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The Joy of Parenting

September 2, 2011

Happy Birthday squidlette!!

But what with the grandparents and neighbors coming to visit a house torn apart by a three year old, it would have been really nice if you had taken a nap.

33 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    September 2, 2011 9:41 pm

    Eye candy –

  2. cometman permalink*
    September 2, 2011 9:50 pm

    Couple notes, neither of which should be surprising to those paying attention –

    Despite claims to the contrary by BP, it sure looks like the Deepwater Horizon disaster that nobody on the TV seems to want to talk about anymore has not been fixed.

    And new revelations from Wikileaks show more atrocities from the US military that is keeping us “safe” and that our diplomatic corps spends quite a bit of time shilling for Monsanto and the like.

  3. artemis54 permalink
    September 3, 2011 12:14 pm

    Give it about 15 years. The quiet of the house will be nice for a few days – it will come at the climax of that six years or so when you just don’t understand and are an idiot and have nothing of value to add – and then it will be profoundly sad.

    o/t Talk about self-inflicted wounds. It is now very doubtful that Obama can even carry the west coast. There will be an awful lot of missing endorsements, money, and phone calls including mine. Ask Diane Feinstein or Maria Cantwell if they want to defend O’s environmental record.

  4. artemis54 permalink
    September 3, 2011 12:36 pm

    I have been trying to refine my couscous method, since I find it so easy to eat on these hot days. Currently, my big thing is not to make too much actual couscous at one time and to have other stuff prefab in little containers – tomatoes, quick fired shrimp, cucumbers, etc. The real key is to drain the couscous in the fridge for quite a while, shaking once in a while, to get it real dry. Also really like whacking up onions and garlic as fine as possible, quick fry, and dump on the day’s quota. Tasty and also pretty cheap.

    Speaking of inexpensive, today at the farmers market: refill bottle of local red wine blend, bag of fat breadsticks (my week’s suply of bread), 6 jalapenos, 2 gorgeous eggplant, 2 large cucumber, small hunk of cheese. $17.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 7, 2011 9:47 pm

      Nice haul.

      Just finished my second batch of sweet pickles and a batch of salsa. Everything came out of my garden except the garlic and some spices.

      Used two kinds of tomatoes, three kinds of peppers, and some onions in the salsa and it came out really good. Put in cayennes and jalapenos and it tasted a lot hotter during the taste test last night than it did today. Not sure why it mellowed so much overnight. Haven’t tasted the part I canned yet though, just a couple ounces that were left over when I filled all the jars.

      Ever tried these striped German heirlooms before? Some of them were enormous and quite tasty – put a few of those in the salsa. Never grown them before and I ended up wasting quite a few because I didn’t realize they were ripe when they were just a little red near the bottom.

      Also found a new monster in the garden this year which will be the subject of my next post. Managed to finally figure out how to use the zoom on the camera and get a good picture of it.

      • artemis54 permalink
        September 8, 2011 6:44 am

        I have a variety sold to me as “Zebra Stripe.” Green with lighter and darker stripes, eventually a little yellow or orange on top but by then it is almost too ripe. Very productive, but you have to harvest by feel. Also another one whose name I have lost, but it is as you say, ripe before you realize. I am on tomato overdose right now, both neighbors that were consuming the excess are gone so I am just bagging them whole and throwing in the freezer to do something with this winter.

        • cometman permalink*
          September 12, 2011 8:02 am

          That sounds like about the same type as mine. And speaking of the overdose, my favorite at least as far as how much they produce are the Sungold cherry tomatoes. First year I planted a couple plants but have cut down to just one over the last few years since each plant yields literally multiple hundreds of tomatoes and once they start to ripen you get a few dozen every day. Been eating them and giving them away to the neighbors as fast as I can and I still have half a drawer full of them in the fridge.

          Fresh mozzarella always goes nice with the big tomatoes but Mrs. Cometman has been making a nice salad by halving the small ones, cutting up little cubes of mozzarella, and mixing it all together with some chopped fresh basil. Very tasty.

  5. artemis54 permalink
    September 6, 2011 7:47 am

    In its way, every bit as significant as what is happening to the Great Lakes: The massive oak die off in San Diego county has been traced to the importation of firewood from Arizona.

