Author Archive


I’ll admit I’m a bit of a Cracked fan anyway, they’re usually vulgar, often funny, and not infrequently on point when it comes to their topic of choice.

I debated trying to post this on my Facebook page, I have A LOT of FB friends who are incredibly anti-Trump, to the extreme of posting (regularly) those memes that basically state that “if you’re voting for Trump, just unfriend me now”.  And this is by far one of the best explanations for why I see people voting for Trump (yes, there’s more to it than this, but as a basic explanation?  It’s pretty darn good.).  But in the end, I’m not sure it’s worth the effort, and I’ve put a lot of work into keeping my FB feed non-political.  Other than the occasional anti-both party meme’s I don’t post ANYTHING political.  Among other things I was raised to believe that screaming arguments over politics in public are impolite.  And this election in particular has brought out the screaming arguments!

And actually, though the point of the article was Trump, this does a pretty good explanation of why Hillary is as popular as she is too……

3 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

General update

Posted October 12, 2016 By Ruth

I’ve spent the last few weeks dealing with sinus infections.  The first one wasn’t bad, I never even had to call out of work, and the antibiotic seemed to the job right quick.  Except I was constantly stuffy.  Which I didn’t immediately worry about, I do have allergies, then last week, wednesday, I suddenly had a bad sore throat.  Back to the doctor, on Thursday, by which time I had massive post nasal drip, sinus pain, and an elevated temperature not quite high enough to call a fever.  I’ve been calling out of work since.  Well, Monday I tried to go into work, I didn’t even make it through two hours before giving up.  Trying again today, wish me luck.

Monday night they were predicting a full frost, and infact we had freeze warnings for us and surrounding counties, so after a nap (after coming home from my aborted attempt to work) I went out and picked the large majority of hot peppers.


There was just one or two.  That’s 99% of the remaining Jalapenos, and probably 90% each of the Habaneros and the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.  I only picked the ripest of the Buena Mulatas though.  I had to then take one more of the garden before the frost hit:


And one to document one more time the giant heights the Chocolate Habanero plants hit:


I was also amused to discover that the watermelon plants were trying to revive themselves and even had a couple fist sized fruit on them.  I debated pulling out the frost blankets and trying to save them, but I doubt we REALLY have enough time left in the season to get those fruit grown and ripe, so I didn’t bother.

And we did indeed get a solid frost:


At 8am, when that picture was taken, it hadn’t even burned off in the sunny spots.  The tomatoes and the watermelon did indeed not survive it.  However the hot peppers are all still going strong.  I’ve found that for what’s supposed to be a hot climate plant hot peppers in general have an incredible frost resistance.

I did find two more hibiscus plants (which I forgot to take a picture of, my excuse is I’ve been sick), both with flowers that are solid dark pink.  I planted them right with the planting of two of the bi-color hibiscus I planted previously.  The solid pink ought to set off the bi-color nicely.

4 Comments so far. Join the Conversation


Posted October 6, 2016 By Ruth


1 Comment. Join the Conversation

Dog law in Montreal Canada, more than BSL

Posted September 29, 2016 By Ruth

Montreal Canada has just passed a new dog law that is getting a fair amount of attention in the dog world.

The large majority of the attention is due to the Breed Specific Legislation portions of the law.  And don’t get me wrong, BSL is fucking stupid.  And before someone trots out the “but pit bulls cause the most dog bites!!” trope do some serious fact checking.  What’s actually true is that the MEDIA says that pit bulls cause the most dog bites.  Which is like saying that the media says that all mass shootings are done with AK-47s.  And BSL is like trying to ban evil black guns cause of it.  Just like with every other breed and mix of dog (and “pit bull” isn’t a breed anyway) there are good dogs and bad dogs and dogs who attack other dogs and dogs who attack humans.  And thats without taking into account the number of dogs who are mis-identified as “pit bulls” under such laws.

Anyway, back on topic.

