Sunday, July 31, 2011
Project Runway style guru Tim Gunn said of Princess Anne's little number: "...She looked like ...coleslaw." Project R. is a show I watched once 2 years ago under pressure from my daughter and have never seen since -- I am essentially unaware of fashion. But I do appreciate the mostly harmless snarkiness of royal-watching.
And I guess Anne's dress DOES look like coleslaw.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Another royal wedding today. Beatrice decided against wearing her toilet seat hat again. I believe it was my sister who coined that phrase for Beatrice's April hat. So fitting. It's not just the shape of the April hat that brings to mind a toilet seat. It's the color too.
These hats are called fascinators and they are.
From Sullivan's blog The Daily Dish, published by The Daily Beast.
Are They Aiming For Impeachment?
They did the last Democratic president; and they feel even more strongly that this one is illegitimate, depite his thumping majority in the last election. Here's the scenario. The House GOP pushes for completely unserious Boehner plan (including a balanced budget amendment) that they know will be vetoed; they then filibuster the Reid plan in the Senate, forcing Obama to invoke a 14th Amendment executive prerogative, which they will then turn around and impeach him for.
Far-fetched? I hope so. But every time you think you have reached the end of Republican extremism, they manage to move further out of the solar system. But it will take a huge effort by the propaganda machine on the right to make Obama's decision not to default his fault, rather than the GOP's. At this point, if the Reid plan cannot make it through the Senate on time or through the House at all, I'm beginning to believe that Obama should invoke this controversial power, given the extreme danger the stalemate is creating for both the US and the global economy, and challenge the courts to reverse it.
I suspect it would be popular among Independents. And allow Obama to regain the initiative over events dictated by a single faction in one party in one chamber whose fanaticism is only matched by their irresponsibility.
Cartoon by Liza Donnelly of The New Yorker.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Many male actors of a certain age (40s) look exactly alike to me. Tell me that these two guys don't look like twins. (Added Mark Wahlberg per JGH.)
Maybe I've developed prosopagnosia? I never used to have this problem. Maybe it's just aging. I know these two guys have different names -- Brad Pitt and Matt Damon -- but without a label I can't tell you which is which.
Postscript: It's good to hoard old New Yorkers -- or almost-old New Yorkers. I found this Oliver Sacks article on face blindness. He has it! Now I'll re-read the article to see if I should worry.
A friend (Stephanie) who knows me well sent this 2-year-old article in order to mess with my mind. It was published in The Chronicle of Higher Education, a publication with a very good reputation.
I toiled for decades as an editor, and loved every minute of it (the editing part, not the toiling part). I kept copies of Strunk and White (that's a picture of my 1972 edition, showing lots of wear and tear) and Fowler's Modern English Usage close at hand, and referred to them weekly, if not daily. Now I learn that S & W have fallen on hard times, at least with some academics. I've read the Chronicle article twice and had one slightly contentious "discussion" about it with another smartypants (besides me) who thinks he knows what's up in the grammar world.
Now that I don't edit for a living I don't care quite so much that people are criticizing S & W, but I care a little.
Conclusions? None so far. Research continues though.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Beekeeper Steve, who inherited my aggressive hive in May, reports the following event in his back yard, less than 3 miles from my house.
"...I went to another location around 4:15 (it was 100 degrees) to feed a … hive. The goal was to open the outer cover, remove the screened inner cover, pry the floats from the hive top feeder, feed, reassemble & go. I removed the outer cover & all was well. The feeder and inner cover was covered and packed with bees. I sprayed them with sugar syrup and pried the inner cover off and gently set it on the outer cover...they were agitated by this and started bumping me so I walked about 100 yards away & they stopped pursuit. I gave myself a moment and went back to release the floats & pour in 2 gallons of syrup. When I arrived back they were still agitated so I decided just to pour the syrup into the feeder & call it a day....well I got 1/4 into 1 gallon and I was covered by bees (literally) I walked away....I walked 1/4 mile (seriously) away from the hive before they were no longer stinging & bumping me....I gave myself another minute but decided to finish the job....I went back....poured the remainder of the 2 gallons, put it back together and was stung countless times....I had to walked over 1/4 mile away from the hive & there were still stragglers stinging & bumping....I counted over 120 stings in my suit and had about 20 stings that found their way into my skin....