    A few years back we had a similar invasion of locust boreres in SE Washington. Locusts brought west were the dominant tree, sometimes almost the only tree, in some of these little towns settled in the late 1800s. It is disturbing to see a town go from green to bare nad brown in the space of one summer. Firewood was part of the problem, but I have my doubts that SDC can stop if by banning importation of firewood now – it is too late to do anything but hope for a little resistance somehwere in the genome – and in any case their suggestions are all just suggestions. People pay absolutely no attention.

    Note that if the firewoo were left sitting in place for a year after downing it woul be fine. Heat and cold due wonders at killing insects, but no on ever thinkgs of them. There is as far as I know no pesticide approved anywhere for use on firewood.

  6. artemis54 permalink
    September 6, 2011 8:02 am

    Paging Rick Bertrand Russel Santorum! The horror:

    Modern Humans Interbred With More Archaic Hominin Forms While in Africa

    Even that was not the limit of their depravity, going on to breed with Neaderthals and whatever else they ran across.

  7. cometman permalink*
    September 7, 2011 9:55 pm

    Bringing a new meaning to “you are what you eat” – Human Gelatin Could Be Used As Ingredient In Future Treats.

    So very wrong – Xbox 360′s ‘Blackwater’ game for Kinect to be ‘aimed at teens’.

    Difficult to express my disgust at the glorification of murderers like Prince or those from the Bush administration currently on their book tours.

    Also, pretty good article describing how US banks look the other way as drug cartels launder billions through them – Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal.

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 8, 2011 6:51 am

      One of Perry’s biggest applause lines at Freakapalooza last night was the mention that Texas had executed 234 people under his gooberdom. Ghoulish, it actually put the hairs up on the back of my neck.

      I once looked at the ingredients of a shampoo I was using and discovered that they included ground human placenta. It went in the trash and I check before buying now.

  8. artemis54 permalink
    September 8, 2011 6:54 am

    California bans sale, trade, possession of shark fins!!!

    Finally. After the campaign has already succeeded in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. But CA really is the big Kahuna in terms of consumption and transshipment to the rest of the US.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 12, 2011 8:17 am

      Good news!

      This –

      State Sen. Ted Lieu said the bill “goes out of its way to be discriminatory,” adding, “They single out one cultural practice.”

      -brings to mind an argument I heard when I lived in the Pac NW regarding whaling by First Peoples. When those advocating for whaling by First Peoples mentioned long standing “cultural practices”, it was mentioned that it used to be the “cultural practice” of white people to indiscriminately slaughter First Peoples.

      The situation is arguably much different in this case as the fins (and not the rest of the animal) are being harvested for commercial resale, and I do think whaling should be allowed on a very limited basis if a village is actually going to consume the whole animal, the “cultural practice” argument should not be an excuse for any culture to continue its practices once they have been determined not to be sustainable.

      I’d like to think we can actually evolve to be a little less barbaric.

      • artemis54 permalink
        September 12, 2011 8:28 am

        Four or five hundred years ago I put up a blog post on this very topic.

        • cometman permalink*
          September 12, 2011 2:39 pm

          Nice one. Pretty sure it was a story about the Makah that prompted my earlier comment. No problem with the Makah doing their limited hunt and I’m pretty sure they would be the first to stop if it became clear they were hunting down a species on its way out, in sharp contrast to those who would regulate them too harshly.

          You mentioned their renewable energy projects being largely ignored. Seems to be the same way out here. No help when it comes to sustainable wind projects. But the powers that be did try to shove an LNG terminal down their throats few years back. But we all know how happy the banks are to “help” when some Vegas developer wants to use their “sovereign” status to plop a casino down somewhere.

  9. cometman permalink*
    September 12, 2011 8:20 am

    So are all the hand wringing flag waving 9/11 retrospectives finally over? Is it same to look at the news again without being drowned in the flood of jingoism? I’ll take a look and report back later…

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 12, 2011 8:26 am

      By December 7, 1951 we had moved on. Seems odd that in an age where everything supposedly moves so fast, we are stuck in that moment.

  10. artemis54 permalink
    September 12, 2011 7:11 pm

    Red Alert! Breach in Rick Perry’s force field. He was booed considerably at the teabagger soiree this evening over 1) “Violating innocent children” (quoting Bachmann) by forcing them to be vaccinated for HPV and 2) offering instate tuition to “illegals” who were pursuing citizenship.

