Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (February 28, 2009) (The Garden Waking Up!) (Pic Heavy)

~~By InsightAnalytical–GRL

The movies I watched over the last couple of days just seemed to hit too close to home.  On Thursday night, Retroplex aired “1984, ” which was filmed around the actual locations and time of year that was described in George Orwell’s novel.  Richard Burton, who died in 1984, was chilling in the finals sequences as he tortured the man who “thought” and was caught.  It was terrifying in light of what’s been going on lately.  Then last night, TCM showed “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” followed by “All the King’s Men.”  Later, it was “The Manchurian Candidate.”   What a way to spend a Friday night!

Host Robert Osborne had a tidbit following “Mr. Smith” that I hadn’t heard before.  Apparently, it was this movie that inspired Ronald Reagan to began thinking about his interest in politics.  And we know how THAT turned out…As I recall, he had one of the most corrupt administrations in recent memory, with something like 100 officials, including Attorney General Edwin Meese, either hauled into court or somehow involved in legal proceedings/investigations.  Apparently, the inspiration of Jefferson Smith didn’t stick…

Anyway, I got out to the garden for a brief time today. The garden is my place of sanity and it’s waking up!  Here are some pics from yesterday (2/27) with some details of what’s going on.  I may do some more “Saturday Sanity” posts as the gardening year unfolds!

The plants are beginning to arrive and Thursday at Lowe’s I chatted with a guy who was looking over the tomatoes and he and I agree  that we are champing at the bit to start digging!  I bought some metal poles that I will use to support the two new grape vines that I will begin to train this year.  You have to plant a bit early here because by May it’s hot, so plants have to get a good start. That means protecting them from the winds and the sharp temperature drops from warm days to cold nights that sometimes occur. It’s that sort of thing that made my apricot tree lose all it’s blossoms last year (it’s second spring) which meant I had no apricots at all.  I have a peach tree in a warm corner which is already blooming and being pollinated, but it’s way too early, as usual.  By contrast, another peach on the sheltered side of the house is just beginning to have its buds swelling.  Talk about “micro climates’…

Here is the peach in bloom with the grapes I need to prune this weekend in the foreground:

Peach Tree & "Flame" Grape

Peach Tree & "Flame" Grape

The fig, which I finally got into the ground after several years in a large planter,  is starting to show a bit of green:

Fig Greening Up!

Fig Greening Up!

My pomegranate is budding out and so is the apricot.  I hope the birdhouse attracts a resident!

Apricot and Bird House

Apricot and Bird House

I have a mysterious visitor to the garden lately.  I think it’s some sort of thrasher, but the beak is VERY long and curved and sometimes crosses over. The “regular” thrashers have long, strong beaks, but nothing like this. My desert book doesn’t show this guy, so I’ll have to do more research.  This is a very bold bird and I can get fairly close to it!

Mystery Bird

Mystery Bird

Here’s the last of the mustard and what’s left of the winter lettuce that I’ll pick soon:

First Raised Bed

First Raised Bed

This is my second raised bed with the arugula going to seed. That’s a few clumps of swiss chard that overwintered just beyond my shadow:

The Other Raised Bed

The Other Raised Bed

I bought a couple of tomato plants and artichokes at Lowes.  I was so surprised to see the artichokes that I grabbed them. I didn’t have much luck with them in New Jersey, so we’ll have to see how they do here. It’s all about keeping them shaded, from what I’ve read.  As for the tomatoes–I plant them in the beds as well as in containers on the patio. I do the same with eggplant and things like basil and peppers. It’s my “insurance garden” just in case something happens and the veggies fry in the main beds.

Tomatoes & Artichokes

Tomatoes & Artichokes

Out in the border the purple stock is flowering, the sedum “Autumn Joy” in pots is on its way, and the Texas Ranger sage is looking good. I grew the sedum in the ground in Jersey and it got HUGE, but here in my yard I moved it to pots and it’s doing better than in the ground. That’s my composter to the left of the white fence:

Purple Stock & Sedum

Purple Stock & Sedum

There are some amazing things going outside the garden.  Near the street by my neighbor’s driveway, there’s a tire tread where he’s backed out onto the ground…and guess what has popped up there?  A little parade of flowers, with one already blooming:

Wildflowers in the Tire Tread

Wildflowers in the Tire Tread

There are buds on my little cacti, too.  March is also the month when you can take a pad from a cactus, let it dry a bit so a callous forms on the exposed end, and then stick it into the ground for a new cactus plant!

