s worth mentioning that by 1975, both Australia and the US were importing oil. Some of the nice nations supplying that imported oil, were not as nice as we’d previously thought. They collectively decided at that time to opportunistically cut supply. That forced up prices for oil, not to mention everything else. It was a bit of a gamble really, but after having just lost a major war, maybe our abilities and will to head over there and thump the living daylights out of them weren’t all that good. So, just like today, there was a lot of trouble in the middle east (a big source of oil). Other players in that area began flexing their muscles and extending their reach. Inflation rose very quickly as a result.

What you can take away from that time, is that high oil prices and restricted supply, tends to increase prices for everything, thus producing inflation.

The west responded by opening up new and harder to extract from oil fields, fracked the land super hard, and did all that we could to keep the supply of oil flowing. After a few years of that, official inflation eventually came down to reasonably low levels (if you ignore housing and other asset prices that is).

After decades of extraction, those fields are now in decline. Just for a local example, last I checked, the rig count on the Bass Strait oil fields were down to less than a handful. Once it was otherwise. Australia now imports 90% of its oil supplies. I’d describe that as a precarious situation. They do say that decline never sleeps.

Fast forward 46 years on from 1975, and things didn’t end up too well for the west in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Again, Australians were there too. It hardly surprises me that in the aftermath, yet again trouble has fomented in the middle east. It is worth noting that area supplies a good chunk of the world’s remaining oil.

If history is any guide, it is likely that the remaining oil supplies will again be restricted in the near future. And already we have inflationary pressures.

Yogi Berra is famously quoted as having said: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” History suggests that we’re in for tough times ahead, so I reckon forget about the numpties, and it’s time to get your garden in order.

Rest assured, that the blog is not taking a new direction.

The weather this week was again a mixed bag. A bit of rain, a bit of sun. For plenty of nights we didn’t have to run the wood heater. Other nights the bitterly cold winds swept up from that huge frozen continent to the south of Australia. We ignored it all and continued work on the low gradient path project.

There was a boulder sticking up out of the paddock near to the path. Most of it was below ground level, just like that iceberg which the Titanic hit. It was handily close to the project too, so we drilled and split the thing into four large rocks.

Ollie and I broke apart this boulder into four large rocks

Some of the rocks liberated in the previous weeks property clean up, were also brought back up the hill in the yellow powered wheelbarrow. They were then placed in the low gradient path project.

The path project proceeds a few large rocks at a time

The project tends to proceed a few large rocks at a time. This week we began the next section along, which is the curve you can see in the middle of the above image.

Looking upwards at the new rock wall on the left hand side of the image

After a long days work placing heavy rocks, we were getting ever closer to the chicken enclosure.

The path project is inching ever closer to the chicken enclosure

A couple of additional hours of work completed the uphill side of the path in the above image. And another couple of large rocks extended the downhill side of the path.

The uphill side of this section of path is now completed

This area is now ready to take some soil. The soil will be used to build up the surface of the path. That’s work for another week.

We do a lot of repairs and maintenance with the various machines here. Over the last year or two, I began reconditioning and restoring some of my music equipment. One of the switches in a 30 year old amplifier had begun failing recently. It is almost impossible to purchase a replacement switch, so I came up with the idea of swapping around another switch on the machine which was identical, but far less used. The amplifier was pulled apart, and the swap-over was made with the switches. In doing so I discovered a minor crack in the circuit board near to the failing switch, and also fixed that. It now works as good as new.

Repairs were made to a 30 year old amplifier

When working on the low gradient path project, we’ve enjoyed the company of a King Parrot who was happily munching on the very small and unripe Nashi Pears. The bird allowed us to get very close (it was probably full up to its eyeballs). I’m not all that fussed if the birds get some fruit, the heavy fruit set on the trees needs thinning anyway.

A very full King Parrot

It’s very early days for most of the fruit trees, and this is an example of what the Parrot was munching upon.

Nashi Pear trees set way too much fruit for them to develop as you’d expect

Onto the flowers:

Horse Chestnut trees produce lots of flowers
Ollie with tongue out, poses next to a patch of Forget Me Nots
This weird insect eating plant in the greenhouse may be Audrey II
It’s Rhodie time
We grow a lot of Rhododendrons
The first Rose of the season

The temperature outside now at about 9am is 10’C (50’F). So far this year there has been 747.2mm (29.4 inches) which is up from last weeks total of 743.2mm (29.3 inches)

42 thoughts on “Hunting for witches”

  1. Yo, Chris – Politics? You’re a better man than me, McDuff. A loose (very loose) interpretation of a scene from The Scottish Play. Or maybe, “You’re a better man than me, Gunga Din.” Kipling. Hmmm. White man’s burden. Kind of applies.

    So, I can splash out on the clown show, going on in our nation’s capitol? I’ll refrain. Our next national election is more than a year away, and already the “projections” are thick upon the ground. Not that, at this point, they carry more weight than breaking wind, in, well, the wind. To quote an old saying, “All over, except for the shouting.” Which will take place the day after the election.

    I still say, the drop off in your blog numbers might be due to harvesting and putting gardens to bed, at one end of the earth, and gearing up gardens to produce, at the other end.

    Inflation. Here, we count housing costs. But we don’t count food or energy costs. Same thing, fiddled in different ways.

    So, you’re waltzing us down the garden path? When will the yellow bricks, go in? 🙂 It is shaping up to be a lovely path.

    Too bad you don’t have more hard frosts. Rocks would heave out of the ground, and you’d have a never ending supply. Ask any New England farmer. That big rock may be holding up the tree behind you! Or, is it just a stump?

    A Christmas parrot! 🙂

    Forget-me-nots are such pretty little flowers. A bit invasive, but easy to rip out. Yup. Looks like Audrey II. When it starts displaying faces (as with the tree burl), you’ll know your onto something. Reminds me of a book, I read, once upon a time. Someone discovers a rose sport, that is a true blue. The draw back? If you touch it, you die.

    Oooo! That rose is so lovely. A real stunner. Lew

  2. Hi Lewis,

    What can I say other than the sheer bonkersness of recent events prompted an outpouring of utter disbelief. Society is clearly to blame. 😉 I have to fess up, that last line wasn’t mine, but totally ripped from the Repo Man film. How good was that film? Master Din had a hard time, but was remembered fondly as the better man. Is that courage? Kind of looks that way to me.

    Breaking wind, sounds a lot like the title ‘Breaking Bad’! Of course political commentary reminds me of the time I installed a 600W wind turbine so as to test out the technology. In the face of a united opposition to my hopes and dreams, from the good folks I knew on the off-grid energy forum who had real world experience (and incidentally advised against the course of action), I forged ahead. As you do. Turns out they were right, and my hopes were dashed upon the unyielding laws of physics (as Simon Pegg in the role of Scotty may say). Politics is a bit like that, you hope for the best, expect the worst, and so aren’t disappointed by the outcome.

    That’s a good saying. Another goodie is: It ain’t over, until it’s over. How witty was that bloke?

    You’re probably right about the decline in readership. Most of the people who read the blog are a combination of book worms and people who like to grow stuff. A pretty awesome collection of folks if I may say so.

    Isn’t that odd? Yeah, they do so muck around with inflation numbers. And that difference is very interesting. They do count food down here and energy. I’d imagine that the statistics folks get put under a lot of pressure to deliver a result. I couldn’t work in such a place.

    Thank you, and that’s funny about the path. Yes what is to be found at the end indeed? A wizard? Let’s find out. 🙂 I’m really enjoying the visuals with that project, and it is one of those jobs that sort of unfolds as we tackle each section with the materials we have to hand. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when we begin moving soil into the area. Not quite sure. It may well be that the area needs a second layer of rocks, but we’ll see.

    I can’t say as I’d want to experience more hard frosts, and those heaving rocks. The ones here are already described as ‘floaters’, and um, the ground does swell and heave with the changes in moisture content. Actually, you can see around the oldest of trees that once long ago, the soil level was higher.

    And err, no it was a big tree, and I do hope that I have not disturbed it by removing the rock. One never knows what changes they may wrought on the land. Fingers crossed.

    Oh my! I’d never thought of the King Parrot as a Christmas Parrot, but it works. Nice one!

    Forget me nots are all over the area, and quite nice to look at. They can be mowed over easily enough if needed. The comparison of looks with that bizarre flower may not be sheer coincidence. When it begins demanding a feeding, I’ll run. Fast.

    Talk about a poisoned chalice. Still a blue rose would be very cool and probably make us our fortunes.

    The roses enjoy the conditions here, and the two terraces of them are set to begin flowering. They produce a delightful scent on warm sunny days.

    Brr! Stay warm, that is definitely a four or five blanket night. The forecast overnight here for Wednesday into Thursday is not far off that at 37’F. And the snow word was used, but at elevations higher than here. It is hard now to believe how warm it was during the month of September. I read about those storms. Those areas probably don’t see a lot of such deluges. Ook! Denmark is quite low lying. Yikes. The wind here tomorrow is described as damaging. And the worst of it is coming from the north east. The bulk of the mountain range hopefully will protect us here from that wind.

    Yeah, I’ll pass on the insect meat, but make a mental note, just in case. Although aren’t wood lice (rolly polly’s / slaters) a form of crustacean? A lot of survival folks are into that meat. Tastes like prawns, apparently. Hey, makes you hope that they’d say the insects tasted like chicken!

    I’ve noticed that the word ‘off grid’ means something else in your country than it does here. The area looked beautiful, but a bit dry for my tastes, with a side serving of presumably very cold winters. The scenery was epic.

    I think corn is a special case with saving seed. The reason for that is because the plant has become so inbred over such a long period of time, it requires more pollinators for the seed to grow true to type. I’d read that the minimum number of plants required was at least 50. The seed we’d saved over the years did the same as what yours did, drifted from what you’d expect the plant to produce. I’d read somewhere that the plant had begun as a grass, and was selectively bred until it is the thing it is today.

    I’m not arguing with you about that work in supermarkets. But it may also be a neglected area of study, fictional or otherwise.

    Nice one, and those are my objections to breakfast pizza. It’s a texture thing for me. Ook! You and the Editor are made of sterner stuff than I who can only but stand back in a state of awe, and admire your abilities to consume err, cold pizza for breakfast.

    I get that, and your reply is solid. You’re not doing that at the Club for the recognition. I’d only engage with such conversations if people were going to help out.

    It’s funny you know, but when I collect the bins of used coffee grounds, I get a wide variety of responses. Only a very few people will be curious enough to ask what is going to happen to the stuff, after all, it is a bin and people have delicate (sometimes social) sensibilities about those things. I quite enjoy chatting with those folks. From time to time, another person will want to get access to the coffee grounds for their garden, and they never keep it up. You’ve been at that work for years with the Club. I do wonder whether the bulk rolled oats dude / dudette continues with the good work too.

    Thanks for the review of Chuck’s latest. From the review, the book sounds like a gripping yarn. Yeah, gross was the exact vibe I was getting from the review. 🙂 The reviewer mentioned something about the ending with positive values, and an app? Like, say what? As an author, Chuck digs deep into the dark places and sometimes holds up a mirror which shows both the depths and society.



  3. busy time- yes, we are busy! STILL hand sorting hazelnuts. Also, yet another book recommendation, though you may want to skip this one. John McPhee wrote a book about geology, and I really liked it, so suggested it to our nascent book club. It was a disaster, no one else could finish it. “The Annals of a Former World”. Anyway, reading that door stop of a book took time. Pulitzer prize was immaterial to them. Ah well.

    nuance- current crazy times point out how our genetic inheritance for tribal affiliation brooks no nuance- you are either for us, or against us.

    I seem to be able to think- Hamas did a bad thing, but Israel has been a real s**t to the Palestinians, so both have some blame, and this was a result. Chickens coming home to roost, so to speak. Anyway, in today’s world of heightened emotions and saber rattling, no one else wants to hear that. So I just stay quiet. Oops.

    And of course, air craft carrier groups are prepositioning, armament makers are licking their chops, and last night on the Sunday evening “serious” news show, the heads of the five eyes security organizations did their FIRST live joint interview. Warming us up for the big ask I reckon.

    inflation- yeah, it’s all the slow erosion of EROEI making the real world economy tougher to stay at its recent frenetic pace. Funny how the gap between costs and wages is where it always pops up. Once again, I’ll mention the SEEDS website that explores this link between real world and financial world. I like its explanatory power, and unsurprisingly he does not see a rosy future.

    teosinte- corn is completely and fatally domesticated. If we go by-by, so will corn. I’m still amazed at how folks thousands of years ago must have had enough patience and foresight to breed corn from teosinte.

    repo man- A great bast from the past. I might have to watch that again. Can never get enough cynicism and dark humor these days.

