Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canners and Tomato

Fifteen gallons is a quart a day for sixty days. A quart a day for a year is something like 91 gallons. So there's some distance to go if ever I was to attempt such a volume. 

Eighteen Tomato plants could well  produce seventy or eighty quarts this year, but a time comes when a canner begins to question the Tomato. Nor are those questions particularly polite.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ah Well

Addled minds are prone to feats of forgetfulness. The month of July has thirty one days. Today is Wednesday, tomorrow is Thursday.  And when it all boils down, put me in a vinaigrette with a couple of Cloves and I'll think I'm at the beach.

Fortunately when you begin to look like an old dodderer, with the going to town shoes and matching socks, spectacles strung around your neck so you won't lose them, people can be very polite. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Almost August

Community of creatures that fly and have feathers, are kind of in sullen mood. It's the chill I guess, harkening the months of fall and winter. Either that or they have come to the same conclusion that I reached years ago, August sucks.  But not for Butterfly and Moth, Yelling Frog and Cricket, and all creatures great and small that have an exoskeleton and biting mouth part.

There is however a developing Compost which if it were to earn a minimum wage of seven dollars and fifty cents per hour would by now be worth it's weight in gold.  And if I live long enough to see the fruit of this labor driven by wheel barrow through the early frosts of March to the Vegetable Garden, I'll be a smug and wealthy Gardener indeed.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Hildegard And Theresa

Nothing quite like the Latin of Saint Hildegard sung to the cathedral and its alter by the young crystal voices of a girl choir. The nice thing about it is you've no idea what the lyrics mean, so you can kind of make them up. Then of course you've got the internet and from "cancellous fenestra exorcist et in tenebras," you get  "cancellous window exorcism and in the darkness." And you think maybe that the translation of  'cancellous' is an error from a technical device wary of anything approaching nuance, so it does no more than repeat the word.  And it's kind of depressing until I wonder whether Saint Hildegard might actually share one thing in common with me, she's hopeless at spelling.

But 'cancellous' is a word in modern English usage. It describes "bone tissue with a mesh like structure," and suggests that the window in question is a "Lattice Window." 'Exorcism' is a word much abused by Hollywood out to make a few quick dollars out of terror. 'Exorcism' comes from ancient Greek, it means something like  'binding by oath.'  And of course when in a cathedral, singing to the mystery of an almighty,  it all begins to make as much sense as you ever need it to make. But I don't believe my own Saint Theresa is a singing visionary. A technical device will tell you she was either a victim of neurosis, or a victim of seizures, or victim to the hallucinogens in ergot. And that's why we people still have a chance.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Nineteen quarts from the Outdoor Stove, the last eight under conditions of Tornado Watch, with wind gusts, rain and some kind of down flow from the heavens which caused large biting drops, that felt more like Arctic Mosquito bites than what you might expect from a Sunday in  July with a feel like temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and which caused what might have been an eclipse of the Sun.

I mention this heroism because it's sometimes necessary for a Gardener to know that he has the necessary grit to can stuff under very, very, very  trying conditions. And if you want to know the secret of such a demonstration of courage, it emerges essentially from that much maligned mental attitude called dourness.  A good Gardener is never, ever cheerful. He's more like a Horn Worm that way, slow plodding and resolute.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Small Brown Perching Birds

Small Brownish Perching Birds, is kind of a mouthful. But you call them Finches or Sparrows at your peril, because Small Brown Perching Birds are easy to  underestimated, and they'll demand more respect from the Gardener.  Nor are our communities of Small Brown Perching Birds in the least shy or retiring.  When engaged in community disagreements, best just to sit in the shade a while until the issue is resolved. Then around Sunflower bloom which is now, Gold Finch appear, all look at me and la-di-dah.

No idea where the Gold Finch come from, they must have a central radar which detects the bloom of Sunflower, and telegrams are dispatched to those Gold Finch who have subscribed. And I don't know whether you have ever seen a bird sneer, but look out for Small Brown Perching Birds around Gold Finch and you'll see that little over the shoulder look followed by a couple of hops of disgust. And I can understand it, because I too react poorly around glamour. 

