Thursday, December 26, 2013

Oh Noes! Kitchen Scraps Cause Global Warming!!

So I'm looking up leeks online, trying to learn a little more about ways to prepare them, when I come upon an "article" about the fact that you can use the dark green parts of the vegetable.  Toward the end, we get a list of reasons to do so, winding up with this:

"Finally, putting this valuable food stock to your benefit means it doesn’t end up in landfills where it becomes a contributor to global warming. "

Am I missing something here?  

...How on earth could putting part of a vegetable into the garbage-- and by extension in a landfill-- contribute to global warming?  Does this writer think that (the very natural process of) vegetable matter decaying in/on the earth leads to global warming?  Quick!  Someone gather up all the fallen leaves and withered plants from all the gardens and parks and forests of the world!  Do... something with them, before they start to decay and contribute to global warming!! 

It is possible that s/he meant the gas used to transport the leek trimmings to the landfill would contribute to blah blah blah blah, but that's not what s/he said-- and even so, how much extra gas will a few measly leaves require of the garbage truck?  

I wonder if tossing them on the compost pile causes global warming...

- - - - - - -

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  ;o)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Garden Notes

I can't remember if I ever wrote an update to my "Things We Learned from the Garden" commentary, but I don't see it in a quick search, so here it is-- for my own benefit.  (I doubt others will find it very interesting...)

More Things We Learned from This Year's Gardening:

--  Seriously, if the chives don't survive the winter, buy more.  They are so convenient and delicious!  Maybe try a few more herbs, too, since those were such a success...

--  The morning glories took a long time to bloom-- maybe because they got such a late start, maybe because they just take a long time, some years.  I'd almost given up hope of them ever blooming-- but then they did!  The three vines that survived the summer bloomed in overlapping succession.  Two of them are still blooming, while the third has mostly shriveled up.  It's looking a little pathetic, actually, and I was thinking that I ought to cut/tear it down, when I noticed that it's covered in seed pods.  I don't know why, but I was under the impression that they wouldn't set seed-- or at that the seeds wouldn't "come true", but the Internet tells me otherwise.  If I remember, I'll try to harvest some of the seeds for next year.  (And I'm sure some will fall to the ground in the process.)  The morning glory vines on the fence did very well.  The one on the corner of the patio cover was ok, but didn't really cover the trellis as much as I'd envisioned.  Instead, it climbed up into a neighboring shrub and took over a shepherd's hook.  (I could've gotten out there and trained it better, but by the time it was getting bigger, I didn't feel like bothering.  Humidity, yuck.) 

--  The surprise performers of the annuals were the vincas.  They took a while to really settle in and grow, but once they did-- wow!  Some of them have outlasted everything else.  The petunias didn't last that long (probably because I wasn't deadheading them correctly), and even the dusty miller, begonias, and marigolds have mostly faded away, but a few of the vincas are still going strong.  Definitely plant more of those, next year-- and give them room to spread out.

--  I think I'd skip the impatiens in favor of more begonias for the shady patio.  The impatiens just didn't perform as well.

--  The dusty miller kind of disappointed me, this year.  I'm not sure what was wrong-- and they were ok--  but not as nice as I'd expected. 

--  The marigolds were pretty great.  I'd plant more of those, and maybe try a few different varieties.  I saved some of the seeds for next year, and a few of the ones I scattered came up this season.  (Of course, they didn't do much, because they came up so late...)  I'll be interested to see if the seeds create nice plants.  (I'm still not completely clear on which things do well from seed and which don't.  I understand some of it, in theory-- hybrids and all that-- but it's not something I feel completely confident about.  No harm in trying, though.  Nothing to lose but a very little time and effort.)

--  The cleome were wonderful-- flowered and made a ton of seed.  I saved some of it in an envelope, but by far most of it was scattered directly into the surrounding soil.  I hope the seeds will take hold for next year.  There's every reason to expect that they will.

--  Try not to overdo the plants in pots.  It seems easier to begin with, but it ends up being more work when you have to water things so often.  On the patio, fine.  In the "septic tank" bed, yes.  Out in the flowerbeds, no. 