    It’s raining this morning. About five months too late, but we’ll take it. Recharge things for next spring.

  4. Hello Chris,
    Indeed, a couple of bonkers weeks behind our backs, never to come back. New bonkers weeks are waiting in the curtains, ready to jump onto center stage at any moment!

    Here, we have the end of the harvest season, digging the last potatoes and curing pumpkins and onions. On Saturday, M. and me collected 13 kg chestnuts from three trees in a neighbouring village. A thousand trees + a month worth of carbohydrates collected in an hour or two. Nature is bountiful is you know where to look. Sometimes hidden in plain sight. These three chestnut trees were outside a restaurant, and the chef did not want any of the harvest. Did you say bonkers?
    More stuff in plain sight: Last week-end I joined an acorn-cooking workshop with Ola Schubert, the premier acorn-collector-and-processor of Scandinavia. Free and bountiful chow, simple to de-tannin using a crusher, a strainer, a cloth and a few litres of dripping water.

    In the money realm, debt has been cheap for 20 years, so the money “supply” has exploded. Three more or less equal parts in Europe: government deficits, central bank printing and private loans for housing are three great ways to balloon the pool of money.
    When prices on food increase, “inflation” is cried loud, and fingers are pointed at Russia, at energy companies and at supermarket owners. But not at our governments, central banks and commercial banks. When money supply expanded, it was labeled “easing”. I think it should have been be called “difficulting”, since it destroyed savings and pensions.

    Not to mention the oil debacle unfolding around us. (“Don’t mention the oil!”, in a hushed voice, as John Cleese used to say.)

    I am happy to be digging trees. Now that fall arrived, the water voles have set their sights on our chestnut seedling trees and started to chew on their roots, so I am digging them out, some for sale, some for safe winter storage and replanting in the spring. Later this week, I think I will continue with the walnut trees, but I need to print labels first. Every season has it’s charms and challenges.

    I think the switch switch was a cunning move. Worthy of the most experienced con(tact)man. More of that to come in times when “parts” will be difficult to source. Good of you to start practicing now.

    More than anything, wishing you all

  5. Yo, Chris – LOL. I was going to reference “Repo Man,” and link to that scene. You beat me to it. No grass grows under your shoes.

    I didn’t know if “fart” would pass the FFF (Family Friendly Filter.)

    Hubris, hubris. Sooooo. Your telling me that you ignored, best advice on wind? Just like people ignore your best advice about solar? I didn’t laugh out loud, but, shall we say, enjoyed the moment 🙂

    Book worms and people who like to grow stuff. Kind of like dual purpose chickens. 🙂

    Speaking of growing stuff, the Master Gardeners showed up, this morning. I finished slaughtering my corn. Processed my corn? All together I got 15 cobs. I bundled up all the stocks and they’re on the front porch, of the Institution. Don’t tell anyone, but I also picked up a pumpkin (round, orange) at the veg store, yesterday, and plunked it next to the stocks. Decor. There is a method to my madness. By the time Thanksgiving is done and dusted, the stocks will be nice and dry, and easy to cut up to work back into the soil. I found a few more green beans, a handful of tomatoes, and a couple of zucchini. Soft ends, but if I use them in the next day or two, plenty of good stuff to salvage out. By the way, I chopped up and pitched the couple of miniature cobs, into what I had for dinner last night. Well. Forget that. They were tough as. I won’t have to worry about fibre in my diet, for at least a week.

    Watch out for flying monkeys! Kind of like what that Mexican caballero was trying to rope out of the sky, in the pueblo, painting.

    I’d say your rose, is an old variety. Given the fewer petals. I think I’ve seen similar, in Roman wall paintings.

    Yes, we’ll have our first frost, pretty soon. Forecast is for 28F, Friday night. And 27F on Saturday night. While I was working in the garden, this morning, the wind was really cold and sharp. Prof. Mass has a post on our oncoming cold. I wonder if we’ll have snow, and how soon? Before Thanksgiving is not unheard of.

    Yes, Idaho is pretty, in it’s own way. But I need more trees and real mountains. I couldn’t look at many of the pictures, due to old computer stuff. But I’ll check it out, next time I’m down in the library.

    Yes, corn started out as a grass. As with so many other grains. Probably developed in Mexico, and spread into North and South America. As a small part of that documentary I watched, they visited a maize seed bank, outside Mexico City. The colors, the colors. Over 2,000 species of corn. Each one developed for a specific geographic and climate area.

    Is the doomsday seed vault, doomed? I missed it, but in 2017, that arctic seed vault, flooded. Due to melting permafrost. But, damage was contained to the access tunnel, and changes have been made.

    I discovered it was a dudette who brought in all the oatmeal. And the diced tomatoes and garbanzo beans. I don’t know who she is, but keep it coming! There was so much oatmeal, that I put some in a storage room. Needed the space, and I’ll keep an eye on it, and keep adding to the accessible stuff. Lew

  6. Chris,

    So the Christmas carol has a partridge in a pear tree. You get king parrots in your pear trees. If I set my mind to it, I could probably reword that entire song to fit Fernglade Farm. Feeling like a mental midget at the moment, I’ll have to add that to my “to do” list.

    Tell Ollie good work on breaking up that boulder. I’m sure it was hard work. He’s probably happy that you were there to haul the 4 smaller pieces away.

    Saw some new blooms today. After a week of pleasantly warm weather, a dandelion began to bloom. This will not last long. Winter is coming. The Arctic front IS going to hit us after all. We should have lows around -7C later this week, a far cry from the +27C we had for the high temperature this past Friday. Oh, and snow showers here. Only +13C today; Avalanche is already enjoying the cooler temperatures.

    Oil. You talked oil. My eyes glazed over. I’m getting very sleepy.

    More later.


  7. Hi DJ,

    Ah, the Christmas parrot has struck again! More colourful than a partridge, but also hungry for unripe fruit. That bird was very tame, and did you check out the chunks of Nashi Pear up it’s gob? 🙂 Now that I think about it, why would a partridge bird have even been in a pear tree in the lead up to mid-winter in the Northern Hemisphere? That’s so weird, because I’m guessing that traditionally at that time of year there’d be nothing for the birds to eat. Hey, poetic license perhaps? The lady in question in the song may have unreasonably expectations, like the old story about the waif searching in vain for strawberries in mid-winter. But is it likely? I don’t think so. Of course, there would be pears in the tree for the bird to eat come Christmas, but only if they were in this corner of the planet, and I don’t think so dude. What a mess that song has left us with. What other horrid demands are placed upon the other party to the song?

    Hope you’re doing OK? It’s hard to lose a friend. Take it easy on yourself. Hope your lady is looking out for you, and that Avalanche is likewise being supportive.

    Ollie is slowly turning into a most excellent work dog. He’s enjoying the warmer weather, and unlike the Kelpies, his breed was developed (usually not a topic for polite company, but we must bend the rules occasionally!) in the more northerly warmer parts of the country. He’s not a fan of winter.

    Ouch, you’re right, the blossoms will not last the forthcoming Arctic blast. Plants are amazing like that, and if we have a warm autumn (whatever that season is) plenty of plants will respond to the weather as if it is a mini-spring. I suspect that the plants will adapt to the warming climate better than either you or I do. Stay warm!

    The forecast here mentioned something, something, snow to 800m for Thursday. Fortunately at 700m above sea level, I might dodge that unwelcome snowfall. It would be a garden disaster of major proportions, but we’ll see. 27’C sounds pretty nice to me. 🙂

    Ah, grasshopper! Before Oil, chop wood, fetch water. After Oil, fetch wood, chop water! 😉 We’ll be fine, but try telling people that.



  8. Hi Göran,

    Speaking of taking centre stage, I enjoyed your most recent blog. And the photos looked like you were all having a lot of fun.

    You’re not wrong there about the bonkers weeks not returning. 🙂 No doubt our fine leaders will make new and interesting mistakes to keep us all entertained by their foolishness.

    Yeah, that’s so true. I’ve heard people complain about the cost of fruit and nut trees, and offered the advice: Grow your own. You scored well with the 13kg of chestnuts from just three trees. There are orchards for such trees up in this mountain range, and I’ll try and get a photo for you. The trees have age to them. One of the orchards I noted, left most of their nuts to fall to the ground where they remained unharvested. It’s not right, but what do you do? Yes, that is bonkers.

    Hmm. You’ve given me much to consider with the oak trees and acorns. Most people down here would have no idea as to that possibility. The species grow very well here, and I already have quite a few different varieties growing.

    Dude, everyone seems to be hunting for witches. Who is calling for restraint? As far as I comprehend the mechanics of that money supply story, the onus is on the lenders to exercise restraint, and not the borrowers. The much larger aspect of this economic story, mirrors the smallest aspect. People seem to want the scenario. That desire makes no sense to me.

    Hehe! Yes, John Cleese was quite correct there. How funny was that show?

    Göran, I had a herd of Sambar Deer damage about a dozen fruit trees the other day. They may get a response more dangerous than Ollie. Anyway, your water voles have given me an attack of the vapours! Please, please, keep them to your part of the world! Far out. Like you, I’d also be digging up the young fruit and nut trees to protect them against such predation. Yep, there are charms and challenges to be had on the land. But I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

    Thanks! The amplifier is working very nicely now. It’s good to rescue machines that were well made and have provided useful service for many decades. I’m continuing to service and maintain all of the machines here and nearing the end of that work (for the moment!) Today, we fixed up the power wheelbarrow with the galvanised bucket. It is a sad tale, because it was the last machine we sent off to be serviced. The job done was not good, and I can’t talk it up. Not happy at all, and that machine is really easy to use so Sandra was involved with the maintenance today, mostly because she uses it. What we saw was disappointing. Hmm. When you send stuff off for repair and servicing, there is an element of trust, and that can be breached. It was not so when the farm machine repair dude was still walking around. Oh well, this is why we do this work now.



  9. Hi Lewis,

    Ah, thanks for the photos. Where are the trees? Incidentally, the solar panels I reckon are set up for summer production based on their angle and I reckon maybe about 2.4kW worth. The white propane tank is huge. It’s hard for me to tell if the logs are a veneer, or a solid log? I’ve got no experience with the insulation properties of logs, but I’d imagine they’d take a while to heat up and/or cool down. The place has epic views and a heater.

    Hehe! How good was the Repo Man film? Mate, I’m only occasionally one step ahead! Sometimes… 🙂

    Everyone loves a fart joke. I reckon that’s OK.

    You’re right, I did bring that entire poop down on my own head. Glad you could enjoy my hard won misfortune. 🙂 It wasn’t far off the killer rabbit scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail film. Sometimes a bloke has to learn for himself that wind turbines will not work here. Speaking of wind, and breaking wind, we headed down into the nearby township earlier today and the wind was feral. As it was coming from the north east, the bulk of the mountain range, mostly protected us here from the more extreme winds. Hey, out in the Coral Sea near to Vanuatu, they’re having the earliest category five tropical cyclone since records began. That’s a big storm. It’s meant to rain here tomorrow.

    Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant: We’ve got both kinds of chickens: Country and Western! Hehe! Thanks for the laughs.

    15 cobs is a good haul. How do you store and process the cobs, or do you eat them fresh? Corn flour seems like a good option, but we’ve no experience with that. You’ve created quite the traditional Halloween decoration for the front porch. Good stuff and I like your style. It’s a good plan too. I ran the last lot of corn stalks we grew through the electric chipper chopper (a beast of a machine, be careful with the fingers!) and did a similar thing. It’s amazing to see how quickly the soil life consumes such organic matter left on the surface.

    Good thinking with the zucchini, and what with the rains last year, some of our split, and like what you did, those were consumed first. Isn’t it great finding missed stuff in the garden to eat? Bummer about the small cobs. I assume that no amount of boiling could make those cobs more edible?

    The alert person is always careful to avoid flying monkeys. 😉 People are rarely situationally aware these days.

