Friday, June 04, 2010

BP Changes Renames "Oil" to "Chocolate Fudge"

New Orleans - Oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico has been renamed "Chocolate Fudge" according to a BP press release today.

"Oil" and "Petroleum" has negative associations for many people", explain BP head Tony Hayward, "But everyone loves Chocolate Fudge!"

Coastal residents were greatly reassured by the change. "When I heard oil was going to choke the marshes where I fish and hunt," said Louie Garou, 51, of Silverman Parish, "I was worried. But now that the marshes are going to be coated in Chocolate Fudge, well, I'm just going out there with a spoon!"
Scientists applauded BP's action. "This is the most intelligent thing the company has done in response to the spill," said an independent scientist under contract to BP. "Rather than requiring safety precautions when drilling, all we really needed was some redefinitions."
In related news, Gulf fishing boats were reporting record catches of the once-rare Gulf Tarball Fish. "The Tarball is not tasty eating," said one captain, "but you'll soon be enjoying it as the main ingrediant in Fish Oil Capsules. Yummy!"

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Sorta Sodded Shed

The rusty metal shed on corner of our lot was slated for replacement. Its rusty walls and roof were quite unattactive and not fitting into our vision of a local paradise.

However, the shed is perfectly functional. It's the right size for our needs, and completely dry inside even in heavy rain! Although the metal would be recycled, re-using something that's already in place and functional is far more efficient. We all have cosmetic faults, whether we are humans or sheds, and perhaps with a little work, we can all look, not boringly new, but interesting, even delightful. So it was decided: Rusty the Shed stays!

I started by covering the roof with cut grass and duff (shown in photo). I don't think it's strong enough for heavy sod, but a couple inches of grass and random branch bits should be fine. The Lovely Wife noticed an immediate improvement in appearance. It's not pretty in a shiney-plastic way, but it's scenic, evoking thatched roofs (actual thatching would be far too much work for my meager abilities).

I also noticed that the rain no longer rolls off its impermiable surface, but is held for a short time, either to revaporate or drip slowly into the soil.  I anticipate a slight increase in bioactivity as small plants root among the grass clippings. No doubt the dingdang invasive morning glory will make its move too!

In the near future, we'll work on the walls by adding an apothecary rose to the south side to cover and beautify and yielding tasty rose petals all summer. We may also flank the doors with native huckleberries. We love us some huckleberries!

When that's all set, I suppose we'll repaint doors something interesting. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Low-Budget Raised Garden

  • Take a south-facing side of the house ending in concrete steps, facing onto some poured concrete we never park on.
  • Add bales of straw from Hayes Feed & Supply.
  • Lay down a layer of cardboard.
  • Layer in about half a cubic yard of yard waste
  • Add about half a cubic yard of dirt from Cedar Grove on Deldridge (transportation courtesy the mother-in-law's pickup truck)
  • Add plants and enjoy!

Monday, May 31, 2010

My Father Never Discussed His Military Service ...

We knew he'd been in the army after WW2 and before Korea. He'd been a baker, and thought nothing of making 20 or 40 loaves in a single batch. Whenever this happened, we figured we were nearly rich - we didn't know anyone else who had FORTY LOAVES OF BREAD!!!

He may have been stationed in Korea for a while. He had a little book for introducing soldiers to Korea, a digest sized paperback that is long gone. As a child, I heard the grown-ups talking about him getting a Purple Heart for being stabbed in a bar fight; I took this quite seriously but now I think it might have been a joke.

He talked about playing cards on the troopship; losing all his money on the way over, getting it all back on the way home. However I read much the same idea in Bill Mauldin's book so maybe that was just a common way of speaking.

He used a lot of expressions that he might have picked up in boot camp. For example, "When I say 'Jump!' you say 'How High?'; when I say 'Shit!" you say 'What Color?'" The effects of these were lost on us kids, since although they were intended to indicate we were expected to give blind, unquestioning obedience, it left me at least wondering how I could get my shit to come out green or purple on command.

When he was buried, it was with a flag which was carefully folded. As eldest son, I have it in the traditional triangular box.

That's about all I know. If I get photos, I'll post them.