--  Maybe put something hardy (i.e. doesn't need watering very often) by the front door.  We never use that entrance, so it's easy to forget, but it might look nicer with something green in that corner... Possibly a few pots of aloe-- maybe one or two on a plant stand, with something decorative (a "welcome" sign? a wreath?) on the empty wall... I divided/re-potted the aloe this year, and there's a ton of it, now.  ...And I know from past torture sessions, ahem, "seasons when I forgot that it existed" that it can live for months and months and months on the back porch without watering, so it might do well on the front stoop, too.  (The main difference would be morning sun instead of afternoon...)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

~Wailing & Choking Sobs~

Oh nooooooo!

How did I forget the most innocent victim of this whole government shutdown debacle?!


(Warning:  That blog post is not for the weak-of-heart... or stomach!)

In the eleven days since the shutdown began on Oct. 1, the pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty have gone to waste.  The vegetables filling the 1,500 square-foot plot are now rotting away on the vines and in the boxed beds, thanks to the mandate for "minimal maintenance" placed on the skeletal crew of National Park Service gardeners who remain on duty at 1600 Penn.  

The gardeners are not allowed to harvest the crops, a White House source told Obama Foodorama.  Weeds are springing up everywhere, and the vegetables that have already fallen off the vines are now mouldering on the ground.

There are also mushrooms popping up inside and outside the garden beds, and leaf litter raining from the trees like confetti.  The wildlife that lives on the historic 18-acre campus--including a newly arrived fox now making a home at the White House--are having a field day. 

 Oh, my heart!  The pounds and pounds of ripe organic bounty!  GONE TO WASTE!!!

Until the Congressional showdown ends, there will be no happy little helpers joining Mrs. Obama to pluck the artichoke, okra, sweet potatoes, lettuces, squash, tomatoes, peppers, kale, carrots, rhutabaga, garlic, cabbage, exotic herbs, Swiss chard, collard and mustard greens, spinach, garlic, turnips, jalapeno and chili peppers that are now growing amok.   
 No no no no no...  No happy little helpers to pluck the artichoke... ~sniffle~ ...the kale... ~whimper~ ...the exotic herbs!  ~racking sobs of the wretched~

I-- I don't think I can go on reading.  It's too much for my poor nerves.  -- But I must.  For the Kitchen Garden's sake!

The sweet potatoes--a favorite of President Barack Obama's [emphasis entirely theirs], according to the First Lady--are especially abundant this autumn, said garden mastermind Kass before he was furloughed.   Mrs. Obama has proudly displayed four-pounders at past harvests, but this year's orange behemoths remain in the ground as worm food.

It can't be true.  His Majesty's own favorite-- left in the ground as worm food?!  I can't believe it!  I won't believe it!  I refuse to believe it!  (Well, I guess they'll just buy them from the Super-Exclusive Way-Overpriced All-Organic-All-the-Time Farmer's Market, instead.  No biggie.)

 There's a heart-rending photo of "lemongrass with white basil"... And then one of "a happy squirrel" shamelessly devouring his ill-gotten gains that nearly turned my stomach...  

Why couldn't someone have done something about this?  Prevented this horror?  Like... spend half an hour picking the vegetables every day or two?  ...Maybe even Michelle Obama, since it's "her" garden?  Or the first kids?  I know that We and They are not quite the same-- but lots of commoners set chores for their children-- light housecleaning or yard work.  Asking them to pick a few vegetables doesn't seem beyond the pale.  

...No.  What am I saying?  Ridiculous idea!

So, so true.

“The older I get, and the more I see of human beings, the more I understand why some people love their dogs so much.”    
--Thomas Sowell

Monday, October 14, 2013

Human Reaction

Charming story:

EBT benefit card glitch sparks Walmart shopping sprees in Louisiana.

KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather

The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system allows recipients of government food stamps to purchase goods using a digital card with a set spending limit, but for a few hours over the weekend, that limit disappeared for many users visiting Walmart stores in Louisiana.
[Then word got out, apparently, and the "shopping spree" began.]

