Friday, June 30, 2006

Le Tour

It's about to begin.

No Armstrong this year.
The race should be different and more exciting.
Riders are racing to win this year, not come in second or try to beat Armstrong.

However, it seems that some of the favorites are not using their brains.

I was looking forward to an epic battle between Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, Francisco Mancebo, Jose Beloki and Oscar Sevilla. As it stands right now, none of those guys will be in le Tour.

I'm pulling for George Hincapie. Hincapie loves the Paris Roubaix and was instrumental in Armstong's victory last year.

Hopefully with the drama between some of the past top performers lost due to doping le Tour will still be a splendid and motivating event.

Keeping my fingers crossed...,

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Boy King

By Tom Toles.

I think the Chimp is cooked, finito, powerless...just countin' the days until Amerika becomes America again. ,

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fixing a Hole Where the Rain Came In

Bucket of aluminum seal. It must be stirred up thoroughly prior to spreading. This thing was heavy and awkward to carry up on the roof.
I'm not afraid of heights at all but I was a little nervous on the roof. It's an old metal roof and its kinda slippery in places.
It's rather angular too. Coating those valleys was the nerve wracking part.
A shot of the "back 40". This whole exercise was done this past October or November. You can see some of the tree leaves have turned in some of these pictures. You can also see my lack of photography skills - that's my arm and camera shadow.
The section where the bucket sits is the "flat" secton of the roof. This was the last shot before I got started.
One side completed, moving on to the front.
A corner where the water more or less channels to. It's an old house and the soffit and gutter system is pretty old. I had to put tar down around each corner and tar up a lot of the standing seams. The hurricane season exposed a number of holes in this roof. During the ten inch deluge in one hour, it was almost as if it was raining inside the house.
Partially done on this side. You can see what a stellar job the last owner did of coating the roof....NOT.
I scraped and swept out the valleys before coating them. You can see where water was puddling and therefore seeping in between the fiberglass matting and metal.
All done except the "flat" section. That "flat" section was a piss-poor job of roofing. There are nails sticking up, seams that don't fit and big gaps where there should be none. The front porch roof and this section are on the list of things to do in the coming weeks. After I do them I will do the entire roof again. It took me two full days last year to do the main roof. I figure it will take about four solid days to get it all done this go around.

That's a long way down. You can see the garden over to the left, or rather what the garden looks like at the end of the year. If you're really bored you can compare the garden then to this post.

Also, I put the ladder on the deck because it lessens the vertical distance by about 6 feet. That's a twenty-eight foot extension ladder and it's about 3 rungs or so less than being maxed out. I just can't reach the roof from anywhere else.

Click on any of the pics for a larger view. Some of these shots are kind of interesting with a larger perspective.

Back to work, schoolwork, etcetera etcetera... ,

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Zucchini Bloggin'

This is the harvest as of yesterday. I get about four a day and eat about two each evening. Tonight there will be five that are ready to pick. Pretty soon I start giving them to my neighbors. Especially once the snaps start coming in.
Last night's dinner: homegrown zucchini, store bought sweet red pepper, garlic, onion, mushrooms and andouille sausage. Normally I am a chicken and fish eater but once in a while I eat andouille. It's a spicy pork sausage made in Louisiana. This particular brand I used last night is not my favorite but the other brand I like was unavailable.
Everything chopped up chunky style except the sausage. I cut that fairly thin.
Olive oil in the wok. Toss in the garlic first to spread that wonderful flavor. Click on this pic or any pic for that matter for the larger image. This one is cool becuase you can see the garlic frying.
Next the onions and mushrooms go in. There is literally only about a minute between each picture. If you don't do this fairly quickly and evenly, the garlic will burn and everything else cooks unevenly. One thing about the wok I like is that it cooks everything fast and lite.
Next in goes the artery clogging andouille sausage. Hey, once in a while I gotta eats some crap.
Finally, the zucchini and sweet pepper.

All done and ready for consumption. Yes yes, that's Tabasco sprinkled on. I rarely eat andouille without a little Tabasco, plus there's garlic and mushroom in this dish. Normally I wash this down with Guiness but last night it was Modelo Especial.

World politics, especially the influence and shaping of world politics along with the stress and disharmony being created at home by the current Republican power mongers have really taken the wind out of my sails. Every day I read or learn something even more depressing than the day before. I feel pretty powerless and washed out. I'm concentrating on my schoolwork more and looking forward to some changes that will be occurring for myself personally in the coming two years.

I have been abstaining from political topics simply because it has become just too damn stressful for a variety of reasons. The United States is screwing up Iraq, people are being killed and maimed on all fronts and for what exactly? Are we really making any type of progress at all? Real progress for the world and humanity?

