Monday, 18 April 2016


Winters were always the hardest. The air was cold, the sky was still dark and the rain fell. And I got wet. Some mornings breaking news held up the deliveries. A much younger me was there quietly waiting at the newsagent for the delivery when the news came through that the Space Shuttle Challenger blew up and I received that news before most other people had even woken for that day. Other mornings, I suspect that the printing presses simply broke down. Either way, any delay meant that I was sitting around the local newsagent – reading the latest video game magazines – waiting for the inevitable newspaper supplies so that I could get out on my pushbike and cycle around the suburb delivering the daily newspapers.  

As a child it never even concerned me that other children got to sleep in whilst I was traversing the suburb in the early morning delivering newspapers. And back in those days, there used to be an afternoon edition of the newspaper too which had to also be delivered.

Don’t forget the chemist rounds either, where I used to deliver prescription medicines to elderly customers. And on Saturday mornings the chemist staff used to instruct me to burn off all of the cardboard and plastic packaging that they’d accumulated during the week in the incinerator at the back of the shop. Imagine that happening nowadays…

As an interesting side story, one day on the chemist round whilst riding my push bike for a delivery, I hit a particularly nasty hole in the road and one of the prescription medications bounced out of the basket and landed on the road and smashed. Back in those days, chemists used a lot of glass packaging and so the glass bottle smashed all over the road along with an unusual pink coloured liquid spilled which everywhere. Being an idiot, I thought to myself that there is no way I’m putting all that sticky rubbish back into the basket of my pushbike, so I simply (again being a complete idiot) kicked the contents down the nearest drain and that was about where I thought that the matter would end. Au contraire! Upon arrival back at the chemist I naively explained what had happened and then the chemists (note the use of the plural) started grilling me about what had happened, where it happened and was I lying about it. After about a quarter of an hour of that intense grilling, I broke down and burst into tears, and those tears achieved what no amount of truth telling or snivelling could ever have done – they believed my story, which was merely the truth anyway. It never even occurred to me – as a child – that the medications that I was blithely push biking around the suburb had a street value! Who would have thought that? What was even better was that I didn’t lose my job. This was a good thing because Space Invaders was an expensive game to play and without the job, the pinball parlour would be a distant memory, not to mention the fish and chip shop, because with all of that bike riding, I really needed to keep my energy levels up!

Working as a child at that time was not unusual or even noteworthy. Some of my friends did the daily milk deliveries to people’s front doors. Other mates were employed with pamphlet drops, or they worked in the local milk bar. I eventually ended up getting a sweet job working for Tandy Electronics (the now defunct Radio Shack in the US) Friday nights and Saturday mornings and that job was a total blast. One evening the boss made the mistake of allowing me to lock up the shop. That was his mistake, because I invited all of my friends over and we raced the many remote controlled cars up and down the street. Fun times! I didn’t even get sacked for that!

I’ve been thinking about such matters recently because I have noticed that most (but not all) of the visitors to the farm at some point during their visit put on a very serious face and pronounce to me in a doleful tone: “It’s a lot of work”. The actual meaning of that pronouncement is that they themselves could not ever consider undertaking so much physical labour because they clearly don't need to. And that is fair enough because I understand that physical labour is an unpleasant prospect for people who are unused to such things. I also understand that many people in our society consider that those who undertake – even menial – physical labour are low in social status. I disagree with such a perspective, because whilst I would not dispute the fact that as a child I did some idiot like things, as an adult the converse situation now applies and I hold both an under graduate and a post graduate degree and in one compulsory subject at University I actually achieved the top mark and scored a prize. The editor has even more papers and titles than I. Its also a fair thing to say that we're not allergic to hard work.

So, I will tell you a little story about dog food. Long term readers will recall that I bake and cook most of the dog food from scratch. Producing dog food from scratch takes a bit of effort every week of the year, but I cannot understate just how much cheaper it is to make your own dog food. Once I worked out that I was working one month of every year in order to pay for purchased dog food, I thought to myself that I must have regressed back to my childhood status of an idiot.

However, I still purchase the occasional box / bag of dog food for times when I’ve been too busy to attend to the task of cooking / baking the dog food. So this week I noticed that the dog food biscuits which used to be $5.30 for 1kg (that is AU$0.53 per 100g or 3.5oz) now have had the box size reduced to 800g costing $5.00 (that is AU$0.625 per 100g or 3.5oz). Maths is not my strong suit, but an 18% increase doesn’t look very good to me. This means that the home made dog food, despite being what some may consider hard work, has become much more valuable by stealth.

Earlier this week the final two fruit trees were planted. Both of the fruit trees were of a type of citrus trees which produce an excellent quantity of fruit through the winter and are also very heat and drought tolerant. 
The final two citrus fruit trees were planted this week
The Australian round limes here are almost ready to eat fresh from the tree, and over the next few months there will also be lemons, grapefruit and mandarins. Apart from rhubarb, no other type of plant produces sweet tasting goodies for our breakfasts during the depths of winter.

Autumn is a great time to start cuttings as the soil is still warm, it occasionally rains and the sun still shines. This week a large number of cuttings were started in the various garden beds. I have a large number of plants to choose from and many of the cuttings are selected from my favourite plants that I know will take easily.
Many geranium / pelargonium cuttings were started in the various garden beds
Hard work I can deal with, but peak rocks has always left me feeling a bit unsettled. Peak rocks, is the dreaded time in which all of the easy to obtain rocks have been used around the farm. Rocks are really useful things and they get utilised in garden beds and many other constructions. You name it, I’ve got a use for rocks. Unfortunately, peak rocks is here and it is a reality that I have to deal with.
The author using his electric solar powered jack hammer to break large rocks into smaller rocks
Recently I have been breaking larger rocks into smaller and more easily moved rocks, however after about an hour on the jack hammer trying to break this larger rock into smaller rocks, I admitted defeat. Then in a fit of pique, I rolled the unbroken rock down the hill (and also out of sight).

The editor however, came up with a genius idea to obtain more rocks. The idea was to drive the little Suzuki four wheel drive (in low range gearing) down the hill along with the bright yellow trailer and then bring moveable rocks back up the hill. Thus began an epic task.
The little Suzuki four wheel drive with the bright yellow trailer was used to bring rocks back up the hill
The rocks which weighed far more than I do, were loaded onto the trailer using a very strong orange trolley (which you can see in the photo above). From the trailer the rocks were rolled off the back of the yellow trailer and into the trusty old wheelbarrow and then moved into their final destination which was unfortunately uphill.
The large rocks were rolled off the back of the trailer and into the trusty blue wheelbarrow
Observant readers will note that the trusty blue wheelbarrow is a full sized builders wheelbarrow. Before too long, and a few bright yellow trailer loads, the many rocks were placed roughly near their final position.
Before too long, the many rocks were placed roughly near their final position
The rocks were then embedded into their final place (no small matter given how much they weighed) and a cubic metre (1.3 cubic yards) of mushroom compost was then deposited onto the new garden beds.
The rocks were embedded into place and mushroom compost was dumped onto the new garden beds
One of the benefits of having a flexible work schedule, is that if conditions are optimal the editor and I can head off to far distant places at a moment’s notice. And this week the autumn sun was shining strongly and even more importantly school holidays were over, so we headed off to the beach. We love the beach in winter. There are no crowds at the fish and chip shop, or on the beach and the weather can be warm one day and positively Antarctic the next! Which is what happened as we stayed overnight at a small town along the Great Ocean Road to the South West of the farm.
The beach was stunning in all its winter glory
Along the way to that small town on the Great Ocean Road we passed through the town of Wye River which had suffered from the Christmas day bushfire. My understanding is that the bushfire destroyed 118 houses (or about one third of the town), many of which may never be rebuilt.
The scorched hills to the south of Wye River
Observant readers will notice in the above photo that the bushfire reached all of the way down to the water’s edge (that is the Ocean). It is also interesting to note the many signs of regrowth in the area. Where the vegetation was particularly dense and thus the fire was very hot, the trees did not survive. However, if you look at the centre of the next photo below you will note that a tree fern has already sprouted new bright green fronds. Many plants respond to the incredible release of minerals following a bushfire and some of them have evolved ways of adapting to such an incredible circumstance.
The tree fern in the very centre of this photo has produced new bright green fronds whilst the blackened tree to the right looks dead to me
The carpet of bracken ferns in the above photo are particularly adept at harvesting phosphate, which is lacking in the soil naturally but becomes readily available to plants in the ash.

Where the fire was less intense for all sorts of reasons, the Eucalyptus trees produce epicormic new growth from their trunks and the different Eucalyptus species can be spotted because of the different colours of the juvenile leaf growth.
The Eucalyptus trees in this gulley are producing epicormic growth following the recent bushfire, in form of juvenile leaves sprouting from their burnt trunks
From personal observations over the years, I can observe that forests with a greater diversity of species and a lower number of Eucalyptus (and also Pinus) species per acre results in a cooler burn if and when a bushfire does occur. I’m constantly burning off forest fuels here during the winter and whilst it is hard work, I’m not allergic to that.
A burn off of collected forest fuels this week at the farm
The temperature outside now at about 8.30pm is 14.0’C (57.2’F). So far this year there has been 136.8mm (5.4 inches) which is up from last week’s total of 128.2mm (5.0 inches).


orchidwallis said...

Hello Chris

The rock moving is most impressive. Lucky you to get fruit in winter, too cold here.

I certainly think that children should work. Almost impossible now, the regulations mitigate against it. The very term 'child' embraces what would once have been adulthood.

Second dry and sunny day but it seems to make little difference to the waterlogged ground. There are far fewer wild flowers than usual. Large sections of ground which would once have been carpeted with primroses or wood anemones have nothing but tussocks of grass.


LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Ah, yes. Well, probably in the 8-11 range, it was summer jobs picking in the fields that surround Portland. A ratty old bus would pick up a gaggle of kids at some ungodly hour. And, away we'd go. It was a real mix of different schools, and ages. A recipe for possible mayhem. But, since it was the 1950s, kids were generally more well behaved, and there were consequences for acting up. First it was the strawberry crop, and then, if you were good, you got asked to do the green pole beans. A lot more pleasant. Not so much stoop labor, and deeply shaded rows.

Then it was the early morning (more ungodly hours) paper route. Two actually, as I was a greedy little bugger. My, you are young-ish :-). My "Challenger Moment" was the death of Marilyn Monroe. It gave me a little thrill of .... power (?) to realize I was one of the few people in the sleeping city, that knew the poor thing had passed on.

Then at 14, I got a job working in one of the neighborhood branch libraries. When we moved to rural Vancouver, Washington, at 16, I was a shoe in for a job at the big regional library. Part time during the school year, full time in summers. Did that til I went away to Uni at 19. Oh, and I bought and sold tat, set up at a local flea market on Sunday, refinished antique furniture, walked and chewed gum :-).