. . .

Walmart workers phoned their corporate headquarters to ask how they should handle all the shoppers with unlimited, government-funded spending limits, and were told to keep the registers ringing.

. . .

Amateur video taken on shoppers' cell phones shows dozens of shopping carts, piled high with merchandise, abandoned in the aisles of one Walmart after the announcement was made that EBT cards were once again showing accurate spending limits.

Police spokesmen in both locations told KSLA that no arrests were made during the spending sprees.
Shoppers gave mixed reactions to the incident, with one man in the Springhill store told KSLA it was simply "human reaction" to stock-up when given the opportunity. Shopper Stan Garcia was more critical of the unscrupulous shoppers, however, saying that taking advantage of the brief glitch in the benefits system amounted to "plain theft. That's stealing, that's all I got to say about it."

"Simply 'human reaction' to stock-up when given the opportunity."  By this logic, I guess it's also simply "human reaction" to thieve, rape, and murder if opportunity and desire coincide?

The people who went on the "shopping sprees" are disgustingly poor examples of human beings-- but I have only marginally less scorn for those who would go out of their way to excuse such behavior.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Here's another story too "good" (awful) to keep to myself:
'Gestapo' tactics meet senior citizens at Yellowstone.

It's an interesting look into what happened to a group of senior tourists who had the bad luck to be on a 9-day bus-tour of Western parks when the government shutdown went into effect.

Some of the highlights:

For many hours [Pat Vaillancourt's] tour group, which included senior citizen visitors from Japan, Australia, Canada and the United States, were locked in a Yellowstone National Park hotel under armed guard.

The tourists were treated harshly by armed park employees, she said, so much so that some of the foreign tourists with limited English skills thought they were under arrest.

When finally allowed to leave, the bus was not allowed to halt at all along the 2.5-hour trip out of the park, not even to stop at private bathrooms that were open along the route.

 . . .
Rangers systematically sent visitors out of the park [Yellowstone], though some groups that had hotel reservations — such as Vaillancourt’s — were allowed to stay for two days. Those two days started out on a sour note, she said.

The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.

“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.

The seniors quickly filed back on board and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.

“They looked like Hulk Hogans, armed. They told us you can’t go outside,” she said. “Some of the Asians who were on the tour said, ‘Oh my God, are we under arrest?’ They felt like they were criminals.”

. . .

As the bus made its 2.5-hour journey out of Yellowstone, the tour guide made arrangements to stop at a full-service bathroom at an in-park dude ranch he had done business with in the past. Though the bus had its own small bathroom, Vaillancourt said seniors were looking for a more comfortable place to stop. But no stop was made — Vaillancourt said the dude ranch had been warned that its license to operate would be revoked if it allowed the bus to stop. So the bus continued on to Livingston, Mont., a gateway city to the park.

The bus trip made headlines in Livingston, where the local newspaper Livingston Enterprise interviewed the tour guide, Gordon Hodgson, who accused the park service of “Gestapo tactics.”

“The national parks belong to the people,” he told the Enterprise. “This isn’t right.”

They weren't allowed to "recreate"-- i.e. take photos of something that was happening right outside the bus?  Good grief!  Makes about as much sense as blocking off the roadside viewing areas for Mt. Rushmore and "closing the ocean".  If these *@&$!^#  could figure out a way to do it, they'd block out the sun over all national parks and monuments for the duration of the shutdown.  Maybe remove all oxygen, too, for good measure.  "I'm sorry, ma'am, but that's park air you're breathing.  You're not allowed to breathe National Park air until the park is reopened.  I'm afraid I'll have to ask you to hold your breath as long as you're on federal land.  Better get a move on; it's quite a walk.  Oh, and have a nice day!  Oh, sir!  I'll have to ask you to close your eyes as you make your way to the nearest park exit.  You're enjoying the natural beauty, and all enjoyment is strictly prohibited until such time as the All-Powerful Government reopens the park.  In the meantime, pleasure of any kind is not allowed on federal land."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

If Only They Could See Us Now!