Hope you enjoyed the little tour! I have lots of work to do, so I better get to bed and get some rest!  Tomorrow I need to prune the grapes and fertilize the grass (all two feet of it!), the fruit trees and the border plants.

The Past Week: November 23-29, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Dogs; Obamabilia and “Mt. Crapmore”; Jobs; Black Politics; CNN Delivers In-Depth Report on Our Best Hope to Save Us from “First Lady Fashion Fumbles”)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Well, we survived Black Friday and now the full-court press is on for Christmas! For me, this is the time of year when I start avoiding stores and try to ignore all that’s going on.  If the economy depended on me for consumption, it would tank even more…I don’t shop!

Quick update on the stray dog…I think she/he was around a few weeks ago, but after I got my cam set up and experimented with the location of the food/water dishes and saw that everything disappeared except the big cookie treats, it was pretty clear that the birds that were hanging around were the ones eating. So, wherever the little dog is these days, I hope she/he is safe and warm.  I wish I could be sure…On the bright side, the neighbors across the street, whose house is visible on the web cam view, adopted another dog quite by chance. They were visiting some people and the neighbors from across the street was in the process of moving and were desperate because they couldn’t take the dog with them. My neighbor decided to take him home, as a buddy for the white boxe named Sugar they already have. A young dog they had had died a couple of months ago and Sugar was very lonely. The new addition, a huge American bulldog named Big, is as sweet as pie and is friendly toward Slick. Sugar was beginning to warm up a bit since she was so lonely, but wasn’t exactly in love with my little guy.  Big makes sure Sugar stays in line and practically climbs over Sugar to nose Slick!

If you”re lucky, you might see Sugar and Big on the cam greeting Slick as we go out for our “mailbox walk” in the early afternoon…

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Speaking of Christmas, you might want to shop at the site offering fabulous Obama gifts!!! The ad caption for this graphic reads “Capitalism, Democracy, Support Both!! Buy the T-Shirt”!

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H/T to Make Them Accountable for passing along this clip found at Raw Story…Lewis Black on how cheesy the “Obamabilia” sellers are these days:

Lewis Black rant mocks tacky ‘Obamabilia’

“Just think about it,” said comedian Lewis Black in a recent installment; “two months before he even takes office, Barack Obama has already earned a permanent place on ‘Mount Crapmore.'”

SNIP

Said Black: “The election of Barack Obama has once again demonstrated America’s greatest gift: Our capacity to embrace hope and idealism… and then turn it into worthless, disposable crap!”

The one response is right on target:

As is the load the Obama marketing team sold the huddling lemming-like progressives who lapped up the rhetoric like thirsty dogs. It’s worthless crap. Never, ever, underestimate the ability of human beings to repeat the same mistakes countless times.
Audacity of hope, indeed.

Reminds me of the cartoon I posted back on 11/22…a previous r version of “Mt. Crapmore”…

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Monday we awoke to this fabulous WaPo report with a it’s ridiculous headline…’H/T to That’s Me on the Left for the find and snark:

Obama Sets Expansive Goal for Jobs
Plan Aims to Create or Save 2.5 Million Positions by 2011

So, if I’m understanding this correctly, if Obama creates zero jobs by 2011, he has achieved his goal, as he “preserved” the 2.5 million jobs not lost.

Indeed, if he loses 2.5 million jobs, he preserved the additional 2.5 million jobs that would have been lost absent his lightworking economic policies.

Unbelievable.

And the WaPo carries this spin as a headline on page one.

So now, job creation is apparently on an equal footing with “job saving” which means not losing any more…Let’s aim high, folks!

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As the big financial institutions line up for their much-deserved bailout money, how much is really being reported in the mainstream media?  Well, if you want to see where YOUR money is going, check out this great site, Bailout Sleuth.com, which is keeping up with where all the money is going…

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Here’s another site which is very informative.  If you want to keep up with what black Americans are thinking these days, check out Your Black Politics. The site also provides an EXTENSIVE list of many other blogs related to black political news and other subjects of interest.

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From Chicago Correspondent Leslie…finally, an article of substance from CNN!!! Thank God, we will have Michelle Obama’s impeccable taste to look to for inspiration and the chance to “break the mold”!  Are the snide remarks about Clinton and Bush absolutely necessary?? I think not…And why the HELL are we being subjected to this fashion crap, anyway?…”18 million cracks” my ass…(When do we get to hear Sarah Palin trashed again??)

