Thursday, June 29, 2006

This pic shows the Red Lightning tomatoes as they are developing. The size of these, the first four that set, is about an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. They grow to 2.5 to 3 inches so there's a fair amount of growing to do.
I love the stripedness even in the green form. Pretty. I hope I can tolerate the taste. If not, a lot of friends will be getting fresh 'maders.
This pic was taken today at about 3pm, if that matters.
Die Harder
Today's horn worm death count: two. Two big, fat bastards, grown thick on the fruit of my labor. The picture includes one deck board to show just how big this son of a moth got.
I've also taken pics of the as-yet green fruits and the denuding of plant branches that these little ... OK, I'll get away from the profanity ... green monsters have done. This makes 15 horn worms I've taken off two plants. Every got dam horn worm in the neighborhood must have been drawn to my deck.
My hate burns with a white heat. If I could find a final solution for these effers, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Worm murderer - you bet!
More pics later.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Fargin Horn Worms!
Found and sent three more of the little bastages to join their brothers in HELL!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

YA Paul Reed Smith
No, no, no! I haven't bought another. But if anyone would like to join me in PRS madness, here is an absolute beauty. Hollowbody II with no year of manufacture (though the first number in the serial number appears to be a 9 which would date it to 1999), in amber (same as mine) but with the piezo pickup. Not only that, the starting bid is less than I paid for mine without the piezo. Any price below about $3000 is a good buy for this beauty.
I've seen some PRS Hollowbodies on eBay that list as "II"s but don't have the "10 top" back that identifies a real HB II. Caveat emptor as always. Your mileage may vary.

Naming Names
The media came up with the tag "Bennifer" for Bena Fleck and Jennifer Lopez quite a while back. And it made sense since "Ben" fits rather easily into "Jennifer." But that neologism led, in my estimation, to the horrid concatenation of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie that is currently being used: "Brangelina." Bzzzt! Wrong! However, if all celebrity couples are going to have their names jammed together, I think we should move next to Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie. And their names work both ways: :"Madguy" for him and "Guymad" for the trollop he married. Le mot juste!

I Was Going To Post About Something...
What was it? What was it? Something about ... oh yeah. This.
Though in my family we usually called it "What's-iz-name's Disease."

Sorry. I have pretty much eschewed such language on the blog but I'm so pissed! I found ten tomato horn worms on my two plants today. Ten! Five per plant! Where in the ever-loving blue heaven did these little SOBs come from? Needless to say I tore each one apart before checking further on the plants. And I probably wouldn't have found them for another couple of days were I not out planting the last of the pepper sprouts into the place of the one pepper plant I wounded too deeply in planting.
That and seeing what I thought was a wasp (crunch!) and now realize was probably one of those that lays its eggs in the horn worm. Sorry wasp. I thank you for the work you do but please get it done a little faster.

Monday, June 26, 2006

We Have Lost A Friend
Rob "Acidman" Smith has passed away. I feel lucky to have met him and been included in the blogroll of bloggers he had met and even gotten a link or two from him. If there's any consolation in his passing, it's that he out of pain and no longer subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.
Damn. Just damn.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Pugz In Da Hood
I got this link from two spearate people. Gizmo the pug shows off his lapper flapper. How cute is that?

I Apologize
But It looks like I'll be working the phrase "lady vampire" into every post for the foreseeable future. Keeping in mind that the "foreseeable future" extends all the way to the end of this post.

