Posted by: David | October 17, 2011

Busy Weekend …

Yup it was a very busy weekend. So busy I had to take Monday off to finish up. On Saturday a friend from Vermont came over and we got to talking about garlic, among other things. I made a mental note to change the way I’ve been planting, but only by an inch.  Instead of 6-inch spacing, let’s try 7 inches. It means that it will take up more space, but I bet the plants will be happier. So I made up a planting guide board out of plywood and spent the rest of the day fertilizing and prepping the beds, then planting the cloves from the biggest bulbs. The 7-inch spacing basically allowed 4 cloves per row across  the beds. I planted 484 cloves in 4 beds.

Beds 2,3, 5, and 6. Bed one has sorrel at each end and a few remaining celery plants.

So I planted almost twice as much garlic as last year. Don’t ask me why.  At least the deer don’t mess with it. While out working in the garden there was some techno-action going on inside. I have an iPad on loan from work, and the first thing I decided to do with it was to install the new iOS 5. This meant connecting to iTunes on the laptop. Not the usual way to install an operating system, but whatever. Apple does things the Apple way.

Even though I’d already downloaded the iOS5 package, iTunes insisted on doing it all over again …

So far I’m not terribly impressed with the iPad. It’s very cool and all, but it still seems a little toyish. I do like it as a reader though, and I’ve grabbed some of my magazine subscriptions in their ‘app’ format. I need to keep playing with this thing.

We watched some TV Saturday night. Yeah we’re a very exciting pair.  Prime Suspect, a new favorite show of ours, and we tried out Person of Interest. I don’t think I’ve seen a TV series this flat and UNinteresting in a long time. Jim “Jesus” Caviezel kicked some pretty good ass, though he was a little too super-hero-y for my taste.

On Sunday we took my wife’s horse trailer out on its maiden voyage. Maiden voyage connected to her Chevy Tahoe anyway. We used it to pick up a freezer that a friend from work wanted to give away. I can’t say no to a free freezer. We put it out in the garage and then moved all the food in our freezer into it. Thus allowing the defrosting of our ‘old’ freezer, which now stands empty. Not sure what the long term deal will be here. We’re figuring it out. We have two old but good full size freezers.

The old freezer is taking a rest. It should be more efficient to have a freezer in the unheated garage during the winter, right?

Right after picking up the freezer, we switched hitch balls on the Chevy and went to get dad’s fishing boat out of the lake up the street. I was the driver this time. That went pretty well and saved us from having to impose on our son-in-law, who’s helped with dad’s boat for the past five years or so, because he’s a nice guy and he has a truck.

Between tow jobs I got my Ubuntu upgrading to version 11.10 on an old Dell laptop. It took a long time but needed almost no attention.

While Ubuntu was doing its thing, I decided it was time to clean the chimney. Which means climbing onto the roof. Which is usually a good time to get some photos from the rooftop. The chimney cleaning was successful too, and the amount of creosote produced by the new woodstove was surprisingly small, like a quarter to a third as much as the old stove produced. That and the reduction in our propane consumption are proof that the Napoleon EPA 1450 wood burning stove was a great buy.

Little bucket of creosote. Guess the new woodstove really is quite efficient! The old stove produced 5 times as much creosote and probably 5 times less heat.

The view of the yard from the roof. White speck at lower right is Oliver.

Speaking of Oliver, the Jack Russell Terrorist, you really have to see this pathetic toy fox he’s been obsessing over. It used to be a plush toy with a little squeaker inside. We think it’s the squeaker that got him obsessed. He once  had a squeaker rat toy that he devoured over the course of a weekend. This fox was played with for a while, relieved of it’s squeak mechanism, then cached for some time. It came back out a month or so ago, and was placed in various locations so as to be noticeable. But don’t notice too hard, or Oliver will get upset and start growling. He’d move the thing around, hide it under the table, carry it to greet you at the door, etc. At some point the fox became two parts, a head and a body.  I threw one part away. Here’s a photo of the remaining part.

Reminds me of the ending scene in Terminator 2 for some reason …


  1. Okay, now I’m salivating at the thought of all that garlic to come, while my back aches at the thought of all that work. And don’t you wish you knew what goes through the head of a dog as it decides which toys to destroy (and how) and which to treat like treasured possessions?

    I felt a little crazy planting all that garlic, but I guess there are worse forms of crazy out there. Like the dog! Tonight he found one of the Jumbones he’d hidden who knows when or where. He just doesn’t know what to do with it and he keeps moving it from place to place and staring balefully. If you stare back he growls, like, ‘don’t even THINK about touching my Jumbone bro!’ Or what?!

    So I guess I would have to answer your question thus. NO.

  2. Love that shot from the roof. Beautiful yard you have there. And yeah, I can see a little Terminator thing going on there. 😉

    Thanks Peter. Right, when the bad terminator gets all melted in the molten iron?

  3. Tech porn. (the word porn here may boost your readership)

    Who are you planning to bury in those huge grave sites?

    Nice freezer! Wish mine were so clean.

    The quick brown fox wasn’t quick enough, so it would seem.

    Thanks for helping to optimize my search engine. The freezer is a rather old Admiral. When we fired it back up it got good and cold. Now we’ve got two freezers going. We need to acquire more foods to freeze.

    The quick brown fox had a squeaker inside. That was his major offense. Oliver cannot abide a squeaky toy. They must remind him of chipmunks. And this dog has a real chipmunk on his shoulder. Or back. Whatever. You get it.

    • When will you be visiting mine, then? I’ve been posting stuff specifically for Anglophiles!

      Sorry for the delay, but now I’ve done it! Jolly good it was!