What’s getting overlooked in the fuss over the BSL is the rest of the law and how it’ll affect the rest of the dog owners in the area.  In a way I’m glad the folks who fight BSL were pay attention to this law cause otherwise it probably would have flown under the radar.

Text of the law.

But a quick summary of the rest of the law:

Authorities can enter your property without a warrant to seize your dog.  If you can’t fix whatever the problem was (and it looks like “fixing” means “paying lots of money to fines”) within 72 hours they’ll euthanize your dog.

If your dog kills an animal on their list (which includes rabbits, rodents, frogs, and toads) your dog can be euthanized.

If your dog is over 20kg in weight you have to walk your dog using either a harness or a head halter, you cannot walk your dog using only a collar.

Dogs cannot be walked by someone under the age of 18.

You cannot walk more than two dogs at one time without a special license, and you must have that license on you to be provided to authorities at their request any time you are out with the dogs.

You cannot OWN more than two dogs without a special license, and then the max limit is 3 dogs.

You cannot OWN more than 4 animals within a single household period.

You cannot allow your dog to drink or swim in public fountains or ponds.

The law requires mandatory sterilization of all cats and dogs.

The law requires mandatory microchipping of all cats and dogs.

Your dog or cat can be convicted of being a nuisance (and then euthanized) for barking or meowing at all.

If your dog gets into the trash (and the law does NOT specify that this is only in public, so in theory if your dog gets into your household trash this would apply) its considered a nuisance.

Feeding your dog, or playing with your dog with a toy (even a stick) in a public dog run while another dog is present is illegal (yes, its a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean that dogs should be euthanized for it).


4 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

General update

Posted September 26, 2016 By Ruth

We came within a couple degrees of a frost over the weekend, but got lucky, so the garden still grows.

Since I’ve already got 15 quarts of tomato sauce stored away I decided to smoke half the tomatoes to go into the next batch, I figure if we hate it we’ll still have plenty left of the normal kind.  I’ve basically stopped picking tomatoes, there’s going to be a million volunteer plants next year, but I managed to totally overwhelm myself with tomatoes this year…..

Hot peppers are still going strong.  The Buena Mulatas would make a very pretty decorative landscaping plant if anyone was so inclined.

I picked a total of 5 pumpkins this year.  I haven’t had a chance to process any of them yet, but a couple are pretty big.

My supervisor at work is on her way out, I forget when she said her last day is, but its only a couple weeks.  Now the wait to see who they put in her place.  I know who I’d like to see in the position, but only time will tell.

Arty has managed to get into something he’s allergic too, he’s got a nasty raw itchy spot on his belly.  I noticed a week or so ago that he was itchy, and gave him a bath.  Extra itchy isn’t unusual for him this time of year, he goes through a shed period now, but I was keeping an eye on him just in case.  The bath seemed to help a little, but not as much as I’d hoped.  Then yesterday he was rolling in something (dammit dog, do you want another bath!!) when I noticed the raw spot on his belly.  So we’re off to the vets in a bit to make sure its not bacterial or something.

Otherwise there’s not much going on here right now, normal fall-winter prep stuff.  We’ve managed to not have to kick on the furnace yet, but I’m not sure that’s going to last much longer.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Jalapeno Jelly

Posted September 18, 2016 By Ruth

As asked, today’s batch of Jalapeno Jelly (with a couple Buena Mulata’s tossed in):

imgb2826 imgb2827


As you can see I’m a bit lazy and don’t bother to remove the seeds, but then the point was the hot peppers.  I modified THIS recipe to make this.  I use Ball’s low sugar pectin, so it only requires 4.5 cups of sugar instead of 6 cups, and I always have to use extra pectin (the entire 4.7ounce jar, the recipe tells you to use about 3/4 of the jar anyways if you measure it out) or it doesn’t set up right.  And I replace the pound of green peppers with a pound of red ripe hot peppers.

2 Comments so far. Join the Conversation


Posted September 7, 2016 By Ruth


That’s just about two pounds worth.  First batch of jalapeno pickles made last night.  The rest went into the freezer to make jelly out of later.