Thanks For Nothing
I will admit that I read the Dear Abby column in the morning. It's nice to know that other people have screwed up their lives more thoroughly and completely than I have my own. But today's second letter really bears comment:
"Dear Abby, I believe my husband is headed for a nervous breakdown, and I don't know what to do. He is having a midlife crisis. His hair is thinning very quickly and he's having a problem sexually. (probably lusting after a "lady vampire" -Ed.) Things have gotten so bad that I'm contemplating filing for divorce.
Can you please tell him that he is not alone and that many men his age experience the same problems? Please tell him there is help. (signed) Desperate in Pittsburgh"

Dear Desperate, You want him know he is not alone and you're thinking about getting a divorce? Listen bitch - if you actually want him to think he's not
alone, try staying with him. Why do you mention the thinning hair before the sexual problem? Could it be that you are so got dam superficial that his looks matter more to you than intimate relations? Maybe his problem is that you've conveyed your repulsion at his thinning hair and he's upset that he's no longer desirable.
And Ed, shut UP!
Luckily for the ol' BlogDog, he has a luxuriant head of hair and doesn't live in Pittsburgh.
Big Weather
Last night I had the fresh experience of losing my DirecTV feed as a thunder storm rolled in about 10:30 or so. I thought I might be peeved but I found that I actually got more pure enjoyment out of the storm than watching any TV. It was a thunder puncher. I don't recall ever seeing more lightning strikes in the period of about an hour. I love big weather. It's genetic. I got it from my momma.
UPDATE: My thanks to the Enigmatic Misanthrope for his comment. And this by-the-by update is to mention that the Misanthrope family has two absolutely wonderful Maine Coon kitties and a third which is not as personable (nothing wrong with that) that is, I want to say, a Himalayan. He'll correct me if I'm wrong. Now. PoW is dog-oriented but we appreciate cats as well and send out a saLUTE! the Misanthrope felines.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Underworld Evolution
This is a very bad movie. It made want to have sex with a lady vampire. That can't be good.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

If I Could Do Animations
I'd do up a cartoon with Pennsylvania's most famous feeb John Murtha as a tiny blue critter called "Papa Murth." Papa Murth! Papa Murth! Gargamel is coming!" "Run my little Murths! Run like the wind!" Nancy Pelosi can be Murthette.

The Setup Is Done
I finished putting together the final Earthbox today. Six jalapeno pepper plants (already blooming! yikes!) and two more green pepper sprouts making a total of ten green plants. The sole remaining thing to do is jab the "Ultomato" cages into the first box. The tomato plants are now taller than my deck railing, keeping in mind that they're growing out of a box with a soil level about a foot above the top of the deck proper.
Pictures of the set in another day or so.
The really weird thing is that I woke this morning with the smell of the tomato plants in my olofactory. That's some kind of weird scent memory because there's no way I could have carried the scent in with me. (shrugs) Go figure. (ahhhnuld) It's NOT a toomah!(/ahhhnuld)