      • *Yawn*

        STOP that. You’re making me yawn too.

        • Yawning from the drought of Dave thoughts. I reckon it really IS “Thoughts-zero-Dave” then, yeah?

          You have my condolences. Dave’s brain has snuffed it, died, passed on, shuffled off its mortal coil, joined the choir eternal, etc.

          Hi Ate Us


          • Yeah. I’ve got nil to write either but I never let a wee thing like that stop me! Soldier on, mate!

            You make an excellent point. I’m on it. A new post shall appear before the weekend is over … straightaway!

  4. Why did the grass on the right of the picture get brown? I don’t think you have to spray your lawns there.

    As to that tablet, in what regard is it better than a small lap top? I keep seeing photos of people holding one in their hand to read. Can one not set it up at an angle? And is it really easier to find things by touching the screen? I have to use the mouse. I haven’t learned to use the little pad of thje small laptop and can do it only slowly and with many errors. But I wonder whether a touch screen would be exact enough for me to underline a word or mark it for reference while reading. And as to typing on one of these……

    But I don’t know what to think of all those people who said: “We lost the man that gave us a future!” I am so glad I don’t know.

    The brown color in the grass comes from the pine needles that settle there. We’re thinking about having someone come to take these trees down.

    The jury in my head is still out on the Apple tablet. It’s got some very appealing aspects, but is not really a substitute for a laptop. However, with a supplemental keyboard it could come very close. Especially when one has access to other computers “in the cloud”.

    As to the Steve Jobs reference, I can proudly report that I dropped out of the very same college as he did. I also was rather enamored of the italic calligraphy that Reed used in their promotional materials. However, it took me another fifteen years to catch on to the whole personal computer thing.

  5. “…We got to talking about garlic, among other things.”

    This sounds exactly like the conversation my friends and I had last night! Only instead of garlic, we talked about the ice cream store that sells ice cream made from breast milk. Oh, and we didn’t talk about other things.

    But besides that, it was totally the same!

    Wow bschooled. That is just one more thing to add to my already HUGE list of things that make Canada great.

    First, I have to ask, what is the name of this ice cream store, and what flavours do they have?

  6. Neat rooftop view– especially with the fall foliage.

    And poor Foxy. I bet Oliver doesn’t feel a bit of guilt, does he?

    And only a few days later, covered with 15″ of snow! Now mostly melted away.

    Right, no guilt. Only fierce protection and obsession. Unhealthy …

  7. Does anyone else get tired just reading about all his activities?

    It’s OK B&G, the long nights of winter sloth are lurking in the shadows …

    • sure

      In real life it’s not as bad as it looks on a blog page.

  8. Funny thing about the idea that putting a freezer in an unheated space will make it more efficient. We, too, have a freezer in our woodshed and theorized the same as you. However, after speaking with my brother, an experienced AC/Refrigeration repairman, he said that actually, this might not be such a good idea. He explains that the condensor (or was it compressor?) unit will not be required to kick on as often when in a cold environ. As a result, when the freezer DOES call for cold and the unit tries to start up, the damned thing is so cold (the oil or fluid is thick) that it really can struggle and in some cases simply won’t start and breaks after time. FWIW, we are reconsidering the placement of our freezer.

    As for the iPad, I think you may be missing the point – that is if your reference to “toy” means cheap like a toy (which I think you don’t). If it seems to be just FUN to use like a toy, then so be it! First of all, tell me people don’t already use their smart phones and computers as “toys” anyway (i.e. have fun). Secondly, I know folks who get iPads to do legitimate work which is web-based or in the cloud, and the iPad offers them incredible portability, ease of use (yes, the touch screen is awesome, unlike a klunky mouse can be) and (dare I say it) more fun!

    Well let me know if and when you move your freezer. This freezer in our garage has been in other folks garages for years. I’m not going to worry about that, even if it makes sense.

    After having the iPad for a few weeks, allow me to revise my critique. I loved it and will probably be buying one before too long. Today I purchased an iPhone online from Verizon. It’s supposed to arrive tomorrow.

    In conclusion Jean, I hate it when you’re right. So shut it. 🙂

  9. I love my iPad and I rarely play games on it. It’s just so darn portable. then again, I don’t have an iPhone. yet.

    Well I just signed up for an iPhone, and next year’s tax refund will very likely bring an iPad. So there.

  10. Oh, also meant to tell you that Annie and I LOVE Prime Suspect, too (especially after the hilarious sitcom Whitney). The lead character is finally a strong woman without a ton of makeup – she has lots of human “flaws” such as trying to quit smoking and drinking hard liquor after a hard day…she is pretty without being babed up and as incredulous as it may be, she doesn’t have big boobs!!!

    Holy crap. You watch TV now?

    We like Det. Jane Timoney for all those reasons too. Although I could do without that hat. Our DVR catches the end of Whitney’s show and it looks pretty funny. We probably ought to be watching that too.

  11. Have you been to ?

    He draws his own jokes and comments on them, and most of it is way above my head, but still very funny. There was for instance a visit to the tower of Pisa where the tourists that were waiting to get in were also leaning and at the same angle as the tower.

    Right now there is one with somebody that could be Moses and there is a bush burning and an old fire engine appearing.

    He is a history teacher, but maybe retired.

    There was one with somebody getting submerged in the river to be babtized and two little fish in the river whispering to each other: the presbyterians do it by just sprinkling on a little water.
    Most of his jokes are not about religion, but about American things, but then I don’t get them. In his drawings he also pastes in clippings from tabloid photos, like some monster appearing behind a lady who is sitting on a garden bench reading her horoscope.

    Thanks for that link. Never been there before. Quite amusing!

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