Brain Bite #13

Posted by Rob on 19th June 2015 in Brain Bites |

So, what say ye to some music?

Halo, by Depeche Mode
I really like Depeche Mode, and while their more recent albums haven’t quite done it for me (aside from a song or two here and there), I’m still very fond of their earlier work, and this is probably my favourite song of the bunch. Added to that, the video is probably the product of some post-acid-trip dream, and in the best of musical traditions it appears to have bugger all to do with the song itself.

But come on, now — what else?

Forest Fires and Evacuation Bags
This isn’t the most up-beat bit of posting, but it’s going on right now, as it does some years — a fire broke out last night, just 50-75 acres when we heard about it, but by noon today it’d expanded to 7,500 acres, and who knows how big it is right now. The fire prompted us to get our evacuation stuff in order, making sure that our bags are ready to go, and we have a box with the things we REALLY don’t want to get rid of. And, speaking of that…

Getting Rid Of Things
Because we’re doin’ it. We figured out recently that we have a bunch of stuff we don’t actually like, or will never use — and the majority of it is now making the short leap from our shelves, racks and storage areas into black bin bags, ready to be dropped off at the nearest Goodwill. It’s odd how, when you take the time to look at some of the things you have, you realise you don’t have any good reason not to throw them away.

Apple Trees, Fruit, and Straightening
Our apple-trees are now beginning to do the Apple Thing, and though I don’t know if they’ll be good eatin’ apples (they MAY be good cookin’ apples) I’m looking forward to getting them off the tree anyway. Trouble is, I have no idea what TYPE of apples they are, which makes figuring out the appropriate harvest-time a bit of a pain in the backside.

Also, one of the trees is leaned over crooked — so I’m looking into the process of pulling up a tree with a couple of stakes and a ratchet strap (plus a bit of padding to protect the tree). The idea is, if you can get it straight, it’ll be able to bear more fruit — but it remains to be seen if I can manage it…

Five Hibiscus and a Free, Dead Hummingbird Vine
Last, we come to flowers. This Christmas, we lost two hibiscus plants — one through accidental neglect, and one through a reaction to the fertiliser, we think — but my wife’s sister sent her five more, which were in a dormant state. We looked online, and found that the company responsible for sending them had a terrible reputation — people kept reporting that they’d received half a dozen or more of these plants, given them all a couple of months, and then bang — bugger all happened. They were dead, stayed dead, and that was that.

So I started watering and fertilizing ours with little hope. However, of the five received, four are now sprouting up nicely, and look like they’ll grow into healthy plants. The fifth remains decidedly quiet for now, while the hummingbird vine — a freebie — seems pretty determined to stay dead. Still, given that I expected six pots of dead, I reckon having four actual plants growing out of them is a winner!

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  • The Ould Git says:

    Well, I hope the evac. gear isn’t needed, but better safe than sorry, eh? We tend not to get any info about such things over here unless they’re threatening the White House, or somesuch. Do you guys have an assembly area or somewhere definite to go should the worst happen, or is it every man (and his wife and cats) for himself?
    There are quite a few things which I’ve procrastinated about getting rid of, using the excuse that I’d get round ‘sometime’ to doing that hobby again, or using that gizmo which was a good idea at the time I bought it, or play that music that I stopped enjoying listening to, or whatever, and feeling guilty about not getting around to them. I’m finally starting to realise that I’m never going to do these things in what lifetime I have left (no matter how long that might be) and I might just as well start sorting stuff into crud and what can be sold or passed on, and get rid of them, so they’re not staring at me accusingly when I open this or that drawer or cupboard …. thanks for the prod!
    As far as green growy things and I go, forget it. Best of luck and all that, of course!
    Nice track – enjoyed that!

    • Rob says:

      When you’re evacuating, it’s basically everyone for themselves (and in our case, a swift flight to Motel 6, which lets you keep pets in the room). But when people are preparing to go back up the mountain again, there’s usually an assembly area where you need to get your details checked — they won’t let people go back up at first, unless they can demonstrate that they live there. Last time, we didn’t have any proof of our residence — we had to rely on our friends telling the authorities that we lived with them.

      Yeah, we’ve procrastinated a lot on that same stuff ourselves, and I probably still am a bit, in the hope that I’ll get around to some of it one day — but I’m ditching a lot of stuff that I know I won’t. It’s been an oddly pleasant experience thus far.

    • Rob says:

      P.S. — everything’s smoky today. The fire’s up to 11,000 acres, and everyone nearby is being advised to keep their windows shut. Not often you get smoke quite this bad, but it’s pretty unpleasant today, not least because the weather is warm — it’s the kind of day where you really want the windows open.

  • The Ould Git says:

    How far is it from you? How do you get the info. about keeping windows shut, etc? Is that the rangers, police, or whatever, or just passed from one person to another?
    Not wishing to be frivolous, but to make the best of a bad situation, would it be a good idea to hang a coupla herring out on the decking and get some free kippering done?
    OK – not funny.

    • Rob says:

      It’s maybe fifteen miles away, give or take. We may actually be outside of the alert area, just — but there’s a website run by the national wildfire co-ordinating group, called InciWeb, and you can use it to track incidents, alerts relating to them, and so on. You go to other places to track earthquakes.

      It’s a fun place.

  • The Ould Git says:

    Keeps the boredom at bay when you haven’t got anything else to worry about, I guess ….

    • Rob says:

      I seem to miss most of the tremors, actually — I’ve really only noticed those big enough to rattle things properly. But if we did try hanging out fish for kippering, I’m pretty sure that it’d make at least one of our cats less than bored — kippered or otherwise, she does love a piscine snack, that one…

  • The Ould Git says:

    Young Fran’s partial to kipper. Whenever (not frequently) I get one for a treat (for me), she gets the scent, then covets and looks at me lovingly until she gets her share.

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