Monday, June 19, 2006

There Are Goats On The Blog
If you scroll back several days, you'll see a picture of my wonderful cousin's goats. I said I'd update the post with their names but I've let enough time pass that merely updating the post would be missed. So let me get the information into a post that, sadly, doesn't feature a picture. Their names are Tippy, Tulip and Tinkerbell. My cousin allowed a young relative to name them and I think she did a good job. The naming of goats is always dicey.
When I was young, Lycurgus and I "had" goats. The family had two neutered males (billy goats flat out
stink unless they're neutered) which were pressed into service gnawing down the luxuriant undergrowth in the woods around the house. I was visiting the people who had the pregnant nanny on the day "my" goat was born. I didn't see the actual birth but I was the first to spot that the birth had happened. Kinda gross but I was a boy child so gross was all right with me. Since I was there, I got naming rights and after he was weaned and snipped, "Billy the Kid" (I was clever even then, wasn't I?) became a member of the family.
Brother Lycurgus had some connection to the arrival of "his" goat but memory fails me as to what it was. In any event, his naming rights produced "Rodney." But say that "R-ah-ah-ah-dney" with a good bleat and you have the name as it was destined to be.
Something I found interesting later in life was that these goats were large. They were easily two and a half feet tall at the shoulder, wonderfully white and had serious horns. At some point, I will dig up a pic of the lads, scan it and post it but for now, take my word for it - these guys could cause some damage with those head scimitars if they wanted to. But brother and I were absolutely and totally in control. They knew from the start that we were their masters. My sister ... who will be called Andromeda on the blog for the nonce ... never established any kind of control over them and had huge trouble wrangling them. Such is the Tao of Ungulates.
My cousin's goats are of a smaller variety. And they are there for the milk. But I'll let her tell their story as it stands:
I have started separating the mother and kids at night so I can get the morning milk. Today I am making cheese for the first time since last Thanksgiving. It will be nice to have it again. Queenie is still getting used to being milked, so it is not as peaceful as I would like but we are making progress every day.
And so it goes. She makes fantastic chèvre.
Category: Woot!
I counted seven little green globes on the 'mader plants after watering them this afternoon. Yay! As I've said before, for someone who's not that fond of tomatoes, I'm remarkably happy about these little fruits.
Also, the green pepper plants are definitely starting to grow. One seems to have taken a hit to the stem which may doom it (and the fault would have to be mine in the transplantation) but the sprouts haven't given up the ghost so I can probably replace it. It's been hot and dry here of late and the two Earthboxen sucked up an entire (2 gallon I think) watering can full of delicious dihydrogen oxide.
The jalapeno plants are still inside (one has flowered already!) but I've got the final box staged to be set up this afternoon when the sun is more obliquely angular. And two of the green pepper plants will go in that box as well meaning I'll only have one plant left over. Hmmm. Maybe I'll chunk it in the ground and see if it'll do it's thing even though it's not in a box.
UPDATE: Upon closer inspection, I have NINE little green globes on the tomato plants. Said closer inspection made as I set up the third box. The box is not done but it will be in the morning. (foolish grin) Jalapeno peppers!
In A Year Chock Full Of Cringe-Inducing Moments
Connie Chung manages to make all others fade into insignificance. MadTV regularly shows a very cringe-y parody of Connie and Maury but this little number (2:48 worth of YouTube video) manages to out-do the parody by Secretariat-like margins.
UPDATE: I knew a good thing (Good thing? -Ed.) when I found it. El Rushbo played the audio on the three-hour tour today. My question is does Connie understand what she's done? Because she sure didn't understand what she was doing.

Brand New Week
I haven't put any effort into blogging this weekend as it was annoyingly hot here in NoVa and I was disgruntled. I am in need of a regruntling. I think a road trip is in order. Let's see what's on the slate ... Atlantic Cycling ride this Sunday in beautiful Davidsonville, MD (oh boy - need to get all the supplies in order for that!) ... Jake is going to be in Philly on July 7 (will the Philly boys put me up for a couple of nights? very likely) ... Mike Cross is next on the Mike Cross slate on September in Georgia so that's far enough forward to delay thinking about for now ... Hmm. I think I'm going to go somewhere I've never been before in late July just for the heck of it. But I'm saying where or when. Ha! BlogDog - Interrational Man of Mystery.

Friday, June 16, 2006

I Don't Usually Link To Such Things
But here is a page of Catherine Bell who is just one of the finest women the world has ever produced. If she weren't a Scientologist, she may have been actually perfect. And this coming from one who considers Isabella Rosellini to be ... what's the word? transcendent. Yes. Transcendent. Can anyone name the one degree of separation between the two?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I Dunno
My latest flick from Netflix is the John Cusack classic "Better Off Dead." Well, "classic" may be a bit much. But what creeps me out is the title of the disc on my Mac desktop: "BOFFDEAD." Boff dead. Was this named by a necrophiliac? Yeek!

Absolutely Brilliant Animation
I watched this three times in succession and laughed just as hard each time. Animator v. Animation.
(Hat tip: Brian Tiemann at Peeve Farm.)
Stupid Advertiser Tricks
Local (DC area) businesses seem to have an inclination to gin up advertising "spokespeople" with invented names. A car dealer has a guy called "Mark Down." A furniture dealer had a woman called "Lois Price."
Needless to say, one of these name planted itself in my febrile fertile mind. For a car dealership: Lisa Ford. Or Lisa Honda. Or ... you get the idea.