Friday, July 25, 2014


The idea of government being parasitic is all the rage in some circles. Quite how it has got to this, I've no clue, but I suspect it has something to do with a confusion in the definitions of 'liberty' and 'anarchy,' and a stasis in the structure of government to reflect the meaning of something like an electorate. In frustration, many reach out for the word 'mobilize,'  in their attempts to rectify a confusion they might sometimes think of as 'cognitive dissonance' in others. Which is an expression form the science of mind that supposes that when two or more beliefs are in conflict, a mind cleaves to the more palatable belief at the expense of  less palatable beliefs. And here, amongst 'the mobilized' the argument is that the less palatable beliefs might indeed reflect a more accurate appraisal of the circumstance, and ignoring them may be both perilous and stupid. So the word 'mobilize' in this context, I'd argue, is better understood as a 'yearning for power over the minds of others.'

You can try to think of it fruitfully as a 'yearning for influence over the minds of others.' This has a sort of gentle and rational flavor, a tutti-frutti  ice cream from the Barnes and Noble, or is it Baskin and Robbins, my own preference would be a second hand bookshop that serves a vanilla ice cream cone called 'fetishism' and for the more pedantic moments there'd be a vanilla and toffee crunch ice cream cone called 'Hegel and Marx,' to match the polite conversations and measured debates on the benefits of sharing.  But the point about structure is that minds are physical things that flow as water does downhill, so government is better thought of as a dam than some kind of evil parasite feeding on the genius of a two legged and heavy headed species. And you have to wonder about 'mobilize.' Probably better to wait, catch the leaks, so when the dam bursts not everything will be washed away. But that's just me, waiting for the dew to lift before pillaging Chard. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Alfred's Time

If you think about the British Isles of Alfred's time, you can imagine it as a bunch of ambitious chief executives, each with his own propaganda machine and inheritable titles quarreling over who owns what. Then if you look around the world today, you can kind of think of the whole world as a bunch of ambitious chief executives each with their own propaganda machine quarreling over who owns what and if you fudge the definition a little you can still come up with something very akin to the "inheritable titles" of Alfred's time.

Now whether or not this is the lot of our species, I don't know.  But always worth remembering that Alfred himself was of  Saxon tribes whom the Romans had for several hundred years used as mercenaries. When the Roman military left Britannia, or Albion as they called it in France, Romanized Celts, or the Britons, were instructed by their chief executive in Rome to take care of their own defense.  The Britons finally asked the Saxon tribes for help, and when the Britons failed to pay them, the Saxon tribes kind of pushed the Britons out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Rabbit Of Usk 69

Existential means, "about being alive."  There'll be debate of course, and I'm too stuck in my ways to enter that debate. But the point "about being alive" is an understanding of "not being alive."  And some of those understandings of "not being alive," are really far too contrived for serious consideration. Then at moments of impasse a person might spot a number of spindly arms and legs drowning in a bucket of water. An insect of some sort in terrible trouble. Not a cute, or nice, or kind thing at all to watch.

Anyway, during the rescue attempt, someone was stung on the little finger, and there's no way in this world Wasps are cute, or nice or kind, even if they might not look like a Wasp when they're in the process of drowning. And that circumstance, that moment of bite, stinger like a hot needle, and "about being alive" cruising past the immediate horizon, some glitter laden nursing professional wielding a syringe.  Nor can my last thought ever be, "I hope my underpants are clean."  Lo, thou shalt hop about in the Valley of the Usk River, and continue to circle round and round.  I'm going to call it Psalm 69.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Rabbit of Usk

The Rabbit of Usk has achieved yet one more moment of impasse. Easy to suggest the brain is not large enough to contain him, and one solution might be humility as opposed to the current solution which could be briefly summed with an expression from the ultimate doubt "Why has't thou forsaken me." Which may or may not be a tad extreme, given that the Rabbit's provenance is entirely from somewhere between my own poor excuse for ears.

 I do know that when the Rabbit is done, then so am I. And this might have caused a neurosis on my part, a self created impasse in the flow of what ever it is that passes for time on earth. I still like the idea of  June 21st 2021, which is a little under seven years for now.  Feels like plenty of time to wander the trails the Rabbit of Usk has wandered. So that helps a mind recognize its limitations, so long as nothing gets to be cute or nice or kind.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Thrasher nest in the near Apple tree is with chick. Never in all my rurality have I ever seen a Thrasher nest so near to a domicile. In a sense it's a glorious moment, but I sometimes wonder what happened to my friend the Close Mockingbird, and given the gossip about Mockingbird's chasing off Thrashers in places like Ohio and Canada, I am developing a suspicion about Thrashers.

