Mar
25
2009

Grow, My Veggies, Grow

bya Gabrielle at 4:19 PM

Well, the seeds have been planted, and now we wait.

This year we decided to only plant 72 seeds – a mix of green peppers, summer squash, grape tomatoes, better boy tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans.  Last year we planted a mix of something like 300 seeds, and since I thought they all had feelings, I couldn’t bring myself to up root and kill them, so I ended up planting them all.  I didn’t have a garden – I had a farm!

I thought I was being a little too sensitive until I saw a Mythbuster’s episode where they tried to prove that plants did have feelings.  Some of their tests included yelling at the plants, blasting loud annoying music, and directing bad thoughts at the plants.  On the flip side, they talked sweetly to the plants, played soft, soothing music, and thought only good things about the plants. They couldn’t prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that plants had feelings, but their results did deem it plausible.  Maybe I just watched too much Fern Gully as a kid.

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Mar
17
2009

Kids Say the Darndest Things

bya Gabrielle at 4:24 PM

I was taking pictures of the wildlife at a pond not too far from my house the other day when a young boy approached me on his bike.  He looked about five years old – give or take a year.  When he started talking, I thought he was talking to himself, but soon realized he was talking to me.  I know kids can sometimes say some pretty crazy and funny things, but I was totally not expecting what came out of this kid’s mouth.

As he rolled toward me on his training wheels, the kid looks at me and says, “I just got this bike on Sunday, and I’m already a professional.”

I looked at him for a second with a blank expression.  I had to repeat what he said to me a few times.  And then I laughed.

Where does a kid get that sort of language?  Did I say funny things like that when I was five?

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Mar
11
2009

More Quantum Cuteness

bya Gabrielle at 8:04 PM

Quantum is slowly getting used to Phil and me.   I can now take some videos of him without him crabbing like crazy and trying to run away.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a video of him gliding soon. He can’t glide that far because he is still technically a baby, but he is slowly getting more brave.  Enjoy the videos.

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

YouTube Preview Image

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Mar
09
2009

Carrots from Finland

bya Gabrielle at 3:40 PM

FI-385620

FI-385620

It’s nearly spring.  Do you know what that means?  It means it is almost time to start gardening again!  Horrah!

I haven’t bought any seeds or a greenhouse to get me started, though. I should probably do that soon, if I intend to plant sometime after Easter.   Last year, I think Phil and I went a little over board with our garden.  We got a lot of food out of it, but it was very hard to maintain, and my water bill went through the roof!  It truly was a beast.  Every time I went to pick tomatoes, the bushes would swallow me whole.  Sometimes, I had to get my mother to help pull me out.  It was crazy, I tell you.

I’m not sure what I want to grow this year.  Tomatoes and cucumbers are a must, but other than that, I really can’t decide.  Last year, my beans didn’t do squat, but I think that had something to do with not having a big enough stick for them to climb.  The cantaloupe and the watermelon were a complete bust, too.  I didn’t get anything out of them.  It looked like they were going to yield me some yummy goodness, but then they up and died on me.  The green(red) peppers didn’t do so bad, but they could have done better.  They needed more support than what I gave them.

Maybe I can find some time this weekend to go to Lowe’s and stare at the seed section.  With so many choices, picking out only three or four vegtables is going to be hard!  If I had a farm and a million dollars, I think I would pick every vegtable imaginable.

This year I don’t have to worry about renting a tiller because Jeri, a family friend, has been ever so kind, and given me hers.  That was super awesome of her.  I nearly fell out of my chair when she said I could have it.  Last time, when I rented one, Phil only had something like four hours to till the entire garden area.  He was only able to accomplish that because we had spent the entire day and night before preparing the soil with a shovel!  Phil nearly broke his back that day.

I’ll be sure to post the progress, and if I have enough, you are all more than welcome to have some.

Oh, and this weeked Phil and I are going to the circus.  When I found out Phil had never been , I told him we had to go.  Everyone has to see the cirus at least once in their lives.  If we don’t run away with them, I’ll be sure to post losts of videos and pictures when we get back.

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Mar
06
2009

What are the odds?

bya Gabrielle at 7:53 PM

DE-225776

DE-225776

Last October, I received the above card from a Postcrossing user located in Germany.  Like normal, I registered it, thanked the sender, and went about my day.  And that was the end of that.  Or so I thought.

Fast forward several months.

Yesterday, on my day off, I started to flip through all of the postcards that I have received through Postcrossing – which as of today is 92.  That is a small number compared to some.  There are users who have sent more than 1000 postcards.  Of course, they have been members since Postcrossing began back in 2005.  If I keep participating, I wonder how long it will take me to reach that number. Or how much money I’ll end up spending.  Eek!

