email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Friday, March 30, 2012

My Crazy Neighbors, Part 2

Oh this is even better than I hoped!  The trailer is back this morning and filled with even the recycling bins.  Who needs to take recycling bins when they leave?  They are free anywhere you move to.

Weirder yet, that may be the house heat pump in the trailer too.  Well, might as well steal everything when you are a deadbeat.  LOLOL!  I'm surprised not to see the refrigerator and stove, but then I wasn't watching all night.  Maybe they already moved those out.  Rich theft for evil renters.

This just gets worse and worse.

The high hilarity point was watching FIG and his Dad trying to haul the trailer of furniture out yesterday.  FIG put the hitch side right next to the mailbox.  DUH, ya cant attach it and get it out easily that waythat way...

FIG and Dad finally did get Dad's pickup to the trailer hitch.  That's where the fun began.  They could manage to pull the pickup forward without hitting the mailbox.  I was falling on the floor laughing.  It was SO obvious it would be easy to just back the trailer off the yard.

But I've offerred advice before and got a crashing F*** Y** reply, so I just treated it as a bad reality TV show (but one I watched). 

FIG and Dad manuvered the pickup and trailer in all the possible wrong ways to get it around the mailbox.    I coukd have moved the triler backwards and gotten around the mailbox in 2 minutes.  Their solution?  Beat the mailbox post out of the ground.

I'm sorry, you can't invent stuff like this.  At least, I couldn't.  I watched them struggle for at least 20 minutes, turning the pickup wheels the wrong way EVERY single time.  You had to see it to believe it.

They both seem to be rather mechanically competent otherwise.   Fig repaired "stuff", his Dad casually added flares to his concrete driveway and built a rather nice toolshed in the back yard.  But, oh don't I wish I had a good camcorder...  I'd have a million hits by now.  My guess is that they understand machines but failed 10th grade geometry.

I might live in the USA's weirdest neighborhood.  My next door neighbor guy had an affair with the wife the next house over.  His wife left him, her husband left her, and she killed herself in the house.  The guy abandoned the house, but comes by once a month to mow the lawn.  He busted the fence gate up one day and it remains broken a year later.  The cuckholder guy only comes to the house when his daughter has to stay with him for the weekend...   I hear her laughing with neighborhood friends, so THATS good.

I wonder what SHE thinks sometimes, though.

The neighbors on the other side were always quiet, but strange too.  The guy built a half a garage and then stopped for 10 years.  Then he finished it suddenly and they left.  The new neighbors are strange.  The woman has bright red hair and wears the same black dress every day when outside (well, maybe she has a closet full of them).  The guy only comes out once every few weeks to mow the lawn.  They have a dog that seems to get out once a week, so I can only imagine that they have a dirt basement and clean poop a lot.

I need to move!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Crazy Neighbors

I know I wrote about thinking my crazy neighbors across the street were moving out last December (and it turned out to be only the Mother of the crazy guy), but I have real hope now!  I call the crazy guy FIG (Fat Idiot Guy).  He seems to be married or otherwise "attached to" SNG (Stupid Nutso Girl).  There are also1 or two other guys and/or gals living there at various times.  FIG is the son of the guy next door.

FIG and SNG have raging screaming relationship arguments outside late at night.  One time he pushed her off the street with his car when she tried to stop him from leaving.  Another time, she asked me to call the police because he had taken the only telephone.  She's not quite normal either; she drags furniture into the street when she is angry and throws clothes into the drainage easement.  Just last week, she dragged some piece of furniture to the Dad's yard (where he burns brush) and set it on fire.  The laughing was a bit scary.

They are the only problems though.  The few times I've talked to the others living there, it's fine, even if they seem to change every few months.

Last December, it was a pickup truck of furniture being removed.  And then the house was dark a week, so I really thought they had left.  But as I said above, it was just FIG's Mom fleeing the insanity.

But TODAY!!!  Ah, it is more serious moving.  And better yet, it involves FIG's stuff.  I have great hopes this time.

1.  The previous renter built a motorcycle shed at the end of the driveway.  It is about  6' wide and deep, but with a front overhang and no front.  A bit odd, but I guess it protected his motorcycle sufficiently for him.  Well, the first thing FIG did was attach a heavy tarp across the front.  It seems he did appliance repairs in there.  Today, he took it down!

2.  He loaded up his trailer a week ago.  Bedframe, mattress, easy chair, tire, tools, trashcans, and (of all things) a kiddie pool I've seen him lay in. 

3.  His Dad came over to help, and no one else did.

4.  Several different cars were there during the day and different people loaded boxes into different cars.  None of the cars seemed filled, so I don'r think it was a group effort to move everyone together to the same place.  Looks like Splitsville to me!

5.  Both FIG and SNG dragged some small pieces of furniture over to FIG's Dad's driveway.  Not enough to move in with, but maybe a few things he could use that they couldn't in some new place.

6.  In the past couple of months, I've seen some well-dressed middle-aged guy banging on the front door (and none of their friends use the front door).  I think he is the owner looking for rent money.

