Tomatoes

Posted May 1, 2016 By Ruth

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For now at least I’ve removed a shelf and just lowered the level the plants are sitting on.  Hopefully the space will work out since we’re not THAT much short of average last frost and the weather is looking like it might be warming up.

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Summer jobs….

Posted April 30, 2016 By Ruth

Summer is the time of the temp job, especially for employers like mine.  College students who want extra cash for the summer.  Adults who’re bored.  And everyone in between.  I was infact hired as a temp myself a year ago.

Last summer, even without counting myself, I think we had a pretty decent crew of temps.

This year something happened in the hiring process….

J1 is a very nice young man who, despite being in his early 20’s and in college, has never worked retail before (I didn’t ask if he’d ever had a job before, but I suspect not).  Nice kid, I’m not sure he’s all there mentally, or maybe its the naivety thats getting me, but he works hard, doesn’t shirk, and when he’s not helping customers he finds something to do to keep busy.  I’d be thrilled to keep him, but I don’t think we’re going to.

J2 is younger than 1, works hard enough when you give him a specific task, but doesn’t go looking for something else to do very well.  And if he doesn’t stop flirting with the cute cashier and answer his walkie he’s really not going to like me in the near future.

J3 (yes, we ended up with three temps who’s names start with J) is worse than 2, among other things he disappears when he’s on the clock.

K1 is a mature fellow probly twice my age, who’s full of stories about the things he’s done, which apparently doesn’t include any retail experience.  Not sure if its because I’m female, or because I’m half his age, or both, but the condescending attitude is annoying more people than me.  I don’t care why you have the attitude, but if you tell me that this is the first time you’ve ever done X-major-safety-procedure and I spot a couple not too major changes you need to make to how you’re doing it don’t loftly insist I’m wrong……just….don’t.  Management loves him of course, but one of my co-workers is threatening to quit if they make him permenant.

And to top it off, M1 isn’t technically a temp, supposedly he got hired as permanent.  I’m hoping I heard that wrong.  Supposedly he’s got retail experience.  However he’s got issues with complying with the dress code (tip, jeans torn so I can see your boxers don’t fit dress code), especially the ones that actually have safety concerns behind them (no facial piercings IS actually a safety thing, I’ve had stud earrings torn out moving stuff, getting a lip or eyebrow ring torn out would be incredibly unpleasant).  Plus he dwaddles, and wanders, and doesn’t multitask, and if you want him to DO SOMETHING you have to stay on his case about it.

To top off the summer we have a new department head who’s previous experience was limited to managing a much smaller and less busy department on the other side of the store.  Nice enough woman, but she really shouldn’t be in charge of a department with the kind of rollover that garden/seasonal has.

Its going to be an “interesting” summer…..

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Additional random thought on bathrooms

Posted April 29, 2016 By Ruth

Why is it that everyone is FREAKING THE FUCK OUT because there might be a strange guy in the same room as their daughter…..

But no one is FREAKING THE FUCK OUT because current bathroom setups allows the same strange guy in the same room with their son?  Even worse, why is no one FREAKING THE FUCK OUT because the same guy might decide to use a urinal RIGHT NEXT TO their son?

 

Also, donno what goes on in the public bathrooms you’ve been in, but I can’t recall the last time I saw someone’s “private parts” in the main room of the women’s bathrooms I’ve been in.  All that’s done in the privacy of the stalls.  Where no one can see it anyway.

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Links

Posted April 29, 2016 By Ruth

Zero tolerance doesn’t just apply to students.  Did they want her to use slang??

Rape culture and bathroom problems.

Radiation, is it really that bad?

History: Queen Elizabeth served as a mechanic in WWII.

Shoshone River boiled.

The FBI faked this entire field of forensic evidence.

She said it was consensual.  They suspended him anyway.

“while supplies last” apparently doesn’t mean what we all think it means.

Part of why I never could get into Game of Thrones, books or show.

Not a huge movie fan, especially in recent years.  And I think I figured out part of why.

Email privacy act.

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Ankles update

Posted April 27, 2016 By Ruth

(post from the Ortho visit here)

Ok, first off, the one thing that NO ONE tells you when you’re handed orthotics.  You cannot just slap them into your shoes and go on with life.  Most of the time you have to convince your body to adapt to them.  Wear them for an hour or two a day, slowly expanding the time you wear them.  Doing otherwise will result in painful feet!