    That rose is an old variety, good pick up! Ah, the plant has been cultivated since around 500BC. hadn’t known that. That particular plant is also a very fast growing rose (and has set some self seeded roses), unlike some of the more let’s just say err, developed roses. They’re all looking good though, and in another couple of weeks the terraces will be full of flowers.

    28’F sounds like a five blanket night to me! Good luck! Brr! Although tomorrow and Thursday may get as cold as 37’F here. What’s going on??? DJ mentioned snow in the forecast for his part of the world.

    Your real mountains strike fear into my heart, because very occasionally they let out a big epic destructive belch. Best if a person was elsewhere when that happens. 🙂 There was a 5.0 earthquake the other day near to the coast off to the south west of here. The closest town is a tourist town.

    It amazes me what can be achieved with selective plant breeding like what happened with corn. Other plants have followed a similar journey too, like garlic, although I read that someone had recently (a few years ago now) cracked the trick of breeding garlic from seed.

    What’s the point of an Arctic seed vault, when it’s in the Arctic circle? I just don’t get it, but if the work makes people happy then who am I to argue?

    You might have noticed that lately I’ve been looking over all of the machines we use here, and repairing and maintaining them? Well I took a look at the trailer, and the steel worm has not been kind. It’s getting near to the point that it is not safe to use. The plan is to replace it.

    Also, we serviced the power wheelbarrow with the galvanised bucket today. I’d sent it in for service back in March, but it just never worked right. My poor brain has had to absorb a lot of information regarding repairing all this stuff lately, and today I put the information to good use servicing that particular machine. And what I saw, was not good. My gut feeling to do the vast majority of this work was proven correct. The Editor and I (for the Editor uses that machine more than I) were shaking our heads at what we found, and it wasn’t good. Anywhoo, the machine was tweaked and adjusted back to tip top condition. I just don’t like being lied too, and that looks like what happened. This would never have happened when the former dude was still around.

    You said it years ago that it annoys you when you lose relationships of one sort or another, and for me, this is just like that. What do you do?

    Ah, an international dudette of mystery! Wise to dole the stuff out. We’ll see whether the person in question can keep it up for the long haul.

    I’ll tell you a funny story about that. An old mate of mine used to ride bicycles, and he has a competitive disposition. So he told me he passed some other dude, and then further down the bike track had to stop and repair a puncture. So the other dude rides past, and tells him: “You’ve gotta keep it up for the long haul matey!” I couldn’t help laughing when my outraged friend was telling me this story. He just didn’t see the funny side of the story. Oh well… 🙂



  10. My comment was apparently eaten by the internet gremlins. I’ll try to reconstruct, but usually when I write something down, my brain moves on, so here goes:
    busy- Yes, we’ve been busy. still hand processing lots of hazelnuts. Also, reading fat books on deadline. We have a nascent book club, and the book I suggested was a failure. No one else could finish it. And of course I really liked the book. ( klaxons sound, book suggestion incoming)
    “Annals of the Former World” by John McPhee. All about geology, and a Pulitzer prize winner, but a real door stop and a bit geeky and esoteric. Ah well.

    teosinte- Amazing to me the long term persistence of those folks thousands of years ago to work from an unremarkable series of grass to the corn we have today. What vision inspired them and kept it going generation after generation? Corn is completely domesticated now, and can’t survive on its own. If we go by-by, so will corn.

    inflation- Yeah, funny how the inflation always ends up causing a gap between costs and wages. Wages never seem to catch up. Just the result of and a key indicator of the ever eroding EROEI of oil ( I said oil) that underpins all the rest of our modern lifestyle. I’ll bang on one more time about the SEEDS website that examines the connection between the real economy and the financial one. Needless to say, he is not hopeful.

    getting the garden in order- I heard that. This was our worst garden year since moving here. We just couldn’t keep water to the plants enough to offset our severe drought. Will up our game on water this coming year, drought or no. At least the apples and hazels, having deep roots, pretty much shrugged off the drought.

  11. Hi Chris,
    I am still here and reading. However, with all that’s going on in the world it’s often good to spend less time online.

    We did have a good discussion at our book club meeting last Friday night and will spend some time next meeting picking books for the next six months at a minimum.

    The colors have been beautiful but this week should be the end of that. We have six days of at least some rain and colder temps. However today is sunny and near 80. Doug and I took a nice hike at my favorite place, Nygren Wetlands. Doug had never been there and quite enjoyed it. Now after I finish this it’s off for more garden clean up.

    We’ve got some pretty colorful birds but ohhh that parrot!

    Well better get to work.


  12. Yo, Chris – Yeah, where are the trees? It looks like log veneer, to me. But, there’s probably heavy duty insulation, under that. I forwarded on your comment, about the house, to my friends in Idaho. See if she has a comment.

    Speaking of films, last night I watched “Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows.” Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law. I probably saw it, when it came out (maybe), but the trailer didn’t look familiar. A bang up movie. I should have made popcorn. 🙂

    I’m reading a novel, I’m really enjoying. “Strange Practice” by Shaw. Modern London. A 30 something young lady has a private medical practice. Her caseload? Though human, she tends to the needs of vampires, banshees, ghouls, mummies, etc. etc.. Her name? Greta Helsing. Her family dropped the “von.” 🙂 I stayed up waaay to late, reading it.

    Ah, fart jokes. Appeals to the 8 year old, in every man. 🙂

    Sounds like you’ve got a bit of wind. We’re going to have rain, all week. But then, Friday night, it’s switching to cold and clear. Ideal time to clean up the garden. Someone is bringing me a big bag of straw. I have to dig it in, otherwise, it blows all over the place. I saw Spokane and D.J. might have some snow. My friends, just over the border in Idaho, haven’t mentioned any.

    I thought maybe all the parsley had gone away, what with all the moving soil around, and such. But I see some coming up, here and there. A great green that I can pick at, all winter.

    LOL. Roses trained us to spread it, all over the world. The Romans got them from the Middle East, and they got it from even further east. The Romans took roses to Britain. Sooooo. Is the English rose an invasive species? 🙂

    I looked into growing garlic from seed. Seemed like quit a song and dance. Easier to just plunk a clove in the ground. The corn I dry (spread out on newspapers) and just store in a bag. Remove and grind the seeds, as needed. If I need a cup of corn meal, that’s what I grind up. If I run it through the grinder, twice, I get a finer meal.

    Oh, age. As time passes, people come and go, and, sure, there’s a twinge, but it doesn’t last as long as in ye olde days. Though I still think of people from years ago, that are gone. And the one’s that aren’t gone, probably haven’t thought of me, in years. Vast panorama of life, and all that.

    Your bike friend will probably laugh about it. Eventually. Maybe, years from now.

    I took H to the Club, this morning. So she could meet and greet her public. Looks like Elinor is going to the dentist, so I’ll have a house guest, for the afternoon. She’s low maintenance. Put a towel on the bed, plop her up there, and she naps. While I nap. Lew

  13. Chris,

    Yup I noticed how many pears King Parrot had. Hungry bird. A lot of the birds here, especially starlings, eat unripe fruit. Bad things happen if I eat very much unripe fruit.

    Partridges I have seen in mid winter. Not often, but I’ve seen a few. But they were nowhere near a pear tree. Note, however, that the song doesn’t say that the tree had any pears or even leaves at the time that it was gifted near midwinter.

    Then we get into how to interpret the song. Is a different pear tree and partridge gifted on each of the 12 days? If so, things get very nasty for the gift giver. He would be obligated to give 5 golden rings on each of days 5 through 12. Or 5 rings on each of 8 different days…40 different golden rings. Nasty demands, that, unless the guy is maybe the ruler of a rich empire or something. Or maybe he owns a golden hoard. 😉

    Doing ok? Yes, until I’m not. 🙂 But I know not to fight the grief when it hits, revere and enjoy the memories, and do a lot of journalling. Avalanche has been a big help, and the Princess has been also. Twas her scheduled trip to help her brother last week, but she was in contact more than usual to make sure I’m ok. And Killian’s owner is a good friend and has helped too. Appreciate your asking.

    Of course, we got hit by another shoe that dropped. Well, two actually. A pedestrian got hit by a pizza delivery guy a few miles from here on the 16th. Turned out the victim is a cousin of the Princess. Cousin died Sunday afternoon. Then cousin’s sister, separate incident, died Monday morning. Avalanche has really come through with extra attention for both of us.

    Good for Ollie. It’s nice to have a working dog as a companion when doing chores. He does look like a warm weather dog to me. As I’m writing this, it is +5C and raining at 9 pm. Might turn to snow later. Avalanche is much more energetic since the temperature started dropping the past 2 or 3 days.

    The Princess and I are still in summer mode. Meaning we really are enjoying having a house that is NOT hot. We haven’t used the furnace or the gas fireplaces yet. In fact, the pilot flames for the gas fireplaces aren’t even turned on. I’ll probably break down and turn on some heat source one of these colder evenings. But for now, we haven’t needed the heat sources. Then again, baking a loaf of bread in the oven might be all the heat that is needed.

    Yup, after Oil, people will be fine. Different lives than we now lead, but people will be fine.


  14. Hi Steve,

    Your earlier comment was for some unknown reason placed into the ‘hold’ category by the software. There is no rhyme nor reason for such an act, but there you go. It’s posted a bit further back, and strangely the comment was date stamped a day earlier. A mystery!

    Good to hear that you’re busy, and they have been known to say that idle hands are the de’ls workshop. 🙂 I’ve had a quieter week myself, which is quite a pleasant change. Picked up a new replacement trailer today. The steel worm had damaged the previous one which has been in use for over two decades.

    Hehe! Respect for the choice of book, but it might scare off some of the less hardy souls in your nascent book club. I hear you. Oh well.

    That was my understanding of the corn species as well. We’ve domesticated them to such an extent that the plant now relies upon us to do its bidding. A precarious place to be for a plant.

    All true, and hey, it is of interest to me that most people seek to increase their income rather than pursue the strategy of reducing their expenditure. But right now, wages, and other forms of income are not keeping up with inflation. I’ve long wondered if this is the downward path that was chosen? In practicality, it works out to a form of rationing by price. And I absolutely agree with you. As EROEI falls, so to does wealth.

    Thanks for the timely reminder as to the SEEDS blog. 🙂 What can I say, other than, I’ve been busy. Ook!

    Mate, I’ve had drought years like that too, and the best you can hope for is to get the plants through the worst of the conditions. And water here is very limited. Building the top soil holds more water whilst providing shade to the soil helps reduce evaporation and transpiration, but still, such years are tough. That’s been my experience too. The bigger fruit trees had deeper root systems and shrugged off the worst effects. The annuals, err, not so much.



  15. Hi Margaret,

    Thanks for dropping by to say hello, and I hear you about that switching off from the news cycle. Rest assured, I don’t intend to make a habit of this sort of essay.

    That’s really good news with the book club. There’s always a bit of give and take when it comes to topics for discussion, or books to be read for any group. I don’t really know, but just kind of muddle through such matters and um, quietly observe the folks who turn up to see what their opinions are.

    Choosing books six months out is a great idea.

    Do you reckon this upcoming change in the weather means that the rains have returned for your part of the world? It rained here about half an hour ago, and it’s freezing outside. Brr! It’s 37’F outside now, maybe that’s why it feels cold? 🙂 It wasn’t like that an hour ago. Oh well.

    I see what you mean, the Nygren Wetlands are really lovely looking. Has the recent rains greened up the place? The photos of the carpet of wildflowers there are really something else. Good to hear that Doug enjoyed the hike too.

    Hope you get the garden cleaned up before the cold weather sets in.

    Hehe! Stop it! 🙂 The King Parrots will all get even bigger heads than they already do if I tell them that. I should put up a photo of the Crimson Rosella’s, they’re a red and blue parrot, but a bit smaller than the large King Parrots.

    Depending on the weather here over the next few days, I also hope to get out and do some clean up work. We’ll see. It’s like winter out there right now. Some of the apricot trees have dropped their fruit in shock. Oh well, there’s always next year.



  16. Hi DJ,

    Very funny! It’s been said elsewhere that a parrot won’t get that big and brightly coloured, unless it’s well fed. And they do seem to enjoy pears… Birds are a bit odd like that, because they enjoy slightly under-ripe fruit. Us humans tend to prefer fruit fully ripened. Pears are actually better with a slight bit of fermentation, but that is my belief. The most commonly encountered pear down here is ‘Packham’s Triumph’, and that fruit is picked and sold green, and has to sit for a few days on the bench before it is edible. But wait too long (and the window is maybe three or four days), and it gets mooshy (that’s the technical term). It’s a bit of an art form knowing when to eat the fruit, and our avian friends would disagree!

