Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Herb Planter: Mint

Quickly put together a 4 foot by 1 foot planter for mint to take over. From what I understand, mint won't grow true from seed. Instead of forking over $3.50 from Lowes or Home depot, I wasin search of some growing that I could get a start.

And, One of the plants that I got from my Grandma and Grandpa Glick:

First Potato Bin Planted

Took a few minutes and popped a few potatoes in the ground. The variety: All Blue

Monday, March 30, 2009

Potato Bins

Sunday afternoon the weather was gorgeous, and I tackled potato frame construction.

Several weeks ago I stumbled across an intruging method of growing potatoes, at Sinfonian's Square Foot Garden Site.

I took the principle and made slight changes. My boxes measure 30.5" square on the inside. I also opted out of the four corner posts (for aesthetic reasons), deciding to do something like tabs on the outside. This morning when I took the picture I realized that they will have more morning shade than I expected, whoops. We will see how it goes.

I ordered seed potatoes from Ronniger's Potato Farm on 3/12/2009, and after nearly a week without any notification of order received or shipped, I decided to order from Irish Eyes Garden Seeds on 3/18/2009. On 3/21/2009 I received an order from ronnigers, but it wasn't mine! Finally on 3/26/2009 I receive the proper order. Still no package from Irish Eyes!

Also on 3/18/2009 I ordered some tomato seed from Tomato Growers Supply, and as of today, 3/30/2008 haven't received them either. I guess this is their busy season, and I need to be patient.

Fast shipping places like Amazon.com sure have spoiled me!

Here is another image of my seedlings:

I potted the 2 larger tomatoes, they are the Big Beef variety. The smaller ones on the left are a heirloom, Brandywine.

Midways back on the left are four bell peppers, they are getting their first true leaves. Then way in the back is some leaf lettuce.

I am itching for 4/15/2009 when these things can get out in the ground (oh no! not tax day)!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

MSi Wind and confusion

It is so fun to have a netbook!

Today at an event while I was using my MSi Wind running OSX, I was approached by a lady that was frowning and looked very confused.

She asked, "Where did you get that TINY laptop?" I replied, "from Amazon.com."

Still VERY confused looking, she explained that she was a mac user, and had never seen a mac like that - and was demanding to know where to get one for herself.

LOL, I sure hope Apple gets on the ball and gets one out the gate soon!

I really love Macs . . .

Today, my wife was involved in putting on a brunch celebrating her hostesses from our jewelry business with eight other jewelers. Not suprisingly, friday evening at 9:45 pm I find myself with the responsibility of working the sound and music. Why is it that nearly every place that these things are put on have a really crappy pa system with the mixer in the FRONT of the room?

Immediately I decide if I am going to do this, I'm gonna do it MY way.

It involved a Mac Mini, a netbook, screensharing, and a wifi router.

I placed the Mac Mini up front running headless, With a 1/8" to rca adapter plugged into the Radioshack PA Amp.

I used the wifi router (running dd-wrt) to provide a wireless connection since my Mini doesn't have an airport card.

I used my MSi Wind Netbook at the back running screen sharing to the headless Mini.

I created a playlist containing the music I wanted in itunes on the wind, and shared it. Then simply played the shared itunes library on the mini in a repeating shuffle. A cool thing is as I added music to the playlist on the wind, it automagically played it on the Mini.

Here's the cool part. This took me less than 45 minutes to get working. From the very first thought if the idea, to a working operation. Try that with a PC!

The Mac Mini and Router:

The MSi Wind:

Screen Sharing:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My tool splurge

With the gardening projects in the works, and the impending basement finishing I had the need ;) for a circular saw and a reciprocating saw.

A quick stop at Home Depot, and I netted a deal. Looks like the Ryobi P841 18 volt, 4 tool combo kit is being clearanced out.

It consists of:

1 Two speed cordless drill
1 Easy blade change Reciprocating Saw
1 5.5" Circular Saw
1 Flashlight
2 Batteries (1.8 Ah NICD)
1 One Hour Battery Charger
1 Carrying Bag

All for the hefty price of: $129

Here's the deal. These older NICD tools are being phased out for the newer Lithium-Ion tools. But guess what! This Ryobi set is compatible with the new batteries. That means after these batteries die, I can replace them with the lithium ion batteries and be way ahead of the game. Considering the comparable lithium powered set to the P841 costs $299!