Hell's Kitchen
I spent a quite enjoyable two hours watching Gordon Ramsay perform his magic. Truly excellent ranting and bitch-slapping by a fellow Scot. It continues to amaze me that the people who go out for HK don't seem to get that they're going to have to work their asses off and think while they're doing it. The women's team has one huge advantage: Heather. She's smart, she has organizational skills and she shows that she "gets it" more than anyone else in the competition. I think it just might come down to two women in the final two and my early money is on Heather.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Something New From the Lefties At Google
As long as I'm not paying them anything, I don't have a problem with using their products. Even though I'm already gut-sick of their facilitating Chinese communism and cleansing their "news" aggregation of right-leaning sites.
Still, Google Earth - use it frequently. Great app. And now - SketchUp. A 3D app. A free 3D app. Like Butterfly McQueen, I "don' know nothin' 'bout birthin'" 3D models. But I get to learn at a very low cost. Even if I never use it, the price was right.
UPDATE: Billy Beck has already blogged this a month ago. He liked it. And he knows 3D. Cool. I'm going to have spend more time playing with this.
Doggy, Doggy, Ever So Bloggy
How does your garden grow? Ha. I get all poetical when doing an update on the boxes of garden I have on my deck. That's right, I said "boxes." I finally got eight of the green pepper sprouts into the second Earthbox this weekend which leaves me with four more sprouts still. But it hardly seems worth cranking up another box for a half-load of peppers. Especially when I expect that the crop I get off the first box to be pa-lenty for my needs.
And the tomato plants are not being neglected either. Brother Lycurgus told me that he used, and had great success with, "Ultomato" plastic plant cages. Having never, to the best of my recollection, been steered wrong by BL, I set out to acquire them and found them here. I will point out that this was after finding my local Lowe's did not carry them. Supposedly Home Depot does but I'm so down on HD's sucky service that I make it a point to avoid going there. What's left? Yahhh - online ordering. As a Guiness scientist would say, "Brilliant!"
Being still left with an open Earthbox, I decided to see what plants (damn that's a long name!) was offering. I ended up finding a pack of six jalapeno pepper plants at 95¢ each. So I can still use the two best remaining green pepper sprouts and diversify, albeit in the pepper family, my "crop." Heh. My crop. I like the sound of that. I'll post more pix when I've got all three boxes up and running.
UPDATE: According to my e-mail, my order has been shipped slightly less than one hour after I got an e-mail confirmation of my order. That's pretty impressive!
Also, I looked at the list of dealers on the Earthbox page and there's nothing in the Washington metro area. This area would be, I think, a great market for them. There are vast quantities of people, I don't know how many townhouses with decks and I believe the desire for fresh veg, combined with the ease of growth should Earthboxes a big seller around. Heck, I bought three of 'em. I may have to suggest this to friends of mine who work at a garden center.
Lycurgus put me onto Junior Brown's "Surf Medley" (Pipeline/Walk Don't Run/Secret Agent Man) which I had never heard before. Yeee hah! Talk about your rockin' good times! I'm not sure if he's bending notes in "Secret Agent Man" or using his special "Guit-Steel" instrument of which I will steal a description from Amazon: "a combination of Telecaster guitar and a tabletop steel guitar." But it doesn't matter. Just exceedingly way cool. That's right. I said "exceedingly way cool."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Letter To "Forbes"
The following is what I sent to Forbes magazine in regard to their excellent cover story on ethanol production as a "replacement" for gasoline and the serious problems therein. I was struck by a particular thing in the article:
In reading your June 5 issue's article on ethanol, I was struck by something that may require an addition to your magazine's glossary. You refer to Vinod Khosla as a "famous (and wealthy) venture capitalist." Yet in the next paragraph you describe his efforts to "tax oil production in (California) and use the proceeds to develop alternative energy resources" in which he is investing "in a handful of ventures." Moreover, he is "all over Washington trying to drum up support." It sounds like he's trying to install a tap on taxpayer dollars to feed into businesses in which he invests. This is not "venture capitalism." This is "venture socialism." Perhaps you might consider using such a term in the future.
I really feel that the idea of modern American so-called "capitalists" who try to re-rig the system so that they can not fail even if their investment is a dog aer deserving of more scorn than I can pour in a letter to the editor. Besides, having once been a letters-to-the-editor editor for a major weekly magazine, I know that a measure temeprance and brevity are assets.
So for my friends in the blogosphere, I give you what I wrote to the esteemed editors at my favorite finance and lifestyle magazine. Heck, I'm sorry that I never got the chance to vote for Steve Forbes for President. He is hurt in the beauty pageant by having kind of a goofy look but his platform made more sense than any candidate since Ronaldus Magnus. And, if they deem to print my letter, I can no longer hide behind my carefully-cultivated screen of anonymity.
BlogDog out. Possibly literally.

