Tag Archives: life

US currency only, please

Yes, I can certainly see this catching on. It really makes me wonder if people like this sit in their offices trying to come up with stupid ideas to sponsor a bill on in whatever legislature they happen to be in. Sorry, our SC clients: even if this nuttiness passes there, you’ll still need to pay with gold old US dollars and not Palmetto Bucks.

Nine down, five to go

In our latest round of activity on the ranch – now that the weather is friendlier than it has been – and after a spate of buying at the nursery for more edible/pretty things, today we (myself and the dogs) put in the four mature blueberry plants. Actually, I dug the holes, mixed some compost, got the plants in the holes, leveled, filled, and watered. The dogs were either supervising, or, in the case of Einstein, dropping a ball into one of the holes for me to fish out and throw.

In addition to these four, in the past week we’ve put in a mature dogwood, which should flower this spring, and four azaleas, which we hope will grow to a decent enough size to block out the neighbor’s garage mahal across the main road. Said monstrosity is actually larger, in terms of square footage, than his house, something I find fairly bizarre. The other day, one of the bay doors was open, and the space was packed, front to back, floor to ceiling, with….stuff. I suppose George Carlin was right.

Speaking of stuff and George Carlin, in the wee hours the other night, I saw an ad that started off with “Too much stuff?” and then proceeded to shill some bag thing that you cram your stuff in and suck out all the air. Here’s a novel idea: stop collecting so much stuff.

Back to the planting: there are five more plants on the pad awaiting planting: two figs, a meyer lemon to replace the one Mom killed, an Indian sweet lime (even the leaves smell like lime!), and a variegated pink lemon. Alas, Monday will be a no physical labor day for me since I have a followup PET scan on Tuesday, and we don’t want any false positives. After that scan, though, it’s into the ground with these remaining. The figs are starting to bud and the meyer has flowers all over it. These have to get out of the way to make space for the next round of live plants that are inbound and that will also have to be set somewhere around the ranch. Before we know it, it will also be time to start transplanting out the flats that are dutifully waiting under the lights in the barn.

Is there anything else in the world as great as the beginning of the season?

How things change

The other day, I posted a photo of an electronic sign near a construction zone in the area that has had the same misspelling in place for months. Today, I had occasion to once again travel that way en route to the NOC to rack a couple more servers, and amazingly enough, the spelling had been fixed at some point in the last three days. Congratulations, sign-fixer, whoever you may be. I know our clients seem to think we have ESP or other telekinetic powers sometimes – perhaps they’re on to something there. Or maybe a crew leader finally got tired of reading the same flashing misspelled sign I did.

Gathering

I should say hunting and gathering, as technically I have been hunting through seed catalogs and gathering all the info into a spreadsheet for the things I want – yes, I am a geek, but it was really the only way to keep track of the things I’m ordering for this year from eight different vendors. So far, I’ve placed six of the orders, with two more to polish off this evening.

Why so many? Simple: there is no single vendor who carries (or has in stock) the things I’d like to have. The pricing can also wildly fluctuate across vendors, particularly for certified organic seed, which I order as often as practical.

Now with the bulk of the ordering out of the way, it’s time to start plotting – not an easy task. I had planned to work a bit outside today, but with the temperature not getting out of the 40s here and the windchills never leaving the 30s, I elected to stay inside instead. When I went out to put the chickens up in their coop and turn on the water by their run, there was still ice on the ground from last night’s running of the taps. Tonight we should be down in the teens, which is getting a bit overboard, I think. Mother Nature is apparently trying to shake off a few inhabitants here before releasing us into spring.

With some puppies and some homemade potato-broccoli-cheese soup, it will be nice and toasty inside, and perfect for dreams of spring.

Closing in

The turf on the field at Eastern Washington is red. Blood red. Or, if I were in a jollier frame of mind instead of becoming more miserable by the second because I feel like total crap, a holiday-flavored red. It isn’t enough that I’m watching FCS football on a Friday night while fixing someone’s photo gallery that they’re completely hosed, but my eyeballs have to be bleeding as well? I thought the Smurf Turf at Boise was bad, but this is even worse. Too bad it isn’t snowing out there to cover it up a bit.

The late-round attempt at tomatoes and peppers was a failure, unfortunately. Things were going fairly well, but then we went to Disney for the day, and although I’d left the ends of the hoops open to get some airflow, but keep things toasty inside, the winds were horrendous and picked up the (weighted down) plastic and flung it up and off the hoops. By the time we arrived back at the ranch, it had already been freezing for several hours, and the unprotected plants were history. The sugar snaps seems to be hanging in there, and I pulled up all the peanuts yesterday and today¬† – a fine crop of late round peanuts, too, it appears.

For the rest: the garden has been put mostly to bed for winter, such as it is. We’ve had several weeks now where we’ve had at least three straight nights of freezing weather – the last round took us into the mid-teens, in fact – and experimentation for the season is over. The garlic is fine beneath its cover of hay, and the sugar snaps we may begin harvesting in the next ten days or so. Other than that, there are some leeks and carrots in the ground, and a few stay cabbage or broccoli plants (I’m not quite sure what those tiny plants are and I’m too lazy to dig out my planting roster). I’m debating whether to start some more cabbage and broc and cauliflower, but I know one thing I must do is get the parsnips in before the real winter blast comes in late January/early February here, as the frosty weather will make them sweeter than they usually are.

