🌿 What Have You Been Doing This Memorial Day Weekend?

Me? I’ve been planting. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been digging up a few patches in the front and back yard, ordering supplies (not all of which have arrived yet), proving why I shouldn’t work outside by injuring my wrist, and preparing for planting.

So this weekend was planting seeds. Click on any of the images for the full size.

Garden - Main Backyard Patch

This is the main back patch, approx 20′ x 7.5′. In it I planted two types of tomatoes, two types of corn, two types of cucumbers, and two types of pole beans, as well as some sunflowers. That was planted Friday and Saturday. This patch gets mixed shade and sun. Remember we’re in the valley, so it is also hot — it will be in the 90s and 100s in the summer.

Garden - Front Plot

This is the front patch. It is two rectangles: one 8′ x 9′; the other 15′ x 5′. It has chocolate cherry tomatoes, golden zucchini, (one existing strawberry plant), green zucchini (as soon as the seeds arrive), cantalope, basil, and cilantro, as well as mammoth sunflowers along the back. This gets lots of full sun.

Garden - North Planters

I also planted two bunches of pots on Sunday. The three pots here have Thyme, Basil, and Watercress (the Lavender and Artichokes plans were already there — we’ve harvested about 30 artichokes this spring, and there are perhaps 1-2 left).

Garden - Southern Pots

The second bunch of pots have cilantro and parsley

Lastly, this morning I planted the side patch:

Garden - Side Patch

This is a smaller patch, roughly 9′ x 2′. It has Cabbage, Mustard Spinach, Beets, and Radish, as it tends to get a lot of shade.


A Day Late and a Dollar… Saturday Stew on Sunday

Observation StewThe smell of stew cooking in the crockpot reminded me I need to post a stew of my own; with vacation and such, it’s been a few weeks. So let’s clear out those links…

  • Burger Continental is Gone. We discovered this as we returned home from the Ren Faire a few weeks ago: BC has closed their doors. No more can Adrian, their long-time waiter (and one of the owners, from what I’ve heard) flirt with my wife. They were a reliable dinner when we were going to the Pasadena Playhouse. I’ll miss them.
  • Airline Safety, Take 1: Fitting In The Butts. As we all know, airlines are squeezing passengers closer and closer together, both through thinner seats and decreased pitch. The big problem: That may not be safe. A consumer advisory group has asked DOT to look into the matter.
  • Airline Safety, Take 2: Reading the Signs. An interesting airline risk has just come to light — significant if you are flying Boeing 787s. It appears there is a software glitch that could cause power units (APUs) to go into failsafe mode after running continuously for more than 8 months. Specifically, if all four APUs were started at the same time, and run for 248.55 hours… they shut down. 248.55 just happens to be the point where a signed 32-bit integer holding time in hundreths of a second overflows and goes negative. No problem: That age old advice still works: “Have you tried turning it off, and back on again?”
  • Cleaning Out the Stash. One of the problem when your parents die is cleaning out what they left at the house. That problem turns weird when you discover their adult stash — i.e., their porn collection. Yes, your parents think about sex — who do you think made you the horndog you are? Yes, I’m looking at you. Luckily, there is an adult bookstore in London that will take that porn off of your, umm, hands.
  • Ah, Catherine the Great. As you probably remember, I loved Steve Allen’s Meeting of Minds. Therefore, it is with sad news that I report the passing of Mrs. Steve Allen, better known as Jayne Meadows, who started in numerous episodes. She made it to 95 and had a good life. I thank her for her contributions.
  • Security and Maturity. Here’s an interesting metric: Brian Krebs on measuring a company’s security maturity level.
  • Damn. Yesterday was National Naked Gardening Day. Here’s an interesting article on a garden rework in Beverlywood that not only saves water, but grows vegetables. For future reference…
  • Where to Go For Dinner. Another “for future reference”: Here’s a listing of 20 recommended places to eat in the Valley. We’ve actually been to about 2/3s of these.
  • But What Will I Watch in Hawaii. I don’t know what you did when you visited Hawaii in your college years, but I…. programmed. I have fond memories of listening to the Jerry Lewis Telethon (back in the late 1970s, mind you) and programming for the UCLA Computer Club. Today’s children will have to find something else to do: MDA has cancelled the Labor Day Telethon. I’ll note that it had really gone downhill without Jerry Lewis and the folks he drew in, and MDA parted ways with him a few years ago.

