Thursday, April 28, 2011


Our projector[0] lamp died after about 5 yrs of use. Bought it used, so who knows how much was on it in the first place. I've got a replacement bulb already in waiting and will let you know how that goes. And, yes, the bulbs are $$$.

We were watching ep9 of The Tudors[1] at the time.

[0] "beamer" in the UK and the Continent, according to Linux Outlaws
[1] netflix + wii

Saturday, April 23, 2011

chickpeas are planted

Report card on the pre-sprouted chickpeas:

Of 6 attempted,
2 made strong, 4" seedlings. Planted those today.
2 made weak, 1" seedlings. Composted.
2 did not come up. Composted.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


I finished my last day teaching yesterday. Walked the halls and said goodbye to some teachers and support folk who stick out as exceptionally devoted and talented.

Turned in my sub paperwork to the front office and headed out the door. It was close, but I got past all the kids in front of the school before I choked up. I was thankful for the sunglasses and for my parking spot way across the lot. Drove to the ISD offices and turned in my badge[s].

I've said before that this feeling reminds me of asking someone to marry you and they say 'no'. Future plans dissolve like smoke wisps and it feels like I'll be limping with an emotional stonebruise for a while. But life goes on. Keep breathing in and out and meet each day as it comes.

I am spending this weekend organizing and cleaning. I start a new job (and what feels like a new life) on Monday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

survey: the autoblog podcast

"What do you like least about this show?"

Dan's incessant interruptions. If this is going to be The Dan Rant Show, let us know.

Seriously, if he wants to talk 100% of the time he needs his own d*mn podcast. Somebody needs to cut his microphone and ONLY turn it on when they want his input. He is incapable of letting other hosts finish their thoughts. If you don't believe me, pick ANY episode and listen for 60 seconds.

Dan is to Autoblog Podcast as Dvorak is to This Week in Tech.

callbacks, pt2

As I mentioned earlier, I've been interviewing.

The position I really wanted never did make a 2nd interview but they make an offer. :-) I accepted, and I start next week.

It's not in teaching but I'd seen the writing on the wall already anyhow. I'd already doubled-, tripled-, and quadrupled-down on teaching. To continue down that road would require quintupling-down (working several more weeks without pay) and sextupling-down (re-taking more altcert coursework which 'expired') with no guarantee of work on the other side.

Anyhow. Everyone I've met at the new job is interesting, competent, and friendly. I'll do my best to be a productive member of the new team.

Once I turn in my school badge I'll probably make a few posts over on MBTRT with my thoughts on the education market, alternative certification, substitute teaching, and the State of the Classroom in elementary, junior high, and high schools around town.

Monday, April 11, 2011

nice garbanzos

I sprouted some chickpeas (garbanzo "beans") and will try to get some 4" seedlings out of them. If they grow I'll drop them in the garden and see what happens. I will try some no-soaks, too, as that appears to be the preferred method.

More about growing chickpeas.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

half day == playtime in the garden

I had a half day off, so I slapped on some old shorts and planted the 2nd wave of seedlings in the garden.

I also started a 3rd wave of things that either need to be started cyclically for continual harvest (lettuce) and things that did not germinate well the first time (beets, radish, corn, carrot).

I don't know if I mentioned I'm also sprouting some seed stock left over from 2010. At this point there appears to be no difference in sprouting rate, growth rate, overall vigor, etc, between last year's seed stock and current.

These seeds are the first I've started in the sifted soil produced by the compost pile. Each container has a layer of vermiculite in the bottom, a thin layer of the soil, seed, then more soil.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

puppy linux update

Here's a screenshot of my little Eee 900 running Puppy Linux (LUcid PUppy 5.2.5) I upgraded to earlier today. It's hella fast on Puppy, even with a lowly 1gHz Celeron hamster running in there.

It's a free, modern, fully functional operating system that's about 1/20th the size of Windoze. (current .iso is ~130MB)

The stock LuPu 5.2.5 desktop stuff is openbox + fbpanel + conky + ROX-filer --pinboard.

long day, and it's only 3pm

I think I'm gonna go take a nap.

I planted another round of seedlings:
  • bell peppers, scrounged last year from peppers we ate. No idea what these will do.
  • tomatoes, three varieties. One leftover heirloom breed from last year, and two hybrids.
  • squash, two varieties
  • cucumbers, two varieties
  • more lettuce
  • corn
  • I forget the rest but it's on my garden planning sheet
Following the SFG model the tall/vertical/viney stuff is furthest away from the sun with shorter stuff in front of it. Alternated species instead of planting near each other to limit disease and bugs.


Tore down one of my composting bins for delivery to the (very kind and lovely) MIL. Will throw that in the truck next time we go to see her. Chickens were Big Helpers, which is to say they stood on top of the pile and kicked it everywhere but where you wanted it. They got pretty brave working around the hoe.

Tore down an active pile and sifted the compost before restacking/wetting the remaining big stuff. The filtered/finished compost was fine and clean-smelling, though both are difficult to judge from this pic. About 20# worth.

I learned this sifting trick from composting master Rob. I might make a two-tiered autosifter like he built. Maybe chicken wire for sifting the big stuff and hardware cloth or something for the smaller stuff?

Lucid Puppy 5.2.5
Upgraded the eee netbook to puppy 5.2.5.

Grocery shopping

Trip to Aldi. Completely full basket was less than $90. Put the groceries in the back of the truck (on the cargo platform I cobbled together quickly) and it worked out great.