Monday and Tuesday this week were my first days wearing the orthotics all day at work.  I might have pushed it a bit fast, my feet aren’t quite thrilled.  But I’ve decided it’s worth it.

The last several months I’d get out of the car after the drive home from work, and hobble into the house because my ankles had stiffened up SO MUCH on the drive home that they’d refuse to work.  And although the magnesium supplement and ankle supporting shoes helped with some of that pain-stiffness, enough to notice, they didn’t stop it completely by any stretch.  Even on the best days I was hobbling into the house cause my ankles were just that stiff.

Monday I got out of the car…..and I could walk!  I was stiff enough to notice, but my ankles worked, I could walk instead of hobble!  And although it’s a harder measure, I’m reasonably certain that I was less stiff the next morning too.

I went to work Tuesday crossing my fingers that it wasn’t a fluke, and at the same time reminding myself that it could just be a once off and to not get my hopes up…..

Tuesday evening I got out of the car at home, and the same thing happened.  I was a little stiff, a little painful, but my ankles functioned, I could walk!  And again, this morning, I hurt, but not as much as I have been.

Also, while I’m wearing the orthotics I’ve had zero stabbing pains in the arches of my feet or in my ankles.  When I’m barefoot (around the house), or if I take the orthotics out of my shoes, I get the stabbing pains again.

It gives me SO MUCH hope, that this time we’ve found the problem, and that this is working to fix it!

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Garden update

Posted April 26, 2016 By Ruth

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You can’t quite see it, due to the color of the plastic cover on the new greenhouse, but the tallest tomato plants are about to hit the top of it.  Less than an inch to go.  At that point I guess I’ll have to look at pulling them out to sit on the porch during the day or risk them scorching on the top of the greenhouse.  My other option is to lose another shelf and drop them down a row.  And although right now I have lots of space to do that I’m about to start the seeds for the melons.  I guess I could pull the poppy pots and put that shelf back in, and add the poppies to the routine with the baby tree, which is inside for the cold nights and on the porch otherwise.  Despite the warm spring I just don’t dare plant anything sensitive out now, it’s still 3 weeks short of average last frost!  I do have frost covers, but the taller they get the harder it is to make sure they’re covered.

Sugar snap peas are sprouted (I’m trying a bush variety this year instead of a vine), lettuce and radishes are also up.  And it looks like most of the carrots are also sprouted.  I need to plant out the broccoli seedlings in the near future.

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Links

Posted April 22, 2016 By Ruth

If you still have Apple’s Quicktime on your computer its time to ditch it.

Monster Trucks have a use beyond just annoying your neighbors!

Gee, imagine, prosecutors actually doing what they’re supposed to!

Please make sure your pets are up to date on their Rabies shots!

One of the best explanations I’ve read so far for why “free college” isn’t the solution.

I have to find the time to look closer at this one.  Ketogenic diet cures dogs of cancer?

History, the Saint Francis Dam disaster.

More history, the first Brit in space, getting written out of history?

Hit and run drivers didn’t know it was illegal to “run”?

Why just clicking “like” on Facebook might be a bad idea.

Diabetes linked to Alzheimer’s.

Ok, I laughed, petition to change the national anthem…..

Why waking a sleeping tiger is a bad idea.

The rise of cases like this should be a warning to all pet owners.

How Sci-Hub came to be, and why.

30yr old business to be shut down by city.

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Bathrooms

Posted April 21, 2016 By Ruth

Look, law or no law, pinning your safety on a sign dictating which set of plumbing is allowed in the bathroom with you is as stupid as assuming that a piece of paper will keep your abusive boyfriend away.  If creepy rapist kidnapper dude decides that he’s going to hunt women in public bathrooms the fact that his plumbing doesn’t match the sign on the door isn’t going to stop him.  MAYBE allowing folks with different plumbing into a marked bathroom will up the risk level.  But I have my doubts.  Creepy rapist kidnappers are not restricted to the opposite gender, or to molesting the opposite gender.  Public bathrooms are simply not, and never have been, a place to lose yourself in the white zone.

Honestly, the simplest, if costly, solution is to turn all bathrooms unisex.  Change the partitions to full length, and get rid of the urinals (seriously, very few guys have them at home, so why do they need them in public?).  That way parents can stand within reach of their child of opposite sex while the child uses the bathroom.  Guardians of the handicapped don’t have to find a “family” bathroom in order to help their charges on the toilet.  And no one flips out at the apparent gender of the person who just walked through the door.

