Monthly Archives: March 2010


While I got back home last Saturday, I haven’t gotten around to doing anything about this blog until tonight.  I could make excuses, but mostly it’s all about work and the garden.

Boston was cool — or more exactly cold as shit.  It snowed — okay just flurries on Friday — Saturday was around 20 something degrees.  Don’t get me wrong — I love cold weather.

Here’s the pics:

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Camping Out (pt. 2)

Roberto here … sounds like Edward R. Murrow during the Blitz, eh?

Okay, so it’s late Wednesday night and we’re all drifting off to sleep. Tammy & Murphy are out in the living room (occasional “I’m here!”-barks from Murph). The rest of us are reproducing the geography of the Middle East. I’m the West Bank, Cisco is to the northeast like Syria, Caroline is right behind me like Jordan, and Dora is sprawled across the peninsula of the bed like Saudi Arabia. Peaceful and quiet, although many wheezes and snorts and grunts from Miss Dora. At one point she let out a long strange hissing sort of sigh that ended in a squeak and all 4 of us lifted our heads and stared at each other (including Dora who looked from one to the other of us like ‘what? what?!’). And then the rain started and thunder and lightning and Caroline decided she’d occupy me. But gravity took over and like a black & white mudslide Caroline underwent a tectonic shift and slid down between me and the edge of the bed to become Israel. Dora filled in the vacuum behind me and Cisco decided he wanted to be Lebanon and share my pillow. More rain, more thunder, more lightning.

And then! The incident! I’m not sure whether Murph heard a pop or what but he suddenly let go with the funniest bark I’ve heard out of him yet. A sort of heavy-machine gun sound (bark-bark-barkity-bark-barkity-barkity-bark, on and on). Dora joined in, Cisco decided he’d check my head for lice with his razor toes and Caroline fell overboard. It was time to get up and investigate so I reached over and turned on the lamp. No light. Hey! and the alarm clock(s) were dark. I stumbled around and went into the kitchen. No stove light. That entire side of the house was dark. I let Tammy & Murphy out just so I could think and managed to locate Curious George and my crocs, turned on the lamp by the tv, and ventured out through the mini-lakes of the front yard to the fusebox. Luckily there was enough light from the streetlamps to back-up George. With Tammy breathing heavily on my shivering bare legs (such a supportive puppy-girl) I managed to turn everything back on. YaY!

Back inside I re-set all the clocks and then went and had a cigarette (Caroline came and sat on me and tried ever so hard to put out my cig … with her eye!!!). By now it was 5:30 or so but I got the pups back in and got another hour or so of sleep.

When I got here after work on Thursday everybody was fine and I fed them (OKs as well), let the puppy-shift happen without rushing them and went off to rehearsal. As I was going to the car I saw Braveheart just sitting by Tam-house and then noticed that a baby possum was having a bit of kitty food. I didn’t say anything or shoo it away as Braveheart seemed more curious than upset but it went hurrying away down the newly-cleared lane between the shed and the fence. There’s a historical alliance between the OKs and the possums resident in this area so I guess they were working on their “special relationship”.

This morning Junie was waiting at the back (her and Tammy have been having snort-fests through the door), Braveheart was curled up in the corner by the banana tree, Big Guy was coming up the driveway and little Harry came clinking through the gate (he’s getting just a wee wide for it). Everybody had breakfast together. A little bit later I glanced out and saw Big Guy doing that slow motion kitty thing so I went out in time to see him & Unpop in one of those cartoon whirlygigs of violence. I couldn’t think where the sprayer thingee was so stupidly I ran over to them and tried to prod them apart with my foot … Unpop took off down the baby possum lane with Big Guy right on his tail and then they raced across the yard and under the house. Big Guy clearly had the edge and wasn’t giving up so maybe someday Unpop will get the idea? Here’s hoping. Poor Junie hates violence and so I picked her up and carried her around while we checked on the plants. So far it looks good and I don’t think I’ve killed anything through neglect. It should be sunny the rest of the day so I’ll give them a good watering (shower & mist!)

Wednesday night (how’s that for original?)

Roberto here …

Harry & Big Guy were waiting on the back steps when I drove up. Big Guy yawned and stretched but Harry knew something wasn’t kosher and stretched his neck like a little ostrich trying to see over the steering wheel at who exactly I was. Definitely not ‘her’! But they were fine once I got out of the car and checked the mail and talked to them and acted like I belonged. Junie was inside and hopped out to join them for supper. Unpop showed up after a while and so did Braveheart and I snapped my fingers and sent Unpop packing. He returned and got into a tussle with Big Guy while puppies howled and carried on. That was about 3 hours ago and so everything’s been quiet since then. Rainy and wet and Tammy & Murph came in (the first time) soaking and I had fun drying them off (or they had fun getting me wet). Dora went out but didn’t want to stay long and is presently snoring on the loveseat (after many treats). Caroline has been sitting with me all night and Cisco just had a snack and is now sitting at my elbow pointing out my many errors in this post. So it’s been nice and boring on this first night of our big Camp Out! Thunder and showers around midnight but by then we should all be tucked in and sound asleep. Tonight I’ll hang with Dora and the kittens and see how that works out.

I Think I’m Ready

I leave for Boston tomorrow.  My bag is mostly packed and I think my last-minute list is complete.  (Just writing this has reminded me of a couple of things.)

It doesn’t look like there will be a blizzard, just some rain and maybe a little snow.