iTunes Idiocy
That'd be on my part, not iTunes's part. Hmm. "iTunes's" Sounds like the cat who could drive a car. But I digress. Sometimes I get an undomesticated rabbit atop my donkey (a wild hare up my ass) to listen to an artist exclusively to the point where I've listened to all the songs the same number of times. Not easy to do when one usually lets the "shuffle" feature select the music. But I've been wanting Jake Armerding's new CD (delayed unfortunately) so I've been cycling through the two extant albums on my Jake playlist. What I forget is that when I plug in one of my iPods, it updates the play count so that when I had one song played 20 times, three songs played 19 times and several played 16 times and all the rest played 14 times, I now have one song played 22 times, two played 20 times, two played 19 times, 12 played 16 times and seven played 14 times. D'oh! Idiocy. I'll never listen to two discs nearly eight times through in succession. Even if it is Jake I'm listening to.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lack Of Posting
Will continue for the time being. Sorry.

Monday, June 05, 2006

New Kids On The Block
Meet the Good Friday Triplets of rural New Jersey. I neglected to get their names but I will and I'll update the post with them. But until you get to meet them by name, just bask in the goaty cuteness.
So sweet. All small animals are cute.
Even little humans.
Coincidental Juxtaposition
One more part of the rich tapestry of life as she is lived in these United States. My doctor's last name is Horne. He is a wonderful doc but that's not the point. The point is how some office form coding leads to strange results. First his name is shortened to the first two letters and the office visit was a follow-up which is shortened to the the initials of the type. So my visit to the doctor, on the office form, was "FU HO."
Unnh. Same to you fella!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

My First Neflix
"The Ice Harvest." Actually much better than I expected. John Cusack is one of the better actors of this generation and does a great turn as the half-addled, half-brilliant lawyer behind a rip-off of his mob boss. Billy Bob Thornton plays his type (I think he's a wonderful actor but c'mon - you know what Billy Bob character is going to be when you see him cast, don't you?) and plays it well. What is not to be missed is the "outtake scene" in the special features. He replays one scene as his immortal Karl Childers characater from "Sling Blade." Oh fer fall down funny!
Really it's Cusack's worn-down, world-weary but gamely hoping for the big score to work out character that makes the movie. The moviegoer has to have someone to like in movies like this and Cusack's Charlie Arglist is that person. Besides, is it really morally wrong to steal from a criminal? Forget all the killings and the divorced family and the tawdry Christmas presents for his kids bought in a filling station's convenience store in the wee hours of Christmas morning.
On the other hand, Connie Nielsen plays the femme fatale Renata and I just don't find her so overwhelming that I bought her devasting effect on the Cusack character. If you look at her face closely while she's speaking, you see the lines gather around her lips which always puts me in mind of little old ladies in retirement homes whose lipstick bleeds off the lips into those lines. Eeesh. Just accept that as my pathology but I don't plan to see any movie in order to see Ms. Nielsen.
The movie struck me as very much in the vein of the Coen's brilliant "Fargo." Very black comedy and a lot of dead bodies by the time the credits roll. One thing I must mention, though, is the commentary by the screenwriters and the writer of the book on which the screenplay is based. Richard Russo (also the author of the bestseller "Empire Falls") has the phrase "As Witchita falls/ So falls Witichita Falls" appear several times in the movie. In the commentary, he professes to not know the source of the words. He needs to review his music collection for Pat Metheney & Lyle Mays's "As Falls Witchita, So Falls Witchita Falls."
This may be a little toe dipped into the big pool but my first Netflix was a winner.

