Sunday, April 30, 2006

With some of the lousiest production values in the world, here is Charlie's debut:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Lyman is talking to more women. He doesn't remember this one, but I do.

She's a good-looking woman who takes care of herself. She's sweet and able and strong. A grandmother. Lives in Atlanta.
Peg Britton is designing again. I like designing women, if they work within budget.

Video camera



This is the size of a video camera these days. Isn't that amazing?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Given the circumstances, do you think that I should ask the male directors that have come forward again if they're not pussy-whipped anymore?

And, pray tell, what should I ask for proof?

Naw, I didn't think so. I'll take it on evidence that they will do what they're told to do.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

So, you see, I have neither the time nor the inclination to wrangle with a bunch of crooked Alabamans for long.

The board has brought back two candidates who had previously said they were not planning to run.

Craven, Esq. plans to protect his turf. As do the vice-pres. Sleazy, sleazy people.

hydroponic tomatoes



These are the tomato plants in the greenhouse, being grown in a nutrient solution rather than soil.

Blocks



The grassy area in front of the greenhouse, where the pool used to be, is 19 ft. wide and about 18-1/2 ft. long. We plan to build three raised beds running in this direction, with concrete walkways between, using this split-faced block and paver as the wall material. We want to spend our time gardening, not maintaining the structure.

Right next to the greenhouse, we plan on a bank of colorful Lantana.

And yes, the yard is grown up. We'll tackle that this week.

UPDATE: So, even, what do you think?

Greenhouse



This is Lyman's big current project.

Allamanda



You are hereby witness to an act of heroism.

This Allamanda (neriifolia) is the most neglected and abused plant on this property. It's been around on the order of 8 years.

It went totally dry during the winter and is making its best efforts toward recovery.

It will freeze if left outdoors during frosts. Mistreating this generous little thing is a sin.
We got the cuties,
We got the sweetie pie birds,
Oh I know! ...

Sunday, April 23, 2006

We had a small crawfish boil here last night. Just one sack of 32 pounds for seven eaters.

They tasted the same as usual, which is dandy, though many of them were small.

We had to do without our Basket Buddy, because the two we sent to a friend's house to help with a wedding-reception-crawfish-boil were stolen.

Stealing from a wedding reception party seems particularly low to me.

Friday, April 21, 2006

The camera is coming down through Montana and Colorado.

I hope it's taking pictures.
Lucy picked right up where she left off on her bedtime routine last night, and seems none the worse for wear today.

She's fine. I'm traumatized.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Ahem. We took the birds' cage outside today for a thorough scrubbing, put all its parts and toys and such in the dishwasher, then reassembled the whole thing with a change of toys ... and no eggs.

I took the wooden eggs out. Lucy had sat them for 36 days (without laying, mind) and showed no signs of stopping.

She misses them and she's whimpering. I am ignoring her.
The president's resignation leaves the vice-president and an elderly gentleman from the past board.

Mr. C is essentially dead weight as a member. I think he likes to come to the meetings to hug all the girls. He's a handsome old widower rogue who doesn't wish to resign even though he's battling cancer. His term is up next year.

The vice-president is one of the triumvirate of women who ran the board as an exclusive garden club. During the aftermath of the storm she oversaw pool rebuilding.

She has overseen the building of a pool that has to be approached across the grass. There is no sidewalk to the pool. Ahem.

Then there is half the timber in Alabama used to construct fancy boardwalks and "dune walkovers" where there are no sand dunes, all of which will be washed away in the next tropical storm. I give them two years at the outside.

But she is a long-time owner and has something of a reputation for answering questions.

We'll see.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Well, now. The winds of unjust criticism have finally blown the condo board president right off her iniquitous feet. She resigned.

Good riddance.

Now we're left with making heads and tails of the finances for the past several years, which will be a big, messy job.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Street



A long, hot summer ahead.

Looking the other way.

UPDATE: You're looking south here.

Field



It's 92 degrees in April and the farmers need rain.

This is the view at the end of our block.
We have created a monster of self-regard in Charlie:

I know, I know, I know I sweetie boy (smack)
Sweet birdies (smack)
Sweeties, ooh, I know it (smack)
(Smack)


And a thorough neurotic in Lucy, who is still sitting the two wooden eggs and goes through periods sounding like an ink-jet printer while she sits.