That’s your stew for this Sunday. Now go work out….


Plant a Radish, Get a Radish, Never Any Doubt

The Federal infusion of support into Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have had one side effect: rates have dropped. As such, we’ve started to explore a re-fi again, and this means we’re getting an appraisal. As such, I wanted the house to look the best, so this weekend I decided to do something about the large patch of dirt I dug up a while ago. So, this morning I went over to Lowes and picked up the equivalent of about 3 flats of various annuals: snapdragons, French mini-marigolds, impatiens, gum balls, and other assorted stuff. I then planted them all in the bed. Of course, I’m exhausted from all the digging, but the flower bed looks great.

[Of course, the one recent medical oddity struck again: for some reason, when I do work like this, my head just starts schvitzing and schvitzing. I keep a towel around, and drink plenty of fluids while I work, but it’s just annoying. I’m guessing it is a side effect of the beta blockers.]


Inch by inch, row by row / Gonna make this garden grow…

Although Earth Day is tomorrow (and I’m one of the folks who remember the original one in 1970 [I even had the book]), I spent the day doing “earthy” stuff. Specifically: I worked in the yard. Yes, for the first time, a legitimate use for this userpic!

So, what did I do? First, I dug and turned over one large planter bed where we had yucky plants we ripped out. This was harder than it sounds, for (a) the bed was roughly 40’x10′, and (b) we have heavy, wet clay soil. So this task also involved adding some compost (which had to be dug out of the bin) and picking up 100lbs of sand and digging that in… which made nary a dent! The second task was planting. Today, I planted about 8 tomato plants, 4 zucchini plants, 2 lavendar plants, 7 mint plants (in their own exclusive bed), a rosemary bush, and 2 basil plants. All in all, a good days work. As a bonus, the weather held: it was chilly but sunny, with just the threat of some rain.

One odd thing, though… as I kept digging and planting, I kept finding whole peanuts. No idea why. Crushed peanut shells I could understand — they would help with clay soil. But whole peanuts?


Tired of the Rain/Anti-Garden Song

OK. I’m tired of this rain. It looks like once things calm down, I’m going to have to go out and clean the gutters once again. I’m containually checking the ceiling to see if the leak has started up (it only starts up when enough water comes in at a particular angle, which tells me it is most likely in the area underneath the plenum return on the roof). To make things worse, supposedly this storm will be around until early next week. East coast folks: You can stop laughing now. Yes, folks in Southern California get annoyed when the sun goes away.

Last night we had a delightful Shabbat evening with the Schwartz family. While over there, I picked up a song parody I just have to share. Many folks may be familiar with “The Garden Song“, written by Dave Mallet. It was recorded by many folks, including Noel Paul Stookey and Peter, Paul, and Mary. It’s the one that goes:

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below till the rains comes tumbling down

Well, it turns out there is also an “Anti-Garden Song” (link has music), with lyrics by Eric Kilburn:

Slug by slug, weed by weed,
My garden’s got me really teed
All the insects love to feed upon my tomato plants
Sunburned face, scratched-up knees
My kitchen’s choked with zucchinis
I’m shopping at the A & P next time I get a chance.

The crabgrass grows, the ragweed thrives,
The broccoli has long since died.
The only things left still alive are some radishes and beans.
My carrot plants are dead and gone,
Hear the rabbits sing a happy song
Until you’ve weeded all day long you don’t know what boredom means


You get up early, work till late
Watch moles and mice get overweight
They eat their dinners on a plate from the hard work you have done
As ye sow so shall ye reap,
But I smell like a compost heap
I’m gonna get that lousy creep who said gardening was fun


Today is mostly a home day, except were going down to Long Beach this evening with  ellipticcurve to see Once On This Island. Tomorrow is Dim Sum and Gaming!