Thursday, April 14

Quinoa Experiment




There has been considerable interest in my quinoa experiment. I'm trying to figure out if it can be grown in the low desert and if so, what would be the best planting rhythm. This is the cherry vanilla variety. It's now up to 22 inches and is starting to develop flowers. I planted in the second week of January. At this point we have not yet had any days over 100°F.

Monday, April 4

Google's Self-Driving Bike

Google is not only clever, but they've also figured out that things work better when the company doesn't take itself too seriously.

Monday, March 7

Murder mystery in our garden

Crime Scene
I'm stupefied.

While tending the garden last evening I encountered a fledgling pigeon hopping around on the ground. He could fly -- but only about six inches before each crash landing.

My first concern was that he'd be easy prey for the neighbor's cats, which hunt in our yard. So, with the best of intentions I easily captured him and jailed him in a large bird cage that my neighbor Al gave me a few weeks ago. (I plan to paint it and fill it with potted plants.) Even though the lock on the cage doesn't work it is heavy duty and very secure with two concrete blocks wedged in front the door.

I gave the bird a pan of water, some seed, and a handful of straw. Then I covered the cage with an old bed sheet to help keep him warm in his first night out of the nest, which is in the eaves of the house about eight feet away.

This morning I went to the garden to free him from protective custody -- but the jail was empty! The sheet had been jostled. However, the blocks securing the door were still in place. There was a small blood stain on the wood floor in a corner of the cage. Assorted gray pigeon feathers, along with a portion of a wing, littered the ground about a foot away from the cage.

I've concluded that my attempt at protective custody failed. But I don't know why. There is no way that he could have gotten out on his own. And there is no way that a cat maneuvered into the cage -- unless the feline also returned the two 20 lbs blocks to their exact position in front of the door after gobbling up the young pigeon.

I wonder if a small snake squeezed in between the heavy duty bars. But if a snake ate the bird in the cage, how could the reptile, with its expanded girth, get back out? And why were there feathers outside the cage?

I'm stupefied.

Wednesday, February 3

"Buy a Gun -- Piss Off a Liberal"

Perhaps even more dangerous than the proliferation of guns is the proliferation of attitude. 

It's hard enough to make things work when we are unintentionally pissing each other off. We certainly damn ourselves when we become intentional about pissing off those with whom we disagree -- be they conservative, liberal, or whatever.

Monday, February 1

Tumble Weeds



The Laveen Conveyance Channel, just a few hundred feet from our house, is one of the great features of Laveen. It is a 5.8 mile walking, running, and cycling path along a canal that runs with irrigation water most of the year, provides flood control when it rains, and during storms collects tumble weeds. We had some significant wind with the half inch of rain that fell last night. And as I was riding home from my first errand this morning I discovered the tumble weeds and ducks along the way.

Wednesday, January 27

Tokyo farm in an office


This Tokyo farm in an office is more than a novelty or gimmick. It is an attempt to integrate more nature into the live of employees in order to boost their health -- and to rove that it can be done.

Tuesday, January 26

Is there a market for this?


There are 7.3 million vegetarians (including vegans) in the US -- 3.2% of the population. About 10% of the population says that while they occasionally eat meat they lean toward a vegetarian diet.

Sunday, January 24

Islanders worship

I love it when Pacific Islanders feel free to dance and worship in their own way. It often resonates more with me than Westernized music -- even though I'm Haole.