Monday, April 17, 2006

OK, we made a decision on the camcorder and it's on order.

We chose the Panasonic PVGS35 because it had an external microphone input.

No accessory shoe, but we have a roll of duct tape.

You can spend weeks researching these things and find pros and cons for all of them.

Son Michael said to just pick one to learn on. When we decide we want something more or something else, sell this one and move on.

UPDATE: We didn't have a working camera when I was growing up, and it would have made no difference since we couldn't afford film or processing.

We did have an old broken box Brownie that I used to play with.

This will be my first camera with much in the way of manual controls. Hmmm.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Lyman's rabbit sauce piquant.:

RABBIT SAUCE PIQUANT

2 rabbits, cut up as to fry (about 3 lbs. each)

3 cups onion, chopped medium fine

2 cups bell pepper, chopped medium fine

2 cups celery, chopped medium fine

1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can diced tomatoes

2 8 oz cans tomato sauce

2 tbs minced garlic

5 bay leaves

1 lb. mushrooms, cut in half vertically

1/2 tsp allspice (optional), but I like it.

1/2 cup oil

1 cup flour (divided)

Tony Chachere’s to taste (or any Cajun or Creole seasoning)

black pepper to taste

juice of 1 lemon

Dredge rabbits in flour and brown in vegetable oil. Pour off oil in measuring cup and add enough oil to return to ½ cup. Make medium dark roux with ½ cup of the remaining oil and ½ cup of flour. Add onions, celery and bell pepper, brown 20-30 minutes (it’s a lot of veggie) or until vegetables are well wilted. Add Rotel tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, lemon juice, bay leaves, garlic and 2 tablespoons of seasoning; simmer 20 minutes. Add rabbit and simmer covered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Check for seasoning and add to taste; black pepper too, if you wish. Add mushrooms and continue simmering until rabbit is tender.

Serve over rice.

(Charlie is not the only vain boy in this house.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Lyman and Michael are busy preparing rabbit sauce piquant (not really that recipe, but I didn't watch) for Easter weekend per family tradition since the boys outgrew the Easter Bunny.

Michael bought the dressed bunnies in Baton Rouge and raised the hackles of everyone around him.

"No!!!! You can't cook a bunny at Easter!"

But what about all those chocolate bunnies going down tomorrow? We won't be eating heads, or tails, or feet.

And heaven knows, we've had plenty of eggs this year.
Lucy is still sitting those two wooden eggs. It's been 32 days. She hasn't laid in that time.

Now what?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Life does go on, don't it?

While I was waiting to have my brows done at the beauty shop yesterday (conveniently located directly across the street from the tax accountant), I perused a copy of Brides magazine.

A remarkable number of those models look quite experienced at certain wifely responsibilities already, and a good many things that some wives might refuse to do.

But some of the gowns are gorgeous.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Here's an interesting contest to design a logo for the Marginal Revolution blog, with a real cash prize.

Earn a reward for your skills.

UPDATE: I fixed that typo. Why didn't someone tell me?
I'll add my voice in agreement with Gary Farber's here.

Barbara O'Brien makes the case in her post that the civil rights marches of the '50's and '60's should be the models for current public protests.

Serious clothes, serious language, single-pointedness and respect for the audience are among her recommendations.

You'll note that laying one's nekkid fat hiney in a field in formation spelling "MAKE LOVE, NOT WAR" is not included there.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Ohhh, politics today. Grunt work of making copies and stuffing envelopes and applying labels and hoping against hope that we can unseat the vain witches that turned our stricken condos into a cash machine for unscrupulous men and women (can't forget ole Chris, can we?).

We have four good candidates lined up.

We're coming.

It's the best I can do. Lyman won't let me backhand slap them.

UPDATE: And yes, I'm aware that it's shutting the barn door after the horse has bolted. But the weather wisdom is that the hurricane season is upon us for years to come.

UPDATE II: Law me, that's done and it was boring labor. I'd rather clean.

We sent the copying out. It's not cheap here -- 7 cents a page, but the woman at the little shop here did collate and staple. We don't have a Kinko's or comparable chain.