Fashion fumbles by first ladies

NEW YORK (AP) — When Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton arrived at the White House, they brought with them styles that suited their hometowns in Texas and Arkansas, but that wouldn’t have held up in any fashion capital.

Laura Bush's Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn't get high ratings in 2001.

Laura Bush’s Sunday-best peacock blue coat didn’t get high ratings in 2001.

Tastemakers have higher hopes for Michelle Obama, who is expected to fill her closet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with sophisticated styles that match her modern image but maintain the sensibility inherent to Chicago.The image of Obama walking the inaugural parade route in something like the domed, wide-brimmed hat that has haunted Clinton since 1993 seems unlikely. And she probably won’t show up to the inaugural ball in mother-of-the-bride-style gowns with dyed-to-match pumps like Bush has worn — twice.

Over time, both Clinton and Bush did grow more accustomed to their new surroundings, and their wardrobe reflected that. Learn more about inaugural events and history »

For example, Bush wore a Sunday-best peacock blue coat with sensible shoes to the chilly inaugural ceremony in 2001, but chose a chic winter-white coat ensemble with camel-colored high heels — a top pick of fashion insiders — in 2005.

Clinton also chose a modern, luxe gold lace gown by Oscar de la Renta for her second tour of inaugural balls unlike the fussy purple princess number the first go-around. (Remember the sparkly belt buckle?) Video Watch how extravagant should Obama’s inauguration ball be? »

Still, Bush and Clinton fit into the expectations of what earlier generations thought a president’s wife should look like. Obama has the opportunity to break the mold.

MORE spew….

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This week in the garden:  I have a huge crop of mustard that I can’t eat fast enough!   The pak choi is beginning to become recognizable at about 3″ tall and the arugula is just about ready for first harvest.  I actually picked a few more small banana peppers from the plants in the pots.  Although we’re having brief spells of freezing temperatures overnight, I still have a few figs that I’m hoping to harvest. I cover the bush with plastic and keep it on during the day.  The tree is a bit off schedule because I transplanted it last fall from a big planter and it’s still getting warmth off the wall it’s next to.  I’m real close to having them ripen, but one really bitterly cold night may spoil them.  Fingers crossed!

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THIS WEEK’S POSTS

We started the live web cam this week! See the tab at the top of the home page!

*By kenosha Marge

**By American Lassie

***Submitted by Grail Guardian

Bill Richardson at Commerce: Scary

*A True Tale: “The Saga of Tom Turkey” by kenosha Marge

**The $700 Billion Bailout Bait and Switch

REMINDER: Free US Now Radio Tonight (11/24)…with Idella Moore, Head of Drive to Ratify the ERA

***CHANGE! …(your expectations)

The Past Week: November 16-22, Recaps & Random Thoughts (Critical Thinking vs. Elation; Pics from “Elation Central”; Drying the Tears of Progressive Groups; Medicare Part D Surprise from the Democrats; Face Reading; Housewives & Ludacris; Stray Dog Update)(UPDATE 1X–Dog)

The Past Week: Recaps & Random Thoughts, October 12-18 (A Fond Farewell; Polls and Polling Methods; Odinga Video; Fitzerald, Clintons, RICO?; Body Language and Obama the Hypnotist; Chicago; Greens!…3-Parter on ‘Independent Thinking’)

~~Posted by InsightAnalytical-GRL

A personal note…

I received sad news this week that a person I had been writing to since 2001 passed away after a long illness. Sharon and I “met” after she wrote to me about something I had written for Buzzflash. Sharon was just about to marry Ian and move to Europe at the time we started corresponding. Over the years she and Ian  became long-distance friends.  Sharon and I both loved cooking, dogs, and politics, and I will miss her frequent, long email letters describing the political situation in the UK and how the U.S. scene was being reported there… To Ian, I extend my deepest condolences and a hope that we will be staying in touch…

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Polls, Polls, Polls…

Polls are on everyone’s minds these days and I came across a couple of interesting articles to highlight.

First, here’s a discussion detailing a discussion with a purported internal pollster for Obama: Conversations with an internal pollster for Obama…

From the GOP side, a blogger did a very interesting overview on the polls at “Blogs for John McCain” under the title Obama’s Lead Crumbling, an Electoral Guide, which was posted on Thursday, October 16. Although things might not be crumbling at this point, the analysis is worth a look.