"Since this hive built its way up to 3 mediums it has been more aggressive than my others but I have never experienced such a thing. It was like what you see on TV. I felt like I was on an episode of "I survived" and started to re-think all of the poor decisions that got me to this point - I'm guessing time of day, extreme heat & dearth contributed but dang! I have no plans of going back into that hive until September!"
The bee mailbox isn't mine -- it's in my neighborhood and awfully cute but I don't dare get one. It's such a great target for roaming teens with baseball bats. Not that I ever see such beings on my street but late into the night I know some drive down this way occasionally.
While I'm sure the above story is true, I kinda doubt that Steve had to walk 1/4 mile from his home. That's a long way, but I do believe it FELT like 1/4 of a mile under those circumstances.
I miss my bees, but this experience is precisely why I gave them away. I want to be a beekeeper but I'm simply not brave enough (or strong enough).
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I like woolly thyme and it likes the exposure on this patio. But it grows OVER, not just between, the flagstones, Should I trim it back?
For now, I'm leaving it alone. But if I'm lucky enough to get thyme to grow between most of the stones, then maybe I will try trimming it back.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
These made a nice medium bowl of great German potato salad. No mayo, just a little oil and vinegar and chives and salt and pepper. And maybe some mustard? I've had this post in draft for a week or so. I hesitated to post it because I knew I'd have to post a video of "My Sharona" at the same time. Whenever my brain says "my potatoes" an earworm makes my brain play the song "My Sharona." It was a hit in 1979 and maybe I listened to it on the car radio a lot. Not sure, but it's in my head and apparently it will be there till the end. (After all these years I still like it.)
And I just checked on the status of The Knack. Bit of a sad story. Lead singer Doug Fieger died of brain and lung cancer in 2010 at age 57. Cancer sucks. But he left behind this song and that's good.
Look at those poor hollow-stomached deer in my neighbor's front bedding area. They're chewing on the last little bits of her hostas, which I wish she'd just move out of there. And another pack of three was departing my front yard. Look at those adorable little fawns. Can I really hate them? No. I just wish they could find enough food in the HUGE park next door. From time to time, jurisdictions around the DC area ponder having controlled kills in the parks just to thin the herds. I think "they" do send out sharp-shooters from time to time but "they" don't publicize it.
PS: I really hate that little stone kitty staring at my house. I don't think my neighbor knows about this blog so I'm talking behind her back but she'll never know. She's a wonderful neighbor whose taste in gardening differs from mine significantly. I'll bet she hates the ratty-looking vegetable garden she sees when she looks out her window at my house.
Friday, July 15, 2011
I headed for the comfy couch, book in hand, but it was not to be. Lucy on the left, Georgette on the right.
I have other pictures from my visit with my sister and her family. To be published later, when I get my photo act together. Everything about this moth is beautiful but I especially like the subtle pattern on the wings. Like frog foot prints.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Yeah, they're cute as all get out, but I'm not so sure I'm happy about this. The list of reasons why she shouldn't have taken in these tiny strays while she was at the beach (Quogue, Long Island) is long. She was there for just 3 days, and when she called me the first day and reported that some adorable kittens had adopted her I knew trouble was ahead. The second day she called and reported that she was bringing them back with her to Manhattan (on the bus from LI and the subway once in the city), where she would take them to a no-kill shelter. Her lease is up in 2 weeks and she's looking for a new apartment (see what I mean?), and her thought was that after she gets into the new apartment (the one she hasn't found yet) she would go back to the shelter to see if the babies were still there. By the third and last day of her visit, her phone call was a timid and very polite suggestion that we take in the kittens. Just until she gets settled, at which point they would ride back up to NY with her boyfriend. (Still with me? It's not a very interesting story.) For once, I said no. Our girls are just a year old, I don't know what the little ones may have, and of course I would have to take them to a vet, etc etc. It all worked out because my daughter's boyfriend's parents, who live in No. Virginia, agreed to take them. But I'm still not sure it's such a good idea. And I must remember to offer to help with the vet bills. After all, it's my daughter who caused all this in the first place.
