Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Great Eggplant Massacre Of 2016

... continues apace. Today, I bought a tray of 6 eggplant of 3 different varieties. I bought them at Home Depot along with a few other things. I walked over to where my wife had parked the car while she shopped at a nearby store. We packed everything in the car and drove off.

Everything but the eggplant.

By now, it's lying dead on the sidewalk outside of Marshall's. The total number of eggplant that I have killed is up to 10 for the year.

Keep Portland Weird

On Twitter, I follow the Magic Realism Bot, the output of a computer program that generates random story ideas. About 1 in 5 are really good; most are yawners. The good ones make up for the filler. This one seemed almost reasonable, given Portland's reputation.
Here's a bonus tweet suggesting the power of collectivism over magic.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

It's Caturday!

And how better to celebrate than to post a photo of our Maximum Leader, Maddi?

I think I've blogged before that she is the wiggliest cat I've ever met. Getting a good picture of her is nearly impossible because as soon as she thinks you're paying attention to her, she gets up and starts wriggling around in pleasure. She has a very loud purr, too, so there's a low rumbling noise accompanying her head bumps and rubbing as she careens from one object in the room to another.

I'll try to get a decent video of that to share later. In the meantime, happy Caturday to all!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Save Time, Save Money - Plant Eggplant!

... because they die immediately instead of hanging on for a while, causing you to waste your time trying to save them.

4 days after planting them, our egglplant (top 2 plants in the photo) are toast.
Yum! Toasted eggplant!
We typically struggle to raise eggplant. They're prone to insect attack and need regular bathing with Neem Oil to keep their leaves from being rasped into oblivion. We can usually get them to survive long enough to produce a bit, but these cut out the middleman and died almost immediately, being both rasped to bits and baked in the sun.

Note the two basil, doing just fine. It's not that we've got brown thumbs. All of our other plants are doing great. No, it's the eggplant. I swear we'd do better if we simply dumped them into a lit Weber grill right when we brought them home and didn't even bother planting them.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Grass Spider

We found this big brute trapped in one of our sinks the other day. Before dealing with it, I took a couple of photos with my Samsung Galaxy S7. Macro photography of insects can be tricky even with a DSLR, but the phone managed to take some splendid shots. I left this particularly large, so I think it's definitely worth a click.


Grass Spider, genus Agelenopsis

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Coming Apart On CNN

Charles Murray's fantastic book, Coming Apart, describes how the US has bifurcated into two, almost non-intersecting worlds. In the book, he creates fictional locales to illustrate the two sides, one is blue collar Fishtown and the other is professional, upscale Belmont. The people living in Belmont have lost touch with the way the rest of the world lives, but they still think they know what's best for everyone.

Coming Apart was one of those books that changed the way I saw the world. For example, check out as much as you can stomach of the ignorant Don Lemon of CNN arguing with Sheriff David Clarke over the recent cop killings by BLM folks.

Lemon is upscale Belmont, Clarke is blue collar Fishtown. He might not have a Harvard degree, but Clarke thoroughly understands crime and poverty. He spends a lot of his time working in the worst areas of his city and he has been taught the latest methods of policing and crime analysis. Lemon is a highly-paid talking head for one of the major networks. It's doubtful that he has visited a police station or prison lately. I would bet he doesn't even drive through the worst neighborhoods, much less know them intimately like Clarke.

And yet, he tries to lecture Clarke about crime. He thinks his suits, degrees and status make him the intellectual superior of the sheriff.

That, in a nutshell, is a big source of tsunami of discontent sweeping the nation and the one that drove Brexit. Credentialed, educated experts telling the rest of us not only what to do, but feeding us rubbish that we know from lived experience to be lies.

We can't figure out the motives of the cop killings or the Islamic attacks? Are you serious? Of course we can. It's all there in front of us. Meanwhile, the elite go home to their gated communities, aghast at the ignorant morons they have the misfortune to try to manage.

Monday, July 18, 2016

So Much For Trump As A Negotiator

Wouldn't you think that an expert deal-maker and negotiator, with the biggest deal of his life on the line, could have worked with all sides, bringing them to the table, helping each get something they wanted in exchange for peace and harmony during his nominating convention?

He's a fraud. Thanks a lot, Trumpkins. We could have had Ted Cruz.
Update: So Melania's speech on day 1 of his convention was plagiarized from a Michelle Obama speech? Wow. Talk about hiring the best people. Trump's so good that he hired Barack Obama's speechwriters. Strong!

This Is Not 1968

... because in 1968, you may have had violence in the streets, but at least you had a cohesive family structure at home.

First, we took away fathers, now we want to take away the police? That's not going to end well.