Oh, yes. Fooling around with packaging and prices seems to be a time honored tradition :-). We're a bit lucky, here. By law, all price tags in the supermarket (the shelf tags), have to tell you how much an item costs by unit of weight. It's usually in small print, down near the bottom. Even on the sale items. Usually, the larger the container, the less it costs per ounce. But, there are sometimes surprises.

LOL. You and your rocks. :-). Is there a 1/3 scale replica of Stonehenge on the drawing board? :-). Teasing. They DO look really nice and serve a useful purpose. And, I must say I really like the rock paths I've put in and the chicken "landing" stage, between the gate an coop.

Today it's supposed to get to 83F (28.33C). But, by Wednesday, it's supposed to be back down into the mid 60s (15.55C). With a bit of rain. Can't tell you how hot it got yesterday, as the National Weather Service is screwing around with their website and the 3 day history has disappeared. Lew

Angus Wallace said...

Hi Chris,

Great post!

Yes, it's interesting isn't it. We get people admiring our garden, and saying things like "I don't know how you do it with kids and jobs". Maybe get out and do a bit of work?!? Maybe part of the reason is this idea that there's a clean separation between work and play -- if you think about it in that compartmentalised way, you wouldn't want to spend any more time in "work mode" than is necessary. Especially amusing when you think that lots of hobbies these days are just the work of yesteryear.

Enjoy the work, be proud of the work, be stimulated by the work and it ceases to be drudgery.

Loved the anecdotes of your childhood jobs too ;-)

ps. did you see this?

Cheers, Angus

SLClaire said...

Hi Chris,

Been quite busy here getting the spring crops planted and replacing a few seedlings that may have been eaten by something. Naturally, the culprit did not claim responsibility.

Today I planted the potatoes. I don't plant anything that can't take frost till the beginning of May or so, but I have plenty to do while I'm waiting, like weed the herb bed and plant the frost-tolerant herbs into it, and prepare beds into which to move strawberry and raspberry plants.

It had been cooler than normal here for the whole month of April, but the last few days have been quite warm, around 80F or so. A most welcome change! We had adequate rainfall last week and should get some the next few days, enough that I shouldn't need to add any more water to the pawpaw trees I planted a couple of weeks ago.

As a teenager I baby-sat for ice cream and book money. Do they still let 14 year olds care for infants while their parents take a break? If so, I am sure they get much more money than I got at the time. Due to competition perhaps (lots of other baby boomers were also prime baby-sitting age at the time) the typical pay was $US 0.50 per hour.


Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I often wonder about the diminishing returns in scientific studies, I mean I've had a few friends that have PhD's and on a few occasions I've asked them - in a nice way, of course - to explain their research. Obfuscation (which rarely impresses me) was the reply and none of them work in science any more...

Old tech interests me as it is a bit more human-centric and has an ability to be comprehended and repaired. I've been wondering for a bit now about wells for long term water storage. Dunno where to even start.

I saw that film a few months ago (it was called End of the Tour down here) and really enjoyed it. I'm unsure whether Wallace's writings are my cup of tea, but he did have something to say and touched many people’s lives and that is a thing worthy of respect. The editor was a fan of his writings, and the actor that played David is one of my favourites (Jason Segel - who is also a screenwriter). I found the movie to be quite insightful into the authors life. As an interesting (or perhaps morbid) side note, the author heavily influenced a very well-known blogger down here who ran a blog titled: All men are liars and who also travelled a similar path and met a similar fate at about the same age. I recommend the film as it was interesting to see the story of someone who looked at the world from a perspective from outside the dominant narrative and at the same time struggled with that dislocation. Very deep stuff.

Ah, rocks, what can we say? That is interesting about the hops growing areas moving to the eastern side of the mountain range. Is there any reason that you are aware of that that would be the case? The Titanic was a real bummer.

That is very thoughtful about the more relaxed regulations and it is good to see that allowances for circumstances can be made in difficult circumstances. That happens here too, but the situation has to be dragged into the media for the public backlash before the authorities back down. I could tell you a story or two about that craziness.

Supporting businesses that produce (or usually supply) quality products is a good idea. There are quite a few of them down here that I support. If not us, then who comes to mind as a useful guide. It is a shame sometimes just how much bargaining goes on in the face of true decline.

Wow, I didn't know that. I always considered that the centre population of your continent was quite a hardy bunch of rugged individualists who would hang on. Dunno, really, that is probably a stereotype. Yes, the major quake in Japan was not good. The other areas weren't reported on down here - we generally only hear of SE Asian earthquakes. There was a minor earthquake to the SE of here a week or two back. They're quite common and I've been wondering about the whole fracking business in the states to the north of here (there is a moratorium on them in this state).

Very amusing! Like it. The bees are very clever and will fly for a huge distance for the tasty pollen and nectar of your fruit trees. You may get quite the apple crop this year - especially with the recent excellent pruning!

Well Westerners are uncomfortable with the thought that they may not be able to get an angle on a resource - but that is simply not how things work in a steady state economy. Mind you, we're giving up hard won rights now so such an existence may not be as hard for people to deal with as you think.

Yes, that does make a world of difference. Ouch, good luck with your treasure hunting and may you turn up gold and not rocks! :-)!



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you. One of the very largest rocks took 45 minutes to lever and wrestle into place. It really was an epic job and I do hope that the rock walls stand the test of time.

People in the know used to say that about citrus fruit trees here during winter too. You never know and Jackie French has to deal with frosts as cold as -9'C (15.8'F) and she does grow plenty of citrus trees.

Absolutely. In the essay, I was trying to address the awful feeling of "learned helplessness" that people experience and I find it particularly frustrating. In a decline it is a useless affectation and I worry particularly for the young.

Ouch, the tussocks are enjoying their time in the sun (or should that be water logged soils?). So much of our environment is a shifting target that people fail to notice the changes. Perhaps you will have a late spring and summer? Such things happen here. I like the primroses and appreciate their toughness.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Thanks for the story. It was very vivid and the ungodly hour bit struck real fear into my heart. The funny thing is that there are only so many strawberries that a person can eat too!!! It is good for people to understand where their food comes from. The mix of ages may cause mayhem too. The funny thing is I've often wondered about the enforced separation of ages in school because that occurs nowhere else in society, not in the family or the workplace, or even artificial institutions like the army. It has always struck me as a weird thing. And, I've noticed that parents often delay their children's start to school so that they're kids are a little bit older and bigger than all of the rest of the grade, so it is not as if people aren't aware of that situation.

Nice hear that you were a greedy little bugger too and up for a few early mornings! I salute you! Mate, it would have been cold up your way over winter. I'm unsure what was happening in your day, but those Space Invaders machines ate coins like no tomorrow. Perhaps I wasn't any good at the game, which is possibly also true. It did teach me a useful early lesson in the futility of gambling (which I avoid like the plague now). Yes, that was a big thing. They're holding an exhibition on the actor now and it is amazing how some people can become greater than themselves - but it must extract a toll. I also recall when Elvis died and did that have a similar affect on you? By the time Challenger crashed I was nearing the end of high school and shortly quit the early mornings to work at the comparatively soft Tandy Electronics. Pocket money was a mythological beast that I noted was used to bind friends to their parents and my mum and I were on cordial terms, but I never wanted to have to bow to her wishes. That perhaps is the definition of feral? Dunno. I'd never thought about the knowing as a form of power, it felt a bit surreal and eerie to me, although being a sci-fi junkie it really hit hard - like the loss of a dream, where you know things are never going to be the same again after that point in time.

Your library job was a very sweet gig. Tidy work. Hey, geeks of the world unite and stand strong! Very cool. I loved the library. The flea market was an interesting one too. I picked up an interest in old houses somewhere along the way and their restoration (as with your furniture and tat) really tells a beautiful story about the cares that went into producing them in the first place. Dunno about the gum though! Hehe!

They do that with the labelling here too, but it is often inconsistent and uses differing base units. Give a person a KPI...

Haha! That is the funniest thing I've read for a while now. Yes, well where is Merlin when you need him? ;-)!!!

The rocks paths are worth their weight when the rain is really pouring down in buckets. It was time well spent on your part and I respect that. Nice for the chickens too.

We are now having exactly the same weather as you. Cool, warm, mildly warmer and then rain. What? Wow. The government has recently been getting rid of scientists undertaking research on global warming. Don't ask, don't talk about it and it magically goes away. Nice work.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Angus,

Thank you for understanding the underlying meme in this weeks blog. It was difficult to introduce that meme without becoming preachy (people are onto that business, due to the past millennia or so of rubbish being talked).

I hear you man, I just wish people would stop saying it... It concerns me that people have such a narrow understanding of what work actually is and I reckon that narrative has gone way beyond its use by date. Elephant stamp for you dude!

Haha! I had a lot of fun writing all of those stories too. The remote control car racing night was hysterical and a huge amount of fun.

Man, that is awesome and the front wheel arrangement is exactly the engineering solution that I've been trying to get my head around for a few years. No point reinventing the wheel is there? ;-)!

For anyone who is interested the link is:
Electrically Powered Bicycle Trailer & Hand Cart (DIY)




Coco said...

That rock retaining wall looks great! Oh, to have access to quantities of good soil.

We buy lots of second hand furniture. I think the materials and the craftsmanship are clearly better quality and usually cheaper. I do worry about the chemicals involved in stripping and refinishing, though. Disposal, above all. But there is a designated local recycling center that accepts chemicals for the time being. In the future, I wonder. That said, on my walks with the dog, there´s always a TV or a toilet that´s been hauled out to the woods to be dumped. It would take no more effort to haul it to the appropriate facility. People are jerks.

Still raining here. But this week I´m determined to at least start some seeds. Not enough window space, really, and the dog will probably tip over some. I have had luck placing the trays on top of the fridge. The heat helps.

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Claire,

Nice to read of the good work going on in your beautiful garden, and yes, those pesky critters never hang around to claim responsibility for their destruction. The chickens often give me this look which sort of implies: "It is your fault, you left the garden here, and you know we dig and scratch!"

Potatoes are good. Herb beds love being cut back hard, certainly most of them here respond well to pruning. Mostly, I find that they outgrow the weeds, but then they become the plant that has to be thinned to allow a little bit of diversity. Soap wort is very hardy and spreading in the herb beds and sometimes it just needs to give other plants a little bit of breathing space. I assume you move your strawberry beds and replant your cane berry fruits every few years or so? They can be complex plants.

Yes, by all accounts the Northern hemisphere seems to be quite cool this spring (at least from the accounts of the people here). I'm very interested to hear about your paw paw trees. You may be interested to know that I have a babaco growing here outside which is distantly related to paw paw and hopefully one day it may produce some fruit. It is certainly growing well, despite the recent crazy hot summer.

