gator gone

Found out that once again we are ahead of our time. We were watching GMA the other morning and one of the expert talking heads described this new way to get something great for free. She said you can get an antenna for your TV and totally do away with the cable or satellite systems. Her explanation was that since the conversion from analog to digital signals, TV is now free if you just install a simple antenna. She explained how she gets 40 channels for free. She said an outside, specialized antenna will do even better. Wow! You can get free TV with an antenna. What will they think of next?

Got to fire up the generator this week. We came home to find a wide area power outage as a result of a big electrical storm. At first the power company was predicting we’d be back on by 8PM but subsequently called and moved the time to midnight. With that later info they added that they were still trying to find the problem so we decided to crank up the generator. We had never used the generator for actual power supply since we bought it a few years back. I had fired it up a few times a year just to make sure it would start when needed and it started on the first pull. I went through all the procedures I could remember to hook up the house but popped the breaker on the generator about a second after throwing the switch. I threw the house breakers on everything I thought might have put on too big a startup load and tried again. Success. Then I brought the heavier loading items on sequentially with no problems at all. I can pretty much run the whole house sans A/C and hot water. I think if I had turned off the dehumidifiers in the sheds before loading the generator, I would have been fine. We ran for a couple of hours so I feel pretty good about going into the storm season.

Started another garden experiment. I had decided to let things go dormant for a few months after the spring crop ran out of gas. My history in doing anything in July or August has been disastrous due to the combination of heat, humidity, and bugs. Well I’m backing off that just a bit and trying a couple of grape tomatoes. Of all the tomato types I’ve dealt with, cherry/grape tomatoes seem to be the most tolerant of the heat and humidity and if I start blasting them with insecticides, relentlessly from the get go, maybe we’ll keep some red in the salad in late summer. I’m also removing one of my nematode remedies, the sugar. I’ve planted the tomatoes in a row I recently built 100% from compost – no native soil at all. I think that’s the real key to beating the nematodes. The other thing I’m doing a bit different is that I sprinkled a handful of epson salts in the hole before planting. I’ve had some problem this season with tomatoes rotting on the vine and I know it’s not a watering issue. Could be some tiny insect that hit a month ago and planted something inside the tomato or could be a lack of some trace metal; ergo the epson salts. Simon signed up for an elective class in gardening starting in Sept. so I’m going to have some expert overseeing in the future. He’s also taking a class called Seeds of Change which has something to do with genetically altering seeds. So I guess I could be playing with tomato flavored cucumbers or cucumber flavored tomatoes next season.

A while back I mentioned spotting a gator in the lake and also a lure that had been hung in a tree to attract it to that location. I took a kayak down to that spot today and the lure is gone. It was a ripe chicken hanging by a heavy rope attached to a thick branch so there’s no missing it. I guess that means it did it’s job and the folks who placed it also removed it. For sure, I haven’t spotted the gator since late May which is a pretty good sign that it’s no longer sailing in these waters.

If anybody had any questions about how screwed up the gov’t is or rather, how inept it is at handling any sort of emergency situation, you need only look at the oil spill in the gulf. Between the Coast Guard, the EPA, OSHA, DOE and whatever agency has a finger in the pie, it’s a complete joke. It would seem to even the most casual observer that the one lesson that should have been learned from Katrina is that there needs to be one person put in charge that trumps all these unhooked and competing agencies. Two months into it and they’re still fighting the Jones Act, a maritime union job protector. Yeah, let’s let the fed’s run healthcare.

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