Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dirt Cheap Salad Fixings


Seed packets: very cheap. There are often packets of last year's seeds around that are almost as usable as this years; they're supposed to have reduced potentcy, meaning, that  a fraction of the seeds won't sprout. But they're so cheap or free that the difference makes no difference. Keep your eyes open for neighborhood "Seed Swaps"; often they left over from your last year are what someone else is looking for this year, and vice versa.
Red clay pots: They're all over, especially if you kept you eyes open throughout the year and helped out friends who were ridding themselves of excess pots.. Never buy them new; they are very inexpensive 2nd hand, often free because if they have a slight chip they don't sell even though that doesn't affect the functionality.
Space: there are all sorts of spaces begging for a row of clay pots. Next to your house, or on the edge of a sidewalk next to a wall. No-one walks that close to a wall anyway so why not put the space to use?
Dirt: Oddly enough, this is the part that cost me the most. I got a pickup truck load of nice gardening soil for $20. Your prices may vary.

Put it all together according to the seed packet direction. Pad the bottom of the pot with a little extra green and brown matter (leaves, twigs - but not pine needles; they're too acidic). Add dirt, seeds and a little water, and you're almost done.

You don't have to set up a whole lot of pots all at once. Everyone has a different schedule. I like to take a break once a day or so and set out another plant or seed another pot. This method means I'm not doing too much all at one time; I can still get my other work done, and use gardening as a fun break instead of a chore. But you must adopt the schedule that its your lifestyle.

The Payoff:
In a few short weeks, nice salad greens! Or perhaps some chard, or mint, our what-have-you. This arises with minimal effort on your part; the quality is great because you know exactly went into making the plant ... and best of all: it's dirt cheap!

Friday, July 09, 2010

OEF/OIF PTSD lawsuit deadline: July 24

United States Court of Federal Claims logoA July 24 deadline to opt-in to lawsuit for OEF/OIF vets discharged due to PTSD and shorted benefits is coming up fast.

That means if you qualify, NOW is the time to sign up and opt-in. If you don't, you can still sue on your own but it'll be a whole lot harder without the help of your buddies or the lawyers who are working on the case at no cost to the veterans.

You can learn about it at this website:, but here are the key points:
"This website provides information about a class action lawsuit known as Sabo v. United States. This lawsuit is very important to some (but not all) veterans who were diagnosed during military service with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and then discharged from active duty due, at least in part, to their PTSD.

This lawsuit does not affect most of the tens of thousands of veterans who have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over the last 30 years. It only involves veterans who
(a) served on active duty in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Air Force,
(b) were found by a Physical Evaluation Board to be unfit for continued service due, at least in part, to the individual's PTSD,
(c) were assigned a disability rating for PTSD of less than 50%, and, as a result,
(d) were released, separated, retired, or discharged from active duty after December 17, 2002, and prior to October 14, 2008 (regardless whether such release, separation, retirement, or discharge resulted in the individual's placement on the Temporary Disability Retirement List).
If you are one of the veterans described above, a legal notice about this lawsuit has been sent to you by the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP). You should receive this legal notice by January 29, 2010. If you receive this legal notice, please read the four categories on the left of this page and click the category that fits your case. This will describe the additional benefits you potentially could receive if you join this lawsuit.

If you are one of the veterans described above and do not receive a legal notice from NVLSP by January 29, 2010, please click on "I DID NOT RECEIVE THE LEGAL NOTICE" on the left of [the website].
To answer a few more questions that might have occured to you, the website FAQ says
  • The lawyers who represent the veterans in the Sabo lawsuit are not charging the veterans a fee for their services. These lawyers have agreed not to charge you or other class members a fee if you choose to join the lawsuit.
  • If you join this lawsuit, neither the Court nor a military records correction board can reduce the PTSD rating(s) that the PEB assigned to you absent fraud or unusual circumstances.
One problem that I see with all this is that there may be more than a few people with PTSD who aren't receiving their mail at any address that the government has on file. And sometimes mail gets thrown out; it's not a conspiracy, it's just the way things work. So if you think you might qualify or you know someone might qualify, you have about two weeks to contact the National Veterans Legal Services Program Sabo Class Action Litigation and see if you (or the person you know) might qualify. Why not do it now?

And a shout-out to my buddy Susan  Avila-Smith at VetWOW for alerting me to this!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Gambling On Hunger: Evil, Or Very Evil?

Another video today, this one really interesting:
Remember when gas was over $4 a gallon in 2008? Remember the global food crisis that resulted in dozens of food riots around the world and plunged over 100 million people around the world into hunger?
Watch this video and explore the rest of the site to learn more about how speculators brought about 2008’s food and oil bubbles. Most importantly, write to your members of Congress telling them to take action to avoid future bubbles. They need to know that this is important to you. Right now, they are only hearing from Wall Street.
Clearly, this seven minute video is a simplification of a complex issue, but it sums up the history behind and key problems brought on by the deregulation of commodity futures markets.

Or if you prefer to read text, try "Goldman Sachs Gambled On Starvation".

And of course this ties into the Giant Pool of Money program a while back. Ya know, we humans have got to figure out what to do with that Giant Pool (or Blob) before it hurts more people!