Monday, November 29, 2010

To bed, to bed

I took half an hour this morning and put the garden to bed for the winter. It isn't hard to do this year. I had done a lot of it last month. What is left gets ripped up, thrown away or abandoned to the squirrels for the winter. We're refining our plan next year. Again.
For starters, no more indeterminate tomato plants. I mean it. The above picture was taken in July. We had another month of startling growth. The tomato yield was great, but trying to water this container plant through it's 1" diameter watering hole was hard to do 2x a day. I was secretly thrilled when the wicking well collapsed and the plant stopped drinking. I gleefully chopped that mother down.

When we do the garden next year we are going to remember how crowded and overwhelming it was in August and how hard it was to keep everything watered.

We will remember how stressful it is to try and keep water from dripping between the slats on to the neighbors balcony when we are watering our plants. We didn't do too bad with this. We got sturdier trays to catch water, but the neighbors were very vocal about a single drop of water falling on their heads. I'm working on a plan involving marine carpeting if only I can work out the rain problem. I don't want a soggy wet carpet after a rain because that could lead to...

Mosquitoes. We will remember the mosquito problem and find a way to deal with those sturdier trays full of water. I actually don't know how to solve this problem. If we lift the tray to empty them then they dump on to the neighbors balcony, which we don't want to do.

We don't eat the jalapenos.

Sweet peppers and bell peppers are not the same thing. Even if they were, we've never successfully grown either.

Fairytale eggplants are awesome and we will plant lots.

The heirloom variety marigolds really worked well to keep the insect population down in the containers nearest them.We'll plant at least 1 in every veggie container.

Never underestimate the squirrels.

More flowers than veggies until we move someplace with dirt.

More drought resistant varieties.

Get sand for the base of the tomato tower.

Cherry tomatoes only in the tomato tower.

Swiss chard is yummy.

The long boxes don't drain well.

Snapdragons can survive anything but me.

Head lettuce tastes better than leaf lettuce.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flash Mobs

Someone on Facebook asked me what a flash mob was. I then lost the whole morning reading about flash mobs and crafting this response.
From Wikipedia A flash mob (or flashmob) is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an unusual and pointless act for a brief time, then quickly disperse. The term flash mob is generally applied only to gatherings organized via telecommunications, social media, or viral emails.

Say I wanted to organize a pillow fight in Forest Park for this afternoon. I'd put the word out on Twitter and Facebook and hope it gets passed around. Then we'd hit each other with pillows for 5 minutes and then disperse. The singing and dancing ones are more organized, obviously.

Examples are:

Antwerp Station, which I think might have been the beginning of the flash mobs

Oprah's 25th season kick-off. The Black Eyed Peas taught 800 people to do the dance. Those 800 people taught the remaining 20,000 people in the crowd how to the dance while they were waiting for the kickoff:

It's not always dancing:

Philadelphia doesn't get it. They think this is a flash mob. They're wrong:

This guy wants everyone to know that flash mobs are not the same as riots.

And in conclusion,

Friday, November 26, 2010


Do you stand during the Hallelujah Chorus? I asked this question to my knit group and they had never heard of the tradition. Do you stand?

I do. My family does. Our faith tradition, Lutherans, stand during doxological stanzas. And because I had to look this up, too, doxological means an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service. What is the Hallelujah Chorus but an expression of praise to God?

Wikipedia says the tradition of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus started with King George. He may have been so moved by the music that he stood or perhaps his gout was bothering him and he stood to relieve the pain. The rule at the time is that when a royal stands, everyone stands.

It would be appalling to think that we stand during the H.C. because King George had gout, so I'm sticking with doxology as a perfectly fine reason to stand during the HC. We stand because we are moved to and why shouldn't we? HC is perhaps the most majestic piece of music ever written.

And now for your consideration, an Hallelujah Chorus flash mob. You're welcome.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Once upon a time I got stuck in a time loop. When I had escaped the time loop I discovered I had knit an enormous pair of extremely comfy TARDIS socks in the Doctor Who Blue colorway of the best sock yarn in the entire world, D*yeabolical Strong Arm Sock Yarn. Not that I'm biased or anything.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Reasons to shop at an LYS

I'm cleaning off my virtual desktop and found the following half-written post:

Reasons to not shop at an LYS:
-the staff talks about you like you aren't there
-the staff actively ignores and plays soduku while you wander around aimlessly
-the staff doesn't know what worsted weight yarn is
-the staff has never heard of Noro
-any member of the staff thinks nylon is a perfectly acceptable substitute for cashmere
-the owner tells you you're fat
-the staff treats men knitters suspiciously
-the staff treats men knitters like they are geniuses for knitting garter stitch

Not a reason to stop shopping at an LYS:
-a single clerk enthusiastically wants to help you
when you enter a store and the backs off when you say 'just looking'
 I have no idea which even inspired me to write this. Probably a Ravelry forum thread. Probably a Ravelry forum thread directed at my LYS.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I'm giving this FlyLady thing another chance. I'm on day 3. The apartment looks  better and I've realized that it isn't as bad as I thought it was, but I'm seriously spending like 2 hours on my morning routine completing her easy 2-15 minute exercises. That's not even accounting for the seasonal list of things that she says need doing. It's effective, but kind of hard to do. By the time I'm done I'm out of the mood to dye yarn. This is what today's list looks like, along with commentary:

*dust living room (okay, but let me take some zyrtec first)
*declutter car (I'm putting a time limit of 15 minutes on this)
*declutter purse (Um, I'd better put a time limit on this, too)
*15 minutes picking up and taking out trash (who needs 15 minutes for this?)
*drink water (done!)
*5 minute room rescue (surprisingly effective in my office)
*plan dinner (pizza--done!)
*relax for 15 minutes (that's called sleep, right?)
*work out (my morning decluttering and cleaning routine wears me out so much that I don't do this until right before bed. I've also been having a flare-up of every damn thing that's wrong with me so I have to be careful not to overdo it. Stupid. I used to lift weights and bike miles a day, dammit.)
*shine sink (I reluctantly admit that my work day is easier if the day starts with a clean sink.)
*2 minutes in "hot spot" twice a day (my hotspot is my kitchen table. I always need more than 2 minutes to clean it off. I'm confused why stuff keeps ending up  there.)
*15 minute declutter (I've been focusing on my dye shelf. That shelf is awash in disorganization and frustration. 3 15-minute sessions later and I've only got 2 shelves decluttered and 0 shelves organized)
*make bed (I have never done this regularly. I reluctantly admit to liking a made bed at night.)
*swish and shine (Shine means wiping down the bathroom sink. Swish means cleaning the toilet. I hates this, I do. I'm not ready to admit that the bathroom looks awesome.)
*a load of laundry a day (I don't make that much laundry. Maybe a load every 3 days?)
*empty dishwasher every morning (I don't make that many dishes, so I have yet to need to empty it. Go me.)
*work 8 hours a day (this is not a Fly Lady directive, but it sort of needs doing what with it being essential to paying the electric bill. Sadly, although I have finished everything FlyLady told me to the last 3 days, I have failed to work a full 8 hours any of the last 3 days)

Conclusion: I've already priced out how much a professional organizer and a cleaning service would cost.