Thursday, March 23, 2006

Plantin' Time

It's almost here.

This is the space where the veggie garden is grown. This is what it looks like after the long winter and before any prep work begins. When I started the garden in the backyard last year, I discovered the previous owners had brought in a truckload or two of gravel and laid it out in the backyard. It has made preparing the soil for gardening rather difficult. I moved two full wheel barrow loads of gravel out of this space after I tilled last year. The soil is not all that great either, as can be seen by the varying shades of grey, brown and green in the grass. Over time I hope to improve that. (by all means, click on the pics for scrutinization)
This is what it looks like after an hour or so of tilling. The soil looks much better than it did last year, and that's due to the mulch and other organic material that I incorporated. In all of the zucchini mounds, tomato plants, pepper plants, and rows of snap beans, I put in some top soil for them to germinate and grow in. Looks like it has helped a great deal. What you cannot see is directly behind that tree with the 'steps' on it, there is a compost heap. I've tossed all organic material from the garden, yard and kitchen in there and keep it turned regularly. What's in there now will be ready for next years garden. I also raked out another whole wheelbarrow of gravel. I surmise it will take several years before I am comfortable with the amount of gravel that remains, and quit obsessing over raking it out of there.
After the tilling I spread some lime. It helps restore and maintain a healthy pH balance for growing. I don't use any chemical fertilizers, only organic compost. This would include some animal material; specifically egg shells, shrimp shells, crab shells, fish heads, and some small chicken bones. How do you think I can grow peppers like these?

This shot is just before the spreading of the lime, but it has the treehouse project in view. I'm building this thing for my nieces and nephews. That shed you see is actually a good wind away from falling down, and I'm rebuilding it from the outside in. The 2x4's I'm using for the treehouse are actually part of the interior re-framing of the shed, but I thought this would be a better use for them at the moment. I can always buy more lumber.

(The Green Robin inspired this post with her vibrant spring atittude.)

Heh, I've got quite the redneck spread going there huh? ,

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Monday, March 20, 2006

Happy Birthday!

About Tony Auth: Jules Feiffer has described Tony Auth best, "His perspective is that of a bemused and often angry comic historian. Irony, never a favorite form with Americans, is his meat and potatoes. He is not smug, and though he can be mean, he is never mean-spirited. Auth is a moralist and an optimist. He insists, even in this day and age, that hope is more than the name of a right-wing comedian or the shtick of a reactionary president."

But hey, at least none of these young kids will have to worry about gay marriage. ,

Thursday, March 16, 2006

¡Bebé caliente!

Great news!

Hot peppers kill prostate cancer cells in study

"Capsaicin led 80 percent of human prostate cancer cells growing in mice to commit suicide in a process known as apoptosis, the researchers said. Prostate cancer tumors in mice fed capsaicin were about one-fifth the size of tumors in untreated mice, they reported in the journal Cancer Research."

Well, this will not increase the amount of peppers I eat, as I already eat enough for 3 people. The above photo is from dinner a couple nights ago, a pork stir fry with a ton of veggies. Every Thai dinner I make starts with garlic and Thai pepper, and lots of both. Not for the meek. (careful, clicking on the photo to enlarge it might induce indigestion, or drool...depending on your tastes)

In other news: the world is falling apart and I just can't blog about it right now.

I have a research paper due for class and my chosen topic is The Scopes Trial. Perhaps when that task has been completed, I'll be ripe for ranting and raving about the fracturing of our nation by the idiots that currently have the controls. ,

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Conversation with a Neocon

Saw this bit first at Shakes Sis, and then read this commentary about the same topic at The Green Knight.

Here's a snip to get that blood pressure up:

"The problem is that Ledeen's view of human nature, as ineradicably corrupt and prone to evil, is the notion that is at the heart of classical conservatism. Conservatism traditionally places great emphasis on stability of institutions and reluctance to embark on ideological projects precisely because it sees human beings as essentially flawed; if freed from the guiding principles of tradition, it believes, people will generally muck things up and eventually come to casually committing atrocities."

Enjoy. ,