Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Gardening starting again

May has finally turned beautifully warm, and I've been outside most days trying to get the garden planted. It's mostly done, but now we're waiting for stuff to start coming up.

I planted about 125 potatoes this year. Not as much as in some years, but one variety I got - Sangre - turned out to have very few eyes per potato. So I only planted one row of that one. I planted 2 rows each of Chaleur, All Red, German Butterball and Warba. Lee Valley tools no longer sells that biodegradable black plastic mulch, so I've had to order a big roll of it from a Quebec agriculture supply dealer. I can't do without that stuff; it heats the soil as well as keeping down weeds.

I tested my garden soil for the first time in many years, and was surprised to find that it had grown rather alkaline! I was sure for years that the soil naturally tended toward the acid, but I think that years of cultivation and adding compost has altered it a bit. Now I think that's why the raspberries haven't done well for several seasons. In alkaline soil, they have trouble extracting nutrients, so even though I'd sprinkle fertilizer on them, they couldn't absorb it. I'm going to overhaul the entire row of raspberries, digging down and working in peat moss as well as composted manure.

I discovered a garden place outside Smith's Falls called Gemells, and they sell bags of acid-enhanced garden soil. I'm going to buy a few bags of that to help out, too.

In addition to the potatoes, I've planted Swiss Chard, turnips, carrots, garlic, shallots, 8 tomatoes, 2 cucumbers and 2 butternut squash. We've never had much luck with the carrots, as tree roots keep invading the soil and making it hard for them to grow. Also, rabbits do get in and now that we've got a chainlink fence I've given up entirely any hope of keeping them out. But this is a red variety, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

There's not much to photograph yet, but Dean picked some Lily of the Valley by the river today, and I got a shot of the lilac in bloom. Today I'm going to make a rhubarb pie.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Trumpening, followed by The Sulkening

So Donald Trump is going to be the Republican Party nominee, if there are no dirty tricks with the rules at the convention in June (and I'll believe that once I see it).

Trump's triumph in Indiana on Tuesday has been followed by a tidal wave of bitter reproaches from #neverTrump fanatics.  Now, it's only been 2 days, so I wouldn't write them all off just yet.  I've been through bitter spells in politics where I've vowed never to vote again, and it usually tapers off with time.  Many people who now declare that they'd rather vote Hillary than Trump may find themselves changing once their traditional enemies, the Democrats, start getting sustained applause from the media for their anti-Republican attacks.  It's one thing to want to see an enemy punished, but it's not so satisfying if it comes at the expense of victory for *another* enemy, and that the one you've spent a lifetime wanting to defeat.  And then there were the comments, both there and a PJMedia:

But so far, the tone has been one of sulky pettishness.  Ace had it on full display on Tuesday night, from his opening post: To his comments in the thread

Well, a lot of the party has chosen a go it alone, we don't need you anyway strategy.
Good luck!

To his comments in the thread, and into the next day:

this could be sour grapes, and maybe I'll change my mind, but right now:  Those of you who swear you can win the election without people like me -- are invited to do so.  I'm done, I'm out.  Go with God and good luck. 

We told you he was unnacceptable -- stupid, paranoid, crazy, and narcisstic in the extreme. He's scary.  You think he's just jake. Fine. But he's YOUR BOY. This shit no longer has anything to do with the rest of us. 
i can't surrender as I'm a non-combatant in this war.  this is YOUR BOY. You help your boy cross that finish line, Son! 

And then there were the comments, both there and at PJMedia:

"I hope you keep telling yourself that. It will make it even funnier watching your meltdown in November after your orange messiah gets crushed in a 40-state landslide."
"The Trumpkins can reap what they sowed. "
"Trump groupies: yay our guy won and now everyone is going to rally behind him and his authoritarian greatness. Otherwise you are electing Hillary and ruining the Supreme Court........ Eff you all and enjoy your humiliation."

"Trumpsters, keep pushing our buttons, keep laughing and you'll soon see that many Republicans and conservatives will NOT vote for Dear Leader. November is coming and you are the only fools to blame for the impending defeat."
"Let's talk in october, when Mr. Cheetoface is down 35 points and you beg conservatives like us to support Trump. Let's see your reaction then. BTW, I'm not stabbing  your candidate in the back, I'm stabbing him in the face. You own him, you live with him."

"Oh my God, he's... he's... *down 35 points!*"
"Tell us, Ralphie, was it something WE did?"
"Ohhhhhhhhhh!!!!" (Wails of sorrow and regret) "How could we do it? I'll never forgive myself!"
"Well, I'll manage to get along... somehow."

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A cartoonist with a good ear