Our founding fathers, if they were able to peep into the future and see where we are today, would be so proud!  You just know they'd be glowing, if they saw how things stand.

Open-air memorials shut down and guarded against frail former soldiers and their families?

Military cemeteries closed to the public?

Privately-owned and -run facilities (such as the Claude Moore Farm and the Pisgah Inn) told they have to close-- against their will?
*wild applause*

And then, when the owner of the Pisgah Inn decided to "defy their authority" by staying open (because people were still booking rooms and could get to the inn with no trouble-- and because the inn doesn't receive federal funding/support)?  They posted armed, uniformed officials on the road, to direct traffic away from the inn.  The message is clear: You will do as you're told-- or else.

Now they want to close parts of the ocean.  Yeah, good luck with that. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

More of the Same

The National Park Service has ordered the closure of a park (the Claude Moore Colonial Farm) that receives no federal funding.  It sits on federal land, but "the government provides no resources for its maintenance or operation".

This is the first time the historical reenactment site has been shut down in 40 years, apparently, as previous government shutdowns didn't affect it-- which makes perfect sense, seeing as it doesn't receive a dime from the federal government.

The managing director of the farm says that the NPS "sent law enforcement agents to the park on Tuesday evening to remove staff and volunteers from the property".

She went on to add, "In all the years I have worked with the National Park Service ... I have never worked with a more arrogant, arbitrary and vindictive group representing the NPS."

The farm staff made repeated requests to be allowed to keep the farm open-- but each appeal was denied.

- - - - - - -

...Well, it certainly captures the spirit of the thing, in my humble opinion.

- - - - - - -

And finally, at least some good may come of this whole mess:
"Is Obama's Golf Cancelled?"

President Obama has been playing golf at a furious pace this year – already heading out more times than during any year of his presidency – but the government shutdown raises the prospect that his favorite leisure activity is about to be suspended.

It’s unclear how a presidential golf outing could be justified as “essential,” which is the general standard for government activities that continue during the shutdown.

When Obama is in Washington, he plays at one of two publicly funded courses – either the links at Andrews Air Force Base or at Fort Belvoir. His rounds are paid for out of the public kitty.

What’s more, the public must pay for the nearly half hour trip by the large motorcade that shuttles the president to his golf destination, costs that involve the logistics of the movement as well as staff and Secret Service who must accompany Obama.

But beyond the actual costs, a golf excursion by Obama when the government is supposedly trimming costs and while furloughed federal workers are going without pay would be extremely bad public relations for a president waging a shutdown public opinion war against Republicans.

Obama generally plays every Saturday, most recently this past Saturday when he went out even as the government headed toward a shutdown. It was the 35th time he has played this year, eclipsing his 2011 record of 34 outings.

Always look for the silver lining! 

Our Glorious Government at Work

(Only... Maybe that should be "Our Glorious Government at Work on Furlough"?  Or "in Shutdown Mode"?)

In need of a little righteous indignation?  Try the story of the closing of the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C.  (I imagine most have heard all about it already, but there it is, to remind myself at a later date...)

This entire thing is absolutely shameful.   I mean, really!  Wouldn't you be blushingly ashamed of yourself, if you were charged with putting up these extra barricades and "CLOSED" signs?  I know I would...

While the higher-profile WWII memorial is carefully blocked, the barricade at the WWI memorial looks like this.  (It's a single unit of fencing-- about six feet long, standing all by its lonesome in a wide-open area, decorated with an "official" sign indicating-- I assume-- that all national parks are closed, and looking-- well, completely stupid.)

So... We couldn't afford to pay someone to staff the WWII memorial.  (For what purpose?  To collect garbage every couple of days?  To make sure there hasn't been an act of vandalism?)  Yet we had the money to pay them to put up the barricades-- then to come back the next day and put up more barriers, since the first ones apparently weren't enough.  What a wise use of federal dollars! I hope the brains behind this brilliant decision are proud of themselves. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse:
"National Zoo panda cam goes dark in government shutdown."