    Tough crowd. But then I really don’t know how the baggers “think” so maybe it won’t matter. Speaking of logic, it is very hard to follow Bachmann’s when she talks about irreversible damage being done to these kids.From a shot? Yeah let’s go back to the good old days of measles and smallpox epidemics in the interest of abstract liberty.

    Paul was booed a couple times too for failure to be sufficently jingoistic. Gottal love his own spawn turning on him.

  11. artemis54 permalink
    September 13, 2011 8:36 am

    Gardening note: Highly recommend “Bulgarian Carrot” pepper even though it is too hot for general use in my taste. (I used half of a very small one in 6 pints of tomato jam and it may have been too much.) Very productive – ~3 dozen from one plant so far – and very attractive hearty plant although needs its own little cage or staking. And they really do look like some sort of cartoon carrot.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 20, 2011 7:55 pm

      Maybe that’s what I need for my salsa. I put in cayennes and jalapenos but the finished product wasn’t nearly as hot as I expected although very tasty with a really nice color once I mixed in some of the striped germans. Much hotter during the taste test while still in the pot but the canning mellowed it somehow. I did seed the peppers before mixing them in which probably had something to do with it.

      The cayenne crop has been excellent for a first time effort – last 6 or 8 are reddening on the vine right now. Have those and a row of spuds left to dig and that’s about it for this year.

  12. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2011 8:34 am

    It is reassuring that we have at least one US senator who thinks it is not worth delivering a killing blow to who knows how many north Pacific salmon runs so that the Pebble Mine can make a few rich people richer.

    Thank you Senator Cantwell and you will have my vote.

    September 12, 2011
    Lisa Jackson, Administrator
    Environmental Protection Agency

    Dear Administrator Jackson,

    I write in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to conduct a scientific analysis of the effect a large-scale development project could have on the Bristol Bay watershed. A science driven, independent process is critical to evaluating the potential risks a new large-scale hard rock mine, such as the proposed Pebble Mine, could have on water quality in this pristine world-class salmonid habitat. The potentially devastating impacts – both economic and environmental – of mining activities or fill material and mining waste reaching waters that support valuable salmon fisheries must be thoroughly examined and evaluated through the most rigid scientific standards.

    Wild salmon populations around the world are disappearing at an alarming rate. Bristol Bay, one of the only remaining undeveloped salmon habitats, supports the world’s largest sockeye salmon fisheries, one of the largest king salmon runs, and abundant trophy rainbow trout.

    EPA’s assessment should focus on a transparent, science-based process which relies on a broad range of experts and peer-reviewed research. To aid this effort, I strongly recommend the EPA collaborate and leverage the expertise of other key federal agencies. In particular, I recommend that the Agency utilize the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) who have unique Bristol Bay regional data. NMFS scientists at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle regularly conduct stock assessment surveys in the Bristol Bay ecosystem which can provide essential baseline data required for EPA’s study. In addition, the work of experts at the USGS will be invaluable to the EPA in characterizing the long-term risk tectonic activity could have on the integrity of any toxic tailing pools.

    In addition to the many scientific questions which will be addressed by EPA’s analysis, I also ask you to please keep in mind that the salmonid populations in Bristol Bay are economic lynchpins for commercial fishermen, not just of Alaska but also of my home state of Washington. Thousands of my constituents have contacted me expressing their concerns regarding the potentially catastrophic and widespread long-term impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine, which would be the world’s largest man-made excavation. Nearly a thousand Washingtonians hold commercial fishing permits in Bristol Bay, supporting thousands more fishery jobs in my state. In 2008, Bristol Bay commercial fisheries – including a catch of around 42 million sockeye – yielded over $113 million dollars while recreational salmon fisheries yielded an additional $75 million for Washington State businesses alone. In total, the Bristol Bay commercial and recreational salmon fisheries are worth at least half a billion dollars annually.

    Due to the importance of this issue to Washington State and the Pacific Northwest, I would greatly appreciate being informed about all developments on this matter. Should scientists determine that pollution from a large-scale development in the Bristol Bay watershed could have unacceptable adverse impacts on water quality and the fish stocks that depend on it, I would support efforts to prohibit or appropriately restrict such activities, including the utilization of Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act.