Ha! The editor used to do that work too. It is an easy job, by all accounts, as long as nothing goes wrong (as it did to her one night with the kids being very ill) and she had a lot of regular customers. The editor shares the same work ethic as I do. People complain to me that child rearing is an unrelenting activity, but they seem loathe to take a break from it either. The entire social structure around that topic is a total mess.



orchidwallis said...

Hello again

We can't grow citrus out of doors in this country.

My oregano is coming up, it dies down in the winter.

I babysat as a teenager, much younger than would be permitted now. Otherwise I was kept far too busy by my mother to do anything else. To be fair to her, she worked full time and fostered up to 4 children. I spent a lot of time looking after them and also looking after my stepfather. If he came home from work and no-one was there, he would sit in the dark in his coat until someone came home to turn on a light and make him a cup of tea. So much for the artistic temperament with which I have no patience at all. He was a professional musician.


Pam in Virginia said...

Hi, Chris!

You are a creature from another age! One might even say a dinosaur . . . What a riveting story; I enjoyed it so much. Well done! My husband and my father both started work, at real jobs (though manual labor) around age 11. Our two sons started doing neighborhood jobs, like cutting grass, taking care of pets when people were on holiday, etc., when they were 8 or 9. one got a job in a restaurant when he was 14, the other was a little further behind as he was on two soccer teams, one a club team in the big smoke an hour away. My mother and I were not allowed to have jobs, besides babysitting (ick), until we were well into our teens (16 or 17); it wasn't deemed proper for ladies in our "station of life" to do so. If they could only see me now, spending most of my days in the dirt! I am so fortunate!

What an impressive box of rocks; better than rocks in one's head! Much better! And it would be uphill . . .

"Positively Antarctic" - that gave me quite a double take!

That was some fire, the Wye River fire. We have another forest fire going right now, about 40 miles (64.4 km) west of us, larger than the "big" one we had earlier in the spring. The smoke in the little smoke in the valley yesterday was almost as bad as a fog; not too great at our house either, especially with the windows open. It has been an extremely dry spring so far. It was 90 degrees (32.2 C) yesterday, same expected for today. That is nowhere near normal. I water the baby veg twice a day.


margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I remember kids with paper routes. Until fairly recently kids used to de tassle corn as a summer job. My job was babysitting and helping care for my seven younger siblings. I started babysitting at age 12 before my youngest brother was even born. I remember feeding one of my sisters in a high chair after coming home from first grade and changing diapers in 3rd grade. Is there any wonder that I stopped at two children.

I was student teaching in a 3rd grade class when the Challenger blew up and we were watching it - pretty horrific for the kids.

Love the big rocks - what a job though. I use rocks, but much smaller ones, to border flower beds etc. There's always a good supply as they keep coming up in the farm fields. There's piles of them at edges of the fields too.

The new bees come today and it's not a great day for them - low 50's F and light rain. There's a guy from around here who raises bees as his livelihood as well as two other generations of his family. I heard 2nd hand that he lost 900 of 1500 hives this winter and he does treat for varroa mites. Heard that he's considering going out of business.

The house has been taken over by Asian beetles which is surprising as they weren't too bad last fall. They get into the siding in the fall and emerge when it gets warm. I've been vacuuming (me and everyone else) them constantly. Got to wondering "what would Chris do in this situation?" as you wouldn't be using up all your power vacuuming.

We get comments as well about the amount of work around here and we don't do nearly what you do.

Lucky you - fruit in the winter.


LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, if "The End of the Tour" gets Chris' Elephant Stamp of approval, I'll put it on my library hold list.

Don't really know why the hop (and wheat ... apples) industries moved to the "dry" side of the mountains, but, my guess would be it was a number of factors.The land was cheaper, the great irrigation projects were put in place and the weather is a bit more predictable. Warmer and dryer in summers.

Never was much of an Elvis, fan. But, you've touched on something. Not an idea that is original, with me. Every generation has it's "defining moment." For my generation, it's, probably the Kennedy assassination. For yours, the Challenger disaster. For the youngsters, 9/11. Those, "I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing," moments. There are lots of other ones, but they don't seem to have the widespread impact. I can tell you exactly where I was and what I was doing when Princess Diana, died. The Kent State shootings. That last was something. I was in college (perhaps contributing to the impact). My father had come to visit, and he'd been up early, went out and got a newspaper. I didn't pay much attention to it. Then he left and I picked up the newspaper and it was all over the front page. It was a feeling as if the whole world took a sudden tilt to the left, and things rolled into the corners.

What I can't figure out is that I have NO memory of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Zip. Nada. Maybe it's just because the whole horror at the idea of the kick off of WWIII and the EOTWAWKI (End of the world as we know it) was so overwhelming, that I've entirely suppressed it?

Don't know what I did with all my filthy lucre, when I was a kid. Well, I do, and I don't. I'm sure a lot of it went into paperback books. Plowed into tat. I remember that some of my paper route money went into buying a French cameo glass vase, for my mother. I think it was $125. I inherited from her, but ended up selling it for well north of $1000. Sigh. I discovered something about myself. It ended up being wrapped in bubble wrap and stuck in a drawer. My boundary seems to be around $200. Anything under that, and I'm comfortable having it out and using an item. If it has a mishap, I'm not going to be too torn up over it. Over $200, and it would be a real tragedy.

I remember I had a real blow out with my Dad, when I was a few months short of my 18th birthday. He discovered I had spent $125 on a walnut Victorian desk. 18 is the age where you can be independent, here. So, I "ran away" from home, showed up on the steps of Juvie Hall and announced that I'd left home, wasn't 18, so, here I was and deal with it! :-). Spent the night. There was a rather informal court appearance. The wise old judge pretty much told us to tough it out, til I turned 18 (just a few months) and then I could do what I liked. And, I did. Moved out the morning of my 18th birthday. Oh, Dad and I pretty much patched it up, in my early 20s. One of those moments. When I observed that the reason we didn't get on, is because we were so much alike. :-). After that, we did. In a wary sort of way :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. - Kansas, a usually geologically stable State, has been experiencing earthquakes, the last couple of years. it's probably the fracking. But, as with climate change, it's all being kind of papered over. If 95% of the scientists say it's fracking, but 5% say it's not, the media, in the interest of "equal time and fair and balanced reporting" (yeah, sure) give equal time and weight to both points of view.

Chickens are off the lay, again. Sigh. After a high of almost 5 eggs a day, week before last, last week it was a steady 4, 4, 4. Sunday, 3. Monday, 1 ... and, only 1 today, so far. Maybe it's the change in the weather?

I'm re-reading the final chapter of Berman's "Neurotic Beauty: An Outsider Looks at Japan." He's got a great quote from the writer Steinbeck. "Socialism never had a chance in America because the poor have always regarded themselves as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." :-). Doesn't bode well for Bernie :-). I think I've always been aware of the term "genteel poverty." A "keeping up appearances" kind of outlook on life.

I guess my final take away of the book is that we're fast approaching what Berman refers to as a post Capitalist world. I don't think he used the term, but what occurred to me is that we've reached "peak capitalism." Heck, we've reached peak everything else, so why not capitalism? :-). it worked pretty well (for some people and nations) from about 1500, on. But, in the last 100 years, not so much. An economy based on steady growth, forever, can't be maintained.

But, Japan may provide a template for a post capitalistic, more steady state economy. And, they have (as the Western world doesn't) tradition (the isolation period) of a 250 year steady state economy. In a lot of ways, there's an undercurrent moving toward that. I think you mentioned the problem of population levels, in Japan. According to Berman, for a lot of reasons, Japan's population is in steep decline. "Government data suggest that by 2100, the population will have shrunk from 127 million to 47 million."

Even though Japan appears to be stuck in a 25 year long recession, perhaps that isn't quit accurate. "Both Joseph Stiglitz and veteran Japan watcher Eamonn Fingleton, for example regard the popular narrative of Japan's "lost decades" as seriously misleading, perhaps even media-invented." If you look at economic output, per member of the labor force, trade surplus, improvements in living standards, average life expectancy, exports and net foreign assets ($3.19 trillion), a rather different picture emerges.

But, what do I know? A lot of stuff to think about. Berman really doesn't spend a lot of time (I think to his credit) belaboring lots of doomsday scenarios. What this will all mean, for the West, "on the ground." Which will drive those in search of a timetable to descent, bats. :-). But what he did say was:

"When the crunch comes, or even as it is already approaching, the chances are that the US. will descend into chaos and martial law. A steady-state economy is simply unimaginable to Americans, who have been nurtured for centuries on the notion of the endless frontier of unlimited goods and energy - The American Dream. They thus lack the historical background, or emotional resources, to adapt to such a way of life." Lew

Damo said...

@Lew re: Japan GDP per capita etc

Interesting comments on Japan. A few years ago I was required to do research on Japan (just basic 1st year uni stuff) and found the same thing. None of this was particularly difficult to do, infact the basic UN datasets show it right there for you - but look in the media and it is all about the 'lost decade' (now decades) and how 'we don't want to end up like Japan'. Say something enough times and it becomes truth. Now, do the same analysis with Australia, which is the 'envy of the world' and has a very large immigration program, and you see declining output per person over the past 6 years. Funny how that never comes up in the media...As a minor diversion - apparently you are a racist if you bring up that sharing a fixed pool of resources amongst a growing population leads to declining living standards - something I think the Japanese understand very well.

Unfortunately, Japan has spent some serious coin on pointless and soul-destroying concrete works / bridges to nowhere etc. Not sure if that is still happening...

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Fair enough about the citrus.

Oregano is very tasty, and such a hardy plant (being a mint of course). I grow tonnes of it here too and the bees love the flowers. Did you notice Oregano-gate? Apparently, down here one of the suppliers of dried oregano was apparently adding up to 90% dried olive leaves as a substitute for dried oregano. Honestly, I was amazed that dried olive leaves were edible...

Thanks for your story, and I wonder about males that have those expectations when their partners also work full time. The editor would kill me if I tried to pull that particular trick. She would say something Clint Eastwood / Dirty Harry style: Are you feeling lucky, punk? :-)! Hehe!



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Pam,

Thank you, the present times may confuse us all, but here is where you may find us! :-)! I have wondered sometimes whether my opinions and concerns are a bit old fashioned? Dunno. Hey, a giant dinosaur would make a true mess of the garden, but wow, those biggies could really shift some serious rocks! Hehe!

Thanks for your story too. Good stuff, and of course, they probably would be horrified to see you digging around in the dirt. But then they'd be missing out on the fun that is digging around in the dirt wouldn't they? And fresh garden grown fruit and vegetables, well let's say this: you can't put a price on that stuff!

Yeah, those rocks were heavy as and getting them onto the trailer in the first place was an interesting activity. A few years ago, I destroyed an el-cheapo trolley and after that incident, I bought the heaviest duty one I could find - and it hasn't let me down yet. Why do those rocks always have to be moved uphill? I must have done something bad...

