Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday randomness

These are a few of my favorite things
After spending the past week in the Ozarks, I am once again thankful that Kansas is made of dirt instead of sand, red clay, and chipped limestone. I hope all the preppers planning to bug out to southern Missouri like the taste of skink, 'cause they're sure not growing any corn there.

The lovely and gracious Rogue is planning to replace the current hens with a batch of barred rocks that arrived yesterday by mail. But I'm not telling the ladies this time. Last time they learned they were being replaced, they "helpfully" dug out the area around the chicks' cage, freeing them to become coyote poop.  This batch is staying in the other barn until they are much, much bigger.

I am officially tired of Trump's Twitter account. And I'm not even on Twitter.

I am also officially tired of women in politics complaining about how hard it is to be a woman in politics*. No one is forcing you to be in politics. If your job is too hard, go do something else.

I pulled the first bed of garlic last night and replanted it in cukes. While I had pulled a few of the smaller, deader-looking garlic last week, I was looking forward to seeing what a full-term head of Duganski hardneck would look like. I was quite pleased, as fully a third of them were store-sized or better. So they are acclamating to the aforementioned dirt quite nicely. With garlic, the larger cloves you plant, the larger bulbs you get, all things being equal. So assuming I get the same ratio of big bulbs from the bigger bed, I'll have enough planting garlic to double or triple production again next year with enough left over to scare away every vampire from here to Dodge City.

Shredded paper mulch works great on garlic**. The ground beneath is soft enough to pull the bulbs with a minimum of fuss and is filled with tons of earthworms. But it does not seem to work as well for onions. Since onions grow above the ground, the paper tends to smother them. Good old-fashioned weeding is necessary in that bed.

Speaking of shred, after about two years of abuse, my 12-sheet shredder finally gave up the ghost.  I have replaced that with a monstrous, 20-sheet shredder that will easily handle newsprint, cardboard, even small barnyard animals I suspect. With the change, Mr. Charisma is no longer interested in shredding things. This is much to my surprise - ramming stuff into the shredder was one of his favorite pastimes.  But his little brother, Dino Baggins, seems ready to step up to the challenge. It's a good thing there are no cats in the house.

* This is known as Female Privilege. Women get to complain about being a woman-in-whatever and all the men are expected to go, Aww, you're so brave and strong. When a man complains that it's hard to be a man-in-whatever, he's rightly called a whiner.

** That's the white, snow-looking stuff you see in the pic. This half-rotted paper will go on the compost pile, to be replaced with a new batch as soon as the cuke leaves are high enough for me to pile more beneath them.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Good onions, bad onions

You know I've had my share
Out of the ground and done:
  • Spinach
  • Radishes
  • Strawberries
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Leaf lettuce
  • Red onions
  • Cilantro
  • Snow peas
  • Elephant garlic
Just about finished:
  • Red potatoes (already started harvesting)
  • White onions (tomorrow)
  • hard-neck garlic (Thursday and Friday, assuming we get no more rain)
 I'm still planting bush beans even though I'm also harvesting them, and the raspberries are going nuts. Not sure on the pears -- the fire blight of 2015 has returned -- but apples and peaches are off the charts.  If I had cherries this year, I never saw them. 

But while we are eating healthy here* on Rancho d'El Borak, one little problem has arisen.  The onions you see on the table are full, fist-sized beasts that will store quite well, but they all came from the north end of my raised beds. The onions from the south end, both red and white, are about half-sized and are good only for chopping up for this weekend's burgers. Why? Because the maples that a decade ago shielded crops from the harshest of the Kansas sun now smother about half of the beds.  Rather than cut down the trees***, I'll be moving the beds this winter to a sunnier place on the south of the house.  So it's a good thing I built them to be uprootable and easily moved.

But there's additional reason I'm moving them.  Given the various excremental objects being thrown at our national rotating oscillator as we speak, I've decided that the beds need to be doubled in size again, and I really can't do that where they are.  So I've located 2 pallets of cinder blocks and a nice open place where I hope to a) grow as many vegetables next year as a family of nine can eat, and b) create at least two marketable products as part of our local CSA/farmer's alliance.  I'm reading old USDA brochures on growing horseradish as an annual and will be saving all my big garlic bulbs for seed.  I have a greenhouse/hoophouse in my sights****, but I will only buy it with money I earn from selling crops.  If I can't accomplish that, I don't really want to farm bad enough to need one.

The plan, which involves a lot more work on important things that I hope will lead to less work on unimportant things, is called Luke's Tower. We'll see how it plays out over the next 36 months...

* I'm convinced that once I turned 50, my doctor instituted a conspiracy against my health**.  Every time I see him he finds something else wrong with me.  Most of it has been fixed by getting as much wheat as possible out of my diet. I haven't lost much weight but I had to buy smaller pants, my belt is about to be downgraded again, and my blood pressure and cholesterol are back to human levels.
** And Billy Connolly is not really joking. I've forgotten what he looks like.
*** If it were my decision, I'd lose the trees. But the lovely and gracious Rogue likes them right where they are, and alive.
**** Actually, I have two coming.  The 8'x6'x7' hard-sided greenhouse is a done deal. I'll be using it to stay in spinach and lettuce and radishes all winter. The other is a 20'x48' hoop house.  We'll see on that one.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Muh death threats

Trump bullying Kathy Griffin
A crybully has them:
Kathy Griffin accused President Donald Trump and his family of launching a campaign to destroy her life in response to the image she posted earlier this week in which she appeared to be holding the commander-in-chief's severed head. 
The comedian* broke down in tears as she detailed the torrent of abuse she has been receiving online, and the constant death threats which she described as detailed and specific**...
Later in the interview Griffin said that her career was likely over now as a result of this incident, and that President Trump had 'broke' her, moments after she declared: 'There's a bunch of old white guys trying to silence me!'
Is there a name for that judo move in which SJWs effortlessly turn from brave, edgy warriors speaking truth to power into helpless victims of Muh Patriarchy? We've seen it now more times than the Stone Cold Stunner and every time it's pulled off flawlessly.

Well, almost every time.  In this case, it appears that Little Miss Victimhood might have really stepped in it -- she's been fired from a couple shows, lost an endorsement or two, and even Al Franken doesn't want to be seen with her. And if you're an embarrassment to Al Franken...

She is even muttering that her career is likely over.  We can hope, though I doubt that's the case. There always seems to be plenty of room for bitter, liberal harridans on TV. I would not be surprised to see her show up on ESPN as a hockey analyst in 18 months or so.

Wait, yes I would. But only because I don't watch ESPN.

* You keep using that word...
** but alas not effective. Whence do all these incompetent would-be killers arise?