Tuesday, April 26, 2011

They Should Have Said Beware The (soon after) Ides of April

Many awful things happened on and around my birthday in April. 1st being born on Hitler's birthday. There are many more, such as Columbine, the Titanic was on the 15th, Oklahoma City was on the 15th, and Deep Water Horizon in the gulf was right on my birthday. The one that sticks with me most is the Chernobyl Disaster.
photo courtesy of check out his wonderful photos
 It happened when I was a little kid. My dad worked in radiation safety and even did studies at 3 Mile Island.  

The health effects of 3 Mile were nothing compared to Chernobyl.  Standing on that bridge like so many did to watch the explosion at Chernobyl, everyone was exposed to near lethal doses of invisible, no smell radiation. The folks that lived within close range of 3 Mile were exposed to doses similar to that of a routine chest X-Ray.  

Now we have the Fukushima I nuclear accidents. Please click HERE for the link to an eye opening info-graphic.

Check out this link even if it is a fake, the photos are real. 

I think I'd actually like to visit the exclusion zone.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Challenge Coin

I apparently earned one, I sure think I have dealing with the stuff we have to. I've had firemen run from some of my scenes. Does our office follow the tradition? I dunno. We don't spend much time together after work. After 3+ years doing the job, it was nice to be given one and not have to buy it.

Click the image to link to a great blog and some tweets about funerals/cremations. This is a wonderful blog.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April Re-Cap

I bought a Nook Color and have been trying to hack it, resulting in a lot of lost time. We have been moving along on the gardens and the peas, radishes, lettuce, green onions, beets, and kale are coming up.  Things have gotten a bit out of control indoors with all the starts.

This is light rig #2 with the "big plants"
Last weekend I decided to bite the bullet and put two already flowering Black Krims out in the greenhouse fortified with homemade 2 liter bottle wall of waters, or solar insulators.  When I got home tonight it was 46 degrees outside and 60 in the greenhouse. It will drop to 31 tonight. I hope it will stay over 45 in there.  

We pulled off the greenhouse to plant these monsters. I cut off the lower branches and planted them as deep as possible.
Here they are all tucked away, the whole thing is closed up now to keep warm.

And now, for something completely different:
Here is the crazy-ass duck Kyle and I spotted "surfing" at the Barber Park dam. This little guy either went over and was trying to stay afloat or he was simply the bad-ass I thought he was.  He made it out of the rapid.

Swans at Veteran's Memorial Park? We apparently have those.


Back to gardening. The lipstick peppers have the hardiest roots out of the bunch. Yes I have weird toes.  
This weekend we spent a lot of time converting soda bottles into plant pots. I really like that you can see the roots and they are easy to handle with the slender "waists" the containers have. The December rotary tool present is really handy.  

I never saw rhubarb bolt before I tried to grow my own. This is the third year with the rhubarb and the second time it bolted. It looks like pink broccoli. I pulled each stalk out at the base and have the alien buds in a mason jar to see what they do. I'm so glad I got a photo this year.   

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

What the Muck?

I finished mucking the pondtainer today. It was warm enough to get it done with out freezing myself and early enough in the year that I hope to maintain some clear water before the warmth really sets in.  Here is what I started with today after draining the big stock tank via siphoning.
After bailing  a few inches of mucky water out I was able to tip the whole thing on the side and used the pressure wash setting on our water sprayer.  I blasted out the gravel a bunch and worked a lot of dead organic debris that made the water so black that you couldn't see beyond an inch in depth. During that time I found the last fish, deceased most likely due to lack of oxygen in the thick leaf litter that collected in the bottom. This fall I am putting covers on both to avoid the same amount of mess and to keep the water habitable for a few fish.  I also scrubbed out the sides to get the gunk off, and started refilling which promptly resulted in a ton more organic debris getting stirred out of the gravel. I skimmed with my net as much as possible, but the water was getting very murky. I figured that I'd see if I could get the pump going since I didn't check if it still worked after the last day last year when it accidentally vibrated off it's anchor rock and floated to the surface. It was so cold that day that I didn't want to mess with tinkering to find out if the motor had burned out while running dry.
this is after about 6 hours of the pump going
Let me tell you, this was kind of like having a project car that's been parked in your driveway for ages waiting to be worked on, but you just don't know where to start. oh, and there is a family of raccoons living under the hood. I had no idea how getting this project back up and running would take. Turns out it took me about 5 hours, a little patience, and chance was on my side as far as the functionality of the pump. I know having a water feature is a little over the top, especially at our temporary home here, but there is nothing nicer than hearing the water spilling out the spout of the stock tank into that wash basin or hearing Sadie take several noisy slurps on a hot high dessert day. This has been one of my most satisfying projects and I can't wait to add the new adirondack chairs to the mix. I also plan to add some sort of canopy to make a nice shaded retreat and make life easier on the pondtainer inhabitants.  

re-potted dwarf lily
the true reason for all the work, happy puppy gets her personal watering hole back

I'm now trying to figure out how to expand the "patio" and add another stock tank to the mix and fill it with more plants and perhaps a little water jet that shoots up a bit.

The trusty prefilter and pump