Hehe! Yeah, I slipped that one. Well it is the next continent south of this one, and sometimes over winter, really big storms blow up from there (usually July or August).

The fire was huge and very intense, and also on Christmas day which few would expect. Apparently it was ignited by lightening strikes a few days before Christmas. Although people have been playing the blame game.

Smoke travels a huge distance - sometimes I can smell forest fires which are in the adjacent state (the prevailing winds blow in from the west). Sorry to read about the thick smoke though in your part of the world. At least it is burning now at a cooler time of the year (despite being 30'C - which would be a cool summers day here) than in May or June when it is hotter (but maybe not as dry). There really isn't anything you can do about the smoke, as it is very irritating to sinuses and breathing. I sometimes resort to anti-histamines to get through really bad patches of smoke pollution in the air.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for your story. Well, you are in good company as the editor used to do baby sitting, although usually for people other than family. What do they say about it taking a village to raise a child? It seems quite wise. Well, yeah, you've had your fair share of experience with the siblings. Very wise.

Yeah, the Challenger disaster was sort of like a turning point for me (sorry to read how horrific it was for the kids - not good) because up until that point I half believed the sci-fi novels I used to read. After that point they felt like fiction...

Rocks are good for edging. Isn't that funny how they float to the surface? Be happy that you are not at peak rocks yet! A few more rocks here would be nice!!!

Oh, that isn't a good day. That happened here back in October, and I left the bees in their nucleus box in the final position of their hive and swapped them out the next day when the weather was warmer. It would have been nice, if I'd remember to protect that colony against ants... The remaining colony is settling down for the coming winter, although they still forage when the weather is nice.

I did vacuum today, incidentally! Infestations of anything is rare here, because there is always something around that will end up eating whatever is being a nuisance. My one problem critter are the rats. I left some empty feed bags for reuse in the machinery shed and the little blighters set up shop in there. Not for long though as I set the dogs onto them - it was horrid... Sorry, I have no experience with Asian beetles. They sound similar to the Portuguese millipedes which are a nuisance here (although a local nematode evolved to eat them).



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret (again)

That comment is a nuisance, because it is intended to be a backhanded compliment - which no one really wants because that is otherwise known as an insult and it implies that you are low status to be doing that. I think otherwise on that matter.

I love that citrus and have put in about a dozen more trees over the past few weeks. The limes are just about ripe, and the mandarins and grapefruit should be good to go over the next few weeks. You never know with climate change, what may be possible. They used to say that those trees were impossible here, but not so...



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

I'll certainly be interested to read your thoughts about the film.

Yeah, I've often suspected that growing plants in dry areas is often less challenging than in far wetter areas - as long as you can get water into those dry areas... Plants seem to be OK with heat, as long as they can get water. I rely mostly on rainwater here, so it can be tricky from time to time. This year is looking to be a record heat year too.

Nah, I wasn't an Elvis fan either and I noted when learning the guitar that one of the melodies from his more famous songs was ripped from an old folk song (Aura Lee melody), which I can more or less play on the guitar. I used to send my guitar teacher around the bend because I used to vary the timing to my own liking and although he called himself "Mr Cool Banana", in reality he was a timing nazi... I've had to drop music from my studies as this place has gone up several notches in terms of importance and one cannot pursue multiple goals well.

Just to speak ill of the dead for a moment, I never understood the sympathy for Dianna and I realise that people are going to "go bananas" about that point of view, but honestly she rather seemed to me to be complaining that the royals were doing what the royals do. It seemed mildly sordid to me to be discussing that stuff in public. Dunno. Certainly, they were guilty of not providing her with a proper apprenticeship in such matters, no doubts about it, they do seemed to have learned their lessons well.

I'd never heard of the Kent State shootings before, thanks for the reference. Yes, that was something, and it appears that the outcome was very badly handled and what appears to be blood money was paid over. Not good. That is where my mate is! It is a small mountain range, this one! ;-)!

Well, I was at work during 9/11 and had ridden there on my motorbike oblivious to all else, when a co-worker stopped me and told me that WWIII had just kicked off. And I think she was serious too.

No probs, render unto Caesar and all that biz... There wasn't just Space Invaders, but Donkey Kong was in there as well... That was a thoughtful gift for your mother and I hear you about knowing exactly what to worry about. I brought back some solar panels today and driving back with the glass was a bit stressful on the dirt roads...

That is actually a pretty reasonable price for an oak walnut desk - and let's be honest, it is actually your hard earned money. Total respect for your actions.

As a funny side note, my mum was pretty irate about me spending my hard earned money, and when she wasn't borrowing it from me, she was always banging on about setting up a savings account. After a while I relented and set up a savings account in the Pyramid Building Society and that didn't work out so well. Fortunately, there were very little funds in there at the time. Anyway, the name should have been a dead giveaway.


Cherokee Organics said...

It is nice that you eventually patched things up with your dad and realised your differences were because of the similarities. I never patched it up with my mum as she never wanted to back down, and honestly, she was a bit off...

Speaking of financial disasters, many years ago I bought an insurance policy with the now collapsed insurer (HIH), the day before they collapsed. I mean what's the chance that the dude who took my money knew that things were not good, but took the money anyway? Fortunately, there was never a claim on that policy.

That's not good about Kansas. I hear North Dakota is suffering a similar experience and there is no insurance for such matters. I've often suspected that fracking is one of the rat holes that is being used to suck excess money out of your economy in order to avoid inflation. It makes a weird sort of sense that.

Oh, I don't really know about the eggs. Down here, the egg count drops off in late summer and autumn is quite grim (about 2 eggs per day at the moment). But then, different species lay at different times of the year and just sayin...

Ha! That is so true, somehow your system has managed to shift blame onto the individual. It is a very clever meme that move. Personally, I wouldn't try that, because one day they may become quite angry and that is not good. I worry about the increasing attempts to extract more money from the very young nowadays. It is breathtaking to watch.

Exactly, they haven't forgotten to maintain a diversified economy and still, like, produce things. Too bad we seem to have lost that concept, but Berman sounds spot on to me.

Oh yeah, that descent into the quest for a timetable seems to be a delaying tactic which people use so they don't have to make any meaningful changes. I mean there is this scientist dude on the news site tonight saying this year is going to be the hottest on record, one cyclone over the Indian Ocean dropped 1 foot of rain in an hour (a bit of record that one and fortunately elsewhere), coral bleaching is beyond anything on the Great Barrier Reef, but does he say, maybe we should do something different than what we are doing now? Nope. He does sound doleful though, but people have heard that shtick before and, well they ignored it then...

I believe that the notions that people have regarding the workings of government and businesses bear no relation to the realities of those institutions. But the beliefs are nice for people to hold - they just can't seem to get around to making comparisons...



orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Yes, I am one of those who felt sorry for Diana. She was very young and was married to a man who clearly didn't love her. I guess that everything stems from that. The larger family did not help her, as far as I know. I agree that her subsequent behaviour left a lot to be desired; she was probably poorly advised.


LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Damo - Berman mentioned that the Japanese are working on a Maglev Train. That will go 300 mph. I guess someone decided that the old bullet trains were kind of pokey, at 200 mph :-). The Maglev trains use incredible amounts of power.

Yo, Chris - Using dinosaurs to move rocks. Fred Flintstone already did it. :-). I seem to remember that his employment, in the cartoons was to move very large rocks around, with very large dinosaurs.

I should get the film "End of the Tour" in about a month. Doing an analysis of number of holds vs number of copies, divided by the one week checkout time for "feature films." :-) A completely scientific analysis :-).

James Michener did a non-fiction book about the Kent State shootings. One of his rare forays away from fiction. There was another university shooting at Jackson State, a few days later. You don't hear much about that one, because Kent State was taking up all the news. And, perhaps, because Jackson State was a mostly black university. We had our problems at the University of Washington (Seattle). One night there was a "police riot" where demonstrators were chased into the dorm buildings. Lots of laying about with billy clubs. Glad I was living off campus at the time. Once I was "taken over" along with a building. Quietly eating my lunch in a basement cafeteria. Next thing I know, I'm climbing over barricades, trying to make it to my next class, on time. Was only tear gassed, once :-).

I was never caught up in the video game craze. Much. LOL, did you see the film "Pixel?" Aliens invade earth in the form of old video game avatars. A mindless romp. But, Peter Dinklage is in it, and he's always worth watching.

There was quit a bit of furniture made in the 1800s that was mostly solid walnut, with veneer walnut burl panels. Nice stuff. And, as I mentioned, even though it was factory made, it had a degree of craftsmanship to it. Sometimes, I'd get a piece where the joints had shrunk. So, I'd have to knock it apart, use cloth joints to tighten up the dowels and put it back together. In pieces, it was also easier to refinish. I also had a feeling of "connection" to the original craftsmen.

Oh, my. That building society collapse was a hard lesson for a youngster to learn. It kind of rang a bell, and, I was right. It was all part of the S & L (Savings and Loan) Crisis. Kind of a preview to the 2008 debacle.

My economic awakening to the unfairness of the world :-) came in my early 20s (slow learner) when a paycheck of mine bounced! Now, I always thought (perceived fairness, and all that ... ha!) that if someone wrote you a bad check, they were on the hook, not you. Naive? Dumb? Yup. I was about to move into a building that was very hard to get into. My first rent check, bounced. Some rather awkward moments, there.

Well, it's off for my weekly visit to the Little Smoke. Not many stops, but the mower is going "in hospital." And, that's all the way at the other end of Centralia. Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

Thank you for the correction. Of course, you are totally correct. Diana was worthy of sympathy, in fact they all were. Perhaps what I should have written was that the subsequent disclosures reflected poorly on all of them. From a larger perspective they appear to me to be a business and as such it is up to them to manage their business and put their personal issues to the side. I mean it is not as if they would not be aware that they operate under a ceratin social licence. I mean, they're the head of the government down here - seriously, and that power gets used (the Queen's representative sacked the government of the day in 1975 for example - that is no small thing) and royal assent is given to all of the bills that pass through our parliaments.

Again, you are totally correct, the poor advice in my opinion, came from people who wished to use her or what she represented. And in the end she paid the price. It was tragic, no doubts about it.

Most jobs require an apprenticeship of some sort and that one was no exception.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

That is hysterical and you are absolutely totally correct! Hehe! Nice one. You know, I can see the cartoon tethered dinosaur in my mind’s eye. Thanks for that laugh. Awesome! How good would one of those be, well, as long as it didn't attempt to eat you or the garden. That would be an unpleasant, and I also reckon, unstoppable experience. ;-)! Well at least now we know where that meme came from.

Does your library issue fines for late returns? I suppose they would have to be paid before further loans were made? I'll bet collecting on those fines led to some interesting times at the library? Very scientific too.