It is possible the Thrasher community, here where I live, having heard these dastardly rumors about more northern dwelling Mockingbird, did something horrible to the Close Mockingbird when I was away.  There is no evidence of course, no smoking gun. But it's these sort of suspicions which lead to an increase in a person's determination never to leave their county again.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tomato Anxiety

Slow rain, a slight chill and a breezeless-ness, all of it causing damp among the Tomato.  And under these dangerous circumstances of weather, experience has suggested, conditions are perfect for the pox of exploding Tomato.  I'll also tread warily around the Beans, because under these conditions, they too suffer a loss of purpose, their leaves embrace each other for protection I guess, and next thing there's a yellowing which brings on rot and misery, but walk amongst them now and it just makes things worse.

 One of the issues of course is to leave angelic space between plants. This way each one can have their being without having to touch others of their kind, and thereby avoid  infection by communal antagonisms that lead to hysteria and some very poor behaviors. But I have been told that Peppers like to touch each other, they gain a strength of character, like a charging horde I guess, the Mongol of the Vegetable Garden. Either way, the better mental attitude from the Gardener during these trying times is a stiff jawed dourness and the odd passionless grunt for good luck.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Agents of the Devil

There's a Chipping Sparrow in the Vegetable Garden who has been absent tail feathers for maybe six or seven weeks.  And I'll tell you this much, it's a very cute Chipping Sparrow. A cuteness that could have something to do with an absence of tail feathers, or it could have something to do with some part of this Chipping Sparrow's character.  He, or she, will follow the Gardener around during that period of the day the Gardner devotes to his hose pipes, not an easy time for anyone, because hose pipes are designed by the devil to test a Gardener's ability to survive in hell. And I think the tail featherless Chipping Sparrow might be the devil's agent here where I live because during moments of discord between man and hose pipe, the tail featherless Chipping Sparrow will sit still in the fence wire, and very obviously is taking mental notes.

I guess the questions are endless, but the first one that springs to my mind is how did this Chipping Sparrow lose tail feathers. And here, I always find myself thinking it has something to do with sitting on eggs. Then you sort of have to think that maybe some feral rogue pounced, and the Chipping Sparrow went Lizard tail and flew safe to the high places. And being without tail feathers for a Chipping Sparrow has to be awkward, because I have noticed that a tail featherless Chipping Sparrow tends to prefer flying low and in straight lines, which suggests to me that an absence of tail feathers interferes with flight patterns. Then there is the business of appearance, how do Chipping Sparrows feel about tail featherless-ness in others of their kind. And I guess it's at this point that a Chipping Sparrow has no option but to enter a negotiation with the devil. A something that my own species seems to increasingly  accomplish by going shopping.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Night Singing

What with one thing and another, this year seems a little different. And prone as I am to conspiracy theory, I must be wary of hopping around ideas that really have their basis in what the purists will insist upon calling 'unsubstantiated drivel.' However, I kind of suspect that Mockingbirds have taken to their conference earlier than in the past. The conference is when they all disappear, and I like to think they gather somewhere to discuss the important things, lay down the rules about singing at night, eat funny food, swop stories and generally get along with each other through the period of their molt.  Kind of like a holiday for them.

Doesn't mean all Mockingbirds go to conference, and I have a vague memory of some years ago becoming quite distraught by what I believed was an unattached boy Mockingbird serenading the night after the manner of Nightingale, though not nearly as peacefully, and really very aggravating.  This year too there is a renegade.  He's just delighted, the only Mockingbird for miles around, his kingdom vast. And you forget the principal imperatives of being alive, which are to stay warm in winter, eat and give consideration to future generations of your kind. So it must be rather lonely for him out there, at three in the morning, singing away all by himself. And I too must learn patience.

Thursday, July 17, 2014


In eye of the it's beholder the Compost Piles, as they are currently configured here where I live are things of beauty and magnificence. Glorious structures with only a very few points of impasse, one of which is quite dangerous and tetanus sharp. And I guess that's what God said to himself when he created the universe before retiring to the cooler places for a light refreshment and the applause of angels. Wasn't long of course before the beseeching began, and here where I live I am beginning to think that our own subterranean community have eaten all the Worms.