Having uploaded my postcards in no particular order, I had to go through each country set and post to figure out which ones hadn’t been featured yet.  That was a task, let me tell you.  I’m glad I did it now and not 500 postcards from now.  When I first scanned them all in, I wanted to scream!

Once I had them all organized, I started picking out a few that I thought would make interesting posts.   I typically upload four or five, and come back to them during the week when I feel motivated to say something about them. I like to upload a variety of postcards, but since the majority of my postcards, like so many other postcrossers, come from Finland, Germany, and the USA, that can be hard.  Officially, I have received postcards from 26 countries.  Of the remaining 23, I have received no more than 4 postcards per country – many of them just one.

So, I picked out a few, this one from Germany being one of them.  I flipped over to the back and read it again since it had been awhile.  Something written(printed rather) on the back caught my attention.  The sender said that he lived on the north sea. Then I looked at the return address, and the name seemed familiar.

Last week, I sent out a batch of new postcards, one of which went to Germany, particularly to a fellow who lived on the North Sea.  I remembered this because he said so in his very short profile.  I immediately signed into Postcrossing.  I had to see if the person who had sent me the postcard in October and the guy I had just sent my postcard to were one in the same.

“What are the odds?” I thought.  “That out of 86,000+ users, I randomly selected one who has already sent me a postcard.  It can’t be the same person.”

I clicked on Sent Postcards, and then on the user ID number.  Thankfully, it will still tell me the Postcrosser’s address up until the time the card is registered.

I looked at the name and address that popped up on my screen and back to the return address on my postcard.  I looked again.  I even double checked the spelling of the name, street, and city.

“Holy crap!”  I shouted.  It’s the same freaking person!”

I am really curious if this has happened to anyone else.  It has to have happened to someone, somewhere, right?  I can’t be the only one.

I wouldn’t be as surprised if the user had sent more postcards than he had, but he was only showing 90 postcards sent.

Phil told me later that I should play the lottery.  Maybe I should.

Sadly, I don’t think the person I sent my postcard to will ever receive it.  He hasn’t signed on in over a month, and the last postcard he registered was in November of 2008.  If he does, though, I will be curious to know if he realizes who I am.

Oh, and for those wondering, the postcard artwork was done by Karin Blume.  Apparently, this postcard came from a collection that she made.

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Mar
02
2009

Umm . . . Thank You

bya Gabrielle at 4:51 PM

Last week, an applicant walked into work.  He had been in a few days earlier trying to find a job.  Regrettably, we didn’t have any positions that he qualified for – like a lot of people.  With the economy the way it is, there aren’t near as many jobs available as there used to be.  I thought that he may be coming back to see if any new positions had become available, but that turned out not to be the case.  Instead of using our computers to surf for jobs, he took out his wallet and handed me a folded up piece of paper.  “I wanted you to have this,” he said.  It was a poem he had written.  Why he wanted me to have it, I don’t know, but I thought I would share it with you guys – misspellings and all.

Determation

life hasn’t been good

with god’s leadership u have hope

u have the ability, determation and willingness

in spite of the odds

i’m here and willing to help anyway possible

i don’t promise it’ll be easy

i know u can find joy, happiness and freedom

with hope and faith u will suceed

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Mar
01
2009

Amazon Theater Opera House, Manaus, Brazil

bya Gabrielle at 2:21 AM

BR-37353

BR-37353

The back of the postcard had this to say about the Amazon Theater Opera House :

Built in architectural European Style, the majestic Amazon Theater was inaugurated in 1896 and became a national property in 1966.  The concert hall is in the form of a horseshoe and has capacity for 701, including three floors of box seats.  In the external area stands a dome with 36,000 ceramic tiles in the colors of the national flag.  Built during the Amazon rubber boom, it is synonymous with glamor and richness.

I was curious as to how the inside looked, so I did some searching on the web, but was only really able to find one decent picture that showcased the theaters’ opulence.

I think it is rather impressive.  Someone definitely put a lot of thought and detail into it.  The ceiling looks like it has a painted design.  I’m sure the pictures don’t do the building justice, like many things in life.

I’ve never been to an opera before.  People say that they are emotional and powerful, but I’m not a big fan of the way opera sounds.  In Xiamen, China, a troop came to our neighborhood and put on a Chinese Opera.  I swear it lasted all day, and it was by far the loudest, most annoying thing I have ever heard so far in my life.  Perhaps I would have enjoyed it more had I walked down the street and watched it.  Who knows?

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