I love you gus.
Have I ever told you that?
I really do.
Can I come visit you?
I seem to have mentioned homicide twice. Hmmm. Well, those are the primary instincts that come up in such circumstances.
I was once quite beside myself, although of course quiet, when the aforemention disturbed teen, who indeed did use to beat up on his small grand aunt who took him in, as I understand it, would play fully amplified guitar in his bedroom across from our den/office for hours on end with...
no melody at all. No discernible riffs. Sheer physicality.
Yes we called the police, and they came and warned him.
Eventually, while we were hunting for another house to move to, he moved away. By now he is probably a screenwriter...
as he was lame with the music.
But - my point - noise can certainly be aggressively offensive, past petunia like yuppie complaints... and bring on rage.
The best way to mulch leaves is with a leaf wacker (see below). It sits over a garbage pail or carton and you throw the leaves in and it chops them to little bits . You then throw the tiny chopped leaves back on your garden as mulch. It's the best stuff in the world for plants. Forests live and grow on rotting leaves. I do not use animal manures on my gardens because it encourages worms, worms eat what plants eat - rotting leaves. The worms are faster and they rob the plants of food. Nightcrawlers (fishing bait) are not native, but have become a part of our environment from being discarded by fisherman everywhere. These worms compete with our native flora for food and the worms are winning. To keep your plants healthy give them a few inches of chopped leaves each fall to help counteract what the worms steal away. This concludes my public service message on gardening (for the moment anyway)
lordloveaswampo and thank you for your eccentric purview.
Thanks greenwitch. We in an almost untreed city - except for where there are redwood groves - don't deal much with leaf mulch. I am cheered to see the device you show...
How much for that mulcher in the window?
Green Witch, have you ever read anything by T.C. Boyle?
Or have I asked you that already?
I guarantee you will love that guy's books.
The start at about $129 ($99 on sale) - the one I posted is from Amazon and I think the price was $149. Same technology as a weed wacker (plastic thread that spins), so you have to buy some of that too. It's one of my favorite garden inventions, it actually works and is useful.
Gus, I think my husband has a couple TC Boyle books on the shelf - I'll check them out this winter.
I usually recommend Sara Stein's "Noah's Garden" to my customers.
Here's a review on T.C. Boyle's "A Friend of the Earth"
Going out with a splash
New York Daily News 9/10/00
In "A Friend of the Earth," T .C. Boyle envisions the planet's gradual deterioration as a humorous, apocalyptic pie in the face.
The novel's protagonist, Tyrone O'Shaughnessy Tierwater, is a long-suffering environmentalist - his daughter's name is Sierra. Meanwhile, his ex-wife, Andrea, is the Lucy Ricardo of eco-terrorists, always hatching some wacky, backfiring scheme to call attention to environmental destruction.
Like the time she persuades Ty and two other conspirators to join her in disrupting production at a lumber camp. The members of this Earth Forever! quartet dig a trench in the main artery of a logging area and cement themselves into it. The plan is to create headlines while halting the traffic in trees. But the media never get word, leaving the activists trapped and enduring the taunts of the locals.
In another brainstorm, Andrea suggests that she and Ty strip naked for reporters before fore going to live in the woods and off the land. But she doesn't tell him that a j journalist will be following them to record every move. "To see that we don't cheat," she explains. Meanwhile, the journalist enjoys "freeze-dried lobster thermidor [and] scallop enchiladas" while they stick it out with "scraped watercress out of the muck and toasted grasshoppers." Hmmm, naked people eating bugs, struggling in the wilderness without any comforts from home - no "toothpaste or dental floss, aspirin, Desenex ... English muffins, canned tuna, chocolate [or] vodka" - while a third party observes and details their travails. Sound familiar, "Survivor" fans?
It is getting increasingly difficult to satirize anything modern, be it pop culture or political activism, because by the time it's down on paper, it may well have already have been scripted for "reality" television. Boyle similarly breaks little comedic ground in parodying Michael Jackson, which he does with his Maclovio Pulchris character, a freakish California-based pop star who owns a menagerie and is rarely seen without his hat and sunglasses.
Where Boyle scores is with his sharp observations on our unhealthy planet's worsening condition.- In the scenes set in 2025, the rain is uneasing all sea life is presumed extinct ("except maybe zebra mussels"), and the Earth is so eternally wet that the "muck is tugging at [Ty's] gum boots like a greedy sucking mouth, a mouth that's going to pull me all the way down, eventually"
Global warming, the melting Arctic ice cap and rising waters pose very real threats, as this novel indicates. To make its pages come truly alive, try reading it in the bathtub.
My favorite by Boyle was "The Tortilla Curtain"
Ask Edgar Blythe about that one.
I admit to looking a bit longingly at leaf blowers, but then noise is not an issue for me and I didn't know they were that godawful. (I think they became common after I became deaf.) What I want them for is getting leaves out of plants that I don't want to destroy by raking, like the vinca for example.
But really, raking works fine -- I just leave most of the leaves not on grass -- and I do like the workout.
I use a big broom on the driveway, that goes pretty fast actually.
That book (T.C. Boyle's "A Friend of the Earth") looks good!
Sozobe - it's not possible to destroy vinca, use a bamboo rake to get leaves off of existing plants.
I see Mr. Green has The Tortilla Curtain on one of his winter reading piles, maybe we'll read it aloud this year.
Hmm, I've a pal who climbed, via a device despite her protests since she is well able... one verrrrry high redwood to do an interview, and her camerawoman fell on the way down and had some of her hair torn out.
TCBoyle is also into a certain kind of appreciation for FLWright, etc.
I admit to only reading short stories so far, but I'm not uninterested.
Thanks for the info, by the way, greenwitch.
I came to this a bit late, but my comment re Greyfan's opinion on snow shoveling is this:
Obviously you never stood at the kitchen window and watched a stubborn old man (my dad) shovel a 300-foot driveway with about a foot and a half of wet snow on it. My mom's heart was in her throat at the thought of him having a heart attack, but he was too stubborn to call a plow (they could afford it)... She finally talked him into a driveway service when he was about seventy.
Me, you say "shovel the driveway" and I'm on the phone like a shot! Luckily, there's not much call for snowplows around here.
Sometimes being able to afford it isn't really the issue though, is it Wy?
Your dad sounds like a REAL top left corner-er.
I used to walk mail routes back in Michigan, Wy. In general, only two groups of people shovelled their walks religiously; people with snow blowers (you could tell because the machines can't clear all the way to the pavement), and retirees.
Younger people generally either didn't have the time or the sense of responsibility, I guess. But a heart attack does seem a high price to pay just to avoid upsetting folks with different aesthetic values.