The post office also doesn't have an automatic meter, so we had to affix two stamps -- 63 cents. 188 pieces. Yechhh!

Snail mail is expensive and troublesome.

Monday, April 10, 2006

For today: bills, birds, beans, baths, books
For tomorrow: brows

I failed to have my eyebrows waxed the last time I visited Nancy. I'll make an appointment for this week before they up and crawl off my face.

I don't pluck them myself because I have poor judgement when shaping them. They're permanently cocked into an "Oh, really?" expression since the automobile accident when I was 21. I sustained a tear on my forehead that required some trimming.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I learned today that the big house at Whitehall didn't burn the other day.

A smaller house on the property went up.

No less a rough go for the people who lived there and the animals that died.
Today is fantasy baseball draft day.

We'll meet in the Elks' hall in Natchez at 1:00 p.m. and stay until 5 or 5:30 or done.

My job for the past decade or so has been keeping track of the rosters and money spent during the process. Lyman prints lists of available hitters and pitchers for me so I don't have to stab at phonetic spellings of names like Cesar Izturis or Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

It'a a gentlemanly group (no women owners, yet) and I have no complaints until about 4 or so, when civilized people like Janis typically lie down for siesta.

Perhaps a spritz bottle and a hand towel would be helpful.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Our gas was turned back on at about 9:20 this morning.

I had an odd and disturbing dream last night.

I was back in the paste-up department of a newspaper and had about six pages of a newspaper to assemble using the old wax method. I was all thumbs and could make no progress at all. In the end, the task overwhelmed me and I quit the job.

I have assembled hundreds of newspaper pages over the years, even if it's been a while. During the dream, I woke enough to realize that it was a dream, and that this had no bearing on my real life. But I also thought there was no reason why I couldn't get on with the work.

What a mess.

Friday, April 07, 2006

There is a picture of Whitehall here.

Doesn't it look comfortable?
Here's a follow up, concerning gas service. I hadn't thought about the pilot on the water heater.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I always liked Leonard Cohen:
If your life is a leaf that the seasons tear off and condemn, they will bind you with love that is graceful and green as a stem.
Here is the story. No one was home, and that's a good thing.

I can't say that. There were pets. They're someones.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

When Lyman was a teenager, he dated Carol Ann of Whitehall Plantation. Her grandfather was once president of the New York cotton exchange. He bought the house when he retired.

The house burned to the ground tonight as the result of an explosion when workers were replacing valves on a pipeline. There are some injuries. The Natchez Democrat will tell tomorrow.

We will be without natural gas for a few days.

Our ovens are electric, so the ribs came through, but I cooked eggs and potatoes for the potato salad on a butane burner outside.

Lyman thinks that Carol Ann will be devastated. It was an antebellum home.
Oh, my.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The big voice at Wal-Mart caught me going out the door with an inventory object that hadn't been deactivated -- the Dustbuster filter. At nearly $7, I don't blame them for tagging it, but, geez, a Dustbuster filter? People steal Dustbuster filters for 4.8 volt models?

The birdies get to try some tofu.
"The bird is the word.
We know it, Charlies.
Sweet, cutie pie bird.
(kissy smack)"


He is making this stuff up. I'm looking into buying a video camera so you'll believe me.

And I'm taking suggestions.
I don't care too much for money, but it would be nice to have the change to skip over the ocean and see this.

(Thanks, Tyler Cowen)
This pleases me no end.

Here is a story with more details.

Congratulations, Ms. Taylor!
I'm bored, kids. I consider that a failure of imagination.

Considering the events at the beginning of the year, I should be grateful. I think I will do that.



You Belong in Barcelona



When it comes to Europe, you don't want to decide between culture and fun. You want art by day and a big party by night.

Barcelona is ideal for you. You can check out some Picasso, eat some tapas, take a siesta, and then dance all night!

(Thanks, Chef Tony)

Si, si, that sounds lovely.

However, my travels today will be limited to Wal-Mart, which is, for me, quite a jaunt -- all the way across town.

I need filters for the Dustbuster. The accordian filter inside this one is crammed with dust and lint -- beyond cleaning.

I hope I can find one. With my luck, they've changed the design again.

Saturday, April 01, 2006