email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Random Thoughts

My right knee is still bothering me.  As always, my complete understanding that many people have worse problems temporary or permanent, but this one is mine right now and it has been 3 weeks now.  It's getting better.  Walking straight forward on level ground is almost back to normal.  Any sideways pressure is annoying.  Stairs are hardest.  Hopefully, another week, and I will notice that I am NOT noticing my knee. 

Or not.  Stuff starts to get permanent after 65.  I expect one day soon it will just be normal again.  But that is apparently a weak part of me and someday it won't ever be "normal" again.  In fact, I suppose that if I could channel my 30 year old self, "none" of me would seem "normal".

Speaking of which, a lawn service salesman knocked on my door and (surprisingly) after I made it clear I was a D-I-Yer and we talked about the details of lawn maintenance.  He actually thought my lawn was the best in the neighborhood, and when I detailed my particular weed problems and what I was doing about them, he agreed I really didn't need his services.  But he seemed to want to talk and I wasn't busy so we talked (rare for me, I usually just politely tell door-to-door salesmen to leave).  He was about my age.

His son was a Top Gun pilot, he showed me a newspaper article.  He guessed my age 10 years younger (which wasn't just a sales trick; it's routine - "mature slow, age slow").  But when we compared ailments (it's an age thing), he recommended I drink diluted gelatin.  That seemed odd and I had to think about that for a moment.

Aha, gelatin is made from mammal sinews and tendons, and I had a "tendon" problem.  He is into homeopathy (using small amounts of a substance that causes the symptoms to be treated or using small amounts of supplementals with a similar nature to the problem)!  He suggested a book to read.  I ignored his idea out-of-hand, but I let him go on for a few minutes.  I was vaguely fascinated talking to a homeopathy adherent.  I finally begged off, as my lunch was waiting on the table, but I looked up the book. 

So, drinking gelatin made from tendons to strengthen tendons...  Pure nonsense.  Every respectable study I found in 15 minutes showed no results from it.  People believe the STRANGEST things.

I used my new Fiscar "Stand Up Weeder" today.
Deluxe Stand-up Weeder (4-claw)
It's really cool.   You put the blades over the weed (really good for dandelions), step on the base, and when you lever the handle the blades close together and pull up 3" of roots, the plant comes up, and you slide the orange lever to open the blades and push the plant off the blades.  I bet I got out 100 dandelions in 15 minutes today.  Without bending over.  Not an ad, when *I* recommend a product, the manufacturer doesn't even know.  Think of me as a personal Consumer Reporter...

I watered the tulip/daffodil bed today.  We haven't had rain in 10 days, are forecast for MAYBE 1/4" tomorrow, and then none for another week.  But I mention that to mention that my sprinkler wasn't working right.  It would stick in one position.  So I took it apart a few days ago. 

Granted, that's not like taking apart a clock or a mixer.  But if you take some parts off something that isn't working right and clean and lubricate the parts and put them back together, it is amazing how often the thing starts working again. 

And the sprinkler worked just fine.  Yeah, I could have just bought a new sprinkler, but I really like this one.  It's called a "rain-dancer".  The spray not only moves back and forth, but it hesitates and reverses briefly, but ALSO fluctuates the force of the spray as it goes.  And even having taken it apart and put it back together, I have NO idea how it does it.  But it is working again and that is what really matters.

Not to say that everything went well.  There is a dial that aligns the spray to go full back and forth, only left, only right, and only 30 degrees in the center.  So... I was a bit careless when I turned it on and got a facefull of spray!  LOL!  I wiped off my face OK, but it took a while to get the water out of my ears...

The tulip/daffodil bed got a good hour of watering while I went around using the Fiscar thing to pull up dandelions.

Speaking of the flower bed, I planted 100 hyacinths in cages and not a single one as so much as broken the surface.  Either hyacinths are way fussier about when they are planted than tulips, or something was seriously wrong with the bulbs.  I'll bet that it was MY fault planting them late and that they needed more cold-time.  The bulbs seemed healthy and firm when planted.  Maybe their underground shoots are thicker than the 1/2" wire cages and they were choked.  I'm going to ask the bulb providers.  Or maybe they will just show up next week.  Or next year.

The garden is started outdoors.  Last week, I planted 4 broccoli seedlings, 2 purple cauliflower seedlings, and 2 dwarf cabbage seedlings.  And I planted seeds of radish, shallot, scallions, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, and spinach.  The snow peas are starting to reach the trellis and they will take off when they grab that.  The planted seeds are just starting to emerge.  I water those gently with a mister at first.  Some of those seeds are planted very shallowly (small seed - shallow planting).  When they have some roots developed, I can use the shower setting (which is about like a gentle rain) and that is a LOT faster watering!

It's good to see something planted and growing.

The flats of flowers are outdoors half a day now (to get them used to sunlight after the gentler artificial lights indoors).  Day temperatures are getting above 70F and the nighttime temperatures are at or above 50F, so they are getting  used to changes in temperatures.  A week of careful introduction to outdoor reality can really make a difference!

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