Why?!   WHYYYYYYYY?!?!?!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Vacation from the News

Yay, Obamacare.  "Free" healthcare for all... except not really.  Well, ok... "affordable", then?  Ha ha ha!  Good one!  (And if you fall into certain unlucky brackets, the government may punish you for being married, but what else is new?)

Yeah, time for another "vacation" from the news-- or at least most of the news.  Just makes me too blood-boiling angry, and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Once-in-a-Blue-Moon Post

I'm slowly but surely editing and uploading (to Flickr) photos from our July trip to Sweden.  Still not done, but getting there...

One of the latest is this photo of Donald standing next to a huge ant hill by the side of the long driveway down to his parents' place:

Sweden - July 2013

It's not a very good photo (for some reason, Donald is underexposed, so it looks like a not-very-well-done cut-and-paste job), but I promise that I didn't do anything to the photo except sharpen it and adjust the colors a little (to make him look a little less like a ghost (g)).  The ant hill really is that big.  There were lots of ants going up and down the road.  ~shudder~ 

Donald says that in Sweden, ant hills can stay in the same place (though under constant repair, I would imagine) for years.  There was another, smaller hill down closer to the lake, and Donald says he remembers that one being there when he was a kid-- so 30 to 40 years ago-- and it's still in the same general spot.  That's just amazing.  I don't think ants would do that, around here.  Maybe if they live out in the middle of nowhere, with no people trying to get rid of them, they'll stay in one location longer, but I get the impression that "our" ants don't settle down in one spot for decades.  Even if they get a really big "bed" established, sooner or later, a storm will wash them out (or maybe an animal will disturb them)-- something happens, and they'll move on to another place. 

There are more (and I hope better) photos in my Flickr photostream (link in the sidebar).  :o) And more still to come!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Random Music Obsession

Music Obsession of the Month:
M83-- particularly the soundtrack for Oblivion:

Friday, June 14, 2013

162/365 - Foggy Morning

162/365 - Foggy Morning by MossyOwls
162/365 - Foggy Morning, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

161/365 - Hydrangea

161/365 - Hydrangea by MossyOwls
161/365 - Hydrangea, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

The hydrangea by our patio is blooming. I love hydrangeas! One day, I'd like to try to make one bloom blue-- but pink is pretty, too.

160/365 - Rainy Day

160/365 - Rainy Day by MossyOwls
160/365 - Rainy Day, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

A photo from a window on a rainy day...

159/365 - Lily of the Day ;o)

It looked so pretty in the late afternoon light...

158/365 - First Cucumber

158/365 - First Cucumber by MossyOwls
158/365 - First Cucumber, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Our first cucumber from the garden! Donald says it tasted good. (I don't eat cucumbers much, myself, unless they've been transformed into tasty pickles.)

157/365 - Red Rose

157/365 - Red Rose by MossyOwls
157/365 - Red Rose, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

This rose has been doing so much better since I moved it last year!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No Thank You, Wind Power.

Well, at least there's some good news, today. 

I only hope they'll hold steady. I know I don't want those huge wind turbines anywhere near my house-- and letting them build an ugly, noisy "wind farm" anywhere in the county only increases the likelihood of that happening...  It's bad enough that we have a cell phone tower marring the view and making that ominous roar on windy days.  (Yes, I'm a horrible person, standing in the way of technological progress and green energy, throwing back my head and cackling an evil laugh into a perfectly turbine-free sky.  Ha!)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Garden Notes

(Notes more for my future reference than anything else, I'm afraid...)

The vegetable garden's grown so much in the past month or so!  It's gone from this:

111/365 - Vegetable Bed this:

Raised Bed

(Both this photo and the next have notes on Flickr.  If you're interested in each specific plant's identity, click over to Flickr and hover over the photo to see the notes.)

Squash, Tomatoes, Blueberries

Vegetable Gardening Lessons (from this year, to date):

--  Don't plant tomatoes and squash in pots.  You don't want to go out there and water them every day, and they'll get very droopy even with watering.  Go ahead and plant them directly into the ground.  PLEASE.

-- Don't plant so many radishes at one time.  I don't eat them, and Donald doesn't eat that many, either.

