The Horticultural Whore Returns From The Dead

…or at least dormancy

It has been a damned long time since I did one of these garden updates, so here goes.

For the last year or two, my garden has been overrun by weeds. This has not changed, but it will next week when I rent a weed whacker and lay waste to my vegetable foes. After that comes various other attacks meant to bitchslap the weeds to death or at least submission.

Anyway, weeds and a bunch of compost from my various compost piles was why I built a garden on the upper half of my driveway. I figured there was already an herb bed on one half of it, so why not plant my veggies…and many dozens of irises and gladiolus…right there in the bigass pile of rich compost. So I did.

And then Northern California had spring, spring, spring, summer, spring, spring, summer as a growing season. Unless you are a vegetable gardener, you have no idea how fucked up that is.

As a result, nothing produced much until September, when we had some hot weather and all of those green tomatoes that had been just sitting there on the vine for months got ripe all at once. Ditto my bell and italian peppers. Green beans only produced in dribs & drabs, so I’d pick 6 or 7 each day and use them as dog treats for the girls.

I got one cantalope, no watermelons, a couple of squash and that was that. A thoroughly disappointing harvest.

In a day or two, I’ll be planting spinach and lettuce for my winter garden. Barring an extended winter heat wave, which has happened a few times recently, we’ll at least have greens to eat between now and next spring.

By next spring, I hope to have permanent raised beds in place all over the property, which should allow for a large and varied garden that will be prety much weed free. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot of yummy food out of it.

If we don’t get screwed by the weather again.

Now, Doclopedia goodness!

 

The Doclopedia #381

 Showing You The Ropes: The Perfect Climbing Rope

 Welcome to my shop, good sir! If it is rope you need, please allow me to show you my wares. I’m sure we can find you exactly what you need.

 A rope for climbing? I shall assume we are speaking of climbing buildings, not mountains, since you have the look of a man who does not spend much time in the wilderness. What? Oh, yes sir, I am sure that you are the most law abiding person in all of the Empire, but even if you weren’t, it would matter not to me. I am merely a seller of ropes and other cordage. What people do with my products is out of my hands.

Now, why don’t we start off with the best of all my climbing ropes? If it should prove too expensive, we can move on to other choices. This, my most excellent customer, is the Perfect Climbing Rope. Oh yes, a boastful name indeed, but true as any words I’ve ever spoken.

 You see, at no small expense we have had several enchantments placed upon this top quality Arufkan hemp rope. First of all, notice the softness of it, not at all rough as hemp can often be. This not only saves wear and tear on the hands, but it makes the rope far less likely to snag. Go ahead, feel it. Soft as silk, eh?

 Now let us examine these darker markings that are so evenly spaced along the rope. When climbing has started, these areas swell up to the size of a plump orange, making truly excellent hand and footholds. No, no, they do not al swell up at once, only the ones that are needed at the moment. A most clever enchantment that, don’t you agree?

 Why, yes, most learned sir, the rope does possess the ability to tie and untie itself as the user commands. No doubt you have seen other, lesser ropes with the same ability being sold by purveyors of magical items. This, you must see, is a superior product.

 But let us get on to the other amazing properties of the rope. It can, at the bidding of the user, climb up walls or other surfaces to whatever spot is desired. Should a climber lose their grip and fall, it will grab them as the constricting snakes grab their prey, but gently and with only the intent of preventing injury or death. And finally, this amazing rope can reduce itself to a short length that can be worn as a belt or robe tie. Excellent for concealment, don’t you think?

 Best of all, we guarantee the quality and enchantments of this rope for a full ten years! Should it not live up to your expectations in any way during that time, we will replace it or refund your money in full.

 The price? Ah, well, such a wonderful item does not come cheaply. On the other hand, what is a mere 500 pataks when weighed against the potential rewards of many years of successful urban climbing?

The Doclopedia #382

Showing You The Ropes: The Unbreakable Rope

No, Ateena, I do not lie! The monster is vanquished and will never bother the surface world again. Your fears are as pointless as your attempts to antagonize me. But perhaps you would like to go down into the Deepest Dark and verify that I tell the truth? I’m sure my friends would join us for another trip to the lair of the Great Foulness, right girls? See, Ateena, they are up for it, so we could leave within the hour. What? Not necessary? Are you sure? Ah, I thought as much.

 What, Faleris? How did we bind the creature to his lair? Why, by actually binding him! No, I’m not jesting, we actually managed to tie him up with an ancient and very powerful magic rope. It was made 300 years ago for King Urrmok. Woven of giant spider silk and the hairs of a God, it was then enchanted many times over by the fourteen Cloud Mages of Dreerj. Finally, it was soaked in a mixture of many potions and allowed to dry out under the light of the triple moon. After that, it became 300 feet of unbreakable rope.

 No blade, no fire, no spell, no beast can part that rope. The cleverest of inventions will never fray it, nor will age or weather. That rope is wrapped tight around the creature in a configuration that barely allows him to breathe. The knots we tied were then cursed and will remain unbreakable for ten thousand years. I tell you, sisters, that creature is as imprisoned as it is possible for any mortal to bring about.

 And now, let us all down another mug of ale and give our thanks to King Urrmok and his unbreakable rope!

The Doclopedia #383

 Showing You The Ropes: The Smart Rope

 Good morning, 003. Have a seat and I’ll tell you all about the newest creation from Q branch: the Smart Rope. What’s that? “A new line of work”? Amusing, 003. I’m sure you can make it actually funny with some work.

 Now then, as you can see, it looks exactly like any 20 meter length of light cotton rope. But watch this…rope, slipknot! Fast, eh? 3.5 seconds, to be exact. Rope, untie. Ah, even faster!

Here’s another neat little trick: rope, execute move Delta Two! Heh heh, feeling a bit bound up, 003? I’ve often wondered how you’d look tied to a chair and gagged. Rather a pleasing picture, I must say. At any rate, while you were watching one end of the rope do that little knot trick, the rest of the rope was getting ready to strike. A little something I programmed into it earlier. You’ll find the rope quite easy to train, once we give it to you.

 What’s that, 003? I can’t understand you…oh, of course, the gag! Clever, that. You see, the nanites that are found all throughout the rope just swell up one portion of it to fill your moth. Rather a large portion, really, given the size of your mouth. Heh heh heh.

 Is that a frown crossing your manly brow? Oh, it must be because your concealed wrist knife isn’t cutting through the rope! Well, buck up, 003, it wouldn’t matter if you were using a chain saw. The rope repairs itself as fast as you can cut.

 Alright, rope, release him. There now, 003, wasn’t that a valuable learning experience? Now take the rope and head off to see M. I’ll call ahead to let him know your coming and to tell him I showed you the ropes. Heh heh heh. 

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