Monday, May 31, 2010

Our Garden -- Phase 1

Well this is my first garden post and will likely be rather longish since I have a lot of photos documenting the progress thus far. Future posts will probably be shorter and at more frequent intervals.
This started out as a Mother's Day gift for my wife since she has always wanted a garden but already it has become a pretty cool family activity and as we move forward the kids as well as my wife and I will be pretty involved in maintaining our new garden.

Phase one -- tomatoes. Oh how many? I dunno... just plant them all. DOH! What do you mean tomatoes take up 4 square feet per plant?? Well I guess we'll be making a lot of salsa!

Yep these are all tomatoes... we're actually only going to use 14 of them and give the rest to friends who also garden... still that is a lot of freakin tomatoes though!

All the plants started bending towards the bay window in search of some better sunlight... so I gave them a table in the basement using grow lights.

Ahhh much better.

They straightened right up.

First green bean plant.

Cucumbers looking for something to climb. They will have a little trellis once I get them situated outside.

We read a little after the fact that both corn and bell peppers require warmer soil to start out so I built a germination station. This is one of those heat lamps they use for poultry incubators.

Jolly green bean giants (at least compared to everything else.)

The cornlings have arrived.

Building forms. (Thanks for the help Phil!)

Four yards of dirt is more than I imagined. I have plenty left over to build up around the foundation where we get water from time to time during heavy rain. If you are wondering, my daughter thought it looked like a mountain and carved a winding road into it.

A yard of mushroom compost, which by the way smells like the Lee's Summit City Dump... but the veggies supposedly love the stuff. The vermiculite is supposed to help the soil retain moisture.

About halfway through four yards.

Big bed is for veggies, medium bed is for melons (going to try growing watermelons and canteloup vertically... look for future posts on how and if I accomplish that) and the smallest bed (4x4) is for strawberries.

Sort of like a layer cake... made of dirt, vermiculite and rotting plant matter.

And MANY MANY thanks to my dad for the wonderful gift of a Honda tiller. Wow this thing works GREAT!

A good Memorial Day weekend's work completed!!! Now we let the mixture settle for a few days and planting commences. In the meantime we've been taking the seedlings outside for a couple hours each day to minimize the shock of transplanting. See you next time!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Happy Star Wars Day!!!!

Thirty-three years ago today a young boy (me) went to the Glenwood 4 theater on Metcalf avenue and had his 5 year old world rocked. Yes... opening day of Starwars Episode IV: A New Hope. The oddity that this was episode 4 didn't occur to me until sometime in the early 80's but what did occur to me was that Luke Skywalker was very very cool; A planet with two suns was very very cool and a 6'6" Sith Lord named Darth Vader was TOTALLY FREAKING COOL!!!

This is without a doubt the earliest vivid memory I have of childhood. Of course I have little snippet here and there of times before then but the day I saw Starwars is etched into my brain. I remember a line at least 5 people wide wrapping around this massively huge (to my 5 year old eyes) theater complex. My dad, my older brother and my older sister were with me on this momentous occasion and we waited... and waited... and waited... but FINALLY the ticket taker was before me and we entered a red carpeted lobby with a huge crystal chandelier. I don't know if I had ever been to this theater as a kid but I remember being somewhat in awe just of the lobby. The smell of popcorn (and real butter) filled the air and I had no idea really what I was about to see.

I still have some very clear impressions from that first viewing. I remember being a little scared but completely impressed by the massive size of the Imperial Star Destroyer as it approached the Princess's Corellian Corvette (of course I didn't know what the names of these ships were at the time nor did I know I would eventually know such trivialities as what TIE fighter stands for). I remember being almost tearful (but not knowing why) when Luke skywalker was looking out over the family moisure farm leaning on a bent knee over the edge of a creator at the twin sunset of Tattoine with John William's moving thematic orchestration playing "Luke's theme". I remember watching in absolute glee as the camera moved about the Mos Eisley Cantina and showed dozens of fantastic space creatures being generally weird. It took me about that long to really get my head around the film and stop oogling the coolness and start paying attention to the plot. OK so Luke has to be a Jedi whatever that is and now they have a ship to take them to the Jedi place. Yeah ok so he gets there in the second movie... I didn't know there was going to be even MORE of this joy in my life, I was only focussed on what happens next. The movie progressed like this with me (as I vaguely recall) literally on the edge of my seat. To make a long story short it was and still is the best movie I've ever seen. Yeah special effects have improved, yeah the acting upon reflection wasn't 'the best', but there is just something about a deepset childhood impression that is very difficult at times even as an adult to shake... and I can't shake the impression that STARWARS IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Yes Fragile 1972

I'm (well I was and then I decided to take a break to write up a quick blog post) sitting here remoted into the domain controller at cost center 1031 in Denver, setting up their new DC and file server... ya know creating user groups and applying lots of layers of NTFS permssions and what not. Anyway I'm also listening to the YES 'Fragile' album from 1972 and enjoying the heck out of it. Man what an awesome album! It is just scratching my musical itch this morning in that special way that makes you go 'ahhhhhhhhhh yeah... that's it.... that IS in fact as they say... it.'