Didn't see one today that I'd call a Worm. A tragic little creature, he was, keeping perfectly still. They are cold blooded, so if you pick one up with your fingers, I have been told, for a Worm it's kind of like being touched by a hot iron. So I moved it out of the way of compost turning equipment in a shovel full of what I am proud to call tilth.  It's possible too, that given the hours and endless hours of moving stuff around, distressing the traditional Compost Pile habitat, the Worms have just given up and have all moved to more peaceful places.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


An obsession with tilth is probably more to do with a Gardener's personality and experience, than it is to do with anything else. I can say this because I have been obsessed by tilth since I grew Radish up there on the slope of the Elgon Caldera. There'd been no rain, the garden was in shade, and I decided I would harvest the Radish.  Nor did we really have things like trowels, because on the high ground  around the Elgon Caldera a trowel was a pretty pointless implement. What you needed was a jembi, otherwise, especially for those with the elegant wrist, you kind of got nowhere as an ancient volcanic soil laughed at you.

 The Radish seed was remarkably precious, I had exactly twenty of them originally and they produced a perfect row of fifteen or sixteen plants, if I remember.  Of that number all but five had fallen prey to the malice of other little boys, and there'd been some extended periods of detention for one of the little boys who hadn't reacted well to an unnecessary vandalism to his garden. And I guess in the moments before the act of harvest a sort of excitement comes over a Gardener as he visualizes the perfection and glow of a root vegetable, and he ceases to become remotely practical and starts beating his head against a brick wall. The first four Radish, one after the other, come out badly damaged because the ground was rock hard and unresponsive to pointed stick as harvesting tool. The fifth Radish had been hollowed out by some ground dwelling insect that had tunneled straight through it, and it came out just fine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Foucault and Her Eggs

The Foucault Lizard will guard her nest, and I realize that Foucault when I think of this name is a boy, so maybe it's the boy Foucault Lizard that patrols the nest.  Then, when working on compost piles, a Gardener clumsily disturbs the Foucault Lizard nest, almost skewers him or her, he or she will flip his or her tail, and dazzling that turquoise tail can look in the sunshine. There's nervousness certainly between both parties, an OMG I suppose, but there's no running away by the Foucault Lizard.  He or she will stare at you, casting blame, and then you notice the eggs.

They are about the size of a Garbanzo Bean, but Hen egg shaped. And while the Gardener offers his profuse apologies and returns the fine tilth of compost, with just a few clods of clay in it, to the nesting area, the Foucault Lizard will sit a while daring you to chase him or her into the undergrowth where there are probably Rattlesnakes and where there are most certainly Tics the size of Lima Beans. And when the excitement is through, and the heart has returned to some kind of normal rhythm, a Gardener can wonder at a Foucault Lizard egg compared to the size of a Foucault Lizard.  It's a very impressive by the girl Foucault Lizard.

Monday, July 14, 2014


With some technical devices it's not that easy to change the default properties of a font.  Which means that some of us need to have at least three pairs of spectacles and a magnifying glass, otherwise all fonts become kind of like wing-dings and any attempt at comprehension goes down the drain to a cesspool of frustration.

I'll not be blaming anyone for this unnecessary expense, because given the nervous condition of nation states around the world, and their own access to technical devices, laying down blame can lead to suspicion of, and poor grades for, us citizens. I'm probably running at a D minus at the moment.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


The Quail, for the Mayan, had much to do with our star.  Now while all Quail don't look exactly alike they do share a certain set of characteristics, one of which is what I'd call a sort of wide eyed optimism coupled with a potential for nervous energy.  You can see them, sometimes peaceful about their business, sometimes considering the possibility of flight, and sometimes experiencing an intense panic. However, it would be difficult to think of a Quail as experiencing moments of depression that requires them to sit and stare at a wall for hours on end. They are kind of like Finches that way.

Of course it's a thoroughly subjective approach to the characteristics and personality of birds that I share with the Mayans. Leaps of imagination so vast they might even be considered eccentric, but I will say of Quail I do not think of them as Scrabble Playing. It's all very well for the Blue Bird to play chess, but Quail in my view would be good at at the old game of pick-a-sticks. It's a game that requires agility of mind and body, involves huge tension, moments of intense happiness, and often remorse. Kind of like the Sun.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Feathered Serpent

 I can understand Turkey being Feathered Serpents.  You see them in the longer grass, in the distance, chasing June Bug. A summer neck and beady eye, pouncing this way and that, busy about the important work of preparing for Winter. Then when they fly, they are great and  fat and feathered, and they sort of waddle into the sky amongst dudgeon and outrage. And I guess I can understand that too, because there's weight to be lifted off the ground, and the worry of going head first into a tree trunk on the downward glide.