No. We are not. We are only adding to the cycle of violence. This is so obvious on the most basic and primitive level yet it seems to sail right over most of our population's heads.

Couple that with the Nazi mentality of this administration and the people that continue to support and dismiss domestic spying, torture tactics and attempts to write discrimination into the Constitution has really caused me to examine our nation and what exactly is going on.

Some want to build a fence to shut out Mexico yet we cannot even build a wall to protect New Orleans from flooding? There is no more racist and bloodthirsty group in this nation than the religous right.

There is a whole generation of Iraqi children being scarred in unimaginable ways that this country is going to pay for dearly in the future, of that there is no question.

What are we doing?

Enjoy the little dinner show and remember that we are making it impossible for people in Iraq to even dream about having a quiet day in their garden and making a nice meal for their families, or what is left of their families. ,

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Vegetable Garden

This is the compost pile. I turned this back in February or March.
This is what it looked like as of two days ago. By all means, click on any of these pics for a larger image, for scrutiny, to see what you can find. Notice the number of tomato plants that are sprouting from this pile. These are from last years rotten tomatos that I tossed in from the back porch. It's about a 60 or 70 foot shot from the porch and since they were rotten, it really didn't matter if I hit the pile or not.
Ok, I cheated with these tomato plants. I bought these four. This shot is about the third week in April.
Zucchini sprouts from seed. This picture was taken about the second week of April.
This picture was taken about the last week in April. Once they got too big for the peat cups I transplanted them to these plastic pots. We had a chilly spring this year so it was too risky to put them in the ground or I would've just done that instead. You can also see the three tiny little Thai pepper plants in this group as well. It was so cold this spring that only 3 Thai's sprouted. They like heat and lots of it. You can also see the tiny peat cups just to the left that I attempted to germinate jalapenos in. It was so chilly this spring that none of the 'penos germinated. I think I am going to germinate some in the next couple of weeks anyway. I'm thinking if they get a late start, perhaps I'll get more red ones come fall. We'll see.
This is way back in March, the first tilling of the soil.
First week of May. That's my nephew helping me build a critter deterrent device, aka fence. You would think living in the city there wouldn't be that many critters but there are possums, raccoons, squirrels, dogs and cats that seem to want to get in the garden for a variety of reasons.
A little more progress on the fence. Notice the abandoned cars in my neighbors yard. Nobody lives there. They show up once in a while to cut the grass. As you can see, it's been a while since they did that. Yes, that is an old Caddy.
Booyah! This picture was taken this past Sunday. Everything is growing nicely. That is a Thai pepper plant on the right. I got that from my friends at the Thai Diner. They had two monstrous Thai plants growing out back of the restaurant and were going to pitch'em this past winter. I volunteered to take them home and care for them until this summer. I put one in the ground and the other one is still in a pot. I plan on taking that back to them this weekend.
Another view. From the big Thai pepper plant in the upper left - 3 little Thai pepper plants from seeds, three rows of green beans - one long, one shorter, one shortest, 4 tomato plants, and then all of the zucchini plants.
Upclose snap bean plants. (green beans)
One of my pride and joys: a fourth generation Thai pepper plant from seed!
This is that other Thai pepper plant from the Diner. Notice all the blooms on that baby! This is going back to the Diner this weekend.
These peppers are from the one in the garden. The red tipped peppers are old peppers that hung on over the winter. I have a kind of sun room on the back of the house and that's where I put all of my plants in the winter. They survived but now that the plant is responding to a natural cycle again, it wants to purge itself of these old peppers. They do not taste good at all. Notice the tips are curling up or drying out. When I spot these I pull them off and toss them into the compost pile.
Each one of the tomato plants has at least two tomatos. 'Round these parts you're a tomato expert if you get nice ripe fruit before or on the fourth of July. I think that's going to happen but that doesn't make me an expert, just lucky.
They grow really fast.
Check out these three...
Yet another.
Same three as above exactly one day later. They do grow incredibly fast.
There are lots of them growing.

Ta da! These four zukes were picked this past Sunday and one of them has been eaten already! I will be eating the other three tonight.

Pretty busy these days. Taking 4 classes this summer and my job is working me like a dog so there is very little time to update my corner of the blogosphere as often as I would like. That's my excuse anyway.

Enjoy the pictures, enjoy your evening, and let's hope the Senate will quit wasting time on discriminatory amendments based on faulty ideology and get on with the business of finding Osama bin Laden.

Ha ha ha ha ha! That was funny wasn't it? ,

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Friday, June 02, 2006


By Mike Keefe

Symptons of a larger disease yes? ,