Month: June 2009

Appliance woes

POSTED BY ON MON, JUN 29, 2009 AT 12:29 PM

When a fridge goes out you usually can tell by the awful smell that wafts in your face as you open it for a beer. Mine didn’t do that. It slowly got warmer and warmer until the butter was the consistency of creamy frosting. The freezer was still working so I couldn’t figure it out.

Last time the freezer went out, and a $70 repairman visit later, I discovered that the thermostat button had been turned accidentally to full on warm. That was an expensive lesson.

This time I checked all the buttons, knobs and switches but to no avail. They were all fine. So the repairman is here as I speak and informs me that my defrost switch/thermostat thingy (accessible only by a repairman) is broken. At least it wasn’t my fault this time.

The repairman told me that with the economy most people are buying used fridges and repairing their old ones. So Maytag apparently has lowered the price on it’s fridges, but increased the price on their parts. So what normally would have been a cheap part, now was much more expensive. Funny how companies take advantage of economic woes.

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Irrigator

POSTED BY ON FRI, JUN 26, 2009 AT 9:34 AM

The past few days have been the hottest we’ve had yet and in the back of my mind I’m a little worried about my babies. My babies are my corn, cucumbers and watermelons at my Alpine Acres, the garden I tend over on the Bench. They are just a few inches high and haven’t had to suffer such heat yet. They only get watered once a week, a deluge from thousands of gallons I slosh over their petit little bodies on Fridays. When I irrigate it turns the whole 10,000 square feet into what looks like an anemic rice paddy. But the once a week deep watering is what the root systems need, to go deeper, not shallower as a more frequent watering would do.
Hopefully, many will survive and grow stronger so we can eat their fruits later in the summer.

I laugh at mother nature’s cruel joke just now. As I am writing this a short shower of rain dropped outside my window on the metal patio cover. It’s nothing more than a spit, but maybe it will give some releif to my drought worries.

Sweet corn, winter squash, melons… I’m excited to see if I can tend them to fruition. But once the initial danger of heat and infant survival is past, they face an army of other pests. I found raccoon tracks in the ditch mud and you know how raccoons love to decimate a watermelon patch.

I am not…

POSTED BY ON SAT, JUN 13, 2009 AT 9:13 PM

I am not a granola eating, green-eyed hippie.
I am not an old grizzled ex-editor who is fond of Scotch, just a ex-editor who is fond of bourbon.
I am not one to promote causes that require fundraisers.
I am not overtly political (although I love political discussions)
I am not one to easily give compliments.
I am not an individual prone to moderation.
I am not against choice.
I am not one who gets emotional at weddings but you might see a tear if I get dust in my eye.
I am not one who prefers crispy nor soft.
I am not one who bathes every day.
I am not a person who underestimates sarcasm.
I am not one who believes all the moon landings were real.
I am not opposed to free love, but I’ve discovered that nothing in life is free.
I am not argumentative unless I disagree with you.

This Old Truck

POSTED BY ON THU, JUN 11, 2009 AT 9:53 PM

I killed two birds with one stone today. I bought a truck. I also bought a cab-over camper. They were a pair. You see, I was coveting an old truck so as to tool around to my many farm plots. I wanted one I could throw a bale of hay into the back, or a load of compost, along with all my hoes and bounce along Hill Road. It also would be more convenient at my current level of production to stack my Saturday morning farmer’s market produce in the back of the long-bed rather than pull my trailer around. It’s so hard to park a trailer downtown.

I also wanted a camper. I used to have some wicked trailers, but through a feign North, I managed to let them go for a string of beads. Now, I wanted something smaller, something ready to go camping or hunting with. This has everything but a shitter, and I’m comfortable with that. My daddy always told me, “Don’t shit where you sleep.” I take his advice to heart.

So when I saw John working on top of the camper atop the 1971 GMC Custom truck (paint color primer red), parked in a pasture I drive through to get to my Castle Garden, I curiously asked him what he was doing. He said fixing up the camper to sell. It was listed on Craigslist just that morning. So I didn’t think much and said, “I’d need a truck to go with a camper. You sellin’ that too?”