You know, I read about the second shooting at Jackson State and Wikipedia glossed over the fact that it wasn't reported on as widely as the Kent State shootings and certainly I was wondering about that glossing over. The actual words used from the extract were:

"but that event did not arouse the same nationwide attention as the Kent State shootings."

Well, well, well. It is often the exclusions that are more telling than the inclusions. And that exclusion really says an awful lot which is not good. It is a bit sad really.

You know, down here we have the Army Reserve and they only get called upon for disaster relief. Such duties would have been reserved for the police who are better trained for such situations and probably wouldn't have been so heavy handed or trigger happy. I mean two of the dead students were simply walking from one class to another class. And the rhetoric used was not good as it was very inflammatory. Actually, I had a strange feeling of Deja-vu when reading about that and I was recalling an account of the French Revolution were reasonably harmless people were protesting (some of them would have been quite amusing by all accounts).

Out of morbid curiosity what did tear gas feel like?

Hehe! Yeah, I saw a poster for that film. Very silly. Imagine Pac Man turning up and trying to eat Poopy! ;-)! Poopy would not be happy...

Oh yeah, how nice are burls. Such beautiful detail and back in those days they would have been very hard to cut and finish. I love the fiddleback in timber finishes too. Such craftsmanship. Did I mention that about a decade ago, I contracted a guy to produce a solid timber benchtop from reclaimed timber? It was a work of art that benchtop, but no one seemed to notice it as they all expected stone instead. And natural stone is a disaster for benchtops (because it is porous and stains very easily). This is a shame, he has shut up his mill, but still does work to order: Bowerbird Saved Timbers. Good photos. Exactly, repair of old things does connect you with the craftsmen of the time. It is also interesting to learn their tricks of the trade and how they gave good finish when conditions were less than optimal.


Cherokee Organics said...

Yeah, I'd heard of that. I may not have mentioned it, but a few years later we got taken by unlisted property trusts, oh yeah, and siphoning off of businesses that then failed. It is little wonder that I'm a cynic, it comes down to firsthand experience! Well, I can laugh about it now (maybe...).

I hear you about that too. One business I worked at in the mid 90's during the recession used to write salary cheques knowing full well that they did not have the money in the account. Being in the accounts gave me an advantage and I used to leave work upon receiving the cheque and went straight to the bank and paid extra for the rapid clearance process. Ah, fun times. Not really...

That would be very hard to explain and certainly wouldn't make for a good first impression...

And there was that company I worked for a week and I told them that they were insolvent and would shortly go under. They had lied to me in the interview about their solvency - I did ask. My boss actually told me that they would: "grow their way out of the problems" and then refused to speak about the matter. I didn't get paid for that week either and they went under about 2 months later. It was one of Australia's 100 fastest growing businesses too at the time (whatever that meant). They had great promotional videos too and I noticed my boss on one of them smiling in an assuring manner and I often wonder what was going on in his mind at the time...

Enjoy your trip into the little smoke! The electric trimmer will hopefully be far lower stress. Mower hospital is an expensive business.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Coco,

Apologies for some reason I missed your comment. Ah, the system has failed!!!

Thanks, I do patronise that business often as it is a very good local business. Without the huge quantities of compost, things would be quite slow here. Not impossible, just very slow.

Yeah, the second hand stuff is very good quality. The local council used to operate a chemical collection day about once per year when people could take stuff down to be properly disposed of (or at least not dumped). Yeah, the rubbish turning up in strange places is a problem here too. Near where I pick blackberries, some fool had dumped a whole lot of cardboard from a piano stool package (of all things) and now that burn off restrictions have been eased, I'll head up there and pick it up and burn it off (at least the ash will end up in the orchard). Absolutely.

Naughty Breo! There is never enough window space here during late winter either. Enjoy your rain, it is dry as down here. And may your seeds sprout.



orchidwallis said...

Hello again

Library fines. I had a reader (when I worked in a library) who refused to pay his fine. Dominant that's me, I got it out of him to the amazement of other staff who said that he never paid fines. Later his young daughter refused to pay a fine (obnoxious kid) I had the pleasure of telling her that her father paid his fines now and she backed down. Mind you I helped the man later when the library was not prepared to stock a book that he had written (probably too technically erudite). I told him that they had to buy it if a sufficient number of people requested it and suggested that he organised his friends. He did with success.

Watched a fascinating film on Al Jazeera last night 'The babushkas of Chernobyl'. About the old ladies who dug under the barriers around the exclusion zone and returned to live there. It appears that they are living to an older age than the ones who stayed where they were sent.


heather said...

When I was 11 I was left to babysit a very small infant (though my mother, a nurse, was at home a few houses away, and I'm sure the parents were aware of that fact). I now have an 11 year old daughter and still have to remind myself that it is OK to leave her and her 8 year old brother alone for short periods of time. It takes a conscious effort for me to go against the cultural messages about childhood, which have changed a great deal even since I was young. We don't do kids any favors by infantalizing them past actual infancy.

At around the same age, I also used to work for an elderly lady in the neighborhood, doing chores which had become difficult for her- I remember cleaning under her refrigerator, and grating carrots for carrot cake until my knuckles bled. I wasn't paid very much, but frankly was probably paid what I was worth. :) I did learn a lot from the arrangement, though, about work ethics and employee-employer relations. Such "starter jobs", different from chores at home, have a lot to offer kids' development beyond pocket money.

heather said...

To the main point of the post- I can imagine a couple of other interpretations of the "It's a lot of work" comment, though of course you were there and I was not, so you have all the context to hand, and I don't. But one point is simply that it's a bald fact that your lifestyle IS a lot of work, in contrast to the largely sedentary lifestyle most modern people live. And you have voluntarily taken on that work, which I think puts a different status spin on things than if you had no other options but to live hand to mouth from what you scratch out of the soil. You could live the same sedentary lifestyle as your visitor if you chose (but are far too wise to do so!!). Sometimes people simply state the obvious as they begin to process it- "That's a big mountain!" Perhaps your visitor was just in the first stages of grappling with how their lifestyle differs from your own, without intending a status slam?

Another take on it might be the reaction that I often have when I read your posts, which is admiring and impressed. I get my hands dirty a fair amount myself, and yet when I read about your rock shifting adventures this week, "That's a lot of work!" was exactly what I thought! In an age when most people can't stop a running toilet without consulting a how-to video on YouTube, people who can actually DO things- grow food, build, weld, enrich and protect to environment for the local wildlife- I think are gaining something of a mythic he-man status, sort of a Marlboro Man vibe without the pesky lung cancer. I'm not saying that that was what your visitor was communicating- again, I wasn't there- but enormous competence and energy, directed into the kind of work you accomplish in huge amounts, is impressive. The dolefulness could be a realization that the speaker falls far short of that standard in either know-how or gumption or both.

Just sayin'. ;)

--Heather in CA

margfh said...

Hi Chris,

I was wondering who these people are who request tours - friends, strangers? I think I've mentioned our very wealthy neighbor who likes to drop by to see what we're up to. He raises Red Angus cattle, heritage chickens, sheep and has a garden but he has a man who lives in a house on the property who does whatever our neighbor doesn't want or have time to do (between going between this house and his other house in a very wealthy suburb of Chicago). He's nice and interesting person talk about privileged per ADR this week. On several occasions he's suggested that I get into raising ducks or that my husband raise pigs rather than buying feeder pigs as we do now. I have reminded him that we don't have help as he does. Some years ago he asked to help my husband when he was butchering our meat chickens so he could see how it was done. Well he cut a tendon in his hand quite badly and never regained full mobility in that hand. To his credit he didn't complain and realized that he hadn't been careful. However he never asked to help again.

We do get similar comments as you regarding the amount of work and probably some think we're nuts but also there is some sense of admiration from people. Our visitors are generally friends and family.
Also friends who are aware of all the various family members I'm responsible for say "I don't know how you do it?" Well I'm pretty organized and know how to prioritize what needs to be done and what can wait if necessary and I'm not afraid of putting in a days work either.

When my mother in law moved in with us she insisted on paying for someone to clean the house. I agreed to the downstairs only. She told me that the first thing she did when she went back to work was hire someone to clean the house. Of course when she moved to the care center the cleaning service went. I really found it rather intrusive and anyway I don't feel that cleaning is below me as I think my MIL does to some extent. She still says "I hate to think of you doing all that cleaning now."

Well this was rather rambling - sorry.


LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Well, I did read somewhere that the British royals refer to themselves as "The Family Firm." :-)

Well, when I worked for the library, they didn't charge fines. Except, at a certain point (6 months?) the book was declared lost and the borrower then couldn't check out books until the book was either retuned, or, paid for. Of course, sometimes you got some 20 something, applying for a library card, and they discover they can't because of a $1.25 charge for some children's magazine they checked out when they were 8. Those, we usually waived. Or, a lot of "My ex-girlfriend (or boy friend) used my card and moved to Arkansas." We'd also charge for books returned in damaged condition. Usually, they came in through our night drops. Like we wouldn't notice that a book was soaked in cat pee.

The no fine thing came about during the period when the library was all about being "user friendly." That's also when the noise levels started going through the roof. Along with a lot of other (to me) unacceptable behavior. Shortly after I was laid off at the library, they reinstated fines. $.15 a day, I think. The card is fully useable, until the amount hits $10. At that point, they can't check out books, or place holds. I watch my due dates, like a hawk. One week for feature films, three weeks for everything else. But, after nearly two years, I recently ended up with a $.15 fine on my card. The shame :-(.

Tear gas, mostly effects the eyes. And, the lungs, a bit. Back in the day, not everyone packed around water bottles. You have to wash the stuff out with copious amounts of water. But, for organized demonstrations, there was usually a voluntary medical team, about.

Here's what the furniture I worked on, looked like. Don't know if the pictures will come up in the same order, but photo #3, the bed ... I did a few bedroom sets with multiple pieces, that looked like that. And, #7 looks just like the drop front desk I had the blow out with my Dad, over. Oops. The URL ran to 9 lines. Noooo. Just Google "American walnut furniture with burl panels." Images. At that point (the 1960s), you couldn't give away oak furniture (the Arts & Crafts and Mission, stuff.) Then, golden oak became popular and the walnut stuff fell out of favor. Too dark.

Well, the bad check thing worked out like this. The other fellows at the place told me that the owner deposited money to cover his liquor order, on Fridays. Take the check, leave it at his bank "for collection" and pick up cash, after Friday. After I left there, the owner was in trouble with the tax people. Then, there was a mysterious fire that started ... in his desk where he kept all his business records. :-). Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

The mower hospital is on the arse-end of Centralia (can I say that?). But, that's where everyone says is the best place to take your mower for repair. The mower doctor is a really nice guy who told me that the mower I bought is a good brand. Wonder what I did wrong? Will have a chat with him about that, when I pick it up. He told me something interesting. I hadn't noticed but there's one of those little black and white squares on the front of the mower. Apparently, that's where all the specs are. But, you need a hand held "device" to read them. He told me a story about an old guy, who has repaired mowers around town for years ... and now has problems with that because, he doesn't have a hand held device ... and, doesn't want to go there. I told him my story about the drip pans for my stove, that didn't have the size, anywhere on the packaging ... but you could get it from that little square.

