Posted by: David | July 31, 2009

Hi Summer

Late July has brought the Triple H (don’t make me spell it out) weather to New Hampshire for the first time this summer. 2009 is in the top 5 for rainiest years on record. Looking to support this claim led me on a wild Google chase with no result, which was surprising since the weather is in the top 3 items to chat about mindlessly when one cannot think of something brilliant to say. Like right now. For example.

The autumn-planted garlic was harvested last Sunday. Look at the empty bed.

The garlic did very well! Nicely sized bulbs, a few over 3 inches.

scale reference, sorry. This garlic bulb could be a UFO. Please land in my backyard.

The tomato blight problem has provided new motivations to rotate crops around to different beds. We’re kind of stupid about that generally, and that’s really, uh, stupid. So the tomatoes will have to go somewhere really brilliant next year (to be announced) and the garlic will need to go somewhere else come October. Maybe. The largest bulbs (like the one pictured above) will be saved for seed.

The onions in bed #2 are still going strong. Bed #3 onions (to the right) are somewhat less vigorous.

The tomatoes are still suffering from the blight. Regular spraying with a 130-disease-killing chemical from Ortho has allowed the plants to grow some, but they’re still pretty bad. The corn is coming along, but deer tracks mean that Bambi and her progeny are monitoring it too.


The wet weather has been pretty good for the brassicas. We’ve eaten, frozen, and gifted cauliflower, broccoli, and green cabbages. The little cabbages headed up early and threaten to split open from all the wetness. The purple cabbage grows slower. Slugs are very happy with this type of weather. So are weeds. I weed almost every day for at least a half hour. Seriously. My hands are instruments of plant genocide. Mosquitoes bite me as I toss weed corpses onto various large piles. The slugs chew little holes in the bottoms of the cabbages.

Leek flowers.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day. I should go for a nice long bike ride. My last bike ride was a bit of a disappointment, ending in a blowout of my back tire. My daughter came to rescue me in the driveway of the new middle school, where I’d intended to stop and have a Clif bar and a drink. While waiting for her I repaired the tire using the spare tube, wondering if it was really worthwhile to put the new tube into the old tire. The tire must be at fault when the tube (at 90 psi) manages to work its way between the bead and the wheel. There’s a little audible warning you get about 15 seconds before the tube explodes. It’s a little squeak squeak squeak of the rapidly growing tube-bubble rubbing against the bicycle frame. So it’s time for some new tires for the touring bike. Maybe even some new wheels. And a new drive train. I’ve put very close to 5,000 miles on the Fuji, and the previous owner probably did at least that.

In the last post you readers did a wonderful job answering the question of where the term “OK” comes from.Β  I’m going with the “Oll Korrect” theory because how wonderful is an abbreviation fad? But I have another question now, which might seem odd, but I think it should be familiar to all you oxygen addicts out there. Yeah, breathers, this means you. You know how after every certain number of shallower breaths there comes a deeper breath that is somehow more satisfying and conclusive (for lack of a better word)? This breath is the goal of a yawn, if that makes any sense at all.Β  My question is, is there a name for this?


  1. There IS a name for this. What it is, however, completely escapes me. Also, the desire to find out isn’t strong enough for me to fight with google to re-learn the term.
    Once again (surprise surprise), I’m in love with your garden and plants. And dude, you have a red barn? How cliche and perfect!!

    Well OK, that’s a start, thanks Talea. And thanks for the garden love. Yeah, the barn is red. It’s about due for a new coat of stain. Red stain.

  2. Well, no wonder we haven’t heard from you. You’ve been too busy working outside. Awesome shots, as usual, David. Now take a nap. You’re making me tired.

    Busy yes. Putting in extra hours at work too. I will take that nap in November. Sorry about the fatigue transfer. πŸ™‚

  3. That is a lot of work…I hope you wear sun screen. The corn looks good too. I have only tried corn twice. The first time I think I had some pollination issues and the second time I thought I fixed….not. No more corn.

    It IS a lot of work, but a kind of work that I really enjoy. The corn actually needs to be planted in a minimum density to ensure that pollen gets from the tassels to the silks in enough quantity to make full ears. It’s always a race to beat the critters to it once it’s ready and they find it. Last year we got ruined, but the year before we had a bumper crop and no losses from pests. It will be a few weeks yet …

  4. Elsewhere you said you would simply “buy that MP3” from Amazon. What is “that MP3”? Is it a new kind of disk?

    I thought that an MP3 was precisely a little player of the kind I have of which (now I know) there are many sold even as key-holders or pencils or sunglasses.

