Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gardening10:20 AM - This is why we can't have nice things

I bought some nice pretty, and heavy, ceramic pots to put my three mum plants in. They were top heavy in their plastic starter pots they came in, and two of them were not evenly balanced and kept falling over.

It was so windy yesterday, and apparently the pots not heavy enough, that the pot I put on the stoop instead of on the patio fell over and broke. Talk about suck. Fortunately, my husband happened to see it when he put the trashcans back from the curb and IM'ed me while I was still at work, so I was able to make a trip on the way home to get something else to put it in.

My something else solution probably qualifies me as a hoosier, if not a redneck. I was going to go to the hardware store, but I went to Petco first because I already was going to refill the litter pail there anyway, and there's a Michael's next door. They have your basic clay pots, nothing fancy, just plain terra cotta. So I picked up a $4 10" pot, a $1.80 saucer for it, and a simple round basket for $6. Total was probably about half what I spent on the one that broke. When I got home, the plant got repotted, with J being really nice and helping put dirt in around the sides again. Then, the bottom of the basket wasn't flat but instead was convex in the middle, so I put leaves, which we have more than enough of in the yard, in the bottom to make the saucer sit evenly in it. Then after the pot was inside the basket, there was room around it so I stuffed all the sides full of leaves to keep the pot in the basket and provide more padding should the whole mess fall over. Finally, we agreed it was a bad idea to put the pot on the stoop again (in spite of the fact that the neighbors behind us have a large mum on theirs, and it hasn't blown over!) so it went on the patio near the house like the other two.

If the thing falls over, hopefully the basket and leaves will keep the pot from breaking, and even if it doesn't, those pots are cheap, and if I give up altogether I can reuse the basket for something else after I clean it out. (Not that it wouldn't piss me off to have the solution fail.) I'm also hoping against hope that the pot's pieces are all big enough to be glued/epoxied. If so, I won't use it outside again but I could probably use it indoors, even for plants if I make sure that whatever holds the pieces together isn't weakened by having water on it.

whining no longer being accepted  | labels: gardening

Friday, October 27, 2006

Life Rants03:26 PM - Note to politicians

Don't fucking lie to me about something I can verify or disprove easily myself. That's the equivalent of saying "I didn't steal anything" when you looked me in the eye and saw me see you grab something off a shelf and put it in your pocket. Don't fucking do it.

I finally saw the entirety of the commercial they're running to get people to vote against MO amendment 2, i.e. the stem cell research initiative. It ran during the world series game. They fucking lie in that commercial. They do not twist or bend the truth, they do not simply take it out of context. They don't lie about some politician or other's personal views. They state that this bill says the exact opposite of what it says. For those who've seen it, and wonder about how it says it would grant the "constitutional right to cloning", a few choice excerpts from the bill itself:

2. To ensure that Missouri patients have access to stem cell therapies and cures, that Missouri researchers can conduct stem cell research in the state, and that all such research is conducted safely and ethically, any stem cell research permitted under federal law may be conducted in Missouri, and any stem cell therapies and cures permitted under federal law may be provided to patients in Missouri, subject to the requirements of federal law and only the following additional limitations and requirements:

(1) No person may clone or attempt to clone a human being.

(2) No human blastocyst may be produced by fertilization solely for the purpose of stem cell research.


6. As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

(1) "Blastocyst" means a small mass of cells that results from cell division, caused either by fertilization or somatic cell nuclear transfer, that has not been implanted in a uterus.

(2) "Clone or attempt to clone a human being" means to implant in a uterus or attempt to implant in a uterus anything other than the product of fertilization of an egg of a human female by a sperm of a human male for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy that could result in the creation of a human fetus, or the birth of a human being.

So don't you dare fucking turn around and try to tell me it makes it a right to clone people. Don't you fucking dare. Shame on you Suppan, Warner, and whoever-the-fuck-else. I can deal with politicians lying about things; it happens all the time, I'm used to it, and it just makes me a skeptic. But fucking jesus jumped-up christ on a pogo stick, how can they justify lying about something that is so very easy to verify? I plugged "missouri ballot" into Google and got the full list of everything that will be on the ballot next Tuesday. Every single item has the full text available for the public's perusal. Also, I do believe all this information can be found at your nearest public library in print. Are they betting that many Missourians are going to be so fucking stupid as to not even check on something so heinous sounding? It's insulting.

After reading the whole bill, they wrote the damn thing quite well. They define all their terms. They set forth in detail how research is to be carried out, yearly reports, establishment of ethics rules, etc. They lay out the punishment for violating the rules. It very clearly states its purpose, and what it does and does not allow. While I am not a legal or legalese expert, I'm fairly well versed in the English fucking language, and I didn't see any loopholes that would allow anyone to claim what that commercial claims. I think this bill is a Very Good Thing. It allows research to be done on embryonic stem cells that are the result of IV fertilization only with consent, and only that would have been pitched otherwise (i.e. they can't call up, say, J and me asking us to come in and donate some eggs & sperm to make some embryos for stem cell research). They also ban human cloning outright, no ifs ands or buts. Plus they make anyone who is doing such research prove in detail everything they're doing is ethical and not against this very law or any other federal or state laws.