-- Harvest and eat the lettuce faster.  What were you saving it for?  It doesn't get better with age.  (g)

--  Chives are very yummy and extremely easy to grow.  They taste like a mild onion and are nice as a sandwich topping-- or anywhere else you'd ordinarily use raw onion. 

-- The dill was easy, too.  (We should have seeds left over from some of these packets, btw...)

Annual Gardening Lessons:

-- The best performers this year (so far) have been petunias, marigolds, dusty miller, and begonias.  The impatiens don't look as happy, for some reason, and the vincas just don't grow as fast...

--  Morning glory seeds were pretty easy.  They took a while to get any size on them, though... Maybe start them earlier?  On the other hand, they're not really any slower than the self-sowed seeds of the cypress vine-- and those get huge by the end of the season.  (Patience!)

--  The portulaca (moss rose) grew readily from seed.  Plant more of it next year.  (I think they reseed, but the little 20-cent packets are cheap enough.)  Maybe plant more containers of them.  I think they're pretty drought tolerant.  (We'll see...)

--  The cleome from seed have done much better than anticipated!  I hope they make it long enough to flower!  (If so, I think they'll reseed...)

-- On the other hand, larkspur was a dud.  I think they like cool summers.  Ha!  Not going to happen...

-- Next year, maybe try some other seeds with good reputations.  Cosmos?  Sunflowers?  Something not too fussy, because I'm not that devoted to gardening once the heat and humidity arrive.

156/365 - Antique Roses

156/365 - Antique Roses by MossyOwls
156/365 - Antique Roses, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

They're tough as nails, pretty, prolific, and fragrant!

155/365 - Daylily

155/365 - Daylily by MossyOwls
155/365 - Daylily, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

It's given us a lot of blooms already this year.

154/365 - On the Patio

154/365 - On the Patio by MossyOwls
154/365 - On the Patio, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

153/365 - Silver Lining

153/365 - Silver Lining by MossyOwls
153/365 - Silver Lining, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

152/365 - Swedish Pierogis

152/365 - Swedish Pierogis by MossyOwls
152/365 - Swedish Pierogis, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Not the boiled type of pierogi. Baked and very tasty.

151/365 - Squash

151/365 - Squash by MossyOwls
151/365 - Squash, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

I've been eating squash from our first squash plant. (Donald's not a huge fan of squash on its own.)

150/365 - Digestive Chocolate

It's actually really yummy-- tastes kind of like a Kit-Kat-- but the name always seems funny to me. (g)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

149/365 - Granny's Daughters

Teensy-tiny one-round grannies. I'm sloooowly building up a collection of them to work into an afghan (with lots of white or cream yarn to join them).

148/365 - Crookneck Squash

148/365 - Crookneck Squash by MossyOwls
148/365 - Crookneck Squash, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Look! Look! I grew squash! (One of the easiest-to-grow vegetables ever. But I'm still proud.)

147/365 - Clouds

147/365 - Clouds by MossyOwls
147/365 - Clouds, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

I love clouds. I've long forgotten anything I learned about their scientific names, but I still enjoy looking at them.

146/365 - Skink Rendevous

146/365 - Skink Rendevous by MossyOwls
146/365 - Skink Rendevous, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

I was startled to find this pair of skinks having a moment of passion ;o) near the raised garden bed. The male was a wimp. He ran and hid under the vegetable bed, leaving the poor female to fend for herself. Fortunately, I don't have a taste for skinks.

145/365 - Hand-Me-Downs

145/365 - Hand-Me-Downs by MossyOwls
145/365 - Hand-Me-Downs, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

This weekend, Aunt Debbie gave me this huge box of hand-me-down yarn. I had a lot of fun going through it and sorting it according to weight and fiber content. Hurray for free yarn!

144/365 - Doily

144/365 - Doily by MossyOwls
144/365 - Doily, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Random Music

Just some music I've been enjoying lately... :o)

"Blackwinged Bird", Nina Persson:

"Comptine d'un autre été : L'Après-midi" , from the Amélie soundtrack:

"Long Time Traveller", The Wailin' Jennys:

"Glory Bound", The Wailin' Jennys:

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Link: Another Reason

Another reason to care about what's happening in Sweden (and England, and France, and...) is that it should stand as a warning to the U.S.:  "I Think They're Trying to Tell Us Something".