The whole thing could even be phased into usage so that the financial burden isn’t as painful.  Swap out the partitions for full length, partition off the urinals with signs on the doors “URINALS ONLY”, and change the signs on the main doors.  Then later, as regular maintenance has to be done, swap the urinals out for toilets.

It’d even save money in the long run for new construction as they’d only have to put in one, slightly larger, bathroom in new buildings instead of the two divided bathrooms.

Frankly this sort of thing should have been happening a while ago.  And not because of the transgender issue.  There are plenty of people out there who mentally match their plumbing, but who’s looks do NOT match their plumbing, and who then get hassled for using the correct bathroom.  Plus see above comments about other reasons why someone of the opposite sex might need to be present near by.

And yes, the same sort of thing could be put into place in locker rooms and the like.  Though the solution for how to handle the transgendered folks who wish to play sports and whether to put them on the men’s or women’s teams would have to be thought through a bit.

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Two rants

Posted April 20, 2016 By Ruth

The first one is short, but important.  Yesterday was Primary day in NY.  I did not vote.  Sorry.  I can’t stand ANY of the candidates.  I do plan to vote in November.  But trying to choose between them now just wasn’t going to happen.

And second….

W.T.F. is it with trying to monetize every single “holiday”??  It’s not bad enough that Walmart started a craze last fall for lighting up your house with green bulbs to “support a vet” (seriously, EVERY SINGLE retailer out there was sold out of green lightbulbs for months).  Now it’s “Light it up Blue for Autism“, though I understand that this has actually been around for a couple years, but this year major retailers have jumped on the bandwagon after the money making scheme of Walmart’s green bulb campaign.

Buying a lightbulb doesn’t do a damn thing to help the folks who actually need help.  It’s just a pretty light on your front porch to make you feel good.  You REALLY want to help a vet?  Find one in your local community and hire him or her for something.  Or go find one of the good charities that help support the vets in need and donate to them.  You REALLY want to help find a cure for autism, or help support the autistic kids who need extra assistance?  Go find one of the good charities that does that.  Do your research though, there are some pretty crappy “charities” out there, and some of them are pretty damn big names too.  Don’t buy a lightbulb.

 

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Garden update

Posted April 18, 2016 By Ruth

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I actually took this picture a week ago and forgot to post it, but you get the idea.  The big pot on the bottom shelf is an American Chestnut seedling that I found at Tractor Supply for $6 and couldn’t resist.  They’re one of the trees I’ve been considering putting along the front line as a privacy screen at some point in the future.  Next to it are a couple pots of Icelandic Poppies from work that I couldn’t pass up.

I spent yesterday setting up a 2nd greenhouse (btw, for anyone who’s looking for a greenhouse like this, my local Tractor Supply has them for $20), and dividing the tallest plants between the top shelves of the two.  The seedling tree is now tall enough that it had to come out of the greenhouse, and is on the back porch, being brought in and out every night.  Almost all of my current batch of seedlings are out in the greenhouses now, only a couple tiny late starts are still inside.  I’ll probably be starting the melons and squash in the next week or so.

Remember me talking last year about a tomato plant that sprouted out of my compost pile?  I still have no idea how it thrived there, constantly saturated ground and almost no sun and the coolest place in the yard, but the plant ended up taller than me, and although it wasn’t prolific, it DID produce a fair bit of fruit (which appeared to be Black Plum tomatoes).  I saved seeds from it and started seedlings this year, with the intention of planting them in the compost pile again to see what I get.  I’d been treating them just like every other seedling though, and they went out to the greenhouse.  Turns out that might not have been the best idea.  They sprouted well, and were the tallest of the tomato seedlings…..till the greenhouse turned warm due to the weather.  While every other tomato plant is thriving in the very warm greenhouse the compost tomato seedlings died!  I’ve re-started with new seeds and this time I’ll keep them inside under lights till I can plant it out.  It really looks like they just couldn’t handle the heat after having been grown in the cool last year!

One of the two carrots that survived the winter died in the cold snap we had.  The other however is thriving:

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I’m still shaking my head over how it possibly survived, but it’s very cool!

Weather wise we’ve gone from snow and almost record breaking cold just two weeks ago, to lovely above average warm and sunny and everything in the yard is trying to sprout leaves.  It’s a little scary, it’s still entirely possible for us to get another good freeze before the season ends, but if we get one now after this week of warm it’ll kill an awful lot of plants.  This coming week will be closer to the “average”, but still nice and sunny with lows well above freezing.

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