    Holy carp, too much unripe fruit, and yikes! Not good and best avoided.

    Haha! So are you suggesting that the song was hoping that the partridge meat was added to the Christmas pie and the pear tree was a gift for planting out in the orchard once the soil thawed in the forthcoming spring? 🙂

    Well yeah, now that you mention it, the young lady in question does seem a trifle difficult to please. And far out, what if the young gentleman was only able to obtain eleven partridges? Would the rest of the year be OK? I tend to think not. And yeah, the dude would most certainly have to be a rich lord of some standing to accommodate those demands. And not the seventh son of a seventh son.

    Candidly, given all the bird references in the song, I was wondering just how much fowl one household could eat? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? There’s a lot to unpack in that traditional song.

    Oh man, it’s now 2’C outside, and you would think that the weather gods would have been pleased with the recent construction of the mead hall, but no… Might lose the stone fruit tonight. Oh well.

    You buck up little camper, and I hear you, grief is odd like that. You can be good, then not good, then sort of alright, then sort of not alright. Enjoy the memories. Those who we’ve known and are now gone, live on in our memories. Journalling is an excellent idea. And dogs are solid companions when you’re in need. They usually can pick up on the vibe, and know what to do.

    Oh my! So sorry for the loss. It’s not good. Now is the time to take things slowly, and look after each other.

    Poor Ollie has a thin soft coat, so if I chucked him outside now in the near freezing conditions, he’d not be happy. The two Kelpies have much thicker and coarser hair. Dame Plum ensures that Ollie stays warm on cold nights as those two are best friends and they snuggle up. Ruby keeps to her sheepskin over a dog mat on the floor. Dunno why, they all seem to get along just fine.

    Did you get any snow? Brr! I headed off to the other side of the big smoke today to pick up a new trailer (steel worm got the old one), and driving back was like being caught in a flash flood. Bonkers, all I could see were the cats eyes on the freeway. As you do in such conditions I slowed down, but someone was following the new trailer way too closely. A bit tense for a few minutes during that storm.

    I get that about not appreciating a hot house. Yup. And dunno about you, but I tend to sleep better in cooler conditions, although it can get too cold here. More uncomfortably cold than life threatening!

    Yeah, before oil, chop water and fetch wood, after oil, fetch water and grow some vegetables. 🙂 We’ll be fine, although people not expecting it, may think otherwise. Oh no! The solar hot water system just sent some hot water to the panels to stop them from freezing. Ook. Is it colder now? Nope, still 2’C. They might get some snow higher up the mountain range.



  17. Hi Lewis,

    That lack of trees kind of stood out to me too, and I wasn’t really sure whether the lack was due to annual rainfall being too low for trees (I think they need an average minimum of 20 inches per annum), or the whole lot had been cleared? Dunno. A mystery, and it will be interesting to hear what the responses are.

    Well there’s always stuff to learn, and I’d never heard of log veneer cladding before. We don’t really have that building material as part of the building tradition down here. Although from time to time, you will see a house made from logs (I believe that they’re usually solid logs, mostly radiata pine). The really early settlers used them with mud to fill in the gaps, and there is such a place nearby, although I don’t know whether it is lived in or not. But I agree, if a person goes to the effort of using log cladding, they’re probably going to insulate the stud walls. Easy enough to check anyway, and these days some people even have cameras with infra-red functionality which can show where heat is leaking from a building. A person may not like what they see in infra red!

    The Sherlock Holmes film sounds pretty good! Popcorn ratings are very suggestive as to your enjoyment. 🙂

    Oh man, picked up a new trailer to replace the existing one. The steel worms had done their worst, not to mention some chunks had dropped off, and I have no idea where. Anywhoo, driving back with the new trailer, the freeway (6 lanes each in either direction) was hit by an epic storm. Even with the windscreen wipers going full on mode, they just didn’t cut the mustard. By that stage, we’d slowed to 60kmh (about 40mph) and the road was covered in a sheet of water. The cats eyes stuck on the road was the only way you to tell where the lanes were. A bonkers drive. And the car behind me decided that would be the perfect conditions to tailgate, as you do. Managed to get home OK, and bizarrely it was colder in the big smoke than up here. How does that work? It’s now shifted and colder here for sure, and last I checked it’s 34’F outside. There goes the stone fruit crop. Bye, bye fruit for yet another year. That’s four years in a row, is this the new normal?

    Asking around at the trailer businesses as to what to do with the old trailer, one cheeky scamp suggested painting it and putting it up for sale on faceplant. My conscience would not sit well doing that. It’s always intriguing to see how other folks think. It’ll end up getting recycled. Metal at least genuinely does get recycled, not sure about all of the other materials our society hopes to recycle.

    That sounds like a very fun book. Ah, vocal strain in banshees, what a delight, and murderous monks. Chuck in a Helsing, and you’ve got a potent mixture of undead and religious mischief. 😉 Sent the book referral onto the Editor.

    We are very much amused!

    Hope the weather clears for you to work the straw in. You won’t regret that addition to the soil. The way the temperature is now, we might get some snow in the higher reaches of the mountain range over night. Far out, it is cold out there! Yeah, it’ll be interesting to see if DJ gets the snow.

    Parsley is as tough as old boots. It grows here pretty similarly through the winter months, but you’re right, moving all the soil around could have covered over the seeds. That’s great news that you’ve found some growing.

    Hehe! Yeah, so true. I hadn’t looked at roses doing that trick on us gullible humans. 🙂 Dogs and cats have performed similar feats. I was reading about the dogs at Chernobyl, and even now some of those dogs are friendly to humans.

    Wasn’t England under an ice sheet not all that long ago in geological terms? If you take that thought far enough, it’s all invasive – which I’m guessing was your valid point. 😉

    One of things I did wonder about the cloves, when just replanting them, sure it produces a clone of a plant, but at what point does the clove become the seed? Or is it all too abstract a definition and that’s when people get into bar fights over the old argument about whether it is a shrub, or a tree?

    Thanks for the info on how you use corn. Hmm. Corn bread is rarely seen down under (they grow a lot of bread wheat down here) but when I’ve had it, the stuff is very tasty.

    That is true about the people who walk away. It happens. I was thinking more on this subject from the loss of the farm machine repair dude, and what has replaced him, and my experiences there to date (a mixture of good and not so good). He was part of my network so to speak, and I’ve had to take on board that repair work. It’s hard to describe social relationships, but I reckon he fell about halfway between a friend and an acquaintance – if that makes any sense. Maybe I’ve become a bit country in my outlook because I concern myself with relationships.

    Hehe! My old mate with that bicycle incident, seemed pretty cut up about it, so I dunno. Maybe time heals all wounds and mellows people out and then they can laugh about such things, but I reckon he was hanging onto that pain.

    I trust H was on her best behaviour and politely acknowledging her audience? Yeah, dogs do mellow out over the years and get to appreciate their creature comforts. The dogs here are certainly appreciative of sleeping inside. It’s cold out there tonight!

    Oh! It’s warmed up outside. Now the thermometer is suggesting 35’F. Brr!



  18. @ Steve C

    Thanks for your comment on Hamas/Israel. I am in complete accord with you.


    Hello Chris
    Still here and reading but drowning in family and rain. Actually the rain isn’t bothering me although the local paper said that the island was sinking. Some roads and bridges are closed.
    I admit that I am immersed in world affairs as well but don’t really want to comment in any depth.
    Keep writing, it is always very interesting.


  19. Hi, Chris!

    With these latest events, a shadow lies on me all day long. I am riveted, though, by your accounts even though it kind of knocks one upside the head even if fully aware. Ook.

    That said, our garden is in order. Sort of. Though not like Chris’s – but better each year!

    And our firewood is in order. Perfect days here, cold nights.
    We are having our annual – tacitly understood – competition to see who will cave first and build a fire in the fireplace or woodstove. So far, no-one has!

    You really do have an abundance of boulders. I don’t know if I envy that. They do get in the way.

    The photo with Ollie in the midst of all the baby boulder lined paths and greenery is just so restful. Also the chicken house. A powerful antidote to the shadow . . . Thanks.

    We sometimes buy an old item – even something as big as a broken-down pickup truck – just for the parts. Don’t forget: Parts is parts!

    Parrot – caught in the act!

    Thanks for all the flowers, even Audrey. I’m already dreaming of next year’s forget-me-nots.


  20. Yo, Chris – Here’s what my Idaho friend had to say about the off grid home. “Well, the off grid house is in high desert so no trees. The pond out the back door behind the house is actually on the neighboring property. I don’t know anything about solar panels, it’s definitely a learning curve.
    This late afternoon Cheyenne got a call from a couple that wanted to stop and see her. Turns out she knows their two boys from the forest service and they worked for the Forest Service. They are looking for property to build a new recreation home on. They have one they built but he’s mad about a trashy mobile home that moved in the area. So now she’ll try to find them a piece of land with trees!!” (My note: status and culture?)

    The “Little House on the Prairie” books and TV series, were (are?) big in Japan. Quit the craze. When I used to drive down to Portland, there was a place on the Columbia River, you could see from the freeway. They built log houses, disassembled them, loaded them on a freighter, and sent them to Japan.

    I watched the “Barbie” movie, last night. Worth a bowl of popcorn. Feel caught up on my pop cultural literacy. 🙂

    You call them cat’s eyes, we call the turtles. Sounds like you had quit a trip, due to weather. And, idiot drivers. I suppose you could turn the old trailer, into a raised bed. You forgot the most important part. What color is it? 🙂

    I finished “Strange Practice,” last night. A very satisfying read. Looks like there’s to be another one.

    That’s tragic about your stone fruits. When will the weather settle down enough, so that we can figure out the “new normal?” There were two bags of straw, sitting out by my garden beds, this morning. We’re having frost, tonight. Maybe. It rained a lot, afternoon and evening, here. A real downpour. But it’s moving into “clear and cold.” Sun shinning, this morning. I’ve got to get the last of the basil, out of the garden, this afternoon.

    The last ice sheet moved over Britain, about 33,000 years ago. There were people there, both before and after.

    Corn bread is a mix of corn meal and wheat flour. In about equal amounts. Either can extend the other. You can put interesting things in it. Corn kernels. Peppers. Dried tomatoes. I usually toss in some pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I usually give it a squirt of honey, and then use yeast, instead of other leavening agents.

    I meant, either death or relocation. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

    Saturday night will be the last of the tucker, for a couple of months, at the Club. I’m beginning to refer to it as “The Last Supper.” 🙂 Looks like lasagna. I’m toying with the idea of making up a big bowl of tabouli, to go along with it.

    Interesting thing happened at the Club. Sunday morning, I was sitting with the old duffers, and a young lady came down the sidewalk in heavy black and white make-up. Lots of muttering, until she came in. I pointed at her and said, “Insane Clown Posse!” A music group. She was just giddy, that I knew what she was about. Told her I even had a book about them. Not a bio, but a photographer that followed them around, for awhile. Although, keeping the book “Status and Culture, in mind, I may have spoiled it for her. When the old folks catch on to what it’s all about, it just doesn’t have the cachet, once it’s past the “shock your mama” stage. But, as long as the old duffers keep muttering, it’s probably still “in.” Lew

  21. Hi Inge,

    The word drowning suggests to me that the visit has been very good indeed. 🙂 Sadly, the media does tend to exaggerate weather events. I must say that the concept of your island sinking does sound like rather a decent stretch of the imagination. Still, best to stay alert so that you’re never taken unawares by the ocean.

    The weather here has been a mixed bag. One day it’s warm, the next the winds sweep up from that frozen continent across the ocean far to the south of here. Then there becomes a need to run the wood heater. Today was like that. Brr! And last night reached a low of 34’F, although there was no accompanying snow. All up, that’s how things roll here at this time of year. I fear for the crop of apricots.

    Fair enough, and I do not intend to make a habit of writing about such subjects. Of late there were just a few moments when I was scratching my head wondering why the media would even publish such articles, especially given they can be read in the very countries which can produce such mischief. Sadly, it is very likely that I’ve rated the folks in the media’s comprehension skills at a higher level than the facts suggest.