More about the situation in Stockholm: 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Riots in Stockholm

"Riots in Stockholm Spread to More Suburbs":

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Groups of youth have smashed shop windows, set cars ablaze and burnt down a cultural center as the riots that started in one Stockholm suburb after a fatal police shooting spread to other low-income areas of the Swedish capital.
 . . .
 [Police spokesman] Lindgren says 30 vehicles were set ablaze in six suburbs where mainly immigrants live. Gangs of up to 60 youths also set fire to a school and a nursery and hurled rocks at police and fire fighters.

The unrest began Sunday in response to the May 13 shooting, in which police killed a 69-year-old, knife-wielding man in a northwestern suburb.

"Groups of youth", huh?  A story at identifies them also only as "youths".  Good try, you guys, but at this point, is there anyone who doesn't know what "youths" is code for, in stories of riots, violence, etc.?

(Incidentally, one thing I will never, ever understand is why these types of gangs always seem to destroy their own neighborhoods.  Um, you live there.  It might not be the best part of town to begin with, but how is trashing the place going to improve your situation?  Come next week, chances are you and your family will still be living and working in the same community-- which you have just further degraded.  Of course, the kind of people who do these things aren't exactly the brainy bunch...)


"You have to see what happened from a wider point of view. It's not the first time something like this has happened, and it's not the last. This is the kind of reaction when there isn't equality between people, which is the case in Sweden," Rami al-Khamisi, a law student and founder of local youth organization Megafonen, told The Local.

On Monday, local newspaper editor Rouzbeh Djalaie said the shooting probably provided the spark.

"There's frustration in Husby and it risks spiralling out of control. People want long-term solutions to social problems instead of an increased police presence," Djalaie told The Local. 

Yes, of course; it's all Sweden's fault. (...For letting these hooligans into the country to begin with, you mean, right...?)  After all, Sweden is so well known for its inequality.  It's not like Sweden makes itself ridiculous by bending over backward to avoid even the appearance of inequality.  Nuh-uh.  Nope.  They just revel in a veritable orgy of inequality, in Sweden.  Known for it around the world! (Ouch! Concentrated sarcasm burns...) 

From the same article:
Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt commented on the matter in a press conference at the Riksdag on Tuesday afternoon.

"We've had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue," he said.

"We have groups of young men who think that that they can and should change society with violence. Let's be clear: This is not OK. We cannot be ruled by violence."

Well, good luck, because I have a strong feeling you're going to need it. It might help if more people spoke up against the political correctness on steroids that currently has a stranglehold on the nation.  

And this shooting that supposedly started the rioting?  Yeah, sounds like it was a terrible loss to the community.  I'm sure the woman the police were trying to protect when they shot the innocent individual knife/machete-wielding lunatic would also call it a use of excessive force.

'Multiculturalism failing': Swedish PM pleas for order as riots engulf Stockholm suburbs
The headline makes it look (to me) like the Swedish PM says multiculturalism is failing, which is not accurate.  It's actually a quote from the chairman of the Swedish National Democrats Party.  Still, there's some interesting material that the other articles I linked didn't include.

Al Jazeera, on the other hand, covers the story this way:
Police in Sweden have arrested six people after a second night of escalating riots in a Stockholm suburb.

On Monday night, aboout 200 people took part in demonstrations following the fatal police shooting of a 69-year-old man.

The unrest is shining a spotlight on how Sweden treats immigrants.
Completely unbiased-- just as you'd expect from Al Jazeera.   Ha!  "Shining a spotlight on how Sweden treats immigrants"!   (!!!) 

Some of you (out there in my vast audience of... two? three? ;o)) are probably wondering why I'm getting all het up about this.  I hope I'm not coming across as an obnoxious American trying to teach Sweden how to "do better", because the U.S. is sitting pretty and has it all figured out.  (I wish.  Goodness knows we have our own problems.  Too many to enumerate, too close to home.)  I'm well aware that I'm no expert-- yet from what I hear from Donald about current events in Sweden, I feel safe wagering that I know more about Sweden than the average American... and this story just makes me mad. 