5 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Hospital leaders in North Yorkshire said that patients with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above – as well as smokers – will be barred from most surgery for up to a year amid increasingly desperate measures to plug a funding black hole. The restrictions will apply to standard hip and knee operations.

The decision, described by the Royal College of Surgeons as the “most severe the modern NHS has ever seen”, led to warnings that other trusts will soon be forced to follow suit and rationing will become the norm if the current funding crisis continues.

…..The decision by Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) comes amid increasing limits across the NHS on surgery for cataracts as well as hip and knee operations.

……The restrictions echo others made by health bosses in Hertfordshire, the North West and London in the past two years, where blanket referral bans were imposed on patients on the basis of their weight.


Sounds exactly like the sort of health care I want to have.  Not.  And that’s without considering the various problems with the BMI index to begin with!

3 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

Garden Update

Posted September 3, 2016 By Ruth

I checked the paprika peppers, and then pulled up all the plants. Every single pepper was chewed on.  Despite repeated applications of caterpillar killer.  Maybe it wasn’t caterpillars.  It sure looked like ‘pillar damage, but I also never actually found one on the plants.  And whatever it was sure wasn’t bothered by the Bt.  I’ve never had such insect damage on my peppers.  Sure, last year I ended up tossing about half the peppers from the garden for bug damage.  But I also got to keep half that were fine.  This year I’ve tossed a couple habaneros, a few Buena Mulatas, and one or two Hungarian Hot Wax.  And already picked, to keep, more than twice what I’ve tossed.  And I’ve yet to find a damaged jalapeno at all.  But I’ve only picked TWO undamaged paprikas, and tossed many many many more than that.  Maybe they were just that attracted to the paprika?  No clue…..

I pulled up the cantaloupe vines as mentioned last time.  They were mostly dead anyway, which is odd cause half of them were planted way later than the first ones (deliberately).  I’m blaming the incredible hot summer.

I didn’t completely pull up the Blue Berries tomatoes.  But I did massively hack them back.  The shear amount of dropped fruit I found under them is huge.  I was indeed missing that many ripe fruit.

I also trimmed back the White Cherries, and some of the outlayer branches of the Black Plums.  It is now September, which means that we could get hit with a frost at any time now (and Mother Nature is suddenly remembering what weather is supposed to be like here), so I’d rather they put their energy into ripening the fruit already there.  Though the weather next week is supposed to get hot again our low last night was 48f, so fall is coming!

I pulled up all the volunteer vines.  I didn’t bother to save the squash from them, I thought about it, but I have a ton of zucchini AND the pumpkin vines from this year are also producing well, so I just don’t need them.

I’m keeping a close eye on the Melon Pear.  I’d really like to get some fruit from it, but so far none of it has even started to change color.


5 Comments so far. Join the Conversation

RSS feed/blogroll updates

Posted August 31, 2016 By Ruth

When I originally put together this page I hacked together a makeshift set of blogroll pages rather than have the list taking up space in the side bars. It worked surprisingly well considering that my PHP knowledge is basically nonexistent. But it’s always had some issues. Among other things, it’ll randomly decide to just not load this or that feed. And when that happens that entire webpage disappears from the blogroll.  Since this leaves me with no way to tell what the problem is (did a link change?  is the RSS down? ) its not cool.

I’ve wanted, for a while, to find a better way to do it, but none of the WordPress blogroll plugins seemed to do what I wanted. Then yesterday I found a plugin by the name of YARSS (Yet Another RSS plugin). Had a minor spot of trouble getting it going, but the guy who programmed it in the first place included his email in the readme and was kind enough to respond to my emails and help me figure out the coding problem. Thanks Alex!

So I’ll be switching those blogroll pages over to the new format over the week or so.  Not sure if anyone besides me actually uses them, if so, be patient with me as I fiddle.

And if anyone reading this is looking to build an RSS feed, either as a page, or as a widget, I can recommend YARSS.  Although you can customize quite a bit by fiddling with the code, you don’t have to in order to use it.

Be the first to comment