For work I really like the Dewalt cordless tools. However, a similar toolset that is NICD powered would have cost at least $499. Granted, the tools would have been much higher quality. For my personal home use these ryobi tools will do just fine.

I actually know several contractors that use ryobi cordless tools on the jobsite!

Can truthiness hurt?

Truthiness can get ya! Want to see how?

In this case the truthiness is coming from the press!! Of all places?!?!

First, what is the definition of truthiness in this context? Answer: to describe things that a person claims to know intuitively or "from the gut" without regard to evidence, logic, intellectual examination, or facts

For me, it isn't everyday that you get to meet someone who has a high profile job. I recently learned of his story, and it is sobering, and sad. It is surprising how only an accusation that goes unchallenged in the courtroom can snowball to such a major life altering event. How one man is trying to get the truth out when no one really wants to listen. Isn't it funny how the press and public so easily has its mind made up?

Dr. Saami Shaibani

The accusation: http://www.courttv.com/trials/novelist/092603_ctv.html

The truth: http://www.templetruth.com/


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Here come the onions! - Garden 2009

Hope your not getting tired of my endless posts on gardening. Its just the beginning!

I am hoping that if I publish as much as possible about this gardening experiment, maybe I will actually follow through and get some decent results.

Saturday I picked up some Onion plants from my Grandpa Schrock, and My uncle Mark. This really got me motivated to get a raised bed setup. If you have been following along, you know that I am using the square foot gardening book as my guide. I made an attempt of Mel's Mix. I probably screwed up the ratios and I used perlite instead of the elusive vermiculite.

Enough! On to the pictures!!

The new 4 foot x 4 foot raised bed.

Six squares of onions.

Four sweet pepper and two not so good looking big beef tomato seedlings.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Managing My Digital Life

Found a new site that hits on a major problem in our world today.

Many people have lots of digital content, but they have no clue what to do with it or how to take proper care of it!

Check it out at:


I would even go as far as saying: subscribe to the rss feed!

And if you don't know what a rss feed is, click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Garden 2009: Earthtainer Construction

I picked up a few items and have constructed three earthtainers. Two that have mounts for tomato cages, and one without. Pictured below is the one without the mounts.

I plan on using it for veggies such as, Sweet Corn, Peppers, Green Beans, Cucumbers, and Squash.


This will eventually be filled with a soilless potting mix. Here you can see the false bottom that separates the water from the potting mix. Also, in the center you can see the wicking basket.

You can find more about earthtainers here

And here are pictures of what earthtainers are capable of.

On the plant front, I have several Big Beef tomato and California Wonder Bell Pepper plants sprouted down in the basement under light.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Garden 2009, The beginning . . .

Yeah, you read it right, a garden.

I am not looking to do an average garden. I'm looking for a lazy man's garden. Maximum reward for minimum effort.

I'm looking to provide a healthy better tasting alternative to the supermarket produce that we currently eat. Hey, the way I figure it, if we have a steady supply of fresh veggies, we will end up eating better.

Last week, I discovered the Earthbox. It looked pretty cool. Then I found the Earthtainer. As a guy who like little projects, the earthtainer looked to be the ticket!

1. I would be able to place the garden in a ideal location, as most of the open ground around the house is shaded by trees.
2. Selfwatering! There is a fairly large water reservoir that would allow weekly waterings from me but constant perfect watering to the plant.
3. No weeds. You use 100% sterile potting mix no weed seeds.

Last friday I picked up a copy of All New Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. Now I am sort of undecided.

1. Earthtainers will be more expensive.
2. SF gardening will be more work.

I am still deciding on which path to take.

Meanwhile, The tomato and pepper seeds are planted. Right now there are sitting comfy on top of the refrigerator:

I started them March 11, 2009

Hopefully they will emerge in the next 5 days!

And then they will be moved down to the cooler basement under the new lights!