 But Aztec and Mayan peoples, like us, might have had some discord in the naming of their gods and calendar parts. But lucky for them they had just their own language in their naming of creatures. They didn't send scholars to learn the Inuit languages in search of a complexity with which to bamboozle their populace.  So in their great collections of ornament and naming they never would have called a bird, something like Baffin Island. In the way that we have called Turkey, Turkey. Meleagris gallopavo is an alternative and I like the "Gallopavo" part.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Lord of Duality

The Parrot, as lord of duality, makes great sense to me. I can hear his mimic, and the confusion it might cause.  "Is that the Tlotli calling for rain, or are we again confounded by Toznene."  And I guess too, here where I live, a Mockingbird might be the Lord of Duality. But at the same time, Parrots tend to sit around being somewhat supercilious around other Parrots and they are nut and fruit eating. They do not rush from here to there, and I do not believe a Parrot is ever in so undignified a  mood as to chase other flying creatures.  Rather, their stance with respect to others, is judged by the witty utterance, the off hand remark and a host of expressions by which to demonstrate their disgust through slow and deliberate movement. 

More interesting perhaps is how a Parrot might approach his or her attitude to footwear. Would Parrots, for example, approve of Welly Wanging as a competitive sport, and for those who might be curious, Welly Wanging is throwing gumboots and is taken quite seriously in the more rural parts of the United Kingdom and in much of Finland. Or would Parrots consider such an activity a touch deranged and somewhat pointless. And here, I know with some degree of certainty that Mockingbirds would heartily approve of the sport, they enjoy that sort of thing, it sets their fire burning. As well, it's interesting to ask whether Parrots would share the view that sees insult in shoe tossing.  My own thought  is that they probably would.  And for this reasons, I kind of think there's no way Mockingbirds can be thought of as lords of duality.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lord of the Dance

A person gets to worry a little about a Yellow Chat who might be still courting in this part of July. Of course it could be that he cannot help himself and has become somehow devoted, and will continue to dance and call until the chill calls him south to the always warmer places where he might stand in awe of the Birds of Paradise. The Aztec had sacred Quecholli, thirteen of them, all flying creatures and each had a role in the day to day and on their calendar. Their Turkey was a feathered serpent.  Their Butterflies were lords of flesh.  Their Hummingbird was either a lord of fire or a lord of earth. Their Parrot was a lord of duality, which is kind of neat.

There's no doubt in my mind that Yellow Chat, were so humbled when they passed through the lands of the Aztec that they never were able to consider themselves worthy of doing very much more than skulk in the dense trees and peep at the Quecholli. Otherwise the Aztec would have given them the huge responsibility of becoming the Lords of the Dance.  A Yellow Chat's a shy bird by nature, prefers not to be seen, but down there where ground slips toward the creek in Robina Wood, and the sun shines strong, he has found a stage to his liking. And down there, on his private stage, he is the Lord of the Dance. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Keynesian Dilemma

Let's call it the Keynesian  Dilemma.  I don't know many people who are so inspired by their work they skip to it in the early morning.  I do know a great many people who really enjoy spending the money they have earned while in Hades on mostly pointless things. I also know people who work everyday of the week and are still cold and hungry in the winter.  And I have heard of people who have access to so much of the world's wealth they pretty much own everybody else, and they sit around complaining about how unappreciative, undeserving  and lazy the  rest of us are.  Granted it's been like this for our species for thousands of years, but Keynes reckoned that by now there'd be wealth sufficient for all of us to enjoy our lives without having to spend most of it being told what to do by people we don't like. And maybe I'm paraphrasing a little, but his was an idea that once inspired me to belong.

