Friday, September 30, 2011

The Garden: Year-End Summary

The garden we had at Richard Bonomo's house was a great success, considering that we had no idea what we were doing. Next year I hope to have even more bountiful harvests! Here is what we harvested:

Tomatoes: Too many to mention. The small, golden, pear-shaped ones were particularly successful.
Carrots: Just one, which I ate today. They got a late start, for some reason.
Green peppers: At least five from just one plant. These mostly went into ratatouille.
Eggplants: Two Oriental, one Italian, went into ratatouille.
Beans: We had plenty of green, yellow, and purple ones.
Zucchini: I think we had at least four from the one plant. They all went into ratatouille too.
Cauliflower: One head already, another ripening.
Kohlrabi: Two so far, another ripening.
Raspberries: Good spring harvest, and a second bunch are ripening even now.
Corn: The sad thing is that I had been forewarned to harvest the ears the moment they were ripe, but I waited a few days... and something else got them, either squirrels or raccoons. They even left some of the husks and cobs on the back porch, just to taunt us! We only had one ripe ear survive. Three ears had huitlacoche, so we ended up with a more successful harvest of that than straight corn.
Pumpkin: One adorable, perfect pumpkin which is baking in a pie even as I type this.

Not too shabby, considering that half the seeds were old ones Hardingfele gave me. Next year things should be even better, and maybe I will plant a wider variety. Still, I am very happy with the way the garden turned out this first year.

Famous Hat

Thursday, September 29, 2011

BIUTTID: Scott Walker

(Second in a series: Bringing It Up to Take It Down)

Hardingfele requested that I bring up Scott Walker to take him down, and it is my pleasure to do so. (Rich, you don’t have to read any further.) I am going to address my two main complaints with Scotty: his bad reasoning skills and his hypocrisy.

Scotty has very poor reasoning skills, which can be deduced from the way he has gone about trying to “repair” the economic situation in our fair state. First he gave large tax breaks to corporations, many of whom are already barely paying any taxes. Then he said that we don’t have enough money in the budget, so state workers will have to pay a lot more for retirement and health insurance. Since in reality this comes to about a 12% pay cut for many of us, our spending power is clearly decreased. Small businesses will have nobody to buy their goods and services, and they will go under. This means more people will not have jobs, so the economy will be a bigger mess. Conversely, if Scotty had not cut taxes on big corporations, what would have happened? Would big corporations have left Wisconsin if nobody had promised them a tax cut and they didn’t get one? It seems like they already have so many loopholes, they don’t need cuts too.

Scotty is a hypocrite because he constantly says what a good Christian he is, yet his actions are contrary to his words. He is doing exactly what St. James says not to do, sucking up to the rich and telling the poor, “You can sit on the floor.” His policies are going to make many middle-class people poor and the few rich ones richer, which does not seem very What Would Jesus Do. If he wants to be pro-rich and anti-poor, that’s his business, but not when he claims to be the same religion that I am. Do we have two different Bibles? I mean, what gives? Mine says to take care of the widow, the orphan, and the alien. His must say to take care of billionaire brothers from out of state.

Just wait until January, Scotty. Then we’ll really be taking you down with a recall election. Toque McToque says she hopes you go all the way down since Satan must miss you by now.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Several Scenes Starring Easy McGee

Scene One: A man carrying a gun case is slipping through the shadows. He peers about suspiciously and then enters an abandoned warehouse. The sounds of an orchestra tuning can be heard. The man sits down on a chair, opens his gun case, and pulls out a violin. The lights come up, revealing the orchestra tuning around him.

Scene Two: Easy McGee is walking down the street when he passes an ice cream stand.
Easy: What flavors have you got?
Ice Cream Vendor: Vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, and St. Louis.
Easy: What’s St. Louis flavor?
Ice Cream Vendor (shrugging): It tastes like St. Louis.
Easy: I’ll take a scoop of St. Louis.
The Ice Cream Vendor hands him a cone with a scoop of gray ice cream. Easy licks it and gags.
Easy: This is AWFUL! It tastes like mud and smog and rust!
Ice Cream Vendor: What did you expect a city on the river to taste like?

Scene Three: Easy McGee cautiously makes his way through the abandoned warehouse, gun drawn. He looks about and slips from cover to cover as tense music plays in the background. Suddenly he turns a corner and sees the orchestra playing the tense music.
Easy: Would you knock it off? You’re driving me crazy with that music!
First Chair Violin: You can’t fire us. We’re union.
Easy: And you carry your violin in a gun case?
First Chair Violin: I don’t want anyone knowing I got a fiddle on me.

Scene Four: Easy McGee finds a clue.

Easy: It appears to be a makeup bag case or glasses case, but the pattern seems significant. And it's black and white, which makes gray... just like St. Louis flavored ice cream!  Highly suspicious.

To Be Continued…

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Personal Ad

Luxuli tells me I need to do more to meet a man, so I have written a personal ad:

SWF, NS, XYZ, PDQ. Age twenteen-something. I am a vertically-challenged Capricorn with Blonde Rising who enjoys long walks (away from my desk), candlelit dinners (because I am a state worker and can’t afford to pay the electric bill), and other personal ad clich├ęs. Looking for a man with a job (even if you are independently wealthy, I hate lazy people) who does not have a problem with rabbits. Feel free to respond in the Comments section.

I’m sure Mr. Perfect will be reading this blog and see my ad. You can’t say I didn’t try!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Great Protest Sign

Thanks to Toque McToque for forwarding this one on.

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Happy Autumn

Sadly, summer is officially over today. (The weather would lead you to believe that it has been over for two weeks.) To celebrate this momentous occasion, I wore the nice, warm Hmong hat I bought at the local ethnic festival this past summer. I have scanned it for your viewing pleasure.

