Thursday, February 13, 2014

Rumpole Has No Time For Your Commercialized Romantic Holidays

Rumpole wants you to know that Valentine's Day was just invented to sell overpriced cards, and he is totally not going to fall for it. If you need him, he'll be over here in the corner, glowering.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Confused Tomato: The Legacy

Once upon a time, I planted a tomato upside-down. It was not pleased. There was denial, there was determination; there was even a victory of sorts. But there wasn't a whole lot of actual tomatoes.

Things are a little different now.

I wasn't sure that this side of the bay, with its fog exposure, was going to be any good for growing tomatoes, but I was determined to try.

So were they.

In retrospect, I may not have needed to plant quite so many.

Thanks to the general weirdness of the climate around here (woo! Fogust is over!), the season is only now getting started, and most of my harvest so far has been the hybrid cherry tomatoes (sweet 100s).

See? They're just shy.

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed by now that none of these plants are upside-down. That's because, thanks to Confused Tomato, I now know that tomatoes are strict conformists when it comes to gravity-orientation, and to try and force my media-derived notions of technological progress on them is never going to end well.

They don't mind the occasional stake, though, and they're not afraid to get outside of the box.

We all need a little help making our way up sometimes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Brief Tour of My New Office

Since it will never be this clean again.

Needs more bookshelves.

1. Poster to cover oversized mirror on the wall.
2. Oversized mirror.
3. Hat.
4. My grandmother's roll-top desk.
5. Chair the cat is supposed to sit on.
6. Chair the cat actually sits on.
7. Reading couch.
8. Seedling starts for the garden. (Mostly cabbage.)

Thursday, August 08, 2013

I Would Also Accept Shrubbery

I recently was in Santa Fe, where I had a chance to visit the Georgia O'Keefe museum. It's a lovely place and I highly recommend it. They, quite reasonably, have a lot of restrictions on taking pictures of the paintings, but none at all for the quotes posted on the wall.

This is about painting, obviously, but I think it applies equally well to story ideas.

And this one I could just relate to in general.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Had Democracy Once. It Was Awful

Recently we had the occasion to go out of town for an anniversary trip, because it was our anniversary. Which was great for us, but less so for Rumpole, our cat, who had to spend an extended weekend in kitty jail.

It's actually a nice place, with play time and people who like cats very much, and they always send you a picture at some point (or, as Cam calls it "proof of life"). This month, they even had a cute thematic set for it.

Rumpole was not amused.

"A teddy bear? Are you people kidding me?"

I think this needs to be a campaign poster for his run for political office, but I'm having trouble coming up with a slogan. ("Rumpole For Emperor: Kiss the Paw"?)

(Post title reference here for those of you who don't spend your time following memes.)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Now, What?

In case anyone is wondering/has noticed my extended absence from this space, I thought I should take a moment to drop in and explain. At the end of last month I was laid off from my job (along with about a third of the other people at our site) (some of whom were then un-fired) (but not me), and thanks to a quirk in the severance process I stand to lose out on a bunch of money if I take another job before September. So I have been spending my surprise vacation working madly on finishing my book, puttering around in the garden and not updating my blog because I'm not sure what I think of all this yet.

One thing I do know, though: You get a lot of figs off a fig tree. So many figs.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Gardening Accessories of the Rich and Stupid

Do you want the satisfaction of tending your own garden plot, but are afraid you might not be able to spend sufficiently ridiculous amounts of money and/or look stupid enough while doing it? Well, fear not! Capitalism has you covered.

For starters, you're going to need some tools.

Shime Garden Tools, $1250
You provide the sticks. (Seriously.) The primary downside of purchasing this set is that, if you do, a farmer from the 1860s will appear on your doorstep and punch you in the face.

Or, if that seems like too much of a commitment, you could always start by just buying a shovel:
Orion long handled spade, $258
Solid copper, so your plants won't get arthritis.

And what if you like the look of old garden tools but would rather sit on them than use them?

Antique garden tool chair, $4100
Free tetanus shot with purchase!

Or maybe you have moved to a "transitional" neighborhood that is still in the part of the transition where people pile industrial scrap in their yards, and you want to fit in, but not too much:
Bozeman furnace, $2100

Once you've settled in, you'll want to invite some friends over, maybe play some bocce:
Bocce ball set, $298
You'll need a tub for drinks:
Vintage grape crate, $398
Somewhere for people to sit:
"Weathered" regency chair, $1800
And some sort of pointless little garden cupboard:
Driftwood Cabinet, $2400
There ain't no party like a pointless little cupboard party.

But really, when you come down to it, the garden is your space, to grow flowers and food and maybe even raise some chickens in a ludicrously expensive coop that looks like the abandoned craft project of a drunk four-year-old:
Chicken coop, $3000
(You know you're doing something wrong when you're making Williams-Sonoma's offerings look sane and reasonable by comparison.)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thurscheese: Truffle Moliterno

All hail the champion!

Truffle Moliterno. Winner: Best Cheese

Granted, like most championships these days, this one was won with the help of an enhancing substance. In this case: A whole heaping bunch of ground up truffle. Not a light coat of truffle oil, not a sprinkling of dried powder, just deep veins of the stuff running through an otherwise pleasant firm sheep's-milk cheese and elevating it to almost obscene decadence. You can smell it through the plastic wrap. You can practically smell it through the refrigerator door. This is not a bad thing.*

So, while the other cheeses write irate op-ed pieces about the need for improved testing standards, I'll just be over here, truffling it up.

*It has been alleged that I emitted some sort of appreciative noises while consuming it, however these claims remain unsubstanciated.