 Years ago, when I read Keynes's letter to his grandchildren, I believed him. And still today, I reckon his understanding was based upon something that I will call genuine. In another way, I still believe, correct or incorrect, he meant what he said, and was not inspired by some extraneous and deceitful self-serving motive. And maybe because today I am further away than ever from what might be called a respectable assimilation, the current incarnation of Keynes's letter to his grandchildren that comes to us totally unsupported by anything much more than a well appointed bathroom mirror, and as sound bites, from one of Google's people owners, leaves me cold and totally uninspired, because I cannot find it in me to believe the man even the tiniest bit genuine in his utterances. Rather, I am of the opinion that he is doing nothing more than pursuing a Machiavellian scheme that will serve to further reduce us all, taking us further and further away from ever being Keynes's grandchildren and deeper and deeper into shit creek. Call me a static old fart, if you wish to.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Crick asked the questions like this: "Do ideals influence history. Should politics be seen as an attempt to achieve values.  Are ideals a product of circumstance."   His answer to these questions was not an easy yes or no. Instead, he'd point to the minds who might have made an attempt to answered these questions, and he suggested that basically such minds were messianic, power hungry, bad tempered, crotchety, and more likely wrong.  Crick's field of interest was politics, and he might just as well have been referring to the Vegetable Garden and it's Gardener. My own view of course is that all members of the Political Class should spend at least twenty years growing vegetables without access to the products of hardware stores, before ever being allowed to stand in the hustings. And I say this because despite the rumors, we are and always will be primarily wild creatures.

 I mention all this for two reasons. The first has to do with a crick in my neck that must have happened in the night. Which is strange indeed because even though I was under covers in darkness I don't actually remember sleeping last night.  The second reason has to do with the word "Husting." Amongst Norse and Germanic Tribes, some of whom became English Tribes, a husting was an assembly during which speeches were made. More specifically, amongst English Tribes, a husting was the assembly of the household of powerful people, such as chiefs and clan leaders.  A more defining word for husting is "Thing."  A "Thingstead" in the old English, was when hustings of  free people, those not enslaved or indentured or chained to Vegetable Gardens, would come together to talk about stuff and try to answer Crick's three questions.  And why the US Congress or the English Parliament isn't called a "Thingstead" I don't know.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Tanagers

 It's difficult to tell whether a Thrasher is on her nest in the Apple tree.  If you get too close, and she is there,  there's panic and mayhem and flying around and a general sense of disgruntlement that passes through the community of birds and ends up with a communication to the Summer Tanager asking him to start singing. I am firmly of the opinion that no one enjoys the Tanager's song, so he just jumps at any request made of him to exercise his voice.

 The theory is with Tanager's, the boy sings only when attempting to seduce an unfortunate girl Tanager. Like a lonely boy Bobwhite, who will follow an engaged Bobwhite couple around calling intermittently, on the off chance that the boy side of the engaged couple will succumb to something like a raptor or big snake or somebody's feral Pussy Cat or some mental patient with a shotgun and one of those horrible little hunting dogs. With Tanager's I have decided their need to irritate the neighborhood lies somewhere in their desire to rule the universe no matter the cost to others.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Uncle Eggplant

Uncle Eggplant, the home of the Hoppy Bug, is doing well.  There's an argument that an Aubergine plant will produce nine good fruits.  But the Aubergine as an unabashed wild plant was a tropical perennial Nightshade, until the Dravidians of the Indian Subcontinent decided to tinker with it, so who knows. Italian's call it a "Melanzana" which is a word I am told that could be interpreted as "Insane Apple." From there it migrated to the British Islands where it was briefly called a "Mad Apple" and how it ever grew to fruit in the British Islands, I have no idea, because Eggplant I know likes high heat. Then off to the Caribbees, where the Italian word for Eggplant was preserved in the word "Melongene." Which is kind of a neat word for an Eggplant, because it can look kind of like a Mellon gone shiny.

But how do you go from "Melongene" to "Aubergine." Well the Melongene reached Western Europe from the East Indies via the Arabs of  the Eastern Mediterranean and the same plant as Aubergine reached Western Europe via the Arabs from the Western Mediterranean. However, when the Pope gave Portugal the Eastern half of the known universe, the Portuguese decided they were going to call the Eggplant, "Brinjal." And "Brinjal" is one of the many dozens of names the Dravidian languages of Southern India have given to their Eggplant.  Whatever you want to call it, it's a species of Nightshade, which means it is related to the Tomato and to the Potato. And that, in and of itself is reason enough to open the Book of Psalms when in the presence of an Eggplant.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Beans in profusion.  But two Bean Beetles met their fate amongst Squash. And where there are two Bean Beetles, there is the potential for thousands of Bean Beetle.  Felt confident that last year I defeated the Bean Beetles that lived amongst the Squash, so I can only hope these are  two wandering Bean Beetles on their way perhaps to Cincinnati or out west toward Owensboro, Philpot and Henderson.

