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. 

Sparky The Tubeworm

…way down under the sea


Blindness: Well done and well acted, but rather predictable. Not a bad movie, but not one I would pay money to see.

The VP Debate: Despite the spinning of the Republican talking heads, it was Biden for the win. Palin was a spokesperson/pimp who dodged really answering most questions in favor of repeating the same old shit.

The Garden: Spinach…carrots…radishes…lettuce…mesclun mix…peas! All in the soil, most sprouting in a week or so. And all in just about 3 square feet, with 3 more square feet to be planted in a few days.

Television: Fringe has not yet lost me, but it’s barely hanging on. Heroes is picking up steam. Supernatural is starting to bore me. Bones continues to be fun and I’d happily hop in the sack with any or all of the three female leads.

The Search For Employment: Continues…and yes, I’ve applied at pretty much every sort of place y’all have suggested.

And now, I’m outta here. More blogathonics later.

X Marks The Spot, Y Marks The Rover, Z Marks The Fido

…if a dog bites me for that, I deserve it

Well, kids, all goes well here at the old homestead. Of course, even tho Grace and I (and The Girls) just finished our dinner, our imaginary duplicates are spending the night in Tucumcari, New Mexico on their drive back from DogCon. We expect them home by Thursday night, unless they stop off in Las Vegas.

On the possible job front, I am in Waiting To Hear From Someone mode. I expect I’ll be like this until at least Friday.

On the health front…we are healthy. Well, I mean, as healthy as can be expected. Beats the shit outta being dead.

Gardenwise, this is the time of year when many plants have produced their fruit and are dying in the heat. I salute them and thank them, then pull them up and put ’em in Compost Pile U-21/A, code name Sassy Armadillo.

Gamingwise, August is a dead month, since I’m gearing up for the Fall Fantasy series. I did get a call from Samantha, who told me she has two friends who would like to join our group. That would give me 6 players, unless Grace bows out due to her homework situation this semester. Still, five players would be fine…especially since two of them would be newbies.

Hmmm…it would appear that my eldest Canine American Princess is in dire need of her evening multi mile walk, so I’m outta here. More bloggage later.

Doc Tempest And The Killing Mist

…from the March, 1929 issue

Stuff, 4th Edition

1: Apparently, D&D 4E is selling well. Does that really surprise anyone?

2: I’m working on the Fall Fantasy Series for my Alpha gaming group. It takes place on the same world they last played in, about 150 years after magic has returned. To start with, they be playing in a pretty rural area that I’ve mapped out using Campaign Cartographer 3. Very low magic, medium adventure setting…as will befit a bunch of young teen noob adventurers.

3: Worked 6 hours in the garden yesterday with no shirt on. Got a mild sunburn. I also got to talk with several people who stopped by to admire the garden. That’s always fun.

4: Later today, I’m going to FINALLY organize my vast collection of Alarums & Excursions issues. That should keep me busy for several hours.

5: While cleaning out our freezer on Friday, I found a container of my “Hell In Your Mouth” chili. Yesterday, I ate it. Later today or tomorrow, I’ll regret that:)

6: In the garden, my spaghetti squash plant is working overtime. There are at least 8 squash on it right now, ranging from just smaller than a football to peanut sized. Soon, there will be good eatin’ from them.

And now I must go and do various Sunday things. More bloggage later.

Not Responsible For Random Genital Failure

…so try not to have random genitals

Just got back from seeing Iron Man. As all the reviews have said, Robert Downey Jr. absolutely nails the role of Tony Stark. Best movie portrayal of a superhero ever. The ever delightful and blue jeans tightening Gwyneth Paltrow is excellent as Pepper Potts. The story, overall, was damned good as origins stories go. The action scenes may not have been as flashy as in some recent superhero flicks, but they were not as overpowering, either. And the scene that comes after the credits? Yeah, it’s an “Oh, yes!” moment.

Go see this movie.

In the inevitable “other news”, I have not yet assaulted the garden today. However, seeing as I found 8 bags of saved flower seeds from last year, I reckon the assault will begin soon after I post this.

Petfinders shows a female Basset Hound up for adoption at the Sacramento City shelter. It’s probably good that Grace and I cannot afford the adoption fee:) Still, she looks like a very sweet doggie.

I’ve recently been thinking up an RPG series that ends with the Earth being unable to support human life. The main thrust of the series would find the characters searching for ways to save at least some of humanity by either getting them off planet, getting them out of our time, getting them to another dimension or making them unhuman enough to survive. I envision this series playing out over a couple of dozen sessions, which would equal about 6 years of game time.

Damn, I make a really tasty Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich. Alton Brown would be proud of me:)

And now, I go forth to make the world in general, and my garden in particular, a greener and more beautiful place. “Sally, hand me that atomic compost spreader!”

The Horticultural Whore Sees Red

…and green

This morning, one of the local garden centers has 4 inch pots of veggie plants on sale: two for $1.29. This is a good deal, so I went to check it out.

I found that by “veggies” they meant about a dozen varieties of tomato, 5 varieties of pepper and 1 variety of cucumber. No beans, squash, melons, eggplant or other veggies.

Still, the plants looked good and the price was right, so I bought…

2 pots of Superbeef tomatoes
1 pot of Brandywine tomatoes
1 pot of Mortgage Lifter tomatoes
1 pot of Early Girl tomatoes
1 pot of Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes
1 pot of Yolo Wonder bell peppers
1 pot of Italian Sweet peppers

I’ll have to buy my grean beans, cantalopes, squash and more peppers at a later date.

And now, my answers to the “Why Do You Play/GM RPGs?” question.

I play rpgs mostly for the chance to socially interact and to assume a different identity for awhile. I also enjoy the chance to match wits with the GM.

I GM for the same reasons as above, plus I enjoy the mental workout I get from both creating a world/setting/situation and matching with with a group of players.

However, the main reason I both play and GM (and write/create RPG stuff) is to give some outlet to my nonstop imagination, which never ever truly shuts down.

Now it’s time for me to drink my Oolong, then go spray vinegar on my weedy enemies in the garden.

Doc Tempest And The Prehistoric Peril

…from the May, 1965 issue

Garden Update

I spent three hours in the garden today. Plants were transplanted, weeds were pulled, water was doled out, dead prunings were piled up and a short tour of the garden was given to a couple of pretty hot looking 30 something soccer moms who stopped during their walk to admire it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be turning all of my compost piles and attacking my weedy foes with the weed whacker. The horticultural fun never stops.

Game Room Update

Tonight, after I watch Torchwood, I’ll try to finish up things in the Game Room. There’s not a whole hell of alot left to do, really.

More blogging later. Food now.