    Thank you for saying so, and I always appreciate our conversations.



  22. Hi Pam,

    Ook indeed! 🙂 If I may say so, even in the darkest of times people still live, love and laugh. And that is our challenge to remember to live, whilst our betters make heaps of crazy errors of judgement and get our society into lots of trouble. Do we really need to reinforce their efforts by lending them the energy of our concern?

    I’d be exaggerating the truth if I said that our garden is in order. It’s only sort of in order, is probably closer to reality. A rat has eaten about half of the snow pea seedlings – the cheeky scamp. And last nights cold temperatures may have damaged the apricot crop (such tasty and easily preserved fruit). Deer damaged about a dozen fruit trees the other day. Oh well, one must take the good with the bad with a garden. And that has been my experience too, it does get better and easier with each passing year. Hey, one day we might even be considered good at this stuff! 🙂 Hope the new paths at your place are making life easier?

    Now getting firewood in order is a system of pure awesomeness! 😉 Stay strong, and I hope you win that competition! Pam, things are cold here at the moment, and I’m soft. Last night was 34’F. Brr! We have a sort of similar competition with wintry weather: Do we leave a window open to let in the fresh air when the wood heater is running? You wouldn’t imagine such an issue could produce varied opinions, but it does.

    Yeah, all those boulders are not something to talk up. Mind you, there are less of them as time goes on (I told you Peak Rocks is real!) I should chuck in a photo of the boulder the earthworks dude pushed down the hill during the excavation of the house site all those long years ago. The thing has come to a rest on a funny angle against a couple of trees a long distance from where it was first discovered. It was a bit like one of those Wile-e-coyote road runner scenes the day the earthworks dude pushed it over the edge of the excavated house site. Fortunately no coyotes or road runners (or anything for that matter) were harmed in the incident.

    My pleasure. Heal the land, and a person touches upon the realm of peace. Ollie would not play well with the chickens, or at least not whilst my back was turned with attention directed elsewhere!

    Parting out old machines is a great idea. And sometimes it’s the only way to keep another machine running. Yup! Incidentally, I took the old trailer to the scrap metal yard today so as to get the metal recycled. Got $90 for the thing, and it was riddled with rust. Who knew? I’m sure that there will be more dramas with the machines here in the future, but as far as I’m aware, there’s only one machine now that needs some attention – and the parts arrived in the mail today. Yay! Hopefully I get the thing up and running properly over the next few days.

    Happy dreams of future garden awesomeness! I can’t tell what the growing season has in store, but hopefully the flowers will continue for months to come.



  23. Hi Lewis,

    Ah, high desert. I see. That explains the lack of trees. Have you ever lived in such an area? I have no experience with such a climate. Years ago we travelled briefly through an area which was at high elevation, but also in the rain shadow of the taller mountains in the Great Dividing Range. It looks sort of similar to the photos of that area in Idaho. The lowest average rainfall there is around 17 inches, which I believe is too low to support much in the way of forest. Here it is: Monaro (New South Wales).

    Hehe! Well, it is a truth universally acknowledged that a person has little to no control over their neighbours. Hope the bloke finds a place which suits him better. If I may add some unsolicited commentary, our society appears to have gone out of its way to produce an outcome where social classes are geographically isolated one from the other via the dark workings of economics. It was not always thus, and probably won’t be again at some unspecified point in the future.

    Not a bad idea at all to tap into that market with the log cabins. Speaking of such things, and werewolves, turns out a couple of dudes up in Sydney make awesome props for block buster movies: These Sydneysiders make monsters for a living, but hadn’t created a pregnant werewolf until Wolf Like Me. Talk about having a very cool job.

    I defer to your pop culture knowledge in this area. Also glad to hear that you enjoyed the film. No review? Or are you gathering your thoughts? Or should I simply watch the film myself and make up my own mind?

    Ah, well, the rusty old trailer might not be able to be used as a raised garden bed now. Err, hadn’t thought of doing that. Instead I drove it to a scrap metal recycling business in the big smoke today and scored $90 for the metal. It doesn’t make a whole lot of economic sense to do so, but I’m pretty sure the steel will get recycled. My original plan was to cut it up into about eight sections (weighing in at about eighty pounds each) and then taking the lot to the local tip to chuck into their metal recycling facility. This way I didn’t have to spend hours cutting up the trailer, and the tip would not have given me anything for the metal. Not a bad outcome.

    Nothing is ever truly beyond repair, but there is a tipping point where you look at the huge amount of work required to get something back to a workable condition. And when it’s a long way past that point, like the trailer, it’s just not worth it. It’s been in use for over two decades, and seen many repairs in that time. Plus the new trailer is narrower, and so weighs less.

    Having witnesses the steel worm consume the old trailer over many years, and fighting the good fight to keep it going over those years – the new trailer is hot dipped galvanised. It’s quite a bright silver finish. Seemed like a sensible choice given the previous experience.

    Ah! I mentioned this book to the Editor and we have been discussing it.

    The cold weather continued today, although it is not quite as cold this evening. The level of variability with climate I’m facing is bonkers. The forecast is suggesting that the weather will warm up over the next few days, and then cool down again with rains returning mid next week. I’m watching the apricots to see how they go, but candidly it’s not good. Later fruits such as apples and pears should be fine, maybe.

    That’s a good question about when the new normal will establish itself, and it is one for which I have no answer. Did you get the frost? Hope DJ wasn’t snowed out!

    Hey, how did the drying of the basil leaves end up? You’ve intrigued me with that option as it is not something I would have considered.

    Makes you wonder if anyone lived on the ice sheet (or fringes of) during that epoch? I’d presume that the oceans would have provided some sustenance for a few, but not many. But yeah, excluding frozen seed banks, the ice sheet would have been one big reset on the islands. Plus mountains would have been ground down with the soil ultimately benefiting.

    Well, that’s another thing I have little to no experience with (and have certainly never baked): corn bread. Your additions to the dough sound pretty tasty to me. How do you eat the stuff? i.e. do you add on condiments and spreads such as butter? I see vegemite is now a century old – are you tempted? 🙂 Didn’t think so.

    Of course, both are mostly permanent arrangements. In one aspect we have correspondence (not always a thing that people are good at), and the other, well there is of course the un-dead such as zombies. I’m of the opinion that the un-dead would make for unpleasant company.

    That really does sound like ‘The Last Supper’. Hope it goes well on Saturday night. Lasagna (the spell checker used an ‘e’ as the final letter in the spelling!) is a very tasty meal. Yum! When Tabbouleh is good, it is excellent. I reckon the two dishes would go together nicely, as each would compliment the others flavours.

    Haha! The young lady dropped into the Club. How cool is that? Yeah, I know about those guys. They play hip-hop on the national youth broadcaster (as well as all the other genres, which can be a bit mind bending for people not braced for the musical dislocation), and there was some talk about hip-hop turning 50 a few months ago. If you’re at all interested… Double J celebrates 50 years of hip hop all August. I reckon as a music form it’s gone from the fringes to the mainstream. I believe that Faceplant has suffered from exactly that trend but with the kids market. If the oldsters are there…



  24. Chris:

    I guess we could say: Rats is rats.

    Yes, we love our new paths.

    I am glad that you got over to the scrap metal yard. We have one not so far away and have made quite a few profitable trips there over the years. So nice to get a bit of mad cash for something that had well-served its purpose already. I hope that fine coffee will be a reality again soon.

    I found this fascinating. Ten or twelve years ago there were quite a few murmurs that cargo ships would have to go back to using at least some sails in the future. I believed that, but thought that it would be decades ahead. Here it is:


  25. Yo, Chris – Can’t say I’ve ever lived in a high desert, but, when I lived in LA in the early 70s, well, that’s desert. Low desert? Take away all the water that’s piped in, and it’s nothing but cactus and succulents. Your link to Manaro is no longer on this temporal plane 🙂 . But, I did a search and looked at the images. Dry land has a certain … sameness to it. Probably there are differences, up close and personal. But from a distance, it all looks the same. Unless there are interesting rock formations. Maybe that’s why I have an antipathy to the dry places. Not enough novelty. And, the heat.

    I guess not liking your neighbors is what’s keeping my Idaho friend’s daughter in the real estate biz. She’s managed a pretty steady string of sales.

    That was an interesting article on the creature creators. I wondered about if CGI was impacting their business. And they addressed that. You know, I watch some of the “extras” that come with the DVDs I watch. “Making of…” etc.. It really is an “aesthetic choice.” CGI vs “practical effects.” Seems as if movie audiences are getting pretty bored with all CGI movies. Or, movies with too much CGI. I can’t watch movies that are all CGI generated. (“The 300” is an example of this.) “Wolf Like Me” sounds like a fun series, and I hope it goes to DVD, and we get it here. If not … plenty of other stuff to watch.

    Review? “Barbie?” Light hearted romp with deeper meanings if you choose to dig for them. Worth a bowl of popcorn.

    That was a wise choice, with the rusty old trailer, I think. You’ve got to look at ROI (Return on investment), and, I think, include things like time, hassle, potential maintenance cost, etc. etc.. You at least got $90 out of the deal, which at least probably paid for the gas to get it to the recyclers.

    I see there’s a heat wave, to the north of you. And, brushfires seem to be gearing up, here and there. At least, that’s the little bit of information, we’re getting here. Jack Frost was a no show, last night. You just can’t get good help, anymore. It got down to 36F, last night. Tonight it might even go lower.

    I’ll get to the Basil, when I finish up with the peppers. They’re in the dehydrator, now. I’ll have to scrub out the dehydrator, and then it’s onto the Basil. I dug up the entire plants, with some dirt, plopped them in a 2 gallon bucket and added a good amount of water. They’re still looking good. I took a look in the rabbit hole, and see I can make pesto, with dried Basil.

    The last ice sheet, to cover Britain, only extended as far as the Midlands. But the water taken up by the ice sheets, created Doggerland. I saw an article, yesterday, that dinosaur tracks have been found on the beach, in Inge’s part of the world. And that that area is rich in dinosaur bones. According to the article, that area is about the best in Europe, for such things.

    Well, you can slap anything on cornbread, that tickles your fancy. It’s usually baked in a square pan. I usually cut it into squares, cut them and half, and slap on … whatever. Peanut butter? Sure. Maybe not with the cornbread made with peppers or tomatoes, but the plainer, sure. Jams and jellies. Butter.

    Vegemite and Marmite are on my bucket list of things to try. I’ll get around to it, sooner or later. I crossed Nutella, off the list. Might as well eat chocolate frosting.

    I think correspondence or conversation with the undead could be interesting. They have a long view of history, as lived, rather than what you just read. Zombies, maybe not so much. 🙂

    Tabouli is pretty flexible. There are several different recipes. I hope there will be leftovers. I whip in a couple of eggs, and fry it up as patties. Maybe put some cheese, on top. I started gathering ingredients, last night. Fresh mint might be hard to source. Parsley can be substituted.

    My Idaho friend made a funny comment, today. I think it’s a keeper. “I ordered a gf (gluten free) pizza for the three of us for lunch 😋. I just didn’t feel up to figuring out what to fix. AND… I don’t have the recipes for, “I don’t care” or “Whatever, is fine” or “Anything will do”!!!! I do think other people should learn how to fix these mystery dishes!” 🙂

    We have quit a few young folks (say, under 30), come and go at the Club. A lot of them are “court remanded.” Think of them as on probation. Depending on the severity of their problems, some are in inpatient treatment. Some in outpatient treatment. Halfway houses. Maybe, frequent UAs (urine analysis). Blow and go’s. That’s a mechanism, where to get your vehicle to start, you have to blow into it. And, usually, a certain number of AA or NA (Alcoholics Anonymous / Narcotics Anonymous,) meetings per week. Maybe some community service. Maybe some financial restitution.

    Speaking of youth culture, and face plant, there’s something interesting, afoot.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out, but, I suppose, it will drag through the courts, for years. Lew

  26. Yo, Chris – Spoilers. Maybe.

    If this is what Banksy has become, it reminds me a bit of Andy Warhol. Who had a pretty extensive organization for producing and protecting his “brand.” In fact, he called it “The Factory.” He just wasn’t anonymous.

