Garden Expansion

 We’ve decided to lay in a third raised bed this year, expecting food to be somewhat expensive or even somewhat short. The older beds are turned over and ready. The new one is framed, but the hard work of breaking the earth is yet to be done. 

Exposure in Maryland

Restoration of a traditional practice is usually, but not always, a good thing. 

Cesspool of Sellouts

Or possibly it’s a ‘cesspool of sin,’ as this out-of-shape Yankee* explains. Either way I was there yesterday. 

The city is actually looking much less like a cesspool of any sort following a campaign to drive out the homeless and clean up the town. One of the small parks near this sign on Patton avenue was being used by families with small children instead of the usual sleeping addicts. I’m not sure what occasions this radical departure from the city’s deeply held values of tolerance and inclusion, but it was surprising. My wife had asked me to link up with her because she needed to walk by that park, and disliked the usual harassment she faces when doing so. This time, cute children instead. 

We also saw a pair of immature bald eagles struggling for dominance on the east fork of the Pigeon river. This was heading back along US 276. There was massive flooding there recently, and though progress has been made there are still clear signs of the disaster. The road is no longer closed between the Parkway and Waynesville, though. And there’s a new Scottish pub in Waynesville, an ideal motorcycle destination provided virtuous moderation is practiced (or else accommodation in Waynesville is found).

* AVI and others from the real North occasionally note that their own usage of "Yankee" has a very different content than the one that Southerners intend. In this case, though, 'Yankee' is the speaker's own choice of appellation -- if you watch his channel's intro video, that's the word he chose to describe himself. 

R.I.P. Good Dog

I took in this beautiful creature, Greta, several weeks ago. She turned out to be 12 years old and heart worm positive, with liver enzymes too high to stand treatment unless we could get them down. She was emaciated and had tapeworms. After we got rid of the heart worms, she led the life of Riley here for two weeks, eating all day every day and fattening up nicely.

But Friday night she sustained a trifling injury in a scuffle with one of my other dogs. I thought nothing of it until the next day when she swelled up everywhere and was prostrated. She spent all weekend at the emergency vet hospital, where I thought she was improving, but it seems that the minor injury triggered what must have been a serious auto-immune disease, because she seemingly lost all ability for her cells or vessels to retain fluid, and her own system was destroying all her red blood cells. Her immune system may have been on crazy high alert from the heart worms.  That probably means it wasn't ever going to be in the cards for me to get her strong enough to treat the heart worms, and when we put her down this morning she escaped what otherwise would have been a long decline with heart disease.

She was such a sweetie. I don't regret taking her in and giving her two good weeks with all the food she could eat and a safe place to sleep. This is her just last Friday, right before she cratered.  We have buried her here with all our other dogs.

Good for Will

This was very satisfying video of Will Smith punching Chris Rock at the Oscars. Straightforward and heartfelt. I'll bet he didn't stop to agonize about whether it was woke or fashionable.

Another Exciting Afternoon

Up here we’re so far from everything that whenever we call for Medivac it’s always to some totally improvised LZ. 


Over at An Eccentric Culinary History:

If you want a single dramatic example of how much America has changed in the last century or so, stop talking about trips to the moon and super computers and start talking about this: in 1910, two brothers, Temple and Louis Abernathy, saddled up a pair of ponies and rode alone from their home in Frederick, Oklahoma, to New York City, almost 2000 miles away, to see Teddy Roosevelt give a speech. At the time, Louis, called “Bud”, was 10 years old, Temp was 6.

It's a good story.