If you knew how completely, painfully PC the media is in Sweden!  You think it's bad here?  Ha ha ha... We're getting there, but (on certain subjects, at least) they have it worse.  If you heard the ridiculous stories of the "child refugees" who are obviously grown men-- the shameful waste of resources on people who should be taking care of themselves-- the stubborn unwillingness to admit that there might possibly be a problem.  And then people have the gall to say that Sweden hasn't done enough for them?  That there is inequality?  That it's time to shine a spotlight on "how Sweden treats immigrants"?  Good ga-rief!  Sweden seems to treat its immigrants better than it treats its natives!  It. Makes. Me. Furious.  And I don't even live there!! 

...So.  Anyway.  That's why I was stirred past my usual "post nothing but the occasional flurry of photos" filter, today.  Outrage.  Now back to our regularly scheduled photos of plants and drywall.  ;o)

Friday, May 17, 2013

132/365 - Clarabel's 2nd Birthday

We celebrated Clarabel's 2nd birthday at a party at Mom & Dad's house. :o)

(There are several more photos from the day on Flickr!)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

131/365 - Blocking

131/365 - Blocking by MossyOwls
131/365 - Blocking, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Starched and stretched. Makes all the difference in the world to doilies.

130/365 - Mud

130/365 - Mud by MossyOwls
130/365 - Mud, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Started taping and mudding the joints of the drywall.

129/365 - Stakes

129/365 - Stakes by MossyOwls
129/365 - Stakes, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

We added stakes for the tomato plants.

128/365 - Squash Plant

128/365 - Squash Plant by MossyOwls
128/365 - Squash Plant, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

127/365 - May 7th, 2013

127/365 - May 7th, 2013 by MossyOwls
127/365 - May 7th, 2013, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

126/365 - Trixie

126/365 - Trixie by MossyOwls
126/365 - Trixie, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

125/365 - Window

125/365 - Window by MossyOwls
125/365 - Window, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Donald trimmed out one of the garage windows.

124/365 - May 4th, 2013

124/365 - May 4th, 2013 by MossyOwls
124/365 - May 4th, 2013, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dream Pop

Stumbleine - "Fade Into You (feat. Steffaloo)"

Loving this song, lately.
As usual, I first heard it on TV (The Following).  That's just about the only place I find new music I like, these days.  Too lazy to go looking for it on my own.  

Saturday, May 4, 2013

123/365 - Begonias

123/365 - Begonias by MossyOwls
123/365 - Begonias, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

I haven't bothered with annuals for several years (or at least, not with any but what reseeded themselves), but this spring we bought several different things, and it *is* nice to have a little extra color.

122/365 - Raised Bed

122/365 - Raised Bed by MossyOwls
122/365 - Raised Bed, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

A "progress shot" of the raised bed... So far, so good! We've been enjoying checking on it every day. Some of the plants (the cucumber and squash particularly) sometimes show obvious change from day to day.

Drywall Progress

Drywall Progress by MossyOwls
Drywall Progress, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

One wall down and another nearly finished. They were the two walls with no windows or doors. On the one hand, this may have made them easier to cover. On the other hand, there was more of them *to* cover...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

121/365 - Coreopsis

121/365 - Coreopsis by MossyOwls
121/365 - Coreopsis, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

Supposedly they're good for attracting insects that are the natural enemies of some other insects I'd like to banish from our yard. They're also pretty and cheerful and hardy.

120/365 - Linen & Cotton

120/365 - Linen & Cotton by MossyOwls
120/365 - Linen & Cotton, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.

For unraveling.

119/365 - Garage Progress

119/365 - Garage Progress by MossyOwls
119/365 - Garage Progress, a photo by MossyOwls on Flickr.
We're putting drywall on the walls, now. There's still a bit of the ceiling left to put up, but that part will be easier to get to once we've used up more of our stack of drywall supply.