    I tend to agree with the author. What, or whoever Banksy is, so what? It’s witty and, sometimes, thought provoking. I like it because, it’s figurative. A surprise as the art establishment has been so down on realistic art. Lew

  27. Chris,

    Wednesday was very busy. It was supposed to be the Day of the First Snow. Ho hum. Yawn, even. While it did snow here for a few hours, it never stuck to hard surfaces, at least in the lower elevations. Got maybe 1cm on the lawns. We ARE supposed to get cold for a few nights – perhaps -7C.

    Snoqualmie Pass, the most travelled route between Puget Sound and parts east, was supposed to get several inches. The Princess has business in Puget Sound area starting today. Her brother is with her. Again, ho, hum, yawn. Pass was bare and wet. She was happy not to have to battle snow.

    I quite understand that most technical of terms, “mooshy”, especially when related to pears. Pears and peaches are normally sold hard as rocks here. Gotta let them ripen then quickly do something with them before Agent Mooshy is in control. Didn’t that singer “Vanilla Moosh” have a song about this 20 something years ago – “Moosh, Moosh Baby”?

    Yes, you are totally seeing what I’m getting at. The lady in question seems quite demanding and possibly spoiled. I can see here father now, “My baby is distrauauaught because you are One Partridge Short, ye wee numpty! Off wi yer heid! Executioner!”

    Looked at another way…There are a LOT of birds in the song. “You are what you eat”. The young lady seems very Foul/fowl whatever. 😉 Or, dare I say, she seems very “Fowl, fowl baby”?

    Avalanche was distracted and overly excited at the final dog class session Wednesday. Something to do with papa and mama weren’t happy because of mama’s cousins, and it was snowing. “Papa! Snow! Leave me alone and let me run around outside and get snow all over me. Snow Papa! Snow Snow SNOW!”

    Dog sleeping habits and patterns are hard to fathom. Some want to flop all over all other living beings in the house, others want to be alone. And these wants can switch at the wag of a tail.

    Being able to see only the cats eyes is eerie isn’t it? I was driving at night in eastern Wyoming one August, following the cats eyes. Then I noticed there were hundreds of other eyes at car level! Slowed waaay down, to almost a crawl. Well, not almost, was at a crawl. I was in the midst of an antelope herd for several miles. In the dark. Then there was a repeat performance by a different herd 45 minutes later.

    Question about the cats eyes in the road. Did some of the eyes belong to Schrödinger’s Cat? I asked Heisenberg, but he was uncertain.

    Man, the house got too cool for the Princess. Had to turn on the furnace for her. Truth be told, it was getting close to my limit also. The gas fireplaces are ready to use as of today. I’ll probably use the upstairs fireplace rather than the furnace. Otherwise, the house will be warmer than I like.


  28. Hi Pam,

    🙂 At the time of year you are at, our pesky rodent friends go seeking a snuggly warm spot so as to over winter in comfort. Dunno about you, but we go on rat alert mode seven, and seal up every breach and hole they make. The war is going well, maybe! But yup, rats is rats.

    Thanks for that, and I thought that might be the case with your new paths. When the rains turn the ground to moosh and you’re on the side of a hill (or mountain), a rock lined path just makes life easier.

    I’ll try and chuck in a photo of the scrap metal yard, which incidentally was called “Scrappy’s”. A bit like ‘Scooby Doo!’ don’t you reckon. Dunno what you mean by ‘not so far away’, but that place is about 30 miles away from here, which wasn’t close, but neither was it too far. The people there were super helpful too.

    And absolutely! The old timers used to say ‘waste not, want not’, and it’s true. In our early years of marriage during the ‘recession we had to have’, we once had to go and sell off our horde of copper scraps so as to afford the weekly groceries. That was probably a bit tighter on a budget front than I’m comfortable with. So yeah, best to get the materials back into circulation with some mad cash in our pockets. Winning!

    Whoa! That’s an amazing technology, also proving that everything old is new again. I do hope those sails can be lowered in a bonkers storm, because they are attached to the left hand side of the ship – which may throw out the balance if they’re full extended. Masts were traditionally placed in the centre of a ship, probably for good reasons now lost to time. Still, I’m trying to get my head around what six tonnes of bulk fuel per day looks like. Clearly, it’s a lot.



  29. Hi DJ,

    That’s so weird, because the forecasters were predicting snow down to 800m here also on Wednesday. What I experienced instead was a flash flood whilst I was on the six lane each way freeway. That was a nightmare drive, and bizarrely there was nothing in the news about it. Oh well. The sort of snow you did get matches what happens here in the coldest of conditions. About a centimetre of snow settles, the two Kelpies with their thicker coats run around like crazy, Ollie hides inside, then the snow melts.

    Now, -7’C is the entire next level. Stay warm during the brief early foray into winter. Two nights ago it got down to 1’C, so last night with a similar forecast, we chucked a second thick wollen blanket on the bed. I woke up in the middle of the night seriously over hot and couldn’t get back to sleep. Winter had clearly left the building. Until the second blanket was removed, sleep did not return – and funnily enough neither could Sandra sleep. 7’C outside over night does not demand such thick bedding. Oh well, all you can do is interpret the forecast as best you may, reality may be otherwise. And we’d run the wood heater with the overnight forecast in mind. A bit of a mistake that one.

    Good to hear that your lady and her brother dodged the snow over that pass. I do like how they have a traffic camera there for the non believers. But I also reckon that for the name of the pass is a dead give-away.

    Yeah, they also sell nectarines here in that rock hard condition. And pears ripen off the tree via the fermentation process which converts starches to sugars. But peaches and nectarines don’t really improve all that much if they haven’t sucked up the growing season sunshine beforehand which produces the sugars. Mind you, peaches are more likely to improve than nectarines. It was these sorts of issues which sent me on this journey almost two decades ago. Can we do better with our food supply? was the question I had. It’s been a strange, yet rewarding journey.

    Vanilla Moosh!!!! Hehe! Thanks for the laughs, that’s funny.

    Dude, that song reminded me of the original Princess and the Pea fairy tale. Honestly, complaining about a single misplaced pea under what was it again, something like twenty seven mattresses? The young lady in question sounds rather like hard work to me. Spoiled fruit is usually the stuff nobody wants to eat. Calling for the executioner at the lack of a single partridge would most certainly make for a nervous existence. What about the rest of the partridges supplied? 😉 Oh, that’s good. Funny!

    As Avalanche ages, she’ll get to comprehend that her needs must co-exist with that of the households needs. She’ll get there, but the dog is yet too young. And that is where the snow comes in! It’s in her heritage you know. You should have seen Sir Poopy the Swedish Lapphund whenever it snowed. I don’t want to come back inside boss…

    Oh, your antelope’s are a very good reason to slow down – the rumours are that they are very fast indeed. On some more remote country roads down here at night, you’ll sometimes see the light reflecting blue-ish sparkles on the road. If you stop and take a good look, that’s when you’ll discover that the reflected blue lights are the eyes of large huntsman spiders – lot’s of them. It’s a bit creepy really.

    It ain’t just Heisenberg who is uncertain. 😉 I read about the Schrödinger’s Cat thought experiment, then decided to take all of the dogs out in the darkening early evening to perform their ablutions. This sort of experiment is outside my usual area of discussions, and I must add that the physicists extended their reach and bumped into, err, philosophy. What is the nature of observation indeed? Well, if great minds like that can’t work it out, stuffed if I know! 🙂 But I did notice that the dogs performed their ablutions. 😉

    Snow! Well, yeah, that would be too cold for me as well, and likewise the wood heater would get fired up. That’s what it is there for. I get that about not being overly hot, and refer to my previous example of too many thick woollen blankets last night.

    Had a quieter day today, and just did the needful things around the house which needed being done.



  30. Hi Lewis,

    The Diprotodon’s are awesome beasts aren’t they? I have long suspected that they were finally all eaten. Dingoes introduced via trading with Indonesia would have also been a problem for the huge marsupials too I reckon. Not sure I’d be calmly walking around the forest down here with such fearsome beasts lurking around. Yeah, the other articles are interesting, and I’d not previously heard of Argoland, not to mention the other now sunken continents.

    Thanks for the article on the ever intriguing Banksy, may him and his cohorts continue to entertain and delight us all for many more years to come. My favourite quote from the article was: :Having a team of lawyers making sure only real Banksys are labelled as such doesn’t do much for your street cred. Yes, very droll, and the name of the brand authorisation mob ‘Pest Control’ sends a strong message.

    I tend to agree with you, and perhaps the mystique and showmanship is required for the art world because it holds up a mirror to their pretensions and somewhat closed shop? Dunno.

    That city does sort of look like it’s been parked on a desert. Hope they know what they’re doing. No matter about the Monaro area, and I see what you mean. That sameness was what caught my attention as well. Man, it’s the heat I try and avoid too.

    Haha! People move on for other reasons as well. Mind you, I have observed a household causing all of the other houses around them to sell up and move.

    My education is again sadly lacking. I’m aware of the 300 film and use of CGI, but have not watched it or the sequel for similar reasons. However, both films it should be noted, did remarkably well at the box office.

    Thanks for the film review. 🙂

    The $90 easily covered the petrol for the trip to the scrap metal merchant – which was about 30 miles away (each way). Given enough time, I could have repaired and restored the old trailer, but time is one thing I’m remarkably short on. If I’d chosen to drop the trailer off at the nearby metal recycle collection at the tip, I’d have gotten nothing for it, and would also have to have chopped the thing up. A lot of work that job. Had a quieter day today, which was nice.

    Yeah, the continent up north has been pretty hot and sort of dry-ish over the past few months. The wet season up there will begin soon, and it will be interesting to see how big the cyclones and low pressure systems get this year. Really big storms can send rain down into this south eastern corner of the continent. Most of the wet weather recently has been arriving from the south (Antarctica) and it’s been cold.

    Good ol’ Jack will be visiting your garden shortly! 🙂 He’s just a bit slack right now.

    Never made pesto with dried basil, so I’ll be curious to hear how it turns out for you. It’ll probably be pretty tasty. We tend to substitute peanuts for the more traditional pine nuts, and it works out nicely. I don’t really like the taste of pine nuts, which incidentally come from the Stone Pine tree (they’ll grow well around these parts those trees).

    I guess any remains now under the ocean in Doggerland would have been destroyed by the elements. A bit of a shame that. The photos of the dinosaur footprints on Inge’s island were pretty good, but unless you knew what they were, I could sort of understand how tourists were just walking around them on the way to the beach.

    With the corn bread, does the corn flour add any sweetness to the final baked product? I’m guessing it has a similar sort of density to that of a scone. It takes a lot of various chemicals and compounds to produce light and fluffy bread. Most of the bread I bake is of a more dense texture than most people are used to, although I’m yet to receive any complaints.

    Not of a fan of nutella either. It may be that just like Vegemite and Marmite you have to grow up eating the stuff. Generally vegemite is at its best on warm toast spread with butter, then the vegemite is spread. I can actually taste the difference between the two products, but they are sort of similar. Hey, life is sometimes replete with challenges! Good luck, from what I gather most folks in your country tend to view the taste of vegemite negatively.

    Did you begin production of the Tabouli salad? I reckon the parsley substitution is a goodie.

    Those three mystery dishes would most certainly place the best chefs under some considerable stress! 🙂 Hey, that’s what I call cutting the Gordian knot. Respect, although I tend to avoid lunchtime pizza. I have pizza secrets, you know! Everyone has pizza secrets, whether they admit to them, or not. Oooo, had a gourmet pie for lunch today. I noted that prices had risen (pie-flation?), but the chicken, leek and bacon pie was very good.

    Ah, I see. Forgive me if this is considered rude, but I do wonder if people get better outcomes, if they voluntarily step foot inside the Club? Still, all in all, it is good that the people so ordered have somewhere to go and hang out with people who get it, and can learn to refocus their wills (as much as possible anyway).

    That is very interesting indeed. Well, those tech kids have had the sand box to themselves for quite a while. Have they been good corporate citizens, I guess we’ll find out.

    Better run. Giving a presentation on inflation tomorrow and have to prepare. Should be interesting. Going to riff off the chew-flation thing I did a while back.



  31. Chris:

    It takes about 15 minutes to get to our scrap yard; not bad, eh? Scrappy’s is a perfect name.

    We can see that the sails can be lowered, but one wonders what happens if there is a power or equipment failure. Those things cannot be lowered by hand. The other side of the barge must be balanced to carry all that extra weight.


