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Friday, July 15, 2011

Well-Behaved Children

My Dad is now officially a heart patient. Doctors found a 90% blockage in one of his coronary arteries and operated immediately. He should be alright, provided he quits smoking, eats right, and cuts back on the caffeine. Ole Grandpa Pearce lived to a ripe old age and he lived much harder than my Dad ever did, so I like his chances.

At the hospital, me and my brother --being the reliable children we are-- commandeered a wheelchair and took it off-campus to smoke a cigarette. Sure, we'll go out to the street, but we're taking your wheelchair!

We rode that thing up and down the corridors of the hospital, sometimes even moaning and making faces, but no one said a word.

And yet we wonder why our Dad is a heart patient...

PS. Have you ever ridden an elevator in a wheelchair? It's weird!

Size Twelve Boot for Scale

So much rain has fallen in the Denver Metro area this month, 5 inches so far in my neighborhood when the average for the entire month is a little over 2, that the garden is going nuts, weeds and all.

I still haven't got the hang of taking close-ups with my X5 yet, as you can see here...(Look, a blurry pickle!)
But it's not bad in a wide shot. Take a look at this squash plant that's getting too big for it's britches.
Lettuce go, you and I...
Look, some blurry tomatoes!
Again, my camera decided in this shot to autofocus the background. WTF?
And then it takes a shot like this...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Rolling Down at Spencer Garrett

I got a new camera mount and tested it out on the bike down at Spencer Garrett Park. They're redoing it and when it's done, it'll have a community garden. I've gotta get on that.

Timelapse

Garden Disappointments

It hasn't been all glory in the Ghetto Garden this year. It never is. Despite one's best efforts and intentions, there are some things that always go awry. Such as...

The Zinnia Disaster

Some years ago I discovered by accident that zinnias are not averse to growing in rocks. Since then, I have two rocky areas in the garden devoted to zinnias. Usually they're the first annuals to bloom, but this year they're barely sprouting.
Instead of the vibrant stand of zinnias I usually have, it basically just looks like weeds.

I blame the grasshopper. I've seen him. I've seen his buddies. Look what they did to these zinnias, which I planted in actual soil.
I've got ladybugs protecting nearly every inch of the garden, but they're no match for those damn grasshoppers.

Another disappointment is this droopy stand of Mexican Hat. It's almost as if it wished it were planted two feet from where I put it. I have some more of these planted elsewhere and the only one that's NOT drooping is planted in the middle of my front yard. Conclusion: Despite their height, Mexican Hats are not border plants. Unless your border is in full sun with no micro-climates anywhere to muck things up.

This one is probably my biggest disappointment. I built this structure for the express purpose of allowing beans and cucumbers a nice sunny place to climb and bear fruit.
But only one cucumber plant has found it. I've got a couple of beans that are making a go of it, but here we are, July, and we've got at least five feet to go.

Better get on that...

Monday, July 11, 2011

KettleHell

It's true what they say. Kettlebell swings are effective. Yesterday I was feeling muscles I didn't know I had, most of them in the abdominal area.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Libertarianism and Ego

Libertarians crack me up sometimes. No, make that "Most of the time."

Over at the League of Ordinary Gentlemen, a blogger named Freddie DeBoer hurt some feelings.

Basically, he said that "the central analytical failure of libertarianism as a worldview" is "a total and disqualifying inability to measure or account for power as it exists in the real world."

This prompted all kinds of howls from the Libertarians at the League, which is to be expected, in addition to this post from James K, who writes:
"There are things we can teach each other, and I think that if the future of government is to be brighter than its present smart liberals and smart libertarians need to work together to improve our respective ideologies and their policy recommendations."
Now wait a minute.

Do I need to come out and say it? I guess so.

Nearly everyone in this country has what can be called Libertarian tendencies on one issue or another. But there are very few actual Libertarians.

The Libertarian party has hardly any influence in this country. There are no elected members (not even one!) and their candidates for national office are a perennial joke.

You know what liberals have to teach Libertarians? How to win an election.

You know what Libertarians have to teach liberals? Nothing we don't already know...

A Few Things About Movies

As of tonight, I'm back on the night shift. It's been a looooong day and so far it's shaking up to be a looooong night. So here we go...

I finally saw Sucker Punch. It was an exceedingly stupid movie, but it does have its moments. Those moments, however, do not change the fact that it's an exceedingly stupid movie.

I got the sense that it was trying to flog a message of feminist empowerment or something, but it basically failed because it was made by a dude who confused "hot chicks in combat" with "feminist empowerment." And hey, it's an easy mistake for a dude to make. It's an endocrine reality that males are used to thinking of empowerment in terms of physical violence. How would we like to deal with our enemies? In exactly the way the way Babydoll does in the film: cut them to ribbons with a samurai sword, shoot them point blank with a pistol, mow them down with an assault rifle.

Thanks to having the necessary anatomy and the right hormonal profile, I totally get that. What I don't get is why we should consider this an example of "girl power." It's "man power," pure and simple, even if it's wielded by a hot chick in belly-baring schoolgirl outfit.

As a movie, Sucker Punch is a mass of contradictions and faux insights. Watching it is kind of like watching a broken TV that's constantly flipping back and forth between music videos and action movies. Coherent? Not really. Skin deep? Oh yeah. Gorgeous to look at? Most definitely.

***

I also saw Tranformers 3 and I think I've lost a few IQ points because of it. Thankfully this one didn't have the co-ed Decepticon or Devastator's ball sac, but that doesn't mean it suddenly grew a brain, or worse...grew up.

I found myself dazzled by the special effects, entertained by some of the performances, and yet I was thoroughly unimpressed by the movie as a whole. I kept thinking, "As thrilling as this should be, it's incredibly boring."

I just didn't care about the poorly drawn characters or the poorly developed plot. I just wanted it to end.

Hopefully this will be the last one, and if not, the last one Michael Bay makes. Nothing personal against Bay. The guy does have talent. He just has no grasp of character or story, which is fine. Not all directors are as good with a story as they are with a steadicam.

Just ask George Lucas.