Month: May 2009

There’s no place like Gnome

POSTED BY ON FRI, MAY 29, 2009 AT 7:14 AM

I’ve been called out on my Hazards of Gardening: gnome issue, not from a gnome, but from a friend who thought that the gnomes in my life would take offense.

First, I didn’t mean any offense to any garden gnomes that hang around my gardens. They are a part of them. They protect them. It’s just that in my perpetually impatient state, I often don’t have time for them. I wish I had more. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

Second, they are not all old. I actually have a few young garden gnomes that frequent my gardens.

Third, they don’t all cough and wheeze. Sometimes they sneak up on my without a sound. They scare me sometimes because I didn’t know they were there. I’ve taken to snapping my head around at the slightest bit of motion.

Fourth, most of the time they remain unseen.

Fifth, I often exaggerate for effect. But that is my prerogative.

Hazards of Gardening

POSTED BY ON WED, MAY 27, 2009 AT 8:10 AM

There are those that promote gardening as good for you. Sun generates vitamin D. Bending over and doing deep knee bends keeps the body from freezing up with the remote in one hand and a beer in the other. The product of gardening makes us happy with the beauty of flowers, the nutritious vegetables and fruits not only supply our bodies with the nutrients we need but tends to keep us regular.

There are many hazards in the garden as well, some of them obvious, others not so. But I will proceed to lay them out here in all their horror.

1. Dirt.
It gets everywhere and you tend to track it into your abode. Sometimes when you are working in a garden, tilling the soil, putting your hands into the orgasmic, warm, womblike soil, until… you discover through a process of neurons firing in your brain signaling that your fingers or hand parts have discovered something sharp. Usually, you already expect blood when you pull your hand out of the soil, which nature has conveniently designed to flush the dirt out of your wound. But sometimes it doesn’t. Then you see the little piece of broken bottle someone rudely put in the ground, waiting for you to discover it like Helen Keller discovered water. The only correlation with Helen Keller is that you often sound like her when reality sets in and the pain reaches it’s full apex in your cerebral cortex.

2. Bugs.
Duh. When you are out in the garden you expect to find bugs. But when you go inside to wash off the item mentioned in hazard one, and discover an aphid in your pubic hair, that’s when you have that freakout flashback to college. But then you realize that it’s an aphid, and the question then changes to, “How the hell did an aphid get in my pants?”

3. Gnomes.
I’m not talking about the plaster, cement or plastic gnomes you can get at the garden center and quaintly place around your garden. I like those gnomes. In fact, I have a gnome sanctuary at my house in the Northend. (You can read about it here). Oh no, I’m talking about living breathing gnomes. It seems that every garden I am managing this year has an old person who, when I’m in a critical moment of putting in some onion sets, or pepper transplants I hear a cough or a wheeze from somewhere near the a fence, usually behind me. Being polite I get up and begin the conversation, which seems to last somewhere between too long and infinity about something I really don’t care about at the time.
By the time I am done being polite to my elders, I have stiffened up and have to work my way back down into the planting position.

4. Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver.
Why are these two people hazards in the garden? Because their sanctimonious preaching makes me depressed while I fret over weeds, food, and growing local food. They make me feel small, insignificant and totally inadequate.

5. Sweat.
If you’ve got some meaty man lobes like me, then sweat tends to collect in the creases and crevasses. It does however, provide for some interesting patterns on the old See Spot Walk t-shirts.

6. Crotch Rot.
It’s not a good one to admit, but when you’ve been out all day, in the tightest jeans you can find and form fitting Jockey briefs, you combine that with number five, a little bit of number one, and by 5 o’clock you’ve got a hot zone, baby. For the casual gardener only outside for an hour or two, then you usually don’t have a problem. But if you are a full-time gardener like me, then the ladies should luv you, especially on a hot day.

7. Body mud.
Combine number five with number one, hopefully not with number six. However, if your dirt has a nice clay content, with some volcanic ash mixed in, you can turn it right around and call it a spa treatment.

Quarter Acre

POSTED BY ON TUE, MAY 26, 2009 AT 3:42 PM

I just did a once through on a quarter acre this morning, dropped in about 1200 onion sets, and planted two 84 foot rows of watermelons and canteloupe. The rest of the quarter acre is going to be put into corn, pumpkins and other types of squash.

I’ve been thinking a lot about mushrooms as I occasionally encounter one in the gardens. My friend has been growing some nice edibles and has turned me on to this guy here. It will blow your mind.

Memorial Day

POSTED BY ON MON, MAY 25, 2009 AT 7:31 PM

On the drive back from McCall this Memorial Day morning we heard on the radio lots of interviews related to, about and with veterans. My significant girlfriend’s grandfather served on a bomber in the European theater and often tells tales of those that didn’t come back. Her other grandfather served in the Pacific theater and his memories of those times are stronger now than those of his other life’s events, as he slowly loses them.
What it must have been like I have no idea. My own family was not a soldiering type. My grandfather’s were stateside, one essential to the war effort raising pigs for meat, the other ethnic German living in South Texas, working on building planes. When you go back into my family tree, the nearest war/soldier reference was a draft dodger sometime in the Civil War. I guess my family’s swords had been beaten into plowshares a long time ago.