I think this entire little story just means that she's ready (mentally, psychologically, emotionally) to have babies. My brain won't go there. Too scary.
[I don't think my daughter reads my blog, I'm not even sure she knows it exists, but just in case: love you sweetie and when you have human babies I'll love them just as much.]
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
On Sunday I met my blogging buddy Anne at the Smithsonian's Sackler Gallery on the Mall for a workshop on ikebana, Japanese flower arranging. We also had a short tour of some Japanese screens and pottery, which was very interesting. Anne did a great job of summing up our very fun day so go there for more details.
I learned something interesting about Anne just at the very end of the workshop. We were each given a handy little box to carry home our two floral arrangements. Anne decided that lugging the box to her car and driving home with it wasn't for her. Too much hassle. She didn't need the recycled wine bottle that held one arrangement nor did she need the little glass bowl holding the second arrangement. Me? Even though I was going home on the Metro and had to change subway lines at the extremely busy Metro Center (DC is still in high tourist season AND the very popular Folklife Festival was being held on the Mall), I was determined to bring home my "loot" -- aforementioned recycled wine bottle and cheap glass bowl. Don't ever believe her if she says she hoards things. A true hoarder would have done what I did.
Isn't Anne adorable? Soon there will be another Anne-Pam adventure to report on! To be continued...
Saturday, July 9, 2011
I still read all the emails I get as a member of the MCBA listserv -- the Montgomery County Beekeepers Association. Here's an example of how interesting (and complicated) beekeeping can be. I think a lot of the appeal of beekeeping is about having to come up with conclusions-theories-diagnoses for any bee behavior that isn't ideal. I miss my bees daily, but every day I also grow more and more convinced that it was right to give them away. Here's a typical email:
I have a follow up question in light of yesterday's lively discussion on bee temperament this time of year. For the most part, I have been extremely pleased with the temperament of my bees. I have only been stung four times since early May and each time was on the hands since I have tried to be a gloveless beekeeper.
I recall Jim F---- saying in the Short Course that you should leave your bees alone in July and August. I have continued to feed my bees with sugar syrup and have 4 eight frame medium boxes on the hives now. I just added the fourth one last Saturday. Both hives seem to be "strong" and are real comb building machines and I am seeing vigorous orientation flights just about every day in the late afternoon. Besides the occasional hive beetle, say two or three at a time, and a few ants, I have not noticed any pests yet either.
Any time I have looked at the lower/brood boxes, I have seen no evidence of queen cells of any type.
I have lately noticed the bees being slightly more irritable, but not enough to cause me alarm, but enough to make me consider using gloves in July and August. Here's my question --
Besides going in the clean out my top hive feeder every week or so, is there any reason to intrude on the rest of the hive during these hot months when the bees are known to be more sensitive and as long as there are no apparent changes in the bee temperament that might signal a real issue? I know there are probably many different views on this issue, but I would like to hear what the experienced beekeepers think on this issue.
Friday, July 8, 2011
I'm not a fan of the space program (for billions and billions of reasons) but I'm my son's best fan. He and three other guys drove impulsively to Titusville, FL, yesterday so they could witness this so-called "last" launch of an American space shuttle. And because my son is there, I've got all my fingers and toes crossed that the launch will take place. Don't ask why I'm opposed to the space program because I have no rational reasons for my position. I've just always thought those dollars were not well spent. I know, I know. Lots of jobs created (including my husband's for a while) and lots of scientific stuff learned, but was it worth all of that money? I would rather see that money poured (ha!) into studies of how we can keep water clean and available on this planet.
Photo credit: Reuters.