7.  If the stuff in Fig's trailer was going to the landfill (he did leave the furniture in the trailer out in the rain for a few days (see 2), he sure spent a lot of time dumping it.  I know where the landfill is and how long it would take to get there, unload, and return.  He took an extra hour, which suggests he was moving it to a new residence.  Maybe the stuff was all plastic.  I didn't go look.

8.  Even in the dark (as I type) cars are pulling up, loading only a few boxes, and driving away.  Maybe there were a lot more people living there than I realized.  Or maybe they are taking stuff away as fast as it is packed.

I normally do not concern myself overly with my neighbors.  Oh, I'm "the helpful guy next door" when anyone needs any help.  I bring over my extension ladder when someone needs to clean their gutters, I'll lend my lawnmower when someone's breaks, help with advice on planting flowers for novices, help kids get a ball out of the stormdrain, collect the newspapers when some is on vacation, etc.  But I'm not the "hey, c'mon over for a BBQ tomorrow" type.

So these odd folks across the street are the only people I have had the least bit of trouble with in the 25 years I've lived here.

But I REALLY hope this time they are moving away.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Planting Peas

My technique is to soak the peas a day, drain the water, and let them sprout.  The ones that sprout after several days are the ones that get planted!  It works great.  100% germination. 

Only 2 days later, the 1st stems are emerging from the soil.  I can't wait to pick the first snow peas of the year.  They are stringless and SO sweet.

I'll toss them with some thinly cut pork, some pineapple, and some chile peppers.  Oh man are those gonna be GREAT!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Those Winter Weeds

I have awful winter weeds.  I can never get them pulled up in time to stop the new seeds setting in the soil.

I almost got them this year.  I got about half of them pulled up before the seeds were falling off the flowerheads.  So half the flowerbed should be clear next Spring.  I hope to get THOSE next year. 

I AM slowly catching up with them.  One whole 3rd of the flowerbed has none this year.  I got another 3rd before the seeds developed.  Next year, the last, I hope.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Those Spring Peepers

I got them good this year!  Last year, I put plastic sheeting over the small pond.  Well, the pond is close to my bedroom window, and the few peepers call enough to keep me up at night.  1,000 peepers is OK, but 5 aren't.  The 5 peep randomly but distinctly.  So I cover the pond.

This year, I covered it with row cower fabric.  It lets air to the pond, but keeps the peepers out.  HURRAY!

The peepers are all screaming their throats off across the street in the swamp, and that is just fine.  Doesn't bother me.  But none can get in the pond under my window and that is good too.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Sky

I took the recycling bins out tonight.  And looked up into the sky.  There isn't usually much to see there around here.  Too much light pollution...

But I was surprised to SEE better than I have in years.  Orion was at midpoint, and clearer than usual.  Ursa Major was obvious, Cassiopeia was clear.  So I stood and looked, shielding my eyes from neighbors floodlights as best I could.

I could even see the rabbit below Orion!  Lookin further, I found the Pleiedes.  I havent seen them in years.  What REALLY surprised me were the 2 bright spots in the West.   I KNOW there arent bright stars there.  I guessed at Venus, but it seemed too far off the ecliptic.   And that red spot over to the East HAD to be Mars.

It was Venus.  And next to it was Jupiter.  And that WAS Mars.  I checked the sky map.
Best "seeing" I've had in years.  I sat outside for an hour...  Damn, I better learn how to use those lenses on the telescope!

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Big Flowerbed

About 15 years ago, I started a major flowerbed in the backyard.  I started out with roses and annuals, but switched to perennials after a few years.  I had a job, and house to maintain, and other yard areas to clear (it was virgin property - still left semi-natural, but the brambles and scrub saplings were slowly cleared).  I liked the idea of a perennial flowerbed, no replanting every year.  Weeding among them became worse than planting new annuals.

The flowerbed is an "Ell".  60" on the long side and 30" on the short.  The short side is against the back house foundation and faces south.  I get 1/2 to 3/4 sunlight, never full sunlight.  Too many mature neighbor's trees.  There is a 6'x4' pond offset in the long side toward the short side, which makes perfect symmetry impossible.

I still like the idea of mostly perennials, but, quite frankly, they don't bloom much or for long.  And most don't live as long as you would think.  "Perennial" does not mean forever or even 3 years sometimes.  And perennials from the best quality nursery have suddenly become more expensive.

So, I'm concentrating on those that have "lived long and prospered" (apologies to Star Trek), those that are individual plants that don't slowly spread, and those that are individual plants but can be divided.

I'm planning a major redesign of the entire flowerbed.  Essentially, I will dig up every single useful plant, divide those that are happy to be divided, move them around to where they might be happier, and move the more invasive spreading ones (like lysimachia firecracker and cultivated goldenrod) to a new area where they are welcome to spread all they want (because I can mow around the area).

My dilemma is the new flowerbed design.  I can design it with large areas of individual plants for impact (as recommended by some professional gardening magazine designers) or repetitive with smaller clumps of the same plants in several places spaced far apart (as recommended by other professional gardening magazine designers.

I like both ideas, but of course, I can't do both at the same time.  So, the dilemma...

I'm been laying out possibilities of both for days on graph paper (got to do it true to scale or I won't really know what it might look like).  Fortunately, I have a month to keep playing around with both ideas.

Any thoughts?