Monday, August 30, 2010


at the fair.

Detecting finds

I finally cleaned out my box of things I dug up while metal detecting. There wasn't a whole lot of stuff, because I haven't done much hunting this year. However, it was the first time I'd cleaned it out since I-don't-know-when (last winter sometime, probably) so there was a little.

I had about five dollars in coins. The coin at the top left is a Sacagawea dollar, the second I've found. I can't remember where I found it, or even whether I already knew I had it. I might have thought it was a quarter when I threw it in the box I carry with me.

The other stuff is just junk. The toy plane tail and the aluminum glasses frame were found near one another on the grounds of a children's home/former orphanage. The plane tail is still streaked with tears. I don't know what kind of frames those are—perhaps some kind of sports safety glasses? The rifle casings are from the grounds of an old church (from those uncompromising olden days when they used to shoot sinners). The ring-shaped thing is actually a pipe fitting or pipe cutting. Mickey the dog must have taken up a new life under an assumed identity. It's all worthless.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

More garden stuff


Regarding the swallowtail caterpillars:  Just at a glance, I saw five or six of them on the fennel, so I'm sure there are more I didn't see.  Ever since I saw a butterfly laying eggs on it, each time I've walked past the fennel I've looked for caterpillars, but this is the first time I've found them.


This morning from our window I watched a bright red, chirping cardinal hopping around the top of one of my tomato plants.  He was pulling at stems and leaves, and I thought he was eating flowers or small green tomatoes, but wasn't sure.  Finally, I saw him grab something and pull and gobble it down.  It looked like a green caterpillar, which had been eating the plant. Go cardinal!


I picked my first two red cayenne peppers today



This is one of the reasons I wanted to grow fennel: swallowtail butterfly caterpillars live on it. So far, I've not found the fennel to be particularly edible, but these guys seem to be enjoying it.
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mythical Origins of Alyssa

Yesterday, my youngest child was pretending to be someone named Alyssa, and she eagerly told me the story of how she "got borned":


"For some reason, just before I got borned, my mother died.  Then, all of a sudden [dramatic hand wave] in a big flash of lightning, I came out of my dad's tummy.  We were living in Chicago.  At that time, there weren't many people or things in Chicago, so we moved to Kentucky where there were more people."



We had corn from the garden with our dinner.  Some of it was a little under-ripe, but I picked it before the varmints could beat me to it, which they frequently do.  The ears were less buggy and better developed than any I've grown and picked before, but there wee still some "ear-fill" problems.


I am now markedly out-paced in my tomato consumption.  For a little while, I was eating enough to almost keep up with what was coming in, but no more.  I have even become pretty good at frying some adequately delicious green tomatoes, and I'll make another batch of salsa in the next day or two, but there are too many tomatoes on my counter.  Not enough to bother with canning, though.  Perhaps I should oven- or dashboard-dry some.


Last night I had the idea that I should sautee some of the onions from my garden with some garlic, then use that in bread dough.  Perhaps I could even use some pureed tomatoes; that could be a fantastic pizza crust.


Friday, August 13, 2010


I incorrectly set my alarm for 2:20, resulting in it not awakening me.  Fortunately, I woke up on my own at 2:40 and checked the clock, got dressed, and set out.


I decided to take a faster route out to Long Run Park, but got lost when I couldn't find the back end of Flat Rock Road.  For the first time, I turned on my new phone's GPS, which allowed me to realize I was close to Shelbyville Road.


It was supposed to take about 20 minutes to get to the park, but it ended up taking almost twice that.  Along the way I saw more deer (six or seven) than cars (three).  The deer and I weren't much of a danger to one another, since I was slowly feeling my way along unfamiliar roads.


This is one of the latest times I've been out to watch the Perseids.  Usually I've gone out anywhere from 10:00 to 2:00, and been home well before sunrise.  At those hours, I'm more likely to run into other people at the park (some I've seen have obviously been sky watchers like me; but others I've not been so sure about and might be better off not knowing.)  Arriving at the park this morning at 3:30, I only saw on other car.  I didn't see whoever came in it, but they left before I did.


I set up my lawn chair by the road.  I used a little bug repellent, but they mosquitoes weren't too bad.  Occasionally, geese or ducks on the lake would make a racket; distant dogs barked; a barred owl was repeating, "Who-cooks-for-you?" in the trees downhill; once, I heard a very far-off donkey braying loudly.  It had a pleasantly pastoral feel.


The light pollution out at Long Run Park now truly sucks, though.  It is darker than the street on which I live, but not by much.  I had considered going farther out, either looking for a place way out Highway 22, or going with an astronomy group out to a viewing site in Crawford County, Indiana.  I'd be much more inclined to go farther if I were actually doing it as an outing with family or friends, but since it was just me, I settled on Long Run, knowing in advance that much of the sky would be washed out.