  32. Yo, Chris – I wonder if the Diprotodons dug holes in the ground, like the Wombats? I wonder what their temperament was like? Brassed off all the time, like a Hippo? Or more benign? The picture made it look like it had two sets of eyes. Nope. Nostrils.

    I guess Banksy doesn’t subscribe to the idea that “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” 🙂

    The CGI movies, leave me a bit cold. I recently picked up a new “Resident Evil” movie, and it was that CGI stuff. I didn’t even watch 5 minutes of it, and it went back to the library. I really can’t put my finger on it, but some animation I like, and others, not so much. Maybe I like the animation that isn’t trying to look “real.”

    Jack Frost finally made an appearance, at least, somewhere nearby. Our weather station, which is down in the valley (where the cold temperature pools) had an overnight low of 30F (-1C). Up here on the hill, the grass didn’t get crunchy. I still think I’ll record it as our “first frost.” In a couple of nights, the low is forecast for 27F.

    I have a bag of pine nuts, in the freezer. They were on sale. I’ll use up those, first. So, the peanuts … skins on or off? I bet cashews might make a nice pesto.

    When they were drilling for oil, in the North Sea, every once in awhile the drilling rig would cough up a prehistoric stone tool. Mastodon bones. We kind of have the same problem, here. Any evidence of a costal route to the Americas, while the ice sheets were in place, is lost to the briny deep. But tantalizing clues turn up, from time to time.

    Wheat flour has 13.6 times less sugars, than corn meal. So, yes, it has a sweeter flavor.

    I had a thought about Vegemite and Marmite, this morning. I thought I might have to order it, on-line. But I wonder if the health food store might carry them. Next time I’m up that way, I’ll check.

    I’ll make the Tabouli, tonight. Give it a day to mellow in the fridge. The grocery did have some fresh mint. We don’t have any in the gardens. We do have a lot of lemon balm. Hmmm. I wonder if you could substitute that? I’d want to test it out first. Although lemon juice is one of the ingredients. Parsley is also a suggested substitute.

    Peak pies? Demand destruction? 🙂

    Not a rude question, at all. Although I have always held that I cannot accurately predict, who will “get it,” and who won’t. There are always surprises, both good and bad. I hear a lot of stories, of people who are court remanded, do the routine, and once freed of obligations, slowly go off the deep end, again. And then wander back to recovery or sobriety, or whatever you want to call it. And, it sticks.

    So, a presentation on inflation. Next blog topic?

    I got the book, “The War on Small Business: How the Government Used the Pandemic to Crush the Backbone of America.” (Roth, 2021). Didn’t take long to get, on the Interlibrary loan. Seattle Public Library had a copy of it. I’m skimming parts of it. The author is a bit of a conspiracy theorist. Lew

  33. Chris,

    Friday was a good day to stay home. Clouded over around midnight and then a skiff of snow fell about 3 a.m. It stuck on the roadways in some areas, but not in my neighborhood. It was slick in a few areas, but mostly not. Except for bridges. They turned into ice rinks, causing accidents, which then turned the bridges into icy car parks. After our neighborhood roads turned bare and dry, we went for our walk. Stayed home otherwise.

    There is a huge difference indoors here, too, between +1C and +7C outdoor temperatures overnight. An extra blanket at +7C is way too much for us.

    Those traffic cameras on the passes and other locations are wonderful for the traveler. We’ve made good use of them over the years. Very good use.

    Hmmmm. After 2 decades of working on a better food supply, the question must be asked: is your food supply better? 😉 Oh, wait, the regular pictures of the fruits and vegetables and harvests and preserves and jams tell a very clear and vivid story. So, tis a job well done and still improving.

    A neighbor, since moved away, has a husky. Avalanche and I would chat with him occasionally. He said that it wasn’t until his husky was over 3 years old that he started acting like a dog and not a puppy. And it took a LOT of work. Pretty much what I expect from northern breeds. And like Sir Poopy, in past winters, Avalanche has preferred to remain outdoors when there is snow. Rakhi the Samoyed also wouldn’t come indoors very much once winter and snow and cold temperatures hit. Too warm indoors, too much fun stuff outdoors.

    When I lived in Las Cruces, New Mexico, I would periodically visit my cousins in Albuquerque. Easy drive on Interstate 25. Sometimes I’d be on the Interstate after a thunderstorm. Road was filled with smooshed (that technical word has many uses) tarantulas and live ones trying to avoid being smooshed while escaping from their flooded homes. Crawling roads are somewhat creepy. Add in the blue reflective eyes, hmmm, freaky. Very freaky.

    Ah yes, philosophy. I fear that Neils Bohr and his cronies far overstepped themselves. The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics has always sounded to me to be very hubristic. “If you can’t observe it, it doesn’t exist. The act of observing it brings it into existence, creates it.” There are other ways of interpreting the data and the maths without sounding like we create the universe by observing it. Of course, Douglas Adams had fun with this with his Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. Said beast is so stupid that it believes that if you can’t see it, then it can’t see you. Simply close your eyes when confronted by one, or even better, wrap your towel around your head and eyes if you know where your towel is. Then the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast will not eat you because you cannot see it.

    I was discussing this idea with one of my undergraduate physics professors once. He said that it must be true that “if you don’t observe it, then it doesn’t exist.” I suggested an ostrich that puts its head in the sand to avoid observing the hunter, which then must not exist. At which exact moment, another professor popped his head into the office and quipped, “And the ostrich will look really funny with a spear sticking out its backside”.


  34. Hi Pam,

    Oh, that is good. Lucky you. 30 miles took a little bit longer to travel. And I tell you, the wind blew hard that day so I kept the speed down on the Suzuki Dirt Rat. Fortunately the job is now done, and we can move onto the next problem – which incidentally is the toilet cistern. Fixing things around here is a bit like playing that game of ‘whack a mole’, and I never know where the moles will pop their heads up next! I’m sure you know the feeling?

    Incidentally, the nearby tip which will take metal scraps for recycling (the trailer would have had to have been cut up by me beforehand) is also about 15 minutes away. They’re nice people there in that they’ll happily take the metal, they just won’t pay anything for it! The drive was quicker to do than the cutting and hauling of the parts job.

    It was a great name for the business, and they’ve been there for a few decades. The people working there were super helpful too. And I put on vague face number four, whilst asking lots of questions.

    Pam, I like how your brain works, and that is a very good question. You’d hope that the ship didn’t lose power as it might sometimes do, err, is the technical description keel (in a big storm)? I’ve read stories of ships masts breaking during super monster storms. Yikes! Not something you’d ever want to experience…

    We once flew on a commercial plane where upon checking in at the airport something was mentioned about balancing the weight in the plane. How big is this thing? That was the question which was asked. I’m not a relaxed flyer.



  35. Hi DJ,

    Some of the bridges down here have ice warning signs, and bridge heating elements. I can’t begin to imagine how much energy it would take to heat a four lane bridge. Bonkers alert! Do you know why the bridge surfaces would even freeze? Is it a thermal mass thing? Good to hear that you avoided such madness and risk. How’s this retirement thing working out? Although I’d imagine the bus would be pretty safe in such conditions. Maybe?

    Yeah, it’s funny how insulation works to an extent. And the walls, floor and ceiling (which has a double layer) are protected by 200mm of glass fibre insulation. I dunno why and your superior grasp of the physics probably comprehends what I have no idea about, but there is a marked difference in the leakage of temperature from the inside of the house to the outside world, between those two temperatures you mentioned. It’s like how 1’C feels significantly colder than 4’C and takes more energy to feel comfortable. But yes, extra blankets work, until they don’t and at 7’C outside things are way different than 2’C.

    DJ, now I live in the bush, the finer details of the weather forecast are on my mind – every day. The consequences of not considering the possibilities can be quite severe here (like that Christmas tornado, or super cells, heat waves etc.) Landslides, fires. It’s bonkers! But when we lived in the city, I was oblivious to the details and often caught out, but shrugged it off as a minor inconvenience. Things are different here. Those cameras are a great idea, for the passes are at quite high elevation and subject to some serious extreme weather. Best to be prepared for what lies in wait.

    Thanks! One thing I’ve noticed with with people who eat a lot of produce from their gardens is that they have pretty good skin. That can’t be a coincidence. Mate, truth to tell, I’ll still be improving with that area of knowledge, and will probably continue to do so. On the day I depart the living (hopefully not to come back as an un-dead, they look rather smelly with all that rotten flesh and stuff! 🙂 ) I’m pretty certain there’ll still be stuff to learn. If only I’d listened to my grandfather more (as in the old Hitchhikers Guide joke!)

    Samoyed dogs are really similar to Huskies and Spitz’s. All have their own thoughts and opinions, but do age well into maturity. After that Game of Thrones series, I did wonder how many people would be able to handle Huskies? From what I read, they were over represented in returns to dog shelters for a while.

    Oh yeah! The tarantula-fest you wrote about, is pretty much how things rolled with the huntsman spiders, but they didn’t need the flood to be on the move – they just do that. Ook! And definitely avoid hanging around to take a closer look. Found a baby huntsman spider in a door channel on the Dirt Rat. When they drop onto your lap during a road trip, that’s a problem. I recently saw some footage of a pilot landing a light aircraft when one was crawling around the cabin. Yikes! Pilot Lands Plane With Large Spider Sitting On Ceiling. Talk about nerves of steel! And the cheeky scamp dropped, as they can do.

    That’s funny, and also the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal is a fearsome predator, unless you can steel yourself to studiously ignore said beast. Not always an easy thing to do. You know, when I was a young bloke a friend used to enjoy the discussion of the: “If a tree falls in the forest” argument. It does smack of hubris, agreed. Long ago a well known criminal suggested that: “Australia is a big place, and shovels are cheap”. Talk about sending a strong message, just like what your Professor did. 🙂



  36. Hi Lewis,

    Those folks in the Halloween article rock! I really enjoyed viewing their efforts. Thanks for mentioning the work. Amazing stuff, and all of them were good, and some were super creepy. Hey, I don’t get invited to such parties either! 🙂

    It’s hard to know what the temperament of Diprotodons were like, but annoyed might be a solid guess. There is a suggestion that they made annual migrations and kept to separate herds based on the sex of the animal. Certainly, I reckon based on what the research suggests, their digits weren’t strong enough to dig burrows, unlike the present day wombats. An interesting animal, and I’d not care to accidentally bump into a roaming herd. Things would definitely go badly, as they seem to have been able to crush plants in their jaws.

    Hehe! You’re probably right. Banksy may have to fight off a collection of imitations. Always something of a risk for an artist. I was watching a utoob clip the other day and the person mentioned that people had been imitating them on a different social media platform. Talk about bonkers.

    Oh yeah, I recall you mentioning the latest instalment of the ‘Resident Evil’ film franchise. I guess all things can be taken to extremes, to their detriment. I’m not arguing with you about that, and animation does not need to pretend to realism, or does it?

    Sucks to be them down in the valley where the cold air pools! 27’F is very cold in my experience. Definitely a five blanket night. You’ve got a few days until it hits, but that sort of low temperature does signal an end to the growing season.

    That’s sort of what I’ve noticed about pine nuts in that their flavour changes over time, so maybe keeping them in the freezer is a good idea. I’ll stick to peanuts though. Ah, roasted, unsalted and with no skins. The papery like skins might change the consistency of a pesto, but could add some fibre? Dunno. Peanuts are generally sold down here without the papery skin.

    Well that is interesting. It’s not just the drillers. Fishermen sometimes haul ancient bones and tools from that part of the world. Given melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, to future folks, we’ll probably provide similar mysteries.

    Ook! All those sugars from corn syrup probably aren’t all that great for folks diets. Hadn’t known that the difference between corn and wheat flour was that wide.

    It’s an acquired taste, so yeah, I reckon go small with the vegemite jar purchase. 😉 Worst case scenario, the stuff might do some good in the garden. I’ll be curious to hear if you prefer marmite over vegemite. They are different tasting.

    Did you get around to making the Tabouli? And was it well received? Go on, did you try the adding in the lemon balm leaves? It might work.

