Monday, February 28, 2011

Seedlings 2011

I up-cycled a Zurcher's mylar table covering into some nice light reflective material for the "grow box".  I've since added some to the floor.  It is very early in the season, but we already have one type of tomato started in an effort to have an early harvest.  This is completely experimental and may terribly fail, but the Black Krim seedlings are looking great.  
We also have Zavory mild habeneros going since they are such slow starters.  
Siam Queen, Genovese, and sweet Basil. Can you smell them?  I can.  
And lastly, Rosa Bianca and Ping Tung eggplants.
Yes, I tried to get artsy with the last photo.  I love the purple hairy stems.  

Also started yesterday were Lipstick sweet peppers.  

It's hard to see, but last year our first successful year of starting plants from seed shows a bit of a difference in the effects of lighting used.  We had very warm lights that were hot and had to keep them far from the seedlings resulting in leggy plants.  The cooler in both ways fluorescent lights this year seem to be producing shorter, stockier, very leafy seedlings.  I hope that's a positive side effect.  Next weekend is the big seed start with all the 8 week out normal plantings.  

I am also waiting for Boise PD to come asking about our very bright lighting and mylar grow box.  

Friday, February 25, 2011


I just ordered an Arduino Uno from Amazon.  I know how to connect an LED to a battery with a resister and figured out how to hook up several LEDs that flash to make a candle flicker.  This little guy is going to open up a whole new world to me.  Looks like I have a lot of homework to do. About Arduino.  Who says it's too late to learn something new?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

EMO? No, just human

I've never watched Gray's Anatomy, but I've seen Brandi Carlile twice.  The first time I saw her and the band, I'd never heard of them, they are amazing in concert- true entertainers.  When I first started out working in the morgue I was a forensic technician assisting autopsies.  Doing my work often evokes all sorts of emotions-disgust, compassion, anxiety, compassion- I always seem to go back to compassion.  I would spend hours in the morgue, cleaning, prepping, assisting, handling personal effects, collecting evidence... too many things to list.  This song was often played on the boom box back there.  If you really listen to the words, you might understand how they apply directly to my work and how humbling the whole experience can be.  Here's a link to the official video of the song that sounds better but didn't fit the visual for my purpose.

I started out in the music business in the early 90's.  I know, how the hell did I end up in Boise doing what I do now.  To know me is to know my whole convoluted story.  This song/video appeals to both the recording engineer and death lady I have come to be.  I find it darkly beautiful and in no way related to the opening of the ribcage done during autopsy. Note-I don't do that part anymore.  

One of the saddest things I have to do is investigate the deaths of infants.  This song helps me remember the parent/parents perspective.  This video was definitely inspired by a Coroner/Medical Examiner investigation.  Here is their website.

Damn, I had a tough day and may need to cry a little bit.  Later.                          ~I have one of the best jobs.

Big Love - New Opening Theme

We don't have cable or satellite TV, so Netflix it is-after the season already ended.  I've followed this show through the thick and thin and am enjoying the 4th season.  For some reason I really like the new intro and song "Home" by The Engineers.  I hope this isn't super old news.  I also now know what a shoegazing  band is.  Where have I been?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Basic Circuitry

Kyle and I had a lot of fun at the class and I think we both learned a lot.  Photo by the Reuseum.  Click the photo for more photos of the class.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

OWC Redux

This is a photo I borrowed because my pics from the 2005 trip all were lost when the last PC died.  To my credit, I had backup that died as well.  I am so stoked to do this trek again.  It was epic, to say the least.
This is a poor substitute.  I can't wait to let my hair go wild, smell sea salt and bull kelp in the sun, and to photograph sear stars, anemone, and all other squishy sea critters to my heart's content.  Oh, I can't wait. YAY!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Grow Lights, the Legal Kind

For three years I've wanted to have a nice grow light setup for our garden seedlings.  I've been hesitant because those kits are really expensive.  $460.00 for that?  K and I have done a lot of research and we learned that the fancy T5 and T8 bulbs that cost lots more and the fixtures you need for them cost even more, but the efficiency and extra output is actually negligible.    
This op will be full of seedling trays in a few weeks.

This is our $55.10 version.  The trays and seedling mats cost more.  I bought those last year and we are reusing them.  The PVC structure, chains, S hooks, and lights were the products purchased for this build.  

This is the web resource I used for research. This guy did a wonderful exhaustive study of seedling and general plant lighting.  Please take the time to check it out.  It will answer a lot of questions.  

I got the two fixtures for under $10 a piece at the local hardware store.  the bulbs were just over $6 a pair for each fixture.  If you were too lazy to read the aforelinked  page, we used these bulbs:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Horror Plush Dolls

I can never get enough of Neatorama.  Click the photo for the link to their shop.  No, I have no affiliation with them or their website.

Follow up, and thank you Mr. Parker

Click the photo to link to the follow up letter regarding the Frontline program

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The internet can ruin some things.

When I was much younger and living in Chicago in the 90's, I was very busy trying to figure out what I was and what I wanted to be.  I had a brief romance with the occult (not the cat killing, or blood drinking kind) and there was a particular book store that fed  my curiosity.  The Occult Bookstore had a small sign, was dimly lit and loads of leatherbound and elegantly decorated books on the dark wood shelves.  The place had no regular hours that I was aware of; it seemed that you had to know somebody to get in.  Being an obvious product of the suburbs, I never managed to figure out how to get in there and unlock the secrets to a new universe.  

