Help it Grow (Part 4)

A lot of plants have migrated out of the indoor garden.  Some, though, remain.  Remember the Evil Morning Glories, or as I had named them: Ipomea Diaboli (fuck you, botanists everywhere–I can do it too!)?  Well, it seems they feed upon light–same as other plants, and not upon the negative energy wrought by souls of the damned as I had originally suspected.  I came to this conclusion by observing the size of the plant I had unceremoniously thrown into a pot under the growlight because I wanted something green down there:

A lesser demon

It’s a cute little demon anyway.

Also, that bean plant I attempted that managed to produce a pod?  The pod dried and I harvested it, figuring it wasn’t worth the effort to eat a single bean, but rather to harvest the seed:

A single seed within.  All the work and the plant only has a single viable offspring.  Seems like a zero net gain.  Sort of like Liz and I, except that’s a generational net loss.  Still, I think neither beans nor humans are in any immediate danger of extinction.


Robin Egg

I saw this recently as I was doing yardwork.  It appears to be a robin egg:

robin egg

It’s a pretty little egg, so I took a photo.  Poor baby bird.  I like how this solitary ant is enjoying the feast though, like “Screw the colony, this is mine!”


Something for Nothing

Remember that moldering potato I stuck in the pot under the grow light 3 months ago because it was winter and I wanted something green inside?  Well, it died.

Starting to turn yellow back there

I had never seriously grown a potato before, so I didn’t know what to expect.  Liz informed me, however, that the plant dying simply meant it was time to harvest it.  Either way, I needed to remove it before it started rotting in my basement, so I dumped the pot outside.  Peeking through the root clump, I saw some happy little tubers, so I gently ripped apart the roots and behold:

A breakfast’s worth I suppose

I had forgotten it was the red potato I planted.  While not exactly an epic crop, it’s still a fun little net gain from an otherwise inedible piece of produce.



Over the weekend, we managed to finish the herb garden.  I say “managed” because as I’ve mentioned before, the sod in this place is brutal.  The grass is old and the roots well-established, and the soil contains just enough clay that separating the two is a feat worthy of a strongman competition.  And the vegetable gardens will be bigger.  I asked the neighbor to borrow his tiller but it’s currently on loan to his son.  Maybe I’ll acquire an ox instead.

Anyway, after two days of hacking and cursing, the sod was removed.  The soil, now exposed, was begging for vegetation, to which I obliged before it started enlisting local volunteers.

But first, we discussed raising the bed.  Despite our valiant efforts of minimizing soil loss, a large quantity still accompanied the sod in its journey to the pile of discarded grass on the side of the house.  That, and the benefits of drainage from a raised bed are obvious.  Visions of logs sticking out the back of the inadequate Honda dampened my spirits, but then I remembered the leftover 2x4s from the fencing installation.  With a little help from the reciprocating saw and sledgehammer, I secured a border with wooden stakes.

herb garden
15 cubic feet of soil in that little car

A lot of fancy dirt later, and raised bed we had.  Lowe’s also had a sale on herbs, which was awfully considerate of them to time that with the weekend of our herb garden project.  And, complementing what I had started under the grow lights, we now have a proper garden of fragrance and seasoning–a symbolic requirement to having an established homestead.

Mmmm volatile plant oils

Can’t wait for the pesto to start flooding in.


My Outlook: Office Doesn’t Excel

Do you know what they improved between MS Office 2013 and 2016?  NOT A DAMN THING!

Okay, to be fair, there were some totally awesome improvements, like…window stacking?  And new Excel graphs.  And there’s this map function apparently.  And better database integration support.  This would totally be worth buying a new license.

Of course, that’s not their MO anymore.  I realize it’s clichéd to blame Millennials for things as I’m apt to do, but it’s totally their fault.  They expect software to have no upfront cost, and to be completely cloud-based.  So now, Microsoft pushes subscription services instead.  Yay, just like DRM!  You never actually own anything anymore.

On the business side, we have the same thing: perpetual contracts, even when the new software adds no value.  So what did Office 2016 change?  Well, they moved all the functions around so I had to find them again.  And now, repeated keystrokes cause some type of application layer panic and everything crashes.

How about you just let me CLOSE the program?

Rant complete.  But I’m not one to complain without suggesting a solution.  I offer you an alternative: LibreOffice.  It’s an open-source fork.  So while you may be forever forced to use Microsoft products at work, you can still make a choice in your personal computing needs.

Now I’m going to get back to work and see if Excel launches.