    Peak pies! Holy carp! Hopefully the puritans have not been working their mischief again. Whatever issue could anyone have against the humble pie? Little wonder Cromwell was always talking about gut health (the bowels! the bowels!), he just needed a damn good pie. As to demand destruction, I dunno about that, some sort of Corvette car club was having lunch there, but the owners were in the pub – we were in the attached pie shop. Looks like an expensive hobby to me.

    Thanks for that and I wasn’t sure. I can comprehend how there would be surprises, both good and bad.

    The presentation went well, and we covered a wide area of effects from that lurking money monster of a problem. I’m of the opinion that the lenders should exercise restraint, and just because something can be done with mad cash printing, does not imply that it is a good thing to do so. But I also acknowledge that the horse has long since bolted. There was a time, where things may have gone on a different path, but that is now long in the past. Of course it is true that a tiger can change it’s spots as a leopard can alter its stripes, but there is no will within society to do so. Doing so would assist things, even now, but people want stuff. I hadn’t thought about writing upon this subject. Candidly, it seemed like a bit of a buzzkill. 🙂

    Never met a conspiracy theorist. I need to get out more.

    Hey, is this hubris or what? I was congratulating myself that everything here is in good working order, and then the toilet cistern seems to have developed an intermittent leak. The gods have decided yet again, that relaxation is not for the likes of I!



  37. Yo, Chris – I’ve seen a few articles about how people put their books, on-line, either to be read on line (sometimes, for a small fee) or printed out and read. And, they’re stolen, with a few small changes. The platforms supporting these books are slow to follow up on reports, of such (looking at you, River.)

    It got down to 27F, last night. Jack Frost made a romp through our neighborhood. When I took H out for her 9am walk, the grass was still crunchy. No worries. The rain is coming back in a few days and the overnight lows will bounce back up in the 40s and 50s. Still only needed one blanket, last night. And needed no additional heat. LOL. Just stealing it from my neighbors. I even took a shower, and didn’t need to break out the small space heater I do have.

    Corn as it comes on the cob, has sucrose sugars. And not that much. It’s not a high-glycemic food and ranks low on the glycemic index. A comparable amount only has 1/3 the sugar as a banana, and 1/5 the sugar of a medium sized apple. It’s only when it’s put through “better living through chemistry,” and turned into corn syrup, that things get weird.

    Thanks for the peanut / pesto information. Sooner or later, I’ll run out of the pine nuts. By now, they’re probably either hard to find, or priced out of sight. I bet cashews might be nice. Unsalted sunflower seeds? Ditto, pumpkin seeds?

    Just for poops and giggles, I checked out Vegemite and Marmite on the River. 8 oz jars of either, run about $12. And both are imported from Australia! Hmmm. I didn’t realize both involve a yeast component. I sprinkle flake nutritional yeast, on whatever I’m having for dinner. Bob’s Red Mill. LOL. It’s supposed to impart a “cheesy” flavor, but not that I’ve noticed. I also sprinkle it on popcorn. In addition to melting some real cheese, on the top.

    The Tabouli is made, and mellowing in the fridge. I’ll sample a bit, for lunch. Remember the good old days, when you could walk into a store, and have a fair chance of finding what you were looking for? No wheat bulgar, the other night. So, I took a risk and got Couscous. And, it turns out it’s a perfectly acceptable substitute for bulgar. According to a glance in the rabbit hole. It seems to be a pretty free form recipe. Some versions call for chives. Some, cucumbers. I decided against the cucumbers, until I experiment a bit. I worried about the Burps. Soaking the cucumbers in salt water, overnight, might take care of that, but I want to experiment with that, on me, before unleashing it on the public. Ditto the substitution of lemon balm, for a lemon. Sure would be a savings. Lemon balm, I can pick right out of the yard. Unlike you, who can pick a lemon off your tree 🙂 . I think a dollop of plane yoghurt, on top, might also be nice. Yoghurt is big in a lot of Near Eastern recipes.

    The Puritans were against ANYTHING that gave folks a little pleasure. Probably why their government didn’t last very long. There was a recent movie about Shakespeare, titled “All Is True.” Quit good, by the way, and worth a look. Shakespeare’s son-in-law was a Puritan. What a stick. No fun at all.

    I finished the book on the war on small business. There was a bit that caught my eye. “Not in the context of central planning. Small business represents the ultimate in free markets and individual choice and freedom. They are an impediment to control that makes it difficult for politicians to gain and exert power. The more people who re entangled with the government, the better it is for central planners and their objectives. Small businesses do not fit into that plan.”

    The lockdowns were pretty horrible for small business. As I’m sure you are aware. There are some numbers. Yelp is a platform that rates businesses, feedback and such. It’s also useful for locations, business hours, etc. etc.. Permanent closures amounted for 55 percent of all closed businesses. In the Chicago area, 4,400 businesses were closed, and of those, 2,400 reported they were going out of business, permanently.

    She also talked quit a bit, about “cronyism.” What I’d call “the old boy network.” Or just powerful interests that could influence government. As far as who was locked down, and who was exempted. Here, it was pretty obvious and glaring. Big box stores and chains, had a lot more flexibility. Who was exempt and who wasn’t often depended on how strong an industry’s lobbying block was. And people noticed. Or how big a CEO’s political contributions were.

    Of course, in general, an attitude of “get big or get out,” goes all the way back to Earl Butz (appropriate name), who was Secretary of Agriculture, under president’s Nixon and Ford.

    On a local note, it’s interesting that about a year ago, our state banned the use of plastic bags. And yet, when I go to a big box or chain store, there they are. Sometimes, they charge. But 8¢ per, is pretty cheap for something I reuse for garbage bags, storing food, and just toting stuff around.

    I also saw an article about two counties, north of us, who have mandated that businesses must be able to take cash.,328124?

    What’s interesting are the exemptions. Some make sense, others don’t.

    And, lastly, and completely off topic, I saw an article where since 2006, more golf courses have closed, than opened. There were several examples, from around the world, of how many of them are being “re-wilded.” One in Melbourne was mentioned, with pictures. According to the rabbit hole, our military has 194 golf courses, around the world. Must be vital to defense. 🙂 Our tax dollars at work. Lew

  38. Hi Lewis,

    It’s funny you mention such things, but I’ve read rumours that similar activities go on in the world of music. A writer busts their gut to produce catchy melody and lyrics, sends it to an artist. The artist apparently changes a word here and there, and gets co-writing credits. I don’t know how I feel about such matters, but I’m not mucking around, some weeks I see that the bots have arrived to yet again help themselves to the text. As they’d say down here: Yeah, good-on-ya! Spoken in a derisive tone.

    That’s it for the growing season then. Crunchy grass equals hardy garden survivors like kale, and not much else. On a bright note, the frost converts starches to sugars and the leaves get sweeter tasting. 🙂 Kale is perhaps not for everyone!

    Hehe! Well done you, that is a theft worthy of talking up! We did the same when living in the swisho inner suburbs. With brick walls between each terrace house measuring 470mm thick (maybe a foot and a half), we enjoyed a similar heating effect courtesy of the neighbours. Aren’t they nice? 🙂 Respect!

    Holy carp! Well it is natural, sort of. So, a bacteria, fungi and enzyme walk into a bar… Dude, that is a seriously complicated process. I agree, weird is the word that you heard.

    Yeah, if you’re OK with peanuts, I reckon the flavour is superior. Pine nuts give a sharper flavour, but there is a slight bitter element to them. And the stuff has to be made fresh, although try telling that to the folks who make it. Why not try those other nuts and seeds? You might discover a true taste sensation. I’ve trialled the peanut recipe on visitors and that’s the ultimate test, I reckon. I’ve not yet heard complaints. We grew peanuts one very hot year, and Sir Poopy dug them all up and ate them, shells and all. Let’s just say that he thought that he was in the right there. I beg to differ. Most years here, it’s not hot enough to grow peanuts. We do need a second greenhouse.

    Whoa! That’s expensive for the spread. Things are perhaps different down here – for once. 😉 After you suggested the nutritional yeast, we’ve also begun experimenting with it. I don’t mind the stuff at all, and I see what you mean about the ‘nutty / cheesy taste’ claims. They’ve gotta sell the stuff somehow. There’s truth in the old adage, you are what you eat – and we’re a lot of different bacteria + fungi + enzymes. Mr Greer hinted at that story in the comments this week.

    No. Those good old days didn’t really exist. 😉 There are gaps, and always have been Brother Lewis! Hehe! Mind you, I’ve never gone seeking Bulgar. Cous Cous, yeah, but not Bulgar. My friends of the big shed fame long ago advised me to remove the seeds from cucumber and the taste is less bitter and not to mention the flatulence side effects get better. That’s my thinking too with the lemon balm, and not mention any other deviations from the accepted recipe, one must first perfect it on themselves prior to poisoning their audience. Just sayin…

    I’m happy to work hard, but far out, need the puritans rail against pies and other common forms of entertainment? Makes me wonder what the Big J would have made of those puritans and their claims to the greater spiritual pride? I’d imagine he would have had something cutting to say, but maybe I’m extrapolating, and no-fun is the superior way? You go first though…

    Back in 2008, I’d observed how big business was rolling, then decided to do something different with my life. There is freedom in the proles, that’s what the hapless and rather dull Winston in ol’ George’s dystopian novel never really grappled with.

    Mate, I’m more aware of that lock down issue than most people. Something, something, at the coal face. Indeed, this is the second time today I have to discuss this matter. Oh well, the pain was and is real. Was I wired for this role? Maybe, but there were times during the past three years when I was lending support, and being drained. The blog was quite the highlight of my day some days, and I’ve always enjoyed our conversations.

    Yeah, they’ve banned plastic bags here too. What that means is that the bags are thicker, and you have to pay for them, and they’re described as something other than single use plastic. I’ve never bought one, but I can see that they would be useful. Mostly when shopping I take my own cloth bags, plastic containers, cardboard boxes etc. My grandmother (the good one), would have recognised most of those systems because that was what she did. She used to walk me to the Prahan Market where we’d shop for fresh fruit and veg, and everything got chucked into reusable bags, then into a shopping jeep. And we’d walk back home again. It was all very working class back in the day, but nowadays, let’s just say I couldn’t afford to live there.

    A mate of mine, refuses to pay for anything on card. He’s an inspiration. And the article exactly suggests why it is important to do so. The ancient long dead grandmaster of strategy, Sun Tzu, suggested that it was unwise to push opponents into a corner. Whilst cashless may suit plenty of folks, it is very unwise to push it upon everyone.

    I’d been reading about that golf course. Developers want to get the land too.

    Better get writing, it’s almost 8:30pm. Ook! It is 8:30pm,,,



  39. Yo, Chris – 27F, again, last night. Yup. The gardens are looking pretty bleak. Time to finish up the clean up.

    Well, that’s interesting. I haven’t been able to access the library website, in months. Due to that temporal anomaly thing. Well, the library sent me an e-mail, saying browse our new catalog. I can access it from my e-mail. No problems. I don’t know how long it will last, but I’ll take it. Makes me think the whole temporal anomaly thing is a bit of an artificial construct. So what in the heck would the bots do with chunks of your text? Use it for advertising? 🙂

    It will be interesting to see if the local health food store charges more or less for the spreads. I’d bet more.

    I’d never had a problem finding wheat bulgar, at the store, before. In fact, the Couscous I bought was from the same company. The Lasagnia was very tasty. The Tabouli went over, well. Though no one knew what it was. Not even the chef (!). She did know what Couscous is. But no one else did. Finally ended up just calling it “salad.” Lol. Not the most sophisticated bunch. 🙂 There was just enough to take home to have a couple of nights of stirring in eggs, and making patties.

    Oh, I figured you got to witness the whole debacle, up close and personal. But, given the … privacy issues of your occupation, I understood your not saying too much about some things. I’ve had jobs where privacy issues were part of the territory. I did read in the book, that looking at natural disasters, and things like riots, it takes about ten years for business in an area to recover.

    Ah! So that’s how they get around the bag ban. Thicker bags so they aren’t single use. 80¢ for ten garbage bag liners is very cheap, compared to buying bags off the shelf, for that purpose. I also do take them back to the stores, and re-use them. Unless the at home supply gets low.

    The only place I use my credit card is on-line shopping. Everything else is cash. Rent and one utility, I write a check. The Club has tried credit cars, a couple of times. Lost money, every time.

    Another guy has moved into the Institution. Lives right across the hall. Haven’t seen him yet. I wonder what flavor of crazy, he is? Lew

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