An aside here…I know the most overused/overrated word this year was “whatever”, which for my money only narrowly beats out “Palin”, but could we vote “Are you kidding me?” as the most overused/overrated phrase? Perhaps as a tie with “I know, right?” as a top annoyance? Thanks.

No progress on the garlic steppes as yet, but there’s still almost an entire year to get that put together for next year’s garlic season. Right now I’d like to get the remaining frames built out and filled so things will be ready to go as immediately as possible for spring. I’m planning more sweet potatoes next year, fewer varieties of tomatoes, just a handful of pepper varieties, and only a couple of varieties of cukes – all things that performed well and tasted better than others, and in many cases, varieties that took tops in both categories. I’m ever hopeful that there will be no disasters (deaths, cancers, surgeries, etc.) to knock another season out of whack, so in addition to my please regarding overused words or phrases, how about we add a little cooperation from the universe to that?

Death and life and death and life

It isn’t just animals that die, of course. People can (and do) die both suddenly and not so suddenly.

Case in point: one of our customers, who had been with us since almost the very first, died unexpectedly early in February of a heart attack. We did not discover this until late in the month when one of his clients contacted us directly. While it probably will not be the last time we have to do this, it is a bit odd and sad to have to make arrangements for the disposition of his client accounts with us, as the rest of his family knows nothing about what he was doing and has no idea how to provide hosting support to those clients. I’ve been working on notices to those clients, straddling the line between breaking news they may not know and yet being businesslike enough to make sure that they understand what has to be done.

But life carries on, no matter what happens to us. It may be difficult, it may strain the people left behind (one of my chief concerns should anything happen to me), but on it goes.

Peas, please

Another case in point: one of my mom’s old long-term neighbors (Jo, in case those of you reading this knew her) died in February as well, the same week Boots did. She had been receiving treatment for cancer that had invaded her brain, and they found out it had spread to her liver. She’d been in the hospital for a bit, but when there was nothing more they could do, they brought her home with Hospice care. She died that same night, around midnight.

But again, life carries on, and we move on with it.

Peepers

I knew someone once who was incredibly anguished about all the bad things that happen in life, and dwelt constantly on that aspect: wasn’t it horrible, life is unfair, it all seems such a waste, how can we possibly go through all this, and the same, ad nauseum, with no break of sunshine, ever.

Meyer lemon buds

How can we go through all this? How can we not?

What word didn’t you understand?

“No action is required on your part.”

This is plain English, I think. Only two words with more than one syllable. Seven words total. This is why it astonishes me that we receive a ticket from someone telling us they don’t understand and asking what they need to do. Is it that they are surprised they have to do nothing, that they don’t believe us, or that they truly don’t understand a simple sentence? I hesitate to claim the latter as the explanation but in reality, it does seem to be that way. How do these people manage to get through a day without killing themselves in some tragically humorous way?

Evening commute

Another trip to the NOC today. Unfortunately, during rush hour. But someone has to go and get the new cage prepped to move gear in, and since we keep tripping one of the big breakers to a circuit feeding multiple racks, the sooner that’s complete, the better. Yours truly gets to move 27 servers, a switch, and four PDUs from our overflow area. Yeeha.

Time for the drive home: the way west.

Heading home

I love this time of day, even if I don’t love the traffic.

Truck

Through the construction zone near the Road to Nowhere (more about that another time).

Crane

I love this. Amazing what you can get from an accidental shot.

Art

Hi, stranger

“Where are yooooouuuuuu?” asks one of my loyal, even if slightly deranged, handful of readers.

Well.

I’ve been busy with work-related stuff, trying to get some things done for the end of the year. I’ve also been dealing with a couple of the absolutely, without a doubt, unquestionably dumbest, rudest people I have ever had the misfortune of encountering. Let’s face it, if you call me by something other than my own name, when my name is in the dozens of ticket responses you’ve received, including the very one you’re quoting, then you are indeed a rude jackass. If you also can’t read plain English and suggest that we’re lying about something, you’re just ratcheting down our already low opinion of you. By the way: if your domain expires, and you don’t notice the fact that it doesn’t go anywhere for three entire months, don’t whine to us about how important it was to you, and that you were “busy” getting married and working. I’ve been dealing with cancer-related crap for over two years now, and I’m guessing that my employees, the state, and the feds wouldn’t accept that as an excuse if I neglected to pay them or file paperwork because I was “busy”.

In any case, I finally unloaded the camera the other day, and was shocked to discover about 500 pictures on the thing. That’s a lot of review and selective editing to be done. First, though, the goal is to complete the rollout of our gift to our clients before Santa shoves his butt down the chimney (what? no chimney?) so I can move on to other things. And since it’s just me on the job today – everyone else is at the football game or off having other fun – and since it’s quiet, I’m hoping to use today to bang out quite a number of things on my todo list, if only to see if there’s any hope of shrinking that before the new year rolls around.

Hope everyone is well and enjoying their holiday. Be safe, be well, be happy.