As long as I'm ranting, the other thing that ticks me off is the number of on-line places that want your phone number (in case you loose your password ... yeah, sure.). More likely, so they can drown you in junk phone calls, along with all the junk spam. But, the thing that got me, is that assumption, that every one in the world has a cell phone. For the longest time, I didn't. Until my land line failed, and Century Link (aka AT&T) decided to not be really interested in rural accounts. And, being the cheapest model I could find, and a pay as you go, it certainly doesn't have a built in scanner to read those silly little black and white squares! Lew

Jo said...

Hi Chris, I don't think anyone here imagines you are allergic to hard work!

My kids get to experience the joy of work at home from a young age, because I don't consider myself their slave, but rather a facilitator of their independence. From the age of 13 or 14 they start doing jobs for neighbours too - babysitting, pet feeding, house cleaning, jobs like fruit picking on friends' farms, which generally lead to a 'real' job, and all their employers are invariably delighted with their work ethic, which is nice to hear.

It does take a complete mental turn around to do the kind of work we all do though, the gardening, cooking, preserving, building etc. To us it is life affirming and future proofing, and very self-satisfying to produce things ourselves. To others it looks unimaginably tedious. They just don't know what they are missing:)

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

That's funny and well done too. Debt collection is an art form isn't it? And it is very wise to build bridges - and display value (a very clever strategy, that one, respect!) - with those that you have had to collect from. Nice work. The old timers used to say: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Isn't that appropriate given the circumstances? Not enough people experience the growing of an apple tree down here to remember that saying. Hey, speaking of which I picked a huge apple off one of the trees the other day. As the leaves are falling, I'm spotting missed fruit. It was very tasty, but the skin was naturally waxy which was quite unusual and unexpected as most of the apple skins here are quite dry.

That is fascinating to hear. I've read that the wildlife has moved into that area too and is thriving due to the lack of human competition... If the lifecycles of a species are short enough...



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Heather,

That is very good to hear, and the editor did the same, but had to call on her mother for help in one or two illness incidents. It must have been not good and left a very strong impression, because the editor has recounted that story on multiple occasions. Yeah, I wonder about those cultural messages too and what they mean and who benefits from them. Certainly a lot of friends with multiple children are struggling to keep up with those expectations. I often hear the word: "unrelenting" repeated from many different sources.

That is a fantastic saying! Thank you.

I had a similar story to yours, as the high school that I attended in my later years used to send us off one afternoon a month to provide volunteer work and assistance to the elderly living in the area and we'd turn up and do all sorts of chores. I can't imagine that scheme happening nowadays because of the paperwork nightmare, insurances and working with children checks etc. There are plenty of lessons to be learned in dealing with people from outside of the family unit too and often family units tolerate behaviours in individuals that the larger society generally doesn't tolerate.

Thank you for taking the time to deconstruct their observation and providing alternative perspectives. And I totally agree with you, all of those thoughts are exactly what they meant too when they made that statement. It is a really complex matter and it has a whole lot to do with where we have found ourselves at this point in history.

I've wondered that too about them internalising their own narratives as perhaps it can be a bit confronting to be exposed to this place and the obvious comparisons. That is very complex territory. Certainly towards the end of the visit, one of them spent perhaps an hour or two looking out the window and being generally uncommunicative, until I eventually shooed them out (the blog was yet to be written at that stage!). I had stuff to do!

Again, thank you, and a long time ago I saw a documentary on the Marlboro Man and his cohorts and it was very sad thing to see them riding their horses with what looked like portable respirators...

You know what? I don't know how I learned to do this trick, but from a very young age I learned somehow (probably through a lack of male guidance!) to say a short sentence: I don't know how to do this, can you please give me any assistance, guidance or even suggestions (or words to that effect)? I read that in the doleful tone, and it is something I see lacking in the general population, because our society says that we don't really need to ask that simple question for a raft of complex social reasons. And females are much more likely to ask that question than males too and thus they are better adapted for the future that we are actually facing.

We're getting a bit deep here aren't we? I might write a more fluffy blog entry next Monday!!!



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Margaret,

That is an excellent question. The people are usually strangers. The last lot was a favour for a friend, which for complex reasons I didn't feel as if I couldn't dodge. And you may be interested to know that more often than not, after providing between somewhere between a half to a full day of my time, I never hear from them again. Friends are always welcome as well as those people who have taken the time to establish a longer term relationship, but I reckon I'm about done with casual visits. I get a lot of requests and often simply don't publish them. I'm definitely not trying to sell courses, produce, or even make a single cent from this blog. Those farms that do that, tend to have to have open days and accept casual visitors for that reason. Perhaps people have the incorrect expectations? Dunno, really.

Ha! Thanks for that story. That is so very true. I get told that too. Some of the earlier visitors used to say those exact words (seriously – it was almost word for word!) and just sort of expect it to magically (in the Harry Potter sense of that word) to happen. There is a lovely old hill station garden over on the western end of the mountain range. It is a stunning place and it is owned by a lovely couple who once told me that they put up an application at a prestigious and very old horticultural college in the city. They received a number of enquiries, but finally settled on a person who wanted to physically do the work. They amusingly told me that there were no end of people wanting to tell them how to do this or that and they responded to them by saying: "In this instance, the job of an ideas person has already been taken!". It was a very amusing anecdote and also very telling about peoples expectations.

Exactly, learning how to prioritise and organise ones self is a real skill and should never be underestimated. Double exactly!! ;-)! Knowing when to wait and when to work is outstanding. I read a story about the country people working in the volunteer fire brigades down this way a few months back. The (I assume that it was scientists) were astounded that the volunteers knew how to pace themselves on the very hot days, in very unfavourable conditions wearing exceptionally heavy clothing, so that they could perform a 12 hour shift and not keel over.

No, it was certainly not rambling to me. I don't understand working for money simply so that you can pay other people to do jobs which you may have the time and energy to do yourself, but lack the inclination. I'm very uncomfortable too that those jobs are often paid at rates which the people paying would never accept to be paid themselves and there is very little security. We are having serious problems down here with that story and the revelations have been quite shocking and the community is currently doing a bit of soul searching. Back in the day, domestic servants were given lodging, feed and a level of security that would be considered to be out of the question nowadays.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

It is very true from many different perspectives that. That was where I ripped that concept from too!

Cats can be a bit naughty from time to time, but I can't imagine that Nell would ever consider such an act of outright hostility to a book. And then the shame of dropping it in the night slot back in the library in slightly soiled condition would be almost unthinkable for you! Oh my, you have seen the full gamut of human experience in that library system.

Are libraries meant to be "user friendly" or for stocking books (and other lendable media) - that is the question! I'll bet someone got paid a lot of money to come up with that title too? I've often wondered about such changes, after the couple of community groups that I were involved with failed to set out what their goals where and ask the hard question: Why are they in existence in the first place and what benefits do people obtain from utilising the products and/or services? I'm very old fashioned about such matters as I've seen people mutate the purposes to their own ends and vision.

Shame on you! Hehe! That is funny (the small fine) you have to admit? Did the staff stir you up about that one? I would have, good naturedly though.

Thanks for the tip. Interesting. Like cutting a dozen onions on a chopping board, I guess.

9 lines! Oh my, that is a lot... ... Looking... Ah, the workmanship is stunning as well as the timber grains. You may be interested to know that the Eucalyptus trees produce similar burls: dressed eucalyptus burls. The timber colours are less dark and heavy than the walnut. I'll bet the oaks produce some fine burls too, although you are correct in that the oak produces a very light timber (which is probably in favour due to people having so much stuff and not wanting the furniture to dominate a room like it used too when they had less stuff). It is nice stuff but not quite the same heaviness - if that is the correct word? Dunno.

Oh my, what a story. Well he was probably in trouble with the liquor shop too as well as the tax department (which no one seriously wants to annoy). You should see those tax guys going after chop-chop (illegal tobacco) operations. They look scary and well armed. Ah, beware the mysterious fire! ;-)!


Cherokee Organics said...

Let's use the word: "ass" as it also refers to the donkey (and mules too I believe, although I'm not sure really?). Oh, that is very interesting because we don't have those stickers on equipment down here, but I will look for them. What a nuisance that would be. But then vehicles nowadays require a diagnostic computer which is not much less powerful than a cheap laptop. It is a bit sad really, when a spec sheet on the Internet would do the same trick. Yeah, wind things back one and half decades ago I used to purchase the workshop manuals for my vehicle and do all of the servicing and repairs. I feel for that old guy losing his trade as he probably understands a whole lot more about the fundamentals of engines which gets lost.

I don't own a smart phone either so am in the same boat. But I do enjoy dropping my phone deliberately in front of people complaining to me about smashed screens on their smart phone. Anyway, what makes that thing smart? A broken screen doesn't look to smart to me. Hehe!!!

Ha! That is a drama. Down here the government has established a federal do not call register and so thankfully all that stuff goes elsewhere. I still get the occasional unsolicited phone call, but they're pretty rare. Do you have one of those in your state? Mind you somehow politicians and religious organisations are exempt from that law...

I went into the big smoke yesterday and watched a new addition to the Chehalis / Australian film festival. It was called The Daughter and it was very good, but very sad and no spoilers will be forthcoming from me. It had Geoffrey Rush and Sam Neill who are both well-known actors. I recommend it, but it is a bummer of a film. Plus there was all of the usual gourmet burgers and coffee action. Yum!

Almost forgot to mention. Just under one inch of rain fell yesterday too! Yay! I can start to breathe a long slow sigh of relief. It has been crazy dry this year.



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Jo,

Thanks for that as it was very amusing. :-)! Despite your protestations to the contrary, I suspect that you ocassionally work hard too! Hope the move is going smoothly too.

That is an awesome saying: "a facilitator of their independence". Yes, of course, that makes total sense. The feedback is very good and a credit to you. A poor work ethic and high expectations is a car crash waiting to happen.

Exactly, they don't know what they are missing, do they. The preserving and the gardening really connects you to the cycle of the seasons and I suspect many people miss that connection.



orchidwallis said...

Hello Jo

'a facilitator of their independence' is a phrase that I'll always remember. Superb.


LewisLucanBooks said...

@ Inge - That was quit a story about the man who refused to pay his fines. Was he an "Honorable?" (Been watching too much BBC :-) ... or, just full of himself? And, what an example to provide for his daughter. But, I used to see that all the time in the library I worked in. Mommy couldn't use her card, because of all the books that hadn't been returned and had gone to "lost" status. So, she'd just use little Susie's card. What a fine example to provide to your children. Or, the reverse would happen. Little Eddie would have a blocked card, and Mommy would check the stuff out on her card.