    Maria Cantwell

    • artemis54 permalink
      September 15, 2011 8:41 am

      Note if you read the Anchorage Daily News and several others there is an organized campaign screaming about Cantwell’s “interference” and claiming that support for the mine is universal. The latter is far from true, particularly among fishermen, Bristol Bay locals, and native Americans. Even noted radical environmentalist Senator Ted Stevens opposed this monstrosity.

  13. artemis54 permalink
    September 15, 2011 9:59 am

    Beautiful photo essay from Survival International: We are here for our children

    SI is on a bit of a roll. See the celebration of their victory in Botswana, where the government has long denied the Bushmen access to their traditional watersources while diverting water to elaborate tourist resorts.

  14. artemis54 permalink
    September 16, 2011 6:42 pm

    Personal notes – fall is the season for such things.

    -One more batch of pesto ‘fore I go: Shocked to discover today that my pesto is now trading in the neighborhood at the rate of one pint for a lawnmower overhaul. I’ve only got a couple batches left in the yard and am suffering a nut shortage. Now is the time for Chinese investment in my IPO.

    -Finally pulled the plug on the tv cable and feel better already. The voices in my head make so much more sense, although I may hook up with Direct later on as they carry Link and Current on ttheir basic. Maybe

    btw, Here’s a widget which may or may not work to watch FreeSpeechTV live and free on your blog or website:

    if (WIDGETBOX) WIDGETBOX.renderWidget(‘42342603-b553-4ef2-aaed-970f836ecaf5’);Get the Free Speech TV widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)

    • cometman permalink*
      September 21, 2011 3:37 pm

      Just turned on the cable myself after ditching the Direct. Got sick of paying Rupert Murdoch for shoddy service.

      If you can, I’d go with the Dish network if you reconnect. I’d use it now except the trees in the yard block their satellite I’m told. Had it for a few years at our old place and was quite satisfied. They had Link and Free Speech TV, both of which carried Democracy Now! IIRC and lots of good documentaries. Can’t remember if they came with the basic package for sure but I think so.

      Thanks for the widget link. Maybe Stemella will drop by one of these days and help me with all the bells and whistles….

  15. artemis54 permalink
    September 18, 2011 11:38 pm

    Be honest. Did you think you would ever see this?

    • cometman permalink*
      September 20, 2011 6:10 pm

      Nice! And not in a million years.

  16. artemis54 permalink
    September 18, 2011 11:51 pm

    Paging Rick “Rainmaker” Perry:

    Ha haha ha ha. Oh this is too good. Many moons after Perry’s god failed to respond to the evil sinner, Dallas-Ft worth held a gay pride parade yesterday And then the rains came.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 20, 2011 6:24 pm

      Ha! Shooting fish in a barrel with this one, but hopefully somebody in the parade had the foresight to use this as musical accompaniment at some point along the parade route…

  17. artemis54 permalink
    September 20, 2011 8:27 am

    A suggestion for the squidlette: this SciAm blog post sent me to The Antlion Pit and brought back a flood of memories.

    When I was a wee melvin I found a doodlebug colony in the disused alley behind our house. Perfect conditions: dry sandlike soil and shaded from the sun (they really don’t like it too hot). Later I found a number of other colonies within walking distance. These were endlessly entertaining to me and I spent hours playing with them.

    Of course there is a good chance that squidlette is not quite as imbecilic as wee melvin and may have other things to do.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 20, 2011 7:27 pm

      She would get along well with wee melvin. She was having a ball playing with worms we unearthed while digging potatoes in my dad’s garden a few days ago and seems to like hearing about which bugs inhabiting our environs are good and which ones we have to squash.

      Which reminds me, I need to put up that post with latest demon I found in the garden.

  18. artemis54 permalink
    September 22, 2011 12:07 pm

    Off to scout out photo vantage spots for the balloon rally tomorrow. It’s a bit tricky, what with the river and all. You never know where they will go.

    My favorite of the endless series of booster weekend events the town hustles up business with, even though traffic gets a little out of hand. It attracts a very mellow crowd by eastern WA standards.

    • cometman permalink*
      September 22, 2011 9:04 pm

      Hard to get too riled up about polychromatic spheres wafting in the breeze. They used to have a similar event near where I grew up. Hadn’t thought about it in years but the folks took me once or twice when I was a kid.

      Got to take the squidlette to one of rural Vermont’s biggest events last weekend to see the fancy chickens and a little ox pulling –Tunbridge World’s Fair.

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