    Oh, a “teachable moment”!! An mp3 is a type of digital file, just like a jpeg. It’s a compressed audio file, just like a jpeg is a compressed graphic file. It’s certainly the most popular type of audio file, and like jpeg, it is known to be a “lossy” type of compression. However, also like jpeg, it’s thought to be “good enough” for most digital purposes and renders 5 minutes of good quality audio into a file on the order of 5 megabytes in size. The devices that handle this filetype are called MP3 players, and range from the little ones like you’ve got to computers, car stereos and home entertainment systems.

    Amazon has an online store where one can purchase (via credit card PayPal or whatever) songs or albums of these MP3 files. You would pay the 99 cents and download a file (or set of files in the case of an album) that would be called Song_Name.mp3. Apple’s iTunes works this way too, except they have their own file format, mp4, which allows more control over when and how the file can be played back.

    Does this make sense?

  5. ! I see! Imagine. I am curious to find out how they classify their music files. And of course this must again endanger the copy rights of the authors.

    I thought there is a real problem there, because in music there is simply no original to be protected. Any copy is the same as the original.

    And unlike text it is impossible to track on the internet. — Maybe in the future, if I whistle a little at the computer screen, Google will find the tune, its name, its composer, and when it was first played. πŸ˜€

    Yes you are right about that. Copyright has been endangered all to hell one could say. Nice for listeners but not so nice for artists, who have to work harder to make their livings. And yet, so much more good music has been made available this way.

  6. 😦 music is only for Americans and the British Amazon only for Brits.

    So there’s no way for citizens of Spain to buy music from the web? Inconceivable!

  7. Anyone with a credit card should be able to buy music from It is delivered to you electronically. Here is another WordPress blog suggesting that even buying books through is not a bad idea if you live in Spain. I cannot vouch for its veracity in terms of book buying. Sorry.
    Still don’t know the name of that breath, but apparently the breathing done while yawning is the same as the technique that is taught in yoga. It is called diaphragmatic breathing. I guess that at times yawning is used as a way to help you understand how to use your diaphragm to breathe “correctly”.
    The garden looks great. Sorry to hear about the tomatoes, but the garlic does look quite good. Getting out in the garden every day sounds relaxing.
    Wow, 5000 miles on your bicycle! Impressive!

    Thanks lakecrazy! Hey cantueso are you getting this? Gardening and cycling definitely are keeping me sane. Assuming, of course, that this is sanity … πŸ™‚

  8. Well, I went to Amazon and could not search their music data files. But then I simply went to Google and said “Pepe Romero – recuerdos Alhambra– MP3” and instantly Amazon came up with a listing of Pepe Romero MP3.

    God bless Google.

  9. To LakeCrazy:

    Yes, there is sometimes a customs problem, but an MP3 is probably sent by e-mail.

    We regularly buy old books at ABE Books, and there has never been any problem and no customs duties.

  10. I have not looked into this any further because I had an issue with my AVG that suddenly disappeared and would not let me re-install. Kept sending up error messages.

    Finally after about a week I was able to install it and what happened? I (thought) I had to register. Password invalid, and their registration key could not be activated. I even had the brilliant idea to send that key to myself at Hotmail, where it did activate itself. But password remained invalid.

    Finally it turned out that registration was not necessary.

    It makes one feel damn good when one can solve a problem that never really existed in the first place, doesn’t it? That sort of thing happens to be every 6 weeks or so. If I’m lucky. πŸ™‚

  11. It did not make me feel damn good, only damned. If I have to work too long on some translation, I mostly learn things in proportion to the time spent. With computers — nada.

    A Riddle:

    But it is a true story. Einstein went into a department store and said he wanted sundials. The shop attendant said he did not have any, but could give him the one he had in his backyard. He took Einstein to his backyard to show him.
    Einstein looked, laughed, and pointed at his feet: “Sundials!”

    What did he want?

    (The shop was owned by the grandfather of writer David Rothman who tells this and other stories on his webpage at

    But don’t look first. Try to figure it out. Remember Einsein spoke with a German accent.

    Yes, and the true beauty of this damnation is that once a thing is learned, it is replaced by a rearranged version. Just like the fashion industry. This year the pockets are high, next year they’re low.

    So I’m guessing Einstein was in search of sandals. Thanks for the link, and honestly, I did as you asked, but it was easy for me because my best friend’s father had a very thick German accent, so I just imagined him. Not that he would ever wear sandals. Now I will go check out the link. I love Einstein stories. πŸ™‚

    Now I have read the pages you linked to. Thank you again. Wonderful little vignettes. I was right about the sandals! Now if only I could solve the riddle of the universe.

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