Friday, June 02, 2006

If You're In New York
The incredibly beautiful and amazingly talented Tania Eshaghoff is putting on concerts of music from her disc "A Road To Tehran - Journey Home." Click the link for her website and further details of the concerts on June 17 and 22nd.
Tania was one of the featured performers at the Benefit for Interstitial Cystitis and she is a superb pianist and composer. Were I to be in New York this month, I would not miss at least one of her shows. She describes her sound as "Persian melodies composed to powerful modern sounds." I'll second that but my musical knowledge is limited to the point that I can only say from experience that her music is beautiful and rare. Please go see and listen if you have the chance.

Now I have to track down the new CD to add to my collection. Perhaps I was a bit hasty in getting this month's music.
So, Here Are The Plants
An annotated picture from my deck. The tomato plants are easily twice as big now as they were when I got them. The nascent buds are hanging to the left of the top tufts of leaves, not really visible in the picture but I saw yellow in a bud today. I suppose they'll actually open this weekend. And much thanks to Kris from Gradual Dazzle for the advice to tap the flowers to insure polination. Will do. (click pic to enlarge)
I have set up the next Earthbox for the green peppers but I think I over wetted the dry potting soil going in. My roll-your-own fix: I've dumped water out of the reservoir and once the storms have passed, I'll take the cover off to let it dry out a bit. I hope to plant the peppers by Monday at the latest. Mmm! Fresh green pepper!
This Month's Music
See the "longings" section of the sidebar. I'm sure my good friend and aesthete the Enigmatic Misanthrope will appreciate my adding another disc o' Queen to the collection. Really. "Under Pressure," "Bohemian Rhapsody." These are songs required in a modren song library. I also bought the DVD of "Raising Arizona" which is one of the classics of moviedom. The Coen brothers have made more great, quirky movies than any other ... do I say producer-director? Writer-director? Writer-producer-director? Kinda narrows the praise, dunnit? Well, they're damn good and "Arizona" is one of the funniest movies I've ever laughed through. "Gimme that baby you warthog from Hell!" Heh.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Coming Shortly
As soon as I set up the next Earthbox (and a few of those other things life requires like grocery shopping), I'll have pics of the tomato plants. My examination of them this morning seems to show that they're setting flower buds already. (happy dance) For someone who doesn't like tomatoes, I am getting way too into this. Also coming this afternoon, a pic of my beautiful cousin's newest goatlets. Having had a "pet" goat when I was but a yute, I love the fact that my cousin keeps them. And she makes the best fresh goat cheese! If she weren't my relative, I'd propose.

This Makes No Sense
I SO want banana pancakes this morning. I don't recall a jonesing like this for a while. This may require medevacing to IHOP (Irrational Hospital of Pancakes) STAT!
ON THE OTHER HAND: The iTunes just shuffled up one of the greatest songs ever - Chick Corea & Return to Forever's "Spain." Even though the Enigmatic Misanthrope might be tempted to assail Mr. Corea's honkingly unattractive looks (just leave Pete Townshend alone!) or his adherence to Scientology (sigh - what a pity), the RTF "Light As A Feather" disc has got to be one of the top five jazz-fusion discs of all time. Right up there with Weather Report's "Heavy Weather." Holy something! That disc is $8 at Amazon! Fearfully cheap for great music.