The Universe and Me

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Where the weeds are

Now that I finally have a yard, I’ve been trying to learn more about how to take care of it. So I took home a video from that practical gardening guy, Jerry Baker, to see what advice he offered. He suggested mowing after 7 pm as it’s better for you and the lawn. Obviously he doesn’t wake up at 3:30 am like I do. By 7 pm, I’m on the couch, fighting off the zzz’s. Only feed plants in the morning, which makes sense as far as needing daylight to photosynthesize and whatever else they do. Lemon scent repels flying insects. Use salty water to kill weeds. That’s something I’ve read before and have been meaning to try for the couple cracks in my sidewalks. Then he mentioned something about including hair when planting and I fell asleep, only to wake during the credits. So yep, that’s it for me and gardening.
Except to say, I know Veronica is a weed, but I still find the flowers very pretty.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lost: There's no place like home (part 1)

Lost: The Beach Gang can’t use the phone to call since it is monitor only. Hearing Keamy discuss a secondary protocol worries Dan. On the way to the chopper, Kate and Jack run into Miles and Sawyer who mention the Chopper Gang tried to kill them. Jack and Sawyer rush to the chopper and find a captive Frank. Meanwhile Sayid lands on the beach and says they must go to the freighter because the Chopper Gang plans to kill them. Kate and Sayid go after Jack and Sawyer. Dan drops off the first group. To make up for what he did, which it doesn’t, Michael got the engines working but something on the boat is broadcasting and causing interference. Desmond discovers a room of explosives. Kate and Sayid run into Dr Alpert and find themselves surrounded.

Locke, Hurley and Ben head to the greenhouse. Never mind the crackers are 15 years old, what did Ben communicate via mirror to the Others? They find the Orchid Station but the Boat People are already there. Ben encourages Locke to go to the greenhouse, past a patch of anthuriums (it’s all in the detail) where he’ll find the switch that activates the elevator. Ben has another plan for himself: surrender. He also has the best no kidding line of the episode with: “I wasn’t being entirely truthful.”

In the flash forwards, a chopper carries Bad Mojo Cargo: the Oceanic 6. Jack thinks it best they keep their mouths shut. At a press conference, it’s said they used an Indonesian fishing boat that washed up on shore of their island, Membato, to reach another island. Sun says her husband never survived the crash. Kate says she gave birth to Aaron. Sayid finds Nadia waiting for him. Sun ends up buying a controlling interest in her father’s company. Hurley’s parents throw him a surprise party. His father fixed up the old car but the speedometer has The Numbers and Hurley runs from it. At his dad’s funeral, Claire’s mother informs Jack that Christian went to Australia to see his daughter Claire, who happened to be on the plane with Jack. Funniest line from Hurley’s mother: “Jesus Christ is not a weapon!”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where the squirrels are

A few weeks after hanging up my new birdfeeder out in the back yard, I looked out one day and to my horror found that it was no longer hanging. It was on the ground with a pesky squirrel (who had chewed through and broken the hanger) happily munching away at its contents. As if what the birds had dropped on the ground wasn't enough for the critter. So when I saw a video titled Squirrel Wars and How to Win Them, I decided to watch and see what they had to say.
The emphasis was on placing a feeder 5 feet off the ground with a clearance of 7 feet on both sides and 9 feet on the top. How on earth you would fill the feeder, I don't know. A pogo stick perhaps. Other things suggested were:
  • Empty soda bottles attached to a wire (squirrels slip off them when the bottles spin).
  • Dome baffles or some sort of inverted cone on top of the feeder.
  • Wire mesh.
  • A slinky attached to the bottom pole so the squirrel ends up with a bouncy ride which looks very amusing.
Some more ideas from the internet:
  • Mix hot pepper in the birdseed. The capsaicin within is too spicy for mammals but the birds don't taste it. (Although it will bother the birds eyes, so this doesn't seem like a good solution to keep birds around.)
  • Put cayenne pepper and crisco on the pole or any wires near the feeder. Slip and slide time.
  • Use safflower seeds instead of sunflower seeds. Squirrels don't care for safflower.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lost: Cabin Fever

Lost: Locke and Ben are following Hurley to Jacob's cabin which is a pretty good trick considering Hurley isn't "even in front." Locke has a dream of meeting Horace who keeps chopping down the same tree as part of building a getaway place for him and the Mrs or a break from the Dharma Initiative or a way to kill time since he's been dead 12 years. He tells Locke to find him and Jacob. Ben used to have dreams too. Hurley wonders if the three of them can see the cabin because they're the craziest. No one argues. Locke gives Hurley the chance to leave so he's not in harm's way except the jungle is no safer. After finding the cabin plans in Horace's skeleton, Ben refuses to go inside, figuring the island wanted him to get sick which must mean his time is over. Hurley's cool with Locke going alone. Locke discovers Christian Shepherd who is not Jacob, but can speak on his behalf. A spaced out or drugged Claire is there too. Locke learns to save the island, he must move it. Which gives us the chance to echo Hurley's "Uh, what?"