If you're against IV fertilization except in the event that the doctors and couples in question attempt to use all blastocysts, such that none ever get thrown away, then I can understand being against embryonic stem cell research as a whole, including this bill. Otherwise, I saw no reason anywhere in that bill to indicate it's anything but good.

feeling: angry
view whining (all 3 of them)  | labels: medical research, missouri, political

Interesting places This site03:04 PM - Forgot to post this Wednesday: websites as graphs

There's this nifty website my dad sent me the link for, that will take a website, sift through the contents, and make a pretty picture of line-connected nodes of all the tags, with different colors for different tags. It's really neat to watch. (FYI: It uses the Java plugin, and your plugin has to be at least 1.4. I tried it at work, where I still had 1.3 installed because that's what our app, which we have to support, uses and therefore which many of our customers still have as well. It didn't work till I upgraded to the 1.4 version. There's a 1.5 version out as well by now; I'd figure it would work there too.)

I did one of my website and one of my LJ (whose layout I didn't write from scratch, but was not written with a shitty nested-table layout). Here's what they look like (click for the whole thing):

my website as a graph my livejournal as a graph

Edit: Figured I'd throw the color scheme in:

blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
gray: all other tags
view whining (all 5 of them)  | labels: lj, my website, nifty links

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Fun stuff Internet08:59 AM - If you've never seen it before

and you have ever worked a job that involved dealing with helping customers in any fashion, you really ought to check out customers_suck.

feeling: amused
whining no longer being accepted  | labels: funny, lj

Friday, October 20, 2006

Life09:00 AM - GO CARDS

I was being remiss in my St. Louisan duties. :p

We saw the last half of the game at home, actually, with three friends. Mark called it in the 9th: Beltrand came up, bases loaded, us up 3-1, 2 outs, and he said, "He's going down looking" or something very similar to that. Sure enough, strike 3 was a gorgeous one (not served up on a platter, it did arc up first before dropping to cross in the almost perfect spot to crank it) and he watched it sail across. He was struck out in three pitches. Beltrand. By the Cardinal's bullpen. This amuses me greatly.

whining no longer being accepted  | labels: baseball, Cardinals, sports

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Gardening Life11:15 AM - No, I'm not dead

Just not feeling like writing. And I've built up so much lack of momentum it just gets more difficult.

Mostly I'm popping in to say I got on a no-way-to-kill-them gardening kick. Decided I want irises, mainly. I couldn't find any bulbs locally without driving far and wide (and fuck that) and one guy said "try ordering online". So I did.

I ordered some individual bulbs from a place called Bulbs Direct: 6 metal blue bulbs and 6 harpswell happiness (white with yellow/green veining) bulbs. I also ordered a mix of 15 bulbs from Breck's called cool shades dutch iris mixture and a gorgeous 20 bulb mahogany mixture, lotsa yellows and oranges and reddish browns.

Some of these, probably all blues and whites, will be ringing the tree we have in the backyard near the patio, and the rest will go in some planters. Not sure what kind yet, but at least according to the Lowe's website they have an utter crapton of planters, both rectangular and circular, for great prices that'd work. (Hah, I tried Plow & Hearth first, and the few they had were seriously pricy. Yeah, right.) We also have some very widely spaced bushes on the garage side of the house, with an open space where it looks like a bush was either planned but never planted, or died and had the roots removed, or something. I figure one or two bulbs between each bush in the normal gaps, plus a grouping in the empty area.

Finally, I had a couple more things from Breck's I couldn't resist. First were these azure alliums, some of which will probably get interspersed with the blue & white irises around the tree. Second was this mix of mountain bells that sold me with the description statement:
This mixture of hardy Mountain Bells Allium bulbs is especially well-suited to create colourful gardens where rodents, rabbits and deer love to munch. The bulbs and the plant are rejected by even the most troublesome plant predators.
So those are going to fill in all over between the bushes on the side of the house. The colors will look nice with the green of the bushes, and they won't be in bloom the same time as the irises that go there, and their foliage is shorter than the irises.

Finally, just cruising their site some, I found Begonias. Hallelujah. They're partial to full shade, so the north side of the house is the perfect spot for them and they're brilliantly colored. Probably get a mix. I stuck a note on my work Outlook calendar on the first Monday in March (they only ship in the spring) to remind myself. They'll look a lot better there than the poor petunias, which didn't do well in that spot (first it was the squirrels digging up the roots and the bunnies eating flowers & leaves, then it was a lack of water). From now on the petunias (and/or impatiens) will be pots-only.

Nice thing about these bulbs is that they're in the onion family and damn hard to kill. So I might actually get some plants to live. :) They're probably not going to arrive for a month, so what I'll probably do is wait till February or so to get them started (they can be started any time between like September and March, apparently) and in the meantime prepare the soil with lotsa mulch and bagged soil to get it loosened up and not quite as clay-ey. Our dirt isn't all clay exactly, but it's not all that great either.

view whining (all 10 of them)  | labels: bulbs, flowers, gardening