The Morning After

POSTED BY ON FRI, MAY 22, 2009 AT 12:43 PM

Fridays in May are always tough. For the last seven years, after judging martinis on Thursdays the next day is slower than the rest. It’s like I’ve put bad gas in the car and it sputters along, eventually getting to where it’s going, but belching out a lot of soot in the process.

Don’t get me wrong, last night was fun and I wouldn’t give up my gig as a martini judge lightly, but it is hard work. I try to take it seriously. We sampled nine different martinis and cocktails, some of them good, some of them not so good and some of them (to use an intentional double negative) I didn’t dislike.

While I don’t want to out those I liked, as we still have one more week of regular judging to do, I will have to say that The Bouquet’s entries surprised us. Usually first year bars have a tough time with putting a trio of good martinis out there. I would definitely say that The Bouquet made a strong showing. I’d recommend anyone go check out their martinis and see the new place.

When you go up against two heavyweights, Chandler’s and Pair, two bars with a load of martini awards in their back pocket, it is hard to outshine. It’s like a 100 watt bulb amongst a bunch of 250 watt bulbs. It’s still bright, but doesn’t “glow” like the rest.

Thursday Morning Ripper

POSTED BY ON THU, MAY 21, 2009 AT 9:29 AM

This morning I’m meeting a man with a big toy. Sounds kinky I know, but in reality it’s necessary unless I want to throw my back out double digging a field. It’s a big bulldozer with an attachment that will rip down into the soil about 18 inches. First we’re going to scrape off the pasture grasses down to about three inches and pile them up in a big pile to mulch. Then we’re going to go over the same ground and pull it all up. Then my work begins.

I get to come back over the ground with a rototiller and chop the soil up all fine, then dig some ditches for water and then plant some seeds. I’m thinking it’s going be my pumpkin patch along with a bunch of winter squash and maybe some cucumbers. And that’s just one of my nine gardens I’m working on.

Growing up

POSTED BY ON WED, MAY 20, 2009 AT 8:06 AM

As an adult there are things that stay relatively the same, constants if you will. We are told that as we age, we grow when we’re young and then proceed to shrink until we die. Sure our weight fluctuates, even our shoe size as our feet flatten out with age, but our height is one of those things that is supposed to stay relatively constant for a good 30-40 years.

Beyond the abnormal things that can radically change your height once it has been established as a young adult, such as a cosmic particle mutating your pituitary gland or losing your legs, the only thing one should expect is to shrink as the cartilage compresses between your vertebrae.

Recently I had a basic physical done for some life insurance changeover and I was surprised to find that I’m actually an inch taller than I thought I was. For my entire life I have always thought I was six foot two inches tall. It’s on my driver’s license. When asked your height on a form I always put 6’2″. It’s one of those things. But when they measured me with my shoes on I was 6’4″. I couldn’t believe that the heels on my shoes were two inches tall so we measured with them off. I had them do it three times, with different people. I’m officially six foot three inches tall.

The universe continues to amaze me.

Spock vs. Kirk

POSTED BY ON WED, MAY 13, 2009 AT 4:53 PM

So the big discussion in the aftermath of the Star Trek movie is the “who is sexier” one. I never gave it much thought about which character is sexier as I don’t view the world in those terms, especially when it comes to rating the sexiness of male characters. However, give me a green Orion girl and… rrrawwwrrlll.

When it comes to main characters in movies I don’t think of them in erotic terms. My significant girlfriend, however, does. Apparently she grew up with a crush on Spock. This shocked me. She said it wasn’t his emotionally removed behavior, nor his smarts, but the fact that on occasion, there was hope to be able to, get this, make him more emotional.

I figured it would be Sulu, or Scotty or some other character, hell, even Kirk always running around with his shirt torn and three bloody scratches across his hairless chest. Boy was I wrong. That shows you what I know about women. Apparently she’s not the only one who thinks Kirk is a tool.

A blog entry by Charlie Jane Anders titled “So Really, Why Is Captain Kirk Such a Douchebag?” pretty much sums it up about what women really think about Kirk, both Shatner’s version and the recent portrayal in the movie. I couldn’t have said it better.

So when Uhuru and Spock make it known that they’ve been doing the nasty in the most current incarnation of the film, it was a big turn-on to my own Orion girl, and that is what matters. So, yes, Spock is sexy. Now wait while I put on my pointy ears.

To boldly go…

POSTED BY ON FRI, MAY 8, 2009 AT 9:00 AM

I don’t go to the theaters that much to see a movie. With the high ticket cost, the inevitable raping of my wallet by the concession stand and uncomfortable chairs, it’s hard for me to choose that over a $1 rental at Red Box. I am a patient man. I can wait for the DVD release. But some movies defy waiting. This week that movie was Star Trek.
I was excited on many fronts. I watched all the trailers, tv spots and even researched a little about the movie. While I expected something good, I got great. Expecting some pre-story to the Enterprise crew, I was surprised by a new take on the old story.
Without spoiling it for everyone, all I can say is, it’s a whole new universe out there for the young crew.