Over the course of the first hour, I saw twenty meteors.  Once I hit twenty, I almost decided to call it quits, but hung on for another fifteen or twenty minutes until I hit a tally of twenty five.  The best one I saw wasn't a Perseid meteor; it came from another direction, and I only saw the end of it as it came from behind me, flaring bright yellow.


The drive home was much smoother.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Meteor shower

I intend to go out to watch the Perseid meteor shower tonight.  It will be reaching its peak tonight after midnight.  This is something I've done many years since I was sixteen (there were quite a few years in which the weather was uncooperative, and a few years I just forgot.)


Very rarely has anyone gone with me, and I don't really blame them.  It's tough being out at that hour, even for a great fireworks display.


And the Perseids are NOT a great fireworks display.  However, each year on the news shows or news Web sites or in other popular media, I see the Perseids billed as something spectacular.  Yesterday on CNN there was a short story which told people to go ahead and stay up late to watch the vivid meteors and to take their cameras with them and to submit their amazing shooting star photos and videos.  This struck me as idiotic.  Yes, there are great photographers and amateur astronomers who can get wonderful shots of meteors; but it takes the right equipment, patience, and skill.  And the photos all look pretty much alike and aren't that amazing, just grainy streaks of light across a dark screen.


Streaks of light across a dark screen (the sky) is exactly what a shooting star looks like.  I think the media, in what little attention they give this sort of thing, play it up all wrong.


Here is what I find wonderful about watching meteors.  I love knowing that there are little specks of rock, most of them the size of a grain of sand, some perhaps as big as a pea, that have broken free from a comet.  This speck has been drifting through our solar system in one form or another ever since the Earth was a young churning mass of goo.  It has probably ranged far out past the orbit of Pluto. Now you can see it hit the atmosphere above you, vaporizing in a flash of light; it may be faint, or it may be bright enough to cast a shadow and leave a train of glowing gas that will hang there for second.


I can watch this someplace very dark, with crickets singing and scores of ancient stars shining, and with few other people around.  It all seems supremely huge and, at the same time, secret and quiet.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

English to Italian, Italian to Swedish, Swedish to English

--that's how I ran translations for my post from last week (a few posts below this one), using the Google translator feature.  I can only say that the translation methods seem to have become more sophisticated in the past few years; how else to explain some of the weird things that popped up?

 Small Tomatoes at the beginning of pictures from the Super Sweet 100 bush I planted, the larger, which can be understood from the picture is still small, fruit size, not only Caddyshack "is a hybrid of volunteers approached the edge of the Garden. This plant grows every tomato is better in my garden, and the mass outside the UN much fruit. They're pretty good, but too small for sandwich UN and solo too big to run across the mouth.

Tonight I have a small cut "of green onions from the garden and a (non-spicy, for some reason) that the banana pepper Len gave me. I sauteed them in olive oil, one of the employees of Mary and me to the Top noodles, along with some tomato slices. A piece of fish and homemade bread are also images.


 I thought this was a cool picture.  It's Saturn's moon Enceladus, taken by the Cassini space probe. You can see water plumes being ejected into space from the bottom, the result of eruptions at the surface.

Friday, August 06, 2010

fennel and poblano peppers

The whispy frond stuff is fennel.  The stalks have a great flavor, but they are too tough to eat raw.  I've heard that they can be steamed or microwaved to make them tender, and I might have to try it.
I'm going to try uprooting a whole plant so that I can eat on of the bulbs at the plant base this weekend.  That's the part most people eat.  The seeds are also used in lots of Asian cooking; some of these plants are flowering, so seeds won't be too far behind.
The other photo is of my poblano peppers.  We might be having some stuffed peppers sometime soon.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


The small tomatoes in the first photo are from the Super Sweet 100 bush I planted; the larger ones, which as you can tell from the photo are still petite, not-quite-golf ball sized fruits, are from a volunteer hybrid the came up at the ede of the garden. That plant is growing better than any other tomato in my yard, and putting out lots of fruit. They're pretty good, though too small for a sandwich and too large just to pop in one's mouth whole.

Tonight I cut up some green onions from the garden and a (non-spicy, for some reason) banana pepper that Len gave me. I sauteed them in olive oil, and served it to myself atop noodles, along with some of the sliced up tomatoes. A peach slice and homemade bread are also pictured.

If you are Better Homes & Garden or Chef Today Web Magazine, feel free to link to my blog.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Future art

I was thinking today: In the future, all art will be made by machines and for machines.  It just seems like the highly likely outcome.


What will be the role of humans, you ask?


I respond: Humans?


Monday, August 02, 2010

Mythical Hogan

I've just ridded myself of a misconception.  For years (I don't know how many years, because I don't know when I acquired this error; 5 years, or 30 years, it beats me) I thought Hogan was another name for Pan.


Farmington details


Finished Farmington pen & ink