This week we we learned that Gallup is now using a different polling model which Uppity Woman discussed in detail (also posted by No Quarter). A post I wrote in July about polling methods which is now even more relevant.  As a matter of full disclosure, I was a study director at the “original” Gallup before it was sold; George Gallup, Sr., the founder of the company, was still active and Andy Kohut, who now runs Pew Research Center, was the President.  It’s sort of a “primer on polling.”  See: Musings on Pollsters: Confessions of a Former Gallup Study Director…(Updated 2X)

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Can’t let the week go by without a mention of Raila Odinga.  For some reason, the posts I wrote about him months ago have been percolating the last couple of weeks.  Here’s a link to a very powerful video which uses news clips to present a graphic portrayal of Odinga, his followers and the violence following the 2007 election, his political roots, and his relationship with Barack Obama. It is definitely something to pass around to as many people as possible.

*****

In case you missed this…from The Wall Street Journal’s “Market Watch” Community…an intriguing post about the Clintons vs. ACORN-Obama.  Is it true? Who knows?…but it IS intriguing…

Clintons File RICO Suit Against Obama – ACORN Stole the Nomination Too!

According to this post, Patrick Fitzgerald on the case.

Our source in federal courts said, “Any crime that involves more than two people and is carried out across state lines qualifies as a corrupt organization. The fact that those “Goodwill” donations were made in Texas and received at Obama headquarters in Chicago or Washington means it qualifies for RICO.”

The “Goodwill donations” referred to above are the $228 million in undocumented, unverified campaign contributions the Obama camp has received — which the McCain campaigned filed a complaint to the FEC on this past Monday.

We’ve also heard that the Clinton campaign filed complaints to the FBI and other federal agencies over Obama’s fraud in the Iowa, Texas and other caucuses: voter intimidation, registration fraud, and other illegal activities.

The last thing we were told tonight in regards to all of this was that “the memo here is a tying together of all these various threads. That’s what you will see in the last weeks of the campaign: all things being tied together”.

If everything rumored here is true, it looks like David Axelrod, Howard Dean, Donna Brazile, Obama himself, and possibly even Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were all involved, together, in massive RICO violations, and thus federal fraud, if the DNC and party leadership knew what the Obama campaign and ACORN were up to and allowed it to proceed. Knowledge of federal crimes being committed makes all parties accessories to those crimes — and part of the conspiracy to defraud the public.

Boy, wouldn’t that be something if all this were true?

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Tonight (Saturday) I’ve seen an ad running on The History Channel from the Republican Congressional Committee and John McCain…a joint ad. Topic?  Taxpayers money going to Rezko, headlines about corrupt Obama ties, Congressional Democrats featuring a lineup of Reid, Pelosi, and Barney Frank, and a parting message about the average guy being taxed so more money gets into the hands of the Democratic Congress. Threads are being connected in this ad.

I watched The History Channel program called “Secrets of Body Language.” The commentators “swooned” over Obama’s voice…a commentor saying he’s so “powerful” a speaker that “the words become irrelevant.” They followed Obama with a segment on McCain, who, they said, speaks in a manner “exactly opposite” — more like a “technician” and with sincerity.  Remember just before the NH primary when Hillary showed emotion? Well, guess what? The experts were split on whether it was real or coached…

And here’s something else to ponder…Obama’s use of hypnosis techniques. I became certified in hypnosis and what’s in this piece sounds entirely plausible to me…

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Finally, I caught most of “Chicago” on IFC tonight…a great flick and it was really funny to hear Richard Gere “tapping dancing” on the subject of Chicago corruption. One great line from Gere’s character–“This is Chicago, kid–You can’t beat fresh blood on the wall.” The whole picture seemed so…current.

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This week in the fall garden–finally got my arugula, pak choi, and more chard seeds planted. The mustard is growing rapidly.  Haven’t seen a hummingbird for a few days. The nights are getting pretty chilly, so soon I’ll be putting up the plastic “greenhouse.”

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THIS WEEK’S POSTS

*By Grail Guardian

**By  kenosha Marge

***By American Lassie

*Part 3-Independent Thinking: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS

Part 2–Independent Thinking: THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY/LATRINE NEEDS THE TY-D-BOL MAN

**Part 1–Independent Thinking: PARTISAN NO MORE

2001 Article from Chicago’s Community News Project (Funded by Woods Fund) Mentions Obama under “Organizing and Islam” Section

***Shakespeare, Warlocks and Barack Obama…(UPDATE 1X)

*Announcing the End of the “PC” ERA

The Past Week: Recaps & Random Thoughts, October 5-11 (Cloward-Piven, Mortgage Connections w/Charts; ACORN ad; Uh-Oh-Ohio; Musings on Middle Names; Slaughtering Sarah; Feeling Prickly)