I once had a young man who refused to learn how to use the self check out system (which I thought was a bad idea, anyway) because he "wasn't employed by the library to do that." Argh. One of those "I wish I would have said, moments. Lew PS: Ex-Library workers of the world, Unite!

@ Margaret, Heather & Jo - Great comments and stories. Though I must admit I had several "I'm glad I'm single and childless, moments." :-). The responsibility of turning little people, into big people. Sometimes, when the topic of children come up, I say "If I had kids, I'd still be in jail." (Lew, tm.) :-)

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - I'm really careful with Nell and books. As I've had cats, before, I keep my books well out of her way. Also, any books I get from the library. As I'm sure you know, there are several other scents that cats produce, other than cat urine, which are well below our range of our detection. And, if she smelled it, she'd want to mark her territory. Sometimes, when I'm reading, she'll be on my lap and want to chew on the corners of books. But, as when I'm on the phone, I think that's more a pathetic bid for attention. Sometimes she's like a little kid. She wants Dad's full attention, and she wants it NOW! :-). Or, I'm doing something and she wants to "help." Oh, the burdens of being a parent to a cat :-).

Oh, the changes in libraries. I worked in my last library in the mid 1970s ... and didn't return to Library Land until the mid 1990s. It was quit a culture shock. I just kept my head down and my mouth shut, til I figured out the lay of the land.

I can't say I remember seeing any oak burl, on furniture, except for European pieces. But some of the oak from the Arts and Crafts pieces and Mission furniture was what they called "quarter sawn" to get an interesting pattern. I think they didn't do much with the burl, here, because it was a veneer and, philosophically, considered not quit "honest." Or, maybe "fussy." In the 1850s and 1860s, there was a craze for high end rosewood furniture with burl panels (see the Lincoln bed in the White House). Maple was veneered in interesting patterns (see Bird's Eye Maple.) And, in the Deco period, there was a real craze for exotic wood veneers. Either burl, or, just the grains in the woods. Some of it takes an expert to identify.

As to the diagnostic computers for vehicles, having "less power than a cheap laptop", well, I'm sure you know that a cheap laptop ... or, even a "smart" phone as more computing power, than the computing power that sent the Apollo shot to the moon. My, how far we're progressed? :-)

Yes, we have a "Do Not Call" listing, here. Didn't work so great with the landlines, but seems pretty good with the cell phones. LOL, the problem with the cell phone, is when I got this one, apparently they didn't let the number "cool off" long enough, and I got a lot of calls for some unknown woman. Who's life must have been a mess. Calls from collection agencies ... calls from the local school district, reporting her child as truant. But, they've tapered off. Cont.

LewisLucanBooks said...

Well, if "The Daughter" turns up at my local library, I'll give it a whirl. I know what you mean about a bummer ending. A couple of weeks ago, I watched a mini-series "Childhood's End" from a novel by Arthur C. Clarke. Bummer.

For some reason, my friends in Idaho have stopped getting my e-mails. It's a mystery. I get their's, but they don't get mine. I've tried my Yahoo mail in Safari (the usual) and Yahoo mail in Chrome. No dice. So, I'm trying from an old Hotmail account of mine (which is their mail program). Maybe Hotmail to Hotmail will work? We'll see.

The weather took a sudden turn, here. The wind came up, yesterday, the temperature went down and we've had a bit of rain. Refreshing after last weeks heat. So, it will be an inside day. Catch up the laundry and make a blueberry crisp. Our 12 Step Club is having an anniversary and feed. They're providing the spaghetti (and garlic bread!) and we'll be pot lucking the sides, salads and deserts. So, I'll do my Getting to be Notorious, Almost Famous, Blueberry Crisp :-).

With the weather change, the sky was pretty spectacular. Just around sunset, with a full moon rising in the East ... long streamers of pink clouds. Later, clouds piled up in artistic pattern, around the moon. Really pretty.

Worried about my chickens. Egg count is WAY down. The only thing I've noticed is that their poop seems a bit more ... watery than usual. If that's possible. :-). And, one hen is sticking to the nest. Under the weather, or broody? Otherwise, they seem their normal selves. I've been adding apple cider vinegar to their water, which I do from time to time, anyway.

Oh, my. Two guys just showed up ... they log for my landlord, Don. It seems, in about a month, to get at a stand of timber, there's going to be heavy equipment and logging trucks, running through my yard, past the chicken pen and across the back pasture. Oh, my. Lew

orchidwallis said...

Hello again

The holiday site developers nearby have planted up a flat clear site on their land. They are clearly unaware that it is an ancient archery site dating from the time when all men were obligated to practice their archery. Son says that Henry V banned all other sports as archery was getting insufficient practice. I am sure that holiday guests would be far more interested in a sign explaining the previous usage than just more greenery. I put the whole thing down to ignorance but have (unusually for me) alerted the local Parish Council.

@ Lew The man was just full of himself. A very clever, very large man; no doubt accustomed to being a big fish in a small pond. He was fine once one got rid of all the nonsense. The fact that I really like the human race on a one to one basis, always helps a lot.


Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Ah, of course. Nell is a cheeky feline with all that goes along with being a feline. Chewing books though is rough. Does Nell do that thing where she becomes bored with a tummy scratch and turns it into an opportunity to scratch and bite your hand? One of the dogs here must have spent time with a cat and has learned that same trick, although without the very sharp teeth. Dogs mark their territory with a gland too. A lot of animals including a lot of the wildlife do that here too and there is this constant tug of war between all of them to define exactly who owns what spot. It would be nice if they didn't try and dig up the garden in the process! :-)!

Self checkout at a library seems like a system designed to fail. They have self serve registers in some very big shops down here (although it is normally rare) and there is always a harassed staff member bouncing around trying to make sure nobody is stealing anything.

Very wise to learn the lay of the land before opening your mouth. I wish I'd done that on some occasions! Hehe!

Oh, that quarter sawn produces lovely patterns in the grain. They get fiddle backing down here with some of the timbers and that looks similar. Is that stuff a veneer? Wow, I wouldn't have guessed that. Usually older pieces down here are solid timber and veneer is treated as quite a low grade, although it gets a lot of use in peoples floors these days (good luck with repairs and sanding). Mind you, veneers use a lot less expensive timber than solid timber. Out of interest, what sort of backing did they apply the veneers on? And I was also wondering if the backing timber could be seen on the inside of the furniture items? Oh yeah, it can be very hard to tell what timber was used in a piece of furniture. Timbers down here were shipped from right around the continent and also from New Zealand. Plus there was the ballast in ships that was usually a supply of flag stones to the colonies, but was sometimes also timber. A complex business.

That's funny, because despite the increase in computing power, it has been quite a while now since humans have been out of low Earth orbit. The Challenger disaster was the point at which I stopped believing that one day there would be space stations in orbit supporting ships traveling between the Earth, the Moon and Mars. You know in most stories, people just get into a ship and off they go. Rarely are their accidents.

No way! You know, that problem had never even occurred to me as a possibility. After a while were you ever tempted to start a conversation with all of these various people? It would have been funny. The very first night away from home as an independent adult, someone rang up the house at 2am to tell me they were coming over "to get" (not a good thing) the previous tenant. And I was saying to them: they don't live here any more. Ah, prank phone calls used to be far more common than today - now there are trolls, which is sort of the same, but nowhere near as amusing!


Cherokee Organics said...

Oh my. That story is a bummer and also a forerunner to many sci-fi stories that I have read in recent years. One of my favourite authors is Peter F Hamilton who (let's be honest) often writes books lauding hacker culture taken to extremes but he often ends with a sort of evolutionary step into a global mind. I'm sort of uncomfortable with that goal as I quite enjoy life in the here and now and wonder what such a goal as the one in books could possibly offer humanity. It seems like a dead end to me.

Have they checked their "junk" mail folder? I mean email is usually a solid platform.

Yum! Blueberry crisp! Yum! That sounded like my Thursday - there was no way I was going to work outside with all of that rain. Blueberry crisp would have been good though. Yum! One may suggest that perhaps that has become your signature dish? Liked the use of "almost famous"! That was a good film too.

Enjoy your longer days. It was foggy here today and I travelled north to pick up a box of apples and some honey and as I did so the skies cleared and it looked very dry to me. Up there they are seeking drought assistance (or at least a drought declaration) and it is under an hour north of here.

Yeah, I reckon the change in weather disturbs the chickens. And any unusual noise. Oh yeah, Beau may have given the chickens a serious look. Nell may have popped by for a quick chat (and threat). Chickens have a sensitive soul! The apple cider vinegar is a great idea (and I do that too). I've also changed their feed to a slightly more expensive feed and that seems to have increased egg production. Incidentally, speaking of which the commercial dog biscuits are now very different smelling too (in the new smaller packaging). Not good.

That isn't good. Hopefully, they're done soon and are careful moving the saw logs. Hope they clean up after themselves too. Logging is a messy process – unless it is done by hand and selectively (which is rare).



Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Inge,

That would have been a difficult conundrum to navigate. Once things are gone, they are unfortunately no more. I have heard that story about the archery too, although I'm really unsure where. It seems like a very sensible proclamation given the circumstances and possibilities. I must make my own cross bow one day from scratch.

You may not know it but Melbourne has some of the most intact Victorian era housing on the planet. Many streets and areas are like stepping into the 19th century, if you can ignore the motor vehicles, asphalting and all of the overhead wires going all over the place. The housing stock really is quite aesthetic. And a lot of it is under constant threat from developers.

I always tried to leave those houses in far better condition than they were when I came into their long lives and when there was a blank slate, I rebuilt so that the new housing looked exactly like the other housing stock (in proportion and set back - everything really) on the street. I never realised at the time that I was committing a gross act of architectural evilness in doing so (a major faux pas apparently). I was just trying to be respectful to the area. Mind you, I'd still do the same - even now!!! Hehe! A real estate agent once told me that a brand new building was an amazing renovation – and I did feel quite smug upon hearing that. Mind the subsequent owners “renovated” the house by turning the turned timber posts holding up the deep veranda upside down. Ours is not to wonder, merely to question!



LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Oh, Nell seems to like a good head scratch, better than nipping at me. But, she does, from time to time. But, since I withdraw attention, right away, she's figured out the nipping is ... counterproductive to the head scratch, that she really wants.

Self check out, and the self pick up of hold items was a bad idea. Which, I pointed out, at great volume, before they were instituted. Not that anyone paid any attention to a lowly library clerk :-). I noticed that my local branch has removed the DVDs on hold, from the public area. Seems it never occurred to anyone (but me) that people steal from each other. Especially, the hot new films with hold lists that run into the hundreds.