Well, one thing led to another. We got it started. We negotiated a price for both and shook on it. It has a good running engine but the breaks need some work. In fact, a new exhaust, an oil change, a new windshield and a radio and we’ll be just fine. Maybe I should get a CB radio.

I’m going to get the cheapest paint job I pay someone else to do. The boy-spawn thinks I should bolt plastic fruit and veggies all over it if I’m going to use it to go to the farmer’s markets. That sounds like a good idea.

Weekend hail

POSTED BY ON MON, JUN 8, 2009 AT 10:59 PM

I checked on my “secret garden” today. It’s a secret because until you are in it you don’t really know it’s there, not because I’m growing illegal things. I would never consider that. I’m too paranoid and a bad poker player. So anyway, I was at the garden and I noticed big holes in all the leafs. At first I thought I had some strange pest. But the holes were more like rips and tears.I knew it rained this weekend, and at one point saw some small pea sized ice chunks mixed in with the rain, but it wasn’t enough to do this kind of damage.

So I put on my sleuth hat. Apparently, while I was cavorting at the Martini Mix-Off gala, there was a nice little hailstorm in town that did the damage. I haven’t checked on some of my other gardens yet but it seems the plants will survive. New leaves will appear.

I recall growing up on the truck farm in Colorado a severe hail storm that hit about two weeks after my dad got 500 tomato plants in the ground. The poor plants were stripped of all leaves and I actually think I saw my dad shed a tear. But, within a few weeks, new growth appeared and they came back. So nature marches on.

My Archive

POSTED BY ON WED, JUN 3, 2009 AT 6:44 PM

I am a hoarder. I keep everything. My significant girlfriend wants to throw my shit away and I cry and whine, removing them from her trash piles and hiding them back in my house.
I keep telling her that I’m saving it for a yard sale but she says that no one wants to buy my stained, ripped up underwear.

While I wouldn’t be ever selling my undergarments to the general public (they being reserved for a small fetish community in Finland) I do have some cool shit. I can only manage to part with a limited amount of it each day. Once I reach my quota, I start down the road of nostalgia and get caught on memory lane.

Of course, the signifiant girlfriend scoffs at the idea of a daily quota. Some days, I must admit, the quota is zero, but often I can be talked out of my things.

She says I’m emotionally tied to “every fucking little thing.” I have an empathic link to inanimate objects. Just today I showed her some soap that I had moved to Alaska and back. It was some soap we had been “gifted” at Burning Man a few years ago. She was unimpressed and reminded me that I also moved rocks back and forth to Alaska. The return journey cost me 70¢ per pound. So if I do ever sell things on e-bay, I’m adding a 70¢ per pound surcharge to break even on the move.

I once read about a guy who sold everything he owned on e-bay. It took him a year but he sold even his old used toothbrush. What would one do with all that money? Probably go out and buy more shit.

Sending the 7th Grader

POSTED BY ON MON, JUN 1, 2009 AT 7:31 AM

I don’t get it. But then again, I’ve been told I won’t get it. What is it? The behavior of my soon to be 13-year-old daughter. The girl-spawn is close to being a teenager and I’ve been warned that I have no idea what is in store for me.

We live about 10 blocks from her shool, which is a hop, skip and a jump every morning. Why when I was young, I walked to school… 10 miles, uphill, in blizzards, she has to walk downhill, only on clear, warm mornings. But to get her to do this it takes a fight, a tough-love moment, and a flurry of angry looks that say “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little dog Toto, too!”

On days when I’m feeling generous, which is most days, I’ll pick her up from school, but only after a conversation that involves a heated discussion about the benefits of walking home. This includes: “It’s a nice day,” “It’s great exercise,” and “You are saving the planet by making daddy not use gasoline in his SUV.”

Do these arguments work? No. They are countered by: “I have too much homework and my backpack is too heavy,” “my (insert body part here) hurts and I can’t walk,” and “I’m going to sit here until you come.”

I’ve tried to wait out the last one out but then I have fears of being called on for neglect when the first Amber Alert of 2009 in Boise is made. So I drive the 10 blocks to pick her up.

On the other hand, the younger boy-spawn is excited to be going back to his old school down the hill, and he’s planning on walking, so far.