Frank and the mean guy Keamy chopper back to the freighter with a smoke monster casualty. "A pillar of smoke ripped his guts out," not your average epitaph. Keamy's upset that Ben knew everything about him and beats up Michael for telling Ben. The Captain stops him from killing Michael. They need him to fix the engines since he's the one who broke them. Sayid enlists the Captain's help in getting the people off the island before Keamy torches it. But Keamy goes berserk, threatens to kill Frank, does kill the doctor who washed up on shore in a previous episode and then shoots the captain who we'll miss because he was mighty good looking. Frank relents and the chopper flies to the Beach Group. Unknown to Keamy, Frank drops a bag with a tracking phone. Jack figures they're meant to follow the signal.

In the flashbacks, a 1950s Reese Witherspoon or similar sneaks out to meet her twice her age boyfriend but is hit by a car. She informs ER she's pregnant and they save the baby, Locke. Dr Alpert, who either time travels or never ages, visits the child Locke but doesn't believe a knife belogns to him and deems him not worthy for his school. In high school, a teacher resuces the geeky Locke from being stuffed in a locker and mentions how Locke was noticed at the science fair by a representative from Alpert's Mittelos Labs. Locke doesn't want to go to science camp, even if he isn't a superhero. Later during rehab, the orderly, or a lot more since he recruited the Chopper Gang, discusses needed walkabouts with Locke. Best exchange: Locke and Ben's: "I'm not you." "You're certainly not."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Where the birds are

Should you want, you can keep track of what the birds or other wildlife are doing around your bird feeders, baths, houses or in their nests while you're not there with the Wingscape BirdCam. It's weatherproof and motion activated and can capture photographs or videos which you can then upload to your computer. Batteries not included, though.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Where the poets are

While poetry isn't as popular as it used to be in the happenin' romantic 18th century when Brits were harking all over the place, it still exists and thrives. To find poets in your state, head on over to Poets and choose where you live to bring up a list of names.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Lost: something nice back home

Rose doesn’t care for Charlotte’ tone. Or possibly hair color. Because we’ve seen the previews, we know Jack’s not okay. He keels over, claiming food poisoning. Juliet respectfully disagrees. His appendix must come out. She sends Dan and Charlotte, under Sun and Jin’s supervision, to the medical hatch for supplies. Rose is as confused as views why Jack would get sick when the island makes everyone better. Ask Ben’s tumor. Jack’s ego wants Kate to hold a mirror so he can see the surgery. Yes, we’re all surprised he’s not doing the surgery himself. Jin realizes Charlotte knows Korea and gets her to admit it by threatening Dan. He demands Sun be on the departing helicopter, which is the same in Korean as English.

Claire’s woozy and seeing things as she, Sawyer and Miles walk back to the beach. Miles hears voices which lead him to Karl and Danielle’s very shallow graves. The Boat People, though, are not Miles’ buddies and he didn’t sign up for whatever he’s doing. Seeing him leer at Claire a few times, Sawyer places an imaginary retraining order on him. Frank runs out of the jungle and warns them to hide from the Boat People. The night after they escape, Claire sees her father and walks off with him. As far as we know, she’d never bee told Dr Shepherd was her father. Due to the retraining order, Miles could not stop her. Sawyer finds the baby, but not Claire.

In the flash forward, Jack trips over a Millennium Falcon toy. Not the first or last shout out to Star Wars. He and Kate are raising Aaron. Dr Stillman contacts Jack because Hurley isn’t taking his meds. Jack visits. Hurley says they’re all dead. He was happy for a while, but then he saw Charlie. Hey, we all feel that way. Hurley’s message for Jack is that he’s not supposed to raise Aaron. Jack returns home and asks Kate to marry him. A co-worker actually says that engagement is supposed to reduce stress, not create it. There’s someone who never planned a wedding. Jack briefly sees his dad again. Worse, he doesn’t trust Kate. She admits she’s doing something for Sawyer who chose to stay behind. Jack reminds her that he saved her and nastily reminds her she’s not related to Aaron, suggesting he knows he is.