January 19th, 2014

Hawaiin Shirt

Football goes to pot

My first adventure today was taking the Kaffir lime tree (it's a dwarf, about 3 feet tall) out of its plastic nursery container, knocking all the dirt and mud off of the roots, and re-planting it in a pot with new, dry, quick-drain made-for-citrus potting soil. The 14-inch diameter Tecate clay pot sits on top of a 16-inch diameter 3-inch deep pan which in turn sits on a 14-inch wooden platform on casters.

The main point to the new soil and the clay pot is I had over-watered the tree, and needed to repair the damage. It still needed a light watering, but the pan under the pot is there to catch the excess water, and to provide the tree with some external humidity which it needs as a tropical plant.

It was a nice sunny day, and the tree got a lot more sun than it did in the house. The master gardener site says these are hearty trees which can survive overnight temps as low as 30°, and is drought resistant. I plan to leave it out on the backyard end of the driveway and just let it be. It probably won't need more watering for a month. Longer if it manages to rain first. A lot of leaves fell off, and they are in a faux tupperware tub in the freezer, for when I need them for a Thai recipe. The leaves are very aromatic and have a unique and pleasant (to me at least) taste.

That done, I went out on the front porch and sat a while, saw three hummingbirds feeding on flowers across the street, and checked my feeders, one of which I thought was being used, but it turned out to be leaking. Decided I needed to buy a new pair, so I went online and looked for 5-star rated feeders. Mine came up first. WTF? All the latest reviews said they had no problem with leakage reported by the stupid people who had not read the instructions. I went to the mfg site and played the video, and found out that unlike most feeders, where you fill it and walk away, this one you have to tighten the base, tighten the tube, fill it, screw the top in very tight, then forcefully pull up on the tube until it pops. This opens the ports of the dispenser and creates a vacuum which prevents leaks. I brought the two feeders inside, dumped what was left of the nectar, made a new batch, and followed the directions. It worked. Hung them back up outside, we'll see if some birds come over.

Still had an hour to kill before the first football game, so I read a few chapters in China Miéville's The City and The City.  According to Kindle I am less than halfway through. It's a speculative fiction murder mystery. Not sci-fi because there is no science behind the speculation, which is: What if there was a civil war which ended with a treaty that said the two factions would co-exist, but one side would have to pretend to not see the people and buildings of the other side, and vice versa. They would pretend to be two completely different cities, occupying basically the same area, each with its own laws and governments. I don't generally like murder mysteries, and this is turning into not an outstanding one, but it was chosen as the Book Of Honor at this year's Potlatch, which I plan to attend, and so I am plugging away.

Denver beat New England handily. Their defense completely stymied the Patriots. The 26-16 score was less lopsided than the game, NE didn't score a touchdown until the 4th quarter and one of those was kind of a fluke.

Seattle started their game by fumbling to the 49ers, who only managed a field goal, but it was a pretty even game all the way through, though again the score didn't reflect this. 10-3 in favor of SF at halftime. But between some majorly wrong and non-calls by the officials, and some majorly fumble-fingered play by SF, the Seahawks won it 23-17, deflecting a pass in the end zone and intercepting it with about a minute to go. Defense was excellent on both sides, Seattle's was just a hair better. Neither side's offense was Superbowl quality. Denver will probably win the big game.

Game over, I heated up a Fresh & Easy house brand dinner, turkey medallions, stuffing and veggies. Tiny portion, bland.

A note about today's winners: Colorado and Washington State legalized pot. Coincidence?

Plans for tomorrow:
Walk to light rail and take it downtown (SJ) to see the Tech Museum's Star Wars exhibit. Should be interesting and will be a photo op, they allow non-flash pix
Wear my Science Fiction Museum T-shirt. See if anyone mentions the football game to me.
Try not to offend too many of my MLK-worshiping friends by pointing out that RFK did far more to change civil rights for the better in America, and was also senselessly assassinated, but since he was white and sounded like Bugs Bunny, he doesn't get a holiday.