Monthly Archives: January 2012

Getting Itchy

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We’re coming into February in Connecticut. It’s warm! Right now, it’s almost eleven o’clock at night, and it’s in the low forties. I peeked at the forecast, and it’s looking like more of the same for the coming week.

I’m getting itchy. I’m actually considering turning over that garden, the raised beds, or maybe just the window boxes, and starting some spinach.

Reggie is happy. He’s in front of the window, under the lights, and happy. The garlic, as far as I can tell, is doing very well. They’re all named (more on that later) and growing.  It’s hard to tell with garlic. It’s under ground. The foliage looks good, though. How long does garlic take to make garlic? I have no clue. It’s an experiment.  And they don’t talk to me like Reggie does.  They just murmur amongst themselves…really, they’re just a tiny bit cultish and creepy.  Reggie communicates with them, though, in the way of plants, and says they’re cool.

I have faith in Reggie.  He swears he still feels good!  He says he might want to go Outside this summer, stay in his pot, and become food for the butterfly worms.  If he doesn’t go to seed, I expect that is exactly what he will do.  Hey, it’s how he started out, so why not?  When it gets warm enough, he can pick out his favorite sunny rock near the Butterfly Bush, and produce green for the butterfly worms.

I want some green. I want to plant, dig, get all dirty and smelly. I want….this!

Now, that one was taken on July 26th of last year, just about halfway through the season. That pic covered about half of what all was happening out there. Needless to say, I’ll be culling things just a tad this summer.

But…

OK..no “buts.” I’ll scale it back some.

I’m planning a trip to the local farmer for some sheep doo next weekend. Huh.   Maybe tomorrow. Maybe turning some sheep doo into the raised beds will make me feel better.

And when Winter decides to revisit Connecticut, it’ll be okay! Sheep doo, I am told, freezes well.

Next up..you get to read the story of how my broccoli buddies, my wise and kind parsley, and a very special little crocheted hippie girl helped me to name a planter full of garlic bulbs. Wow, what a day that was!

With or without the spinach seeds, with or without the sheep doo…I am picking up a tool tomorrow.

It’s in the forties in February, in Connecticut.

I must garden!

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Gamingbus.com going Black Tomorrow

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My son’s site, Gamingbus.com, is going black tomorrow in protest of SOPA. I ask that those of you who own web sites do the same. This is what his page looks like right now, tomorrow it will be black.

Gaming Bus Protests against SOPAI haven’t said much about the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and its brother, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), because quite frankly, my opinion on it should be relatively clear. I’m against any kind of draconian laws that stiffle individual liberty, especially those that do so at the behest of private corporations. SOPA is everything I hate about modern lawmaking, squared. It’s a wildly unpopular bill, but it’s being pushed by powerful copyright industries who successfully lobby and donate to lawmakers in order to curry favour. The author of SOPA, Texas Representative Lamar Smith, is the worst kind of politician: he’ll be voted into office until the day he dies (he’s never been reelected with less than 60% of his district’s vote since stepping into office in 2006). As a libertarian, I find his record abominable. He expanded the scope of the repeatedly abused DMCA and uses his position to restrict the rights of women and those who would use medicinal marijuana. He’s as close to untouchable as a Congressman can be.

In the face of an industry-wide reaction to SOPA and PIPA, and to the ESA’s continued support for it, I really didn’t see a need to expand my limited resources too deeply on the bill. I wanted to let things settle and then take an analytical look at things, something which Josh Moore accomplished. You know how something is so screwed up that saying anything about it seems redundant? That’s how I felt any deeper analysis of the situation than what I did would be: another voice in a vacuum that was commanded largely by the amazing work of Destructoid’s Jim Sterling and The Entertainment Consumers Association’s Jose Betancourt.

However, I felt I finally had a chance to make a point when I heard about Reddit’s blackout scheduled for January 18th, the day deliberation is scheduled to reconvene on the bill in the House. My plan was to do things differently. In fact, if my plan was realized, you woudln’t be reading this because the site would be down right now, which would’ve coincided with my Live Stream being down. Furthermore, the plan wasn’t to announce it; it would have been a shock to the system for my few yet dedicated regular readers. However, Destructoid has stated they will join the January 18th blackout, and reportedly Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales is in favour of doing the same. There’s also rumblings that Google and Facebook could join in, and honestly, those two sites joining in would seal the deal on this legislation.

At the behest of constant pressure by the United States, Spain passed the Sinde Law, a SOPA-like copyright protection law. According to Wikileaks, Carlos Guervos, the Spanish Deputy Director for Intellectual Property at the Ministry of Culture, told the US ambassador that “the dogs bark but the caravan moves on” in regards to the heavy protests against the law. This attitude shows a blatant disregard for the will of the people and a classist approach to governing that renders us as nothing more than proletariat that can be ignored.

Though my site is small at just shy of 5,000 unique visitors a week, it’s time we joined the protest. We will also be dark on January 18th, meaning our regular Then and Now column won’t run, affecting my business partnership with Retro Games Plus. If, by our collective pressure, we can get the big dogs involved, we can band together and defeat this freedom-killing legislation. SOPA and PIPA, if enacted, would kill my web site and turn me into a felon. It would be irresponsible not to fight back.

It’s time to show that dogs can bite, too.

No Site Tomorrow.

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Dear Friends,

Tomorrow, Wednesday, January 18th, my site will be blacked out in order to join the Stop SOPA internet strike.

For those of you with web sites, I urge you to do the same. 

There is a banner on my home page that you can click on for more information,  the codes necessary to put into your page headers, and to get more info on how to write to congress to stop this nonsense before our illustrious government takes over the web.

Censorship belongs in the individual, in the home…not on the internet.   This is a very dangerous can of worms that SOPA intends to open, and we need to band together to stop it.

Thanks for listening!  The banner will be up until the 24th.  The page will be unavailable tomorrow.

 

Time to Say Goodnight to my Broccolis

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I’m torn between being sad, and being delighted.  It was finally time to take my little broccoli plants down.  The heads, though they stayed small, were getting quite rangy, and I started seeing a flower or two trying to pop.

Time to say, “Good Night.”

They did not suffer.  They went, unafraid.  They knew it was their time, and they were OK with that.  Better to go on, than to go to waste.

So, I’m sad…but I’m delighted.  I successfully grew broccoli Inside, in the winter, in Connecticut.  The heads stayed small, but the plants grew, thrived.

I’ll try again, Outside, in the spring.  It’s way too cold out on that porch now to even consider another run.

Now, the garlic, mind you, they’re supremely happy since I bumped up their height and got them closer to the light.  I moved Reggie away from that window, brought him up a couple of notches, and have him sitting right under the lights.  The lights are throwing just enough heat to keep them happy.

In the spring, I’ll plant new parsley.  Reggie is still hanging in there, but for how much longer?  He’ll tell me.   In the spring,  I’ll plant fresh.  Flat leaf for me, and “Reggie” leaf (curly) for the butterflies.

In the spring, I’ll plant fresh broccoli.  I’ll plant them out there with the orange and purple cauliflower!

For now, our friend, Reggie, is overseeing the garlic.  I hear there may be some…er…behavior issues, perhaps a sort of cult mentality…

Or maybe they’re all just pulling my leaves.