 It's a yellow goo that Bean Beetle and their children produce when they are dispatched. Grisly business, but at least if Bean Beetle can find sustenance amongst Summer Squash, then there is a strong chance that there's a host of vehicles upon which they might pursue their pillaging lifestyle without conducting pogrom on the Beans. As for Summer Squash, well to be brutally honest, I don't care if I ever see another one again.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Sweet Home

There will be no attempt to watch a parade this year, or hear the band, or cringe to the wailing of the Nashville bound, or cower at the sound and sights of what may or may not be controlled explosives.. A year ago on the Fourth of July, I still recall the fast food supplement, the drown of caterwaul, and standing for hours, then returning home to dizziness, an aching back and an intestinal complaint that produced yet another near death experience which one day will indeed be pronounced 'blessed release' by a certified professional and then my soul can wander limbo where I have instructed it to haunt second hand book shops through the winter months and the abode of Tics through the longer days.

It is indeed a cruel defeat for me as I am currently configured, but I have submitted my remains to the medical profession. A cadaver for dissection.  And a strange joy, an alleluia, at the idea of my remains probably bottled or somehow inoculated against rot so that I might be cut into little pieces and examined at leisure. However I can't help but hope my dissector will be, shall we say less than diligent. Drop bits of me on the tile flooring, where I'll be washed to the drain, out into the wonderland, where by some beautiful accident a little piece of me might be fed to the young of a Turkey Buzzard. And if there is a god, my bones will be stolen and sold to a skeleton collector who'll lose control of his a pet Hyena. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Zoogleal Mat

The Artist is developing a relationship with a Zoogleal Mat. Its a complexity of organisms that form what some refer to as a 'slime growth.' Or sometimes simply 'Slimes,' which are different to Slime Molds. But because I am a pompous arse, I prefer Zoogleal Mat, or "The Mat."   In water filtration systems that use sand, a Zoogleal Mat is a living thing that feeds on waste products such as dead organisms, silt and other debris.  If the sand filtration system is fully operational and has adequate flow through it, The Mat is pretty much invisible to the human eye. But when The Mat gets very happy and is properly fed with proper tea and regularly cooed at,  it'll take the form of a big white pancake, that floats on the top of it's nutritional supplements, and as I understand it, The Mat will just get bigger and bigger and bigger, might even cause baby Mats, until such time as it produces sufficient acid and alcohol to corrupt its environment.

 I hear the polite question, because I too have asked it. And the answer is a slightly acid, slightly alcoholic effervescent drink that is absolutely delicious, and good for that all important sense of living on the edge.  And I hear the second polite question, because I too have asked it. And the answer is no. After lights out, The Mat does not escape from it's jar in the dark cupboard, run amok across the kitchen floor. As for the third polite question, the answer is yes.  The Mat can become sickly, fail to properly acidify its waste product, it does eschew plastics and metals and wood, and  it is somewhat temperamental, and if not properly cared for, might even kill you.  Interesting too, what the Chinese call Red Tea, English speakers call Black Tea.  And the English word Kombucha, might have come from the Japanese word for Kelp Tea which sounds like  "Konbucha." And if you stare suspiciously at The Mat, which I have regularly done, it does kind of look like a Sea Weed that lurks in the depths waiting for an innocent to toddle by.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


The evening cigarette, which precedes a moment or two at the tooth brushing station, before retiring to my own man cave, includes a little wandering around. And during this wandering around it is often possible to be startled by Toads, which is not something one really needs when preparing an un-lobotomized  mind and an aging body for sleep. Last evening, within twenty feet of each other, there were three moments of startle, and in the morning it was almost impossible to ignore Toad scat.

I'm not a big expert on these things, but relative to the size of a Toad, their scat is in my view pretty damn big. It's possible of course that a Toad's bowel moves very rarely.  It's also possible that Toad food is mostly arms, legs, wings, carapaces and other such indigestible parts. And I guess too, someone, somewhere has done the calculation, but it seems to me an error to underestimate the toll a night prowling Toad will take on Insect communities.