And here is a bonus symbol drawing of my rabbits, Charlie and Cashmere, and my hedgehog Sylvia:

  . .              !!
/(*)\           (*)
(    )          (    )    <:((((()

Thanks to A-Joz for taking care of them while I was in Utah!

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

BIUTTID: Ugly Apartment Building

(First in a possible series on BIUTTID: Bringing It Up To Take It Down)

At the request of Banjo Player, I am going to bring up the Ugly Apartment Building that they will be building next to Lutheran Cathedral. As my regular readers may remember, Richard Bonomo gave an impassioned speech about the importance of protecting Lutheran Cathedral, and Tuesday night he was in front of the City Council giving his speech again. (Because he gave it extemporaneously, he was grateful that I had written a transcript to put on this blog.) Unfortunately, the Ugly Apartment Building was approved by ONE lousy vote in the early hours of Wednesday, because that’s how long the meeting went on, from what I hear.

We’re bringing it up to take it down, which is kind of hard when it hasn’t even been built yet so let’s take it down figuratively. First of all, why do we need more student apartment buildings around here? There are only about three million of them mere blocks to the east, not to mention the one right behind Lutheran Cathedral. They are not cheap, either, so I could not have afforded to live in one, and if there are any poor students still attending this university, none of them will be able to live there either. Therefore I object from an egalitarian perspective: Ugly Apartment Building is classist!

My second objection to Ugly Apartment Building is aesthetic. Do we really need another tall, soulless apartment building ruining the skyline of our fair city? How fair will our city be when the skyline is so full of these ugly buildings that we can no longer see the old, beautiful buildings like Lutheran Cathedral, which will be completely dwarfed by it? The building behind it already towers over the bell tower, and doesn’t that just seem wrong?

My third objection to Ugly Apartment Building is its occupants. We already know they are a bunch of rich elitists with no aesthetic taste, which for me is enough to condemn them, but it is also highly likely that, as rich, spoiled students, they will be heavy drinkers as well. And then they will need somewhere to dispose of their empty beer cans, so they will fling them at Lutheran Cathedral because at best they will be indifferent to religion, and quite possibly they will be downright hostile. Therefore I condemn Ugly Apartment Building on the grounds that it will be a lousy neighbor.

Feel free to take down Ugly Apartment Building some more in the comments.

Famous Hat

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bring It Up to Take It Down!

I was saying to Toque McToque that when a particular faculty member stopped by, I was going to discuss how to eradicate Alternaria with him, and she agreed that this would be a good idea, so I said, “Let’s bring it up to take it down!” She thought this would make a terrific slogan, but it occurs to me that it could be used for many other things besides outdoor fungi with annoyingly high levels in warm weather. So here is a question for you, my 5.8 loyal readers: what would you like to bring up so we can take it down? I promise that any subject left in the comments section will be brought down in a future blog post.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Photos of Utah: Botanical Garden

Here are some photos from the Red Bluff Botanical Garden, which is part of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City:

I took these two photos for Jilly Moose:

On the left side of this next photo, you can see a crazy cloud that looks like a man's bearded head with long hair streaming back behind it:

I took this last photo back home, on the ride back from the airport. is the suffix of all our work email addresses here at the University, but check out the state - Ohio?!?

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Photos of Utah: Salt Lake City

Here are some of my photos from Salt Lake City. (Yes, I have more.) First is a shot of the hotel downtown where Tiffy and I stayed, the Shilo:

This is a shot of the Salt Palace at night. It does kind of look like a giant salt shaker. This is just a tower; the rest of it looks like a boring convention center.

Here you can see the Salt Palace tower in the background, and in the foreground a colorful bike rack with a sculpture above it and a wonderfully contrasting fire hydrant:

The beehive, the symbol of Mormons (because they are industrious like bees, per their own report), is everywhere... like on the sidewalks.

They had this sign in the pavement at every intersection: LOOK!

Tiffy and I never saw anything like this stop sign suspended over an intersection.

Hey, they have a State Street too! And very weird traffic lights.

I took this picture for Richard Bonomo because I knew he would appreciate it.

Unfortunately, this establishment was closed for Labor Day so we didn't get to enter the door below street level, but I like the way they think.

Here are some shots of the Mormon Temple. First, lit up in the evening:

Here is a shot of it from the front....

... and here is a shot of it reflected in the reflecting pool.

Here is a shot of the sort of dollhouse model and what they claim is inside.

This is really the inside of the Mormon Tabernacle. They would let us inside of there.

The Mormons had beautiful gardens at Temple Square.

Here is a close-up of a zinnia that is an amazing shade of orange.

Here is the State Capitol of Utah, which looks a lot like ours:

This is a really creepy face we found in the marble inside the Capitol, near the restrooms.

From the Capitol we had a great view of these houses on the mountains.

This is the Catholic Cathedral of the Magdalene from the back, because that's how we approached it.

Here are some shots of the inside:

This is a shot of quote from Galatians that Rich had heard was in the Cathedral... and indeed it was! It says that if anyone, even an angel, should give a Gospel other than the one St. Paul has preached to them, let them be anathema.

Here are some shots of the Great Salt Lake, and the Saltair Palace, which was a happening place back in the Twenties but isn't so busy now... partly because the lake has receded.

This grass grew all over beside the Great Salt Lake. The only things living in the lake were tiny, bright orange brine shrimp, and I took a photo of Tiffy holding one, but it didn't turn out.

Here is a picture of me taking a picture of Tiffy taking a picture of me.

And finally, here is a movie of the Great Salt Lake in action!

Still to come: Red Bluff Botanical Garden.

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