It looks like they have a website now.  It really seems to have taken a lot of the mystique out of the place.  I'm also 15 years older and work with dead guys, so my perspective has changed a bit.  

The Voynich Manuscript

This story got my attention a while back.  I'm not sure what to think of it.  I've seen a lot of strange things, but nothing like this.  No one knows in what language it was written.  The illustrations sometimes show plants with animal shaped root systems and there are lots of images of females bathing in very complex systems pf plumbing.  It dates to the early 15th century; some even think it's a hoax.
Click photo for the Wikipedia link.  

The Codex Seraphinianus is a modern book that is also very interesting, and expensive.  

Now, I could really get behind this.

From the Neatoshop on Neatorama.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Early Start

Yes, that is dill flopping over, again.  Even though I am the official worst grower of dill, that middle batch are Black Krim tomatoes.  I started them on the 30th of Jan and hope to have two plants out in the cold frame with wall-o-waters made of used 2 liter soda bottles to force some early maters.  Last year's experiment with the Krims was a disaster, but it was all my fault.  I hope this year goes more smoothly.  I also planted an Asian eggplant "Ping Tung" and and Italian variety "Rosa Bianca".  I bet all you bloodthirsty haunters find this to be quite a switch-up.  In my defense I am growing black tomatoes.  

This weekend we are building a 4 foot grow light fixture.  More to come on that endeavor.  

Feb 14- VD

Happy Valentines Day.  Here are some propaganda posters from the past.  
You'd better grab some Three Merry Widows brand condoms.  
I wonder if the local ladies were warned about getting VD from the servicemen?
This lady must be related to that guy Harry on 3rd Rock from the Sun.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Remember Your Rubbers

My education began in the Greater Chicago Catholic school system.  So the title to this post make me giggle.  When I was a little girl and it was raining outside, the nuns would tell us to "Put on your rubbers!" before we went out into the rain. This was back before kids were fragile snowflakes and a light rain was O.K. to go run around on a paved parking lot next to the church where a vicious game of dodge ball was considered healthy, but I digress.  Here I will tell the story of how I learned way more than I ever thought I would about the history of contraceptives (ironic, considering my early childhood huh?)

Skip ahead 28 years to my first full time "permanent" job in archaeology. I had moved sight unseen to Boise for the job and had no idea what I was getting into. Lucky me got hired to finish the project from hell that none of their staffers wanted to handle- a huge survey of over 200 sites that had been shoddily completed in the field that still needed to be put into a report.  I. Hated. That. Project.  All I got were terrible field notes that I had to piece into one glossy report on a survey in an area I had never seen.  Yeah, that wasn't shady at all.  The only thing I remember fondly from working at that company was this little gem:
The recorder had no photo, this is one I found later on the net.  I got a crude drawing that looked vaguely like this image.  It measured about 1-2 inches (yeah, they didn't bother to really measure it) and wrote on the form that it was probably a "zinc button cover for overalls".  How that person came up with that mystifies me.  Maybe I'm weird, but I've lived in a big city, went to college, got around so to speak and thought I'd heard of a corset referred to as  "merry widow".  Look up "merry widow corset" on Google.

So I may have made the original "let me google that for you" before Google even existed and typed in "3 merry Widows Agnes Mabel Beckie.  This is what I got.  So I did a search for antique condom tins and this is when I found Remember Your Rubbers. To top it off, the author had his personal phone number listed on a website for the book at the time so I left a message, why not right?  These people hired me to finish their crap project, I was going to do the most intensive research on their dime.  The guy called me back the next day and confirmed that we had indeed recorded an antique condom tin that was fairly rare (at the time).  He was also a bit creepy on the phone, but a real help.  

Long story short, this is one of my favorite stories about archaeology finds.  I bought the book and one day when I have a living room big enough, it will be on my coffee table.  

My Love-Hate Relationship

Is with one of these.  Let me introduce you to the mortuary cot. 

This model is similar to the one I use.  Did you know that these things go for over $2,200?  Did you know that they are rated to be able to handle 1,000 lbs?  Yes, I got it right, 1,000 lbs.  I've never had a 1,00 lb body, but I have had to handle  700 lb and  750+ lb bodies in the past.  I'm sure you've heard the horror stories about bodies being removed from residences with flat bed trucks and all the "indignity" involved.  Let me tell you one thing- there is often little dignity in death.  We try our best to be as respectful as possible, but when it comes down to it, the person is already dead and those responsible for transporting the dead are trying not to get injured.  Just because that cot above can handle 1,000 lbs doesn't make it any easier to get a body onto it than one that couldn't.  This is one of those things that very few people think about.  

I may be back to ramble more on the subject.  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Time Machine as Captured by Emily Ryan

I was lucky enough to attend The Red Light Variety Show's latest creation, Time Machine, with Emily of Your Apples are My Oranges.  She has put up some great photos on her blog of these talented ladies.  Don't miss it, I think it was the first time in history that potato pasties have been used.  If you live near Boise, they have another show this Friday.  It was a hoot. Click the photo for the post, the link for the main blog page.

Light Painting

By Flickr User  jannepaint Click the photo for more.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Basic Circuit Workshop

I may not have a local make and take group for home haunters, but this looks like a great idea.