Friday, May 22, 2009

Pretty Flowers

Hey everyone, Memorial Day is coming up...when my family "goes to the graves". Although it started out as a military thing, most folks around here have turned it into a Day of Remembrance for ALL thehir dead. For us, it's pretty informal, we just put flowers on the graves of friends & family, or on their tomb if it's in a mausoleum. We never spend money on the flowers, but collect them from our yards, and pick up containers at the cemeteries a couple days before - if you wait too long, they are usually out!

Here are some late spring pictures from our gardens:


I chose a pink lupine last year, just because I was so tired of the regular purple. I really like it, and it has gone great guns since I replanted it in a much larger container. I saw a huge bumblebee humping the blossoms things morning, it was quite a sight!

Potted Garden

You can see our California poppies, a large Bleeding Heart plant, some Heirloom tomato plants (one Black Krim, and one Brandywine), and a "miscellenous" pot with Rosemary, Italian Parsley and some summer flowering bulbs (which I can't remember the name of right now).

Pink Rhodie

This Rhododendron from our front yard is show stopper, the blossoms are huge! I severely pruned this bush last fall, but we still have plenty to use for this years' bouquets.

Pale Purple Rhodie

Another one from the front yard (we have 3 total), which has lots of flowers this year. I've always liked Rhodies since they grow so well here, take very little care, and come in so many colors.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I am pleased to announce that Isis is back on line with Floating Down Denial which has a great post on food sustainability and security and the Japanese concept of Satoyama.

Thepsilam has a new home for his blog (Thep's World) on a snazzy new blogging tool called squarespace.

Check 'em out!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Second Verse, Same as the First

This is a cold war era video I found over at The Oregonian embedded in an article by Peter Ames Carlin entitled, "With nuclear annihilation imminent, Portland keeps its cool"

It is 27 minutes, but well worth at least spending 10 or 15 minutes if you can't see the whole thing. The video hit me on a number of levels.

It is a piece of propaganda first and foremost. With our more sophisticated abilities to criticize media, it is plain that this video is meant to invoke fear that leads to compliance. Our current terrorism hysteria is not much different from this video. Take a small but spectacular threat and pump it for everything it is worth.

However, it could also be considered an example of how a community could react to an extreme situation. Those do happen. CBS and the US gov't chose nuclear annihilation, but imagine if such a plan could have been carried out for the big hurricanes of the last 5 years. What if actual coordination had occurred and people cooperated instead of complaining for once in their lives? How many lives would have been saved? How could a pre-existing plan have helped to cope with the financial aftermath of those who lost so much? Emergency Preparedness is not just a Boy Scout merit badge.

In Portland, the same plan could be put together to respond to natural catastrophes. Instead of selling out for corporate contracts and cutting our public resources to the bone, we could actually plan for difficult times. With dwindling natural resources and growing population, it would be a smart idea.

Instead, we prefer a circular firing squad of blame and allowing the most belligerent to wield the microphone. GM is facing bankruptcy and America debates whether to help. I will bet that one of Toyota's worst years ever isn't turned into a cable news circus. In fact, I would bet the government quietly makes sure Toyota does just fine.

It might be an idea for our own country.

(On the other hand, Japan had their own financial meltdown and didn't recover very quickly due to their own foot dragging, so there you go. We appear to be acting similarly to placate the bankers, so prepare for a slow recovery.)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Twitter, Blogspot style

Oh, my elbow itches. Let's tell everyone. I'm THAT important.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Short Star Trek Review and Fan Guide

Excellent film. One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. See it.

Should you see the film?
* Trekkie = Yes
* Non-trekkie = Yes

Consider the franchise rebooted.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Ladybug and I took a walk in Portland's Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum last weekend. It was a wonderful time of year for flowers. The cherries were late in the blooming cycle but the late bloomers were as beautiful as the early ones. I took the revived camera with me. Click the pictures for a closer look.

This overlook shows a view of Portland to the northeast (away from downtown).

A delightful bunch of mushrooms grows around this plant.

Some nice, thick cherry blossoms.

This is a variety of currant growing near the Hoyt Arboretum visitor's center.

This was labelled as Silver Manzanita.

A trillium in the early white stage.

A slightly blurry picture of several trillium (trillia?) that shows the progression from white to deep pink over time.