Usually, the veneers were attached to whatever the wood the veneer came from. But, most of the pieces I have seen, the drawer fronts are, say, solid walnut with a burl veneer ... the the drawer bottoms, sides and back are a less expensive, lighter weight wood. In the Deco period, the whole piece tends to be covered in veneer, all of it over a cheaper wood. See: "furniture waterfall units."

Naw. I was never interested in starting a conversation with the callers. Besides, a lot of them were automated. But, when I did get a real live person, I'd just say, new phone, new number (for me). It happens so frequently that it's kind of a given ... people instantly knew what I was talking about.

Well, I thought I had figured out what was up with the e-mail. E-mail is given "points". To many capital letters in the subject line or, URLs, in the text, you get enough points and the receiving computer marks you down as a spammer. Both things of which I do when I e-mail my friends. Which also explains why no matter what mail program or browser I used, no dice. It's the IDP (?) address. BUT ... my friends e-mailed me this morning that all my messages, from last Sunday to now came sliding in, this morning :-). Go figure.

Well, it occurred to me that the heavy equipment and full logging trucks will be running across not only my water line, but also the propane line. Haven't heard from my landlord yet, if this will all transpire. I got the feeling that they hadn't talked to him about it, yet. Strangely, the whole thing didn't really seem to upset me. I just didn't give a rat's potote :-). But then, I've been feeling like that, more and more lately, about a lot of things. Not good.

Chicken signs, miracles and wonders. I was out giving my hens their afternoon treats, yesterday. I turned around just in time to see one hen shot an egg out of her rear end. An egg without a shell. Or, just a few small pieces. The rest of the hens cleaned it up in short order. I called my Chicken Goddess in Idaho, but she says it's not common, but not unknown. Have been delving deep into my "Chicken Health for Dummies" book. Whatever is going on, it doesn't seem to be anything "major". There are things I can do. Lew

LewisLucanBooks said...

PS: Read last night that Simon Pegg is the co-writer on the new Star Trek movie, out this summer. And, that the Star Trek fan boys were disappointed in the last one, "Star Trek, Beyond." Over some philosophical point, or other. I just thought it was a rousing good sci-fi space opera. The next one is supposed to be more "thoughtful." Let's hope they don't lard it on, too deep. Also, next year there will be the launch of a new Star Trek tv series.

I get the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) magazine. The issue I got yesterday had quit an article on MAD magazine :-). Most of the guys who work there, started in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They are now in their late 80s and early 90s. Well, if you have a good gig, you might as well keep it rolling :-). Lew

Cherokee Organics said...

Hi Lewis,

Nell is a clever cat to have worked that out. Cats can be trained, although not as easily as dogs. I used to have a cat that stalked the dogs and they knew what was going on and tolerated that cat. I reckon they all enjoyed each other’s company because when the boss dog eventually died, the cat who used to run with their dog pack became totally distraught and also died a couple of weeks later.

Mate, what were they thinking putting the holds on display? That is like asking kids to look after a lolly shop for a few minutes whilst the boss away. Maybe the powers that be were trained in economics because that lot seem to believe things that are counter to human nature! Out of interest, do you have a cinema in your part of the world?

Ahh, the waterfall furniture seems to have been made from moulded plywood. I've never seen that technique used on such old pieces of furniture (Art Deco 1930's). Usually down here that technique would end up on the mid-century pieces and of course the ubiquitous reproduction stuff which is very much in demand nowadays.

Fair enough. It is a waste of everyone's time, I guess. You know, I've never heard of that situation happening down here with recycled telephone numbers. It never even occurred to me that it was possible. And I've never been called by an automatic caller. I reckon that would be a weird situation. Like how could they possibly engage your attention? I'd hang up after maybe sharing a few choice - and non family friendly - thoughts! Hehe! ;-)!

I'm not sure about the technicalities of the email system. The local company that provides my domain address has a spam filter in operation, but I've never noticed it losing an email - but then I wouldn't know that I've lost an email because their spam filter has eaten it. How could you? Of course you have other contact with the recipients and so the plot was thwarted. Most likely it is at their end with either their Internet Service Provider (ISP) or their domain supplier (if they have their own website address). I tend to pay for services on the Internet and haven't had too many troubles. This blog is about the only free service I access (and I take a sort of regular backup, so could restore and only lose a little bit).

Well, if the loggers break the water and/or propane line, it is technically your landlords problem (although it may inconvenience yourself).

How are things going in Chef John land? Frankly you sound upset, which I would be too given the circumstances as they last stood.

Wow, well that is an interesting egg circumstance. I have never heard of that one. Yes, the chickens are well aware of the benefits of egg yolks and the albumen - if they are broken - and I rarely leave eggs in the hen house for more than a day. I suspect the rats used to break them open. Those rats are very smart. You are lucky to have someone to ask as I haven't spoken to the chicken lady down here in at least a year - maybe more. Have you noticed any unexplained messes in the hen house?

Yes, I've noted that he is the co-writer (although I believe he is the driving force) of the new movie. The trailer for the film looks like a lot of fun. The fans can be a bit scary, I liked the film too and thought that it didn't let up for a single second. The trailer showed quite a bit of humour.

Well, well, well. That is very interesting news. I hope they don't try and repeat the Enterprise series. The editor had quite a few things to say about that and honestly, we didn't watch all of it and just gave up after a while.

Ha! That is funny, I'll bet those guys could tell some funny stories. Actually, did they tell any funny stories? Getting such a magazine up and running would have been quite the challenge.



Damo said...

RE: Star Trek

I have to admit to a slightly optimistic feeling towards the new Star Trek TV show. This is down to two reasons. One, it is the launch series for CBSs/paramounts or whoever they are brand new shiny streaming service. Hopefully that means it will get a sizeable budget. Two, the showrunner is Bryan Fuller, he of Hannibal, Pushing Daisies etc. Hannibal was my favourite TV series of the past few years and IMO was even better then Silence of the Lambs (although that of course is very good). Not a good show if you aren't into gore though, but incredibly thoughtful and very well developed character studies. In short, we could be in for a treat.

RE: The less said about Star Trek Into Darkness the better :p A pale shadow of Wrath of Khan. Hopefully,Star Trek:Beyond feels bold enough to do something new!

LewisLucanBooks said...

Yo, Chris - Chickens are a mystery. Last weeks egg production was 15, down from the previous weeks 31. The chickens and Beau are separated by about 60 feet (18 meters) and can't see each other. And, there doesn't seem to be anything prowling around at night. Beau hasn't gone berserk, and I haven't heard any coyotes. No messes in the hen coop. Nell often goes with me to the run and walks among the chickens. There just seems to be a lot of curiosity, on each side.

When Nell was a kitten, I kept a squirt bottle handy. So, she's had some training. She seems to understand "No!" . Also "Inside?", "Outside?" and "Tuna!" :-)

We have one six-plex, here. And, in Centralia, a cozy little cinema in a historic building that runs slightly second run features. (The Olympic Club). The last time I was to the six-plex, was for "San Andreas". Given my slight touch of Social Anxiety Disorder, it takes a lot to get me there. But, I did discover that a Thursday matinee is almost empty. I'm already stressing over if to see the new Star Trek, and maybe the new "Independence Day" on the big screen, this summer. The Olympic Club was directly across the street from my used book store.

My folks had a waterfall bedroom suite that they probably got in the late 1940s or early 1950s. I don't know if it was bought new, or, inherited. There are a lot of them around, but, they are hard to find in good shape. The veneer chipped easily, and they had no protection against any kind of liquids.

Well, I suspect the whole e-mail thing was that their e-mail providers were tinkering with the mail program. I think I mentioned that I could no longer access the three day weather history at our National Weather Service. Well, it's back. But, there's an extra screen to click through, to get to it. There was some brief mention (in small print) about making it more accessible to hand held devices.

Have not heard from Chef John. Life goes on :-).

Ah! Here's the article about Mad magazine.


LewisLucanBooks said...

Cont. That was quit an article that the Editor found, and you linked to the ADR. I also don't find much humor in the fact that, given the world today, young people live with such diminished expectations. Even modest one's, like keeping a roof over your head. Heard a bit of an interview on the radio the other day. About some sit-com. They rhapsodized through most of the interview that there isn't a single white, male, heterosexual character in the entire show. As if that's some great milestone in sit-com history.

Of more use, I think, was an old sitcom called "All in the Family" that was about the trials and tribulations of a blue collar family who's head was Archie Bunker. My Dad really identified with Archie, and was quit a fan. And, as Archie grew and changed his perspective on a lot of issues, so did my Dad.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the bright people who thought up self check out and self pick up of holds, at the library, were not the "people in the trenches." It was all those salaried folks, living in the ivory tower of the library system's Service Center, well insulated from "the great unwashed." :-).

But, getting back to status and class ... Most of my following observations are things I've figured out as I've gone along, not anything that dawned on me, yesterday. I went to the potluck. Probably 75 to 100 people showed up. Took my blueberry crisp and there was only one small sliver to bring home. Guess it was a success. The spaghetti and sauce were put together by a fellow who is a chef. Very good. But, most of the other stuff was commercially made. There was some great home made fudge :-). I was afraid there might not be enough food, but it was just enough to feed everyone.

What you have to understand about the 12 Step Club is that it's really "the trenches" of recovery. Some of the people there are probably living rough, or, in circumstances where they have't much access to even a kitchen. And, poor. That they could contribute anything at all is a sacrifice. Tamping down my social anxiety, I plopped down across from an interesting looking fellow. And, motioned over another fellow that I know, who was with an older woman. They all knew each other and it turns out that the fellow with the woman (who was his Mum), they have known my landlord, from way back. I knew the fellow with his Mom from when he was living rough on the streets of Centralia. The interesting fellow is living in a tent and his "rig" while he cleans up a piece of land, of junk, for someone.

Every AA group has a name. "Serenity Seekers" or "Keep it Simple." My usual group is just called "Mary's Corner" as that's where, geographically, it is. Some of the in town groups are mostly ... more upper middle class people. I've heard some of them refer to the people that go to the Club as "The Unemployables". Which I think is very cruel. Of course, I refer to them (in my head, never aloud) as the "Uptight, White Bread, Meetings." My bad. :-). Even in my group which is made up of more rural people and tends to be more relaxed and all inclusive ... if I mention the Club, occasionally I get a sour face, in return.

I think a lot of it is that the Club, also hosts NA meetings (Narcotics Anonymous) and two or three Spanish speaking meetings (which I had a small part in getting rolling.) I think some people think they're better than, have a higher status than, those "nasty old drug addicts." Everyone (sweeping generalization) wants someone else to look down on. The thing is, so many people are dual addicted, these days. It's something I've seen coming for years. That tension. I think some of the AA people feel threatened that the "purity" of their program will be sullied. Give it a hundred years, and I think there will be a 12 Step programs ... period. Lew