I’m flying solo this time, so I’m not sure if I will be able to meet up with anyone to have lunch with.  I’ll try.  I do have an invitation to breakfast from a publisher, but since I don’t interact with our rep (the boss does) I don’t see that as promising — even though it’s due to my decisions that we’re using more of her company’s books next term.  It’s ok.

As long as my little laptop doesn’t go all funny, there should be some posts here while I am gone.  I’ll try to check in via the comments, though I should be pretty busy.

For the past week, I’ve felt like I wasn’t worthy of this largess from my employer — why should I get to go?  But I’m getting excited and determined about it now.  Everything is planned — except for which sessions I will attend — I’ll figure that out tomorrow evening.

The garden will be in good hands.  The peas are catching hold of the trellises, and the seedlings are coming up.  I gave two of the squash seedlings to a co-worker — I planted too many for the space I have.

I’m too distracted to go on.  Wish me luck and see you in the comments!


I remember arguing with my now dead father about health care — I had no insurance and my employer issued bouncing paychecks, but my dad always said I should have been grateful to have a job.

I can’t believe it.  But it is true.

Madam Speaker, hats off to you.

I can’t believe it.

This is what I voted for.

I Spoke Too Soon

Now why didn’t I figure this out?

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

Just like with the primaries and all of the ad money Michael Berry made off of teabaggers and republicans through ad dollars, this vote means more money for him and his station.

Who am I to tell him how to run it?

Duly chastened.

Doing Michael Berry’s Job for Him

Last week, Michael Berry of local radio’s Clear Channel stations, stated that he doesn’t work on the weekends.  While it’s always been obvious, it was more so this weekend.

Berry’s sniffling host when the Astos aren’t playing/after the game for 2 or fewer hours on Sundays, Lores Rizcalla, isn’t familiar with her local co-workers, specifically Chris Tritico, who does what she does, but on Saturdays, and who has also been with the station for a lot longer than she has.  I see this as a failure of management.  Seriously, Berry should spend less time trying to get me to go out to lunch with him and more time on introducing his talent to each other.

Today Lores actually agreed with a caller complaining about Tritico being a Democrat and advising that listeners should just turn their radios off when he comes on.  Michael?  Hello?  I don’t blame Lores.  She can’t be expected to familiarize herself with the programming of the station she works for.  Seriously, it’s too much to ask her to follow baseball on Sundays so she might know if a game gets rained out and she might need to come in.  I lay the blame for that at Michael Berry’s feet.  As we all know, an employee’s failure is a reflection on management.

But never fear!  I have alerted Michael to the problem, and I assure you, he will remedy it.

Now, what he will do about the person choosing the bumper music for Lores is quite another matter.  Today that person chose the American Idol elimination song to end Lores’ show.


Day of the Peas

Out of the three first Burpee growing trays — only the peas have really made it so far.  Lesson learned, I think.  With the batch that I have in Burpee trays now, I will transfer them to little pots with organic potting soil  after a week or so.

Anyway, here are the pics from what I did yesterday, mostly:

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Plan for Tomorrow

While I have at least a couple of posts in my head, I can’t quite get beyond my plans for tomorrow.  Saturday is supposed to be rainy, so that’s the day I will clean house, grade papers and write blog posts.  For now, my mind is on just how much I can get done in the yard.

I did some research on bean and pea trellises.  I will do a mix of cedar pickets, jute and sticks.  First though, I’ve got to prepare the bed.  The stinky fertilizer goes in, and that will aerate the bed.  Then I’ll build the trellis.  The peas will go in one bed and the beans in the other.  The radish sprouts will go with the peas and onion and mesclun will go in the second (larger) bed.  To finish those beds off, I’ll cut and install some plastic fencing — just to deter the outside kittens from pooping or peeing in the bed.

Next, I will make space for another bed.  I’ve got enough cedar planks to make one, but no organic soil upgrade.  I think it will be ok because I will screen enough of the existing yard soil to fill the new bed and then mix in the organic fertilizer.  This bed will be for the squash seedlings.  If I’m still able to move around, I will plant the herbs in the beds with the lemon tree and the blackberries.

Since the new Burpee stuff I ordered hasn’t come in, I will just plant more in the little pots I have with the remaining organic potting soil I have.  At this point, I’m thinking peppers.  I didn’t buy any pepper seeds, but I saved some from jalapenos I bought.  It’s worth a try.

The tomatoes, sunflowers and moon plants won’t go outside for another week or more.  The tomatoes will go into both the contraption I got for Christmas and in pots in the backyard.  I want to put the flower in the front.

Speaking of which — I got a rain barrel today.  It’s something that I have wanted for a year.  It will catch it’s first rain on Saturday.  I think I may get one more.

Perhaps people like me write about doing this sort of thing a lot when we do it for the first time and then it just becomes a routine and not worth writing about anymore.  That’s what I get from poking around the interwebs.  It’s a little different for me, since I know it will take more than one year to get this together, and it is part of an ongoing upgrade to both the house and hopefully the well being of the pups and outside kittens.

White Man Whine and Bad Math

You would think that in the 21st century, white men would stop whining, but no.

In his rant this evening, Michael Berry has decided that a sample of six works like a sample  of thousands.  Just listen to the beginning of the podcast for March 15, 2010 I linked to.

Michael Berry makes the argument of flag burning.  If one more flag is burned in a year where none were — it’s a 100% increase.  And so on.  There’s really no reason to argue representational democracy — Michael Berry thinks that because there was one woman Police Chief in his small sample that white men are disadvantaged.

I’m sorry white men.   I hear your whine.

It must be very difficult to be a white man at all.

A post I’ve been thinking about:  why are so many savants white?  Is there a reason they aren’t savants if they are not white?